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California May Soon See Cannabis Cafes as Legislation Heads to the Governor, Several Latin American and Caribbean Countries Realize the Need to Rethink the War on Drugs, and New Jersey is On Track to Legalize Most Cannabis-Infused Edibles

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California May Soon See Cannabis Cafes as Legislation Heads to the Governor

A bill to legalize marijuana cafes in California is on its way to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom. The legislation, from Assemblymember Matt Haney, passed the Assembly after a slightly altered version passed in the Senate days before. Known as AB 374, the bill would permit licensed cannabis dispensaries to prepare and sell non-cannabis food and drinks to customers if they receive approval from local officials. AB 347 would also allow dispensaries to have live music and other entertainment on the premises, and tickets to such events could be sold. Alcohol and any form of smoking tobacco would still be expressly prohibited. 

Several Latin American and Caribbean Countries Realize the Need to Rethink the War on Drugs

Nineteen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have joined together and issued a statement that recognizes the current approach to the war on drugs needs to be reevaluated. Over the weekend, the countries’ leaders and/or representatives met at the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Drugs. They acknowledged that the current approach to drug use in their countries is not providing the “expected results.” The statement contains seventeen key points and is supported by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. The most vocal proponents of reform are the respective presidents of Mexico and Colombia. Colombian President Gustavo Petro compared the failed war on drugs to “a genocide” and argued that it has been wrong to frame the issue of drug use “as a military problem and not as a health problem in society.”

New Jersey is On Track to Legalize Most Cannabis-Infused Edibles 

Cannabis officials in New Jersey have initiated the process of undoing the state’s ban on marijuana edibles. In 2020, New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis. But, in a move unique to the state compared to other legal markets, the law limited edibles to only “syrups, pills, tablets, capsules and chewables.” Officials proposed new regulations last week that would allow licensed cannabis producers to make drinks, baked goods, and other common THC-infused edibles. According to the Ashbury Park Press, marijuana producers can apply for a waiver to make the previously banned edibles while they wait for the new regulations to officially go into effect. Infused beverages will have a limit of 5mg of THC and other edibles will be capped at 10mg per serving.