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The Marijuana Minute: Prohibitionists in Maine, Peru to Legalize, and THC-infused Hot Sauce

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted October 20, 2017

Welcome to today’s Marijuana Minute, where we share the the good, the bad, and the ugly of the war on cannabis.

The Good

New Zealand’s new Prime Minister wants to Legalize

Jacinda Ardern, the recently-elected prime minister of New Zealand, has announced that the government is set to work towards a referendum on the legalization of cannabis. More than 60% of New Zealand residents support legalization. If all goes well, New Zealand would become the first country to approve the legalization of cannabis through a voter referendum.

Legal Cannabis Coming to Peru?

As reported in Reuters, Peru’s conservative Congress has just passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis with a 68-5 vote in favor of allowing cannabis oil to be produced, imported and commercialized.

The measure was initially proposed after President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski discovered that police were going after a group of mothers that were making cannabis oil to treat their epileptic children. It’s sad it had to come to such a thing, but it’s good to know that some politicians are willing to put the health and safety of their citizens above special interests that benefit and profit from the war on drugs.

Gubernatorial Candidate supports Legalization

State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss of Illinois has come out in support of legalization, tweeting to his followers: “Legalizing marijuana will be an important step in addressing racial injustice in our criminal justice system.” Indeed!

The Bad

Tapatio vs. Trapatio

As reported in Marijuana Business Daily, Tapatio Foods LLC has filed complaints in a U.S. District Court that alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition for the illegal use of Tapatio’s brand and trademark to sell “trapatio,” which is a THC-infused sauce.

While I’d love to give Trapatio a try, you can’t blatantly rip off another company’s branding, which oftentimes takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to build successfully. And clearly, this is the case with Trapatio.

According to TMZ, the owner of Trapatio said he reached out to Tapatio about a possible collaboration, noting they were open to the idea, saying, “With the legalization of weed I would have never thought they would come after me. The cannabis community needs products like this. Tapatio needs Trapatio.”

Tapatio, which does about $5 million in annual revenues, does not need Trapatio.

No disrespect to the good folks over at Trapatio, but saying things like that does not help legitimize the cannabis industry.

The Ugly

Prohibitionists Strike Back in Maine

Maine Governor and all-around scumbag politician has joined forces with House Republican leader Ken Fredette to delay legal cannabis sales until 2019.

Last year, the good people of Maine voted to legalize, but the state’s governor, who is an outspoken prohibitionist, doesn’t care, and has spent a lot of time and effort trying to derail legalization.

As reported in the Press Herald, Fredette and LePage want state lawmakers to kill the legislative committee bill that would set up Maine’s regulatory framework for recreational cannabis, saying it’s too big, complex and controversial for lawmakers to debate in a single day.

Instead, LePage submitted a Fredette bill that calls for legislators to extend the existing moratorium on the commercial aspects of the marijuana law from February 2018 to January 2019.

It is unreasonable to ask lawmakers to come in from their summer break and read, debate and approve in a single special session a 76-page law on a controversial topic that voters passed by a razor-thin margin last November, Fredette said.

Nevermind the fact that there has been plenty of time to get this worked out. But that’s how prohibitionists work. Nevada got it done it less than a year, but Maine needs two years? This, my friend, is called a shakedown, and the good people of Maine should be beyond fired up.

The bottom line is that LePage and Fredette are attempting to deny the will of the voters. I do hope they are held accountable for this misdeed.

You can read more on this story here.