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Inside Cannabis (Sep 26th, 2017)

Marijuana arrests are on the rise in the U.S. Arrests for marijuana possession comprised 37 percent of all reported drug arrests in the U.S. in 2016, and cannabis sales and manufacturing arrests accounted for another 4 percent of the total. That's a 1.5 percent increase over arrests made in 2015, even though legal recreational use is on the rise. – FORBES

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for federal cannabis research, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not complied. The lawmakers are working to enact what eventually could become a national standard for cannabis quality, and they want to start by allowing testing of pot already seized by the DEA. But their attempts to pressure Sessions into relaxing his own personal war on cannabis haven't been successful. "There's really only one reason to sit on a request: Because you suspect that perhaps the science will show that medical marijuana does have some therapeutic benefit and therefore disprove the need for the failed war on marijuana," Colorado Democrat Jared Polis said. – ROLLING STONE

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New research shows that state medical marijuana laws lead to an increase in Social Security Disability Insurance claims. In states with medical marijuana programs, the tendency to make a SSDI claim rose 9.9 percent following the passage of a medical marijuana law, and actual SSDI benefits rose by 2.6 percent, according to a report from researchers at Temple University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cincinnati. – MARKETWATCH

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Chemicals contaminated 86 percent of tested cannabis clones in California. The testing was conducted by Steep Hill, a cannabis science and technology company with extensive expertise in lab testing. In a study published this week, the researchers found that only 14 percent of 124 randomly selected clones the firm tested showed no detectable pesticides, and many of the clones had more than one type. Contamination has been an ongoing issue in California, where despite two decades of legal medical marijuana, lax regulations have led to the rampant use of toxic chemicals. – NEW CANNABIS VENTURES

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Escrow has closed on Nipton, California, but the pot company that purchased it can't sell cannabis. American Green bought the entire Mojave Desert town with high hopes of turning it into a national cannabis tourism destination. But the town is unincorporated, which on San Bernardino County land means that commercial cannabis activity is not allowed. That includes cultivation, sales of marijuana products at dispensaries, use of marijuana delivery services and the consumption of CBD. To get the town incorporated, it must have at least 500 registered voters and 10,000 residents. Nipton currently has just 18 residents. – DESERT SUN

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New York state is accepting applications for its industrial hemp industry. In July, the state's governor announced $10 million in state funds to boost industrial hemp research and development, citing the potential to provide a major economic boon to farms and rural communities. Now it's seeking researchers, farmers and businesses to participate. – AP

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Cannabis is getting more potent. A recent federal study found that the percentage of THC in cannabis averaged about 12 percent in 2014. That's a big leap from four percent in 1995 and the less than 1 percent in 1975. However, the government stats don’t include samples from the legal market, where flowers have tested way above 20 percent and even upper 30 percent, and concentrates soaring into the 90 percent range. – GIZMODO

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