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World News - September 2018

Facebook Blocking ALL Cannabis Related Pages 

Facebook - is well-known for not being particularly marijuana-friendly, whether that's by hiding posts about cannabis or straight up banning accounts associated with it. But now it seems they've taken it even further.

Several people have found out that Facebook has shadow banned almost all pages related to marijuana. This means that when you search "marijuana" almost no results show up even though there are tons of pages related to it. You can still find these pages if you have know their URL and they still exist, but they won't show up in search results on the world's most popular social media website.

And there doesn't seem to be any criteria for this shadow ban. Everything from marijuana fan pages to cannabis businesses to even the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, a government agency that regulates marijuana in the state, are all not showing up in Facebook search results.  Facebook has even gone as far as disabling The MMM Report page, more than once.

The question is why is Facebook doing this. There's perhaps some bizarre justification where they could claim that allowing these pages would constitute helping criminal enterprises since marijuana is illegal at the federal level in the United States. However, they aren't banning these pages. They're simply preventing anyone from discovering them.

Facebook has not yet commented on their justification for these bans. But if they ever do comment, we doubt it will be a great justification.

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Mariana Islands Vote To Legalize Marijuana

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-
Legislators in the CNMI is a U.S. territory, have approved a bill to legalize marijuana.

By a margin of 18 - 1, with one abstention, the CNMI House of Representatives passed the legislation, which would end cannabis prohibition for adults over 21 and create a system of taxed and regulated sales. It would also allow medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

In May, the Senate approved a similar marijuana legalization bill. That proposal initially cleared a committee in the House, but its advancement was later brought to a halt in response to procedural concerns that revenue-generating legislation must originate in the House. After first making some changes to the Senate bill, House lawmakers ended up filing a new proposal of their own last week, which won approval by the full chamber on Wednesday morning.

"The people of the CNMI recognize that the prohibition of marijuana has been terribly misguided and harmful, and our leaders are in touch with the public's sentiment on this issue," Lawrence Duponcheel of Sensible CNMI said in a statement. "Today, members of the CNMI House of Representatives showed their commitment to honoring the will of the people."

If the bill is enacted, CNMI will become the first U.S. jurisdiction to go directly from outlawing marijuana across the board to allowing recreational use. The territory has no existing medical cannabis program, something that has been a precursor to broader legalization in a growing number of states.

It will also be the first to legalize a system of regulated cannabis production and sales through an act of lawmakers rather via a ballot measure. The eight U.S. states with legal recreational marijuana commerce have enacted those programs through decisions of voters at the ballot box. Lawmakers in a ninth state, Vermont, earlier this year passed a law to legalize marijuana possession and home cultivation, but the policy does not allow for any form of cannabis commerce.

"States that have set up regulated markets for marijuana with time, age, and place of sale restrictions, product testing, labeling, and other precautions relative to providing a safe product for responsible adult consumers, have observed real and significant benefits to public health, safety, and quality of life for all residents," the CNMI bill's findings section states.

Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is in our best interest to move marijuana into a regulated and controlled market for responsible adult personal use, allowing for the creation of jobs and the capturing of a new revenue stream that can be used to fund public safety programs, public school infrastructure and programs, supporting the retirement fund, and other government and social programs, such as drug abuse treatment; furthermore, providing an effective alternative medicine for those suffering from medical conditions; and allowing for the development of an industrial hemp industry here in the CNMI."

The CNMI Senate is now expected to take up the House-passed legalization bill.
Gov. Ralph Torres (R) has expressed some concerns about legalization.

“In the nine states that have legalized marijuana, have we seen an increase in crime?” he asked. “If there is, what is the nature of these crimes? We should look at this and other things. I am concerned about public safety issues.”

It is not clear whether he would sign or veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

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Ice Cream Chain Pushes Cannabis Flavored Scoops

Israel- Though Vaniglia's new flavor 'tastes like the aroma' of marijuana, those seeking a high should look elsewhere.

The Vaniglia ice cream chain is popular in Israel for offering over 60 flavors. It recently added a notable new one to its roster: cannabis.

The Israeli chain, which has over a dozen locations, has sold the flavor in stores since March.

Sadly for stoners, the ice cream doesn’t contain any THC, the active psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. The only part of the cannabis plant harnessed in the recipe is terpenes, or aromatic oil that gives the green leafy drug its unique smell. The rest of the flavor comes from a mix of specific herbs and nuts that chain founder Itay Rogozinsky identified by good old trial and error.

“People don’t know what cannabis tastes like because people don’t eat marijuana. To create a cannabis-flavor for ice cream, I studied the marijuana plant and learned about its different terpenes and aromas,” Rogozinsky told the Israeli innovation website NoCamels. “I then created an ice cream that, in my opinion, tastes like the aroma of cannabis.”

He went on to describe the taste as “nutty” and polarizing — customers either love it or hate it.
As Emerald Report points out, Rogozinsky isn’t the only one churning out cannabis-flavored ice cream. Some stores, like The Hop in Asheville, North Carolina, infuse cannibidiol, or CBD oil, into their new ice creams. CBD oil is used in medicines for its calming and other therapeutic effects — without inducing the high that THC produces.

Others, such as the store Drip in Portland, Oregon, and the Cann Eye Dream brand based in California, have gone a step further and added THC into the mixture.

But for those looking simply for the cannabis flavor without the high, Rogozinsky’s iteration seems to stand out.

“I don’t like gimmicks,” he told Emerald Report. “My goal was to create an ice cream that tasted like the aroma of cannabis. I sourced natural ingredients and created a number of blended profiles. … I’m very proud of the product.”
 

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