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Apps can no longer offer marijuana delivery services on the Google Play Store
by Muhammad Jarir Kanji
You will no longer be able to schedule your next delivery of marijuana using your Android smartphone. Google has added marijuana to its list of restricted content on the Play Store, meaning apps that offer delivery services for the psychoactive drug will soon be banned from its platform.
The ban applies to all jurisdictions, regardless of the legality of marijuana in a particular state. The company's updated policies state the following on the matter:
The two most prominent apps in the space are Weedmaps and Eaze, and both risk facing a ban if their apps are not updated within 30 days to remove any aspects enabling the sale of marijuana. Google has also released a statement regarding compliance with its policies, and how apps like Weedmaps can remain on the Play Store in light of the changes:
This could mean that the apps would still be able to promote marijuana and possible even allow you to book deliveries, as long as the developers ensure that the actual sale process is redirected to the browser, for example. What the specifics of the solution are will probably become clearer in the next few weeks as the developers of affected apps update their wares.
The move coincides with updates to the company's Play Store policies to make it safer for children.
Source: Google via Android Police
A US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy drug that would be the first plant-derived cannabidiol medicine for prescription use in the United States.
The FDA will vote in June whether to approve the drug, Epidiolex, an oral solution, for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy in a small group of patients. The FDA has approved synthetic versions of some cannabinoid chemicals found in the marijuana plant for other purposes, including cancer pain relief.
Cannabidiol, also called CBD, is one of more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals, yet unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, it does not produce a high.
The committee's recommendation was delivered after reviewing data from the drug's maker, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company.
"We're obviously very pleased by the unanimous recommendation in support of the approval of Epidiolex," GW CEO Justin Gover said. "It's a very important milestone in the approval process."
Vermont became the ninth U.S. state and third in the Northeast to legalize recreational marijuana use on Monday when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed a bill passed by the legislature earlier this month.
The law legalizes possession of up to 1 ounce of the drug, two mature plants and up to four immature plants by people 21 and older beginning on July 1. It does not legalize trade in the drug.
“Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511,” Scott said in a statement, referring to the measure by its legislative number.
He noted that he had vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have opened up sales of the drug, saying that a state commission would have time for further study before allowing a retail trade in recreational pot.
Neighboring Massachusetts, nearby Maine and six other states have legalized marijuana use as a result of voter initiatives.
Won't be long before every state has it legalized. I know it is a topic for a lot of states.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut state worker fired after he was caught smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should get his job back, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state-owned vehicle. He had no previous disciplinary problems since being hired in 1998 and had received favorable job evaluations, according to his union. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
State officials said firing the New Hartford resident was the only appropriate penalty for his conduct and not doing so would send a bad message to other employees. An arbitrator disagreed and overturned the firing, saying Linhoff instead should be suspended without pay for six months and be subject to random drug testing for a year after he returned to work.
The state appealed and a Superior Court judge overturned the arbitrator's decision on the grounds that it violated Connecticut's public policy against marijuana use. Linhoff's union, the Connecticut Employees Union Independent SEIU, appealed the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court.
All seven justices agreed that the lower court judge was wrong to overturn the arbitrator's ruling, saying that while state policy on drug use in the work place allows for firing workers it does not require it. Justices also said that judicial second-guessing of arbitration awards is uncommon and should be reserved only for extraordinary circumstances.
By Matt B
Microsoft partners with marijuana trade start-up
by Matt Blowes
Microsoft is breaking a long-held corporate taboo by teaming up with Californian-based start-up KIND Financial to help the legal marijuana trade stay legit. KIND Government Solutions will take advantage of Microsoft's Azure Government cloud platform to enable authorities to monitor the marijuana trade from "seed to sale".
While Microsoft's venture will not directly involve the sale of marijuana, it is the company's first foray in the industry. KIND is promoting the software as a useful regulatory tool which helps to, "close the loop between marijuana-related businesses, regulatory agencies, and financial institutions."
The announcement does set Microsoft apart from many large US corporations, who have so far avoided investing in legal marijuana. With the drug being legalized in Microsoft's home state of Washington in 2014, and other states including California voting on legalization this year, the barriers to investment are starting to fall.
Microsoft's Kimberly Nelson said the timing was right for the Redmond-based company to get involved.
It may be a relatively small investment for Microsoft, particularly after announcing it was purchasing LinkedIn earlier this week. But it is a significant step for a newly legalized industry struggling to shake a negative reputation.
Source: KIND Financial via NY Times