Arizona's Week in Weed: Phoenix Changing Rules, Ducey Signs Pot-Baby Bill, and More

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• Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law on Tuesday that forces medical-marijuana dispensaries to put up signs warning that women shouldn't use marijuana while pregnant, and reminding them that they could be referred to the Department of Child Safety if someone reports that they're using marijuana while pregnant, or if their baby is born with marijuana metabolites in the bloodstream.

While its need can be debated, the new law coincidentally was signed the same week that the British Medical Journal published a study showing that using marijuana while pregnant increases a baby's risk of being born with a lower-than-average birth weight and of ending up in neonatal intensive care for some reason. The study didn't cross-check for cigarette smokers or alcohol users, and it's possible that if those factors were removed, the study might not show the same thing.

No matter what the study found, the general recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical-research groups is that pregnant women need to talk to doctors about any medication they need — or want — to take while pregnant.

•, a real-estate blog site, ranked Arizona among the 10 best states for cannabis fans to live and buy a home. The news announcement received wide nationwide coverage.

"Wow, look who just barely slipped into the top 10, a state more famous for its putting greens than its leafy greens,” the website states. "The state has the 11th-cheapest weed prices, the 10th-most cannabis-related Google searches, the fifth-most expressed interest in various marijuana publications on Facebook, and the 15th most pot smokers — 6.61 percent."

• J.P. Holyoak, chair of the CRMLA, held a news conference on Wednesday outside the downtown Phoenix office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery during which he said it was hypocritical that Montgomery could be against basic marijuana reform yet at the same time take money from people in the alcohol industry. In the past year, Montgomery's accepted $8,050  from the industry for his reelection this November, records show.

• Hemp American Media Group, a Scottsdale-based marijuana marketer, information source, and website creator, secured what it's calling the first sponsorship of a professional racer by a cannabis-related firm.

The company is sponsoring pro motorcycle racer Johnny Rock Page's 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike season.

"This deal conveys the public’s improving perception and acceptance of marijuana," said Hemp American co-founder Colby Ayres. "We are ecstatic that Johnny Rock Page and MotoAmerica are progressive in their views towards marijuana."

• Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa announced that their "High Road" tour will come to Phoenix's Ak-Chin Pavilion on August 24. Snoop's not just promoting cannabis through his music — he's created his own line of marijuana he expects to be sold in state-legal markets.

• The Tombstone City Council is scheduled on April 26 to consider whether to allow a medical-marijuana dispensary.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern