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Will the Marijuana Industry Save the Struggling Town of Adelanto? BY ALEX HALPERIN

John "Bug" Woodard Jr., a city councilman for Adelanto, stands among marijuana plants in the High Desert Cultivation facility. Marijuana growing and cultivation is now legal in the desert town.

In the dusty, Joshua tree–speckled desert of southwestern San Bernardino County, the town of Adelanto almost blends into the landscape with its unlovely grid of colorless, low-slung buildings. The remote town was founded in 1915 by Earl Richardson, who is best known for inventing the toaster and an electric iron. Much like the nearby colony of Llano Del Rio — the failed Antelope Valley utopian commune that existed from 1914 to 1918 — Adelanto was intended to be one of Southern California’s prototypical planned communities. It was home to orchards and farms. But after the George Air Force Base — a large area employer since it opened in the 1940s — shuttered in 1992, the city never recovered.

Today, Adelanto’s population is around 33,000.

It is 50 percent Latino and 30 percent African-American, and roughly 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Adelanto’s first prison opened in 1991, and since then it’s been known — to the extent that it’s known at all — as a prison city. The for-profit prison company GEO Group has opened facilities there, housing more than 3,000 inmates. Last year, Adelanto reportedly collected only $160,000 annually from these businesses.

On a desolate inbound road, a welcoming sign calls Adelanto “the city with unlimited possibilities.” Beneath the slogan are badges for Rotary International, the city’s Chamber of Commerce (founded in 1956), and the American Legion. There’s also a new logo on the sign, for the Adelanto Growers Association, a marijuana industry group striving to revive the city’s fortunes.

When Mayor Rich Kerr was elected in November 2014, he says Adelanto was “$2.6 million in the hole.” A year later, the city welcomed marijuana cultivation, and its economy is on the upswing. Kerr says the deficit is now half a million dollars. “By June we’ll be in the black,” and after that, he expects pot taxes to start delivering undreamed-of millions to city coffers.

“No one wanted to live in Adelanto — it was a drive-through town,” Freddy Sayegh, an entertainment and cannabis lawyer, says. Around January 2015, Sayegh, who is based in Altadena, started pitching the city to allow marijuana growing. Months of talks followed. Opponents included the elementary school district superintendent, but in November 2015 Adelanto became one of the few California cities to allow medical marijuana growing on an industrial scale. “We had a city to save,” City Councilman John “Bug” Woodard Jr. says.

Legal marijuana growing operations at High Desert Cultivations may bring big money to Adelanto.EXPAND

Legal marijuana growing operations at High Desert Cultivations may bring big money to Adelanto.
Ted Soqui

In 2015, there were still relatively few cities where a business could acquire land and legally start a commercial marijuana farm. Desert Hot Springs, another depressed desert town, in 2014 became the first Southern California city to allow large pot farms. Recently, it’s seen large-scale operations move to town, tapping into the underground aquifers that give the town its name. Other desert cities are considering the marijuana option, too.

Adelanto is still a sleepy place, but it appears to be on the cusp of becoming a boomtown. In the previous 15 years, the town had added only two new Dollar Stores, according to Kerr, which earned the city $7,000 a year. But by allowing commercial marijuana growing, Adelanto ignited a land rush. Plots that had been worth $300,000 suddenly sold for $3 million, according to Sayegh, who represents several Adelanto growers.

Home values skyrocketed, and construction on more is underway. Yet the Adelanto green rush has barely begun. In a few weeks, one or two growers will harvest their first plants, but the city has already licensed more than 40 new facilities. Driving around town, every empty lot in the grow zone appears to have a “for sale” sign on it.

L.A.’s recent economic boom has not extended to San Bernardino County, where the poverty rate hovers around 20 percent, well above the national average; only 20 percent of adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared with about a third in L.A. It’s home to working-class populations that have been left behind. And marijuana is a rare opportunity to create thousands of well-paid jobs for workers without college degrees.

When California voters legalized recreational marijuana in November, they set the stage for an economic bonanza. Eight states have fully legalized pot, and 29 allow medical use, but as the world’s largest legal market, California is likely to define legal weed’s structure and culture globally, much as Silicon Valley and Hollywood do for their respective industries.

According to Arcview Market Research, last year in North America, legal weed sales reached $6.7 billion. By 2021, that figure is expected to triple, with California leading the growth. Paired with the destigmatization of cannabis use — a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal — California has the recipe for a major economic engine. Barring federal intervention by President Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, the state’s future is green.

Supporters argue that legalization will shift control of the marijuana market from violent criminal cartels to law-abiding businesses that pay taxes and create jobs. There’s already evidence from Colorado and other states that legal weed has benefited state economies.

A struggling town such as Adelanto has an incentive to bet its future on marijuana. But for a nascent industry encumbered by pot’s legal baggage, what happens over the next few years in Adelanto, and other down-on-their-luck California cities counting on cannabis, will have broad implications for the industry’s future. The fate of Adelanto will help determine whether the green rush is another boom-and-bust California dream, or an industry that’s sustainable for decades.

City Councilman John "Bug" Woodard Jr. looks over a new 630-acre, $60 million construction project by Industrial Integrity Solutions for eventual lease to marijuana entrepreneurs.EXPAND

City Councilman John “Bug” Woodard Jr. looks over a new 630-acre, $60 million construction project by Industrial Integrity Solutions for eventual lease to marijuana entrepreneurs.
Ted Soqui

Adelanto’s Starbucks is in the corner of a modest strip mall complex. On a recent morning, Mayor Kerr and Councilman Woodard, his political ally, held court on the patio outside, chatting with locals who passed by.

Kerr is a 22-year Marine veteran who has a business installing telecom systems for Motorola. His mayoral campaign was the first time he’d run for office. He swears constantly and smokes off-brand cigarettes. In January, he punctured a lung and broke some ribs and his collarbone in a dirt biking accident. He’s 60 years old.

Woodard is in real estate and printing, the latter of which helped when he self-financed his $700 City Council campaign. With his longish hair and biker mustache, he resembles singer David Crosby. Woodard says they are both “very conservative Republicans.” They receive small stipends for their government roles.

Kerr and Woodard won election in 2014, shaking up the local order. Woodard ran opposing a new prison, though he told the Victorville Daily Press, “I’m not totally against it. But what I imagine is people build prisons here without doing anything extra for our community. What a disgrace.”

Woodard moved to Adelanto from Pismo Beach in 1998 after betting a friend that he could find an affordable house in California. His first home in Adelanto cost $28,500. He now owns four houses there, and says all of them have increased in value since the city welcomed pot growers.

Together, Kerr and Woodard beat back opposition to growers from the sheriff’s office and other interests Woodard says are “paid by the government.” They argue that marijuana cultivation was the only choice Adelanto had and, unlike the city’s prisons, the marijuana companies would contribute a fair share. “This city was almost gone,” Woodard says. “We’re business people, let’s get this city fixed.”

Adelanto does not seem to have much, but Kerr and Woodard try to work with what resources they have. The city’s real asset is what Kerr calls “53 square miles of dirt,” just a two-hour drive from L.A.

Space is all the growers need. One company is building a series of warehouse-sized buildings expected to total 630,000 square feet. Woodard believes it’s the largest indoor grow under construction in California.

In a few months, Kerr and Woodard expect to have more money to spend than Adelanto has seen in many years, and they’re exhilarated. They ticked off what’s in store: new housing, new shops and a new concrete plant to support construction, which could create 500 jobs.

If California Legalizes Marijuana, It Would Be a $6 Billion Industry, Report Says

Justin Worland @justinworland Aug. 25, 2016
marijuana california legalization
Brian van der Brug_LA Times via Getty Images
Volunteer Gregory Lyons, 63, of Oakland, makes calls at Oaksterdam University in support of Prop 19, a marijuana legalization initiative, in Oakland on Nov. 2 2010.
The question is on the ballot in November
Legalizing recreational marijuana in California could create a $6.46-billion market for legal use of the drug by 2020, according to a new report.

The projection, from the Arcview Market Research, comes in advance of a November vote on legalization in the state. Legal marijuana sales would be expected to hit $1.6 in the first year of legalization.

The move would make the state the “epicenter” of marijuana in the U.S., John Kagia of the analytics firm New Frontier told the Orange County Register. Both Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana sales, but California sales would dwarf those in other states.

Polling suggests that a small majority of Californians support legalization. A similar measure failed in the state in 2010.

Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo – August 6-7, 2016

The cannabis industry will gather en masse in downtown San Diego the weekend of August 6-7 when the Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo comes to the San Diego Convention Center.

The premier cannabis event in San Diego, the Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo is the perfect place for industry insiders, consumers, entrepreneurs, job seekers, and business owners to mingle and discuss how to positively shape the future of the cannabis industry.

Hundreds of cannabis companies, like Weedmaps, HempMeds, SC Labs, the Arcview Group, Jetty Extracts, and FlavRx, will be on the expo floor showcasing their goods and services. There will also be organizations like Women Grow, San Diego NORML, and CannaMoms raising awareness for their individual causes.

On the conference’s main stage, there will be a series of lectures and panel discussions scheduled all weekend long with topics including Cannabis and Your Pet, High Tech Trends in Cannabis, and Cannabis and Children.

“This event brings together so many elements of the cannabis industry, especially the educational component. [These panels are] going to be eye-opening for those interested in the future of medical cannabis,” said CEO and event producer, Rory Mendoza.

Late in the day on Sunday, the Professional Sports and Cannabis panel will feature ex-NFL players and vocal cannabis advocates Jim McMahon, Eugene Monroe, Kyle Turley, and Ricky Williams. In light of the league’s struggle with concussions, CTE, and opioid abuse, cannabis has become a popular topic of discussion among players for its pain relieving and neuroprotective qualities.

Wrapping up the event, the keynote speaker is Whoopi Goldberg, cannabis proponent and co-founder of Whoopi and Maya, a cannabis brand aimed at women, offering marijuana-infused sipping chocolate, balm, tincture, and bath soak.

“We reach for the stars and Whoopi is certainly the best representative we could ask for to represent the new face of cannabis,” said Mendoza.

The Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo will take place from 9am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday, August 6-7, at the San Diego Convention Center at 111 West Harbor Drive.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://socalccexpo.com/

California finally working on state medical marijuana regulations

With a vote on recreational marijuana legalization likely for 2016, legislators are now working on statewide regulations for medical marijuana, which became legal in 1996

SAN FRANCISCO — The likelihood that California voters will be asked to legalize recreational marijuana next year is prompting lawmakers to make a serious run at reining in the state’s vast medical marijuana industry — a job they have deferred for nearly two decades.

A pair of bills pending in the California Legislature would create the first statewide regulations for medical marijuana growers, manufacturers of pot-infused products, and distributors such as storefront dispensaries and delivery services.

California authorized marijuana use for health purposes with a 1996 ballot measure that allows doctors to recommend the drug for any ailment, deliberately leaving the specifics for how it should be produced and sold for another day.

With advocates now working to qualify recreational use initiatives for the November 2016 ballot, that day finally may have arrived.

The state Assembly last month approved a comprehensive licensing and oversight scheme on a bipartisan 62-8 vote. A compromise measure to create the Governor’s Office of Medical Cannabis Regulation, AB 266, is endorsed by both the California Cannabis Industry Association and the California Police Chiefs Association.

The legalization discussion has definitely changed the tone of the conversation,” said Natasha Minsker, who directs the ACLU of California’s advocacy office in Sacramento. “There is real potential a legalization initiative will set the tone for regulation and taxation, and if the Legislature wants to be involved, now is the time.”

The eleventh-hour effort offers a preview of issues that are likely to surface during a legalization campaign, from concerns over water use and drugged driving to questions around consumer protections and who will be allowed to apply for business licenses.

The bill by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, requires numerous state agencies to flesh out and enforce a regulatory framework by 2018.

The California Highway Patrol would develop a way to determine when someone is too high to drive, while the Department of Public Health would come up with rules for testing pot products for potency and toxic chemicals and set limits on when individuals with felony convictions or newly arrived in California would be eligible for a license to grow, process, transport or sell medical marijuana.

The bill also would create training standards and labor rights for industry workers — a nod to unions — and preserve the right of local governments to ban cannabis businesses, which is key to maintaining support from the League of California Cities and police chiefs.

“This is something that is greatly needed and long overdue,” said Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano, the police association’s president. “We are aware there will be an initiative on the ballot and if it is approved, we will have a good foundation, something to prevent some of the issues we have had with medical marijuana.”

Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat who has expressed skepticism about the wisdom of legalizing recreational marijuana use, has not indicated if he would sign the medical marijuana legislation if it reaches his desk.

Sen. Mike McGuire, a first-term Democrat whose 370-mile long coastal district encompasses Northern California’s prime pot-growing regions, blames the Legislature’s years of inaction on continuing skepticism over marijuana’s medical value, law enforcement resistance and industry doubts.

Noting there is no guarantee that California voters will go for full legalization, McGuire introduced his own medical marijuana bill. SB643 would establish an office within the state Business, Consumer Affairs and Housing Agency to license medical marijuana businesses and to develop regulations for how they should operate.

It would also require the California Medical Board to crack down on doctors who issue medical marijuana recommendations without a proper patient exam or valid medical reason for doing so.

“My beef is this: California’s approach to medical marijuana regulation has been impotent and when you allow an industry to grow unregulated for as long as we have with cannabis, we are going to pay the price,” McGuire said. “We are inundated with the impacts of this multi-billion dollar industry and we cannot sacrifice our communities, the environment and patient safety any longer.”

http://cannabisjobs.us

Marin’s state senator proposes regulating medical marijuana industry

State Sen. Mike McGuire has introduced a sweeping bill that would legalize and regulate the medical marijuana industry from cultivation to consumption and all the steps in between.

The bill, SB 643, passed out of the state Senate’s Business and Professions Committee on April 20 and will receive a hearing in the Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday.

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and subsequent state legislation exempted qualified medical patients and their caregivers from state criminal sanctions related to possession, cultivation and transportation of limited amounts of marijuana. Nevertheless, a lack of statewide regulation has resulted in uncertainty about the legality of some medical marijuana cultivation and distribution activities.

Continue Reading on Marinij.Com

CA NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE CHALLENGES LOCAL AUTHORITIES WITH MASSIVE GROW OPERATION

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3422671-181/legality-of-ukiah-tribal-pot

Call it a 10 million dollar gamble.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation and FoxBarry Farms, famous for their investment in casino and gasoline businesses, are linked at the hip in a new venture to pursue large-scale marijuana production on the reservation.

Background: the justice department indicated that tribes can pursue legal marijuana in accordance with their tribal authority. That rulemaking came down in December 2014. At the time,  local authorities in Riverside seemed skeptical that anything would happen:

“We don’t enforce federal law, we enforce state law, so any change in the federal law isn’t going to affect us necessarily,” said Capt. Ray Wood, commander of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Hemet Station and head of the department’s Tribal Liaison Unit.

The department meets regularly with tribal leaders to discuss all aspects of law enforcement, he said. Marijuana has not been a focus of those meetings, and it doesn’t appear the drug exists more on Indian land than other parts of the county.

As usual, reality moves quicker than government.

The operation referenced in the original article involves 2.5 acres of indoor cultivation. That’s several thousand plants. The Mendicino County plan is joined by at least two other indoor cultivation sites sponsored by FoxBarry. Those involved are being coy on the location of the other two operations.

We’re talking tons of marijuana coming into circulation in the few months it takes to grow the first generation of plants. Sources say that construction of the greenhouses, relatively simple structures, would end by February. So we’re looking at a major harvest at the Mendicino site by the summer.

Local political officials and law enforcement looks entirely befuddled by this turn of events. In my opinion, after reading three articles on the subject, they did not expect production to move this fast.

Law enforcement’s reaction:

Sheriff Tom Allman said he’s not convinced the operation would be legal. He’s spoken with officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office who said they have not been asked for or given permission for such an operation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has declined to comment on the issue.

But federal authorities in the past have quashed other large-scale, off-reservation cannabis cultivation operations.

Allman said that any operation that wouldn’t be permitted off-reservation is unlikely to be allowed on Indian land.

Allman’s queries have triggered an investigation by District Attorney David Eyster, spokesman Mike Geniella said. Eyster has requested details about the plans from the tribe and FoxBarry, Geniella said. Eyster will not comment on the plan until his review is concluded, he added.

So you see the lines being drawn: Sheriff Allman doesn’t believe it’s legal, and contacts the US Attorney’s Office. The feds stay mum. Giant red flag right there if you’re ready to bust an operation in your county, right? The good sheriff contacts his own District Attorney, who begins their own investigation.

Coming down somewhere in the middle is the County’s CEO:

“They can do whatever they want,” Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo said. The tribe will be exempt from the county’s zoning ordinance aimed at controlling the number and locations of marijuana plants grown for medical use.

This distinction about number and location is important, because CA law limits the number of plants grown for medical purposes. Tribes don’t abide by that law, because they inhabit federal land!

County supervisors look equally stumped:

The tribe did not notify county officials of its plans, so news of the pot-growing facility caught them off guard. “I’m a bit taken aback,” said county Supervisor Carre Brown. She noted that many of the tribes consult with the county about development projects as a courtesy, even though they’re exempt from its planning process.

The tribe, with that federal rulemaking, sidestepped the state completely, going their own way. Does she sound like someone with a handle on the situation? Not to me. Here’s more, from another supervisor:

“None of this really surprises me,” he said. “I just wish there was more we could do about it.” Hamburg said he’d prefer that the county have some control over marijuana production and the ability to collect taxes on the product. He’d also prefer to see smaller, outdoor growing operations. “My heart is really with the small grower community,” Hamburg said. He also believes that outdoor gardens create fewer environmental impacts than indoor farms. “From an ecological perspective, that does not sit well with me,” Hamburg said of the tribe’s operation.

Ah, well, there we go. Someone in state government finally saw the cash flow problem. And who wouldn’t agree with him about the ecological problems? But if you are the tribal authorities and feel under the gun, you wouldn’t want anyone snooping around your massive, unprecedented grow. If Mendicino county officials want in on that delicious tribal weed and the associated cash, they should liberalize the drug marketplace.

Last, but not least, it’s interesting to me that the herb will only be sold to licensed medical providers. That’s a savvy move by the tribes. If they began selling off-the-reservation for recreational purposes, they’d be tripping a few regulatory problems:

The marijuana will be sold only to California medical marijuana patients through dispensaries, in keeping with state law, Brautman said. There currently are no plans for a dispensary on site, he said.

My guess is that the tribes will test the regulatory waters with this first harvest, and see where CA goes in 2016. By then they’ll have some of the largest legal gardens in the state.

Sovereignty is the word of the day.

Colorado Joins California in Funding Cannabis Research

Colorado Joins California in Funding Cannabis Research, Source: http://cdn.medicalxpress.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2012/cannabisproduction.jpgIt was just announced by the Associated Press that Colorado will be the first state to fund cannabis research, in one of the largest state-funded efforts ever. But they are actually not the first state to do this, merely the first to offer grants to researchers for cannabis research.

California has had the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) since 2000 conducting research on cannabis through various state Universities, such as UCLA and UCSF. These are different ways to fund research, one only allows researchers with ties to state universities to get funding, and the other offers funding to anyone, regardless of their affiliation.

For example, if you are doing independent research on cannabis, without being a member of a university, there is no way to get your study funded by California through the CMCR, but if you are in Colorado, you do have the chance to get funding. Offering grants is arguably a more fair method to determine what studies get funds, because it doesn’t give preference to those already privileged enough to be within the gilded walls of academia. In that sense, Colorado is a first, but to say they are the first state, or even the first government agency to fund cannabis research, is not accurate.

Center for Medical Cannabis Research: A History Lesson

It has been fifteen years since the CMCR was founded, and in that time they have authored at least fifteen studiesshowing the therapeutic, positive effects of cannabis. A whole generation has grown up using cannabis since Prop 215 was passed in 1996, whose passage prompted the California legislature to pass SB 847, creating the CMCR.

The CMCR’s stated purpose was to find the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Igor Grant MD is the Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine and the current director of the CMCR. Dr. Grant had this to say about the research done by the CMCR, “[our] findings provide a strong, science-based context in which policy makers and the public can begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care.”

Federal Research Embargo

What makes the CMCR unique is that, until their founding, there was no government funded agency with the express purpose of studying the benefits of cannabis. The National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has the final say on any cannabis research that is being federally funded or using the federal stash of cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi, and NIDA will only approve studies of the negative effects of cannabis use. Despite that, the Federal government has funded more cannabis research than perhaps any other person or group in the world, to the tune ofhundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade alone.

The Catch 22 of all those federally funded studies is that in order to get funding and access to NIDA grown cannabis, one’s hypothesis must be something negative about cannabis. If one wanted to do a study showing that cannabis prevented the damage of lung cancer, they could never get approval.

It is possible to conduct a study with a negative hypothesis and find positive outcomes, and NIDA cannot do anything about it. Dr. Donald tashkin from UCLA conducted “the largest case-control study ever done” on cannabis smoking and lung cancer. He found that it didn’t cause lung cancer, and actually lowered the rate of lung cancer to be less than the rate of non-smokers.

Though his study was not funded by CMCR, Dr. Tashkin is a member of their National Advisory Council and one of their researchers. Tashkin’s groundbreaking study was one of the many funded by the federal government through NIDA and their parent federal agency, the National Institutes of Health.

Not every researcher is as lucky as Dr. Tashkin.

Dr. Sue Sisley, was recently fired from the University of Arizona for her research on cannabis. Dr. Sisley fought for years to get federal approval for her study on veterans with PTSD, and when she finally got access to NIDA grown cannabis, the university that approved the study fired her for it. She now plans to go into private practice to continue her research, perhaps with a grant from Colorado. NIDA’s chokehold over which studies get approved and which do not, creates a chilling effect on cannabis research, driving many would-be researchers to study other topics. The few that remain may get fired for their research topics, left to fend for themselves without funding or institutional support.

Despite the Embargo, The Feds Grow More Cannabis for Research

While it is still near impossible to get federal approval for a study, NIDA is clearly preparing for an influx of new studies demanding access to Federally grown medical cannabis for research and has upped their production quotas from 21kg last year to 650kg this year. That 650kg is still much lower than the 4,500kg production quota that was originally proposed in 2007, but at least it is a start.

Despite the current quota being lower than what was proposed in 2007, and lower than the totals from 2002-04, it still represents a nearly 3,000% increase over 21kg. Of that 21kg that has been grown yearly since 2010, over half has gone to the four remaining participants in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program. Now, with that much higher quota, there should be much more cannabis to go to research. Hopefully this will include some CBD-rich strains, as well as the THC-rich cannabis they normally grow.

Image: LA deals a blow to cannabis home-delivery

Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer has put a stop to cannabis home-deliveries in California.He’s asked a judge to close Nestdrop, the first app for smartphones that enables customers to order therapeutic marijuana for home delivery. The reason being that the app, which was designed initially to sell alcohol and then to sell cannabis, violates the strict rules governing the distribution of the substance. These include the obligation to respect predetermined distances from schools, public parks and childcare centres.

According to Feuer, these rules weren’t being respected by Nestdrop, as well as the fact that “a mobile marijuana business is, by definition, in violation of laws on transport in vehicles.” But only a judge can determine if laws have been violated. While the city attorney is calling for Nestdrop to remain outside LA’s boundaries, he also states that there will be no legal consequences for existing users of the service.

However, Nestdrop boss Michael Pycher has announced that he intends to formally oppose the application for an injunction. The app, says Pycher, neither distributes nor cultivates drugs. It’s just technology that works perfectly: it puts patients in touch with local dispensaries, offering an essential service.

And while Nestdrop is the first, it is certainly not the only company operating in this sector: there are now hundreds of safe and convenient delivery services throughout southern California. But Feuer’s court action is putting them all at risk and has already led to the closure of 402 medical marijuana dispensaries, halving their number. This has been a hard blow for the cannabis trade, which doesn’t just depend on the freedom to buy and sell, but also on having products that are widely available. And if they’re delivered straight to your door, even bette

 Beverly Hills Cannabis Club: High-net-worth pot?

Cheryl Shuman likes to be called “the Martha Stewart of marijuana.”

 After all, Martha Stewart used her namesake to create a home-building media empire, becoming the first female self-made billionaire in the United States, at least on paper. And Shuman, a California entrepreneur, hopes to do the same … only with cannabis.

Though California law permits use of medicinal marijuana, Shuman told CNBC on Monday she still felt ashamed while using it to ease the pains of her cancer. Along the way, she learned that many of her friends, including high-net-worth individuals from circles of influence, felt the same about marijuana use.

In turn, she founded the “Beverly Hills Cannabis Club” to change public perception about marijuana and open the door for legalization.

“There are a lot of celebrities and high-profile people who don’t want to be assigned to that negative image, so as a branding and PR expert, I decided to rebrand the face of the modern cannabis consumer [and] make it as what we are today, which is a mixture of cannabis culture and celebrity culture,” she told “ Squawk Alley .” “There’s no doubt in my mind that cannabis is now mainstream.”

Shuman’s efforts have gained some traction, too. She recently graced the cover of AdWeek and KUSH magazines. Shuman’s tireless promotion helped her to transform $150,000 in seed capital in 2009 into $6.5 million in revenue in less than 18 months, AdWeek reports. Now she’s on a nationwide tour to drum up additional investment in the marijuana industry and otherwise push for legalization.

Read More Legal use of marijuana clashes with job rules

“There are a lot of millionaires and billionaires out there that actually consume cannabis that have the money that want to finance things like the super PAC that we’re working on because they strongly want to influence the political climate on legitimacy so that they don’t have to worry about going to prison and losing their millions of dollars by being a cannabis consumer in an illegal state,” she said.

-By CNBC’s Drew Sandholm

Jay Brockman – see original post 
Better Call Glew!

The California Court of Appeal appears to have just handed a major victory to medical marijuana dispensaries that follow state law.

Until now, dispensary operators targeted by police have faced the prospect of trying to defend themselves in court without being allowed to argue a so-called affirmative defense citing protection under California’s medical marijuana law.

Now, thanks an appeals court ruling that involves a Newport Beach marijuana collective operator convicted of possessing pot with the intent to sell, prosecutors might have a much harder time winning convictions in cases where collectives have followed state law.

The case in question involves a Newport Beach dispensary owner named Borzou Baniani, who was convicted of possession with the intent to sell after being denied an affirmative defense–an earlier trial had resulted in a hung jury.

“What was appealing about [Baniani] was that he definitely came to us with all the boxes checked off,” said Christopher Glew, the attorney who handled Baniani’s first trial and subsequent appeal. “He had all the initial dealings with attorneys to set everything up legitimately. His books were out there, and everything looked to be above board.”

Baniani had formed his Herbal Run collective after a relative became sick and needed access to medical marijuana. In 2010, an undercover Newport Beach police officer used a doctor’s note to obtain a small amount of marijuana, which became evidence in the possession with the intent to sell case filed against him.

“Why they even came to target him surprised me,” said Glew. “This collective would seem to barely register. But they took it to two separate trials and an appeal. The question is now what will they do with it? A third trial? What are we doing with our resources?”

Two trials later, the court of appeals has ruled that his conviction should be overturned because the judge in the second trial erred in not allowing him to mention medical marijuana law in his own defense.

“This signals a change in the sense that DA’s can’t look at a case and say, ‘I may be able to win just by proving the person possessed marijuana with the intent to sell,'” Glew said. “This decision is another giant step toward legitimacy for medical marijuana patients. It has the potential to end the prosecution of collectives that are attempting to follow the ambiguous laws.”

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Email: nschou@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @NickSchou. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter@ocweekly or on Facebook!

Cheeba Chews is back in business.

The Colorado-based company – which makes a popular line of edibles – reportedly has a new licensing deal in place to manufacture infused products in its home state.

cheeba

Production has resumed and the company is now filling orders from dispensaries, an official with Cheeba Chews told Marijuana Business Daily.

Dispensary owners in Colorado have been wondering for months what happened to Cheeba Chews, which abruptly stopped production in March without providing an explanation.

The company reportedly ran into issues with the business it brought on to manufacture and distribute its products, according to an investigation by the Denver Post

Colorado denied an edibles license to that business – Green Sky Productions – in the spring, bringing manufacturing of Cheeba Chews products in the state to a halt.

Officials cited 20 specific issues for the denial, ranging from allegations of hidden ownership interest, to employees who had not passed criminal background checks or were off-the-books, to unsanitary conditions in the kitchen facilities where the products were made.

“We were part of a bad arrangement, have since moved on and are already back on the shelves in full compliance,” Cheeba Chews said in a statement released recently to dispensaries. “Please rest assured the kitchen violations were minor, corrected, and not the reason for denial.”

Cheeba Chews also has licensing deals to manufacture its products in California and Washington State.

Update From Los Angeles First-Ever Marijuana Farmer’s Market

see original article here

It looks like any other American farmer’s market. Buyers sniff the wares, test weights and compare, while vendors tout their product. But the only produce on offer is cannabis — organic, of course.

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“We have lollipops for $7, chocolate bars to help you relax for $13, and ‘cosmic dust,'” said Bill Harrison, a seller who also stocks plain old smokable marijuana.

The Heritage Farmer’s Market — held over the July 4th long weekend — was the first of its kind in Los Angeles. Despite the scorching sun, the line to get in stretched hundreds of yards (meters).

The crowd was diverse and multigenerational, interspersed with hippies, rockers, hipsters and some nondescript suburban types.

But they all have at least one thing in common — they all have, as required for entry, a doctor’s prescription.

In California, marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes. For recreational use, possession of less than an ounce (28 grams) could result in a fine. Larger amounts can trigger criminal charges.

Edwynn Delgado knows the laws by heart: “for medical use, you are allowed up to four ounces at home, but I’d like to bring back home more today,” he joked.

He has smoked pot since he was 11.

“In my neighborhood, there was a always a lot of weed around,” the smiling 20-year-old said, wearing a baseball cap over his black hair.

He became a “legal” user at age 18, when he got a prescription to ease muscle aches.

Delgado waited for more than an hour at the stand that offers the best prices, at $180 per ounce, instead of $300 as charged in a regular dispensary.

Besides getting a good deal, Delgado prefers coming where he can count on quality product.

“Street dealers are dangerous because they put other stuff on it,” he said.

 “It’s like in a regular farmer’s market” said Adam Agathakis, one of the organizers of the weekend fair set to end Sunday.

“People come here to talk to growers, to check that it’s grown without pesticides and that it doesn’t have mold.”

The bearded 35-year-old, in pleated pants and a striped shirt, has campaigned to “de-demonize” cannabis since his father died of cancer a decade ago.

“When he was dying, marijuana was the only thing alleviating the pain,” Agathakis said.

Marijuana grower Terry Sand said that cannabis markets have sprouted elsewhere, including northern California and Washington state, but they weren’t quite the same.

“They were more like conventions. Here it’s special, because they are bringing growers and consumers together,” Sand said.

The former elevator technician said he grew up amid cannabis and marijuana: “My parents were hippies, they were growing (marijuana) in their backyard.”

But when a new technique emerged to help boost cannabis productivity in covered areas, Sand said he saw a “massive overwhelming opportunity.”

Cancer patient Karen Flores, 50, said she smokes because “it helps me relax, it helps my nerves, it helps the pain I have.”

She came to the market for good prices and quality. “It has to taste good, to smell good,” Flores said.

But she doesn’t like to light up in public. When she is away from home, she snacks on brownies, like those she just bought.

Also on offer: gold-plated pipes, pizzas, meringue pies and waffles.

At Mathew Gerson’s stand, a more unusual product is for sale: “it’s a vaginal lubricant, it is coconut oil-infused,” he said.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/marijuana-farmers-market-2014-7#ixzz36ebmtGm7

Happy 4th – LA’s first cannabis farmer’s market to open Friday

At least 30 patients have already pre-registered for the market, even though organizers never announced they were doing so.

“It’s so exciting,” she said.

Ahead of Friday’s opening, Bradbury said organizers were working quickly to set up vendor booths and carnival games. If the event is successful, organizers may open the market every weekend, she said.

“There is a need for this in Los Angeles,” she said. “There is just not enough access.”

California Heritage Market runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 4-6 at West Coast Collective, 1500 Esperanza St. in Los Angeles.

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LA Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Debut Pot Farmers Market 4th of July Weekend

For some Los Angeles residents, the 4th of July weekend will be a chance to stock up on marijuana.

Patients eligible to use medical marijuana will be able to buy the drug directly from growers at a pot-centric farmers market. The California Heritage Market, which will feature 50 vendors, is open to any card-carrying medical marijuana patient in California.

“It will provide patients access to growers face to face,” said executive director Paizley Bradbury.

The market will be held in an enclosed outdoor area at West Coast Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Boyle Heights. Bradbury said organizers will check ID to verify that shoppers can buy marijuana before allowing them to enter.

The vendors have also been screened to ensure the market doesn’t “just let anybody come off the street.”

“A lot of people have been contacting me and saying, how are you doing this?” Bradbury said. “This is the legal way. This is what the laws are allowing us to do.”

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Bradbury said the West Coast Collective decided to host the market out of frustration that the medical marijuana industry, especially in Los Angeles, has strayed from its original purpose of providing medicine to patients.

“Dispensary owners purchase medicine from growers and have created this market where their patients have no idea where their medicine is coming from,” she said.

She added that the city needs to do more to regulate growers and dispensaries, which she said often raise prices and give false information to patients. The farmers market, she said, will bring medical marijuana “back to its roots.”

A website for the event says the market “virtually guarantees that fresh medicine will be abundant and affordable.”affordable.

The market, which also features food and games, will be held on July 4, 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the West Coast Collective.

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Link to Buy Tickets

ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER

800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802

Event HIGHlights

➔ 420 Medicating Area
➔ Hot Kush Girl Contest
➔ Kush Cup
➔ FREE MEGA Raffle Giveaway (both days!)
➔ Doctors will be at the event providing medical evaluations
➔ Free coupons from dispensaries
➔ Hundreds of booths and tons of free giveaways
➔ Resting lounge will include a food area
➔ And much much more!

The Kush Expo is the world’s biggest Medical Marijuana Mega Show! There will be a 420 Medicating Area as well as hundreds of booths and tons of free giveaways. FREE Pulse Glass bongs and other free prize giveaways throughout the entire event. Free coupons from dispensaries and the annual KUSH CUP! Annual Hot Kush Girl Contest! B-Real of Cypress Hill Live Performance! The resting lounge will include a food area. Doctors will be at the event providing medical recommendations! Make sure not to miss the FREE mega raffle giveaway! And much more!!

No medical recommendation needed to enter the Kush Expo, but patients WILL NEED Medical Recommendations or med cards to enter the onsite 420 Medicating Area. Doctors will be at the event all weekend providing Medical Evaluations/Recommendations.

DATES & TIMES:

July 5-6, 2014 (Sat, Sun)

SATURDAY: 12PM-9PM

SUNDAY: 12PM-7PM

WHO WILL BE THERE?

• Dispensaries/Collectives (HANDING OUT FREE COUPONS!)
• Glass Bongs, Pipes, ETC.
• Doctors (Medical Recs)
• Vape Pens
• Hydroponics
• Marijuana Apparel
• Vaporizers
• Grow Experts
• Growing Equipment
• Nutrients/Chemicals/Fertilizers
• Seed Companies
• Innovative Containers
• Electronic Cigarettes
• Safe & Vault Companies
• Clubs/Associations
• Clothing
• Publications
• Artists/Glass Artists
• Graphic/Web Design
• Lawyers
• Security Companies
AND MUCH MORE!