Marijuana News

As more US states continue to legalize cannabis – and Canada prepares to end prohibition nationwide – social attitudes are also evolving. A new Yahoo News/Marist poll posted earlier this week found that the stigmas that have shadowed cannabis for years are starting to die out. Support for medical and adult use legalization continues to climb (80% for medical, 49% for adult use), and one in four Americans are looking to invest in federally-legal cannabis companies. The poll also found some interesting behavior among cannabis consumers. 86% have used cannabis at a party or social event with friends – not exactly shocking. But did you figure 16% would consume before a religious service? 20% before a funeral? Interesting…

The Yahoo/Marist poll surveyed 1,122 adults in the United States, and was conducted in March 2017.

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Here are two important, but not cannabis-related, articles about the Trump administration:

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency” by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker

and

We Lost a War” by Timothy Snyder in the N.Y. Daily News.

Now the news:
Politics
Legalization barely came up in confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is from Colorado but has a limited record on the issue. Vice sifted through what’s there last month.Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) released a bill that would let states drug test the unemployed before giving them financial assistance.

Only two of the 260 dispensaries that have applied to open in Detroit have received approval.

The Florida legislature continues to debate how to regulate MED. Floridians aren’t happy with the rollout, a poll found. (For more see here and here.)

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering 44 bills to alter its new REC law. (For more see here and here.)
Cannabusiness is a new-found source of political contributions in Nevada. Florida too.Arkansas will limit but not ban smoking MED. Louisiana’s MED program is a long way from operational.

An Arizona group wants to legalize all drugs in 2018.

The Indiana legislature is considering 11 cannabis related bills. It’s one of six states that allows no forms of cannabis, including low-THC CBD oil. Utah could vote on MED next year.

Rhode Island’s MED oversight panel will meet for the first time, eight years after it was created.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) called for federal decriminalization. Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett (R) called for the end of federal prohibition.

The Tennessee House blocked decriminalization measures in Nashville and Memphis.

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman (R) says he disagrees with legalization but will defend it against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. California lawmakers could block local law enforcement from assisting the feds with any action against state-legal cannabis.

A bill that would legalize but not commercialize REC advanced in Vermont.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the prospect of being put on trial by the International Criminal Court for his ongoing drug war. He could face charges of crimes against humanity. Meanwhile vice president Leni Robredo could face impeachment for criticizing the country’s drug war. The country is also learning that drug wars are bad for tourism.

Former CIA director James Woolsey Jr. will speak at a hemp event.

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Business
Republican lawmakers in Minnesota are pushing for legislation that would allow the state to levy huge fines or revoke a company’s MED license. Last month, prosecutors filed charges against two former executives of MED company Vireo Health for allegedly shipping $500,000 of cannabis oil to New York to meet a product shortfall. The company is trying to distance itself.
A group of cannabis companies have banded together to start the New Federalism Fund, a lobby to support state-legal marijuana industries. Participating organizations include Privateer Holdings, Dixie Brands and a subsidiary of gardening company Scotts Miracle-Gro.
A report from Arcview Group predicts that the industry will grow 27% annually through 2021, despite fears of a crackdown.Dozens of vaporizer companies raised capital last year, and none of them are focused on tobacco, according to TechCrunch,

A Seattle startup uses bitcoin to allow credit card cannabis purchases.

In Sacramento, the Teamsters are facing-off against the cannabis industry and other major business groups over “independent distribution.” At issue is whether growers and manufacturers need to pay third-party distributors, which California requires for alcohol companies. The Teamsters favor independent distributors.

Maryland may increase the number of grow licenses, part of an effort to include minority-owned businesses in the state green rush. It falls short of demands from the state legislature’s Black Caucus.

I wrote about the Southern California Coalition, a trade group, for L.A. Weekly.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch editorializes that Trump should create cannabis jobs. In case you missed it, I argued in Slate that jobs are the industry’s best defense against the Trump Administration.

Thirteen California dispensaries, some of them already shuttered, owe more than $12M in back taxes. The Financial Times asks whether pot businesses are unfairly taxed.

Australian MED company MGC Pharma raised A$10M. Australian cannabis stocks are way up.

The SEC has charged a Florida businessman with falsely claiming to have a marijuana license.

Publicly-traded Canadian company Golden Leaf Holdings agreed to buy vertically-integrated Oregon company Chalice Farms in a stock and cash deal.

Israeli cannabinoid drug biotech Therapix went public on the Nasdaq.A student managed $3.5 million investment fund at Stetson University in Florida will consider cannabis stocks.

Ohio businesses want to add a state residency requirement to own one of the planned 24 grows in the state. The state also needs to figure out testing requirements.

The L.A. Times visited a cannabis jobs fair. (“Interest is high,” get it?)

The cannabis is finding a home in California wine country.

Health and Science

A study out of Washington state found that youth use hasn’t increased with legalization.

Syndros, a synthetic THC pharmaceutical, will have Schedule II status.

A study found that cannabis use is associated with an increased likelihood of perpetrating or being victimized by dating violence. The likelihood is higher with alcohol use than marijuana.

A study looks at the case of a 33-year old woman who died after injecting herself with a cannabis solution.

Researchers found that “inhibiting activity in the endocannabinoid system might reduce cocaine’s rewarding and addictive effects.” Other researchers found an association between regular cannabis use and lower BMI.

MED use by the elderly remains controversial, even in San Francisco. The S.F. Chronicle recommends Bay Area dispensaries for seniors.

A New Hampshire Senate committee approved MED use for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a painful connective tissue disorder.

The Republicans’ failed American Health Care Act would have cut services available to opiate addicts.
The Economist says “America’s opioid epidemic is worsening.”

Canada will spend almost C$10M on “public education” about pot.
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Criminal Justice
AL.com looks at how Alabama locks people up for life, for non-violent pot offenses.The N.Y. Times has a major feature on the dangers posed by “door-busting drug raids.

Lots of illegal drugs are sent by mail.

Sixteen were indicted in Denver on charges that they ran an illegal grow ring that shipped hundreds of pounds out of state monthly. Oregon remains a major source of black market weed.

In Massachusetts, it’s possible that tens of thousands were imprisoned based on incorrect crime lab data.

Reason’s Jacob Sullum explains why U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is wrong about marijuana.

MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes recalled the time he got caught with some weed at the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia. He wasn’t punished.

The frontrunner to be South Carolina’s U.S. Attorney supports MED legalization.

The City of Oakland is ending hiring discrimination based on past cannabis use. And the city’s efforts to create a racially equitable cannabis industry may be lurching toward a resolution.

Culture

U.K. magazine The Spectator published a story called “Make Drugs Dull: Legalizing cannabis the Canadian way.” “California, like Colorado before it, is the model of how not to do it,” the author writes. “The focus in these libertarian frontier states is on freedom — and commerce.”

The New Yorker published a piece called “Reciting Walt Whitman at a Drug Court in Alabama.

A student at Canada’s McMaster University is suing the school after it blocked her from a trip to Ghana over her MED use.

Singer John Mayer has quit drinking and is “very thoughtfully entering cannabis life.”

Three mixed martial arts fighters tested positive for pot.

Playboy’s 2015 “Playmate of the Year” Dani Mathers is promoting a “health-conscious cannabis pill.” Mathers last came to public notice for body shaming a naked woman on Instagram.

Retired NBA star and commentator Charles Barkley said he used cannabis a couple times while he was a pro. He didn’t like it. “I didn’t get no peace,” he said.

Snopes debunked an internet rumor that Jeff Sessions said marijuana use leads to more sex and therefore more abortions. In The Onion, Jeff Sessions channeled his inner Cool Hand Luke.

Jimi Hendrix’s descendants are fighting over the use of his name and likeness on wine and vodka in addition to edibles They’ve been fighting since Jimi’s father Al died in 2002.

Rabbi-turned dispensary owner Jeffrey Kahn visited Ohio.

Woody Harrelson has quit smoking pot.

The N.Y. Post says pot is “infiltrating New York’s most elite social circles.” Civilized attended a “cannabis and virtual reality soiree.

A “cannabis cruise” was cancelled, but the organizer remains a Trump supporter.

Stephen Colbert wondered if there’s “some way to mellow [Jeff Sessions] out.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

 
I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.
Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details. 

Alex

Advertising policy: Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

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All rights reserved.

WeedWeek News by Alex Halperin

Posted by | December 12, 2016 | Marijuana News

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This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also list your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site.
The newsletter Dr. Pecker’s Daily Dose offers “remedies for apathy, antidotes to cynicism and therapies for despair.” It’s by my very tough and compassionate friend Lydia Pecker, MD and I recommend it.  
Here’s the news:
Politics
President Elect Donald Trump selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has repeatedly sued the agency to block anti-pollution laws. While this might be seen as support for states’ rights — and by extension the marijuana industry — Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls Pruitt “one of the phoniest federalists in the GOP.

In particular, Pruitt joined Nebraska in suing Colorado over the state’s REC industry. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John F. Kelly, opposes legalization saying that it increases health care costs and crime, and that the state experiments with it open the U.S. to accusations of hypocrisy from Latin American nations. Kelly is open to the plant having medical benefits.

Meanwhile veterans’ group American Legion, pushed the administration to loosen cannabis laws. “I think they were a little caught off guard and didn’t expect such a progressive statement from such a traditional and conservative organization,” a senior Legion official told Marijuana.com.

It also emerged that Jim O’Neill, a Silicon Valley investor who Marijuana.com describes as a “Marijuana legalization activist,” could be tapped to lead the Food and Drug Administration. O’Neill is neither a doctor or scientist, typical credentials for the position. For more see here.

Marijuana entrepreneurs want Trump to see them as “job creators,” Forbes reports.

The New York Observer, which is owned by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, called for rescheduling.

In an effort to protect marijuana laws under the Trump administration, Colorado is cracking down on home growers. The state is poised to surpass 3,000 licensed businesses next year.

What attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) means for state-legal pot business remains the big green question. In an in-depth piece, Politico says Sessions could easily “ignore the will of millions of pro-pot voters” and crack down. Time lists seven reasons Trump is unlikely to go after the industry.

The Sessions hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 10 and 11.

Pro-cannabis group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is petitioning the Justice Department to correct what ASA says is incorrect or misleading information about cannabis on the DEA web site. ASA is represented pro-bono by the major San Francisco law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Though he’s promised to legalize next year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he still wants police to prosecute dispensaries. His pro-pot supporters feel “cheated.”

Canadian producer Cronos Group will work with First Nations groups in Canada to help them join the cannabis economy.

An upcoming March ballot measure for regulating the industry in Los Angeles raises many questions.

A Democratic state Senator in Texas introduced a “longshot” MED bill. Virginia Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R), asked for a study of how the state’s cannabis laws might be changed. Tennessee could also be in play.

Oregon took emergency steps to lower the testing burden on growers, but the industry is skeptical.

REC opponents in Maine were accused of not providing enough volunteers for a recount of the recent vote. A judge ruled that following the recent vote, MED dispensaries in Montana can reopen immediately.

Maryland named 102 pre-approved dispensary license winners. In New York, licensees are worried about competition in the relatively small market.

Guam is implementing a MED program. Dusseldorf, Germany is on the path to legalization.

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Business
Several former executives of Insys Therapeutics, which sells the powerful opiate fentanyl, were arrested accused of “bribing doctors, defrauding insurance companies, and fueling America’s opioid addiction crisis.” Insys contributed to successfully defeat Arizona’s November REC vote.

GW Pharmaceuticals reported some “pretty grim” quarterly numbers, but it could benefit from its anti-epilepsy experimental drug Epidolex which is in late stage clinical trials.

Bloomberg suggests there’s a Canadian pot-stock bubble.

Legalization in more states could depress California’s export market. And in another interesting piece by Madison Margolin, California’s “extract artisans” now have some legal protections from meth-lab laws.

Vice dives into regulatory tech which it calls the “cannabis surveillance state.

Home grow system Leaf raised $2M.

Celebrity-branded weed costs about 24% more than unbranded. Forbes asks if the trend has gone too far.

Commercial landlords in northern California prepare for legalization.

Quartz profiles marketing company Octavia Wellness which throws pot parties for seniors.  The art world is joining efforts to re-brand cannabis.

The Denver Post’s Cannabist won most influential media source at the cannabis business awards.

Health and Science
A new study in Pharmacological Research, by Czech and Italian researchers, found that pot is an aphrodisiac. Read the study here.
Another study found that marijuana use may damage eyesight.

New York state wants patients to be able to access MED in hospitals. A study found that cannabis users have lower in-hospital mortality rates.

In an effort to reduce opioid use, Oregon wants opioid patients monitored for marijuana use. The health agency view on marijuana vis a vis opioid use is unclear.

The world’s first clinical trial to test MED for chemotherapy patients is beginning in Australia.

A device developed by Israeli start-up distributes “nano-droplets” of CBD as a nutraceutical to relieve inflammation and pain is on sale in the U.S. KKTV looked at the cannabis research happening at Colorado State-Pueblo.

The U.S. is lagging Israel and other countries in cannabis research.

The Washington [state] CannaBusiness Association is starting a fund to support MED access for the needy.

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Introducing WeedWeek critic Carolyn Lipka:
  
Hi! My name is Carolyn Lipka and I’m a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. My work has been in Noisey, Interview and Paper Magazine. I’ve been a medical cannabis patient since moving to LA in 2014 and a recreational user since 2008; I’ve smoked it all from extremely dirt weed in the suburbs of New Jersey to Wifi OG from an upscale dispensary in Los Angeles. The comedy and cannabis community have significant overlap (from Getting Doug With High to Broad City) and I’m happy to continue the trend. My interests include any edible that features dark chocolate and a dense indica heavy hybrid. I love testing out new weed products and my proximity to a huge sector of the industry has afforded me the opportunity to really plunge into trying every vape, bong, grinder and elaborate dab blow torch I can get my hands on.  I graduated from Yale University in 2014 where I did extensive research on the cold war making me the world’s dorkiest weed critic.  Follow me on twitter for humor @clipka_, on instagram for selfies @clipka or snapchat for high thoughts @carolynlipka.
Carolyn will be reviewing accessories and other lifestyle products that may appeal to WeedWeek readers. She will not review submitted cannabis products.
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Criminal Justice
In a report, the DEA said media attention is making it more difficult to prosecute marijuana offenders.
Ferrell Scott, sentenced to life without parole for possession and conspiracy to sell marijuana, was denied clemency by President Obama.

Charles “Eddy” Lepp, “a defiant 64-year-old Vietnam vet and ordained Rastafarian minister” was released after serving eight years in federal prison for growing.

Two pieces in The Guardian examine the human toll of Mexico’s decade-old, U.S. supported drug war

A New York Times photojournalist documented dozens of homicide victims of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. The Duterte administration defended its record to Reuters.

Big deal political thinker Ian Bremmer tweeted that Duterte wants to advise Trump on drug policy.

The activist New Jersey Weedman, who faces cannabis charges, compared himself to a “prisoner at Guantanamo.

Leafly tells the stories of Sam Caldwell and Moses Baca, “drug war prisoners 1 & 2,” in 1937. Both were apprehended in Denver. It also cites the work of a “48-year old drug felon and autodidactic cannabis historian who goes by the pen name “Uncle Mike,” maintains a site at UncleMikesResearch.com.

Culture
Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, said he tried MED for his back pain. It didn’t help him but he took a strong stand in favor of it for athletes:

“If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” Kerr, 51, said. “And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal. And there’s like this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine but pot is bad. Now, I think that’s changing.”

The comment got attention and he later added to his remarks. Kerr said the NBA should explore MED for pain relief. New York Knicks president and celebrated coach Phil Jackson said he’d also used MED for pain adding, “I don’t think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. I think it is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it.”

Forbes has more on the science of athletes and MED.

Vice asked budtenders about their worst customers. They’re not fond of weed snobs and scary types. The Cannabist serves up 10 budtender commandments, including “Thou Shalt Not Be Too High.”

The Pantone Color Institute, picked Greenery as the color of 2017.

The AP visits Malana, India, a Himalayan village that depends on cannabis. Uruguay will host a cannabis museum.

A bestseller in Germany and the U.K. says the Nazis ingested huge amounts of meth, and that Hitler was an opiate addict. “Blitzed,” will be published here in April.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the new list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details. 

Bye,
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

alexhalperin.com
All rights reserved.

Hubby’s Dark Chocolate Edible Review

his is our first time reviewing the ever popular chocolate bars from Hubby’s Edibles. These edibles have been on the shelves of Southern California dispensaries since long before the Review was founded. They are a staple medication for many of the patients we talk to, so it is long past time for us to do a review.

For our first outing, I chose the dark chocolate bar, and only partly due to its eye catching gold wrapper. I love dark chocolate, and its bitterness interacts best with the cannabis taste. The chocolate was buttery and smooth but thick against the tongue.  I found it had a warm taste with some hint of cannabis oil, but only if held long in the mouth. It wasn’t the bitter dark chocolate I had hoped for. Instead, I found it rich and velvety.

The Hubby Bar proved to be a consistently potent edible. The whole bar contains 130 mg or just over 20 mg per piece, and the segmented bar makes dosing a snap. If the chocolate is held in the mouth, activation is speeded thanks to sublingual uptake. The high was stoney and hazed over, definitely not for when you need to be active or responsible but perfect for an afternoon in the hammock or a night on the couch watching movies. Pain and anxiety slip away and are replaced by easy, loose-limbed relaxation.

Hubby’s edibles are available at Hand in Hand Patient Care

Legal Marijuana Prices Are Plunging in Colorado, but Not for the Reason You’d Expect

Cannabis’ competitive landscape is going up in smoke.

As a whole, the marijuana industry has come a long way in a short amount of time.

When medical cannabis was first legalized in California in 1996 for compassionate use, support for nationwide legalization of the drug was only around 25%, per Gallup. A decade ago, just a third of Americans polled supported full legalization efforts. Yet in Gallup’s most recent poll, 58% of respondents favored legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. In separate polls on the legalization of medical cannabis alone, favorability often exceeds 80%.

With public opinion on marijuana rapidly shifting, we’ve witnessed a recent surge in state approvals. Today, half of all U.S. states have legalized medical cannabis, and four states (along with Washington, D.C.) have allowed adults over the age of 21 to purchase recreational marijuana. In the upcoming elections this November, five more states will vote on recreational marijuana, and four will decide whether to legalize medical cannabis.

Colorado, which was one of the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 (along with Washington), illustrates the upside of legalization. On a trailing 12-month basis, legal marijuana sales, including medical and recreational marijuana, have topped $1 billion, netting the state $135 million in tax and licensing revenue in the last year. A good chunk of this revenue will go toward Colorado schools, along with law enforcement and drug abuse programs.

Marijuana prices are plunging, but for a surprising reason

More recently, though, a report from marijuana distribution platform Tradiv highlights an even more encouraging trend for consumers in Colorado. Namely, legal marijuana prices are getting much more competitive with black market prices. Remember: Black market marijuana has minimal overhead costs, as there are none of the costs associated with taxes, regulation, and storefront maintenance, which typically gives it a big pricing advantage over the legal marijuana market.

However, according to Tradiv, wholesale marijuana costs in Colorado have fallen from between $2,400 and $2,600 per pound in October 2015 to just $1,400 to $1,600 per wholesale pound in August 2016. Prices are substantially more competitive for the consumer, and it could result in more revenue than expected for Colorado’s government as more consumers presumably purchase the product through legal channels.

Yet what’s really interesting is the reason behind the falling prices. The typical assumption would be that growing competition is driving down prices as small marijuana dispensaries fight for customers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently chose to keep cannabis categorized as a schedule 1 (and therefore illicit) substance, which should, in theory, keep big business out. You see, businesses involved in the sale of marijuana often face very high tax rates, as they’re unable to take normal business deductions, and most have little or no access to basic financial services such as checking accounts or lines of credit. The industry doesn’t seem very conducive to big business.

Images

IMAGE SOURCE: CANNABIS CULTURE VIA FLICKR.

Yet that’s the exact opposite of what’s happening in Colorado. In May, the state extended a moratorium on the issuance of new cannabis licenses, allowing big cannabis players in the state to purchase the majority of licenses available. Furthermore, there are no limits on the number of plants a facility can grow in Colorado, which has allowed these bigger businesses to boost production and essentially flood the market with marijuana, even if demand for the product isn’t there.

In other words, we’re not seeing demand driving competition in Colorado. Instead, an oligopoly-driven oversupply is pushing prices down. While this could be good news for the consumer for the time being, in the long term it could keep smaller marijuana players out of the market by keeping margins low, ensuring that just a few larger players remain. That’s a recipe, in my mind, for higher prices down the line.

Is this how marijuana becomes investable?

On one hand, it appears that Colorado plans to increase the number of grow licenses it issues, which could spur more competition within the state. But if margins keep getting pushed lower by excess supply, it could lower the appeal of entering the industry. While that’s a temporary win for the consumer, the real victory here could be for investors waiting patiently on the sidelines for an opportunity to get involved in legal marijuana’s rapid growth.

Marijuana Pixabay

IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY.

Admittedly, investors have few viable investment options at the moment. Though there are dozens of publicly traded cannabis stocks for investors to choose from, all but a very, very few are penny stocks that are losing money. Penny stocks usually trade on the over-the-counter exchanges where reporting standards can be a bit more lax — finding accurate financial information can therefore be a challenge. That could change if license consolidation continues in Colorado and extends into other states. This is obviously no guarantee, but it’s the first viable path that I view toward marijuana being investable and somewhat transparent as an industry.

For now, my suggestion remains unchanged: Stick to the sidelines and monitor the progression of marijuana. Remember that there are nine important votes on the docket in less than two months that could have a major influence on where the industry heads next.

Why Medical Marijuana Patients Can’t Buy Guns

By Christopher Ingraham 
Source: Washington Post

medicalUSA — An appeals court ruled last week that a federal law prohibiting medical marijuana cardholders from purchasing guns does not violate their Second Amendment rights, because marijuana has been linked to “irrational or unpredictable behavior.”

The ruling came in the case of a Nevada woman who attempted to purchase a handgun in 2011, but was denied when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder, according to court documents. S. Rowan Wilson maintained that she didn’t actually use marijuana, but obtained a card to make a political statement in support of liberalizing marijuana law.

Federal law prohibits gun purchases by an “unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance.” In 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms clarified in a letter that the law applies to marijuana users “regardless of whether [their] State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.” Though a growing number of states are legalizing it for medical or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal for any purpose under federal law, which considers the drug to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the federal law passes muster with the Constitution, as “it is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely as a consequence of that use to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior.”

The court then concluded that it is reasonable to assume that a medical marijuana cardholder is a marijuana user, and hence reasonable to deny their gun purchase on those grounds.

From a legal standpoint, the nexus between marijuana use and violence was established by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Virginia, in the 2014 case of United States v. Carter. That case cited a number of studies suggesting “a significant link between drug use, including marijuana use, and violence,” according to the 9th Circuit’s summary.

In the words of the 4th Circuit, those studies found that:

“Probationers who had perpetrated violence in the past were significantly more likely to have used a host of drugs — marijuana, hallucinogens, sedatives, and heroin — than probationers who had never been involved in a violent episode.”

“Almost 50% of all state and federal prisoners who had committed violent felonies were drug abusers or addicts in the year before their arrest, as compared to only 2% of the general population.”

“Individuals who used marijuana or marijuana and cocaine, in addition to alcohol, were significantly more likely to engage in violent crime than individuals who only used alcohol.”

Among adolescent males, “marijuana use in one year frequently predicted violence in the subsequent year.”

The 4th Circuit argued that, on the link between drug use and violence, the question of correlation vs. causation doesn’t matter: “Government need not prove a causal link between drug use and violence” to block firearms purchases by drug users. A simple link between drug use and violence, regardless of which way the causality runs, is grounds enough.

Still, the 9th Circuit did suggest causation was part of its decision, saying that irrational behavior can be “a consequence” of marijuana use.

This argument — that substance use increases risky behavior — applies to plenty of other drugs, too, and not just illegal ones. For instance, drug policy researchers Mark Kleiman, Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken have pointed out that tobacco users also are more likely to engage in crime relative to the general population.

“Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers have a higher rate of criminality,” they wrote in their 2011 book Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know. “Smoking in and of itself does not lead to crime, but within the population of smokers we are more likely to find individuals engaged in illicit behavior.”

The authors also point out that there’s a much stronger link between violent behavior and alcohol than there is for many illegal drugs: “There is a good deal of evidence showing an association between alcohol intoxication and pharmacologically induced violent crime,” they write.

They added: “There is little direct association between marijuana or opiate use and violent crime. … it is also possible that for some would-be offenders, the pharmacological effect of certain drugs (marijuana and heroin are often given as examples) may actually reduce violent tendencies.”

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.

Source: Washington Post (DC)
Author: Christopher Ingraham
Published: September 7, 2016
Copyright: 2016 Washington Post Company
Contact: letters@washpost.com
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/Fo1cckHN

These nuns are breaking all traditions of ordinary nun-hood. The sisters actually don’t consider themselves Catholic or associate with any specific traditional religion. These women have the purpose of cultivating cannabis and understanding that it is a sacred medicine to be respected. They call themselves Sisters of the Valley, and on their site it states:

“We respect the breadth and depth of the gifts of Mother Earth, working to bridge the gap between Her and her suffering people,”

They’ve created a spiritual space that they consider sacred to produce different kinds of CBD oil’s, tinctures, salves and different organic medicine. Many of these concoctions have proven to be extremely effective in treating a wide range of ailments, anything from back pain, seizures, migraines and much more.

These women are amazing because they observe the cycle of the Moon and produce the medicine in conjunction with the Moon cycles. This is incredible because the energy they are putting into their creations are extremely full of care and purity.

Located in California’s Central Valley, these sisters are really bending the rules of what it means to be a sister.

Check them out here.
TW_nuns-grow-marjuana17_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana15_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana14_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana11_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana10_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana09_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana08_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana06_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana05_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana04_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana03_670TW_nuns-grow-marjuana02_670

Juneau’s First Marijuana Grow Receives State Approval

Alaska Cannabis Now Magazine

The first-ever state-certified commercial marijuana grow in Alaska’s capitol city is scheduled to open doors as early as mid-October. The farm received it’s final state inspection and a license to cultivate commercial cannabis Aug. 19. Alaska’s first legal cannabis stores are slated to receive their licenses in early September, but The Juneau Empire reports consumers will have to wait a month until the marijuana is actually ready for sale.

Two brothers, James and Giono Barrett, launched Rainforest Farms, which will be Juneau’s first licensed commercial cannabis farm.

“It’s cool to think that someone’s going to purchase the cannabis that comes off of these. I know that’s pretty straightforward, but it’s exciting to me,” James Barrett told The Juneau Empire. “At this point, now that we have our license, it’s all real.”

The Barrett brothers say they currently are growing 300 plants inside. The brothers are growing 55 strains and plan on funneling that number down to 30 strains by the time their product reaches retail storefronts.

Per Alaskan law, each one of the plants will be donning small blue tags in strict accordance with the state’s tracking system. The tags will allow inspectors to track the product from clone to countertop.

Alaska first legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and was the second state to do so, only after the state of California. Dispensaries are not allowed under the medical law, but when Alaska approved adult-use cannabis in 2014 though Measure 2 they began to be established for the recreational market. The new state-appointed Marijuana Control Board will oversee the state’s new adult-use marijuana program, which has been revised several times since the vote two years ago.

Alaska’s new regulatory system has already gone through drastic changes in its early days. Just weeks ago, Alaska Marijuana Control Board member Bruce Schulte was dishonorably expelled from his seat on the board by  Gov. Bill Walker.

“While I have appreciated your willingness to serve on the Marijuana Control Board, I have determined that your continued representation on this board is not in the best interest of Alaska,” Walker wrote in the letter. Schulte reportedly got no explanation and was replaced on the board by Nicholas Miller on Aug. 24.

Alaska is also beginning to see cannabis lab-testing facilities, where strains can be verified. Southeast Alaska Laboratories LLC., was the first business to apply for a conditional use permit as a lab testing facility and state marijuana establishment license.

Are you planning a trip to Alaska to experience adult-use marijuana? Let us know in the comments below.

Benjamin M. Adams is a contributor for Cannabis Now Magazine, MerryJane.com, Cannabusiness.com and DirectCannabisNetwork.com. His work has been seen in Culture Magazine, Treating Yourself Magazine, SKUNK Magazine, and several other cannabis-related publications. He studied Art at the University of Utah and has traveled around the world from the open hash markets in Copenhagen to Jamaica. He’s focused on the efficacy of medical marijuana for HIV and other serious illnesses. Ben lives in Southern California. You can follow him on Twitter @benbot11.

cannabisjobs.us

WikiLeaks Exposes Hypocrisy of an Alcohol Industry Fighting Cannabis Legalization

It should be no surprise: “Big Booze” hates cannabis. Cannabis, notably safer than alcohol (by every measure), poses a threat to the alcohol industry’s bottom line.

So it should come as no surprise that a recent report by Marijuana.com citing leaks from infamous whistle-blower website — WikiLeaks — shows that the alcohol industry is spending big bucks to get members of Congress to promote anti-cannabis propaganda. Marijuana.com found a leaked DNC email in which the alcohol-industry lobby group, Wine Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), calls for accelerated funding of Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 to outline impairment standards; document the prevalence of marijuana impaired driving; and, determine driving impairment detection methods.

Further, read an excerpt from a paid ad by the alcohol-industry in the May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle (a daily Politico newsletter). Emphasis in bold is mine:

“While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana…

In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana…”

One problem: the “increase” in traffic fatalities was not causal to cannabis. It had nothing to do with cannabis legalization. Not only did nearly all drivers test positive for alcohol or other drugs, as well, the uptick in fatalities followed a nationwide trend attributed to more drivers on the road due to dirt-cheap gas prices. Other studies (see below), have found correlations that directly contradict “Big Booze.”

Alcohol Use Poses Far More Risk to Drivers Than Cannabis:

According to a Feb. 2015 research reportTraffic Study Facts — published by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the authors noted that while cannabis clearly impairs psychomotor skills, divides attention, impairs (at least, acutely) cognitive function, “its role in contributing to the occurrence of crashes remains unclear.”

More striking, however, is that in one study they analysed, researchers put the risk of cannabis consumption at 1.83 times higher than drug-free drivers, while another study found no statistically significant increase in risk. In contrast, an alcohol level of .05 BAC puts alcohol-impaired drivers at a 7x greater risk of getting in a car crash.

cannabis driving

(Source: Washington Post)

Don’t get me wrong: Consuming cannabis and driving do not mix! In most users, it does significantly impair critical skills needed to drive safely. But, clearly the danger is greater with alcohol, a fact I don’t know “Big Booze” wants more people to recognize. Further, when people consume less alcohol, predictably, traffic fatalities decrease.

Alcohol Use Declines, Suicide Rates Drop, In States That Enact Medical Marijuana Laws:

Researchers from Montana State, San Diego State, and the University of Colorado at Denver, examined data from a period covering 17 years. In their seminal studyHigh on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws & Suicide — they reported data suggesting that after states enacted medical marijuana laws, respective state suicide rates for 20-29 year old males dropped 10.9%, and 9.4% among 30-39 year old males.

One of the notable explanations for the drop in suicide was the decline in alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse — unlike cannabis — has demonstrated a clear link to suicidal ideation, and completion.

Cannabis — By a Wide Margin — Is The Least Risky Social Drug:

According to a 2015 Study — Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach — booze is 114 times more deadly than cannabis. In fact, alcohol is right at the top of the list of “most dangerous drugs” like cocaine and heroin!

Cannabis Safest Recreational Drug

(Source: Washington Post)

No doubt, “Big Alcohol” is going to fight “tooth and nail” to stall or regress efforts by the cannabis industry. But, they should be careful! The results of any such studies pushed by the alcohol industry may not elicit the results they want. The studies would more likely come out positively, unless of course, the pro-booze, anti-cannabis, lobby develops bogus, selectively reported, high bias studies — a tactic, many have done before them.

But, thus far, most of the research provides striking data that contradicts the talking points cited by most of the anti-cannabis warriors (who are funded by the typical cast of bad actors, including):

  • Private Prisons Corporations;
  • Prison Guard Unions;
  • Police Unions;
  • Big Pharma (surprise, surprise); and, of course…
  • The Alcohol and Beer Industry.

No doubt, the accumulation of evidence and shifting of public opinion are keeping these folks up a night. Maybe, someone ought to give them a joint — so at least, they can relax a bit!

cannabisjobs.us

Israel’s Farmers Could Start Exporting Medical Marijuana Within Two Years

“And by the river upon the bank thereof on this side and on that side shall grow every tree for food whose leaf shall not wither neither shall the fruit thereof fail; it shall bring forth new fruit every month because the waters thereof issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food and the leaf thereof for healing.” Ezekiel 47:12 (The Israel Bible™)

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) is planning for Israel to begin exporting medical cannabis, Cannabis Magazine reported on Sunday. Referring to the new experimental cannabis farm at Israel’s Volcani Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Ariel promised that “within two years we will have a regulated protocol for growing cannabis, at which point we’ll allow farmers to grow it.” Nevertheless, the minister would not refer to cannabis as an agricultural product.

The program regulating the medical cannabis industry was approved by the Israeli government some two months ago. But because of the objections of Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ), and despite the support of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), the program does not include approval for growing cannabis for export.

Unfortunately, cannabis growers in Israel are saying the only way they could afford to sell their product in Israel at a reasonable price is if they could raise most of their crops for export.

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/useful_banner_manager_banners/404-image.png

Plant roots in the Holy Land. Help the Land of Israel grow and flourish! Plant a family tree in Israel!

At the same time, the fact that the Volcani Institute is experimenting with Israeli cannabis suggests that eventually, when the time is right politically, Israeli cannabis might blow the competition out of the bong, since it is renowned for its agricultural research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering, that have made Israeli farm products among the most prized in the world.

Over the weekend, Minister Ariel told Israel Radio that “the Agriculture Ministry is now devoting significant-size plots for experimentation and exhibition of cannabis growing,” in preparation for instructing Israeli farmers on the most efficient and productive methods of growing the plant. Ariel said he does intend to eventually reach a political consensus in the Netanyahu cabinet in favor of exporting cannabis. He expects the process of cultivating products, developing the proper protocol for growing and shipping, and getting political approval to take about two years, which means this could take place during the current Netanyahu government.
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/74746/agriculture-minister-israeli-farmers-will-export-cannabis-two-years/#zkG5PTM1IoF0udjv.99

Cannabisjobs.us

WeedWeek News by Alex Halperin

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere. Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also list your conferences, festivals and parties for free at the site.

WeedWeek’s first 15-word product review comes from David Eichler:

“I love you Pax 2. It seems like just yesterday you were only a 1.” 

Think you can do better? See the rules and submit a review here.

Now the news:

The DEA rejected a petition to reschedule marijuana on grounds that it is not a proven medicine. See the 186-page entry in the Federal Register here. The DEA also put hemp growers on notice.

Following the decision, The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote: “The FDA cannot determine it has a medical use in part because of the highly restrictive legal status of the drug. It’s a classic bureaucratic Catch-22.” Ingraham also collected responses from members of Congress.

For additional details and analysis on the DEA decision see Scientific American,  John Hudak at Brookings and Wednesday’s special edition of WeedWeek. The industry weighs in here and here.

At SFWeekly, I argued that the 2016 Presidential candidates have dodged their responsibility to discuss legalization.

A Gallup poll found that 13% of U.S. adults currently use cannabis, up from 7% in 2013.

Ohio is looking for an experienced pot grower to help write the state’s MED rules. The successful applicant will likely have to pass a drug test.

Some Ohio communities are taking action to keep out MED businesses, though dispensaries won’t open in the state until at least 2018.

The alcohol industry wants Congress to know that cannabis-impaired driving is a problem. Officially, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America is neutral on legalization, but this year an industry group donated to stop Arizona’s REC initiative.

Politifact rated Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) claim that California’s REC initiativewould allow pot ads in prime time, ‘mostly false.’ The San Jose Mercury Newseditorializes in favor of AUMA. So does the East Bay Times.

The National Conference of State Legislatures endorsed rescheduling.

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North Dakota will vote on MED in November. Arizona will vote on REC. Supporters of the Oklahoma MED initiative are “cautiously optimistic” that they gathered enough signatures to make the ballot.

Two MED initiatives could qualify for the Arkansas ballot. The question of which one voters get to decide may end up in court. The Arkansas Farm Bureau and the state’s Chamber of Commerce oppose both.

Denver’s limited public use initiative collected more than double the number of signatures needed to qualify for a vote in November.

Nashville may decriminalize. The Chicago Tribune visits a grow house, and catches up on the Illinois industry.

High Times lists its “hateful-eight,” the country’s most influential legalization opponents.

New York-based Tuatara Capital has raised $93M to invest in the industry. It’s the largest known cannabis investment fund, so far.

It’s possible that Canadian cannabis companies could list on U.S. stock exchangesbefore American ones, since the Canadian outfits would have the support of their federal government. Last month, Ontario’s Canopy Growth became the first cannabis producer to trade on a major exchange (Toronto).

In Tampa, Regions Bank furnished a $100,000 credit line to nutrient and equipment business Efftec International. The bank’s parent company Regions Financial is a Fortune 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Illegal drug sales on the so-called dark web have tripled since the 2013 closure of the site Silk Road.

Watch out for knock-off vaporizers.

In Oregon, some Craigslist sellers ask for payment in cash or cannabis. Minnesota’s two MED producers are both losing money.

A member of the local health board wants Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif. to be the first hospital in the country where MED is used “openly and transparently.”

A lab at Stanford is working on a saliva test for police to use on drivers. PLOS describes a newly discovered anti-psychotic mechanism for CBD.

A vaccine for cocaine addiction will be tested on humans.

Missouri is suing two stores for providing CBD-oil without a license. Following the DEA announcement, Time listed seven questions scientists want to study.

A European study found no correlation between cannabis use and an elevated need for health care services.

A Minnesota MED patient tells the story of her quest to relieve disabling back pain.

Denver lawyer Robert J. Corry writes that some patients do need 75 plants. Colorado recently limited the number of plants patients can have to 75, and suspended four doctors for recommending higher plant counts to hundreds of patients. Without special permission, Colorado patients can have six plants at home. The four doctors, who didn’t violate an established rule, have asked for their suspensions to be lifted.

Vice says policy reform is overlooking home growers.

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A new law will allow Canadian MED patients to grow a “limited amount” at home. A Canadian mom says hospital nurses in Toronto refuse to administer MED to her very ill son, due to opaque regulations.

Legalization in Canada could be the end of the country’s formal MED program.

Two dozen were treated after eating edibles at a festival in Ohio. There was a similar incident at a bachelorette party in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

In Esquire, author Don Winslow argues that legal weed is responsible for the opiate epidemic. As demand for Mexican marijuana has fallen, The Mexican Sinaloa Cartel “increased the production of Mexican heroin by almost 70 percent, and also raised the purity level, bringing in Colombian cooks to create ‘cinnamon’ heroin as strong as the East Asian product. They had been selling a product that was about 46 percent pure, now they improved it to 90 percent.
“Their third move was classic market economics—they dropped the price. A kilo of heroin went for as much as $200,000 in New York City a few years ago, cost $80,000 in 2013, and now has dropped to around $50,000. More of a better product for less money: You can’t beat it.”
While President Obama has commuted drug sentences in record numbers his State Department is providing $32M to law enforcement in the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte has called for citizens to kill drug dealers.
In New York City, marijuana arrests were up in the first half of the year. More than 90% of the arrests were of minorities.
NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton will resign in September and be replaced by the department’s top uniformed officer James O’Neill. He’s known for his commitment to improving police/community relations.
In Michigan, some of the fees paid by MED patients fund police raids.

A chart at The Influence compares current penalties in California with what penalties would be if AUMA passes.

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart will host a dinner party/cooking show on VH1. Yes, Stewart knows how to roll a joint. Probably very well.

On the web site NakedWeedReport, naked women read cannabis news. Bree Whitehead, CEO of parent company Stoned Media Group doesn’t care if you think she’s a bad feminist.

In related news, I’ve shelved plans for a “Man of WeedWeek” promotional calendar.

HBO has released the trailer for its new show “High Maintenance,” which started as a web series of the same name.

In the new web series, HIKEA, subjects take psychedelics and then try to assemble IKEA furniture.

Leafly recommends some cannabis books.

First daughter Malia Obama may have been spotted smoking a joint at a music festival.

Canna Law Blog chides The Oregonian for its recent profile of celebrity joint roller and artist Tony Greenhand. The Oregonian article didn’t mention that Greenhand’s work is illegal under state law.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the new list ofcannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are incomplete works in progress. 

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise inWeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details. 

Bye,
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek‘s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

@alexhalperin
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Cannabisjobs.us

Weed Week News by Alex Halperin @ Cannabisjobs.US

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere. Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also list your conferences, festivals and parties for free on the site.
In home news, WeedWeek excerpts have started appearing at Toke of the Town, a site from Voice Media, parent company of L.A. Weekly, Westword (Denver) and other alt-weeklies.

Here we go:

The Democratic Party Platform states “We encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.” The Washington Post describes the language as a nod to Bernie Sanders.

For its platform, the Republican Party rejected language supporting MED. It was proposed by Dale Jackson, a GOP delegate from Georgia with an autistic son. Another delegate said mass-shooters are, “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.”

Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) opposed reducing marijuana penalties in 2013.

The Cannabist released its 2016 election guide.

The industry-loathed “potency amendment” will not be on the Colorado ballot. Frank McNulty (R), a former speaker of the Colorado House and supporter of the measure said the industry paid signature gathering firms to not gather signatures. “Without [signature gathering companies] we didn’t have the ability to get it to the ballot,”McNulty said.

An industry spokesman denied the accusation andThe Denver Post editorial page finds it “dubious.” “Big marijuana trashes democratic process,” the Colorado Springs Gazette editorializes.

Campaign filings released on August 1 will clarify what happened. (An email query from WeedWeekwas not returned.)

The Amendment would have banned products with higher than 16% THC, which account for 80% of cannabis products in Colorado. “Make no mistake,” the Post writes, “139 was an anti-pot measure designed to gut the industry. And it’ll be back.”

With industry support, California plans to regulate water use by growers.

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, explains his ambivalenceabout California’s upcoming Adult Use of Marijuana Act vote: “The initiative is decidedly more friendly to big business and will lead to rapid consolidation of the industry. This is an avoidable and undesirable outcome.” 

(See the initiative’s exact language here. California’s upcoming REC vote is also known as Proposition 64 and AUMA.)

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Montanans will vote on a measure to expand the state’s MED program. L.A. County voters will decide on a marijuana business tax to benefit the homeless. The L.A. Times tells government officials, “Legal marijuana should not be seen as the solution to your revenue problems.”

A federal judge rejected the claim that current federal laws are “so arbitrary and irrational as to be unconstitutional.” The complaint was brought by Charles and Alexander Green, two Californian brothers accused of trafficking.

A proposed MED measure in North Dakota would be too expensive, the state health department said. The Pennsylvania legislature approved growing hemp for research.

The big move by Scotts Miracle-Grow into cannabis is dividing the industry.

Buzzfeed makes the case that Facebook and Google’s cannabis policy enforcement is a mess.

The U.K.’s GW Pharmaceuticals which has seen its stock soar on data from its cannabis-based drug Epidiolex, plans to raise $252 million on the Nasdaq exchange with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch shepherding the deal.

Business attorney Hilary Bricken lays out six weed scams for investors and others to watch out for.
Compliance at Millennium Bank, a community bank in Des Plaines, Ill. is reportedly under scrutiny from state and federal authorities for working with marijuana companies.

Whitney Hobbs, a founder of Oregon distributor Highly Distributed, has sued CEO Christopher Mallottfor sexual harassment that led to her departure from the company. She says he groped and smelled her. The company declined to comment but an employee refuted Hobbs’ claims.

Cannabis sales continue to climb in Colorado and support the state’s economy. See here for more.

A glimpse of the future? A group of Colorado’s largest craft breweries, led a break-up of the Colorado Brewers Guild to form a new group called Craft Beer Colorado. The split follows an overhaul of state alcohol laws.

Analyst Alan Brochstein writes that Canada’s pot policies make more sense than America’s.

Former NORML head Allen St. Pierre joined a publicly-traded consultancy called Freedom Leaf.

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Thirty-three were hospitalized in Brooklyn, for suspected synthetic cannabis (“K2”) overdoses in the area around a subway stop.

A study suggests that cannabis use during pregnancy affects brain development. More Colorado newborns are testing positive for THC.

The National Institutes of Health sent out a request for information about varieties of marijuana and their possible research value.

Check out this chart which illustrates last week’s remarkable finding that drug prescriptions are falling in MED states.

Project CBD published a CBD Users Manual. It’s one of the better ones I’ve seen.

Cannabis allergies are climbing.

LA Weekly asked cops why they oppose AUMA. “This is not a law-enforcement jihad or Reefer Madness,” Ken Corney, Ventura’s police chief and president of the California Police Chiefs Association said. “Proposition 64 isn’t about green, leafy marijuana that people smoke at home or pass across the aisle at a concert. It’s a for-profit play to bring the commercialization of marijuana to California.”

The piece continues: “[Corney] subscribes to the theory, so far unproven, that the proposition’s biggest financial backer, Holmby Hills tech billionaire Sean Parker, is in it to open the door to Big Marijuana profits for rich folks like himself.”

The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition endorsed AUMA.

Three Santa Ana, Calif. cops who were caught on video last year snacking and mocking an amputee (“I was about to kick her in her fucking nub”) during a dispensary raid are no longer with the department. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed petty theft charges against the three officers.

The three had argued that they believed police had already disabled all of the cameras and therefore “had a reasonable expectation that their conversations and actions were no longer being recorded.”

Art Way, Colorado state director for Drug Policy Alliance writes:

           Those with vested interest in the devaluation of black life and the criminalization of black                            communities need the drug war for political cover. Those who want to end state sanctioned                        murders should consider joining forces to end the drug war. 

This is a war waged to keep the black, brown and poor disenfranchised all while using their bodies            as commodities for a prison industrial complex similar to the human commodification witnessed                during slavery. (
H/T Word on the Tree)
A small but growing number of Canadian RCMP officers (the equivalent of FBI agents) are getting their MED reimbursed by the government.

Kayvan Khalatbari, a prominent activist and businessman in Denver, discussed the industry’s lack of diversity with Vice.

In the Philippines, imprisoned drug lords have raised a $21 million reward for whoever kills the country’s new president Rodrigo Duterte. For his part, Duterte offers bounties of $1 million for drug lords killed and $600,000 for drug lords captured. According to his administration, 75 percent of the drugs in the country were manufactured inside its largest prison.

Industry hub Pueblo, Colo. has seen quite a few drug busts.

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with abuse of a corpse after blending weed with brain embalming fluid.

The activist known as New Jersey Weedman will be able to argue in court that raids on his Trenton, N.J. “cannabis temple” violate his religious freedom.

Sports Illustrated travels to Humboldt to ask about the industry’s impact on high school and college sports there. “There are probably no other public schools in the world that have ever offered clipping trays—trays for clipping marijuana on—as part of their auction for the PTA fair,” local journalist Kym Kemp says.

NFL running back turned cannabis investor Ricky Williams is the subject of a new Sports Illustrated documentary. He estimates that 70 percent of NFL players smoke marijuana.

Harper’s Bazaar visits the annual Spirit Weavers Gathering, a getaway for New Age-inclined women, that the article calls “the world’s chicest cult.” There, author Marisa Meltzer hears of a California pot farm that has fertilized the plant with menstrual blood for two generations.

A Canadian known as Marijuana Man makes $78,000 a year getting high on Youtube. He told an interviewer that he’s had internet “since 1984.”

There’s a crowdfunding campaign to bring “industrial hemp building and farming ambassador,” Klara Marosszeky, to California for a visit. She’s based in Australia.

Wired visits high-end edibles maker Défoncé Chocolatier. (Défoncé means ‘wasted’.)

“The Summer Fair,” a festival in Portland this month, will have free pot giveaways.
Netflix will make “Disjointed,” a weed sitcom starring Kathy Bates.
Click here to subscribe to the whole list. I’ll be adding to it.

More social media lists are coming! Executives, activists, opponents etc. Send your favorites toweedweeknews@gmail.com. Self-nominations welcome.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at weedweekads@gmail.com for details. 

Bye,
Alex
Advertising policy: Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek‘s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

@alexhalperin
Facebook.com/weedweeknews

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All rights reserved.

Marijuana Price Index Hits $1,700 A Pound By Monterey Bud

As the push for legalization heats up across the country, the U.S. marijuana spot index has wilted by 9.9%, leaving the average pound of weed selling for approximately $1,700. With the fall harvest just around the corner, just over 65% of today’s chronic sells for between $1,536 to $2,608 per pound.

(Graphic courtesy of Cannabis Benchmarks)

(Graphic courtesy of Cannabis Benchmarks)

According to the weekly Cannabis Benchmark report, “The majority of transactions are for higher-priced indoor grown flower, driving the simple average of $2,072 per pound; while the majority of the weight is lower-priced greenhouse and outdoor grown flower driving the volume weighted average to $1,700 per pound.”

While flower maintained its exalted appointment as the “most popular product for retail customers,” the fast-growing market for today’s concentrates, edibles, and other infused products, have heated up substantially over the past two years – diminishing today’s dried flower to only 60% of the recreational market share.

Per the Benchmark report, marijuana prices have been declining for nine weeks straight, despite the fact that we are deep into the summer months when prices generally increase dramatically.  Now unable to capture those elevated summertime prices based on lack of availability, light dep greenhouses are easily filling the void and cranking out high-quality strains with incredible yields.

Monterey County Light Dep

Monterey County Light Dep

“Of the light deprived greenhouse flower anticipated to come to market through the remainder of the year, we estimate that only about 15% has been brought to market thus far (corresponding to flower grown during the period extending roughly from April 21st through June 21st), setting the stage for continued downward price pressure ahead of the larger fall outdoor harvest.”

No longer dependent on expensive electricity or the diminishing hours of fall sunlight, the fast-growing popularity of light deprivation permits the manipulation of the available hours of sunshine supplied, allowing the cultivator to force flowering when desired.

While painful for some and beneficial for others, this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. So plan accordingly.

Read more http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/07/marijuana-price-index-hits-1700-a-pound/

Presto Doctor Review by OCWeedReview.Com

Every year it’s the same thing.  Drag myself 50 minutes to my doctor and wait another hour or more to finally have time made for me for a brief face to face with a doctor too busy to be bothered.

But not this year.  This year I visited Presto Doctor online and saved myself the time and the stress of going out.

A completely online service, one of the first things you notice about the Presto Doctor website is its easy to navigate interface.  Everything you need to get your recommendation is right there on the front page with intuitive prompts pointing you along the way.

First things first, you need to fill in your personal and payment information.  This is as easy as on any other website, and Google auto-completed most of it.  As I worked my way through, I had a quick question about the process, which presented the perfect opportunity to test the in-site chat function.  I opened the chat window and typed my question, receiving a response in about half a minute.  Kyle on the other end was friendly and knowledgeable, giving me the exact answer I needed to complete the enrollment procedure.

After I was entered into their system, I clicked through to set up my appointment and was surprised to find a choice of three doctors with available times that same day.  Same day appointments with my own general practitioner are simply unheard of.  If you have a busy schedule, Presto Doctor also offers openings on nights and weekends too.  I reserved an open spot just 40 minutes later, giving me plenty of time to load my appropriate documents and test my hardware before for my appointment.

In order to attend your video chat with your doctor, you will need a computer with a webcam and mic or a similarly equipped smartphone.  I received an email ten minutes before my scheduled time, and then a text 5 minutes later to serve as a reminder to get online, which is helpful if you lose track of time the way I do.  I clicked away from the work I was doing and back to prestodoctor.com in time for my scheduled slot.

I entered the video chat first, but my doctor logged on a minute after.  He started our session by thanking me for taking the time to complete the registration process, which in reality was much quicker than at a traditional doctor or even a brick and mortar “recommendation farm”.  We then settled into what was a true consultation with a qualified doctor — not just an expensive signature.  He asked me to describe my arthritis pain, and we talked medicating options like topicals and edibles for pain management and combining cannabis with painkillers for more severe pain days.  Then we discussed the usefulness of CBD for the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress.  Our session ended with a few non-intrusive questions about my cannabis use, as well as my health and my habits.  Then my doctor clearly explained what to expect next and when to look for my recommendation in the mail.  The whole appointment took no longer than ten minutes but was far more helpful in learning ways to manage my symptoms than a time consuming trip to my usual doctor ever is.

I had been putting off renewing my recommendation this year, looking to avoid the annoyance it can cause.  However, from beginning to end, my experience with Presto Doctor was straight-forward and professional.  And I didn’t even need to put pants on.

The $69 fee includes all of Presto Doctor’s services, and there are no hidden fees to worry about unless you opt for expedited shipping.  After you complete your session with your doctor, you will receive a printable pdf version of your recommendation that is great for the modern delivery services out there that prefer electronic recommendations.  In 3-5 days after your appointment, you will get your paper recommendation and an NFC-enabled ID card.  Faster shipping will cost you more.

An online doctor service makes perfect sense for the multitudes of handicapped cannabis patients who have difficulty travelling long distances or even leaving their house to get to a doctor.  It is also a great solution for professionals who need to remain discreet about their medicating or those with social anxiety who prefer to stay at home and away from crowds.

I would personally suggest Presto Doctor to any medical cannabis patient after my own experience.  The online format makes it a convenient choice, while the professionalism displayed throughout the organization immediately separates them from typical cannabis doctors.

If you are interested in seeing if cannabis will work for you or need to renew an existing recommendation, visit prestodoctor.com to get started.

Cannabisjobs.us
WeedWeek News by Alex Halperin – 6/18/16
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere. Like  it on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and share it with the link weedweek.net. Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential.

Lots of news:

Software giant Microsoft became the largest U.S. company by far to officially move into the green marketplace. The company will keep its distance from the plant, selling cloud-based software for regulators. The software was developed by California start-up Kind.

I wrote a long story for Pando on the rise and fall of a modern weed dealer. It focuses on Ebbu, a Colorado company, that seeks to create predictable, cannabis-derived products called: Energy, Create, Chill, Giggle and Bliss. It also covers the departure of the company’s co-founder Dooma Wendschuh. I worked on the piece for more than a year and hope you find it interesting.

Shortly after the piece came out, Ebbu announced a major step towards inventing its “Feelings.”

A new study found that middle and high school students who use alcohol and marijuana are more likely to perform poorly in school. It linked marijuana use to more problems than alcohol. (See here for more.)

In Colorado, concentrate and edible sales are way up over last year. Flower retail sales grew a comparably modest 11 percent.

Three of the six potential ballot questions Arkansas may decide in November involve the plant. Two are MED bills. One’s a REC bill.

The Associated Press has an update on the Montana MED case.  Pro-access activists want to take their case against a restrictive MED law to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court has not yet decided whether to hear it.

More than a dozen people turned up in Toronto court to begin contesting charges stemming from recent raids. They called the charges “ridiculous” and a waste of money for a country that is moving to legalize next year. Canada’s liberal NDP party called for immediate decriminalization.
New Jersey state senator Nick Scutari (D) returned from a fact-finding trip to Colorado more convinced than ever that legalization is the way to go. Despite an earlier promise, he did not try the drug and says he never has.

NJ.com writer Susan Livio has a column on what it would take for the Garden State to legalize. Number 1: Replace Gov. Chris Christie (R).

At least 26 U.S. Senators are “dedicated to marijuana prohibition,” according to the Extract (based on NORML’s ratings.)

Sonoma County police raided five properties associated with the well-known brands Absolute Xtracts and Care By Design. They arrested Dennis Franklin Hunter, 43, who they say is an owner and has a history of evading arrest. Cops said the operation “appeared to use illegal and hazardous production methods and was in violation of a variety of city codes.” A company spokesman said the business is legal and follows state law on extraction procedure.

Initially held on $5 million bail, Hunter was released and no charges have been filed. The company is reportedly preparing to resume operations.

The group representing food officials nationwide may ask the FDA for guidance on edibles. Colorado banned infused gummies in the shape of people, animals or fruit.
Nobody seems to know why the federal government is pursuing Oregon 19-year old Devontre Thomason a possession charge.

The new journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research promises to be the only peer-reviewed publication on MED and its applications.

TechCrunch profiled Confident Cannabis, an online marketplace that has raised $3 million. Media company BurnTV raised $2 million.

CNBC did a feature on Jane, a cash-management company for dispensaries and customers. A Facebook alum has started a cannabis gum company. Another company makes cannabis-infused toothpaste and mouthwash.

Canadian MED company Tilray became the first in North America to legally export MED to Europe. The destination was Croatia.

Hawaii MED activist Mike Ruggles, who faces criminal charges, has filed suit to stop state-licensed dispensaries from opening. The suit claims that such businesses violate federal racketeering laws.

“The state cannot license people to break federal law and that’s exactly what they’ve done with these dispensaries,” it reads. “How does California do it? You’ll notice Act 228 (Hawaii’s medical marijuana law passed in 2000) mirrors California’s medical marijuana law word for word. Dispensaries in California are not regulated, and that’s how they get around (federal law). You see, the state cannot give citizens a license to break federal law. What they can do is ignore federal law being broke.”

The Boston Globe profiles Stephen Mandile, a 37-year old veteran who quit opiates with help from MED. “Medical marijuana, which is not toxic, doesn’t kill anybody, is supposed to be this dangerous gateway drug into a life of addiction,” he said. “I used it as an exit drug.”

In a case called the first of its kind, a Denver MED dispensary won reversal of a denied REC license. Canna Law Blog has the details.

Florida is dealing with lawsuits following its selection of MED licensees. According to Cannabis Wire it has already spent $276,000 responding to those suits.

The pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance released its report on the first months of New York’s MED program. The ACLU endorsed the most prominent of the California REC initiatives.

ATTN: interviewed legalization opponent Kevin Sabet.

Can cannabis users give blood? The short answer is yes. Life insurance underwriters aren’t too toughon cannabis users.

Black Enterprise interviewed Tanganyika Daniel, a veteran and founder of the skincare line Jayn Green.The Orange County Register gives tips on joining the industry.

An American woman is suing Customs and Border Protection after they subjected the 18-year old to an invasive seven-hour drug search, and presented her with a $575 hospital bill. She was returning to Arizona at the Nogales crossing and the search did not turn up any contraband.

The Austin American Statesman investigates the “no knock” searches police use for drug busts. Salon has a piece on a family separated by low-level convictions.

The DEA wants access to millions of medical records in order to monitor prescription drug use. More users than ever score drugs on the dark web.

A new petition asks for industrial hemp to be removed from the list of controlled substances.

A new Colorado anti-DUI ad attempts to demonstrate marijuana’s effect on reaction time.

Mendocino County, Calif. will be divided into marijuana-growing appellations to protect and capitalize on the area’s deep ties to cannabis cultivation. The program is similar to the system France uses to classify wine. The county will have 11 micro-regions.

NORML’s Paul Armentano had a piece in The Hill on why cannabis should be descheduled.

The New York State Assembly passed a bill that would seal records of certain minor pot convictions.

Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo is likely to be tried in Brooklyn.

Eugene Monroe, the only active NFL player to call for access to MED, was cut by the Baltimore Ravens. But The Denver Post says the league is interested in CBD.

An undocumented Mexican national was sentenced to 97 months for growing thousands of plants on state lands. A Utah man has been charged with killing his weed dealer’s wife.

The Netherlands’ Justice Minister has no plans to legalize. Authorities in Fiji uprooted more than 30,000 plants in raids.

One patient had a hard time getting MED in California.
The cannabis internet got excited about an ad for Black Magic soil aired during the NBA Finals. Some felt it targets cannabis growers.
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Bye,
Alex
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