Legal Marijuana News
Nevada recreational marijuana sales reach $33M in August
by Colton Lochhead Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada dispensaries sold more than $33 million in recreational marijuana and the state pulled in nearly $5 million in total taxes in August, according to numbers released by the Nevada Department of Taxation Monday.
That’s up from the $27 million in sales and $3.7 million in taxes in July, the state’s first month of recreational weed sales.
The recreational sales numbers were significantly ahead of the state’s projected $21.5 million in sales for August. In fact, the state did not project any month in the first year of recreational sales to eclipse $28 million.
Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source dispensaries and president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said those projections will likely prove to be fairly conservative, and expects the market to continue to grow steadily over the next several months.
“I think it is a good indication that there was a large, pent-up demand that was being served by the black market,” Jolley said.
The August tax numbers broke down like so:
- $3.35 million generated by the 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana (up from $2.71 million in July)
- $1.51 million generated by the 15 percent wholesale tax at the cultivation level on all marijuana (up from $974,060 in July)
State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, also known as the godfather of pot in Nevada, said he was initially a little worried that the novelty of legal marijuana could lead to a drop off in the second month of sales.
But after talking to the industry, he said it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case for August.
“Obviously there’s a demand,” Segerblom said.
And Segerblom said he doesn’t think the sales and tax numbers will level off for at least two years, and pointed to the recent opening of five dispensaries in Henderson.
Segerblom also heaped the praise onto the industry as well as the state regulators for ensuring the market got off to a smooth start.
“Everyone’s just been really been working perfectly together,” he said.
Recreational Cannabis Experiment Uruguay
In December 2013 Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreationalcannabis. Citizens can grow up to 6 plants at home for personal use. The people of Uruguay can form a cannabis growers club between themselves and a few friends. A club is permitted to grow 99 plants which can equate to far more weed than just 6 plants per person. Another way to get weed in Uruguay is to go to a pharmacy where citizens are charged $1 per gram. However there is a maximum purchase limit of 40 grams per month. To become a part of the legal recreational cannabis system in Uruguay you would need to be a resident of the country. You would also need to be over 18 years old and sign a cannabis register.
The President Of Uruguay
Jose Mujica was president during the period in which legislation changed. While Jose was president he chose to live on his own small farm as apposed to the huge lavish presidential building he was offered. His goal was simple. His goal was to have food on every table and a car in every garage for his people. If every country had an open-minded and compassionate president, like the portrayed traits of Jose, how different would our world be today? In this video he is interviewed by Krishna Andavolu. Jose and Krishna talk about the pros and cons of recreational cannabis legalisation. The president explains that he does not encourage the use of cannabis, but it is better than drug trafficking.
Jose acknowledges that regulation is a good option for Cannabis. The state can produce good quality product for cheap prices for its citizens. Regulation can mean it is easier to see when someone is becoming dependant on cannabis. This allows for people to be offered professional help to tackle their dependancy. Regulation of recreational cannabis in Uruguay will not shut down the black market. However, it could have a major impact making it increasingly difficult for the underground businesses to function as the economical root of drug trafficking is disturbed.
It would appear that Uraguay have acted as a social laboratory in which the rest of the world could potentially learn from. Personally, after watching the above video and thus learning more about Uruguays recreational cannabis legalization system, I would without-a-doubt conclude to be in favour of this. A well thought-out procedure all around.
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.
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
MyDx wants its customers to know exactly what’s in the food they eat, the water they drink — and the cannabis they smoke.
The San Diego company launched an upgraded smartphone app this week, dubbed CannaDx, that lets users test the chemical components of marijuana. According to the company, the app analyzes the levels of THC — the ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high — as well as about 20 other compounds found in the drug. Smokers can use the app to correlate what they feel with certain chemical compounds, and thereby build a profile that shows how different compounds affect them. Users also have access to a database that catalogs anonymous data reported by other users.
And, of course, CannaDx users can share their results with friends on Facebook and Instagram.
The latest app builds on cannabis-testing technology already in use by MyDx, but adds new features such an algorithm that predicts how certain compounds will make a user feel, and expanded social sharing tools.
“This major upgrade to the CannaDx Smartphone App will simplify the ability for users to enter or download just the desired amount of information and data, more quickly than ever,” Daniel Yazbeck, Chairman and CEO of MyDx, wrote in a news release. “Further, it also provides users with the tools for uploading or downloading more robust data, or generating a more sophisticated analysis of personal or aggregated MyDx community data quickly and conveniently in a user-friendly interface.”
MyDx now turns its attention to developing sensors that will detect pesticides in food, chemicals in water and toxins in the air, according to Yazbeck.
Photo: Marijuana matures at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver in 2013. (AP/Ed Andrieski)
Here’s the news:
A large study of teenagers in all 50 states found that the teen marijuana abuse rate fell 10 percentbetween 2002 and 2013. Federal marijuana trafficking charges are also down, a refutation, the Washington Post says, of perceptions that “the country is drowning in cheap, potent Colorado weed.”
In Oakland, some businesses oppose the “equity amendment” that will prioritize business licenses in some communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. Opponents say it will force companies and jobs out of the city. Oakland councilmember Desley Brooks, who pushed for the program, wants to make it stronger. Marijuana Business Daily has another take.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia found that cannabis use can cause mutations in DNA, leading to serious illnesses several generations later.
Ohio lawmakers passed a MED bill. Gov. John Kasich (R) is expected to sign.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) said he wants to pass a CBD-oil bill this session. “Once you get people through the confusion that surrounds this issue, I think people agree this is a good thing and there’s no reason to oppose this,” he said.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, (R) a legalization supporter from southern California, said he hasused MED for his arthritis pain. None of his colleagues in Congress seemed to care. A bipartisan group of 14 Congresspeople urged President Obama to reform pot laws before he leaves office.
More than 180 plants were found at the home of Flo Matheson, a 77-year old Democrat who’s running for Congress in Tennessee. “I’m guilty. I did it,” she said.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) appointed a former prosecutor to the new post senior advisor on marijuana policy.
Cannabis Wire examines the proposed potency caps in Colorado and Oregon.
Canna Law Blog says the industry is “not at war with the poor.” Hilary Bricken, a lawyer at Seattle firm Harris Moure, which publishes the blog, gave a Ted Talk on whether the legal states are giving rise to Big Marijuana.
Drug Free Florida, the group that defeated the 2014 MED initiative, released its first video. In 2014, Broward Palm Beach New Times listed the “Top 5 questionable characters” associated with the group. The Teamsters are opposing California’s REC initiative.
Colorado prosecutors have seen an escalation in murders related to the illegal marijuana market. New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said pot is responsible for the “vast majority” of violence in the city.
Federal Judge Frederic Block sentenced a woman convicted of a cocaine felony to probation instead of prison. In a 42-page opinion, Block argued that the difficulties of living with a felony are sufficient punishment.
In Colorado, confiscated plants can die in police custody. Now a few owners are suing the cops.
Nasdaq rejected social network MassRoots’ application on grounds that it facilitates the distribution of an illegal substance.
Aeron Sullivan, CEO of online marketplace Tradiv, became the first cannabis entrepreneur named to theInc. 30 under 30 list.
Scientists say the current legal patchwork in the U.S. is “not based on science.” “I want to underscore my exasperation. When I set out to try to understand this topic, I couldn’t find logic,” Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, a professor at the Mayo Clinic’s medical school said. “I couldn’t find logic in the law, in the way the federal government was acting, or in the way the states were acting. It was very frustrating.”
A study identified how endocannabinoids – which humans naturally produce – govern how we form and break habits.
The U.K. banned “legal highs,” chemical packets designed to mimic the effects of cocaine and cannabis.
Eugene Moore, a Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle who’s the first active NFL player to call for MED access wrote a piece for The Player’s Tribune. He says the opioids teams depend on to keep players going can mask serious injuries. Businessman Steve DeAngelo called cannabis the “worst kept secret” in elite sports.
Marijuana Business Daily has a piece on the opportunity to crowdfund cannabusinesses.
NORML policy wonk Paul Armentano gave a talk called, “We Don’t Know Enough About Cannabis? Really? Think Again?”
Libertarian writer Laurence M. Vance calls for “complete marijuana freedom. There should be no laws at any level of government regarding the buying, selling, growing, processing, transporting, manufacturing, advertising, using, or possessing of marijuana (or any other drug) for any reason.” He doesn’t think it should be taxed either. “Taxation is government theft,” he writes.
A University of Delaware student was arrested for running “The Bakery” out of his apartment.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign dropped Tommy Chong as an intro speaker shortly before the rally. “It was an insult,” Chong said.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner got high with her Hasidic mom.
The “Keurig” vaporizer is accepting pre-orders. Power Plant Fitness, the world’s first weed gym, is opening in San Francisco. The Marijuana Business Conference is the country’s fastest growing trade show.
Stoned sheep went on a “psychotic rampage” in a Welsh village after finding some dumped plants. The animals got into gardens, stormed a bungalow and held up traffic more than usual.
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In Colorado, a segment of the industry has proposed sweeping changes to state marijuana laws. The draft proposal, obtained by the Durango Herald, does not have support from the entire industry butsuggests a “wish list” of how some businesses would like to be regulated.
Notably, it would move regulatory authority from the Department of Revenue to a five-member commission appointed by the governor. The proposal would make “remediation” (as opposed to destruction) an option for products found to be contaminated with pesticides. Others in the industry criticized the proposal’s more lenient stance on pesticides. It would also allow “marijuana special events” where cannabis is sold and consumed.
“I’ve heard a couple people argue that we knew that this was going to happen,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) said. “That the profits coming from the marijuana industry would sooner or later push certain members of the industry to put profits above the safety of the public, and I think that’s a dangerous place for the industry to be in.” With only weeks until the legislative session ends, nothing that looks like this draft proposal is likely to pass this year.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has suggested that the murder of eight family members in southern Ohio may be connected to illegal marijuana grows and a cockfighting ring.
The much-hyped White House “Bud Summit” disappointed.
At the Marshall Project, a former cop discusses why drug laws made him hate his job. The piece ends with an apology: “It was wrong for me to use violence against you for merely possessing or trading in drugs. My actions, though harmful, were without malice. I believed at the time that they were in the best interest of our community. I can only as for more forgiveness than you’ve been shown.”
A video that seemed to show top NFL prospect Laremy Tunsil hitting a gas mask bong surfaced shortly before the draft, likely costing him millions of dollars. Tunsil ended up getting picked 13th by the Miami Dolphins, and can expect a deal worth about $12 million.
The Denver Post has a big story on NFL players pushing for CBD research.
On Good Morning America, industry P.R. guy and activist Evan Nison asked Hillary Clinton if she would vote for legalization if it was on the ballot. Her response was Clintonian: It would depend on how the proposal was worded. (She would allow the state experiments to continue.)
The Democratic candidate for governor of Utah, Mike Weinholtz, revealed that his wife is facing acriminal investigation for her MED use.
Denver’s 420 rally has been rescheduled for 521. The city council has placed caps on new marijuana businesses. Without warning, Seattle’s King County imposed a moratorium on pot businesses in unincorporated areas.
Alaska, the only state that will sanction pot cafes has proposed some rules. No happy hours allowed, but food and non-alcoholic drinks can be served on premises.
Tom Mulcair, leader of Canada’s leftist NDP party, has called for immediate decriminalization ahead of the government’s pledge to legalize next year. It mentions that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted to smoking while a member of parliament. Activist Jodie Emery wants a spot on the country’s legalization task force.
The Vietnamese workers at illegal grows in London have been identified as victims of trafficking and slavery.
The Washington Post hosted a forum on rescheduling marijuana. Stanford professor Keith Humphreys, proposes creating a new classification: “Schedule I-Research,” that would acknowledge dangers while expanding research into the drug’s medical benefits.
David T. Courtwright, a professor at the University of North Florida, says the industry is largely uninterested in the opportunities for research that rescheduling would bring. “When the core business model is phishing for phools by exploiting misinformed buyers, more research is not necessarily welcome.” Harvard Medical School Professor Bertha Madras provides “5 reasons marijuana is not medicine.”
The New York Times hosted a similar debate on whether marijuana is a gateway drug, a question that now has to be considered alongside the opiate crisis. Drug Policy Alliance’s Ethan Nadelmann writes, “The gateway theory can be summarized as an ounce of truth embedded in a pound of bull.”
Robert L. DuPont, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “People who are addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” Colleen Barry of the public health school at Johns Hopkins shares research that allowing MED reduces opioid overdose deaths.
Pharmacy giant WalGreen’s posted some basic but straightforward guidance on MED use on its Tumblr page. At New Cannabis Ventures Alan Brochstein writes, “I can’t recall any S&P 500 company ever sharing such a supportive view.”
Brochstein also catches that the SEC suspended trading in cannabis company Pineapple Express “because of recent, unusual and unexplained market activity.” Pineapple Express executives were previously involved in MedBox, a stock that surged to a high of almost $100 a share and now trades for a penny.
An ultra-orthodox Israeli rabbi declared cannabis kosher for Passover.
Some veterans with PTSD have traveled to Peru to drink the psychoactive ayahuasca. Its efficacy is controversial.
Humor site Reductress advises women on how to “keep your feminist power intact while asking dudes to help you get weed.” Actor Woody Harrelson lost his bid to open a dispensary in Hawaii.
Last week I misspelled the name of Italian prosecutor Franco Roberti. I regret the error.
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Medical marijuana may be on November ballot in Ohio
Medical marijuana could be available to an estimated 215,000 Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions by 2018 if voters okay a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
A year after Ohioans soundly defeated ResponsibleOhio’s for-profit plan to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, a national group with a successful track record in other states is pushing a medical marijuana-only issue for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
The Marijuana Policy Project, based on Washington, D.C., announced detailed plans today for a campaign to gather 305,291 signatures of registered voters to put a medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall. The national organization will work through an Ohio affiliate, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana.
“The Ohio initiative is similar to the medical-marijuana laws in 23 states and the District of Columbia,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “The Ohio initiative will allow patients with a list of medical problems to use, possess, and grow their own medical marijuana if they have the approval of their physicians.”
If the issue passes, a newly created agency of state government would issue identification cards for people with qualifying ailments, and issues licenses to businesses to grow, process and selling medical marijuana to patients. People could also grow up to six plants at home.
Kampia said he was initially concerned after Ohio voters slammed ResponsibleOhio by a nearly two-to-one margin last year.
“After election day, the idea of working in Ohio wasn’t really on the radar,” he said in a conference call this morning. “But voters in all states make a distinction between medical marijuana and full legalization of marijuana. It’s pretty clear the initiative last year in Ohio failed…because it was for full legalization and not medical marijuana, it chose winners and losers, and was in a off-year election when turnout is lower and older.”
“None of those things apply to our proposal,” he said.
Backers said the language for the proposal will be submitted to Attorney General Mike DeWine in the next week or so.
After that, the issue would require approval by the Ohio Ballot Board before being cleared to collect the signatures required to place the issue on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.
It would be on the same timeline as two state legislative committees which are considering action on potential medical marijuana laws.
But Kampia said his group won’t wait for state lawmakers.
“Our view of the legislature is they’ve had a couple of decades to do something and not taken any action. We view the state legislature as being composed of a stew of legislators, many of whom are hostile, and some are supportive.”
People with “cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, severe pain, post-traumatic stress disorder” and other medical conditions could qualify for medical marijuana cards.
The proposal would set up a network of marijuana growers, processors and retailers.
The full text of the proposal and a question and answer section are located online at https://ohioansformmj.org/initiative/
Could Philly become the next cannabis capital?
With the cannabis industry booming in states like Colorado, Washington and California, it may be surprising that a new startup has decided to take root in Philadelphia. While marijuana laws are certainly more relaxed in the city thanks to legislation decriminalizing small amounts of weed, Pennsylvania is hardly a bastion of progressive thought when it comes to marijuana legislation. But that could change with the introduction ofGreenhouse Ventures’ first Demo Day on Dec. 5.
Billed as a day dedicated to the “cannabis,” the Philly startup will be offering insights into best practices for the marijuana industry – everything from financials, tech and e-commerce to vertical sales designed to help build budding businesses. Companies will also have the opportunity to exhibit their products and services and pitch to investors while learning the ropes on how to build a sustainable business model.
Greenhouse Ventures (GHV) co-founder Tyler Dautrich says that the startup was developed through a strategic partnership with CoFund360, a company that had already developed a proven curriculum program and a 10-week accelerator model.
“Hemp was a major cash crop in PA before prohibition, and PA could easily become a hot spot for the industry again.” — Tyler Dautrich
“This partnership allowed GHV to take a structured mentorship-based program and tailor it specifically for the cannabis and hemp industries,” he said. “By starting with an existing framework, we were able to quickly build a network of industry experts and a pipeline of interested entrepreneurs who needed help legitimizing their businesses, connecting with industry experts and raising capital.”
But why hunker down in a state where medical and recreational marijuana use is still illegal?
GHV decided to launch in Philly for a few reasons, namely as a way to develop the business on the East Coast. “There truly is a huge opportunity here in the east and in Philadelphia because no one is thinking about the business side of this industry yet,” Dautrich said. “The East Coast is finally starting to come around to the medical benefits of cannabis and allow some patients to have access to it, but there is not much talk about what benefits could come from opening up to the business side of the industry.”
He also notes that because Philadelphia is home to some of the best medical colleges in the country, there is a huge opportunity to become a hub for research in the industry. “The history of industrial hemp in the areas just outside the city is too rich,” he said. “Hemp was a major cash crop in PA before prohibition, and PA could easily become a hot spot for the industry again.”
To help make this happen, GHV is working with a range of industry experts and serial entrepreneurs that act as mentors for companies going through their program, including Lindy Snider from Lindi Skin, Scott Greiper from Viridian Capital, Douglas Leighton from Dutchess Capital, Jazmin Hupp from Women Grow and Jim Fitzpatrick from Kodiak Capital.
In addition to Demo Day, GHV is also strategically aligning itself with other organizations and individuals in the industry that share the same vision in terms of producing and selling hemp and cannabis, and products associated with its use.
But Pennsylvania’s laws about marijuana do inevitably have an impact on just how far GHV will grow. “The current laws obviously do not benefit us at all right now,” Dautrich said. “It also makes it a little more difficult to find quality deal flow from our home state, because there is a lack of experience, knowledge and education which comes from continuing prohibition.”
He does see a bright side, however. By working with startups from the West Coast, GHV is using their knowledge and experience to educate both voters and legislators about the positive impact the marijuana business can have in the region. If the laws would change in favor of marijuana use (both medically and recreationally) it could potentially allow GHV and other startups like it to see more business ventures through in the region.
“If we can have PA or Philly-based entrepreneurs come through the accelerator and become a success,” Dautrich said, “that would be great. Legalization would also allow us to potentially work more with the medical institutions in Philly to expand on the research, as well as show a presence for med-tech, which we believe will be big in Philly when it’s legal.”
Dautrich is confident that medicinal marijuana will be legal in Pennsylvania in the coming year as more advocates make their case and as research points to important treatment benefits. A recent poll suggests that almost 90 percent of Pennsylvanians are actually in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana, ranking PA as a state with one of the highest acceptance rates in the country.
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And even though there is not a legal market here, there also seems to be an interest among potential investors, primarily lawyers and financial folks who are laying low, so to speak, waiting to see what happens on the legislation side. Those who are operating in the region are doing so under the radar.
“Even though they are operating in compliance with the regulations and laws of the industry,” Dautrich said, “from a business standpoint, it could still ruin your professional reputation depending on what your current or former job is or was [before] entering into the industry.” He says there is still a stigma associated with cannabis despite it being an estimated multi-billion-dollar industry.
This could bode well for Philadelphia when one considers that in Colorado, every dollar spent towards legal cannabis puts another $2.60 back into the state economy. Colorado has also enjoyed several consecutive months where sales were over $50 million. “That’s a lot of money going back into their economy,” Dautrich explained, “while PA is spending money to fight this plant.”
And while GHV is intent on staying firmly planted in PA, it’s not working with many (if any) companies that intend to make their homes in PA because of the strict state laws against cannabis. “The scene just is not here for them right now,” Dautrich explained. “This is why we stream all our classes during the accelerator. That way these companies can remain in their home state and market, while virtually attending and participating in classes. With that being said, obviously the relationship that they will have with us will work out nicely when PA does become a market of interest for them.”
After all, the industry is still very young, and Dautrich expects to see more start-ups pop up in the next couple of years. Like those in any industry, they need to build out a team, surround themselves with smart professionals and create capital. The major differences come with investment. “The valuations on a lot of these cannabis startups are not accurate,” Dautrich said. “Investors lower the evaluation because of the risk, and entrepreneurs raise the valuation because it’s a new, exciting and fast-growing industry.”
Lindy Snider of Lindi Skin is certainly banking on it. “I’m anticipating this [Demo Day] event will be the first of many,” she said, “and like the rest of the industry, will grow enormously over a short period of time.”
Illinois approves 3,600 medical marijuana patients
CHICAGO — The number of Illinois patients getting state approval to use medical marijuana jumped a bit higher during November, the first month of legal sales of the drug.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that 3,600 patients have now been approved for the pilot program, including 22 children. That’s 300 more than one month ago, a sizeable increase compared to previous months.
The first licensed dispensaries started selling marijuana on Nov. 9, sparking new interest among potential patients.
The health department said Wednesday that about 29,300 people have started the patient registration process. Of those, almost 4,600 have submitted a complete application.
Qualifying patients pay an annual fee of $100 for a marijuana card and need a doctor’s written certification.
More info: Medical Cannabis Pilot Program
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Much of the industry decamped to Las Vegas for a series of conferences. Speaking at one, consumer advocate Ralph Nader. called the war on drugs “the rule of law gone mad.”
“Proper regulation is the best aspirin you could ever have, other than marijuana,” he said. “You have the opportunity to do it right.” Nader cautioned, however, that not all of the coming science is going to go the industry’s way and called for cannabis businesses to be forthright with the facts.
“Say what you want about marijuana, but it’s going to be studied a lot more than some of you may like,” Nader said. “Once it’s legalized, the universities are going to be freer to do medical research or impact research. So you really have to have an open attitude.”
Hillary Clinton joined Bernie Sanders in calling for marijuana to be removed from the FDA’s list of Schedule I drugs, considered to have wide potential for abuse and no medical value.
MMJ patients are calling for the resignation of acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg after he called MMJ “a joke” and said that smoking marijuana “has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.” The Washington Post highlights studies that show some evidence for MMJ’s efficacy. The DEA is walking back Rosenberg’s remarks.
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Save the Date! On November 18th, the next generation of cannabis entrepreneurs bring their groundbreaking products and ideas to the stage in beautiful downtown Boulder, Colorado. Canopy’s Fall 2015 class of nine startups offer up their innovative products for review, ranging from compliancy software to one-of-a-kind accessories for the ever-expanding and evolving cannabis market.
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Over the last three months advisors and mentors have worked closely with each entrepreneur, helping define business models, refine selling propositions, and support fundraising activities.
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The New York Times looked at Silicon Valley’s interest in marijuana, and some of the difficulties the space presents for tech start-ups. Featured companies include HelloMD, which enables users to obtain a doctor’s recommendations online and Meadow, a delivery service.
Protesting lack of access to MMJ, veterans dropped hundreds of empty pill bottles in front of the White House. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two bills accelerating MMJ distribution in the state. A New Jersey teenager with epilepsy and autism will be the first person officially allowed to bring MMJ to high school. A New Jersey man lit a protest joint in a Trenton, N.J. city council meeting.
Two competing initiatives to legalize REC could be on the ballot next year in Massachusetts. One initiative which has the backing of Marijuana Policy Project would resemble the system in Colorado while the other, known as Bay State Repeal, would have more “decentralized” regulation without one lead regulatory agency and “the least restrictive laws possible.”
The Native American tribe that had planned to open a consumption lounge on New Year’s Eve in South Dakota, voted to suspend its marijuana operation and burned its crop. The tribe’s plan’s clashed with the state’s strict marijuana laws.
At the outset, Canada’s cannabis market could be as large as seven million customers’, a third of the country’s adults, according to a survey. Colombia plans to legalize MMJ. A well known Israeli doctor has been arrested for selling false MMJ recommendations.
Marijuana grows are taxing the Oregon power grid. Alex Reyes, a St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect, has been suspended for use. It’s still difficult for cannabis businesses to win federal patent and trademark protections.
Colorado REC and MED sales fell slightly in September but still totaled more than $90 million. Regulators want to extend a moratorium on new companies entering the Denver market. According to the Denver Post, the authorities want to take some time to assess the state’s experiment before allowing it to expand further. Colorado governor John Hickenlooper called marijuana tainted with unauthorized pesticides a threat to public safety and said it should be destroyed.
In California’s Humboldt County, the Yurok Tribe is fighting marijuana farms because of their water use. Some growers aren’t happy about it as Sierra Crane-Murdoch reports in afascinating piece for Vice: “People are scared,” said Troy Fletcher, a leader of the Yurok tribe. “They’ve gone out to gather acorns and basket materials, or to ceremonial sites, and been approached and stalked by heavily armed individuals.”
Snoop Dogg introduced a cannabis line, Leafs By Snoop, which is now available in Colorado. Maxim sent me to the launch party. Denver Post pot critic Jake Browne yawned. The Guardian visited Adagio Bud+Breakfast, a cannabis friendly inn in Denver.
And behold, a Chanukah menorah bong.
Oregon becomes third U.S. state to allow recreational marijuana sales
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Marijuana sales for recreational use began in Oregon on Thursday as it joined Washington state and Colorado in allowing the sale of a drug that remains illegal under U.S. federal law.
Oregon residents 21 years and older can buy up to a quarter-ounce (seven grams) of dried pot at roughly 200 existing medical-use marijuana dispensaries as a new law took effect.
Backers hope the law will help curb a flourishing black market, but opponents say it heightens drug use and access by children.
About 40 people lined up outside the medical pot dispensary Shango in a strip mall near Portland International Airport for the chance to buy recreational pot one minute after midnight, when the changes went into effect.
“We came to be part of the experiment,” said Juliano Hamana, 24, in line with his girlfriend.
“I’m worried about the 25 percent tax coming in January,” he said, “but for a $10 gram that’s only a bit over $2 more. I think it might be worth it for the quality.”
Voters in Oregon and Alaska last year approved marijuana use and possession in state-regulated frameworks. Alaska’s law took effect in February, but regulations for stores are still in the works. Pot shops created specifically for the recreational market, like those operating in Washington state and Colorado, are expected to start in 2016 in both Oregon and Alaska.
The District of Columbia has also legalized marijuana possession.
While marijuana use remains illegal for any reason under federal law, 23 states allow cannabis for medical purposes. Legalization measures will be on the ballot in Ohio in November and in other states in 2016.
In Oregon, possessing and growing pot became legal in July. Through 2015, sales of pot for recreational use will be untaxed, though that will likely change next year.
“You can get all the best strains from Oregon, which can make this into a top tourist spot,” said Sue Vorenberg, editor of the Cannabis Daily Record.
Roughly 30 municipalities in Oregon have enacted bans to the sale of recreational pot, while others have sharply limited the nascent industry.
In Portland, the state’s largest city, lawmakers on Wednesday approved limits on the recreational marijuana stores that will open there, such as a requirement they be no closer than 1,000 feet (305 meters) from a school.
Portland commissioners said they expected to take further steps to refine their rules for the industry.
(Writing by Suzannah Gonzales; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Susan Heavey and Stephen R. Trousdale)
Mom: Cannabis oil drastically improving daughter’s life
ATLANTA — Cannabis oil is working for the 2-year-old Winder girl 11Alive has been following through her journey, and it was never more evident than during a recent therapy session.
“How do you feel? You look awesome,” said Lainey Cleveland’s therapist.
Smiling is monumental, a laugh is life changing, and standing — well, that’s a dream that suddenly feels real for Erin Cleveland and her daughter Lainey.
“It’s like she’s coming alive,” Cleveland said.
Lainey recently went through an intense 10-day therapy session, and 11Alive was there on the continuation of the journey following this family.
Canna-“Hi” or Canna-“Bye-Bye”
by VapeXhale Creative Development Team
Is marijuana a drug that is prone to introduce individuals to more hardcore substances or is it a miracle medication that helps addicts to bid detrimental drug abuse farewell?
Squeaking across the halfway marker of 2015 with a massive revival in global sentiments regarding cannabis and edging ever closer towards the brink of 2016, more and more of us are wondering if all of the negative stigma and slanted propaganda about this magical weed will accurately convey any intrinsic value or if marijuana can actually help individuals to accomplish their goals instead of holding them back. For many years, anti-cannabis proponents have targeted this wonderplant as a stepping stone that is guaranteed to lead users down the path of addictive drug abuse. Deemed a “gateway drug”, opponents of cannabis claim that although it is not addictive in and of itself, consumers of marijuana periodically become unsatisfied with the medicinal effects of the simple plant and ultimately seek deadly narcotics such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin to cessate their urges. According to a 1999 report that was commissioned by Congress to look at the potential dangers of medicinal cannabis, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote:
“Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”
Lacking sufficient evidence and other methods to steer substantial fear into the eyes of potential marijuana consumers, the outdated “gateway” theory remains to be one of the primary tools in the anti-cannabis toolbox despite having been thoroughly disproved almost twenty years ago.
Flipping the script on the prescription drug toting and propaganda spewing hooligans that aggressively oppose the use of cannabis to alleviate physical, psychological and spiritual medical conditions, there is no concrete evidence to sustain that using marijuana equates to taking the express train straight to the meth lab. On the other side of the coin, there is abundant evidence showing that individuals are intentionally utilizing “god’s cabbage” as a viable alternative to consuming dangerous drugs. In multiple studies, the findings have unanimously shown that large numbers of medical cannabis patients have successfully replaced harmful substances such as prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and deadly illicit substances through the substitution of marijuana. In fact, medical cannabis consumers report opting for the natural organic route instead of the synthetic prescribed alternatives because the side effects are far less adverse, the symptom management is more effective and accurate, and because the potential to experience harsh withdrawals is eliminated.
Now hold on one flipping second, weed is an “exit drug”?! While legal drugs such as alcohol and prescription painkillers account for thousands upon thousands of deaths every year, it is almost impossible to overdose on marijuana. Being that cannabis is a low risk to high reward natural substance with relatively no probability of fatal outcomes, doctors and addiction specialists are looking to marijuana as a valuable approach to minimizing the pain and discomfort of alcohol and opioid withdrawals without producing additional complications. Although easing withdrawal symptoms of addictive drugs like alcohol and heroin through the use of other substances is not a new concept, for many years medical professionals have struggled to find alternatives that don’t produce dangerous side effects of their own. For example, Methadone has been utilized as a transitional replacement medication for heroin since as early as 1947. It is highly addictive, extremely dangerous, has accounted for thousands of fatalities, and is still widely prescribed by doctors today. That is literally insane! Medical professionals are having their patients play substance abuse musical chairs, taking them away from being addicted to the powerful opiate heroin, prescribing yet another strong synthetic opioid to help them get that “junkie-monkey” off their backs, and ultimately forcing them to succumb to the agonizing intensities of methadone addiction.
Let’s face it, there is no way of alluding the fact that prescription opioids as well as illegal ones are lethally dangerous and incredibly addictive. Speaking of gateway drugs, prescribed opioids are often the stepping stones that lead directly to heroin abuse. Rising steadily over the last ten years, rates of prescription opioid abuse have skyrocketed. In direct correlation, the amount of individuals willing to admit they had consumed heroin in the last twelve months has practically doubled since 2007 (620,000 heroin users). Doctors estimate that more than half of heroin addicts are introduced to “chasing the dragon” by prescribed opioids and that they transition to harder substances such as heroin not because it is produced of a better quality, but because it is less expensive and easier to obtain. Throughout the United States, addicts can often purchase heroin at a 90% lower price than an equal dosage of prescription opioids that costs almost ten times as more.
Without a doubt, there are colossal benefits to the application of medical marijuana as an “exit drug” for stepping down and transitioning from the use or abuse of much more detrimental substances. Cannabis is highly effective in reducing discomforting side effects associated with opioid withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, and muting the craving symptoms of addictive drug dependence. What does this all boil down to? Regardless of the many years that fear and skewed information has been bullishly crammed down the throat of modern society, the blatant factuality revolving around marijuana is that it isn’t a gateway drug in any shape or form. On the contrary, opposed to propelling individuals into using heavier narcotics, cannabis is utilized as a stepping stone for transitioning away from violently harmful substances. While you may not be slangin’ cold greasy cheeseburgers and other illicit services to scrape together your fix like the troubled “h-junkie” from Menace to Society, are you considering the positive benefits of reducing your intake of harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, prescription painkillers, and sleeping pills? If so, you may want to consider the inexplicably numinous powers of that one righteous herb that has been gravely misrepresented as an old and mischievous dirty weed for far too long.