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This week on the podcast, Hayley and I have a fascinating conversation with physician and Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Peter Grinspoon. We discuss how the medical establishment thinks about MED, the opioid crisis and Grinspoon’s father, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a hero of the legalization movement. In addition to his professional expertise, the younger Dr. Grinspoon became addicted to opioids while working as a doctor an experience he describes in his book Free Refills: A doctor confronts his addiction. The episode lands Monday at 4:20 p.m.Pacific.
You can rate us five stars on iTunes whenever you like.
Previous episodes feature:
-Episode 6 Anja Charbonneau, editor of design forward cannabis magazine Broccoli
-Episode 4 L.A. cannabis Business attorney Ariel Clark on what cannabis entrepreneurs need to know
-Episode 3 Congressman and longtime legalization supporter Earl Blumenauer
-Episode 2 Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The rise and fall and rise of marijuana in America, on the history of legalization
Comments or feedback? Don’t be shy.
Our producer is Katie Long.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact here.
The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are coming. Register to vote and/or get the information you need to vote here.
Here’s the news.
Ohio’s state auditor said the state MED program should continue despite “multiple” flaws in the application process (AP). According to the state commerce department, public radio reports, changes were made to internal documents but it’s impossible to know by who since passwords were shared.
Six unsuccessful applicants have sued the state ( in a lawsuit which alleges scoring errors, regulators who failed to follow their own rules and outside “scoring consultants” with blatant conflicts of interest.
A Trump administration aide resigned after he was told he would not received a security clearance (NYT) for smoking pot several times a few years ago, a disclosure he self-reporting it to the FBI. It followed news of senior aide Rob Porter resigning(Politico) after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced in the press.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks to “sow doubt” about legalization’s viability.
Leafly says 99% of California cannabis businesses remain unlicensed. But California regulators have begun to target (MJBizDaily) unlicensed businesses. The Sacramento Bee finds unlicensed local delivery services continue to operate.
WeedWeek podcast co-host Hayley Fox reports Los Angeles’ cannabis agency is “woefully understaffed.
California’s cannabis industry is gaining political clout through campaign contributions.
Massachusetts regulators say anticipated July 1 REC sales could be delayed. They also floated the idea of a state cannabis bank.
A New Jersey lawmaker proposed creating “consumption zones” to address the social use issue. The state’s black lawmakers discussed legalization.
Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) doesn’t expect the federal government to reschedule marijuana anytime soon.
Detroit plans to challenge two voter approved initiatives which would reduce local control of the industry. Michigan released its cannabis product label.
Arizona Republican Senate candidate and Trump-ally Joe Arpaio supports MED “kind of.”
N.Y. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) criticized Big Pharma for opposing cannabis reform.
The Trump administration supports continuing restrictive hemp laws.
Colorado dispensary chain Medicine Man named a strain Jeff Sesh-ons.
Oakland megadispensary Harborside stood up to Hershey’s after the confectioner called Harborside strain Jolly Meds a trademark infraction on Jolly Ranchers candy.
Hershey’s quickly caved. “We stood up to the federal Department of Justice,” Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo said, “We are certainly not going to be intimidated by a candy company.”
The SEC suspended Cherubim Interests and Victura Construction Corp., two cannabis penny stocks which tried to exploit interest in cryptocurrency.
Quebec cannabis grower Agro-Biotech agreed to merge with Vancouver-based Pivot Pharmaceuticals in a C$100M deal.
Pot grow sensor platform Braingrid raised C$2.6M ahead of going public in Canada.
California approved the first provider of surety bonds to cannabis companies.
A proposed bill in California would block employment discrimination against cannabis users. Quartz says it’s not a good idea to tell colleagues you smoke pot.
Retail prices in Oregon are as low as $2/g and still dropping 20% annually. In Washington, conditions also incentivize leakage out of state.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts they’re worried about shortages when REC goes on sale.
Nearly 4% of Colorado electricity powers pot grows.
A lawsuit which threatened to force a new MED application process in Marylandhas been settled for undisclosed terms.
Canna Law Blog discusses the Open Cannabis Project’s fight to get pot patents right and changes to California event permit rules.
Pennsylvania’s nascent MED industry can’t keep up with demand. And the statemay soon allow flower sales.
The first Louisiana MED dispensaries could open later this year. North Dakota selected BioTrack THC for its cannabis tracking software.
Media company Freedom Leaf is in financial trouble.
Thailand, which has draconian drug laws, may try to become a MED hub.
In the Guardian, I wrote about five female cannabis entrepreneurs.
Leafly lists seven edibles which “changed the game.” The listicle dates back 3,000 years to bhang in India.
Girl Scouts won the OK to sell cookies outside dispensaries.
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U.S. House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions — no relation to AG Jeff — who’s among the most anti-pot legislators in Washington, said marijuana use leads to opiate addiction, a claim largely unsupported in the medical literature.
Marijuana “merchants of addiction…are making it more powerful and more powerful and more powerful,” Sessions said. “When I went to high school … in 1973, I graduated, marijuana, on average, is 300 times more powerful. That becomes an addictive element for a child to then go to the next thing.”
In 2016, the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote alcohol and tobacco are more likely to lead to opioid use than cannabis.
An Arizona House panel approved a proposal which would make it a felony for doctorsto evade state MED rules.
A paper in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

State and local taxes on marijuana could surpass 45% in some parts of California, jeopardizing efforts to bring all growers and sellers into a state-licensed market in January, according to the global credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings.

“High tax rates raise prices in legal markets, reinforcing the price advantage of black markets,” the firm said in a report Monday. “California’s black markets for cannabis were well established long before its voters legalized cannabis in November 2016 and are expected to dominate post-legalization production.”

As the top pot-producing state in the nation, California could be on thin ice with the federal government >>

The report said that increased enforcement may blunt the illegal market, “but high taxes may complicate such efforts by diverting in-state sales to the black market.”

California is scheduled to begin issuing licenses to grow, transport and sell medical and recreational marijuana on Jan. 1 and will charge a 15% excise tax, as well as a state cultivation levy of $9.25 per ounce for cannabis flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves.

Hundreds applied to be on California’s pot advisory committee. Here’s who got picked >>

In addition, local business taxes have been approved by 61 cities and counties ranging from 7.75% to 9.75%.

The marijuana market is expected to provide a windfall for state and local treasuries.

“In the handful of states that legalized nonmedical cannabis prior to 2016, tax receipts have generally outpaced initial revenue estimates and have shown strong year-over-year gains,” Fitch Ratings said. But California could end up being one of the highest taxing states in the country if proposals stand.


Remember how we told you all that Colorado was banning weed gummy bears? Well, that new piece of cannabis legislation goes into effect this weekend. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, or if you thought all of this talk about banning weed-infused candy was just rumor and hoax, we are about to fill you in.

Last summer, we reported that the great state of Colorado was implementing new measures regarding legal recreational cannabis. It wasn’t a new limitation on how many ounces of flower you could purchase at a time. It wasn’t an all-out elimination of the right to grow your own plants. No, what Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was gunning for was gummies.

House Bill 1436, signed into effect in June 2016, focused on THC-infused gummy candy. Specifically, it was aimed toward THC-infused gummies that looked like regular, wholesome HFCS-infused gummies. Basically, according to the bill, Governor Hickenlooper and concerned parents in the state, weed gummy candy that could potentially attract children is no bueno.

To play Devil’s Advocate, this bill is not totally baseless.

Because kids are, well, kids, they tend to be attracted to brightly colored and whimsically shaped candy. This presents a unique problem in states, like Colorado, with legal recreational cannabis. In short, kids are accidentally eating weed-infused candy and landing themselves in the emergency room because of it.

House Bill 1436 aims to combat this disturbing and dangerous trend. By banning the production and distribution of weed-infused gummies in the shape of humans, animals and fruit, the backers of the bill hope to protect children in their state.

There are some loopholes, however.

The Colorado Department of Revenue will continue to allow cannabis gummies that are made in geometric shapes, like stars and triangles. They will also allow the gummies to have a fruity flavor, as long as they don’t actually depict a fruit. Star-shaped, strawberry-flavored gummies infused with Strawberry Cough, anyone?


House Bill 1436 will take effect this weekend, on October 1st. When it’s completely official, dispensaries will no longer be able to legally sell your favorite creature-shaped candy.

So what are you supposed to do?

If you live in Colorado, we recommend that you stock up now. Call up your dispensary and see if they’re having a “going out of business” sale on soon-to-be illicit treats. Just think of it like all the times you’ve headed over to CVS to buy an obscene amount of half-off candy the day after Halloween. And Valentine’s Day. And Easter.

If you live in Colorado and have a kid or three, we want to stress that this ban does not in any way take the place of your responsibilities as a parent. If you’re a pot-lovin’ parent (nothing wrong with that!), the onus is on you to keep your kids safe and away from your stash. Lock up your gummies and other candy in child-proof containers and keep them safely out of reach. You know, like you would do with laundry detergent pods, which kids are also strangely attracted to. In California, a similar ban on weed-infused gummy bears is also underway. We’ll keep you updated on that one.

Comments Off on WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

WeedWeek, 10/21/17: Sen. Cory Booker Calls Legalization his “Signature Issue”

Posted by | October 21, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
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In other WeedWeek news:
WeedWeek is introducing a new feature called WeedWeek Forum. Think of it as the cannabis world’s Op-Ed page. Many of you are are eager to share your thoughts and expertise. Here’s your chance to publish on the WeedWeek site.
Starting now, WeedWeek will publish 400-600 word essays, arguments, observations and fact-based criticisms by outside contributors.
Several outlets already publish similar work. Unfortunately their credibility suffers from the perception, if not the reality, that contributors can pay to be featured. WeedWeek will not accept payment for publishing work. We won’t pay you either (at least at first.)
WeedWeek Forum will strive to publish pieces based on their merits and relevance. Getting your essay in WeedWeek, is a form of earned media, or, as it’s sometimes called, thought leadership.
Who should contribute? YOU.
If you’re someone who has been featured in WeedWeek, or could have been featured in WeedWeek, we want to hear from you. That includes executives, doctors, lawyers, accountants, legalization opponents, cyber-experts, connoisseurs, investors, regulators, inmates, budtenders, organizers, teachers, gurus,lobbyists, Jeff Sessions, consultants, cannamoms, cannadads, rastafarian farmers, marketers, financial analysts, bankers, scientists, psychologists, botanists, cops, politicians, activists, judges, connoisseurs, growers, patients, extractors, bakers, coders, glassblowers etc.
Interested? Check out the writer’s guidelines here.
Here’s the news:
Pro-legalization Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is trying to defeat anti-legalization Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “We’re going to be putting up some billboards in Pete Sessions’s district,” Blumenauer said. “It’s going to feature a veteran and ask the question why Pete Sessions doesn’t want him to have access to his medicine.”
New Jersey Senator and possible 2020 presidential contender Cory Booker (D) discussed why legalization is his signature issue. Current enforcement, he says, “makes a mockery” of equal justice under the law. Booker says he has never smoked cannabis or drank alcohol.
Massachusetts’ top cannabis regulator will be Shawn Collins, 31, an aide to State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed pushing REC sales back to 2019. The proposal would scrap rulesa legislative committee has been working on for months. A pro-legalization group called those rules “not ready for prime time.
Buzzfeed visits an L.A. growing internship for veterans. The Air Force is reconsidering its ban on hemp consumption after an officer was court martialed for eating a granola bar.
As of Wednesday, northern California wildfires had destroyed 31 pot farms and the number is expected to climb. The fires did more damage to cannabis grows than vineyards. Some growers lost cash in the blazes. Snopes extinguishes rumors that drug cartels started the fires.
Crowdfunding site YouCaring shut down a fundraising campaign to benefit northern California growers. There’s a new campaign up at Nationbuilder.
The Boston Globe asks if towns which ban dispensaries should still get their share of tax revenue. Globe reporter Dan Adams then criticized Snoop Dogg’s media company, Merry Jane, for stealing the content of his story, “like a high school plagiarist.”
S.F. Weekly has a two-part series on how to make the industry work in San Francisco. (Part 1Part 2Two dispensaries face pushback in the city’s Excelsior neighborhood.
The L.A. Times looks at city efforts to create a racially equitable industry.
Las Vegas could loosen rules on selling cannabis paraphernalia.
California Senate President Pro Tempore and legalization supporter Kevin de León, a Democrat from L.A., will challenge legalization opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Feinstein, 84, has been in office since 1992.
New York legalization activists are calling for a state constitutional convention.
Northern California’s Calaveras County may ban commercial grows.
On his November Asia trip, President Trump will meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte who has been condemned internationally for his violent war on drugs.
Michigan MED license applicants will have to prove cash on hand of up to $500,000. A proposed MED industrial park in Michigan would be the biggest east of the Mississippi. The Michigan House passed a bill to enable transporting MED.
Proposed new rules in New Mexico are designed to accommodate the fast-growing MED program.
Pennsylvania’s first MED crop has been planted. MED license applications have picked up in Arkansas.
New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates disagree about legalization.
West Virginia has posted an online survey for prospective MED patients.
Administrators at an Illinois high school confiscated the school paper for covering teen marijuana use.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox called for REC legalization.
Peru’s congress passed a bill to legalize MED.
New Zealand’s new liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for a nationwide referendum on RECwithin the next three years. It would be the first country to hold such a vote. For more see here.
Australia’s ruling party opposes a bill to make MED access easier for terminally ill patients.
A U.N. body called Australia’s plan to drug test welfare recipients a “cheap shot.”
In Greece, a deputy agriculture minister called for REC legalization.
Social app MassRoots fired CEO Isaac Dietrich. Following the news, CannaRegs pulled out of its planned $12M acquisition by MassRoots.
According to Viridian Capital Advisors, cannabis companies raised more than $1.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $720M last year. The average deal size also increased from $3M to $6.7M.
Simon Property Group, the U.S.’s largest mall operator, wants to stop a dispensary from opening near its Franklin Mills property in Philadelphia.
The Paiute Tribe has opened what it calls the world’s largest dispensary, just north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Forty-two percent of cannabis businesses want to expand to new states in the next 12 months.
Canada’s largest stock exchange clarified that companies which do business in the U.S. could be delisted. Public MED producer Aphria, which has had U.S. operations since 2015, criticized the move.
Canadian producer Cannabis Wheaton wants to sell in convenience stores.
Several recent California grow raids have found Chinese nationals, suggesting Chinese nationals invest in the illegal market.
Data firm Headset released information on consumer trends in Washington.
The maker of Tapatio hot sauce has sued a pot company for trademark infringement.
A Uruguayan cannabis company will start exporting to Canada and Mexico.
CNBC talks to the 24-year old entrepreneur Karson Humiston, who started the cannabis jobs site Vangsters.
Quartz has a long piece on female cannabis entrepreneurs.
The industrial hemp lobby is getting organized.
According to tax policy expert Pat Oglesby, the tax lesson of legalization thus far is alcohol taxes are too low.
Fast Company talks to black Colorado entrepreneur Wanda James.
In lieu of traditional marketing, some cannabis businesses are acquiring historic buildings.
Health and Science
In his role as chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to look into insurance plans which favor opioids over alternative treatments. A vocal legalization opponent, Christie ignored almost 8,000 submitted comments on MED as an alternative to opioids.
A study found REC legalization may have reduced opioid deaths in Colorado. But some are skeptical.
MED research is accelerating in Canada.
In testimony, Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested there should be “more competition” among growers providing MED for research. For now, the only federally legal grow is at the University of Mississippi.
A recent Massachusetts survey suggests teen cannabis and e-cigarette use is up while teen tobacco and alcohol use are down.
Tuesday’s episode of Vice’s “Weediquette” looks at the relationship between legalization and homelessness in Denver.
Pacific Standard looks at environmentalism within the industry.
Thank You to WeedWeek’s Sustaining Members:
Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebook
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CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
Promote your brand here with a contribution on Patreon.
Criminal Justice
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew from consideration to be drug czar after the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed he steered legislation through Congress weaking the DEA’s ability to go after distributors of pharmaceutical opiates. Chris Christie and Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Bertha Madras have been mentioned as possible replacements.
Florida attorney general and Trump ally Pam Bondi questioned whether the country needs a drug czar.
In a brief, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged it hadn’t been legal for the department to spend money prosecuting the Washington MED defendants known as the Kettle Falls Five, since December 2014, on account of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. The amendment, now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, could expire in December.
Everywhere I go all I smell is pot now,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.
Six delivery service drivers face misdemeanor charges after a police sting in San Diego County.
In Pennsylvania, blacks are eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.
Increasingly, innocent witnesses have been incarcerated to compel testimony.
Rifle, Colo.’s new police dogs have been trained to ignore marijuana. Falling for an apparent hoax, a mayoral candidate in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, called from “drug-sniffing bunnies.
There’s a new element to Massachusetts’ crime lab scandal, this time involving breathalyzers.
A Florida woman

Retail marijuana is spreading to California, Massachusetts and Maine
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
Like WeedWeek on Facebookfollow it on Instagram and Twitter and share it with the link Subscribers’ names and contact info are confidential. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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Would you appreciate a WeedWeek regional supplement with more news from California and/or Canada? Or more news about the opioid crisis? Sign up at the appropriate link.
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Swag and discounts start at $2 a month.
For $25 a month you get five (5!) WeedWeek stickers, discounts to all future WeedWeek events, a postcard from Los Angeles, cannabis capital of the world and you get to join a monthly Google hangout with me and other WeedWeek supporters to discuss the latest news…
Brandbuilding opportunities to appear in the newsletter with your links and social media handles start at a mere $50 a month.
Here’s the news:
Ahead of REC legalization, California seeks to stem the flow of pot leaving the state. California also named the 22-members of its Cannabis Advisory Committee. They include industry executives and activists, politicians, health officials and law enforcement.
L.A. may limit who can appeal to block licenses. California will host three workshops on applying for state permits.
San Francisco quashed a proposed REC dispensary in the Outer Richmond after opposition from older Chinese residents and the conservative Pacific Justice Institute. San Diego became one of the first California cities to create a fully-legal cannabis supply chain.
Growing at home remains a divisive topic Washington, where it’s not allowed. For more see here and here.
Maryland’s first MED crop is ready for testing, but it’s not clear when it may go on sale. Black state lawmakers want to ensure for black entrepreneurs have access to the industry.
Maine may require cities to opt-in to cannabis businesses. REC in Maine faces opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Alaska voters rejected proposed cannabis business bans in Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.
A Pennsylvania business denied a MED license has dropped its lawsuit against the state. The state’s MED program appears to be on track. asks if the suit [Retired NFLer Marvin] Washington vs. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could be the case that overturns cannabis prohibition.
In Massachusetts, Sessions said the Justice Department would continue to prosecute interstate pot trafficking, but didn’t comment on state legal businesses.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said she “used to be invited to [parties]…long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?” She did not say she had consumed it.
Canadians support legalizing REC, but law enforcement and medical groups say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s timeline to make it happen by July is too aggressive.
John Fritchey, one of Cook County’s (Chicago) commissioners, called for legal REC. Illinois Gubernatorial candidates have starkly different views on cannabis. The race is next year.
Native American tribes continue to weigh the cannabis industry.
A former Missouri House speaker says he doesn’t know why someone would send an email purportedly from him, attacking legalization activists.
Portland’s Willamette Week talks to the Craft Cannabis Alliance, a group seeking to keep corporate cannabis at bay. There’s a similar effort to oppose the “Walmart of Weed” in Massachusetts. Willamette Week also looked at a grow’s “obsessive-compulsive quest” to go carbon neutral.
Falling wholesale prices in Colorado have dragged on prices nationwide.
Utility company National Grid discussed the industry’s energy needs at a Boston conference.
A Pennsylvania company is selling its license and 47,000 square foot “turnkey” grow for $20M.
Out of state companies want Ohio MED licenses. The state released a list of applicants.
Creditors are after a closed Denver pot shop which borrowed more than $1M.
A bipartisan bill to repeal industry-hated tax rule 280E has attracted 33 sponsors in the House.
The IRS flagged non-profits associated with MED for extra scrutiny, a report found.
Cannabis billboards are coming to Massachusetts. Lack of sales continues to drag on New York state’s five MED dispensaries and high prices are pushing customers to the illegal market.
A Florida MED company wants the state to allow edibles.
L.A. may create a city-owned bank, the country’s first, to serve the cannabis industry.
Shane McMahon, son of U.S. Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon, invested $500,000 in EnviroGrow, a company making pre-fab modules resembling shipping containers, for cannabis grows.
S.F.’s Westfield mall won’t allow pot chocolatier Défoncé to open a store.
GG Strains LLC and the The Gorilla Glue Co. settled their trademark dispute over the strain Gorilla Glue #4.
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank are becoming the industry’s preferred banks. Canadian MED stocks climbed following a proposed taxation regime in Ontario. For more on taxes in Canada see here.
Alberta may allow private businesses to sell cannabis. A group of 12 MED producers in the province have formed a collective which they say can operate without any help from the provincial government.
The SEC filed charges against an executive for an “insider trading scheme” with a kickback of 10 pounds of weed. Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine doesn’t recommend trading weed for stock tips, if you’re going to sell the weed. “It’s just a little inelegant.”
According to Green Market Report, Coke is cannabis users’ favorite soft drink.
Edible maker Truffle Man, known for selling in S.F.’s Dolores Park, is going legit.
Health and Science
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency could crack down on cannabis companies making false health claims. He cited claims about shrinking tumors as something which could come under scrutiny.
A study suggests the children of mothers who were vegetarians during pregnancy are more likely to drink and use marijuana by their 15th birthday.
A study found cannabis users may be more likely to develop an opioid use disorder.
In an update on its web site, the VA says it can’t help with access to MED. Government Executive says the agency is blocking MED research.
The American Psychological Association criticized barriers to MED research.
A Florida nursing home declined to give a patient MED because it’s federally illegal.
After 20 years, a revamped DARE anti-drug education program is back in Colorado classrooms, minus the “Just Say No” message. “The DARE brand is toxic,” former Colorado pot czar Andrew Freedman said. Colorado is also using pot tax revenue to create animated “Sims-style” videos about drug abuse.
Wildfires have tainted “untold tons” of California pot.
Pacific Standard hails a program in Kentucky for its approach to addiction care for pregnant women.
Thank You to WeedWeek’s Sustaining Members:
Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebook
Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
Promote your brand here with a contribution on Patreon.
Criminal Justice
Slate looks at the case of Jessica McElfresh, the San Diego cannabis attorney accused of being an accessory to a crime for representing raided MED business Med-West. San Diego DA Summer Stephan is the chosen successor to retired anti-pot prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis
The DEA named career agent Robert Patterson as its new acting director.
An investigation by Reveal found court-ordered rehab programs that amount to little more than slave labor at chicken processing plants and other private companies.
A bipartisan group of Senators is trying to revive criminal justice reform. Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently favors it.
Massachusetts crime lab scandals widened further. The state, where REC is legal, continues to arrest a disproportionate number of blacks for cannabis offenses.
In Forbes, Mona Zhang discusses cannabusiness hiring people with felony records.
California weed accounts for 75 percent of indoor plants seized nationwide.
A new law in Maryland allows some prisoners to seek reduced sentences for drug offenses.
The former police chief of Santa Ana, Calif., in Orange County has sued claiming he was forced out of his job for calling out city employees, including Mayor Miguel Pulido, for making “alleged shady deals” with dispensaries.
Local authorities seized $3.9M in illegal plants near Pueblo, Colorado, a center of legal growing.
State and local authorities arrested 18 in raids on Yuba County, Calif., cannabis farms. One of the detainees is said to be the leader of a Rastafarian church where an officer fatally shot an armed worker this summer.
Leafly takes a look at the case of a DACA recipient (the “dreamer” program) who faces deportation for possessing a gram of weed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to keep more of its data private.
Authorities in Grand Traverse County, Mich., shuttered eight dispensaries.
The sheriff of Siskiyou County, in far northern California, has asked the Sessions Justice Department for help controlling illegal grows. He has not heard back.
Washington state’s supreme court ruled random urine tests as a condition of release are unconstitutional.
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Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Posted by | October 5, 2017 | Cannabis News

Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales

Nevada dispensaries raked in more than $27 million during the first month of recreational marijuana sales, generating more than $3.6 million in taxes, according to figures released Thursday by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

How does that stack up against the other states with legal marijuana?

It’s nearly double.

Colorado and Oregon each sold about $14 million in marijuana during their respective first months of sales. Washington sold $3.8 million in its first month.

“We came out of the gate like a shotgun,” said Matt Morgan, CEO of Reef Dispensaries.

Morgan said that, even three months into recreational sales, Reef’s dispensary located behind the Fashion Show Mall has a line inside the store at nearly all times and outside about 40 percent of the time.

Nevada’s market will only grow, he said.

“I still don’t think everyone understands that it’s recreational in Nevada yet,” Morgan said.

That falls right in line with Nevada’s marijuana sales estimates, even though there were no state projections for July because of uncertainty about when stores would begin sales. State officials have projected that special sales tax will generate $63.5 million over the first two years of sales.

“Although July was not accounted for in our projections, the first month’s revenues demonstrate that the state’s structure appears to be collecting at a rate consistent with the consensus forecast.” said Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Another $974,060 came from the 15 percent wholesale tax levied on both medical and recreational marijuana when it is transferred between the grower and the seller.

That was significantly more than the $548,000 the state projected for July. If those figures stay consistent, the wholesale tax would generate about $23.4 million for the fiscal biennium.

Tax Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said the state expects that excise tax to grow over the next two years as more cultivators get licensed and begin to operate.

The state has also pulled in $6.5 million in marijuana license and application fees.

Those revenues will be used to cover the administrative costs to regulate the industry for the Tax Department and local governments, and all remaining funds go to the state’s public education fund.

Recreational sales started on July 1, and the state has issued 250 recreational marijuana licenses thus far, 53 of them to dispensaries.

Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Alaska voters reject local bans on legalized marijuana

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Voters in some parts of Alaska rejected efforts to ban commercial marijuana cultivation and retail sales, three years after the nation’s largest state passed a voter initiative legalizing the recreational use of the drug.

The votes Tuesday came during local elections in the state’s major marijuana growing areas — in and around Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. All lost by wide margins.

“I’m happy to know that the 100 plus employees that are employed right now are going to keep their jobs, and there’s going to be many more jobs on top of that,” said Amy Jackman, campaign manager for ‘Keep Cannabis Legal’ on the Kenai Peninsula, where the ban was rejected by roughly 64 percent of voters. “And all these families down here, they’re not going to lose their savings and their livelihoods.”

The 2014 statewide initiative that legalized marijuana allows local governments to ban pot businesses within their borders.

“We’re disappointed, but at the same time our purpose for these initiatives on the ballot was to give the voters a chance to make this decision and not have it made by our local government. So in that sense, it’s a success,” said James Ostlind, chairman of the group that backed the bans with separate measures in the city of Fairbanks and the surrounding Fairbanks North Star Borough. Both measures were rejected by about 70 percent of voters.

If the bans had been successful, they would have forced retail stores and cultivation facilities to close within 90 days and that would have left a gaping hole for other retail stores across the state in need of product. Personal use and growing pot at home for that use would still be allowed.

Backers said zoning laws are too lax, letting marijuana businesses open too close to homes. Proponents fear any rollbacks will embolden other communities to institute bans or the Legislature to roll back legalization.

But Jackman said the overwhelming victory in support of the marijuana industry “encourages people to move on to something else.”

Cary Carrigan, the executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, called the victories pivotal.

“A lot of these prohibition votes have been driven by church congregations,” he said “They’re looking for something to demonize, and it’s not us. People accept us.”

After a failed initiative, there’s a two year hiatus before it can come back, Ostlind said. He wasn’t ready to predict another initiative attempt in 2019.

“If the marijuana industry starts to cause more damage to a community than they do good, then people will stand up and they’ll want to do something about it,” he said.

The election was held the same day the Alaska Department of Revenue released its monthly marijuana tax receipts from cultivators. The state collected nearly $700,000 in August, which was the highest monthly amount since collections began last October. Ten new cultivators began paying taxes in August, and half are from areas where votes were being held Tuesday.

Since October 2016, cultivators in the greater Fairbanks area have paid nearly $1.2 million in taxes, while those on the Kenai Peninsula have paid more than $655,000. The state doesn’t have tax figures for retails stores since those taxes are paid to local governments only.

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6 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Your Mental Health

Posted by | October 1, 2017 | Marijuana News

6 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Your Mental Health

All over the world, millions of people are suffering from mental health problems, with depression and anxiety being the most common. These problems are often caused by chronic stress and by the fact that we have become accustomed to leading a hectic lifestyle. Cannabis is one of the most efficient solutions for mental health problems, as you will have the opportunity to discover in the following paragraphs. It can treat a broad range of problems, including the ones related to sexual health, stress and anxiety. And, more importantly, it can improve overall mood and help those who suffer from depression.

  1. Neurotransmitter regulation –  Often, those who suffer from depression and anxiety have a problem with neurotransmitter regulation. Cannabis targets the endocannabinoid system of the brain directly, regulating both the production and release of vital neurotransmitters. Basically, it functions similarly with depression and anxiety medication, without any of the discomforting side effects. Taken on a regular basis, it regulates the most important neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. You will no longer feel depressed, anxious or stressed, enjoying life once again.
  2. Release and relaxation – Many who suffer from mental health problems have gone through a traumatic event. PTSD is more common than anyone might think, regardless of one’s occupation, background or culture. It can lead to anxiety and depression, with a negative impact on the overall quality of life. Cannabis can help one let go of such traumatic memories, promoting a state of relaxation and calm. It supports the healthy functioning of the endocannabinoid system, working wonders on the level of self-esteem at the same time.
  3. Sexual health – Sexual health and mental problems are intricately connected; when one feels stressed, anxious or depressed, sexual health is often affected, reinforcing the vicious circle. If you are looking for a way to enjoy sexual activity, cannabis might be the answer to your question. You might not be aware of this for a fact, but cannabis can be used to increase sperm volume as well. In turn, this can guarantee a better fertility rate and, thus, an increased chance of becoming a parent. Returning to sexual health, cannabis can help you relax and feel less pressed to perform in the bedroom. You will finally be able to enjoy a satisfying sexual experience, being able to care for your partner as well.
  4. Chronic pain –  Chronic pain can have a significant influence on a person’s quality of life, leading to depression and anxiety. The more severe the pain, the higher the risk of mental health problems is going to be. In this situation, you might want to turn to cannabis as the solution to all of your problems. Cannabis can help with the necessary pain relief, allowing you to engage in daily living activities once again. Moreover, it works to promote a state of relaxation, which is extremely beneficial for a person who suffers from a chronic condition. It helps one fight chronic fatigue and other upsetting symptoms, improving the mood and the overall level of functionality.
    1. Emotional response – When a person suffers from a mental health problem, the emotional response to certain situations might become modified (either too intense or not intense enough). Because of such changes, one might have difficulties adapting to normal-day circumstances. Experiences otherwise acceptable can become stressful, making the emotional response even worse. Cannabis can regulate the emotional response of a person who is suffering from depression, anxiety or chronic stress. It can help the brain to adapt to stressful situations, efficiently regulating emotions quickly.
    2. Fight or flight – Whenever humans are confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, the fight or flight conflict appears at the level of the brain. In a quick period of time, the brain has to decide whether it is safe to remain in that situation or not. When wrongful associations are made, the brain becomes confused and stress naturally follows. The moderate intake of cannabis could help the brain regulate the fight-or-flight response, thus reducing the anxiety and stress associated with otherwise normal situations. This is also possible because cannabis regulates the response to fear, helping one feel better about potentially-dangerous situations.

    Mental health remains a subject of research for scientists from all over the world. Solutions are sought to replace current treatments for chronic stress, anxiety and depression, as these seem to make matters worse. Cannabis is an efficient remedy for those who suffer from such problems, having a wide range of benefits to offer. As you have seen, it can regulate the production and release of neurotransmitters, promote relaxation and ensure a proper emotional response to common situations. Cannabis can be of use to those who suffer from chronic pain and derived mental health problems.

    Cannabis is beneficial for those who have been diagnosed with a mental health problem. It can also be considered an erectile dysfunction natural treatment, helping those who are suffering from unsatisfactory sexual experiences. This is an important point to consider, as these are a lot of people who deal with erectile dysfunction on a regular basis; having a natural treatment such as cannabis is great, especially if we stop for a moment and think how sexual health problems can cause mood swings, anxiety and depression.


    This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a psychological or psychiatric condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read online. Read the full disclaimer here

    Brian Adam is a researcher and advisor with a passion for men’s health and wellness. Brian also diet, believing that the combination of exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive mindset all contribute to achieving one’s full potential. He mostly writes articles on health and  healthcare. You can connect with Brian on Twitter @brianadam884 and on Facebook. 

Pot legalization in California brings a bonanza of government jobs

By: Associated Press

Scientists. Tax collectors. Typists. Analysts. Lawyers. And more scientists.

Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California in 2018, and one of the things to blossom in the emerging industry isn’t green and leafy, it’s government jobs.

The state is on a hiring binge to fill what eventually will be hundreds of new government positions by 2019 intended to bring order to the legal pot economy, from keeping watch on what’s seeping into streams near cannabis grows to running background checks on storefront sellers who want government licenses. Thousands of additional jobs are expected to be added by local governments.

The swiftly expanding bureaucracy represents just one aspect of the complex challenge faced by California: Come January, the state will unite its longstanding medical cannabis industry with the newly legalized recreational one, creating what will be the United States’ largest legal pot economy.

Last January, just 11 full-time workers were part of what’s now known as the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the state’s chief regulatory agency overseeing the pot market. Now, it’s more than doubled, and by February the agency expects to have more than 100 staffers.

The agency is moving into new offices later this year, having outgrown its original quarters. It’s expected new satellite offices will eventually spread around the state.

There also will be scores of jobs added to issue licenses for sellers, growers, truck drivers, manufacturers and others working in the projected $7-billion industry. The state has taken to Facebook to lure applicants.

The bureau is using a video snippet of actor Jim Carrey, hammering his fingers into a computer keyboard, to catch the eye of prospective applicants online. “Get those applications in … before this guy beats you to it,” it reads.

“New job just ahead,” reads another post. “We’re hiring.”

This year’s state budget contained about $100 million to fund regulatory programs for marijuana, which includes personnel to review and issue licenses, watch over environmental conditions and carry out enforcement.

Planned hiring into 2018 covers a range of state agencies: Fifty people are bound for the Public Health Department, 65 are slated to join the Water Resources Control Board, and 60 are expected at the Food and Agriculture Department, which will oversee licensing for cultivators.

Some of the work is highly specialized.

Environmental scientists will be responsible for developing standards for pot farms near streams, to make sure fertilizer or pesticides do not taint the water or harm fish. An engineer will monitor groundwater and water being diverted to nourish plants. Lawyers are needed to help sort out complex issues involving the state’s maze of environmental laws.

Pay varies with position but can be attractive, with some scientist posts paying over $100,000 annually. Special investigators with the Consumer Affairs Department could earn in the $80,000 range.

Policing cannabis cultivation, legal and not, has been a long-running concern in the state. Recently, Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines of El Dorado urged Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Siskiyou County because of what he called rampant illegal marijuana grows.

Gaines said criminals are treating the county as “their own illicit greenhouse” while polluting waterways with pesticides and other waste.

Meanwhile, state and local governments are rushing to enact rules to govern the new pot economy, a process that so far has produced mixed results.

The state says it will be ready to begin issuing licenses in January, albeit temporary ones.

In coastal Mendocino County, about 700 cultivators have applied for local permits, though it’s estimated thousands of people grow pot in the county north of San Francisco. The fear is that many growers and sellers will remain in the black market, undercutting legitimate sales.

“My biggest concern is that the state regulations may prove to be so onerous that it will discourage people who want to be legally compliant from coming forward,” said John McCowen, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors.

“And that will mean greater opportunity for those operating in the black market,” McCowen added.

While the state is adding jobs to oversee the marketplace, law enforcement will face new demands that come with a price tag, from keeping roads free of stoned drivers to helping weed out illegal operators.

The California Highway Patrol is expanding training for officers to identify intoxicated drivers. In cities that permit cultivation, manufacturing or sales, police duties could also include protecting legitimate operators from gangs intent on pushing them out of business.

And a key issue will be keeping legally grown pot from moving into the black market.

To combat illegal activity, whether through code enforcement or policing, “we are going to have to invest,” said Gardena Police Chief Edward Medrano, who heads the California Police Chiefs Assn.

Comments Off on WeedWeek, 9/30/17: Rulemaking Stalls in S.F. and L.A

WeedWeek, 9/30/17: Rulemaking Stalls in S.F. and L.A

Posted by | September 30, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin

WeedWeek, 9/30/17: Rulemaking Stalls in S.F. and L.A
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
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Here’s the news:
Los Angeles, the world’s largest cannabis market, released a revised set of proposals for regulating the industry. Many businesses condemned the proposal, saying it would force them
to close down for an undefined period while they waited for licenses. Also at issue is whether growers and manufacturers who had been operating on the grey market should get priority. The proposed rules don’t allow for social use.
The city also released maps showing where businesses can locate in relation to schools.
San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen signed a 45 day moratorium on new cannabis businesses. The moratorium preceded the release of a draft proposal for regulating the industry. The proposal is incomplete since it lacks a provision for racial equity. For more see here.
California state regulations may not be released until late November; California’s top cannabis regulator, Lori Ajax, admits she’s nervous about whether it will all work. Her agency rebranded itself the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
The Cannifornian looks at California’s pesticide problem.
California has a new informational site called “Let’s Talk Cannabis.
Maine’s REC law is taking shape, but no one knows whether Gov. Paul LePage (R), who opposes REC, will help implement it. It may allow non-vaping cannabis lounges. Home growing is a contentious issue in the state.
Massachusetts regulators asked for public input. REC sales are supposed to begin in nine months.
Vermont’s pot commission assumes legal REC is coming.
In Florida, a black grower is suing the state to block it from issuing licenses set aside for minorities. He says he’s unable to apply for a license because the Florida chapter of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association stopped allowing new member to join.
The Tampa Bay Times talks to pro-Trump, pro-cannabis Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.)
In Pennsylvania, The Morning Call finds flaws in the MED license application process.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will discuss legalization with the provincial premiers this week.
The Cannabist previews Denver’s upcoming Marijuana Management Symposium, a conference for more than 350 policy makers.
In the midst of their nation’s drug war, Filipino legislators endorsed MED use.
Nevada’s first month of retail sales (July) grossed $27M, generating $3.6M in taxes. The state’s tax department has asked the state AG for a ruling on whether the law allows cannabis lounges.
Nevada suspended testing company G3’s license. It did not explain the suspension but said no product recalls were necessary. G3 lab director Dr. Chao-Hsiung Tung resigned from an industry advisory panel.
New rules for edibles take effect in Colorado this weekend.
Oregon regulators learned of a man who ran a dispensary and had a childcare business in his home.
Weedmaps engaged former Rep. Ron Klink (D-Pa.), as a lobbyist.
New Cannabis Ventures spotlights Safe Harbor Private Banking, another outfit trying to bank the industry.
Lawyer Hilary Bricken lays out five red flags for California M&A deals.
The N.Y.Times tells the saga of a rural Oregon grower and hashmaker in a nasty feud with his neighbors.
LAWeekly talks to Pulse, an app for monitoring grows.
Adolphus Busch IV, as in Anheuser-Busch, supports MED in Missouri.
Toronto investment firm Green Acre Capital closed a C$25M fund.
Canada could add 150,000 cannabis workers in coming years. Canada has more than 200,000 MED patients, up 168% from last year. A Canadian professor predicts cannabis will be the next big food trend.
Canadians politely raised their eyebrows after learning that a member of the country’s independent commission on legalizing REC, is now running a cannabis company. He said there was no conflict between the roles.
Snoop Dogg investment vehicle Casa Verde Capital invested $2M in Trellis, a Toronto-based inventory management software company.
Israeli start-ups are eager to start exporting, but concerned about possible drawbacks like greater youth access.
Cannabis chocolatier Défoncé signed a tentative deal to open a shop in San Francisco’s Westfield Mall, the first in a “class A” mall.
Target started selling CW Hemp-brand CBD oil on its web site Thursday morning and then quickly changed its mind.
Rolling Stone explains why it’s hard to get rich selling legal weed. Gizmodo explains how the market makes weed more potent.
Failed drug tests are contributing to the labor shortage in South Carolina.
Actress Jessica Alba is suing Colorado CBD company Honest Herbal saying it infringes on the trademarkof her non-cannabis related wellness company The Honest Co.
Health and Science
A study found legalizing MED led to a higher chance of people claiming social security disability insurance (SSDI). “Expanding marijuana access has negative spillover effects to costly social programs that disincentive work,” the researchers wrote.
A study found teenagers are much less interested in alcohol than in the past. Some of the teens interviewed said they used marijuana instead.
In experiments, a combination of THC and synthetic cannabinoids to cause seizures in mice.
Butane hash oil contains significant carcinogens when dabbed at higher temperatures.
Some California growers want to be environmentally responsible.
The GOP is making its peace with MED, Rolling Stone says.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (R), a legalization opponent, resigned after flying in private jets at taxpayer expense.
Canadian MED producer WeedMD agreed to be the “preferred supplier” to three long term care and retirement home companies. The left wing NDP worries the deal will disadvantage patients.
Canada has a new campaign warning kids away from cannabis.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals announced a successful mid-stage trial of a cannabis gel to treat Fragile X syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder.
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HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
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CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
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Criminal Justice
Acting DEA head Chuck Rosenberg resigned. Rosenberg, a holdover from the Obama administration is a critic of President Trump and no fan of MED either, calling it a “joke” in 2015. It’s not clear who will replace him.
Tom Angell calculates U.S. pot arrests are on the rise.
After a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Sheriff of Cowlitz Co., Wash. said he didn’t get the impression of an imminent crackdown.
A Humboldt County couple face murder charges after a deadly butane explosion in the garage they rented out.
A proposed “cite and release” program for pot possession stalled in Dallas.
A Missouri grower will appeal his convictions to the state supreme court, arguing that the state’s 2014 “right-to-farm” amendment allows cannabis growing.
A Missouri judge sentenced a 77-year old man to 10 years in prison for growing 1,700 plants at his rural home. “This is not a sentence I feel particularly good about,” the judge said, but the law didn’t allow other options.
An ACLU-backed lawsuit in Georgia challenges the effectiveness of a 160-hour course to train ‘drug-recognition experts,’ i.e. a course to determine whether someone is impaired.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald blames the war on drugs for a spike in Brazilian gang violence.
Mark Pedersen, who provided cannabis oil to a handicapped teenager in Colorado, leading to laws allowing MED in schools, has been charged with drug manufacturing.
Police in the Indian state of Telangana (Hyderabad) broke up a village cannabis trade that has operated openly for decades.
Canadian conservative Conrad Black calls for an end to the war on drugs. Liberal Rev. Al Sharpton says marijuana decriminalization is a civil rights issue.
Product reviews:
Rescue teams had to be deployed to assist four men who got really high on top of Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England. The alleged mountain tops out at 3,210 feet above sea level. Despite the mockery they endured on social media, Vogue says these climbers help explain the future of cannabis use.
Leafly has a three-part series on the Emerald Triangle on the cusp of legalization.
Slate says the industry shouldn’t ignore its roots in the LGBTQ world.
Portland’s Tin House Books published “Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis,” By Nichole Graf, Micah Sherman, David Stein and Liz Crain. Willamette Week gives it a nice review.
Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson says his bipolar disorder, and not his pot smoking, was responsible for a series of breakdowns he suffered. Before speaking with doctors he’d assumed the weed was to blame.
Anja Charbonneau, former creative director of Danish style magazine Kinfolk, is launching a cannabis magazine for women called Broccoli.
Comments Off on Sen. Al Franken Is Evolving On Marijuana

Sen. Al Franken Is Evolving On Marijuana

Posted by | September 27, 2017 | Cannabis News

Sen. Al Franken Is Evolving On Marijuana

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, the Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota became the fifth cosponsor of legislation to allow cannabis cultivators and sellers operating in accordance with state laws to be taxed just like any other business. The day before, he signed onto a bill that would allow those businesses to access financial services from banks.

Earlier this month, the former “Saturday Night Live” star was one of six senators to introduce a broad bipartisan bill that would amend federal laws so states can enact and implement their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference.

The leadership on marijuana issues is a far cry from when Franken said on a BuzzFeed podcast last year (in response to a question I submitted) that he was “not the guy to ask” about cannabis policy.

In his answer then, he did acknowledge that he should probably study up on the issue because the state he represents is one of more than two dozen that allows medical marijuana. “I should know more,” the senator said, jokingly adding, “or it’s not important or somewhere in between.”

A month later, Franken added his name to an earlier, now-expired version of the comprehensive medical marijuana bill that he is an original cosponsor of in the new 115th Congress. But he never did add his name to the 114th Congress’s versions of the cannabis taxation and banking legislation.

Now, the senator is on a bit of a marijuana bill cosponsorship spree, and some observers think it’s good politics — in addition to good policy — at a time when Franken’s name is being floated as a possible 2020 presidential candidate.

“With clear public support in favor of outright legalization, presidential aspirants now recognize that marijuana reform is something that can no longer be ignored,” Justin Strekal of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) said in an interview.

A Quinnipiac University poll released in April found that 60% of U.S. voters — and 72% of Democrats — support legalizing marijuana.

When it comes to medical cannabis, 94% of all voters and 96% of Democrats are on board. Just 13% of Democrats and 21% of voters overall want the federal government to interfere with state marijuana laws.

Other potential Democratic presidential candidates such as fellow Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have increasingly taken on leadership roles in the fight for marijuana law reform.

Franken, who discussed his past marijuana, cocaine and LSD use in a book he published earlier this year, also joined four other senators in writing a July letter asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to go after state-legal industrial hemp growers.

But Strekal, of NORML, wants Franken to do even more, saying, until he “puts his name on a bill that outright deschedules cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, I remain uninspired.”

In July, Booker filed legislation to do just that, and more. And in the last Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 presidential candidate, filed cannabis descheduling legislation.

Tom Angell edits cannabis news portal Marijuana Moment and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority.

Source: Forbes Magazine (US)
Author: Tom Angell
Published: September 21, 2017
Copyright: 2017 Forbes Inc.

L.A. Approves Marijuana Rules

Calif. — Los Angeles may become one of America’s hottest marijuana markets soon, after city lawmakers approved new rules on Monday to regulate and legitimize the cannabis industry ahead of January’s full legalization of recreational use in the state of California.

The regulations, which were first drafted in March, spell out requirements for growers, manufacturers and sellers of marijuana, who would need a state license to operate and be required to follow rules about their operating hours, record-keeping and security measures.

A council committee passed the legislation, which will be taken up by the full council.

The regulations also mean, however, that current dispensaries, which can operate with medical licenses, would be shut down as they wait for their licenses under the new legislation. But City Council President Herb Wesson said he would consider a provisional license system that would prevent the loss of revenue for these businesses.

He also the city and the pot industry agree on many issues, like regulating hours and taxes for the dispensaries, but will leave the thornier parts, including licensing and public smoking laws, for later.

Medical weed has been legal since 1996 in California, but voters finally approved recreational pot 2016, and it’s set to take effect in January. Los Angeles alone expects up to $50 million in tax revenue from recreational sales next year; the city made $21 million in taxing the medical marijuana industry in 2016.

January’s debut of legal pot still has hurdles, including higher prices than the illicit market, thanks to high taxes.

Also, in California, public smoking is banned within 800 feet of such places as bars, parks, beaches and schools. Hotels also ban smoking, even on balconies, making it difficult for tourists to light up.

But the state could take a cue from Colorado, which has a booming pot tourism industry, and has found ways to circumvent the open-space smoking restrictions. These include commissioning luxury buses and private buildings (even “smoke clubs” and cannabis hotels) where tourists can smoke, and take them on tours of dispensaries.

Colorado, where retail sales of marijuana became legal in January 2014, has made $506 million in revenue according to pro-legalization research company VS Strategies. Besides California and Colorado, six other states — Oregon, Washington State, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Alaska — and Washington, D.C. have also legalized recreational weed, part of the growth of the pot business from $2.7 billion in sales in 2014 to the $6.7 billion it made in 2016.

Source: Newsweek (US)
Author: Melina Delkic
Published: September 26, 2017
Copyright: 2017 Newsweek, Inc.

Comments Off on Survey: Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products Stop Taking Traditional Medicines

Survey: Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products Stop Taking Traditional Medicines

Posted by | September 24, 2017 | Cannabis News, Cannabis Oil

Survey: Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products Stop Taking Traditional Medicines

I write about retail and cannabis.  

The largest survey on cannabidiol or CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine. A new survey from Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMD’s community of 150,000 members and did a deep dive into the usage of CBD products and their effectiveness. HelloMD is an online community that brings together doctors and cannabis patients.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that doesn’t give users the feeling that they are high or stoned. Instead, it is known to have medicinal qualities. Contrary to the image of men being the predominant consumers of cannabis, this survey found that 55% of the CBD users were women, while men preferred the THC-dominant products. Brightfield Group, which helped conduct the survey, studies consumption patterns and demand trends and is committed to providing accurate data in the cannabis industry which seems to be rife with unsupported claims.

The most common reasons people used CBD were to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon, the Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. Forty-two percent of the CBD users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had switched to using cannabis instead. Eighty percent said that they found the products to be “very or extremely effective.” Only 3% or less found the product to be either ineffectual or only slightly effective.

One of the areas that the CBD producers will have to work on is educating the consumer about CBD products. There are more than 850 brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150 hemp-derived products. (Marijuana and hemp are the two variations of the cannabis plant.) Eight percent of the consumers surveyed admitted they didn’t know which CBD product they had used.

Adding to the confusion is the murky legal status of CBD. Technically, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) labels all CBD products as illegal. However, hemp-derived CBD is available in just about every state and even online through Amazon. Marijuana-derived CBD tends to only be found in states with legal medicinal marijuana. “This confusion is actually helping the producers of these products as consumers are turning to reliable and trusted brands,” said Dr. Solomon. Care by Design is one of the top marijuana-derived brands in the California market, followed closely by Bloom Farms, a leader in the cartridge oil market for vape pens. Kiva Confections is the third favorite choice in the chocolate market. The survey found that these three brands dominated leaving the rest of the market very fragmented. One of the complaints from the CBD users in the survey was that marijuana-derived CBD products were more expensive than hemp-derived products.

When it came to hemp-derived CBD products, that market was led by Charlotte’s Web by the Stanley Brothers, which gained fame from the CNN reporter Sanjay Gupta. It was followed by Plus CBD oil and Mary’s Nutritionals. The complaint from the hemp-derived users was that it was less effective than the marijuana-derived CBD and that might explain why 90% said they would only buy marijuana-derived CBD. All users preferred vaping for consumption followed by traditional marijuana buds or flower with edibles as the third preference. They also spent between $20 and $80 a month on CBD products.

Dr. Solomon noted that patients using vapes feel the effects of the CBD faster than if they use an edible. If they are looking for relief, they want it quickly. However, in the case of insomnia he said a vape method of consumption works best if you have trouble falling asleep, but if you have trouble staying asleep than an edible is the better choice. “This landmark survey, in terms of its size and depth, shows the tremendous value that these products have for patients,” Dr. Solomon said. “Hopefully, access for products such as these will help patients all across the country who cannot obtain medication that contains THC.”

Correction: This article previously stated that cannabidiol is one of two cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Cannabis contains at least 85 unique cannabinoids.

Comments Off on WeedWeek, 9/23/17: California REC Sales Begin in 99 Days

WeedWeek, 9/23/17: California REC Sales Begin in 99 Days

Posted by | September 24, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin
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Here’s the news:
In California, where taxes and regulations are expected to push up the price of REC, many growers aren’t applying for licenses. The California Assembly called on the feds to reschedule cannabis.
California will introduce a temporary license program to smooth the way to full legalization.
A California bill would limit and track sales of butane, the explosive gas used to make some concentrates.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions still opposes legalization.
Ozy talks to Las Vegas’ cannabis friendly congresswoman Rep. Dina Titus (D), who might run for Senate. Nevada state senator Tick Segerblom (D) predicted home REC delivery will arrive soon in the state.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) is “evolving” on cannabis. He has been reluctant to discuss it, in part due to his part drug use. Congressman Tom Garrett (R-Va.) discussed why he wants to end federal prohibition.
For Fast Company, I wrote about Republican trickster and legalization activist Roger Stone’s next move.
Cannabis supporters are facing uphill battles against NIMBYism in Massachusetts. For more see here.
After a series of challenges, Florida has a new application process for dispensaries.
A large majority of Utahns, and a somewhat smaller majority of LDS (Mormon) Utahns, favor next year’s MED ballot initiative. The LDS Church opposes it.
Maine lawmakers asked for advice on regulating REC and received lots of conflicting feedback. One set of proposed rules would allow drive-thru dispensaries.
Michigan’s dispensary laws are very confusing.
In early October, Fairbanks, Ak, will vote on banning cannabis businesses.
Arkansas’ license process for MED businesses suddenly became competitive.
A member of Iceland’s parliament, discussed legalizing RECPeru may legalize MED.
Lesotho, a tiny nation in southern Africa, became the first on the continent to issue a MED license.
Between January and August, Canadian cannabis companies raised $165M through debt instruments.
Ontario considers a retail price of C$10 per gram reasonable and may coordinate prices with other provinces.
Nevada’s supreme court will resolve the state’s cannabis distribution fight.
Isaac Dietrich, CEO of beleaguered social app MassRoots, said his critics don’t get it.
Scholar Naomi Schaefer Riley is skeptical about whether entering the cannabis business would benefit native tribes.
Wholesale flower prices hit an all-time low of $1,289 per pound in Colorado. Oregon said it would audit its cannabis regulator.
Former Democratic New York Senator turned cannabis lobbyist Alfonse D’Amato explained his ‘epiphany’ on cannabis.
Terra Tech acquired The Reserve, an Orange County, Calif. Dispensary owned by rapper The Game, for $7M.
Colorado biotech firm Front Range Biosciences raised $3M.
Las Vegas is getting its first 24/7 dispensary. Dispensaries previously had to close between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
A trio of Denver businesspeople want to apply for the city’s first social use permit. They do not yet have a location. Toronto cannabis lounges that have operated for almost 20 years want to go legal.
Harnessing terpenes, the chemicals which give cannabis (and many other plants) scent and flavor, may be the next important differentiator, for cannabis businesses.
German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer says it needs more time to complete its $66 billion acquisition of U.S. agritech firm Monsanto. I’ve argued that a combined company would be positioned to dominate global cannabis.
Kanye West responded to a countersuit regarding the abrupt end of his Saint Pablo Tour.
Cannabis companies don’t know the rules for social media advertising.
Santa Rosa, Calif., in Sonoma County, has attracted significant cannabis businesses. A Bay Area grower claims to have developed a natural growing method to meet California’s rigorous standards for fungus, pesticides and mold contamination.
Data firm New Frontier wants to poll Humboldt County growers on legalization.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) called on the state gambling industry to formulate a cannabis policy. Among other issues, they need to discuss hosting industry events.
Colorado is home to the largest number of top ancillary cannabis companies, according to a list of the top 150 ancillary businesses.
Massachusetts holding company MariMed is helping Israeli MED company Tikun Olam to enter the U.S. market.
A Connecticut judge ruled federal law does not override state employment protections for MED users.
Canadian producer Canopy Growth signed a deal to enter the Danish market.
Canadian convenience store Couche-Tard wants to sell weed.
Denver pot bus company Loopr wants to open in new states.
The Washington Post went to a panel on women and minorities in the industry.
The Portland Mercury’s Josh Jardine sounds off on all the annoying things cannabis professionals do.
Note: WeedWeek editor Alex Halperin is excited to be on a panel at the New West Summit.
Health and Science
Legislative alert: Senate Republicans are presenting a new version of Obamacare repeal that would likely cost tens of millions of Americans their health insurance. If enacted, both bills would have serious negative consequences for the health and well-being of your colleagues, customers, friends and families.To learn what you can do, go here. This appeal is especially relevant to those of you in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. To see Jimmy Kimmel
Testing company Steep Hill says 86% of California clones are contaminated by pesticides.
Veterans group the American Legion called for the VA to get involved in a cannabis PTSD study.
Massachusetts researchers are collecting baseline cannabis use data before REC goes on sale.
A survey of Denver cannabis users found the most popular reasons to take it are sleep and pain relief.While Colorado seniors are increasingly fond of weed, data is lacking.
TV doctor Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz) said MED may help with the opioid epidemic. Dr. Oz has suffered serious blows to his reputation in recent years.
Citing legal concerns, the University of Maryland pharmacy school cancelled plans to offer classes for cannabis industry workers.
A pot farm in Colorado claims to have zero carbon footprint.
Leaf Science offers an evenhanded explainer on the concentrated cannabis oil known as Rick Simpson oil.
A survey found nine out of ten medical residents and fellows are not prepared to prescribe cannabis.
The World Health Organization is rethinking CBD.
The director of California’s fish and wildlife department says cannabis regulation will be complicated.
NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof says Portugal won the war on drugs by ending it.
A researcher found bath salts and other unwanted drugs in ecstasy pills.
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HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
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Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
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Criminal Justice
Massachusetts’ highest court ruled roadside tests are not proof of cannabis impairment.
A bill to make California a cannabis “sanctuary state” stalled in the state legislature. It would block state and local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities on cannabis enforcement.
Sociology site Contexts compares AG Sessions with Harry J. Anslinger, the federal official most closely associated with federal prohibition in 1937.
Sessions is killing a program designed to improve cop-community relations.
An upcoming felony possession trial for rapper Chief Keef will be a test for South Dakota’s cannabis laws, among the nation’s strictest.
A Dallas proposal to cite and release rather than arrest individuals found with less than four ounces of cannabis appears to be delayed if not cancelled. Two years after allowing it, Texans still can’t access CBD oil.
Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte said his son will be killed if he’s involved with drugs. Following the Philippines, Indonesian police are escalating a violent war on drugs.
St. Louis police chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” while arresting protesters opposed to police violence.
A man is seeks $2M from New York City police for roughing him up while he was dressed like a pot plant. A New York City cop says she tested positive for pot because the test used a sample from her hair weave.
The activist known as NJ Weedman is heading to trial for witness tampering. He also filed an ethics complaint against a judge.
A Yuba County, Calif. strip club hosted a topless carwash to raise money for two sheriff’s deputies injured in a shootout at a Rastafarian pot farm.
Product reviews:
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