steveelliott's blog

Ohio: Senate Panel Votes For Medical Marijuana Bill; May Fall Short In Full Senate

OhioMedicalMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Ohio Senate committee voted 7-5 on Wednesday morning for House Bill 523, legislation that would legalize medical marijuana for certain conditions, but the bill may not have enough support to pass in the full Senate.

About a dozen of 23 Senate Republicans and two or three or 10 Democrats said they are willing to vote for the bill, with 17 votes needed for passage, report Alan Johnson and Jim Siegel at The Columbus Dispatch.

In Wednesday's Government Oversight Committee hearing, four Republicans joined Democratic Sen. Michael Skindell in opposing the medical marijuana bill.

If the Senate does pass HB 523, the House must then go along with amendments made to the legislation; it had passed a pre-amended version. Assuming both chambers come to an agreement -- with lawmakers not due back for session until after the November election -- the bill would then go to GOP Gov. John Kasich, who said on Tuesday that he "favors the concept" of medical marijuana. As for this specific bill, "I have to look at it," the Governor said.

Canada: WeedMD Gets License To Cultivate Medical Marijuana From Federal Government

WeedMD(logo)[Facebook].jpg

Medical cannabis to be produced at re-purposed Aylmer tobacco plant - with a focus on the Long Term Care Industry

WeedMD Rx Inc. on Wednesday announced that Health Canada has officially licensed the company to cultivate medical cannabis for patients across Canada.

The approval is in accordance with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), a set of regulations enacted by parliament in July 2013 concerning the production, distribution and use of medical cannabis in Canada and also pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada.

The license will allow the Company to immediately begin cultivation of medical marijuana in its fully expandable 25,000 square foot facility located at the former Imperial Tobacco plant in Aylmer, Ontario

“The next phase is to establish a WeedMD standard in producing and selling the highest quality cannabis and also providing unparalleled customer service to all of our future patients," said Bruce Dawson-Scully, CEO of WeedMD. “In particular, we look forward to working with seniors in long-term care, palliative care, and respite care.

Nevada: The Source Medical Marijuana Dispensary Raises $1,000 For Friends of Parkinson's

TheSourceFriendsOfParkinsonsCheck.jpg

The+Source medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas on Tuesday celebrated raising $1,000 in support of Las Vegas-based organization, Friends of Parkinson’s with a big check presentation held at 4 p.m.

The+Source is one of Nevada’s first medical marijuana dispensaries, providing a variety of medicinal cannabis products to in and out-of-state patients. Nevada's medical marijuana law allows reciprocity, which means they honor medicinal cannabis authorizations from other states.

Friends of Parkinson’s is a non-profit organization that connects and creates local, nationwide, and international initiatives that support the neurological community and communities related to Parkinson‘s. Friends of Parkinson’s supports healing, care, and lifestyle management that applies to various forms of mental illnesses and the families, friends, and communities that support them.

U.S.: Keurig-Like Device For Marijuana Set To Hit Market Next Year

CannaCloud[CannaKorp].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The mainstreaming of marijuana continues: Now, a Keurig-like device is set to hit the market early next year, and a former Keurig executive is one of the co-founders of the company which will manufacture them.

There are plenty of nascent businesses springing up to serve consumers who now have access to legal cannabis. Among the offerings are tools and gadgets to go along with the weed -- and because American consumers seem to love things in "pods," there's a weed vaporizer in development right now that's being called the Keurig for marijuana, reports Mary Beth Quirk at Consumerist.

CannaKorp is the company behind the CannaCloud, the Keurig-like machine for pot, reports Curt Woodward at The Boston Globe. The device heats up the weed enough so that it releases vapor, but doesn't actually incinerate it. Consumers then inhale the vapor and get high.

U.S.: Baltimore Ravens Tackle Monroe Urges NFL To End Marijuana Ban, Reduce Opioid Use

EugeneMonroeAndFamily[EugeneMonroe.com].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Football League should reduce the use of opioids and allow injured players to use medical marijuana, Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe wrote in an essay published in The Players' Tribune on Monday.

"The NFL relies heavily on opioids to get players back on the field as soon as possible, but studies have shown medical marijuana to be a much better solution," Monroe wrote in an essay titled "Getting off the T Train," reports Pat McManamon at ESPN.

"[Medical marijuana] is safer, less addictive and can even reduce opioid dependence," Monroe wrote.

Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association officially ban any use of cannabis. Monroe said it's time for that policy to come to an end. He called for the league and union to:

• Remove marijuana from the banned substance list;
• Fund cannabis research, especially as it relates to the brain disease CTE; and
• Stop "overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids."

"I'm not asking the NFL to prescribe players cannabis," Monroe wrote. "I'm calling on the league to remove its testing protocols for cannabis. It just makes sense."

U.S.: Federal Data Shows Marijuana Trafficking Falls Following State Legalization

MarijuanaTraffickingOffenders[USSC].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal marijuana prosecutions dropped significantly after the passage of statewide laws legalizing and regulating the production and retail sale of cannabis to adults, according to data provided by the United States Sentencing Commission.

According to the new report, the number of cannabis trafficking offenders prosecuted federally fell dramatically after 2012, declining from more than 6,000 a year to fewer than 4,000 in 2015, reports Tom Angell at Marijuana.com.

"The number of marijuana traffickers rose slightly over time until a sharp decline in fiscal year 2013 and the number continues to decrease," according to the report.

The period of decline matches the passage and enactment of marijuana legalization measures in states including Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Those convicted of marijuana trafficking serve an average of 29 months in prison, according to federal data.

A copy of the USSC report is available here for downloading:
https://lists.norml.org/list/mail.cgi/r/chapters/697347662961/dale/canor...

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Platform To Connect Experts, Entrepreneurs

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation(logoJPG)

First-of-its-kind Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®) Kicks Off at NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit and Expo

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Brainsy, Inc., are collaborating to launch the Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®), a knowledge-sharing platform connecting cannabis industry experts with entrepreneurs and information-seekers online and via paid telephone consultations.

NCIA members who are experts in their area of the cannabis industry will be invited to set up personalized profiles on the Cannabis ECN system, which allows information-seekers to find and contact them, then conduct over-the-phone consultations at a rate set by the expert.

"With so many new people and businesses entering the cannabis industry, there is a huge demand for knowledge exchange across a range of topics including cultivation and processing, dispensary operations, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, banking issues, and many more," said Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA.

"The Cannabis ECN will allow high-caliber, experienced cannabis professionals a simple platform to share their expertise with the large number of people seeking them out and be compensated for their time," Smith said.

New Jersey: Legalization Would Boost Tax Revenues By $300 Million, According To Report

NewJerseyToLegalize?

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana for adult sin New Jersey would generate at least $300 million in new tax revenues each year, according to a new report released Tuesday morning.

The report calls the $300 million estimate "conservative," basing it on a 25 percent tax on retail marijuana sold only to adults, reports the Philly Voice. The overall economic impact would be far greater once other benefits, including job creation, additional income and business tax revenue, related accessories, and property and agricultural taxes, according to the report, by New Jersey Policy Perspective and New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform.

Around 365,000 adults in New Jersey use marijuana on at least a monthly basis; they use about 2.5 million ounces of marijuana a year, according to the report. That represents 4 percent of the state's population, which sounds like a rather low estimate to us.

Canada: Vancouver Grants First Marijuana Dispensary License

TheWealthShopVancouver[DavidHoremans-CBC].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Vancouver last week became the first city in Canada to issue a marijuana dispensary license after creating a separate set of bylaws regulating the establishments.

The Wealth Shop, just outside the gates of the University of British Columbia in the Vancouver neighborhood of Point Grey, got the city's first license to operate a cannabis business, reports Katie Shapiro at The Cannabist.

The store, which hasn't yet opened for business, will be required to pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 to the City of Vancouver. The majority of already existing pot shops operate as "compassion clubs," which require a $1,000 fee to get a license. Currently, both types of shops still operate outside the Canadian federal government's medicinal cannabis program.

U.S.: Timely New Memoir Addresses Drug War, Mass Incarceration, Reentry Issues

ThisSideOfFreedomLifeAfterClemencyAnthonyPapa.jpg

Anthony Papa’s Timely New Memoir Addresses the Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Reentry Issues as President Obama and Congress Seek Criminal Justice Reform

Book Release Event Coincides with Celebration of Papa’s 10-Year Anniversary at the Drug Policy Alliance

This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency, a riveting, compelling tale about the life of activist, writer and artist Anthony Papa, will be released on Wednesday, May 25. Papa tells firsthand of his experience of returning home after serving 12 years of a 15-to-life sentence for a non-violent drug law violation, sentenced under the mandatory provisions of the Rockefeller Drug Laws of New York state.

While behind bars, Papa found his passion for art and his haunting self-portrait “15 to Life” ended up showing in the Whitney Museum. Papa used his art and personal story to generate a wave of media attention and in 1997 he was granted executive clemency by New York Governor George Pataki. Papa literally painted his way to freedom.

Papa says that the freedom he fought so hard to get smacked him swiftly in the face, overpowering him. He struggled with his own freedom while fighting to free those he left behind. Papa goes through heart-wrenching trials and tribulations as he seeks to rebuild his life and continue his fight to end the War On Drugs.

Florida: Cannabis Investment Conference Set For Fort Lauderdale June 8

FloridaMarijuana[CannaChronicle].jpg

The Viridian Cannabis Investment Series is coming to Fort Lauderdale, in what is being billed as "the first-ever cannabis investment conference in the state of Florida."

The conference, entitled "Investing in the Emerging Cannabis Industry While Managing Risk," will explore opportunities and risks associated with a growing multi-billion-dollar industry.

Presentations and networking sessions will feature leading companies, investors, scientists, and thought leaders from some of the fastest growing industry sectors, including Real Estate, Security, Biotech, Cultivation & Retail, AgTech, Lab Testing, Consumption Devices, Infused Products, and Digital Media.

“In November 2016, Florida voters will have a second opportunity to vote for legalized medical marijuana,” said Scott L. Greiper, Viridian’s founder and president. “We thought it was the ideal time to bring the Viridian Cannabis Investment Conference to Florida, the first such investment conference in the state, and showcase some of the leading companies and thought leaders in the cannabis marketplace.”

Rhode Island: Physicians' Organization Throws Support Behind Marijuana Legalization Effort

DoctorsForCannabisRegulation[DFCR.org].jpg

Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, an organization led by some of the most prominent physicians in the country, has formally endorsed the effort to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in Rhode Island.

The addition of DFCR to the Regulate Rhode Island coalition comes at a pivotal time, just as state lawmakers are considering legislation to end marijuana prohibition.

Members of DFCR’s leadership team include former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders; integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. H. Westley Clark, former director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Dr. Chris Beyrer, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, associate professor emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Dr. David Lewis, professor emeritus of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University; Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital; and Dr. David Nathan, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical associate professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Colorado: Denver Police Issue 18 Citations For Public Marijuana Consumption At Pot Rally

Denver420RallyMay21,2016-MariahElliott-CharlieFreimiller-BradyFreimiller[KiraHorvath-TheDenverPost].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Denver Police on Saturday issued 18 citations for public marijuana consumption at the rescheduled 420 Rally in Civic Center Park downtown, according to police spokesman Doug Schepman.

While that's bad enough, at least it's noticeably less than the 60 citations handed out on April 20, when thousands gathered in Civic Center to celebrate Cannabis Day.

Recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado when voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012, but smoking weed in public remains illegal, reports Katy Canada at The Denver Post.

Last year's rally -- which lasted for two days -- resulted in more than 150 police citations.

On Saturday, police also issued three citations for driving with a suspended license, and two for flying drones in a public park.

The rally ran from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and brought thousands of cannabis advocates to downtown Denver. Organizers had been forced to postpone the original event, scheduled for April 1t6, because of snow.

Oregon: Liquor Control Commission Approves Recreational Marijuana Licenses

OregonMarijuanaLeaf[RebekahMarkillie-TheBeacon].jpg

First Wholesaler Among Newest Group of Licensees

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Friday approved 14 Recreational Marijuana producer and wholesale licenses.

The producer licensees include:

• Kit Johnston, (MariCo Farms) – Mixed, Tier 2, Yamhill County

• Sol-Sisters, Inc. (Sol-Sisters) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Polk County

• Mountain Sun Botanicals, Inc. (Mountain Sun Botanicals) – Mixed, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Grown Organics LLC, David Tourzan (Oregon Grown Organics) – Mixed, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Roots Inc. (Oregon Roots) – Mixed, Tier 2, Washington County

• Pilot Farms, LLC, Matthew A. Dolinar (Pilot Farms) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Harlen Magnie, Thomas Pretorius (H&H Gardens) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Patricia Downing (Elvenwood Enterprises, LLC) – Outdoor, Tier 1, Josephine County

• Trichomes Gardens Limited, James Newgard (Trichomes Garden) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Washington County

• Jefferson State Farms LLC, Benjamin Yuma (Jefferson State Farms LLC) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Roots Inc., James Stitch, Trichomes Gardens Limited, James Newgard (Oregon Roots) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Washington County

• Trailhead Farms LLC, Dave Henderson, Terry McDowell (Trail Head Farms) – Outdoor, Tier 1, Hood River County

U.S.: Veterans Group Weed For Warriors Praises House Passage of VA Marijuana Measure

WeedForWarriors22VeteranSuicidesEveryDay.jpg

Decorated disabled Iraq War veteran Brandon Wyatt on Thursday applauded Congress for passing a measure today that will help veterans in states where medical marijuana is legal get the medicine they need to fight their battle with post traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.

“This is a significant step forward in our cause,” said Wyatt, a lawyer and activist, who staged a groundbreaking free cannabis giveaway last month outside the Veterans Administration clinic in Washington, D.C., for patients suffering from PTSD. “We appreciate the support and efforts of all involved.

"Nevertheless, the job is not finished, because this legislation does not allow all veterans to be provided with the quality healthcare they need in order to be free of the fear of having to self-medicate," Wyatt said. "Easier access doesn’t equate to equal access.”

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Oregon), only applies to states where cannabis is legal; it doesn't allow for the distribution or use of cannabis at VA clinics or any federal facilities; and it doesn't allow for the VA to cover the costs.

D.C.: Hour-Long TV Show Examines Confusing State of Weed In Our Nation's Capital

WashingtonDCMarijuana-USE[Fusion]

You can own it, but you can’t buy it. You can grow it, but you can’t sell it. You can smoke it in your home, but not on federal land.

FUSION’s Chief Cannabis Correspondent Ryan Nerz rolls into our nation's capital to investigate the controversial world of weed in Washington with “The Naked Truth: District of Cannabis.”

Washington, D.C. is home to some of the most liberal and confusing laws surrounding marijuana, making it a compelling window to the many cannabis contradictions across the country. Nerz, who has traveled to every state that has some form of legalization in the U.S., follows one man's cannabis crusade all the way to the White House, examines some of the weirdest pot laws in the country, and explores some of the special interests involved in the battles over legalization.

“The Naked Truth: District of Cannabis” premieres Sunday, May 22 at 8 PM on FUSION (channel listings). Additional reporting from “District of Cannabis” will be available across FUSION’s digital, social, and OTT channels. Watch a preview here.

U.S.: House Removes Restrictions Preventing Veterans Access To Medical Marijuana

ArmyMedicalMarijuana[TrueActivist].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed an amendment to the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana.

The amendment had bipartisan support and was co-sponsored by Representatives Joe Heck (R-NV), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Jared Polis (D-CO). It passed by 233-189.

“One of the greatest tragedies of our time is our failure to adequately deal with the needs of our veterans returning home with wounds both visible and unseen," Representative Blumenauer said. "Giving them access to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option to deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average.

Arizona: Marijuana Supporters Call On Opposition To Return $10K Alcohol Contribution

AlcoholVsCannabis.jpg

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), the committee backing an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona that is expected to appear on the November ballot, on Wednesday called on leaders of the committee opposing the measure to return a contribution from the alcohol industry.

According to a report published earlier this week by the Phoenix New Times, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) received a donation of $10,000 last month from the Arizona Wine and Spirits Association, a trade group representing various alcohol wholesalers.

The leaders of ARDP, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and radio host Seth Leibsohn have repeatedly argued that marijuana needs to remain illegal because it is too dangerous to regulate for adult use. Yet, by every objective measure, marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. See http://marijuana-vs-alcohol.org for details.

“Using alcohol money to fund their campaign to maintain marijuana prohibition is grossly hypocritical,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “They want to continue punishing adults for using marijuana, but they have no problem accepting five-figure donations from purveyors of a far more harmful substance.

California: LA County Democrats Endorse AUMA Marijuana Legalization

LosAngelesCountyDemocraticParty[LACDP].jpg

Largest Democratic County Committee in California says ballot measure will “protect children” and “provide critical funding for public health”

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Wednesday announced the official endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), the largest Democratic county committee in California and the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation.

The LACDP represents more than 2.4 million registered Democrats and a population larger than 42 other states in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

“Los Angeles County Democrats support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act because it will end the failed policies of prohibition which have disproportionately harmed communities of color, it will protect California’s children and it will provide critical funding for public health and public safety programs,” said Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman.

Supporters of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act say the measure includes strong safeguards for children, businesses and local governments, strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.

Ohio: Patients Would Face New Hurdles Under Senate Medical Marijuana Bill

OhioansForMedicalMarijuana2016[OhioansForMMJ.org].jpg

The Ohio Senate’s State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday accepted a substitute version of House Bill 523, the narrow and restrictive medical marijuana legislation passed last week out of the Ohio House of Representatives.

“This latest version includes a series of high-cost requirements that will effectively keep many patients from being able to access medical marijuana,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “These mandates coupled with the legislature’s insistence that home grow be prohibited -- and the Senate’s elimination of a medical marijuana discount program for veterans and low-income Ohioans -- cements this bill as a deeply-flawed measure helping very few patients.”

Also changed on Wednesday in the Senate’s new version was language specifying that a patient’s pain must be “chronic, severe AND intractable” to qualify under a general pain provision. Intractable is often defined in medical dictionaries as “having no relief” or “resistant to cure, relief or control.”

“In essentially making the pain threshold intractable, lawmakers are cutting off access to thousands of Ohioans who have severe, debilitating, but not intractable, pain,” Marshall said.

Syndicate content