steveelliott's blog

Kentucky: Farmers, Universities Get International Hemp Seed

JoshHendrix[NationalHempAssociation].jpg

Last week, farmers and university research programs in Kentucky received international hemp seed provided by CV Sciences for research projects throughout the state.

This seed distribution, more than a month earlier than last year, allows Kentucky farmers to improve outcomes, make important research gains and keep Kentucky at the forefront in developing a domestic industrial hemp supply.

By receiving the seeds promptly, and thanks to the expeditious work of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, four farms and two university programs will be able to plant at the optimal moment, according to CV Sciences.

Over the past three years, CV Sciences has supported industrial hemp research and development through Kentucky’s Hemp Pilot Project. In addition to providing seeds to several Kentucky universities agronomic research departments in past years, the company has assisted research efforts with monetary donations as well.

CV Sciences also funds the work of the University of Kentucky’s first graduate student focused entirely on hemp and cannabinoid research, who is studying various methods to increase cannabinoid production. The company plans to continue to expand research efforts with universities and Kentucky farmers through the remaining years of the pilot project.

U.S.: Marijuana Industry Takes A Step Forward With DOJ

HarborsideHealthCenter

The cannabis industry had a major victory last week, without even appearing in court. The U.S. Department of Justice, after four years, dropped the case to shut down Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California, which is currently the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the United States.

Robert MacCoun, a law professor and drug-policy expert at Stanford University, in an interview with SF Gate perfectly explained how this market is changing: "The framework is moving from the war on drugs to tricky issues of regulation, taxation and who is going to be in control of this major new industry," he said.

The reason for the softer approach is in part economical. According to a report by Marijuana Business Daily, the entire marijuana industry, including tourism, which is an impact of legalization, is projected to provide $44 billion to the economy by 2020.

Legal marijuana sales in the U.S. alone spiked to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014. Sales are projected to hit $7.1 billion in 2016.

U.S.: Members of Congress To Join Cannabis Business Leaders Thursday and Friday

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation6thAnnualMemberLobbyDays2016.jpg

Members of Congress on Thursday will join cannabis industry leaders from across the country for a press conference to kick off National Cannabis Industry Association's sixth annual Lobby Days. More than 100 cannabis business professionals will travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in policy discussions and citizen lobby meetings to advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry.

On May 12, NCIA leaders, business owners, and members of Congress including Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Denny Heck (D-WA), and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), will hold an 11:30am press conference at the House Triangle to kick off two days of meetings across the Hill between cannabis industry leaders and congressional staffs.

Top priorities for these business owners are a solution to the banking crisis, which prevents many legitimate cannabis businesses from accessing basic financial services, and reform to Section 280E of the federal tax code, which forces cannabis business to pay double or triple the effective federal tax rates of any other industry.

NCIA members will also advocate for the descheduling of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which would give states the authority to make their own decisions about how to handle cannabis legality, much as they currently do with alcohol.

Ohio: Patients Lose Under House Medical Marijuana Vote

AaronMarshallOhioansForMedicalMarijuana[OhioCapitalBlog].jpg

With the Ohio House voting to approve legislation purporting to offer patients access to medical marijuana, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Tuesday released a statement rejecting the narrow measure.

“It’s a shame lawmakers couldn’t have made history with a vote on a substantive and meaningful medical marijuana bill,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “Today’s vote will only bring false hope and empty promises to Ohioans suffering from debilitating conditions who need medical marijuana.”

The House legislation suffers from numerous fundamental flaws that would restrict patient access and would take up to two years to be implemented, Marshall said. In addition, the House version leaves many critical decisions to an unelected board that could be stacked with persons openly hostile to medical marijuana.

In contrast, the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana amendment provides access to medical marijuana for thousands of Ohioans immediately upon passage through an affirmative defense and home grow clause and has clear language spelling out regulatory aspects of the plan, according to Marshall.

U.S.: Thursday Webinar Connects War On Drugs To War On Immigrants

HumanRightsWatch.jpg

The Drug Policy Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Human Rights Watch invite you to join a free webinar on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 11 am Pacific / 12 pm Mountain / 1 pm Central / 2 pm Eastern.

The Drug War has increasingly become a war against immigrant communities. Much as the Drug War drives mass incarceration, it is also a major driver of mass deportation. More than a quarter of a million people have been deported from the U.S. after convictions for drug offenses since 2007.

Unfortunately, while drug diversion programs are designed to help drug offenders avoid a criminal conviction and the damaging collateral consequences that can follow, many existing programs often fail both immigrants and citizens. For immigrants, even successful participation in a drug diversion program can result in deportation.

Both citizens and non-citizens are often better served by programs that avoid the criminal justice system altogether, like the nationally recognized LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program being piloted in cities across the US that diverts individuals charged with certain offenses to treatment before booking.

Colorado: Loopr Launches Mobile Cannabis Lounge and Mobile App

LooprBusInsideShot[rideloopr.com].jpg

Colorado’s 'first upscale cannabis-friendly transportation service' combines Uber-like app with luxury 44-seat buses running routes around a curated selection of Denver dispensaries, bars, restaurants, and nightlife destinations

Visiting Denver's many dispensaries, restaurants, bars, clubs, sporting venues and other destinations while enjoying cannabis becomes a premium, but accessible, legal experience with the introduction of Loopr transportation service and application.

The Loopr buses are 45’ Freightliner luxury coaches that include comfortable seating for 44, a glassware and dab bar, granite countertops on the four booths, more than a dozen video monitors for entertainment and route information, free WiFi, a lavatory and refrigerator, laser light show(!) and more.

The robust transportation app allows users to geo-target the Loopr bus location on its circuit around the city and receive accurate pickup and dropoff times. Whenever Loopr customers are ready to move around the city, or if they just want to spend time in the mobile lounge, they can purchase a day pass or subscription to always enjoy their favorite cannabis products with onboard service.

Canada: Patient Groups Call For Equitable Access To Medical Marijuana

CanadiansForFairAccessToMedicalMarijuana(CFAMM).jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), a federal nonprofit, medical cannabis patient rights organization, on Monday issued a set of recommendations to guide federal decision-makers on the needs of medical cannabis patients.

CFAMM is joined by The Arthritis Society in urging federal policymakers to take action in five key areas:
(1) eliminate sales tax;
(2) facilitate insurance coverage;
(3) allow access to all forms of cannabis;
(4) expand regulated distribution options; and
(5) promote research.

The Canadian AIDS Society has also expressed their full support of these recommendations.

Policymakers, including MPs and Senators, have been invited to a reception on the Hill to discuss the recommendations, meet patients directly affected by medical cannabis policy, and talk with key experts in the field.

In support of the recommendations, MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said, "Given that medical cannabis is regulated by Health Canada and used by thousands of Canadians under the supervision of a physician, it is long past time that the inequities many of these patients face be addressed."

U.S.: This Is Groundbreaking - Cannabis Encyclopedia Takes Mainstream Book Award

JorgeCervantesGoldBenFranklinAward2016.jpg

In what looks to be the first time the mainstream "book world" has presented any award to a cannabis book, George Van Patten -- AKA Jorge Cervantes -- was presented the Gold Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association for The Cannabis Encyclopedia.

"After 33 years publishing cannabis books Van Patten Publishing is proud to receive this award from the IBPA, the first association to recognize a cannabis book with an award,” said Van Patten at the awards ceremony in Salt Lake City, on April 8.

The Ben Franklin award is a celebration of the publisher’s work, but also sets a precedent to any other publishing firm that high quality works should be celebrated, regardless of subject, as long as a high quality is shown across the entire text.

“As you can see by the wording of our awards, it is open to all," said Jan Nathan, founder of the IBPA. "We decided to parallel the universe of book publishing that doesn’t discriminate between large and small.”

The evolution of Van Patten’s work has helped to shape the teachings of marijuana cultivation worldwide. Well-written and cohesive text accompanied with more than 2000 beautiful quality photographs and computer generated images push this book into a higher quality than most other cannabis related publications.

Maine: Legalization Initiative Would Force Merchants To Hide Marijuana Magazines

Censorship[MendoNews].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Maine's Marijuana Legalization Act, which has qualified for November's ballot and is being sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), would require merchants to keep marijuana magazines behind the counter if their stores are open to customers younger than 21.

An almost identical provision which was part of a bill passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2013 was so blatantly unconstitutional that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the state wouldn't enforce it, reports Jacob Sullum at Reason.com.

Yet, just three years later, MPP is asking Maine voters to approve the same restriction as the price they must pay for the state's "legalization" initiative.

The Marijuana Legalization Act which will be on the Maine ballot in November says "a magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses may be sold only in a retail marijuana store or behind the counter in an establishment where persons under 21 years of age are present."

U.S.: Ruling Could Limit Federal Marijuana Prosecutions

FederalCannabisGavelCourt[KKTV].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A federal appeals court is expected soon to rule on the scope of the law that could point the way to ending or overturning at least six federal marijuana prosecutions and convictions.

People who are fighting federal marijuana charges say that a recent act of Congress should have stopped the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting them, because their activities were legally allowed in their states. Cannabis is still illegal under federal law for any purpose.

"It's been the hardest thing I've ever hard to deal with in my life when you see the government coming down on you for simply trying to be healthy," said Rolland Gregg, who along with his family has fought federal marijuana charges, reports the Associated Press. Gregg said the cannabis plants found on his property in Kirkland, Washington were for medicinal use and in compliance with state law.

Oregon: 17th Annual Cannabis March & Rally Today In Portland

GlobalCannabisMarchPortland2016.jpg

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, Oregon, will participate in the 17th Annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally that begins at 12:00pm, with a scheduled cannabis freedom march beginning at 4pm through downtown, accompanied by police escort.

Musicians Garcia Birthday Band, The Hill Dogs, Mack & Dub and the Smokin' Section, Bad Habitat, Justin James Bridges and John Cornett & Friends have joined the lineup for the rally. There will be several guest speakers, including Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Rep. Tobias Read (District 27), Portland Mayoral Candidate Jessie Sponberg and Clackamas County Commissioner 3 Candidate Jenifer Valley. There will also be several non-profit organization booths.

We march to stand in solidarity for cannabis consumer rights. While marijuana may be legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law. We march to effect change on the federal level. We march for the right of employees to use marijuana in their off hours, just as employees can consume alcohol in their off hours. We march so renters can consume marijuana in their own homes without fear of eviction.

New Jersey: Police Sergeant Accused Of Selling Marijuana

WilliamTurbettAndNicoletteHendrickson[NewJerseyNews12].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A New Jersey cop has been charged with dealing marijuana; the officer's father is a captain in the same police department in the city of Linden.

Sgt. William Turbett III has been suspended from the police force due to an unrelated case involving Internal Affairs, but now the 30-year-old faces marijuana possession and distribution charges, according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, reports Anthony Johnson at ABC 7.

There was police activity on Wednesday night at the South Amboy home of Sgt. Turbett, according to neighbors, with multiple agencies involved in the investigation.

Sayreville police and the Prosecutor's Office Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant on Turbett's home and reportedly found a small amount of marijuana, according to prosecutors, reports CBS New York.

New York: NORML Founder Keith Stroup To Keynote At Cannabis World Congress

KeithStroupNORML2016[KarenMawdsley-News21].jpg

Industry Pioneer & Anti-Prohibition Activist Joins Strong Speaker & Educational Lineup at Cannabis Business Trade Show & Conference

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

“Why We’re Finally Winning After All These Years” will be the keynote address given by Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo), June 15-17, at the Javits Center in New York. Stroup joins Leonard Marshall, Super Bowl Champion and concussion prevention advocate, as a headlining Keynote Speaker.

Stroup’s address will take place on Thursday, June 16, at 1:50 p.m. CWCBExpo is a business event for the for the legalized cannabis marketplace.

Stroup is a Washington, DC-based public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970, served as its executive director for 20 years and currently serves as NORML’s legal counsel and a member of the board of directors. Fortune magazine recently named Stroup one of the most powerful people in America’s marijuana industry.

“With more and more states legalizing the responsible use of marijuana, including two East Coast states expected to adopt full legalization this November, I am excited to speak to the CWCBExpo NY audience about the history of our anti-prohibition efforts and the current groundswell of support for ending prohibition and removing the stigma of marijuana as a Schedule I drug,” Stroup said.

U.S.: President Obama Grants Clemency To 58 People In Federal Prison For Drugs

BarackObamaSmiling[SomewhatReasonable].jpg

Drug Policy Alliance: The President is Acting; Congress Must Step Up Too

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of 58 people incarcerated in federal prison for drug offenses. This follows the commutation of 61 individuals on March 30, 2016, 95 people in December of 2015, 45 people in July, 22 people in March 2015, and 8 people in December of 2014.

All of those who received commutations on Thursday were serving time in prison for nonviolent drug offenses, and many were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.

Five of the individuals whose sentences were commuted on Thursday were imprisoned at least in part due to at least one marijuana charge.

President Obama has been under significant public pressure from advocacy groups and family members of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses who are serving long, mandatory minimum sentences.

"The President is using his constitutional power, but he can only do so much," said Michael Collins, deputy director at Drug Policy Alliance's office of national affairs. "There is legislation in the Senate that would reduce mandatory minimums and have a greater impact on the prison population, and Leader McConnell needs to bring the bill up for a vote."

U.S.: Cannabis Market Reaches New Heights

ArcViewStateOfLegalMarijuanaMarkets2016.jpg

A recent report by New Frontier and ArcView Market Research has revealed some very impressive numbers. Sales of legal cannabis products increased by 17 percent in 2015, reaching $5.4 billion, and sales are expected to increase by 25 percent more in 2016, reaching a total value of $6.7 billion.

This is quite an achievement for an industry in which the first legal dispensaries opened just two years ago. By 2020, total legal sales across the U.S. are expected to reach $22 billion.

According to ArcView projections, Washington state is expected to be the largest legal sales market by 2020, with estimated $2.3 billion of total sales. In 2015 alone, legal sales of marijuana products totaled more than $709 million in Washington, which is an increase of an amazing 242 percent over 2014.

It is a rare opportunity when a market that is potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars is virtually untouched by large companies. While the number of states where the growth and sales of cannabis products remains limited, the majority of the population in the United States approves the end of federal marijuana prohibition nationwide.

For now, in states where cannabis is a legitimate and legal product, sales are through the roof.

Oregon: 17th Annual Global Cannabis March Kicks Off At High Noon In Portland

GlobalCannabisMarchPortland2016.jpg

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, Oregon, will participate in the 17th Annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally that begins at high noon, 12 pm, with a scheduled cannabis freedom march beginning at 4 pm through downtown.

Musicians Garcia Birthday Band, The Hill Dogs, Mack & Dub and the Smokin' Section, Bad Habitat, Justin James Bridges and John Cornett & Friends have joined the lineup for the rally. There will also be several guest speakers and non-profit organization booths.

We march to stand in solidarity for cannabis consumer rights. While marijuana may be legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law. We march to effect change on the federal level. We march for the right of employees to use marijuana in their off hours, just as employees can consume alcohol in their off hours. We march so renters can consume marijuana in their own homes without fear of eviction.

We march so cities and counties do not impose onerous regulations which offer little protection to the consumer or the non-consumer of marijuana. These choices only drive the cost of marijuana up and allow the unregulated market to thrive.

Vermont: Lawmakers Seen Drinking In Hallway Just Before Voting No On Marijuana

VermontLawmakersDrinkingInStateHouse[NeilPGoswami].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When the Vermont House on Tuesday soundly rejected a Senate proposal to legalize marijuana and create a regulated retail market for it -- and even failed to decriminalize possession and cultivation of just two cannabis plants -- their unfortunate lack of political courage didn't shock many political observers.

What was a bit more upsetting, though, was that at least two of the politicians who voted "No" on legalization were seen (and photographed!) drinking alcohol in the hall shortly before the vote, according to multiple sources. Photos tweeted by reporter Neil Goswami depict Rep. Gary Viens (R-Newport) and Rep. Corey Parent (R-St. Albans City) enjoying alcholic beverages at the State House during a 15-minute recess from the marijuana debate.

"Drinking in the State House is cool, according to these people who voted against legal pot," Goswami tweeted.

Both Viens and Parent are widely grinning in the photos, apparently believing themselves to be quite clever in taking a drink in the hall before batting down a bill that would have treated marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Ohio: Patients Still Lose Under Latest Medical Marijuana Plan From Legislature

OhioansForMedicalMarijuana2016[OhioansForMMJ.org].jpg

As state lawmakers unveiled a revised version of HB 523, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Wednesday released a statement expressing disappointment with the narrow and restrictive substitute bill.

“The latest version fails to address the critical flaws in the bill that significantly restrict patient access,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “Very few doctors will be willing to enter into a system that doesn’t trust them to make decisions that are in the best interest of their patients and ties their hands with regulatory red tape. With so few doctors participating, patients will not have access to the medicine they need.”

Provisions in the revised legislation require doctors to recommend specific THC levels and strains of medical marijuana for patients. “These kinds of provisions risk putting doctors at odds with federal law, and have significantly hindered the two-year-old medical marijuana program in New York,” said Marshall.

Alabama: Governor Signs Leni's Law, Increasing Access To Medical Cannabis Oil

AlabamaMedicalMarijuana[MedicalMarijuanaBlog].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Patients in Alabama will have greater access to medical cannabis oil after Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday signed HB 61, also know as Leni's Law, as passed by the Alabama Legislature.

Gov. Bentley's signature decriminalizes possession of medical marijuana CBD oil with THC content of up to 3 percent. The bill is named for a four-year-old girl whose family moved to Oregon to legally access cannabidiol cannabis oil to treat her severe epilepsy, and was hailed as a victory by Leni's mother, Amy Young, reports Paul Gattis at Al.com.

"We are incredibly grateful to the state of Alabama for giving families like ours the opportunity to find relief from life altering and debilitating conditions, and hope for a better quality of life," Young told Hemp News Wednesday afternoon. "Access to medical treatment shouldn't be determined by your zip code."

"I've got this smile glued to my face," said Young, who revealed she'd already received calls from lawmakers in Iowa, South Dakota and Tennessee since the Leni's Law was signed.

U.S.: The Marijuana Show Returns For Season 3; $20 Million Available To Ganjapreneurs

TheMarijuanaShowSeason3CastingCall.jpg

Season Three breaks records with $20 million available to ganjapreneurs in capital investment

The cannabis industry is anticipated to grow to $17.5 billion by the year 2020, and the first-ever reality show about investing in cannabis is looking for the next crop of ganjapreneurs to join winners who have already offered over $18 million in investments, and brought a cannabis car, a major Hollywood “stoner comedy”, a cannabis advertising agency, and a line of CBD-infused dog bones to the market.

Emerging and established ganjapreneurs with new business ideas or budding companies are invited to audition for season three of the critically acclaimed TV series The Marijuana Show, dubbed the “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs,” for an opportunity to receive guidance and capital to take them to the next level. The newest season is breaking records, offering $20 million in investment capital, beating out network juggernaut “Shark Tank” and offering more investment money to a contestant than “Shark Tank” ever has.

This season celebrity American entrepreneur, author and CEO of Rush Communications Russell Simmons joins the roster as an advocate for the show. “A lot of people who are innovative and can figure out ways to build out brands, looks like that’s a market they should get in,” Simmons said.

Syndicate content