United States: Patrons Toke Medical Marijuana In Oregon Cafe

By Tracy Loew, USA TODAY

United States: Patrons Toke Medical Marijuana In Oregon Cafe PORTLAND, Ore. — At first glance, the Cannabis Cafe, in a former adult club called Rumpspankers, looks like any other coffee shop. Customers sip coffee while playing cards, working on computers, or sharing a meal.

But here, patrons also slip away to smoke joints and pipes in the back. And the cafe features a vapor bar, where customers can get the benefits of cannabis without the harmful carcinogens.

The Cannabis Cafe is the nation's first medical marijuana smoking lounge. It's all perfectly legal and, for cancer patient Albert Santistevan, it's about time.

"It's a very positive atmosphere. We could use more places like that," the 56-year-old former jewelry shop owner said.

A few weeks ago, Santistevan would have had no place to go. But with the Obama administration's decision last month to soften the federal stance on medical marijuana, the Cannabis Cafe and a lounge across town popped up early this month.

UK: Rapid Growth In Hemp-Based Construction

By Eco Composites, Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! A visit to the Innovation Park at BRE in Watford has been arranged as part of the Natural Fibres 09 conference, which takes place at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London from December 14-16.

The park showcases modern methods of construction and features over 200 different emerging technologies in a number of demonstration properties, including the Renewable Hemp House.

Speaking at the 60th annual congress of CELC – the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – which took place in Strasbourg, France, from November 4-7, Claude Eichwald of French organisation Construire de Chanvre, said that the use of hemp in concrete was growing, with between 2-4,000 houses now constructed completely from hemp concrete, and many more employing it with mixtures of other building materials. The CELC conference also heard from Rémi Perrin of Strasbourg-based Soprema, which is now manufacturing flax roofing membranes, and Vincent de Sutter of Sutter Freres which has been making natural-fibre based door panels for almost 50 years.

In the latest copy of its journal, CELC outlines the components of a house entirely constructed from natural fibres, as show in the illustration above.

The unique energy efficient house made from hemp at the UK BRE Innovation Park meanwhile, showcases the future of low carbon and sustainable buildings.

Oregon: First Marijuana Coffee Shop Opens In America

The first marijuana coffee shop in the US has opened, posing an early test of the Obama administration's move to relax the policing of medical use of the drug.

By Nick Allen, Telegraph

Oregon: First Marijuana Coffee Shop Opens In America The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give people who have been prescribed marijuana by a doctor a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it.

The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give people who have been prescribed marijuana by a doctor a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it, although they have to remain out of public view.

Patients who have been prescribed marijuana usually have to buy it from a licensed dispensary and then take it elsewhere.

Eric Solomon, the owner of the cafe, said he is looking forward to holding marijuana-themed weddings, film festivals and dances.

"I still run a coffee shop and events venue, just like I did before we converted it to the Cannabis Cafe, but now it will be cannabis-themed," he said.

Idaho: Marijuana Committee Gets Down To Business

By TONY EVANS, Express Staff Writer

Idaho: Marijuana Committee Gets Down To BusinessThe city of Hailey's Marijuana Oversight Committee is hoping to move forward in its role as a recommending body without causing confrontations with city or state officials. With the help of city staff, the committee will form a mission statement in time for the city's strategic planning session in March 2010.

"The citizens of Hailey are imploring us to do something," said committee member Pete Kramer. "But I would not advise taking on the state of Idaho."

The committee was formed earlier this year after three controversial marijuana initiatives were passed by Hailey voters. The initiatives proposed allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, legalizing industrial hemp and making enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority for Hailey police.

Portions of all three ordinances were redacted by 5th District Judge Robert Elgee, but the oversight committee was formed and charged with gathering information and making recommendations to the City Council on how the city should handle several issues regarding marijuana policy.

In September, the committee decided to focus efforts on supporting the medical use of marijuana. Since that time, committee members have researched legalization efforts in other mountain communities such as Breckenridge, Colo., where legalization was passed by 72 percent of voters in November.

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Oregon: THCF Medicinal Cannabis Garden Helping Patients

Fruitful Harvest Shared Among Patients Seeking Natural Alternative to Prescription Medicine

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Oregon: THCF Medicinal Cannabis Garden Helping Patients Hemp News recently made a visit to experience a legal medical cannabis garden managed by the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) in Portland, Oregon. We spent some time with growers, patients, and community members, in an attempt to shed light on the subject of medical cannabis, and to document the THCF's efforts to help medical cannabis patients in the community.

Oregon: First U.S. Marijuana Cafe Opens in Portland

By Dan Cook, Reuters

There is a truth that must be heard! PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - The United States' first marijuana cafe opened on Friday, posing an early test of the Obama administration's move to relax policing of medical use of the drug.

The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give certified medical marijuana users a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it -- as long as they are out of public view -- despite a federal ban.

"This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members," said Madeline Martinez, Oregon's executive director of NORML, a group pushing for marijuana legalization.

"Our plans go beyond serving food and marijuana," said Martinez. "We hope to have classes, seminars, even a Cannabis Community College, based here to help people learn about growing and other uses for cannabis."

The cafe -- in a two-story building which formerly housed a speak-easy and adult erotic club Rumpspankers -- is technically a private club, but is open to any Oregon residents who are NORML members and hold an official medical marijuana card.

Members pay $25 per month to use the 100-person capacity cafe. They don't buy marijuana, but get it free over the counter from "budtenders". Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., it serves food but has no liquor license.

California: The 8th Annual Green Festival Hits San Francisco

Festival features organic food and wine, green vendors, award-winning speakers and an appearance by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

California: The 8th Annual Green Festival Hits San Francisco The 8th annual Green Festival, held this year in San Francisco on November 13th, 14th and 15th, turned out an impressive 125 speakers and 350 exhibitors that highlighted eco-friendly ideas and products meant to create safe, healthy communities and strong local environments.

One of the more unique aspects of the festival was the HIA Hemp Pavilion, which featured member companies showcasing the many uses of industrial hemp in the market place, from hemp clothing and personal body care to hemp foods, oil and paper. The pavilion also hosted a hemp fashion show produced by one of the industry’s premiere designers and manufacturers, Summer Star Haeske from Envirotextiles.

On Saturday, San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom even made an appearance to the event. On the main stage, Gavin gave a speech highlighting San Francisco’s efforts to go green, which includes having the most aggressive local climate action plan in the U.S. He also voiced his support for green jobs, plug-in electric hybrid cars and city-wide composting efforts.

“It’s incumbent upon us to make real some of the rhetoric…to take these ideas and manifest them. It’s no longer good enough to talk about the way the world should be. We have to demonstrate the capacity to make it so,” said Newsom.

North Dakota: Time For A New Course On Industrial Hemp

By Wayne Hauge, American Citizen

There is a truth that must be heard! I am a fourth generation farmer, grandfather of three, and have never been arrested for anything. I traveled to Washington, D.C. to join hemp business leaders in a symbolic planting of hemp seeds on DEA headquarters' front lawn. This action was taken to raise awareness of the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. Today non-dairy milks, protein powders, cereals, soaps and lotions are made from the nutritious omega 3 rich hemp seed, while everything from clothing to building materials to automobile paneling is made from the fiber and woody core.

Along with another North Dakota farmer and state Rep. David Monson, I am involved in a lawsuit against DEA, now in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, to prevent DEA interference with licensed North Dakota farmers cultivating and processing industrial hemp under North Dakota's state industrial hemp program. However, it has been almost a year since the case was given to the judges to decide if states can act without federal government intervention.

Colorado: Boulder Expects Crowd, Long Night For Medical Marijuana Hearing

By Heath Urie, Camera Staff Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! Anyone who wants to talk to the Boulder City Council about a possible moratorium on medical-marijuana dispensaries should plan on a late night Tuesday.

The council will consider an emergency ordinance stopping any new dispensaries from opening up until March 31, 2010, so that the city has more time to study whether it wants to regulate the industry.

City officials announced Monday that the agenda for the meeting puts the question about dispensaries near the end of the meeting, meaning public comment about the issue won't begin until about 9 p.m.

The city is anticipating a packed hearing room for the discussion, so the time for each person to speak has been reduced from three minutes to two minutes.

There is no limit on how many people can speak, but anyone who wants to talk needs to sign up with the city clerk between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The sign-up area is located in the council chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway.

The council is expected to discuss dispensaries for up to three hours.

Montana: Medical Marijuana Serious, Offers Real Lives To Patients

By Tom Daubert

There is a truth that must be heard! Medical marijuana is a serious subject. It's frustrating to see it cast in a frivolous light or to hear the law misrepresented.

Unfortunately, a recent event in Great Falls, sponsored by the so-called "Montana Caregivers Network," made these mistakes, poorly serving the law and thus the welfare of thousands of sincere patients.

I helped write our medical marijuana law; I directed the campaign for it; and as founder of Patients & Families United, I have been involved in most every legal issue that has arisen, and have testified as an expert on the law in court and at the Legislature numerous times.

I have gotten to know hundreds of patients across Montana, many of whom have become close friends.

From what I see, medical marijuana is hugely improving the quality of life for countless patients who suffer widely varying and severe medical conditions.

In some cases cannabis literally makes the difference between life and death.

More people in our communities than we realize suffer from illnesses that lead to things like wasting disease, for example, who can rapidly lose 20 or more pounds per week until they die. But marijuana makes it possible for them to eat enough to survive, improve, and begin living again.

Or consider the experience of a young woman whose epilepsy caused a dozen or more severe seizures every day for years. Can you imagine trying to "live" a life like that?

Oregon: Oregon NORML Cannabis Cafe

By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator

There is a truth that must be heard!Riding on the wave of President Obama’s memo to end DEA interference in states’ medical marijuana laws and an unprecedented response from the media, Oregon NORML’s Cannabis Café opens at 4:20pm on November 13, 2009 at 700 NE Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211.

“The response has been overwhelming,” says Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML. “We are excited to be able to provide a safe place for patients to medicate that is out of public view within the guidelines of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).”

Many patients travel to Portland for medical care and treatment and have no place they can go to use their medicine during those often exhausting and intensive trips. “Do they go out into an alley and hide in the back of their car?” Martinez said. “There needs to be a place, much like our meetings, where people can socialize and network.”

In the week since the announcement of the café’s opening, stories have appeared in most major Oregon newspapers and television stations. Martinez appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud talk show and attended the local neighborhood association meeting to reassure the public that the café will be operated at the highest of standards and strives to be a positive addition to the area.

Oregon: Portland Will Soon Have Two Medical-Marijuana Smoking Lounges

By Anne Saker, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! As of next week, Oregon's medical-marijuana patients will have two smoke-easies in Portland in which to medicate and socialize, the first such places in the country to open since the federal government indicated that it will no longer arrest or prosecute patients and suppliers.

On Nov. 13, the Cannabis Cafe will open on the first floor of 700 N.E. Dekum St., to be operated by the state's chapter of , the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Executive Director Madeline Martinez said the space has been a dream of hers for years.

"We're pretty danged excited about it," Martinez said.

The Cannabis Cafe will be the second public place for medical-marijuana patients to get together. On Oct. 1, Steve Geiger opened Highway 420, a small lounge at the back of his pipe shop at 6418 S.E. Foster Road.

"We've been kind of discreet about it. It's not something that we put out on a sign," Geiger said as he rang up customers Tuesday. "We've had great response in the neighborhood from people who are just happy they don't have to go all the way to 39th and Hawthorne" to buy pipes.

The pot lounges are the first of their kind in the nation, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the national NORML. California has dispensaries where medical marijuana can be purchased, but only Oregon will have public places where people can socialize and use marijuana.

Oregon: Cannabis With That Cappuccino?

By Eric Taylor, KOIN

There is a truth that must be heard! PORTLAND, Ore. - A café set to open next week in northeast Portland will be serving up more than your morning latte.

Café Rumpspankers (yep, that’s the name) will open next week serving coffee and sampling different types of marijuana for Oregon Medical Marijuana Cardholders to try.

Per state law, only members of Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program are allowed in.

The Oregon chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will run the café which will open November 13th on Northeast Dekum.

The café will be the first of its kind in Oregon and will be similar to those found in Europe.


Oregon: Medical Marijuana Cafe Opening In NE Portland

There is a truth that must be heard! PORTLAND, Ore. -- Medical marijuana users will soon have a new place to gather.

Oregon NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) is opening a new cannabis cafe in northeast Portland. It will be the first of its kind in the state and complies with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.

Members must be registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and additional membership fees will apply.

Organizers named the café Rumpspankers and it will be located on Northeast Dekum Street. The café plans to host classes and seminars for medical marijuana patients.

The grand opening is 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 13. From then on, it will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

United States: Medical Marijuana Relieves Patient’s Pain, Obama Ends Worries

By Elizabeth Lopatto, Bloomberg

There is a truth that must be heard! Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Madeline Martinez is in constant pain from a disease that is destroying her joints and the discs in her back. Marijuana relieves her discomfort, she said, and the Obama administration has ended her worries that she may someday be jailed for using the drug.

Martinez, 58, of Portland, Oregon, had previously been given Abbott Laboratories’ Vicodin and codeine for her pain. Use of those drugs led to stomach problems, and now she takes marijuana prescribed for her by a doctor. Medicinal marijuana is legal in Oregon, one of 14 states to allow so-called compassionate-care use.

The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday advised federal prosecutors not to seek criminal charges against those who use medical marijuana in accordance with state laws, reversing a Bush administration approach. Along with chronic pain, the American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors group, has said marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and nausea.

“Having disabled people jailed for no reason, that’s terrifying,” said Martinez, who mostly uses a tincture of the drug rather than smoking it. “As a medical marijuana patient, it’s always good to have some stress and anxiety alleviated.”

Michigan: Entrepreneur Trains Caregivers On Issues Of Medical Marijuana

By Bill Shea, Crain

There is a truth that must be heard! Nick Tennant intends to cash in on what he believes is literally a booming “green” growth industry: medical marijuana.

Tennant is the founder and president of Southfield-based Med Gro Cannabis College, a new trade school offering training courses for adults interested in becoming state-qualified caregivers under the medical marijuana law.

His idea to open such a school was in anticipation of voters last November approving state-regulated therapeutic use of marijuana for people suffering from specific chronic medical conditions. He began organizing the school in December.

Med Gro's first class of 25 students launched in September, and a new class began Thursday night. The six-week curriculum, which is 25 to 30 class hours and meets one night a week, covers legal and business issues, pot history, cultivation, cooking and medical/caregiving training.

Degreed botanists and lawyers teach the classes, Tennant said, and the student body ranges from recent high school graduates to church pastors who minister to people suffering from AIDS and other diseases.

The Michigan Department of Community Health this year has issued nearly 1,800 cards to caregivers that allow them to grow marijuana for more than 4,400 qualified patients who also have state-issued cards.

Australia: Plastic Gets A Bagging

Emma Pritchard, Daily Examiner

There is a truth that must be heard!EVERY year Australian consumers use 6.9 billion plastic bags.

Of that 6.9 billion, 80 million end up as litter in our drains and waterways, setting state and local governments back $200 million a year in cleaning bills.

Seven years ago, Marea Buist from Yamba decided it was time to reduce plastic bag usage in her local area and make a positive difference to the environment.

Ms Buist is part of a group known as the Plastic Bag Free Committee, which also includes Jane Mitchell, Barbara Whale and Helen Tyas Tunggal. Together these passionate women are working towards making Yamba a plastic bag-free town.

“I had an idea to use hemp bags instead of plastic ones,” Ms Buist said.

“Four or five years ago I took my idea to the Yamba Chamber of Commerce and while people were supportive of my idea, they didn't have time to do the groundwork.

“When Tania Williams became president of the Chamber of Commerce she thought this idea was fantastic and with her support we managed to make it public knowledge.”

Launched at the Yamba River Markets on Sunday, Ms Buist's hemp bags have proven a success with the Yamba community.

“The launch was very positive and we received good feedback,” she said.

“The bags were designed by students from St James here in Yamba and it's great to have locals, especially children, involved with their production.

Oregon: Moving Forward | Cannabis Tax Act & Cannabis Tolerance Act

"It took courageous people to stand up and question the prohibition against alcohol." Rick Steves, Marijuana Conversation

By D. Paul Stanford & Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Note: Did you know that in 2007, 873,000 people were arrested for marijuana offenses in the U.S., and 90% of them were just for possession? Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML have finished gathering the 1000 sponsorship signatures needed for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2010 (OCTA) & Oregon Cannabis Tolerance Act 2010 (OCTA Light) petitions. These were turned in to the Oregon Secretary of State's office on September 21, 2009. We are currently waiting for official ballot titles from the state and should have them in the next few weeks. After polling, we will begin circulating one of the petitions across Oregon. We will need 100,000 valid signatures by July, 2, 2010 to qualify for the November 2010 election.

Activists had previously filed OCTA in 2008, but withdrew it when polling showed antipathy about the previous version placing cannabis sales in existing state liquor stores. Activists went back to the drawing board and came up with two versions.

UK: Carbon Negative Hemp Walls

By Daniel Flahiff, Inhabitat

There is a truth that must be heard! Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical® Hemcrete® is a bio-composite, thermal walling material made from hemp, lime and water. What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder. Of course the equation is more complicated than that, but Hemcrete® is still an amazing new technology that could change the building industry.

Good looking, environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, Hemcrete® is as versatile as it is sustainable. It can be used in a mind-boggling array of applications from roof insulation to wall construction to flooring. Hemcrete® is waterproof, fireproof, insulates well, does not rot [when used above ground] and is completely recyclable. In fact, the manufacturers say that demolished Hemcrete® walls can actually be used as fertilizer!

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