entertainment

U.S.: Netflix's 'Disjointed,' Starring Kathy Bates, Offers Laughs in Mad World

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Oscar winner Kathy Bates, 69, is lighting up again — only this time it’s cannabis — as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, the owner of a California medical cannabis dispensary in Netflix's new sitcom “Disjointed”.

“Disjointed”, which showcases Ruth’s old school activism against the business ambitions of her son, Travis (Aaron Moten), a newly minted M.B.A. who wants to grow their dispensary into the Walmart of cannabis, also tackles real world situations from politics to post traumatic stress disorder.

U.S.: Groundbreaking Cannabis TV Show Delivers National Network Highs

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Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" is topping national cable network ratings as a journalistic news outlet covering the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.

Hosted by media entrepreneur and former NPR news anchor Becca Williams, the national TV show’s “420 special” which aired on April 20 received record viewership, becoming the most popular weekly program to date on Free Speech TV network in 2016.

Based on Rentrak ratings service, Free Speech TV garners approximately 1.2 million viewers per month and reaches nearly 40 million households. The station airs on DirecTV and DISH channels, as well as 200 part-time cable affiliates.

Host Williams is a long-time cannabis advocate and consumer who recognized the potential of a broadcast medium devoted to the controversial subject of marijuana. With riveting candor and hard-hitting commentary, Williams rips through fact, fiction and folly to get to the truth behind America’s misconceptions about the “Green Rush.”

"Marijuana Straight Talk"'s episodes tackle the realities of a rapidly expanding cannabis community. From educational and wellness segments to in-depth interviews and historical narratives, the show creates a cannabis culture that is socially conscious, sustainable and prosperous.

U.S.: TV Pot Show 'Marijuana Straight Talk' Soars To Top Of Ratings

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A woman-owned media company has launched a national TV show focused on one of America’s hottest and most controversial topics: marijuana.

The show, Marijuana Straight Talk, soared to the top of the ratings with its “420 special” episode last month, making its debut at a time when support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has never been stronger. A recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 61 percent of Americans now support legalizing cannabis.

“Now, more than ever, this country is ready for Marijuana Straight Talk,” said host Becca Williams, a noted media entrepreneur and TV producer.

The growing interest among Americans is evident when it comes to Marijuana Straight Talk’s reception. Based on the show’s “420 special” episode, it became the most popular weekly program in 2016 to date on Free Speech TV network, which garners about 1.2 million viewers per month based on Rentrak ratings service.

U.S.: Former Lineman Eben Britton Discusses Marijuana Use In The NFL

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Former NFL lineman and current writer Eben Britton this week discussed marijuana use in the National Football League.

Cannabis media platform MERRY JANE sat down with Britton on "Deflowered," a MERRY JANE original series that unveils an intimate look at the lives of artists and society's influential figures that have been touched by cannabis and its culture.

Each episode poses a unique look into a monumental "first time" for guests -- a vital moment to their careers, inspirations and outlook. "Deflowered" brings new light to the vast array of people within cannabis culture.

To watch the new episode of "Deflowered" featuring Eben Britton, visit: https://www.merryjane.com/culture/deflowered-with-eben-britton

MERRY JANE was recently launched by entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg, and media entrepreneur, Ted Chung. The website, including partners Seth Rogen, Guy Oseary and Miley Cyrus, is a media platform at the crossroads of pop culture, business, politics, health, and the new generation of normalized, sophisticated cannabis culture for all.

Photo of Eben Britton: Leafly

Colorado: Loopr Launches Mobile Cannabis Lounge and Mobile App

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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.

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

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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.

U.S.: New Slate of Cannabis Lifestyle Programming Announced

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Studio Releases Three New Original Web Series Including “Get LOUD” Starring Adult Swim’s Black Jesus Star Gerald “Slink” Johnson

PRØHBTD, the cannabis-lifestyle destination and branded content studio, on Tuesday announced their 2016 slate of programming with three new shows and five more in development.

"Get LOUD!" is the first show starring Gerald “Slink” Johnson (Black Jesus/Adult Swim), and all shows are distributed online through the PRØHBTD website and on roku, appleTV, amazon fire and FilmOn, with additional OTT distribution coming soon.

The PRØHBTD destination site features original programming, storytelling and hand-selected products for modern cannabis enthusiasts. “We have a young progressive audience who embrace the trends across every aspect of modern cannabis culture from fashion to music,” said co-founder Drake Sutton-Shearer. “They have been asking us for specific types of programming so we’re responding to their requests by delivering content not previously seen anywhere else.”

PRØHBTD’s shows currently scheduled for release, include:

“Get LOUD!” is an entertainment-travel show starring Gerald “Slink” Johnson of Adult Swim/Black Jesus fame. Hang out with Slink as he travels around the world in the search of the loudest people, place, things and activities—not to mention the cannabis.

U.S.: Medicare Mermaids Hash Out Marijuana In Episode 2

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The newly released Episode 2 of "Medicare Mermaids," a satirical new political web series which debuted earlier this month, deals with medical marijuana -- as in, the mermaids get blunt about Republicans out to kill their buzz.

LB Zimmerman stars as "Rozzie Mendlebaum" and Susan J Sommer stars as "Sheila Rabinowitz" in "Medicare Mermaids." Each episode runs under 4 minutes and addresses the issues from a progressive perspective with humor and insight.

"We're thrilled that over 10,000 people have watched Episode 1 on Facebook and YouTube and would like to thank all our viewers and supporters," said LB Zimmerman, creator/writer/"Rozzie Mermaid. "I think Episode 2 will strike a chord with many Americans who think our country's laws about marijuana need to be changed, despite what Trump-supporter, Governor Chris Christie says and thinks.

Episode 2 takes on the issue of legalizing Medical Marijuana and addresses the absurdity that it is considered a Schedule I narcotic by the DEA. Episode 3 will debut on April 11, and it deals with Climate Change, which greatly affects Mermaids and Humans alike.

On "Medicare Mermaids" Mondays (every other Monday) there will be a new episode with Rozzie and Sheila tackling the political issues in their unique way, with humor and intelligence.

Progressive and liberal, Rozzie and Sheila tackle big issues like protecting Medicare, gun control, marijuana legalization, climate change and a Mermaid's "right to choose."

Texas: SXSW Is Going To Pot With First Ever Cannabis Music Showcase

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First Ever Cannabis Music Showcase featuring B-Real, Ghostface Killah and More
Friday, March 18 at Emo’s

The cannabis culture has arrived at SXSW with a music showcase dedicated entirely to our beloved plant, and featuring hip-hop artist B-Real, along with Ghostface Killah, Domo Genesis, Killa Priest, SID (Slipknot), Bizzy, Bic and others.

“This is epic,” said presenter Rory Mendoza of LEAF Brand Incorporated. “This is the first time a cannabis music showcase will be officially recognized at SXSW. Performers are reaching out to us daily to be a part of this historic music stage in Austin. The artists are proud there will be an ‘official stage’ dedicated to their love of the healing green plant.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. for this historic SXSW event on Friday, March 18 at Emo’s, Austin’s live music venue located at 2015 E. Riverside Drive.

The music stage is presented by SXSW and Rory Mendoza of LEAF Brand Incorporated. Mendoza was the promoter of February’s Ft. Worth cannabis conference.

In addition to the LEAF Music Showcase division, the company is comprised of a marketing and entertainment division, LEAF brand clothing, and LEAF Organics skin care line.

Mendoza said his entertainment contacts and history of music promotion, combined with and a passion for cannabis events, fueled the fire for the SXSW music showcase.

U.S.: Former NBA Star Says 80% of Players Use Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American basketball star Jay Williams believes it's time for the NBA to get up to date on marijuana.

"It's easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin, and look, I was addicted to it for five years plus so I know," Williams told Jade Scipioni at FoxBusiness.com. "But when you say marijuana you get a reaction, ahh, it's a gateway drug."

Williams estimated that "75 to 80 percent" of NBA players use marijuana.

"You see pictures of guys in California going in and getting their medical marijuana cards," he said. "And I'm not just saying athletes; let's talk about society. I know a lot of people that use it.

It's something that the whole world is becoming more progressive with," Williams said. "So it's about time some of these entities do so as well."

The NBA's "anti-drug" agreement specifies that players are subject to four random drug tests through the season. The tests are conducted by an independent, third-party entity without prior notice to the athlete.

Players who test positive for cannabis and are convicted of the violation will be required to enter a "Marijuana Program." Second offenses result in a $25,000 fine, and third offenses result in a five-game suspension.

“I know so many athletes that play on Percocet," Williams said. "Have you ever taken Percocet by the way? It makes you way more groggy than rubbing cannabis oil into your skin.”

Uruguay: Wide World of Cannabis Explores First Country To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Cannabis and pop culture media platform Merry Jane is investigating cannabis globally in their new original series, "Wide World of Cannabis," which premieres Wednesday.

The first episode, "Uruguay Part 1," travels to South America to explore the first country in the world to completely legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana.

"This is just the start of Merry Jane's deep dive into cannabis use around the world," publicist Katie Jang told us on Wednesday.

Merry Jane was recently launched by entertainment icon Snoop Dogg and media entrepreneur Ted Chung.

The website, including partners Seth Rogen, Guy Oseary and Miley Cyrus, features the latest news on cannabis, business and entertainment, as well as a location mapping service for dispensaries, and an encyclopedia of all things cannabis.

U.S.: Morgan Freeman Not Picky When It Comes To Marijuana Strains

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In an intimate, wide-ranging interview, Morgan Freeman sits down with Larry King on the Emmy-nominated series “Larry King Now,” where he opens up about not seeing many scripts, his relationship with President Obama, and his love of marijuana.

The Oscar winner says he’s not picky when it comes to what strain of marijuana he smokes, and makes his case for legalizing the plant. “They can’t continue to say that it’s a dangerous drug when it’s safer than alcohol,” Freeman tells Larry in the interview.

And while the Oscars were held last weekend, the Academy Award winner and ‘Best Picture’ presenter argues, “I’m not quite sure that there is a diversity issue in Hollywood.” He notes that while there no African Americans were nominated for the Oscars, “There were no Asians, either.”

Freeman also explains that the Academy is not the root of the problem, saying “I think if you’re going to talk about diversity in movies, let’s not talk about the Academy Awards. We need to go way way back, we need to go back to people who are making the movie: directors, producers and people behind the camera.”

Although the Oscar winner has been in his fair share of movies, he’s not shy to admit what few actors will: sometimes he takes roles for the money. “Yes [it’s an art], but I don’t want to die a pauper,” he reveals. He also shares why he loves working with Clint Eastwood, saying, “He doesn’t fool around. He respects the actor.”

U.S.: HBO's VICE Series Features White Collar Weed

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Season Four of the Emmy-winning television series VICE on HBO includes the segment "White Collar Weed," and will air on Friday, February 26, at 11 pm ET.

The episode will include two segments, "White Collar Weed," hosted by correspondent Hamilton Morris; and "Beating Blindness," hosted by correspondent Isobel Yeung.

Small-scale weed farmers have been fighting to legalize marijuana for generations, but the closer they get to ending the prohibition on cannabis, the closer they get to a new threat -- corporate takeover of their way of life.

VICE's Hamilton Morris travels to California's renowned Emerald Triangle to meet struggling mom-and-pop marijuana growers, then he visits with the investors and entrepreneurs eager to cash in on the next big consumer market -- if it could put the small guys out of business.

See an advanced clip from Friday's "White Collar Weed" segment, below:

U.S.: New 'Rolling With Rogen' Cannabis Series Sparks Up On MerryJane.com

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Merry Jane, a media platform combining cannabis and pop culture, on Wednesday launched a new original series produced and created by Point Grey, “Rolling with Rogen,” starring actor Seth Rogen. The series will include Rogen's personal perspective and helpful tips for enjoying cannabis.

A hilarious and informative tongue-in-cheek how-to video tutorial on successfully consuming cannabis in its various forms. New episodes of “Rolling with Rogen” will be available on Merry Jane.

Merry Jane, recently launched by entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg, and media entrepreneur Ted Chung, represents the new reality of cannabis as part of our daily lives. The website features the latest news on cannabis, business and entertainment, as well as a location mapping service for dispensaries and an encyclopedia of all things cannabis.

Merry Jane also boasts a variety of original series, including:

GGN: Everyone’s favorite “hood news” talk show hosted by Snoop Dogg, where he interviews a variety of entertainers, such as Jimmy Kimmel, Kendrick Lamar, Larry King and more.

Deflowered: An intimate look into the lives of influential people where each episode spotlights a “first time” moment with our guests.

Seed to Strain: A behind-the-scenes look into some of the most well-known cannabis strains.

Wide World of Cannabis: Profiling far flung parts of the world and how they have cultivated their own unique relationship with cannabis.

Canada: Tweed Partners With Iconic Cannabis Connoisseur Snoop Dogg

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Tweed Inc., a subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation on Friday announced it has entered into a business partnership with entertainment icon Snoop Dogg.

"Snoop Dogg is one of the world's most respected cannabis icons and pioneers in the industry," the company announced in a prepared statement. "He is recognized as a connoisseur of quality, medical cannabis products and has expanded his entrepreneurial endeavors to provide expertise and strategy to business ventures that, like Tweed, represent the birth of a new industry."

"There are real social and medical benefits from the cannabis industry -- and the world is seeing this positivity in a whole new way," said Snoop. "Canada has been at the forefront of the business model, and I look forward to being a part of the road ahead."

Under the partnership, Snoop, through a controlled company, and Tweed have partnered on curated content and brand strategy exclusively in Canada. The license agreement is for an initial three-year term with a two-year extension.

As partial consideration for the arrangement, the controlled company will receive a combination of Canopy shares, royalties, and monetary compensation, released over the course of the agreement.

U.S.: New TV Show Chronicles Emerging Cannabis Economy

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VICELAND, VICE’s new TV network, has shared the first trailer for its show "Weediquette," hosted by Krishna Andavolu. The show premieres on Tuesday, March 1, at 11 p.m., on VICELAND.

In the show, VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu chronicles the science, culture, and economics of the emerging “green” economy.

Each episode explores the impact of marijuana legalization across the United States and internationally, examining how people on all sides of this issue are dealing with the growing popularity and acceptance of this remarkable plant.

"There are many players in this weed revolution, and each one has a story to tell," "Weediquette announced in a press release.

Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/RYAqnLonzIw

Washington: The Marijuana Show To Hold Auditions In Seattle For Next Weed Millionaire

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The Marijuana Show, a reality cable TV show called “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs” by CNBC, is holding auditions for Season 3 in Seattle.

According to the show's producers, auditions will be held at the Cannabis Tech Meetup, February 3, at Club Sur at 7:30 PM in conjunction with the Seattle Cannabis Tech group meeting.

The first season offered $5 million and second season offered over $10 million. Producers are interested in cannabis, hemp, technology, ancillary, dispensaries and grows.

“Come pitch or judge to help decide who will get to pitch accredited investors and star in season three," said producer Wendy Robbins. "We wanted to create a power to the people pitch so we can involve the community to find the next marijuana millionaires.”

“This will be our most exciting season since we have access to amazing investors and will search the country finding the most innovative and lucrative businesses," said producer Karen Paull. "This season we also are able to offer loans to established businesses.”

Over the next six months, the show’s producers will be hosting live auditions in select cities including Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Boston, Washington DC, New York and Florida to find the next group of contenders. Two Minute Online pitches can be uploaded and voted on at www.grreenequitymedia.com.

Global: Fans Mourn Death of Longtime Cannabis Enthusiast, Music Legend David Bowie

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A lifetime of music came to an end on Sunday, January 10, as music legend David Bowie, 69, died after an 18-month struggle with cancer.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," the artist's Facebook page announced. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Nearly 40 years ago, back on March 21, 1976, Bowie was arrested along with rocker Iggy Pop for possession of about half-a-pound of marijuana, reports Gabrielle Bluestone at Gawker. Bowie, Pop and another man and woman were staying in a three-room suite at the Americana Rochester Hotel when they were raided by vice squad detectives at about 2:25 a.m.

All four were held for a few hours at the Monroe County Jail before they were eached freed on $2,000 bond, reports Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News. Bowie paid everyone's bail.

U.S.: Law Enforcement's Use Of Young Drug Informants Ignites Controversy

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The use of young people by law enforcement as confidential informants in drug cases is more controversial than ever before after the practice was spotlighted Sunday night on TV news show 60 Minutes.

While Drug War prohibitionists often claim we need to "protect young people," the 60 Minutes piece showed one of the ways the War On Drugs endangers young people, reports Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in The Huffington Post.

The TV news show shows young people who were arrested for small amounts of cannabis or Ecstasy who were then threatened with years in prison unless they "turned" and worked as confidential informants, "CIs." A number of these informants unfortunately end up in life-threatening situations, or are pressured into lying at the expense of innocent people to reduce their own punishments.

Up to 80 percent of all drug cases in the United States may be due to information from informants, according to research, and 60 Minutes estimated that 100,000 people are currently working as confidential informants.

New Jersey: Son of Musician Peter Tosh Launches Fundraising Campaign to Battle Marijuana Charges

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Charged In New Jersey For Posession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana, Peter Tosh's son Jawara McIntosh Faces 10-20 Years In Jail If Convicted

Jawara “Tosh1” McIntosh, son of the, legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh, is fighting what he believes is a grave injustice for the possession of marijuana. As a Rastafarian, McIntosh argues, “I was raised in the tradition of Rastafari, which is not simply a religion but a way of life. And in the Rastafarian tradition, herb, also known as cannabis, is a sacrament we use freely for spiritual purposes. Besides the fact that the use of this sacred plant should be protected by the Constitution, it is utterly ridiculous that a plant could ever be classified as a drug.”

Legal fees and debt from the sizable bail are mounting. In response, Tosh1 and the Peter Tosh Estate have launched an Indiegogo Crowdfunding account to help McIntosh fight the charges. The account is now live at: www.indiego.com. The decriminalization of cannabis has become a hot topic in recent months, and will certainly be a campaign issue in the 2016 elections.

In fact, it is a widely held opinion among lawmakers that the criminal justice system should be reformed. Recently at the NAACP’s annual convention in Philadelphia, President Barack Obama cited the “long history of inequity in the criminal justice system in America,” and argued that the system was “particularly skewed by race and wealth.”

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