New York

U.S.: NFL Legend Joe Montana Invests in Cannabis Media Business

Joe Montana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana bought into cannabis technology company HERB.

HERB, a digital media company based in Toronto, Canada geared specifically for the cannabis industry, mixes original how-to videos with hard news and profiles. The company, which boasts 5.3 million unique visitors per month and 2 billion organic video views annually as of June 2017, aims to expand to Los Angeles and New York City, as well as build out new studios to offer online video content.

Liquid 2 Ventures, Montana's venture capital firm, was a part of a group that invested $4.1 million into Herb during the company’s seed-funding round.

New York: Department of Health Proposes Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This month, the New York Department of Health announced the issuance of new proposed regulations that would make changes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The department would reduce some of the burdensome security requirements for registered organizations, shorten the length of the medical cannabis course certifying practitioners must take, and allow additional types of medical cannabis products to be sold, among other things.

New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, has been criticized by patient advocate groups as unnecessarily restrictive, and initial patient registration numbers were extremely low compared to other state medical cannabis programs.

New York: Dept of Health Adds Organizations to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis - Times Union

As of August 1, 2017, there are 25,736 certified patients and 1,139 registered practitioners participating in the program and the number of certified patients has increased by 10,744 or 72 percent since the addition of chronic pain in late March

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The New York State Department of Health yesterday announced that it has authorized five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in New York State, an initiative aimed at improving patient access and the geographic distribution of dispensing facilities across the state. The newly approved organizations are Citiva Medical, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, New York Canna, PalliaTech NY and Valley Agriceuticals.

New York: Industrial Hemp Farmer Promotes Crop As Sustainable Option

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New York hemp farmer believes industrial hemp could be crop that puts the North Country on the map

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

An Ellisburg company, one of six around the state to be awarded a permit to grow industrial hemp for research, believes hemp will flourish in New York.

Mark Privitera, an industrial hemp farmer, believes hemp can be used as house insulation and the wood core can be carbonized to store energy. Privitera's ultimate goal would be an industrial hemp processing plant in Watertown within 3-5 years, which would produce industrial hemp products for commercial sale.

New York: State Department of Health Announces Enhancements to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis

Certified Patients Increase By More Than 7,500 Since Addition of Chronic Pain

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 22, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced several new enhancements to the state's Medical Marijuana Program as the number of certified patients continues to rise since the late March addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition. Enhancements will streamline and simplify the registration process for practitioners, making it easier to certify patients for the medical marijuana program.

United States: Brooklyn District Attorney Tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'Brooklyn's Decriminalization Is A Success'

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While the Trump administration advocates for a draconian stance on drugs by pushing for harsh criminal penalties, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's declaration advocates for a pragmatic approach to the war on drugs.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a return to federal drug policies of the 1980’s, policies which end in mass incarceration.

In an opinion piece published on Sunday for City and State New York, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as was critical of AG Jeff Sessions for his barbaric stance regarding the failed drug war.

Connecticut: Marijuana Legalization Hearing Draws Conflicting Testimony

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A hearing on legalizing marijuana for adults in Connecticut Wednesday produced plenty of conflicting testimony about risks and benefits associated with the plant. Topics of concern ranged from health concerns to the state's need for tax revenue.

Very different attitudes toward recreational marijuana were expressed by members of the General Assembly's judiciary committee. Some lawmakers opposed cannabis legalization, while some strongly supported it.

Supporters of marijuana legalization argued that the plant is less addictive than alcohol or nicotine, and that millions of dollars of illegal cannabis is currently being sold in Connecticut every year. Marijuana legalization "would take control of the marijuana market out of the hands of drug dealers," said Joseph LaChance, a medical marijuana patient from Milford.

Martin M. Looney, the Senate's top Democratic leader, testified that prohibiting marijuana use in Connecticut has been as ineffective as alcohol Prohibition was in the 1920s and 1930s.

Looney and others argued that the tax revenue generated by legal marijuana sales could help solve Connecticut's fiscal crisis. Currently, medical marijuana can be sold to patients with a few certain qualifying conditions in Connecticut, but the sales are not taxed.

New York: Chronic Pain Added To List Of Approved Conditions For Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New York just added chronic pain to the list of conditions that can qualify a patient for medical marijuana in the state.

The New York Department of Health issued a statement saying a regulatory amendment outlining the addition of chronic pain and its conditions has been drafted and will be published for public comment soon.

“After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature, it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker in the statement. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

The state’s laws already allow medical marijuana for those suffering from cancer, HIV/AID, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to spinal cord nervous tissues, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington’s disease.

Vermont: Thieves Mistaking Hemp For Pot

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Vermont State Police say three men stole hemp from a farm in Shaftsbury because they thought it was pot.

Troopers responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in Shaftsbury and found Leon Lovelace, 21, Brett Stone, 24, and Cody Smith, 20, all of Hoosick Falls, New York. The three men had plants that looked like marijuana; they were cited for possession and released.

A follow-up investigation revealed that two of the men had given false names, and that the plants were in fact hemp, not pot.

Police say the hemp was stolen from a farm in Shaftsbury. They also say that farm has had a lot of plants stolen recently because people think it is marijuana.

The suspects still face charges for theft and providing false names to police.

Colorado: Marijuana Is Legal In Some States - But Only If You're A U.S.Citizen

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana may be legal in a growing number of states, but not many people know that it's still very much against the law for all non-U.S. citizens to use it. In fact, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has penalized and deported more people convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past decade than ever before.

Claudia, a native of Chile, learned this the hard way after being flagged for an in-depth security screening after landing at Los Angeles International Airport on October 8, 2015. "It's normal," she says. "Sometimes the officers review people." Besides, she had never been in trouble in her life.

Agents directed Claudia into a big, open room where she was asked to place her luggage on a table for examination. Officer Torres, a customs agent, asked her about her planned one-week trip to San Francisco and made friendly small talk as he went through her suitcase and purse.

Torres asked Claudia about past trips to the U.S., and she told the agent of visits to Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, and Colorado. At the mention of Colorado, he asked to see her phone. He quickly began scrolling through photos from her last visit to the States from April to June of that year. "Can you do this?" she asked.

"Yes", he replied, which Claudia accepted; she had nothing to hide, after all.

New York: Eaton Farm First To Plant Hemp Seeds

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Dan Dolgin and Mark Justh planted 30 acres of hemp near Eaton, New York in July under a research license from Morrisville State College. They are expecting their first harvest next month.

"It's not only the first legal hemp grown in New York State, but the first legal hemp to be grown here in 80 years," Dolgin said.

They say their biggest hurdle is proving to people that hemp is not marijuana and won't "get you high".

"Looking at this you might not be able to tell the difference between the two, but they have very different end uses and are grown very differently," said Dolgin.

"This is an agricultural crop. It has nothing to do with marijuana and I think it's important for people to understand that," Mark Justh said.

Hemp is used in textiles, building materials, and food.

"It's got all the omega 3's and 6's. It's probably the best vegan alternative to fish oil so we're excited about the nutritional components as much as we are the industrial components," said Dolgin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the annual hemp sales to be almost $600 million, but all of that money is being spent outside the U.S. presently.

Dan and Mark expect a high yield at harvest next month. "We expect to get 800 pounds per acre off of this," Justh said.

They hope that hemp will soon benefit farmers all over the state.

New York: True Hemp Dog Chews A Hit In Manhattan

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The only hemp-based pet product at the Cannabis World Congress
generates a New York-style buzz

From capturing the headline in the New York Daily News to selling out when they weren’t even for sale, True Leaf International’s True Hemp dog chews were the talk of the town – or at least of the 3rd annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo at New York’s Javits Center June 16-17.

When True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford and Marketing VP Alison Ruks turned up at the True Leaf booth, a crowd had already gathered, and to their surprise, people wanted to buy the functional chews – even though they weren’t for sale.

“We had to rush-ship the product in overnight to keep up with the demand,” said Alison. “The response overwhelmed all our expectations.”

While they were busy filling orders from their impromptu storefront, the True Leaf team made time for interviews with Sports Illustrated and The New York Daily News, which led its story on the expo with “Hemp-infused dog biscuits peddled at New York cannabis expo.”

“Dogs are finally getting a real treat,” the story began, featuring an interview with Alison on the benefits of the True Hemp treats for dogs.

When they weren’t talking about True Hemp with the media or selling the display to Congress attendees, the True Leaf team even picked up a new retailer in Hell’s Kitchen.

New York: Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo Boasts Strong Attendance

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Trade Show for All Things Cannabis Featured a Presidential Candidate, Pro Athletes, Advocates and Non-Stop Education, Deal-Making & Networking

For three days, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) at the Javits Center in New York, was a hotbed of business activity when nearly 4,000 attendees (almost double attendance from last year) came to learn, network and build relationships in the country’s fastest growing industry.

CWCBExpo NY, took place June 15-17 at the Javits Center in New York and garnered major media and audience attention, and included a special appearance by Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate.

This year’s CWCBExpo NY increased its attendance with attendees coming from the tri-state area as well as Canada, New England, and the Rust Belt states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“The explosive growth of our audience is testament to the fact that the East Coast is fast becoming a major area of interest and business for the cannabis industry,” said Christine Ianuzzi, show director, CWCBExpo NY. “People came to CWCBExpo NY to learn, network, and discover new business opportunities in the emerging legalized cannabis industry.”

New York: State Assembly Passes Legislation To Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

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Bill is First Step Toward Comprehensive Plan to Redress Harms of the War on Drugs in Communities of Color

As Legislative Clock Winds Down, Advocates and Assemblymembers Urge Senate to Quickly Pass the Companion Bill in the Senate

The New York State Assembly on Wednesday voted in support of A10092, a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view. The bipartisan vote was 92 in favor and 34 opposed.

Over the last 20 years, more than 700,000 New Yorkers have been arrested for simple possession of marijuana. Those convicted face significant barriers to accessing education, employment, housing opportunities, and other state services.

“I introduced the marijuana sealing bill because drug laws have created a permanent underclass of people unable to find jobs after a conviction,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “One of the most damaging issues derived from the war on drugs is that the policies are inherently racist.

"Communities of color have been devastated by bad drug policies and hyper-criminalization for the last 40 years," Peoples-Stokes said. "It is an approach that has never worked and has caused significantly more harm than good to our communities and to our families.

New York: Report Finds Too Few Patients Can Access Medical Marijuana

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77% of Patients and Caregivers Surveyed, Who Accessed the Program, Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need

Advocates Call On New York Legislature to Pass Bills to Increase Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

The Drug Policy Alliance on Monday issued a report assessing the first four months on the state’s medical marijuana program. The report is in response to demand for information in the face of the absence of all but the most limited public information from the New York State Department of Health. The report, the first systematic assessment of the program so far and its impact on patient access, found patients and caregivers face significant barriers to accessing medical marijuana.

On January 7, New York became the 23rd state to rollout its medical marijuana program. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country.

Since the program was launched, patients and advocates have been frustrated by numerous barriers to accessing the program, including difficulty finding participating physicians, trouble accessing dispensaries and medication, and affordability.

Minnesota: State Officials Investigate NY Medical Marijuana Company For Smuggling Drugs

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Vireo Health, the parent company of the White Plains medical marijuana dispensary, has been accused of illegally smuggling $500,000 worth of marijuana-based drugs from Minnesota to New York, according to court records.

A former employee of Vireo Health tipped authorities off to the alleged scheme, leading to an investigation.

The former employee said a Vireo Health official used the company's armored car to drive cannabis-based oils to New York, court records show.

Vireo Health contends the drugs were destroyed and denied the accusations as detailed in Minnesota court records.

“These claims were the impetus for the state investigation, and we are confident the claims relied upon by regulatory authorities to begin the investigation will be found to be false,” Vireo Health wrote in an email.

Vireo Health is the parent company of Vireo Health of New York, one of five companies that began growing and selling medical marijuana in New York in January.

The former employee, a chemist intimately involved in growing marijuana plants and manufacturing the cannabis-based drugs, gave state investigators a picture of supposed digital inventory records tied to the missing drugs, court records show.

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

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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.

New York: Company Wants To Produce Marijuana's Cannabinoids In Tobacco Plants

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Wait, what? In another development on the fast-breaking front regarding the corporate takeover of cannabis, a New York-based company wants to produce cannabinoids in plants other than marijuana, particularly in tobacco.

22nd Century Group, Inc., a plant biotechnology company that calls itself "a leader in tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research," on Thursday announced that it is launching a major new initiative to produce medically important cannabinoids in plants other than cannabis – including tobacco plants.

In support of this initiative, the company also announced that has opened its own fully outfitted molecular biology laboratories in the Cleveland BioLabs building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. 22nd Century said its new laboratories will host cutting-edge research in industrial hemp/cannabis and tobacco biotechnology.

Paul J. Rushton, Ph.D., the Company’s recently appointed Cambridge and Max Planck Institute-educated Vice President of Plant Biotechnology, will manage the Company’s research efforts at the new laboratories.

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

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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.

New York: More Than 1,500 Visit Opening Day of the Museum of Drug Policy

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The Museum of Drug Policy in New York City opened up to long lines and more than 1,500 people attending events all day long on Tuesday, including a sold-out #NerdlandForever: Melissa Harris-Perry Live show.

Special guests included The Wire's Michael K. Williams, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Orange Is The New Black's Piper Kerman, Comedian Cristela Alonzo, 12 Years A Slave's Adepero Oduye and many members of the international community.

The Museum of Drug Policy, supported by The Open Society Foundations, is an immersive art experience and pop-up cultural hub with special live programming looking at the impact of current drug policies on populations around the world.

The Museum will be open on Park Avenue in New York City for three days this week, during the United Nations General Assembly’s Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem.

More than 70 works of international art will be on display, including special installations, and the Museum will feature daytime discussions and evening performances with a powerful lineup of speakers, panels, performances and keynote addresses that will take attendees on a journey exploring the real impact and human cost of drug policy in communities around the world.

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