News and Information


The ravenous energy needs of the cannabis industry are, in many ways, a legacy of its prohibition, an industry analyst with New Frontier Data named John Kagia told me over the phone recently. Forced underground and indoors, the best growers honed their skills in basements and garages, using bright lights, powerful HVAC systems, and dehumidifiers. The high prices on the black market more than covered the energy bills. The question now is whether the environmental impact of cannabis will balloon as legalization sweeps across the country. Twenty-nine states have approved medical marijuana, and eight, including California, have legalized adult recreational use.

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Melissa Etheridge Says She Feels Like A 'Rock Star' After Getting Busted For Cannabis

“I'm a Southern California granola kind of gal, and I have a very healthy belief in natural things. And so when the doctor looked at me and said, ‘Okay, you're gonna have this pain...here's five pills and they all have their side effects,’ I said, ‘No thank you. I will smoke this one plant’,” Etheridge told Civilized in an exclusive interview in September 2015.

Marijuana-Related Contracts Get California Blessing Under New Law

AB 1159 clarifies that cannabis contracts that comply with state and local law can be enforced so long as they carry a disclaimer that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. But the legality of contracts involving dispensaries, growers and related businesses has often been challenged in state courts.

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Northern California Wildfires Are Devastating the Area's Cannabis Crop

In Northern California, Fall means more than leaves changing colors, squash and pumpkins, with hordes of “trimmigrants” heading for the hills and a spike in scissor sales marking the world’s most important annual cannabis harvest. This year though, as thousands of farmers and their trimming assistants prepare this year’s crop for the medical market, personal use and illegal out of state sales, a series of wildfires is raging through Sonoma and Napa counties, destroying homes, businesses, vineyards, and, yes, cannabis farms. 

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Government jobs sprout ahead of legal pot in California

The state is on a hiring binge to fill what eventually will be hundreds of new government positions by 2019 intended to bring order to the legal pot economy, from keeping watch on what’s seeping into streams near cannabis grows to running background checks on storefront sellers who want government licenses. Thousands of additional jobs are expected to be added by local governments.

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Medical Cannabis May Lose Protection in Upcoming Spending Bill

With the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment set to expire on Dec. 8, the future of its protections now hinges on the work of the House-Senate conference committee, which will reconcile the differences between the spending bills of the two chambers this fall. 

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Northern Michigan University offers first U.S. medical marijuana degree

NMU has begun to offer students degrees in medicinal plant chemistry, which it says will combine "rigorous coursework in chemistry and biology with research and hands on instrumental analysis built into the curriculum to prepare its graduates for a career in the cannabis industry.

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California Cannabis Retail Market Revealed: Big Data Tells All

The BDS report said, “Flower is a term about as descriptive as “wine” — just as wine can mean Syrah, Cremant du Jura, port and thousands of other things, “flower,” too, is broken down into thousands of strains.” BDS Analytics also tracks sales of 13,000 uniquely named strains, with more getting added every month.

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California Bans Weed Delivery By Drones and Self-Driving Cars

California’s legal weed green rush is set to instantly explode at the beginning of next year, but as regulators, ganjapreneurs and cannabis consumers ready themselves for recreational sales and updates to the state’s longstanding medical marijuana program, Golden State delivery services were given a rude awakening about their technological growth ceiling. 

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Study Shows Marijuana Can Prevent Alzheimer's-Causing Protein From Developing

“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California and one of the authors of the study.

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Smoking pot while driving or riding in a car in California will soon be punishable with a fine

It is already illegal to drive while intoxicated with marijuana and to have an open bag of cannabis in a motor vehicle. The new law bans actually smoking marijuana or consuming cannabis edibles while driving or riding in a vehicle. It is similar to open container laws that prohibit drinking while driving.

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California Officials Decline to Enact Bill That Would Restrict Advertising on Marijuana Merchandise

Cannabis companies already are restricted from many mainstream advertising outlets including google ads, facebook ads, radio, and television ads. While some businesses have been able to take out billboard ads (billboard ads from cannabis companies also would be banned under CA Bill 162), most cannot afford it. A company’s own merchandise is seen as crucial for building brand awareness.

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Singer Olivia Newton-John Is Fighting Her Second Bout of Cancer With the Help of Medical Marijuana

Four-time Grammy winner and never-ending cult phenomenon Olivia Newton-John recently opened up about her second and latest fight against the destructive forces of cancer. The singer beat breast cancer in the 1990’s, and is now supplementing her battle against a recent relapse with products from her local medical marijuana dispensary.

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Sonoma State University launches cannabis business education series

SSU tested the waters of cannabis-focused education events in March with a seminar by a San Rafael-based organization, United Patients Group, that provides a consulting service for those interested in using medical marijuana. The daylong panel, “Medical cannabis: A Clinical Focus,” was organized in collaboration with the nursing department and drew nearly 100 attendees.

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Can Marijuana Improve Workout? World's First Cannabis Gym To Open In US

The owner, Jim McAlpine, has teamed up with Heisman Memorial Trophy winner and former National Football League running back Ricky Williams to open the marijuana gym. The Heisman Memorial Trophy recognizes the most outstanding college football player whose "performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity," according to the website.

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California Gets Into the Weeds of Pot Marketing

A final vote on the branded merchandise ban is expected before the legislature recesses on Sept. 15. If approved, sources within the cannabis industry say it is likely to face a legal challenge as a measure that's both overbroad and places an unfair restriction of free speech rights.

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Marijuana brand’s success leads to sticky trademark lawsuit

The Gorilla Glue case could have far-reaching implications for the cannabis industry where — due to a clash between state and federal laws — intellectual property rights remain largely unsettled. Cannabis producers have long borrowed from pop culture to name their once-illicit marijuana flowers and infused food and drink.

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California Cannabis Cultivators Are Now Eligible for Farmer-Friendly Energy Discounts

To qualify for the discounts, growers will need to prove that at least 70% of their energy use comes from direct agricultural activity, such as electricity to power grow lights and water for irrigation. The newly adjusted rates will not help non-commercial home grows or cannabis product producers such as extraction labs. For California’s commercial growers, though, PG&E’s newfound inclusiveness is yet another example of how the once illicit cash crop is slowly but surely finding a place in mainstream society.

Limit on marijuana farms extended as supervisors work on permanent rules

A temporary urgency ordinance that limits the number of marijuana farms in unincorporated areas and requires growers to register their operations with San Luis Obispo County has been extended for a year or until county supervisors adopt a permanent ordinance.

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A Record Number of Americans Have Tried Marijuana, New Survey Shows

For starters, we've witnessed a notable shift in the way the American public views marijuana over the past two decades. Gallup, which has also polled Americans on their views regarding legalization for the past 48 years, has shown that favorability toward legalization has soared recently. After just 25% of the public favored its nationwide legalization in 1995, 60% were in support of such a move in its 2016 survey, an all-time high.

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Court Blocks Federal Prosecution of California Pot Growers

A U.S. District Court this week blocked federal prosecutors from moving forward with their conspiracy case against a pair of Northern California cultivators because the duo was determined to be in compliance with Golden State medical marijuana laws.

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People keep leaving financial services for the legalized cannabis industry

“California will soon have legal regulated medical and adult [recreational] use marijuana and it is the most populated state,” said Frank Lane, founder of the Cannabis Financial Network, which educates investors on the industry. “California will help spur more growth in the cannabis industry that is expected to reach $35bn in size by 2021, which means more companies will emerge to address consumer and patient demand.”

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Rural California sheriff, auditor spar on pot money spending

A California county auditor is accusing a sheriff of improperly spending some of the $1 million his department received in fees from legal pot growers to go after illegal operators.
It's the latest skirmish over pot in a rural county confronting a massive influx of marijuana growers in the run up to Jan. 1 when recreational cannabis sales becomes legal in California.

Cannabis company aims to turn California ghost town into an oasis for weed lovers

Indeed Nipton is isolated, situated on the northern edge of a vast national park with little but 60 miles of desert between itself and Las Vegas, the nearest major city. Its permanent residents number about 20, and the only businesses are a general store, an Old West-style hotel and a coffee shop. But where some may see a ghost town, others see a blank slate.

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San Luis Obispo County Considers Marijuana Growth Ban in the California Valley

County supervisors in San Luis Obispo County are considering a package of commercial cannabis regulations. Among other things, the drafted regulations prohibit the growth of marijuana in areas zoned as residential-suburban. The Tribune reports that this would include the California Valley and the entire Carrizo Plain.

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Should California start its own bank to serve marijuana companies? It wouldn't be easy

Over the last year, there has been increasing interest among cannabis businesses and public officials in the idea of public banks: government-owned institutions that would take deposits, make loans and, in California at least, be willing to work with marijuana companies.

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With $100 million from cannabis investors coming, King City’s prayers might be coming true.

The reduction of city debt is banked partly on cannabis, and an infusion of cash – to the tune of $100 million – from investors who are looking to cash in on the so-called Green Rush. If it works, King City is positioned to become the cannabis capital of Monterey County, and the thriving center of South County.

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Senate panel advances measure to protect medical marijuana states

The amendment to the 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill passed by a voice vote and prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to prevent states from "implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana."

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There's way too much weed in California

In 1996, California became the first US state to permit medicinal marijuana. Its residents voted in November to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. But it now faces a glut ahead of new regulations that ban exports starting January 1.

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San Luis Obispo County will tax cannabis. How high is yet to be decided

San Luis Obispo County supervisors aren’t interested in local government getting rich off the backs of cannabis producers and consumers through heavy taxation. So they’re planning to levy taxes and fees that will pay for the expenses of regulating the industry, which is estimated to cost the county about $1.2 million this fiscal year.

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US Patent Office Issuing Cannabis Patents To A Growing Market

Among the host of uncertainties they face, cannabis industry entrepreneurs might wonder if they can patent marijuana products -- after all, they are still illegal at the federal level. It may come as a relief then, to find out that the US Patent Office has been issuing cannabis-related patents since 1942. 

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California State and Local Cannabis Rules Take Different Paths

Over the past month, California has been a veritable hotbed of activity regarding the regulation of cannabis for both medical and adult use. Most notably, on June 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to harmonize and reconcile the state’s requirements for medical and adult use, which previously imposed different standards based on the cannabis’ use. Passage of MAUCRSA provides much-needed clarity and consistency for existing cannabis businesses and companies considering to enter the new cannabis market in the world 6th largest economy.

Bitcoin Could Help Solve The Cannabis Industry's Banking Problems 

The cannabis industry is booming in more than two dozen states with medical marijuana laws and a handful that also legalized recreational use, including Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Nevada’s newly approved cannabis industry already has a weed shortage after just two weeks of operation. Demand quickly outpaced supply.

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Law Would Force Feds to Let Veterans Get Medical Marijuana

New legislation would force the federal government to allow veterans to obtain medical marijuana in states, such as California, where it's legal. The amendment to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make cannabis available to veterans who need it was recently approved by the Senate's Appropriations Committee on a 24-to-7 vote.

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Monterey County: Forget “Cannery Row,” This is Cannabis Row Now!

Monterey County represents a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, Monterey evokes visions of epic surf, world-class golf, and shamefully expensive car shows. For others, it’s all about the hedonistic pleasure of fine dining and lounging around their multi-million-dollar “cottages.” But for some, Monterey County and the Salinas Valley are all about cultivating legal cannabis and building a sustainable business model for California’s fast-growing marijuana industry.

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Recreational marijuana sales in California will total $5 billion, study predicts

California is on the verge of creating a legal market for marijuana worth more than $5 billion that will help make the state a destination for pot-loving tourists, according to a new state-sponsored economic study.

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Closing medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime, according to new study

A new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Urban Economics finds that contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries                                                                                                        (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas.

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9 out of 10 Patients Prefer Cannabis Over Opioids

A survey of nearly 3,000 medical marijuana users has found that 9 out of 10 patients prefer cannabis over opioid medication when managing their chronic pain. A similar number prefer cannabis over non-opioid pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.

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San Luis Obispo County's approach to regulating cannabis

Cannabis has been a hot topic of discussion in San Luis Obispo County for several years and public interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down. A recent SLO Chamber event that focused on understanding the cannabis industry sold out quickly. Hundreds of people attended three public forums hosted by the County in April to provide input on local regulations. And not a day goes by without a news headline about cannabis in California.

Some Marijuana-Derived Treatments Aim To Soothe Skittish Pets

Along with picnics and barbecues, the Fourth of July brings a less pleasant yearly ritual for many dog lovers: worrying about a family pooch who panics at the sound of firecrackers.


BREAKING NEWS: California Passes SB 94 Regulating Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis

The California Legislature today passed Senate Bill 94, which effectively repeals the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”) and incorporates certain provisions of the MCRSA in the licensing provisions of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA” aka Proposition 64).