News and Information

How California’s recreational cannabis rush is hurting some critically ill patients

The introduction of recreational cannabis in California has opened up a multi-billion dollar business opportunity as the industry moves mainstream, but it also poses questions about what will happen to the medical market that paved the way for legalization.

Jury Acquits Marijuana Patient Who Admitted To Breaking Georgia Law

It’s not an especially unique choice in a Georgia court—except that the defendant, Javonnie McCoy, admitted that he was guilty. McCoy, who said he grew cannabis for personal use to treat chronic headaches he developed after being severely beaten in 2003, was transparent in the courtroom. And it paid off.

Legalizing Marijuana Helps Police Solve Other Crimes, New Study Shows

But up until this study, there wasn’t much researching exploring the direct relationship between legalization and crime clearance rates. For the first time, researchers demonstrated that—in Colorado and Washington State, at least—police were able to make more arrests for various crimes post-legalization. That includes violent crimes, property crimes, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts.

Senate Committee Slams Marijuana's Federal Classification, Saying Schedule I Blocks Research

"The Committee is concerned that restrictions associated with Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act effectively limit the amount and type of research that can be conducted on certain Schedule 1 drugs, especially marijuana or its component chemicals and certain synthetic drugs," the Senate Appropriations Committee wrote in a new report under the headline, "Barriers to Research."

Sen. Mitch McConnell Loves Hemp, but Is His Real Goal Legalizing CBD?

Some industry insiders believe that the legalization of CBD is not just a side benefit of the farm bill, but is in fact McConnell's primary motivation for proposing the legislation. Cannabis attorney Bob Hoban told Rolling Stone that “almost all of the hemp growers in Kentucky are doing so for CBD production right now…cannabinoids are the cash product that comes out of hemp.”

Local corruption becoming hurdle for marijuana license seekers in California

Stories of corruption will continue to emerge, sources say, largely because local licenses are a prerequisite to obtaining a state permit.
That puts local officials in a position of power over entrepreneurs who may be desperate to find a path into the industry.
“In the legal market, they’re going to continue to have corruption issues, because local folks are easier to bribe and corrupt than state bureaucrats,” said Matt Kumin, a longtime cannabis industry attorney based in San Francisco.

Ex-Navy SEAL from Chicago area leading veterans’ battle for cannabis access

Due to the lack of coverage, some veterans are left to use their own money to buy weed from dispensaries or the black market, while others are unable to afford the drug. What’s more, some veterans won’t even touch pot, fearing they’ll lose government benefits if they fail a drug test. Nevertheless, Etten noticed that vets are increasingly choosing cannabis-based treatments over other medications, with many reporting that the drug has improved their lives by helping them kick opioids or manage PTSD.

Recreational Marijuana is Officially Legal in Vermont

Under the new law, known as Act 86, adults 21 and older may possess up to one ounce of cannabis or five grams of hash. They may also grow up to four immature and two mature cannabis plants. However, no sales of recreational cannabis are permitted under the new legislation.

Top Trump Veterans Officials Pushed Marijuana Study, Emails Show

“Ask WH & Congress for permission to propose legislation to study effects of cannabis on 100% disabled volunteer PTSD Veterans,” Leinenkugel wrote, referring to the White House. “Bold action in deference to [Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s] opinion of medical marijuana.”
“Right Thing to Do,” he added parenthetically, noting that the move is supported by veterans advocacy organizations like the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

A Key Senate Committee Is Becoming Less Marijuana-Friendly

But in recent weeks the Senate committee, which handles funding levels and spending riders covering federal agencies, has begun to make a number of anti-cannabis moves.
Last week, for example, it prevented a measure to allow marijuana businesses to access banks from advancing by a vote of 21-10. Nearly identical amendments were approved by the committee in 2015 and 2016, but this time several Democrats who position themselves as supporters of cannabis law reform spoke out against the proposal on procedural grounds.

Pain Medicine Group Cancels Doctor Training About Marijuana

The American Academy of Pain Medicine scrubbed its plans for a one-hour online course next month after a request from the U.S. government agency that provided the funding, a spokeswoman for the pain medicine group said. The money came from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.

Legal marijuana will roll out differently in Canada than in U.S.

With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and access to banking are some big discrepancies.

Canada just legalized marijuana. That has big implications for US drug policy.

The measure legalizes marijuana possession, home growing, and sales for adults. The federal government will oversee remaining criminal sanctions (for, say, selling to minors) and the licensing of producers, while provincial governments will manage sales, distribution, and related regulations — as such, provinces will be able to impose tougher rules, such as raising the minimum age. The statute largely follows recommendations made by a federal task force on marijuana legalization.

Read more. . .

Inside Chuck Schumer's Elusive Pot Bill

Schumer's bill is shaping up to be a landmark proposal because of its promise to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. It calls for decriminalizing weed federally and allowing each state to decide their own policies, but some marijuana advocates say the legislation falls short of that promise because it removes marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances. Thus each state could still decide on its own to make marijuana use or possession a crime. That wouldn't be an option under other marijuana bills that have already been introduced on Capitol Hill.

Senate Could Vote On Marijuana Research This Week

Under the measure, introduced by Sen. John Tester (D-MT), VA would conduct research using whole plant marijuana as well as extracts, and the studies would examine “varying methods of cannabis delivery, including topical application, combustible and noncombustible inhalation, and ingestion.”

Trump says he is likely to support ending blanket federal ban on marijuana

Trump's remarks put him sharply at odds with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on the issue. The bill in question, pushed by a bipartisan coalition, would allow states to go forward with legalization unencumbered by threats of federal prosecution. Sessions, by contrast, has ramped up those threats and has also lobbied Congress to reduce current protections for medical marijuana.

Senators Approve Medical Marijuana For Military Veterans

The measure “simply allows veterans to discuss that option [medical cannabis] with their VA doc or physician,” Daines said during a brief debate.
Merkley added that it is an “incredible inconvenience for veterans to be told they have to seek out a whole new medical system” to get cannabis recommendations.

Lack Of Cannabis Banking Hurts Average Small Business Owners, While Wealthy Entrepreneurs Flourish

Banking restrictions are effectively blocking nearly everyone but the wealthy and well-connected from getting into and benefitting from what is the fastest-growing industry in the country. They also are a serious roadblock to any efforts to make this industry and its wealth creation accessible to entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and minority communities that have historically borne the brunt of the failed War on Drugs.

Federal Marijuana Cases Drop Sharply, New Report Shows

Federal criminal cases focused on marijuana have fallen sharply since states began legalizing cannabis, even though drug crimes continue to consume the bulk of the federal caseload, new data shows.
A report from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) released on Tuesday revealed that drug crimes remain the most common type of federal criminal cases, accounting for about 30 percent. The USSC reported that 92 percent of these drug cases involved trafficking.

Cannabis Tax Relief, Workers' Rights Bills Fail in Sacramento

But three of the biggest bills for the industry and consumers have already failed for the year. Two bills would have expanded the retail market by temporarily cutting the tax rate and prohibiting local bans on delivery services. A third dead bill would have given medical cannabis users the same workplace rights as opioid users.

California regulatory reversal: New marijuana delivery rules highlight Eaze’s political pull

The regulations also put the spotlight on the political influence wielded by a technology company that isn’t governed by the rules it has been lobbying to change.
Several cannabis industry insiders say the updated regulations – issued by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control – favor a business model championed by Eaze, which runs a website and smartphone app through which consumers can place delivery orders for cannabis.

US Attorney For Oregon Announced He Will Enforce Federal Cannabis Prohibition

“I will not make broad proclamations of blanket immunity from prosecution to those who violate federal law,” Williams wrote. “At the same time, our office’s resources are finite,” he added, echoing a statement made by Sessions in March when the AG admitted to reporters that the DOJ does not have the resources to enforce the federal ban.

Proposal to Cut California Cannabis Taxes Is Dead in the Water

The bill, AB 3157, would have temporarily reduced the state excise tax on cannabis from 15% to 11% and suspended a separate tax on cannabis cultivation. The bill’s proponents said the measure, which would have reduced taxes for a period of three years, was meant to speed the transition away from the state’s thriving illegal market and into state-regulated sales.

Senators Approve Funds For Feds To Restore Cannabis Genetics

"The scarcity of high quality hemp seed is a roadblock to the development of an American hemp industry," Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, said in an email. "We are extremely pleased that Congress is providing funding to ensure that USDA will once again collect and store hemp germplasm and make it available to American farmers and researchers.”

Florida Ban On Smokable Medical Marijuana Ruled Unconstitutional

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers on Friday ruled that a state’s ban on smokable cannabis is unconstitutional. Florida’s Department of Health said in a statement it has appealed the ruling, which will impose an automatic stay. Gievers wrote in her 22-page ruling that Floridians “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.”

California Updates Regulations for Recreational and Medical Cannabis Industries

The three agencies designated to license and regulate the state's cannabis industry — the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Public Health (DPH), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) — have all proposed to re-adopt the current emergency regulations for an additional 180-day period, with a small number of revisions.

Congressional Committee Protects Medical Marijuana From Jeff Sessions

The growing number of states that are enacting medical cannabis laws in recent years means that far more members of Congress represent constituents who stand to be harmed by the spending riders' disappearance, however, so advocates felt comfortable placing the measure before the committee this year.

SLO adopts marijuana ordinance, prepares pot business tax measure

The city’s proposed rates reflect the maximum allowable pot tax rates under California’s new marijuana regulatory scheme. At least initially, San Luis Obispo officials plan to keep the rates lower than the maximums.
Under the proposed initiative, the city council would hold the power to adjust the city’s pot business tax rates. City staff estimates the proposed taxes could raise an estimated $1.5 million a year.

State Marijuana Laws Dodge Supreme Court Bullet

If the Court had ruled to uphold the gambling prohibition, it wouldn’t have automatically invalidated state cannabis laws. But Congress would have been empowered to pass a new law, broader than the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA), that required states to keep their own marijuana bans in effect.

Legal marijuana could cost people their guns — and the NRA is worried about it

Attorney Richard Feldman, a longtime NRA member and former lobbyist for the gun organization, sees a natural alliance between gun rights activists and people like Goldstein, a longtime member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Say Goodbye To Star Wars Strains As Copyright Holders Strike Back At The Cannabis Market

As pot becomes increasing legalized across the United States, trademark holders are becoming more concerned about potential damages caused by allowing their products to be associated with cannabis, according to Leafly’s Deserea Weitmann. Additionally, the legal status of cannabis allows more power to prosecute when these kinds of infringements come up.

How anti-marijuana Jeff Sessions became the best thing to happen to pot legalization

But in January, Sessions rescinded the Cole memo. Perhaps he thought that the decision would chill further reform or spread fear among the industry.
Instead, his move seems to have galvanized policymakers. That same month, Vermont announced that it had legalized marijuana. Cities like Albuquerque, Savannah, Ga., and Baton Rouge are decriminalizing it. And now, we’re seeing a sea change in Washington, in both parties.

Bill to Protect Cannabis Deliveries Passes Committee

SB 1302 would disallow local governments from banning home deliveries of cannabis to residents in their district from state-licensed delivery services headquartered elsewhere. Patients’ advocates stressed the difficulty of getting medicine in the many areas with local dispensary bans.

California Has Slow Start To Marijuana Tax Collections

"The excise tax revenue numbers announced today are abysmally below what Californians were promised when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis," said Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell who heads the Business and Professions Committee. "The state must take all possible action to defeat the black market and support good actors, or else our newly established regulatory scheme will surely fail."

Sessions Admits There ‘May Well Be Some Benefits From Medical Marijuana’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged before a key Senate panel on Wednesday that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana” and that it is “perfectly appropriate to study” cannabis.
But Sessions was also quick to dismiss a mounting body of evidence that legal marijuana access is associated with reduced opioid issues.

Cannabis could supply green for San Francisco’s breakup with Wall Street

Last week, task force members began hashing out potential solutions for the bank’s high startup costs. Some believe the budding cannabis industry could give San Francisco the green it needs to break free from Wall Street banks and the harm they’ve caused.
But advocates remain concerned a public bank may still not move forward.
“A public bank in San Francisco is feasible,” Cisneros told me. “The more challenging question: Is it a good policy decision given the complexity, expense and risks?”

State gives marijuana businesses more time for compliance

The goal was to give marijuana business owners time to compile the additional information needed to get annual licenses, including security plans, insurance bonds, business formation documents and fingerprinting for all owners. It also gave the state time to review and verify conditions needed for annual licenses, such as local approval.
The temporary licenses came with an optional 90-day extension. Now it seems all businesses will need to take advantage of that provision.

Metrics point to weed substituting for booze in marijuana states 

“Our findings clearly show that these two substances act as strong substitutes in the marketplace,” Chong said in a Dec. 12, 2017, press release. “This implies that rather than exacerbating the consequences of alcohol consumption — such as an increase in addiction, car accidents or disease risk — legalizing cannabis may temper them.” (Chong, an economics professor at Georgia State could not be reached for comment.) 

YouTube Continues Its Cannabis Purge and Nobody Knows Why

The move, which came with no public notice from YouTube, has the cannabis world confounded. It comes as an abrupt about-face at a time when cannabis is gaining wider social acceptance. The plant remains federally illegal, but only a small handful of states outlaw it in all forms.

Facebook Has a Cannabis Problem That ‘Community Standards’ Don’t Solve

“But I continue to be baffled by how Facebook is treating cannabis,” Gibbs added. “More than half the states now have legal marijuana in some form, and yet [Facebook is] continuing to restrict that content.” Reading through the community standards document with an eye toward cannabis, she said, “is pretty confusing.”

Trump And Gardner Strike Deal On Legalized Marijuana

President Donald Trump has promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug, a move that could lift a threat to the industry made by the U.S. attorney general just three months ago.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said Friday that Trump made the pledge to him in a Wednesday night conversation.

Senators Take On Jeff Sessions Over Marijuana Research Restrictions

Whatever their records, however, Hatch and Harris are putting pressure on a significant choke point blocking medical cannabis research from advancing in the United States.
“Research on marijuana is necessary to resolve the critical questions of public health and safety, such as learning the impact of marijuana on developing brains and formulating methods to test marijuana impairment in drivers,” the pair said in the letter.

Replacing Alcohol With Marijuana May Prevent Dementia

Interestingly, some studies have shown that marijuana is effective in curbing binge drinking behavior and even alcoholism. There is also data out there that suggests the herb may actually serve as a treatment for dementia patients. Considering that marijuana is now legal in a number of states for medicinal and recreational purposes, it is conceivable that more folks could be protecting themselves from this condition by simply replacing the bulk of their boozy indiscretions with a little cannabis.  

Database of marijuana rules from every city and county in California shows slow acceptance of Prop. 64

The study is needed because of a simple rule in California: While Proposition 64 (approved by 57 percent of state voters in November 2016) makes it legal for people to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow it at home, the law also gives cities and counties a strong say in how that law is implemented within their jurisdictions.

Feds Want Input On Marijuana Reclassification

WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will meet in June to discuss marijuana's classification and will then make pre-review recommendations to the UN secretary-general about conducting a more in-depth analysis. Following that process, depending on the findings, cannabis could be rescheduled internationally, which would provide momentum to efforts to change marijuana's status under the laws of the U.S. and other countries.

Forget the Emerald Triangle. The Central Coast is becoming California’s weed hotspot

No place has benefited more from that change than the Central Coast, which covers Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. The region is now challenging the Emerald Triangle — long the epicenter of cannabis cultivation in California — as the state's capital of commercial weed..

Congress Protects Medical Marijuana From Jeff Sessions In New Federal Spending Bill

The policy, which has been federal law since 2014, bars the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. Its continuance was in question, however, after Sessions specifically asked Congress not to extend it and House leaders blocked a vote on the matter.

California’s marijuana edibles makers are going extinct

The Golden State sold about $180 million in cannabis edibles in 2016, according to analysts at financial data company Arcview. In 2018, just 28 companies have the most basic state license to put marijuana in a brownie, state data shows.

With Growers in the Shadows, California Faces Cannabis Shortage

Generally, retailers have ample product on store shelves for both adult use and medicinal cannabis consumers, but some brands are now in short supply. Prices are mostly stable, though new state taxes on legal purchases have meant sticker shock for customers.

State might consider temporary cut in marijuana taxes

Under rates approved by voters in November 2016 with marijuana legalization measure Proposition 64, all cannabis legally sold in California now comes with a 15 percent excise tax. Recreational cannabis shoppers also pay state sales tax, which typically runs between 8 and 10 percent. And, on top of that, most cities that allow marijuana stores have also tacked on local taxes, which can range from 5 to 15 percent.
That means medical marijuana consumers are generally paying at least 20 percent tax on every purchase, and recreational consumers are paying as much as 40 percent.

GOP & Dems Team Up To Shield State Marijuana Laws From Jeff Sessions

The legislators want congressional leaders to insert a new provision into a funding bill covering the Justice Department’s 2019 budget that would prevent federal prosecutors, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies from spending money to go after people who are in compliance with state marijuana laws.

Outlaw weed comes into the light

Less than 1 percent of the estimated 69,000 growers statewide have received a permit to farm marijuana since the beginning of the year. Thousands more are in the works, but nowhere near the total number of those now cultivating cannabis; any cannabis farmer operating without a license is cultivating illegally, and government officials could begin enforcing the law when the growing season begins in the next six weeks.

How to try edible cannabis without feeling like you're going to die

For consumers, all the taxes mean retail prices have spiked, even as the wholesale price of raw cannabis has plummeted.
One of Kiva's most popular products, a small round tin containing chocolate-covered blueberries (each berry has 5 milligrams of THC and can easily be cut in half) retailed last year for about $19. This year, the same tin retails for closer to $30.

The Cannabis Industry Needs To Support Advocacy. Here's Why

This industry didn’t expand because of a memo issued by a deputy attorney general, or because some governments simply decided they wanted to benefit from the tax revenue that legal cannabis could bring their states. It happened because of the decades of work by marijuana reform activists and policy organizations, without whose efforts today’s businesses could not exist.

California’s new marijuana regimen leaves out neediest patients, advocates say

The law, requiring all marijuana to be tracked from seed to sale and subject to substantial taxes, does not make clear whether cost-free donations are allowed under what have long been known as compassion programs, advocates said.
The ambiguity has forced numerous aid organizations, growers and dispensaries that donate to patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and other diseases to put a halt to their charity.

Weedmaps counters California’s order to quit assisting unlicensed cannabis companies

In its order to Weedmaps, the Bureau of Cannabis Control – which is responsible for licensing all of California’s cannabis retailers, distributors, testing labs and microbusinesses – demanded that the website stop advertising unlicensed cannabis retailers or face “criminal and administrative penalties.”
But Weedmaps essentially refused to comply on Monday.

Cannabis Taxes Could Generate $106 Billion, Create 1 Million Jobs by 2025

This report examines three aspects of what full legalization would look like in contrast to the current, state-by-state patchwork of legalized environments, and the anticipated impacts which full nationwide legalization would hold for the U.S. Treasury.

Sessions: US Prosecutors Won’t Take on Small-Time Cannabis Cases

“I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States law,” Sessions said, answering student questions after a speech at Georgetown’s law school. But, he added, federal prosecutors “haven’t been working small marijuana cases before, they are not going to be working them now.”

States Mull ‘Sanctuary’ Status For Marijuana Businesses

Taking a cue from the fight over immigration, some states that have legalized marijuana are considering providing so-called sanctuary status for licensed pot businesses, hoping to protect the fledgling industry from a shift in federal enforcement policy.

They used to get free or low-cost marijuana to help with their cancer. Not anymore

The threat of closure due to the requirements of legalization is a painful irony for the state’s compassionate care programs. Images of AIDS patients receiving free weed in San Francisco and cancer patients subjected to the federal raid in the Santa Cruz mountains helped build public support for medical marijuana, and laid the groundwork for today’s commercial cannabis market.

California orders Weedmaps to stop advertising unlicensed marijuana businesses

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control sent a cease-and-desist letter last month to Irvine-based Ghost Management Group, the owner of popular marijuana dispensary finder Weedmaps.com, ordering the company to stop advertising unlicensed operators or face unspecified “criminal and administrative penalties.”

Should we tax marijuana sales up to 10 percent? SLO County voters will decide

Voters will decide whether to impose a local tax on commercial cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County, after supervisors on Tuesday agreed to place the issue on the ballot for the June 5 election.
Any local tax would be in addition to state taxes, which include a dry weight tax of $9.25 for every ounce of cannabis flower and $2.75 for every ounce of cannabis leaf and a 15 percent excise tax on all other cannabis activities in addition to existing retail sales tax.

This Las Vegas Airport Is Letting People Dump Their Marijuana Before Flying

The containers were installed last week following a county ban on marijuana possession and advertising at McCarran International Airport, aiming to keep it in compliance with federal law. They are bolted to the ground and designed so marijuana and prescription drugs can only be dropped in, not taken out.

Study By Tikun Olam States Cannabis Can Decrease Use Of Prescription Drugs In Elderly

“This pioneering clinical study on the use of cannabis in the geriatric population is the first step in finding safer, and less toxic medications for use in our elderly populations,” Sucher added. “We are proud to have partnered with the scientific and academic communities for this release, and ongoing analysis and study will be a significant factor in improving and developing new cannabis products in both the traditional and the pharmaceutical markets.”

No, Medical-Marijuana Legalization Doesn't Make Teens Smoke More Pot

For the new study, the researchers analyzed information from 11 previous studies that looked at teen marijuana use from 1991 to 2014.
The researchers looked at teen pot use in the past month, before and after marijuana laws changed in various states. They then compared that trend with trends in states where the drug wasn't legalized.
 Overall, teens' usage of the drug did not change after medical-marijuana laws were passed in their state.

California drivers under 21 could lose license for year if caught on the road under the influence of marijuana

SB 1273 would target drivers under 21 who are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and who test positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in marijuana. The bill foresees using an oral swab saliva test or another chemical field test.

Report: California Pot Growers Lagging in Getting Licenses

If more of the smaller, independent growers are not licensed by the state, taxable revenue of recreational marijuana is likely to be lower than anticipated as the black market continues to flourish, according to the new report.
"The current system will not achieve its goals without fundamental and structural changes that allow small and independent businesses to enter into compliance," the growers association report concluded.

Will Cannabis Delivery Survive in California’s Legal Market?

The state may license and allow delivery services, but local municipalities retain the legal right to prohibit them. Numerous cities and counties either ban cannabis delivery outright or restrict delivery to existing storefront cannabis companies. Confusion has mounted in the past four weeks, as the state has begun issuing delivery licenses in a bureaucratic trickle. At the same time, unauthorized—but determined—delivery operators scramble to stay on the road.

Dimes Into Dollars: The Marijuana Economy

The push for legalizing recreational marijuana doesn’t just make users happy. The Marijuana Policy Group says Colorado’s pot industry created more than 18,000 jobs and generated more than $2.4 billion for the state.

Trump Treasury Secretary Wants Marijuana Money In Banks

"I assure you that we don't want bags of cash," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified on Tuesday during an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. "We want to make sure that we can collect our necessary taxes and other things."

Why Is it So Hard to Study Pot?

"Science shouldn't be shackled by politics," says Dr. Sue Sisley, a researcher at the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. It took seven years before the federal government approved Sisley to start the first ever trial of medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans.

Cannabis legalization revives nearly defunct California pot ID Card

Some people are reluctant to provide personal information about their use of marijuana to a government agency at a time when the plant is still banned by the federal government.
But the program was designed with that concern in mind. A California Department of Health spokeswoman said the agency doesn’t keep any personally identifying records. A card shows a person’s photograph, an expiration date and unique identification number. A law enforcement officer can use the unique number to verify the card is valid and not expired.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Save Lives, Study Finds

“In short, our findings that legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms suggests that some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether,” the study concludes. “Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero.”

The US cannabis industry is growing insanely fast — there are now more legal cannabis workers than dental hygienists

Job growth in the cannabis industry is now outpacing some of the fastest-growing fields in the US, including tech and healthcare. Job postings in the healthcare industry grew 70%  in 2017 while tech — defined as jobs in the software and IT space — rose by 254%, according to ZipRecruiter's data.

San Francisco To Dismiss Thousands Of Marijuana Convictions

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday that his office will dismiss and seal 3,038 misdemeanor convictions dating back before the state's legalization of marijuana went into effect, with no action necessary from those who were convicted.
Prosecutors will also review up to 4,940 felony convictions and consider reducing them to misdemeanors.

California’s chief marijuana regulator predicts more issues with supply

While dispensaries are selling marijuana in many parts of the state, Ajax cautioned that the system is still under construction.
“The supply chain has not been completely tested,” she said. “At some point we’re going to see the supply depleted.”
Anticipating possible shortages under the new regulated system, many retailers stocked up on cannabis and cannabis-infused products late last year, she said. Once that supply runs out, things could get tight.

California's New Cannabis Laws Squeeze Out Compassionate Care Programs

But Airone doesn’t believe that compassion programs and patients are being targeted on purpose. Rather, he thinks it’s an unintended consequence; a result of never having regulated cannabis before. That said, he’s confident the MAUCRSA is shutting down compassion programs all over the state; meaning tons of low-income, terminally ill people are without access to medicine.

Trump signs stopgap spending bill extending federal medical marijuana protections a few more weeks

This is the second time Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections have been temporarily extended as part of stopgap spending measures. It comes less than a month after a letter was made public in which 66 members of Congress urged Senate and House leaders to extend the medical marijuana protections that have been in place since December 2014.

A Taxpayer-Backed Bank for Pot Money? Maybe in California

State Treasurer John Chiang stopped short of endorsing the idea but said his office would work with the state attorney general to examine how a weed bank might function for California's emerging pot economy, estimated to grow to $7 billion.
Legal pot sales kicked off in California on Jan. 1. However, many banks don't want anything to do with pot money for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government, which still lists marijuana as illegal.

Reporter’s California Notebook: State’s marijuana evolution continues

Between 1996 and last month, a loose but reliable cannabis supply chain emerged in California from a network of medical marijuana patients, black-market growers and entrepreneurs.
Building that supply chain was no easy task.
Plenty of business owners endured police raids, court battles were fought with the authorities and countless millions of dollars were made – and lost.
But one thread remained fairly consistent: Those who were willing to work in the cannabis business had to be resilient.

States Ask Congress to Allow Cannabis Access to Banks

In a letter sent this month to Congress, Attorneys General from 18 states that have either legal recreational or medical marijuana -- or both -- asked members of Congress to change the law and create an exemption for banks that want to deal with marijuana businesses.
It appears to be a move to create stability in a rapidly growing sector of the economy. Sessions’ actions this month have creating uncertainty in an industry that already has become a $7 billion market.

Vermont Gov. Signs Cannabis Legalization Bill Into Law

Vermont’s legalization plan will allow adults 21 and older to grow and possess cannabis, but stops short of a full “tax and regulate” system — the commercial sale of any cannabis products is still illegal, as is consumption in public spaces. Adults will be allowed up to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and will be allowed to have two mature and four immature plants at home.

Bipartisan Lawmakers Push For Marijuana Protections In Funding Bill

The group of House Republicans and Democrats wants the existing rider’s language to be expanded in scope to prohibit the Justice Department from going after people in compliance with recreational legalization laws in eight states and Washington, D.C.
“While our proposed funding language does nothing to diminish the authority of the federal government to interdict or forbid the interstate transport of marijuana, it respects the Constitutional authority for states to regulate commerce within their own borders,” they wrote.

New Bill in Congress Would Ban Federal Cannabis Enforcement in Legal States

The new bill wouldn’t change the status of cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which means the bill would have no effect in states that haven’t legalized. But states that adopt their own cannabis laws would no longer face interference—or the threat of it—from federal officials.

On Marijuana, Voters Want Feds To Butt Out Of State Laws, Polls Find

Seventy percent of U.S. voters oppose “the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana,” a Quinnipiac University poll published on Thursday found.
In every political, age, racial and other demographic in the survey, more voters oppose federal interference in state marijuana laws than support it.

Two Steps Back: What Sessions' Latest Move Means for Pot in America

Under the Department of Justice's new guidelines, prosecutors themselves will be able to decide the degree to which federal marijuana law is enforced, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the news on Thursday. The new guidelines could throw existing businesses and medical programs into legal jeopardy.

California says it will defend legal cannabis despite Sessions’ threat of crackdown

Two state leaders – Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Executive Lori Ajax – issued statements saying they’ll defend Proposition 64, the 2016 initiative that led to the opening of the state’s first retail cannabis stores this week.
“We’ll continue to move forward with the state’s regulatory processes covering both medicinal and adult-use cannabis consistent with the will of California’s voters, while defending our state’s laws to the fullest extent,” Ajax said. 

VA Clears The Air On Doctors Talking To Veterans About Marijuana Use

Worried that owning up to using the drug could jeopardize their VA benefits — even if they're participating in a medical marijuana program approved by their state — veterans have often kept mum. That may be changing under a new directive from the Veterans Health Administration urging vets and their physicians to open up on the subject.

Pot 101: Facts you should know about California’s legal marijuana

Recreational marijuana sales became legal in California on Jan. 1, 2018, marking a major milestone for the state’s cannabis industry and its many customers.
Proposition 64, the voter-approved law that governs recreational pot in the Golden State, however, doesn’t offer the complete freedom to buy, grow and smoke marijuana just anywhere you please.

Pot legalization could spell end to California's medical marijuana industry

Revenue from the sale of medical marijuana is expected to drop from an estimated $2 billion in 2016 to about $1.4 billion next year, according to a study published this year by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. At the same time, according to the study, the legal sale of recreational marijuana should bring in more than $5 billion as recreational pot captures about 62% of sales, while the black market retains about 30%.

Guest Opinion: Massive Price Increases Are the Real Threat in California

Cannabis consumers deserve the same choices enjoyed by shoppers at the grocery store. While everybody would like to be able to afford heirloom tomatoes, meticulously tended in small patches and selling for $5.99 a pound, most families can’t afford them. Many shoppers can only afford the lower-priced tomatoes grown by larger, more efficient farms.

Guest Opinion: Don’t Let Big Business Shape California Cannabis

Cannabis consumers deserve the same choices as grocery shoppers, and California’s cannabis growers deserve the same opportunities as the state’s food producers. And yet they don’t. Where are the consumer champions calling for cannabis growers to have access to the privileges afforded to all other growers in the state through the Direct Marketing Act, which allows customers to buy directly from producers?

Jeff Sessions Leaves the Cole Memo Intact, For Now

That means the Justice Department’s Aug. 2013 guidance document, which spelled out the DOJ’s priorities and areas of concern regarding legal adult-use cannabis in Colorado and Washington (and all later adult-use states), remains intact at least for the foreseeable future.

Q&A with California pot czar Lori Ajax on legal marijuana

“We can’t just hit them over the head,” Ajax says. “You work toward educating them and, I think, you go from there.”
“If we have somebody that is causing a public nuisance or a public safety problem, then I do think strong enforcement is necessary. But if you just got somebody trying to comply, and they are completely overwhelmed because they just don’t know what to do, then I think that’s our job to then break it down for people.”

Progress Made on Marijuana Intoxication Measurement Tool

Milburn and Lovrich say their job is now to distribute their work so that others, including policing agencies, can test and evaluate it. They hope that, within a few years, the combination of Druid, tongue swabbing and more training for officers might become part of the accepted protocol for evaluating drivers and others intoxicated by marijuana. Lovrich hopes it might also become a tool for employers to evaluate whether their employees are smoking on the job.

The Real Hero of the Cannabis Industry.

Medical marijuana can alleviate a number of ailments, symptoms and diseases in children, including epilepsy, cancer and autism. Yet, there is still a stigma attached to marijuana--especially when it pertains to children. More and more parents are discovering the benefits of medical marijuana. 
Unfortunately, children are often denied access to a treatment that can alleviate symptoms or possibly even save their lives. And even if states where children have legal access to cannabis, there can be tragic consequences for treatments. Parents can be arrested for exposing children to cannabis and families can be torn apart by child protective services. 

                                                                                                                      Read More. . .

How FCC’s Net Neutrality Rollback Could Hurt Cannabis

The new rules pose a potentially big threat to the cannabis movement, which has relied on the internet as a vital tool for education, research, and political organizing. Removing net neutrality protections could stifle advocacy efforts, hamper small businesses, and prevent medical patients from accessing vital information.

Convicted of a marijuana crime in California? It might go away, thanks to legal pot.

California is offering a second chance to people convicted of almost any marijuana crimes, from serious felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared or the charges sharply reduced. State officials hope to reverse decades of marijuana convictions that can make it difficult for people to gain meaningful employment and disproportionately affect low-income minorities.

California's new pot rules violate the promise to small farmers

The department has said that cities and counties are welcome to set their own limits on farm size based on community needs. But there’s nothing in the state regulations to stop businesses from applying for multiple small-farm licenses and amassing far more than an acre for cultivation. The emergency rules are meant as a stop-gap until permanent regulations are adopted in six to 12 months. Still, they open the door to large-scale pot farming operations immediately, not five years later as Proposition 64 stated.

Several U.S. States Attempt to Block Medical Cannabis Patients from Owning Guns

Bryson also explained to the task force that the federal background check form required for gun purchases asks whether or not the applicant uses cannabis illegally, and notes that all cannabis use is considered illegal by the federal government, regardless of state legality. An individual that admits to cannabis use on the background check form will likely be denied the right to buy a gun, while someone that does not admit to their cannabis use could be charged with a felony.

Vermont Will Legalize Marijuana In Early January, House Speaker Says

All eight states that have ended cannabis prohibition to date have done so via ballot measures approved by voters. Reform supporters think that either Vermont or New Jersey, where Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) campaigned on legalization, will be the first state to end prohibition through an act of lawmakers.

Wildfires pile woes on California pot industry after tough year

For the cannabis industry, recovering like the rest of the state from devastating fires two months ago that killed 44 people and ravaged scores of pot farms north of San Francisco’s Bay area, the new wave of wildfires comes at a challenging time.

Chris Christie’s Supreme Court Gambling Case Could Impact Marijuana Laws

That said, if the Supreme Court rules for the sports leagues in favor of the federal gambling law’s broad reach, it wouldn’t automatically invalidate state marijuana laws. Rather, Congress would then be empowered to pass a new law, broader than the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA), that requires states to keep cannabis prohibitions on the books.

Medical marijuana took a bite out of alcohol sales. Recreational pot could take an even bigger one.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that marijuana availability can reduce alcohol consumption. Because experts generally agree that, on balance, alcohol use is more harmful to individuals and society than marijuana use, this would represent a significant public health benefit of marijuana legalization.

California's High Cannabis Tax Could Doom Legalization. Here's a Fix

But if California’s efforts to shut down its exports should appear to falter—say, because its taxes are too high—the fear is that the feds could charge California with a violation of one of the Cole Memo’s fundamental demands, which is that legal states prevent cannabis from leaving the state.

California’s New Edibles Limits Will Ban Popular Products

When the state’s adult-use market launches Jan. 1, cannabis edibles sold in adult-use dispensaries must be capped at total strength of no more than 100 milligrams of THC. Edibles must also be divided into clearly identifiable servings of no more than 10 milligrams in strength each.

Medical Cannabis Tax Exemption Has Begun

Sales of medical cannabis to those who have a medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) issued on a county-by-county basis by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and a valid government-issued identification card are now exempt from sales and use tax. Consumers can obtain the CDPH-issued cards at their county health department, at a cost that varies by county. A paper recommendation from a physician is not sufficient to qualify for this sales tax exemption.

California has message for the state's new legal pot industry: Pay your taxes

State regulators estimate the California market could eventually generate $1 billion in taxes and fees annually. But the industry has resisted handing over its share of profits to the state treasury, and the pressure is on to reduce delinquencies and force scofflaws to pay up. Industry officials and state regulators say a proposed carrot-and-stick approach to taxes may lead to more compliance in the future.

Here are the rules for legal marijuana in California once law goes into effect Jan. 1

The three sets of rules released Thursday by each agency include expected rules for strict testing and tracking all products from seed to sale. They also added dozens of pages of rules regarding fees, enforcement and new license types. And they kept controversial limits from the proposed rules on how much THC, the compound that makes consumers high, can be in edibles.Here are the rules for legal marijuana in California once law goes into effect Jan. 1

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Pot initiatives: Predicting the next 15 states to legalize marijuana

Though every state to legalize pot so far has done so through ballot initiatives, going forward, states have a variety of options for making pot legal. Predicting which states will be next to legalize requires weighing a range of legal circumstances and cultural conditions. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed marijuana usage rates, existing marijuana laws, and legislative processes in each state to identify the states most likely to legalize pot next.

In the midst of Congressional grilling, Sessions takes heat on marijuana attitude

“Well thank you sir,” responded Cohen, who went on to advise Sessions that when it comes to enforcement the attorney general should “look at the limitations you’ve got… Put your enforcement on crack, on cocaine, on meth, on opioids, and on heroin. Marijuana is the least bothersome of all.”

Weed for Warriors Carries on the Good Fight for Veterans' Health

Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area by a Marine Corps veteran, the Weed for Warriors Project brings together veterans who find solace in cannabis and need like-minded peers to share their experiences with. In the past, Weed for Warriors has used its network to connect veterans to affordable or free cannabis products. However, with Prop 64 – the law that regulates commercial sales of adult-use cannabis in California – launching in January 2018, giving away cannabis products for free is no longer an option.

Dog Daze: UC Davis veterinary school launches survey on the use of marijuana products on pets

"With the increasing use of medical cannabis and the start of recreational use in January, the interest in using it for pets has really grown," said Dr. Jamie Peyton, chief of small animal integrative medicine at the veterinary school and the primary researcher behind the study. "The goal of the survey is to start the conversation about the use of hemp and cannabis products for pets."

Sticker shock coming with California's new pot market

The increased tax rates are just one part of California's sprawling plan to transform its long-standing medical and illegal markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated economy, the nation's largest legal pot shop. The reshaping of such an expansive illegal economy into a legal one hasn't been witnessed since the end of Prohibition in 1933.

Veterans Groups Push for Medical Marijuana to Treat PTSD

Though a Quinnipiac University poll released in April found that a record 94 percent of all Americans supported doctor-prescribed medical marijuana usage, veterans advocating research have run into the same roadblock as pro-cannabis activists around the country: the Justice Department.

Pot tax money should ride in armored cars, California treasurer says

Access to financial services has been a nettlesome problem for medical dispensaries in California and in other states like Colorado where recreational cannabis has been legalized. Because the drug remains federally illegal, most banks won’t handle money from cannabis businesses, leaving them without access to credit card payments, checking accounts and electronic tax payments.

High taxes on legal pot in California could mean black market will thrive

State and local taxes on marijuana could surpass 45% in some parts of California, jeopardizing efforts to bring all growers and sellers into a state-licensed market in January, according to the global credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings.

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With 9 weeks to go, California’s cities not positioned to start recreational marijuana sales

The state intends to issue only temporary licenses starting in January, and it has yet to release its plan to govern the estimated $7 billion marketplace, the nation’s largest legal pot economy. If businesses aren’t licensed and operating in the legal market, governments aren’t collecting their slice of revenue from sales. The state alone estimates it could see as much as $1 billion roll in within several years.

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Law enforcement continues to push unfounded Halloween marijuana candy claims

Despite the complete lack of evidence of Halloween-related pot poisoning, marijuana candy remains a perennial favorite boogeyman among law enforcement officials, as well as media outlets looking for a scare story. Pot candy panic first kicked into high gear in 2014, the year the country's first recreational marijuana markets opened in Colorado and Washington state.

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Just-Retired Top US Global Narc: Marijuana Rescheduling Likely

“Let’s see how many other states advance in this direction because we are a democracy and for the moment we do not have a consensus position. In California, the most populous state, they voted for legalization, but in Texas, the second most populous state, they have not even wanted to consider it. When the conclusions are drawn, it is likely that substances may be reclassified.”

California fires: Cannabis farm fundraisers shut down

The fundraising could technically be classified as money-laundering under the federal laws, despite the businesses being legal within the state of California. It had been set up by Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, aiming to raise $25,000 for at least 34 businesses affected, according to CNN.

Legal marijuana is becoming the norm — for good reason

The war on drugs has been going on since 1971, and we have a winner: marijuana. Back then, possession of pot carried heavy penalties in many states — even life imprisonment. Today, 29 states sanction medical use of cannabis, and eight allow recreational use. Legal weed has become about as controversial as Powerball.


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).