Thursday, January 29, 2015

California Legalization Activists Net $80K From Investors

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:22 AM

California's historic vote on legalizing cannabis is 649 days away, but the warchests must be filled now. 

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform collected $80,000 for the campaign to legalize cannabis in California in 2016, said CCPR chair Dale Sky Jones. The group collected the haul at a marijuana investor forum held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday.

Jones made her pitch to a room full of several hundred venture capitalists, and smaller investors looking to place bets on the legal cannabis industry, which is expected to gross $3.5 billion this year, according to estimates from event organizers The ArcView Group.

ArcView co-founder Troy Dayton — a former fundraiser for Marijuana Policy Project — led the funding round for legalization Monday afternoon, asking capitalists to pony up for the reforms they hope to profit from. One $50,000 donor was joined by one $10,000 donor, a few $5,000 donors and several $1,000 donations. 

CCPR chair Jones presents at the ArcView Group's investor forum Monday. - (VIA CCPR)
  • (via CCPR)
  • CCPR chair Jones presents at the ArcView Group's investor forum Monday.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Expert: You Don't Have to Be a State Resident to Get Medical Marijuana In California Right Now

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Potentially tens of thousands of visitors to California come here for medical reasons, but are being denied medical cannabis because of a widespread misinterpretation of state law, said San Francisco lawyer Lauren Vazquez.

Almost every physician’s clinic as well as collective or dispensary mandates that customers be California residents, but they are throwing away business, she said. There is nothing in state medical marijuana law requiring patients be residents.

The entire industry supports the residency rule, mainly because each new business copies what the other one is doing, she said.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2015 Marijuana Market Report: $3.5 Billion in Legal Sales

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Folks looking to get into the cannabis industry just got another green light.

Oakland-based marijuana angel investment network The ArcView Group released its annual market report Monday, stating that legal cannabis sales will grow 32 percent in 2015 to $3.5 billion.

The industry grew 74 percent in 2014 to $2.7 billion. Eighty-two percent of retails sales were for medical use, and California made up 49 percent of all US cannabis sales by state in 2014.

Excerpt from ArcView Market Research's report on 2015. - ARCVIEW MARKET RESEARCH
  • ArcView Market Research
  • Excerpt from ArcView Market Research's report on 2015.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Berkeley Orders Closure of Pot Speakeasy 40 Acres

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:24 AM

Berkeley’s marijuana speakeasy Forty Acres got another order to close this week from the city council. But the operators vowed to keep fighting the now six-year-old legal battle with the city.

40 Acres' must cease operations at its San Pablo Ave. location, the Berkeley City Council voted. - VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • via Google Maps
  • 40 Acres' must cease operations at its San Pablo Ave. location, the Berkeley City Council voted.
Reports state that the Berkeley council sided with neighbors who complained that Forty Acres is not a permitted dispensary and that it impacts their quality of life on San Pablo Avenue.

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'Policing For Profit' Will Continue; AG Holder's Order 'Toothless'

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:21 AM

Forfeiture expert and critic Brenda Grantland confirmed and amplified our analysis of Attorney General Eric Holder’s largely symbolic move to clip federal takings last week.

US Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. - WIKICOMMONS
  • Wikicommons
  • US Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.
She calls Holder’s memo “window dressing,” and notes that President Obama's nominee for the next Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, boasted about seizing almost $1 billion from Americans in 2013. Under federal and state forfeiture laws designed to fight the drug war, police can take your cash, car, or house without a warrant, indictment, or conviction.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Medical Marijuana Notches Wins, Losses Across California

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 10:57 AM

California’s county-led rollback of Proposition 215 continues in 2015, with more and more jurisdictions banning basic medical cannabis activity.

Vallejo banned storefront dispensaries last week, just the latest heat in years-long friction between patients and providers and city leadership. But if recent history is any guide, dispensaries and delivery services are almost certain to weather the ban and continue serving the area.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It’s Not Legalization If There’s No Place To Smoke It

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 10:14 AM

When people think of cannabis legalization, they often assume there will be places analogous to bars or Amsterdam-like “coffee shops” where folks can buy their treats, hang out, and smoke.

They're wrong.

The actual implementation of legalization so far is proving the opposite. Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 in Colorado and Washington have both exposed a glaring oversight: the lack of legal places where adults can consent to enjoy and be exposed to cannabis smoke or vapor.

The trend in legalization has slammed directly into an opposing trend — draconian anti-workplace smoking laws. The smoking bans have won. The result is that no “public consumption” provisions in legalization laws have been narrowly interpreted to implement widespread bans on this elemental form of cannabis culture.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

AG Holder Clips Warrantless Seizure of Americans’ Cash, Cars

by David Downs
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Eric Holder.
  • Eric Holder.
In a potent, symbolic move, US Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Department of Justice to scale back its intake of cash, cars, and property from Americans not convicted of any crime.

Under federal and state forfeiture law, police have seized $2.5 billion since 2011 from motorists and others “without search warrants or indictments,” the Washington Post reported.

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Cannabis Job Fair, Budtenders Bash on Saturday

by David Downs
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 12:25 PM

Bay Area medical cannabis startup Bloom Farms continues its industry-centric events series in 2015 with a large Job Fair followed by a Budtenders Bash on Saturday, January 17.

Tickets are available for $10 for the Job Fair at The New Parish from 12 p.m. to 4p.m. Saturday at 579 18th St in Oakland. 

Tomorrow evening, dope rap artist The Grouch performs at Bloom Farms’ Budtenders Bash, billed as “a free night out for all Bay Area medical cannabis workers — benefitting SF Child Abuse Prevention Center.”

Bloom Farms specializes in high-quality CO2 extract-filled vape pens. The legal cannabis industry is set to top $10 billion in the next three years, according to research from The Arc View Group, a Bay Area-based angel investment network.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Assemblymember Bill Quirk: 'I am fully in support of legalization'

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Assemblymember Bill Quirk made for a surprising and auspicious guest Friday at the Jack London Square Waterfront Hotel.

Inside a banquet room had gathered about one hundred or so folks who comprised the core of California marijuana legalizers, all strategizing about a 2016 initiative to legalize cannabis — a topic once dubbed "radioactive" to lawmakers.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform’s ‘Post Mortem Seminar: 2014 Legalization Elections’ included a keynote by veteran campaign manager Bill Zimmerman — coverage of which runs in this week's print and online editions of Legalization Nation.

Bill Quirk.
  • Bill Quirk.
We wanted to give Hayward’s Assemblymember Quirk — a former NASA climate change scientist with a PhD in astrophysics — his own space for a candid Q&A. The second-year Democrat representing the 20th District, comprising the southern part of the East Bay, chatted with us about full legalization, and his pessimism for something far less ambitious — medical marijuana regulations — in the California Legislature this year.

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