Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Marijuana Milestone: Presidential Candidate Courts Pot Entrepreneurs

by John Geluardi
Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Today marks a political milestone in the decades-long effort to legalize marijuana. For the first time in history, a presidential candidate is openly seeking campaign contributions from the thriving cannabis industry. 

Rand Paul.
  • Rand Paul.
US Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, recently addressed a “private briefing” of cannabis business people and activists at Colorado’s second annual Business Summit and Expo in Denver. Paul is one of the most outspoken critics of the War on Drugs and is a supporter of states determining their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference, legalizing medical cannabis nationally, and allowing cannabis-related business to have open access to banking. The Obama administration has threatened to strip banks of their federal deposit insurance if they open accounts with cannabis-related businesses.

According to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which organized the summit, attendees were offered three donor levels, $2,700 for an “attendee” status, $5,400 a “sponsor” status and $10,400 would buy “host” status. All checks were to be made out to the “Rand Paul Victory Committee.”

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vallejo Cannabis Patients Return Fire

by David Downs
Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:53 AM

This morning, a group called Re-Start Vallejo submitted more than 9,000 signatures to Vallejo City Hall to stop the closure of Vallejo’s fourteen or so dispensaries and regulate the businesses once and for all.

The petition is a response to a May 26 ordinance in Vallejo, closing all dispensaries and rejecting millions of dollars in voter-approved medical cannabis taxes. Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis’ religious crusade against clubs appears to have finally galvanized and activated the city’s rather passive dispensary scene. They’ve formed the Vallejo Patients Alliance, and Re-Start Vallejo rallied and spoke with the press this morning, decrying the once-bankrupt city’s rejection of the popular businesses.

A new dawn in Vallejo? - CITY OF VALLEJO
  • City of Vallejo
  • A new dawn in Vallejo?

The group wants to grandfather in the city's existing, tax-paying clubs, which would receive licenses after inspection.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Marijuana Delivery App Battle: Harborside Taps GreenRush

by David Downs
Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Pencil in that staycation you’ve dreamed of — the nation’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center of Oakland, and a fast-growing pot delivery tech startup, GreenRush, announced today a new partnership to serve East Bay patients.

Qualified medical cannabis patients can now log onto GreenRush.com using the web browser on their mobile phone, and order direct from Harborside’s vast menu of flowers, edibles, and extracts. A Harborside driver will bring the flowers to your door in as little as an hour.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oregon Explains “What’s Legal?” About Marijuana — Starting July 1

by David Downs
Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Oregon’s cannabis legalization provisions go into effect July 1, bringing some newfound liberties to our liberal neighbor to the north.

This week, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is trying to get out ahead of the start date with a “What’s Legal?” advertising campaign that’s very much a sign of the times.


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Need Strain Suggestions? Start With 2015 Cannabis Cup Winners

by David Downs
Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 2:02 PM

East Bay medical cannabis patients looking for some new strains worth trying out have some new leads. Last night, judges at the annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup Northern California awarded trophies for the best indicas, sativas, hybrids, topicals, and more. The list is full of some great finds in the East Bay. For example:

— Third-place sativa Super Glue by Vallejo Patients Care. Vallejo may have a backward approach to medical cannabis, but VPC has access to world-class genetics. Super Glue is a phenotype of one of our Best Strains of the Summer 2015, Gorilla Glue #4.
  • David Downs

— Second-place hybrid Tahoe Chem by Berkeley delivery service C.R.A.F.T. The artisanal growers at C.R.A.F.T. took home yet another award for their sour, fuely hybrid. It's also one of our Strains of the Summer. 

— First-place CBD flower winner CBD OG by C.R.A.F.T. Strains high in non-psychoactive cannabidiol used to skimp on flavor. Not anymore with this OG-tasting, CBD-rich cut, also from C.R.A.F.T.

— 1st Place Best CBD Concentrate Goji D.C. Live Resin by Moxie Genetics. Moxie Genetics’ ultra-high end concentrates can be found around the East Bay at better dispensaries, and patients in need of high amount of CBD should check out their Goji D.C. Live Resin. Goji D.C. is the name of a strain. Live Resin is the name for the fresh frozen extraction process.

You can check out all the winners for ideas on what to sample next, over on High Timeswinners page.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

California Marijuana Bills on Water Quality, Organ Transplants, Vapes Advance

by David Downs
Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 11:03 AM

Yesterday, Legalization Nation detailed the tectonic shifts under way in California cannabis policy.

Under legislation pending in Sacramento, for the first time in state history, seven state agencies would regulate different aspects of medical cannabis, and twenty different licenses would be available to commercial industry members. Patients would get cleaner medicine through first-ever safety standards and lab certifications.

But Assembly Bill 266 is only part of a flight of cannabis-related bills on the move in Sacramento this year.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Real ‘Welfare Queens’? Drug-Testing Companies

by David Downs
Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Drug-testing companies are ripping off Americans for hundreds of millions of dollars in expensive, unnecessary urine screenings, in yet another unintended cost of the war on drugs.

Millennium Health LLC in the conservative “small-government” bastion of San Diego is now facing about $250 million in fines for over-charging Medicare for drug testing, reports indicate.

Millennium was charging $1,000 per drug test for seniors on pain medications, instead of the usual $175, as the company screened septuagenarians for exotic youth club drugs like MDMA and Ketamine.

Millennium Health of San Diego faces record fines for defrauding Medicare with unnecessary drug testing.
  • Millennium Health of San Diego faces record fines for defrauding Medicare with unnecessary drug testing.
Millennium isn't one bad apple, either. 

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

East Bay Hashmakers Are Investing In $10,000 Pipes

by David Downs
Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:19 AM

A $25,000 collaboration by glass artist Elbo. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • A $25,000 collaboration by glass artist Elbo.

Legitimate canna-businesspeople remain locked out of financial services, and it's a full-on crisis that is creating plenty of strange, unintended consequences. For one — an asset bubble in high-end, $10,000 bongs.

The ancient water pipe provides a modern lesson on the theory of currency. We explain how it works for the newest episode of Legalization Nation’s podcast The Hash

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

National Cannabis Bar Association Launches Today

by David Downs
Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 12:25 PM

NCBA founder Shabnam Malek - NCBA
  • NCBA
  • NCBA founder Shabnam Malek
Having a good lawyer can mean the difference between a successful canna-business and a stint in county. Yet there are very few ways to order up an experienced, well-referenced attorney specialized in local cannabis business formation, intellectual property, or inter-state franchising law.

Now filling that gap is the East Bay-centric National Cannabis Bar Association, which formally launches today at CanBAR.org.

NCBA founding president and executive director Shabnam Malek said the all-female-led group grew organically out of national networking among specialized attorneys, and aims to complement NORML’s legal directory, and the cannabis-specialty groups forming inside state bars across the country.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hysteria Over Childhood Marijuana Exposure Is Disproportionate To Harms

by David Downs
Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 12:37 PM

A major new study on accidental exposure to cannabis is fanning a media firestorm, and the ensuing hysteria is wildly disproportionate to the actual harms to children.

Simply put, kids who accidentally eat a pot brownie will be utterly fine. Meanwhile, thousands of kids are going to die this year from being poisoned by personal care and household products, with no proportionate outcry.

As a society, we must be clear-headed about this stuff. Lock up your edibles, of course, but prioritize outrage based on actual harm.

The Clinical Pediatrics study published on June 7 found that marijuana exposures among children under six in the United States from 2000 through 2013 totaled 1,969. That's a very low rate of 5.90 per million children. The mean age of an exposed child was 1.81 years, 75 percent percent of exposures were eaten, and 18.5 percent required admission to a healthcare facility.
Child exposure to medicated edibles (shown above)  has become a primary criticism of cannabis legalization. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • Child exposure to medicated edibles (shown above) has become a primary criticism of cannabis legalization.

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