Friday, August 28, 2015

Cannabis Author Showcase IV Comes to Oakland September 17

by David Downs
Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 1:19 PM

Legalization Nation's long-running Author Night series will continue the evening of September 17 at the Rock Steady cocktail bar in Oakland with Cannabis Author Showcase IV!

Our first featured author will be Michael Backes, author of Cannabis Pharmacy, one of the best new books to describe how exactly patients are using the botanical for a variety of conditions. It's billed as "the practical guide to medical marijuana" with "evidence-based information on using cannabis for ailments and conditions, plus a comprehensive guide to the most popular varieties." (Cannabis Pharmacy is out now on Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers).
Michael Backes.
  • Michael Backes.

Cheri Sicard, author of 2015's Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, will also be joining us. Serving a radically underserved segment essential to reforms — women — Mary Jane focuses on aspects of cannabis that are often overlooked, including chapters on pot and parenting, beauty products, cannabis party hosting, edible recipes, and gardening.

We have a couple more exciting, dynamic, thought-leading authors we're almost ready to announce, so stay tuned.

We do it talk-show style, with authors engaging in a one on one Q&A with your Legalization Nation columnist, David Downs (contributing author of Beyond Buds, 2014). After we've empaneled our authors, we do some roundtable discussion, take questions from the audience, then break for food, drink, and book sales and signings.

Cheri Sicard.
  • Cheri Sicard.
Cannabis Author Showcase IV is brought to the Bay Area by Legalization Nation and our podcast The Hash. Our media sponsors are East Bay Express and Smell the Truth. Our community sponsors are Oaksterdam University and ReformCA.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

California Legislature: 'We're Regulating Medical Marijuana'

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Today the California Senate Appropriations Committee advanced historic medical cannabis regulations with a last-minute twist: nothing was in the bill.

Assembly Bill 266 was gutted and amended to read: “It is the intention of the state legislature to regulate medical marijuana.”

But for the first time, the Governor’s Office weighed in with language of its own that may become the text of a last-minute bill that passes the Senate by September 7, and makes it to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

Senate Appropriations voted 5-1 this afternoon to gut, amend, and advance AB 266, according to sources in the capital.

We’ve looked at some of the governor’s draft language, and it mirrors much of existing language in Sacramento calling for a fully functional, albeit highly regulated medical cannabis industry.

More …

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cannabis Companies Ramp Up Education Efforts

by David Downs
Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:48 AM

Cannabis patients and their allies are rapidly ascending the weed learning curve thanks to a flurry of independent education initiatives. Companies such as Meadow and Eaze are not only delivering cannabis to your door, they’re also now doing the fundamental work of educating consumers.

Notably, Meadow has launched a snazzy online education section complete with motion graphics on how the body uses cannabis.


More …

Thursday, August 20, 2015

California NAACP Files Road Rules For California Cannabis Legalization in 2016

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 2:49 PM

CA NAACP Director Alice Huffman - NAACP
  • CA NAACP Director Alice Huffman
Today, the California NAACP filed a ballot initiative with the Secretary of State to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state's 2016 general election. The California Hawaii NAACP's initiative entitled "Community Act to Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis of 2016" is signed by director Alice Huffman.

We're getting reports that the NAACP isn't actually going to run its own initiative, but has submitted model language as a show of support for the 2016 effort. Huffman and the NAACP are working with the main group, dubbed, ReformCA.

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Cannabis Extracts Laden with Pesticides, Oregonian Finds

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 10:25 AM


Oregon medical marijuana patients are often inhaling cancer-causing pesticides when they buy and use the state's legal medical cannabis concentrates on dispensary shelves. That's the verdict of The Oregonian, which published a damning expose on the sorry quality of the state's extracts, despite legal mandates they be lab-tested.

As illustrated in the video below, many cannabis growers are spraying their crops with toxic pesticides to kill bugs and infections that would otherwise cause financial ruin for the farmers. But these plants are later subjected to chemical extraction processes that concentrate both the good and the bad in the plant, raising THC levels and pesticide concentrations.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Inside California's Historic Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill

by David Downs
Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 2:13 PM

  • State of California
  • Rob Bonta.
The historic bill to create a statewide program to regulate California’s medical cannabis industry could cost $20 million to implement and may be too unwieldy. That’s according to an official analysis of Assembly Bill 266, which is now on hold, pending budget discussions in Sacramento this week. (The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to move AB 266 to the so-called "suspense file," a standard process for legislation with significant costs).

The bill, co-sponsored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), appears to have significant momentum, with a prior version earning the support of the League of California Cities, the influential California Medical Association, and Board of Equalization member George Runner. Still, the bill has sparked opposition from pro- and anti-pot groups, because it both cements the legalization of medical cannabis in California, and curtails some practices in the country’s most laissez-faire medical pot system.


1) AB 266 would license an entire commercial industry, and “repeal existing law authorizing collective cultivation of medical cannabis, once the state has certified that licensing authorities have begun issuing conditional licenses,” the analysis notes.

"'Commercial cannabis activity' means any cultivation, possession, manufacture, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transporting, distribution, or sale of medical cannabis ora medical cannabis product," the bill states.

More …

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Indicted Pot Union Ex-Official Dan Rush Says He Will Be Vindicated

by David Downs
Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 4:44 PM

Dan Rush, Oakland’s leading union organizer for the cannabis industry, was arrested and released last week on federal charges of violating labor laws and committing fraud. The FBI's Public Corruption and Civil Rights Squad has accused Rush of accepting over $600,000 in cash and gifts from a dispensary operator for whom he reportedly sold favors and advised on how to prevent unionization. If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 25 years.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced on Friday that it had fired Rush. And Derek Peterson and Martin Kaufman of Blum dispensary in Oakland and TerraTech in Nevada issued a press release confirming they recorded conversations on Rush for federal agents, and defending that activity. On Friday, Rush responded to the federal charges with a statement on Facebook from his attorney. In his post, Rush said he expects to be vindicated by the legal process, and his lawyers called his firing from the UCFW “entirely unjustified”.

Rush's lawyers didn’t explicitly deny charges in the affidavit, but stated they are “nothing but allegations; they are unproven by any standard, let alone the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and have never been tested through cross examination in a court of law." The statement continued: "Under the law Mr. Rush is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven to a requisite standard, and no competent proof of his guilt has yet been presented."

More …

Friday, August 14, 2015

East Bay Orders Up Organic, Artisanal, Small-Batch Weed

by David Downs
Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 7:51 AM

The East Bay’s know-your-farmer movement has reached another milestone this month with the expansion of outdoor, organic medical cannabis delivery service Flow Kana.

East Bay patients can now use their mobile phones to order up CBD-rich Tsunami Rose, some THC-rich Ogre Berry, and more. Flow Kana’s trained staffers drop eighth-ounces of what they deem “connoisseur-grade” outdoor bud at your home, office, park, bar, or any location in less than minutes. They’re also doing curated sample packs of three strains, at one gram each.

Flow Kana sources its outdoor flowers from top-placing contestants in the esteemed Emerald Cup. Above, the 2014 contestant exhibit. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • Flow Kana sources its outdoor flowers from top-placing contestants in the esteemed Emerald Cup. Above, the 2014 contestant exhibit.

More …

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Updated: Oakland Pot Union Bribery Scandal Exposed

An FBI affidavit alleges that Oakland union official Dan Rush took hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs from medical cannabis industry members.

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 12:06 PM

The FBI's Public Corruption and Civil Rights Squad has filed a bombshell complaint against a leading figure in the California marijuana legalization movement. Ex-United Food and Commercial Workers Union organizer Dan Rush of Oakland could face federal charges for allegedly taking bribes and kickbacks, and undermining unionization efforts.

According to the unsealed affidavit, Rush took a bunch of money from members of the pot industry, including prominent figures in Oakland, and when he couldn’t pay it back, he started selling union endorsements and methods to subvert unionization.

Below are some highlights, all of which are alleged in the unsealed complaint:

UFCW organizer Dan Rush. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • via Facebook
  • UFCW organizer Dan Rush.

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Oakland Is Once Again Considering Licensing Medical Pot Farms

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:33 AM

The City of Oakland is working on crafting and issuing licenses for medical cannabis farms, as well as kitchens, processors, packaging, and testing labs, Legalization Nation has learned.

Oakland’s return to the issue of permitting medical cannabis cultivation would be its first since a historic dust-up with the federal government over licensing pot-growing in 2011.

The City of Oakland was among the first in the nation to propose licensing medical cannabis cultivation to better control the growth of the weed industry and the distribution of marijuana. Licensed facilities have better fire protection and security than unregulated grow operations. Oakland was so ahead of the curve that federal prosecutors slapped down the idea.

Fast forward four years later, and entire state as well as other California cities are permitting cultivation. In 2015, San Jose mandated its dispensaries grow their own bud. Colorado and Washington have state-level cultivation rules and acres of active canopy space. Oregon is not far behind.

Oakland medical cannabis growers could obtain licenses for the first time this year. Above, young cannabis clones vegetate in a tray at a commercially licensed grow in Boulder, CO. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • Oakland medical cannabis growers could obtain licenses for the first time this year. Above, young cannabis clones vegetate in a tray at a commercially licensed grow in Boulder, CO.

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