Advocates Reminded of the Often Undeserved Sway of Law Enforcement
This week an asset forfeiture reform proposal died in Colorado’s Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 006 aimed to join other states and the recent federal effort to curb the intrusive, arguably unconstitutional and financially distorted incentive practice of civil asset forfeiture.
State law provides people due process protections from state authorities seizing their property. However, local and state police often circumvent state law by turning seized assets over to federal authorities who then liquidate those assets and return the proceeds to local law enforcement.
SB 006 would have provided constitutional protections in the case of joint state and federal asset forfeiture proceedings -- requiring a conviction, mandating a pre-trial hearing and only allowing forfeiture proceedings for assets valued over $50,000. The bill attempted to deter frivolous and subjective forfeiture efforts by law enforcement.
The Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Criminal Defense Institute, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and many local lawyers, victims and like-minded civilians testified in favor of the bill.
Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee, Heads to Senate Floor Next Week
Utah is the latest 'red' state to consider medical marijuana. Utah's Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The bill is expected to go to the Senate floor early next week.
Senate Bill 259, from Sen. Mark B. Madsen, would create a state registry of medical marijuana patients who could possess and use marijuana. The bill would also direct the state of Utah to issue licenses for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries to qualified patients.
“I am one step closer to legal access to my medicine,” said Christine Stenquist, a medical marijuana patient and executive director of Drug Policy Project of Utah. “Our elected leaders have an opportunity to help sick patients find relief and there is no excuse not to.”
“If medical marijuana can advance in Utah – with significant support from Mormons in and out of the legislature – it can advance anywhere in the U.S.,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Medicine is medicine, regardless of one’s politics, faith or views about drugs.”
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is launching its first cultivation-focused conference and expo, The Cultivation Management Symposium, March 14-16 in Seattle, Washington.
The conference, designed for cannabis industry professionals, will bring together leading minds in the cultivation arena for three days of education, product discovery, and networking. More than 400 attendees, more than 30 exhibitors, and dozens of speakers will share best practices in the rapidly evolving fields of cultivation and horticulture.
Keynote speakers include:
• Alex Cooley, Solstice Grow
• Jonathan Valdman, Forever Flowering Greenhouses
• Amy Poinsett, MJ Freeway
• Jan Carlos Byl and Adam Dunn, MedCanna Consulting
• Jennifer Martin, Bulbulyan Consulting Group
• Phillip Hague, Mindful
• Stephen Keen, Surna
• Jay Czarcowski, Canna Advisors
NCIA's Cultivation Management Symposium is positioned to give cannabis industry professionals a wide spectrum of information on cultivation, with topics ranging from horticulture science to operational efficiency. An array of experienced speakers will provide attendees with actionable solutions needed to drive return-on-investment for cannabis cultivation.
Topics of discussion will include:
• Sustainable approaches to commercial cannabis cultivation
• Analyzing harmful contaminants
• Cultivation practices: Soil-less mediums, alternative nutrients, outdoor, and greenhouse
• Facility design and operations
• HR and talent acquisition
• Cultivation science: Genetics, strain creation, tissue culture
CBDpurUS.com, a supplier of pure natural CBD isolate (not a synthetic) in the United States, on Thursday announced that the medical and research community, as well as members of the public, can order CBD isolate from the company in 1 gram, 5 g, 10 g, 25 g and 50 g sizes. Delivery normally takes 72 hours.
Because this isolate is pure CBD, it is normally diluted by dissolving it in canola oil, sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, etc. The oil is heated to 155 degrees and the Pure CBD is dissolved therein.
Dosages of 10 mg to 25 mg are the most common. The individual's body naturally determines the amount of strength needed daily for relief. Thus we see 1g of CBD isolate will produce forty 25 mg doses when diluted in oil. This equates to a huge savings for patients in addition to research, manufacturing, etc.
Oregon Analytical Services has tested the CBD to be 99.8 percent pure, according to CBDpurUS.com. They suggest the oil be delivered in a eye dropper that can be obtained from any pharmacy.
The drops should be placed under the tongue and held there for maximum delivery via the sublingual, buccal, and Peroral membranes of the the body.
At least these days, both major political parties in the United States are smart enough to jockey for position on the marijuana issue rather than running away from as they did in the recent past. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday told attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference that he supports states’ rights to legalize and regulate marijuana, notwithstanding federal law.
Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity asked Sen. Cruz whether it was a good or bad idea for Colorado to legalize and regulate marijuana, to which he replied:
“Look I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy.’ If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.”
A video of the exchange is available at http://bit.ly/1aqXrAC .
Sen. Cruz is the latest Republican presidential hopeful to take such a position. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) have also said they think the federal government should not interfere in states that legalize marijuana.
“Marijuana policy reform is, at its heart, a conservative issue," said Don Murphy, a former Republican state legislator from Maryland now serving as a federal policies analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "This is a matter of Federalism, the 10th Amendment, and state autonomy, which are core conservative priorities.
PyoorCBD on Wednesday announced they will begin to distribute their Cibamine Xtra CBD Infused Drink Additive and 7 Hour Sleep CBD Formula for the United States market.
Both formulas are PassionFruit flavored all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free drink shots/additives that uses Carlsbad Alkaline Water as their water source for their formulas. The company already has these available for sale in THC Formulas in more 200 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California.
In the company's product line are Energy Drinks CBD and THC Infused, a complete pre- and post- workout supplement line infused with CBD Cannabinoids and Hemp to assist with muscle fatigue, rehabilitation from inflammation and extreme workout overload.
PyoorCBD says its products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent legal), and tryspin inhibitor free.
PyoorCBD has developed a line of cannabis infused products targeting the health and fitness conscious consumer. The product line includes products developed in-house as well as products from partners that compliment the overall product line.
In partnership with an established health and fitness recognized brand name partner, PyoorCBD has a pilot retail store in San Diego to market cannabis infused beverages and food supplements. The products are infused with Hemp to include CBD, which is legal in all 50 states. Formulas that include THC are for when and where laws permit.
Kind Financial, (formerly KindBanking), the financial solutions platform for the cannabis industry, on Thursday announced that it has secured its second round of funding.
The company, in a prepared statement, said this investment will accelerate its mission to provide the legal cannabis industry with a full platform of financial services including, but not limited to, merchant and payment services, financing, equity investments, and insurance offerings. The company said it plans to launch a payment solution for the cannabis industry in the first quarter of 2015.
"Legitimate cannabis businesses are being denied many of the financial services available to other industries," explained David Dinenberg, founder and CEO of Kind Financial. "As a result of current regulatory measures, most financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies, are reluctant to do business with the cannabis industry.
"Our financial platform will fill this crucial need as the industry continues its exponential growth," Dinenberg said.
The investor group was led by Lindy Snider, founder and CEO of LindiSkin which manufactures and distributes clinically-proven skin care products for cancer patients. This is the latest in a series of investments Snider has made within the cannabis industry including a product designed to safely ship medical marijuana plants as well as an asset management company.
Legislation to make provisions for ganja reform was approved by the Jamaican Cabinet and tabled in the Senate in January 2015. This Bill, the Dangerous Drugs Act 2015, and popularly called the Ganja Bill, opened the door to the emergence of new financial and commercial opportunities for companies who want to do business in Jamaica.
As advisors for cannabis reform to the country of Jamaica, the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) says it is now offering "a full suite of services to assist companies wanting to be among the first to do legal cannabis business in the Caribbean," and has opened a second office in Kingston.
With the opening of its second office and CGI's longstanding relationships with the Jamaican government, policy stakeholders and the growing community, CGI is prepared to advise companies with placing their products and/or services in the first Caribbean country to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. TessMaria Leon, director of Client Services for CGI's Caribbean team, heads CGI's Kingston office.
"We've created a robust offering to ensure the best companies are being represented and positioned correctly to do business in the Caribbean," says CGI President Wanda James. "CGI has created a number of packages with several levels of service designed to introduce cannabis-related businesses to Jamaican culture, lifestyle and business infrastructure."
By Steve Elliott
Running up to the March 17 elections, Israel's Green Leaf Party on Wednesday announced a comprehensive economic study showing higher than expected revenues of about NIS 3 billion per year for the state if the cannabis market is regulated by law.
The study, conducted by the head of military budgets, Elad Daudi, an expert military economist, is based on data from a study published by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, along with data from Colorado, reports Israel's Cannabis Magazine.
The new study shows economic benefits both from stopping prosecution of marijuana consumers, and from the expected tax to the state treasury which would result from a legal cannabis market. According to the study, NIS 700 million would be saved by the state on enforcement expenditures, courts, arrests, etc., with at least NIS 2.2 billion from revenues from all taxes.
Further, those amounts don't include the expected revenues once the new market is fully reopened. The cannabis industry is expected to quickly product about 10,000 new jobs. The exportation of medical cannabis overseas alone is expected to result in NIS 2 billion per year in state revenues.
CannTrust Inc., a licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis in Canada, today announced CannTrust Access, a comprehensive patient assistance program for medical cannabis compassionate use in Canada.
The CannTrust Access program is a Canadian first in medical cannabis programs and is available immediately to eligible Canadians whose health plans do not reimburse medical cannabis.
To enroll, a patient must have a signed CannTrust medical form from their physician, the required qualifying documents listed at canntrust.ca, a letter from their physician indicating a need for financial assistance to access medical cannabis, and proof of their financial status (Revenue Canada Notice of Assessment).
Qualified patients will be eligible for up to 30 grams of medical marijuana per month. Three levels of financial assistance are available through the CannTrust Access program depending on the patient's income status, which will be reassessed every six months.
CannTrust anticipates that a number of patients' financial status will qualify them to receive their monthly order at no cost. A patient is obliged to notify CannTrust if their status changes in any manner.
BioTrackTHC™, a provider of seed-to-sale software solutions for medical and retail marijuana businesses, has launched BioTrackTHC University, an intensive certification training program for the company's marijuana tracking systems.
"State regulators and the federal government are looking very closely at compliance in this rapidly growing and still controversial industry," said Dr. Moe Afaneh, chief operating officer, BioTrackTHC. "It's essential that business owners are fully trained and operate to the letter of the law."
The university said it provides rigorous and interactive training, including an in-depth review of all aspects of the commercial BioTrackTHC software; from grow house to dispensary and reporting. The in-person coursework also offers an opportunity for professionals to network with fellow industry professionals while enhancing knowledge and mastery of BioTrackTHC in a university style group setting.
The course training is designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to understand how to effectively and efficiently use BioTrackTHC software.
This week's launch of BioTrackTHC University's first training, which took place in Denver, attracted 75 attendees participating in the five-hour course. These attendees also received a sneak peek into the BioTrackTHC iKush and banking kiosk platforms, topics about which the company will announce more details in the coming weeks.
Law approved by voters in November allows adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana in the Washington, D.C.
A voter-approved law making marijuana legal for adults in Washington, D.C. will officially take effect on Thursday, February 26, at 12:01 a.m. ET.
“This is a major milestone on the road to ending marijuana prohibition in the United States,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “This development in our nation’s capital embodies the broader movement taking place throughout the country.
“If the President can brew and drink beer in the White House, adults should be allowed to grow and consume a less harmful substance in their houses,” Capecchi said. “Alcohol is no longer the only authorized social lubricant in town. A safer alternative is legal for adults.”
Initiative 71, which was approved 70-30 by D.C. voters in November, allows adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana; grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes (of which no more than three can be flowering at a time) and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown; and transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults 21 years of age or older.
It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public.
By Steve Elliott
In a very rare move, a Missouri legislator has proposed a bill to free one man from prison. That happened this week when Rep. Shamed Dogan filed House Bill 978, which would allow a parole board to release any prisoner serving a life sentence for nonviolent marijuana charges.
There's only one man in the state who fits that description, of course: Jeff Mizanskey, 61, a grandfather who has spent more than 20 years behind bars because of Missouri's horrific three-strike law for drug crimes, reports Danny Wicentowski at Riverfront Times.
H.B. 978 doesn't mention Mizanskey by name, but freshman lawmaker Dogan made his intentions clear in a press release in which he called Mizanskey's sentence "a miscarriage of justice."
"It is unconscionable to me that this man, who is no danger to society, will spend the rest of his life in prison at taxpayer expense," Dogan said. "Many of my legislative colleagues have come together to implore the governor to commute Mr. Mizanskey's life sentence, but to date the governor has done nothing more than promise to review Jeff's case before he leaves office."
H. 277 mirrors the Senate bill, introduced last week, to establish a legal market for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older
State Rep. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont. Nine co-sponsors have signed on to H. 277, which mirrors S. 95, the Senate bill introduced last week by Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Chittenden).
“There is a lot of support among legislators and the public for ending marijuana prohibition in Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is part of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “It is never too soon to replace a failed, antiquated policy with a more sensible, evidence-based approach.
"If it’s the right thing to do, the right time to do it is now,” Simon said.
H. 277 and S. 95 would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana; grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location; and possess the marijuana yielded from those plants at the same location. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.
By Steve Elliott
Well, nobody can say the Wasilla City Council wasn't ready when marijuana legalization came along, no sir. Less than three hours before recreational cannabis became legal across the state, the council on Monday banned making pot brownies at home.
The city, known for its lax rules on everything from ATVs to big box stores, suddenly got all into restricting personal freedom and passed what for now look to be the strictest local laws covering recreational marijuana use in Alaska, reports Zaz Hollander at .
On a 4-2 vote, the council limited marijuana use within city limits to private proprty smoking, or consuming medibles if they were made outside Wasilla. Even smoking marijuana at home is still illegal, if it bothers the neighbors.
The new regulations ban making "edibles, concentrates or extracts" at home.
Within Wasilla, it's also now illegal to transport more than 2 ounces of cannabis inside one vehicle. State law allows up an an ounce per adult, but doesn't limit totals.
The new Wasilla regulations prohibition marijuana clubs and require that the use of cannabis "cease immediately" if other residents or neighbors are "disturbed." Wait, I thought they already took a vote on this?!
"This is a first step," claimed Stu Graham, the newest member on the city council who also proposed most of the regulations. "This is a building block."