By Steve Elliott
A Northern California Native American tribe has announced it is building a $10 million indoor marijuana cultivation facility just north of Ukiah.
"The tribes are just getting out ahead of the game," said Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg, reports Glenda Anderson at The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa.
"Legalization is coming," said Dale Gieringer, California state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "It looks like it'll be the tribes."
The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has contracted with United Cannabis, based in Colorado, and FoxBarry Companies, based in Kansas, to grow thousands of marijuana plants in greenhouses on its 99-acre rancheria, The Press Democrat reports. FoxBarry -- which, interestingly enough, also invests in tribal casinos -- is bankrolling and managing the project.
This is believed to be the first California tribe to build a large cannabis-growing facility, but at least two more are already planned at other locations in the state -- by the same corporations behind the Ukiah operation. Those two locations are still undisclosed, other that they will be in Central and Southern California.
The Brookings Institution has released a list of eight critical marijuana legalization items to monitor during 2015.
The list, from Brookings Fellow John Hudak, follows:
1) Oregon, Alaska Plan & Prepare for Legal Marijuana: How well each of these state legislatures and alcohol regulatory bodies work together will determine the success or failure of marijuana policy in these states. As it borders Washington, Oregon’s commercial and regulatory choices will be particularly crucial in understanding to what extent states may strive for market advantages vis-à-vis bordering states.
2) Identifying the Next States to Legalize: 2015 will show which states are serious about ballot initiatives in 2016. It’s widely expected that California will advance an initiative and Florida might take another swing at approving medical marijuana, after falling just short of approval in 2014.
3) Cannabis Policy & State Legislative Action: In some states, the battleground for enacting items like the legalization of recreational or medical marijuana is not the ballot box, but the state legislature.
4) Cannabis & the Courts: Multiple high-profile lawsuits surrounding marijuana policy may play out in 2015. For instance, Coats v. Dish Network may settle the issue of employer-sponsored marijuana testing and a Supreme Court case involving Nebraska and Oklahoma’s suing of Colorado over legalizing marijuana will indicate the willingness of federal courts to engage in this policy area.
By Steve Elliott
A medical marijuana delivery smartphone application based in Los Angeles had aimed at becoming the city's first such service was ordered to stop conducting business by a county judge on Thursday.
Judge Robert O'Brien of the Los Angeles County Superior Court said Nestdrop, a mobile phone app designed to connect legal medical marijuana patients with dispensaries, violated a voter-approved law called Proposition D that bans medical marijuana delivery, reports Time Magazine.
Nestdrop said they weren't violating the law because they only connect dispensaries with patients, and don't handle the cannabis themselves, reports Soumya Karlamangla at the Los Angeles Times.
"We're a technology company," said Nestdrop cofounder Michael Pycher. "We have every right to be an app."
According to Pycher, Nestdrop helps bring more "legitimacy and compliance" with the city's medical marijuana rules, because they can track everything through the app. "We thought this would be making the city happy," he said.
By Steve Elliott
Dab-haters be damned -- "concentrated cannabis" qualifies as medical marijuana, a California appellate court in Sacramento has ruled.
The unanimous decision by a three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal last week disagreed with an earlier ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner, reversing that judge's ruling that a medical marijuana patient violated probation by possessing concentrated cannabis, reports Denny Walsh at The Sacramento Bee.
Sean Patrick Mulcrevy was charged in 2013 with unlawful possession of a concentrated cannabis, a misdemeanor, and was accused of violating his probation because of his failure "to obey all laws."
Judge Wagoner had reviewed the existing legal language indicating that cannabis concentrates are covered by California's Compassionate Use Act (CUA), the 1996 voter initiative that made the state the first to legalize medicinal use of marijuana with a doctor's authorization. But Wagoner rejected the authority as "unsound" and ruled that "the (CUA) does not apply to concentrated cannabis" because the act doesn't define "marijuana," refer to concentrates or incorporate statutory definitions of either term.
Concentrated cannabis is, according to the California Health & Safety Code, "the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana."
In 2015, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition will again take place in the epicenter for business and media, New York City, June 17-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Fall will take place September 16-18, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles.
The International Cannabis Association (ICA) has entered into a strategic partnership with H.A. Bruno, LLC, a global B2B event producer for more than 40 years, to form Leading Edge Events, LLC. Leading Edge Events will now oversee the management and business development of the ICA’s trade shows and conferences centered around the legal marijuana industry in the United States.
“All of the industry’s varied interests are coming into perfect alignment for this event," said Leading Edge Events spokesman Don Berey. "Exhibitors, buyers, legislators, and ICA trade association members have all been polled and everyone is in agreement that it’s go, go, go to New York’s Javits Center next June.”
The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Fall in Los Angeles will include dispensary owners, growers, suppliers, investors, medical professionals, government regulators, legal counsel, and entrepreneurs, according to Berey.
By Steve Elliott
Medical cannabis dispensaries in San Francisco want illegal guns off the street, and they're willing to put their money where their mouths are.
A gun buyback in South of Market last weekend, on the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Connecticut, was underwritten by three dispensaries and a marijuana attorney, reports Chris Roberts at the SF Examiner.
South of Market dispensaries The Green Door and Barbary Coast, Tenderloin-area dispensary Grassroots, and the legal firm Hallinan & Hallinan gave $35,000 to provide the funds to buy back illegal firearms, according to attorney Brendan Hallinan.
"It's giving back a little bit to law enforcement, contributing to public safety," Hallinan said. "And pot clubs are often accused of creating crime, of causing robberies. ... We wanted to counter that a little bit."
Anyone who turned in a handgun got $100; assault weapons fetched $200. All guns were accepted, no questions asked, by law enforcement.
It's believed this is the first time marijuana businesses have funded a gun buyback.
"We want to participate in society, we want to contribute," said Mike Nolin, The Green Door's founder and CEO of medical cannabis consulting firm Boss Enterprises.
Photo: Oakland Police Department
By Steve Elliott
If you've ever doubted the existence of police privilege, it may be time to reassess. A police officer in California who was caught redhanded with marijuana in his home earlier this year -- more than 4 pounds of it -- "probably" won't be charged with a crime due to "lack of evidence."
K-9 Officer Joe Avila has been on paid leave since September, pending results of an internal investigation, according to the Richmond Police Department, reports Rick Hurd at the Contra Costa Times.
The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office has been "investigating" but "is not inclined to file charges," said Robin Lipetzky, the county's chief public defender. That decision "likely" comes from "evidence not strong enough to produce a conviction," according to Lipetzky (remember, they caught this cop with between 4 and 5 pounds of weed in his house).
A search warrant obtained by the Contra Costa Times showed that Avila picked up a box containing 4 to 5 pounds of cannabis from a UPS store on November 25, 2013. He then radioed a dispatcher to say he'd file an incident report.
But Officer Avila never filed that report. Instead, he took the marijuana to his home in Oakley instead of placing it in a department evidence locker, which would have been policy.
CMA resolution comes as California lawmakers consider introducing a bill to address widespread problem of transplant denials
The California Medical Association (CMA) this weekend voted unanimously to urge transplant clinics in the state against removing patients from organ transplant lists based on their medical marijuana status or use. The CMA House of Delegates was in San Diego for its annual meeting, and voted Saturday on Resolution 116-14 in support of patients' ability to remain on transplant lists despite their medical marijuana use.
The refusal of transplant clinics to place or keep medical marijuana patients on organ transplant lists is a widespread problem in California and other states. Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is fighting to reform organ transplant policies in California, has received numerous reports of such actions at hospitals across the state, including Cedars-Sinai, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California San Francisco, and Stanford Medical School.
Expanding from its home market in Los Angeles, Nestdrop, which calls itself "the country's first completely in-App, on-demand medical marijuana delivery service," is now available for San Francisco patients on Android smartphones and tablets.
Medical marijuana patients will be required to upload a photo of valid ID and either a doctor's recommendation or medical marijuana identification card to Nestdrop's securely encrypted vault to receive approval before ordering. Unlike other online medical marijuana delivery services, Nestdrop says it is the first to provide an entirely in-app marketplace experience and orders will be fulfilled within an hour or less.
Nestdrop's medical marijuana service is currently available on Android throughout San Francisco as well as parts of Oakland and San Jose. More cities in the Bay Area will be added regularly.
"Expanding into San Francisco marks a milestone for us as we continue our mission of providing a safe method for medical marijuana patients to get the medicine they need in a convenient, discrete fashion," said Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher. "We are also excited to be the first medical marijuana delivery service in two major markets, with more on the way."
"Unlike New York-based High Times events or L.A.-based Hempcon, The Emerald Cup is presented by locals, for locals, and the state’s definitive county fair draws much of California’s original cannabis industry." ~ SFGate, "Smell The Truth"
“Not only is the spirit of the event responsible, it is vital that the lessons it has to offer are heard and understood by those outside it. Sustainability, earth-friendly practices, clean medicine and better business standards all take center stage during the event, one which is beginning to attract a global audience.” ~ John Vergados, SKUNK Magazine
The Emerald Cup will make its highly anticipated return to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, on December 13 and 14. For more than a decade, The Emerald Cup has become synonymous with setting the highest standards for sustainable, sun-grown, outdoor cannabis and is the largest, most respected, organic, outdoor, medicinal cannabis competition in the world, making it “The Definitive Cup for the Fall Harvest.”
For the third year in a row, SKUNK Magazine will present the Emerald Cup’s grand prize of an all-inclusive stay for two at their resort, Pure Garden, in Negril, Jamaica.
By Steve Elliott
Legalized marijuana is inevitable, California Attorney General Kamala Harris admitted this week, and she has no "moral opposition" to that happening and is "not opposed" it, she said.
This comes as something of a surprise, since Harris won reelection in California last month by beating the pro-marijuana Republican candidate, Ron Gold, reports RT.com. But while Harris said pot legalization has a "certain inevitability," she didn't actually endorse it.
Harris, the consummately cautious politician, hedged her bets by claiming she had "concerns" over the law enforcement implications of legalization.
"I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana,” Harris told Buzzfeed News in an interview. “I'm the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective.
"I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized,” Harris said. “We're watching it happen right before our eyes in Colorado and Washington.
"I don't think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out,” Harris said to Buzzfeed. “I think there's certain inevitability about it."
Green Cures & Botanical Distribution Inc. on Wednesday announced that it intends to merge with Green Cures Inc. ("GCI"), a California corporation and the major controlling shareholder of Green Cures. Green Cures management also announced that following the planned merger, the Company intends to continue its strategic focus on the development of concepts related to nutritional, sports, functional beverage, hemp-infused, and body care products.
GCI owns the brand Green Magic, a Registered Mark, and the brand Green Cures, a Registered Mark.
Green Cures management noted that becoming a fully reporting company has been one of management's top priorities, and if successful, management said it anticipates that this strategic merger will enable Green Cures to become fully a reporting company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, following which management plans to seek to have the Company's shares traded on the OTC QB or other over-the-counter market.
GCI management said it will seek during the next approximately two-and-a-half months to obtain the necessary audited financial statements. Green Cures management said it anticipates that at closing, GCI will transfer all of its intellectual property and registered marks to Green Cures.
Management of Green Cures said it plans to complete the merger and become fully reporting during the first quarter of the year 2015, after which the Company said it will seek to have its shares accepted for trading on the OTC QB or other over-the-counter market.
Available on Cyber Monday only, Los Angeles residents can get 20 percent off alcohol and medical marijuana deliveries
Popular alcohol and medical marijuana delivery app, Nestdrop, aims to make this year’s Cyber Monday, December 1, the best one yet for Los Angeles.
By using promo code CYBER, Angelenos can receive 20 percent off alcohol and medical marijuana deliveries through the Android and iOS* apps.
Available since June as an alcohol delivery, Nestdrop is the country’s first in-App, on demand medical marijuana delivery service. Medical marijuana patients are required to upload a photo of valid ID and either a doctor’s recommendation or medical marijuana identification card to Nestdrop’s securely encrypted vault to receive approval before ordering.
Nestdrop delivers both medical marijuana and alcohol in an hour.
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 1, 2014
Delivery hours vary by location and service
WHERE: Greater Los Angeles area
*Note: Medical marijuana deliveries are only available on the Android app as of Nov. 19. iOS deliveries will be added in the next few weeks.
Both Companies to Exhibit at the Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas from Nov. 12 to 14
G FarmaLabs, a producer and processor of cannabis products, on Friday announced that is has entered into a production agreement with MedMen, a full service cannabis management firm. G FarmaLabs officials said the company "will bring its full line of award winning cannabis infused products to MedMen’s offerings as the management company gears up for a substantial footprint in the two newest cannabis markets, Nevada and Illinois."
“While the marijuana industry has seen tremendous growth over the past couple of years, there still remains a frustrating amount of regulatory hurdles that make expanding a marijuana producing and processing company a challenge,” said Ata Gonzalez, founder and CEO of G FarmaLabs. “With this unique partnership, which took a tremendous amount of time and effort to structure, G FarmaLabs is able to expand nationally, while MedMen is able to offer its clients the best cannabis products on the market.”
This announcement marks the latest in a number of big announcements for both companies, both of which will be exhibiting at the Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas from Nov. 12-14.
For G FarmaLabs, in early October, the company announced a Private Offering to raise $5 million in capital for a stake in the future of the company’s California territory.
Steep Hill Labs, Inc., which specializes in cannabis testing and analytics, on Thursday announced that its licensee M.A. & Associates, LLC has been awarded one of the first licenses issued in the state of Nevada to test and analyze medical marijuana for the newly-legal industry in the state.
M.A. & Associates, which will conduct business as Steep Hill Nevada, selected the testing technology and protocols of Steep Hill Labs in applying for the license.
"We are excited that our Nevada licensee M.A. & Associates was chosen by the State of Nevada as a safe, verified and licensed testing facility," said Steep Hill's cofounder and CEO David Lampach. "We believe our testing technology gave them a clear and competitive advantage in Nevada, and we are looking forward to working with our new partners to bring our industry-leading services to the patients in the state."
"We wanted to offer the absolute best possible cannabis testing services to the state of Nevada, which is what led us to Steep Hill," said Antonio Del Hierro, CEO of M.A. & Associates d/b/a Steep Hill Nevada. "They are the industry leaders, and at the top of their field. There is simply no better technology or science partner available."
"Steep Hill's technology is recognized as the highest standard in science and technology for the industry," said Dr. Donald Land, Steep Hill's chief scientific consultant. "We are fortunate to be sought out by many new partners in other states looking to insure best practices are followed to maximize health and safety in these newly regulated states."