California

U.S.: Law Enforcement Officials Tour States To Lend A Hand To Drug Policy Reform Initiatives

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As the midterm election approaches, representatives of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are hard at work educating voters about the need for drug policy reform in states with relevant initiatives on the ballot.

A pair of police chiefs, Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and sitting Police Chief Larry Kirk, are in Alaska, where voters are about to weigh in on an initiative to legalize, regulate and control marijuana (Measure 2). The two went to seven towns between them, from Anchorage to Kodiak, to educate voters on the public safety benefits of legalization.

In the meantime, a former prosecutor and a retired lieutenant sheriff are doing a similar tour of Oregon (Measure 91) and a former police officer and former Customs agent are speaking to Florida voters about medical marijuana (Amendment 2). These tours have included meetings with civic clubs, conversations with the media and debates with opponents.

U.S.: Legal Marijuana Industry Could Be Bigger Than NFL By 2020

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new report projects that legal marijuana could be an industry with revenues of $35 billion by 2020 if cannabis is legalized at the federal level. Greenwave Advisors, which authored the report, notes that this is a floor representing revenues in the first year of nationwide legalization.

That figure -- $35 billion -- represents more annual revenue than the NFL (currently $10 billion), and is roughly equal to current revenues from the newspaper publishing industry ($38 billion) and the candy/confectionary industry ($34 billion), reports Christopher Ingraham at .

Greenwave arrived at its estimates by looking at existing and likely marijuana markets, medical and recreational, in states that already have legalized them, as well as in states that appear likely to open such markets by 2020. The research and analysis company estimates 12 states plus D.C. will have legalized recreational cannabis by 2020, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post, with medical marijuana in 37 states.

Currently 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Even without full federal legalization, Greenwave estimates legal marijuana revenues of $21 billion by 2020.

U.S.: War On Marijuana Defies Science, Doctors Testify In Federal Court

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Three medical experts on Friday, Monday and Tuesday testified in federal court that the federal government's war on marijuana defies science, and is thus unconstitutional.

Decades of medical studies prove cannabis isn't the danger the government has claimed it is, the experts told a federal judge, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

The epochal cultivation trial, U.S. v. Schweder in the Eastern District of California, in which U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller is allowing a hearing on a defense motion to declare marijuana's Schedule I classification as unconstitutional, has national implications.

Defense witnesses Gregory Carter, M.D., and Carl Hart, Ph.D., testified in Sacramento on Friday, and Philip Denny, M.D., testified on Monday and Tuesday. Government witness Bertha Madras, Ph.D., a former deputy drug czar under President George W. Bush, argued in that marijuana isn't medicine.

Madras compared cannabis to heroin, saying that humans no longer smoke opium poppies for pain relief. But while more than 22,000 Americans will die from prescription drug overdoses this year, with opioid pills killing more than any other prescription, cannabis has no lethal overdose level and zero recorded deaths from overdose in history.

California: Cops Wear 'FUCK THE GROWERS' Shirts During San Diego Pot Raids

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana for medicinal purposes was legalized by California voters at the ballot box back in 1996 -- but some law enforcement types apparently still haven't gotten the message. Police routinely terrorize thousands of patient-cultivators every year with warrantless, no-knock raids, willfully ignoring established law, and now a San Diego narcotics officer has been photographed wearing a t-shirt reading "FUCK THE GROWERS... MARIJUANA'S STILL ILLEGAL -- while raiding patients.

Advocacy group Reform California on October 24 posted pictures of a San Diego Narcotics Task Force officer wearing the profane shirt during a Wednesday raid in Imperial Beach, reports David Downs at SF Gate. The photo was reportedly snapped by a 10News photojournalist.

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law for any purpose, state law enforcement officers are supposed uphold state laws. California residents with a doctor's authorization can possess or grow any amount of marijuana deemed medically necessary by their physician.

California: Police Raids on Medical Marijuana Gardens Cut Off Treatment For Kids With Epilepsy

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Researchers announce that clinical trials involving anti-convulsive form of marijuana is showing "promise" in children

As promising results from clinical trials are announced in the use of medicinal cannabis (medical marijuana) to treat intractable epilepsy, those lawfully cultivating the plant in California are being raided by local law enforcement. Two gardens destroyed by police in the past two months in Mendocino County and Modesto contained a rare strain of medical marijuana rich in Cannabidiol (or CBD) used by children many of whom do not respond to other drug treatments.

On August 5, unidentified men in camouflage dropped from an unmarked helicopter onto the 120-acre property of Potter Valley resident and cancer survivor Susan Schindler, cutting down her lawfully cultivated medical marijuana plants. In addition to growing for herself, Schindler was cultivating rare strains of medical marijuana rich in CBD, a non-psychotropic constituent of the plant, which were being used orally by children with epilepsy.

Schindler was also cultivating plants rich in THCV, another active constituent (or cannabinoid) that was producing positive results for a patient with Parkinson's disease.

California: Exhale Med Center Offers Highest Tested and Rare CBD Strain

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Pioneers in cultivating CBD (cannabidiol) genetics for over two years, Exhale Med Center, the #1 rated medical marijuana shop on Yelp, carries one of the rarest strains of CBD-rich cannabis found today, called “CBD Web.” This strain contains 16 percent CBD to 2 percent THC, a ratio high enough to comfort the parents of a sick child suffering from epilepsy, giving them the confidence that the child will not feel high while reaping the medicinal rewards.

CBD Web is a constant at Exhale Med Center, in addition to three variations of CBD-rich strain genetics, CBD edibles, tinctures, creams, Rick Simpson Oils, and many different forms of concentrates. With last year's release of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN Special Weed, a demand has been created for highly concentrated CBD products that will help patients’ symptoms without giving them a psychoactive high.

Known as one of the elite shops in Los Angeles, Exhale Med Center is a Prop D compliant, “Pre-ICO,” medical marijuana pioneer, offering one of the best selections of strain variations in town, in every price range. From high-end indoor sativas and hybrids from the Bay Area and top shelf indicas from SoCal to the outdoor and green house varieties from Northern California’s ‘Emerald Triangle’, Exhale says its range of more than 50 strains offers a quality remedy for most ailments. This December will mark their first year anniversary in their new zone-compliant location at 980 North La Cienega Blvd, Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

California: L.A. Alcohol Delivery Service Nestdrop Expanding Into Medical Marijuana

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Popular alcohol delivery app expands market reach to bring medicinal marijuana to Los Angeles patients in need

Nestdrop, a popular Los Angeles alcohol delivery service, is introducing what it calls "the country's first in-App, on-demand medical marijuana delivery service for both iOS and Android."

Available today for alcohol deliveries for L.A. area residents, Nestdrop medical marijuana delivery service will launch in the next few weeks in the same app. Medical marijuana patients will be required to upload a photo of their doctor's recommendation 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.

"After our initial success with alcohol deliveries, we decided to expand when we saw how this platform could be used to bring difficult-to-obtain products to people who really need them," said Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher. "We began talking to patients and found a genuine need out there for improved access to this medicine."

As part of the simple registration process, medical marijuana patients must upload a photo of a doctor's recommendation and Medical Marijuana Identification Card to order from Nestdrop's medical marijuana section. Once manually approved by a local dispensary, which can take as little as five minutes, patients will have full access to the same medicine that they are used to getting in-person, for the same donation amount.

California: MJ Freeway To Share Industry Perspectives At University of California Irvine

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Amy Poinsett, CEO and Co-Founder of MJ Freeway®, will be presenting at "Harmonizing Marijuana Legalization with Environmental, Land Use, and Other Regulations" at the University of California Irvine on October 23. The University of California School of Law has invited Poinsett to present on the Industry Perspectives on Enforcement of Civil Obligations panel.

"I am pleased to be speaking about the emerging issue of marijuana to a diverse group of law students, faculty and community members," Poinsett said. "MJ Freeway provides industry-leading business software and professional services to cannabis enterprises, currently in 18 states, Canada and Europe. Tracking every gram from seed to sale, this clear chain of custody guarantees to meet State or Federal requirements for tracking cannabis.

"I look forward to offering relevant examples and challenges that business owners face in this industry," Poinsett said. "As further entrepreneurs enter this burgeoning industry, it's important to discuss the issue of State compliance and of maintaining strong chain of custody practices."

MJ Freeway, in partnership with California Cannabis Industry Association and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, will be hosting an evening reception following the conference. Those interested are invited to join fellow conference attendees and industry professionals for further discussion at the University Club.

To learn more about the conference and evening reception, visit: mjfreeway.com/uci

About MJ Freeway

California: Study Refutes Claims of Widespread Abuse in Medical Marijuana Program

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92% of participants reported that "medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition"

A new landmark study published last week by the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Review refutes the long-held belief that abuse of California's medical marijuana law is widespread. The study, "Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012," is the first time anyone has formally measured such data in the state according to its authors Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra, Marta Induni, and Danielle Ewing of the Survey Research Group at Public Health Institute in Sacramento.

The report found that as much as 92 percent of participants reported that "medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition." Researchers said that "To get that kind of agreement on anything is pretty astounding."

The report also found that one-in-20 California adults -- roughly 1.4 million people -- reported using medical marijuana to treat serious illness, and that such use spanned all ages, genders, races, and geographical regions.

"This study proves what patients and advocates have been saying for years, that medical marijuana is efficacious,” said Don Duncan, California Director with Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "The study roundly rejects the argument that medical cannabis is a smoke screen or a sham."

California: E-Commerce Meets Medical Marijuana For Patients

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Private Reserve Compassionate Care Inc. on Tuesday announced the grand opening of their e-commerce website www.Cannabizon.com) that will service medical marijuana patients throughout California.

“Much like any other e-commerce online experience, our California based patients simply order and pay their 'donations' for their favorite Medical Marijuana medications from our website, and we will ship their orders directly to their front door for signature and delivery in 1-2 business days,” a prepared statement from Cannabizon reads. "The only difference being that products are only available to California based Medical Marijuana patients. They need simply to log-on, sign-up, to start their e-commerce experience."

Cannabizon.com said it "knows that many local California municipalities refuse to allow traditional brick-n-mortar dispensaries or delivery services to operate within their city limits. Equally important, many of the more popular Edible and Vapor Companies have no way of offering their products statewide.

"Cannabizon.com answers all of these challenges, and acts as a safe and highly effect delivery channel for many products that are simply out of reach to those patients that most benefit from them," the company's statement reads. “Even when available locally, many of our patients are not able to visit a brick-n-mortar dispensary for reasons that range from health related travel restrictions to personal security and/or privacy concerns.”

California: Medical Marijuana Patients File Federal Lawsuit Against San Diego Officials

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San Diego couple were acquitted by a jury after enduring a questionable paramilitary-style raid on their property

A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month on behalf of two seriously ill medical marijuana patients, Deborah Little, 61, and Dennis Little, 66, a couple from Ramona, California whose home was raided in October 2012 by the San Diego County Integrated Narcotics Task Force (NTF).

The paramilitary-style raid, including police brandishing assault rifles, found a modest garden of 29 plants, which the Littles say was entirely for personal, medicinal use. The couple was tried in March 2014 on possession of marijuana for sale and unlawful cultivation of marijuana, but the court dismissed the cultivation charge and they were acquitted of possession by a jury.

"This case is an example of a phenomenon that has gained national attention recently: military-style SWAT tactics used in everyday law enforcement," said Nathan Shaman, the attorney representing the Littles in their civil lawsuit. "More and more we are seeing law enforcement treat our citizens as enemy combatants."

"The Littles' situation provides a stark reminder that even harmless, law-abiding, seriously ill people can be and are terrorized by their own police force," Shaman said. "We hope this will send a message to law enforcement that their egregious, unconstitutional behavior will not be tolerated."

California: Marijuana Policy Project Filing Committee For 2016 Legalization Initiative

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The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is filing a committee with the California Secretary of State on Wednesday to support a 2016 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in California. According to MPP, "It will be part of a broad coalition of local activists, community leaders, organizations, and businesses working to pass a measure similar to the one approved by voters in Colorado in 2012."

The new committee, the Marijuana Policy Project of California, will immediately begin raising funds to help place the measure on the November 2016 ballot. MPP was the largest financial backer of the Colorado initiative campaign.

“Marijuana prohibition has had an enormously detrimental impact on California communities," said MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia. "It’s been ineffective, wasteful, and counterproductive. It’s time for a more responsible approach.

“A diverse coalition of activists, organizations, businesses, and community leaders will be joining together in coming months to draft the most effective and viable proposal possible," Kampia said. "Public opinion has been evolving nationwide when it comes to marijuana policy, and Californians have always been ahead of the curve.

“Marijuana is an objectively less harmful substance than alcohol, and that’s how it needs to be treated," Kampia said. "Regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol just makes sense.”

California: Marijuana Cultivator To Unveil 'Wicked Wicking System'

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In the midst of the worst drought in California's history there comes good news from the world of marijuana. Cannabis cultivator George Bianchini is set to unveil his "Wicked Wicking System" this Wednesday, September 17, at his private, ultra water-conserving garden in Marin County.

Founder of Medi-Cone and recent Hempcon winner Bianchini himself, at a private event, will guide visitors through the garden's seven stations explaining how his "Wicked Wicking System" works.

George Bianchini is an entrepreneur and Oaksterdam graduate who has innovated a gardening/watering system that provides him with a thriving garden in spite of the drought. This system for growing high quality marijuana as well as fruits, vegetables, and other herbs uses the exact amount of water that a plant needs, and not a drop more, according to the cultivator.

Using a wicking method that he said dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and combining it with modern day materials and processes he has created a system that decreases the amount of water lost with conventional methods to upwards of 75 percent.

Bianchini plans to give the information away for free by posting an online video showing Do-It-Yourselfers how to construct their own systems. For those less handy, kits will be made available for purchase.

George's high-CBD strain took first place, triumphing over 25 other competitors at San Francisco's Hempcon recently. High-CBD strains have been making news because of their medicinal value in reducing seizures in young children without getting them "high."

U.S.: LoudCrush Wants To Be Facebook AND Singles Site For Marijuana Users

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nobody can accuse the company behind LoudCrush of thinking small. In fact, it seems they want to become the Facebook, the Twitter, AND the Instagram of the cannabis world -- oh, and did we mention the Match.com and eHarmony of weed, for good measure?

Crown Baus Capital Corp, "a global acquisition-based conglomerate targeting five primary industries: high-tech incubation, drug development, entertainment/media, education, and financial services," has announced it's in the "final stage of acquiring niche social and dating app, LoudCrush, which the Company intends to complete with an all equity based transaction by issuing five (5) million dollars worth of its 144 restricted common shares."

The company said "The features of LoudCrush combine functionality similar to popular apps like Facebook, Tinder and Vine, which allow users to post videos and photos, to search for friends and singles in their areas, and to chat and discreetly socialize. Users can even send gifts."

Discreetly is a key word, since this is the cannabis community we're talking about. "Most cannabis consumers avoid posting about marijuana on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because their families and coworkers are on these networks, and cannabis-inclusive profiles are often deleted by mainstream social networks," said Drue Young, co-founder of LoudCrush and vice president of business development at Crown Baus Capital Corp.

California: Mysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters, Chopping Down Mendo Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A mysterious group of men has been raiding medical marijuana plots in Mendocino County, California, and local residents are mystified about the identity of the camouflage-clad group, who aren't police officers.

The men dress in combat camouflage, reports Joe Vazquez at KPIX 5, and some of them hide their faces.

Some say the men, on missions to eradicate marijuana, work for a security company called Lear Asset Management, according to Vazquez.

Lear Asset Management "works with law enforcement," according to their promotional poster, but Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said "The sheriff's department doesn't hire any private security to do our job."

Allman said all of his men -- unlike the mysterious marijuana raiders -- wear badges and clearly identify themselves. And Lear Asset Management President Paul Trouette said his company had nothing to do with the raid on Susan Schindler's garden.

Schindler said her medical marijuana garden was hit last month. "They took hand saws and just cut the trunks," she said.

The armed men in camouflage dropped into her garden from an unmarked helicopter and refused to identify themselves, according to Schindler. "There was no paperwork, no copies of any warrants, they didn't leave any inventory of what they took," she said.

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