washington state

Washington: Federal Judge To Hear Motion To Dismiss In Kettle Falls 5 Medical Marijuana Case

WashingtonFamilyFacesYearsInPrison(KettleFalls5)

Defendant Larry Harvey will argue that new Congressional measure forbids the DOJ from prosecuting his family

A motion to dismiss will be heard in federal court Thursday, February 12, in a widely watched medical marijuana case involving a family from rural northeastern Washington State. Larry Harvey, 71, and other family members of the so-called "Kettle Falls Five" have moved for dismissal of their case, arguing that a recently enacted Congressional measure forbids the Department of Justice (DOJ) from prosecuting them.

What: Hearing on a motion to dismiss in the widely watched federal medical marijuana case of the Kettle Falls Five
When: Thursday, February 12 at 10 am
Where: Courtroom 902 of the Spokane Federal Courthouse, 920 West Riverside Ave, Spokane, WA 99201

"Prosecuting persons who may be operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws prevents states from implementing their own laws," reads one of the motions to dismiss written by Harvey's attorney Robert Fischer. Harvey's motion argues that state law is undermined by discouraging lawful patients from accessing medical marijuana because of the threat of federal prosecution.

Harvey also argues that "federal prosecutions take away Washington's authority to determine for itself whether someone is in compliance with its laws or not."

Washington: Bogus I-502 Deadline Letter Alarms Legal Marijuana Store Applicants

I-502LicenseeSolicitationLetter02-04-2015WSLCB

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A number of I-502 applicants who want to run legal marijuana businesses in the state of Washington have been alarmed by a solicitation from a company about an impending universal February deadline, according to a Wednesday morning email from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

The letter warns of the supposed impending deadline for applicants to "get set up" and that the Liquor Control Board will "no longer wait for your plan to come together."

"We have money and a location and resources are are local honest hard working successful business people looking for like-minded people," the solicitation letter reads. "We are not brokers or big venture capitalists nor are we promising that anyone will make millions in this new industry."

"Those licenses that held out hoping to come up with a plan later may actually lose out and your license could now be worthless," the letter claimed. "The WSLCB will no longer wait for your plan to come together or moratoriums being lifted, they have goals and must achieve them."

"WSLCB expected you to have your plans which included funds and a location ready when you applied and their patience is wearing thin," the solicitation letter goes on (evidently someone is practicing their "Scolding a Stoner" skills).

"This has caused some alarm among applicants and led to calls to the Liquor Control Board," Wednesday morning's email from the WSLCB reads. "Those claims are not true."

Washington: Marijuana Vending Machine Coming To Seattle

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Seattle-area medical marijuana patients will soon be able to buy their cannabis from a vending machine.

It's the "first age-verifying, climate-controlled, self-service dispensary," according to American Green, the manufacuter of the ZaZZZ marijuana machine, reports KOMO.

The machine is scheduled to debut on Tuesday, February 3, at Seattle Caregivers, a medical marijuana dispensary. Seattle Caregivers is located on 1207 South Jackson Street, B105, in Seattle.

Marijuana flowers, edibles, "and other merchandise" will be dispensed from the machine after age and identity verification via scanner, according to the company.

Washington: Conference To Discuss Legalizing Marijuana On Native American Lands

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The recent announcement from the United States federal government that it won't stop Native American tribes from growing and selling marijuana is a game-changer. In February, the subject will be the focus of a groundbreaking national conference focusing on legalization in Indian country.

Tribal leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and health and social work professionals -- along with law enforcement personnel -- will be on hand to examine the legal, political and social policy implications of the change, reports Indian Country Today Media Network.

The conference will be held Friday, February 27, at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Quil Ceda Village, Washington. Odawi Law PLLC and Harris Moure, PLLC are the co-sponsors of the event to help "leaders in Indian country fully understand the wide-ranging issues associated with embarking on the development of tribal marijuana legislation and considerations of commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacture and distribution in tribal jurisdictions,” according to a press release.

Washington: US Army Issues Letters To Marijuana Stores Demanding They Not Sell To Troops

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A letter has been sent to marijuana stores in Washington state on official Department of the Army letterhead asking marijuana stores to not sell to enlisted troops.

"This letter is to inform you that your establishment has been declarted 'Off-Limits' to members of the Armed Forces effective 21 January 2015," the letter, first revealed on Twitter by Seattle-based Canna Law Group's Hilary Bricken on Thursday.

"Forces are prohibited from entering your establishment as long as this order is in effect," readers the letter, signed by David L. Chase, Colonel, U.S. Army, and President, AFDCB (Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board).

"This restriction will remain in effect indefinitely in accordance with established Armed Forces policy unless you agree to stop selling substances similar to marijuana to military personnel," reads the curiously worded letter. I say curiously worded, because these stores don't sell "substances similar to marijuana," Col. Chase. Sir, they sell MARIJUANA.

"You have thirty (30) days to present evidence to the AFDCB that you agree to stop selling these substances to military personnel," the letter demands, taking the "guilty until proven innocent" approach that seems to be popular among Army types.

Washington: I-1372 Gathering Signatures To Protect And Strengthen Medical Marijuana

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Backers of a new initiative to strengthen Washington state's medical marijuana law are now gathering signatures.

"Initiative Measure No. 1372, filed January 6, 2015, will protect and strengthen the medical cannabis law, RCW 69.51A, by offering compassion, clarity and consistency," said Kirk Ludden of Cannabis Patient Protection Washington (CPPWA) on Wednesday.

I-1372 would make the following changes, according to Ludden:

• Bringing Washington state law into compliance with stated federal policy

• Allowing business owners to obtain licenses for producing, processing or dispensing cannabis in a commercial manner. Using the language from ESSB 5073, specifying cannabis for medical use licensing, allowing producers and processors to deliver cannabis to any cannabis for medical use licensee, and allowing the botanical herb tax exemption on cannabis for medical use.

• Creating and empowering the cannabis for medical use board, made up of the state and the community, to govern all aspects of the market. Through licensing and regulation fees, revenue is generated for the board to regulate the not-for-profit cannabis for medical use market while remaining revenue neutral.

• Maintaining small, private residential gardens and patient cooperatives that do not violate the spirit or intent of law. As well as protecting existing cannabis farmer's markets serving qualifying patients.

Washington: New Marijuana Strain Named After Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch

MarshawnLynchBeastMode2.0(TMZ)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Talk about a super bowl, man. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has a potent new marijuana strain named after him in the Emerald City... for the second year in a row.

Nate "Diggity" Johnson, co-owner of marijuana delivery service Green Umbrella, developed "Beast Mode OG," a strain named after the football star during the run-up to last year's Super Bowl, reports Stephen Cohen at the Seattle PI. Now Johnson and an unnamed grower have released "Beast Mode 2.0," also known as "Beast Mode Blue Fire," just in time for this year's big game.

According to Diggity, this Beast Mode is even crazier than last year's. "We're back in the Super Bowl and better than ever now, so it only makes sense to have a better strain," Johnson said.

Careful, though, you might get weed-tackled.

"There's no way that you're getting by smoking this without feeling it, kind of how Marshawn literally pushes the defense down instead of them pushing him down," Johnson enthused. "It's going to push you. You're going to feel it right away."

"It's a super pain reliever," Johnson told TMZ. "And it hits you like Marshawn -- hard and fast."

Washington: Kettle Falls 5 Defendant Moves For Dismissal In Federal Medical Marijuana Case

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Larry Harvey argues that new Congressional measure should prevent the DOJ from prosecuting his family

A motion to dismiss has been filed in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case involving a family from rural northeastern Washington State. Larry Harvey, 71, of the Kettle Falls Five, has moved for dismissal of his case or an order preventing further prosecution. The motion relies on the recently enacted Congressional measure that bans funding for medical marijuana enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"Prosecuting persons who may be operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws prevents states from implementing their own laws," reads the brief written by Harvey's attorney, Robert Fischer. Harvey's motion argues that state law is undermined by discouraging lawful patients from accessing medical marijuana because of the threat of federal prosecution.

Harvey also argues that "federal prosecutions take away Washington's authority to determine for itself whether someone is in compliance with its laws or not."

Harvey's motion to dismiss comes just a month after President Obama signed the so-called "Cromnibus" spending bill, which included Section 538, an historic rider that prohibits DOJ funds from being spent to block implementation of state medical marijuana laws. Advocates argue that federal prosecutions like that of the Kettle Falls Five run contrary to the spirit and letter of the law now in effect.

Washington: Legal Pot Shortage Turns Into Legal Pot Glut

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Washington has a weed headache. Implementation of the state's weak, badly written marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, continues to be plagued with problems. When legal recreational cannabis shops opened last summer, there was a shortage of weed, and high prices. Now, six months later, there's a glut of weed, as growers are left sitting on hundreds of pounds of product -- but prices are still absurdly high at the 502 stores.

A big autumn harvest of outdoor cannabis from the eastern part of the state flooded the market, reports the Associated Press. That would normally mean plummeting prices at pot shops, but even as growers are worried about going belly up, pot shops continue to charge $23 to $25 a gram -- more than twice the going price either on the street or in medical marijuana dispensaries.

"It's an economic nightmare," said Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle.

Licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of marijuana as of Thursday, according to state data, but Washington's few licensed pot shops had sold less than 20 percent of that. Many marijuana users in Washington, faced with ridiculously out-of-synch prices in state marijuana stores, have opted to stick with the less expensive pot they buy on the black market, or at medical marijuana dispensaries.

U.S.: Mary's Medicinals Launches Mobile App To Track Medical Marijuana Use

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Mary's Medicinals on Tuesday announced the release of Mary's Journal, which it called "the first mobile app designed to help patients track and balance their use of cannabis medicine while simultaneously contributing valuable data to research efforts."

Mary's Journal is designed to help patients monitor their medicinal cannabis use, while gathering anonymized data on use preferences, patterns and results. The information that patients contribute will be paramount in Mary's quest to validate the efficacy of cannabis, leading to clinical trials and research that will help thousands of patients more successfully battle ailments including PTSD, depression, cancer and epilepsy.

Mary's Journal compiles data including medical conditions, treatments (including all types of cannabis and non-cannabis medicines) symptoms, dosing and other preferences -- then checks in with users regarding current symptoms and medication at certain points throughout the day. With planned upgrades, users will ultimately be able to learn more about how their symptoms change based on different dosing strategies and track additional health details, according to Mary's Medicinals.

"Most of the knowledge about cannabis medicine that is available today is based on what we have learned directly from patients," said Nicole Smith, CEO, Mary's Medicinals. "Mary's Journal now enables patients to share information with each other and with researchers on a global scale, which will lead to clinical studies, improved protocols for canna-based medicinal use and the creation of innovative, effective products.

Washington: Seattle Hempfest Announces Hempfest Business Show

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Seattle Hempfest announces “The Hempfest Business Show” Industry Showcase at Seattle Center on Hempfest weekend

August 15 & 16, 2015
Saturday 10 AM - 7 PM,
Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall,
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109

With the coming of recreational marijuana legalization in Washington state, Seattle Hempfest has put on a suit and tie. A flourishing medical industry and an emerging statewide legal recreational cannabis market mean cannabis businesses are blooming, according to Hempfest, and now the former civil disobedience "protestival" is now providing a showcase for the newly legal businesses.

The Hempfest Business Show, taking place August 15 and 16 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, "is about creating an environment in which these industries flourish & mature," according to Seattle Hempfest.

Running concurrent with Hempfest, which will be taking place a few blocks away, "Hempfest Business will connect business owners with the suppliers of cultivation equipment, packaging, marketing, web design, insurance, nutrients, and the myriad of other products and ancillary services it takes to run a cannabis business in the modern age."

Washington: Judge Rules State Can't Ban Doctors From Advertising Marijuana Authorizations

JudgeElizabethMartin-PierceCountySuperiorCourt(TheNewsTribune)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Superior Court judge in Pierce County has ruled unconstitutional a state law which forbids doctors and other medical professionals from advertising medical marijuana authorizations in their advertisements.

Judge Elizabeth Martin in a Friday ruling said the law violates both the Washington and U.S. constitutions by curbing free speech, reports Adam Lynn at The News Tribune of Tacoma. While the state might have an interest in regulating such advertising, Martin ruled, banning it completely is unacceptable.

"I find the statute impermissibly overbroad as it chills even informational speech aimed solely at public education," Judge Martin wrote in her decision.

The ruling came in a case brought by Scott Havsy, a Pierce County osteopath. He took the state to court last year after the Washington Department of Health punished him for advertising his willingness to authorize patients' use of medicinal cannabis.

The sanctions levied against Dr. Havsy have been on hold while the court case plays out. Havsy, who has practiced for more than 30 years, authorizes a number of patients for medical marijuana.

Attorney Mark G. Olson of Everett argued that the state's ban on medical marijuana advertising hindered the ability of patients to find doctors willing to authorize them for cannabis use.

Washington: Lawmaker Proposes Removing Marijuana Flowers From Medical Dispensaries

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One Washington state Republican lawmaker is proposing that medical marijuana dispensaries in the state stop selling marijuana. Wait, what?

Yes, state Sen. Ann Rivers -- who really should talk to some actual medical marijuana patients about their needs -- is proposing that dispensaries stop selling smokable dried cannabis flowers, reports Sarah Aitchison at the Puget Sound Business Journal. Her bill would limit medical dispensaries to cannabis-infused edibles and concentrates.

Rivers seems to be trying to find a middle ground between the complete elimination of patient collective gardens and dispensaries proposed by her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, and continuing business as usual for the dispensaries, which are seen as competition by the recreational marijuana stores which have opened as I-502 is implemented.

"Recognizing the health concerns relating to smoking marijuana, the legislature intends to prohibit the sale of products that must be smoked at medical marijuana retail outlets," says a draft of the measure reports The Associated Press.

Washington: I-502 Author Urges Prosecuting, Shutting Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The author of Washington state's anemic marijuana legalization law I-502 is defending and even urging prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle.

Criminal defense attorney Alison Holcomb of the ACLU of Washington, who wrote Initiative 502, wrote a December 11 email to Seattle officials about their plans to create new rules for medical marijuana in the city, reports Heidi Groover at The Stranger.

“If escalation of sanctions were deemed appropriate, the city has authority to prosecute repeat license offenses as gross misdemeanors, initiate civil asset seizure and forfeiture, or even refer cases for felony prosecution,” Holcomb wrote in the email.

Seattle is looking for ways to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries; Holcomb's words were part of a chain of emails exchanged among city council members, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's staff, and others, including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who seems just as weirdly intent on eliminating dispensaries as is Holcomb.

Holcomb, like Holmes, purportedly opposes the dispensaries because they aren't regulated -- but she also opposes regulating them. She argued against a new licensing plan the mayor's office has floated for dispensaries, hoping to leave the coup de grace -- complete elimination of the shops -- to the Legislature in the upcoming session.

Washington: Seattle City Attorney Wants To Shut Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

PeteHolmesSeattleCityAttorney

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes was a big supporter of Washington state's marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, all along. Now it seems Holmes is so gung-ho on 502, he wants to extinguish current medical marijuana dispensaries, which existed for years before recreational legalization was approved in 2012, and force medicinal cannabis patients through the state's expensive recreational pot stores.

Holmes in a policy memo on Monday urged the Washington Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state's recreational system, reports Evan Bush at The Seattle Times. He also pushed Seattle city officials to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries which he claims aren't following state law or city regulations.

"If you're a commercial (medical marijuana) operation lacking a 502 license, it's a felony operation. Period," Holmes said.

Holmes claimed some of the business aren't operating with proper permits, and that others have neglected to pay local business and occupation taxes. He said some of them opened after the Seattle City Council passed an intended moratorium on new dispensaries in the city.

The city attorney said he published the wide-ranging memo to clarify any confusion about medical marijuana laws. Holmes said he hopes his memo "reframes" the debate about medical marijuana.

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