Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation (THCF). All material included herein is provided free of charge for political and educational purposes under the US federal "Fair Use Doctrine". This material may only be used for political and educational purposes without express written consent.

Colorado: Free Cannabis Investor Online Webcast To Air Thursday, Dec. 18

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Payteller and Janefour20 will be presenting its dispensary cash management solution at the Cannabis Investor Webcast on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM ET.

"We're excited that Payteller and Janefour20 decided to present to our online audience of investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, media, and consumers," said Derwin A. Wallace, senior vice president of Investor Webcast. "The online interactive webcast will assist Payteller and Janefour20 in increasing its awareness and exposure."

The Cannabis Investor Webcast will include presentations from privately-held and publicly-traded industry companies and industry professionals. Each presentation will be 30 minutes long and followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.

"The Cannabis Investor Webcast is a great opportunity for the audience to research industry companies without taking time-off from work, paying registration fees and incurring travel-related expenses," according to a press release from the company.

"The Cannabis Investor Webcast is an online interactive platform that will assist us in increasing our awareness and exposure, while giving us an opportunity to give an overview of our company and its recent developments for dispensary cash management solutions to investors, media and the general public," said Jeff Foster, founder of Payteller and Janefour20.

Florida: Physician Dispensing Associated With Unnecessary Prescribing Of Opioids

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A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found evidence that physician dispensing encouraged some physicians to unnecessarily prescribe strong opioids. The study analyzed the prescribing behavior after Florida banned physician dispensing of strong opioids.

The authors of the study, "The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use," expected little change in the percentage of patients getting strong opioids — only a change from physician-dispensed to pharmacy-dispensed. Instead of finding an increase in pharmacy-dispensed strong opioids, the study found no material change.

Rather, there was an increase in the percentage of patients receiving physician-dispensed weaker pain medications—specifically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen)—from 24.1 percent to 25.8 percent, and the percentage receiving weaker (not banned) opioids increased from 9.1 percent to 10.1 percent.

The study found there was a high level of compliance with the ban by physician-dispensers. Prior to the reforms, 3.9 percent of injured workers received strong opioids dispensed by physicians during the first six months after their injuries. After the ban, only 0.5 percent of patients with new injuries received physician-dispensed strong opioids.

France: THC-Free Marijuana Vape Pen Hitting The Market

KanaVape(ProductShot)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Electronic cigarettes containing extracts of marijuana -- but no psychoactive THC -- are about to hit the market in France any day now. The e-cigs contain cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which give relaxing and pain-killing effects, according to the manufacturer.

Three young French entrepreneurs are launching the product, which launches before the end of December, and they claim it will be entirely legal, reports The Local.

"KanaVape brings you many of the benefits of cannabinoids without the psychotic effect of THC," claims the website of the product, due to go on sale this month in France.

"Vape pens" which allow consumers to inhale cannabis or tobacco vapor are increasingly popular in the United States. But they've been rare in Europe until now.

"By using only hemp with 5 percent CBD (Cannabidiol) and no THC, KanaVape provides you with a unique cannabinoids excperience," the company claims. "Cannabidiol is a non-psychotic cannabinoid, it will not make you 'high' but will help you relax." (Note the not-very-subtle substitution of the word "psychotic" for the proper term, "psychoactive," perhaps to demonize THC and make it seem more threatening -- a favorite, albeit quite deceptive, marketing strategy for "CBD-only" purveyors.)

CBD-rich hemp, which is grown legally to make products such as oil, rope, cloth, paper, and fuel, will be used to make the vapor mix.

Minnesota: Advocates Call For Dropped Charges Against Mother Who Treated Son With Marijuana Oil

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Patient advocate Patrick McClellan of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care on Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT, will deliver a Change.org petition with close to 9,000 signatures to Lac qui Parle County Attorney Rick Stulz, calling on him to drop child endangerment charges against Angela Brown.

Brown is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday to face charges of child endangerment for treating her son, who suffers from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with medical marijuana oil.

In May, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a medical marijuana bill into law that allows Minnesota residents suffering from certain conditions to access medical marijuana oil if their doctors recommend it. The law does not take effect until July 2015.

“The charges that have been brought against Angela Brown are not just serious, but outrageous,” McClellan said. “This is a mother who is being punished for treating her son with a product that is now recognized as medicine in the State of Minnesota. Ironically, helping her son has led to child endangerment charges that are hurting her son and their family.

“An overwhelming majority of Minnesotans support laws that allow access to medical marijuana. Our legislature approved one, and the governor signed it,” McClellan said. “The County Attorney Office’s actions are unnecessary, unreasonable, and out of touch with Minnesota values.”

WHAT: Patient advocate to deliver Change.org petition urging Lac qui Parle County Attorney Rick Stulz to drop child endangerment charges against Angela Brown for treating her son’s brain injury with medical marijuana oil

U.S.: Final Spending Bill Prohibits Feds From Undermining State Medical Marijuana and Hemp Laws

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Spending Bill Allows Legalization of Marijuana Possession in Washington, D.C. to Move Forward, but Prevents Taxing and Regulating Marijuana like Alcohol

Momentum Builds Nationally to End the Failed War on Drugs

The final “cromnibus” federal spending bill that Congress passed over the weekend contains historic language prohibiting the U.S. Justice Department from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

The spending bill also includes a bipartisan amendment that prohibits the DEA from blocking implementation of a federal law passed last year by Congress that allows hemp cultivation for academic and agricultural research purposes in states that allow it. It also contains an amendment allowing Washington, D.C.’s voter-approved initiative legalizing marijuana possession and home cultivation for personal use to move forward, but prohibits D.C. policymakers from using any local or federal 2015 funding to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

“For the first time, Congress is letting states set their own medical marijuana and hemp policies, a huge step forward for sensible drug policy," said Bill Piper, director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s office of national affairs. “States will continue to reform their marijuana laws and Congress will be forced to accommodate them. It’s not a question of if, but when, federal marijuana prohibition will be repealed."

Texas: Lawmaker Introducing Bill To Reduce Penalties For Marijuana Possession

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Texas state Rep. Joe Moody introduced a bill Monday morning that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Texas. The bill would remove the threat of arrest, jail time and a criminal record for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, reducing the penalty to a $100 civil fine.

Rep. Moody announced the details of the bill at a news conference hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy at 11:30 a.m. CT at the Texas State Capitol.

Rep. Moody was joined by retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney, Matt Simpson of the ACLU of Texas, Ann Lee of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, Heather Fazio of the Marijuana Policy Project, and other representatives of the coalition, including the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.

“Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” Rep. Moody said. “We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction.”

"The War on Marijuana is a failure and has needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, at tremendous human and financial cost,” said strategist Matthew Simpson of the ACLU of Texas, reports Mark Reagan at the San Antonio Current.

U.S.: Senate Joins House In Ending Federal-State Conflict Over Medical Marijuana

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"Now that we are in a 'ceasefire,' patients are ready to work with Congress on comprehensive medical marijuana legislation."
~Steph Sherer, executive director, Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

Advocates say restriction on enforcement will end federal prosecutions, asset forfeiture litigation, and imprisonment of patients

With Saturday night's U.S. Senate vote, both houses of Congress have now approved an omnibus spending bill, which includes a measure prohibiting the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

Patient advocates argue, with concurrence from law enforcement, that this historic measure, if signed into law by President Obama as expected, will dramatically impact DOJ enforcement, including ending federal medical marijuana raids, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and civil asset forfeiture lawsuits, as well as providing prisoners with a way to petition for their release.

Kentucky: Hemp Farmers Sought For 2015

KentuckyProud

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Kentucky farmers and processors who want to grow industrial hemp for research in 2015 should apply now.

Several Kentucky universities, including Western Kentucky University, grew hemp this year for the first time in decades, reports Lisa Autry at WKU Public Radio.

That first round of pilot grows yielded data about production methods, seed varieties, and processing techniques, according to researchers.

"This past year we were as far west as Murray and as far east as Bath County," said Adam Watson, industrial hemp program coordinator at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. "We'd like to see that continuation or even expan sion on either end. Definitely we have different growing environments in Kentucky."

Applications to grow hemp are available on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's website at www.kyagr/hemp. Applicants selected will undergo background checks and site visits.

Photo: Western Kentucky University assistant gardener Jenny Conner helps agriculture student Corinn Sprigler cut down hemp plants on the WKU farm (Lisa Autry/WKU)

D.C.: Obama Backs Vote To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

President Obama supports legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Washington, D.C., as approved by voters of the District of Columbia last month, a White House spokesman said on Friday.

But the President also reluctantly supports and would sign the "cromnibus" government funding bill including a rider which would block the measure, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, reports Devin Dwyer at ABC News. Republican Congressional negotiations quietly sneaked into the $1.1 trillion spending bill a provision which blocks the district from spending any money to enact marijuana legalization.

"We do not believe that Congress should spend a lot of time interfering with the ability of the citizens of the District of Columbia to make decisions related to how they should govern their community," Earnest told ABC's Jonathan Karl.

But despite those concerns, "the President supports the passage of this compromise proposal and would sign it if it arrives on his desk," Earnest said.

D.C. voters approved a referendum last month by an almost 2-to-1 margin to legalize possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and up to three plants for personal use.

District leaders have denounced the anti-marijuana rider in the spending bill as interference in the democratic process. Residents of D.C. do not have voting representation in Congress.

New York: Another Child Dies Waiting For Emergency Access To Medical Marijuana

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Family’s Pleas for Relief for Little Donella Nocera Went Unheeded

Families, Advocates Call Upon Governor Cuomo to Immediately Help Suffering New Yorkers

Eight-year-old Donella Nocera of Niagra Falls died on Thursday while waiting for emergency access to medical marijuana to ease her end-of-life suffering.

Donella was fighting Stage 4 brain cancer. Her father, Nate, joined Compassionate Care NY from Donella’s bedside, fighting for emergency access for his daughter and pleading with Governor Cuomo to take action. This October, the Times-Union published Nate’s powerful op-ed about his fight to ease his daughter’s pain.

“More than five months after Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that was meant to bring vital treatment to our family, my daughter Donella is dead," said Nate Nocera. "Governor Cuomo, I know you cannot turn back time to get us the medical marijuana that could have slowed the aggressive growth of the tumor in her brain.

"I know you cannot give us back the days, turned into weeks, turned into months that we lost Donella to a narcotic-induced sleep," Nocera said. "But you have the power to end the needless suffering of so many New York families, and I urge you to use it.

D.C.: Marijuana Legalization Can Proceed!: Emerging Consensus

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Congressional Leaders Agree that Legislative Intent of DC Rider in Spending Bill Allows Initiative 71 to Move Forward

Tax and Regulate Legislation Blocked By Congress

Republicans were successful in including language in the “cromnibus” federal spending bill that interferes with the right of Washington, D.C., to set its own marijuana policies. The language, however, was not what they originally wanted because they had to compromise with Democrats.

The D.C. marijuana rider inserted in the bill allows D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization law (passed earlier this year) to stand, while prohibiting D.C. from taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol (a D.C. Council committee recently approved tax-and-regulate legislation and it is widely believed that the Council will legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana next year if it can).

Because the language was poorly drafted there has been disagreement over whether or not the spending bill rider would overturn Initiative 71, an initiative approved by 70 percent of D.C. voters in November that legalizes marijuana possession and home cultivation for personal use. Based on statements by members of Congress, including members who were part of the funding bill negotiations, it is clear that the legislative intent of the rider was to allow both decrim and Initiative 71 to stand, while blocking D.C. from carrying out more sweeping reform in the future.

Alabama: FDA Gives Approval For Marijuana Oil Study

UAB(logo)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The federal Food and Drug Administration has given the University of Alabama at Birmingham the go-ahead to study the use of cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative, to treat seizures.

The university on Wednesday received FDA letters authorizing two studies, one for children and one for adults, according to UAB spokesman Bob Shepard, reports Kim Chandler at the Associated Press.

Parents of children with severe seizure disorders convinced the Alabama Legislature last year to pass a bill authorizing UAB's Department of Neurology to perform a study of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana.

Shepard said the FDA had requested some changes in the studies; those will go before a university review board next month, he said.

"It's hard to put in words the feelings you have as a dad with a daughter that could benefit from this," said Dustin Chandler. The legislation had become known as "Carly's Law" after Chandler's three-year-old daughter, who started having seizures at just eight weeks old.

Carly was eventually diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder CDKL5. Chandler, a police officer in Pelham, frequently appeared before the Legislature to advocate for the bill.

U.S.: Federal Govt. Won't Stop Native Americans From Growing, Selling Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In an epochal shift likely to change the face of American society forever, the federal Department of Justice on Thursday will tell U.S. Attorneys not to prevent Native American tribes from growing or selling marijuana on their sovereign lands, even in states where cannabis is illegal.

The new memorandum will offer guidance which will be implemented on a case-by-case basis, according to U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon of North Dakota, chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues, reports Timothy M. Phelps at the Los Angeles Times.

Tribes must still follow the eight guidelines or "areas of concern" offered by the federal government after Colorado and Washington voters chose to legalize marijuana in the 2012 elections. The federal guidelines will also apply in Oregon and Alaska, where voters chose to join the ranks of legal states in 2014.

While it is still unknown just how many reservations will take advantage of the new policy, it seems likely that many will, judging by the proliferation of tribal casinos. Many tribes, however, remain opposed to legalizing marijuana on their lands, and federal officials will continue to enforce the law in those areas, if requested.

Oregon: Lawmakers Approve Money For Legal Marijuana Rules

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission can now begin the implementation of recreational marijuana legalization under Measure 91 after the Legislature's Emergency Board, composed of state House and Senate members, approved funding for staff, legal help and rule-writing.

The board approved a $583,000 loan for the OLCC, reports Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal. The money is coming from the state's liquor taxes, with the promise that the Commission will pay it back by the end of the 2015-2017 budget cycle using revenue generated by marijuana sales.

The money will allow commissioners to hire four workers: a program manager, two policy analysts and a public affairs staffer, reports The Associated Press. Regulating recreational marijuana in Oregon might eventually require up to 30 employees, according to one state estimate.

Oregon voters approved Measure 91 with a lopsided 56 percent to 44 percent margin last month, but the ballot initiative left most regulation up to the Liquor Control Commission to work out by January 2016.

Homegrown marijuana and personal possession will become formally legal on July 1, 2015, with commercial sales expected to begin in 2016.

U.S.: Northsight Capital Acquires 420careers.com and MJbizwire

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Northsight Capital, Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has acquired two marijuana industry businesses: www.420careers.com, a marijuana industry job search website, and www.MJbizwire.com, a press release distribution and publication service designed for marijuana industry businesses.

420careers.com provides a place for marijuana-related businesses to post their available marijuana industry jobs and to browse job-seekers’ resumes, and job-seekers can browse and apply for marijuana jobs and post their resumes for employers to view, free of charge. Employers can upgrade their job postings to a Featured Job listing for $25, which gets highlighted on 420careers.com’s homepage.

MJbizwire is a press release distribution and publication service exclusively for marijuana industry businesses. MJbizwire is continually building partnerships with marijuana industry websites and magazines, as well as with media publications, that can republish the press releases distributed to them via MJbizwire. Businesses can choose from multiple press release distribution pricing plans on MJbizwire.com.

With the acquisitions, Northsight Capital, Inc. also brought on Colby Ayres, formerly the director of marketing for Hemp American Media Group, to assist with the expanding portfolio of websites for Northsight's marijuana industry businesses.

Northsight Capital, Inc. is comprised of a portfolio of online marijuana-related businesses that are being developed and operated by the company. These sites will incorporate many aspects of the marijuana industry.

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