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 THCF Medical Clinics. 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.


Washington: Ribbon Cutting Set For Higher Leaf, Recreational Marijuana Store In Kirkland

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The Ribbon Cutting for Higher Leaf, a recreational marijuana store based in Kirkland, Washington, will be held on Thrursday, February 26.

"We are thrilled to announce the Grand Opening Celebration for Higher Leaf, Kirkland’s premiere Recreational Marijuana Store," reads an prepared press release from Higher Leaf's Molly Honig. "The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, which will be co-hosted by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is on Thursday, February 26th at 5:30 pm. Representatives from both the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland City Council will be in attendance."

"We will have product specials and demonstrations at the main event and throughout the weekend of February 26th-March 1st," the release promises. "Representatives from Zoots, Craft Elixirs, Verdelux Chocolates, Liberty Reach, Confidence Labs, and several growers will be on hand for product demonstrations and some will provide non-infused samples of their products."

"We will also have a full menu of of marijuana flower, marijuana infused products, edibles, concentrates and paraphernalia available for purchase," Higher Leaf spokesperson Molly Honig confirmed to Hemp News Thursday evening.

Consumption of marijuana or marijuana infused products on the premises is not permitted so demonstrations will be done with non-infused products or household spices. Snacks will be available at the ribbon cutting event for anyone with a case of the munchies, according to Higher Leaf.

Florida: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Senate Bid Strongly Opposed By The Cannabis Community

FloridaSenateCandidateDebbieWassermanSchultz(IsThatBaloney)

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s interest in running for U.S. Senate has encountered strong resistance from a traditional ally of her party: medical marijuana activists.

Because of her bad congressional votes and her ham-fisted criticisms of a Florida medical marijuana initiative last year, four political groups that advocate prescription cannabis and drug decriminalization vowed to campaign against Wasserman Schultz if she were to seek a Senate seat in 2016, reports Marc Caputo at Politico. (<-- The entire piece, at that link, is really worth reading.)

“She’s voted repeatedly to send terminally ill patients to prison. And we’re certainly going to make sure Floridians know that — not to mince words,” said Bill Piper, national affairs director with the Washington-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

“This issue is evolving very quickly, and hopefully she will evolve,” Piper said. “But if she doesn’t, you can expect medical marijuana patients and supporters to dog her on the campaign trail.”

Wasserman Schultz’s office declined to comment.

Vermont: Bill Introduced To Legalize, Regulate, Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

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Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Hinesburg) introduced a bill Tuesday night that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont.

“Marijuana prohibition has worn out its welcome 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. “This is an opportunity for state lawmakers to demonstrate leadership on this issue and set an example for other states to follow in coming years.

"It’s not often that legislators have the chance to improve public safety, bolster the economy, and enhance personal liberties all in one piece of legislation,” Simon said.

The bill, S. 95, would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. They could grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location, and they would also be allowed to possess the marijuana grown from those plants at the same location.

It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

The Department of Public Safety would be directed to license and regulate marijuana retail stores, lounges, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing laboratories. Localities would have the ability to regulate or prohibit marijuana businesses within their borders.

Texans For Responsible Marijuana Policy Hold Citizen Lobby Day On Wednesday

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy are holding a Citizen Lobby Day at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT.

Attendees will be urging their elected officials to support HB 507, which would reduce penalties for marijuana possession, and asking them to support the establishment of a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Texas.

More than three out of five Texas voters (61 percent) support limiting the punishment for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a fine of $100 with no possibility of jail time, according to a September 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Nearly three out of five (58 percent) support changing state law to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

“Most Texas voters support reforming our state’s current marijuana policies,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Legislators need to hear from their constituents on this issue, and events like this will ensure that they do. Texans are fed up with failed prohibition policies, and they’re speaking out for a more a sensible approach.”

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy

New Hampshire: Supporters Of Marijuana Legalization Bill Hold Press Conference

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Bill sponsors joined by attorneys Paul Twomey and Jonathan Cohen, and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, at event prior to House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing on HB 618

Supporters of a bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire held a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building prior to a hearing on the bill by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), was be joined at the event by bill cosponsor Rep. Joe Lachance (R-Manchester), attorney Paul Twomey, attorney Jonathan Cohen, and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project.

The committee hearing followed, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building.

HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Schroadter and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. It would also make cultivation of up to six marijuana plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.

U.S: Ganjapreneur Adds Search Feature To Marijuana Job Feed Site, Business Directory

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Ganjapreneur, a website dedicated to cannabis business news and culture, has announced the addition of a search engine to their marijuana job feed and their business directory for cannabis companies. The new feature is intended to help aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals in the industry find and connect with cannabis-focused companies who are hiring.

Ganjapreneur launched their Marijuana Job Feed, a live feed of job listings from the leading cannabis industry job boards, in fall 2014. The feed refreshes throughout the day to reflect the most recently-posted job opportunities on the internet.

Ganjapreneur's Business Directory also launched in 2014, and serves as a resource for professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs who wish to find and connect with companies that have specialized in cannabis. Categories of these companies include lawyers, consultants, web designers, and accountants.

Since their official launch in July 2014, Ganjapreneur has also published a large volume of news articles and editorials related to the cannabis and hemp industries. They offer a weekly cannabis industry newsletter, and have published a news-reader app which is available for Android and Apple devices.

They also publish in-depth interviews with cannabis entrepreneurs and investors, and have announced that they are developing a "Freelancer Network" designed to help independent workers find gigs with cannabis industry businesses.

Maryland: Bill To Legalize, Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Introduced In Legislature

MarylandMarijuana[TheDailyChronic]

Bill would make marijuana legal for adults, establish regulations for cultivation and sale

A bill that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly on Friday. HB 911, the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes.

The bill requires the Maryland Comptroller to establish rules and regulations for the operation of cultivation facilities, product manufacturers, retailers, and safety compliance labs. It also creates an oversight commission to monitor marijuana businesses and advise the comptroller on regulatory issues.

The fiscal note for similar legislation proposed in 2014 estimated about $95.6 million per year in revenue from the $50/ounce excise taxes and about $39 million in new revenue from sales taxes. State expenditures would be exceeded through the estimated $1.995 to $3.985 million in yearly revenue in licensing fees from wholesalers, retailers, and safety compliance facilities.

A companion bill, SB 531, was introduced by Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) earlier this week.

Marijuana businesses would not be permitted to operate within 1,000 feet of a school, and localities would be able to enforce additional regulations. Using marijuana in public and driving under the influence would remain illegal.

U.S.: New Marijuana Industry Site WikiWeed.com Launched

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Northsight Capital, Inc. on Friday announced the launch of their latest marijuana-industry website, WikiWeed.com.

WikiWeed.com is an informational, user-driven Wiki focused on both recreational and medical marijuana topics and information that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users.

There is a plethora of words and definitions for and related to marijuana. Topics for WikiWeed.com include everything from encyclopedia definitions about marijuana to slang street terms. All are invited to help edit WikiWeed.com but must first apply to become a moderator, which can be done on the site.

WikiWeed.com currently has more than 350 articles of information and various definitions relating to marijuana. The public is welcome and encouraged to contribute to the site.

New Mexico: Marijuana Legalization Resolution Passes Out Of Senate Rules Committee

NewMexicoMarijuanaLegalizationAreYouReady

Public Opinion and Wasted Tax Dollars Push Legislator to Fix Broken Marijuana Policies

For the first time in history, a legislative committee on Thursday voted in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana in New Mexico. On a vote of 5-4, New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino’s (D-12-Bernalillo) Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) passed the Senate Rules Committee.

SJR2 would allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older and for the regulation of the production, sale and taxation of marijuana in New Mexico.

“Today’s vote sets in motion the process to put the issue on a 2016 statewide ballot for voters,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed.

"It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in the criminalization of people, gross racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste," Kaltenbach said. "Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution will allow our legislature rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms.”

U.S.: NBC Launches Mini-Docu 'Legalized: A Year in the Life of Recreational Marijuana'

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Congratulations, America: You're making progress. For the first time since the 1930s, cannabis is being legally grown, sold and consumed in the United States.

NBCNews.com on Thursday launched an original, digital mini-documentary titled "Legalized: A Year in the Life of Recreational Marijuana."

This project, led by Bill Smee, director of original production for NBC News Digital, was filmed on and off in Colorado over the last three to four months months.

The mini-documentary is one of six mini-docs that have already been produced by the NBC News Original Video Unit.

You can watch the NBCNews.com mini-documentary here:

Graphic: NBCNews.com

California: Legislator Introduces Bill To End Organ Transplant Denials For Medical Marijuana Patients

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Americans for Safe Access sponsors bill introduced by Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) to end discriminatory practice

California State Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) has introduced AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, a bill aimed at preventing medical marijuana patients from being unduly denied organ transplants.

The Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which has long advocated for patients seeking organ transplants, including Norman B. Smith, a medical marijuana patient who died in 2012 after being denied a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Specifically, AB 258 states that, "A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient's status as a qualified patient...or based solely on a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient." The bill simply establishes the same protections that currently exist for other transplant candidates with mental or physical disabilities.

U.S.: Broad Coalition Calls For Real Reform From Congress To End Mass Incarceration

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Letter Sent to Congressional Judiciary Leadership on Key Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

Legislation Should Address Prison Overcrowding, Unsustainable Costs, and Racial Disparities

Amidst a flurry of legislative activity on criminal justice reform, a broad coalition of groups, representing faith leaders, criminal justice reform and civil and human rights advocates, have united to release a statement of principles on what criminal justice reform legislation in the 114th Congress should include.

The organizations – including the United Methodist Church, NAACP, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the Drug Policy Alliance, and dozens of other organizations – believe that for legislation to have any real impact, it should tackle the primary problems in our federal prison system, namely dangerous overcrowding, unsustainable costs, and unwarranted racial disparities.

In the letter, the groups urge House and Senate Judiciary Chairs Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to build on the current bipartisan momentum around criminal justice reform and embrace the following principles:

• Restore proportionality to drug sentencing
• Promote and adequately fund recidivism reduction and reentry programming
• Make sentencing reductions retroactive
• Expand BOP’s Compassionate Release Program
• Expand time credits for good behavior

U.S.: DuBe Hemp Energy Shot Introduced In Texas And Kentucky

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The DuBe Hemp Energy Shot will be distributed in Texas and Kentucky, Algae International Group, Inc., through its operating subsidiary American Seed & Oil Company, announced on Tuesday.

The DuBe Hemp Energy Shot is a berry flavored, all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free energy shot infused with Hemp Pro 70 Protein Powder "providing smooth energy for hours," claims a company press release. A DuBe CBD Energy Shot is coming soon.

DuBe Hemp Energy Shot Products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent Legal), and tryspin inhibitor free, according to the company.

American Seed & Oil Company said it is developing a comprehensive line of cannabis infused products targeting the health and fitness conscious consumer. "The product line is expected to include products developed in house as well as products from partners like DuBe that compliment the overall product line," according to a prepared statement from the company.

In partnership with an established health and fitness recognized brand name partner, American Seed & Oil plans to open later this year, a pilot retail store in Dallas to market cannabis infused beverages and food. The initial products will be infused with hemp to include CBD which the company said is legal in all 50 states.

Cannabis including THC is also planned for when and where laws permit, according to the company.

Washington: Small Town Plans To Run Its Own Marijuana Store By Month's End

NorthBonnevilleWAMayorDonStevens[TheColumbian]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The City of North Bonneville, Washington, a community of about a thousand residents on the Columbia River, doesn't appear extraordinary at first glance, but it's unique in one way: It's about to become the first municipality in the state to run its own marijuana store.

The city is just weeks from getting a license to open the store, which local officials said could serve as a model for other cities across the state, reports Bill Conroy at The Narcosphere.

North Bonneville was founded on the timber industry, which is now in steep decline, so it counts on tourism as a major economic force. The city's just 45 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon, another state which recently legalized recreational cannabis.

But city leaders said tourism wasn't the driving force behind their decision to open a marijuana store. North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens said the city wanted to seize control of its own destiny in the evolution of a legal cannabis market that holds great promise, even while pockets of hard-core opposition to pot continue to exist.

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

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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."

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