DigiPath, Inc., an independent cannabis testing and media firm, on Thursday announced that it has received approval from the state of Nevada for its DigiPath Labs subsidiary to open and operate a cannabis testing laboratory at 6450 Cameron Street, Suite 113, in Las Vegas.
DigiPath Labs is in the process of applying for construction permits, ordering equipment, and hiring staff in anticipation of opening the Cameron Street laboratory. To expedite construction, the company is working with a local architectural firm it engaged during the application process. The lab is expected to open its doors to customers in early 2015.
"We are grateful to the State of Nevada for helping to advance our goal of setting a new benchmark for medical cannabis testing and safety screening," said Todd Denkin, CEO of DigiPath, Inc.
"DigiPath Labs is dedicated to increasing transparency of the ingredients inside cannabis-based products," Denkin said. "We believe that this information will benefit patients and dispensaries by providing them with important information regarding the products being sold for consumption."
DigiPath Labs will screen medicinal cannabis for potentially harmful contaminants, including:
• Heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium
• Biological toxins, such as aflatoxin, ricin, and botulinum toxins
• Residual organic chemicals used in extraction
• Microbial contaminants including E. coli, salmonella, and Aspergillus
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.
By Steve Elliott
A flock of sheep in England got an unexpected treat last month when they munched on thousands of dollars worth of marijuana dumped in their field.
The animals were happily stumbling about after eating seven bags of cannabis, with a reputed valued of £4,000 (about $6,300 American), reports Nicola Fifield at The Telegraph.
The flock reportedly found the marijuana stash at the edge of Fanny's Farm in Merstham, Surrey.
"My sheep, being inquisitive, had an interesting feast on it," said farm manager Nellie Budd. "They weren't quite on their backs with legs in the air, but they probably had the munchies.
"They haven't had any other side effects, but I'll tell you about the meat next week," Budd added.
"At first I thought it was someone's hedgerow rubbish," Budd said. "I went down to collect the bags so the sheep weren't eating black plastic.
"When I got there I realized it was a form of herbal cannabis plant," Budd said. "They were very strong in scent."
"I have no idea how they got there," Budd said, reports Harry Readhead at Metro.co.uk. "It’s right next to a road and the footpath is quite open."
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."
Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal's newest book, Beyond Buds, spreads the word on what the inner circle of marijuana aficionados knows about how to take their medicine. The book covers the rapid shift from smoking buds to vaping and dabbing concentrates or using marijuana infused products such as edibles and tinctures.
Whether you want to produce them or sample them, Beyond Buds is a guide for all -- what to look for, how to make them, and how to use them safely.
Way before the "Green Rush" that is accompanying current legalization, Rosenthal was one of the original marijuana entrepreneurs. Quick Trading, his publishing company, was always the first to provide the latest information on marijuana gardening, use and social policy. Its Big Book of Buds series delineated the differences of more than 400 varieties of cannabis.
Quick Trading is celebrating 40 years of changing marijuana policy one book at a time. True to their vision of justice, the anniversary and book release event is a fundraiser to support the early wave of medical marijuana reformers who are incarcerated in federal and state prisons.
By Steve Elliott
One House Republican said on Wednesday that he will do all he can to block implementation of the marijuana legalization measure approved by District of Columbia voters on Tuesday.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) said marijuana's federal classification as a Schedule I drug should be enforced in the District, reports Aaron C. Davis at The Washington Post.
Harris, a doctor by training, blasted the legalization vote as detrimental to adolescents. "Actions by those in D.C. will result in higher drug use among teens," Harris told the Post. "I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action, so that drug use among teens does not increase."
The Congressman seems a little confused about how things work; currently, of course, black-market drug dealers don't ask teens for ID when selling marijuana; licensed cannabis retail outlets would.
Residents of and visitors to the nation's capital 21 and older will be allowed under Initiative 71 to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana, and to grow up to three cannabis plants at home.
D.C. Mayor-Elect Muriel E. Bowser said she would vote for the measure, and would see to its implementation. She agreed with the D.C. Council that the District must now take the next step of writing a measure establishing a system of retail sales and taxation.
On the heels of an election which decided marijuana policy in several states, Ganjapreneur, a website dedicated to the legal cannabis industry, has announced a business-focused directory to help aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs and companies connect with business service providers.
Ganjapreneur's new directory includes archives of lawyers, accountants, web development agencies, security firms, and general business consultants who specialize in serving marijuana businesses.
The business directory currently has 12 categories, although a representative from the website said the scope of the project is growing.
"Right now we're focusing on B2B services," the Ganjapreneur rep added, "so our directory is geared toward companies who provide a business service such as marketing or accounting."
Ganjapreneur recently announced that they are preparing to launch a "Freelancer's Network" for creative professionals who want to take on marijuana-related projects. The network currently has a landing page explaining the concept, and an email sign-up form to receive a notification when the network is officially launched.
The website launched over the summer, and has rapidly published a large volume of unique content including news coverage, business editorials, interviews with cannabis industry entrepreneurs, an industry job feed which aggregates classified ads from around the web, and even a dictionary of slang vocabulary terms related to marijuana.
By Steve Elliott
Alaska on Tuesday became the fourth U.S. state to legalize marijuana, joining Oregon, where voters had approved a legalization measure earlier the same day, and Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized in 2012.
Measure 2, which was approved by 52 percent of Alaska voters, allows adults 21 and older and possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to six plants at home, and transfer up to an ounce at a time to other adults "without remuneration," reports Jacob Sullum at Reason. State-licensed growers, cannabis product manufacturers, and marijuana retailers will be regulated by the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a separate agency created by the Legislature.
"Now that it's been shown that putting marijuana legalization on the ballot can succeed even in midterms, we can expect to see a huge surge of additional states voting to end prohibition during the 2016 presidential election," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News early on Wednesday. "And because the issue has been proven to be mainstream as far as voters are concerned, we may even see lawmakers in several states jumping ahead to legalize marijuana legislatively in the meantime."
Oregon and D.C. – And Alaska? – Pass Marijuana Legalization, as California and New Jersey Pass Groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reforms
DPA: Election Solidifies Drug Policy Reform as Mainstream Political Issue, Boosts Efforts to Legalize Marijuana in California and Elsewhere in 2016
Voters across the country have accelerated the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider Drug War, with marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon and Washington, D.C., while groundbreaking criminal justice reforms passed in California and New Jersey.
“This Election Day was an extraordinary one for the marijuana and criminal justice reform movements,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Oregon proved that Colorado and Washington were no flukes.
"Washington, D.C. voters sent a powerful message to Congress that federal marijuana prohibition has no place in the nation’s capital," Nadelmann said. "Voters in Florida and Guam demonstrated that medical marijuana could win big even in fairly conservative jurisdictions. And California and New Jersey revealed an electorate eager to reduce prison populations and the power of the prison industrial complex.”
Passage of Proposition 47 Will Spare Thousands From Unnecessary Time Behind Bars and Save Billions of Taxpayer Dollars
DPA: Overwhelming Support Sends Powerful National Message
California voters on Tuesday took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the War On Drugs by approving Proposition 47. On the heels of reforming the state’s “three strikes” law in the 2012 election, Californians overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses – including simple drug possession – from felonies to misdemeanors.
“The overwhelming support for this reform sends a powerful message nationally, demonstrating that voters are not just ready but eager to reduce prison populations in ways that can enhance public safety,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).
“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”
By Steve Elliott
And now there are three: Oregon voters on Tuesday chose to make their state the third in the U.S. to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. Passage of Measure 91 accelerates the nationwide momentum in favor of legalizing marijuana and ending the wider Drug War, according to proponents.
"With Oregon and D.C. coming on board, it's clear that Colorado and Washington voting to legalize in 2012 was no anomaly," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Tuesday evening. "The trend is clear: Marijuana prohibition is coming to an end.
"As 2016 approaches, we can expect to see many more ambitious national politicians finally trying to win support from the cannabis constituency instead of ignoring and criminalizing us," Angell said.
The new regulatory system will be overseen by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, in consultation with the State Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Health Authority and will allow adults over 21 to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants. DUI and public consumption will still be illegal and localities may ban marijuana businesses through ballot measures.
Revenue from the measure will first go to oversight of the industry and then to schools, mental health and drug treatment services, and local and state law enforcement.
By Steve Elliott
In an exciting and ironic twist to America's 77-year-old War On Marijuana, the voters of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday decided to legalize marijuana in the nation's capital. Voters approved Initiative 71, a ballot initiative that legalizes possession of up to two ounces of cannabis for adults 21 and older, and allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home.
"With marijuana legal in the federal government's backyard it's going to be increasingly difficult for national politicians to continue ignoring the growing majority of voters who want to end prohibition," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Tuesday evening. "I've been saying for a while that 2016 presidential candidates need to start courting the cannabis constituency, and now the road to the White House quite literally travels through legal marijuana territory."
D.C. laws prevented the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, but the D.C. Council is currently considering the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013, a bill that would tax, regulate and strictly control the sale of marijuana to adults.
Similar Measure Receives 45% Support in Lewiston
Stage is set for 2016 statewide initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol
Voters in South Portland, Maine on Tuesday approved a ballot measure by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin, making it the second city on the East Coast to make marijuana legal for adults. A similar measure received 45 percent of the vote in Lewiston.
The South Portland initiative makes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. It will remain illegal for adults to consume or display marijuana in public.
Voters in Portland, Maine's largest city, approved a similar measure last year.
Tuesday's measure expresses support for ending marijuana prohibition at the state level and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. The Marijuana Policy Project, which backed all three local initiatives in Maine, has filed a committee to support a statewide ballot initiative in 2016.
“We applaud the voters of South Portland for approving a more sensible approach to marijuana," said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which supported the Lewiston and South Portland initiatives. "They saw through the scare tactics and misinformation that have long kept marijuana illegal in this country. They chose facts over fear."
Advocates Hail Historic Reform and Look Forward to Work on Implementing New Law
New Jersey voters on Tuesday approved Public Question No. 1 to reform New Jersey’s bail system. The narrowly-worded question allows judges to deny bail to dangerous individuals, but it ushers in broader bail reform because it is linked to comprehensive legislation, already signed by the governor, that overhauls the state’s broken bail system.
The legislation implements wide-ranging reforms including non-monetary release options for low-risk individuals; a system under which pretrial release decisions are based on risk rather than resources; the use of risk assessments for suspects enabling courts to make individualized determinations of what conditions of release are appropriate; establishment of a pretrial services unit within the court system that will provide appropriate levels of monitoring and counseling for those awaiting trial.
The legislation also protects the rights of those denied bail by requiring prosecutors to prove the case for pretrial detention by clear and convincing evidence and mandating clear timelines for speedy trial.
Advocates and faith leaders across the state waged a hard-fought two-year campaign to pass the legislation and win approval of Public Question No. 1 by voters. They hailed the victory as a historic change to New Jersey’s criminal justice system.
By Steve Elliott
Florida's voters have narrowly rejected the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. A big majority of state voters voted in favor of medicinal cannabis, but state law requires a 60 percent majority to amend the Florida Constitution.
The Associated Press has projected that Amendment 2, Florida's medical marijuana constitutional amendment, which needed 60 percent of the vote to pass, has narrowly failed. With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting, about 57 percent of voters voted yes.
The campaign was among the most expensive ballot measures in the country, reports the Associated Press, with millions spent on both sides. Twentieth-century Reefer Madness myths were pulled out and aired as fact as part of the misleading tactics used by the No On 2 side, funded largely by Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
Florida lawmakers had passed a very limited, CBD-only "medical marijuana law" earlier this year to allow non-psychoactive strains of cannabis for epilepsy patients. But Amendment 2 supporters argued a more inclusive law was necessary to make medicinal cannabis available to a broader group of patients.