Arizona’s medical marijuana industry has seen significant growth over the last few years, and it is predicted to continue to grow at a very rapid rate.
AZmarijuana.com, a marijuana industry website, released a list of seven significant Arizona marijuana industry statistics from 2014:
1. 85 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were operating in Arizona as of Dec. 31, 2014.
2. Nearly $112 million of revenue was generated by Arizona’s medical marijuana industry (based on an estimate that the average dispensary price for medical marijuana was $350 an ounce).
3. There are more than 61,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona.
4. Eleven cards were revoked, which included caregivers with multiple cards.
5. Female qualifying patients and caregivers were usually older than male qualifying patients and caregivers.
6. 18-30 year olds had the most dispensary transactions followed by 31-40 year olds and then 51-60 year olds.
7. 1,563 (approximately 2.5 percent) of the medical marijuana qualifying patients and 371 (approximately 58 percent) of caregivers were authorized to cultivate marijuana.
For the second consecutive year, Uncle Snoop’s Army will present Snoop Dogg’s Wellness Retreat in Colorado on 4/20.
The retreat is a concert featuring Snoop Dogg and special guests A$AP Rocky and 2 Chainz, with additional guests forthcoming. The concert will take place in Englewood, CO on 4/20/2015.
Last year’s Wellness Retreat concert sold out almost immediately and featured special guests Wiz Khalifa, YG, Smoke DZA and more. This Spring, Snoop will debut his first album on Columbia Records, executive produced by Pharrell Williams, titled BUSH.
Snoop invites guests to Inhale, Exhale and Recharge for a once in a lifetime concert in a state that celebrates and protects legal marijuana.
Tickets are available via AXS.com beginning Friday, February 13 at 10 am Mountain Time.
President Obama’s nominee for director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), acting director Michael Botticelli, was confirmed by the Senate 92-0 on Monday, granting him one of the nation’s highest drug-control offices.
A recovering alcoholic with extensive career experience in public health, the new “drug czar,” as he is informally known, has potential to take more of a public health approach than did his predecessors, including former Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske, the most recent officeholder, who was confirmed as Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection last March.
Botticelli has recently stated that Congress shouldn’t interfere with the will of D.C. voters to legalize marijuana, despite the ONDCP’s official stance on legalization. Last week, he was quoted in a conference call saying that the ONDCP will bar federal funding from drug courts that prevent access to medication-assisted treatment for opiate addiction.
By Steve Elliott
A Southwest Oregon farmer who has been issued the first state permit to grow industrial hemp said he and a nonprofit group of growers and activists plan a 25-acre hemp field this spring.
Edgar Winters of Eagle Point, director of the Oregon Agriculture Food & Rural Consortium, said it's difficult to get seeds, but also expressed optimism, reports Eric Mortenson at Capital Press.
Winters said the group would be ready to warehouse and process the hemp once a crop is harvested in late summer.
"We are in a position to do 40 tons a day at our processing mill,"said Winters, not to be confused with Texas blues rocker Edgar Winter of the Edgar Winter Group. "We've got our ducks in a row."
Importing hempseed requires the approval of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are working with the DEA on that process.
Winters said a Canadian hemp company, Hemp Textiles International, has "breeders' rights" to its see and will not share their genetics with Oregon growers. Oregon state law requires hempseed produced in Oregon to be replanted.
"We're at a standstill," Winters said, but he added that seeds might be available from Russia, Hungary, Australia or New Zealand.
"We have to import to get started," he said. "We don't want our farmers to sit around another year."
Advocates Praise Botticelli for Taking Steps Toward Health-Based Approach to Drug Policy
The U.S. Senate on Monday evening confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Michael Botticelli to become the next Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a position informally known as “drug czar.”
Botticelli has served as acting director of the ONDCP since March 2014, following the resignation of former drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske. Botticelli previously served as ONDCP’s Deputy Director. Before joining ONDCP, Botticelli spent nearly two decades overseeing substance misuse programs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
“Michael Botticelli represents, in many ways, a significant improvement on all his predecessors as drug czar,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “It’s not just that he comes from a public health background but that he seems truly committed to advancing more science-based and compassionate drug policies where the politics allow.
"What he most needs to do now is shed the political blinders that impel him both to defend marijuana prohibition and close his eyes to highly successful harm reduction measures abroad,” Nadelmann said.
This February, the Drug Policy Alliance is launching a month-long online tribute to Black drug policy reformers. At a time when the nation reflects upon the history and contributions of Black Americans, DPA seeks to raise awareness about the significant and far-reaching roles that Black authors, activists and movement builders have played and continue to play in drug policy reform.
Each week will feature its own category and honoree.
“The work of African Americans has often gone un-discussed when it was mentioned at all," said asha bandele, director of DPA's advocacy grants program. "Many have labored outside of the light and so the question has been asked time and again: Where are Black people in this movement?
"Why are they so silent despite the extraordinary ways in which the drug war has disassembled their communities, their lives, their very ability to breathe? But the answers to that are, we are here and have always been here despite mass criminalization and despite cultural dissonance in the non- profit world," bandele said.
"The answer is also that those in our movement who have looked outward for our presence should likely have looked inward," bandele said. "We were there, and this project means to prove that.”
Building on 2014’s Black Drug Policy History series that focused on the “Forerunners”, or those that laid the foundation for the current drug policy reform movement, like former mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke, sociologist Troy Duster and trailblazer Deborah Peterson Small, this year’s series will focus on current “Groundbreakers.”
By Steve Elliott
A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that smoking marijuana before driving doesn't make you more likely to get into a car crash, especially when compared to drinking before driving.
The study looked at 9,000 drivers over the past year to examine the impact of cannabis on driving, reports Carimah Townes at ThinkProgress. Although one-quarter of marijuana users were more likely to be involved in a car crash than people who did not toke, once the gender, age, and race/ethnicity of cannabis users were considered, it turned out that these differences actually contributed more to crash risk. Younger drivers crashed more than older ones, and men had more crashes than women.
Drivers who consumed alcohol, of course, were clearly more likely to crash. Those with a 0.08 percent breath alcohol level crashed four times more than sober drivers, and drivers with a level of 0.15 percent were 12 times more likely to crash.
Testing positive for marijuana was defined in the study as having delta-9 tetahydrocannabinol (THC) in the system.
However, marijuana does affect drivers' senses, according to the study, and the number of drivers with THC in their systems in on the rise. "Drivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, and we know that marijuana impairs judgment, reaction times and awareness," said Jeff Michael, director of the Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection.
TNMNews, which calls itself "the unbiased marijuana talk radio program," is now broadcast on KBYR Anchorage. The announcement follows the news last month that TNMNews is also broadcast on KFAR 660 AM, the oldest radio station in Alaska.
"KBYR has become the third terrestrial station to pick up our unbiased cannabis-related news and talk show," said Todd Denkin, president of TNMNews and CEO of its parent company, DigiPath, Inc. "Cannabis is a hot topic in Alaska, where voters recently gave thumbs up to the recreational use of marijuana by passing Ballot Measure 2."
Hosted by Todd Denkin and Jen Gentile, the latest episode of TNMNews examines how political activism is working to advance acceptance of marijuana use in America and features leaders in the fight to expand cannabis in healthcare and its role in films and television.
First up in this week's show, certified nurse Lanny Swerdlow describes how in 1995 he administered cannabis to a patient for the first time. The patient had contracted HIV/AIDS, and he was wasting away while experiencing severe side effects from his medication cocktail.
Cannabis mitigated the side effects, so Swerdlow's patient stayed compliant with his prescribed medications. It also stimulated the patient's appetite, reversing his wasting, and helped lift his spirits. The problem that Swerdlow faced in treating his patient with marijuana was having to "deal with criminals to get it for him."
Verde Media Group Inc. has announced that its Entertainment Division is officially launching a brand new reality series titled "Green Rusher." The show will be an explosive look into the world of marijuana and how it has changed the landscape from coast to coast.
The legalization of marijuana both for medicinal and recreational use has been a battle raging for years. States are now experiencing the economic benefits of both, as money pours into their coffers.
Public and private investment in this sector is exploding. Investment at all levels has been legitimized and embraced by financial institutions; large legacy companies and allowed the general public to invest along side todays pioneering entrepreneurs.
The landscape is wild and uncharted for all involved and the number of characters taking part in the "Green Rush" is just as wild.
Green Rusher follows the exploits of all the characters involved from the growers, retailers, to the venture capitalists and companies claiming their stake in today's modern 'green rush'.
Policy Experts and Advocates Testify in Favor of Directing Proceeds from Taxation to Communities Harmed by War on Drugs
Hearing Occurs As Initiative 71 Undergoes 30-Day Congressional Review
D.C. Councilmembers on Monday held a joint public hearing on legislation introduced earlier this year that would establish a system that legalizes, taxes and regulates marijuana in the nation’s capital.
The “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015”, B21-023, would establish a regulatory infrastructure for the production and sale of marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older in D.C. It would also create a dedicated fund for excise and sales tax revenue, and beginning in FY2017, the first $350,000 collected every three months would be directed to the D.C. Youth Court.
The next $500,000 collected every three months would be used for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment, and any remaining revenue would go to the general fund. Licensing fees and other non-tax revenues would be retained by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to cover the costs of administering the regulatory system.
The hearing took place in Room 500 of the D.C. Council Chambers at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Advocates provided testimony in support of using the proceeds from legalization toward rebuilding the communities most harmed by the war on drugs.
In response to a question from a Marijuana Policy Project staffer, Michael Botticelli — whom the U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Monday as the next director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) — said he supports the Administration’s current policy of allowing states to regulate marijuana for adult and/or medical use.
During an event hosted on Friday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, acting U.S. Drug Czar Botticelli said he agrees Congress should not interfere in the District of Columbia’s decision to make marijuana legal for adults.
In response to a question from MPP Federal Policies Director Dan Riffle, Botticelli said: “The President, as it relates to the District, I think was very clear that the District should stick to its home rule. As a resident of the District, I might not agree about legalization, but I do agree with our own ability to spend our own money the way that we want to do that.”
The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Botticelli on Monday as the next director of the White House ONDCP. He received unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Also on Monday, the Council of the District of Columbia is scheduled to hold a joint committee hearing on a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol in the nation’s capital. It will begin at 10 a.m. ET in the John A. Wilson Building, Room 500 (1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW).
New Policy Indicates Better Understanding of Addiction, Public Health Crisis
The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, this week said the federal government will deny federal funding to drug courts across the country that refuse medication-assisted treatment for those suffering from opiate addictions.
The ONDCP will now withhold federal funding from drug courts that prevent people suffering from opiate addictions from having access to drugs such as methadone and Suboxone that can allow them to lead normal lives despite their addiction, reports Jason Cherkis at The Huffington Post.
“I rarely get a chance to applaud the ONDCP, so I’m enjoying this,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “People with addictions deserve access to treatment that works, and any policy that stands in the way of the recovery process is an affront to human rights.”
Because heroin is physically addictive, with users experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms such as depression, nausea and vomiting, those who abstain have a high rate of relapse. However after a period of abstinence, their tolerance drops and doses they could handle while a regular user become lethal. This is often when overdoses occur.
By Steve Elliott
More than 100 Native American tribes have reportedly contacted FoxBarry Farms, a company which says it is building the nation's first marijuana cultivation facility on tribal land, over the past month expressing industry in the cannabis industry.
There's been a surge of interest since the federal Department of Justice's announcement late last year that tribes are free to grow and sell marijuana on their lands, as long as they follow specific guidelines, reports Carly Schwartz at The Huffington Post.
"I really underestimated," said FoxBarry CEO Barry Brautman, whose company also works with tribes to build and operate casinos. "So many tribes are wanting to do this right now."
FoxBarry and the Denver-based United Cannabis Corp., recently signed a contract to construct a huge medical marijuana farm on the Pinoleville Pomo Nation's ranch in Northern California. The 2.5-acre, $10 million installation will cultivate, process and sell marijuana under the United Cannabis brand, according to Brautman, who said the operation would employ 50 to 100 people, with preference to tribe members.
Tribes across the country could experience an economic boom, according to Brautman, who's also negotiating with three other California-based tribes, as well as groups in seven other states.
By Steve Elliott
An Alabama state senator this week proclaimed "I'm really tired of dealing with these people" when pressed to release a doctor survey he ordered, which was conducted by the state medical association.
Oddly, Senator Jim McClendon, who at the time he ordered the study was chair of the House Health Committee, repeatedly denied ever ordering the survey in a telephone interview this week, reports Edward Burch at ABC 33/40.
Senator McClendon, who perhaps should seek a less stressful form of employment than public servant, said he had received emails from medical marijuana proponents for the past two years about the missing survey.
"I'm really tired of dealing with these people and this issue," McClendon said.
Reporter Burch later spoke with Rep. Patricia Todd, who sponsored a bill during the last legislative session which would have legalized medical marijuana.
Rep. Todd confirmed that Sen. McClendon did issue the request for the medical marijuana survey.
"I was in (McClendon's) office one day and one of the government affairs people for the medical association was in there and we were talking about it, and he said, 'Oh yeah, we did the survey,'" Todd said.
Rep. Todd said the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA) refused to give her a copy of the complete survey. She said she had submitted a list of questions to McClendon to be included on it.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Leading Female Cannabis Entrepreneurs, National Cannabis Industry Association Will Highlight Key Issues Affecting Small and Women-Owned Cannabis Businesses
Rep. Jared Polis will join leaders and members of Women Grow, a national network of female cannabis industry professionals, and the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) in the National Press Club’s Zenger Room on Thursday, February 12 at 9 a.m., to set the agenda for the group’s first-ever Lobby Days.
On February 12 and 13, more than 60 Women Grow members from 14 states nationwide will converge in Washington, D.C., to promote the essential role of small and women-owned businesses in creating a diverse, responsible cannabis industry.
In meetings with Congressional representatives and staff, members will address key industry issues including fair taxation and access to banking.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)
Jazmin Hupp, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Women Grow
Taylor West, Deputy Director, National Cannabis Industry Association
Women Grow members from more than a dozen states’ cannabis industries
Women Grow Lobby Days Press Conference
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 9 a.m.
National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Fl.
Washington, D.C. 20045
About Women Grow