Move May Force Producers to Move to a Cash-only Payment System
Eight months after the federal Department of Justice and Treasury Department announced new guidelines allowing banks to work with marijuana businesses, some of the credit unions in New Mexico sent letters to almost half of the State’s licensed medical marijuana producers saying they will no longer accept their business and proceeded with closing their accounts.
The credit unions claim that they are unable to comply with federal guidelines for servicing the accounts. This move leaves producers in the lurch, with either having to operate on a cash-only basis or scramble to find another financial institution willing to take their business.
In February, the Obama Administration announced new guidelines that will allow banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed marijuana businesses. Twenty-three states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for medical use; two of those states (Colorado and Washington) recently legalized marijuana like alcohol.
By Steve Elliott
Police are pursuing numerous leads in the case of three men impersonating law enforcement officers, two dressed in black SWAT team gear and one wearing a sheriff's office uniform and armed with a handgun, who robbed the medical marijuana garden of a local patient.
"We have two very good leads on the identity of two of the suspects and a possible lead on the identity of the third," said Lt. Aaron Hayden of the Maine State Police on Thursday morning, reports Nok-Noi Ricker at the Bangor Daily News.
The detail Lt. Hayden would release about the three suspects is that they are from Maine. Hayden said on Tuesday that the landowner is a legal medical marijuana patient.
The three men went to the garden in Winterport wearing clothing impersonating law enforcement personnel at about 7:30 a.m. on September 21, according to spokesman Stephen McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety.
After getting into an argument with the landowner, the men grabbed armfuls of mature, flowering marijuana plants, ready for harvest, and reportedly took off running.
The faces of two of the three men are clearly visible in surveillance camera images released on Monday afternoon by Maine State Police. Investigators said they believe the armed man was carrying a semi-automatic pistol.
All Botanical’s brand wants to unleash the health benefits of the nutritional powerhouse
Your workout can now get an extra edge thanks to hemp, a trusted nutritional supplement.
“The hemp plant is a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and contains all of the essential amino acids,” said Robert Calkin, CEO of Green Cures & Botanical Distribution Inc. “Hemp is one of the few plants, known to man today, that has all of these nutrients combined.”
Hemp is prominently featured in Green Magic’s line of fitness products, which are now available for purchase at RevNutrition.com.
The Green Magic Liquid Boost is a nutritional supplement with essential vitamins, antioxidants, trace minerals, as well as a 20 amino acid complex formula that has been designed to help give your body the essential nutrients it needs.
“You take it as a liquid daily vitamin,” said Calkin. “The hemp oil will help the nutrients be easily absorbed into your body. You’ll soon feel more energy, stronger, and more awake.”
Athletes in search of a hemp edge will also enjoy the Green Magic Hemp Protein, Hemp Fiber, and Hemp Seeds. After a workout, the Green Magic Soothing Ice gives you a topical analgesic that features a blended formula of horse chestnut seed extract and hemp oil. The product is easily applied as a roll on.
“Your muscles will soon start to feel relief as the hemp oil enters them much faster than what you would experience with traditional products,” Calkin said. “Hemp is truly a super plant.”
A newly released 45-second motion graphic shows why it's time to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana in Oregon. You might recognize the narrator's voice from radio and telelvision.
Rick Steves, travel guru, narrates this animated video that explains how our current marijuana policies are failing us. Steves is launching a six-day, 11-city tour around Oregon in support of Measure 91.
Oregon's Measure 91 would create a regulated system that would refocus police time on serious crimes, hobble the black market cartels, and direct millions of dollars to education, drug treatment and prevention, and law enforcement.
Learn more at www.VoteYESon91.com .
Private Reserve Compassionate Care Inc. on Tuesday announced the grand opening of their e-commerce website www.Cannabizon.com) that will service medical marijuana patients throughout California.
“Much like any other e-commerce online experience, our California based patients simply order and pay their 'donations' for their favorite Medical Marijuana medications from our website, and we will ship their orders directly to their front door for signature and delivery in 1-2 business days,” a prepared statement from Cannabizon reads. "The only difference being that products are only available to California based Medical Marijuana patients. They need simply to log-on, sign-up, to start their e-commerce experience."
Cannabizon.com said it "knows that many local California municipalities refuse to allow traditional brick-n-mortar dispensaries or delivery services to operate within their city limits. Equally important, many of the more popular Edible and Vapor Companies have no way of offering their products statewide.
"Cannabizon.com answers all of these challenges, and acts as a safe and highly effect delivery channel for many products that are simply out of reach to those patients that most benefit from them," the company's statement reads. “Even when available locally, many of our patients are not able to visit a brick-n-mortar dispensary for reasons that range from health related travel restrictions to personal security and/or privacy concerns.”
Criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession will be replaced with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket
Legislation adopted this year to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession in Maryland will go into effect on Wednesday, October 1.
Maryland joins 17 other states and the District of Columbia that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession. In addition, Missouri passed a similar bill this year, which will make it the 19th state to do so when it goes into effect.
Senate Bill 364 makes possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $250 for a second offense, and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. Third-time offenders and individuals under 21 years of age will be required to undergo a clinical assessment for substance abuse disorder and a drug education program.
“Decriminalization will free up law enforcement officials’ time and allow them to focus on more pressing issues than marijuana possession," said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a 34-year veteran of the Maryland State Police.
"It will address some inequalities in our justice system, but, until we fully legalize and regulate marijuana, sales will continue to be conducted by criminals in an underground market," Franklin said. "Until that happens, we are not going to see the public safety benefits that are possible in a post-prohibition world.”
Patients, Families, and Advocates Thank Cuomo For Federal Request, But Urge Additional State Action to Save Lives of Critically Ill Patients
Patients Call on Governor to Create State-Based Emergency Access Program
The Cuomo Administration on Friday sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Cole following up on an earlier letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, sent on August 13. Both letters asked the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) to extend a narrow, time-limited exception to federal law to allow the importation of certain strains of medical marijuana from other states for use by children in New York with severe forms of epilepsy.
The letters follow the deaths of several children and a sustained campaign by advocates pressuring the Cuomo Administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the 18 months or longer that the governor has said he needs to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. New York passed a medical marijuana bill that Governor Cuomo signed into law in July, but the Administration has said the program won’t be up and running until at least January of 2016.
To establish emergency access for patients in need, medical marijuana can either be produced within New York state, or, with appropriate federal clearances, acquired from a different jurisdiction. The Cuomo Administration’s letters address one of those two options.
There’s a new name making some waves in the medical marijuana space. Publicly traded Worlds Online subsidiary MariMed Advisors has closed on the acquisition of Sigal Consulting and $2 million in working capital.
Sigal Consulting, now known as MariMed Advisors, specializes in all aspects of medical marijuana, from licensing application to cultivation and sale.
Sigal designed the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center cultivation and dispensary facility in Providence, Rhode Island -- one of the largest state sanctioned dispensaries in the country.
"Closing this capital raise and acquisition demonstrates investor interest and confidence in our team and strategy for capturing significant market share in the developing medical marijuana sector," said Thom Kidrin, CEO of WORX. "These funds will allow us to expand our team and meet the demand from our growing pipeline of potential licensees in their efforts to gain authority to build and operate cultivation and dispensary operations."
While no assurance can be given that it will be successful, MariMed Advisors is in discussion with multiple capital sources in an attempt to secure additional funds for the acquisition of real estate and operational facilities needed to provide future licensees the operational capabilities to successfully operate under their licenses. This is a critical component for many licensees, as legacy regulations prevent financial institutions from financing such transactions for organizations in the medical marijuana industry, even in states where it has been legalized.
420careers.com, a marijuana industry job listing site, on Monday reported that the swiftly developing cannabis industry is generating an extraordinary and historic amount of jobs throughout the United States and Canada.
“The marijuana industry is producing more new jobs than many other industries in the United States,” said Colby Ayres, director of marketing at 420careers.com. "Each state that passes a medical or recreational marijuana law usually generates hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs.
"Colorado currently has over 10,000 jobs associated with the marijuana industry and Washington state is quickly creating hordes of new jobs since legalizing marijuana in July," Ayres said.
Twenty-two states permit medical marijuana and two states (Colorado and Washington) permit recreational marijuana for adult use. Nearly a dozen other states have medical marijuana legislation initiatives and an estimated five states will vote to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use by 2016.
It has been predicted that over a dozen more states are likely to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use by 2018, which would potentially grow upwards of a $10 billion industry in the United States.
Some of more popular marijuana jobs currently offered on 420careers.com are: budtenders (dispensary patient consultants), cultivation experts, dispensary managers, writers, sales positions, delivery drivers, security staff, inventory staff, and various administrative and business development positions.
By Steve Elliott
Alison Holcomb trusts poop more than people. The author of Washington state's recreational marijuana law has suggested that the city of Spokane test its sewage for traces of cannabis in order to more accurately measure use by residents.
Holcomb, a lawyer with the ACLU, proposed the idea at a Tuesday meeting of the Spokane City Council's marijuana policy subcommittee, reports the Associated Press.
About 50 city leaders and residents make up the subcomittee, which attempts to deal with what cannabis legalization means for Spokane, a city of about 210,000, reports Jessica Glenza at The Guardian.
"We don't have really good data on usage and perceptions of harm," said city councilman Jon Snyder. "It's funny how the sewage thing has really captured people's imagination."
A University of Washington scientist liked the idea. "It's always good for a chuckle, but it actually does work," said Caleb Banta-Green, a researcher at the UW's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
Banta-Green, an epidemiologist, has tested sewage in Oregon and Washington for the presence of hard drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. "In some ways, I think my most surprising finding is that it works," he said.
By Steve Elliott
David Ung of Albuquerque remembered his luggage when he returned a rental car on Tuesday. He didn't forget his cell phone or plane ticket for the Albuquerque Sunport. But he did forget 139 pounds of "high grade" marijuana in several black trash bags in the trunk of the vehicle he returned to Hertz Rent a Car near the airport.
Aviation police officers told the Albuquerque Police Department that Ung, 40, dropped off the car, but returned, saying he'd left a bag inside the vehicle, reports Nicole Perez at the Albuquerque Journal.
But when employees started cleaning the car, they found several large bags filled with marijuana. Homeland Security and the Sunport Police were called to investigate.
By the time Ung got back, officers had already found several black trash bags full of cannabis, packaged in 124 heat-sealed clear bags, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court on Wednesday.
"I can't believe that would happen here at the airport where there's a lot of security," said Tanya Hernandez, reports KTRK. "It's just ironic that people could do that."
Ung was detained at the scene, and refused to talk to police with an attorney present. He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and booked into the county jail on $10,000 bail.
Five more organizations on Friday endorsed Oregon’s Measure 91 to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older. These groups are:
• American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 88 (AFSCME), the largest employee union in Multnomah County with approximately 2,600 represented employees. They join AFSCME Local 328 and United Food and Commercial Workers 555, which had previous endorsed Measure 91.
• Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans, which works to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens. The Alliance joins the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, as the second senior organization to endorse the campaign.
• Partnership for Safety and Justice, which works to reform the criminal justice system and achieve a more balanced approach to public safety. They join several other criminal justice organization like the ACLU of Oregon, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
By Steve Elliott
The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana; the bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1182 would allow patients with certain medical conditions to use medical cannabis with a doctor's recommendation, reports WPMT Fox 43.
Cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), severe fibromyalgia, cachexia (wasting syndrome), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome are on the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana.
Removed from the list since the bill's inception -- despite clear clinical evidence that cannabis helps -- were 39 diseases and conditions including muscular dystrophy, Crohn's disease, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, hydrocephalus, diabetes and lupus.
Prime sponsor Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and co-sponsor Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) made the changes to "keep the bill moving" despite misgivings from some of their more timid colleagues. The bill passed on Wednesday on an overwhelming 43-7 vote.
AG Holder Made Unprecedented Efforts to Address Mass Incarceration and Failed Drug War
Drug Policy Alliance Calls On President Obama to Appoint Replacement Who Will Follow Through on Crucial Criminal Justice Reforms
By Steve Elliott
Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday announced that he will be resigning from office once a replacement is found. Drug policy and criminal justice reform advocates expressed disappointment he is leaving office, praising his leadership and calling on President Obama to nominate a replacement who will carry on Holder’s reform work.
Holder's career as AG, which spanned five and a half years, included a number of drug policy reforms to which he reconfirmed his commitment in a Thursday interview with Katie Couric. In the interview, Holder said science should be the basis for making decisions about the scheduling of marijuana, and that the sentencing of nonviolent drug offenders is a serious civil rights issue.
“Holder will go down in history as the Attorney General who began unwinding the war on drugs and steering our country away from mass incarceration,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “President Obama should replace him with someone who is going to carry on that legacy of reform.”
By Steve Elliott
Some political candidates seem to be in denial about their marijuana use, but a write-in candidate for governor of Rhode Island wants to make sure voters know she uses cannabis every day for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
"Yes, I do smoke cannabis, and yes, I do inhale," says Anne Armstrong in a campaign video posted online this month, reports Sam Levine at The Huffington Post. "It helps me. It helps me to focus, it helps to facilitate communication."
Armstrong posted on her Facebook page that she wants a state where "common sense, compassion, and cooperation can recreate Rhode Island into a place where everyone can live in abundance."
"It doesn't make people crazy, the way you've been told," Armstrong says of marijuana in the ad. "I hope that you will read and open your eyes and realize the truth that we've been lied to for a long time by our government."
Armstrong said in a speech earlier this month at Boston Hempfest that if she were elected governor, she would eliminate all penalties for growing, sharing and using cannabis in Rhode Island.
"I'm gonna site and use cannabis as I govern from my office," Armstrong said. "And I am gonna have my cannabis in the rotunda of the Statehouse and it is gonna be a people's cannabis garden."
Rhode Island permits the cultivation and use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.