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Oregon: Department of Agriculture Gives Farmers the Green Light to Grow Industrial Hemp – Seeds to be Sown in Spring 2015

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By Amy Peradotta, M.P.A. (Special to Hemp News)

In a phone interview on January 29th, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Operations Manager, Ron Pence confirmed, "the rules were filed by the ODA with the Secretary of States Office and were requested to become effective upon filing.” This is great news for anyone interested in growing industrial hemp in Oregon this year. Although a few details still need to be worked out, if all goes as planned, this spring Oregonians will be planting the first legal hemp crop in the state since 1957.

As early as next Monday, February 2, 2015, licenses will be available for anyone who wants to grow hemp in Oregon. Licenses are valid for three years and cost $1,500. While proponents have not been happy about the prohibitive cost of the licensing fee, many are still planning to move forward. The license application form will be available online the week of Feb. 2-6, 2015 on the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website. Interested growers can download the application, complete the form, and mail it in to the Oregon Department of Agriculture along with the licensing fee of $1,500.

U.S.: Marijuana Conviction On Your Record? Criminals Wanted For Scholarship

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

You might think that criminal record of yours limits your opportunities. But now there's a $1,000 law school scholarship available where applicants must prove they've already been in trouble with the law.

The Appelman Law Firm, LLC, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says the idea is designed to reward those who've made better choices after a conviction -- "those who have managed to turn their lives around and intend to pursue a career in criminal defense."

"There's a real need for passionate attorneys in criminal defense," said Avery Appelman, the firm's founder. "Nothing instills a great passion for justice quite like having suffered through the process yourself."

That's where the Appelman Law Firm Criminal Defense Scholarship comes in, and Appelman isn't alone in thinking a criminal record shouldn't be a barrier to making a better life.

"There are just too many ways to run afoul of the law for anyoen to think they are immune," Appelman said. "A mistake can easily lead to an arrest or jail."

Attempts to determine just how many criminal statutes exist have failed, because there are so many. An estimate from the government in the 1980s put it at about 3,000 in the federal system alone. Shortly afterward, another study from the American Bar Association said that was too low a figure, but couldn't come up with a better number.

Adding in state crimes only makes the situation worse. For many, avoiding a criminal record has become more a matter of luck than of being a good citizen.

California: Residency Requirement For Medical Marijuana May Be A Myth

RealCaliforniaCannabis

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The residency requirement for legally getting a medical marijuana authorization in California doesn't really exist, according to at least two Bay Area lawyers who say the industry is misinterpreting state law.

Veteran marijuana lawyer William Panzer on Thursday confirmed the contents of a talk given by another attorney, Lauren Vazquez, to a group of entrepreneurs on January 22, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

"No, there is no residency requirement," Panzer said. "It's just misinformation."

"Why not?" Panzer said. "My wife hurt her ankle in Florida and had to go to the doctor for pain pills. They didn't say, 'Sorry, you don't live in Florida.'"

Almost all authorizing physicians and dispensaries in California enforce the residency requirement, turning away tens of millions of dollars in business each year by enforcing what looks to be a non-existent rule.

One of every 20 California adults is estimated to have used cannabis medicinally for a "serious" condition, and 92 percent of them believe it was helpful, according to recent polls.

Vazquez, speaking to about 30 marijuana investors, said that the preface to the 1996 Compassionate Use Act mentions "Californians," but the preface has no legal weight. This was confirmed by the California Supreme Court in a split ruling in 2013, allowing cities and counties to ban medical marijuana activity.

Oregon: Panel To Speak On Cannabis As A Biotechnology In Eugene On Jan. 21

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A panel of experts will speak on "Cannabis as a Biotechnology" from 3:30 to 5 pm on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce at 1401 Willamette Street.

Speakers include Troy Morris of MxResearch and colleagues who will explore medical and recreational cannabis as a "real resource, a clinical tool, which should benefit Oregon most if applied effectively," reports Eugene Weekly.

"The approach creates a hub of biotechnology in Eugene, and converts the old-world I-5 drug corridor into a pipeline for research connecting performance agriculture with biotech quantification and clinical investigations that generate best practice, direction and policy," reads a statement from the organizers.

For more information, contact Paul Berger, paul@saavsus.com .

Washington: Seattle Hempfest Announces Hempfest Business Show

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Seattle Hempfest announces “The Hempfest Business Show” Industry Showcase at Seattle Center on Hempfest weekend

August 15 & 16, 2015
Saturday 10 AM - 7 PM,
Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall,
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109

With the coming of recreational marijuana legalization in Washington state, Seattle Hempfest has put on a suit and tie. A flourishing medical industry and an emerging statewide legal recreational cannabis market mean cannabis businesses are blooming, according to Hempfest, and now the former civil disobedience "protestival" is now providing a showcase for the newly legal businesses.

The Hempfest Business Show, taking place August 15 and 16 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, "is about creating an environment in which these industries flourish & mature," according to Seattle Hempfest.

Running concurrent with Hempfest, which will be taking place a few blocks away, "Hempfest Business will connect business owners with the suppliers of cultivation equipment, packaging, marketing, web design, insurance, nutrients, and the myriad of other products and ancillary services it takes to run a cannabis business in the modern age."

U.S.: cNation Streaming Media Channel To Focus On Cannabis Uses

MarijuanaTryIt.You'llLikeIt.

Resource Ventures, Inc., has announced that its streaming media channel, cNation, will be focusing on the many uses of cannabis.

"We've placed a premium on focusing our production efforts on the different ways cannabis is being used in addition to smoking it," said Resource Ventures Interim President Michael Cipolla. "Specifically, edible forms in a wide variety of presentations, including savory main and side dishes, snack and energy foods, desserts, drinks, tinctures, and other extracts.

"As part of our new branding, this content can be found in the cFood section of the channel," Cipolla said. The streaming media channel was formerly known as "One Plant One Planet" before being rebranded as "cNation."

Company research suggests a certain segment of the population is keenly interested in cannabis for a variety of different reasons, but is unfamiliar with the myriad of ways in which it can be ingested beyond smoking it.

"Everyone is familiar with the fact that cannabis is primarily smoked, so we didn't feel a compelling need to place much emphasis on that method of use," Cipolla said. "Rather, we've placed our focus on the different ways cannabis is being used in both commercial and home kitchens to create incredible food and drink selections for both medicinal and recreational uses."

U.S.: Weed Websites Available! Ganjapreneur Announces New Cannabis Domain Market

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Ganjapreneur, a website dedicated to cannabis business news and culture, has recently announced the launch of their Cannabis Domain Name Market.

“Ganjapreneur is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in legal cannabis space optimize and grow their business, and ultimately, a great domain name goes a long way to helping them achieve that through a highly visible online presence and strong brand,” said Andrew Rosener, founder and CEO of Ganjapreneur.com.

"With our background in the domain space and understanding of the importance and value of a great domain name for any entrepreneur, a domain market was a clear next step and perfect fit for Ganjapreneur.com," Rosener said. "We plan to launch many more business services in the near future for our audience as well."

The market consists of hundreds of marijuana keyword and brandable domain names available for immediate purchase, sorted by category, type, and price. The market is designed to be a resource for venture capital firms and start-ups looking to get involved in the cannabis industry, and it is launched in partnership with Escrow.com, the leading escrow service for domain name transactions in order to make transactions safe and easy.

Mississippi: Town Hall Meeting On Marijuana Legalization Initiative Friday In Jackson

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A group which is gathering signatures to legalize marijuana in Mississippi has scheduled a town hall meeting for 2-3 p.m. on Friday, January 9, at the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson. At the meeting, representatives of Mississippi For Cannabis will answer questions about the group's ballot initiative, and the petition will be available for signatures.

The ballot initiative would allow the use, cultivation and sale of marijuana and industrial hemp for adults 21 years or older, reports Jimmie E. Gates at The Clarion-Ledger.

The group needs more than 107,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot. The deadline for the 2016 ballot is October 2, 2015, according to sponsor Kelly Jacobs. If they miss that deadline the group plans to shoot for the November 2017 ballot, for which the deadline is December 29, 2015.

"If the ballot initiative gets the necessary signatures and is approved by voters in a referendum, it would make it legal for adults to possess cannabis in unlimited quantities, to use as they wish, just like alcohol or cigarettes," Jacobs said. "However, it would have to be kept from minors.

"We want to legalize marijuana and decriminalize it," she said. "It's an adult discussion we should be having."

Colorado Tries 'Good To Know' Education Campaign About Legal Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado is launching a major, $5.7 million campaign to educate both residents and tourists on how to responsibly use marijuana.

The "Good To Know" campaign will begin hitting the airwaves, newspapers and the Net this month, one year after recreational marijuana sales began in the Rocky Mountain State, reports Trevor Hughes at USA Today.

The "bright, neighborly" approach is designed to educate without alienating, and is not an aversion campaign, according to Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado's chief medical officer and director of the state Department of Public Health and Environment.

The friendly tone of the ad campaign is illustrated by the spot that points out you can't legally drive a car after smoking pot -- it adds what "walking, hopping and skipping are allowed," reports the Associated Press.

The campaign appears to be the first comprehensive effort by any state to educate consumers and marijuana use and regulations after legalization. "This is still uncharted territory for us, and really for everyone in the United States," Wolk said on Monday.

Global: Willie Nelson and Stephen Colbert - The Greatest Gift of All

There is a truth that must be heard! "Let Not Mankind Bogart Love"

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from Hemp News

U.S.: New Guide Covers Issue of Drug Use at Music Events

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"Managing Drug Use at Your Event" Aimed at Event Producers, Focuses on Improving Health and Safety of Festival Attendees

Guide Calls for Drug Education, Onsite Mental Health Services and Drug Checking

In response to an increasing number of deaths at music festivals and other events in the U.S. and a rising emphasis on use of police and enforcement tactics, a new guide aims to give event producers an alternate approach that places health first when it comes to drug use. The recommendations in the guide include onsite drug education, mental health services and drug checking.

The guide states that alcohol and other drug use is “the norm at almost all events” while acknowledging that addressing illicit drug use is challenging. Drug war-era policies, such as the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act -- passed in 2003 and commonly known as the RAVE Act -- have loomed large.

The RAVE Act has been misinterpreted by many event producers as grounds to shut down their business if they take any approach to drug use beyond zero tolerance. “We know it’s a tricky subject, but it’s time to get real,” the guide states, concluding that, “The fact is, a pragmatic approach to managing drug use at events saves lives.”

As detailed by the guide, a pragmatic approach to managing drug use includes both improving practices event producers already employ, like use of security and medical teams, as well as adding new services, like onsite drug education and mental health spaces.

U.S.: Cannabis-Centered 'High Maintenance' Web Series To Debut New Episodes In February

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Vimeo on Monday announced that a new cycle of three episodes of the heralded web series "High Maintenance" will premiere exclusively on Vimeo on Demand February 5, 2015 – the second half of the series’ second season.

Created by married couple Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, the series successfully launched Vimeo On Demand’s first foray into original programming.

"High Maintenance" has received a bevy of acclaim from prestigious outlets like The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Entertainment Weekly, and Slate, among others.

The new episodes are available globally and have subtitles translated to German, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Japanese, enabling "High Maintenance"’s audience to have an incredibly wide breadth.

"High Maintenance" centers around a cannabis dealer known simply as "The Guy" (Sinclair) who slips in and out of the lives of his clients – an eclectic array of Brooklynites, from the likes of a harried personal assistant buying weed for her boss to a misunderstood asexual magician.

In this new batch of episodes, "The Guy" is poised to deliver to a new set of clients, all who have vastly different motivations – or lack there of – for smoking weed.

Pricing for the series on Vimeo on Demand remains the same as the previous cycle of three episodes: to rent episodes individually, the cost is $1.99 or EUR 2.49. To buy all episodes the cost is $7.99 or EUR 6.49.

U.S.: Marijuana Selfies Website Offers Cash, Prizes

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Howard R. Baer and Papa Baer Productions on Friday announced the launch of a new, improved MarijuanaSelfies.com web site, where individuals can post marijuana related “selfie” pictures and win cash and other prizes weekly.

Marijuana Selfies originally launched on Facebook in May of 2014, and now has 16,000 “likes” on its Facebook page.

Selfies that are posted on MarijuanaSelfies.com get rated by other users and each week the three highest-rated selfies win prizes ranging from marijuana-related clothing to accessories.

Users are also able to purchase MarijuanaSelfies.com apparel and participate in nationwide events.

Cash prizes of $175 to the 3 top vote-getters are given out monthly, while prizes of Marijuana Selfies clothing, cell phone covers, etc. are given to the weekly winners.

“The marijuana community is making its way into the mainstream, and through Facebook and other accounts, I’ve found that it is a very tight knit, fun loving, and friendly community," said founder Howard R. Baer.

"I thought it would be great for the community to have its own special place to post pictures, so we created MarijuanaSelfies.com.”

Marijuana Selfies Facebook Page

U.S.: Cannabis World Congress & Expo Set For NYC In June 2015; LA In September

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In 2015, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition will again take place in the epicenter for business and media, New York City, June 17-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Fall will take place September 16-18, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles.

The International Cannabis Association (ICA) has entered into a strategic partnership with H.A. Bruno, LLC, a global B2B event producer for more than 40 years, to form Leading Edge Events, LLC. Leading Edge Events will now oversee the management and business development of the ICA’s trade shows and conferences centered around the legal marijuana industry in the United States.

“All of the industry’s varied interests are coming into perfect alignment for this event," said Leading Edge Events spokesman Don Berey. "Exhibitors, buyers, legislators, and ICA trade association members have all been polled and everyone is in agreement that it’s go, go, go to New York’s Javits Center next June.”

The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Fall in Los Angeles will include dispensary owners, growers, suppliers, investors, medical professionals, government regulators, legal counsel, and entrepreneurs, according to Berey.

California: S.F. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Fund Gun Buyback Event

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical cannabis dispensaries in San Francisco want illegal guns off the street, and they're willing to put their money where their mouths are.

A gun buyback in South of Market last weekend, on the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Connecticut, was underwritten by three dispensaries and a marijuana attorney, reports Chris Roberts at the SF Examiner.

South of Market dispensaries The Green Door and Barbary Coast, Tenderloin-area dispensary Grassroots, and the legal firm Hallinan & Hallinan gave $35,000 to provide the funds to buy back illegal firearms, according to attorney Brendan Hallinan.

"It's giving back a little bit to law enforcement, contributing to public safety," Hallinan said. "And pot clubs are often accused of creating crime, of causing robberies. ... We wanted to counter that a little bit."

Anyone who turned in a handgun got $100; assault weapons fetched $200. All guns were accepted, no questions asked, by law enforcement.

It's believed this is the first time marijuana businesses have funded a gun buyback.

"We want to participate in society, we want to contribute," said Mike Nolin, The Green Door's founder and CEO of medical cannabis consulting firm Boss Enterprises.

Photo: Oakland Police Department

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