• LASD seizes $6 million worth of Marijuana Plants, Cookies in Canyon Country

    October 22, 2016

    The Marijuana Dispensary Task Force of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on Wednesday arrested one person and seized more than $6 million worth of growing and cured marijuana as well as edible marijuana-infused products such as cookies. The arrested person is slated to appear in court on Friday.

    The task force served a search warrant at a strip mall located in the 27000 block of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country at around 8 a.m. after a civilian reported possible illegal narcotics activity, according to the sheriff’s department.

    According to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Juarez, an undetermined amount of U.S. currency and 2,484 marijuana plants at various stages of growth were seized.

    An additional 200 pounds of finished product (dried marijuana buds) and 50 pounds of edible THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) infused products, such as cookies, were seized, the Deputy said. Carbon filters and elaborate air conditioning systems were among the equipment located in the indoor grow used to produce the marijuana and prevent the odor from filtering out.

    The estimated street value of the growing plants is $6.21 million and the dried marijuana and other products were valued at $500,000, Navarro-Juarez said.

    Though three male adults were detained at the scene, two were subsequently released pending further investigation.  However, the third male, 28-year-old George Tunis, a resident of Los Angeles, was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales, the Deputy revealed.

    Tunis was booked at Santa Clarita Valley Station and released after satisfying a $30,000 bail amount, according to the sheriff’s department. He is due in court in San Fernando on Friday.

    The indoor operation used equipment like carbon filters and elaborate air conditioning systems to produce the marijuana and prevent the odor from filtering out, authorities said.

  • Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg backs Marijuana Legalization

    October 22, 2016

    Massachusetts Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg said he’s backing a ballot question that would legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes for adults in the state.

    "I'm going to vote for this ballot question," Rosenberg said on WGBH-FM on Thursday. "I believe it's going to pass."

    The Amherst Democrat took his stance on marijuana after more than a year of declining his position on Question 4, which would eliminate penalties for possessing, using, or purchasing marijuana on Dec. 15, and would allow recreational pot shops to open in 2018.

    Rosenberg, a critic of the ballot process who said legislating could be undertaken to amend the language of the referendum, considered that he and fellow lawmakers could make improvements to the question if voters approve in the November ballot.

    The ballot question would allow people of 21 years old or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. It would also allow the home cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants within the person's primary residence for personal use.

    Meanwhile, top officials on Beacon Hill, including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, Democratic House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Mayor Martin J. Walsh are working to defeat the referendum.

    They claim that legalization of marijuana for recreational use could lead people to harder drugs, including opioids, which are blamed for a surge in overdose deaths in the state in recent years.

    The opponents also worry about a billion-dollar pot industry taking advantage of the vulnerable and putting profits ahead of public health and safety.

    Taking his position, Rosenberg however said any changes to the measure, should it pass, would be focused on public health and public safety.

  • Recreational Marijuana sales in Oregon reach $160 million in 2016

    October 20, 2016

    Oregon marijuana dispensaries have sold more than $160 million worth of recreational marijuana so far in 2016, as per the latest figures from the state Department of Revenue.

    According to sales tax figures released Monday by the state Department of Revenue, more than $160 million worth of recreational marijuana products was sold in the first nine months of the year, collecting $40.2 million in sales tax payments between the start of January and the end of September.

    Marijuana retailers, who have been licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales for all flowers, edible and other marijuana items starting in January.  The tax revenues are yielding about $4 million per month, which is around twice what regulators initially predicted.

    The state tax on recreational marijuana will soon drop to 17 percent in many places. However, the local governments are allowed to add their own 3 percent tax on top of that.

    Medical marijuana dispensaries that opt not to sell recreational pot can continue to provide medical pot to patients. The OLCC, as of Monday, listed three licensed recreational marijuana retailers in Lane County. Two of the retailers are in Eugene — Emerald City Medicinal at 1474 West 6th Ave. and Hwy 99 Cannabis Co. at 1083 B Highway 99N — and one, Apothecaria, is in Cottage Grove.

    Oregon voters had legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Voters in more than 100 cities and counties around Oregon will decide in the Nov. 8 ballot whether to opt back into the marijuana business, according to the OLCC.

    Besides, Oregon other states across the US are also engaging with the issue of how to deal with the emerging marijuana business. Recreational or medical marijuana measures are on ballots in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota.

  • UK Regulator admits Marijuana extract has medicinal effect

    October 20, 2016

    In a major development, a government regulator in the United Kingdom (U.K.) on Tuesday admitted that certain marijuana products can be considered medicine for human health issues.

    The government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine, and Cannabidiol has a “restoring, correcting, or modifying” effect on “physiological functions” when administered to humans.

    “Any future products containing CBD “will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health”, said the Regulatory Agency.

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid which accounts for 40 percent of the marijuana plant’s extract. It does not contain the ‘high-inducing’ psychoactive THC, but is said to have the same health benefits as other forms of cannabis, according to the MHRA.

    “Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines’ licence before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health”, the MHRA said.

    The findings followed a review by the government’s review for the use of CBD without the psychoactive properties of THC – with the CBD vaporizer company MediPen.

    The company prompted Britain's National Health Service to review the drug in 2016 following a year of extremely positive results among its patients, relieving the pain of those with everything from depression and anxiety to arthritis and pain relief.

    “Since our inception we’ve worked hard to obtain our goal of breaking down the negative connotations surrounding cannabis to lead to a reform in the law for medicinal use,” said Jordan Owen, MediPen’s managing director. “Now this is finally becoming a reality.”

    Meanwhile, the supports of marijuana claim the CBD compound helps with diseases including cancer, depression, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • 9 US States to vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

    October 19, 2016

    The legalization of marijuana in the USA is all set to reach a tipping point as nine states have marijuana measures on the ballot this November, and more chances are there to be passed the measure in respective states.

    Voters in five states will decide whether to fully legalize recreational use, while voters in four others will weigh in on whether to allow medical marijuana.

    Five states, such as Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, will decide on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. And, in four others such as Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota, voters will consider legalizing the use marijuana for medical purposes. , which is already legal in half of the 50 states in the US.

    As Election Day approaches, various polls and research show rising support for marijuana legalization: 57 percent of U.S. adults say marijuana should be made legal, compared to just 32 percent a decade ago, found a Pew study earlier this week.

    The most populous state, California is attracting the most attention and money in an intensifying debate over Proposition 64. Big state victories -- recreational marijuana in California, medical marijuana in Florida -- could widen the gap between state and federal marijuana policies, which created high hopes for the pro-marijuana advocates that the federal government would eventually lift its nationwide ban on marijuana use.

    However, a string of defeats would signal public unease about condoning the use of an intoxicating substance that isn't tobacco or alcohol. Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level and remains a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies.

    Meanwhile, the leading candidates for U.S. president have expressed that they support states’ rights in the legalization discussion.

  • Marijuana Legalization will have a big impact on Kansas, but not all Negative

    October 19, 2016

    A new survey of law enforcement agencies, carried out by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, suggested that Legalization of marijuana in Colorado will have a big impact on Kansas. However, the impacts may not be all negative, it stated.

    Attorney General Derek Schmidt has released responses from 390 district attorneys and law enforcement agencies in the state of Kansas that indicate that there is less marijuana being confiscated, and that the potency of the drugs that they’re seeing has been increasing, according to a statement from his office.

    The survey results also found that the legal system has been swept by altering attitudes about marijuana, with some law enforcement agencies no longer enforcing drug laws much. When they do they’re finding it tough to win convictions. It’s created a confusing situation for law enforcement, with some enforcing it more strictly while others are preparing for marijuana’s legalization and are placing less emphasis on it.

    “The criminal justice system is moving in the direction of what appears to be changes in public attitude,” Schmidt said while releasing the survey. “Obviously not moving as far as some people would like, but there is obviously an evolution or a change, and this showed that it has reached the enforcement level as well.”

    Around 75 per cent of Colorado’s counties and towns reported confiscation of marijuana fewer than 5 times between 2014 and 2015. Schmidt said, law enforcement should use discretion and consider factors such as cost but they should also remain consistent. He also said, he is also concerned about the growing popularity of edibles, which are food products made with marijuana or infused with marijuana oils.

    So far, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have legalized marijuana, while Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will consider marijuana legalization this fall.

  • Marijuana Edibles come under new regulations in Colorado

    October 07, 2016

    In an aim to raise public safety awareness in Colorado, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) of the state has updated new rules and regulations regarding edible marijuana products, which came into effect on October 1.

    According to the new rule, medical and recreational marijuana edibles and other cannabis products manufactured in Colorado have to be stamped with a new “universal symbol” -- a diamond-shaped stamp enclosing the notations “! THC” or “! THC M” on the front of the marijuana package in order to distinguish the treats from their non-intoxicating counterparts.

    The edible marijuana products must also include the statement: “Contains Marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.” Marijuana companies are also restricted from calling their products "candy" or “candies”, unless part of the marijuana establishment’s name.

    All recreational sales will be limited to one ounce of flower, regardless of the type of product. Accordingly, customers are restricted to 800 milligrams of marijuana edibles or eight grams of concentrates at one time.

    Marijuana packaging must be labeled with necessary and relevant information for consumers, including a potency statement and a contaminant testing statement. The information must be easily accessible to consumers, clear and noticeable. Health and physical benefit claims cannot be included on labels.

    The new rules will enhance public health and safety by "providing yet another tool for parents, school officials, law enforcement, even health professionals, and, above all, it’s sensitive to the risk this poses to children," said Jim Burack, Director of the MED at the Colorado Department of Revenue.

    The new rules were formulated as a reaction to the increase in the number of children admitted to Colorado hospitals for consuming marijuana edibles.

    Children who consume marijuana candies may suffer from vomiting, mood changes, sleepiness and balance disorders, according to recent study by JAMA Pediatrics.