• Virginia’s 1st Medical Marijuana Dispensary coming up in Hampton

    August 14, 2018

    The first medical marijuana dispensary in Virginia is likely to come up in Hampton.

    Hampton-based startup company Rx Native Pharmaceuticals is planning to invest $8 million to launch a medical marijuana dispensary in Hampton.

    Rx Native Pharmaceuticals is seeking the conditional permit for Health District 5, as designated by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy (BOP).

    District 5 comprises 24 localities, including the Peninsula, Southside, Middle Peninsula and parts of Northern Neck.

    "I think it changes lives and I really want to be able to bring it to the Hampton and District 5 community," said CEO of RX Native Pharmaceuticals, Chantra Stevenson.

    The Virginia Board of Pharmacy is only approving five conditional permits for medical marijuana dispensaries, one for each of the five health districts in the state.

    Under the BOP requirements, an applicant has up to a year to complete and meet all necessary criteria to receive the state permit. Once a company is granted a full license, it would get an inspection and ultimately a full permit to grow marijuana plants.

    If awarded, the business would grow, make and sell the medicinal cannabis oil, which doesn't contain the psychoactive components that get you high.

    Besides, it is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the city in a bid to become the first of its kind licensed in Virginia.

    The Virginia Board of Pharmacy is scheduled to award an applicant by September 25. 

    If Rx Native is chosen, she says they could be up and running as early as the winter of 2019.

  • North Charleston police arrests 4 men holding marijuana, cash

    August 13, 2018

    The North Charleston police busted a drug racket near the city’s Dorchester-Waylyn community and arrested four men. Besides, they found marijuana worth of nearly $110,000 and cash.

    Five guns, including a military-style rifle, were also collected from the spot during the raid.

    The arrested suspects have been identified as Jareem Michael Miller, 25, of Crestline Drive, Truvon Antonio Gilliard, 26, also of Crestline Drive, Lamar Amare Watson, 27, of Lambs Road and Quantez Tyre Guest, 24, of Peacock Avenue.

    North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said members of the Narcotics Unit, SWAT, and SPEED Team units got a warrant to search 2722 Crestline Drive as a part of an ongoing investigation.

    When the crews showed up, two men ran through a side door, but officers caught them, Pryor said. The SWAT team arrested two more men inside the home.

    Later, during a search in the house revealed nearly 20 pounds of marijuana that would carry a street value of about $90,000, $18,000 in cash and the guns, Pryor added. One of the handguns had an extended magazine.

    Soon after the raid, police photographed the evidence after the operation.

    According to cops, Miller, Gilliard and Watson have been charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

    On the other hand, Guest has been charged with trafficking marijuana and possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime.

    All of them were jailed on counts of trafficking marijuana and possession of a firearm in a violent crime. The drug charge carries between one and 10 years in prison.

  • Marijuana sales in Denver reach record high of $587 million

    August 13, 2018

    Marijuana sales in Colorado’s Denver dispensaries reached a record high as they sold more than $587 million in marijuana in 2017.

    According to the city’s annual report on the marijuana industry released Thursday, the retail sales totaled $377 million in Denver.

    The revenue from all marijuana sales in the city grew to $44 million in 2017 which is a 20 percent increase from 2016.

    In a news release, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said, “This new report demonstrates Denver’s coordinated approach between multiple agencies to manage marijuana is working.”

     “We took on the daunting challenge of becoming the first major city in America to manage legalized recreational marijuana and we are having success,” added the press release.

    In Denver, the revenue is being used for several purposes like paying for regulation of the marijuana industry, enforcement of its laws and drug education.

    A portion of the revenue is also paid for maintenance, affordable housing and opioid intervention.

    The annual report on the marijuana industry also revealed that portion of statewide marijuana sales in Denver continues to fall as sale increased in other parts of Colorado.

    In Denver, the marijuana sales represented 39 percent of total sales in 2017 as against 48 percent in 2014.

    As per the reports, Dispensaries across Colorado sold a record of more than $ 1 billion of recreational marijuana products in 2017, a 27 percent increase from 2016. 

    Post the legalization of retail sales in 2014, dispensaries across the state have sold more than $2.8 billion of recreational marijuana.

    However, the sales of medical marijuana have gone down across the state compared to 2016.

  • Lawmakers in CNMI approve Marijuana Legalization

    August 10, 2018

    Legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory, Wednesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana.

    The CNMI House of Representatives passed the legislation by a margin of 18-1, with one abstention.

    The bill now heads to the House and if approved there, it would go to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres (R).

    With the Lawmakers’ approval of the bill, prohibition of the cannabis is all set to end.

    Under the legislation, adults over 21 years of age would be allowed to grow, possess and use marijuana. A legal and regulated system of commercial production, processing and retail sales would be created. Resulting tax revenue would be used to fund implementation of the program and other government services.

    “The people of the CNMI recognize that the prohibition of marijuana has been terribly misguided and harmful, and our leaders are in touch with the public's sentiment on this issue,” Lawrence Duponcheel of Sensible CNMI said in a statement.” Today, members of the CNMI House of Representatives showed their commitment to honoring the will of the people.”

    CNMI doesn’t yet have a medical cannabis law even. However, if the bill is enacted, CNMI will become the first U.S. jurisdiction to go directly from outlawing marijuana across the board to allowing recreational use.

    Lawmakers in Guam, another U.S. territory, have also been considering legalization.

  • Machete-wielding Man escapes after robing Kingston Marijuana Store

    August 07, 2018

    A machete-wielding man is on the ran after robing Kingston marijuana store Monday morning. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for him.

    He is suspected of using a machete during the robbery at Green Tiki Cannabis shop on Highway 104 at about 11:41 a.m.

    Though the exact quantity of the marijuana he carried from the store is yet to be known, an unconfirmed report said that the suspect made off with two ounces.

    Employees of the shop reported the police that the suspect asked to see some marijuana from behind the counter. The employee retrieved the packages and set them on the counter. 

    The suspect was described as a white mall in his early 20s, 5 feet 6 inches tall to 5 feet 10 inches tall with an athletic build.

    “The suspect then displayed a large, black-colored machete, grabbed the packages of pot and walked out the door,” according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office.  

    Deputy Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the office, informed that a sheriff's office tracking dog followed the robber’s path to where it appears he got into a vehicle and fled.

    After reviewing the surveillance footage from the area, detectives determined the suspect parked a car nearby and he was last seen driving north on Hansville Road.

    People having any information about the robbery have been asked to contact Detective Tim Keeler at 360 337 4825 or Detective Krista McDonald at 360 337 7117.

  • Marijuana worth of $6.5M seized in King Township

    August 06, 2018

    York Regional Police’s guns and gangs unit discovered a marijuana grow-op in King Township and seized 635 pounds of harvested cannabis and more than 4,000 plants, with a street value of $6.5 million. Besides, they laid charges against two men.

    After getting complaints from the community, cops inspected at property at 570 Strawberry Ln. along with officials from King bylaw, York Region public health and King Fire and Emergency Services.

    During the inspection the cops uncovered a large-scale cannabis grow operation on Friday.

    As many as 22 greenhouses on the property was also executed.

    Samkeo Vanvilay, 43, of Laval, Que. and Chi Chung Phan, 36, of Montreal, who were maintaining the plants have been arrested.

    They have been charged with producing marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

    The investigation revealed three Health Canada licenses were in place that allowed the suspects to grow a total of 875 plants each for medical purposes.

    “This criminal enterprise was operating well in excess of Health Canada authorizations to grow cannabis for medical purposes,” Chief Eric Jolliffe said.

    Further investigation into the matter is underway.

    Police have asked people those who have information to contact the guns, gangs and drug enforcement unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7817.

  • Orlandoans to march for Marijuana on August 4

    July 30, 2018

    In a bid to “fight for our right to medicate with whole plant-based cannabis” Orlandoans will march on August 4.

    As per schedule, Orlando residents and undoubtedly some visitors will march around Lake Eola Park from 2-5 p.m.

    They are hoping to gain the attention of Governor Rick Scott to “hold up our constitutionally guaranteed right to whole-flower cannabis.”

    Groups like the Florida Cannabis Club, Buds For Vets, The Weed For Warriors Project, Floridians for Cannabis, Weed for Warriors Project North Florida, Canna Fest Florida, Florida Marijuana, Central Florida NORML, Canna Chronicle, and Florida Cannabis Club will host the event in the Walt Disney Amphitheater on the western edge of Lake Eola.

    Possess whole-flower cannabis even having a medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) is still a crime in Florida.