• California begins issuing recreational pot licenses

    December 16, 2017

    In a boost to recreational cannabis market, California issued its first batch of business licenses for the sell and transport of recreational pot. The sales are scheduled to begin from January.

    The State will issue 20 temporary licenses in the first phase. “We plan to issue many more before January 1,” Lori Ajax, the state’s top marijuana regulator, said in a statement.

    The first temporary license was distributed to Pure CA, which does business as Moxie brand products, a company known for its cannabis extracts.

    “I couldn’t be more excited.California has been without regulations for a very long time. So there is going to be a transition period,” said Moxie CEO Jordan Lams, after receiving the license.

    The first license for recreational retail sales was awarded to Torrey Holistics in San Diego, who gave credit to his detailed application for helping him get the first license for recreational pot shop. The store had submitted 60-page lease, diagrams and a detailed business plan.

    “I think it’s how we conduct our business. We all have a professional background,” he said.

    Hall, who opened the shop two years ago, said he sees recreational marijuana taking off like the wine and craft beer industries.

    “California has been without regulations for a very long time. So there is going to be a transition period,” he said.

    At Hall’s shop, customers go through an electronic security gate manned by a guard. Once inside, the business looks like a stylish pharmacy with wood floors and Christmas decorations.

    “The taboo part is slowly going to be removed and this is going to be like any other business,” Hall said.

    California approved legalization last year when the voters approved sales of recreational cannabis to adults.

  • Michigan starts accepting licenses for marijuana business

    December 16, 2017

    Michigan began accepting medical marijuana license applications from Friday, for setting up of the State’s new, regulated medical marijuana facilities.

    People flocked in at the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on Friday morning. The Department also accepted 48-page online application which costs $6,000, which can be paid via credit card or electronic check.

    The state will be accepting applications for five categories of medical marijuana licenses - grower, processor, testing facility, secure transporter and dispensary.

    Michigan had already approved a law for its growth and use in 2008. So far, the state has 42,406 caregivers and 265,607 patients. However, the law didn’t speak much about the commercial use of marijuana.

    In 2016, a tighter and more regulated Medical Marijuana Facilities Act was developed, which set up a broader framework for the licensing and regulation of commercial marijuana use.

    The licenses are expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2018.

    The applicants have two options to fill for obtaining the license - applicants can either turn in their application for per-qualification purposes, which allows the businesses to fill out and submit the application before it has received approval from the local community in which it wants to locate. In such a situation, the state will do a full background check. The other method – the applicants can go for license qualification, which includes all the necessary information for a license, including a location and approval from a community.

    The elected officials in many communities are yet to take a call on whether they will allow medical pot business to flourish in their locality.

    Michigan is expected to generate $711 million in sales and $21 million in tax revenues for the state. There is no limit on the number of licenses the state can issue.

  • Teen pot use drops in most states post legalization

    December 16, 2017

    The teen use cannabis has shown a decreasing trend in most of the states which has legalized it, report suggests. As per data compiled by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the percentage of marijuana use among teens in Colorado is down by three points in 2015-2016 as compared to 2014-2015.

    For Colorado, the rate of past-month marijuana use by teens between 12 to 17 years dropped from 11.3 percent in 2014-2015 to 9.08 percent in 2015-2016. The survey had used pooled two-year periods to increase sample sizes and statistical accuracy for state-level data. Colorado was ranked number 1 in teen cannabis use last year.

    Colorado now ranks at seventh position nationally, in teen marijuana use. Alaska, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermontare ranked higher.

    The results are contrary to objections raised by people against legalization of cannabis. Similarly, in Washington D.C., there has been a three-point drop in pot use among teens.

    The drop in annual teen marijuana use was seen across the USA, but was less significant on other areas besides Colorado and Washington. The two states are the first ones to legalize marijuana. A marginal decline was also observed in Oregon. The data in Alaska, on the other hand, showed a slight increase in cannabis use among teens.

    However, the data also shows an increase in the use of pot among young adults between 18 to 25 years and adults above 26 years.

    The survey is against the belief that legalizing marijuana would lead to substantial increase in use by the adolescents. However, advocates argue that regulating the market has given teens less access to cannabis.

  • Medical Marijuana curriculum in Massachusetts!

    December 04, 2017

    Yes, it's official! The Massachusetts Medical Society has prepared a medical education curriculum on medical marijuana. While the society continues to oppose both medical and recreational marijuana use as a matter of its policy, it could take into account the ground reality, which shows the urgency for many patients who use marijuana.

    Medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts in 2012. The recreational marijuana was approved in 2016. The Medical Society admitted that it has to see how the law can be implement with least injury, toxicity and without causing more damage to mental and physical health of the people.

    The medical marijuana curriculum was developed by TheAnswerPage.com, a medical education website. It will teach doctors about dosing of marijuana and drug interactions as well as about the medical, physiological and mental health impacts that marijuana causes.

    The course will also teach about the use of medical marijuana to treat specific diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis etc. It also sheds light on how federal law views medical marijuana and its impacts.

    Currently, only 210 doctors in Massachusetts have been authorized to recommend marijuana to patients. It clearly shows majority of doctors are not comfortable with it and need more training. The Medical Society may not try to convince the doctors to write recommendations for marijuana, but believes that they need to be educated about the pot.
  • Michigan: Pro-Marijuana Group claims of getting required support

    November 17, 2017

    Leaders of a pro-marijuana group, which has been spearheading a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana, have claimed that they have gathered enough signature to put the issue statewide in 2018 ballot. While, 252,523 votes are required to be on the ballot, the group has gathered at least 360,000 signatures.

    The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol , has confirmed the development. The group now needs only about $30,000 to pay off a signature-collection vendor before its leaders can submit truckloads of signed petitions to the Michigan Secretary of State.

    They would hold a press conference in Lansing November 20 before submitting the signatures to the state. They want to make it legal for adults 21 and older to be able to use marijuana with safety measures in place.

    The group in Michigan was bolstered by the recent surprise success of pro-marijuana initiatives in Detroit, as despite strong opposition from Detroit City Council members and church leaders, voters passed two ballot measures by huge margins to withdraw regulation on city's medical marijuana shops.

    The tough ordinance forced closure of shops/dispensaries near parks, churches, schools and day care centers. However, the voters rejected the ordinance, freezing the process of closures. 60% voters give thumbs up to allow more such facilities, while 58% favored easing of zoing rules on the businesses.
  • Indiana Prosecutors strongly oppose Medical Marijuana Legalization

    November 09, 2017

    Indiana's county prosecutors have opposed to marijuana legalization stating that the plant’s not medicine.’

    In a letter sent to Republican Governor Eric Holcomb last week, the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys have warned that any type of marijuana legalization would come with grave consequences.

     “Reports abound of efforts to legalize marijuana in the state of Indiana. We respectfully ask the (administration) to formally oppose the legalization of marijuana in any form, for any purpose,” wrote David N. Powell, the association's executive secretary.

    “We strongly believe both medicinal and recreational marijuana legalization are wrong for Indiana. We urge you to take a stand against these policies that would cause further harm to communities already suffering from the devastating effects of drug abuse.”

    The argument comes after Representative Jim Lucas’s statement that he will “100 percent full-throttle”support the legalization of medical marijuana.

    The Prosecuting Attorney’s group have made three points in their plea.

    “Marijuana use increases the risk of the abuse of opioids and other controlled substances, it claimed that marijuana is not a medicine and it argued that the legalization of marijuana has had ‘devastating effects’ in other states,” the group has cited.

    Though marijuana is considered illegal under the Federal Law, most of the states, have legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of patients who hold a license.

    The prosecutors, however, say the legalization could worsen drug crisis, citing those who argue that marijuana can be used as medicine are relying on “half-truths and anecdotal evidence.”

    In 2016, Holcomb had signed a law allowing epilepsy patients in Indiana,to use cannabidiol, often referred to as CBD.

  • Cops seize 97 pounds marijuana while searching for suspect

    October 31, 2017

    Police have arrested three persons from Crown Heights Apartment in Brooklyn for possessing 97 pounds of marijuana and nearly a million in cash, officials have informed. The accused have been identified as Humphrey Olivo, 36, Yazmin Olivo, 30 and Jose Pichardo, 28.

    The cops raided 899 Montgomery StreetTroy and Schenectady avenues, after securing a search warrant of the building. The warrant was issued following a joint operation by the NYPD and Jersey City Police into a drug ring operating out of the building. According to authorities, the officers were assisting the Jersey City police track down a man wanted for arson and terrorist threat charges.

    When the police reached the spot, another person answered the door and even invited the cops inside, despite having the drugs in plain sight. After obtaining the search warrant, the police unearthed more marijuana and cash at their home.  However, there is no information on whether the person the cops were looking for, has been found.

    The Olivos have been charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal sale of marijuana and criminal use of marijuana. Pichardo was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal sale of marijuana and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

    Humphrey and Yazmin Olivo are living at 899 Montgomery Street and Pichardo is a resident of a building on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

    The drugs and $931,000 amount in cash have been seized by the police during the raid which was carried out on Friday.