July 02, 2018
A seasoned postal worker is accused of carrying out a marijuana scheme using his position in Hampton.
According to court records, Darryl Harding was running the marijuana scheme that involved getting over 220 pounds of marijuana over the course of a year.
Harding, who is in the post office for 33 years as per US postal officials, was arrested Wednesday for bribery and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.
The Court documents revealed that the seasoned postal worker carried out the alleged scheme between March 2017 and May 2018.
Harding allegedly took money from his co-conspirators to divert packages that contained marijuana from their intended address and deliver those packages to them.
Apart from Harding, two others - Phillip Miller and Leory Williams Jr. - were also arrested for possessing marijuana with an indentation to deliver.
“These are people that are in a position of public trust. This is serious stuff,” said TCC Department of Criminal Justice Head Richard James who is a criminal analyst for News 3.
“I actually think it’s kind of insane. I would never put my life or my job on the line,” said Krysta Nichols, postal customer, ” I’m surprised it went under the radar for that long.”
The US postal service issued a statement:
“While the vast majority of USPS personnel are hard-working and trustworthy individuals who are dedicated to delivering the mail and would never consider engaging in criminal behavior, these charges reflect the select few who decide to betray that trust. This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated.”
“All the accused have the right for due process. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty so it’s basically going to be up to the evidence that they have and the decision of the court,” said James.
All three men are expected to appear before the court July 13th.
June 28, 2018
Heartened by President Donald Trump's recent comments about marijuana, two Tennessee lawmakers are naming a state bill to legalize medical marijuana after him.
Two lawmakers - Rep. Bryan Terry (R) and Sen. Steve Dickerson (R) - plan to renew efforts next year to legalize medical marijuana bill in the General Assembly named the Tennessee Responsible Use of Medicinal Plants Act — TRUMP Act.
The lawmakers, who are against legalizing recreational use of marijuana, had unsuccessfully pressed a medical cannabis bill in this year's General Assembly.
According to the Times Free Press, Terry and Dickerson’s bill would expand medical research for treatment with cannabis and cannabis extracts.
Both of them are retired pharmacists and have voiced reservations about such moves, saying more federal research is needed.
"We believe Tennessee patients and physicians have the right to participate in research utilizing cannabis and that our agricultural, higher education, and life science industries are well equipped to be world leaders in this research," Terry stated in a news release.
Earlier this month, Trump had signaled that he would back a federal congressional effort to gives states the ability to decide whether to legalize marijuana without federal interference.
The Tennessee lawmakers had in 2015 passed a "Right to Try Act" which allowed terminally ill patients to try medicines that have passed Phase One of federal Food and Drug Administration trials.
Likewise, several Tennessee House committees tried to legalize medical marijuana this year, top Senate leaders including Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally and Speaker Pro Tempore Ferrell Haile opposed the legislation.
June 28, 2018
Oklahoma voters on Tuesday elected to legalize medical marijuana. With this Oklahoma became the 30th state to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Voters approved Oklahoma State Question 788, overcoming a late opposition campaign from law enforcement and business, faith and political leaders.
According to Cannabis Wire, a group opposed to medical marijuana spent $815,000 in a campaign to defeat the ballot initiative, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association spent a further $95,000 against the initiative.
However, as many as 56 percent of voters out of 99 percent of precincts reporting, supported medical marijuana, while 43 percent opposed it.
Voters in neighboring Arkansas legalized the drug for medical use in 2016, but Oklahoma is among the most conservative states to approve its use.
State Question 788 allows the licensed individuals 18 and older to use, sell, and grow medicinal marijuana. They need a board-certified physician’s signature for the medical use marijuana. Minors can get a license but will require the approval of two physicians and their parent or legal guardian.
The proposed law outlines no qualifying conditions, which would allow physicians to authorize its use for a broad range of ailments and make it easier, compared to other states, to obtain pot for medicinal uses.
Under the proposed law, a two-year medical marijuana license would allow someone to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, six mature plants and six seedlings, along with edibles and concentrated forms of the drug.
Despite the limited research, 30 states, including Oklahoma, have now moved forward with medical marijuana while the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a marijuana-based drug, Epidiolex, to treat childhood epilepsy.
The federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug.
Other red states, including Arkansas and Utah, are weighing medical marijuana ballot initiatives this year, while Michigan residents will vote on legalizing the drug outright in November.
June 26, 2018
In a nationwide first, the U.S. health regulators Monday approved prescription drug made from marijuana.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called Epidiolex.
Epidiolex will be legally used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two serious and rare kinds of epilepsy.
It is considered as a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing legalization for recreational and medical use.
According to the FDA, Epidiolex, a strawberry-flavored syrup, is the first approved treatment for Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex which is also known as cannabidiol, or CBD, is extracted from marijuana sativa plants. But it does not produce the high typically associated with marijuana because it does not contain the psychoactive ingredient THC.
CBD oil is currently sold online and in specialty shops across the U.S., though its legal status remains murky.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement said, “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies.”
The FDA approval for Epidiolex is technically limited to patients with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, two rare forms of epilepsy for which there are few treatments. But doctors will have the option to prescribe it for other uses.
Since both Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet synonym appear in early childhood, Epidiolex is legal in treatment for patients two-year-old and above. Both syndromes feature uncontrollable and severe seizures resulting in some form of learning disability, such as hindered languages and motor skills.
As per the FDA, sleepiness, sedation, lethargy, elevated liver enzymes, decreased appetite, diarrhea, rash, weakness, insomnia, poor quality sleep and infections are some side effects presented in the clinical trials.
Because of its relation to marijuana, CBD is currently considered a Schedule I drug. Trials were conducted to examine the abuse potential of CBD.
Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Another 20 states allow medical marijuana, but the U.S. government continues to classify it as a controlled substance with no medical use, in the same category as heroin and LSD.
June 26, 2018
Chicago police busted a massive marijuana-racket and seized more than 1,500 pounds of cannabis products worth $10M.
As per a Facebook post of the cops, marijuana was found during a traffic stop. A CDP police dog alerted the officers to the smell of drugs loaded in a vehicle and trailer pulled over by Narcotics Unit officers and investigators ended up seizing more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana.
The cops also recovered other cannabis products and paraphernalia from the vehicle and arrested its driver, a 42-year-old man, who has been identified as Jason Tanner of Lakehead.
Police charged Tanner with Cannabis - possess more than 5000 grams, a felony and sent him to the custody immediately.
While interrogating Tanner, officers learned that the he was carrying the narcotics to Chicago from California.
June 24, 2018
A Marianna man was arrested after he was found possessing bags of marijuana at Days Inn in Marianna, Fla.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office arrested Shareef Fed, 35, on Friday after finding him with bags of marijuana.
The deputies, after getting strong odor of marijuana while patrolling, intercepted several individuals at Days Inn in Marianna.
During the course of the investigation, deputies found Fed possessing individually wrapped bags of marijuana which he was planning to distribute in the area.
While interrogating Fed, the deputies came to known that the bags were consistent with being packaged for distribution. Based on the evidence, Fed was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Later, the Deputies sent Fed to the Jackson County Correctional Facility. There he is slated to await first appearance.
June 24, 2018
Boston’s first recreational marijuana business license was issued to a marijuana grower in Milford after State regulators voted unanimously Thursday.
The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) granted marijuana business license to Sira Naturals. As per the license Sira Naturals can grow marijuana between 10,001 and 20,000 square feet at their indoor facility at 13 Commercial Way in Milford.
The CCC granted marijuana business license to Sira Naturals after learning that it was following all local zoning ordinances and town bylaws. The company had submitted its application before any other companies, on April 18.
The provisional license is conditional upon a fingerprint-based check of state and federal criminal databases, payment of the $5,000 annual license fee, a certification that the company is in compliance with the Department of Public Health's regulations for medical marijuana, and other conditions.
The CCC was allowed to issue business licenses to marijuana companies since June 1. After issuing license to Sira Naturals, the CCC now expects that retail sales will begin on or around July 1 even though the regulators have not yet licensed any retail shops.
CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said that the CCC expects to consider license applications at its meetings for the foreseeable future.
"It's the beginning, not the end," he said. "This is the first license we're taking up for deliberation, but we expect as we go forward over the next few weeks and months that every meeting will have a few additional ones ... this is going to become a regular process.
Sira Naturals already grows marijuana for medical patients at its Milford cultivation facility and operates medical dispensaries in Cambridge, Somerville and Needham. It also grows more than 60 strains of marijuana and turns it into cookies, caramels and other edibles.
Sira Naturals now plans to be fully operational within four months of being licensed.
June 24, 2018
The first medical marijuana dispensary of Brevard County officially opened in Palm Bay on Thursday.
The medical marijuana dispensary named Curaleaf was opened at 1420 Palm Bay Road NE.
Over 50 people who had their medical marijuana cards purchased
products ranging from capsules to oils to flowers after the
Prior to Curaleaf, Brevard's nearest medical marijuana dispensaries
were in Vero to the south in Indian River County and Edgewater to the
north in Volusia County.
Speaking about the opening of the dispensary, Michelle Terrell,
director of sales and marketing for Curaleaf, siad, "It's very
important to the residents due to the fact that many of them that
suffer from the conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana
have to drive many hours to pick up their orders."
"This was a location that we definitely saw that needed a lot of
attention," she said.
The new Curaleaf location was a welcome site for many patients leaving
in Palm Bay.
Chris Haver, who is suffering from PTSD, said that he will be able to
buy medical marijuana from Curaleaf in Palm Bay which he was getting
Patients willing to buy medical marijuana products from the clinic
need to be seen by a certified physician who diagnoses the person as
suffering from one of the 10 conditions covered under the state's
medical marijuana laws.
From there patients must sign up with the state's medical marijuana
users registry. After that it takes 10-15 days to receive a registration card/number.
At Curaleaf first-time customers have to show ID, and the registration
number, and meet privately with a trained consultant on the available
medical marijuana options. All of it is based on the doctor's
As of now 13 licensed doctors are there in Brevard to give the OK on
medical marijuana. However, the number expected to grow each year, as
likely will the number of dispensaries.
In a bid to allow medical marijuana for certain medical conditions,
Florida voters in voted in favor of the constitutional amendment,
known as Amendment 2, in 2016.
Amendment 2 gave doctors the authority to recommend marijuana for
patients who have AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, Crohn's
disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's
disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating medical
In February, Brevard County Commissioners approved medical marijuana
dispensaries in unincorporated Brevard County.
June 22, 2018
Putting all speculation to the rest, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Fentanyl-laced marijuana has been found in Tennessee.
The TBI confirmed that the Fentanyl-laced marijuana was found in one of the forensic labs of the city.
Tommy Farmer, the TBI Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Division and Director of the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force, said that marijuana sample turned into the TBI Crime Lab in Nashville tested positive for Fentanyl, a powerful and narcotic painkiller, which is considered deadly when administered even in small doses.
Farmer said that there are about 27, 28 states right now that have passed some form of legalization and we suspect that the Fentanyl-laced marijuana is shipped in from different states including Oregon, Washington State, Colorado and California.
More than a year now rumors of fentanyl-laced marijuana have been popping up across the country. Even the former agent of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Neil Morganstern was asked about Fentanyl appearing in other drugs on one of the October editions of Inside Tennessee in 2017.
Even people, in many online sources, claimed marijuana dealers are lacing their product with Fentanyl for a stronger high.
“One of the things I want to get out and have students know is right here in the state of Tennessee, we’ve had incidents of marijuana laced with Fentanyl,” he said.
The TBI could not identify it at that time as forensic scientists in all three labs statewide, could not find any Fentanyl-laced marijuana drug samples.
T.J. Jordan, Assistant Director for TBI's Drug Investigation Division, meanwhile, expressed concern with finding Fentanyl in any non-opioid drugs, which he said could be a deadly combination.
“For some time now, we’ve warned about the dangers surrounding Fentanyl for those struggling with opioid or prescription drug addiction," Jordan said. "This submission (of Fentanyl mixed with cocaine), however, changes the game. It proves the serious risk now also applies to recreational drugs beyond opioids. To be blunt: What you might buy and use, thinking it’s a good time, could cost you your life.”
June 20, 2018
Canada Senate passed a historic bill on Tuesday with a vote of 52-29 paving the way for a fully legal recreational marijuana market within eight to 12 weeks.
With this Canada became only the second country in the world after Uruguay and the first G7 nation to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market.
The Canadian in the House of Commons lawmakers had on Monday voted 205-82 the bill that would allow free consumption of the mind-altering drug.
Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, now will lift a 90-year-old ban on recreational marijuana.
"We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn't worked," independent Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the Upper House, said.
The act to legalize the recreational use of weed was first introduced on April 13, 2017, and was later passed at the House of Commons in November. The Senate passage of the bill was the final hurdle in the process.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised during his 2015 election campaign to legalize marijuana and to keep it away from underage users and reduce related crime.
On Twitter, Trudeau praised the bill and focused on Canada's youth.
"It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate," he tweeted.
The Government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September.
Once the bill is formally approved adults, 18-year-old or older, will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.
However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana. Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or when neither of those options are available federally licensed producers. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
June 19, 2018
The Canadian House of Commons on Monday voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
The Canadian in the House of Commons lawmakers voted 205-82 a bill that would allow free consumption of the mind-altering drug.
The lawmakers accepted some of the Senate’s proposed amendments on the bill, sending the bill back to the upper chamber for continued debate and a final decision.
The bill is most likely to receive royal assent by the Governor General before becoming law, likely by September.
The bill would lift a 95-year-old ban on recreational marijuana.
With this, Canada will also be the first G7 country to regulate production, possession and sale of marijuana to Canadians over the age of 18.
Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair last week had informed that the government will legalize marijuana in September only if the legislation to legalize marijuana passes by the end of the week as the House of Commons is slate to adjourn for the summer on June 22.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Blair had said, "Upon Royal Assent a decision will be made by the government as to a date of implementation."
"We're probably looking at a date of implementation somewhere towards the beginning of September, perhaps mid-September,” he added.
The House of Commons, however, turned down some of the Senate's proposed amendments, including a ban on pot producers selling branded merchandise and giving provinces the power to ban homegrown marijuana.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has acknowledged smoking a joint with friends "five or six times" including since being elected as an MP, had promised during his 2015 election campaign to legalize the weed.
Regulated medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001.
June 14, 2018
Some in the cannabis industry fear that rules around how recreational marijuana can be marketed will present a big challenge for cannabis companies and dispensaries.
They claimed that recreational marijuana marketing will face a major challenge as ads on Facebook and Google, according to the rules which were discussed at the Canadian Cannabis Summit in Calgary, are prohibited and dispensaries can't be listed on a Google map.
Other rules will prevent cannabis companies from marketing their brands on swag — like T-shirts — in addition to other proposed advertising restrictions similar to the rules for tobacco.
Lindsay Blackett, head of the Canadian Cannabis Chamber, says the recommendations outlined during the cannabis summit are short-sighted.
"It makes one wonder, if the goal is to get rid of organized crime and to keep it out of the hands of young people and make sure there is a regulated product, how do all of these things help with that goal?" he said.
But the summit's co-founder Crystal DeCnodder doesn't think starting off with tighter rules is necessarily a bad thing.
"Our government, our governing bodies would rather do it as safely as possible because we don't want to normalize cannabis use for people who are under 18," she said. "I think there will be a relaxation on what we can say and perhaps if it becomes federally legal in the U.S., companies where Facebook is hosted or is like, home to, maybe those will relax."
The Canadian Cannabis Summit, which was held on June 7 and 8, was described as the "first in Western Canada to bring together medical and therapeutic professionals, policy makers and law enforcement, investment and business strategists, innovation, technology and community leaders."
On Thursday, Canada's senate passed the federal government's Bill C-45 bill by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention to legalize cannabis which will now move back to the House of Commons.
MPs will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the proposals before sending the bill back to the Senate for another vote.
If passed, Bill C-45 would legalize the sale, use, possession, and limited cultivation of marijuana for adults 18 and older. The individuals can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.
While a total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products, individuals, under the new law, could grow up to four plants at home for personal use.
June 07, 2018
Canada's Senate on Thursday approved the Justin Trudeau government's landmark legislation to lift Canada's 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis. If ultimately implemented, Canada would become the first G7 nation to fully legalize cannabis.
Bill C-45 passed in the chamber Senate late Thursday by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention, but included four dozen amendments that the House of Commons will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning it to the Senate for another vote before becoming it a law.
If passed, Bill C-45 would legalize the sale, use, possession, and limited cultivation of marijuana for adults 18 and older. The individuals can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.
While a total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products, individuals, under the new law, could grow up to four plants at home.
The bill will also allow the federal government and the provinces to levy taxes on legal weed sales amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
The initial timeline for legal recreational cannabis sales called for it to be available by July 1, Canada's national day, but August or September now appears more likely as some provinces and police forces have argued they need more time. The provinces have been left in charge establishing how and where marijuana will be sold.
Earlier this year, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor had said that marijuana would only go on sale a few months after it was legalised because the new retail system needs time to start working properly.
The Prime Minister’s promise to legalize recreational marijuana has fueled investment and speculation in the cannabis sector with cultivators like Canopy Growth Corp, Aphria Inc, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF and Aurora Cannabis Inc have been at the center of investor frenzy surrounding attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001 and is grown by federally licensed producers. Canadians, especially the young, are among the world's heaviest marijuana users.
June 07, 2018
Michigan residents will decide whether to legalize the sale, possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes in November. This was decided by the Michigan Legislature on Tuesday after a state board certified supporters had turned in enough signatures to qualify for the fall ballot.
The state Board of Canvassers agreed that backers of the ballot measure had turned in about 277,000 valid signatures, more than the 252,523 they needed to qualify for the ballot.
The Michigan Senate leader wanted legislators to pass the bill to make it easier to change later, but support was lacking in the House.
If the measure is now passed by voters in November, it will take a three-quarters super-majority vote to amend the proposal.
The proposal would:
- Legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use for people over the age of 21. But an individual could keep up to 10 ounces of marijuana at home
- Tax marijuana sales with a 10 percent excise tax at the retail level as well as the state's 6 percent sales tax
- Split those revenues, with 35 percent going to K-12 education, 35 percent to roads, 15 percent to the communities that allow marijuana businesses in their communities and 15 percent to counties where marijuana business are located
- Allow communities to decide whether they’ll allow marijuana businesses in their towns
- Require testing and safe transportation of marijuana in the state
- Allow for three categories of marijuana grow operations: up to 500 plants, up to 1,000 plants or up to 2,000 plants
- Have the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs set the rules surrounding recreational use of marijuana and take the lead in handing out licenses. Under the current medical marijuana law, a five-member board appointed by the governor, Senate majority leader and speaker of the House award licenses to medical marijuana businesses
If the ballot measure is successful, Michigan would be the 10th state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. It would also be the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational pot; most states that have passed ballot measures are in the West or Northeast.
Michigan voters had approved medical marijuana in 2008 by a 63 percent-37 percent margin and the Legislature passed bills in 2016 to regulate and tax the industry, which is expected to become a $700 million market annually once the state begins awarding licenses.
June 04, 2018
Delaware State police Saturday arrested a clinic owner in Delaware on charges of medical marijuana fraud.
Delaware State cop said Carolan Krajewski, 37, owner of Delaware Holistic Medicine in Lewes, was arrested for submitting fraudulent applications for medical marijuana.
Krajewski, who is also known as Carolan Fischer, taken into custody based on a search warrant which was executed with the assistance of the Delaware State Police Drug Diversion Unit and the Division of Professional Regulations.
Krajewski has been charged with three counts of felony tampering with public records first degree and three counts of felony forgery second degree.
Police say applications for medical marijuana submitted from the clinic, which was formerly known as Disjointed, had fraudulent signatures in the physician section. The Medical Marijuana Compliance Program had been contacted about the fraudulent signature and further investigation linked Krajewski to the fraudulent activity. Police say none of the patients had ever been seen by a physician, but had dealt solely with Krajewski.
The website of Delaware Holistic Medicine says its philosophy is "that it should be affordable, easy and accessible to receive medical marijuana evaluations for medical marijuana cards."
Not even a single doctor has been arrested in the case so far and no marijuana was found at the clinic, police said.
Later, Krajewski was released on a $2,250 unsecured bond.
Further probe into the case is on, meanwhile, police asked people with additional information to contact Sgt. D. Rementer, Troop 4 Sussex County Financial Crimes Unit at 302-752-3814.
An investigation into the matter had started in May after members of the Delaware State Police Sussex County Financial Crimes Unit knew about fraudulent activity taking place in the clinic.