Vermont Set To Expand Medical Marijuana

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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

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Vermont – May 2, 2017
Vermont Lawmakers Approve Expansion of Medical Marijuana.

The Associated Press reports that Vermont lawmakers are expanding access to medical marijuana in the state. Legislators have approved a bill that would add additional ailments to the list of qualifying conditions AND triple the number of dispensaries in the state.

Continue reading “Vermont Set To Expand Medical Marijuana”

2017 Federal Spending Bill Extends Key Marijuana Protections

Copyright © Erik Muenker 2017 All Rights Reserved
by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive
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WASHINGTON – May 1, 2017
Marijuana advocates have reason to celebrate.

The recent Omnibus spending bill passed by the 115th GOP led Congress, maintains a key provision that has been protecting legal medical marijuana operations from federal prosecution since 2014.

Originally introduced in 2003, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment did not become law until inclusion in the 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill. The amendment, known now as Section 542, is hidden away on page 223 of a 2000+ page spending bill. The section reads as follows: Continue reading “2017 Federal Spending Bill Extends Key Marijuana Protections”

Federal Legalization of Medical Marijuana Could Save Government $3.8 Billion

Copyright © Erik Muenker 2017 All Rights Reserve
by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

In a new STUDY published by Health Affairs (April, 2017), the authors Ashley Bradford and W. David Bradford propose that the nation could save between $1 billion – $3.8 billion annuallyif medical marijuana was federally legal and available in every state.

How is this possible?

Continue reading “Federal Legalization of Medical Marijuana Could Save Government $3.8 Billion”

Is Your Weed Buying History Safe from the Feds?

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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

Federal Marijuana Crackdown Coming?

Is a federal crackdown on marijuana coming in 2017? After all, the Feds locked up over 3,500 people for marijuana related drug offenses, in 2016 alone. No one knows for sure what the new administration will do.

Should you be worried that your marijuana buying history could end up in the wrong hands?

Just think about all of the potential conflicts:

– You could be denied purchase of a firearm!
– It could jeopardize your health insurance coverage?!
– You could be denied employment!
– You might even be denied citizenship!
– Involved in a child custody proceeding?

Well Oregon legislators aren’t waiting around to find out. Oregon legalized recreational cannabis in July of 2015, and a new Oregon Bill that just passed the legislature (53-5) will prohibit marijuana retailers from keeping information collected from their customers for more than 48 hours.

Perhaps it’s time to start asking some questions.

Continue reading “Is Your Weed Buying History Safe from the Feds?”

Marijuana News: Feds Locked Up 3,500 for Weed | Cost: $28 Billion

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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive
3,500 Sentenced to Marijuana Related Offenses in 2016

According to report release by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, over 3,500 people were sentenced to marijuana related federal offenses in 2016 – more than either Crack Cocaine (1,582) or Heroin (2,830). View the entire  breakdown here.

The good news is that these numbers have dropped in half since 2012, and continue to fall year after year.

The vast majority of those sentenced went to prison, with the average prison term of 28 months.

When the statistics for marijuana offenses are broken out by race, it’s clear that Hispanics loose big.

77% of all marijuana offenders sentenced were Hispanic.

12% White

8% Black

The trend is promising, but the numbers are still highly disturbing. How long will we continue to jail people for selling a flower?

$28 Billion: Annual Cost
f Federal Prohibition on Marijuana

The Tax Foundation is a leading Washington D.C. -based nonpartisan, non-profit think tank whose mission since 1937 has been to change the world through tax policy.

Continue reading “Marijuana News: Feds Locked Up 3,500 for Weed | Cost: $28 Billion”

Wisconsin Legislature Unanimously approves Marijuana CBD Oil

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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive


Updated March 28th, 2017

Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol

Madison, WI – The Wisconsin state Assembly voted 98-0 last week, to legalize possession of CBD oil! CBD oil is a marijuana extract and is used to treat seizures, reduce pain and inflammation and may even be effective as a neuro-protectant. It won’t get you high, but many people swear by its benefits.

With the state Senate having overwhelmingly approved the bill, it now moves on to the governor’s desk for his signature. Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the legislation into law.

Unfortunately (for many), the Wisconsin bill does not go far enough. For one thing, the legislation does not allow for the production or sale of CBD oil in Wisconsin. Parents are expected to obtain CBD oil from outside the state. Then bring it back into Wisconsin, in violation of federal law. Seems a little short-sighted, doesn’t it?

Updated March 28th, 2017 

NORML-Madison-WisconsinNORML – Madison reports that Wisconsin City has removed fines for marijuana possession and consumption. 

Under a new ordinance passed this week in March, adults 21+ will no longer be subject to fine for possessing marijuana (public or private).  Using marijuana in private is also exempt from any fines. However, public use is still prohibited and subject to a $200 fine.

Continue reading “Wisconsin Legislature Unanimously approves Marijuana CBD Oil”

Is GOP led 115th Congress Shifting Views on Marijuana with new Legislation?

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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

Breaking News: Multiple Marijuana Legislative Bills could Signal Shift IN GOP

At least two bills have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in the past 6 weeks, that would end federal marijuana prohibition.

I’m Just a Bill – H.R. 715

On January 27th, 2017 – House Republican Rep. Griffith Morgan from Virginia introduced H.R. 715 to the 115th Congress. Legislation that would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, AND exclude cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana

Read more by clicking the image below.

HR715 De-schedules CBD


I’m Just a Second Marijuana Bill!

On February 27th, 2017 – House Republican Rep. Thomas Garrett of Virginia introduced legislation entitled, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.

Rep. Garrett’s legislation, if it becomes law, would end federal prohibition by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. This would in effect, leave marijuana legality/policy up to the states.

Rep. Garrett has been a vocal Trump Supporter and the timing of his bill is worth noting. AG Sessions himself suggested during his confirmation hearings – that if congress didn’t like his approach to marijuana law enforcement, they should change the laws accordingly.

Perhaps the Republicans are attempting to do just that?! First with a stick, then with a carrot?

Garrett’s office released a press release to coincide with the legislation’s introduction:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana.

The short title for this legislation is cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.” If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list – joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Garrett went on to say,

“this step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.”

Senators on Marijuana in 2017

Take a listen to Senator Schatz as he blasts AG Sessions on the Senate floor, February 8th, 2017 – over his comments disparaging marijuana.

According to the Associated Press (article), Senators from eight states with legal recreational marijuana (Washington, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska), sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 2nd, 2017 – asking him to uphold the Department of Justice’s existing enforcement policy toward marijuana.

Among those who signed this letter where Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey.

United States Marijuana Map Twitter
2017 Election  Marijuana Map

Related: Election 2016 – Marijuana Legalization Spreads Across the U.S.

Trump on Marijuana

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald speaks in front of a crowd in Reno, Nevada on October 29th, 2015.

Listen to Trump’s answer, when asked how he would approach medical and recreational marijuana.

Continue reading “Is GOP led 115th Congress Shifting Views on Marijuana with new Legislation?”

Breaking News: House Republican Bill Would Reschedule Marijuana and De-Schedule CBD


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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

115th Congress 1st SessionHouse Republican Rep. Griffith Morgan from Virginia, has introduced a bill to the 115th Congress that would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, AND exclude cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana.

Part I – The Big News | Reschedule Marijuana!

Marijuana Bill Becomes Law
Introduced in the House of Representatives on January 27, 2017, H.R. 715 would reschedule marijuana under section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812) to a schedule under section 202 other than the dreaded schedule I.


Schedule I is reserved for substances that have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use, and demonstrate a lack of acceptable safety when used under medical supervision.

No accepted medical use?

Not so fast! Clearly, marijuana does not belong under Schedule I. Marijuana has demonstrated health benefits. CBD oil, from marijuana and hemp, is used by many people to treat joint inflammation and the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. And CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.

Science is just now beginning to explore the potential health benefits of cannabis. Recent clinical research suggests applications in the treatment of anxiety and schizophrenia, and even cancer. The THCV and terpenes in marijuana and hemp may even help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and possibly even help you avoid serious health problems such as diabetes

This bill, if passed, would be truly historic. It would completely alter the landscape for the cannabis industry nationally and perhaps even globally. Although rescheduling alone would likely not immediately end Federal prohibition, it would drive a huge crack in the wall of ignorance surrounding medical and recreational marijuana.

Part II – Equally Great News | CBD Excluded from CSA!

H.R. 715 would also remove cannabidiol (CBD), famous for its efficacy in treating intractable childhood epilepsy (e.g. Dravet Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome), from governance under the Controlled Substance Act!

Learn why cannabidiol (CBD) and how the industry is expecting 700% growth.

An End to Federal Prohibition?

H.R. 715, by itself, would not prevent the FDA from restricting and regulating marijuana, but it would remove the DEA from the conversation.

Passage would also likely permit banks and other financial bodies to engage with state-compliant marijuana companies. This would bring much needed capital and financial security to an industry producing billions of dollars outside of mainstream financial institutions and poised to be crowned the #1 most valuable legal cash crop in the U.S.

Update: House Republicans have introduced a second marijuana Bill that would end Federal prohibition Click for info

2-GOP Bills Feature-new-03

I’m Just a Bill – A Marijuana Bill

Continue reading “Breaking News: House Republican Bill Would Reschedule Marijuana and De-Schedule CBD”

Trump Pick For FDA Could Help Marijuana Industry | But At What Cost?

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved
by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive
Jim O’Neill Could Bring Disruption and Marijuana to the FDA
Jim O'Neill - FDA-candidate
Jim O’Neill Courtesy Mithri Capital

According to Bloomberg News and TheHill, President Donald Trump is strongly considering Jim O’Neill, an outspoken marijuana supporter and libertarian, to be the next head of the FDA. Jim O’Neill has been a staunch critic of the FDA for years and if appointed to lead the agency, he is likely to usher in dramatic changes that could shake the agency to its core. And maybe, just maybe, that’s not such a bad thing.

Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel – Trump transition team

Jim O’Neill is reportedly a close business associate of key Trump transition team member Peter Thiel – a tech financier worth more than $2 Billion. Theil was named #246 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest People in America in 2016. Theil spokesman Jeremiah Hall was quoted recently in an email reported by Bloomberg Politics, “Jim O’Neill has extensive experience in government and in Silicon Valley. He is a strong candidate for any of several key positions.”

Mr. O’Neill is currently the Managing Director of Mithril Capital Management LLC,


a global investment firm cofounded by Peter Thiel. Previous to Mithril Capital, Mr. O’Neill spent just under six years working in various roles for the Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush Administration, from 2002 – 2008. O’Neill first served as the Director of the Speech and Editorial Division, then as Associate Deputy Secretary and ultimately as the Principal Associate Deputy Secretary contributing to policy and regulatory matters affecting the FDA.

In addition to working for the Dept. of HHS, O’Neill also served on the Board of Directors (and was a founding member) for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. CCPR is a nonpartisan organization which opposes prohibition and supports reasonable marijuana regulation. O’Neill is likely to bring big changes to the FDA, easing research and perhaps access to cannabis based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.

Continue reading “Trump Pick For FDA Could Help Marijuana Industry | But At What Cost?”

Will Trump Bring Back War on Drugs with Sessions AG Pick?


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by Erik Muenker D.C. |  Exclusive

Will Trump wage a new War on Drugs?

President-elect Donald Trump’s hard-right pick of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General has marijuana advocates across the nation sounding the alarm – and for good reason.

Just two weeks ago today, Americans in four states (California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts) joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska by passing ground-breaking legislation to end marijuana prohibition and instead put in place a regulatory system to provide recreational access to marijuana for adults over the age of 21. There are now a total of eight states in the U.S. with legal recreational marijuana.

Get the details – Election 2016: Marijuana Legalization Spreads Across the U.S.

  Video: CBS News reports on the Trump pick for Attorney General

All this progress could be undone by one man – Senator Jeff Sessions, should he become the next Attorney General of the United States. As Attorney General, Mr. Sessions could rescind two key Justice Department directives. These directives, known as the Cole and Ogden memos, told federal investigators to lay off medical marijuana (learn more at Simple Justice – A Criminal Defense Blog) and step back from prosecutions.

According to the New York Times and John Hudak of the Brookings Institution:

The only person that could stop a newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions – from dismantling medical and recreational marijuana laws across this country – is, well, President-elect Trump.

Buy John Hudak’s recent book on Amazon: Marijuana: A Short History.

Throughout Mr. Sessions’ 19 years in the Senate, he has been a rabid opponent of any legislation that smacks of drug reform. Senator Sessions is an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, denying cannabis possesses any medical value – despite the voluminous evidence to the contrary. Learn more about the War on Drugs with this interesting and fact filled infographic and dig into the details on

Read more: Cannabidiol: Good for You and Your Brain?

Senator Sessions was even described as a militant prohibitionist by NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri in his recent blog post about the Sessions pick.

April 5th, 2016 – Senate Hearing with Jeff Sessions discussing his views on Marijuana.

Let’s take a listen to our possible future Attorney General.

U.S. Senate Hearing – April 5th, 2016 | Senator Jeff Sessions

Skip forward to 8min 45 sec into the video (8:45) and hear the now famous line from Senator Sessions: “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

The nation’s leading organization advocating an end to the war on drugs, the Drug Policy Alliance (, believes marijuana prohibition inflicts far more harm than good on a society and strongly resists a return to the Reagan-era drug policies.

The DPA has even started a “Stop the Jeff Sessions Nomination” petition, as they fear Sessions will not only go after the legal recreational marijuana in Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and D.C., but also look to squash medical marijuana now available in half the states in the U.S.

Continue reading “Will Trump Bring Back War on Drugs with Sessions AG Pick?”

UK Gov Concedes CBD (cannabidiol) from Cannabis is Medicine

CBD News Pick –

Exclusive: The MHRA’s assessment could ‘provide ground-breaking results’ in leading to reform over cannabis’ medicinal use in the UK

The government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found that Cannabidiol (CBD) has a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on “physiological functions” when administered to humans, in a potential milestone in the campaign to legalise cannabis and bring about evidence-based laws regarding drugs.

The review of CBD, a cannabinoid accounting for up to 40% of the marijuana plant’s extract that doesn’t contain its psychoactive THC but is purported to retain the health benefits, came about following discussions with CBD vaporiser company MediPen.


The MHRA’s findings are not directly applicable to the government’s response to last year’s petition to legalise cannabis, but stand in stark contrast, with the petition having been batted away by the Home Office with the assessment that cannabis “can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society”.

GW Pharmaceuticals has also just concluded a positive phase 3 clinical trial demonstrating the safety and efficacy of CBD.

“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,” Jordan Owen, Managing Director of MediPen, told The Independent, “now this is finally becoming a reality, which will provide ground-breaking results,”

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Meet CA Weed Czar Lori Ajax

CBD News Pick – The Mercury News

California’s Wild West of medical marijuana is about to be tamed, on the eve of a historic vote that could greatly expand recreational use of the weed.

Just as labeling allows consumers to trust the difference in potency between a strawberry-rosé spritzer and 190-proof grain alcohol, new state regulations will demand testing, labeling, certification and licensing medical marijuana — every step along the way, from seed to sale.

The new rules, starting in 2018, could also boost pot prices, as businesses face more paperwork, permits, licenses and other new requirements, driving up their costs — and likely driving some mom-and-pop growers and dispensaries out of business.

While the changes may complicate doing business, the goal is simple, said Lori Ajax, the state’s first weed czar.

“We are looking to protect patients, the public and the environment,” Ajax said during a “pre-regulatory” meeting in Oakland last week for the commercial cannabis industry by her fledgling Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

“If you are engaged in commercial medical cannabis, you need a license,” said Ajax, who has never used cannabis but has decades of experience administering the state’s notoriously complex alcohol laws with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Two decades after the Golden State pioneered the legal use of medical marijuana through Proposition 215, its vast cannabis industry has been operating under a patchwork of local regulations — or outside the law altogether.

This local control is very different than the approach taken by other states, such as Colorado, Washington and Oregon, which put the state in charge from the very beginning.

“California has always done things its own way,” said attorney Amanda Ostrowitz of CannaRegs, which tracks marijuana laws and regulations around the nation.

But while local control has worked well in some places, like San Jose and Oakland, other communities have struggled to keep tabs on businesses that operate on the margins of legitimacy.

For instance, San Mateo County has about 40 pot delivery services that are illegal under county codes, said Ryan P. Mullane, a Santa Clara-based criminal defense and cannabis licensing attorney. In Los Angeles, overwhelmed police say that public safety deserves far more attention than unlicensed dispensaries.

In the remote farms of Humboldt County, where young women make thousands of dollars trimming marijuana buds, there are stories of sexual abuse and exploitation. Others report frightening encounters with outlaws on the lam.

“Cities don’t have the capacity to enforce the same robust regulations that the state can,” said Ostrowitz, who is based in Denver. “The state has more money to run these programs and enforce them.”

The sweeping new California rules create an extensive, heavily regulated system for growing, testing and selling medical marijuana — and would become the template if voters pass Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational pot.

The change was signed into law last October by Gov. Jerry Brown. Local governments are still free to pass more restrictive laws. San Jose and Oakland, which already tax dispensaries and limit where they are located, will both keep their regulations in place. A dual-licensing system requires the industry to obtain both state and local permits.

The federal government — which still considers cannabis as a Schedule I illegal drug, alongside heroin and LSD — won’t crack down on pot dispensaries that follow the local and state rules, as long as those businesses stay within California’s borders.

Two other state agencies also will be responsible for the new marijuana oversight, including the Department of Food and Agriculture, which will license growers, and the Department of Public Health, which will license manufacturers.

The state held workshops in seven cities with members of the industry to guide how its final regulations are written. It will also offer a written comment period and public hearings.

The new regulations come as 60 percent of California voters tell pollsters that they favor passage of Proposition 64. The measure would boost sales in an industry already valued at $2.7 billion a year, according to The ArcView Group, a marijuana market research firm. If legalized for recreational use, sales are projected to jump to $6.6 billion by 2020.

“If you have state regulations, hopefully you can control the bad things while emphasizing the good things,” said Mullane, the cannabis licensing attorney.

However, the looming rules have put the cannabis industry into a tailspin, forcing a free-thinking and entrepreneurial community to wade through 300 pages of regulations.

At the recent Oakland event, where Ajax and her officers solicited feedback, swarms of people circled her with questions.

One major concern is a rule that requires growers to hire an independent distributor to take a product to a testing lab and certify the results. Only then growers can sell the certified marijuana to dispensaries. 

“Everything has to be tested,” Ostrowitz said.

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