Is Your Weed Buying History Safe from the Feds?

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved
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?”

Silver Leaf Investment: An upstart marijuana investment company to watch in 2017

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

Marijuana is Growing Fast

The legal cannabis (marijuana) industry is booming. According to, it was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016. With double digit annual growth, adult recreational sales alone are expected to jump from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020.

In addition to recreational sale, medical marijuana sales are expected to more than double to $13.3 billion by 2020. That’s a combined annual market of over $24 billionanticipated in just the next 3 years.

Does AG Sessions worry you?

Jobs, state’s rights, and taxes. That’s right. Jobs, state’s rights and tax revenue are the cannabis industry’s secret weapons against marijuana detractors in the Trump administration and elsewhere.

According to a survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily, the marijuana industry already employs over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone.

Along with billions in sales, comes millions in tax revenue. Motley Fool estimated that in 2016, Colorado’s marijuana tax haul likely exceeded $200 million. That’s a lot of green. And it’s only going to continue to grow each year.

Continue reading “Silver Leaf Investment: An upstart marijuana investment company to watch in 2017”

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

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved
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”

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

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved
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


Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved
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?”

Pennsylvania’s First Marijuana Farm?

CBD News Pick – Pittsburg Post Gazette

Laurel Green Medical aims to get state approval to supply medical marijuana

Denise Gargasz-Mueller and David Knepshield were checking out a 6.5-acre dirt lot at an Armstrong County industrial park last week, all the while envisioning a future in the cannabis growing industry.

In a matter of months, this bare flat could be the site of one of Pennsylvania’s first legal cannabis growing facilities, the home base of a company that’s already lining up medical marijuana dispensary locations in Sewickley, Cranberry and possibly Mt. Lebanon and the Strip District.

Just a few years ago, these two entrepreneurs would have made an unlikely pairing:

Mr. Knepshield is the former CEO of Ford City-based Klingensmith Healthcare, a home medical equipment supply company, while Ms. Gargasz-Mueller, who comes from a farming family, has spent the last four years lobbying to get medical marijuana legalized in Pennsylvania.

With legalization now on the books and the first dispensaries due to open in 2018, their partnership “brings all the right ingredients together,” she said.

Their fledgling company, Laurel Green Medical, has already done a lot of things right — meeting with local officials to line up community support, bringing legal and scientific specialists onboard, and setting out a detailed business plan for attracting investors.

The company is applying for one of the five state-allowed “seed-to-sell” licenses that would allow the partners to grow, process and dispense. They expect to find out if their application is approved around March of next year.

Their goal is simple, said Ms. Gargasz-Mueller: To provide high-quality medical cannabis in a safe, compassionate and discreet environment.

But they also know that while the medical marijuana industry has seen explosive growth the past five years, lurking in the background is a federal law that still considers their product illegal.

So far, Mr. Knepshield said, no major banks here want to touch the medical marijuana business, even though federal officials have indicated they will leave it to state and local agencies to enforce their own narcotics laws.

“Any bank that is federally regulated will not have anything to do with this. It’s not illegal for them to do it. They just don’t feel comfortable with it yet.”

Diane Czarkowski, who with husband Jay started one of the first cannabis dispensaries and cultivation operations in Colorado in 2009, said that’s not uncommon.

“We went through eight banks, but we did finally find one that realized they could get some new business by addressing this industry,” said Mrs. Czarkowski, who has since left the dispensary business and now offers consulting services for cannabis startup businesses through the couple’s company, Canna Advisors.

Laurel Green hopes to work with smaller, state-chartered banks and credit unions to the extent they can; to the extent they can’t, this will be a cash business handling millions of dollars. So, yes, security will be a priority.

“This place will be Fort Knox,” promised Mr. Knepshield.

Like other states that have recently legalized medical marijuana such as New York, New Jersey and Maryland, Pennsylvania is going to require applicants to show they have the financial wherewithal to make a go of it.

Just to apply for the license to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana, Laurel Green Medical has to produce a non-refundable $10,000 payment. The company has to put down another $200,000, which is refundable if the application is denied, for the license. And the partners must demonstrate they have the capital backing to pull the whole thing off, including documentation they have another $500,000 in the bank and another $2 million in assets.

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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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Oregon Bans Marijuana Strain Names

CBD News Pick – Cannabis Business Times

New testing and packaging requirements barring strain names passed just before starting recreational sales Oct. 1.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved 26 licenses for 26 recreational marijuana retailers Sept. 30, as well as modified rules regarding state licensee testing requirements and labeling and packaging restrictions.

Approved retailers were able to open for business selling recreational marijuana Oct. 1, the goal date promised by the OLCC to Oregonians, according to a press release. The OLCC enacted temporary changes to lab testing rules to lessen the strain on labs able to test recreational cannabis products. Out of the 26 licensed retailers, 12 were able to open Saturday, according to Steve Marks, executive director of the OLCC, in a conference call with reporters Sept. 30.

Under the new rules, an amount (still to be determined by Oct. 3) of randomly chosen samples from batches of usable cannabis will be tested. If any part of those samples fails pesticide testing, every 10-pound lot is required to be tested, according to an Oregon Live article.

Originally, every batch would have to be tested by an accredited lab. The stringent testing strained the few approved labs in the state, and Gary Ward, the administrator for Oregon’s Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) wrote in an email Aug. 26 that the program was “on the precipice of collapse,” as Cannabis Business Times reported last month.

Currently, the state is caught up with testing, and four of the 10 licensed laboratories are able to manage the required pesticide testing under the new rules, and more labs will be accredited, according to Marks.

In order to remain on store shelves, existing products must be clearly labeled as tested under the previous rules, and be in childproof containers before leaving the store, according to a Fox News article. All products made after the Oct. 1 deadline must be tested under the new, temporary rules. The modified rules will revert back to the original requirements as of Mar. 1, 2017.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been able to sell recreational marijuana under a different set of rules since October 2015 (which CBT covered here). Those dispensaries will be unable to sell recreational marijuana after Dec. 31.

Rules regarding packaging and labeling of recreational marijuana products were left unchanged in the special session Sept. 30, according to the OLCC press release. If packages and labels have not been pre-approved, licensees should use generic packaging according to guidelines set by the OLCC, found here.

The OLCC also passed a temporary rule regarding marijuana strain and product names in connection to “product wording commonly associated with products marketed by or for children,” according to the bulletin, found here. The list includes at least 14 strain names determined to be suspect that cannot be used on compliant packaging or labeling in Oregon dispensaries.

The strains currently listed include:

-Girl Scout Cookies

-Grape Ape


-Charlotte’s Web


-Dr. Who



-Bruce Banner

-Death Star


-Jedi Kush



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Sexist Pot | New Study Shows Marijuana Less Effective for Pain in Women

CBD News Pick – Pain Medicine News

Cannabis showed lower efficacy as an analgesic in women than in men, in a new controlled study of its effects on response to a pain stimulus among people using the substance recreationally.

The study by Ziva Cooper, PhD, assistant professor, and Margaret Haney, PhD, professor of clinical neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City, demonstrated this sex-dependent analgesic effect in men and women who reported similar responses to the psychotropic effects of cannabis.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study that’s looked at the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in human volunteers under well-controlled conditions,” Dr. Cooper told Pain Medicine News.

The study was posted Aug. 5 online in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The comparison of cannabis-induced analgesia by sex was made by retrospective analysis of two double-blind, within-subject controlled studies examining dose-dependent analgesic effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC). Study participants consisted of 21 men and 21 women, recruited from non–treatment-seeking recreational (nonmedical) cannabis smokers, and matched for baseline pain response and level of cannabis use.

The level of cannabis use was quantified to help determine whether tolerance may have developed to the analgesic effect, Dr. Cooper explained. “This was also an element of this study that is unique, that we matched participants based on how much they were smoking outside of the laboratory.”

The participants received oral THC as dronabinol (Marinol, AbbVie) in 10- and 20-mg doses or oral placebo, and standardized cannabis cigarettes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse containing 1.98% or 3.56% THC or placebo cannabis cigarettes without THC.

Pain response was assessed using the cold pressor test (CPT) that, the investigators noted, has had predictive validity for clinical efficacy of opioid analgesics in nonpain populations as well as demonstrated analgesic effects of smoked cannabis and oral THC. In addition to assessing analgesia through pain scale ratings including the McGill Pain Questionnaire, the investigators examined subjective effects of cannabis using visual analog scales.

Drs. Cooper and Haney reported that the active cannabis was associated with significantly decreased pain sensitivity (latency to report pain) in men but not women. Both men and women experienced some increased pain tolerance (latency to withdraw hand from cold water) immediately after smoking active THC, but the reduced sensitivity in women later decreased to less than that with inactive cannabis, suggesting a hyperalgesic effect, according to the investigators.

The subjective ratings of cannabis associated with abuse liability (e.g., “take again,” “liking,” “good drug effect”) and as a high increasing with percentage of THC were similar in both sexes, and separated from placebo to a similar degree for both.

Unexpected Findings

The investigators described the greater analgesic response to cannabis in men, with similar psychoactive effects to those in women, as “the reverse” of observations in preclinical studies of laboratory rats.

“Female laboratory animals are consistently more sensitive to both reward-related and antinociceptive effects of cannabinoids relative to males,” Drs. Cooper and Haney noted. The different findings, they suggest, “may in fact reflect important differences in cannabis exposure in rodent and human studies.”

The similarity of the subjective experiences with cannabis also contrasts with findings in previous clinical trials, Drs. Cooper and Haney pointed out. Women with similar levels of intoxication as men have tended to report higher ratings associated with abuse liability.

Could the pain stimulus in this study have served as more of a “buzz kill” for women than men? Drs. Cooper and Haney suggest this may have been a factor in the women not reporting greater subjective effects than men. “A possibility for the lack of sex-dependent effects for positive subjective drug effect ratings in the current analysis is the potential sex-dependent interaction of the CPT on subjective drug responses,” they wrote.

Gregory Carter, MD, MS, medical director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, in Spokane, Wash., was not surprised that this study concurred with other clinical investigations of pain treatment in finding sex differences in pain expression and response to pain treatment intervention. He questioned in his comments to Pain Medicine News, however, whether these results are applicable to pain management practice.

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Make Cannabis Great Again – Republican Lawmaker’s Hat at Marijuana Conference

CBD News Pick – Los Angeles Times

I couldn’t find a single person at the State of Marijuana Conference ’16 on the Queen Mary this week willing to predict anything other than success for Proposition 64, the measure that could legalize cannabis in California for adult recreational use.

Polls continue to show that almost two-thirds of California’s likely voters support passage, though things could tighten up closer to election day.

No question, a pungent wind is blowing across America.

Already, adult use of marijuana is legal in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska.

In November, voters in eight other states will be making choices about legalizing recreational and medical marijuana. Like California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada could approve the use of recreational pot. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota voters will consider legalizing medical marijuana (already the standard in 25 states, plus the District of Columbia). Montana voters will consider easing restrictions on the state’s medical marijuana law.

In California, communities up and down the state are scrambling. City councils and boards of supervisors are passing ordinances, moratoriums and bans. Some are courting industry, getting ready to capitalize on what has been described as a coming “green rush.” Others are sticking their heads in the sand.

In the last few years, a virtual mini-industry of cannabis conferences has sprung up, featuring not just the latest on legislation and research but tons of discussion about investment, innovation, branding and, inevitably, the coming clash between the legacy cannabis world — “the dreadlocked warriors, the rainbow revolutionaries, the radical faeries, the wise earth mothers,” in the words of Oakland dispensary owner Steve DeAngelo — and the forces of commercialization.

“We are seeing the first signs of what is going to be a monumental collision,” said DeAngelo, founder of the state’s largest dispensary, Harborside, and president of ArcView Group, a cannabis investor network. “It’s going to be wrenching, it’s going to be jarring, it’s going to be shocking.”

He urged his legacy cannabis colleagues to embrace the changes, to take advantage of the capital infusion and the expertise offered by techies and established entrepreneurs.

“Their presence is powerfully dampening the stigma associated with cannabis,” he said. “And the financial success of the industry is encouraging and motivating ever-increasing numbers of businesses, individuals and organizations who were opposed to us a few years ago, or at their best, neutral. And now they are turning into our best friends. Why? Because America loves a winner, and we are winning now.”

There is another collision coming as well, one to which he only briefly alluded during his speech Monday.

And that is the one between the states and the federal government — specifically the Drug Enforcement Administration — which rejected petitions this summer calling on the agency to change how marijuana is classified. Despite the fact that millions of Americans are prescribed cannabis for pain, for nausea, for post-traumatic stress issues, for epilepsy and so on, the plant remains a Schedule 1 drug, considered as dangerous as cocaine and heroin, devoid of medicinal value.

“And of course,” said DeAngelo, “Big Pharma is right there by their side.”

This point came up quite repeatedly during the two-day conference.

Suzanne Sisley, an Arizona physician, is one of the few cannabis researchers to receive marijuana from the federal government (which maintains one grow, in Mississippi). She noted that Insys Therapeutics Inc., which produces Dronabinol, a synthetic cannabinoid for cancer patients with nausea, has donated half a million dollars in the fight against marijuana legalization in Arizona.

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Congress Just Says No to Vets: No Medical Marijuana Access After All

CBD News Pick – Huffington Post

The legislation would have allowed Veterans Administration doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients.

An effort to allow veterans to access medical marijuana in states where it’s legal died Wednesday night when Congress passed a spending bill without the provision included.

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment would have nullified a Department of Veterans Affairs standard that keeps its doctors from recommending medical cannabis as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, pain and other conditions experienced by veterans. Veterans currently seeking medical pot must obtain a doctor’s recommendation outside of the VA system and pay the expense out of pocket.

The amendment, authored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), passed both chambers of Congressearlier this year as part of a spending package funding the Veterans Affairs department.

But in June, the provision was stripped from the final version of the bill during conference committee. Blumenauer, Daines, Merkley and other supporters of the provision lobbied their colleagues to get the amendment added to the bill again.

“We feel the failure of the Conferees to include either provision is a drastic misfortune for veterans and is contrary to the will of both chambers as demonstrated by the strong bipartisan support for these provisions,” read a letter sent to congressional leadership.

The amendment was never readded, and the Veterans Affairs spending package passed Wednesday as part of the continuing resolution to fund the government.

“It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing that despite broad bipartisan, bicameral support, a handful of out-of-touch lawmakers put politics over the well-being of America’s wounded warriors. Our veterans deserve better,” Blumenauer said in a statement on Thursday. “We will continue to seek every opportunity to make sure they have fair and equal treatment and the ability to consult with, and seek a recommendation from, their personal VA physician about medical marijuana.”

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, and several other states will vote in November on whether to legalize cannabis for medical use.

The VA doesn’t condone medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD or other conditions due to the lack of studies on the effectiveness of the substance in easing post-traumatic stress. Still, many veterans have turned to the substance as an alternative to prescription antidepressants or painkillers, and some states specifically list PTSD as a condition for which doctors can recommend cannabis.

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