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Helping leaders make informed decisions about marijuana

Marijuana vs. Beer: cost comparison

8/7/14–The results of an analysis comparing the price of marijuana and beer revealed that the relative affordability of each drug varies quite a bit depending on where you live. Read

State study committee on medical marijuana to hold 1st meeting Wednesday

8/26/14–The Joint Study Committee on Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions will hold its first meeting Wednesday at 1:00 at the state Capitol. The committee is charged with studying the effects of the extracts and compounds of cannabis as a medical treatment to determine if it is appropriate to enact legislation that will allow for the prescription of medical cannabis. Read

John G. Sperling, for-profit college pioneer, dies at 93

TMR_Pocket_Article308_8.26.148/25/14–John G. Sperling, a pioneer of for-profit education who turned a $26,000 investment into the multibillion-dollar University of Phoenix, calling himself “an unintentional entrepreneur and an accidental C.E.O.,” died on Friday in the San Francisco area. In partnership with his fellow billionaires George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, Mr. Sperling put forth significant efforts and funding to support the legalization of marijuana. Read

Colorado marijuana tax Fifth Amendment hearing in Denver today

TMR_Pocket_Article302_8.25.148/22/14–There will be a preliminary injunction hearing in Denver District Court on Friday in a lawsuit brought by marijuana civil rights activists seeking to protect their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Read

Washington just says no to marijuana party buses

8/22/14–Washington state regulators have told charter and tour bus operators that marijuana use by passengers is prohibited. A notice issued Thursday by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission cited the health and safety of drivers who would be exposed to smoke. It also said the buses and passengers are considered to be in view of the public, where marijuana consumption is prohibited. Read

Gov. Rick Snyder objects to Saginaw’s marijuana decriminalization ballot initiative

TMR_Pocket_Article307_8.26.148/25/14–In a little more than two months, voters in the city of Saginaw will get the chance to vote on a marijuana decriminalization measure. But Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder are registering their disapproval. Snyer comments, “The language is inaccurate because it is does not inform the voters that the proposed amendment conflicts with state law or that state law will control regardless of whether the proposed amendment is adopted.” Read

Medical marijuana backers in Oklahoma miss signature requirement for spot on ballot

8/21/14–Backers of a medical marijuana initiative collected only about half the signatures needed to put the issue before voters, the Oklahoma secretary of state’s office said Thursday. A total of 75,384 signatures were collected, but more than 155,216 were needed to put it on the Nov. 4 ballot. Read

Montana ballot measure to ban all marijuana approved for signatures

5/29/14–Backers of a proposed ballot measure that would make marijuana illegal in Montana can begin gathering signatures. Supporters need to obtain at least 24,175 signatures of registered Montana voters by June 20 to qualify I-174 for the ballot, including at least 5 percent of the voters in 34 of the 100 state House district. Read

Senators ask White House to clarify marijuana laws

7/29/14–Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall of Colorado and Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington wrote a letter to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Attorney General Eric Holder to call for “a clear, consistent and uniform interpretation and application” of federal drug laws in relation to their home states. Read

China’s eye in the sky zooms In on illicit activity

8/25/14–The biggest tracts of cannabis to have been detected in China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 are in the northern provinces of Jilin and Inner Mongolia. These and other discoveries were made possible by images transmitted from space by Gaofen-1, China’s first high-resolution imaging satellite, the official China News Service reported on Monday. Read

Study finds 100% increase in marijuana related fatal crashes

8/19/14–A study found the number of people killed in marijuana-related accidents increased 100 percent over five years where the state legalized marijuana in various forms. Read

Marijuana to be most popular illegal drug at Houston high school campuses

TRM_Pocket_Article289_8.22148/20/14–According to Constance Phillips, a licensed chemical dependency counselor at Odyssey House, marijuana is expected to be the fastest-growing, most popular illegal drug on Houston high school campuses this coming school year. “Their interest in school declines, they don’t want to do anything, they become lazy, they become uninterested in the activities they were interested in before,” she said. Video

Indianapolis reminds first responders of marijuana policy

8/14/14–Indianapolis’ Director of Public safety will be sending a memo to all of his employees explaining that if any of them ingests marijuana in any way, anywhere, they will be punished. And the problem boils down to inconsistencies in marijuana laws. Director Riggs says he is simply being proactive, and that this is not the result of any incidents in the city. Read

Marijuana addiction is rare, but very real

7/20/14–Most people can use marijuana without becoming addicted. But for users with vulnerabilities like stress, mental illness, or a genetic predisposition, the risk of dependence is real. Dr. Alex Stalcup, medical director of the New Leaf Treatment Center in Lafayette, CA, recommends a simple test for addiction. “To make the diagnosis, we propose an experiment. In the experiment, we ask you for a defined period of time not to use. The basic question that we ask is, ‘Okay, so you smoke pot, that’s not the issue. Can you not smoke pot?’ Someone who’s not an addict, that’s not a problem..” Read

Marijuana ad in The NYTs: All the news that’s fit to smoke

8/2/14–Apparently, the advertiser getting all the buzz is Leafly. Interestingly, although the context is legal, the ad isn’t about selling marijuana but rather people sharing information about marijuana. So  is it really news? Read

DEA warns about potent marijuana-based ‘wax’ substance in central Indiana

TMR_Pocket_Article281_8.20.148/22/14–Wax, a highly potent marijuana-based product, is becoming the new drug of choice for teens and young adults. It’s loaded with THC, the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana. The DEA is sending out an alert in Indiana because the substance is showing up there. Read

Biotech researcher finds medical pot laced with feces

8/8/14– Jessica Tonani, co-founder of the DNA sequencing company GnuBIO, examined contaminants to determine where they’re introduced and how to control for them. The first two samples turned up a long list of nastiness, including the fecal bacteria Enterobacter asburiae and the vaginal bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis. What this means, politely, is that many people handling pot don’t wash their hands. Read

Bishop, Zeldin on opposite sides of medical marijuana debate

TMR_Pocker_Article298_8.22.148/19/14–U.S. Representative Tim Bishop nor State Senator Lee Zeldin have distinct views on the ever-evolving debate on marijuana and its legalization. Mr. Bishop, a Democrat from Southampton who is seeking his seventh term in office this November, is decidedly in favor of legalizing the use of medical marijuana, while Mr. Zeldin, his Republican challenger who lives in Shirley, is skeptical of the medicinal properties of cannabis. Read

New Hampshire declares state of emergency over synthetic marijuana-like drug

8/15/14–New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency on Thursday in response to 44 reported overdoses linked to people smoking or ingesting “Smacked,” a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores as potpourri. Read

Canada court rules in favor of marijuana edibles and topicals

TRM_Pocket_Article287_8.21.148/19/14–Health Canada allows medical marijuana to be consumed by patients in Canada, however, the rules only allow consumption and sales of dried marijuana. That is, until a B.C. Court of Appeals judge ruled prohibition of marijuana infused products to be unconstitutional. Read

Did smoking marijuana give these young men heart attacks?

TMR_Pocket_Article299_8.22.148/21/14–Recent reports of sudden heart problems in people who had smoked marijuana has raised concerns about its safety, especially as more states legalize the drug for medical and recreational use. Many of the reports involved only one or a few patients, such as the otherwise healthy 21-year-old U.K. man who was a regular marijuana smoker and who suffered a heart attack due to a blood clot in one of the arteries in his heart. Read

Canadian marijuana firms OrganiGram, Bedrocan soar on market debut

8/25/14–Shares of Canadian medical marijuana producers Bedrocan Cannabis Corp and OrganiGram Holdings Inc jumped as they began trading on the TSX Venture exchange on Monday with investors expecting fast-growing demand in the fledgling industry. Investors piled into the two stocks, pushing them well above their issued prices of 85 Canadian cents per share. Read

Investors take aim at Canada’s marijuana industry

8/16/14–Ever since Health Canada unveiled plans to open up the market in 2014, upstarts have been popping up everywhere, opening factories, setting up greenhouses, and wooing investors. Canada’s burgeoning marijuana sector is drawing comparisons to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s when investors rushed in to take advantage of a hot sector, and were duped by bold promises of future earnings that never materialized. Read

3 reasons why marijuana stock GW Pharmaceuticals could fall

TMR_Pocket_Article298_8.22.148/21/14–Although no one can predict with certainty whether shares in GW Pharma will rise or fall, three challenges may face the company that could weigh on the stock, and they are highlighted and addressed: (1) Buy the rumor, sell the news; (2) Crossing the moat in cancer pain; (3) Tempering enthusiasm over use in epilepsy. Read

Editorial: Toward sanity in marijuana laws

8/1/14–As stated in an editorial published in The Dallas Morning News, it is becoming clearer that the public is fed up with needless casualties and wasted money from the nation’s decades of waging war against marijuana –even in Texas. Polls in the state have shown that Texans are in line with national attitudes. The Marijuana Policy Project advocacy group, spearhead for national pot reforms, has hired a full-time political director in Texas to focus on changing laws there. The organization has also hired a lobbyist to work the state Capitol. Read

Children’s Hospital sees surge in kids accidentally eating marijuana

4/10/14–The number of children coming into Colorado’s largest pediatric emergency department after accidentally eating marijuana is on pace to more than double last year’s total. According to Michael DiStefano, the medical director of the Children’s Hospital Colorado emergency department, most of the children admitted are between 3 and 7 years old. Read

Albuquerque ballot measure on marijuana advances

8/19/14–A sharply divided Albuquerque City Council has voted to put a marijuana decriminalization proposal on the November ballot. The council voted 5-4 Monday night to put the proposal on the ballot after activists failed to collect enough voter signatures. Read

Coalition seeks to educate Hall County on marijuana

8/25/14–Hall County Drug Free Coalition is hosting a community forum to inform the public on Sept. 4. Presenting at the forum titled “Marijuana: Protecting Children and Understanding GA Law” will be National Families in Action co-founder, president and CEO Sue Rusche along with state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville. Read

Volcano Vaporizer

6/24/14–In depth operation guide to the Volcano Vaporizer, featuring the Digit, Classic, Easy Valve, and Solid Valve. Video

7 things you need to know about marijuana tourism

8/25/14–A direct spike in visitors in Colorado and Washington has been tied exclusively to the legalization of marijuana, but the lure of legal marijuana could end up increasing tourism to all areas of the state. Seven (7) points are featured pertaining to marijuana tourism. Read

News: New survey documents youth marijuana use, need for prevention

8/7/14–Preliminary results from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey show the percentage of students who perceived a moderate or great risk from marijuana use declined from 58 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2013. The survey also shows cigarette use among high school students trending downward, at a faster pace than marijuana. Read

What the Times did on marijuana was big!

8/7/14–Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, reveals his perspective on the recent Times endorsement of national legalization of marijuana in The Huffington Post. He states, “The Times’ editors have pulled off a feat of historic significance. Two states down, forty-eight to go. One country down, and 195 to go. Ultimate victory is far from assured. But its chances just took a good leap forward, courtesy of The New York Times.” Read

In states with medical marijuana, painkiller deaths drop by 25%

8/25/14–In the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually. In the study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers hypothesize that in states where medical marijuana can be prescribed, patients may use pot to treat pain, either instead of prescription opiates, or to supplement them—and may thus require a lower dosage that is less likely to lead to a fatal problem. Read

Medical marijuana research hits wall of U.S. law

TMR_Pocket_Article271_8.15.148/6/14–Though more than one million people are thought to use the drug to treat ailments, there are few rigorous studies showing whether the drug is a fruitful treatment for various medical conditions. A major reason is the federal government categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive of five groups established by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Drugs in this category are subject to tight restrictions on scientific study. Read

Ruling could help marijuana collectives

8/22/14–Members of medical marijuana collectives could have an easier time fighting criminal charges under a state appeals court ruling Friday. A jury convicted Borzou Baniani in 2013 of possession for sale of marijuana, and a judge sentenced him to three years’ probation. But the appeals court reversed the conviction and sent the case back for a possible new trial. Read

Medical marijuana patients squeezed out of product safety testing

TMR_Pocket_Article275_8.18.148/14/14–New rules for Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry are prohibiting state-licensed labs from testing medical marijuana patients’ products, including pot, edibles and infusions. Retail marijuana testing facilities are banned from accepting samples from patients, caregivers, consumer protection groups or anyone else outside of the licensed marijuana industry. Read

First medical marijuana dispensary in state opens

TMR_Pocket_Article290_8.22.148/20/14–Connecticut’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Wednesday night in South Windsor. The grand opening of Prime Wellness of Connecticut gave potential customers and the public a chance to see its facilities, meet pharmacists and cannabis producers, and generally get information. Read

Ex-Carper aide to run marijuana dispensary

8/12/14–Delaware has signed a two-year contract with a company led by a lobbyist and former aide to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper to operate the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, which should begin serving patients early next year. Read

Washington DC looks to throw MMJ businesses a lifeline

6/13/14–Lawmakers in Washington DC are poised to loosen the city’s restrictive medical marijuana program, which would provide a lifeline to local cannabis businesses that are struggling to survive. Read

Medical marijuana a cutthroat competition in Illinois

TMR_Pocket_Article294_8.22.148/20/14–During a four-year pilot program that went into effect at the beginning of the year, Illinois will award 60 dispensary (retail) licenses and 21 cultivation center licenses. Bob Morgan, statewide project coordinator for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program said, “We expect a very competitive process.” Chicago attorney Alex Thiersch plans to apply for six licenses. He said he has secured land and has spent more than a year preparing his business plan. Read

York board rejects appeal to shut down marijuana growing operation

8/22/14–Over the objections of numerous abutters and residents who voiced concerns about increased traffic, safety and their quality of life, the York Appeals Board on Wednesday upheld a July 9 decision allowing a medical marijuana facility to continue operations. Read

Medical marijuana rules for doctors raise concerns

7/25/14–Proposed rules for Maryland’s nascent medical marijuana system are drawing objections from a leading advocate, who says the regulations could discourage doctors from participating. Read

Northeastern Institute of Cannabis helping students get into the marijuana industry

9/1/14–This month, the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis (NIC), a new school in Natick offering a 12-course basic-training program to help students get into the burgeoning marijuana industry will open this month. With classes in everything from cannabis laws and safety to patient services and the history and science of the plant. Read

Medical marijuana numbers decline

8/17/14–The number of medical marijuana patients in Livingston County has decreased. Proponents of medical marijuana say this is due to intimidation by law enforcement. Read

Mom charged after giving son medical marijuana

TMR_Pocket_Article289_8.22.148/20/14–A Lac Qui Parle County mother is charged with giving her son medical cannabis oil before the state’s new medical marijuana law takes effect next summer. Angela Brown, of Madison, Minnesota faces two gross misdemeanors, including child endangerment, for giving her 15-year-old son marijuana oil to relieve pain from a traumatic brain injury. Read

Sparks OKs fees for medical marijuana businesses

8/26/14–Sparks City Council members passed amendments on medical marijuana business licenses in a 4-1 vote on Monday. Councilman Mike Carrigan voted down the amendments, which set fees for applicants looking to open a pot establishment such as a growing facility, testing lab or dispensary. Read

New Hampshire celebrates bittersweet anniversary of medical marijuana program

7/24/14–Instead of rejoicing, medical marijuana patients and advocates “celebrated” the first anniversary of the state’s decision to legalize the drug by holding a demonstration to raise awareness for the delays the state’s medical marijuana program has faced. They also delivered a list of grievances and requests to New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan’s office. Read

Atlantic City to host grow-your-own marijuana seminar

8/18/14–The $1,000, four-day course will be offered by a California-based marijuana school at Bally’s Casino this weekend, starting Saturday. Oaksterdam University chancellor Dale Jones told The Philadelphia Inquirer basil will be used in demonstrations. Discussions will also include the business and legal aspect of the marijuana industry. Read

Families push to get medical marijuana on the market right away

8/18/14–State lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year, the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow the legal use of medical marijuana, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the measure on July 7. When Governor Andrew Cuomo signed medical marijuana into law, it was a milestone for many seriously ill patients in New York and their families. But the waiting period has turned out to be too long for other patients. Read

State releases first marijuana dispensary inspections

8/15/14–Regulations crafted by the Oregon Health Department. to enforce Oregon’s 2013 medical marijuana dispensary law require on-site inspection of each facility within six months of the date it receives a license, and an annual inspection thereafter. Problems with labeling, testing and tracking inventory were common violations found by medical marijuana dispensary inspectors, according to data released Thursday by the Oregon Health Department. Read

Legalize it? First, New Mexico must have functioning medical marijuana program

8/20/14–Current-Argus News writer Sherry Robinson reports that while proponents in New Mexico covet the tax revenues or the new freedoms enjoyed by Colorado, New Mexico can’t even get a functioning medical marijuana program off the ground. To date the program has just 23 licensed medical marijuana providers, a figure unchanged since December 2010, and the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez has approved no new providers. Read

Chafee signs legislation that changes Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law

7/9/14–Legislation that amends Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law, resetting the amounts of marijuana that can be grown in some settings and establishing new regulatory mechanisms, has been signed by Governor Chafee. Read

Marijuana edibles sales heat up

7/21/14–The proliferation of marijuana edibles for both medical and recreational purposes is giving rise to a cottage industry. It includes baked goods, candies, infused oils, cookbooks and classes. Edibles and infused products such as snack bars, olive oils and tinctures popular with medical marijuana users have flourished into a gourmet market of chocolate truffles, whoopie pies and hard candies as Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the past year. Read

Seattle police uncover historic marijuana grow operation

6/4/14–Seattle police on Tuesday uncovered one of the largest marijuana grow operations in recent memory, but after they confiscated most of the 2,663 plants, officers let the grower go. After getting several complaints from neighbors about “an overwhelming smell” of marijuana coming from a home and warehouse in West Seattle, police served a search warrant on the property. Read

Attorneys general want flavored e-cigarette ban

8/8/14–Attorneys general from more than two dozen states want federal regulators to impose restrictions on electronic cigarettes, including a ban on the more than 7,000 flavors now available. Read