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Seven bodies, nothing stolen: Were killings at Riverside marijuana grow ‘a message’?

10/28/20--According to a Los Angeles Times article, Riverside County’s worst mass killing in recent memory remains cloaked in mystery. Yet what facts have emerged illustrate a brutal point: Violence haunts California’s illegal marijuana market, which, law enforcement authorities concede, dwarfs its fledgling, legal counterpart and comprises a sweeping array of players. Read

Campaign to overturn California’s flavored tobacco sales ban accused of misleading voters

10/20/20--An attorney for the group Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund filed a complaint with state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra asking for an investigation of “numerous instances of illegal signature-gathering tactics,” noting that it is a misdemeanor for signature gatherers to intentionally misrepresent a referendum petition. Read

Op-Ed: Big Tobacco helped destroy Black Americans’ health. Banning menthols could help improve it

8/7/20--According to an op-ed by Rev. John E. Cager III published in the Los Angeles Times, Big Tobacco has successfully conducted a decades-long campaign to lure and hook Black smokers by marketing menthol-infused products specifically to Black consumers. Furthermore, Black Americans have the greatest burden of tobacco-related mortality of any ethnic or racial group in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco use is a major contributor to the three leading causes of death among Black Americans — heart disease, cancer and stroke. Read

L.A. County sheriff’s deputy pleads guilty in brazen pot heist

3/4/19--Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Marc Antrim, who led a heist of more than a half ton of marijuana from a downtown warehouse, pleaded guilty to federal charges Monday. Antrim's admitted his role in the scheme during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, who is scheduled to sentence the deputy on June 3. Read

22 arrested in cartel-targeting raids across Southern California; thousands of pounds of drugs seized

8/8/18--Law enforcement officials conducted a series of raids across Southern California on Wednesday morning that resulted in 22 arrests and disrupted a large-scale drug operation linked to the Sinaloa cartel after a years-long investigation. Read

With marijuana legal, California flooded with dubious health claims about the drug

7/9/18--Marijuana is increasingly described online as a magical elixir for virtually every disease that afflicts humans. The claims are often unattributed and are rarely tied in a substantive way to mainstream science. Six months ago, it became legal in California to sell recreational marijuana in licensed pot shops, and many customers have been turning to the store’s “bud tenders” to tell them which strain of weed can alleviate their aches and pains or help them to sleep. Most bud tenders have no formal training in medicine or science. Read

As the top pot-producing state in the nation, California could be on thin ice with the federal government

10/1/17--The new California Bureau of Cannabis Control is scrambling to put regulations in place to begin issuing state licenses to grow, transport, and sell marijuana starting Jan. 2. Those rules explicitly prohibit the export of marijuana to other states. California officials say they plan to impose regulations to keep pot off the black market and ensure that marijuana offered for sale is safe. But leaders of the marijuana industry remain concerned the surplus will still need to be addressed. If the new regulated system in California does not make a dent in exports, more federal action is likely. Read

Pot legalization in California brings a bonanza of government jobs

9/30/17--Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California in 2018, and one of the things to blossom in the emerging industry is government jobs. The state is on a hiring binge to fill what eventually will be hundreds of new government positions by 2019 intended to bring order to the legal pot economy, from keeping watch on what’s seeping into streams near cannabis grows to running background checks on storefront sellers who want government licenses. Thousands of additional jobs are expected to be added by local governments. Read

Santa Ana marijuana dispensary modernizes the way to purchase pot

8/24/17--MedMen, one of the largest marijuana retailers in the country, opened its newest medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, offering around 1,000 products, including concentrates, flour, edibles, canine/feline products, and topicals. The store aims to make this a true retail experience by being innovative and bringing in new products as well as placing iPads on tables so a customer can interact and learn about a product. MedMen plans to sell recreational marijuana in January — if the city allows it. Read

L.A. set to approve officials to oversee new marijuana department

8/16/17--The Los Angeles City Council is expected to back Mayor Eric Garcetti’s picks to oversee City Hall’s new Cannabis Department, a vote that comes as officials prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in California. Cat Packer, the former California coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, will lead new cannabis regulations for the city. A five-member Cannabis Commission will provide input on those new rules. Read

Struggling L.A. County cities are hoping to cash in on California’s relaxed marijuana laws

8/11/17--As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles County and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents. Read

Weed, weed, everywhere, but not a spliff to smoke

6/30/17--On July 1, when recreational marijuana goes on sale in Nevada, visitors should have no problem purchasing marijuana at dispensaries near the Strip. However, Nevada only allows for consumption in private residences with the owner’s permission. So, even if one makes the argument that a hotel room is a “residence,” Casino owners won't permit it. Read

Do you want to grow marijuana at home? New L.A. classes show you how

6/9/17--Fig Earth Supply, a Mount Washington nursery, is offering its first-ever classes in “Cannabis Cultivation for the Home Grower.” The two-part evening classes taking place June 13 and 14 are focused on the casual grower and limited to 15 students. Based on the response, they’re already planning a second set of classes for June 27 and 28. Read

Legal marijuana could be a $5-billion boon to California’s economy

6/11/17--California is on the verge of creating a legal market for marijuana worth more than $5 billion that will help make the state a destination for pot-loving tourists, according to a new state-sponsored economic study. Read

L.A. proposes new regulations on marijuana shops

6/8/17--Los Angeles unveiled a new set of proposed regulations Thursday on how and where marijuana businesses can operate within city limits, the latest step toward reworking its rules after Californians voted to legalize recreational pot. The draft regulations will be available for public review and comment for 60 days before city officials take any action. Read

Adelanto wants to be the ‘Silicon Valley of medical marijuana’

5/20/17--As California moves toward issuing permits for large-scale medical marijuana cultivation next year, a number of struggling desert cities have sought to establish themselves as destinations for growers. In Adelanto, investors with backgrounds in real estate development, law, and the NBA, but little experience growing marijuana, envision a town bustling with marijuana-related businesses — cultivation warehouses, cannabis-oil extraction facilities, and a host of associated projects to supply California’s massive market. Read

California lawmakers seek to ban marijuana oil processing labs from neighborhoods

5/18/17--The state Assembly voted to ban home manufacturing of marijuana concentrates using volatile solvents due to several explosions in residential areas caused by drug processing labs. The action comes ahead of plans by the state to begin issuing licenses in January to firms for the manufacture and sale of marijuana products in California. Read

Explosion injures two in suspected marijuana grow house in North Hollywood

3/15/17--Two people were injured in an explosion inside a suspected marijuana grow house in North Hollywood, Los Angeles fire officials said. One person was critically burned and a second suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Read

California lawmaker raises possibility of delaying licensing of recreational marijuana sales

2/16/17--Amid concerns that California may not be ready to issue licenses for the sale of marijuana by next year, Sen. Holly Mitchell  (D-Los Angeles) raised the possibility of the Legislature stepping in to delay taxes and permits. Mitchell said she was concerned about banks being unwilling to handle marijuana sales revenue because the drug is still illegal under federal law, which could require license holders to transport large amounts of cash to pay state taxes and fees. Read

Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana

1/7/17--Though cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in 28 states, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register trademarks for marijuana retailers or for products that contain cannabis. One popular strategy for cannabis companies that can’t trademark their core products is to seek protection for a host of ancillary products and services. Read

Marijuana is legal in California, but it can still keep you from getting a job

12/9/16--Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in California, but the new law states that employers still have the right to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace and can keep policies that prohibit the use of cannabis by employees and prospective workers. Employment lawyers say most companies they’ve spoken with plan to maintain their current drug screening procedures, which prohibit cannabis. Read

Lynwood moves closer to legalizing commercial cannabis manufacturing

12/7/16--The city of Lynwood is close to approving a measure that would allow businesses to grow medical marijuana within city limits. If it gains final passage, the southeast city of 70,000 would be among the first in Los Angeles County to issue such permits. Read

Recreational marijuana is legal, but it’s tough to find a place to consume it

11/20/16--State licensing authorities issued a new rule saying bars and restaurants with liquor licenses could not allow pot use on the premises. The Colorado Department of Revenue said it made the decision after talks with the liquor industry, health experts, and special interest groups. Backers of Denver's new marijuana law, known as Initiative 300, say it goes a long way toward addressing a central paradox of Colorado’s weed policy — pot may be legal here but finding a place to eat, tape, or smoke it is another matter. Read

Californians vote to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state

11/8/16--Voters approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The approval of the ballot measure creates the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S. Read

Prop 64 would legalize recreational marijuana, but illegal under federal law

10/30/16--Proposition 64 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California and allow the state to issue licenses to those who grow, transport, treat and sell cannabis. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which will not change if the initiative is approved by voters. The federal government retains the authority to enforce federal laws in California, even if Proposition 64 passes, but has notified states it is not a priority to take enforcement actions in such cases, especially in states that adopt strict rules. Read

Marijuana could be legal for recreational or medical use in 29 states

10/29/16--Currently, marijuana is allowed for medical use in 26 states. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota could join their ranks. In addition, California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine — all of which already allow medical use — could join Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska as states that also permit recreational use. Those nine states account for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. Read

Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, early medical marijuana researcher, dies at 85

10/12/16--Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, a UCLA psychiatrist who was among the first researchers to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, has died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 85. Read

Four brothers say they were kidnapped and forced to work on marijuana farm

9/22/16--Authorities are investigating possible drug cartel activity after four brothers from Modesto said they were kidnapped and forced to work for more than five months on an enormous, illegal marijuana farm under the threat of violence. Read

California’s history with recreational marijuana

9/13/16--Los Angeles Times put together a timeline of the Golden State's history with cannabis, which stretches back more than a century to the Poison Act of 1907. Read

Drug prevention counselor bemoans the coming legalization of cannabis

9/2/16--Gilbert Mora, a Los Angeles substance abuse prevention specialist, spends time talking to kids about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. He takes no position on legalization, but he’s not happy about it. Read