The latest in marijuana news, culture and politics
  • Legalization Posted Feb 2017

    Marijuana home delivery starts in Oregon

    In an industry first, Oregon's licensed recreational dispensaries are now able to take orders and make home deliveries to customers within city limits. 117 permits were granted to retailers for home delivery, but not without some heavy regulation by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Marijuana product must be transported in a locked and secured box limited to a value of $3,000 with deliveries prohibited in places like motels, campgrounds and dorms. Advocates say the delivery service will be valuable to those who aren't able to get around as others. Home deliveries must be made between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. by an adult 21 years or older and the package must be signed for. Dispensary owners liken the experience to something everyone is familiar with, a pizza delivery.  For example, marijuana retailers can only deliver within the city they're licensed in. The marijuana must be transported in a locked box and secured to the delivery vehicle, which can carry no more than $3,000 worth of product at a time. Retailers can't deliver product to places like motels, campgrounds or dorms, just residential homes. “There are people who need it and are not able to get around quite as well as I am,” said customer James Earl. “It is a very useful thing for them to have access to.” “This is like, you're going to call the pizza guy, then you're going to call us,” said Krutzler. “We're going to have a good time.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Feb 2017

    Hundreds speak out on medical marijuana, and they don’t like the rules

    This past election Florida voters passed the state's proposed medical marijuana initiative with 71% of the vote, yet lawmakers are trying to cripple the initiative's language by restricting access to the drug. A public hearing about the bill brought in hundreds of concerned citizens hoping to make positive change to the state's medical program. A proposed limit on cannabis distributors would also limit product and number of strains for patients as well as inflate the price on the limited products. These restrictions cause patients in need to spend thousands of dollars on their medicine, forcing many to either not get treatment or resort to using the black market. Doctors are also concerned about a political body trying to limit the qualifying conditions for the drug rather than allowing medicine to dictate medical value.  A first draft issued last month by the health department would largely squeeze the broad program contemplated by Amendment 2, which passed in November with 71 percent support, into an existing system created in 2014 to legalize cannabis use for a small number of patients. ▪ Rules limiting the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to the current seven licensed companies would restrict the number of strains and products available to patients, and inflate the price of products that remain illegal under federal law and therefore aren’t covered by insurance. Heidi Handford, a local consultant in the industry, said some patients have told her they’re paying up to $5,000 a year for legal medicine, making it much cheaper to simply buy pot illegally.

  • Legalization Posted Feb 2017

    2 recreational marijuana proposals in Minnesota

    Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2015 and like many other states have since expanded the program by adding qualifying conditions such as PTSD and intractable pain. Even in a partialy-legal marijuana state, Minnesota still spends $137 million in tax dollars a year to arrest and charge it's citizens for pot possession. Two Democratic lawmakers in the state hope to make petty marijuana-arrests a thing of the past by introducing a bill that would allow voters to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota, though the bill will have an uphill battle through the Republican controlled legislature. If passed, the recreational marijuana program would create a billion dollar industry by creating jobs for Minnesota farmers, local distributors, and small businesses, as well as bringing in massive amounts of new taxes to be used for public schools, substance dependency, and mental health education. Minnesotans already spend $700 million on illegal marijuana, so why not defund the black market and put money back into the pockets of taxpayers. “Minnesotans know that the prohibition on cannabis is costly, harmful and antiquated,” Liebling said in a statement. “Estimates of the cost of cannabis enforcement in Minnesota range from $42 million a year for possession offenses alone to $137 million a year for all cannabis arrests. Yet Minnesotans spend perhaps $700 million a year on cannabis, indirectly helping fund crime through an enormous black market. All this for a substance that -- while not harmless -- is far safer than alcohol. My bill would let citizens decide whether it is time to try a different path—one already successfully paved by many other states.” Rep. Applebaum’s bill would allow Minnesotans aged 21 and over to use, possess or purchase up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. The bill also proposes a framework for the licensing and regulation of marijuana cultivation, harvesting, processing and retail sale, which would begin in 2019. Minnesotans would also be permitted to grow up to 6 marijuana plants at a time, with 3 or fewer being mature.

  • Fun Posted Feb 2017

    Marijuana mints for microdosing: This common candy makes for a smarter, smoother high

    While some companies are trying to make the strongest marijuana products in the industry, other companies like Breez Original Mints are focusing on how to make the perfect edible that gives the user better understanding and control of their cannabis high. Instead of edibles with a heavy dose of THC, these companies are creating low-dose mints at 5mg, 2.5mg, and even 1mg each, allowing the user to dose small amounts at a time making it easier to avoid a heavy couch-lock high. One of the prize-features of these mints are their remarkable ability to 'hit' the user in minutes instead of hours, which can lead inexperienced users to take too much out of impatience. Those who are new to edibles may overdo their first experience, making for an uncomfortable high, but these mints have created a unique and new market for everyone to carefully dictate their preferred dose. Contrary to the wait-and-see metabolizing that edibles experts are used to, mints waste no time in delivering their effects: As Business Insider reports, "most of the THC gets absorbed sublingually, or through the cheeks and under the tongue," meaning you feel the dose in "minutes, not hours."  If you're wondering what weed can do for you and want an easy, low-stakes way to try it out, mints are the way to go. They provide a great framework for understanding your ideal dose and THC limits, and in a format that requires no smoking paraphernalia, with no inconvenient logistics or embarrassing smells. Also, unlike many edibles, they actually taste as described. A smooth, subtle high and fresh breath? That's a winning combination.  

  • News Posted Feb 2017

    Marijuana's Patent Spree Puts The 'High' In High Tech

    When the Narcotics Control Act was federally implemented in 1956, it came with a mandatory prison sentence of 2-10 years for simple possession of marijuana. Now that more than half of the U.S. has adopted some type of marijuana law, it's become almost more taboo for states to continue such harsh policy instead of condemn it. These days there are about 266 marijuana-related patents already approved by the US, despite marijuana's federal status remaining illegal, and over 250 more are awaiting approval. Big changes happen slowly, but big ideas are coming quickly to the ever-growing marijuana industry, and innovation is happening faster than ever. In a world where it feels every good idea has been thought of or invented, the still new and growing marijuana industry provides a great outlet for new ideas to thrive.  Some 266  marijuana-related patents have been approved in the U.S., and another 255 are pending, according to a new analysis by Envision IP, a Raleigh, N.C., patent-research firm. These filings cover everything from proprietary hybrid strains of cannabis, to “clean and efficient growing systems, software-based analytics and monitoring, and packaging and distribution infrastructure.” Nearly half that activity has come in the past three years, as the pace of patent-filing activity has more than quadrupled from levels a decade ago. By Envision IP’s tally, nearly 20 companies now hold cannabis-related patents. Among the most active are AbbVie, Jenrin Discovery and Cara Therapeutics.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Feb 2017

    Marijuana Compound Shows Some Potential for Treating Opioid Addiction

    A review of previous research concludes that compounds in marijuana are effective at suppressing withdrawal symptoms like cravings in those addicted to opioids. Marijuana remains difficult to gain access to for research, but it's become abundantly clear that more research is needed after seeing even small success curbing the problems arising from the country's opioid epidemic. Opioids include legal pharmaceuticals like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and the illegal drug, heroin, all of which can be extremely addicting. The review featured a study on rats in which the they learned to administer their own heroin, and a study in humans, both of which showed that the cannabinoid CBD helped effectively reduce cravings of heroin addiction for about 1 week.  In her review, Hurd looked at previous animal and human studies examining the potential of one particular marijuana compound — called cannabidiol, or CBD — for treating opioid addiction. For example, a study in rats published in 2009 in the Journal of Neuroscience found that CBD decreased heroin cravings in rats that had previously been trained to self-administer heroin. And a small study conducted in humans, published in August 2015 in the journal Neurotherapeutics, showed that taking CBD seemed to help reduce cravings in people addicted to heroin. This effect lasted for a week after the CBD was administered, Hurd noted in the new review. One advantage of cannabidiol is that, unlike another marijuana compound —tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — it does not give users a high, and therefore, its use does not involve a significant risk of misuse, according to the new review. The compound is also generally safe to use in adults and possibly in children, as suggested by tests of the compound in young patients with epilepsy, according to the review

  • News Posted Feb 2017

    Will Falling Cannabis Prices Hurt Marijuana Stocks?

    2016 was the biggest year for cannabis legalization yet in the US, and prices of the drug continue to fall. As more states are implementing programs and the supply of marijuana grows with each additional dispensary, the law of supply and demand takes over. Marijuana prices were nearly half the price by the end of 2016 compared to the beginning, however major stock prices continue to climb. Stocks like GW Pharmaceuticals' have no real player in the current cannabis market, that is until their new drug, Epidiolox, gains FDA approval, which could reel in patients who would be paying less out of pocket for their medicine. Whether states continue to legalize one by one or federal legalization finally comes, cannabis stocks will remain strong at least until the supply far outweighs the demand.  Medical Marijuana, Inc., however, does provide marijuana in the U.S., where cannabis prices have fallen. Nonetheless, the company's stock is up almost 400% in the last 12 months. Cannabis prices might be down in general, but Medical Marijuana's market size has grown even more thanks to more states legalizing marijuana. You wouldn't expect GW Pharmaceuticals' stock price to be impacted one way or the other by wholesale marijuana prices. The biotech doesn't yet have a product on the market in the U.S. Positive clinical results for its experimental cannabinoid drug Epidiolex and anticipation of potential U.S. regulatory approval in the not-too-distant future, though, have caused GW Pharmaceuticals' shares to more than double over the last year.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Feb 2017

    Health Department names medical marijuana division director

    During this past election many states passed new marijuana laws including North Dakota who passed a medical marijuana bill with 64% of voter approval. It will take nearly 2 years for the program to become fully regulated and operational, and the North Dakota Department of Health has named a leader to bring the program to fruition. With 33 years experience in the Health Department, and a background in licensing, regulation, and lab management, Kenan Bullinger was named the director of the state's medical marijuana program last week. The Senate has introduced a bill to amend the voter-passed law, which advocates say changes too much of the original bill, and will hold it's first hearing this week.  “Kenan’s background in licensing, regulation and lab management all make him an ideal person for the job. He has also been in discussions and provided valuable input regarding the measure, and now law, since the beginning,” Arvy Smith, interim co-director of the health department, said in a Friday release. The first hearing on SB2344 is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Brynhild Haugland Room. Lawmakers and state officials say the changes are needed to run a viable program. Measure 5 proponents plan to lodge their complaints, claiming the bill overrides the intent of the law as passed. The new division will oversee the issuance of medical marijuana cards, licensing and regulation of manufacturing and dispensary facilities, and regulation of medical marijuana products.

  • News Posted Feb 2017

    Alaska marijuana regulators reject plan to allow in-store consumption

    Alaska officially legalized the adult use of reacreational marijuana in 2015, but there are still no places to smoke for tourists as the law bans public consumption. In an attempt to be proactive, legislators wanted to allow dispensaries as a safe smoking area if the local government approved, but that idea was rejected this week 3-2 by a regulatory board. Now Alaska faces the same problem that many marijuana legal states do, dispensaries can legally sell a product to consumers who have no public place to consume. Allowing cannabis clubs for adults to smoke and socialize would be a great option for any recreational marijuana state, but even with the rising public opinion of marijuana, change comes very slowly.  Public use is banned under state law. Federal rules prohibit shipping cannabis by mail, and the feds also do not allow taking the substance back onto cruise ships that travel the Inside Passage as they pass through federal waters. Flying on a commercial flight with marijuana is also illegal federally. "We're going to be selling products to people who have no place to consume it," said James, whose Rainforest Farms runs a cultivation facility in Lemon Creek as well as a Downtown store. Giono also pushed back against the notion that being exposed to marijuana smoke is necessarily unhealthy. He said that if regulators and businesses can find a way to keep auto mechanics, miners, and others who work in environments with dangerous fumes, then officials could establish requirements to keep marijuana workers safe.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Feb 2017

    Texas medical marijuana faces a steep uphill climb to implementation

    With Texas being a historically conservative state, it's no surprise that marijuana law reform has taken a back seat to most issues, however advocates are proud of any progress being made towards medical marijuana's truly compassionate cause. In 2015 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the state's first medical marijuana bill, a very strict low-THC only program that allows patients with epilepsy, often children, to use the drug after being approved through two qualified doctors. The legislation was originally written to allow 12 grow facilities in Texas with licenses costing $6,000 each, but legislators have decided to weigh down the bill by skyrocketing the license price up to $1.3 million and instead only issue 3 marijuana licenses. Luckily advocates have made a slight compromise by bringing the license price down to nearly $500,000, but the final numbers are still up for discussion for the last regulation meeting on Feb. 22. On Feb. 23 the Department of Public safety will begin accepting marijuana dispensing applications. “They removed a trooper presence,” she said, “but they replaced it with some kind of an inspector. I wasn’t really sure what the purpose of the inspector is supposed to be. They’re supposed to have more than one inspection per week. What are they looking for? Week to week somebody isn’t going to be growing THC weed. I don’t get it.” “I think we have a shot,” she said. “I think it’s a long shot, but we do have a shot. There is very guarded optimism. When we set out to get 339 (the CUA) passed, most of the people said ‘don’t get your hopes up.’ Everybody was really shocked when it happened, and I think it happened because people like me — conservative Christian moms — flooded the building with our kids. We’re not hippies! Nobody is trying to get high. We’re trying to help our children.”

  • News Posted Feb 2017

    Judge says Texas teacher shouldn't be punished for marijuana use in Colorado

    Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado for almost 5 years now, so why is it that responsible adults are still being harrassed about legally using the drug during personal time? Maryam Roland was a teacher at Parkland High School in El Paso, TX before she was pressured into resigning after her teaching license was threatened. Roland came home after Christmas break in Colorado and admitted to school district officials that she had tried marijuana while visiting the legal state. The Texas Education Agency had her case looked into and ultimately decided to suspend Roland's license for two years after a marijuana-positive drug test. Luckily a local judge stepped in recommending that her license not be suspended as she was never "unworthy to instruct", but the damage to Roland had been done and she has still not returned to teaching.  Judge William G. Newchurch ruled that he did not find Roland "unworthy to instruct" after the ingestion. He recommended the TEA not suspend her teaching license, reports the Times.  The Austin American-Statesman reports Newchurch wrote, "There is no evidence that (Roland's) behavior... suggested she was under the influence of marijuana" during school hours. 

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Feb 2017

    Arizona Medical Marijuana Sales Up 52 Percent From Last Year

    This past election voters in Arizona did not pass their recreational marijuana initiative like many other states, however the state's medical marijuana program is thriving and showing continuous growth. In 2016 Arizona sold 52% more medical marijuana than in 2015, thats over 29 tons of cannabis or over 3 gargabe trucks full! Patients are currently able to be recommended medical marijuana by their doctor for glaucoma, nausea, and post traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. The average price of 1oz of medical pot in Arizona is around $300, with sales totaling $281 million in 2016 alone.  Patients are cleared to use the drug for glaucoma, nausea, and post traumatic stress disorder, but the majority of prescriptions were approved for chronic pain.  An average price for an ounce of marijuana is about $300, totaling $281 million last year. That is enough money to buy nearly 2,000 of those garbage trucks.