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The latest in marijuana news, culture and politics
  • Medical Marijuana Posted Nov 2016

    This blunder on new California marijuana law could cost state millions

    When California voters legalized recreational marijuana by ballot measure earlier this month, the bill's language depicted the new recreational marijuana program beginning on Jan. 1, 2018 with a 15% excise tax on cannabis products. The medical marijuana system was planned to have a tax break once the recreational program began, however due to a simple error in text, the medical marijuana tax break goes into effect immediately, meaning a long tax revenue dry 2017 is ahead. Writers of the law have made it clear it was not their intention to halt medical marijuana tax revenue immediately, but the state's Board of Equalization ruled to keep the language. Other than a slow year for medical marijuana tax revenue, officials fear that tax-free medical marijuana will attract more patients who might not transition into a more expensive recreational marijuana program when it arrives in 2018. As a result, tax-free medical marijuana sales will occur in California from now through the end of 2017. With recreational sales not set to begin until 2018, tax-free medical sales leave California facing a disappointing near-term marijuana tax revenue picture. The creators of the initiative have stated publicly that providing a 14-month tax holiday for marijuana was not their intention, but the state’s Board of Equalization ruled otherwise.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Nov 2016

    Marijuana Appears to Benefit Mental Health: Study

    Marijuana is now legal in some forms in over half of US states, and medical marijuana patients can be recommended the drug for conditions like arthritis, cancer, PTSD, depression and anxiety. The drug's popularity has allowed voters to legalize through state ballot initiatives rather than through legislation. Studies are very limited on cannabis due to the harsh federal classification, but the effects of marijuana on mental and physical health are far more than anecdotal these days. Not only has marijuana legalization curbed opiate abuse in several states, but researchers are excited about the possibility of substituting marijuana to treat harmful opioid addictions. Researchers can all agree that marijuana needs more attention and should be studied for it's therapeutic potential. Though more research is needed, studies also suggested that cannabis may have a place in dealing with addiction. “We are really excited about the potential substitution effect,” says study author Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. “If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits. The level of opioid overdoses is so high right now.  

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Nov 2016

    What you should know about Nevada’s new marijuana law

    This week Nevada legalized recreational marijuana alongside several other states. The new law will go into effect on January 1st, until then the Nevada police said they will continue to enforce current nonmedical prohibition. After the new year adults over 21 will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 1/8 of an ounce of cannabis concentrates. Regulations for the state's recreational program will be decided over the next two years, but there is no estimated start date. Smoking in public is still prohibited and those caught can be fined up to $600. Despite marijuana being legal for adults in Nevada, state law still allows employees to be fired by employers for a marijuana positive drug test.  First, the law doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1 . Las Vegas police said Wednesday that officers will continue to enforce the current law, which outlaws any nonmedical marijuana possession until the new law takes effect. After Jan. 1, adults 21 and older can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, or one-eighth of an ounce of cannabis concentrate. When the general public will be able to buy marijuana from a store is unclear. The Taxation Department has until Jan. 1, 2018, to craft regulations and licensing to allow the stores to operate.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Nov 2016

    Amendment 2 would expand marijuana use to 6 other debilitating conditions

    Last year, voters in Florida failed to pass an amendmend to legalize medical marijuana, this year the state will have another chance. Amendmend 2, if passed, would expand on the current medical marijuana program in Florida by adding 6 additional illnesses to the list of qualifying conditions. Patients do not receive marijuana buds, but instead a concentrate or extract that can be vaporized or added to into food/drink. Though scientific evidence for treating some of the illnesses has been hard to come by, many patients hold much trust in anecdotal evidence and personal experience.  "It certainly is something that allows me to function in society 100 percent more than what Percocet, Demerol, Vicodin or any other drugs prescribed through a pharmacy were able to do," a patient identified only as M.J., who suffers from chronic pain, said. A total of 25 states have approved some form of medical marijuana, and a recent Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans are in favor of its use. If the amendment passes, the Florida Department of Health will set guidelines for how it's dispensed and monitored.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Nov 2016

    Artificial Intelligence Predicts Next States to Legalize Marijuana

    Marijuana legalization efforts in the US have accelerated in recent years as states and territories across the country have adopted regulations to allow medical or recreational use of cannabis. While the US Presidential election is the most visible vote on November 8, nine states will also vote on ballot issues concerning marijuana legalization: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota. WheresWeed.com and California Cannabis Ventureshave partnered together in an effort to predict which states will legalize cannabis next. Utilizing Unanimous A.I.’s artificial intelligence platform, Where’s Weed and California Cannabis Ventures questioned current business owners in the cannabis industry on the likelihood of marijuana legislation passing in 2016. The cannabis industry professionals were asked about the likelihood of both medical and recreational ballot measures up for consideration across California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana, and Florida. Participants were given options ranging from Very Likely to Very Unlikely. Previously, Unanimous A.I.’s Swarm Intelligence results have been widely cited in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and other major media outlets. Unanimous A.I.'s swarm intelligence platform, UNU, has successfully enabled groups to accurately predict the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, and the Kentucky Derby Superfecta, which turned $20 into $11,000 at 540-1 odds. Swarm Intelligence Results  California’s Proposition 64: Very Likely  Nevada’s Question 2: Very Likely  Maine’s Question 1: Very Likely  Arizona’s Proposition 205: Likely  Massachusetts Question 4: Likely  Montana’s Ballot Issue 24 (I-182): Likely  Arkansas’ Medical Cannabis Act: Unlikely  Florida’s Amendment 2: Unlikely  North Dakota’s Compassionate Care Act: Very Unlikely “The results were pretty much what I expected,” said Bill Anders, CMO of Where’s Weed. “However, Florida was a very interesting result though as polling in that state is showing overwhelming support. Recent polls are showing 69% in favor of Amendment 2. I think a lot of the negative sentiment comes from the 2014 vote which fell short by just 2%.” “According to Gallup, Pew and other pollsters, American’s approval of marijuana legalization is the highest in history and has soared in the past decade as Colorado and other states have shown the benefits of legalization to be real and the feared drawbacks to have been overblown,” adds Wesley Hein of California Cannabis Ventures. “But this has been a year of voter surprises and because ballot measures have a history of big swings in the last few weeks before an election it is reassuring that the Unanimous A.I. results are largely in line with pollsters’ expectations for passage of the majority of state medical and recreational marijuana initiatives that are very important to marijuana patients and anti-prohibition supporters alike.” Developed by Silicon Valley startup Unanimous A.I., and based on years of scientific research on Swarm Intelligence, UNU is a unique merger of software algorithms and real-time human input. Modeled after swarms in nature, UNU enables groups of online users to think together as a unified emergent intelligence – a “brain of brains” that can express itself as a singular entity. Touted to as the world’s first “hive mind,” the UNU platform has had over 60,000 human participants in swarming sessions this year, together answering over 240,000 questions. Swarm Intelligence, the science behind UNU, goes back to the birds and the bees. In fact, it goes to all creatures that amplify their group intelligence by forming flocks, schools, colonies, herds, and swarms. Across countless species, nature show us that social groups – when working together as a unified dynamic system – can outperform the majority of individual members when solving problems and making decisions, proving the old adage: many minds are better than one. In 2014, researchers at Unanimous A.I. first discovered that people can form online swarms that amplify intelligence just like natural swarms. So Unanimous built the UNU platform to bring that experience to everyone. Users can login for free, join an existing swarm, or form their own swarm on any topic. From sports and politics, to movies and music, online groups can form their own emergent intelligence and ask it questions about anything. Because of the recent successes Unanimous A.I. has had with UNU’s predictions, Where’s Weed and California Cannabis Ventures selected it for their marijuana legalization forecast. For additional information on the project and results, contact Where’s Weed or California Cannabis Ventures. About Where’s Weed  Since 2011, Where’s Weed has been the leading cannabis technology company, connecting medical and recreational users with trusted local marijuana businesses in their community. Cannabis users can search and filter for exactly what they’re looking for, whether that be a business, strain, or product. Additionally, users can connect with other members of the community for a daily newsfeed of local offerings and events happening within the cannabis industry. Press Contact  Bill Anders  Chief Marketing Officer  bill(at)wheresweed.com  (855) 420-7771 ext. 2  https://wheresweed.com About California Cannabis Ventures  California Cannabis Ventures is a consulting firm dedicated to helping cannabis brands establish themselves in California’s competitive medical cannabis market. Press Contact  Wesley Hein  californiacannabisventures(at)gmail.com  213-222-8077  http://californiacannabisventures.com/ About Unanimous A.I.  Unanimous A.I. develops technologies for Artificial Swarm Intelligence, unlocking the hidden brainpower inherent in groups of all sizes, while fostering collaboration and community. Unlike traditional A.I., which aims to replicate intelligence with bits and bytes, Unanimous’ technologies keep people in the loop, amplifying human intelligence rather than replacing it. For more information, visit http://unanimous.ai/ or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn. Press Contact  Laura Beauregard  PAN Communications for Unanimous A.I.  407-767-0452 ext. 223  lbeauregard(at)pancomm.com  http://unanimous.ai/

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Cleveland OKs 1-year moratorium on medical marijuana permits

    Following Ohio's legalization of medical marijuana, the city of Cleveland is joining among 50 others within the state to put a hold on the forthcoming marijuana industry. Though Ohio legalized the use of medical marijuana, these cities have prevented marijuana businesses from opening by placing a moratorium on marijuana sales permits and licenses. Cleveland City Council voted last week to pass a one-year moratorium on the marijuana businesses, though other moratoriums are anywhere from six-months to two-years. Ohio's coming medical marijuana legalization will take time to implement, meaning these cities could decided to allow marijuana businesses in the future. All cities participating in the medical marijuana industry must have their programs running by September 2018.  The legislation approved Monday by the Cleveland City Council calls for a one-year moratorium. More than 50 Ohio cities have approved similar moratoriums that vary in length from six months to two years. More cities are expected to follow suit  

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    'Microdosing' is the future of marijuana

    The legal cannabis industry has pioneered some of the strongest strains of marijuana and marijuana products ever, but the newest trend gaining attention is the low dose edible movement. Also called 'microdosing', the act of eating a minimal portion of cannabis edibles has surfaced as new users and recreational users are mindful of their tolerance. Several companies now have products featuring chocolates, bbq sauce, and even bottled water with 5-10mg of THC that consumers can eat without worry of taking too much. There are no deaths on record associated with ingesting marijuana, however consuming too much cannabis can make the user very uncomfortable. Edibles can take up to 2 hours for the user to feel the effects, which has caused many inexperienced users to eat too much. This has made some wary of cannabis edibles, but many people still prefer the lengthy and healthier buzz that eating marijuana brings. Knoblich says the trend borrows from the pharmaceutical industry, which has heralded the "minimum effective dose" principle in recent years. It's the idea that patients should consume the smallest dose possible that produces a desired outcome without negative side effects. "It's that person looking for a glass of wine or beer in the evening [type] experience," Knoblich says. "We're looking for that person who isn't looking to get blasted."

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    UK Recognizes Marijuana Extract As Medicine

    The United Kingdom has become the next country to legalize the cannabinoid CBD for medicinal purposes, but those caught possessing the flower or buds of the plant still face time in prison. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced that CBD, while not getting the user "high", has the ability to treat forms of cancer, IBS, depression, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. The MHRA says the compound CBD has "restoring, correcting or modifying" properties on a person's physiological functions. The acknowledgement of CBD as medicine is progress for marijuana reform, however a strict CBD-only program can hurt many patients who rely on other forms of cannabis and force them into the black market.  “We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine,” a spokesman for the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency told The Huffington Post. The MHRA found that CBD has a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on the human body’s “physiological functions,” the Independent reported. “It’s definitely a positive development,” said Michael Collins, deputy director for the Drug Policy Alliance, but he cautioned that measures pertaining only to CBD can be too limiting for patients.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Ballot Breakdown: Pros, Cons Of Medical Marijuana In Florida

    Floridians will soon have their chance to vote on Amendment 2, a medical marijuana initiative that would allow THC products alongside the CBD products already available for medical marijuana patients. Those opposing marijuana legalization seem unaware that Florida already has an operating medical marijuana program with warehouses full of cannabis and ill patients buying medicine. Amendment 2 is only an expansion on the qualifying conditions and available products for patients. In 2014, 57% of Floridians voted yes on an amendment that was similar to this year's, falling short of the 60% needed to pass. If this year's Amendment passes, Doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana after roughly 9 months. An estimated 2,000 shops selling medical marijuana would be regulated by the state. If the amendment passes you could expect: -Patients with Cancer, Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, AIDS, and PTSD to be eligible to use marijuana -Doctors would be allowed to prescribe marijuana within nine months. -The state would regulate shops selling marijuana. Early estimates show there could be as many as 2,000 of them. Pollara said, “I don’t think most people will see any change. Sick people will get the medicine that they need without having to be criminals. Maybe when you are on South Beach instead of a new tattoo parlor, you see a marijuana retail facility but I think by and large most people will see zero impact from this.”

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Going digital: Nevada medical marijuana patients can now apply online for MMJ cards

    After negotiating over the last year, state officials and the Nevada Dispensary Association have finally implemented an online system for patients to apply for their medical marijuana card. By eliminating the need for patients to physically go to the DMV and a Division of Public and Behavioral Health office, more patients will be able to register and obtain the necessary medication. Patients need only to visit with a doctor for approval to use medical marijuana, then the approval can be scanned and submitted online.  Nevada officials say they will now offer the medical marijuana card application process online. The Las Vegas Sun reports that the doing so will eliminate the need for patients to make trips to a Department of Motor Vehicles branch and a Division of Public and Behavioral Health office. Patients will be able to submit all forms on the Nevada Dispensary Association website.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Illinois Adds Chronic Pain, PTSD to Qualifying Medical Conditions

    Illinois' medical marijuana program has been operating for a short while now and it seems to be doing fairly well while making improvements along the way. As a result, legislators extended the pilot program to atleast to the year 2020. The program is consistently moving forward, but not without a forceful push here and there. A Cook County Judge, Neil Cohen recently ordered for 'post-operation chronic pain' to be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, and the Department of Health has 30 days to respond. Only a few months ago Cohen was pushing for PTSD to be added to Illinois' qualifying conditions, and he succeeded. A new condition has been added to the list of medical marijuana-treated conditions in Illinois. A judge just ordered Post-Operative Chronic Pain to be quickly added to the qualifying conditions. Illinois is one of the few states with a medical marijuana program that doesn’t allow treatment of chronic pain with cannabis  

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Sep 2016

    Marijuana violation reduced in Minooka

    Following Illinois' decision to decriminalize 10 grams or less or marijuana, the village of Minooka also reduced the penalties of less than 10 grams from a class B misdemeanor to a civil law violation. Those caught in possession of less than 10 grams will be fined $200 while over 10 grams will receive a $250 fine. One legislator says they have no opinion for or against the drug, but they wanted to be more in line with the new state laws. On the otherhand, the Minooka Police Chief has stated his disapproval for the drug and the new law. Police Chief Justin Meyer says marijuana can be a gateway drug, which has never been proven to be true and the U.S. Attorney General has recently been cited as saying cannabis is NOT a gateway drug. But it's no surprise that the law comes with uninformed opposition. We can only hope that police will operate appropriately under the new law and not choose to let personal bias effect innocent people.  “The state has become more lenient with marijuana laws, so as a village we took steps to become more in line with state law,” Village Administrator Dan Duffy said. “We have no opinion for or against, we are just being more in line with the state,” Duffy added. The change makes it a civil offense within village limits, with a fine up to $200, for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. Possession of more than 10 grams up to 30 grams remains a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of $250.