Cannabis News

Trump may allow states some leeway with marijuana


Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

(Feb 20, 2017)

Here’s one thing Californians might not have to worry about from the Trump administration: interference in the state’s annual $7 billion cannabis industry.

While there has been speculation about how the month-old administration, particularly cannabis-shaming Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will deal with the marijuana business, insiders and industry advocates are “cautiously optimistic” that Trump doesn’t have it in for weed.

“Trump is not an ideologue, that’s the good news — he’s very transactional,” Washington, D.C., public policy consultant Nathan Daschle told participants Friday at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco. “The only people who are really left that are opposed to this come from an ideological point of view.”

Added Joe Hunter, who has worked for various GOP campaigns, Sessions “and Donald Trump are not sitting in the Oval Office wringing their hands over cannabis.”

And because of Trump and Sessions’ strong belief in states’ rights, making it more unlikely they would interfere with states whose voters have approved legalization laws, National Cannabis Industry Association Deputy Director Taylor West said, “We’re cautiously optimistic.”

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Most Financial Institutions Still Hesitant to Serve Cannabis Businesses

(Jan 26, 2017) Few things in business are more devastating than your bank telling you they’re closing your accounts, especially when you’ve done nothing wrong. In the U.S., the growing marijuana industry knows this feeling all too well.

Small Business Trends spoke with an ancillary business owner who had nightmarish problems with two major financial companies. (“Ancillary”, in cannabis commerce, is the industry-created term given to a business which doesn’t ever touch actual cannabis plants nor any parts/extracts.)

The founder, who wished to remain anonymous, said “If a bank, credit card or payment processing company sees from their records that you’re being paid by a cannabis business, they can shut down your accounts, even your personal ones, even mortgage accounts, without probable cause. Banks have the right to serve whoever they want, and if they want you to leave, you’re out. If you’re a high net worth client, they can use Google to research you and they’ll get in touch with whoever oversees your accounts.”

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Massive Meta-Study Confirms the Health Benefits of Cannabis

Getty Editorial

(Jan 13, 2017) After digging through more than 10,000 separate clinical studies, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on Thursday issued a groundbreaking, 400-page report on the potential benefits and detriments posed by cannabis use. The biggest revelation: cannabis has verifiable medicinal uses, which are backed by large amounts of high-quality science. This could spell the end for weed’s categorization as a Schedule I narcotic.

The report was authored by a panel of health experts led by Harvard pediatrician, Marie McCormick. The study found, among other things, that cannabinoids (the active ingredients in cannabis) are potent pain relievers, especially for chronic pain. It also found that while cannabis smoke does not appear to cause cancer of the mouth, throat or lungs, toking up while pregnant can lead to reduced birth weights.

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Sessions Hearings Fail to Answer Questions on Cannabis

(Alex Brandon/AP)

(Jan 12, 2017) This week’s confirmation hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump’s pick for attorney general, did little to ease cannabis advocates’ fears that the incoming administration could put state-legal cannabis programs at risk.

Asked by one senator about state cannabis laws, Sessions “gave a wishy-washy non-answer that provides little comfort to medical marijuana patients, state officials, and others,” Bill Piper, senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s office of national affairs, said Thursday in a conference call with reporters.

“He was clear that federal law makes possession and distribution a crime and that he would enforce federal law,” added Alison Parker, the US director of Human Rights Watch.

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Proposed Bill Would Allow Washington Residents to Grow Own Pot

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Jan 11, 2017) A bill introduced in the state Legislature would allow Washington residents to grow personal use marijuana plants in their home.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo), authorizes the production of personal use recreational marijuana plants for anyone 21 years old or older.

Residents would be able to grow up to six plants as long as less than 24 ounces of “usable marijuana is harvested,” the bill states.

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Cannabis farmers seek legal way to grow

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

(Jan 8, 2017)  San Diego County has farmers who have worked in the region’s rural residential and commercial agricultural zones for generations. Many of these residents would like to continue this tradition — not by growing avocados or tomatoes — but by lawfully growing cannabis and hemp on their existing properties.

This may prove difficult given that upcoming actions by the county Board of Supervisors may ban local cultivation altogether or relegate it solely to medical dispensaries. Either of these actions would leave independent farm-to-market businesses literally out in the weeds.

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I made my son cannabis cookies. They changed his life.

(Photo by Dean Jacoby)

(Jan 6, 2017) It took me awhile to perfect the cookie recipe. I experimented with ingredients: Blueberry, Strawberry, Sour Diesel, White Widow, Bubba Kush, AK-47 — all strains of cannabis, which I stored, mixed with glycerin, in meticulously labeled jars on a kitchen shelf. After the cookies finished baking, I’d taste a few crumbs and annotate the effects in a notebook. Often, I felt woozy. One variation put me to sleep. When I had convinced myself that a batch was okay, I’d give a cookie to my 9-year-old son.

At the time he was consumed by violent rages. He would bang his head, scream for hours and literally eat his shirts. At dinnertime, he threw his plates so forcefully that there was food stuck on the ceiling. He would punch and scratch himself and others, such that people would look at the red streaks on our bodies and ask us, gingerly, if we had cats.
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Washington State Pushing Legal Cannabis in Bold New Directions

(July 5, 2016) Washington state is mixing things up when it comes to legal cannabis. Back on July 1, a new set of rules for recreational and medical marijuana went into effect. The result of what these changes will accomplish is yet to be seen, but so far, Washington state seems to have taken the lead in experimenting with what the future of legal cannabis might look like.

The Details

Medical and recreational cannabis have both been legal in Washington state for a while now. But last year, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 5052. That bill was intended to merge the medicinal industry and the recreational industry. It went into effect on July 1.

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