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Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older, but Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman claimed pot dealers are circumventing state law by using online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook to stimulate sales, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.
The Denver-area Craigslist page on Friday had more than 700 postings where marijuana is listed under the “for sale” category. Thousands of people are using the website to sell pot online, according to Kevin Torres at Fox 31 Denver.
“I think the black market in general is still very active and Craigslist is a perfect example of the active black market,” said Lauren Harris, owner of Dynama Consultikng, a cannabis consulting firm that helps dispensaries navigate the rules of Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.
People who are fighting federal marijuana charges say that a recent act of Congress should have stopped the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting them, because their activities were legally allowed in their states. Cannabis is still illegal under federal law for any purpose.
“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever hard to deal with in my life when you see the government coming down on you for simply trying to be healthy,” said Rolland Gregg, who along with his family has fought federal marijuana charges, reports the Associated Press. Gregg said the cannabis plants found on his property in Kirkland, Washington were for medicinal use and in compliance with state law.
A federal jury last year convicted Gregg, his mother and his then-wife of growing 50 to 100 cannabis plants. They had about 70 plants, which, according to their attorney, Phil Telfeyan, was in compliance with Washington’s medical marijuana law. The Greggs have prison sentences looming, reports Sudhin Thanawala at the AP.
Wait, what? In another development on the fast-breaking front regarding the corporate takeover of cannabis, a New York-based company wants to produce cannabinoids in plants other than marijuana, particularly in tobacco.
22nd Century Group, Inc., a plant biotechnology company that calls itself “a leader in tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research,” on Thursday announced that it is launching a major new initiative to produce medically important cannabinoids in plants other than cannabis – including tobacco plants.
In support of this initiative, the company also announced that has opened its own fully outfitted molecular biology laboratories in the Cleveland BioLabs building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. 22nd Century said its new laboratories will host cutting-edge research in industrial hemp/cannabis and tobacco biotechnology.
Paul J. Rushton, Ph.D., the Company’s recently appointed Cambridge and Max Planck Institute-educated Vice President of Plant Biotechnology, will manage the Company’s research efforts at the new laboratories.
A new study released on Thursday performed for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board by the University of Washington supposedly shows that the amount of marijuana allowed to be grown by state-licensed I-502 producers in the state “is enough to satisfy both the medical and recreational marijuana markets,” while ignoring the challenges of price, pesticides, and access which I-502 stores present for patients.
The study, “Estimating Canopy Size for the Washington Medical Marijuana Market,” seems tailor-made to be used as political ammunition in the fight led by many I-502 recreational cannabis merchants to finish the shutting-down of Washington’s medical marijuana community, which is already slated for extinction, at least as we know it, on July 1. After that date, any medical marijuana dispensaries which don’t have an I-502 license will be required to shut down under penalty of law.
It would be a mistake to miss the drift, here. Saying that licensed I-502 growers can produce all the marijuana needed by Washington state medical marijuana patients is just about a half-step, politically, away from some politician, likely with fat I-502 contributions in the coffers, making another try to shut down home grow by medicinal cannabis patients in next year’s session of the Legislature.
Once you’ve been defined as “unnecessary” in the supply chain — even though you’re growing your own medicine in exactly the way that works best for you, and probably a strain you can’t find easily, or at all, in a recreational marijuana store — it seems it’s only a matter of time before I-502 merchants and their pet politicians in Olympia want their greedy little hands on every cent of your cannabis budget. Never mind growing your own; that bad for profits!
“It’s a shame lawmakers couldn’t have made history with a vote on a substantive and meaningful medical marijuana bill,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “Today’s vote will only bring false hope and empty promises to Ohioans suffering from debilitating conditions who need medical marijuana.”
The House legislation suffers from numerous fundamental flaws that would restrict patient access and would take up to two years to be implemented, Marshall said. In addition, the House version leaves many critical decisions to an unelected board that could be stacked with persons openly hostile to medical marijuana.
In contrast, the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana amendment provides access to medical marijuana for thousands of Ohioans immediately upon passage through an affirmative defense and home grow clause and has clear language spelling out regulatory aspects of the plan, according to Marshall.
Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Act, which has qualified for November’s ballot and is being sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), would require merchants to keep marijuana magazines behind the counter if their stores are open to customers younger than 21.
An almost identical provision which was part of a bill passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2013 was so blatantly unconstitutional that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the state wouldn’t enforce it, reports Jacob Sullum at Reason.com.
Yet, just three years later, MPP is asking Maine voters to approve the same restriction as the price they must pay for the state’s “legalization” initiative.
The Marijuana Legalization Act which will be on the Maine ballot in November says “a magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses may be sold only in a retail marijuana store or behind the counter in an establishment where persons under 21 years of age are present.”
In what looks to be the first time the mainstream “book world” has presented any award to a cannabis book, George Van Patten — AKA Jorge Cervantes — was presented the Gold Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association for The Cannabis Encyclopedia.
“After 33 years publishing cannabis books Van Patten Publishing is proud to receive this award from the IBPA, the first association to recognize a cannabis book with an award,” said Van Patten at the awards ceremony in Salt Lake City, on April 8.
The Ben Franklin award is a celebration of the publisher’s work, but also sets a precedent to any other publishing firm that high quality works should be celebrated, regardless of subject, as long as a high quality is shown across the entire text.
“As you can see by the wording of our awards, it is open to all,” said Jan Nathan, founder of the IBPA. “We decided to parallel the universe of book publishing that doesn’t discriminate between large and small.”
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
Change is happening fast in Washington state. “Some of the best growers we buy from? My dad put into prison a few years ago,” Ray Alloway told me this week in his new shop, A Recreational Marijuana Store, in Port Orchard, where we had a chance to visit on Tuesday.
Yeah, the name Alloway means a whole different thing these days in Washington state marijuana circles… Where it once struck fear into the hearts of medical marijuana patients throughout the region — with Roy Alloway and the WestNET Narcotics Enforcement Team regularly conducting raids of home growing operations — it has for some time now meant access to medical marijuana. And starting this week, it also means access through the new legal, recreational marijuana system in Washington.
Roy Alloway’s son, Raymond Alloway, along with longtime business partner Will Climer, this week opened A Recreational Marijuana Store (yes, that’s really the name) in South Park Center.
Climer and Alloway aren’t newcomers to the marijuana business. In fact, they toldToke Signals they’ve been compadres and business partners since the eighth grade.