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Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Somewhere In Washington Blue Dream, Plushberry and White Widow [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]
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Somewhere In Washington
Blue Dream, Plushberry and White Widow
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

U.S.: Report Says Legalized Marijuana Is Nation’s Fastest Growing Industry

(Hemp News)

Legalized marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States, according to a new report.

The legal cannabis industry expanded 74 percent during 2014, according to the study, from California-based research and investment firm ArcView Market Research, report Chris Oberholtz and Josh Marshall at KCTV.

The market grew from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014 in combined retail and wholesale sales, according to the data, published in the company’s third edition of the “State of Legal Marijuana Markets.”

Five states — California, Colorado, Washington, Arizona and Michigan — now have cannabis markets greater than $100 million, according to the report.


U.S.: Huge DEA Program Revealed To Trace Americans’ Locations With License Plates

(Hemp News)

Big Brother is watching you. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has started a huge national license plate tracking program, and civil liberties advocates are not happy.

The DEA disclosed very few details, reports Bennett Stein at the American Civil Liberties Union, according to new documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The National License Plate Recognition program connects DEA license plate reading technology with that of other law enforcement agencies around the United States. The program, which already exists and has existed since 2008, but the DEA has provided very limited information to the public on the program’s goals, capabilities and policies.


U.S.: Rep. Blumenauer Grills FDIC On Blocking Financial Services To Marijuana Businesses

(Hemp News)

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) on Thursday sent a letter to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg asking for clarification on what guidance the FDIC provides to banks who offer financial services to marijuana-related businesses, and what role, if any, the FDIC played in M Bank’s decision to abruptly suspend operations in Colorado.

Last week, M Bank publicly announced it would offer banking services to marijuana businesses in Colorado, only to abruptly reverse course a week later. A Denver Post article from January 26 cites industry insiders familiar with the situation claiming that the FDIC stepped in to warn M Bank executives that their actions were “too risky.”

If this assertion is accurate, Rep. Blumenauer, who founded a marijuana working group in Congress, is demanding answers as to why this is the case.


Washington: Marijuana Vending Machine Coming To Seattle

(Hemp News)

Seattle-area medical marijuana patients will soon be able to buy their cannabis from a vending machine.

It’s the “first age-verifying, climate-controlled, self-service dispensary,” according to American Green, the manufacturer of the ZaZZZ marijuana machine, reports KOMO.

The machine is scheduled to debut on Tuesday, February 3, at Seattle Caregivers, a medical marijuana dispensary. Seattle Caregivers is located on 1207 South Jackson Street, B105, in Seattle.

Marijuana flowers, edibles, “and other merchandise” will be dispensed from the machine after age and identity verification via scanner, according to the company.



Oregon: Gov. Kitzhaber Claims Home Marijuana Possession Limits Are Too High

(Hemp News)

Oregon voters — a whopping 56 percent of them — approved Measure 91, which legalized marijuana, up to half a pound of it at home. But now Gov. John Kitzhaber has apparently decided he knows better than voters, and on Tuesday he indicated me might ask the Legislature to set lower limits.

Kitzhaber claimed he had “many concerns” about the voter-approved initiative, questioning the logic of allowing adults to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis at home yet just one ounce in public, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian.

“The amount you can actually grow in a home-grow operation seems to me to exceed the amount that you’re supposed to have legally,” Kitzhaber said. “I don’t know how you enforce that.”


Lebanon: Hashish Growers Say They’re Ready To Join Fight Against ISIS

(Hemp News)

Hashish growers in Lebanon’s cannabis-rich Bekaa Valley say they are ready to join the fight against Islamic militant group ISIS.

The Lebanese army and the hash growers — who formerly trained their weapons on each other — now have a common enemy, because ISIS has been targeting marijuana crops in Syria, reports Rebecca Collard at PRI. The group recently posted a video online of ISIS militants destroying shoulder-tall stalks of cannabis near the city of Aleppo.

With the Bekaa Valley hashish factory of Ali Nasri Shamas in Bouday, Lebanon, just 30 minutes from the Syrian border, that’s a big concern. Many area residents fear the wild-eyed jihadis, known for their practice of beheading opponents in online videos, are coming to the valley.

But Shamas said he’s ready if they do. “This is for ISIS and [the Al-Qaeda-affiliated] Nusra Front,” he said, showing off a two-foot long machete.


Facebook Bans Reporter For Mentioning The Price Of Legal Marijuana

(Toke Signals)

Washington state cannabis journalist Steve Elliott, editor/owner of Toke Signals, editor of Hemp News and NW Leaf columnist, on Thursday received a 30-day ban from Facebook… for mentioning the price of legal Washington weed in a comment.

“What horrible nasty thing did he say? Who did he insult?” asks activist Cheri Sicard, also known as Cannabis Cheri. “Who did he insult? Nothing and nobody.

“The ‘offending’ post merely related the price of LEGAL medical and recreational marijuana in Washington state,” Sicard said. “He was not trying to sell said weed or advertise, merely stating the facts of the going rate in Washington state.”

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