Expanded Medical Marijuana Proposal Passes by a Landslide in Iowa Senate

Expanded Medical Marijuana Proposal Passes by a Landslide in Iowa Senate

On Monday, the Iowa State Senate passed an expanded medical marijuana proposal by a landslide.  The vote was 45 “yes” to 5 “no”. This expansion would allow making and dispensing cannabis products in Iowa legal, as well as for adults to legally possess and use cannabis under a doctor’s care to treat an variety of medical conditions.  The proposal is entitled “The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act,” and, if it passes through the rest of the State’s Congress, would become a new law that would replace Iowa’s existing but limited cannabis oil statute.

This expansion could have great potential for cannabis policy reform overall, with Iowa being right in the middle of America’s heartland.

According to a local news outlet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa called The Gazette, this proposal lays out an expanded approach to reclassify marijuana and open it as a limited medical alternative under tight regulation and supervision.

“Let’s do the right thing for the people out there who are suffering,” said Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale. The bill was supported by 25 Republicans 19 Democrats and one independent, while four Republicans and one Democrat opposed it.

Under provisions of Senate File (SF) 506, Iowa would license up to four manufacturers to “possess, cultivate, transport or supply medical cannabis” by July 2, 2018, so up to 12 licensed dispensaries could begin distribution to qualified adult Iowans by July 16, 2018. Interested makers and dispensers would pay a non-refundable $15,000 state fee.

About a year ago, a poll was released that found that 78% of Iowans supported medical marijuana reform. While most of the public polled seemed to more broadly support medical marijuana as opposed to recreational/adutl-use marijuana, they have steadily become more comfortable..  The poll from last year was up from 58 percent in 2013.

The proposal will now go to the Iowa State House of Representatives, where it’s future is still uncertain.  You can read the full text of The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act here.

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Published at Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:38:36 +0000

How did 420 Start? The Term 420 is Synonymous with the Freedom to Smoke Pot, but why?

How did 420 Start? The Term 420 is Synonymous with the Freedom to Smoke Pot, but why?

How did 420 Start? Where did the term 420 come from? It is a question many of us have asked, usually around 4:20am (if it was a late night), or 4:20pm (if you’re night is just getting started). But, for me, 420 just means smoke em because you can.

The term 420 suggests that there are a couple times in one day that one could choose to partake with cannabis, It’s a time where drug law reform advocates demand the right, liberty and freedom for people to imbibe with cannabis on whatever terms they choose. Whether it be for medical use, at the end of a long day, or to rock out to ones favorite Dead show, we have adopted 420 as the time to overtly express our freedom to ingest cannabis, a plant far safer than alcohol and most over the counter and prescription drugs.

Of course, there is a real story behind 420, and Ryan Grim told us all about it in a great piece he wrote for the Huffington Post in May of 2009. It involves one of the most well known names in cannabis news, Steve Bloom, who owns and writes for Freedom Leaf.

If you are lucky enough to live in a state where marijuana is legal, 420 might be more of a celebration for you. But, for many, 420 is another day to live in fear when trying to safely consume cannabis, which is why we should use this holiday to speak out and advocate for an end to the drug war.

how did 420 start

420 is a reminder that many of us are so fearful of cannabis prohibition that we only allow for 60 seconds, twice a day, to even talk about it. For many of us, it reminds us of how we must be vigilant in avoiding the law while trying peacefully consume cannabis. And that our friends of color have been disproportionately affected by these perverse and draconian drug laws.

While there are many reasons to celebrate, let us not forget that we still live under the Federal laws of prohibition, and that all of us should continue to fight for an equal opportunity for everyone to celebrate 420.

#NoMoreDrugWar

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Published at Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:05:54 +0000

Kentucky burning commercially grown hemp with too much THC

Kentucky burning commercially grown hemp with too much THC

The Columbian / Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky agriculture officials say they’re burning a fraction of the hemp crop being grown for commercial purposes because it contains a higher level of a psychoactive compound than is legally allowed.

Brent Burchett is director of plant marketing for the state agriculture department. He says the state’s bound by law to destroy the 100 pounds (45 kilograms) in question because their THC level exceeded 0.3 percent, the limit set by Congress and followed by the state.

Grower Lyndsey Todd cultivated the hemp to be turned into medicine. Todd says her product is not psychoactive and that the 0.3 percent THC limit is an “unrealistic number.”

Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp usually has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

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Published at Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:58:21 +0000

Uruguay will Begin Selling Marijuana in Pharmacies this Summer

Uruguay will Begin Selling Marijuana in Pharmacies this Summer

Uruguay will begin selling marijuana in pharmacies this summer, the final stage in the country’s pioneering regulation and normalization of marijuana. The South American country will be the first in the world to legally sell cannabis over the counter for recreational use.  In fact, their president was even nominated for a Nobel Prize after the country legalized cannabis.

Uruguay voted to legalize marijuana in 2013. They were the first country in the world to do so. Instantly there were reports that grams of marijuana would sell for as low as one dollar in Uruguay, and that sales would occur very quickly. Time has shown that launching legal sales in Uruguay has taken longer than expected, and has been discussing these sales for quite a while now.

BBC news reports:

“Cannabis will be dispensed in pharmacies starting in the month of July,” presidential aide Juan Andres Roballo told a press conference.
The law requires buyers to sign up to a national registry, which Mr Roballo said would be up and running by 2 May. The price will be US$1.30 (£1) per gram.
Registrants – who must be Uruguayan citizens or permanent residents – can purchase up to a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per month.  The marijuana sold will come from state-supervised fields.
The law also allows users to grow their own at home, or join cooperative clubs that farm it.
Many pharmacists have doubted the financial benefits of selling a cost-controlled product.
Some Uruguayan buyers were also reluctant to sign up to a national registry, complaining of the invasion of their privacy and of having to keep to the monthly limits.
The government has now done a deal with 16 pharmacies, but it hopes to sign up more.
Mr Roballo said there would be a public health campaign before the registry was opened.

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Published at Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:08:52 +0000

A Look at How Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Plan Compares to Legalization in the U.S. and Uruguay

A Look at How Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Plan Compares to Legalization in the U.S. and Uruguay

Today the Canadian government released their plan to legalize marijuana by July, 2018. How does this plan compare to Uruguay and the states in the U.S. that have already legalized?

In the U.S., eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Uruguay, which legalized cannabis in 2013, remains the only country to legalize the plant federally. Canada’s government seeks to change this, however, with their newly-released plan to legalize by next year.

Below is a look at the differences and similarities between the laws in Uruguay and the U.S., and the law being proposed in Canada:

Possession Limits:

U.S.:

Seven of the eight states with legal cannabis allow up to an ounce (28 grams), with Maine allowing up to 2.5 ounces.

Canada:

The plan put forth by Canada’s Liberal Party would allow for possession of up to 30 grams.

Uruguay:

Uruguay allows possession of up to 40 grams within a one-month period.

Cultivation Limits

U.S.:

Seven of the eight legal cannabis states allow personal cultivation in a private residence, with the limit ranging from four to six plants. Washington is the only state that allows absolutely no home growing.

Canada:

Canada’s plan would allow for up to four plants to be cultivated, with localities allowed to set their own limits.

Uruguay:

Uruguay’s law allows cultivation of up to six plants, with an allowed yield of up to 480 grams annually.

Marijuana Stores

U.S.:

All eight marijuana states have established a licensed system of regulated cannabis retail outlets. Although the regulations vary slightly from state-to-state, marijuana stores is a commonality among all of them.

Canada:

Licensed and regulated marijuana retail outlets would also be allowed under Canada’s plan. Much of the exact regulations have yet to be determined, but what is known is that Canadian adults will be able to buy cannabis from a retail outlet once the system is up and running.

Uruguay:

Uruguay allows marijuana to be sold through pharmacies; such sales are expected to begin this July, exactly a year before sales in Canada are expected to start.

Age Limit:

U.S.:

All eight legal marijuana states have the age limit set at 21.

Canada:

Canada’s plan would legalize marijuana for those 18 and older.

Uruguay:

Uruguay allows recreational marijuana for those 18 and older.

Driving Laws

U.S.:

Seven of the eight states with legal cannabis have proven impairment as a necessity for issuing a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) for marijuana. However, Washington has a 5 ng/ml THC limit, meaning those with at least 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood are guilty of a DUID regardless of impairment or how long ago the person last consumed cannabis.

Canada:

Unfortunately Canada’s plan falls in line with Washington, with a 5 ng/ml THC limit set for serious driving offenses. Those with less than 5 ng/ml, but more than 2 ng/ml, would still face a fine.

Uruguay:

Uruguay’s law requires proof of impairment.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:55:19 +0000

Angel Capital Summit for Cannabis Investors & Startups

Angel Capital Summit for Cannabis Investors & Startups

KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  The Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world’s largest professional organization for accredited investors, will host investors from around the world at its 2017 ACA Summit, April 26-28 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. ACA Summit speakers will address topics impacting individual investors and investment strategies, including building diversity among entrepreneurs, Trump Administration impact on healthcare investing, and growth in new sectors such as blockchain and cannabis startups.

American angel investors pumped an estimated $24.6 billion into more than 70,000 startups across the country in 2015. Many of these companies are innovative, high-growth firms that create the most net new jobs in our economy and distribute new products and services that make a difference in people’s lives. ACA will celebrate great investments and 60 successful exits for ACA members and their portfolio companies at the ACA Summit, demonstrating how “Angels Drive the Success of Great Startups and Economic Growth.”

Keynote speakers include renowned venture capitalist Tim Draper and his father Bill and adult children sharing perspectives on changes they see in investing, leading investors Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein speaking on building diversity in entrepreneur communities, Steve Westly on investing in companies that change the world, and Dave Chase on “Investing in Healthcare’s Transformation.”

“Diversity among ACA Summit presenters and attendees has never been greater, reflecting a growing community across age, gender, race, and geographic lines.  We are pleased to provide attendees with access to some of the most successful angel investors in the world, as well as insights into best practices for navigating change and achieving exits for member portfolio companies,” said Marianne Hudson, executive director, Angel Capital Association.

The ACA Summit is the largest professional development event for angel investors. More than 700 ACA members, accredited investors, and startup ecosystem professionals from around the world are expected to attend to network, share best practices in angel investing, and discuss top issues and trends.

Keynote Speakers Include:

  • The Draper Family (Bill, Tim, Jesse, Adam, and Billy): “Investing Through the Generations”
  • Dave Chase, Founder, Health Rosetta Institute, and Executive Producer, The Big Heist: “Investing in Healthcare’s Transformation at the Intersection of Generating Top Tier Returns and Maximizing Impact”
  • Cindy Whitehead, The Pink Ceiling, and Former CEO, Sprout Pharmaceuticals: “How I Got to a $1B Outcome with 160 Angels”
  • Dr. Morton Grosser: “The Crèche of Innovation: A Warp-Speed History of Silicon Valley”
  • Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, Kapor Capital: Fireside Chat
  • Steve Westly, The Westly Group, and Former CFO, the State of California: “Investing in Innovation and Companies That Change the World”
  • Swati Chaturvedi, CEO and Cofounder, Propel(x): “Ahead of the Curve: Opportunities for Investing in Science and Technology”

Members and Non-Members Register Now
ACA members and non-member investors are welcome to attend the ACA Summit by registering at https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/2017-summit/. Press registration is accessible at that same link.

About Angel Capital Association (ACA)
ACA is the professional association of angel investors across North America and offers education, best practices, public policy advocacy, and significant benefits and resources to its membership of more than 13,000 accredited investors, who invest individually or through its 250 angel groups, accredited platforms, and family offices. For more information,  visit: www.angelcapitalassociation.org or at @ACAAngelCapital; #ACAAngelSummit.

Media Contact
Graeme Thickins
612-867-4055
press@angelcapitalassociation.org

Mary Ellen Amodeo
612-963-5797
press@angelcapitalassociation.org

SOURCE Angel Capital Association

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Published at Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:54:09 +0000

Report: Canada to Garner $675 Million Annually from Legal Marijuana

Report: Canada to Garner $675 Million Annually from Legal Marijuana

With a standard sales tax placed on legal cannabis, Canada would garner approximately $675 million ($507 million US) annually.

According to the report from the C.D. Howe Institute, “applying only federal and provincial sales tax (GST/HST, PST) results in over 90 percent of the marijuana market being regulated and $675 million in annual revenue”. The report notes that “Any increase in taxes beyond this level serves to increase the share of the black market and generates little additional revenue.”

The Institute breaks it down like this; “With the regulation of marijuana, the government has a choice to make: either legitimize the market or generate large revenues, not both.”

It will soon be known how exactly the government plans to regulate and tax cannabis, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that they will release their plans for legalization this Thursday. It’s expected that the proposal will take effect around July of 2018, and will allow possession of up to 30 grams. Beyond that, it’s unknown what the government’s plans are.

Projections estimate that 4.6 million Canadians will consume about 655 metric tons of marijuana in 2018.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 11 Apr 2017 23:40:12 +0000

44 in Congress support effort to keep DOJ handcuffed in medical cannabis states

44 in Congress support effort to keep DOJ handcuffed in medical cannabis states

A bipartisan collection of nearly four-dozen U.S. House members want the feds to maintain their hands-off enforcement position toward states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican lawmaker from California, has spearheaded spending bill amendments that prevent the Justice Department from meddling in medical marijuana states. On Monday, he announced that he is urging the Commerce, Justice and Science committee chiefs to continue that path.

In a letter co-signed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and 42 other House of Representatives members, Rohrabacher asked the chair and ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to include the following language in the fiscal year 2018 spending bill:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used to enforce federal prohibitions involving the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes that are permitted by the laws of the state, the District of Columbia, or U.S. territory where the act was committed, or to prevent states, the District of Columbia, or U.S. territories from implementing their own laws that permit the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes.

The language has been included in House appropriations bills since 2014, with a 219-189 vote, and again in 2015, by a 242-186 vote. The Senate Committee on Appropriations adopted similar language in 2015, by a vote of 22-8, and in 2016, by a vote of 21-8, Rohrabacher wrote.

“We believe that the consistent, bipartisan support for such protections against federal enforcement, combined with the fact that similar language has been in place since December 2014, make a strong case for including similar language in your base FY 2018 appropriations bill,” he wrote.

This year’s amendment, previously referred to as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, will carry the name Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, as co-sponsor Sam Farr, D-California, retired last year.

The proposed Rohrabacher-Blumenaeur amendment does not come free of contention.

Members of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, an organization that opposes marijuana legalization, have said they would “cross-reference every House member” who signs the letter with reports documenting campaign contributions from the marijuana industry.

“We intend to investigate the legislators who do the pot industry’s bidding,” Kevin Sabet, SAM Action’s president, told The Cannabist Monday. “The American people should know who is doing the bidding of an industry whose goal is to promote addiction for profit.”

Read the medical marijuana letter signed by 44 members of Congress:

Final MMJ Letter to CJS Subcommittee (Text)

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Published at Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:51:13 +0000

Smoke Ghost Sploof Review

Smoke Ghost Sploof Review

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

My iPhone Photos of the Smoke Ghost

As with all reviews, I take a few photos of each product in real lighting situations so you can get an idea of what the item looks like without the glamour of a light box and/or Photoshop. Below are 6 photos I look of the Smoke Ghost sent to me by the guys at smokeghost.com.

From the Manufacturer

The following content was pulled from the Smoke Ghost Website.

What is Smoke Ghost?

Simply put, Smoke Ghost masks the odor of the smoke you exhale with aromatic fragrances. This essentially means that you can smoke anywhere in the world without leaving a trace. Here is a short summary of all the benefits and features the little Ghost provides:

  • Prevents second-hand smoke
  • Saves environment from polluting and carcinogenic toxins
  • Contains interchangeable scent cartridges
  • Masks odor of smoke completely, can be used indoors and in vehicles
  • Portable, under 3 inches long and under 2 inches thick

Now let’s delve deeper into the Ghost’s power.

Components/Specifications

You may have seen similar smoking filters that attempt to deal with the smell of smoke. Smoke Ghost is distinct in that it not only filters your smoke but it alters the scent of your smoke into essential oil fragrances. The oil fragrances not only smell delightful, they combat the smell of the burning end of the substance you’re smoking in order to fully mask the smell.

The nozzle component of the Ghost contains a carbon filter that cleanses the smoke as you blow through. The nozzle is wide enough at the base (about 1.5 inches) to encapsulate your lips as the smoke leaves your mouth. This means that all of the smoke passes through the nozzle.

The first component of the device is the nozzle, the second component is the scent cartridge, the magical part. The scent cartridge contains an essential oils compound that radically transforms the odor of your smoke. This stuff smells sweet.
 
Interchangeable Scents

One of the most awesome features of these scent cartridges is that they’re interchangeable. Every scent cartridge is compatible with the filter. Typically, a scent cartridge is 100% efficient in altering smoke odor for around 300 blow throughs (this is for our current prototype, we expect to increase this number once the first PO is placed). After this point, the cartridge gradually declines in efficacy.  So once one scent cartridge begins to decline in potency, you can simply replace it with another. This adds even more life to your Ghost.

smoke ghost review

Smoking With Style’s Smoke Ghost Sploof Review

I had one of my most avid smokers (KC) try out the Smoke Ghost over the weekend with minimal results.

Took a puff, blew through it, and I don’t think it disguised it at all.

-KC, SWS Reviewer

As the above quote alludes to, he didn’t have much success with it. Aside from the usually issues such as side stream smoke, he didn’t think it helped 100% even with the smoke blown through the unit.

I had KC give the Smoke Ghost to a 2nd smoke with the same results. She said that dryer sheets inside of a toilet paper or paper towel roll (the original sploof) worked better. KC had her take a hit and blow it into his face. He could still smell the cannabis and felt like the scent was basically a mix of the two smells together.

All of this with a price tag of $19.99, led me to give the Smoke Ghost a 3 out of 5 stars. It makes for a great gift, but it’s not particularly practical.

bong types

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Published at Tue, 28 Mar 2017 04:59:57 +0000

New federal bill would reschedule marijuana as Schedule III

New federal bill would reschedule marijuana as Schedule III

The latest marijuana-centric bill before Congress would place cannabis as a Schedule III substance, a classification shared by Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and dronabinol.

Two Florida congressmen, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, introduced legislation Thursday that would transfer marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act from its current standing as a Schedule I substance, the strictest of the classifications.

Having marijuana on a lower rung would uphold the rights of states that have legalized the medical use of cannabis, allow for banking activities and create a clearer path for research, Gaetz said in an interview with The Cannabist.

“I have supported cannabis reform as a state legislator, and I want to see the people that I fought for in my state have access to a legal, high-quality product that’s been well-researched,” Gaetz said.

When Gaetz was a state legislator in 2014 and 2015, he backed legislation to legalize “non-euphoric” marijuana for medical use and a bill to allow terminally ill patients to access full-strength, non-smokeable cannabis. Both were signed into law.

Prior to those efforts, Gaetz stood in opposition to medical cannabis bills. What changed, he said, was watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special report, “Weed,” which chronicled the stories of medical marijuana patients and the challenges of medical research.

After watching the series, Gaetz said he thought that “somebody should do something about that.”

“Until, I realized I could do that,” he said.

If successful, the yet-to-be-named House Bill 2020 would not affect recreational cannabis businesses in operation.

The legislation, Gaetz said, is aimed at bolstering research and creating an economic boost by allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to bank openly.

“It’s a modest step forward to try to find the most possible common ground,” he said. “I’ve seen that work.”

Marijuana’s Schedule I status has resulted in limitations for research.

Federally approved studies have to utilize a marijuana study drug grown by University of Mississippi, the only federally approved cultivator. Researchers have long argued that the study drug does not accurately represent the potency and strains available to consumers in dispensaries.

In August, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would allow privately operated cultivators to apply to grow cannabis for research, and several companies have started the application process.

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Published at Fri, 07 Apr 2017 23:42:33 +0000