Over 100 Detroit medical marijuana shops closed down, more in jeopardy

Over 100 Detroit medical marijuana shops closed down, more in jeopardy

DETROIT — Detroit’s medical marijuana centers are finding difficulty in fulfilling the city’s list of strict requirements and regulations.

New figures released this week by the city reveal that only two prospective Medical Marijuana Caregiver Centers out of more than 260 applicants have been approved to operate, The Detroit News reported.

Green Cross opened in February as Detroit’s first licensed center. Manager Simon Berro said its operators were the first to apply under the law that went into effect last March and completed the “vigorous” zoning and licensing process Feb. 3.

“We went to the city. We listened to what they said. We followed their rules,” Berro said. “We took all precautions, and it was a vigorous process, but nonetheless, it worked out in the end.”

The Green Genie also has its license, but no staff was in attendance Thursday.

The new rules allowed Detroit to shut down marijuana shops failing to seek compliance under the ordinance or dispensing medical marijuana in unapproved zones. So far, 136 shops have closed down.

National Patient Rights Association official Robin Schneider said she’s disappointed in the lack of progress after a year.

“(Detroit) has the most exclusionary zoning practices of anything I’ve ever seen in the state,” she said. “I think the fact that patients still do not have access to licensed facilities is a disservice to patients.”

Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell said the zoning legislation will allow about 50 shops overall.

“There will be an appropriate number of locations that will be made available for people to sell the medicine,” he said. “We just want to make sure that as they are opened, they are opening in an orderly fashion and meeting needs of patients required for treatment.”

Information from: The Detroit News

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:57:36 +0000

Tips For Growing Indica Cannabis Strains

Tips For Growing Indica Cannabis Strains

Tips For Growing Indicas

growing indicas

Indica plants come from the Asian highlands, where the environment is harsh. The plant’s need to survive in climates with harsh winters and sudden weather changes have contributed to the indica plant’s unique growing characteristics and growing structure.

Novice growers won’t have a tough time growing indicas because grow rooms can be easily manipulated to replicate the weather of the Asian steppes. Indicas grow sturdy, short, and robust even in fluctuating environmental conditions that are typical in outdoor grows. Because they have a squat shape, they’re ideal for growing in grow boxes, the indoors, and small spaces.

They flower quickly as a result of their effort to quickly reproduce before the winter comes. This makes the indica plant ideal if you are looking for a quick harvest or only have a short outdoor growing season. Indicas tend to have a heavy and earthy flavor profile; often having spicy, hashy, skunky, or musky smells especially for pure and Indica dominant strains.

Here are some tips for successfully growing indica plants:

weed seeds

  • Choose the right strain; you’ll have better luck using a strong hybrid instead of starting with a pure indica especially if it’s your first time. Hybrids are more forgiving of a novice’s mistake and are also more resilient. They also tend to be more resistant to pests and are less likely to rot compared to full strains.
  • The size of your plant can be controlled by varying the amount of time you let them stay in the vegetative phase. Once you change the lights to a 12/12 schedule, this will stimulate flowering. Note that plants can stretch during flowering although their maximum potential size is already definite. It’s recommended to put 6 large main branches per square foot beneath the lights. For a 16 square foot area, use 1000 WAT HID lights with good reflectors.
  • To get the highest yield for indica, grow small, fast, and full. This means that you should be planting as many as you can in your grow space while limiting the time spent in the vegetative stage. You can accomplish this using the Sea of Green growing method as well as the Screen of Green.
  • Unlike their long-legged sativa siblings, indica plants don’t reach crazy heights. They grow bush and short, and will have much thicker leaves. Because of these qualities, growers shouldn’t train them although you can use the low stress training techniques or super cropping in order to get them to do what you want.
  • Indica strains evolved geographical regions that always had a cool breeze. In the Hindu Kush mountains, temperatures at night drop significantly. On the other hand, sativa plants like tropical temperatures, but indica strains are used to changing weather. To get the best harvest, grow room temperatures should drop to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit at night especially when the plants are already at the flowering phase.
  • Indica strains are known to have tough resinous buds. They originated from dry, cool regions where water was scarce; this makes them susceptible to rot and mold. To protect your indica plants from mold, follow these steps:

    •  
    • Make sure that they have good airflow and ventilation
    • Air circulation can be improved by trimming fan leaves when it’s late in the flowering stage
    • Humidity shouldn’t exceed 50% during the flowering phase; while it should be kept below 40% on the last two weeks
    • If you are growing indica plants in soil, allow the top layer of the dirt to properly dry out between water
  • Indica buds should be cured and dried properly after harvesting. Although indicas are easier to grow than sativas, the addition of the drying aspect changes that. Its dense buds become vulnerable to mold and need to be dried and cured carefully. It’s recommended to put trimming sugar leaves on hold until it’s time to cure. However if you have unusually large and dense buds, it’s best to get rid of some sugar leaves during the drying process which will also help prevent mold.

Curing indicas are a joy since they’re much easier than sativas, but they also need to be handled carefully to prevent molding and rotting because they lack air circulation. With some care and attention you can easily grow strong and healthy indica plants.

What has helped you grow indica plants? Share with us in the comments below.

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY ENJOY…

cannabis seeds

HOW TO GERMINATE YOUR CANNABIS SEEDS, CLICK HERE.

OR..

TIPS FOR GROWING SATIVAS, CLICK HERE.

(Why?)

Published at Sat, 18 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

A Portable Vape Pen For Concentrates and Dabbing

A Portable Vape Pen For Concentrates and Dabbing

A portable vape pen for concentrates?  What?!?!

the dipper vape pen dabbing

Why is a portable vape pen for concentrates a big deal?  If you are a regular reader of Cannabis.Net you know that we have a few articles up that argue the point that dabbing is the way of the future, it is clean, cost effective, and the high is better. You can check out some of our dabbing articles at the bottom of this page. The only problem is that dabbing requires some hardware.  The hardware includes a rig, a nail, and even a blow torch type lighter.  For those recreationalists that just want a nice high, setting up a science kit is not on the schedule on a Friday night.

Hence, the problem is that while concentrates such as shatter and wax are great, the process to get them vaporized and into your lungs is a big cumbersome and long. 

Luckily, a new company has solved that problem with a new vape pen for concentrates.  The company is Dipstick Vapes and their new pen is called the Dipper, with the “i” upside down.   This is a great product that certainly fills a void in the dabbing market.   How do you take your concentrates and inhale them in a quick and easy way that doesn’t require all this hardware and torch?

the dipper vape pen

The company was founded by Chief Engineer, Matt Watson. Going into 2017, Matt brought in a few partners to take the business to the next level, including Jeffrey Zucker and Mike Bologna of Green Lion Partners, who are the company President and CEO respectively. 

Dipstick Vapes strives to create innovative products that provide users with the best consumption experience possible. Additionally, concentrates are the fastest growing segment in the industry, but a lot of casual users are intimidated by the traditional consumption method using a rig and torch. The Dipper allows for an approachable concentrate consumption option, as well as a great mobile option for heavier users. Additionally, it allows for easier specific dosing for medical patients. 

Great product and a great company.  If you want to order a Dipper head to www.Dipstickvapes.com and you can use the promo code CN15 to save an additional 15% at checkout.

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY ENJOY…

WHAT IS DABBING CANNABIS

WHAT IS DABBING CANNABIS, CLICK HERE.

OR..

DABBING CANNABIS GOES MAINSTREAM

WHY DABBING CANNABIS IS GOING MAINSTREAM, CLICK HERE.

 

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000

A Complete Guide to Buying New Weed Grinder

A Complete Guide to Buying New Weed Grinder

Coffee with cream and sugar sounds pretty simple, right?

Some people can’t drink coffee without it.

Same goes for Vapes and Grinders.  

Yes, you read that right…

For those who love to vape, they must have the right herb grinder along side it.

It is next to impossible to get a good taste of your vapor if you use your hands to cut it.

Not only is this messy, it just doesn’t match up to the vaping experience when you have a good herb grinder.

No matter what kind of vaporizer you use, the absence of herb grinders can only make vaping half as fun.

Don’t even try to deny it.

It is just as important to have the best herb grinder that can turn the herbs in its finer form. It helps vaporizers to easily and quickly turn your material into vapor when grounded in small pieces.

If you are careful about your choice of a vaporizer, the same should be applied whenever you are going to invest in a herb grinder.

It should be safe, non-toxic, and not to mention, efficient.

It should also be durable and fits your attitude towards vaping.

Question:

Are you the type who vapes a good amount of herbs in one sitting with friends? Or maybe, you keep a small stash with you when vaping outside the house?

So, yes these are things that can affect your choice of herb grinder.

All of this can get quite intimidating fast.

So we have simplified everything for you, and put together all you need to know when investing in a new herb grinder.

All you need to do, is lay back, get comfy and keep scrolling!

So let’s get down to business. 

What is a weed grinder?

A herb grinder is a device used to churn and chop tobacco, marijuana, herbs and other small materials used for vaping.

Depending on the manufacturer, it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 compartments. Usual materials used on herb grinders include metal, acrylic, or wood.

Just imagine. 

Before the commercially available herb grinders, people used to rely on scissors or their hands to manually grind the herbs into small pieces.

With the help of herb grinders, preparing the material for vaping or smoking has become more efficient and less messy.

If you are somewhat new to the world of vaping with no idea which herb grinder to choose or what exactly should you be looking for It can get confusing at times, simply because there are so many grinders available on the market today.

Different Grinder Materials

There are different grinder materials that you’ll commonly see from different manufacturers.

But what you have to know is that material plays a major role in your vaping experience.

Think about it. 

Could you imagine using a toxic material on your herb grinder?

Let me take a wild guess. You won’t. 

Here are some of the most common options that you can go for in terms of grinder material.

Wood Grinder

Wood Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Wood is the type of material that is probably hardest to construct.

Typically hand-made, there are not a lot of wood herb grinders in the market due to the fact that it is harder to carve wood than make grinders from metal or acrylic. From a business standpoint, it is hard to mass produce this type of herb grinder.
A lot of people prefer wood over other materials because of the feel that it gives.

It has a more natural appeal which makes it a great choice for those who love organic materials.

Unfortunately, One disadvantage of wood is that it is typically a one compartment grinder. Thus you may not enjoy kief when you choose a wooden herb grinder. In addition to this, it has varnish that can potentially mix in your herbs.

Metal Grinder

Metal Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Let’s face it:

Metallic grinders are becoming popular today.

There are two types of metals typically used for herb grinders.

It can either be aluminum or titanium.

In most cases, a lot of products are made of aluminum but are titanium coated.

Most products that have this kind of construction have been advertised as ”titanium” grinders. The most common reason is to justify the higher price tag on the item.

Is aluminum a safe material?

It is possible that manufacturers are looking to get away from the negative connotation and the wrong impression that aluminum received over the years.

If you find some aluminum material flaking left, it is suggested that you simply brush it off.

So why is aluminum safe?

For starters, the melting point of aluminum is at 660°C, and the boiling point is at 2519°C. No amount of lighter or vaporizer can ever melt or boil this material and go to your lungs. Though it is true that you could be seeing metal shavings in your grinder, this can be rare, and you can just shake it off.

Acrylic

Acrylic Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Another material commonly used on grinders is acrylic.

It is another material, just like aluminum, that is frequently misunderstood.

A lot of vaping enthusiasts fear that acrylic is dangerous for our health. In reality, acrylic is a safe material since its melting point is at 1000°C and its boiling point is at 1,977°C.

Acrylic material is also known for its durability. However, if you’ll rate acrylic in comparison to other materials used on herb grinders, this is the least durable of them all.

Acrylic grinders are the ones that usually break about wood and metal. And this is the reason why it is also usually the cheapest.

Electric Herb Grinder

Electric herb grinder solves the common problem when it comes to messy dry herbs.

These devices are battery-powered and compact, and can even grind up to three grams of you material at a time.

It is usually a mix of different materials. Some electric herb grinder makes use of an acrylic container and metallic teeth.

Grinder type

There are different types of grinders based on the number of compartments and its design.

Here are the typical grinders that you’ll see in the market.

2 piece grinders

grinder 2 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

Otherwise known as 1 compartment herb grinders, this kind of herb grinder has one compartment which the herb is both retrieved and grounded.

The problem that you’ll typically encounter with a 2 piece grinder is the inconsistency of size.

Another common problem is that retrieving your herb can be quite difficult since the teeth are in the way.

You also can’t get to separate the kief if you are going to opt for the 2 piece grinders.

3 piece grinders

grinder 3 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

The three-piece grinder or a two-piece compartment grinder has the same grinding compartment as the typical 2 piece grinders.

There are holes that allow small herbs to fall down into the second compartment. And because of this design, you have consistent herbs that you can collect.

4 piece grinders

grinder 4 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

Another option is the four-piece grinders.

This type of grinder has three compartments. It works the same as the 3-piece grinder in collecting herbs.

The third compartment is then made for pollen or kief.

It also goes with a screen to allow a specific size of the residue to pass through the kief collecting chamber.

Herb grinder teeth

One of the things that dictate the ground result is the teeth of your grinder.

Let me explain. 

As rule of thumb, the more teeth that you get from your herb grinder, the better it is. More teeth give finer results, which means better vaping experience.

The best ones in the market have around 50 teeth for a 2.5” diameter grinder. Aside from the number of teeth, it is equally important to take a look at the shape of the teeth.

The shape allows the grinder to churn the herbs into small bits efficiently. Herb grinder teeth shape ranges from square to long narrow ones.

However, based on the number of products that we’ve reviewed, we recommend the diamond shaped grinder teeth if you are quite picky about the consistency of the output.

It also matters if how the teeth are positioned. If the teeth are evenly placed throughout the grinder, then you can expect consistent results from this kind of product.

Choosing the best grinder

As mentioned above, there are many factors that you need to consider if you are planning on investing in a new herb grinder.

But there’s one small catch

A quick browse online and you’ll  get quite overwhelming with all options, especially for someone who has no experience using these tools.

So, what are the main things you need to check in order to buy the best weed grinder?

Price

Let’s admit it.   

The first thing that you’ll most likely look into is the price of the grinders.

Vaping enthusiasts, especially casual ones are budget conscious.

Do you only plan on spending $50 on a grinder? Or maybe, you are planning to go for the high-end ones at the $100 range?

It’s simple. 

As rule of thumb, the more expensive grinders get, the longer these items last.

In addition to this, you’ll get to enjoy more if you stick with the more expensive ones because it usually comes with more compartments and a includes a kief catcher.

However, don’t be frustrated if you can’t spend on the high-end ones.

You’ll be surprised to see some great herb grinders around $20 to $40 that will meet your requirements.

Keep in mind that the price shouldn’t be the only thing that you have to check.

Always ask yourself if you are getting the best value for your money. Always look at reviews in order to judge other important aspects of a grinder.

Manual or electric?

Because of the advancement in technology, there are herb grinders that operate using batteries.

It results typically to a finer output than manually operated herb grinders. It can also give you fast results since all you need to do is to press the device.

Keep in mind that electric versions can be quite expensive. Also, you have to consider the fact that it needs batteries to operate.

In addition to this, since there are more moving parts, we can hypothesize that electric versions don’t last as long as the manual herb grinders since they are difficult to clean.

If it’s a long-term investment that you are looking for, it is a good idea that you stick to the manual options.

Size and capacity

Is the grinder handy?

You want to take a closer look at the measurement of the herb grinder to determine if it is travel-friendly.

If you are the type of vaping enthusiast who loves portable vaporizers, might as well keep a handy herb grinder that you can rely on. This gives you the chance to grind your herbs on the go.

On the other hand, if you are the type who loves to enjoy long periods of vaping sessions, you’ll need a large grinder that can accommodate a good amount of herbs for every batch.

Performance

The ideal results should be consistent, smooth, and broken down into small pieces enough to be vaped.

It is important that you read the reviews for the past experiences of other users.

Do the grind herbs small enough to be vaped or smoked smoothly?

The teeth of the grinder will most likely dictate the quality of the output.

High-quality grinders have evenly distributed diamond shaped teeth that can efficiently grind down herbs of different sizes that go inside the device.

Keep in mind 

The type of grind the grinder provides it is very important.

If you are using the grinder for your vaporizer, you need one type of grinder but if you using it for your joint you need a different one.

You may wonder why?

It is very important to know what you will end up using the grinder for. If you are looking for a fine grind, then there are some great options. For me though since I prefer the medium grind I choose to go with the Mama P’s. Simply the best grinder in my opinion.

It is also a good idea that you check the extras.

Does it have a magnetic lid?

The magnetic Lid ensures that your herb stays in place when you are grinding them down. Though not every grinder has a magnet, it is always a good idea to stick to options that have them.
Apart from the output, you also want to check the compartment.

Does it have a compartment that collects the kief?

If it does, you want to check the availability of the mesh screens that goes with the herb grinder.

Typically, you get to see mesh wires labeled 40, 60, 80, and 100.

What exactly do these numbers stand for?

A 40 mesh screen means that it has 40 wire threads per inch. Typically, it allows materials that are 420 microns and smaller to pass.
If you prefer to make resins and oils, you’d most likely stick to 100 mesh screens.

Other than that, you’d want to stick to either 40 or 60 mesh screens.

Quality

Next, it is just as important to check the quality of the herb grinder’s material.

Is it made of metal, acrylic, or maybe wood?

What are the usual pros and cons that you have to understand for each material?

For instance, is it made of titanium?

Is it titanium or was just advertised as such in order to have a hefty price tag?

If you are looking to buy a grinder made of wood, you also want to consider the fact that it has varnish that can mix with your material.

Make sure that you know the durability of each device.

If you opt to choose acrylic, for instance, just be open to the possibility that it could break sooner than other types of herb grinder.

Maintenance

To get the best results for your herbs, you will need to make sure that you also clean the device after every use.

It is important that the material of the herb grinder can be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol or by common cleaners at home.

An ideal herb grinder should also be able to tolerate cleaning methods to continuously provide the best output.

Does it include a cleaning tool?

If it doesn’t have a cleaning tool that goes with it, you can make use of a toothbrush.

You also have to evaluate the wear and tear on the screen.

If you are the type who collects the kief, it is a good idea that you check the physical appearance of the screen every now and then.

This is especially true if you are picky with the strains that you use. If you’re using high-grade cannabis, expect the screen to be a bit stickier. Therefore you will need to replace it regularly.

Replacement parts

There are instances when you need to replace the screen of your herb grinder.

It is important that the manufacturer of your herb grinder has some replacement parts that you can use. You don’t want to end up buying a new herb grinder now and then, especially if you paid a lot of money it.

Warranty

A lot of times, people forget about the importance of warranty on products that they purchase.

If you plan on buying herb grinders, you also want to know if the manufacturer is confident with the product it is selling. If it doesn’t go with a warranty, maybe, you want to do more research and check the reviews.

What is Kief and how you collect it

How do you collect the kief?

If you are a serious cannabis connoisseur with a very particular taste about the things you vape, you’ll most likely be interested with the kief. Kief is the loose pollen crystal that is considered a byproduct of grinding herbs.

In order to collect kief efficiently, you’ll first need to invest in a 4-piece grinder that has a kief catcher by the bottom.

The two-piece grinders will not be able to collect the residue of the plant matter the same way as the more expensive 4 piece grinders.

How does it work?

Once the teeth of the herb grinder churn on the herbs repeatedly, it breaks up the buds and falls into the screen. The screen then filters the material. Depending on the mesh screen that you are using, you can collect different sizes of kief.

The best time to collect the kief is when you are about to clean the device.

During this time, you want to maximize the residue of the herbs that gets stuck in the different parts of the grinder. Toothpick, brush, or gift cards can be a good way to scrap the material into a piece of paper.

Make sure that you also pay close attention to areas where the material can get stuck.

The edges and the teeth are the usual places that you might miss out.

The screen may also contain some residues that haven’t reached the lowest compartment of the grinder. Using a clean toothbrush, you can start collecting the residues on a clean paper.

How to clean your grinder

So, now that you have purchased your very own weed grinder it’s time to clean it.

You should always make sure that you follow proper maintenance in order to ensure that everything is going to work well.

Don’t be surprised if you need to clean your weed grinder on a regular basis, especially if you are using high-grade herbs that can get a bit sticky.

Cleaning your grinder could be a hassle, not to mention electric parts. However, regular cleaning gets you the desired and expected consistency in the ground herbs.

It also prolongs the life of your weed grinder and makes sure that all the parts stay operational the way it is supposed to be.

If you don’t clean it frequently enough, the resin will eventually get so sticky that it wont turn smoothly.

To make it easier for you, we gather some useful tips that you can us to make sure your herb grinder is clean and in the best shape possible.

So check these out:

Use a toothbrush

First, you want to disassemble the herb grinder.

If it involves electronic parts, it is best that you take the electronic parts off.

Next, if you have a herb grinder that collects kief, it is best that you take it out first.

Get a paper towel and brush off the kief into the towel.

There will be some kief stuck in between the teeth of your herb grinder.

Brush it off until there’s no noticeable material in between the teeth of your device.

If you don’t like using a toothbrush, you can also choose to experiment with different materials including a mascara brush, or a paint brush.

Try to see which brush gets into the groove of your herb grinder well.

Scraping tool

If you are worried about damaging the herb grinder when getting rid of the gunk in your herb grinder, it is a good idea that you use scraping tools along with your brush.

Once you’ve disassembled the grinder as described above, you can use an old ATM card or gift card to get rid of the hard to remove residues on your device.

You want to collect it in a paper towel still. But of course, keep in mind that this isn’t going to give your grinder the deep cleaning it needs especially after quite some time.

Put the grinder in the freezer

Yup, it’s not a mistake.

If you think that using a brush takes a lot of effort to maximize the retrieval of your kief, try putting the grinder inside the freezer for an hour.

After an hour, you can take the grinder out and just tap the grinder to knock the frozen kief into a paper towel.

You’ll notice how easy the buildup falls off.

Clean using ordinary cleaning solutions

The most effective cleaning tools for you herb grinder can be found in your kitchen.

You can make use of the common dishwashing soap mixed with 50% water to get the job done.

All you need to do is to soak your herb grinder for a night.

The next day, you can rinse it with warm water, and then wipe it dry.

Another great solution that you can use to clean your herb grinder is to make use of isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol can get rid of the weed gunk that gets stuck in your device.

If you are going to use alcohol regularly, keep in mind that it can weaken the acrylic material. However, the use of alcohol occasionally can be a good thing.

Use of boiling water

Boiling water can help get rid of the stiff material that gets stuck in between the teeth of your herb grinder.

Once you’ve removed the pieces of your grinder, just soak the material in boiling water for around 10 minutes.

Remember:

You should be extra careful though since this can burn your skin.

After ten minutes, you can take out the boiling water and just place warm water to rinse out the parts of your grinder.

Next, you can proceed by scrubbing the device using a brush.

Cleaning/replacing the screen

If you are cleaning the screen, make sure that you are extra careful with it.

If you see it already worn out, it is the time to replace it with a new one.

Cleaning the screen, you simply need to make use of a brush to get rid of the entire residue that gets stuck in it.

Follow the maintenance tips of the manufacturer

If you are cleaning the herb grinder, keep in mind that different materials may have different reactions to the cleaning methods that we’ve posted.

There’s a chance that wood and acrylic may get damaged when exposed to alcohol.

And your aluminum gets scrapped off when you use harsh cleaning solutions and scraping tools. It is always a good idea that you read the manufacturer’s maintenance tips.

Getting the right herb grinder shouldn’t be too hard.

The choice is yours. 

Yes, there are many types of herb grinders available in the market, but you shouldn’t be confused on which one to pick. You can read more about the best weed grinder here.

Given the number of options, you’ll find the right one that meets your preference as a vaping enthusiast.

Whether you are the type who loves to vape on the go or make oils from the kief, there’s the perfect for you.

Having the right knowledge of herb grinder’s characteristics can lead you towards the best product that is the right fit for you.

So there you have it.

Now it’s time to use all this knowledge to get your new weed grinder.

Do you still have any question about weed grinder? still feel confused? 

Comment below and let’s us know! 


(Why?)

Published at Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:18:22 +0000

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

As the State of Michigan continues to move forward in developing rules to implement the State’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today reached out for the second time for stakeholder input on critical issues. This time, LARA is asking for feedback on questions that LARA characterizes as concerning “inventory start-up.” Fundamentally, these questions address how and whether individuals involved in the current caregiver model under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act can transition to operating under the MMFLA.

Specifically, the Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, issued the following statement and request:

LARA is currently seeking comments from interested parties on the topic of inventory startup as it relates to the licensed categories. The purpose of this document is to gather information only and it is not meant to interfere with the authority of the Board or Advisory Panel procedures when these panels are appointed as provided under the Act. To that end we are asking for your input by responding to the questions below. We are only asking for brief answers, or comments limited to a short paragraph or a few sentences. Please provide your responses by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 21st, 2017. After the responses are compiled, a meeting and/or conference call may be scheduled if appropriate to review the responses and receive additional input. Please submit your responses to curtisc8@michigan.gov.

Questions:

    1. Should LARA require all licensees to begin without inventory or zero product on day 1 of license issuance and thereafter track all cultivation from the date of licensure?
    2. Should LARA have an inventory startup period that allows a grower licensee to transition medical marihuana cultivated as allowed under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) into the future Statewide Monitoring System for tracking and inventory verification provided it is recorded/tracked? If yes, should LARA limit the timeframe in which these acquisitions can occur? What would you recommend as a timeframe?
    3. Should LARA consider an inventory startup period for all 5 license categories?
    4. Should a licensed grower or processor be permitted to include into a startup inventory the existing marihuana or marihuana-infused products cultivated or processed under the MMMA of the former registered primary caregiver who becomes an active employee of the licensee pursuant to the Act?

We can anticipate that LARA will continue to solicit stakeholder input, although LARA’s statement again notes that its work on the rules is to be in consultation with the yet-to-be-appointed Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board and Advisory Panel. Given that the formal roles of advisory panels are fairly limited under the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, the new Board and LARA will have some discretion with respect to how deeply they involve the Advisory Panel. While it remains to be seen what opportunities will be provided for public input into the rulemaking process (apart from those required under the APA), LARA’s continued outreach to the industry is promising.

As the rulemaking process in Michigan continues to unfold, check back here to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Project Gator is a crock

Project Gator is a crock

There’s no shortage of ridiculousness regarding the recent Project Gator raids on Cannabis Culture shops across the country.

There’s the fact that people were thrown in jail due to selling products that are supposedly going to become legal any day now.

Or that the raids were organized by Toronto police, whose former chief is meant to be the person steering the path towards legalization.

Or that Vancouver police, who had previously made the principled decision to leave dispensaries alone pending new laws, were evidently happy to do the bidding of their bigger city counterparts.

Or that the value of LP stock shot up due to the perception this was a victory for Big Pot at the expense of the underground craft cannabis industry.

Or that Ottawa cops are pretending they weren’t actually part of it and simply happened to raid a newly opened Cannabis Culture shop the same day by coincidence.

But perhaps the most ridiculous thing about this whole fiasco is the name Project Gator itself. It’s easy to assume it was chosen because alligators are apex predators and some cop – probably the kind of guy who calls his biceps “pythons” – thought it sounded badass.

Like the trenchcoat-wearing McGruff the Crime Dog, Project Gator would take a bite out of crime!

mcgruff

But it’s worth keeping in mind the Toronto Police Service actually have a history of choosing names for their major investigations quite carefully. For people who regularly spell marijuana as “marihuana,” they have a surprisingly good way with words.

For example, they named a major drug bust Project Bread Maker because it began at a Dempster Street location and Dempster is one of the country’s biggest bread brands. Project Decepticon was named after a Transformers robot who showed up on ecstasy tablets, and Project Marvel was inspired by suspects who used comic book characters for codenames.

project

Typically the lead investigator is in charge of picking a handle, but they sometimes ask underlings to come up with suggestions.

“Yes, sometimes [investigators] agonize over them,” Staff Inspector Randy Franks told the National Post in 2012. “I shouldn’t say we insist, but it’s been a standard that projects come along and they have names… These are serious investigations and if we add a little bit of lightheartedness, it isn’t intended to diminish the seriousness of the investigation.”

So it’s hard not to wonder about how Project Gator got its name. Here are some possible, albeit unlikely explanations:

  • Alligators aren’t native to Canada, so perhaps this was a subtle dig about the time Canadian police busted Cannabis Culture founder Marc Emery at the DEA’s request for selling seeds through the mail and he ended up serving hard time at federal prisons in Georgia and Mississippi. States that both have alligators.
  • It’s a play on the expression “see ya later, alligator.” Which could work given how frequently Emery finds himself arrested on pot charges.
  • “Project Gator raid” sounds like Project Gatorade and even cops can appreciate a good pun.
  • Project X was already taken.
  • Project Croc would’ve reminded people of “crock” – a word meaning nonsense – and this would’ve been a bit too accurate for this vast waste of taxpayers’ money.
  • Alligators are green. So is weed. Creativity at the T.O cop shop could be slipping.

But I’d like to think someone simply misspelled the word “gaiter,” a garment worn over shoes to keep feet dry. Because Toronto police have just stepped into a river of shit when it comes to popular opinion and they’re probably going to need them.

(Why?)

Published at Sat, 11 Mar 2017 01:13:50 +0000

Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Treat Anxiety-Related and Substance Abuse Disorders.

Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Treat Anxiety-Related and Substance Abuse Disorders.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compounds, may be useful in treating anxiety-related disorders as well a substance abuse disorders, according to a new study,

“[C]annabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, reduces anxiety”, states the abstract of the study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology and the U.S. National Institute of Health. “There is also accumulating evidence from animal studies investigating the effects of cannabidiol on fear memory processing indicating that it reduces learned fear in paradigms that are translationally relevant to phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The abstract continues; “Cannabidiol does so by reducing fear expression acutely and by disrupting fear memory reconsolidation and enhancing fear extinction, both of which can result in a lasting reduction of learned fear. Recent studies have also begun to elucidate the effects of cannabidiol on drug memory expression using paradigms with translational relevance to addiction.

The findings suggest that “cannabidiol reduces the expression of drug memories acutely and by disrupting their reconsolidation.”

Researchers conclude by stating that; “Understanding how cannabidiol regulates emotion and emotional memory processing may eventually lead to its use as a treatment for anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders.

The study was conducted by researchers the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, both in London, as well as the University of São Paulo and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, both in Brazil. The full text of the study can be found by clicking here.

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 Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:07:48 +0000

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

We have previously reported on twin court battles challenging a now-rescinded state policy on “rehabilitation” of petition signatures that kept MILegalize from making Michigan’s 2016 ballot. Coverage can be found at the links below:

MI Legalize Petition Signers Head to Federal Court, but Are Unlikely to Find Early Relief

No Marijuana Measure on November Ballot—Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Halt Michigan Election Process

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on one of these challenges, rejecting without comment a petition for certiorari that asked the Court to hear a challenge to the decisions of Michigan’s appellate courts.

The other litigation effort to belatedly save the 2016 MILegalize initiative appears to be languishing before Judge Parker in the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The State of Michigan filed a motion to dismiss that case back in October, and briefing on the motion was complete on December 9, 2016. No further action has been taken by the court in that case.

With efforts to salvage the 2016 initiative apparently stalled, MILegalize has joined with the Marijuana Policy Project in preparing a draft of an initiative for 2018. As we wrote last week, anyone with comments on that draft has been asked to submit comments by this Saturday, February 25. In the meantime, MILegalize has scheduled a $500 per ticket fund raising event in Detroit for March 23.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Ready to roll: The Cannabist hires Alex Pasquariello as editor

Ready to roll: The Cannabist hires Alex Pasquariello as editor

After a two-month national search, The Denver Post has selected Denver native and freelance writer/editor Alex Pasquariello as editor of The Cannabist.

“At least 200 people applied for a job that must be one of the most fascinating in journalism right now. We didn’t expect to get — and weren’t looking for — a clone of the one-of-a-kind Ricardo Baca, who helped bring The Cannabist international attention,” Denver Post editor Lee Ann Colacioppo said. “What we wanted was an editor with the vision and experience to push this special site to the next level. We found that person in Alex and I can’t wait to see all that he has in store for us.”

There will be a more formal meet-and-greet with Alex when he arrives in April, but in the meantime, The Cannabist sat down with him for a quick Q & A:

Q: Your Twitter bio currently says, “My Instagram is better.” (We’d agree, BTW, because there’s a sloth in your profile pic.) Give us your 30-second bio.

A: I grew up in Denver’s south suburbs, graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and built my career in Colorado as a reporter at community newspapers and an editor at national ski titles. I took off for the East Coast in Fall 2006, landing in Condé Nast Traveler’s news department before jetting to digital travel startup Jetsetter. Along the way, I earned assignments around the globe, Moscow to the Amazon (where I met that sloth), and my five-year plan became a decade, complete with wife and kids. I’m elated to move my career and young family back to my hometown for this incredible opportunity to lead The Cannabist.

Q: What did you miss most about Denver or Colorado while you were out East?

A: Denver Nuggets basketball. I modeled my game on Dikembe Mutombo and rooted for the 1998 squad. I thought Carmelo Anthony was our Chosen One, celebrated his first game as a Nugget in October 2003 and booed Melo as a Knick at Madison Square Garden in Spring 2011. I’m all in on Nikola Jokic and can’t wait to catch him at The Can as we make our playoff push.

Q: What excites you the most about taking over the leadership role on The Cannabist?

A: Legal cannabis is a boom commodity unlike any we’ve seen before. The plant is simultaneously life-saving medicine and the life of the party, a spiritual sacrament and a federal offense. It adds up to one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing beats in journalism as legalization spreads from the Mile High City to Maine. Back in 2013, The Denver Post had the foresight to carve The Cannabist a digital space for covering cannabis’ Big Bang, and founding editor Ricardo Baca grew it into a marijuana media powerhouse. He leaves the The Cannabist positioned for editorial expansion keeping pace with the impressive growth rate and increasing complexity of legal cannabis itself.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest story for the legal cannabis industry?

A: Other than the defining battle of federalism vs. states’ rights? My reading of The Federalist Papers aside, I think one of the most important industry trends is the emerging cannabis hospitality movement, broadly encompassing social consumption at licensed clubs, events and hotels. The evolution of “420 Friendly” is going to be big business, further pressing the need for regulatory reform, fully wrapping the marijuana industry within the banking system. And as Americans enjoy increased access to social consumption while traveling in the West, their viewpoints may swing away from prohibition and criminalization at home. Denver remains a legalization laboratory, and the city’s implementation of a four-year Initiative 300 pilot program allowing licensed consumption areas may come to define a profitable new hospitality sector.

Q: A personality quiz question we ask on “The Cannabist Show” is: “Flower, concentrates or edibles?” What’s your preference?

A: I’m a flower guy, sativa, preferably après-ski, definitely not on federal land.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 08 Mar 2017 16:40:07 +0000

Federal marijuana law enforcement: What you need to know

Federal marijuana law enforcement: What you need to know

No official federal policy change toward marijuana has been made — yet.

Under the specter of a potential crackdown, officials in recreational marijuana states have been proactive in recent days, including Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman inviting Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions to take a firsthand look at America’s longest-operating recreational market, and Oregon lawmakers introducing a bill to protect consumers’ privacy.

What’s the next step for the feds? The Cannabist talked with several law and drug policy experts, industry observers and state officials about what changes in federal enforcement could look like — from the threat of raids on cannabis businesses and seizure of state-collected pot taxes to court issues and the ways Colorado regulations have developed.


Marijuana in the age of Trump: A Cannabist special report

Part 1 | ‘Something’s going to have to give’: An untenable conflict between feds, states


If the Justice Department wanted to send a message that the federal prohibition of marijuana is going to be enforced, raids are an option, but all the agency has to do is write letters, said Jonathan Caulkins, professor of operations research and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and former co-director of RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center.

Putting ink to paper and telling operators in recreational marijuana that they have to shut down within 30 days or face criminal prosecution and asset seizure, could be viewed as a credible enough threat that the government could effectively shut down the industry without many arrests and little to no incarceration, he said.

“It’s very hard to shut down a black market,” Caulkins said. “It’s easy to shut down a legal company with a fixed address and fixed assets.”

It’s practically a “slam-dunk,” he said.

Demonstrators march in November 2011 to protest the federal government's crackdown on California medical marijuana dispensaries during a rally in Sacramento, Calif., at the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press file)
Demonstrators march in November 2011 to protest the federal government’s crackdown on California medical marijuana dispensaries during a rally in Sacramento, Calif., at the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press file)

Such a tactic was employed in 2011-12 in a federal crackdown in California that led to the closure of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The door would be open for the feds to seize money collected by state and local governments in their oversight of legal marijuana operations, said Zachary Bolitho, a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee and now a professor at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, N.C.

“Technically speaking, the money that is being derived from (marijuana regulatory systems) is criminal proceeds,” he said. “And, technically speaking, there’s an argument that’s forfeitable.”

What may be a legal possibility could be different from a political reality.

The actuality of the federal government disgorging Colorado of funds that since have been allocated elsewhere is not likely, he said.

Who will prosecute pot cases?

Others suggest that some limited, concerted actions could be more than enough to stifle a bustling industry.

Seeing a sledgehammer can drastically affect people’s behavior, said Sam Kamin, the Vicente Sederberg professor of marijuana law and policy at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

“Can they arrest every person? Of course not,” Kamin said. “Can they make life very unpleasant for a few high-profile actors? Would it have a chilling effect? Yes.”

Given the industry’s rapid development in just a few years and legalization’s increasing popularity among the public as a whole, attacking the marijuana industry “would seem like an odd fight to pick at this particular political moment,” Kamin said.

In making direct enforcement actions, the federal government could be wading into uncharted territory, he said, noting that the the Justice Department likely would have to do so without the full cooperation of state and local law enforcement.

If those prosecutions occur and come to trial, the chances of success may be lower, Bolitho said. They would go before a jury pool in locales where public opinion weighed heavily in favor of legalization, he said.

And then there’s the matter of immediately finding willing U.S. attorneys to initiate those prosecutions, said Robert Mikos, a Vanderbilt Law School professor who specializes in the topics of federalism and drug law.

The Trump administration has not yet replaced the U.S. attorneys from the 94 different districts across the nation, he said.

For the time being, there are holdovers — mostly from the prior administration — who may not share Sessions’ antipathy toward marijuana and be resistant toward any edicts from his office, Mikos said. Attorneys who clamp down on marijuana in their state might not be too popular when their turn in office is over, he added.

It’s possible that the Department of Justice could have a new marijuana policy in place by summer, newly appointed U.S. attorneys by fall, and then initiate prosecutions, which could be months-long processes, Mikos speculated.

“And all the industry has to do is keep those actions going for a few months,” he said.

This sign hangs is on display at A Cut Above, a Denver medical-only shop in the
This sign hangs is on display at A Cut Above, a Denver medical-only shop in the “Green Mile” a stretch of marijuana shops on Broadway, in April 2016. (Vince Chandler, Denver Post file)

There would be a high practical cost to enforcement, Mikos said, adding that the actions would consume a lot of resources from an agency without a wealth of them. And there’s the question of delineating between medical marijuana and recreational and where that would leave a state such as Colorado, where those operations are often intertwined, he said.

“All it may ultimately succeed in doing is driving the industry underground for a short time until we get a new president or until we get a new Congress in less than two years,” he said.

“A tightening” of Obama-era guidelines

Bolitho suggested that the Trump administration might not be entirely heavy-handed.

“I don’t think you’re going to see a return to the aggressive enforcement that existed prior to (President Barack) Obama,” he said. “My suspicion, or guess, is you’re going to see a modification of the Obama administration’s policy — a tightening.”

In 2013, the Justice Department set forth eight guidelines – a.k.a. the Cole Memo – to address voter-approved legalization of adult-use marijuana in Colorado and Washington and prioritize federal enforcement in the following areas:

  • Prevent distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • Prevent marijuana revenue from funding criminal enterprises, gangs or cartels;
  • Prevent marijuana from moving out of states where it is legal;
  • Prevent use of state-legal marijuana sales as a cover for illegal activity;
  • Prevent violence and use of firearms in growing or distributing marijuana;
  • Prevent drugged driving or exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  • Prevent growing marijuana on public lands;
  • Prevent marijuana possession or use on federal property.

Following the recent statements by White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Sessions regarding recreational marijuana, industry groups and politicians alike shot out a flurry of prepared statements and press releases supporting regulated legal marijuana. Amid that fray were voices of dissension.

“We’re hopeful that the Trump administration will pursue a smart approach to enforcement that prioritizes public health and safety over political ideology,” Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana said in a statement.

Officials for the Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank overseen by Colorado Christian University, expressed their support for greater enforcement on recreational marijuana. Calling for the Trump administration to use “every federal resource available to limit the spread of recreational marijuana,” the organization made six recommendations:

  • Use federal agencies to stop the black-market cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado and the illegal transfer of marijuana to other states;
  • Increase penalties for illegal marijuana operations on federal land;
  • Fund public anti-marijuana awareness campaigns along the lines of anti-smoking campaigns to reduce marijuana use especially among youth;
  • Fund federal research on the impact of marijuana especially as it relates to psychological and prenatal development;
  • Maintain DEA classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance and prohibit banks and credit unions from taking marijuana money;
  • Withhold federal education money from schools with drug use above the national average.

Those actions would allow the government to act within the bounds of current state laws, as the “recriminalization” of recreational marijuana is a states’ rights issue that ultimately rests with the citizens of Colorado, Centennial Institute director Jeff Hunt told The Cannabist.

The Centennial Institute cited data from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area that showed highway patrol seizures of marijuana from Colorado increased 37 percent to 394 in 2015 from 288 in 2013.

“We wanted to make sure that the Trump administration saw that there was support from people in Colorado” for enforcement of federal law, he said, and later added: “You’re going to see the Centennial Institute take a far more proactive role in highlighting what’s happening with Colorado in the legalization of recreational marijuana.”

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman at the State Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado State Judicial Building in Denver on Oct. 22, 2015. (Denver Post file)
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman at the State Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado State Judicial Building in Denver on Oct. 22, 2015. (Denver Post file)

Coffman, Colorado’s top law official who has previously stated she would uphold her state’s marijuana laws, said she believes that the Trump administration is still figuring out its approach to legal marijuana.

Her gleaning of Sessions’ marijuana-related statements was that the state would see increased federal enforcement at its borders to prevent diversion out of state, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Colorado regulation evolution

Coffman, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mark Bolton, marijuana adviser to Hickenlooper, have said their state’s first-of-its-kind regulations could withstand federal action.

“The primary safeguard I think we have is a strong regulatory system,” Bolton told The Cannabist. “I think we recognize that the federal government can come in and enforce the Controlled Substances Act — to the extent they have the resources.”

The state’s priorities have been to build a regulatory system that protects public safety, protects public health, keeps marijuana out of the hands of children, and supports law enforcement in its resources and efforts, Bolton said. The system was created to both align with the Cole Memo, and also serve as an example for and beyond those 2013 federal guidelines for marijuana enforcement, he added.

Bolton was quick to remind that Colorado has been creating guidance, boundaries and rules for something that had never been regulated before. Where there have been shortcomings, the state has tried to quickly adjust, he said.

“We’re sort of building this airplane as we’re flying it…” he said, quoting former Colorado marijuana czar Andrew Freedman. “There have been challenges that have come up throughout this process, and I think we’ve had to respond. We’ve been reactive and we’ve done that.”

Colorado officials want to collaborate with the federal government to address any concerns, Bolton said.

“We’re hopeful that we can continue this experiment,” he said, noting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ remarks in 1932 that states are the “laboratories of democracy.”

“We think the time and effort and work into building this system is paying off,” Bolton said.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 07 Mar 2017 16:20:15 +0000