seed-to-saleShutterstock

Medical Marijuana is legal in 19 states — not including Florida. But that hasn’t stopped one Fort Lauderdale tech company from reaping the benefits of the booming cannabis industry. BioTrackTHC, a 6-year-old software firm, devised a comprehensive “seed-to-sale” marijuana inventory program that uses an identification number on barcodes to track marijuana from plant to dispensary.

It started off with only 20 customers, but BioTrackTHC has expanded as one by one, states begin legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. In just a few years, the company has grown to serve 1,800 licensed businesses in 24 states, in addition to D.C. and Canada.

Dear Stoner: Read your answer about smoking without the smell last week, but what can I do about removing the smell from my car? I don’t smoke in it, but it reeks every time I leave weed in there for more than thirty minutes.
TC

Dear TC: You don’t like the smell of skunky jet fuel after a long day? I suppose it can be quite a tease if you have a long drive ahead of you. Still, I’d love to have Durban Poison or Texas Hash Plant air fresheners — but that’s just me.

If you don’t want your friends, family, dates, Uber passengers, etc., smelling your stoner habits when they’re in your ride, throw your weed bottles in a Mason jar — and throw that jar in the trunk. Even if you were already keeping your stash locked in a childproof container, it’s still better to keep it in the back in case an overzealous cop pulls you over and notices it. (Think of it as an open container of beer.) If you’re too lazy to walk to your trunk, leave some fast food on the front seat for a half-hour or so. You could also smoke a cigarette, but I like the smell of french fries more.

New Jersey state senator Nicholas Scutari takes questions at his press conference on marijuana reform.NJTV News, via YouTube

New Jersey state senator Nicholas Scutari takes questions at his press conference on marijuana refor

During a four-day trip to Colorado earlier this month that took him through Boulder, Golden and Denver, New Jersey senator Nicholas Scutari, a Democrat from Union, examined the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana. He concluded that similar legislation could benefit New Jersey.

His trip included visits to dispensaries and meetings with state officials, law enforcement and local business owners. In a press conference held when he returned home, he said he came away with a better understanding of safety regulations, such as making sure packaging on marijuana products indicates clear dosage levels and equipping police departments with drug-recognition experts.

KIND Financial's CEO, David Dinenberg, at the company's headquarters in HollywoodDan Smarg

KIND Financial’s CEO, David Dinenberg, at the company’s headquarters in Hollywood

When KIND Financial began in 2014, it was supposed to be the Wells Fargo for weed growers and dispensaries.

“I was initially going to be KIND Banking,” CEO David Dinenberg says. “I was going to be the marijuana bank.”

He says the idea struck when he was watching a 60 Minutes segment on marijuana businesses, which mentioned that the industry had no banking, credit cards or financial services. “If you had sneezed or coughed during the 15 seconds that this information was presented, you’d have missed it,” the impeccably dressed Dinenberg says, sitting in an airy conference room of his Hollywood office. Soon thereafter, he began learning about the cannabis industry. “The research evolved into a business plan,” he says. “I gravitate toward a problem and not the story.”

To learn more, read L.A. Weekly‘s full story about KIND Financial.

cannabis_rumPhoto courtesy of Glenn Scott Photography / Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing.

Though it’s becoming increasingly legal to possess it, smoke it, eat it, and even sell it in medicinal, recreational, or retail settings, there’s still one thing you can’t do with cannabis.

“You can’t — legally — drink alcoholic beverages with it,” says Weston native Joe Durkin, cofounder of Fort Lauderdale-based South Florida Distillers and head distiller for Fwaygo rum. “I want to help change that.”

Pasted_Image_6_28_16__5_14_PMPhoto by Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources

Forty-three-year-old Alex Sanchez spent just one night in jail last October after he was arrested for growing weed at his house in Kendall. When he returned home, the electricity wasn’t on. Sanchez called to figure out what was up and stumbled upon a little-known county ordinance that prevented him from taking a hot shower or cooking himself dinner unless he forked over what amounted to his life savings.

That day, Sanchez learned he was on the hook for thousands of dollars in fees, inspection costs, permits, repairs, and, eventually, once all of that was paid off and completed, a four-figure deposit payable to Florida Power & Light.

Travis and Samantha Mason in a photo from her Facebook page.Facebook

Travis and Samantha Mason in a photo from her Facebook page.

Young couples are frequently encouraged to write wills and make estate plans that will be ready in the event of unexpected death — but few of them do so.

Such a tragedy seems too unlikely for most of them to undertake such a sad task.

But Travis and Samantha Mason were an exception to this rule. Why? One reason, Samantha says, was Travis’s past as a Marine — a service in which risking life for country is one cost of membership.

“We’d talked about what to do if anything was to happen — what his wishes were and what my wishes were,” she acknowledges. “And he just wanted everybody to be happy. He didn’t want anybody really mourning.”

Keeping this pledge will be difficult for Samantha and his friends, family and loved ones — not to mention what Samantha refers to as “his brothers and sisters” in the military. Because while Travis survived his stint in the Marines, which ended in February 2016, he was killed on June 18, at the age of 24, when he was shot while working as a security guard at Green Heart, a dispensary at 19005 East Quincy Avenue in Aurora.

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How important is pot to Colorado tourism? “It is the elephant in the room,” said Cathy Ritter, the new state tourism head, who moved here from Illinois, shortly after she started in January. “Everyone does want to know about the impact of marijuana in Colorado.”

Author Mindy Sink wrote her first Moon Denver guide back in 2008, when the green rush to Colorado was just beginning. The third edition came out last month, and the fact that Moon Denverhas expanded to include Boulder, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins isn’t the only new twist. The subjects covered have expanded, too, with dispensaries added to the more standard tourist recommendations for sights, restaurants, nightlife and accommodations. That makes it the “first general-interest travel guide to be published with marijuana tourism included,” according to the publisher, Avalon Travel.

Budtender Jason McDaniel behind the counter at Sticky Medz in Los Angeles.David Futch

Budtender Jason McDaniel behind the counter at Sticky Medz in Los Angeles.

Behind every counter at L.A.’s medical marijuana dispensaries is an expert who knows what strains are best for pain relief and which brownies best quell nausea caused by chemotherapy.

These experts are called “budtenders,” and their profession is a new career choice, whether they’re stocking the shelves and studying labels or learning medicinal properties and caring for the afflicted.

To get to know this quirky group, read more about California’s budtenders via L.A. Weekly.

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