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Thirteen people associated with Hoppz’ Cropz stores in Colorado Springs, including co-owners Joseph Hopper, also known as “Joey Hops,” and Dara Wheatley, nicknamed “Boss Lady,” have been indicted on charges that they illegally distributed nearly 200 pounds of marijuana in a variation on the sort of “free” pot giveaway schemes that date back to the days before and just after the launch of legal recreational cannabis sales.

File photo by Shane Lopes/L.A. Weekly

New legislation would force the federal government to allow veterans to obtain medical marijuana in states, like California, where it’s legal.

The amendment to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make cannabis available to veterans who need it was recently approved by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee 24 to 7. The department would be prohibited from interfering with a veteran’s ability to obtain weed, and from blocking healthcare providers from giving pot to veterans where it’s legal, according to language attached to a military appropriations bill.

“The amendment ensures that veterans have equal access to all of the medical options available in their local community, to include medical marijuana in states where it is legal,” according to a statement from the office of co-author Steve Daines, a Montana Republican.

Gustavo Turner/L.A. Weekly

Strict laws in the city and county of Los Angeles have, over the years, led to the closure of hundreds of illicit marijuana dispensaries, action hailed by some as a way to combat drug-related crime such as robberies and loitering.

But a new study contradicts the argument, sometimes made by law enforcement itself, that weed stores are crime magnets. The research, published in the July issue of the Journal of Urban Economics, took a close look at the city’s closure of hundreds of illicit dispensaries in 2010.

It concluded that crime around pot shops forced to shut down actually increased afterward. “When marijuana dispensaries were shut down, we found the opposite of what we were expecting,” says the paper’s co-author, USC business economics professor Tom Y. Chang. “Crime actually increased in the areas that closed relative to the ones allowed to stay open.”

X-Tip via Pixabay

Next year’s Harvest promises to be quite a bounty.

Harvest of Arizona, the Tempe-based medical-marijuana dispensary company with retail shops in Tempe and Scottsdale, announced a merger Tuesday that would make it one of the largest players in the growing industry.

In theory, the deal could benefit to the state’s 115,000 registered patients by lowering prices.

Harvest has merged with Arizona cultivator Modern Flower, currently the state’s “leading wholesale supplier,” the company said in a news release, adding that the company will soon become “the largest medical marijuana operator in Arizona.” Phoenix New Times has the story…

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Dear out-of-state performers who are scheduled to visit Colorado,

Listen, Coloradans understand getting too fucked up on pot to function. After all, marijuana in some form has been legal in this state for seventeen — seventeen! — years, giving us ample opportunity to experiment (and fail) with dosage. And we’re used to seeing our parents or friends visiting from out of state eat too much of a brownie or take one too many rips of a bong and suffer through the weirds.

Jacqueline Collins

Dispensary shelves across Colorado are about to become more consistent because of a new distribution law, according to several cannabis business owners. The law, signed in June and effective July 1, allows couriers and distributors to store cannabis inventory in third-party locations and also gives them more time to ship products.

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