Marijuana and Cannabis News

Minnesota picks Michelle Larson to head state's medical pot program
By William Breathes in Medical, News
Friday, July 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

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Use this, you'll feel better.

Minnesota's Department of Health finally made its pick to head up the new medical cannabis program wednesday, choosing department vet Michelle Larson to lead the program as it prepares to launch over the next year. Larson comes to the program after nearly a decade with the department, and while she won't have any say on new policy, she will help guide the shape and logistics of the cannabis program, which is set to go into effect in July 2015. There isn't that much information out there about Larson, but what we do know is this: She's been working in the state's Department of Health since 2004 in varying capacities, starting as a planner and working her way up to deputy director. In her latest role, she's primarily focused on two big issues: obesity and tobacco use.

Want to know more? Check out the Minneapolis City Pages.


Riverside County officials considering complete ban on cannabis cultivation
Friday, July 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

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Flickr Commons
Homegrown Lemon Kush

Stretching from the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, all the way to the western Arizona border, Riverside County in California's Inland Empire has been rapidly rising in the ranks of the most populous counties in the entire nation.

In an almost synchronized timeline of events, the population explosion in Riverside County coincided with the massive growth of medical marijuana demand in the region, and local growers soon found the Mediterranean-esque climate to be more than adequate for growing their own crops. However, a newly proposed county-wide ordinance would put an outright ban on outdoor cultivation of cannabis.


Chris Christie tells Coloradans he still thinks Colorado is hell on earth for legalizing marijuana
By William Breathes in News, Say what?
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm

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Greg Skidmore.
Chris Christie.

Back in April, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ripped the quality of life in Colorado due to marijuana legalization -- a statement that prompted Governor John Hickenlooper's office to come up with a list of eight ways Colorado is way, way, way better than New Jersey.

Yesterday, Christie was in Colorado to stump for Bob Beauprez, Hick's gubernatorial opponent, in the sort of visit calculated to raise his profile as a potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee. And when he was asked if he regretted ripping the state, his answer was a typically blustery and unequivocal "no."

Read more over at the Denver Westword.


Explosion leads to fire, then to marijuana in downtown Los Angeles
By William Breathes in News
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

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Not actual explosion (duh).

Sounds of an explosion at an old downtown warehouse prompted calls to the Los Angeles Fire Department last night. And when firefighters arrived they found flames raging on the third floor of the structure, said LAFD spokesman Erik Scott told us. But the real find came during the firefight when first responders, he said, discovered a "marijuana growing operation" at the location.

It all started about 8:17 p.m. in a 6-story building at 421 E. Sixth St., according to an LAFD statement. The blaze required the efforts of 100 firefighters, but they had it finished in 14 minutes, the department states.

More over at the LA Weekly.


Colorado edibles co-owner speaks out about recalled pot brownie mix
By William Breathes in Follow that story, News
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

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Last week we told you about At Home Baked, a Colorado marijuana edibles company, being forced to recall their product because health inspectors had an issue with their extraction process. Namely: the old washing machine they were using to make large batches of icewater hash. Now co-owner A.J. "Hashman" Ashkar, says he isn't sure why he's been singled out and that he was operating a clean, safe environment. Further, he says that Public Health Inspections had no prevue over his operations - that job is up to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. And finally, he says he isn't doing anything out of the ordinary - everyone uses repurposed washing machines in the industry.

"We don't see the appropriate connection between the concentrate we're making and food," Ashkar says. "We kept the washing machine in a separate room from the kitchen."


Welfare cards being used at Colorado pot shop ATMs?
By William Breathes in News, Say what?
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 9:20 am

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According to data compiled by the National Review, welfare recipients have used electronic benefit (EBT) cards to withdraw cash at dispensaries at least 259 times since the sale of limited amounts of cannabis to adults 21 and up began in Colorado on January 1.

In total, more than $23,600 of money meant to go toward food and housing from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was withdrawn, according to the conservative publication. And while there's no way to prove the money was spent in dispensaries, that doesn't matter to the lawmakers who immediately demanded something be done.


Disturbing arrest stats in first six months of legal weed in Seattle
By Jack Daniel in Culture, Follow that story, News
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

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Local beat cops just love busting stoners. Really, it's probably a pretty easy racket. They rarely fight back, and in many cases the arresting officer can score a 2-for-1 by nabbing a minority carrying some weed. That may sound harsh, but statistics have shown for quite some time that pot busts - particularly those involving minorities - are the low hanging fruit in the world of law enforcement.

A review of the first six months of the new marijuana laws in Seattle, Washington has revealed equally disturbing numbers and trends. And shocking nobody, law enforcement spokespersons in America's fastest growing city are showing little sympathy for the terribly skewed results.


Maureen Dowd's bad edibles experience helps inspire Colorado pot food education campaign
By William Breathes in News
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

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North Shore cookies from Colorado.

Last month, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd shared a bad experience with a marijuana edible during a visit to Colorado, joking (maybe) that such items be stamped with a "stoned skull and bones."

The Dowd piece, coupled with other negative news stories linked to edibles use, is among the inspiration for First Time 5, an edibles-education campaign being launched at an event tomorrow. Steve Fox, executive director of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation, offers the Denver Westword a preview.


American Cannabis Company is counseling potential Minnesota pot producers
By William Breathes in Medical
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

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They won't say who, but the American Cannabis Company is counseling a group of "Minnesota-based entrepreneurs" who want to become manufacturers of the new state-sanctioned medicine.

ACC got off the ground last year in Colorado, working with local applicants, but has since expanded to include clients across the U.S. and as far as the eastern seaboard of Canada. Trent Woloveck, the company COO, says his team will be tasked with meeting Minnesota regulatory standards while "bringing what our best practices are from these more mature markets."

Read more about ACC's vague announcement over at the Minneapolis City Pages.


Arizona surpasses 50,000 medical marijuana patients
By William Breathes in News
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

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New statistics by the Arizona Department of Health Services show that Arizona now has more than 50,000 qualifying, adult patients.

As of June 30, the state had 52,638 "active cardholders," which is a 9.1 percent increase from the last official number published by the agency on March 28 of 48,231 patients. The recently released quarterly report also shows 93 minor patients and another 94 minors being treated by caregivers, which is a 34 percent increase over those same categories in the March 28 report. That increase could be due to a judge's ruling in late March that allows the use of concentrated marijuana, which can be used in pills or food items for youngsters with epilepsy or other serious ailments.

More over at the Phoenix New Times.