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If you know cannabis in Colorado, you’ve heard of Jane West. Whether you’ve seen her on Nightline, CBS or NBC, read about her in Forbes, Time, Rolling Stone or, most recently, Playboy, she’s been the face of women in the industry since she started her company in 2014.

The funny thing, though, is that West fell into it almost by accident. For eight years, she ran ten-day experiential education programs for students who wanted to be doctors in thirteen cities nationwide. Then, after Coloradans legalized recreational marijuana, she started hosting cannabis event, and the Denver Post did an article about her new company. The paper ran her photo with the story, and she was sure someone at her work would see it and she would be fired — but nothing happened.

That’s a lot of lotion.
Here’s your daily round-up of pot news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek.
A report found that cannabis “ medicinals and personal care products” could be a $2 billion industry by 2020. Sales of high-CBD products are growing among non-traditional cannabis users.

The new REC states have big plans for pot taxes. The Cannabist alerts them to “ five immediate concerns” about the industry.

Kris Krane, president of consulting firm 4Front Ventures, pooh-poohs the notion of Big Pot.

“There isn’t some megalithic industry that exists today…The notion that there are these gigantic, big-money players running in to take this whole thing over is just a fiction. There’s no Philip Morris, no Anheuser-Busch, no cannabis division at Bank of America. Even the most successful company is still barely in the growth stage.”

September was the third-straight best-month-ever for Colorado dispensaries.

A company called CanPay has what it calls the first “legitimate” debit payment system for dispensaries. The customer pays with a QR code accessed on their phone.

The Post Office has few safeguards for stopping employees who intercept weed sent through the mail.

Employers in California will still be able to fire workers who test positive. The San Jose Mercury News piece mentions that near one drug testing lab in Colorado, workers who arrive with containers of someone else’s clean urine tend to heat it up in a nearby convenience store’s microwave.

Canadian firms appear to be gouging the government healthcare system by signing up veteran MED patients for expensive strains according to a Vice report. Canadian companies could also benefit if there’s a crackdown in the U.S.

The Toronto Stock Exchange halted trading of six surging cannastocks. Some market watchers think it’sstill too early to invest.

Heavy rains in southern Oregon will force growers to torch moldy crops. Some rural Colorado communities derive much needed revenue from pot.

Florida entrepreneurs are excited about MED.

Jamaica’s licensing authority received 89 applications.

Could Delaware become a tax-free cannabis haven?” Small-scale Northern California growers areadjusting to legalization.

The U.S. Surgeon General says most illegal drug users don’t receive treatment. Many of them don’t want or need treatment, Reason says.

A study suggests that cannabis use can weaken heart muscles, particularly in young men. Read it here.

The journal Science says that the lower potency of plants from the one federally-sanctioned grow ( the one in Mississippi) undermines studies conducted with those plants.

Scientists are working on a new drug that functions like MED without the psychoactive effect.

Recent studies suggest that cannabis use may have mental health benefits and could have a role in curtailing opiate use.

Viceland uncovers a U.K. network of underground MED providers who give it away to patients.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, a Liberal, said police had discovered pot and other drugs laced with the powerful opiate fentanyl. Vancounver police denied it.

Some researchers are starting to take psychedelics seriously, as therapy. Also see this.

Graham Lawyer Blog

Prosecutors in Washington’s two most populous counties are dismissing more than 220 misdemeanor marijuana cases after state voters on Tuesday decriminalized small amounts of cannabis.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg is dismissing 175 cases, and Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said he was dismissing “about four dozen” such misdemeanor cases where marijuana is the only offense, reports Jonathan Martin at The Seattle Times.

The prosecutors decided to apply I-502 — which removes criminal penalties for up to an ounce of marijuana — retroactively. I-502 comes into effect on December 6, one month after voters approved it in Tuesday’s general election.

Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office
Fiona Apple’s mugshut

(Except the Jonas Brothers… That’s Your Punishment, Sheriff West)
By Angela Bacca
Special to Toke of the Town
Last week, singer-songwriter Fiona Apple’s tour bus passed through west Texas’s Hudspeth County, where it was stopped by local law enforcement and searched for narcotics. The search turned up about an ounce and a half each of marijuana and hashish. Apple was taken to jail where she spent a night before being released on $10,000 bail.
Now, according to Alternet, she faces a minimum of two years — and a maximum of 10 — in federal prison for the offense.
Blatantly pro-marijuana musicians Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) and Willie Nelson both got away with a hand slap — but not until after Willie Nelson was pressured to perform “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in he Rain,” for a judge to have his charges dismissed.

The Seattle Times

“The federal government’s policy, where states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, has been to respect voters’ decisions”
~ Alison Holcomb, New Approach Washington
After last week’s federal letters threatening Seattle medical marijuana dispensaries — access points which have made a point of following state and municipal laws governing such shops — the backers of Washington state marijuana “legalization” initiative I-502 had a chance to say something intelligent about federal interference in voter-approved marijuana laws.

After all, I-502 itself — should it pass, as appears likely, in November — will be in direct conflict with the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act, under which cannabis is considered a Schedule I “narcotic” with no accepted uses and a high probability of abuse.
So what did I-502’s main author, Alison Holcomb of ACLU-WA and campaign manager for 502 sponsors New Approach Washington, have to say in a Tuesday news story from the Seattle P.I.?

Graham Lawyer Blog

​The Washington state Democratic Central Committee endorsed a marijuana legalization initiative in the state over the weekend, calling cannabis prohibition a waste of taxpayer money.

Simple marijuana possession charges now account for fully half of all drug arrests in Washington, according to the Democrats, who pointed out pot’s status as the second biggest cash crop in the state. reports Jonathan Martin at The Seattle Times.
The group said cannabis has the potential to raise $215 million in new tax revenues each year if a current legalization drive, Initiative 502, also known as New Approach Washington, passes.
I-502 is sponsored by the ACLU of Washington and endorsed by prominent figures including former U.S. Attorney John McKay (who was responsible for the prosecution of “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery), Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel host Rick Steves.
It is expected to gather enough signatures to go before the state Legislature in the upcoming session. At that point, the Legislature can either take action or, more likely, let the initiative be decided by the state’s voters on the November 2012 ballot.

Photo: Petoskey News

​A 61-year-old New Zealand housewife who lost a bag of cannabis was arrested when she showed up to reclaim it as “lost property” from the local police station.

The bag, containing 19 separate grams of marijuana wrapped in tinfoil, a cannabis pipe and a cellphone, was found at a ferry terminal in Picton on August 16, reports AFP.
After the person who discovered the bag of weed turned it over to police in the South Island town, the cellphone rang and a male caller asked about the marijuana’s whereabouts. The officers informed him it was at the Picton police station.

Graphic: Cannabis Defense Coalition

​The top prosecutors and officials in both King County, Washington and the city of Seattle are asking the Legislature to quickly untangle the mess left by Governor Christine Gregoire’s gutting of a medical marijuana bill. The bill was supposed to have legalized dispensaries and provided arrest protection for patients, but after Gregoire got through with it, patients were worse off than they started.

In a letter to the four top leaders in the Washington Legislature, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, county executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said the medical marijuana law in its current state leaves them with “few good options” to control and regulate dispensaries, reports Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times.

“In the absence of new legislation, we at the local level will have to choose between closing down dispensaries and prosecuting the owners and workers, or allowing them to continue to multiply in an unclear regulatory environment,” they wrote in a letter [PDF] dated Wednesday, May 18.

Photo: The Reagan Wing

​Washington Governor Christine Gregoire seems to be wavering between a partial veto and a full veto of a medical marijuana dispensary bill passed by the Legislature last week.

“I’m looking at it only with what I can save,” Gregoire said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Not whether I will sign it.”
SB 5073 would license storefront dispensaries and grow operations, and protect registered patients from arrest, reports Andrew Garber at the Seattle Times.
But the governor indicated the bill would not survive in its present form.

Graphic: ABC News
Some Massachusetts towns are throwing in the towel when it comes to marijuana enforcement. Puzzlingly, some folks, mostly cops, seem upset about that.

​Some towns in Massachusetts have given up enforcing the state’s marijuana law which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot, saying the law is written with too many loopholes to be effective.

The decrim law established a civil fine of $100 for those caught with an ounce or less of cannabis. That punishment replaced what had been a criminal offense carrying a penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine, also for possession of an ounce or less.
But the decrim law, which voters overwhelmingly passed in November 2008, doesn’t require offenders to correctly identify themselves, nor does it give a way for cities to make them pay the fines, reports The Associated Press.
What has resulted is a patchwork of marijuana enforcement across Massachusetts, as some communities continue to hand out hundreds of the $100 civil citations for pot, while others look the other way when it comes to personal cannabis use.
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