Browsing: Growing

Photo: KTVQ

​Law enforcement agencies say they have faced a bit of a struggle since medical marijuana was approved in Montana in 2004, reports Nikki Laurenzo at KTVQ.

“We are in a quandary because we have conflict between state law and federal law,” said Billings Police Chief Rich St. John.
No quandary at all, Chief. Your duty is to enforce state laws. Leave the federal laws to federal agents. Problem solved!

Graphic: Phawker

​New Jersey farmers see a chance to add a profitable new crop now that the state legalized medical marijuana last month.

“We would all like to grow it because we think it would be a good cash crop — literally,” said Fairfield, N.J., nurseryman Roger Ruske, reports Joseph P. Smith of the Vineland Daily Journal.
The idea is being taken seriously ever since outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine, in one of his last official acts, signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
The New Jersey Farm Bureau has looked into the issue in depth, and found both good news and problems with the concept.
Farm Bureau research associate Ed Wengryn said the legislation isn’t written clearly enough for the state Department of Health and Senior Services to write regulations.
“But I will say there are growers interested in it,” Wengryn said.

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Photo: 9News
DEA agents bag and remove marijuana plants from the home of Chris Bartkowicz during their February 12 raid of his home

​A federal judge ruled Friday that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) must keep 10 marijuana plants with roots along with 10 clone starts taken from a medical marijuana grower while he awaits trial on drug charges.

Joseph Saint-Velktri, attorney for defendant Chris Bartkowicz, appeared in federal court Friday morning after filing a motion which asks the federal government to preserve all of the plants taken from Bartkowicz’s home last week, reports Nicole Vap Jace Larson at 9News.
DEA agents brought into the courtroom a box of the marijuana taken from Bartkowicz’s home to show the state of the plants. The marijuana shown in court still had its root system, and appeared wilted but not dried.

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Photo: 9News
Chris Bartkowicz bragged about his $500,000 basement grow operation and expected $400,000 profits. Hours later, he was busted.

​Federal prosecutors Tuesday filed drug-distribution charges against a Colorado man who operated a large marijuana garden in his basement that he said legally served medical marijuana patients.

Chris Bartkowicz, charged with a single count, could face up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Bartkowicz’s suburban home in Highlands Ranch, Colo., last week and seized 224 marijuana plants after he boasted in a television news report about his basement garden, predicting $400,000 profits this year.

Photo: DEA

​A British prison inmate turned an empty office into a marijuana farm while out on day release for “work experience.”

Disgraced businessman Christopher Sanders had been given time out by Sudbury Prison officials to find a job on the outside, in preparation for being released early from a seven-and-a-half-year prison stretch for fraud, according to the Daily Mail.
The 41-year-old instead spent £10,000 (more than $15,000) of his savings on high-tech equipment to grow a crop of cannabis.

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9 News
Bartkowicz in the midst of giving the ill-advised interview which destroyed everything for which he had worked so hard

​A Colorado man accused of running an illegal marijuana grow operation in his basement will likely appear later this week in federal court after a raid took place at his Highlands Ranch home.

The case of Chris Bartkowicz has ignited a battle between medical marijuana advocates and the U.S. Justice Department, reports Valerie Castro of CBS 4 Denver.
Jeffrey Sweetin, special agent in charge of the Denver office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, oversaw the Friday raid of Bartkowicz’s home and subsequent arrest of the licensed medical marijuana provider after Bartkowicz bragged on television about his profitable grow op.

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Photo: 9 News
Chris Bartkowicz in his $500,000 basement grow operation, just hours before his loose lips sunk the ship

​Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents have raided a Highlands Ranch, Colorado home just hours after a television news story teaser aired in which the homeowner boasted of $400,000 profits he hoped to garner this year from his medical marijuana grow operation.

This rapid unfolding of events serves to highlight a couple of should-be-obvious lessons that some in Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana scene have evidently yet to learn, among them, perhaps, “Never brag about six-figure pot profits in front of TV cameras, even if you’re sure you are legal.”

Photo: Jenn Miller

​The City of Seal Beach, California has paid a medical marijuana patient $32,500 to settle a lawsuit resulting from what he called the unlawful confiscation of 50 marijuana plants.

Bruce Benedict, 45, sued the Seal Beach Police Department for $1 million in August 2008, alleging violations of civil and safety codes, false imprisonment, battery and trespass, reports Jaimee Lynn Fletcher at The Orange County Register.
“I’m happy that I won,” Benedict said. “I’m happy that they got slapped in the face.”
“It’s not about the money,” he said. “These [cops]are bad for society.”

Photo: Todd Bigelow/Aurora for NPR
Laguna Woods resident Margo Bauer, 73, tokes up on the porch with her plant.

​A heartless corporate board has voted unanimously in a closed meeting to ban elderly residents of Laguna Woods Village, a California retirement community also known as “Leisure World,” from growing much-needed medical marijuana in community garden centers.

The despicable action was taken despite the assurance of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that it would do nothing if the retirement community residents were growing marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
“I don’t have an opinion on it,” said Wendy Bucknum, governmental and public affairs manager at Laguna Woods Village, when Toke of the Town asked what she had to say about the ban. “The decision is the elected Board’s decision.”

Photo: The Grand Rapids Press
An anonymous caregiver who grows medical marijuana for patients checks his garden. He has 22 plants of three varieties growing in his Grand Rapids basement. 

​Grand Rapids, Michigan city commissioners have decided on a homegrown approach to regulating medical marijuana.

Commissioners Tuesday decided to go ahead with zoning regulations that will treat medical marijuana growers, also known as caregivers, as home-based businesses, reports Jim Harger of The Grand Rapids Press.
Planning director Suzanne Schulz said the rules will allow medical marijuana growers to operate in a manner similar to music teachers or tax preparers.
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