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Colorado law enforcement officers, district attorneys and federal authorities collaborated on what they describe as the largest collective marijuana bust in the state’s history.

During a press conference on May 24, Jason Dunn, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, discussed the two-year investigation that included nearly 250 location searches in eight counties across the state and led to 42 arrests after raids over the last three days.

Government reports recently revealed that over 665,000 pounds of legal marijuana were sold in Colorado last year, but that number hardly accounted for every sale in the state. Although market research shows that Colorado’s marijuana black market has become significantly smaller than the rest of the country’s since retail dispensaries showed up in 2014, it hasn’t evaporated altogether.

Various law enforcement agencies collaborated on a network of raids on illegal marijuana grows in at least five towns and two counties on August 9, as first reported by the Denver Post — and the marijuana seized from the raids could be small potatoes compared to what’s happening on public land in Colorado.

To get around the guardrails surrounding marijuana research, Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University wants to create a network of 100,000 medical marijuana patients in order to collect definitive information about the plant. Founded “to advance scientific understanding of medical marijuana and its derivatives” by providing evidence-based resources for patients and caregivers, the new mmj.org initiative is working to build the world’s largest database of patients.

Scientists hoping to research marijuana in a clinical setting currently have one option for specimens: the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which sources its marijuana plants from a single contractor at the University of Mississippi. Not only have those plants been criticized for their inferior quality, but the list of authorized marijuana research projects stuck using them is extremely short, with each requiring approval from the Drug Enforcement and Food and Drug administrations.

In the last two weeks of 2016, LivWell Cares, the philanthropic arm of LivWell Enlightened Health, gave nearly $800,000 worth of cannabidiol (CBD) to members of American Medical Refugees and the CannAbility Foundation, two prominent advocacy groups for medical marijuana patients.

“We want to get the product into the hands of the people who really, really need it going into the holiday season,” said Neal Levine, senior vice president of government affairs at LivWell. CannAbility and AMR “work with so many people hand to hand, I couldn’t think of anybody [better]to work with to make sure it gets to as many of the right people as possible.”

It is illegal under Colorado law for businesses to distribute medicated product for free, so when LivWell introduced the program last month, the company said it would charge qualifying patients one penny for an ounce of cannabis. In exchange for less than $80, the company gave away almost 8,000 ounces to thousands of patients over the holiday season.

In the last two weeks of 2016, LivWell Cares, the philanthropic arm of LivWell Enlightened Health, gave nearly $800,000 worth of cannabidiol (CBD) to members of American Medical Refugees and the CannAbility Foundation, two prominent advocacy groups for medical marijuana patients.

“We want to get the product into the hands of the people who really, really need it going into the holiday season,” said Neal Levine, senior vice president of government affairs at LivWell. CannAbility and AMR “work with so many people hand to hand, I couldn’t think of anybody [better]to work with to make sure it gets to as many of the right people as possible.”

It follows an infamous raid..

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

Santa Ana, Calif. paid $100,000 to a the dispensary raided by police in 2015, and agreed to drop misdemeanor charges against employees, in exchange for them agreeing not to sue. Three officers face charges after surveillance footage recorded them mocking an amputee and playing darts during the raid. They argued that they shouldn’t be charged since they believed they had disabled all of the dispensary’s video cameras.

President Michele Ross (far left) and co-founder Melanie Rodgers (far right) stand with scientists and doctors on IMPACT Network’s advisory board.

Scientists are coming out of the woodwork in support of medical marijuana — and the Drug Policy Alliance is standing by them, putting its money where their mouths are.

To support marijuana research, the Denver-based IMPACT Network recently started a program called Scientists for Legalization. Twenty-five scientists have joined so far, and they’re asking the government to fund cannabis research at the state and national levels. They’re also asking that researchers who study marijuana have protection.

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