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Not all stoners are Star Wars fans, but I’d bet a lot of the midnight movie-goers at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last week were smoking themselves into a galaxy far, far away before walking into theaters. Cheering on Leia, Luke and the boys as they fight the Evil Empire is a pastime for many potheads, but not all. Some of us just want to get blunted and listen to the voice of James Earl Jones voice rule with an iron fist as he Force-chokes peons to oblivion. For that, I give you Death Star.

This fall has seen a myriad of crime related to marijuana home grows. At last week’s Marijuana Management Symposium, a panel on law enforcement and public safety comprising Denver Police Commander James Henning,  former Erie police chief Marco Vasquez and Aurora Police Sergeant Scott Pendleton advised law enforcement reps from other states on what Colorado has done right in handling cannabis-related crimes — and what it should have done differently.

Henning addressed the issue of cannabis home grows, which he says have become a bigger problem in Colorado since Amendment 64 passed. “The black market and marijuana, it got big here,” he said. “It got much bigger. The black market in marijuana is booming.”

It currently sells a powerful opiate.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek

The Intercept reports that Insys Therapeutics, the company that donated $500,000 to oppose REC in Arizona, is about to release a synthetic THC spray to relieve side effects associated with chemotherapy that would compete directly with MED. It’s been more widely noted that Insys’ only current product is an opioid spray. Insys noted in a 2007 SEC filing that legalization is a threat to its business.

Forbes surveys a list of cannabis-involved pharmaceutical companies that are takeover targets. Insys is among them.

The league and the plant appear to be on a collision course. 

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson will serve a four-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana. Seantrel suffers from Crohn’s Disease and had bowel surgery early this year.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not happy that rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott visited a pot shop in Seattle. Elliott didn’t buy anything according to TMZ. The Cowboys start the season tomorrow with three players suspended for substance abuse violations.

Love, romance and smoke were in the air for the Simply Cooking class with Scott Durrah.

Longtime chef Scott Durrah has a strong restaurant personality — and a strong tolerance for cannabis. He showed off both at last Saturday’s Simply Cooking demonstration that combined his love of food with his love of cannabis — and his love for partner Wanda James, with whom he runs Jezebel’s Southern Bistro as well as theirdispensary, Simply Pure. The theme of the day’s cooking demonstration was love and romance — and the pop-up kitchen definitely got hot.

Durrah prepared two dishes that morning: pan-seared scallops salad with grapefruit and cannabis-infused olive oil, and a lamb chop preparation that incorporated his homemade cannabis-infused coconut oil, mint tincture as a mint sauce, bok choy and brown rice. Pro tip: Store your cannabis-infused coconut oil in a hollowed-out coconut. Not only does it improve the flavor, Durrah says, but “It just looks so cool.”

It’s a controversial theory.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

In Esquire, author Don Winslow argues that legal weed is responsible for the opiate epidemic. As demand for Mexican marijuana has fallen, The Mexican Sinaloa Cartel “increased the production of Mexican heroin by almost 70 percent, and also raised the purity level, bringing in Colombian cooks to create ‘cinnamon’ heroin as strong as the East Asian product. They had been selling a product that was about 46 percent pure, now they improved it to 90 percent.

There wasn’t much talk of marijuana inside the arena at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

The industry was all over Philly.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

Marijuana wasn’t often mentioned in the Democratic National Convention’s official program.

Unofficially, it was the “star.” A trade association had a party. MPP had a fundraiser. Marchers carried a 51-foot joint.

At Marijuana.com, Tom Angell (@TomAngell) unearthed the Tim Kaine quote, “I actually kind of like this option of the states as labs and they can experiment [with legalizing]and we can see what happens.” NORML revised its rating on the vice presidential candidate from F to C. (Last week, I referred to MPP ratings for presidential candidates as NORML ratings. I regret the error.)

Marijuana Business Daily interviews former U.S. deputy attorney general James Cole, whose eight-point 2013 memo gave the industry confidence that it could grow without federal prosecution. “It wasn’t really intended to be a huge policy shift as much as reacting to the situation and trying to use some common sense,” he said.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wants more lawmakers to support legalization.

Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D) said heroin and crystal meth should be legalized. “We should outlaw a drug if it is likely to make you mistreat others. People don’t hit other people in the head because they’re on heroin; they hit other people in the head because they need to get money to buy heroin.”

The New Yorker profiles Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate and a legalization supporter. He said he would not use cannabis as president.

Quartz introduces us to Tick Segerblom (D), a dogged cannabis supporter in the Nevada State Senate.

The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeals Board said cannabis sellers can’t receive federal trademark protection.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) decriminalized possession, making the state the third largest after New York and California to do so.

About half of the 100 Oregon communities that don’t allow REC businesses will vote on whether to lift their bans in November.

Ohio legislators knew that the provision in the state’s MED law to guarantee 15% of business licenses might be unconstitutional but they kept it in to win votes, the AP reports.

Florida billionaire Carol Jenkins Barnett, a Publix supermarket heir, donated $800,000 to oppose the state’s MED initiative.

A Los Angeles county ballot initiative that proposed a pot tax to benefit the homeless has been shelved. Canna Law Blog dives into the business climate in L.A, one of the world’s largest cannabis markets.

The DEA compared home grows to “meth houses.”

Italian lawmakers are beginning to debate legalization. Opponents include Pope Francis. The Italian military grows MED for the country.

Voters will have a clear choice in November.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

The Democratic Party Platform states “We encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.” The Washington Post describes the language as a nod to Bernie Sanders.

For its platform, the Republican Party rejected language supporting MED. It was proposed by Dale Jackson, a GOP delegate from Georgia with an autistic son. Another delegate said mass-shooters are, “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.”

Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) opposed reducing marijuana penalties in 2013.

The Cannabist released its 2016 election guide.

The industry-loathed “ potency amendment” will not be on the Colorado ballot. Frank McNulty (R), a former speaker of the Colorado House and supporter of the measure said the industry paid signature gathering firms to not gather signatures. “Without [signature gathering companies]we didn’t have the ability to get it to the ballot,”McNulty said.

An industry spokesman denied the accusation andThe Denver Post editorial page finds it “dubious.” “ Big marijuana trashes democratic process,” the Colorado Springs Gazette editorializes.

Campaign filings released on August 1 will clarify what happened. (An email query from WeedWeek was not returned.)

The Amendment would have banned products with higher than 16% THC, which account for 80% of cannabis products in Colorado. “Make no mistake,” the Post writes, “139 was an anti-pot measure designed to gut the industry. And it’ll be back.”

With industry support, California plans to regulate water use by growers.

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, explains his ambivalence about California’s upcoming Adult Use of Marijuana Act vote: “The initiative is decidedly more friendly to big business and will lead to rapid consolidation of the industry. This is an avoidable and undesirable outcome.” (See the initiative’s exact language here.)

Montanans will vote on a measure to expand the state’s MED program. L.A. County voters will decide on a marijuana business tax to benefit the homeless. The L.A. Times tells government officials, “Legal marijuana should not be seen as the solution to your revenue problems.”

A federal judge rejected the claim that current federal laws are “so arbitrary and irrational as to be unconstitutional.” The complaint was brought by Charles and Alexander Green, two Californian brothers accused of trafficking.

A proposed MED measure in North Dakota would be too expensive, the state health department said. The Pennsylvania legislature approved growing hemp for research.


An important state appellate court decision was just announced that may have just set a major precedent in how California cannabis law will view concentrated forms of THC.
Until now, hash makers and lovers alike felt as though they were operating in a very, very grey area of California’s 18-year old medical marijuana laws. But on Wednesday of last week, one man’s day in court gave Cali’s cannabis enthusiasts a rare occasion to cheer.

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