Mj news for 05/08/2015

7greeneyes

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http://www.cincinnati.com/story/new...ive-marijuana-farm-responsible-ohio/26982335/







Former Kroger exec investing in would-be marijuana farm






The former top lawyer at Kroger is investing in the Butler County farm that will grow marijuana if Ohio voters approve a constitutional amendment to legalize the drug.

ResponsibleOhio, the group behind the amendment, on Friday touted Paul Heldman's endorsement of its proposal. This particular amendment would legalize pot, but limit commercial cannabis growing in the state to 10 farms run by backers of the proposal -- three in Greater Cincinnati.

Heldman is investing in a company that plans to grow marijuana on 40 acres in Middletown, a spokeswoman said. The farm would be located about 1.5 miles northwest of Monroe Senior High School. His co-investors include Barbara Gould, a former design consultant and a prominent donor to the arts; Nanette Lepore, a New York City fashion designer; and brothers Woody Taft and Dudley Taft Jr., great-great-grandnephews of President William Howard Taft and cousins of former GOP Gov. Bob Taft.

"As the father of a son living with epilepsy, I know first-hand what it's like to watch a loved one suffer when he could benefit from access to medical marijuana," Heldman said in a statement. "Until we legalize marijuana in Ohio and throughout our country, rigorous scientific research into its applications will not be possible and thousands, perhaps millions, of people will suffer needlessly."

Heldman served as Kroger's top lawyer for 25 years before retiring in 2014.

ResponsibleOhio says it has already gathered about 250,000 of the 306,000 signatures it needs by July to put its proposal on the November 2015 ballot. Of the several proposals to legalize medical or recreational marijuana in Ohio, it has the most momentum, thanks mostly to a host of wealthy backers.

But ResponsibleOhio's amendment, with its limit on commercial growers and its four-plant limit for home growers, faces opposition from some of Ohio's longtime marijuana proponents.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.thecannabist.co/2015/05/07/texas-marijuana-legalization-bill-2015/34510/






Texas marijuana bills: full legalization in House; CBD oil in Senate






Updated May 7 at 1:43 p.m.: AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate has approved a limited medical marijuana bill, authorizing the sale to eligible patients of cannabidiol oil.

The upper chamber voted 26-5 to support limited legalization of what’s also known as CBD oil. It’s an extract from the marijuana plant that doesn’t produce the high associated with other parts.

The oil is used to help control seizures associated with intractable epilepsy, which advocates say affects about 150,000 Texans.

Tyler Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife’s measure now heads to the House. A companion House bill has cleared committee, making it potentially eligible for a lower chamber floor vote.

Texas hasn’t legalized marijuana in any form, even for medical reasons.

So, while a small step, passage of CBD oil exceptions would be unprecedented — should they eventually clear the Legislature.

A proposal seeking full legalization of marijuana on religious grounds has cleared an unlikely legislative hurdle.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview argues marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn’t be banned by government. The tea party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the “Christian case” for legalization.

Simpson’s bill languished for weeks before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Three committee Democrats and two Republicans surprisingly voted to support it Wednesday, though, and it passed 5-2.

That makes Simpson’s bill eligible for consideration to reach the House floor before the legislative session ends June 1, although that’s still highly unlikely.

State law currently makes no exceptions even for medical marijuana, making outright Texas marijuana legalization unthinkable.

Still, advocates hailed the committee vote as “unprecedented progress” for state marijuana rights.
 

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http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/ohio/2015/05/08/marijuana-legalization-in-ohio/26968651/






Marijuana legalization effort clears 1st step to Ohio ballot






COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana and hemp in Ohio has cleared the first step on the path to making the ballot.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office says it certified Thursday that the group Better for Ohio provided a fair and truthful summary of the proposal and had 1,000 required signatures for its petition. It still would have to be evaluated by the Ohio Ballot Board and meet a broader signature-collection requirement to appear on the ballot.

It's one of five marijuana-related constitutional amendment proposals submitted to the attorney general in the past few months. Only two so far have cleared the initial hurdle.

The other certified petition is a for-profit marijuana legalization effort from a group called ResponsibleOhio.
 

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http://www.king5.com/story/news/loc...na-growers-lawsuit-snohomish-county/70937436/






(Washington) Marijuana growers prepared to sue Snohomish County





EVERETT, Wash. --- Dozens of aspiring business owners are prepared to sue after Snohomish County Council members voted to ban marijuana growing in certain rural areas, according to a marijuana growers' advocacy group

Thirty-six growers are prepared to go to court according to Jamie Curtismith, a consultant who represents growers who are impacted by the rule change.

Snohomish County has allowed large producer/processor operations, but after a large number of residents voice concerns, council members enacted a moratorium in October. Now, there is a full-fledged ban in effect for so-called R-5 zones. Those are rural areas where the county typically allows only one house per five acres.

"They just led us down the garden path," said T.J. Worth, a grower in Arlington. He received a state license but did not get the proper county permits before October. Therefore Worth's five-acre operation will not be allowed in the eyes of the county despite spending thousands of dollars to launch his business.

"The whole point in the beginning was to give us guidance and framework so they could avoid litigation," Worth said.

Curtismith says 103 operators intended to move into R-5 zones. So far 35 operators have been licensed by the state liquor control board. But in R-5 zones, only six have both the proper state and county permits to be exempt from the ban.
 

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http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/575771/Jamie-Barnes-CISTA-cannabis-General-Election-Thurrock





(UK) Election 2015: Pro-cannabis candidate 'quizzed at vote count for possessing cannabis'





A CANDIDATE for a pro-cannabis party was reportedly quizzed by police at a vote count – for possessing cannabis.

Jamie Barnes stood for Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol (CISTA) in Thurrock, picking up 244 votes.

A Twitter user wrote: "There is a 'cannabis is better than alcoholic' [sic] candidate in #Thurrock - he has just been arrested at the count for possessing weed #GE15"

But a journalist clarified that Barnes was "just having a chat" with police.

CISTA, founded in February, proposes "a new approach to drug reform, starting with cannabis".

It claims that, if the class B drug is legalised, could net the exchequer up to £900 million.

Some 32 CISTA candidates – including Barnes – stood at the General Election, but none were elected.

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party both made promises on drugs reform in their manifestos.

The Greens back a "legal, safe supply chain" for cannabis while the Liberal Democrats pledged to "fight for change".
 

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http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana...l-seattle-cannabis-cup/#25946103=0&30696101=0





New rules force High Times to call off annual Seattle cannabis cup






The new state laws collapsing the medical market as we know it in Washington and funneling all public marijuana-related activities, essentially, through the state liquor board has claimed its first victim … the High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup in Seattle.

High Times has put on the cannabis competition/vender expo/party here for three years — twice in Fremont and last year in Everett — but the marijuana and counter-culture institution has run headlong into a bureaucratic dead end, said Dan Skye, High Times editor-in-chief.

He said High Times tried getting a liquor license (with no booze on site) and a special-event permit from the state with no luck.

And since High Times needs a pretty big venue, it’s looked at parks and the Port of Seattle property, Skye said, but those areas “get a lot of federal money, so those people are very very reticent to open up their doors to High Times.

“And the private venues, because the rules appear to be somewhat gray, are very very reticent as well to sign on with High Times. So we have basically given up, and it’s a real shame because Portland is jumping on this and we’re going to have a huge cup in early August there.”

The problem is, in short, that Initiative 502 combined with rules for getting a liquor permit don’t allow marijuana to be used or sampled the way High Times wants to run its show.

For one, if you have a liquor licenses no marijuana use is permitted at all. Secondly, our recreational marijuana laws don’t allow for sampling or selling marijuana outside of a licensed brick-and-mortar store. And, there’s no cannabis consumption on the store’s property.

So, even though High Times pot judging occurs in private the week before the cup event, attempting to find a venue that will allow consumption in private areas (as in previous years) and vendors to showoff their goods has proved fruitless. In years past, marijuana growers and medical cooperatives openly sampled their goods at this event and others under the gray area of the former medical law. The same gray area responsible for all those green crosses sprouting up all over town.

But, that’s all changed now.

Here’s what a state board spokesperson emailed us as an explainer:

The law states that you cannot consume marijuana in public, and these events are, by definition, open to the public because you are selling tickets and/or inviting anyone in — they are not private/invite only events so right off the bat you have a conflict. The law also states you cannot give marijuana away (a topic many reporters have written about before usually using the “can I be arrested for sharing my stash with my wife” angle) so vendors can’t give it away, and they can’t sell it because they are not on their licensed premises.

From an enforcement standpoint, we have authority over the marijuana licensees and the venue if it holds a license, and we are required to enforce the laws as they pertain to those entities. If people want to see these types events, then they need to contact their legislators to change the law because as presently written don’t allow for this type of event.

Consequently, the booming industry surround medical cooperatives has only a few months to try to fit into the state-run marijuana market. And, that market is heavily regulated with lots of rules effectively eliminating the kind of thing High Times wants to do.

“We’re trying to legitimize this industry with a trade show that is open to all people, so they can sample the best merchandize of the Washington area. So, the people who are going to lose out are the Washington businesses. They did very well there last year, and we’re disappointed … We have bent over backwards to work with the LCB, and it just has not worked out,” Skye said.

Here’s the rest of what he had to say:

This event would have been our 22nd event, and we have had tremendous success all over the country. Our events are getting bigger every single time we hold one, and they are getting more popular. So it’s just problematic for us when we can’t mount the cup as we have done in so many other states and so many other cities without this kind of push back.

It got to the point where we cannot find a venue in Washington that will do it so we decided to go elsewhere …

It’s shame because we had a great turn out last year and … as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there … taxes are out of control … and the black market is back.

So, I don’t know. We’re trying to legitimize things, that’s our point. Just like any other trade show.

An unforeseen consequence of the new laws … no marijuana expos with lawn parties as we used to have them, while there are about a million beer- and wine-related festivals.

The overall effect of the new laws combined with no public space to legally consume marijuana (… yes, Hempfest is all about thumbing its nose at prohibition through civil disobedience with open pot smoking, but it too has been changing its ways) is to push more marijuana activity back into the dark corners …

Or, as was the case at a recent mega-marijuana-expo, to sterilize them … er … make them pot free.
 

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/11585874/The-worlds-first-cannabis-friendly-hotel.html






Colorado’s cannabis-friendly hotel






Marijuana enthusiasts will feel at home at one of Colorado’s two cannabis-friendly Bud+Breakfast guesthouses, where the catchphrase is: “We’ll keep the bowl burning for you”.

Guests at both properties, including a six-bedroom house in the a small ski town of Silverthorne, and a four-bedroom historic Victorian home in the town of Adagio in Denver, are offered “Wake & Bake breakfast sessions” which include either a cup of coffee or what management describes as the “uplifting" Sativa strain of cannabis, said to increase energy levels.

All meals at the hotels have been designed to cater for patrons with “a serious case of the munchies”, according to Lisa Schneider, the wife of 55-year-old Joel Schneider, a former securities attorney from New York who launched Bud+Breakfast. The couple moved to Colorado, which last year became the first US state to legalise the sale of recreational cannabis, and where the possession and use of marijuana is legal, to pursue careers in the cannabis industry.

“Happy hour today is pigs in a blanket and barbecue chicken pizza. We don’t serve hard alcohol. We find most people who smoke aren’t big drinkers.

They’ll have a glass of wine or beer, but they’re not big drinkers,” she added.

The Adagio hotel - where rooms and suites cost from $179 to $399 per night including "all meals, bottomless mimosas and a plethora of smoking devices including bongs and vaporizers" - claims it does not provide any cannabis products to guests but considers itself “an educational resource” with a “knowledgeable staff” offering information and counselling to any guests asking about cannabis or methods of consumption.

“Upon request, we are able to provide the necessary paraphernalia to allow our guests to try their product without having to purchase additional equipment”, the hotel's website says.

Referencing the “420 culture” of smoking joints both at 4.20pm and 4.20am, both hotels offer a “4:20 Happy Hour” where guests are free to sample various strains of cannabis along with a selection of beers, wines, and hors d’oeuvres in the hotel's communal areas. According to Bud+Breakfast's website, the cannabis strains are provided to “help you achieve a perfect head space” whether guests are hoping to relax after a day spent outdoors or are in need of “a second wind before a night out”.

Guests are free to “smoke, vaporize, or ingest whatever recreational cannabis products you desire” only in the communal areas, as the activity is aimed at encouraging socialising among patrons.

“I was living in a hotel downtown, and I would go into the bathroom and close the door and turn on the fan to smoke,” said Mr Schneider. “I realized it was no fun. I was missing out on the social aspect. Cannabis is meant to be passed.”

Bud+Breakfast also offers private body massages with “maximum healing potential” using infused oils high in the THC, CBD and CBN cannabinoids.

The Adagio hotel was launched last April, followed by the Silverthorne outpost in October, which charges between $149 and $199 per night. The brand is “committed to strengthening the recreational cannabis industry”. The average age of guests have ranged from around 50 to 75-year-old, and have come from as far as Japan, New Zealand, and England.

According to Mr Schneider, the properties have even hosted celebrities and musicians, such as members of the Philadelphia trance music group Disco Biscuits.

Mr Schneider is also planning to open Canna-Camp, currently under development, as an all-inclusive 172-acre lakeside ranch in south-west Colorado. Guests at Canna-Camp will have access to various cannabis-themed events, from horticulture to cookery courses, as well as a pool and hot tub. Mr Schneider is also looking into opening properties in Oregon and Washington.

Marijuana users around the world can now find cannabis-friendly accommodation across the globe through Bud and Breakfast (not to be confused with the Bud+Breakfast hotel chain), which is essentially an Airbnb for cannabis users. The budandbreakfast.com website launched last month to provide a pool of various homes in different countries, from Argentina and Uruguay to Jamaica and the US, that offer weed-friendly stays. Users can enter the dates and destination of their travels to draw up a list of possible cannabis-friendly accommodation options, with prices ranging from $20 to $1,200 per night. The listings provide details including exactly where on the property smoking is allowed, what smoking equipment is provided as well as the best cannabis dispensaries and cannabis-friendly events in the area.

Referring to Colorado as the “Napa Valley of cannabis", Sean Roby, the founder of budandbreakfast.com, hopes that weed smokers will embrace cannabis in Colorado with the same sophistication drinkers approach wine in California.

“I don’t really see too many people who are coming into our accommodations who are the traditional stoner, deadhead, hippie mentality,” he said. “We’re looking at professional people that are coming in for a corporate event that want to have a place to go and relax afterwards, and that’s our clientele,” said he added.

Under a law voted for by residents of Colorado in Nov 2012, known as Amendment 64, the state allows adults aged over 21 to buy up to an ounce of cannabis at the licensed shops. Last year, Colorado’s marijuana retailers were so inundated with tourists that shops said they couldn’t keep up with demand and were running out of stock.

The state made $44 million (£29 million) in taxes from the first year of sales of the drug.
 
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