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MJ News for 05/20/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.syracuse.com/news/index...._on_senate_health_committee_agenda_today.html




NY Minute: Medical marijuana on Senate Health Committee agenda today


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Happy school budget day! Don't forget to vote for school boards and spending plans.

Wondering how those billions of dollars get spent? Look up per pupil spending across the entire state. FYI: the polls close at 9 p.m.

It's a big day for medical marijuana in Albany: the Senate Health Committee is scheduled to take up Sen. Diane Savino's bill.

Savino, D-Staten Island, says she has 40 votes for legislation that would allow the state to sanction marijuana use for patients with certain conditions. But first it must pass through the Senate Health Committee; the meeting starts at noon.

That end-of-session excitement is beginning to stir:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, says the Dream Act and minimum wage, are back on the table.

Another proposal to help mothers with postpartum depression -- which Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed last year -- is back.

The outlook for mixed-martial arts, once again, looks dim.
Who's going to be No. 2? Gov. Andrew Cuomo's selection of a new running mate is the big unknown for this week's state Democratic Party convention. Names on the (rumored) short list? Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll, former U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul.

Former Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno wants the state to pay his $4 million in legal fees.

Check out U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna's voting record to see how often he breaks with his fellow GOP colleagues.

Credit Suisse AG is facing a $715 million fine from state regulators in connection with accusations the bank helped clients open off-shore accounts and avoid tax bills.

Some motorcyclists say they are being profiled.

Heroin is flowing into New York City in higher volumes than seen during the past two decades.

Big sodas are nothing: Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to ban new construction of wood-burning fireplaces.

By a nasal strip -- and California Chrome can wear his.
 

7greeneyes

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http://investorplace.com/2014/05/marijuana-stocks-phot-cann-mjna/




Marijuana Stocks Could be Scams, Warns SEC Watchdogs


Marijuana stocks have federal regulators screaming. And it’s time to listen up.

medicalmarijuanastocks Marijuana Stocks Could be Scams, Warns SEC WatchdogsMarijuana stocks are bad news, we’ve pointed out again and again. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re bearish on the legalized pot industry… but the pitfalls of marijuana stocks for individual investors are far different than the business of growing, selling or even buying pot where it is legal.

Sometimes shares in a great company are still a sell because of, say, valuation. And sometimes shares in a dumpster fire are a buy because, for example, a turnaround plan is working.

Likewise, there is a difference between the potential of a new industry and the companies seeking to exploit it.

Medical marijuana looks to have a bright future, for instance, and if marijuana is ever legalized on the federal level, there will be marijuana stocks that will benefit. But they won’t be the scores of over-the-counter stocks investors are piling into today.

There seems to be a misguided belief that these marijuana stocks have to go up simply because they’re associated with marijuana. Personal computers were a huge deal back in the day, but not every PC stock was a home run.

True, the first-mover advantage can be a powerful leg up for a young company, but not when the companies in question are so sketchy they could easily be scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is getting more complaints from investors in marijuana stocks. Indeed, they suspended trading on five marijuana stocks already, punishing shares.

From questions regarding the accuracy of publicly-available information about these companies’ operations to potential illegal activity, these marijuana stocks have incurred the wrath of federal regulators for good reason:

GrowLife (PHOT)
FusionPharm (FSPM)
CannaBusiness Group (CBGI)
Advanced Cannabis Solutions (CANN)
Petrotech Oil and Gas (PTOG)
Marijuana Stocks Asking for Trouble
But it doesn’t end there. Investors should run away from all OTC marijuana stocks, including Medical Marijuana (MJNA), Cannabis Science (CBIS), CannaVest (CANV), MediSwipe (MWIP) and GreenGro Technologies (GRNH). As the SEC warns:

Fraudsters often exploit the latest innovation, technology, product, or growth industry – in this case, marijuana – to lure investors with the promise of high returns. Also, for marijuana-related companies that are not required to report with the SEC, investors may have limited information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances. When publicly-available information is scarce, fraudsters can more easily spread false information about a company, making profits for themselves while creating losses for unsuspecting investors.

The bottom line is that these are OTC stocks with little or no publicly available, audited information. OTC stocks are also a playground for pump-and-dump con artists. Why would you take the risk of having your entire position stolen by a criminal?

The marijuana industry may very well be big business one day, and there will be plenty of legitimate, listed marijuana stocks to play when that happens. But that day is still a far way off.

Besides, even if they’re on the up-and-up, the marijuana stocks that are popular right now have terrible financials. Not one of them has the revenue, profit or outlook to justify crazy-high market capitalizations we are seeing among marijuana stocks right now.

Most of these penny stocks have never made a penny in profits. They are dodgy as ****; The SEC and FINRA are warning investors away for a reason. What more do you need?

Legalized marijuana will be a boon one day, but we’re not there yet. Penny stocks in and of themselves are far too risky to buy in almost every case. Chances are, you’re throwing your money away.

I don’t own any marijuana stocks — long or short — and I never will. When it comes to marijuana stocks, just say no. This won’t end well.
 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/19/us-uruguay-marijuana-idUSKBN0DZ17Z20140519




Uruguay to sell marijuana tax-free to undercut drug traffickers


Uruguay will exempt marijuana production and sales from taxes in a bid to ensure prices remain low enough to undercut competition from black market pot smuggled in from Paraguay, according to consultants advising the government on a legalization plan.

Congress approved a law allowing the cultivation and sale of marijuana in December, making Uruguay the first country to do so, with the aim of wresting the business from criminals.

"The principal objective is not tax collection. Everything has to be geared toward undercutting the black market," said Felix Abadi, a contractor who is developing Uruguay's marijuana tax structure. "So we have to make sure the price is low."

Uruguay will auction up to six licenses to produce cannabis legally in the next weeks. The government is also considering growing marijuana on a plot of land controlled by the military to avoid illegal trafficking of the crop.

While cigarettes and alcoholic drinks are taxed heavily in Uruguay, the official marijuana trade will operate virtually tax-free, Abadi said. Uruguay does not require a decree or law to exempt a product from taxes.

President Jose Mujica signed a decree outlining the fine print of the new policy this month. It says Uruguayans will be able to buy up to 10 grams of marijuana a week in pharmacies at between 85 cents and US$1 dollar a gram, a price comparable to black-market pot.

An agricultural country of 3.3 million people, Uruguay has come under the spotlight for the marijuana law championed by Mujica, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla whose modest lifestyle and philosophical musings have made him a media darling abroad.

Uruguay has gone further than other countries such as Argentina and Spain, which have decriminalized possession, or, like the Netherlands, which tolerates the sale of marijuana. The U.S. states of Washington and Colorado have legalized the sale of cannabis under license, but federal laws still prohibit sales.

Colorado imposed heavy taxes on marijuana sales.

Uruguay's experiment is being keenly watched by Latin American peers at a time when the U.S.-led war on drugs faces mounting criticism. Success in Uruguay could fuel momentum for legalization elsewhere.

While relatively prosperous Uruguay has low crime rates, one-third of prisoners are behind bars on drug charges.
 

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http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014...juana-cultivation-a-growing-problem-in-socal/




The War On Drugs In Our Backyards? Rangers Warn Marijuana Cultivation A Growing Problem In SoCal


We’ve all heard about marijuana being smuggled over the border from Mexico.

But these days, more and more marijuana is being grown right here. Go out for a hike and you might stumble into a grow-site – and stumble into serious danger, as the war on drugs plays out in backyards and on public land across Southern California.

KCAL9′s Rachel Kim reports the National Park Service calls marijuana cultivation a “growing” problem.

Over the last five years, the organization has seen a phenomenal jump in the number of plants on public lands in western states – tens of millions every year. And California tops the list.

“It’s a very unique environment we are here to protect. It was never meant for the cultivation of marijuana,” Santa Monica Mountains Chief Ranger Evan Jones said.

Jones says in recent years, rangers have discovered pot farms in Encinal Canyon, Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park.

“There could be anywhere from two, three, four sites throughout the mountains,” he said.

In one of the most remote areas of the Santa Monica Mountains is a trail popular with visitors who want to escape into wilderness and nature. But that’s exactly what makes these areas so attractive to growers.

“It’s really the weather and the water and the remoteness of the mountains that attract the marijuana cultivators,” Jones explained.

The National Park Service says after 9/11, sophisticated drug trafficking organizations found it cheaper to cultivate here – where the demand is – than trying to smuggle it from Mexico or South America into the U.S. The plants can bring in $1,000-$4,000 per pound.

U.S. Forest Service Patrol Captain Anthony Rose says local, state and federal authorities are working together to combat the grows.

He says through reconnaissance “we have an advantage because we’re coming in at unknown times.”

“Our law enforcement officers throughout the state of California and nationwide take this threat very seriously. These are armed growers. The
potential for violence is there,” Rose warned.

Authorities aim to disrupt and dismantle these operations.

“You have hikers out there on our forest trails who are hiking with families and children and they unintentionally come across these sites. We want to ensure that our visitors and employees are safe out there,” Rose said.
U.S. Forest investigators tell KCAL9 that in 2013, almost one million marijuana plants were discovered on national forests in California. Once the plants are eradicated, the reclamation begins.

Rose says growers are clearing acres of vegetation, damming creeks and rivers, and putting in tubing to divert water to the plants. And not even California’s severe drought is keeping them away.

“It’s a tremendous impact on our ecosystems and environment,” he said.

“They can use water tanks, natural, man-made springs, you name it, if there’s a water source, these marijuana growers will use it to irrigate plants.”
Growers live on location for months, setting up camp until the fall harvest season.

Authorities find tents, sleeping bags, propane tanks, food, personal belongings and weapons. Among the thousands of pounds of trash – piping used as water lines, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and rodenticides. These toxic chemicals contaminate our water sources and kill wildlife.

Law enforcement officers are now actively patrolling areas looking for signs of cultivation. Although they believe the Santa Monica Mountains are safe for visitors, they ask for the public’s vigilance.

“We prepare ourselves to the highest standard to eliminate the threat if there is one,” Rose said.

Rose also urges anyone who sees irrigation piping in the vegetation of the mountains to get out of the area and contact a ranger immediately.
 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/20/us-lebanon-cannabis-idUSKBN0E01CG20140520




Lebanon's cannabis farms flourish while army looks away


Driving around his Bekaa Valley farmland, Ali Nasri Shamas carries a revolver by his side and an automatic rifle in the back of his car, weapons he says he's ready to use if the army moves in to try to destroy his lucrative cannabis crop.

But he may not need them this year. With Syria's civil war raging 30 miles (50 km) away, Lebanese security forces have other priorities than their annual showdown with the Bekaa hashish growers.

"If they want a confrontation that's no problem for us, it will be harvest season soon," Shamas says, standing in a field of the green, spiky-leafed plants from which hashish resin is extracted.

In recent years, security forces have sent tractors, bulldozers and armored vehicles to plough up, flatten or burn the cannabis crops, leading to clashes with farmers armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Dramatic as they were, those shows of force by authorities achieved only partial success in a region where the state holds limited sway and even the militant Shi'ite group Hezbollah is reluctant to confront formidable local clans.

Since 2012, the campaign has been quietly shelved.

Two years ago farmers blocked roads when security forces started burning cannabis. The government backed down and the interior minister promised to look into compensating farmers for crop eradication and finding them alternative sources of income, pledges the farmers say have not been honored.

Last year, as violence spilled over the border from Syria's civil war - with bombs and gunfights in Lebanon's coastal cities and rockets striking towns in the Bekaa - authorities called a halt to a battle they had waged with farmers since the end of Lebanon's own 1975-1990 civil war.

During that war, the fertile Bekaa Valley produced up to 1,000 tonnes of cannabis resin annually, before it was briefly stamped out under a United Nations programme between 1991-1993.

"From the 1990s until 2012, cannabis eradication took place on an annual basis," said Colonel Ghassan Shamseddine, head of Lebanon's drug enforcement unit.

"But in 2012...it was halted because of the situation on the Lebanese borders and the instability in Syria," he said in an interview in Beirut.

CALLS FOR LEGALIZATION

Shamas has grown a variety of crops in his 135 acres (54 hectares) of fields, including barley, wheat, onions and potatoes. But cannabis provides by far the best returns.

It's also a hardy crop, well suited to withstand the unusually dry winter which Lebanon suffered this year, without the need for expensive irrigation.

It costs between $100 and $150 to cultivate one dunum (a quarter of an acre, or tenth of a hectare), much less than a field of wheat. At harvest time in late summer, farmers can get up to $3,000 per dunum.

"With hashish no one loses," says Shamas, who has planted more of it as a portion of his overall crop in recent years.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranked Lebanon in 2011 as one of the world's top five sources of cannabis resin. Shamseddine said official figures suggested the total area of cannabis planted has remained constant over the last three years at around 35,000 dunums, though it has fluctuated sharply in the preceding years.

In 2005, a tumultuous year when Syrian forces ended their 29-year military presence in Lebanon, 64,000 dunums were planted. That fell to 11,000 by 2010, the year before Syria's uprising erupted and Lebanon slipped towards domestic turmoil.

The long and inconclusive campaign against the cannabis crop, combined with recent moves to legalize the drug in two U.S. states, has led some prominent Lebanese to add their voices to the farmers' calls for cultivation to be legalized.

Veteran Druze leader Walid Jumblatt - insisting he had never smoked marijuana - said last month he supported growing cannabis for medicinal use, arguing that regulated crop cultivation would improve living conditions in poorer areas of the Bekaa Valley.

Economist Marwan Iskander said fully legalizing the cannabis crop would help Bekaa and another impoverished part of Lebanon, the northern Akkar region, as well as contributing $400 million to the state budget and $2 billion to the wider economy at a time when Lebanon is struggling with the fallout of Syria's war.

"At this stage it would have a big impact," he said. "Lebanon needs this farming and needs to revive the Bekaa and Akkar regions."

While conceding the idea was unlikely to gain widespread support, he said he had floated it to senior United Nations and World Bank officials in Beirut. "They didn't say at the outset that this is going too far," he said.

READY TO FIGHT

In practice, Shamseddine says that as long as the drug control efforts take second place to containing the spread of Syria's conflict into Lebanon, cannabis cultivation will be seen to be officially tolerated, at least by the farmers.

"Every year that passes without eradication encourages people," he said.

Shamas said authorities should take a step further and formally recognize cannabis as a legal crop - a move he said would have benefits for all.

"We don't like cultivating cannabis by force and making problems," he said. "When the state legalizes it and gives licenses, as they do for tobacco cultivation, we would abide by that, and the state would receive (revenues) from us."

Regardless what stance officials take, Shamas said he will continue sowing more and more.

"Every year we've planted cannabis and every year we've increased the area which we've planted. The year they destroyed it we promised them we would plant five times that amount".

"If they want to legalize it, we'll thank them. If we knew that the state was looking after us we wouldn't lift a gun towards a soldier," he said "But if anyone from the state's gangs fights us, we will fight back."
 

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http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Israeli-experts-for-cannabis-meeting-in-Jamaica_16693235




Israeli experts for cannabis meeting in Jamaica


TWO high-level medical cannabis leaders from Israel are to speak at the Jamaica Cannabis Conference, scheduled for Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 24, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

They are Dr Michael Dor, chief medical advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Health Medical Cannabis Unit and a former deputy director of the Ministry of Health Medical Administration in charge of its Community Medicine and Hospitals Division; and Dr Lumir Hanus, a research fellow in medicinal chemistry and natural products at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a respected authority in medical cannabis.

They will speak at the Friday session between 10 am and 5 pm, at the Faculty of Law Seminar Room at the university.

Both are being sponsored by Strains of Hope, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to support research with leading institutions around the world examining the benefits of medical cannabis therapies in a multitude of disease states, including diabetes, pain management and epilepsy.

Several other speakers from Jamaica, the United States and Canada will also participate in the three-day Inaugural Jamaica Cannabis Conference.

"It is an honour to have two medical cannabis research leaders from the medical cannabis research hub of the world, Israel," director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force, Delano Seiveright, told the Jamaica Observer, yesterday.

"We are eager to hear their insights and ideas for Jamaica. Jamaica, frankly, has an opportunity, over time, to position itself as the medical cannabis research capital of the world, given climatology, geography, brand, language, and other strong advantages," said Seiveright.

The conference is being organised and sponsored by the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force and the University of the West Indies, under the theme, 'Wake Up Jamaica, Our Opportunities are Slipping Away'.

The Government, Seiveright said, has sent very positive signals on decriminalising the use of ganja so far. However, he said there is a need to move forward, expeditiously.

He said the main outcome from the conference will be a position paper and a declaration, setting out a road map and a recommended timeframe for the decriminalisation of ganja, including its use for the sacramental rights of Rastafarians, as well as its wider medicinal uses. The framework for a regulated commercial industry is also expected to emanate from the conference, after which increased and sustained public education and advocacy will follow, according to Seiveright.

The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force is an umbrella group launched in September 2013. It is chaired by Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the UWI, Mona.
 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ca...nd-expert-crop-management-services-2014-05-20




Cannabis Therapy Corp. Secures Colorado Land Lease and Expert Crop Management Services


BOULDER, CO, May 20, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Cannabis Therapy Corp. (otcqb:CTCO) (the "Company") a development stage enterprise focused on the business of manufacturing and marketing pharmaceutical level products containing phytocannabinoids, an abundant and therapeutically active component of cannabis, for the treatment of various conditions and diseases, is pleased to announce the close of a commercial agreement which provides for an exclusive land lease and crop service agreement with Rocky Mountain Hemp Inc. of Springfield, Colorado.

The agreement includes a term lease of privately-held, certified organic, irrigated farmland in Southeastern Colorado. In addition, as part of the agreement, Rocky Mountain Hemp Inc. ( http://rockymountainhempinc.com ) has been engaged to provide hemp cultivation expertise and specialized crop management services on an ongoing basis.

Mr. Ryan Loflin, the principal of Rocky Mountain Hemp, is the first Colorado farmer in 57 years to grow, successfully harvest, and process a commercial-scale industrial hemp crop in the United States. This accomplishment has been chronicled internationally in major news outlets such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Guardian, LA Times, Yahoo news, etc. Ryan is a fourth generation Colorado farmer who was raised on an alfalfa, corn, wheat and cattle production farm in Southeastern Colorado. His company aims to pursue the development of hemp seed genetics while perfecting best practice hemp farming and processing in Colorado.

Cannabis Therapy Corp President & CEO Soren Mogelsvang advises, "This is a major step forward and a key component of our strategic plan to become a vertically integrated manufacturer of safe, pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid products. It is critically important that we control the cultivation and processing of our crops, and we are extremely pleased to partner with Rocky Mountain Hemp Inc to grow high-quality, outdoor, organic hemp. Concurrently, we will begin preparations for cannabinoid extraction and processing. We have an exciting mix of potential product concepts planned for development and testing later this year, and we believe that the yields which we anticipate from this initial acreage will be more than adequate to kick start our revenue model. We look forward to identifying which of these new product candidates will be first in line for introduction into this already exploding retail marketplace."

For more information please visit www.cannabistherapy.com and watch our corporate video at www.cannabistherapy.com/news/presentations/ .

Additional details of the Company's business, finances, appointments and agreements can be found as part of the Company's continuous public disclosure as a reporting issuer with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") available at www.sec.gov . For more information please visit www.cannabistherapy.com .

About Cannabis Therapy Corp. (otcqb:CTCO) Cannabis Therapy Corp. aims to develop and market safe, phytocannabinoid-based medicinal products and to apply rigorous manufacturing and quality control standards to become a global leader in the research, development, manufacturing, testing and marketing of cannabinoid ingredients and therapies. For more information visit www.cannabistherapy.com .

Safe Harbor Statement Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the availability of additional funding; and the Company's business, product development, marketing and distribution plans and strategies. These and other factors are identified and described in more detail in the Company's filings with the SEC, including, the Company's current reports on Form 8-K. The Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements.
 

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