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MJ News for 05/22/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_2...sees-surge-kids-accidentally-eating-marijuana




Children's Hospital sees surge in kids accidentally eating marijuana


AURORA — The number of children coming into Colorado's largest pediatric emergency department after accidentally eating marijuana is on pace to more than double last year's total.

Michael DiStefano, the medical director of the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency department, said nine kids so far this year have been brought into the hospital for accidental marijuana ingestion. Of those, seven were admitted to the hospital's intensive-care unit — most commonly for what DiStefano said was either extreme sedation or agitation. One of those kids had breathing problems that required a respirator, DiStefano said.

Most of the children admitted are between 3 and 7 years old, DiStefano said.

Last year, the hospital saw eight children in its emergency room who accidentally ate marijuana. Between 2005 and 2013, only eight children were admitted at the hospital for unintentional marijuana ingestion, DiStefano said.

Although the numbers are still small compared with the total patient load, DiStefano said the patients at Children's are just one slice of what hospitals across the state are seeing.

"It is important to stop it before it becomes a huge problem," he said.

DiStefano spoke Wednesday after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill attempting to do just that.

The new law, which was House Bill 1366, requires state regulators to come up with rules that make edible-marijuana products identifiable even when they are out of their packaging. Lawmakers suggested the products might all contain a unique stamp or be made in a particular shape or color.

At Wednesday's bill signing, held in the lobby of Children's Hospital, Rep. Frank McNulty criticized marijuana businesses for making edible products that resemble candy or other treats — things that he said would naturally appeal to kids.

"Marijuana edibles are dangerous in the hands of kids," said McNulty, a Highlands Ranch Republican who was one of the new law's sponsors in the legislature. "That has become all too familiar to the people who work here at Children's Hospital."

The edibles bill was one of six bills Hickenlooper signed at Wednesday's ceremony. Other bills put regulations on the amount of marijuana concentrate that stores can sell, create programs designed to reduce prescription-drug abuse and collect data on school-immunization rates.

Another bill creates a $10 million grant program to help scientists research the medical efficacy and safety of marijuana.

Hickenlooper said the bills "are critical to our ongoing goal of making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation and our constant goal of protecting our children."
 

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/05/21/fbi-marijuana-new-hire/9366331/




FBI director clarifies 'funny' marijuana comments


FBI Director James Comey clarified Wednesday that he has no intention of changing the bureau's current marijuana policy, which bans employing anyone known to have used pot in the past three years.

During an FBI oversight hearing, Comey said he was trying to use humor on the subject of new hires.

"I am determined not to lose my sense of humor, but unfortunately there I was trying to be both serious and funny," Comey said. "I am absolutely dead-set against using marijuana. I don't want young people to use marijuana. It's against the law."

"We have a three-year ban on marijuana. I did not say that I am going to change that ban," he added.

Earlier, the FBI acknowledged the widening acceptance of marijuana as a challenge to the agency's recruitment efforts — particularly in attracting top computer programmers and hackers for its cybersecurity efforts.

"I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," Comey said during a conference Monday in New York City, reported TheWall Street Journal.

The FBI has the authority to hire 2,000 employees this year, many of them assigned to cybertasks, according to the Journal.

Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana, including two — Colorado and Washington — that have also legalized recreational marijuana.
 

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http://www.wral.com/lawmaker-wants-nc-voters-to-decide-on-legalizing-medical-marijuana/13664973/




Lawmaker wants NC voters to decide on legalizing medical marijuana


RALEIGH, N.C. — A state lawmaker wants to put the issue of medical marijuana before North Carolina voters as a proposed constitutional amendment.

Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, filed House Bill 1161 on Tuesday calling for a referendum on the November ballot to legalize the cultivation and use of marijuana in North Carolina to treat more than two dozen "debilitating medical conditions," from cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease to incontinence and sleep apnea.

Alexander filed a medical marijuana bill last year that was quickly defeated in committee. He said putting it to a statewide vote should give lawmakers some cover in voting for a controversial measure.

"They may think somebody's going to come along in an election and try to say that they're stoners or something," he said Wednesday. "I call it the Cheech and Chong effect."

Alexander noted that some polls show a majority of North Carolinians favor legalizing medical marijuana and called on fellow lawmakers to let everyone decide instead of snuffing out the issue in the General Assembly.

"If indeed you believe the will of the people, then let's vote this through and let's put it where the people make the ultimate decision,” he said.

Constitutional amendments are extremely difficult to pass, requiring super-majorities in both the state House and Senate before going to the voters.

Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, said she's confident that Alexander's proposal "will never see the light of day," but she fears that it could sink a bill she plans to file next week.

McElraft wants to legalize an oil extracted from a specific strain of marijuana to treat children who suffer a form of epilepsy that causes dozens of seizures every day.

Some North Carolina families have moved to Colorado to obtain Realm Oil, which they say dramatically reduce their children's seizures. The oil is legal in Colorado but is illegal in North Carolina.

Realm Oil is made from a strain of marijuana called Charlotte's Web that has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but has extraordinarily high levels of CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component that research shows has a growing number of therapeutic benefits.

"You can drink the whole bottle and never get high," McElraft said.

She opposes widespread legalization of medical marijuana but said something like Realm Oil, which would still be illegal to produce in North Carolina, should be allowed for pediatric patients.

"They've tried every drug possible for these children, and nothing has been helping them," she said. "We finally have found something that is helping."

Alexander said he will support McElraft's bill but said he would like to see it help more people.

Liz Gorman, who took her daughter, Maddie, to Colorado last year so Maddie could get Realm Oil, said she admires Alexander's devotion to his cause but hopes it doesn't endanger McElraft's bill.

"The bills being introduced by Rep Alexander and that of Rep McElraft are completely separate and substantially different," Gorman wrote in an email. "(We have) worked tirelessly alongside Rep McElraft to craft a bill which would allow limited access to a medicine (CBD oil) that could change the lives of children with catastrophic epilepsy in NC. We are very hopeful that this can be accomplished this session."
 

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http://www.theolympian.com/2014/05/21/3143451/police-say-marijuana-drug-lab.html?sp=/99/101/112/




(WA) Police say marijuana drug lab that exploded in Puyallup is largest they've seen


A marijuana drug lab that exploded outside a Puyallup house Tuesday was the largest law enforcement officials have encountered in Pierce County, police said Wednesday.

The blast in the 1500 block of Shaw Road East scattered hundreds of butane lighter fluid canisters around the property and launched several more than 100 feet onto the road.

Officers who responded to the explosion just before 9 p.m. took cover behind their vehicles as multiple explosions rocked the upscale neighborhood, which is three blocks from Shaw Elementary School.

Several people believed involved with extracting hash oil at the lab fled after the explosions. Police detained four men and booked one of them, a 20-year-old man, into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, and reckless burning.

“Based on our investigation, we believe he is responsible for what was taking place here,” police Capt. Scott Engle said.

David Sundahl Jr. took video of the explosions from his home, which is on the hill above the house that burned. He said people in their 20s seem to frequent the residence.

“I was with my wife in our bedroom, and somebody was blasting some really crappy techno music,” he said. “It sounded like someone was having a party, and this was moments before everything started breaking out.

“When we heard what sounded like a myriad of fireworks going off, it sounded like a party gone out of control. But it was apparent there was some pretty big fireballs and explosions.”

It took police a while to figure out what was happening at the home, in part because the department has not dealt with a hash-oil extraction lab before.

A large canopy had been set up in front of the house and the group allegedly was extracting hash oil inside.

The butane blast disintegrated the canopy, damaged the house and a car in the driveway and exploded a few hundred canisters stored in trash bags under a neighboring canopy. Butane is used to burn off vegetation on marijuana plants to extract THC, which creates a high for users, Sgt. Dan Pashon said.

On Wednesday, police blocked off the block of Shaw Road for about four hours while they made a diagram of the scene and mapped the trajectory of butane bottles.

A hazardous materials team from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue came to deal with the butane canisters. Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency also helped with the investigation.

Police said 10 people are associated with the house and interviews were ongoing. It’s unclear how long the lab was operating.

The spot where the canopy had been set up was partially concealed by large bushes and trees. Signs warning of dogs and that the home is private property were posted on a rusted mailbox out front.
 

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http://www.houstonpress.com/2014-05-22/news/texas-marijauna-legalization/




Could Legalization of Marijuana Be in Texas's Future?


As you drive up the long, gravel-lined drive of the small clapboard house in south Texas, not much seems unusual. An old hunting dog suns himself on the porch, and the modest decor of the peeling front porch — a weathered rocker and a swing — drips with small-town charm.

El Paso has become an ally in the legalization movement.
You'd never guess that it's quite modern inside, though. Just beyond the front door sit not only tidy living quarters, but a sophisticated cannabis grow house presided over by a war veteran whose hands curl like claws most mornings. His knees and back ache, making mobility difficult, especially when it rains. And here in this small town by the water, it rains often.

A cannabis advocate and medical user, Tim, who asked that we not use his real name, has been smoking cannabis daily for a number of years now, and after a while, growing his own marijuana by means of a hydroponic system seemed the logical way to go.

The contraption he built seems more the brainchild of a mad scientist-cum-expert gardener than of this older country man, but it is his nonetheless. He has crafted it all, from the vent system, powered by two minuscule computer fans, to the plant's light source, an advanced-technology LED lighting system.

In the ten or so years that Tim has been growing, he's become quite the indoor gardener. It's just too risky to grow marijuana outside, and with his apparatus, Tim can control the conditions, genetics and potency of the plant. The lights are set to the flowering and vegetative cycle, and with the careful acuity it takes to garden in here, he sometimes gets two crops from one plant.

What he can't control are the laws of Texas, the ones that say what he is doing is illegal. It's against the law to grow marijuana and equally illegal to use it for any purpose — even though cannabinoids, an active component of cannabis sativa, or marijuana, are widely regarded as a pain reliever for rheumatoid arthritis.

Perhaps not for much longer, though, for reasons as much practical as humanitarian.
_____________________

With the reefer madness currently going on around the nation, a peculiar thing has happened. Texas has started discussing the unthinkable: legalizing marijuana.

Look back a couple of years, and a pro-pot stance in Texas was equal to political death. The only politicians brave enough to broach the subject — guys like Kinky Friedman — were going to be a tough sell to the general public anyway. Today, though, addressing your pot stance is an expected part of the platform.

If the results of recent polls are correct, it seems that Texas residents want what other states have: legalization. A poll conducted by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune showed that 77 percent of registered voters in Texas believe in some form of legalization. Of that, 28 percent would agree only to medical legalization, while 49 percent are in favor of blanket legalization.

It makes sense that Texans would also set their eyes on the big business of legal reefer. After all, it appears to have worked out well for the states that have repealed prohibitions on marijuana.

Colorado's and Washington's pot industries are thriving. The governor of Colorado has predicted that the next fiscal year will bring the state $98 million in cannabis sales and taxes, a figure that is well above projections. While Washington state is still in the early days of its blanket legalization, forecasters predict that the state will see as much as $190 million over a four-year period, starting in 2015.

Small-business growth in both states is booming, and new cannabis-related jobs are popping up daily in everything from bud-tending to pot tourism. The nation's first "pot editor," Richard Baca, has been hired by The Denver Post; our sister paper Westword in Denver has had a pot writer for the past five years; and a host of other media outlets now employ cannabis writers and reviewers. It seems pot is big business at the moment, and folks from out of state are flocking to Colorado job fairs in record numbers in hopes of landing a gig in the industry.

Contrary to what was predicted in the days prior to legalization in Colorado, cannabis sales aren't raising crime rates. In fact, it appears that in the age of legal weed, crime rates in Colorado are falling. Denver has seen a decrease in property crime and violent crime in the three months that marijuana has been legal, which directly contradicts what opponents had said. Perhaps there is indeed something to that old mellow-pothead stereotype, at least in the Centennial State.

The movement of states on medical marijuana has snowballed, and 22 states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized medical marijuana. As of May 15, Minnesota became the 22nd state to legalize medical cannabis, but the agreed-upon legislation, a toned-down version of the original bill, limits Minnesota to much tighter restrictions than other states. While the law now allows medical patients in the state to use the drug in oil, pill or vapor form, use of the actual marijuana plant is not allowed. The legislation also limits the number of manufacturing facilities and dispensaries statewide.

Six more states — Florida, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania — have medical marijuana legislation pending. Texas doesn't have anything in the works, medically or otherwise, not yet, but where there was once silence on the part of the political powers, there is now quiet discussion.
_____________________

Marijuana's potentially life-saving properties are causing an influx of Texans into Colorado. Take the Loew family, for instance. Amber and Paul Loew were living in Crosby, Texas, with their three-year-old daughter, Hannah. Diagnosed with Dravet syndrome when she was six months old, Hannah suffered from 50 to 100 severe seizures every day, which were caused by the progressive form of epilepsy.

The Loews tried the traditional treatments for Hannah's seizures, but none of the 12 medications were successful in slowing the progression of the disease. Hannah's condition continued to deteriorate, and her seizures — some of which lasted for more than an hour — landed her on life support three times. The Loews had heard stories of Dravet syndrome being treated successfully with a liquid form of medical marijuana, but it wasn't available in Texas. They were left with two options: Give up on their daughter's health or give up on their home state.

They opted for the one-way ticket to Colorado.

Anecdotal cases similar to the Loews' about the wonders of pot treatment can be found in droves. Families, friends and medical patients have flocked to the Centennial State to seek treatment for various ailments, and many of them have deemed the interventions a success.

The University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research — a facility that uses "gold standard" FDA clinical trial methodology — has concluded from its research that marijuana should be the first line of treatment for patients with neuropathy and other serious illnesses.

The center has found that marijuana eases neuropathic pain — which is the pain associated with cancer and is notoriously hard to relieve — as well as pain associated with diabetes, HIV/AIDS and spinal-cord injury. The center has also determined that smoked cannabis is a superior treatment for the spasticity and pain caused by multiple sclerosis, and is beneficial well beyond other current *treatments.

Research at the facility is looking into cannabinoids' ability to help moderate autoimmune disorders as well; while it is widely accepted that marijuana is a treatment for one type of autoimmune disorder — multiple sclerosis — investigators are now looking into the role that marijuana might play in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Research on whether cannabinoids would be effective when used for treatment of Alz*heimer's disease or Lou Gehrig's disease is also taking place, as are investigations into the anticancer properties of marijuana.
_____________________

Researchers aren't the only group recognizing pot's changing reputation. Rick Perry, Texas's conservative governor, has been as hard-nosed about drug reform as he has about reproductive rights. The politician was well known to the rest of the nation for offering liberal tax breaks for big businesses, and he managed to shock the world again with his new views on decriminalization.

Perry stated that "after 40 years of the war on drugs, can't change what happened in the past. What can do as the governor of the second-largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keep people from going to prison and destroying their lives."

Under Perry's idea of decriminalization, possession would lead to a drug court and fines, and it would still be technically illegal to possess or use marijuana, but it would no longer be a criminal offense in some cases.

And it's politicians like Perry who are charged with putting decriminalization and legalization into action in Texas. Unlike in other states, Texas's cannabis laws must be changed at the legislative level, which means that a public ballot is not an option as it has been elsewhere. If there is to be change, it's the politicians who will have to engineer it.

A few seem ready and willing to do so. Wendy Davis has been carefully supportive of Texas's moving toward decriminalization of medical marijuana, and has not shut down talk about blanket legalization, either.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson spoke up in favor of change during a recent debate among Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. While he was careful to comment only on medical marijuana, the answer he gave to the moderator's question was nonetheless surprisingly candid.

"We have medical barbiturates. We have medical amphetamines. We have medical codeine," Patterson said. "I see nothing wrong with that. We're talking about medicine. We're not talking about recreational use."

While Davis, Perry and Patterson have *discussed only the idea of cannabis law changes, two Texas politicians, State Reps. Elliott *Naishtat and Harold Dutton, are putting their money where their mouths are.

For the past seven sessions, Naishtat has presented House Bill 594, which aims to give seriously ill patients an affirmative defense for pot possession, and would not only allow judges the discretion to dismiss charges in such cases, but would also protect doctors who suggest marijuana as a treatment option.

Dutton, on the other hand, focuses on decriminalization for small amounts of marijuana in House Bill 184, which would make possession of up to one ounce a fine-only offense in Texas. It has been filed in a number of sessions without moving forward, but Dutton continues to press on anyway.
_____________________

As political support becomes more vocal, so does the support of outside groups, many of which have moved to Texas with one goal in mind — legalization.

One of the most prominent forces in the legalization movement, the Marijuana Policy Project, set up shop in Austin earlier this year. The group, which was the reigning force in Colorado's legalization push, has also been an essential player in the legalization of medical pot in 18 states. It has set its sights on legalization for the Lone Star State.

MPP is backing that campaign up with some serious resources, too. The group has pledged to spend $200,000 a year on the legalization movement in Texas over the next five years, and has hired lobbyist Randal Kuykendall to help lead the way. MPP's main goal, three "perfect bills" — one addressing decrim, one "medi-pot" and one legalization — is slated to be presented to lawmakers by 2015.

A monumental task, yes, but the group has quite a bit of help coming its way. Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, or RAMP, held its inaugural meeting in Houston in March, and is exploring initiatives on issues such as medical marijuana and decriminalization, while also taking on related issues such as industrial hemp and the taxing structure of legalization.

RAMP has as good a chance to succeed as anybody else, with founder and director Ann Lee at the helm. Lee, a founder of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, is a lifelong Republican whose attitude toward medi-pot changed after her son's workplace accident left him a paraplegic with chronic nerve pain. Lee has made it RAMP's mission to educate conservative lawmakers on the criminalization of cannabis by talking about traditionally conservative principles — limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty — in a unique approach to the barriers conservatives pose to the legalization movement.

Lee has managed to bring other strong forces on board, too. Terry Nelson, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a former U.S. Border Patrol agent, U.S. Customs agent and Department of Homeland Security agent, spoke in support of the group at the inaugural meeting. John Dela*ney, a senior district judge who handles child abuse and neglect cases, and Richard A. Evans, M.D., founder of the Texas Cancer Center, spoke as well.

Branches of NORML, a nationwide nonprofit whose mission is to "move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty," are popping up at a rapid pace across Texas. The group has always been a constant on the legalization forefront, but has managed to make waves recently with the establishment of a branch in a very unlikely place: El Paso. Thanks in part to NORML, El Paso has become an ally in the legalization movement, with a number of legalization supporters emerging from the border city.

Progress Texas, a group of progressive activists, has also set its sights on Texas. The organization's main goal — supporting the legalization movement — has it trudging away, launching surveys, spreading information and promoting conversation in any way possible.
_____________________

Although Tim seems to have perfected the art of growing marijuana in his hidden hydroponic growing system, he and the other medical marijuana users in Texas are still incredibly paranoid about getting caught. The stiff fines and harsh penalties for pot possession make possession a risky proposition, even if it's desperately needed to soothe the ache of old bones.

The amount of cannabis in Tim's hidden indoor "garden" is hardly enough to ease all the pain from the arthritis in his bones, but it's certainly enough to earn him some serious jail time. The state of Texas is serious when it comes to pot possession, and there's already one man, Jason Lavoro, facing a life sentence for possessing pot brownies.

Lavoro was running a small-time edibles operation in Round Rock, Texas, where he would bake and sell small batches of cookies and brownies infused with hash oil, a form of cannabis created by dissolving marijuana or hashish in a solvent such as petroleum ether. Possessing any amount of marijuana will result in a misdemeanor, but being found in possession of any amount of hash oil — even an ounce — is a state felony. Lavoro was in possession of much, much more. At least by law enforcement *standards.

In cases like Lavoro's, where a person is in possession of an oil or extract rather than the plant itself, it is perfectly legal for law enforcement to calculate the amount of hash oil by weighing the product in which it is used. In this case, the weight of those hash cookies and brownies, not the oil itself, resulted in Lavoro's being charge with a first-degree felony. And now the penalty Lavoro faces is the same as a murder charge would bring in Texas — five to life — for pot brownies.

Cannabis is still federally listed as a Schedule 1 drug, despite numerous recommendations by researchers and scientists to change that status. That means it comes with some serious penalties if you're unlucky enough to possess it outside of a more liberal state.

It is penalties like these that cannabis users look to circumvent in Texas, and one of the easier ways to do so is by finding a legal alternative. One such substance is synthetic marijuana, which is sold under names like "K2" or "Spice." Those products are created by dusting shredded plant material with a chemical compound meant to mimic the effects of cannabis, and they are available for purchase at head shops or gas stations.

While the two drugs do resemble one another in appearance, the intoxication effects of the chemical compounds in synthetic marijuana could not be further from a cannabis high. Users risk everything from rapid heart rates and elevated blood pressure to life-threatening hallucinations and seizures. A number of the synthetic cannabinoid compounds used to make these products have been listed as Schedule 1 drugs, but with the relative ease of tweaking the compounds to create additional "legal" versions, combating synthetic marijuana is a harrowing task for law enforcement.

The possible dangers posed by the substances users are ingesting also create a harrowing crapshoot. Tinkering with the chemical compounds may allow producers to skirt the definition of "illegal," but doing so also skirts the issue of safety. This became fairly evident during a span of five days in early May, when 120 people overdosed on a synthetic form of marijuana in Texas.

Austin and Dallas were the hardest hit, and emergency rooms were full of patients suffering from the ill effects of a synthetic cannabinoid compound. Their symptoms ranged from abnormal behavior to severe agitation, and many had to be sedated and restrained. Law enforcement officials think that the bad batches of synthetic marijuana may have originated with the same dealer in Austin, but little can be done to curb the sale or distribution of these drugs.

These overdoses are symptoms of a deeper K2 problem in Texas. Synthetic marijuana is dangerous, but it continues to be seen as a safe alternative to illegal drugs like cannabis. It's cheap, easy to distribute and legal to possess. On paper, everything about the drug makes it seem like a viable alternative to pot.

Yet the addictive qualities and the unpredictable high of synthetic marijuana have made combating it difficult. It's not just the typical drug user who's attracted to it, either. At times, it's the very people charged with your safety who are using it.

According to a 2014 University of Washington study, "Addictive Behavior," synthetics are two times more likely to be used by members of the army, since they're legal. In addition to being cheap and legal, synthetic marijuana is nearly undetectable by traditional drug tests. That makes it a viable option for members of groups, like law enforcement and the military, who are drug-tested regularly and are looking to avoid detectible THC residue.

While federal law has been circumvented by way of state policies on cannabis in Colorado and Washington, and even in states like California, where medi-pot (but not recreational pot) is legal, Texas is one of the last states that take that Schedule 1 ranking to heart. Arrests and incarcerations are prevalent.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 73,611 adult arrests were made in 2013 for marijuana possession. Cannabis accounts for 59 percent of all drug arrests in Texas, and it costs us $50,000 a year to incarcerate each person in such cases.

Those are some stiff penalties for a plant, and at Tim's age and in his condition, he often wonders if growing the plant is worth the risk.

Texas makes no allowance for the use of medical marijuana, and possession is treated the same in all cases. A person in possession of two ounces or less in Texas faces 180 days in jail or a $2,000 fine, and it doesn't matter if he or she has a verifiable illness that will benefit from cannabis. When the amount increases to four ounces, it comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days in jail, no matter the circumstances.

If the push for legalization in Texas continues, there may be a day when pot penalties are no longer a threat.

Until then, Tim will sit in his little clapboard house in south Texas, tending to his indoor grow lab and hoping that he stays under the radar. Change is a-comin', he knows that much; it's just a matter of how and when.

Lucky for him, the cannabinoids in those illegal pot plants have made crossing his fingers a possibility.
 

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http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/state-list-shows-where-medical-marijuana-might-be-/nf493/




State list shows where medical marijuana might be grown in Florida


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — One form of medical marijuana is about to be signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Another form might soon become legal, thanks to Florida voters.

Channel 9 investigative reporter Christopher Heath has found a list of places that could grow medical marijuana.

The type of medical marijuana is that is about to become legal is known as "Charlotte's Web.'" It's not the kind designed to offer the user a high.

Documents revealing the state guideline for growing marijuana give a look at just how Florida plans to tackle the issue of who can grow pot and where, including right here in central Florida.

The decision by lawmakers to pass their own medical marijuana bill, ahead of the state constitutional amendment vote, has produced a list of 39 nurseries across the state who are all eligible to grow marijuana according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Under the plan, the Florida Department of Health would choose five nurseries across the state, including one in central Florida, to grow and sell the non-euphoric medical marijuana.

"As you know, it can be abused tremendously and we have to understand how to control that abuse," said Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.

For the last year Channel 9 has reported on concerns by city leaders when it comes to regulating the drug.

The state's answer to that appears to be limited growth.

According to state documents, the five nurseries must have each been in business for at least 30 years to qualify, a provision to keep start-up pot growers from popping up.

In central Florida three nurseries in Apopka, one in Eustis and one in Winter Haven all meet the state standards, although it's unclear which may pursue the state license.

"What we've learned from California is what we like and don't like," said attorney John Morgan.

Morgan, who is pushing for the constitutional amendment, told Channel 9 in an interview last year that Florida will benefit from other states and their approach to pot.

State officials said they are trying to use existing businesses, not create a new industry. They said that is part of the reason the standard is set so high. That standard includes also includes the ability to grow more than 400,000 plants.

There is no word on when the state will release the list of selected growers
 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ca...or-asset-purchase-of-la-dispensary-2014-05-22




Cannabis Sector Acquisitions Fuel Recent Expansion in the Legal Medical & Recreational Marijuana Industry - Company Signs LOI For Asset Purchase of L.A. Dispensary


CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Cannabis Sector continues expansion with new site developments, acquisitions and new product announcements as the marijuana industry sees continual growth: OSL Holdings OSLH +14.34% , Creative Edge Nutrition, Inc. FITX +9.47% , Hemp, Inc. HEMP +3.09% , Tranzbyte Corporation ERBB +13.89% , Tauriga Sciences, Inc. TAUG -6.73% and Cannabis Science, Inc. CBIS +7.59%

OSL HOLDINGS (otcqb:OSLH), a growth-stage public company in the business of acquiring and optimizing key aspects of the legal cannabis industry and loyalty rewards programs, today announced that it has executed a letter of intent to acquire the assets of licensed medical marijuana dispensary on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, adding to its existing asset base in the California region.

"This letter of intent furthers our plans to acquire key assets and options for future cannabis related assets to be used in the legal medical and recreational cannabis industry," said Bob Rothenberg, CEO of OSL Holdings. "When the legal climate is right, these agreements are expected to become the foundation for providing an array of services to dispensaries in California's burgeoning legal cannabis market, as well as to future cannabis companies across the country." Mr. Rothenberg continued, "In the meantime, OSL will lease non-cannabis acquired assets to non-cannabis businesses throughout the country, as well as provide an array of services including planning, marketing and branding to businesses hoping to enter the legal cannabis industry in the U.S."

To read the full press release, please click here: http://www.fnmprofiles.com/profiles-oslh.html

"OSL remains in the business of serving a socially conscious, affluent audience," said Steve Gormley, Chief Business Development Officer of OSL. "In the meantime, as we build the foundation for future success in producing and selling federally legal cannabis products, OSL will provide operational and technological support in the form of operations software, industry knowledge, retail infrastructure, and other efficiency and cost-savings know-how to various non-cannabis business concerns."

Creative Edge Nutrition, Inc. (otc pink:FITX) recently announced its subsidiary CEN Biotech Inc. purchased a 25 acre site in Lakeshore, Ontario (approximately 1/4 mile from FITX's main site). The site is located at 135 North Rear Rd. The site is nearly complete and we will call for pre-license inspection on it within a few weeks. This is an independent and separate application from the site at 20 North Rear Rd, Lakeshore, Ontario. This will also be a standalone fully functional facility; a smaller model of the building one site one standalone model. It will be a cGMP/ USP 797 facility and have a similar workflow model to the main site. The company has applied for the license to grow and sell marijuana and will be applying for the license to grow hemp on the site and conduct hemp trials. "We purchased the site with the intentions of operating a research and development facility with respect to strain genetics, new grow techniques and bio-medical research," commented Bill Chaaban, President & CEO. "It has been our intention to not only grow and sell medical marijuana, but to be leaders in the forefront of medical marijuana research; In particular, to further identify treatment modalities for specific disease states based on strain selection. We intend to develop and own the intellectual property."

Hemp, Inc. (otc pink:HEMP) announced this week that it has purchased a whole line of automated Temafa decortication equipment designed to separate the fiber from the core of the hemp plant through a process known as decortication. The Temafa decortication line of equipment, the only one of its kind in the United States, purchased by Hemp, Inc. will now enable the company to process raw hemp for American farmers into two valuable base products (fiber and hurd) that can both yield hundreds of products. The equipment is currently located at a plant in North Carolina. Hemp, Inc. is set to move the equipment to a more suitable location such as Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, or the Georgia area. "This purchase of decortication equipment was a critical step in order for Hemp, Inc. to help Americans transition from non-sustainable synthetic solutions to a hemp-based green solution. We are very excited at what we'll be able to achieve once our manufacturing facility ramps its hemp production volume up over the next few years," said Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. (HEMP).

Tranzbyte Corporation (otc pink:ERBB) recently announced that the ZaZZZ, Mach 1, will begin leaving the factory next week for delivery, set up, and use in concert with a coordinated media event at all four dispensary locations. The machines may be in place and in use in advance of the 12th, but a "safety-net" of a few days has been built in for general planning of the webcast so all shareholders can be included in the event. Two days prior to the event, management will offer a conference call to answer as many general questions as possible and include a limited question-and-answer period. The company plans to address a wide range of topics relating to its many divisions and their products in a conference call scheduled for 1PM Eastern on June 10th. "We have irons in many fires, and sometimes one aspect or another of our business gets obscured," says company president David Gwyther. "We realize that until our efforts are visible on a day to day basis, the onus is on us to keep the public informed. Conference calls such as these will provide the time and platform to communicate more of our vision and progress to more people than can a press release or sound bite from media interviews."

Tauriga Sciences, Inc. (otcqb:TAUG), a diversified life sciences company with a proprietary microbial fuel cell technology and a pending acquisition in the medicinal cannabis space, has recently provided shareholders with several updates to disclose meaningful progress realized by the Company in recent days. The Company is mindful of the recent volatility in its share price and decided to issue this update to address some of the potential investor concerns. The Company is committed to completing its pending acquisition of California-based Honeywood LLC ("Honeywood" or "Doc Greens"), a developer of topical medicinal cannabis products currently sold in legal dispensaries throughout California, upon the successful completion of its comprehensive due diligence processes and protocols. The Company plans to continue to update shareholders throughout the process. In addition, the Company has been evaluating potentially intriguing opportunities in the cannabis natural medicine space and will continue to contemplate additional partnerships and acquisitions to increase exposure to that emerging market segment.

Cannabis Science, Inc. (otcqb:CBIS), a U.S. Company specializing in the development of cannabis based medicines, recently announced a joint observational study with the MEDIWIET Patient Organization. MEDIWIET is a rapidly growing Dutch organization of patients using medicinal cannabis based medication. The main purpose of the observational study is to further advance the knowledge of cannabis plant based product applications in various human disease conditions. The study will be conducted with the approval from the Dutch regulators and it is anticipated that data collected will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. "We are excited to initiate work on the observational clinical study with patients who use medicinal cannabis. The long-term effects of using medicinal cannabis continue to be a subject of an ongoing debate. It is very important that we provide further scientific evidence for the benefit of patients and medical professionals alike," stated Mr. Mario Lap, President of European Operations and Director of Cannabis Science B.V.
 

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