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MJ News for 06/10/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/lewiston-auburn/2014/06/09/marijuana-petitions/10252517/




(Maine) Supporters of marijuana legalization seeking signatures


LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Some voters going to the polls for the primary elections on Tuesday will be asked to sign petitions that could put the issue of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana on the ballot this fall. Much like voters in Portland had their say on a local ordinance last fall, voters in Lewiston, South Portland and York are expected to take up the issue this November.

Citizens for a Safer Maine launched their petition drive in Kennedy Park in Lewiston Monday afternoon by repeating their belief that marijuana should be regulated and taxed much like alcohol. The ordinances they support would allow someone 21 years of age or older to possess marijuana and use it on private property, but would not make it legal to use in public or allow them to operate a vehicle while under the influence.

"It is illogical," proclaimed David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "We have bigger fish to fry. There's violent crimes going on, there's property crimes and that is where our police resources should be spent."

"It is just a simple issue of freedom," added former state representative, Stavros Mendros. "I'm not a big fan of marijuana. I think smoking it is a bad idea personally, with all due respect. I think it is dumb, bad for your health, but then again, so is being fat and no one is throwing me in jail for that, so you know it is about letting people live and have the freedom to live the way they want to live."

While the ordinances, if passed, would largely be symbolic in nature as local laws can not preempt state and federal laws which still prohibit the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, those against the measure say it does change the perception of kids that the drug is not harmful.

"So nothing changes on the ground at the municipal level, but what does change is the message that youth may be getting as far as it is another step towards broadening access, another step towards saying it is no big deal," stated Scott Gagnon, state policy coordinator for the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

He says recent studies of drug use among middle school students in Androscoggin County show kids are less concerned about the risk of regular marijuana use. He believes the messages kids are receiving from both the legalization movement and the state setting up dispensaries for medicinal marijuana have changed how kids feel about the pot.

He also says the fact that the ordinances would prohibit the use and sale to anyone under 21 years of age will not deter kids from trying it or easily obtaining it.

"One of the primary drivers of youth substance abuse, whether it is marijuana, alcohol, tobacco is social access, it is not retail," said Gagnon.

David Boyer says it is time that adults stop lying to kids about marijuana, saying he believes that it is much safer than alcohol.

"We feel like this is the right message to send to kids that, look marijuana is for adults 21 and up," he said. "Right now, they are not hearing that message, and when you turn 21 you can use marijuana, you can use alcohol, if you choose, both can be used responsibly."

Supporters of legalization say these local votes are another step closer to pushing for a statewide ballot initiative, which they feel could come as soon as 2016.
 

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http://www.denverpost.com/marijuana...creational-marijuana-sales-taxes-boomed-april




Colorado recreational marijuana sales, taxes boomed in April


Colorado recorded its biggest recreational marijuana tax haul yet in April, topping more than $3.5 million in sales and excise taxes, according to numbers released Monday.

In all, the state's recreational marijuana stores sold more than $22 million worth of product in April, likely boosted by the 4/20 marijuana holiday that brought hundreds of cannabis tourists to town. Overall, though, medical marijuana sales continued to outpace recreational sales, with lower-taxed medical-marijuana stores doing more than $31 million in sales during the month.

So far this year, Colorado has brought in nearly $11 million in sales and excise taxes on recreational marijuana. The total take of recreation and medical marijuana taxes and fees is nearly $18 million.

The new numbers were released on the same day that marijuana activists announced plans to sue the state over recreational pot taxes. According to a copy of the lawsuit sent to the media, the activists argue that the taxes are unconstitutionally high.

Shoppers at recreational marijuana stores pay 12.9 percent in general and special state sales taxes, as well as a 15 percent excise tax that is applied at the wholesale level.

The lawsuit argues those rates violate the constitutional provision voters approved in 2012, which specified that recreational marijuana should be taxed "in a manner similar to alcohol." The activists say alcohol taxes are much lower.

Attorney Rob Corry, who is representing the activists, said he filed the lawsuit Monday, though that could not be independently verified.
 

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http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/...ijuana-bill-faces-setback-ny-senate/10261077/




Medical marijuana bill faces setback in N.Y. Senate


ALBANY – A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in New York suffered a major setback Monday, as a high-ranking state senator said he has no plans to move it out of a committee he controls.

Senate Finance Committee chairman John DeFrancisco on Monday said the legislation wouldn't be put to a vote in his committee, saying too many uncertainties remain about the drug. DeFrancisco's comments came the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters he would sign a medical marijuana bill -- so long as it "makes sense."

DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, told Gannett's Albany Bureau that the bill being pushed by advocates in the Legislature has too many unanswered questions. The measure is sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island.

"The Savino bill will not come out of my committee, the Finance Committee," he said. "You don't have any kind of reasonable research on the effects. You have people coming in here every day trying to ban e-cigarettes and use of tobacco in other ways."

The state Assembly earlier this month passed a bill to authorize pot for medical purposes, and advocates have focused their efforts on winning over Republican support in the Senate before the legislative session ends June 19.

Six Senate Republicans have publicly signaled support for a version of the bill that would prohibit smoking marijuana for those under the age of 21 and strictly define the diseases it could be prescribed for.

Cuomo in January first unveiled his plan to unilaterally authorize up to 20 hospitals to distribute medical marijuana for research purposes, and last week announced the state would partner with a British company to conduct clinical trials for an oil-based form of marijuana.

Advocates for the drug, however, have said Cuomo's plan doesn't go far enough and have instead pushed for the bill in the Legislature, which would authorize the drug more broadly while setting up a regulatory system for growing and distributing it.

Cuomo has never committed to signing the bill if it is passed, but on Monday said he would be open to signing medical marijuana legislation in some form.

"Obviously, I support the overall effort, that's why we're doing it already," Cuomo told reporters in LaGrangeville, Dutchess County. "If they have a piece of legislation and the legislation makes sense, then I would sign it because I support the overall effort."

DeFrancisco's comments Monday cast significant doubt on whether a bill will make it to Cuomo's desk this year. While the bill could be reported straight to the Rules Committee -- the last stop before a full vote – Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, has expressed reservations about allowing a vote on a bill that would authorize smoking marijuana.

DeFrancisco said there might be support for legislation that would not allow medical marijuana to be smoked, but to be used in other forms, such as oil, mainly to help children with epileptic seizures or other debilitating diseases.

"There has been no test studies done as to the adverse effects of smoking marijuana because every other drug I know of is approved through an FDA process, and the governor has an alternative, namely doing research and determining whether the beneficial effects, if any, are sufficient to outweigh the negative effects," DeFrancisco said.

Gabriel Sayegh, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said supporters of medical marijuana would continue to push their cause.

"We've got two weeks left in session," Sayegh said. "It's certainly not what we want to hear from DeFrancisco, it's disappointing. But be that as it may, we've got this week and next week left, and we're going to push until we get this thing done."

Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, one of the key Republican supporters, said he hopes the measure passes. Savino and Assembly Heath Committee chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, have the bills in their respective chambers.

"I think there have been some changes made to the bill that will satisfy all concerns," Grisanti said. "To me, the bill has a lot of regulations, probably the most stringent in the nation."

The state's medical marijuana policy needs to take the potential disadvantages of medical marijuana into account, Cuomo said.

"Remember, there are advantages to using marijuana for medical treatment," he said. "There are obviously disadvantages if you don't do it right, and if the controls aren't in place, it could be a problem. So how you do it is everything in this case."
 

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http://www.denverpost.com/marijuana...shut-down-dozens-medical-marijuana-businesses




Denver may shut down dozens of medical-marijuana businesses on July 1


Denver officials could soon shut down as many as 41 medical marijuana businesses as the city cleans up outstanding license applications that have been pending for years.

All medical marijuana businesses in the city must be licensed by July 1, and the city has sent letters to dozens of businesses ahead of the deadline, warning that they must cease operations if they don't get their licenses by then.

"Failure to comply may result in law enforcement and administrative action," cautioned a letter sent to the businesses last week.

Ashley Kilroy, Denver's coordinator for marijuana policy, said city officials have also visited the businesses — mostly cultivation facilities — to urge them to finish up the licensing process.

"We hope that they'll be in compliance and, if not, we'll have to figure out how we go about enforcing the order to cease operations," she said.

The issue reaches back to the genesis of Colorado's regulated marijuana industry. Marijuana businesses in Colorado need both a state and local license to operate.

When state and city officials began licensing medical marijuana shops in 2010, they allowed stores and affiliated businesses that were already operating to stay open while their applications were being reviewed. In regulatory parlance, such businesses were "operational pending."

Dozens of businesses remained in that licensing limbo for years, and state and city regulators have only in the past year significantly chipped away at the backlog. When Denver officials sent a letter about the July 1 deadline earlier this year, it went to 101 businesses that still needed a city license.

That number is now down to 41, though almost none of them are stand-alone businesses. Three of the still-unlicensed businesses applied to make marijuana-infused products. The remaining 38 are cultivation facilities that are attached to already-licensed stores.

or instance, the Little Brown House dispensary on South Broadway has two business applications — for a grow and a products-making facility — on the list, even though the dispensary storefront is licensed. A woman who identified herself as a manager at the store but refused to give her name said Monday the business is wrapping up inspections that were left over when the company was sold to a new owner.

"We'll be open on July 1," the woman said.

State officials, too, have addressed their licensing backlog in recent months.

Nearly 100 businesses were operating with pending state applications in Colorado late last year. That number dwindled to only eight by this spring. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue could not provide a tally for the current number of operation-pending businesses.

As the state backlog shrunk, regulators denied a larger percentage of the applications — including several for businesses embroiled in allegations of criminal conduct.

Earlier this year, Conley Hoskins, the owner of several medical marijuana businesses involved in a state grand jury indictment, sued the Marijuana Enforcement Division, arguing he was denied due process in his license denials. Last week, a judge in Denver dismissed the lawsuit because Hoskins had not first exhausted all administrative appeals.

Other applicants, though, have complained they were denied a state license for comparatively minor problems. Brooke Schott, who ran the Burnzwell dispensary in Denver with her husband, said the state Marijuana Enforcement Division denied her store's applications by citing violations like inadequate security camera coverage or operating procedures. When her husband tried to fix the problems, Schott said state regulators ignored the effort.

Schott said she and her husband plan to appeal the denial, though a hearing date has not yet been set. Burnzwell also received a letter from Denver about its local licenses. Right now, Burnzwell is closed, Schott said.

"We would have been able to finish our (city) permits," she said. "But with the state not letting us go forward, we're not going to be able to meet that, either."

"We're probably going to end up bankrupt over it."
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/10/cannabis-lube-foria_n_5479587.html




Cannabis Lube Will Give You A Real Internal High


Don't end your night high and dry.

Get the new cannabis oil-infused lube, Foria, for a sexual experience that will either give you "multiple orgasms over a 15-minute span," or an insane craving for Taco Bell. We're not sure, but Nerve reports that Foria's vagina-safe concoction will actually get women high.

Foria uses a cannabis oil that contains THC and other cannabinoids, blended with coconut oil, for a "viscous, slippery, toy-safe" experience, according to Nerve. And it works! The site reports:

"The product works specifically for women because of the very sensitive and absorbent membrane of the vagina and entire vulva — inner and outer labia and clitoris included."

That sounds great, but before you pull out your credit cards, there is a catch. Foria is only available to California residents who have a valid physician's recommendation letter, according to the site. If you're one of those lucky few, you can pick up a small bottle for about $88.

Testers' reviews vary, but Foria founder Mathew Gerson claims it gives women "a sense of embodiment, a sense of dropping into a more full relationship to sexual sensations, and sensations around the body. As you can imagine, as that builds up to orgasm, if orgasm is a part of your experience, then that can lead to intensification and a more full body experience."

We also know that all reactions to marijuana ingestion vary greatly -- and there aren't any FDA studies on taking products like these vaginally -- so use with caution. Basically, if you don't already smoke or ingest marijuana, cannabis lube probably shouldn't be your first try in getting high.
 

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http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-...ternational_cannabis_business_conference.html




(Oregon) Portland to Host International Cannabis Business Conference


An international conference on best cannabis business practices will come just in time for entrepreneurs who expect Oregon to follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana use this November.

The International Cannabis Business Conference will be held September 13-14 at the Oregon Convention Center. U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) will talk about how the federal tax system will impact the industry. State Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) and Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) will talk about how the state legislature is preparing for legalization.

“We’re positioned to be a leader in the industry,” Prozanski tells WW. “It’s pretty straightforward. The Cascadia region from north California to British Columbia is pretty renowned for the product.”


Industry leaders from Washington and Colorado will speak about how expanding from strictly medical to recreational use has impacted their businesses, and what Oregon entrepreneurs should expect if voters legalize recreational use this November.

“Attendees will learn about details and changes in the new Oregon dispensary laws and explore business opportunities in the ancillary fields surrounding the global cannabis industry," Alex Rogers, CEO of Ashland Alternative Health and Northwest Alternative Health, said in a press release.

Rogers will host the event alongside Anthony Johnson, Executive Director of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association, and Debby Goldsberry, co-founder of the Berkeley Patients Group.

“Bringing the cannabis industry mainstream will not only create jobs and generate revenue," Anthony Johnson said is a press release. "But it will eventually ensure that all patients have safe access to medical cannabis and end the barbaric practice of imprisoning non-violent citizens who utilize cannabis.”

Local businesses are already preparing for the change.

Matt Walstatter and his wife Megan opened their Northeast Portland medical dispensary Pure Green in January, showcasing marijuana they have grown themselves. The meet-the-farmer model works for them, and they’re talking about how to market that to the general public if recreational use become legal in the next couple years.


“As you scale up production, quality will inevitably suffer,” Walstatter says. “Portland's market is small batch, hand crafted fill-in-the-blank. Cheese. Wine. Dog food. You name it.”

Walstatter says he likes his shop’s current model: come in, learn about the product, purchase and consume it somewhere else. Although he would like customers to have the option to sample in the store—something that is currently illegal. Business models will be as flexible the Oregon legislature allows once it sets ground rules for sale and consumption.

Tyson Haworth, co-owner of Oregon’s Finest dispensary in the Pearl District, anticipates their low-lit upscale dispensary will morph into more of a boutique winery model if legalization takes effect.

“The idea is to produce a local craft,” Hayworth says.

Three thick bare-wood shelves line each side of the bar. Squat glass jars with carved wood tops showcase buds from six area “farmers.” Growers from SoFresh Farm near Aurora come every Sunday afternoon to talk to customers about growing techniques and processing. On the last Thursday of every month they open their doors to the public. And buyers can flip through a binder of detailed chemical analysis and growing history for each variety on the shelf.

“We’re marketing ourselves to bridge the gap between farmers and patients – farm to flame,” Haworth says. “True to Portlandia, we want to know the name of our chicken.”
 

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