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Mj news for 08/14/2015

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by 7greeneyes, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Aug 14, 2015 #1





    Jul 25, 2008
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    Ohio to vote on marijuana legalization

    The legalization group ResponsibleOhio collected enough signatures to get it on the ballot for November 3, according to Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted.

    Voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use.

    ResponsibleOhio collected 320,267 petition signatures, exceeding the ballot requirement by nearly 15,000, for the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

    "By reforming marijuana laws in November, we'll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities," said Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio.

    If the voters approve it, Ohio would be the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. People aged 21 or older would be allowed to possess up to an ounce. Growers would be required to get a license, and that would allow them four plants and eight ounces.

    Recreational pot is already legal in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and D.C., according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

    Ohio's proposed amendment outlines a system where 10 different marijuana farms would be established in 10 different counties, including Hamilton, where Cincinnati is located. The proposal specifies the location and size of the plots.

    Facilities that make marijuana-infused products would be licensed and regulated by the state to control potency and to make sure "that the products are not manufactured, packaged, or advertised in ways that create a substantial risk of attractiveness to children."

    A flat tax of 15% would be imposed on the farms and manufacturing facilities.

    A tax of 5% would be imposed on the gross revenue of marijuana stores.

    The exact wording of the proposed amendment still needs get finalized by the Ohio Ballot Board, which meets on August 18.

    Adam Orens, managing director of the Marijuana Policy Group, said the 10-farm proposal would squelch fair and open competition. He said that such a system is unprecedented.

    "I can't help but think the 10 cultivations, identified by specific location in the petition, are an amazing cash-grab by the proponents of the petition," Orens said. "I would be surprised if the voters of Ohio don't see right through this."

    The proposal allows for additional farm licenses if warranted, Orens said. "But that would not occur for several years allowing those that get in the door first an unfair head start, seemingly without an open competition for the initial 10 cultivation licenses," he added.

    ResponsibleOhio did not immediately respond to CNNMoney's request for comment.

    Ohio would be the first state to legalize recreational cannabis without a pre-existing medical marijuana program. This presents unique challenges in getting a retail program off the ground.

    Colorado already had a well-established medical dispensary system when recreational marijuana was legalized, so the process of converting some of those dispensaries to recreational retail was relatively fluid.

    But in Oregon, where recreational weed became legal last month, it will probably be a year before the state opens its first retail stores. This is because Oregon's system of medical dispensaries is less extensive than it was in Colorado.

    Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and that creates problems even in states where it's legal. For instance, marijuana businesses face challenges with banking. Financial institutions, which are regulated by the federal government, tend to shun dispensaries.

    There are also issues with advertising. Neos, a vaporizer company, got its TV ad blocked in Colorado because the federal government regulates the airwaves.
  2. Aug 14, 2015 #2





    Jul 25, 2008
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    In Texas, police search woman’s vagina for marijuana​

    Here we go again.

    A Spring woman claims sheriff’s deputies violated constitutional protections by conducting a body cavity search on the concrete of a Texaco gas station parking lot during a routine traffic stop in late June.

    Charnesia Corley, a 21-year-old African American, was driving in northern Harris County around 10:30 p.m. on June 21 when a male deputy pulled her over for allegedly running a stop sign. He said he smelled marijuana, handcuffed Corley, put her in his vehicle and searched her car for almost an hour. He didn’t find any pot, according to her attorney, Sam Cammack.

    Returning to his car where Corley was held, the deputy again said he smelled marijuana and called in a female deputy to conduct a cavity search. When the female deputy arrived, she told Corley to pull her pants down, but Corley protested because she was cuffed and had no underwear on. The deputy ordered Corley to bend over, pulled down her pants and began to search her.

    Then, according to Cammack, Corley stood up and protested, so the deputy threw her to the ground and restrained her while another female was called in to assist. When backup arrived, each deputy held one of Corley’s legs apart to conduct the probe.

    Incredibly, a spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s Department told a local TV station that “the deputies did everything as they should.” And so there you have it. Holding a woman down and forcibly penetrating her vagina to search for pot is official policy in Harris County.

    Keep in mind that under Texas law, it takes more than four ounces of marijuana to bring a felony charge. This is what four ounces of marijuana looks like. It seems doubtful that a woman could be casually driving around with that much marijuana stuffed into her vagina. So Corley was forced to the ground, stripped, and penetrated to search for evidence that at worst would have amounted to a misdemeanor. Which means that the Harris County Sheriff’s Department believes its perfectly acceptable to allow a stranger to forcibly probe a woman’s vagina in order to prevent her from possessing a personal-use quantity of marijuana. And even that happened without a warrant, based only on one deputy’s claim to have smelled the drug.

    This story comes two years after two women filed a lawsuit claiming they were cavity searched after being pulled over for throwing cigarette butts out of the window. That lawsuit claimed to have found evidence that such searches were “standard procedure” in the Texas Highway Patrol. In May, Reason’s Jacob Sullum found three more incidents, all involving women suspected of possessing marijuana. Publicity from those incidents prompted the Texas legislature to pass a law that’s supposed to prohibit such searches without a warrant. But that law doesn’t take effect until next month. That the state would need such a law in the first place speaks volumes.

    But it isn’t just Texas. In January of last year, I noted the other places where these searches have happened:

    Oakland recently paid $4.6 million to 39 men who were illegally strip searched in public. A similar lawsuit was filed in Chicago just this week. There have been other recent allegations of cavity searches in Citrus County,Florida; Coral Springs, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Mission, Kansas. In Milwaukee, a group of four cops spent two years subjecting women to illegal cavity searches after traffic stops. They at least have been arrested and charged.

    But requiring a warrant won’t stop these incidents from happening. In some jurisdictions, a cop can get a warrant with little more than a phone call. A couple of years ago, two horrifying cases in New Mexico made national headlines. One man subjected to repeated digital anal penetration, x-rays, enemas and a colonoscopy, all without his consent. Days later, another New Mexico man came forward with a similar story. In both cases, the police obtained warrants that were approved by a judge and local prosecutor. And in both instances, the police failed to find any drugs (not that it should matter).

    Last October, I also posted here about two additional incidents in which men were anally penetrated during drug searches in Tennessee. One of those searches was authorized when a drug-sniffing dog “alerted” to a $20 the man was carrying. (Gives last week’s post about the inaccuracy of drug dogs a **** of lot more urgency, doesn’t it?)

    There are times when it seems like we’re moving in the direction of sanity in the drug war, at least when it comes to marijuana. These cases are a good reminder that in most of the country, things are as bad as they’ve ever been. A majority of the Americans now believe that pot should be legal. In a few states, it already is, at least under state law. A majority also believe that even harder drugs should be treated as a medical condition, not a crime. Yet the government is still waging terrifying raids on people because of pot. It’s still performing sexual assault because pot. It’s still taking children away from their parents because of pot. And it’s still killing people because of pot.
  3. Aug 14, 2015 #3





    Jul 25, 2008
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    Rocky Mountain High: Marijuana Industry Push Back on More Rules

    The powerful Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce “[has] not and will not” endorse the latest proposed changes to the state ‘s edible marijuna regulations that call for the placement of a “THC Stop Sign” on each pot-infused package and marijuana serving.

    A Cannabis Chamber spokesman told Food Safety News the marijuana industry group cannot go along with the “stop sign logo as we believe it is sending a political message to stop THC.”

    Almost two years ago, when Colorado became the first state to make recreational marijuana use legal, it led to the birth of a booming new industry that infuses food and beverages with marijuana. The state currently has 134 manufacturers licensed to make “infused” food and beverage products.

    Those products account for about half of all legal retail marijuana sales. Those sales just topped $50 million for June, but they’ve also turned out to be something of a Rubik’s cube for state marijuana regulators.

    Since marijuana prohibition ended, state lawmakers have kept the pressure on regulations to make edibles easily identifiable — even outside their packaging.

    Last year’s idea called for using the familiar marijuana weed symbol to mark the packaging and all the servings. Parents said the weed symbol would make edibles too attractive for children.

    THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of more than 60 active ingredients in cannabis, but it is the one responsible for the high that gets “baked” into all those food and beverage products. That’s why the “THC Stop Sign” is a non-starter with industry.

    Other potential new rules being floated by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in the state’s Department of Revenue include prohibiting edibles from being labeled as “candy,” requiring edibles to be “made from scratch,” and implementing standard measurement procedures.

    The stop sign markings would be required on individual pieces or servings, not just the outside packaging. Beverages would be limited to single servings with 10 milligrams of THC each.

    Diane Carlson, spokesperson for the parent group known as Smart Colorado, praised the proposals, saying they would allow children and teenagers “to know when and if marijuana is in a food, candy or soda.” Smart Colorado wants “the state to implement the proposed rules as quickly as possible,” according to Carlson.

    The MED has set aside both Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 as public hearing time to take testimony on permanent marijuana rules.

    Last year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said product packaging labeling, child-resistant packaging and the ability to protect edibles in production, storage and transportation from foodborne pathogens all had to be addressed.

    The initiative that made marijuana legal in Colorado limits its regulation to the Department of Revenue. CDPHE is one of about 20 “stakeholders” that the MED has invited to participate in the marijuana rule-making.

    Johnny Green, Oregon marijuana activist and author of The Weed Blog, wrote Thursday about the push-back by the Cannabis Chamber “against a culture of dangerous potential overregulation of legal cannabis edibles in Colorado.”
  4. Aug 14, 2015 #4





    Jul 25, 2008
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    The Next 11 States to Legalize Marijuana​

    Marijuana prohibition is entering its 78th year. Colorado’s marijuana law went into effect at the beginning of last year in the wake of changing attitudes. Compared to 1969, when only 12% supported legalizing pot, today a majority of Americans support legalizing recreational use of the drug.

    It is legal to purchase marijuana in four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — as well as in the District of Columbia. Prior to the legalization, all of these states had already reduced the penalties for possession and use of small amounts of the drug or introduced policies permitting medical marijuana use. To identify the states most likely to legalize marijuana next, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 11 states where by law residents in possession of small amounts of the drug are not punishable by jail time, and medical marijuana use is permitted.

    A large share of U.S. states, including all 11 on this list, have decriminalized marijuana at some point. The widely-referenced, but confusing term actually means a different thing depending on where it is being used. Not to be confused with legalization, states that have decriminalized marijuana have in some way reduced the penalties for for those caught with the substance. In most cases, this means the state will no longer prosecute or jail those caught with small amounts of the drug for personal use. In some cases, getting caught with a few grams of marijuana is as serious as a traffic infraction.

    Other states that have decriminalized, however, still have relatively harsh penalties for possession. In Nevada, for example, the state no longer can assign jail time for those caught with a small amount of the drug, but violators can still be arrested, fined heavily, and charged with a misdemeanor.

    Various moral and practical arguments have helped to catalyze the growing trend of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. The potential tax revenue, job creation, and reduction of the burden of offenders on state prison systems, for example, have likely been a motivating factor behind the bills to regulate and legalize the drug in many of the states on our list. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Allen St. Pierre, executive director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), argued that legalizing marijuana “would generate revenue where we now hemorrhage out billions and billions of dollars.”

    However, according to Morgan Fox, communications manager at the Marijuana Policy Project, the most significant force in getting bills and referendums on the table is public support within the states. In most of the 11 states that may soon legalize marijuana, recent polls have been conducted showing a majority of residents support some form of legalization. In Connecticut, 63% of those surveyed in a March 2015 Quinnipiac University poll said they were in favor of legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults.

    St. Pierre argued that the current prohibition laws are inconsistent. “If alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and pharmaceutical products can be legally sold to adults in this country, it’s hard to understand the constitutional economic or for that matter moral arguments put forward on why marijuana can’t be within that same ambit of choices for adults.”

    One factor that may be driving high public support for legalization in these states is the a high number of users. Of the 11 states that appear next in line to legalize marijuana, nine surpass the nationwide rate of marijuana users. In 2012 and 2013, an estimated average of 12.3% of Americans 12 and older smoked marijuana. In Rhode Island, one of the states on our list, more than 20% had.

    St. Pierre also noted that the marijuana legalization issue is unique in that Americans’ political persuasions favor legalization of marijuana. Support for reform can be found among liberals, but also among conservatives, particularly those with libertarian-leaning beliefs. “It’s hard to make an argument against legalization in a free-market society such as ours,” said St. Pierre.

    Still, according to Gallup, less than one-third of conservative Americans think cannabis should be legalized, in contrast with overwhelmingly strong support from liberals and a strong majority of moderates. Nearly all of the next states expected to legalize marijuana are liberal-leaning states.

    To identify the next states to legalize marijuana, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed states where possession of small amounts of marijuana is not punishable by jail and also where medical marijuana is currently legal based on data from The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). We also considered marijuana-related arrests per 100,000 residents through 2012 provided by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. In addition, we considered the estimated proportion of residents 12 and older who had used marijuana some time in the past year, based on annualized data from 2012 and 2013, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Public opinion polls were provided by the Marijuana Policy Project based on the most recent available survey. All data on current enforcement policies and penalties were provided by NORML.

    These are the states where marijuana is most likely to be legalized.

    1. Massachusetts
    > Max. fine for small amount: $100
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 2,596
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 39
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil offense

    Under Massachusetts’ state law, an individual can only be fined a maximum of $100 for possession an ounce or less of marijuana — the result of a 2008 ballot to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug. The impact of decriminalization has been dramatic. While there were more than 10,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2008, there was just about a third as many such arrests in 2009, the first year the law took effect.

    Though the state’s marijuana policy is relatively progressive, it appears that decriminalization has not gone far enough for the majority of voters. In a poll released last year by the Boston Herald, 53% of state residents were in favor of legalizing marijuana, while only 37% were against. Proponents of legalization may have a chance to change the state law again in November 2016. Democratic State Representative Dave Rogers and Democratic State Senator Patricia Jehlen introduced a bill to to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults.

    2. Nevada
    > Max. fine for small amount: $600
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 8,524
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 309
    > Minimum penalty classification : Misdemeanor

    According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Nevada is one of 20 states to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Though no one found in possession of under an ounce of the drug can face incarceration or felony charges, Nevada’s penalties for possession are among the harshest of all the states that have decriminalized. Unlike some states that have decriminalized the small amounts of the drug, like Massachusetts and California, first time offenders in Nevada can still be charged with a misdemeanor and be compelled to undergo mandatory drug treatment.

    Despite the harsher penalties, next year Nevada could become the fifth state to legalize recreational use of drug. Voters will have a chance to pass the Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana in November 2016. If passed, legalization will have a dramatic effect on arrest rates and police resources. As of 2012, there were about 8,500 marijuana-related arrests in Nevada, the 14th highest arrest rate in the country.

    3. California
    > Max. fine for small amount: $100
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 21,256
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 56
    > Minimum penalty classification : Infraction

    California was in the vanguard of state marijuana reforms in the 1970s and an early adopter of decriminalization. In 1996, the state passed the Compassionate Use Act, which permitted physician-recommended marijuana use for medical treatment. In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that reclassified the crime of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Despite the state’s historically progressive stance, marijuana has yet to be legalized. In 2010, a motion to legalize failed by a slim margin.

    Two bills proposing marijuana regulation are now on the table, although the success of each remains to be seen. A great deal may be at stake in the success or failure of marijuana law reform in California. According to St. Pierre, because of the state’s sheer size and influence, the viability of federal legislation largely relies on the precedent California might set.

    4. New York
    > Max. fine for small amount: $100
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 112,974
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 577
    > Minimum penalty classification : Not classified

    New York was one of the first states to decriminalize marijuana, passing a bill in 1977. However, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, law enforcement agencies have been abusing the “public view” loophole, which differentiates between where offenders are caught — possessing a small amount of the drug in the privacy of one’s home results in a fine, while possession in a public place can result in a misdemeanor. Supporting this claim is New York’s extremely high marijuana-related arrest rate, which was the highest in the country in 2013 at 577.24 per 100,000 people — more than double the national rate. However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in 2014 that the city would no longer be enforcing the loophole.

    In early July, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a medical marijuana bill into law. There are currently two bills to legalize and tax marijuana in the legislature, which is currently on break.

    5. Vermont
    > Max. fine for small amount: $200
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 926
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 148
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil violation

    According to a Rand research study on marijuana legalization, Vermonters consumed between 15 to 25 metric tons of marijuana, worth between $125 million and $225 million, in 2014. More than 19% of state residents 12 years and over reported using marijuana in the past year, the third highest share nationwide. Also, according to the Vermont Department of Health, marijuana consumption is more common among 12- to 17-year-olds in Vermont than in any other state in the nation.

    As in every other state likely to legalize pot, possessing less than an ounce or less of the drug is not punishable by incarceration. Possessing more than an ounce, the selling of any amount, or cultivating the plant, however, is considered a misdemeanor. Selling a half ounce or more, or cultivating three or more plants, is a felony.

    6. Minnesota
    > Max. fine for small amount: $200
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 12,051
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 224
    > Minimum penalty classification : Misdemeanor

    The first medical marijuana dispensary in Minnesota opened on July 1, 2015. For those who do not qualify for medicinal use of the drug, possession of 42.5 grams, roughly 1.5 ounces, or less can be classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $200.

    According to a study conducted by SAMHSA, from 2010 through 2013, Minnesota teenagers’ attitudes toward occasional marijuana use have relaxed. In 2010, 70.9% of 12-17-year old state residents did not consider smoking pot once a month to be risky behavior. By 2013, 75.4% of teenagers held the same perception.

    There were 12,051 marijuana-related arrests in Minnesota in 2012. The state’s per capita marijuana-related arrest rate was typical for the country.

    7. Connecticut
    > Max. fine for small amount: $150
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 3,747
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 104
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil penalty

    In a March 2015 Quinnipiac University poll, 63% of Connecticut residents surveyed said they would be in favor of legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. The state decriminalized marijuana use in 2011, decreeing that any possession of the substance up to a half of an ounce would have a maximum penalty of a $150 fine and could not be punishable by jail time. Before the law passed, the state’s marijuana arrest rate in 2010 was 259 per 100,000 people. By 2012 the rate had dropped to just 104 such arrests per 100,000, the sixth lowest rate in the country.

    Currently, the state also has several bills in the legislature that would legalize marijuana use for adult residents and regulate the industry.

    8. Maryland
    > Max. fine for small amount: $100
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 22,043
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 375
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil offense

    The recently adopted Maryland Medical Marijuana State Program permits certified physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients diagnosed with certain conditions. As a result, the state’s first marijuana dispensary, Greenway Consultations, opened this past June. Still, the possession of more than 10 grams of pot is a misdemeanor in Maryland, and possession of less than 50 pounds with the intent to distribute carries a penalty of up to five years incarceration and fines up to $15,000.

    Even so, there is a good chance Maryland is on track to legalize the substance. Governor Larry Hogan signed a bill supported by marijuana legalization advocates during the current legislative session. The Second Chance Act, under certain circumstances, permits individuals convicted of possessing marijuana, to have their arrest shielded from some records requests. As in most states on this list, a majority of Maryland residents support the legalization of marijuana.

    9. Rhode Island
    > Max. fine for small amount: $150
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 2,320
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 221
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil violation

    Marijuana use in the small New England state is pervasive. An estimated 20% of Rhode Islanders aged 12 and up used the drug at least once in 2012. No other state in the country had wider use.

    Of the states that have not legalized recreational marijuana use, Rhode Island’s laws are among the most lenient. Possession of up to an ounce is a civil violation punishable by a maximum fine of $150. First time offenders do not face jail time or risk a criminal record. However, possession of amounts in excess of an ounce carry criminal penalties and potential jail time.

    There is currently a bill awaiting review in the state legislature that would effectively legalize and regulate recreational use of marijuana. Though the Rhode Island legislature went on summer recess before the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act received final approval, lawmakers may have a chance to review the bill again before year’s end. According to an April 2015 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 57% of respondents in the state support changing the law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.

    10. Maine
    > Max. fine for small amount: $600
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 3,202
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 241
    > Minimum penalty classification : Civil violation

    Maine has a relatively high rate of marijuana use, with an estimated 16.24% of residents 12 and older having smoked pot at least once in 2012, the seventh highest rate in the county. In 2013, Portland, the state’s most populous city, voted to legalize possession of small amounts of the drug for adults. While this still goes against state policy, and law enforcement has continued to enforce Maine’s prohibition of the drug, it is a sign of the public’s willingness to make a change. Possession of up to 2.5 ounces of the drug in the state is not punishable by jail time, although there are maximum fines of $600 or $1,000, depending on the amount.

    The state legalized medical marijuana in 1999 during a state ballot initiative — the measure passed with 61% of the vote. Possession of a “usable amount” of the drug with a doctor’s notice is legal. In 2009, another initiative passed to allow for medical dispensaries.

    11. Delaware
    > Max. fine for small amount: $575
    > Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 2,912
    > Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 318
    > Minimum penalty classification : Misdemeanor

    According to a 2014 survey conducted by the University of Delaware, 56% of respondents in the state agreed that “the use of marijuana should be made legal.” Governor Jack Markell signed in June 2015 a law officially making Delaware the 20th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Though the law will not take effect until January, when it does, Delaware residents will face a maximum penalty of a $100 fine for possession of up to an ounce of the drug. Before the governor signed the law, marijuana users in Delaware faced up to three months of jail time, a $575 fine, and a misdemeanor on their record for the same offence.

    There were 2,912 marijuana-related arrests in 2012 in Delaware, the 12th highest rate of all states per capita. In 2012, about eight out of 10 adolescents in the state did not perceive light marijuana use as dangerous, a fairly lax view.
  5. Aug 14, 2015 #5





    Jul 25, 2008
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    6 tech startups sowing seeds for the future of cannabis​

    Back in February, rapper-turned-venture capitalist Snoop Dogg announced his plans to raise a $25 million fund for tech startups working in the field of cannabis. That led to his participation in the biggest investment in a cannabis-focused startup to date: a $10 million Series A investment in San Francisco-based weed delivery startup Eaze, in April.

    It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that now the floodgates have opened and cannabis is getting its chance at disruption.

    With Washington and Colorado officially legalizing recreational cannabis use back in 2012 (it’s also been legalized in Alaska and Oregon since), a whole new market has germinated and is fast spreading in the US.

    You might be surprised to find, however, that the startups developing the hemp-isphere are not just the usual suspects of a lifestyle market. Sure, you have your online stores that sell brand-name smoking merchandise, and a few companies competing for the top-spot in on-demand delivery – but it’s starting to look like many potrepreneurs have bigger plans for the space.

    What we’re seeing is the start of a full-blown ecosystem around a core product. Startup accelerator Canopy Builder has accepted their inaugural class for a cannabis-specific program, partnerships and acquisitions are already in motion, and the market looks like it will only continue to mature.

    Here we highlight six of the companies that will shape the future of cannabis tech:

    Bud and Breakfast
    Bud and Breakfast launched their weed-friendly accommodation booking platform in April. All listings are in places where cannabis consumption is legal, so guests can be sure they’re in the clear.

    PotCoin is a cannabis-specific cryptocurrency. Launched in 2014, the virtual currency wants to facilitate transactions between individuals and institutions.

    Steep Hill
    Steep Hill offers three products that help growers and distributors to leverage the power of analytics in the world of cannabis, including on-site analysis tools and laboratory services.

    Flowhub offers a seed-to-sale platform that will streamline grow and dispensary businesses. Marijuana-centric social network MassRoots is working with Flowhub to bring partial integration of the platform to MassRoots. Users will get access to live pricing, inventory and an order-ahead system.

    HerbFront is a real-estate listing platform specifically for those in need of marijuana-friendly property for their growing or distributing business.

    Green Bits
    Green Bits aims to alleviate the pains of running a cannabusiness with their point of sale system. Their app handles everything you need to get your dispensary running smoothly.


    As more states and countries decide to go the way of legalization, we will undoubtedly be seeing much more innovation developing in this ecosystem. Be sure to track the cannabis market on Index.
  6. Aug 14, 2015 #6





    Jul 25, 2008
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    Were the works of Shakespeare inspired by Cannabis? Scientists find traces of drugs on pipes​

    Were the globally renowned literary works of the master playwright himself written with a little inspiration from drugs? That is the question posed by South African scientists who studied tobacco pipes from Shakespeare’s home and found traces of cannabis.

    Shakespeare, an influential figure of Elizabethan England, is known for his plays and sonnets, and is considered to be the most famous writer of the English language.

    400-year-old Pipes of the Playwright

    A grouping of 17th century tobacco pipe pieces were found at William Shakespeare’s historic property in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The pipe fragments were examined by anthropologists and botanists using sophisticated forensic methods, and researchers detected cannabis on eight of the fragments — four of which were excavated directly from the Bard’s garden, according to TIME.

    John Shakespeare's house, believed to be Shakespeare's birthplace, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    John Shakespeare's house, believed to be Shakespeare's birthplace, in Stratford-upon-Avon. (CC BY 2.0)

    The analysis, published in the South African Journal of Science, speaks on the chemical tests done on the clay pipes—a technique called gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). These non-destructive chemical tests revealed traces of drugs on the pipe bowls and stems, including: cocaine, hallucinogens, and compounds created by the burning of cannabis.

    The pipe fragments from Shakespeare’s garden contained traces of cannabis, while the other pipe pieces revealing residues of Peruvian cocaine and other drugs were from a different location.

    Mysterious Messages of ‘Compounds Strange’

    Study author and anthropologist Francis Thackeray of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa suggests that Shakespeare may have referred to drug use in some of his works.

    Thackeray points to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76, which reads: “Why with the time do I not glance aside / To new-found methods, and to compounds strange? / Why write I still all one, ever the same, / And keep invention in a noted weed...

    Title page from 1609 edition of Shake-Speares Sonnets.
    Title page from 1609 edition of Shake-Speares Sonnets. Public Domain

    The ‘noted weed’ might be interpreted to mean that the playwright was “willing to use ‘weed’ (Cannabis as a kind of tobacco) for creative writing (‘invention’;),” says Thackeray.

    He continues, “In the same sonnet it appears that he would prefer not to be associated with ‘compounds strange’, which can be interpreted, at least potentially, to mean ’strange drugs’ (possibly cocaine).”

    In this the researchers believe Shakespeare might have been fully aware of the pernicious effects of cocaine, and dismissed it, preferring cannabis as a stimulant instead.

    Digging up the Truth

    News magazine The Wire reports that Francis Thackeray once sought to exhume Shakespeare’s skeleton in an attempt to determine the cause of death (which remains mysterious), and perhaps glean more information on his potential drug habits in a forensic and non-destructive manner. Any grooves found between the canine and incisor teeth might reveal to researchers if he was chewing on a pipe as well as smoking from it.

    The exhumation did not happen, and just as well, for William Shakespeare is said to have had a strong obsession with burial, and a fear of exhumation. He tried to ensure his bones would lay restfully by having a warning carved into his tombstone: “Blessed be the man that spares these stones/ And cursed be he that moves my bones”.

    Is the accusation of drug use by Shakespeare much ado about nothing?

    Certainly drug use throughout the ages, including 17th century England, is not such a shocking revelation.

    The forensics tell the tale of the diversity of plants that were smoked in Elizabethan England, but since the pipes cannot be conclusively tied to the Bard himself, the question of whether William Shakespeare used cannabis to inspire his writings remains speculation. On the other hand, study author Thackeray has been arguing this perspective for more than a decade, and has attracted some derision from Shakespearean scholars. They “dismissed the suggestions that the author's genius was fueled by drugs,” reports The Telegraph.

    Thackeray and his colleagues appeal to the historians, noting that “Literary analyses and chemical science can be mutually beneficial, bringing the arts and the sciences together in an effort to better understand Shakespeare and his contemporaries.”

    Shakespeare's funerary monument in Stratford-upon-Avon.
    Shakespeare's funerary monument in Stratford-upon-Avon. Public Domain
    Featured Image: The Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portrait of William Shakespeare done while he was alive. Circa 1610. / Cannabis leaf, deriv.

    Cited study: Thackeray F. Shakespeare, plants, and chemical analysis of early 17th century clay ‘tobacco’ pipes from Europe. S Afr J Sci. 2015;111(7/8), Art. #a0115, 2 pages. http://dx.doi. org/10.17159/sajs.2015/a0115

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