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MJ News for 10/03/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2014/10/03/colorado-marijuana-harvest/16638659/




Colorado's legal marijuana harvest is underway




COTOPAXI, Colo. – Down a long dirt road snaking deep into the yellow hills of southern Colorado, Ryan Griego and his staff are harvesting green gold: legal marijuana.

More than four months after they were planted, Griego's pot plants are finally reaching maturity, warmed by the sun and fertilized with fish and bat guano. Here, 1,000 organically grown marijuana plants are being chopped down, trimmed and processed for sale on Colorado's legal medical marijuana market. Griego's operation is one of the largest outdoor grows in the state, sprawling across a 40-acre compound patrolled by guards and watched by wireless security cameras.

Each plant is only about 3 feet tall, more bushy than stalky, but covered in prized marijuana "bud," or flowers. After being cut down, the plants are hand-trimmed to remove the biggest stalks, run through power trimmers that are also used to prepare hops, and then hand-trimmed once again. The buds will then be dried, tested for quality and potency, and packaged for sale.

It's a labor-intensive process reflected in plant's value: Each one is worth $4,000-$6,000, depending on yield. That means Griego's crew will be harvesting, on the low end, marijuana worth at least $4 million. And he's only one of hundreds of licensed growers across the state.

Much of the legal marijuana sold in Colorado is grown indoors under lights, which gives growers more control over lighting, pests and the soil. Outdoor growers can harvest only one crop a year, compared with three or four crops if grown under lights. But Griego says his organically grown outdoor plants will yield more and taste better when smoked.

"It's hard to mimic the intensity of the sun," he said.

Griego owns two marijuana stores, operating under the Cannasseur name, selling both medical and recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. He'll use this fall's harvest to stock his stores for the year, and sell extra on the wholesale market. The growing season ends when frost begins nipping at the plants, turning their leaves yellow or purple. Plants that don't fully flower can be processed into edibles or marijuana oil for use in vaporizers.

Each plant is tagged with an RFID chip, allowing growers and state regulators to track its path from seed to sale. The plants are weighed after being cut down, again after being trimmed, and again when they're packaged for sale. Griego's dozen workers have all passed background checks and are licensed by the state to work in the industry that nevertheless remains illegal at the federal level.

"It's great to grow an American-made product, and that's what this is," Griego said.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/...civil-offense-in-philadelphia-decriminalized/




(Pennsylvania) Mayor Nutter :giggle: Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill




Starting October 20th, possession of small amounts of marijuana will be a civil offense in the city of Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael Nutter signed Jim Kenney’s marijuana decriminalization bill in a ceremony at City Hall today. It goes into effect later this month.

This isn't legalization, but most possession offenses have been turned into fines. Those possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana will be cited and fined $25. Those smoking in public will be cited and fined $100, or made to perform nine hours of community service. Cops will also confiscate any weed they find. Thirty grams is just a little over an ounce; most pot smokers make purchases of only an eighth of an ounce or less at once.

Possessing more than 30 grams, and dealing regardless of weight, is still a criminal offense. A tweet from the city says you can also still be arrested for failing to show ID to an officer when caught with marijuana. So, those without government identification could still be arrested under the new law.

At the same time, the city announced it would "teach students to resist all drugs, alcohol & tobacco" by supporting the Philadelphia School District's LifeSkills training program. Nutter also signed an executive order providing Community Legal Services with $100,000 to help ex-convicts have their records expunged.

The city also plans an outreach campaign to educated the public on the new law, and promote education about services for addiction treatment.
 

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http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/...-for-the-recreational-marijuana-consumer.html




Trip Tips: Denver for the recreational marijuana consumer




DENVER (Reuters) - Droves of pot tourists have flocked to Denver to sample its legal marijuana since Colorado became the first state in the country to allow recreational weed sales to adults. If you're thinking of joining the visitors heading to the "Mile High" city this year, here are a few things to keep in mind:

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

For a start, you must be aged 21 or older and be carrying a valid, government-issued photocard identification to prove it.

Residents with a Colorado state ID can buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana at a time, but as an out-of-state visitor you will be restricted to purchases of a quarter-ounce.

Take note that if you're not a U.S. citizen, some pot shops which previously accepted driving licenses to admit foreigners now instead require a full passport to show a customer's legal presence in the United States.

Some of the more organized stores will ask you to sign a document saying you agree to abide by Colorado's marijuana laws, including not providing the drug to minors nor transporting it across state borders. Police set up amnesty bins at Denver International Airport for anyone who forgets and try to carry their holiday weed home with them.

And remember to keep your ID handy. Wary of state inspections meant to trap vendors hawking weed to minors (none have yet been caught) many stores will want to check it more than once.

WHAT CAN I BUY?

The Denver area has about 200 marijuana stores, and in all of them visitors will be welcomed by the pungent aroma of green buds. They tend to cost about $20 to $30 per gram, and come in a huge variety of sativa, indica and hybrid strains with names like "Blue Dream," "Sour Diesel," and "Silverback Kush."

For the uninitiated, or simply lazy, most stores sell perfectly coned, ready-rolled individual joints too.

Most shops also offer a wide range marijuana-infused edibles such as chocolates and candies. Take care: many novices and veterans alike have regretted eating too much in one go.

The best advice for visitors, echoed in a recent campaign here by pot activists urging responsible consumption, is to "start low and go slow" where edibles are concerned.

Experts recommend you take no more than 5-to-10 mg - a minute quantity - "total active THC" (tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind-altering component found in pot, for your first dose. Then wait an hour to 90 minutes before deciding whether to take more. The effects can come on slowly.

Most stores also sell marijuana concentrates such as butane hash oil, and the various bits of kit such as vaporizer, or "vape," pens used to consume them. Novice visitors should limit themselves to a puff or two, and see how it goes.

WHERE CAN I CONSUME?

Public marijuana consumption is prohibited by Colorado state law. Denver police have been handing out more tickets this year for public use, so street corners, park benches, or the parking lot of your hotel are hardly safe bets.

First-time offenders face a $150 fine.

No marijuana retail stores feature the kind of smoking lounges you sometimes find in cigar shops, because of strict rules that ban pot consumption in licensed retail outlets.

Therefore, outside of private homes where the owner consents, the options for marijuana tourists are limited.

The well-known Red Rocks concert venue reminds audiences that pot use is not allowed, encourages patrons who are bothered by marijuana smoke to tell security and even provides them with a text hotline to complain anonymously.

Vape pens are only allowed in the (cigarette) smoking areas.

Other Denver entertainment venues have similar prohibitions on pot use: signs in the Bluebird Theater on Colfax Avenue remind those attending gigs that smoking anything is banned.

WHAT TO DO?

Get some local knowledge and do some research.

The Cannabist (www.thecannabist.co), a blog run by the Denver Post newspaper, has a wealth of details and a map of the city's many marijuana establishments. Opening hours and contact numbers are all included.

It also features information on events and includes a host of Q&As on pot topics that are useful for residents and visitors alike. Other online resources to consider are Leafly (www.leafly.com) and Weedmaps (www.weedmaps.com).

For information on live music and other arts and cultural events, check out the Westword newspaper (www.westword.com).

You could also try visiting one of several private marijuana clubs, which operate in something of a legal gray area.

Club Ned (www.clubnedcafe.com) in nearby Nederland, for example, bills itself as America's first legal cannabis cafe.

It is an adults-only, members-only club that charges $14.20 to become a member for a month. Alcohol is banned, as the owners say they want to "promote and protect a peaceful atmosphere."

You have to bring your own marijuana, but pipes are provided, and of course lots of munchies to eat.

PRIVATE TOUR COMPANIES

For a more structured visit, you could consider signing up with one of the many companies now offering marijuana-themed tours. There's a wide range to fit most budgets.

So Mile High (www.somilehigh.com) offers tours of "the best marijuana dispensaries with the widest selection," a private guided tour of a grow operation by a master grower, lunch, and even a one-hour painting-while-smoking class with an artist.

My 420 Tours (www.my420tours.com) offers all-inclusive vacation packages, cannabis cooking courses, and can also advise on hotels which allow vaporizer use in rooms, and/or have private smoking terraces for guests to enjoy their purchases.

Some tour companies use private buses or limos, which are not covered by the state's smoking bans, meaning participants can imbibe in the vehicle between stops.

Other companies take tourists to recreational weed stores alongside a more conventional city sightseeing itinerary.

Just remember, Coloradans are welcoming people, and you'll find lots of Western warmth here on your visit to Denver. But don't break the rules: don't light up on the 16th Street shopping mall or in your chain hotel room. And if you're taking edibles, especially for the first time, start slow.

Don't be tempted to take any marijuana or related products home with you, and don't drive your hire car while under the influence. Anyone who drives in Colorado expressly gives consent to a roadside blood or breath test if police have probable cause to believe they are impaired, even if only slightly.
 

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http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/article_9598e0de-4ab9-11e4-b0e3-130d39d32e27.html




(Illinois) Marijuana biz competition heats up




CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials released figures Thursday detailing how medical marijuana business applications are distributed around the state, the first indication of where competition will be fiercest for a limited number of cultivation center and dispensary permits.

The numbers show intense rivalry in some regions, but less competition — and none at all — in some areas. For instance, there are no applicants vying for dispensary licenses in DeKalb County. Meanwhile, in Evanston and Niles townships, where only one dispensary will be allowed, the applicants fighting for the lucrative business number 15.

Locally, Effingham Medicinal Farms has applied for the opportunity to build a cultivation center in an isolated area south of Effingham. Because the land on which the proposed center would be built is within the city’s zoning jurisdiction, the Effingham Plan Commission will have to consider a rezoning request. The property must be zoned for light industrial use for the application to be approved. It is currently zoned for agricultural use.

The Effingham Medicinal Farms application is one of four within Illinois State Police District 12, which includes Effingham, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion and Richland counties.The Illinois Department of Agriculture received 159 applications for cultivation centers and expects to award 21 licenses, one in each Illinois State Police district. It is not known where the other three applications are being sought, because the department is not releasing names of the applicants or locations at this time.

The state’s new medical marijuana program will hold a second application period for districts where no qualified applications were submitted at some point after the first selection, although the date hasn’t been set, state officials said Thursday.

Some of the stiffest competition is in northern Illinois. In Cook County, the state received nine applications for cultivation centers and will award two licenses. In Grundy, Kendall and Will counties, the state received 14 applications and will award one cultivation center license.

Central Illinois also drew high interest from the marijuana entrepreneurs. In District 9, which includes Sangamon and other counties, the state received eight applications and will award one cultivation center license. In District 10, which includes Champaign and other counties, the state received 11 applications and will award one license.

Southern Illinois saw its share of competition. In the state’s southernmost region, a district that includes Alexander and Pulaski counties, seven groups are competing for one license.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation received 214 applications for dispensaries and expects to grant up to 60 permits. One of those applications is within District 12.
 

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http://investorplace.com/2014/10/marijuana-stocks-cannabis-hedge-fund/





Marijuana Stocks – Is it Time for a Cannabis-Focused Fund?




Marijuana stocks were all the rage at the start of 2014. Thanks to legalization in several states and a Gallup poll that showed a majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis, marijuana stocks such as Hemp (HEMP),Cannabis Science (CBIS), and Medical Marijuana (MJNA) simply took off.

And while the furor over marijuana stocks has admittedly cooled off, some of these players are still sitting on big-time profits.

Take HEMP stock, which is down over 80% from its February peak but still up 45% on the year.

So now that the bubble has burst in marijuana stocks and these companies have fallen back to earth, is it worth considering buying these players at lower prices?

One ambitious hedge fund manager certainly thinks so.

Marijuana Stocks as Hedge Fund Fodder

FINalternatives, a publication for the hedge fund industry, recently profiled a Las Vegas-based money manager who has aims of creating a cannabis-focused hedge fund.

The payoff for investors, according to Finalternatives, is the following opportunity:

According to market research from The ArcView Group, the U.S. legal marijuana market was worth $1.53 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow 68% to $2.57 billion in 2014. Currently, 20 states plus D.C. allow medical marijuana use and two—Colorado and Washington—allow ‘adult-use’ by individuals over the age of 21. ArcView predicts 14 additional states will adopt adult-use laws within the next five years, including California, which will vote on the issue in 2016—and which represents a $980 million marijuana market even without adult-use laws.

Marijuana stocks that are publicly traded are only the tip of the iceberg, and a hedge fund could provide access to private companies and other businesses investors normally couldn’t share in.

Crazier ideas are out there in both the hedge fund space or among exotic ETFs.

So if you’re thinking of investing in marijuana stocks, keep watching the fund industry.

Frankly, many of the microcap marijuana stocks out there are still driven largely by sentiment and low-volume moves, so a cannabis fund to play the space could be very useful to investors.
 

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