Tags Posts tagged with "washington"


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As the retail cannabis industry continues to evolve, state agencies are working together to guarantee the products that make it to consumers are safe. An agreement established in September between the state Liquor and Cannabis Board and the state Department of Agriculture provided funding for equipment and staff at Agriculture’s facility in Yakima, Washington to test cannabis plants for illegal pesticides. While the lab has already been doing some pesticide analysis for about a year, staff are now in the final stages of calibrating two new machines and plan to begin a wider range of analysis of retail products.

Peter Antolin, Liquor and Cannabis Board deputy director stated, “This is the first lab like this doing pesticide testing in the country. It’s more of a preventive, proactive step on our part, again, because pesticide use is something we’re concerned about.” Ignacio Marquez, regional assistant to the director for Agriculture’s Eastern/Central Washington office stated, “The agreement takes advantage of agricultural expertise already available. This falls within our mission as a state agency to look out for the health of the consumer and also to regulate the use of pesticides on ag products.”

The lab will analyze about 75 samples a month, as it takes around three days to prepare each sample, run the test, and calculate the results. Antolin said there are more than 1,700 licensed producers in the state, including around 70 in Yakima County, so not all will be tested. However, since the testing will be both complaint-driven and random, the agency aims to “put the industry on notice” that their product could be screened for pesticides at any time. Commercial labs certified by the state have done testing in the past on cannabis for factors such as potency, “but they don’t do testing of much else,” Antolin stated, “So we saw (pesticides) as a significant potential health hazard.” How much of a health hazard remains uncertain. Being that cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, there has not been much research on the effect of pesticides if consumed with it.

It is typically the Environmental Protection Agency that conducts toxicological analysis of pesticides and their use on certain agricultural products. However, the federal agency “has no interest” in analyzing pesticides in relation to cannabis, said Mike Firman, program manager for Agriculture’s Chemical and Hop Laboratory in Yakima. He stated, “It’s quite challenging work that we tend to rely on the federal government for.” That kind of means the lab is creating its own testing protocols. Firman noted that while the process is based on pesticide testing for products such as lettuce, there are certain qualities of cannabis that make it more intricate.

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Marijuana prohibition in America could be dealt a big blow in November, with five states voting on legalizing the adult recreational use of cannabis. If current polling trends are any evidence, voters in all five states – Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada -will most likely approve their respective legalization measures. Registered voters in the stat of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have all passed measures to legalize, tax and regulate adult cannabis sales, while voters in the District of Columbia have passed a law that allows adults to grow and possess (but not purchase) marijuana.

But of course, none of those states can match the sheer numbers in California, the largest state in the country. Fifty percent support is a great position for legalization in a state as conservative as Arizona. Originally seen as a long shot, Arizona’s marijuana legalization bill, Proposition 205, is currently hauling in 50 percent support, with only 40 percent who are not in favor of the measure, according to a highly respected Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll released back in the beginning of September. Fifty percent support is a great position for legalization in a state as conservative as Arizona.

Now let’s look at California, a state which beat a marijuana legalization proposal in 2010. An August poll, which did not ask respondents about any particular ballot questions, discovered that over 60 percent of voters are under the impression that “Marijuana should be legal for adults to purchase and use recreationally, with government regulations similar to the regulation of alcohol.” In the face of this, even old-school bastions of conservative thought in the state have changed.

Not only would the entire Pacific coast be made up of states that have legalized marijuana, though, with a population of almost 40 million, California would single-handedly deliver reform to 12 percent of the United States population. Once a part of Massachusetts, the nearby New England state of Maine will join the other states that are voting on marijuana legalization in November as ballot Question 1.

What’s more, if all five bills go through, it could prove to be a catalyst for other states who want to join the club for legalizing cannabis as legislators scramble to have their states join the “Green rush” before it becomes less profitable to do so.

The Holy Grail for marijuana reform supporters, obviously, would be an actual state legislature passing a bill in the upcoming legislative session to legalize marijuana for adults. With only 24 states in the US allowing the referendum process, more than half the country will rely upon their state lawmakers to legalize marijuana one way or another.

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Canada will press the United States to change an outskirt approach that has banished Canadians who confess to having utilized weed from making a trip to the United States, given that Canada arrangements to authorize pot, an administration representative told Reuters on Friday. The instance of a Canadian man banned from U.S. traveling on the grounds that he confessed to having smoked pot recreationally has blended open deliberation over United States fringe specialists invoking a government law against weed use, despite the fact that pot use is legitimate in a few states and forthcoming lawful in Canada.

English Columbia inhabitant Matthew Harvey was halted at a United States fringe crossing in Washington state in 2014 and got some information about recreational pot use. Whenever Harvey, 37 at the time and who had a license to utilize medicinal weed, said he had smoked pot recreationally, he was confined and addressed for six hours before being denied section and banished from future passage.

“They said that I was inadmissible because I admitted to smoking marijuana after the age of 18 and before I’d received my medical marijuana license,” said Harvey.

In a meeting with the CBC, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that the circumstance should have been tended to, especially in light of uneven weed confinements in the United States.

“We obviously need to intensify our discussions with our border authorities in the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security,” Goodale stated. “This does seem to be a ludicrous situation. Three or four other jurisdictions in the United States. [T]here’s certain ironies about the current American position that we will certainly be very vociferous in putting before them.”

Four U.S. states — Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon — have sanctioned recreational cannabis use, as has the District of Colombia. Additionally, 25 states have authorized medicinal pot, no less than five of which will settle on recreational pot legalization in November decisions.

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Restorative cannabis dispensaries crosswise over Montana have shut their entryways as new confinements produced results Wednesday that point of confinement pot suppliers to three patients each, leaving a huge number of pot clients enlisted with the state without a legitimate approach to purchasing the medication. The limitations start following five years of unsuccessful court fights to topple the 2011 state law that moved back a lot of a voter-endorsed law that conveyed restorative cannabis to Montana in 2004. It is a standout amongst a huge rollbacks by the 25 states and Washington, D.C., that permit pot to be utilized for medicinal purposes.

Therapeutic marijuana advocates assess that more than 12,000 patients are losing legitimate access to pot on the grounds that their suppliers did not pick them as one of their three patients. There were 13,190 enlisted patients toward the end of July, says the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Dispensaries presented Facebook messages on their patients that they were shutting Tuesday. Some offered their items at rebates, for example, Lionheart Caregiving’s $3 cannabis brownie deal, while others gave away stock before shutting down.

“Everybody’s shutting down,” Kate Cholewa, government relations director for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association said. “It’s over.”

The Montana Supreme Court this year maintained three key arrangements of the 2011 state law: cannabis suppliers can offer to close to three enlisted clients every; specialists who prescribe the medication to more than 25 patients in a year must be naturally assessed, and pot promoting is banned. Implementation of the new limitations will be the obligation of sheriff’s workplaces and nearby police officers. In Gallatin County, which had 130 restorative pot suppliers in July, Sheriff Brian Gootkin said he simply doesn’t have the labor to thump on ways to affirm that everybody is taking after the law. Rather, the division is conveying letters to suppliers to ensure they realize what is required of them.

“We’re taking the approach that we’re hoping they do abide by the law, and if we find out otherwise, we will be visiting with them,” Gootkin added.

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Washington’s plan for a centrally prearranged market in pot creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market of marijuana. Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and the first retail store opened in 2014. So why are authorities are moving to close pot shops across the state in just a few weeks

Tacoma ranks among the municipalities where new licensing regulations will have a major impact on the marijuana market, potentially inconveniencing consumers and creating a huge opening for those willing to work outside official channels.

“Last August, there were close to 70 unlicensed operators in Tacoma,” The News Tribune said last week. But a law that was passed in 2015 merged the medical and recreational markets and required all vendors to be licensed. “Tacoma is limited by the state to 16 retail licenses, and a recent city ordinance requires every retail operator also to get a medical endorsement to provide for those with medicinal needs.”

“We illustrate the methods and tools for two particular target numbers
But black market dealers don’t appear just because marijuana—or anything else—is technically outlawed; they arise when restrictions drive prices up, restrict availability, or both, and leave an opening for vendors willing to flout the law to satisfy demand. Cigarettes are legal, but they had such a high tax and restricted as to invite illegal dealers to enter the market and make a buck. Even before the latest change, Washington’s underground economy in marijuana was thriving despite its nominally legal status.”

BOTEC’s reports for the state fully acknowledge the existence of the marijuana black market. In fact, “Due to the considerable amount of uncertainty in the estimation process, as well as the rapidly changing nature of cannabis markets in Washington at present, it is valuable to reference feasible ranges rather than a single point estimate.”

That is, the whole marijuana market is too dynamic and in flux to get a firm handle on its size.

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The United States Department of Justice is not allowed to spend money to prosecute federal cannabis cases if the defendants abide by state guidelines that allow marijuana’s sale for medicinal purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling, which comes from the Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals, arrives as voters in nine other states are going to think about legalizing the recreational use of cannabis this November.

At the moment, twenty-five U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana despite the fact that the drug is still illegal under federal law. Regardless, Congress in 2014 passed a budget rule which stops the Department of Justice from using federal funds to get in the way of state laws regarding marijuana. Because of this rule, defendants in ten cases in California and Washington refuted that their federal charges should be dropped. The 9th Circuit in San Francisco, which covers nine Western states, decided on Tuesday that the Department of Justice is not allowed to spend money so long as those defendants “strictly complied” with all state laws.

The appeals court sent the cases back to lower courts to decide whether or not the defendants had followed state law. A Justice Department spokesman was not able to be reached for comment. In November, California and eight other states are going to think about whether to allow cannabis for recreational use. Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, already allow it. The unanimous 9th Circuit ruling on Tuesday was given by a panel of three judges, two of which are Republican appointees who have a tendency towards pro-law enforcement. Nevertheless, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote that medical cannabis sellers should not feel as though they are free from federal law.

“Congress could restore funding tomorrow, a year from now, or four years from now,” he stated, “and the government could then prosecute individuals who committed offenses while the government lacked funding.”

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WASHINGTON — The administration of “Yes We Can” is now the administration of “No We Won’t,” in a ruling that keep marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. No one at Marijuana Stocks is surprised by this ruling from the administration via the lengthy statement from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Again the Cannabis advocates, activists & patients in need of the properties associated with Medical Marijuana were given some crumbs in true “Hunger Games” Style. As of today’s ruling by the DEA the study of cannabis will be expanded in order to ascertain the potential medical benefits of cannabinoids. Marijuana will continue to be on the list of the most dangerous drugs, regardless of growing support for legalization and more states changing their laws to have some form of medical marijuana or recreational marijuana on the books.

“By punting the reclassification of marijuana debate the DEA exposes themselves to the utter hypocrisy of our classification system. Consider Cocaine and OxyContin are class 2 drugs and are far more ruinous to the people that use and abuse them, yet cannabis which can’t kill you is a class 1 drug which by definition means there are no medical benefits and highly addictive.” Said an agency source under the condition of anonymity.
The Health and Human Services Department was so bold today as to double down on the illogical argument on marijuana by saying cannabis “has a high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.”
A statement of that nature exposes some problems with that argument as well as showing who is potentially to blame for the bureaucracy surrounding these kind of government rulings. Let’s examine this statement and try and draw some conclusions on our own.

First, if marijuana has no medical properties or potential benefits why are BigPharma companies spending hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development to study marijuana and create drugs for patients? Abbvie Inc (ABBV) has had a cannabis related drug it has marketed since 1985 for example called Marinol (Dronabinol Extract) which is an appetite stimulant used by cancer patients. INSYS Therapeutics Inc (INSY) was just given FDA approval for its orally administered drug called Syndros last month which is similar to ABBV’s appetite drug. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) has a drug called Epidiolex for people suffering from seizures, they are also creating their own strains of cannabis for individual targeted Cannabinoids. Any person that has ever used medical marijuana for example knows that one of its side effects is hunger or the “munchies.” Why try and synthesize a drug when nature and thousands of years of use has produced the same result you ask? Money from prescription drugs, money from speculation on the public company creating these drugs and ridiculous ways to capitalize from the insurance that pays for it all. The reality is that cannabis is essentially a weed that grows all over the world and the pharmaceutical industry would lose potentially hundreds of billions of dollars if cannabis was federally legal. Which leads me to point two in exposing the bureaucracy tied to Big Pharma.

So how do the lawmakers in the United States and agencies like the DEA come to these irrational conclusions that lack all common sense? Lobbyists on K Street in DC for starters. Given medical marijuana’s position as a cheaper, safer alternative to pharmaceutical products, pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a significant chunk of market share if marijuana legalization were to pass. BigPhRMA is universally recognized as marijuana’s biggest financial competitor, with drug manufacturers giving a whopping $21.8 million to a myriad of federal candidates and committees, as well as political parties during election times. In 2013 alone, Big Pharma spent approximately $18 million solely on lobbying, according to OpenSecrets. While easily one of the biggest contenders to the marijuana industry, Big Pharma was hit with a crucial turning point, a survey of 473 adult therapeutic cannabis users, conducted by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, found that 87% of respondents gave up prescription medications, alcohol, or other drugs in favor of cannabis.

Other Lobbies that are fighting relentlessly against cannabis are private prison corporations as well as the alcohol & tobacco industry. For mor info on that here’s an article on the top five lobby’s.

In the end officials need to get elected and no one wants to piss off their donors, grassroots organizations like Norml or the Marijuana Policy Project are fighting a war against opponents that have unlimited resources. Even so the expansion of study does crack the door open for the industry and in our opinion prohibition will eventually end. Once the government and big business set up the infrastructure to capitalize on cannabis they will demand their piece of the pie, which has an estimated black market value of $50,000,000,000 and a legal US market estimated at $6,000,000,000. That might be a scary thought, but there will always be artisanal cannabis for the masses and the best growers in the industry don’t need to become sellouts which is positive to us.
Here is the statement from the DEA today. Share this article, Tweet it, Facebook it, email it to your friends and congressman. Everyone must do their part or the elected officials we put in office will continue to vote against our collective interests.




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Health officials in Washington, D.C. are urging the city to legalize the distribution of cannabis despite what Congress says. The nation’s capital city ought to “impose state taxes on production, distribution, and sales along with a licensed market participation, age restriction, and prohibitions on advertising and marketing to minors,” according to a recent report from the District of Columbia Department of Health. It also pushes for decision-makers to “use current regulatory models for tobacco and alcohol to base legislation to enact effective marijuana controls.”

D.C.’s mayor as well as the members of the District Council state that they would like to implement marijuana sales, however, federal budget riders enacted not too long ago have stopped them from spending they city’s own money to actually allow it. During the month of April, during consideration of an appropriations bill covering Fiscal Year 2017, House Republicans took steps to push the ban further to stop D.C. officials from being able to circumvent the existing rider using funds that are not touched by the current block. Under this law, the city is not allowed to use money to regulate and legalize sales:

“None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinol derivative for recreational purposes.”

“We hope the D.C. government will move forward now, using reserve funds, to put in place a system of taxation and regulation of cannabis before the Congressional budget is signed into law,” said Nikolas Schiller, co-founder and director of communications for DCMJ, the group that spearheaded the city’s 2014 marijuana ballot initiative. “The people of the District of Columbia deserve the right to purchase taxed and regulated cannabis from licensed stores without Congress interfering.”

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The House of Representatives is dominated by the Republican Party. That’s why it is no surprise that the House is working to limit Washington, D.C.’s capability to legalize, manage, and tax cannabis. Having ownership and growing a small amount of marijuana is legal in D.C. after ballot initiatives were voted for by Congress. However, thanks to a member related to Congress, the city is not allowed to spend its own cash to create a cannabis industry, even for adults that have received recommendations for medical marijuana from doctors.
At the moment, Republicans in Congress are looking to generalize the range of the ban to stop D.C. officials from using some type of loophole to get around this by using funds. Under the law, D.C. officials cannot use money that is set to help the cannabis industry. Here is where it says that in the report”
“None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative for recreational purposes.”
The exact syntax is a bit ambiguous and still allows for officials to use other cash it has laying around. In fact, officials said in 2015 in an interview that they were considering this. However, because of a new bill, the city would not be able to do such a thing. Here it is:
“No funds available for obligation or expenditure by any officer or employee of the District of Columbia government may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative for recreational purposes.”


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