Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). All material included herein is provided free of charge for political and educational purposes under the US federal "Fair Use Doctrine". This material may only be used for political and educational purposes without express written consent.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Poised To Appear On November Ballot

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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State on Thursday; 150,642 valid signatures needed to qualify

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee released a report Wednesday that estimates passage of the initiative will generate nearly $82 million in annual tax revenue, including more than $55 million for Arizona schools

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A citizen initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is poised to appear on the November ballot after proponents turned in their petition Thursday with more than enough signatures to qualify.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State. With 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters needed to place the measure on the ballot, that appears to be a comfortable margin. The secretary of state is expected to determine whether the initiative has qualified by late August.

“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Florida: Siblings Arrested In $24 Million Marijuana Bust In Miami

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Authorities seized at least $24 million in cash Tuesday in the arrest of a suspected marijuana manufacturer in Miami.

The bust is the largest in the history of the Miami-Dade Police Department, according to the Miami Herald, who reported the officers were still counting the money Wednesday.

Most of the cash was bundled in increments of $100, according to the Miami Herald, and stuffed inside dozens of orange Home Depot buckets.

Tuesday's raid was the culmination of a six-year--long investigation into Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez. The Herald reported that Hernandez-Gonzalez, 44, ran a North Miami store that sells equipment for indoor gardening. Investigators suspected the business catered to marijuana growers.

The federal agents raided the store as well as the home of Hernandez-Gonzalez, and found marijuana seeds, marijuana labeled "Super Skunk" and "Chernobyl" and $180,000 in a safe.

Gonzalez-Hernandez, who admitted instructing his customers on how to grow marijuana, appeared in court Wednesday on charges of money laundering, marijuana trafficking and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, among other state charges. He was ordered held on $4 million bail.

His sister, Salma Hernandez, was also arrested and charged with drug possession and conspiracy.

Photo Miami-Dade Police Department

Colorado: Jake Plummer Rips NFL's Marijuana Stance And 'Billionaire A--hole' Jerry Jones

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Jake Plummer, former Denver Broncos quarterback, spoke with BSC Denver recently, criticizing the NFL for its marijuana ban and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for denying the link between CTE and football. He even called Jones a 'billionaire a--hole."

"I have a hard time with it because everybody says, 'Oh, poor NFL millionaires. Oh, you poor people.' They don't understand," Plummer told BSN Denver. "Maybe they should have a little more to say about the owners that are billionaires, they're not millionaires; they're billionaires."

"Like Jerry Jones, who says it's 'absurd' that there would be a link between brain trauma, football and CTE," Plummer said. "Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire a--hole. It's the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say. That's where we're sitting; grown-ass men are asked to go out there for millions of dollars -- which, yeah, it's a lot of money -- bang themselves around and completely f--- their lives over for their 40s and 50s. So yeah, poor football players is what I say. If you're a grown-ass man, you should be allowed to make grown-ass decisions."

Plummer is now 10 years into retirement and has seen the negative physical effects football has had on teammates.

But Cowboys owner Jones is denying that football can cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Colorado: Good Chemistry Launches 'Craft of Cannabis' Campaign

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

As Good Chemistry — specializing in cultivating consistent, high-quality cannabis— expands production capabilities in Colorado and Nevada, the company is debuting its “Craft of Cannabis” initiative with a new advertising campaign and website. Built on exquisite original photography, the ads showcase the people and plants behind the finest flower grown in Colorado.

“Our mission has always been to cultivate the best cannabis on the market,” said founder and CEO Matthew Huron, a master gardener who has been honing his craft for nearly two decades. “We are proud of the flower that we produce.

"Our Craft of Cannabis campaign aims to show consumers the excellent standards of our Cannabis artisans and the remarkable beauty and character of our plants,” Huron said.

The Craft of Cannabis campaign was developed by branding expert Michael Markowitz, president of Michael Markowitz + Associates, whose clients have included, among others, Panera Bread, Anheuser Busch and Universal Studios.

The new GoodChem.org website provides behind-the-scenes access to Good Chemistry’s nurseries, where the team includes botanists, carpenters, mechanics, scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, inventors, caregivers, and more.

Oregon: $9M Illegal Marijuana Grow Raided Near Willamette River

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A massive marijuana grow in Oregon was raided early Tuesday morning, resulting in one arrest and the seizure of more than 6,500 plants.

The grow operation was found in rural Dayton after a two-month long investigation by the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team, according to the Yamhiil County Sheriff's Office. Found in the wetlands of the Willamette River, the operation was connected to a Mexican drug trafficking organization.

The team raided the operation before sunrise with the help of the Oregon State Police SWAT. The thousands of plants were valued at more than $9 million.

Official found Manuel Madrigal, 42, hiding in a secret living area with a kitchen under a tarp. Madrigal,a resident of San Antonio, Texas with a history of drug arrests, was detained by deputies. He was arrested on federal charges of drug trafficking and turned over to U.S. Marshal custody in Portland.

Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said the raid was a good example of the dangers Oregon faces from marijuana, even though it is now legal in certain quantities.

"There is still a profit to be made in marijuana by these illegal organizations," Svenson said. "As long as this continues, we will need to remain diligent in our investigations to keep this money from being routed to other areas of criminal activity."

Arizona: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Submitting Signatures

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On Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m., campaign leaders and supporters will hold a news conference just prior to handing over more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) will submit more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials on Thursday to place an initiative on the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona.

Campaign leaders and initiative supporters will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. in a temporary office located on the second floor of 77 E. Weldon Ave. in Phoenix, where representatives of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will be accepting and reviewing the petitions.

Initiative backers need at least 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. At Thursday's news conference, they will announce the total number of signatures they will be submitting.

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Nevada: 'Showgrow' Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In Las Vegas

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Showgrow, a medical marijuana dispensary located at 4850 S. Fort Apache Road in Las Vegas, Nevada, held its grand opening on Friday, June 24.

Growblox Sciences, Inc., announced it has secured 20 percent of the dispensary shelf space of Showgrow Las Vegas for the exclusive display and marketing of its cannabis strains. Growblox announced it also has rights through Showgrow to make home deliveries of its products.

Growblox owns a 10 pecent interest in GBS Nevada Partners LLC, which wholly owns Showgrow. Nevada Partners contracted with GreenLight District Holdings, LLC, an industry leading dispensary operator, to manage the daily operations of Showgrow.

"We are very excited that Growblox is entering the Nevada retail market, as we know local population and visitors are at the global crossroads of product awareness, efficacy, and best standards of operations," said Growblox Board Director Leslie Bocskor.

California: Marijuana-Infused Coffee Creamer Launching In September

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Wake-and-bake options will expand in California this September when 1PM Industries, which just expanded its operations from Northern California to the southern part of the state, plans to introduce infused coffee creamer.

1PM on Wednesday announced that the Company has expanded its Von Baron Farms products to Southern California area. According to the company, it began delivering product to dispensaries in Southern California on Monday, June 27.

The company will begin holding its Southern California product demo days on July 7.

Von Baron Farms began selling its medical marijuana products to dispensaries in California in January 2016, and is currently selling its products in approximately 40 Northern California dispensaries.

1PM announced it has begun its final phase of development on its THC infused coffee creamers, which are expected to launch in September 2016.

The addition of coffee creamers will expand the company's product line to: Cookie Spread, CBD Shot, BuzzKill, THC Shot, Breaking Batter Shake & Pour and Infused Coffee Creamer.

Graphic: http://www.vonbaronfarms.com/

New York: True Hemp Dog Chews A Hit In Manhattan

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The only hemp-based pet product at the Cannabis World Congress
generates a New York-style buzz

From capturing the headline in the New York Daily News to selling out when they weren’t even for sale, True Leaf International’s True Hemp dog chews were the talk of the town – or at least of the 3rd annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo at New York’s Javits Center June 16-17.

When True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford and Marketing VP Alison Ruks turned up at the True Leaf booth, a crowd had already gathered, and to their surprise, people wanted to buy the functional chews – even though they weren’t for sale.

“We had to rush-ship the product in overnight to keep up with the demand,” said Alison. “The response overwhelmed all our expectations.”

While they were busy filling orders from their impromptu storefront, the True Leaf team made time for interviews with Sports Illustrated and The New York Daily News, which led its story on the expo with “Hemp-infused dog biscuits peddled at New York cannabis expo.”

“Dogs are finally getting a real treat,” the story began, featuring an interview with Alison on the benefits of the True Hemp treats for dogs.

When they weren’t talking about True Hemp with the media or selling the display to Congress attendees, the True Leaf team even picked up a new retailer in Hell’s Kitchen.

California: Voters To Decide Whether To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Tuesday that initiative proponents turned in more than enough signatures to get the question of legalizing recreational marijuana on the November ballot.

If legalization passes in California one in every six Americans will be living in a state with legal marijuana sales, including the entire West Coast.

Former Facebook president Sean Parker led the coalition that promoted the initiative.

"Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," Jason Kinney, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.

If passed, legalization will mean that adults 21 and over will be able to buy an ounce of marijuana and marijuana-infused products at licensed retail outlets and also grow up to six pot plants for personal recreational use.

Pot smoking would be prohibited in areas where tobacco use is banned now, including restaurants, bars and other enclosed public places.

Sales of both recreational and medical weed would be taxed initially at a rate of 15 percent. Counties and cities would be allowed to prohibit marijuana businesses and impose their own additional taxes an fees.

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Qualifies For November Ballot

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The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Tuesday applauded the announcement by Secretary of State Alex Padilla that the measure has officially qualified for the November 8 General Election ballot in California.

“Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,” said Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

“This measure reflects years of hard work, diverse stakeholder input and broad, bipartisan public support," Kinney said. "A growing majority of Californians support a smarter approach to marijuana and we’re gratified that voters will finally have the opportunity in November to pass comprehensive, common-sense policy that protects children, local control, public health and public safety, saves state and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, funds critical local programs, and serves as a model for the rest of the nation.”

The coalition of endorsers in support of AUMA is the largest ever formed in support of marijuana policy reform in the state, according to organizers.

Illinois: Judge Orders State To Authorize Medical Marijuana For PTSD

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Cook County judge ruled Tuesday that Illinois must add post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

The ruling may be rendered moot, as legislation is pending that would do the same thing. Gov. Bruce Rauner's office had indicated he will sign it, after previously blocking expansion of the program.

There are pending lawsuits seeking to add seven other conditions to the list, including cases involving chronic pain and osteoarthritis that are before the same judge.

In his opinion, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen criticized Illinois Department of Health Director Nirav Shah for failing to follow the recommendations of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

The judge gave the state 30 days to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions, and scheduled a follow-up hearing to ensure compliance.

The case was filed by Daniel Paul Jabs, a military veteran with PTSD.

Attorney Michael Goldberg, who handled the case, said he hoped the other conditions would be added on the same basis.

"This judge… stepped in to protect (Jabs') health, safety and welfare," Goldberg said, "The judiciary seems to be sending a message to the executive branch."

Oregon: Marijuana Edibles Market Growing

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Following the rollout of edible marijuana products to Oregon's recreational cannabis market on June 2, manufacturers of pot-infused chocolate bars and gummy bears are stepping up their production.

The Oregon Legislative Revenue office expects a 10 to 15 percent increase in collected taxes for June recreational sales as a result.

The trend is expected to continue for the next few months, at least. The estimate is based on preliminary reports from the industry, and trends seen in Washington and Colorado, following their introduction of cannabis-infused products.

“It is a new range of products, a new market, and not necessarily the same market that marijuana leaves have been in for a long time,” said Mazen Malik, the senior economist at the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office. “Sales should be toward the higher end (of a 10 to 15 percent boost) in the beginning of the month, and then come down. People want to see how this works.”

Oregon recreational pot taxes in 2016 had reached $14.9 million total by May 30, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue. The Legislative Revenue Office anticipates gross tax revenue should average $3.7 million per month.

U.S.: 11 Lawmakers Urge Congress To Include Medical Marijuana In Funding Bill

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U.S. Senator Steve Daines, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and nine members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday urged Congressional leadership to include a provision in the final funding bill sent to the president that protects veterans’ ability to discuss the use of medical marijuana with VA physicians in states where it is legal.

Although the provision passed both chambers of Congress, it was removed in the conferenced appropriations for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Conference Report failed to include Senators Daines and Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) and Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR) amendments that would allow for parity between VA and non-VA facilities in 26 states which have medical marijuana programs. The amendment does not change current laws preventing the possession or dispensing of marijuana on VA property, but simply allows veterans to discuss all options that are legally available in their state with their VA doctor.

Arizona: DEA Agent Echoes Message of Billboard Supporting Marijuana Initiative

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The Independence Day-themed ad highlights benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana in Arizona: ‘Adults could buy American and support schools, not cartels’

A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who spent years investigating Mexican drug cartels is throwing his support behind the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona and echoing the message of a billboard supporters launched this week at Tempe Marketplace.

“If Arizona regulates marijuana, adults could buy American,” reads the Independence Day-themed ad, instead of buying marijuana that has been illegally smuggled across the Mexican border into Arizona.

It also notes that revenue from regulated marijuana sales would “support schools, not cartels.” The proposed initiative would initially generate $64 million in annual state tax revenue, including $51 million for K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs, according to an independent study conducted by the Grand Canyon Institute.

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