Colorado: Marijuana Is Legal In Some States - But Only If You're A U.S.Citizen


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana may be legal in a growing number of states, but not many people know that it's still very much against the law for all non-U.S. citizens to use it. In fact, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has penalized and deported more people convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past decade than ever before.

Claudia, a native of Chile, learned this the hard way after being flagged for an in-depth security screening after landing at Los Angeles International Airport on October 8, 2015. "It's normal," she says. "Sometimes the officers review people." Besides, she had never been in trouble in her life.

Agents directed Claudia into a big, open room where she was asked to place her luggage on a table for examination. Officer Torres, a customs agent, asked her about her planned one-week trip to San Francisco and made friendly small talk as he went through her suitcase and purse.

Torres asked Claudia about past trips to the U.S., and she told the agent of visits to Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, and Colorado. At the mention of Colorado, he asked to see her phone. He quickly began scrolling through photos from her last visit to the States from April to June of that year. "Can you do this?" she asked.

"Yes", he replied, which Claudia accepted; she had nothing to hide, after all.

U.S.: Canada To Press U.S. On 'Ludicrous' Marijuana Border Policy

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Canada plans to push the United States to change a border policy that bans Canadians from traveling to the States that admit to having used marijuana, given that Canada plans to legalize pot, a government spokesperson said Friday.

"We obviously need to intensify our discussions with our border authorities in the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security," Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp late on Thursday.

"This does seem to be a ludicrous situation," he said, pointing out that marijuana is legal in Washington state as well as "three or four other jurisdictions in the United States."

A spokesman said on Friday that the Canadian government has been in contact with the U.S. government to make sure officials are aware of Canada's plan to legalize marijuana. The controversy of Canadians being banned from entering the U.S or from future travel to the States has not been addressed yet.

"In terms of the practices of border guards in question, those only came to attention recently and will be discussed in future bilateral discussions," Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Goodale, said in an e-mail.

Officials at the U.S. State Department, the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, and at U.S. Customs and Border Protection have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Canada: Growing Medical Marijuana At Home Now Legal

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Effective on August 24, Canadians will be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana at home with a prescription from a doctor.

Canada's CTV reported "The federal government has announced new rules that will allow medical marijuana users to grow their own at home. The new regulations, which will replace the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, also include other changes, such as labelling requirements for dried pot and cannabis oils."

Meanwhile southward in the States, marijuana consumption or possession remains federally illegal, with an American being arrested for marijuana possession every 42 seconds to one minute. In states where marijuana has not been legalized, an arrest for possession can lead to job loss, thousands of dollars in court costs, and five years or more in a private prison.

President Obama is supposedly working on a plan to help marijuana users that have been busted. Just last week his daughter was seen smoking pot on a widely circulated Web video.

Italy: Parliament To Consider Marijuana Legalization Next Week

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Italy's Chamber of Deputies plans to debate a legislative proposal on Monday, July 25 to legally regulate marijuana.

“Italy has rarely if ever provided leadership in Europe on drug policy reform,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the US-based Drug Policy Alliance, “which is why this bill, if it becomes law, will be of great significance not just within Italy but regionally and even globally. With five more U.S. states preparing to vote on marijuana legalization on November 8, and Canada poised to legalize marijuana next year, Italy could well provide the catalyst that Europe needs to move forward in ending marijuana prohibition.”

The bill would legalize possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana for recreational use at home, and up to 5 grams outside of the home. It would also allow individuals to grow up to five plants for personal use, and would authorize marijuana clubs for up to 50 members. The bill would prohibit import and export of marijuana, public use of marijuana, and driving under the influence of pot.

California: First Crop At Flowering Stage For Maple Leaf Green World


Maple Leaf Green World on Monday announced that the plants at its California greenhouse facility have been flourishing and most have reached 7 feet in height. Accordingly, the company's greenhouse personnel have started the flowering process.

This crop has four different strains and each strain has a different time frame for flowering. Harvesting is expected to take place in July after flowering, which will be followed by drying and grinding to prepare the finished products for shipment.

The size of the plants is very significant, as the bigger the plant, the higher the yield. In addition, the demand for medical marijuana is expected to be quite high during the summer months as the usual harvest time for most producers is from September onward.

As such, the selling price of the company's product is expected to be considerably higher than the price customarily available for a later harvest.

Continued progress has been made in the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has received more than double the required signatures to place the initiative on the ballot in the upcoming November elections.

For more information regarding Maple Leaf Green World Inc., visit The website has been updated with photos of the flowering plants of the California MJ project.

Canada: Justin Trudeau Makes A Case For Legalizing Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday made a remarkable argument for the legalization of marijuana, basing his points not on economic benefits, but on the same factors many legalization opponents start from -- concern for the safety of children.

"Look, our approach on legalizing marijuana is not about creating a boutique industry or bringing in tax revenue, it's based on two very simple principles," Trudeau said at an economic conference, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

"The first one is, young people have easier access to cannabis now, in Canada, than they do in just about any other countries in the world," Trudeau pointed out. "[Of] 29 different countries studied by the U.N., Canada was number one in terms of underage access to marijuana.

"And whatever you might think or studies seen about cannabis being less harmful than alcohol or even cigarettes, the fact is it is bad for the developing brain and we need to make sure that it’s harder for underage Canadians to access marijuana," Trudeau said. "And that will happen under a controlled and regulated regime.

Canada: Medical Marijuana Sellers Persevere Despite Crackdown

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana sellers in Canada are charging ahead despite recent crackdowns.

In Toronto, half of the city’s 83 known unlicensed stores have been targeted in raids and shutdowns that started May 26. Police have executed search warrants and seized products from stores they believe are selling to recreational consumers. But as the federal government moves toward full Canada marijuana legalization slated for a spring 2017 introduction, representatives from industry associations and medical marijuana stores met to discuss how to continue to operate.

Reuters reports:

"At Tuesday’s meeting, which was held at a marijuana-smoking lounge and attended by about 50 people, operators whose stores were raided told the audience what to expect. A lawyer spoke about how retailers can best deal with police.

Some unlicensed stores have been accused of selling to people without proper prescriptions. Some, such as the Cannabis Culture franchise in Toronto and Vancouver, sell openly to recreational users.

The federal government, which sets laws on both recreational and medical marijuana, has given little direction to municipalities on how to deal with either. Cities have used different regulatory and enforcement methods. Currently, only a few federally approved producers are allowed to sell medical marijuana – and only through the mail."

Canada: Toronto Police Raiding Marijuana Dispensaries For Non-Medical Sales


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Toronto police are currently raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, charging people for trafficking non-medical cannabis.

The drug squad is reportedly working with several police divisions, along with the Toronto Licensing and Standards division in conducting the raids, reports 680 News.

The dispensaries which have been raided are:
• 600 Church St.
• Eden Medicinal Society (Queen Street location)
• Cannabis Connoisseur
• The Green Room (Spadina and Nassau)
• Weed, Glass and Gifts
• Cannawide in Kensington Market

Toronto police claim this is a criminal investigation. The drug squad officers claim they are enforcing Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Police claim they handed out cautions on May 18, and if the dispensaries were still operating illegally, they will be fined.

Canada: WeedMD Gets License To Cultivate Medical Marijuana From Federal Government


Medical cannabis to be produced at re-purposed Aylmer tobacco plant - with a focus on the Long Term Care Industry

WeedMD Rx Inc. on Wednesday announced that Health Canada has officially licensed the company to cultivate medical cannabis for patients across Canada.

The approval is in accordance with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), a set of regulations enacted by parliament in July 2013 concerning the production, distribution and use of medical cannabis in Canada and also pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada.

The license will allow the Company to immediately begin cultivation of medical marijuana in its fully expandable 25,000 square foot facility located at the former Imperial Tobacco plant in Aylmer, Ontario

“The next phase is to establish a WeedMD standard in producing and selling the highest quality cannabis and also providing unparalleled customer service to all of our future patients," said Bruce Dawson-Scully, CEO of WeedMD. “In particular, we look forward to working with seniors in long-term care, palliative care, and respite care.

Canada: Vancouver Grants First Marijuana Dispensary License


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Vancouver last week became the first city in Canada to issue a marijuana dispensary license after creating a separate set of bylaws regulating the establishments.

The Wealth Shop, just outside the gates of the University of British Columbia in the Vancouver neighborhood of Point Grey, got the city's first license to operate a cannabis business, reports Katie Shapiro at The Cannabist.

The store, which hasn't yet opened for business, will be required to pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 to the City of Vancouver. The majority of already existing pot shops operate as "compassion clubs," which require a $1,000 fee to get a license. Currently, both types of shops still operate outside the Canadian federal government's medicinal cannabis program.

British Columbia: First Canada Cannabis Business License Issued In Vancouver

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Last month Canada's health minister announced that legislation to legalize marijuana will be introduced next spring. Changes are beginning to take place in Vancouver, where the first license was issued last week for a cannabis business.

The Wealth Shop, located just outside the gates of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, received the first license. Operating as a for-profit dispensary, the store must pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 to the City of Vancouver.

As the country prepares for legalization, other provinces are watching Vancouver to see how it’s getting done. The Wealth Shop is just one of a number of BC-based dispensaries looking to expand eastward, with a store slated to open soon in Toronto.

Councillor Kerry Jang (the Vision Vancouver party’s lead on cannabis issues) told the CBC that the granting of the first medical marijuana business license is “exciting” and that “it shows that the bylaws we created are working. We have another two [stores] under final review. There’s another 21 shops across the city in the first stage of the development permit.”

Jang contends Vancouver’s medical marijuana licensing process is proving to be well conceived, and that other Canadian cities, including Toronto, are now studying the regulations.

“We’re actually bringing some order to the mess that it was,” said Jang.

Canada: Unlicensed Marijuana Dispensaries Thriving In Toronto


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 100 unlicensed marijuana dispensaries have sprung up in Toronto, most in the past six months, since the election of Justin Trudeau, who won on a legalization platform, among other progressive issues

Only a few dozen medicinal cannabis producers have a license from the Canadian federal government to sell marijuana; all other outlets are considered illegal, reports Jacob Templin at Quartz.

A few medical marijuana dispensaries have existed for years in Toronto, catering to a smallish clientele, requiring doctor's prescriptions, and operating out of undisclosed locations. The new breed of dispensaries, however, tend to have storefronts and are open to the public, according to Adam Verk, a project manager at The Big Toke, which consults with and collects data on cannabis-related businesses in Toronto.

"In the past six months it's gotten crazy, and a lot of them aren't following protocols," said Amy Brown, who has operated CannDo, a Toronto-based medical marijuana dispensary, since 2014.

It's unclear whether new federal laws will legalize the dispensaries. The Liberal government isn't unveiling its proposed legislation until Spring 2017.

Canada: Patient Groups Call For Equitable Access To Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), a federal nonprofit, medical cannabis patient rights organization, on Monday issued a set of recommendations to guide federal decision-makers on the needs of medical cannabis patients.

CFAMM is joined by The Arthritis Society in urging federal policymakers to take action in five key areas:
(1) eliminate sales tax;
(2) facilitate insurance coverage;
(3) allow access to all forms of cannabis;
(4) expand regulated distribution options; and
(5) promote research.

The Canadian AIDS Society has also expressed their full support of these recommendations.

Policymakers, including MPs and Senators, have been invited to a reception on the Hill to discuss the recommendations, meet patients directly affected by medical cannabis policy, and talk with key experts in the field.

In support of the recommendations, MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said, "Given that medical cannabis is regulated by Health Canada and used by thousands of Canadians under the supervision of a physician, it is long past time that the inequities many of these patients face be addressed."

Canada: WeedMD Gets LicenseTo Grow Medical Marijuana


Medical cannabis to be produced at re-purposed Aylmer tobacco plant - with a focus on the Long Term Care Industry

WeedMD Rx Inc. on Thursday announced that Health Canada has officially licensed the company to cultivate medical cannabis for patients in Canada. The approval is in accordance with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), a set of regulations enacted by parliament in July 2013 concerning the production, distribution and use of medical cannabis in Canada and also pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada.

The license will allow the company to immediately begin cultivation of medical marihuana in its fully expandable 25,000 square foot facility located at the former Imperial Tobacco plant in Aylmer, Ontario.

“The next phase is to establish a WeedMD standard in producing and selling the highest quality cannabis and also providing unparalleled customer service to all of our future patients," said Bruce Dawson-Scully, CEO of WeedMD. “In particular, we look forward to working with seniors in long-term care, palliative care, and respite care.

Canada: Legislation Coming To Legalize Marijuana In 2017

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

On Wednesday the Canadian government announced that it will introduce legislation next year to decriminalize and legalize the sale of marijuana, making it the first G7 country to permit widespread cannabis use.

Jane Philpott, Canada's health minister, made the announcement at a U.N. drug conference in New York. The legislation will fulfill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promises made last fall during his successful election campaign.

Philpott said details of the legislation are being worked out, but she promised that the government “will keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals."

Unlike in the United States, where marijuana regulation is shared by the states and the federal government, in Canada the issue falls almost solely under federal jurisdiction. Marijuana use has been expanding since 2000, when a court ruling first allowed Canadians to possess and grow small amounts for medicinal reasons.

Full legalization will make pot available in a way similar to alcohol. That could encourage some Americans, particularly those in border areas, to make Canada a pot tourist destination.

Brendan Kennedy, president of Privateer Holdings of Seattle, welcomed the Canadian announcement.

Global: Iceland Tops The World In Marijuana Use; U.S. Comes In #2


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana legalization has been a political issue in the United States for some time, and while it remains illegal in most states, others have softened their stance in recent years.

Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives by popular vote to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in 2012. In 2014, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit.

Many states including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Ohio have flirted with legalization for a few election cycles, with buzz growing.

The United States isn't the only country where people use marijuana legally or illicitly. In fact, it isn’t even the country with the highest reported marijuana use.

To determine the countries with the highest marijuana use, HealthGrove used data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which covers reported use of cannabis for each country in the last year. Although HealthGrove included the most recent data available, the year collected varies by country.

"We've ranked the list from least to most reported usage, and provide legality information for each country," according to HealthGrove.

Iceland tops the list. The Top 5 is rounded out by the United States, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Canada.

Canada: Man's Letter To Prime Minister About Marijuana Is Going Viral

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

David Murphy is a 27-year-old farmer in Nova Scotia who uses cannabis to treat his brain cancer. He says that Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau, who campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, has not helped efforts to implement an effective medical system and reform marijuana laws in the country fast enough.

Murphy sent a letter to Trudeau, describing a recent raid against a dispensary he happened to witness and requested that the prime minister clarify Canada drug policy so that patients are not left without marijuana in the event that legal dispensaries are shut down by law enforcement officers. Although medical marijuana is legal in Canada, raids to dispensaries continue to happen across the country.

"I am a young, epileptic, brain cancer patient (astrocytoma type 2a left temporal lobe) who is prescribed and uses medical marijuana," Murphy wrote. "I was on site for a police raid of our local dispensary yesterday, december third. The events there were a great demonstration of how urgent our need for progressive changes is."

Canada: Current Oncology Mag Devotes Special Issue To Cannabis For Cancer Patients


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The treatment of cancer and its symptoms has been recognized as one of the most critical advances in cannabinoid therapeutics. Now, a special issue of Current Oncology magazine highlights the use of marijuana for cancer patients. The supplement is aimed at informing the medical community in Canada about the role that medicinal cananbis and cannabinoids can play in cancer management./

The special issue is guest edited by Dr. Mark Ware, director of clinical research, Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre, and executive director of the nonprofit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC). The issue is sponsored by Mettrum Health Corp., a vertically integrated producer of cannabis products.

"Finding answers to the questions regarding cannabis and cancer will require a concerted effort by patients, scientists, clinicians and the industry," said Dr. Ware. "We at CCIC are proud to have stimulated this discussion, and we urge all stakeholders to move forward with the needed research to address an issue that really is a matter of life and death.

Global: Canadian, Mexican Lawmakers and Advocates Discuss Marijuana Law Reforms

US Cannabis Legalization Emboldens International Moves, Which Spur Further American Efforts

Just weeks ahead of the highest-level review of the global War On Drugs in nearly two decades, national legislators and activists from Canada and Mexico will join on Wednesday with US-based drug policy reformers to discuss the countries' moves moves away from prohibition-based marijuana laws.

"With the governments of both Canada and Mexico preparing to enact major reforms to their marijuana policies, these moves will have a major impact on the debate here in the US," said David Borden, executive director of "This is especially true with the special session of the United Nations coming up in just a few weeks, where world leaders will have the opportunity to discuss the failure of current prohibition-based drug policies and chart more effective ways forward."

Legislators and advocates will join in Wednesday's discussion, including:
• Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Canada's House of Commons, who argued for legalization at a recent UN/Inter-Parliamentary Union debate on marijuana
• Laura Angélica Rojas Hernández, Mexican senator, who also spoke in favor of legalization at the UN/Inter-Parliamentary Union debate
• David Borden, executive director of
• Donald MacPherson, executive director of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
• Aram Barra, program officer for Transform Drug Policy Foundation and México Unido Contra la Delincuencia

Global: Canada To Advocate Marijuana Legalization At UN Drug Conference


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The long awaited, much anticipated UN General Assembly's Special Session on Drugs will happen April 19-21 at the UN Headquarters in New York City, and Canada is expecting to advocate for abandoning the organization's longstanding prohibition of marijuana.

Just a month before the important UN drug conference begins, Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Hilary Geller, at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna this month, said the new Canadian Liberal government headed by Justin Trudeau will be moving away from American War On Drugs policies, as pointed out by Lanny Swerdlow at the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project (MAPP),

The Canadian government plans not only to legalize marijuana, but also to open for safe-injection sites for intravenous drug users and to promote other harm-reduction policies.

Attendees at that conference, made up of government and non-governmental organization officials from around the world, "erupted in applause" mid-way through Geller's address and gave a prolonged ovation.

Geller's presentation was at odds with the policies of the former Canadian government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Drug War policies closely followed those of the United States, including implementing mandatory-minimum prison sentences and boosting police narcotics enforcement.

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