cannabist

Alaska: Fairbanks Groups On Mission To Stop Marijuana Commercialization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Efforts are underway in Alaska to stop cannabis businesses from opening in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

A Salcha man is launching an initiative that he hopes will keep the legal marijuana trade out of the borough, while the president of a strip mall condominium association is claiming pot shops are banned in the River Mall under condo association rules, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, reports Amanda Bohman at the Daily News-Miner.

The borough has already issued more than 40 land use permits for marijuana businesses, mostly cultivation. Another six applications for land use are pending, according to the borough Department of Community Planning.

Eleven of the 40 cannabis related permits are for marijuana retail storefronts.

The initiative which would prohibit cannabis commerce in the borough is pending review by Borough Clerk Nanci Ashford-Bingham, who said she got the application on last week.

Jim Ostlind of Salcha said he plans to get enough signatures to get a question on the local ballot asking voters to stop "marijuana commercialization."

Colorado: Cannabis Critics Announce New Grow Competition

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two cannabis critics for The Denver Post’s "The Cannabist" on Wednesday announced the launch of a new marijuana cultivation competition.

Jake Browne and Sohum J Shah, writers for The Cannabist, made the announcement with event partners and sponsors Dark Horse Genetics, Cultivate Colorado, and Pazoo, Inc., licensing partners to analytical laboratory, Steep Hill Colorado.

With local authorities in Adams County denying the annual High Times Cannabis Cup a permit in 2016, a unique opportunity to provide an alternative competition presented itself for the first time in years. Browne and Shah's revolutionary new grow competition is based on quantitative analysis as opposed to qualitative rating thanks to their strategic partner, Steep Hill Labs.

Unlike other competitions, the inaugural Grow-Off is limited to licensed Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facilities in Colorado and will be fully compliant with state laws and regulations.

Colorado: Pesticides Lead To Biggest Marijuana Recall Yet

MountainHighSuckers[Facebook]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 99,500 packages of marijuana-infused Mountain High Suckers were recalled on Wednesday.

It was the largest recall of marijuana or cannabis products yet, and the 15th such recall in 16 weeks, reports Ricardo Baca at The Denver Post.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in November ordered the destruction of any marijuana tainted with unapproved pesticides, including any products made with that marijuana.

Mountain High Suckers tested positive for imidacloprid and myclobutanil, both of which the Governor has called "threats to public safety" and the state has banned for use on cannabis, reports Michael Harthorne at Newser.

Mountain High Suckers apologized to its customers on Facebook.

"We decided to take a proactive step and submit samples of all of our products for pesticide testing so we can help make sure that our products are safe," the company posted. "Going forward, we will be voluntarily submitting every concentrate batch we make for full pesticide screening before we make products."

The federal Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) hasn't ruled on what pesticides are safe for use on marijuana, since the crop remains illegal at the federal level, being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Colorado: 13th Marijuana Recall In Denver In 13 Weeks

VapePenWeed[VapeCentral.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Denver-based marijuana company has recalled 27 cartridges of its THC-infused vape pen oil due to potentially dangerous levels of pesticides.

The Denver Department of Environmental Health found that Advanced Medical Alternatives vape pen oil contained pesticides not allowed to be used on cannabis in the state, report Ricardo Baca and David Migoya at The Denver Post.

The recall is the second in eight days for Advanced Medical Alternatives, and the 13th in 13 weeks issued by the city's Department of Environmental Health.

“Advanced Medical Alternatives, LLC is committed to excellence in providing safe and the highest quality products to its customers,” the company wrote on its website. “Accordingly, the company has voluntarily recalled certain products that may contain potentially unsafe pesticide residues.”

The business said it is changing its testing program to try to avoid similar problems in the future.

“Furthermore, the company is voluntarily implementing a new testing program for each crop produced by the company and/or that is incorporated into products produced by the company," the note read. "The company will continue to strive to be a leader in developing and/or implementing the highest industry standards. Thank you in advance for your continued support of such efforts and the company.”

Colorado: Marijuana Tax For Schools Hits Record; Exceeds 2014 Total

MarijuanaMoney[AssociationsNow]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Just-released marijuana tax data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that schools in the state received more money from the state's cannabis excise tax in the first five months of 2015 than they did all year in 2014.

"It sounds very encouraging," said state Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), reports Ricardo Baca at The Cannabist. "Voters wanted the school capital construction program to benefit, and despite some bumps in the road at the beginning, it looks like what was intended is coming to fruition."

Recreational marijuana is taxed three ways in Colorado: the standard 2.9 percent sales tax, a special 10 percent special cannabis sales tax, and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transfers.

The excise tax money grew from $2.5 million in March to $3.5 million in May. It brought it $13.6 million through May 2015, more than the $13.3 million it drew in all of 2014. The two main reasons for the jump are more marijuana stores opening and a one-time tax-exempt transfer which benefited the shops.

Recreational marijuana sales stayed roughly the same in Colorado between March and May, totaling $42.4 million in March and $42.5 million in May. May's medical cannabis sales in Colorado totaled $32.4 million, their highest since October 2014.

Washington: Pot Shop Sells Marijuana-Infused Coffee Pods

FairwindsInfusedKeurig-StyleCoffeePods[NYDailyNews]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana-infused coffee has been around awhile, but now you can get cannabis-infused Keurig-style coffee pods.

Seattle recreational marijuana store Uncle Ike's Pot Shop has started selling "Catapult" K-Cup style coffees infused with cannabis, reports Meredith Engel at the New York Daily News.

The pods, made by Fairwinds Manufacturing, work in single-serving coffeemakers and include 10 milligrams of THC, the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That's not a big dose, but it's the maximum allowed by Washington state in recreational cannabis edibles.

The pods cost $10 each, and that's a bargain, according to Uncle Ike's sales manager Jennifer Lanzador. "People might scoff at the price, but when you think of Starbucks (charging) $4, $5 a cup anyway, and you get the nice kick of THC, it's really not an expensive price at all," she said.

"It's delicious," Lanzador said. "Sometimes with edibles you'll get that real pot flavor, (but) I did not notice much of a pot taste."

With both energy-boosting and calming effects, it reminded her of a Red Bull/vodka cocktail, Lanzador said. "I had more energy, but I still had the relaxation you get from cannabis," she said, reports Mary Beth Quirk at Consumerist.

Colorado: Recreational Marijuana Passes Medical Marijuana

OpenCannabis

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Retail recreational marijuana sales, for the first time, passed medical marijuana sales in Colorado in July.

Recreational pot sales had lagged behind medical sales since the legal marijuana shops created by legalization measure Amendment 64 opened on January 1, reports Katy Steinmetz at Time. But according to tax figures from the Colorado Department of Revenue, recreational has pulled into the lead.

During July, Colorado got $838,711 from a 2.9 percent tax on medical marijuana, meaning patients spent about $28.9 million at dispensaries. Meanwhile, the state took in $2.97 million from a 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million, according to Ricardo Baca at The Cannabist.

The margin, though less than $1 million, represents a victory of sorts for advocates of recreational legalization, who have argued it will be profitable for the state.

"Most adults use marijuana for the same reasons they use alcohol," said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Now that it's a legal product, they are choosing to access it in a similar fashion."

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