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Oregon: New Plant Limits for Medical Marijuana Program Hurting Patients

Oregon Capitol

New state regulations attempting to address the flow of medical cannabis into the black market leaves patients in painful bind

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last week, Oregon public health officials drafted strict rules for how many plants medical cannabis patients may cultivate at home or at a grow-site registered with the state. Legislators claim the regulations are the result of bi-partisan legislation passed this past session to stop the flow of medical cannabis to the community. A residence may have no more than a dozen mature plants, no matter how many people live there, including recreational plants. The law does not define the size of immature plants.

Colorado: City of Boulder Seeks Volunteers for Marijuana Advisory Panel

Boulder, CO

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The City of Boulder is seeking three volunteers to serve as representatives of the community at large on the Marijuana Advisory Panel (MAP). To be considered, you must be a resident of the city of Boulder and have no ties to the marijuana industry. Your letter of interest must include a description of your background and the main reasons you are interested in serving on the MAP.

Illinois: Public Hearing on Cannabis Legalization Next Week in Springfield

Illinois Cannabis

Supporters are invited to hear testimony next week on public safety

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Springfield, IL - State lawmakers are holding a public hearing Wednesday, September 6th from 1pm to 5pm in Room 212 in the Illinois State Capitol on legalization in Illinois and how it relates to public safety. Those testifying in front of the Joint Hearing with House Appropriations Public Safety Committee, include current and former members of law enforcement, academic researchers, and experts from around the country. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Michigan: Effort To Legalize Marijuana On Pace to Make 2018 Ballot

Michigan Cannabis 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The signature drive to legalize marijuana in Michigan in November of 2018 is swiftly progressing toward making the ballot.

Robin Schneider, the Finance Director for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told Hemp News, "Last week, we passed the 200,000-signature mark – meaning we’re well on our way to reaching our goal of collecting 366,000 signatures. 252,523 of these signatures need to be validated to get on the ballot in 2018 and end cannabis prohibition once and for all."

If the proposal to end marijuana prohibition is approved by voters, Michigan would become a national leader in cannabis reform by allowing personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

U.S.: Netflix's 'Disjointed,' Starring Kathy Bates, Offers Laughs in Mad World

Kathy Bates

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Oscar winner Kathy Bates, 69, is lighting up again — only this time it’s cannabis — as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, the owner of a California medical cannabis dispensary in Netflix's new sitcom “Disjointed”.

“Disjointed”, which showcases Ruth’s old school activism against the business ambitions of her son, Travis (Aaron Moten), a newly minted M.B.A. who wants to grow their dispensary into the Walmart of cannabis, also tackles real world situations from politics to post traumatic stress disorder.

U.S.: NFL Legend Joe Montana Invests in Cannabis Media Business

Joe Montana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana bought into cannabis technology company HERB.

HERB, a digital media company based in Toronto, Canada geared specifically for the cannabis industry, mixes original how-to videos with hard news and profiles. The company, which boasts 5.3 million unique visitors per month and 2 billion organic video views annually as of June 2017, aims to expand to Los Angeles and New York City, as well as build out new studios to offer online video content.

Liquid 2 Ventures, Montana's venture capital firm, was a part of a group that invested $4.1 million into Herb during the company’s seed-funding round.

U.S.: Cannabis Activist, Debby Goldsberry, Publishes New Book for Would-Be Entrepreneurs

Debby Goldsberry

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Berkeley Patients Group co-founder, Debby Goldsberry, recently wrote Idiot’s Guides: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business, a how-to book on establishing a successful cannabis venture.

As the adult recreational use of marijuana becomes fully legal in California on Jan. 1, Goldsberry, now executive director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, decided it was the perfect time to write the book.

“I had just been reading an article that said the best way to build your brand is to write a book,” Goldsberry said.

Florida: Medical Cannabis Businesses Taking Root

FloridaMarijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last month, the Palm Beach County Commission and the Dania Beach Commission agreed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries wherever pharmacies are allowed. Cities across South Florida will decide whether to allow dispensaries within their borders in the coming months.

“I wish it was around, legalized with a doctor’s prescription when my mother was dying,” Dania Commissioner Chickie Brandimarte said.

Pennsylvania: Hundreds of Doctors Registering for Medical Cannabis Program

Pennsylvania Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In the past month, more than 100 physicians in the Keystone State, have signed up to be involved in the medical cannabis program, according to the Pennsylvania Health Department.

Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement that the physicians have taken the first step to becoming approved medical marijuana providers by completing a practitioner registry on the Health Department’s website.

"Many physicians treat these patients every day and understand the impact this medication could have on their treatment," Dr. Levine said. "Once these physicians register and complete the required continuing education, they can be approved to participate in the program."

Massachusetts: Governor Appoints Senator Flanagan to Cannabis Control Commission

Massachusetts.png

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker named state senator Jennifer L. Flanagan as the gubernatorial appointee to the five-member Cannabis Control Commission, the commission charged with regulating both the adult use and medical marijuana industries.

Oregon: Governor, State Police Superintendent Stand Up for Legal Cannabis

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Oregon Governor Kate Brown defended Oregon's cannabis regulations by publicly discrediting an Oregon State Police analysis which declared the state remains a top black market producer of cannabis.

Criticizing the analysis, Gov. Brown detailed steps the state has proactively taken to establish strict rules. Gov. Brown and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said that draft report was invalid and had incorrect data and conclusions. Gov. Brown noted that she also recently signed into law legislation that makes it easier to prosecute the unlawful import and export of marijuana products.

U.S.: American Legion Calls on Feds to Increase Veterans’ Medical Cannabis Access

Cannabis

The new American Legion resolution, adopted at the organization’s national convention, builds off a similar measure it approved in 2016 calling on the federal government to reschedule cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Today, the largest military veterans organization in the country, with more than 2.4 million members, called on the Trump administration to allow government doctors the right to recommend medical cannabis through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.).

California: Dr. Bronner's CEO, David Bronner, Discusses Cannabis Opportunities

David Bronner Industrial Hemp Freedom Fighter

"Cannabis is my daily meditation and ally, keeping me tuned to my higher, deeper self and connected with loved ones and the world around me." - David Bronner, CEO Dr. Bronner's

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Dr. Bronner’s, a leading natural products company located in California, has been a pioneering force with a strong focus on hemp consumer awareness for decades. The company sees a socially conscious opportunity in cannabis.

In 2000, Dr. Bronner’s started using hemp seed oil in its body care products, ranking as one of the first companies to make such a move. The company now showcases soaps, lotions, balms and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program.

Wisconsin: Senator Invests in Canadian Cannabis Farm Creating Conflict of Interest

Sen. Frank Lasee, Profiteer

Earlier this year, when the state senator voted to expand access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, he was doing so as an investor of a Canadian cannabis farm embroiled in turmoil

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2016, Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee of De Pere, bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp, according to public disclosures reviewed this week.

Vermont: First Ever Vermont Hemp Festival to be Held at Burke Mountain on Sept 9

Vermont Hemp Festival

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The first-ever Vermont Hemp Festival is planned for Sept. 9 at Burke Mountain Resort in rural, remote Northeast Kingdom. Eli Harrington and Monica Donovan, co-founders of Heady Vermont, chose to have their inaugural hemp conference in the because Northeast Kingdom has hemp history.

Harrington said, “Heady Vermont covers everything from statehouse happenings to artists to investigative reporting and the identities of the individuals who are changing the face of Vermont’s cannabis culture.”

Kansas: 16-Year-Old Running for Governor, Plans to Legalize

Jack Bergeson on Kimmel

Jack Bergeson, 16, a Wichita high school student, is running for Kansas governor

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Even though he won’t be able to legally cast a vote, Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old from Wichita, is running for Governor of Kansas in 2018. His political platform includes legalizing marijuana for social use.

“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” said Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office. “So there’s seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”

New York: Department of Health Proposes Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This month, the New York Department of Health announced the issuance of new proposed regulations that would make changes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The department would reduce some of the burdensome security requirements for registered organizations, shorten the length of the medical cannabis course certifying practitioners must take, and allow additional types of medical cannabis products to be sold, among other things.

New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, has been criticized by patient advocate groups as unnecessarily restrictive, and initial patient registration numbers were extremely low compared to other state medical cannabis programs.

California: Court Blocks Federal Prosecution of Cannabis Farmers

California Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court blocked federal prosecutors from moving forward with a conspiracy case against a duo of Northern California cannabis cultivators because the pair was determined to be complying with California medical cannabis laws.

Sonny Moore and Anthony Pisarski, both Humboldt County farmers, plead guilty to federal allegations but sought an evidentiary hearing based on legislation that prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from cracking down on cannabis suspects who are otherwise following their state laws.

The 2014 Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is a budget rider, co-authored by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher which prevents enforcement and prosecution in medical cannabis states by halting federal funding for such projects.

Texas: Congressman Hosts Public Hearing on Reducing Penalties for Cannabis

Texas

HB 334, which was introduced in the special legislative session, would replace criminal penalties for low-level cannabis possession with a civil citation

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Wednesday, Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody held a public hearing to discuss reducing state cannabis possession penalties to support HB 334, which Rep. Moody introduced in the special legislative session in July.

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On August 4, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) sent the following letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express concerns and objections to his proposal to expand the Department of Justice’s civil asset forfeiture program. The letter also urges AG Sessions to reconsider his newly-announced policies.

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