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California: Legalization Allows Californians To Reduce Cannabis Convictions

CannabisJustice

Anyone who has been charged with a cannabis-related crime in California has a chance to have their record reduced or expunged

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Thousands of cannabis convictions in California are being expunged because of state's new cannabis law. Cannabis regulation advocates, including the Drug Policy Alliance, have worked with convicts to have their records changed.

“Many DA’s offices are still in the process of working on the mechanics on how to handle these people. But in effect, the courts are receptive to making sure people get a second chance,” San Jose attorney and legal analyst Steven Clark told KCBS San Fransisco.

Hemp News - 5/19/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Hemp News - 5/19/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Vermont: Cannabis Regulation Bill Reaches Governor's Desk

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Governor Scott has until Wednesday to sign or veto S. 22, the bill to legalize cannabis in Vermont for adults over 21 before it automatically becomes law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Vermont Legislature sent its cannabis regulation bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott this past Thursday, initiating a five-day countdown during which Scott will have to decide whether to sign the legislation, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

If passed, the measure would allow possession of up to an ounce, two mature plants, and four immature plants, starting in July 2018. A commission would develop a proposal to tax and regulate cannabis for the Vermont Legislature to consider next year.

Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Petition For 2018 Approved For Circulation

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The initiative seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan approved to circulate petition for 2018, Revenue would go to K-12 schools, road repairs and participating cities and counties

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Thursday, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved the language of a cannabis legalization initiative for the November of 2018 ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (RMLA), the group behind the initiative, has 180 days to collect 252,523 valid signatures from registered Michigan voters.

Washington, DC: Cannabis Legalization Bill Receives Bipartisan Support On Capitol Hill

USA Leaf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Representative Tom Garrett of Virginia held a press conference Wednesday urging Congress to pass H.R.1227, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017. The legislators are renewing their efforts as the Trump administration pushes to go after non-violent drug crimes. The bill currently has 11 sponsors.

The bipartisan bill, if approved, would remove cannabis from the federal government’s list of controlled substances and put cannabis in the same category as alcohol and tobacco.

Kentucky: University of Louisville Studying Industrial Hemp for Fuel

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For a second consecutive year, the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting industrial hemp at the school’s Belknap Campus. The university is planting two types of hemp and kenaf to research their potential as renewable energy resources.

The study will focus on the potential for the crops to fulfill energy needs and become a replacement source for biofuels, fibers and 3-D printer applications.

The research will be included in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Interim president of U of L, Greg Postel, stated that researchers are seeking "unusual answers to renewable energy questions."

“Having the crops grow on campus actually raises awareness about the research that we have going on at Conn Center,” said Assistant Director Andrew Marsh.

"What we do with this plant matter is actually convert it into substances that will help solve energy problems, so the mission of the center is to work on technologies to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, and this industrial hemp and kenaf planting is one of those research directions," said Marsh.

Many farmers in Kentucky believe hemp could help revitalize Kentucky’s agricultural sector, and the hope is the research at Conn will help students and scientists study the crop’s potential as a fuel.

Florida: First Gainesville Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open

Florida Medical Marijuana 2017

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Friday, May 19th, a Winter Garden-based medical marijuana firm, Knox Medical, will open a dispensary storefront in Gainesville, one of its first in Florida since the approval of a medical marijuana amendment in November.

“What we’re doing is changing people’s perception of what cannabis in Florida is all about,” said Bruce Knox, the company’s founder and chief operating officer. “Education is key to what will be our success in years to come,” he continued.

In Florida, a patient must have been treated by a qualified physician for at least three months before becoming eligible to receive medical marijuana treatments.

Before medical marijuana becomes an option, according to the state Health Department’s Office of Compassionate Use, a patient must have also tried other treatments without success.

“They’re coming in as the last option,” according to retail operations worker Daniel McVay. “We want to get on that patient’s level.”

Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment in November 2016 to legalize medical marijuana, broadening access to cannabis beyond the limited therapeutic uses approved two years ago by the Legislature.

Maryland: First Licensed Medical Marijuana Grow Operation Approved

Maryland Medical Marijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Wednesday, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, the commission that oversees Maryland’s fledgling medical cannabis program, voted to approve the state’s first full license to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Stage 2 license, which was awarded to ForwardGro LLC, is a final approval from regulators for the cultivation of plants. The approved business will have to wait for dispensaries to be inspected and licensed before it can sell cannabis products to approved patients to comply with state law.

Gail Rand, chief financial officer and patient advocate for ForwardGro, said: “The patients of Maryland will finally have an opportunity to try this medicine that could help tens of thousands of people.”

Rand, whose son suffers from epilepsy, became passionately involved in the Maryland legislature in 2013 as a parent advocate. She is the founder of a parental advocacy group for the legalization of medical cannabis in Maryland for children with epilepsy.

“A new industry in Maryland has been officially launched,” said Patrick Jameson, Executive Director of the commission, "They can start to grow immediately. Medical cannabis production will change the face of Maryland and will have a profound economic and health impact on the entire region.”

Oregon: PDX Hempfest Expo To Be Held June 10

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Now in their fourth year, Seattle Hempfest and the former Oregon Hemp Convention have joined forces to produce PDX Hempfest Expo

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Seattle Hempfest and the former Oregon Hemp Convention have joined forces to produce Portland Hempfest Expo in an effort to advance the public profile of the cannabis industry.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland, OR 97217.

“We are thrilled to partner with our Portland family as we continue to define the Pacific Northwest as a regional leader in the burgeoning cannabis industry,” said Vivian McPeak, Seattle Hempfest's Executive Director.

“Cannabis is not the gateway to hard drugs like we’ve been told, but it can be a gateway to economic recovery and sustainability. The proof will be on full display at the PDX Hempfest Expo,” McPeak continued.

A full day of educational sessions with professional Cannabis speakers will educate attendees about rapidly changing developments in the Cannabis industry. A high concentration of legitimate Cannabis industry technology buyers will be present.

United States: Cannabis Activists Join Social Media Blackout on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017

Social Media Blackout

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Cannabis activists are joining a nationwide protest on social media during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President by posting only black graphics. Activists are also encouraged to contact their Senators to reject President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations for their anti-cannabis stance.

The wealthiest in U.S. history, President-elect Trump’s cabinet is to include people who have been publicly hostile to the very agencies to which they are expected to provide oversight, revealing an historic plutocracy in the making.

"My concern is that Trump will move cannabis to schedule II, marketing it as "compassionately legalizing medical marijuana" while actually handing cannabis over the the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing about the Trump administration is predictable," stated Vivian McPeak, organizer of the Social Media Blackout.

Oregon: Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax on Recreational Marijuana Sales - Portland Measure 26-180

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Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax Increase on Recreational Marijuana Sales (Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz's Proposed Money-grab on the Nascent Cannabis Industry)

The Cannabis Industry Is Taxed Enough. Keep Recreational Cannabis Affordable.

* More than 70% of Portland residents voted yes on Measure 91, and tax funds have already gone above and beyond toward the programs that Oregonians supported with the measure: 25% for drug treatment, prevention and mental health; 40% for school funding; and 35% for state and local police.

* There are no specifics on where this money is to be used, aside from some broad topics that, some of which, are already supported under the State allocation of tax funds from legalization. What is to prevent another money-grab next year, and then the following? Say no now.

* Raising taxes only continues to support the black market, rather than help to decrease it in Portland. Forcing higher taxes in turn raises prices for the consumer, only re-enforcing the black market. This hurts the growing cannabis industry.

U.S.: Company Launches Initiative To Reduce Need For Pesticides On Marijuana

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A long-time partner of the cannabis industry is looking to dry up the need for heavy pesticide use.

Quest Dehumidifiers, which sold its first dehumidifier to the marijuana industry in 2006, has launched an initiative to help growers and consumers better understand the impact humidity levels have on plant health, which in turn may potentially reduce the need for unpopular pesticides.

The effort comes in the wake of an increasing number of recalls, pending state regulations, and consumer demand for truly organic cannabis – all of which will continue to impact growers.

“Cultivators know humidity impacts plant growth, but we see varied levels of understanding when it comes to using dehumidification to help prevent devastating plant molds and fungus, such as powdery mildew,” said Clif Tomasini, product manager at Quest. “We want growers to know we have their back and will give them credible, evidence-based information to help them grow clean cannabis.”

Largely educational in nature, the initiative includes media partnerships, public outreach, in-person meetings with growers, potential funding of third-party research, white papers, and an increasing focus on digital content that answers growers’ biggest questions about dehumidification.

New York: Report Finds Too Few Patients Can Access Medical Marijuana

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

77% of Patients and Caregivers Surveyed, Who Accessed the Program, Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need

Advocates Call On New York Legislature to Pass Bills to Increase Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

The Drug Policy Alliance on Monday issued a report assessing the first four months on the state’s medical marijuana program. The report is in response to demand for information in the face of the absence of all but the most limited public information from the New York State Department of Health. The report, the first systematic assessment of the program so far and its impact on patient access, found patients and caregivers face significant barriers to accessing medical marijuana.

On January 7, New York became the 23rd state to rollout its medical marijuana program. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country.

Since the program was launched, patients and advocates have been frustrated by numerous barriers to accessing the program, including difficulty finding participating physicians, trouble accessing dispensaries and medication, and affordability.

Global: Facebook Waging Weird War On Hemp

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Facebook’s weird and inexplicable history of attacking CBD (hemp oil) pages is well documented. It doesn’t make any sense, but we all know it happens: Facebook routinely shuts down pages for any number of often-unspecified reasons, and evidently CBD falls afoul of one of its labyrinthine, incomprehensible and arrogant policies.

So it was perhaps no surprise that one of the most popular UK CBD pages, Canabidol who produce the CBD Gel-Tab, the UK’s best selling CBD supplement, was last week shut down by Facebook admins.

Facebook is a vital tool for pretty much any business today. If you want to sell anything -- especially if you’re selling a niche product -- a social media presence is vital.

Many businesses, like Canabidol, spend thousands on Facebook advertising. It’s an investment into building an audience of potential customers, so when businesses lost their Facebook pages their profitability takes a hit, especially if they have client information, order details and other vital data stored in the page’s inbox.

California: Humboldt County Sheriff's Vehicles Show Unusual Activity Tuesday

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At about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, “at least eight” Humboldt County Sheriff’s vehicles gathered at the River Lodge Conference Center in west Fortuna, according to reports from witnesses.

On Monday, June 6, a similar group of Humboldt County Sheriff vehicles had congregated in the Carlotta area, reports Kym Kemp on her website Redheaded Blackbelt. "Several reports noted they had a chipper," Kemp reported. "One reader insisted she saw several different convoys."

The information posted on Tuesday by the Sheriff’s Office indicates that three were arrested on Monday by Humboldt County’s Drug Task Force for growing/cultivating marijuana. These were likely related to the law enforcement convoy/s out Highway 36, according to Kemp.

"In what may be a totally unrelated development, Southern Humboldt is buzzing about what appeared to be a series of low flying helicopter recognizance flights–reports have come in from Shelter Cove, Blue Slide, and Salmon Creek," Redheaded Blackbelt reports.

"We have requested more information from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and will update when possible," Kemp posted.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Platform To Connect Experts, Entrepreneurs

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First-of-its-kind Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®) Kicks Off at NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit and Expo

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Brainsy, Inc., are collaborating to launch the Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®), a knowledge-sharing platform connecting cannabis industry experts with entrepreneurs and information-seekers online and via paid telephone consultations.

NCIA members who are experts in their area of the cannabis industry will be invited to set up personalized profiles on the Cannabis ECN system, which allows information-seekers to find and contact them, then conduct over-the-phone consultations at a rate set by the expert.

"With so many new people and businesses entering the cannabis industry, there is a huge demand for knowledge exchange across a range of topics including cultivation and processing, dispensary operations, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, banking issues, and many more," said Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA.

"The Cannabis ECN will allow high-caliber, experienced cannabis professionals a simple platform to share their expertise with the large number of people seeking them out and be compensated for their time," Smith said.

Colorado: Loopr Launches Mobile Cannabis Lounge and Mobile App

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Colorado’s 'first upscale cannabis-friendly transportation service' combines Uber-like app with luxury 44-seat buses running routes around a curated selection of Denver dispensaries, bars, restaurants, and nightlife destinations

Visiting Denver's many dispensaries, restaurants, bars, clubs, sporting venues and other destinations while enjoying cannabis becomes a premium, but accessible, legal experience with the introduction of Loopr transportation service and application.

The Loopr buses are 45’ Freightliner luxury coaches that include comfortable seating for 44, a glassware and dab bar, granite countertops on the four booths, more than a dozen video monitors for entertainment and route information, free WiFi, a lavatory and refrigerator, laser light show(!) and more.

The robust transportation app allows users to geo-target the Loopr bus location on its circuit around the city and receive accurate pickup and dropoff times. Whenever Loopr customers are ready to move around the city, or if they just want to spend time in the mobile lounge, they can purchase a day pass or subscription to always enjoy their favorite cannabis products with onboard service.

Oregon: 17th Annual Cannabis March & Rally Today In Portland

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On Saturday, May 7, 2016, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, Oregon, will participate in the 17th Annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally that begins at 12:00pm, with a scheduled cannabis freedom march beginning at 4pm through downtown, accompanied by police escort.

Musicians Garcia Birthday Band, The Hill Dogs, Mack & Dub and the Smokin' Section, Bad Habitat, Justin James Bridges and John Cornett & Friends have joined the lineup for the rally. There will be several guest speakers, including Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Rep. Tobias Read (District 27), Portland Mayoral Candidate Jessie Sponberg and Clackamas County Commissioner 3 Candidate Jenifer Valley. There will also be several non-profit organization booths.

We march to stand in solidarity for cannabis consumer rights. While marijuana may be legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law. We march to effect change on the federal level. We march for the right of employees to use marijuana in their off hours, just as employees can consume alcohol in their off hours. We march so renters can consume marijuana in their own homes without fear of eviction.

Oregon: 17th Annual Global Cannabis March Kicks Off At High Noon In Portland

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On Saturday, May 7, 2016, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, Oregon, will participate in the 17th Annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally that begins at high noon, 12 pm, with a scheduled cannabis freedom march beginning at 4 pm through downtown.

Musicians Garcia Birthday Band, The Hill Dogs, Mack & Dub and the Smokin' Section, Bad Habitat, Justin James Bridges and John Cornett & Friends have joined the lineup for the rally. There will also be several guest speakers and non-profit organization booths.

We march to stand in solidarity for cannabis consumer rights. While marijuana may be legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law. We march to effect change on the federal level. We march for the right of employees to use marijuana in their off hours, just as employees can consume alcohol in their off hours. We march so renters can consume marijuana in their own homes without fear of eviction.

We march so cities and counties do not impose onerous regulations which offer little protection to the consumer or the non-consumer of marijuana. These choices only drive the cost of marijuana up and allow the unregulated market to thrive.

U.S.: New Slate of Cannabis Lifestyle Programming Announced

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Studio Releases Three New Original Web Series Including “Get LOUD” Starring Adult Swim’s Black Jesus Star Gerald “Slink” Johnson

PRØHBTD, the cannabis-lifestyle destination and branded content studio, on Tuesday announced their 2016 slate of programming with three new shows and five more in development.

"Get LOUD!" is the first show starring Gerald “Slink” Johnson (Black Jesus/Adult Swim), and all shows are distributed online through the PRØHBTD website and on roku, appleTV, amazon fire and FilmOn, with additional OTT distribution coming soon.

The PRØHBTD destination site features original programming, storytelling and hand-selected products for modern cannabis enthusiasts. “We have a young progressive audience who embrace the trends across every aspect of modern cannabis culture from fashion to music,” said co-founder Drake Sutton-Shearer. “They have been asking us for specific types of programming so we’re responding to their requests by delivering content not previously seen anywhere else.”

PRØHBTD’s shows currently scheduled for release, include:

“Get LOUD!” is an entertainment-travel show starring Gerald “Slink” Johnson of Adult Swim/Black Jesus fame. Hang out with Slink as he travels around the world in the search of the loudest people, place, things and activities—not to mention the cannabis.

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