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United States: Supreme Court Rejects Missouri Tech College Drug Test Bid

Supreme Court

This case establishes -- once and for all -- that under the Fourth Amendment, every person has the right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure, including college students

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the State Technical College of Missouri regarding an appeals court ruling that its mandatory drug testing policy is unconstitutional when applied to all students. With the refusal to intervene, the nation's highest court brought an end the six-year legal dispute with State Technical College of Missouri, formerly known as Linn State Technical College.

Colorado: Governor Signs SB 17, Adds Post Traumatic Stress Disorder To Medical Cannabis Program

Colorado Medical Marijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB 17, a medical cannabis bill sponsored by Senator Irene Aguilar and Representative Jonathan Singer, which creates a statutory right to use medical marijuana for a patient with acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill creates the same rights, limitations, and criminal defenses and exceptions as the constitutional right to use medical marijuana.

Washington: New Law, SB 5131, Allows Sharing Of Cannabis, Creates Organic Standards, Prohibits Advertising To Youth

Seattle Hempfest 2015

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 16, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5131 into law. The new law, which goes into effect July 23, allows anyone 21 years or older to “deliver” to another adult up to one-half ounce of flowers, eight ounces of infused solid edible, 36 ounces of infused liquid, or three and one-half grams of concentrates, as long as they don’t charge money. Previously in Washington state, possession with the intent to pass the joint/bong/edible held a penalty of 5 years in jail and $10,000, and disqualification from federal programs.

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Sown For First Time In Decades

Penn Hemp 2017

Industrial Hemp was an important crop and a major industry in Pennsylvania, grown in the Commonwealth until the 1940’s

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For the first time in over 80 years, researchers and farmers are allowed to cultivate hemp in Pennsylvania, with permits. The new law allows permit holders to grow up to five acres of industrial hemp.

After fifty years of growing acres of various crops at his family's farm near Milton, Abram Ziegler has turned to industrial hemp to help his farm.

Pennsylvania: NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker Jack Ham Working To Strengthen Cannabis Advocacy

Jack Ham Cannabis

One of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL has become an advocate for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Jack Ham plans to serve as a spokesperson and consultant for AgriMed, which is one of several hundred companies vying for one of 12 licenses to grow and provide medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

While Ham is partially advocating for the company because he wants to see jobs return to Greene County, where its operation would be located, he also believes it is time for the NFL to take a more open stance on the drug.

Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Campaign Seeks To Gather 252,523 Valid Signatures To Qualify For November 2018 Ballot

MichiganCannaLawBlog

Personal grow limits and cultivation of hemp are included in the bill

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 18, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved the language of a cannabis legalization initiative for the November of 2018 ballot. If passed, the progressive initiative would legalize personal possession, cultivation and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older. It would also tax cannabis with a 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax.

The proposal sets up three classes of cannabis growers: those who can grow up to 100 plants, 500 plants and 2,000 plants.

South Dakota: Jury Acquits Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Cannabis Consultant On All Charges

Santee Sioux Cannabis

Eric Hagen had faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on both the conspiracy and possession counts and 7 1/2 years on the attempted possession count

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Wednesday, a South Dakota jury cleared Eric Hagen, a 34-year-old consultant who worked with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, of drug charges. The defendant helped the American Indian tribe grow cannabis for a resort that the tribe hoped would succeed.

The jury took only a couple of hours to find Hagen, of Sioux Falls, not guilty in state court.

Hemp News - 5/26/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Hemp News - 5/26/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Merchandise

Hemp has countless potential uses, from paper and textiles to biodegradable plastics, health food, and fuel.

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

vermont-statehouse-cannabis.jpg

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

MichiganMarijuana2018

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

KentuckyHemp2017

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

PDXHempfestExpo-2017

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.

Cannabis Radio


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.

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