cultivation

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U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Presenting Cultivation Symposium March 16-18

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The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is launching its first cultivation-focused conference and expo, The Cultivation Management Symposium, March 14-16 in Seattle, Washington.

The conference, designed for cannabis industry professionals, will bring together leading minds in the cultivation arena for three days of education, product discovery, and networking. More than 400 attendees, more than 30 exhibitors, and dozens of speakers will share best practices in the rapidly evolving fields of cultivation and horticulture.

Keynote speakers include:

• Alex Cooley, Solstice Grow
• Jonathan Valdman, Forever Flowering Greenhouses
• Amy Poinsett, MJ Freeway
• Jan Carlos Byl and Adam Dunn, MedCanna Consulting
• Jennifer Martin, Bulbulyan Consulting Group
• Phillip Hague, Mindful
• Stephen Keen, Surna
• Jay Czarcowski, Canna Advisors

NCIA's Cultivation Management Symposium is positioned to give cannabis industry professionals a wide spectrum of information on cultivation, with topics ranging from horticulture science to operational efficiency. An array of experienced speakers will provide attendees with actionable solutions needed to drive return-on-investment for cannabis cultivation.

Topics of discussion will include:

• Sustainable approaches to commercial cannabis cultivation
• Analyzing harmful contaminants
• Cultivation practices: Soil-less mediums, alternative nutrients, outdoor, and greenhouse
• Facility design and operations
• HR and talent acquisition
• Cultivation science: Genetics, strain creation, tissue culture

D.C.: Marijuana Officially Becomes Legal For Adults In Nation's Capital On Thursday

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Law approved by voters in November allows adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana in the Washington, D.C.

A voter-approved law making marijuana legal for adults in Washington, D.C. will officially take effect on Thursday, February 26, at 12:01 a.m. ET.

“This is a major milestone on the road to ending marijuana prohibition in the United States,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “This development in our nation’s capital embodies the broader movement taking place throughout the country.

“If the President can brew and drink beer in the White House, adults should be allowed to grow and consume a less harmful substance in their houses,” Capecchi said. “Alcohol is no longer the only authorized social lubricant in town. A safer alternative is legal for adults.”

Initiative 71, which was approved 70-30 by D.C. voters in November, allows adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana; grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes (of which no more than three can be flowering at a time) and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown; and transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults 21 years of age or older.

It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public.

Colorado: Adherence Colorado Enters Strategic Alliance With BioTrackTHC

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Adherence Colorado, a provider of compliance audits and inventory reconciliation for the cannabis industry, on Tuesday announced a strategic alliance with BioTrackTHC, a provider of seed-to-sale software solutions for medical and retail marijuana businesses.

The agreement allows BioTrackTHC to leverage Adherence Colorado's regulatory compliance and inventory management services to help solve issues for BioTrackTHC's rapidly growing number of clients in Colorado.

“We're very excited to be working with BioTrackTHC, and to be providing our auditing and inventory optimization services to help even more marijuana industry businesses in Colorado,” said Steve Owens, founder and CEO of Adherence Colorado. “Our agreement creates a one-stop shop for best-of-breed software, regulatory compliance audits, inventory process improvement and more.”

Adherence Colorado said it currently has more than 15 licensed and badged auditors and consultants who work on-site with licensees to correct issues related to compliance, inventory control and tracking. As part of the agreement, Adherence Colorado will provide BioTrackTHC's clients with reduced price compliance audits for $500 per license through March 31.

"We continue to create alliances with fellow industry leaders like Adherence Colorado to benefit our customers' operations," said Steven Siegel, CEO, BioTrackTHC.

Washington: Schools Turn Down Marijuana Farmer's $14,000 Donation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

“I never thought it’d be a problem to give money away,” said marijuana farmer Randy Williams, the owner of Fireweed Farm, just north of Prosser, Washington. School officials on Monday flatly turned down a $14,000 donation from Williams, claiming they were "taking a stand" against youth marijuana use.

"We're not taking it. End of story," snapped Ray Tolcacher, Prosser School District superintendent.

"That's a mistake on their end because they're not helping anything," Williams said after visiting the school district office last week to try to make the donation. Tolcacher, who was out at the time, called the would-be donor on the telephone on Monday to turn down the money.

Williams said his next choice for the donation is the Boys & Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties; that youth nonprofit will "evaluate internally," according to executive director Brian Ace. If they turn him down, he might offer the money to the VFW, Williams said, reports Ross Courtney of the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Williams, one of the few legally licensed marijuana farmers in Yakima Valley, promised at a first-ever marijuana auction November 15 at his farm to donate the proceeds of one "low-grade" lot to local schools. The weed brought in about $13,500; Williams kicked in the difference to make it an even $14K.

California: 2014 Emerald Cup Presented By Locals, For Locals

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"Unlike New York-based High Times events or L.A.-based Hempcon, The Emerald Cup is presented by locals, for locals, and the state’s definitive county fair draws much of California’s original cannabis industry." ~ SFGate, "Smell The Truth"

“Not only is the spirit of the event responsible, it is vital that the lessons it has to offer are heard and understood by those outside it. Sustainability, earth-friendly practices, clean medicine and better business standards all take center stage during the event, one which is beginning to attract a global audience.” ~ John Vergados, SKUNK Magazine

The Emerald Cup will make its highly anticipated return to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, on December 13 and 14. For more than a decade, The Emerald Cup has become synonymous with setting the highest standards for sustainable, sun-grown, outdoor cannabis and is the largest, most respected, organic, outdoor, medicinal cannabis competition in the world, making it “The Definitive Cup for the Fall Harvest.”

For the third year in a row, SKUNK Magazine will present the Emerald Cup’s grand prize of an all-inclusive stay for two at their resort, Pure Garden, in Negril, Jamaica.

U.S.: Mainstream Gardening Media Group Identifies 'Smoke Your Garden' As Next Big Shift

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In yet another sign of the epochal changes in public perception towards marijuana, the mainstream Garden Media Group, headquartered in Pennsylvania, has identified "Smoke Your Garden" as the next big garden industry shift.

"With an increasing number of states decriminalizing marijuana, more people will begin growing their own and need seeds, plants and products," Samantha Arcieri of the Garden Media Group told Hemp News on Wednesday. "We’ve concluded that all products associated with the cultivation and growing of marijuana could be the next big ticket items for independent garden centers across the county."

"Garden Centers can capitalize on new laws by carrying products that help people cultivate these plants and can become leaders in the industry," the 2015 Garden Trends Report reads.

"New business opportunities range from tech companies that track seed-to-sale operations to real estate agents who find space for growers," according to the report. "Garden centers can capitalize on new laws by carrying grow lights and hydroponic supplies, plant nutrients and additives, potting soils and growing media, eco-renewable mulch, and eventually cannabis seeds and new cultivars."

"The legal marijuana market is growing at a rate poised to overtake even that of global smartphones!" according to the report.

Colorado: Company Launches High-End Grow Box For Either Weed or Veggies

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Rather than move furniture to make room for his indoor garden, Aaron Schrems put his garden inside the furniture.

With no carpentry experience and modeled using pieces from IKEA furniture kits, Schrems, CEO of Chicago-born and Colorado-based North of 80, invented what he calls "the ultimate urban garden:" a grow box, complete with lights and shelves for plants, that doubles as a beautiful piece of high end furniture.

"With more and more people in the world living in cities, I thought that this would be a perfect way to help people reconnect with nature," Schrems said. "At the same time, they can produce their own healthier food."

And there’s marijuana... of course.

"In places where it's legal, people can grow their own marijuana from seed or clone, which means saving up to thousands of dollars a year while putting to rest any questions about provenance, quality, and value."

The stylish growing cabinet Schrems created, called the 108, has a sleek exterior composed of sustainably harvested hard woods. Inside, constantly circulating fresh air is filtered by activated charcoal as it enters and exits the box. Premium LED lights with a spectrum tuned to the nanometer improve productivity nanometer, while an adjustable shelf and custom copper plant tray maximize growing area and light coverage.

Oregon: First Lady Admits Planning Illegal Marijuana Grow

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, fiancee of Governor John Kitzhaber, has confessed to planning an illegal marijuana grow operation with her then-boyfriend back in 1997. The revelation comes less than a week after Hayes admitted she illegally married an Ethiopian immigrant that same year.

Hayes said she was living on the property with her then-boyfriend in Okanogan, Washington, near the border of Canada, for the purpose of growing and selling marijuana, reports Sara Roth at KGW.

"Last Thursday, I admitted that 17 years ago I was in the middle of a very difficult and unstable period of my life," Hayes said. "I said then, and I'll say again ... I was associating with the wrong kind of people and making mistakes."

"I am not proud of that brief period of time," Hayes said. "I was involved in an abusive relationship with a dangerous man. We lived together for several months on the property in Okanogan that was intended to be the site of a marijuana grow operation that never materialized."

The man who sold the property, then repossessed it, indicated that a marijuana grow was already in progress. "There was a full-sized pool table upstairs in the house and that was the first clue," broker Patrick Siemion told KGW's Mike Benner. "There were marijuana trimmings on the table.

Florida: Canna Conference and Networking - Get Ready For Sunshine State To Go Green

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Florida entrepreneurs hoping to learn more about opportunities in the medical marijuana industry have the opportunity to do exactly that at a conference in Orlando on November 1.

The event, hosted by DispensaryPermits.com, will bring together leading medical cannabis entrepreneurs and industry experts to provide information and guidance to dispensary and cultivation application hopefuls.

Attendees will get a chance to learn more about operating professional dispensary and cultivation facilities, how to connect with the medical marijuana patient community, navigating industry legalities, selecting suitable real estate, and generating community support.

"When we decided to apply for a permit, we didn't know where to begin," said one client of DispensaryPermits.com. "With all of the misinformation that was circulating among media and other interested entrepreneurs, our team realized we needed professionals to help guide us through the application process."

"DispensaryPermits.com has an outstanding track record of success in assisting clients apply for and obtain dispensary licenses in multiple states," said DispensaryPermits.com Executive Director Sara Gullickson. "We look forward to providing valuable information about the complex medical marijuana industry at this upcoming conference in Orlando."

Morocco: Hash-Producing Nation Considers Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new law being considered in Morocco that would legalize marijuana cultivation for medical and industrial uses, finally bringing the North African Islamic nation's thriving hashish industry into the open.

The proposal, however, faces stiff opposition in this conservative nation, despite a centuries-old tradition of growing cannabis in the north, where the Rif Mountains have long been a center of hash production, reports Paul Schemm of the Associated Press.

Some farmers like Abdelkhalek Benabdallah openly grow marijuana, despite its illegal status. "We are regularly subject to blackmail by the gendarmes," he said as he prepared his September harvest.

The new law could alleviate widespread poverty and unrest; suspicious farmers, accustomed to an adversarial relationship with government authorities, don't believe the government will do anything to help them. The farmers fear that legalization might lower the already cheap price of $8 a kilogram they receive for their product.

"If legalization happened for all of Morocco, we could never compete with the other farmers that have lots of land and the price of cannabis wouldn't be any different from that of carrots," said Mohammed Benabdallah, an activist in the village of Oued Abdel Ghaya.

D.C.: New Poll Shows Support For Marijuana Legalization At 65% In Nation's Capital

DCCannabisCampaignLegalize.YesOn71

Highest Support Ever for a Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative

Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Racial Justice Context Resonating With D.C. Voters

A new Washington Post/NBC News/Marist poll released on Thursday shows support for Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana, at 65 percent among likely D.C. voters.

Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana on their person at any time, and allows for the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants at home.

District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana. However, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which will tax and regulate marijuana within the District.

“D.C. voters want to take marijuana completely out the criminal justice system and refocus police priorities,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Voters are relating to the message that legalization will end D.C.’s rampant discrimination when it comes marijuana enforcement.”

D.C. has decriminalized marijuana, replacing criminal penalties with a $25 fine. However, data from the Metropolitan Police Department shows that 77 percent of all tickets have been issued in communities of color.

California: Marijuana Cultivator To Unveil 'Wicked Wicking System'

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In the midst of the worst drought in California's history there comes good news from the world of marijuana. Cannabis cultivator George Bianchini is set to unveil his "Wicked Wicking System" this Wednesday, September 17, at his private, ultra water-conserving garden in Marin County.

Founder of Medi-Cone and recent Hempcon winner Bianchini himself, at a private event, will guide visitors through the garden's seven stations explaining how his "Wicked Wicking System" works.

George Bianchini is an entrepreneur and Oaksterdam graduate who has innovated a gardening/watering system that provides him with a thriving garden in spite of the drought. This system for growing high quality marijuana as well as fruits, vegetables, and other herbs uses the exact amount of water that a plant needs, and not a drop more, according to the cultivator.

Using a wicking method that he said dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and combining it with modern day materials and processes he has created a system that decreases the amount of water lost with conventional methods to upwards of 75 percent.

Bianchini plans to give the information away for free by posting an online video showing Do-It-Yourselfers how to construct their own systems. For those less handy, kits will be made available for purchase.

George's high-CBD strain took first place, triumphing over 25 other competitors at San Francisco's Hempcon recently. High-CBD strains have been making news because of their medicinal value in reducing seizures in young children without getting them "high."

U.S.: Ecologist Designs Water Filter For Marijuana Growers

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Ecologist James P. McMahon has been developing water filtration systems for more than 10 years and worked on water quality and river restorations for another decade prior to that. With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, McMahon has ventured into a new sector of the water filtration industry – developing purification systems that provide optimum water quality for growing marijuana plants.

McMahon’s company, Elevate 420, specializes in providing water purification systems to home, retail and wholesale marijuana growers. All are designed with the science of marijuana growing in mind. McMahon designed the Bud Booster™ water filter specifically for home and retail marijuana growers.

“Growers interested in producing large, healthy buds really must eliminate toxins like fluoride, chlorine, and chloramine in the water they use to grow,” McMahon said. He said his Bud Booster water filters do just that. “The Bud Booster water filter is the best filter for growing marijuana in locations where total dissolved solids are 300 parts per million or less.”

McMahon recently spent extensive time in Denver analyzing growing conditions and learning what growers are using for water filtration.

2-2-2 filter designed for growing marijuana

“What I saw in Denver is that very few growers were taking into consideration that chloramine and fluoride need to be removed from the water because they can inhibit bud growth,” McMahon said. “The fluoride in municipal water systems is known to interfere with phosphorous uptake.”

Washington: Legal Marijuana Retailers Plan Lawsuit Against Growers

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some recreational marijuana retailers in Clark County, Washington, are planning to sue cannabis growers, claiming they're working together to keep prices high.

The class action suit is being filed on behalf of I-502 marijuana retailers everywhere in the state, not just in Clark County, with the eventual hope of bringing down the sky-high cost of weed for consumers, reports Tim Becker at KOIN 6.

"There's a reason that the prices are so high here, and it is not the free market at all," said attorney Liz Hallock, who said she hasn't finished writing the lawsuit.

"The charges are unfair competition, anti-trust, and the per se violations are collusion and intent to price fix," Hallock said.

Legal marijuana costs about $35 a gram in Clark County. Meanwhile, in Colorado, the other state where recreational cannabis is legal, a gram is only $15.

It's that $20 difference that Hallock said is caused by marijuana producers' artificially inflating prices to retailers.

"When producers here in Washington are asking for $12 to $13 a gram, they're marking up the prices 1,300 percent, which does not benefit the consumer at all," Hallock said.

The larger growers are setting the high prices, and smaller producers are following their lead, according to Hallock, who spent the last two months investigating and gathering evidence that the growers' conduct violates Washington's Consumer Protection Act.

Ohio: Man Kills Himself During Marijuana Farm Standoff

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Timothy Sturgis just wanted to be left alone to grow his marijuana. When the time came, Sturgis, 42, on Tuesday night shot himself after a two-hour standoff with law enforcement.

Sturgis kept a loaded gun in every room of his home in Ashille, reports Holly Zachariah at The Columbus Dispatch. Cops propped each of the 10 guns they seized from the Pickaway County property on Wednesday next to a mirror. A bow and arrows hung on the enclosed back porch.

A German shepherd guarded the 21 acres surrounding a well-hidden farmhouse, and a Doberman pinscher kept wath inside. An alarm at the end of the long driveway was triggered whenever anyone approached.

Sturgis shot himself after a standoff in the woods and thick, 14-foot-high weeds and brush behind his home at 15240 Lockbourne Eastern Road in Ashville. He was pronounced dead at 8:56 p.m. on Tuesday night.

"Just talked to him Sunday, always a friendly guy asking how things were going," commented "ThisNameWasntTaken" on Topix.com. "Total shock."

California: Oaksterdam Grad, Hempcon Winner To Unveil 'Wicked Wicking System'

Medi-ConePatientPreferredPre-RolledSince2008

Entrepreneur George Bianchini, an Oaksterdam University graduate, has innovated a gardening/watering system that provides him with a thriving cannabis garden in spite of the drought. This system for growing high quality marijuana as well as fruits, vegetables, and other herbs uses the exact amount of water that a plant needs, and not a drop more, according to Bianchini.

The private, ultra water-conserving garden of Medi-Cone founder and recent Hempcon winner Bianchini will be open to media on Wednesday, September 17. George himself will guide visitors through the garden's seven stations, explaining how his "Wicked Wicking System" works.

Using a wicking method that, according to Bianchini, dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and combining it with modern day materials and processes, the inventor said he has created a system that decreases the amount of water lost with conventional methods to upwards of 75 percent.

Being community-minded, Bianchini plans to give the information away for free by posting an online DIY video showing do-it-yourselfers how to construct their own systems. For those less handy, kits will be made available for purchase.

George's high-CBD strain took First Place, triumphing over 25 other competitors at San Francisco's Hempcon last weekend. Additionally, he has perfected a strain that allows him to harvest 3 outdoor crops per year -- an innovation that is sure to be popular with outdoor growers.

Bianchini said he has been cultivating high quality strains since 2008 for his own Medi-Cone packaged pre-rolls.

New Jersey: Upcoming Atlantic City Marijuana Growing Seminar Called Nation's Largest

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Huge crowds visit Atlantic City everyday for the purpose of gambling.

Dale Sky Jones is heading there for what she sees as a sure bet.

Dale is the chancellor of Oaksterdam University, an Oakland, California institution that is presenting an educational seminar on growing marijuana to be held in Atlantic City August 23-26.

Oaksterdam was founded in 2007 to address the growing needs of the marijuana movement, from patients to regulators. Its mission is to increase cannabis awareness and to provide students with the highest quality practical education. It has provided top-grade training for cannabis and marijuana policy reform for over 18,000 students at several campuses in the United States.

Dale said Oaksterdam is coming East in response to the groundswell of interest in the legalization of marijuana that is projected to continue at a rapid pace.

Medical marijuana currently generates an estimated $2 billion in annual sales. Those sales are expected to at least quadruple in the next five years. Currently, 23 states (in addition to D.C.) allow medical marijuana, and several more have statutes in the pipeline.

The four-day event will provide up-to-the-minute insights into the current trends of the U.S. cannabis movement, according to organizers, who said there is a sudden need for qualified job applicants who are certified to provide legal, medicinal quality marijuana, so the school covers everything about cannabis production, from seed to harvest, as well as important legal and civil rights issues.

Spain: Cannabis Club Rules Being Drafted In Catalonia; Would Allow Cultivation, Transportation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Public Health Agency of Catalonia (a region of Spain) is drafting rules to regulate the cannabis sales associations which have become popular in the region. Cannabis clubs in Catalonia already have more than 165,000 members and take in about five million euros per month, according to published reports.

The ambitious proposal aims to regulate to entire process surrounding the cultivation and transportation of marijuana by cannabis clubs, and access requirements for members, reports Escofet Mumbru Jordi at El Pais Catalonia. One of the main rules is that cannabis club members can only be residents, to end the "cannabis tourism" that is increasingly popular in cities like Barcelona.

Cannabis club members will be required to be at least 21 years old. To regulate cultivation, the rules specify that cannabis production has to be provided upon prior request of partners, i.e., only marijuana which has previously been charged to a specific member may be planted.

Cultivation records will be required, and once a year, crops will be appraised by professional associations. In no event may cannabis clubs acquire marijuana on the black market; that way, the government has records of all legal cannabis production in the market, which is now impossible.

Transportation of cannabis will also be regulated. Drivers must be on staff and must carry documentation proving they are distributing cannabis which belongs to the association.

Canada: Injunction Granted; Patients Can Continue To Grow Their Own Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Canadian medical marijuana patients who are currently licensed to grow their own cannabis will be allowed to continue doing so, despite new regulations banning homegrown which start on April 1, a Federal Court judge ruled last Friday.

Judge Michael Manson granted an injunction to a group of medical marijuana patients who asked the judge to block the rule, preserving the status quo until a constitutional challenge of the new system can be heard, reports The Canadian Press.

The decision is a blow to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government's attempt to shift control of the country's medical marijuana system from the roughly 37,000 enrolled patients to the government. The Conservatives claim the current system has problems ranging from unsafe grow operations to infiltration by criminals.

Under the new rules, only commercial growers would be allowed to cultivate cannabis. Friday's injunction doesn't affect the new licensing system.

Health Canada had ordered patients who are licensed to grow marijuana under the old rules to confirm they had destroyed their plants, or they would be reported to the police.

The patients acting as plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued the growing ban violates their right to access important medicine, because cannabis is expected to be more expensive under the new system. They also say they won't have much control over which strains of marijuana are available.

New Hampshire: House Approves Bill That Provides Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

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HB 1622 would allow licensed patients to cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants until an alternative treatment center opens near their residence

The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill 227-73 that will provide people who qualify for the state's medical marijuana program with legal access to medical marijuana while the state develops a system of regulated medical marijuana cultivation and distribution. The bill will now move to the Senate, where it will receive a public hearing.

HB 1622, sponsored by Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright (R-Tuftonboro), would allow licensed medical marijuana patients or their designated caregivers to possess up to two mature marijuana plants and twelve immature plants or seedlings. Patients and caregivers would be required to report their cultivation locations to the Department of Health and Human Services, and they would lose their ability to cultivate once an alternative treatment center opens within 30 miles of their residence.

“We applaud House members for continuing to stand up for people with debilitating conditions who could benefit from medical marijuana,” said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which supports the bill. “Seriously ill patients in New Hampshire have waited long enough for legal access to medical marijuana, and some simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”

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