hilary bricken

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Washington: Conference To Discuss Legalizing Marijuana On Native American Lands


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The recent announcement from the United States federal government that it won't stop Native American tribes from growing and selling marijuana is a game-changer. In February, the subject will be the focus of a groundbreaking national conference focusing on legalization in Indian country.

Tribal leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and health and social work professionals -- along with law enforcement personnel -- will be on hand to examine the legal, political and social policy implications of the change, reports Indian Country Today Media Network.

The conference will be held Friday, February 27, at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Quil Ceda Village, Washington. Odawi Law PLLC and Harris Moure, PLLC are the co-sponsors of the event to help "leaders in Indian country fully understand the wide-ranging issues associated with embarking on the development of tribal marijuana legislation and considerations of commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacture and distribution in tribal jurisdictions,” according to a press release.

Washington: US Army Issues Letters To Marijuana Stores Demanding They Not Sell To Troops


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A letter has been sent to marijuana stores in Washington state on official Department of the Army letterhead asking marijuana stores to not sell to enlisted troops.

"This letter is to inform you that your establishment has been declarted 'Off-Limits' to members of the Armed Forces effective 21 January 2015," the letter, first revealed on Twitter by Seattle-based Canna Law Group's Hilary Bricken on Thursday.

"Forces are prohibited from entering your establishment as long as this order is in effect," readers the letter, signed by David L. Chase, Colonel, U.S. Army, and President, AFDCB (Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board).

"This restriction will remain in effect indefinitely in accordance with established Armed Forces policy unless you agree to stop selling substances similar to marijuana to military personnel," reads the curiously worded letter. I say curiously worded, because these stores don't sell "substances similar to marijuana," Col. Chase. Sir, they sell MARIJUANA.

"You have thirty (30) days to present evidence to the AFDCB that you agree to stop selling these substances to military personnel," the letter demands, taking the "guilty until proven innocent" approach that seems to be popular among Army types.

Washington: Legal Marijuana Stores Having Trouble Matching Black Market Prices


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Due to the onerous nature of Washington state's regulations on the legal marijuana industry, including an overbearing tax scheme, the legal marijuana stores which have opened as the badly written I-502 is implemented are reportedly having trouble turning a profit -- even at $30 a gram.

Despite brining in more than $440,000 in sales since July, Station 420 in Union Gap is still in the red financially, according to owner Adam Markus, reports Mike Fault at the Yakima Herald-Republic.

"We have yet to make a profit here," Markus said. "And there are a lot of other people who got into this just thinking they were going to be millionaires in a year, and now they're having a hard time."

Washington state had $15.6 million in marijuana sales in November, more than double the figures from August, and pot shop owners say prices have come down by as much as half since July as supplies have increased.

But then there's the pesky fact that the prices of legal weed are still roughly double to triple those on the black market. Consumers aren't morons, and if the "guy you know down the street" is selling righteous pot for $10 a gram (a typical price both on the street and in the medical marijuana community), who wants to pay $30 a gram for the "privilege" of buying the stuff in a legal store?

Washington: Lawsuit Filed Against City of Wenatchee For Banning Legal Marijuana Stores


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With the first stores selling recreational marijuana expected to open in July, a dark cloud looms over implementation of cannabis legalization measure I-502 in Washington state: Attorney General Bob Ferguson's legal opinion that municipalities can ban the supposedly legal pot shops. Now, a lawsuit has been brought by a man who was denied a license to sell marijuana in central Washington.

At least 10 counties and cities in the state have already banned marijuana businesses, reports Kirk Johnson at The New York Times. Sixty-nine more municipalities, and 12 counties, have instituted moratoriums on pot businesses, according to the Municipal Research and Services Center.

A man who was denied a license to sell marijuana in the central Washington town of Wenatchee, right in the middle of apple-growing country, is challenging the right of local governments to ban cannabis businesses, and also raising the possibility that the law legalizing marijuana could come under "sharp legal scrutiny," as the Times puts it.

Plaintiff Shaun Preder has been told by Wenatchee that he won't be getting a license to sell marijuana, because pot is still illegal under federal law. Wenatchee apparently believes it needs the federal government's permission before issuing any business licenses.

Washington: Legislator Wants To Shut Down Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Under Washington state's new marijuana legalization Law, I-502, recreational marijuana will be heavily taxed and heavily controlled by the Liquor Control Board. The parallel world of medical marijuana is relatively unregulated in comparison, although state voters legalized it back in 1998. And in the opinion of Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw, a Democratic legislator and retired police commander who once served on a narcotics task force, that means medical marijuana shut be shut down.

Tight regulations for recreational marijuana are being written as we speak, and as state regulators craft those rules -- just as many in the medical marijuana community predicted last year -- they are just itching to control the MMJ sector, too.

So, could it really be that medical marijuana gadflies like Steve Sarich were right all along -- that the tepid form of "legalization" achieved by I-502 (with no home growing allowed, and only up to one ounce legalized) will cost patients their safe access to medicinal strains? Could 502 supporters such as New Approach Washington's Alison Holcomb, Washington NORML's Keith Henson, and Canadian pot princess Jodie Emery really have been that clueless -- or cavalier -- about the fallout from the law?

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Draws Big Money Interest


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn this month signed into a law a bill allowing for a temporary, for-profit medical marijuana industry in the state, allowing cannabis sales to patients who qualify with certain medical conditions and are authorized by their physicians, starting in 2014.

And while the risks of investing in the nascent medicinal cannabis industry are still large -- chiefly including the possibility of the federal government shutting things down -- plenty of investors are willing to cough up hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars to get a chance at serving the new market, reports Peter Frost at the Chicago Tribune.

More than 200 people attended a Saturday event in the Chicago area, paying up to $375 apiece to hear about the medical marijuana business and to rub elbows with business leaders from California, Colorado and Michigan. Another event on Thursday at another downtown hotel drew more than 50.

"I've talked to several potential investors here thinking home-run dollars from the beginning," said Michael Mayes of Chicago, CEO of marijuana consulting and technology firm Quantum 9. "But, here at least, if you're swinging for the fences, you have to know you might strike out."

Mayes also operates two cannabis cultivation centers and three dispensaries in Colorado.

Washington: Lawmakers & Marijuana Policy Experts To Provide Update To Marijuana Entrepreneurs

There is a truth that must be heard!Development of adult-use marijuana rules and regulations on the docket for discussion at trade association event

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will host an Educational Series Event on April 9 in Seattle. Geared to assist medical marijuana entrepreneurs and investors create responsible and successful businesses, Educational Series Events feature a panel of experts and networking period for cannabusiness professionals.

The 90-minute program will feature experts on Washington marijuana policy and development of rules and regulations under I-502. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period and networking reception.

What: NCIA Educational Series Event, "State & Federal Policy Update"

Where: McCormick and Schmick's - Harborside at Lake Union, 1200 Westlake Ave North, Seattle

When: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 7-10 p.m.

Who: Hilary Bricken, Harris & Moure, PLLC, Seattle, WA
Steven Davenport, BOTEC Analysis Corporation
Rick Garza, Washington State Liquor Control Board
State Representative Roger Goodman

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