san diego

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U.S.: Study Finds Marijuana Could Help Curb The Opioid Epidemic

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A new study shows that U.S. hospitals have not seen an influx of cannabis consumers in states that have legalized medical marijuana as was predicted, but instead have treated far fewer opioid users.

The number of patients admitted for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse decreased on average by 23 percent after states legalized marijuana for medical purposes. The study also showed that hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average.

The report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence showed that fears that legalizing medical marijuana would lead to an increase in marijuana-related turned out to be unfounded.

"Instead, medical marijuana laws may have reduced hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers," said study author Yuyan Shi, a public health professor at the University of California, San Diego. "This study and a few others provided some evidence regarding the potential positive benefits of legalizing marijuana to reduce opioid use and abuse, but they are still preliminary."

An estimated 60 percent of Americans now live in the 28 states and Washington, D.C. where medical marijuana is now legal under state law.

The opioid epidemic kills 91 Americans per day; sales of prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin have quadrupled since 1999.

California: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Fewer Hospitalizations From Opioids

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

According to data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, states that have legalized medical marijuana have seen a reduction in the number of opioid-related hospitalizations.

A researcher from the University of California at San Diego, assessing the association between medical marijuana laws and hospitalizations related to opioid use, reported both immediate and long-term reductions in opioid-related hospitalization following changes in law.

"This study demonstrated significant reductions on OPR- (opioid pain reliever) related hospitalizations associated with the implementation of medical marijuana policies. ... We found reductions in OPR-related hospitalizations immediately after the year of policy implementation as well as delayed reductions in the third post-policy year."

The author also dismissed the argument that liberalized marijuana were associated with an increase in marijuana-related hospitalizations, saying "While the interpretation of the results should remain cautious, this study suggested that medical marijuana policies were not associated with marijuana-related hospitalizations. Instead, the policies were unintendedly associated with substantial reductions in OPR related hospitalizations."

California: Gunmen Rob San Diego Marijuana Dispensary Delivery Driver

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A marijuana dispensary delivery driver in San Diego was robbed at gunpoint Monday evening in Point Loma Heights by two men who got away with his stash, police reported.

Officers responded at about 7:30 pm to the 3900 block of West Point Loma Boulevard where the suspects had ordered the marijuana to be delivered, according to Officer John Buttle.

The first suspect was described as a Hispanic male about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slender build wearing dark clothing, Officer Buttle said. The second suspect was described only as a black man in his mid-20s.

No further information is yet available.

California: San Diego Allows Recreational Pot Sales In Medical Shops

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The San Diego City Council met on Tuesday to consider proposed regulation changes in marijuana business practices in the city. One of the main issues discussed was the possibility of allowing recreational pot sales in medical marijuana dispensaries.

Terrie Best, Chapter Chair of Americans for Safe Access in San Diego, told The Weed Blog that “council voted to grandfather in (and write land use law within 9 months) business tax certification holders in the areas of manufacturing, cultivation and testing. Deliveries will now need to be connected to a Medical Marijuana Card Clinic (MMCC) conditional use permit only, no stand-alones. We also may have lost events where products are used and consumed.”

She added, “Our outdoor Proposition 64 six plant personal right must be exercised under a green house, and all MMCC’s will be allowed to sell to adults 21 and over along with their patient clients.”

Best applauded the city council, saying “Not too bad for a town FULL of loud prohibitionists. I am upset about the delivery loss and event ban though. But, I don’t think it will stop us.”

California: San Diego May Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Sell To Everyone 21 And Over

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

San Diego has become the first city in California to introduce legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to everyone 21 and older until the state's new recreational use regulations are finalized.

The ordinance also establishes rules for recreational cannabis outlets, which should be opening sometime in the first half of 2018. The rules are almost identical to those in place for medical cannabis dispensaries, including a requirement of being 1,000 feet from public parks, schools, daycare centers, churches, playgrounds, libraries and residential neighborhoods.

“While we haven’t completed a detailed review of this proposal, the city’s highly restrictive zoning for medical cannabis dispensing has proven effective at protecting the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and using the existing restrictions as the model for these new regulations is a good starting point,” said Phil Rath of the United Medical Marijuana Coalition. “We look forward to engaging this process moving forward to ensure the regulations are clear, enforceable and allow our members to continue to operate peacefully in our respective communities.”

Thanks to last month's passage of Proposition 64, adults over 21 in California can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants at home.

California: San Diego Supervisors Unanimously Oppose Marijuana Legalization

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The San Diego Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday opposing Proposition 64, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California.

The vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Greg Cox absent.

“It’s a stark public safety reality that legalization of marijuana results in many negative consequences,” Vice Chair Dianne Jacob said. “It’s obvious, extremely obvious, that legalization of marijuana in Colorado has thus far been a disaster, especially for public safety, which has been this board’s priority.”

San Diego county officials say that in the four states where marijuana has been legalized, marijuana-related traffic deaths, youth access to marijuana and related emergency department and hospital admissions have all risen dramatically, along with underground black market distribution and sales.

“As an elected official, I think it’s important that all the facts get out there and we try to educate the public on this very, very important issue that can have long-term ramifications for all of the citizens in the state of California,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “Let’s learn from what has happened in Washington and Colorado and not make the same mistakes.”

California: San Diego Alzheimer's Researcher Calls For More Marijuana Studies

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A group of San Diego scientists put out a study recently suggesting an active ingredient in marijuana may be helpful in preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Future research is needed to confirm the results, but one of the scientists worries those follow-up studies may not happen due to restrictions on research involving marijuana.

"To work on anything related to marijuana or these psychoactive drugs in the United States is, from a scientific point of view, extremely difficult," said Dave Schubert of the Salk Institute, the study's senior author.

"There are so many rules and limitations on what can be done," he said.

Schubert and his colleagues exposed human brain cells to THC in lab experiments. They found that by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in these cells, THC reduced the inflammation and plaque build-up that precede the onset of Alzheimer's.

Schubert said these results are promising, but to know if THC can actually keep Alzheimer's at bay in patients, follow-up studies will need to confirm this effect in animals and humans. That won't be easy, Schubert said, because the Drug Enforcement Association still considers marijuana to be a dangerous drug with no medical use.

"Best to let the science do its work and sort these things out," Schubert said.

Arizona: Cannabis Retail Designer Receives 3rd National Recognition

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The awards keep coming for cannabis retail designer Megan Stone of The High Road Design Studio. The young entrepreneur is lighting up the billion-dollar cannabis industry by creating award winning dispensary environments catering to the modern consumer.

This month Stone was announced as one of the Top 40 Under 40 by design:retail magazine for her luxury dispensary designs. Stone was selected for the national recognition from more than 140 nominees for the award, one of three major awards recognizing the Tempe, Arizona based retail designer in 2016. Winners for the retail magazine award were honored in New York City in May.

“I design the way I do because, for many people, cannabis has been a miraculous plant. Buying it should be an experience that reflects that,” Stone said.

Stone’s revolutionary designs have established a new cannabis aesthetic transcending long-standing clichés of tie-dye tapestries and peace-sign motifs. Along with the Top 40 Under 40 Award, Stone was named a finalist for the prestigious 23rd Annual A.R.E. (Association for Retail Environments) Design Awards Competition alongside CHANEL, Target and Nordstrom, and was named Technical Professional Marketer of the Year by SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) Arizona.

California: U.S.-Mexico Tunnel Found; 7 Tons Marijuana, 1 Ton Cocaine Seized

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Authorities announced Wednesday that they found a half-mile long, cross-border tunnel that ran from a Tijuana house to a lot in San Diego that was advertised as a wooden pallet business. More than a ton of cocaine and 7 tons of marijuana were seized.

The narrow tunnel was about 3 feet wide, and equipped with a rail system, lighting, and ventilation.

It was the 13th sophisticated secret passage to be found along the California-Mexico border since 2006. Three others have been discovered on the same short street in San Diego that runs parallel to a border fence with a densely populated residential area on the Mexican side.

Laura Duffy, U.S attorney for the Southern District of California, said the tunnel was unusual because it was used to smuggle cocaine, not just marijuana. Tunnels are often used to smuggle marijuana because its odor and bulk make it easier to be detected by border inspectors than cocaine and other drugs.

The house in Tijuana had an elevator big enough for 8-10 people, Duffy said. It was located in the house where floors were strewn with mattresses.

The tunnel zig-zagged for 874 yards to the fenced commercial lot in San Diego, where the exit was covered by a large trash bin.

California: San Diego Cannabis Conference and Expo Set For August 6-7

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If you're interested in learning more about the emerging cannabis industry, consider visiting the San Diego Cannabis Conference and Expo, Saturday, August 6 - Sunday, August 7, at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Dr., in San Diego.

Presented by LEAF Brands Inc. and WEEDMAPS, the service that maps out local marijuana dispensaries in states across the U.S., the conference will be held from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily, and is expected to draw thousands of attendees from across the country and throughout the Pacific coast. The event is open to the public.

Vendor booths are available now with tickets going on sale April 20. Tickets are $100 per day and available online and at the door. Attendees who pre-register by July 5, will receive a $25 per day discount. Tickets and more information are available at socalccexpo.com or by calling 1-602-718-9355.

“San Diego provides a perfect waterfront venue for individuals from across the country who want to combine their summer vacations with cannabis business and education opportunities,” said LEAF Brand Inc. CEO Rory Mendoza. "This is the first time a large scale cannabis conference has taken place in the city and town officials have welcomed us with open arms."

Event highlights and speakers include former NFL players from the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, a legal panel with up-to-date information about federal and state legislation, and a panel bringing together the most powerful women in cannabis.

California: Marine Pushes To Be First Active Duty Medical Marijuana Patient

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Marine Sgt. Sean Major is pushing hard to become the first active duty service member allowed to use medical marijuana.

Major, 25, has had a physician's recommendation for medicinal cannabis use since last October, reports Robert Burns at Fox 5 San Diego. He currently is prescribed more than 20 different pharmaceutical pills.

The wounded warrior suffered four traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during his seven years of military service.

"I sustained my first traumatic brain injury in 2010 on the Pacific Rim," he said. "I've had one coming back from my deployment."

Major said using cannabis medicinally would help with his sleeping, and alleviate anxiety from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"If I was missing an arm or a leg, you could see that I was injured, but with traumatic brain injury it's almost like your computer is damaged," Major said.

The Marine sergeant said he started researching cannabis after seeing its effect on his father, also a veteran. But he said supports only medical use, not recreational, but military personnel.

"You don't need guys high running around defending this beautiful country; I get that," he said.

Major said he has drafted a non-profit business plan to help other veterans with similar symptoms to be more self-sufficient.

Photo of Sgt. Sean Major: RobertBurnsTV/Twitter

California: San Diego Rushes To Write Medical Marijuana Cultivation Rules

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new California law is spurring San Diego, for the first time, to regulate and allow cultivation of medical marijuana within city limits.

A memo issued by Deputy City Attorney Shannon Thomas last week describes ways the city could regulate the growing of medicinal cannabis, including zoning regulations or simply allowing cultivation in all areas zoned for agriculture, reports David Garrick at the Los Angeles Times.

The city might impose a "temporary" moratorium on cultivation while exploring new regulations, according to the memo.

California's new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act aims to "legitimize" the nearly 20-year-old industry; state voters first approved the use of medical marijuana back in 1996. The new law also gets regulations in place in anticipation of Californians approving recreational use of marijuana in November.

The law requires mandatory product testing and gives reluctant cities new reasons to allow dispensaries and cultivation by allowing them in on the money action, collecting fees and levying taxes.

The law also says cities with no regulations in place by March 1 will permanently cede authority of medical marijuana cultivation to the state -- but the author claims that deadline was erroneously included.

U.S.: Seniors Seeking Out States Where Marijuana Is Legal

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

There's a new factor playing a big role when seniors choose retirement locales these days: marijuana laws.

With 23 states and the District of Columbia having legalized medical marijuana, and four states plus D.C. legalizing the herb for recreational purposes, it's starting to have a real impact on such choices, reports Chris Taylor at Reuters.

Since retirees don't have to check off a box on a form saying why they chose a particular location for their sunset years, figuring our how many people are retiring to legal states is challenging. But "there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions which medical marijuana could help treat, are relocating to states with legalized marijuana," according to Michael Stoll, professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies retiree migration trends.

Stoll cites data from United Van Lines, which show the top U.S. moving destination last year was Oregon, where marijuana had been expected to be legalized for years and finally passed a ballot initiative last November.

Two-thirds of moves involving Oregon were inbound, a 5 percent jump over the previous year, as the state "continues to pull away from the pack," United Van Lines said in a report.

U.S.: Nestdrop Expands Its Medical Marijuana Delivery Service Throughout West Coast

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New markets include Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego and more; new mobile web store available for Apple customers

The technology company behind the first in-App, on-demand medical marijuana service, Nestdrop is expanding throughout the West Coast to new markets in California, Oregon, and Washington. Major cities that will now have Nestdrop’s communication platform include Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, with additional cities like San Diego and more being available to service patients in the near future.

The expansion makes Nestdrop the only marijuana delivery service currently operating across multiple states, reports Sarah Buhr at TechCrunch.

"Well folks, it's been a long few months of teamwork, research, energy & persistence," Nestrop's Facebook page posted on Wednesday. "But we're proud to announce Nestdrop #medicalmarijuana is finally live & ready to deliver smiles in major cities up & down the coast! :-)"

“It’s kind of funny," said Nestdrop cofounder Michael Pycher. "Our competitors probably thought we were dead and that’s what we wanted them to think while we were going about this other option.”

iPhone users can text “smile” to 27126 to have the app sent to their device and Android users can download the app on Google Play.

U.S.: Organic Cannabis CBD Infused Fitness Drink Now Being Distributed Nationwide

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PyoorCBD on Wednesday announced they will begin to distribute their Cibamine Xtra CBD Infused Drink Additive and 7 Hour Sleep CBD Formula for the United States market.

Both formulas are PassionFruit flavored all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free drink shots/additives that uses Carlsbad Alkaline Water as their water source for their formulas. The company already has these available for sale in THC Formulas in more 200 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California.

In the company's product line are Energy Drinks CBD and THC Infused, a complete pre- and post- workout supplement line infused with CBD Cannabinoids and Hemp to assist with muscle fatigue, rehabilitation from inflammation and extreme workout overload.

PyoorCBD says its products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent legal), and tryspin inhibitor free.

PyoorCBD has developed a line of cannabis infused products targeting the health and fitness conscious consumer. The product line includes products developed in-house as well as products from partners that compliment the overall product line.

In partnership with an established health and fitness recognized brand name partner, PyoorCBD has a pilot retail store in San Diego to market cannabis infused beverages and food supplements. The products are infused with Hemp to include CBD, which is legal in all 50 states. Formulas that include THC are for when and where laws permit.

California Medical Association Votes Against Denying Transplants For MMJ Patients

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CMA resolution comes as California lawmakers consider introducing a bill to address widespread problem of transplant denials

The California Medical Association (CMA) this weekend voted unanimously to urge transplant clinics in the state against removing patients from organ transplant lists based on their medical marijuana status or use. The CMA House of Delegates was in San Diego for its annual meeting, and voted Saturday on Resolution 116-14 in support of patients' ability to remain on transplant lists despite their medical marijuana use.

The refusal of transplant clinics to place or keep medical marijuana patients on organ transplant lists is a widespread problem in California and other states. Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is fighting to reform organ transplant policies in California, has received numerous reports of such actions at hospitals across the state, including Cedars-Sinai, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California San Francisco, and Stanford Medical School.

California: Cops Wear 'FUCK THE GROWERS' Shirts During San Diego Pot Raids

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana for medicinal purposes was legalized by California voters at the ballot box back in 1996 -- but some law enforcement types apparently still haven't gotten the message. Police routinely terrorize thousands of patient-cultivators every year with warrantless, no-knock raids, willfully ignoring established law, and now a San Diego narcotics officer has been photographed wearing a t-shirt reading "FUCK THE GROWERS... MARIJUANA'S STILL ILLEGAL -- while raiding patients.

Advocacy group Reform California on October 24 posted pictures of a San Diego Narcotics Task Force officer wearing the profane shirt during a Wednesday raid in Imperial Beach, reports David Downs at SF Gate. The photo was reportedly snapped by a 10News photojournalist.

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law for any purpose, state law enforcement officers are supposed uphold state laws. California residents with a doctor's authorization can possess or grow any amount of marijuana deemed medically necessary by their physician.

California: Medical Marijuana Patients File Federal Lawsuit Against San Diego Officials

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San Diego couple were acquitted by a jury after enduring a questionable paramilitary-style raid on their property

A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month on behalf of two seriously ill medical marijuana patients, Deborah Little, 61, and Dennis Little, 66, a couple from Ramona, California whose home was raided in October 2012 by the San Diego County Integrated Narcotics Task Force (NTF).

The paramilitary-style raid, including police brandishing assault rifles, found a modest garden of 29 plants, which the Littles say was entirely for personal, medicinal use. The couple was tried in March 2014 on possession of marijuana for sale and unlawful cultivation of marijuana, but the court dismissed the cultivation charge and they were acquitted of possession by a jury.

"This case is an example of a phenomenon that has gained national attention recently: military-style SWAT tactics used in everyday law enforcement," said Nathan Shaman, the attorney representing the Littles in their civil lawsuit. "More and more we are seeing law enforcement treat our citizens as enemy combatants."

"The Littles' situation provides a stark reminder that even harmless, law-abiding, seriously ill people can be and are terrorized by their own police force," Shaman said. "We hope this will send a message to law enforcement that their egregious, unconstitutional behavior will not be tolerated."

California: Medical Marijuana Patients Sue San Diego; Say Long Drives To Dispensaries Pollute Air

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A group of California medical marijuana patients has filed a lawsuit charging that San Diego's restrictions on dispensaries will cause them to drive too far to get their cannabis, causing air pollution.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients (UMMP) names the City of San Diego and the Coastal Commission in the lawsuit, which also alleges that some patients will be forced to grow their marijuana indoors, wasting energy and contributing to global warming, reports UPI.

"The ordinance caps the total number of cooperatives at 36 and places a limit of four per Council District," the UMMP lawsuit states, reports Robert Kahn at Courthouse News. Because of the zoning restrictions, only 30 dispensaries are "even possible" under the new law, the suit states.

The "extremely restrictive approach" of the ordinance will require "thousands of patients to drive across the City of San Diego to obtain their medicine because cooperatives are only allowed in certain limited places in the city, which will create traffic and air pollution," the lawsuit states.

The zoning ordinance allows medical marijuana coops only in certain industrial and commercial zones, and requires buffer zones between the shops and residential areas.

California: Mendocino Sheriff Flush With Cash Due To Marijuana 'Restitution'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Is it an inventive new way to clear marijuana cases off the docket, or is it simply a way of separating medical marijuana patients from their money? The Mendocino County Sheriff's Department is flush with cash due to what some are calling "the Mendocino Model," and others are calling the Mendocino shakedown.

When District Attorney David Eyster took over in Mendocino just over three years ago, he said felony cannabis prosecutions were overwhelming his staff and his budget, reports Lee Romney at the Los Angeles Times. The cases took an average of 15 months to resolve.

Now the cases clear in about three months and the Sheriff's Department has plenty of cash. You see, Eyster found a section of the California health and safety code -- actually intended to reimburse police for the cost of cleaning up meth labs -- and reworked it.

In exchange for paying "restitution" of $50 per plant and $500 per pound of processed marijuana, suspects can plead to a misdemeanor and get probation, under Eyster's method. The restitution is supposed to be for actual enforcement costs, according to the law, but defendants are required to waive itemized accounting, stating the amount owed is "reasonable."

Cash, trucks, and equipment also occasionally have to be given up under Eyster's "global restitutions" plan.

The program is only available to those without criminal records, or who haven't trespassed, grown on public lands or degraded the environment.

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