television

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U.S.: Groundbreaking Cannabis TV Show Delivers National Network Highs

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Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" is topping national cable network ratings as a journalistic news outlet covering the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.

Hosted by media entrepreneur and former NPR news anchor Becca Williams, the national TV show’s “420 special” which aired on April 20 received record viewership, becoming the most popular weekly program to date on Free Speech TV network in 2016.

Based on Rentrak ratings service, Free Speech TV garners approximately 1.2 million viewers per month and reaches nearly 40 million households. The station airs on DirecTV and DISH channels, as well as 200 part-time cable affiliates.

Host Williams is a long-time cannabis advocate and consumer who recognized the potential of a broadcast medium devoted to the controversial subject of marijuana. With riveting candor and hard-hitting commentary, Williams rips through fact, fiction and folly to get to the truth behind America’s misconceptions about the “Green Rush.”

"Marijuana Straight Talk"'s episodes tackle the realities of a rapidly expanding cannabis community. From educational and wellness segments to in-depth interviews and historical narratives, the show creates a cannabis culture that is socially conscious, sustainable and prosperous.

U.S.: TV Pot Show 'Marijuana Straight Talk' Soars To Top Of Ratings

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A woman-owned media company has launched a national TV show focused on one of America’s hottest and most controversial topics: marijuana.

The show, Marijuana Straight Talk, soared to the top of the ratings with its “420 special” episode last month, making its debut at a time when support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has never been stronger. A recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 61 percent of Americans now support legalizing cannabis.

“Now, more than ever, this country is ready for Marijuana Straight Talk,” said host Becca Williams, a noted media entrepreneur and TV producer.

The growing interest among Americans is evident when it comes to Marijuana Straight Talk’s reception. Based on the show’s “420 special” episode, it became the most popular weekly program in 2016 to date on Free Speech TV network, which garners about 1.2 million viewers per month based on Rentrak ratings service.

U.S.: The Marijuana Show Returns For Season 3; $20 Million Available To Ganjapreneurs

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Season Three breaks records with $20 million available to ganjapreneurs in capital investment

The cannabis industry is anticipated to grow to $17.5 billion by the year 2020, and the first-ever reality show about investing in cannabis is looking for the next crop of ganjapreneurs to join winners who have already offered over $18 million in investments, and brought a cannabis car, a major Hollywood “stoner comedy”, a cannabis advertising agency, and a line of CBD-infused dog bones to the market.

Emerging and established ganjapreneurs with new business ideas or budding companies are invited to audition for season three of the critically acclaimed TV series The Marijuana Show, dubbed the “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs,” for an opportunity to receive guidance and capital to take them to the next level. The newest season is breaking records, offering $20 million in investment capital, beating out network juggernaut “Shark Tank” and offering more investment money to a contestant than “Shark Tank” ever has.

This season celebrity American entrepreneur, author and CEO of Rush Communications Russell Simmons joins the roster as an advocate for the show. “A lot of people who are innovative and can figure out ways to build out brands, looks like that’s a market they should get in,” Simmons said.

U.S.: Medicare Mermaids Hash Out Marijuana In Episode 2

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The newly released Episode 2 of "Medicare Mermaids," a satirical new political web series which debuted earlier this month, deals with medical marijuana -- as in, the mermaids get blunt about Republicans out to kill their buzz.

LB Zimmerman stars as "Rozzie Mendlebaum" and Susan J Sommer stars as "Sheila Rabinowitz" in "Medicare Mermaids." Each episode runs under 4 minutes and addresses the issues from a progressive perspective with humor and insight.

"We're thrilled that over 10,000 people have watched Episode 1 on Facebook and YouTube and would like to thank all our viewers and supporters," said LB Zimmerman, creator/writer/"Rozzie Mermaid. "I think Episode 2 will strike a chord with many Americans who think our country's laws about marijuana need to be changed, despite what Trump-supporter, Governor Chris Christie says and thinks.

Episode 2 takes on the issue of legalizing Medical Marijuana and addresses the absurdity that it is considered a Schedule I narcotic by the DEA. Episode 3 will debut on April 11, and it deals with Climate Change, which greatly affects Mermaids and Humans alike.

On "Medicare Mermaids" Mondays (every other Monday) there will be a new episode with Rozzie and Sheila tackling the political issues in their unique way, with humor and intelligence.

Progressive and liberal, Rozzie and Sheila tackle big issues like protecting Medicare, gun control, marijuana legalization, climate change and a Mermaid's "right to choose."

U.S.: HBO's VICE Series Features White Collar Weed

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Season Four of the Emmy-winning television series VICE on HBO includes the segment "White Collar Weed," and will air on Friday, February 26, at 11 pm ET.

The episode will include two segments, "White Collar Weed," hosted by correspondent Hamilton Morris; and "Beating Blindness," hosted by correspondent Isobel Yeung.

Small-scale weed farmers have been fighting to legalize marijuana for generations, but the closer they get to ending the prohibition on cannabis, the closer they get to a new threat -- corporate takeover of their way of life.

VICE's Hamilton Morris travels to California's renowned Emerald Triangle to meet struggling mom-and-pop marijuana growers, then he visits with the investors and entrepreneurs eager to cash in on the next big consumer market -- if it could put the small guys out of business.

See an advanced clip from Friday's "White Collar Weed" segment, below:

Kentucky: TV Meteorologist, Husband Facing Marijuana Charges

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

From time to time a report comes from the heartland which reminds us that in much of the United States, getting caught with marijuana can still wreck your life.

Such is the case in Kentucky, where last week a local meteorologist at a Paducah television station was, along with her husband, arrested after state police found marijuana and weapons inside their home, reports WKYT.

Victoria Shaw Smoyer, 32, and Tyler Smoyer, 35, were charged with cultivating marijuana (a felony), and the following misdemeanors: enhanced firearms possession, possession of marijuana and possession of "drug paraphernalia."

"Tori Shaw," her TV name, is listed as a weekend meteorologist on the website for WPSD-TV in Paducah.

The Kentucky State Police said the arrests were made after troopers got an "anonymous tip" via text message of an indoor marijuana garden on Ridgeland Drive in Mayfield, reports WPSD reports.

Troopers said they performed a "knock and talk" at the home, then later got a search warrant for the raid.

Troopers claimed they found five marijuana plans, six long guns, eight boxes of ammo, a tactical vest and marijuana cultivation equipment inside the home. Also discovered were two more marijuana plants discarded in a trash can behind the home.

California: Corporate Takeover of Marijuana Culture Looms

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Small-scale, mom-and-pop weed farmers have been fighting for decades to legalize marijuana. After all, who wants to be put in a cage for cultivating a plant?

But the closer we get to finally ending cannabis prohibition, the closer we get to a new threat, and there's no better example than the way I-502 has been implemented in Washington state: the corporate takeover of the marijuana culture.

Washington voters innocently approved what they believed was a straight-up cannabis legalization measure, I-502, in 2012, but the way the law was written and is being implemented favors wealthy entrepreneurs and corporations rather than the mom-and-pop medical operations which established a beachhead against prohibition in the first place.

Now the same scenario appears ready to play out in California, where voters will likely be deciding on a recreational legalization ballot measure this November.

VICE's Hamilton Morris traveled to California's Emerald Triangle to meet mom-and-pop growers, then he visited with the investors and entrepreneurs eager to cash in on the next big consumer market -- which appears willing and able, even eager, to put the small guys out of business.

"White Collar Weed," along with another segment, "Beating Blindness," airs on HBO this Friday, February 26, at 11 p.m. For updates, visit www.viceonhbo.com.

Graphic: Maxim

U.S.: New 'Rolling With Rogen' Cannabis Series Sparks Up On MerryJane.com

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Merry Jane, a media platform combining cannabis and pop culture, on Wednesday launched a new original series produced and created by Point Grey, “Rolling with Rogen,” starring actor Seth Rogen. The series will include Rogen's personal perspective and helpful tips for enjoying cannabis.

A hilarious and informative tongue-in-cheek how-to video tutorial on successfully consuming cannabis in its various forms. New episodes of “Rolling with Rogen” will be available on Merry Jane.

Merry Jane, recently launched by entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg, and media entrepreneur Ted Chung, represents the new reality of cannabis as part of our daily lives. The website features the latest news on cannabis, business and entertainment, as well as a location mapping service for dispensaries and an encyclopedia of all things cannabis.

Merry Jane also boasts a variety of original series, including:

GGN: Everyone’s favorite “hood news” talk show hosted by Snoop Dogg, where he interviews a variety of entertainers, such as Jimmy Kimmel, Kendrick Lamar, Larry King and more.

Deflowered: An intimate look into the lives of influential people where each episode spotlights a “first time” moment with our guests.

Seed to Strain: A behind-the-scenes look into some of the most well-known cannabis strains.

Wide World of Cannabis: Profiling far flung parts of the world and how they have cultivated their own unique relationship with cannabis.

U.S.: New TV Show Chronicles Emerging Cannabis Economy

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VICELAND, VICE’s new TV network, has shared the first trailer for its show "Weediquette," hosted by Krishna Andavolu. The show premieres on Tuesday, March 1, at 11 p.m., on VICELAND.

In the show, VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu chronicles the science, culture, and economics of the emerging “green” economy.

Each episode explores the impact of marijuana legalization across the United States and internationally, examining how people on all sides of this issue are dealing with the growing popularity and acceptance of this remarkable plant.

"There are many players in this weed revolution, and each one has a story to tell," "Weediquette announced in a press release.

Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/RYAqnLonzIw

Washington: The Marijuana Show To Hold Auditions In Seattle For Next Weed Millionaire

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The Marijuana Show, a reality cable TV show called “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs” by CNBC, is holding auditions for Season 3 in Seattle.

According to the show's producers, auditions will be held at the Cannabis Tech Meetup, February 3, at Club Sur at 7:30 PM in conjunction with the Seattle Cannabis Tech group meeting.

The first season offered $5 million and second season offered over $10 million. Producers are interested in cannabis, hemp, technology, ancillary, dispensaries and grows.

“Come pitch or judge to help decide who will get to pitch accredited investors and star in season three," said producer Wendy Robbins. "We wanted to create a power to the people pitch so we can involve the community to find the next marijuana millionaires.”

“This will be our most exciting season since we have access to amazing investors and will search the country finding the most innovative and lucrative businesses," said producer Karen Paull. "This season we also are able to offer loans to established businesses.”

Over the next six months, the show’s producers will be hosting live auditions in select cities including Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Boston, Washington DC, New York and Florida to find the next group of contenders. Two Minute Online pitches can be uploaded and voted on at www.grreenequitymedia.com.

Vermont: Coalition To Regulate Marijuana To Launch TV Ad Campaign

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Campaign Features State’s Former Top Law Enforcement Official

A new television ad featuring Vermont’s former top law enforcement official speaking out in support of regulating marijuana will begin airing statewide on Tuesday, just as lawmakers are taking a close look at the issue.

The ad — viewable online at https://youtu.be/Fk45yWMjtRc — will appear on WCAX, CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC through Sunday.

In the ad, titled “Time to End Prohibition (Again)”, former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney draws a comparison between current marijuana prohibition laws and the failed policy of alcohol prohibition.

“We all know that prohibition was a disaster,” Cheney says as images from the era of alcohol prohibition appear on the screen. “It forced alcohol into the underground market, where it was controlled by criminals, and consumers did not know what they were getting. It made us a nation of hypocrites and lawbreakers.

“Marijuana prohibition has caused a lot of the same problems,” according to Cheney. “That’s why most Vermonters agree it’s time for a more sensible approach,” he says, referencing a September Castleton Polling Institute poll that found 56 percent of Vermonters support — and only 34 percent oppose — legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use.

The ad ends with Cheney urging viewers to contact their state senators and telling them, “It’s time to end prohibition and start regulating marijuana in Vermont.”

U.S.: Law Enforcement's Use Of Young Drug Informants Ignites Controversy

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The use of young people by law enforcement as confidential informants in drug cases is more controversial than ever before after the practice was spotlighted Sunday night on TV news show 60 Minutes.

While Drug War prohibitionists often claim we need to "protect young people," the 60 Minutes piece showed one of the ways the War On Drugs endangers young people, reports Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in The Huffington Post.

The TV news show shows young people who were arrested for small amounts of cannabis or Ecstasy who were then threatened with years in prison unless they "turned" and worked as confidential informants, "CIs." A number of these informants unfortunately end up in life-threatening situations, or are pressured into lying at the expense of innocent people to reduce their own punishments.

Up to 80 percent of all drug cases in the United States may be due to information from informants, according to research, and 60 Minutes estimated that 100,000 people are currently working as confidential informants.

U.S.: The Marijuana Show Kicks Off Season Two

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'Shark Tank' for Ganjapreneurs': More Than $10 Million Offered From Five Accredited Investors

Fresh off auditions, The Marijuana Show—coined the “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs” and the first-ever reality show about investing in cannabis—is set to film its second season focused on creating the next Marijuana Millionaires.

With 20 contestants, and access to over $10 million in investment capital, the show has expanded tremendously since kicking off its first season in 2014. This season will profile mostly established cannabis entrepreneurs pitching accredited investors.

Winners will have access to millionaire mentors, celebrities, distribution, financing, and can utilize the show’s extensive global marketing platform to expand their businesses.

The show shoots in Denver in mid-October. Investors will be pitched business plans including the first cannabis car since the Model T Ford, CBD vodka, technology from a former Microsoft executive, a Hollywood Cannabis Movie, dispensaries in Hawaii and Baltimore, a banking solution, and CBD dog bones created by a 10-year-old CEO and his mother who is a nurse.

Contestants come from Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Seattle, Florida, Nevada and Israel.

Season Two investors include:

• Scott Greiper, president/founder, Viridian Capital Advisors: The first and leading provider of investment banking, market intelligence and corporate advisory services to the Cannabis marketplace.

Oregon: TV Station Pulls Marijuana Commercial That Would Have Been Nation's First

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana advertisements apparently still aren't quite ready for prime time TV.

What would have been the first cannabis commercial on network television anywhere in the United States was scheduled to air Wednesday on KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon, reports Molly Harbbarger at The Oregonian. During the evening news broadcast, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference had planned to solicit attendees.

But KATU General Manager John Tamerlano said on Tuesday the station had decided to pull the ad, reports Willamette Week. Tamerlano flatly said the station "doesn't accept marijuana advertising."

A Denver TV station had made the same decision last month. KMGH-Channel 7 had planned to air ads for companies operating dispensaries and also for vape pen manufacturers, but the station eventually blinked because of pot's continued illegality under federal law.

Recreational cannabis became legal in Oregon on July 1. Commercial sales to adults will start in medical dispensaries on October 1.

California: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Says Golden State Will Legalize Marijuana In 2016

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California voters will legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults in the 2016 general election, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom predicted on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday. "I'm leading the effort," Newsom added.

"As some folks may know, we're very likely to have a ballot initiative in 2016 and we have strong confidence that we'll win," Newsom said, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

"We gotta do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana," Newsom said. "So we want to do it in a very thoughtful way and we want to have that opportunity next year."

Lt. Gov. Newsom has been working with a Blue Ribbon Commission on legalization; its findings were released this summer. An initiative is expected soon.

A winning marijuana legalization initiative campaign could cost half a million dollars or more, and that's just for paid signature gatherers, never mind the ads. Those will run a cool $10 million or so -- and that's assuming no major opposition.

U.S.: Media Effort To End Marijuana Prohibition Kicks Off With TV, Internet, Radio PSA Campaign

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Public Service Ads By Award-Winning Creative Audio/Music House Designed to Educate the Public and Reform Harsh Sentencing Laws

After witnessing first hand the effects of the nation’s draconian marijuana laws, Howard Bowler, president of the award-winning audio post/music production company HOBO, is responding the only way he knows how -- through the power of sound. The company is launching a TV, radio and Internet public service campaign targeting states where measures to legalize marijuana are on the ballot.

HOBO’s creative team wrote and produced the ads that are available for free to any broadcast outlet and organization interested in this issue. All of the spots can be customized for local markets. Several regional radio spots have already been produced with input from the organization Regulate Rhode Island.

Click here to check out one of the radio spots entitled: "Master-Peace Theater.”

“The more I learned about the origin of prohibition, the more I realized these laws have a complex political history, are not based on science or health and yet their social impact is huge,” Bowler said. “Last year alone 700,000 people were arrested on marijuana related charges. That’s more than for all violent crimes combined.

U.S.: Marijuana Straight Talk TV Show Prepares Third Episode

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When it comes to the complicated and controversial subject of cannabis, Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" show, hosted by Becca Williams, boldly goes where no one has gone before, according to the show's producers -- and viewers seem to be going along for the ride in big numbers.

The show was the network’s second most popular weekly current affairs program in terms of households reached, according to Free Speech TV. Additionally, Rentrak, a media measurement and analytical services company, reported that "Marijuana Straight Talk" was Free Speech TV’s third most popular in terms of TV ratings and average audience size.

The network’s general manager, Jon Stout, said he was surprised by "Marijuana Straight Talk"’s reception. “It’s a remarkable response — given that this show is just out of the starting gate,” he said.

After riding a tidal wave of print and media coverage, cannabis has come crashing into the public consciousness. Now, more than ever, Americans are marijuana-minded.

U.S.: Orange Is The New Black Author Piper Kerman Joins Drug War Discussion

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Interview with DPA’s asha bandele on What Television Can and Can’t Tell Us About Women, the Drug War and Mass Incarceration

Piper Kerman, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, joined the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele for a discussion on mass incarceration, women affected by the failed Drug War, and how television and media have approached these issues.

Piper’s book has been adapted into an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series for Netflix that serves as an entertaining and enlightening portrayal of her experience being incarcerated. She has been an influential force in revealing the injustices present in our criminal justice system while shining a humane light on people in prison.

Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in state and federal prisons grew by an incredible 646 percent.

An estimated 61 percent of women in state prison and 56 percent of women in federal prison are mothers of minor children. Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, a substantial proportion of which are drug law violations.

DPA Fact Sheet: "Women, Prison and the Drug War"

Photo of Piper Kerman: University of North Carolina Wilmington

U.S.: Telephone Town Hall With 'Orange Is The New Black' Author Set For June 29

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Piper Kerman, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele on Monday, June 29, from 1-2 pm, EST, for a discussion on mass incarceration, women affected by the failed drug war, and how television and media have approached these issues.

Piper’s book has been adapted into an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series for Netflix that serves as an entertaining and enlightening portrayal of her experience being incarcerated. She has been an influential force in revealing the injustices present in our criminal justice system while shining a humane light on people in prison.

Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in state and federal prisons grew by 646 percent. An estimated 61 percent of women in state prison and 56 percent of women in federal prison are mothers of minor children.

Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, a substantial proportion of which are drug law violations.

Piper Kerman’s talk is the sixth in a series of quarterly telephone town halls sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. The conversations seek to bring some of the most learned and influential people working in the field of drug policy before the general public so that together we can create an ever-more informed and shared understanding about drugs and society.

U.S.: Who Will Be The Next Marijuana Millionaire? The Marijuana Show Opens Season 2 Auditions

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After a successful first season, "The Marijuana Show" — which calls itself "the first-ever reality show about Cannabis" — is announcing Season Two auditions during Hemp History Week, with live auditions on June 18-19 and June 21.

Coined the “Shark Tank for Ganjapreneurs,” the reality-competition show offered over $5 million to contestants in Season One. The show profiles ganjapreneur hopefuls, giving each contestant the opportunity to pitch an idea to a panel of accredited investors, and then participate in a Boot Camp aka Bud Camp to develop a variety of cannabis technologies and products through mentorship, and ultimately access to millions of dollars in investment capital.

The Marijuana Show can be viewed online and will air fall 2015 on Dish, Comcast, Xbox, Samsung, Roku and several other streaming sites reaching over 50 million households.

Ganjapreneur hopefuls can audition online. Two-minute video pitches will be accepted from all over the country. Live auditions will take place in Seattle on June 18 and 19 by RSVP only and at Hempapalooza on June 21 in Brinnon, Washington.

Entrepreneurs who have unique products, an established business, permits, licenses, and sales are encouraged to audition to see if they can be the next Marijuana Millionaire. Wannabe Marijuana Millionaires should be able to present business plans and proof of licenses and permits, and they must be 21+ with valid ID.

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