Texas

Texas: State Issues First Medical Cannabis License

Texas Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Earlier this month a Florida company, Cansortium Texas, was granted the historic first Texas license to grow, process and sell a form of medical cannabis in the Lone Star State.

Cansortium Texas, which sells medical cannabis under the Knox Medical brand, will operate a facility which will be allowed to sell cannabis to epilepsy patients off U.S. 90 in Schulenburg.

Two other companies — Compassionate Cultivation, which is retrofitting a 7,200-square-foot warehouse in Manchaca with customized growing and processing equipment, and Surterra Texas are expected to be awarded state licenses soon after final reviews by the Texas Department of Public Safety, rounding out the three medical cannabis licenses that the agency has said it will issue.

Texas: Congressman Hosts Public Hearing on Reducing Penalties for Cannabis

Texas

HB 334, which was introduced in the special legislative session, would replace criminal penalties for low-level cannabis possession with a civil citation

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Wednesday, Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody held a public hearing to discuss reducing state cannabis possession penalties to support HB 334, which Rep. Moody introduced in the special legislative session in July.

Texas: Bill Introduced to Decriminalize Cannabis

Texas Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 27, Texas Representative Joe Moody introduced, HB 334, a bill calling for the decriminalization of cannabis possession. The proposed legislation would also create an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia in the Lone Star State.

Under the proposed law, possession of over one ounce of marijuana would still be punishable with a misdemeanor, while five pounds or more would still garner a felony charge.

Arkansas: Texarkana Approves Medical Carijuana Regulations

Texarkana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Texarkana, the first municipality in Arkansas which has granted formal approval to local rules that will govern medical cannabis businesses that operate within its borders, has approved the historic first business license fees for dispensaries and medical cannabis growers, according to MJBiz .

Growers must pony up $50,000 for a business permit, while dispensaries will have to pay an initial $7,500 and then $11,000 for yearly license renewals, reports KSLA, the Shreveport, Louisiana TV station.

Texas: Slow Paperwork Prevents Medical Marijuana Vote

Texas.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Texas legislature failed to pass a medical marijuana regime before the end of session and the failure was due to the Calendars Committee not receiving paperwork for the bill on time, according to the Texas Cannabis Report.

The report says that the measure was not heard by the Public Health Committee until one week before the end of the legislative session. By the end of that hearing, 77 of the House’s 150 members had signed on in support — enough to pass the bill. The committee passed the bill on Friday.

Heather Fazio, a member of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, said that Health Committee Chair Rep. Four Price might have had “his heart and mind” opened by the testimony at the hearing.

“He still wasn’t ready to vote for the bill himself, but he was attentive during the hearing and demonstrated exceptional character when he allowed the bill to be voted on by the committee,” Fazio said in the report.

The Calendar Committee said the paperwork had not arrived on Monday, meaning they were unable to schedule the bill that day. The paperwork arrived Tuesday, but that was too late for the House to take it up. The next opportunity to revisit the legislation is 2019 as the Texas legislature meets every other year from January through May.

Texas: Dallas Approves Cite And Release Program For Marijuana

Texas.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Possession of marijuana in Dallas, Texas might not automatically land someone in jail anymore.

Dallas city council members voted 10-to-5 to approve a “cite and release” program for simple marijuana possession.

Although strongly supported, some people, like former officer Pete Schulte, think the program does not go far enough.

“In a perfect world, if people were cited, they were released and they showed up to court and took care of their case, perfect,” said Schulte, who’s now a defense lawyer. “Chances of that happening maybe 10 percent of the time are slim to none.”

Schulte thinks it would put more stress on the criminal justice system. He said if someone does not show up for their date in court, a warrant will be issued and served for their arrest, which he said would just tax law enforcement weeks or months later.

“I think it’s just pushing the ball down the court,” said Schulte. “It’s not going to help anything.”

Council member Philip Kingston, the man behind the initiative, strongly disagrees.

“That’s boneheaded,” said Kingston. “Our cops are smart.”

Kingston believes cite and release will help free up officers to focus on more serious crimes.

“I think what we’ve done at this point is made this crime such a hassle for police to mess with, that they’ll simply quit,” said Kingston.

Texas: Cowboys' Owner Jerry Jones Wants NFL To Drop Its Marijuana Ban

Jerry Jones.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jerry Jones spoke up at the Annual League Meeting for NFL team owners last week, telling the group that he wants the NFL to "drop its prohibition on marijuana use."

His fellow owners reminded him that a change won’t be coming anytime soon because it’s something that would have to be collectively bargained.

Jones is certainly not alone in the NFL in questioning the league's ban on marijuana use. Former Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said in an interview for Sportsday a few months ago that he compared it to alcohol.

"I see guys that partake in marijuana are calmer, cooler than guys that drink", Carr said. "I haven't really seen too many people get in jams or binds with their emotions or losing their cool off of marijuana."

Several other retired NFL players, such as former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, have spoken out in recent months encouraging the NFL to consider new information available, and to drop its ban on medical marijuana. Some players feel that using medical marijuana is safer than using prescription painkillers, which can be addictive.

The NFL told Pro Football Talk it is "willing to listen to the medical community" regarding the use of marijuana.

Texas: Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Is Getting A Hearing In The State House

Texas.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A bill that would decriminalize the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana has been scheduled for a hearing at the Texas State Capitol.

House Bill 81 will be argued in front of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on March 13th. If it passes, it will make low-level marijuana possession a misdemeanor.

House Bill 81 would make possession of 1-2 ounces of marijuana a Class B misdemeanor. The possession of a small amount of marijuana would result in a civil penalty not exceeding $250. Possession of up to 4 ounces would result in a Class A misdemeanor, while any amount over that would result in a felony still.

The bill was authored by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, and Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs.

Texas: State Could Lose Millions Of Tax Dollars If Medical Marijuana Not Implemented

Texas.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas Compassionate Care Act into law on June 1, 2015, but it looks now as if the state may not implement its medical marijuana program, and could miss out on collecting millions of dollars in potential tax revenues.

A major obstacle delaying the program in Texas is that the law requires a doctor to write a prescription for medical marijuana. The problem is that doctors can't legally write a prescription for marijuana, because it remains federally illegal, and a controlled substance. Also, prescriptions must be filled by a pharmacy, not a dispensary. The law would need to be amended so that doctors could recommend medical marijuana, not prescribe it. Heather Fazio of Texans for Responsible Marijuana said that legal medical cannabis in Texas may "not ever get off the ground, if we're not able to change that language in the law."

So far, the only disease approved to be treated by medical marijuana in Texas is intractable epilepsy, leaving cancer patients, pain sufferers and veterans with post traumatic stress disorder unable to legally get the medicine. A bill has been introduced in both the Texas House and Senate to expand the list of qualifying conditions.

Texas: Former NFL Players Advocate For Medical Marijuana

Jim McMahon.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Several former NFL players are hoping to change the league's ban on marijuana.

A cannabis convention was held at the Revention Music Center in Houston Wednesday night ahead of Super Bowl LI. Jim McMahon, former NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion, was one of several former players in attendance.

“Marijuana is not a drug,” said McMahon. “It’s a medicinal herb. Drugs happen only when man puts their hands on it.”

McMahon and other former players shared stories of how marijuana saved their lives.

“I went through a real bad depression and laid down on the railroad tracks and tried to commit suicide myself so it was just by the grace of God that I found God and found cannabis as well,” said Boo Williams, former NFL tight end.

“[I had] constant thoughts of suicide and depression and rage and all these things that were neurologically disrupting my life and I can’t say enough about making that transition,” former NLF offensive lineman Kyle Turley said.

He continued, “I don’t take an aspirin to this day, an Aleve, an Advil, nothing. I have a strict cannabis regimen that I use.”

McMahon hopes to help remove the stigma related to marijuana and promote its benefits to the general public as well as former NFL players.

Texas: Bill Filed To Legalize Medical Marijuana

medical marijuana 2.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Texas state Senator Jose Menendez filed a bill today that would allow people with chronic and debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana to treat those conditions through a prescription from a doctor.

Senator Menendez says if traditionally conservative states like Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas can pass such a measure, Texas should follow suit.

Illnesses like cancer, PTSD, nausea, Parkinson’s, autism, HIV and severe pain are a few of the ailments that would qualify.

Political science professor Doctor Paul Fabrizio told KIDY the road to approval for this bill is a difficult one. If passed in both the House and the Senate, there’s still one huge obstacle.

“If they were to get it passed, they’re gonna have to convince the governor. The governor has been very outspoken in saying he does not support legalization of medical or recreational marijuana. Therefore, he’s not going to sign a bill,” Fabrizio said.

U.S.: 4 States Most Likely To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Next

pot flag.png

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Legalized recreational marijuana has been a big news headline ever since the Election Day, when the number of states with legal pot going from 4 to 8. Several other states are getting closer to seeing legal recreational pot legalized, with some being closer than others.

In Arizona, Proposition 205 was defeated by a margin of just 2 percent. Cannabis advocacy groups encouraged by the close defeat will focus their attention on remaining hesitant voters. They expect to see legal recreational weed passed very soon. California just passed Prop 64, but similar measures in 2010, 2012, and 2014 were defeated. Oregon voted “No” on legal cannabis in 2012, then “Yes” in 2014.

Recreational marijuana becomes officially legal in Massachusetts on December 15, 2016, allowing adults to possess as much cannabis as they can grow. Otherwise, individuals can have up to 1 ounce, including 5 grams of concentrate. Neighboring states Rhode Island and Vermont are likely to follow suit, since citizens of those states could easily cross the border to take advantage of legal pot in Massachusetts. Both states are interested in the tax revenue the legal cannabis industry generates.

Texas: Legislators File Bills To Decriminalize Marijuana

Texas.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Less than a week after several other states approved measures to weaken restrictions on marijuana, Texas lawmakers are aiming to do the same.

On Monday, the first day of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session, Texas legislators submitted several proposals to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Bills were submitted that would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders, reduce criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and re-classify convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

On Nov. 8, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives, adding them to a growing list of states — including Alaska,Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — that have already approved the drug for recreational use. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota also approved medicinal marijuana initiatives.

The National Conference of State Legislators reports that 28 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs.

U.S.: Study Finds Marijuana Arrests Outnumber Those For Violent Crimes

arrested.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A new study has found that arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year, even though more and more cities and states have decriminalized or legalized the plant and attitudes toward it have changed.

And even though African-Americans smoke pot at rates similar to whites, black adults were found to be arrested at more than two and a half times the rate of whites.

Th report was released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch.

"Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime," the report finds, citing FBI data. "More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year."

The report says that on any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 men and women sit behind bars on simple drug possession charges.

Nearly two-thirds of them are in local jails. Most of these jailed inmates have not been convicted of any crime, the report says. They're sitting in a cell, awaiting a day in court which may be months or even years off, because they can't afford to post bail.

Texas: Game Wardens, Deputies Bust Huge Marijuana Farm

pot farm.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

State game wardens and other law enforcement officers have raided a massive illegal marijuana grow operation in a remote area of West Texas.

A statement released by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Friday says about 40,000 marijuana plants worth millions of dollars were seized during the raid on a ranch in eastern Menard County, about 200 miles northwest of Austin.

Game wardens were making an aerial patrol of they county when they spotted the operation. Officials say the site featured irrigation facilities and camps.

Armed guards were encountered protecting the sites, said Col. Craig Hunter, director of the Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division. He said discarded firearms were found as well.

There have been no reports of arrests.

Oregon: $9M Illegal Marijuana Grow Raided Near Willamette River

Yamhill grow.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A massive marijuana grow in Oregon was raided early Tuesday morning, resulting in one arrest and the seizure of more than 6,500 plants.

The grow operation was found in rural Dayton after a two-month long investigation by the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team, according to the Yamhiil County Sheriff's Office. Found in the wetlands of the Willamette River, the operation was connected to a Mexican drug trafficking organization.

The team raided the operation before sunrise with the help of the Oregon State Police SWAT. The thousands of plants were valued at more than $9 million.

Official found Manuel Madrigal, 42, hiding in a secret living area with a kitchen under a tarp. Madrigal,a resident of San Antonio, Texas with a history of drug arrests, was detained by deputies. He was arrested on federal charges of drug trafficking and turned over to U.S. Marshal custody in Portland.

Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said the raid was a good example of the dangers Oregon faces from marijuana, even though it is now legal in certain quantities.

"There is still a profit to be made in marijuana by these illegal organizations," Svenson said. "As long as this continues, we will need to remain diligent in our investigations to keep this money from being routed to other areas of criminal activity."

Texas: Border Patrol Agents Stop Dump Truck Carrying 1,800 Pounds Of Marijuana

border patrol.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Border Patrol agents stopped a dump truck carrying more than 1,800 pounds of marijuana near Brownsville, Texas last week.

Border Patrol agents conducting surveillance on Thursday watched a black-and-white dump truck approach a sand pit near the Mesquite Farms Ranch.

Agents ran the dump truck's license plate through a law enforcement database, which revealed "the dump truck had been previously identified as a narcotics load vehicle," according to the criminal complaint.

According to the criminal complaint:

USBP agents observed the white and black dump truck break away from the normal route of travel for dump trucks and disappear into an unused sand pit. USBP agents advised via service portable radio the bundles that had been observed on the dirt mound were no longer at their original location. USBP agents observed the white and black dump truck exit the area and did not attempt to pick up a load of sand near the sandpit area.

Agents stopped the dump truck and arrested the driver, Dario Galvan-Ibarra. They recovered 26 bundles of marijuana from the dump truck, weighing a total of 1,873.3 pounds.

Agents turned Galvan-Ibarra over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for prosecution.

U.S.: Pro Motorcycle Racer Gets Marijuana Company Sponsorship

JohnnyRockXPage[HempAmericanMediaGroup].jpg

Professional motorcycle racer Johnny Rock Page and marijuana industry media company Hemp American Media Group have together made history via a sponsorship deal that makes for the first time a professional racer has ever been sponsored by a marijuana company. The sponsorship is for Page’s 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike season.

"This deal conveys the public’s improving perception and acceptance of marijuana," said Colby Ayres, co-founder and marketing director of Hemp American Media Group. "We are ecstatic that Johnny Rock Page and MotoAmerica are progressive in their views towards marijuana," Ayres said.

"Although I no longer use marijuana, I truly believe that it can help cancer patients and those who need it for other medicinal purposes," Page said.

MotoAmerica's Superbike racing series is the IndyCar of motorcycle racing. Each motorcycle is completely custom, creating the fastest motorcycle racing in the world.

The MotoAmerica Superbike season begins in April in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of The Americas race track where Page will seek a win in the season opener. The season’s nine races throughout the continental U.S. will be televised on the beIN SPORTS TV Network.

Texas: Dallas Rejects Marijuana Cite-and-Release Plan

pot and gavel.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Dallas City Council rejected a plan to ticket people instead of arresting them for minor drug offenses Wednesday morning.

Several council members and the Dallas police chief were supporters of the idea. The proposal would have required Dallas police officers to issue tickets to Dallas residents discovered with four ounces of marijuana or less, instead of arresting them.

Phillip Kingston, a council member and out-spoken supporter of the proposal, said allowing those found with pot to stay out of jail as long as they showed up later for court was the least the city could do.

"I'm as transparent about this as I can be. My hope is that this will finally convince DPD to ignore marijuana. That is my goal, that they will ignore marijuana. I know that I don't have the power to legalize the stuff, but I do have the power to correctly allocate criminal justice resources that are under my control so that they aren't spent on pot," he told the Dallas Observer in December.

The biggest objection to cite-and-release was raised Wednesday by Sandy Greyson, a council member who represents parts of Far North Dallas that are in Denton and Collin County. Those residents would not have been eligible for cite-and-release because they reside in a different sheriff's jurisdiction.

After Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the council that Collin and Denton counties would not be joining the proposed program, Greyson said Wednesday the unequal application of the law was unfair.

Texas: SXSW Is Going To Pot With First Ever Cannabis Music Showcase

SXSW(logo)[NewCannabisVentures].jpg

First Ever Cannabis Music Showcase featuring B-Real, Ghostface Killah and More
Friday, March 18 at Emo’s

The cannabis culture has arrived at SXSW with a music showcase dedicated entirely to our beloved plant, and featuring hip-hop artist B-Real, along with Ghostface Killah, Domo Genesis, Killa Priest, SID (Slipknot), Bizzy, Bic and others.

“This is epic,” said presenter Rory Mendoza of LEAF Brand Incorporated. “This is the first time a cannabis music showcase will be officially recognized at SXSW. Performers are reaching out to us daily to be a part of this historic music stage in Austin. The artists are proud there will be an ‘official stage’ dedicated to their love of the healing green plant.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. for this historic SXSW event on Friday, March 18 at Emo’s, Austin’s live music venue located at 2015 E. Riverside Drive.

The music stage is presented by SXSW and Rory Mendoza of LEAF Brand Incorporated. Mendoza was the promoter of February’s Ft. Worth cannabis conference.

In addition to the LEAF Music Showcase division, the company is comprised of a marketing and entertainment division, LEAF brand clothing, and LEAF Organics skin care line.

Mendoza said his entertainment contacts and history of music promotion, combined with and a passion for cannabis events, fueled the fire for the SXSW music showcase.

Syndicate content