Cannabis News Roundup: 08.07.15 | KALW

Cannabis News Roundup: 08.07.15

Aug 7, 2015

Justice Dept. can prosecute patients…  What to do with canna-cash? … Dispensaries now OK in Vallejo… Events… Opinion… “Willie’s Reserve”… and more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

Justice Dept. has OK to prosecute patients, close dispensaries // SFGate.com   Remember that Congressional move in December to prohibit federal agents from interfering with states “implementing their own laws” on medical marijuana?  Well, that’s not really what they meant.  

State lawmakers call for change in federal laws on cannabis // WashingtonPost.com   “The National Conference of State Legislatures, the de facto bipartisan group of lawmakers, passed a resolution  Thursday calling on the federal government to amend the Controlled Substances Act to authorize state marijuana laws and on the administration to keep its nose out of state pot policies.”

Legal marijuana likely to widen the conflict between state and federal rules // Bizjournals.com  “If California follows four other states in legalizing recreational marijuana, the problem will increase one-thousand fold,” says Mark Hariri, due to an inevitable explosion of pot dispensaries and tax revenue. Hariri is director of the centralized treasury and securities management division with the State Treasurer.

BUSINESS

Cash is industry’s “biggest challenge” // NYTimes.com   ‘The biggest challenge to our business is banking, by far,” says owner of a Denver dispensary. Not only is he not allowed to open a bank account; he's forbidden from getting hundred-dollar bills from the bank. Banks don’t want the proceeds from a federally illegal business. [Very nice video here, too. – Ed.]

How about a state-run bank for all that canna-cash? // SacBee.com  “In California, the lack of access to banking has hampered the state’s ability to collect taxes." A recent study of Fiona Ma’s San Francisco-based district found just 35 percent of the medical marijuana dispensaries paid sales taxes, totaling about $27 million last year.”

City Council reverses decision to close all Vallejo dispensaries // Eastbayexpress.com   “The council reversed itself and voted to allow the existing dispensaries to continue operating so long as they meet certain standards.”

Another celebrity brand: Willie’s Reserve // Mantecbulletin.com  “I feel like I was buying so much of it, it’s time to start selling it back,” says singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. He plans to add his name to the list of other entertainers (living and dead) who have cannabis-related products for sale.

HEALTH

 Heavy marijuana use in teens not linked to later health problems // Eurekalert.org   "There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence" says a study published by the American Psychological Association.

EVENTS

Medical cannabis town hall meeting // boe.ca.gov   “Avoid the pitfalls of non-compliance” and learn the latest legislation in this “telephone town hall meeting” coordinated by the State Board of Equalization. Click here to sign up for this event on Tuesday (08.18) at 3pm.

Four-Twenty Games come to Golden Gate Park //  This sporting event includes a 4.20 mile fun run, and strives to “show that cannabis users are not lazy and unmotivated.”  You have to be motivated to be there by the 8am start time a week from Saturday (08.15), so start practicing now. There’s beer [?] and a concert at the finish line.

OPINION

Legalization arguments make no sense // SanDiegoUnionTribune.com   Substance abuse researchers refute the benefits claimed by legalization advocates.

Save the salmon, regulate marijuana grows // SFchronicle.com  “With or without legalization, California needs to grapple with the environmental consequences of this enormous industry.”

Water data on pot grows is off base // caNORML.org   Advocacy group challenges state water use estimates, compares it to other agricultural products.

IN REMEMBRANCE

Patricia Crone, Islamic scholar and medical marijuana campaigner // economist.com   “A documentary film, ‘For the Life of Me’ … charted [Crone’s] battle with [incurable cancer] and her frustration at America’s prohibitionist laws, which delayed research, wasted effort and sapped hope. "

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