Cannabis News Roundup: Pastor uses "alternative facts" in dispensary fight

Mar 31, 2017

“Alternative facts” used in dispensary dispute ... Mendocino can’t fill regulatory jobs ... Events, Opinion ... and more.

LEGISLATION

State panel ponders cannabis banking // sfgate.com

“Legalizing recreational marijuana in California next year will give rise to an industry with more than $7 billion in projected annual sales.”  Yet it has to be a cash business because of federal laws. The Cannabis Banking Working Group is charged with trying to work around this major problem.

Assembly bill would block state assistance in federal raids // Emerald Report

“A recently-proposed state bill (AB 1578) would prohibit state or local law enforcement officials from aiding feds in any legal action against the legal cannabis industry in California. That means local police and sheriff’s departments would be required to have a signed court order before they could lift a finger to help drug enforcement at a federal level.”

“Alternative facts” quoted in attempt to block dispensary in San Francisco // ebar.com

A pastor in San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood says “that there have been several marijuana overdose deaths among relatives of his parishioners.” When challenged on the false claim, he replied, "I don't know anything more, that was what I was told."

The Sunset District is in a tug of war over whether a medical cannabis dispensary can open there.

Santa Rosa ban on outdoor grows needs more study // PressDemocrat.com

City staff abruptly kicked the ban back to a cannabis subcommittee hours before the City Council was set to vote on the 45-day moratorium.

“In making their decision, officials cited the high volume of feedback they received about the proposal prior to the meeting.”

COPS & COURTS

Thousands still arrested on marijuana charges // 247wallst.com

“Of the total number of marijuana-related sentences, 96% — 3,398 — were related to trafficking charges, and 122 (3.5%) were related to simple possession.”

Mendo cannabis regulation jobs go begging // Ukiah Daily Jrln.

“Of more than a dozen applicants [for positions as biologists] the department has interviewed since November, none have been able to accept the job because of a lack of available housing in the area.”

BUSINESS

Over 25 percent of all legal marijuana sales are in California  // SF Weekly

“According to cannabis market research firm the Arcview Group, California makes up more than one-fourth of all legal marijuana sales in the 50 U.S. states plus Canada combined.”

EVENTS

Senator Feinstein co-chairs International Narcotics Control hearing next week // drugcaucus.senate.gov

The session, titled “Is the Department of Justice Adequately Protecting the Public from the Impact of Recreational Marijuana Legalization?” is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5.

Exploratorium plans a marijuana evening // www.exploratorium.edu

Cannabis is the topic of next Thursday’s After Dark program at San Francisco’s Exploratorium: “Get to know the shifting legal and cultural landscapes surrounding marijuana, and indulge your curiosity in different cultivars through live plant displays and demonstrations.”

4/20 “holiday” sponsored by area merchants this year // abc7news.com

Haight Street merchants have agreed to kick in over $100,000 to sponsor this year’s annual unsanctioned gathering of marijuana fans, which will take place April 20 at Golden Gate Park. Prime time will be 4:20pm, when countless celebrants will light up.

“The [San Francisco] rec and park department says since there's nothing they can do to prevent the crowds from coming, allowing the merchants to sponsor the rogue event is the best option for the city.”

OPINION

Oakland’s delayed permit process won’t work // SF Chronicle

“The delays in Oakland’s enactment of its permit system for pot businesses have chased away investors, “ says one businessman. “Because the Oakland City Council can’t get its act together, he hasn’t felt comfortable purchasing a warehouse. And without a place to operate, [he] says he won’t even be eligible for an equity permit.”

Poll says support for cannabis legalization increases // Washingtonpost.com

“The numbers from the General Social Survey — a large nationwide survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research — comport with other national surveys last year, which found support ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s.”

Question: Is it safe to fly with marijuana now that it’s legal for California adults? // SFWeekly.com

There’s no official policy. Here are some thoughts from those who have tried it.

IN OTHER NEWS        

Sonoma State ponders pitfalls of cannabis classes // Press Democrat

A preliminary symposium this month drew “a really good, engaged crowd.” But the question for scholars and administrators is: “How do you tackle a subject that remains classified by the federal government as a dangerous drug?”