Cannabis News Roundup: Is your medical card valid?

Aug 11, 2017

Legalization no cure for black market ... Berkeley leads in quality control ... Toxic waste at grow sites more worrisome than first thought ... opinion, health, and more. 

[Click the blue hyperlink headline to read the full story.]

LEGISLATION & REGULATION

Legalization will not stop cannabis black market // SF Chronicle

“Exactly how much cannabis circulates in California is unknown because most marijuana production and sales have been illegal for so long. But economists hired by the state government estimate that California farms produce about 13.5 million pounds of cannabis each year, while state residents annually consume about 2.5 million pounds.

“That leaves 11 million pounds of pot that probably flows out of California illegally, according to the economic report commissioned by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which regulates cannabis farmers.”

Planning Commission worries San Francisco dispensary owners // SF Examiner

“Dispensary owners are worried that the Planning Commission could bump their scheduled hearings in the coming months until after the supervisors vote on the temporary ban” that was introduced last month.

San Francisco dispensaries are not evenly distributed; here’s why // SF Chronicle

“The clustering is a result of zoning laws put in place in 2006. Medical cannabis dispensaries are banned from most areas that are zoned residential or industrial. They must be located at least 1,000 feet from a school or facility serving individuals younger than 18.”

Medical cards may be refused by dispensaries // SFWeekly

“[M]any cards do not show the recommending doctor’s signature. And without the ability to scan and keep a physician’s signature on file, some dispensaries will send you home to retrieve your embossed and signed letter of recommendation — the cheaper document that seemed less useful.”

COPS & COURTS

Test shows THC impairs driving ability // Green State

“’When the drivers were sober, they made no mistakes, but each driver made a series of errors when stoned – hitting cones, crashing into larger obstacles, and unfortunately colliding with a bike that was on the shoulder of the road’.”

HEALTH

Berkeley leads the way on cannabis quality assurance // Green State

“Since 2015, Berkeley’s three licensed, operating dispensaries have had to comply with some of the most strict cannabis contaminant regulations in the state, including thresholds for pesticides, solvents, mold, and mildew. It wasn’t easy. Today, most California cannabis is deemed too dirty to sell to patients in Berkeley, and regulatory costs have soared. But Berkeley's industry has thrived nonetheless.”

New CBD benefits showcased at conference // Alternet

“During the last week of June, more than 400 scientists from 25 countries met in Montreal for the 27th annual symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Several presentations and posters showcased new findings about cannabidiol (CBD), the non-euphoric component of the cannabis plant that is transforming the medical marijuana landscape.”

No drop in IQ in cannabis study of twins // NY Daily News

“Investigators concluded, ‘Short-term cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to cause IQ decline or impair executive functions, even when cannabis use reaches the level of dependence.’”

EVENT

San Francisco walking tour highlights legalization fight // Green Guide Tours

This tour of the Castro and the Mission focuses on “the figures who fought vigorously to help legalize medical marijuana.”

OPINION

 It’s OK for mothers to get high – if they’re white // SF Chronicle

“There is a double standard when it comes to reporting on marijuana with minorities. Last week, NBC’s “Today” show profiled four white mothers from Central California who enjoy smoking marijuana while taking care of their children. ... Can you imagine a similar story substituting black or Latino mothers in such a feel-good feature story?”

IN OTHER NEWS....

Toxic waste at illegal grow sites is extremely dangerous // Reuters

“Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who documents the issue for the Forest Service as well as other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, estimates California's forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than Forest Service investigators found in 2013.”

[New content is posted on Fridays.]