Monthly Archives: January 2018

NORML Activists Take Marijuana Reform Fight to Harrisburg

On Tuesday, January 24th, activists from a wide array of Pennsylvania NORML affiliates, allied groups, and state lawmakers took the fight for marijuana law reform to the state capitol building in Harrisburg.

The event co-sponsored by local NORML chapters, the ACLU-PA, and the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. Activists were joined by State Auditor General Eugene Depasquale and State Representatives Ed Gainey and Jordan Harris, and state Senator Sharif Street. The goal was to further the discussion on the full legalization of marijuana and to support legislation currently pending that would decriminalize marijuana possession statewide.

Watch the news coverage below:

Thanks to committed grassroots advocates, we are continuing to make progress nationwide. Get involved and help us relegate marijuana prohibition to the dustbin of history. Click HERE to take action on pending state and federal legislation, click HERE to find your nearest NORML channel and get involved, and click HERE to chip in $5 bucks or more to support NORMLs efforts.

STogether, we WILL legalize marijuana.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/01/24/norml-activists-take-marijuana-reform-fight-to-harrisburg/…

New Jersey: New Governor Calls For ‘Patients First’ Expansion Of State’s Medical Cannabis Access Program

Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Tuesday calling on state regulators to review the state’s eight-year-old medical cannabis access program and to recommend ways to increase participation from patients and physicians.

“Our goal is to modernize the program in New Jersey, bring it up to current standards, and put patients first,” he said.

The Governor’s order mandates state Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners to submit recommendations within 60 days on ways to improve the program.

Presently, only five dispensaries statewide are licensed to service an estimated 15,000 patients. Compared to other medical cannabis access states, New Jersey possesses among the lowest rates of participation among eligible patients and doctors. Retail costs for medical cannabis products are also among the highest in the nation.

If you reside in New Jersey, you can urge regulators to take actions to improve the state’s medical cannabis law by clicking here.

Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie routinely voiced his disapproval for the program, which was signed into law by his predecessor Jon Corzine, and he pushed for various rules and regulations to both delay and limit its implementation.

While campaigning for Governor, Murphy pledged to reform the state’s marijuana policies, and spoke in favor of legalizing adult marijuana use.

Again, if you live in New Jersey, take time today to tell regulators to put the interests of New Jersey’s patients first!

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/01/24/new-jersey-new-governor-calls-for-patients-first-expansion-of-states-medical-cannabis-access-program/…

Women Grow: ‘Together, We Have More Power’

Women Grow celebrated its third anniversary in August. Coincidentally, it was in August 1937 when President Roosevelt signed the Marihuana Tax Act. It’s now 80 years since that law went into effect, and the cannabis community is still fighting for decriminalization, access to education and resources, and support for patients and legal businesses.

Our cofounder Jane West recently wrote an open letter to the Women Grow community in which she discussed launching the company and the hurdles of building a business in an ever-changing industry, and the reasons why she became a Cornerstone member this year. Her key message was to take action.
When I became CEO of Women Grow last April, my objective was to use my experiences in the technology and retail industries, and focus on supporting new leaders to build strong businesses and strategic partnerships in this industry. I’ve seen Women Grow bring together a community of brilliant minds, remarkable stories and thriving businesses. We must continue moving forward together to overcome challenges.

Also See: Women Grow and the New Rules of Diversity

The pioneers in the cannabis space blazed a trail, clearing a path for both themselves and those following in their footsteps. These individuals have protested for fair policies, pushed for legislation and regulation, and addressed the criminality of the War on Drugs. Women Grow is only able to exist because of these pioneers, and we stand with them: To push for more education, …

Medical Cannabis Protections Extended As Part Of Short Term Federal Budget Agreement

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) addresses NORML members in September, 2017

A recently approved plan by the members of the US House and Senate to temporarily extend federal funding through February 8, 2018 also extends provisions protecting statewide medical cannabis programs from federal interference.

The short-term funding plan authorizes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment to remain in place for the time being. The amendment, enacted by Congress in 2014, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Because the provision was initially approved as a budgetary amendment, it must be explicitly re-authorized by Congress as part of either a continuing resolution or a new fiscal year appropriations bill in order to maintain in effect.

Urge Congressional leadership to include a re-authorization of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment in all future spending bills by clicking here.

Explained co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): “I expect that during this time period, we will be maneuvering on the cannabis issue and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. So this is a time for people to make sure that they contact their own member of Congress to make sure that they get behind the amendment for the final bill.”

Presently, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer is included as part of a Senate finance bill. But this language is absent from the House’s funding proposal because House Rules Committee Chair Peter Sessions (R-TX) refused to allow House …

How to Reduce Mold & Contaminants in Indoor, Greenhouse and Outdoor Grows

Controlling your grow environment doesn’t start when you germinate your first seeds, it starts before you build your grow. There are steps you can take that will have a significant impact on mold growth and contamination, and these will vary based on the grow environment you choose.

Below is a roadmap to where each grow environment stands in terms of mold and contamination risk, and simple steps you can take to mitigate these factors.

Outdoor

The benefits of an outdoor grow are significant – using natural sunlight to grow plants is both inexpensive and environmentally sound. However, it allows the least amount of control and makes plants susceptible to weather conditions and outdoor contaminants including dust, wind, rain and insects. Depending on humidity and precipitation levels, mold can be a big issue as well.

Outdoor growing has obvious benefits, such as natural sunlight, but may also require extra steps to prevent contamination

When selecting an outdoor area for a cannabis farm, there are two important factors to consider: location and neighboring farmland. Geographical environments and sub-climates vary and once you have purchased land, you are committed, so be sure to consider these factors prior to purchase.

While arid desert climates have abundant sunlight and long growing seasons, flat, dry lands are subject to dust-storms, flash floods and exceedingly high winds that can damage crops. Conversely, more protected areas often have high humidity and rainfall late in the season, which can …

Five Marijuana Munchies from Brownies to Pot-Corn

While the word “munch” dates back to the 14th century, it took until about 1971 to evolve into “the munchies,” meaning the “craving for food after smoking marijuana,” according to etymonline.com. Packaged foods like Doritos and Twinkies have long been stereotyped as stoner snacks, but there are many better homemade options.

ALL PHOTOS BY MITCH MANDELL

JALAPEÑO POT POPPERS

These little stuffed peppers are the perfect munchies: crunchy, cheesy, creamy and salty, with just enough heat.

  12 medium fresh jalapeños

  ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

  ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

  3 large eggs

  1½ gm. …

Equity in Oakland: Giving Minorities a Chance

Oakland, California is tackling the diversity in cannabis issue head-on. Its Equity Program, passed by the City Council last March, was designed to help the city’s black and Latino residents, granting them 50% of new cannabis business permits for everything from cultivation to manufacturing.

As of Nov. 17, less than four months before adult-use marijuana became legal in California on Jan. 1, 129 of the 255 applications for cannabis-business permits in Oakland had come from equity candidates.

The lack of equity up until now is largely due to cities and states not allowing people with criminal records to work in the industry, hence shutting out many people from the racial and ethnic groups that have been disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for possession and sales. In 2011, 90% of all people arrested for marijuana in Oakland were black or Latino.

People from these two groups are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than whites are, even though use is about the same in each group. The Equity Program was created to deal with this disparity and act as a kind of reparation.

Vermont Becomes the Ninth State to Legalize Adult Marijuana Possession and Personal Cultivation

Vermont Legalizes MarijuanaRepublican Gov. Phil Scott has signed legislation (H. 511) into law legalizing the use and cultivation of marijuana by adults. Vermont is the ninth state to statutorily permit adults to possess marijuana for personal use, and it is the first state to enact these reforms via legislative action rather than by the passage of a voter-initiated ballot measure.

“The majority of Vermonters, like the majority of the American public, desire to live in a community where responsible adults who choose to consume cannabis are no longer criminalized or stigmatized,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Governor Scott should be recognized for helping to provide Vermonters with a path forward at a time when many elected officials elsewhere are clinging to the failed policies of the past.”

The forthcoming law, which takes effect on July 1 of this year, eliminates civil penalties specific to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and also removes criminal penalties with regard to the private cultivation of six marijuana plants (two mature and up to four immature). Those who cultivate marijuana for their own personal use may possess at home the total quantity of their harvest.

The measure also imposes new civil penalties for consuming cannabis while driving, and imposes additional penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle impaired with a minor in the vehicle.

The Governor vetoed similar legislation in 2017, but had consistently indicated since then that he was willing …

A Rose by Any Other Name

Building brand loyalty should be a goal of any business. However, before a business can build brand loyalty, it has to have a brand. Before beginning our discussion on branding, let’s spend a moment speaking the same lingo. A brand is usually built around a trademark. A trademark can be a name, a logo, a color or a sound for example, something that inspires a consumer to think about a product originating from a particular business. The Feds won’t let you register a trademark for cannabis on the federal register because of its Schedule I status. However, most states where cannabis is legal will allow businesses to register a trademark on the state registry. Now that we are all using the same lingo, let’s get to the interesting stuff.

What Not to Do

The cannabis industry has been known for piggybacking on the trademarks of other brands. And, when cannabis started becoming legal, shoppers where able to find strains like: Dirty Sprite, Candyland, AC/DC, Trapitio, and Starbucks, to name a few. Boy were those brand owners mad- suing over trademark infringement. Not getting sued is a good reason to find your own, unique trademark. There are other reasons.

First, a trademark is an intangible asset having value. A strong, registered trademark will have more value than one that is not. A strong trademark is one that is creative and/or fanciful. Descriptive trademarks are not creative or fanciful. So, for example, …

Week of January 22, 2018

This Week’s Volunteer Needs

Please comment below if you are interested in helping, or if you have completed any of the following:

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/012218…

What The Government Shutdown Means For Marijuana

Not much.

Temporary medical cannabis patient protections that have been imposed by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment have now expired with the rest of government spending.

The amendment, which has been in place since 2014, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Without these protections, medical cannabis cultivators and dispensaries exist with a greater threat than normal of federal enforcement of national prohibition, yet the certainty that these protections would be honored have been in doubt throughout the entire Trump administration.

When President Trump signed the first Continuing Resolution in 2017, he issued a signing statement regarding the amendment:

“Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Essentially stating that his administration believes they can ignore these protections if they do not view them to be Constitutional.

Under this mentality, Attorney General Jeff Sessions could have moved in to shut down medical marijuana facilities at any point. Should Sessions crackdown, we are confident that we would win a court challenge, given previous rulings on this very question. However, it would be a reactive exercise after an enforcement action, and during that process, the

Bipartisan Members Of Congress Speak Out Against AG Sessions

Attorney General and Anti-Marijuana Crusader Jeff Sessions

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) held a bipartisan special order on Wednesday, January 17th to address the implications surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo. Simply put, a special order is a practice in Congress where a member is able to speak on any topic they wish after the House of Representatives has been adjourned for the day.

Rep. Gaetz was joined by Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Mark Sanford (R-SC) to articulate the case on behalf of the beneficiaries of the Cole Memo. The memo was originally drafted by former U.S. Attorney General James Cole in 2013 and was issued to attorneys in states where medical or recreational marijuana was legal. The memo stipulates that as long as the states follow certain rules – i.e. the prevention of distributing marijuana to minors – the states are able to regulate marijuana with very little federal interference.

The Cole Memo signaled a shift away from the use of federal funds to regulate marijuana, giving states a more laissez-faire, states rights approach to cannabis. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law and is listed as a schedule one drug signaling to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse, both of which any follower of published research would know to not be true.

In light of the increasing acceptance and legalization of both medical and adult use

Changing political climate threatens US cannabis research

By Rebecca Trager for Chemistry World

‘For a lot of people who are in the medical cannabis space, this is one of their biggest fears about Sessions – that he would rescind the non-interference cannabis policies of Obama,’ – Jahan Marcu

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/changing_political_climate_threatens_us_cannabis_research…

Equity in Oakland: Giving Minorities a Chance

Oakland, California is tackling the diversity in cannabis issue head-on. Its Equity Program, passed by the City Council last March, was designed to help the city’s black and Latino residents, granting them 50% of new cannabis business permits for everything from cultivation to manufacturing.

As of Nov. 17, less than four months before adult-use marijuana became legal in California on Jan. 1, 129 of the 255 applications for cannabis-business permits in Oakland had come from equity candidates.

The lack of equity up until now is largely due to cities and states not allowing people with criminal records to work in the industry, hence shutting out many people from the racial and ethnic groups that have been disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for possession and sales. In 2011, 90% of all people arrested for marijuana in Oakland were black or Latino.

People from these two groups are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than whites are, even though use is about the same in each group. The Equity Program was created to deal with this disparity and act as a kind of reparation.

Representatives Lieu and Amash Introduce Legislation Ending Funding For Marijuana Suppression

Rep. Ted Lieu

Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) and Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) have reintroduced HR 4816: The Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act.

The measure restricts civil asset forfeiture funds from being used for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication / Suppression Program. The bill would prohibit the transfer of property that would be used for cannabis eradication from a federal or state/local agency and ensures precious federal resources are not wasted on marijuana eradication.

With the Justice Department having rescinded Obama-era directives limiting the federal government’s involvement in marijuana states, and with the future of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment uncertain, it is essential that elected officials address this measure and halt officials from taking civil actions against state-compliant operators who have never even been convicted of a crime.

Now that one in five Americans resides in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside someplace where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized, it’s more important than ever to defang the DEA.

Click here to send a message to your Representative to encourage them to support this bill.

Upon introduction, Rep. Lieu said:

“The Federal Government has a responsibility to spend taxpayer money wisely. Instead, AG Jeff Sessions would rather waste federal dollars by attacking marijuana, which has been legalized either for medical or recreational use in the majority of states in …

Review: Prophets of Rage’s Debut Album

If you’re one of those nostalgic counterculture revolutionaries wondering where all the protest music has gone, Prophets of Rage is for you. It’s an old-school supergroup formed by members of three of the most radical, politically outspoken acts of the ’80s and ’90s: Rage Against the Machine’s guitar-slinging Harvard alum Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk; Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord; and Cypress Hill’s B-Real.

The result marries Rage’s heavy-metal/hip-hop hybrid, fueled by Morello’s turntable-esque guitar stylings, and the OG rap of East Coast rabble-rouser Chuck D and West Coast bud-banger B-Real. Multiracial (like Morello himself) and politically to the left, Prophets of Rage—the name comes from a Public Enemy track on their groundbreaking It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back album from 1988—hark back to both the ’60s rock’n’roll call for rebellion and the ’70s punk howl for anarchy.

They first teamed up to make a political statement during the 2016 presidential campaign, touring from May to October. Without an album out or any new material, the tour featured a mix of Rage, PE and Cypress songs, with a few covers like the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep ’Til Brooklyn” sprinkled in. Now they have their eponymously titled debut album to play and promote.

Prophets of Rage

From left: Tim Commerford, Tom Morello, B-Real, Chuck D, DJ Lord and Brad Wilk (Photo by Travis Shinn)

On Prophets of Rage, Chuck D and B-Real form …

Diversity in the New Marijuana Economy

Diversity Black Marijuana

The Hood Incubator in Oakland focuses on increasing the participation of black and brown communities in the cannabis industry.

There have been plenty of stories, blogs and social-media posts about the “whitewashing of the Green Rush.” For years, the Minority Cannabis Business Association and other groups have sounded the alarms about how this new wave of ganjapreneurs is distressingly monochromatic. Is anything actually being done?

Yes, things are being done. Oakland, California, which continues to be far ahead of any other municipality when it comes to cannabis, has approved a program that gives half of new city cannabusiness licenses to people with lower incomes or who live in the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the War on Drugs. 

diversity

Boston Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley is for equity in cannabis.

Massachusetts’ new adult-use pot law has a provision mandating outreach programs to the historically disenfranchised, and Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley has introduced legislation that would direct 20% of unspent revenues from state and local marijuana taxes toward programs aimed at social justice and creating more opportunities for people of color. Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia have all enacted legislation designed to create more diversity in the cannabis industry. In fact, Pennsylvania requires businesses applying for medical-cannabis licenses to spell out their plan for ensuring a diverse workforce.

Women are taking the lead in cannabis industry in terms of diversity. They fill 36% of the executive positions, according to a

Will the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Survive?

Rohrabacher

Reps. Rohrabacher (right) and Blumenauer in 2014. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers Fight for Federal Marijuana Protections

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo on Jan. 4, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is the only federal law standing in the way of a potential crackdown on medical marijuana.

First passed in 2014, Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (then known as Rohrabacher-Farr) is an amendment to the annual appropriations bill that prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal funds to crack down on medical marijuana programs in the 29 states where it’s legal. In December, President Trump signed a stopgap funding bill that would extend these protections until Jan. 19.

For example, last August, a federal judge in San Francisco cited the amendment in a ruling that two California medical-marijuana growers who’d pleaded guilty to cultivation charges could not be sentenced to prison due to the amendment. And on Oct. 18, federal prosecutors in Washington State admitted that it prohibited them from prosecuting a group of medical growers known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Reps. McClintock and Polis Re-Introduce Their Amendment

Sessions’ decision to revoke federal protections in the eight legal recreational marijuana states has prompted a backlash in Congress. On Jan. 12, a bipartisan group of 69 members sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to include the McClintock-Polis amendment in the appropriations bill as well. Introduced by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), its language is similar …

Cypress Hill and Bhang Form Company, Plan Joint Products

DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill

With Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong and the Bob Marley family already making cannabis products, Cypress Hill has decided to join the Green Rush, inking a deal with Bhang Chocolates. Their company is called CHB.

Cypress cofounder DJ Muggs says he met with a lot of people in the industry before deciding on a partnership with Bhang, the popular California edibles company. “When I sat down with Scott (Van Rixel) and Richard (Sellers) it was organic,” he says of Bhang’s CEO and COO. “They understood the band. Scott’s a big fan. He knew our history and all of our lyrics. Plus, he’s a chocolatier. It was like I was meant to meet these guys.”

The plan is to roll out CHB strains in conjunction with the release of Cypress’ first new album in eight years, Elephants on Acid, in April. The title refers to a strain (Elephant Acid) grown by Muggs’ team.

DJ MUGGS on Cypress Hill“We’re still brothers.”

“We’re going to have super-unique packaging that celebrates the music and incorporates the band,” Muggs tells Freedom Leaf. “It’s going to be a way to distribute our music through our cannabis products. A lot of the songs will solely be distributed this way, since there aren’t record stores anymore. There are more headshops and places that sell weed than records. Now you’ll be able to go to …