May 2017

Maine’s Free Recreational Marijuana Delivery Service

A new a delivery service was founded by two people from the Portland area, and it’s not food-based.

It is really not yet legal to sell recreational marijuana in Maine, but it’s legal to give it away, and that’s how Logan Martyn-Fisher and Ashley Small are developing their business.

Elevation 207’s Facebook page clearly says in several different areas that the pot they’re delivering is a gift and that it is free, and any costs are for the delivery fees. Those prices range from $75 dollars to $250 depending on the quantity of cannabis being delivered.

Martyn-Fisher says they began delivery service of recreational marijuana in February, and since then, business is booming.

“There’s no way for people to get it the recreational way, so they come to us,” says Small.

They say the majority of their customers are new to the marijuana world and who are more advanced in age. They want to experience it, however don’t have idea as to how to get it.

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Will Michigan be the Next State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

Marijuana would be legalized for recreational uses and taxed at a rate of 16% under a petition which was turned in to the Secretary of State on Friday.

In the event that the state Board of Canvassers approves the petition, the group driving the initiative — the Coalition to Regulate Marijuan Like Alcohol will have 180 days to gather 252,523 signatures from valid registered voters in Michigan. As a way to get a cushion to account for signatures which may be thrown out, the group is establishing a target of accumulating 350,000 signatures.

That’s a job which will require money, said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the Coalition. The group hopes to raise between $8 million and $10 million as payment for people who will gather the signatures needed to get on the ballot and to wage a campaign to get the measure passed in November 2018.

“Prohibition is a failed big government program,” said former state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who’s the political director of the coalition. “We have 20,000 individuals detained every year in Michigan. And we’re now going to be in a position to provide our citizens an option to stop that.”

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Arizona Marijuana Supporters Joined Million Marijuana March in Phoenix

The Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee joined groups around the country and marched as part of the Million Marijuana March last Saturday in Phoenix.

The Arizona group’s march is aiming to legalize, decriminalize and repeal prohibition of cannabis in Arizona for recreational use for those age 21 and older.

“In our perspective, it’s unfair, immoral and unethical that anybody goes to prison for a plant,” said Alex Gentry, chairman of the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee.

Paperwork has been filed by the committee with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to start gathering signatures to get on the November 2018 ballot. It would have to accumulate 156,042 signatures from valid Arizona voters by July 5, 2018, to qualify.

It was proposed by the Safer Arizona Legalization Act to legalize “the possession, consumption, cultivation and sales of cannabis for adults” at least 21 years old, decriminalize cannabis-related violations and replace prison sentences with fines and misdemeanors.

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Alaska’s Legal Marijuana Reached a Pinnacle of Sales and Production

New figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue reveal Alaska’s legal marijuana industry has reached a pinnacle of sales and production.

Last March, 27 growers paid the state $220,229 in tax revenue. Alaskans purchased 225 pounds of weed or flower and 169 pounds of other plant parts commonly used as raw material for concentrates.

Every one of those numbers are the highest since the state’s first legal marijuana sales happened in the last days of October.

Tax figures trail real sales by one month; numbers for March are released at the end of April. April’s numbers will probably be released at the end of May.

$693,029 in marijuana tax revenue from cultivators has been collected by the state of Alaska. Flower is taxed at $50 per oz and other plant parts are taxed at $15 per oz.

The Alaska Department of Revenue has predicted the state will collect $2 million in the fiscal year that ends July 1. Sales would need to average $433,000 in April, May and June to reach that amount.

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Florida Marijuana Supporters Wants A Special Session For Legal Marijuana

Gov. Rick Scott is called upon by the supporters of legalized marijuana to order a special session after state lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have implemented a ballot measure approved by 71 percent of voters in November. In the constitutional amendment, it’s in the discretion of the Florida Department of Health to make rules that would let patients with ailments like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis access to marijuana.

However, a few patient advocates and some marijuana activists are afraid that the DOH won’t make suitable rules.

“DOH has an obligation to implement this,” said Ben Pollara, among the writers of Amendment 2 and executive director of Florida for Care. “That’s all the more reason that people really need implementing laws.”

Pollara joined a group of lawmakers and lobbyists who say that the Legislature has to play a part — even if it’s in the following legislative session, which commences in January.

Sen. Rob Bradley, who had driven a medical marijuana bill, said he isn’t assured that the DOH rules will be in line with bills the Legislature put forward, which had a wide-range agreement on many problems, even though they couldn’t achieve a final deal.

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Massachusetts Marijuana Regulatory Panel to be Patterned After the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday proposed a fresh approach state officials could do regarding how to regulate the new legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

The ballot law that legalized adult use of marijuana and set up a regulatory framework for the market calls for a Cannabis Control Commission within Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s office. The Legislature agreed to delay execution of the law and its new Marijuana Policy Committee has been considering alterations to it, including creating a more independent commission and possibly removing the panel from Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s purview.

DeLeo said he believes the state “can do a combination of both.”

“Our conversations today were attempting to get an amalgamation, in the event that you will, without coming to any final conclusion, to try to find out what can work in relation to marijuana,” DeLeo said.

Goldberg called the meeting “a great first conversation” and said discussion covered “a lot of the technical facets.”

“I think this was merely a first conversation, and there’s an acknowledgement that we will all be working collaboratively, and with the members of the committee since they have done a large amount of work to try and determine how to satisfy the needs of and the will of the people of Massachusetts and the way in which they voted,” Goldberg said.

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Colorado Marijuana Sales Expected To Break Records

Following the November elections, eight states currently offer legal adult use of marijuana. But regardless of the growing competition, Colorado, which have the greatest number of marijuana sales this past year, will probably still bag higher marijuana sales compared to the other states in 2017.

Only four months into the year, the Centennial State is already on course to possess its highest grossing year yet in marijuana sales. During January and February, Colorado racked up $235 million in overall marijuana sales, a 30% spike when compared with the state’s recreational and medical marijuana sales during the same time in 2016, based on a report by Cannabis Benchmarks, a company that monitors marijuana sales and prices.

With Colorado’s city streets filled with marijuana stores selling medical and recreational marijuana goods and its booming cannabis tourism, marijuana sales across the state kicked off 2017 at full throttle. In January of this year, $109 million worth of marijuana was sold in Colorado in medical and recreational markets, a more than 38% increase from what the state had in January 2016, when marijuana consumers bought $88.5 million in cannabis products. Sales in February were even more remarkable, with the state generating $126 million in marijuana purchases compared to February 2016’s $92.7 million.

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Meet the “Weed Nuns” of California

Located close to the town of Merced in the Central Valley, which generates over half of the fruit, nuts and vegetables grown in the country, the Sisters of the Valley grow and reap their very own cannabis plants.

However, despite the moniker, the sisterhood stresses that its seven members don’t belong to any order of the Catholic Church.

“We are against religion, so we are not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices,” said Sister Kate, who founded the sisterhood in 2014.

The group says its Holy Trinity is the marijuana plant, specifically hemp, a form of marijuana which has really low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in the plant which gives a high.

The hemp is turned by members into cannabis-based balms and ointments, which they say have the ability to enhance health and well-being.

More than two dozen U.S. states have legalized some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but the drug remains illegal at the federal level. California legalized recreational use of marijuana in November 2016.

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Austin’s Potential to be the Capital for Marijuana Start-ups

Anybody who has stood a little too close to Willie’s tour bus or has drifted through the vibrant wonderland that is Eeyore’s Birthday Party understands that pot use is big business in Austin. The city’s enormous student population, sprawling music scene and Dazed & Confused vibe allow it to be fertile soil for herbal treatments.

Of the four principal marijuana bills filed at the statehouse this year, only one has gotten a favorable committee vote — it’s yet to receive a full House vote. That proposed law would ease the law so no one with less than an ounce of grass would face arrest or jail time. Recreational marijuana like they have in Colorado appears to be a pipe dream in Texas.

Dallas city council members, in a way, have recently passed a law that decriminalizes possession. Those caught with less than four ounces get order to appear in court and a ticket instead of being booked and arrested in jail.

Texas lawmakers have brushed aside proposals to legalize marijuana fora long time. And, it was not until 2015 that the state passed a law allowing for a very limited use of cannabis oils for individuals who have epilepsy and suffer from seizures.

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Ohio Doctors Already Giving Out Medical Marijuana Cards

Some doctors in Toledo are already giving patients cards enabling them to buy medical marijuana, and classes are popping up for Ohio physicians in this new legal field.

But proper rules to help physicians sail these uncharted waters are still months away. No physician has been certified in Ohio to recommend cannabis, and no continuing education seminar has been formally sanctioned.

Omni Medical Services, which began in Michigan and runs in Florida and Illinois, also provides doctors to clinics in Toledo, Lima. Qualifying patients walk away with “affirmative defense” letters as well as a list of Michigan dispensaries where they may buy marijuana to bring back to Ohio, without hindrance by law enforcement.

It could be as late as September 8 before Ohio’s rules for physicians are finalized, and the program’s deadline to be completely functional isn’t until a year after that. Marijuana still cannot be lawfully sold or bought here.

The Ohio State Medical Association has advised members to wait until rules are finalized before stepping into this overcast legal territory.

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