Retail marijuana sales in Washington face regulatory delays
Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
SEATTLE — Drive down virtually any thoroughfare in Seattle and you are likely to pass several medical marijuana dispensaries. On Rainier Avenue, in southeast Seattle, the Northwest Cannabis Market sits between a fish store and an Italian bakery. A mile or so down the road, another dispensary occupies an old drive-in burger stand. There are about half as many medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle — about 200 — as Starbucks locations.
But unlike in Colorado, where retail sales of marijuana for recreational uses began on New Year’s Day, a year after voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing the drug, Washington state regulators have taken months to craft new rules, and to comb through the thousands of applications for growing and retail licenses. More than 16 months after voters approved legalization, anyone hoping to score some dope in Seattle still has to have a medical prescription.
The state Liquor Control Board, tasked with overseeing marijuana sales, estimates the first of what will ultimately be 334 stores that receive licenses will be open by July.
The delay is a product of ambiguously-worded 15-year-old legislation and strict structures in which marijuana growers will have to operate; it has served to heighten pre-existing tensions between the state’s thriving medical marijuana industry and retail sellers eager to turn a profit. And the delay is costing businesses eager to begin selling, and the state hungry for tax revenue, millions of dollars.
“There’s people that are spending money and taking risk” to set up retail stores, said John Davis, CEO of the Northwest Patient Resource Center, a Seattle dispensary. “The Liquor Control Board being all over the place, this could very easily turn into a lawsuit.”
Part of the blame for the delay rests with the authors of a 1998 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for medical use. That law allowed patients to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana, though what constituted a 60-day supply was never defined. The state legislature passed a bill that would have imposed regulations on the medical marijuana industry in 2011, but then-Gov. Christine Gregoire (D), worried that those regulations would put state officials at risk of arrest by federal agents, vetoed it.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com
Marijuana edibles in spotlight in Colorado after student's death
Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
Throughout Dr. Scott Bentz's career in emergency medicine, marijuana wasn't something he much worried about.
Perhaps a person a month would come in feeling panicky after smoking pot. A sedative and a quiet room usually did the trick.
"It's the easiest emergency medicine case you're going to see," said Bentz, the medical director of emergency services at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver.
And then came the day a man arrived in the emergency room so sedated and breathing so slowly after eating a marijuana-infused edible that he was nearly comatose.
For the past few months, Bentz said, he's seen more and more patients at the hospital who have consumed marijuana-infused products. And, while the cases don't come close in number or severity to alcohol-related cases, Bentz said they show the kind of problems that can go along with edible marijuana — especially for those trying pot for the first time and who see edibles as a more appealing access point.
Potency amounts vary. It's far easier to overconsume than it is with smoking. And the products can affect everyone differently, from intense anxiety to excessive sedation.
"The edibles are just a whole different ball of wax," Bentz said. "You just don't know what you're going to get."
The potential risks of edibles are receiving new attention after the death of a Wyoming college student last month. Levy Thamba, 19, became agitated after eating marijuana-infused cookies and then leapt to his death from a hotel balcony, according to a coroner's report released this week. His death was classified as an accident.
Levy Thamba was a student at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., who was also known as Levi Thamba Pongi. (Via Facebook)
Denver police are still investigating, and state law could allow for criminal charges against whoever gave the underage Thamba the cookies, though police spokesman Sonny Jackson wouldn't comment on the possibility of charges in the case.
"I'm not going to speculate one way or another," Jackson said Thursday.
Read more: http://www.denverpost.com
Higher Potency Marijuana Doesn't Predict Dependence
Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
Researchers in the Netherlands have concluded that the THC potency of marijuana used by consumers does not reliably predict their risk for marijuana dependence. The amount of THC consumed, whether from low-potency or high-potency sources, also did not tend to indicate a person’s chance of marijuana dependence.
Peggy van der Pol, a doctoral candidate at the Trimbos Institute of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction and her team decided to investigate the commonly held belief that marijuana smokers who use higher potency varieties will adjust their smoking pattern to use less marijuana.
The researchers looked at 98 young adults referred from coffee houses who all smoked marijuana at least three times per week. They were interviewed eighteen months later, and again in another eighteen months, as the participants were asked to smoke a joint. The team documented the time and length of their smoking behaviors and analyzed the potency and amount of marijuana smoked
While they did find that the tokers using stronger varieties did inhale less smoke and smoke slower than the tokers using weaker varieties, that did not fully moderate for the increased THC potency. “So users of more potent cannabis,” van der Pol explained, “are generally exposed to more THC.”
But, surprisingly, the team found that exposure to more THC by itself didn’t reliably predict people’s dependence on marijuana. It was more the way the consumers toked that determined who would match dependence criteria. Those who smoked more of the joint and smoked it faster, regardless of potency, were more likely to exhibit signs of dependence.
There is still much research to be done. This study covered mostly young males and the joints they were using, as the Europeans do, contained tobacco as well. Much of the participants’ marijuana use was self-reported with no way to verify it over the three-year follow-up. There was no way to measure the effect of sharing joints with others affects the participants’ rolling of a “typical” joint.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Arizona Supreme Court: Police Must Return Marijuana To California Patient
Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
In a ruling handed down without comment, Arizona’s Supreme Court has refused to overturn prior court rulings stating that the Yuma County Sheriff must return cannabis that was seized from a California patient. Arizona’s medical cannabis law is one of the only in the country that legally recognizes patients from other states.
The ruling came as a response to a case where Valerie Okun, a qualified medical cannabis patient in California, had cannabis seized by a border patrol agent in Yuma County, in 2011. She was charged with cannabis possession, with the charges eventually being dropped when she provided proof of being a medical cannabis patient. However, police refused to return the seized cannabis, even after a court ruling ordered them to do so.
Now police will be forced to return the lady’s medicine, as the highest court in the state has made their ruling clear (it was Yuma County police that brought the issue to them on appeal).
This ruling will set immediate precedent throughout the state.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Students arrested in marijuana brownies charge
Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
Three students from New Milford High School have been arrested on drug charges and accused of selling marijuana laced brownies at the school of brownies with marijuana baked into them, police said.
Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote said three New Milford High School underclassmen were facing expulsion for violating the school's drug and alcohol policy.
The school's resource officer conducted an investigation March 18 at the high school because school authorities had learned a student was in possession of marijuana brownies and was trying to sell them to other students, according to police.
One youth had originally sold the brownies to a second youth, who brought the brownies into the school and sold them to a third youth, who in turn planned to sell them, police said.
When the third youth was confronted by school authorities, prescription drugs were found in his locker, which the youth said he also had planned to try to sell to fellow students, police said.
The three male students -- aged 14, 15 and 16 -- are facing criminal charges including illegal possession of a controlled substance, illegal sale of a controlled substance, dispensing a narcotic and conspiracy to commit sale of narcotics.
All three were released into their parents' custody on written promise to appear Tuesday, March 31 in Danbury Juvenile Court.
Hawaii Lawmakers Give Unanimous Approval To Studying Hemp
Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
Hawaii’s House Committee on Agriculture, and the state’s House Judiciary Committee, have both voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill 2175, a proposal to establish a two-year research program to study the effectiveness of using hemp for remediation and biofuel. The measure has already passed the Senate unanimously.
If approved into law, Senate Bill 2175 would “authorize the dean of the college of tropical agriculture and human resources at the University of Hawaii to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research program.” The dean would be permitted to “submit a final report to the legislature prior to the convening of the regular session of 2016.”
Remediation (also referred to as phytoremediation) is the environmentally-friendly science of using plants to remove toxins (such as metals, pesticides and crude oils) from the soil.
The proposal now heads to the full House, which is expected to give it approval soon. It will then go to the governor.
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