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Marijuana industry could grow fast with tax bill

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

As marijuana businesses expand in Washington State, a bill being debated in Olympia could prompt the industry to grow even more.

Producers, processors and retail shop owners are closely watching HB 2136, which would rework some of the current regulations and change the tax structure. Some marijuana businesses say it's nearly impossible to make any money under the current tax structure.

"We've learned a lot since I-502 passed," says Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), the bill's primary sponsor. "This is an update, and a modernization of the current initiative."

Right now, marijuana laws apply a 25 percent excise tax on each level of the system: producer to a processor, processor to a retailer, and retailer to the customer. In addition, B&O taxes on the production and local retail sales taxes apply.

For those who operate as a producer and a processor, a common business model, they're hit with three taxes.

HB 2136 would collapse the tax burden, into one, 37 percent excise tax.

Large scale producer/processors, like OMG Sykes in Snohomish County, say simplifying the tax structure will allow businesses to more easily operate, and make money.

"With where the prices are in the market, it's very tough to compete," said John Knutsen, co-owner of OMG Sykes, one of the largest operations in the state.

Read More:http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2015/05/20/marijuana-industry-grow-tax-whittenberg-king-5/27638353/


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Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Supports Marijuana Decriminalization, Possibly Legalization

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

Those concerned that the next U.S. president won’t be as amenable to marijuana as the Obama administration might consider voting for Democratic nominee and current U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who voiced his outright support for decriminalization—and perhaps eventually backing full cannabis legalization—on Tuesday.

Sanders made his optimistic remarks during a Q&A session on Reddit, the social media website that enables registered users to directly participate in interviews with celebs and politicians.
One Reddit user who goes by the handle “ynmidk” referenced a 2014 Time interview in which Sanders opined that pot decriminalization is “not a major issue,” while adding that he would “look into it.” The user then asked  Sanders if he, “could... update us on your position regarding the war on drugs?”

Sanders responded that he supported his home state of Vermont's decision to decriminalize small amounts of personal pot. He added that when he served as mayor of Burlington, his administration ensured “very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do.”

Sanders then implicated he may well broaden his perspective.

“Colorado has led the effort towards legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done," he said. "I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.”

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/presidential-candidate-bernie-sanders-supports-marijuana-decriminalization-possibly


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Texas House Approves Worthless Medical Marijuana Bill, Likely Will Become Law

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

Texas may be on its way to legalizing medical marijuana, but many proponents say the bill is completely worthless in its current form. Nevertheless, the state’s House of Representatives put their preliminarily seal of approval on a measure earlier this week, aimed at providing “low-THC” cannabis oil to patients suffering from epilepsy and other chronic conditions.

Senate Bill 339, which was introduced by Senator Kevin Eltife, was passed by the state Senate in early May. On Monday, the House announced its support for the measure in a vote of 96 to 34, a move that has earned the “Texas Compassionate Use Act” a ticket to Governor Greg Abbott’s office for either his signature or a veto.

Marijuana activists claim this toe-in-the-water approach to establishing a statewide medical marijuana program will do nothing to actually provide patients who qualify under its restrictive nature with the medicine they need. The Marijuana Policy Project’s Heather Fazio recently pointed out in an interview with CBS News that it will be impossible for patients to get their hands on cannabis oil because the legislation forces doctors to “prescribe” the herb rather than issue recommendations. This, of course, is a major cause for concern since it is illegal in the eyes of the federal government for physicians to “prescribe” cannabis. And doing so could result in the revocation of their license to prescribe all medications.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/texas-house-approves-worthless-medical-marijuana-bill-likely-will-become-law


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Arrests disrupt medical pot convention in Las Vegas

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

Las Vegas police and federal agents arrested 10 people and seized drugs over the weekend at Hempcon, a marijuana education convention at the Cashman Center.

People who were there described seeing police dogs around the event, as well as officers on the roof of the building, apparently looking for people smoking marijuana.

The arrests outraged event organizers, and some attendees said they left patients frightened as Nevada’s first legal dispensaries prepare to open.

“It’s disheartening for our whole community,” said Jennifer Solis, who’s with Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada, or WECAN, and was at the event.

From Friday to Sunday, officers shut down five booths, arrested 10 people and cited three others on charges including drug possession, possession with intent to sell and transporting a controlled substance, said officer Laura Meltzer, a Metro spokeswoman. She said officers seized marijuana, hashish, marijuana seeds, edible products containing THC and psilocybin mushrooms.

Meltzer said Metro narcotics detectives and Hempcon organizers had spoken before the event, and organizers told attendees they had to follow the law.

Nevada allows medical use of marijuana by patients with state-issued cards. But it’s illegal to sell the drug without a state dispensary license, and it’s illegal for anyone to use it in public.

Asked about the criticism of the arrests, Meltzer said, “It is incumbent upon the people who are attending this and who are conducting this to be aware of Nevada state law.”

Mark Saint, an activist who was at the convention Friday, said the police stance was hypocritical since officers have looked the other way at similar events while people used marijuana.

The arrests were made by a task force called Southern Nevada Cannabis Operation and Regional Enforcement, which includes Metro, Henderson police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen said a federal agent is on the task force, but that Las Vegas police led the operation.

Read More:http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/arrests-disrupt-medical-pot-convention-las-vegas


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New DEA Chief Claims He Will Focus Less On Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder
 
chuck rosenberg dea

(via The Cannabist)

The Obama Administration has been a mixed bag when it comes to marijuana policy. On one hand, the Obama Administration has dropped the ball on reclassifying/declassifying marijuana, punting the issue to Congress every chance the administration gets despite the fact that the administration could initiative the process unilaterally. The administration hasn’t done a good job when it comes to marijuana banking, but has stated that it will allow Native American tribes to cultivate and sell recreational marijuana if they choose to do so. The Obama administration has stepped up to try to prevent federal intervention in states that have progressive marijuana policies on the books combined with clear regulations, although, the former head of the DEA didn’t seem to get the memo on that one.

Michele Leonhart ‘resigned’ last month after she was basically forced out of the DEA amid quite a bit of controversy. Obama then picked Chuck Rosenberg to head the DEA. Marijuana activists and supporters have been holding their breath, waiting to see what kind of leader Mr. Rosenberg will be. This week Mr. Rosenberg made some comments that are encouraging. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The incoming head of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly will focus less on marijuana and instead put more resources toward harder drugs such as heroin, which could relieve some pressure on cannabis businesses in states without strong regulations on the industry.

Chuck Rosenberg – who served as chief of staff to the director of the FBI – was named to the DEA’s top spot on an interim basis by newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Rosenberg is expected to remain in the position while President Barack Obama is in office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The new DEA chief will likely improve procedures on how to classify, declassify or reclassify marijuana, and he’ll also place less emphasis on cannabis in general, the Times reported.

These comments need to be taken with a grain of salt of course. The truth is, no one knows how Chuck Rosenberg will handle his new role at the DEA. Only time will tell. He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk? Will he respect the fact that most Americans want marijuana prohibition to end, both for recreational purposes and medical purposes? Or will he try to inject his own views into the DEA, and continue to go after people that use and sell a substance that is safer than alcohol?

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/new-dea-chief-claims-he-will-focus-less-on-marijuana/


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Marijuana extract now legal, but can you get it?

Category: News | Posted on Tue, May, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

The cause of medicinal marijuana seemingly took a step forward in Tennessee this month when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a measure making an extract of marijuana legal for use in treating intractable epileptic seizures.

Initially, the legalization of non-intoxicating cannabidiol oil (CBD) was sought for child victims of particularly severe forms of epilepsy, but the final version of the bill has made CBD available for anyone suffering from debilitating seizures.

There is enough evidence of CBD’s effectiveness to convince former opponents like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and local leaders like physician state Sen. Mark Green.

However, many Tennessee families are still in the dark about whether CBD is available, what the procedures are for legally obtaining and using it, and how the process of determining eligibility is supposed to work.

Adding problems these families don’t need are questions as to whether CBD is still illegal under federal law and whether out-of-state providers are violating the law. The answers are important because CBD cannot be made in Tennessee.

Unfortunately, with the issue of medical marijuana in flux and subject to a confusing number of laws at different levels of government and at cross-purposes, the answers are far from clear.

Read More:http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/05/18/marijuana-extract-now-legal-can-get/27517847/


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