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Canadian Government To Put $1.3 Billion Into Medical Cannabis Production And Distribution

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
canada-putting-billions-into-medical-cannabisStarting Tuesday, Canada’s federal government will be launching a $1.3 billion market for medical cannabis, which is expected to eventually supply over 450,000 Canadians with cannabis, reports the Canadian Press.
 
Health Canada is replacing a system which relied on small-scale, home cultivation to supply medical cannabis, in exchange for a system of large indoor farms certified by Canadian police. Health inspectors will be tasked with the production, packaging and distribution of a variety of cannabis.
 
Initial sales under this new program are expected in the next few weeks.
 
The government will be putting no limit on the number of large grow operations that are in operation; they plan to base production on demand. The government is also expected to import some cannabis from places such as the Netherlands.
 
156 firms have already applied to become a producer or distributor. The first two received their licences last week.
 
Canada currently has 37,400 authorized medical cannabis patients, but officials expect that number to be closer to half a million by 2024; these estimates are considered to be conservative.
 
Health Canada projects that cannabis will be sold at an average of $7.60 a gram by next year, once the old system is phased out.
 

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Man Gets Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For A Half Ounce Of Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Sun, September, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
man-gets-20-years-for-cannabisLouisiana is one of the worst places to get busted with marijuana in the country. Louisiana marijuana laws are so harsh that I can’t imagine being a marijuana consumer there. I live in Oregon where the marijuana laws are very liberal, so maybe Louisiana’s laws seem harsher to me than to other people, but I can’t imagine being sentenced to twenty years in prison for a marijuana offense.
 
But that is exactly what happened to Corey Ladd. Mr. Ladd was sentenced to twenty years in prison for possessing just 15 grams of marijuana. In Louisiana, if you have been convicted of marijuana possession three times you can get 20 years in prison. It feels weird even typing that out. 20 years in prison, for marijuana. I don’t care how many times you have been convicted for marijuana, or what amount of marijuana you were caught with, there is no reason you should be serving multiple decades in prison for a marijuana only offense. What a waste of tax dollars. What a waste of a jail bed that should be reserved for a deranged, violent person.
 
Someone really needs to take a hard look at Louisiana’s marijuana laws and see how much money is being wasted. Louisiana’s marijuana laws result in racially biased practices that have a detrimental effect on the State’s minority communities. According to Dissident Voice:
 
For example, Louisiana arrests about 13,000 people per year for marijuana, 60% of them African Americans. Over 84 percent were for possession only. While Louisiana’s population is 32 percent black, 60 percent of arrests for marijuana are African American making it the 9th most discriminatory state nationwide. In Tangipahoa Parish, blacks are 11.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites and in St. Landry Parish the rate of black arrests for marijuana is 10.7 times as likely as whites, landing both parishes in the worst 15 in the country.
 
If you live in Louisiana, get active. The only way marijuana laws will change there is if you put the pressure on your legislators over and over again, because Louisiana is not an initiative state. Lobby for an initiative process and align with other causes that also would benefit from an initiative system. Then Louisiana will be ripe for an initiative that reform’s the State’s horrendous marijuana laws.
 

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Colorado Marijuana Industry Gets $1 Million From Investor Group: It's 'The Next Great American Industry'

Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 27th 2013 by THCFinder
co-investors-pushing-millions-into-cannabisInvestors looking for high returns took to Colorado this week and poured more than $1 million into the burgeoning legalized recreational marijuana industry in the state.
 
In Denver, more than 60 investors from The ArcView Group met with 22 startup marijuana companies -- including several directly involved in marijuana sales or cultivation, which was a first for the investment group -- seeking capital. By the end of the meetings, the investors committed "well over $1 million" to Colorado marijuana companies, ArcView CEO Troy Dayton told The Denver Post.
 
And it may have been even more, however, due to Colorado's marijuana laws which requires investors to qualify as state residents for three years before making equity investments in a marijuana business, some investors had to cap their deal pens.
 
ArcView president Steve DeAngelo told Bloomberg Businessweek that more than 90 percent of ArcView's investors at the meeting came from out of state -- meaning the overwhelming majority of them could not invest.
 
“Colorado has an opportunity to claim a—if not the—leading role in the cannabis industry, if it’s properly financed,” DeAngelo said. “It’s an opportunity to build the first big companies and the first big brands. But it’s going to be difficult for them to do that if they’re unable to get the financing that’s available to every other industry.”
 
Cannabis business is "the next great American industry," ArcView CEO Dayton said when opening the investment meeting this week and despite the red tape that kept many investors from jumping in, it still certainly seems to be off to a strong start. It has only been about a month since Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would let the new legal marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington go into effect.
 

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Unemployment Drug Test Bill Moving In Michigan

Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 27th 2013 by THCFinder
drug-testing-miA bill that would deny unemployment benefits to people who refuse to take drug tests required by employers passed the Republican-dominated Michigan Senate last week and also advanced in the House, being approved by the House Commerce Committee on a 12-4 vote.
 
The bill, House Bill 4952, moved in the same week Republicans also pressed ahead with another bill aimed at the state’s poorest residents, one requiring food stamp recipients and welfare beneficiaries to participate in community service or other work-related activities or be cut off from assistance. The Republican-led House earlier passed bills that would require drug testing for public assistance and cutting benefits if a child is truant from school.
 
Democrats and civil libertarians denounced the bills as part of the GOP’s “war on the poor.”
 
“Wholesale drug testing without suspicion is simply illegal,” said Shelli Weisberg, spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. “If we’re going down the road of drug testing for people who receive benefits, then we better start drug testing legislators.”
 
Rep. Jon Switalski (D-Warrant) offered an amendment to do just that, but it failed.
 
“If the majority feels that drug testing for people on the public dole is good policy, then it’s clearly in the interest of good public policy to test all of us on the public dole,” he said. “But this is a bill about the elections in 2014 and nothing else.”
 

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NORML marijuana Super Bowl commercial advances in Intuit competition

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 26th 2013 by THCFinder
norml-super-bowl-adA spokesman for NORML emailed this morning that the pro-legal marijuana group’s submission to Intuit’s small business completion for a Super Bowl commercial spot has advanced to the second round.
 
Check out NORML’s updated submission to the contest.
 
From NORML’s communications director, Erik Altieri:
 
NORML would like to thank everyone who voted for our entry in Intuit’s contest. Millions of Americans now believe that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana, winning this contest will help put that message in front of millions more.
 
As a non-profit with a small staff and limited budget, we would greatly benefit from this contest just the same as any of the other small business entries. One would argue that NORML would benefit even more so than many of these entries, as our brand is looking to broadcast a truly national message and bring to light an issue that directly and adversely impacts countless thousands in our country every year.
 
We hope Intuit will give NORML the same fair chance as any other entrant. Our victory would be a win for all parties involved: Intuit gets lots of media coverage and good will for themselves and their contest, FOX would bring in hundreds of thousands of new viewers who would otherwise not watch the Super Bowl, and NORML gets to take our message about the tragic failings of marijuana prohibition to the masses.
 
Keep voting and we can make marijuana law reform the topic of discussion at watch parties across the nation during this years “Big Game.”
 
That puts the pro-pot group one step closer and Intuit in an even tighter spot.
 

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Wash. state shops for a bank to handle marijuana money

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
banks-handle-moneyOLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Wanted: A bank for state government. Must offer attentive customer service. Must be able to handle several deposits a day, with drop-offs of up to 40 bags at a time. Must allow an account to be overdrafted during the day by more than $1.2 billion.
 
Oh, and must accept proceeds from the sale of marijuana.
 
As Washington shops for a bank, that last demand might not be as hard to meet as it sounds.
 
The state's current banker has already agreed to it, according to the state treasurer, who says despite federal restrictions Washington shouldn't face reprisals for banking and spending the revenue that is coming soon from pot taxes and fees.
 
"I'm not too worried about it," Treasurer Jim McIntire said. "It's actually one of the advantages of having Bank of America as your contractor. It's unlikely, I think, that the federal government would raid them. . And they're big enough to look out for themselves on this."
 
Bank of America's seven-year contract to hold the state's main account runs through June 30, and the state asked for bids this month in a request that specifically calls out deposits of marijuana revenue as a must-have.
 
In the meantime, the state expects to start depositing revenue from Initiative 502, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The Liquor Control Board will receive its first fees in November from applicants asking the board for licenses to grow and sell the drug, and the Department of Revenue starts collecting taxes as soon as March after the first licenses are awarded.
 
Much of the revenue could arrive in the form of cash, since banks are reluctant to do business with pot dealers without changes in federal policy that treats banking of marijuana proceeds as money laundering.
 
Handling all those bills presents a hurdle for the state Department of Revenue. But some had suggested a bigger problem would be trying to store and spend the money.
 

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