Denver's first openly weed-friendly hotel opens for business

Category: News | Posted on Sun, May, 31st 2015 by THCFinder

Rest easy, globe-trotting cannabis connoisseurs: Denver now has an openly marijuana-friendly hotel.

Nativ, which opened for business on Thursday in the LoDo District, has no lava lamps or Bob Marley posters, or whatever people generally associate with stoner culture. Colorado has been trying to ditch that image long before Amendment 64 passed, which allowed recreational marijuana to be purchased and consumed in private residences starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The hotel features a variety of suites and room packages, each with a distinct style and amenities. Each floor also has its own identity in an attempt to eliminate the mind-numbing monotony typically associated with hotels.

"It's definitely not a stoner hotel," Nativ COO Mike Alexander told The Denver Channel. "I think that in general, marijuana has a stigma attached to it and I think we're breaking that."

Aside from the luxurious rooms with flatscreen TVs, private patios with fire pits, mini bars — you get it, it's fancy — the hotel also features a bar and restaurant called Portions, fronted by chef Aaron May, which features a self-pour beer wall with 20 different craft brews. This is Colorado, after all.

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Police Are Using Prepaid Card Readers to Seize Drug Money

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 30th 2015 by THCFinder

What once was a practice used primarily by the United States government to crack down on international drug traffickers is now being used by local law enforcement agencies in hopes of seizing more money connected to black market drug trade.

A recent report from the Arizona Journal indicates that the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office has been approved to begin using ERAD-Prepaid debit card readers during traffic stops that result in the discovery of illegal drugs. The overall goal, according to Sheriff KC Clark, is to bust people running dope along Interstate 40, while allowing his department to become more profitable from these types of arrests. 

While it can be difficult for cartel soldiers and mid-level domestic dope dealers to smuggle large amounts of cash undetected across America, many have caught on to the scheme of putting dirty money on pre-paid credit cards. This makes it easier for drug dealers to skate by the hounds of law enforcement, providing them with a financial invisibility cloak, of sorts, which has the potential to protect them from relinquishing substantial quantities of cash in the event of a roadside shakedown. It is also a lot less suspicious than carrying around stacks of paper currency.

Several years ago, however, a proposed amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), sought to cripple this modern method of money laundering by suggesting that the Department of Homeland Security require travelers, specifically in the case of international passages, to declare the amounts on their prepaid credit cards. The supposed objectiveof this amendment was to create a modernized extension of policies pertaining to the declaration of checks, money orders, and travelers checks. 

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Sea Cliff company secures marijuana production facility

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 30th 2015 by THCFinder

A Sea Cliff company competing to win a New York State medical marijuana license and open a dispensary on Long Island Friday announced it has secured a manufacturing facility upstate.
PalliaTech Inc. said it has agreed to lease a 65,000- square-foot facility, part of a former Pfizer Inc. research and manufacturing center near New York's border with Canada, to grow and refine cannabis plants into medicinal form.
Financial terms of PalliaTech's lease were not disclosed. The deal, which gives the company the option to lease an additional 85,000 square feet at the site north of Plattsburgh in Clinton County, is contingent on PalliaTech's winning a medical marijuana license from the state Health Department.
Richard Taney, PalliaTech's president and chief executive, said the "turnkey pharmaceutical R&D facility that can be brought online very quickly" would help New Yorkers who suffer from illnesses that can be treated with medical cannabis.
In a separate development, Empire State Compassionate Care, another contender for one of the five licenses New York State plans to issue, has hired Michael Balboni, a former state senator from Nassau County and Homeland Security adviser under two governors, to help direct the company's safety, security and compliance operations.


Uncle Sam Tells Employees Not to Smoke Weed

Category: News | Posted on Fri, May, 29th 2015 by THCFinder

Big government wants to make it perfectly clear that under no circumstance is the consumption of marijuana acceptable for federal employees. More than half of the United States has legalized cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, yet this reform in reefer laws remains off limits to those workers whose paychecks are signed by government agencies.

In an attempt to drive home the government’s anti-pot stance, the Office of Personnel Management issued a memorandum earlier this week, threatening the throes of the unemployment line for any federal employee who takes advantage of the stoner scene in states that have legalized the leaf. This message applies to around 4.1 million staff members nationwide, ranging from postal workers to military recruits.

“Federal law on marijuana remains unchanged,” wrote OPM director Katherine Archuleta. “Marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act.  Thus knowing or intentional marijuana possession is illegal, even if an individual has no intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana.”

Interestingly, the latest call for stoned sobriety among federal workers is based on a 1986 Executive Order signed by President Ronald Reagan aimed at establishing a “Drug-Free Federal Workplace.” Despite the document’s antiquated position in progressive society, Archuleta claims that regardless of a federal employee’s workhorse attitude, the use of marijuana, even off duty, is cause for disciplinary action if they do not enter into rehab.

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Drug Lab Misconduct Leads to New Trials for Thousands

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 28th 2015 by THCFinder

Tens of thousands of prisoners across the state of Massachusetts who were convicted as a result of drug tests overseen by one state scientist may soon challenge these convictions in court.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Judicial Court handed down a unanimous verdict that will allow individuals who were sent to prison based on evidence provided by state chemist Annie Dookhan to petition the courts for a new hearing without risking additional or more severe penalties. Dookhan admitted to tampering with and forging evidence that sabotaged a number of cases.

“It clears a path for people to challenge—when I say people, I say thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people—to challenge their convictions without fear that prosecutors will respond by seeking to revive harsher charges or harsher sentences that were relinquished in a plea bargain,” Matthew Segal, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, told The New York Times.

It is suspected that Dookhan, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to a myriad of charges, including obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence, failed to give drug samples the appropriate testing before sending positive confirmation to prosecutors. For nearly a decade, Dookhan is believed to have corrupted the criminal justice system by falsifying signatures, mishandling samples and lying about her qualifications.

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Judge clears way for medical marijuana in Florida

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 28th 2015 by THCFinder

Florida regulators said they expect to provide access to a limited strain of non-euphoric marijuana for medical purposes by the end of the year after a Tallahassee judge on Wednesday dismissed the final challenge to the long-awaited rule.

The Florida Department of Health, which developed the rule, is expected to start accepting applications within three weeks from eligible growers for the strain of marijuana that is low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. Growers could start selling to eligible patients who are put on a state-run “compassionate use registry’’ within months.

“I am one happy legislator,’’ said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, one of the sponsors of the 2014 legislation that attempted to expedite the development and cultivation of the so-called “Charlotte's Web’’ strain of low-THC marijuana to help people suffering from epileptic seizures, cancer and other ailments.

Legislators had intended for the medical strain of cannabis to be available to Floridians by January of this year but regulators had their first rule rejected, and then faced a series of legal challenges. On Wednesday, they offered patients new hope.

“Today's ruling allows the department to move forward with implementing the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, approved by the legislature in 2014,'' the Department of Health said in a statement. "The department remains committed to ensuring safe and efficient access to this product for children with refractory epilepsy and patients with advanced cancer. We are moving swiftly to facilitate access to the product before the end of the year.”

The ruling by Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins came after two days of testimony and more than a year after the Legislature had passed the law. The rule challenge was brought by Baywood Nurseries of Apopka whose owners, Raymond Hogshead and Heather Zabinofsky, alleged that the rule proposed by the state were unfair and vague.

Watkins is the same judge who tossed out DOH’s first attempt at a rule last year, prompting the agency’s Office of Compassionate Use to hold a rulemaking workshop involving a handpicked panel of advisors from various parts of the industry.

Under the law, nurseries that have been in business for at least 30 years in Florida and grow a minimum of 400,000 plants are eligible to apply for one of five licenses to grow and distribute marijuana within the state. About 100 nurseries meet the criteria, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Under the proposed rule, dispensing organizations would have to prove that they would be able to stay in business for at least two years and be able to cover not only the bond but what could be expensive start-up costs.

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