Chart of the Week: Increasing Pace of Recreational, Medical Marijuana Legalization

By Jennifer Mann

If the recent past is any indication, the cannabis industry sCOTW01 19 15 Chart of the Week: Increasing Pace of Recreational, Medical Marijuana Legalizationhould be optimistic for legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana at the state level in 2015 and beyond.

Over the last five years, a whopping 16 cannabis legalization measures cleared state legislatures or were approved by voters (not including CBD-focused initiatives). Of those, five measures legalized recreationalmarijuana – in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and Washington DC.

During the previous nine years – from 2001 to 2009 – just five states legalized medical marijuana, and none moved forward with rec.

In fact, more marijuana legalization measures have passed at the state level since 2010 than before that year, dating all the way back to when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996. 

All of that bodes well for the future of the industry as advocates attempt to push through recreational or medical cannabis measure this year and next in scores of states. Even some states that have been viewed as laggards on the cannabis front,  such as Missouri and Kansas, are mounting well-organized ballot initiative petition drives and/or lobbying state legislatures to pass marijuana legalization measures.

Jennifer Mann can be reached at jenniferm@mjbizmedia.com

House Bill Would Expunge Many Pot Convictions

Lawmakers on Friday considered whether adults will be able to have misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession thrown out.WASHINGTON:  Lawmakers on Friday considered whether adults will be able to have misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession thrown out if they were over 21 at the time of the offense.

The House’s Public Safety Committee began weighing a bill by Democratic legislators that would allow misdemeanor convictions for possessing 40 grams or less of marijuana to be set aside and dismissed. If it passes, the process to clear records would be different from the way other misdemeanors are expunged. Unlike those cases, a marijuana offender wouldn’t have to wait three years after completing the sentence to get the conviction wiped off the record.

The bill would erase past criminal convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Voters passed Initiative 502 in 2012, which legalized the sale and recreational use of pot in Washington state.

“The voters spoke,” Thurston County public defender Alex Frix told the panel Friday. “It is patently unfair to continue to punish people with the stain of a conviction for possessing a now-legal substance, period.”

Read full article @ the Spokesman-Review

Medical marijuana a challenge for legal pot states

SEATTLE (AP) — A year into the nation’s experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.

In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system.

Licensed shops say taxes are so onerous that they can’t compete.

Colorado, which launched legal pot sales last New Year’s Day, is facing a lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma alleging that they’re being overrun with pot from the state.

And the number of patients on Colorado’s medical marijuana registry went up, not down, since 2012, meaning more marijuana users there can avoid paying the higher taxes that recreational pot carries.

Officials in both states say they must do more to drive customers into the recreational stores. They’re looking at reining in their medical systems and fixing the big tax differential between medical and recreational weed without harming patients.

And in some cases, they are considering cracking down on the proliferating black market.

remainder of this article can be found at the following link: http://news.yahoo.com/medical-marijuana-challenge-legal-pot-states-052859824–finance.html

Associated Press

 

Concentrated Cannabis Qualifies As Medical Marijuana, California Court Rules

 A state appellate court in Sacramento has ruled that “concentrated cannabis” qualifies as marijuana for purposes of medical use.

CALIFORNIA:  A state appellate court in Sacramento has ruled that “concentrated cannabis” qualifies as marijuana for purposes of medical use.

A unanimous three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal disagreed this week with an earlier ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner and reversed the judge’s decision that a medical marijuana patient violated probation by possessing concentrated cannabis.

Sean Patrick Mulcrevy, of Cameron Park, was charged in 2013 with unlawful possession of concentrated cannabis, a misdemeanor, and was alleged to have violated his probation because of his failure “to obey all laws.”

Wagoner reviewed the existing legal authority indicating that concentrated cannabis is covered by California’s Compassionate Use Act, or CUA, the 1996 voter initiative approving medical use of marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. But Wagoner rejected the authority as “unsound” and ruled that “the (CUA) does not apply to concentrated cannabis” because the act does not define marijuana, refer to concentrated cannabis or incorporate statutory definitions of either term.

 
Read full article @ The Sacramento Bee

Congress Blocks Feds From Targeting Medical Marijuana, Hemp Cultivation

States with legal hemp cultivation and medical marijuana programs just got historic support from Congress.

BY

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  States with legal hemp cultivation and medical marijuana programs just got historic support from Congress.

Included in the federal spending bill released late Tuesday are amendments that prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state medical marijuana operations and that block the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to interfere in state-legal industrial hemp research.

“The enactment of this legislation will mark the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana and has instead taken an approach to respect the many states that have permitted the use of medical marijuana to some degree,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), told The Huffington Post Wednesday.

“This is a victory for so many, including scores of our wounded veterans, who have found marijuana to be an important medicine for some of the ailments they suffer, such as PTSD, epilepsy and MS,” Rohrabacher added.

 
Read full article @ Huffington Post

 

USEI ANNOUNCES A 20% STOCK DIVIDEND FOR SHAREHOLDERS OF RECORD ON THE RECORD DATE

USEI Cannabis logoSANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA December 8, 2014 (Newswire) – US ENERGY INITIATIVES CORPORATION, INC. (OTC Pink: USEI) is pleased to announce today that the Directors of USEI have approved a 20% restricted common stock dividend for shareholders of record on the company’s record dated. Management will be filing a Corporation Action with FINRA to issue a restricted stock dividend. The dividend will be added to the shareholders’ existing shares on the pay date. Details of the transaction will become available to the shareholders once FINRA has approved the Corporate Action.

According to Anthony Miller, CEO, “For the second year in a row we have decided to award all of our loyal shareholders with this additional stock because they have stuck with us through our new transitional phase; to now where we see some growth and significant optimism. Many of our shareholders have held this stock for many years, and they along with newer shareholders, will now become beneficiaries of our anticipated growth. In 2014 we have made many changes to our overall mission and management believes that our future is still very positive, and our business model will produce sustainable growth. In the coming days and weeks there will be other news related to this transaction to clarify our actions and our vision. ”, commented Miller

About U.S. Energy Initiatives: U.S. Energy Initiatives Corporation (OTC Pink: USEI) is a diverse energy firm. USEI and its wholly owned subsidiary USEI Cannabis business’ centers on hemp to energy, everything cannabis related and developing products and services for the marketplace. Our Ultimate Cure & Real McCoy Genuine Products: we market vapor pens and accessories, topical ointments, cannabis oils and tinctures all under these same names. Our focus in the state of Washington is currently CBD Cannabis however, we are not just focusing on CBD side of business (http://www.useicannabis.com/web/washington-partnerships/… Our online store: http://www.theuccbdshop.com/); we are actively working to obtain the ability to produce our own products, own our own recreational dispensary and grow marijuana. Our goal here is to become an environmentally responsible firm, marketing our products to our audience to produce significant revenue and add value for our shareholders. We have very ambitious goals and objectives for USEI Cannabis and we believe that we will have a very long presence in Washington, and wherever cannabis is legal. Our objective is to create a foundation that will be instrumental in our continued efforts to capture our market-share and create viable products that meet our goals and objectives for these markets. For more information regarding our strategies it can be found on the company’s website @ www.useicannabis.com/web/.

DISCLOSURES: “Safe Harbor” This press release contains forward-looking statements including statements regarding the timing of the revenue from the partnership and the partnership’s success. The words “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “could,” “target,” “potential,” “is likely,” “will,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward looking statements include consumer reaction to our Cannabis products and new regulations which affect the distribution of these products. Further information on our risk factors is contained in our filings with the OTC Markets. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

 

Contact: U.S. Energy Initiatives Corporation, Inc.

Investor Relations

Ph:    866 922-1116

Email:         info@usenergyinit.com

Web: www.usenergyinit.com

Web: www.useicannabis.com

 

How Tommy Chong Beat Cancer With Homegrown Cannabis Medicine

In a recent interview in 2014, Tommy talks in detail about how he came to the decision to try hemp oil, and how the process worked for him to beat cancer.

CALIFORNIA:  As the movement for the liberation of cannabis gains momentum, and attitudes toward this relaxing and healing plant evolve, we are witnessing an explosion in innovation around how cannabis is used, both as a medicine and for recreational purposes. Finally overcoming its reputation as a mind-bending, psychoactive drug that makes you stoned, lazy and useless, cannabis is being celebrated for its healing benefits.

In a high profile case of the healing power of CBD’s, famous actor, comedian, and marijuana advocate, Tommy Chong shocked his fans in 2011 when he announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. As a challenge to the world at that time, he stated his determination to cure his cancer with medical cannabis, and began a journey to do just that. By changing his diet and consuming, CBD rich cannabis oil Tommy beat cancer, which he announced in 2013.

In a recent interview in 2014, Tommy talked in greater detail about how he came to the decision to try hemp oil, and how the process worked for him. Remarkably, he mentions that he had his CBD oil made from plants that he legally grew on his own rooftop, bred to have a high CBD count.

While non-psychoactive CBD rich hemp oil is gaining in renown as a natural medicine, Tommy Chong believes that the high potent sedative and calming effects of the oil, the psychoactive component, is also a very beneficial part of the healing process.  He talks about the nature and benefits of cannabis and why so many of the major cancer treatment centers are ignoring the evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment.

 

 
Read full article @ Waking Times

Seattle MMJ Regulations, Standards Proposed

 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray outlined a plan Monday afternoon to license medical marijuana businesses and set standards on the MMJ industry for everything from testing to packaging and advertising.

The proposal – which still needs approval from the city council –establishes a regulatory system for medical marijuana similar to that for recreational cannabis.

Washington currently doesn’t have any statewide medical cannabis regulations, meaning MMJ businesses largely operate in legal limbo.

The mayor’s plan would require criminal background checks for would-be owners and allow the city to inspect medical cannabis businesses, the Seattle Times reported.

FundingEBookNewsletterV2 Seattle MMJ Regulations, Standards ProposedIt also calls for two classes of collective gardens: Class 1 gardens would work with dispensaries and would have to be more than 500 feet from childcare centers, schools, parks, libraries and transit centers. They’d also be subject to testing for potency, pesticides, mold, fungus and heavy metals.

Class 2 gardens would only be allowed to grow 45 plants, but wouldn’t face proximity requirements nor strict testing regulations, the newspaper said.

The plan would require a separate processing license for edibles, and it would adopt the Washington Liquor Control Board’s rules for concentrates.

All licenses would be subject to revocation in the event of “egregious” violations, including selling to minors, the Times reported.

The framework is expected to be sent to the city council in Decembe

Recreational Marijuana in Washington State – A Guide for Visitors

Washington visitors interested in using marijuana products should be aware of the details of the law regarding purchase, possession, and consumption. There are still significant restrictions for pot possession and use, as well as many practical details to be worked out about how the law will actually be implemented. Washington’s weed tourism services are still being developed.

Washington State’s Initiative 502 (I-502), which decriminalizes recreational marijuana, was voted into law in November 2012. The new law allows the creation of a licensed and regulated system of marijuana production and distribution, similar to the state’s liquor controls. 

Note: I-502 does not preempt federal law. The production, distribution, sale, possession, and use of marijuana is still against, and may be prosecuted under, US federal law. Marijuana use is also prohibited by most employers.

Here are some things Washington State visitors should know to stay on the right side of state law regarding recreational marijuana.

Marijuana - Cavan Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

 

Cavan Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Where can I buy pot in Washington State?

A few licensed retail marijuana shops are now open for business, with more to open in the coming weeks. These shops are devoted only to marijuana and marijuana products and will not sell anything else. Cannabis sampling or consumption is not allowed on the premises. Liquor stores, convenience stores, and other existing businesses will not be allowed to add pot products to their offerings.

Here are some resources to help you find a licensed Washington State cannabis shop:

  • Leafly Store Finder
    Not only does Leafly provide an interactive map to current marijuana retailers, they provide detailed information about the different strains of weed as well as a nice primer on pot products and use.

New Strategy Mars Pot Shop Approvals

While the San Diego’s first three legal dispensaries appear poised to open early next year, a dozen applicants behind them in the process are facing delays because their environmental exemptions have been appealed by applicant competitors.

While the city’s first three legal dispensaries appear poised to open early next year, a dozen applicants behind them in the process are facing multi-week delays because their environmental exemptions, which were previously considered a formality, have been appealed.

The appeals appear to be strategic attempts by some applicants to get a leg up on their competitors, rather than someone raising genuine concerns about how a dispensary would impact the environment around it, attorneys working for some of the applicants said.

“People seem to feel that if they don’t appeal their competitors, they’re going to be the chump who then turns around and is facing an appeal,” said attorney Jessica McElfresh. “It’s really unfortunate because the process shouldn’t be abused like this.”