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1US CA: On the Road: Marijuana Smoking, Consumption Now Illegal InSun, 31 Dec 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Bentley, Amy Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2017

Each new year brings new driving or transportation-related laws in California and 2018 is no exception. We'd like to share these new laws with readers in the next few columns.

Marijuana and edible cannabis use in vehicles, Senate Bill 65: Recreational marijuana/cannabis is now legal to be purchased and consumed in certain places, but that doesn't mean you can light up a joint on your daily commute.

Consuming cannabis while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle in California is illegal. This new law is similar to the "open container" laws that outlaw drinking alcohol while driving, though having some alcohol in your system while driving isn't outlawed.

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2 US CA: California Pot Shops Roll Out Hoopla As Recreational Sales SetThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Spagat, Elliot Area:California Lines:118 Added:12/28/2017

Marijuana legalization arrives Monday in California with lots of hoopla, but only a handful of cities will initially have retail outlets ready to sell recreational pot.

By Thursday afternoon, California had issued only 42 retail licenses. Another 150 applications were pending and regulators planned to work a second straight weekend to review them.

Los Angeles and San Francisco were late to approve local regulations, meaning no recreational pot shops there will open their doors Monday.

The lucky few outlets with licenses -- mainly in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Palm Springs area and Santa Cruz -- think they have an edge being first out of the gate.

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3 US CA: Federal Agents Can Still Seize Marijuana At CaliforniaWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:140 Added:12/27/2017

California legalizes marijuana for recreational use Monday, but that won't stop federal agents from seizing the drug -- even in tiny amounts -- on busy freeways and backcountry highways.

Marijuana possession still will be prohibited at eight Border Patrol checkpoints in California, a reminder that state and federal laws collide when it comes to pot. The U.S. government classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.

"Prior to Jan. 1, it's going to be the same after Jan. 1, because nothing changed on our end," said Ryan Yamasaki, an assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. "If you're a federal law enforcement agency, you uphold federal laws."

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4 US CA: Editorial: The Lack Of Health Research Into Marijuana Makes ItWed, 27 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:95 Added:12/27/2017

In advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, there have been lots of debates over the details of the cannabis business. How many feet should pot shops be from schools or daycare centers? How many acres may a marijuana farmer cultivate? Who should be eligible for a license to sell and who shouldn't?

But there's been much less discussion over an equally important question raised by the end of prohibition in California: What is the right public health message to send to adults who can now legally buy and use marijuana? Voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 64 last year and polls continue to show broad support for legalization. But just because marijuana is legal doesn't mean it is risk-free.

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5US CA: Legal Pot In California Brings Host Of Environmental RulesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Knickmeyer, Ellen Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - At a state briefing on environmental rules that await growers entering California's soon-to-be-legal marijuana trade, organic farmers Ulysses Anthony, Tracy Sullivan and Adam Mernit listened intently, eager to make their humble cannabis plot a model of sustainable agriculture in a notoriously destructive industry dominated by the black market.

In line with a 2017 study that found marijuana grows are more damaging, plot for plot, than commercial logging in Northern California forests, Anthony said he has seen too many destructive grows. Trash-strewn clearings. Growers heaping fertilizer at the foot of a centuries-old sequoia tree, needlessly endangering it. Wild streams diverted for irrigation.

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6US CA: A Beginner's Guide To Buying Recreational Marijuana InTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2017

Cannabis 101: Here's what you need to know about recreational marijuana

With recreational marijuana becoming available for sale on New Year's Day, you may be asking yourself: Do I want to try this stuff?

If you have never used cannabis, or if it has been a long time since you have, you need to know that pot isn't just consumed through joints and bongs anymore. Consumers also use vape pens, edibles and other products.

And marijuana has higher amounts of THC -- pot's psychoactive ingredient -- than it once did. In the early 1990s, the average amount of THC in confiscated marijuana samples was roughly 3.7 percent, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Now, many retail strains test in the high 20s and some even top 30 percent.

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7US CA: Legalized Marijuana Will Be A Bit Different From Version ThatSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Rosenhall, Laurel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

Some details of legalized recreational marijuana have changed since California voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016.

California is days away from launching a legal marketplace for adults to buy and sell recreational marijuana. On Jan. 1, the state will carry through on a vision voters endorsed by passing Proposition 64 last year.

Yet as legal cannabis moves from campaign pitch to reality - amid lots of lobbying by industry groups along the way - some details of the plan have changed. State regulators approved the official rules last month and will update them in about a year.

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8US CA: Jack In The Box Tests Munchie Meals For California Pot SmokersFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Giammona, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/22/2017

For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the air.

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

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9US CA: Marijuana Activist Since 1960s Facing California Pot ChargesThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A marijuana activist whose advocacy dates to the 1960s counterculture has been arrested in California toting 22 pounds of illegal marijuana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in far Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California's famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

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10US CA: How Oakland Is Including Black, Brown People In MarijuanaThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Taylor, Otis R. Jr. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

In a dark room, Jahful Price slowly worked a row of pungent plants guided by his headlamp.

He wore a white biohazard suit, methodically picking up cannabis plants by their stems and hanging them upside down on a rack with plastic clothes hangers.

Price, a 31-year-old Oakland resident who is black, is getting hands-on experience in cannabis cultivating that he hopes will help him run his own business one day.

Since July, he's had a paid internship at NUG, a cannabis business owned by Bloom Innovations, a horticulture consulting and management firm in Oakland. NUG chose Nine Mile Tribe, a business owned by Price's family, as one of its equity partners.

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11 US CA: This Colorado City Declined To Allow Pot Sales. Now It'sThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:California Lines:164 Added:12/18/2017

At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.

Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the state legalized recreational marijuana.

But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.

When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales. Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities across Colorado.

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12US CA: Fresno Starts Process To Change Laws For Medical MarijuanaThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2017

Medical marijuana dispensaries and other portions of the medicinal cannabis supply chain could be legal in Fresno as the result of a unanimous vote Thursday by the City Council.

The 7-0 vote begins the process of rewriting the city's complete ban on commercial marijuana operations that was adopted earlier this year. It will likely be several months, however, before drafts emerge for ordinances and rules that will govern where and how businesses that cultivate, process, manufacture, distribute or sell medical marijuana can operate within the city.

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13 US CA: Lawmakers Say California's Proposed Marijuana Rules Will HurtTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:43 Added:12/05/2017

Two legislators called Tuesday for changes to regulations for growing marijuana in California to better protect small family farmers from being driven out of business by big corporate cultivators.

Initial proposals to cap licensed marijuana farms at one to four acres were discarded by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which has since proposed new rules without any cap, according to a letter of complaint to the agency by State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-San Rafael) and Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). McGuire and Wood support a one-acre cap.

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14US CA: Power Broker's Involvement In S.f. Pot Club Hits ResistanceTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2017

When a rising Chinese American power broker became a partner in a proposed cannabis dispensary in San Francisco's Outer Sunset, he knew it would hit resistance.

But David Ho sees himself as the perfect emissary to the mostly older Chinese residents and merchants who are deeply skeptical of the pot trade.

"I'm the working-class, westside Asian American story," said Ho, who is a co-owner of the Barbary Coast medical cannabis dispensary that has applied to open at 2161 Irving St., on a block lined with grocery stores, dry cleaning shops and banks.

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15 US CA: Extreme Marijuana Use Linked To Vomiting SyndromeTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Bartolone, Pauline Area:California Lines:143 Added:11/29/2017

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

"I've screamed out for death," said Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego. "I've cried out for my mom who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can't come to me."

Queen lost a modeling job after being mistaken for an alcoholic. She racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and her nausea interrupted her sex life. Towards the end of her illness, Queen, who stands 5-foot-9, weighed in at a frail 109 pounds.

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16US CA: Editorial: A Marijuana Prohibition That Makes SenseSun, 26 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2017

There's hardly a more receptive or captive audience for marketing an intoxicant than the beleaguered commuters crowded onto a rush-hour Muni bus (except perhaps the ones packed onto a rush-hour BART train). But unlike many of the dopey regulations proliferating ahead of California's legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018, Muni's decision to ban cannabis advertising makes sense.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board voted Tuesday to ban recreational marijuana advertising and stop accepting medical marijuana ads once current contracts expire. The policy is in keeping with Muni's refusal of alcohol, tobacco and firearms advertising in light of the number of children who ride city buses and trains. It's also in line with statewide regulations that prohibit cannabis advertising that targets children or reaches audiences with large numbers of young people.

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17US CA: Deputies Seize More Than 3,400 Pot Plants In High Desert RaidsSun, 19 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Steinberg, Jim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

VICTORVILLE - San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputies seized 3,475 marijuana plants after serving search warrants at four High Desert locations Friday, the agency announced Saturday.

All of the marijuana grows were not in compliance with the California medical marijuana law or other ordinances, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

At three of the four locations investigators found that the illegal growers had tampered with the main power lines at residences to bypass the electrical meters installed by the utility company, allowing the theft of electricity needed to operate equipment used to grow marijuana.

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18US CA: Wiener Hopes To Head Off Marijuana Mega-FarmsWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Matier, Phil Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who has adopted the cannabis industry as one of his major concerns, is taking aim at new state regulations for recreational marijuana that will allow for big growing operations in California.

"By not limiting the amount of land that can be cultivated by any one operation, we are basically inviting mega industrial-scale operations into the state," the San Francisco Democrat said. "It will squeeze out the small farmers that have been at the forefront of the industry for many, many years."

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19US CA: Sacramento City Council Approves Funding To Crack Down OnWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved funding sources for increased law enforcement against illegal indoor pot grows, following a two-month pilot program that led to the closure of 614 pot houses.

The city expects to spend between $700,000 and $1.1 million on police efforts to stop the approximately 1,000 illegal grows in Sacramento houses in the fiscal year ending June 30.

The city will pay those costs with tax revenue collected from legal marijuana businesses, which are expected to start operating sometime after Jan. 1, when adults can purchase pot for recreational use statewide. The city plans to supplement that tax revenue with administrative fines collected from illegal pot growers.

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20US CA: Editorial: California Cities' Reefer ReluctanceFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the neighborhood level.

For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy; Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

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21US CA: Colton Group Petitioning To Put Citizen-Backed MarijuanaSun, 12 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Whitehead, Brian Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A citizens committee in Colton has launched an initiative to regulate and tax local cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in order to generate millions of dollars in revenue for law enforcement, schools and public safety programs.

The Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools recently filed its proposed marijuana ordinance with the city and will soon begin gathering signatures for placement on the 2018 ballot.

Meanwhile, the Colton City Council awaits a drafted ordinance of potential regulations recommended by a committee of city leaders and other representatives.

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22US CA: Column: City Hall Strangely Worried Over Weed As Legal UseSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Knight, Heather Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

When 74 percent of San Francisco voters last year backed legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana statewide, the idea was to make it easier to buy and smoke pot - a substance that has never been that hard to buy or smoke in San Francisco anyway.

Tell that to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The Keystone Cops of Cannabis have spent countless hours over endless committee meetings in recent weeks, devising ways to dramatically limit where people can buy and sell marijuana once the substance becomes legal for recreational use statewide on Jan. 1.

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23US CA: Editorial: Pushing Marijuana Back Into The Shadows With HighSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A global credit rating agency says taxes on recreational marijuana in California could reach 45 percent in some places, high enough to keep the thriving black market in business despite legalization.

The report by Fitch Ratings, "Local Taxes May Challenge Cannabis Legalization in California," warns that state and local taxes may combine to threaten the government revenue expected from the sale of legalized cannabis and cannabis products. The recreational use of the drug will be legal in California starting Jan. 1 under Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, passed by voters last November.

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24US CA: Delay Makes It Unlikely San Francisco Will Sell Pot Jan. 1Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Har, Janie Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Supervisors in famously pot-friendly San Francisco are under pressure from cannabis advocates to pass regulations that would allow the industry to flourish once recreational sales become legal throughout California in January.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up proposed regulations Tuesday, when they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1. That would give them time to figure out where to allow new stores.

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25 US CA: San Francisco's Chinese Community Fights RecreationalTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:77 Added:11/14/2017

San Francisco is having a surprisingly difficult time establishing regulations for the broad legal pot market, thanks in part to criticism from older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use.

Divided San Francisco supervisors are scheduled to take up the issue at a board meeting Tuesday, where they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1 as they continue to figure out where to allow new stores.

The possibility of overly strict regulations has businesses fretting over access and some San Franciscans wondering what happened to the counter-culture, anti-Prohibition city they know and love. The smell of cannabis being smoked is not uncommon in certain neighborhoods and parks.

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26US CA: Former Supervisors Threaten Ballot Measure Over ProposedTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/14/2017

A proposed deal to cut through San Francisco's cannabis debate and allow existing medical dispensaries to sell recreational pot on Jan. 1 could put a choke hold on the industry, two former supervisors said Tuesday.

Scott Wiener and David Campos, who formed an unlikely partnership to intervene in the city's cannabis legislation, blasted the proposal by Supervisor Aaron Peskin hours before it went to the full board.

Peskin's idea of granting recreational permits to the city's 46 existing pot businesses, when coupled with zoning rules that other supervisors have introduced to keep the pot trade out of their neighborhoods, would create a monopoly for those already in business, Wiener and Campos said.

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27US CA: San Francisco Pot Proposal Aims To Help Victims Of 'FailedWed, 01 Nov 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Each of San Francisco's 11 supervisors has called for "equity" in the city's cannabis laws, meaning they want to create a racially diverse industry that gives former drug offenders a shot at success.

On Wednesday, Supervisor Malia Cohen presented an ordinance to help the city achieve its social justice goals when sales of recreational marijuana become legal throughout the state in January. The city won't issue permits to sell recreational cannabis until an equity program is approved.

Cohen's proposal - modeled after a similar program that Oakland approved in March and another that's being considered in Los Angeles - would prioritize permits for dispensary operators with marijuana arrests or convictions between 1971 and 2009. Also eligible for priority would be entrepreneurs who committed other nonviolent crimes during that time period, or who earn 80 percent of San Francisco's area median income, or who were displaced from their homes within the past 22 years.

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28 US CA: California Slapping High Taxes On Marijuana, Causing StickerSun, 05 Nov 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:103 Added:11/05/2017

California's legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it's grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything.

Be ready for sticker shock.

On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.

But in 2018, when recreational sales take hold and additional taxes kick in, the cost of that same purchase in the new market is expected to increase at the retail counter to $50 or $60.

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29 US CA: Editorial: Can Los Angeles Repair The Damage Done By The WarSat, 04 Nov 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:108 Added:11/04/2017

Make no mistake, the war on marijuana has not been colorblind. Despite national surveys showing that white people and black people use marijuana at approximately the same rates, blacks have over the years been nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.

That disparity is as true in Los Angeles as it is elsewhere in the country. African Americans comprise less than 10% of the population in L.A. Yet between 2000 and 2017, blacks represented 40% of marijuana-related arrests. Latinos made up 44% of arrests. Whites made up only 16% of arrests, according to a city consultant's analysis of Los Angeles Police Department data.

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30US CA: Pot Farmers Fear Crops May Go Up In SmokeFri, 13 Oct 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Hughes, Trevor Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2017

CALISTOGA, Calif. - Marijuana farmers and dispensary owners across Northern California are nervously watching as wildfires burn through some of the state's prime cannabis growing areas and destroy valuable crops, which could drive up prices for consumers across the country.

"This is right smack in the middle of people's harvests," said Eli Melrod, the CEO of Solful Dispensary in Sebastopol, in northern California. "It couldn't have been worse timing, frankly."

A single marijuana plant can be worth up to $5,000, but pot growers can't get crop insurance like traditional farmers or the vintners whose grapevines tend to get most of the attention here.

Wildfires are burning across parts of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, which are known for both wine and marijuana, particularly among high-end consumers willing to pay a premium for the name.

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31 US CA: Hundreds Applied To Be On California's Pot Advisory CommitteeThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:37 Added:10/05/2017

With just three months left to draft new rules for marijuana sales in California, the state on Wednesday appointed a panel of industry members, health experts, law enforcement officials and union leaders to provide advice during the effort.

The 22-member Cannabis Advisory Committee will help the Bureau of Cannabis Control develop regulations on the cultivation, transport, testing and sale of medical and recreational marijuana, with state licenses scheduled to be issued starting Jan. 2.

"These individuals represent the diverse backgrounds of California and the cannabis industry and have the necessary experience to make the committee successful," said Dean R. Grafilo, director of the state Department of Consumer Affairs. He said hundreds of people applied for the panel.

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32US CA: California Marijuana Grow Houses Account For 75 Percent OfWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2017

If you are 21, you can grow marijuana in California. But the rules vary by city. Here is what's legal in Sacramento if you want to grow pot.

California's illegally grown marijuana, once largely produced in national forests and other outdoor locations, is increasingly found indoors, federal statistics show.

In 2016, authorities seized 313,000 plants from indoor operations in California, which made up 75 percent of all indoor plants taken nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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33 US CA: San Diego Legalizes Supply Chain For Marijuana OperationsWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Garrick, David Area:California Lines:69 Added:10/04/2017

Making indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products legal will boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana, City Council members said before approving the legislation in a 6-3 vote. (Oct. 4, 2017)

Making indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products legal will boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana, City Council members said before approving the legislation in a 6-3 vote. (Oct. 4, 2017)

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34US CA: Recreational Marijuana Sales Won't Start In January In SFTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Swan, Rachel Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

People eager to start buying recreational marijuana from shops in San Francisco when sales become legal throughout the state in January are going to have to wait a little longer.

The city won't issue permits to sell recreational marijuana until it passes new laws to regulate the industry and creates an equity program to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug offenders break into the market.

According to Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with proposed regulations at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, city officials still have no idea what that program will look like or how it will operate.

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35 US CA: Months Before California Allows The Sale Of Marijuana ForThu, 28 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:69 Added:09/28/2017

Months before California allows the sale of marijuana for recreational use, the state has launched an education campaign about the drug, including highlighting the potential harms of cannabis for minors and pregnant women.

The state is scheduled to issue licenses starting Jan. 2 for growing and selling marijuana for recreational use, expanding a program that currently allows cannabis use for medical purposes.

In response, the California Department of Public Health has created a website to educate Californians about the drug and its impacts, including how to purchase and safely store cannabis.

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36 US CA: L.A. Is Set To Be A Hot Market For Marijuana SalesMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Reyes, Emily Alpert Area:California Lines:182 Added:09/27/2017

The idea of alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

The idea of alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

Los Angeles lawmakers are laying the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the hottest markets for marijuana in the country, one that could bring more than $50 million in taxes to city coffers next year.

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37US CA: More Cannabis Businesses Could Be Coming To San JacintoSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Shultz, Craig Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/26/2017

When more cannabis businesses begin operating in San Jacinto, Councilman Andrew Kotyuk said residents don't need to be struck with a case of reefer madness.

"This is not Cheech and Chong," Kotyuk said. "This is a biotech doctorate and masters who work with highly trained technicians in a medical environment."

The City Council voted last week to increase the number of cannabis businesses from six to 16.

San Jacinto already has given preliminary approval to three license requests for outdoor cultivation and three more for indoor, which had been the limit. Those have gone to five companies, one that applied for both indoor and outdoor operations.

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38US CA: Editorial: Governments Wisely Moving To Regulate MarijuanaTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.

Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as opposed to simply banning marijuana.

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39 US CA: Pot Edibles That Look Like Gummy Bears Should Be Illegal ToThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:31 Added:09/19/2017

California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the governor for consideration.

"We are trying to protect children," said Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.

Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them marijuana-laced gummy bears.

The state plans to begin issuing licenses for the sale of recreational marijuana to people 21 and older in January, so lawmakers have introduced several bills aimed at preventing pot from being marketed to minors.

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40 US CA: Olivia Newton-John Cannabis Treatment: She Uses Marijuana InSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Darby, Adam Area:California Lines:54 Added:09/03/2017

Singer Olivia Newton-John has used medicinal marijuana during her battle with breast cancer and plans to promote the drug this week to raise money for her wellness and research center.

"I will do what I can to encourage it. It's an important part of treatment, and it should be available," Newton-John, who announced a second battle with breast cancer in May, told News Corp. Australia.

"I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing," she said. "It's a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal."

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41 US CA: Ten Bills Regulating Pot In California Are Sidelined For TheFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:65 Added:09/01/2017

Ten bills aimed at regulating marijuana were shelved Friday by state lawmakers, giving California's new Bureau of Cannabis Control time to finish its own rules before lawmakers pile on with additional restrictions.

The bills held by the Senate Appropriations Committee without comment would have further regulated where pot can be used, how marijuana is marketed, the trademarking of products and would have required the state to produce a consumer guide.

The actions come as the state Bureau of Cannabis Control is preparing to begin issuing licenses and regulations for the growth, transport and sale of marijuana for medical and recreational use starting Jan. 2.

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42US CA: Legal Marijuana: Fresno City Council Passes Ban On PotThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Sheehan, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the recreational map

Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such establishments.

Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016, legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1, 2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.

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43US CA: Perris Gets The Inland Empire's First Licensed MedicalWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/30/2017

The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary, with Green America now open for business in Perris.

"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of Perris and all of the Inland Empire."

The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.

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44 US CA: California Lawmakers Ask Gov. Jerry Brown To Bar The MarketingThu, 24 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:McGreevy, Patrick Area:California Lines:37 Added:08/24/2017

Just months before shops can begin selling marijuana for recreational use, state lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill aimed at preventing the drug from being marketed to minors.

The measure approved by the state Senate prohibits packaging and labeling of marijuana products that show "pot edibles" such as cookies and candy bars. The bill by Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Chico) also bars packaging that mimics the name or packaging of non-marijuana candies, snacks and drinks.

"Studies have shown the dangers that accidental marijuana ingestion poses to young children," Nielsen said in a statement. "This measure will prevent marijuana from being packaged to attract children."

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45US CA: Editorial: California Rushes To Prepare For Legal MarijuanaFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/18/2017

You can buy legal marijuana in four months. But is California ready to sell it?

With four months left until full legalization, the apparatus to regulate commercial cannabis sales in California is being built on the fly.

Up to 82 people must be hired. Software must be written to accept applications of thousands of entrepreneurs hoping to legally sell marijuana. Regulations governing sales aren't fully cooked.

Welcome to Lori Ajax's world. She is the director of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation aka BMCR or, colloquially, "Bummer"), having worked 22 years at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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46US CA: Column: Realities Behind The Epidemic Of Alcohol And DrugSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Rosen, Mitchell Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Shortly after becoming licensed as a family therapist, I was hired to facilitate group therapy on a chemical dependency unit. I did this every day for about 10 years. I also coordinated family group for the spouses and relatives of those who were recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. There were a lot of "take aways" from this experience.

Despite my education, I held many prejudices and myths toward those who abused alcohol and drugs. These men and women taught me a great deal.

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47US CA: Ex-NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan: Marijuana Is A Godsend For NFLThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

REDDING, Calif. - Ryan O'Callaghan, who said he developed an addiction to painkillers that helped him deal with injuries during his NFL career, told USA TODAY Sports he now uses marijuana to treat the pain and that the NFL should change its policy prohibiting players from using the drug.

"For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don't want to take these pills,'' said O'Callaghan, 33. "Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It's not addictive.''

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48 US CA: Sessions Says He Has 'serious Concerns' About Legal MarijuanaWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:181 Added:08/09/2017

Sessions says he has 'serious concerns' about legal marijuana. Now states wonder what's next

Sessions warned four governors in letters released last week that he had "serious concerns" about the effects of legalization and suggested the states' drug detente with the Justice Department was at risk.

Sessions warned four governors in letters released last week that he had "serious concerns" about the effects of legalization and suggested the states' drug detente with the Justice Department was at risk.

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49 US CA: Former Kern Co. Sheriff's Deputies Avoid Prison For SellingTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rocha, Veronica Area:California Lines:106 Added:08/08/2017

Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.

Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years' probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney office in Fresno.

August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve 1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the trafficking operation, federal authorities said.

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50 US CA: OPED: Race Case For Reefer ReparationsThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Price, Neil Area:California Lines:143 Added:08/03/2017

Time to redress the harm done to thousands of Black youth who have life-limiting criminal records because of pot

The war on drugs has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on racialized groups, particularly young Black men.

While research has shown that Black people partake in recreational pot at the same rates as their white counterparts, it's Black people who have endured the heavy hand of justice. Black people are twice as likely to be taken to a police station after being charged for simple possession of marijuana. They are also twice as likely to be held overnight for a bail hearing.

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