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1 US CA: Pot and Justice: Stark Contrasts In 2 CitiesSun, 18 Mar 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fuller, Thomas Area:California Lines:207 Added:03/22/2018

OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a month in jail.

A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.

Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions. But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to ban marijuana businesses from city limits.

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2US CA: Weedmaps to California's Bureau of Cannabis Control: You Don'tTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2018

A popular marijuana website has told the state's cannabis czar that she lacks the authority to make the company stop running advertisements for unlicensed pot retailers.

In a letter sent Monday to Lori Ajax of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Doug Francis and Chris Beals of said the company is not licensed by the bureau and therefore not subject to its enforcement.

They also said Weedmaps is protected from such action because the company is an "interactive computer service" covered under the federal Communications Decency Act. The law states that such a service shall not be treated as the publisher of information provided by a third party.

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3US CA: Are You Getting Marijuana Delivered To You? If So, It'sFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2018

Unlicensed marijuana delivery companies are operating across Sacramento County, drawing the ire of legal pot retailers and warnings from state and local regulators.

Regulators cite concerns about the delivery companies not paying fees and taxes and selling weed that hasn't been tested for pesticides or other possible toxins. They say the companies are threatening the financial viability of legal retailers who must pay those costs in a new legal marijuana market that started in California on Jan. 1.

In Sacramento County, about 200 marijuana delivery services were advertising Friday on the website Only one jurisdiction in the county, the city of Sacramento, has plans to allow cannabis delivery services, and it has yet to issue permits. In the interim, city pot czar Joe Devlin has told delivery companies to register with city, and eight have done so.

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4 US CA: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Kratom Hits San Diego AreaSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Sisson, Paul Area:California Lines:115 Added:03/08/2018

A San Diego County resident is among 40 people nationwide to become infected with salmonella bacteria linked to kratom, the controversial tropical herb that many have begun using to treat opioid addiction despite an import ban from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, a 44-year-old, whose gender and city of residence were not released, became ill in January.

Testing performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that symptoms were caused by the same subspecies of the salmonella bacteria that has now produced cases in 27 states.

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5US CA: Auditor: Continue Marijuana Program Despite 'Multiple' FlawsWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

The state auditor says Ohio should continue its medical marijuana program despite "multiple" flaws in selecting grower applicants.

Republican Auditor David Yost says the program's flaws should be handled by administrative appeals or lawsuits.

At issue is the Department of Commerce's admission last week that a scoring error led to a company's inadvertent exclusion from the proposed list of the dozen big marijuana growers in Ohio's new program.

The agency says it identified the mistake after Yost expressed concern that two employees had complete access to the scoring data.

The agency offered to put the program on hold. Yost said in Wednesday's letter it's too late for that. He urged the agency to get advice from the Ohio Attorney General.


6 US CA: California Police Are Watching Volunteers Get High OnFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Hill, Crystal Area:California Lines:77 Added:02/16/2018

Now that marijuana is legal in California, people don't have to hide their marijuana use -- in fact, some are smoking it right in officers' faces.

But these pot smokers aren't being brazen. They're actually helping police better detect impaired drivers on the road, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Glendale police Officer Bryan Duncan told the news station that about 75 percent of the DUI arrests he makes these days are drug impaired -- "more cannabis than alcohol."

A group of smokers recently gathered at a hotel where they were first given field sobriety tests, and then allowed to start smoking marijuana, Inside Edition reported. They later took sobriety tests for a second time to judge how the drug affected their mental and motor skill, the news outlet said.

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7 US CA: Berkeley Declares Itself A Sanctuary City For RecreationalWed, 14 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Parvini, Sarah Area:California Lines:74 Added:02/14/2018

Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of its kind.

The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.

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8 US CA: Should Veterans Be Allowed To Use Medical Marijuana forFri, 09 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Cloud, David S. Area:California Lines:171 Added:02/12/2018

Frustrated with traditional therapies for chronic pain and post-combat stress disorders, a growing number of military veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are turning to medical marijuana for their treatment, a move that has put them at sharp odds with the Trump administration.

The White House has resisted calls from Democrats in Congress, pro-reform activists and even the American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, to support research into whether marijuana can help veterans, apparently fearing that any move by the Department of Veterans Affairs to study its effectiveness will be another step toward nationwide legalization.

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9 US CA: For The Legal Cannabis Trade, Some New Wrinkles: Older UsersSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rowe, Peter Area:California Lines:151 Added:02/10/2018

Even before California legalized recreational marijuana Jan. 1, pot was enjoying a gray renaissance.

From 2006 to 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported a 250% rise in marijuana use by Americans 65 and older. It is still a small share, climbing from 0.4% to 1.4% of that population, but local dispensaries see plenty of silver-haired shoppers.

"This is probably the most interested -- and wariest -- group," said Lincoln Fish, chief executive of cannabis company Outco, noting that the average customer at his Outliers Collective in El Cajon is over 58 years old.

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10US CA: Pot Party Planned By Sacramento Marijuana 'Compliance Company'Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2018

A company responsible for keeping Sacramento dispensaries compliant with the law has run afoul of the city's pot czar for planning an illegal marijuana party.

Capitol Compliance Management and its nine affiliated dispensaries have been running advertisements in the Sacramento News & Review for a "Holiday Budtender Bash" that was scheduled for Thursday.

Joe Devlin, the city's chief of cannabis policy and enforcement, said the company canceled the event after he told them it would violate state and city laws by allowing public consumption of marijuana and by giving it away.

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11US CA: California's Chief Marijuana Regulator Predicts More IssuesMon, 05 Feb 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/06/2018

California's top cannabis regulator said the state deserves credit for a successful rollout of retail marijuana sales, but acknowledged that significant issues loom in the near future.

One month after the start of recreational marijuana sales, Lori Ajax, chief of the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, gave an assessment of the state's performance for a few hundred people at the International Cannabis Business Conference.

She praised her employees, who worked through the weekend before the Monday, Jan. 1 beginning of legal sales, granting licenses to dispensaries eager to start. Employees continued to work on Jan. 1, expecting to receive complaints from license applicants and holders, but they never came, Ajax said.

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12US CA: Ca Marijuana Crimes Easier To Clear From Records Under BillFri, 02 Feb 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Koseff, Alexei Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/05/2018

When California voters legalized recreational weed in 2016, they made the law retroactive, allowing residents to petition to overturn or reduce old convictions for possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

But it is a difficult and expensive legal procedure, advocates say, and many people are not even aware they are now eligible to clean up their records. State courts received 4,885 petitions in the first 11 months after Proposition 64 passed, while the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance found more than 460,000 arrests for marijuana offenses between 2006 and 2015 alone.

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13US CA: Governor Candidate Chiang Urges Creating A Public Bank For PotTue, 30 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Fimrite, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/03/2018

State Treasurer John Chiang laid out a plan Tuesday to create a public bank for marijuana merchants in open defiance of what he called an =93out

of step=94 Trump administration fixing to take the hose to California's

sizzling new herbal trade.

Chiang said he and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra have initiated "a methodical and disciplined" cost-benefit analysis to determine whether a public bank would work in California amid the threat of a federal crackdown.

The move comes 30 days after California's recreational market officially began, creating a financial windfall for marijuana merchants and illuminating a serious problem. Store owners, growers and distributors are being forced to use cash because most banks won't open accounts for them while the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.

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14US CA: California Marijuana Purveyors Go Mainstream, Except For TheMon, 29 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Fimrite, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/01/2018

Bay Area marijuana retailers who went fully mainstream this month were forced to act like gangsters anyway as they rumbled down freeways and across bridges in sport utility vehicles and sedans and, in at least one case, a Tesla, bearing cash piled in shopping bags and suitcases.

The money was headed for the collectors at the San Francisco and Oakland offices of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, which are handling tax payments under the 2016 state law that legalized recreational cannabis.

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15US CA: Dennis Peron, Activist Who Helped Legalize Medical MarijuanaSat, 27 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Johnson, Lizzie Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/01/2018

Dennis Peron, an activist who helped legalize medical marijuana in California, died Saturday afternoon in a San Francisco hospital. He was 71.

Peron was a force behind a San Francisco ordinance allowing medical marijuana, a win that later helped propel the 1996 passage of Prop. 215, which legalized medical use for the entire state. A Vietnam War veteran, Peron spent some of the last years his life on a 20-acre farm in the rolling hills of Lake County, growing and giving away what he once sold: medical marijuana.

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16US CA: What Are The Benefits, Risks Of Marijuana Use? Experts AreFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

During his 25 years of researching cannabis, Dr. Daniele Piomelli has received hundreds of emails from people desperately wanting to know whether the plant can help them with medical problems. He recalls the one he received from the father of a girl with autism who was desperate for help.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, I have to say, 'We just don't know,' " said Piomelli, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. "It's heartbreaking."

While Piomelli and other marijuana researchers acknowledge a shortage of research on the benefits and risks of the drug, they also said they feel the need to spread what is known about cannabis as California and seven other states move forward with legalized, recreational weed for adults. Piomelli was one of several public health experts who spoke Thursday during a legislative briefing at the state Capitol on the health effects of cannabis.

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17US CA: State Pulls Drugged Driving Ad In Response To Complaints ThatFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

Critics said this ad promoted drug use. Now the state of California has pulled it

Video: The campaign, released ahead of California legalizing marijuana on Jan. 1, stirred controversy with viewers over its descriptions of the drug. California Office of Traffic Safety

The California Office of Traffic Safety has pulled a public service advertisement that was intended to stop stoned driving but critics said promoted marijuana use.

The office joined with law enforcement leaders last week to announce a marketing campaign called "DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze," which included the controversial advertisement. The campaign was timed to coincide with the start of recreational weed sales in California on Jan. 1.

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18US CA: Editorial: Time To End Federal Marijuana ProhibitionFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

This month, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, introduced legislation to change the spelling of "marihuana" in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act to "marijuana" - and then to drop the word altogether from the federal list of "controlled substances" - that is, illegal drugs. Removing the marijuana prohibition from federal law is just the warm-up act to the bill's primary goal: to end a counterproductive war on drugs. It's past time to reform drug laws that have ruined lives and devastated communities.

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19 US CA: Compton Voters Reject Marijuana Sales In CityWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:31 Added:01/24/2018

Compton voters Tuesday soundly rejected two competing proposals for regulating cannabis businesses in the city, where marijuana dispensaries and other pot-related operations are now banned.

The city's proposal, known as Measure C, would have allowed marijuana sales while imposing a 10% business tax and banning commercial cultivation of marijuana. It was rejected 76% to 23%. The competing initiative, Measure I, included many of the same provisions as Measure C, but called for a 5% business tax and would have allowed indoor marijuana-cultivation businesses. It was rejected 77% to 23%.

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20US CA: Growers Association Sues State Over Large-Scale MarijuanaWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2018

Recreational weed is now legal in California. So what does that mean?

In January 2018, state and local authorities will begin issuing licenses for the sale of legal recreational marijuana. But what do you need to know before you rush to the dispensary? Information courtesy of

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has defied the will of voters by allowing large-scale marijuana farms, a group representing growers alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

At issue is a dispute that has divided the industry over whether the state should prohibit sizable cultivation facilities for the first five years of legalized retail marijuana sales, which started Jan. 1 of this year.

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