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As we trudge through the final weeks of this arduous, divisive election, there is at least one matter on the ballot that is likely to unite: Marijuana. white house

Voters in nine states – including California, Florida and Massachusetts – will vote on Nov. 8th ballot proposals that permit recreational and/or medical use of marijuana. These initiatives are likely to create a huge push toward legalization. In all likelihood, whoever is elected to the president’s office and Congress will be under pressure to overhaul the failed drug laws of this country.

This is a big deal because even just a few years ago, marijuana legalization was seen as something of a fringe movement. Today, the latest Gallup poll revealed 6 in 10 Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. That’s huge, particularly when we consider than in 2000, only 31 percent supported legalization. Take it back to 1969, and only 12 percent of voters were in favor of it. Continue reading

Despite the ever increasing amount of evidence that cannabis is a power medicine that has helped millions of people with medical conditions ranging from anxiety to cancer, there are those who still refuse to admit that it is actually medicine and not just a recreational drug.  The question is why these people and companies refuse to admit this simple fact, and the answer may have a lot of do with money.

cashWhile there is no question that the medical marijuana industry is very profitable as it is actually quickly becoming a billion-dollar industry, the problem for some is who is making money and who is not.  The drug companies are making billions of dollars each year on sales of their pharmaceutical products, but they are not making much money from medical marijuana other than through producing some synthetic marijuana pills such as Marinol. Continue reading

While we normally think of medical marijuana for use on human patients, there is actually an increasing demand for medical cannabis products designed for use by pets according to a recent news article from the New York Times.  A woman interviewed for the article discuss how medical marijuana has helped her cat and how she is part of a growing customer base.

cat-1404368-300x240This woman owned a 12-year-old cat that was suffering from severe arthritis.  As anyone who owns an aging pet can tell you, cats and dogs often suffer from arthritis just like humans do and it is hard to watch our beloved animals struggle to get around and go up and down steps.  This cat would spend its time hiding in a closet on a thick layer of blankets provided by its owner as means of dealing with the painful joint condition. Continue reading

As discussed in a recent news article from The Fader, one medical marijuana producer is partnering with another large company to turn a closed California state penitentiary into a large medical marijuana farm. The company with which he has chosen to partner is a well known manufacturer of medical marijuana oils and extracts.  Extracts are a growing sector of the business and they can be sold directly to patients or used by those who manufacture edible marijuana products.

handcuffs6The prison that will house this new marijuana farm is the Clermont Custody Center located in Coalinga, California.  It was purchased by this investor for just over $4 million and a restructuring of county debt in the amount of $3.3 million.  Continue reading

As part of the the major medical marijuana laws that have recently gone into effect in California, the state is now stepping in to regulate and provide oversight into the growing medical marijuana industry.  Since medical marijuana was first approved in 1996, many saw California as a second iteration of the Wild West in terms of medical marijuana legislation, or more appropriately in terms of regulations at a statewide level, a lack there of.  For the most part, it was up to the individual cities, counties and municipalities to decide if dispensaries and grow operations would be allowed in their respective jurisdiction, and if so, how and where they could operate.

marijuana1The new comprehensive state level reforms called for the creation of a new executive agency to regulate medical marijuana as well as a person to head that agency who has been called the medical marijuana czar similar to the way in which “czars” are appointed at the federal level to handle regulation and oversight of certain industries and initiatives. Somewhat ironically, the best known czar in the federal government was the drug czar who was responsible for leading the fight in the so-called War on Drugs. Continue reading

A recent article in the local section of the Los Angeles Times, discusses the conversations a medical cannabis candy company is having with parents who are concerned with their children’s health and what the future may bring if Proposition 64 passes when put to a vote in the upcoming November election. For those who are not familiar, this ballot initiative will determine if marijuana is legal for recreational use in California as it is Colorado and a small number of other states and the District of Columbia.  While it is far from a done deal, many in the medical marijuana industry think the ballot initiative will pass.

gummyAs for this candy company, they make edible cannabis products in the form of various confections and are considered among the best in the area.  The company prides itself on the quality of the product just like any other artisan chocolate maker would. As of now, these candy bars and other candy products are only sold to dispensaries where they are then distributed to medical marijuana patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation that is cross-checked for authentication, and the patient’s identification and age is verified. Continue reading

A recent news article from Above the Law takes a look at some of the risk associated with funding a medical marijuana business in Los Angeles or other parts of California.  As the medical marijuana business grows and continue to grow, there are more and more companies and individual investors who are interested in getting in on their share of the profits which are approaching $1 billion by some estimates.

Money in the form of many large bills

However, as these investors are looking to get on board, they are discovering some of the pitfalls that can await them due to still existing legal constraints on the medical marijuana industry.  This is true even with all of the new regulations and allowances put in place by the Medical Cannabis Regulation Safety Act (MCRSA).  There is also much speculation about what challenges these new and prospective investors may face if recreational marijuana is legalized by Proposition 64 this November.  It should be noted that many in the industry predict that Proposition 64 will be voted into law this next election as it has widespread support among the people of California. Continue reading

Hash oil is a very powerful medicine that is rendered from medical cannabis using a process that includes one or more harsh chemicals.  The marijuana plant material is turned into hash oil through a process known as solvent extraction.  This involves filtering and evaporating a solvent to create the thick resinous liquid oil.

1398224079gyj36The process involves using chemicals such as butane, methanol, chloroform, ether, ethanol, or naphtha.  Due to the fact that butane is often the preferred chemical for rendering hash oil, the finished product is often called butane hash oil (BHO) and the producers of BHO are commonly referred to as butane hash blasters. Continue reading

California was the first state to legalize medical in the nation.  Since that time, around half of the states and the District of Columbia have followed in California’s footsteps and some have even gone so far as to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  This November, in addition to the hugely important presidential election, voters in California will be voting on Proposition 64.  This ballot initiative, if successful, would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in the state.

marijuanaplantsWhile this is good news to many, some in the medical marijuana community aren’t supporting this effort according to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times.  One medical marijuana dispensary operator who was interviewed as part of this article discussed some of her concerns. Continue reading

During pregnancy, cannabis is among the recreational substances used most commonly. Physicians predict as it becomes more readily available across the country, its use among new mothers will rise. Although it’s historically been taboo, that’s largely because we haven’t known that much about it. Research on the health effects of marijuana is scant as it is, and it’s even more sparse when it comes to the effects on fetuses. pregnancy2

To be clear: The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists state in no uncertain terms to abstain from both alcohol and marijuana. But we all know that many doctors have excused the occasional single glass of Cabernet later in pregnancy. Could having a few puffs of a joint soon be seen in the same way?

A recent report indicates that research on the effects of marijuana during pregnancy aren’t as concrete as some health care professionals may have let on. This certainly doesn’t mean we’re encouraging mothers-to-be to rush to their nearest dispensary to cure their nausea or other pregnancy symptoms. However, the research should come as an important reminder that there is much we still do not know. Continue reading