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Diego Pellicer to Open Canadian Stores

By Jeremy Daw

Coming soon to Canada?

WCL News — In response to new rules enacted in Canada allowing foreign corporations to open retail cannabis establishments, the head of the premier US cannabis brand has said that he plans to enter the Canadian market.

“Absolutely,” said Jamen Shively, co-founder and Executive Director of Diego Pellicer Inc., when asked whether he planned to enter the Canadian market.

Long known as an illicit supplier of the US market for British Columbia’s famous “BC Bud,” Canada may soon find itself awash with high-grade American cannabis, courtesy of a former Microsoft executive.

US Senate hearing seeks path for Feds to coexist with state-legal marijuana

By Betty Aldworth and Darby Beck

WCL News – Deputy US Attorney General James Cole told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 10, 2013 that in states where marijuana has been decriminalized or made legal, implementing a strictly regulated system in which cannabis is sold is the only way to prevent criminal activity such as diversion to youth and across state lines and empowerment of criminals and cartels. Cole did not challenge states’ rights to make their own drug laws, only restated the federal government’s right to challenge their regulatory schemes in pursuing certain priorities, such as preventing sales to minors, trafficking to other states, impaired driving, and increases in violence.

Committee members Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) were fully supportive of the new state laws and repeatedly stated the need for greater clarification of federal policy, particularly in relation to guidelines which prohibit financial institutions, security

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Memo may effect major shift in banking for cannabis businesses

By Chris Conrad

WCL News — A major shift in federal banking policy may have been ignited with the August 29, 2013 US Dept. of Justice policy memo. According to reports from CNN.com and the Huffington Post, the agency offered leeway to banks and other financial institutions to provide banking services to marijuana-related businesses that comply with eight priorities that were outlined in Deputy Attorney General James Cole’s memo. Members of the National Cannabis Industry Association have reported closure of personal and business bank accounts, discontinuation of merchant processing services, and even the termination of armored car services. Yesterday’s apparent reversal opens the door to allowing the estimated $1.5 billion regulated marijuana market access to business checking and savings accounts, merchant processing, and other vital services.

“Our NCIA members and others in the regulated medical and adult-use marijuana industry across the nation have gone to great lengths to ensure they

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Feds tell security, armored car companies not to serve cannabis industry

By Gaynell Rogers

WCL News — On the heels of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s endorsement of medical cannabis and Eric Holder’s speech advocating Drug War reform, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency  informed US security and armored car services on Aug. 22, 2013, that they can no longer render services to state-legal cannabis providers. The announcement poses grave risks to medical cannabis patients and the general public alike, according to experts in the field.

“We need to provide financial institutions certainty they can make their own business decisions related to legal, financial transactions without fear of regulatory penalties,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. He cited “public safety, crime and lost tax revenue”  concerns in an Aug. 29 statement. “Currently, under federal banking laws, many legal, regulated legitimate marijuana businesses operating legally according to state law are prevented from maintaining bank accounts and

Read More: Feds tell security, armored car companies not to serve cannabis industry

Legal marijuana may improve roadway safety

By Julie Patterson, WestCoastLeaf.com

WCL News —With Illinois becoming the 20th medical marijuana state in 2013 and broader legalization on the forefront of US news, data is being studied that explores what effects the drug may have on communities as a whole, with some surprising results. Analysts of health related behavior  claim that in states where medical marijuana has been legalized, road fatalities experience a dip in numbers, from around 11% in the first year of legalization. This could be good news for the states that are pressing for medical legalization laws to be passed.

The team of economists is careful about their claims, stressing that due diligence should always be taken when driving and that no one should drive under the influence of drink or drugs, however, these findings are more significant in revealing the effects of marijuana on society as a whole.

The Study

Led by Daniel Rees, an

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Microsoft tycoon seeks to legalize, legitimize

By Julie Patterson, Business Correspondent

US Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Denny Heck (D-WA), and 16  cosponsors introduced The Marijuana Business Banking Act, HR 2652, in Congress July 10 to address the multiple concerns cited by financial institutions when denying or revoking the accounts of state-legal marijuana businesses and owners. Stronger measures will ultimately need to be taken to fully support legalization so that cannabis can be sold without compromising federal law, but many entrepreneurs already see ground-floor opportunities in the industry.

Investors seek to develop marijuana brands

With the latest legalization strides gaining headline news in the media across the US, investors are beginning to show interest in developing cannabis as a commercial brand. Jamen Shively, who headed up Microsoft’s corporate strategy department for six years, is seeking investment to the tune of $10 million to develop a successful cannabis brand in Washington State. Shively is hoping to build a

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Natural CBD from cannabis lowers nicotine cravings

Study: Cannabis compound reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

A natural plant compound found in cannabis reduces nicotine cravings. Inhaling  the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) significantly mitigates tobacco smokers’ desire for cigarettes, according to clinical trial data published online in July 2013 in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators at University College London conducted a double blind pilot study to assess the impact of the ad-hoc consumption of organic CBD versus placebo in 24 tobacco-smoking subjects seeking to quit their habit. Participants were randomized to receive an inhaler containing CBD (n=12) or placebo (n=12) for one week. Trial investigators instructed subjects to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke.

Researchers reported that, “Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by

Read More: Natural CBD from cannabis lowers nicotine cravings

California dispensaries get mixed news from high court

By Jeremy Daw, westcoastleaf.com

Licensed and permitted cannabis dispensaries are legal in California — but local governments can also ban dispensaries — after the state Supreme Court handed down a double-edged ruling May 6, 2013. The City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, Inc. ruling, S198638, held that state law “implicitly permits local regulation of medical marijuana facilities.”

Whereas hundreds of local dispensaries are in compliance with the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (commonly known as SB420), the ruling now gives a green light to the more than 80 municipal governments seeking to use land-use ordinances to block cannabis storefronts from operating.

The case revolved around the decision by the Southern California city of Riverside to ban dispensaries as a prohibited land use and demand that the IEPHWC close its doors. The center fought the injunction in court, where both the trial and appellate judges ruled against

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Two states take different approaches to legalization

Colorado legislates legal cannabis rules, Washington hands task to Alcohol Board

By Jeremy Daw, JD, weedthepeoplebook.com

Since two states legalized adult cannabis sales and use last November, they have taken different approaches to the voter mandates. Colorado’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, an appointed body of experts and bureaucrats, has released its final recommendations for how to treat cannabis businesses in the state’s new legal regime. By contrast, Washington State has outsourced much of its implementation of Initiative 502 to an outside group.

Colorado’s A-64, approved by a 55-45 margin by voters, placed a constitutional imperative on state bureaucrats to regulate so-called “recreational” cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, but many of the specific regulations like tax rates and cultivation restrictions were left unaddressed by the voter-approved ballot initiative. The Task Force’s recommendations, which are preliminary and non-binding, are thus the first proposed rules for many specific situations.

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Yuba patients win round

By David Frankel, Attorney at law

Yuba County supervisors amended a May 2012 medical marijuana ordinance by a 4-1 vote Dec. 18, resulting in one of California’s most progressive cultivation ordinances, but only after successful negotiations to settle a lawsuit brought by attorney Jeffrey Lake on behalf of the Yuba County Growers Assn., Sam McConnell, Lew Neal, Kathie Thelen and their patient collectives.

“This revised ordinance strikes a balance between the County’s interest in regulating marijuana cultivation for public health and safety, and the legally protected interest of patients to have safe access to their medicine,” said Lake. “It should become a model for similar ordinances throughout California.”

The amended ordinance restricts outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana to six mature plants on parcels under one acre, but allows patients to cultivate up to 18 mature plants on parcels from one to five acres; 36 on parcels between five and 20

Read More: Yuba patients win round

Mendocino County moves to quash federal subpoenas

By Mikki Norris

County Counsel Thomas Parker announced Dec. 21, 2012 that Mendocino County (CA) had filed a suit to quash five federal subpoenas that seek information about cultivation in the county’s innovative 9.31 program, saying, “The scope of the subpoenas is overbroad and burdensome, oppressive and constitutes an improper intrusion into the ability of state and local government to administer programs for the health and welfare of their residents.”

Ordinance 9.31, adopted in 2008, restricts cultivation to 25 medical marijuana plants per parcel, but allows qualified patients to voluntarily purchase “zip-ties” to attach to each plant. The zip-ties, with unique identifying numbers, enable law enforcement easily to identify authorized medical gardens. The ordinance was amended in 2010 to allow collectives to grow 99 plants per parcel with a permit issued by the sheriff, sufficient zip-ties and a series of inspections.

Federal subpoenas issued in late October to compel the

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Emerald cup moves north

By Pebbles Trippet, pebbles@pacific.net

The 9th annual Emerald Cup, a competition among outdoor organic medical marijuana farmers in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, brought 500 connoisseurs to Humboldt County’s Mateel Community Center in Redway, CA, Dec. 15, 2012 for two stages of speakers, music, panels and an awards ceremony for the best bud, hash and photo. Speakers covered the ins and outs of seeds, dabs, labs, growing organically in the sun, legal issues, medical discoveries.

Tim Blake started the Emerald Cup in 2004 at Area 101, a spiritual and cultural center, as a safe cannabis celebration and marketplace of strains to connect growers, share tips and compare trichomes in a family atmosphere. In 2011-2012, it flowered into a full-fledged conference of high-level ideas on the science, law, economics and social significance of cannabis.

Trial lawyer extraordinaire Tony Serra was honored with the 2012 Emerald Lifetime Achievement Award. The issue

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