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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Cannabis in the CV

20 Nov 2017
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I lived in Washington state in 2012 when voters passed Initiative 502, making Washington one of the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 and older. Although the process took a year, Washington was able to implement a well-thought-out system to fairly tax recreational users, ensure public safety and create distribution methods. Three years later, I moved to Southern California, where recreational prohibition was the law of the land—even though anyone with access to the Internet, $45 or so, a California state driver’s license and the ability to say the words “trouble sleeping” could easily obtain a medical diagnosis via what amounts to a Skype call. While marijuana does have numerous medical benefits, I find it difficult to believe it is the panacea that many of its proponents suggest it is—and the medical dispensaries don’t do much to maintain the illusion that they are anything…
23 Oct 2017
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Desert Hot Springs has been making headlines for years thanks to the city’s headlong charge into commercial cannabis—so much so that the city has earned the comical moniker of Desert Pot Springs. But to those developing the industry in DHS, the business of cannabis is no joke. Some of these people have joined forces to create the Desert Hot Springs Cannabis Alliance Network, a business association meant to provide “a responsible and productive voice for the cannabis industry in Desert Hot Springs through innovative and effective programs in development, operations, regulations and outreach.” In October, the organization made its first splash with the first DHS CAN Conference. The event was held at Miracle Springs Resort and Spa on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14. But this wasn’t a typical cannabis convention. There were no clouds of smoke in the air, no DJ overtaxing a tiny PA in the corner,…
19 Sep 2017
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Custom-apparel makers across the state exhaled a collective sigh of relief with the apparent death of SB 162 on Sept. 1. The bill was aimed at limiting the ways in which cannabis businesses could market themselves, including a ban on everything from apparel to billboards. Lawmakers had until Sept. 1 to extend consideration of the bill another two weeks, but opted to let it die instead. The bill’s sponsor, Santa Monica State Sen. Ben Allen, and other supporters of SB 162—like the California Police Chiefs Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics (California)—claimed the bill was meant to protect kids from marketing that will make them want to smoke weed. Y’know, to protect the kids … like the ban on beer shirts. (Oh, wait …) These “for the kids”-types of bills are almost impossible to defeat (What politician doesn’t want to at least appear to care about kids?), and its…
19 Aug 2017
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The National Conference of State Legislatures, citing the wave of legalization and the explosion of a new industry in its wake, on Aug. 7 passed a resolution urging the federal government to remove cannabis from Controlled Substances Act scheduling completely. Marijuana’s Schedule I status prohibits marijuana-based businesses from having access to the standard banking practices afforded all other businesses, because FDIC-insured banks can face federal penalties for dealing with businesses related to Schedule I substances. This has resulted in a multi-billion dollar industry that operates almost completely in cash. Aside from the obvious security concerns caused by keeping a ton of cash around, it also means shops can’t take credit debit or credit cards; they can’t have normal real estate mortgages; and they have no access to small business loans. Oh, and state tax collectors are continually faced with cartoonish bags of cash. The NCSL resolution recognizes this problem with…
03 Aug 2017
Legalizing marijuana, California voters were told last year, would create a “safe, legal and comprehensive system” allowing adults to consume the drug while keeping it out of the hands of children. Marijuana would be sold in highly regulated stores, the Proposition 64 campaign promised, and California would gain new tax revenue by bringing the cannabis marketplace “out into the open.” Voters overwhelmingly bought the message, with 57 percent approving Proposition 64. But as state regulators prepare to begin offering licenses to marijuana businesses on Jan. 1, it turns out that a huge portion of the state’s weed is likely to remain on the black market. That’s because California grows a lot more pot than its residents consume, and Prop 64 only makes marijuana legal within the state’s borders. It also didn’t give an automatic seal of approval to every cannabis grower: Those who want to sell legally must be licensed…

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