Tag: Headlines

Inside Report: Ohio Campaign Goes Medical-Only, Vermont Makes Strides Toward Adult Use, and Switzerland Eyes Cannabis Clubs

Ohio’s initiative efforts are heating up, but organizers are shifting from their goal of full legalization to a purely medical program. Iowa and Utah are looking to seize a rare chance to allow limited medicinal use in their deep-red states. Switzerland hopes to start a pilot program for cannabis social clubs in four lucky Swiss cities. And cannabis cultivation is going Down Under.

Leafly’s got the scoop to keep you informed. Here’s the latest:

U.S. News


Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has a history of rejecting cannabis initiatives, but for the first time since she came into her position, Rudtledge has approved the language for a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize cannabis in the conservative Midwestern state. Not to be confused with the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, another medicinal cannabis initiative that’s been gathering signatures since 2014, the latest proposal comes from Little Rock attorney David Couch and is dubbed The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016. Couch had submitted ballot language for the measure three times before it won approval. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment will need to gather 67,887 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act already has a head start.  


Ohio’s legalization efforts are moving forward, but forward in a slightly different direction. Legalize Ohio 2016 announced this week that the campaign will join forces with a medical marijuana initiative movement spearheaded by the Marijuana Policy Project. “We must put aside our differences and do our best to live up to the expectations of the sick and dying citizens of Ohio,” Legalize Ohio said in a statement to supporters. “There is no more time to waste.” A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 74 percent of Ohioans support medical legalization, a good sign for the upcoming ballot measure.

Special Report: Unpacking the Inefficiencies, Intentions, and Unclear Ethics of ResponsibleOhio


There are three major bills on the docket to improve Oregon’s legal cannabis market. House Bill 4904 provides legal protection to banks and credit unions that offer financial services to cannabis-related companies. Senate Bill 1511 would combine medical and recreational shops into one entity and allow recreational outlets to offer untaxed cannabis for medical patients, similar to the system Washington state is implementing. And HB 4014 would eliminate the in-state two-year residency requirement, which was initially intended to protect small marijuana businesses, but has prevented the influx of much-needed equity investment from sources outside the state.


Iowa passed legislation last year to allow patients with epilepsy to use and possess cannabidiol oil (CBD) with the recommendation of a doctor. But like so many CBD-only states, Iowa failed to include a provision to allow the legal production or distribution of CBD oil to qualified patients. A new bill in the House could change that. House Study Bill 607 would allow production and distribution in the state itself, but would only cover three qualifying conditions: epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and terminal cancer. The bill passed through committee and is now headed to a full House vote.

The Epic Iowa Saga of 'Cy the Cyclone' and a Most Dangerous T-Shirt


Utah’s Senate passed SB 73 by a nose, on a 15–13 vote. The measure would allow qualifying patients to use cannabis edibles, extracts, and oils. A narrower competing bill, SB 89, passed on an 18–8 vote. Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), the author and sponsor of SB 73, already had to reword the language of his bill to remove access to whole plant cannabis, which essentially earned a pass from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, albeit not an actual endorsement.


Vermont may legalize recreational cannabis sooner rather than later, becoming the first state to legalize through the legislative process rather than a voter initiative. With the newfound support of the state attorney general, S.241 sailed through the Senate Judiciary and Finance Committee. It won initial approval from the full Senate on Wednesday, and a second vote is expected later this week. If the Senate passes the bill, it will head to the House for scrutiny by a number of committees. Gov. Peter Shumlin has promised his signature.


The state Senate is wrestling with how to regulate marijuana edibles. And by “regulate,” it means outlaw. The Senate voted to advance Senate File 96, which would make possession of more than three ounces of cannabis-infused edibles a felony. Lawmakers can’t decide potency details or how to measure the concentration of the cannabis in the edibles, however. Sen. Cale Case (R-Lander) proposed an amendment that would allow defendants to argue that their stash of edibles actually contained less than three ounces of raw cannabis material. The amendment failed.

Breaking: Canadian Judge Declares Home Medical Cultivation Legal

International News


The Australian Parliament just took a monumental step forward in cannabis policy reform. Amendments to the Narcotics Drug Act will now allow the growth and manufacture of products for medicinal use within the country, actions that previously were forbidden. The New South Wales government is in the process of setting up clinical trials on the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but ran into a problem when it came to sourcing cannabis. Due to restrictions in the Narcotics Drug Act, cannabis products would have to be imported from outside the country, likely from Europe, which would limit the supply and could compromise the trials.


Cannabis clubs could be coming soon to four Swiss cities. A pilot program is seeking to open social clubs for members to consume cannabis freely in Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Geneva. If enacted, the program would allow an estimated 2,000 citizens to use cannabis legally. That might not meet demand: Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen recently reported that more than 500,000 Swiss residents regularly consume cannabis. Cannabis is decriminalized in Switzerland, and possession of up to 10 grams is punishable by a civil fine of 100 Swiss francs ($99). The four-year project still needs approval from local governments before it can take effect.

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis in 2016?

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

BREAKING: Canadian Judge Declares Home Medical Cultivation Legal

A legal decision years in the making finally landed in the Canadian Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday morning. For the first time since the 2013 passage of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), patients in Canada will legally be allowed to grow their own cannabis without fear of seizure or retribution from the government. 

The case of Neil Allard v. Her Majesty the Queen began in another time, under another government. Until 2013, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) made up the country’s medical marijuana program. Under that structure, patients could access cannabis through Health Canada’s government supply, apply for a personal-use production license, or designate someone to cultivate cannabis on their behalf.  

In June 2013, however, Health Canada adopted the new rules of the MMPR, which created a system of licensed producers from which patients could access medical cannabis. Under this new program, personal-use production licenses were to be suspended after March 2014, and all patients were expected to register with a licensed producer.

Canada and the Logistics of Legalization

Nanaimo resident Neil Allard was the first to question the constitutionality of the new program. He challenged the law on grounds that removing his cultivation license would constitute a government-sponsored attack on his personal health, as he couldn’t afford to purchase medicine through the MMPR’s licensed producer system. 

The court order issued Wednesday by Justice Michael L. Phelan undoes the cancellation of personal-use cultivation licenses. Cannabis activist Marc Emery said it was a crucial development for patients across the country. “Everybody was on edge about this, because 20,000 or 30,000 people are growing large amounts of pot under that that temporary injunction against the government,” he told Leafly. “Lots of things are going to be changing in Vancouver and across Canada over the next few months.” 

While the move might help patients, it hasn’t been so good for licensed producers. Health Canada-licensed operations such as Canopy Growth, OrganiGram, and Aphria watched their stocks slump after the ruling. (Full disclosure: Tilray, a Health Canada-licensed producer, is owned by Privateer Holdings, which also owns Leafly.) 

Although the ruling will have immediate implications for Canada’s medical cannabis industry, Phelan suspended his decision for six months “to permit Canada to enact a new or parallel medical marihuana regime.”

Canada Wins a New, Cannabis-Positive Prime Minister

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Shake: Kofi Annan Wants Drug Reform, Rihanna and Drake Spark Up in Canada

Kofi Annan calls for better world drug policy. The former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize recipient published a remarkable op-ed calling for better public drug policy across the globe. Annan points to evidence from U.S. states as proof that legalization, medically or recreationally, doesn’t lead to increased drug use by youth. Reflecting on the devastating human and financial cost of the war on drugs, Annan urges members of the U.N. General Assembly to consider the following steps: decriminalization of personal drug use, establishment of harm-reduction measures, public education, and a carefully constructed regulatory framework. Annan released the public plea ahead of the U.N.’s special session on drugs, to be held April 19–21 in New York.

Rappers and singers get perks, but this is ridiculous. Rihanna’s new video “Work” was shot at a Caribbean restaurant in Toronto and features the Barbados Babe twerking on Drake as well as clearly smoking joints and blunts galore. The owners of The Real Jerk, the restaurant featured in the video, wanted to make it clear that “they have a zero tolerance policy for any illegal substances in the building.” Unless you’re Drake and RiRi, I guess. Then you get a pass. If you’re not a celeb, stick to the jerk chicken (which apparently is fabulous). 

Everyone’s favorite PBS travel guide, Rick Steves, is lending support to the Bay State. The famed television traveler was instrumental in helping pass recreational cannabis laws in his home state of Washington in 2012, and now he’s hoping to boost legalization efforts in Massachusetts and Maine during the months before the election. Both states are likely to have legalization measures on the November ballot, and Steves could help tip the scales. Here at Leafly, Skip Berger has a deeper dive into Steves’ unique approach to advocacy.

America's Favorite Travel Guide is Moving Legalization Nationwide

What’s a “flower”? It’s up for debate in Philadelphia. Green Rush Advisors had already applied and been accepted for a marketplace booth at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. Then, apparently, show organizers realized what kind of flowers Green Rush had in mind. So the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society rejected the application after the fact, saying that political agendas and advocacy materials have no place at the event, intended to showcase “horticultural endeavors.” Green Rush Advisors, which is supported by PhillyNORML, say they never misrepresented themselves. Too bad — it sounds like the event could have used a little pizzazz from your friendly local cannabis horticulturalists. 

Quick Hits: Utah patients frustrated with a lack of action from legislators plead for more than just lazy, lame stoner jokes while they suffer and Congress does nothing. Marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. It’s growing so fast, in fact, that insurers can’t keep up. Insurance is crucial for marijuana businesses, but most insurers are waiting for legal restrictions to ease before jumping into the potentially lucrative scene. New York has finally opened its long-awaited medical marijuana program, and residents are already begging officials to revisit the law. Is it worth having a program so few can access? And finally, today in NOPE NOPE NOPE news: It may be time to boycott Corn Flakes.

The Shake: How Much Does Your State Suck?

Image Source: Rihanna via YouTube

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Cannabis Crackup: A Q&A with Leafly Comedy Tour Performer Brandon Wardell

It’s hard not to start a story about Brandon Wardell like everyone else does: by pointing out how young he looks. The now 23-year-old comic has been known to show up onstage in a backpack. Just look at his picture.  

Don’t let his boyish looks fool you, though. Vice may have quipped that Wardell looked 14 when he was actually 22, but now, at 23, he’s getting ready to host a pilot on the company’s fledgling TV network, Viceland. He’s toured and made an album with comedy legend Bob Odenkirk, and he’s even written a “Guide to Sex with Millennials” (but please, read this interview before you get wrapped up in that). 

Want to see Wardell in person? It’s easier (and free-er!) than you think. He’ll be among the comics at the Leafly Comedy Tour’s L.A. show on Saturday. Tickets cost nothing — all you have to do is RSVP

Natasha Leggero and Michael Ian Black Headline Comedy Tour Stops in L.A. and Denver

Leafly reached Wardell in a Los Angeles loft, where he was holed up working on the Viceland pilot, dubbed Rap Nerd. He talked to us about his upcoming projects, L.A. apartment envy, and cannabis. But mostly cannabis. Here’s an edited transcript of the conversation:

Leafly: You, sir, are a busy man. Where’d we catch you?

Brandon Wardell: I am at this loft I’m staying at. I’m working on this Viceland pilot, and Vice rented an Airbnb for us to do work at. The Vice office is in Venice and I live in Hancock Park, so they were like, “Oh, we’ll rent an Airbnb for you guys to write at.” And when I got here, I was like, “Oh, this is amazing!” This is so much better than any place I’ve lived at. This is the first place where I’ve, like, taken a girl back and not been like, “Oh, sorry.” 

As soon as I got here I was like, “I have to sleep here as long as I can.”

So I’m in my makeshift office-slash-bedroom right now. I want to stay here as long as possible. Now that I’ve lived in a loft for a week and a half, I can’t go back.

What can you tell us about the Vice pilot? And what else on your plate right now besides standup?

My Vice show, that should come out in March. It’s called Rap Nerd, and it’s me FaceTiming with rappers. It’s going to be super fun. And then I have this Comedy Central Snapchat show every week, and it’s called Hot Takes. Those are the two things that are taking up most— I mean, the Vice show takes a lot of time. The Comedy Central Snapchat thing, we’ll film like five episodes before lunch. And I’m doing Getting Doug.

Oh, nice! Some of the other comedians on the Leafly tour, like Natasha Leggero and Michael Ian Black, have been on Doug’s show, too. Are you a cannabis fan in general?

I smoke a fair amount of weed. I never got into, like, weed culture or anything, but I like weed.

Just to wind down at the end of the day, something like that?

Yeah exactly. I can work while high, but for the most part I like to have like an indica at the end of the day.

A Conversation With Natasha Leggero, Leafly Comedy Tour's L.A. Show Headliner

And had you heard of Leafly before the Comedy Tour?

I had! You have a great marketing team. There’s billboards in L.A. I’ve used it before. It’s a great app, a great website.

I know you’re in L.A. now, but you have roots in Seattle. Did you feel any kind of pride seeing Washington state become one of the first to legalize?

Yeah, absolutely! I don’t have a [medical] card here in California, so I was very excited about that. The last time I was there, I was on tour with Bob Odenkirk, and I needed to pick up an edible before my flight. I just literally drove to the weed store and then just showed my ID and walked out. It was like, “This is crazy.”

Oh, that’s another thing: Usually when I’m on flights I like to have an edible if it’s a flight longer than 3 hours. That’s very necessary.

When you’re performing for a cannabis-friendly crowd, does that change the feel of the show at all?

My friend, Andy Haynes, he ran a show called Midnight Run, where everybody would get high before they performed. And then he sort of gave me the show, and I’ll do it occasionally at festivals or whatever. And yeah, I think the crowd is maybe more accepting, I think they’re more open to hearing you out. You’re all in the same state. If the whole crowd is high, and you’re high, there’s a mutual understanding: “If I’m rambling a little bit, you guys are still going to stay on board. Because you get it.”

There are a lot of strange strain names: Alaska Thunder Fuck, Cat Piss, Super Cat Piss. If someone said, “Brandon, we just came up with this new strain,” what would you call it?

Like a new strain of weed? How about “Michael Ian Black.”

And how would you consume it?

I’d just go high-school gravity bong.

Intense. OK, last question, and it’s a toughie: Can you send us off with a haiku? That’s 5-7-5.

Oh, man, that’s so much pressure. I could email you a haiku.

That’ll do.

[Note: Wardell never emailed the promised haiku. So here’s a recent tweet of his instead. Eat your hearts out.]

All the Sillies: An Intimate Q&A with Leafly Comedy Headliner T.J. Miller

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

America’s Favorite Travel Guide is Moving Legalization Nationwide

PBS travel host Rick Steves helped legalize cannabis in Washington and Oregon. Now he’s taking his message to Maine, Massachusetts, and even Oklahoma. In an article that first appeared on Crosscut, Knute Berger talks with the footloose author about the challenge of opening minds to the idea of a post-prohibition world.  

Rick Steves has changed the way middle America sees the world through his European guidebooks, tours, columns, PBS television and public radio shows. He’s a successful entrepreneur with a teacher’s mien and an everyman persona that can steer curious Americans into foreign travel — not so easy in a country where the majority of residents don’t have passports. But like a good teacher, he makes taking the steps toward broadening one’s horizon easy.

New York Times columnist Timothy Egan captured Steves’ public image in a story a few years back. The travel guru, he wrote, is “benignly suburban to the core, with a bit of a paunch and the ever-quizzical look of someone who would try raw squid for breakfast and not complain about it.” But these days, Steves is about much more than raw squid. He’s become the pied piper of legalized cannabis, not just in the Pacific Northwest, but nationally.

Steves says 2016 is a big year with the potential to tip the balance on cannabis laws in this country. And he intends to be out there, committing his reputation, time, and money to make it happen. 

In 2016, Steves has committed to nine or ten days of campaigning in October for legalization laws in Maine and Massachusetts. He says he’ll go wherever the experts think he can be most effective. To date he estimates he has spent approximately $500,000 of his own money on the legalization fight and thinks he’ll spend another $200,000 or so this year. “It’s more money than I’ve spent on anything than a house.” But if it contributes to national momentum toward legalizing marijuana for adults, he thinks it’s worth the investment.

Steves was a driving force behind Washington’s I-502 in 2012 and Oregon’s legalization initiative in 2014. This year, legalization laws are percolating in many states. A recent Leafly roundup lists four states where legalization is “almost a sure thing” this year (California, Nevada, Maine, and Arizona) and 10 more where there’s activity and reason for hope. 

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis in 2016?

His commitment to the issue is deeply personal, but he’s also a team player with a role to play. Steves has been on the board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for years, and he has worked closely with Washington adult-use initiative author Alison Holcomb, who now heads the American Civil Liberties Union’s Campaign for Smart Justice with its focus on ending the War on Drugs. He’s also closely associated with Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Nadelmann calls Steves “a godsend” for legalized marijuana. “I think Rick is incredible,” he says. “I think he’s an exceptional human being.” What makes Steves influential, he says, is not simply that he is well known and seen as an honorable human being by millions of Americans, but that his commitment is broad. Steves often writes about drug policy in his travel books — it is integrated with his work and the way he sees the world. He’s deeply informed on drug policy and its consequences in society. He’s not a celebrity going out with a few memorized talking points, but as a real student with principled beliefs.

Steves can reach an important constituency: the swing voter. “He raises the right eyebrows,” says Nadelmann. Think of this travel audience: largely white, middle class, middle American, neither stereotypical potheads nor people interested in making a buck in the marijuana business, not even current users — just folks who probably haven’t given the issue much thought. Steves, the knowledgeable travel guide, is there to get them to think about it.

First, Steves says, he is not “pro pot.” 

I am anti-prohibition and pro-civil liberties. He believes adults should have the right to smoke marijuana. A proposal he didn’t like: a recent Ohio law, defeated last year, that would have established what was essentially a cannabis cartel of approved suppliers. The idea of “Big Weed” does not appeal to him.

He also doesn’t think legal cannabis means a free-for-all. Steves is for “legalize, tax and regulate.” He supports public safety, cracking down on DUIs, and keeping marijuana away from kids. “I don’t want to endorse something that doesn’t address fears and legitimate concerns,” he insists. That doesn’t mean every concern, such as overblown worries that legalization will lead to civilization’s downfall. Sitting in his office in downtown Edmonds, Wash., Steves gestures out his corner window. “Marijuana’s legal — you can’t tell!” he exclaims. The suburban village outside has hardly become a perpetual Hempfest. Washington state has taken things in stride.

On the other hand, cannabis laws have a terrible consequence for people of color, the poor, those who are already marginalized in society or incarcerated for something that shouldn’t be a crime, let alone a lifelong mark on one’s record. 

The Europeans have the right attitude, says Steves. “Tolerate alternative lifestyles or build more prisons,” he says. In Europe, countries have taken different approaches. The Netherlands has its famous coffeeshops. In Spain, you can obtain plants for personal use from a gardening co-op. In Europe, they’ve generally done a better job of mitigating the problems of substance use, such as addiction and HIV. Done right, legalization can reduce crime (gangs, the illegal drug trade) and the negative consequences of imprisoning so many people, Steves says.

7 of the Most Vape-Worthy Places in the U.S.

Europeans are now learning something from Americans, he adds. Adult-use laws in Washington and Colorado are ahead of the European curve, and policymakers from across the Atlantic are coming here to study how we’re changing the legalization and regulation landscape. That might help soften attitudes of those Americans who bristle at importing “foreign” ideas but love the idea of “exporting” American ones.

Steves says his years of taking people abroad on tours have prepared him for spreading a message to a curious but sometimes nervous audience. He’s used to talking to folks who are out of their comfort zones in foreign countries, often for the first time. 

He also has little to lose if people hate his message. His business remains largely unaffected by his activism. He can’t be fired, nor is he running for anything. If he loses a travel customer over his stance on marijuana, he thinks to himself: Good. Europe’s going to be more fun without you.

Steves relishes speaking to skeptical audiences in places like Oklahoma. The key is to not abuse bully pulpit, he says. Steves tries to make the message palatable and pragmatic. He reassures audiences by telling them America is great, as is our freedom and the military that protects us. He tells them he’s thankful that he runs his business in America, not Europe. Being a Christian helps too, he says. Steves is active in his local Lutheran church.

With his pro-American bone fides established, conservative audiences are often open to considering his views on marijuana. A Rick Steves travel talk might segue from where to stay in Tuscany to the issue of legalizing cannabis. Steves is comfortable with introducing uncomfortable ideas to the comfortable. Travel has taught the value of that role, he says, quoting Thomas Jefferson: “Travel makes a person wiser, if less happy.” A little discomfort is what travel, and stretching one’s mind, is all about.

Knute Berger is a regular contributor to Crosscut.

Traveling for 4/20? Brush Up on State Marijuana Laws

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Shake: Cannabis Cup moves to Pueblo, Boston Globe discovers Denver

Goodbye Denver, hello Pueblo! With Adams County shutting the 4/20 Cannabis Cup out of Denver, organizers of the annual bacchanal have booked a venue 120 miles south in Pueblo. It looks like the owners of The Yard, an outdoor music venue, have accepted the Cup for an April 16-20 run. It’s an appropriate spot, given Pueblo’s recent cannabis growing boom, but it’s unclear how Cup-goers will take to the sleepy steel town. Downside: Book your room now, because hotels are limited. Upside: There’s a Domino’s, a Chinese restaurant, a grocery store, a Loaf ‘N Jug, and a Mexican restaurant all within walking distance of The Yard. Which means munchies-hungry patrons may have a better chance of actually getting fed. Not that we’re bitter, Burger King That Ran Out of Burgers During the 2014 Cup. 

The free agent market opens up. More football players are being cut following off-season run-ins involving cannabis. University of Kentucky coach Mark Stoops dismissed linebacker Jason Hatcher for a “violation of team rules.” Hatcher was pulled over for speeding on Monday morning; cops found nearly a pound of cannabis in his car and charged him with trafficking. Meanwhile, at the pro level, the Indianapolis Colts waived linebacker Jonathan Newsome four days after a marijuana arrest that began with a noise complaint from the neighbors. Look for Newsome to turn up in camp with the Broncos or Seahawks later this summer. 

Utah OK with edibles, won’t touch the leaf. Utah’s medical marijuana bill made surprising progress in the state Senate on Monday after its sponsors allowed extracts but banned the use of whole-leaf cannabis. Banning the leaf seemed the placate Mormon church leaders, who said the amendments were “a substantial improvement.” The church had earlier opposed the bill, which pretty much doomed it. Now it’s got a chance. 

Oregon Edibles May Soon Be Half-Strength

Wyoming, meanwhile, panics over edibles. Dick Cheney’s home state already owns some of the nation’s most draconian cannabis laws. But they want more. Last year a local judge dismissed charges against a man found with cannabis candies in his car, ruling that state law prohibited only marijuana in leaf form. So outlawing gummies jumped to the top of the state’s to-do list. Shockingly, one brave senator rose to voice second thoughts about imprisoning candy holders. “It is a new world out there, and we face the reality that our neighboring states treat these crimes differently,” said Sen. Cale Case, a Republican. He warned his colleagues that if they turn edible possession into a felony, “you’re going to catch your own kids, or your grandkids,” and ruin their lives. 

QUICK HITS: The Boston Globe dispatches a reporter to the badlands of Denver’s Colfax Avenue to report on “life after marijuana legalization.” After a dive into regulated grows and state-licensed stores, the Globe correspondent reports “the sky didn’t fall” after the end of prohibition. In New Zealand, a bunch of cannabis users sparked up at a public park to protest the drug’s illegal status, shocking the president of the New Zealand Police Conduct Association. Another day, another Girl Scout selling cookies outside a dispensary. And finally, if you’re a chocolatier and cannabis enthusiast, this infused chocolate startup in Portland, Ore., wants your resume. Imagine: “If your a stoner, to be around marijuana at work!” Grammar skills not required, apparently.  

The Shake: How Much Does Your State Suck?

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Los Angeles Cracks Down on Deliveries

After years of turning a blind eye to the growing number of cannabis delivery services in Southern California, the city of Los Angeles is trying to shutter one of the region’s largest providers.

City Attorney Mike Feuer on Friday announced a lawsuit against Speed Weed, a delivery service that boasts 25,000 customers across Los Angeles and Orange counties. The suit seeks an injunction that would immediately halt Speed Weed’s operations and prevent it from doing further business in the city.

Marijuana delivery services circumvent the will of the voters who passed Proposition D,” Feuer said in the announcement, referring to a local zoning law that limits dispensaries. “My office will continue to ensure that only qualified patients, and primary caregivers, can transport medical marijuana.”

The suit also seeks civil penalties of up to $5,000 per day against Speed Weed, which offers flowers, concentrates, edibles, and other products delivered in about an hour, “just like pizza.”

The action could signal a shift in enforcement priorities for the city. Delivery services have been operating under the radar in California for decades, but their numbers have surged in recent years. That’s due in large part to efforts by Los Angeles and surrounding areas to close existing storefront dispensaries. 

Behing the Big Ban: Why California Towns are Scrambling to Oust Dispensaries

In 2014, for example, L.A. began implementing Proposition D, a local zoning measure intended to cull the number of dispensaries in the city from more than 700 to just 135. Hundreds of shops have since closed their doors, the city attorney’s office says.

But those shops didn’t always stay closed. Los Angeles dispensaries are notorious for shutting down one location only to open up another. In many cases, operators decided they stood a better chance of avoiding future detection (and legal action) if they ditched the storefront entirely.

“It’s the balloon theory,” Jeff Raber, founder and president of the Werc Shop, a Pasadena-based testing lab, told the Los Angeles Times in 2014, as Proposition D enforcement was in full swing. “They think taking down all the dispensaries will make it go away. But it’s not going away. It’s going to morph into something else.” 

For a long time, the approach seemed to work. Delivery services popped up around Southern California and for the most part did business unhindered. The city attorney’s office maintained that delivery services were prohibited under Proposition D, but months passed before the office prosecuted a single one.

With its suit against Speed Weed, however, it seems the city is trying to make a statement. Feuer’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Feuer in his announcement noted that “Proposition D does not provide immunity from enforcement for a medical marijuana business comprised of a vehicle that is transporting, delivering or distributing medical marijuana.” In other words: Even if your business isn’t based in L.A., you’re operating illegally if you deliver there.

Speed Weed owner A.J. Gentile couldn’t be reached for comment, but in 2014 he told the Times that the business complied with Proposition D. The law is essentially a zoning ordinance, and Gentile at the time argued that Speed Weed didn’t have a storefront subject to the measure’s zoning rules. 

In areas like Southern California, where local governments increasingly are banning cannabis businesses, delivery services can be crucial for providing medicine to patients unable to grow their own, supporters day. Instead of trying to eradicate deliveries, said Don Duncan, California director of Americans for Safe Access, governments should find ways to better regulate them. 

“I’m surprised at how much energy the Los Angeles city attorney’s office seems to be spending on enforcing medical marijuana laws but how little they seem to want to improve the situation,” he said. “Instead of enforcement, we need a better law for Los Angeles.”

Last month, an L.A. Times editorial agreed.

Los Angeles isn’t alone in trying to beat back deliveries. In Seattle, City Attorney Pete Holmes recently announced a crackdown on delivery businesses, which aren’t allowed under Washington law. But the prohibition might not last long: State lawmakers are weighing a pilot program — co-authored by Holmes himself — that would temporarily welcome licensed delivery services back to Seattle.

Why Do the Feds Keep Targeting California?

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Shake: How Much Does Your State Suck?

Meet the first cannabis-sponsored pro athlete. Accessory brand Black Rock Originals has teamed with professional freeskier Tanner Hall to release the Tanner Hall Ski Boss collection, which includes a lighter, grinder, and rolling papers. While a lot of athletes have gotten involved in cannabis — including that poor Canadian snowboarder who lost his Olympic gold medal — Hall appears to be the first active athlete to land a sponsorship. Gnarly, bruh.

The industry is an accounting nightmare. That’s the conclusion of the New York Times in a piece that examines the convoluted financial rules surrounding cannabis (involving fun things like banking and taxes). The article might be a bit of a snooze if you’re not a money or policy wonk, but it’s nice to see the Grey Lady acknowledging the dysfunction caused by cannabis’s precarious legal standing. Now if only the editorial board would come out and oppose prohibition. Oh wait, that happened a while ago.

How does your state rank on cannabis? We’re really excited about this one. Canna Law Blog is ranking all 50 states, in reverse order, based on their cannabis policies. Not all states are ranked yet, but head over and check it out — and then steer clear of Wyoming, No. 44, where cannabis intoxication alone can land you a $750 fine and six months in jail. 

Idaho is no fun. Really. Zero fun at all. It might be surrounded by a bunch of groovy states, but as the AP points out, Idaho is rabidly anti-cannabis. State Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatell, says the state tends to “lag behind” on cannabis. That’s an understatement. As Leafly has reported, it’s the kind of state where you could face a year in jail for carrying the plastic tube your joint came in. If you were wondering, Idaho is No. 48 on Canna Law Blog’s rankings, above only Nebraska (which filed a lawsuit trying to undo legalization in Colorado) and South Dakota (which is the butt of enough jokes already, thank you very much).

Doesn’t anyone understand what a tampon is? RYOT adds to the junk heap of articles about Foria Relief, a cannabis-infused vaginal suppository intended to ease menstrual discomfort. (Not to be confused with Foria’s stuff for sexytimes.) Let’s get one thing straight: Foria Relief is not a tampon, will not work as a tampon, and should not be described is a tampon. Instead, my coworker with a vagina tells me, it should be described as a godsend.

Do Cannabis-Infused Suppositories Actually Work? We Put One to the Test

Iowa State University can’t abide a T-shirt. Administrators have repeatedly blocked the school’s NORML chapter from making shirts that feature a cannabis leaf. Eventually the students sued on First Amendment grounds — and won. But the butthurt university has filed an appeal, because spending thousands of dollars in taxpayer money is totally worth it to prevent people from seeing a graphical representation of foliage on a college campus. (Go figure: The school didn’t have a problem greenlighting designs from various gun-related groups or CUFFS, a student club focused on sexual bondage.)

Legal cannabis is “crushing” the black market in Colorado. Officials there say the regulated market comprises about 70 percent of all sales in the state, the Economist reports. The remainder is mostly made up of people who grow cannabis legally at home but sell it illegally. In Washington state, however, legal sales account for only about 30 percent of the market, according to estimates. Why the difference? The magazine attributes it to Washington’s huge unregulated medical cannabis industry and steep taxes on the recreational side.

Florida is taking common sense for a test drive. Under a yearlong pilot program, juveniles caught with 20 grams of cannabis or less will no longer be arrested but instead will be cited and required to attend drug treatment. Apparently arrests weren’t solving the problem. Imagine! 

QUICK HITS: Is your cannabis organic? If so, Colorado wants to label it that way. * Want a free gram? Organizers in San Jose, Calif., handed out cannabis vouchers in an effort to raise awareness for the statewide legalization initiative on November’s ballot. * Cannabis commentator Russ Belville takes aim against “Stoners Against Legalization,” or people in the community who oppose a regulated market. Belville accuses them of trying to profit from prohibition. * A languishing California prison town is turning to cannabis to help save its future. Land prices in Adelanto have skyrocketed since the city became the second in Southern California to legalize cultivation. * Colorado named a new head of cannabis enforcement. Jim Burack, a former investigations chief and Marine Corps Reserve colonel, will lead the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. * These pets are stuck, but it ain’t no thing.

The Shake: How Much Did Stoner Sloth Cost Taxpayers?

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

This Guy Just Made Your Bong Ten Times Better

A few years ago a friend of Corey Capasso’s called him up. “Corey, you know when you smoke a water pipe, how the water gets dirty?” 

“Yeah,” Capasso said. “So what?” 

“So the water is filtering out the tar from the smoke, making it cleaner. What if you could put something in the water to enhance the filtration?” 

Capasso thought for a moment. “That’s interesting,” he said.  

When Corey Capasso finds something interesting, things tend to happen. Nine years ago, as a finance major at the University of Wisconsin, Capasso sought out Tim Osswald, a mechanical engineering professor. Would it be possible, Capasso asked him, to create a flavored plastic? Osswald did so in 2008, and Capasso turned his tasty polymer into MoGo Sport, the company that invented the flavored sport mouthguard. 

As he was getting MoGo off the ground, Capasso also did a little work on the side. He was intrigued by his friend’s water pipe question. 

“I did some research and realized that water is very polar,” Capasso recalled in a recent interview with Leafly. “The majority of the tars and carcinogens in smoke — both tobacco and marijuana — are very nonpolar. If we could put something in the water that was also nonpolar, the tars might be attracted and get trapped by it.” 

The easiest way to understand molecular polarity is to think of it as the opposite of magnetism. With polarity, like attracts like. Oil and water don’t mix, for example, because water is extremely polar and oil is highly nonpolar. 

When he went looking for scientific research on water filtration of smoke, Capasso found slim pickings in the peer-reviewed literature. Surprisingly little research has been done on cannabis smoke filtration. There are essentially two publicly available water pipe studies, both conducted in the mid-1990s. One was by Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML. The other was by Nicholas Cozzi, director of the Laboratory for Neuropharmacology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and one of the world’s leading experts on hallucinogens and the human brain. 

Cannabis Science 101: The Complex Chemistry of the Bong

Those studies found that water pipes are good at filtering out hot ash, but they’re generally lousy at trapping the tars contained in both tobacco and cannabis smoke. They obviously trap some — hence the nastiness of bong water — but in general the bong lets most of the tars slip through.  

“By weird coincidence, Dr. Cozzi was at the University of Wisconsin, where I was attending college,” Capasso recalled. He reached out to Cozzi and, as he had with Tim Osswald, convinced the professor to explore the possibilities of invention. 

As it happened, Cozzi knew of a nonpolar material that just might work. It was a kind of macrobead — tiny, but larger than the microbeads currently causing so much trouble in toothpaste and facial scrubs — made of an inert, insoluble polymer that was highly attractive to nonpolar molecules. “It’s a substance used in chromatography,” Cozzi explained over the phone recently. “It separates mixtures of compounds into their elements.” 

The stuff itself looks like large sugar crystals. “You pour it into the pipe and it floats on the water,” Capasso explained. “The smoke goes through the water, hits the beads, and those beads absorb ten times the amount of carcinogens as the water.” In early tests, Cozzi found that plain water removed 1.7 milligrams of tar per gram of water. The combination of Smoke Skreen beads and water extracted 20.6 milligrams of tar per gram. 

Detail of Smoke Skreen beads

Detail of Smoke Skreen beads

Capasso and Cozzi applied for patents on their invention, a “filtration agent” they named Smoke Skreen. That was in 2010. They waited. Years passed. From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office came nothing but radio silence. 

In the meantime, Capasso moved on to other entrepreneurial ventures. In 2010 he founded Spinback, an online analytics company, and sold it to Buddy Media. Then he created Nomi, an in-store analytics platform for retailers, and sold it to Brickstream

While casting about for his next analytics venture, Capasso received a surprise visit from the past. On Dec. 30, 2015, he opened an email from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, Virginia. The patent for Smoke Skreen had finally been approved.

We Replaced Bong Water With Vodka, Gatorade, and a Slurpee: The Great Bong Experiment of 2016

It had been so long — more than five years — that Capasso figured the office had lost or permanently shelved his application. 

The patent itself had always been a long shot. The federal illegality of cannabis extends to “drug paraphernalia,” (see 21 USC Section 863), which specifically mentions water pipes and bongs. Though the law is rarely enforced, Tommy Chong famously got caught up in Operation Pipe Dreams, a 2003 federal paraphernalia sting that resulted in the arrest of 55 individuals. (Chong was the only one sent to prison. He served nine months for selling bongs.) Even today, head shops in legal states like Washington will sometimes evict customers who refer to their “tobacco water pipes” as bongs. That problematic legal status has made it difficult for inventors to obtain patents for any product that could be considered paraphernalia. 

Though Capasso and Cozzi made frequent mention of tobacco in their patent application, they specifically referenced “medical marijuana” in their patent documentation. “To my knowledge, as long as the product is described accurately and does not make any false claims under FTC regulations, there are no legal issues,” Capasso said. 

The question every cannabis consumer will want to know: If it so effectively screens out tars, will it also screen out cannabinoids? Not so much, says Cozzi. “The tars are extremely nonpolar, and the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids are intermediate in polarity, meaning they contain both polar and nonpolar properties within the molecule.” The Smoke Skreen beads, Cozzi said, will preferentially remove the tars but not the cannabinoids. “Our empirical testing showed no effect on the psychoactive properties of the cannabis.” 

Now he’s talking with a number of companies and potential investors. Capasso is new to the legal cannabis space, but thinks his product has the potential to find a big audience. “As marijuana grows,” he says, “there’s nothing better to have in a regulated market than a product that creates safety.” 

How Does a Bong Work? A Guide to the Water Pipe

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Weekend Weirdness: Man Kind of Returns Lost Wallet, Keeps the Cash Cuz He “Needed Weed”

Losing your wallet is always a stressful ordeal, but occasionally a good Samaritan can find it and return it to you, restoring a little bit of faith in humanity. Unfortunately, a Brooklyn-area man who lost his wallet at a concert had it returned by someone more like a mediocre Samaritan who kind of wanted to do the right thing, but not without treating himself first. 

Reilly Flaherty lost his wallet at a Wilco concert on February 5th, and two weeks later he received a suspicious envelope in the mail. It contained his ID and the credit cards that were in his wallet, but not the wallet itself. His cash and metro card were also missing.

Flaherty shared the amusingly honest note that accompanied the items on Instagram: 

thanks.. I think?

A photo posted by reilly flaherty (@reillyflaherty) on

I have to award points to the stoner Samaritan for being brutally forthright, but if the “pot-smoking, modern-day version of Robin Hood” is going to go through the trouble of sending the wallet back to its owner, he probably should have fully committed and sent everything intact instead of pocketing the most appealing items. The good deed ultimately proved futile, anyway, as Flaherty had already canceled his credit cards and replaced his driver’s license by the time he received the mystery envelope. Oh well, at least he got a good laugh out of it…and I suppose the other guy was able to (immorally) re-up on some of his favorite strains.

Weekend Weirdness: "Sorry for Robbing You, Here's Some Cannabis"

Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.