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Draft of Colorado Medical Marijuana Rules Is a 90-Page Tome

Location: 
CO
United States
Medical marijuana advocates and government representatives hammered out the final details of proposed new rules that would give Colorado the most comprehensive seed-to-sale cannabis business regulations in the nation. The rules would govern everything: how state officials regulate marijuana cultivation; how dispensary owners keep track of their sales; what makers of marijuana-infused pastries should put on their labels. Several of the rules would place Colorado in unprecedented territory — for instance, requiring marijuana growers to install security cameras through which state auditors could remotely monitor their crop.
Publication/Source: 
The Denver Post (CO)
URL: 
http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_16794489

Planners OK Medical Marijuana Zones in Battle Creek

Location: 
Battle Creek, MI
United States
The Battle Creek Planning Commission recommended changing the city's zoning rules to allow growing marijuana for medicinal use in certain commercial zones. Compassion clubs, operations that provide support services for medical marijuana patients, would be allowed in some zones and would give patients a second place to use their medicine besides their homes.
Publication/Source: 
Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
URL: 
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20101202/NEWS01/12020314/Planners-OK-medical-marijuana-zones-in-B.C.

Marijuana Business Forum Seeks to Make New Arizona Law Work [FEATURE]

Voters in Arizona last month passed Proposition 203, an initiative that makes Arizona the 15th state to approve medical marijuana. State officials now have a little more than three months to come up with rules and regulations to implement the program, but budding medical marijuana entrepreneurs are not just twiddling their thumbs in the meantime.

With equal measures of enthusiasm and apprehension, would-be cannabis businesspeople are looking to cash in. The Arizona law allows for dispensaries -- as many as 124 of them statewide -- as well as off-site medical marijuana grow ops, but with the rules and regulations just being written, just how the dispensaries and grow-ops will be regulated is unclear at this point.

While businesspeople are eager to start serving the community and making money, they also worry about their investments. They look to states like California and Colorado, which also allow for dispensaries, but which have also seen significant blowback from communities that have felt overwhelmed -- Los Angeles, for example, where the city council responded to the nearly a thousand dispensaries that popped up in the area by cutting their numbers back dramatically.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is reporting that its phones are ringing off the hook with calls from people wanting to know how to go about setting up businesses that cater to the medical marijuana community. And MPP executive director Rob Kampia told the Chronicle the group is responding with a December 13 evening forum on the medical marijuana business in Phoenix.

"We've been getting lots of phone calls and emails from people in Arizona, as well as places like Colorado, who want to know all about this new law we just passed," Kampia explained. "These are entrepreneurs who smell opportunity and want a crash course on what the law would do and what the prospects are that the health department or city councils might mess with it. When a bunch of people are contacting you asking for guidance, you can either blow them off or you can field each call individually and have your organization come to a screaming halt. We chose a third alternative."

That would be the December 13 forum. In true entrepreneurial spirit, MPP will charge the would-be cannabis businesses $300 per individual or $500 for two people. A web site for the forum will be up shortly, but in the meantime, people who are interesting in attending should send an email to PhoenixForum@mpp.org.

"This will be a money-maker for MPP," said Kampia. "We'll use the money for lobbying efforts in Arizona and elsewhere."

But of course, it's not just a money-maker. "It's about educating the community," Kampia said. "One byproduct of education is that people will be less likely to creatively interpret the law."

That has been a problem in non-dispensary states, such as Montana and Michigan, where the cutting edge of medical marijuana entrepreneurship is bumping up against hostile state and local governments and recalcitrant law enforcement officials. Similarly, in California, where dispensaries are not licensed by the state, dispensaries face restrictions and even bans from local governments. Even in Colorado, which, like Arizona, features state licensing of dispensaries, conflicts have arisen.

"We will be giving words of warning at the forum, particularly about Michigan and Montana," said Kampia. "In Michigan, there are people who think the law allows for the unlimited operation of dispensaries, and as a result, the legislature will try to roll back the law. In Montana, you have that traveling circus giving group physician recommendations to patients, and that's causing similar backlash in the state legislature. There are already bills pre-filed to rollback or repeal the Montana law."

Some of the messages the forum will put out may seem obvious, but they aren't so obvious that somebody somewhere hasn’t gotten into trouble for not heeding them. "Don't put on a traveling road show, don't open a dispensary without a permit, don't do inappropriate advertising," Kampia ticked off in rapid-fire order.

Kampia will be at the forum in Phoenix to discuss the relationship between federal law and Prop 203. He will be joined by MPP's Karen O'Keefe, who co-authored the newly-passed initiative; Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente, who will explain how dispensaries work in Colorado, and a representative of the Phoenix consulting firm that worked with MPP to pass the law, who will discuss how Arizona law will change and how state and local authorities might respond.

Medical marijuana as a business opportunity may seem crass to a sizeable segment of the community, but that is the American way. If people don't think sick people should have to pay for their medicine, that's a defensible position, but in the meanwhile it is probably unfair to expect medical marijuana providers to be the only ones not getting paid.

Phoenix, AZ
United States

The House Made of Hemp

Location: 
Ashville, NC
United States
America's first house made primarily of hemp has been built. Using a product known as Hemcrete – a mix of industrial hemp, lime and water – a team of 40 volunteers, sub-contractors and designers have recently completed construction of a hemp house located in Ashville, North Carolina. Eco-friendly design and construction company Push Design has gained the support of community members and local officials alike and now plans to build more.
Publication/Source: 
Gizmag (Australia)
URL: 
http://www.gizmag.com/first-us-hemp-house/17115/

Business Leaders Roll Out National Trade Association for Legal Marijuana Industry (Press Release)

 

NCIA logo

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOVEMBER 23, 2010

Business Leaders Roll Out National Trade Association for Legal Marijuana Industry

Organization is the first of its kind in United States

CONTACT: Aaron Smith, NCIA executive director at (707) 291-0076 or Aaron@TheCannabisIndustry.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) stepped forward today as the first national trade group representing the interests of the cannabis industry and its consumers. More than twenty professionals from various sectors of the cannabis industry comprise the initial board of directors of NCIA, which was formed with the express purpose of improving business conditions for the industry.

The association’s formation comes at the heels of the decision by Arizona voters to become the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana. “The ever-expanding list of state-sanctioned medical cannabis providers and ancillary businesses have easily become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, generating thousands of good jobs and paying tens – if not hundreds  – of millions in taxes,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “These businesses have clearly earned the right to strong representation on the national stage and recognition as a true force for economic growth.”

As reported by the New York Times today, the NCIA board of directors includes some of the most preeminent figures in the cannabis industry. Collectively, they have already been featured in Fortune magazine, The New York Times, Business Week, CNBC, Fox Business News and countless other media outlets.

Becky DeKeuster is CEO of Northeast Patients Group, which will operate four state-licensed, non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine. DeKeuster joined the NCIA board of directors and hopes to encourage others in the medical cannabis community to support the fledgling trade association. “I’m proud to be one of NCIA’s founding members,” DeKeuster said. “This organization will be a great step forward not only for the medical cannabis industry, but also for the interests of the countless patients nationwide who rely on us to provide safe and effective natural medicine.”

Another NCIA board member, Kush Magazine CEO Bob Selan, says that the trade association will be the force that finally unifies an extremely diverse industry. “In my years working for a top cannabis culture publication, I’ve met an astonishing number of talented individuals who are experts in their particular field. From cannabis cultivators to pipe manufacturers to crop insurance brokers, all will benefit from being collectively represented by the national industry association,” stated Selan.

The trade association will ensure that the interests of the burgeoning cannabis industry are represented in the halls of Congress and in the national media. In addition to working to repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana, NCIA is already focusing on more immediate policy goals for the industry such as ensuring that the nation’s revenue and banking policies are not out of step with state laws allowing medical cannabis sales.

For more information, please visit TheCannabisIndustry.org.

####

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Mexican Business Asks Government to Dial Back Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Mexico
Business leaders in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros are urging President Felipe Calderon to declare a truce in his all-out battle with drug trafficking organizations, a conflict that has claimed some 30,000+ lives in the past four years. Vice president of the Federation of National Chambers of Commerce, Julio Almanza, said that if the federal government continues to remain obstinate on turning city streets into "battlefields" and does not take account that its strategy "has failed," the risk exists that in more communities the situation of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, might be repeated, where that community has become a ghost town because of the exodus of its frightened citizens.
Publication/Source: 
Latin America Herald Tribune (Venezuela)
URL: 
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=379041&CategoryId=14091

Mexico's Drug Prohibition War and U.S. business

Location: 
Mexico
Drug prohibition violence is beginning to affect multinationals -- and not only on the border. "It's Al Capone and Tony Soprano doing whatever they want with little or no actual police interference," says Tom Cseh, deputy director of Vance International, a security firm in Mexico City. Among the recent reported incidents: Caterpillar ordered 40 American employees with children home after a shootout at a school in Monterrey earlier this fall; oil-services giant Schlumberger (SLB) said prohibition violence in northern Mexico hurt third-quarter earnings; and Canadian mining company Goldcorp (GG) plans to build a landing strip to fly gold out of a mine instead of hauling it on unsafe highways.
Publication/Source: 
CNN (US)
URL: 
http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/17/news/international/narco_terrorism_business_mexico.fortune/

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers Form Trade Association

Location: 
ME
United States
Jonathan Leavitt of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine says the group is being formed to make sure caregivers have a voice when policy decisions are made. Leavitt says that since the spring, medical marijuana caregiver networks have generated 500 good jobs throughout Maine.
Publication/Source: 
New England Cable News (MA)
URL: 
http://www.necn.com/11/18/10/Maine-marijuana-caregivers-form-unit/landing_newengland.html?&blockID=3&apID=dea03202cca246499bc6bc541f0f6c3c

Scarcity of Peyote Means Hard Times for Legal Dealers

Location: 
TX
United States
When the state of Texas licensed him as a peyote distributor in 1990, Mauro Morales put a sign in his front yard with his name and phone number: "Peyote Dealer. Buy or Sell Peyote." But, the hallucinogenic cactus is becoming more difficult to find because many ranchers have stopped allowing peyote harvesters on their land, preferring to plow the grayish-green plant under so cattle can graze. Peyote is legal for use in some American Indian religious ceremonies, and since the mid-1970s, the Texas has licensed a small number of people to sell it to members of the Native American Church.
Publication/Source: 
Native American Times (OK)
URL: 
http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4579:scarcity-of-peyote-means-hard-times-for-dealers&catid=43&Itemid=19

'Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry' — Author Interview

Location: 
CA
United States
Veteran Bay Area investigative reporter John Geluardi released his first book, Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry this October. A former staff writer for the SF Weekly, Geluardi saw so much momentum building behind medical pot, he researched and reported a 200-page non-fiction paperback. Geluardi talks about investing in pot, economies of scale, and new fissures in the field in this two-part Q&A edited for length and clarity.
Publication/Source: 
East Bay Express (CA)
URL: 
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2010/11/11/cannabiz-the-explosive-rise-of-the-medical-marijuana-industry-author-interview

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