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Planners OK Medical Marijuana Zones in Battle Creek

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.

The House Made of Hemp

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.

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


NCIA logo



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 [email protected]

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.

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Mexican Business Asks Government to Dial Back Drug Prohibition War

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.

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

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.

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers Form Trade Association

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.

Scarcity of Peyote Means Hard Times for Legal Dealers

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.

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

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.

Drug Trafficking Organization Interferes with Boulder Rescue Squad

Life-saving equipment, including a special extraction device, is now sitting on the floor inside the Boulder Emergency Squad because delivery to Mexico faces setbacks due to drug traffickers. The items were supposed to be delivered to Mante, Mexico, one of Boulder’s sister cities where the need for the gear is great. Delivery is impossible at the moment as the squad is being told that the traffickers have taken over many of the roads between the border and the city.