Tag Archives: repeal

Zero Cosponsors: Artificial Intelligence Gives Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 Just 1% Chance

Don Fitch | October 4, 2017

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, introduced by New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker, is exactly the criminal justice and health legislation this country so needs. Much like Bernie Sander’s bill in the last Congress, this act would not reschedule, but actually deschedule cannabis out of the Controlled Substance Act altogether. As its name implies, the passage of this act, S. 1689, would provide true marijuana justice in the USA. Tragically, it has received zero cosponsors in the Senate. An analysis by Skopos Lab artificial intelligence gives it only a 1% chance of being enacted.

The similar bill by Senator Bernie Sanders (D – Ver) in the last Congress likewise got no cosponsors, not even Cory Booker, and died. Similarly, neither Bernie Sanders nor any other senator has cosponsored the 2017 bill. A portion of GovTrack’s summary of S. 1689 follows:

The Marijuana Justice Act, introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), would end the federal prohibition on marijuana once and for all, by removing the drug from the DEA’s list of controlled substances entirely.

It would also apply retroactively, allowing for judicial review of anybody serving a prison sentence for drug possession. (Although virtually nobody in America goes to jail just for marijuana possession or use, the charge is often used to add time to a jail sentence primarily handed down for conviction of another drug-related crime such as selling or trafficking.)

Lastly, the bill would use federal expenditures to incentive states to legalize the drug “if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.” As Vox points out, that designation applies to almost every state. Therefore, this bill would effectively authorize federal expenditures to support nationwide legalization at the state level as well.

It was introduced as Senate bill number S. 1689. (Unfortunately, S. 420 was already taken.)

A version of the bill introduced into the House of Representative by Thomas Garrett (R-Vir) is doing better. With 15 House cosponsors, H.R. 1227: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 is given a 9% chance of passage by Skopos Labs. The 15 cosponsors are cannabis freedom fighters. They are:

The Senate (and House) have seen other action on the marijuana front. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden introduced S. 780: Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017. This act would not deschedule cannabis but does provide legal protection in legal states. The bill has a counterpart in the House, Earl Blumenauer’s H.R. 1824, now with seven cosponsors.

If your Senators and Representatives are absent on these important bills, call them and urge they cosponsor.

Don Fitch

Don Fitch

CONTINUE READING AND CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES!

Interest in cannabis liberation extends back to the 1960s for Don Fitch. Most of his career has been in high tech and pr … More!

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“…the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization”

Marijuana: Why Dangerously Potent Pot Is Making People Lose Their Minds and Memories

Homegrown2017

By Jessica Firger On 10/19/17 at 4:44 PM

High-potency pot is causing psychiatric issues, including addiction and memory problems. New strains of the recreational drug have higher levels of the active chemical and not enough of another compound that keeps the drug safe. And as a new study this week documents, the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization. 

The new report, published this week by Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K., tested 50 samples of cannabis in the city of Manchester. The study was conducted by Volteface, a London-based policy think tank seeking reform for marijuana laws to improve safety of the drug by making it legal, and thus limiting demand on the local black market. All of the samples had high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of the drug that produces the “high,” and inconsequential amounts of cannabidiols (CBDs), the protective compound of the drug that prevents marijuana from becoming unsafe.

Pot that is high in THC carries a greater risk of psychiatric problems, including psychosis, addiction and memory impairment. One study, for example, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry evaluated cannabis use in 280 people and compared them to a control group of 174 non-cannabis users. The study found that people who experienced their first psychotic episode were more likely to have used a higher THC potency form of the drug.

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Amir Englund, an expert in cannabinoid psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, tells Newsweek that the low levels of CBDs exacerbate the issues caused by high levels of THC. Additionally, frequent users often become tolerant to cannabis and slowly need a stronger product to get as high as they used to, he says.

“Because both THC and CBD are made from the same material in the plant, more of one means less of the other,” he says. Some recent research, he says, has shown that people using strains of marijuana that are also high in CBD—not just THC—are less likely to have mental health problems than those who opt for strains that have low CBD but high THC content. Some experiments he’s conducted show that CBD can counter the negative effects of high doses of THC in healthy volunteers.

Growers, he says, are cross-breeding plants to favor THC production over CBD. But the decision isn’t influenced only by the market’s demand. In many instances, it’s determined by the grower’s bottom line. “Some of the reasons why these varieties are more popular include the fact that they are more cost-effective to produce (more total drug-yield per plant) and more popular among frequent users,” says Englund.

A number of other factors also affect the potency of pot. According to Leafly, there will always be some variation when multiple growers cultivate the same strain because environment, growing technique and genetics all impact the composition of the plants.

A report published in 2015 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found the problem isn’t only with illegal sales. Labeling on regulated cannabis is often misleading, and the strain purchased could have higher or lower levels of potency than the label leads a consumer to believe.

“High THC, low CBD cannabis dominates the UK’s illicit market as it has a rapid growth period up to maturity and can be grown indoors,” the researchers write. “This enables those selling cannabis to make the greatest profit and presents the lowest risk. While popularity of this product is undoubtedly high, this may well be due to the fact that no other product is easily available and consumers have neither the access to nor the experience of any alternative.”

In other words, pot purchasers should look beyond the name—as nice as Black Beauty and Northern Lights may sound—and find out more about what they’re smoking. 

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

Why the Marijuana Justice Act legalizes marijuana the right way

MJA CB

By Jim Patterson, Opinion Contributor – 08/16/17 02:10 PM EDT

Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. To some, this bill may look like another liberal attempt to push for widespread legalization of marijuana across the country. But for those of us who work in this industry and understand the complexities and inequities of current marijuana policies, the bill is a bold step forward in transforming the industry as we know it.

I recommend that anyone who questions why marijuana should no longer be illegal under federal law, take the time to watch Sen. Booker’s three-minute video explaining his legislation. It will shine a light on how marijuana policies have negatively impacted targeted communities, specifically low-income communities of color. This bill seeks to undo some of the damage that Booker aptly describes as, “the unjust application of the law and economic bias.” For example, the bill would expunge convictions for those with marijuana use and/or possession charges at the federal level which, in turn, will allow for greater access to education and economic opportunities.

As CEO of a company which works in the legal marijuana industry, it is a priority for me that this industry gives everyone a fair and equal playing field. On a daily basis, I meet and speak with entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in becoming a part of the marijuana industry because of its huge growth potential and opportunity.

However, with opportunity come risks, and in this industry we take financial, legal and professional risks. That said, there is a large segment of the population that is not at the table for these types of discussions because they were previously targeted during the war on drugs and now cannot fully participate in the state legal boom of this business.

For them, the risks are still too high under marijuana’s current federal classification as a Schedule I drug. The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to change this by taking steps to fix the system so that marijuana is not just legal, but that the industry as a whole can move forward in a direction that we can be proud of.

Additionally, this legislation is important because it would also address a number of challenges marijuana businesses face such as lack of access to ordinary banking services. It would also move towards regulating the marijuana market as a whole and by regulating legal access, it would discourage and replace illicit drug activity.

I applaud Booker for introducing thoughtful legislation that would legalize the industry in the “right” way and that truly has the ability to move the ball forward on some of the historically negative aspects of this industry. Now is the time for the federal government to acknowledge that marijuana should be legal and removed from the list of controlled substances.

A recent CBS News poll showed that 71 percent of Americans oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and use in states that have legalized it, and 61 percent of Americans want marijuana legal across the country. Additionally, in the first six months of this new Congress, over a dozen bi-partisan bills have been introduced aimed at moving marijuana policies and regulations forward. Like Booker’s legislation, these bills acknowledge that updated marijuana laws and policies will bring a plethora of economic and social benefits to our country through increased job opportunities and tax revenues.

Congress must acknowledge the position of the majority of the American public and respond accordingly. I call on lawmakers to support this legislation and will be doing my part to raise this bill as a priority in the technology, transportation, policy and marijuana business communities eaze is a part of.

Jim Patterson is the CEO of eaze, a cannabis technology that connects people to doctors and dispensaries for on-demand consultations and deliveries.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

CONTINUE READING…

With much gratitude from the USMjParty, Thank You, Sen. Booker!

THIS is what I’ve been praying for!

cory booker

Above:  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announces the “Marijuana Justice Act” live on Facebook, August 1, 2017.  Follow link to view video!

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Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) took a giant leap to the front of the legalize Marijuana train and did, in fact, introduce what I consider to be a genuine attempt at ending the failed drug war on all of our people.

The MARIJUANA JUSTICE ACT would correct the long-standing goals of the prison industrial complex.  It is asking to do the following:

*Remove Marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act at the Federal Level,

*Give incentive to States via Federal funds to discontinue prosecuting for Marijuana,

*Retroactive – to provide for a review of Marijuana sentences,

*Expunge – Federal Marijuana use and possession crimes,

*Create Community reinvestment through various programs,

“Descheduling marijuana and applying that change retroactively to people currently serving time for marijuana offenses is a necessary step in correcting this unjust system. States have so far led the way in reforming our criminal justice system and it’s about time the federal government catches up and begins to assert leadership.”

The legalize Marijuana movement has been gaining strength for a number of years now throughout the U.S., and when Attorney General Jeff Session announced his requiem of a failed (and inhumane) war on Marijuana it turned enough heads to say enough is enough!  We cannot continue to let our Government lock us in cages for no good reason. 

There has been numerous Bills introduced so far this year concerning Marijuana, according to GovTrack.us.  I am including a few of the links here for convenience.

H.R. 3534: To make the Controlled Substances Act inapplicable with respect to marihuana in States that have legalized marijuana and have in effect a statewide regulatory regime to protect certain Federal interests, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3391: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana accessible for use by qualified marijuana researchers for medical purposes, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3252: Second Chance for Students Act

S. 1374: CARERS Act of 2017

H.R. 2920: CARERS Act of 2017

S. 1008: Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2017

H.R. 2273: Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2017

H.R. 2020: To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

The only way to truly end the war on marijuana is to remove it from the CSA and then continue down through the individual States.  This is what Sen. Booker is trying to make happen with the Marijuana Justice Act and I certainly hope that everyone gets behind him on this most important endeavor.

Here is a link to his Twitter where you can send him a message to congratulate him on this awesome step his is taking!

We cannot continue to let our people die on rogue street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl because they have to pass a drug test for Marijuana.  End the madness now!  End the war on drugs!  REPEAL PROHIBITION!

https://www.facebook.com/corybooker/videos/10157111094132228/

https://www.scribd.com/document/355207910/Marijuana-Justice-Act-of-2017#user-util-view-profile

https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=638

https://twitter.com/SenBookerOffice?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?text=marijuana#sort=-introduced_date

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/medical-marijuana-bill-aims-to-fight-sessions-war-on-drugs-w488311

http://www.wlky.com/article/sen-booker-introduce-marijuana-justice-act/10396905

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/07/23/the-children-left-behind/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/07/11/dying-with-francis-and-learning-to-live-again/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/09/24/all-roads-in-kentucky-lead-you-through-hell/

http://kyusmjparty.weebly.com/usmjparty-platform.html?fb_action_ids=10154004928797994&fb_action_types=og.comments

H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

 

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

 

 

 

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND SUPPORT THIS BILL TO REMOVE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA FROM THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO A “REPEAL” BILL THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED AND IT IS BEING SUPPORTED BY MOST ACTIVISTS!

 

Find your legislator HERE!

 

To write or call the White House, click here

 

AND FINALLY, WE USE TWITTER!

The White House

@WhiteHouse

 

President Trump

@POTUS

 

 

February 27, 2017

Mr. Garrett (for himself, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Taylor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Application of the Controlled Substances Act to marihuana.

(a) In general.—Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.

“(a) Prohibition on certain shipping or transportation.—This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

“(b) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91–513; 84 Stat. 1236) is amended by striking the item relating to section 103 and inserting the following:

“Sec. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.”.

SEC. 3. Deregulation of marihuana.

(a) Removed from schedule of controlled substances.—Subsection (c) of Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “marihuana”; and

(2) by striking “tetrahydrocannabinols”.

(b) Removal of prohibition on import and export.—Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking “paragraphs (1), (2), and (4)” and inserting “paragraphs (1) and (2)”;

(4) by striking paragraph (4); and

(5) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively.

SEC. 4. Conforming amendments to Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking “marihuana,”;

(2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) in clause (vi), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(II) by striking (vii); and

(III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(ii) in subparagraph (B)—

(I) by striking clause (vii); and

(II) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)” and inserting “subparagraphs (A) and (B)”;

(iv) by striking subparagraph (D);

(v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); and

(vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as redesignated, by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”;

(B) by striking paragraph (4); and

(C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;

(3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))—

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “marijuana,”; and

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “, such as a marihuana cigarette,”; and

(8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking “section 401(b)(6)” each place the term appears and inserting “section 401(b)(5)”.


All Actions H.R.1227 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

 

03/16/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
Action By: House Judiciary

03/03/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce

02/27/2017
Referred to House Judiciary
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives


https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/all-actions

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.xml

Additional LINKS of Information:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kentucky-house–senate-action-alerts.html

https://www.facebook.com/Kentucky-House-Senate-Action-Alerts-133526500152199/

Marijuana activists cuffed after lighting up at U.S. Capitol

Protesters smoke marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress to ‘De-schedule Cannabis Now’, in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

By Ian Simpson | WASHINGTON

Two dozen red-hatted protesters gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Monday to call for easing federal marijuana laws, but police snuffed out the party by arresting four of them after they lit up joints.

The activists, who carried marijuana-leaf flags and a sign saying “Let DC Tax and Regulate Marijuana,” were calling for coast-to-coast legalization of the recreational use of marijuana and protections for those who use cannabis for medical reasons.

The protest included the recitation of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Rastafarian prayers on the lawn outside the domed national landmark.

But police swooped in and arrested the foursome as soon as they lit up in front of a crowd of media and sent smoke wafting across the grounds.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and is banned from federal property like the Capitol, while more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for medical or recreational use.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed

U.S. voters back legalization by a margin of 60 percent to 34

percent, the highest level of support for legalized pot ever

recorded by the survey.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said that it might ramp up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana use, setting up potential conflicts in states where the drug is legal.

Adam Eidinger, a protest organizer who recited a Jewish prayer before being arrested, told reporters that the sacramental use of marijuana on federal land deserves protection under the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom.

“Meaningful marijuana legislation is something that a majority of Americans are demanding,” he said. Capitol Police had no immediate comment on the arrests.

The protest was aimed at urging the Republican-controlled Congress to make cannabis legal and to lift a ban on the District of Columbia’s regulation of marijuana. The Constitution gives Congress oversight power over the district.

Activists also want lawmakers to keep intact a budget provision that bars the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with states implementing medical marijuana laws.

Last week, police arrested several activists, including Eidinger, who were distributing joints near the Capitol to generate support for reforms.

(This version of the story has been refiled to corrects spelling in headline to “Capitol” instead of “Capital”)

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

CONTINUE READING…

How prohibition limits cannabis & technology

Published on February 7, 2017

Travis Lachner

Travis Lachner
CEO & Creative Director at Cannvas

 

Federal prohibition segregates cannabis and technology.

Complex banking regulation suffocates cash flow.

Research discoveries are suppressed and hidden.

Social media shutdowns are routine procedure.

Simply stated; making progress in the cannabis industry is really difficult right now.

This professional canna-bigotry is due to marijuana’s (mis)classification as a Schedule I substance. Domestic and international companies

Most of the country supports cannabis legalization. Yet, it still remains illegal.

Prohibition causes unnecessary and inefficient problems for the industry – and the nation.

We need to end prohibition and build the industry right to realize the potential of cannabis.

Companies, consumers, patients, and citizens will all benefit from proper legalization.

1) Banking and FinTech access sucks. Cash-only operations are unsafe.

Cannabis companies cannot access basic banking and financial technologies normally.

Federal prohibition restricts most banks from serving companies related to cannabis in any way. Even ancillary companies (that don’t touch the plant) are still neglected.

And legislative progress for cannabis banking created at the state level is stomped out by federal government.

In Colorado, state banking officials approved a charter for the first “Cannabis Bank” ever – A credit union named The Fourth Corner (TFCCU).

However, final admin approval at the federal level is continuously denied… The cannabis bank cannot operate without it.

Financial restrictions force cannabis companies two directions:

  • Option A – Companies operate cash only. Sometimes moving hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.
  • Option B – Companies pursue private banking opportunities at the state level and operate within financial loopholes.

Neither of these options are ideal.

According to Bloomberg Business, less than 3% of banks in America accept cannabis cash. Which means employees and individuals must move billions of dollars in cash regularly. These are extremely unsafe conditions and procedures.

A new “cannabis security” industry is emerging because of this problem. Ventures like Canna Security America provide comprehensive security services to keep staff, customers, and citizens safe.

But cannabis companies shouldn’t have to hire armed security services for safety… If customers were allowed to just swipe a damn debit card at any dispensary, the context of cannabis will be safer.

Modern banking technology is essential to all modern companies. Why are cannabis companies forced into awkward and unsafe restrictions?

It is unrealistic to make companies to operate under such irrational conditions. Especially while being taxed so heavily.

2) Awkward and vague regulations change often.

Cannabis companies pour capital into compliance. The “cover your ass” attitude is necessary in the ever-shifting regulations and requirements.

Brands balance between state legality and federal prohibition. New laws can make, break, or change business models overnight.

In addition to operational regulation, cannabis companies must abide to marketing and advertising restrictions. They cannot reach audiences like most other businesses.

Traditional companies in America spend millions on marketing and advertising – with minimal restrictions. TV, Facebook, Google, Instagram – pretty much whatever they want. But cannabis related companies can’t participate. (Yet.)

Instead, cannabis companies navigate complex layers of ambiguous regulation. Many areas of requirements are unclear, unrealistic, or nonexistent.

Large companies like Google and Facebook restrict ads for anything and everything cannabis-related.

And to be fair, they are just protecting their companies. Most of these policies are indirectly due to federal prohibition.

National brands fear the possible repercussions of the federal government. So they cover their ass by following suit with whatever the government says at the time.

This creates a contradicting scenario for companies and states… Selling cannabis is legal – but advertising cannabis is tricky.

Beyond regulation, cannabis companies are often pushed around by the “big boys” of media and technology.

I see new stories like those every week. It’s seriously like industrial level bigotry or bullying.

3) Research and development efforts are limited and discouraged.

Cannabis companies cannot complete high-level research and development.

Innovation research and medical studies require strict government approval or federal funding – which is often denied.

But here’s the weird part. The federal government already knows cannabis research will benefit society… The federal government owns the patent to use cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Yet, they still suppress innovative discoveries.

Back in the 70’s, the US government discovered THC can shrink cancerous tumors. But political forces swept this research under the rug.

Why? Because it did not support the agenda for “The War on Drugs.”

Modern research reinforced the discovery again in 2000.

Spanish scientists successfully destroyed “uncurable” brain tumors with THC (an active component of cannabis).

But you probably didn’t see this story in America. That’s because the revolutionary research was censored and ignored by major media outlets.

The neglected study from Madrid was named the “Top Censored Story” of 2000 by Project Censored

Today, American government is still putting up roadblocks for research.

In 2015, Congress shut down federal research on medical marijuana yet again.

This is an absurd problem. Is our own government suppressing the potential power of cannabis intentionally?

The medical benefits of cannabis and technology deserve to be discovered and delivered to the people.

Let’s take a closer look at the potential of marrying cannabis and technology.

Throughout history, technology innovations pave the path for industries to leverage and build upon.

But unfortunately, cannabis companies are restricted from leveraging existing technologies.

While most American companies sit on the shoulders of giants, cannabis companies barely get to stand on on the big toe of that giant.

Even worse – companies that “touch the plant” are restricted by regulations and fear of prosecution. Which means new innovations in the industry are often discouraged or dismissed.

This type of environment creates irrational risk for entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators. It discourages progress and big ideas..

Instead, we must cultivate an environment for encouraging positive growth and development.

Imagine what we will gain when the cannabis industry can leverage the entire spectrum of modern technologies with less restriction.

1) Companies will focus on improving products and services.

Cannabis companies will devote more time and energy to optimize the customer experience. Products and services will be fixed, upgraded, and optimized over time.

Currently, cannabis companies spend TONS of time, money, and energy navigating a shit-show of regulations and compliance.

Intense, time-consuming administrative projects ensure the entire business isn’t stripped away.

This energy could be (and should be) spent better.

Internal resources should be used to enhance product development, improve services, and innovate the customer experience.

Cannabis companies deserve the right to allocate their bandwidth more efficiently.

2) Companies will mature their marketing (and targeting).

Marketing and advertising will experience noticeable maturity. Companies will focus on more specific target audiences with hyper-detailed precision.

Cannabis companies will target consumers and patients better.

From stereotypical “stoners” to critically concerned medical patients… Proper access to modern marketing and targeting technology will enhance the customer experience.

Customer archetypes, strain-matching, and advanced targeting tools will be standard in the industry. Apps like PotBot will offer custom product recommendations based on user preferences.

Technology allows brands to target the exact type of users best-fit for their product. In the end, that is better for both the consumers and the companies.

But most technologies will be inaccessible or restricted until prohibition is lifted.

Federal prohibition sets the tone for large companies and advertising platforms to follow suit regarding cannabis. And the current advertising restrictions make it extremely difficult for companies to capture targeted audiences.

Cannabis pioneers experience difficulty building and marketing effective, creative and compliant campaigns.

If this problem sounds familiar… Cannvas provides custom cannabis brand-building solutions for 100% compliant marketing, advertising, and PR.

3) Research will unlock the power of the endocannabinoid system.

This is the big kahuna.

The endocannabinoid system is the untapped holy grail of cannabis and medicine.

It could be one the missing key needed to treat, manage, or cure many conditions in the medical community.

The endocannabinoid system is revolutionary. But we are only in the early stages of discovery. Many experts predict mastering the ECS will mark a new era of healthcare.

From cancer, to epilepsy, to simple chronic pain or nausea… The endocannabinoid system is directly related to the biological balance of humans.

Currently, we are just scratching the surface of possibilities. But the convergence of cannabis and medical technology is well under way.

With proper funding, and federal approval, hundreds of medical benefits will be discovered. The full potential of can be literally life-saving.

Cannabis will soon develop its identity as a wellness product.

And canna-pharmaceuticals may be the future of healthcare.

The solution is simple.

Federal prohibition is ineffective. We need to marry cannabis and modern technologies.

Nationwide legalization will enable better access to existing technologies – while encouraging innovation and safety.

Companies, consumers, and citizens will all benefit from legalizing cannabis.

And we can build the industry right.

Let’s do this.

North Americans Spent $53.3 Billion On Marijuana Last Year, Most Of It Illegally

The industry “just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels,” a new report says.

01/17/2017 06:20 pm ET

Ryan Grenoble Reporter, The Huffington Post

A new report estimates consumers spent $53.3 billion on cannabis in North America last year.

The first-of-its-kind analysis, compiled by ArcView Market Research, spans legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets across both the United States and Canada. At around $46 billion, the illegal market constituted 87 percent of marijuana sales in 2016 (a decrease from 90 percent in 2015), dwarfing both medical and legal sales.

The marijuana investment and research firm provided a 25-page executive summary of its fifth annual State of Legal Marijuana Markets to The Huffington Post Tuesday, ahead of the full report’s release in February.

Arcview projects the legal marijuana market will expand from its current $6.9 billion to $21.6 billion by 2021, as California, Massachusetts and Canada expand their cannabis sales, and medical sales begin in Florida. The $6.9 billion figure is itself a 34 percent increase in just one year from 2015.

Assuming the projections hold, the five-year growth rate for legal marijuana from 2016 to 2021 would fall just short of that seen by broadband internet providers from 2002 through 2007, which expanded at around 29 percent per year, from around $7 billion to north of $25 billion.

Unlike most of the billion-dollar industries that preceded it, marijuana is in a unique position, ArcView argues, because the market doesn’t need to be created from scratch ― it just needs to transition from illicit to legal channels.

“The enormous amount of existing, if illicit, consumer spending sets cannabis apart from most other major consumer-market investment opportunities throughout history,” Arcview Market Research CEO Troy Dayton explained in an emailed statement.

“In contrast to comparable markets with fast growth from zero to tens of billions in recent decades such as organic foods, home video, mobile, or the internet, the cannabis industry doesn’t need to create demand for a new product or innovation ― it just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels.”

In states that have moved to tax and regulate the drug, the black market has decreased rapidly, the report found. Colorado’s black market, for instance, accounts for about one-third of all cannabis sales, with the majority having transitioned to legal marketplaces.

ArcView found the cashflow going to drug dealers and cartels has diminished accordingly, helped in part by the shrinking “illegality premium” for the product once demanded by the black market. 

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9 States to Vote Soon on Expanding Legal Access to Marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO — Sep 28, 2016, 2:35 AM ET

Marijuana National Vote

From California, with its counterculture heritage, to the fishing ports and mill towns of Maine, millions of Americans in nine states have a chance to vote Nov. 8 on expanding legal access to marijuana. Collectively, the ballot measures amount to the closest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on the drug.

Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

As the most populous state, with a reputation for trend-setting, California is attracting the most attention — and money — in an intensifying debate over Proposition 64.

Silicon Valley tycoons and deep-pocketed donors with connections to the legal medical marijuana industry are among the top financial backers of a pro-pot campaign that has raised almost $17 million. Opponents have raised slightly more than $2 million, including a $1.4 million contribution from retired Pennsylvania art professor Julie Schauer.

Advocates on both sides say passage in California would likely ignite legalization movements in other states, especially when the tax dollars start adding up. California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated the state could collect up to $1 billion a year in marijuana taxes.

"As California goes, so goes the nation," said University of California, Berkeley political science professor Alan Ross.

If "yes" votes prevail across the country, about 75 million people accounting for more than 23 percent of the U.S. population would live in states where recreational pot is legal. The jurisdictions where that’s already the case — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia — have about 18 million residents, or 5.6 percent of the population. Twenty-five states allow medical marijuana.

According to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization. Gallup’s latest survey gauged support at 58 percent, up from 12 percent from when the question was first posed in 1969. Gallup says 13 percent of U.S. adults report using marijuana at present, nearly double the percentage who reported using pot in 2013.

California voters rejected an attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in 2010 after campaign leaders struggled to raise money and support for a four-page ballot measure hastily written by the owner of a small medicinal marijuana store.

This time, the 62-page ballot measure was crafted by political professionals and has the backing of many elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018. Current Gov. Jerry Brown says he’s close to announcing his position.

The measure would allow people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of weed and grow six marijuana plants at home. Pot sales would be subject to various tax rates that would be deposited into the state’s Marijuana Tax Fund. Most of that money would be spent on substance-abuse education and treatment. Some would be used to repair environmental damage caused by illegal growers.

Opponents argue that the measure will do more harm than good by opening a marijuana market dominated by small farmers to corporate interests and encouraging children to use the drug through pot-laced sweets like gummy bears, cookies and brownies.

The proposal "favors the interests of wealthy corporations over the good of the everyday consumer, adopting policies that work against public health," said Kevin Sabet, co-founder of the California-based advocacy group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Napster founder and early Facebook investor Sean Parker has contributed more than $3 million to the legalization effort, which has also attracted sizable contributions from an organization backed by billionaire George Soros and another backed by Weedmaps, which rates pot stores throughout the state.

"It’s a huge deal and it’s long overdue," said Steven DeAngelo, owner of one of the nation’s largest medicinal marijuana dispensaries and a Proposition 64 supporter.

In most of the states with marijuana ballot measures, polls have shown the "yes" side leading. Sabet believes opponents of legalization would attract more support if they could narrow a large fundraising gap and spread their cautionary messages. He does not buy the other side’s argument that nationwide legalization will come sooner or later.

"Repeating that this is inevitable, and repeating they are so excited, is part of their narrative to makes folks like us feel helpless," he said.

Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, a leading pro-legalization group, said his side has a chance to win in most of the nine states, but some losses will not derail the movement.

"Even if a measure doesn’t pass, support will grow," he said, citing failed ballot measures in Oregon and Colorado that preceded the victories for legalization.

"Most people believe marijuana should be legal. It’s a question of whether opponents do a good job of scaring them out of doing it now," Tvert added. "We might see people opt to wait a couple more years."

All five states voting on recreational marijuana have seen intense debate over the effect of legalization in the states that have already taken that step.

Opponents of the ballot measures make an array of claims, contending, for example, that Colorado’s legalization of pot has coincided with an increase in crime in Denver and fueled a jump in the number of traffic fatalities linked to marijuana use.

However, an analysis by three academic experts, published this month by the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, asserted that the impact of legalization has been minimal.

"The data so far provide little support for the strong claims about legalization made by either opponents or supporters," the analysis said.

Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron, one of the co-authors of the study, predicted Californians would approve Proposition 64, but he was less certain of the outcome in his home state of Massachusetts, where the Republican governor, Charlie Baker, and the Democratic mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, have teamed up to oppose legalization.

Miron said it’s difficult to predict when legalization might get support in Congress or surge to approval in a majority of states.

"I’m not sure if this November will get us to the tipping point. It may be two or four more years," he said. "Certain things seem impossible, until all of a sudden they are possible, and they happen fast."

———

Crary reported from New York.

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