5 Questions About ‘Weed DUI’ Answered

Many people assume chemical testing for THC is as simple and reliable as testing for blood alcohol content (BAC), but in reality it is much more complex.

Even in states that decriminalize medical or adult-use of cannabis, police can still arrest you for driving under the influence. That may not come as much of a surprise: most people know driving impaired is illegal, regardless of the substance. But many people don’t realize how difficult it is to chemically test for cannabis intoxication.

Here’s the answer to five big questions you might have about “weed DUI.”

Read more at Cannabis Now

Access to MMJ for Veterans Grows, But the Struggle Continues

On Memorial Day, we honor those military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. But for many combat veterans who return from battle with PTSD and debilitating injuries, medical cannabis provides crucial, sometimes life-saving relief. Veteran access to cannabis medicine is better than ever, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to ensure all our veterans can benefit from medical marijuana.

While veterans are not technically barred from access to Veterans Administration health services and programs for using medical marijuana, many other VA rules and regulations prevent access to the medicinal cannabis, especially for patients with limited mobility: the use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA properties — no matter the form — and VA doctors may not prescribe medical marijuana or complete paperwork for state-approved marijuana programs.

And unlike Canada, where reimbursements for medical cannabis went from $400,000 to $20 million in just a few years for veterans, the VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Florida Medical Marijuana’s Last Hope is its First Problem

The Florida Legislature decamped without setting up rules for producing and selling medical cannabis — in violation of the requirements of Amendment 2, passed overwhelmingly by voters in November. Now the last best hope rests with Gov. Rick Scott — that’s bad news for patients.

Nobody is happy with the Florida state Legislature at the moment. That’s what you get when you have clear direction and a relatively simple job before you and you go home leaving it undone.

This is what state lawmakers did on May 5 when they decamped from the state capitol without creating rules for the state’s new medical marijuana system.

Read more at Cannabis Now

3 Reasons to Prefer Dark Extracts

Most people have a preference for light colored concentrates, here are some reasons to join the dark side.

If you’ve ever gone shopping for a cannabis extract you have probably seen how much variety there is. Dark or light, clear or opaque, gooey or hard and brittle; there are a lot of options.

Personally, I’ve always loved darker extracts. But when I started working for an extract company, I realized what a bad reputation dark extracts have. The dark concentrates that I strongly preferred were going for far less money than those that were more light and clear. The market clearly preferred light extracts and buyers at dispensaries all had the same message, “If it’s too dark, it won’t sell.” But why? Could it be that we don’t have much reason to prefer light colored concentrates beyond visual bias?

Read more at Cannabis Now

Veto in Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott Halts Legalization – For Now

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has vetoed what would have been a historical first — a state legalizing cannabis through the legislature and not the ballot.

In the announcement of his veto at a Montpelier press conference today, Gov. Phil Scott attempted to make clear his refusal to sign the bill into law wasn’t because he was an anti-pot guy “philosophically.”

Nevertheless, he takes his place in history as the first U.S. governor to ever veto the full removal of criminal and civil penalties for recreational adult cannabis possession, use and cultivation as passed by his state’s legislature.

Read more at Cannabis Now

New Jersey Lawmaker Introduces Cannabis Legalization Bill

The Garden State looks toward legalization.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has absolutely no intention of legalizing marijuana before he leaves office in 2018, but that isn’t stopping one state lawmaker from greasing the wheels of the legislative machine in order to prime the state for legal weed.

State Senator Nicholas Scutari, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently introduced a piece of legislation aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry. The proposal, which is designed to give adults 21 and over the freedom to purchase marijuana in a manner similar to beer, will begin shaping “New Jersey’s legal recreational marijuana program for years to come,” Scutari wrote in a special guest column for the Star Ledger.

Read more at Cannabis Now

New WA Law: Adults Sharing Herb OK, ‘Catty’ Billboards Not

The state of Washington has passed a law protecting the right of adults over the age of 21 to share cannabis in any form with other adults. “Bogart[ing] that joint” is no longer a legitimate legal strategy — it just makes you stingy.

Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee, recently signed SB 5131 into law, correcting a draconian (if largely unenforced) section of the 2012 voter initiative that legalized possession and use of recreational cannabis in the Evergreen State — but made sharing it a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Cannabis activists (and garden-variety enthusiasts) applauded the decriminalization of sharing as a step toward normalization and social acceptance of cannabis — among them, Vivian McPeak, founder of Seattle’s iconic Hempfest, an annual celebration of cannabis and cannabis rights.

Read more at Cannabis Now

What’s Killing Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?

Most of Minnesota’s medical-marijuana patients–all 6,300 of them–say that having safe and regulated access to legal cannabis is a great benefit. If only the two companies licensed to grow and sell them marijuana can do something about their $11 million in losses.

Minnesota is still new to medical marijuana. Sick people only been able to legally access marijuana there since July 1, 2015, and the state is taking its cannabis experiment seriously — quite possibly, too seriously for its own good.

Medical cannabis is enormously popular with the American public — more than 90 percent of Americans say they believe sick people should be able to use marijuana, which has real medical value, without fear of arrest — and within the last five years, the issue has achieved critical momentum.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Return of the Industrial Hemp Industry

Shaping the new hemp economy in America.

In 2012, Ryan Loflin, 41, had a successful business building designer homes from reclaimed barnwood. But in 2013, Loflin defied federal law and converted 55 acres of alfalfa on his family farm in southeastern Colorado into the first hemp field grown in the United States since cannabis prohibition began over 70 years ago.

“It’s all about job creation, that’s the whole point of this industry,” says Loflin, “To get small town America back to having jobs that are profitable. The end result in rural America is going to be pretty outstanding. It has so many uses… everything except glass can be made from hemp, it’s a special crop.”

Read more at Cannabis Now

No Green Flag for Cannabis in NASCAR

America’s top stock-car competition told a driver to remove the logo of his top sponsor from his car because it was a marijuana company.

You could say America’s premier motorsports competition is getting left behind — NASCAR is having a hard time.

One of the biggest crowds to come out to a NASCAR oval last year — 157,000 people — was there for college football, not stock-car racing. It may have been the biggest crowd at any NASCAR track all season long, as the Guardian reported.

Read more at Cannabis Now