Cannabis Company Buys CA Town: Stock Stunt or Long Game?

A cannabis company buys a California ghost town: Is it a legitimate investment in the town, a publicity stunt to boost stocks prices or some combination of the two?

Until last week, Nipton, California (population: somewhere between 15 and 20, depending on who you ask) was a handful of buildings perched on eighty dusty acres — between the low-rent, last chance casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada’s far fringes and the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert. If it was known for anything (and it wasn’t) it was for being the nearest outpost where Nevada residents could buy California lottery tickets.

Now? The former mining town is internationally famous for being the first — and, so far, only — settlement to be purchased outright by a cannabis company.

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Hawaii Says ‘Aloha’ to Legal Medical Marijuana Sales

Hawaii was the first state to pass a medical marijuana law through the legislature — now it’s finally getting dispensaries and legal sales: Registered patients in Hawaii may now purchase up to eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period.

Seventeen years after the state passed trailblazing medical cannabis laws in the legislature — and not through the ballot box — Hawaiian patients now have access to a regulated market, with the first two dispensaries now open.

After officially passing their final inspection from the Department of Health, Maui Grown Therapies transacted the first sales in the state for preregistered patients — narrowly edging out Aloha Green of Oahu (which opened August 9) for the claim to “first Hawaiian dispensary, even though Maui Grown didn’t officially open until August 14.

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Stewards of the Land

The land that now hosts a Mendocino County cannabis farm has a past, which should be recognized and preserved.

Without the land, we are nothing. The land, the very soil, is the heart of any farming operation and it is to be respected. While we are blessed with the privilege to grow cannabis under the full sun, it is our responsibility to do that in a way that complements that which has been here forever. We are just the current residents.

Our ranch, located in the heart of the Emerald Triangle in northern Mendocino County, probably first saw white men in 1875 when it was homesteaded by a young man who had survived the Civil War and been granted a piece of land “Out West.” It fascinates me to imagine him riding the hills and following the streams in this area until he found the perfect spot, not too far from a water source, with enough flat land to grow crops and trees to cut and build a home.

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Legal Pot Arrives in Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe now has legal cannabis right in Incline Village, a hotspot for tourists.

A month after Nevada commenced recreational cannabis sales, the world-famous Lake Tahoe region now counts itself among the nation’s legal cannabis markets, with sales beginning Aug. 5.

The lake’s only medical cannabis dispensary on the Nevada side, NuLeaf, transitioned to adult-use sales and the day-one opening resulted in massive lines around the building.

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Could Cannabis Tourism Save Puerto Rico’s Economy?

Puerto Rico is drowning in a sea of debt more than $74 billion deep, and many on the Caribbean island see legal cannabis as a potential lifeline.

The sunny Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is facing some dark financial times: Large companies fled the island for friendlier tax laws, creating a deficit that the resource-rich, industry-poor territory has been unable to fill. Puerto Ricans — about 45 percent of whom live at or below the poverty line — are following suit: The island’s population has fallen by 400,000 people, to 3.4 million, in no small part because unemployment here (12 percent) is almost triple what it is back in the full-fledged USA (4.3 percent).

Above all, Puerto Rico is more than $74 billion in debt to creditors it cannot pay and has $50 billion in pension obligations it cannot fulfill. There are assertions that up to half of the debt is “illegal” — the result of toxic Wall Street tricks of the kind that engineered the Great Recession — but the weight of the financial obligation remains.

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Police Departments Telling K9 Units to ‘Sit and Stay’

What happens to K9 cops when cannabis is decriminalized? For the most part, not much — departments aren’t planning to part with drug dogs any time soon.

Humans of the 21st century think highly of our pets — almost as highly as we think of ourselves. So now that drug-policy reform is swelling government budgets and thinning prisons, some people are asking, “won’t someone think of the drug-sniffing dogs?”

Colorado Public Radio is the latest to examine the question of what to do with K9 units in an era of drug-policy reform. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, CPR points out, so what’s the use of a dog trained to suss out marijuana?

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Testing Company: Ohio College Ready to Host Pot Testing Lab

A recent announcement by a company eager to offer testing services to Ohio’s emerging medical cannabis market claims it has found a state-approved public college to host the lab, as per the requirements of the state’s MMJ law. At present, the identity of the college and any details about the arrangement are still a mystery.

CCV Research, a  company looking to provide testing services to Ohio’s medical cannabis market, announced it has received a letter of intent from an Ohio public institution of higher education ready to partner with the company in operating a medical cannabis testing lab.

The announcement said the governor’s office has confirmed that the (as-of-yet unidentified) academic partner is qualified under state law to host the lab.

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NFL Signals Softening Stance on Medical Cannabis

Which will come first; nationwide marijuana legalization, or NFL football players smoking weed? It’ll be close.

August is the month when the fancies of many Americans shift — totally and irrevocably, until after Christmas trees have shed their needles — towards our most popular ritual, our national religion: Football season is here again.

But pro football is in serious existential jeopardy. That is, it would be if we inhabited a rational world.

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Could Free Weed Help San Francisco’s Homeless Population?

A former candidate for San Francisco mayor wants to hand out free medical cannabis to homeless people struggling with opioid addiction.

Most of Mary Howe’s Monday evenings revolve around clean hypodermic needles — the ones used for injecting heroin and other intravenous drugs — and a grimy, well-worn stairwell in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district; this is the perch from which Howe’s Homeless Youth Alliance runs its needle exchange program, which like many of the people it serves, is a bit of a vagabond.

Skyrocketing rents saw Howe and the HYA lose their lease on office space in the neighborhood, which moved the needle exchange to a street corner — a sensible adjustment, seeing as the street is where most of its patrons live and conduct business. But leery (housed) neighbors raised a fuss.

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NJ Senator Introduces Bill That Could Federally Legalize Weed

A new bill introduced by New Jersey senator Cory Booker aims to do more than remove cannabis from the Schedule I Drug list — it would remove cannabis from the Scheduled Substances List entirely.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D) recently introduced the best cannabis bill ever seen on Capitol Hill — The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, which covers a plethora of cannabis issues, from federal scheduling to the disproportionate arrest rates people of color face under current policies.

If passed, the Marijuana Justice Act would remove cannabis from the list of scheduled substances, the magnitude of which is can’t possibly be overstated; it would make cannabis legal at the federal level. States would be encouraged (with federal funding) to make their policies match the new law of the land.

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