Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wanted: Marijuana Consultants — Apply to the State of Washington

Do you know the difference between kush and sativa? Or how to cook with pot (and I don't mean pot of the stainless steel variety)? Any idea of how to grow and process weed? If so, the state of Washington may have a job for you.

State officials are looking for those with expertise in cannabis to assist its state Liquor Control Board to help get its sanctioned marijuana industry up and running. Washington is in search for consultants to help form a committee that will help iron out the details for regulations to govern its voter-approved legalization law, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

According to the article, the state is specifically looking for individuals with product and industry knowledge, product standards and testing, usage and consumption validation (to "keep pricing at black-market levels") and product regulation.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Medical Marijuana Group Teams Up with Herbal Products Association to Expand Lobbying Efforts

The American Herbal Products Association, founded 32 years ago to represent botanical medicine companies, is now allied with Americans for Safe Access and will provide recommendations to states interested in regulating medical marijuana.

More importantly, the AHPA, which has spent more than $2 million for lobbying since 1998, will open new doors for the ASA's efforts to reach out to those in power. The partnership will also help medical marijuana advocates to advance the cause of cannabis as a medicine — despite, most recently, a court decision that refuses to reclassify the drug.

Michael McGuffin, American Herbal Products Association president, stated to The Huffington Post: "The AHPA Cannabis Committee includes in its charter a responsibility to develop policy recommendations that support safe use of products derived from cannabis species. This initial work should be well received by state regulators, who share our commitment to ensuring safe access to medical marijuana for their citizens."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Washington: State is Ready for Federal Challenge to Legal Pot Law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to discuss its recent legalization of pot. Though Holder had no comment for reporters, Crosscut reports Inslee dominated the meeting and made sure the federal government understood that Washington was going forward with implementing its legalization law.

"I don't believe we should put the brakes on this," Inslee told the press after the meeting. "We should continue in a rational way to make these rules, and that's the direction we're going to pursue."

Though the two discussed issues such as implementation, taxation, regulating pot under the law and how Washington will keep the pot from neighboring states, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has lawyers looking over the law and coming up with defenses in case the federal government sues the state.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Will Pot Treat Combat Vets with PTSD? The Government Doesn't Know and Doesn't Care

The courts may have decided that marijuana has no medical use, but how would they know unless they study it? Federal red tape is keeping an Arizona researcher from looking into benefits pot might have for vets with PTSD.

Dr. Sue Sisley received the OK to research the effectiveness of using marijuana to treat combat vets from the FDA in 2011, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse refuses to authorize the study. The NIDA is the only federal agency that grows marijuana for legitimate research.

"It's in the pipeline waiting in limbo until we can persuade NIDA to sell us the study drug and the DEA to give us a permit so we're allowed to store the drug on campus," Sisley told Phoenix's CBS5.

But Dr. Richard Strand with the Arizona Wellness Chamber of Commerce is much more frank in his assessment of the situation: "NIDA will not fund any research whose goal is to find benefits of medical marijuana."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sun, Sand and…Maui Wowie?

A Hawaii lawmaker hopes to make The Aloha State the third to allow legalized pot possession.

Like measures voted into law in Colorado and Washington, the proposed legalization law would allow individuals over 21 to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and allow limited cultivation for personal use.

"We wanted to give it a hearing and see what the public says. We know that there will be strong public safety concerns brought up at the hearing," state Rep. Scott Saiki told KITV news.

Not surprisingly, the local law enforcement does not support the bill, stating, "The Honolulu Police Department is opposed to the legalization, decriminalization and medicinal use of marijuana."

Pot legalization in Hawaii is expected to generate about $20 million a year in fees and taxes. However, given that while most states have allowed some form of gambling, Hawaii remains one of the few that doesn't even have a lottery — so don't hold your breath for any legal Puna gold just yet.