Search Results for: First Church of Cannabis

Indiana Judge Says No To Cannabis As Sacrament; First Church Of Cannabis Will Appeal

By Neal Smith, Chairman Indiana NORML

INDIANA: Marion County Superior Court Judge Lynch has ruled that the First Church of Cannabis may not use Cannabis as a sacrament, based on a false report issued by a federal agency. The Church maintains that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed the Indiana General Assembly in 2015, the Church has the right to use cannabis is a sacrament. The State of Indiana disagrees.

The State, led by Attorney General Curtis Hill, based their testimony on the lies and half-truths of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Task Force report on Cannabis. The vast majority of the report’s statements about Cannabis have been soundly refuted.  Yet, Judge Lynch fell for it. Anyone who has done even a modicum of research knows that Robert DuPont, long time federal government prohibitionist figurehead, has repeatedly been proven a liar.

Grand Poohbah Bill Levin

First Church of Cannabis Grand Poohbah Bill Levin

From Judge Lynch’s decision: “Numerous scientific studies have shown that marijuana use “causes impairment in every performance area that can reasonably be connected with safe driving of a vehicle, such as tracking, motor coordination, visual functions, and particularly complex tasks that require divided attention[.]” Ex. 15, DuPont Dec. at fl9. Unsurprisingly, then; marijuana “ranks second (26.9%), only to alcohol (30.6%), in a study on the presence of drugs in accidents involving seriously injured drivers.” EX. 15, DuPont Dec. at11 10.14.”

This point has been disproven.

Also from Lynch’s decision: “In addition, if RFRA affords an exception to the prohibition against marijuana possession, it would be unclear whether state law enforcement officers would be permitted to use the scent of marijuana or plants or paraphernalia in plain View as probable cause for a search warrant.” Ex. 13, Hobson Dec. at 117. Such indicators traditionally have been “obvious sources of probable cause[,]” but a religious exception to the marijuana laws could render them ‘questionable[.]’ Ex. 13, Hobson Dec. at fl 7.”

In other words, law enforcement would actually have to do a proper investigation rather than grabbing the “low-hanging fruit.”

AG Hill, an extreme prohibitionist, seems only content in putting forth any information that supports his views, whether accurate or not. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has also supported their tenuous position with the Rocky Mountain report. Indiana NORML has repeatedly pointed out the flaws in the report to no avail. It’s obvious they have no regards for truth in this matter. Does that make you wonder about their competency in other investigations?

Why would they go to this extent of lying and accepting lies as truth? Cannabis arrests bring in money to the system. Fines, probation fees, government grants, civil asset forfeiture and state kickbacks and contributions from private prison groups. Who needs civil liberties when there is money to be made?

The First Church of Cannabis will appeal the decision.

 

Cannafest Destiny Tour Stops At First Church Of Cannabis In Indy On June 13th, 2018

INDIANA: Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) Founder David Rheins and Curved Papers Founder Michael O’Malley will be featured speakers at the weekly services of the First Church of Cannabis, spreading education and encouragement to Indianapolis’ cannabis community on Wednesday, June 13th, as part of the midwestern leg of their “Cannafest Destiny” educational tour.

The two will participate in the weekly services of The First Church of Cannabis, led by Grand Poohbah Bill Levin.   Levin and the Church first made international news back in the spring of 2015, after the group sued then Governor Mike Pence, and the State of Indiana, over the right to use cannabis as a sacrament in church services. The suit argues that cannabis consumption is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a controversial law championed by Pence, that some have used as defense of discriminatory behavior against LGBTQ, Muslim, and other minority communities. That it could be used to protect cannabis would be ironic, given (now Vice President) Pence’s longstanding disapproval of marijuana use.

"Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament."

“Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament.”

It’s been a long, drawn out process, but after more than 3 years in the courts, a decision in the lawsuit will be announced by the end of June. “We are currently waiting for a verdict from our case,” Levin told MJ News Network. “The case ended on May 30th 2018, and the Judge has 30 days to render a verdict. We are obviously VERY OPTIMISTIC about the outcome.”

When asked if a victory meant that consumption of cannabis would be added to the weekly services, the Grand Poohbah assured us: “Yes. Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament.”

And where will the sacrament, still illegal under Indiana state and federal law, come from? “We have church members in legal states who will gladly help us celebrate on this great day of religious freedom,” the Grand Poohbah assured us.

Levin and MJBA Founder David Rheins both grew up in Indianapolis and were colleagues and fellow pioneers in the independent music and publishing scene back in the 1980s.   “I’m thrilled to be back in my hometown,” said MJBA’s Rheins, “As a Hoosier who experienced first-hand the challenges facing those whose religious beliefs or lifestyle did not conform with the norm, it is an honor to be able to return with the good news that things are changing for the better. Federal Prohibition is ending, and legalization brings jobs, tax revenues and opportunity to Indiana.”

What does it mean to have the MJBA and Curved Papers address the congregation?   “I’m excited to see national businesses finally recognizing Indiana’s potential in the cannabis industry. It is an honor to welcome MJBA and Curved Papers here at The First Church of Cannabis,” Levin said.

Curved Papers supports the political activism of the cannabis community nationwide,” Michael O’Malley told MJNews. “Our Cannafest Destiny Tour with MJBA, and our licensing agreement with NORML contribute to the promotion of personal freedom and  the communication of accurate up-to-date information about the legalization movement. “

The Cannafest Destiny Tour first began in 2016, and has made stops in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.  The Midwestern leg of the tour will include stops in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

First Church of Cannabis Files Suit

INDIANA:The First Church of Cannabis is going to court for the right to use marijuana as part of its sacrament under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law.

The suit, filed in Marion County Court, is asking for an injunction against the state and city of Indianapolis to prohibit members of TFCC from being prosecuted for using marijuana as part of their sacrament.

Attorney Mark Small says that under RFRA, the state’s marijuana law put an undue burden on his clients when it comes to practicing their faith and he adds the government does not have a compelling interest in limiting their religious liberty.

You can hear Small’s comments in the Leon-Tailored Audio above, as well as TFCC founder, Bill Levin.  It runs under 10 minutes.

 

Meet The Jewish Grand Poobah Of The First Church Of Cannabis

INDIANA: Athough he grew up at the Reform-affiliated Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Bill Levin recently founded a church. And not just any church — the First Church of Cannabis, for which Levin will serve as the Minister of Love.

Sound like a joke? Not to Levin, although he tends to refer to himself in church dealings as the Grand Poobah. And apparently it’s no joke as well to government bureaucracy: the church was approved by Indiana’s secretary of state Connie Lawson in March and recognized last week by the IRS as a tax-exempt religious organization.

The Times of Israel caught Levin in a phone conversation in his new premises on the south side of Indianapolis. The area, known for tattoo parlors and head shops, is home to a 150-seat sanctuary that has been used as a church for the past several decades.

 

Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis’ Clarion Call To The Pot Faithful

By David Rheins

With a shock of spiky white hair and an ever-present smoldering cigar, Minister of Love Bill Levin sits relaxed in an overstuffed chair covered in animal print and ponders a post-prohibition America.  A perennial Libertarian candidate and one of the forces behind Re-Legalize Indiana, Bill is an unlikely figure to be challenging Republican Governor Mike Pence and the Hoosier State’s newly minted “Religious Freedom Act.”

 

A Portrait of the Poobah in Rolling Papers

A Portrait of the Poobah in Rolling Papers

But here he sits, regal beneath a steampunk portrait of him made entirely of rolling papers. The Grand Poobah of The First Church of Cannabis, Levin has brilliantly turned the red state’s Religious Freedom Act into a tool to challenge Indiana’s outdated cannabis laws.  And in doing so he has captured the hearts and minds of supporters from around the country, and around the globe, who have responded with massive outpouring of love, media attention and cash donations.

2015-05-30 17.44.10

The First Church of Cannabis is an undeniable success: barely 90 days old, and has attracted hundreds of new members, thousands of dollars of donations and nearly 35,000 Facebook followers from around the world to the cause. Last week the IRS affirmed the Church’s non-profit status, and Bill sees his movement as part of an unstoppable tide of reform washing across the country.

First Church of Cannabis

MJNewsNetwork traveled to Indianapolis to sit down with charismatic Minister of Love.  In an exclusive two-part interview, MJNN explores the Cannabis Church’s “New Deity Dozen” – twelve common sense principles for the modern Cannabiterian (#1 is “Don’t Be An Asshole”), his motivations for starting the church, and what exactly he expects to happen on July 1st when hundreds of congregants will BYOB – bring their own bud – to the first service.   Enjoy!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcXANy3CRcY&w=420&h=315]

 1) Don’t be an asshole. Treat everyone with Love as an equal.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CytRdnjUugw&w=420&h=315]

Whoops: Indiana’s Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Act Opens The Door For The First Church of Cannabis

INDIANA:  In a classic case of “unintended consequences,” the recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana may have opened the door for the establishment of the First Church of Cannabis in the Hoosier State.

While Governor Mike Pence (R) was holding a signing ceremony for the bill allowing businesses and individuals to deny services to gays on religious grounds or values, paperwork for the First Church of Cannabis Inc. was being filed with the Secretary of State’s office, reports RTV6.

Church founder Bill Levin announced on his Facebook page that the church’s registration has been approved, writing, “Status: Approved by Secretary of State of Indiana – “Congratulations your registration has been approved!” Now we begin to accomplish our goals of Love, Understanding, and Good Health.”

Levin is currently seeking $4.20 donations towards his non-profit church.

Founder Of Nation’s First Black-Owned Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Keynote “The Business Of Cannabis”

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 atEmmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY

NEW YORK:  Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based cell biologist and patient advocate who founded National Holistic Healing Center and Chairwoman and acting CEO of Women Grow, LLC, will be keynote speaker at a free day-long conference aiming to help New Yorkers of color to join the ranks of those who own legal cannabis and hemp businesses.

Elected officials including New York State Attorney General Tish James will join medical clinicians, grassroots community and health organizers, attorneys and cannabis/hemp entrepreneurs among the line-up of national, regional and local expert speakers and workshop facilitators for “The Business of Cannabis,” 9:30  a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn.  Acquiring a cultivation or dispensary license, careers in cannabis/hemp, equity, social justice and policy reform, parenting and the role cannabis/hemp in medicine, self-care and community wellness are among workshop topics that will be discussed at the one- day event. Women Grow, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, CannagatherMinority Cannabis Business AssociationCannaclusive and Cannabis Cultural Association have partnered with Emmanuel Baptist Church to bring this education to the community.

Featured cannabis and hemp experts from across the country include the renowned Knox family of American Cannabinoid Clinics, who are pioneers of integrative cannabis medicine; Jesce and Jeannette Horton of NuLeaf Project; Christine De La Rosa of The People’s Dispensary;  Dr. Oludare Odumosu of Ilera Healthcare; Dasheeda Dawson of MJM Strategy; and Amy Holdener of Citva.

The conference aims to amplify and help fix what is a clear problem: Too few people of color are critically involved in what is, by turns, a growing and profitable cannabis/hemp marketplace and a healthcare sector struggling to ensure that patients of color are served by culturally competent cannabis/hemp vendors.

“The cannabis industry must become a more equal and inclusive business space. But this cannot happen without connecting directly with the people in communities of color,” says Rosalind “Roz” McCarthy, founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana.

Says Gia Morón, executive vice president for Women Grow: “This is a critical time for women and people of color to learn about the opportunities in this multi-billion-dollar industry.”

And the Rev. Anthony Trufant, an author, nationally noted church development consultant and senior pastor of Brooklyn’s 4,000-member Emmanuel Baptist Church: “We see the injustice and irony of having so many people of color criminally charged, incarcerated and in court because of what, by current laws, are often petty marijuana-related crimes.”

He continued: “As New York’s governor joins the chorus of elected officials and others wanting to totally legalize marijuana, the faith community must coalesce with strategists, experts and entrepreneurs at the forefront of helping people of color launch cannabis and hemp businesses that might ease sick people’s pains while generating income for owners of these enterprises.”

Emmanuel Baptist Church is located at 279 Lafayette Avenue (corner of St James Place) in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.  Please visit Eventbrite.com for free tickets.

Utah: Lawmakers Replace Voter-Initiated Medical Cannabis Law

UTAH: Lawmakers voted in a special legislative session on Monday to replace the state’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access program. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill, House Bill 3001, into law that same day. The new law, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, takes immediate effect.

The former law, Proposition 2, was approved by 53 percent of voters on November 6.

Legislators announced in October their intent to rewrite the legislation, prior to its passage, after meetings with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – who opposed the bill – and other groups, including some backers of the original bill. However, other proponents of Proposition 2, including the group TRUCE(Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education), have announced their intent to file a lawsuit in response to lawmakers’ decision to amend the law.

The replacement legislation significantly differs from the language that was approved by the voters. It eliminates patients’ option to home cultivate cannabis, it prohibits the dispensing of either processed flower or edible cannabis products (oils, capsules, or topicals are permitted), it narrows the list of qualifying conditions, and it significantly reduces the total number of permissible state-licensed dispensaries, among other changes.

Members of the House voted 60 to 13 in favor of the new language. Members of the Senate voted 22 to 4. The bill required two-thirds support from both chambers in order to become law.

The vote to rewrite the voter-initiated law broke down largely along party lines, with Republican lawmakers deciding in favor of the change and Democratic members largely voting ‘present.’ An alternative measure backed by members of the Democratic Caucus that sought to make only minor administrative changes to the initiative was defeated.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500, or visit Utah NORML or TRUCE Utah.

 

420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Keiko Beatie

mjba Business
Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each week, we’ll profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazer is Keiko Beatie, Director of Education for Coral Cove Cannabis Jamaica.  A practitioner of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Holistic Medicine since the 1970’s, Ms. Beatie’s passion for the plant has expanding with focusing on education to the community for patient care. She speaks at many mainstream and cannabis conference across the country on topics of edibles, topicals, patient care, minorities in cannabis, how to create a business in cannabis.

1. Tell us about your Company

I see myself as one who shares and provides an outreach of the cannabis and hemp opportunities, this is Green Wave Relations. I am a speaker, writer, consult and assist in judging various completions, primarily edibles and topicals. Coral Cove Cannabis Jamaica, I’m the Director of Education. We are the first of its kind all-inclusive cannabis resort focused on education of cannabis for better health and well-being. With cultivation on site with the Rastafarian Church with 3 private lagoons, spa treatments, relaxation and with education programing being offered on various topics.

2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

I first started out with relating to cannabis as am activist after seeing people needs for this plant as a medicine. I knew from personal experience the comforting aspects that the cannabis plants are capable of achieving. But the medical breakthroughs were far more beneficial to the community and patients in need were being denied. I wanted to be there to spread the word, share, educate and support awareness of the plant. I feel it’s more a passion to share that has transpired into a business. Maybe the cannabis/hemp industry chose me, as it’s an honor to be a part of it share for those to have access to a simple amazing plant.

3. What change will your firm address in the industry?

Does it address an unmet need? What I personally address in the industry is the desire to focus on de-schedules of the plant, education to the mainstream to demystify about cannabis use for health and well-being. For Coral Cove Cannabis is being one of the first of its kind all-inclusive cannabis education resorts that include kayaking, snorkeling and various types of cannabis education elements on the sandy beaches of the Caribbean waters. What both these aspects have to offer is to continue the normalization of utilizing the plant in an acceptable format and hopeful betterment for all who so desire.

4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?

Since I’ve been part of the industry and community for a few years, I’ve had the pleasure to be part of various presentations. The reaction to my part within the industry and community has been positive for the most part. I’ve pushed the envelope as its only by moving forward within the confines of social awareness we may demystify the plant and the past propaganda that was established again it back from the 1937 Marijuana Tax Bill. Some are tentatively to make comment and others are egger to make queries. I’m here for the mainstream to ask, as we all learn together. For Coral Cove Cannabis the reaction has been very exciting, to many it’s a life-long dream come true. For a facility to be made available to enjoy cannabis while in a welcoming resort setting and education of cannabis with top notch professionals offering their knowledge to guests in a lovely setting of tranquil blue waters. The reactions have been absolutely exuberating!

5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

For myself personally, I’m the Head Judge of Edibles at the prestigious Emerald Cup 2018, and a contributing writer for one of the most visited websites for cannabis education Marijuana.com. Regarding Coral Cove Cannabis we will be presenting in 2019 Autism and Cannabis Seminar with the Whole Plant 4 Autism Non-Profit organization, Cannabis Nurse Continuing Education Weekend and the establishment of our on-site facility “The Park” at Coral Cove for events and gatherings supporting our mission of health and wellness education of cannabis.

Where can readers learn more?

Readers may find out more information at our website www.coralcovejamaica.com or feel free to contact me at greenwaverelations@gmail.com

Marijuana Business Association Is Media Sponsor Of First Oklahoma Hempfest

MJBA Founder David Rheins Is Featured Speaker At Historic Hemp Festival

WASHINGTON: The first Oklahoma Hempfest  is shaping up to be enormous. Promoter Scott McKinley has assembled a world-class lineup of major talent for the FREE event, including DJ Snoopadelic (Snoop Dogg), Kokane, GapX The Band, Twista, Ryan Upchurch “The Redneck” and many more, and has now enlisted the support of the Marijuana Business Association, and its founder David Rheins, the cannabis industry’s unofficial business ambassador.

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MJBA Is A Proud Sponsor of Oklahoma Hempfest Sept 7-9th

MJBA, which publishes the popular MJ News Network — The Voice of Legal Cannabis — whose properties include MJ Headline News on Facebook and Marijuana Channel One on YouTube, will serve as media sponsor for Oklahoma Hempfest bringing to bear the resources of its more than 300,000 subscribers to promote the event.  MJ Headline News and MJ Channel One will field reporting teams on site to provide live coverage and conduct exclusive interviews with event speakers, performers and VIPs.  Rheins, a renowned expert in media, marketing and branding, will address the opportunity that awaits Oklahoma’s nascent legal cannabis community.

“The MJBA has been a staple in our industry. It’s Executive Director David Rheins has traveled to each legal market speaking to each community about the new growth and challenges of our emerging market,” McKinley told MJNN. “From his background as President of the trendsetting Spin Magazine, to his groundbreaking work in the digital media space, David definitely understands the dynamics of a developing market and its growing pains. We are very excited to have the MJBA team on board with Oklahoma Hempfest — bringing this knowledge to Oklahoma is paramount.”

I’m thrilled to be a part of this historic hemp festival,” said David Rheins. “MJBA has long been a supporter of Seattle Hempfest, and it is an honor to open yet another legal cannabis marketplace. Oklahoma has passed medical marijuana, and it looks like the voters will demand adult-use cannabis as well this November. Scott and his team have brilliantly created this free event as a rallying point, and Oklahoma Hempfest will be a ground zero mobilization point for the legalization and cannabis communities just prior to the important elections.”