The Cannabis Industry Is Coming To Anchorage Alaska

ALASKA:  Alaska is the next US state that will soon be selling recreational marijuana, and the cannabis industry is watching with keen anticipation.

The Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office issued its first licenses for cannabis producers and testing facilities this month.   Retail licenses are to be given out in September.

In anticipation of the opening of the market, the cannabis industry will assemble at The Last Frontier for CannaCon Alaska — the state’s first major trade show.   Billed as the place  ‘where the cannabis industry does business,’ CannaCon will be a two day event in Anchorage, September 9-10, at the Dena’ina Convention Center.

Bringing producers, processors and retailers together with the businesses that support them,  CannaCon will feature a line up of  experts to share their valuable cannabis industry knowledge with attendees.

For those from legal cannabis states where marijuana retail shops have been operating for a couple of years there is a great deal of interest in seeing how Alaska manages legalization. Back in 2014 when CannaCon had its first show in Tacoma, Washington attendees and exhibitors were filled with hope and anticipation for the future of cannabis. Two years later and those same people are still making their dreams happen but with the realization that legalization comes with a heavy and burdening dose of bureaucracy.

Running a cannabis business in any state has proven to bring very uniques challenges not found in mainstream industries. It is hopeful that Alaska will be able to learn from the mistakes of other states and be able to launch a successful recreational marijuana industry with minimal roadblocks.


US Virgin Islands: The Next Medical Cannabis Destination

WASHINGTON:  This week lawmakers from around the country are in Seattle for the National Conference of State Legislatures. While here, Senator Terrance ‘Positive’ Nelson was back for a second visit in recent months on a fact finding mission as he writes medical marijuana laws for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Acting as a tour guide, Mike West of Green Lion Farms led Senator Nelson and a group of legislators onto The Herban Safari Pot Tour Bus in Seattle and visited several cannabis businesses of interest to the visitors.

While being given a full history of medical cannabis in Washington the visitors were able to see a medical cannabis dispensary (Northwest Patient Resource Center), a processing facility (Green Lion Farms), a testing lab (Analytical 360), and a retail cannabis shop (Seattle Cannabis Company).

While the tour only lasted a few hours, lawmakers were able to get a feel of what is working in Washington and what challenges they may be looking at as they plan to legalize medical marijuana later this year.

See the tour slideshow on Marijuana Channel One:

Cheaper Marijuana Or Legal, Spa-Like Experience Is Choice Ahead For Illinois Medical Patients

ILLINOIS:  Black-market marijuana will be cheaper than legal medical cannabis, so when state-regulated retail shops open later this year, they’ll need incentives to get patients in the door.

A trade show in Chicago gave retailers some ideas, such as cannabis-infused premium chocolate and informed employees to guide each patient to the most helpful cannabis strain.

Illinois’ first legal marijuana is expected to be sold in the fall. For now, businesses are studying strategies of veteran players in Colorado, Washington and California.


Kansas House Approves Broad Marijuana Bill

KANSAS:  The Kansas House has approved a measure that would decrease penalties for marijuana possession, allow the limited use of medical marijuana and study the use of industrial hemp.

House members voted 81-36 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate for consideration.

First- and second-time marijuana offenders without serious prior convictions would avoid jail time under the bill. That would decrease the population in the state’s overcrowded prisons and save more than $1.7 million over the next two fiscal years, according to state estimates.

Two amendments to the bill also would legalize the sale and production of hemp oil for seizure treatments and initiate a state study into industrial hemp.

Report: Racial Disparities In Arrests Persist With Legal Marijuana

COLORADO:  The legalization of marijuana in Colorado hasn’t solved the racial disparities in enforcement that drug-policy reformers had hoped to end, with blacks still far more likely than whites to be charged with pot-related crimes, a new report says.

The report, issued Wednesday by the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, showed that marijuana arrests in Colorado all but stopped after voters made the drug legal in small amounts for those 21 and older.

But the report noted continuing racial disparities involving the marijuana crimes that remain, including public use and possession in excess of the one-ounce limit.

The study examined drug arrests in all 64 Colorado counties for two years before and two years after legalization in 2012.


Marijuana For Pets: The Good, The Bad, The Legal Status

NEVADA:  The issue of legalizing marijuana is in itself a touchy subject, what with some arguing that this weed is nothing but a gateway drug sure to lead guys and gals down the path of a life of risks and crime, and others supporting its use either for recreational or for medical purposes.

Seeing how we’re still debating whether or not we like marijuana for people, it should come as no surprise that Nevada senator Tick Segerblom’s bill proposing that this drug be made legal for pets grabbed headlines just minutes after having been introduced.

If eventually signed into law, the bill that senator Tick Segerblom forwarded this past Tuesday would not legalize marijuana for all pets, be they mammals, reptiles, birds or arachnids. Instead, it would only make the drug legal for sick pets.

The idea is that, since marijuana is known to benefit cancer patients and folks diagnosed with other serious conditions, it makes sense to also make it available for pets that are sick and in pain and that have failed to respond to whatever treatments their vet prescribed them.

My Day At Seattle CannaCon 2015

WASHINGTON:  I just attended CannaCon 2015 in Seattle along with thousands of business owners and cannabis industry enthusiasts.  The three day marijuana business and consumer trade show is being held this year at Pier 91, Feb 19-21.

In my role as cannabis reporter for MJ News Network I was able talk to luminaries’ and entrepreneurs about what they are working on within the rapidly expanding legal marijuana industry.

Check out the video here:


Sexism In Cannabusiness

By TwicebakedinWA

Sexism in the workplace is probably one of the least sexy things to have to talk about, and yet, it is a topic that comes up for women of all industries including those in cannabis.  While sexism may be an uncomfortable topic it is something, especially as a woman, that is hard to avoid.

Let’s face it, sex is used to sell pretty much everything and it is common in our society for women to be objectified in print. Open any cannabis related magazine and you will see multiple examples of beautiful, young, women in sexy poses matched with the latest products for sale.  How does this imagery affect us, our business, and our industry?

In the male-dominated cannabis industry, it is common to be the only female in the lunchroom and have to endure hearing sexist jokes, unprofessional sexual innuendos, inappropriate invites, and a general level of social unsophistication.

While one area of focus might be on men or society’s influence as the culprits, we as women play an important role in changing negative sexism around us. As business owners we are able to set social policies that do not tolerate inappropriate sexual conduct. As women we can respond to unwanted sexism from an empowered place and teach those around us how we want to be treated with a grace that still allows for business to exist. But how?

What is an effective way to react to sexism in the workplace when you encounter it? Is it good to react and speak up against it or hold your tongue in silence and let the moment pass?

How can we as women and business owners stand taller in our power to not allow the sexism that we are exposed to on a regular basis, negatively affect us, or our business environment? Not only that, how can we lead our industry to hold a higher standard of how we depict and treat women?

On Saturday, January 24th at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, Washington the MJBA Women’s Alliance warmly welcomes Betty Aldworth, Executive Director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy as its keynote speaker. Together with leading women of the cannabis industry she will conduct an open and honest discussion of Sexism In The Workplace.  All women are welcome.

Tickets for this day long event to unite leading women in the legal marijuana industry from Eastern and Western Washington are available online.

New York Becomes 23rd State To Allow Medical Marijuana

NEW YORK:  New York has become the 23rd state in the U.S. to authorize medical marijuana – though the state’s program is one of the nation’s most restrictive.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law Saturday and held a formal signing ceremony in New York City on Monday to highlight the new law.

When the program gets up and running in about 18 months, patients with diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain nonsmokeable versions of the drug.

Instead, the drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.