Higher Ground: Call Me Cannabis

By Michael Stusser

WASHINGTON: Before I launch into this analogy, I would like to say that I understand how many will find it inappropriate, and that I came up with the notion while stoned out of my mind.

I’m starting to think about cannabis as having a similar journey and backstory to Olympic gold medalist and transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner.

Until recently, like Jenner, trailblazers on the weed front have organized in secret closets and basements, hoping one day to live safely, truthfully, and freely in the great wide open.

And, like Jenner, marijuana—aka Mary Jane—has been an accomplished, harmless, and friendly sexpot all along . . . but has recently undergone a full makeover and is beginning to dress things up with PR campaigns, professional packaging, couture oils, and all-important accessories.

 

The Future Of Hemp In Colorado

COLORADO: Jason Lauve is the founder of Hemp Cleans, he’s been a long time hemp activist in Colorado. We spoke to him last Summer after a shipment of hemp seeds that he was legally importing from Canada were detained by border officials.

Those seeds never made it to Colorado. Lauve says that accessing seeds is just one of the barriers facing farmers in the state who wish to grow hemp.

Marijuana Is New (Legal) Cash Crop in Connecticut

CONNECTICUT:  Across Connecticut, growers are cultivating marijuana for medical use in buildings with the exacting standards of pharmaceutical factories.

Employees reporting for work at some plants will be required to change into scrubs. Then, they will pass through a room that will emit blasts of air to remove contaminants brought in from the outside. Computers will control temperature and humidity in the plant-growing areas, where an air-filtration system will screen for molds and pests.

“We aren’t just growing plants in a warehouse,” said David Lipton, the founder of Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven. The company is spending $2.5 million to retrofit a portion of a 62,000-square-foot building where it is the primary tenant. “We really are like a startup pharmaceutical company.”

Colorado House Backs Down, OKs Hemp-Farmers’ Access To Financial Co-Op System

COLORADO: Backing down from a five-hour fight over whether industrial hemp farmers should be able to access a new credit union-like arrangement for marijuana businesses, the state House narrowly passed a bill that would create the first cooperative of its kind.

Acquiescing to Senate insistence that hemp farmers be allowed to join the cooperatives, representatives voted 33-31 for House Bill 1398, sending it to Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s desk for approval and, ultimately, a showdown with federal banking regulators.

The cooperative setup requires approval by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which regulates the nation’s banking system.

The vote was the ultimate compromise for legislators who wanted to keep the cooperatives limited to marijuana businesses.

Eight Year Old Battling Cancer Finds Help Through Medical Marijuana

OREGON:  Just after her 7th birthday, Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with intermediate risk T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; a rare and aggressive blood and bone cancer.

“I thought it was just a typical child illness, such as pneumonia,” says Erin Purchase, Mykayla’s mother.  “It was an extended cough with fevers.  I never dreamed it could be cancer.  I was completely shocked and heartbroken when we found out it was cancer; definitely not what I expected at all.” [Read more…]

For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization. [Read more…]