Justice Department Issues Memo On Marijuana Enforcement

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.

In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.

“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

 

Canopy Accelerator Invests $1,000,000 in Cannabis Tech Startups in 2017

COLORADO:  The program is designed to spur business traction and prepare the companies to raise outside capital, while providing access to outside venture firms, key figures within the local entrepreneurial community, and exposure to early adopters and potential customers. After weeks of intensive pitch practice, refinement of business models, and miles logged meeting cannabis businesses around the country, the cohort “graduates” on Demo Day, where each company presents their business to an audience of potential investors, cannabis business professionals, media, and the local community.

The eight companies included in the fall cohort include:

  • Virtugro is a Colorado-based team developing automated grow tech solutions for medium to large-scale cultivators. Founded by Mark Stratton of Silverthorne, CO and Russ Baker of Black Hawk, CO.
  • My THC Guide is developing chatbot solutions for the cannabis industry. Founded by Ebony Costain of Appamattox, VA and Jameson Bennett of Louisville, KY.
  • Cannabis Quality Group is Cloud-based integrated quality management system designed for licensed businesses to have transparency into their supply chains. Founded by Donavan Bennett of Roswell, Georgia and Joe Novalanyof Edison, New Jersey.
  • Serene encourages an outdoor, active lifestyle by leveraging technology. Founded by Ed Mcllory and Adam Bray, of London, England.
  • Redfield Proctor is a startup in stealth mode focused on efficiency in the cannabis industry.  Founded by Stephen Martin of Quechee, Vermont.
  • Dispenserly manages, monitors, and mines cannabis industry reviews to identify new opportunities and trends. Founded by Matt Cooke of Marion, OH.
  • DeepGreen is an optical recognition technology that identifies plant characteristics using AI and machine vision technology. Founded by an international team hailing from Germany and France – Maxime Clauss and Maximillian Unfried.
  • GreenScreens manages a network of digital flat screens in dispensaries across the country that rotate menu information and advertising to inform and target customers in the store. Founded by Ryan Sterling, a native of Turner, ME, and Martin DeFrance of Jackson, MS.

“The cannabis industry in Colorado has shifted from just keeping up with demand to competing and stealing market share from one another,” said Patrick Rea, co-founder and Managing Director of Canopy. “The result is increased interest in, and demand for the cannabis technology companies that Canopy is investing in. We expect this trend to continue nationwide as state markets mature.”

On August 2nd, starting at 5:30pm MT, CanopyBoulder will host a launch party for the kick-off of its Fall 2017 class. The event will be held in the new Canopy headquarters in downtown Boulder, Colorado, and will include networking with investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs from the Canopy ecosystem and other Denver/Boulder cannabis industry professionals. Food and drinks will be provided, with all ticket proceeds going to Marijuana Policy Project. Full details and tickets can be found here.

Denver’s Fifth Annual Mother’s High Tea Is May 12th

COLORADO: 4 & 20 Blackbirds will present Fifth Annual Mother’s High Tea, taking place at McNichols Building on Friday May 12, 2017, featuring an inspiring speaker program, activities, nonprofit education and tea menu. Mother’s High Tea is a non-consumption event celebrating business women, mothers and advocates in the cannabis community.

Cannabis Maven, Susan Squibb is proud to bring Mother’s High Tea, the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S. to Denver for the fifth annual tea party. Mother’s High Tea, is the signature social event for the cannabis advocacy and business communities. It is a family friendly, public high tea, designed to normalize legalized cannabis and those who work in the cannabis industry and advocacy arenas. Mother’s High Tea features a distinguished educational speaker program, fun, creative activities for all ages, which benefit local non- profits while spending unique social time with friends, family and colleagues.

Speaker Program and participating nonprofit will be announced soon.

Tickets on sale starting Thursday March 30. Child tickets, general admission, and VIP tables available through AXS website and box offices.  Use the code TEATIME10 at check out to save 10% off the ticket price.

VA Congressman Introduces Bill To Remove Marijuana From Controlled Substances List

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Virginia’s 5th District CongressmanTom Garrett last week introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana.

The short title for this legislation is cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.” If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list – joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Originally introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015, this bill fulfills a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Rep. Garrett released the following statement:

“I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn’t justice. Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce. Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California.”

Garrett went on to say, “this step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.”

In recent weeks, the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to crack down on federal marijuana crimes. During his confirmation, then-Senator Sessions pointed out that if legislators did not like this approach, they should change the laws accordingly. Garrett anticipates bipartisan support as his legislation makes its way to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving as the lead original cosponsor on this bipartisan legislation.