Seattle Vice: Marijuana Industry Springs From Northwest Tradition

A federal agent in Seattle inspects a still confiscated from bootleggers in 1921. Many Seattleites celebrated the end of Prohibition, as they are also doing in the run-up to state-licensed marijuana sales.

WASHINGTON: In the 1860s, Washington state gave Benjamin Sprague a franchise to captain a boat. He called it Gin Palace Polly, and used it to bring liquor and women to logging camps around Puget Sound. Today, it’s state-licensed marijuana sales that highlight the region’s free-wheeling attitude toward trade in what some consider vice. This “economy of sin” is Read the full article…

In Colorado, The Number Of Women In Marijuana Industry Is Getting Higher

While the U.S. is only now starting to explore modern medical uses of marijuana, for centuries, women around the world have harnessed the magical green leaves.

COLORADO:  Christie Lunsford used to feel so lonely. As a medical marijuana caregiver, she would attend cannabis industry meetings and be the only woman in the room. “The first time I saw another female, I was really excited. That was in 2010,” said the 43-year-old Denver wife and mother, who has branched out to cannabis marketing, Read the full article…

Marijuana Brands Push Past Bans To Go National

Cecilia Sivertson, shows off her Nana's Secret Soda at a recent Marijuana Business Association meetup in Seattle.

NEW YORK: Marijuana may still be an illegal drug at the Federal level, but that isn’t stopping some companies from building a national presence. “I think people are already positioning themselves for a national cannabis industry,” said David Bienenstock, a marijuana consultant. “The people who make a smart move now will be rewarded later.” The opportunity for Read the full article…

Colorado Lawmakers Shy Away From Pot Bank

In addition to the daunting threat of criminal penalties, financial institutions that deal with cannabusinesses have to worry about offending federal regulators with the power to impose millions of dollars in fines or sentence a bank to death by revoking its deposit insurance.

COLORADO:  A Colorado plan to set up the world’s first financial system for marijuana survived less than 24 hours before state lawmakers changed course Thursday night and shelved the idea. The proposal would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses to create a financial co-op, sort of an uninsured credit union. The measure was introduced late Wednesday Read the full article…

Treasury Defends Rules On Banks, Marijuana Sellers

"Without any guidance, there would be a proliferation of cash-only businesses, and that would make it impossible to see when there are actions going on that violate both federal and state law and that ... would be a real concern," Lew told the House subcommittee on financial services. "We thought that the clarity, bringing it into daylight, was a better solution."

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Tuesday defended the Obama administration’s guidelines to banks conducting transactions with legal marijuana sellers as congressional Republicans questioned whether the guidance amounts to tacit federal approval of a drug illegal in most states. The Justice and Treasury departments issued a roadmap in February that would allow the new Read the full article…

Reports Of Problems Vex Washington Pot Lottery

Entrepreneurs talk shop at Cannabis tech meetup.

WASHINGTON: Andrew Elliott is hoping to score one of the golden tickets of Washington’s legal marijuana industry: a license to sell pot, granted in part on a series of high-tech lotteries held this week. He almost didn’t get a shot. Just days before the lotteries began, the state’s Liquor Control Board informed him he had Read the full article…

Why The Mayor of Copenhagen Wants to Get Into the Marijuana Business

he municipality of Copenhagen would supervise the growing of marijuana and then sell it at a market-busting price, from five or six outlets across the city. Modeled on pharmacies rather than cafés, the dispensaries would sell a maximum amount of 5 grams at a time, and only to people over 18 who possess Danish health insurance cards.

DENMARK: The city of Copenhagen should be growing its own weed, said its mayor last week. According to Social Democrat Frank Jensen, the Danish capital can only get a grip on its huge trade in Cannabis if the state itself muscles in and displaces the pushers. Aware that a municipal government peddling its own grass might Read the full article…

Insurance Brokers Reach Out To Marijuana Inc.

An Arizona bill would allow workers compensation insurers to deny payment for medical marijuana.

COLORADO: As political and cultural momentum builds for legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s created a so-called “green rush” of people trying to cash in on the surge in cannabis-related businesses. That surge is also creating new opportunities and challenges for a segment of insurance companies — firms that are now offering policies Read the full article…

Insurance Brokers Reach Out To Marijuana Inc.

COLORADO: As political and cultural momentum builds for legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s created a so-called “green rush” of people trying to cash in on the surge in cannabis-related businesses. That surge is also creating new opportunities and challenges for a segment of insurance companies — firms that are now offering policies Read the full article…

Marijuana Farmers Unlikely To See Farm Tax Perks

Meg Sanders inspects drying marijuana at her grow house in Denver. The agriculture tax questions facing the marijuana industry are the latest wrinkle for the states flouting federal drug law and trying to establish commercial recreational pot industries. The states have settled how to tax marijuana once it's dried and ready to smoke. But they're still debating how to tax it while it's growing.

COLORADO:   Marijuana farmers and agricultural tax breaks are the next wrinkle facing the states that have legal weed as lawmakers debate how to tax the product while it’s growing. Legislatures in both Colorado and Washington are taking a look at pot farmers this session.