New Marijuana Law Side Effect: Youth Possession Now A Felony

WASHINGTON: A prosecutor in southeastern Washington has charged three teens with felonies for marijuana possession, saying a new law demands the higher level of offense.

The Lewiston Tribune in Idaho reports three teens ages 14, 15 and 17 have been charged in nearby Asotin County with felonies that could net them up to five years in prison. The offense was previously a misdemeanor with a maximum 90-day jail sentence.

Asotin County Prosecutor Ben Nichols says Senate Bill 5052 contains the new language.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center says the tougher penalty was designed to deter minors from trying an adult drug.

Medical Marijuana Users Concerned About Drug Supply

CANADA:  A medical marijuana user in Amherst, N.S., says he’s concerned about the supply of the drug after waiting almost a month to get a prescription filled.

Sam and his wife Tanya are among the roughly 40,000 Canadians with an authorization to possess medical marijuana. Their last names are being withheld for safety reasons.

Health Canada radically changed the rules for medical marijuana on April 1, moving approved production from a cottage industry of thousands of loosely regulated growers to a commercially competitive sector, with an anticipated 50 larger companies shipping high-quality weed in dozens of strains.

So far, only 13 licensed suppliers have made it to the finish line, listed on Health Canada’s website as authorized marijuana sources for patients who have their doctor’s approval to use cannabis for pain and other symptoms.​

 

Marijuana At Airports: Colorado and Washington Adjust To New Laws

COLORADO:  It’s been about six months since specialty shops selling recreational marijuana began operating legally in Colorado. In July, the first batch of shops licensed to sell retail weed will open in Washington State.

Both states prohibit locally-purchased pot from crossing state lines and marijuana remains illegal under the federal laws that also govern the aviation industry.

So as the busy summer travel season begins, we checked in with the TSA and some of the airports in the pot-pioneering states to see how they’re enforcing – or plan to enforce – rules prohibiting passengers from taking pot on a plane.

TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein emphasizes that the agency’s focus remains “terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers.” And if you search for “marijuana” on the TSA’s “Can I bring my … through the security checkpoint?” tool, you’ll get a message that begins “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs.”

FBI Balks At Background Checks For Washington State Retail Marijuana

WASHINGTON:  The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado — a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that’s long been illegal under federal law.

Washington state has been asking for nearly a year if the FBI would conduct background checks on its applicants, to no avail. The bureau’s refusal raises the possibility that people with troublesome criminal histories could wind up with pot licenses in the state — undermining the department’s own priorities in ensuring that states keep a tight rein on the nascent industry.

It’s a strange jam for the feds, who announced last summer that they wouldn’t sue to prevent Washington and Colorado from regulating marijuana after 75 years of prohibition.

O.PenVape: ‘Google of Marijuana’ NOT Publicly Traded

NEW YORK: Message to pot stock speculators: O.PenVape, the company featured on CNBC in a feature about the marijuana industry, is a private and not publicly traded. So if you are buying shares in a pot stock this morning, it is NOT stock in O.PenVape.

On Wednesday evening, CNBC aired an hour-long feature ‘Marijuana in America: Colorado Pot Rush,’ which included interviews with a handful of pot-industry companies. O.PenVape, a pen cigarette that vaporizes hash oil, stood out as one well-positioned company in Colorado’s green rush. The company’s pen heats up a cartridge of hash-oil, making it a sort of e-cigarette of pot.

CEO Todd Mitchem told CNBC Open Vape sells its cartridges for as much as $40 a pop and that it receives about 270,000 orders a month. Mitchem also told CNBC, as they toured O.PenVape’s offices, that the company grew 1600% in 2013 and he believes it will become “the Google of cannabis.”

Legal Pot Coming Soon? 50-State Marijuana Law Roundup

The march towards good sense and marijuana freedom continues apace. To give a glimpse of what’s in store for 2014, here’s a 50-state guide to legislation and ballot measures that are in the works thus far this year.

By my count, 13 states may follow Colorado and Washington State’s lead and legalize recreational use—either at the ballot box or in state capitols. Medical marijuana is on the table in 16 states. Five states may decriminalize possession, replacing criminal penalties with civil fines.

Of the 20 states that do not have a push underway this year, 12 have already OK’d medical marijuana or decriminalization. Additionally, activists in at least three states with nothing currently underway are organizing 2016 initiative drives.

Colorado Rep. DeGette Touts Legal Marijuana In Fundraising E-mail

COLORADO: Less than a week after the first state-sanctioned sales of marijuana began in Colorado, a U.S. lawmaker from the state is using the issue to raise money.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D), who represents Colorado’s 1st district and is chief deputy whip in the House, sent an e-mail to supporters on Monday arguing that “the world didn’t end” after sales of pot for recreational use began on Jan. 1.

“I’m working hard to make sure that Congress passes legislation to respect states and the overwhelming majority that voted to legalize marijuana in 2012,” she says in bolded text in the e-mail.

“The Congresswoman is pleased that the first few days have gone smoothly,” a spokesman said in a follow-up statement. [Read more…]

West Plains Warehouse Could Host Eastern Washington's First Legal Marijuana Crops

WASHINGTON: With more than 1,100 applications to grow legal marijuana in Washington, the state has no shortage of would-be entrepreneurs eager to jump into the new industry created by voters last year. But don’t expect the successful marijuana-growing businesses to feature aging hippies sporting tie-dyed shirts and vacant looks. Stringent state regulations for security, testing and tracking mean legal marijuana production will consist of more than planting a few seeds or cuttings, watching them grow and harvesting a crop in the backyard.

Some of Eastern Washington’s first marijuana crop might be grown and harvested in converted warehouses between a gravel pit and Spokane International Airport in a West Plains industrial park. [Read more…]

Study Looks At Marijuana Demand In Washington

WASHINGTON:  Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state’s new legal pot system.

Underestimate demand, and marijuana fans might stick with their black market dealers. Overestimate it, and the surplus legal production could wind up being diverted out of state, or to kids.

Now, researchers working with the state’s official pot consultant think they have their best look yet at cannabis consumption in Washington – aided by a novel survey aimed at figuring out how much the heaviest users of marijuana burn on a typical day. In a study released Wednesday, a RAND Corp. team figured that Washington’s roughly 750,000 marijuana users will have consumed between 135 to 225 metric tons of the drug in 2013. [Read more…]

Study Looks At Marijuana Demand In Washington

WASHINGTON:  Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state’s new legal pot system.

Underestimate demand, and marijuana fans might stick with their black market dealers. Overestimate it, and the surplus legal production could wind up being diverted out of state, or to kids.

Now, researchers working with the state’s official pot consultant think they have their best look yet at cannabis consumption in Washington – aided by a novel survey aimed at figuring out how much the heaviest users of marijuana burn on a typical day. In a study released Wednesday, a RAND Corp. team figured that Washington’s roughly 750,000 marijuana users will have consumed between 135 to 225 metric tons of the drug in 2013. [Read more…]