Colorado Marijuana Sales Total $700 Million in 2014

Colorado Marijuana Sales Total $700 Million in 2014

DENVER, CO — Retail sales of marijuana totaled just under $700 million in Colorado in 2014 – the first full year during which sales of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes were allowed.

Total sales for the year were $699,198,805, according to data tabulated by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Sales of medicinal cannabis totaled some $386 million for the year, while marijuana sales at recreational outlets totaled $313 million.

Although retail sales of cannabis to anyone age 21 and older began officially on January 1, 2014, few commercial outlets were operational at that time.

Tax revenue from sales of recreational marijuana totaled some $44 million for 2014. That total includes revenues from the imposition of a special 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax…

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Jury Selection, Opening Statements Made in Federal Medical Marijuana Trial of Kettle Falls Five

Jury Selection, Opening Statements Made in Federal Medical Marijuana Trial of Kettle Falls Five

Three defendants still stand trial after dismissal of charges against cancer-stricken defendant, plea bargain by family friend

SPOKANE, WA — Trial began on Wednesday with jury selection and opening statements in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case against a family from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Last week, amidst mounting pressure, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed charges against defendant Larry Harvey, 71, who was recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this week, defendant and Harvey family friend Jason Zucker accepted a plea deal, whereby he agreed to cooperate with the prosecution by testifying against his co-defendants in exchange for a single felony conviction and a recommended sentence of 16 months.

Three…

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Women twice as likely to see pot as risky

A study on the perceived risk of using cannabis and characteristics associated with these perceptions found that non-white, low-income women over 50 were most likely to perceive a risk in using the drug. Least likely were those 12 to 25, with a high school diploma or more, and family income above $75,000. The study is the first to describe changes across time in perceived risk of regular cannabis use among those 12 years and older.

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Trial Starts Wednesday in “Kettle Falls Five” Federal Medical Marijuana Case

Trial Starts Wednesday in “Kettle Falls Five” Federal Medical Marijuana Case

Government continues prosecution despite Congressional ban on interfering with implementation of state law

SPOKANE, WA — Trial starts Wednesday in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five. The Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who claim to have been growing for themselves in full compliance with Washington State’s medical marijuana law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also choosing to try them in defiance of a recent Congressional ban on DOJ interference in the implementation of state law.

Last week, the federal government agreed to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, 71, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, but fought…

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Poll: No Buyer’s Remorse over Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

Poll: No Buyer’s Remorse over Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

DENVER, CO — Nearly six out of ten Coloradans say that they support keeping retail marijuana production and sales legal, according to statewide polling data released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University.

The figure is a five percent increase in support since voters approved the law in November 2012. A September 2014 statewide NBC News/Marist College poll previously reported that 55 percent of Coloradoans favored the law.

Men and younger voters were most likely to support legalization. Voters ages 18 to 34 overwhelmingly favored state law (86 percent to 16 percent) while 50 percent of those ages 55 and older opposed it.

Male voters supported the legalization by a margin of 63 percent to 33 percent, while women only favored the law by a margin of 53 percent to 44 percent.

The gender gap in…

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Acute use of cannabinoids depresses motor neuron activity

A new study could explain the acute lack of coordination and difficulty speaking and breathing experienced by some people who habitually use cannabis.

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Feds Drop Charges Against Larry Harvey in ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Medical Marijuana Case

Feds Drop Charges Against Larry Harvey in ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Medical Marijuana Case

Trial set to proceed next week against remaining members of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five”

SPOKANE, WA — Days before trial is scheduled to start in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case, the government dismissed charges Wednesday against Larry Harvey, 71, a defendant recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Harvey has been prosecuted for more than two years as part of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” case, along with other members of his family, who will still be tried by the government as early as next week.

“I’m thankful the charges against me have been dropped so that I can focus on my battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer,” said Larry Harvey in a prepared statement. “However, if the Department of Justice truly has concerns for my well being,…

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Mulling the marijuana munchies: How the brain flips the hunger switch

The ‘munchies,’ or that uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, appear to be driven by neurons in the brain that are normally involved in suppressing appetite, according to a new study.

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Oaksterdam University Holding Las Vegas Job Fair to Prepare Candidates to Work in the Legal Cannabis Industry

Oaksterdam University Holding Las Vegas Job Fair to Prepare Candidates to Work in the Legal Cannabis Industry

OAKLAND, CA — To meet a huge demand, Oaksterdam University, known as “America’s first cannabis college,” will be holding an Indoor Horticulture Seminar in Las Vegas from March 6 through March 9.

The event is comprised of four days of intensive instruction covering every aspect on how to grow legal marijuana.

Industry experts are predicting there could be as many as 200,000 jobs related to the legal marijuana industry created in the U.S. this year alone.

Oaksterdam University works with employers in the legal cannabis industry to match them with the growing demand.

Classes will cover everything needed to know from seed to harvest, organizers say.  Attendees at the Las Vegas event will get certified in such subjects as:

  • Cultivation Law
  • Seed to Sale
  • Vegetative Growth
  • Organic…

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Colorado Sells Nearly $700 Million in Marijuana in 2014

Colorado Sells Nearly $700 Million in Marijuana in 2014

DENVER, CO — Colorado raked in nearly $700 million in recreational and medical marijuana last year, according to newly released data from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Medical and legal adult-use recreational marijuana sales combined for a total of $699,198,805 in sales, with medical marijuana topping the charts at $385.9 million.  Coming in a close second was recreational pot, totaling $313.2 million in sales.

Colorado state Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver) said he is“feeling very encouraged by what we’re seeing so far. Everyone keeps calling this ‘Colorado’s experiment with marijuana legalization,’ but so far everything seems to be working better than planned. … Right now we’re still rolling things out, but it just seems to be rolling out smoother than anyone…

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Federal Judge Hears Closing Arguments In Constitutional Challenge to Cannabis’ Schedule I Status

Federal Judge Hears Closing Arguments In Constitutional Challenge to Cannabis’ Schedule I Status

SACRAMENTO, CA — Wednesday in Sacramento, a federal judge heard closing arguments in a motion challenging the constitutionality of cannabis’ Schedule I classification.

At issue is whether a rational basis exists for the government’s contention that cannabis is properly designated as a schedule I substance — defined as possessing a “high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment,” and “a lack of accepted safety … under medical supervision.” A federal court has not heard evidence on the matter since the early 1970s.

Lawyers for the federal government argue that it is rational for the government to maintain the plant’s prohibitive status as long as there remains any dispute among experts in regard to its safety and efficacy. Defense…

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Final Arguments Heard in Marijuana Schedule I Hearing; Decision Expected in March

Final Arguments Heard in Marijuana Schedule I Hearing; Decision Expected in March

SACRAMENTO, CA — A federal judge hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out.

Justice Kimberly Mueller

Judge Kimberly Mueller

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she would rule within 30 days on the request, which comes amid looser enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize its recreational use in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.

“If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” she asked prosecutors during closing arguments on the motion to dismiss the cases against the men.

The men were…

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Federal Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Thursday in Widely Watched Medical Marijuana Case

Federal Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Thursday in Widely Watched Medical Marijuana Case

Defendant Larry Harvey will argue that new Congressional measure forbids the DOJ from prosecuting his family

SPOKANE, WA — A motion to dismiss will be heard in federal court Thursday in a widely watched medical marijuana case involving a family from rural northeastern Washington State. Larry Harvey, 71, and other family members of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” have moved for dismissal of their case, arguing that a recently enacted Congressional measure forbids the Department of Justice (DOJ) from prosecuting them.

“Prosecuting persons who may be operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws prevents states from implementing their own laws,” reads one of the motions to dismiss written by Harvey’s attorney Robert Fischer. Harvey’s motion argues that state law…

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Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated with Previously Reported Changes in Brain Morphology

Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated with Previously Reported Changes in Brain Morphology

It was less than a year ago when the mainstream media was chock-full of headlines like this one: ‘Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults, study finds.’ The alarmist headlines were in response to a controversial paper published by researchers at Harvard University in Boston and Northwestern University in Chicago which alleged to have found differences in brain morphology in a cohort of 20 college-age marijuana users as compared to 20 non-users. The study’s investigators attributed the differences to…

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Judge Halts Federal Seizure of California Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Judge Halts Federal Seizure of California Medical Marijuana Dispensary

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A federal judge stayed a forfeiture action by the United States against a licensed Berkeley medical marijuana dispensary, pending Berkeley’s appeal to the 9th Circuit.

The government sought to shut down Berkeley Patients Group in May 2013. The dispensary, its landlord Nahla Droubi and the city of Berkeley challenged the forfeiture.

In March 2014 the court struck Berkeley from the action for lack of standing, but the city appealed to the 9th Circuit, asserting that its interest in dispensary-generated tax revenue and its ability to regulate dispensaries within its jurisdiction gave it a stake in the case.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar on Feb. 6 granted Berkeley’s motion to stay the forfeiture until the 9th Circuit resolves the appeal.

The case is similar to an…

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Federal Study: THC-Positive Drivers Not More Likely to be Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes

Federal Study: THC-Positive Drivers Not More Likely to be Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes

WASHINGTON, DC — Drivers who test positive for the presence of THC in blood are no more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes than are drug-free drivers, according to a federally sponsored case-control study involving some 9,000 participants.

The study, published Friday by the United States National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), is the first large-scale case-control study ever conducted in the United States to assess the crash risk associated with both drugs and alcohol use by drivers.

Authors reported that drivers who…

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Marijuana: A New Valentine’s Tradition in Colorado

Marijuana: A New Valentine’s Tradition in Colorado

DENVER, CO — The stars appear to be in alignment for romantics, retailers and cannabis consumers this upcoming Valentine’s Day.

The holiday falls on a Saturday this year. Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation (NRF) says a strengthening economy means consumers will be spending more on that special someone this Valentine’s, compared to previous years.

And according to Ryan Fox, CEO and founder of Denver’s Grass Station dispensary, that combination is great news for people looking for special Valentine’s gifts that go beyond the old-school ties, flowers and candy.

“Here in Colorado this is the second Valentine’s to take place with legalized recreational marijuana [sales] for adults in effect,” he says. “Last year, Valentine’s came too soon [after sales began] for…

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High There: Tinder-style Dating App Pairs Marijuana Users

High There: Tinder-style Dating App Pairs Marijuana Users

DENVER, CO — A new mobile app allowing marijuana users to meet potential mates and network about the best places to score some weed is coming to Apple devices.

Named “High There,” the Tinder-style app was created by CEO Todd Mitchem after one of his dinner dates quickly ended when he revealed his marijuana use.

“We wanted to build a cool piece of technology that solved the problem of where do million and millions of cannabis consumers go to meet people, connect with people and build relationships,” Mitchem told Mashable.

The app is based in Denver, Colo., where recreational marijuana use was made legal in 2012.

High There is only available in the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, Mitchem added.

Aside from pairing weed-smokers, the app allows users to discern…

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History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Bladder Cancer Risk

History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Bladder Cancer Risk

LOS ANGELES, CA — Cannabis use is inversely associated with incidences of bladder cancer in males, according epidemiological findings published in the February issue of the journal Urology.

Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period.

Researchers determined that cannabis use was associated with a decreased…

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Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated Nightmares

Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated Nightmares

OTTAWA — The administration of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, mitigates the frequency and intensity of trauma-related nightmares in military personnel suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Investigators from the Canadian Forces Health Services Group and the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre in Ottawa assessed the efficacy of nabilone, an FDA-approved selective CB1 agonist, versus placebo over a 16-week period in a cohort…

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Study: Daily Marijuana Use Does Not Shrink Your Brain

Study: Daily Marijuana Use Does Not Shrink Your Brain

BOULDER, CO — Daily marijuana use is not associated with brain shrinkage when using a like-for-like method to control for the effects of alcohol consumption on those who both drink and toke up, a new study from Colorado has found.

The study, led by neuroscientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder and published Jan. 28 in the Journal of Neuroscience, points to continued uncertainty about how pot use alters the structure of the brain. Even so, other studies have found the drug has short-term effects on learning and memory.

The latest…

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US Surgeon General Acknowledges “Marijuana Can Be Helpful”

US Surgeon General Acknowledges “Marijuana Can Be Helpful”

WASHINGTON, DC — Newly appointed US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes that cannabis possesses therapeutic utility — an acknowledgment that contradicts the plant’s present placement as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

Speaking to CBS News, Murthy said: “We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful.”

He added, “I think we have to use that data to drive policy making and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us.”

Dr. Murthy…

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Oregon Adopts Rules Allowing Industrial Hemp Crops

Oregon Adopts Rules Allowing Industrial Hemp Crops

PORTLAND, OR — Oregon farmers could plant the state’s first industrial hemp crop this spring, a full year before businesses expect to start growing marijuana for recreational use, a state official said on Tuesday.

Farmers can grow the hemp in exchange for a $1,500 licensing fee and testing to confirm their crop does not possess enough intoxicating chemicals to get people high, said Agriculture Department manager Ron Pence.

But would-be growers of industrial hemp face a host of complications, including cannabis being illegal at the federal level even as prosecutors have cautiously allowed state experiments to go forward. So far, no one has applied for a license, Pence added.

“It’s not clear if there’s an adequate seed supply,” Pence said, noting that federal regulations made…

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Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Cancer Risk

Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Cancer Risk

Cannabis use is inversely associated with incidences of bladder cancer in males, according epidemiological findings published in the February issue of the journal Urology.

Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period.

Researchers determined that a history of cannabis use was associated with a decreased risk of…

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Illinois Governor Awards Medical Marijuana Licenses Following Review

Illinois Governor Awards Medical Marijuana Licenses Following Review

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Medical marijuana will soon be grown in Illinois, after the office of Governor Bruce Rauner (R) began awarding permits for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries on Monday.

The surprise move to award the permits came following concern from medical marijuana patients and activists, who had been fearing that the new governor would stall the program indefinitely after the outgoing Quinn administration failed to meet its own deadline of issuing the permits by the end of 2014.

Last week, Rauner’s office said no licenses would be issued until a legal review of the process that began under former Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who announced on the morning of Rauner’s inauguration that he would leave the issue for the incoming Republican to decide, was completed.

In total, 18…

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