Many New Yorkers think it is high-time for marijuana sales to start up, but some towns and villages are still grappling with this decision.

Council members in Colonie, a town in the Capital Region, have voted to ban marijuana consumption sites within their district. Marijuana consumption sites are smoking lounges, cannabis cafes and other businesses that allow for cannabis to be consumed on premises.

Melissa Jeffers, a Colonie town councilwoman, says this vote mainly boiled down to concern that people might smoke at one of these consumption sites and then drive home.  

“Without having appropriate mechanisms to test an individual's level, like with drinking while driving we have breathalyzers, we just don't have that technology,” Jeffers explained. “And it's a lot of pressure to put on our law enforcement.”

Local government officials have until Dec. 31 to decide if they want consumption sites or recreational marijuana retail stores within their town limits.

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Now that recreational use of cannabis is legal in New York, what happens to the records of individuals convicted of marijuana related charges?

With the passing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in March, marijuana-related convictions that are no longer criminalize in New York will be automatically expunged.

However, the caveat is that legislation allows the New York State Office of Court Administration up two years to expunge the records.

This is New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney, who represents New York’s 56th Senate District is hosting an expungement clinic on Saturday in Rochester to give folks an opportunity to speak with legal experts for free about their case and how they can expedite the process.

“They can give applicants the best advice on how to position themselves, how to be honest with employers, and a realistic time table in removing the offense off their record,” said Cooney.

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Sonoma County cannabis growers and their allies gathered by the dozens Friday outside the Board of Supervisors’ office in Santa Rosa to denounce the county’s handling of commercial cannabis regulation and taxation, calling it overly burdensome and costly.

Taxes levied by the county are excessive, growers say, and a slow, convoluted local permitting process has hampered the expansion of their industry since California voters legalized adult-use recreational marijuana in 2016.

Growers have bristled at pushback from residents who do not want cannabis farms nearby and are calling on county officials to loosen regulations and allow more commercial cannabis operations across a wider span of territory outside cities.

Without major changes, growers will be chased off or forced back into the black market, they say.

“They’re overburdening us with unachievable regulations,” said David Drips, a co-owner of cannabis farm Petaluma Hill Farms and co-organizer of Friday’s protest, which drew about 80 people.

Tensions have mounted between farmers and neighbors over safety, water use and other impacts on neighborhoods. The county has agreed to study those impacts in an lengthy environmental report advanced by supervisors in May and likely to take at least a year to complete.

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Industrial hemp could soon contain a higher level of active substances, and getting a license to grow medical cannabis will become much easier if an amendment approved by Czech Parliament is signed into law.The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech Parliament, again approved an amendment aimed at improving the availability of medical marijuana and enabling electronic prescriptions. The lower house rejected a Senate proposal to maintain the current level of THC in the definition of industrial hemp and rejected the Senate’s tougher version of certification requirements.

Industrial hemp is cannabis intended for making a variety of products such as cloth, biofuel, and animal feed. It can also be used for some medical preparations.
The original version of the bill will now be submitted to President Miloš Zeman for his signature. If he approves the amendment, it will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022The approved amendment would more than triple the amount of THC in industrial hemp to 1 percent.
According to some senators, increasing the THC content would contravene the international drug convention and would also affect criminal law concerning possession of a classified substance. For this reason, the Senate wanted to maintain the THC content limit for technical hemp to 0.3 percent. However, deputies in the lower house disagreed with the Senate.
The Czech Pirate party was one of the main supporters of the amendment in the lower house.
“This is a package of pragmatic measures, free from dogmatism and stereotyping, which are unfortunately still fundamental obstacles for Czech policy in the field of addictive behavior,” Pirate Deputy Tomáš Vymazal, who supported the proposal, stated on the party website.
He said that growers will not have to worry about criminalization due to nice weather and other growing conditions, as the THC level in the final product cannot be predicted in advance.
“Farmers growing varieties of industrial hemp from the common European catalog will not have to prove the THC content of hemp plants – they will only submit a certificate of origin,” Pirate Deputy Tomáš Vymazal stated on the party website.

The daft of the amendment sent to the president also states that hemp extracts and tinctures containing up to 1 percent THC will not be regarded as an addictive substance.

“All cannabis extracts that have a THC content of up to 1 percent by weight and which at the same time do not have narcotic effects will be completely exempted from the substance abuse regime,” Vymazal stated.

“This means that, for example, an ointment made from a non-narcotic variety of cannabis will no longer be an addictive substance, although it contains THC and although the original cannabis plant may have exceeded 1 percent THC. Due to the dilution of the active substances during the production of the ointment, an extract is created, which will not be an addictive substance in the sense of the law,” he added.

The main change in the amendment is that private entities will be able to grow cannabis plants for medicinal use, produce medicinal substances from them, and distribute them under the same conditions as any other controlled substance.

Medicinal cannabis is used, for example, for chronic pain for that other medicines cannot help. It is prescribed by specialized doctors for people with multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS.

The Health Ministry previously said it hopes this change will increase competition and reduce the price of medicinal products containing cannabis, which are 90 percent covered by public health insurance. Currently, the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) buys the needed volume of cannabis from a selected supplier on the basis of a tender.

Vymazal said that due to more suppliers, a wider range of medical cannabis, with different dosage levels, would become available for patients.
The Senate also unsuccessfully pushed for medical cannabis growers to be required to have a certificate of good manufacturing practice for medicinal substances under the Medicines Act, which is issued by SÚKL. Under the lower house version, a declaration of compliance with the conditions of good cultivation practice would be sufficient.

“Due to financially and administratively more accessible licenses, even normal entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to participate in the production of cannabis for medical use,” Vymazal said.

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Efforts to help Black and brown people succeed as cannabis entrepreneurs are not working — despite efforts in weed-legal states to encourage diversity in ownership and management.

Why it matters: People of color have been disproportionately targeted by the "war on drugs," so, as the pot industry expands, cities and states have tried to make social justice a priority in granting licenses.

But people in underrepresented groups often lack access to the capital they need to go up against "big marijuana."They also lack the family-and-friends connections that give others a boost.

Driving the news: In July, three Democratic senators (Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden) released a discussion draft of legislation to remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances — a move meant "to end the decades of harm inflicted on communities of color."

Comments have poured in on the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which would:

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New Jersey courts have either dismissed or vacated an estimated 362,000 marijuana cases since July 1, according to data provided by the state Judiciary and reported by NJ.com

The actions come just months after the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order providing for the automatic dismissal and expungement of certain marijuana offenses from people’s records. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation into law in 2019 facilitating a process for the review and vacation of the criminal records of those previously convicted of low-level marijuana offenses. Governor Murphy signed separate into law this year legislation legalizing adult-use marijuana possession and sales.

As many as an additional 150,000 New Jersey residents could also be eligible to have their marijuana-related records automatically expunged by the courts, said MaryAnn Spoto, a spokeswoman for the Judiciary. People with marijuana cases that are not automatically expunged can file a motion for review with the court.

New Jersey is one of several states in recent months to automatically review and vacate marijuana-specific criminal records. In Illinois, officials have moved to expunge an estimated 500,000 marijuana-related records, and in California officials have cleared nearly 200,000 records.

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New Jersey’s cannabis regulators on Tuesday moved to streamline the licensing of new weed businesses and approved another marijuana grow site — but it did not announce the recipients of some two dozen businesses that have sat in limbo for nearly two years.

The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission met on Tuesday evening to approve the transfer of an existing medical marijuana license, a new marijuana grow site and a system to help it process applications for new cannabis businesses.
All signal the state is gearing up for legal cannabis sales.
The commission unveiled its initial rules to guide the legal weed industry last month. That set the clock ticking down to launch sales to those 21 and older — according to the law, they must start within six months of the commission adopting its regulations.
But the commission gave no word on the 2019 request for applications to operate new medical marijuana facilities. Some 150 entities saw a review of applications paused in late 2019 due to a lawsuit. But a court ruled earlier this year that the commission could resume its evaluation and award those 24 licenses.
So far, the commission has not issued any of the new licenses. Jeff Brown, the commission’s executive director, has said licenses will come soon, but regulators have not given a date by when they will announce the new licenses.
“It is not lost on us that everyone is eager to get to that moving forward, as are we,” Dianna Houenou, the commission’s chair, said during the meeting. She said the commission was working quickly to score them, but emphasized the need to “double” and “triple” check each.
Still, frustration dominated the meeting.
Travis Ally, an applicant from that licensing round, said the commission should not consider expanding cultivation for existing medical marijuana companies while so many are awaiting those licenses.
“It’s borderline absurd at this point,” he said of the delay.
Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, criticized the wait, too, saying it would harm small and minority-owned businesses that have poured money into the application process without seeing any returns.
“They are waiting for much anticipated inclusion in the industry that had shut them out for so long and now may see a delay in that process, which is exactly what we did not want to happen. They cannot afford to keep waiting and neither can the state,” he said in a statement. “This delay was highly inconvenient but understandable before. Now, it is totally unacceptable and the state needs to take action immediately.”
Several others criticized the commission throughout the meeting. David Feder implored the commission to shed light on the delays.
“If they’re not going to be releasing them, at least address what the hold up is,” he said.
Despite the opposition, the commission did approve a second marijuana cultivation site in Lafayette for Harmony Foundation of New Jersey, which currently grows and dispenses medical cannabis in Secaucus. The company also has planned to open two additional dispensaries in Hoboken and Jersey City, which could draw customers from New York.
Increasing the supply of marijuana in the state not only helps authorized medical patients to access cannabis, but also gets the industry closer to the legal weed sales start date in February 2022. Currently licensed medical companies can sell to those 21 and older once they pay fees and prove they have enough marijuana to support not only the 114,000 patients in the state, but a recreational market, too.
The commission also voted to transfer ownership of Garden State Dispensary to Ayr Wellness, a company with dispensaries in several states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada and Massachusetts.
Garden State was one of the original six alternative treatment centers licensed in New Jersey. It has three dispensaries in Woodbridge, Eatontown and Union Township.
And finally, the commission voted to begin using NIC Licensing, a technology platform for government entities to process business license applications. Brown said the state has been using it for other licensing needs since 2009.
“This existing state resource will enable us, the commission, to begin accepting license applications sooner than it otherwise would be able to,” he said.
The commission did not say when it would begin to accept licenses for applications, but the cannabis legalization law says it must open open a process within 30 days of adopting its initial rules and regulations. That deadline comes this Saturday, Sept. 18.
A spokeswoman for the commission did not immediately return an email seeking clarification on the deadline to accept new applications.
 
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Throughout the centuries, humans have depicted facets of everyday life into our artistic expressions. Snapshots of popular opinion at the time of creation can be gleaned from the penny plays and murals of old.A good barometer on public opinion can be gauged in the various forms of media available to us in today’s world. Just as the evolution of technology has dramatically improved the viewing experience, content has shifted over time to align with current public opinion on topics. While there is not unanimous support for cannabis legalization, representation in mainstream media has gained traction with the overall purpose of educating the public on the positive effects of cannabis use. Even in an area where reporting on cannabis legalization is occurring, biases occur that affect the overall impact of the article.

The timeline for overall public opinion on cannabis legalization can find its early days in Richard Nixon’s successful “War on Drugs.” This campaign regulated cannabis as a Schedule I drug and was so effective in its terror tactics that by 1989, 64% of Americans viewed drug abuse as the nation’s number one problem after climbing from a measly 2-6%.

Over the last three decades, there was a significant change in attitude towards cannabis due to various interlocking factors. After juxtaposition to modern calamities, the risk of cannabis was reassessed. Large-scale public skepticism of pain killers after opioid epidemics ravaged communities across the nation, potential financial opportunities afforded through the cannabis business, and the potential for many other unknown medical benefits of medicinal cannabis have all contributed to the legalization of cannabis.

As with many other topics of heated discussion, misinformation abounds on all sides of the argument; within the cannabis industry, in particular, heavy emphasis has been placed on education to counter opposition to legalization.

In a 2019 study entitled, “How and why have attitudes about cannabis legalization changed so much? ” Felson et al. conducted the first comprehensive and empirically-based study to determine why the public opinion on cannabis legalization was changing and how. Their findings revealed that the American public opinion had enveloped more liberal views noticeably due to “a decrease in religious affiliation, a decline in punitiveness, and a shift in media framing.”

While there seems to be general support for legalizing cannabis in public opinion, this is not the case everywhere. In traditional media sources, such as news stations and newspapers, cannabis representation in media that is not nationwide can determine a territory’s overall attitude towards legalization.

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Marijuana has been legal for more than five months, yet there’s still no cannabis industry set up in New York.

The governor and the legislative leaders still have to appoint the remaining members of the cannabis control board, which is a part of the newly formed Office of Cannabis Management.

The executive director of OCM, and the chairperson of the control board, have both been appointed and confirmed. But it’s unclear whether the remaining positions have been filled.

Here’s a breakdown of how the board works.

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In comments submitted to Sens. Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden on “The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act,” the Cannabis Freedom Alliance applauded the proposed bill because it would accomplish “the overarching goal of legalizing the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and possession of marijuana products at the federal level.”

“The bill takes several important steps toward ending the criminalization of marijuana and the failed war on drugs,” said Adrian Moore, vice president of Reason Foundation, a member of the Cannabis Freedom Alliance’s steering committee. “We’re thankful the Cannabis Freedom Alliance and other groups have been given the opportunity to offer suggestions to improve this important bill.”

 

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) praised elements of the bill’s criminal justice reforms but urged lawmakers to ensure there is more clarity on how agencies and courts should deal with expungements and individuals who are “currently detained for cannabis charges or convicted of such charges awaiting sentencing” because “forcing them to continue in the normal legal process and then later submit a motion for resentencing would be unjust.”

On hemp and farming, the CFA advised the senators to include “explicit statutory language designating raw cannabis as a full federal crop so that it is subject to similar rules and protections as other crops.”

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance also called on lawmakers to ensure any “marijuana product cultivated or manufactured in strict compliance with state regulatory frameworks be deemed acceptable by the FDA and other federal regulators to enter into interstate commerce…We recommend that the CAOA [The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity] expressly authorize the interstate trade of cannabis and cannabis products that already exist in the marketplace, including products in cultivation (to the extent not already covered by the CAOA’s transition provisions) and production, at the time of enactment of the CAOA, subject to existing state laws. The fundamental issue to be addressed is ensuring that state-lawful products that are already in the market can continue to be bought and sold, rather than deemed illegal immediately.”

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 Industry insiders are urging medical marijuana patients to raise objections after Missouri regulators told dispensaries this summer they couldn’t advertise cannabis sales.

In practice, the rule means companies aren’t allowed to spread the word on product discounts, including holiday specials, even though dispensaries are free to lower prices as they see fit.

The advertising restriction is an unconstitutional barrier to information for medical marijuana patients, business owners said in a full-page ad printed in September’s “The Evolution Magazine,” a cannabis-focused publication based and distributed in Missouri.

 

The ad asks readers to mail a prewritten postcard to Lyndall Fraker, director of the medical marijuana program, requesting that he rescind the rule because it “runs afoul of the department’s core mission.

“With more than 135 dispensaries now operating in Missouri, patients absolutely should be able to receive information about discounts, products, and events and should not be denied critical information,” the postcard said.

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The storyline of the summer has been that House and Senate negotiators are close, closer — even very, very close — to having a deal on a medical marijuana program, for which Gov. Tate Reeves could call the Legislature into special session to pass.

But as summer slips toward fall, those mostly closed-door negotiations continue with scant details on the particulars or hang-ups, and… still no deal nor special session.

 

As the clock ticks, prospects for a special session before the January regular legislative session become less likely. And passage of a medical marijuana program during a busy regular session is far more politically arduous, perhaps even doubtful. Even current negotiations become endangered as time drags on — more chefs get in the kitchen, deals on particulars fall apart, the center cannot hold.

It would appear it’s time for lawmakers and Gov. Tate Reeves to fish or cut bait, as the saying goes, on a medical marijuana program to replace the one passed by voters but shot down by the state Supreme Court.

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Getting busted for weed is no walk in the park. There’s the arrest, a slew of court dates, typically a conviction, and depending on the severity of the offense, a sentence that can come with prison time and hefty fines. Perpetuating the punishment is the difficulties one often experiences after getting out of the clink and back into productive society.

Companies can be cautious about hiring ex-cons and other people, who, on paper, appear to be questionable choices for an employee. However, one organization has taken a novel new approach to assist cannabis offenders in securing gainful employment: Help them find work on the legal side of weed.

A non-profit outfit out of Ohio called URC Grows recently banded together with Riviera Creek Holdings, which runs a bunch of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state to help those with cannabis convictions find jobs in the legal smoke sector. According to the program’s website, “URC Grows seeks to be different by providing an Ohio Department of Education Approved Certification, in three focused areas. We will also provide entrepreneurial development services and land for each entrepreneur to grow on, or employment in a URC operated grow facility.”

As many as 60% of ex-prisoners are unemployed one year after their release from prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. So, for some pot offenders, this program is both a hot ticket back to gainful employment and a chance to become a marijuana mogul. “This program will give them an opportunity to get back into the workforce,” Brian Kessler, chairman of Riviera Creek Holdings LLC, told The Business Journal.

The goal of the accredited program is to make it easier for people with cannabis convictions haunting their records to find work and move forward on a path that doesn’t involve jail. It’s not just a program for those with minor blemishes for pot possession, either. The program is open to all cannabis offenders, even those convicted on more serious charges related to the illicit sale and cultivation of marijuana. Most already understand the basics, so why not turn pro?

“There were so many people that were jailed by this, and now that everyone is making money off something that they are already sitting in jail for, we want to give them an opportunity, everyone needs a second chance, and these are the things that they can do that were just natural to them that they will thrive in so why not give them this opportunity,” Dionne Dowdy, Executive Director of URC, told WFMJ.

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 Four appointments have been made to New York’s newly formed Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management under New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Set up by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Office of Cannabis Management cannot set guidelines or issue licenses necessary for residents to distribute, process, farm and open dispensaries and consumption locations until the 13-member board has been filled.
 
Hochul said one of her “top priorities” since replacing Gov. Andrew Cuomo was to get the state’s cannabis industry up and running.
 
Earlier this month the state senate confirmed Tremaine Wright, Hochul’s pick, as the Cannabis Control Board Chair and named Christopher Alexander executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management.
 
On Sept. 8, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced his appointment, Adam Perry, to the Cannabis Control Board; Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appointed former Sen. Jen Metzger.
 
Cuomo came under fire during his final months in office for failing to make appointments after New York’s adult-use recreational marijuana law passed in March. Cuomo was in office until mid-August.
 

 

SAVINO SAYS APPOINTEES SHOULD LEARN FROM OTHER STATES

Sen. Diane Savino (D-North), a long-time proponent of medical and recreational marijuana, said Hochul is “definitely committed” and is pleased that appointments are happening, moving the state one step closer to having a put-together program.
 
“We have to figure out how do we make people do something they haven’t done before, which is walking into a store and buy it,” Savino said.
 
While certain parts of the law – like decriminalization and smoking – took effect immediately, other parts of the law, like sales, cannot take place until all the state appointments are made, and tasks and regulations are established.
 
Savino said she believes all appointees should visit other states and speak with industry people, advocates, and small business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze what went right and went wrong.
 
“One of the reasons why I suggest they go and meet with other states because many of the other states, they ignored that problem and they have wound up in a scenario where the illegal marketplace is thriving. That’s not helpful. You can’t overtax and over-regulate so much that people won’t walk into a dispensary when they [can] call their guy and they bring it to the front door,” Savino said.
 
“I’ve spent so much time working on this issue and I’ve seen so many states put forward these plans to create programs that are supposed to achieve social equity and combat the illegal marketplace and none of [the other states] have met those benchmarks,” she told the Advance/SILive.com.
 
The cannabis industry is further complicated by the fact that it’s still illegal on a federal level.
 
During her confirmation hearing, Savino said Wright, a former Brooklyn assemblywoman, had “no experience in cannabis” but said she would learn as she goes and still voted in favor of her appointment.
 
“For me it was more of a principal -- because I’m passionate about this,” she said. “I think it’s really important to know what works and what doesn’t work.”
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 Arrests on marijuana-related charges have fallen dramatically this summer in and around Virginia’s capital since a new law legalized possession of small amounts of pot and residents keeping a few cannabis plants, according to a newspaper report.

Twenty-five marijuana-related arrests occurred in Richmond and in Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties in the first seven weeks after the law took effect July 1, compared to 257 arrrests during the same period last year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, citing local law enforcement data.

“A 90% reduction in marijuana arrests indicates that the public policy is performing as intended and in a manner that is consistent with post-legalization observations from other states,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The law legalized possession by adults age 21 and over of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of four pot plants per household, among other decriminalization provisions. Selling marijuana remains illegal until the state lauches a regulated market in 2024 and issues licenses. A regulatory board will help carry out the details.

Marijuana enforcement hasn’t been a high priority for Richmond’s police department, during a time of high numbers of shootings and slayings, the newspaper reported.

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ARAU (Bernama) - Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap) has become the first public university in the country to conduct research on hemp (a member of the cannabis sativa plant) as an agricultural product with the potential of being economically developed in the future.

Its vice-chancellor, Professor Dr Zaliman Sauli said for that purpose, Unimap has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Kuala Lumpur-based company MyUS Hemphouse Sdn Bhd.

"As we know, the hemp production must be under strict control. It can also become a new economic resource for the country in the future as there are developed countries that have allowed the use of hemp for commercial purposes.

"Through the MoU, research and development can be carried out at UniMAP and focus will be given through Institut Agroteknologi Lestari (Insat) in Sungai Chuchuh, Padang Besar on an area of 0.8 hectares,” he said here, on Friday (Sept 10).

The MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also Unimap chancellor.

Zaliman signed the MoU on behalf of the university while while MyUS was represented by its chief executive officer Datuk Nellsen Young.

Unimap and MYUS will conduct research on hemp cultivation procedures and applications as well as focus on functional materials for agriculture especially organic farming to improve the country’s agricultural products.

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The effort of using drones to spot illegal grows is supported by legal operators who can’t compete with illicit operations.

A dystopian reality of government-controlled drones hovering overhead is a reality for growers in Nevada County, California, but the effort to locate illegal operations is supported by local cannabis organizations such Nevada County Cannabis Alliance. 

In many areas in California, growers have the challenge of competing with illicit operations amid an epic oversupply problem—driving some operators into the black market. 

However, Nevada County officials aren’t playing anymore. According to officials, about one-third or 32 percent of cannabis-related complaints in the county couldn’t be locked gates, fences and other visual obstructions. County building director Craig Griesbach claims that two of those sites were linked to wildfires.

“One of the fire events happened during the Jones Fire of 2020, pulling air attack resources off the Jones Fire to address this concurrent threat to life and property,” Griesbach told The Union. “Cannabis-related violations, including generators that were not permitted on both sites, could have been verified with the use of (drone) technology and therefore mitigated before these fires started.”

A pilot program involving the use of drones to spot illegal cannabis grow operations is planned to kick off this spring in Nevada County, with the risk of wildfires as one of the justifications.

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In response to a Georgia law allowing medical marijuana production and sales, Alpharetta plans to limit where dispensaries and facilities can operate in their city.

The Alpharetta Planning Commission has recommended the City Council amend the city code so businesses that sell or produce “low THC oil,” or medical marijuana oil, will be a conditional use in light industrial districts.
 
Under a new state law passed this year, six businesses will be able to sell, grow and manufacture medical marijuana oil, which can have no more than 5% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high.

So far, no companies have applied to open dispensaries or production facilities in Alpharetta, but the city’s staff received an inquiry about potential marijuana business locations outside light industrial areas, Community Development Director Kathi Cook told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We want to follow approvals from the state,” Cook said. “When there’s new uses that come into the community, we have to make sure our code … keeps up with state regulations.”

Alpharetta has areas zoned for light industrial use along Mansell Road, Old Milton Parkway and other corridors, Cook said. In Alpharetta, light industrial zoning is for businesses with limited manufacturing, assembling, wholesaling, warehousing and other related activities.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the measure during its regular meeting on Sept. 27.

Cook said the recommendation is in response to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission’s selection in July of six medical marijuana producers granted permission to sell the drug. Each licensee will be authorized to open five dispensaries.
 
The proposed amendment would not allow the businesses to be closer than 2,000 feet to child care centers or schools, churches and other worship centers, government buildings, parks, residential dwellings, treatment centers for alcohol or substance abuses, or any other medical marijuana business.
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Cannabis breathalyzer company Hound Labs, Inc. has raised $20 million from a variety of cannabis investment groups. Investors in the company include Entourage Effect Capital (EEC),  Intrinsic Capital, Benchmark, Icon Ventures, and Tuatara Capital. The company raised the funds in order to scale production of the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER. Hound Labs says it has developed a patented and one-of-a-kind ultra-sensitive technology that is at the core of the company’s first commercial product.

“The groundbreaking breath testing technology created by Hound Labs provides a substantial competitive advantage to the Company,” said Dov Szapiro, Managing Partner at EEC. “The Hound Labs team has accomplished an impressive scientific achievement – precisely and consistently targeting one specific type of molecule out of the more than 3,500 different compounds found in breath. Not only are we excited about the immediate capabilities of the Hound breath technology to measure recent cannabis use, we are also excited about future applications that can detect pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 or biomarkers for disease by changing the targeted compound.”

Cannabis use testing has been notoriously difficult. Unlike alcohol use, which is relatively easy to measure with traditional breathalyzers, cannabis consumers often show positive results long after actually consuming the product making traditional methods unreliable. Hound Labs says its product has been designed to isolate recent cannabis use by specifically measuring THC1 (the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis). The company noted that the ability to determine when an employee used cannabis is critical now that most adults in the U.S. can legally use recreational cannabis outside of work hours. While Amazon made news recently by saying it wouldn’t test employees for cannabis use, it specifically carved out drivers from that statement.

Hound Labs claims to be the only ultra-sensitive cannabis testing solution that identifies recent use that correlates with the window of impairment, allowing employers to keep employees who might otherwise test positive via conventional cannabis tests of oral fluid, urine, and hair.

“In order to manage our supply chain and meet demand for inventory, we have been reaching out to employers on our Wait List to understand the volumes required for our commercial units in 2022,” stated Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs. “The response has been incredible. We are negotiating multi-million-dollar contracts with companies from a variety of industries who want to secure HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZERS ahead of our 1Q22 commercial launch.”

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Rudolph Petersen faces up to 10 years in federal prison for allegedly taking the bribes.

One corrupt police officer in California who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes spun a web of lies and deception worthy of a Breaking Bad episode.

On September 7, Rudolph Petersen, 34, pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge for accepting at least $14,000 in cash from a drug trafficker in exchange for escorting massive shipments of pot and other drugs, and searching a police database to supply the trafficker information on suspected snitches, according to  a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Petersen, who served as a Montebello Police Department for about four years, solicited and received several large-sum cash bribes from an alleged gang member and drug trafficker, according to his plea agreement. Prosecutors say Petersen admitted to taking a total of $14,000 in cash bribes since 2018—mostly for transporting a U-Haul filled with weed and sniffing out people suspected of cooperating with other police.

Peterson was the guy on the inside, who had access to sensitive information about plea deals and the individuals involved.

Federal prosecutors say a drug trafficker, identified only as “co-schemer 2,” told Petersen he’d be placed “on his payroll” during a dinner in 2018, and gave him $500 through a middle man. 

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