Tag Archives | Medical Marijuana

Weed Wars: Marijuana Dispensary Reality Show Coming To Discovery Channel

Harborside Health CenterA step towards acceptance? James Hibberd writes in Entertainment Weekly:

Discovery Channel is set to announce a potentially controversial new series: A docu-soap reality show set in the country’s largest medical marijuana distributorship and starring a pot reform activist. This fall, the network will unveil Weed Wars, where cameras follow the day-to-day dealings of a California ganja store.

The show follows Steve DeAngelo, the owner of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, which serves 80,000 clients. According to the network, DeAngelo strives to provide patients with the highest-quality product and uses his business to promote the national regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“Weed Wars fearlessly pulls back the curtain on a once illegal and still controversial world,” said Nancy Daniels, executive VP at Discovery Channel. “From the inner workings of the business to Steve’s distinctive leadership style, Weed Wars is a fascinating glimpse into this highly unique setting. Like Gold Rush or Deadliest Catch, these are guys pursuing their own version of the American Dream.”

California passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996 that permitted legalized pot dispensaries where customers can select from a variety of toke-able or edible products if they have a doctor’s approval.

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Federal Government Rules Marijuana Has No Medical Purpose

Mvd1221939Our government will continue to structure policy on the basis that marijuana is the same as heroin — because it’s science. Via the Los Angeles Times:

In a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that [marijuana] has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned.

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Denver Has More Marijuana Dispensaries Than Starbucks Coffee Shops

Medical MarijuanaIs this going to be old news very fast, with Denver just the first major American city to see the light? Report from thedaily.com:

DENVER — The Mile High City is getting higher all the time.

There are now more medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks. Glossy guidebooks list nearly 300 locations where Colorado’s 125,000 residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana can get their “medicine.” Many offer a free joint to new customers, allowing them to sample exotic strains like Jah Kush, Golden Goat and Romulan Cotton Candy.

Local smokers even have a professional critic to help them navigate the gauntlet of bongs, pipes and vaporizers, or make that essential choice between Super Silver Haze and Purple Passion.

The critic’s pen name is William Breathes; he keeps his real identity secret to ensure he gets the same treatment as any other patient.

His weekly weed purchase is paid for by the Denver Westword, the popular alternative weekly that hired Breathes after its editors realized they were serving one of the most stoned readerships in America.

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Miracle-Gro Expands From Weed Killer To Killer Weed

I fear the worst ... previously healthy cannabis plants being infused with chemicals that are then smoked and, well, you know the rest. Dana Mattioli reports for the Wall Street Journal:
Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has long sold weed killer. Now, it's hoping to help people grow killer weed. In an unlikely move for the head of a major company, Scotts Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn said he is exploring targeting medical marijuana as well as other niches to help boost sales at his lawn and garden company. "I want to target the pot market," Mr. Hagedorn said in an interview. "There's no good reason we haven't."
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House Introduces Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Industry

Photo: Plazak (CC)

Photo: Plazak (CC)

The House is doing what it can to protect the medical marijuana dispensaries with a bill that has been proposed to allow the marijuana industry to act as any other legal buisness, including expense deduction on federal tax returns and would make both businesses and patients “immune to federal prosecution if they are acting in compliance with local marijuana laws.” Via AlterNet:

Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA), Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation to the House on Wednesday aimed at ensuring the medical marijuana industry is treated like any other business.

The legislation was supported by Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Ron Paul (TX).

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, introduced by Stark, authorizes medical marijuana dispensaries to take the full range of business expense deductions on their federal tax returns, like other legal businesses are allowed to.

“Our tax code undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking all the deductions allowed for other small businesses,” Stark stated.

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Will Big Pharma Take Over The American Market For Medical Marijuana?

MedMarjIf the hundreds of uses for cannabis doesn’t plead the case for its legalization, the money made from its medical industry just might do it. The Washington Independent reports:

The American Independent has previously reported on the growing corporatization of the incipient medical marijuana industry at a time when medical marijuana dispensaries scrabble to hold on to their businesses in the face of a multi-pronged federal crackdown. But there are signs afoot that it just may become ever more corporate if a Big Pharma push to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recognize a cannabis-derived drug is successful.

Last week, British prescription drug manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals announced a licensing agreement with drug giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin and Excedrin, to begin selling GW’s drug Sativex in markets across Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East. The medication is already available in Britain, where it’s produced and marketed by Bayer, and in Canada and Spain.

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Ruling Opens the Door to Legalize Marijuana in Canada

Pot Friendly CanadaSandro Contenta writes on GlobalPost:

TORONTO— Pot lovers are dreaming of July 10, the day Canada’s dope laws go up in smoke.

An Ontario judge has struck down key aspects of Canada’s marijuana laws, triggering a 90-day countdown when growing, possessing or smoking pot will become legal.

The April 11 court ruling gives the federal government three months to either reform the laws or appeal the ruling to a higher court.

At issue is a 2001 law that allows seriously ill Canadians to access marijuana for medicinal purposes. But Justice Donald Taliano found that the vast majority of doctors refuse to prescribe the drug. Patients are therefore forced to break the law, either by growing their own or buying it on the black market.

“Seriously ill persons who need marihuana to treat their symptoms are forced to choose between their health and their liberty,” Taliano, of the Ontario Superior Court, wrote in his ruling.

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Inside Oaksterdam University: ‘Where Marijuana Gets You Higher Education’

OaksterdamJason Motlagh writes in TIME:

On the second floor of the downtown campus, a motley group of students listens to a lecture titled “Palliative and Curative Relief Through a Safe and Effective Herbal Medicine.” Not the sexiest of topics on the face of it, but there’s a catch: this is Oaksterdam University, and the medicine being discussed is marijuana. At “America’s first cannabis college,” in Oakland, Calif., the sallow-faced hippy-skater types that one expects to find sit beside middle-aged professionals in business attire, united in their zeal for the pungent green leaf. No one dares speak out of turn, until instructor Paul Armentano, a marijuana-policy expert, cites a news report that U.S. antidrug authorities plan to legalize pot’s active ingredient exclusively for drug companies’ use. “More stinking profits for Big Business,” mumbles a young man wearing a baseball cap. His classmates groan in agreement.

More than 17,000 students have enrolled since Oaksterdam opened in late 2007.

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Medical Marijuana Is Now A $1.7 Billion Market

MMS

Medical Marijuana shop in Denver, Colorado. Photo: O'Dea (CC)

The medical marijuana market has had a significant growth this year. With seven states who have opened shop and five more states planned to approve medical marijuana outlets this year, cannabis could save many states’ economies. Medical News Today reports:

Medical marijuana is now a serious $1.7 billion dollar market, according to a new report released this week by an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets. Currently, 24.8 million people are eligible to receive a recommendation and purchase marijuana legally under state laws, and approximately 730,000 people actually do.

Ted Rose, editor of the new State of the Medical Marijuana Market 2011 report, comments:

“Medical marijuana markets are rapidly growing across the country and will reach $1.7 billion this year. We undertook this effort because we noticed a dearth of reliable market information about this politically charged business.

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