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Pot for pets? Cannabis now helping dogs and cats

Posted on June 09, 2014   |   Category: Medical Marijuana   |   (0) Comments

Kelly Conway says cannabis didn�t cure Georgia, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but she�s no longer in pain.

Georgia, a 5-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is a medical marijuana patient. Kelly Conway, Georgia's owner, takes some heat when she tells friends about the unorthodox treatment.

"People will say they can't believe I'm letting her get high, but she's not getting high," Conway said.

No, Georgia is not ingesting the same kind of pot that Snoop Dogg smokes. (Or New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd eats.) Georgia, along with a growing number of pets, eats hemp-based capsules that contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol—or THC—the psychoactive ingredient that provides the cannabis high.

Georgia suffered from syringomyelia, a serious neurological disease, and traditional medicine wasn't working. So earlier this year, Conway took her to Dr. Cynthia Graves, who practices alternative veterinary care in Philadelphia. Graves started Georgia on acupuncture, which seemed to help, and then she recommended Canna-Pet, a supplement made from hemp, for Georgia's pain and anxiety.

Conway was skeptical, but to her surprise, it worked.

"It has truly been a miracle and I don't say that lightly," Conway told CNBC. "I feel like I have a whole new dog. Georgia's happy and relaxed. She's not in pain. It's amazing."

Colorado and Washington have legalized and regulated cannabis for human recreational use—and 22 states allow for some form of medical marijuana. But no federal or state agency has made any provisions for the largely unregulated pet supplement industry.

To further complicate matters, the Drug Enforcement Agency still considers industrial hemp a controlled substance even though it is not psychoactive.

But times are changing. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 22-8 on a plan that would block the DEA—or any federal agency—from spending funds to enforce anti-hemp laws in any state that has received permission to grow it. The full House OK'd the measure the previous week.

Congress' action emerged after the DEA in May seized a shipment of hemp seeds from Italy headed to Kentucky. The state filed a lawsuit against the federal government to get its hemp seeds and now Kentucky, long known for its tobacco fields, has hemp in the ground.

As the nation grapples with this knotty issue, farmers, business owners, patients—and pets—are moving ahead while lawmakers hash it out.

Original article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101732379


Marijuana coffee promises different morning jolt

Posted on June 07, 2014   |   Category: News   |   (0) Comments

Marijuana Coffee in WA

This cup of joe promises to give you a different sort of morning jolt.

A company in Washington state will introduce marijuana coffee this summer.

Mirth Provisions' cold brew coffee contains 20 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, per 11.5-ounce bottle.

Mirth founder Adam Stites said he has been developing the marijuana coffee concept for about a year, working at first on recipes in his kitchen.

The product for sale will give the drinker "more of a head high, more energizing," Stites said.

Mirth also will sell sparkling sodas that contain THC, with flavors such as lemon ginger and pomegranate. The drinks will cost about $9-$11, Stites said.

Washington residents will have to wait to buy the drinks until the first marijuana retail stores open, as soon as early July. Only Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana.

Under Washington's marijuana edibles rules, a product cannot contain more than 100 mg of THC, and a single serving cannot contain more than 10 mg.

Stites said he decided to "err on the side of being conservative" with the THC dosage.

"We recommend people drink half the bottle, wait an hour to see how they feel, and then continue drinking the rest," he said.

Original article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/06/05/marijuana-coffee-mirth-provisions-washington/10010359/?utm_campaign=DD%206.6.14&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Full%20Story


Medical Marijuana Users in San Jose Get Free Pot in Exchange for "I Voted" Sticker

Posted on June 05, 2014   |   Category: Legalization   |   (0) Comments

MTV rocked the vote. Now some Silicon Valley medical marijuana dispensaries are trying to “roll” the vote.

A controversial campaign to encourage voting by giving free medical marijuana to San Jose voters is getting nationwide attention.

San Jose voters who brought their “I Voted” sticker – along with their medical marijuana ID card -- to about a dozen participating dispensaries received free or discounted weed on Tuesday, primary Election Day.

Amsterdam's Garden, a San Jose medicinal marijuana dispensary, was busier than most polling places on Tuesday. It’s not a voting precinct, but if you already voted and were a member, you got a reward: a free, pre-rolled marijuana cigarette.

Original article: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/San-Jose-Medical-Marijuana-Dispensaries-Give-Free-Marijuana-to-Voters-261750181.html


The Other Cannabis War: The Battle Over Hemp

Posted on June 04, 2014   |   Category: Legalization   |   (0) Comments

The Other Cannabis War: The Battle Over Hemp

In the annals of strange bedfellow politics, the story of how, in 2014, industrial hemp emerged from Drug War purgatory is an epic one. But even for long-time hemp advocates, the sight of Rep. Thomas Massie, a conservative Republican from northern Kentucky, biting jubilantly into a hemp bar on live TV last month was startling.

Buried in February’s $956 billion farm bill is an amendment, co-sponsored by Rep. Massie, that legally distinguishes industrial hemp from marijuana after decades of conflation. It defines hemp as an agricultural crop rather than a drug — and effectively frees American farmers to grow it for the first time in almost 60 years.  

Widespread cultivation won't happen overnight - for one thing, the U.S. has no hemp seeds or hemp-processing facilities. But the sudden change in hemp's fortunes shocks its supporters. "If you'd asked me five years ago if I thought we could get Mitch McConnell to introduce a hemp bill, I'd have told you it was impossible," says Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, the advocacy group formed in 2000 to educate and lobby for hemp legalization in state legislatures and on the Hill. "This is huge."

It’s also been a long time coming. For 20 years, legislators, farmers, hippies, activists, agency heads and agronomists have worked to recast hemp as a game-changer, an American cash crop that could jump-start the country's next economic revival. Kentucky took the legislative lead with outright advocacy by its agriculture department. Unlike a high-profile 2007 lawsuit in which two North Dakota hemp farmers took on the DEA without support from their elected officials in Washington, Kentucky brought its entire federal (and much of its state) delegation to the party.

Among hemp’s biggest advocates are Kentucky’s Republican senator, Rand Paul, the avowed champion of limited government who tweets about the tragedy of the drug war, and James Comer, the state’s young Republican agriculture commissioner who successfully sued the DEA last month for seizing Kentucky’s imported hemp seeds and for interfering with the implementation of pilot programs made legal by the farm bill. And Massie, a fiscal hawk active in last year’s government shutdown who once studied robotics at MIT.

Colorado, Vermont and Kentucky wasted no time launching their industrial hemp research and the pilot programs provided for in the farm bill. In an obscure notice dated April 16th, the USDA alerted state and county officials that farmers in states that ok’d hemp production (15 so far) could now include hemp acreage in their crop reports. The floodgates have opened.


Original article: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-other-cannabis-war-20140603?utm_campaign=DD%206.4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Full%20Story


Archives from 1970s show Big Tobacco had high hopes for cannabis

Posted on June 04, 2014   |   Category: Legalization   |   (0) Comments

Big Tobacco had high hopes for MJ

Big Tobacco firms were making plans to enter the legal marijuana trade in the early 1970s, even as US President Richard Nixon launched the so-called “War on Drugs”, according to documents from the era unearthed this week.

Though the Nixon administration was anti-drugs, there was popular support for marijuana legalisation in the US at the time, much like today, and tobacco firms sensed both a threat and an opportunity.

In one unsigned internal memo from the archives of the cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris, an executive argued for research into cannabis, saying: “We are in the business of relaxing people who are tense and providing a pickup for people who are bored or depressed. The only real threat to our business is society will find other means of satisfying those needs.”

The firm even requested a study sample of marijuana from the US Department of Justice, and promised to share the results of the research with the Government – as long as the involvement of Philip Morris remained secret. Milton Joffee, the Justice Department’s drug sciences chief, agreed to provide the firm with “good quality” cannabis.

In 1970, the head science adviser for another major firm, British American Tobacco, drew up plans for the production of “cannabis-loaded cigarettes”. Charles Ellis wrote in a memo that marijuana use was a “natural expansion of current smoking habits… much like moving to cigars.” The challenge, he went on, was “to learn how to produce in quantity cigarettes loaded uniformly with a known amount of either ground cannabis or dried and cut cannabis rag”.

The documents were found among 80 million pages of tobacco firm archives, stored at the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers’ findings were published today in the Milbank Quarterly, a health policy journal.

During the 1970s, several US states decriminalised marijuana possession for personal use, but the momentum towards legalisation was reversed by the Reagan administration in the 1980s. Recently, Colorado and Washington states both legalised the drug for recreational use, as well as Uruguay.

Should legalisation spread, there is speculation tobacco firms may consider expanding into the cannabis market, though the firms in question have issued denials. British American Tobacco said: “The 1970s were a long time ago. Today, we have no interest whatsoever in participating in the marijuana market.” The health policy researchers behind the study say tobacco firms made similar claims in the 1970s, even as they were secretly laying the groundwork for marijuana legalisation.

Original article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/archives-from-1970s-show-big-tobacco-had-high-hopes-for-cannabis-9481229.html?utm_campaign=DD%206.3.14&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Full%20Story


Gov. Inslee ugres feds to issue pot guidelines for banks

Posted on June 03, 2014   |   Category: News   |   (0) Comments

Gov. Inslee ugres feds to issue pot guidelines for banks

With marijuana retail licenses expected to be issued July 1, Gov. Jay Inslee is urging federal banking regulators to move swiftly and offer guidelines to banks and credit unions who want to work with those in the recreational marijuana business.

A letter signed late last week by Inslee and Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper points out that lending institutions are waiting to hear from federal banking agencies.

“In the meantime, product sales have begun in Colorado and will soon begin in Washington, exposing all involved to the significant risks of criminal activity associated with accepting, storing and transporting large quantities of cash that can be ameliorated by access to the banking system,” the governors wrote.

Banks and credit unions were given a go-ahead, of sorts, in February when the Obama administration made it clear that U.S. attorneys shouldn’t prosecute banks in states where selling marijuana is legal, on the sole basis that they are working with those in the pot business.

But if the state wants more banks and credit unions to work with pot stores, “something in writing from these other (federal regulators) would be quite useful,” said Scott Jarvis, director of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Out of the suitcases

The federal government has made it clear it would rather have cash from marijuana-associated businesses floating through financial institutions, “rather than driving around the interstate in suitcases,” Jarvis said.

But banks would like to ensure they are complying with the federal regulations and not risking the chance that regulators could “penalize them, threaten their deposit insurance, increase their capital requirements or force them to close accounts or stop providing services,” according to a letter from members of Congress to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

In 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502, which legalized the sale and production of recreational marijuana.

Brian Stroh, who launched Vancouver’s first legal pot-growing operation, CannaMan Farms, said he’s confident it’s only a matter of time before banks start to work with pot entrepreneurs.

Dealing in cash is cumbersome, he said. But “inconvenience is just that,” Stroh said. “The safety aspect is something that could change your life. It’s everybody’s concern.”

Original article: http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/may/27/governor-inslee-marijuana-guidelines-banks/

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