Funding for a newly budding industry like marijuana doesnt come easily. Until recently, many investments have come from a few anonymous rich individuals trying to give legal weed a push. Now the firm Founders Fund, who has previously invested in many thriving industries, is ready to invest big money on marijuana. Founders of the company believe marijuana will be fully legal within a decade, and with the generous help from their company it looks very promising. Geoff Lewis's firm, Founders Fund, a $2 billion company, made its name investing early in new companies like Facebook, Spotify and SpaceX. But now it's betting on pot. "We discuss all our investments for a long time. ...So particularly in this case, we did an extra, extra deep dive on the business," Lewis said.
Some Arizona lawmakers are turning to the idea of legal marijuana to help their state tax revenue (estimated $50 million increase in taxes) due to their $1 billion budget shortage. The proposed bill is expected to appear on the 2016 ballot and hopes to follow in the footsteps of recently legal states like Colorado and Washington. House Bill 2007 would legalize the purchase, possession and consumption of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. It would expand the current medical-marijuana system under the Arizona Department of Health Services, and create a process for dispensaries to serve the general public. It also would allow adults age 21 and older to grow up to five plants for personal consumption.
2 different groups - Ohioans to End Prohibition and ResponsibleOhio - are both working on constitutional amendmends to legalize marijuana in Ohio. Though they have slightly different views on exactly how it should be executed, they're both working to lift the outdated band on the plant. If the groups are successful at getting the amendment on the ballot this year, ohio could see it's first legal pot industry in 2016. Revenue from taxes and licensing fees would fund Ohio's public pension systems, drug education programs, and medical treatment for those suffering from addiction, according to an outline of the proposal on the group's website. The amendment would allow Ohio farms to grow industrial hemp. Local governments could choose to ban cannabis production and distribution in their communities.
Marijuana hash oil has become more popular in recent years, but even in Colorado the legislation isn't protecting those who are making it at home. Many are arguing it should be treated the same as pot itself, however it is under scrutiny after recent accidental explosions making the substance by use of butane gas. It is unclear how Judge Bruce Jones will rule on the matter but his decision is expected in the next several weeks. A deputy district attorney said that hash oil qualifies as pot. But he said there's a difference between Amendment 64's protection for "processing" marijuana and the state law's criminalizing of "manufacturing" concentrated marijuana. Jones is expected to issue his ruling in the coming weeks.
A family from Georgia is forced out of their home state to Colorado in hopes of saving their son's life with medical marijuana. A young boy, Jagger, suffers from dozens of seizures a day and despite what doctors told his family, recently celebrated his fourth birthday. With hopes to return to their home state of Georgia, January 12th will give state legislators the chance to pass medical marijuana laws this year, and welcome back it's former residents. "It's an absolute disgrace that these families are having to break up their homes to come to Colorado to seek medical treatment..." "The medical benefits topple the scales when you're looking at the risk associated, the negative," -Jason Cranford
As recreational pot in Washington sees more and more shops opening, the medical side is in danger and fighting to keep doors open. Massachusetts local, Sonia Leyva found refuge in Washington for it's medical marijuana last year for her and her mother. Sonia joined many others at City Council trying to keep medical marijuana available in the state. After hearing from many of those in need of the medicine, Mayor Marilyn Strickland said, “this reinforces that there are patients with legitimate needs.” Terminal cancer patients, disabled veterans and others with chronic pain and illnesses made their way through the standing-room-only crowd to the lectern. Many said medical marijuana saved their lives and they don’t want to resort to buying it from a drug dealer. Mayor Marilyn Strickland listened intently to speakers and took notes. The council intends to forward many comments to state legislators, who Strickland said have a responsibility to create clear regulations that cities can enforce and that business owners and patients can follow. Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/01/06/3574881_medical-pot-patients-urge-tacoma.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Though steps ahead of some states, Illinois has had legal medical marijuana for a year with next-to-nothing to show for it yet. Many residents are not surprised by the slow bureaucracy of the state, but have high hopes for the future. Next week holds answers for some as the governer's term comes to an end and more information on medical marijuana business licensing will arise. While 600 local patients have already been approved for a medical marijuana card, there's no place to actually buy the stuff. And after the state recently blew its self-imposed deadline to award business licenses to medical marijuana growers and dispensaries by the end of 2014, not a single business can even plant pot seeds.
As of now in Washington, marijuana is available for recreational and medical consumption. However, the medical side has not been fully stabilized through legislation, leaving some patients worried their shop of choice for medicine might close. One mother is worried for her son who has Mowat Wilson Syndrome, causing him to have hundreds of seizures a day. Since legalization she found that using CBD oil capsules in his food twice a day leaves the seizures "...all but gone" she says. Right now, medical marijuana is largely unregulated in Washington state. Recreational stores complain that medical retail shops aren't required to pay taxes or jump through the same administrative hoops. Without legal clarity, medical marijuana stores face the threat of being shut down.
Iowa officials have been moving slowly to implement a law allowing for an extract of marijuana to be used for medical treatment, and advocates say they'll keep pressing for more access to the drug. Medical marijuana advocates had asked the board to reaffirm its 2010 recommendation that legislators remove marijuana’s Schedule I label, a legal classification that forbids almost any use. But the board was unwilling to go that far this time. It only is recommending that legislators reschedule a special type of extract that has little of the chemical THC, which makes recreational marijuana users high. Board Chairman Edward Maier, a Mapleton pharmacist, noted that the new proposal still would leave Iowa with an odd legal situation. Different parts of state law define marijuana as a Schedule I drug and as a Schedule II drug. At some point, he said, the state should “clean that mess up.”
Colorado is changing its marijuana educational campaign from last years "Don't Be A Lab Rat" to a more open "Good To Know" campaign. This campaign will focus on the education of current marijuana laws as well as the safety and proper use, targeted at teens, tourists, Latinos and even breastfeeding women. The campaign is also outlining the differences in smoking and eating marijuana edibles, as the effects are vastly different and many new pot users are having trouble with the effects. The state last year launched a controversial "Don't Be a Lab Rat" campaign aimed at preventing kids from using marijuana. The campaign featured human-size cages designed to look like laboratory cages for rats, along with educational materials warning about the potential for stunted brain growth. Wolk said that campaign got people talking, but was perceived by some as negative because the cages resembled jail cells. He said the new campaign is "bright and neighborly."
Residents of Indiana may have their chance at medical marijuana this year. State Senator Karen Tallian submitted a bill to create a medical marijuana program for Indiana following last years failed attempt to decriminalize the plant. [Senator Karen Tallian] calls it “a small, very careful first step.” “People are ready to embrace some changes,” said Pelath. “They’re tired of filling up our jails and they want people who are very sick to get the pain relief that they need.”
For residents of Massachusetts, this coming spring will be a time to breathe in relief as the state's first medical marijuana dispensaries open their doors. Alternative Therapies Group (aka: ATG) was the first in the state to recieve it's license to grow and sell medical marijuana. Many other dispensaries will be opening this year as well to take part in the growing economic opportunities brought on by legal pot. The Department of Public Health handed down the license on Wednesday, December 31, to ATG which will be located in Salem, Mass. with a cultivation facility in Amesbury, Mass. According to a note posted on ATG's website, the dispensary "will begin cultivating cannabis immediately and hope to be in a position to start dispensary operations by Spring 2015."