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A 19-year-old Nebraska woman is facing several charges after Beatrice Police responded to her social media post offering to sell marijuana.

Beatrice Police Sergeant Jay Murphy says an officer saw the 19-year-old woman’s post on Snapchat that showed her holding a large plastic bag with a green substance.

Police found the 19-year-old with two other teens Saturday night. They were sitting inside two vehicles, which officers said smelled of marijuana.

The 19-year-old who posted about selling drugs had two bags of marijuana. She is facing several charges including selling marijuana and using a juvenile to help distribute drugs.

The 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl who were with the woman are facing drug possession charges, and the 17-year-old has been charged with helping sell the marijuana.

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One of the great questions leading up to Canada’s 2018 legalization of adult-use cannabis is how individual provinces will handle their Trudeau-given duties to hammer out details of the newly legal plant’s distribution and sale.

Today, Ontario gave us a shocking example of what such provincial hammering might look like, unveiling a plan that would restrict sales of legal cannabis in the province to 150 government-run stores and a government-run website—a move that would completely outlaw the province’s thriving, beloved, and, yes, illegal independent dispensaries.

Other details of the plan, announced today at a joint press conference held by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Health Minister Eric Hoskins, and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi in Queen’s Park: the aforementioned 150 government-run cannabis stores will be overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and sales of legal adult-use cannabis will be restricted to those 19 and above (the same as liquor).

“There will be 80 LCBO weed stores in place across the province by July 1, 2019 and another 70 by 2020,” reports the Toronto Star. “Online sales will begin next July.”

Some backstory and speculation: This summer, Ontario conducted an as-vast-as-possible survey of its citizens, seeking their opinions on cannabis, to help steer the province’s official cannabis guidelines. “[The survey will carry] lots of weight,” Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told the CBC in July “It’s important from our perspective to hear directly from Ontarians.”

The results of this Ontario survey are still being digested, but in a Forum Research survey conducted in April 2016, 52% of Ontario respondents expressed the opinion that the best place to sell legal cannabis would be dedicated cannabis dispensaries. More recently, a survey conducted by Nanos Research in July 2018 found that 55% of Ontario residents preferred cannabis be sold by licensed private retailers rather than province-run liquor stores.

Clearly, Ontarions love their non-LCBO cannabis dispensaries—so why is the government, which made so much noise about valuing citizens’ input, killing them dead? Perhaps the dream is to incorporate everything people love about independent dispensaries into the forthcoming government shops. Or maybe it’s just a middle-finger to the illegal dispensary scene and any and all who appreciate it.

Stay tuned for on-the-ground reporting from Toronto

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Drones delivering hamburger, beers, and Amazon products might be right around the corner, but don’t get your hopes up if you want your weed sent to you via robot. That’s because California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has recently unveiled new regulatory rules that will ban drones from delivering marijuana, as spotted by Ars Technica. The Bureau is currently developing regulation surrounding weed use and sales under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) after recreational marijuana was legalized in California

“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers,” the proposed program description creads “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.” That means a host of start-ups promising to deliver marijuana by drone like MDelivers and Eaze might see that part of their business left in the lurch. Under the rules, deliveries can only be made by licensed retailers, “in person by enclosed motor vehicle,” and the vehicles used for deliveries must have a GPS that allows the seller to track the package. The Bureau also specifically states that those delivering the cannabis aren’t allowed to consume the substance while out on the delivery.

California is the largest in the US and the legal marijuana industry could be worth $5 billion to the state. Licenses for cannabis distributors, retailers, testing labs, and other businesses will be issued beginning January 1, 2018.

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The Huntington Beach City Council unanimously approved a new zoning amendment Monday prohibiting the sale and distribution of non-medical marijuana by businesses.

The amendment also regulates the cultivation of recreational marijuana.

Some council members said allowing recreational marijuana sales and distribution may be viable in the future, but they would rather watch and analyze how other cities deal with implementing Proposition 64, which allows people 21 and older to use and cultivate non-medical marijuana. The proposition, approved by voters in November, has stipulations granting local governments the ability to ban recreational marijuana businesses and regulate cultivation.

Councilwoman Jill Hardy said other cities may glean some tax revenue from marijuana sales, but Huntington Beach should take the time to learn from others.

“It’s prudent on us to see how the industry performs in other cities,” added Councilman Erik Peterson, echoing Hardy’s sentiment. “I don’t see us as a laboratory.”

The Police Department contends that non-medical marijuana businesses and deliveries could have negative effects, such as an increase in robberies, thefts and burglaries, a city staff report states.
The department says cities that have non-medical marijuana businesses have seen increases in arrests related to driving under the influence, according to the report.

Under the Huntington Beach amendment, outdoor cultivation of recreational marijuana is illegal. Indoor cultivation is restricted to private residences in an enclosed area.

Several members of the public showed up to voice their opinions on the amendment.

Henry Carey said he wasn’t in favor of the ban, citing marijuana’s health benefits. He said it’s substantially helped treat his epilepsy.

Eric Lucas said the tax revenue from recreational sales could be beneficial to the city.

The Planning Commission voted 6-1 in late July to recommend approval, with Commissioner Dan Kalmick dissenting on grounds that he believes the city is devoting a large amount of resources to regulating a “boogeyman.”

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Now that one of the nation’s largest canabis companies has bought the entire California desert town of Nipton, a question remains: Will the new owners rename the place Potsylvania?

The name Weed already belongs to an old mill town in Northern Carlifornia

American Green Inc. announced on Thursday it is buying all 80 acres of Nipton, which includes its Old West-style hotel, a handful of houses, an RV park and a coffee shop. Its plans are to transform the old Gold Rush town into what it calls “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.”

The town’s current owner, Roxanne Lang, said the sale is still in escrow, but confirmed American Green is the buyer. She declined to reveal price before the sale closes, but noted she and her late husband, Gerald Freeman, listed the property at $5m when they put it up for sale last year.

Asked what her husband would think of the buyers’ plans to turn Nipton into the pot paradise of the California desert, she laughed heartily.

“I think he would find a lot of humor in that,” she finally said, adding that as a Libertarian Freeman had no problem with people using marijuana, and as a proponent of green power he’d be all in favor of energy independence. Over the years he’d installed a solar farm himself that provides much of the tiny town’s electricity.

American Green says it plans to expand that farm and also bottle and sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton’s plentiful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one.

The buyers are also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses, hoping they’ll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them.

The town’s current residents number fewer than two dozen and one of its major sources of revenue is the California Lottery tickets the general store sells to people who cross the state line from Nevada because they can’t buy them there.

“We are excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush,” David Gwyther, American Green’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the US has the power to completely revitalie communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century.”

Indeed it was a gold rush that created Nipton in the early 1900s when the precious metal was found nearby.

But by the time Freeman, a Los Angeles geologist who liked to look for gold in his spare time, discovered the place in the 1950s it was already a ghost town. Even worse it was 60 miles south of Las Vegas and 10 miles off the major highway that connects that city to Los Angeles.

“I like to say it’s conveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” jokes Lang.

Freeman bought the town in 1985 anyway and spent the next 30 years lovingly restoring its boutique hotel and general store, building canvas-covered “eco cabins” and stocking them with wood-burning stoves and swamp coolers.

The small hotel has become a popular destination with desert aficionados and fans of the Old West, even though it’s located so close to a major rail line that moves freight between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City that guests are handed earplugs with their room keys.

Carl Cavaness, who works at the hotel, said Thursday the sale caught him by surprise. He said he hopes the new owners will let him and his wife stay.

“We like the quiet and solitude,” the 53-year-old handyman said.

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After two weeks of watching inventory dwindle, Nevada pot shops will soon be able to restock their shelves.

The state awarded its first marijuana distribution licenses to a pair of alcohol wholesalers, and those companies can begin transporting marijuana products from cultivation and production facilities to dispensaries, Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said Thursday.

This means that some two weeks after Nevada cannabis stores started legally selling recreational marijuana, they can restock their supplies.

“It takes that worry away. Definitely,” said Armen Yemenidjian, CEO of Essence Cannabis Dispensaries. “We’re just happy that we now get to concentrate on the experience and the customer as opposed to everything else.”

Also Thursday, during a feisty meeting, the state Tax Commission unanimously approved emergency regulations that will let it expand who can apply for distribution licenses. That could bring about another legal challenge from a group of alcohol wholesalers.

First licenses

The state’s first marijuana distribution license went to Crooked Wine, a federally licensed liquor distributor based in Reno, Klapstein said. Crooked Wine will not distribute the pot to stores.

Klapstein said Crooked partnered with Blackbird Logistics, the main distributor for Nevada medical marijuana companies. With the partnership, Crooked will hold the license while Blackbird acts as its agent for marijuana distribution. Crooked Wine will continue alcohol distribution, although that license could be in jeopardy if federal regulators have a problem with the setup for marijuana, which is federally illegal.

The second license went to Las Vegas-based Rebel One.

Both Blackbird (through Crooked’s license) and Rebel One can immediately begin distribution, Klapstein said.

“They are licensed, and they can start,” Klapstein said.

Having licensed distributors means the nearly 50 marijuana dispensaries in Nevada will be able to restock their shelves for the first time since retail sales began on July 1.

“The relief is that it’s not all going to come to a stop,” said Riana Durrett, executive director for the Nevada Dispensary Association.

But Durrett said two or even three distributors won’t be able to fully serve the industry. More distributors are needed to keep distribution prices from spiking and to ensure all distribution demands are met, she said.

Emergency regulations passed

The Tax Commission’s passage of the emergency regulations signed last week by Gov. Brian Sandoval will give the state more discretion in dishing out distribution licenses.

Before the vote, the meeting got testy as state officials, commissioners and marijuana advocates verbally sparred with alcohol distributors.

Kevin Benson, attorney for the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, said the emergency regulations were not well thought out and might even be invalid if adopted.

Benson said the problem has only arisen because the tax department rushed to get sales rolling by July 1. The ballot measure mandated sales by Jan. 1, 2018.

And he said he doesn’t believe that the emergency regulations would be valid unless the state could prove a delay would cause a budget shortfall.

“There’s no emergency here,” Benson said during the meeting.

Deonne Contine, executive director of the Tax Department, admitted to rushing the process but said the department has been working with alcohol distributors for over a month to try to get them licenses, she said.

As for the budget shortfall, Contine said it’s pretty simple.

“I know for a fact that if we don’t have the product at the stores, the businesses can’t sell the product and the tax can’t be collected,” she said.

Fight not over

The fight over these distribution licenses isn’t over. Commissioner Thom Sheets said after the vote that he was told liquor distributors planned to file a restraining order against the state in response to the regulations.

Benson, the IADON attorney from Carson City, did not immediately respond to request from comments Thursday evening.