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California rolls forward with pot delivery regulations

LOS ANGELES — California moved a step closer Friday to allowing marijuana deliveries in communities that have banned retail sales of the drug as regulators rebuffed cities and police chiefs who are opposed to the rule.

The proposal is a major issue that could ultimately end up in court as the state continues to set myriad rules for how pot is grown, tested, packaged and delivered since recreational sales became legal Jan. 1.

Cities have been able to ban retail sales, but state law says local governments cannot prevent cannabis deliveries on public roads so the state rejected the plea from opponents who said it would jeopardize public safety.

California police chiefs, the League of Cities and others launched an online petition this summer opposed to the proposal.

Regulators received 6,000 comments about a raft of proposed regulations and half of those were aimed at the delivery issue, said Alex Traverso, spokesman for the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Blumenauer sends blunt marijuana blueprint to Democratic leadership

WASHINGTON — Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’ most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

The founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus said there is no question that the federal marijuana prohibition will end and that Democrats should lead the way or lose the issue.

“If we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support — especially from young voters,” Blumenauer said. “Democrats must seize the moment.”

Congress needs to enact legislation softening the federal stance on marijuana by the end of 2019, he argued, offering Democratic leadership a blueprint on actions they should take over the course of next year.

In the first quarter of 2019, congressional committees should hold hearings on the topic to debate potential policy fixes, Blumenauer said. For example, the Judiciary Committee could hold a hearing on descheduling the drug, Energy and Commerce could examine marijuana research and Financial Services could look at barriers to banking services and capital for marijuana growers and entrepreneurs.

By the second quarter committees should be able to begin marking up legislation to help narrow the gap between federal and state marijuana laws, Blumenauer said.

Policy solutions Blumenauer floated include addressing racial injustices related to the unequal application of federal marijuana laws, providing veterans access to pain and PTSD cannabis treatments, removing barriers to marijuana research and equally taxing marijuana businesses.

The House should then pass a marijuana package combining those committee-passed bills before the annual August recess, Blumenauer suggested.

“With the marijuana policy gap diminished, after months of hearings and markups, the House should pass a full descheduling bill and work with Senate allies to guide the bill through Senate passage,” he said of his goal for September to December.

“Our chances in the Senate depend on both the November elections and increased public pressure following House passage,” Blumenauer added.

“While the Senate has been slower on marijuana policy reform than the House and the American people, it now has almost 20 introduced bills in an effort to catch up with the House. We must build on this momentum.”

Blumenauer provided a list of existing legislation lawmakers could look to reintroduce and debate next year.

Pot legalization advocates seek foothold in Midwest states

LANSING, Mich. — Backers of broad marijuana legalization are looking to break through a geographic barrier in November and get their first foothold in the Midwest after a string of election victories in Northeastern and Western states.

Michigan and North Dakota, where voters previously authorized medical marijuana, will decide now if the drug should be legal for any adult 21 and older. They would become the 10th and 11th states to legalize so-called recreational marijuana since 2012, lightning speed in political terms.

Meantime, Missouri and Utah will weigh medical marijuana, which is permitted in 31 states after voters in conservative Oklahoma approved such use in June. Even if Utah’s initiative is defeated, a compromise reached last week between advocates and opponents including the Mormon church would have the Legislature legalize medical marijuana.

“We’ve kind of reached a critical mass of acceptance,” said Rebecca Haffajee, a University of Michigan assistant professor of health management and policy. She said the country may be at a “breaking point” where change is inevitable at the federal level because so many states are in conflict with U.S. policy that treats marijuana as a controlled substance like heroin.

“Generally, people either find a therapeutic benefit or enjoy the substance and want to do so without the fear of being a criminal for using it,” Haffajee said.

In Michigan, surveys have shown that the public’s receptiveness to marijuana legalization tracks similarly with nationwide polling that finds about 60 percent support, according to Gallup and the Pew Research Center.

The Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project was the driving force behind successful legalization initiatives in other states and has given at least $444,000 to support the Michigan ballot drive.

“The electorate is recognizing that prohibition doesn’t work. There’s also a growing societal acceptance of marijuana use on a personal level,” said Matthew Schweich, the project’s deputy director.

“Our culture has already legalized marijuana. Now it’s a question of, ‘How quickly will the laws catch up?’” added Schweich, also the campaign director for the Michigan legalization effort, known as the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Midwest voters have considered recreational legalization just once before, in 2015, when Ohio overwhelmingly rejected it. Supporters said the result was more backlash against allowing only certain private investors to control growing facilities than opposition to marijuana.

Proponents of Michigan’s measure say it would align with a new, strong regulatory system for medical marijuana businesses in the state and add roughly $130 million annually in tax revenue, specifically for road repairs, schools and municipalities.

Critics urging its defeat say it is out of step and cite provisions allowing a possession limit of 2.5 ounces (71 grams) that is higher than many other states and a 16 percent tax rate that is lower. The coalition of opponents includes chambers of commerce and law enforcement groups along with doctors, the Catholic Church and organizations fighting substance abuse.

Randy Richardville, a former Republican legislative leader and spokesman for the opposition group Healthy and Productive Michigan, said adults — even those without serious health problems — already can easily obtain pot under the state’s lax medical marijuana law. The ballot proposal, he said, would lead to a more “stoned” workforce, car crashes and crimes, and increased health risks for teens.

“This has nothing to do with a citizens’ initiative with a whole bunch of people out there that said they would like to smoke marijuana recreationally and responsibly,” Richardville said. “This is a special interest group that put up a lot of dollars so that they can sacrifice our kids’ futures to make more money.”

Dr. Donald Condit, an orthopedic surgeon in Grand Rapids who is helping lead physicians’ opposition, said few doctors see a problem with, for example, terminal cancer patients using marijuana to ease their pain.

But people should think harder about full legalization because marijuana is becoming “very, very potent” and “this stuff could hit the teenage developing brain like a ton of bricks,” he said.

Backers counter that teens’ use of marijuana has not increased in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes and point to the drug’s other benefits, like as a safer substitute for painkillers amid the deadly opioid epidemic.

“It’ll take the scourge of the old days when drug dealers sold heroin and crack and methamphetamines and marijuana — it was all lumped together” said Stu Carter, who owns Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana shop in Detroit. “Now we can pull that away from that illegal drug world and make it much safer for the consumer.”

In North Dakota, legalization faces an uphill battle. No significant outside supporters have financed the effort, which comes as the state still is setting up a medical marijuana system voters approved by a wide margin two years ago.

The campaign for and against the medical marijuana initiative in predominantly Mormon Utah, which has received $293,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project, was jolted last week when Gov. Gary Herbert said he will call lawmakers into a special postelection session to pass the compromise deal into law regardless of how the public vote goes.

Medical marijuana also is on the ballot in Missouri and while the concept has significant support, voters may be confused by how it is presented on the ballot.

Supporters gathered enough signatures to place three initiatives before voters. Two would change the state constitution; the third would amend state law. If all three pass, constitutional amendments take precedence over state law, and whichever amendment receives the most votes would overrule the other.

An organizer of one amendment, Brad Bradshaw, said it is unclear if having three initiatives could split supporters so much that some or all of the proposals fail — especially if people do not realize they can vote “yes” on all three.

“A lot of people don’t really even have this on the radar at this point,” he said. “They’re going to walk into the booth to vote and they’re going to see all three of these and say, ‘What the heck?’ You just don’t know how it’s going to play out.”search/David%20Eggert

Vice Trailer

The long awaited trailer for Vice came out today.

Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney and the trailer opens up with George W Bush (played by Sam Rockwell) trying to recruit him as his Vice President. Dick Cheney accepts, but only under certain conditions. The trailer then shows Cheney at his Cheney-ist…!

The film also stars the magnificent Amy Adams and Steve Carrell.

Christian Bale once again tests his body’s limit to transform himself for another role, or as I like to put it: Christian Bale can gain 40 lbs and possibly win an Oscar, but I gain 40 lbs and I just get depressed?

That being said the movie looks pretty bad ass!

The post Vice Trailer appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

Product Review: DaVinci MIQRO Vaporizer

We have a new review!

You might remember that earlier this year I reviewed the DaVinci IQ, a handheld portable vaporizer that I fell madly in love with. Well let’s introduce you to it’s younger sibling that is 31% smaller, but just as powerful!

The DaVinci MIQRO is a mini handheld vaporizer unit clocking in at about 3 inches. Like the IQ it features a zirconium ceramic vapor path, but the MIQRO is 31% smaller and it includes an adjustable oven for MIQRO-dosing.

What’s In The Box?

  • Davinci Miqro Unit
  • Carry Can
  • Glove (to protect your device)
  • Grinder Card
  • 2 Removeable 18350 900 mAh Batteries
  • Extended Mouthpiece
  • USB Cable
  • Miqro Cleaning Tool
  • Extra Pearl Post with Gasket
  • 4 Cleaning Pipe Swabs
  • Mouthpiece Gasket
  • Carry Case

To Use:

Open the lid and load your product and pack tight before you close it. Press the control button 5 times and your MIQRO will power up into Smart Path mode. Press once to switch through the heating modes or 5 times to turn your device off. You can use the UP/DWN buttons to to change through the Smart Paths or to change the temperature.

The MIQRO features 4 Smart Heating Paths that offer a range of different vaping experiences. You can switch between the Smaprt Paths with the UP/DWN buttons:

SMP1: 350 – 370 SMP2: 370 – 390 SMP3: 390 – 410 SMP4: 410 – 430

Precision Mode heats your bud to a specific temperature, to get there press the Power/Control button to switch through the different modes. You can increase the temperature by pressing the top button or decrease with the bottom button, your device will quickly flas the temperature and vibrate when it’s ready.

For Boost Mode press and hold the control button to activate, holding to stay at the maximum temperature. You can also set your MIQRO to standby when you release the control button, this will cool your device down to conserve your bud and battery life, press any button to resume your sesh or wait 2 mins and your device will shut down.

There’s also a Stealth Mode where you can dim the lights on your MIQRO, to do this click the control button and the down button, to go back to full brightness just press the control button and up button.

To check on the life of your MIQRO press the up and down buttons to see how much battery life you have left. Your device will vibrate when there’s 10% life left. You can charge your battery while it’s still in your device via USB and you can also use it at the same time. It should take about 90 minutes to charge. There’s also the extra battery that you can charge via an external charger and that should take anywhere from 60 – 120 minutes.

THOUGHTS:

As with the previous vaporizer I got from DaVinci, the packaging was amazing. It came in a smaller wooden crate than before and their name was etched on top, their branding really is top notch!

What I really love about the MIQRO is how easy and portable it is. While its predecessor was already a decent portable handheld vape they took things further and made this one 31% smaller so it really is easy to just stick in your pocket. I can easily hide the vaporizer in my hand for a discreet toke. The unit does get a little hot, but the glove helps keep you from any discomfort.

With a regular handheld vape whatever material you put in there will get heated up, but with the smaller oven size you can opt for a single, smaller session and save some of your bud. Of course you can make it bigger to share with others, but it’s nice to have the option not to waste.

The battery life is a little short, but as long as your backup is charged you can easily get more usage out of it.

I really enjoyed using the MIQRO and I had no doubt since I loved the IQ. Now that I have the pair I have the option of having a vaporizer I can have with me all day, or one for shorter outings.

The MIQRO has the same polished look as the IQ. The anodized aluminum body gives it a luxurious aura to it, mine came in Amethyst. You can get the MIQRO device for $149 which includes the cable, accessory kit and mouthpiece or get the Explorer’s Edition, the kit I was sent with all the bells and whistles for $199.

(Some promo pics from DaVinci.)

The post Product Review: DaVinci MIQRO Vaporizer appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

New rulings on medical marijuana use go against employers

HARTFORD, Conn. — Health care worker Katelin Noffsinger told a potential employer that she took medical marijuana to deal with the effects of a car accident, but when a drug test came back positive, the nursing home rescinded her job offer anyway.

A federal judge last month ruled that the nursing home, which had cited federal laws against pot use, violated an anti-discrimination provision of the Connecticut’s medical marijuana law.

It was the latest in a series of clashes between U.S. and state laws around the country that came out in favor of medical marijuana users trying to keep or obtain jobs with drug-testing employers.

The Connecticut decision was the first ruling of its kind in a federal case and followed similar recent rulings against employers by state courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Earlier rulings had gone against medical pot users in employment cases by state supreme courts including those in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington over the past few years.

Advocates hope new the new decisions are a signal of growing acceptance of cannabis’ medicinal value.

“This decision reflects the rapidly changing cultural and legal status of cannabis, and affirms that employers should not be able to discriminate against those who use marijuana responsibly while off the job, in compliance with the laws of their state,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, a pro-marijuana group.

Noffsinger, of Manchester, sued Bride Brook Health & Rehabilitation Center in Niantic in 2016. She had been offered, and accepted, a job as recreation therapy director at the nursing home, contingent on her passing a drug test.

She told the nursing home that she took synthetic marijuana pills — legally under state law and only at night — to treat the post-traumatic stress disorder she developed after the 2012 car accident. But the company rescinded the job offer after the drug test came back positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets people high.

As a federal contractor, the nursing home worried that it could be cut off from that revenue if it employed somebody who tested positive.

On Sept. 5, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer in New Haven ruled Bride Brook discriminated against Noffsinger based solely on her medical marijuana use in violation of state law. He denied her request for punitive damages. The case is now heading to a trial on whether Noffsinger should receive compensatory damages for lost wages from not getting the job.

A lawyer for the nursing home, Thomas Blatchley, declined to comment.

Noffsinger’s attorney, Henry Murray, said Noffsinger would not comment on the lawsuit. He said Noffsinger has taken another job in the health care industry that doesn’t pay as much as the Bride Brook job.

In his ruling, Meyer said the federal Drug Free Workplace Act, which many employers including federal contractors rely on for policies on drug testing, does not actually require drug testing and does not prohibit federal contractors from employing people who use medical marijuana outside the workplace in accordance with state law.

The decision will likely be used in arguments in similar cases elsewhere, said Fiona Ong, an employment attorney with the Baltimore firm of Shawe Rosenthal.

“This is a very significant case that throws the issue in doubt for many of these federal contractors,” Ong said. “It’s certainly interesting and may be indicative of where the courts are going with this.”

Thirty-one states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam now allow medical marijuana, while 15 others have approved low-THC-level products for medical reasons in certain cases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational pot.

Only nine states including Connecticut, however, specifically ban employment discrimination against medical marijuana users, who could continue to face difficulties in obtaining or keeping jobs in the 41 other states, employment lawyers say.

In Massachusetts, the state’s highest court ruled last year that a sales and marketing company wrongly fired a worker after her first day on the job after she tested positive for marijuana, which she used under the state’s medical marijuana law to treat her Crohn’s disease. Also last year, in Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court said a college student was wrongly denied an internship at a fabric company where officials refused to hire her after she acknowledged she could not pass a drug test because she used medical marijuana.

In both cases, the two women told the companies during the hiring process that they used medical marijuana, but would not consume it while on the job.

The American Bar Association called the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island cases “an emerging trend in employment litigation” and cautioned employers to consider state medical marijuana laws when analyzing their drug use and testing policies.

Several bills are pending before Congress that would undo marijuana’s classification as a controlled substance with no medicinal value. But Armentano, of NORML, said it is unlikely they will go anywhere while Republicans control Congress.

Some employers, though, have dropped marijuana from the drug tests they require of employees, saying the testing excludes too many potential workers in a challenging hiring environment.

Port Orchard pot shop faces second suspension since 2016

PORT ORCHARD — A Port Orchard pot shop is facing its second license suspension for selling to a minor.

The Kitsap Sun reports that an employee of Greenway Marijuana sold pre-rolled marijuana joints to an 18-year-old woman who was helping conduct a compliance check for the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. The legal age for marijuana in Washington is 21.

The newspaper obtained information about the sting through a public records request. The documents showed that the worker checked the woman’s ID, which listed a birth date in 2000, and then completed the sale anyway.

Greenway’s retailer license will be suspended for 15 days, beginning Oct. 11. The store will also pay a $2,500 penalty for selling to a minor and $600 for allowing a minor in a restricted area. The store was also suspended for 10 days in 2016.

Greenway owner Michael Lyman called the incident “an honest mistake made by a good person.”

Cannabis-laced drinks project major growth

Drinks infused with marijuana-derived compounds could swell to become a $600 million market in the U.S. within the next four years, outpacing the growth of other categories of retail cannabis products, according to analysts at Canaccord Genuity.

Beverages with CBD or THC ingredients could grow to capture about 20 percent of the U.S. market for edible pot products by 2022, up from 6 percent of edibles sold now, Canaccord’s Bobby Burleson wrote in a note. It’s an opportunity mainstream beer and soda makers are eager to take part in — Corona-parent Constellation Brands Inc. became the largest stakeholder in Canadian pot cultivator Canopy Growth Corp. earlier this year, while Molson Coors Canada formed a joint venture with Hexo Corp. Also, Coca-Cola Co. said it’s exploring the idea.

“Interest has spiked from the beer industry on mounting evidence of a substitution relationship between cannabis and alcohol, while large soda companies increasingly view CBD as a natural fit within their strategically important wellness offerings,” Burleson wrote.

Canaccord sees the demand for beverages featuring CBD, or cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, reaching $260 million by 2022, up from the “negligible revenue” the limited number of drinks contributes now, while THC-based drinks could reach $340 million, up from $106 million expected this year.

Yet others are more cautious on the opportunity. Data from Colorado and Oregon show legal recreational marijuana use hasn’t cut into beer consumption, and the use of pot in Colorado has stayed close to the national average, Susquehanna’s Pablo Zuanic wrote Thursday.

Seattle court agrees to clear past pot convictions

SEATTLE — Judges in Seattle have agreed to clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession that were prosecuted before marijuana was legalized in Washington state.

The Seattle Times reports that all seven judges of the Seattle Municipal Court signed an order Sept. 11 setting out a process for vacating the cases.

City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a motion in April asking the court to vacate the convictions. He argued that possessing small amounts of marijuana is no longer illegal and clearing past convictions would right the injustices of a drug war that targeted people of color.

About 542 people could be affected. The ruling covers from about 1996 — when municipal courts, rather than county district courts, began handling those misdemeanors — to 2010 when Holmes became city attorney and stopped prosecuting low-level pot cases entirely.

Coca-Cola adds cannabis?

The Coca-Cola Company said Monday it is “closely watching” the expanding use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign cannabis and cannabis-infused products are getting more acceptance in mainstream culture and a harder look from long-established pillars of American business.

The statement came after reports the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a health drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant. Shares of the company, Aurora Cannabis Inc., closed up nearly 17 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the report.

Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment on the report but acknowledged their interest in that segment of the cannabis market.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed by many to have anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently.

Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said her company “has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market.”

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly,” Kent Landers said.

Coke’s interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies and of the importance of Canada to the development of those businesses. Marijuana becomes legal across Canada on Oct. 17. Cannabis companies from the U.S. — where marijuana remains illegal at the federal level — have flocked to Canada to raise funds and establish businesses there.

American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis space can try things out in Canada without risking doing something illegal at home.

Constellation Brands, a giant spirits company that counts Corona beer among its labels, bought a multibillion-dollar minority stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian medical marijuana producer.

Coca Cola’s statement shows the company has learned from its past missteps picking up on new drink trends, said Ali Dibadj, a senior analyst at AllianceBernstein with an expertise in U.S. beverage and snack food companies.

“The company has been caught flat-footed in the past in not keeping up with trends in beverages. They missed the energy drink phenomenon, they missed — and then had to buy into — the functional waters like Vitamin Water and coffee,” Dibadj said. “I think what they’re saying is what they should be saying on this very new and emerging beverage.”

But testing the waters of cannabis-themed drinks could backfire, he said. Many Americans aren’t intimately familiar with the cannabis plant and might not understand that CBD has no psychoactive properties.