Mailman Delivers Cannabis to Home Being Raided by Police

North Port, Florida has two medical cannabis dispensaries. But neither of them should be confused with a residence on the 5600 block of Brickell Drive, where police served a warrant and arrested two men on multiple drug charges Thursday. The USPS carrier who showed up while police were executing the warrant was probably confused, however, as he attempted to deliver a package containing cannabis buds, THC wax and vaporizer cartridges with law enforcement still on the scene.

USPS Carrier Delivers Weed, Wax and Vape Cartridges While Police Raid a Home

When it was all said and done, North Park, Florida police arrested two men and seized four pounds of cannabis buds, 243 grams of THC wax, 97 THC vaporizer cartridges, 12 grams of cocaine, liquid codeine and 2 handguns with extended 30 round magazines from a residence in the 5600 block of Brickell Drive they raided on May 16.

But most of that contraband arrived at the house while police were on the scene executing the warrant, searching the home and making arrests. That’s because a U.S. Postal Service carrier showed up with them in the middle of the raid.

The packaged the carrier delivered during the raid contained several vacuum-sealed bags of cannabis products. According to police reports, the package included four pounds of weed, 223 grams of THC wax and 50 THC vape cartridges. The guns and other substances were found during a search of the residence.

Florida Drug Enforcement Keeps Up as State Expands Medical Cannabis Access

Stemming from the raid, police arrested 24-year-old Bryan Vanskiver and 19-year-old David Chesser. Both face multiple charges, including drug possession, drug sales, drug equipment and weapons charges. North Port law enforcement have booked Vanskiver and Chesser in a Sarasota County jail.

But just a 10 minute drive down Route 41 from the spot where police raided a home, arrested two men and seized several forms of marijuana, stand two medical cannabis dispensaries offering Florida medcard patients everything from THC oils to vape cartridges, tinctures, concentrates, smokable flower and more.

In Florida, law enforcement continues to crack down on suspected unauthorized cannabis sellers. They’re even going after shop owners and sweet old ladies for selling and possessing cannabidiol (CBD). Meanwhile, marijuana legalization advocates continue to press for statewide adult-use. And health and patient advocates have succeeded in expanding Florida’s restrictive medical cannabis program.

Florida’s medical cannabis program has already grown to support a roughly $5.7 billion industry, according to a recent report. In all, the state has registered nearly a quarter million medical cannabis patients and there are nearly 2,000 qualified physicians who can issue recommendations.

Yet Florida’s medical cannabis patients still face discrimination at work and at school. Some have even lost their jobs.

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Hot Pot Products: What’s New for Cannabis Cultivators and Connoisseurs

Whether you’re a professional grower, a beginner, a connoisseur, or just experimenting, we’ve got some great gear suggestions for you.

Pen Ultimate
$29.95
accuvape.net

If you’re seeking a compact, stealthy and effective vape pen, look no further than the C.Stick from AccuVape, which looks like a simple writing implement but hits like a dab rig. The kit comes with a coil and a quartz atomizer and includes a mixing tool, a wireless USB charger and a battery with a lifetime warranty. AccuVape also created the V.Stick AV unit specifically for cartridges—the only buttonless adjustable-voltage-battery pen in existence. 

Grow Easy
Starting at $9.99
victory8garden.com

The container in which you choose to grow your cannabis plants has a tremendous impact on your eventual harvest. Victory 8’snew Garden Cubes, manufactured from durable AeroFlow fabric, are fully modular and allow roots to penetrate outward and make use of all available space for efficient gardening, even in the smallest of areas. Victory 8 also sells larger EZ-Gro instant-raised beds and DekProTek pads that protect surfaces and promote root oxygenation.

Load Up
Starting at $29.99
mjarsenal.com

We’re always looking for functional and affordable ways to consume our concentrates, and we love the new Mini Rigs from MJ Arsenal. With several different styles to choose from including the Jammer (pictured), these extra-thick four-millimeter borosilicate glass rigs utilize multi-hole percs to provide smooth hits of cooled vapor, flavorful and diffused through the recyclers. A wide and sturdy base keeps them from tipping over and spilling or breaking. 

Vacuum Clean
Approximately $5,415 (C$6,995)
ledab.ca 

The world’s best concentrate makers rely on LeDab to provide the best extraction equipment at reasonable prices. For proper purging, try the 3.2CF Vacuum Oven from Best Value Vacs, which features four individually heated shelves and touch-screen controls on an LCD display. The innovative oven offers 7 percent temperature uniformity, contains an easy-to-clean stainless steel LED-lit interior and includes a clamp, adapter, gasket, hose and cord (vacuum pump not included).

This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue. Click here to get a subscription!

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Lo que debes saber sobre acciones de cannabis antes de invertir

La era del la legalización ha causado gran emoción entre los fanáticos y aficionados de la marihuana.Ahora no solo se puede tener un acceso abierto y seguro a la planta, sino que también se puede participar en la industria del cannabis a través del mercado financiero.

Con proyecciones que estiman que los ingresos totales de cannabis en los Estados Unidos alcanzarán los $ 24 mil millones para  el 2025, el mercado está listo para la expansión. Las actitudes globales sobre el cannabis están cambiando, y a medida que más países opten por la legalización, se espera que el mercado mundial de cannabis explote alcanzando hasta $ 57 mil millones para el 2027.

No obstante, invertir en acciones,  entender la legalidad del cannabis y  comprender la idiosincrasia de la industria es un poco  desafiante para la mayoría. Es una inmersión en una cultura clandestina llena de términos confusos. Pero con la investigación y la extracción de los recursos disponibles, cualquiera puede convertirse en experto en acciones.

Sin embargo la realidad es que  entre la información que puedes encontrar mientras investigas, comunicados de prensa y videos publicados por firmas de corretaje, cómo TD Ameritrade, que instan a las personas a evitar comprar acciones de cannabis. También se encuentran historias sobre inversores que no pueden abandonar sus países después de invertir en acciones de cannabis, como historias sobre personas que ganan 10 mil dólares en cuestión de horas. Todo esto estoy seguro que te hace preguntar ¿es legal? ¿Es seguro invertir en Cannabis?

Es difícil obtener asesoramiento acerca de invertir en acciones de cannabis de un asesor financiero o firma de inversión tradicional. Melissa, una madre que desea permanecer semi-anónima, dice que está considerando invertir en MedMen, una cadena de dispensarios de marihuana ubicados en California, Nevada y Nueva York. A diferencia de otras inversiones que ha realizado, facilitar la inversión a través de su firma de inversión con sede en Texas ha resultado difícil. Aquí es donde una aplicación de inversión, como RobinHood, es útil.

“Tenemos otras inversiones, pero debido a las restricciones en Texas, la empresa no puede hacerlo en nuestro nombre”, dice ella.

Matt Karnes de GreenWave Advisors, una compañía que se especializa en el manejo de inversiones relacionadas con la marihuana, comenzó su empresa de inversión en cannabis hace cuatro años y medio. “Es una industria en evolución donde aún existe una buena cantidad de charlatanes”, comenta para High Times.

Curiosamente, la mayoría de las empresas que Karnes cree que vale la pena seguir son negocios complementarios. Por ejemplo, Karnes cree que MJ Freeway, la compañía que creó la primera tecnología de rastreo de semillas para la venta de la industria del cannabis y también desarrolló el primer producto de planificación de recursos empresariales, es una inversión atractiva.

Karnes también felicitó a High Times. “[High Times tiene] una clara ventaja de marca y un sólido equipo de administración, así que creo que hay una gran oportunidad allí”, dijo. “En general, creo que debería ser una operación exitosa”.

Considere el panorama a largo plazo

Karnes también sugiere pensar a largo plazo. ¿Qué compañías serán sostenibles cuando la ley federal cambie y el cannabis se convierta legalmente universal en los Estados Unidos? “Cuando cambien las leyes, creo que habrá compañías que serán menos significativas”, dice. “Por ejemplo, muchas de las soluciones bancarias no tendrán tanta fuerza. Cuando cambien las leyes bancarias, lo cual ocurrirá, no será necesario que estas interfaces cumplan con los requisitos bancarios. Cuando el efectivo se puede depositar como cualquier otra industria, no necesitará ese tipo de negocios “.

Tara y su esposo han hecho toneladas de investigación en el mercado. Al investigar, están diseñando estrategias para sus inversiones basadas en el futuro de la legalización federal y su efecto en las instituciones financieras. También están decidiendo sobre un monto de inversión que funcione bien para ambos. “Probablemente vamos a ir con 1-5 mil”, dice con optimismo. “Vemos el crecimiento en los estados donde la marihuana ha sido legalizada como prometedora y queremos ser parte de la industria, especialmente porque esperamos que las regulaciones federales se relajen en las instituciones financieras de los Estados Unidos en el futuro”.

High Times rumbo a NASDAQ!

High Times  cree que el movimiento de cannabis debe centrarse en la comunidad. Es por eso que creemos que nuestros esfuerzos de expansión deben provenir de aquellos que se beneficiarán más de nuestro crecimiento: nuestros fieles fanáticos de High Times, los entusiastas de cannabis y los primeros inversores.

Una inversión en High Times es una inversión en el futuro de los medios de cannabis y la preservación de la increíble cultura que hemos creado. Hemos sido la voz original en el cannabis durante cuarenta y cuatro años, liderando la despenalización del cannabis, incluso cuando otros editores se han negado. Es esta transparencia y unidad lo que nos ha permitido convertirnos en una de las marcas más confiables en el espacio de la marihuana.

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MOB Rules: The Mother of Berries

It’s time to report on a truly legendary strain known throughout North America as MOB (a.k.a. the Mother of Berries), bred and released by the renowned seed company T.H. Seeds. The origin story of this stalwart variety has never been revealed—until now. 

As T.H. Seeds co-founder Doug explains, “In the mid- to late ’90s, a big bag of Cali weed ended up in Boston which had a few seeds—no one knew the strain name. This true bomb weed, apparently 100 percent indica, was originally called MOD, as these were the initials of the guy who grew it out, mothered it and got it going. But since it was getting too popular and they wanted to hide his identity, they changed the name to MOB. The crew that got it out there was the old Boston skateboarding community. The original guy gave a cutting to a friend of mine who brought it to me, and it was originally grown on my rooftop, flowering super-fast. Then we sent it down to Spain for further selection and feminized seed production.”

Once again, the excellent US connections of the long-established Dutch seed company had, literally, come to fruition.

MOB is described as a short, compact plant that performs the miracle of producing its exquisite berrylike and highly resinous buds within a mere 42-55 days of flowering. Quickness and quality aren’t the plant’s only strengths, though; it’s got quantity too. Thanks to their handy size, robust branching and easy management, MOB plants are perfect for novice growers. And, very conveniently, their fat, hard buds possess good mold resistance as well. 

Additionally, MOB’s pink to purple flower coloration brings variety into the usually green cannabis scenery. The typical MOB effect, fueled by a THC count of up to more than 20 percent, is a very strong indica stone providing deep relaxation, often followed by heavy sleepiness. That’s why this variety is praised and used by many as a very effective sleeping aid. Generally regarded as a strong medical strain, it’s also being successfully used to treat stress disorders and chronic pain conditions. 

With regard to its heavy, drowsy indica effect, The T.H. Seeds crew also refers to MOB as “stupid bud,” because when they smoked it for the first time it was fun all the way, but everyone forgot their keys in the end! According to the T.H. Seeds crew, there’s something unique to its flavor, “like nothing you’ve ever smelled or tasted before.” 

Green Born Identity

Growing MOB

Soon after it had been launched, it didn’t take long for MOB to clinch its first award, winning second place in the indica category at the prestigious Expo Grow Cannabis Cup 2015 in Irun, Spain. Being the ardent T.H. Seeds fan that he is, the Doc was highly excited about this new strain release and promptly ordered a package with five feminized seeds, of which he used four for a cultivation test. 

After a quick germination time of only two and a half days, the four seedlings stood upright in the bright light emitted by a SANlight S4W LED module. The MOB’s growth habit entirely lived up to the official description, with the four plants growing super-compact and squat, like an indica straight from a picture book, except for one difference: Their shade leaves were not as wide-fingered as those of a classic indica plant. 

But internodal stacking was immensely dense, and when the Doc triggered them into flowering four weeks after germination, his extremely bushy four MOB plants were only 28, 30, 31 and 34 centimeters tall—wonderfully uniform once again, just as the Doc is accustomed to from T.H. Seeds. “In my grow room,” the Doc says, “T.H. Seeds set the gold standard for strain uniformity a long time ago, and they’ve kept it until today—quite amazing!”

Two weeks after the light-cycle switch from 18/6-hour light/dark to 12/12, the four plants had already busily begun to bloom—“as fast as an express train,” reported the Doc. The MOB turned out to be the fastest of five varieties growing in his room. “Already at this early stage,” the Doc wrote in his grow diary after four weeks of flowering, “the four plants are looking impressive. Still very homogeneous and still that extraordinarily compact as stem elongation during flowering has been only moderate, with a height gain of merely 60-70 percent. It’s evident that all the buds—top and side colas alike—are about to become thick and chubby. I also love the fact that as early as now, they’re plentifully bestrewn with resin glands. Keep it coming, Mother of Berries!” 

The four MOB plants kept their fast flowering speed until the end and reached maturity after 46-52 days of flowering—well within the harvest window stated by T.H. Seeds. Said the Doc: “One of the four plants remained green, but the other three are displaying attractive purples hues, indeed, absolutely nice! Also, the buds have become as bulbous, dense and super-tight as expected. And they’ve put on a splendorous resin vestment lined with myriads of majestically glistening trichomes.” 

However, the buds not only looked gorgeous, but they also fulfilled the promise of an exquisite berry fragrance that made the Doc rejoice: “Ahhh… These aromatic wafts of a fruity-sweet scent are a most enticing treat to my nose. You just have to inhale them deeply! The berry aroma is so smooth, so caressing to my nose, it makes me think of some fruity kind of perfume infused with different forest berries. The Mother of Berries has really lived up to its name here.” 

Green Born Identity

MOB Yield 

The total dry yield tipped the scales at 273 grams, an average of 68 grams per plant. Compared with the yield level generally achieved by the Doc, the MOB wasn’t a smasher in absolute terms, but in view of the small plant sizes with final heights of 46, 49, 54 and 58 centimeters, the yield-to-size ratio was superior. After thorough drying and curing, the chlorophyll had vanished from the buds and their delicious berrylike nature had become even more pronounced and sophisticated—“a fine example of a fruity cannabis delicacy,” according to the Doc.

The Doc swooned over the MOB. For the smoke test, he rolled himself a spliff with more weed in it than tobacco. “My new motto is ‘Put the berries in your tank!’” he commented with a broad grin. Holding it under his nose, the entire joint smelled sugar-sweet. When he took the first hit, a sweet stack of smoke wafted into his mouth that made his taste buds dance with joy. “Incredible how this fruity berry flavor accumulates in my mouth!” he exclaimed. “Three tokes and you think you’ve chewed a Hubba Bubba.”

Winding down from a hard day with many quandaries to be solved, the Doc began seeing things through rose-colored (or rather, green-tinted) glasses, his view upon life and its problems becoming relaxed and serene. This mellow wave of tranquility made his head feel light, but not long after that his “mental wadding” thickened heavily and turned into a numbing, mighty cushion that seemed to blanket all his senses. His eyes, his jaw, his limbs—everything went slack, and although he actually never takes a nap during the day, he now felt a strong desire to do so. 

Unstoppably, the Sandman drew closer, and once the Doc’s eyes were closed, it wasn’t long before he entered the realm of sleep. What was intended as a short nap lasted for two solid hours, and when the Doc woke up in the early evening, he still felt quite spaced-out. Which didn’t keep him from preparing another MOB spliff, though, which led to a long-lasting couchlock with tremendous stonedness, but without putting him to sleep this time. Instead, he happily indulged in his passion for listening to Pink Floyd. 

Concluded the Doc: “MOB has wowed me with its beautiful appearance, short flowering time and nevertheless high productivity. And its tremendous indica potency makes it a highly effective natural sleep-inducing drug. I’ve called it Sandman’s favorite indica—by means of this stuff, he’ll lull even the most severe insomniacs to sleep. And oh, the icing on the cake is MOB’s mouth-watering sweet berry flavor!” 

Cultivation Data

Genetics MOB (100% indica)
Vegetative stage 4 weeks (after germination)
Flowering stage 42-55 days in general
Medium Plagron Grow Mix in1-liter pots
pH 6.2-6.6
EC 1.2-1.8 mS
Light Up to 12 x SANlight S4W = 1,680 Watt
Temp 19-28°C
Air Humid- ity 40-60%
Watering By hand
Fertiliza- tion Organic Bloom Liquid from Green Buzz Liquids
Additives/ Stimulants More Roots, Humin Säure Plus, Big Fruits, Fast Buds and Clean Fruits from Green Buzz Liquids
Height 46, 49, 54 and 58 centimeters
Yield 68 grams per plant on average

This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue. Click here to get a subscription!

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We Visited Some Cannabis Grows In Colombia To Figure Out If The Hype Is Real

If you’ve been keeping up with the state of the international cannabis industry, then you’ve probably heard of Colombia being poised as the next major hub for cannabis exports.

With the perfect climate and geography for cultivation, low production costs, a vast network of experienced professionals in the field (illegal experience is still experience!), and the green-light from the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board) to grow and export over 25 percent of the world’s total production quota (40.5 tonnes), Colombia has had investors drooling over the chance to break into the world’s next star in the realm of legal cannabis.

“To date in the legal cannabis industry, it’s largely been all about indoor, high-end flower as a key product category. Going forward, the growth of concentrates, edibles, and pharmaceuticals means that this will less and less be the case,” said Tom Adams, managing director and principal analyst at BDS Analytics. “Colombia’s advantages as a low-cost, outdoor growth venue will place the country’s cultivators in good stead in worldwide markets.”

Here’s BDS’ Colombia forecast, with international and global spending toplines:

Javier Hasse
  • International Spending – Accounts for legal spending in countries outside of North America (US and Canada).
  • Global Spending – Accounts for spending in all legal markets.
  • *All spending estimates are in Millions of US dollars

However, skeptics may look hard past all the buzz to wonder if Colombia’s purported role as a major supplier for Canada’s legal market is no more than hype, created by speculation around the rising South American pot star’s favorable regulations and media coverage of Canadian firms investing in its soil.

So to determine if Colombia’s cannabis scene is actually all that, we had to see it to believe it. With our bags packed with as many pairs of shorts our closets had to offer, a collection of sunglasses and the remains of last summer’s sunscreen lotions, we headed down there for a first-hand take on the situation.

We landed at an airport by the sea in the Caribbean city of Santa Marta, where we would check out a couple farms owned and operated by Avicanna — a Canadian cannabinoid research company that recently partnered with one of the largest agro companies in the world. To date, it’s also the only cannabis-focused company to be accepted into Johnson & Johnson’s incubator, JLABS @ Toronto – as reported by High Times in 2017.

All details aside, the farm extinguished any doubt left in our minds about cannabis in Colombia: The land of Shakira and Carlos Vives is exploding with more than just pop music!

A Little Context

Just last month, the Colombian company Ecomedics S.A.S. (doing business as Clever Leaves) became the first to legally ship cannabis to Canada, in what became the first export to ever receive authorization from both Health Canada and the Colombian National Narcotics Fund.

Other big, publicly-traded companies like Khiron Life Sciences, Pharmacielo, Aphria, the Wayland Group, Chemesis International, the Cronos Group, Canopy Growth, and Aurora Cannabis have also made multi-million dollars investments in the country.

Colombia actually began tracing a path towards legalization almost 30 years ago, when Law 30 passed, which legalized medical production. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that a set of regulations was established, and the production of cannabis was officially legalized.

Today, psychoactive and non-psychoactive forms of cannabis are legal, provided they’re bred for medical and scientific purposes. Recreational adult use remains illegal but possession of up to 20 grams and cultivation of up to 20 plants is decriminalized by the Supreme Court.

Regulations governing cannabis exports are still evolving: New Frontier Data’s 2019 report on the Latin American Cannabis Market states that only oil-based products are allowed to be exported. Even the Clever Leaves landmark shipment is still more promise than fact, since that first exported batch is meant only for lab testing, rather than for sale.

From 0 To 100 In A Second

We first visited Avicanna’s cannabis farms in May of 2018, as part of a trip that revolved around a symposium on medical cannabis in Santa Marta.

The Avicanna team mentioned they were building out one of the first legal marijuana grows in Colombia, and offered to give us a tour. They warned us there was not much there yet, except for a few buildings and some workers. However, the dream-like scenery of a soon-to-be mountainous cultivation site, just miles away from white sandy beaches and the even whiter snowy peaks, was definitely a sight to behold.

With no idea of the magic awaiting us at Avicanna’s grounds, we visited the same day, as it turned out, that the company’s first small plantlets arrived from their nursing and propagation facility. As the team prepared to plant each tiny clone carefully into its pot, we realized this would become an all-nighter: The plants had to be in the ground before the sun rose again so that their cycles would remain unchanged.

Sergio with baby plants/ Javier Hasse

We observed legendary master grower Sergio Puerta (who has more than 30 years’ experience growing weed) smile to see his babies planted legally, for the first time ever. Puerta has lost friends, sleep, and entire crops to senseless prohibition policies — hence, the prospect of growing cannabis out in the open was a dream come true. Even his parents and wife were there to witness the historic moment.

After our visit to Avicanna, we spent the rest of the week at the symposium, speaking with cannabis scientists, executives, and growers about Colombia’s destiny to become a world-class cannabis producer. Yet, however interesting these conversations were, they left us somewhat disappointed — the concept of weed fields stretching for miles on end seemed to be more talk than reality.

At the time, Colombia’s “cannabis” fields, were empty, save for a few bulldozers roaming about. We then learned, however, that all licensed cannabis growers were just starting out, since back then, the state had only recently issued permits.

Return To The Hempire

As months went by, we wondered about what might become of Colombia’s potential to become one of the largest cannabis producers in the world. We figured that potential was bound to be realized sooner rather than later, especially considering that it takes five cents to produce a gram of cannabis in Colombia, versus $1.50 in Canada.

But while there was a lot to say about Colombia’s potential, we had yet to witness material proof of it actually becoming this promised land of pot. For all we knew, this could easily be a flunk.

Then, in early January — more than six months after our last visit to Colombia — we we got a call from Aras Azadian, Avicanna’s CEO working out of the company’s Canadian headquarters, and Lucas Nosiglia, the firm’s president for Latin America.

“We’re about to start the harvest,” they told us, and we jumped at the prospect of getting to see Colombia’s first-ever commercial cannabis harvest. Two weeks later, we boarded a plane in Miami (with unjustified fears of airport delays caused by the U.S. government shutdown) and within a few hours, we were back. Having stashed our sweaters in our bags, we were now soaking up the Caribbean sun.

A driver wearing a company V-neck was waiting for us outside the sea-side airport. We joined him on the back of a huge pickup truck and drove away. It felt like we were characters in an old drug cartel movie, about to meet the powerful drug lord to strike a deal. But no, we shook our heads, that was an old-world paradigm.

Colombia was now going legal, and everything we were doing there was strictly within the law.  We settled into a sense of comfort, lending itself to excitement, as we awaited to see what these guys had accomplished in only six months.

Out of Our Dreams

Our tour began at a lab and an indoor grow. Everything looked alright, unexpectedly high-tech (especially considering we were in the middle of the mountains in the Caribbean), but altogether in line with what we’d seen before on our many tours through American cultivation facilities.

Javier Hasse

The peopled guiding us smiled. They knew what we most looked forward to seeing, but of course, Colombians know to keep the best course for dessert.

As we walked up the hill, each step felt like a heartbeat. We knew we were about to see the same babies all grown, but we didn’t expect the scene to look so much like our fantasy: a vast field of open-air crops, rooted in the soil, and protected only by a thin canvas ceiling.

Javier Hasse

The pictures speak the rest.

They first took us through the characterization and research area (or ‘ship’, as they called them), where stood roughly 60 different cannabis varieties, all ripe and ready to harvest. Next up, were the commercial ships. In there, all plants looked exactly the same — and with good reason, as the company is only cultivating two stains of low-THC, CBD-dominant strains for commercial purposes — both for the Colombia’s legal medical market and for exports.

Javier Hasse

But what we saw in there was much more than a beautiful harvest of cannabis. It was the confirming omen of Colombia’s future. The Land of Cannabis. Legal, and for the world.

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Joe Biden Supports Marijuana Decriminalization, Not Legalization

“Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana.” That’s what former US Vice President Joe Biden told voters in Nashua, New Hampshire on Tuesday. But Biden, one of more than 20 contenders for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said he does not support making cannabis legal. Instead, Biden favors decriminalization, not legalization. But the former VP and 2020 hopeful still thinks states should be able to make their own decisions when it comes to legalization, without federal interference. Biden also believes the federal government should support medical cannabis research and make it easier for people to expunge criminal records for some cannabis-related offenses.

As a Senator, Biden Helped Wage the War on Weed

On March 16, ahead of his officially announcing his candidacy for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Joe Biden said, “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the nomination.”

But even a cursory look at Biden’s record reveals that’s not the case, especially when it comes to drug policy. As a Senator, Biden was a militant in the war on drugs. He helped passed bills that eliminated parole, authorized civil asset forfeiture and imposed harsh mandatory minimums for drug possession. He introduced the racist sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine, helped pass dozens of new death penalties and directed massive amounts of public resources to building new prisons and arresting people to fill them.

Indeed, during his decades in the Senate, Biden bragged constantly about his central role in drug and criminal legal policies that devastated black communities. And even setting that record aside, Biden today still isn’t anywhere near the most progressive candidate when it comes to marijuana policy.

Marijuana Legalization a Key Issue Among 2020 Democratic Contenders

The dividing line between decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing is splitting the field of 2020 Democratic candidates. And Joe Biden isn’t on the legalization side. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Cory Booker do support legalization, along with several other contenders. On the other side stands Biden, who along with Sen. Sherrod Brown and John Hickenlooper, favor support criminalization, not legalization.

In other words, among the Democratic field, legalization is winning out over decriminalization. But Biden isn’t hopping on board.

However, speaking before New Hampshire voters, Biden outlined what federal marijuana policy might look like under his administration. Biden “would allow states to continue to make their own choices regarding legalization and would seek to make it easier to conduct research on marijuana’s positive and negative health impacts by rescheduling it as a schedule 2 drug,” Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates told CNN.

Furthermore, Biden doesn’t think anyone should be behind bars for simply consuming or possessing marijuana—at least not anymore. But Biden did not specify whether decriminalization would apply to private growers or those who sell or distribute marijuana.

Candidate Biden also supports automatically expunging prior criminal records for marijuana possession. Automatic expungement means those with criminal records for marijuana don’t need to file a petition and/or pay for a lawyer to clear their conviction.

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New Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in New York

Lawmakers in New York announced plans to introduce a new marijuana legalization bill in the state legislature, according to media reports. The new bill comes after an effort to include a cannabis legalization plan in the state budget failed to gain enough support earlier this year. Democratic Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan, an advocate for cannabis legalization, said that the new bill builds on the common ground achieved during talks for the unsuccessful budget plan.

“We’ve attempted to take all of the negotiated agreements that took place during budget negotiations and expand our bill,” said Krueger.

The bill’s sponsor in the New York State Assembly, Democratic Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, called for a comprehensive plan to legalize cannabis, regulate hemp, and improve New York’s medical marijuana program.

“I am working on amending the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act to incorporate many aspects of Governor Cuomo’s proposal,” Peoples-Stokes said, “including having one regulatory body overseeing medical marijuana, hemp extracts, and adult-use cannabis.”

Measure Aims for Social Equity

Peoples-Stokes also said that the core principles of the previous plan including “significant dedicated investment in communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition, equity in the industry, permitting individuals to grow cannabis for personal use, and addressing past criminal convictions,” had been preserved in the new bill. 

The majority leader also said that the new plan would include public health benefits and provisions to address the consequences of the War on Drugs.

“A certain percentage of it will go towards comminutes that have been negatively impacted by mass incarceration,” Peoples-Stokes said.

“And a certain percentage of it would go for research, drug prevention and treatment,” she added.  

The new plan also includes expansion to the state’s medical marijuana program by leaving it up to doctors and patients to decide when the therapeutic use of cannabis may be beneficial instead restricting access to those with a specified qualifying medical condition.

“It is my hope that this legislation will be approved by the Legislature, and there will not be a need to take up separate legislation that updates the medical marijuana program, and regulates hemp/CBD,” Peoples-Stokes said.

Will the Bill Succeed?

Krueger said that she does not believe that there are enough votes in the state Senate for the bill to succeed. She’s calling for the Assembly to pass the measure first to build support for the plan.

“And then I can try to make the case that people who might have been scared away when it dropped out of the budget should come back to vote for it,” Krueger said. 

Peoples-Stokes offered lukewarm support for the legislative path outlined by Krueger.

“It’s not something that we are adverse to,” Peoples-Stokes said. “We will look to do that this time.”

Krueger said that she is also looking for help from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, to help secure the votes needed in the Senate. But in a radio interview on May 10, the governor said that he is reluctant to attempt to persuade lawmakers who have reservations for the bill.

“I support it,” Cuomo said. “But if they are starting to suggest that I need to twist arms, then that’s a bad sign. Because arm twisting doesn’t work. And it means they don’t have the political support.” 

Krueger said that lawmakers will have “flunked the assignment” if they fail to pass a marijuana legalization bill this year.

The post New Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in New York appeared first on High Times.


Behind the ‘Stache with Tacoma FD’s Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme

Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme have been making people laugh for decades, most notably as part of the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, which came together in 1990 at New York’s Colgate University. The group’s films Super Troopers, Beerfest, Club Dread and last year’s Super Troopers 2 are now widely considered cult comedy classics.

New Show on truTV

Their latest project, Tacoma FD, is wrapping up its first 10-episode season on truTV this week, and the pair sat down with HTTV recently to talk about the series.

Tacoma FD is our new show on truTV and it’s a show about firefighters in the wettest city in America,” says Heffernan. “And it’s basically Super Troopers in a fire station.”

“Right down to the mustaches,” Lemme chimes in.

Heffernan and Lemme explain that the impetus for the new series is rooted in their vanity.

“The thing that inspired us to make this show was an intense desire to get on TV,” Lemme says, adding that they incorporated popular elements of their earlier hits while creating the show.

“Super Troopers are on the most deserted stretch of highway, so they have a lot of downtime,” Lemme says. “What’s the equivalent of that for firefighters? The rainiest city in the country.”

The storylines in Tacoma FD include antics from real departments, as told to the duo by the likes of one of Heffernan’s cousins Lt. Bill, a firefighter who was hired as a technical director for the production.

“Also, we’ve talked to a bunch of firefighters,” adds Heffernan. “And when Super Troopers came out, firefighters said to us, ‘Cops are pretty funny, you know, but you know who’s really funny? Firefighters.’”

‘World’s Biggest Hotbox’

Because Tacoma has such a wet climate, fires don’t have much chance of starting and getting out of control, leaving the department plenty of downtime for shenanigans. In fact, Lemme and Heffernan decided that the crew of Tacoma FD would only actually fight one fire each season of the series.

“In the first season, it takes place in Washington state, so what makes sense?” Heffernan asks. “Fire in a weed dispensary. Weed dispensary catches on fire, we’re sent in to put it out. Hilarity ensues.”

“It’s basically the world’s biggest hot box,” Lemme explains.

Sequel to Beerfest in the Works

Lemme and Heffernan also talk about other projects they have in the works, including a cannabis-themed sequel to Beerfest. One of the producers of that film, Bill Gerber, is currently enjoying the success of another film he produced, last year’s A Star is Born.

“While he’s really super hot we’ve been talking about doing Potfest” Lemme reveals.

“We have to come up with a good plot though,” muses Heffernan. “When we wrote it, weed was illegal. And now it’s not.”

However, Lemme reminds his partner that they’ve already come up with a new plot for Potfest, explaining that he recently found notes with ideas for the project. Their lack of recollection of the event leads me to believe their brainstorming meeting was in large part a smoke sesh.

“I didn’t remember it either, until I found it,” admits Lemme.

Check out the full interview with Heffernan and Lemme on HTTV, including more hijinx from the firehouse and how work on the show has given them a new appreciation for real firefighters.

Besides Tacoma FD, Heffernan and Lemme can be enjoyed on the small screen in their stand-up comedy special ThePotential Farewell Tour on Amazon Prime. The Tacoma FD season finale airs on truTV on Thursday, May 16.

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10 momento icónicos de películas de terror con relación al cannabis

Todos conocemos el viejo dicho: el arte imita la vida. Eso sigue siendo cierto en el género de terror. Además de que las personas sean horribles entre ellas, otra cosa muy real es el uso de cannabis. Aunque estas tradicionalmente no han sido tan amables con las personas que  consumen algún tipo de drogas, eso no ha impedido que algunos de nuestros personajes favoritos se pongan”high”. Aquí hay algunos icónicos momentos relacionado a personas fumando o en algún tipo de viaje en las películas.

Poltergeist (1982)

Comenzamos nuestra lista con el clásico que hizo que los estadounidenses pensaran dos veces acerca de invadir las tierras indígenas (o no). Si bien es difícil recordar cada detalle del Poltergeist de 1982, no podemos olvidarnos de una escena al comienzo de la película: los padres del clan Freeling, Steven y Diane, comparten un porro en la cama. Esta escena es particularmente notable debido a la representación casual y positiva del cannabis. Estos son dos padres normales de clase media que disfrutan fumando marihuana mientras hablan con sus hijos. Por supuesto, sus vidas se van a la mierda poco después, pero eso tiene más que ver con el hecho de que viven en un antiguo cementerio nativo americano que sus hábitos de consumo.

Halloween (1978)

La franquicia de Halloween es posiblemente una de las más reconocidas y amadas en el género slasher. La trama sigue a la niñera convertida en la última víctima fatal, Laurie Strode, mientras se defiende a sí misma y a sus jóvenes perseguidos ​​por el psicópata asesino Michael Myers. Pero antes de que se convierta en una de las mujeres más rudas de la historia del cine, ella y su amiga Annie fumaron en el auto de esta última con un gran porro. Oye, todos hacemos lo que tenemos que hacer para que el cuidado de los niños sea más soportable (es una broma. No estamos abogando por estar drogado antes de ir a cuidar niños).

La Masacre de Texas (2003)

En el remake de 2003 de la clásica y controvertida obra maestra de Texas Chainsaw Massacre, el principal grupo de jóvenes adultos, también conocido como la carnada, acaban de ir a México a comprar hierba. Aunque con éxito la llevan a través de la frontera hacia Texas, su buena fortuna termina allí.

Sleepaway Camp II (1988)

En esta secuela del súper problemático juego de dormir Sleepaway Camp, la antagonista principal, Angela, regresa como consejera del campamento, y está lista para hacer ruido. Y con esto queremos decir asesinar brutalmente a sus compañeros de personal y campistas. Después de atrapar a las hermanas gemelas Jodi y Brooke fumando un poco de ganja, Angela las deja inconscientes y las quema hasta morir, diciendo “di no a las drogas”. Debería ser una portavoz de D.A.R.E.

Scary Movie 2 (2001)

Ok, esá bien. La franquicia Scary Movie es técnicamente una comedia. Pero todavía hay algunas partes sangrientas y de suspenso. A lo largo de las películas, hay un personaje, Shorty Meeks, cuya principal característica (y su única característica) es que está perpetuamente drogado. En la segunda parte de la franquicia Scary Movie, Shorty intenta criar y cultivar una planta de cannabis. Pero sus planes se arruinan cuando un espíritu maligno posee la planta y trata de matar a Shorty haciéndolo caer de forma contundente y fumándolo.

Antibirth (2016)

Si no has visto esta película o ni siquiera has oído hablar de ella, déjame decirte que “bizarro” ni siquiera comienza a cubrirla. Antibirth cuenta la historia de Lou, una mujer joven que siente cariño por todas las drogas bajo el sol, incluida la hierba. Lou, interpretada por la inimitable Natasha Lyonne, comienza a mostrar síntomas que parecen indicar un embarazo, a pesar de su insistencia en que no hay forma de que esté embarazada. Hay varias escenas de Lou fumando marihuana, así que te dejamos con el trailer. Y el conocimiento de que Chloë Sevigny también está en esta película.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods juega y explora varios arquetipos de películas de terror, como The Stoner, The Geek y The Final Girl. En la escena final, stoner y la the final girl comparten un  porro y esperan pacientemente su destino aceptado.

Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (2013)

Una de las primeras escenas en Hansel y Gretel Get Baked es, apropiadamente, de dos adultos jóvenes que se están drogando. Gretel y su novio Ashton fuman un porro llamado Selva Negra que Ashton le compró a una anciana que cultiva cannabis. Después de que Ashton desaparece en su misión de comprar más Selva Negra, Gretel solicita la ayuda de su hermano Hansel para investigar

Halloween (2018)

Está bien; La muy anticipada secuencia de Halloween muestra a los adolescentes drogándose. Al igual que la original, la hierba no juega un papel importante en la trama. Más bien, solo se muestra para agregar un sentido de realismo a la historia. Los adolescentes fumaban marihuana en la década de 1970, y todavía fuman ahora. Aunque, estamos seguros de que la hierba de la adolescencia de esta generación es mucho mejor que lo que Jamie Lee Curtis había enrollado en el pasado.

Hereditary (2018)

Si aún no has visto el Hereditary, deja de leer inmediatamente y ve a verlo. En el interés de reducir los spoilers (a pesar de que esta película fue estrenada hace meses), basta con decir que un personaje principal en Hereditary fuma algo de hierba en una fiesta en lugar de cumplir con una responsabilidad que dijo que haría. Este acto relativamente rutinario de la transgresión de los adolescentes, involuntariamente, ayuda a que suceda algo mucho más siniestro.

Traducido por: Silvia Muñoz

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What’s Going to Happen to Oregon’s Excess Pot?

A winter 2019 study by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission found that the state was producing twice the amount of cannabis as people were using. The excess in marijuana led to drops in prices, sinking prices from $10 to $5 per gram. Many blame the state’s approach to licensing.

Scott Phillips is to co-owner of the Boring Weed Company in Oregon. He said in an email that the state chose to lower its licensing barriers after witnessing the volatility in Washington State. “With no cap on licenses or limitations on out-of-state capital, overproduction was a predictable result,” he explained. “Anyone with qualifying land and a clean criminal history was eligible to become a licensed producer.” He singled out the southern region of the state for the glut due to its ideal environment for outdoor growing.

Phillips also said the numbers didn’t add up in Oregon. “In a state of 4 million people, where less than 20% of the population is a cannabis consumer, there is a limit to how much cannabis the state can consume itself.”

Brad Bogus, VP of Growth & Marketing at Confident Cannabis, agrees with the numbers not adding up. He considers Oregon’s crops the tops in the nation. Once the state legalized, however, its status as an export state ceased to be. He explained, “So what used to be sent to other states and countries is now locked into the state’s borders, and the growers that used to be exporting are mostly licensed now, so there’s nowhere for all their cannabis to go.”

While the belief is that Oregon’s oversupply predicament could occur in other states, including Missouri, the problem is largely unique. Nick Kovacevich, CEO of KushCo Holdings, Inc, said the situation is quite unique to Oregon because of its “relatively relaxed laws” on investing in the industry compared to states like California, Florida and Massachusetts. He said, “This means more investors can get in on the game there, leading to more supply.”

Bogus saw Oregon’s history of production hindering it in the current market. “Most markets don’t have a legacy of growing over generations for the prohibited market like Oregon or California, so regulations aren’t disrupting an existing export market.”

Respondents seem split on the future of the market. Phillips saw no solution currently available. He said the market needed to sort itself out. He did note that some producers have gotten desperate selling excess inventory to processors and wholesalers at razor thin margins. Kovacevich mentioned a similar outcome where excess is used for extracting compounds including THC and CBD but made no mention of margins.

Bogus saw two options, with one seeing a transition to a commodities market as the others mentioned. “Craft growers will find this objectionable, but there are buyers in Oregon looking for tens of thousands of pounds of lower grade material for processing and extraction.” He added, “Some growers may be able to survive the next few years until export by selling b-buds and trim to major processors and extractors, saving their craftwork for a small amount of their grow, or getting back to it when the borders fall.”

The other option he suggested was one that caught attention on the national stage a few months back: exporting the excess. Bogus expanded on the work of one group advocating for the measure. “The One Fix Campaign being championed by the Craft Cannabis Alliance is having success forwarding the cause of Oregon partnering with other legal states on export agreements. This is required for Oregon’s market to bounce back.”

While many believe that the measure would help the state, it is not feasible under current federal regulations. Phillips explained how the move, if passed, would benefit Oregon while other states spite their own markets. “Oregon could supply enough cannabis to the entire country if it were allowed to do so, but what incentive does a state like California have for pricing its own producers out of the market by allowing our cheaper imports? How will each state’s taxes be accounted for? Testing, tracking and transportation would need to be addressed.” He doesn’t expect the measure to pass until at least 2021.

The excess cannabis has undoubtedly led to producers seeing a decline in prices. Those savings, however, have not been passed onto the customer much, if at all. He explained that retailers would have to pass the savings on by lowering their prices as well. Phillips noted that there is little transparency to suggest that customers have seen this happen.

“Even if consumers are reaping a benefit, it’s artificial,” he said. “Federal cannabis laws force each state to become its own micro-market, only operating within its borders. In a truly national or international market, we would have a better understanding of the ebb and flow of supply and demand. Instead, Oregon is cannibalizing itself.”

The possible decline in prices is not enough to justify the consequences currently unfolding, according to Bogus. “We’re losing amazing growers in the process. It’s great for consumers — sure, you get access to the world’s best weed for dirt cheap — but we all know that’s not right. We know people are going to lose money this way.” Phillips agreed that this outcome is likely to continue with the state legislature already voting down measures to cap licenses.

Bogus believes that federal legalization is likely coming in the next three to five years. As such, he sees this being a one-time event brought on by macro-economics factors and regulations. “Once those borders fall, and they will, this problem ceases to exist,” he notes. “The only hope is that we can see those borders go down sooner, rather than later, so we can keep as many of Oregon’s talented and experienced growers working in the industry.”

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