Six days until Christmas!! Better get that shopping done!! Here are some Christmas tunes to inspire you this weekend!!
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Six days until Christmas!! Better get that shopping done!! Here are some Christmas tunes to inspire you this weekend!!
Xmas is coming fast! Better get that shopping done, only 13 days left! Enjoy these good vibes while you are shopping or wrapping!!
D9 4 Life
Activists endorse California marijuana legalization bid backed by Gavin Newsom, Sean Parker
Some drop support for competing effort
Among them is Richard Lee, proponent of 2010’s Prop 19
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom at Founders Den where he has an office space in San Francisco in July. Newsom is backing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. Carlos Avila Gonzalez The Chronicle
BY CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO
A handful of legacy activists in the state’s marijuana community have agreed to support the recreational legalization effort backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and expected to receive financial support from former Facebook President Sean Parker.
The campaign announced that a majority of the board of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform has agreed to withdraw support for its preferred proposed measure, ReformCA, and that six board members have formally endorsed the so-called Adult Use of Marijuana Act to legalize and tax marijuana.
The members include Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University in Oakland and proponent of 2010’s unsuccessful Proposition 19 legalization effort; Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Stacia Cosner, deputy director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association; and David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a top-selling brand of natural soaps.
The Newsom-Parker effort has been working to forge a united front to avoid potentially competing measures on next fall’s statewide ballot.
“We have carefully reviewed amendments submitted by the proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and we’re convinced it’s time to endorse that initiative and unite everyone behind a single, consensus measure to achieve a legal, regulated system, which a majority of voters have consistently said they want,” Bronner said in a prepared statement.
Added Lee: “It’s important that we all get together to support one initiative.”
The campaign also said that Larry Bedard, former President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, has pulled out as a co-proponent of ReformCA measure and supports the Newsom-Parker bid, which has been amended in recent days to bolster various safeguards for children, unionized workers, local governments and small businesses.
Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article48618625.html#storylink=cpy
Enjoy the weekend!! Here are some tunes to help you get going!!
D9 4 Life
The inevitable legalization of pot sets off a new California Gold Rush
Robert Gaither is a 39-year-old former salesman, a teddy bear of a guy with a full brown beard that makes him look a little like a mountain man. He does in fact live in the mountains — Lake Arrowhead, to be exact — but right now he is standing in an exhibit space at a downtown San Francisco hotel, showing off his wares at a conference exploring the intersection of cannabis, tech, media and finance.
Gaither is selling an expensive cannabis extraction system created by his wife, Brenna, a biochemist.
They decided at the last minute to attend this gathering, the New West Summit, last Friday and Saturday. And they are glad they came. Over the course of the two days, their booth will generate more than $250,000 in orders.
I wondered why he wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement. “I’m just tired,” he said. “We are so busy. And we have a 9-month old.”
Here at the New West Summit, everyone seemed busy. Hedge fund managers and venture capitalists mingled with medical cannabis dispensary owners, app developers and all manner of cannabis entrepreneur. Publicists and certified public accountants worked the rooms, looking for new business. The whiff of money was almost as strong as the whiff of cannabis, both of which intensified as the conference unfolded.
It's an underground industry that is finally becoming investable.
- Morgan Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management, a cannabis investment firm
The amounts of money are staggering. Troy Dayton of the ArcView Group, which has invested $57 million to date in cannabis businesses, expects industry revenue to leap from $2.7 billion in 2014 to perhaps $11 billion by 2019.
“It’s an underground industry that is finally becoming investable,” said Morgan Paxhia, who, with his sister, Emily, runs Poseidon Asset Management, a firm that invests in cannabis-related businesses.
During a “Shark Tank”-like session, I heard pitches for Evoke, a new kind of vape induction technology invented by a Cambridge physicist; Healthy Headie Lifestyle, a vaporizer and accessories business modeled after Mary Kay (“We bring the store to your door); and Ebbu, a distilled cannabis liquid to be used as a food and drink additive.
Ebbu’s 39-year-old founder, Dooma Weltschuh, who wrote the popular video game “Assassin’s Creed,” has raised $9 million. “We are making the world’s first cannabis distillery,” Weltschuh said. “We are creating a whole new product category that is no more deserving of being called ‘marijuana’ than vodka deserves being called potato juice.”
He told me he had just returned from Albania, where he met with the country’s president to discuss basing a distillery there. Weltschuh was among many people who corrected me when I used the phrase “recreational marijuana.” “We don’t say ‘recreational,’” he said. “We say, ‘adult.’”
The range of cannabis products was impressive. Jane’s Brews are infused coffees. Sensi Chews are cannabis-infused caramels, created by a woman who wanted to help a cancer-stricken family member. Care by Design makes coconut-oil and cannabis sprays to be spritzed under the tongue. Everywhere, some optimistic entrepreneur was saying he or she wants to be the “Uber” of pot, the “Starbucks” of pot, the “Nespresso” of pot.
Gaither, for his part, operates in the “picks and shovels” arena. (“When everyone is looking for gold,” Mark Twain supposedly said of the Gold Rush, “it’s a good time to be in the picks and shovels business.”)
As we spoke, his left hand rested on a glass contraption with tubes and coils that looked as if it came straight out of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. It was a cold-extraction machine that turns marijuana buds into essential oils that can then be smoked, vaporized or added to food.
Because it produces such a high-quality product, growers are clamoring for the equipment, which can cost up to $50,000, a price tag that includes installation and two days of training.
Gaither’s company, Genius Extraction Technologies, launched on April 20, 2014 (yep, 4/20). Last year, the company had half a million dollars in sales. This year, the Gaithers expect to bring in $3 million. They foresee doubling their revenue every year, except they are having trouble finding and keeping qualified salespeople willing to work under unusual conditions.
For instance, transactions are generally in cash. Folks who sell marijuana for a living can’t use banks, which are federally regulated, because cannabis is illegal under federal law. The IRS does not allow cannabis purveyors to deduct business expenses, since marijuana, preposterously, continues to be classified as a controlled substance, in the same category as heroin and LSD. That will probably change only when Congress stiffens its spine and changes banking laws.
During one panel discussion here, Bernie Sanders’ pollster, Ben Tulchin, predicted that if California can get one cannabis initiative on the ballot in 2016 (rather than multiple competing initiatives), it will probably pass with 55% of the vote.
“The key,” he said, “is voters in the middle. They don’t smoke, they don’t use, they’re worried about kids getting access. They want to treat it like tobacco, with restrictions on how it’s used and where it’s used.”
This year, California finally enacted a regulatory framework for its nearly 20-year-old medical marijuana industry. The laws govern licensing, testing and distribution, and are also expected to provide a basis for the coming era of legalization.
There is no question that era is on the way. I have seen the future, and it is pot.
Robin Abcarian Contact Reporter
California pot farmers wrestle with new medical marijuana rules
Pot farmers are wrestling with the implications of the first statewide regulations of California's medical marijuana industry.
Jeremy B. White The Sacramento Bee
BY JEREMY B. WHITE
An unmistakeable scent, rotten-sweet and earthy, greets visitors to Basil McMahon’s pine and oak sheltered Nevada County farm.
It wafts from cannabis plants growing in a murky legal terrain between acceptance and prohibition.
Over the next few years that will change, as a sweeping new package of laws will reverse years of state silence by regulating and licensing every stage of the medical marijuana industry.
For consumers, the shift will mean more assurance that their medicine won’t be laden with pesticides and other impurities, but likely result in higher prices. For growers, the new regime will recognize cannabis as an agricultural product, conferring legitimacy and imposing new rules on farmers accustomed to tending their plants without a stamp of approval from the state.
“It means I’ll be able to do what I’m doing without fear of persecution for the first in my life, for the first time in generations,” McMahon said as workers trimmed buds from the fall harvest. “That’s exciting, but it also presents a lot of questions and challenges.”
“THERE ARE FOLKS WHO CULTIVATE CANNABIS AND WANT TO JOIN THE FARM BUREAU AT SOME POINT. THEY MIGHT RUFFLE SOME FEATHERS.”
Assemblyman James Wood, D-Healdsburg
While voters authorized medical marijuana in 1996, until this year the Legislature had failed to create a system for regulating it.
Marijuana farmers for years operated in a space with inconsistently enforced rules and scant oversight, with local officials tasked with monitoring what the state could or would not. Without a permitting process for legitimate operations, raids posed a constant threat. Bad actors could degrade the environment with few consequences. A lack of formal tracking allowed marijuana to flow freely to the black market for recreational, not medical use.
Now, growers will need to obtain cultivation permits and abide by rules for water and pesticide use, with state agencies policing their environmental impact and vetting labs that will test for pesticides and other contaminants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture will track medical pot’s progress with a “seed-to-sale” monitoring system.
“It’s such a paradigm shift in that for the last 30 to 40 years the standard procedure for a marijuana farmer was to throw away and burn all his paperwork,” said Stephen Dillon, executive manager of the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild. “It was considered evidence to be used against you in a court of law.”
Like McMahon, many marijuana farmers speak optimistically about the opportunity to operate free of the need for surreptitiousness and threat of raids.
“It was a low-scale war for a long time, and people are sick of it,” McMahon said. “They would much rather be above board, do things right and not worry about law enforcement.”
But they also warn that if permits are too costly and compliance is too cumbersome, the new regime could backfire and send farmers deeper into the woods.
“If you try to go zero to 100 all at once, you push people further underground,” said Assemblyman James Wood, D-Healdsburg, an architect of the new framework. “They’ll say ‘hey, I never did that before, and I won’t do it now.’”
Not all marijuana farmers have been growing exclusively for medicinal use. It’s common knowledge that weed has far more value on the black market, and the financial motive proves irresistible to some.
“Most cannabis that comes from northern California is sold in the non-legal marketplace,” said Casey O’Neill, a prominent voice for growers who runs HappyDay Farms in Mendocino County. “We know that.”
For the new program to successfully divert cannabis from the black market to regulated dispensaries, farmers say, it will need be worth the time and investment required to abide by the rules and obtain permits.
“If they set up too rigorous of a program then they will not get buy-in, and if they don’t get buy-in nothing has changed,” Dillon said. “We will continue to have one of the largest black market industries in the country.”
Dillon’s Humboldt Sun Growers Guild, which operates in a co-op-like system that pools contributions of individual farmers, has modeled the new reality ahead of schedule, imposing stringent rules on contributing farmers. The cost of compliance means a higher price for their marijuana.
“They’re competing with a thriving black market,” said manager Chrystal Ortiz. “It’s not fair that we have to compete with these people who can buy a bunch of cartel-grown cannabis ... and they’re not paying taxes. They’re not paying their employees. They didn’t get their water permitted.”
Competition with black market prices is not the only consideration. Many farmers worry that the new rules will benefit large-scale enterprises that have the resources to comply, pushing out smaller growers in the process.
“I DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO A FUTURE WHERE THE ECONOMY IS BUILT AROUND GROWING THIS PLANT THE WAY ALMONDS ARE GROWN.”
Marijuana grower Basil McMahon
“Very small local mom-and-pop growers who are naturally environmentally conscious, who never produced big gardens,” have already had to contend with ‘a huge green rush’ that descended, said Robert Sutherland, founder of the Humboldt Mendocino Marijuana Advocacy Project.
Given its precarious legal position, “the sky has always been falling on the cannabis industry,” O’Neill said. But now the fears are different.
“We’re afraid of big business,” he said. “We see these huge capitalist enterprises looking to overtake everything we’ve been working at this whole time, to gobble up our way of life and turn it into something to make money.”
Staying afloat could come down to quality. Stricter testing and labeling standards mean cannabis consumers will get more information about what they’re purchasing.
“One of the things we hope to see is the value travel back up the supply chain,” said Emerald Growers Association executive director Hezekiah Allen. “If you’re producing a good, organic clean product today it doesn’t matter, because it disappears into the void that is the unregulated marketplace.”
The state of weed sent to dispensaries and manufacturers can vary widely. One cannabis oil maker described rejecting weed that stank of rotten egg because of the spray it was treated with. The new system will bar that kind of tainted herb.
“You can’t get away with it anymore. Organic certified pesticides are showing up, bad pesticides are showing up,” Ortiz said. “I’m having to deny cannabis left and right.”
Then there’s the matter of marketing. The Humboldt Sun Growers Guild already has a product name, True Humboldt, with a slogan (”Since the beginning”) and a sleek website trumpeting its virtues.
“We believe the Humboldt name and history is a big brand,” Dillon said.
The hope is that highlighting the origins, akin to Napa County wines or microbrews, will boost the value of the product and help smaller farmers compete with larger operations.
“Do Doritos sell more than Kettle Chips?” Ortiz mused. “I do think it will demand a premium price, and as soon as it’s mandated for the dispensaries, we’ll be good.”
Recognized brand or no, growers will need to navigate a new distribution system with new gatekeepers.
The laws prohibit growers from getting licenses to transport their product and distribute it to dispensaries. The multi-tiered system is intended to prevent large monopolies and to impose another layer of accountability, tasking the distributor middlemen with ensuring the product stays in legitimate channels.
Some growers believe it will give them a reliable pathway to market. The current system, Allen said, “is very disorganized, very decentralized and totally inefficient.”
“I don’t want to drive all over the state delivering medicine,” Allen said. “I want to farm.”
Others worry about ceding too much control to distributors, which could dissolve the relationships they’ve already built with dispensaries and let larger growers occupy more shelf space.
“It doesn’t matter if you have a 15-year relationship with a dispensary where your cannabis has been going, you now have to give that to a distributor,” Ortiz said, but handing oversight to distributors could mean of “small-batch, craft cannabis” could “go in a catalog with all the other ones and just become a number.”
There are other consequences to legitimization. Growers will be eligible for an array of state tax breaks for business expenses like equipment purchases, just as other farmers are, though federal tax relief will still be out of reach.
Anyone who obtains a license would be deemed an “agricultural employer,” meaning their workers would be covered by the state’s farm labor laws. They could organize or submit claims to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.
“The UFW is definitely going to look at organizing marijuana workers,” said United Farm Workers spokesman Marc Grossman. “If marijuana is going to be regulated as a legitimate agricultural product then they would be agricultural workers just like wine grape or tomato workers.”
And a crop often seen as a menace will join grapes, rice and strawberries in the pantheon of legitimate California crops. Chrystal has already met with the Humboldt County agricultural commissioner, the type of contact she said would have been impossible before.
“Some folks involved in other kinds of agriculture aren’t particularly thrilled this is going to be considered an agriculture product,” said Wood. “Certainly in my district there are folks who cultivate cannabis and want to join the farm bureau at some point. They might ruffle some feathers.”
Such legitimacy gives growers hope that they can step into the mainstream and thrive. But they also worry about what could be lost.
“I look forward to being able to continue to grow more or less on this scope,” McMahon said. “I don’t look forward to a future where the economy is built around growing this plant the way almonds are grown.”
Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert
Read more here:http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article45255678.html
Happy Friday the 13th!!! Watch out for Freddy this weekend!!
Enjoy the music and light it up!!
Newport Beach ordinance will ban marijuana growing and sales
The Newport Beach City Council took a step in banning pot production and sale at Tuesday’s meeting.
Hannah Fry - Reporter
Marijuana growing, dispensaries and delivery will be illegal in Newport Beach under a new ordinance.
The Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the first reading of an ordinance banning the cultivation, processing, distribution and delivery of cannabis in the city.
Councilman Keith Curry commended law enforcement's work in crafting the ordinance, saying "it's something I've been asking for," according to Times Community News.
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Newport Beach's municipal code previously did not address medical marijuana, though dispensaries have not been allowed to operate in the city, according to City Manager Dave Kiff. Though there are no brick-and-mortar pot dispensaries operating in Newport Beach, several online services say they deliver marijuana to people in the city.
The ban is in response to the state's Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Oct. 9. The act, which becomes effective Jan. 1, will create California's first statewide licensing and operating rules for pot growers, manufacturers of cannabis products and retail outlets since state voters legalized medical marijuana nearly 20 years ago.
The act also states that unless cities take immediate action to enact rules or bans for medical marijuana in their areas, the state will become the sole authority for licensing and regulation, according to Newport Beach Mayor Ed Selich.
See the most-read stories this hour >>
In 1996, voters approved Proposition 215, which enabled seriously ill Californians under the care of a doctor to legally possess, use and cultivate marijuana for medical use. In 2003, the state Legislature adopted the Medical Marijuana Program, which allowed patients to associate collectively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.
Several neighboring cities have struggled for years with the notion of whether to allow pot shops.
In Costa Mesa, where medical marijuana dispensaries have been banned since 2005, two certified petitions sought to send the question to voters, but the City Council declined to put them on a special election ballot this year because of a technicality in state tax law. Instead, the petitions will be on the city's next general election ballot in November 2016.
According to a Newport Beach staff report, several California cities have reported offensive odors, illegal sales and distribution, trespassing, theft, violent robberies, fire hazards and other problems related to the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
In a letter to the City Council, Joseph Stack wrote about the benefits medical marijuana had on an ill family member living in another city.
"She has been able to get off a number of medications that had much worse side effects," he wrote. He cautioned the council to "keep those people in mind when you consider our ordinances."
"I am all in favor of protecting the community from drug abuse and I wouldn't advocate opening up a dispensary on every corner, but I am pretty sure there are residents in our city that can't get out of the house and have their prescription medications delivered to their home," Stack wrote. "It seems like there should be some way for legitimate patients who benefit from medical marijuana to obtain and use it in our city in a medically responsible way."
Fry writes for Times Community News.
Everybody enjoy the weekend!! Hope this music helps to get you going for it!
D9 4 Life
Trick or Treat!!!
Enjoy some Halloween themed music for the Halloween weekend!! Don't let the boogie man get ya!