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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Michigan News for February 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Dispensaries Help Flint
Flint: While Flint residents struggle with the continuous water crisis in the city, businesses around the city and across the nation are doing their part to help. This includes medical marijuana businesses such as the Green Bean and Green RX. Green RX, jointly owned by Brooke Malik and former Pistons player Ben Wallace, is not yet open but still held a water giveaway in their parking lot on the 25th. They brought in 600 cases of water to distribute to anyone who needed it.

     Rachelle Arnott, owner of the Green Bean, started raising money to help the citizens of Flint in mid-January and told ABC 12 News they had already raised around $1,200 with a promise to match any donation – up to $5,000. “Flint is our home community we love it here,” Arnott told ABC, “and obviously with this big crisis here we definitely wanted to give a helping hand in helping the city of Flint.” Arnott went on to point out that even her customer’s medication is suffering due to the water problem saying, “You know this is essentially a weed. And a weed can’t even grow in this. So this is killing peoples’ medicine and they can’t have their medicine like they normally have because of the water.” Though many may disagree with the type of product the dispensaries sell, these businesses are doing what they feel is right to help their community.

Michigan News for February 2016 Part 2 - by Ben Horner

Magic Buds Raided
Kalkaska: Owner of Magic Buds Provisioning Center in Kalkaska, Ken Murray, opened the dispensary after the moratorium on medical marijuana centers expired. He received a use permit and felt he was in full compliance, and began working with the local leaders to set up an ordinance to license Provisioning Centers and cultivation centers. In November of last year the village adopted the ordinance, which was set to go into effect December 17th. Three days prior to the ordinance to regulate Ken’s new business went into effect, the Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT) decided to raid Magic Buds and the Murray home.

      “Where’s the Money,” shouted the officers raiding his house. Traumatized, Ken cooperated as much as he could but he didn’t have the large sums of money that they where looking for. Bank accounts were frozen, but there wasn’t much there either. TNT took the meds at the dispensary and what little cash they could find. So far, no charges have been filed as a result of the raid.

     Ken reopened the store shortly after the raid. On January 31 he received his license from the Village of Kalkaska to operate his dispensary.  

National News for February 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Chandler Jones May Face Suspension for Synthetic Pot Use
Massachusetts: The NFL will be looking into a recent hospital visit by New England Patriots defensive end, Chandler Jones. Jones was admitted to the hospital after showing up at a police station “acting confused” according to MassLive. EMS checked him out at the department and transported to a local hospital, where it was revealed that he had suffered from a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. While synthetic marijuana is illegal, the companies that produce them are constantly changing their chemical make-up to side-step federal guidelines. So while what Jones used may have been legal, as the chemicals may have not yet been added to the synthetic marijuana chemicals list, they may be banned under NFL policies.

     Jones could be penalized if he is currently in stage one or two of the NFL drug program, if he is not in either of those drug programs then it is possible he could be placed into the program with no other punishments. There have been previous cases where synthetic marijuana was not punished by the league, but the policy was revised in September 2014 and it is unknown if the synthetic drug made the list of banned substances. This could raise the question of whether banning marijuana for athletes is worth the risk of players landing in the hospital for using technically “legal” substances in its place.

World News for February 2016 - by Rachel Bunting

Medical Cannabis in the Promised Land
Israel: While many forms of medical marijuana are packaged and ready to be put on the shelves in Israel, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is preparing to present reform measures to the Knesset Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee later this week. Litzman told the Times of Israel, “We’re working to reorganize the field of medical cannabis in order to lighten the process for those who need it and, on the other hand, to make it harder for the material to trickle into the regular market. There is no reason to make things difficult for whoever really needs it, just because there’s someone who exploits it illegally.”

     The reform Litzman plans to introduce would train and license more doctors to prescribe the medication. Currently there are only 36 such doctors, causing patients to wait months before obtaining a prescription. The reform would also throw out the current restrictions on growing and cultivating the herb. Current restrictions call for a total of eight farms in the country, and while the reform would not limit the number of farms allowed, it would still give preference to importing the medication.

GROW TIP: Making R.S.O. (Rick Simpson Oil) - by Ben Horner

     One of the most powerful cannabis products ever created is what is commonly called Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), named after Rick Simpson who popularized and promoted the oil as a cure for Cancer and many other diseases. Phoenix Tears, Honey Oil, and Hash Oil are other names for this substance, which has been used for centuries to make medicine. The oil is made of pure cannabinoids, which are the medicine like THC and CBD that are stored in the trichomes of the marijuana plant. Cannabinoids are not water soluble, so in order to extract the medicine from the plant alcohol can be used. Soaking cannabis in alcohol and then evaporating the alcohol until only the essential medicinal oils remain produces RSO.  

MI Legalize Update - by Chuck Ream

All the dispensary and cannabusiness owners say:  “I will be the one still left standing”

     How can we get them to realize that 95% of them will be gone unless we fight back and win, right now!!

     MILegalize grew organically from the ranks of Michigan activists who have won our 25 local Michigan victories over the last 11 years.

     At MILegalize we are working very hard to win legalization of marijuana the right way in Michigan in 2016. We need your help, signatures and money.

February 2016 V.G.I.P. Update - by Ben Horner

Michigan on the Verge: Factors that most impact weather we Win or Lose:

 “E tu Brute?”

     In northern Michigan, multiple accounts of cannabis businesses filing complaints, acting as confidential informants and willing witnesses for the prosecution has led to raids, and arrests. This method of smash and grab raids initiated by snitches in our own community needs to stop if we are going to survive and prosper in this medical marijuana industry.

Free The Weed 59 - by John Sinclair

     Highest greetings from Amsterdam, former marijuana capitol of the world, although I intend to be in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras by the time you’re reading this column. Sad to say, Louisiana is one of the most backward sectors of the USA in terms of its marijuana laws, and I’ll go back to a life of full-time criminality as a toker during my up-coming six weeks in the Crescent City.

     Here in Amsterdam the attack on the cannabis culture by the Dutch authorities continues to rage, with another round of forced coffeeshop closings completed in the busy Warmoestraat on January 1, including the mammoth Grasshopper shop and the popular Baba.

Tribute Detroit: Adding Class to the Cannabis Industry - by Ben Horner

     Walking into the brand new Tribute dispensary in Detroit is unlike any medical marijuana place I have seen. The walls are ordained with grand murals, depicting famous landmarks and people of Detroit. The impressive artwork gives you the feel that one is inside a historical museum, capturing some of the best iconic images of the times. Each wall depicts something different, and you can easily get lost in the visual display.

Blood from a Turnip - by Citizen Jay

     You may have heard that the Attorneys General of Nebraska and Oklahoma have decided to sue the State of Colorado over its enactment of Amendment 64, which constitutionally gave its citizens the right to possess and cultivate Cannabis. Recently, Kansas decided to throw its hat in the ring too, joining Nebraska and Oklahoma along with a slew of sheriffs from both inside and out of the State of Colorado who think the Supreme Court needs to weigh in on the issue. So just what is their beef anyway? 

     Well, if you look at the published legal analysis available about the situation (OY!) you see the “injured” states are claiming that Colorado’s suddenly legal Cannabis market is putting a strain on their finances and criminal justice systems—creating in essence an “interstate nuisance.”

My Take On a Few Things... by Adam Brook

     Of course, as I sit down to write this I am torn about which direction I want to go. There has been some major drama in The Mitten. Normally I would be naming names and calling people out. I leave that for others on social media these days. Here I want you, my reader, to expand your mind and see things for what they here’s MY take on a few things....

Love Potions - by Rebecca Veenstra

     I once heard a female comedian talking about how things change in our lives as we get older. “Sometimes in a woman’s life she might prefer a nice piece of chocolate and a book to a night of wild love-making.” A woman from the audience immediately yelled out “Heck, I’ll take a plate of broccoli and a root canal!” I can’t help but chuckle at that one.

But it’s true... even for you guys out there. Sometimes we just aren’t in the mood right?

     So, are love potions real? Is there some concoction that you can make for your sweetheart... or yourself...that would ignite the libido and send you racing to the bedroom? There are many tales through out history of conniving vixens and wicked kings ensnaring their true loves with potions and superstitions.  I read once that in the middle ages a blend of spices including coriander and cinnamon traditionally served in liquor at weddings was banned because it stimulated the libido too much. Most of what is written about love potions through out history is riddled with superstition.

The Freedom Ride - by Daniel L. Price, Esq.

     It is now February, it’s almost spring!  But winter remains, something I was reminded of on January 13th.  I was traveling southbound on US 131 just south of Reed City, when I hit black ice and began to slide on the road.  I first slid to the left across the lanes, then back across the road and to the right shoulder.  My truck slid down into the grassy area and came to what I thought was a full stop.  Next thing I knew I was upside down, blood squirting out of my forehead.  Immediately several people stopped and talked to me through the opening where the rear, and driver side windows used to be. 

Death & Taxes: Still a Certainty, Even for MMJ - by Paul Samsays, CPA

     No one likes to pay taxes, but they are a necessary evil of our economic system.  Having worked as a government auditor, I can speak first-hand to how some of this money is wasted, however, it does to some good as well.  Like educating our kids, maintaining infrastructure and providing for our common defense.  Also, the medical marijuana industry needs to pay its fair share in the communities where they do business if we want to be accepted as a legitimate part of the local business community.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The 11th MMM Conference - by Ben Horner

     Anticipation for the upcoming event in Grand Rapids is resonating throughout Michigan.  Returning to a Ticketmaster venue like The Orbit Room is very exciting. 

     Attendees have the opportunity to get certified for a medical marijuana card or renew an existing one right on site. Grow classes and product vendors are there to educate new comers and seasoned growers alike about new techniques and products on the market. Wholesale grow supplies, smoking, vapor, clothing, artwork and more is available.