Denver 4/20 wrap-up: Rain and one-hour lines, but thousands of enthusiastic attendees

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Denver 4/20 wrap-up: Rain and one-hour lines, but thousands of enthusiastic attendees

Long lines, some over an hour, greeted attendees trying to enter Civic Center for the annual 4/20 cannabis celebration, and rain, mostly in the form of a steady drizzle, didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of most participants.

The park was packed with thousands as the annual countdown, Denver’s version of Times Square on New Year’s, ticked down and just about everyone in the crowd toked at the strike of one.

UPDATE: Who trashed Civic Center Park? Organizers say park was cleaned after Denver 4/20 rally

Related: Crowds (and clouds) roll in for annual 4/20 smoke-in at Denver’s Civic Center

“I just love everyone can get together and legally enjoy marijuana,” said Noah Nellessen, 22, of Denver. “It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Colorado law, however, prohibits smoking of marijuana in public. On Thursday, at 4:20 p.m., as well as before and after, waves of smoke billowed throughout the park.

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Civic Center was fenced off, with police vehicles parked in various spots and lots of officers checking on the fence perimeter from inside looking out.

At one long security line, on the north side of Civic Center, the pace was excruciatingly slow. Security staffers waved wands over people entering, checked bags and did pat-downs on some.

“It’s as long as hell,” said Luis Lara, 21, of Denver, as he queued up behind hundreds in front of him. “Why is there a line to get in anyway?”

One man, who tired of standing in the line as it drizzled rain, bolted. “I’m going to Aurora,” he announced, to little reaction.

One couple, a man and woman, cut in line on the sly. Most people were patient but antsy about getting in by the stroke of 4:20 p.m.

An electric highway sign, set up in front of the Wellington Webb Building, just off 15th Street, flashed the message: “Public Consumption of Cannabis is Prohibited.”

About 4:05 p.m., some people pulled down a long section of fence near the corner of Colfax Avenue and Broadway. Dozens rushed to the spot, running over the downed fence. One person shouted: “This is our freedom.”

A brief gunfire incident occurred early Thursday evening near the event in downtown Denver. Police said nobody was hurt.

About two hours later, at 6 p.m., at least one shot of gunfire was heard a block away, near 15th and Cleveland. Technician Tyrone Campbell, a Denver police spokesman, said witnesses gave officers a description of the people involved and the vehicle they had gotten into as they left the area.

Police quickly found the vehicle, Campbell said, and arrested two people. He did not have any information about the suspects, and he did not know whether they had been attending the 4/20 event.

“We’re going to investigate and see if there was any targeted activity,” he said. “Right now, we’re just happy to have two people in custody.”

In all, five people were arrested at the Civic Center event and 20 people were written up with civil citations, police said.

Inside the park it was a party atmosphere with music blasting and people dancing in a steady drizzle. Colorful umbrellas, plastic ponchos, dogs on leashes, cellphone photos and video opportunities were abundant.

“Size matters. Get your giant joint!” screamed a vendor selling plastic, 2-foot-long replicas.

Numerous vendors inside tents sold an assortment of items, including glass pipes, clothing and marijuana art. Food vendors in trucks lined West 14th Avenue, just north of the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library, cooking an array of food. Trash littered sections of the park lawn.

“You won’t see this anywhere else in the world, except maybe Amsterdam,” Nellessen said. “It’s beautiful.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Fri, 21 Apr 2017 01:29:54 +0000

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Expert Joints LIVE! at Sunset Beach Vancouver 420 2017

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Expert Joints LIVE! at Sunset Beach Vancouver 420 2017

Expert Joints LIVE! at Sunset Beach Vancouver 420 2017

It’s been nearly half a century since a group of California teenagers met after school each day at 4:20 pm to go search in vain for an abandoned crop of weed in Point Reyes National Seashore. The term 4/20 has gone on to become shorthand in cannabis culture and the twentieth day of the fourth month of the year is now celebrated around the world.

Vancouver was one of the first cities to embrace the annual grassroots smoke-out after Marc Emery first got the ball rolling in 1995 at Victory Square, and this year’s upcoming event promises to once again to be massive.

This year’s 4/20 gathering is once again planned at Sunset Beach, where the event moved last year after outgrowing its traditional home outside the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown.

Craig Ex aka “The Expert” of “Expert Joints” will host his show ALL DAY from noon pacific to 6 PM with all the action on the stage, behind and the tens of thousands of cannabis supporters joining us in Vancouver at Sunset Beach. If you can’t make it, join us here Thursday, April 20, 2017 for #Vancouver420

Be sure to check out last years Vancouver 420

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Published at Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:03:39 +0000

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Are Cannabis Legislators Smoking Crack?

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Are Cannabis Legislators Smoking Crack?

Are Cannabis Legislators Smoking Crack?

We have more troubling details about the new cannabis regime in Canada. Here is what we know:

Have 4 plants in your home you are a law abider.

Have 5 plants in you home and you are a criminal that faces up to 14 years in a cage.

Have a plant that is 100 cm tall you are a law abider.

Have a plant that is 101 cm tall and you are a criminal that faces up to 14 years in a cage.

Have 30 gm of cannabis in your pocket and you are a law abider.

Have 31 gm of cannabis in you pocket and you are a criminal that faces up to 5 years in a cage.

Sell a 17 year old a bottle of whiskey and you get a fine and temporary suspension of your business license.

Sell a 17 year old a joint and you are a felon that faces up to 14 years in a cage.

Cannabis Act Infographic

Along with all the arbitrary and harsh lines in the sand being drawn there are strict new penalties for driving with THC in your system. Apparently there hasn’t been anybody driving around with THC in their blood stream up until now. Its as if law makers don’t know that 44% of Canadians have illegally smoked cannabis. Do they think that people haven’t already been driving around high? Is driving high suddenly going to become a problem because government is giving us permission to get high? If driving high is such a problem why haven’t they done anything about it until now?

Exactly what problem are they solving with this group of policies?

Are these policies going to put a dent in dangerous organized crime?

No. Federal licensing means that all the small to medium sized growers and dispensaries will be driven out of business. This means people will have the choice of buying from a government approved mega-corp or a black market dealer. Its not clear why anybody would buy from corporations that have limited competition and have to pass the high cost of licensing and regulatory hoop jumping on to consumers. Why wouldn’t people just get a better quality product for a cheaper price from their neighbourhood dealer? We know that as enforcement and punishment goes up the people that operate most effectively on the black market are those that are prone to be more violent.

The plain packaging requirements will also make it far easier for black market dealers to counterfeit licensed brands.

Are these policies going to stop the government war on peaceful people?

No. With the bevy of arbitrary rules and prohibitions on peaceful activity there are many new ways to ruin the lives and take away the freedom of peaceful people that haven’t previously existed. Police departments are already asking for more resources to enforce all these regulations.

Is this going to improve public safety?

No. I recently wrote at length about how the prohibitive restrictions that come with federal licensing will fuel a black market, incentivize risk taking, and keep public safety officials away from people interested in safely growing cannabis.

It is hard to picture this as more than a cash grab. They can collect licensing fees, taxes, grow and build bureaucracies, give crony friends a license to print money and shake down motorists at the side of the road with hefty fines.

The Trudeau government is demonstrating how NOT to legalize cannabis. In my next article I’ll talk about policy that will actually stop harming peaceful people, put a big dent in organized crime, improve public safety, super charge the economy, drive innovation and benefit consumers.

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Published at Sun, 16 Apr 2017 15:31:46 +0000

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Digging into the details of Canada's new law legalizing marijuana nationwide

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Digging into the details of Canada's new law legalizing marijuana nationwide

Digging into the details of Canada's new law legalizing marijuana nationwide

Canada on Thursday released a plan to legalize recreational marijuana use across the country by July 2018. With a solid Liberal majority in government the plan is widely expected to become law, but it would leave the details of implementation, including commercial regulations, to individual provinces.

The bill’s backers framed it as an effort to reduce adolescent drug use and take profits out of the black market. “Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities,” said Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice and a former Toronto police chief and one of the architects of the law, at a press conference. The new bill will “make Canada safer,” he added.

“Police forces spend between two and three billion dollars every year trying to deal with cannabis, yet Canadian teens are among the heaviest users in the Western world,” said Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodell. “Criminals pocket 7 to 8 billion dollars in proceeds.”

Marijuana legalization was a campaign promise of Prime Minster Justin Trudeau. The bill still needs to be approved by Parliament, but Trudeau’s Liberal party commands a solid majority there. The measure has also received support from the country’s Conservative party.

The legislation, “An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts”, would set a minimum age limit of 18 to purchase and use marijuana. That’s slightly lower than the drinking age limit of 19 in most provinces. It’s also a departure from the norm in the U.S., where states that have legalized recreational marijuana use have set a minimum age of 21.

Individuals would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, similar to the one-ounce standard in U.S. states where marijuana use is legal. Households would also be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants.

While the bill would remove penalties for individual use and possession, it wouldn’t set up a nationwide system for selling marijuana commercially — those details would be left up to individual provinces. In provinces that decline to set up a commercial framework, customers could order marijuana online from a federally-licensed producer.

Finally, accompanying legislation would toughen penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.

The bill would make Canada the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to fully legalize recreational marijuana use. In the Netherlands marijuana use is generally tolerated, but it is not strictly speaking legal.

Legal marijuana in Canada, one of the U.S.’s strongest allies, could be a game-changer for domestic marijuana policy discussions in the states. While eight states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational marijuana here, it remains illegal at the federal level. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for state-legal marijuana businesses to use the banking system, receive tax breaks, and otherwise operate without fear of federal interference.

By contrast, national legalization to the North could create a fertile environment for marijuana businesses to start up and operate, potentially giving Canadian companies a competitive edge over stateside businesses in the future. Domestic cannabis businesses are already involved in intense lobbying efforts to ease federal restrictions in the U.S.

While numerous pieces of bipartisan legislation have been introduced in Congress to address some of those issues or even legalize marijuana completely, leaders in both parties have generally been wary of letting such provisions proceed. The new Trump administration has taken a more skeptical position on marijuana reform than its predecessor, but the news out of Canada may complicate that position.

“With legalization in a growing number of our own states and now an entire major neighboring country ending prohibition, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for drug warriors in the Trump administration to meaningfully roll back our gains,” said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority.

“It’s never been clearer than today that legal marijuana is the future,” he added.

The bill has its skeptics. “This piece of legislation puts the Canadian family at risk,” said Pamela McColl of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada, and anti-legalization group. “Youth already think marijuana is harmless, and now we are giving them the government’s seal of approval. This risk will spill over into even younger kids.”

But the bill’s backers contend that reducing underage use is one of their chief aims.

“As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis,” said Blair. “Today’s plan to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”

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Published at Fri, 14 Apr 2017 13:28:14 +0000

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Angel Capital Summit for Cannabis Investors & Startups

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Angel Capital Summit for Cannabis Investors & Startups

KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  The Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world’s largest professional organization for accredited investors, will host investors from around the world at its 2017 ACA Summit, April 26-28 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. ACA Summit speakers will address topics impacting individual investors and investment strategies, including building diversity among entrepreneurs, Trump Administration impact on healthcare investing, and growth in new sectors such as blockchain and cannabis startups.

American angel investors pumped an estimated $24.6 billion into more than 70,000 startups across the country in 2015. Many of these companies are innovative, high-growth firms that create the most net new jobs in our economy and distribute new products and services that make a difference in people’s lives. ACA will celebrate great investments and 60 successful exits for ACA members and their portfolio companies at the ACA Summit, demonstrating how “Angels Drive the Success of Great Startups and Economic Growth.”

Keynote speakers include renowned venture capitalist Tim Draper and his father Bill and adult children sharing perspectives on changes they see in investing, leading investors Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein speaking on building diversity in entrepreneur communities, Steve Westly on investing in companies that change the world, and Dave Chase on “Investing in Healthcare’s Transformation.”

“Diversity among ACA Summit presenters and attendees has never been greater, reflecting a growing community across age, gender, race, and geographic lines.  We are pleased to provide attendees with access to some of the most successful angel investors in the world, as well as insights into best practices for navigating change and achieving exits for member portfolio companies,” said Marianne Hudson, executive director, Angel Capital Association.

The ACA Summit is the largest professional development event for angel investors. More than 700 ACA members, accredited investors, and startup ecosystem professionals from around the world are expected to attend to network, share best practices in angel investing, and discuss top issues and trends.

Keynote Speakers Include:

  • The Draper Family (Bill, Tim, Jesse, Adam, and Billy): “Investing Through the Generations”
  • Dave Chase, Founder, Health Rosetta Institute, and Executive Producer, The Big Heist: “Investing in Healthcare’s Transformation at the Intersection of Generating Top Tier Returns and Maximizing Impact”
  • Cindy Whitehead, The Pink Ceiling, and Former CEO, Sprout Pharmaceuticals: “How I Got to a $1B Outcome with 160 Angels”
  • Dr. Morton Grosser: “The Crèche of Innovation: A Warp-Speed History of Silicon Valley”
  • Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, Kapor Capital: Fireside Chat
  • Steve Westly, The Westly Group, and Former CFO, the State of California: “Investing in Innovation and Companies That Change the World”
  • Swati Chaturvedi, CEO and Cofounder, Propel(x): “Ahead of the Curve: Opportunities for Investing in Science and Technology”

Members and Non-Members Register Now
ACA members and non-member investors are welcome to attend the ACA Summit by registering at https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/2017-summit/. Press registration is accessible at that same link.

About Angel Capital Association (ACA)
ACA is the professional association of angel investors across North America and offers education, best practices, public policy advocacy, and significant benefits and resources to its membership of more than 13,000 accredited investors, who invest individually or through its 250 angel groups, accredited platforms, and family offices. For more information,  visit: www.angelcapitalassociation.org or at @ACAAngelCapital; #ACAAngelSummit.

Media Contact
Graeme Thickins
612-867-4055
press@angelcapitalassociation.org

Mary Ellen Amodeo
612-963-5797
press@angelcapitalassociation.org

SOURCE Angel Capital Association

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Published at Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:54:09 +0000

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Two California No on Prop 64 campaigns to be fined for not revealing big donors

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Two California No on Prop 64 campaigns to be fined for not revealing big donors

Two California No on Prop 64 campaigns to be fined for not revealing big donors

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s campaign watchdog said Monday that it is proposing fines of nearly $10,000 against opponents of the state’s new recreational marijuana law for violations last year.

The Fair Political Practices Commission announced the actions against two campaign committees that unsuccessfully fought Proposition 64. About 57 percent of voters approved legalizing recreational pot in November.

The first state ballot measure committee, Public and Mental Health Advocates Against 64, agreed to a $3,500 fine for being slow to change its advertising disclosures to publicly identify nonprofit SAM Action Inc. as a donor that contributed more than $50,000.

SAM Action’s contributions reached $64,150 in late June, but weren’t properly disclosed until the watchdog commission’s staff complained about two weeks before the election. By that time the committee had already posted billboards and aired internet radio advertising in English and television ads in Spanish.

The commission’s staff said there was no evidence the committee attempted to conceal SAM Action’s involvement.

The second group, A Committee Against Proposition 64 with Help from Citizens, agreed to pay $6,000 for several violations including being late in filing a Top 10 list of contributors after it raised $1 million.

The commission said the nonprofit committee’s staff was unfamiliar with California’s campaign laws when it failed to report receiving $1,364,000 in donations from a trust fund set up by Pennsylvania activist Juliet F. Schauer, a retired art professor.

The fines will be considered by commissioners on April 20.

“They come in and they threaten you with big fines or you can settle for a little one. It’s in the rearview mirror,” said Wayne Johnson, a consultant with the No on 64 campaign.

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Published at Tue, 11 Apr 2017 14:27:50 +0000

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Cresco Labs Announces New Board Members

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Cresco Labs Announces New Board Members

Cresco Labs Announces New Board Members

CHICAGO, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest Medical Cannabis Brand, announces the addition of three new members to their board of directors:

John R. Walter, PH.D: Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation and RR Donnelly & Sons Company, Current Chairman & CEO, Ashlin Management Company

Tom Manning: Lead Director, Dun & Bradstreet, Former Senior Partner, Bain & Company, Current Board Director, Advisor and Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School

Gerry Corcoran: Chairman and CEO, R.J. O’Brien & Associates, LLC, and Chairman, Futures Industry Association

The company is dedicated to leading the cannabis industry’s national agenda with solid business strategies and professionalism. By bringing in three executives with experience at the highest levels of business management, the company will further legitimize the category. Co-Founder and CEO, Charles Bachtell says, “We’re building out an exciting company within a landscape that is changing rapidly every day. As a CEO, having a strong, seasoned board is exactly the kind of support I’m looking for.”

Mr. Manning, Mr. Corcoran and Dr. Walter bring an impressive portfolio of expertise from the world’s best companies. They all have proven records of driving and advising companies to reach the top of their industries. “Cresco Labs is strengthened by these new members. We will draw on their expertise to establish operations in the northeast and southwest United States and to execute our international strategic plan,” said Brian McCormack, Co-Founder and Board of Directors Vice-Chairman.

Biographies and details regarding the vast background of Mr. Manning, Mr. Corcoran and Dr. Walter can be found in the addendum.

Although Cresco Labs is moving aggressively towards expansion, they continually work to support their home community in Illinois with outreach and educational efforts and to provide relief to Illinois patients.

Cresco Labs is based in Illinois and operates as part of the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. For more information on the company or the state program, please visit www.crescolabs.com.

SOURCE Cresco Labs

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Published at Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:56:00 +0000

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