Cannabis

Craig Ex of Expert Joints talks Season 3, Karma Cup, and Vapor Central Smoke Out

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Craig Ex of Expert Joints talks Season 3, Karma Cup, and Vapor Central Smoke Out

Craig Ex of Expert Joints talks Season 3, Karma Cup, and Vapor Central Smoke Out

With its 104th episode, Expert Joints LIVE! officially wrapped up Season 2. We spoke with the host, Craig Ex, about the year looking back, what his plans are for Season 3, and a few favorites to look out for at the upcoming Karma Cup, which he’s hosting, in Toronto Sept. 9-10.

Cannabis Life Network: Now that Season 2 of Expert Joints LIVE! has come to an end, what were some of the biggest highlights looking back?

Craig Ex: We did the recap of the top 20 biggest moments on Episode 104, the season finale. Coming in at  #1 was Tim McBride, the former cannabis trafficker whose operation in the 80’s was responsible for smuggling 30 million pounds of cannabis into the USA.

Tim wrote a book on his adventures, and he traveled to Vancouver all the way from Florida. He’s been involved in so many of my shows, Skyping in throughout the season, and it was great to finally have him there in-person.

#2 was doing a livestream from Vancouver’s 4/20 celebration at Sunset Beach on my show. That was big. #3 was the Rob Moore cartoon. I actually got made into a cartoon! It was a lot of fun doing that.

Also, being able to shoot at Weedmaps out in California, that was crazy. It was a lot of fun. And of course, bringing Jen (aka Loudonio) onto the show and welcoming her as my cohost.

Who were a few of your most memorable guests and why?

Aside from Tim McBride, being able to get D420k and Remo on the show stands out. And of course, Freddie “Da Weed King” Pritchard being on the show was a good time too. All those guys are awesome.

I heard that Freddie Pritchard has a brand new show on Pot Tv as well.

Yeah, the Great Cannabian Smoke Show, which I kind of helped instigate to some degree. I mean, they had always been talking about the possibility of doing it and I pushed it along and helped make that happen. It’s very good to see Freddie on his show. He definitely belongs on Pot Tv.

So what made you push to get Freddie on Pot Tv?

He’s been a big supporter since day 1, and he’s been proven right on so many of the things that he’d been saying, especially in the last couple years. He’s such a strong activist and Pot Tv’s the place for activists so it’s a natural home. It’s good to see him on the network doing his thing.

Looking towards the future, what plans do you have for Season 3 of Expert Joints LIVE!?

Season 3 is going to come with new graphics, new audio, new segments- just a refreshed new look.

There’s not going to be a huge change or departure from the format, but we are going to make a couple changes and tweaks to keep it fresh and interesting.

As well, we will be starting out this season, or the preliminary for the season, at the Karma Cup September 9-10th.

But, for Season 3, the big thing is moving out from the Pot Tv studios and into Studio710.

What do you want to do more of in Season 3?

Bigger names, more guests, more products. I would also love to have some live performances on the show. Maybe even some live glass-blowing at some point if we can.

Obviously I have a couple destinations, a few big events, and a few big names that I’d like to target.

But really, just the progression and evolution of the show. I’m stepping up the production values with more prizes and more fun.

Also, maybe a little more of the normalization, like getting some sponsorships to make Expert Joints LIVE! look more and more like a late night talk show.

Are you trying to go a little more mainstream in the cannabis industry?

No. I’m still going to do my thing. I’m always going to be looking to highlight the voices in the community- a nice cross-selection from a wide spectrum of folks in it.

A lot of craft producers and a lot of people are making fantastic products and I want to keep up with what’s new and innovative.

I’m just looking to do it bigger and better and fancier than ever

You’re hosting the Karma Cup. What are you most looking forward to?

It’s great to be able to see friends and familiar faces I don’t get to check in with all the time. It’s a great get together and a social opportunity as well.

My favorite part is the trophy presentation and handing out the awards to the 45 lucky winners  across 15 different categories. It’s so much fun to be able to celebrate the success of all these people’s hard work and to be able to hand out these trophies to these folks who make some beautiful products that folks have voted on.

But what’s even more satisfying is when those people are friends of mine or people I’ve had on the show or worked hard to break.

Just seeing people get recognition. You win a Karma Cup and you’re on the map. It’s a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing that.

How does the Karma Cup compare to other competitions?

There’s a lot of different cups out there and everybody’s doing relatively the same thing: you have a bunch of varieties, people vote on it, and you hand out some prizes.

But Karma Cup is, at this time, the most respected and biggest cup in the country with more than a 100 different entrants.

It’s the biggest package held in Toronto, the biggest city, put on by Sarah Sunday and her amazing team.

The name carries a lot of weight and it’s because of the level of people who enter it.

Any strains or growers that we should be on the lookout for?

Last year Thompson Caribou Concentrates took home 7 trophies! Can they win that many again or how will they do?

Of course, we saw Liberty Farms come in and go 2-for-2. Two entries, two victories, and two firsts at that! That was pretty impressive.

The other big questions are always “Who’s going to be the new and emerging talent? Who’s the name that gets broken?”

Finding that is always exciting to me and I’m looking forward to that.

Is it an opportunity for you to come out and scout the unknowns?

100%. It’s a chance to see the emerging people, the emerging products, and I try to see who’s the best of the best and then see if we can work together.

There are also great networking opportunities with all the vendors, panelists, and speakers. Lots to see and do, and lots of people to talk to

It’s great if you have questions about your products or providers because they’re often right there- you can walk down and talk to them yourself!

There’s also a lot of free support activities and if you’re a judge or you have tickets, you get access to all these different lounges.

It’s a pretty all inclusive package and I hope a lot of people come down and support Sarah Sunday and all her efforts, and check out the Karma Cup .

Are you a judge as well?

I’m supposed to be, but whether i get my kit in time, I don’t know yet.

But yes, I’m supposed to be helping to judge it, host it, MC it, and I’ll probably do some more activities throughout the weekend. Maybe even some live streams; it’s hard to say.

We’ll be running our feet off, that’s for sure.

What can you tell me about the event at Vapor Central Toronto?

It’s September 8th, which is a Friday night, and we will be having a big smoke out at with some of the finest bud, just like we did previously with Liberty Farms. There’s also a little meet and greet, just like we did during the Cannabis Life Conference.

It’s an opportunity for people to come out, meet some producers, and smoke some product.

Also, we’ll probably give away some stuff.

It will be a great kick-off for the Karma Cup and a chance to meet some of the entrants.

With the Season 3 premiere still weeks away, do you have any free time?

Well it’s not going to be free. I’m taking 4 weeks off from the show to get set-up at the new studio and with all the changes going on, it going to take time to mastermind and put together.

But it’s also an opportunity to regroup and get a few things done on the to-do list.

I’ll be back Sept. 7 with a special Season 3 preview from Vapor Central, with the smoke-out/meet and greet the next day. Anyone who’s around is welcome to come down and watch the show.

Catch it at 4:20 PST, 7:20 EST.

Anything else on your plate right now?

The only other thing is the new studio I’m doing my show from, Studio710, is Vancouver’s first multimedia marijuana production facility, space, studio.

In addition to my show, they’re going to be doing many other shows and other content.

Working there is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.

Catch Craig Ex and Season 3 of Expert Joints LIVE! every week starting Sept. 7.

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Published at Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:00:52 +0000

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Hemp Festival planned to make debut in northern Vermont

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Hemp Festival planned to make debut in northern Vermont

Hemp Festival planned to make debut in northern Vermont

EAST BURKE, Vt. — Eli Harrington thinks holding the first-ever Vermont Hemp Festival in the rural, remote Northeast Kingdom makes perfect sense.

Harrington and Monica Donovan, co-founders of Heady Vermont, chose to have their inaugural hemp conference in the NEK because the Kingdom has an important history with hemp.

“The last time hemp was prevalent in the NEK, a couple of guys from the St. Johnsbury Hemp Company named Fairbanks changed the world,” says Harrington.

Harrington said the platform scale invention by the Fairbanks Scales Company was inspired by the need to weigh hemp crops at the St. Johnsbury Hemp Company in the 1830s.

The festival is planned for Sept. 9 at the new hotel and conference center at Burke Mountain.

Heady Vermont, the event’s organizer, is a 2-year-old grassroots statewide network and digital media company in Burlington’s South End Arts and Business District.

According to Harrington, “Heady Vermont covers everything from statehouse happenings to artists to investigative reporting and the identities of the individuals who are changing the face of Vermont’s cannabis culture.”

The event has an admission charge, and organizers say there will be an NEK resident discount.

There is more information about the conference at the website.

Heady Vermont’s announcement noted, “As the future of recreational and medical marijuana remains uncertain, the national hemp industry is growing and Vermont remains one of 17 states where hemp cultivation is legal under state law.”

“Hemp is defined practically as cannabis that has less than .3% of the compound THC, the cannabinoid of the plant showing psychoactive effects. Historically, hemp was a government-mandated crop grown by American settlers and even inspired Vermont’s own industrial revolution via the Fairbanks Scales, originally invented to weigh wagon loads of hemp,” Heady Vermont’s news release about its upcoming Hemp Festival says.

“We’re fortunate in Vermont that we have strong agricultural hemp protections and low barriers to entry,” said Heady Vermont Publisher Monica Donovan. “Now that a much larger market is emerging locally, regionally, and nationally, we think it’s important to provide resources, information, and practical instructions to as many interested parties as we can.”

Sponsors for the Hemp Fest include: The University of Vermont Agricultural Extension, Ceres Natural Remedies, the Vermont Hemp Company, Humble Roots Horticulture and the PhytoScience Institute.

The event will also include a business pitch competition sponsored by Purple Fox Engineering – and entries are due by Aug. 15.

Harrington and Donovan founded Heady Vermont about two years ago believing “somebody should be focusing on this full time,” said Harrington. “We started this company with the value and mission that people should be getting the most accurate and well-researched information about cannabis they could. We are in a sort of historic, transitional time period right now in the U.S.”

“We felt like it was a subject that was of interest to us and a lot of other Vermonters,” said Harrington. “There is a cannabis culture in Vermont, and there is a cannabis community, and it deserves to have high-quality information and be presented in a serious way.”

“There is an explosion of hemp products,” added Donovan, who has grown hemp herself, “It’s a growing market, we’re pretty excited about it!”

Heady Vermont sponsored an event at Parker Pie in West Glover in April, said Harrington, and “most of the people who showed up were people who were land owners or artisans or food makers who wanted to know about hemp . We wanted to talk about those opportunities and give all those folks who have questions all this information in one concise place and at one time.”

Heather Darby, an agronomist with the UVM Extension in St. Albans, on Friday said the extension is both a sponsor and a collaborator in the Hemp Fest coming to Burke Mountain Resort in a few weeks.

“I’ve been working on industrial hemp research for two years,” said Darby. “Essentially, the 2014 Farm Bill allowed research institutions to research industrial hemp and marketing and production opportunities for the U.S., so we could legally conduct research and look at the opportunities for industrial hemp as a crop for farmers in the U.S.”

Darby said, “I’ve been very interested in figuring out if the crop can actually be grown here and what are the opportunities for farmers, so that’s my role.” She said connections with local and regional businesses which would be interested in buying Vermont hemp have been developed, “That’s our angle, and so we’re looking primarily at fiber and seed. Our role at the conference is to help farmers and others understand the industry of agronomics and production techniques that are used to grow this crop and what are the potential yields and uses.”

“The science behind hemp is just incredible. It’s really an interesting plant. It’s related to hops, they are in the same family,” Darby said.

The UVM hemp information states, “Industrial hemp is a historical crop. It is estimated that hemp was first cultivated in China between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago, making it one of the first cultivated crops. It was brought to the U.S. in 1645 and was a major crop until the 1940s, used in making paper (it is said that the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were printed on hemp paper), cloth (the first U.S. flag and first pair of jeans were made of hemp).”

Kyle Gruter-Curham, founder of Creek Valley Cannabidio in Irasburg graduated from Sterling College in 2009 with a degree in Conservation Ecology, and while teaching at the Laraway School in Johnson, began growing his own food to become sustainable, he said.

“This hobby style farming quickly became a full blown passion. I then moved my small farm on to 100 acres and attempted to make it economically viable. I tried many crops at this time, as well as raising various types of livestock. It was definitely a struggle to say the least, the overhead was super high and the returns super low,” said Gruter-Curham. “I then stared to gear toward crops that needed less inputs and had higher returns, garlic being the main one. It wasn’t until the fall of 2015 that CBD (or Cannabidiol, a medicinal, therapeutic component extracted from the plant) hemp caught my attention.”

He said, “At this time I was watching friends harvest CBD hemp crops in Colorado. This had interested me but I wasn’t committed to grow it yet, I began to do research at this time on CBD as a viable crop, as well as the legality around it.”

“During the summer of 2016 I grew out 1,000 plants on one acre . At this time we were also testing a few varieties to see what would do the best in Vermont. Our first crop was successful, but was mostly for medicine for family and friends.”

He said, “I knew if we wanted to be successful we would have to create our own brand and have a unique product. I then started to get amazing feedback form people using our oil, and quickly knew my purpose. I then began to combine two things I was passionate about: solvent-less CBD oil and Kombucha to create a unique product. I geared up to make the jump from my full-time job as a science teacher to farmer and launch our CBD Kombucha.”

This year, the farm is growing more hemp, and registered as Creek Valley Cannabidiol LLC said Gruter-Curham, “Our goal is to increase the health of people, soil and the community through the uses of local food systems, probiotics, sustainable agriculture and cannabis.”

This spring, the farm began marketing its line of kombucha, its main seller being their Ginger CBD Kombucha.

Gruter-Curham said, “The NEK of Vermont is one of few places in the country where local food systems get tremendous support, however it’s not just growing hemp that’s going to get farmers out of debt, it’s marketing a product from that crop and building their brand.”


Via AP Member Exchange. Information from: The Caledonian-Record

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Published at Sat, 19 Aug 2017 14:03:58 +0000

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Veteran sues police after SWAT team raided his legal Colorado marijuana grow

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Veteran sues police after SWAT team raided his legal Colorado marijuana grow

Veteran sues police after SWAT team raided his legal Colorado marijuana grow

A former special forces infantryman, who was awarded a Bronze Star and uses marijuana to treat PTSD after tours to Iraq and Bosnia, has sued the Fountain police SWAT team after officers raided his legal marijuana greenhouse.

Eli Olivas and his girlfriend Marisela Chavez sued the city of Fountain and Fountain police Sgt. Matthew Racine, claiming the city failed to properly train its police to investigate pot cases in a state where it’s legal to grow marijuana.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver by attorney Terrence Johnson. Olivas and Chavez seek compensatory damages of more than $100,000. Olivas, a paramedic, also wants his guns returned: an AK-47 rifle, a 5.56 millimeter Sig Sauer rifle and a Glock 17, court records show Police confiscated the weapons but haven’t returned them, the lawsuit says.

Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer said the department had a valid search warrant signed by a judge.

“At the end of the day he was safe, the public was safe and we were safe,” Heberer said.

Olivas is a former U.S. Army Special Forces staff sergeant, infantryman, medic and combat veteran. Besides the Bronze Star, he earned numerous other service medals. He also was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to combat.

Olivas is a registered medical marijuana patient with a permit to grow up to 99 marijuana plants for his own treatment of PTSD. He was growing 18 marijuana plants behind a locked, 6-foot privacy fence. The plants were further enclosed in a greenhouse walled with opaque glass.

At 6 a.m. on July 22, 2016, a Fountain SWAT team raided Olivas’ home with a warrant for marijuana, firearms and ammunition. They used a flash-bang device. The warrant was based on weak and untrustworthy evidence, the lawsuit says.Using a flash-bang explosion during the raid was part of a “blatant display of violence and abuse of authority,” the lawsuit says.

“Don’t shoot,” yelled Olivas, dressed only in underwear, when he saw SWAT officers pointing assault rifles at him with fingers on triggers. Police handcuffed Olivas and Chavez, who was wearing only a nightgown, the lawsuit says.

“The unconscionable aggression of the police would have traumatized any person, but given plaintiff Olivas’ history serving his country in combat, it affected him exponentially more severely and it has caused a relapse of his PTSD symptoms,” the lawsuit says.

The officers made Olivas and Chavez sit within a few feet of the exhaust pipe on a running police vehicle. Chavez had a prior shoulder injury and told the officers, but they handcuffed her anyway causing further physical injuries, the lawsuit says.

“There was no evidence that she committed a crime, she posed no immediate threat to the safety of the officers and she did not actively resist arrest or attempt to evade arrest by flight,” the lawsuit says.

Olivas and Chavez began to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning including difficulty seeing, faintness, nausea and headaches. With his medical training, Olivas knew the dangerous signs of poisoning, but his request to be moved away from the fumes was refused. He stood up to get fresh air and was ordered to sit down.

The officers destroyed one of Olivas’ gates to enter the fence. They issued a summons and complaint for an illegal marijuana grow even though Olivas had a legal permit, the lawsuit says. The summons was never filed in court, but Olivas still was forced to hire an attorney.

“At all times relevant herein, the individual defendants acted intentionally, willfully and wantonly, maliciously, and with reckless disregard for and deliberate indifference to the plaintiff’s rights,” the lawsuit says.

The episode involving Olivas wasn’t an isolated event. It was symptomatic of Fountain’s failure to train officers how to investigate marijuana cases, the lawsuit says.

All the officers had to do was check whether Olivas had a legal permit to grow marijuana, the lawsuit says.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:44:57 +0000

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Alaska and Washington govs push back on Sessions' marijuana enforcement letters

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Alaska and Washington govs push back on Sessions' marijuana enforcement letters

Alaska and Washington govs push back on Sessions' marijuana enforcement letters

The governors of Alaska and Washington are questioning the data cited by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in recent letters he sent to their states regarding the efficacy of their respective marijuana regulatory regimes.

Governors of four Western states that have legalized recreational marijuana — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — each received letters from Sessions dated July 24, responding to a joint letter the governors sent Sessions on April 3. In each letter, Sessions referred to regional and state data depicting serious public health and safety issues arising from marijuana legalization.

The Cannabist has obtained copies of each of the attorney general’s July 24 letters to those states. Late Tuesday, The Cannabist obtained copies of Alaska and Washington’s respective responses to Sessions.


L-R: Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. (Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images; Ted S. Warren, The Associated Press)

Both states note that the data Sessions utilized when discussing their state’s respective regulatory regimes is out of date and incomplete.

In his July 24 letter to Alaska, Sessions cited data from the state’s 2015 State Trooper Annual Drug Report, and questioned whether the state’s regulatory framework adequately protects federal interests.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and his Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth responded in a letter dated Aug. 14 that the 2015 data cited by the attorney general could not “be fairly attributed” to the new marijuana regulatory system since legal sales in the state did not begin until 2016.

“The report simply does not speak to the success or failure of the new regulatory framework,” they wrote.

In their August 15 response to Sessions, Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson pushed back forcefully on the U.S. Attorney General’s citation of data from the March 2016 Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA) report on marijuana in the state.

“Your letter … makes a number of allegations that are outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information,” they wrote.

Inslee and Furguson pointed out that the HIDTA report Sessions cited was issued just four months before the state implemented legislative reforms that addressed many of the Depart of Justice’s (DOJ) concerns.

Sessions had also cited the report in stating that Washington marijuana had been diverted to 43 other states. Inslee and Ferguson argued that this finding was based on statistics covering “several years before our recreational sales began,” they wrote.

The pair also called out Sessions for repeatedly failing to “distinguish between marijuana activity that is legal and illegal.” By conflating the two, Sessions implied that state-legal marijuana was responsible for harms actually caused by illegal activity, they wrote.

In addition, they wrote, “Some of the statistics cited in your letter are simply incorrect, or based on misreading of their context.” In this category they included an incorrect and highly inflated calculation about driving while under the influence.

The Cannabist has confirmed a response will be forthcoming from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and has made an inquiry to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s office.

The letter from Alaska officials also raised the issue of states rights, including state law enforcement.

“The exercise of traditional police powers in an area where primary enforcement should be left to the individual states,” they wrote. “While we share your concern about the dangers of drug abuse, Alaskans voted to establish a regulated industry.”

Washington officials echoed that sentiment, stating, “State and federal prohibition of marijuana failed to prevent widespread use, which was generating huge profits for violent criminal organizations. The people of Washington State chose a different path.”

In all four letters, Sessions indicated that he sees flexibility for federal enforcement actions under the 2013 Cole Memorandum — Obama-era guidance for how prosecutors and law enforcement could prioritize their marijuana-related enforcement efforts.

Alaska implored Sessions to maintain the status quo regarding the Cole Memo: “We ask that the DOJ maintain its existing marijuana policies because the State relied on those assurances in shaping our regulatory framework, and because existing policies appropriately focus federal efforts on federal interests.”

Washington attached to their letter a report entitled “Marijuana legalization in Washington State.” They said the report “describes how our state’s regulatory system is designed specifically to meet the DOJ’s Cole Memorandum guidance and promote the enforcement priorities that we share with DOJ.”

Inslee and Furguson made a renewed request to meet with Sessions in person to discuss other factual disagreements. “If we can engage in a more direct dialogue, we might avoid this sort of miscommunication and make progress on the issues that are important to both of us.”

Read Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s response to AG Jeff Sessions 8/15/17

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s response to AG Jeff Sessions 8/15/17 on marijuana policy (Text)



Read Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s response to AG Jeff Sessions 8/14/17

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s response to AG Jeff Sessions 8/14/17 on marijuana policy (Text)

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Published at Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:27:51 +0000

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Many Flaws with the 1-Metre Home-Growing Rule

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Many Flaws with the 1-Metre Home-Growing Rule

Many Flaws with the 1-Metre Home-Growing Rule

Health Canada’s failures in the medical regime are evident. And recreational cannabis legalization won’t fare any better. Just look at the proposed “1-metre” rule for home-growing and its many flaws.

If there’s an Idiot’s Guide to Growing Cannabis, I suggest sending a bunch of copies to politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa.

Growing cannabis from seed requires culling the male plants. And unless I’m mistaken, it’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between male and female seedlings until after they sprout, which is about one month.

Does Ottawa expect us to limit our seedlings to 4 plants? To buy expensive and sub par “feminized” seeds from their approved licensed producers (LPs)? To just play by the rules and hope for the best?

That is, remain ignorant about whether one is growing male or female plants until after they sprout?

What happens if my legal 4 seedlings turn out to be all males? According to the rules, I’d have to start all over again, weeks after planting.

I guess I’ll have to buy an LP starter kit. It’s already happening in the medical regime: LPs are selling live plants, essentially clones at $20 each, plus shipping and taxes.

Home-growing, like other aspects of legalization, is still a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

If I start off with 10 or more seedlings, with every intention of culling back to four females, I could face fines up to $5000 and between 6 months and 14 years in jail.

So much for legalization.

Home-growing could be such a regulatory nightmare that it’ll incentive Canadians to purchase clones from LPs.

Of course, I’m not going to do that, nor do I imagine most of the readers of this blog will find themselves in that position. But that’s the path we’re being led down.

The devil is always in the details. Especially with a government that has been reluctant to follow through on its legalization promise.

Of course, Canadians can look to Oregon, a legal state with a four-plant limit. They get around this rule by growing them large.

But since Canada’s legalization has a 1-metre height restriction, circumventing the rules may be a little more tricky.

But one can cultivate a cannabis plant that extends left and right but only 1-metre high. Perhaps we’ll perfect the art of the cannabis bonsai.

There will always be ways around the 1-metre rule.

For example, you could just grow it anyway, government bureaucracy be damned. Growing, consuming and selling cannabis has been illegal up until now and that hasn’t stopped anyone.

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Published at Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:07:24 +0000

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Big change: Nevada to start handing out weed distribution licenses beyond liquor wholesalers

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Big change: Nevada to start handing out weed distribution licenses beyond liquor wholesalers

Big change: Nevada to start handing out weed distribution licenses beyond liquor wholesalers

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada marijuana regulators have decided to start issuing pot distribution licenses to businesses other than liquor wholesalers to keep up with overwhelming demand since legal recreational sales began July 1.

The Nevada Department of Taxation voted Thursday to open up the market previously limited to liquor distributors under the state ballot measure voters approved in November.

They will begin reviewing about 80 applications they received in May from other businesses, department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said.

Tax officials previously tried to open the distribution process to medical dispensaries, but liquor wholesalers argued in court that violated state law.

A Carson City judge sided with the wholesalers, saying the state needed to establish formal criteria to determine if there aren’t enough distributors to do the job.

With the backing of Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state tax commission approved an emergency regulation last month intended to meet the judge’s concerns.

During Thursday’s three-hour public meeting in Henderson, several people spoke in favor of an “expanded pool” of recreational marijuana distributors. Tax officials said they were concerned legal retailers could run out of cannabis products, which would lead to customers returning to the illegal black market.

“I think the evidence is fairly clear today that this market needs to be opened up,” said Deonne Contine, executive director of the tax department. “The capacity of only liquor wholesalers to serve the market seems lacking.”

The department declared the need for the emergency rules shortly after marijuana retailers recorded more than 40,000 transactions in the first weekend of legal sales. Some of the dispensaries that previously sold pot for medical use said they saw their sales increase 10-fold.

“Without the ability to license marijuana distributors to continue the flow of product to the retail store, a high likelihood exists that consumers will revert to the black market,” Contine told the tax commission in July.

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Published at Fri, 11 Aug 2017 21:09:29 +0000

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