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Sonoma cannabis company back in business days after raid

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaWithin 48 hours of the June 15 DEA raid on the facilities of his cannabis extracts company in Santa Rosa, Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges—and the enterprise, Care By Design (CBD), is back in operation. Advocates are hailing as a victory for the industry and user's rights. At least 150 patients, activists and supporters of the CBD Guild collective filled the steps outside the Sonoma County Superior Courthouse in Santa Rosa following the raid, the local Press-Democrat newspaper reports. Company spokesman Nick Caston, emphasized CBD's commitment to operating within the law, saying: "We produce medicine as determined by the voters in the 1990s, and we do it with the best practices of any company in the state."

DEA to re-schedule cannabis this summer: reports

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

THCThe Internet is atwitter over a June 19 report in the Santa Monica Observer with the headline: "US Gov't Will Legalize Marijuana on August 1." The article claims that "weed will soon be legal in all 50 states, with a prescription," thanks to the imminent government action, with cannabis about to be switched from Schedule I to Schedule II. An unnamed DEA attorney is quoted as saying: "Whatever the law may be in California, Arizona or Utah or any other State, because of Federal preemption this will have the effect of making THC products legal with a prescription, in all 50 states." The story also cites a June 17 article in the Denver Post asserting (with no attribution) that the DEA will issue a decision in the matter by July 1.

Microsoft moves into cannabis sector

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchIn a sure sign of changing times, Microsoft just broke what the New York Times calls the "corporate taboo" on pot this week, announcing a partnership to offer software tracking cannabis from "seed to sale."  A new product in Microsoft's cloud computing business, the software will help states that have legalized medical or recreational use to monitor sales. Microsoft's partner is KIND Financial of Los Angeles, a leader in technology for cannabis compliance. The partnership, KIND Government Solutions, will market Agrisoft Seed to Sale. A company press release said the product "closes the loop between marijuana-related businesses, regulatory agencies, and financial institutions."

Sonoma cannabis company raided

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaOn June 15, DEA agents and Sonoma County law enforcement raided six facilities associated with Care By Design (CBD), a Santa Rosa company that produces cannabis oils, tinctures and sprays under the Absolute Xtracts brand. The raid comes just days after the company hosted local and state officials at its facilities to discuss regulations for the emerging industry. CBD co-founder Dennis Hunter was arrested and charged with a felony for manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction (a law created for meth labs). He is being held on $5 million bail. Equipment and payroll records were also seized. The company is apparently accused of using butane gas to produce concentrated cannabis oil—a practice banned in California. (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, High Times, CBD press release via Weed Blog)

This year's other gay bar massacre —in Mexico

Posted on June 16th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

MexicoFollowing the weekend's horrific massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Latin American media are noting a similar deadly attack earlier this year that failed to make world headlines—in Xalapa, capital of Mexico's Gulf Coast state of Veracruz. That happened on May 21, when a group of heavily armed men opened fire on patrons at the city's La Madame gay bar, killing seven and wounding 12. As in the far bloodier Orlando attack, an AR-15 rifle was used. Some of the gunmen were also armed with AK-47s. The Veracruz Public Security Secretariat said this was just another massacre in the wars between rival drug cartels that have been convulsing Mexico for a decade now. But, as the Yucatan Times points out, the fact that the shooters seemed to fire randomly into the crowded bar may point to another motive.

Voter suppression under investigation in Emerald Triangle

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaThe California Attorney General's Office sent a team to the Emerald Triangle's Siskiyou County in the prelude to the June 7 primary election, following reports of armed men from the sheriff's department intimidating members of the county's Hmong community—including menacing some at gunpoint. Sheriff Jon Lopey said the deputies were mobilized as part of an investigation into voter fraud, and had to be armed because of rifle-toting cannabis growers in the areas. But the investigation seems to have exclusively targeted Hmong residents—some of whom were falsely informed that it is illegal for them to vote. Janelle Vang, a representatve for the county's Hmong community, told the Redding Record-Searchlight many residents did not turn out at the polls because they feared they would be arrested. There was speculation that Lopey sought to suppress turn-out for a measure on banning outdoor cannabis cultivation. The county council approved the ban last year, but opponents forced a ballot measure on the question and were mobilizing for a "no" vote. The ban was indeed approved, although Lopey denies his action affected the outcome—as well as denying any wrong-doing.

Obama commutes sentences of 42 drug war POWs

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ObamaPresident Barack Obama on June 3 announced that he had commuted the sentences of 42 inmates convicted of drug offenses as part of his ongoing effort against "outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws." The White House statement said: "The individuals receiving a presidential commutation today have more than repaid their debt to society and earned this second chance." The 42 were serving sentences of up to life in prison for non-violent offenses. The statement noted that Obama has now commuted the sentences of 348 such convicts—more than the past seven presidents combined.

NYC: cannabis busts rising again —despite new policy

Posted on June 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

New York CityBig Apple tokers exhaled a sigh of relief in November 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio instated a new policy barring arrest for possession of under 25 grams of cannabis. New York City had long been the pot bust capital of the USA, and after the new policy the smell of fragrant smoke was present on the city streets on a level not seen since before the get-tough Giuliani era. But a year and a half later—guess what? A new report just released by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) indicates that cannabis arrests rose more than a third in the first three months of this year. The NYPD popped 4,225 people for pot possession between January and March, according to state data crunched by the advocacy group. That's a serious jump from the 2,960 arrested during the same period last year. When you add in arrests for small sales, the figures are respectively 5,311 and 3,973. What gives?

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