California

Adult Use of Marijuana Act makes California ballot

Posted on June 29th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaThe Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially made the California ballot on June 28, as the Secretary of State's office confirmed that enough signatures had been gathered—a total of 600,000. "Today marks a fresh start for California as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," Jason Kinney, a campaigner for the measure, told KTLA.  The initiative would allow adults ages 21 and up to possess, transport and consume up to an ounce of cannabis, and permit individuals to grow up to six plants. (Drug War Chronicle, June 29)

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."

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)

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.

Oakland passes ambitious new medical marijuana measure

Posted on May 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaOakland's City Council voted unanimously on May 4 to approve a measure expanding the number of cannabis dispensaries and related businesses operating in the city. The new law seeks to bring the existing black market under the city's regulatory regime, covering everything from grow operations to retail sales. It will allow adding up to eight new dispensary permits each year, and foresees up to 30 new cultivators, 12 delivery businesses, five distributors, five transporters, two testing facilities and 28 manufacturing businesses.

Harborside Health Center in 'historic' deal with feds

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Oakland Oakland's Harborside Health Center announced May 3 that it has reached a deal to end the long effort by federal prosecutors to shut it down. Under the "historic agreement," the Justice Department will agree dismiss its forfeiture case against Harborside. In return, the dispensary agrees not to pursue further legal action against the government. Harborside's San Jose location is also included in the deal. Attorney Henry Wykowski said: "We are gratified that the government has finally seen fit to lay down its arms against Harborside in this case. The will of the people is for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate free from federal threats of closure. We hope we are on the cusp of a policy change and that the Department of Justice will no longer target state-legal dispensaries for forfeiture."

Merle Haggard, redneck icon who embraced cannabis, passes on

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Merle HaggardCountry music legend Merle Haggard died at his ranch near Northern California's Lake Shasta on April 6, his 79th birthday. Haggard had the hard-living authenticity that helped make him an icon for the working folks of rural America. Of Okie stock, he grew up in Bakersfield and came up as a musician in the Central Valley town's local honkytonk scene—before actually turning 21 in San Quentin State Prison after a burglary conviction in 1957, as immortalized in his famous hit "Mama Tried." Unlike what the lyric said, however, he wasn't "doing life without parole." He was paroled in 1960, returned to his music career, acheived success, and was granted a pardon in 1972 by California's then-governor (and fellow conservative icon) Ronald Reagan.

Supreme Court deals blow to Oakland medical program

Posted on March 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

OaklandIn a blow to municipal power to regulate medical marijuana, the US Supreme Court on March 21 refused to hear Oakland's appeal of last year's ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the city cannot help defend Harborside Health Center in federal court. The Justice Department has been trying to shut down the flagship dispensary on the Oakland waterfront—dubbed a "superstore" by US attorney Melinda Haag. The city of Oakland tried to intervene in the case, asserting that Harborside's closure would rob the cash-strapped municipality of millions in tax revenues.

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