features

Global Ganja Report's past, and current Feature stories.

Big Cannabusiness: Reconciling the Recreational Boom and the Medical Marketplace

CannabusinessOn New Year’s Day, as retail sales of cannabis went legal in Colorado, the state's dispensaries registered well over $1 million in sales. Despite cold and wet weather, most of the 36 shops that opened that day reported long lines, with some customers waiting outdoors for hours. By the end of the first week, by which time another dozen retail outlets had opened, the figure was a whopping $5 million. More than 100 dispensaries in the Centennial State have now received licenses for retail cannabis sales and over 500 are eligible to apply. More are applying every day.

"A new industry is developing in a nascent state in Colorado," says Rachel Gillette, director of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "We're not just talking about retail sales, but a lot of other types of business associated with it—construction companies, HVAC contractors, nutrient companies, lighting and equipment sales, packaging, printers, labeling, marketing materials, websites, marijuana tourism, attorneys, payroll companies… This could represent a lot of jobs."

Legalize Peru!

Posted on May 4th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

After last year's victories for cannabis legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state, the US prohibition regime is under unprecedented pressure. But there is little awareness in Gringolandia of the strides in breaking with the US-led "war on drugs" in South America. Over the past decade, Argentina and Colombia have removed penalties for personal quantities of drugs, and Uruguay just passed a measure that essentially legalizes cannabis, with even cultivation permitted under state regulation. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have all barred the DEA from their territory.

That leaves Peru—now overtaking Colombia as the Andes' top coca producer, and also a burgeoning cannabis producer. Like Colombia, Peru remains a stronghold of the DEA in South America—even as it has moved towards decrim of personal quantities. Both countries have experienced long and bloody counterinsurgency wars related to the struggle for control over coca production. Much to Washington's displeasure, Peru even suspended eradication two years ago—before the empire struck back. But now activists are mounting pressure to break with the prohibition model—both in the remote campesino communities of the mountains and jungles, and in the streets of Lima.

Medical Marijuana: The Struggle for Herbal Healing

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabis ediblesOver the past generation, an informal alliance of activists, cultivators, entrepreneurs and medical professionals has struggled to redefine how the United States views the cannabis plant. Victories at state and municipal levels have created a new field of medicinal treatment for a wide variety of ailments in California and other mostly western states. Medical marijuana marks the starkest point in the divide between an industrial model of healthcare and a millennia-long tradition of herbal self-treatment—because nowhere else has the federal government been so intransigent.

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

Colorado and Washington: will the ripples reach Mexico and Colombia?

Posted on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Gorman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafWell, the dust has hardly settled but the boots are at the door; they might come storming through, riling up that dust some more.

But we hope not. The boots belong to the Justice Department and the door belongs to the states of Washington and Colorado. The dust is the election that saw those two states make the biggest moves toward cannabis legalization any state has made in a long long time. No, neither law is perfect, and it is going to be a cold day in hell probably before state stores are up and running. But still, the fact that the voters got out there and said enough is enough and let's get something on legalization out there is very freaking refreshing. Ask anyone who works in any capacity to end the drug war: Wins are few and far between. It took more than 10 years of effort to rein in law enforcement's forfeiture spree; it took a lot longer than that to get New York's racist Rockefeller sentencing laws even semi-tossed. So what happened in Washington and Colorado is in the win column, though we cannot be at all sure that the feds are not going to come in and try to muck things up like they have with California's and Oregon’s medical marijuana laws.

Ron Paul + Potheads = Racist Dopes

Posted on February 4th, 2012 by Michael I. Niman and tagged , , , , .

Ron Paul's popularity, given his history of racism, is troubling. More troubling, however, is the willingness of his supporters, an odd coalition of one-percenter corporatists and anti-war pothead libertarians, to ignore or excuse these views.

Politically and economically multifarious as Ron Paul's posse may be, they almost all share a common trait—that’s their whiteness, which translates into their historical immunity from racist persecution. This is also why their willingness to accept and excuse Ron Paul’s history of racism is particularly revolting.

Crisis in New Mexico law enforcement

Posted on October 9th, 2011 by Frontera NorteSur and tagged , , , , , , .

TucsonBarely a week goes by without a scandal involving a New Mexico law enforcement officer making the headlines in the state.

Angelo Vega, the former police chief of the border town of Columbus, pleads guilty to extortion and trafficking arms destined for La Linea criminal organization, one of the protagonists in the so-called Mexican drug wars.

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