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High Times chairman Michael Kennedy dies

Posted on January 25th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Michael KennedyAttorney Michael Kennedy, the longtime guiding force behind High Times magazine, died of complications from an illness in New York Jan. 25 at the age of 78. He was the lawyer for High Times founder Tom Forçade, the notorious marijuana smuggler and political radical who started the magazine in 1974. "Tom and I became friends," Kennedy wrote in 2015. "We had five years of revolutionary pretense and fucking with the begrudgers. There were more grand juries, betrayals and sordid legal encounters. Tom brought street theater to everything he did. High Times was all theater... Tom had publishing experience, muckraking; he preferred shit-disturbing." After Forçade's death in 1978, High Times' parent company, Trans High Corp., operated as a trust until 2000 when the company was broken up into shares. Kennedy and his wife Eleanora and Forçade's family retained control of the company with Kennedy being named chairman of the board. He was also Trans High's legal counsel. During his extensive legal career, he defended the likes of acid guru Timothy Leary and Black Panther Huey Newton.

Kosher cannabis spells relief for Judeo-tokers

Posted on January 2nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

leafPharmaceutical firm Vireo Health of Minneapolis announced Dec. 30 that its medical marijuana has been certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, the body that sets such standards for America's half-million Orthodox Jews. The OU's Kosher Certification program usually stamps its seal of approval on food products. But now Vireo Health, one of five companies licensed to market medical marijuana in New York state, has received the OU's imprimatur for herbal product—a first in the industry. The New York Daily News reports that the OU rabbinical association gave its certification after inspecting the company's facilities and finding that the cannabis is produced according to the laws of kashrut—for example, being entirely free of insects.

Oregon tribe embraces cannabis economy

Posted on December 24th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

OregonMembers of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, on the eastern slopes of Oregon's Cascade Mountains, voted up a proposal to permit growing, processing and selling cannabis for the recreational market, tribal officials announced Dec. 18. The referendum passed by an impressive 86%, said Don Sampson, CEO of Warm Springs Ventures, the tribes' economic development corporation. Sampson told The Oregonian that the election drew about 1,400 voters who "turned out even in a winter storm." Turnout among youth was especially strong.

Congress votes up truce in war on medical marijuana

Posted on December 21st, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

medical marijuanaOn Dec. 18, Congress approved a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill—and in the process approved a provision promising to keep federal law enforcement out of medical marijuana operations in states that have passed acts legalizing them. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, was first approved in December of last year. The rider for a second year bars the use of Department of Justice funds "to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."

Merrill Lynch mulls corporate cannabis

Posted on December 18th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchPhiladelphia Inquirer columnist Chris Goldstein got hold of a leaked 45-page internal equity report from high-finance titan Merrill Lynch, wealth management division of Bank of America, looking at the future prospects for America's cannabis industry. Goldstein wrote it up for his occassional series Philly420 Dec. 8 under the title "Merrill Lynch is bullish on marijuana." Goldstein finds: "Carefully researched, it was an interesting peek at how heavy hitters on Wall Street are starting to view the expanding industry."

San Francisco forms legal cannabis taskforce

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaSan Francisco's Examiner reports Dec. 14 that city authorities, in anticipation that California voters will legalize recreational cannabis use next year, are assembling a body to propose regulations for the industry. The newly created Cannabis State Legalization Task Force. The body will advise the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Last week, the board's Rules Committee selected 11 people to serve on the body, with three more seats still to be filled. One of the appointees is Erich Pearson, founder of SPARC, one of San Francisco's biggest dispensaries. "We need to determine how many cannabis users we are going to have in San Francisco and how many stores that's going to take to distribute that cannabis once it's legal," he told the Examiner.

Cannabis capitalism: America's future?

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

weedThere have been quite a few histories of cannabis culture and politics, but Bruce Barcott's Weed The People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America is the first to examine the cannabis industry and its future prospects at a moment when it taking flight. His opening overview of how we got to this point is engaging if not always strictly accurate (he loans too much credence to the '70s paraquat scare). He notes the litany of US government reports back to the 1920s exculpating cannabis of the calumnies against it—all ignored by the very government that commissioned them. He details the bureaucratic obstacles that have been raised to research on cannabis' medical benefits. And he relates the passing of the torch (or, more literally, the joint) from the jazz scene to the beatniks to the hippies to the mainstream.

North Carolina legalizes industrial hemp

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

leafIndustrial hemp became legal in North Carolina on Oct. 31 as Gov. Pat McCrory failed to either sign or veto Senate Bill 313 after allowing it to sit on his desk for nearly a month. The bill mandates creation of a state Industrial Hemp Commission to oversee research in industrial hemp under terms of the new federal Farm Bill. The ultimate aim is to "provide opportunities to small farmers for an environmentally sustainable and profitable use of crop lands that might otherwise be lost to agricultural production," according to the text of the new law. A hemp cultivation pilot program is to be established by North Carolina State University

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