Cannabis News Roundup: Microsoft invests in cannabis industry | KALW

Cannabis News Roundup: Microsoft invests in cannabis industry

Jun 17, 2016

Microsoft enters marijuana field … Sonoma County raids canna oil maker … Two losses for native tribes … Big Marijuana will ruin everything: yes or no?  And more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

Comments due Monday on medical regulations // CalNORML

The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR) will close its feedback survey on Monday, June 20. The bureau hopes the public will provide comments, suggestions, or concerns. 

Find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BMMRfeedback

Concerns about MMRSA outlined // greenflowermedia

“There’s a serious flaw in California’s new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) that could double or triple the price of cannabis for consumers.” But, it says here, “it’s not too late to fix this if we act now.”

Sen. Boxer leaning towards legalization // Yahoo TV

There’s only one sticking point to backing legalization, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer tells Bill Maher. [Video]

The tangled web of marijuana rules in D.C. // The Economist

“Since 2015 it has been legal to own, grow and use cannabis privately in Washington, DC. Generous souls are allowed to give small amounts to whomever they like. It is illegal, however, to sell it. Small businesses have sprung up seeking to exploit this dichotomy.”

COPS & COURTS

Cannabis oil maker shut down in Sonoma County // Press Democrat

“Sonoma County law enforcement agencies raided a half-dozen properties associated with a local nonprofit cannabis oil company called Care By Design (CBD) Wednesday morning, including a large laboratory at a west Santa Rosa business park.” Reason: “They’ve done nothing official that we could find that makes any of this a legitimate operation.” 

CBD says in a press release, “We are incredibly surprised that these actions have been taken against our organization, as we have gone above and beyond to ensure we operate in compliance with all local and State laws regarding medical cannabis.”

Sonoma native tribe’s “religious use” lawsuit dismissed // Press Democrat

“The claim that Sonoma County sheriff’s officers destroyed sacramental marijuana plants belonging to a Kenwood church was dismissed after the attorney for the church failed to show up in federal court.” [Editor’s note: See next story.]

“Religious use” defense denied to Hawaiian ministers // Courthouse News Service

“The ministry's website promised freedom from arrest and prosecution for marijuana charges as soon as members signed up, and made it clear that there was no minimum age to join.”

BUSINESS

Microsoft’s entry into marijuana called “huge deal” // MJ Biz Daily

“Software giant Microsoft Corp. is teaming up with an established ancillary cannabis firm to land government technology contracts tied to the marijuana sector, a groundbreaking development that could spur other major mainstream companies to work with the industry.”

State Assembly budget bill okays water for medical growers // The Modesto Bee

“Republicans say a budget bill approved Thursday in the state Assembly gives pot farmers preferential treatment over the rest of the agriculture industry,” a charge the Democratic sponsor denies.

You can grow in Mendo, but you can’t legally buy // East Bay Express

“Despite a national boom in medical marijuana, America's pot-growing heartland of Mendocino, which is licensing mega-farms, has yet to license retail outlets for patients.”

EVENTS

“Party to End Prohibition” // Legalize CA 2016

Berkeley Patients Group and others sponsor this fundraiser at the Oakland Museum of California, Monday June 20.

Cannabis Business Summit convenes Monday // Cannabis Business Summit

“Industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and newcomers will gather to learn best practices for maintaining a successful business, and gain knowledge on emerging topics and policy issues” at this three-day event in Oakland, starting Monday, June 20.

OPINION

“Legal pot won’t mess up our kids” // Orange County Register

“Their key finding is this: Even though more and more U.S. states have been legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana in recent years, fewer adolescents have been using pot or experiencing pot-related problems,” according to a survey titled the National Survey on Drug Use and Health published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Is legalization paving the way for “Big Marijuana”? // The Portland Mercury

“The pot industry … is still a cottage industry. On the other hand, there are lots and lots of cottages, with legal sales projected to hit $6.7 billion this year.” This fact is not being ignored by Big Tobacco. [Editor’s note: See next story.]

Move Big Marijuana down your worry list // Brookings Inst.

“Attempts to block corporatization are likely to backfire or fail. For policymakers, the concern should be bad marijuana, not big marijuana,” says a paper from the Brookings Institution.

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