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Cannabis News Roundup: August 23, 2013

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Armored trucks pressured to stop business with dispensaries…  Potency tests wildly inaccurate… NIDA: Marijuana no less toxic than alcohol… “This American Life” goes to Mendo… and more.


MMJ Business Daily // First banks were discouraged from doing business with cannabis dispensaries, and now armored truck companies are also canceling contracts with them.

Bloomberg News // Con artists pushing get-rich-quick cannabis stocks to investors are practicing a Wall Street trick known as “pump and dump,” where share prices are artificially inflated, then unexpectedly fall – when the main players leave the game.

WSJ  & East Bay Express // All retail recreational cannabis products sold in Colorado after January (when the law becomes effective) must list their THC potency, the same way liquor products list alcohol content. But there’s a big problem: the standard margin of error at testing facilities is in the range of 25 percent.

California’s testing facilities are better established, but still report an expected five percent margin of error, either up or down.

East Bay Express // Richmond has been hosting cannabis-related events this summer, but that doesn’t mean the Contra Costa District Attorney is complacent with the topic. Dispensary owners in the East Bay community received letters from DA Mark Peterson a few weeks ago reminding them that their activities are in violation of federal law.

SF Gate // Still in Richmond, potential dispensary operators there are “still in shock” after their application to transfer a location permit to an isolated location was rejected by the Richmond City Council, 4-3.

WBUR // The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health is sifting through 181 applications to operate cannabis dispensaries after yesterday’s one-day-only filing period. One requirement: proof of at least $500,000 in liquid assets. [See related Massachusetts item below, under “History.”]

Forbes // One way to add an estimated $20 billion to the national treasury would be to legalize and tax cannabis, says this article titled “Why Legal Marijuana Is A Good Argument for Tax Reform.”


Toke of the Town // Has President Obama’s opinion on national marijuana policy evolved since the Washington state and Colorado legalization laws? In a word: no, according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who was asked that question this week.

SF GATE // A Mexican special interest group is appealing to the Supreme Court, asking it to cancel the nation’s marijuana ban as a violation of free choice. [Second item in the link, under “Wednesday” heading]


Huff Post // "Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated,” according to a statement from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This, in spite of Center for Disease Control statistics showing 41,682 deaths related to alcohol in 2010, and none attributed to marijuana.

Denver Post // Colorado’s medical marijuana registry is supposed to be kept confidential, but that isn’t happening, according to a recent audit. Patients asked the Board of Health to destroy the database and start over. Their request was denied.


Clarification // Last week’s mention of California’s hundred year ban on marijuana gave the impression that it was the first such prohibition in the country. That’s wrong. That distinction belongs to Massachusetts.  As reporter Nicholas Shou states in his new book, “The Weed Runners,” “…the first anti-cannabis law was enacted by the Massachusetts state legislature on April 29, 1911.”


This American Life // Many public radio listeners heard the “Nipped in the Bud” story on “This American Life” this week, about Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. If you missed it, you can read the transcript here. (Scroll to “Act Two. Nipped in the Bud.”) And you can hear the program here.

SF Gate // Easterly, a real estate blog, has ranked 17 US cities that are “best for hippies.” Criteria include cannabis laws and number of stores with hemp products. Care to guess before you see the answer? Hint: San Francisco barely made the list.

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