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Arizona saw a 41 percent increase in medical marijuana sales in 2018, according to data released by the state Department of Health Services this week. In all, approximately 61 tons of cannabis products were sold by medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. Sales by weight of cannabis flower were up 40 percent and the total sales by weight of edibles, concentrates, and other products grew by 55 percent. The department does not estimate dollar values for the cannabis sold.

Sales of marijuana products grew faster than the number of medical marijuana patients registered with the state. More than 186,000 patients are now registered, an increase of nearly 20 percent. Will Humble, a former state health director who served when medical cannabis was legalized in Arizona in 2010, said the difference in the growth of patients and sales does not necessarily indicate that the average patient is consuming more cannabis.

“You’ve got a subset of the patients that are buying a lot of marijuana,” Humble said.

“And then there are patients that aren’t buying anything hardly,” Humble added, noting that some registered patients continue to buy their cannabis from the black market rather than from medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by the

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On Sunday, journalist Deidre Olsen posted a Twitter thread presenting allegations from several individuals that Marc Emery, a Canadian cannabis activist known as the “Prince of Pot,” created an uncomfortable, sexually charged environment at his groundbreaking Cannabis Culture dispensaries. The accusations even go as far to say that he based women’s employment off of their tolerance for his “unwanted sexual harassment.”

“I was watching Surviving R. Kelly and couldn’t make it through the first episode, I was so upset,” Olsen (who uses the pronouns they and them) told High Times. “I have not been traumatized into silence. I decided that enough was enough.”

Olsen was 17-years-old when they first met Emery online. He would often send them flirtatious messages, and on a trip to a Cannabis Culture store, he put a bong between his legs. Emery then invited Olsen to sit on his lap and take a hit. He went so far as to offer Olsen a job at Cannabis Culture, which they turned down with their mother’s support.

Marc Emery is known as a leader in the Canadian cannabis legalization movement. In 2005, he was arrested and extradited to the United States on charges of selling marijuana seeds by mail. He served

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As the United States continues to grapple with cannabis legalization on the federal level, a number of companies in Canada are positioning themselves to succeed on a global scale. But few have managed to spread their roots like the Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation. Already known for its high quality ganja brand Tweed, the company has been eyeing a market that stretches far beyond the Great White North.  

Earlier this week, Canopy Growth announced that it had acquired a license in New York state to produce and process hemp. With the assistance of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY-D), the Canadian cannabis entity is planning to build a large-scale operation for hemp extraction and product manufacturing within the United States.  

The license was granted just weeks after Gov. Cuomo presented his plan to legalize recreational cannabis across New York in 2019; and a month after hemp production was federally legalized in the United States via the 2018 Farm Bill– a measure that Sen. Schumer was instrumental in getting to pass.

Canopy Growth Attempts to Corner U.S. Hemp Market

Originally founded in 2013, Canopy Growth has been fortunate enough to have a few years to build a solid

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An agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been implicated in a scheme to launder $7 million in drug profits, according to a report from the Associated Press. Leonardo Concepcion, the attorney for an alleged co-conspirator, declined a request for comment on the case but described it as one “involving serious corruption by a DEA agent.”

Concepcion is the lawyer for Gustavo Yabrudi, a DEA informant with American and Venezuelan dual citizenship. According to five current and former law enforcement officials, Yabrudi and former DEA agent Jose Irizarry are accused of conspiring to launder more than $7 million in drug profits. Irizarry’s Colombian wife, Nathalia Gomez, is a relative of Diego Marin, one of the top money laundering suspects of the past ten years, according to U.S. and Colombian officials.

Irizarry and Yabrudi, one of his clandestine informants, allegedly set up an offshore account for drug cartels that wanted to send illicit profits back to Colombia. The funds were used to buy shipping containers full of electronic and textile goods, which were then shipped to Colombia for resale in discount markets. The funds were then transferred back to the cartel, minus a commission for the money launderers.

Undercover Operation Gone Awry

Irizarry, who

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The mayor of an Iowa town and her husband were arrested after police discovered 18 marijuana plants growing in their home. LaDonna Kennedy, the mayor of Jamaica, Iowa, and Randy Kennedy were charged with several crimes including manufacturing with intent to deliver no more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, two counts of failure to affix a drug stamp, and keeping a dwelling for possessing or selling a controlled substance.

The Guthrie County Sheriff and deputies had gone to the Kennedys’ residence at about 4:20 pm on Wednesday, according to media reports. The deputies had received information from a neighboring law enforcement agency that the suspect in an attempted murder, Rodney Halterman, may have been at the home. An arrest warrant had been issued for Halterman in Story County after a woman was shot in the chest on Saturday afternoon.

Odor of Pot Leads to Arrests

When the peace officers arrived, they “could all smell the overwhelming odor of raw marijuana coming from the residence while [they] stood outside knocking on the door,” Dep. Kent Gries wrote in a court affidavit. Sheriff Marty Arganbright reported seeing someone come to a window of the house and then shut it.

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This is the first in a series exploring how Baby Boomers experience dispensaries in different cities.

Cannabis dispensaries are a radically new retail phenomenon, selling a commodity that is still shrouded in stigma and illegal under federal law. For a Baby Boomer whose most recent cannabis transaction may have been clandestinely copping a dime bag from their neighborhood dealer some 50 years ago, visiting a dispensary can make them feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store. Their former college roommate, however, may find a dispensary encounter discombobulating, overwhelming or even beyond the pale.

I am fascinated by the different ways older adults experience this unique cannabis point of purchase, and am exploring how these meetings transpire in different parts of the country.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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In Canada, the $31-billion marijuana industry is rife with opportunity for female entrepreneurs and offers a lucrative career option for many women.

Without a history of institutional bias against women, there are no glass ceilings to break.

Alison Gordon joined the industry in 2013 and has since become the chief executive of 48North Cannabis Corp., a publicly traded licensed producer of cannabis. The company operates a facility in Northern Ontario and serves the women’s health and wellness cannabis market.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.

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The good times in Vancouver are over. All unlicensed marijuana dispensaries, including two Cannabis Culture shops, must cease operation, as ordered by a British Columbia Supreme Court on Dec. 14. A total of 28 stores have to close by Jan. 31, or face shutdowns and possible arrests.

The ruling comes as provinces are providing licenses for cannabis businesses under Canada’s new legalization law, which went into effect Oct. 17.

“We’re just hoping people are going to move along and move into the more mainstream licensed retail business,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart stated two days after the court decision. “I feel like once we have regular retail available here in the city, which will come very soon, then these other stores will just kind of fade away.”

So far, two recreational shops under the province’s new cannabis law are up and running: Evergreen Cannabis Society (2868 W. 4th Ave.) and City Cannabis Co. (610 Robson St.).

Unlike Cannabis Culture and other unlicensed stores, the new shops don’t allow onsite use. Cannabis Culture shops are famous for their dab bars.

Cannabis Culture owner Jodie Emery said she and others have been “begging” to score licenses, but have not had any success yet. “Prohibition

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U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, received final approval from the Legislature on December 28.  The measure legalizes medical marijuana for those who receive a recommendation from a physician.

Comprehensive medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is the only state and American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without any form of medical marijuana law.

“We applaud Gov. Bryan and the Virgin Islands Legislature for enacting this sensible and compassionate legislation”, says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Medical marijuana is widely recognized as an effective treatment for a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. This new law offers the prospect of relief for countless patients, and it will do so for generations to come.”

O’Keefe continies; “Most U.S. states and territories have enacted effective medical cannabis laws, and those that have not are giving them

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the state legislature Thursday to repeal the ban on smokeable cannabis from the state’s medical marijuana statute. At a press conference in Winter Park, Florida, DeSantis said that the ban is not in line with the will of the voters.

“What the Florida Legislature has done to implement the people’s will has not been done in accordance with what the amendment envisioned,” DeSantis said. “Whether [patients] have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that? I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved. I don’t think this law is up to snuff.”

DeSantis also said that if the ban is not rescinded by the middle of March, he will drop an appeal filed by former Gov. Rick Scott to keep it in the law. In May, a judge ruled that prohibition against smoking cannabis violated Amendment 2, the measure passed by 71 percent of voters in 2016 that legalized medical cannabis in the state.

Cannabis Advocates Support Repeal of Ban

Agriculture commissioner and cannabis advocate Nikki Fried called on lawmakers to act before March.

“Every day that medical marijuana in the pure plant form is unavailable to patients, Floridians

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