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Marijuana News in MA and World

Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles makers in Colorado have started creating less potent edibles to appeal to novice marijuana users so that they don’t find themselves ingesting too strong of a dose and having undesirable effects.

Tim Cullen, who owns two dispensaries in the Denver area equated it to the difference between selling beer alongside liquor. He said, “No one buys a handle of JIm Beam and thinks they should drink all of that in one sitting. But people do want to eat an entire cookie, an entire piece of chocolate. So these products allow you to do that and not have a miserable experience.”

A new product lining recreational dispensary shelves is known as the “Rookie Cookie” and only contains 10 milligrams of THC. A dose this small would allow for a novice marijuana user to consume the entire thing and probably still be sober enough to operate a vehicle.

Similarly, Dixie Elixirs has put out a new soda that is 15 times less potent than that of their traditional recipe and is marketed as being “great for those who are new to THC or don’t like to share.”

The Growing Kitchen’s Holden Sprout, maker of the Rookie Cookie, said that, “For a long time, the medical market was a race to the strongest edibles. Now it’s a new market, and people want something that won’t get them so inebriated they’re not functional.”

Marijuana activists are hoping to change the public’s opinion on the dangers of over consuming marijuana as well. It is extremely common to hear a story about someone who “overdid it” and consumed too strong of a dose of an edible and “freaked out.”

It’s important that the newly legal marijuana industry ensure consumers have a safe and enjoyable time when they are inexperienced with marijuana.

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Weed Jobs

420careers.com, the marijuana industry’s premier job listing site, has just revealed the 10 most popular marijuana industry jobs in the United States in a recent article posted on MJbizwire.

“Because the marijuana industry is so new and expanding so rapidly, many employers only require minimal or no experience necessary for their jobs posted on 420careers.com. This means that almost anyone 18 or older can apply for a job and be a highly considered candidate for the position,” stated the Director of Marketing at 420careers.com.

10 most popular marijuana jobs in the United States:

1. Budtenders (marijuana “pharmacists”) – assist dispensary customers with marijuana inquiries.
2. Marijuana Cultivators (growers) – cultivate marijuana for dispensaries.
3. Edibles Chefs – create marijuana-infused foods such as cookies, brownies, teas, sodas, and sauces.
4. Extraction Technicians – help make marijuana-infused products by creating marijuana concentrates.
5. Marijuana Industry Journalists – write about the marijuana industry for publications or blogs.
6. Vaporizer Sales Representatives – sell vaporizers for manufacturers or distributors.
7. Dispensary Security Officers – patrol dispensaries for illegal activity.
8. Trimmers – harvest and process marijuana for dispensaries.
9. Dispensary Managers – manage all or various aspects of dispensaries.
10. Marijuana Delivery Drivers – deliver marijuana to customers.

10 most popular auxiliary jobs the marijuana industry helps employ:

1. Lawyers
2. Accountants
3. Event Planners
4. Consultants
5. Web Developers/Designers
6. Realtors
7. HVAC Technicians
8. Merchant Processors
9. Payroll Services
10. General Contractors

420careers.com provides a free website for marijuana-related businesses to post available marijuana jobs and browse job-seekers’ resumes; while, job-seekers can freely browse and apply for marijuana jobs, as well as post their resumes. Businesses can upgrade their job posting to a Featured Job listing for $25 that is displayed and highlighted on 420careers.com’s homepage.

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Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization

Maryland’s new marijuana decriminalization law has begun. The new bill will allow for citizens in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana to receive a simple fine.

The law originally stated that anyone found in possession of any amount of marijuana can be arrested and serve up to a 90 day prison sentence. But as of October 1, violators will instead be issued a ticket. The first ticket will be for $100, the second for $250 and then $500 for any tickets thereafter.

A strange amendment to the law has made it still illegal to possess any and all marijuana paraphernalia. This includes everything from a 3 foot glass bong to a rolling paper. So someone caught smoking a joint could technically be arrested for the rolling paper, but not the marijuana itself.

However, as a result from public outcry by marijuana activists in Maryland, lawmakers have said that they will look into the idea of doing away with this law in the next year.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Maryland since June 1, 2014, and patients are allowed to carry paraphernalia worry free.

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Marijuana Movie Theater
As Colorado’s recreational marijuana market expands, a surge of entrepreneurs are stepping up their game to get a piece of the marijuana pie.

One innovative business, the Scarlet Theater, is planning to open a marijuana-friendly movie theater for tourists and Denver area marijuana-users to hang out, get high, and watch awesome movies.

The Scarlet Theater is currently in development, but they have big plans. The theater will require patrons pay a membership fee to enter and enjoy the club, but it sounds well worth it. The theater plans on featuring a world-class restaurant and a BYOC (bring your own cannabis) policy.

Proprietor Kelly McGonigal describes some key differences that make the Scarlet Theater stand out from other social clubs in the Denver area: “Offering more things to do than just smoke and socialize — which are great in and of themselves, but sometimes people want to toke up, and maybe talk with people for a while, but then they want to go off and do their own thing. People who want to do that can go to the movie theater, they can go to the restaurant. And since they’re all operated by us, patrons will know they’ll be in a supportive, understanding environment.”

The Scarlet Theater is scheduled to open for business on April 20, 2015.

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Jamaica Marijuana
The Justice Minster of Jamaica recently announced that legislation is under way to decriminalize marijuana.

The majority of the world views Jamaica as a place where marijuana is widely used and accepted, but that is far from the case. Jamaica has prohibited the use of marijuana for the last 100 years.

Justice Minister, Mark Golding, has suggested to lawmakers that they should make possession of 2 ounces or less a simple ticket before year’s end. He also hopes that marijuana use for religious purposes will be legalized as well. The Rastafarian religion, which views marijuana as a “holy herb,” smokes marijuana in a ceremonial fashion on a regular basis. Golding believes that they should be permitted to partake as they please.

Golding also believes that Jamaican scientists may hold the key to unlocking some of the vast therapeutic benefits of marijuana. Jamaican researchers even came up with a medication made from marijuana to help treat glaucoma over 20 years ago that has received little to no attention from the medical world.

In the midst of the legalization movement, Golding stresses that the government will continue to battle drug trafficking, organized crime, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of the youth.

Golding mentioned that while they do not plan on setting a maximum plant number on marijuana growing operations, the government wants to make sure that all small scale farmers “are not excluded and it does not just become something exclusively for major capital-intensive investors.”

The leader of the Drug Policy Alliance said of Golding’s legislation that it is “both noteworthy in that Jamaica is reforming policies on possession, religious use and medical use at more or less the same time, and politically important to providing leadership in the Caribbean.”

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New York Times Marijuana
The New York Times has endorsed the legalization of recreational marijuana in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. in their editorial released on October 5.

This is the second time this year that The New York Times has publicly stated their support for marijuana reform in the United States.

In an excerpt from the Times’ recent editorial, “Yes to Marijuana Ballot Measures: Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia Should Legalize Pot,” they repeatedly touch on the argument that marijuana is still “far less dangerous than alcohol” and that medical marijuana is now available in nearly half the states in the US.

The editorial said in regards to the legalization in Colorado: “Opponents of legalization warn that states are embarking on a risky experiment. But the sky over Colorado has not fallen, and prohibition has proved to be a complete failure. It’s time to bring the marijuana market out into the open and end the injustice of arrests and convictions that have devastated communities.”

In closing, the editorial stated, “Ideally, the federal government would repeal the ban on marijuana, so states could set their own policies without worrying about the possibility of a crackdown on citizens violating federal law. Even though a majority of Americans favor legalization, Congress shows no sign of budging. So it’s better for the states to take the lead than to wait for an epiphany on Capitol Hill that may never come.”

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Marjuana and Alcohol
The anti-marijuana legalization movement seems to always come back to one argument which they believe helps their cause: that emergency room visits involving marijuana have risen over 175% since the mid 1990s.

The DEA even went so far as to state that nearly half a million emergency room visits in 2011 were a direct result of marijuana, with cocaine being the only drug responsible for more. But one large problem with this data is that there are roughly 70 times more marijuana users than cocaine users in the US, which would certainly result in more hospital visits for marijuana users. On a “per-user basis” marijuana causes drastically less emergency room visits than cocaine, and even less than alcohol.

Because the Drug Abuse Warning Network does not provide any information on emergency room visits related to alcohol, we will instead have to take a look at those numbers from a National Institutes of Health report which shows all alcohol-related emergency room trips. The report clearly reveals that marijuana is much less likely to end in a hospital visit than heroin, cocaine, meth, prescription drugs or alcohol.

The report goes on to show that for every thousand people who consume alcohol regularly, there are eight more trips to the hospital than when compared with marijuana.

These numbers were taken directly from the federal government’s records and they clearly prove that marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol and other drugs.

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Marijuana Seniors
A broad study looking into the effectiveness of medical marijuana on patients in California has come back with very positive results. 92% of patients polled said that using marijuana helped to alleviate their symptoms. The symptoms ranged from chronic pain stemming from migraines and arthritis to cancer.

The California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’s data concluded that 5% of adults in California admitted to using medical marijuana in order to treat a serious medical condition.

Authors of the study stated: “Our study’s results lend support to the idea that medical marijuana is used equally by many groups of people and is not exclusively used by any one specific group.”

In regards to different ethnicities and their use of medicinal marijuana, the study’s author says that, “the absolute difference in prevalence between the racial/ethnic groups is less than three percentage points, which may not have much importance in practical terms.”

Even with medical marijuana being legal in 23 states in the US there are still a large number of hurdles to overcome. Former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, called it “one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.”

The author mentions how the study proves the opposite of Bloomberg’s accusation, saying that, “The most common reasons for [marijuana] use include medical conditions for which mainstream treatments may not exist, such as for migraines, or may not be effective, including for chronic pain and cancer.”

In these types of situations, it seems like listening to the patients, the people actually living with these ailments every day are the ones with the most valid input, not the politicians.

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Warren Buffett Marijuana
Warren Buffett, the man who made billions from soda and candy, is now shifting his keen investment eye onto the marijuana industry.

Cubic Designs Incorporated, a subsidiary of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is a business which optimizes warehouse floor space. They recently delivered roughly 1,000 fliers to marijuana dispensaries over the last month hoping to catch the attention of cultivators looking to maximize their grow space. The fliers read in large lettering: “Double your growing space” and “Grow your profits.”

Shannon Salcrecht, Cubic Designs Inc.’s marketing coordinator, realized the potential business opportunity after being contacted by a number of marijuana growers looking for information. Retail cultivation space has become sparse in places like Denver and Seattle, where growers are hoping to maximize their yield which in turn has caused landlords to raise the rent.

The hardest part for Cubic Designs has been trying to locate the actual growers since they don’t intentionally advertise their names or whereabouts. Salcrecht said, “The one thing with this industry that’s kind of tough is that it’s somewhat still secretive.”

Buffett amassed his fortune through acquiring large stakes in companies like Coca-Cola and Dairy Queen when the time was right. It only makes sense that he would get in on the thriving legal marijuana industry as it begins to develop.

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Marijuana Political Donations

US marijuana industry businesses are now profitable enough to become major political donors that support marijuana-friendly candidates and ballot questions.

Congress members who once politely returned the marijuana industry businesses’ contribution checks are now keeping them. Some new marijuana business political activities include fancy fundraisers at Four Seasons hotels and art auctions hosted at law firms.

“We’re developing an industry here from the ground up. If we don’t contribute politically and get out there with the candidates, we can’t help shape what happens,” said Patrick McManamon, of Cannasure Insurance Services, which provides insurance coverage to marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries.

Medical marijuana businesses have been giving contributions to candidates since the late 90s, but with the start of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the industry and its political clout are expanding quickly.

Marijuana is currently legal for medical or recreational use in 23 states and Washington, D.C. New marijuana measures will be on November ballots in Alaska, Florida, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. Many contributions are being funneled at those upcoming campaigns and the candidates that support them.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is one of the largest marijuana advocacy contributors and is expected to donate around$150,000 to federal candidates in 2014, up from $110,000 in 2013. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Drug Policy Alliance also contribute directly to federal candidates. And tax-exempt marijuana industry groups such as the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) can contribute an unlimited amount of untraceable money.

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