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Berlin Researchers Hope to Recruit 25,000 Marijuana Consumers for Massive Study

A research initiative is hoping to get approval for a study that would require recruiting 25,000 marijuana consumers in Berlin.

According to The Local, the group called theResearch Initiative on Cannabis Consumption is hoping to get an application for a new study approved so that they can analyze the “consequences of cannabis for psychologically healthy, adult consumers”. The aim is to “understand what effects cannabis use has after several years”, according to the group, which was started by an attorney and a clinical psychology professor at the Medical School Hamburg.

The group reported last week that they submitted an updated application to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for approval.

Germany officially legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes at the beginning of this year, allowing doctors to prescribe their seriously ill patients the drug if they believe it will bring about positive results. However, the research initiative is hoping to examine the effects of recreational use, which remains illegal.

So far 2,000 people have signed up to participate in the study within the first ten weeks of the search. The initiative leaders said that in selecting participants, they will “rule out anyone under 18, first-time pot smokers, as well as anyone with potential addiction or psychiatric problems.”

If the study obtains approval, participants would be allowed to pick up 30 grams of cannabis normally reserved for medical patients each month from a pharmacy.

“In Germany several million people regularly get high on cannabis,” wrote chief executive of the project Marko Dörre in a statement. “It is time that science becomes more engaged with recreational use.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


Published at Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:56:56 +0000

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Massachusetts Supreme Court Throws Out Over 21,000 Drug Convictions

In the largest dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, Massachusetts has thrown out more than 21,000 drug convictions linked to a former state chemist who admitted to faking test results.

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan.(Photo: David L. Ryan/AP)

The convictions were overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Court several years after former chemist Annie Dookhan admitted to faking test results in 2013. The court threw out all drug cases where Dookhan was involved, in order to make sure that none of the individuals convicted were done so wrongly. In total, 21,587 convictions were overturned, by far the largest single dismissal of criminal charges in United States history.

According to NPR; “Over the nine years Annie Dookhan worked at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute outside Boston, she admitted to returning positive results on drug evidence she never tested and to sometimes forging co-workers’ signatures.” As the scandal unfolded, hundreds of people were released from prison and hundreds more had their charges dismissed. Dookhan herself was released from prison last April after serving about two and a half years of her three- to five-year sentence.

“Innocent persons were incarcerated,” Justice Carol S. Ball of Suffolk County Superior Court wrote in her 2013 sentencing decision. “Guilty persons have been released to further endanger the public, millions and millions of public dollars are being expended to deal with the chaos Ms. Dookhan created, and the integrity of the criminal justice system has been shaken to the core.”

But the ACLU says it’s not just a single person who is to blame. Kade Crockford of the ACLU writes that the scandal stemmed from a system that is set up to facilitate convictions. Crockford continues, “It was that system that enabled her abuse, covered it up, and then fought to preserve the convictions that stemmed from it.”

NPR’s Tovia Smith reports that on top of the 21,587 convictions tossed Thursday, prosecutors are still seeking to uphold several hundred others, which may also involve tainted evidence.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


Published at Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:41:30 +0000

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Study: Marijuana Decriminalization in the Czech Republic has had No Effect on Age of Onset of Marijuana Use

According to a new study, the decriminalization of marijuana in the Czech Republic has had no effect on the average starting age of those who consume the plant.

In 2010 the Czech Republic decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis and other drugs. A study being published by the International Journal of Drug Policy, and e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found that this law change has had no effect on the age of onset of marijuana use.

For the study, researchers used “2012 survey data to examine the effect of a change in cannabis policy on the age of onset of cannabis use.” They estimated “the effect of the policy change using a mixed proportional hazards framework that models the transition to first cannabis use.

After examining the data, it was found that the change in cannabis policy “did not affect the transition to first cannabis use.”

Researchers conclude by stating; “We find no evidence of cannabis decriminalization affecting the age of onset of cannabis use.”

Click here for the full study.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


Published at Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:15:44 +0000

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Oregon Governor Signs Bill Altering Marijuana Penalties, Removing Marijuana from Controlled Substances Act

Legislation altering Oregon’s marijuana penalties, and removing marijuana from the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, has been signed into law by Governor Kate Brown

marijuana retail outletsSenate Bill 302 was signed into law yesterday by Governor Kate Brown. It was passed by the Senate last month with a 21 to 8 vote, and approved by the House of Representatives 34 to 21 earlier this month. The proposal took effect immediately after being signed by Governor Brown.

The new law reduces the penalty for possessing more than the legal one ounce limit, but less than four times that limit. However, it would increase the penalty for possessing over 16 times the legal limit (anything over a pound. The measure also “repeals additional penalties for the possession, manufacture, or sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school”, and “moves criminal penalties and related provisions from the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] to the Control and Regulation of Marijuana Act”.

The full text of this bill can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


Published at Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:41:30 +0000

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The Best Cannabis Strains To Grow In Cold Climates

The Best Cannabis Strains To Grow In Cold Climates

cannabis strains for cold weather

Growing your own cannabis in cold climates can be a little more challenging compared to tropical weather, but it isn’t impossible. Let’s admit it: not everyone is lucky enough to live in a place where the sun shines all day. In fact many cannabis growers have to make do with temperate climates and even have to deal with strong winds, rains, and cold temperatures.

Thankfully there are cannabis strains that will do well in these conditions. Here’s a list of some of the hardiest strains for cold climates:

white widow strain

  • White Widow: This legendary Dutch cannabis strain has consistently been a favorite, award winning strain throughout the decades. Given that it’s a Dutch variety, White Widow is hardier and can handle temperate weather especially those in Europe. White Widow is loved for the clear-headed buzz and the euphoric high it gives consumers. This strain was first bred in the Netherlands, but today growers from all over the world love it for its simple characteristics and consistently potent buzz. It can grow well both indoors and outdoors although it’s better to grow White Widow in a controlled indoor area. White Widow is pretty good when it comes to fighting off pests and diseases. White Widow can yield as much as 18 ounces in every square meter, with a flowering time of around 9 weeks. This strain is usually ready for harvest by the end of October.

blue cheese strain

  • Blue Cheese: A favorite for many reasons, Blue Cheese is distinctly known for its unique aroma. Originating in Europe, smoking Blue Cheese will give you a relaxed high without getting you too drowsy. It’s one of the most popular medical strains because it’s so useful in treating a wide variety of both physical and mental conditions. Blue Cheese is easy to grow and is extremely fragrant, and also is naturally resistant to mold. It actually prefers to grow in a cool environment, so you won’t have a hard time with Blue Cheese. This strain grows well in both indoor and outdoor settings and thrives in hydroponic as well as soil. Indoors, Blue Cheese can yield a strain of 18 ounces in every square meter. It takes 8 or 9 weeks to flower, harvesting by the end of September.

lsd cannabis strain

  • LSD: Many users love this strain because its high, to most, resemble that of the famous psychedelic it’s named after. It was originally created in the Netherlands and is now an award-winning hybrid. LSD delivers an upbeat high heavy on the indica side, although it’s pretty potent so users need to be careful about dosage. LSD is easy to cultivate because it’s naturally resistant to many common parasites and pests that affect cannabis plants. It also generally results in high yields and it grows short; ideal for cultivating both indoor and outdoor. One of the best things about LSD is that it isn’t as high maintenance as other strains. When grown indoors LSD can yield around 21 ounces per square meter; it takes around 10 weeks to flower. When grown in the outdoors it prefers sheltered areas so it can receive some sunshine. LSD is usually ready for harvest around mid-September.

durban poison strain

  • Durban Poison: Easily one of the most famous sativas, the clean high that Durban Poison delivers makes it a top choice for anyone looking for an uplifting and happy buzz. Durban Poison is 100% sativa and is an excellent strain for both medicinal and recreational use. Durban Poison prefers to be grown outside in sunny areas but it can still grow well in cool environments. This strain will thrive in a hydroponic environment if you grow it indoors, which is recommended if you live in a particularly cold climate. It can take around 9 weeks to grow and will yield an estimate of 13 ounces per square meter. Durban Poison is ready for harvesting by late September up to early October.

afgan kush strain

  • Afghan Kush: This famous indica is well-loved among users for the heavy body high it delivers. Afghan Kush is one of the best and purest indicas you can get your hands on if you are looking to get as relaxed as possible. This strain came from the Hindu Kush mountain range, and the seeds were developed in the Netherlands for easy growing. While Afghan Kush prefers balmy climates, it’s still pretty simple to grow and adaptable even to cool climes. It yields generously and is also resistant to parasites, pests, and molds.  If grown indoors it can take 7 or 8 weeks to flower, and can yield around 16 ounces per square meter.

What are your favorite strains to grow in cold climates?








Published at Sat, 22 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by Senate

A bill to legalize marijuana for those 21 and older has been given approval by Vermont’s full Senate.

The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended House Bill 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House. The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation provision that is included in H. 170, a bill that has been making its way through the House. H. 170 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants. The Senate proposal would allow unlimited small-scale cultivation licenses for producers no larger than 500 sq feet. The marijuana regulation bill that failed in the House last year, S. 241, did not include a home cultivation provision.

The Senate-amended version of H. 167 will receive one final vote before being sent back to the House for consideration.

Most Vermont voters are in favor of the policy changes proposed in H. 167 and H. 170, according to a survey conducted March 20-21 by Public Policy Polling. Fifty-seven percent support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, and 54% support regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol. The results are available at https://www.mpp.org/VTpoll.

“Most Vermonters think marijuana should be made legal for adults, and they’re looking to lawmakers to come up with a plan”, says Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. :We applaud the Senate for approving a thoughtful alternative to marijuana prohibition that would account for public health and improve public safety. We would love to see the House step up and join the Senate in supporting this sensible reform. If the House isn’t willing to support the Senate’s proposal, it at least needs to support its own Judiciary Committee’s plan and pass H. 170.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


Published at Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:14:04 +0000

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Canada’s First Mail Order Craft Cannabis Company

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – April 18, 2017) – CannadaMarket.com is pleased to announce it has been granted a cannabis business license from the City of Victoria to operate its Ebay style marijuana marketplace-home to the top craft producers in Canada and the Original 420 Auction.

Cannada Market is now Canada’s first licensed Mail Order Marijuana company dedicated to craft cannabis with over 25 current vendors and more coming online each day. Cannada Market boasts the largest selection of products anywhere in Canada. Working with leading growers like Herbules Genetics, Temple of Calyx, Elite 613 Genetics, Grow Terra Farms, Head Stash and many more dedicated producers with over a centuries combined growing experience. As the nation’s industry leader in cannabis genetics and quality, we look forward to setting the standards.

To register as a user or vendor go to CannadaMarket.store.

You must be 19+ to enter CannadaMarket.com.

Cannada Market will open on 420 to celebrate……TPB style.


Source: Nasdaq

Cannabis Merchant Account Crackdown

Cannabis Merchant Account Crackdown

cannabis merchant accounts

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions completely scared off financial service providers. Major companies like Paypal, Square, and Stripe purged companies selling ancillary marijuana products around January and February earlier this year.

Entrepreneurs speculate that this happened because Trump’s brilliant idea of suggesting that the feds regulate recreational pot even more, and AG Jeff Sessions referred to the legal cannabis industry as “violent”. Using menacing language like this rocked the boat, and as a result businesses that sell CBD products, software, and even vaporizers were affected. Payment processors basically kicked them out as customers.

According to an article on Inc.com, Shanel Lindsay of Boston startup Ardent which produces a decarboxylating device used to cook cannabis flowers, was kicked out of Square, Stripe, PayPal, and at least 4 other online financial services. As a result she missed three weeks’ worth of sales since she had to wait to be approved by offshore financial providers during the first two months of Trump’s administration.

Cannabusinesses throughout the country felt the shock. “Everyone running an ancillary business got kicked off all at once,” Lindsay said. “It was an unrelenting wave; you could not deny it. All of the banks seemed to be highly attuned to the issue and there was no flying under the radar.”


As if cannabusinesses didn’t have enough problems to worry about especially when it comes to dealing with banks and payments, this time it was much worse. Previously, banks had to face yearly compliance reviews from the feds and internal audits were done. Businesses that were perceived to be too risky were shut down. However, during President Obama’s term he helped loosen up the situation by encouraging banks to work with cannabis businesses although his memo was not binding.

To add insult to injury, here comes White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying tht he thinks there will be greater enforcement on recreational cannabis, and Sessions comes out using more menacing language about the legal cannabis industry. Banks expunged cannabis-related accounts. Even if you look at the terms of service of payment processing giants like PayPal, it’s clear that cannabis businesses are viewed as pariahs. They state that cannabis and ancillary cannabis businesses are prohibited from using their services. Banks underwrite services like PayPal so in the event that a bank is required to purge a business, these guys have to do the same thing. However, PayPal, Stripe, and Square spokespeople deny that these moves have anything to do with the Trump administration.

Stephen Brudner, who founded Merchant Services Consulting Group, a business that matches companies with payment processors, there was a sudden spike in interest from companies who were getting in touch on February. Naturally, they all asked for help to get on payment processors but he was unable to help them. “Our phones rang constantly. People selling vaporizers, CBD products, other ancillary companies, we just had to tell them we don’t have a home for you right now,” says Brudner. “Ancillary marijuana companies are considered ‘unbankable’ at the moment.”


The cannabis industry continues to grow and there are no signs that it’s going to slow down. Because of this, there will always be payment processors and banks that are willing to take the risk and work with cannabuisnesses although payment processors who operate overseas have to face a more challenging situation.

Lindsay’s payment processor emailed her saying that the business was “suspended by our bank”. According to the processor, the bank identified transactions which were used to pay for prohibited products although they didn’t divulge any more details. As if that wasn’t enough, the processor told Lindsay that the $35,000 in her account would be held for 90 days to protect themselves from disputes and charge backs, severely affecting the cash flow of her business.

April 20 is just a few days away, which is officially the biggest cannabis holiday of the year, translating to a surge in sales for businesses. However, since they have to deal with a lack of payment issues April 20 could actually be problematic. Instead of celebrating the green rush from the holiday, cannabis businesses will be scrambling to find solutions to their banking problems.








Published at Wed, 19 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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