Berkeley residents may be able to pick up hi-fi vinyl, and high-potency OG Kush in one stop this year.
The legendary Berkeley record store Amoeba Records is close to securing a new lease on life, as sales of physically recorded music continue to decline.
Amoeba is one of three finalists for the city’s fifth medical marijuana dispensary license. Thursday evening, the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission selected Amoeba to forward to the Berkeley City Council for final selection.
As sales of physical records continue to slide, vending marijuana would underwrite the cultural institution and city landmark, its owners say. Amoeba would add a dispensary to its current jazz room, and promises massive marijuana synergies at the music mecca.
“We need supplemental income,” Amoeba co-founder David Prinz told the East Bay Express. “That’s the real truth. This helps keep us open and enables us to do some amazing shit.”
February 9, 2016
California Marijuana Bans Threaten Thousands of Businesses
By John Schroyer
The recent wave of local bans and moratoriums on cannabis businesses in California could have brutal repercussions for the state’s medical marijuana industry.
So far, 241 cities and counties have either approved some type of cannabis business ban or have one pending, according to the marijuana consultancy Sugarleaf Productions.That includes 20 of the state’s 58 counties and 221 of its 482 municipalities, leading some locals to dub the trend “banapalooza.” Some of the bans include well-known areas such as Napa Valley, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara and Sonoma.
If the bans are allowed to stand – and aren’t either repealed or modified to allow the industry to move forward – it could ultimately affect “tens of thousands” of businesses, said Jacqueline McGowan, vice president of Sugarleaf.
“I would have to say everyone is affected by this, because whether or not you’re in a safe zone, you’re probably doing business with someone who isn’t,” McGowan said. “If you’re in Oakland, and you’re a licensed dispensary, you’re probably getting product… from someone who is effectively banned.
The problem started late last year after the legislature approved the Medical Marijuana Reguation and Safety Act (MMRSA), a set of laws intended to set up a statewide regulatory system for MMJ businesses.
The new laws included – accidentally, according to at least one of the bill’s authors – a deadline of March 1 for any local governments that want to approve their own sets of rules for the upcoming licensing process. As a result, local governments across the state wound up banning all types of medical cannabis businesses, from cultivation sites to dispensaries, because they didn’t want to run out of time to craft regulations before the window closed.
BREAKING NEWS: Oakland May Green-Light Eight New Pot Clubs a YearCity staffers are seeking to lift Oakland’s cap on dispensaries and to license vapor lounges, commercial gardens, hash-makers, kitchens, and labs.By David Downs
Oakland stands poised to dominate California’s new era of regulated medical cannabis. The Oakland City Council could green-light up to eight new medical cannabis dispensaries per year, as well approve dozens of related licenses for cultivation, testing, edibles, and pot extracts at its meeting on Tuesday, February 16.
Under the sweeping plan pushed by staffers in Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administration, Oakland would also issue new licenses for delivery-only dispensaries, transportation services, lounges, and analytical labs. The plan also likely will produce millions in dollars of new tax revenue for the city; would increase safety by reducing the need for a black market for medical pot; would add more local jobs; and would produce safer medical cannabis supplies on a smaller carbon footprint, according to city staffers. The plan is scheduled to go before the council’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday night, February 9.
The LDS Church has come out against a Utah bill that would allow the medical use of edible pot products, a position that could be a serious blow to one of two medical marijuana proposals before state lawmakers.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said leaders are worried about the unintended consequences of the measure proposed by Republican Sen. Mark Madsen of Eagle Mountain. A majority of Utah lawmakers are members of the Salt Lake City-based faith, and the church's position on an issue can be decisive.
The church doesn't object to another, more restrictive medical marijuana bill that would allow access to a marijuana-infused oil, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.
Madsen told The Salt Lake Tribune that church lobbyists told him and legislative leaders about their opposition, but declined to explain their reasoning.
"Maybe they don't want to be known as the special interest who put their thumb on the scale and decided this for everyone in the state," Madsen told the newspaper. "If they're going to put their thumb on the scale politically and force everyone to a standard, then I think they owe something of an explanation to the people."
Both medical marijuana bills have gotten committee approval and are expected to be debated before the full Utah Senate within the next week.
Madsen's proposal would allow tens of thousands of residents with chronic or debilitating conditions access to edible products, but ban smoking pot. Madsen argues Utah should join more than 20 other states that have passed medical marijuana programs. But some Republicans have already said they worry the plan is too broad. The measure died by one vote as last year.
By Asher Klein
Published at 1:56 PM EST on Feb 5, 2016
With much of the NFL world camped out in the San Francisco Bay Area in the days before Super Bowl 50, researchers released sobering news: late Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head.
Later Wednesday, another late, great QB, Earl Morrall, also was revealed to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is associated with memory loss, impaired judgment and progressive dementia. Dozens of former players have been diagnosed, some who died in old age, like Frank Gifford, and a few who took their lives, like Junior Seau.
There is no known treatment for CTE, not least because there's no test that can point it out in the living — it's detected in post-mortem brain scans. But to one former player who's sure his nine-year career gave him the disease, there's an obvious treatment that isn't allowed in the NFL, even though it would be easy to score not far from Levi's Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday for anyone with a doctor's note: medical marijuana.
"If cannabis is implemented and (the NFL) can lead the science on this, they can resolve this brain injury situation in a big way," Kyle Turley said.
Turley is at the forefront of a vocal movement arguing that medical marijuana's pain-suppressing and possible neuroprotective benefits make it the only effective treatment for the effects that chronic concussive blows to the head have on football players. As co-founder of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, Turley is the movement's most outspoken member, but it also includes other retired players and rapper/marijuana entrepreneur Snoop Dogg.
More players' brains are found to show signs of CTE with each year that passes. Researchers at Boston University have found evidence of CTE in 96 percent of the NFL players' brains they examined. At the same time, more states are allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana as a medicine – 23 so far, according to National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana, and remains the only medical marijuana-legal state so far to host the Super Bowl. Nearly half of the medical marijuana identification cards issued in California were prescribed in the Bay Area, according to the Department of Public Health.
A small body of research suggests marijuana can heal head trauma, yet Turley wonders why the league isn't investigating the drug as a medicine. To advocates, hosting the Super Bowl in the region is almost hypocritical, given what they see happening to the heads of NFL players and the spiraling lives of some former players.
"The NFL's policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive," said Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of NORML, in an email calling the NFL out of touch with the laws of the state. "There's no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana."
The NFL did not comment for this story.
Native American church, known for using peyote and marijuana, to open branches in former O.C. pot shops
A national Native American church that courts have allowed to possess and distribute peyote will soon open branches in three former Orange County pot shops, where they plan to use and dispense marijuana and other illegal drugs as part of religious ceremonies.
What’s more, church members say almost anyone can join the religion and partake in its hallucinogenic sacraments, regardless of whether they have Native American heritage.
Representatives from the Oklevueha Native American Church, which claims over 200 branches nationwide, said they recently signed leases in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Westminster, targeting former marijuana dispensary storefronts where landlords don’t mind having pot on the premises.
And as much as those cities have fought to boot the church’s pot shop predecessors – conducting a police raid on one last week in Costa Mesa and receiving a court order Wednesday for another to shut down in Huntington Beach – several federal court rulings might make the cities powerless in preventing the church from storing and distributing drugs at those same locations.
A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday would allow written marijuana advertisements in states where cannabis is legal. Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined with Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici to introduce the Marijuana Advertising in Legal States (MAILS) Act, aimed at overturning a U.S. Postal Service ban on newspapers containing cannabis ads.
The ban came to light last December when the Postal Service sent out a memo to newspaper offices in legal states, warning them that printing paid advertisements for cannabis could be a violation of federal law.
The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that restrictions on advertising would not apply to cannabis-related activities that are in compliance with laws at the state level.
By John Schroyer and Omar Sacirbey
Social media giant Facebook continues to shut down the pages of state-legal cannabis retailers across the country,Marijuana Business Daily has learned.
More than 20 dispensaries and recreational shops in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey and Washington State have had their pages shut down over the past week or so.
Those are just the ones Marijuana Business Daily has been able to confirm, so the actual number could be much higher.
Several of the closures were first reported earlier this week by NJ.com, but more retailers have been kicked off Facebook since then.
It’s unclear if this is the start of a widespread crackdown or a smaller-scale, more targeted move. It’s also not clear if Facebook is only targeting retailers or other types of marijuana-related businesses as well.
A phone call and email to Facebook headquarters were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
Jerry Brown selects California’s first medical marijuana chief
By Alexei Koseff
California has found its czar for medical marijuana.
On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Lori Ajax, currently the chief deputy director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, to the newly-created post overseeing the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The bureau was created through legislation last year, nearly two decades after California voters legalized medical marijuana, to develop comprehensive rules for the industry, from licensing pot growers to crafting environmental protections.
Ajax, 50 of Fair Oaks, has worked in various positions at the ABC since 1995. After studying criminal justice at Sacramento State and working in private industry for 10 years, Ajax began her career at the agency as an investigator in the Santa Rosa district office and later managed licensing and enforcement operations for 20 counties in Northern California. She is a Republican.
The position, which commands a $150,636 salary, requires state Senate confirmation.
There is irony in Brown’s appointment.
Medical marijuana advocates last year successfully pushed for the new bureau rather than placing regulatory authority in the hands of the ABC, which enforces liquor laws and oversees the licensing process. But on Thursday, pot advocates shied away from criticizing the appointment of a top ABC official to oversee pot rules.
“Our members want to see a functioning bureau as soon as possible,” Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, said in a statement. “We are encouraged by Lori’s experience with state bureaucracy and familiarity with rural counties.”
Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff. Christopher Cadelago of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.
By Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on February 03, 2016 at 3:47 PM, updated February 04, 2016 at 9:56 AM
3.8ksharesTRENTON — Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states including New Jersey, but the ubiquitous social media giant Facebook apparently doesn't "like" it. Home pages run by three Garden State dispensaries and at least handful of others across the country have been deleted.
The surprise move stunned dispensary owners and angered patients, who said Wednesday they rely on the up-to-the-minute information these sites provide about the latest strains that help alleviate debilitating symptoms.
"It seems high-handed to simply shut down important resources for sick patients without even saying why or giving organizations a way to ask for reconsideration," said Peter Rosenfeld, one of the 5,668 registered patients in the state program. "What better use of a social media than having sites where parents of sick children can ask questions about medication and treatments?"
In an email, the Facebook media relations office declined to answer questions, and referred NJ Advance Media to the community standards section on its homepage.
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.