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Colorado Medical Marijuana News

Marijuana Exercise
In general, people know exercise is good for the mind and body. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not just endorphins (the chemical which makes you feel good after an activity such as exercise) that make physical activity so great.

The medical community already knows the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in fat. However, a study by Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that the THC-to-fat storage process can give exercisers an added boost, even up to 28 days after the consumption of marijuana.

As the body begins to burn fat, traces of THC are released back into the bloodstream, producing a mild effect similar to consuming a small amount of marijuana. THC blood levels increase by approximately 15% immediately after moderate exercise, but the increase is no longer present two hours after exercising.

Studies have also found that exercising actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way marijuana does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body and is responsible for reducing pain, controlling appetite, and influencing mood and memory. Furthermore, researchers have found that human-produced cannabinoids increase as you exercise, causing you to feel a little “high.”

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Marijuana Edibles

Washington lawmakers have recently stated that they will permit recreational marijuana dispensaries to sell marijuana infused brownies, cakes, and other miscellaneous baked goods, but they will not allow them to be sold in candy form (lollipops, gummy bears, jelly beans, etc) which could potentially entice children.

Recreational marijuana clubs in Washington opened their doors to the public on July 8th of this year and the guidelines for how marijuana infused edibles are required to be packaged was released less than two weeks later.  The Liquor Control Board of Washington was placed in charge of overseeing the process.

Their main concern is they don’t want anything floating around that might appeal to children.  Specific items being banned will include gummy bears, jelly beans, suckers and some other types of candy.

Hopeful manufacturers must also adhere to certain guidelines in order for their product to even be considered.  They must be able to show that the THC is spread out evenly amongst the products to ensure that all of the edibles contain a uniform amount of potency.  In other words, they want to be sure that one brownie doesn’t get you drastically higher than another.

Banks Marijuana
The U.S. House passed a historic bipartisan amendment today which will prevent the Treasury Department from spending any funding to penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses that are legally operating under their state laws. The amendment passed 231 to 192.

The U.S. House passed an amendment in May prohibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from undermining state medical marijuana laws. They also passed two amendments prohibiting the DEA from interfering with state hemp laws.

“Congress is yet again rejecting the failed war on marijuana,” said Bill Piper, of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They have read the poll numbers and are doing both what is right and what is politically smart.”

Marijuana is still federally illegal, so banks who do business with legal marijuana dispensaries could still be accused of helping them launder money.

“[Dispensaries] are operating just in cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and battery,” said Rep. Earl Perlmutter, D-Colo., whose state has legalized recreational marijuana use. “You cannot track the money. There is skimming and tax evasion. So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the Treasury Department is to bring this out into the open.”

Spain Marijuana Clubs
Spain is becoming a global destination for marijuana tourism.  Roughly 300 marijuana clubs have opened in Barcelona and surrounding areas with no signs of slowing down,. Barcelona officials are not condoning the businesses either.

It seems that these new marijuana entrepreneurs are operating off a decade old loophole.  An old law in Spain allows anyone to grow and use marijuana in private as long as they are doing so in regards to operating a nonprofit business.  So individuals are permitted to join together and open marijuana clubs the same way your mom might start a wine-of-the-month club and invite all of her friends to sit around and drink and gossip in private.

Over the last few years, these clubs have been popping up all over Barcelona, specifically in heavy tourist areas.  While a lot of the clubs will refuse walk-ins off the street, many will offer “memberships” where you can gain entry by paying a little over $20.  The type of club you might encounter will vary from spot to spot.  Some are reminiscent of a fraternity house, with pool tables and a couple of televisions, while others are more upscale offering live music, full restaurants, and even pilates classes.

Experts say that one reason for the massive boom in club openings is that the younger generation is seeing it as a way to find good jobs. In the meantime, Spanish authorities have put a 1 year moratorium on any new marijuana clubs from opening.

CO Recreational Dispensary Licenses
The recreational marijuana industry in Colorado is poised to get even larger now that more businesses are allowed to apply for a recreational marijuana business license.  This will result in many more recreational marijuana retail shops and growers, as well as more marijuana related jobs throughout Colorado.

Only licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were able to apply for recreational marijuana distribution permits during the first 6 months of legalization.  They were also only allowed to sell marijuana that they grew themselves. But as of this past Tuesday, anyone is permitted to apply for a recreational marijuana business license, regardless of their previous experience in the marijuana industry.

These newly licensed stores will be able to open their doors as early as October, and the law pertaining to growing your own product will change, and dispensaries can then opt to buy their marijuana from independent growers.

Experts are still unsure how these new rules will affect the already booming recreational marijuana industry in Colorado.  Some believe that lower quality shops will start opening up, while others are hopeful that it will just create a larger and more creative structure.

One more concern facing new business owners is that finding a location to set up shop could be difficult considering the strict zoning laws set in place to distance themselves from schools, parks, and already existing dispensaries.

Legalize Marijuana US

The majority of the US is now in favor of marijuana legalization because of all the new evidence proving it is valuable to humans and the economy. Here are a few reasons why it’s time to put an end to marijuana prohibition:

1. Marijuana prohibition has failed. The US government has tried and failed to keep marijuana out of the hands of American citizens for over 75 years; however, it is still consumed by over 25 million people annually. Despite being illegal under federal law, marijuana is still the largest cash crop in the US.

2. Regulated marijuana market would reduce use among teenagers. It would also keep them from being exposed to more harmful drugs.  If marijuana was legal, it would be far less valuable. By keeping marijuana illegal, it allows younger people to profit from selling it to their friends.

3. If marijuana were legalized it would reduce our funding of international criminal organizations. Because marijuana is still illegal in the United States, it allows for criminals and drug cartels to profit greatly by selling marijuana on the black market.

4. If marijuana was legal, hemp would become a valuable agricultural crop in the US, with the potential to serve as a bio-fuel replacement. The majority of the world grows hemp agriculturally, while keeping marijuana illegal. The main reason that hemp is illegal in the United States is because there is such an opposition to the legalization movement, but as the US continues to promote the use of alternative fuels to reduce our foreign dependency on oil and carbon emissions, it makes more sense now than ever to consider hemp as a bio-fuel source.

5. Marijuana prohibition initiated from political corruption. The dangers of marijuana have long been exaggerated since the days of “reefer madness,” and modern day science can prove it. Many years ago, scientists were unable to prove how exactly marijuana produced the “high” that it does, but that has long since changed. If alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are acceptable for adults to use in moderation, there is no reason that marijuana shouldn’t be as well.

6. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.  It has been proven that marijuana is in no way toxic to humans. It is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, and the potential for addiction is extremely low. So why treat marijuana as a more harmful drug than alcohol, tobacco or caffeine when we know just how dangerous they can be?

7. Marijuana should be taxed in order to support the US economy. The marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry in the US (even though less than half of the states in the US have implemented pro-marijuana regulations). It is creating thousands of new jobs every year and taxes from marijuana sales can support beneficial government programs.

8. Marijuana has many valuable attributes. Marijuana has proved to be a valuable alternative medicine to people all over the world. It provides relief from pain, nausea, and even seizures to individuals who have had little relief with prescription medicines.  A lot of Americans choose to use marijuana as an alternative to alcohol as a way to reduce stress and just relax. Why should we care what informed adults are doing in the privacy of their own homes when it doesn’t affect anyone else?

Marijuana users are passionate about ending prohibition and accomplishing legalization no matter how long it takes. Even with the abundance of arrests made on peaceful marijuana users each year, they still stand up to authority and fight for legalization. This has been going on for over a generation, and it isn’t going to slow down until the government finally hears their cries and does the right thing; which is to legalize marijuana and stop imprisoning innocent people when there are far more pressing matters at hand.

There are many more valid reasons for why marijuana should be legalized in the US.

WA Marijuana

The nation’s second legal recreational marijuana market is opening in Washington tomorrow, July 8th.

The new law will allow anyone 21 and older to buy up to an ounce of marijuana. One gram of marijuana is expected to cost between $12 and $25 at retail marijuana dispensaries.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board plans to issue up to 20 recreational marijuana retail licenses today, and retail stores can open the next day if they’re ready. The Liquor Control Board was overwhelmed with almost 7,000 license applications. It is not clear how many licenses will be issued in the future.

Seventy-nine growers have been licensed in Washington. The Liquor Control Board stated that growers don’t expect to have their first shipment of marijuana ready until late summer. The Board expects there to be shortages in supply for awhile.

Businesses and persons wanting to make marijuana edibles will have to get further permission from the Board. Edible makers will have to have child-proof packaging, strict labeling guidelines, and pass kitchen inspections. The Board doesn’t want edible makers to create any candy-like edibles that would appeal to children.

Marijuana Guns

An amendment has been drawn up and offered in the Senate that would forbid the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) from intentionally targeting permit holding gun owners simply because they are also medical marijuana patients.

Senator John Walsh of Montana submitted the amendment in hopes that it would keep the ATF from using taxpayers’ money to attack legal gun-owning medical marijuana patients in the 23 states that currently allow medical marijuana. It would also protect patients in other states that have legalized CBD oil to help treat seizures.

The ATF sent out a letter in 2011 telling federal firearm licensees forbidding them to sell firearms or even ammunition to any marijuana users, despite whether or not they are in compliance with state law. The letter quite plainly states: “Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law form possessing firearms or ammunition.”

The majority of Americans strongly disagrees with everything this letter stands for and feels that marijuana is a much less harmful substance than prescription medication and alcohol and hope that the senate will vote in their favor. A vote could come as soon as Friday.

Oregon Marijuana

Oregon marijuana advocates have collected over 145,000 signatures to which they will submit in hopes of placing the legalization of marijuana on the ballot come November.

New Approach Oregon, a marijuana advocacy program, needed 87,213 signatures due by July third in order to get on the ballot this November.  Organizations typically find that roughly one third of all signatures collected will in turn be deemed invalid, hence the 145,000 signatures collected.  Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman from New Approach Oregon said, “We are confident that our measures to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana will qualify for the November ballot and that Oregonians are open to the case for a smarter and more responsible approach to marijuana.”

If the bill were to pass, adults would be permitted to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and would be permitted to grow up to four plants.  Marijuana would be sold with a flat tax of $35 per ounce of marijuana (flowers).

A recent survey has shown that Oregon voters are more than likely to approve one of the three legalization amendments that might appear on this November’s ballots.

FDA-Medical-Marijuana

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an analysis at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) request on whether the United States should downgrade the classification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, said Douglas Throckmorton, Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs at the FDA, at a congressional hearing.

The FDA reviewed the status of marijuana for the DEA in 2001 and 2006 and recommended it remain a Schedule 1 substance. The DEA has since been petitioned to change the classification of marijuana. “We’re in the process of conducting an eight-factor analysis,” said Throckmorton.

Throckmorton would not say when he expects the FDA to complete its analysis or whether it would recommend a change. The agency would first consult with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and then send the recommendation through the Department of Health and Human Services before handing it to the DEA.