Carry On Cannabis: UK Parliament Debates Reform (Again)

The British Parliament considered a new right last Friday – the right of chronically ill patients to treat their conditions with cannabinoids. The bill to reform the law and allow medical use, the Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill 2017-19 was also re-read. It was first introduced last October.

While reformers at this point are loath to do any more than publicly hope, events in the UK continue to unfold in favour of reform.

This time, it is in the wake of a highly upsetting and embarrassing incident that further highlights the human toll of prohibition. When the British Home Office (a combination of the State Department, Homeland Security and a few other federal U.S. agencies) refuses cannabis oil to six year-old Britons with epilepsy named Alfie, don’t expect the famed stiff upper lip in response.

Not anymore.Why on earth would a home-grown company deny treatment to a British kid with epilepsy? 

Especially not when the rest of the EU is moving forward, Canada and Australia (both countries are a part of the British Commonwealth) are now firmly in the medical camp with Canada moving ahead with recreational use this summer. Not to mention continuing reform on both fronts in many U.S. states. Even with setbacks that include the Trump White House and Justice Department (the recently dismissed federal case in New York being just the latest casualty), recreational reform in California is an international beacon of change that will not go quietly into the night. Not now.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Dingley case in the UK, in sharp contrast, is how fast Parliament responded to the plight of the six-year-old and his mother. Not only has Dingley’s medical import license been reconsidered in Parliament, but the matter appears to have finally galvanized significant numbers of the British elected class to do something about an appalling situation that affects hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Brits too.

Cannabis Medical Refugees

Medical refugee policy, especially around cannabinoids, is at least as controversial as the other kind. In Europe and the rest of the world, just like cannabis reform itself, these are national, not state issues as they have been in the U.S., (where the issue of cannabis patient state “refugees” has nonetheless been an issue for most of this decade).

Outside of the U.S., however, it is still the case that national governments can be embarrassed into reform with the right case (or groups of them).

epidiolex
GW Pharma said their product Epidiolex (for the treatment of childhood epilepsy) is being considered by the European Medicines Agency

That was certainly true in Israel in 2014, when the so-called “15 Families” threatened to emigrate from Israel to Colorado unless the government allowed them to treat their sick kids (federal government policy was changed within a month). Not to mention an internal, state to state migration of families in the United States to Colorado around the same time.

It may also be true in this latest British case. The Home Office has been embroiled in a few embarrassing take backs of late, mostly on the topic of immigration of people. The Alfie-Dingley cannabis case hits both medical cannabis reform and lingering buyer’s remorse over Brexit where the British people actually live (and on topics they actually care about).

Refusing at least medical cannabis rights in the UK might also well tip the scales in favour of a redo on Brexit. Or at least capture the support of people who still dream of that possibility. While the UK is still part of the continent, British citizens also have the right to travel freely, with medical rights intact, to other countries and get treatment. The British are no strangers to this idea (in fact, many British retirees end up in Spain and Greece for precisely this reason). Add cannabis to the mix, and current British policy looks even more out of step with reality and the wishes of the British people. Even the older, more conservative and “middle class” (read: American working if not blue-collar class) ones.

Local Production and Prohibition

And then of course, there is this irony. GW Pharmaceuticals, one of the oldest, cannabis companies in the world, is located in the UK. It even grows its own crops there, and has a special license from the British government to do so.

Worse, in this particular situation, it also is busy bringing several cannabinoid-based anti-epileptic drugs (for children and adults) to the market.GW logo

Why on earth would a home-grown company deny treatment to a British kid with epilepsy? And how could a government grant a license to a company to develop the plant for profit, but not a child who desperately needs the drug to live?

In a move that seems more than coincidence, GW Pharma also reported this week that their product Epidiolex (for the treatment of childhood epilepsy) is being considered by the European Medicines Agency, while a separate drug also bound for the epilepsy market called GWP42006 had just failed a Phase IIa trial for focal seizures.

The business press of course, has mostly reported that the only impact of this development so far of course, is that the company took a hit on share price.

It might do a bit more than that. Starting with legislative reform and ending with the sparking of significant home-grown (and legal) competition.

The combined impact of a failed trial in Eastern Europe by the only British company licensed and qualified to produce medicinal cannabinoids for any reason, and the plight of a British boy at home who needs precisely this kind of drug (and has so far been denied it), might in fact be the tinder match that lights political and market reform if not the development of a cannabis industry (finally) in Great Britain.

If this doesn’t, probably nothing will.

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These Two States Are Slowly Moving Toward Medical Marijuana

The post These Two States Are Slowly Moving Toward Medical Marijuana appeared first on High Times.

 

Thanks to legislative action, two more states are getting closer to having a medical cannabis program. Close votes by lawmakers in Tennessee and Oklahoma indicate that these two states are slowly moving toward medical marijuana. But both states have more work to do before medicinal cannabis programs are put into place.

First Up: Tennessee

In Tennessee, legislators are considering the Medical Cannabis Only Act. If passed, the bill would allow patients to use cannabis oil medicines. The law forbids plant forms of cannabis, as well as smoking and vaping.

Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, introduced the bill in January of this year. Sen. Dickerson is an anesthesiologist by profession.

The House Criminal Justice subcommittee voted on the measure Tuesday. During the meeting, patient activists, lobbyists, and representatives of law enforcement packed the committee chamber.

Stacie Mathes explained to lawmakers how medical marijuana has helped her sick daughter, according to reports in local media.

“I am here because I know it works,” Mathes said. “If we had THC when we had the four medications she was on, it would not have taken us 11-months and days and days and days of withdrawals.”

Law enforcement took their predictable prohibitionist stance. Terry Ashe, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association, also addressed the panel. His group is opposed to cannabis because of its status under federal law.

“I am not here to practice medicine,” said Ashe. “We are here to ask you all to understand we are not going to support Schedule One drugs in the state.”

The situation became dramatic when it came time for the subcommittee to vote. Six representatives make up the committee. Their 3-3 tie vote on whether to advance the bill would have meant the death of the measure.

But Rep. Beth Harwell, the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, exercised her power to break the tie. Her “aye” vote allows the bill to continue the legislative process.

On To Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, voters will decide on the legalization of medicinal cannabis in June of this year. State Question 788 legalizes possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes if passed.

The state legislature is working on measures that would regulate the cannabis industry if Question 788 is successful. Senate Bill 1120 limits the number of licenses for businesses and allows the state to set prices on cannabis products.

The legislation also specifies the medical conditions for which doctors may prescribe medical marijuana. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved the bill on Monday by a 6-5 vote, allowing it to move on.

Sen. Ervin Yen, a Republican from Oklahoma City, wrote the bill. He sees himself as a solitary cannabis advocate.

“I’m the only guy in the Senate that’s trying to legalize marijuana. The only one,” said Yen, according to published reports. “And I think if Oklahoma’s going to do it, we need to do it the right way.”

But activists who succeeded in putting Question 788 on the ballot are not happy with Yen’s proposals. Chip Paul of Oklahomans for Health said that limiting medical cannabis to a specific list of ailments is a step backward.

“Medical conditions are arbitrary. They’re always subject to change. We’ve written a progressive law that puts the decision in the hands of the physician. Our law ends up being more restrictive than any other in the country,” said Paul.

Final Hit: These Two States Are Slowly Moving Toward Medical Marijuana

Responding to critics, Sen. Yen said his bill is a starting point, and he’s open to compromise.

“There’s stuff in it that could be changed because it’s a work in progress,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Ervin Yen. “As you can imagine, legalizing marijuana, there’s a lot of moving parts with that.”

But he also noted he believes Question 788 goes too far.

“It’s titled ‘medical’ but in my opinion, it’s recreational. I don’t want that for Oklahoma,” he said.

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Kodak Black Pleads Not Guilty To Marijuana Possession

The post Kodak Black Pleads Not Guilty To Marijuana Possession appeared first on High Times.

According to reports, Kodak Black pleads not guilty to marijuana possession. The rapper, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, also plead not guilty on Tuesday to the additional remaining charge, related to possession of a firearm, stemming from a January arrest.

The Charges

According to local news, the South Florida rapper pleaded not guilty to possession of marijuana and possession of ammunition on Tuesday afternoon.

Octave’s plead comes just a week after the State of Florida dropped several charges against the rapper, including possession of a weapon or ammunition by a delinquent, grand theft of a firearm and child neglect.

All of the charges stem from the aforementioned January arrest after police raided the rapper’s home. He was caught flaunting firearms and weed in a live video on his Instagram.

The video showed several people flaunting guns and drugs in front of an infant. Octave has been on probation since August 2016 and isn’t allowed to have guns or, obviously, drugs in his possession.

According to police reports, officers found 95 grams of pot in the rapper’s home and was later charged with grand theft of a firearm, two counts of possession of a weapon or ammunition by a felon, suspicion of committing child neglect and two counts of violating of probation.

At the time of the arrest, it was unclear whether or not the rapper was simply trolling his fans when police were clearly audible in the background. However, in the video, you can hear Octave talking with the Broward Sherriff’s Office, before getting arrested.

The rapper has remained behind bars since his January 18th arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 3rd.

Final Hit: Kodak Black Pleads Not Guilty To Marijuana Possession

Unfortunately, this is far from the first offense for the 20-year-old South Florida rapper.

Back in May 2016, Octave was arrested for possession of a firearm by a delinquent, armed robbery, false imprisonment and attempting to elude law enforcement.

Things got worse for black this past October, where he was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct after allegedly assaulting a teenage fan after a concert.

The rapper was eventually released December 1 on a $100,000 bond but could up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

So while Black’s gun and weed charges may stem from the January incident, the entire ordeal was exacerbated because of the rapper’s prior run-ins with the law.

And if it had only been weed, chances are, Black could have avoided the incident entirely, considering it’s been decriminalized in certain parts of Florida.

Then again, his probation and prior convictions likely would not have deterred cops from taking it easy on the young rapper.

However, he certainly wouldn’t be in the predicament he is in today.

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CBD Oil Sales Skyrocket in the United Kingdom

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It’s only been a year since the United Kingdom reclassified cannabidiol (CBD) oil as a medicine. But the country already notices tremendous demand for the product. Unlike the United States which is moving slow to change CBD’s classification on a federal level, the UK is reaping all the rewards. Since its change in status, the progressive country is seeing CBD oil sales skyrocket in the United Kingdom.

CBD Oil and Its Value

CBD oil has gathered popularity worldwide recently, and its medicinal value can’t be denied. Containing less than .2 percent of the psychoactive ­tetra­­­hydro­­cannabinol, this miracle worker is now legal in the UK.

CBD oil can be used to treat all sorts of issues, such as acne, quitting cigarette smoking, fibromyalgia or Multiple Sclerosis.

Taken by drops under the tongue, its chemical properties prove vital for patients worldwide.

But users of this miracle product can get it legally and with little hassle in the United Kingdom.

Big Money for UK CBD Oil Retailer Holland and Barrett

Noticing this consumer demand after legalization, UK retailer Holland and Barrett has stocked their shelves with the highly anticipated product.

They have not regretted it.

By offering the oil to its customers, the store calculates a sales increase of over 37 percent.

Furthermore, the Cannabis Trades Association of the UK has issued new data reflecting this growing consumer trend. According to them, now 250,000 residents use CBD oil across the UK.

This is an increase from 125,000 people the previous year. So it’s no surprise the nation is observing CBD oil sales skyrocket in the United Kingdom.

Holland and Barrett’s CBD Products: Mixed Reviews

Should anyone in the UK want to buy CBD oil, Holland and Barrett sells a 10ml bottle for just £9.49 from Dutch company Jacob Hooy. This little doozy packs a punch, offering a range of benefits to many who buy it. Some rejoice over it, even calling it “liquid gold”.

But some consumers feel differently. Unfortunately, the product has received less than satisfactory reviews from its users online.

On a five-star scale, its average is only 3.5. Some of the people who have purchased it even claim they feel nothing at all except a lingering bad taste in their mouth.

No worries. The retailer hopes to release a larger line of CBD oil products since seeing CBD oil sales skyrocket in the United Kingdom. In the next month, they hope to release four more cannabis oil products for its shoppers.

Soon they might be able to expand even further into other marijuana markets. This may only be possible as the UK Parliament is currently debates legalizing weed in the country.

Until then, lovers of CBD in the UK can continue to stock up on oil from Holland and Barrett. Otherwise, they can visit cafes in the UK which sell cannabis-infused baked goods and snacks.

Final Hit: CBD Oil Sales Skyrocket in the United Kingdom

But if you’re from out of the UK, don’t go trying to sneak some CBD oil from this shop through an airport after visiting.

Though this helpful product has made waves in the UK since they relaxed their laws on it, it’s still illegal in many areas, including parts of the European Union.

But seeing profits this impressive from CBD oil sales, it only shows the money-making pot-tential in the UK as other markets for marijuana products open up.

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High Times Welcomes Brian Rucker As Head of Events and Partnerships

The post High Times Welcomes Brian Rucker As Head of Events and Partnerships appeared first on High Times.

High Times Media is thrilled to announce that Brian Rucker will be joining the company as Senior Vice President—Events and Partnerships. Rucker’s new role will primarily consist of overseeing High Times’ music and lifestyle activities and operations, as they see rapid growth and developments. High Times welcomes Brian Rucker to the team!

Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has a long career in media and entertainment. But he’s not only bringing years of experience to High Times Media. He’s bringing proven leadership skills and a track record of success.

Before joining the team at High Times Media, Rucker worked for Townsquare Media, Live Nation and Wasserman Media Group.

There, he held senior management positions and led his teams in the creation and execution of events such as lifestyle tours and music festivals.

Most recently, Rucker acted as Head of Live Industry Relations for the wildly popular United States-based music-streaming platform Pandora Media.

In this position, Rucker was in charge of marketing partnerships with talent and management agencies, promoters and music festivals, as well as business development.

At High Times Media, Rucker will lead and oversee all events, including the Cannabis Cup series, in the United States as well as internationally.

“We’re so pleased to add the talents and leadership of Brian Rucker, who has been a prominent executive in the business if live music for years, to our team as we aggressively expand our live music and lifestyle initiatives,” says High Times Media CEO Adam Levin.

“He brings the right background, experience and smarts for the job,” he continues.

“Together, we’re committed to creating memorable, unique gatherings in exquisite settings that celebrate the legal cannabis lifestyle while connecting fans, creative talent and companies in exciting ways.”

Final Hit: High Times Welcomes Brian Rucker As Head of Events and Partnerships

High Times Media has been the most prominent, trustworthy and authoritative voice of cannabis culture lifestyle for over 40 years. Because of his background and proven skills,

Brian Rucker is a perfect fit for not only the position of Head of Events and Partnerships but for the High Times Media organization as a whole.

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Denver Will Soon Have Its First Legal Recreational Cannabis Club

The post Denver Will Soon Have Its First Legal Recreational Cannabis Club appeared first on High Times.

The evolution of Colorado’s weed scene is taking another step forward. Nearly six years after voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana, Denver will soon have its first legal recreational cannabis club. The development could introduce big changes on the specific issue of smoking in public places.

Denver Approves First Weed Lounge

According to the Associated Press, officials in the city of Denver have approved the city’s first weed lounge.

The Coffee Joint will operate as a bring your own cannabis club. That means that customers will not be able to buy weed directly on site. Similarly, there are also restrictions on how customers will be able to consume their weed.

The biggest restriction is that customers at the Coffee Joint will not be allowed to smoke their herb. But they will be allowed to vaporize cannabis and to consume edibles.

At this point, it is unclear exactly when the lounge will open. In fact, there are still more regulatory and licensing requirements the business needs to complete before it can open.

Although the shop has received initial approval from city officials, the shop still needs to pass a few more inspections from various city agencies. After that, the lounge should be cleared to open for business.

Final Hit: Denver Will Soon Have Its First Legal Recreational Cannabis Club

The possibility of cannabis clubs, cafes, lounges, and bars has been a topic of conversation and debate in Colorado for a few years now.

In particular, it became a more pressing concern after the state voted to legalize recreational weed in 2012. At that point, it became much more urgent to figure out whether or not the state would allow any form of public consumption.

In late 2016, voters in Denver narrowly approved a proposal to allow marijuana lounges. This was essentially the city’s first attempt to establish places where people can legally consume weed in public.

But the process of actually opening a cannabis lounge proved to be tricky—even after voters approved the idea.

For starters, opponents of weed lounges began coordinating efforts to slow the process almost immediately after the 2016 vote. Many of their arguments focused on how a marijuana lounge might affect neighbors.

Opponents argued that such businesses would introduce unwanted second-hand smoke to the locations where they operated. Some also expressed concern that patrons might get a little too high—especially if they’re drinking alcohol.

Beyond facing criticism from opponents, the law itself set up a convoluted application process. The city of Denver began accepting applications for marijuana lounges last fall. But the process of applying and getting all necessary inspections and approvals is long and sometimes tedious.

This is part of the reason it took nearly a year and a half after the 2016 vote before Denver finally granted its first approval for a marijuana lounge. And who knows how long it will be before the Coffee Joint is actually open.

Either way, the fact that Denver will soon have its first legal recreational cannabis club further solidifies Denver as one of the nation’s most progressive cannabis havens.

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Charlize Theron Opens Up About Her Love of Weed

The post Charlize Theron Opens Up About Her Love of Weed appeared first on High Times.

As you probably know by now, celebrities smoking weed is quite commonplace. More and more, those in the spotlight have opened up about their cannabis usage—past, present and future. The latest A-lister to disclose their marijuana use over the years was Charlize Theron, who admitted to being a hardcore wake-and-baker in her heyday.

Charlize Theron’s Pot Passion

In an interview with E! News’ Sibley Scoles, the Gringo star said that when she was younger, she’d begin to smoke the minute the sun comes up.

“I was a wake-and-baker for most of my life,” Theron said.

Despite her love for weed, Theron admitted that she was somewhat of a late-bloomer when it came to toking, but she had found an instant connection.

” I didn’t really mess around with anything until I was much older,” Theron said. “But I really appreciated marijuana way more than alcohol or anything else”

However, the actress also admitted that she grew out of her stoner-phase in her thirties, after experiencing lesser highs.

“My chemistry was really good with it when I was younger and then it just changed one day. Like, in my early thirties I just became boring on it and I would just stand in front of my fridge, so that’s no good,” Theron admitted.

Apparently, not everyone is fond of the munchies.

Final Hit: Charlize Theron Opens Up About Her Love of Weed

While Theron is no longer a regular toker, the 42-year old actress said she wouldn’t be opposed to re-kindling the ‘spark she once had.’ However, this time, Theron would be using her weed medicinally. Specifically, for insomnia.

“I’m open to retrying it again because now there’s all these different strains and you can be specific with it,” she said. “And I’m actually really interested because I have really bad insomnia, and I’d much rather get off sleeping pills and figure out a strain that helps me sleep better.

So when I have a moment, I’m actually doing that with my mom. My mom has really bad sleep too.”

Luckily for Theron, there are plenty of indica-dominant strains that can help her with her sleeping issues.

And if she feels she no longer requires the psychoactive high of a classic marijuana strain, the actress could look into a low-THC form of treatment, such as a pot-inhaler that reportedly puts users to sleep in minutes.

Each puff of the inhaler contains less than a quarter of the amount of THC than your typical joint, so she wouldn’t find herself standing in front of her fridge, gazing aimlessly.

Welcome to the new world of cannabis, Charlize.

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Congressional Candidate Smokes Marijuana For Campaign Ad

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With mid-term elections coming up later this year, campaigning efforts are getting underway. Already, one overtly pro-cannabis candidate is making headlines. As part of his new website, an Illinois Congressional candidate smokes marijuana for a campaign ad.

A Weed-Smoking Candidate

Benjamin Thomas Wolf is a Democratic candidate running for the 5th Congressional District in Illinois. In preparation for the primary vote on March 20, Wolf has been stepping up his campaign efforts.

Most recently, that means making his support of weed explicitly clear. A new campaign ad published on the homepage of Wolf’s website features a photo of the candidate sitting in a chair holding a joint and surrounded by smoke. A painting of a U.S. flag is behind him.

Directly beneath the photo, Wolf’s attitude on weed is articulated clearly and simply. The ad says “Legalize cannabis. Vote March 20th.”

Wolf is a former FBI operative and U.S. diplomat. And, as it turns out, he’s also a big fan of cannabis. According to his website and recent interviews, he likes weed for several important reasons.

“As a cannabis user, I think it’s important we get out front and talk about it,” he told news sources recently. “We realize that cannabis can bring billions of dollars to the state, it’s medicine for millions of people around the country, it changes criminal justice reform and personally I think it’s a wonderful recreational substance as well.”

Now, Wolf is making his pro-weed position a key piece of his campaign platform. In particular, he is calling for the legalization of cannabis. Additionally, he has floated plans to spend state revenues from legal weed on public education and drug rehab programs. Finally, Wolf is also pushing to pardon anyone serving time for weed-related charges.

His website includes a list of key platform positions. One of them is “the immediate legalization of marijuana and hemp for both medicinal and recreational uses in all U.S. states, cities, and territories.”

The site also says: “This will bring billions of dollars in tax revenue and allow major reform in our criminal justice system.”

Final Hit: Congressional Candidate Smokes Marijuana For Campaign Ad

Wolf’s pro-weed position could be a big deal in Illinois. The state has seen a number of reforms on the cannabis law front, but no legalization.

For example, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance to decriminalize cannabis in 2011. Despite this effort to reform weed laws, reports in more recent years have uncovered stark racial disparities in how these laws are enforced.

These reports found that people of color are consistently arrested and cited more frequently than white people for marijuana possession.

Then, in 2016, the rest of the state followed suit. That year, Illinois lawmakers decriminalized weed. And at the beginning of 2018, an Illinois judge expanded the state’s list of health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

In the past couple years, there has been a lot of speculation that Illinois could be one of the next states to legalize recreational cannabis. But progress seemed to slow down when Governor Bruce Rauner said he would not support a legalization bill.

“I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think it’s a mistake,” he said in late 2017. Rauner said that the state should take more time to study the implications of legalization before making any legal alterations.

But things could change if outspoken pro-cannabis lawmakers and candidates like Wolf end up winning seats in Illinois this year.

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Arkansas Will Start Licensing Medical Marijuana Growers This Week

The post Arkansas Will Start Licensing Medical Marijuana Growers This Week appeared first on High Times.

The state of Arkansas passed comprehensive medical cannabis legalization in 2016, after voters approved Amendment 98.  Over the past year, the state has been rolling out its regulatory policy and reviewing applications from prospective growers and retailers. Already, the Arkansas Department of Health has approved 4,116 applications for patients with qualifying conditions. With registered patients ready, Arkansas will start licensing medical marijuana growers this week. But unusual legal hurdles could pose challenges for the state’s young medical cannabis program.

Arkansas Will Start Licensing Medical Marijuana Growers This Week

Today, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is slated to announce the winners of the first round of applications to grow cannabis. According to reports, the state has approved applications for five growing centers. These groups will be the first to legally grow medical cannabis in Arkansas.

After the initial approval of growing operations, the commission will begin reviewing applications for retailers. By May, Arkansas officials expect to have approved over 30 dispensaries, said a spokesperson for the state Department of Finance and Administration.

All of this means that by early summer, qualifying patients will finally be able to legally purchase medical marijuana in Arkansas. After a year of debates about implementing the program, growers and retailers are now jockeying for position. But not everyone can make the cut, leading to concerns that rejected applicants could sue the state over its decision.

Arkansas Expects Legal Challenges From Rejected Growers

The five growers the state will approve tomorrow represent just a fraction of the applications submitted to the state. According the Arkansas medical marijuana commissioners, who reviewed 95 applications for growing centers, some applicants just didn’t make the cut.

But applying for a permit to grow medical cannabis isn’t cheap, and growers whose applications did not pass muster are looking for a refund. Some are even preparing to sue the state over its decision.

Just submitting an application to become an approved grower costs $15,000 dollars. Growers then have to fork over an extra $100,000 if the Commission accepts their application.

Yet those aren’t the only costs. Given the complexity and competitiveness of the application process, many applicants hired attorneys and consultants for help.

All told, competitive bidders for grow operations spent between $150,000 and $200,000, according to industry insiders. These costs represent a significant investment. No wonder losing applicants are preparing to file legal challenges against the commission’s decision.

This type of litigious response is more common than many may think.  But Arkansas has thrown prospective growers and their lawyers a curveball.

In a prior court ruling, the Arkansas Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional principle of sovereign immunity. And that means the state and its agencies can’t be sued in court.

Some appeals from rejected applicants have already been thrown out, though it’s unclear whether these are linked to the precedent. However, the state still expects some applicants to appeal. Their argument is that the state has not reviewed their application fairly.

Despite Legal Concerns, Arkansas Will Start Licensing Medical Marijuana Growers This Week

While some growers may feel frustrated over the competitive application process, many argue the state’s rules are better for patients. Whatever the Arkansas medical marijuana commission decides, patients can expect.

Ultimately, the state’s concern is ensuring growers and dispensaries have enough high quality, affordable medical cannabis available.

Furthermore, applicants who withdrew early or failed to meet minimum requirements received a full refund. Applicants who scored outside the top five will receive a refund of half their application cost.

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Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution of Drug Dealers?

The post Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution of Drug Dealers? appeared first on High Times.

Did Donald Trump really call for the execution of drug dealers? Five sources close to President Trump say that he often jokes and makes comments about killing drug traffickers. According to the political news website Axios, Trump has been telling friends about his desire to kill drug dealers for months.

Sources report that the President’s comments should be taken seriously, that they aren’t simply jokes. Rather, insiders say Trump believes a death penalty for drug dealers is the only way to effectively reduce drug-related deaths.

Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution Of Drug Dealers?

President Trump seems to have taken inspiration for his plan to execute dealers from countries where drug trafficking, even of marijuana, carries a mandatory death sentence.

A senior official in the Trump administration told Axios that Trump “often jokes about killing drug dealers… He’ll say, ‘You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them’.”

If true, Trump’s comments would echo those he made during a visit to the Philippines last November to meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. At the meeting, Trump praised the extrajudicial killings of thousands of alleged drug dealers and drug users in the Philippines. He said Duterte was doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem” there.

Others accuse President Duterte of committing crimes against humanity by overseeing the executions of upwards of 8,000 people suspected of involvement with illegal drugs. Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary investigation into those accusations.

Singapore also has a mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking offenses. Sources close to President Trump say he believes the harsh penalties for drug dealers are the reason Singapore has low drug consumption rates.

Axios reports that a source who has spoken about the issue with Trump says “He says that a lot. He says, ‘when I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem, [the prime minister replies,] ‘No. Death penalty’.”

Trump reportedly makes frequent comparisons between drug dealers and serial killers. He suggested he wanted drug dealers in America to fear for their lives.

Will Trump Put His Plan Into Action?

So did Donald Trump really call for the execution of drug dealers? It seems that way. Although Trump has reportedly acknowledged the virtual impossibility of passing a law to execute drug dealers in America. Though he says he would love to if he could. Other White House officials say the President’s remarks are more nuanced than they appear.

Former Trump campaign manager and current Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Axios the President is referring to high-volume drug dealers when he talks about executing dealers in America. Conway currently serves as head of the White House’s anti-drug efforts.

According to Conway, Trump’s point is that since homicide can carry a death sentence, drug dealers who distribute multiple lethal doses of drugs should face the same penalty.

It’s likely the President is referring to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, fentanyl caused nearly a third of 2016’s 64,000 drug-overdose deaths.

In October of last year, Trump declared the nation’s lethal opioid epidemic a public health emergency. But critics of the move argued it did not direct any substantial federal funds at combating the epidemic.

Currently, federal law requires a five-year mandatory minimum sentence only if a person is convicted of dealing forty grams of fentanyl or more. Yet just two milligrams of the opioid can be lethal.

As a result, Trump is extremely likely to back legislation that places harsher penalties on drug traffickers. According to Axios, the President, along with some advisors, are discussing further “zero-tolerance” drug policies, especially those that would target young people.

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