Tag: California

Calif. Bill Would Make Underage Sale Violations Sting

As California gears up to open retail cannabis stores next year, one state lawmaker is proposing a stiff penalty for a business caught selling cannabis to underage buyers: the loss of its state license.

Assembly Bill 729, introduced this week by Assembly Member Adam Gray (D-Merced), would establish penalties and practices designed to limit access to nonmedical cannabis for people under 21. While sales to minors are already prohibited under Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis for adult use last year, AB 729 would require authorities to suspend an operator’s license after three such offenses within a three-year window.


California Just Legalized Cannabis! Now Comes the Hard Part

The bill would also require licensees to post signage that reads “No Person Under 21 Allowed” and allow for authorized undercover investigations using underage buyers (read: sting operations). It would bar the use of vending machines or other automated devices to sell cannabis; prohibit cannabis businesses near playgrounds, hospitals, and churches; and allow staff to seize fake IDs.

“With the legalization of recreational use marijuana under Proposition 64, it is more important than ever that safeguards are put in place to ensure marijuana stays out of the hands of children,” Gray said in a statement.

The changes would align California with other established adult-use states, such as Washington and Oregon, which have similar rules on the books. In Washington, licensees face an all-out cancellation of their license after three violations within a three-year window. In Oregon, a license suspension can occur after either two or three violations within a two-year window, depending on whether the sales are deemed intentional.


Another Study Shows Cannabis Legalization Does Not Increase Underage Access

Preventing underage access to cannabis is a key priority for state regulators in large part due to the Department of Justice’s Cole memo, a nonbinding document that provides a list of enforcement priorities states are expected to follow to avoid federal intervention in medical marijuana programs. On the very top of that list: preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors.

Despite early studies showing that cannabis use among minors has remained steady or even fallen in legal states, one of the biggest concerns about legalization is whether it gives children easier access to cannabis. It came up frequently last election season, as eight states weighed measures to legalize for medical or adult use.

So far, though, despite regulators in legal states making ID checks a top priority, repeat violations appear to be few and far between. “So far this fiscal year we have conducted 569 compliance checks (underage purchase operations) and have had 49 sales,” a Washington State Liquor Control Board spokesman, Mikhail Carpenter, said in an email. “No one has received a third violation.”

In Oregon, regulators are “shifting resources now to compliance and enforcement,” said Mark Pettinger, a spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The office plans to conduct more “minor decoy operations” to test whether shops sell to people under 21 or those without proper ID. As for whether any licensees have had repeat violations, Pettinger said, “I would say there’s no data at this point.”

A California Assembly subcommittee is scheduled to consider AB 729 on March 18.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Cannabis Now Has Its Own Congressional Caucus

Amid widespread uncertainty about how the Trump administration will handle state-legal cannabis, a group of federal lawmakers on Thursday announced the formation of a Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The bipartisan group hopes to validate the nation’s burgeoning cannabis industry and encourage a more harmonious relationship between states and the federal government.

With dozens of issue-specific caucuses scattered throughout Congress, on everything from chicken to dyslexia, a caucus on cannabis is not a far-fetched idea. Some might even say it’s overdue.

‘We are trying to make sure that we bring the marijuana issue to Washington, up to the next level.’

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Calif.)

“We are trying to make sure that we bring the marijuana issue to Washington, up to the next level,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a founding member of the caucus, told Leafly. “We’ve been very successful the last three or four years in establishing the states’ rights argument and recruiting a coalition behind that argument, [with] a majority of states supporting legal medical marijuana.”

Along with Rohrabacher, other caucus co-founders include Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore., pictured above), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Don Young (R-Alaska).

Rohrabacher’s name is already on one of the most important pieces of federal cannabis legislation, the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment, a spending provision that bars the Justice Department from prosecuting state-legal medical marijuana businesses. The provision is set to expire in April.


Batman in a Bow Tie: We Talk Cannabis Reform with Rep. Earl Blumenauer

“The question,” said Rohrahbacher, “is how do we build on having Congress accept the proposition that the federal government shouldn’t interfere with states that legalized medical marijuana?”

At Thursday’s press conference, Blumenauer described the caucus’s top-level goals:

  • Pass legislation enabling cannabis research
  • Ensure veterans have access to medical marijuana
  • Iron out practical business needs, including tax code 280E (which prohibits business expense deductions) and the prohibition on cannabis businesses from working with banks, which forces them to deal all in cash.

The caucus also aims to expand safeguards for adult-use cannabis programs in legal states and prevent cannabis industry members from being thrown in jail.

“We want to get policies in place that reflect the major change in attitude among American people, as seen throughout the states where cannabis is no longer considered this horrible threat to well-being,” Rohrabacher said.


Data Dive: Legalization No Longer a Partisan Issue, 2016 Election Data Show

Among many of the advocates who’ve worked for decades to see cannabis reform at the federal level, the Cannabis Caucus is a symbol of validation.

“It’s almost like marijuana’s coming out moment,” Michael Collins, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told Leafly. “The fact that there’s a caucus and there will be a group of members of Congress dedicated to this means it moved from a peripheral issue to a priority issue.” It’s also a sign that federal officials increasingly see prohibition as unsustainable, he added.

One bill already introduced is House Resolution 975, which Rohrabacher, the bill’s sponsor, calls the Respect State Marijuana Law Act of 2017. The proposal would bar the federal government from interfering with or suppressing state cannabis programs or targeting business operators who are in compliance with state laws. It also aims to ease banking restrictions.

‘We don’t want to be relying on the good will of the attorney general. That’s why we’re pursuing statutory changes.’

Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.)

But while the launch of the caucus signals a shift among some federal lawmakers, it also indirectly addressed the fear that the Trump administration and newly confirmed US Attorney General Jeff Sessions could eventually move to crack down on state-legal cannabis programs.

“We don’t want to be a in a place relying on the goodwill of the attorney general,” Polis, of Colorado, said at Thursday’s event. “That’s why we’re pursuing statutory changes.”

And although the representatives acknowledged President Trump’s position to veto marijuana legislation he disagrees with, they said they’d expect him not to. “In the nine states where it was on the ballot, marijuana got more votes than Donald Trump,” said Blumenauer. “And millions of Trump voters voted for changing marijuana laws.”

For Republicans, Young pointed out at the press conference, the ability for states to dictate their own cannabis policies should hold particular appeal. “You can’t be a conservative and pick and choose,” he said. “You have to be for states’ rights or against states’ rights,” he said.


Blumenauer Tells DNC to Put Some Teeth Into Its Legalization Plank Already

While the launch of the caucus is a welcome sign to cannabis advocates, many are still worried. “Something as simple as the Justice Department sending out letters to recreational states or threatening to enforce federal prohibition could cause states to shut down their tax-and-regulate structures,” said Justin Strekal, political director for NORML. “I don’t expect my worst-case scenario to play out, but I do see it as very bleak. We could see a swift rollback of victories we’ve earned in legal states.”

For many members of Congress, supporting the caucus should be a “no brainer,” says Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance. Lawmakers should prioritize their constituents’ interests, he said. “No member of Congress in their right mind would say they want the federal government to shut down something that the people have voted for or which a state legislature passed.”

He predicted the caucus will serve a largely educational role in Congress and provide like-minded members a place to strategize. He also hopes that the body will increase in diversity as it grows, attracting congressional representatives of color as well as lawmakers focused on the racial justice side of legalization. “I think if there is a crackdown on marijuana legalization, the caucus will be a place for conversation about the response,” he said. “You can potentially see letters being drafted, a hearing, or direct conversations with Jeff Sessions.”

‘We’ve had good experiences working with members of Congress on addressing specific issues for the industry, like banking and 280E taxation.’

Taylor West, National Cannabis Industry Association

The formal body could also help representatives be more cooperative and efficient in their reform efforts. “One of the most important things the caucus is going to do is provide an opportunity for better coordination among supportive lawmakers, so, for example, there’s not like five different bills to fix banking,” said Tom Angell, founder of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority. “The members can carefully craft language that all the supportive legislators can get behind in a unified way.”

Policy wonks as well as industry players are hopeful. “We’ve had good experiences working with members of Congress on addressing specific issues for the industry, like banking and 280E taxation,” said Taylor West, deputy director of the DC-based National Cannabis Industry Association. “The growth of the industry shows that there is a lot of legitimate economic impact to be considered.”

Already, the legal cannabis industry is estimated to support more than 122,000 full-time jobs in the 29 legal states and Washington, DC.

“We’re seeing tremendous progress, not just in a bipartisan way but also in a numbers way,” West said. The four states that passed medical marijuana laws this past election, for example, all voted Republican in the presidential race.

“It crosses party lines,” West said of the growing legalization movement. “In states where we have established regulated medical or adult-use programs, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of success. By and large these programs are implemented safely, cut down on the criminal market, and put in responsible business people.”

Patients in need of medical marijuana are suffering, Rohrabacher said at Thursday’s launch, detailing anecdotes about veterans and elderly individuals he’s seen who’ve benefitted from legal cannabis. Rohrabacher himself even used a cannabis topical to ease pain in his shoulder following surgery.

“The law is wrong,” he said. “We have a bipartisan caucus. We’re going to change that situation.”

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Leafly Investigation: California Has a Dirty Cannabis Problem

There’s no hard data available, but a survey of industry insiders contacted for this article suggests that fewer than half of California dispensaries and delivery services lab test the marijuana they sell. The actual figure could be even lower. After all, testing isn’t currently required under state law. In 2015, lawmakers passed a measure to require testing of medical cannabis, but that won’t be enforced until January 2018.

“Everything makes its way into the supply chain somehow.”

San Francisco dispensary operator

More troubling is what happens to cannabis that turns out to be contaminated. According to dispensary operators and other industry insiders interviewed for this article, cannabis rejected for mold, fungi, pesticide residue, or other contaminants often stays in the supply chain. It may end up on the black market, shipped out of state. It could be processed into concentrates or edibles. Or marijuana rejected by one dispensary may simply end up being sold across town by someone else. If your dispensary isn’t testing its products, you could be smoking some right now. It’s virtually impossible to know.

In a study published in October, Berkeley-based Steep Hill Labs claimed it found residual pesticides in 84 percent of cannabis tested over a 30-day period beginning in mid-September, the peak time in the state’s marijuana harvest.

All that cannabis would have failed safety standards in Oregon. In California, all of it can be sold.


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Why does testing matter?

The potential consequences of contaminated cannabis recently hit home with the release of an article in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

One of the article’s authors, Dr. Joseph Tuscano, an oncologist and researcher at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., had been treating a young man in his 20s with leukemia. After a stem-cell transplant, the prognosis was very good. The leukemia was gone, and the man seemed likely to recover. Then, very suddenly, he developed a severe lung infection.

An oncologist's article in this medical journal has opened questions about the safety of at-risk patients using untested cannabis. A UC Davis oncologist’s article in this medical journal has opened questions about the safety of at-risk patients using untested cannabis.

One consequence of cancer treatment is that patients’ immune systems become so compromised that even flowers and houseplants can pose a mortal risk. It’s common for bacteria and fungi that healthy people would never notice to cause sudden, severe, and sometimes fatal pneumonia in cancer patients. That’s what happened to Tuscano’s patient, who survived leukemia only to die of what turned out to be a rare fungal infection.

Then it happened again. Another young leukemia patient, another good prognosis, another sudden and severe lung infection caused by the same rare strain of fungus. This patient, however, recovered. When Tuscano asked him about his lifestyle, trying to identify a cause or any links between the two cases, he discovered the two men both used marijuana. The dead patient had vaporized a cannabis “mist” medicinally as part of his treatment; the survivor smoked recreationally prior to his leukemia diagnosis—which was when he developed the infection “instantly,” Tuscano told me.


Cannabis and Cancer

“When you have these rare infections, you wonder, ‘OK, how did this patient get exposed to this?’” he said. “We never suspected cannabis use … but after I interviewed the patient, one of the common links was the use of medicinal marijuana.”

It’s impossible to know for certain if the deadly fungus came from cannabis. Tuscano couldn’t test the cannabis the two men had used. It was gone. The next-best thing was to find out if the fungus was in marijuana generally.

Voluntary testing, poor results.

Unlike Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, there is currently no requirement in California for cannabis to be lab-tested before it is sold. Testing isn’t slated to begin until Jan. 1, 2018—and that’s assuming everything goes according to schedule. Some already worry the state’s adult-use rollout is destined for delay.

In the meantime, dispensaries, delivery services, and growers can voluntarily submit crops to testing labs to find contaminants and to determine their products’ THC content—a sought-after marketing metric, since the higher the number, the easier the cannabis is to sell.

This photo taken on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, shows a lab technician loading a tray of marijuana samples into a Chromograph at CannLabs in Denver. The Chromograph analyzes the samples and reports their chemical content and strength. From potency standards to labeling requirements and even regulations about pesticides and fungicides, marijuana production is largely unregulated, for now. That's why there are places like CannLabs in south Denver, where medical marijuana dispensaries and consumers can voluntarily have their marijuana and pot-infused edibles tested. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)A lab technician in Denver loads a tray of cannabis samples into a testing machine that analyzes the samples and reports their chemical content and strength. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

One of Tuscano’s colleagues at UC Davis, Dr. George Thompson, had a connection to Steep Hill Labs. The lab selected, at random, marijuana samples they’d received from 20 different Northern California dispensaries. Each was tested for rare and common fungi and bacteria. The result? Every single one of the 20 samples was contaminated with a variety of both. They contained E. coli, Aspergillus, various strains associated with pneumonia, pathogens known to cause common infections—as well as the rare fungus that killed Tuscano’s patient.

“All these organisms were in there, and so many other ones as well,” said Tuscano. “Before this, I never really suspected there was a link.”


How California Lab Testing Could Change the Way We Talk About Cannabis

A false perception of safety

Since the marijuana his patients consumed wasn’t tested, Tuscano can’t know for certain that his patients’ fungal infections came from cannabis. Instead, he can draw only a very strong and suggestive connection.

We don’t know for sure if dirty cannabis led to infection. But researchers suspect a strong connection.

There’s also a few clear warnings. For starters, immunocompromised people should not smoke or vaporize marijuana, Tuscano and his co-authors of the letter say. Neither smoking nor vaping nor filtration through a water pipe destroys fungus. Cannabis ingested orally, for example through edibles or tinctures, is a safer option.

There’s a cultural phenomenon at work, too. Legalization and the widespread acceptance of physician-recommended medical marijuana—a proven political winner, even in red states—have created a “perception of safety,” the researchers wrote. Consumers and even regulators have “unknowingly ignored a product that can be contaminated with infectious agents and thus harbor potentially lethal risks

“People need to quit assuming what they get from the dispensary is safe,” Tuscano told me. “It needs to be tested.”


CBD and the Brain: What Does It Do and What is It Good For?

Caveat emptor at the dispensary counter

The problem is, under state law, it isn’t. Outside some local jurisdictions with their own testing requirements, California cannabis consumers take a leap of faith with every hit.

This leaves it up to patients and consumers to determine when a product is safe. Often, that relies on assumptions: assuming a dispensary is sincere when it says it tests its medicine, and assuming that test results in fact determine whether a product is or isn’t sold.

“I think you can tell when the culture of the shop embraces testing,” says Nicholas Smilgys, a co-founder and former chief buyer at Flow Kana, a San Francisco-based outdoor farm-to-consumer delivery service. A customer can demand to see a product’s lab results before purchase, but in high-volume dispensaries where a customer’s time at the counter is measured in minutes, such discretion isn’t always encouraged.

Lab rejects can reach the market

Kevin Reed is founder and CEO of The Green Cross in San Francisco. The dispensary has operated for more than a decade in various iterations, first as a storefront, then a delivery service, and now a combination storefront and delivery service. The store, one of the first to apply for a city license, has a history of activism and engagement that has earned it a good reputation among consumers. Before anything is sold, Reed has it sent for testing to CW Analytical, an Oakland, Calif.-based competitor to Steep Hill.

“A whole lot of shenanigans happen at the buying point.”

To this day, a “multitude of small and large scale commercial growers … attempt to sell” products that Reed’s testing discovers to be contaminated by pathogens or pesticides, he told me. The Green Cross rejects that medicine and sends the supplier on his or her way, Reed said, but “unfortunately, with the current [California] model, we cannot ensure that once a product is removed from our supply chain that it does not get sold to other dispensaries,” he said.

A lot comes down to a dispensary’s buyer, explained one San Francisco-based dispensary operator who spoke on condition of anonymity. “A whole lot of shenanigans happen at the buying point.”


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Budtender

How dirty product gets sold

The operator offered a hypothetical situation as an example: A new dispensary opens up. The owner is a marijuana neophyte, maybe a newcomer from law or tech or real estate. Unfamiliar with the goods on the market, the owner hands over purchasing power to someone with cannabis-industry experience. Now, suppose that buyer has a budget of $1,400 a pound and is approached by a grower with lower-end cannabis for sale. Neither party is interested in the time and expense of a lab test.

“The seller says, ‘It’s got some issues, but I’ll give it to you for $800.’ So he gives it to him for $800, and the buyer keeps the extra $600,” the operator said. “That happens a ton in the industry.”

A grower with lab-rejected cannabis is faced with a choice: Discard the harvest and eat the loss or shop it at a discount until it sells.

“Or let’s say I’m a grower and I have a hundred pounds of OG Kush,” the dispensary operator added. Only a few grams are required “for testing, [so] I’m only going to send in my best stuff. Does that represent my entire crop?”

If a lab finds pesticides in a batch of cannabis and a dispensary rejects it, the grower is faced with a choice: Discard the harvest—and with it months of work and investment—or shop the bud around until it sells. Unless there is something catastrophically wrong, such as rampant pest damage or mold so out of control it’s visible to the naked eye, “it makes its way to a buyer somewhere,” the operator said. “And if it doesn’t make its way as a flower product, it’ll make its way to someone who will extract it” into vape-pen cartridges, extracts for dabbing, or oil to be used in edibles.


Pesticides 101: Questions and Answers for Cannabis Patients and Consumers

One might think that’s a safe and acceptable fate, assuming the extraction process somehow kills off pests and eliminates contaminants. It does not, say lab scientists, who explained that when cannabinoids and terpenes are concentrated in extracts, certain fungi and pesticides are concentrated as well—sometimes disproportionately compared to the sought-after cannabinoids and terpenes.

But the point, the operator told me, is this: Very little marijuana is voluntarily discarded. “Everything,” he said, “makes its way into the supply chain somehow.”

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State of the Leaf: Peruvian President Wants to Legalize MMJ

U.S. News Updates


Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has introduced a resolution that would acknowledge the devastating effects the war on drugs has had on the black community and determine which private corporations benefited from the nation’s mass incarceration crisis. House Resolution 1055 is aimed at remedying some of the those historical harms. Black Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes, despite offense rates equal to those among whites. If passed, the law would create a the Commission to Study Family Reconstruction Proposals for African-Americans Unjustly Impacted by the War on Drugs, members of which would be appointed by the president and appropriated $10 million to conduct the study over the course of a year. Rush introduced a similar proposal during the last legislative session, but the measure fell short.


Two bills passed the House with little opposition, while a third measure was soundly rejected by the Senate. House Bill 1392, which would ban edibles, and House Bill 1400, which would prohibit the smoking of marijuana, both passed through committee. The Senate rejected SB 254, which would have amended the number of plants a dispensary is allowed to grow.


Arkansas House OKs Delay to Medical Marijuana Program


San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy asked the city attorney to draft legislation that would create an independent department of marijuana to regulate the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis in the city. The city is anticipating challenges in overseeing sales and distribution when legalization comes into effect in January 2018. The tentatively named Department of Cannabis would issue permits to grow, distribute, and sell marijuana in the city, and would play a role in enforcing compliance with state law.


The Colorado Senate approved a bill that directs the Colorado Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of using hemp as livestock feed. Senate Bill 17-109 would create a group to study the possibility of using hemp products in animal feed, with a report due by December 31, 2017. This measure is similar to a bill passed in Washington in 2015 to study whether hemp products should be allowed in commercial animal feed.


In Pueblo: Scholarships for All, Thanks to Cannabis Taxes


A Broward County ordinance dealing with zoning, security, and other measures in light of the passage of Amendment 2 will get a public hearing on March 14. However, the proposed ordinance may become moot due to legislation being considered in the state Senate that would keep the number of cannabis cultivators limited to the seven producers already licensed to grow low-THC cannabis. Activists and potential patients have resisted these changes, with nearly 1,300 residents showing up to voice their opinions are public hearings held recently across the state.


The Indiana Senate voted to approve a measure that would legalize the use of CBD oil for the treatment of children with epilepsy. Senate Bill 15 creates a state registry for physicians, nurses, caregivers, and patients to treat intractable epilepsy and would allow pharmacies to dispense it. The measure cleared the state Senate and has been sent to the House for consideration. Gov. Eric Holcomb has been reluctant to consider outright legalization, but has said he is open to the idea of medical cannabis.


Cannabis Legislation 2017: We’re Tracking All Legalization Bills

New Mexico

A bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program was cleared by the state Senate in a 29–11 vote. Introduced by Sen. Cisco McSorley, who also helped pass the state’s initial medical marijuana bill in 2007, Senate Bill 177 would allow producers to increase the number of plants they can grow when the number of patients in the program increases. It would also add 14 new qualifying medical marijuana conditions to the program, including substance abuse disorder.

New York

The New York State Assembly voted in support of A. 2142, a bill that would seal the criminal records of those who have been arrested and convicted for simple possession of cannabis in public. This is in line with the changes made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last year to no longer arrest those who possess cannabis in public. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also hinted that he may clarify the state’s marijuana decriminalization law to help lower arrest rates, which initially decreased with de Blasio’s policy change, but lately have been on the rise.


NYC Cannabis Arrests Ticked Up in 2016

International News Updates


A poll conducted by the advanced placement students at Simon Sanchez High School found that 60 percent of Guam’s adults oppose legalizing marijuana for adult use. The student polled 1,048 adults over the age of 21, of whom 632 had serious objections to legalizing cannabis. The Guam Gov. Eddie Balza Calvo recently introduced Bill 8-34 to legalize and tax cannabis, with revenue going towards supporting the medical marijuana program and other important government services, such as public hospitals.


Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is planning to introduce legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis for the treatment of serious and terminal illnesses. The president was inspired to introduce the legislation after police raided the home of a family in Lima where parents were cultivating cannabis in order to treat children suffering from epilepsy and other illnesses. The cultivation site comprised more than 80 members whose sick children have been quietly benefiting from the illicit use of cannabis.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Governor Talks Cannabis Challenges in California Capitol

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told California state senators Tuesday to set standards for edible marijuana goods and driving under the influence of cannabis as soon as possible to avoid repeating mistakes his state made when it legalized recreational cannabis.

The senators heard from Hickenlooper as the Legislature prepares to regulate sales of the drug. California voters legalized recreational cannabis in November through Proposition 64.

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and faced a host of challenges implementing the new policy, from taxing dispensaries to keeping edible products away from children.

“We made an awful lot of mistakes as we were trying to wrestle with some of these issues,” Hickenlooper said.

California faces a similar challenges implementing Proposition 64. Cannabis sales under the law are scheduled begin in 2018.

“We are in a sprint between now and Jan. 1 to be able to implement the mountain of rules and regulations associated with Prop 64,” state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, said during the committee hearing where Hickenlooper spoke.


California Just Legalized Cannabis! Now Comes the Hard Part

Colorado saw a rise in child hospitalization because of kids ingesting edible cannabis products in non-child-proof containers, Hickenlooper told the committee. The state now requires edibles to be sold in child-proof containers and has stricter regulations on labeling such products.

California faces challenges determining how to enforce laws prohibiting driving under the influence of cannabis, Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said.

“There is no real quantifiable, definitive impairment level as there is with our alcohol,” Hill said. “That’s been the criticism or the challenge that we’ve been faced with here in terms of defining what impairment would be.”

Colorado struggled to quickly pass laws to regulate impaired driving for that reason, Hickenlooper said. He recommended California lawmakers start to address that issue quickly because it will likely take time to resolve.

Marijuana dispensaries generally are forced to pay taxes in cash because federal law prohibits banks from taking their money, which can present a challenge for the state and local governments collecting taxes from the businesses, Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, said. State analysts estimate the California legal cannabis industry could generate more than $1 billion in tax revenue each year.


Shh! Here’s How Cannabis Companies are Banking Legally on the Down Low

Other speakers at the hearing, including local and state officials charged with overseeing the marijuana industry, also spoke about challenges implementing regulations so sales can begin next year.

“We are flying the plane while we are building it,” said Amy Tong, director of the California Department of Technology.

Mark Malone, executive director of the Denver-based Cannabis Business Alliance, cheered the interstate cooperation but also questioned the evidence of some of Hickenlooper’s claims.

“We encourage newly legalized states to visit Colorado and speak to representatives and those with established cannabis businesses so that they can form better and more efficient rules and regulations around a very successful industry; there is no reason to recreate the wheel,” Malone said in a statement Wednesday. 

He added: “The CBA does take exception to the statement that ‘Colorado saw a rise in child hospitalization because of kids ingesting edible marijuana products in non-child proof containers.’ This is false. The industry did not receive any data that there were any issues with accidental ingestion prior to Colorado changing its edible rules and regulations. It is something the industry requested multiple times but to no avail.”


Did Chris Christie Just Interview for a Job with Trump?

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Recently confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he opposes marijuana legalization but has not announced specific plans to target marijuana industries in states that have legalized the drug.

Colorado has worked with federal authorities to crack down on black market cannabis sales, which Hickenlooper highlighted as critical to the success of the legal marijuana industry in the state. Hickenlooper said he is optimistic President Donald Trump will not crack down on Colorado’s legal marijuana industry, pointing to comments the Republican made during his campaign indicating he was open to letting states that have legalized marijuana continue to do so.

“We’re optimistic that he’s going to let the experiment continue,” Hickenlooper said. “But they’re going to closely watch it, I’m sure.”

Editors’ Note: This article was originally published by the Associated Press. Leafly staff added additional comment from the Cannabis Business Alliance.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

BAS Research Aims to Perfect the Business of Medicinal Cannabis

Thanks to the city of Berkeley, California’s first licensed medicinal marijuana research facility, BAS Research, opened last summer. With now over four million dollars invested, they have gone to great lengths to welcome cannabis clients seeking testing, formulaic research, and high-grade oil for their products. The one-stop shop also packages and labels, providing a business, collective, or dispensary with everything they need for their cannabis product to hit the shelves.

The facility’s CEO, Dr. Bao Le, founded BAS after his youngest son Andrew was diagnosed with autism and he couldn’t find a treatment to help the horrible symptoms. “He had night terrors when he was 4 years old,” said Le. “When you have Night Terrors, what happens is in your deep REM sleep you’re woken abruptly. You’re very incoherent, and do not know where you are.  He woke up screaming, yelling, not knowing why he’s up, and it’s really a scary moment.” It happened every night at 3 o’clock in the morning and woke up the entire family. Le would cradle him back to sleep, desperate for a way to make his son feel better.


How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect Autism?

Originally a chiropractor, Le was not opposed to finding other medications, but melatonin and warm milk didn’t work. When Andrew started school, doctors also diagnosed him with ADD and wanted to put him on Ridoline. “I said, no, I’m not doing that to my son. From there, I googled alternative care or treatments online and I saw these videos about CBD and how it helped with other autistic children and different varied conditions, and I was like, huh. I never medicated, never smoked really in my life and I’m a straight OCD type A personality – am I going to medicate my son with pot?”


Le found himself in the same position that led many others to find ways that cannabis could help their medical conditions. He bought everything he could find and took it home. In his garage, he started titrating 20:1’s and 11:1’s and tried it himself.


What are High CBD Cannabis Strains and How Do They Differ from High THC Strains?

“I basically went to the old chemistry kit stuff I learned in med school and made my own titrate tincture,” said Le. “I started at a really low dosage, gave it to Andrew, and worked my way up to a dosage that helped him. It took almost 11 weeks.”

In the 11th week, Andrew stopped waking up at night. Le’s tincture worked and he became more interested in extraction science. Most cities in California do not allow chemical processing for extraction, which involves butanes, nor the ethanol type of extraction. But when he learned that CO2 extraction was legal, and used commonly in the essential oil nutraceutical market, he found the right way to go.

With financing and a business plan, Le met with then-mayor Tom Bates and shared his story. There was not a dry eye in the house when he told them about the success with his son, so with their blessing he set out to open the first extraction lab and manufacturing facility of its kind.


BAS has eight lab scientists under the leadership of their chief scientist, Robert Sindelar, who joined BAS after spending three years in Peru as an independent researcher in ethnobotany. They’re leading the way in safe processing and manufacturing and are commissioned to help formulate for other companies.

“Montel Williams came to us about three months ago because of a referral from one of his colleagues,” Le explained. “When he came in, he said, ‘I love what you’re doing for why you’re doing it, and I want you to develop formulations with my new company, Levitan Labs, and really try to help people with MS and neuropathy.’ I said, ‘Great!,’ so we planned a strategy, we took his strains, terpene profiles, and ratios (THC to CBD), and we basically sent him different formulations.”


Terpenes: The Flavors of Cannabis Aromatherapy

The research facility is willing and able to take on different investigative studies with other industry companies for patient trials to see if their formulations can help with the conditional base and overall health improvement.


Increasingly important is the study of pain management. BAS is working heavily with other companies to validate micro-dosing and the ratios that can work for people’s body types. Outside research has confirmed that terpene profiles are actually as important as cannabinoid ratios when creating formulations, so BAS is partnering with as many channels as they can to bring that technology to cannabis manufacturing.

“My three-year plan is to be the #1 oil producer in California, to be able to have best practices, and to be able to help other companies achieve their formulation ratios that helps them better their products,” Le said. “I want to be the beans to Starbucks; I don’t want to own a bunch of Starbucks. What excites me is to have 20 to 30 companies come to me in the next two years and go, ‘Hey, I think if we put this in that, it helps with these conditions because we’ve been doing these formulations for four or five years.’”


In an age where it’s still premature for the FDA to be friendly to cannabis-related products, BAS is confident that patient testimonials, celebrity advocacy, and more investment can only help the industry. The benefits are clearly there as more jobs are created and medicine helps more families.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

DENVER, CO — The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing.

With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the workforce due to a positive drug test — even where the use does not effect an individuals job performance or has taken place days or weeks prior to the test.

NORML believes that this practice is discriminatory and defies common sense. As a result, a growing coalition of NORML Chapters in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have come together to advocate for necessary legislative and workplace reforms to protect responsible marijuana consumers.

NORML’s Workplace Drug Testing Coalition’s efforts will focus on these four areas:

  1. Reform workplace drug testing policies
  2. Expand employment opportunities for marijuana consumers
  3. Clarify the difference between detection technology and performance testing
  4. Highlight off-duty state law legal protections for employees

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” said Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicionless urine testing.”

Employer testing of applicants or employees for trace metabolites (inert waste-products) of past use of a legal substance makes no sense in the 21st century. This activity is particularly discriminatory in the case of marijuana where such metabolites may be detectable for weeks or even months after the consumer has ceased use.

With the 2017 Legislative Session underway, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. Legislation has already been introduced in Oregon and Washington , and is gaining traction in those states.

“Random suspicionless drug testing of applicants or employees for past marijuana use is not just unfair and discriminatory, it’s bad for business,” said attorney Judd Golden of Boulder, Colorado, a long-time NORML activist and Coalition spokesperson. The modern workforce includes countless qualified people like Brandon Coats of Colorado, a paraplegic medical marijuana patient who never was impaired on the job and had an unblemished work record. Brandon was fired from a Fortune 500 company after a random drug test, and lost his case in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. The Court unfortunately found Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities law that protects employees for legal activities on their own time didn’t apply to marijuana use.”

California NORML is also expecting legislation to be introduced this session to address this issue. Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML said, “One of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California last November is, ‘Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?’ Sadly in our state, not even medical marijuana patients are protected against job discrimination, and it’s a priority of Cal NORML to change that. We are hoping to get a bill introduced at the state level and are working with legislators, unions, and other reform groups to make that happen.”

NORML Chapters across the country are advocating on behalf of the rights of responsible marijuana consumers against discrimination in the workplace. “Our coalition was formed with the intention of not only educating legislators, but also with businesses in mind. It is important they know testing for marijuana is not mandatory, and that employers have testing options,” said Jordan Person, executive director for Denver NORML. The Denver chapter is currently working with companies that offer performance impairment testing of workers suspected of on-the-job impairment or use rather than unreliable bodily fluid testing to help provide options for employers.

For decades drug testing companies and others have pushed their agenda through a campaign of misinformation. Until now there has never been an organized effort to challenge the profit- driven ideology of those who seek to benefit from intrusive drug screening. Mounting evidence continues to prove there is no logical reason why adult marijuana consumers should be treated with any less respect, restricted more severely, and denied the same privileges we extend to responsible adults who enjoy a casual cocktail after a long day at the office.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been America’s Marijuana Consumer Lobby for nearly 50 years. The Washington DC-based nonprofit leads local, state and federal lobbying efforts to represent the interests of marijuana consumers.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Cannabis Legislation 2017: We’re Tracking All Legalization Bills

Most state legislatures reconvene in early January, and by February they’re in full swing, moving some bills forward and killing others in committee. This year 27 state legislatures are considering bills pertaining to cannabis in some form. (Well, okay: 26. Mississippi had two medical marijuana bills, but they’re already dead.) Some states are pushing full adult-use legalization. Others are pulling back on medical legalization measures adopted by voters last November. We’ll keep tracking them as they live and die. Most state legislatures adjourn by early June. Stay tuned.


House Bill 2003 – Would legalize the use, possession, and sales of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: Arizona came within a hair’s breadth of passing Proposition 205 last year and this bill is sure to see some traction. But do lawmakers prefer to leave it up to the voters?


House Bill 1400 – Would ban the smoking of medical cannabis and remove a portion of the law that allows landlords to permit patients to smoke on a leased property.

House Bill 1391 – Would allow cities and towns to ban medical dispensaries and cultivation sites.

House Bill 1392 – Would ban the production and sale of edibles for medical use.

  • Likelihood of passing: All three bills are fairly likely to pass, as the Arkansas Legislature is Republican-controlled, with a majority holding an anti-cannabis stance, including the governor and the surgeon general.


Arkansas Agency Releases Draft of Medical Marijuana Rules


Senate Bill 175 – Would prohibit cannabis businesses from using the name of a county unless the cannabis was produced in that county.

  • Likelihood of passing: Almost certain to pass. California has a reputation for embracing all things cannabis and this bill in particular would help protect the livelihood of certain cannabis businesses.


Senate Bill 17-017 – Would allow medical marijuana for patients suffering from stress disorders, including PTSD and acute stress disorder.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is the fifth petition to add PTSD to Colorado’s medical marijuana program, and while this has advanced further than the previous attempts, it’s still a toss-up.


House Bill 65 – Would remove requirements that patients be in the end stages of a disease to qualify for medical cannabis and would also add several new qualifying medical conditions, including PTSD and autism.

  • Likelihood of passing: Fairly slim, unfortunately. Lawmakers have been trying to pass a similar bill for the last two years and the Legislature fears that medical legalization is a slippery slope to adult use. HB65 will likely die on the House floor.

Senate Bill 16 – To lower the percent of THC allowed in MMJ from 5% to 3%.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has already passed through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and will likely pass through the House and Senate, despite the fact that there is no scientific reasoning to lower the amount of THC permitted.


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Senate Bill 548 – Would legalize the personal use, possession, and sale of cannabis for adult use, and license and regulate retail marijuana establishments.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has a better than chance than many legalization measures this year, but since they are still dealing with the dispensary licensing process, they may want to wait until dispensaries are open and firmly established before moving on to legalization.

Senate Bill 16 – Would decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis unless on school property or in a school zone.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has a pretty high likelihood of passing and would, in essence, create a barebones legalization. Possession would be unpunishable, but sales would still be prohibited. The bill makes a legal exemption for MMJ patients, but curiously, makes no mention of age limits, effectively allowing anyone to possess cannabis, including children. This will likely be amended before passing, but the Legislature will surely want to address that.


Senate Bill 255 – Would legalize the use and possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis for medicinal use with a physician’s recommendation.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is the seventh time this medical marijuana bill has been introduced in Indiana, and it is fairly unlikely to succeed.

Senate Bill 15 – Would legalize hemp oil for the treatment of children with epilepsy.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is more likely to pass than Senate Bill 255; however, if it does pass, it is unlikely to provide safe access to state-produced legal hemp oil, even for patients who qualify.


Senate Bill 928 – To repeal civil and criminal prohibitions of the use and possession of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill is not particularly likely to pass, as the state is still struggling to get their medical marijuana program up and running.

Senate Bill 798 – Would reduce the penalties for the use and possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis for the first and second offense to a civil fine of no more than $100.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is far more likely to pass and would be an improvement overall for the state. With a significant minority population, reducing the number of cannabis-related arrests would definitely assist with race relations and the law enforcement community.


Maryland Lawmakers Propose Adult Use Legalization


H.F. 927 – Would legalize the use, possession, cultivation, distribution, and sales of cannabis for adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: Very unlikely. Minnesota has one of the strictest medical cannabis programs in the country and the likelihood of the Legislature passing a full legalization measure is almost nil.


Senate Bill 2378 – Would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis as a treatment option for patients who qualify, and patients could possess up to three mature plants, four immature plants, and up to 30 grams of cannabis from each plant.

  • Likelihood of passing: Pretty slim. Mississippi is notoriously conservative and do not have anything even remotely resembling an MMJ program.
  • Update: Died in committee on January 31, 2017.

Senate Bill 2379 – Would remove marijuana and hashish from the state list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, as well as all criminal penalties.

  • Likelihood of passing: Fairly unlikely. This has a better chance of passing through the Legislature, but a decriminalization measure to reduce penalties to a civil fine (rather than removing penalties completely) would stand a much stronger chance.
  • Update: Died in committee on January 31, 2017.


Legislative Bill 622 – Would allow qualifying medical patients to access cannabis for medicinal purposes with the recommendation of a physician.

  • Likelihood of passing: This one’s a toss-up. On the one hand, Nebraskans are known for their “nice” nature, including compassion, hence the “compassion centers” outlined in the law. The bill has a better chance of being approved than a voter initiative, but with the Midwest, it’s anyone’s guess.

New Hampshire

House Bill 640 – Would reduce the penalty for the possession of to to one ounce of cannabis for adults to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $350 for any subsequent offenses.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has already advanced through the committee, which means it has a fighting chance. Another bill to legalize cannabis for adult use did not advance.

New Mexico

Senate Bill 8 – Would presume eligibility for those applying to be in the medical marijuana program. This has widely been reported as allowing veterans to automatically qualify for the MMJ program, but it appears more aimed at cutting down the application process time, which has plagued New Mexico in recent months.

  • Likelihood of passing:  If the New Mexico Department of Health can skip even one step towards processing MMJ applications, it could cut wait times down significantly, as well as allowing better access, which means it would be in the best interest of the state government for this bill to pass. That being said, there will likely be some pushback from those concerned about ineligible residents taking advantage of the system.

House Bill 102 – The Marijuana Tax Act would legalize the use, possession, and sales of cannabis for those over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: This may have a better chance of passing than SB8, as New Mexico has a strong MMJ program and has considered adult use legalization for several years now.


New Mexico Legislature Considers Legalizing Cannabis

New York

Bill No. S03040 – Would enact the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” to legalize the growing, possession, and use of cannabis for adults 18 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: Slim to none. This bill has been introduced four years running and has been shot down every time. Aside from that, it seems more pertinent to improve the barely-functioning medical marijuana program before dipping into the waters of adult use legalization.

North Dakota

Senate Bill 2344 – Would significantly alter the recently passed Compassionate Care Act to reduce the amount of cannabis patients may possess, eliminate any option of home cultivation, and to cap the number of dispensaries and cultivators.

  • Likelihood of passing: There’s been enough pushback from advocates and even within the Legislature that it is unlikely that this bill will pass in its current form. The Legislature may, however, pass a similarly-worded bill in the future.


House Bill 1877 – Would protect any qualifying medical marijuana patient from arrest or prosecution, so long as they qualify with the recommendation of a physician. A Medical Marijuana Commission would be charged with creating and overseeing dispensary and cultivation facilities.

  • Likelihood of passing: Pretty slim chances here. Oklahoma’s a strong Bible Belt state, and conservative legislators are unlikely to consider an MMJ push too seriously, even with 71 percent of Oklahomans in support.


Senate Bill 301 – Would prohibit employers from requiring employees to refrain from using state-legal substances on their days off work.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is a fascinating bill, but it’s a long shot. State legalization laws generally allow employers to call the shots on employment practices, particularly related to cannabis usage. If this passes, it could set a new precedent and inspire similar laws in other adult-use states.

Rhode Island

H. 5274 – Would legalize the use, possession, and regulated sales of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has a very good chance to pass. Because Rhode Island does not allow voter initiatives, and their best chance for legalization is through the Legislature. Rhode Island has come close to legalization in the past few years – could 2017 be their year?


Rhode Island Cannabis Proponents Kick Off Legalization Campaign

South Carolina

S. 212 – The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would legalize cannabis for use by qualified patients with the recommendation of a physician.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has a better chance than it would have even just a few years ago. There is a great deal of support for medical marijuana in South Carolina, but it may need to be enacted through the voters, rather than the Legislature.

South Dakota

Senate Bill 129 – Would remove a longstanding state law that places a cannabis user at risk of legal prosecution if they have ingested cannabis, whether or not they have cannabis on their person.

  • Likelihood of passing: This outdated law should have been removed from the books years ago. SB 129, which would do that, will hopefully pass with flying colors. This is a terrible law that should be removed.


Senate Bill 269 – Would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to receive medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation.

  • Likelihood of passing: It is fairly unlikely that this medical marijuana bill will have a fighting chance in the Legislature. The state legalized low-THC cannabis oil in 2015, but they have yet to create the infrastructure for the program. It may be some time before MMJ makes its way to Texas.

House Bill 81 – Would reduce criminal penalties for individuals who possess an ounce or less of cannabis to a civil fine.

Senate Bill 170 – Would reduce the penalties for the possession of a small amount of cannabis to a civil fine.

  • Likelihood of passing: These decriminalization measures have a higher likelihood of passing. Texas is a cannabis curious state, but the state’s officials are cautious when it comes to making any sudden moves on cannabis in the Legislature.


House Bill 130 – Would allow universities to study the medicinal benefits of cannabis and cannabinoid products.

  • Likelihood of passing: This actually has a decent chance of passing, mostly because it will do very little to change the actual availability of medical cannabis in Utah. However, with the advancement of positive research, it will give pro-cannabis lawmakers ammunition for future MMJ endeavors.


Utah Lawmakers Turn Timid on Medical Marijuana Plans


House Bill 2135 – Would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis for the treatment of any medical condition.

  • Likelihood of passing: Very unlikely. Although it has a progressive law on the books allowing an affirmative defense in court if caught with CBD oil, Virginia has proven reluctant to pass any fuller medical marijuana legislation.

House Bill 1635 – Would allow Virginians suffering from Crohn’s disease to use non-psychoactive oil derived from CBD and THC-A cannabinoids.

House Bill 1452 – Would legalize physician-prescribed CBD and THC-A oil for patients who suffer from cancer or epilepsy.

  • Likelihood of passing: These bills go hand-in-hand, and are about equally likely to pass. Neither outlines how a patient would procure said CBD and THC-A oil, so a passage would change very little to the state’s law.


H. 170 – Would remove all criminal and civil penalties for the possession of two ounces or less of cannabis and the cultivation of two mature and seven immature cannabis plants for adults over the age of 21. It would not create a regulatory structure for retail sales.

  • Likelihood of passing: Vermont officials have been studying Colorado’s legalization for years. They came so close to legalizing in 2016, but were foiled at the last minute by fears about the opioid crisis. One year later, politicians and the public are more aware of studies showing that cannabis actually helps alleviate that crisis. This could be the year in Vermont.


House Bill 1092 – Would legalize the home cultivation of cannabis for personal use by adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill is a toss-up. There’s no doubt that cannabis consumers in Washington want home cultivation, but the Washington Legislature has been skittish about making too many changes to adult-use measures as they stand.


Senate Bill 10 – Would allow for the use and possession of cannabidiol oil for medicinal purposes with the recommendation of a physician (only if and when cannabidiol is rescheduled at a federal level).

  • Likelihood of passing: This is not particularly likely to pass, and even if it did, it is unlikely that the state would make any moves to enact it. Part of the bill specifies a requirement that CBD would have to be rescheduled at a federal level for the law to be workable, so it’s really just a good faith measure.

Assembly Bill 49 – Similarly, this bill also requires federal rescheduling to be workable, but would allow for the use of cannabidiol oil for medicinal purposes.

  • Likelihood of passing: Both laws require some kind of federal policy reform in order to be workable, and the Republican-controlled Legislature has proved time and again that they are unwilling to consider cannabis in any form medicine.


Wisconsin May Be the Next to Legalize Medical Cannabis


House Joint Resolution 11 – Would amend the Wyoming Constitution to allow the cultivation, use, possession, and regulated sales of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: It’s a great first step, but super unlikely to make it very far. The resolution is barebones, with almost no detail. It will likely take a back burner and die before reaching the House floor.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Releases First-of-Its-Kind Guide to Cannabis Worker Rights, Safety

One important takeaway: Yes, even cannabis producers are expected to comply with federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations.

The post Colorado Releases First-of-Its-Kind Guide to Cannabis Worker Rights, Safety appeared first on Leafly.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Searching for Jack Herer, the ‘Emperor’ of American Cannabis

Herer’s historiography is still debated today, and his legacy remains unfinished. Herer, who liked to say his last named rhymed with “terror,” will be remembered among those historic legions of misfits, holy fools, and single-minded obsessives whose refusal to give up on their ideas eventually pushed them in front of the establishment gatekeepers, where their arguments could no longer be dismissed.

Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, recalls Herer as “a larger-than-life cultural phenomenon” and “the single-most important person in the legalization movement.” In the same breath, Stroup will admit that Herer also could be his own worst enemy. Herer’s style did him no favors. His passion slopped into zealotry. He could rub people the wrong way—opponents as well as allies like Stroup.

This was an unlikely outcome indeed for a hirsute electric sign repairman, who a friend described as “like a moving mountain, 6’1″ and 250 pounds, with a big voice, big heart and big appetite,” and who lived out of a shabby apartment reeking of weed in Van Nuys, Calif.

Here’s a clip of Herer speaking just before he went onstage at the the 1994 Gainesville Hempfest in Florida:

Not a natural hippie

Jack Herer was born in New York City in 1939, the second son of a bill collector who moved the family to Buffalo at a young age. Buffalo being Buffalo, young Jack fled town as soon as he was able, enlisting in the US Army at age 17. He served a hitch as a military policeman in South Korea immediately after the Korean War. Herer credited the experience with toughening him up and giving him a respect for America’s democratic tradition. “I believed America was always the good guy; always the most decent right-on people on Earth,” he would later tell an interviewer.

After his discharge, Herer took a job with an electric sign maintenance company in California’s San Fernando Valley. He married Vera Donato. They had three children. Herer’s politics were conservative, reflected in his short-cropped hair and office necktie. He supported Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election and backed America’s military escalation in Vietnam. Herer felt nothing but contempt for hippies and their marijuana. For one thing, they were breaking the law. For another, Herer believed what he had been told in newspapers and the exploitation movies of his youth: Marijuana was a dangerous drug peddled by shifty people with bad agendas. “He thought it was like heroin,” recalled Ellen Komp, a close friend of Herer’s later in life.

By the age of 30, he had gotten divorced from his first wife when a new girlfriend—whose name has been lost to history—asked him a question. Had he ever smoked weed?

Of course not, he said.

“You should,” she suggested. Perhaps out of a desire to please her, Herer  shrugged and inhaled. His life would never be the same.

“I was feeling sensations that I didn’t even know a human being could even experience,” he said years later. Ellen Komp recalled him comparing the experience to “the best meal he’d ever had, the best sex he’d ever had.”

And then Jack Herer had an overpowering thought: “Why is this stuff illegal?”


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George Washington grew hemp, man.

Soon thereafter, Herer became a dedicated cannabis consumer. The man averaged four joints a day. And he began campaigning for legalization.

In the style of the revolutionary propaganda of the early 1970s, he helped author a satiric marijuana-themed coloring book for adults called Great American Standard System, or G.R.A.S.S., and sold it in underground bookstores around Los Angeles.

Fans would give Herer all kinds of cannabis facts he’d never heard. Many eventually made it into the book.

During promotional appearances for the book (and the bongs he made), fans would drop all kinds of facts about the hemp plant that Herer had never heard.

Did he know that George Washington ordered hemp grown as a cash crop on his Mount Vernon estate? Or that the riggings and sails of the USS Constitution battleship were made of hemp fiber? Or that America’s campaign against hemp was launched in the 1930s as a paranoid reaction against Mexican migrants and black jazz musicians?


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Herer collected friends as well as facts. He and Ed “Captain Ed” Adair, a fellow cannabis enthusiast, swore an oath that neither would rest until marijuana was legal. Herer also befriended Michael Aldrich, the author of the first known American Ph.D. dissertation on cannabis history, Marijuana Myths and Folklore, awarded by the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970. “I introduced him to the idea of hemp doing something other than smoking it,” said Aldrich, the founder of San Francisco’s Fitzhugh Ludlow Memorial Library dedicated to drug literature.

The facts that Aldrich and others were feeding him constituted a shadow history of the cannabis sativa plant that had been, in Herer’s view, covered up for nefarious purposes. Everything he had learned as a teenager about marijuana, he decided, was officially backwards, and the facts were in plain sight if you just looked.

Venice and Van Nuys in the seventies

Venice Beach, CaliforniaVenice Beach, Calif., 2017.

To earn a buck, Herer bought into a Van Nuys head shop called High Country and began peddling hemp clothing from a booth on Venice Beach. With a goofy grin and intrinsic charisma (and usually nicely buzzed), Herer became a familiar part of the human carnival on Venice Beach between Windward Ave. and Horizon Ave., one of the most colorful open-air free speech zones in the nation. He would initiate conversations with anyone who looked like they would stand still for one of Professor Jack’s lessons on the glories of hemp and the tragedy of its effacement.

Herers’s other hobby was his Sisyphean attempts to get a marijuana initiative onto the ballot in California.

In 1972, an attorney named Leo Paoli spearheaded an attempt to gather 326,000 signatures to get decriminalization onto the ballot. Proposition 19 went down in Nixonian flames, with 33.5 percent for and 66.5 percent against. The only legislative district to support the measure was located in, unsurprisingly, San Francisco. Even so, the strength of the “yes” vote took most of the California political establishment by surprise.

California’s Prop. 19 loss in 1972 inspired Herer for the rest of his life.

The quixotic failure of Proposition 19 served as an inspiration to Jack Herer for the rest of his life. Nearly every year he tried—and failed—to get another cannabis measure on the ballot. With a group of hardcore allies called the Reefer Raiders, he began organizing sit-ins at the glassy internationalist landmark known as the Los Angeles Federal Building.

One favorite stunt involved dressing up his compatriots in tricorner hats and waistjackets to make the point that America’s founding generation—including George Washington—had grown hemp as a crop. Another involved a public breakfast where hemp pancakes were on the menu.


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These gatherings were usually ignored by the local media, but when the occasional reporter showed up, Herer and his friends would light up joints and smoke them openly. And just as he did at Venice Beach, Herer would offer confused passersby a chance to register to vote, all in hopes of electing pro-legalization candidates and passing a decriminalization measure, a tactic that made Stroup and other legalization advocates back in Washington—who believed in traditional Congressional lobbying strategies—shake their heads.

As an outsider with no connections, Herer “had a desire to go to the people rather than the politicians,” said Aldrich. “That was a huge difference in philosophies between the East and West coasts.”

Playing the democratic long game

Fans gather around Jack Herer’s bus on a tour in the 90’s. (Courtesy of Jeannie Herer)

This was no revolution, but rather a democratic long game. Herer never lost energy, even though none of his proposed initiatives came close to reaching the ballot. This willingness to suffer repeated failure may actually have been his greatest strength. By continuing in the face of certain defeat, Herer ensured a constant cherry of resistance was kept burning during an era when legalization was a dead letter and hippies were considered the spent shells of history.

“He used to say the most noble thing that a person could do was to register someone to vote,” Komp recalled. Years later, when Herer requested his FBI file, he wasn’t surprised to find most of it blacked out by redactors. But one section that survived included an agent’s assessment that Herer was “patriotic” and loved his country—flattering reading to the proud Army veteran.

He was arrested 34 times, but the one that stuck was a federal sedition charge for registering voters after dark.

After emerging from the seventies with a clean record, Herer became, fittingly, one of the first people arrested during the Ronald Reagan era. Politics, not pot, got him popped. Soon after a rally protesting Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, Herer was arrested under an archaic provision of the federal Sedition Act that made it illegal to conduct political activity near a federal facility after dark. This was only one of the 34 times he had been arrested, but it was the one that promised to be the most serious. The arresting officer shoved him into the police cruiser with a nightstick jab to Herer’s kidneys. His companions pleaded guilty and got light fines, but Herer opted to make a principled fight rather than pay the $5 fine he was offered as a plea deal. He lost. In 1983 he reported to Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island, off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. to serve a 30-day sentence.

Prison becomes a writing retreat

Jeannie Herer enjoys a hand-rolled joint while looking through old photographs of her late husband Jack. (Ronda Churchill for Leafly)

“This was the first time he’d been alone,” his fourth wife, Jeannie Herer, told me in an interview recently.

With nothing to do but stare at the walls, Herer decided to write down everything he’d learned about hemp over the previous decade. From a thin sheaf of paper, the manuscript grew. When he was released, Herer hit local libraries to check facts and flesh out the details. He thought the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about citizens buying the Big Lie served as an apt metaphor for the American government’s anti-cannabis propaganda campaign. So he titled it The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

“He used to say that if he had never been to prison, he never would have written it,” said Jeannie. “It started out as a poster, and it grew.”

A polemic disguised as a scrapbook

A proud Army veteran and patriot, Herer envisioned an America set free from the lie of cannabis prohibition. (Ronda Churchill for Leafly)

The Emperor is arranged like a counterculture scrapbook in a style slightly reminiscent of his old G.R.A.S.S. coloring book, heavy with sidebars, news clips, art, and cartoons.

The message of ‘Emperor’ was bold and clear: Everything you were taught about cannabis is wrong.

The book, first published in 1985, lays out a kind of History According to Jack: Cannabis sativa was a beneficial medicine known to the Phoenicians in the fifth century BCE and by most cultures in ancient civilization, good for making rope, canvas, food, paper, clothes, and—when its female leaves and flower-tops were ingested—a relaxing and mystical drug. American farmers grew it until racist fears gave politicians a wedge issue in the 1930s. Aided by false fear-mongering stories in William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper empire, a former railroad cop named Harry J. Anslinger took control of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1931 and, with the backing of DuPont Chemical and various paper companies, began a campaign to outlaw the growth and consumption of cannabis, ultimately resulting in the popular acceptance of his own view that cannabis was a “deadly, dreadful poison.”

If people could be educated to see through these lies, Herer wrote, hemp could be rescued from obscurity and save the world because it would stop pine forests from being harvested for paper and Earth’s fossil fuel from being refined into filthy gasoline.


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The message appealed to those who were already suspicious of authority and primed to look at the world in a new way. What if everything we were taught was wrong? And what if somebody was making a buck from our fear?

Emperor didn’t look like a serious book on the surface. But the research was backed up with multiple footnotes and Herer’s promise of a cash payout to anyone who could find a factual inaccuracy within it. Though his close research partner Aldrich acknowledged that Herer “stretched things a little bit” insofar as hemp’s world-saving properties, he never had to pay the bounty.


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‘Hemp for Victory’ and other myths confirmed

If nothing else, Emperor ranks as one of the more obsessive single-topic compendiums of recent years, reaching for both easily found documents and the unbelievably obscure to make its points. Among other lost treasures, Herer unearthed a 1900 portrait of rural life titled, oddly enough, The Reign of Law: A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields by James Lane Allen, who wrote at times like he had sampled a fatty of his own subject material. “Warm they must be, soft and warm, those fields, its chosen birthplace,” went one typical passage. “Upturned by the plough, crossed and recrossed by the harrow, clodless, leveled, deep, fine, fertile—some extinct riverbottom, some valley threaded by streams, some tableland of mild rays, moist airs, alluvial or limestone soils—such is the favored cradle of the hemp in Nature.”

Herer and two associates found the suppressed film and donated copies to the Library of Congress.

Then there was the story of the missing hemp film. In 1942, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made one of the thousands of propaganda-heavy educational films pumped out by the government. “Hemp for Victory,” according to its thumbnail description, showed farmers at work in Wisconsin and Kentucky and related “how the war cut off our supply of East Indian coarse fibers, and the urgent need for American grown hemp for our Army and Navy, as well as for civilian use.” The USDA was aiming for 300,000 acres under cultivation within the year.

But after the Anslinger crackdown, the USDA apparently suppressed the film and denied it ever existed. A search of the department’s archives in Beltsville, Md., was fruitless, but Herer and two associates found a reference in a catalog at the Library of Congress. He then made a show of donating two VHS tapes of the movie to the library, with the entire exchange documented in Emperor. And therein lay the peculiar genius of Jack Herer and the key to his book’s success: He fused patriotic ideas of American democracy with an eye toward conspiracy theories and villains wearing suits who didn’t want the trust exposed. Readers found it an irresistible mix.

A book that never stopped growing

Herer continually updated and expanded the book, eventually publishing 12 editions (not counting translations). A few of them are shown here on the mineral-deposited land outside Jeannie Herer’s home in rural California. (Ronda Churchill for Leafly)

The appendix was almost as long as the book itself, and was comprised mainly of press clippings about the war on drugs and its failings, followed by a long series of advertisements taken out by hemp-oriented businesses selling everything from lawn chairs, posters, twine, and soap.

Jack was very good at getting people to do his bidding. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Herer added new information as he learned it, putting out new expanded editions, recruiting friends to help him with the research and writing. Among them was Ellen Komp, a volunteer for the Los Angeles NORML branch and a talented writer who was recruited to help with the ninth edition. “It was a million-seller and it was done on the stump,” she said. “It was a living document we kept filling out.” She kept busy Xeroxing library references and wordsmithing large sections of prose under his watch, which was done at close range.

“Jack was very good at getting people to do his bidding,” she said. “He wouldn’t take no for an answer. And he weighed every word for certainty and clarity. I admired the way he did it.”

Pushback from fellow activists

It’s unclear whether Emperor actually sold anything close to a million copies. 700,000 is a lot of books, but there’s no way to verify the number. According to Jack’s son Dan Herer, the book was not sold only through conventional bookstores but also through loose channels not conducive to good accounting practices: out of vans at hemp festivals, for example, and from booths set up at neighborhood fairs or outside one of Jack’s many college lectures. Jack was also known for just giving away free copies when he felt like an unconvinced listener needed an education. Those who hadn’t actually seen it were likely to have heard of it. The book had a profound effect on a subculture yearning for hard evidence to support theories they had only batted around in herbally enhanced conversations. 

Still, while some of Emperor’s readers were delighted with its right-is-wrong spirit, the radical message didn’t go over well with everyone in the legalization movement. Some of Herer’s biggest critics were associated with NORML, who thought the author too often acted more like a hippie provocateur than an effective activist.

“We were trying to paint an image of marijuana smokers as mainstream, and that was not Jack’s strong suit.”

Keith Stroup, NORML founder

“Jack was into street theater,” recalled Keith Stroup, the head of NORML. “We were trying to paint an image of marijuana smokers as mainstream, and that was not Jack’s strong suit.”

Moreover, the claims that hemp was a world-saving crop were, as Stroup put it, “overdone, to say the least.”

“Hemp could well have helped tens of thousands of family farmers to stay on their land, but it’s not going to save the planet,” he said, adding that Herer’s absolutist views on legalization used to be called the “tomato model,” meaning a world where cannabis ought to be grown and sold as openly and blamelessly as tomatoes. This ran counter to the incremental approach favored by NORML, which involved chipping away with decriminalization and medical legalization—a path of compromise and slow steady progress that Herer deplored as selling out his grand, revolutionary vision.


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Yet Stroup has kind words today for the man who he said “inspired generations of people to get involved.” By the mid-1990s, Herer’s detractors within the movement began to soften their criticism, aided, perhaps, by relentlessly favorable press from High Times editor Steve Hager, who embraced the hemp-centered message. In 2002, NORML officially reversed its skepticism by presenting Herer with a lifetime achievement award.

Herer spoke at colleges, hemp festivals, and legalization rallies all over the country in what Komp called “a bell-clear voice” that cut through any crowd noise, “a commanding presence, like a Pavoratti.” He loved the attention.

He sold copies of his book from his truck, and verbally delivered a précis of the message that was even more bluntly stated. “No one has ever died from marijuana that wasn’t shot by a cop!” was one of his favorite punchlines, making one particular audience member roll her eyes.

“I was always afraid for him when he would say that, especially when there were cops around,” said Jeannie Herer. “And if I warned him not to say it, he was sure to say it.”

A new life with a new wife

Jeannie Herer sits next to a canvas print she had made of her late husband Jack Herer outside her home in California. (Ronda Churchill for Leafly)

Jeannie, a former legal secretary from Phoenix, had become Jack’s fourth wife in 1999 after an intellectual romance that began when she read his book, which she picked up as swag at a NORML event. “I was never a political person, but I had to be after I read that book,” she said. She met him for the first time at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. When she moved to Los Angeles in 1996, she tracked him down at his hemp booth on Venice Beach. Jeannie found him asleep under the table. A friend kicked Herer gently to announce a visitor. Flirtation ensued.

“We were inseparable after that,” she said. “I was in awe. I couldn’t believe this was the man who wrote the book that changed my life.”

The furniture was helter-skelter. ‘I was raided by the cops last night,’ Jack explained.

When he invited her to his apartment to smoke a joint, she was appalled to find the place in shambles. The furniture was helter-skelter, papers were scattered everywhere.

“What a slob!” she thought, and made a more tactful remark to that effect.

“No, no,” he insisted. “I was raided by the cops last night.”

That didn’t bother her so much. Of greater concern to the 39-year-old Jeannie was Jack’s age and fitness. He was overweight and 59. “I didn’t want to fall in love with someone who would friggin’ die on me, which is exactly what happened. But he won me over.”

Three months later she moved into the cramped apartment near the corner of Burbank Blvd. and Kester Ave., an undistinguished junction anchored by two gas stations, an auto-body shop, and a strip mall. He started calling her “Mrs. Herer.” Then he got on the phone with her father, and in his courtliest manner requested her hand in marriage. But he didn’t follow through for three years.


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The psychedelic theory of religion

Many fans assumed that his book sales made Herer a wealthy man. Jeannie saw little evidence of that. He plowed most of his earnings back into the cause. Besides his daily intake of weed, his only other indulgence had been playing the arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man, which he did with such quarter-slugging regularity that he developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Having suffered an unpleasant vomiting fit after a drunken Purim holiday during his teenage years, he rarely touched alcohol. About one beer per year was his average.

Besides a cultural residue of Judaism that led him to say Kaddish prayers for his friends and eat gefilte fish on holidays, there was a side of his spiritual life he kept mostly private. “The mushroom and religion thing,” as Jeannie called it, involved a belief that Christianity sprung into existence because some of its early adherents were shamans who took psychedelic mushrooms.

He had read a 1970 book by the discredited University of Manchester scholar John Allegro called The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East. Herer was enchanted with Allegro’s thesis. He had to stifle his urge to talk about the origins of the Bible because he knew, as Jeannie put it, “pot was an easier sell.”  

A final rousing speech in Portland

Theirs was an affectionate marriage, leavened by teasing. Jeannie knew how to put him in his place. “If you put your finger in his bellybutton, he would go apeshit,” she said. “An uncle once told him it was the most vulnerable place on the body, and he never forgot it.” When he wanted to playfully get on her nerves, he would drag her over to a spot called Western Bagels late at night where LAPD officers patrolling the Valley were known to hang out. Jack loved walking past them and giving them a big whiff of his weed-scented clothes.

He usually talked himself out of arrest through a combination of legal knowledge and roly-poly charm.

“He was confident in himself and what he could get away with under the law,” she said. When police pulled over his vehicle, he usually talked himself out of arrest through a combination of legal knowledge and roly-poly charm. Many compared his bearing to late-era Jerry Garcia. “He always had a smile for you, and great big hugs and kiss,” said Michelle Aldrich, the wife of Dr. Michael Aldrich. “You couldn’t be mad at him.”

Years of eating bad convenience store snacks and takeout Chinese took their toll. His first stroke, suffered in the year 2000, caused half his face to droop. He lost his famous ability to always find the right word, whether in public speech or private conversation. He recovered some of his articulation by singing old songs—”Truckin’”, by the Grateful Dead, was an unsurprising favorite—and reciting the entirety of narrative poems like “Casey at the Bat.” Jeannie remains convinced that he also helped restore his health through ingestions of insulin, cannabis oil, and the times when she would shotgun pot smoke into his mouth. He eventually recovered enough to smoke it on his own.

Within a few years, he was back on the festival circuit. And that’s where it all came to a final and perhaps fitting end. Herer was speaking at the Hempstalk festival in Portland, Ore., in September of 2009 when he roared out a characteristic declaration. “You’ve got to be out of your mind not to smoke dope!” he yelled. “It is the best thing the world has ever had.” Those would be among the last words he spoke to a crowd. Herer suffered a heart attack next to the stage and, after a long period of disability, died the following April in Eugene.

The Herer legacy

A friend described Herer, here in a 1997 snapshot with friends, as “a moving mountain with a big voice, big heart and big appetite.” (Ronda Churchill for Leafly)

What is the legacy of this renegade author who refused to accept the official story?

“His great gift was to pull all the information together in a digestible format and provide something to go on the road with,” said his friend Ellen Komp. “You have to give the information to change people’s minds.”

Herer “exposed falsehoods in a fact-based fashion. He went about it like a trial lawyer. The content was revolutionary and the subject was revolutionary.”

Brian Vicente, co-author of Colorado’s Amendment 64

Herer was “a man who was of the belief that the whole world would fall into place if only it could understand,” according to Brian Vicente, a prominent cannabis attorney who led the fight to pass adult-use legalization in Colorado. “He was writing about things that nobody else was—exposing falsehoods about hemp in a fact-based fashion. He went about it like a trial lawyer. The content was revolutionary and the subject was revolutionary.”

He wasn’t, and still isn’t, revered without reservations. Herer’s overriding thesis that “hemp can save the world” remains a contentious idea within cannabis culture. Most researchers don’t believe, for example, that the world’s gasoline needs can be satisfied with hempseed oil, or that all the world’s clothing can be made from hemp fibers, or that its demand for paper could be satiated by hemp. Even some of today’s strongest commercial hemp advocates shy away from the kind of sweeping claims that Jack Herer made on Venice Beach in the 1980s.

“I am very cautious about these kinds of all-encompassing statements,” said Anna Owen, a hemp advocate and researcher in Redding, Calif. “It is not the best approach to call hemp a panacea. It’s like a ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ scenario, where you’re promising all these things from magic beans.” She said the best physical comparative to hemp seed is linseed, which is useful for oil paint and perishable cooking oil, but not a planetary salvation.

As for biodiesel material, hemp is not as effective or economical as canola, which has a higher oil content and can give twice the seed-per-acre yield. And hemp fiber costs far more to process for paper pulp than ordinary wood.

Jack Herer’s vision of an emerald carpet across farmbelt states also comes in for criticism among those who would benefit most. “Any monoculture agriculture is not a good thing in terms of sustainability,” said Annalisa Rush, a partner in Hempx.net, an online exchange. “It would take up so much acreage, and I’m not sure it’s feasible.”


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His widow, Jeannie Herer, calls him her “all-time hero” and is trying to find a home in or near Las Vegas for a museum to her late husband, featuring posters, research materials, pipes, and other memorabilia. She runs the website JackHerer.com, which provides free downloads of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. The book has never gone out of print.

Despite their flaws and excesses, Herer’s quirky self-published book and his oversized, big-hearted personality created an international base of fans and admirers. By the mid-2010s his life was over but his legend kept expanding. A company in Amsterdam named Sensi Seeds a sweet-smelling sativa blend—said to be a cross among Northern Lights, Haze, and Skunk genetics—and named it for their late hero.

Reviewers say that the “Jack Herer” strain offers an energetic morning high, light and mellow and non-sleep-inducing. It allows the user to get some necessary things done instead of lying on the couch watching TV. And that, said Ellen Komp, “is Jack in so many ways.”

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