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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

NFL Marijuana

Due to a large amount of concerns from both players and coaches alike in regards to the overly harsh punishments the NFL issues for marijuana use, the league has decided to look at changing its drug policy.

Discussions on the severity of the NFL’s drug policy have been going on since 2011 and include talk of beginning to test for Human Growth Hormones, as well as increasing the threshold for marijuana testing resulting in less intense punishments for positive results.

The NFL’s Player Association has also mentioned that the league will be looking into the medicinal benefits of marijuana as a result of all the recent medical marijuana legalization efforts throughout the country.

Cleveland Browns star receiver, Josh Gordon, is the most recent player to test positive for marijuana and is currently facing a one year suspension as a result.

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Marijuana Food Truck

Food trucks have been gaining popularity in cities across the country for a few years now. But only one food truck is offering marijuana-infused foods, or edibles.

MagicalButter unveiled the country’s first food truck with marijuana edibles at the 2014 Cannabis Cup in Denver. The Seattle-based company is already selling a machine of the same name that extracts substances from herbs for use in foods.

Peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwiches, along with tomato soup are a few items on the menu. Each dish contains oil, butter or cheese infused with THC (the psychoactive substance in marijuana).

“[The food truck] gives a good platform to educate people about how to eat with cannabis, finding out what works, what might not work,” said Garyn Angel, CEO of Magical Butter. “It’s a non-threatening way for people to discover if it helps them at all.”

Marijuana food trucks are currently only legal to operate in Colorado and Washington, where marijuana is legal for adult recreational use.

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Uruguay Marijuana
After a long wait, Uruguay has finally released the much anticipated regulations to accompany its system that will legally monitor the production, sale, and use of marijuana for adults in the country thus making it the first country in the world to do so. They are expecting to have the market up and running before the end of 2014.

The system will be implemented as follows: Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 will be permitted to choose between 3 different forms of access to recreational marijuana. The first being growing up to 6 plants per household on their own, the second would be the option to join a membership club where anywhere between 15 and 45 members can join in to collectively grow up to 99 plants, and the last would be the option to purchase up to 10 grams of marijuana from a licensed pharmacy.

All residents who choose to partake in legal marijuana will have to register with the government through a confidential registry, and declare which of the three options they would like to choose.

The largest difference between the ways this regulatory system has been established versus say that of Colorado or Washington is in the price. In Colorado, a gram of high grade marijuana would be sold from anywhere between 12$ to $25, while in Uruguay marijuana will be priced at just 1$ per gram in hopes that it will put a stranglehold on the black market drug trade.

Colorado Marijuana

The Rocky Mountain State has already brought in over $25 million in revenue since legalizing marijuana on a recreational level for anyone 21 years of age and older. This money is generated through taxes, fees, and licenses. The licensing fees accounted for over $3 million even before Colorado was actually able to sell recreational marijuana prior to January 1.

Beginning at the start of the new year and ending at the end of April, Colorado had already brought in close to $22 million, the majority being from taxes and the remainder coming from license and application fees. The Department of Revenue believes that this number will taper off once the initial boom of new dispensaries and cultivation centers slows down.

Throughout all of this, it’s recreational marijuana’s predecessor, medical marijuana, that is still outselling legal marijuana by a drastic margin. In March alone, medical marijuana sales reached over $34 million, while recreational sales reached just $19 million.

Governor Hickenlooper is predicting a $134 million in combined revenue between medical and recreational marijuana during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Marijuana Stocks

The US marijuana industry (medical and recreational) is booming. And recent market research and predictions reveal that the industry is likely to expand drastically over the coming years.

The following marijuana industry statistics were released in a recent Huffington Post article:

$1.53 billion: The amount the national legal marijuana market is worth, according to a Nov. 2013 report from ArcView Market Research, a San Francisco-based investor group focused on the marijuana industry.

$10.2 billion: The estimated amount the national legal marijuana market will be worth in five years, according to that same ArcView report.

$6.17 million: The amount of tax revenue collected in Colorado on legal marijuana sales in just the first two months of 2014.

$98 million: The total tax revenue that Colorado could reap in the fiscal year that begins in July, according to a recent budget proposal from Gov. John Hickenlooper.

$40 million: The amount of marijuana tax revenue Colorado is devoting to public school construction.

Marijuana Industry
7,500-10,000: The estimated number of marijuana industry jobs that currently exist in Colorado, according to the Marijuana Industry Group, a trade association that advocates for responsible marijuana regulation. The marijuana industry job board, 420careers.com, said that “The US marijuana industry is developing quicker than any other industry. The rapid growth is generating hundreds of new jobs.”

$190 million: The amount in taxes and fees legal marijuana is projected to raise for the state of Washington over four years starting in mid-2015, according to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, an independent agency that advises the state government on the budget and tax revenue.

$105 million: The estimated annual sales tax revenue generated by medical marijuana dispensaries in California, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that supports legalization.

$142.19 million: The estimated size of the medical marijuana market in Arizona in 2014, according to the ArcView Market Research report, up from $35.37 million last year. Arizona has a record 80 medical pot dispensaries currently open, with more expected to open this year, according to AZmarijuana.com.

Marijuana Industry
$36 million: The amount of estimated tax revenue Maine would earn every year if it legalized and regulated marijuana, according to a 2013 estimate from the Marijuana Policy Project. Portland, Maine’s largest city, voted to legalize weed in November, and a grassroots campaign to get state legalization on the ballot in 2016 is underway.

$21.5 to $82 million: The amount of estimated tax revenue Rhode Island would earn every year if it legalized and regulated marijuana, according to an April 9 report from the non-profit organization Open Doors. Rhode Island legislators are considering a bill this session that would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

$134.6 million: The amount of estimated tax revenue Maryland would earn every year if it legalized and regulated marijuana, according to a 2014 estimate from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a law legalizing medical marijuana on April 14, and state lawmakers are considering a bill this session to legalize weed for recreational purposes, too.

$17.4 billion: The estimated total amount that marijuana prohibition costs state and federal governments every year, according to a 2010 study by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron.

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Safer Arizona
Arizona’s recreational marijuana supporters brought their signs and voices to Steel Indian School Park in Phoenix last weekend for a peaceful gathering of people who support adult-use recreational marijuana legalization.

Safer Arizona is the non-profit group attempting to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona.

Speakers at the gathering included Jim Mealer, the gubernatorial candidate who is actively campaigning to legalize and decriminalize marijuana and local marijuana attorney and activist, Thomas Dean. Other speakers included Mike Weiser, the Democratic candidate for the US House in Arizona’s District 4 and marijuana advocate Dennis Bohlke who authored a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona.

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Nevada Marijuana
Nevada soon hopes to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington by becoming the next state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana filed the initiative last week that would legalize the recreational use, possession and distribution of marijuana within state lines.

In order for lawmakers to consider the bill during the 2015 session, marijuana advocates in Nevada must gather 101,667 valid signatures by November 11th of this year. If they fail to do so the measure will be put to a vote by residents in 2016.

Under the proposed bill, adults over the age of 21 would be permitted to possess up to an ounce of dried marijuana and retail stores would be permitted to sell it in the same fashion as Colorado.

This comes as a great surprise to residents of Nevada as the current medical marijuana law is not too marijuana-friendly.

Marijuana Fed Law

Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith has proposed a bill that would reschedule marijuana on a federal level from a Schedule 1 controlled substance to a Schedule 2, which would in turn allow any states with medical marijuana laws protection from the federal government.

The driving force behind Griffith’s proposed bill comes as a result of Virginia residents choosing to move out of the state in order to seek medical marijuana elsewhere.

The bill named, H.R. 4498, or “the Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act”, and reads that it is intended “To provide for the legitimate use of medicinal marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various states.”

As a Schedule 1 substance, the government claims that there is no medical benefit or value at all in marijuana, and thus by rescheduling the substance to a Schedule 2 substance the federal government would be forced to admit that there are in fact medicinal benefits found in marijuana.

The main purpose of the bill is to enact federal protection for medical marijuana patients to possess, cultivate, and use marijuana without any threat of prosecution.

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AZ Marijuana Legalization

A recent poll in Arizona revealed that most people would like to see marijuana legalized for recreational use.

According to the Behavior Research Center’s poll, 51 percent of Arizonans agree to legalizing recreational marijuana and just 41 percent are disagree.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) says marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. “You never ever hear ‘[Look at] that smoker starting a bar fight,’ or ‘that marijuana user driving a car and killing five people.’ When is the last time you have heard of that?” said NORML’s Eric Johnson.

Attorney General Tom Horne, the chief law enforcement officer for the state of Arizona, has adopted a wait-and-see approach.

“Colorado and Washington are experimenting with that [recreational marijuana legalization] right now and there are a number of questions that have been answered and will be answered,” said Horne. “It seems to me wise to wait and see what happens; does it have negative effects on society or does it not?”

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Cannabis Oil - CBD Oil

States such as Utah, Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Kentucky have put into effect similar medical marijuana or CBD (Cannabidiol) laws this year in hopes of eradicating epilepsy.

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, signed a bill into law last Thursday which legalizes use of CBD to treat children suffering from epilepsy and other illnesses that result in seizures. This came as somewhat of a surprise to residents of Wisconsin as Walker has been typically opposed to any type of marijuana reform in the past.

It’s believed that many families were prepared to leave their home states to seek treatment in marijuana-friendly areas if medical marijuana/CBD laws weren’t established.

Many of these bills only apply to CBD (Cannabidiol), which has little to no psychoactive effects on the user, and it must be administered by a sanctioned doctor.

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