Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Women Grow
There is a new emerging market in the U.S. marijuana (medical and recreational) industry: women.

According to a 2014 report by the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned companies account for approximately 30% of all U.S. businesses, the majority of which are nonprofits. But, Women Grow, a network for women in the U.S. marijuana industry, estimates that about 20% of marijuana business owners in the U.S. are female. And this number is quickly growing.

View Women Grow events in Arizona.

“As knowledge [about marijuana] has changed, you can get incredibly strong products and incredibly sophisticated products that aren’t as strong,” said a marijuana industry businesswoman. “Much like a woman would walk into a liquor store and buy wine instead of Everclear, that’s what’s going on on the marijuana side.”

The percentage of women in the medical marijuana patient population in Colorado has grown from 28.5% in 2009 to 35% in 2015. And this trend extends nationwide.

Many women-focused networking events and groups are flourishing nationwide and are available to women interested in entering and growing their business(es) in the marijuana industry.

View Women Grow events in Arizona.

WA Recreational Marijuana

The first Washington state recreational marijuana dispensary opened its doors one year ago, allowing adults 21 years of age or older to purchase marijuana for recreational use. And a new report reveals a very positive outcome — which resembles the superb reports that Colorado received — from marijuana legalization.

According to a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, since marijuana legalization in Washington, the state has generated over $80 million in tax revenues, saved millions of dollars by no longer arresting and prosecuting low-level marijuana offenses, seen a decline in violent crime rates, seen youth marijuana use rates and traffic fatality rates remain the same, and voters continue to support recreational marijuana legalization.

“Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure—to individuals, communities, and the entire country,” said the Director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Washington should be praised for developing a smarter, more responsible approach to marijuana.”

Voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Ohio will likely be able to vote on similar adult-use marijuana legalization initiatives on their 2015 or 2016 ballots.

Nick Lechey Marijuana Celebrity

Another celebrity has decided to invest in the U.S. marijuana industry. Ohio resident and former 98 Degrees band member, Nick Lachey, is among a few investors in one of ten marijuana cultivation centers that would be licensed in Ohio if a proposed ballot measure passes.

ResponsibleOhio, a political action committee, is attempting to get a measure on the November 3rd ballot that would legalize marijuana for medical and personal use by adults 21 years or older. The ballot measure would limit cultivation to specific locations where investors financing the cultivation operations would own or have the option to buy property.

The former band boy member and television actor is attempting to bring a marijuana cultivation center to Hudson, OH, a city 30 miles south of Cleveland.

Marijuana Low Tolerance

A bad first experience is often times enough for people to thrown in the towel to eliminate a repeated bad experience from their life forever. With marijuana, it is usually side effects such as anxiousness or paranoia – which are primarily associated with high-THC marijuana strains – that make people fear marijuana.

But many marijuana strains – usually indicas and some hybrids that contain less THC and more CBD – have been cultivated to cause relaxation, euphoria and pain relief for consumers. This list provides some of the best marijuana strains for novice or low-tolerance marijuana consumers:

Maui Waui (Sativa)
Northern Lights (Indica)
Jack Herer (Sativa)
Blue Dream (Hybrid)
Verde Electric (Hybrid)
OG Kush (Hybrid)
Pineapple Express (Hybrid)

Most dispensaries carry a vast selection of marijuana strains in order to satisfy all their customers.

DUI Driving Marijuana Alcohol

A new study, partially funded by the federal government, reveals that alcohol has a larger impact on drivers than marijuana.

A researcher from the study said alcohol “significantly increased lane departures/minimum and maximum lateral acceleration; these measures were not sensitive to cannabis.” It was also concluded that marijuana-influenced drivers “may attempt to drive more cautiously to compensate for impairing effects, whereas alcohol-influenced drivers often underestimate their impairment and take more risk.”

The Office on National Drug Control Policy, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and federal safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded the study. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says it used the “most sophisticated driving simulator of its kind to mirror real-life situations.”

The study participants consumed alcohol to reach approximately 0.065% peak breath alcohol concentration, inhaled vaporized marijuana or had a placebo.

Rand Paul Marijuana Legalization

The 2016 presidential candidates are discussing marijuana legalization in ways unimaginable less than a decade ago.

Candidates from both parties are accepting substantial donations from business owners and activists in the marijuana industry that hope to expanded marijuana legalization in the U.S. The marijuana industry also landed their first major candidate: Rand Paul.

In June, Paul became the first major-party presidential candidate to hold a fundraiser with the legalized marijuana industry, courting about 40 donors at the Denver event.

Politicians are slowly shifting towards a pro-marijuana stance. Democrats are often less critical of states legalizing marijuana, but they’re treading carefully. Hillary Clinton mentioned last year that more research needed to be done on marijuana’s medical value, but “there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.” She didn’t elaborate what those circumstances should be.

As for Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main Democratic rival, he is weary of legalization, despite his liberal social views and counterculture roots.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which is the nation’s largest marijuana lobbying group, plans to donate tens of thousands of dollars to 2016 presidential candidates.

Attendees said Paul talked about changing federal drug-sentencing laws but stopped short of calling for nationwide legalization. “We wouldn’t have heard a presidential candidate talking that way four years ago,” said Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, who was among those at the Denver fundraiser.

53% of Americans said in a Pew Research Center survey in March that marijuana should be legal. In 2006, less than a third of Americans supported marijuana legalization in the General Social Survey’s measure of public opinion.

It’s uncertain how much money the marijuana industry will spend on the 2016 presidential race. Many marijuana business owners and activists are expected to spend their money on state campaigns in the six to ten states likely to have some sort of marijuana legalization policy on ballots next year.

“There are a lot of loose bricks in the walls of resistance to changing drug laws in America,” said William Martin of Rice University. “It’s no longer a silly question, legalizing marijuana.”

NFL Marijuana

A recently released article has comprehensively examined the use of marijuana in the National Football League (NFL).

Jamal Anderson, a former running back for the Atlanta Falcons, spoke candidly with sportswriter Mike Freeman about the prevalent marijuana use during his time in the NFL, and how marijuana use has continued to increase. 16 current NFL players (all of whom asked to stay anonymous) were also interviewed for the article about their marijuana use and their teammates.

An NFL assistant coach commented that “If you tested the players during the season every week, we wouldn’t be able to field a league” because marijuana use is so prevalent.

The report is an in-depth look at why so many NFL players are using marijuana for pain relief, how they pass drug tests, and what the NFL is and isn’t doing about its marijuana policy.

According to the article:

 A majority (“It’s at least 60% now” said Jamal Anderson) of NFL players use marijuana
NFL players mainly use marijuana for pain relief
Many NFL players use marijuana to deal with the ramifications of head trauma
Players not in the NFL’s substance abuse program are only drug tested once per year, and they know when that test will be taking place
Players that are in the NFL’s substance abuse program are drug tested 10 times per month.
Many NFL players report massive addiction problems to painkillers, yet most team owners do not want to allow marijuana use as an alternative

Republicans Marijuana

Medical marijuana has been legalized in about half of the states in the U.S., recreational marijuana use is legal in four states (and Washington D.C.) and more states will likely be legalizing it in 2016, and pro-marijuana laws have actually polled better in three swing states than any of the 2016 presidential candidates.

But House Republicans still won’t shift alongside with public opinion. And they did so again last week when a bipartisan marijuana proposal was killed by Republicans in the House that would have reclassified marijuana thus allowing more laboratories to conduct “credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment.”

The amendment would have encouraged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collaborate and allow studies of the benefits and risks of marijuana to treat medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, and others.

National Republicans seem uncertain on how to address shifting public attitudes about medical and recreational marijuana use. Republicans have supported steps to allow state medical marijuana programs, but they generally have not supported national marijuana policy changes.

CO Marijuana Restaurants

Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and attorney Brian Vicente are two of the champions of the 2012 Amendment 64 (The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act) which legalized and regulated the use and sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Now the dynamic duo’s new ballot measure, The Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative, is intended to allow private businesses to allow adults to use marijuana at designated establishments, such as bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Colorado – primarily Denver – is already a breeding ground for marijuana-friendly social experiences. Of the more notable establishments is Nativ, a new hotel that provides its guests with a marijuana experience. Guests are able to legally consume marijuana in traditional methods at designated areas within the hotel and many of the drinks served at the hotel bar are infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive but medicinally beneficial substance found in marijuana.

There is also demand for marijuana-infused eating experiences. The Colorado-based marijuana tour company has already hosted 50-person marijuana, wine, and fine dining events featuring five-course meals.

The new ballot measure would let establishments operate with a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bud) system. Only medical and recreational dispensaries in Colorado can sell marijuana.

Jim Webb Marijuana

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb recently became a presidential candidate and thinks the U.S. should focus on a public health approach to drugs that does not involve incarcerating people.

Webb mentioned the country’s success in reducing tobacco use by educating people instead of criminalizing them in his recent comment: “one of the most fascinating changes in our society in my adult lifetime has been the approach towards cigarette smoking. If you think about this, we didn’t make cigarettes illegal. We just got the information out there and educated people about the potential harm.” And he added that “there have to be similar approaches when it comes to drug use.”

Webb’s comments came during an appearance at the National Sheriffs Association conference and appear to indicate that Webb favors legalizing or at least decriminalizing drug use in the U.S.