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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Senate Bill Medical Marijuana

A new Senate bill being introduced would protect medical marijuana patients, doctors and businesses from federal prosecution in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical purposes. It would also remove marijuana from being listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no benefits, to a Schedule II drug, which means it has an accepted medical use.

The bill would be a huge victory for marijuana in the U.S and would stop the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, doctors, growers, and dispensaries in states with medical marijuana laws. The bill would also give military veterans in medical marijuana states easier access to marijuana by allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana for medical purposes.

“This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine,” stated Michael Collins, of the Drug Policy Alliance.

To date, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and a dozen other states have legalized marijuana with low-THC for medical purposes. All these states would be protected under the new Senate bill. Four states – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington – and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.

Marijuana Anxiety

Studies show that the endocannabinoid system – the body’s natural cannabinoid system – plays a major role in regulating a person’s anxiety. Cannabinoid receptors – the binding sites of cannabinoids – are highly concentrated in certain parts of the brain that are responsible for anxiety, including the amygdala and hypothalamus.

Interestingly, patients experience higher levels of anxiety when cannabinoid receptors are blocked. Likewise, regular marijuana users report that marijuana helps to reduce their anxiety levels.

Research has also linked the endocannabinoid system to the extinction of bad memories, supporting its potential role in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis), which is believed to improve anxiety levels.

On the other hand, paranoia and anxiety attacks are some of most commonly reported side-effects of marijuana use, especially in new and infrequent users. Indeed, studies have revealed a complex link between cannabinoids and anxiety, suggesting that marijuana’s effect on anxiety depends on both the dosage taken as well as the type of cannabinoids that are present.

Users revealed that consuming indica or hybrid marijuana strains (instead of sativas) and/or marijuana with low-THC levels helps decrease anxiety and paranoia side effects. studies have found CBD to play a major role in regulating anxiety and have even suggested that it may be a more effective treatment than THC for anxiety disorders.

WA Dispensary

The nation’s first government-run recreational marijuana dispensary is opening this week.

Revenues from the dispensary will benefit the town of North Bonneville, WA. The town noted that they are opening the dispensary because their town could really use the cash.

“There is one gas station. There is one restaurant. There is a golf course. And there is the Bonneville Hot Springs Hotel,” said John Spencer, a former city administrator.

Not long ago the town of about 1,000 residents stopped watering parks and other public places to save money. And a few months ago it had to start turning off streetlights to cut down on its electricity bill.

“The city is on its knees financially,” Spencer said. “They have run negative numbers in the general fund multiple months in a row because they have no retail sector here and in Washington State you’re dependent on a retail sector because of the sales tax. And this store could very well make a town that is otherwise going to fail.”

The dispensary will be called The Cannabis Corner, and will be the nation’s first recreational dispensary owned and operated by a municipality.

North Bonneville’s Mayor, Don Stevens, embraces the title of “The Marijuana Mayor.” So much so that he ordered a personalized license plate for his car that reads “MJMAYOR.”

Adam Scott Buds Marijuana

NBC might soon have a sitcom about a fictitious Denver marijuana dispensary. The show, being dubbed as “Buds,” will be about the day-to-day happenings inside a legal, recreational marijuana dispensary somewhere in Denver.

There is still a lot of speculation as to whether the show will be more along the lines of “Seinfeld,” “Mad Men” or a mix of the two.

According to various outlets, “Buds” is a part of NBC’s 2015-16 development cycle. Its executive producers are Adam Scott (of NBC’s “Parks and Rec” show), Naomi Scott (his producer wife) and Mande. It’s the first sale since the Scotts’ production company Gettin’ Rad Productions signed a first-look deal with Universal TV in 2014.

Iceland Marijuana

10. Jamaica
Use: 9.86% of the population.
Status: Illegal, but soon to be decriminalized

9. Australia
Use: 10.3% of the population.
Status: Illegal

8. Spain
Use: 10.6% of the population.
Status: Legal for personal use. Illegal to produce, sell or use in public.

7. Canada
Use: 12.2% of the population.
Status: Illegal for recreational use. Legal for medical use.

6. Nigeria
Use: 14.3% of the population.
Status: Illegal

5. New Zealand
Use: 14.6% of the population.
Status: Illegal

4. Italy
Use: 14.6% of the population.
Status: Illegal to produce or sell. Decriminalized for personal possession.

3. United States
Use: 14.8% of the population.
Status: Legal medical use in 23 states. Legal recreational use in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.

2. Zambia
Use: 17.7% of the population.
Status: Illegal

1. Iceland
Use: 18.3% of the population
Status: Illegal

Arizona Dispensary

A poll performed by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy polled Arizonans about marijuana issues in Arizona and found that 45 percent support adult-use recreational marijuana legalization, while 42 percent support the current medical-use-only marijuana law. Only 13 percent of Arizonans want marijuana completely outlawed in the state.

The poll questioned over 700 Arizonans statewide.

“It is important to keep in mind this research polled a sample of all Arizona adults, not just voters or likely voters,” said David Daughery, the associate director of the Morrison Institute. He went on to mention that “since this issue would be decided by voters, the opinions of those who will not vote are of no consequence to a ballot measure.”

If Arizonans vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in 2016, Arizona would have similar laws to Colorado, where adults can use and possess small amounts of marijuana – purchased from state-regulated dispensaries – for recreational use.

The ASU poll can be read here.

Marijuana Edibles

1. Wait How Long? – The most vital fact about edibles is that it takes time for the effects to hit you. Too many have fallen prey to the “I didn’t eat enough” illusion when they actually didn’t wait long enough. Most dispensaries suggest ingesting 5mg or 10mg your first time, or if you’re more seasoned try 10mg-20mg. One hour is a good amount of time to wait before considering eating more edibles.

2. Sativa, Indica or Hybrid? – Just like with smoking different types of marijuana strains, there are different kinds of edibles too. Sativa, like when smoked, is more of a head high which usually makes you motivated and energetic. Indica creates a lethargic body high and is usually used to help insomnia and pain relief. Hybrids are the in-between leaving your body relaxed and your mind awake. It’s important to take note of which kind of edible you’re eating so you know how your body will most likely react.

3. Strong Scent? – When you first crack open the seal of a really good edible you’ll get a whiff of sweet marijuana. The stronger the smell the stronger the dose and the more precaution you should take.

4. Medical or Recreational? – If in Colorado, medical dispensaries sell more potent edibles than recreational dispensaries. Most recreational dispensaries only go up to 100mg or 200mg while medical dispensaries sell up to 300mg. The heavier the dose the smaller the amount you should eat – especially if you’re new to edibles.

5. When and Where? – You should be in a comfortable and safe environment. Do not take before you have to drive and it’s not a good idea to consume just before going somewhere. Many first-timers experience paranoia in public.

Denver Dispensary

The Denver dispensary, 3D Cannabis Center, is up for sale. The dispensary gained worldwide media attention when it conducted what is regarded as the country’s first state-legal recreational marijuana sale.

The asking price for the Denver dispensary is $2 million and includes a recreational retail license, cultivation license, cultivation equipment, intellectual property rights, and more.

Owner Toni Fox said she “had five walk-throughs (on Tuesday), and they’re all industry people – It’s going to go quick.”

Fox said $2 million will barely cover the debt she has accrued since starting the business in 2010, when they opened as a medical marijuana dispensary.

“It’ll be just enough to pay back my remaining creditors and pay off my IRS liability, so I’ll be basically probably walking away even,” Fox said. “But I’m fine with that. I know more people (in the marijuana industry) that have lost everything and are operating in the black right now.”

D.C. Marijuana

Despite warnings from congressional members, Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed D.C.’s marijuana legalization law to take effect on Feb 26.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, told Bowser that if she continued with implementing marijuana legalization she would face “very serious consequences.” Chaffetz also stated: “You can go to prison for this” and “we’re not playing a little game here.”

Bowser was undeterred by the threat and stated that “We are acting lawfully. I have a lot of things to do, being in jail wouldn’t be a good thing.”

Almost two thirds of D.C. voters approved Initiative 71 last November. Under Initiative 71, any person age 21 or older will be allowed to possess two ounces or less of marijuana, be able to use marijuana on privately owned property, and donate one ounce or less of marijuana to another person as long as no money, goods or services are exchanged.

Marijuana Cultivation Facility

There can be extreme build-out costs when it comes to outfitting a warehouse for medical marijuana cultivation. And Arizona has some of the priciest build-out costs in the entire country because of the recreational marijuana legalization effort that will be on the 2016 ballot.

A company that analyzes building permit and construction data found that just after Colorado (where recreational marijuana use is legal), Arizona has some of the highest construction build-out costs in the nation.

They found it cost $764,400 to convert a warehouse building in central Phoenix into a medical marijuana cultivation facility for Nature’s AZ Medicinesdispensary.

There are many rules and regulations placed on indoor medical marijuana cultivation facilities in Arizona and other states, but there are also many advantages to building these enclosed, warehouse cultivation sites because they offer climate controlled conditions and heightened security measures.