A Portland, Oregon dispensary is raising money to donate to Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Grower Farmer 12 started its “Burn One for Bernie” campaign earlier this year and now dispensaries Foster Buds and Glisan Buds – both under the same parent ownership – have partnered with Farmer 12’s campaign and are selling special one-gram joints (Farmer 12 Cone) for $10 each, then donating 10 percent of sales to Sanders’ campaign.
Ken Martin, manager of Foster Buds, spoke highly of Sanders’ contributions and how great of a cannabis activist he’s been. He says they sell a couple hundred Farmer 12 Cones a day and sales have only increased recently with primaries going on since customers want to come in and support Sanders.
“He is just the biggest advocate for the marijuana industry right now,” Martin told Mic. “[Customers are] all super excited. They’re supporting a guy that is trying to get cannabis legal.”
Foster Buds took to Instagram to promote the campaign and wrote a statement why they decided to do so.
“The cannabis community has never been appropriately represented or considered on a federal stage. Cannabis enthusiasts, supporters, and medical patients come from every walk of life now, and we all deserve a President who will rally to reschedule cannabis and transform America’s Cannabis policies,” Foster Buds wrote in an Instagram post. “We believe Bernie Sanders is the best and most likely candidate to appropriately represent the needs of our community.”
Last month, Ariel Zimman, a strong Sanders supporter, began selling homemade ceramic pipes with Sanders’ campaign logo on them in an effort to raise money for his campaign. Her sales are dubbed “Burners for Bernie” and she is also donating 10 percent of the sales from her pipes.
“It was really just a way to show my support for him as a candidate,” Zimman told the Center for Public Integrity. “People love [the pipes], and once they hear they are contributing in some way to the campaign, they are all about that too.”
Sanders has always been in support of medical marijuana and the decriminalization of cannabis throughout the country. He also supports a state’s right to opt for full legalization and ending the federal prohibition on cannabis. Though, Sanders isn’t a fan of cannabis use personally, he knows how important it is to the masses.
“I coughed a lot, I don’t know. I smoked marijuana twice – didn’t quite work for me,” Sanders told Yahoo News. “It’s not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people.”
A federal judge in Vancouver struck down a ban introduced by Canada’s previous Conservative government that prevented medical cannabis users from growing their own cannabis. The decision gives the Canadian government six months to amend the law and create new medical cannabis laws.
In 2013 when the government overhauled the medical cannabis laws, they argued the mail-order system was safer for the patient and other Canadians who could’ve potentially be affected by growing at home.
Vancouver judge Michael Phelan said the initial ruling was arbitrary and violated the liberty of the charter.
“The access restrictions did not prove to reduce risk to healthy and safety or to improve access to marijuana – the purported objectives of the regulation,” Phelan wrote in his ruling. “I agree that the plaintiffs have, on a balance of probabilities, demonstrated that cannabis can be produced safely and securely with limited risk to public safety and consistently with the promotion of public health.”
The four plaintiffs in the case brought up issues pertaining to the original charter put in place three years ago. They argued they could not afford the medical cannabis sold in the commercial system, as well as not being able to choose which strands they received.
Neil Allard, one of the plaintiffs, said he consumes between 10-20 grams a day that would – through the commercial system – cost him $3,000 a month. Instead, with judge Phelan’s ruling, Allard can grow his own monthly allotment for a mere $230 a month.
Jane Philpott, Federal Health Minister, said they will respond to the court’s ruling and admitted they could introduce looser regulations concerning medical cannabis.
“My priority is to make sure, on the matter of medical marijuana, that Canadians who require access to it have fair access. At the same time, of course, the regulations were put there for a purpose, and we will make sure, if continued regulations are required, that they will be done in a matter that is acceptable to the court,” Philpott said in a press conference in Ottawa.
After the ruling came down, shares of medical marijuana producers dropped between nine and 12 percent and will likely drop more over the course of the next few weeks as medical cannabis patients will begin legally growing their own cannabis.
Nick Diaz, a former Strikeforce Welterweight World Champion and former WEC Welterweight World Champion, has been in a cloud of trouble since testing positive for marijuana metabolites last year for the third time with UFC.
Diaz failed his post-fight drug test after losing to Anderson Silva on Jan. 31, 2015 in UFC 183. Eight months later, Diaz was officially suspended for five years from UFC and fined $165,000. His opponent, Silva, tested positive for steroids in a pre-fight drug screening and was only suspended for a year and fined $380,000. While Diaz’ suspended was appealed and eventually reduced down to 18 months and just a $100,000 fine, it still makes you wonder why UFC deems marijuana worse than steroids.
“It’s so not right for him to be suspended five years for marijuana,” Rousey said at the UFC 193 press conference in Australia. “I’m against them testing for weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with athletic competition. It’s only tested for political reasons. They say, ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety to keep you from hurting yourself because you’re out there.’ Why don’t they test for all of the other things that could possibly hurt us?”
She then bashed the NAC for only suspending Silva for one year while her friend Diaz was handed a punishment five times worse.
“It’s so unfair if one person tests for steroids that could actually hurt a person and the other person smokes a plant that makes him happy and he gets suspended for five years,” Rousey said.
Rousey wasn’t the only person to jump to Diaz’s defense. Several fighters took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the suspension.
Absolutely ridiculous that @nickdiaz209 got suspended for five years for marijuana. Marijuana? Come on
“I’ve just had some good time off, from the time of that fight until now. I didn’t expect to fight anytime between then and now – so I’ve just been trying to make ends meet,” Diaz said. “I knew that if I was tested, I’d come up under 15 nanograms – which I did. I knew I wasn’t going to come up over 100 nanograms, which was their level. Then I was tested five days later and came back seven times higher. They’re full of shit. Whatever happened is bullshit; I never got tested that many times – at least five times from when I got to Vegas, before the fight and after.”
“If I’m at home and I’m training – doing my same things every day – then I’m definitely going to want to use cannabis. It’s gonna help. I’m trying to stay focused on what I’m doing,” Diaz said. “If I have to go and train all day, before I go I’m gonna want to smoke. If I wake up in the morning and feel beat to shit and it’s going to take me forever to wake up, I smoke some weed and I wake right up. Then I have breakfast and I go do a workout.”
“If I were to stop right now, I’m not very optimistic that everything’s gonna just be great. I could teach open at another gym or something like that,” Diaz said. “I’d be happier with that than going out there and losing miserably like I’ve seen some guys do – like all of them do. It’s kind of a curse. You can’t really get out, there’s always going to be a bigger payday.”
“But the second that I’m not getting paid more money than I got paid in my last fight, I’m done. I mean, I quit.”
Last week, President Barack Obama urged the Supreme Court to reject a current lawsuit filed against the State of Colorado seeking to cease the legalization of recreational cannabis. The lawsuit comes from both Nebraska and Oklahoma claiming with Colorado having legalized recreational cannabis, there has been a surge in bootleggers going into Colorado and bringing back cannabis into Nebraska and Oklahoma where it, of course, is still illegal.
U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. filed a brief outlining why the case should be tossed aside.
“At most, they have alleged that third-party lawbreakers are inflicting those injuries, and that Colorado’s legal regime has made it easier for them to do so,” Verrilli said in the brief. If the Supreme Court were to accept the case, he said it “would represent a substantial and unwarranted expansion of this court’s original jurisdiction.”
Verralli also pointed out that Colorado only allows possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, which shouldn’t cause the two states “to suffer great loss or any serious injury in terms of law-enforcement funding or other expenditures.” The movement by Verralli to issue this brief shows a significant step for the federal government respecting a state and its residents’ choice. Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project thinks the lawsuit is ludicrous.
“We hope the court will agree with the solicitor general that it’s not something it should be spending its time addressing. These states are literally trying to prevent Colorado from controlling marijuana within its own borders,” Tvert told USA Today. “If officials in Nebraska and Oklahoma want to have a prohibition-fueled marijuana free-for-all in their states, that’s their prerogative. But most Coloradans would prefer to see marijuana regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”
The move by President Obama garnered praise from Art Way, the Colorado state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group whose sole focus is advocating for restriction on drug laws to be lessened.
“Nebraska and Oklahoma’s primary problems are their own punitive policies regarding marijuana use and possession,” Way said. “It is not Colorado’s fault these states look to spend such a high degree of law enforcement and judicial resources on marijuana prohibition.”
Twenty three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis. Around one million people use medical cannabis for various ailments in the United States. The medical cannabis industry is estimated to be valued at nearly $3 billion and could dramatically increase were it to become legal throughout the country.
Now, big banking in America is seriously looking into the business of medical cannabis. Bank of America Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this month full of research into the world of medical cannabis as a prospective industry. It marks a significant step forward for the industry having such a reputable financial institution take the time to conduct a report.
Based on the research, the financial institution believes the medical cannabis industry will be valued at $10.8 billion by 2019 based on the current medical cannabis laws and sales. If it were to become legal in all 50 states, the report says it could skyrocket into a $35 billion industry by 2020. The estimated potential of a relatively young industry is more than enough to open some eyes.
One of the big concerns within the medical cannabis industry for investors is the overall lack of cannabinoid-based drugs. None of the products used medically are approved by the FDA and lack pharmaceutical grade quality assurance and control for the most part. This means the direction of the industry is cloudy at the moment as to how it can fit seamlessly into the pharmaceutical world.
Currently, medical cannabis is used to treat ailments such as schizophrenia, diabetes, PTSD and some forms of cancer. Though, the plant’s potential for treatments is still unknown and believed to be much greater than it’s currently being utilized. Cannabis is something that can be grown virtually anywhere, so the potential of it as a super drug capable of treating a variety of illnesses can be utilized by anyone, anywhere. The report believes medical cannabis could soon be approved through the FDA so it can be approved by the administration and gain some credibility in the pharmaceutical world.
“The good news out of all of this is it just opens [Wall Street’s] eyes to an investment scene that they may not even appreciate yet,” Alan Brochstein, an analyst for 420 Investor and New Cannabis Ventures, told The Atlantic. Though, Brochstein added the report lacked information to truly take action on, unconvincing for someone interested in buying stock.
While the report does show there is a significant interest in the future investment into the medical cannabis industry, it doesn’t show much opportunity for immediate investment due to the current state of the industry. Once FDA approval is obtained, all insurance agencies start including medical cannabis under their wing of reimbursed medications and a clear direction for the industry as a whole is established, the industry likely will see an investment boom.