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oppression-1-thumb-400x266Editor’s note: Medical marijuana access point Seattle Collective Garden sent this message to its email list on Friday. I’ve been on SCG’s email list ever since I reviewed the shop  for the Seattle Weekly last November (they were quite good, and Ruby was one of the best budtenders I’ve seen).

With heavy hearts and a heap of frustration we regret to inform you that Seattle Collective Garden recieved a terroristic style letter from the DEA strong-arming us to close our garden.

As many of you know this past year has been very challenging for Ben, with losing his brother and multiple trips out of state to tend to Mom, the burglaries, thefts, extreme competition, and now this.

It’s a lot for one person, and there are no resources or energy left to fight.

Effective immediately SCG is closed.

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The Bellingham Cannabis Three: from left, [Rally For The Cross/Facebook]

The Bellingham Cannabis Three: Saroj Sidhu, Martin Nickerson, and Chris Ramsey, all of The Northern Cross Collective Gardens in Bellingham, Washington
[Rally For The Cross/Facebook]

A Washington man says he will give out free joints to everyone who can show up at a court case in Bellingham on Wednesday morning, May 8 — if they provide identification and are 21 or older, or have a medical marijuana authorization.

Mitch Moquin, associated with The Northern Cross Collective Gardens in Bellingham, Washington, told Toke Signals Monday evening that he hoped to hand out up to 80 free joints to court attendees Wednesday morning.

“We’re hoping for 80-plus joints,” Moquin told us. “We always have 20 to 25 close friends of volunteers, and patients will match that. So at least 50 joints, but we’re aiming HIGH.” Read Full Article →

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner [Nuggetry]

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
[Nuggetry]

A San Diego-based association of medical marijuana providers said on Saturday that no public vote will be needed to approve medical marijuana taxes proposed by Mayor Bob Filner.

“After careful independent analysis, it appears evident that a public vote will not be needed for the tax provisions of the medical marijuana ordinance proposed by Mayor Filner for the City of San Diego,” medical marijuana distributors’ trade association the United Patients Alliance (UPA) said in a prepared statement.

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urlHigh Price of Admission Weeds Out the Little Guys

Goodbye, Mom and Pop; Hello, Big Weed? Under the proposed rules drawn up by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there’s a steep price of admission for those wishing to operate a medical marijuana dispensary.

Under the 45 pages of draft rules, issued March 29, the cannabis outlets would have to have $500,000 in escrow before they could receive an operating license, according to the Boston Herald.

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On Tuesday, I was at court support for POW 420 Cezar Lopez, a director for Pharma Green, a medical marijuana delivery service located in San Diego. It was his preliminary hearing. In attendance were six witnesses, five of whom were members of the collective.

In attendance was I think Mr. Lopez’s wife, brother, and of course Mr. Lopez’s attorney Lance Rogers. In addition, Dennis Boisvert and I were there for court support.

We witnessed an undercover cop by the name of Paxton take the stand. Paxton stated that all “cannabis sells are illegal,” except for him as a police officer, because “police can sell marijuana.”

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Patients who need medical marijuana are moving from Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to gain safe access
[Miklian Antiquarian Maps]

Medical marijuana patients who in states where cannabis is still illegal for any purpose — but who decide to move to a state next door which allows MMJ — are the subjects of a new study in Wisconsin. This study will look specifically at patients who have moved from Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is immediately adjacent.

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Jay Selthofner:
“Over the past year, I have helped people relocate, patients and caregivers”

Participants are needed for the undergraduate research study, being conducted by a student/staff team specializing in geography at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley, according to activist Jay Selthhofner.

Jay told us he became involved with the study after he was approached by Andrew Shears, a professor at the University who follows his cannabis activism. The professor and a student had the idea after seeing Selthofner’s recent work helping medical marijuana refugees move from Wisconsin to Michigan. “Over the past year, I have helped people relocate, patients and caregivers,” Selthofner told Toke Signals.

“After using marijuana production and distribution as an example of a black market economic geography in class, one student, Jonathan Steffen, approached me about examining that specific topic in more depth,” Dr. Shears writes on his website. “To do so, Jonathan and I are collaborating on this project for a spring independent study.”

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oppression-1-thumb-400x266Charges have finally been dismissed against a former dispensary operator who was arrested in court after testifying for a member of his collective in 2011.

In a rare move announced Monday morning, the Butte County District Attorney’s office is dismissing all charges against former San Diego dispensary operator Jeff Sanford. Sanford is the former director of 30th Street Patient Collective, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego and a former California law enforcement officer, with no prior criminal convictions.

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The U.S. medical marijuana industry will gross about $1.5 billion in 2013, with revenue potentially rising to $6 billion by 2018, according to a new study released by Colorado-based MMJ Business Daily.

The revenues represent a growth of 10 to 15 percent over 2012 “as the industry recovers from widespread turmoil,” according to research data released on Thursday by the Daily.

The legalization of marijuana for adults in Colorado and Washington, along with continued growth on the medical side, could boost overall state-legal cannabis sales to $3 billion in 2014, and to $6 billion by 2018, according to the new Marijuana Business Factbook 2013.

The Factbook, published by the editors of MMJ Business Daily, provides a $129 overview of the cannabis industry and includes state-by-state market estimates and stability/opportunity rankings, as well as regulatory and investing information. (Orders before April 15 will be $79, according to the publishers.)

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Ganja Gals, which provides safe access for Oregon medical marijuana patients, is holding a Ganja Bazaar in Portland on Sunday, April 7, according to spokeswomen Lori Brown and Nickie Gates.

The Ganja Bazaar will be held at Potlandia from high noon until 8 p.m., Sunday, April 7

The Ganja Bazaar will be held at Potlandia from high noon until 8 p.m., Sunday, April 7

“Our bazaar is for safe access between patients and farmers providing the best hospitality in this movement — we’re not ashamed to say that!” Brown told Toke Signals Wednesday afternoon.

According to Brown, available at the bazaar will be products from Kush Creams, Jessie James Gardens, Ganja Gourmet, A&M Candies, and many more vendors.

There will be no door fee, and a vendors’ raffle basket will be given away.

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Jonathan Wade of Collingswood leaving Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair after filling a prescription to help with his epilepsy. [Amy Newman/NorthJersey.com]

Jonathan Wade of Collingswood leaving Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair after filling a prescription to help with his epilepsy.
[Amy Newman/NorthJersey.com]

Greenleaf Compassion Center — so far, the only medical marijuana dispensary in the state of New Jersey — is “hardly inviting,” according to a newspaper reporter who visited the place last week.

The dispensary has black windows that keep anyone from peering inside, and a door that can only be opened with a state-issued computerized swipe card, reports Harvy Lipman at NorthJersey.com. The dispensary is, Lipman wryly notes, “less intimidating than, say, the entrance to Fort Dix.”

“Our patients come up to the door wearing their hats pulled down, with sunglasses on,” said Julio Valentin, Jr., chief operating officer of the nonprofit dispensary. A retired Newark police officer, Valentin oversaw the renovation of a formerly vacant storefront that Greenleaf rented.

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