Marijuana users really enjoy strong weed, but would prefer that it came without paranoia, memory loss and impaired ability to function. That’s according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey in partnership with The Huffington Post, which anonymously surveyed more than 38,000 users around the globe.
All marijuana is not created equal. Effects can vary depending on the plant variety, cultivation, processing and blending. Cannabis has two major plant types — indica and sativa — and hundreds of hybrid strains with different characteristics. It’s produced in forms that include dried flowers, oil and wax.
The survey asked users what they’d like in a “perfect cannabis.” The results show that the “global dominance of high potency [marijuana] leaves many users far from satisfied,” the researchers say.
So what would the effects be of perfect pot — or “balanced bud” as the Global Drug Survey calls it?
Users want their cannabis to be strong and pure. And they want it to have a distinct flavor, and to impart a high marked b. . . . . READ MORE
The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.
Colorado legalized pot in 2012, but the commercial sale of marijuana didn’t begin until January. Washington state sales begin in coming months.
The pot taxes come from 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. Voters approved the pot taxes last year. They declared that the first $40 million of the excise tax must go to school construction; the rest will be spent by state lawmakers.
Colorado has about 160 state-licensed recreational marijuana stores, though local licensing kept some from opening in January. Local governments also have the ability to levy additional pot sales taxes if they wish.
Pot at the county fair? Why not? Colorado’s Denver County is adding cannabis-themed contests to its 2014 summer fair. It’s the first time pot plants will stand alongside tomato plants and homemade jam in competition for a blue ribbon.
There won’t actually be any marijuana at the fairgrounds. The judging will be done off-site, with photos showing the winning entries. And a live joint-rolling contest will be done with oregano, not pot.
But county fair organizers say the marijuana categories will add a fun twist on Denver’s already-quirky county fair, which includes a drag queen pageant and a contest for dioramas made with Peeps candies.
“We thought it was time for us to take that leap and represent one of the things Denver has going on,” said Tracy Weil, the fair’s marketing and creative director.
The nine marijuana categories include live plants and clones, plus contests for marijuana-infused brownies and savory foods. Homemade bongs, homemade roach clips and clothing and fabric made with hemp round out the categories.
Judges will look only at plant quality, not the potency or quality of the dr. . . . . READ MORE
According to a Denver Post analysis of data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch, the number of cases filed in state court alleging at least one marijuana offense plunged 77 percent between 2012 and 2013. The decline is most notable for charges of petty marijuana possession, which dropped from an average of 714 per month during the first nine months of 2012 to 133 per month during the same period in 2013 — a decline of 81 percent.
That may have been expected — after all, people over 21 can now legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. But The Post’s analysis shows state prosecutors also pursued far fewer cases for marijuana crimes that remain illegal in Colorado.
For instance, charges for possessing more than 12 ounces of marijuana dropped by 73 percent, and cases alleging possession with intent to distribute . . . . . READ MORE
Colorado marijuana dispensaries made huge sales in the first week of legal recreational marijuana. Owners of the 37 new dispensaries around the state reported first week retail sales to The Huffington Post that, when added together, were roughly $5 million. That’s a lot of green for Colorado’s legal weed.
Colorado, the first state to allow retail recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 and older, has projected nearly $600 million in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales annually. The state, which expects to collect nearly $70 million in tax revenue from pot sales this year, won’t have its first official glimpse at sales figures until Feb. 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Denver’s 9News was first to report statewide retail sales on New Year’s Day, the first day legal pot shops were allowed to operate, exceeded $1 million. Interest dropped in the days that followed, according to shop owners, but many reported customers still waiting in lines out the door.
“Every day that we’ve been in busine. . . . . READ MORE
Federal drug abuse officials called out Colorado by name Wednesday in releasing a new national survey of illicit drug use among teenagers, saying marijuana legalization efforts are clearly changing youth attitudes in a dangerous way.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy noted many teens report getting their marijuana from others with medical marijuana access. Past-month pot use by high schoolers jumped over five years, and perceived risk by teens is plummeting, said the annual report of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Colorado, Washington and other states heading toward legalization are conducting a “large social experiment (that) portends a very difficult time” for drug-abuse control, said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Legalization advocates, meanwhile, cited other statistics in the report showing the recent national trend in high school use of pot is flat.
The most recent three years of the survey show little change in self-reported use in the annual tally.
In 12th-graders, for example. . . . . READ MORE
Taxing what you can’t measure is nonsense. But Colorado voters were poised Tuesday to do just that, by taxing wholesale marijuana sales at 15 percent — when no wholesaler exists. That’s right: Most Colorado adult-use marijuana sales must go directly from producer to consumer with no wholesaling allowed, and no wholesale price as a measure for the wholesale tax! That’s because Colorado law, at least at first, requires vertical integration of marijuana businesses.
Vertical integration? Here’s an example: A wine company owns land, vines and a winery, and sells to consumers only at its own outlet store. Substitute “marijuana grow area” for land and vines, “marijuana production facility” for winery and “marijuana retailer” for outlet store, and you understand the Colorado model. Colorado law will require that at least 70 percent of marijuana sales follow that model, with the supply chain integrated vertically (from top to bottom) — and with no wholesaler.
So how do you apply a wholesale level tax when no wholesaler exists? With great difficulty. Colorado regulatory authorities are struggling for answers.
Basing a tax on a fictitious . . . . . READ MORE
Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates expect to become a template for the legalization of the drug around the world.
“We feel very proud of what we’re doing,” said Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Washington Liquor Control Board, as she and her two colleagues approved the rules. “We are making history.”
Washington and Colorado last year legalized the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults over 21, with voters deciding to set up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and sellers. The measures put state officials in the difficult position of crafting rules for a fledgling industry barred by federal law for more than seven decades.
The liquor board devised the rules after nearly a year of research, debate and planning, including public hearings that drew hundreds of people around the state. The rules cover everything from the security at and size of licensed marijuana gardens, to how many pot stores can open in cities across the state.
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A deputy attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the Justice Department had begun working with Treasury officials and financial regulators to clarify how it legally deals with banks and other businesses that serve marijuana dispensaries and growers in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use.
The deputy attorney general, James M. Cole, said the Obama administration was dedicated to enforcing federal drug laws and was choosing the best among a number of imperfect solutions by relying on states to regulate marijuana “from seed to sale.”
The hearing was the first aimed at sorting out differences between state and federal laws since Colorado and Washington State passed measures approving the recreational use of marijuana in November.
Those laws “underscored persistent uncertainty” about how the Justice Department resolves conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws, said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the committee’s chairman.
Financial institutions, security providers and landlords that . . . . . READ MORE
In four months, adults in Colorado will be able to walk into a store, plunk down cash and leave with a drug that used to land people in prison. No one, though, is sure what the future holds. Will the new industry damage the state’s reputation, grow the drug culture, spread marijuana into neighboring states, intoxicate young people and spur more crime? Or will it bring an unrecognizable change, produce needed tax revenue, drive a stake in marijuana’s black market and extinguish unnecessary prosecutions?
“It’s like being sucked into a black hole. What is going to be on the other side? No one knows,” said Ry Prichard, part-owner of a hash oil company, TC Labs.
During the first week of January, when the first stores are expected to open in Denver, the world’s media will probably descend on Colorado to document the occasion.
Lines that form in the state for everything from new doughnut shops to ski sales are expected to wrap around businesses as customers queue up for the first buds.