iCULTIVA@icultiva

A Content Syndication Platform For The Global Cannabis Industry

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“The cannabis industry registered $1.23 billion in investments for January, according to Viridian Cannabis Deal Tracker.

The total represents an almost 600 percent growth from the $178 million in the first five weeks of 2017.

While it's no secret that the cannabis industry has turned out to be a money-making machine, what made last month's numbers even more remarkable was that they nearly eclipsed the investments of $1.29 billion from all of last year.

As Viridian Capital Advisors search for the reasons behind this boom in investments, a majority of them went towards cultivation and retail companies that were predominately driven by individuals in Canada.

Much like the rise in investments, the cannabis industry is expanding beyond a club strictly meant for the high net-worth individuals.”

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Article Provided By: @complex
Author’s Twitter : @ZayMarty
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/ybskj2lz

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**** CANADA ****

“Sun Life Assurance Co. is set to add medical cannabis to its group benefits plan on March 1. It will be the first major Canadian insurance company to take this step.

Sun Life’s approach reflects current evidence-based clinical knowledge regarding the medical use of cannabis,” Sun Life said in a release on Thursday.

"As this has become something our clients—being the individual companies known as plan sponsors—have been asking us about more and more, we have moved from the stage of evaluate and review, to now offering it as a benefit for medicinal purposes,” Dave Jones, senior vice-president of group benefits at Sun Life, told the Globe and Mail.”

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Article Provided By: @globeandmail
Author : @elianna_lev
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/y8bv4opg

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“On Wednesday, advocates and professionals in the cannabis industry descended on a federal court in New York to watch Justice Department lawyers try to dismiss a case against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The suit involves plaintiffs: Alexis Bortell and Jagger Cotte, both pediatric medical marijuana patients; Jose Belen, an Army combat veteran who uses cannabis to treat his PTSD; Marvin Washington, a former New York Jet turned cannabis entrepreneur; and the Cannabis Cultural Association, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the war on drugs and promoting people of color in the cannabis industry.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Dolinger argued that the case should be dismissed because “courts around the country have considered similar or identical claims and have rejected them.” Dolinger and Hellerstein spent a good deal of time discussing the case of U.S. v. Kiffer, which affirmed the drug’s Schedule I status.

There is a well-established body of case law that when the facts change, the courts have to change, too,” Hiller said. “If you only decided case law based upon what people thought years before, we would never have Brown v. Board of Education. … We would never have Windsor. We wouldn't have marriage equality.“

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Article Provided By: @forbes
Author : @wotteditor
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/yanzog9j

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“Murder and violent crime found to have decreased most in states bordering Mexico as drug cartels lose business to regulation

The introduction of medical marijuana laws has led to a sharp reduction in violent crime in US states that border Mexico, according to new research.

According to the study, Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime, when a state on the Mexican border legalised medical use of the drug, violent crime fell by 13% on average.

Some of the cannabis consumed in the US originates in Mexico, where seven major cartels control the illicit drug trade.

The study suggests that the full legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington will have an even stronger impact on the drug trade as large-scale cannabis production facilities are erected in these states, further threatening the position of drug cartels.”

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Article Provided By: @guardian
Author : #jamiedoward
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/yb6uf4gl

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**** VERMONT ****

“Vermont became the ninth U.S. state and third in the Northeast to legalize recreational cannabis use on Monday when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed a bill passed by the legislature earlier this month.

Vermont is the first state to take this step by an act of the legislature, rather than as a ballot initiative.

The law legalizes possession of up to 1 ounce of the drug, two mature plants and up to four immature plants by people 21 and older beginning on July 1.

It does not legalize trade in the drug.”

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Article Provided By: @reuters
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/ycprw4r8

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“Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has filed two far-reaching cannabis amendments that he wants to be part of a deal to reopen the government.

One measure would prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state recreational legalization and medical cannabis laws, a big concern in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recent rescission of Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed local marijuana policies to be implemented without federal harassment

Paul’s other amendment concerns the ability of banks to open accounts for marijuana businesses without running afoul of federal regulators.

💥The lapse in spending legislation has put medical cannabis patients and providers at greater risk because an existing protection preventing the Justice Department from undermining medical marijuana laws has now expired, but drug enforcement has not. Under a federal contingency plan, anti-drug agents and prosecutors are exempt from furlough.💥

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Article Provided By: @marijuanamoment
Author’s Twitter : @tomangell
Illustrator’s Twitter: @pxmolina
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/y8zksn8u

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“On Wednesday, Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) re-introduced HR 4816, the “Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act.” As its name suggests, the bill would ban the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from using any federal forfeiture funds to support its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.

“Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice whereby the government takes people’s property without due process,” Rep. Amash said in a statement. “The DEA’s use of proceeds acquired through civil asset forfeiture to expand marijuana enforcement—a state-level issue—makes the already unacceptable practice even worse.”

Over the past five years, the DEA’s program has been responsible for nearly 30,000 arrests, the eradication of 21.6 million marijuana plants, and the seizure of more than $165 million worth of property nationwide. Controversially, the DEA has even funded law enforcement agencies to suppress marijuana in states that legalized the plant for medicinal or recreational use.”

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Article Provided By: @forbes
Author’s Twitter : @nick_sibilla
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/ycbgfdx4

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**** NEW YORK ****

“NY Governor Andrew Cuomo called on lawmakers to approve funding for a feasibility study as part of his annual state budget address, in which he laid out his spending proposal for the coming year.

The study would be led by NY Department of Health, which would work with State Police and other state agencies to examine the issue, Cuomo said.”

The governor’s announcement comes the day after a potential Republican challenger, former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, pitched legalization as a way to address the state’s infrastructure problems.

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Article Provided By: @democratandchronicle
Author’s Twitter: @JonCampbellGAN
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/ya8e32t5

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“A.G. Sessions’ decision to repeal the Cole Memo even affected the stock price of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which dropped more than 5 percent. Business leaders in an industry that was worth $7.9 billion in 2017, called Sessions’ action revoking “outrageous” and “economically stupid.”

Capitol Hill screamed just as loudly. And it wasn’t just the Democratic members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. It was Republican senators, too. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado took the Senate floor to issue an ultimatum to Sessions: “I will be putting a hold on every single nomination from the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment he made to me in my pre-confirmation meeting with him.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus has less than a year to make the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment protections permanent. The means to do that is H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. The bill, now with 15 cosponsors, would remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and eliminate federal penalties for anyone engaged in state-legal marijuana activity.”

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Article Provided By: @politico
Author’s Twitter: @jimhigdon
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/yatykjm2

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“Congress voted on December 22nd to extend protections for state medical cannabis programs through January 19, 2018.

The mechanism for this protection is a provision preventing federal funds from being used to interfere with state medical cannabis programs.

The provision, commonly known as the “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment” (Amendment), was part of the stopgap appropriations legislation Congress passed in order to fund the federal government for the next month.

First signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2014, the Amendment has been a very useful tool for protecting cannabis patients, medical providers, and suppliers.

It was instrumental in two favorable cases, U.S. v. Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM), Case No. 98-00086 (Marin Alliance) and U.S. v. McIntosh, Case No. 15-10122 (2016) (McIntosh).

In the Marin Alliance opinion, the US District Court for the Northern District of CA found that a prior injunction prohibiting a California medical cannabis dispensary from operating was unenforceable except to the extent that the dispensary was not compliant with state law, even though the dispensary’s acts were in direct violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The Court based its ruling on 2015 version of the Amendment which prohibited the Justice Department (DOJ) from expending any funds in connection with enforcement of any law that interfered with California’s ability to implement its own state laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical cannabis.

Similarly, in the McIntosh opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that the 2016 version of the Amendment prohibited the DOJ from spending funds from a for the prosecution of individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by state medical cannabis laws and who are fully compliant with such laws.”

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Provided By: @repblumenauer @rep_rohrabacher
Article’s Author: @rodkight
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/yamfcjj6

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“If the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is left out of a new federal spending bill, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be free to wage war on the cannabis industry.

A spending bill passed on Dec. 8 extended the protections in the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment through Dec. 22.

The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent certain states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical cannabis.”

Ultimately, Congress must act to put an end to the cycle of uncertainty and permanently protect state medical cannabis programs -- and adult use -- from federal interference.”

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Article Provided By: @themotleyfoolofficial
Author’s Twitter: @TMFUltraLong
Link To Article: https://tinyurl.com/y7vjet9q

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