Releaf Magazine
25Aug/160

This is huge leap forward for all in the industry

marijuana-leaves_largeNation's First Online Cannabis Trading Platform Set to Revolutionize Industry

PR Newswire - 08/24/2016

CannaFo.com Trade Desk Offers Seamless Connection for Marijuana Producers, Processors, Dispensaries and Retailers

BEND, Ore., Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's first online cannabis trading platform is set to revolutionize the industry. CannaFo.com offers Trade Desk, an online trading platform that seamlessly connects marijuana producers, processors, and dispensaries.

"It's difficult for growers and retailers to find each other. What we offer with Trade Desk is seamless connection," explained CannaFo.com President, Kelly Martin. "We are advocates for the cannabis industry. We are trying to help and improve it, as we can, through technology."

While the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, there has been a lack of a trustworthy platform allowing cannabis business owners to connect and develop strong business partnerships with other vendors. Laws vary in each state, and no centralized source, such as Craigslist, previously existed. Trade Desk is primed and ready to change all of that.

CannaFo's Trade Desk platform provides connection opportunities in four sections: Connect, Buy, Sell andPricing. Together they work to allow producers, processors and dispensaries the time to focus on their businesses, rather than hunt for connections.

The Connect section brings producers, dispensaries and seed companies together. It provides listings, names and contact information, and an anonymous chat system for added security.

For those looking for product, there is the Buy section. Buyers may browse through available inventory and connect with the seller directly. The Sell section allows producers to list inventory available to businesses, whether they have already connected or not.

CannaFo has created the cannabis industry's first transparent open market. The Trade Desk Pricing section provides up to date listings of the average pricing based on location. Variations in price do not affect most consumers, but when purchasing for wholesale, finding a fair price is crucial.

Trade Desk is a subscription-based table platform. The subscribers will have to demonstrate proof of license, in order to participate. CannaFo.com developed Trade Desk to be used on a state-by-state basis, as there are no current Federal guidelines to follow, and laws differ between the states. CannaFo is excited about Trade Desk, and offering its services free for sixty days to new subscribers.

There is also an app for that! The CannaFo app is tablet-supported, as well as IOS, Android and Blackberry. Access is important to CannaFo, and they intentionally programmed the app to be available to anyone, no matter their device. According to Josh Pardee, Co-founder/Lead Engineer, "There is simply no device that can't access the info."

About:
CannaFo.com, headquartered in Bend, Oregon, is the world's largest online resource for all things cannabis. The site provides a comprehensive directory, marketplace and social platform for cannabis consumers, businesses and growers/producers. While only less than a year old, CannaFo already has over 90,000 followers on Facebook and continues working to build their following and help improve the industry they love.

Get in the know, with Cannafo!

Contact:
1558 SW Nancy Way Suite 104
Bend, Oregon 97703
541-640-8135
info@cannafo.com

Post to Twitter

22Aug/160

An Upscale Cannabis Country Club Opens In San Fransisco

Stoner-Club-San-Francisco-STONER0816San Francisco Now Has a Cannabis Country Club

Travel + Leisure - By. Cailey Rizzo - 08/20/2016

If a drug den isn’t your preferred venue for toking, elevate your marijuana experience at San Francisco’s very first private cannabis club.

Harvest, a San Francisco dispensary, announced the opening of its members-only club last week. Already, the lounge is being compared to a cannabis country club for its steep fees, exclusive membership, and tasteful decor—brown leather couches, oriental rugs, and glass ashtrays (duh).

While anyone can buy pot from the dispensary, only members can get access to the smoking room in back. Other perks of membership include a locker for storing goods, invites to educational events and, of course, the ability to puff, puff, pass with the city’s other well-heeled pot aficionados.

Those who aspire to membership have to go through an application process and, if accepted, “pay monthly fees comparable to the cost of an Equinox gym membership,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. (An Equinox memberships runs about $200 per month, for those wondering.)

Thousands of people are in Harvest’s collective (basically a list of people who have registered to buy pot from the dispensary), but founders envision the private club only having a couple hundred members. Applicants have to pass a criminal background check and be personally approved by Harvest’s founders.

Although Harvest isn’t the first dispensary to allow use of their product in the back, it’s the only dispensary in California that charges membership fees to do so. There are a few private club options for the discerning stoner (with cash to throw around) in Denver, however they’re not exactly legal and are occasionally raided by the police.

Post to Twitter

2Jul/130

Yelp Of Pot, Leafly, Is Tip Of Marijuana Missionary’s Spear

by Peter Cohan

Brendan Kennedy wants to make the world safe for investing in marijuana. Kennedy, CEO at Seattle’s $5.5 million (assets under management) Privateer Holdings, believes that he can make a profit and make the world better by investing in marijuana companies.

Kennedy earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. And I think Kennedy embodies Yale’s missionary values – of both doing good – making society better and very well indeed – as in making big bank.

As he explained in a July 1 interview, Kennedy passionately believes that marijuana will be legal and that he should be a profit pioneer by investing in the “$40 billion to $50 billion industry.”

Kennedy is no stranger to trying to put numbers to an inherently uncertain future. “I was recruited eight years ago to Silicon Valley Bank to be senior vice president of its turnaround group. I grew it from three employees to 50 in the U.S. and 75 in India. We focused on appraising the value of technology-based ventures. It was hard to be right. I tended to over-value companies like [now bankrupt solar energy company] Solyndra and to under-value ones like [booming publicly-traded electric-power car maker] Tesla,” said Kennedy.

In May 2010, Kennedy saw a pitch for a venture “on the inventory side of cannabis.” But when he tried to learn more about the industry, he could not find information. “I tried to study the industry but I couldn’t find much. That same week, I heard a story on National Public Radio about Proposition 19 [California’s medical marijuana legalization ballot initiative]. I got interested in the industry and talked to some colleagues from Yale about building a private equity firm to invest in the industry – while spending nights and weekends doing research.”

In June 2010, Kennedy came across Leafly, “the Yelp of marijuana, run by three engineers in Orange County, Calif.” He liked the company so much that he ultimately bought it and is now its CEO. As he explained, “They were using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of how different strains of cannabis made them feel. And I was trying to learn more about the industry to see if there was an opportunity. But there is no Gartner Group. So over nine months, I talked to growers, medical marijuana dispensary owners, lawyers, and political activists over coffee, lunch, dinner, and beer.”

Kennedy concluded that there was a big opportunity. As he said, “Investing in the marijuana industry is the biggest opportunity I’ve seen. The market is between $40 billion and $50 billion, there are no public companies, no venture capitalists, no private equity firms, and no competition – just green fields galore. It didn’t require a technological leap; I didn’t have to believe someone had the ability to solve a technological problem. I knew the demand was there. It was already an industry but it was loosely knit.”

But Kennedy was also aware that investing in marijuana posed legal risks but concluded that it would soon be legalized. As he said, “We researched medical cannabis on a patient-by-patient, state-by-state basis. We concluded that marijuana would be legalized faster than everyone thought. Gallup has been asking whether Americans think marijuana should be legalized for the last 40 years and 52% answered ‘yes’ while 80% of Americans believe that medical marijuana should be legalized. Moreover, money votes for legalization – as it did in Washington State’s [marijuana decriminalization] Initiative 502 — where $6 million supported those who favored I-502’s passage and $6,000 went to those against it.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy sees enormous social costs to keeping marijuana illegal. “There are 50,000 to 60,000 Mexicans who die every year due to cannabis. There is mass incarceration of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. The changing fiscal status of states and the federal government means that the public is asking whether the costs of keeping marijuana illegal exceed the benefits. And unlike gay marriage or gun control, there is no powerful political support that favors keeping cannabis illegal.”

Despite his optimism for the future of legalized marijuana, Kennedy took great pains to assure himself of the soundness of Leafly’s founders and its legality. “We liked Leafly’s business and found it team to be intelligent, self-aware, and possessed of strong aesthetic skills in its web design. We’ve spent enormous sums on legal fees to make sure that nothing we do violates local, state, or federal laws,” said Kennedy.

Leafly is achieving a beneficial social mission as it grows. Kennedy explained, “Leafly is the largest clinical trial of medical marijuana in the world. It has 60,000 marijuana strain reviews. A user can read Leafly’s reviews to find out the right strain for her disease – e.g., epilepsy, cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma, or HIV.”

He continued, ”And once the user finds the right strain, he can read our 30,000 reviews to figure out which of 3,000 marijuana dispensaries is the right place to buy that strain.”

Meanwhile, Leafly is expanding – both inside the U.S. and to other countries such as Israel and Canada. It had 2.5 million visits in June 2013; is generating about $100,000 per month from dispensary advertising – which consists of colored dots on a map – and is growing its traffic at 15 percent to 20 percent a month. We are adding people – with 14 now and we expect to have 30 by the end of 2013.”

Kennedy is using different ways to measure whether Privateer succeeds. “This is a unique opportunity to build a series of successful companies,” explained Kennedy.  I believe that business is an agent of change – it’s the best form of political activism.  When — not if — we are successful, we will have helped to end the harms caused by cannabis prohibition in the U.S.  That success will be measured by incarcerating fewer people.”

-

Via Forbes

Post to Twitter

13May/130

D.C. – Up in smoke; June 1 first dispensary set to open!

Even if Obama doesn't support it, WE as the PEOPLE have the power and the right to vote, be heard! - ILLA

obama_medical_marijuana

 

The movement to legalize marijuana has arrived at Congress' back door.

Later this month the first medical cannabis dispensaries are expected to open in the nation's capital, including one just eight blocks from the Capitol dome.

The milestone is lifting the spirits of pot enthusiasts who believe a safe and profitable in D.C. could help nudge along the drug nationwide.

ABC News recently toured the Metropolitan Wellness Center, one of the district's three soon-to-open shops, located on Capitol Hill.

While pot products have yet to hit shelves – the shop is still awaiting a license from the district – general manager Vanessa West said they will soon offer multiple varieties of cannabis, paraphernalia and a mix of pot-infused products, including brownies, cookies and drinks.

West, a veteran operator of dispensaries in California who admits she "smoked a little grass in college," said the sleek, modern set-up of her "product selection and payment room" underscores a serious focus on patients and treating their pain.

"When we find out what a patient's symptoms are, we can make a recommendation about what the best strain is for them and what the best possible route for ingesting that strain is," she said.

"Forget about the recreational part for a second," she says to skeptics. "Listen to how cannabis has changed patients' lives for the better."

Only employees and patients registered with the District of Columbia Department of Health will be allowed inside the dispensary once weed sales officially commence. The shop will effectively go on lockdown, protected by a high-tech security system of a dozen cameras and motion sensors keeping watch.

"This is sort of a delicate business," West said. "It's like a bank or a high end jewelry store. We want to protect the product and the people that are inside this building."

Under district law, no one is allowed to consume pot on the premises, West said. Approved users are required to head directly home after making their purchases.

The rules for obtaining legal access to the drug are equally stringent. A prospective patient must be a district resident with one of the few qualifying diseases, such as AIDS, glaucoma or multiple sclerosis. A doctor must formally recommend the drug, and that recommendation must be certified by the Department of Health. Each patient must also submit an application and pay a license fee.

"It's a pretty difficult process, but it sort of needs to be," said West. "You don't want to create a free for all."

The dispensaries in D.C. will remain illegal under federal law, which still bans the cultivation and sale of marijuana as a dangerous and addictive "Schedule I" drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Officially, marijuana is classified has having "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S."

The headquarters for the Justice Department, the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal law, is located just four miles from the Metropolitan Wellness Center.

West says she's not worried about a raid.

"History has shown that if you are a dispensary operating in a state that is transparent and heavily regulated, the federal government is not interested in intervening," she said.

Medical marijuana is now allowed in 18 states plus the District of Columbia. In November, voters in Colorado and Washington took the movement further, endorsing the sale of marijuana without a prescription for recreational purposes. Both states are establishing regulatory regimens for pot similar to alcohol.

A poll released last month by the Pew Research Center found for the first time a majority of Americans now favor full legalization of marijuana. Fifty-two percent favor decriminalization, with 45 percent opposed.

The level of support is a landmark shift from 40 years ago when just 12 percent backed legalized pot, according to Gallup.

In light of the trend, President Obama told ABC News' Barbara Walters in December that he's re-thinking federal prosecution of some marijuana users.

"It does not make sense, from a prioritization point of view, for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state laws that's legal," Obama said.

"We've got bigger fish to fry," he added.

The big question now for pro-pot states: Will the Justice Department spoil plans for dozens of new dispensaries, and a potential bonanza of millions in taxes and fees?

The Department, which is reviewing the new Colorado and Washington marijuana laws, has yet to formally decide whether or not they will be challenged in court.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from those states have re-invigorated legislative efforts to repeal or weaken the federal ban on pot. So far this year, seven bills dealing with marijuana have been introduced in the U.S. House, including one that would entirely decriminalize the drug.

All of the bills face an uphill climb, which means for now at least, the new D.C. dispensaries will remain at odds with the law.

Post to Twitter

13Jun/120

June Issue now Available Online!

Post to Twitter

14Mar/120

March Issue Now Available Online!

Post to Twitter

31Oct/113

Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Sues Obama Administration

 Thirdage.com

Posted by Mark DeLucas on October 29, 2011 1:48 PM

A California medical marijuana advocacy group is taking the Obama administration to court in an effort to halt the Justice Department's assault on marijuana growers and dispensers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group based in Oakland, Calif., has filed suit against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and northern California federal prosecutor Melinda Haag, claiming that the federal government's recent crackdown on medical marijuana operations is in violation of the Constitution's 10th Amendment.

Marijuana is a schedule 1 substance, deemed illegitimate for medicinal purposes and outlawed federally under the Controlled Substances Act, which the federal government is entitled to enforce. However, according to Americans for Safe Access, individual states are free to regulate substances as they see fit, and by virtue of the 10th Amendment the federal government cannot compel state authorities to contravene state law.

"Under the 10th Amendment, the government may not commandeer the law-making functions of the state or its subdivisions directly or indirectly through the selective enforcement of its drug laws," the suit claims.

"The federal government has instituted a policy to dismantle the medical marijuana laws of the state of California and to coerce its municipalities to pass bans on medical marijuana dispensaries," the lawsuit says. "To this end, the government has pursued an increasingly punitive strategy, which has involved criminal prosecutions of medical marijuana providers with draconian penalties and letters threatening local officials if they implement state law."

The suit cites, among other notices, a federal missive to the city of Oakland, informing city authorities that failure to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws would make them subject to prosecution.

"I like this lawsuit," San Francisco attorney Kenneth Wine told the San Francisco Weekly.

"While the federal government and its agents can do what they like in enforcing the federal criminal laws, they cannot compel the state to assist them," Wine said. "I suspect this case will cause the federal government in California to be very careful in the way they address state and local officials. Certainly, the threats and coercion against state and local officials by the U.S. Attorneys must stop, and likely will. For the feds to do otherwise is to put their marijuana enforcement strategy in jeopardy."

Post to Twitter

24Apr/114

Maine gets a little ReLeaf…

Bill eases Maine's medical marijuana rules to do away with patient registration

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill to ease Maine's regulations on the medical use of marijuana faces a legislative hearing.

The Committee on Health and Human Services holds its hearing Monday. Supporters say it expands and protects the rights of patients and caregivers.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea would eliminate a requirement that patients register with the state. It also would take the decision about whether marijuana is appropriate in a given situation out of the hands of the state and let doctors decide.

Sanderson's bill would also prevent cities and towns from placing unreasonable requirements on caregivers and patients.

A separate bill unveiled last week would legalize personal use and private and commercial cultivation of marijuana, and tax consumer purchases at 7 percent.

Post to Twitter

22Apr/115

420 Raid on Medical Kush Doctor…

Venice pot doctors shut down after raid by state medical board and police

One of the Venice boardwalk’s eye-catching only-in-California features, the storefront pot doctors who lure patients with barkers, was shut down Wednesday, when the state medical board and law enforcement officers raided three locations linked to Medical Kush Doctor.

Investigators carted boxes and at least two large plastic bags that appeared to contain marijuana out of the deep-blue building next to Muscle Beach that houses a doctor’s office, a smoke shop and a popular dispensary called the Medical Kush Beach Club.

Jennifer Simoes, spokeswoman for the Medical Board of California, said the warrant was sealed. She declined to discuss the reason for the board’s investigation, but said the warrant was served at 1313, 1811 and 2017 Ocean Front Walk.

Attorneys for Medical Kush Doctor raced to the beach, but said they were not allowed on the premises. Graham Berry, one of the lawyers, said the warrant authorized a search of the offices, vehicles and “anything else that your imagination could run to.” He said it also allowed officials to seize records related to the unlicensed practice of medicine. “Since all these doctors appear to be duly licensed, I don’t know what they are referring to,” he said.

Berry said that the raid started about 10:15 a.m. and that by the time he arrived at 11, he found a line of patrol cars, a crowd gathered outside, news cameras and a news helicopter fluttering overhead. “Once I arrived, they pulled the sliding gate door down,” he said.

The Medical Kush Beach Club was also shut down, but Berry said, “It appeared to me that the target was the doctors and the practice of writing recommendations and the collective was a collateral casualty.” The Medical Kush Beach Club is operated by Sean Cardillo, who is also the registered agent for Kush Dr., the limited liability corporation that runs the doctor’s offices.

Cardillo could not be reached for comment.

Stewart Richlin, another attorney who represents Cardillo, said that agents seized 5 pounds of marijuana from the dispensary but that he expected it to be returned. “They involved the Medical Kush Beach Club unfairly,” he said. He added that he did not know whether any cash or equipment was seized but said no one was arrested in the raids.

Richlin said Kush Dr. rents space and provides promotional services for medical marijuana doctors. He said he believed the doctors followed state law in issuing recommendations for marijana use.

“As far as I know, it’s by the book. I’m surprised that this is happening,” he said. “I have a feeling by the time the fat lady sings on this it will be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
 
Simoes said the operation was conducted with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the Los Angeles Police Department, the county Sheriff’s Department and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which provided search dogs.

Post to Twitter

22Apr/112

LA a day Late, and a dispensary short…

Two lawsuits challenge Los Angeles' lottery plan for medical marijuana dispensaries

Los Angeles' latest plan — to hold a lottery to allow 100 medical marijuana dispensaries to operate — meets resistance from shop owners, who say they've followed all the rules yet still face closure.

By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times April 21, 2011

The next round of the costly, drawn-out legal brawl over how to control medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles has begun with two new lawsuits challenging the city's latest ordinance.

The lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, follow scores of other suits that stymied the city's fitful attempts to crack down on an unknown number of renegade dispensaries. The new ones could launch another series of judicial hearings and thwart the city's bid to enforce its ordinance.

Some of the oldest medical marijuana collectives in Los Angeles sued on April 13 to overturn the ordinance, which will choose the dispensaries to be allowed in a lottery, a process the lawsuit mocks as "a euphemism for a municipal game of 'Russian Roulette.'"

The 21 dispensaries suing the city are among those the City Council let operate when it adopted a moratorium on new stores in 2007. The city's first ordinance would have allowed them to stay open if they complied with restrictions on locations. But a judge ruled that key aspects of the law were unconstitutional, and the City Council passed a second ordinance that relies on a random drawing to select 100 dispensaries.

"We've done everything, everything that the city told us to do, and we're still sitting here looking at a lottery," said Yamileth Bolanos, the operator of PureLife Alternative Wellness Center, a dispensary on South La Cienega Boulevard. "We're fighting back. We have to fight back."

Bolanos, who also heads a coalition of the dispensaries the city allowed to operate during the moratorium, accused City Atty. Carmen Trutanich of creating an ordinance that could take her business away even though she said she has followed all city directives. "The city attorney has not acted in good faith," she said. "We don't believe that the things that he's done are fair."

House of Kush filed a separate lawsuit on March 21. The Eagle Rock dispensary and possibly hundreds of others were barred from participating in the lottery, which is limited to stores that were open when the city's moratorium took effect on Sept. 14, 2007. "This discriminatory treatment lacks a rational basis or compelling state interest," the lawsuit says.

A third lawsuit could be filed next week, said Stewart Richlin, an attorney who represents some of the dispensaries that successfully challenged the earlier ordinance. "We're going to bring it ASAP for multiple reasons," he said, "especially to stop any perception that this ordinance is constitutionally acceptable."

The city has appealed the judge's decision on its first ordinance, but has also taken steps to hold a lottery. It has accepted applications from 231 dispensaries and has told 206 others to close. Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney, said the city disputes the claims in the new lawsuits.

Aaron Lachant, an attorney who represents the 21 plaintiffs that sued last week, said he plans to ask for an injunction to halt the lottery. "We'll file it as soon as we can," he said.

Lachant said the lawsuit is intended to protect the rights of those dispensaries the city allowed to remain open in 2007. City officials estimate that about 135 are still in business. "They want to work with the city, but they have not been given a fair chance," Lachant said.

The lawsuit targets the lottery and the process of choosing locations for dispensaries. It describes the lottery as "discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious, confiscatory and oppressive," and it calls the process of allowing the winners to pick their locations in the order they are drawn "a game of musical chairs."

Post to Twitter