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Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on and

If California Legalizes, It May Not Be by Much

California leglization

All signs point to victory for marijuana policy reformers in November. A public referendum to legalize the drug will probably appear on the statewide ballot, and recent polls suggest voters are likely to pass it if it does. Many industry insiders agree, but with a note of caution. Don’t be too surprised, they say, if the tables flip and legalization ...

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California Democrats Endorse Legal Marijuana

California Democrats Endorse Legalization

California Democrats threw their support behind a public referendum that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. The state’s Democratic Party voted in June to endorse the ballot initiative, which would make it legal for adults over 21 to buy, possess, and use up to an ounce of marijuana per person. They could also grow up to four plants at home, ...

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Dispensary Owner Shoots Robbers

Dispensary Owner Shoots Robber

Two gunmen were in critical condition after the owner of a Los Angeles-area medical marijuana business shot them during an alleged robbery, police said. The shooting at the dispensary occurred at about 10:40 p.m. June 7 in the Walnut Park community in unincorporated Los Angeles County, according to officials at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The dispensary owner told ...

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Marijuana Tax Falls Short in Sacramento

Sacramento rejects marijuana cultivation tax

Voters in Sacramento rejected a plan to tax marijuana cultivation, even though the proposal won a majority at the ballot box. Voters in the city strongly backed the initiative to tax retail cannabis cultivation and use the revenue to pay for youth programs. The plan won 65.2 percent of the vote, but the initiative needed more than 66 percent to ...

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Snoop, Quincy Jones, Too $hort Push Legalization

Quincy Jones Snoop Dogg

Proponents of marijuana reform in California have come out with a new pro-legalization ad, and it includes endorsements from some well-known entertainers. Snoop Dogg joined Quincy Jones and Too $hort in the video pushing for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act in California. The campaign to enact that initiative has gathered enough signatures to guarantee a spot on the ballot ...

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Oakland Gets Ready for Cannabis Expo

Cannabis Business Summit and Expo

The 2016 Cannabis Business Summit and Expo is expected to draw thousands of entrepreneurs, speakers, and vendors to Oakland in June. The Expo will run from June 20 to 22 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. It’s part networking event, part classroom, and part sales floor, billed as the “ONLY national event where you will have an opportunity to meet ...

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Marijuana “Nuns” Defy Local Ban

Sisters of the Valley nuns California

Local officials in the San Joaquin Valley are cracking down on medical marijuana, but a pair of local cannabis “nuns” say they won’t cave to the pressure. Actually, they’re not nuns, at least not in the religious sense. They have no affiliation with the Vatican or any other church. Their purpose is growing pot, not spreading the Gospel. But they’re ...

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California Could Tax Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana tax California

Medical marijuana patients in California may soon find themselves paying more for the healthcare they need. The state Senate voted in June to approve a new sales tax on legal medicinal cannabis. At 15 percent, the tax is projected to generate roughly $250 million per year, money that would go toward public park projects, drug treatment programs, and general state ...

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Desert Town Strikes Gold in Green

Legal marijuana offers big possibilities to many people in California, from pot farmers and dispensary owners to lawyers and accountants. But the modern-day green rush is proving especially helpful to one struggling community in the desert. The Inland Empire city of Desert Hot Springs voted in 2014 to legalize medical marijuana farms, making it the first local government in the ...

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Meet the Chief Opponent of Legalization

Ken Corney against legalization in California

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the man leading the drive to stop marijuana legalization in California is a cop. But you may not know much more than that. Meet Ken Corney, chief of police in Ventura and president of the California Police Chiefs Association. He is in charge of the largest statewide campaign to keep cannabis criminal. ...

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