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MMJ Bill Passes Key Committee

A proposed law that would place new regulations on California’s medical marijuana industry cleared a key hurdle in the state legislature in April. The state Assembly’s Public Safety Committee approved the bill April 22. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced it. It’s one of two such proposals under consideration in the legislature. The other recently won approval ...

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Appeal Denied for Dispensary Owner in Federal Prison

An Inland Empire dispensary owner who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence lost his bid to win a new trial. Aaron Sandusky, who ran the shuttered G3 Holistic Inc. and its dispensaries in Moreno Valley, Upland and Colton, sought to overturn his 2013 conviction. But in March the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his arguments. The court ...

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Legalization Petition Dies Expected Death

One of the last surviving attempts to put legalization on the November ballot is officially dead, though it was given up for as much weeks ago. That leaves just one petition in the running, and that doesn’t have a chance. The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, which would have legalized the possession and cultivation of almost unlimited amounts of weed, failed ...

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Fremont Bars Outdoor Grows

The Fremont City Council has banned all outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in response to neighborhood complaints. The council voted unanimously Feb. 18 to prohibit all outdoor growing, as well as cultivation inside residences if the plants can be seen from public places. The new policy was enacted after several residents complained their neighbors were growing large amounts of weed ...

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Sacramento Dispensary in Battle with IRS

When the Obama administration promised last year that it wouldn’t interfere with states that legalize weed or the businesses that provide it, the IRS apparently never got the memo. In that announcement, issued in August, the Justice Department said states could legalize, whether for medical or recreational purposes, and businesses could cultivate and sell the drug under state law, as ...

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Feds Preventing Regulation that Could Stop Water Loss

California is in the middle of the drought of a century, and water is running low everywhere. The situation is especially bad in the Emerald Triangle, the famed pot-growing region on the North Coast, where marijuana farmers are draining creeks and rivers dry. The local officials who deal with these cultivators have tried to regulate their water use before. But ...

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Cal. MMJ Pioneer Is Destitute

A long effort to drive one of California’s medical marijuana pioneers into destitution has apparently worked. Lynette Shaw, who opened the state’s first legal MMJ dispensary shortly after voters approved medical weed in 1996, says she’s broke, shut down three years ago by federal prosecutors and hounded by the IRS into insolvency. She’s millions of dollars in debt with no ...

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Court: Medical Pot Law Offers No Protection from Feds

An appellate court ruled California’s medical marijuana law doesn’t protect dispensaries from raids or prosecution by the federal government. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, located in San Francisco, ruled Jan. 15 that medical pot shops in the state are subject to criminal charges, raids and lawsuits by the government despite California’s MMJ law. The decision was no surprise. ...

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Killers in Dispensary Robbery Get Life

Two men who killed a Los Angeles dispensary worker four years ago were sentenced to life in prison without parole Jan. 10. Daniel Deshawn Hinton, 35, and Raymond Lemone Easter, 31, were each found guilty in November of one count of first-degree murder, with a special circumstance allegation of murder during a robbery. The two men were responsible for shooting ...

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2014: Another Big Year for Legal Weed

A lot happened to marijuana in 2013. The first two American states to make the drug legal carried out their plans to see it through. Three more states adopted medical cannabis. An entire nation legalized. But as for the future of marijuana reform, what lies ahead may be even bigger than what came before. Expect 2014 to be a major ...

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