King Kush, Double Diesel, Querkle, Nuggetry OG, Dr. Grinspoon: There are more than 700 strains of medical marijuana, but all pot comes from two parent strains. Finding perfect name for a strain often requires help from friends, a brainstorm session and copious amounts of weed.
The Berkeley City Council approved an ordinance this week requiring that at least 2% of the pot each dispensary doles out must be given free to members who are Berkeley residents and have “very low” incomes, defined as $32,000 a year for one person and $46,000 a year for a family of four.
Recreational marijuana sales began in Washington today, as the state became the second in the nation to make pot legal for all.
A stockpile of marijuana on the campus of the University of Mississippi is grown, processed and sold by the federal government. It’s one of the country’s most impressive stockpiles of pot — and probably the most controversial.
Photo: Brandon Dill / For the Los Angeles Times
This is Zazzz, thought to be the country’s first identity-verifying marijuana vending machine. It was unveiled this month in Avon, Colorado, and it can check a purchaser’s identity before dispensing a product from an array of available items, including edibles and pre-rolled joints.
Photo: European Pressphoto Agency
Recreational marijuana sales brought Colorado more than $2 million in tax revenue in January, the first month such sales were legal there, according to figures released by the state today.
Photo: A line of buyers trails from a store selling marijuana in Pueblo West, Colo., on Jan. 1, 2014. Credit: John Wark / Associated Press
Obama administration bolsters new marijuana laws
New laws in Washington and Colorado allowed for the recreational use of marijuana, sparking an inevitable conflict with federal laws banning the controversial drug. But in an announcement today, the Department of Justice said that it will allow those laws to remain on the books.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll be turning a blind eye to the growing marijuana industry in the two states:
A department official stressed, however, that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and that U.S. prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce the law against those who sell marijuana to minors and to criminal gangs that are involved in drug trafficking.
Photos: Elaine Thompson, Brennan Linsley / Associated Press
Setting the groundwork for profitable legalization
As more and more states alter their marijuana policies, from decriminalizing the possession within preset restrictions, allowing its use for medicinal purposes to outright legalization, entrepreneurs are increasingly seeing green.
Ken VandeVrede, chief operating officer at Terra Tech, a hydroponic equipment maker, is among those bracing for the flood gates to open:
"We can scale this thing very, very quickly. When hemp and cannabis become legal, we’re ready to rock and roll."
And things aren’t exactly quiet on the investment side of things. From Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of the Seattle private equity firm Privateer Holdings
"More and more people see the inevitability. They see that the Berlin Wall of cannabis prohibition is going to come down."
Read more, and learn about the possible involvement of Wall Street in the marijuana industry, here.
Photo: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg
On the frontier of medical pot to treat boy’s epilepsy: A U.S. crackdown on pot shops threatens a father’s search for cannabidiol in hopes of halting his son’s seizures from Dravet syndrome.
In the 14 months since, the little boy has been swallowing droppers full of a solution made mostly of cannabidiol, or CBD, the second most prominent of marijuana’s 100 or so cannabinoids. Unlike the dominant THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive, so the sweet-tasting infusion Jayden takes four times a day doesn’t make him high.
Down from 22 prescription pills per day to four, he now eats solid food, responds to his father’s incessant requests for kisses and dances in his Modesto living room to the “Yo Gabba Gabba!” theme song. The frequency and intensity of his seizures have been greatly reduced.
But this summer, federal prosecutors moved to close Oakland’s Harborside Health Center — the nation’s largest dispensary and the place David has relied on most for help.
Photo credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
In which Times critic Jonathan Gold gets invited to a nine-course marijuana-infused dinner.
You don’t just reserve a table. You fill out a questionnaire designed to weed out unsympathetic clients, so that it sometimes feels as if you are applying to a small liberal arts college rather than arranging to have dinner. My answer to the question “If you could fly/resurrect/bring any person you could to this dinner, who would you bring and why?” was 19th century gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, but I wondered whether I should have named somebody more contemporary, like Jeremy Lin or Waka Flocka Flame.
Photo: Marijuana leaves are laid out in preparation for one of several courses. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
'Master growers' cultivating a higher grade of marijuana: A new breed of connoisseur is producing pot that is potent, tastes smooth and has a pleasing aroma — the kind of product now expected by ever-more discriminating consumers who frequent medical cannabis dispensaries.
Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Testing pot in a legal vacuum: Few standards apply to quality of marijuana, because the federal government considers all use illegal.
His lab, called The Werc Shop, tests medical cannabis for levels of the psychoactive ingredient known as THC and a few dozen other compounds, as well as for contaminants like molds, bacteria and pesticides that marijuana advocates don’t much like to talk about. The strains that pass muster are labeled Certified Cannabaceuticals, a trademarked term.
Best quote: “Labs are popping up in people’s vans. People are doing color tests and all kinds of stuff that’s not very accurate… Unfortunately, that’s what an unregulated industry has to deal with.”
Photo: Mark Raber prepares marijuana samples to be analyzed at his brother’s lab, one of dozens to open in the last two years. But the labs are as unregulated and vulnerable to prosecution as dispensaries and growers. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times