Oct 242014

420RADIO News for 2014-10-24 (Friday)

Just in time for Halloween, a Colorado company is releasing a home testing kit that allows parents to screen their kids’ candy for marijuana. The product release comes on the heels of a local hospital and police department warning parents that edible marijuana can easily be mistaken for Halloween candy.  CB Scientific has come up with a $15 kit that empowers parents to test candy for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The kit works essentially the same way as a home pregnancy test kit.  The test kits turn pink to red upon the presence of THC, the redder the result, the more potent the product.  This may also help medical marijuana users who want to get a sense of how potent their medical marijuana products are.  The test kits can be purchased online at cbscientific.com. They are sold locally at select marijuana dispensaries, Way to Grow Garden Centers and Freaky’s head shops.

Hundreds of ATMs located in medical marijuana dispensaries — the lifeblood of businesses otherwise forced to work in cash — were shut down Wednesday, just days after similar machines were unplugged from recreational shops.  The machines in Colorado and Washington were connected to a network served by South Dakota-based MetaBank, which in January warned ATM providers by e-mail that machines located in marijuana shops violated federal banking rules. But the machines, both cashless and the traditional cash-dispensing variety, continued to work until this week, according to owners of cannabis shops affected by the shutdown.  Marijuana Industry Group executive director Michael Elliott said a number of the trade group’s clients lost stand-alone machines that dispense bills, as well as key-padded devices that are found at checkout counters and don’t spit out cash.

On Nov. 4, Washington residents will vote on Advisory Question Number 8, a ballot measure that would urge the legislature to either maintain or repeal Senate Bill 6505, which deemed the marijuana industry to be non-agricultural, thereby removing excise tax protections that apply to the state’s agriculture industry. This redefining of the industry will permit, if allowed to stand, more than $24 million in higher taxes over the next decade than would’ve otherwise been the case.  The estimated effective tax rate on marijuana products is approximately 44 percent. In light of the onerous tax treatment of marijuana products and companies tied to that industry, it would be a positive development for Washington voters to vote repeal on Advisory Question 8 and urge lawmakers in Olympia to reverse the non-agricultural reclassification that will beget such punitive taxation.

The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled the state’s medical marijuana law doesn’t give drivers immunity from prosecution if there is marijuana or its chemical compound in the body.  In December 2011, Travis Lance Darrah, a medical marijuana user, was charged with two counts of DUI, one based on impairment and the other based on the presence of marijuana or its metabolite in his system. A jury acquitted him of driving while impaired, but convicted him of driving under a DUI law that bans driving while having a prohibited drug or its compound the body.  Darrah appealed, arguing all authorized medical pot users are immune from prosecution under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, unless they drive while impaired.  But the three-judge panel disagreed and let Darrah’s conviction stand, despite the fact that the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites can remain in the bloodstream for weeks after use.

If all 50 states legalized marijuana and the federal government ended prohibition of the plant, the marijuana industry in the United States would be worth $35 billion just six years from now.  That’s according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S.  If the federal government doesn’t end prohibition and the trajectory of state legalization continues on its current path, with more, but not all, states legalizing marijuana in some form, the industry in 2020 would still be worth $21 billion, GreenWave projects.  In its $21 billion 2020 model, GreenWave predicts 12 states plus the District of Columbia to have legalized recreational marijuana (besides Colorado and Washington, which legalized it in 2012). Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.