cannabis

Genetic analysis of varying cannabis strains may aid in the development of narrowly targeted pharmaceutical products. But using the same tool to protect generic strains could help hold prices down.

Phylos Bioscience

Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humankind for centuries. Now the industry’s challenge is understanding and applying that history.

Cannabis arrived in North America from at least two different directions, but how that evolved into the plants that grow here today is not yet clear, says Phylos Biosciences’ Mowgli Holmes.

As his team has collected and analyzed samples from hundreds of cannabis plants and products, Holmes says one unexpected finding has emerged.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Yet another indication that the cannabis industry is already large and diverse in and around Santa Rosa:  a business-oriented trade shows now underway at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

With new tax rates approved by Sonoma County voters on Tuesday, the local cannabis industry is gearing up to enter—and pay for—their new era of legitimacy.

Sonoma County is grappling with the many complexities of legalizing cannabis, bringing a fast-growing, largely free-wheeling industry under governmental control. Opponents of Measure A, which would tax cannabis businesses here, fear it will cripple the small-scale operations it is out to regulate.

Sonoma County Republicans have officially opposed measure A. The Sonoma County Taxpayers Association took no position, but their Executive Director, Dan Drummond, says he personally is inclined to favor it, despite some misgivings.

Thanks to the passage of Proposition 64, it is now legal to grow, possess or transport small amounts of marijuana. But the measure also can roll back the convictions of people who were jailed for doing those things before November 9th,  a process that is now getting started.

Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway has discovered that in some cases, old efforts to minimize the legal consequences of past marijuana law violations have now complicated the new process of getting those old convictions undone.

The 2016 Wine Industry Expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds yesterday included workshops on marketing to Millennials, legislative issues, and harvest methodologies. But the panel discussion on “Marijuana and Wine” may have drawn the biggest crowd.

Public Banking Institute

A municipal public bank wouldn’t pay bonuses and dividends, and could have a more flexible relationship with federal regulators. All good reasons, says a local supporter of the alternative fiscal businesses, for creating one to serve the region’s cannabis industry.

Marc Armstrong co-founded the Public Banking Institute.

flickr/Chuck Coker

Earlier this week, Marin General Hospital took a first tentative step toward becoming California’s first public medical center to openly allow patients to use medicinal cannabis. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi was at the hospital’s governing board meeting and prepared this report.

  As cannabis transitions into a full-fledged industry, some of the big challenges that producers and purveyors face lie in the legal realm of intellectual property, such as trademarks and patents.

   One way in which legal uncertainly lingers around cannabis, says Santa Rosa attorney Danny Zlatnik, depends on whether it is ultimately regulated only for medicinal uses, or if recreational use become sanctioned. The latter situation would create a more relaxed environment, he explains, while categorizing cannabis as a medical compound could greatly complicate matters.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  With new legislation at last providing uniform statewide guidelines for medical marijuana in California, and the possibility of legalizing recreational use on the November ballot, cannabis is attaining new visibility in the business community. But that is accompanied by a great deal of uncertainty, which was a big part of the discussion at a Cannabis Impact conference in Rohnert Park this week.

  Legal or not, there are right ways and wrong ways to grow cannabis outdoors A new document from Mendocino County covers them in detail.  Reporter Valerie Kim has details.

Available in both English and Spanish versions, the Growers Guide can be downloaded here.

  Santa Rosa is taking its first detailed steps toward regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana within the city. The city’s planning commission will hold a public hearing on the issue Thursday afternoon. Tiffany Camhi reports.

Meanwhile State Senator Mike McGuire, a co-author  of the state bill to regulate cannabis, has just introduced a companion measure that would impose a 15% tax on the sale of medical marijuana.

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  As medical marijuana use his migrated from the shadows to the sunlight, the patient experience has also become increasingly normalized. On today’s report, we walk through that process.

  In addition to running his business, Peace in Medicine owner Robert Jacob is also a member of the Sebastopol City Council. When his turn as mayor came around earlier this year, his dual role earned him worldwide media attention, at least briefly. He sees it all as a reflection of the way his trade is gradually shedding the “stoner stigma” and gaining mainstream acceptability. 

Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Medicinal cannabis has become big business in California over the past 17 years. Today, the North Bay Report takes you inside one local dispensary operation to see how it runs like other retailers—and how it is quite different.

  While growing marijuana for medicinal purposes is more widespread than ever, Corey Rider, who manages product intake for Peace in Medicine, says the quality and efficacy can vary widely, depnding on the knowledge and intention of each individual cultivator.

In a quiet but significant breakthrough, the US Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to allow the tiny supply of federally grown Marijuana be used in a University of Arizona study to test its efficacy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder in American army veterans. The research project was OK’d by the Food and Drug Administration some time ago, but when it finally cleared the last regulatory hurdle, the decision came as something of a surprise, as we hear from the supporting non-profit that helped make it happen.

When Sonoma County supervisors unexpectedly considered sharp reductions in how much medical marijuana patients could legally possess, they re-ignited a debate that continues to simmer up and down the length of California. Bruce Robinson has an update on the issue in Sonoma County.