cannabis

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts
Steve Mencher / KRCB - North Bay Public Media

The Sonoma City Council will be talking about cannabis at its Monday July 23 meeting. On the agenda – a citizen petition to hold a referendum making sale for recreational and medical use legal in the town.

A month ago about 50 folks gathered at the Sonoma Grille to talk about cannabis. They were united by their interest in the plant – with a focus on the business of pot.

Our news director Steve Mencher was there as organizer Michael Coats kicked off the meeting of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts.

EVIO labs in Berkeley tests cannabis products
Corinne Smith

New rules come into effect on July 1 mandating testing of cannabis sold at dispensaries around California. Shops are getting rid of untested products before the deadline, resulting in big sales through the end of Saturday.

Many worry that these new rules will worsen the business climate for smaller players and accelerate the move toward consolidation. Corinne Smith reports.

California Update for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Feb 21, 2018
hightimes.com

• The Highway Patrol and UC San Diego researchers are working on an effective test for those driving under the influence.

• Activities like watering lawns to the point of overflowing could come become punishable of up to $500 across California. The state Water Resources Control Board heard comments on drought saving measures today but delayed action.

Today's reporting by Randol White and David Ezra Romero.

California Update for Monday, February 19, 2018

Feb 19, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• California’s recreational marijuana shops would be limited in their ability to sell customer data to other companies under a bill introduced at the state Capitol.

For more on the topic, visit politifact.com/california.

• New voter registration figures released Friday by the Secretary of State's office show the number of Californians identifying as “no party preference” has nearly caught up with registered Republicans.

Today's reporting by Chris Nichols and Ben Adler.

Eli Melrod
Sarah Tan

California officially opened cannabis sales to all adults at the start of the new year. That’s after voters passed Proposition 64 back in November 2016. Local dispensaries are slowly getting up to speed on permits and paperwork. They’re adjusting to a new flow of customers.

And they're finding that a growing clientele consists of older folks. Some are returning to marijuana after trying it in their youth. Others are using it for the first time. Some are attracted because they can buy it for their health without needing a doctor’s note.

Santa Rosa City Council Chambers
Stacey Dennick

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced revised policies about marijuana earlier this month, but the City of Santa Rosa’s cannabis implementation program continues undaunted.

California flag
Zlixir dot com

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave leeway to federal prosecutors to enforce federal laws against cannabis. That’s even in states where medical and adult use is legal. News Director Steve Mencher spoke with Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins and the county’s Cannabis Program Manager Tim Ricard about the Sessions announcement.

Listen to the unedited conversation below.  

California Update for Monday, January 8, 2018

Jan 8, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

• California’s recreational marijuana law marks a milestone for the industry. But it doesn’t offer the complete freedom to smoke, buy and transport cannabis anywhere you please. 

Capital Public Radio’s PolitiFact reporter Chris Nichols examined some of the restrictions Californians still face.

Find more on this story plus other Politifact California fact checks HERE.

Jeff Sessions
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

We talked with Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins and the county's cannabis program manager Tim Ricard about statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, which threatened prosecution under federal law of cannabis activities in California and other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational

Cannabis
Stacey Dennick

Recently, we shared some news and impressions from this year’s Emerald Cup – the yearly meeting of cannabis business professionals and enthusiasts. As you may know, the era of cannabis prohibition is ending in California on January 1. No, you probably won’t be able to walk into your local pot store on New Year's Day – the rules and regulations are still emerging. But it may be time to make sure that the history of the underground marijuana industry isn’t lost to the ages.

Reporter Sarah Reith hung out with some budding historians at the Emerald Cup, and has this report. 

Tim Blake and Taylor Blake at Emerald Cup
Stacey Dennick

The 17th annual Emerald Cup, a celebration of all things cannabis, was held December 9 and 10, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. Reporter Stacey Dennick joined the crowd of approximately 25,000 attendees. 

Ashley Oldham
KZYX

They’ve been called the “wine country” fires – but cannabis farmers suffered losses in the recent firestorm as well.  Unlike vintners, whose grapes were nearly all picked, the cannabis harvest was just getting started when the fires struck. Reporter Sarah Reith visited growers in Mendocino County who are now reckoning with their losses.

See Sarah Reith's original report on KZYX

Don Goofy, Flickr

You can’t yet major in Cannabis Studies at Sonoma State. But SSU's School of Extended and International Education is getting serious about sharing information with those hoping to be involved in the burgeoning  industry. SSU’s Cannabis in California series continues October 6 with a seminar focused on Finance, Investment and Investment Law.

The Role of Generic Strains in the Cannabis Market

May 9, 2017

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.

Unraveling the Genetics of Cannabis

May 8, 2017
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.

Cannabis Industry Trade Show Hits Santa Rosa

Apr 20, 2017
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.

Cannabis Industry Cautiously Prepares for New Costs

Mar 8, 2017

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.

County’s Pot Tax Measure Draws Criticism

Feb 25, 2017

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.

Some Old Pot Convictions Reversed by Prop 64

Dec 15, 2016

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.

Cannabis and Cabernet: Collaborators or Competitors?

Dec 1, 2016

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.

Patents or Trademarks for Cannabis

Aug 30, 2016

  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.

How to Address the Impacts of Cannabis

Aug 18, 2016
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.

Best Practices for Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

Aug 17, 2016

  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 Advances Cannabis Cultivation Regulations

Feb 10, 2016

  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.

Inside a Cannabis Dispensary

Aug 12, 2014
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. 

Inside The Medical Cannabis Business

Aug 11, 2014
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.

Medical Marijuana Study Gets Federal Green Light

Mar 25, 2014

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.

Revisiting the Rules for Medical Marijuana

Jun 19, 2013

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.