Americans spent more last year on legal marijuana than they did on Cheetos, Doritos and Funyuns combined. The Denver Post reports that the $5.4 billion total includes medical and recreational sales.
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But as they also note, plenty of challenges to the industry remain. First and foremost is the vast and growing disconnect between federal policy, under which marijuana is 100 percent illegal, and laws in the states that have legalized it. Because of federal restrictions, marijuana businesses don't have access to banks. They can't take advantage of the tax breaks other industries enjoy. The threat of raids by overzealous drug cops is present, despite congressional efforts to curtail these actions.
On Sunday, the US border patrol in Pharr, Texas seized 2,500 tons of marijuana stuffed into faux carrots mixed in with real vegetables coming from Mexico. In November, agents there found bricks of marijuana and cocaine in bags of fresh carrots, but based on the image below from the US Customs & Border Protection's Instagram feed, it seems those smugglers weren't as creative with the packaging. Not that it helped this time.
Rapper and proud pothead Snoop Dogg is launching a line of cannabis products, called Leafs By Snoop.
"It's a true blessing that I can share the products I love so much with y'all today," Mr. Dogg said. "From the flower, to the concentrates, and edibles - it's all hand-picked by yours truly so you know it's the hottest product out there. It's the real deal and you gotta get out to Colorado to try it first!"
Mexico's supreme court today ruled that some parts of the country’s health law are not valid, and that growing, possessing, or using marijuana for recreational purposes is perfectly legal under existing Mexican law.
DEA agents descended on Menominee County in Wisconsin last Friday, to destroy what the tribal authorities say was an industrial hemp crop. The DEA says it was “high-grade marijuana,” and they're not apologizing. The chairman of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin says the DEA had no right to the cannabis, and the DEA boasts of seizing some 30,000 plants in all.
Endorphins may have been getting too much credit for “runner's high,” that euphoric lift we get when we exercise intensely. Read the rest
The team has lined up an impressive group of designers, who have created devices and accouterments in a wide range of strikingly original materials and styles. “The only unifying aesthetic,” Khemsurov says, “stems from the interest we all share in timeless natural materials like marble, brass and ceramics, plus our determination to make this collection as sophisticated and relevant, from a design perspective, as possible.” To that end, the initial batch of products include two ashtrays and a pipe made by Katie Stout and Sean Gerstley, which utilize the same hand-formed ceramic and gold luster technique as their eye-catching lamps sold through the Johnson Trading Gallery; a polished-copper sphere by Fort Standard that opens into a small snuff box; and, in Wu’s words, “a vibrant dichroic-glass ashtray hand-cast by Andrew Hughes that changes color according to one’s vantage point and the kind of light it’s viewed in.”
"A New Design Shop that Aims to Elevate the Smoke-Filled Room" (NYT, thanks, Jordan Kurland!)
Although recreational marijuana is legal to grow and smoke in Oregon, it's not yet legal to sell. But that doesn't mean you can't give it away to 2,000 people, which is what Portland's Weed the People event did yesterday. The first festival of its kind in the U.S., people 21 and over were able to spend the day sampling free weed and everything weed-related.
The alcohol-free event lasted for seven hours, as attendees mulled around to test out smoking devices; relaxed on comfy chairs and listened to records in a “chill out area”; and waited in a line that wound through the inside of a warehouse to enter the “Grow Garden”, the highly secured and roped off area where they could pick up their free goodies.
The historic event was put on by growers and medical marijuana dispensaries (who can sell in Oregon to people with medical cards), and tickets to enter were $40. Read the rest
Highly creative blunt sculptures as seen on ValleyRecreational420's Instagram account. Read the rest