edmurrieta_1 (2)

Pot’s platonic ideal goes from grower to consumer. On the black market, pot passes, variously, from grower to processor to wholesaler to dealer to consumer. California’s current quasi-legal medical marijuana market flows similarly — growers still walk into dispensaries peddling plants — but pays extra care and attention to testing and consumer-friendly goods and packaging. California’s new medical marijuana laws, influenced by labor unions, create a licensed and regulated system in which a new type of middleman must approve all pot products.

Continue reading

As Bernie Sanders Calls for Marijuana De-Scheduling, Richard Nixon Reminds Us Why Pot Tops Illegal Drugs List

The architect of America’s War on Drugs, left, with Elvis Presley, the pop singer/movie star/drug abuser who asked to be President Richard Nixon’s special drug agent.

By Ed Murrieta

Richard Nixon was socially awkward and paranoid. His ramblings were at times unintelligible. He indulged in cottage cheese and ketchup.

Total stoner, right?

The 37th president of the United States was anything but. In fact, Nixon’s disdain for drugs and drug users — based wholly on Nixon’s personal and racial prejudices — launched the nation into an unwinnable conflict that’s been carried out by all seven subsequent presidents: America’s War on Drugs, now on the brink of its 45th year.

Nixon’s anti-drug legacy slunk from his disgraced dungheap this week when one of the Democrats running for president called for marijuana to be completely removed from the schedule of controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, an agency Nixon authorized.
Continue reading


Is pot the cherry on top for alcohol distributors?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s new landmark medical cannabis laws create a new kind of private business that will play a central role regulating the state’s $1.3 billion pot industry: a licensed distribution scheme that appears to favor alcohol wholesalers.

By 2017, all cannabis authorized to be grown, processed and sold in California must pass inspection by licensed distributors that will charge fees for quality assurance, lab testing, and transportation by Teamster drivers.

Nearly 20 years into a heretofore unregulated medical cannabis market, California adopted a layer of bureaucracy that some growers and artisan producers say potentially threatens the integrity of their products and will certainly raise consumer prices. Continue reading


In recreational-use states, banning cannabis consumption in bars and cafes shuts out tourists and threatens locals whose landlords oppose pot.

By Ed Murrieta

Voters in four western states legalized adult-use recreational cannabis. But lawmakers in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington say there is only one place to consume it: in private residences whose owners approve of pot.

Activists complain that bans on smoking, vaporizing and even eating cannabis in public places like bars and cafes turn tourists into outlaws and threaten the evictions of residents whose landlords oppose pot.

Lawmakers in Alaska and Oregon are currently working on regulations for their states’ commercial marijuana industries. Cannabis consumption in bars and cafes is banned in both Alaska and Oregon’s draft regulations, prohibitions that rile activists in both states.
Continue reading

Oregon considers strict cannabis kitchen segregation

edibles Draft regulations introduced in Oregon would segregate cannabis edibles kitchens from all other types of licensed commercial kitchens, and would require the state’s permission to share facilities with other licensed edibles makers.

Released on Friday along with other proposed licensing regulations covering growing, wholesaling and processing of cannabis products, the edibles kitchen draft regulations are the most specific and restrictive in any recreational or medical cannabis jurisdiction.
Continue reading

Alcohol distributors as marijuana middlemen

Beer, wine and liquor distributors — long-time big-money backers of cannabis prohibition — stand to gain from new regulations governing California’s $1.3 billion medical cannabis industry.

One of the landmark laws Gov. Jerry Brown signed Oct. 9 calls for the creation of a new kind of business to regulate the flow of all cannabis products in California, essentially middlemen like beer, wine and liquor distributors but with authority over quality assurance and product testing.
Continue reading


One of California’s new medical marijuana laws will allow the botanical drug to be marketed like wine beginning Jan. 1.

Landmark legislation bringing overdue order to a muddled market establishes the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will have the authority to establish wine-style geographic pedigrees for pot and make Humboldt Hash and Santa Cruz Sinsemilla as legitimate as Napa Valley Viognier and Paso Robles Pinot Noir. Continue reading