Minnesota Marijuana News

On Jan. 24, a trooper stopped a rental vehicle near Alexandria with a police dog leading to the discovery of 24 pounds of marijuana and $8,200. Two New Jersey men face felony charges in the case.

According to the criminal complaint:

A trooper saw the driver of a Nissan SUV cover his face with his left arm while he went by him. Some drivers do this to hide the fact they’re not wearing a seat belt, according to the trooper.

To get a better view of the driver, the trooper pulled behind the Nissan, which then sped up to 85 mph in the 70 mph zone. The trooper stopped the vehicle about three miles east of Alexandria.

As the trooper approached the SUV, he noticed that the vehicle’s windows were rolled completely down even though it was only 22 degrees outside. The trooper also noticed luggage that was stacked up in the back seat.

When the trooper asked for a license, proof of insurance and the rental agreement, both the driver and his passenger began to look for the items “almost frantically,” according to the complaint.

The driver, identified as Michael Michura, 54, of North Caldwell, New Jersey, told the trooper that they were traveling from the state of Washington to Wayzata, Minnesota, to get a new rental car because the windshield on the SUV was chipped.

When the trooper asked Michura why he and his passenger, Nahid Miah, 20, of Paterson, New Jersey, chose not to fly to New Jersey, Michura said they wanted to go to “all the stores.”

While they were talking, the trooper smelled a strong odor of air fresheners and saw multiple air fresheners in the the vehicle. Michura was acting “unusually nervous,” the complaint said. One of his eyes was twitching, his carotid artery

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A new survey shows that for the first time since 2000, overall youth tobacco use has increased in Minnesota with 26.4 percent of high school students using some form of tobacco or nicotine, up from 24.6 percent in 2014.

The rapid uptake of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices has quickly reversed a longterm trend of declining teen tobacco use in Minnesota, according to new results from the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. The new data show 1 in 5 high school students use e-cigarettes, a nearly 50 percent increase since the data were last collected in 2014. At the same time, youth cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low. Less than 10 percent of high school students now smoke cigarettes—a 70 percent drop since 2000.

“E-cigarettes and similar devices threaten to reverse our success in preventing youth from using tobacco products,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “Just as we successfully reduced cigarette use to under 10 percent of high school students— giving us the hope that a smoke-free generation was within reach—the industry responded with new products designed to get youth addicted to nicotine.”

As e-cigarettes attract more youth into tobacco use, they create a disturbing cycle of addiction and harm to adolescents. One-fifth of Minnesota youth using e-cigarettes have never smoked or used conventional tobacco such as cigarettes or chew.

The latest research shows teens who try e-cigarettes are almost twice as likely to start smoking cigarettes as teens who do not try them. The Minnesota data also revealed a new public health concern—teens are using e-cigarette devices for recreational marijuana and other illicit substances. One in 3 high school students who use e-cigarettes report trying the device with recreational marijuana. Nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to tobacco and

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LAS VEGAS – Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, but you can’t have it with you when you’re preparing to fly out of McCarran International Airport.  So, to help flyers avoid breaking the law, a number of big green bins have been placed outside of the airport to encourage people to dispose of their marijuana and other substances before entering the premises.

They’re called amnesty boxes, and they’re installed outside the terminals of McCarran.  Travelers can’t miss them; they’re kelly green and the size of a mailbox.

“Marijuana is prohibited on airport property,” said Christine Crews, spokesperson for McCarran International Airport.

The bins give travelers a chance to toss out any items that may not get past TSA, that could possibly cause someone to be arrested. 

“I think they’re great, said Michael Aldaya, visiting from Minnesota.  “This is probably where you should dispose your drugs.”
   
Cristen Drummond, Reporter: “Do you have any to dispose of?
Michael Aldaya, traveler: “Uhhh…(laughter). I don’t want to disclose that right now.”

“I feel like anyone who probably has some sort of cannabis, weed, would probably do it before they threw it away,” said Shannon Johnson, visiting from San Francisco.

The airport installed 13 big green bins last Friday. The bins were set up in high traffic areas.  

Ten were set up outside the terminals, and another three are around the McCarran rent-a-car center. 

A drawer drop prevents someone from reaching inside while bolts keep the boxes on the ground. All of the boxes are monitored regularly and serviced by a contractor. 

“They will be collecting whatever’s surrendered and disposing of it appropriately, depending on what contents are in these boxes,” Crews said. “We don’t want your pot; leave it somewhere else, that’d be fine.”

Changing guidelines surrounding marijuana at

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Attorney Alvin Peters said Dr. Raquel Skidmore had fully complied with current medical marijuana laws and that the drug was a “common law medical necessity” when the certificate was issued.

COLLIN BREAUX News Herald Reporter @PCNHCollinB

PANAMA CITY — A Panama City doctor’s medical license is on the line after the state health department alleges she illegally prescribed marijuana to a former patient.

Dr. Raquel Skidmore, however, insists she gave nothing more than a recommendation, and stands behind the health benefits of the drug.

For over six hours Tuesday, Raquel Skidmore, who treats patients through Gulf Coast Holistic and Primary Care at 219 Forest Park Circle, was the subject of an administrative hearing before the Florida Department of Health Board of Medicine. The DOH has leveled seven counts against Skidmore, chief among them that she prescribed cannabis when she had neither the training nor legal grounds to do so.

The case stems from Skidmore’s interactions with a patient identified only as R.S., a 64-year-old part-time resident from Minnesota, beginning in late 2015.

R.S., a Vietnam veteran with stage 4 metastatic cancer and other medical issues, began seeing Skidmore in September 2015. She tried acupuncture and other recommendations — the state and Skidmore agree R.S. did not fulfill his end of providing his previous medical records or having lab tests performed — before the patient asked about marijuana as an option.

Skidmore long has been an outspoken proponent of medical marijuana in certain circumstances, and during testimony Tuesday, she cited her extensive research into the drug and its benefits.

“Medical marijuana takes care of many organs,” she said. “The risk of dependence is there, but it’s determined to be milder than opiates and alcohol.”

After a mid-January appointment, Skidmore issued a certificate “for a maximum of 2 grams of cannabis per

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Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc (OTCMKTS:RMHB) has been moving steadily higher in recent months since bottoming out at $0.0053 in December of last year. The stock has a long history of huge moves running from pennies to highs over $0.15 a share on a massive surge of volume. RMHB is made an ever bigger move last year when it ran from subs to highs over $0.30 a share.

RMHB iused to trade under the ticker symbol THCZ and has been for some time now; Totally Hemp Crazy Inc. the stock was the darling of small caps in the beginning months of 2015 until it was slapped with the dreaded skull & crossbones designation from Otcmarkets and the stock price collapsed. All that has been cleaned up now and RMHB is now fully reporting on the OTC.

Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc (OTCMKTS:RMHB) is a consumer goods company specializing in brand development of health conscious, hemp-infused food and beverage products. The Company currently markets a lineup of four naturally flavored hemp-infused beverages (Citrus Energy, Black Tea, Mango Energy and Lemonade) and a low calorie Coconut Lime Energy drink. Rocky Mountain High Brands also offers hemp-infused 2oz. Mango Energy Shots and Mixed Berry Energy Shots. The Company recently launched a naturally high alkaline spring water, Eagle Spirit Spring Water.

Clever packaging and the purchase price is comparable to Red Bull. I am personally not a fan of energy drinks but not only do I enjoy this stuff, I have recommended it to my friends and several bar owners who also think it’s marketable and have ordered from Amazon. That says a lot. I see definite potential.”

Back when THCZ Initially launched the excitement was palpable with AMAZON rating Rocky Mountain High Hemp Lemonade as the #1 new release in the product category. Cold Spring

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(This is the 10th installment in a series that examines hemp markets in U.S. states. Other installments: Colorado, NevadaNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOregon, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.)

Ever wondered why the U.S. hemp harvest is so tiny despite the crop’s adaptability and market potential?

Minnesota is a great place to find some answers.

The North Star State has allowed modern hemp production since 2016 and has flexible rules on how the crop can be used.

Minnesota has an abundance of wild hemp descended from World War II-era crops, and its northern latitude makes it a natural fit for hemp varieties already growing in Canada.

There’s just one snag.

“No one’s reported any profits from their hemp yet,” said Andrea Vaubel, who oversees Minnesota’s hemp program for the state Department of Agriculture. “We’re still testing the varieties that will work for us and finding out what the opportunities are.”

Sound familiar? Hemp growers in Minnesota report processing delays and legal confusion, plus natural pests that make hemp production difficult for novice farmers. In other words, Minnesota’s struggles are a snapshot of the hurdles faced by the hemp industry nationwide.

Just as in other states, though, Minnesota’s small hemp industry has plentiful enthusiasm, with farmers optimistic about the prospects for growing a profitable industry.

Here’s what you need to know about the Minnesota hemp market.

Industry snapshot 

Minnesota authorized hemp production in 2016 and immediately ran into trouble. Though hemp grows wild throughout much of the state, federal authorities wouldn’t allow Minnesota to develop the wild hemp, instead requiring the state to import hemp seeds from Canada or other nations.

A 2015 report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture bemoaned that “the DEA has stalled on its approval of a requested amendment … that would allow the collection of wild-type hemp seed already established in this

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The Good Ole Hemp farm in St. Cloud, Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Josh Helberg, owner of Good Ole Hemp)

The Trump administration doesn’t want to see hemp expanded nationwide in the next Farm Bill because of concerns about overproduction, an official said Wednesday.

Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said current hemp regulations are “fairly narrow” and that the Trump administration doesn’t necessarily want to see that change when the Farm Bill is rewritten this year.

The 2014 Farm Bill allowed hemp production for the first time in a generation – but only in states with authorized hemp research projects.

“Opening the door wide open nationwide, with no restrictions, may not be in the best interests of the hemp industry,” Ibach said, providing the most thorough comments yet from the Trump administration about hemp.

“One of the challenges we maybe have in the hemp industry is to make sure that demand and production coincide,” he told the media, including Marijuana Business Daily, after speaking at the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture in Denver.

Asked how the USDA and Trump administration envision hemp being regulated, Ibach said there’s danger to opening up the market to all states.

“We need to be careful so that we don’t kill the market for hemp by overburdening the market with supply before there is demand for it,” Ibach added.

He said oversight of hemp should belong to the U.S. Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, not the USDA.

The DEA appeared in court last week to argue that CBD, a molecule derived from hemp and marijuana, is an illegal drug and not authorized by the Farm Bill.

To sign up for our weekly hemp business newsletter, click here.

Kristen Nichols can be reached at [email protected]

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York Regional Police tweeted on Tuesday that marijuana doesn’t increase the growth of breasts in men after one of its officers told high school students at a panel last week that “doobies make boobies.”

“We’re no health experts, but we’re pretty sure getting high does not cause enhanced mammary growth in men,” York police tweeted. “We are aware of the misinformation about cannabis that was unfortunately provided to the community by our officers. We’re working to address it.”

At a meeting last week at its Aurora headquarters, the York Catholic school board gathered students to give them a chance to ask the experts about the drug with recreational marijuana use becoming legal this summer.

Representatives from York Regional Police, public health and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health were there to discuss the effects of pot use.

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Some critics were quick to point out what they said was misinformation after a transcript appeared in the Aurora Banner.

“Smoking marijuana does not give you (larger) breasts,” said Dr. John Harrison, the chief scientific officer of TeamMD, a health-care service company giving expert advice from Minneapolis, Minn.

“Marijuana does impact hormones but by no means does it give anyone breasts. That’s what you call knowledge going the wrong way. There’s no scientific basis that I know of.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, a renowned medical research group based in Rochester, Minn., marijuana is just one of several substances that can cause gynecomastia, which is the swelling of breast tissue in males due to an “imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone.”

The clinic’s website also states that alcohol and street drugs such as amphetamines, heroin and methadone can result

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More than 250 hemp happenings take place in early June, when Hemp History Week arrives.

The campaign — set for June 4–10 — is coordinated by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp. HIA is a nonprofit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers, farmers and supporters. Vote Hemp is a nonprofit advocacy group.

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The logo for Hemp History Week.

Image: Courtesy hemphistoryweek.com

Hemp History Week is an industrywide effort sponsored by brands such as Dr. Bronner’s, Manitoba Harvest, Nature’s Path Organic, Nutiva, Pacific Foods and Plus+ CBD Oil.

A focus will be on lobbying in Washington, D.C., and at state capitols, but some 250 other grass-roots events also are planned — plantings, markets, film screenings and more.

Last year, more than 25,000 acres of hemp were planted and harvested in the United States. That’s a record in the few years since passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which has resulted in 34 states lifting a ban on industrial hemp farming at the state level.

States that legalized industrial hemp farming — per provision Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill — include Wisconsin, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Still, federal law prohibits commercial industrial hemp cultivation. And challenges for the industry include:

• Inability of hemp farmers to obtain crop insurance and financing.

• Difficulties involved with sourcing certified hemp seed.

• Lack of adequate processing infrastructure in the United States for raw hemp materials.

• Government interference with interstate commerce of U.S. grown and manufactured hemp products.

• Misregulation of CBD

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