Sticky’s Pot Shop gets a reprieve in court ruling

Sticky’s Pot Shop gets a reprieve in court ruling

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Sticky’s Pot Shop gets a reprieve in court ruling

The Columbian / Associated Press

The owner of Sticky’s Pot Shop, a cannabis retailer that was shuttered last year after defying Clark County’s ban on recreational weed businesses, said he will reopen the store after a recent victory in the ongoing legal conflict.

On Friday, Clark County Superior Court Judge Daniel Stahnke issued an order allowing Sticky’s, 9411 N.E. Highway 99 in Hazel Dell, to reopen for business while its owner, John Larson, appeals the county’s ban on recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas.

The order requires Larson to file a $205,000 bond with the court before reopening the store. Mark Nelson, Larson’s attorney, said that the bond is intended to cover the $92,000 in fines the company has already accrued for defying the ban and to cover the additional penalties and costs it would owe the county if it loses its appeal.

“This is an important issue that goes beyond just Sticky’s and one that will have an impact on many other licensees and business owners throughout the state,” Larson wrote in an emailed response to questions.

Larson wrote that he expects to file the bond this week and that the store will be in the same location. According to Larson, it will take time to get the store running again and he didn’t have exact dates for its soft and grand openings.

In December 2015, Larson opened the store under the name Emerald Enterprises LLC. After opening he ran into Clark County’s prohibitions on such businesses, facing fines and a revocation of the shop’s building permit. In September 2016, the store shut its doors after Stahnke denied Larson’s request and ordered the defiant business to close.

In February 2017, Larson appealed Clark County’s pot shop ban to the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II. Larson’s case concerns an ongoing legal dispute that’s arisen since Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012: whether local jurisdictions can pass restrictions on cannabis-oriented businesses. According to the Municipal Research and Services Center, 86 cities and counties in Washington have either moratoriums or prohibitions on state-licensed marijuana businesses.

Nelson, in his brief filed on behalf of Larson, argues that prohibitions on marijuana shops by local governments are illegal. He points to a section of the state constitution that blocks local jurisdictions from passing ordinances that violate state law and argues that the initiative that legalized marijuana doesn’t provide counties and cities with a mechanism to prohibit pot shops.

The state Attorney General’s office has taken a different stance arguing that nothing in the marijuana legalization initiative overrides the ability of local governments to regulate or ban these businesses.

“The jury is still out if those bans are constitutional and that’s what we are waiting to hear from Division II,” said Nelson, who expects a decision next year.

Nelson said that the process in this case has been particularly delayed. In May, the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II issued an order directing Clark County Superior Court to allow Sticky’s to open until the appeal has been settled.

County Council Chair Marc Boldt said that the order puts the county in a relatively good position.

“It really puts (Larson) in jeopardy because if we do win he will have to pay all this money,” said Boldt. “And it in a way it’s easier for the county so we don’t have to go after the property.”

He said that if the county loses the case the council will revisit its ban, which he said there has already been some talk of regardless.

County Councilor Julie Olson, whose district encompasses the shop, said she’s not immediately worried by Sticky’s reopening. She said she doesn’t have strong feelings either way regarding the ban and is open to revising it. But she said any decision would need to be informed by data on legal marijuana’s impact on youth, law enforcement and public health.

“I don’t want to make decisions on anecdotal stories,” she said. “Everyone’s got one.”

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 01:03:31 +0000

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Vets, Pets, and Cannabis Meds

Vets, Pets, and Cannabis Meds

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Vets, Pets, and Cannabis Meds

There are at least 130,000 medical cannabis patients in Canada that have benefited from the healing nature of cannabis- but what about pets?

Some pet owners have turned to cannabis to treat many of the same issues it has helped humans with such as cancer, seizures, arthritis, anxiety, and chronic pain.

It is worth noting that almost all animals have an endocannabinoid system, including mammals, birds, fish and reptiles, although in invertebrates (such as insects) it has not been conclusively proven and remains controversial. Although keep in mind that while animals have an endocannabinoid system, they can and will react to cannabis differently than humans. Sometimes it can even be toxic.

According to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario…

On May 25th, 2017, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) issued an update that the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) do not apply to animals.

This means it’s currently illegal for veterinarians to prescribe CBD oils for your pet because there is no ‘legal pathway’ to do so since Health Canada has not approved any CBD products for animals. Of course, this lack of a ‘legal pathway’ may only be temporary if manufacturers of CBD oils for animals are able to obtain the necessary approval from Health Canada.

What are some pet owners doing about it?

But this lack of official approval hasn’t stopped some pet owners, and there are already companies offering tinctures and cannabinoid-infused goodies for your furry friends- and they’ve been seeing some amazing things.

We were able to speak to a few of these companies and ask them their thoughts on cannabinoids and canines.

Cheri, from Euphoria Potions and Edibles, makes dog biscuits called Bella’s Bones, saying “ I developed these treats to help my friend’s dog that lives with epilepsy, and now her seizures are shorter in duration and she seems to have a smile on her face and pep in her step”.

She also said that “other owners commented that their dogs slept more soundly and could settle down during a long car ride”.

On potential side effects, Cheri said “they are minimal as long as the pet is not given too much for their size. Like with humans, using the “Start Low and Go Slow” rule is the best to build up tolerance in your pet”.  

Tania Jackett, from Liberty Farms, makes dog biscuits called “Love Buds CBD Treats”,  and she said “CBD (which is not psychoactive) can be very beneficial for pets with anxiety, arthritis, cancer, digestive issues, seizures, inflammation, pain, and even motion sickness” although she warns “if you give your pet too much CBD they could get a bit of diarrhea so do keep it to a minimum”.

Tania also talks about how CBD treatment “can improve pets’ lives tremendously” saying that “we hear many great testimonials from pet owners about how well their dogs are doing now- mainly for older dogs with pain and inflammation issues”.

Tania said “the reason I started making dog treats was for our Akita, Kaslo. He had exocrine pancreatic insufficiency which means his pancreas didn’t digest his food. A dog that is supposed to be 120 pounds was shrinking away, and he had to take digestive enzymes with every meal- but he was allergic to those enzymes! So we had to figure something else out. We gave him 2 pork pancreas with each meal to digest his food and he got back to his normal weight, but we noticed he was always in pain. So we started working with CBD, and the sigh of relief when he had his first CBD Treat was incredible”.

“A Lack of Research”

Veterinarians do not recommend using CBD oil to treat your pets, citing a lack of research and risk of overdose, warning of increasing cannabis poisoning cases in pets as cannabis is legalized- and owners need to make sure to keep their edibles out of the reach of their pets as some pets have even died after accidentally ingesting their owner’s edibles, but it’s unknown whether the deaths were due to the cannabis itself or other ingredients in the edible, which was intended for human consumption only. As you may know, there are many things humans can eat that are dangerous for dogs, such as chocolate, avocado, and even onions!

But why is there such a lack of research?

There’s certainly no shortage of animal testing in the medical literature. Humans have done animal testing since the ancient Greeks all the way up to today, and we don’t bat an eye when it comes to testing experimental, potentially dangerous new drugs on animals first. So why, when it comes to a medicinal plant humans have been using for millennia, is there such a lack of research on cannabis and how it can help our canine friends?

Going forward

“A lack of research” should be a familiar refrain for anyone with a stake or interest in medicinal cannabis, and although significant progress has been made in this case for humans, for our pets, there’s still a long way to go.

Although much of the evidence is anecdotal, there are growing numbers of pet owners with their own personal stories of how cannabis has helped improve their pet’s lives.

Will there ever come a point when the money and time gets invested to find out why? It may feel weird calling for animal testing giving the knee-jerk reaction the phrase often elicits, but this time, it’s for their benefit.

Aren’t our pets worth it?

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:05:55 +0000

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Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

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Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

The Columbian / Associated Press

DENVER — A recent insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, a leading insurance research group, said in study results released Thursday that collision claims in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon went up 2.7 percent in the years since legal recreational marijuana sales began when compared with surrounding states. Legal recreational pot sales in Colorado began in January 2014, followed six months later in Washington, and in October 2015 in Oregon.

“We believe that the data is saying that crash risk has increased in these states and those crash risks are associated with the legalization of marijuana,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president with the institute, which analyzes insurance data to observe emerging auto safety trends.

Mason Tvert, a marijuana legalization advocate and communications director with the Marijuana Policy Project, questioned the study’s comparison of claims in rural states such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana with Colorado, Oregon and Washington that have dense population centers and how that affected the study’s findings.

“The study raises more questions than it provides answers and it’s an area that would surely receive more study, and deservedly so,” Tvert said.

Researchers accounted for factors such as the number of vehicles on the road in the study and control states, age and gender of drivers, weather and even whether the driver making a claim was employed. Neighboring states with similar fluctuations in claims were used for comparison.

Insurance industry groups have been keeping a close watch on claims when auto accidents across the country began to go up in 2013 after more than a decade of steady decline. Insurance companies found several possible factors at play in the spike that included distracted driving through texting or cellphone use, road construction, and an improved economy that has led to leisurely drives and more miles driven, as well as marijuana legalization.

“It would appear, probably not to anyone’s surprise, that the use of marijuana contributes to crashes,” said Kenton Brine, president of the industry group Northwest Insurance Council that represents companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. He added: “It would be difficult to say that marijuana is a definitive factor, lacking a citation, in a significant number of crashes to say that what we’re seeing here is a trend.”

The Highway Loss Data Institute said its study examined claims from January 2012 to October 2016.

“The problem here is that it’s a pretty new experience,” said Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, an industry group that covers Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. “This is the first study that has been able to isolate legal pot as one of the factors.”

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana for adults.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader adds that alcohol impairment remains one of the biggest concerns on the road.

“While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving,” Rader said.

A study released last year by AAA’s safety foundation found legal THC limits established by states with legal marijuana have no scientific basis and can result in innocent drivers being convicted, and guilty drivers being released.

Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study’s findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:37:53 +0000

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