Arizona Central: “As an interior designer, Megan Stone’s job is to create a certain vibe or energy with visual cues and creative materials in a space. But her specific area of expertise also involves breaking down and overcoming stereotypes. Stone must not only make her clients’ spaces customer-friendly, but in many cases also help her clients’ customers forget, even for a few minutes, everything they walked by or drove though to get there. . . . By 2015, Stone had designed dispensaries in seven states, she said. Now, her work is showcased in 15 states in 26 dispensaries. . . . TruMed dispensary had been operating for a year before it connected with Stone about three years ago, said Lauren Gooding, the registered nurse for TruMed.”
Tucson Weekly: “Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state’s medical marijuana industry by quashing a long-standing legal assault by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. Montgomery constantly rails against imaginary dangers of marijuana, likely borne from knowing little to nothing about the plant, and based on flawed data. He was a major player in the fight against Proposition 205 along with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk. Just to give you a taste of Montgomery’s perplexing perspective, he once argued in a debate with a medical marijuana advocate and lawyer that marijuana should be illegal because “that’s what God wants.”
Phoenix New Times: “The Arizona Supreme Court saved the state’s medical-marijuana law on Tuesday, slapping down the Maricopa County Attorney’s crusade to overturn it. Without comment, the high court denied a petition by County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s office to review a December state Court of Appeals ruling in White Mountain Health v. Maricopa County/Montgomery. That ends the state-level battle against the law.”
Reuters: “Toxic chemicals from illegal marijuana farms hidden deep in California’s forests are showing up in rivers and streams that feed the state’s water supply, prompting fears that humans and animals may be at risk, data reviewed by Reuters show. The presence of potentially deadly pollutants in eight Northern and Central California watersheds is the latest sign of damage to the environment from thousands of illegal cannabis plantations, many of them run by drug cartels serving customers in other states, according to law enforcement. . . . California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming. There are as many as 50,000 marijuana farms in California”
Daily Mail: “Marijuana use does NOT affect teenager’s IQ, says new study (but it does make you dumber as an adult). Using cannabis between 12 and 18 does not make an adolescent’s IQ decline
Children with low IQs are more likely to take the drug as teenagers. Cannabis does not have the suspected effects on brains and education. Researchers from Arizona State University analyzed 1,989 twins born in 1994-5. Past studies revealed cannabis use affects teenager’s educational achievements.”
Madison.com: “A new market as large as $8.7 billion per year could open up in Canada in 2018. That’s the high end of the range projected by accounting and consulting firm Deloitte for the Canadian recreational marijuana market. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing to legalize recreational use of the drug by next summer. . . . Several marijuana growers already dominate the medical marijuana market in Canada and stand to benefit if the country legalizes recreational marijuana. The publicly traded companies on the list include Aphria, Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, and MedReleaf. . . . Aphria owns part of Arizona medical marijuana provider Copperstate Farms.”
See Copperstate Farms, LLC.
Press Banner: “The so-called “green rush” has jarred Santa Cruz County, where the value of a retail cannabis license has soared to more than $2 million. Of the 14 dispensaries in the county, four have changed hands in the last 12 months. . . . What’s driving the prices up, according to sellers and lawyers, is the July passage of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis and Safety Act that allows owners to possess two licenses – medical and recreational – and sell both products at the same location.
Phoenix New Times: “Medical-marijuana businesses in Maricopa County haven’t been paying as much in property tax as they could. County Assessor Paul Petersen wants to change that. Over the next few years, his plan to start enforcing business personal property tax on dispensaries and cultivation facilities is expected to yield millions of dollars in new revenue for county schools and community colleges.”
CNN: “As attitudes about marijuana shift around the world, researchers are warning parents that it’s risky to keep it around children, especially those who are too young to know what it is. The number of children who were admitted to emergency rooms for unintentional marijuana intoxication increased by 133% in France over an 11-year period, according to a new study. Marijuana intoxication can occur when a child accidentally ingests a marijuana product or inhales marijuana smoke.”
Politico: “Marijuana legalization just moved from the fringes of the last presidential campaign to center stage in 2020. Between a sweeping new package of legislation introduced last week by one of the top Democratic presidential prospects and, on the other end of the spectrum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vigorous opposition to recreational use of marijuana, the debate over legalization of cannabis is about to receive a full airing on the presidential campaign trail. While Bernie Sanders also supported medicinal use of marijuana and the decriminalization of recreational marijuana, drug policy stayed on the outskirts of the 2016 presidential debate, and growing action at the state level was barely acknowledged. Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a bipartisan nonprofit advocacy group, said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s introduction of “the farthest-reaching bill ever proposed” will have a catalytic effect on the politics of legalized marijuana and the myriad criminal justice issues related to it.”
Reuters: “People who smoke marijuana have a three times greater risk of dying from hypertension, or high blood pressure, than those who have never used the drug, scientists said on Wednesday. The risk grows with every year of use, they said. The findings, from a study of some 1,200 people, could have implications in the United States among other countries.
Los Angeles Times: “A leader of California’s marijuana industry warned Wednesday that the state’s cannabis growers produce eight times the pot that is consumed in the state so some will face “painful” pressure to reduce crops under new state regulations that will ban exports after Jan. 1. Some marijuana growers will stay in the black market and continue to illegally send cannabis to other states, which is also not allowed under federal law, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Assn. ‘We are producing too much,” Allen said, adding state-licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve’.”
Daily Mail: “In California, illegal marijuana farms are taking over thousands of acres of land as toxic wastes are increasingly corrupting ecosystems. California is responsible for the majority of illegal U.S. marijuana farming. New data says the state holds ‘731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides.’ The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2011 its planned to ban toxic fertilizers like zinc phosphide. Chemicals of the kind have been linked to serious health effects in both animals and humans.
The Californian: “a big white bus was waiting to whisk 14 seniors off on a new adventure: a shopping trip at a medical marijuana dispensary. ‘I don’t want a buzz,’ passenger Kay Nelson insisted, shaking her silver head. ‘I want relief from pain.’ Nelson has been a member of the Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis Club for two years. She uses a vaporizer and oils supplied by the senior-run collective to ease her chronic backache.”
The Recorder: “A regional IRS executive told a gathering of cannabis lawyers on Friday that the agency is not out to target them, despite their work with clients whose marijuana businesses remain illegal under federal law. Matthew Houtsma, associate area counsel for the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, said the tax agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility has held that “to the extent [a lawyer] is representing someone in the industry, that is not sanctionable.”
Ray Stern of the Phoenix New Times wrote a story with the headline “Big Green: Marijuana Merger of Harvest, Cultivation Company May Bear Fruit for Patients.” This story about Harvest of Arizona doesn’t add up, It raises a whole lot of questions. Here are some quotes from the story:
“Harvest of Arizona, the Tempe-based medical-marijuana dispensary company with retail shops in Tempe and Scottsdale, announced a merger Tuesday that would make it one of the largest players in the growing industry.
Harvest has merged with Arizona cultivator Modern Flower, currently the state’s “leading wholesale supplier,” the company said in a news release, adding that the company will soon become “the largest medical marijuana operator in Arizona.”
By January, Harvest — the 2015 Best of Phoenix winner for Best Dispensary — will own eight dispensaries and seven cultivation centers in the state, said the company’s CEO, attorney Steve White.”
Here are some interesting facts about the company Ray Stern said will soon be “the largest medical marijuana operator in Arizona:”
- There is a website at www.harvestofaz.com that appears to be the site for two Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries referred to as Harvest of Tempe and Harvest of Scottsdale. This website says that Harvest of Tempe is located at 710 W Elliot Rd #102 Tempe, AZ and Harvest of Scottsdale is located at 15190 N Hayden Rd. Scottsdale, AZ.
- According to an August 2, 2016 list of dispensaries published by the Arizona Department of Health Services the dispensary located at 710 W. Elliot Road, Suite 102, Tempe, AZ, is owned by Verde Dispensary, Inc., not Harvest of Arizona, LLC. This list does not show a dispensary at 15190 N Hayden Rd. Scottsdale, AZ, because it was published before that dispensary opened.
- Verde Dispensary, Inc., is an Arizona nonprofit corporation formed on February 25, 2011. Its president and sole director is Steve White.
- Harvest of Arizona, LLC, is an Arizona limited liability company created on July 31, 2015. It is a manager managed LLC whose sole manager and member is Steve White.
- Because Harvest of Arizona, LLC, was created four years after the first dispensary licenses were issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2011, it could not own a license to operate any of the original 98 medical marijuana dispensaries that were licensed in 2011. Licenses to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in Arizona cannot be transferred. How is it possible for Harvest of Arizona, LLC, to acquire eight Arizona medical marijuana dispensary licenses?
- As of July 13, 2017, Harvest’s website homepage says “Harvest of Arizona Dispensaries, Servicing Phoenix Metro Area Patients at our Tempe and Scottsdale Dispensaries” Why does Harvest of Arizona, LLC’s website say it has two dispensaries rather than three or four or eight if it acquired additional dispensaries?
- A May 3, 2017, story in the Arizona Republic stated “When the doors to the original Harvest dispensary opened in 2013, it was the fourth in the Valley and first in Tempe, White said. In September 2016, the second Harvest location opened in Scottsdale.” How does an LLC created on July 31, 2015, own a dispensary that opened in 2013?
- As of July 13, 2017, Harvest’s In the News web page is silent as to a merger of Harvest with any company.
- The Phoenix New Times story says “Harvest has merged with Arizona cultivator Modern Flower, currently the state’s “leading wholesale supplier,” Clicking on the Modern Flower link takes you to a Facebook with the heading “Modern Flower Dispensary.”
- There is no entity formed in Arizona or licensed to do business in Arizona under the name “Modern Flower.” Modern Flower is a trade name filed on February 7, 2017, with the Arizona Secretary of State. This trade name is owned by an Arizona limited liability company called TJV-168, LLC, which was formed on March 1, 2017. The TJV-168 TRUST is the member of the TJV-168, LLC, Its manager is Touraj Jason Vedadi. The TJV-168 Trust could be Touraj Jason Vedadi’s trust.
- Black’s Law Dictionary defines “merger” as “A merger of corporations consist in the uniting of two or more corporations by the transfer of property of all to one of them, which continues in existence, the others being swallowed up or merged therein.” A merger results in the legal termination of one of the parties to the merger. Because both TJV-168, LLC, and Harvest of Arizona, LLC, continue to exist they have not merged. Why does Harvest of Arizona, LLC, say it merged with a trade name owned by an Arizona LLC that continues to exist?
“Harvest” issued a press release dated July 11, 2017, that has some interesting statements:
“Harvest, a national medical marijuana operator based in Arizona, has merged with Modern Flower, a local marijuana cultivator and leading wholesale cannabis supplier. The merger allows Harvest to become the largest medical marijuana operator in Arizona, with more dispensary licenses and cultivation facilities than any other medical marijuana operator in the state.
‘Since we opened our first dispensary in Tempe four years ago, Harvest has grown, and we’ve done so in a manner that directly benefits patients,’ said Steve White, CEO of Harvest.
Merger allows Harvest to increase its footprint in the state, with 8 medical marijuana dispensary licenses and 3 cultivation facilities, to serve the growing demand from patients for medicinal cannabis
Since we opened our first dispensary in Tempe four years ago, Harvest has grown
[Harvest is] A national model in the medical cannabis industry
The merger will bring six additional Arizona dispensary licenses to Harvest
Harvest is a national medical cannabis company that was founded by a business-litigation attorney in 2011
For more information, visit harvestinc.com. . . . Kaylynn Arnold, (602) 828-1478 email@example.com”
No where in the press release does it identify the exact name of the company called “Harvest” that is the subject of the press release. Clearly Harvest does not mean Harvest of Arizona, LLC, because it was not formed until July 31, 2015, and the press release says Harvest opened its first dispensary in 2013. Why doesn’t the press release state the exact name of Harvest? Could the Harvest that is the subject of the press release be one of the following:
- Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC, an Arizona LLC formed on June 9, 2015, whose members are Steve White and Matt Waltz?
- Harvest of Massachusetts, LLC, an Arizona LLC formed on September 8, 2015, whose member is Steve White.
What is the exact name of the company called “Harvest” in the press release? Why does the press release fail to identify Harvest? The press release raises the following questions:
- How is it possible for Modern Flower (what ever that is) to be “a local marijuana cultivator and leading wholesale cannabis supplier?” Modern Flower is apparently not a licensed Arizona medical marijuana dispensary. How can Modern Flower be a wholesale cannabis supplier? Only Arizona licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed care givers can legally grow marijuana in Arizona.
- Why doesn’t the press release identify the Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries it acquired in the merger?
- Steve White says Harvest opened its first dispensary four years ago, but Harvest of Arizona, LLC, was formed on July 31, 2015.
- Note the press release ends with “For more information, visit harvestinc.com.” Why doesn’t it say visit harvestofaz.com, which is the website for Harvest of Tempe and Harvest of Scottsdale. There is no company formed in Arizona or registered to do business in Arizona named Harvest Inc.
In researching Harvest I found some additional interesting facts.
- On March 4, 2013, the Arizona Secretary of State issued the trade name “Harvest of Tempe” to an Arizona nonprofit corporation called Nowak Wellness, Inc. for a health and wellness center. Nowak Wellness, Inc., was incorporated on February 25, 2011, and dissolved by the Arizona Corporation Commission on August 8, 2014. Its statutory agent was Steve White. Paul Nowak was the corporation’s President and sole member of its board of directors.
- The Harvest, Inc., website states “Harvest is a national enterprise. Presently, we hold medical cannabis dispensary, cultivation, and production licenses in Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, and Nevada.” How is it possible that a company that is not formed in Arizona or registered to do business in Arizona “holds” medical cannabis dispensary, cultivation, and production licenses in Arizona?”
- The Harvest, Inc., website states “Our flagship dispensary, Harvest of Tempe, has been in operation since May 2013.”
- The Harvest, Inc., website states on its contact page that its address is “627 S 48th St, Ste 100 Tempe, AZ 85281.” Why is Harvest, Inc. doing business in Arizona when it is not registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission to do business in Arizona as required by Arizona law?
- The URL harvestinc.com is registered to Matthew DiDonato who is the treasurer and director of an Arizona company called Harvesting Hope, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation formed in April 9, 2014. David Grandon, William Troutt NMD and Steven M. White are also directors of this corporation. “Harvesting Hope’s website states its “Medical Director, Dr. William D. Troutt, is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who specializes in cannabis-based medicine and treatment.”
- The address of Harvesting Hope, Inc. is the same as Harvest of Tempe.
- In 2015 the Phoenix New Times named Harvest of Tempe a “best medical marijuana dispensary.” This story ends with the following text: “Readers Choice: Herbal Wellness Center 710 W. Elliot Rd., Tempe, 85284 480-777-2100 harvestoftempe.com. If you click on that URL you will be redirected to www.harvestofaz.com. The URL harvestofaz.com is registered to Kyle Wyloge.
I hope the “Harvest” of the press release will give the public:
- the location of each of its eight Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries
- the legal name of the entity that owns each of the eight dispensaries
- an explanation of the so called merger between Harvest of Arizona, LLC, and the trade name “Modern Flower.”
Fox 13 Salt Lake City: “Nevada’s governor has endorsed a statement of emergency declared for recreational marijuana regulations, after the state’s tax authority declared that many stores are running out of weed. The Nevada Tax Commission said in a statement it will consider emergency regulations on July 13 to provide a structure for marijuana distribution to retailers. It would allow for liquor wholesalers to get in on the marijuana business.”
CBS News: “Does driving while high have any impact on auto accident rates? Legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington correlates to about a 3 percent increase in auto collision claim frequencies compared to states without such legislation, according to a new Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study. It’s the first one the group has conducted since the drug went on sale legally.”
PJ Media: “Facing a Justice Department seeking to crack down on medical marijuana jurisdictions, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Thursday reintroduced legislation that would allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies free from the threat of federal prosecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May asked that Congress eliminate protections for medical marijuana users and proprietors in legal states, so that the department could crack down on illegal activity and combat dangerous drug traffickers in the midst of a historic drug epidemic. Sessions in his May 1 letter to leaders in both chambers asked lawmakers to remove the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which bars DOJ from spending appropriated funds to prosecute medical marijuana users and proprietors in legal states.”
Yahoo: “It’s early morning, just after breakfast, and six-year-old Cayley is wide awake, eagerly anticipating her daily dose of cannabis. The black labrador, tail wagging, laps up the liquid tincture owner Brett Hartmann squirts into her mouth, a remedy he uses morning and evening to help alleviate Cayley’s anxiety. “Ever since I started her on CBD (cannabidiol — a marijuana extract), her separation anxiety has disappeared,” says Hartmann, 30, of his pet, a service dog he acquired while in college because he had epilepsy.”
Brietbart: “Less than a year after Massachusetts voters approved legalizing marijuana and taxing it at a rate of 12 percent, lawmakers already seek a larger take of the dealer’s cut. In shifting marijuana from decriminalized to legal status, voters permitted a maximum tax of 12 percent on sales of the sweet leaf. Seven months later, the state legislature seeks to grab more of pot profits by permitting taxes as high as 28 percent.”
Bloomberg Technology: “Cannabis companies are turning to the world’s most popular digital currency in an effort to get rid of all that cash. The inability to access traditional financial institutions is one of the marijuana industry’s biggest impediments. Legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co. But because pot is illegal under federal law, big banks and credit-card companies steer clear. That’s forced most merchants to accept cash only, a logistical headache and constant security threat. Enter bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that consists of digital coins “mined” by computers solving increasingly complex math problems.”
Phoenix New Times: “Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday to review an appeals-court ruling that struck down a ban on medical marijuana on college campuses. In the 15-page petition for review, lawyers for the state claim that the Arizona Legislature had the right to alter the voter-enacted law with a new law signed by former Governor Jan Brewer in 2012. They want provisions of the 2012 law re-established so that college students with medical-marijuana cards can face felony arrest and prosecution for possessing any amount of marijuana.”
10th Circuit Rules Neighbors May File Federal RICO Lawsuit Against State-licensed Marijuana Growing Operation
Washington Post: “Marijuana has been decriminalized and regulated by various states, but it remains forbidden by federal law. This means that state-legal marijuana growers might still face federal charges, though federal prosecutors could choose not to enforce the federal ban in such situations. But it also means that private citizens . . . could sue neighboring marijuana growers under the federal RICO statute, on the theory that the growers are interfering with the neighbors’ use of their land — as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit just held Wednesday in Safe Streets Alliance v. Alternative Holistic Healing, LLC. And this would not be affected by a Justice Department policy of not enforcing the criminal ban on marijuana production and distribution in those states that allow marijuana.”
This lawsuit concerns marijuana growing in Colorado.
Santafe New Mexican: “A state-licensed medical marijuana producer is suing EXPO New Mexico officials, saying restrictions on what the company would be allowed to display in an informational booth during the annual state fair in Albuquerque violate free speech laws. New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health says in a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court that the rules are so strict the company couldn’t even display its logo, which features a stylized image of a marijuana leaf, and would moot the purpose of having an informational booth at the fair. . . . Ultra Health President Duke Rodriguez said his company had permission to display the nonflowering seedling”
Tucson Weekly: “Arizona medical marijuana users lawyered up late last year to contest the state’s fees for certification. Those efforts burnt out in mid-May as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge decided there was nothing she could do about the situation. The lawsuit arose when a caregiver claimed that the medical marijuana program under the state’s Department of Health Services collected more money that it needed to operate and the $150 annual fee for patients and the $200 fee for caregivers were unnecessarily burdensome.”
CNN: “Thirty-eight days into the job, the new director of the US Secret Service, Randolph Alles, is getting to know his agency. Alles told reporters Thursday that he’s working to grow the Secret Service, including by relaxing the agency’s drug policy on marijuana. Instead of a policy that would disqualify an applicant who has used the drug more than a certain number of times, the agency will now use a ‘whole-person concept’ to measure marijuana use, potentially allowing candidates who admit to marijuana use based on the last age at which they used the drug and the amount of time between then and their application to the agency.”
Tucson.com: “A judge has rebuffed efforts by medical marijuana users to force the state to reduce the fees it charges patients. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry said she does not dispute that the Department of Health Services is collecting more from medical marijuana users than it needs to administer the program.”
Phoenix New Times: “Arizona is the Wild West of medical-marijuana testing, with no more government oversight of product safety in dispensaries than there was in 1800s-era drugstores. Yet with concern about contaminated legal cannabis rising in recent months with reports of recalls and new state laws that require testing of marijuana products, should the state adopt its own quality standards? Will Humble, who served as Arizona Department of Health Services director from 2009 to 2015, said he doesn’t think the state needs to enforce purity standards for medical marijuana sold at dispensaries, at least for now.”