The Northern California wildfires this week have destroyed at least seven marijuana farms just months before the state begins licensing legal sales of cannabis, making it the “worst year on record” for loss of crops, an industry leader said Tuesday.
Many growers lost their homes and farms in the Redwood Complex fire in Mendocino County, the Atlas fire in Napa County and the Stubbs and Nuns fires in Sonoma County, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Assn.
“The October 2017 firestorm is having an extremely severe impact on our communities,” Allen said. “It is the worst year on record, and the worst year I can remember, in terms of farms lost. We have been able to confirm seven farms lost, but we expect the number to be much higher as more information comes in.”
California motorists under the age of 21 would lose their driver’s license for a year if caught driving with marijuana in their system under new legislation, though the state still is developing methods of measuring the drug in the body and determining a standard for impairment.
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) said he proposed the law so that the state would have the same “zero tolerance” policy for pot that it has for those under 21 who drive under the influence of alcohol.
“This bill will save lives by making it illegal for drivers under age 21 to drive under the influence of marijuana, just like current law for alcohol,” Hill said in a statement.
Californians have been able to use marijuana as medicine for two decades, and soon their sick pets may also be able to take advantage of cannabis’ health benefits.
State Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) has introduced a bill that would require the Veterinary Medical Board to establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis for animals.
“It is critical for the protection of our beloved pets that knowledgeable veterinarians be allowed to discuss the safe use and medicinal value of cannabis products already available to California consumers,” Kalra said.
The city of Los Angeles has issued a total of 101 temporary authorizations to marijuana businesses since the drug became legal for recreational sales in the beginning of January, a Los Angeles City Council committee was told Friday.
Cat Packer, head of the city's Department of Cannabis Regulation, also told the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee that her office has so far taken in far more revenue than was anticipated.
California minors with special needs or severe disabilities who rely on marijuana for medical purposes would be allowed to use the drug at their school under legislation introduced last week by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).
The measure would allowa parent or guardian to administer the drug in the form of oil, capsules, tinctures, liquids or topical creams on school campuses where the practice has been approved by the county board of education, Hill said.
Even before California legalized recreational marijuana Jan. 1, pot was enjoying a gray renaissance.
From 2006 to 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported a 250% rise in marijuana use by Americans 65 and older. It is still a small share, climbing from 0.4% to 1.4% of that population, but local dispensaries see plenty of silver-haired shoppers.
Frustrated with traditional therapies for chronic pain and post-combat stress disorders, a growing number of military veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are turning to medical marijuana for their treatment, a move that has put them at sharp odds with the Trump administration.
The White House has resisted calls from Democrats in Congress, pro-reform activists and even the American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, to support research into whether marijuana can help veterans, apparently fearing that any move by the Department of Veterans Affairs to study its effectiveness will be another step toward nationwide legalization.
With recreational marijuana sales now legal in California, one lawmaker wants to find out whether drugged driving is going to be a significant problem.
Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia) has introduced a bill that would require all local law enforcement agencies to file annual reports with the state Department of Motor Vehicles detailing the number of arrests made for driving under the influence and the number of those arrests in which pot was suspected to be the substance causing impairment.
“Currently, the state has no uniform mechanism in place to evaluate cannabis drugged-driving arrests as a result of legalization,” Chau said.