Minnesota picks Michelle Larson to head state's medical pot program

Categories: Marijuana

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Dank Depot

Minnesota's Department of Health finally made its pick to head up the new medical cannabis program yesterday, choosing department vet Michelle Larson to lead the program as it prepares to launch over the next year.

Larson comes to the program after nearly a decade with the department, and while she won't have any say on new policy, she will help guide the shape and logistics of the cannabis program, which is set to go into effect in July 2015.

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Here's what to expect at the upcoming cannabis meetings, open to the public


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American Cannabis Company is counseling potential Minnesota pot producers

Categories: Marijuana
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Dank Depot
They won't say who, but the American Cannabis Company is counseling a group of "Minnesota-based entrepreneurs" who want to become manufacturers of the new state-sanctioned medicine.

ACC got off the ground last year in Colorado, working with local applicants, but has since expanded to include clients across the U.S. and as far as the eastern seaboard of Canada. Trent Woloveck, the company COO, says his team will be tasked with meeting Minnesota regulatory standards while "bringing what our best practices are from these more mature markets."

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Gov. Mark Dayton's medical cannabis task force includes staunch opponents and supporters



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Here's what to expect at the upcoming medical cannabis meetings, open to the public

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Dank Depot
-- Correction at bottom --

The state's new 23-person medical cannabis task force has a public meeting coming up.

It's scheduled July 31 and intended mostly as a meet-and-greet for the task force members who will be tasked with evaluating the medical cannabis program. It'll be followed Aug. 8 by a meeting for folks interested in becoming certified manufacturers of cannabis.

See also:
Gov. Mark Dayton's medical cannabis task force includes staunch opponents and supporters



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The DFL just came really close to putting legal pot on its list of priorities

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Coleen Danger
At the Minnesota DFL convention in Duluth last month, 1,076 delegates cast ballots related to the party's 2014-15 action agenda. Resolutions ranged from taxes to veterans to recreational cannabis.

The last one needed 619 votes to pass, but ended up with 603, according to tally takers.

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Gov. Mark Dayton's medical cannabis task force includes staunch opponents and supporters



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Gov. Mark Dayton's medical cannabis task force includes staunch opponents and supporters

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Dank Depot
Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton named 16 people to a task force that's responsible for evaluating the state's medical cannabis program. The list is a mixed bag, including eight healthcare providers and four members of the public -- but also four opponents from the law enforcement community.

None of them have been content to sit on the sidelines. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, for instance, once wrote an op-ed calling cannabis "the most dangerous illegal drug in our nation," and reaffirmed that position last November, mocking the use of the term "medical."

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States turn to Minnesota as model for new marijuana bills

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9-year-old pot snitch told police, "Doing drugs is bad"

Categories: Crime, Marijuana

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The parents gave their marijuana plants names like "Justice" and "Lily," a police report says.
The 9-year-old Barnesville girl who snitched on her parents for growing pot entered the police station on June 6 "visibly upset" and, though tears, told officers she took her story to authorities because "doing drugs is bad." (Read the backstory here.)

"She didn't want to be around marijuana smoke anymore because it made her sick," an incident report sent to us by the Barnesville Police Department says. "She also indicated that she was concerned... because [redacted] blow marijuana smoke into [her] dog's mouth."

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9-year-old snitches on parents for growing pot

Categories: Crime, Marijuana

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:::: UPDATE :::: 9-year-old pot snitch told police, "Doing drugs is bad"

A 9-year-old girl recently walked into a police station in the western Minnesota town of Barnesville and calmly reported her parents for growing marijuana inside their home.

"Her and one of her friends came here and just had these concerns about her parents," Barnesville Police Chief Dean Ernst tells us, adding that the friend was about the girl's age.

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Mark Hamburger's MLB career derailed by pot; he now lives in parents' Shoreview basement


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States turn to Minnesota as model for new marijuana bills

Categories: Marijuana

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Flickr via Dank Depot

Lawmakers in other states are now turning to Minnesota's new cannabis law as a model for their own legislation, despite the law's restrictions on eligibility and usage.

Over the past few weeks, legislators in both Pennsylvania and Georgia have turned to the Minnesota law, which passed in May, as a starting point for bills in their own states. But while the Minnesota law makes medical marijuana legal, it's limiting, offering only certain kinds of cannabis for certain patients.

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Mark Dayton signs medical marijuana bill

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Dr. Sue Sisley, prominent pot researcher who testified in Minnesota, fired abruptly

Categories: Marijuana
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Coleen Danger
A physician with the University of Arizona who testified twice on behalf of Minnesota's medical cannabis bills was fired recently for what she's alleging is political retaliation for her research and activism.

Last session, Dr. Sue Sisley spoke to lawmakers here about the barriers she's faced at the federal level when trying to get approval for research. Instead, she urged states to take their own initiative and assured Minnesotans that "the sky hasn't fallen" in the 20, including Arizona, that already have medical cannabis programs on the books.

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Police group that opposed medical cannabis still struggling to find its place in politics


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Pro-legalization Rep. Rena Moran says she won't author marijuana legalization bill

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Rep. Rena Moran
Yesterday, we broke the news that Minnesota NORML, for the first time, plans to push legislation next session that would legalize marijuana in Minnesota.

Marcus Harcus, the new associate director of MN NORML, told us the organization is targeting pro-legalization Rep. Rena Moran (D-St. Paul) as the possible author of the bill in the House. Moran, you'll recall, recently told a pro-medical marijuana rally, "Let's create a system where we can tax and regulate the sale, so we can invest more wisely in all of us." (Read our post about that rally here.)

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Randi Kaye gets stoned on CNN [VIDEO]


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