Cannabis Crunch — Marijuana Tops Conflict Minerals, Florida Ignoring MMJ Law, And We Need More Weed Scientists

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Every week, Psychedelic Times will bring you a few of the most interesting, overlooked cannabis stories that we come across. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in the loop on marijuana and psychedelic news.

 

The Swiss Cannabis Farm Aiming to Supply ‘Legal Weed’ Across Europe — The Guardian

When we talk about legal weed, we generally discuss the United States, the empire largely responsible for getting the planet to outlaw the plant in the first place. As pot reform laws take hold, the U.S. is basically ground zero—but in Europe, important cannabis-related changes are taking place as well.

One Swiss company, CBD420, is at the center of this growing market. Their low-THC products are available in Switzerland, France and now the U.K., and it has its sights on Italy and other countries. It isn’t yet clear how some governments will respond, but demand for medical marijuana extracts continues to grow worldwide.

 

Marijuana: The Congo’s New Cash Crop — Ozy

If you’re reading this on a digital device, it is almost guaranteed to be running on conflict minerals, the raw resources such as wolframite and gold ore that are extracted from eastern Congo and sold to finance terrorist plots. Yes, really: Apple, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo and Microsoft all get their cobalt and other minerals this way.

But there may be some good news. After South Africa, Congo may also be the continent’s largest producer of cannabis and many miners are switching to this crop instead of minerals like copper or coltan. Between 60 and 90 percent of farmers grow at least a little bit of weed–and it’s been quite profitable for some. While it’s still illegal in the African region, it’s much safer and easier to grow cannabis than it is to start a mine, obviously. Yet many profits still go to bribe soldiers and cops. So if the West finally gets its act together and stops demonizing this herb, it could help Congo and nearly 40 other African nations bring this economy into the light.

 

Lawsuit: State of Florida Ignoring Medical Marijuana Law — Associated Press

Florida’s medical marijuana program took some time and a lot of fighting to even get approved a year ago, but the state has been more than sluggish in implementing many aspects of the program, including issuing cards and licenses. Now, a nursery owner is suing Gov. Rick Scott’s administration for missing a deadline to issue permits for growing marijuana.

Florida is one of the growing number of states that has a medical marijuana program, but won’t allow smokeable forms of the plant. It just goes to show that getting the state to recognize herbal medicine is often only half the battle.

 

Don’t Blame Wildfires for Rising California Cannabis Prices — Leafly

After the historic Northern California wildfires, the most destructive and deadly blazes in U.S. history, a few reports predicted a jump in state cannabis costs. That’s because at least 47 marijuana farms burned to the ground—and thanks to their unrecognized legal status by the federal government, none of these farms could be insured. An estimated $60 million has been lost.

While that’s pretty awful, it’s going to affect only 4 percent of California’s total supply—which still produces more than five times what it consumes, some 13.5 million pounds worth. But that doesn’t mean California will avoid a price increase—several factors, including an estimated 45 percent tax on recreational marijuana and expensive testing protocols promise to make bud a little more costly for consumers.

 

Burgeoning Marijuana Industry Has a Growing Need for Scientists — Entrepreneur

Did you know you can make $250,000 a year extracting CBD from cannabis? There are other expanding fields—agriculture, genomics, pharmaceuticals—that are also in increasing demand as cannabis becomes legal in more states. But not many folks with biochemistry degrees want to work in a quasi-legal industry, so these high-demand jobs can fetch some high salaries. Makes you wonder how useful that journalism degree really was…

 

Got a tip on an interesting or overlooked cannabis story? Send it to troy.farah@gmail.com

 

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Troy Farah
Troy Farah is a documentary field producer and independent journalist from the Southwest. His reporting has appeared in The Outline, VICE, Fusion, LA Weekly, AJ+, NBC and others. His website is troyfarah.com