Cannabist Show: He Runs Julian Marley’s Marijuana Biz; He Dabs Distillates

Featured guests: JuJu Royal CEO Travis Belcher and Jim Biviano, founder of concentrates maker Ascend Industries, LLC.

LOTS TO TALK ABOUT

•  Getting into the nitty gritty of strain genetics.

•  Expanding cannabis to Puerto Rico.

•  Dabbing distillates, and where the concentrates craze could take the industry next.

TOP MARIJUANA NEWS

Celebrity marijuana brands proliferate with California recreational pot sales on horizon: Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Regulators are still scrambling to get California’s recreational pot market launched and are racing to issue licenses to growers and sellers by early 2018. Still to be decided is who will receive the first licenses to grow, distribute and sell recreational marijuana. Growers already cleared to sell medical marijuana in California could be the first in line. Analysts say brands already established in legal medical marijuana dispensaries — including celebrities who partner with approved California growers — will have a leg up when the first licenses are issued. Several pot-loving celebrities are in prime positions because of their fame and backstory with the drug, including Marley’s children. The late Jamaican singer was at the vanguard of the global legalization movement. –Report by The Associated Press’s Paul Elias

Judge rules Denver Parks’ ban of marijuana user unconstitutional: A judge issued a rebuke to Denver Parks and Recreation officials for their handling of a temporary ban of drug users from parks, saying the policy violated due-process rights. But city officials affirmed in a statement that they planned to propose a permanent rule that would take the ruling into account as they seek to keep suspending park access for people suspected of illegal drug use. –Report by The Denver Post’s Jon Murray

Albania deploys 3,100 police officers to prevent illegal cannabis grows: Albanian police say they have launched a nationwide operation to try to prevent the planting of cannabis. A statement said 3,100 officers have spread out around the country checking greenhouses, old army depots and tunnels or abandoned houses where cannabis seeds and small plants may have been hidden. Last year authorities destroyed about 2.5 million marijuana plants, four times more than the year before. Many metric tons of cannabis were seized at border crossing points or from boats bound for neighboring Italy or Greece. –Report by The Associated Press

QUICK HIT

Did Colorado legalization help or hurt medical marijuana patients?A sign hanging in Colorado medical marijuana dispensary Herb’s Medicinals, located in Berthoud, is seen in this February 2012 photo. Colorado voters approved recreational marijuana legalization in November 2012. (AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post file)

Colorado lawmakers urge governor to step in on medical marijuana registry backlog: Three Colorado legislators are calling on Gov. John Hickenlooper to intervene in the state’s medical marijuana registry backlog, an issue that one lawmaker says is a matter of “life and death.” In the letter sent to the governor, Democratic representatives Jovan Melton, Adrienne Benavidez and Steve Lebsock expressed their disappointment with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, saying “there is no excuse” for the Medical Marijuana Registry’s six- to eight-week backlog for mailed applications for medical cannabis cards. “Without medical marijuana cards, our Colorado patients are unable to get the medicine they need,” the legislators wrote. “Emphysema patients, cancer patients, children with epilepsy and many others have been adversely (affected) by the department’s neglectful disregard for patients. We urge you to get personally involved to correct this injustice.” The letter was carbon copied to Dr. Larry Wolk, CDPHE executive director. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

POT QUIZ

Test your current-events knowledge about Denver’s public use Initative 300, our new favorite bad-guy alias, a miffed man in Maine and more.

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