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marijuana

Susan Gress says Sessions as AG is just the latest uncertainty for her business. Susan Gress says Jeff Sessions as attorney general is just the latest uncertainty for her business.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

For years, John Davis has helped produce Seattle Hempfest, a sprawling outdoor celebration of all things marijuana. 

So far, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized the drug for recreational use. Varieties of cannabis available today are more potent than ever and come in many forms, including oils and leaves that can be vaped, and lots of edibles, from brownies and cookies to candies — even cannabis gummy bears.

Senator Jeff Sessions.
FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC by SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/av61Fy

Bill Radke speaks with Puget Sound Business Journal digital editor Greg Lamm about the impact Jeff Sessions could have on Washington's marijuana and tech industries if he is confirmed as the U.S. attorney general.

Marijuana growers use a lot of pesticides — especially when these mildew- and mite-sensitive plants are grown indoors.

But a growing number of farmers and shops are trying to give their customers a satisfying cannabis high without the downer of pesticide-related environmental or health risks.

Johnny Vanella is among them. At the JV Ranch outside Goldendale, Washington, he harvested his first organically grown cannabis crop this fall.

After the results of the November election, more than half of U.S. states have now authorized medical marijuana. And eight of those states also allow recreational marijuana. So if pot helps some humans feel better, how about people's best friends?

After Oregon voters approved recreational marijuana use for adults in 2014, there was no place to legally buy it until October of the following year. That's when a law kicked in that allowed dispensaries to sell to people without medical marijuana cards.

With more states legalizing recreational marijuana, parents are facing the question of whether they should smoke pot around their children.

"I have never smoked and would never smoke around my child," says one mother who lives in San Francisco. California is one of eight states that allows recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older.

When Donald Trump offered Sen. Jeff Sessions the position of attorney general, the pick drew criticism from civil rights groups and immigrant advocates. In the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, it is also raising fears.

In California, the city of Oakland was the first to regulate and tax medical marijuana dispensaries. Now, some city leaders see the industry's profits and are proposing to take a bigger piece of the action. The Oakland City Council is voting later this month on a pot profit-taking plan.

Harborside Health Center in Oakland is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the nation.

Its executive director, Steve DeAngelo, says his dispensary brings in about $30 million in annual revenues.

Experts at the Oregon Poison Center are warning parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles in their kids’ Halloween candy.

There haven’t been any reports in Oregon of people slipping edibles into kids' candy, but toxicologist Robert Hendrickson, worries it could happen accidentally.

“This is a time of year when there’s lots of candy around the house because they’re going to go out into bowls to be handed out. And there are kids coming home with candies," he said.

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

America has a long and storied history with marijuana. Once grown by American colonists to make hemp rope, by 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Possession of it was — and is — a federal crime, despite the fact that in recent years 25 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington's 5th Congressional District debated her Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas at Washington State University Wednesday night.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Matt Carlucci, president of the Center for Palliative Care in Seattle, says legal pot in California could mean fewer people sent to jail.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Willmer

One vote in November isn’t on the ballot in Washington but could have ripple effects here. It’s the initiative to legalize marijuana in California.

Matt Carlucci is president of the Center for Palliative Care in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. His former medical marijuana business is empty now, awaiting a state license to become a marijuana producer and processor.

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