marijuana

Scott Johnson is one of those natural born salesmen. He used to own a restaurant on the 15th floor of the Bellingham Towers -- Bellingham’s tallest building.

“At first it was called ‘Top of the Towers’ and then after about five years I changed it to ‘City View Grill,’” he says.

Now Johnson comes to Bellingham Towers to see his lawyer -- whose office is also here. Johnson has been sentenced to five years behind bars for his role in a long-running marijuana production and distribution ring.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Posey Gruener speaks with Russ Rosendal, CEO of Salal Credit Union, about why they decided to offer banking services to licensed marijuana growers in Washington state.

And, Ross Reynolds speaks with AP reporter Kristen Wyatt about Colorado lawmakers' approval of a financial system designed expressly for the Marijuana industry.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Sea of Green Farms sits south of Ballard, just east of Fisherman’s Terminal.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.”  And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.

Doug Fine's book, "Hemp Bound."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Doug Fine, a self-described comedic investigative journalist, about his new book, "Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution."

Fine spoke with scientists and farmers around the world about how hemp is used. In February, President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allows industrial research on hemp.

Farmers in Eastern Washington who want to get into the marijuana business may face an immediate hurdle.

The path to marijuana legalization in Washington state is keeping a lot of people busy -- even university math professors.

Flickr Photo/Morgan (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Les Leyne of the Victoria Times Colonist about the latest news from Canada, including McDonalds' decision to suspend its use of the temporary foreign workers program while it awaits and audit.

Also, Canada's health agency issued a voluntary recall for a batch of cannabis sold as "purple kush."

As Washington and Colorado go where no state or nation has gone before concerns remain about kids getting their hands on pot.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks with Brian Smith, communications director at the Washington State Liquor Control Board, about the process for the state's retail pot license lottery happening this week.

From the outside, Jan Cole's recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo., just feels welcoming. Big glass windows let in natural light, and the walls are painted in soothing earth tones. Cole used her background in spa management to build a "warm and inviting" pot shop that puts customers at ease.

In fact, the store's name, The Farm, is so inconspicuous, "we have a lot of people who come in think that we might be an organic food grocer or something," she says.

The Northwest’s budding marijuana industry means opportunity for pot consultants.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Today, some 30,000 people will converge in Denver, Colo. for the 5th annual Cannabis Cup, a marijuana festival and tradeshow. It's the first time the event is being held after legal marijuana sales went into effect January 1 of this year. To learn more about the event, we're joined by Ricardo Baca. He's the editor of "The Cannabist" blog at the Denver Post. Thanks so much for being with us, Ricardo.

RICARDO BACA: Hey. Thank you.

Flickr Photo/Coleen Whitfield (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Dominic Corva, executive director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, about the implications for pot bans and moratoriums in Washington state.

Young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week showed changes in the size and shape of two key brain regions, according to a new study of 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25.

This is the first time recreational marijuana use has been connected to significant brain changes.

The findings, a collaboration between Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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