November 23, 2009 – The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.

Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a longtime position and urged the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin and cocaine.

A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts — state law, ballot measures, and court — in a movement that for the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground.

“This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly.”

The shift is widely described as generational. A Gallup poll in October found 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana — a rise of 13 points since 2000. Gallup said that if public support continues growing at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, “the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years.”

A 53 percent majority already does so in the West, according to the survey. The finding heartens advocates collecting signatures to put the question of legalization before California voters in a 2010 initiative.

At last week’s International Drug Reform Conference, activists gamed specific proposals for taxing and regulating pot along the lines of cigarettes and alcohol, as a bill pending in the California Legislature would do. The measure is not expected to pass, but in urging its serious debate, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) gave credence to a potential revenue source that the state’s tax chief said could raise $1.3 billion in the recession, which advocates describe as a boon.

There were also tips on lobbying state legislatures, where measures decriminalizing possession of small amounts have passed in 14 states. Activists predict half of states will have laws allowing possession for medical purposes in the near future.

Interest in medical marijuana and easing other marijuana laws picked up markedly about 18 months ago, but advocates say the biggest surge came with the election of Barack Obama, the third straight president to acknowledge having smoked marijuana, and the first to regard it with anything like nonchalance.

“As a kid, I inhaled,” Barack Obama famously said on the campaign. “That was the whole point.”

In office, Obama made good on a promise to halt federal prosecutions of medical marijuana use where permitted by state law. That has recalibrated the federal attitude, which had been consistently hostile to marijuana since the early 1970s, when President Richard Nixon cast aside the recommendations of a presidential commission arguing against lumping pot with hard drugs.

Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he was astonished recently to be invited to contribute thoughts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Obama’s drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, was police chief in Seattle, where voters officially made enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority.

“I’ve been thrown out of the ONDCP many times,” St. Pierre said. “Never invited to actually participate.”

Anti-drug advocates counter with surveys showing high school students nationwide already are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco — and that the five states with the highest rate of adolescent pot use permit medical marijuana.

“We are in the prevention business,” said Arthur Dean, chairman of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. “Kids are getting the message tobacco’s harmful, and they’re not getting the message marijuana is.”

In Los Angeles, city officials are dealing with elements of public backlash after more than 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries opened, some employing in-house physicians to dispense legal permission to virtually all comers. The boom town atmosphere brought complaints from some neighbors, but little of the crime associated with underground drug-dealing.

Advocates cite the latter as evidence that, as with alcohol, violence associated with the marijuana trade flows from its prohibition.

“Seriously,” said Bruce Merkin, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group based in the District, “there is a reason you don’t have Mexican beer cartels planting fields of hops in the California forests.”

But the controversy over the dispensaries also has put pressure on advocates who specifically champion access for ailing patients, not just those who champion easing marijuana laws.

“I don’t want to say we keep arm’s length from the other groups. You end up with all of us in the same room,” said Joe Elford, counsel for Americans for Safe Access, which has led the court battle for medical marijuana and is squaring off with the Los Angeles City Council. “It’s a very broad-based movement.”
By Karl Vick. Source.


November 22, 2009 – With multiple initiatives in circulation and an Assembly bill gathering headlines, discussions about legalizing marijuana have become part of California’s political discourse.

Advocates on one side argue that the result will be an economic boon as tax revenues rolls in and jails rid themselves of nonviolent offenders. Defenders of prohibition say legalization would be a nightmare of stoned kids, addiction and highway deaths.

Or maybe the reality would be a lot more mundane.

“Most of the popular debate is dominated by two groups—avid pro-marijuana crowd, and the true prohibitionists,” said Michael Vitiello, a University of Pacific law professor who has written several articles on the topic, including a recent Wisconsin Law Review piece looking at the potential for legalization in California. Both sides, he said, are prone to “gross overstatements.”

By contrast, Vitiello calls himself a “tepid legalizer.” On the one hand, he said, he doesn’t “expect Western civilization as we know it to end” if pot becomes legal. He points to the widely-circulated statistic that per capita marijuana in the Netherlands, where pot has essentially been legal for years, is half that of the U.S — partially, he said, because few there view the drug as “cool.”

Medical research, Vitiello said, is increasingly pointing to the idea that people choose or avoid certain drugs based on their own brain chemistry. Marijuana is already so prevalent in California, he said, that most people who would use it probably already are.

On the other hand, he said he doubts projections that legalization will result in big tax revenues and thousands of non-violent offenders leaving prisons. The bigger impact would probably come on local jails, where many people head for a period after a marijuana arrest but never actually go to prison.

“The idea that we’re going to empty our prisons and save a billion, I don’t know how they’re getting that number,” Vitiello said.

Most in the debate agree that very few people are going to prison in California merely for smoking pot. The bigger issue is how many people are going back to prison on a parole violation of failing a drug test for marijuana. This has become a major rallying point for pro-legalization activists.

“My estimate is that there are thousands of people today in state prison in California for having done nothing but smoking marijuana because they were on parole,” said James Gray, a retired Orange County Superior Court judge who has become a major legalization and libertarian activists.

According to Corrections spokesman Paul Verke, only 256 were found to have violated parole in California last year solely for failing a marijuana test. He added that he did not know how many of these were returned to custody. Some in the legalization community say they have been seeking these figures, unsuccessfully, for years. “CCR will say it’s not many, parole officers will say they never do that, but on the other had we know family members who say that they have,” said Margaret Dooley- Sammuli, deputy state director with the Drug Policy Alliance. “Clearly this is an area where we don’t know what happening, and clearly this is a problem.”

Another area where the actual effect would be unclear is on tax revenue. The legalization initiative filed by the founder’s of Oakland’s Oaksterdam University, which teaches students about cultivation and other aspects of the medical marijuana business, cites a figure of $15 billion in illegal marijuana sales in California annually. While estimates vary, few contest that pot is California’s top cash crop, easily outpacing our state’s vaunted wine industry.

That initiative calls for unspecified taxes. AB 390, the marijuana legalization bill being carried by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, calls for a tax of $50 an ounce. Growers would pay a licensing fee of $5,000, with a $2,500 annual renewal. While it’s very unlikely AB 390 will get anywhere, some have pointed to these fees as a possible model of taxation.

But the state would be trying to overlay these taxes on an already-thriving illegal market, with numerous large operations already running without the knowledge of authorities. Legalization would also likely inspire more people to grow their own. Few people are going to grow and ferment their own wine, or grow and roll their own tobacco for that matter. But small amounts of marijuana can be successfully grown by anyone who can keep a houseplant alive.

In fact, Vitiello said, there is a natural tension between the desire to relax law enforcement and the hope of brining in tax revenue. If not reporting a crop is nothing more than a minor tax offense, he said, there will be little incentive for most people to report to the Franchise Tax Board. Making penalties strong enough to get people to report, however, could actually send more people to prison, at least in the short term.

John Lovell, lobbyist for the California Peace Officers Association and several other law enforcement groups, scoffs at the idea that legal pot would be a moneymaker for the state.

“The hard dollars will be far more than any revenue that is brought in through any kind of spurious tax effort,” Lovell said.

Lovell referred to studies from Maryland and British Columbia that he said point to the dangers of people driving while under the influence of marijuana—a problem he said would get much worse under legalization. He also pointed to a RAND Corp. study he said that shows pot taxes would be a fraction of what proponents claim. Most of the tax penalties in current bills and initiatives, he said, amount to little more than “licensing fees.”

Another issue is the penalties for selling to minors. Many proponents have said the penalties should be similar to those for adults who procure alcohol for kids. Both the Ammiano bill and Oaksterdam initiative allow legislative leeway in determining what these penalties should be.

“These things are negotiable,” Ammiano said. “My druthers are that we do look at sentencing and determinate sentencing. There are obviously areas we can negotiate on.”

Then there’s the question of where people could buy it. Most models point to a highly-regulated distribution system, perhaps akin to the state-run liquor stores in Washington State.

There could also be major local differences. There’s already been a decade of testing on what this might look like, in the form of the medical marijuana dispensaries that have been operating since California voters passed Proposition 215 by a wide margin in 1996. Some areas, particularly Los Angeles, have reported significant problems, with a large number of dispensaries operating. The more likely model might be West Hollywood, which operates a small number of heavily-regulated but thriving operations.

“What it’s going to look like in the future will entirely depend on the locals,” said Dale Clare, executive chancellor of Oaksterdam.

Clare also said that they’re set to pass half a million signatures on their initiative by next week. Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee has been quoted saying they will be able to marshal $20 million in donations to the initiative once it lands on next year’s ballot—a figure likely to be countered by millions from group’s opposing the measure.

Clare also points to an April Field Poll that found that 56 percent of voters would approve a legalization measure. This conflicts with a Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research poll earlier this month that found likely voters opposed such a measure, 52 percent to 38 percent.

But the trend lines are clearly headed towards legalization. A February article on the popular political blog said that support for marijuana legalization nationwide had passed the 40 percent threshold. Given greater support among younger voters and greatest opposition from older ones, “legalization would achieve 60 percent support at some point in 2022 or 2023,” according to author Nate Silver.

“If it goes to the ballot and fails, we’re that much closer for 2012,” Clare said. “This is an education campaign.”

Richard Lee, President of Oaksterdam University helped convince Oakland voters to tax medical marijuana dispensaries and make them more legit. Now he’s taking the idea state-wide through the initiative.

November 4, 2009 – Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 676, which legalized growing industrial hemp statewide, but the product still is illegal at the federal level, hempleaving would-be hemp farmers in a sort of limbo.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) was one of SB 676’s two sponsors. He said that the bill “gives a framework and the process and procedure” to allow industrial hemp to be grown and regulated under the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA).

“We’re looking at a sustainable, close-knit operation that would allow for industrial hemp to be grown in this state, processed in this state and actually be able to be sold in the state and around the world,” he said.

Prozanski added that since SB 676 passed, he has been contacted by many farmers expressing interest in growing hemp. He has pledged to work with other officials to try and change the federal policy, which he said is “very likely” to happen.

Josephine County (Illinois) Commissioner Dave Toler said that he also received many calls during the just-passed summer about industrial hemp after SB 676 was signed into law by Gov. Kulongoski. But Toler said that he is uncertain of the crop’s viability in Josephine County, where prime soil is limited.

“This is mostly a forest county,” Toler said.

Most of the county’s best soil is located in the flood plains of the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois rivers, Toler said, but much of the rest is largely “marginal.” As such, he said that his efforts to expand agriculture in the county have been focused on crops like canola, which grow well on marginal soils.

Prozanski stated that, “We’re trying to get back to the future in allowing what farmers used to be able to do in this country. It should be a no-brainer.”

American history is filled with examples of farmers being able to harvest hemp as a crop — and the U.S. government allowing, and even encouraging, the practice.

In some U.S. colonies, residents were required to grow hemp, Prozanski said. Its growth was subsidized by the government during World War II under a “Hemp For Victory” program, he said, and farmers in the Midwest were paid to harvest the crop because the nation lost The Philippines as a source.

Prozanski said that hemp was grown on commercial farms in the United States throughout the 1950s. However, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency was formed in the early 1970s, and hemp began to be prohibited as a stand-alone agricultural crop, he said.

Illinois Valley resident and hemp activist Waves Forest is among those applauding Oregon’s move toward allowing the crop to be produced. He said that hemp enabled citizens to be much more self-sufficient than they have been since the federal government made it illegal.

“The very fact that the economy is in such shambles essentially flows from hemp prohibition,” Forest said.

He continued, “It was the centerpiece of Nature’s plan to meet all human needs. It did so very well for a long time. As it dropped early in the last century, everything got scarcer. It was easier to force people into the customer base of various resource monopolists because a raw material that you could grow in your backyard became prohibited.”

Forest points out that hemp was “an acceptable currency for a very long time” and that “You could pay taxes with it in the early stages of this country.”

Forest said that residents throughout Josephine County have been working to rebuild the soils on their properties. He added that hemp can grow well on marginal lands.

“It’s managed to find its way into many different climates and ecosystems,” he said.

Prozanski said that aside from farmers, the forestry industry could benefit from the legalization of industrial hemp. It can be blended with wood fibers to create composite materials, he noted.

“There are multiple advantages for seeing industrial hemp being reintroduced as a commodity in the state,” Prozanski said. “It has so many different applications, from fiber to seed, to be used in so many different commodities. It will be huge.”

As an example, Prozanski cites Living Harvest, a “reputable” Portland company that sells hemp-based food products. They include a beverage similar to soy milk made with hemp seed, and hemp-based ice cream.

Living Harvest currently has annual sales of up to $8 million, but projects that it could grow to $100 million within the next five years, Prozanski said. The company has committed to buying all its hemp from within Oregon, Prozanski said, which would provide huge benefits to the state’s economy.

“They are very anxious and eager to be able to have a domestic hemp seed source, instead of importing hemp seed from Canada,” according to Prozanski. Source.

ODA has information on its Website regarding the process of legalizing industrial hemp. For more information, visit here.

October 27, 2009-SAN FRANCISCO — These are heady times for advocates of legalized marijuana in California — and only in small part because of the newly relaxed approach of the federal government toward medical marijuana.915692621578182322b5790tr1

State lawmakers are holding a hearing on Wednesday on the effects of a bill that would legalize, tax and regulate the drug — in what would be the first such law in the United States. Tax officials estimate the legislation could bring the struggling state about $1.4 billion a year, and though the bill’s fate in the Legislature is uncertain, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has indicated he would be open to a “robust debate” on the issue.

California voters are also taking up legalization. Three separate initiatives are being circulated for signatures to appear on the ballot next year, all of which would permit adults to possess marijuana for personal use and allow local governments to tax it. Even opponents of legalization suggest that an initiative is likely to qualify for a statewide vote.

“All of us in the movement have had the feeling that we’ve been running into the wind for years,” said James P. Gray, a retired judge in Orange County who has been outspoken in support of legalization. “Now we sense we are running with the wind.”

Proponents of the leading ballot initiative have collected nearly 300,000 signatures since late September, supporters say, easily on pace to qualify for the November 2010 general election. Richard Lee, a longtime marijuana activist who is behind the measure, says he has raised nearly $1 million to hire professionals to assist volunteers in gathering the signatures.

“Voters are ripping the petitions out of our hands,” Mr. Lee said.

That said, the bids to legalize marijuana are opposed by law enforcement groups across the state and, if successful, would undoubtedly set up a legal showdown with the federal government, which classifies marijuana as an illegal drug.

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, in 1996, but court after court — including the United States Supreme Court — has ruled that the federal government can continue to enforce its ban. Only this month, with the Department of Justice announcement that it would not prosecute users and providers of medical marijuana who obey state law, has that threat subsided.

But federal authorities have also made it clear that their tolerance stops at recreational use. In a memorandum on Oct. 19 outlining the medical marijuana guidelines, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden said marijuana was “a dangerous drug, and the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime,” adding that “no state can authorize violations of federal law.”

Still, Mr. Lee anticipates spending up to $20 million on a campaign to win passage of his ballot measure in California, raising some of it from the hundreds of already legal medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, which have been recently fighting efforts by Los Angeles city officials to tighten restrictions on their operations.

“It’s a $2 billion industry,” Mr. Lee said of the medical marijuana sales.

Opponents said they are also preparing for a battle next year.

“I fully expect they will qualify,” said John Lovell, a Sacramento lobbyist for several groups of California law enforcement officials that oppose legalization.

Any vote would take place in a state where attitudes toward marijuana border on the schizophrenic. Last year, the state made some 78,500 arrests on felony and misdemeanors related to the drug, up from about 74,000 in 2007, according to the California attorney general.

Seizures of illegal marijuana plants, often grown by Mexican gangs on public lands in forests and parks, hit an all-time high in 2009, and last week, federal authorities announced a series of arrests in the state’s Central Valley, where homes have been converted into “indoor grows.”

At the same time, however, there are also pockets of California where marijuana can seem practically legal already. At least seven California cities have formally declared marijuana a low priority for law enforcement, with ballot measures or legislative actions. In Los Angeles, some 800 to 1,000 dispensaries of medical marijuana are in business, officials say, complete with consultants offering public relations services and “canna-business management.”

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat and author of the legalization bill, said momentum for legalization has built in recent years, especially as the state’s finances have remained sour.

“A lot of people that were initially resistant or even ridiculed it have come aboard,” Mr. Ammiano said.

In Oakland, which passed a tax on medical cannabis sales in July, several people who signed a petition backing Mr. Lee’s initiative said they were motivated in part by the cost of imprisoning drug offenders and the toll of drug-related violence in Mexico.

“Personally I don’t see a way of getting it under control other than legalizing it and taxing it,” said Jim Quinn, 60, a production manager. “We’ve got to get it out of the hands of criminals both domestic and international.”

Mr. Lovell, the law enforcement lobbyist, however, said those arguments paled in comparison to the potential pitfalls of legalization, including people driving under the influence. He also questioned how much net revenue a tax like Mr. Ammiano is proposing would actually raise. “We get revenue from alcohol,” he said. “But there’s way more in social costs than we retain in revenues.”

The recent history of voter-approved drug reform laws in California is not encouraging for supporters of legalization. Last November, voters rejected a proposition that would have increased spending for drug treatment programs and loosened parole and prison requirements for drug offenders.

None of which seems to faze Mr. Lee, 47, a former roadie who founded Oaksterdam University, a medical marijuana trade school in Oakland, in 2007. Mr. Lee says he plans to use the Internet to raise money, as well as tapping out-of state sources for campaign money.

More than anything, however, Mr. Lee said he was banking on a basic shift in people’s attitudes toward the drug.

“For a lot of people,” he said, “it’s just another brand of beer.” Source.

October 25th, 2009 – Old-timers in Mendocino County may remember Bruce Perlowin – a guy who got busted in the 1980s at his compound-like home on Robinson Creek Road.DSCN0189

Appearing in CNBC’s “Marijuana, Inc.” documentary, Perlowin described his journey from Floridian hippie to marijuana kingpin – the mastermind of one of the most successful drug-smuggling enterprises in history.

Perlowin did his time, got out of jail, took up network marketing and was at the right spot during the birth of prepaid phone cards, saying his company, GlobalCom 2000, became “wildly successful.”

He was intrigued about changes in California’s marijuana laws. “I said jokingly to a colleague, if they legalize, I will network market marijuana.'” He did some homework and decided it was time to buy back his former Ukiah home.

The former super smuggler and his business partner decided, in Perlowin’s words, “to position ourselves in the marijuana industry.”

They changed their corporate name from Club VivaNet to Medical Marijuana, Inc., or MMI, and in March launched what he calls “the first publicly traded company based on the medical marijuana industry.” The Pink Sheet stock split 10 to 1 shortly after its initial offering; 1.3 million shares were traded on Wednesday, with the price climbing a dime to 37 cents per share. Perlowin estimates there are currently about 3,000 shareholders.

“MMI will provide turnkey solutions for an emerging industry,” says Perlowin.
Conceptual graphics feature a satellite-tracked supply chain network – with closed-loop systems incorporating seed suppliers, cannabis kitchens, a testing facility, home delivery and more.

Perlowin’s brainchild is the tax remittance card patients would use to purchase medicine from collectives. State, local and federal taxes would be funneled directly to the government. “We have signed on 28 collectives,” states Perlowin. The system platform is being beta tested, but MMI literature clearly states real-time implementation requires governmental technology upgrades to accommodate “a very high level of daily transaction volume.”

Collectives working with MMI seem excited by the possibilities, but on a few cannabis websites, individuals urge a closer look at the structure and history of MMI. Perlowin invites the inspection. “We’re building the rails for the industry to ride on. We must be transparent.” To that end, Perlowin is holding free informational seminars Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 until 9 p.m. in the Discovery Inn’s corporate room.

Are Perlowin’s proposals right for Mendocino County? Matt Cohen, Cooperative Director of Northstone Organics, also seeks ways to regulate medical marijuana production, but unlike Perlowin, Cohen’s puts the county at the center of the structural circle.

“My organization has standards in place,” notes Cohen, who feels grower and product accountability will be created when marijuana production regulations close the industry loop. He is committed to a structure that will help the marijuana community to enact positive change and operate freely – like any business.

Northstone incorporated as a Community Supported Agriculture model, providing patients with medical marijuana, and if desired, organic produce and free-range eggs. His years working with dispensaries, he says, taught him the importance of consumers’ rights to safe, quality medicine.

Cohen is not daunted by working within the system. He and other cannabis colleagues converse regularly with government and law enforcement.

He feels county Supervisor John McCowen’s proposed changes to the county’s medical marijuana ordinance are best suited to the needs of Northstone and the county – in contrast with the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, which endorses Supervisor John Pinches’ proposal. “MMMAB has been the voice of the cannabis community. It’s good for people to realize there are other views,” says Cohen.

Cohen wants to “take the Wild West and bring it through a regulatory scheme.”

Perlowin says, “MMI will create a compliance committee to bridge the gap between government, dispensaries and growers.” Cohen feels that Mendocino to cannabis is like Kentucky to whiskey.

“We could be positioned for a boutique industry before tobacco moves in.” Perlowin says, “It’s either us, giant agribusiness or tobacco.”

“The war’s over,” says the former kingpin. “Grow plants, pay your taxes and be part of the system.” Cohen says, “In the future, I hope people look to Mendocino County as the standard bearer for sustainable industry.” By CAROLE BRODSKY. Source.

October 21, 2009 – In New Zealand, the tiny political party Aotearoa HempLegalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) promotes a platform that it says can “reverse” damaging climate change by planting hundreds of thousands of hectares of cannabis hemp, ALCP says, at a density of around 300 plants per square meter, to replace NZ’s energy and fuel needs.

Yes, it sounds far-fetched, especially since in the US farmers have labored long and hard to get lawmakers to stop confusing non-cannabis industrial hemp grown for its myriad uses in industrial fibers and foods with its cannabis cousin.

Longtime hemp activist Jack Herer is offering $100,00 to anyone who can disprove his hypothesis that hemp is a silver bullet for climate change. Here’s Herer:

“If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation, then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meet all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time. That substance is the same one that has done it before: Cannabis Hemp.”

Anyone who can prove this statement wrong is entitled to $US 100,000.

Herer’s mixing of cannabis hemp with industrial hemp is a little unfortunate, for according to Hemp Global Solutions, hemp could be a good short term climate tool, because the crop is rapid-growing for carbon dioxide uptake, less vulnerable to climate variations than agro-forestry, and might be a good cash crop for farmers. HGS calculates each ton of hemp grown represents 1.63 tons of CO2 absorption.

Whether in the U.S. the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 can come to a vote during this session is uncertain. But Jack Herer isn’t the only person to espouse hemp. Dr. Bronner’s president, David Bronner, is among a small group of hemp farmers hoping to get more coverage for the bill.

Eight states (including Oregon as the most recent) have allowed industrial (non cannabis) hemp research or production, but thus far implementation has been hampered by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Bronner, whose company has used hemp oil in its products for over a decade, was arrested in Washington, DC last week for planting hemp on the DEA front lawn. He said he’d rather buy his hemp from U.S. farmers instead of importing it, and “save on both import and freight charges.”