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420 FILES--When Israeli plant scientist Nirit Bernstein got a call five years ago from a research institute asking if she’d be interested in working on the cultivation of medical cannabis, she said yes. But then a thought quickly crossed her mind.

“Oh my god,” she thought. “What’s my mother going to say?”

420 FILE--As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states, public-health officials are asking important questions: Does smoking pot really give people the munchies? And if so, is the wider availability of the drug making Americans even more obese?

420 FILE--Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 305, to permit qualified patients the ability to access medical cannabis preparations while in health care facilities. 

420 FILE--The confectionery industry indulges consumers’ desires for sweets. They are typically classified by the basic ingredients of chocolate, sugar or flour. Within these categories are a wide variety of products, including hard candies, mints, toffees, truffles, and pastries. They are offered in a vast range of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, peppermint and cinnamon. Many fruit flavors also are used. 

420 FILE--There’s a reason cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming a ubiquitous product nationwide. At the end of last year, health authorities removed hemp — a species of cannabis that doesn’t contain psychoactive qualities — from the controlled substance list, meaning the plant is no longer considered illegal under federal law. Since most CBD products are derived from hemp, that change meant new products could flood the market. And they did.

420 FILE--Legislation is pending, AB 286, to temporarily reduce tax rates imposed on the retail sale and commercial cultivation of cannabis.

State and local taxes currently imposed upon retail cannabis sales can total in upwards of 40 percent. This excessive taxation places an undue financial burden, particularly on patients, many of whom are now unable to consistently afford their medicine.

420 FILE--Legislation has been reintroduced from last year, Senate Bill 34, which would exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions. Last session, the measure was vetoed by Governor Brown.

420 FILE--In an attempt to help erase or reduce marijuana-related convictions for thousands with eligible criminal cases in Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday that puts pressure on officials to address the backlog.

LET’S TALK CANNABIS--With Christmas around the corner giving weed as a gift has now legally opened up as an option. 

420 FILE--Gavin Newsom, a cannabis supporter who pushed for the passage of Prop. 64 to legalize adult recreational use in California, will be the new governor of the state.

420 FILE--The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) has raided 254 illegal cannabis grows in the Golden State this year — less than half as many than they busted in 2017.

420 FILE--Cannabis consumers soon should be able to shop at licensed stores in California without worrying about whether products on the shelves are laced with pesticides and other contaminants often found in black-market weed.

420 FILE--Just weeks after a California measure legalizing the use of recreational marijuana went into effect, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced on Wednesday that the city will wipe clean the records of thousands of individuals who have been charged with marijuana-related misdemeanors and felonies over the past several decades.

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--The County of Los Angeles has made public input a priority as it grapples with the complicated and historic work of developing regulations for newly legalized cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county.

POLICING THE POLICE-News reports last week suggest the city of Oakland may be ready to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the teenage woman at the heart of a sex-abuse scandal that rocked Oakland’s and other nearby police departments since 2015. 

All things considered, the city is fortunate. The reported settlement is just under $1 million, far below the $66 million she had originally sought. 

CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.

Dear Nurse Susan

I’m starting to see CBD everywhere: in coffee shops, juice shops, health-food stores, pharmacies etc. It’s even showing up in beauty products! This is crazy, CBD for beauty? Are you kidding me?

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