Phoenix company working on 'Marijuana Mecca' in California desert

A Phoenix-based company is trying to take hospitality to a higher level. They’re investing millions on an experiment in the California desert. It all revolves around one thing: cannabis.

When you travel to the edge of the Mohave Desert, about an hour’s drive west of Bullhead City, you reach a tiny, windswept town: Nipton, California.

Population? Depends whom you ask. But everyone agrees less than 40.

“It's like Neverland, you know? You're in your own time zone,” said Cody Benson, who has lived in Nipton since he was 5.

“I've known it to have about three different owners and it hasn't changed much through that time,” Benson said.


How Arizona's 'non-profit' medical marijuana industry makes millions

True Harvest head grower Ronin Klos looks at marijuana in a grow room at the True Harvest growing facility in Phoenix on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. True Harvest has renovated a former Revlon makeup factory into a massive marijuana farm supplying Arizona's medical-marijuana program.(Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

Arizona’s surging medical marijuana industry includes a 40-acre greenhouse in Snowflake, stock traded on the Canadian market, an 800,000-square-foot factory turned indoor farm in west Phoenix, and home delivery for customers.

Sales of medical marijuana here soared nearly 50 percent in 2017 with an estimated value of $387 million. A small army of attorneys and high-end Scottsdale public relations professionals work on its behalf.


Arizona Medical Marijuana sales are going to shock you

In 2017 turned out to be a banner year for cannabis patients in Arizona. According to a soon-to-be-public report from the state’s Department of Health Services, patients in the Grand Canyon State consumed more than 43 tons of marijuana products last year. The total tonnage including flower, edibles, and concentrates.


Arizona law may protect Medical Marijuana users from feds’ new stance

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be looking to crack down on pot sales in states where they are legal, but Arizona medical-marijuana users likely don’t need to worry.

A provision buried in the federal budget, plus a safety valve in what Arizona voters enacted in 2010, are expected protect individual medical-marijuana users in the State unless the Drug Enforcement Administration starts targeting individual users, which is considered highly unlikely.


Arizona: poll shows recreational marijuana support is lacking

Don't look for Arizonans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, at least not in the immediate future.

A new statewide poll of those likely to vote in next year's election finds just 35 percent said they would support a measure for the personal use of the drug. By contrast, 48 percent of the 600 people who were questioned in the automated telephone poll said they were opposed, with the rest undecided.

What makes that significant is that Proposition 205, a legalization measure on the 2016 ballot, failed by just three percentage points.

Michael Noble, managing partner of the political consulting firm OH Predictive Strategies, that did the survey earlier this month, said the results are not a surprise.


The CBD oil boom: Making money on medical marijuana for the masses

Chris Martin is a medical-marijuana pioneer. He’s also a biker, ex-con, and father of five — a nice guy with a rough side, lots of tattoos, and a head full of business ideas. He got out of prison in February after serving a two-year sentence on a weapons violation related to a 2012 raid on his first medical-marijuana company, Zonka.

His Zonka chocolate bars and other edibles became popular for a while not long after Arizona voters passed the 2010 medical-marijuana law. But this was before state-authorized dispensaries; Martin sold the infused candy to unauthorized compassion clubs. Police raided the clubs and Martin’s home, finding guns (he says they belonged to his older sons) that he shouldn’t have had in the house because of a past felony conviction.


Court asked to rule Arizona's fee since medical marijuana permit is too high

An attorney is asking the Court of Appeals to force health officials to slash what they charge medical marijuana users for the state-issued permit needed to buy the drug.

The $150 that patients must pay annually is illegally high, attorney Sean Berberian said Monday. He said it is far more than the Arizona Department of Health Services needs to administer the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which allows people with certain medical conditions to use the drug. The 2010 voter-approved law makes it clear the agency cannot simply bank the proceeds, he said.


Will your state be the next to legalize marijuana? Here's 5 that are close

Next year could see a huge shift in favor of green, and we’re not talking about the environment.

Lawmakers have taken notice of the shift in public opinion on marijuana legalization, and many are no longer afraid that supporting legal weed is political suicide. There are now eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana, and four of those laws were enacted in the past year alone.


Pot for Pets: Medical marijuana role in treating pet illnesses

Dogs, cats, even horses seem to be the newest customer base for medical marijuana. Cannabis-based products are being used to treat everything from anxiety to allergies, epilepsy and cancer.

Sales, at least locally, are skyrocketing. 

Once a month, a pitbull boxer mix named Rex undergoes chemotherapy. Rex was diagnosed with a nasal tumor about 14 months ago.

"He had nose bleeds. I was scared because I couldn't stop it," recounted Dirk Johnson, Rex's owner.

Johnson sought the best possible treatment. 


Arizona: Why this marijuana stock imploded 42% in October

What happened?

Medical marijuana upstart Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ:INSY) had a ferociously frightening month, highlighted by the arrest of its founder, the setting aside of $150 million for lawsuits, and slumping sales. All this was behind a 42% crash in October, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what?

Insys Therapeutics' troubles stem from Subsys, a powerful fentanyl spray approved to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients.


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