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Alcoholics Anonymous Tax Deductible, Medical Marijuana Is Not

The Internal Revenue Service expects hooligans of the black market drug trade to pay taxes, but not even the most clever accountant will be able to deduct medical marijuana on their clients' federal tax returns this year.

Despite the sweet leaf being legal for medicinal purposes in almost half of the United States, the federal government refuses to consider cannabis a medical expense because it remains a Schedule I controlled substance. “You cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for illegal operations, treatments, or controlled substances whether rendered or prescribed by licensed or unlicensed practitioners,” according to Publication 502.


Bill Aims To End Federal Ban On U.S. Hemp Production

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill in the House on Wednesday that aims to put an end to the federal ban on hemp production in the United States.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and would allow for American farmers in any state to grow the crop.


Growing pot is hardly green; is it time for LEED for weed?

With recreational marijuana production and sales now legal in Colorado and two other states, utilities and energy efficiency experts are waking up to the challenge posed by an industry with a massive appetite for power that runs on 1980s technology.

Cultivating cannabis takes energy. Lots of energy.

A 2011 peer-reviewed study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that on a per-square-foot basis, it takes 356 percent more energy to run a cannabis operation than it takes to operate a hospital ( Read the report here).


Medical Marijuana for Bipolar: The User's Dilemma

This is a follow-up to last week’s post on medical marijuana for bipolar. In the post, I noted that a case can be made for using the product in very small doses to relieve symptoms and maintain mental health, but with some very strong provisos.

In particular, I noted: 

All medications, including psychiatric meds, carry substantial risks that must be weighed against potential benefits. Marijuana is no exception.

I also pointed out:


Costs adding up for medical marijuana entrepreneurs

In the world of medical marijuana entrepreneurs in Illinois, there’s plenty of green behind the grass.

Hundreds of would-be medical marijuana growers and sellers have put millions of dollars on the line hoping for coveted state permits that were supposed to issued by former Gov. Pat Quinn by the end of last year.

To snag those valuable permits, the entrepreneurs hired consultants, lawyers and lobbyists.

They’re already paying rent, in some cases, or have money tied up in options to buy property.

And now, they wait. And with millions of dollars on the line, waiting can get expensive.


Medical Marijuana for Bipolar? Getting High is NOT the Object

  • On January 1, laws making legal the use of recreational marijuana went into effect in Colorado and the state of Washington. Fifty-six percent of Americans now favor legalization and regulation of marijuana.

    In the meantime, there are 20 states plus Washington DC where medical marijuana is legal, and four states with pending legislation.

    “Medical marijuana” is something of a misnomer. A physician does not write a prescription for a specific compound at a specific dosage that a patient fills at a pharmacy. Indeed, the physician’s only involvement may be in issuing the requisite medical marijuana card. 

    The card allows users to shop at marijuana dispensaries. It also amounts to a “get out of jail free” card


Cannabidiol treatment: doctors versus patients

12 January, 2015

A survey about using marijuana-based treatments appears to have split opinions between people with epilepsy and the doctors who treat them. Specialists warn there is not yet enough evidence to support their use

The survey findings were presented in the medical journal Epilepsia. Researchers conducted the survey online between 20 May 2014 and 1 September. It was open to anyone – researchers, medical professionals, patients and their families.


Marijuana Growing Has to Change Its Energy-Hogging Ways

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- In Washington state, a land of tall evergreens and high-minded environmental principles, one wonders what could be greener than a pot farm. Think again.

Initial regulations of the state’s new legal marijuana industry seem to favor energy-guzzling indoor operations over outdoor farms. How did that happen?

After Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana more than a year ago, regulators created a system whereby the pot sold in 334 state-licensed private stores must be grown in-state and tracked “seed to sale.” The new rules limit marijuana farms to 30,000 square feet.


Indoor enterprises can yield three or four crops a year, while outdoor farms can only produce one or two.


Are Your Marijuana Products Adequately Labeled To Protect You From Lawsuits?

What would happen if you failed to provide adequate label warnings for marijuana (including concentrates or oils) and marijuana-infused edible products, and someone was hurt by it? The answer may lie in what is referred to as “strict product liability for failure-to-warn.”


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