Study: Alcohol Use, But Not Cannabis, Associated With Changes In Brain Structure

marijuana_seedlingAlcohol consumption is associated with negative changes in gray matter volume and in white matter integrity, while cannabis use is not, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Oregon Health & Science University evaluated neuroimaging data among adults (ages 18 to 55) and adolescents (ages 14 to 18). Authors identified an association between alcohol use and negative changes in brain structure, but identified no such association with cannabis.

“Alcohol use severity is associated with widespread lower gray matter volume and white matter integrity in adults, and with lower gray matter volume in adolescents,” they concluded. By contrast, “No associations were observed between structural measures and past 30-day cannabis use in adults or adolescents.”

Researchers acknowledged that their findings were similar to those of prior studies “suggesting that regionally specific differences between cannabis users and non-users are often inconsistent across studies and that some of the observed associations may actually be related to comorbid alcohol use.”

A 2015 brain imaging study published in The Journal of Neuroscience similarly reported that cannabis use was not positively associated with adverse changes in the brain, but that alcohol “has been unequivocally associated with deleterious effects on brain morphology and cognition in both adults and adolescents.”

Longitudinal data published in June in the British Medical Journal reported, “Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with adverse brain outcomes including hippocampal atrophy.”

An abstract of the study, “Structural Neuroimaging Correlates of Alcohol and Cannabis Use in Adolescents and Adults,” appears online here.

Two Major Victories For Student Rights In Federal Courts

Dan Viets speaking at a NORML conference

Dan Viets speaking at a NORML conference

Federal courts have recently rejected the actions of university and college administrators who sought to inflict suspicionless drug tests on students at a public college and to restrict the First Amendment rights of marijuana law reformers at a public university.  Both decisions have important national implications.

Linn Tech Student Drug Testing Case

In 2011, Linn State Technical College administrators declared that they intended to drug test every student who applied for admission to the small, state-funded college located in Osage County, Missouri, a short distance east of Jefferson City.  No other public college or university in America had pursued such a program.  It seemed clear to those who follow such matters that college and university students have the same rights as other adults to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  While private institutions are not bound by the restraints of the Fourth Amendment, public tax-supported institutions are.  Nonetheless, Linn Tech seemed determined to pursue inflicting random, suspicionless drug testing on their students.

Tony Rothert, the Legal Director of the ACLU of Missouri, filed suit against Linn Tech.  I filed a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, working with Alex Kreit, a law professor from San Diego.

U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey, sitting in Jefferson City, subsequently issued a decision prohibiting such testing, with a few narrowly-drawn exceptions for those participating in training programs involving heavy machinery or high-voltage electricity.

Linn Tech appealed that decision to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.  Legal scholars were shocked when a three-judge panel of that Court later sided with Linn Tech.  In a decision which many believed ignored legal precedent and logic, two of three judges on the panel which initially heard the case sided with Linn Tech.

Mr. Rothert then filed for a rehearing of the case by the full 11-judge Court.  Such hearings are rarely granted, but in this case, the Motion was granted.  Following that rehearing, all but two of the judges on the full Court sided with the students and the ACLU, overturning the decision of the three-judge panel.

Still not satisfied, Linn Tech squandered more public tax money pursuing a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.  Civil libertarians were concerned that the current high Court might indeed overturn the Eighth Circuit if it had accepted that Petition for review.  However, on June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied further review in this matter.  Therefore, the decision of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court is now the final decision in this matter.  Linn Tech administrators have reluctantly acknowledged that they must now follow the Constitution and abandon their effort to impose suspicionless drug testing on their students.

Iowa State University NORML Censorship Case

In another important case closely watched by many across the nation, members of the NORML Chapter at Iowa State University in 2012 applied for approval to print t-shirts which contained the name of the university-recognized organization and included an image of the school’s mascot, “Cy, the Cyclone”.  University administrators first approved those t-shirts, but when the ISU NORML Chapter asked to reprint them, the university caved in to pressure from legislative staff people who had complained that it appeared the university was supporting marijuana legalization.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) filed suit on behalf of the officers of the Iowa State University NORML Chapter, alleging content and viewpoint discrimination.  The lawsuit sought to prevent university administrators from treating the NORML Chapter differently from other university-recognized student organizations.  The federal district court in Iowa sided with the students and against the university.  The university appealed to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, which issued a decision in February of this year upholding the federal district judge’s ruling.

Iowa State University administrators then asked the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court to reconsider its decision.  The Court did so, which caused many to fear that they might change their minds.

However, on June 13, 2017, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court reaffirmed its earlier decision and went even further, holding that university administrators who prevented the ISU NORML Chapter from using the university’s trademarked images were individually liable for their actions and could, therefore, be ordered to pay damages from their own pockets!

Administrators at the University of Missouri in Columbia have taken similar actions in regard to the MU NORML Chapter.  It is hoped that the decision of the Eighth U.S. Circuit will encourage MU administrators to reconsider their position.

The federal appellate court sent a loud and clear message to university administrators that they are required to respect the Constitutional rights of students, including those who advocate for reform of the marijuana laws.

While Iowa State could do as Linn Tech administrators did and continue to squander more public tax money pursuing an ill-considered position, it is not at all likely the U.S. Supreme Court would grant further review in this matter.

Administrators at the University of Missouri in Columbia have taken similar actions in regard to the MU NORML Chapter.  It is hoped that the decision of the Eighth U.S. Circuit will encourage MU administrators to reconsider their position.

These two decisions have reaffirmed the rights of college and university students to be free from random, suspicionless drug testing and to speak out for drug law reform without censorship by administrators..


Empire State NORML in Albany with the Start SMART Campaign


Lobby Day
The Drug Policy Alliance, along with other campaign pillar groups Empire State NORML, VOCAL-NY, Cannabis Cultural Association, LatinoJustice and the Immigrant Defense Project, held a press conference and lobby day to announce the Start Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade (Start SMART) campaign to advocate for the substantially amended version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) this past Monday, June 12th.

Dozens of activists from all around the state took buses, drove cars and rode trains to Albany to join the campaign in launching and lobbying for the legalization bill. After the excellent citizen lobby day training provided by the Drug Policy Alliance, the group split up to divide and conquer before the press conference hitting as many offices as they could as well as attending scheduled meetings.

In the afternoon the press conference was held in front of the Senate Chambers. Joining advocates at the press conference were the MRTA’s prime sponsors in both houses, Senator Liz Krueger (D-New York) and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo), as well as key MRTA sponsors including: Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (D-New York), Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx), Senator Jesse Hamilton (IDC-Brooklyn), Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Michael Blake (D-Bronx). We also heard from representatives of Start SMART pillar groups, Drug Policy Alliance (Kassandra Frederique), Empire State NORML (Doug Greene), LatinoJustice (Juan Cartagena), VOCAL-NY (Nick Malinowski), Immigrant Defense Project (Mizue Aizeki) and Cannabis Cultural Association (Nelson Guerrero and Jacob Plowden).

Afterwards the group of dedicated activists went back to work. Some went to the Senate and Assembly chambers to pull their members off the floor to seek their support of the new bill, while others continued dropping off materials at the offices of legislators who have voted for further decriminalization but haven’t supported taxation and regulation of marijuana.

The Start SMART campaign

The substantially amended MRTA would reestablish a legal market for marijuana in New York and create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and the craft brewery industry, for adults over the age of 21. Over the past twenty years, nearly 800,000 people have been negatively affected by the harms of prohibition. With people of color accounting for nearly 85% of those arrested annually for possession, the collateral consequences are felt most in these communities. Because of the racial injustice caused by prohibition, the bill is not only an end to prohibition in New York, but also a win in the ongoing fight for racial equality. Significant steps are taken to ensure that those most negatively affected by prohibition will benefit from its repeal.

The reworked Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) includes substantial racial justice and small business-friendly amendments, including:

  • Creating a micro-license structure, similar to New York’s rapidly growing craft wine and beer industry, that allows small-scale production and sale plus delivery to reduce barriers to entry for people with less access to capital and traditional avenues of financing.
  • Establishing the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will invest in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war through job training, economic empowerment, and youth development programming.
  • Ensuring diversity in New York’s marijuana industry by removing barriers to access like capital requirements and building inclusivity by allowing licensing to people with prior drug convictions. Only people with business-related convictions (such as fraud or tax evasion) will be explicitly barred from receiving licenses

Start SMART NY is a campaign to end marijuana prohibition and repair the harms to communities convened by the Drug Policy Alliance in partnership with groups dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition, including Empire State NORML.

NY resident? Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of the bill. 

Make sure to visit Empire State NORML’s website by clicking here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to see the press release from earlier in the week. and click here to go to the Start SMART NY website

Voters Approve Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative

Marijuana medicineAccording to the Associated Press, voters in Montana have approved Initiative 182, the Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative. The Associated Press’s final vote count is 58 to 42 percent. 

“This decision restores the rights of patients and providers,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Voters were clear in 2004 when they initially enacted the state’s medical law, and they remain resolved in their opinion that state lawmakers ought not to restrict patients access to medical cannabis.”

I-182 expands the state’s medical marijuana laws. It permits licensed medical marijuana providers to serve more than three patients at one time and allows for providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. It removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state.

The new law takes effect on June 30, 2017. You can read the full text of the initiative here.

Congratulations Montana!

Report: Tax Revenue From Retail Marijuana Sales Exceeds Expectations

legalization_pollTax revenue collection from retail marijuana sales in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington is exceeding initial projections, according to a new report published by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Marijuana-related tax revenue in Colorado totaled $129 million over the 12-month period ending May 31, 2016 – well exceeding initial estimates of $70 million per year, the report found. In Washington, tax revenue totaled $220 million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2016. Regulators had initially projected that retail sales would bring in $162 million in new annual tax revenue. In Oregon, marijuana-related tax revenues are yielding about $4 million per month – about twice what regulators initially predicted. (Alaska has yet to begin collecting tax revenue from cannabis businesses.)

The report also finds that adult use marijuana legalization has not been associated with any increases in youth use of the substance, nor has it had an adverse impact on traffic safety. “In Colorado and Washington the post-legalization traffic fatality rate has remained statistically consistent with pre-legalization levels, is lower in each state than it was a decade prior, and is lower than the national rate,” it determined. A separate report published by the CATO Institute recently provided similar findings.

In addition, the new reports finds that marijuana-related arrest totals have fallen significantly in jurisdictions post-legalization. According to the DPA’s report, the total number for all annual marijuana-related arrests decreased by 59 percent in Alaska, by 46 percent in Colorado, by 85 percent in the District of Columbia, and by 50 percent in Oregon. In Washington, the number of low-level marijuana court filings fell by 98 percent.

To read the full report, please click here.

Survey: Military Vets Strongly Support Medical Cannabis Access

oil_bottlesMore than two in three military veterans say that medical cannabis should be legal, and 75 percent believe that VA physicians should be able to recommend marijuana therapy to eligible patients, according to the results of the 7th annual membership survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA).

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they “support the legalization of medical marijuana in their state.” Only 20 percent oppose legalizing medical cannabis access.

Seventy-five percent of veterans “believe the VA should allow medical marijuana as a treatment option where warranted.” Fourteen percent of respondents disagreed.

Founded in 2004, the IAVA states that it is “the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America.”

In May, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include language in the 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to permit VA doctors to recommend cannabis therapy. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee decided in June to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Takes Dig at Pro-Legalization Senate Candidate Dan Winslow

WinslowAt a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston this past weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) took a jab at pro-legalization Republican State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who is currently vying for the Republican nomination for Senate in Massachusetts’s upcoming special election.

Addressing the crowd, Senator Warren said, “I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.”

According to statements received by VoteSmart, Rep. Dan Winslow’s stance on marijuana policy is as follows:

I disfavor decriminalization of marijuana because it increases demand from illicit sources. Instead, I think we need to legalize marijuana (likely starting with medicinal marijuana in view of the current federal prohibition) and then regulate it and tax it. Only be lawful production of marijuana will the cartels, crooks and drug dealers be put out of business in the US. – State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk)

Representative Winslow is currently engaged in a primary for the GOP nomination, if he were to receive it he would face either Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch or Edward Markey in the June 25 special election.

The Aspen Legal Seminar – Register Now! Reserve Your Room!

The 2013 NORML Aspen Legal Seminar registration site is now live on the NORML website, and we urge you to register now for what will surely be another exceptional legal seminar and wonderful long-weekend with friends and colleagues in the Rocky Mountains. The dates for the seminar this year are Thursday, May 30 through Saturday, June 1 at The Gant, our usual venue in Aspen.

The program this year will include such timely topics as the legal and ethical obligations of attorneys who represent cannabusinesses; the latest science and law regarding DUID cases; blocking the government from getting your client’s email; avoiding deportation for your non-citizen clients; the changes in probable cause in those states that have some form of legal marijuana; child custody issues for marijuana smokers; various ways to effectively conduct voir dire; all you need to know about cellular telephone tracking; and using your iPhone and iPad for the defense.

We will also be holding our annual benefit dinner at the lovely home of Chris and Gerry Goldstein on Friday evening, and we have been invited back to Owl Farm, Hunter S. Thomspon’s old homestead, for a cookout and live country music on Saturday afternoon, as guests of Hunter’s widow, Anita Thompson.

Please plan to join us in Aspen this spring, and experience first hand what it feels like to live in a state that has fully legalized marijuana.

Those wishing to make your hotel reservations early can call The Gant (970-925-5000), and let them know you are attending the NORML legal seminar to qualify for our block of reduced-rate rooms.

We hope to see you in Aspen in late May.

Keith Stroup, Esq.
NORML Legal Counsel

Ministry of Cannabis will Study the Medical Applications of its Cannabis Strains

(PRWeb UK) May 5, 2010

Ministry of Cannabis, an Amsterdam based cannabis seedbank, announces new initiatives to support legal medical marijuana users.

Ministry of Cannabis is a well known cannabis seeds bank, active in the Netherlands since 2007. In these 3 years the seeds of the Ministry have travelled the whole world. Looking at their website, it is possible to order 12 different marijuana seeds strains, which 10 are feminized cannabis seeds, and 2 autoflowering seeds. Reading the descriptions of these strains, it seems that they focus on the botanical and recreational aspect of the plant, rather the medical one.

?We are a commercial company and we propose our products in the most fascinating way for our customers, as it is normal to be? says Saskia, the director of the company, ?but at the same time we cannot ignore the requests of those who suffer and cannot have yet an efficient access to the marijuana as medicine?.

The marijuana is the unfertilized flower of the female cannabis plants. There are many varieties of cannabis and only some of them contains enough cannabinoids (the active ingredients) to be used as medicine. The marijuana, consider as a medicine, should be rather evaluated like a ?cocktail? of medicines, because its final effect is given by the interactions of several teens of substances, rather than one, like in a ?normal? medicine.

The staff of the Ministry is since its foundation busy to give the best suggestions to the patiences that ask for their help. ?We are of course not doctors? adds Saskia ?so our suggestions are based mostly on our knowledge of every single strain that we produce and on the past experiences of other customers with similar diseases?.

The staff of the Ministry is now busy to rewrite all the descriptions of the strains, so each one will contain not only botanical and recreational info, but also an orientation about its possible medical use. Patiences with glaucoma, for example, will greatly benefit from the high THC content of strains like Carnival and White Widow. Those who suffer of sclerosis can find beneficial the effect of a strong indica like Kandahar.

Many european countries (like UK, Swiss, Spain, Netherlands etc) already allow the prescription of marijuana for medical use. In many other countries the debate is opened. One element that is sure is, the prohibition till now didn’t help the medical research. ?We are not scientists and we don’t wanna replace the role of the doctors? ends Saskia ?but till there are proper scientific research programs, the best that we can do is to collect info on a practical base, and with those we help suffering people to feel a little better?.

The new, updated descriptions in the Ministry of Cannabis website will be available within the end of June.


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Journey Healing Centers Opposes Medical Marijuana Proposition

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) June 2, 2010

To prevent the painkiller drug war from escalating further in the US, Journey Healing Centers ( announces their opposition to the Medical Marijuana proposition that was approved June 1, 2010, to be on the Arizona November 2010 ballot. With 50 million admitting to abusing prescription drugs in the US (CBS Evening News), the center believes medical marijuana and the proposed legalization of marijuana in California will only increase substance abuse, relapses and addictions to harder drugs.

There are 14 states that have already legalized medical marijuana, and a “Green Rush” has swept through much of California in recent years (CBS News No one is exactly sure how many Cannabis clinics exist in Los Angeles, CA, and the best estimate is somewhere between 800 and 1,000 (CBS News). The city is now attempting to close dispensaries that aren’t in compliance with a new ordinance by June 7th, and ensure the roughly 130 clinics meet stringent guidelines (MSNBC).. The centers are also supposed to be non-profit, yet are making an estimated $ 1.2 per year in profits (PBS, Need to Know). This November, Californians will vote on an initiative that would legalize the use of medical marijuana for any citizen over 21, which is even more concerning. The following health concerns are the reasons Journey Healing Centers has taken this position:

1. Lowers Ambition – One consequence that is overlooked from marijuana is how the drug lowers the users’ ambition to achieve life accomplishments (SAMHSA). In one case, a client ended up being suspended from school, losing his job, and eventually returning to his drug of choice crystal meth. His last words to his counselor were, “it’s only marijuana,” says Aubrey Barrow, Admissions Director for Journey Healing Centers.

2. Marijuana is a Gateway Drug – Marijuana is typically the first drug that most drug addicts encounter when first experimenting with drugs. The reason people call marijuana “the gateway drug” is because it often leads to other drug usage. Years later, an addicted person may end up in treatment for a heroin, crack cocaine, meth, and/or other drug problems. Marijuana is a harmful drug, especially since the potency of the marijuana now available has increased more than 275 percent over the last decade (SAMHSA).

3. Painkiller Prescriptions Out of Control – The US is already challenged by a war on prescription drugs. Opiate pain drugs and benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs that treatment centers see most commonly abused. According to SAMHSA, prescription drug abuse is the second most common form of recreational drug use in America second only to marijuana. Addicts are getting prescription drugs from their doctor versus the streets, who often write prescriptions quickly versus taking the time to analyze a patient’s issue. While there are some rare instances in the medical field where marijuana may work best to alleviate pain and nausea, legalizing it for day-to- day use will only create more of an addiction problem.

Aubrey Barrow, Admissions Director at Journey Healing Centers, adds, “Although there may be economic benefits for legalizing marijuana (business profit and taxes), there is also great expense. When abused, this addiction can lead to criminal activity causing taxpayer dollars on the court system. It will also be impossible to control the distribution and cultivation, not to mention the illegal transporting it into the US. We don’t need additional drug challenges with our loved ones.”

Background: Journey Healing Centers operates drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and has been featured on MTV’s Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, and in People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119.


CBS Evening News: States Try to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

14 Legal Medical Marijuana States

CBS News: L.A. Moves Toward Closing Pot Clinics

MSNBC: Los Angeles to close pot dispensaries

PBS – Need to Know (3rd story about CA medical marijuana)

SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Media Contact:

Liz Brown

Journey Healing Centers


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Fired Wal-Mart Employee Accepts Full Scholarship to The Medical Marijuana Academy

Walled Lake, MI (PRWEB) July 1, 2010

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Michigan ? June 30, 2010 ? A former Wal-Mart Employee, 30-year- old Joseph Casias has accepted a $ 2,500.00 Scholarship to attend The Medical Marijuana Academy (MMA). Mr. Casias, used medicinal marijuana as prescribed by his doctor to treat severe pain caused by an inoperable brain tumor and sinus cancer. Though his actions were in accordance with Michigan law, he was fired by a Battle Creek, Michigan Wal-Mart, based on the company?s own strict drug screening policy.

?We wanted to do the right thing,? says Derek Norman who is the CEO and also a Professor at MMA. ?We saw a chance to make a positive difference so we took action.? The $ 2,500.00 scholarship package includes transportation, hotel, living expenses, classroom training, and equipment for medicinal growing. The Medical Marijuana Academy also plans to continue providing financial aid to qualified individuals who are in need on a monthly basis.

Casias is set to begin training in the Summer of 2010 to become a certified medical marijuana grower and caregiver. Todd Alton, a Professor for MMA looks forward to having Casias in Class, ?This is going to give him (Casias) a chance to start a new career in this industry as Wal-Mart has fallen short and let him down. ?Casias, who had previously earned associate of the year honors, says he never used marijuana in the workplace or before reporting to work. ?I would like to thank The Medical Marijuana Academy for this opportunity to become self-sufficient,? said Casias, voicing his gratitude as he went on to say ?God bless.”

On Tuesday, the ACLU announced that it was suing Wal-Mart on Casias’ behalf. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning at the Calhoun County Courthouse (case # 2010-2067-CZ). In it, the ACLU claims that Casias was fired from his job at Wal-Mart illegally.

The Medical Marijuana Academy offers specialized instruction for medical marijuana patients and caregivers operating under Michigan law. Their 7,500 sq. ft. campus in Commerce Township, MI is the premiere medicinal marijuana training facility featuring spacious classrooms and labs for hands on training. For more information about The MMA call 888-487-0005 or contact them by e-mail at

weGrow to Open Marijuana Superstore in Phoenix

(PRWEB) May 04, 2011

New signage on an old Phoenix warehouse is one of the first visible indicators of the billion-dollar medical marijuana industry?s arrival in the Valley of the Sun. weGrow, the marijuana superstore franchise that sells products and services to help patients grow marijuana for medical purposes, is set to open its 21,000 square-foot store in Phoenix on June 1.

Known as the, ?Walmart of weed,? weGrow?s new store will be the largest hydroponics store in Phoenix to date.

Located at 2937 W. Thomas Road, weGrow does not sell any marijuana itself, just everything cultivators need to grow it. In addition to the largest selection of hydroponic supplies, weGrow features live indoor grow demonstrations with real plants, expert technicians to help customers build professional grow rooms, an on-site medical doctor for patient evaluations and classes on how to safely and responsibly cultivate medical marijuana.

June 1 also marks the date that the Arizona Department of Health Services will accept applications for initial dispensary registration certificates. The billion-dollar industry is expected to see around 100,000 potential patients in Arizona and is approved for 124 dispensaries.

?Many of the 124 dispensary permit winners will have never grown medical marijuana before- where are they supposed to go to learn about safe and responsible marijuana cultivation?” said Dhar Mann, weGrow founder. ?The weGrow Phoenix store will be a full-service resource for patients and growers that offers much more than just hydroponics equipment.”

In anticipation of upcoming Arizona dispensaries, last week weGrow issued an RFP for cannabis testing companies interested in opening an on-site laboratory to examine medical marijuana before patient consumption.

The franchise is growing fast as more states legalize cannabis for medicinal use. weGrow currently operates stores in California and has immediate plans to open in Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey and Washington D.C. following the Phoenix opening.

weGrow will hold a press conference featuring industry experts followed by a public grand opening event called ?weGrow Phoenix: The Green Rush? on June 1 at the new store. The event is expected to draw a massive crowd and will feature live entertainment, industry suppliers and support businesses, grow demonstrations and much more.

For more information about weGrow and the grand opening festival, please visit


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Marijuana Hydroponics Superstore, weGrow, Opens First Franchise in Arizona on June 1

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) May 31, 2011

On the day that should commemorate the opening of the Arizona Department of Health Services? acceptance of medical marijuana dispensary permits, a new marijuana superstore will open to teach the 100,000 patients who may now need to grow cannabis themselves. weGrow, the nation?s only hydroponics franchise that openly talks about medical marijuana, will open a 21,000 square-foot store in Phoenix tomorrow.

“We’re not talking tomatoes,” said Arizona’s first weGrow Franchisee Sunny Singh.

weGrow, located at 2937 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix, will celebrate the opening of its first Arizona superstore on Wednesday, June 1 with an industry panel and press conference at 4:30 pm and a public festival at 5:30 pm. The festival will feature on-site patient evaluations, demonstrations of the latest marijuana products and technology, live entertainment and more.

The grand opening festival, called ?The Green Rush,? will showcase weGrow?s third U.S. location as well as the mass public support for the new billion-dollar industry coming to Arizona. Now that the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries may be put on hold due to Gov. Jan Brewer?s recent lawsuit, patients need information about safe grow practices more than ever.

“Suspending the state’s medical marijuana program will transition Arizona from a state-licensed cannabis distribution model to a patient-cultivator distribution model like California,” said Dhar Mann, founder of weGrow. “Now in order to get their cannabis, patients will have to grow it themselves, and most of them will have no idea how to do that. weGrow was created to assist exactly this type of customer.?

The growing chain does not actually sell any marijuana itself, just everything one would need to grow it.

weGrow not only features the largest selection of hydroponic supplies, but also offers a variety of services aimed at educating medical marijuana cultivators, including live grow demonstrations with real plants, an on-site doctor for medical cannabis evaluations, expert technicians to teach safe and responsible grow practices, and even an on-site laboratory to test cannabis before patient consumption.

For more information about the grand opening festival or the press conference, please visit or call 480.250.4315.

About weGrow

weGrow is the first honest hydroponics store, geared towards selling the materials necessary to grow marijuana for those with medical marijuana needs. From the largest showroom of hydroponic equipment, to grow training services; weGrow is a one-stop-shop for cultivators. weGrow has several locations nationwide and has plans for continued growth. For more information, please visit


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