Tag Archives: cannabis

Feds Seize 100 NorCal Residential Pot Grow Houses

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Federal and local law enforcement officials said this week they have seized around 100 Northern California houses they say were being used to grow cannabis tied to criminal organizations based in China.

The raids conducted Tuesday and Wednesday focused on Chinese nationals living in other states who bought homes in seven California counties, the Associated Press reported. Most of the home buyers were legal residents of the United States. They lived as far away as Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The harvested and processed product was shipped back east to those states for distribution.

None of the home owners have been arrested yet. The U.S. Department of Justice called the bust one of the nation’s largest residential forfeiture seizures. None of the homes were in the San Francisco Bay Area, presumably because it’s cheaper to buy a home more inland, the AP report said.

“This criminal organization has put a tremendous amount of equity into these homes through these wire transfers coming in from China and elsewhere,” U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said in an interview with AP. “We’re going to take it. We’re going to take the houses. We’re going to take the equity.”

More details from the AP:

  • More than 500 law enforcement officials were used in the raids, which also hit two real estate businesses in Sacramento.
  • Agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were deployed with Sacramento sheriff deputies.
  • Money for home down payments were wired from China’s Fujian Province and stayed below the $50,000 limit restrictions in that country.
  • Sacramento real estate agents were used as well as straw buyers who represented the homeowners.

The Justice Department said the houses tended to use very high amounts of electricity for grow lights and fans. It’s no wonder the sweep was dubbed “Operation Lights Out.”

It said in addition to the homes, agents hauled in 61,000 marijuana plants, 400 pounds of processed buds (worth $600,000 wholesale) and 15 guns.

Worries about competition from a thriving black market in the state have continued to increase since California legalized recreational, retail cannabis and started taxing it at high rates last January.

A report earlier this week found that state and federal taxes on legal cannabis are so high in California that they may be helping the black market thrive, as consumers look for cheaper sources for cannabis and retail businesses scramble to keep in line with regulations while still making a profit.

By Riley McDermid | San Francisco Times

You Can Now Buy Weed-Infused Wine In CA

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(True Activist) As consumers become more educated on the benefits of marijuana — both recreational and medicinal, it continues to be decriminalized at an increasing pace. So far, 29 states (and DC) in the United States have legalized cannabis for medicinal use and eight for recreational. With the freedom to cultivate the herb and utilize it in numerous ways, entrepreneurs have started experimenting with cannabis and infusing it into a variety of edibles — such as baked goods, candies, soda and now… wine.

That’s right, cannabis-infused wine (otherwise known as Canna Vine) is finally available for sale in California. According to the Los Angeles Times, the beverage is made from organically grown marijuana and bio-dynamically farmed grapes. Because the product is low in THC — the primary psychoactive compound found within cannabis — it delivers a mellow “body high” without large effects.

The innovative wine was developed by cancer survivor Lisa Molyneux, who owns the dispensary Greenway in Santa Cruz, and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, who owns Verdad Wines in Santa Maria. Molyneux, particularly, was inspired to invent the wine to aid fellow cancer survivors.

 

There’s a reason Canna Vine costs anywhere from $120 to $400 for half a bottle. The process to make the product begins with one pound of marijuana. After the weed is wrapped in cheese cloth, it is added to a barrel of wine where it sits for approximately one year to ferment and repose.

Though the concept of cannabis-infused wine is nothing new (in ancient China, it was prescribed for pain relief), the fact that it can be legally procured in the modern age is.

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The founders of Canna Vine are presently experimenting with the green wine (literally) to find the best balance of Sativa and Indica. Their ultimate aim is to sell a wine that creates “uplifting and relaxing sensations.”

Said Molyneux,

“What’s nice about it is how subtle it is. There’s a little flush after the first sip, but then the effect is really cheery, and at the end of the night you sleep really well. It really is the best of both worlds; you get delicious wines with medicinal benefits.”

Melissa Etheridge, — a prominent advocate of Canna Vine — credits the beverage with helping her through chemotherapy. She said,

“When I was in my deepest, darkest, last throes of chemo,” says Etheridge, “I couldn’t smoke or use a vaporizer — and I was never really an edibles eater; I didn’t want to be ‘out of it.’”

“It lands in a really beautiful place,” she added.

What’s the catch?

First of all, the infused wine is only legal to purchase in California. Second, one needs a medical marijuana license to purchase the product.

California is presently the only place one can procure alcohol infused with weed. Even states like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado don’t allow the combination to be produced or sold.

Presently, both Molyneux and Lindquist seek to refine the wine to position themselves in the market of high-quality cannabis-infused products. Said Lindquist,

“Cannabis wine has been so effective as a stress reliever, as a mood elevator, and as a medicineI have no idea what the market will be like for it, but whatever I make I want to be safe, made from pure ingredients and, hopefully, delicious.”

Source: New World Order Report