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CVS Pays Largest Civil Penalty Ever Assessed Under the Controlled Substances Act for Selling Main Meth Ingredient

CVS, the nation's largest drug-store chain, is paying what’s considered the largest civil penalty ever — $75 million — assessed under the Controlled Substances Act as well as forfeiting $2.6 million in profits from the sales of medicines that contain pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient to making meth.
Publication/Source: 
NACS (VA)
URL: 
http://www.nacsonline.com/NACS/News/Daily/Pages/ND1015107.aspx

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Expands Into Illegal Mining

Location: 
MIC
Mexico
A Mexican drug trafficking organization already raking in hefty profits trafficking drugs to the United States under drug prohibition has discovered a new business in the western state of Michoacan -- illegal mining.
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFN1328265720101014

Medical Marijuana in Montana Becoming Big Business

Location: 
MT
United States
Marijuana in Montana isn't just for legal medicinal or unlawful recreational purposes - it's also a booming business. That message was loud and clear among caregivers and others who attended the Medical Marijuana Growers Association gathering in Helena this week.
Publication/Source: 
KRTV (MT)
URL: 
http://www.krtv.com/news/medical-marijuana-in-montana-becoming-big-business/

Electricity Theft by B.C. Grow-ops Costs $100M a Year

Location: 
BC
Canada
BC Hydro says the theft of electricity — mostly from drug prohibition-inspired marijuana grow operations — now costs $100 million every year. Hydro spokesperson Cindy Verschoor said that's a significant increase from the estimated $30-million revenue loss from electricity theft in 2006, the last time Hydro calculated the loss. She said it's because larger and more sophisticated grow-ops are sucking more power each year.
Publication/Source: 
CBC Radio-Canda (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/10/08/bc-hydro-grow-op-theftw.html

Medical Marijuana a Cash Crop for Newspaper Ads

In Colorado, California and Montana, where medical marijuana is legal, newspapers are enjoying increased ad revenue for this emerging market. This is most valuable at a time when newspapers are hurting for advertising, particularly classified ads, which have plummeted with the rise of online services like Craigslist.
Publication/Source: 
CBS News (US)
URL: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503983_162-20018557-503983.html

Poland Shutters Synthetic Drug Shops

The Polish government announced Monday that it has shut down around a thousand stores that sold newly-emerging synthetic drugs, such as mephedrone and preparations containing synthetic cannabinoids (marketed under names like Spice and K2 in the US). It is also moving to amend its drug laws to cover such substances.

Royal Castle Square, Warsaw
"The state will not flinch when it comes to using all legal means available in the struggle against these substances," Justice Minister Krzysztof Kwiatkowski told reporters Monday. "This is going to be a long and difficult fight because our opponent is extremely well-prepared, rich and determined," said Kwiatkowski.

The synthetic drugs have made headlines in Poland in recent weeks, with several users being hospitalized. There have also been a handful of deaths that have been attributed to the synthetics, though the actual connection between use of the substances and the deaths remains unclear.

In an operation beginning last week, police and health inspectors sealed the doors of stores selling the drugs. But that was just the beginning, Kwiatkowski said. He said the government would enact legislation to plug loopholes in the existing drug law, including adding a three-year prison sentence for anyone who supplies minors with a substance posing a risk to their health or life. Another proposed amendment would allow health inspectors to pull from the shelves for up to 18 months any substance suspected of being harmful.

It won't be without a fight. The owner of a chain of shops selling the new synthetics told the newspaper Polska he planned to sue over the state's closure of his shops.

More than a dozen US states and numerous municipalities have banned K2 and Spice, but it remains legal under federal drug laws.

Poland

Oakland Leaders Attend Reopening of Pot Mega-Store

Location: 
Oakland, CA
United States
It was already known as the Wal-Mart of the marijuana world with 15,000 square feet of everything you ever needed to grow or smoke marijuana. Now, iGrow is growing even more, so much, that it changed its name to "weGrow."
Publication/Source: 
KGO (CA)
URL: 
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=7704026

Marijuana Soda? Medicinal Users Now Have Smoke-Free Option

Location: 
CO
United States
A new line of marijuana-infused beverages are now available to patients with a recommendation for medical marijuana. Made by Colorado-based Dixie Elixirs, the carbonated drinks are marketed to medicinal marijuana patients who wish to avoid “weed culture” stigmas.
Publication/Source: 
TIME (US)
URL: 
http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/30/marijuana-soda-medicinal-users-now-have-smoke-free-option/

Arizona Firms Jockeying to Get Medical Marijuana Licenses

Location: 
AZ
United States
More than a dozen companies are setting up shop in Arizona hoping to get into the business of selling medical marijuana. The Arizona law requires that the dispensaries be set up as non-profit corporations. But that isn't deterring would-be medical marijuana sellers who hope to snare one of 120 licenses.
Publication/Source: 
Arizona Business Gazette (AZ)
URL: 
http://www.azcentral.com/business/abg/articles/2010/09/23/20100923abg-maryjane0923.html

Boulder Extends Deadline for Medical Marijuana Businesses

Location: 
Boulder, CO
United States
The Boulder, Colorado city manager extended the deadline for existing medical marijuana businesses to apply for an operating license, citing massive confusion about the city's rules. If the deadline had not been extended, the majority of the city's dispensaries and growing operations would be operating illegally, though owners may not have known it.
Publication/Source: 
Daily Camera (CO)
URL: 
http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_16137036

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