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West Virginia Public Employees’ Insurance Agency, teachers’ salaries, hometown pride, medical marijuana, money in politics and the opioid epidemic figured into speeches offered Tuesday by candidates in races for the West Virginia Senate District 9 primary election.

Hopefuls spoke at the “Meet the Candidates” breakfast at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, hosted by the Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.

In the West Virginia Senate race, teachers’ salaries, medical marijuana, education and wasteful governmental spending were key topics.

Steve Davis, a Democratic candidate from Raleigh County, said a recent strike by state teachers brought a crisis with PEIA, including escalating costs, to the forefront. PEIA is the public employees’ insurance program, which serves teachers.

“We need to take care of our teachers,” he said. “We gave them a 5 percent raise. I don’t think that’s enough.

“We talked about PEIA. It’s broken. It’s not fixed. In my mind, the teacher is one of the top problems we need to look at.”

Davis said that, if elected, his first mission is to address PEIA concerns and that he would also cut waste in

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Bill Nettles is in the creaky basement of Immaculate Consumption, a coffee shop near the State House, devouring a breakfast sandwich while he explains the origins of his new company, Palmetto Medical Cannabis.

As U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, a post he held from 2010 to 2016, Nettles tended to focus more on white collar crime than drug war prosecutions, so his turn toward cannabis reform isn’t as dramatic as one might think.

But it’s still startling to hear a top federal prosecutor break down why South Carolina should legalize medical marijuana.

“You could just decide this purely on economics — take the moral issue out of it,” he says. “In the United States now, the number one cause of accidental death: opioids. Opioid overdoses are very expensive. People have to go to hospitals, people incur costs, not to mention the social costs. How does that happen? … There’s a lot of pain out there. When a doctor gives you a prescription [for opioids], they’re

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 The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) at NC State is making strides to bring hemp and marijuana legalization to the forefront of the public discussion in North Carolina.

Sam O’Connor, a fourth-year studying horticultural science, is the president of NORML at NC State. He said that the organization is mainly focuses on education about the hemp plant and understanding its uses.

“We are just trying to educate the NC State population and beyond,” O’Connor said. “We want to give people our unbiased opinion about marijuana, and create a community where we can come together and have an informed, intelligent discussion about this.” 

The NORML at NC State looks to educate the public about hemp through different programs like the hemp panel they held mid-April to discuss the legal implications of legalizing hemp specifically in North Carolina. 

“There has been momentum with some other states legalizing medical as well as recreational, and industry-wise, which I think is extremely exciting,” O’Connor said.

According to O’Connor, there are a lot of misunderstandings about the similarities and differences among hemp, cannabis and

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Springfield News-Leader, April 20

Lawmakers should agree on these 3 tax changes

As legislators work through constructing the next state budget — something that’s harder for everyone to focus on these days — there will be plenty of debate about which institutions need more funding, which programs are bloated and inefficient, and what to do about tax rates.

“Look at North Carolina, tax cuts are great!”

“Look at Kansas, tax cuts are terrible!”

Obviously, it’s more complicated than that. Legislators should look for ways to let businesses grow without sending the state down a dangerous path of financial instability.

We haven’t always taken the smartest steps in that regard. Recent and future tax breaks have budget wonks worried about our long-term health, concerned that we won’t be able to maintain our roads, care for folks with disabilities or provide workforce training.

Some of those experts at the Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit organization that uses research and analysis to champion smart public policy, have suggested a few keys to focus on this year. We believe they’ve identified solutions the parties

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Springfield News-Leader, April 20

Lawmakers should agree on these 3 tax changes

As legislators work through constructing the next state budget — something that’s harder for everyone to focus on these days — there will be plenty of debate about which institutions need more funding, which programs are bloated and inefficient, and what to do about tax rates.

“Look at North Carolina, tax cuts are great!”

“Look at Kansas, tax cuts are terrible!”

Obviously, it’s more complicated than that. Legislators should look for ways to let businesses grow without sending the state down a dangerous path of financial instability.

We haven’t always taken the smartest steps in that regard. Recent and future tax breaks have budget wonks worried about our long-term health, concerned that we won’t be able to maintain our roads, care for folks with disabilities or provide workforce training.

Some of those experts at the Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit organization that uses research and analysis to champion smart public policy, have suggested a few keys to focus on this year. We believe they’ve identified solutions the parties

Read More Here...

Steve Smith, co-founder and president of Pet Releaf, introduces Pet Product News to key, must-know employees and reveals the critical information that pet specialty retailers need to know about vetting cannabidiol (CBD)-based products.

By Pet Product News Staff

Published: 2018.04.24 10:32 AM

Pet Releaf’s Steve Smith gives PPN an insider’s look at the growing company’s processes.

What do you manufacture and what distinguishes these products from similar ones on the market?

From the beginning, Pet Releaf has been on a mission to change what “healthy” means for pets. With that in mind, we’ve made a commitment to always be in complete control of our entire manufacturing process from seed to sale, from plant to pet. We see our hemp get planted as seeds right here in the United States at our certified USDA organic joint-venture farm in eastern Colorado. We watch them grow to maturity and are there when it is harvested. We’re in control of our extraction process that uses no toxic solvents or chemicals and only pressurized air. 

Our product line provides the

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Benson, N.C. — Authorities seized drugs and hundreds of dollars in cash early Tuesday morning after a high-speed car chase through Johnston County, officials said.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers tried to stop a black Chevy sedan for speeding on Interstate 95 near Benson, but the driver did not pull over. Instead, the driver, whose identity was not immediately available, sped off, reaching speed of up to 110 mph.

The driver led troopers onto Interstate 40 westbound before looping back onto I-40 eastbound.

During the chase, troopers said the driver tossed from the car a box full of electronic cigarettes containing synthetic cannabis oil and then tried to ram a patrol car. The driver eventually crashed into another patrol car before jumping out and running away from the vehicle.

Troopers caught the man as he ran away.

Authorities found marijuana, additional synthetic cannabis cigarettes and cash inside the suspect’s car.

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MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMING AS EARLY AS FALL
Medical marijuana could be available to Louisiana patients as early as September — 40 years after state lawmakers first approved marijuana for medical use.

  Officials from Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University — the stewards of the state crops to be processed into cannabis-based medicines — presented rough timelines and budgets to the joint House and Senate agriculture committees April 18. Also last week, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy awarded competitive, potentially lucrative dispensary licenses to nine pharmacies across the state.

  These moves follow 2015 and 2016 legislation that tasked several statewide agencies with devising rules for medical cannabis in Louisiana. Those laws followed a dead-end 1978 medical marijuana law that sat dormant on the books without any legal infrastructure to back it up.

  Current law allows only for oil-, cream- and pill-based cannabidiol products, not smokable pot, to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, cachexia and epilepsy. This year, Louisiana lawmakers are considering bills to allow medical marijuana to treat glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress

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Police believe the driver of a car involved in a fatal crash on Sunday was impaired by drugs or alcohol and was traveling 80 mph in a 35-mph zone.

Samuel James Beadle, 21, of Louisburg was charged with death by motor vehicle and reckless driving in the single-car crash just before 9 p.m. Sunday on Wakefield Plantation Drive in North Raleigh.

The vehicle’s passenger, 20-year-old Zachery Marten Riggle, died as a result of the crash. Beadle sustained serious injuries, police said.

Zachery Riggle

Courtesy of family

Police say Beadle was driving a 2010 Chevrolet that veered off the right side of the road and struck a tree on the passenger side. The force of the impact spun the car around, and it slammed into a fire hydrant before it rolled over and landed on its roof.

In 2015, Beadle was charged with possession of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling or vehicle for a controlled substance, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, simple possession of marijuana, resisting a public officer and malicious conduct by a prisoner, according to records

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Wilmington, NC, April 20, 2018: Long & Hamilton Research, Development and Licensing LLC recently filed a provisional patent for processing industrial hemp they say is not only clean and economical, but ideally suited to the Southeast. That’s because of how well tides flush our waterways.

Bringing natural materials like hemp to market requires lots of water and energy, raising costs and hurting value. While vast areas of North America can grow hemp, their water resources are already strained. Further, energy costs increase with decreasing water availability, leaving many producers out of the market. The Southeast coast changes that for us.

Local business leaders believe a successful hemp industry is all about location. Historically, textiles was a primary market for hemp, largely based in North Carolina. Cone Denim in Greensboro was a major producer of hemp used by early jeans manufacturers.

“Salt water demand is much lower than fresh water,” says Dr. Michael Long, Co-owner of Long & Hamilton. “We can’t drink salt water or use it for crops. But it’s great for doing to hemp what’s needed to make

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