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notsofasteddie last won the day on January 10

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  1. P.E.I. news

    P.E.I. government announces retail model and rules for recreational cannabis The Canadian Press Published January 16, 2018 CHARLOTTETOWN — The government of Prince Edward Island says it will operate four government-owned retail locations for recreational cannabis and allow online orders for home delivery. Finance Minister Heath MacDonald made the announcement as part of a list of measures being taken by the Island's Liberal government in advance of the legalization of recreational cannabis later this year. The retail locations will be in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague and West Prince. The government will sign deals with three suppliers — Canada's Island Garden of Charlottetown, Organigram of Moncton, N.B., and Canopy Growth Corp. of Smith Falls, Ont. The minimum age will be 19, and adults will be allowed to publicly possess up to 30 grams of lawful dried cannabis. MacDonald says the province will strengthen roadside suspensions and will increase the amount of public education on cannabis. The Canadian Press http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1537188-p.e.i.-government-announces-retail-model-and-rules-for-recreational-cannabis
  2. End of an era: BC Ferries smoking ban takes effect this month A retrospective on ferry doobies and hotboxed hatchbacks By Scott Johnstone January 17, 2018 Featured image by KenWalker, [email protected]/Wikipedia Commons A long-standing tradition for BC’s cannabis-inclined coastal commuters is about to be stamped out. As of January 22, there is a complete ban on smoking at terminals and on all ships. The ban was announced in August, along with a ban on travellers remaining in their vehicles when parked on enclosed lower vehicle decks, which went into effect last October. The motivation for both policy adjustments is safety – those on the lower vehicle decks could be trapped below in the unlikely event that a ship should sink. And fire in any form is generally antithetical to safety, especially when the fire escape is the open ocean. Under the new smoke-free policy, battery-lit pocket vape pens are expressly prohibited too, as are all other means of vaping and smoking, medicinally or otherwise. But as is often the case, the move towards improved safety standards brings with it a move away from fun and casual recreation for many. Although the practice has technically always been prohibited (even for those with federally approved medical exemption), many local cannabis enthusiasts will confirm that in years past, one of the best parts of taking the ferries was firing up a thick joint and enjoying a long, deep draw as the wind whipped across their face. Sidecar motorcycles notwithstanding, it was the closest the average passenger will ever get to the sensation dogs feel when leaning out the passenger window of a car, tongue flapping as it speeds down the highway. Granted, the turbulent oncoming wind almost always made joints burn unevenly, and would often result in doobies burning down twice as fast, regardless of whether anyone was smoking them or just holding them in the wind. But it was a tradition. In times of foul weather, renegade cannabists would seek refuge on the vehicle deck for an old-fashioned hotboxing in their cars. While this may still be possible on the higher vehicle decks (no pun intended), doing so contravenes a rule that prohibits smoking of any kind on vehicle decks, a policy that has already been in place for more than a decade. Nevertheless, scores of intrepid cannabophiles have turned to the privacy of their vehicles for respite from crowds and ferry staff – in many cases to their own detriment, as those who are caught can face legal consequences beyond simple possession. For example, using a torch-lit dab rig in one’s vehicle could constitute public endangerment. While the natural reaction for many might be to plan on establishing a new tradition of land-based, pre-ferry hotboxing in the vehicle lineups, that too has already been prohibited for years. However this reporter has fond memories of leaving his car in the lineup for a brief walk, to enjoy the tranquility of the beach and shoreline adjacent to the terminal. While not quite the same as sailing with the wind in one’s face, the soft crashing of the shoal and the fresh sea breeze make for a rather nice tradition indeed. https://news.lift.co/end-of-an-era-bc-ferries-smoking-ban-takes-effect-this-month
  3. P.E.I. news

    Prince Edward Island unveils cannabis legislation plans PEI will have four government-run cannabis stores supplied by Canopy, OrganiGram and Canada’s Island Garden By Kate Robertson January 16, 2018 Image via Nicolas Raymond/Flickr Adults will be able to possess up to 30 g of dried cannabis or the equivalent in Prince Edward Island when it becomes legal for recreational purposes, PEI legislators announced today. Teens under 19 are prohibited from possessing any cannabis, and there will be four government-run stores on the island. So far, the province has signed deals with three suppliers: Charlottetown’s Canada’s Island Garden, Moncton’s OrganiGram and Canopy Growth Corp. out of Smiths Falls, Ont. “In setting direction on cannabis, our focus remains on getting rid of the illegal market, ensuring Islanders are making an informed choice, and protecting the public health and safety of Islanders,” said finance minister Heath MacDonald. “This is a major project that involves or impacts almost every department of government, and we continue to work with our key partners and Islanders to ensure that the decisions we make are in the best interests of the entire province.” The legislators also announced plans for preventing cannabis-impaired driving, regulating cannabis transport and providing health and safety education: Driving: create a summary offense in cases of impaired driving with a minor, with potential for increasing penalties, and strengthening impaired driving suspensions. Transporting: cannabis must be in unopened packages, secure and inaccessible to anyone in a vehicle. Education: public health and safety campaigns are underway. To find out more, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/cannabis. https://news.lift.co/prince-edward-island-unveils-cannabis-legislation-plans
  4. Drug arrests at Canadian border checkpoints challenged in court By Michael Casey, The Associated Press Published: Jan 15, 2018 PLYMOUTH, N.H. — The American Civil Liberties Union called last week for a court in New Hampshire to suppress evidence against 18 people charged with drug possession after being stopped by Customs and Border Protection agents last summer. The group was arrested on Interstate 93 in Woodstock at two checkpoints after searches uncovered mostly small amounts of marijuana and other narcotics as part of what authorities said was a search for people living in the country illegally. The drugs were handed over to local police because the amounts confiscated didn’t meet the federal threshold for prosecution. The suspects, 16 of whom were in court Thursday, didn’t address the judge nor did they speak to reporters. The agents stopped dozens of cars about 90 miles from the Canadian border, which they were allowed to do since authorities can set up checkpoints within 100 miles of any U.S. “external boundary.” The ACLU told Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas Rappa that New Hampshire’s Constitution is more protective of privacy than the U.S. Constitution, and that evidence from federal searches can’t be used in state prosecutions if it was gathered in a way that violates the state constitution. “What this case is about, what this motion to suppress is about at the end of the day is the integrity of the New Hampshire Constitution and the principle that the New Hampshire Constitution provides greater search and seizure rights to defendants than the Fourth Amendment,” Gilles Bissonnette, the ACLU’s legal director, told the court. “If the state chooses to prosecute a person in state court under our state’s laws based on evidence seized in New Hampshire, that seizure must comply with the New Hampshire Constitution.” Gabriel Nizetic, who is representing the state, insisted the seizures didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, which he argued, applied in this case. He noted that the federal authorities were in charge of the stops and that everything that occurred including using dogs to identify the suspected vehicles complied with the Fourth Amendment. “What is at stake here is not the integrity of the New Hampshire Constitution. What is at stake here is the integrity of the United States Constitution,” Nizetic told the court. “It is the United States Constitution that controls these particular cases. These are federal agents working for a federal agency performing a federal function in the federation of states.” The courts have addressed this issue in other border states, mostly notably in New Mexico, Washington and Arizona. In New Mexico, the state’s highest court ruled in 2015 that the state’s protections against search and seizure do not apply at international border checkpoints. The five-member panel made the distinction in overturning a previous ruling made by an appeals court in a 2012 drug smuggling case. In the opinion, Justice Edward L. Chavez wrote the state law does not mean greater protections against searches at an international border checkpoint. The hearing Thursday mostly centered on the role of the border agents at these stops. The ACLU repeatedly questioned several agents who worked the checkpoints over the intention of the stops, with much of their focus on the dogs that were used to identify suspicious cars. The agents insisted they were there to find people in the country illegally and were concealed in the cars, but admitted they had found only drugs. The ACLU also highlighted the fact that these were warrantless searches done without the consent of the suspects, and that agents were doing searches that Woodstock police officers standing nearby weren’t allowed to do. Rappa said he would take the case under advisement, though at one point he appeared sympathetic to the ACLU position. He asked Nizetic why the agents didn’t limit their searches to concealed individuals if that was the reason for the checkpoints. And when “nobody jumps out of the trunk or from under the hood, that’s it. That’s the extent of it.” Nizetic said they could have done that but chose to go further — in many cases when they smelled marijuana in the vehicles. http://www.thecannabist.co/2018/01/15/marijuana-arrests-canadian-border-checkpoints/96658
  5. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Christmas in Amsterdam Report this post Quote Share this topic on Post by RoMoney » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:53 am So folks, here goes my first Travelogue......Christmas in Amsterdam.....bit of a struggle to remember the timeline, but between photos, WhatsApp and ACD chat I've pieced it together. Day 1. After a minor delay of an hour due to fog I was on my way to Schipol. From disembarking on the plane to gettiing on the train to central station took me a grand total of 10 minutes, gotta get that airport sprint on and have change ready for the train ticket Upon reaching central station I was greeted by wind and rain, ohhhhhh, just like home I thought, as Amsterdam weather often is I made my way to Utopia and took the Gorilla Glue (2/g for €20 special as it wasn't buds) and after a lovely joint of pure GG, my one hour delay was but a distant memory and I was in Mokum Mode™. I rolled another and smoked half before making my way towards Grey Area which had smoke cominng out from the upstairs and the street was closed with fire engines etc. which was bizarre. Though slightly confused by all this, I headed towards Vondel to check in, setting a new record of only going to one CS before checking in! After check-in and a joint in the hostel smoking room I walked to Albert Cuyp market to buy a cheap pipe and indulged in some apple based Christmas pastries too. Strolled to YoYo closeby then, where I got the Cheese and Frisian Cheese. I really like this CS, there are always some local students in there and prices are very reasonable. From there I headed to Sarphatia park for a quick joint and swang by Club Media for some Amnesia before making my way back to Vondel. That evening I made my first trip to Cafe de Klos for the Lamb Chops (which were divine) and also visited Massawa CS to sample their much loved Royal. It was a really nice, typical Moroccan hash, strong stoned buzz. As mentioned in the coffeeshop reviews, both the hash and coffee there taste like Morocco and the dodgy Arab pop music made it even better. It's nice to frequent local places for a change and not be surrounded by tourists with wheely suitcases going to and from the airport. Day 2. The second day I had a cheese joint and coffee in Vondel for brekkie before I met ACD's own Stulid in Bluebird for a Toke & Talk, took the OG Kush, 1.1g for €12.5, we wandered from there to Het Ballonetje where I got some G13 (price I do not recall), nice place, cool staff. From there we made our way to Nude Burger Club for some Burger goodness and finished up in Siberie where I took the Dutch purple for brekkie joints. At this stage Stulid was balling it in Siberie with the Gorilla Glue and Red Leb combo joints That evening I walked up to Marnixstraat to visit 1e Hulp and sample some of their fine hashes. First visit there I tried the Strawberry Banana and Gorilla Glue hashes, both of which are sublime. After that I went to Bronx which had some lovely lemon haze but was a bit of a dive. To cut a long story short, it could do with a lick of paint and they could do with not sweeping the tables with the same brush they use for the floor! Day 3. Rolled a massive fatty of Dutch Purple nn Christmas eve morning and I made the trek to DNA Coffeeshop to try and get some LA Confidential as a recent menu had shown them stocking it, but they no longer do. Got the AK Kosher Kush based on budtender recommendation, nothing on leafly about it, but heavy Indica strain, it was ok, but no LA Con. Was annoyed at myself I forgot to visit De Kade while in the area, but not the end of the world. I rocked into the Centrum later and got some Space Invader from Voyagers and Cheese Cookies from Utopia. The cheese cookies made up for not finding the LA Con as did the carrot cake in Brood Bar. Shoutout to Matty223 for the recommendation. In the evening I popped into Barneys Lounge to use their vape and vaped some Lemon Haze and G13, both VERY tasty. I should add that I was shocked they let me use the vape even though I only bought a sprite. Day 4. Christmas day I met VertigoAgogo and we went to Utopia (tried the Orange Cognac - as the English dude (James?) who works there had recommended it previously - nice smoke), Brood Bar (for more Carrot Cake), Voyagers (more Space Invader) & an Irish bar (the shame!!!) because Hill Street Booze was closed. before heading back the hostel for Xmas dinner and chilling in the smoking room. Took a stroll around Christmas evening and was surprised a lot of places were already open again. You gotta love the Dutch, don't miss out on an opportunity to make money. Day 5 Went to Bluebird and had Amnesia for brekkie, think it was 1.2g ir 1.3g for €12.5. They had the Buena Vista Social Club album on and over two joints I got to listen to the whole thing, in the smoking room, on my own, it was a divine start to the day. In the afternoon I meet up with YoungDoc and went to Grey Area (which hadn't burned down ^_^) and I got some Exodus Cheese, then went back to the Bluebird, he got some temple ball which didn't look great. Our next destination was 1e Hulp for more hash and this time I tried the 24k and Kosher Kush, the KK was REALLY heavy, great for a nightcap. Still think the GG is the best hash they have for the stoned. After that we went to Massawa and I got a little more of the Royal and soaked up a little more of Moroccan vibes. Day 6 Another day and more Utopia, went for the Cheese Cookies again and spent some time chilling there, went to Voyagers for some Amnesia after, mentioned it in the coffeeshops review but it never ceases to amaze me how good a well grown Amnesia still manages to hold up against the newer strains. After a little nap I spent most of the evening in the hostel smoking room on a mission from god to finish all my hash before my departure. Not as many stoners in the hostel as usual but I did have a couple in my room (German speakers) who literally spent the whole time I was there either in bed or in the hostel smoking room with a load of bags of different . Props to the randomers keeping it lit. Day 7 After 6 nights, it was nice waking up on Day 7 and not being really depressed about going home. I think with shorter trips you feel like you didn't get to do enough, but with a week I had a great chance to go to lots of places and go through a lot of strains. To close out I went to Siberie in the morning for some Jesus OG, from there I went to Utopia for some Tangie Dream and to say goodbye. Both lovely smokes, the Jesus OG especially hit the sport and was €11/g or €12/g I think. After floating around a bit I went into Get Down To It for a few pipes, before grabbing my bag from the hostel and getting the bus from Leidseplein to the airport. Blazed up a Cheese Cookies joint outside the airport to say goodbye to Amsterdam and it was back to the little green island for me! I should add that this whole trip was peppered with canal joints, vondel joints and AH stops. AH Vers Sap for the win! Next Stop: Barcelona Jan 6th....
  6. Drugs and Driving Committee accepts drug screening device for review DDC also currently reviewing three additional devices, according to a spokesman for the agency By David Brown January 11, 2018 Featured image via Oregon Department of Transportation. The Drugs and Driving Committee (DDC) has accepted one drug screening device for evaluation and is currently reviewing three additional devices, according to a spokesman for the agency. How Canada will manage cannabis-impaired driving once the drug is made legal this summer has been a major concern for law enforcement, politicians and stakeholders. A recent survey for Health Canada shows that 39% of polled cannabis users say they've driven within two hours of smoking cannabis. Many police have stated they expect an increase in incidents of cannabis-impaired driving and have expressed a concern with a lack of testing equipment and funding available to law enforcement to deal with this expected increase. Last summer, Public Safety Canada released the results of their Oral Fluid Drug Screening Device Pilot Project from the previous winter. The program was intended to coincide with the government’s promise to legalize cannabis, and was in collaboration with Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. The testing took place between December 18, 2016 and March 6, 2017, with 1141 oral fluid samples collected by law enforcement officers across Canada. The results were analyzed by the roadside using two oral fluid drug screening devices: the Securetec DrugRead and the Alere DDS-2. These devices have been used and tested in other jurisdictions, as well. Manufacturers who wish to have their drug-testing devices used in Canada had until November 30, 2017 to submit an application to the DDC for consideration. According to Public Safety Canada, drug-impaired driving has been on the rise in Canada since the police-reported data became available in 2009. The agency notes that the percentage of Canadian drivers killed in auto crashes who test positive for drugs (40%) now exceeds that of drivers who test positive for alcohol (33.3%). In addition to testing for THC, the department requires the machines also be able to detect cocaine and methamphetamine as target compounds for analysis. The Federal government has also launched a "Don't Drive High" campaign to better inform Canadians of the risks and penalties for impaired driving. The website notes that Canadian men are 2.5 times more likely than women to have driven a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis, and that a drug-impaired driving incident occurs every 3 hours in Canada each day. The website also notes that more than one in four cannabis users have reported having driven under the influence, and that marijuana doubles your chances of being in a crash (this is based on a research study from 2012). These figures are, however, challenged by other studies which show different data. Conflicting data makes addressing concerns with impaired driving and cannabis in a post-legalized world challenging. Concerns with drug impaired driving have been a major part of the debate around legalization in the House of Commons, with many opposition members noting that many police forces in Canada say they are unprepared to deal with legal cannabis and that no reliable impairment detection devices exist for cannabis or cannabinoids. "Driving stoned is more dangerous than driving sober, but the difference is more like the additional risk of driving while sleepy or angry than it is like the additional risk of driving drunk. It’s nowhere near as dangerous as driving while using a cellphone, even hands-free. Stoned driving should be a traffic offense, not a crime like drunk driving. Traffic risks aren’t a substantial objection to legalization, though of course smart policy would discourage driving stoned, and especially driving with both cannabis and alcohol on board." - Mark Kleiman, the architect of cannabis legalization in Washington State Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have in the past said they are preparing for an expected a increase in enforcement against marijuana-impaired drivers after legalization. An Ipso-Nanos poll from earlier this year said that a majority of Canadians want cannabis impaired driving treated the same as alcohol, and also showed that not all Canadians feel 'stoned driving' is as big of a concern as drunk driving. However, the poll shows no consensus on the subject. Nearly 20% of respondents said they don't believe driving 'high' on cannabis to be impaired driving. Only 12% of respondents said the same about alcohol. The report also shows that one in three Millennials don't consider driving while high on marijuana to be impaired driving. https://news.lift.co/drugs-driving-committee-accepts-drug-screening-device
  7. Price check! What are Californians paying for legal cannabis? Jimi Devine January 11, 2018 California’s legal cannabis market is just over a week old and one of the most contentious parts of the rollout is the minimum 15 percent hike in prices thanks to a bunch of new taxes. That doesn’t even account for additional municipal taxes found in some places. In light of the situation, retailers are doing their best to win shoppers over early with great discounts, but how much are people actually paying? We put out the call for folks’ receipts from across the state and here’s what we’ve found. Pricecheck #1 Photo by David Downs Location: Harborside, Oakland, Jan. 1 Purchase: 501st OG gram – $16; Hybrid pre-rolls (2) – $14; exit bag – $1.00 Subtotal: $31.00 Taxes: $7.95 Total: $38.95 Discussion: Oakland customers are suffering under a 10 percent local excise tax on recreational cannabis that certainly stings at the register. Pricecheck #2 Photo by David Downs Location: The Green Cross, San Francisco, Jan. 6 Purchase: One eight-ounce of the cultivar Goji – $42.40; one white exit bag – $1.00 Subtotal: $43.40 Taxes: $3.69 Total: $47.09 Discussion: Not at all a bad price for an eight-ounce, but The Green Cross has always offered some of the best value shopping in California. Pricecheck #3 Location: Berkeley Patients Group, Jan. 1 Purchase: All Star OG flower eighth-ounce (2): $120 Subtotal: $120 Taxes: $32.10 Total: $152.10 Discussion: Taxes are running 26.75% on recreational cannabis in Berkeley, where retail cannabis might be convenient, but it’s not competitive with the robust black market. Pricecheck #4 Location: MedMen, West Hollywood, Jan 9. Purchase: Purple Punch eighth-ounce – $45; NorCal Distribution eighth-ounce (2) – $130 Subtotal: $175 Taxes: 45.37 Total: $220.37 Discussion: The tax rate is on par with the rest of the state, but being the first municipality in the greater Los Angeles area has put West Hollywood among the biggest winners in this first week of sales. Nevertheless, LA’s underground event scene is still thriving seven days a week for those who want their cannabis tax-free outside of Tinsel Town. Pricecheck #5 Location: People’s OC, Santa Ana, Jan. 2 Purchase: Grape Soda eighth-ounce – $50; Maggy’s Choice eighth-ounce – $60; Dozizoz eighth-ounce – $60 Subtotal: $170 Taxes: $52.28 Total: $222.28 Discussion: With 17 adult use facilities in town, things are getting competitive in Santa Ana. The savvy cannabis shopper should have no problem hunting down some great deals. Pricecheck #6 Location: The Guild, San Jose, Jan. 1 Purchase: Big Pete’s Cinna Sugar 40 milligram – $6.70; GLD Pure Kush gram – $13.41 Subtotal: $20.11 First Time Purchase Coupon: -$13.45 Taxes: $2.29 Total: $8.95 Discussion: As seen here in the South Bay and much like the doorbuster sales we noted on January 1, coupons are going to be coming back into style. There are plenty of opportunities to get good cannabis without feeling like you’re getting robbed, albeit with a little extra effort. http://www.greenstate.com/money/sticker-shock-californians-paying-legal-cannabis
  8. Canada’s ‘Prince of Pot’ pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to save his dispensary staff Erik McLaren 13 January, 2018 Cannabis TORONTO, ON - JUNE 24: Scenes at the re-opening of the Cannabis Culture pot shop. 'Prince of Pot' Marc Emery owns the franchise. (Michael Robinson/Toronto Star via Getty Images) When Marc Emery went to jail in 2009, he was probably the most famous marijuana activist in Canada, maybe the world. Over a decade, Emery, dubbed the “Prince of Pot,” sold around 15 million dollars worth of seeds, and about 70 percent of them went to the U.S., where selling seeds was, and is, illegal. Eventually, Canada extradited him to the U.S., and while he served a five-year sentence in federal prison, his wife Jodie picked up the mantle as one of Canada’s leading marijuana activists. Jodie even attempted to run for political office in Vancouver but was denied a nomination by Canada’s Liberal party. Then, in March of last year, as Canada was discussing recreational legalization, the country’s “Prince and Princess of Pot” found themselves in trouble with the law again. Their dispensaries across Canada, called Cannabis Culture, were raided by police in a highly-publicized sting called “Project Gator.” For a while, it looked like the Emerys may go back to jail. But last month, hardly covered by the news media, the Emerys got off with only fines. The Emerys made hundreds of thousands—maybe millions—of dollars from their dispensaries. They also regularly attended events and protests as some of the most important faces of Canada’s legalization movement. TORONTO, ON- JUNE 23: Three people were arrested after a police raid at Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West in Toronto Thursday afternoon. Manager Erin Goodwin (R) (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images) Jodie and Marc Emery will each pay $150,000 dollars. Erin and Christopher Goodwin must pay $13,000 for their role as owner-operators of a Cannabis Culture franchise. And Britney Guerra, another dispensary operator, must pay $5,000 dollars. In Toronto, privately-owned dispensaries are illegal but mostly tolerated by police. But the Emerys’ high profile meant that police paid particularly close attention to what they were doing. And when Toronto police crackdown, they crack down hard. Two years ago, a similar investigation led to 90 arrests and more than 250 charges in a single day. Originally, Project Gator included charges for 17 additional people, mostly employees at Cannabis Culture dispensaries. A stipulation fought for by the Cannabis Culture owners and operators was to drop all charges against the 17 workers. So, even though some of Canada’s biggest weed personalities can no longer work in dispensaries, more than a dozen people won’t have life-altering criminal charges on their records. Meanwhile, “the Prince of Pot” is taking his passion to Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize marijuana, and other parts of South America that are currently debating an end to prohibition. https://herb.co/2018/01/13/marc-emery-prince-of-pot
  9. Gov. Scott says he’ll sign cannabis legalization, here’s what you need to know Heady Vermont Staff January 12, 2018 Gov. Phil Scott says that, barring any technical issues found by his staff, he will sign H. 511, a cannabis legalization bill, into law. As VTDigger points out, the governor did not say at his Thursday news conference whether he’ll hold a public signing ceremony, or sign it without fanfare behind closed doors, but the end result will be the same. “This is a libertarian approach. I’ve said I’m not philosophically opposed to it,” Scott said, according to VTDigger. “I know there’s diverse opinion right here in this room as to whether we should move forward, but I still firmly believe that what you do in your own home should be your own business as long as it doesn’t affect someone else.” That libertarian streak Scott is always talking about never looked so good on him — almost like a racing stripe. The bill eliminates all possession penalties for up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, allowing people to grow two mature and four immature plants per household. With the law set to take effect on July 1, people have lots of questions about the details of what will be legal and what’s still off limits. Fortunately, Thursday’s Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio had an excellent run down on the details with two of the laws architects, Sen. Chris Pearson, (P/D-Chittenden), and Selene Colburn, (P-Burlington). Here are some highlights: Is it two mature plants ‘and’ four immature plants, or two mature plants ‘or’ four immature plants, and what’s the difference between a mature and immature plant? The bill says two mature and four immature plants. A mature plant is one that has begun to flower. That should allow a home cultivator to continually harvest by having two seedlings, two more developed immature plants, and two mature plants nearing harvest. As Colburn explains, “The idea is that the two mature plants are ready for harvest, but you’d be allowed to be cultivating additional plants to bring them along to maturity.” The number of plants is per dwelling, not per individual, so if you have two roommates, that doesn’t mean the three of you can grow 18 plants. Additionally, Pearson said current medical card holders already growing pursuant to that law can’t increase the number of plants they’re cultivating based on the new law. “I will say I’m only about 90 percent confident on that one,” Pearson said. Best to play it safe growers! If one plant produces several ounces of cannabis, but you can only possess one ounce, what happens to the excess? The possession limit only applies outside the home. People can securely store more than an ounce of cannabis in their homes, but you can only travel with up to an ounce. If you’re making hash, the possession limit is five grams. You can’t grow cannabis in your community garden. The law states that cannabis must be grown, “in an enclosure that is screened from public view and is secure so that access is limited to the cultivator and persons 21 years of age or older who have permission from the cultivator.” Colburn and Vermont Edition host Jane Lindholm noted that doesn’t necessarily mean indoors, but it does mean you can’t grow in raised beds in your front yard or in your community garden plot. What are the rules about where you can consume cannabis? You won’t be able to use cannabis in public spaces. You and your passengers also won’t be able to consume in your car or other vehicle, or police will treat it the same as an open container. If the driver appears intoxicated, it could lead to a DUI. People can use cannabis in their own homes. However, if you live in an apartment, your landlord can put provisions in the lease sanctioning or banning cannabis use on their property. Read the fine print people! “It’s not like it’s going to be legal to smoke in a bar, because it’s already illegal to smoke in a bar,” Lindholm noted. “We really did try to parallel, for the most part, rules around tobacco smoke in indoor settings, but in outdoor settings it’s prohibited,” Colburn added. What type of cannabis products can people make for personal use? People can make edibles and tinctures from cannabis, and they can also make extracts, but the law specifically bans the use of butane or hexane for extraction. “This is a safety precaution that this bill puts forward,” Pearson said, noting that you can cause an explosion when making extracts from butane. That’s especially true if the space isn’t well ventilated. Consuming butane extracts can also have health consequences if consumed regularly for prolonged periods. When it does become legal, where can people obtain seeds and clones? Will in Waitsfield asked a very good question. Unfortunately, Pearson and Colburn noted that H. 511 is silent on where people are expected to get cannabis seeds or starter plants. “I seem to recall that it’s not actually illegal to buy or sell marijuana seeds,” Lindholm said, though she acknowledged she might need to do more research on that score. Because cannabis seeds contain trace amounts of THC, buying and selling them is technically prohibited by federal law, according to the website Leafist. There are still tons of online retailers, but because they operate at the margins, several review websites warn that fraud is common, and you could pay for seeds that never show up. The legal grey area leaves consumers with little recourse. Existing medical growers could gift seeds or clones to friends looking to grow for recreational purposes, as could dispensaries. The bill is also silent on whether selling seeds and clones will be allowed by state law, so stay tuned. Pearson noted that this is just one more reason Vermont should move to a fully regulated recreational cannabis system, which would remove uncertainty and avoid these chicken-and-egg situations where you can have plants, but it’s unclear where you’re supposed to get seeds. You can gift up to an ounce of marijuana. Um, so our birthday is, coincidentally, on July 1 — just saying. Joking aside, once the law takes effect you can gift cannabis to whomever you please, as long as you observe the possession restrictions. That means unlimited one ounce gifts! Should we be concerned about a “gift economy” growing up in Vermont? The prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana raised concerns in a news release following the Senate’s passage of H. 511 that its passage would inevitably lead to a “gift economy” around cannabis, where — as Linholm explained it — a “chotsky” or other item of dubious value is sold for an exorbitant price and, oh by the way, here’s a gift of up to one ounce of cannabis. That is certainly what’s happened, or happening, in neighboring states, such as Massachusetts and Maine, which have legalized cannabis, during the interim period between when their laws took effect and when the rules are written for retail sales. Pearson noted there’s a simple and elegant solution to that concern too. Spoiler: It’s one he mentioned earlier. “I think that is a fair critique, and I’ll just say again, it’s why we really need to go the next step to a full tax-and-regulate system and treat it like alcohol,” he said. Unfortunately, both Pearson and Colburn said that’s unlikely to happen during the current legislative session. Pearson said H. 511 was as far as the governor was willing to go on cannabis reform at this time. Colburn ended the show on a hopeful note, “It really was quite astounding to come back last week and just see the sea change, and to have colleagues that were just hard nose on the legalization of marijuana start to say, with the inevitability of the passage of this bill, we need to look at tax-and-regulate to move forward pretty swiftly,” she said. She appears to be referencing House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton), proposing an amendment on the House floor that would have gone full tax-and-regulate. Though the amendment failed, it’s promising to see a GOP leader interested in solving those chicken-and-egg questions raised by H. 511, namely ‘If we can possess an ounce of marijuana, where’s it supposed to come from?’ Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, (R-Caledonia), has also said he believes the answer should be from a regulated market, to ensure safe products and to keep cannibals away from kids. So, will Gov. Scott, the de facto head of that Party, join them? That remains to be seen. https://headyvermont.com/gov-scott-says-hell-sign-cannabis-legalization-heres-what-you-need-to-know/cannabis
  10. It is too late to dismantle the marijuana industry Grower Steve Jenkins checks out his marijuana plants at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of its grand opening in Northglenn, Colo., in 2013. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) By Cynthia H. Coffman January 12, 2018 Cynthia H. Coffman, a Republican, is the attorney general of Colorado. She is also a candidate for governor. Colorado voters decided in November 2012 that our state constitution should protect legalized retail marijuana. A little more than five years later, I suspect that if we were to put that issue to a vote again, it would pass by even higher numbers. For better or worse, legalized marijuana has become more accepted around the country, with 29 states and the District now having some form of cannabis legalization. That is why it was surprising to wake up last week to the news that the Justice Department, without advance notice, rescinded the nationwide guidance regarding marijuana enforcement. By rolling back this guidance, including the Cole Memorandum, the Justice Department has left the decision-making up to the 93 U.S. attorneys, creating substantial uncertainty in how the law will be applied from state to state. Frankly, it is too late for the federal government to step in and dismantle this burgeoning industry. Despite the decision, I still believe that priorities laid out in the Cole memo are critically important. Those include preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing criminal enterprises and cartels from using our state’s laws as a cover or pretext for illegal activity and focusing on preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public-health consequences. Those priorities cannot get lost in a political shuffle, and they will continue to be the focus of our efforts in Colorado. Coloradans would be the first to admit that being a trailblazer in this area has not always been easy. There have been bumps in the road, and there is still work to be done. But our state has taken thoughtful steps to build a comprehensive regulatory and enforcement system that prioritizes public safety and public health. We have served as a model for other states that have also legalized cannabis. I did not support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, and as the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in our state, I have certainly seen the downside to its establishment. But I recognize that it is the responsibility of elected officials to put aside personal feelings and implement the will of citizens to the best of their abilities. I absolutely respect that citizens in other states have chosen not to legalize marijuana, which is certainly their prerogative. But in Colorado, we remain committed to improving the laws and regulations governing marijuana businesses. For example, I have joined many fellow attorneys general from states around the country in encouraging Congress to take necessary action to bring marijuana businesses out of the financial shadows and allow them access to banking services. Right now, federal law forces these businesses to run cash-only operations, which impedes the ability of law enforcement and regulatory authorities to monitor the financial transactions of this multibillion-dollar industry. This creates a public safety threat, as cash-only businesses are targeted for robbery and other crimes. It also creates additional challenges for regulators and taxing authorities trying to determine what taxes are owed to state and local governments. In the meantime, I hope the federal government does not try to target lawful marijuana retailers in my state. If they do, I will follow my charge as attorney general to defend Colorado’s laws. For now, Colorado will continue to operate business as usual. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/it-is-too-late-to-dismantle-the-marijuana-industry/2018/01/12/42e7ccd2-f700-11e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html?utm_term=.a86219a06abe
  11. Measuring Canada’s cannabis economy Recreational pot will soon be legal. Statisticians have to figure out how much it contributes to output Print edition | The Americas Jan 11th 2018 | OTTAWA IF AN agency of your government asked whether you had recently smoked a joint and how much you paid for it, would you tell it? Canada’s statistics agency, informally known as StatCan, is about to find out what that country’s citizens would do. On January 23rd it will invite Canadians to disclose their cannabis habits anonymously through an app. Its nosiness is entirely professional. Canada’s government, led by Justin Trudeau, plans to legalise the recreational use of cannabis by July 1st. StatCan needs reliable data in order to incorporate the newly respectable consumer-goods sector into national accounts. Ever since Mr Trudeau said during the election campaign in 2015 that a Liberal government would legalise marijuana, discussion has focused on who would be authorised to sell it and what level of government would get the money from cannabis taxes. Government departments in charge of health, tax, security and others are changing procedures and reassigning bureaucrats to prepare for legalisation. StatCan has an especially tricky job. It has to estimate the contribution to the economy made by the production, distribution and sale of cannabis. To do that it must know what the cannabis economy looked like when lighting up was a crime. The last time Canada dealt with anything like this was in the 1920s, when prohibition ended and the Dominion Bureau of Statistics kept the national accounts. “We can’t as national accountants just put in a number post-legalisation,” says Jim Tebrake, the StatCan official in charge of accounting for cannabis. That would make it look like the economy had got a sudden boost from activity that was already going on illicitly. To avoid that, the agency needs to publish data going back to 1961, the base year for the accounts. It will incorporate the data into the official figures once it is confident they are reliable. While Uruguay and several American states, including California, have legalised cannabis, Canada’s statisticians are using neither country as a model. Once Canadians can get legally bombed, measuring the worth of indulgence will get easier. Just hunting for past data can be risky, as a researcher in Parliament’s budget office discovered. The legislature’s technology unit spotted that he was looking at weedy websites and amassing files of fragrant data and shut down his computer account. He had to persuade the in-house detectives that his work was legitimate. Production is the most difficult part of the cannabis value chain to measure. “The producers are harder to find than the customers,” says Mr Tebrake. That is mainly because, unless they grow the stuff for the legal medical-marijuana market, they are mainly career criminals. In the United States, undercover agents sometimes collect data on production. Canada relies on information from police and border officials on seizures of cannabis. But those data depend on whether the traffickers or the police get lucky in a given year. Health surveys by StatCan and other agencies are one way to measure consumption, but people do not always tell the truth about such habits. To arrive at a dollar value for the market, statisticians need information about price, too. StatCan, along with other agencies, has turned to priceofweed.com, where users anonymously post the amount, price and location of their purchases. The sample is far from perfect. The data come from just one source, and people who post on priceofweed.com may not be representative. The website lists just the 15 most recent buys for each location. To get around that problem, StatCan looked at information gleaned by Dark Crawler, a piece of software that can roam the web in search of priceofweed’s past data. To go further back in time, it is gathering data collected by academics, including Luca Giommoni, an expert in illicit markets from Cardiff University in Britain, and David Décary-Hétu of the University of Montreal. StatCan’s crowdsourcing app will supplement rather than replace the priceofweed information. On the day StatCan releases the app, it will publish its first estimates of the cannabis economy dating back to 1961 on a new cannabis hub. It will have a space for anyone to suggest more accurate data. If people think the price is too low, they will be able to suggest tweaks, which would raise the value of the cannabis economy. People on the street have a lot of information, says Mr Tebrake. (If they can remember it.) Parliament’s budget office made a first stab at estimating the size of the market: it guessed that in 2018 Canadians would spend C$4.2bn-6.2bn ($3.4bn-5bn) on cannabis, or about 0.2% of GDP. That is a little less than they spend on beer. Before incorporating its estimates into national accounts, StatCan has to figure out how much existing activity, such as electricity used by illicit “grow-ops”, is being used in the cannabis economy. After legalisation, StatCan plans to ask 10,000 households every three months how their behaviour has changed. “We see it almost as our statistical duty to try to develop a data set to measure this event,” says Mr Tebrake. The agency’s work might help other countries contemplating legalisation of black markets. The more smokers distort their perceptions of reality, the less statisticians can afford to do so. This article appeared in the The Americas section of the print edition under the headline "StatCannabis" https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21734478-recreational-pot-will-soon-be-legal-statisticians-have-figure-out-how-much-it-contributes?fsrc=rss|ame
  12. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, January 10, 2018 An effort to undo racial inequities faces a challenge in Ohio, Oklahomans will go to the polls to vote for medical marijuana in June, three members of the Kettle Falls Five win a major court victory, and more. Ohio On Tuesday, a lawsuit challenged "racial quotas" in the medical marijuana program. A company that failed to win a slot in the state's medical marijuana program has filed a lawsuit claiming it lost out because of "an unconstitutional racial quota." PharmaCann Ohio Inc. said it finished 12th out of more than a hundred applicants for 12 cultivation licenses on the state's application ranking system, but that it lost out because a state quota system requires 15% of those licenses to go to minority-owned groups. That requirement gave an unfair boost to companies that scored lower in the rankings, the company argued, saying the racial requirement violates the Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause. Oklahoma Last Thursday, an election date was set for the medical marijuana initiative. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced that a medical marijuana initiative will go before the voters during the June 26 primary election. The initiative will be Question 788 on the June ballot. It would create a full-fledged state medical marijuana system, and patients would be allowed to grow up to six mature plants themselves. Pennsylvania Last Thursday, the state okayed its first dispensary. State regulators announced they had approved the state's first dispensary to begin selling medical marijuana once it becomes available from a licensed grow. The Keystone Canna Remedies dispensary in Bethlehem was the first out of the gate. The dispensary will open later this month for educational workshops and registration assistance, but doesn't expect to have product on hand until mid-February. Regulators said they expected more dispensaries to open in coming weeks. Washington Last Wednesday, three Kettle Falls Five members saw their convictions vacated and charges dismissed. Three members of a Washington state family prosecuted for growing medical marijuana for themselves have seen their convictions vacated at the request of federal prosecutors. The feds said congressional bans on using Justice Department funds to go after state-legal medical marijuana programs made it impossible for them to continue with an appeal. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org. https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2018/jan/10/medical_marijuana_update
  13. Portuguese doctors back marijuana medicine as bill enters parliament Andrei Khalip 4 Min Read LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s influential Doctors’ Association called for the legalization of marijuana-based medicines on Thursday, the same day parliament started to debate a draft bill that goes even further in seeking to allow patients to grow pot at home. FILE PHOTO: A marijuana plant is seen at the The Global Marijuana March in Toronto, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo Although Portugal boasts one of the world’s most liberal policies on drugs and has legal marijuana plantations destined for export, it has trailed several EU countries such as Italy and Germany, as well as Canada and parts of the United States in the last few years on medical marijuana. Several EU countries allow for doctor-prescribed cannabis-based medicines to be legally acquired to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, alleviate side effects from cancer therapy, and help with some other ailments. Miguel Guimaraes, the head of the Doctor’s Association, told Reuters that he advocated legalizing marijuana-derived medicines based on scientific evidence, but criticized the part of the draft law that would permit domestic growing of the plant. The bill’s sponsor, the Left Bloc party, agreed to change the part of the draft legislation dealing with cultivation at home, saying it was prepared to make concessions to have “a workable legislation that would benefit patients”. The move by the far left party makes more likely the passage of a law legalizing medication derived from the plant, with support from the country’s ruling Socialists and other parties. Guimaraes said “the parliament bills should follow scientific evidence and restrict themselves at this stage to medicines, researched formulas”, adding though that Portugal should conduct further clinical studies on cannabis used for smoking. “Portugal can have an excellent opportunity here for clinical trials since we already have two instances where plantations have been authorized ... It is an extremely promising area at an international level,” he said. The Left Bloc had argued that the situation with Portugal exporting legal marijuana while its own patients were unable to buy it legally was unnatural and hypocritical. Portugal led the world when it decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001 to fight a deadly heroin addiction epidemic, focusing instead on treatment and prevention, a move that has been lauded at home and abroad as a success as it sharply reduced deaths and HIV infections. Last year, pharmaceuticals regulator INFARMED authorized a medical marijuana plantation in Cantanhede in central Portugal with a high content of psychoactive ingredient THC for export. In November the project’s Canadian owner Tilray imported the first baby plants which are now being grown there, mostly targeting the German market, according to its CEO Brendan Kennedy. Tilray estimates the EU’s potential market at 30-40 billion euros on an annual basis, serving 10 million patients. Portugal on the Atlantic coast has a warm temperate subtropical climate, with mild winters, warm summers and lots of sunny days, which is often compared to that of California and makes it an ideal place for cannabis cultivation. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-portugal-marijuana/portuguese-doctors-back-marijuana-medicine-as-bill-enters-parliament-idUSKBN1F02MM Reporting By Andrei Khalip, Editing by William Maclean
  14. Canadian cannabis in Europe—challenges and opportunities Canada has a unique opportunity in emerging European medical cannabis markets By Special to Lift January 8, 2018 Featured image via Bankenverband. "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." – a quote of unknown provenance often wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill. Canada has a unique opportunity in emerging European medical cannabis markets. However, Europe is a complex patchwork of challenges and opportunities that only the most astute will be able to successfully capitalise on. Successful expansion or export into Europe will require securing the best local partners in markets still short on human capital. Canada is the clear global leader in the cannabis industry, but European markets are developing quickly with health authorities across the continent legislating for access to medical cannabis for a range of conditions. The radical policy shift we are seeing in Canada is unlikely in the immediate future in Europe, but change is nonetheless proceeding at pace on a state by state basis. At some point in the future, be that 4 years or 14, there will in all likelihood be a standardised EU system for medical cannabis products, but until that indeterminate point, we have a big beautiful mess. Rigorous product standards and varying legislation have resulted in a difficult market for overseas producers to access. The EU has 510 million citizens in 28 member states, each with their own fluid and developing internal cannabis policies and all subject to overarching rules regarding the regulation of medicinal products. Beyond the EU there are a further 22 countries with another 240 million citizens. The opportunity is vast but far from simple. In the short to medium term there is a lack of production capacity in Europe. This has presented an opportunity for export and expansion into Europe by certain Canadian LPs. There has been much talk in the cannabis press about Canadian cannabis exports dominating the globe, but how long can this cold, wealthy northern country dominate cannabis agriculture? With a number of countries rapidly building domestic production capacity this opportunity is unlikely to last for long. There are a number of immediate obstacles to Canadian expansion into Europe, not least the limitations on production methods put on Canadian LPs which only allow a limited range of flower and oil products. There is much uncertainty around European markets, but what seems clear is that the demand is primarily for specific formulations for specific conditions. The prerequisite for these is high-quality compliant extractions. Shipping dry flower is not without complications and establishing local production facilities is not a viable option for all LPs. Until Canada’s medical cannabis regulations allow a wider range of product types, Canada’s potential to continue dominating the global export market will be hampered. Those Canadian companies who have already made headway in Europe have voluntarily imposed on themselves additional regulatory standards beyond those required by Health Canada. For the time being the legal opportunities in Europe remain strictly medical, and Europe has some of the most stringent regulation of medical products in the world. Canada is however in a competitive position due to the mutual recognition agreement between Canada and EU regarding Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) products. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of the international market. There seems to be a prevailing opinion in Canada that money will flow from Europe into Canada’s burgeoning new market and that cannabis will flow from Canada to meet European demand. This may be misconceived. The travel will be in both directions and quite soon we may see low cost, high quality product flowing from Europe into Canada. This would present LPs currently focused on rapidly ratcheting up production capacity to meet domestic demand with a serious challenge to their business model. In the longer term, as cannabis becomes a crop like any other, it appears likely that those with valuable intellectual property will dominate the European markets. Investment in research and a strong focus on what works for patients shouldn’t be lost sight of as Canada strides ahead with its recreational market. Furthermore, those companies that embrace socially and environmentally responsible standards will open themselves up to opportunities short-term thinking companies will miss. Complacent branding could also scupper otherwise promising plans for world domination. Some North American brands are ubiquitous in Europe but far more have failed to take hold. Creating a brand with international appeal and local relevance is not easy. Those companies with the strongest understanding of local markets and heightened brand-awareness will be in a very competitive position. Canada has established itself as the global leader in cannabis policy innovation, but there is no guarantee that it will maintain this position. To consolidate on and expand on that advantage will take international collaboration, further policy innovation and a healthy dose of entrepreneurial zeal. Innovative ways need to be found to work within, augment and influence existing systems in Europe to create functioning and profitable markets. - George McBride https://news.lift.co/canadian-cannabis-europe-challenges-opportunities
  15. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Forget big art – here are some of the Netherlands’ stranger museums Life & culture January 5, 2018 Photo: Brandon Hartley Have you already checked out the latest exhibit at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and explored every corner of the Rijksmuseum? If so, then you might want to visit one of the Netherlands’ smaller and much more unusual museums. Here’s Brandon Hartley’s look at some of the oddest ones scattered across the country. Pianola Museum – Amsterdam Over a century ago when phonographs were still in their infancy, pianolas were all the rage…among those that could afford them. These player pianos were quite the status symbol and some of them cost as much as the average school teacher’s annual salary. Nowadays, it’s hard to even give them away and many have wound up in dumping grounds. Fortunately, the proprietors of this museum, which can be found in a house along the Westerstraat, have spent the past several decades trying to rescue and restore as many of them as possible. Visitors can watch several pianolas pound out the greatest hits of the early 20th century and view thousands of preserved rolls that can play everything from classic symphonies to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. Glasses museum – Burgh-Haamstede The Netherlands is home to many offbeat museums and this one is devoted entirely to eyeglasses. Curator Henk Bergmans began collecting them as a hobby over 40 years ago. When his stockpile of spectacles outgrew both a bedroom and the garage at his house, his friends convinced him to open a museum. It recently relocated to the small town of Burgh-Haamstede from Amsterdam and contains tons of interesting and unique eyewear in addition to paintings and unusual clothing. Chess museum – Amsterdam You may be familiar with the large chessboard that is often used by players on the Max Euweplein but you might not know that the square also has a museum dedicated to the Dutch chess grandmaster. Euwe worked as a mathematician, educator and author during his lifetime but his real passion was chess. In the eponymous museum, you can view exhibits about his life and career along with others devoted to the culture surrounding the timeless board game. Museum de Heksenwaag – Oudewater Many Dutch communities are still home to historic weigh houses where goods were once placed on scales before being transported to nearby markets. This one in Oudewater is home to a strange set that dates back to 1482. They were used to test whether or not someone was a witch and still are to this day. The scales were authorized by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, which supposedly ensured that those on trial would be evaluated fairly, so they attracted alleged sorceresses from all over Europe who were determined to prove their innocence. Over five hundred years later, they have yet to yield a guilty verdict (former Dutch queen Juliana herself was declared ‘not a witch’ during a visit in 1952). If you’ve been thinking about sending an application to Hogwarts, you might want to hold off until you visit the museum and step on the scales yourself. But if you’re already skilled in the dark arts and would rather keep it a secret, you can instead enjoy the displays about the history of witch hunting in Europe. Photo: Brandon Hartley The Cube Houses – Rotterdam They’re among the most iconic and unusual architectural wonders that you’ll find in a city that’s full of them. Rotterdam’s Cube Houses were designed and built by Dutch architect Piet Blom in the 1970s. They still serve as homes but this one has been set aside as a museum so the residents can avoid being constantly pestered by curious visitors. You can explore nearly every corner of this ‘show cube’ and get a look at what it’s like to live in one of the planet’s strangest households. The Dutch Pinball Museum – Rotterdam Most museums won’t let you touch the exhibits but you can at Rotterdam’s Dutch Pinball Museum (provided you don’t tilt them). Located in a former warehouse across the Rijnhaven from the Hotel New York, it’s home to 70 different machines that span several decades. While some of the older ones are for display purposes only, visitors can play well-known classics like The Addams Family as well as more obscure titles inspired by everyone from the Harlem Globetrotters to Dolly Parton. Museum Bommelzolder – Zoeterwoude Zoeterwoude resident Pim Oosterheert is such a fan of cartoonist Marten Toonder that he turned his attic and eventually the ground floor of his own home into a museum dedicated to the late cartoonist. Best known for Tom Poes, a daily comic strip about the titular cat and Oliver B. Bumble, a wealthy bear, Toonder was once one of the most successful cartoonists in the country. Diehard fans of the strip typically refer to it as Bommelsaga (thus the museum’s name, which translates into English as ‘Bommel Attic’). Visitors to the museum can view over four decades of Toonder’s strips along with toys, puzzles, stamps, and other products that his work inspired. Entry to the museum is free but an appointment must be arranged in advance. Escher Museum – The Hague Its inclusion on this list may be a little too on the nose, but the Escher Museum and its namesake are undeniably weird. Housed within the gorgeous Lange Voorhout Palace since 2002, it’s home to many of the famous Dutch artist’s woodcuts, lithographs, and prints that still adorn countless dormitory walls all around the world. The third floor has several interactive exhibits that include the ‘Escher Room’, which makes tall visitors appear shorter than their more pint-sized cohorts. Also keep an eye out for the strange chandeliers designed by Rotterdam artist Hans van Bentem that feature everything from glass spiders to stars endlessly reflected in a series of adjacent mirrors. Atlantic wall museum – Scheveningen Museums are typically focused on what hangs on their walls rather than the walls themselves but this one is an exception. It’s devoted to the Atlantic Wall, a colossal project orchestrated by the Nazis to construct a 5,000 kilometre series of fortifications to prevent the Allies from invading the European continent during World War 2. Located in a former German bunker, the museum offers exhibits about the bizarre undertaking and the poor souls forced to help build it in addition to former living quarters furnished with historical furniture and other objects. Rietveld Schröder House – Utrecht Truus Schröder-Schräder, a widowed Dutch socialite and trained pharmacist who participated in the De Stijl art movement, came up with an odd idea while commissioning a new house for her and her three children: she wanted one without interior walls. It was a tall order, especially in the early 1920s, but architect Gerrit Rietveld was game. What the two created wasn’t quite what she originally envisioned but it was considered revolutionary upon its completion in 1924. The house is now one of the best known examples of De Stijl architecture and a World Heritage site. Oh, and a museum too where visitors can view unusual features like its ‘invisible corner’. The Waterlinie Museum – Bunnik Water has served as both a friend and a foe to the Netherlands for centuries. This museum located outside of Utrecht covers some of the times when it helped defend the country’s borders, instead of merely causing major headaches for its engineers. Housed in Fort bij Vechten, which is part of the historic New Dutch Waterline, the museum contains large models and exhibits that offer a glimpse at infamous moments when the Netherlands was able to use h2o as a weapon. https://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2018/01/forget-big-art-here-are-some-of-the-netherlands-stranger-museums