SANTA CRUZ — At first glance, it looked like an ordinary gardening workshop. On a table at the front of the room sat soil additives, humidity detectors and an oyster mushroom the size of a grapefruit. “This is a younger shiitake mycelium,” said instructor Will Goss, passing around a bag of wood chips covered in thin white filaments. He then described how to grow the rootlike mycelium from spores and coax it into producing mushrooms. All of the people who attended the workshop were provided with their own grow kits, but they were told they needed to find their own spores. That’s because they weren’t learning how to grow shiitakes. They were finding out how to cultivate psychedelic mushrooms — illegal to possess under state and federal laws. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.
In an effort to make Colorado’s cannabis industry more eco-friendly, the state’s health department and energy office launched two new pilot programs Wednesday focused on reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency at local cultivations. Both programs support Gov. Jared Polis’ mission to cut greenhouse gasses 50% by 2030. For the first program, the Carbon Dioxide Reuse Project, the Denver Beer Co. is partnering with the Clinic dispensary to recycle carbon emissions. Brewing a 120-barrel batch of beer produces enough carbon dioxide naturally through fermentation to fill a 500-pound vessel, said Charlie Berger, co-founder of Denver Beer Co. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
By CHRISTOPHER WEBER LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two months after two men were arrested at an illicit marijuana farm on public land deep in the Northern California wilderness, authorities are assessing the environmental impact and cleanup costs at the site where trees were clear-cut, waterways were diverted, and the ground was littered with open containers of fertilizer and rodenticide. A group including U.S. Forest Service rangers, local law enforcement, scientists and conservationists hiked into the so-called trespass grow where nearly 9,000 cannabis plants were illegally cultivated on national forest land in the region known as the Emerald Triangle, for the marijuana that has been produced there for decades. Read the rest of this story on Times-Standard.com.
IRVINE — Facing massive fines from state regulators, Irvine-based Weedmaps has taken major strides toward fulfilling its pledge to drop ads for illicit cannabis shops from its online directory, cutting about 2,700 rogue stores from its site since the start of this year. The company’s long-awaited move to follow state law is drawing praise from legal cannabis operators. Some licensed stores have seen an uptick in business since Jan. 1, a trend they attribute to Weedmaps making it more difficult for potential customers to find unlicensed competitors. But Weedmaps’ new filtering system hasn’t prevented all unlicensed operators from advertising on the site, and many in the regulated market are hoping for even more diligent screening by the prominent, industry-driving platform. Read the rest of...