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Legalized Hemp? Push to Lift the 'Silly' Ban Is Back, With an Unlikely Leader

By Dan Nosowitz

The legalization of hemp as a crop may sound minor, even quaintly of the 1990s, in the wake of the massive economic, environmental and political ramifications of the next farm bill. But it deserves a look.

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Large LED arrays like this are just one grow light option for indoor gardening and plants. nikkytok / Shutterstock.com

Grow Lights for Indoor Plants and Indoor Gardening: An Overview

By Brian Barth

Indoor growing offers many advantages. The biggest benefits are the most obvious: garden pests can't get at your plants, and you have total control over the weather.

Yet unless you're lucky enough to have a solarium or greenhouse attached to your home, providing sufficient light to your plants will likely be an obstacle (shade-tolerant houseplants excepted). South-facing windows may provide enough light for a tray or two of seedlings, but if you want to grow vegetables, or any other sun-loving plants, to maturity, you're going to need grow lights.

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Health

What Jeff Sessions Doesn’t Understand About Medical Marijuana

By C. Michael White

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, a 2013 document that limits federal enforcement of marijuana laws.

This opens the door for a crackdown in the nine states with legal recreational marijuana.

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New Analysis Shows Federal Marijuana Legalization Could Raise $130 Billion, Add 1 Million Jobs by 2025

By Jon Queally

Though a key argument for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. is that it would put a tremendous and necessary dent in the domestic and global failure known as "the War on Drugs," a new analysis out Wednesday reveals that federal legalization could also raise more than $130 billion in tax revenue by 2025 while also creating more than 1.1 million new jobs.

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Northern California Fires Ravage Grape and Cannabis Crops

By Dan Nosowitz

Authorities have reported at least 23 people have died as a result of the fires, and dry conditions and powerful winds indicate that they're far from quenched.

This part of California, starting about an hour drive north of San Francisco, is one of the country's most important agricultural zones. Napa and Sonoma are home to thousands of grape growers and hundreds of wineries worth tens of billions of dollars per year, and there's also a thriving dairy industry (cows, goats and sheep), as well as some vegetable growers. Sonoma County alone has nearly 75,000 head of cattle. Further up the coast into the slightly cooler and more forested Mendocino County, there are thousands of cannabis farms.

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Scott Bauer / California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Stronger Protections for Wildlife Needed as California Marijuana Industry Grows

As California officials begin work this week to finalize environmental oversight of recreational pot growing, conservation groups are calling for stronger protections for imperiled Pacific fishers, spotted owls and other rare wildlife.

Following voter approval last year of Measure 64, which allows personal production and use of marijuana, the state was required to create strict environmental measures to regulate pot growers' use of pesticides, water and energy.

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2,500-Year-Old Skeleton Found Wrapped in Marijuana Plants

By Phillip Smith

Archeologists in China have uncovered a 2,500-year-old gravesite that contains the bones of a man draped in freshly harvested marijuana plants—with the budding tops lopped off. As first reported in National Geographic, researchers say the "extraordinary cache" helps deepen our understanding of the plant's ritual and medicinal use in ancient Eurasian cultures.

According to research findings reported in the journal Economic Botany, a team led by archeologist Hongen Jiang unearthed the burial site of a man, approximately 35 years old with Caucasian features, from a cemetery in China's Turpan Basin. At the time of the man's death, the area was known as the Gushi Kingdom and the desert oasis there was an important stop on the Silk Road.

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Humboldt County's Marijuana Boom Is Destroying Redwoods and Killing Rare Wildlife

By Todd Woody

Mark Harris banks the Cessna 182 over the blue expanse of Humboldt Bay and flies toward the redwood-studded hills beyond, to the now-quiet battlefields of the California timber wars. It's a flashback moment. Twenty-one years ago, Harris, then a ponytailed young attorney, took me, then a long-haired young reporter, up in Thumper, as he affectionately calls the 59-year-old prop plane, for an aerial view of the civil war raging in Humboldt County.

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