Virginia Cops Raid Saddest Looking Marijuana Grow House

Roger Lee Sparks Jr.

Roger Lee Sparks Jr.

Judging from the photographs provided by deputies in Tazwell County, Va., Roger Lee Sparks operated the saddest looking marijuana grow house ever. The cops claim the 38-year-old Richlands resident had 115 plants with a street value of $350,000. That is a generous estimate considering the images show the plants had still in a vegetative state.

They were probably several months from producing a harvest and judging from the picture showing two jars filled with brownish, schwag weed, Sparks was better off not having a grow house.

Sparks didn’t help himself by being a convicted felon in possession of two rifles and a shotgun. Deputies charged him with manufacturing marijuana, possession of a firearm with more than a pound of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon, and possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute.

Sparks has previously been charged with Robbery, Manufacture of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, and Distribution of Marijuana. Currently he is being held with No Bond at the Southwest Regional Jail Authority in Tazewell.

Deputies were anonymously tipped off to Sparks’ marijuana grow house and obtained search warrant for his home.

Deputy poses with his paltry marijuana bounty.

Deputy poses with his paltry marijuana bounty.


Nueroscientist: All You Need Is A Little “Vitamin Weed” To Look Younger

Forget the chemical peels. Ditch the botox treatments. There is a relatively easier and safer way to rejuvenate your face. Apparently, cannabis oils, or “Vitamin Weed,” can work wonders on the skin, making it look and feel younger. In an interview with Reset.me, a site providing accurate journalism on psychedelics and natural therapies for treating illnesses, nueroscientist Michele Ross says,”vitamin weed is the vitamin we are all missing.”

“Cannabis is the key to unlocking preventative medicine,” Ross explains. “It helps protect your DNA from damage so it can actually slow down the aging process. I had wrinkles before. They have gone away. Everything looks better since I started consuming cannabis on daily basis.”

She takes Rick Simpson Oil on a daily basis to achieve endocannabinoid homeostasis, Ross tells Reset.me founder and journalist Amber Lyon. Acting as your brain’s natural marijuana, Endocannabinoids play a major role in overall health including the regulation of appetite, anxiety control, blood pressure, bone mass, reproduction, and motor coordination.

Deficient cannabinoid levels may be the underlying cause of numerous health conditions alleviated by cannabis, Ross says. After a career as a drug researcher for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ross is now a medical marijuana advocate.


Eaze Looks To Corner Medical Marijuana Delivery Market

Keith McCarthy, Eaze founder and CEO

Keith McCarthy, Eaze founder and CEO

It’s been a whirlwind week for Eaze founder and chief executive Keith McCarty. Since launching an all out media blitz last Tuesday for his new marijuana-related start-up, the tech entrepreneur and his company have generated a lot of buzz.

That’s because Eaze is a free on-demand healthcare delivery service that allows patients to obtain medical marijuana from a mobile device or computer. Based in San Francisco, Eaze can provide this service because medical marijuana is legal in California. In fact, medical marijuana delivery companies are quite common in the state.

Immediately, Eaze drew comparisons to Uber, the on-demand web application service that allows users to hire private drivers as taxis. There were the straightforward business profiles from old media like the San Francisco Chronicle. While new media like Tech Crunch took a Gonzo-style approach by having friends test out Eaze. The company even got some attention in the late night talk show circuit when Jimmy Kimmel brought up Eaze in his opening monologue on Aug. 1. It’s the type of media attention that tickles an investor’s interest.

And that’s key considering Eaze is facing some competition.  A Washington state company called Canary, founded by two students, also calls itself the “Uber of pot” because it uses a smartphone app.

“We’ve gained a tremendous amount of traction,” McCarty tells THC News. “It has exceeded our expectations. We are getting requests for hundreds of deliveries and have received more than 100 inquiries from people who want to be drivers.”

A former executive for enterprise social network Yammer, which was acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion, McCarty launched Eaze with his own money and from his apartment, although he says his team is geographically dispersed and that service will one day be available in states that have legalized pot for medical and recreational use. Right now, the company is focused on linking patients to dispensers in the Bay area.

“We are in the process of raising our first round to finance the expansion into other cities,” McCarty says. “We wanted to test out the blueprint first.”

Eaze works by establishing business relationships with local dispensaries as well as dozens of private drivers. Deliveries are free for patients, with driver fees and Eaze paid by dispensaries in exchange for gaining new business. Right now, Eaze is working with an undisclosed number of dispensaries. McCarty declined to name any of them, citing competitive reasons.

How the Eaze application looks like on an iPhone.

How the Eaze application looks like on an iPhone.

Each driver, who is subject to criminal background checks and must have a medical marijuana card, starts a shift by picking up a kit at a dispensary preloaded with eight ounces of pot, the most California state allows a person to carry. Eaze verifies customers’ legal rights to buy marijuana by reviewing images of their doctors’ notes and drivers’ licenses, submitted online. Drivers make $10 per delivery. While that may seem like a pittance, McCarty predicts that drivers could make as many as 64 deliveries in ten minutes. That’s $640.

McCarty says the most effective way to measure his company’s growth is to keep an eye on the number of drivers who sign up and track the time it takes patients to register for the service to the time the medicine reaches their doorstep. “Right now, we are getting people who are saying it is only 13 minutes,” he says.

Still, the company has a lot of work to do. Eaze is waiting for approval from Apple on its iPhone application and its Android application is still in development. For now, patients can only access the service via the company website, www.eazeup.com. There is a huge untapped market among mobile device users. It will be interesting to see how Eaze meets that demand. Another issue is the inability to accept credit cards since federal law still criminalizes marijuana. Banks take huge risks doing business with marijuana related companies and prefer to keep those relationships under the radar. But that is a problem also facing dispensaries and existing delivery services that take online orders.



Star Quarterback Nick Marshall’s Marijuana Charge Leads To Benching

Nick Marshall

Nick Marshall

Nick Marshall won’t be under center for the Auburn Tigers when his football squad takes its first snap against Arkansas Razorbacks on Aug. 30. Head football coach Gus Malzahn benched his star quarterback, as well as Auburn cornerback Jonathon Mincy, as part of their punishment for getting busted with pot this summer. In a conference call with beat reporters, Malzahn did not indicate how long Marshal and Mincy would ride the pine for smoking the cheeba.

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall will be on the bench at the start of Auburn’s season opener on Aug. 30 against Arkansas.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said Friday that Marshall, who was cited for marijuana possession last month, will not start the Southeastern Conference game, but he did not indicate how long Marshall would remain on the sideline during the game.

The lack of severity in the punishment shows Malzahn probably doesn’t care that his players partake, but given college football still has a sanctimonious stand against pot use, Malzahn had to make it appear he was coming down on Mincy and Marshall, who were arrested for marijuana possession in June and July, respectively.

“I will say this: Nick Marshall is still our quarterback and Jonathon Mincy is still our cornerback,” Malzahn said. “Like I said before, my hope is this will help them in the future,” he said.

Marshall led Auburn to the Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the BCS national championship game last season, passing for 1,976 passing and accounting for 26 touchdowns. His breakout season included some memorable highlights. On November 16, 2013, Marshall threw a 73-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Ricardo Louis on a 4th-and-18 with 36 seconds left to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs.

Two weeks later, He led his team to a victory in the Iron Bowl over top-ranked Alabama. Marshall threw the game-tying touchdown pass with 32 seconds remaining in the epic showdown between the in-state rivals. Auburn went on to win the game on a 109-yard touchdown return from an Alabama missed field goal. The team later went on to win the SEC Championship, and earned a berth in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game and lost.


Leafly Places Historic Marijuana Ad In The New York Times

Part of the Leafly ad in the New York Times.

Part of the Leafly ad in the New York Times.

Leafly, the company that bills itself as the “Yelp of Weed,” today became the first marijuana company to place a full page ad in the New York Times. The advertisement is confirmation America’s most respected newspaper is doubling down on pot. In recent weeks, the Times has been releasing a series of editorials calling for an end to pot prohibition. By accepting Leafly’s ad, the newspaper is also affirming the marijuana industry’s legitimacy.

Leafly, along with competitor Weedmaps, has emerged as one of the top cannabis-oriented tech firms in recent years. The site maintains a database of marijuana dispensaries operating in states where pot has been legalized for medical or recreational purposes. The Seattle-based company developed a web application that allows users to identify specific strains of marijuana that might bring relief to people suffering from specific problems and which dispensaries carry the particular strain they are looking for.

With New York becoming the 23rd state to legalize medicinal marijuana, coupled with the Times progressive stance on pot, Leafly could not have picked a better time to make history. “Our advertisement in The New York Times is a responsible, mainstream message that elevates the conversation about cannabis in the U.S.,” said Leafly CEO Brendan Kennedy in a release.

The full page ad, which can be viewed below, congratulates the state for passing the Compassion Care Act.
New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. The Leafy ad goes on to say: “The first step in benefiting from cannabis is making informed choices. From learning about the right products and strains for you, to finding trusted clinics and dispensaries nearby. We’ll be here to help.”

Marijuana Ad