This week we're looking at what's happening around the nation with companies specializing in marijuana-related activities and products. Check out some of the most exciting developments in green technology, vending, lobbying, and more!

Cannabis Science Inc. Announces Partnership with Michigan Green Technologies
Cannabis Science Inc. specializes in cannabis-based pharmaceutical development, and this month announced a strategic partnership with Michigan Green Technologies which, "Has a broad focus on the reform and proper implementation of state approved cannabis and commercial hemp programs with comprehensive seed to sale process to include cultivation, studies, medical testing, manufacturing, a taxation model, commercial and consumer distribution, education, and clinical research."

Together these two companies will be taking on the Michigan legalization landscape. With a strong focus in farming and agriculture as well as medical research, Michigan could surely become a hotbed for innovation in cannabis culture. Plus it has twice the population of Colorado, so that's double the tokers! 

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Takes On The IRS
This medical marijuana dispensary also happens to be a religious institution, something of a first in its field. The Canna Care dispensary is an evangelical medical marijuana provider known for providing "bud and bibles" and conducting prayer services with their patrons. This has made for a hairy situation and ultimately put them at odds with the IRS. Yet, the Canna Care folks are refusing to go down without a fight and are set to make their stand in court. 

All said and done, the Internal Revenue Service slapped them with an $873,167 tax penalty labeled under a code reserved for drug traffickers. But this week, the U.S. Tax Court in San Francisco will hear the bible-belting, pot-smoking dispensary owners plead their case which argues the IRS is wrong in denying them $2.6 million in business deductions. The irony? While Canna Care was not allowed to deduct employee salaries or rent, it was allowed to deduct the cost of the marijuana. 

“All cannabis businesses in the United States should be treated as legitimate businesses.”

XTRM Cannabis Aggressively Merging Marijuana Industry with the Energy Sector
Extreme Biodiesel Inc.'s official mission is to provide: "cost-effective, high-quality alternative diesel fuel, create "green" jobs, reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels and diminish U.S. reliance on foreign oil." But it seems that the company is moving into another sector of green with the creation of XTRM Cannabis Ventures and the purchase of 40 acres of prime growing land. Currently the group is completing assembly of the first Mobile Hemp to Biodiesel production unit. 

Even more exciting is their plans for the 40-acre lot: "20,000-square-foot warehouses for indoor cannabis (marijuana) plant growth, 20 acres for outdoor hemp cultivation for biodiesel and an industrial center to process the marijuana/cannabis into smokeless products."

A field of dreams indeed!

Banks Aren't Biting Despite Federal Guidelines
It seems that new federal guidelines for banking with marijuana businesses aren't swaying the opinion of most in the money management community. The Colorado Bankers Association's senior vice president, Jenifer Waller, said the government outlined "all the risks involved of banking the marijuana industry" and "made it very clear that financial institutions can still face criminal liability." "Operating on a memo that is in conflict with the law is just unwise for any business, including financial institutions." 

Everyone agrees that it is just too soon to tell what the repercussions will be and that makes it a dangerous situation to enter into. Only time will tell if the government and bankers can come to some sort of a concensus to accomodote the complex legal situation states like Colorado, Washington, and many others are facing with both medical and recreational marijuana.

International Business Times Sees Companies Cashing in on Cannabis
IBT predicted in a recent article that the value of medical marijuana alone would grow from $1.7 billion to about $9 billion within two years. Companies like AVT, a retailer specializing in vending machines, are positioning themselves for the day that recreational and medical marijuana will be nationwide. Along with vending machines, AVT also currently provides Medbox with their secure storage and retrieval systems which are necessary to ensure "transparency, security, and compliance" within the industry and has created a dispensing system for e-cigarettes and soon even marijuana-related products.