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CashThe “green” in First Green Bank no longer refers only to its founders’ mission to offer discounted loans for electric cars and solar panels.

Now, it’s also about supporting Florida’s nascent medical marijuana industry.

The Orlando-based bank, which opened its first South Florida branch in Fort Lauderdale last year, says it’s the only Florida-based financial institution that is willing to serve the fast-growing medical pot business.

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 - An employee of a medical marijuana distributor was tied up and robbed at gunpoint as she left work Thursday evening, an episode that left her shaken but unhurt.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department responded to the Westwind Business Park near the Sonoma County Airport, after the woman, in her 30's, got herself free and called 911.

"They blocked her in, they came in behind her and kept her from leaving," Sgt. Spencer Crum, describing how the worker was the last to leave for the night, and saw the suspects' car approaching.

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RYAN DAVID BROWN FOR NEWSWEEK--As laws that permit medical cannabis have expanded nationwide (29 states in the country now permit some form of cannabis use for medical purposes), cancer patients increasingly use the drug to alleviate the harsh symptoms of chemotherapy, such as nausea, anxiety, loss of appetite and insomnia. But there’s also an emerging body of research that suggests marijuana might be effective as a treatment for cancer on its own, or in conjunction with standard therapies.

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md med mar.jpg By Fenit NirappilThe Washington Post--Medical marijuana regulators in Maryland on Monday authorized eight companies to grow the drug and four businesses to process the plant into medicine.

The decision at a meeting of the state’s medical cannabis commission comes one year after the panel chose 15 growers and 15 processors from a large pool of applicants. The winners in that preliminary round were given one year to pass inspections, background checks and financial vetting in order to get final licenses to start operating. The companies approved Monday have all gone successfully through the vetting process.

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weed in hand TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida health officials have signed off on  two  more cannabis operations, bringing to 11 the number of businesses  licensed  to grow,  process and distribute medical marijuana.

 The Florida Department of Health gave the go-ahead to the Arcadia-based  Sun Bulb Company and to GST Enterprises, which owns Eustis-based Treadwell Nursery.

The businesses joined two other new medical-marijuana operations licensed last week and have 30 days to request authorization to begin cultivation. Approval for another firm, Jacksonville-based Loop’s Nursery and Greenhouses, is awaiting court action, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri.

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