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  1. Yesterday
  2. Marijuana concentrates are the fastest growing product category in the cannabis industry, according to data released by Arcview Market Research on Tuesday. Projections for legal cannabis sales in the United States were produced in conjunction with BDS Analytics and are contained in the report “Concentrates: The Hottest Product Category in Cannabis.” According to the data from Arcview, consumer sales of cannabis concentrates will grow by 49 percent in the second half of 2018, reaching a total of $2.9 billion. The research firm expects concentrates to be the second most popular cannabis product category with consumers after marijuana flower. Dr. Markus Roggen, the vice president for extraction at OutCo Labs near San Diego, California, told High Times via email that the variety of concentrates available offer many new alternatives for cannabis consumers. “Concentrates are the obvious future of cannabis because they allow for novel products such as oils, sauce, live rosin, tinctures, edibles, and topicals, which new consumers are more comfortable with than flower, as [it] removes the classic ‘stoner’ image from cannabis consumption,” said Roggen. Legalization Leads to Innovation Roggen noted that many firms are committing resources to further innovation in the production of cannabis concentrates. “The entire industry has been investing heavily in research to develop the next generation of products,” said Roggen. “Here at OutCo our focus has been on high-terpene extracts, specifically, vape oil that maintains and represents the full-spectrum, pure cannabis plant as closely as possible.” Troy Dayton is the CEO of the Arcview Group, the parent company of Arcview Market Research. He said in a release that sales of cannabis oils, vape cartridges, wax, shatter, and similar products continue to gain popularity with American consumers. “As the cannabis industry matures, we’ll likely see new product categories catch fire with consumers,” said Dayton. “Concentrates are the first category to do that, but it’s just the beginning of a revolution in how cannabis is consumed now that it’s becoming legal around the world.” Cannabis concentrates are expected to make up 27 percent of total sales of cannabis products in 2018. That is up from just 10 percent of sales only four years ago. More than half of the sales from the concentrates product category are expected to come from pre-filled vaporizer cartridges. Arcview predicts that vape cartridges will continue to be the dominant product in the category for at least the next five years. By 2022, sales of cannabis concentrates are expected to reach a total of $8.4 billion in annual sales, nearly equaling the $8.5 billion is estimated sales of marijuana flower that year. Vape Cartridges Offer Convenience Vape cartridges offer consumers an option for consuming cannabis that can be clean, convenient, discreet, and simple to use. Tom Adams is the managing director of industry intelligence for BDS Analytics, a cannabis consumer research firm based in Boulder, Colorado. He said that concentrates continue the evolution of cannabis culture that has been going on for millennia. “Technology is revolutionizing a product category that began as hand-rubbed hash in the Middle East centuries ago,” Adams said. “We believe the growth of the concentrate market will continue as the cannabis industry evolves and consumers look toward new and innovative delivery methods that fit their lifestyles.” Adams told Bloomberg that many consumers see vape pens as a better option for consuming cannabis. “Walking down the street and smoking a big, fat joint is not very discreet,” Adams said. “Taking a quiet hit on a vape pen is very discreet.” Despite the explosive growth of cannabis concentrates, Adams believes that given a more liberal regulatory environment, sales would be even higher. “It would be happening quicker, except there are so many limitations on it,” said Adams. “Lots of medical states allow flower only.” The post New Report Says Concentrates are the Fast Growing Favorite Among Consumers appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  3. Kristen Bell might possess a look of innocence, but apparently, she has quite the party side. In a recent episode of comedian Marc Maron’s podcast, “WTF With Marc Maron” the 38-year-old actress revealed her love for cannabis, as well as a few other drugs she’d like to get her hands on. It appears all of that quality vacation time with Aldous Snow has seriously rubbed off on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall actress. Kristen Bell Loves the Ganj Bell, on the latest episode of the podcast, said that weed remains her ‘drug’ of preference. The Veronica Mars alumni says she even smokes in front of her husband, Dax Shepard, despite the fact he’s been sober for over 14 years. Bell claims he’s totally fine with her toking up in front of him, which isn’t necessarily surprising, considering the willpower it requires to achieve 14 years of sobriety in the first place. “I like my vape pen quite a bit. I smoke around my husband and it doesn’t seem to bother him,” Bell began. “Weed rules. Weed is my drug of choice, for sure.” Unfortunately for Bell, a mother of two young girls, getting a chance to relax and smoke up isn’t always a sure thing. Due to her busy schedule, the Good Place star estimates she really only gets a chance to smoke on occasion. “Like once a week if I’m exhausted and we’re about to sit down and watch 60 minutes, why not?” she added. Did Somebody Say… Ecstasy Party? During the podcast episode, Bell got into the topic of other, err, harder drugs. Bell admitted that while she hasn’t tried cocaine yet, it’s definitely something she’d like to dabble with before she dies. “I feel like I would maybe want to do it once before I die,” she told Maron. “I have that kind of a face and personality that if I’m at a party, no one brings it out. They’re like, ‘Oh don’t bring that around Kristen.’” However, Bell says there is one drug of choice her husband, a seasoned veteran in his own right, recommends she tries before she goes out: ecstasy. According to Bell, Dax says E is just one drug everybody has to try once—even if it means having to host your own overnight ecstasy party. “He just feels you shouldn’t leave earth without trying ecstasy or mushrooms,” she explained. “He wants to have an ecstasy party with all of our friends. He wants to have everyone get an overnight babysitter that we trust, put all the kids together, then come to our house, check your keys, and then have one of his buddies there and just give everybody really good ecstasy and just have us all braid each other’s hair or something.” As for whether or not that party will ever come to fruition, Bell seems to think it could actually happen. However, the actress indicated there are no definitive plans at the moment. “Look, he loves everything to have more passion, so who knows where it will go? Maybe we’ll all hook up.” The post Kristen Bell Opens Up About Weekly Cannabis Use and Exploring Other Drugs appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  4. A Canadian medical marijuana doctor has come under fire recently and is now being accused of improperly writing prescriptions. The allegations have not yet been proven and an investigation is ongoing. Medical Marijuana Doctor Facing Charges At this time, the doctor’s name has not been made public. But according to Canadian news sources, he used to be a doctor at a medical marijuana clinic in Saskatoon called Natural Health Services. This week, the doctor came under fire when the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons leveled serious charges against him. In particular, the College claimed that the doctor was improperly making medical marijuana prescriptions during January and February 2017. In order to prescribe medical marijuana, doctors in Canada must comply with a strict set of rules and regulations. According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the doctor in question failed to follow these standards. Officials at the College allege that the doctor did not conduct adequate or appropriate patient assessments before giving out prescriptions. Similarly, the College claimed that the doctor was billing patients too much for his services. Beyond these offenses, the College also maintains that the doctor did not follow established protocols for follow up care after a patient is given medical marijuana. As a result of all these allegations, authorities at the College have launched an investigation and plan to hold a hearing on the case. Doctor Has Already Lost His License Importantly, the College noted that the charges agains the doctor are not criminal. Rather, they are strictly professional. But if the charges are upheld it could affect the doctor’s standing with the College. Ultimately, the case could impact his ability to receive a license to prescribe medical marijuana. However, it appears that the doctor has already lost his medical marijuana license. The College reportedly revoked his license for charges unrelated to this newest set of allegations. Representatives from the College told CBC that the doctor “simply didn’t meet the licensure requirements within the time that . . . he was allotted to do so.” What is the Role of Medical Marijuana When Weed is Legal? As highlighted by this case, medical marijuana in Canada is at an interesting juncture. Specifically, as the country prepares for national legalization. Many wonder about the role of the country’s medical marijuana program in the new legal landscape. In fact, this was one of the most pressing questions at a healthcare conference earlier this year. One side of the debate argued that doctors would no longer be needed when all Canadians have access to legal cannabis. This perspective was articulated by leaders of the Canadian Medical Association. For example, Dr. Jeff Blackmer of the Canadian Medical Association said: “Our view is . . . once this is a substance that’s available to all Canadians, there’s really no need for physicians to continue to serve in that gatekeeper role.” In contrast, other doctors and researchers maintained that doctors play an important part in learning how to best harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis. “The worry I see with losing a medical program is it really takes the need for a clinician oversight out of the equation,” said Dr. Mark Ware, a medical cannabis researcher at McGill University. “You’re likely to have questions about the potential interaction of cannabis or cannabinoids with those other medications.” The post Canadian Doctor Charged For Writing Improper Marijuana Prescriptions appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  5. We recently wrote about the new Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) rules for marijuana businesses, and observed that those rules were issued with the stated intent to stave off diversion of cannabis. In addition to its public-facing actions, we have seen an apparent shift in internal OLCC review policies and procedures. A few weeks ago, we covered the apparent adoption of new settlement policies. Today, we cover what appears to be increased scrutiny for each of the following: new license applications (those submitted prior to June 15th), license renewal applications, change in business structure applications, and change-in-ownership applications. OLCC investigators are looking at all of these submissions more carefully than ever. It was never easy to get an OLCC license. It only felt that way, given the stricter and more tedious requirements faced by cannabis program applicants in other states. In Oregon, the application process was somewhat cumbersome initially (remember the narrative-based forms, released in 2015?), but the state quickly progressed to “check the box” paperwork in combination with its online data entry system. Today, there are a few interesting quirks in that protocol, but it’s navigable and sensible and clean overall. So what changed? Generally, the administrative environment is different these days. Licensing has existed for a couple of years, OLCC has refined its processes, and investigators are better trained than before. Specifically, investigators have raised the bar for the content of application submissions, are they are looking under rocks that previously would have been left unturned. In many cases, they are finding things. OLCC investigators are taking a harder look.Gone are the days when an applicant could submit a business document in the belief that, regardless of that document’s contents, the inspector would summarily tuck it into her file essentially unread, and pass the application along to “final review.” OLCC investigators are now actively requesting and reviewing legal documents, and doing a really good job of it. Here is a sampling of investigator questions we have seen in the past month or so, that never would have surfaced even a year ago: “Does this lease’s rent reconciliation provision mean that the landlord is entitled to a percentage of profits? Explain that.” “Was this asset purchase agreement ‘deposit’ escrowed? Or have these funds used in the business operations already?” “Why does this business structure form contain an LLC member who is not listed on the state business registry?” “At what point did the seller transfer these utility bills into the buyer’s name?” Etcetera. We have seen businesses tripped up (badly) in the both the change-in-ownership and renewal processes by questions like these. In the worst case, these inquiries can result in proposed license cancellation and/or non-renewal by OLCC. Those situations can be incredibly frustrating and stressful for a business, especially one with sunk costs and accumulating obligations. They should be avoided if legitimately possible. In all, the new licensing paradigm leaves us with a couple of key takeaways going forward. The first is really simple: Run your business like a real business and ensure you have everything in place prior to OLCC submission. This means writing things down, to start, and using appropriate forms to do so. The second takeaway is to enlist help when needed. That doesn’t mean you need to pay an attorney or a consultant thousands of dollars to process your application. In our Portland office, for example, we have experienced marijuana licensing paralegals who process OLCC applications literally all day every day, and who talk with OLCC investigators constantly. Our cannabis business lawyers only enter the picture to draft documents, or deal with nuanced or delicate matters. Going forward, we expect OLCC to continue to ratchet up standards for both applicants and licensees on everything from rulemaking to license review to site inspections. That’s a good thing for compliant operators and for businesses that want to do things correctly. Really, it’s exactly how it should be. View the full article
  6. Bolt

    General discussion

    It’s look good my friend.
  7. Firekushsupply

    General discussion

    First post testing out my username. Fks
  8. Last week
  9. New Jersey could be moving toward a viable legalization bill. This week, local media sources received a copy of a new legalization measure that lawmakers think has a very good chance of passing. If the legislation is approved, New Jersey could soon implement some of the nation’s most progressive cannabis laws. New Jersey’s New Legalization Bill The foundation of the new bill is making it legal for adults 21 and older to purchase, possess, and consume small amounts of cannabis. Additionally, the bill explicitly calls for the creation of a robust commercial market. This foundation is much like other states where weed is legal. But New Jersey’s newest bill also includes a number of features that could make legalization in the state relatively unique. Here are some highlights: Low taxes: The new legalization bill calls for retail taxes around 10 percent. As pointed out by local news sources, this would be among the lowest in the nation. Previous iterations of a legalization bill called for taxes in the neighborhood of 15 to 25 percent. Retail dispensaries: In many adult-use states, there have been awkward periods where it’s legal to possess and consume weed, but nowhere to legally buy it. But New Jersey’s bill is different. This one calls for a quick implementation of a retail market. Smoking lounges: The new law would allow for special consumption areas. Essentially, a cannabis business could apply to have a consumption space separate from the dispensary portion of the business. Such businesses would need state and local approval. Home delivery: The new bill calls for the creation of a home delivery system. This would allow a customer to purchase recreational cannabis and have their product delivered directly to their home. Conscious Approach to Issuing Licenses Along with the regulations stated above, the new bill calls for a relatively careful approach to issuing licenses to marijuana businesses. In particular, the bill sets aside a certain percentage of licenses for business owners from demographic groups that are often underserved and otherwise marginalized. For starters, the bill stipulates that 25 percent of all business licenses be set aside for minority, women, and veteran applicants. Similarly, the bill wants 10 percent of all licenses to be “micro-licenses.” These special licenses would go to small businesses. These business could operate like any other weed business, just at a smaller scale. These licenses would reportedly make it easier for small businesses to enter the market. Additionally, the bill would favor applicants from “impact zones.” The new bill defines these zones as places that have a relatively high percentage of unemployment. Expungement is Already in the Works Finally, the state is continuing to explore ways for people to expunge older marijuana charges from their records. This idea has been pending for a while, though. And lawmakers confirmed to local sources that they are still working on a system for making expungements available. If cannabis becomes legal in New Jersey, tons of people would have a criminal record for something that’s no longer a crime. To address this, lawmakers proposed letting people expunge cannabis crimes from their records. Timeline for Legalization New Jersey lawmakers are in the middle of a back-and-forth process on the legalization front. In June, Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced a legalization bill. This most recent measure sets out a number of changes to the legislation he brought forward. It is unclear when this legalization bill will go into effect, as it’s not certain that it will actually pass. So far, lawmakers appear optimistic. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he hopes to see lawmakers vote on the bill as early as October. If that happens, and if the bill passes, it would likely take around a year before a full-scale retail system would be up and running. The post New Jersey Lawmakers Draft New and Improved Marijuana Legalization Bill appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  10. Tilray, a Canadian cannabis company, has received permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to export a medical marijuana drug to the United States for a clinical trial, the company announced Tuesday. The medication will be studied at the University of California San Diego to determine its usefulness treating essential tremor, a neurological disorder affecting millions of Americans. Dr. Fatta Nahab, a neurologist and associate professor of neurosciences at the UCSD medical school, said receiving approval to import the drug from the Food and Drug Administration and DEA took months. THC and CBD The drug Tilray will export is a capsule with a formulation containing both THC and CBD. The medication will be studied at the UCSD Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research for its effect on essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements of the body. “This is an oral capsule formulation that has actual plant in it,” Nahab said. “It’s a purified, medical-grade formulation, and to my knowledge, that’s never been imported from Canada before.” Nahab said that the quality of the medicine, which is derived directly from cannabis plants, makes it a good candidate for clinical research. “We’ve got a set dosing, fixed, highly consistent, and so it’s really going to help us advance the field much more,” said Nahab. Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Tilray’s director of clinical research in California, said importing a cannabis drug is an important milestone in furthering study into the medicinal applications of the plant. “It’s quite significant,” she said. Nahab said in a press release that researchers hoped their work would garner data needed to set parameters for the use of medical cannabis. “It’s exciting to advance our work in this area by conducting a first-of-its kind trial of purified medicinal cannabis for a common neurological disorder like essential tremor,” said Nahab. “Until now patients have been on their own to figure out the efficacy, safety, and dosing of cannabinoids. This trial should help answer many of these critical questions.” ‘No Good Treatment’ for Neurological Disorder Jacobson said that researchers thus far have been unable to find a medication that successfully controls involuntary body movement. “There is no good treatment for essential tremor,” Jacobson said. “The ultimate goal, what we want to know, is we want to understand whether cannabinoids might be a good treatment.” Jacobson added that there is “good scientific rationale” to study cannabis as a treatment for essential tremor because of strong anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness at improving the quality of life for patients. The clinical study of 16 adult patients diagnosed with essential tremor will begin in 2019 and is expected to last one year. The clinical trial is supported by Tilray and the International Essential Tremor Foundation and is part of a larger effort to determine “how to target therapies for specific symptoms,” Jacobson said. Tilray Stock Jumps After the announcement that the company had received permission to export the drug to the United State, shares in Tilray, based in Nanaimo, B.C., were up sharply in trading on Tuesday. The company’s stock, which only began trading after an IPO at $17 per share in July, was hovering around $150 Tuesday afternoon, up nearly 25 percent from the previous day. The post Canadian Cannabis Company Tilray to Export Products to United States appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  11. Food delivery subscriptions are becoming wildly popular in the U.S. And typically, things go smoothly. But every once in a while, customers might receive a delivery they were not expecting. That’s exactly what happened to a woman in Greene County, New York, who recently opened a mail order box of snacks to discover that it was full of weed. A Surprise Delivery According to local news sources, Jeanine Mulholland ran into her surprise delivery at some point toward the end of last week. The way Mulholland describes it, her 11 year old son opened a box from Graze, which sends them bi-monthly snack deliveries. Typically, the boxes from Graze are filled with a variety of healthy snacks. But this box was different. There were reportedly multiple sealed packages of marijuana laying on top of the usual snacks. After discovering the unexpected delivery, Mulholland called Graze and local law enforcement. Graze reportedly reviewed their security footage. Representatives from the company said it didn’t look like anyone had tampered with the package in their facilities. As of now, police are investigating the case. So far, they haven’t figured out how the cannabis got into the snack box or who put it there. Mulholland said she’s been a Graze subscriber for around six months. After this most recent delivery, she has put her subscription on hold. Cannabis in the Mail It’s not uncommon for people to ship marijuana in the mail. In fact, there has been an increase in the amount of weed being shipped in the mail over the past few years. For example, U.S. Postal Service workers intercepted 34,000 pounds of cannabis in the mail in 2015. When things go wrong with a mail shipment of flower, it can get a little messy. Most immediately, there’s the confusion that comes when a person like Mulholland opens a package to discover a bunch of herb. Beyond that, botched shipments can often lead to criminal busts and arrests. For example, a 32 year old man in Connecticut got in legal trouble earlier this year when authorities caught him shipping 1,500 packs of weed-infused gummies in the mail. But it’s not just individuals who sometimes get in trouble for shipping weed. Every once in a while, mail busts lead to much larger crackdowns. That’s exactly what happened in Canada earlier this summer. In June, Canadian authorities busted what they said was a full-fledged mail order drug ring. The operation apparently used a website where customers could place orders. Those orders were then sent to customers’ homes directly through the mail. When authorities raided a home allegedly linked to the site, they found tons of bud, concentrates, and edibles. They also found cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms. Although slightly different than mail order drugs, the concept of home delivery weed services is actually fairly commonplace. There are already companies in certain parts of the U.S. and Canada that offer these services to customers. Similarly, in places like Washington D.C., cannabis sellers have found ways to use legal loopholes to make home cannabis deliveries. The most classic approach is to sell and deliver a legal product such as juice or clothing. Then, when a customer purchases the legal product, the seller also throws in a special “thank you gift” which is also delivered directly to the customer’s door. The post Woman Finds Package of Weed in Food Subscription Box appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  12. South Africa’s highest court ruled that bans on the private use of cannabis by adults are illegal, effectively decriminalizing “dagga,” the name for marijuana in the African nation. The Constitutional Court issued its ruling in a suit brought by Rastafarian cannabis activists on Tuesday. In the court’s decision, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo ruled that the private possession and use of cannabis are protected by the South African constitution. “It will not be a criminal offense for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” Zondo said. The judge noted that “the use of cannabis must be for the personal consumption of the adult,” according to media reports. The court also found that cultivation of cannabis on private property for personal use is protected by the constitution, ruling that the right to privacy “extends beyond the boundaries of a home,” according to CBS News. The ruling does not legalize the sale or public consumption of pot, however. The court did not set a limit on the amount of cannabis that qualifies as a supply for personal use. Instead, the judges left that task to legislators. “The judgment doesn’t specify the amount that can be used by an adult in private use – this must be determined by parliament. It must be for the personal use of the person,” said Zondo. Decision Upholds Lower Court Ruling The decision by the South African Constitutional Court upholds a ruling by the Western Cape High Court that a ban on private consumption of cannabis was unconstitutional, which decriminalized cannabis for the province that includes Cape Town. But that ruling was opposed by officials from the police, justice, trade, and health ministries, which argued that there is “objective proof of the harmful effects of cannabis,” according to the Daily Nation. The case was filed by Rastafarian Garreth Prince and former Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton, who asked that the court legalize the home use of cannabis. Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, known as the “Dagga Couple,” also joined the case and petitioned the court to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana. In the suit, the plaintiffs argued that the ban on the personal use of cannabis “intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres,” reports the BBC. Cannabis Activists Welcome Ruling Cannabis activists both inside the courtroom and waiting outside cheered the court’s ruling as it was read by Zondo. Demonstrators chanted “Weed are free now!” and carried signs with slogans including “Free the Weed” and “Legalize Weed, End Economic Depression.” But some activists believe that the court’s ruling did not go far enough, arguing that the possession of cannabis in public should have also been legalized. “It’s not enough, we also have privacy in person, as we walk in a public space, therefore we should be allowed to carry cannabis in public,” said Jeremy Acton. The court called upon parliament to enact legislation legalizing cannabis within 24 months. The ruling will protect adults who use cannabis in private until the law is changed. The post South African Court Rules Private, Adult-Use Cannabis is Legal appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  13. Nice job by the court.As a general rule of thumb, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees with disabilities. Both federal and state laws provide this protection. This means that an employer cannot take an adverse employment action against an employee because of the employee’s disability. Again, this is a “general” rule of thumb: In the cannabis context, things are always a bit different. Some states have passed legislation protecting medical marijuana users off work marijuana use. Employers in those states cannot terminate an employee or refuse to hire an applicant because of their off-work medical marijuana use. Historically, however, the big problem with these laws is that state and federal courts have readily determined the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) preempts state law, and that employers may terminate medical marijuana patients for off-work use. Recently, for the first time, a federal court sided with an employee who brought a claim against her employer for termination for off-work use of marijuana. According to the lawsuit filed in Connecticut, Katelin Noffsinger is a registered medical marijuana user. In 2016, Noffsinger applied for a job with Bride Brook Nursing & Rehabilitation (“Bride Brook”). Bride Brook offered her the job contingent on passing a pre-employment drug test. Noffsinger informed her potential employer that she was a medical marijuana patient and likely would not pass the drug test. Noffsinger took the drug test which confirmed the presence of THC. Bride Brook rescinded its job-offer. Noffsinger brought a claim against Bride Brook alleging Bridge Brook had violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Connecticut Palliative use of Marijuana Act (PUMA). Bride Brook attempted to dismiss the case, asserting the claim was preempted by the CSA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The federal court first addressed the CSA preemption claim. The Court held that the CSA did not prohibit employers from employing marijuana users. Meaning, if state law prohibited employers from discriminating against medical marijuana users, it would control. The Court next determined that the ADA did not preempt PUMA because the ADA explicitly allows employers to prohibit illegal drug use at the workplace but does not authorize employers to take adverse employment action based on drug use outside of the workplace. Finally, the Court determined the FDCA does not regulate employment and therefore was inapplicable in the current case. The Court did not rule on the substance of Noffsinger’s claim–meaning it has not determined if Noffsinger was discriminated under PUMA. That decision is still pending a jury trial. The Noffsinger case is important. It’s the first case of its kind to determine that marijuana’s illegality under federal law does not bar an employment claim based on state law. State courts, such as the Oregon Supreme Court, have expressly held that the CSA preempts state medical marijuana laws—meaning employers in the State of Oregon, for example, may still terminate an employee for off-work marijuana use. The decision in the Noffsinger case is not binding in other jurisdictions, but it could indicate a significant shift in federal courts’ view on medical marijuana. Perhaps this court’s sound reasoning will influence other federal judges to provide equal protections to medical marijuana patients until marijuana is re- or rescheduled under the CSA. View the full article
  14. Louisiana legalized medical cannabis in 2015, and since, legislative changes, revisions and other modifications have slowed the law’s rollout. But this November, medical cannabis sales will likely begin throughout the state. The problem, however, is how few patients will have access to a doctor who can provide the recommendation they’ll need to enter one of those dispensaries. As of today, Louisiana has just 31 physicians licensed to recommend medical cannabis treatments. Recognizing the shortfall, Louisiana’s Board of Medical Examiners have taken a major step to make it easier for doctors to issue those recommendations. During a meeting in New Orleans today, the board voted to lift the patient-limit cap it had placed on licensed doctors. Louisiana Lifts Follow-Up Requirements and Patient Cap on Recommending Physicians Prior to today’s 8-1 vote, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners had set a limit on the number of medical cannabis patients a recommending physician could take on. The cap was set at 100 patients in 2016. If it were still in effect, it’s likely Louisiana’s medical cannabis program would only be able to serve 4,000 patients at most by November. A much smaller number than the 100,000 patients expected to enroll in the program, officials say. Recently, however, lawmakers recognized the need to lift the patient cap. And the need has become even more pressing with so few physicians enrolling in the program. The state also added more qualifying conditions earlier this summer, which will likely draw more patients to seek medical cannabis recommendations. So the vote to remove the patient cap is an important one. And it completely removes any limit or restriction on the number of medical cannabis patients a physician can work with. But that wasn’t the only access barrier the board voted to eliminate today. In a much closer 5-4 vote, the board also eliminated follow-up requirements for patients and their doctors. Previously, patients had to see their doctor after 90-days of treatment in order to be eligible for a renewal. Medical Cannabis Groups Plan Campaign to Educate Louisiana Doctors About Cannabis Removing the patient cap is only part of the equation, however. The other part is bringing more doctors into the field. But Louisiana’s young medical cannabis program doesn’t seem to have caught on with doctors yet. Just 48 have even applied. As a result, many rural residents have no local access to a medical cannabis recommendation. To address the issue, Louisiana’s medical cannabis industry is taking the lead. GB Sciences is working on outreach and education programs to encourage more participation among Louisiana doctors. The Louisiana State University AgCenter, which offers students industry-focused programs, is partnering with GB and the State Board of Medical Examiners to schedule informational meetings with doctors’ groups to create online resources. In the meantime, lawmakers, physicians, and the industry are celebrating the board’s vote to remove the patient cap and follow-up requirements. Dr. Les Johnson, a board member, described it as “an historic moment for our state.” The post Louisiana Lifts Limit on Number of Medical Marijuana Patients Doctors May Treat appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  15. Concerns over the preponderance of teens using vapes and e-cigarettes have taken on a new dimension today, as a just-released survey of more than 20,000 U.S. high school students shows teens are vaping cannabis, not just nicotine. In fact, some students who’ve vaped have only used cannabis products. Overall, the popularity of vaping is rising among teens, but is this causing teens to use more cannabis? Nine Percent of High School Students Surveyed Vape Cannabis Today’s report in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics follows up on a study published last month on the relationship between teen tobacco-use and subsequent cannabis-use. That study focused on the popularity of e-cigarettes as a new way of smoking “tobacco.” Since researchers have already shown how smoking cigarettes can lead to cannabis consumption among teens, scientists wanted find out if teens who use e-cigs are more likely to consume cannabis. What today’s report shows, however, is that teens are likely to be vaping cannabis, not e-cig juice. According to the report, roughly one-third of the middle and high school students surveyed—about 20,000—said they used vapes with non-nicotine substances. And 9 percent of those same students said they vaped cannabis. Even more telling, one out of every three students who ever used a vape used it to vape marijuana. In other words, 33 percent of students who vape have never vaped e-cig juice, just cannabis. According to the AP, extrapolating the survey’s results would suggest 2.1 million middle and high school students vape cannabis products–and that data comes from 2016. Experts are uncertain whether the number of teens vaping marijuana is holding steady or on the rise. They say vaping is too new to know for sure. But among cannabis consumers, vaping cannabis is only becoming more popular. Teen Vaping Concerns Grow Amid New Findings Health officials have already sounded the alarm about teen e-cig use. And last week, the U.S. FDA gave major e-cig manufacturers 60-days to come up with plans to reduce teen use. Companies that fail to comply could have their products pulled. Yet it’s unclear how efforts to reduce teen vape-use will impact the legal cannabis industry. For medical and retail consumers, cannabis oil cartridges have several advantages over flower, making them very common and popular cannabis products. But their discretion, ease-of-use and portability make them too-ideal devices for underage cannabis consumption. Caregivers and school officials are thus having a harder time identifying them. But more schools are cracking down on e-cig and vaporizers of any kind. Health concerns also stem from the relatively unknown risks of vaping. There aren’t comprehensive studies, for example, on the effects of inhaling propylene glycol, a common additive in THC oil cartridges and e-cig juice. The post Recent Study Finds That Approximately 2 Million US Teens Vape appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  16. Bolt

    Community Guidelines

    Respect other members: We know there will be disagreements about certain topics, but watch how we talk to other people. Post in the right forum: Each forum has a purpose so please post the right topic in the right forums, there is a description under each forum for the intended purpose. No pornographic images or links: We all know where to find these types of images, videos, and links so there is no need to post them here. Harassment towards other people: This includes people outside of the forums and inside. Just because the person does not belong to WEEF posts just hate or harass that persons will not be accepted. Topics that talk about violence, theft or anything of nature is not allowed: We are not here to promote crimes, just here to talk about the herb we all love! Do not post posts/topics that do not contribute: Posts that are not about the topic being discuss or a couple word post that does not add to the conversation. Topics that do not have much meaning behind them or topics that are useless. One account per member: Each member only needs one account please do not make more than one account. This list can change often and without notice so please check back here. If anyone has questions about the community guidelines please message a staff member as they will be happy to help with all problems! Thanks, Weef Team
  17. An Oregon State University study has found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more likely to use substances including nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis. Results of the research were published recently by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts and the author of the report, said in a release that queer youth are at an increased use of harm from substance use. “This data shows definitively that polysubstance use is an issue among many youth who identify as sexual minorities, meaning they are facing added health risks,” said Dermody. “But there are also differences among the subgroups of youth who identify as sexual minorities, suggesting we need to look beyond the averages to understand what factors may be influencing substance use in this population.” “Sexual minority is an umbrella term for those who identify with any sexual identity other than heterosexual or who report same-sex attraction or behavior,” according to the release. “For the purposes of the study, the researchers focused on those youth who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.” Transgender youth were not included in the study. Three Times the Risk Dermody said that it is important to research sexual minorities as a group distinct from the general population. Previous research has shown that sexual minority youth reported nearly three times more substance use than heterosexual youth. “The experiences of youth who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are underreported in research, generally,” she said. “In research, we tend to focus on the averages. In this study, we’re trying to better understand the intersectionality of sexual orientation, race, and gender with substance use. Are some sexual minority youth at more risk than others for substance use?” To conduct the study, Dermody analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, which monitors key health and risk behaviors among young people, including substance abuse. The 2015 national survey of more than 15,000 youth was the first time the study included a question about sexual identity, giving researchers new insight into how a youth’s sexual identity might impact substance use. The research also discovered that some subgroups within the sexual minority population were at a greater risk than others. Bisexual youth saw the largest increase in the risk of abuse of multiple substances as well as combinations of two substances, while those who identified as lesbian or gay were only at higher risk for some combinations. Dermody noted that additional research is needed to determine the factors that lead to an increase in substance abuse among young people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. “Are the lesbian, gay and bisexual youth using substances also facing additional adversity? Or are there protective factors that play a role in keeping some of these youth from using substances?” Dermody said. “We want to better understand what may be driving the differences in the substance use.” She also said that health care professionals can use the data to help their patients who may be most at risk. “The findings suggest that it may be good practice for health care providers who serve these youth to do assessments for substance use as part of regular health screenings,” Dermody said. The post Study Finds Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Youth More Likely to Use Multiple Substances appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  18. Microdosing psychedelics has received growing attention in recent years, as it’s been said to enhance creativity, increase focus, and lift the weight of depression. Now, scientists want to figure out whether using small amounts of these substances lives up to the hype. On Sept. 3, researchers from the Beckley Foundation and Imperial College of London launched a first-of-its-kind study to investigate the potential benefits of microdosing LSD. If the study goes well, it could provide powerful insights into the realm of diverse psychedelic-use. Innovative Microdosing Research The aim of the study, known as the “self-blinding microdose study,” is relatively straightforward: scientists want to know whether or not microdosing psychedelics produces verifiable, positive results in users. When a person microdoses with psychedelics, they generally take a tiny dose of LSD or mushrooms. The concept is that these tiny doses are too small to produce a full-blown, out-of-body psychedelic experience, but large enough to activate and energize the brain. Many microdosers claim the practice improves their day-to-day lives and has a positive impact on workflow. The scientists on this project are, thus, looking to see if people who report positive effects from microdosing are actually experiencing benefits from the drugs or if they’re experiencing the placebo effect. But because psychedelics are illegal, researchers are not allowed to provide psychedelics to test subjects. As a result, the study cannot be performed in a standard lab setting. So, to work around these obstacles, researchers came up with a method they’re referring to as a “self-blinding study design.” How the Study Works Researchers gathered a group of test subjects who are already active microdosers– but only those who use LSD, as it’s harder to disguise ground-up mushrooms in a capsule than it is a micro-tab. Researchers then send the subjects detailed instructions on how to make said capsules. Some will contain a microdose of the subject’s own LSD, while others will have blotter paper in them with no acid. All of the capsules are opaque to keep subjects from seeing what mini-tabs are inside. After creating the doses, the subject will place each one into an envelope along with a special QR code used to track which days the subject took LSD or a placebo pill. Then, all envelopes will be sealed and shuffled up. At that point, test subjects will not know which envelopes contain psychedelic or placebo capsules. This effectively randomizes the study and keeps the subject clueless about when they’re taking a microdose. The test subject will open one envelope per day, and ingest the pill inside. Then, they’ll complete an online questionnaire and a series of cognitive games, which will track their responses and results. Researchers hope this “self-blinding” experiment will help them generate concrete data about the effects of microdosing. “In our study, voluntary participants will microdose at home on their own initiative without the study team’s supervision,” researchers explained on the study’s website. “We hope to aggregate data from microdosers following our design, thus, producing placebo-controlled data on psychedelics microdosing.” Microdosing Psychedelics Growing in Popularity The study comes at a time when microdosing with psychedelics has gained increasing popularity. In particular, it’s become a growing trend among young professionals in the tech space, especially those working in Silicon Valley. Additionally, the idea was recently the subject of a popular podcast called “Reply All.” In the episode, podcast hosts experimented with microdosing LSD and recorded their experiences. Similarly, researcher and writer Michael Pollan published a book about psychedelics earlier this year. Titled “How to Change Your Mind,” the book provides a review of previous attempts to study psychedelics and the legal challenges that have restricted this research. The idea of microdosing has also expanded into the world of cannabis in recent years. In particular, many claim that microdosing weed lets them tap into many of the plant’s therapeutic benefits without getting too high to carry out daily responsibilities and tasks. The post First Ever Trial to Study the Effects of Microdosing LSD Began This Month appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  19. The Coca-Cola Company is in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis to develop a CBD-infused beverage, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television. The news sent shares of Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis up as much as 23 percent to $8 in early trading on Monday. The stock had settled to a gain of about 14 percent by noon Eastern time. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage maker, and Aurora Cannabis are “pretty advanced down the path” of coming to an agreement, according to an unnamed source familiar with the negotiations between the two companies. “It’s going to be more of the ‘recovery drink’ category,” the source added. The source also said that talks between the two companies are ongoing but are not certain to succeed. Even if they are successful, any deal reached may not be made public, according to the source. Another source told BNN Bloomberg that Coca-Cola also held preliminary talks with Aphria, another Canadian cannabis producer, but that the negotiations had not advanced. Companies Decline to Comment on Deal Coca-Cola spokesperson Kent Landers declined to comment on Aurora Cannabis directly. But he did say in an email to BNN Bloomberg that “along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.” Heather MacGregor, a spokesperson for Aurora Cannabis, also declined to comment on a potential deal with Coca-Cola. However, she did confirm that the company is interested in pursuing opportunities in the CBD beverage market. “As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented,” MacGregor said. Martin Landry, managing director of equity research at GMP Securities LP, told BNN Bloomberg that many consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies were looking to enter the CBD market and that the impending legalization of cannabis in Canada presented an opportunity to do so. The recreational use and sale of cannabis products will become legal in Canada this October under Bill C-45, which was passed by Parliament this summer. “If I’m a big CPG company, the reason I’d want to partner with a cannabis producer is to use them as a test market to develop products here in Canada and perfect them, so then I can enter the U.S. down the road when it’s more appropriate to do so,” Landry said. Landry also noted that large corporations in other product sectors were also eyeing cannabis and CBD as a promising business opportunity. “There’s a lot of interest from [consumer-packaged goods], and liquor and tobacco [companies] to look at cannabis as a new growth vector,” said Landry. Landry also said that he expects even more opportunity as the newly legal marijuana industry matures. “What’s happening is that the cannabis industry is still in its infancy and there’s not a lot of partners to dance with,” he said. The post Coca-Cola in Talks to Make the Next CBD-Infused Beverage appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  20. RICO suits are not just busting up gangs these days.The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal Nixon-era law originally intended to combat drug cartels and organized crime. Among other features, it allows average citizens claiming a loss in property value to bring suit for triple damages plus attorney’s fees against any “person” or “enterprise” that has a part in any neighboring “racketeering activity” which includes—you guessed it—“dealing in a controlled substance.” Currently, federal law continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance—meaning it has no medicinal value, and is supposedly more dangerous than methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone, and oxycodone, among other things. RICO has been read broadly enough by its patrons to include operators, as well as landlords, lenders, and even government licensing agencies and customers, as co-conspirators in licensed cannabis operations, meaning angry neighbors have found their deliverance when it comes to trying to shut down state-legal cannabis businesses. The painful irony of all this is that anyone with an aversion to cannabis in a state where voters democratically decided to legalize it has unique power to be an American Gangbuster because of an almost-half-century-old relic of the federal War on Drugs; yet, meanwhile, companies that would be investing in local communities are looking north to do five-billion-dollar Canadian Blockbusters. The bottom line is that as long as federal law remains unchanged, it does not matter how state voters decide to govern themselves, or even how sensibly the federal government decides to enforce federal laws prohibiting cannabis. RICO provides a private right of action for any would-be provocateurs that can plausibly claim they have been damaged by a neighboring cannabis business. So how can landlords and tenants approach this issue when designing a cannabis tenancy? The short answer is that RICO will continue to be a real issue for as long as federal law allows it to be, but the parties can take some proactive measures in drafting the lease to mitigate that threat: Build in an early termination option for third-party lawsuits. Just as the lease can include early termination options for a variety of cannabis-specific occurrences, it can provide an opportunity for one or both parties to address an undismissed third-party lawsuit by terminating the tenancy. This can include RICO actions as well as standard nuisance actions, which often have longer legs than RICO lawsuits. It can also include indemnification obligations if, e.g., the tenant causes the problem by failing to comply with the lease terms, or if the landlord misrepresents neighborhood sentiment (more on that below). Vet the neighbors. Just as a tenant would analyze the zoning laws applicable to a proposed use, a cannabis tenant should take some time to see what the neighborhood is all about. Does the community support the use? How are the neighboring areas zoned? Is there any kind of history of bad actors in this space that’s left a bad taste? The tenant will have to make sure the site isn’t within any prohibited buffer zones of schools or youth centers as part of its state license application anyway, and what better opportunity to get to know your potential neighbors? Even some casual exploring is better than nothing, and can save loads of trouble down the road. Depending on how the parties negotiate the lease, it can include, e.g., landlord warranties of no known neighbor objections after diligent inquiries, or a term that puts the responsibility on the tenant to figure out how the use would go over in the community. Tighten up those compliance obligations. Compliance with state and local law is the key to avoiding enforcement actions, and is equally important when it comes to neighbor relations. State regulations contain strict requirements about security protocols, waste management, hours of operation, and product transportation. Local rules will typically dictate things like parking requirements, odor management, and noise. The stronger and more specific the lease is with regard to complying with these various rules, the better chance you will have that the tenant (i) knows them, and (ii) follows them. Simply indemnifying yourself in the lease makes little difference if you end up losing an otherwise good tenant because they were uninformed. Research the local politics and get to know local law enforcement. California’s cannabis regulatory regime is unique in that local jurisdictions are still king when it comes to who gets to operate and where. And we’ve already seen a repeat of what’s happened in other states that have legalized: jurisdictions sometimes change their minds and declare previously allowed cannabis operations to be non-conforming uses. Having your finger on the community pulse and knowing the level of support for your local cannabis ordinance when it passed is going to put you in a better position to know whether your cannabis tenant or your cannabis operation is more likely to be a welcome neighborhood feature or a walking lawsuit. For more on California cannabis leasing, check out the following: California Cannabis Leasing: Landlord Pitfalls California Cannabis Leasing: The Normalization of Cannabis Landlords California Cannabis Leasing: Federal Enforcement Is Not The Only Concern California Cannabis: Commercial Leasing Changes in New Emergency Regulations California Approves First Commercial Cannabis Landlord Insurance Coverage California Commercial Cannabis Leasing: Top 5 FAQs California Commercial Cannabis Leases: Planning in a Time of Uncertainty California Cannabis: In 2018, Resolve to Make Your Leases Better California Commercial Cannabis Leases: Will Courts Enforce Them? California Cannabis Leases: Five Keys to Doing Them Right California Cannabis Leases: The 101 View the full article
  21. Development agreements are a unique process.This is the second post in our three-part series on California development agreements. In our first post we provided an overview of the use (and misuse) of development agreements in the cannabis industry. This post breaks down the basics of development agreement laws. California’s development agreement statutes are located in Government Code sections 65864 – 65869.5. According to the legislative findings and declarations, the lack of certainty in the approval of development projects can result in a waste of resources, escalate the cost of housing and other development to the consumer, and discourage investment in and commitment to comprehensive planning which would make maximum efficient utilization of resources at the least economic cost to the public. Cal. Gov’t Code § 65864(a). Providing assurance to development project applications that, upon approval of a project, the applicant may proceed in accordance with existing policies, rules and regulations, and subject to conditions of approval, strengthens the public planning process, encourages private participation in comprehensive planning, and reduces the economic costs of development. Cal. Gov’t Code § 65864(b). In other words, the California State Legislature has determined that providing certainty and predictability in the development process is good for everyone. Government Code section 65865(a) provides that anyone with a legal or equitable interest in real property may enter into a development agreement with a city or county for the development of the property. “Development” is not defined in the development agreement statutes, but “development project” is defined in a subsequent chapter as any project undertaken for the purpose of development, including a project involving the issuance of a permit for construction or reconstruction, but not a permit to operate. Cal. Gov’t Code § 66000. Accordingly, a cannabis business that obtains permits for tenant improvements would fall under this definition, but a development agreement would likely not be appropriate where a cannabis business enters a turn-key facility that requires no construction. In practice, this does not seem to be the case, and we’ve seen cities require development agreements where no construction is contemplated. The development agreement process begins with the local agency’s procedures for development agreements. If none exist, a city or county must adopt procedures upon the request of an applicant, at the applicant’s expense. Cal. Gov’t Code § 65865(c). The development agreement statutes provide minimum standards for local procedures and requirements, including periodic review of the agreements at least once every twelve months, specification of the duration of the agreement, the permitted uses of the property, the density or intensity of use, the maximum height and size of proposed buildings, and provisions for reservation or dedication of land for public purposes. Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 65865.1-65865.2 A development agreement is a legislative act that must be approved by ordinance and is subject to referendum. Cal. Gov. Code § 65867.5(a). A noticed public hearing by both the planning agency and by the city council are required before a development agreement is approved. See Cal. Gov’t Code § 65867. A development agreement cannot be approved unless the legislative body finds that the provisions of the agreement are consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan. Cal. Gov. Code, § 65867.5(b). Like all other ordinances, the ordinance approving the development agreement must go through a two-reading process, with at least a five-day intervening period. See Cal. Gov’t Code § 36934. A development agreement cannot legally take effect until after the 30-day period for a referendum expires. See Cal. Elect. Code § 9141; Referendum Committee v. City of Hermosa Beach, 184 Cal. App. 3d 152 (1986); Midway Orchards v. County of Butte, 220 Cal. App. 3d 765 (1990). In practice, all of this means that the development agreement approval process takes a substantial amount of time. First, the developer and local government need to negotiate essential terms. Once the terms have been negotiated, the agreement is placed on the planning commission calendar for hearing, followed by two separate city council meetings. Only after the referendum period has expired can the agreement become effective. In a best case scenario, this process may take 90 days. It often takes much longer. Development agreements in California are rarely challenged, and when challenged, development agreements are usually upheld because the statutes are liberally construed to encompass agreements that substantially comply with their specific terms and conditions and achieve their essential objectives. Santa Margarita Area Residents Together v. San Luis Obispo County (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 221, 228. However, given the popularity of use of development agreements in the California cannabis industry, we anticipate seeing an increase in legal challenges, especially where the agreements are mandatory, require substantial fees, limit terms to less than five years, and lack any connection with construction. Stay tuned for our next post in this series regarding key terms to fight for in development agreement negotiations related to California cannabis use. View the full article
  22. If you have purchased marijuana in Washington State, you’ve probably noticed the packaging can be difficult to open and is adorned with warnings, bar codes, and lots of other information that appears in tiny font. This is by design, as the state has created robust regulations intended to protect the public from contaminated cannabis and to limit access by children. Though these regulations are important, one has to ask what impact these packaging requirements have on the environment. Washington’s packaging and labeling requirements can be found in WAC 314-55-105. Note that this section of the Washington Administrative Code was recently amended meaning that there are two separate packaging standards. Licensees can abide by the old rules until January 1, 2019 when the new version of WAC 314-55-105 go into full effect. Until that date, licensees have the option to comply with the new rules. This post will focus on the newer version of WAC 314-55-105. All containers that carry marijuana must protect the substance from contamination and harmful substances. Marijuana-infused products, such as edibles, and marijuana concentrates must come in child-resistant packaging. For packages containing more than one serving (a serving is capped at 10 milligrams of THC) of a solid edible product, each serving must come in child resistant packaging. For liquid products, the packaging must include a measuring device such as a cap that you would find accompanying a bottle of NyQuil. Hash marks on the side of a package are not enough. In addition, Washington imposes substantial labeling requirements. All products must clearly show the following warning: Warning – May be habit forming. Unlawful outside Washington State. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Per the recent rule change, all marijuana products must also include Washington’s marijuana universal symbol (pictured below). In addition, the label must include the business or trade name and UBI number of the licensed producer and processor, the traceability identifying number, the number of servings (if applicable), the net weight, and THC and CBD concentrations. Washington’s universal marijuana symbol.The state also requires the following labeling on specific products: Useable marijuana flower must include the additional warning, “smoking is hazardous to your health.” Marijuana concentrates or infused products intended for inhalation must list the solvents used to create product, state the method of extraction, and disclose whether any other chemicals or compounds were used. Marijuana infused products intended for consumption must also list information about extraction methods and solvents, in addition to listing food allergens and the following sentence: “CAUTION: intoxicating effects may be delayed by 2+ hours.” Additionally, edible marijuana products must include the “Not for Kids” logo, shown to the right. Marijuana topical products must contain the statement: “DO NOT EAT” in bold, capitol letters. All of this means that products come with a significant amount of packaging. Even small, Required on edibles in Washington State.single-serving edibles must come with enough packaging to include the two logos, written warning, and information on the licensees and product. In addition, businesses making the product also want to include their branding and marketing material, which also takes up space. That branded packaging is important for producers and processors who are trying to stand-out and earn valuable shelf-space in retail stores. Unfortunately, all of that packaging has to go somewhere and it often ends up on the street or sitting in a dump. Last month, journalist Kristen Millares Young wrote about the waste generated by Washington’s cannabis market in an article for the Washington Post. Young highlighted that environmental groups are increasingly finding cannabis packaging on the streets, something I can personally attest to living here in Seattle. The article also highlights the problem with “doob” (as in doobie) tubes, the plastic tubes used to package pre-rolled joints. These tubes cannot be recycled, even when made of recyclable plastic, because they fall through the grates of recycling machines. Washington’s waste problem doesn’t have a simple solution. As Young points out, a potential “fix” would for Washington to require that producers and processors use recyclable material for the purpose of packaging. However, that would add increase costs to producers and processors who are already struggling to operate in a fiercely competitive market where the number of producers and processors far outweighs the number of retailers. Perhaps it’s time to reconfigure Washington’s labeling requirements. The newest version of WAC 314-55-105 allows producers and processors to provide some information that used to be required on the physical package online. This may allow for more streamlined packaging, putting less of a burden on Washington landfills. After all, a QAR code can provide a vast amount of information without taking up much space. If you’re a consumer you have some options. First, you can contact the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board about its rules, either online or during their monthly board meetings; and you can call your state representative to voice your concerns. Second, you can purchase products that have less packaging, such as marijuana flower rather than pre-rolls packaged in tubes, and you can reward companies that do use recyclable materials by purchasing their products. Third, you can make an increased effort to recycle your discarded packages and reuse non-recyclable packages. For example, maybe save the doob tube and use it to transport your hand-rolled joint in the future. View the full article
  23. Synthetic marijuana has caused a string of overdoses in the Washington, D.C. area this week, according to a report in the Washington Post. In one 24-hour period from Wednesday through Thursday, emergency medical personnel took dozens of people to local hospitals for treatment. City officials say the victims had been using K2 or Spice before being stricken. On Wednesday night, the fire department and paramedics responded to calls for assistance for 27 patients, 20 of whom were then taken to the hospital. On Thursday, first responders were called to help 22 more people and transported 19 of them for further medical care. In one case on Thursday morning at about 7 a.m., medics performed CPR on a man outside the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U streets NW, according to a fire department spokesperson. Students Witness Mass Overdose Not long after, emergency medical personnel responded to the area of North Capitol and O streets NW near Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School at about 8:00 a.m., where 16 people had collapsed. All were transported to the hospital for further evaluation. At Mundo Verde, Washington, D.C. police school resource officers secured the campus and recess was limited to the school grounds, according to a letter to parents from the school administration. The letter noted that some students and others had witnessed the scene as they were walking to school in the morning. “Some students walking with families to school this morning walked past at least one of the adults. There were no incidents on or abutting school property,” the letter said. “We know that some of our students may struggle to understand why these events happen and, more importantly, how they can be prevented. Mundo Verde staff will continue to reassure students, that schools are generally very safe places for children, reiterating what safety measures and student supports are in place.” Similar Spike In July The rash of synthetic cannabinoid overdoses is similar to a spike in Washington, D.C. in July of this year. Over a span of five days, paramedics rendered aid to 172 people after using the drug. Of those, 122 were taken to the hospital for treatment. “The symptoms we see are consistent with K2. You’ve got the unconscious, you have people collapsing, you have people vomiting. You have people being aggressive. Those are the symptoms we’re seeing,” Fire Chief Gregory Dean said at the time. D.C. EMS Captain Richard Hall said the drug “is some of the nastiest stuff I’ve seen” after paramedics responded to a mass overdose with nearly a dozen victims at 3rd and E Streets NW. Synthetic Marijuana Laced With Rat Poison Several states from the Midwest to the East Coast have seen rashes of synthetic marijuana overdoses this year, with some victims experiencing unexplained bleeding from the mouth, eyes, and nose. Officials discovered that recovered samples of synthetic marijuana contained the chemical brodifacoum. The deadly substance is often used as an ingredient in rat poison and other pesticides. As a Vitamin K antagonist, it interferes with the nutrient’s effect on vital bodily processes such as blood clotting. Exposure to the lethal chemical can cause extensive and uncontrollable bleeding. Patients poisoned by brodifacoum are treated with high doses of Vitamin K for a period of months. In July, FDA officials warned of the danger. “Today, we’re joining together to send a strong warning to anyone who may use synthetic marijuana products that these products can be especially dangerous as a result of the seemingly deliberate use of brodifacoum in these illegal products,” the officials said. The post Washington, DC Sees Mass Synthetic Marijuana Overdose appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  24. Massachusetts’ retail cannabis market is perhaps a week or two away. For Massachusetts’ cannabis consumers and business owners, the official start of retail sales has been a long time coming. For regulators and law enforcement, however, several major concerns remain unsettled. Chief among them is the well-known and oft-cited “cash problem,” the lack of access to federally-backed financial services that forces cannabis businesses to be cash-only operations. But swooping in like some deus ex machina less than a week before the Cannabis Control Commission is likely to greenlight the state’s first retail operation, one Massachusetts credit union will provide some key banking services to cannabis companies in the recreational sector. Credit Union Services Could Get Millions in Cash Off The Streets The Boston Globe is reporting that GFA Federal Credit Union, a federally chartered small credit union, will provide banking and financial management services to Massachusetts cannabis companies. The announcement makes GFA the first financial institution in the state to open its doors to the retail cannabis industry and comes after more than a year of preparations and research into making it work. “We’re looking at cannabis business as a legitimate business that wants to be recognized as such and that, without banking services, presents a tremendous public safety issue in our communities,” GFA’s chief executive Tina Sbrega told the Globe. Beginning October 1, GFA will offer cash management, checking accounts, payroll, wire transfers and bill payments. Those key services could help get millions of dollars in cash off the streets. And for that reason, public safety and law enforcement agencies are praising GFA’s initiative. “Public safety-wise, this is a home run,” said John Carmicheal, Walpole’s chief of police and a member of Massachusetts’ Cannabis Advisory Board. Typically trenchant in their opposition to adult-use legalization, Massachusetts police have consistently expressed their support for bank involvement. Indeed, giving cannabis companies access to banks gives officials oversight and the ability to monitor transactions between licensed businesses. That, in turn, makes fraud, tax evasion and black market diversion easier to spot. Beyond that, it makes the entire industry and consumers safer; a cash-only operation is much more susceptible to robbery. Are Small Banks The Answer To The Cannabis Cash Problem? But law enforcement aren’t the only ones nodding their approval of GFA’s move. Massachusetts regulators and the industry are also feeling relieved that financial services will be available. Banking services don’t just make it easier for customers to buy cannabis with plastic. They also reduce overhead and risk for the businesses. Handling cash transactions is time consuming and expensive on top of the logistics of covering business expenses like payroll. Despite these benefits, however, most major banks have been hesitant to do business with state-legal cannabis companies. Federal marijuana prohibition presents some serious risks to financial institutions backed by the government. But GFA isn’t one of those massive institutions. It’s a credit union with about $500 million in assets. Both of those qualities mean GFA is unlikely to face an enforcement action from the federal government. It also means its business with cannabis companies won’t put existing clients and investments at risk. Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner chairman Steve Hoffman hopes more banks and credit unions will follow GFA’s lead. It’s not a bad idea. Smaller financial institutions could step up where larger firms are so far holding back, says Colorado-based Safe Harbor, a company that helps financial institutions work with cannabis businesses. Could small banks be the answer to the cannabis industry’s cash problem? GFA is optimistic they can be. But they’re starting cautiously. The credit union will only contract with 15 to 20 cannabis companies in the first year. It also won’t offer loans to small cannabis businesses, raising concerns about equity in an industry already dominated by large firms. GFA is assuring prospective clients that it won’t favor large, already-established firms over smaller, newer companies. The post Massachusetts Credit Union to Provide Banking Services for Cannabis Companies appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  25. Libertarian Senate candidate Gary Johnson recently disclosed a number of financial ties to the legal cannabis industry. Given Johnson’s pro-legalization platform, some have claimed these connections could be a conflict of interests. But Johnson insists that these claims are not true. Gary Johnson’s Ties to Legal Weed Johnson is currently running to represent New Mexico in the Senate. As part of the campaign process, he was required to submit a standard set of financial disclosures. These disclosures revealed a number of connections to the legal weed industry. In particular, Johnson said that he owns more than $250,000 worth of stock in Kush, a cannabis company based in Las Vegas. Similarly, Johnson reported that he is part of a profit-sharing arrangement with an investment fund called CB1 Capital. The fund invests exclusively in the cannabis space, and Johnson is reportedly serving as one of its key advisers. Finally, Johnson’s financial disclosure revealed capital gains from stocks he holds in Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana holding company. He said he earned at least $100,000 from these stocks. Johnson served as CEO of Cannabis Sativa in between his presidential runs in 2012 and 2016. According to local news sources, Johnson’s financial ties to the cannabis industry have worried some folks in New Mexico. In particular, there are concerns that these connections could throw his pro-legalization platform into question. As far as Johnson is concerned, there are no conflicts of interest. The politician said that there is nothing wrong with his financial interests in the industry because his political advocacy outdates his investments and work in the cannabis industry. “This was a career-ending move on my part in 1999,” Johnson told the Albuquerque Journal. “The last thing that I ever dreamed of happening is that somehow I would make money off this.” Johnson’s Pro-Legalization Politics Johnson is one of the most well-known faces of Libertarian politics. Among many other things, he is known for being in favor of marijuana legalization. He has run for president twice. Both times he ran on a Libertarian ticket. And both times, he said he supported legalization. Now, he is running against Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Mick Rich to represent New Mexico in the Senate. While Johnson supports federal legalization, Heinrich advocates for decriminalization and Rich opposes legalization. In New Mexico, medical marijuana is currently legal. The state has a relatively long and thorough list of qualifying health conditions. So far, the state has not legalized recreational cannabis. According to studies, New Mexico consumes a relatively high amount of weed. For example, a 2016 report found that the state currently has at least 27,000 registered medical marijuana patients with an estimated 138,000 people who regularly consume illegal marijuana. The study used these figures to estimate what a legal adult-use cannabis market would look like in New Mexico. Researchers estimated that such a market would consume more than 57 metric tons of cannabis annually. That, the report concluded, would be worth roughly $412 million with potential to grow to as much as $677 million. The post US Senate Candidate Gary Johnson Admits to Involvement in Cannabis Industry appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  26. New Jersey medical marijuana patients can now buy cannabis vaporizer products after a change in rules from the state Department of Health. Last week the department waived regulations that prohibited vape pens, cartridges, and similar cannabis products from being sold at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, according to media reports. Until now, medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey were only allowed to sell cannabis flower, oral lozenges, and topical preparations. Two providers of medicinal cannabis have already requested permission to manufacture and sell vape products. New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is currently undergoing an expansion called for by Gov. Phil Murphy earlier this year. Under the expanded program, more medical conditions will qualify, more dispensaries will be licensed, and more products made available. Since Murphy took office, the number of patients registered in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has nearly doubled, from about 16,000 patients at the beginning of the year to more than 30,000 now. The department of health will also be increasing the number of medical marijuana providers from six to 12. So far, the department has received 146 applications for the six new licenses. The health department proposed new rules for the program earlier this year and should be completing the final version soon. Jeff Brown, an assistant health commissioner, told local media that adding new cannabis therapies is a priority for the health department. “We’re always open to accepting ideas and applications for products,” Brown said. George Schidlovsky is the president of Curaleaf NJ, a vertically integrated cannabis provider. He welcomed the ruling from the department of health and said that vaporized cannabis is a better option for some medical marijuana patients. “Vaping is healthier than smoking,” said Schidlovsky. “That opens the door to a lot of new products.” Vape Products Now Available In New Jersey Curaleaf began offering vape cartridges at its dispensary in Bellmawr on Friday. Schidlovsky said in a press release from the company that customers appreciate new and safer ways to take advantage of the medicinal benefits of cannabis. “These concentrates, which surpass the state’s high standards of quality, provide an alternative method of administration for patients who may not be able to benefit from topical or oral forms of medical cannabis,” said Schidlovsky. “Vaporizing cannabis concentrate is considered a healthier alternative to smoking, and is a fast-acting form of administration. I look forward to seeing the positive effect it has on Curaleaf’s patients in New Jersey.” Schidlovsky noted that Curaleaf, which operates dispensaries and cultivation facilities in 12 states, is ready to serve patients in New Jersey’s expanding medical marijuana program. “Receiving approval to launch these products is an important milestone in the progression of Curaleaf’s operations as well as in New Jersey’s medical cannabis program,” said Schidlovsky. “As the largest dispensary on the East Coast, serving hundreds of patients daily, Curaleaf has the resources and production capacity to reliably market and distribute new products that our patients depend on to live life well.” The first offering of vape cartridges from Curaleaf NJ is now available and consists of four strain specific options including Lavender, Strawberry Cough, Cookies, and Canna-Tsu. The post New Jersey Medical Marijuana Patients Will Now Be Able to Buy Vapes appeared first on High Times. View the full article
  27. Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democratic senator from California, has signed on as a sponsor of the STATES Act, a federal marijuana legalization bill now pending in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) cosponsored the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States, or STATES, Act in June of this year. If passed, the bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that it is no longer applicable to statutes “relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of” cannabis, according to the text of the measure. On Thursday, Feinstein became the tenth senator to join as a cosponsor of the legislation, according to Senate records. Requests from High Times for comment from Sen. Feinstein’s press representatives have not yet been answered. Other senators supporting the bill include Democrats Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Republicans Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Sen. Warren has predicted that the measure will come before the full Senate for a vote if the Democrats are able to regain control of the legislative body in November’s upcoming elections. Anti-Pot Past Thursday’s endorsement of the STATES Act by Feinstein continues a shift in stance on marijuana from the senator, who has opposed legalization efforts in her home state of California. In May of this year, Feinstein announced that she had switched course on the subject and now wanted the federal government to respect states that had legalized cannabis. “Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law,” said Feinstein. “My state has legalized marijuana for personal use, and as California continues to implement this law, we need to ensure we have strong safety rules to prevent impaired driving and youth access, similar to other public health issues like alcohol,” she added. Prior to that declaration, though, Feinstein had been against legalization, vocally opposing Calfornia’s Prop 64 that legalized recreational pot in the Golden State in 2016. During that year’s campaign, Feinstein told reporters she would not be joining California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome in supporting the measure. “That may be one of the few issues that I would disagree with Gavin on,” she said. “I am not really for recreational use of marijuana. Medical use, yes.” She also has helped to perpetuate the discredited “gateway drug” theory about marijuana, referencing her time spent on California’s parole board for women in the 1960s. “I saw a lot of where people began with marijuana and went on to hard drugs,” Feinstein said in 2014. The senator also has expressed little faith in cannabis users behaving responsibly. “The risk of people using marijuana and driving is very substantial,” she said. Feinstein Up For Reelection In November Some cannabis reform advocates have been skeptical of Feinstein’s apparent change in heart. Feinstein is up for re-election in November when she will be facing off against California state senator and fellow Democrat Kevin de León. De León supports the legalization of cannabis and has publicly come out in favor of another federal bill aimed at that goal, Senate Bill 1689. “We need leadership in Washington that will push for real marijuana reform like Proposition 64, instead of fomenting unfounded fears about cartels and our kids. It’s time to cut a path toward progress and support proposals for comprehensive marijuana legalization like Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act,” reads a statement on the candidate’s website. California voters will decide between Feinstein and de León during this year’s general election on November 6. The post Formerly Anti-Cannabis Senator Dianne Feinstein Backs Pro-Cannabis STATES Act appeared first on High Times. View the full article
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