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  1. Does Marijuana Legalization Lead To More Problematic Weed Use? Marijuana legalization increased marijuana use and cannabis use disorder among older adults, a new study finds. While the benefits of marijuana legalization are aplenty, it’s also important to consider the possible consequences as well. According to a new study, not only does legalization lead to increased cannabis use, it increases the rate of cannabis users who develop addictive behaviors. The study highlights the possible public health consequences to legalization, so that regulators and lawmakers can create proper policies to prevent them. “Although occasional marijuana use is not associated with substantial problems, long-term, heavy use is linked to psychological and physical health concerns, lower educational attainment, decline in social class, unemployment, and motor vehicle crashes,” researchers wrote in the study published in JAMA Psychiatry. For the study, lead author Magdalena Cerdá, a drug policy expert at New York University, and her team analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2008-2016). The survey divided age groups between those between 12 to 17 (teenagers), 18 to 25 (young adults), and 26 years or older (older adults). The researchers then looked at how marijuana legalization affected whether participants used cannabis in the past month, and if they met the NSDUH’s definition for cannabis use disorder (their criteria include problematic use to addiction). Where the sharpest rises in marijuana use occurred was for older adults, when comparing those in legal states vs. those in non-legal states. Among the age group, cannabis use in the past month jumped from 5.65% to 7.1%, frequent use rose from 2.13% to 2.62%, and cannabis use disorder recorded in the past year changed from 0.9% to 1.23%. However, the young adult group had no significant changes in marijuana consumption behaviors. While researchers found an increased risk of cannabis use disorder among teenagers, it was a relatively minor adjustment. “For adolescents, I think we need to take the findings with a grain of salt,” Cerdá told Vox. “We need to really track changes among adolescents over a longer period of time and across other states that are legalizing to see if that’s really a robust finding or it’s actually due to some other third factor.” As Vox adds, the researchers took special care in checking their findings against possible limitations. That included analyzing whether marijuana use was already increasing prior to legalization, if demographic or socioeconomic changes had any effect, or if other variables could be influencing their results. The researchers took several steps to validate their results. They looked at both demographic and socioeconomic changes to see if they had any effect; they checked to see if marijuana use had already been on the rise in states that eventually legalized cannabis; and they conducted statistical sensitivity analyses to try to account for other variables that they may have missed. But ultimately, because the data used comes from self-reporting participants, it’s always difficult to draw definitive conclusion from the research. What Cerdá emphasized, though, is that she and her team don’t believe their study should stop any possible marijuana legalization. Instead they want their research to influence how states develop regulations and frameworks around legalization. As she told Vox, legal drugs remain available despite their negative effects. Tobacco results in 480,000 to 540,000 deaths each year while drinking in excess is connected to 88,000 annual deaths. For marijuana, we should “start to think about ways to legalize that prevent those unintended consequences, just like we would regulate tobacco and alcohol,” Cerdá said. “[Because legalization] has a lot of important benefits from a criminal justice standpoint, and I think it could, if done well, have benefits from a public health standpoint,” she added. “If it’s well-regulated, we could regulate the quality of the product, we could regulate the potency of the product — in a way we couldn’t if it were illegal.” https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/does-marijuana-legalization-lead-to-more-problematic-weed-use/
  2. Hi Internet Owns NYPD After They Bragged About Stealing 106 lbs of LEGAL Hemp for Cancer Patients New York, NY — Despite marijuana being legal in some form in over half the country, police officers across the country still take pride in kidnapping, caging, and even killing people they catch with this plant. Despite a major majority of Americans supporting legal weed, cops still go out of their way to prosecute people for possessing it, even CBD. The ridiculous nature of depriving people of their freedom over a plant came to a head this week in New York after “hero” cops took to bragging about a massive “marijuana” bust. But because these cops were so gung-ho on arresting people for a plant, they are now the laughing stock of the internet after they bragged about seizing 106 pounds of entirely LEGAL hemp. The hemp was bound for a CBD dealer in New York who resells the highly beneficial product to cancer patients. This medicine would never make it to the cancer sufferers, however, because a FedEx driver, apparently indoctrinated by the see something say something campaign, saw the legal flora and called the police. Despite the shipment having all the legal documentation and paperwork showing that it was legal hemp for CBD, officers with the NYPD’s 75th precinct confiscated it, laid it out, and took their trophy photo to blast out on the internet. It is amazing how many police department still continue to post pictures of pot busts considering they are met with backlash and ridicule every single time they do it. Nevertheless, they still did it. “Great job by Day Tour Sector E yesterday. Working with FedEx and other local law enforcement, they were able to confiscate 106 Lbs. of marijuana, and arrest the individual associated with the intended delivery,” the NYPD’s tweet read. “I’m looking at it. It’s the stuff you see in movies,” Jahala Dudley, one of the owners of the company that grew the hemp told NBC5. “Like, these two cops are holding our hemp, like it’s an awesome drug bust! This is hemp!” Cops apparently used the notoriously faulty field test kits to test the hemp, and predictably, it showed positive for drugs. As TFTP has reported, these kits are so notoriously faulty that we have seen people put behind bars for possession of things like drywall, glazed donuts, crackers, kitty litter, baking soda, cotton candy, bird sh*t, honey, and even milk. And, apparently, hemp. “Industry hemp looks like real weed…It’s the same species of plant, it’s just the chemical compound is different,” Oren Levy, who sells hemp wholesale through his company GreenAngels CBD, said, adding his product was below legal federal limits for THC. While this is certainly hilarious, it is no joke to the person who is sitting in jail for “trafficking” marijuana, nor the company, who says cops stealing their legal CBD product — intended for cancer patients — may very well put them out of business. “We have a limited product, a limited crop,” Dudley said. “This shipment will make or break the farm this year. If this sale goes through, we’ll be OK. If it doesn’t, we don’t break even.” According the NBC 5, Vermont agriculture officials said they contacted New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball to make him aware of the situation, hoping he might help sort out the confusion. Hopefully, this mess gets straightened out and the cops responsible for stealing a company’s product based on faulty information get reprimanded. Until then, we can rely on the internet to rake the 75th precinct over the coals for this lunacy. Below are some of the tweets the NYPD has received in response to their reefer madness. Enjoy. https://thefreethoughtproject.com/nypd-seizes-cbd-brags-gets-owned/ 22 Comments Bongme
  3. Hi Bloomington Planners Recommend Cannabis Cafés Bloomington’s Planning Commission is looking to make the city the first in Illinois to allow marijuana sold at dispensaries to be consumed on site, a so-called cannabis café. That was one of several recommendations the panel made following a public hearing on the city’s proposed cannabis zoning ordinance, while a company that’s buying the medical marijuana dispensary in Bloomington plans to seek a state license for a dispensary in Bloomington. The city council will review changes to the draft ordinance in December, ahead of the state law taking effect on January 1 legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Planning commission member Justin Boyd said allowing on-site consumption might be the only option for some residents, since property owners will have the option to ban cannabis use on their premises. “I think the social justice issue is a big one that we should consider,” Boyd said. “If it’s legal to consume but you can’t consume it in public or in your home or any other location, then it’s not really legal to a certain population.” Commissioner David Stanczak suggested the city avoid making a “once-and-for-all” decision that could be tough to undo later if problems arise. He said he thinks some landlords will decide on their own to allow marijuana use. “We have apartment complexes that have pet-friendly buildings, I see no reason why they couldn’t have pot-friendly buildings just as easily,” Stanczak quipped. The commission voted 6-3 to recommend proposed setbacks to largely mirror Normal’s proposed ordinance. The panel wants to shorten the distance from residential areas to 200 feet and the distance from schools, daycares, places of worship, residential care homes, parks and playgrounds to 100 feet. “This is a business like any other that you have to be 21 to enter,” Boyd said. “You buy packaged goods and you take them home. That is why I don’t have an issue reducing those setbacks.” City staff had proposed no licenses within 250 feet and 500 feet, respectively. Commission chair Megan Headean said public comments convinced her to prefer the longer setbacks. “I understand it we did have this location it probably would be downtown and this is very restrictive, but I support the larger setbacks and mostly that’s due to the comments we heard tonight. I think that’s kind of balancing what the community is asking for and is comfortable at this time.” The planning commission agreed to those same distances which city staff had proposed for other types of cannabis licenses, including cultivation centers, craft growers, transporters and infusers. The panel moved the residential setback for processing centers to 500 feet. Several residents raised concerns about the odor coming from cannabis production. Wayne Montney urged the commission to move the setbacks even farther. “You should go home tonight and figure out where 250 feet is from your front door and said do you really want a facility that’s that close. I think you are going to find that 250 feet isn’t very much. Much of the public comment focused on whether the city should even opt in to allowing cannabis sales. Aaron LeNeve referred to cannabis bans as a ‘war against a plant’ that that has criminalized too many. “Listen to the people who are telling you that we want this business and their recommendations, because it’s rooted in fact,” LeNeve said. “It’s time to end this stupid war.” Others expressed concern the city was moving too quickly to cultivate a marijuana industry they see as harmful. Fr. David Halt of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bloomington said the city appears to be in a rush to cash in on cannabis, but it might not provide the windfall the city is hoping to get. “We know big business makes money, but does the city really gain true financial incentive, financial benefits, because we have not yet talked about the increased costs associated with these businesses,” Halt said. Business Eyes Bloomington If Bloomington decides to welcome marijuana sales, at least one business is looking to open a dispensary in the city. Nathan Wang with Jushi, a Denver-based cannabis company, said it has an agreement to buy The Green Solution, a medical marijuana dispensary in Normal. The deal is pending approval from the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation. Wang said the company is seeking state approval to allow recreational marijuana sales at the site in Normal and will exercise the option to open a second dispensary somewhere in McLean or DeWitt counties. Wang said the company has several locations it’s considering, including some downtown. He said locating in Bloomington makes the most sense. “It’s the same demographic, that helps us reach a broader audience and a broader population within the same region,” Wang said. “We love this region. That store in Normal has been very successful.” Wang, Jushi’s manager for new markets, said the company would welcome the opportunity to open Illinois’ first cannabis café. “I think it’s an opportunity where we are extremely excited I think it presents a lot of challenges certainly, both from a public community perspective as well as from a business perspective, there’s certainly challenges that come with having lots of consumption of cannabis.” Other Changes The city’s planning commission agreed to several other changes to the city’s cannabis zoning ordinance. The city would allow an applicant to seek a permit to operate as both a dispensary and an infuser, such as a shop that makes pot brownies or other marijuana edibles, but only in downtown districts zoned D-1 and D-2. Applicants would have to seek a special use permit for each type of business. Each request would have to be approved by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. if the city council approves the zoning changes, it will also have to decide whether it will tax is sales. Municipalities will be able to tax cannabis sales up to 3%. https://www.wglt.org/post/bloomington-planners-recommend-cannabis-caf-s#stream/0 Bongme
  4. Hi State Takes Child from Parents, Forces Him to Take Chemo for Treating Cancer With Cannabis Parents of a 4-year-old Florida boy had their child taken away last month because they sought to treat his cancer in a holistic manner. A judge ruled the couple had placed their son in harm’s way after ceasing chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia. Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams had their parental rights taken away from them following the couple’s decision to seek a second opinion out of state. That decision led to the parents giving their son CBD and THC oil along with traditional chemotherapy treatments. NBC News reports: Bland-Ball responded to the judges decision outside the Florida courtroom. She said, “we’re disappointed with the fact that they are moving forward with chemotherapy considering all the side effects that were brought up in court today, including death.” It turns out, she’s right. A landmark study published in the United Kingdom detailed just how deadly chemotherapy can be, even within 30 days after its initial use. As TFTP reported, the chemotherapy often turned out to be deadlier than the patients’ cancers. In fact, some hospitals had a higher mortality rate than those in other cities, leading the researchers to question why such mortality discrepancies with chemotherapy existed. Bland-ball and McAdams wanted to do more for their child and include cannabis as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, the universal standard treatments for cancer. It’s unclear precisely which cannabis medicine they wanted to give their son. Currently, the only FDA approved cannabis-based medicine is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals whose researchers are attacking some of the world’s deadliest cancers such as glioblastoma, a brain cancer which is almost always fatal and of which chemotherapy and radiation have little to no effect. GW Pharmaceuticals’ 1:1 THC/CBD medicine was used in conjunction with a traditional chemotheraphy. The test results, according to GW Pharm hold promise. According to one of their recent studies conducted in the United Kingdom: Patients given cannabis lived nearly twice as long as those who were not given cannabis as an alternative treatment. But the choice to give cannabis to Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child was taken from the parents and given to the State of Florida which has usurped not only the parents’ wishes but the current research being conducted using cannabis in conjunction with standard chemotherapy. Florida has now ordered the son to be given chemotherapy completely against the parents’ wishes. In addition to being used to help kill cancer cells, cannabis also helps to mitigate nausea and pain while taking chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child will now have to take his chances with chemotherapy and wonder whether or not it will even work. With legal decisions being made by the state one must logically ask the serious question as to whether or not a day is coming when all decisions about one’s health can be taken away from the citizenry? As an example of humans losing rights to states, take for example the subject of vaccinations in the State of New York. As TFTP has reported, parents are no longer allowed to even decide when, if, or which vaccines will be given to their children, making such universal declarations akin to 1984, George Orwell’s work on a dystopian future where people give up all rights to the government. The forced vaccination program may be eerily reminiscent to Nazi Germany with the government controlling all procreation/birthing/parenting/child-rearing decisions. Enough is enough. The Police State in America has to be replaced with logical, common sense approaches to health and wellness. Fascist Big Pharma is now allowing the state to force feed its chemotherapy onto little children whose parents do not want the drug to be given to their kids. Shouldn’t an oncologist refuse to be an agent of the state in this matter? Where are the courageous physicians who will refuse to administer drugs to children whose parents object? Likewise, should parents be allowed to keep their children if they neglect life-saving medical treatment? https://thefreethoughtproject.com/parents-child-kidnapped-by-the-state-cancer-chemo/ 20 Comments Bongme
  5. Hi Woman Fights Back Against Charges for Using Cannabis to Treat Her Illness—and She WON Marshall County, TN — In millions of instances across the ostensible Land of the Free, people from young to old have their lives turned upside down and ruined after they are caught in possession of a plant. Despite marijuana being legal in a growing number of states, marijuana arrests actually increased in 2018. The low hanging fruit of arresting entirely harmless and innocent marijuana users provides for a constant stream of revenue and justifies the existence of the police state and predatory court system. One woman in Tennessee, however, just showed us all what can happen when you refuse to lay down and let the bureaucratic gear of tyranny grind you to pieces when the government catches you with weed. Melody Cashion, like thousands of other Americans, on a daily basis, was targeted for extortion for an alleged traffic violation in October 2017. “It was supposedly a rolling stop,” said Cashion. When the officer pulled her over, he claimed to smell weed and then threatened to search Cashion’s vehicle. In Tennessee, if a police officer claims to smell marijuana, they do not need a warrant to search your vehicle, so Cashion saved the officer some time and handed over her tiny bag of this illegal plant. Cashion is not a recreational smoker. This plant arguably saved her life by weaning her off opioids and treating her medical condition. In an interview with The Free Thought Project, Cashion explained why she used started to use marijuana. Cashion’s story mirrors that of thousands of other folks who have beaten their opioid dependencies through the use of marijuana. Despite this incredible plant saving her from a lifetime of addiction to opioids, and a possible deadly overdose, the officer still arrested and charged her. She had harmed no one. Prosecutors told Cashion that she was facing nearly a year in prison for the tiny amount of marijuana in her bag — less than one gram. “They basically told me I had no defense,” Cashion explained. When faced with the possibility of a year in a cage, many people would take a plea deal — even if they didn’t commit the crime — and get probation. But Cashion was determined to fight this. “Everybody thought I was crazy,” she said. But she wasn’t. Cashion tells the Free Thought Project why she fought the charges: According to News Channel 5, Cashion’s attorney had taken note of Operation Candy Crush in Rutherford County, where charges were dropped after prosecutors could not prove the level of psychoactive THC in cannabis gummies. It must be higher than .3 percent to be illegal. The TBI does not test misdemeanor cases — less than a half ounce of cannabis. Because Cashion had less than a gram, the prosecution had no case as they couldn’t prove her plant was illegal. The prosecution held the case over her head until the very last minute, likely thinking that she would accept their arrangements, but Cashion stood her ground. Just like that, Cashion fought the law, and unlike the song, the law didn’t win. Now, because Cashion was brave enough to stand up to the system, thousands of other people in the state facing weed charges can successfully challenge their charges too and save themselves from this stain on their record following them around for the rest of their lives. Cashion tells TFTP that she is still in a mountain of debt from fighting this madness. If you’d like to help her out, you can do so via paypal here. https://thefreethoughtproject.com/woman-fights-charges-weed-wins/ Vid On Link Bongme
  6. Hi Arrest of Ukranian sparks review of cannabis licenses in California SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The arrest of a Ukrainian-born businessman on charges of conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws has triggered a review of the California cannabis licenses he was granted. Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax tells the Los Angeles Times the indictment of Andrey Kukushkin raises concerns. Kukushkin was indicted this month along with two associates of President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani on charges involving funneling foreign money into U.S. politics. The Times reports that in the last year a partnership involving Kukushkin obtained a dozen California state licenses to sell and distribute marijuana. Ajax says officials are looking at all the documentation associated with the licenses, which are provisional permits. An attorney for Kukushkin has said he intends to fight the charges filed in New York federal court. https://krcrtv.com/news/local/arrest-of-ukranian-sparks-review-of-cannabis-licenses-in-california Bongme
  7. Hemp plants seized in California were pot worth $1B Authorities in Central California have seized and destroyed about 100 million plants they said were being grown as legal hemp but contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The Kern County Sheriff's office said it served search warrants at several fields totaling 459 acres in the Arvin area on Oct. 25 as part of a joint investigation with the FBI and California Department of Fish and Wildfire. The office said samples of the plants tested "well above" the federal limit of 0.3 percent of THC for industrial hemp. Authorities said the plants were essentially cannabis worth about $1 billion on the black market. They wouldn't name the grower, citing the ongoing probe. The Bakersfield Californian said hemp cultivation is allowed in Kern County but pot production, sale and processing is all but illegal. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/police-hemp-plants-seized-california-222510861.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvLnVrLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAIHhHmNo1ZnVGULjzvsNaPFJEEI4hhUn2ToxRFEcVnaI1w5yPtltJlyUuc2tONVHR3AGGHL8GW0T8_X1PrIm9sI5f2auzF3NDowv0AS8wMMxVu_5QunPkIB_EluzJ2gtKnKCgC7jy4oqSlz8JfG102ikVoZk-DzieF4g_2LsXpMY
  8. On Vaping and Lung Disease A front-page story by Matt Richtel in the New York Times October 21 contains some useful info about the increasing incidence of lung damage caused by vaping, but gets the history wrong. And then gets it right. An editor should have caught the contradiction. The online subhed sums up the story thus: “A technology initially promoted to help cigarette smokers has transformed marijuana use, too. Now, with cases of severe lung illness rising, health investigators are warning people to stop vaping cannabis.” The piece begins: “For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly growing, with scant notice from public health officials.” The chronology is upside-down. E-cigs didn’t go on the market until 2007, long after cannabis aficionados and medical users had begun vaping. In 2002 the German-made Volcano vaporizer hit the market in California (with an instruction manual that, for political reasons, made no reference to cannabis). In 2003 Dale Gieringer, PhD, ballyhooed vaping in O’Shaughnessy’s first issue (Summer 2003) in a story headlined “Don’t Smoke, Vaporize” Gieringer also published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics a paper called “Cannabis ‘Vaporization’: A promising strategy for smoke harm reduction.” It described an experiment showing “that an electric vaporizer can successfully generate THC at 185 degrees centigrade while completely suppressing benzene, toluene and naphthalene formation.” The Spring 2004 O’Shaughnssy’s ram a piece called “Volcano is to Vaporizer as Porsche is to Automobile.” Dr. Tod Mikuriya recommended vaporizing to all his patients and the Volcano to those who could afford the >$600 price tag. Other devices that heated cannabis flowers short of the combustion point would keep coming on the market. Excerpts from the Times story follow: Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to the technology — no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide — and the potentially dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident. Most of the patients in the outbreak of severe lung illnesses linked to vaping — which has left 1,479 people sick and 33 dead so far — vaped THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes people high. Until more information is known, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people not to vape cannabis products… Last year, Dr. Neal Benowitz, a professor of medicine and a researcher on nicotine and vaping at the University of California, San Francisco, sent a letter to Congress warning of the risks posed by leaving a hugely popular practice unstudied. “Very little is known about the safety or effects of vaped cannabis oil,” he wrote, cautioning that some ingredients mixed into the oils “could have harmful, toxic effect on users, including the potential for causing and/or promoting cancer and lung disease.” “It’s disgraceful,” Dr. Benowitz said in a recent interview as reports of hospitalizations and deaths from vaping-related lung illnesses mounted. “I’m not able to take products we think are potentially harmful and do analysis. I can buy a vape device around the corner, but I can’t bring it into the lab and test it.” The mounting toll of vape-related illness may turn into a boon for the regulated industry, which has long wanted law enforcement to crack down on unlicensed producers. The president of the board of the United Cannabis Business Association, Jerred Kiloh, emphasized to Richtel that only vape pens and cartridges sold in regulated stores have been tested by California’s Bureau of Cannabis Controls. Kiloh (great name for a pot dealer) owns the Higher Path dispensary in Los Angeles. Richtel writes: Vaping oils typically include other additives, solvents and flavor enhancers, and health investigators believe some such ingredients, including vitamin E acetate, could be responsible for some of the lung illness cases. The problem of unknown and potentially dangerous additives, Mr. Kiloh and others said, is vastly worse in a soaring black market in the nearly 40 states where recreational marijuana is still illegal. Even in states where the drug is legal, counterfeit cartridges are cheaper than the licensed, tested and taxed products. It is hard for legal players who pay taxes to compete. A regulated vape pen with half a gram of THC costs $55, compared with $25 or less on the street for an untested product. Richtel is evidently referring to Dale Gieringer’s 2003 paper, when he recounts: In the earliest days of cannabis vaping, a small group of innovators saw the technology as a safer way to help medicinal marijuana patients. They hoped that vaping — which entails heating THC so that it turns to an aerosol — would be less harmful to the lungs than inhaling combusted marijuana. But that ethos quickly gave way to a different lure: the pure convenience of vaping, which allowed users to avoid rolling joints, spilling ash, giving off a telltale smell — or getting caught. Vape pens brought the sheen of high technology to a drug associated with hippies and grunge, along with the discretion of, say, texting beneath the dinner table. The harm-reduction ethos gave way to the generate-revenue ethos. Growers who sold manicured flowers to dispensaries could now sell to hash oil makers the leaves theywould have composted and the “shake” they would have donated to needy friends and family. The hash oil makers were given shelf space by dispensary owners and created a profitable niche for themselves in the industry. The market itself expanded because bringing cannabis in the form of oil across state lines is so much less risky and more efficient than transporting bulky, odiferous flowers. As explained by Richtel in the Times: Entrepreneurs began to extract oil by bathing the leaf in ethanol or butane, filtering out the solid material that remained and then evaporating the solvent to leave the concentrated oil. Another method used carbon dioxide, which, when pressurized, creates a fluid that can be used to extract the oil… Once extracted, the THC oil could then be heated up using a small battery, kept in a cartridge or penlike case, creating aerosol, which is then inhaled from one end of the device. Consumers fell in love/ Businesspeople found they could use the entire plant to extract oil rather than throw away stems and other parts discarded by smokers, which maximized the value of the crop. The oil also could be mixed with other additives to give flavor, to create the effect of big puffs of smoke or just to cut the THC to substitute less expensive chemicals. You don’t have to be a regulated dispensary owner to assume that unregulated ganjapreneurs are making and selling the lung-damaging vape pens and cartridges. A looming question is: which ingredients are doing the damage? A friend in the industry who suspects the fungicide Myclobutanil cites pathology reports of damage from “toxic fumes” and notes that “Myclo converts to Hydrogen Cyanide when heated.” He adds, “The primary affected demographic is young adult males. This may or may not be simply representative of the user demographics. If there is a disproportionate effect on that population it may be due to a toxic conversion that is heat dependent. Healthy young males hit the pen harder, heating the oil hotter.” The vaping boom has been facilitated by the War on Drugs and societal disapproval of smoking per se. As Richtel observes, vape pens enable “discretion” by users. Drawing on a sleek little device can seem inobtrusve and respectable compared to firing up a joint. Maybe people forget —or maybe the news never got conveyed— that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer. A gold-standard study by Donald Tashkin and colleagues at UCLA established that cells damaged by cannabis smoke die off instead of metastasizing. Tashkin has established that smoking cannabis can cause bronchitis —but not a higher rate of lung cancer (or emphysema or COPD), Given that the real risk is bronchitis, maybe smoking marijuana will regain some of its popularity. Like vinyl LPs The ecological impact of large numbers of people smoking American Spirits marijuana cigarettes would be close to zero. Till that unimaginable day, disposable vape pens and empty plastic cartridges made in China and purchased in the US will keep adding to the debris coagulating in the ocean that everyone tsk-tsks about. Not to mention the poison leaching out of the batteries. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/28/on-vaping-and-lung-disease/
  9. hi Cannabis found at North Dakota nuclear missile launch facility BISMARCK, N.D. -- The U.S. military says marijuana was found at a Minot Air Force Base nuclear missile facility in central North Dakota. Air Force Sgt. Benjamin Smith says the undisclosed amount marijuana was found Oct. 9 at a missile alert facility. He says the drug was discovered above ground and not near missile operators. Minot has one of the nation's two B-52 bomber bases and oversees 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles. The base has been under scrutiny since a 2007 mishap in which a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in Minot and flown to a base in Louisiana. Other lapses include the theft of a launch code device, missile crew members sleeping on the job and failed inspections. https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/cannabis-found-at-north-dakota-nuclear-missile-launch-facility-1.4652578 Bongme
  10. hi UK Company Creates Alternative to Cannabis Oil Vapes; Establishes Office in South Florida As a UK-based company, Liberty Herbal Technologies would like to reduce the risk for cannabis inhalation, more precise, simpler and sustainable for all patients and consumers of cannabis. That’s why the company created hapac®, a unique dry-vaping system that consists of ready to use filter-paper packs (or sachets) of pre-ground cannabis flower, specially designed for use in a simple, affordable, but highly effective dry-herb vaporizer device. The eco-friendly hapac®, sachets are made of specially engineered paper made from natural fibers, so after use they can be safely composted. Liberty Herbal Technologies was founded by Simon Rucker, Mark Waterfield, and Domenico Ventura who worked together at British American Tobacco (BAT), in the area of ‘Next Generation’ vaping products. In July 2016, Rucker reached out to both Ventura and Waterfield with the intention to form a company to develop and launch an innovative ‘heat not burn’ vaping product for tobacco users. “At that time, I was in contact with another ex-BAT colleague and friend based in Seattle who was developing disposable e-cigs containing cannabis concentrates,” says Ventura, CEO and Marketing Director for Liberty. This friend’s many stories about the benefits of cannabis, its applications and the challenges involved in establishing the rights to commercialize a product that worked for patients with some difficult conditions got Ventura and his partners interested in cannabis. “We researched the cannabis market, the consumer dynamics and we found it fascinating not only for the growing trend of this category but also for the curative and healing properties of the plant,” Ventura says. One pivotal question came up during these talks, Ventura recalls. Why is a product that should heal people mostly smoked? “We were aware of the many toxicants produced by combustion so we thought that the sort of ‘heat-not-burn’ system we were developing would be a really relevant innovation for cannabis consumers” he adds. The result was hapac®, which stands for ‘herb and paper anti combustion.’ The reason for anti-combustion is because combustion or burning, which occurs at 1652 °F when a cigarette/cannabis is smoked creates significant quantities of toxins in the smoke. There is no combustion when a product is vaporized and heated to 410 °F. The effect of vaporizing the cannabis rather than smoking it, is estimated to vary significantly reduces the toxins produced, by some 80%. “The hapac® system removes all the mess, fuss and fiddle normally associated with dry-herb vaporizers and makes vaporizing a measured dose of cannabis flower simple, convenient and consistent,” says Ventura. “Our first trip to Seattle in December 2016 to test with consumers the first crude hapac® prototypes gave us the confidence to continue the development.” The company worked hard to get hapac®to market and this past January, it launched its full marketing mix in Italy’s burgeoning ‘low THC cannabis’ (aka hemp) market. “We are having positive responses from consumers who made repeat purchases and we are receiving daily requests from consumers in other countries who would like to purchase our hapac®system,” adds Ventura. “Unfortunately the law on cannabis in Europe is very inconsistent and way behind North America.” Through other inhalation methods, hapac®offers the following benefits: vs. joints / smoked herb: • No combustion – reduced toxins • No smoke – reduced smell • Better value – doesn’t burn away between puffs vs vape pens / e-cigs: • Natural – not processed / no solvents or additives • Full spectrum cannabinoids & terpenes • More sustainable – no plastic packaging vs dry-herb vaporizers: • No grinding, no mess, no fuss, no wasted herb • Easy refill on the go • Reduced cleaning of oven vs ingested / edibles: • Fast acting – 2-5 minutes vs 30-60 minutes • Quick & easy to adjust dose • Less wasteful – bypasses liver “These benefits are the key differentiators versus existing inhalation methods,” explains Ventura. “I would like to stress some key points for medical patients: a consistent measured dose, easy to use and affordability/value for money of both the inhalation device and the hapac®sachets.” As the dose of cannabis is inhaled, the effect of the cannabis on the patient is very fast the patient can titrate the dose. This means that, dependent on the effect of the dose, the patient can easily adjust the balance of the dose by reducing or increasing puffs on the vaporizer. hapac®is not currently available in the United States, however, Liberty Herbal Technologies has appointed an Area Sales Director in Florida, Leonello Araujo (leo@libhol.tech), and is currently seeking both U.S. and Canadian commercial partners interested in establishing a JV or licensing agreement to launch hapac®in Florida and North America. According to Ventura, the benefits to a license producer include: • Made on low CapEx automated machinery • High hapac®output per man hour • Low manufacturing costs “The sooner we succeed in establishing a commercial agreement, the earlier we can launch in Florida and in other states in the U. S. since all the marketing and production mix is ready,” adds Ventura. “Our long-term goal is to build the leading global legal cannabis brand on hapac®, our patent-pending technology for vaping cannabis naturally.” https://communitynewspapers.com/cannabis/uk-company-creates-alternative-to-cannabis-oil-vapes-establishes-office-in-south-florida/ Bongme
  11. Hi Patient safety: public cannabis education hotline launched A public education cannabis hotline has been launched by Colorado nurses to help patients understand their medicine. Seed & Smith, Colorado’s leading cultivator, concentrate manufacturer and dispensary dedicated to producing high-quality cannabis, has announced its partnership with the non-profit, public cannabis education hotline Leaf411. The free hotline is staffed by cannabis-trained registered nurses providing education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. Seed & Smith is a Founding Member of the non-profit organisation starting this month. The public hotline Seed & Smith’s latest medical partnership aligns with its corporate mission of complete transparency, education and patient care. Leaf411’s consulting nurses undergo a rigorous screening process and are trained extensively on cannabis use and the endocannabinoid system. Seed & Smith will display Leaf411 signage in retail locations, and dispensary budtenders will be able to direct all medical questions relating to cannabis use to Leaf411 nurses. Brooks Lustig, CEO of Seed & Smith, said: “A crucial component of advancing the legal cannabis industry is educating our customers about safe and responsible consumption. “There are still relatively inconsistent resources about cannabis use on the internet, and most doctors are untrained in the field of cannabis usage. Leaf411 is providing an important and accessible resource to consumers interested in engaging with the cannabis market. We’re proud to partner with an outstanding advocate for patient health.” Jennifer Axcell, COO and Co-Founder of Leaf411, said: “Leaf411 was started because the founders noticed a lack of balanced, transparent and accurate educational resources related to cannabis use. “For new customers, navigating the industry can feel like learning a new language, and our trained nurses are equipped to help all consumers make informed decisions about their medical and recreational use. Our team is grateful to partner with Seed & Smith and the opportunity they have provided us to reach even more cannabis users across the state.” Leaf411 is free and for educational purposes and is not an emergency hotline. Consumers experiencing a cannabis-related medical emergency are advised to dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cannabis-education-hotline-launched/94254/ Bongme
  12. hi Vid On Link Nevada's first cannabis lounge to open Saturday, employees high with excitement LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — It's the first for the state: It looks like a bar, or brewery, but behind the bar stool, you can see bongs instead of bottles. It's Nevada's first cannabis tasting lounge. The staff is high on excitement. While the state hasn't given the green light on these lounges, NuWu is on soverign tribal land, and subject to tribal authority. That's why come Saturday, customers will be able to light up. "In Nevada, it is the first," said Alfreda Mitre, a Paiute Tribe Councilwoman. "So we are looking foreword to providing this experience to our customers." It's an experience she says will mirror a craft brewery or wine tasting room. Flights are designed for cannabis connoisseurs to sample products. Waiters will be offering smoking and vaporizing options, along with edibles to customers inside. But what about safety concerns? Mitre says NuWu will be monitoring. "There is a time limit that will be in place," she said. "We do have bud tenders to do that that expertise and will be able to gently nudge the customer when they think their needs will be met." NuWu may be the only lounge in Southern Nevada for the next few years. While the city passed an ordinance allowing lounges earlier this year, Governor Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 533 in June that in part, created a two-year hold on lounge licensing so research could be done. In a statement, the Governor's Office said in part: "The cannabis control board... will strictly regulate the cannabis industry to protect public health and safety, as well as create a stable, predictable business environment to promote economic growth." In the meantime, Mitre says NuWu is happy to fill in the gap and show how it can be done. A spokesman for the City of Las Vegas says no cannabis lounges will open in the city the CCB has its findings. NuWu says its staff members will also be working with Uber, Lyft and taxi services make sure no one will be getting behind the wheel after partaking. https://news3lv.com/news/local/nevadas-first-cannabis-lounge-to-open-saturday-employees-high-with-excitement Bongme
  13. hi America's first cannabis cafe opens in Hollywood In California, which has the world's largest legal marijuana market, recreational pot became legal in 2018 merica's first cannabis restaurant has opened in West Hollywood, offering diners an array of weed products and hoping to rival Amsterdam's famed coffee shops. Called Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, the much-hyped 240-seat establishment is open to people 21 and over, who can order from a cannabis menu just like they would a wine bottle. "Flower Hosts," or "budtenders," help patrons navigate the menu, giving advice to connoisseurs or novices on what strain of cannabis to order with their meal and the potency and flavor of each product. On offer are pre-rolled joints starting at $18 dollars apiece, highly potent concentrates, some edibles, and accessories such as bongs, pipes and dabbing devices. "It's amazing to be a part of making history, I never thought I would have been," said executive chef Andrea Drummer as she surveyed diners at the soft opening of the eatery on Monday. "It's important to have a safe space to consume in a very communal setting," she added. "The only other place that I know that to be the case is Amsterdam." She said customers were flying in from different parts of the country, and one couple was even traveling from Britain, to take part in the grand opening on Tuesday. The cafe's launch comes as more and more states across America have legalized marijuana in recent years, both for medicinal and recreational purposes. The drug, however, remains illegal at the federal level. Largest legal marijuana market In California, which has the world's largest legal marijuana market, recreational pot became legal in 2018, setting off a mad rush by entrepreneurs to cash in on the multi-billion-dollar industry. Seven other eateries similar to "Lowell Farms" are expected to open in the near future in West Hollywood, one of the first cities in the country to embrace the concept. "This is a great idea and I do think that normalizing cannabis is something that we should do," said Derek Bollella, 22, a business student who drove 45 minutes on Monday to be part of the happy few who managed to secure a reservation at Lowell's. "If you go to Amsterdam, they have one of these every 10 feet," he added as he smoked a joint while munching on nachos topped with avocado. "They tried that over there and it seems to work." Antonela Balaguer, 23, another patron sitting nearby with a friend, said it was only fitting to finally have a cannabis cafe where customers could get high while enjoying some "nice stoner food." "I could probably come here every day," she said. "I would consume cannabis every day if I could." Drummer said the restaurant's 40 "Flower Hosts" have been trained to keep an eye on guests to make sure they are able to tolerate the cannabis they order and that nothing gets out of hand. "Our bud hosts are very proficient in enquiring and asking guest where they are at in their consumption level," she said. "You go to a bar and you know the cut-off point for the person who has ordered five whiskeys. So you have a conversation if that is the case. " For Matt Kirschner, the new eatery is long overdue and marks a major milestone for the country. "This is the greatest thing that the United States has implemented into its culture in a while," said the 22-year-old law student as he smoked a joint and nibbled on mac and cheese bites and a chicken sandwich with a friend at Lowell's. "We're pretty stoned right now," he added, grinning. "We're enjoying the day, the music's good, the weather's good and we're in California. "Life can't get better." https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/americas-first-cannabis-cafe-opens-hollywood-1669772 Bongme
  14. Hi ‘Cannabis oasis’: Los Angeles cafe first in the US to offer dine-and-dab service Guardian Entrepreneurs behind Lowell Cafe see the business as a major turning point toward the ‘end of prohibition’ in America Kevin Brady, the director of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, wanted to build a “bright, airy oasis” where people can consume cannabis. Kevin Brady, the director of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, wanted to build a “bright, airy oasis” where people can consume cannabis. Photograph: Dan Tuffs/The Guardian In some parts of America, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested each year for marijuana. In West Hollywood, it’s on the dinner menu. Lowell Cafe, opening next month in Los Angeles, is the country’s first legal cannabis restaurant, meaning the first business in the US licensed to serve meals with both food and weed. Inside the marijuana restaurant and lounge, “budtenders” will greet patrons and help them navigate menus of joints, bong service, dab rigs and other cannabis treats that they can then consume inside the cafe, alongside farm-to-table dishes. Cannabis entrepreneurs in California see this new business as a next big step toward the “end of prohibition” in America, and a major turning point in the continuing effort to legalize marijuana for recreational and social use. “Cannabis consumers have had to kind of be closeted,” said the chef, Andrea Drummer, standing inside the Lowell kitchen on a recent afternoon while perfecting a mascarpone-filled crepe with peaches for the dessert menu. “To be able to engage in and consume in a space with like-minded people and not have it be secret and not feel judged, I think it’s an exceptional concept.” It’s been a long journey to get to 1 October, Lowell’s grand opening. The much-hyped restaurant is breaking ground at a time in which marijuana is still considered an illegal drug in many parts of the US, a country where more than one person is arrested for cannabis every minute. California has consistently led the way on marijuana reform, becoming the first state to approve medical cannabis over two decades ago. The state officially legalized recreational pot in 2016, but it’s been a slow process to establish regulations that allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of the new law. It’s also still illegal to smoke weed in public in California, and while there are some “lounges” and clubs where people can gather and smoke, there have been no businesses that operate like traditional restaurants. The city of West Hollywood, a major LA nightlife hub, wanted to change that, and recently created a licensing process, drawing hundreds of applicants. “This is a really, really big moment,” said Jackie Subeck, a local cannabis consultant and advocate who won one of the recent West Hollywood licenses and plans to open a cannabis spa and cafe in the city. “This doesn’t exist anywhere … We’re building the plane while flying it.” West Hollywood officials have helped Lowell navigate conflicting and confusing state and local regulations, though there are some challenges they haven’t yet been able to resolve. Lowell so far has not sorted out a way to legally serve fresh food that is actually infused with cannabis, since there is no state health regulation permitting it. But the cafe did find a way to secure approvals for both food and weed consumption in one location. “It’s a fun opportunity, because it’s so unknown,” said Kevin Brady, the restaurant’s director, as he stood at the site of the cafe, which is still under construction. “Being the first, we want to make sure we set the benchmark very high.” Brady has been working to build a restaurant that he said would feel like a “light, bright airy oasis of a space that people can consume cannabis” and would defy stoner stereotypes – no lava lamps, black lights, Led Zeppelin posters or beanbag chairs. “It’s not the college, Dave Matthews Band kind of vibe. It’s this really elegant place.” This summer, a rabbi from a synagogue across the street expressed concerns about the smell of marijuana, but Brady said the restaurant would have an advanced air filtration system that would ensure it doesn’t reek outside or inside. The cafe, which has an outdoor patio, will be open from 10am to 10pm and has already started taking reservations, he said, including from people as far away as Japan and Russia, who have said they are traveling to LA to visit the restaurant. On the cannabis menu, Lowell will offer flower and smoking options and guests can rent pipes or bongs, roll their own joints, or have “flower hosts” roll for them. The staff will function like wine sommeliers, Brady said, asking guests about their experiences and interests: “How familiar are you with cannabis? What are you looking for? Are you Snoop Dogg or have you not smoked since high school?” Drummer, who is heading the kitchen, has built a reputation for herself as a cannabis chef, notably preparing a cannabis-infused meal for Chelsea Handler on her show Chelsea Does and working with other celebrity clients and private companies. “Food and cannabis are both very communal experiences, so to bring them together … is still very fascinating for me,” she said. She’s still finalizing the menu, which will have traditionally healthy dishes like baby kale salad, along with “foods that one would love to indulge in, if they are elevated”, she said. That includes mac and cheese bites, a grilled cheese sandwich, fried chicken, and a “sweet FL(HIGH)T” dessert plate featuring caramel popcorn, ice cream sandwich, bacon, s’mores and other sweets. The cafe says “all menu items are meant to complement the heightened senses from THC consumption”. Brady said he expected the business would attract a wide range of customers, including tourists, celebrities and Hollywood screenwriters. His sister, who has two young children, “wants to bring all her PTA mom friends”, he said. “She sees this as a social communal environment that won’t impact the ability to wake up in the morning and take the kids to school or go to yoga and pilates.” Even in progressive states like California, the cannabis industry has continued to be dominated by white entrepreneurs and excluded communities that have long suffered and continue to suffer from criminalization and the war on drugs. Roughly 8% of the workforce of Lowell Herb Co, the company behind the cafe, are people with previous cannabis infractions on their record, said Sean Black, a co-founder, adding that this was a priority in hiring for the cafe. “There is nothing that will make up for the wrongs that were done,” he said. “There are people in other states who are in jail while we are serving fancy meals. It’s inherently unfair.” The cafe, he hoped, would help tackle remaining stigmas around cannabis consumption: “We want it to have the same respect as fine wine … Cannabis can be a fun recreational part of society, like alcohol, without being dangerous.” Advocates said they expected this type of business would spread in California and other states, and Drummer said she was aware that people would be paying attention to what happens at Lowell. “That is a huge deal, and I want to do it justice,” she said. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/21/cannabis-oasis-los-angeles-cafe-first-in-the-us-to-offer-dine-and-dab-service Bongme
  15. hi California water board sends warnings to cannabis growers The California Water Boards sent at least 270 letters to farmers in the Emerald Triangle, warning them to come into compliance with regulations or face possible fines and even the loss of their cultivation licenses. The agency posted on Twitter that its Division of Water Rights’ Cannabis Enforcement Section sent the letters to “residents in Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties today notifying them they lack the appropriate permits for commercial cannabis cultivation.” Marijuana Business Daily obtained one example of the letters, which were sent to landowners whose properties “appear … to be used for cannabis cultivation or associated activities. “However, there is no record of any person associated with this property having enrolled in the State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Program,” the letter reads. The letters warn recipients that they need to obtain proper permission from the agency for water rights used in marijuana growing. If they do not, they could be fined or lose any state cannabis cultivation permit for their properties. Last year, more than 2,300 licenses were issued in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, the three areas that make up the Emerald Triangle. https://mjbizdaily.com/california-water-board-sends-warnings-to-cannabis-growers/ Bongme
  16. hi Why Dr. Sue Sisley Sued the DEA for Stonewalling Cannabis Research We also spoke with her attorneys, who explained why they believed the DEA broke the law by holding up long-promised medical marijuana research licenses. I first met Dr. Sue Sisley in person when she spoke in Las Vegas a few years ago. Back then, Dr. Sisley just entered the national spotlight, known as the research doctor who’d been unfairly fired from the University of Arizona for simply trying to study medical marijuana. But at the Vegas event, she brought good news: She announced that other universities would host her research, and she recently applied for a third-party cultivation license from the DEA, the only federal agency that can legally provide cannabis for clinical study in the US. At the time, the DEA said it would begin accepting applications for third-party marijuana growers after scientists had, for decades, complained about the highly restricted, low-quality cannabis the feds provided for research purposes. Since marijuana is federally illegal, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA, and the DEA have only allowed one man, Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly at the University of Mississippi, to grow cannabis for clinical studies. Essentially, the federal government has monopolized cannabis research, and ElSohly’s product, according to some scientists who’ve seen it, is unsuitable for clinical trials. Dr. Sisley’s announcement in Vegas was a big deal, since it meant her research group could one day grow its own high-quality cannabis, the kind that medical marijuana get from dispensaries and home growers. And time was an issue, since her research projects involved suicidal combat veterans with PTSD and stage 4 cancer patients who didn’t have long to live. Later that night, everyone celebrated at a hotel bar. In hindsight, however, the celebration in Vegas was extremely premature. It’s been nearly three years since the DEA announced its revolutionary cultivator program. The only problem is, the program doesn’t actually exist. The agency still hasn’t doled out any third-party grower licenses, even though 33 legitimate research groups, of which Dr. Sue Sisley’s Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) is only one, have submitted applications. In fact, the DEA hasn’t processed the applications, though it gladly raked in about $100,000 total in fees for all 33 submissions. And again, the applications were submitted three years ago. For more information on this situation, see NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano’s op-ed here. Dr. Sisley isn’t just trying to study medical marijuana; she’s trying to get cannabis flowers approved by the FDA as tried-and-true medicine. “American research is so crucial because it’s the only way health insurance companies would be able to pay for cannabis the same way they pay for pharmaceuticals,” she told MERRY JANE over the phone. “It needs FDA approval.” Fed up with the feds’ stonewalling of potentially life-saving marijuana research, in July, Dr. Sisley and the Scottsdale Research Institute filed a lawsuit against the DEA with two Texas-based attorneys, Matt Zorn and Shane Pennington. Since Zorn and Pennington reside in a prohibition state, neither of them has clients in the cannabis industry, nor are they affiliated with any cannabis activist or legalization groups. Further, Zorn and Pennington took on Dr. Sisley’s case pro bono. Read NORML’s coverage of the litigation here. The court gave the DEA 30 days to respond to Dr. Sisley, SRI, and the other researchers who filed suit. But that window has passed, and the DEA still hasn’t explained why it didn’t process the cultivator applications for three years. Instead, the DEA said it would take public comments and establish new rules for handing out the licenses, even though dozens of researchers have already paid heavy application fees for their submissions. As Dr. Sisley and her attorneys play the bureaucratic waiting game, it looks as if the DEA is finding new ways to stall further while a court simultaneously has ordered it to explain why it’s stalling. What caused the DEA’s three-year hold up? How has the federal government traditionally stalled cannabis research? What can cultivation applicants such as Dr. Sisley do now? To find out more, MERRY JANE spoke with Dr. Sisley and her attorneys about why she and over 30 other research groups don’t want the federal government’s bunk buds. MERRY JANE: Dr. Sisley, you’re one of the few people who’s actually seen the federal government’s cannabis products. Can you explain how it’s prepared for shipping at the University of Mississippi and how it comes packaged? Dr. Sue Sisley: Basically, it comes in these generic batches of either high-THC, high-CBD, or placebo cannabis. You have a very limited menu there, and they come in these ziplock bags. When you open it, it’s a greenish powder filled with extraneous plant material. So, there’s some flower; there’s some mixed stems and leaves, just ground-up fragments of the plant. It’s not just the tops of the plant — the flower — which is what we’d like to study. Did the DEA, FDA, or University of Mississippi provide any lab results for the cannabis powders, so you know what you’re actually giving to patients? Dr. Sisley: That’s one of the problems, and one of our legal arguments: There’s no transparency. Normally, when you do clinical trials — and for years I did trials for Big Pharma — you get a complete drug master file that would give you all the details about the drug: its properties, how it was manufactured, et cetera. There’s none of that available. Even though the DEA takes millions of dollars of taxpayer money, they provide zero transparency. You’re not allowed access to the drug master file, which would be normal operation procedure in any other FDA trial. The only other federal agency who has access to file is the FDA, and they refuse to share that with the public, which is already an abomination in my opinion. It should be challenged. Many people have tried to FOIA that information, and they haven’t gotten it. Maybe you could try? [laughs] So, as a responsible scientist, I’m guessing you went ahead and tested the DEA’s ground-up weed powder yourself instead? Dr. Sisley: We did. We were the first scientists to do independent secondary testing [on the DEA’s cannabis]. We sent it out to other DEA-licensed labs and did three independent rounds of testing, just to confirm that it was even cannabis. The testing did confirm that the [batch sent by NIDA] has cannabinoids, some very minute quantities of terpenes in it, and that it was cannabis. It was just diluted with a lot of extraneous plant material. So, that’s one way that they can really sabotage your study outcomes because the study drug is issued to patients by weight. How is issuing cannabis to patients by weight a way to sabotage a medical marijuana study? Dr. Sisley: In the last study we just completed, each patient got 1.8 grams [of cannabis] per day. So, if half of the weight of the study drug isn’t just the flower, then it’s all this other plant material — stems sticks, leaves — that’s weighing it down. And you can imagine how that would harm your efficacy data, because suddenly the patient may need to smoke two bowls just to get any therapeutic benefit, and by then they’ve developed so much bronchial irritation that they often can’t reach that therapeutic threshold. We noticed that a lot of patients, after just a few inhalations, the mucosal irritation was so harsh from smoking that [marijuana] – which is not normal, right? If people are just smoking the flowering tops of the plants, they can easily tolerate much more, but most people could only tolerate a few puffs [of the government’s cannabis], and they’d have to stop. That’s why I’m concerned that the efficacy data is not accurate. It’s not reflective of real-world cannabis. Why is Dr. ElSohly grinding up the weed into an unrecognizable powder? Providing full, trimmed buds would help with the harsh smoke. Dr. Sisley: If you look at the quotes from Dr. ElSohly, he said that he’s not trying to make real-world cannabis. He’s trying to simply standardize this plant material for research, and that’s clear from what we’re getting. He may be achieving that, and he may be meeting whatever standards the FDA has set up, but if you look at FDA.gov, you’ll see how they define GMP, and it mentions things like “free from mold,” and, clearly, they’re already in violation of that. You found mold in the DEA’s ‘research-grade cannabis’?! The secondary testing we did showed ostensibly high levels of mold in all the batches. With these excessive mold counts, you’d very likely have mycotoxins present. We believe mycotoxins are harmful to health — and we don’t have all the details yet — but scientists suspect that [mycotoxins are] carcinogenic. How do I knowingly hand out contaminated study drugs to cancer patients — to sick people? It’s totally unethical. It puts me in a terrible position. And the federal government has no qualms with American doctors dispensing moldy marijuna to patients? Cannabis dispensaries aren’t allowed to stock moldy cannabis, much less sell it. I shared with my attorneys this ridiculous document that the DEA forced me to sign. It said I can’t receive [the government-grown weed] to conduct research unless I sign a paper declaring that I accept all liability for any harmful outcome from the study. They won’t ship you the [plant material] without that — a contract that states that I’m finding the federal government harmless, that they’re not responsible for anything bad that comes from [their product]. Then, when they ship [it], it comes with a disclaimer that says, “By the way, this plant material is contaminated with mold and should be irradiated prior to use.” It’s just an unbelievable process that they’ve been able to get away with for so many decades. That’s why it’s so imperative that the government license other growers immediately, so we can start to put flower through the FDA process. Now, here’s a question for the attorneys: According to your suit, the DEA’s inaction on these cultivator applications was unlawful and possibly unconstitutional. Can you explain your reasoning? Matt Zorn: It is not our position that we argued that it was unconstitutional. We do think that it’s unlawful, though. Shane Pennington: In 2016, the DEA said that it recognized, and held to be important, the due process interest of applicants who would respond to its cultivation licensing announcement by spending thousands of dollars and doing the work necessary to get an application in to the agency. Due process here is referring to the due process of law and amendments to the US constitution. Our point was that the agency’s delay had reached a point that it was unlawful under administrative law principles and the Administrative Procedure Act. That’s what made it unlawful. Apart from that, we were emphasizing the government’s own statements, in its own public documents, recognizing that when it asked the public for applications, then charged them money to process those applications, there’s a due process interest in actually seeing that the law is followed and that the applications are processed. But to be clear, we weren’t bringing a constitutional challenge. What was the application fee? Dr. Sisley: I think we paid $3,100 to apply for the Schedule I license to grow. Back in 2016, when we submitted our application, they immediately processed my credit card, but they never processed the application, interestingly. Usually that goes hand-in-hand. What was the DEA’s explanation for the hold-up? Or have they provided one yet? Pennington: No, they haven’t explained it. The court ordered them to respond to our petition. That was back in July. There’s an order from the court that says responds to the petition within 30 days. That put them on the clock, and of course we’re all waiting around for what the explanation is. As the lawyers representing [Scottsdale Research Institute], we were particularly eager to see that explanation because we knew that there couldn’t have been a reasonable explanation under the circumstances. But then, the day before the response is due, all of this other stuff happened: The DEA said it “noticed” all these applications – read NORML’s coverage here – they launched all this new rule making, and President Trump donates $100,000 of his salary to facilitate an announcement from the US Surgeon General warning about marijuana and the need for research because of the risks to pregnant women and children. There’s just this huge media roll-out on the eve of this deadline to explain themselves. And of all of that talk, there wasn’t a single word explaining the delay. Nor was there an acknowledgement from the government that what it was doing was unreasonable, that it was legally obligated to process these applications quickly or within a particular time period. None of that. That kind of slipped past a lot of people. A lot of doctors and medical organizations don’t view cannabis flower as a medicine because it can’t be accurately dosed when smoked or vaporized. What’s your response to those critics? Dr. Sisley: I’m a physician, so I understand. I trained in the same paradigm as them, that you don’t view anything as medicine unless it’s been through the FDA approval process. That’s where the dosing gets established. But with botanical medicine, we’re trying to persuade the FDA that it needs a different paradigm. We’ve actually managed to have some real breakthroughs with the FDA as evidenced by our last study, where the FDA allowed self-titration. [Editor’s note: Self-titration is when a patient administers their own dose based on what gives them a therapeutic effect at the time, rather than following a strictly set dosing regimen based on a mathematical formula.] I would argue that rapid self-titration is an appropriate method of dosing, and it’s the only right way of handling smoked or vaporized cannabis flower. You can’t force cannabis patients into dosing models. We showed that over and over again in our studies: The variations in dosing are so wide from one patient to the next that you can’t push people into it. Patients have to start with the lowest amount, and if they don’t get an effect, they can repeat it until they reach their therapeutic range. That’s the most optimal way of dosing [with cannabis], and physicians need to learn to embrace that, or they need to learn to get out of the way. Other countries, like Israel, are leading the way on groundbreaking medical marijuana research. Why is it important for America to join this research movement? Dr. Sisley: That research is important, and thankfully other countries have a more permissible environment where they have multiple growers. Our country is the only one holding out on this single-supplier model and claiming international treaty obligations, yet there are all these examples of other countries that have multiple growers. That’s why you’re seeing a renaissance of cannabis research in these other countries. And sure, we can use their data — we often cite it — but the point is: In this country, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the most important medical research in the world. So why are we relegating this [cannabis research] to other countries? We’re so far behind now that we may never be able to catch up. The more the DEA continues to delay this, the more our chances to be competitive in that arena is sabotaged. Why do we even need other data if other countries are doing this? We’re trying to do non-profit drug development research at SRI. We’re trying to put flower through the entire drug development process. We just finished this FDA Phase II trial, and typically we’d be moving into Phase III now, but we don’t have a federally legal drug supplier for Phase III that can be sold as a prescription medicine. American research is so crucial because it’s the only way health insurance companies would be able to pay for cannabis the same way they pay for pharmaceuticals: Our cannabis needs FDA approval. The FDA won’t consider clinical trials from other countries. https://blog.norml.org/2019/09/20/why-dr-sue-sisley-sued-the-dea-for-stonewalling-cannabis-research/ Bongme
  17. Hi Stop the Smell: Fraser Valley group calls on province to address cannabis odour in parts of region ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – People living in rural parts of Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, and Abbotsford have apparently had a stinky summer. According to Stop the Smell, pot farms around the Fraser Valley are giving off a stink that is ruining the way of life for people living nearby. The group claims cannabis farmers are failing when it comes to making sure their systems are filtering the air to prevent odour. “Anyone who has driven through the farmlands of the south Fraser, and elsewhere in B.C., know the marijuana operations are failing at this,” the Stop the Smell website reads. It’s calling on locals to send emails to the premier, B.C.’s agriculture minister, and the Agricultural Land Commission to tell them about the pot farms which are apparently smelling up the various areas. “It’s time for the ALC to step in and demand marijuana farmers follow the laws of Canada and address their odour issues. It’s time to Stop The Smell.” The Stop the Smell group says it welcomes the legal cannabis industry to its Fraser Valley farming https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/09/20/stop-the-smell-fraser-valley-cannabis-odour/ Bongme
  18. hi Cannabis industry calls for legalization and regulation to snuff out underground vapes San Francisco (CNN Business)The recent rash of vaping-related illnesses and deaths could represent a crisis for the legal cannabis industry, which relies on vaping for an estimated quarter of its business in some states. But, some people in the industry believe, the problem could also represent an opportunity, to both help people and push toward wider legalization in the United States. On Wednesday, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) put out a call to Congress: To deal with vaping-related illnesses, legalize cannabis and regulate us. Cannabis' status as a federally illegal substance fuels illicit products, hinders research and limits the ability to develop consistent regulations, the head of the cannabis trade association said Wednesday. "These unfortunate illnesses and deaths are yet another terrible, and largely avoidable, consequence of failed prohibition policies," Aaron Smith, the NCIA's executive director, said in a statement. Federal and state health officials are scrambling to identify the causes of a multi-state outbreak of pulmonary diseases associated with recent use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. More than 450 people have been sickened and six people have died, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No businesses or products have been implicated in the outbreak, but some of the products in question have contained cannabis compounds, notably the psychoactive THC, according to the CDC. Suspicion has fallen on illicit or bootleg THC vaping devices as well as additives, and many of the illnesses and deaths reported have been in states that don't have regulated recreational cannabis programs. "We are still in a bathtub-gin era with cannabis where there are a whole lot of people without access [to legal cannabis] and people who are not in the regulated market take advantage of this, and people who are new to the market take advantage of this," said AC Braddock, CEO of Seattle-based Eden Labs, a 25-year-old manufacturer of equipment that extracts plant oils. Even if the issue is rooted in the black market, the situation could become a serious threat for the legal cannabis industry as more authorities warn against vaping or move to crack down on it. Through July, vape products accounted for 25% of licensed cannabis sales in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon, according to cannabis research firm BDS Analytics. "This is, I think, a wake-up call to the industry and also to consumers about the fact that a very safe product can be rendered unsafe if the people processing it are not being held to account," said Taylor West, former deputy director of the NCIA who is a founding partner of strategic communications firm Heart + Mind Media. But it's not entirely clear that THC products being sold by legal businesses are blameless. In Oregon, one of the deaths involved a person who had recently purchased a vape product at a licensed dispensary, said Delia Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Oregon Health Authority. The investigation is ongoing and on Wednesday health officials asked stores to review their inventory. Some industry members aren't waiting to take action. At Urban Farmacy dispensary in Portland, Oregon, owner Margo Amala said she pulled products with any additives or unknown ingredients. "We've definitely scrutinized all the products on our shelves," she said, adding she's considering pulling more. Jonathan P. Caulkins, a drug policy researcher and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said this outbreak hopefully could spur the US Food and Drug Administration to regulate cannabis and its derivatives as drugs and vape pens as drug delivery devices. A goal of regulation could be to help ensure products have consistent quality and properties, he said. "I don't really see this as reversing legalization overall," he said. "I hope that this nudges us a little bit toward a more careful legalization. The amount of naivete the country has had about legalization is completely distressing." https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/13/business/cannabis-vaping-deaths-legalization-regulation/index.html Bongme
  19. Hi Cannabis Industry Heats Up, Trump Might Ban Vaping Cannabis legalization is heating up. More states are coming forward to legalize marijuana. Cannabis is also gaining global popularity. However, the US hasn’t determined its stance on federal legalization. To learn more, read Cannabis: While the US Waits, the World Opens Up. The Trump administration is gearing up to ban vaping. Would a vaping ban impact the cannabis industry? Let’s take a look. Would a vaping ban impact cannabis? Previously, I discuss how vaping concerns increase daily in the US. Notably, the number of vaping related deaths has risen drastically. On Wednesday, CNBC reported that the Trump administration might ban flavored e-cigarettes. FDA officials reported the sixth death from vaping related lung disease. United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar met with President Trump on Wednesday. Azar said, “The surge in underage vaping, which U.S. health officials have labeled as an “epidemic,” is one of the reasons why they plan to ban them — at least until the FDA can thoroughly review their safety.” Stricter regulations to protect youth Previously, I discussed how e-cigarette company Juul faces scrutiny from FDA officials. The company’s devices and marketing strategies attract youth. Altria (MO) has a 35% stake in Juul. Altria’s shares rose 1.0% on Wednesday. Health officials and the Trump administration’s decision involves keeping tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes on the market for adult use. Many adults use vaping to quit smoking. Health Canada and the FDA approved vaping. Notably, vaping gained popularity as an effective substitute for smoking. As a result, banning vaping would cause to rise in smoking-related health problems. What will the FDA ban? The FDA and the CDC are working together to investigate vaping issues. So far, vaping has caused six deaths in the US along and 450 cases of lung illnesses across 33 states and the US Virgin Islands. Five of the reported deaths were in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon. However, the exact causes haven’t been identified accurately yet. The investigation highlights the need to keep sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to age-restricted stores. The FDA also plans to pursue bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Is vaping connected to cannabis? Many investors wonder how vaping concerns could impact the cannabis industry. Vaping concerns have engulfed the country. Currently, there’s a link between vaping concerns and cannabis. In New York, 34 cases have emerged where patients reported vaping THC, CBD, or some combination. Milton Teske, MD, a public health officer for Kings County and an emergency room doctor at Adventist Health in Hanford, California, identified the cases. Both of the compounds are components of marijuana. While THC is the psychoactive component that causes the “high,” CBD reduces the effect of THC when mixed in higher quantities. Meanwhile, health officials determined that vitamin E acetate and black-market cartridges could be behind the outbreak. Notably, patients purchased the vape from a licensed dispensary. Recently, the person who died in Oregon used a vaping device containing cannabis. The cannabis came from a licensed dispensary. Cannabis industry might pay a price Many cannabis players plan to expand their vape business. Canada will legalize vape products next month. Canadian cannabis companies are all gearing up to expand their business in the new segment. While vaping is a concern in the US, Canada plans to ensure that it has a “highly regulated legal cannabis system which is equipped to ensure the safety of consumers who vape.” Peers’ expectations Recently, OrganiGram (OGI) expanded into a new facility to produce vape pen products. The company thinks that the vaporizer market will drive growth. Greg Engel, OrganiGram’s CEO, said, “Although it’s going to be critical for us to ensure that we look at all of our input materials and we get specific analysis to make sure there are no additional contaminants in the product, we must remember we are in a highly regulated environment in Canada where consumer safety comes first.” So far, the stock has gained 12.3% in September. Also, Aphria (APHA) wants to diversify its consumer base with the vaping business. The company aims to capture 30% of the Canadian adult-use market by 2021. Aphria and OrganiGram have a partnership with Pax Labs—a US vaping company. If Canada allows cannabis-extract sales for vaping, Aphria plans to develop PAX pods. Aphria stock has gained 10.2% in September. Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED) is expanding its vape business. The company will allow its new distribution partner, Greenlane Holdings, to distribute its vaporizers in the US market. Canopy Growth plans to benefit from the vaping and hemp business. The stock has gained 16.2% in September. Aurora Cannabis plans to expand its hemp business more. Recently, the company reported its fourth-quarter results. Read Aurora Cannabis: Are Its Q4 Results Good or Bad News? to learn more. Stay with us to learn more about the cannabis industry. https://articles2.marketrealist.com/2019/09/atts-latest-investor-update-heres-what-to-know/ Bongme
  20. Hi Marijuana Is Now Legal...ish in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas State Legislature are learning that every action comes with a consequence. Their choice to legalize minimal THC cannabis — also called hemp — has become problematic for local law enforcement. The red state of Texas is known for treating cannabis cases similar to how it treats heroin or methamphetamine cases. Since hemp and marijuana are identical in look and smell, local law enforcement and county prosecutors are throwing out hundreds of weed-related cases and investigations. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp that contains less than 0.3% of THC from the Schedule I controlled substance list. Hemp is now considered an ordinary agricultural commodity, and it is legal to own CBD products derived from the hemp plant. Most counties in Texas have decided not to prosecute low-level cannabis cases in the wake of the new law. But there are other counties that have decided to ignore the actions of their neighbors and still pursue convictions in all their cannabis-related cases, even though they don’t have the equipment necessary to make sure the cannabis in question is not within the allowed THC amount. Maybe law enforcement will use the eyeball test or their current mood as a meter to decide who they will take to jail and who they will let drive home with their buds. The Texas Forensics Science Commission and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency have been spending a lot of time to come up with a method of testing that probably won’t be ready to implement before 2020. Tarrant County told the Texas Tribune that they could re-file their cannabis cases if they could get test results within the next two years. Sounds like they will just hoard unidentified seized cannabis in their evidence locker like they are distinguished wine collectors, only to return the dusty hemp back to its rightful owner once it eventually goes through their testing process. That sounds a bit obsessive. In June, the Texas District & County Attorneys Association released a bulletin that mentioned prosecutors across Texas may have to just sit back and wait until there is technology that is effective and cost-friendly before attempting to run their cannabis cases through the court system. Out of the 10 most populous counties in Texas, the district attorney in El Paso, Jaime Esparza, is the only prosecutor who publicly said he will continue to prosecute cannabis cases. Esparza told the Texas Tribune that there is usually enough circumstantial evidence to convict someone in a cannabis case, and used the example of police who find a joint in a car, or anything that could be smoked, is enough for them to prosecute. Esparza and the El Paso Police Department must have first-class cannabis connoisseur’s licenses if they can tell the difference between the hemp and marijuana plant. Maybe all of Texas’ counties should forward their cannabis cases to El Paso, since they're so smart. There is no way to get around probable cause for a search of a vehicle, because marijuana and hemp smell the same. Due to the similarities between the two plants, the Texas Highway Patrol Division has been told to not make arrests, but only hand out citations to drivers caught with cannabis. Many hemp distributors that ship their products through the mail send legal documentation along with their product. Keeping those papers in the car wouldn’t be a bad idea, and they could help with getting out of sticky situations, similar to driving with a medical card. One thing we know for sure is that change is inevitable. It doesn’t happen overnight and at times will go unnoticed. But amidst all the confusion and incidental decriminalization of marijuana, Texas has inched its way closer to the legalization of the marijuana cannabis plant. https://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/dallas-lorenzo-hotel-doesnt-want-to-be-tagged-in-womans-photo-shoot-11735262 Bongme
  21. Hi Willie Nelson releases cannabis range for pets Country legend and purveyor of dank kush Willie Nelson has unveiled his latest venture into the world of cannabis. It’s no secret that Nelson is a connoisseur in the fine art of getting ripped. The man is such a cannabis enthusiast that he owns his own weed business where he serves as the company’s chief tester. Now, he’s developing a new range of CBD products tailored specifically for pets. Dubbed ‘Willie’s Rescue’, this new range offers a variety of hemp and CBD products for your furry friends. “Hemp is good choice for pets like it is good choice for humans. Because every kind of mammal has an endocannibinoid system,” the site explains. “Many people have already discovered hemp for pets. Folks have been using it to help their animal buddies as a supplement throughout the day.” ‘Willie’s Rescue’ is a collaborative project between Willie and his wife Annie. Who, for years, have been advocates for animal rescue. The company are set to donate a portion of every sale to community animal rescue groups. “Most animal rescuers are volunteers, doing it out of love. They’re paying vet bills out of their own pockets. But still, they’re out there, all the time, helping people and animals who need each other to find one another,” the website reads. “It’s beautiful. This is our way of saying thank you and keep up the good work.” The products are set to launch this week in Las Vegas at SuperZoo. They’re expected to hit stores early next year. Earlier this month, Willie Nelson was forced to cancel a slew of tour dates over unspecified health issues. “To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out. I’ll be back,” he shared at the time. https://tonedeaf.thebrag.com/willie-nelson-cannabis-pets/ Bongme
  22. Hi Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Cannabis-Fed Pigs Featured At Portland Farm-To-Table Dinner A great dish with a story always resonates with guests, says Vitaly Paley, chef-proprietor of Paley’s Place Bistro and Bar in Portland, Oregon. “A dish with a story that is very tasty and unique to Oregon is much more powerful, meaningful and memorable." Paley’s story is cannabis-fed pigs. Paley and David Hoyle, owner and farmer of Moto Perpetuo Farm in Forest Grove, Oregon have teamed up to offer the High on the Hog Dinner, an event centered around the roasting of a cannabis-fed pig and summer vegetables. The pigs are grown on the same farm as cannabis and “it is an age old practice to feed hogs the bi-product of nearby agricultural production,” said Hoyle. The animals were already receiving a portion of their diet from fruits and vegetables of the produce operation. Cannabis cultivation generates bi-product, mostly in the form of leaf from pruning and post harvest. “We saw the potential for this material to become a supplemental feed stock for the pigs,” Hoyle said. Some customers ask if feeding the pigs cannabis plants makes them high. The answer is no. Pigs have a very similar endo-cannabinoid system to humans, “which means that what minimal THC that exists in the feedstock would have to be decarboxylated (heated) in order to be psychoactive,” said Hoyle. Cannabis has many other chemical components, many of which have medicinal applications he said, “so we feel that cannabis is a healthy part of their diet in the same way that kale or spinach would be.” That said, Hoyle has shares his own anecdotal data that suggests that pigs raised this way gain weight faster, are more healthy and have a mellower disposition. The pigs he has fed cannabis plants are “the most docile” he’s ever raised. Cannabis has been legally sold for recreational use in Oregon since the fall of 2015. Currently there is an oversupply of the plant in the state, but it is illegal to ship it to neighboring states, even if they also have legalized cannabis. Raising pigs on a cannabis farm, “shows ingenuity, experience and know-how on David’s part, to understand the farm’s sustainable circle of life,” said Paley. From the 1995 opening of his restaurant in a Victorian home in the Nob Hill section of Portland, Paley has been building relationships with local growers and farmers. “The farm-to-table movement may be a new trend to some, while to us, it has been a way of life and part of doing business daily from the start,” he said. This year’s dinner featured CBD-infused drinks. https://www.forbes.com/sites/julieweed/2019/08/18/cannabis-fed-pigs-featured-at-portland-farm-to-table-dinner/ Bongme
  23. Hi Burglar with underwear on head attempts break-in to cannabis store Vid On Link OTIS ORCHARDS, Wash. - A man was caught on camera trying to break into a Washington cannabis dispensary with underwear on his head. pex Cannabis, located in the Spokane area, posted a video of the attempted break-in Tuesday to its Facebook page. Surveillance video captured the would-be burglar Sunday morning. "The suspect prepared for the many security cameras at the cannabis shop by wrapping underwear around his head in a mask-like disguise," the post said. "He used a pry bar to attempt entry but set off the alarm alerting law enforcement." Officers with the Spokane County Sheriff's Department and Liberty Lake police responded to the scene, Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory told The Spokesman-Review. The suspect didn't listen to police commands and tried to get back in his vehicle, which can be seen in the video. After a struggle with officers and a K-9, 55-year-old Scott Hedge was arrested, Gregory said. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of malicious mischief, resisting arrest and burglary in the second degree. "Everyone affiliated with Apex Cannabis - our staff, vendors, customers and friends - sends a huge thank you to local law enforcement for their quick action," the Facebook post said. This isn't the first time burglars have targeted the store. Apex Cannabis owner Stacey Peterson told the Spokesman-Review that there was at least one other unsuccessful burglary attempt on the store, which prompted staff to install extra security bars to the building. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/burglar-with-underwear-on-head-attempts-break-in-to-cannabis-store/976896725?utm_source=homestream&utm_medium=site_navigation&utm_campaign=homestream_click Bongme
  24. Hi Mother who wanted to treat 13-year-old daughter's cancer with cannabis oil instead of surgery arrested Christina Dixon had turned to naturopathy and cannabis oil and claimed it shrunk her daughter's tumor when chemotherapy couldn't PORTLAND, OREGON: An Oregon mother was arrested on Thursday, August 15, after refusing cancer treatment for her 13-year old daughter. Christina Dixon had turned to naturopathy and cannabis oil and claimed it shrunk her daughter's tumor when chemotherapy couldn't. In February 2018, Kylee Dixon was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. She underwent six months of chemo treatment and other procedures. However, her mother, Christina, refused further treatment and turned to a regime of 'natural remedies' including herbs, vitamins, and cannabis oil, according to Nine.com.au. While the mother insisted the treatment shrunk the tumor, medical authorities were concerned about Kylee's wellbeing as her mother continued to deny chemotherapy. Earlier this year, the Oregon Department of Human Services issued a court order to have the teen removed from her mother's custody. Soon after, Christina fled taking her daughter and hiding in Las Vegas before the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tipped off the local police. Kylee was taken into protective custody on June 13 while Christina faced charges of child neglect. The mother turned herself in to the cops on Thursday morning. She was arrested on two counts — first-degree custodial interference and first-degree criminal mistreatment. "I wouldn't think this is possible for any parent to [be arrested for this]," she told FOX 12 after being booked. "Getting charged for helping my daughter live makes no sense." Meanwhile, in an emotional YouTube video, Kylee said: "The doctor didn't like that my mum was able to do that all with natural medications, so they sent CPS after us and took all my mum's medical rights away." The 13-year-old claimed that her mother was told refusal of treatment would lead to Kylee's death, but Christina "rebuked that information" and claimed doctors were "slowly killing [Kylee] with chemotherapy". It appeared that she supported her mother's decision. Some members of their local community seem to share Kylee's opinion too. "They're forcing treatment on [Kylee], they're not letting [Christina] have a chance to get second opinions and talk to other doctors," a family friend told KGW News. However, the doctors had a different view on the matter. They said she still required medical treatment, including surgery to remove the remains of her tumor, and a potential liver transplant. The medical battle has been doing the rounds on social media as well. "CBD oil and vitamins are not going to cure her cancer," wrote a person on Twitter. "Pseudoscience is destroying decades of scientific achievement in cancer treatments." Others felt that it is a parent's right to decide what is best for their children. For Kylee, all she wants to be able to live a normal life free of cancer. "All I want is to go back to school and to feel like a normal kid. I don't want to have to wonder if I'm going to live or die," she said in the video. https://meaww.com/kylee-dixon-christina-cannbis-treatment-for-cancer-mother-arrested-you-tube-video Bongme
  25. A whiff of the music festival future? Outside Lands sells cannabis for the first time Mark and Robin Ticknor smoke marijuana inside Grass Lands at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. Licensed marijuana sales were approved for the first time at the event. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) SAN FRANCISCO — On a misty morning Saturday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Janna Lutz sat sheltered in a grove of Monterey pine and eucalyptus trees carving a bong from an eggplant. Lutz, 65, was on the West Coast visiting her son, Brian Lutz, 24, a software developer in San Jose. He’d brought his mother, an interior designer and former city council member in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to Outside Lands, the Northern California music festival that draws around 200,000 people over its three-day run. They were taking part in a milestone moment, one that attendees called “historic” and “cool” and that the elder Lutz called “a long time coming” — the largest event in California, and the country, to allow legal sales and consumption of cannabis. It is a preview of what may eventually become commonplace for other big gatherings such as Southern California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (though no such permit has yet been requested) as marijuana rules solidify. On this second day of the festival, the Lutzes were checking out Grass Lands, a cordoned off, 21-and-older area where about two dozen vendors were, for the first time, hawking joints, infused chocolates, THC-laden nonalcoholic beers and more. Grass Lands is a test case for California regulators trying to create boundaries for the expanding marijuana industry. For marijuana brands, it was a chance to woo new customers as cannabis morphs into an everyday commodity. The Lutzes had purchased a pre-rolled joint earlier, but decided before partaking they would compete in a contest to create the best smoking device from vegetables. The winners would be chosen at 4:20 that afternoon. “We’re saving ourselves because if we smoke right now the bong is going to look like sh--,” said the younger Lutz. “So we’re going to wait until we finish more of it.” Janna Lutz, 65, of Ohio, and her son Brian Lutz, 24, of San Jose, make a bong out of vegetables for a farm to bong contest at Grass Lands at the 2019 Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) Their restraint made them a minority in Grass Lands, where enthusiastic crowds filled “consumption areas” on raised platforms, posing for selfies, painting on a communal mural and exhaling thick billows of smoke to add to the light fog lingering into the afternoon. Though cannabis has been legal in California since voters approved its recreational sale and use in 2016, it remains illegal to consume it in public or sell it outside of licensed dispensaries without a special event permit from both state and local authorities. While more than a dozen such licenses have been issued for mostly cannabis-centric events across California, Outside Lands broke new ground through size and scope, and because alcohol was sold widely at the event, a mix state lawmakers have placed strict rules on. “It’s kind of surreal,” said Kaydee Perreira, 29, as she passed out squares of white chocolate mixed with matcha tea, a non-laced sample of candy bars sold by Nug, a dispensary with locations in Sacramento and Oakland. “I think this is a good start for what’s going to happen in the years to come.” Retailers and sponsors at Grass Lands saw the event as an opportunity for branding as much as profits. The largest-growing market shares for cannabis products are among those seeking something more refined that a quick high, said Sheena Shiravi, spokesperson for cannabis-delivery company Eaze, which sponsored the festival and a lounge inside of Grass Lands. “Parents, soccer moms, women and baby boomers” are target demographics for her company, she said, instead of the stereotype of the “couch-locked videogamer.” “There is a huge push for wellness, to make consumers understand this isn’t just a recreational drug,” Shiravi said. “What Eaze is trying to do and what the state is trying to do is create something that is sustainable to combat the illegal market. By Outside Lands doing this, it is a huge moment in history.” The smell wall allowed visitors to pump puffs of scent from canisters filled with different terpenes, the oils that give cannabis its odor. Thousands came to Grass Lands to buy and sample a variety of pot products for the first time at the Outside Lands festival. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) That high-end, high-concept aesthetic permeated the scene as much as the smoke. The green tea in Nug’s bars? Ceremonial grade, imported from Japan. “It reminds me of like sommeliers,” said Caleb Lee, 22, a geography student at UC Berkeley. Lee was standing in front of the “smell wall,” a display that allowed passersby to pump puffs of scent from metal canisters filled with different terpenes, the oils that give cannabis its odor. Similar to recognizing the flavors in wine, cannabis companies hope to educate users on the nuances between the aromas, the herbal character of alpha-pinene, for example, compared to the earthy tones of myrcene — two common terpenes Outside Lands consumers were sniffing. “It’s like a whole industry now,” said Lee. “The smell, the quality, the origin.” Though Grass Lands offered the same polished authenticity of the rest of the festival, it came together at the last minute. The license to sell cannabis at the festival is part of a pilot program authorized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors earlier this year that made it possible for seven large events in the city to apply. Started in 2008, Outside Lands has grown over the years to become one of the nation’s largest music festivals, in the same league at Coachella and Lollapalooza in Chicago. The name refers to the fact that Golden Gate Park once belonged to Mexico, which transferred it to the United States by signing the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Events previously known for illegal cannabis consumption were targeted for the pilot permits, with the idea that legal sales could help regulate behavior that was already taking place. State leaders said California, by issuing a permit with restrictions, is simply regulating the use of a drug that has been ubiquitous at rock concerts since before Woodstock, which took place 50 years ago this week. “Let’s be clear — this is not the first time in history that cannabis will be consumed at a music festival,” said Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco). Kaydee Perreira at Grass Lands hands out non-laced squares of white chocolate mixed with matcha tea, a non-laced sample of candy bars sold by Nug, a dispensary with locations in Sacramento and Oakland. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) The pilot program runs only through the end of the year, putting pressure on the city to approve a test case before it expires. Other events in the pilot, including the cannabis-centric 4/20 at Hippie Hill in April and the Pride celebration in June, have already passed, narrowing the options further. “We are running out of months, so we have to do this,” said Marisa Rodriguez, a former prosecutor who took over as head of San Francisco’s cannabis office five months ago. Though Outside Lands organizers applied for a state permit months ago, the city didn’t finalize its application until Tuesday at 5 p.m., about 67 hours before the festival started, due to ongoing changes to address concerns. Rodriguez said their rules went though eight rounds of revisions to “make sure the community feels heard.” “It has never been done before,” Rodriguez said. “We are really trying to be mindful and thoughtful and serious about how we are controlling this process.” Those rules were still being tweaked as the weekend progressed. Hours before opening, regulators requested more fencing to block views of the consumption area, and the removal of large pot plants. Employees were asked not to wear their festival ID badges while smoking. Later, the wireless connection kept failing, forcing some sales to be recorded by hand to meet the strict state guidelines for documenting every step of the production and sale process — but making it harder to enforce purchasing limits. But both regulators and sellers said they were worked to make the weekend a success, and by Sunday morning, Rodriguez said there had been no security or medical issues associated with the cannabis sales. Grass Lands is part of a pilot program in San Francisco, but the approach has its critics who contend such areas will encourage people to legally light up and then later drive while impaired. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) “We are all learning together,” said Abel Charrow with Kiva Confections, whose pineapple habanero and wild berry gummies were drawing long lines at $5 for a package of two. “We all want to be able to represent to everyone that ... we are above board.” Outside Lands may also offer lessons in what the state and the legal industry can’t control. Even as marijuana’s presence is rapidly mainstreamed, cannabis has also remained a robust source of illegal activity through public use and black market sales. During the first six months of this year, state authorities served 19 search warrants on unlicensed sellers, confiscating more than 2,500 pounds of illegal marijuana products with a retail value of $16.5 million, according to data released last month. The state has also seized $219,874 in cash from illegal pot shops. Some California law enforcement leaders say the Outside Lands experiment will only encourage more people to abuse weed. “We certainly have concerns when you have that many people at an event ingesting cannabis or alcohol or anything that will cause someone impairment, particularly with people driving, said Ronald Lawrence, president of the California Police Chiefs Assn. Away from Grass Lands in the acres of Outside Lands stages and fields, it was easy to spot illegal marijuana use — and sales. Though police presence was heavy, with SWAT team members openly patrolling for the first time in the wake of mass shootings in Gilroy, Calif., El Paso and Dayton, Ohio , enforcement of cannabis laws seemed thin. Sitting on a sunny hillside watching folk rockers Caamp on Saturday afternoon, Dan and Helsi Robino were smoking a joint of the potent Gorilla Glue strain. Dan Robino said they purchased it legally outside the festival and sneaked it in because it was cheaper. Helsi Robino, a project manager who lives in Oakland, said she doubted they would visit Grass Lands because it was out of the way and she worried the crowd would be “amateur hour.” “I feel like the people who buy it here ... they probably only smoke at festivals so they don’t know what they are doing,” she said. Despite legal sales going on in the Grass Lands area, there were were some illegal sales happening at Outside Lands. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times) Closer to the main stage, Zoldt, who asked that his last name not be used because he was illegally selling joints out of a glass jar, said the legal trade hadn’t affected his business. This is the second year the 25-year-old has sold pre-rolled joints at the festival, made from what he describes as an “old-school” sativa strain called schrom, and he thinks he will make enough to fund up to two semesters at San Francisco State University where he studies political science. Mostly, he said, people told him they were buying from him because they didn’t like the Grass Lands prices. Like many items at the festival, where beers are $13 and a glass of champagne can run to $24, cannabis can cost a premium. “It almost seems easier just because I can be like, ‘Well, this is an actual average price, like this is what you would normally pay somewhere else as opposed to like Outside Lands prices,’” Zoldt said. “At the end of it, it’s mostly capitalism.” https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-11/outside-lands-cannabis-sales-music-festival