“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”- Anne Bradstreet
I had plans to write another letter complaining about Gov. Hickenlooper. After all he keeps showing how monumentally ignorant he is to his own hypocrisy. After stating many times that he doesn’t want Colorado to be known for cannabis freedom, he decided to feature Colorado’s many microbrews by putting in a beer tap system in the governor’s mansion. You may now insert your own rant as to why he needs to be removed from office.
Like I said, those were my plans, but spring is here and I just can’t help feeling optimistic today. Spring in Colorado is a beautiful thing. Restaurant patios and neighborhood sidewalks are abuzz with people coming out of hibernation. It feels like spring is a chance to celebrate life, renewal and growth.
There is no better time than April to discuss how amazing the growth has been for the cannabis world. So I have decided to mention some things I am celebrating for this momentous 420 holiday.
Hemp is gaining more and more of a foothold in our state with dozens of farmers applying for the license to grow hemp.
We have had three full months of legal cannabis sales for adults and the rest of the world has been paying attention. After years of struggling to keep their businesses afloat, ganjapreneurs are starting to see their perseverance payoff and are now confronted with the high class problem of being courted by multiple investors who want a piece of the cannabis freedom pie.
This 420 marks the first time we are celebrating by being able to legally buy our cannabis without needing a license to purchase. The pipe-dream we all talked about in smoking circles long past has come to fruition. We were right, it would make the government money, it would create jobs and we are not destroying lives anymore for a prohibition that causes nothing but heartache and pain for thousands.
We have much to be happy about at THC as well. Our staff has been growing over the last few months. Our new website, designed to be more of a daily media resource, has been launched and we have even more exciting announcements around the corner.
On a personal note (and undoubtedly the biggest reason for my current jubilance), I will be the proud father of a beautiful baby girl by the time this issue goes to print. Because of this I would like to dedicate this issue to my amazing life partner Jackie and my daughter Mia. Jackie, your strength and compassion, inspires me everyday. Mia, I can’t wait to hold you in my arms and guide you through the incredible times ahead. I love you both so much.
A safe and happy 420 to all!
Recipe and photo from the kitchen of Ashley Ebert
Makes 24 cupcakes (or 48 minis)
- 2 cups quinoa flour
- 1⁄2 cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthum gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb baby carrots
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 1⁄2 cup infused coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 cups vanilla coconut milk
- 5.3 oz pineapple Greek yogurt
- 2 packages cream cheese
- 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups powder sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or line a standard size cupcake tin.
Shred or food process the baby carrots until they are tiny pieces.
Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
In a separate bowl beat the oil and sugar for 3-5 minutes. Then add the remaining wet ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, then stir in the coconut and carrots.
Spoon the mixture into the pan. Fill to the top of tin, or liner.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
* If using a mini muffin pan reduce time to 13-15 minutes. Set cupcake aside to cool completely before icing.
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract together, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Spread, or pipe onto cupcakes!
reviewed by Caroline Hayes
“prAna is Sanskrit for breath, life and vitality of the spirit. This ancient word holds great meaning for us, and so we borrowed it for our name. It lifts our aspirations and helps guide our actions towards becoming an evermore socially mindful and environmentally sustainable organization.”
Hemp plays an important role in prAna’s blends because they realize the minimal impact farming hemp for production causes. They also use organic cotton and recycled polyester, thus using “fewer chemicals and toxins.” Started in a garage in Carlsbad, CA in 1992, prAna continues to nurture their core principals and values, keeping it a tight nit community, and in an effort to keep jobs and money here, more than 20 percent of prAna’s production is in the U.S. Visit www.prana.com to check out their gear and to find a store near you.
Jacqueline Top in Lagoon
53% Hemp, 42% Organic Cotton, 5% Spandex – “The best yoga practice begins naturally.” Again, the hemp and organic cotton blend is just wonderful. It’s soft to the touch and feels great on. Built in bra provides a little support and protection. Adjustable straps and removable modesty cups allow you to almost custom fit this top to your body’s needs.
Katarina Top in Dewberry
53% Hemp, 42% Organic Cotton, 5% Spandex – Great for yoga, hiking or any kind of work out. The organic cotton, hemp blend is extremely breathable. Although the top feels heavy at first touch, it’s quite comfortable. The ergonomic seaming fits the body’s outline perfectly. Scoop neck adds to the feminine feel of this shirt. Built in bra adds protection so you don’t need another layer. A little longer in the back to cover your booty and give it more of a fashionable feel
Linea Pant in Charcoal
53% Hemp, 42% Organic Cotton, 5% Spandex – Love these lowrise pants. The stretchiness of the spandex, hemp, cotton blend is so comfy. A little flare at the bottom is practical for breathability and looks cute enough for those post-work out errands. Pockets on the butt are handy and make the booty look good. The Linea pant is thick enough to not be see-through but light enough for an intense yoga session. These will be your new favorite pants in no time.
Man Oh Man!
Crux Crew in Raisin
92% Recycled Polyester, 9% Hemp A shirt made from recycled materials and hemp? Yes please! Considered a performance shirt, this is great for anything from yoga to climbing. The design prevents chaffing so it‘s also great for an intense cardio session and quick dry is an added bonus.
Sutra Pant in Espresso
53% Hemp, 44% Recycled Polyester, 3% Lycra – Great for yoga or any activity that requires movement. This lightweight blend is breathable and flexible. Relaxed fit and wideleg makes these look extra stylish to and from yoga class.
by DJ Reetz
Seems like long ago, but marijuana was once looked upon rather negatively by some rather influential people. Sometimes, these people went to extreme lengths to convince an uneducated populace of the dangers of the demon weed marihuana, even going so far as to bend the truth.
We here at THC have compiled a list of some of our favorite attempts to demonize marijuana, so that we may all bask in their profound ignorance and maybe learn something about the nature of the prohibitionist.
You can’t have a list of anti- pot propaganda without the grand daddy of them all. Although wrapped around a cannabis-induced murder – an oxymoron, to be sure – this 1936 film aimed to scare parents about the budding problem of reefers being pushed to schoolchildren by sharply dressed gangsters whose only goal was to create addicts.
The film features innocent high schoolers seduced by the allure of marihuana, thrust into a world of insanity, murder, and frantic dancing. Originally released in black and white, the film was later colorized, and the clouds of reefer smoke gained green and purple tints to differentiate when these innocent kids were smoking reefers instead of the cigarettes they sucked down throughout the film like soda from the fountain.
The film was so ridiculous in its claims, it’s not even mentioned by current drug-war propagandists. Instead, it lives on only as ironic fodder for stoners to chuckle at while themselves imbibing. Perhaps anti-drug propaganda is a little ridiculous when reflected upon years later. Wonder if that’s going to be a theme on this list.
“I learned it from watching you!”
Another classic, this one from the age of Reaganomics. The ad features a young man being confronted by his father about the cigar box full of marijuana his mother has found. When asked how he learned to do something so shameful the son dramatically replies, “I learned it from watching you!”
The message here is pretty simple: Be a hypocrite. Sure, you have lots of experience with marijuana and use it yourself, but you should be ashamed for so clearly demonstrating that a responsible adult is capable of making decisions about his own body. For shame!
This is a pretty recent attempt. The ad begins reasonably enough, a relatable young dude looking straight at the camera and telling us that he smoked weed and nothing happened, no car crash, no overdose, nothing but sitting on the couch for 11 hours. The ad concludes that you’re much more likely to find harm doing other things, like ice skating with a girl or “driving hard to the rim.”
While it’s not hard to understand what the intent is here (weed makes you lazy) the ad also seems to undercut the crucial argument of propagandists by clearly stating that marijuana is notdangerous.Seriouslyguys,tryastrongsativastrainnext time. Let’s see you spend 11 hours on the couch.
SLOM- sticking leeches on myself. This ad shows an epidemic sweeping a nondescript school in which students are sticking blood-sucking leeches on themselves. Administrators don’t understand it, but all the kids are doing it and it’s hard not to if you want to fit in.
So the point here is don’t let your friends talk you into doing stupid shit? Perhaps this ad would be more effective if the analogy was better, something that actually had psychoactive effects, rather than something that’s only gross. Maybe a group of poop-smeared kids talking about how popular jenkem is these days.
Anyway, the lesson here is if people are doing something you find weird, and you don’t understand why they are doing it, you should make them feel bad about it. ‘Cause this is ‘Merica.
CDOT’s drive high, get a DUI
In case you thought we were only doing vintage bullshit, here’s one you might see today. These ads win points for a slightly more reasoned depiction of stoners than some of the others on the list, showing people doing normal things like hanging a TV, or attempting to ignite a barbecue. Of course something goes wrong and hilarity ensues; man stoners are a dopey bunch.What’s wrong here is the knee-jerk approach to this “new” problem. There is little consensus about the impairment of driving skills caused by marijuana use. Some studies suggest it is far less dangerous for drivers than alcohol or cell phone use. Couple this with the incredibly low THC threshold for a DUID here in Colorado and it seems like the Colorado Department of Transportation is espousing on something they don’t fully understand.
What if the joint were in somebody else’s hand?
Another one of the ‘80s finest. In this ad a young man lies on an operating table while a surgeon with the disposition of a Batman villain dopily cackles over him. The surgeon, too potted up on marijuana to listen to his un-anesthetized patient, menaces with his scalpel, and the ad asks the question: “What if the joint were in somebody else’s hand, like your surgeon, your lawyer, or your local police man? Would you still say marijuana is harmless?” Yes, yes I would. Not really important how professionally successful the person smoking it is, it’s still harmless. I’d actually really like it if my local policeman smoked a bit more weed.
Thanks for making us consider it though. Maybe the ad should just advise kids not to perform surgery while stoned. That we can get behind.
Marijuana: four times the cancer-causing tar of cigarettes
This one’s another recent entry, building on past scare tactics. The ad shows a young man slinking into his room only to cut open four cigarettes and dump their contents into a rolling paper, all while a voiceover informs us that marijuana contains four times the cancer causing tar of cigarettes.
Well, smoking an unfiltered joint may actually cause more particulate to end up in your lungs compared to a filtered cigarette, but there may still be some discrepancy with the truth here. The claim of cancer is complete bullshit. Marijuana has more cancer causing agents than tobacco smoke? Perhaps this could be verified by a single demonstrable instance in all of human history. Oh wait, it’s not.
While only a sub-moronic, lobotomized chimp would make the argument that marijuana is more harmful than tobacco, this ad gets downright reckless when one considers the mounting evidence that marijuana may actually fight cancer. So you may actually be less susceptible to lung cancer if you smoke it, but at least we’re spending money to tell people otherwise.
Knight Rider’s ‘80s PSA
The 1980s were such a goldmine for asinine anti-drug propaganda. We could have made this a list of just your childhood icons lying to you. Mr. T, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Run DMC, and many others, well, they all had their chance to convince you that drugs weren’t at all “rad.” Still, this one stands out as especially stupid.
In the ad, a young David Hasselhoff banters back and forth with his sentient car over how to best communicate the dangers of marijuana to the kids.The car decides concocted scientific evidence is the best approach, but David “I eat my burgers off the fucking floor”Hasselhoff is too cool for all that, settling to just let us all know that drugs are bad, m’kay.
In an era when the First Lady was championing abstinence from drugs, even as her husband’s foreign policy funneled cocaine into the inner city, there was plenty of ridiculousness to go around, but the Hoff really makes this one into something special.
SAM’s Super Bowl ad
Yep, this one’s from this year’s Super Bowl. In a game between the two teams hailing from cities where weed is legal, idiots have to do something to remind us all that they are still idiots and they won’t be ignored. The group Smart Approaches to Marijuana bought billboard space around MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and put up ads that depicted a footballer with the words “Motivation, perseverance, determination” above his head, next to a pot leaf with “None of the above” spelled out over it.
While I’m sure none of the athletes in the NFL ever have or ever would consider using marijuana for any reason, the insistence that marijuana use prevents success may be a tad overblown. After all, even though there’s never ever been an instance of marijuana use by a professional athlete, the President of the United States did it.
I support terrorism
Hopefully we haven’t all forgotten about this case study in emotional manipulation that started circulating shortly after 9/11. A series of ads from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, these usually began with a plain-looking white person being confronted by the ghosts of all the people who were killed to bring them their weed. The ad ends with the stark revelation that “Drug money supports terrible things.”
While the threat of terrorism was certainly an easy string to pluck at the time (see the invasion of Iraq), equating any level of drug use to murdering innocent people qualifies as bona fide, five-star idiocy.
So the ad says it’s your fault. You, the person who chooses to use recreational marijuana, have the blood of thousands of innocents on your hands. You monster. It’s not the fault of a destructive drug war that forces a benign plant into the realm of criminals, or even the fault of the people who carry out these acts of violence.
True, marijuana has sometimes been the largest source of income for Mexican drug cartels, but blaming users seems like diverting responsibility from the people actually creating demand.
Given the recent allegations of cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and the Sinaloa cartel – and possibly even the arming of the group by the Justice Department – it seems as though the blame for the thousands of deaths a year in Mexico might be a little more equitably spread around.
Besides, buying your weed legally means your money supports local businesses, school construction, and even more stupid-ass anti- marijuana ads. And that’s why we here in Colorado aren’t kept awake at night by the ghosts of dead little girls.
by Skyler Cannabaceae
You’re running some errands and your cell phone battery is about to die. Every regular mobile phone user has experienced this type of situation. There are no electrical outlets for you to use to charge your phone, so what do you do?
How about popping the battery out of your phone and refilling it with sugar?
It sounds like a pipe dream, but a team of researchers at Virginia Tech published a paper in January showing that a sugar battery is not only possible, but can feature a higher energy density than others. This could lead to it being stiff competition for the standard lithium-ion batteries used in most electronics.
Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech and the primary author of the study, said that this battery “has an energy density an order of magnitude higher than others, allowing it to run longer before needing to be refueled.”
Zhang goes on to suggest that his battery could be ready in as little as three years to power all sorts of electronics, such as the cell phones and tablets that continue to grow as staples of American life. “Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature,” Zhang told VA Tech’s campus news. “So it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.”
This isn’t the first time a battery has been created that runs on sugar. In 2007, Sony announced that they had created a “biobattery” that would use glucose as a power source. Building on the established science, Zhang and his fellow researchers created enzymatic fuel cells that contain a 15 percent maltodextrin solution. The paper claims that these could serve as ecologically friendly power sources for the portable electronics in years to come.
The battery would not be able to produce enough power to sustain large requirements for fuel sources, like cars, so don’t go pouring that bag of sugar into the tank just yet.
It could very well replace lithium-ion batteries, though. By creating a synthetic enzymatic pathway, the solution is broken down more slowly leading to a steady and even flow of energy; the lack of which had been a problem in previous bio-batteries
This new battery interests people who are concerned about lithium-ion batteries, the battery type most used in portable electronics, ending up in landfills all over America and wreaking havoc on the environment.
A report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Health, says that these batteries, “enter the solid waste stream and can contaminate soil and water.”
Zhang’s battery would neutralize this concern since the only byproducts are electricity and water. It would also eliminate the need to throw batteries into a landfill because they are refillable.
Not rechargeable, but refillable, which is better.
The new battery would not need to be plugged in to recharge the way that most lithium-ion batteries do. Instead, it could be refilled with more of the solution to continue to generate energy. This would not only lead to less waste, but the low cost of sugar compared to toxic metals used in lithium-ion would result in a cost as low as one-tenth that of the current batteries used.
The new batteries have over 10 times the energy density of lithium-ion, the study shows, and can last as much as two times longer than lithium-ion batteries weighing the same amount.
No need to start looking for sugar batteries on store shelves, though, as Zhang expects, it will take at least three years for them to be produced and ready for use.
No worries. When it’s ready , the cannabis community is too.
by Skyler Cannabaceae
Fire up a joint, rip a few bong hits, or take a toke from a pipe or vaporizer. There is one consequence of these actions that cannabis users can count on.
What it is that sends our taste buds into overdrive?
A new study from the journal Nature Neuroscience claims that it is a heightened sense of smell that makes a person crave food after using cannabis.
Science has known for decades that the human body has an endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are compounds that have the same effect in the body as the cannabinoids in cannabis, like THC and CBD, but the body produces them naturally.
When a person uses cannabis, the cannabinoids from the plant (called phytocannabinoids) bind with receptors all over the body to produce different effects. But why is hunger one of those effects?
Perhaps it’s because hunger enhances a person’s sensory perception. In ancient times, this sharpened us up so we could better hunt and gather food. It’s called survival.
According to the study conducted by European scientists led by Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, when cannabinoids are received by cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) of the brain, they signal that the body is starving.
Mice were used as test subjects. Since all mammals share cannabinoid similarities, the brains of mice and humans function quite alike.
“CB1 receptors promote food intake in fasted mice by increasing odor detection,” according to the researchers. This increase in smell power, which occurs naturally when someone is actually hungry, leads to the brain thinking that the body is not just hungry, but that it is actually starving.
As a result, the brain craves fatty foods so that the body can store calories for later. That would explain why junk food is so appealing when we’re buzzed.
How about this for a puzzle: Other studies show that cannabis users are, as a group, significantly slimmer than non-users. But that’s another story.
While cannabis researchers welcomed this recent study, it is only part of the picture. Researchers have been gleaning bits and pieces over the years. Separate studies show different results, but they don’t contradict.
In 2011, a study led by a University of California-Irvine professor of pharmacology named Danielle Piomelli showed that when the taste of fatty food hits a person’s system it sends signals to the gut to produce endocannabinoids. CB1 receptors in the gut receive these endocannabinoids, which increases the desire for fatty foods.
In this study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers went a step further by genetically engineering mice that do not have CB1 receptors.
The result was that the “knock-out” mice still wanted to eat, but the craving for fatty foods was gone. This led researchers to believe that blocking the CB1 receptors in humans would cause the same effect and help to fight obesity. Unfortunately, they were unable to find a safe drug to block those receptors, and since so much is still unknown in this area of biology, that may have been for the best.
In another study, conducted by European researchers supported by the UK Medical Research Council and published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, the result suggested that “Endocannabinoids and ghrelin [a natural hormone] are potent appetite stimulators and are known to interact” with the hypothalamus. Scientists found by injecting 2-AG (the endocannabinoid produced in the body that most resembles THC) into subjects that stimulation occurs in the hypothalamus the same as if the 2-AG were created by the body naturally.
The academic journal Neuropharmacology published a study in July of 2012 that had yet another take on munchies. While the researchers admitted that “[c]annabinoid receptor agonists are known to stimulate feeding in animals,” they believe that instead of being caused by heightened senses, it is actually the instant reward response of dopamine that is generated in the body after eating “highly palatable food.” In turn, that increase in pleasure makes you want to keep eating more of it.
All of these studies provide plausible and scientifically viable reasons why cannabis stimulates appetite. Perhaps each provides some truth.
The bottom line is that the cannabinoids in the plant, especially THC, interact with receptors in our bodies, programming us to want more of not just any food, but fatty food.
So if you’re on a diet, hide those cookies before you spark up that joint.
by John Schroyer
Marijuana Activism Bridging Partisan Divide
As cannabis is becoming more mainstream and proving itself to be a legitimate money-making industry, it’s caught the eyes of more than one steadfast conservative who supports a free-market approach to marijuana, the same way they support free-market regulations for any other industry.
The National Cannabis Industry Association even just hired a non-pot-smoking Republican lobbyist, Michael Correia, who spent years working against Obamacare and other Democratic agenda items. They hired him because he believes government shouldn’t get in the way of industry. And Correia was able to deliver an even bigger conservative name to the marijuana cause — Grover Norquist, who runs Americans for Tax Reform.
Last year, Correia got Norquist to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Democrats and marijuana activists to promote a bill that would let marijuana dispensaries deduct expenses from their taxes.
“Grover’s view is the government should not pick winners and losers,” Correia told the L.A. Times. “It is a fairness issue. This resonates with him.”
And the Marijuana Policy Project recently held its first fundraiser for a Republican in Washington, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, who authored a bill to “require the federal government to defer to state laws” when it comes to marijuana sales, thereby taking the teeth out of the DEA’s bite.
Politics Getting in the Way Of Marijuana Research
Even though nearly half the states in America have legalized marijuana for medical use, and two have fully legalized it for recreational use, scientific researchers are still hitting federal barriers when it comes to researching the plant’s full potential.
According to The Washington Post, roughly 1 million American residents are currently using marijuana for various medical reasons. But the Drug Enforcement Administration still obstinately classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical value.
Over the past two decades, the DEA has been willing to work with researchers who get approval from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, but various bureaucratic obstacles have led many researchers to throw up their hands in frustration and simply give up.
For some who have undertaken attempts to get marijuana studies condoned by the federal government, it’s taken months, if not years, to get the necessary paperwork through all the proper channels.
According to The Post, “many would- be marijuana researchers are driven to abandon projects after they discover how time-consuming and expensive it can be to obtain the drug.”
There are currently 156 scientists who are licensed by the DEA to study marijuana and its effects. However, the majority of that research focuses on the negative side effects of cannabis, and not the positive effects for medical patients.
Efforts to reform the current system have been underway for quite some time. But the central obstacle — the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug — probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Cannabis Legalization Could Be Key in Australian Senate Campaign
Talk about an unexpected turn.
In Western Australia, which is mostly desert, cannabis legalization has emerged as possibly a key issue in an Australian Senate race.
An intra-coalition fight over whether to support legalization has led to a rift between two allies: the West Australian Greens Party and the 6,000-member Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party. The HEMP party members are angry with incumbent Sen. Scott Ludlam, who
is against full marijuana legalization but supports medical marijuana. The HEMP members say the Greens Party reneged on a promise to hold a drug summit, and instead is aligning itself with the Labor Party.
Under Australian election rules, 12 senators are elected from every state, and Ludlam’sseatisamongfiveothersupfor election this year in the state of Western Australia. Now, the HEMP party is pushing its own candidate instead of backing Ludlam. And that, according to Australian media, could potentially affect the balance of power in the Australian Senate.
Utah Governor Signs Law Giving Cannabidiol Access to Epileptics
Utah families with epileptic children gave a collective sigh of relief on March 20, when Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert put pen to paper and legalized a special marijuana-derived oil that has proven helpful to severely epileptic children.
The bill isn’t full legalization; rather, it calls for “trial access” to the oil, which is similar to the now-world-famous Charlotte’s Web from Colorado. But it’s a step.
The bill was dubbed “Charlee’s Law,” in honor of Charlee Nelson, a six-year-old Utah girl who died just days before Herbert signed the law.
“Cannabis oils show promise of offering some relief to Utahns suffering from seizures and epilepsy and we should do all we can to help them,” Herbert said in a statement, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The waiting still isn’t completely over for families with epileptics, however. The bill doesn’t take effect until July 1. And then there will be plenty of red tape to wade through.
Some Washington Farmers Concerned About Hemp, Marijuana turning into Weeds
Define irony: state legalizes a plant nicknamed “weed,” and now some farmers are suggesting it be added to a “noxious weeds” list maintained by the government.
That’s what’s happening in Washington. Granted, most of the concern from farmers has to do with hemp, not marijuana. But hemp is already a member of the North American Noxious Weed List, though it hasn’t made it onto the Washington State Noxious Weed List.
And so some farmers in central Washington are urging
the state to come up with some sort of plan that will keep both hemp and marijuana out of their less controversial crops, such as commercial hay and grass.
For right now, however, the state Agriculture Department is going to hold off and see if a problem develops, or if the farmers are worrying about nothing.
Canadian Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Patients Can Continue to Grow Their Own Cannabis
Medical cannabis patients in Canada were about to have to start buying their marijuana from state-licensed dealers, when suddenly, a federal judge in Vancouver upset the wheelbarrow.
Judge Michael Manson ruled that any patient who is already licensed to grow marijuana in their home may continue to do so, contrary to what the Canadian government wants.
Manson issued an injunction against the government’s move, to put a hold on the change until a patient lawsuit can be heard at trial. After the government announced that patients would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana, several banded together and filed suit. They claimed that, among other things, the government marijuana would cost them much more than the cannabis they grow themselves.
Manson sided with the plaintiffs.
“This group will be irreparably harmed by the effects of the (new regulations),” Manson wrote, according to CTV News.
There are roughly 37,000 medical marijuana patients in Canada.
U.S. Health Dept Gives Thumbs Up to Clinical Trials For Marijuana and PTSD
A long-awaited trial for veterans has finally been given approval by the federal government. Post-traumatic stress disorder, an ailment commonly suffered by combat veterans, isn’t recognized currently by the Department of Veterans Affairs and by many states (including Colorado) as a valid justification for medical marijuana use. But countless veterans have testified that marijuana use is the only thing that helps relieve their various symptoms.
And now, the federal Health and Human Service Department has sanctioned a look into those claims by the University of Arizona. In early March, HHS sent a letter to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and were told they could purchase medical marijuana from the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse facility in Mississippi.
“MAPS has been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we’ve been granted permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA,” a MAPS spokesperson told The Washington Post.
The study is still waiting for approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration, but HHS’s green light is a big step, and researchers don’t expect much objection from the DEA.
The proposed study will focus on 50 veterans who have all been diagnosed with PTSD, and what effects marijuana has for them.
British Cannabis Company Now Valued At Over $1 billion
It’s official: the marijuana industry now has a legal billionaire.
At least, in the form of a company. GW Pharmaceuticals, based in England, broke the $1 billion barrier this year, and is traded on both the Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange.
GW produces cannabis-based medicines, including a spray designed to treat those suffering from multiple sclerosis spasms. It’s available in 11 European countries, and may become the first FDA-approved cannabis medicine in America for both MS and cancer patients.
National Cannabis Industry Association to Host Business Summit in Denver
In the middle of the fourth week of June, the National Cannabis Industry Association is hosting a conference in Denver for businesspeople and entrepreneurs of all stripes.
The Cannabis Business Summit, from June 24-25, will be held at the Colorado Convention Center. It will focus on best practices for business leaders, in topics ranging from cultivation to infusing edibles to security measures and banking.
To register, visit www. cannabisbusinesssummit.com.
Banking Bill for Cannabis Dispensaries Stalled in Congress
One of the biggest problems for marijuana dispensary owners across the country has long been their lack of access to basic bank accounts, all because they deal with a plant that the federal government qualifies as illegal. And though several members of Congress have been actively trying to change that, and to get banks to open their doors to dispensary owners, it looks as though the most recent effort is “headed nowhere fast,” according to The Denver Post.
Though there’s no obvious reason for a lack of interest in Washington, D.C., The Post tried to survey nearly 100 key members of Congress from the Financial Services and Judiciary Committees, and only a handful even bothered to reply.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Washington Democrat Denny Heck, told The Post that “the almost universal response is the rolling of one’s eyes” when he brings up the marijuana banking bill with other legislators.
In February of this year, the federal government cleared the way for banks to work with marijuana businesses, removing one of the barriers for the success of the rapidly growing cannabis industry.
Joint memos were issued by the U.S. Justice Department and Treasury Department that provide banks with guidelines. Under the rules, banks must verify that marijuana companies are properly licensed by the state before pursuing a business relationship.
The first new venture to enter the market is KindBanking, set to launch on 4/20/2014. It’s headed up by David Dinenberg, who has worked previously in the real estate field with such luminaries as Donald Trump as well as in the entertainment industry with Will Smith among others.
“KindBanking was founded to support and grow the present and future cannabis industry. Transparency, compliance and adaptability are our guiding principles. This foundation will enable KindBanking to help develop the landscape, resulting in a balanced and diversified, global cannabis market,” said Dinenberg, the new financial company’s founder and chief executive officer.
“KindBanking will provide financing to the underserved legal cannabis industry, allowing people and their businesses to realize their full potential. Our utmost commitment is to tailoring comprehensive financial and business solutions to help each client meet their unique goals,” he said.
According to industry experts, the team at KindBanking has a reputation for accessibility, ease and excellence by showing the cannabis industry and the people fostering its growth the courtesy and respect that they deserve. The knowledge, fluency and flexibility of Kindbanking’s team of experts will help shape the standards of this industry.
The stage is perfectly set for KindBanking as a comprehensive financial solution for the legal cannabis industry. The products and services will include:
Global investment fund. The legalized cannabis industry, embracing both hemp and marijuana, represents a global opportunity for investment. KindBanking.com recognizes the need for a fund that benefits legal cannabis businesses in U.S. and foreign markets. The fund intends to make debt, convertible debt, and equity investments to help start-ups, provide capital to emerging companies, and accelerate the continued rise of more established businesses.
Cash storage business. KindBanking intends to provide armored car pickup and delivery for hard currency. KindBanking will employ former military personnel to provide a secure environment for processing cash transactions. Initial locations will be in Seattle and Denver.
KindBanking’s KindCard. This is a debit card solution, which will facilitate cashless transactions. Kindbanking understands that cannabis retail stores and similar businesses desire a card- based solution to conduct everyday transactions.
KindBanking anticipates launching its website by mid-April. “We are thrilled to be making history being the first business of our kind working with the cannabis industry,” Dinenberg said. “We are a business founded with family values and believe that the American Dream is possible within the cannabis industry. Uniting our company and the cannabis community will bring both relief and growth for the many people who have been ignored by the financial community.
“The services we offer will help build companies, create jobs and also heal our economy. Cannabis is mainstream now and we are proud to lead the way in our particular field. We urge all who are interested to please sign up on our website for the latest updates as we continue to build our company and the cannabis industry.”
In the days following the joint memos, major U.S. banks and banking institutions have upheld their refusal to work with the industry.
A spokeswoman from Bank of America said the bank is reviewing the government’s new guidelines but would continue to ban cannabis businesses because, based on federal law, “the sale and use of marijuana is still illegal.”
Things aren’t going to change overnight. I’m just happy to see someone finally take a step forward with a solution to allow us as business owners to bank just like any other legitimate
There is a kind bright light at the end of this tunnel.
For more information about KindBanking please visit the company’s website at kindbanking.com and sign up for the latest news.
by R. Scott Rappold
When Paige Figi first began talking to doctors about using marijuana to treat her daughter’s seizures, she met resistance and skepticism.
Charlotte suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare and incurable form of epilepsy, and modern
medicine could not curb her 1,200 seizures a month. At 5 years old, she was catatonic and heavily medicated yet still suffering 50 grand mal seizures daily.
“I didn’t even think it was going to work. I know my daughter. I know how bad she was, how everything had failed her,” said Figi, of Colorado Springs, who two years ago reached out to marijuana grower Joel Stanley for a strain that is low in THC but high in cannabinoids (CBDs). She also convinced two medical marijuana doctors to make Charlotte the youngest person ever on the state registry. “When I saw how dramatic the results could be, I knew there was something there and this was going to change things,” she said.
And change things it has.
Charlotte’s seizures are down to one or two a month and stories like hers have led hundreds of families to move to Colorado to seek treatment for intractable epilepsy.
Charlotte’s story was featured on CNN last autumn as the network’s medical expert, Sanjay Gupta, publicly reversed his opinion about medicinal cannabis.
The marijuana strain, which doesn’t intoxicate but has shown an 80 to 90-percent success rate in reducing seizures, is known as “Charlotte’s Web.”
In the latest chapter of Charlotte’s story, the medical establishment is beginning to join the chorus of parents calling for an end to marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government considers it to have “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.”
The Epilepsy Foundation, made up of the nation’s top epileptologists, in February issued a public plea for a change to marijuana’s legal status and an end to restrictions on studying marijuana’s potential health benefits.
The doctors also urged states to change laws to make epilepsy sufferers eligible for medical marijuana, as in Colorado. They also want the federal government to support wide-ranging research on multiple types of marijuana and epilepsy.
The Foundation said that of the 2.3 million Americans with epilepsy, a million live with seizures uncontrolled by medication. “If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical marijuana for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option now – not in five years or 10 years,” wrote the doctors. “An end to seizures should not be determined by one’s zip code.”
For Paige Figi, who along with some other parents formed Realm of Caring, a nonprofit to help families who move to Colorado for the treatment get adjusted, the Epilepsy Foundation’s statement was an important step toward her goal of seeing marijuana rescheduled.
“This is not an addictive substance. It has never killed a person in the history of human use. I don’t think it should have a dangerous schedule,” she said.
The changing attitudes among physicians toward marijuana are bringing it out from the shadows. She said more epileptics and their parents are asking doctors about it and more doctors are willing to prescribe it.
If marijuana is rescheduled or, as Paige wishes, removed from the list altogether, it could be studied without all the restrictions and red tape. Currently, researchers at institutions that get federal funding are afraid to even suggest marijuana studies.
“To have doctors backing this, politically, has to happen first. Brave doctors have to stand up behind this. They can have the courage to say, ‘This really doesn’t belong in the Schedule 1 category,’” she said.
And she hopes President Barack Obama takes notice.
“I think Obama will do the right thing. He’s a dad,” she said. “These children that I’m talking about here, these pediatric epilepsy patients … who have nothing left, I don’t think anyone who is a parent would not understand that.”
“As soon as you are sitting here on the ground and seeing patients and seeing the dramatic results, you just know this has got to change.”
Now that the Epilepsy Foundation has become the first mainstream medical organization to embrace medicinal cannabis, more positive changes seem inevitable.