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  1. Canada’s Grand Cannabis Experiment Has Set Scientists Free Legalization will vastly expand our understanding of the ancient drug plant and how it can improve lives. Credit: Alana Paterson for The New York Times By Amanda Siebert Nov. 20, 2018 VANCOUVER, British Columbia — When Canada fully legalized recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, the internet giddily reimagined the CN Tower in Toronto peeking out from a thick haze and swapped the flag’s red maple leaf for its jagged-edged green cousin. Outsiders might titter about an entire populace turning into potheads, but legalization means some of the country’s brightest can now turn their minds to pot. As the first G-7 nation to slacken cannabis laws, Canada has bolted to the front lines of the plant’s methodical scrutiny and investigation. No longer at risk of censure or lacking access to specimens, researchers can transcend the narrow parameters of scientific study once considered acceptable, namely, clinical research, to explore social, biological, genetic and agricultural questions. From botanists to phytochemists, microbiologists to epidemiologists, scientists of all sorts are free to openly pursue a greater quantity and quality of cannabis science than ever before. Ninety-five years of prohibition has made for a rather brief encyclopedia entry, meaning what we do know mainly comes from anecdotal observation and short-term studies. But Canadian laboratories aren’t starting from scratch. It was Canada, in 2001, that became the first country to sanction the medical use of marijuana. It was a Canadian team, in 2011, that published the first sequence of the cannabis genome. Yet these landmark contributions, and the array of peer-reviewed studies that were spurred, rarely strayed past lines of inquiry that ran parallel with social norms. Research lurched forward with the early legal steps, offering sick and suffering Canadians a new option to manage chronic pain, treat symptoms of PTSD and boost their overall quality of life. It dwindled under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative who slashed health and drug policy budgets and slammed cannabis as “infinitely worse” than tobacco (experts say it’s the other way around). Research multiplied again in 2014, when commercial growers got clearance to supply mail-order medical marijuana to Canadian patients, commodification that simultaneously energized corporate interests. Canada’s brand-new legislation, the Cannabis Act, replaces a restrictive system that treated researchers like would-be drug dealers. Scientists intending to cultivate their own plants can now simply apply for a specific class of license rather than toil for an exemption from the retrograde Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which, among other demands, required criminal record checks. The Canadian government, once unwilling to touch the stuff, has stepped up to properly examine how cannabis affects the body and brain. It’s funding 14 new studies and has set aside millions more for research grants that could ask questions like, Will a pregnant mother using cannabis harm her baby’s development? Does smoking affect drivers’ reaction time behind the wheel? And at what threshold does teenagers’ pot consumption become destructive? Canada’s private sector is even more frenzied over the business case for audacious research. In the lead-up to legalization, producers rushed to get medical licenses so that they could formulate novel cannabis-based products. Already, more than 130 companies have been approved, with hundreds more in line. The industry’s leaders have opened large-scale trials, including exploring the plant’s power to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and reduce seizures in epileptic children. A multimillion-dollar university professorship has been established to investigate a cannabis solution to the opioid overdose epidemic. Smaller businesses are dabbling in the renegade development of infused creams and potent concentrates. And academia and nonprofits are leveraging industry to fund more daring studies and advocacy work, for instance, realistic educational programming to develop teenagers’ “cannabis literacy.” With the legal barriers torn down, a path has been cleared for Canadians to stake a global claim in the emerging field of research. New science projects are taking shape in Europe, Israel and Australia, many the fruit of joint ventures with Canadian companies, others made possible only with imported dried medical marijuana and cannabis oil from Canada. The country has become “the de facto source of research-grade cannabis around the world,” contends Philippe Lucas, who is the head of research for the Canadian producer Tilray, which has completed exports to 10 countries. Canada’s grand experiment has already been a catalyst for smarter science in the United States, where its federal prohibition has choked research. Although 33 states have relaxed their marijuana laws, only one facility in Mississippi is federally licensed to supply dried cannabis, and its product is often derided by researchers as lackluster. Enter Tilray, which, in a rare first this September, was approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration to supply cannabis extract from Canada to a California neurologist who’s developing a treatment for tremors in the elderly. (Tilray has also built a greenhouse in a Portugal research park, expanding the science into the European Union.) America’s cannabis entrepreneurs, however, aren’t so keen on the prospective northern pot pipeline. One multistate medical grower has pleaded with President Trump for domestic regulation in a full-page Wall Street Journal ad, fretting that “America is rapidly losing its competitive advantage to Canada!” As bidding wars replace the drug war, legalization promises empirical evidence for policymakers caught between popular sensibilities and a paucity of data. Canada’s statistical agency and the country’s health ministry are already gathering information from a newly visible population of cannabis users. The metrics could enable jurisdictions worldwide to devise policy reforms and public health programs that minimize legalization’s potentially negative impacts. The scholarship on cannabis will finally advance now that a developed, Western society has welcomed back an ancient drug plant, says Jonathan Page, a Vancouver-based plant biologist and a leader of the cannabis genome project. Therapeutic marijuana application dates back thousands of years, according to archaeological and historical records. In June, Mr. Page sold his laboratory Anandia to one of Canada’s largest growers, Aurora Cannabis, for 115 million Canadian dollars ($88 million), and last week he was appointed its chief science officer, overseeing some 40 Ph.D.- and M.Sc.-level researchers. He envisions Canadian scientists conducting a cornucopia of taboo-defying research, from decoding cannabis’s sensory appeal to testing whether it can be used as a substitute for alcohol. Science, he says, could even settle the perennial debate over whether there are, in fact, two types of cannabis: sativa, said to provide uplifting, cerebral sensations, and indica, considered to be sedating. “Marijuana’s hard-won return to the Canadian mainstream suggests that psychoactive plants matter to modern lives and will continue to shape human culture,” he said. “Prohibition was just a blip on the timeline of civilization and a dark age for science.” In an age of global paranoia, Canada’s decisive leadership has produced a veritable green-field opportunity. It’s incumbent on our scientists to do the plowing. NYTimes
  2. Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs Landlords leasing to a retail or commercial operation will also have to reassess their current insurance coverage By William M. Glenn November 19, 2018 Licence applicants should be preparing a plan that shows security measures will be adequate. Jelena Danilovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus “Operators planning to enter the retail cannabis market should be setting up their security protocols now,” advises Thomas Gerstenecker, founder and CEO of 3|Sixty Secure, an Almonte, Ont.-based company that handles security needs from seed to sale for both cannabis producers and retailers across Canada and the U.S. Ontario’s retail security requirements are still “in a state of flux, although we don’t believe they will be as stringent as they were for the licensed producers,” expects Gerstenecker, whose company’s services include conducting front-end security assessments, training staff, providing personal equipment and transporting product. Nevertheless, there’s going to be a “real-time crunch,” as the province anticipates the first private retail outlets could be opening as soon as April 1, 2019. Employers should ensure cannabis grow operations are safe, healthy and in compliance 420 Cyber launches full-suite cybersecurity offerings for the cannabis industry Cannabis producers adding video surveillance solutions to enhance security “Security considerations will likely be a component of the application process,” says Harrison Jordan, a Toronto-based cannabis lawyer and consultant who is helping clients apply for retail store licences in Ontario. Jordan agrees that applicants should be preparing a plan that shows their security measures will be adequate to mitigate theft and other risks. “We don’t know how specific the requirements will be,” Harrison says. They might be open-ended, or they might require secure storage, surveillance systems, reinforced walls and so on. “In any event, it would be prudent to partner with someone expert in security practices,” he recommends. Jordan says he expects the regulations covering cannabis stores could be posted at “any time,” so that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) can begin to accept and process licence applications in December. Gerstenecker suggests a cannabis security plan should do several things: address physical threats posed by robbery and other criminal activity; minimize internal losses arising from employee theft; and prevent virtual attacks, such as privacy breaches through cyber hacking. “We look at vulnerabilities, assess strengths and work to mitigate weaknesses to acceptable levels,” he says. Physical components designed to thwart theft can include CCTV, alarm and lighting systems, barriers, storage and display equipment, secure unloading zones and inventory control procedures and software. “There are certainly significant front-end costs involved,” says Gerstenecker, “but better security can result in lower insurance rates, a safer workplace and reduced product losses.” Pointing out that there are many variables—including size of operations, local conditions, regulatory requirements and in-house expertise, among others—he opted not to hazard a guess on basic costs. Based on cannabis start-ups in the U.S., a 2017 article in Business Magazine notes a small retail outlet might allocate $5,000 (to begin with) for basic alarms, cameras and security equipment, although more sophisticated systems and secure storage facilities could cost much, much more. The on-going costs of monitoring and security guards could raise the price even higher. <img src="https://www.thegrowthop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GettyImages-923387236-374x210.jpg" title="Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs" alt="GettyImages 923387236 374x210 Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs" /> Preparedness key as cannabis Ontario retailers get set iStock / Getty Images Plus Insurers still trying to assess risks “The business is new and interesting, but it’s not a very mature insurance category yet,” reports Adam Mitchell, president of Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers Inc., based in Whitby, Ont. “Right now, there’s a lot of speculation. Different companies are taking a ‘shot in the dark’ on how to price [their coverage],” says Mitchell. “It will evolve over the next couple of years as claims materialize.” Operators will have to look at traditional commercial coverage to protect their property, as well as the equipment and product it contains, in addition to liability coverage for their staff and customers. “Cannabis retail outlets will just be selling product—like a bike shop sells bicycles or a market sells carrots—but [cannabis] is going to be much more popular than carrots,” Mitchell expects. Landlords leasing to a retail or commercial operation will also have to reassess their current insurance coverage. “Two months ago, your insurance company assumed you weren’t leasing out a building filled with marijuana,” says Mitchell. “If that has changed, landlords will have to make sure they are insured against the new risks a cannabis store may bring.” Curbing employee theft A 2015 report in Marijuana Business Magazine notes employee theft is responsible for some 90 percent of product and cash losses from cannabis stores. That means businesses will want crime coverage to address product that disappears off the shelf or money that’s stolen out of the till. “It’s yet to be seen if that will be a more or a less frequent issue than we see in insuring, say, a convenience store,” Mitchell says. Gerstenecker warns that staff can be infiltrated by new hires intending to steal cash or product, and they can be befriended by criminals hoping to spot weaknesses. That makes thorough background checks a prerequisite, while awareness training will teach staff how to recognize suspicious individuals and illegal IDs and how to respond to in-store incidents. Plain-clothes loss prevention officers or mystery shoppers may also be used, he says. <img src="https://www.thegrowthop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GettyImages-847491272-374x210.jpg" title="Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs" alt="GettyImages 847491272 374x210 Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs" /> Staff can be befriended by criminals hoping to spot weaknesses. Rick_Jo / iStock / Getty Images Plus Achieving legal due diligence Despite all the regulatory uncertainty, there is already “quite a robust interest” in obtaining a licence to operate a cannabis retail operation, says Martin Barlow, a lawyer with Momentum Business Law, an Ottawa-based firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal. Because each location and operator, as well as every employee, will need to be individually licensed, Barlow expects that many may be “franchising opportunities or variations on the ‘mom-and-pop’ retail model.” Until the full regulatory requirements and application details for retail outlets are unveiled, “we are focusing on giving clients ‘best-practice’ advice based on what other provinces are doing,” Barlow says. He also advises that prospective operators prepare their risk analyses, choose an appropriate location, line up a landlord (if necessary), and then get to know their future neighbours. “Retail stores will be allowed only where they are in the public interest,” says Barlow. “And once you apply for a licence, members of the public will have 15 days to file any objections with the AGCO.” Momentum Business Law is working with clients now to prepare them for this consultation period. Complicating the situation further, individual municipalities will have until January 22, 2019, to decide whether or not any cannabis retail operations at all will be permitted within their boundaries. “At a minimum, if you hope to obtain a retail licence, you need to make sure that your landlord, shareholders, directors, officers and those proving your financing have never been charged or convicted under the Cannabis Act,” Barlow advises. “In practice, the vetting process will be much more complicated. The AGCO only needs reasonable grounds to believe that one of those shareholders has been acting in contravention of the Cannabis Act to make you ineligible for a licence. The requirements are quite strict,” he explains. “If someone has a charge under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, that fact will be taken into consideration, but will not make them automatically ineligible for a licence,” he adds. https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-business/cannabis-small-business/ontario-retailers-face-time-crunch-to-address-cannabis-security-insurance-needs
  3. Cannabis marketing rules still hazy post-legalization By Armina Ligaya November 17, 2018 Mature cannabis plants are photographed at the CannTrust Niagara Greenhouse Facility during the grand opening event in Fenwick, Ont., on June 26, 2018. Tijana Martin / THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Despite strict rules limiting the promotion of now legal recreational pot now in effect, cannabis promotions continue to pop up amid loopholes and a lack of clarity on how the legislation’s grey areas should be applied. Nearly one month on since legalization, there is disagreement in the sector on murky portions of the Cannabis Act governing marketing, with some licensed producers taking a more aggressive approach and others holding back. “The fact that you aren’t seeing that an overwhelming wave yet of those kinds of tactics, to me, demonstrates that there is still uncertainty,” said Rebecca Brown, founder of Crowns Agency, a Toronto-based marketing consultancy focused on the marijuana industry. Canada legalized pot for recreational use on Oct. 17, when strict guidelines governing the plant’s promotion came into force. The blitz of cannabis industry billboards, sponsored concerts and pop-up information kiosks seen ahead of legalization have abated, but marijuana brands can be seen on taxi cabs or on social media — which may or may not run afoul of the law depending on interpretation. The Cannabis Act prohibits promotion of cannabis to young people and ads in places where it can be seen by those under the age of 18. Also barred is the use of endorsements or a depiction of a person, character or animal or marketing which presents “a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.” Some companies have run afoul of this particular clause in the Act, Health Canada says. Since legalization, the health agency has reached out to seven regulated parties “to promote an understanding of the new prohibitions relating to the promotion of cannabis… and to bring specific concerns to their attention,” said agency spokesman Eric Morissette. All regulated parties contacted have addressed, or are in the process of, addressing the issues raised, Health Canada added. The government agency would not detail what portions of the Act were violated, but did say “for example” it raised concerns about “promotion using the depiction of persons and promotions that present a product or brand that associates it with a particular way of life, such as a glamorous or recreational lifestyle.” Health Canada said it would not identify the parties involved “provided that they have acted in good faith and taken the necessary corrective measures.” Still, government guidelines on pot promotion also has several exceptions and clauses which, some say, are open to interpretation. One exception allows for promotion using a “brand element” on a “thing that is not cannabis or a cannabis accessory,” if that thing isn’t associated with young persons or “vitality.” To some, this means ads with just a brand name or logo and a website may be allowable on things such as billboards, said Brown. “If you are reading the act plainly or literally, that should be allowed… There are certainly LPs that do feel uncomfortable with that.” Earlier this month, a cannabis ad was seen on a taxicab in Toronto with its brand name and the tagline: “Buds don’t travel high. Drive safely.” The Canadian Marketing Association’s cannabis marketing activities guide says advertising solely with a brand element, without appealing to young people or suggesting a glamorous lifestyle may be allowed, but “proceed with caution and consult legal counsel.” Canada’s largest newspaper publisher Postmedia Network Inc. intends to run ads that fit into the loopholes in the act, said spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand. Postmedia announced earlier this month that it would stop delivering print editions to schools for fear that sending the papers containing ads directly to students would violate the law. The last newspaper delivery to schools was on Oct. 31, but papers can still be delivered to homes if directly to people over the age of 18, Gelfand said in an email. When asked whether ads with simply a brand element and a website in a newspaper would be considered compliant, Health Canada said it could not comment on a specific situation. “Newspapers available to the public should not generally contain any promotional material, including advertising, related to cannabis,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette, noting that any promotion related to pot can only be in a publication that is addressed and sent to someone 18 years of age or older. The exemption was likely designed for things such as T-shirts and hats but more clarity from Health Canada is needed, said Trina Fraser, an Ottawa-based lawyer who advises the cannabis industry. “Certainly, I don’t think it was intended to provide essentially for mass brand promotion through conventional advertising means, even though, again, I think it at most it would be limited to the actual logo or brand name,” said Fraser. Nick Dean, chief executive of Emblem Cannabis, said the pot producer won’t be running ads on billboards on highways or in newspapers but will look to leverage social media influencers, he said. “There’s lots of opportunities for us to still be creative in how we market these brands, post-legalization,” Dean said. Other exceptions include ads in age-gated areas where young people are not permitted. Canopy Growth Corp.’s marketing campaign utilized billboards, concerts and informational kiosks but promotions stopped on the night of Oct. 16, said its co-chief executive Bruce Linton on a recent analyst call. Now, the licensed producer is using ads in age-gated areas, such as posters in bar bathrooms, he said. “We did not receive a letter from Health Canada to say that we were not in compliance,” Linton said. Another exception is in the digital realm where “reasonable steps” must be taken to ensure it cannot be accessed by non-adults. However, it is unclear whether a social media page with a description asking that its followers be adults is a “reasonable step,” the CMA said in its guide. Yet, many cannabis companies continue to post on Instagram, with the phrase “By following, you confirm that you are 19+” on their accounts. The industry desires more guidance from Health Canada on cannabis promotional activities, and more transparency about the warning letters issued thus far, said Fraser. “We don’t know what they were about, who they were sent to or what the basis for the objection that Health Canada took in the letter was… That is limiting us all as an industry from learning and growing.” — with files from Nicole Thompson https://www.thegrowthop.com/pmn/commodities-business-pmn/agriculture-commodities-business-pmn/cannabis-marketing-rules-still-hazy-post-legalization/wcm/02610836-9c70-4a5e-8797-b2b5884e5e82
  4. notsofasteddie

    Your Guide to Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Cannabis

    Part 2, Indica vs. Sativa Strains: Which Has More THC & CBD? Bailey Rahn November 16, 2018 Raise your hand if you’ve heard someone say, “Indica strains produce more CBD and sativas have more THC.” Or maybe you’ve heard that claim in reverse. But which is true? According to cannabis lab testing data, neither is. At least not in any significant way that could explain the perceived difference between these two cannabis types. In other words, that indica isn’t sleepy because it has more CBD, and that sativa isn’t more energizing because it produced more THC. But before we get too deep into the numbers, it’s important to first flip a popular notion on its head. RELATED STORY: CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference? Indica & Sativa Designation Isn’t a Reliable Predictor of Effects It’s possible you’ve noticed that indica and sativa strains look a bit different. One forms chunky, dense buds while the other often grows into airy, fluffy spears. The physical differences between indica and sativa plants allowed each to thrive in different climates, from rugged and cold highlands to tropical regions along the equator. (Amy Phung/Leafly) Cool, but what does that have to do with how indicas and sativas affect you? Nothing. Exactly. Ethan Russo, prominent cannabis researcher and neurologist, put it this way: “The way that the sativa and indica labels are utilized in commerce is nonsense. The clinical effects of the cannabis chemovar have nothing to do with whether the plant is tall and sparse vs. short and bushy, or whether the leaflets are narrow or broad.” One way we know that this perceived correlation between plant type and effect is flawed is by looking at the chemical profiles—the compounds cannabis produces that contribute to the mood or experience of that strain. Here, we’ll take a look at the average cannabinoid content of each strain type. Terpenes also play an important role in a strain’s effect, but don’t worry—we’ll get to that in the next installment. RELATED STORY: Predicting Cannabis Strain Effects From THC and CBD Levels CBD vs. THC in Indicas and Sativas Using data from Confidence Analytics, a state-certified testing lab in Washington, we were able to see how much THC or CBD is produced, on average, by each strain type. First, let’s take a look at the average abundance of THC in strain samples grouped by their sativa, indica, and hybrid designation on Leafly: (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly) As shown in the graphic above, sativa strains on average produced 0.4% more THC than their indica counterparts. So, yes, you could look at that graph and say that sativas produce more THC, but the difference is fairly negligible in terms of statistical significance. What the graphic does contradict is any claim that THC abundance accounts for the perceived “opposite” effects of indicas and sativas. If that were true, we’d expect hybrids—which are typically seen as a balance of indica and sativa effects, would fall somewhere in between, around 17.5%. Now let’s see if there are any notable differences in CBD abundance: Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly) Once again, the graph above shows small differences in the average amount of CBD among the three plant types, but not so much that we’d expect to see polar opposite experiences delivered. Indicas, on average, produce 0.4% more CBD than sativas. Again, hybrid strains produced slightly more. While the bird’s eye view we get with larger sample sizes is helpful in seeing the big picture, you don’t need huge amounts of data to realize that THC and CBD profiles are specific to plant types. Peruse the lab-tested flower on dispensary menus, and you’ll see that THC and CBD contents can vary widely, no matter its sativa or indica designation. How to Shop for Cannabis Without Saying “Indica” or “Sativa” What’s important to you as a consumer shopping for a specific mood is not the shape of the bud or the climate it was grown in. Instead, it has everything to do with potency, dose, and chemical profile (i.e., cannabinoids and terpenes). For example, if you’re prone to anxiety and looking to avoid an uncomfortable, racy experience, look for a strain with more CBD and less THC. Then dose modestly. If you tell a budtender you hate sativas because they make your thoughts race, they may still hand you a THC powerhouse like White Fire OG simply because it’s not a sativa. Although it isn’t as simple as grouping strains into the indica-sativa-hybrid triumvirate that has long been our compass while navigating menus, try using potency to guide you. You may find that a strain packing 25% THC isn’t as enjoyable as that very fragrant strain tapping in at 16%, or the balanced THC/CBD variety that provides 10% of each cannabinoid. RELATED STORY: How Cannabidiol (CBD) Works for Treating Anxiety Shopping by strain name is also a more reliable way of achieving desirable effects. For example, if you loved the dreamy, blissful euphoria of Granddaddy Purple, you’ll likely have a comparable experience with the next GDP you come across. Cannabis is a personal experience, and how you select it is, too. This data is meant to give you an alternative perspective on what qualities one should look for in a strain. For many consumers, this level of precision in strain selection is paramount to having a good experience. Others, well, we’d be happy to sit down with a strain of any variety, any time. leafly
  5. Your Guide to Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Cannabis Part 1, Sativa vs. Indica: An Overview of Cannabis Types Bailey Rahn September 20, 2018 Indica vs. Sativa Strains: Which Has More THC & CBD? When browsing cannabis strains or purchasing cannabis at a shop, you may notice strains are commonly broken up into two distinct groups: indica and sativa. Most consumers have used these two cannabis types as a touchstone for predicting effects: •Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed. •Sativas tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects. This belief that indicas and sativas deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders typically begin their strain recommendations by asking you which of these three types you prefer. However, data collected by cannabis researchers suggests these categories aren’t as prescriptive as one might hope—in other words, there’s little evidence to suggest that indicas and sativas exhibit a consistent pattern of chemical profiles that would make one inherently sedating and the other uplifting. We do know that indica and sativa cannabis strains look different and grow differently, but this distinction is primarily useful only to cannabis cultivators. So how exactly did the words “indica” and “sativa” make it into the vernacular of cannabis consumers worldwide, and to what extent are they meaningful when choosing a strain? Indica and Sativa: Origin and Evolution of the Terms (Amy Phung/Leafly) The words “indica” and “sativa” were introduced in the 18th century to describe different species of cannabis: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. The term sativa, named by Carl Linneaus, described hemp plants found in Europe and western Eurasia, where it was cultivated for its fiber and seeds. Cannabis indica, named by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, describes the psychoactive varieties discovered in India, where it was harvested for its seeds, fiber, and hashish production. RELATED STORY: The Cannabis Taxonomy Debate: Where Do Indica and Sativa Classifications Come From? Although the cannabis varieties we consume largely stem from Cannabis indica, both terms are used–even if erroneously–to organize the thousands of strains circulating the market today. Here’s how terms have shifted since their earliest botanical definitions: •Today, “sativa” refers to tall, narrow-leaf varieties of cannabis, thought to induce energizing effects. However, these narrow-leaf drug (NLD) varieties were originally Cannabis indica ssp. indica. •“Indica” has come to describe stout, broad-leaf plants, thought to deliver sedating effects. These broad-leaf drug (BLD) varieties are technically Cannabis indica ssp. afghanica. •What we call “hemp” refers to the industrial, non-intoxicating varieties harvested primarily for fiber, seeds, and CBD. However, this was originally named Cannabis sativa. Confused? Understandably so. As you can see, with the mass commercialization of cannabis, the taxonomical distinctions between cannabis species and subspecies got turned on its head and calcified. It seems the contemporary use of indica and sativa descriptors is here to stay, but as an informed consumer, it’s important to understand the practical value of these categories—which brings us to the research. Indica vs. Sativa Effects: What Does the Research Say? This three-type system we use to predict cannabis effects is no doubt convenient, especially when first entering the vast, overwhelming world of cannabis. With so many strains and products to choose from, where else are we to begin? “The clinical effects of the cannabis chemovar have nothing to do with whether the plant is tall and sparse vs. short and bushy, or whether the leaflets are narrow or broad.” –Ethan Russo, neurologist and cannabis researcher The answer is cannabinoids and terpenes, two words you should put in your back pocket if you haven’t already. We’ll get to know these terms shortly. But first, we asked two prominent cannabis researchers if sativa/indica classification should have any bearing on a consumer’s strain selection. Ethan Russo is a neurologist whose research in cannabis psychopharmacology is respected worldwide, and Jeffrey Raber, Ph.D., is a chemist who founded the first independent testing lab to analyze cannabis terpenes in a commercial capacity, The Werc Shop. “The way that the sativa and indica labels are utilized in commerce is nonsense,” Russo told Leafly. “The clinical effects of the cannabis chemovar have nothing to do with whether the plant is tall and sparse vs. short and bushy, or whether the leaflets are narrow or broad.” RELATED STORY: Cannabis Anatomy: The Parts of the Plant Raber agreed, and when asked if budtenders should be guiding consumers with terms like “indica” and “sativa,” he replied, “There is no factual or scientific basis to making these broad sweeping recommendations, and it needs to stop today. What we need to seek to understand better is which standardized cannabis composition is causing which effects, when delivered in which fashions, at which specific dosages, to which types of [consumers].” What this means is not all sativas will energize you, and not all indicas will sedate you. You may notice a tendency for these so-called sativas to be uplifting or for these indicas to be relaxing, especially when we expect to feel one way or the other. Just note that there’s no hard-and-fast rule and no determinant chemical data­ that supports a perfect predictive pattern. If Indica vs. Sativa Isn’t Predictive of Effects, What Is? The effects of any given cannabis strain depend on a number of different factors, including the product’s chemical profile, your unique biology and tolerance, dose, and consumption method. Understand how these factors change the experience and you’ll have the best chance of finding that perfect strain for you. Cannabinoids The cannabis plant is comprised of hundreds of chemical compounds that create a unique harmony of effects, which is primarily led by cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD (the two most common) are the main drivers of cannabis’ therapeutic and recreational effects: •THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) makes us feel hungry and high, and relieves symptoms like pain and nausea. •CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating compound known to alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and many other medical ailments. Cannabis contains over a hundred different types of these cannabinoids, but start by familiarizing yourself with these two first. Instead of choosing a strain based on its indica or sativa classification, consider basing your selection on these three buckets instead: •THC-dominant strains are primarily chosen by consumers seeking a potent euphoric experience. These strains are also selected by patients treating pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. If you tend to feel anxious with THC-dominant strains or dislike other side effects associated with THC, try a strain with higher levels of CBD. •CBD-dominant strains contain only small amounts of THC, and are widely used by those highly sensitive to THC or patients needing clear-headed symptom relief. •Balanced THC/CBD strains contain balanced levels of THC, offering mild euphoria alongside symptom relief. These tend to be a good choice for novice consumers seeking an introduction to cannabis’ signature high. It’s worth noting that both indica and sativa strains exhibit these different cannabinoid profiles. “Initially most people thought higher CBD levels caused sedation, and that CBD was more prevalent in indica cultivars, which we now know is most definitely not the case,” Raber told Leafly. “We are more prone to see some CBD in sativa-like cultivars, but there isn’t a systematic rule or relationship in that regard.” RELATED STORY: Predicting Cannabis Strain Effects From THC and CBD Levels Terpenes If you’ve ever used aromatherapy to relax or invigorate your mind and body, you understand the basics of terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds commonly produced by plants and fruit. They can be found in lavender flowers, oranges, hops, pepper, and of course, cannabis. Secreted by the same glands that ooze THC and CBD, terpenes are what make cannabis smell like berries, citrus, pine, fuel, etc. “Terpenes seem to be major players in driving the sedating or energizing effects.” –Jeffrey Raber, Founder of The Werc Shop Like essential oils vaporized in a diffuser, cannabis terpenes can make us feel stimulated or sedated, depending on which ones are produced. Pinene, for example, is an alerting terpene while linalool has relaxing properties. There are many types of terpenes in cannabis, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with at least the most common. “Terpenes seem to be major players in driving the sedating or energizing effects,” Raber said. “Which terpenes cause which effects is apparently much more complicated than all of us would like, as it seems to [vary based on specific] ones and their relative ratios to each other and the cannabinoids.” According to Raber, a strain’s indica or sativa morphology does not specifically determine these aromas and effects. However, you may find consistency among individual strains. The strain Tangie, for example, delivers a distinctive citrus aroma, while DJ Short’s Blueberry should never fail to offer the hallmark scent of ripe berry. If you can, smell the strains you’re considering for purchase. Find the aromas that stand out to you and give them a try. In time, your intuition and knowledge of cannabinoids and terpenes will guide you to your favorite strains and products. RELATED STORY: At the Trichome Institute, Students Learn to Predict Cannabis Effects by Aroma Biology, Dosing, and Consumption Method Lastly, consider the following questions when choosing the right strain or product for you. •How much experience do you have with cannabis? If your tolerance is low, consider a low-THC strain in low doses. •Are you susceptible to anxiety or other side effects of THC? If so, try a strain high in CBD. •Do you want the effects to last a long time? If you do, consider edibles (starting with a low dose). Conversely, if you seek a short-term experience, use inhalation methods or a tincture. There are many factors to consider when choosing a strain, but if you truly find that indica strains consistently deliver a positive experience, then by all means, keep ‘em coming. However, if you’re still searching for that ideal strain, these are important details to keep in mind. What Cannabis Strain Is Right for You? Before choosing indica or sativa, it is important to consider a third cannabis type: hybrid. Hybrids are thought to fall somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains. This may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a budtender whose job it is to guide consumers to the right product. Ironically, the more you know about cannabis, the more questions seem to arise. But understanding the basic properties of cannabinoids, terpenes, and consumption methods will often answer the most fundamental question of cannabis: What product is right for me? Here are some helpful beginner resources to get you started: •Cannabis Strain Recommendations for Beginners and Low-Tolerance Consumers •Cannabis Product Recommendations for First-Time Consumers •The Best Cannabis Strains and Products for Every Situation •How to Find the Best Experience and High for You For budtenders, be cognizant of the basis of your recommendation, especially for customers treating medical ailments. Educate yourself on the benefits of different cannabinoids and terpenes, and use that knowledge to make a recommendation beyond the oversimplifications and marketing tactics embedded in the sativa/indica distinction. “In the future, I’d like to see the terms ‘sativa’ and ‘indica’ be abandoned in favor of a system in which the consumer tells the budtender what s/he would like to have in terms of effects from their cannabis selection, and then study the offerings together,” Russo said. “If a buzz is all that is wanted, then high THC with limonene or terpinolene would be desirable. If someone, in contrast, has to work or study and treat their pain, then high CBD with low THC plus some alpha-pinene to reduce short-term memory impairment would be the ticket.” Cannabis may not be as simple as we’d like, but its diversity and complexity is what makes it such a remarkable plant and tool for consumers of all types. leafly
  6. notsofasteddie

    Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, November 15, 2018 There's a push in Congress to provide protections for veterans who want to use medical marijuana, and more. National Bipartisan Lawmaker Group Files Three Veterans' Medical Marijuana Bills. A bipartisan group of legislators on Wednesday announced plans to file a trio of bills aimed at making the Department of Veterans Affairs a more marijuana-friendly agency. The Department of Veterans Affairs Policy for Medicinal Cannabis Use Act of 2018 would clarify the already existing policy of protecting patients who discuss their marijuana history. The Department of Veterans Affairs Survey of Medicinal Cannabis Use Act of 2018 would conduct a nationwide survey of all veterans and VA healthcare providers regarding medicinal cannabis. And the Department of Veterans Affairs Medicinal Cannabis Education Act of 2018 would have the VA work with medical universities to further develop medicinal cannabis education programs for primary healthcare providers. Connecticut Connecticut Adds Chronic Neuropathic Pain to List of Qualifying Conditions. The General Assembly's Regulations Review Committee has agreed that chronic neuropathic pain associated with degenerative spinal disorders is eligible for treatment with the drug. That makes it the 31st specific condition considered a qualifier for medical marijuana. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  7. notsofasteddie

    SPANNABIS BARCELONA

    Spannabis Barcelona 2019
  8. Why is Canada running out of marijuana? By Jessica Murphy BBC News, Toronto 15 November 2018 Image Demand for legal cannabis is higher than expected in Canada AFP/Getty Images Cannabis retailers in Canada began to run low on supplies from the very first day of legalisation a month ago. How long are shortages expected to continue as the new market for recreational cannabis finds its feet? In the early days of legalisation, James Burns was confident his company had enough product on the shelves of its five new cannabis retail stores, even though they only received half of their order from the provincial supplier. Now, he has had staff refreshing the government supply website in the early hours to snap up scarce new stock as soon as it's available, and is considering restricting store hours. "While there was product to order we were very comfortably getting a large amount of it," says Burns, the CEO of Alcanna, a company that owns a chain of private liquor stores in Canada and the US and, now, cannabis stores in the province of Alberta. "But obviously, when there's literally none there, it doesn't matter how big you are, there's just none there. If the government warehouse is empty, it's empty. There's nothing you can do." Since the first day recreational cannabis was legalised in Canada, there have been shortages. Newfoundland's Thomas Clarke was one of the very first retailers to sell the drug legally in Canada at the stroke of midnight on 17 October. Cannabis retailers across Canada experienced line-ups following legalisation Reuters He says he sold out that day and was out-of-stock for nearly a week. Clarke has since been able to get product onto shelves but says he can't order exactly what he needs from the provincial supplier. "They're dictating to me numbers and quantities and products that they have to send me, so I definitely don't get to get everything I want," he says. "But I've had just enough to not run out." In Quebec, the provincially run Société québécoise du cannabis stores are currently only open Thursday to Sunday due to supply issues. "We think that our suppliers will be able to respond to the demand easily next spring, but until then, we could still have shortages," says spokeswoman Linda Bouchard. New Brunswick briefly closed 12 of its 20 stores because of a lack of supply. In a statement, the provincial agency responsible for cannabis sales said that while it had ordered a full supply to stock its stores it received just 20% to 30% of that original order. "Retailers across the country are experiencing a similar situation," it said. In Ontario, the online retail store has seen certain products sell out quickly followed by lengthy wait times for resupply. The Ontario Cannabis Store says it's working to expand the assortment of products available and to ensure product availability. The cannabis shortages aren't a complete surprise. A report released in early October by the CD Howe Institute, a Toronto-based economic think tank, estimates that the current legal supply will meet about 30% to 60% of total demand in the first months of legalization. But people in the industry say the scarcity is worse than expected. "Everybody knew this was going to happen," says Burns. "Probably, frankly, not this quick and this starkly." Patrick Wallace, owner of Waldo 420 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, predicts it will be a year to 18 months before supply matches demand. "We're riding on our initial investment of stock from a few weeks back," he says. "So we're OK now but it's not sustainable." As Canada makes cannabis legal, what happens to those with past convictions for possession? Health Canada, which grants licenses to cannabis producers, says it worked hard in the months prior to legalisation to increase the number of legal suppliers, and is urging patience. "It is important to note that October 17 marked the end of nearly a century of criminal prohibition of cannabis and the launch of an entirely new regulated industry in our country," it said in a statement. "As with any new industry where there is considerable consumer demand, we expect there may be periods where inventories of some products run low or, in some cases, run out." On concerns the shortages will push consumers back to the black market, the federal government says that, going by experience from US states that have legalised the product, displacing the illegal suppliers will take time. There have also been reports of shortages of medical cannabis, which has been legal in Canada since 2001. Cannabis retailers are reporting shortages of certain strains and products across Canada AFP/Getty Images Health Canada says it is working with both patient groups and industry to discuss the reports of shortages of certain products or strains. It added that it "expects licensed sellers to take reasonable steps to ensure that registered patients continue to have access to the products they need for medical purposes". The Angus Reid Institute, a non-profit research foundation, released a poll indicating that one in eight Canadians has used cannabis since legalisation Canada legalises sale and use of cannabis Coffee shop sells cannabis extract drinks Shortages mar Canada's legal pot debut Health Canada says producers have shipped more than 14,500kg (32,000 lbs) of dried cannabis and 370 litres (81 gallons) of cannabis oil to date and have a reported inventory of more than 90,000kg of dried product and 41,000 litres of oil. Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria, one of Canada's biggest licensed producers, told the BBC's World Business Report that they have faced supply chain problems getting out of the gate. "It's like a five-lane highway all merging into a one lane, [there are] a lot of issues when you try to push so much through the system in a very short period of time," he said. Neufeld said the company faced delays getting its excise tax stamps and there were other hurdles caused by a last-minute change to labelling requirements. And there was greater than expected demand. But he also said they are waiting on Health Canada for various approvals that would allow them to "move faster, be more nimble, more efficient". Neufeld expects problems to be worked out by early 2019. While Burns concedes the current situation is not ideal for retailers, he predicts only temporary frustration. "This is long-term thing," he says of his company's foray into the cannabis market. "At the end of the day it'll be fine. A little speed bump. Everyone will forget all about it." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46200873
  9. Pot Activist Marc Emery Seeks Arrest to Challenge Quebec’s “Unconstitutional” Cannabis Laws Veteran marijuana activist Marc Emery is still fighting, post-legalization. By Caitlin Donohue November 12, 2018 Marc Emery/ Twitter What’s it take to get a white guy picked up on cannabis charges in downtown Montreal in post-legalization Canada? Longtime Toronto-based marijuana advocate Marc Emery found out on Sunday the answer is: rather a lot. The Montreal Gazette reports that Emery spent upwards of two hours loudly hawking marijuana-emblazoned merch in front of a government-run cannabis store, which he says is illegal under current law. His pop-up was an attempt to confront the state’s legal system over what Emery sees as major failings in the new Quebec Cannabis Regulation Act. According to Emery, the offending language in the legislation is the section declaring that, “any operator of a business selling, giving, or exchanging a product that is not cannabis and contains a name, logo, slogan associated directly with the SQDC, a brand of cannabis or an authorized producer” is eligible for a fine of up to $62,500 Canadian.” In addition, “any person … not complying with the standards established by the government in matters of promotion” of cannabis is liable to a fine of between $5,000 and $500,000.” What Exactly is Emery Fighting? Emery’s issue is not that he would like to be able to sell the pot leaf flags, 420 stickers, and Bob Marley shirts that he brought along for his one-man protest action. Rather, he is concerned that the government’s end game is to take over and subvert both both the cannabis industry and cannabis user culture. “Ultimately the Quebec government, and I suspect the federal government and many other provincial governments want to get rid of cannabis culture paraphernalia shops entirely and the gov’t be the exclusive handler of our culture,” Emery shared on Twitter. The advocate appears to use his social media account on the site to post cannabis news, op-eds, and retweet the white supremacist-signaling comments of Conservative Parliament member Maxime Bernier. The Montreal Gazette reports that the activist was “gently chiding” customers of the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) store as they waited for their weed in the cold. “All these things are illegal in Quebec under the Quebec Cannabis Regulation Act,” Emery is reported to have yelled while conducting his protest pop-up. “You can’t (sell) any products with 420 on it, or the cannabis leaf or any kind of promotional sayings, so I’ve got T-shirts, illegal banned flags, and everything is a lot cheaper than normal because I’m not really doing it for the money. I’m just trying to get charged.” He nearly succeeded around 2:30 p.m., when the Gazette reports that two Montreal police officers arrived. But when they threatened to book him under a municipal bylaw that bans permit-less outside retail, Emery decided to pack up. It wasn’t the law he was there to protest, after all. “I’ll have to come up with a new strategy where I won’t be deterred by some municipal bylaw,” he told the Gazette. If the incident seems to have been concocted for media attention alone, rest assured that Emery has more than proven that he is ready to do time in the name of cannabis culture. He spent upwards of four years in jail after being extradited to the United States for selling cannabis seeds by mail to US customers. In 2016, he was arrested and eventually fined for operating six illegal Cannabis Culture dispensaries in Montreal. His response? To open more illegal dispensaries — at one point there were 19 Cannabis Culture locations in three different Canadian provinces. https://hightimes.com/news/pot-activist-marc-emery-seeks-arrest-challenge-quebecs-unconstitutional-cannabis-laws
  10. Canadian Officials Report No Spike in Impaired Driving After Cannabis Legalization Early police data shows that as far as traffic safety goes, not much is different after legalization in Canada. By Adam Drury November 15, 2018 Shutterstock In the lead up to Canada’s world-historic legalization of cannabis on October 17, most public and official debates about the law centered on how to best implement it–not whether legalization was a good idea. But one anti-legalization talking point in particular remained lodged in the national conversation: the concern over a post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving. And when it became clear that Canada’s legalization of adult-use cannabis was a matter of when, not if, law enforcement officials’ hand-wringing over the issue managed to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars out of public coffers and into officer training, drug awareness programs, and expensive roadside testing equipment. But a month after legalization went into effect, early data collected by the CBC shows that police have not seen any uptick in instances of cannabis-impaired driving. Canadian Police Aren’t Seeing the Spike in Cannabis-Impaired Driving They Spent Millions Preparing For Canadian safety groups’ concerns that legalization would lead to an increase in cannabis-impaired driving are not without reason. Indeed, Canada has the worst drunk-driving record of any wealthy country. 34 percent of all traffic deaths are alcohol-related, and years of public messaging about the dangers of drunk driving have made little impact. But with so little opposition to cannabis, these concerns quickly became exaggerated, pouring massive public investment and energy into a problem that had yet to materialize. About a year ago, the crusade against the specter of dangerous, drug-addled drivers flooding Canadian highways took an odd turn. R.I.D.E. Checks, a Canadian road safety group, partnered with a marketing firm to create three broadside advertisements for strange cannabis strains. The strange strain names were based on scenarios a cannabis-influenced driver might face, like Kourtroom Kush, Slammer Time!, and White Whiplash. On the official side of things, Canadian police routinely sounded the alarm about cannabis-impaired driving, saying they didn’t have enough time to train officers to detect cannabis impairment or field test new detection devices. Police even rolled out a new training curriculum focused on cannabis and developed an online course to train officers in the new cannabis laws. Then, in July, the Canadian government announced a $62.5 million, five-year spending package to combat drug-impaired driving. Meanwhile, Canada’s attorney general approved a German-engineered roadside mouth swab drug test that is already facing legal challenges. And before passing the Cannabis Act, lawmakers ratcheted up the penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs, establishing strict new impaired driving rules. Most Weed Driving Offenses are for Improper Storage or Passenger Consumption However, the CBC is reporting that police departments in multiple provinces and territories across Canada have seen no change in the amount of instances of cannabis-impaired driving. Alcohol-impaired driving continues to be the most common reason police arrest impaired drivers. Furthermore, of the citations for cannabis-related driving offenses departments have issued, most are for improper storage or passenger consumption. Driver impairment, in other words, was not a common reason for cannabis citations. The data CBC collected breaks down as follows: Police officials in Regina, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island all said there was no significant change in driver behavior after legalization. In Manitoba, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they’ve issued 3 cannabis-impaired driving charges and 50 alcohol-impaired driving charges since October 17. Vancouver police forces say that most of their 18 cannabis and driving violations were for open containers of weed or passengers who were smoking weed in the vehicle. Toronto is on pace to have a handful more drug-impaired driving incidents compared to 2017’s figure. But Toronto police don’t specify intoxicant in their data. British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Quebec are all on pace to have lower numbers of drug-impaired driving arrests this year than last. In short, the amount of drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of cannabis hasn’t changed significantly after legalization. However, it may be too soon to tell what kind of effect legalization will ultimately have. Driving high is definitely risky behavior. In addition to impairing drivers ability to operate a vehicle safely, driving high is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. https://hightimes.com/news/canadian-officials-report-no-spike-impaired-driving-after-cannabis-legalization
  11. Mexico's Supreme Court Effectively Legalizes Marijuana Possession, Cultivation, and Use [FEATURE] by psmith, November 15, 2018 In an earth-shaking development, Mexico's Supreme Court ruled last Wednesday that the country's prohibition of marijuana use, possession, and personal cultivation is unconstitutional. The decision came in a pair of cases challenging the ban on weed, and because these rulings mark the fifth time the court has ruled similarly, the opinions are now legal precedent in the country. The high court in Mexico City based its decision on constitutional protections of individual autonomy. "The fundamental right of the free development of the personality allows adults to choose -- without any interference -- what recreational activities they desire to undertake and protects all the activities necessary to make that choice… The effects of marijuana consumption do not justify an absolute prohibition of its use," the court held. But the court also noted explicitly that the right to grow, possess, and consume marijuana "is not absolute and the consumption of certain substances can be regulated." That means it will be up to lawmakers to come up with rules around the legal use of marijuana, as well as any move toward a regulated, legal marijuana market in the country. And that is likely to happen: Parties backing President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who is supportive of marijuana legalization and open to considering broader legalization, control absolute majorities in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. In its rulings, the high court ordered the federal health regulatory agency, COFEPRIS, to authorize the use of marijuana by adults who choose to do so, but it also added: "albeit without allowing them to market it, or use other narcotics or psychotropic drugs." Mexico has already decriminalized both pot possession and the possession of personal use amounts of other illicit drugs. Coming less than two weeks after Canada's marijuana legalization came into effect, the striking decision by the Mexican Supreme Court is only going to add to the pressure to advance federal marijuana legalization here in the US. "This is extraordinary because it is taking place in one of the countries that has suffered the most from the war on drugs," said Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. "With marijuana already legal in Canada, now both of the US's neighbors will have legal marijuana, making the US federal government's prohibition of marijuana even more untenable." If the Democrats take control of the House this week, expect to see a strong push for federal legalization, along the lines that Congressional Cannabis Caucus founder Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) laid out earlier this month. If the Republicans retain control of the Senate, as is widely expected, the upper chamber would be a tougher nut to crack -- but GOP senators may want to reflect on the fact that, according to the most recent Gallup poll, support for legalizing weed is at an all-time high of 66 percent, and even 53 percent of Republican voters now are on board. This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. The Drug Policy Alliance is a financial supporter of both Drug War Chronicle and Drug Reporter. stopthedrugwar
  12. Marijuana Massages: Thirteen Denver Area Spas With CBD Treatments Thomas Mitchell November 15, 2018 You can have CBD-infused coffee, food and even massage oils. Jacqueline Collins From their start as a side gig for medical marijuana dispensaries that needed to fill space, cannabis-infused massages are still somewhat rare in town. But that's changing as the infusion of lotions and oils with cannabinoids shows potential for treating body pains and skin disorders. The rising popularity of CBD has made pot pampering even more prevalent. Over a dozen masseuses and spas in the Denver area offer a CBD massage package, with customers looking for help with everything from nerve pain to aches after a rough day on the ski slopes. Some masseuses will even make home and hospital visits if mobility is a challenge. Another pro tip: If you prefer THC-infused lotion, call ahead and ask if you can bring your own; masseuses can't provide you with THC products, but they might apply them. Here are thirteen businesses around Denver that provide CBD-infused massages: Back in a Flash 1940 Pennsylvania Street 720-459-8934 backinaflashnow.com Primal Therapeutics Mobile 719-429-7651 cannabismassagecolorado.com Peace of Mind Massage 1249 South Pearl Street 303-881-5533 denverpeaceofmindmassage.com Elixir Mind Body Massage 1518 Wazee Street, Suite A 303-571-4455 elixirmindbodymassage.com Behr Bodywork 1820 East Colfax Avenue 303-358-4204 behrbodywork.com LoDo Massage Studio 3101 Walnut Street, 720-360-0035 3450 West 32nd Avenue, 720-999-3336 lodomassagestudio.com Parker Med Spa provides CBD massages for the south Denver suburbs. Google Maps Releaf Massage and Wellness Mobile 720-257-1792 releaf-massage-and-wellness.business.site True Bliss Massage & Reiki 738 East 18th Avenue 720-440-2067 trueblissmassage.com Renew Massage Studio 221 South Clarkson Street, Suite 200 303-990-0841 renewmassagestudio.com Compassion Massage Therapy Denver Mobile 720-732-7865 compassionmassagedenver.com Mountain Serenity Massage & Wellness 5742 South Netherland Street, Centennial 720-739-0140 mtserenitymassage.com Phyto Therapeutic Healing Center 11059 East Bethany Drive, Suite 108, Aurora 720-818-0132 phytotherapeuticcbd.com Parker Med Spa 303-841-8780 19767 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker parkermedspa.com https://www.westword.com/marijuana/jeff-sessions-wont-be-missed-by-the-marijuana-industry-but-could-the-next-ag-be-worse-10989931
  13. Ontario's private cannabis retailers open their doors on April 1, and here are the rules Until April, cannabis can only be legally purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store TORONTO — The Ontario government has released regulations that will guide the startup of private cannabis stores on April 1. The stand-alone stores can be open any day between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., but they must be at least 150 metres away from schools and bar entry to anyone under 19 years old. A market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator has been set. Until April, cannabis can only be legally purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store. Applications for licences will begin on Dec. 17 and illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after legalization on Oct. 17 will not be eligible to receive cannabis sales licences. Licences won’t be issued to any person or organization who has an association with organized crime, and applicants must demonstrate their tax compliance status to show they are in good standing with the government. “The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly-regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest,” Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said in a statement. Retail managers and employees must complete approved training in the responsible sale of cannabis. The government says it will provide $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-releases-cannabis-regulations-for-retail-stores-set-to-open-april-1
  14. Legal Cannabis Shortages Will Continue for Years Due to Canada's Strict Regulations, Industry Experts Warn By Jason Lemon 11/14/18 Marijuana industry experts in Canada have predicted that nationwide shortages plaguing dispensaries following legalization last month will continue for years to come—and strict regulations are to blame. Lack of product has caused some legal pot shops to temporarily close down within the first month of national legalization, with the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan all reporting shortage problems. Khurram Malik, CEO of the Ontario-based cannabis company Biome Grow Inc, told Canada’s Global News that overly stringent regulations are one of the driving factors behind a lack of supply. “The rules here are so difficult to grow cannabis — quite frankly more difficult than anywhere else in the world,” Malik complained. “If you’re a new license holder and you’ve never done this before, it’s going to take you a year, year-and-a-half, or two years to get any decent, consistent quality product out the door in any predictable volumes,” he said, pointing to California as much cheaper and easier location to grow cannabis. People line up outside of a cannabis store in Quebec City, Quebec on October 17 ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images Malik explained that many suppliers stocked up ahead of legalization, anticipating high demand. However, he said that backup supply will be used up soon and then the shortages will likely increase. “Once that’s out of the way, then you’re going to have intermittent shortages throughout 2019 and into 2020 as people produce and ship right away,” he said. André Gagnon, a spokesperson for Health Canada, the government department that regulates the budding legal industry, brushed aside concerns over shortages in comments to The New York Times last week. “As with any new industry where there is considerable consumer demand, we expect there may be periods where inventories of some products run low or, in some cases, run out,” he said, pointing to the historic nature of Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Health Canada also told Global News that it has taken steps to make the licensing process more efficient and to increase the capacity of producers. But some shop owners have already heard customers say they will return to the illicit market, as they are unable to find adequate supplies of legal cannabis products to purchase. Cannabis users congregate at Trinity Bellwoods Park for a "smoke out" on October 17 in Toronto, Canada. Ian Willms/Getty Images “A lot of them have said, ‘Well I guess it’s back to the black market’,” Brenda Tobin, who owns a marijuana shop with her son, told Global News. “We hate to hear that, but I’m assuming if they want their product, they’re going to get it one way or the other.” Aurora Cannabis, one of Canada’s leading marijuana producers, has seen “strong demand” for recreational weed since October 17, when the plant was officially legalized. It also expects to continue seeing demand outstrip supply for some time, as it has already fallen a bit short of meeting orders. “We, we think, have done better than other companies, our peers,” Cam Battley, Aurora’s chief corporate officer told a conference call with financial analysts. “We will be ramping up, we will be able to pick up some of the slack soon. But we can’t do that immediately.” https://www.newsweek.com/canada-legal-weed-shortages-continue-years-1215829
  15. Saskatchewan First Nation passes its own legal cannabis law, plans to open shop By The Canadian Press November 14, 2018 First Nation in Saskatchewan puts forward its own legal cannabis law Gavin Young FORT QU’APPELLE, Sask. — A small Indigenous community northeast of Regina plans to open its own marijuana dispensary after passing its own legal cannabis law. The Muscowpetung First Nation approved its Cannabis-Hemp Act on Monday. Chief Anthony Cappo says the law is meant to make cannabis more accessible, affordable and safe for the community. The First Nation does not have one of the 51 marijuana permits issued by the Saskatchewan government to sell legal recreational pot. Justice Minister Don Morgan is encouraging the First Nation to follow provincial laws. He says the government may release another round of licenses next year and is willing to talk to the First Nation about it. Cappo says the Muscowpetung First Nation’s law exceeds federal standards for cannabis use. “Along with recreational use, Muscowpetung will be focused on using the cannabis plant to promote overall community health benefits and potential economic development opportunities,” Cappo said in a release. The Muscowpetung First Nation website says it has an on-reserve population of 380 with a total member listing of approximately 1,500. (CTV Regina, The Canadian Press) https://www.thegrowthop.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/saskatchewan-first-nation-passes-its-own-legal-cannabis-law-plans-to-open-shop/wcm/75fe3509-12f2-487b-a143-2470b416b4ea
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