Medical Cannabis Cultivation Bill Approved in New Hampshire House

House Bill 431 was introduced on Jan. 5, 2023, and has proceeded through numerous sessions and hearings before passing in the House on March 22. If passed, it would allow patients as well as caregivers to cultivate up to three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings at home. Additionally, HB-341 would also increase the number of plants that medical cannabis dispensaries can grow, with 80 mature plants, 160 immature plants, and an endless number of seedlings.

The bill requires that patients report their cultivation to the Department of Health and Human Services, and as a qualifying patient or caregiver, would be protected from arrest by state or local law enforcement or penalty under state or municipal law.

During the hearings that have been conducted so far, two concerns have been discussed, according to Rep. Erica Layon of Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs. “This bill as amended provides a framework for therapeutic cannabis patients or their caregivers to grow cannabis with restrictions. This bill addresses two major problems for this community—access and price,” said Layon during a meeting on March 17. “The closest Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) may be far away and the cost of this product is high. Most therapeutic cannabis patients will continue to purchase their product from ATCs and those who choose to grow their own will be able to purchase seedlings from the ATC or grow from seeds according to their preference. This bill has broad support from stakeholders including patient representatives, ATCs and the department.”

Rep. Wendy Thomas, one of the sponsors of HB-341, tweeted about the bill’s progress so far. “Passed on a voice vote of the Consent Calendar—HB-431—Therapeutic home-grow now moves to the Senate One step closer. Thanks to all of the many advocates who have worked to make this happen. Let us not take our foot off the gas until we get this signed,” she posted on March 22. The bill now heads to the senate for further consideration.

On Twitter, Prime Alternative Treatment Centers Director of Public and Government Relations Matt Simon shared that he believes this is the 11th time that a medical cannabis cultivation bill has passed through the House since 2009. According to Simon, only four of those bills passed through the Senate.

As of January, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s office predicts that cannabis legalization will not reach his desk. “It’s failed in the Senate repeatedly, in both Republican-held years and Democrat-held years,” Sununu’s office said in a statement to New Hampshire Public Radio. “With teen drug use and overdoses on the rise, it is not anticipated that the legislature will see this as a time to ignore the data and move it forward.”

House Bill 360 also recently passed in the House on March 21, which would legalize adult-use cannabis by removing cannabis from the state’s list of banned substances and removing any criminal penalties for cannabis offenses. While cannabis would be legal to possess, cultivate, and purchase, it does not implement any tax or regulation program. It has also moved to the Senate for further consideration.

House Bill 639 has also been making its way through the House. If passed, it would legalize possession, cannabis sales, and gifting of up to four ounces, create a Liquor and Cannabis Commission to manage industry regulations statewide, implement taxes for cultivators, and much more. The latest hearing was held on March 20.

Rep. Anita Burroughs spoke during a floor debate for HB-639 on Feb. 22, and explained that it is “good legislation that is the result of the goodwill and diligent work of both political parties.” “We can now join other New England states that offer safe, regulated and a profitable cannabis industry to their citizens,” she continued.

Other representatives expressed their excitement when HB-639 passed on Feb. 22. “I cast my vote on cannabis legalization from seat 4-20!” Tweeted Rep. Amanda Bouldin. “We did the damn thing #blazeit” Rep. Jessica Grill shared.

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Taliban Bans Weed Cultivation

Sharia law in the Taliban-dominated country of Afghanistan now bans weed cultivation along a long list of other basic freedoms.

The Express-Tribune reports that Taliban supreme leader Mawlavi Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a decree in Kabul, Afghanistan that the cultivation of cannabis is prohibited across the country. The decree was reported on March 19. When someone is caught growing cannabis, the operation will be destroyed and violators punished according to Sharia law.

“Cultivation in the whole country is completely banned and if anyone grows them, the plantation will be destroyed. The courts have also been ordered to punish the violators as per Sharia laws,” stated Akhundzada.

Who is Akhundzada? CBS News reported on Feb. 17, 2023 that Akhundzada has essentially taken Afghanistan back to the “Stone Age,” with one of the most draconian takes on Sharia law. Within two years, he took women out of schools in the country, again. Even the Taliban’s acting Minister of Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani criticized Akhundzada’s thirst for power.

What exactly are punishments under Sharia law? The “crimes” of apostasy, revolt, adultery, slander, and alcohol carry penalties that include the amputation of hands and feet, flogging, and/or death. This also includes punishments for the uncovered bodies and hair of women.

Cannabis (and opium) trade is believed to have “fueled militancy” in Afghanistan before the Taliban’s rise to power in 2021. After Sept. 11, 2001 insurgents in Afghanistan never gave up, for over 20 years.

On April, 14, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that remaining troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years after 9-11. Four presidents subsequently failed to dissolve the Taliban. But after announcing the withdrawal, the Taliban military immediately sprung into action and took the capital, Kabul, on Aug. 15, 2021, causing the government to collapse. The Taliban announced control about a month later.

Cannabis in Afghanistan

Cannabis cultivation is by no means a limited underground phenomenon in Afghanistan.

For background, cannabis remains one of the most produced crops by farmers across the country. Afghanistan “is the second country most frequently reported as the origin of seized cannabis resin worldwide, accounting for 18 percent of all reports on the main ‘country of origin’ in the period 2015–2019,” the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) reported in 2021. Only Morocco reports more seizures of cannabis resin.

Between 10,000 and 24,000 hectares of cannabis were grown every year in Afghanistan, with major operations in 17 out 34 provinces the UNODC reported in 2010.

It’s kind of a double standard if you look at what the Taliban has done in the past. Before the Taliban took over power once again in 2021, militants reportedly “siphoned off millions of dollars” from pot farmers and the smugglers who ship cannabis.

Creating more hypocrisy, the Taliban claimed to have partnered with a medical cannabis company in 2021.

Taliban Press Director Qari Saeed Khosty claimed that a contract had been signed between the government and a cannabis firm called Cpharm to set up a $450 million cannabis processing centre in Afghanistan, and further that the facility would be “up and running within days.” The news ran globally, picked up by outlets including the Times of London.

This also coincided with a report on Afghanistan’s Pajhwok Afghan News Service that representatives of the company met with counter-narcotic officials at the Ministry of the Interior to discuss the production of medicines and creams. 

Cpharm Australia, the first company named in the press as being involved in the deal, subsequently rebuked the claim, according to Reuters

For the time being, cannabis cultivation is banned for everyone else in the country.

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Court Ruling Could Lead to Cannabis Planting in Brazil

According to Reuters, the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), which serves as the top appeals court in Brazil for non-constitutional matters, “has agreed to rule on whether companies and farmers can plant cannabis in the country, which could open the door to legal cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes after legislative efforts stalled in recent years.” 

The case was brought by a biotech company called DNA Solucoes em Biotecnologia, which is “arguing for the right to import seeds and plant cannabis with higher levels of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive component in the plant,” according to Reuters. 

Reuters reported that the decision from the appeals court “was made public on March 14 and established its jurisdiction for a nationwide precedent regarding the import of seeds and planting of cannabis.”

And that decision has carried immediate implications.

“Now, all pending cases regarding permission to plant cannabis in the country will be frozen until the STJ makes a final and biding decision,” according to the outlet. “Brazil allows the sale and production of cannabis products, but companies must import the key ingredients. The court’s final ruling on cannabis, expected within the next year, could make it a trailblazer on a topic spurned by many in Brazil’s conservative-leaning Congress, like the Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling paving the way for same-sex marriage.”

Last summer, the Superior Court of Justice ruled that patients in Brazil can grow their own cannabis for medical treatment.

In that decision, the five-judge panel ruled in favor of three patients who had brought the case, authorizing them “to grow cannabis for medical treatment, a decision that is likely to be applied nationwide in similar cases,” the Associated Press reported at the time.

The unanimous decision by the court allowed the “three patients [to] grow cannabis and extract its oil for use in pain relief.”

“The discourse against this possibility is moralistic. It often has a religious nature, based on dogmas, on false truths, stigmas,” Judge Rogério Schietti said in the ruling. “Let us stop this prejudice, this moralism that delays the development of this issue at the legislative, and many times clouds the minds of Brazilian judges.”

Medical cannabis is legal in Brazil, though limited. Recreational marijuana use is prohibited. 

Marijuana legalization did not figure prominently in Brazil’s presidential election last year, with candidates generally steering clear of the issue. 

The winner of that election, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, “does not seem to have a very concrete plan regarding cannabis specifically,” according to Benzinga, which noted that it “remains to be seen if said plan will respond to the claims of the cannabis community; but if we go by his broader drug policy plan, it’s safe to assume it will be more humane than his predecessor’s.”

Reuters has more background on the country’s weed policy:

“Brazil has banned growing Cannabis sativa L, the plant that makes hemp and marijuana. Researchers and cannabis firms have argued that Brazil’s tropical climate is ideally suited to make it a leading global supplier.”

The decision this month by the Superior Court of Justice to rule on the case suggests that the panel is prepared to establish a precedent on the issue. 

Reuters cited the Brazilian lawyer Victor Miranda, who “said the STJ’s decision to set precedent on the matter was consistent with Brazilian jurisprudence and gave no clear sign of how it would ultimately rule on the merits of the case.”

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New Jersey Cultivation Cap Expired, But Real Estate Issues Remain

New Jersey’s cannabis legalization law initially went into effect in 2021 with a cultivator cap set at 37 licenses. Adult-use sales launched in April 2022, but at the time only seven cultivators were licensed to supply cannabis 13 dispensaries across the state. Last month, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) allowed the cap to expire on Feb. 22.

“The market is developing, and we don’t want to hinder that. The New Jersey canopy is currently only 418,000 square feet—far below the average of other states with legal cannabis,” said Commissioner Maria Del Cid-Kosso. “New Jersey currently has only one cultivation license for every 197,000 residents. The national average is one license for every 31,000 residents. We have a lot of room to grow. We expect that lifting the cap will open the space for more cultivators, ultimately resulting in more favorable pricing and better access for patients and other consumers.”

As of March 2, the CRC has granted licenses to 17 operational cultivation facilities. But even with the cultivation license cap change, many New Jersey municipalities have opted out of adult-use cannabis. One year ago, the Ashbury Park Press reported that nearly 400 towns had opted out of being home to any cannabis businesses. The co-founder and president of New Jersey-based Premium Genetics, Darrin Chandler Jr., told MJBizDaily that finding potential real estate opportunities is “almost impossible,” and described prices as “astronomical.”

On the patient side, New Jersey is still the only state with a medical cannabis program that does not allow patients to grow at home. In the past, many bills have been introduced to permit home cultivation to allow medical cannabis patients to grow for personal use. Bill S342, which is sponsored by Sen. Troy Singleton and Sen. Vin Gopal, would allow patients to cultivate at home. However, a report from Politico states that opposition from Senate President Nick Scutari is a significant roadblock for the bill.

New Jersey’s industry is continuing to attract outside cannabis businesses. Brands such as Al Harrington’s Viola products are expanding into the state this month, starting on March 24 at RISE dispensaries. According to Harrington, he wants to expand his brand to support the local community. “I want to make sure that we are educating our community and empowering them with knowledge to understand the cannabis plant and the benefits that come from it,” Harrington told Business Insider.

Similarly, Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan is preparing to open Hashtoria Cannabis Lounge in Newark, New Jersey as well. “Getting excited yall!!! @hashstoria coming to the brick city !!!!! This is going to be flyest consumption lounge to hit the east coast. This will be monumental ! All hail to the mighty green ! Be strong, be wise and be the best version of you!!! #newjersey #cannabis #hashstoria” Raekwon recently wrote on Instagram.

Recently, the CRC held a public comment period to discuss its draft rules for cannabis consumption rules, which ends on March 18. This includes restrictions for on-site food sales, but permits food to be delivered or brought in from outside, and prohibition of tobacco and alcohol sales on-site.

In late February, the New Jersey Attorney General released an updated drug testing policy for law enforcement. Under the new revision, law enforcement officers will only be drug tested if they appear intoxicated at work. “Agencies must undertake drug testing when there is reasonable suspicion to believe a law enforcement officer is engaged in the illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance, or is under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, including unregulated marijuana, or cannabis during work hours.”

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Georgia House Passes Bill To Increase Medical Pot Licenses

The Georgia House of Representatives passed a bill on March 7 that would expand the number of medical cannabis licenses available. The passage of House Bill 196, which received 170 votes in favor and only two opposed, would boost the current license number of six to 15. According to the Capitol Beat, the passage of this bill is to address the lawsuits that the state of Georgia has received from cannabis businesses that were denied a license.

Although Georgia first legalized medical cannabis oil possession in 2015, it took four years for legislators to introduce bills that would regulate cannabis cultivation and sales. In 2019, six licenses were issued in total, including two Class 1 licenses (for cultivation up to 100,000 square feet) and four Class 2 licenses (cultivation up to 50,000 square feet). 

This includes two Class 1 licenses owners Botanical Sciences LLC and Trulieve Georgia, and four Class 2 licenses that were delayed due to numerous lawsuits, which caused the suspension of all chosen applicants.

Initially, the Class 2 licenses were awarded to FFD GA Holdings, TheraTrue Georgia LLC, Natures GA LLC, and Treevana Remedy Inc. in July 2021. Protests were filed by applicants who were not chosen. According to Kristen Goodman, the lawyer representing these four of the applicants who did not win a license, the license process was a “train wreck.” She also stated that the two licenses that have been confirmed went to out-of-state companies. “They’re not serving the children who have excessive seizures in Northwest Georgia. They’re not serving the children with cancer in Southwest Georgia,” said Goodman. “They have all the market they need right here in the central part of the state.”

In an attempt to remedy the situation, the House introduced HB-1425 in February 2022 which would have completely started the license process over from scratch. The Senate offered a substitute to HB-1425 that would ask the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission to award licenses to six applicants, but not specifically the same six applicants that were originally chosen. Ultimately, the House bill was shut down and the Senate version advanced, but eventually died at the end of 2022.

Rep. Alan Powell spoke to legislators on March 6 about the necessity of HB-196 as a way to resolve the ongoing issue. “Let’s fix the system,” said Powell. “Let’s get it moving and go forward.”

The HB-196 also requires that a Medical Cannabis Commission Oversight Committee be created to manage “membership, inspections, provision of information, plan for accredited lab testing, and patient and physician input.” If passed, it would also allow the commission to increase the number of dispensaries based on how many medical cannabis patients are registered. Every increment of 5,000 patients would allow an additional Class 2 license, and every 10,000 patients would allow an additional Class 1 license, in order to keep up with demand. As of February, there are almost 25,000 medical cannabis patients on the state registry.

Now HB-196 moves on to the Senate for consideration.

In the meantime, owners of Botanical Sciences LLC and Trulieve Georgia are moving forward with their respective businesses. Botanical Sciences CEO Gary Long told Georgia Public Broadcasting about his progress. “We have already begun the production process, which starts with the seeding of cannabis plants in our indoor growing facility producing a variety of tinctures, capsules, and topicals formulated to address the needs of Georgia patients,” Long said. “The opening of our facility was a key milestone for our company, for the city of Glennville, and for the many thousands of those in need awaiting access to this critical form of medicine.”

Trulieve released a press statement on Dec. 6, 2022. “Trulieve is thrilled to receive a Georgia cannabis production license and we appreciate the Commission’s diligence throughout the selection process,” said Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers. “We look forward to educating the Georgia market on the numerous health and wellness benefits of cannabis, as well as providing patients statewide access to the medical cannabis they have been seeking.”

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Hawaii Senators Pass Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

On March 7, the Hawaii Senate voted to pass an adult-use cannabis bill in a 22-3 vote. Also referred to as SB669 SD2, the bill would set up a framework for cultivation, manufacturing, sales, and taxes. It would allow residents to possess up to 30 grams, cultivate up to six plants for personal use, and also decriminalize small amounts of cannabis as well.

The bill was first introduced by Sen. Joy A. San Buenaventura, Sen. Stanley Chang, Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, and Sen. Angus LK McKelvey on Jan. 20, and has consistently worked through numerous committee hearings. Sen. Keohokalole chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, where amendments were addressed, including establishing penalties for unlicensed cultivation, protecting employers who want to prohibit employee cannabis use, preventing any cannabis business from opening within 1,000 feet of youth-related areas, and other changes to address cannabis licensing that does not allow monopolies to develop. 

“Today marks a significant step forward in the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Hawaiʻi. These amendments are reflective of the Senate’s commitment to ensuring a fair and well-regulated cannabis market that provides safe access to both adult consumers and existing medical patients,” said Keohokalole. “If legalization of adult-use cannabis is something that is supported by the Governor, we hope his administration, which has thus far opposed every proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis, will work with us to bring this to fruition.” 

After passing in the Senate with amendments, it was sent to the House for consideration on the same day.

On Jan. 11, a different adult-use cannabis bill, HB-237, was introduced by Rep. Hawaii Rep. Jeanné Kapela. This bill would establish a regulatory framework for legalization as well, but would also include language to allow out-of-state patients to benefit from medical cannabis law, and would make medical cannabis sales exempt from being charged with the general excise tax. Additionally, Kapela introduced HB-283, which would prohibit employers from discriminating against potential hires or current employees for their medical cannabis consumption. Neither HB-237 and HB-238 have progressed past hearings, which were held in late January.

A recent poll published by the Hawaii Cannabis Industry Association at the end of January found that 86% of adult Hawaiian residents are in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis, with only 9% in opposition, and 5% saying that they don’t know. The poll also found that adult-use was slightly more popular than medical, in a 45% to 41% comparison. Overall, the state could collect up to $81.7 million in taxes and $423 million in gross revenue if cannabis legalization was passed. 

An additional report from the Dual Use Cannabis Task Force also published its findings in January, and shared that cannabis tax revenue could reach between $34 million to $53 million. 

Kapela focused on the data provided by that task force report to create the bill she introduced. “We all know, and Hawaii’s people know, that it is high time to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults in Hawaii. This year we stand on the precipice of history,” Kapela said. “Following the recommendations of a task force devoted to addressing cannabis policy, we now have a roadmap for legalizing recreational cannabis in our islands.”

Aside from the pace of support for cannabis legalization from legislators, efforts to legalize therapeutic psilocybin have also become popular. One such bill, SB-1454, was introduced in January, and unanimously passed in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Feb. 6. It aims to establish regulations to create a “therapeutic psilocybin working group” to examine the medical benefits of psilocybin for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and end-of-life psychological distress.

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Illinois Extends Craft Grower Deadline

Regulators in Illinois have extended the operational deadline for some craft cannabis growers in the state. 

The state’s Department of Agriculture said that its administrative rules “allow for craft growers to receive an operational extension for good cause shown, at the Department’s discretion,” and as such, it “has granted an operational extension to all craft grower license holders due to a number of factors, including ongoing Covid-19 impacts and supply chain issues.”

Under the state’s adult-use cannabis program, a “craft grower license allows the holder to cultivate, dry, cure and package cannabis,” according to Illinois Cannabiz Attorneys, which offers a primer on the license:

“To apply for this license, one must submit a completed application to the Department of Agriculture. The amount of cannabis a license holder can grow is limited by square footage. A craft grower may have up to 5,000 square feet of canopy space for marijuana plants in the flowering stage. It should be noted that this space only includes the space occupied by the plants and does not include any aisles or walkways in between the plants. This amount may be increased over time in increments of 3,000 square feet based on the department’s determination of market need, capacity, and the license holder’s history of compliance. The largest space that will be allowed by the Department will be 14,000 square feet for plants in the flowering stage.”

The Department of Agriculture said that it had “previously authorized an operational deadline extension for 2021 Craft Growers which required them to become operational by March 1, 2023,” but that it “is now authorizing an additional extension applicable to all 2021 Craft Growers, extending their operational deadline to February 1, 2024.”

Legal adult-use cannabis sales took effect in Illinois in 2020, the result of a bill signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker the previous year.

“As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies the best of democracy: a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people,” Pritzker said at the time. “Legalizing adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do. This legislation will clear the cannabis-related records of nonviolent offenders through an efficient combination of automatic expungement, gubernatorial pardon and individual court action. I’m so proud that our state is leading with equity and justice in its approach to cannabis legalization and its regulatory framework. Because of the work of the people here today and so many more all across our state, Illinois is moving forward with empathy and hope.”

The state hasn’t looked back ever since. In his “state of the state” address last month, Pritzker said that marijuana legalization “has created more than 30,000 jobs since 2020, and Illinois is home to the country’s most diverse cannabis industry and some of the largest companies.” 

In January, Pritzker’s administration touted a record-setting year for cannabis sales in 2022, saying that “adult use cannabis dispensaries sold $1,552,324,820.37 worth of product, an increase of more than 12% from 2021 and 131% from 2020, the first year cannabis sales were first legally allowed in Illinois.”

“When I signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law in 2019, we set out on an ambitious goal: to create the most equitable and economically prosperous cannabis industry in the nation. Our data from 2022 shows that we are well on our way towards making that idea a reality,” Pritzker said in a statement in January. “Not only did we break our previous sales record by more than 12% with a total of more than $1.5 billion, we also saw the first of our social equity adult use cannabis dispensaries open their doors for business—paving the way for an even stronger 2023.”

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Grow Your Own Shrooms – Best Mushroom Grow Kits on the Market

Growing shrooms is relatively easy and cheap to do at home. All you really need are spores, a growth medium, and something to enclose all in; then you just let nature run its course. But if you’re new to the game and you’ve done any research, you’ve likely come across a number of different methods, terms, and supplies lists that can make the whole thing seem like a much more confusing process than it really is.  

But seriously, cultivating mushrooms does not have to be so complicated. To keep things simple, a growing number of companies are offering all-in-one mushroom grow kits (or spore-starter kits), so all you need to buy is the kit, some spore syringes, and a couple of assorted extras. Using one of these kits is how I was easily able to grow my first flush in the comfort of my own bedroom. Scroll down to learn about the kit I used, as well as a few other popular ones that are worth checking out.

Growing mushrooms at home – things to keep in mind  

Sterilize, sterilize, sterilize! Have you ever heard the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness”? This certainly applies in the case of cultivating the “flesh of the gods”. I really can’t stress this enough, keep your area clean! Be extra about it… wear gloves, a mask, keep your hair pulled back, and sanitize the surface that your grow kit will be on. Also, make sure to clean each and every part of your grow kit with soap and water, let it dry, then wipe it down with some alcohol wipes. 

It’s very easy for bacteria to contaminate a grow box, and once it’s sealed up and filled with the necessary amount of moisture/humidity required for mushrooms to grow, the bacteria will multiply and grow right along with it. My flush got a spot of contamination, but I was able to keep it minimal using a small amount of bleach, and the mushrooms that didn’t come into immediate contact with it were fine. 

Since all the kits in this article come with the required supplies, plus some form of instructions, this is really the only additional thing you need to keep in mind. Modern mushroom grow kits are designed to be relatively error-proof, so one of the only ways to mess up is by being careless and contaminating your grow space.

Best mushroom grow kits / spore-starter kits  

In my opinion, the best products combine the elements of affordability, convenience, and ease of use. If a product is well-priced, user-friendly, and makes your life easier in some way, what could really be better? With that in mind, I made the following list of what I think are some of the best magic mushroom grow kits on the consumer market. I’ve only used one on the list, but will be trying more to make comparisons as soon as I get the opportunity.  

Boombox Grow 

This is the kit I used so I decided to mention it first. It’s an all-inclusive kit that comes with everything you need to grow your own shrooms, minus the spores. Included in the boombox set up is a boombag contain sterilized grain, either sorghum or millet. It has a small port so you can easily inject your spores and watch the mycelium grow. After your bag is fully colonized, you break it open and mix it up with the “boombase”, which is a special soil mix that the mushrooms will grow out of. You simply dump the boombase into the fruiting chamber, carefully mix in your colonized grain, put the lid on the box, and watch straw get spun into gold. 

Third Wave Grow Kit 

Another kit that comes with everything you need, along with great reviews, is the one from the Third Wave. It includes all the items you will need in your cultivation journey (again, excluding spores), and everything comes pre-sterilized and ready to use right out of the box. What’s unique about this kit compared to others, is that it uses sterilized mycobags as the “fruiting chamber”, as opposed to larger containers that can take up a lot of space and are harder to hide. As a part of your purchase, you will also get access to Third Wave’s step-by-step Mushroom Growing Course which includes a text manual and detailed videos to guide you through the process. 

Cultiv8 from Psilobloom  

A bit pricier than some of these other kits, Psilobloom sells a kit called Cultiv8 that ships within the U.S. Along with documentation on how to use the kit, your purchase also includes a 1-on-1 call with the company’s resident cultivation expert to help walk you through the process. Psilobloom focuses on magic mushrooms specifically (as opposed to other mushroom grow kits), so their recommendations on finding spores and their knowledge about strains may be appealing for people who want to know more about growing magic mushrooms only, and on a deeper level.  

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Midwest Grow Kits 

A mushroom growing product list wouldn’t be complete without Midwest Grow Kits. The company has been around since 2011, but their parent company, Midwest Organics, has been in the mushroom growing industry for nearly two decades. Their most elaborate kit is their Mega Mushroom Growing & Incubator Kit, which has nearly 500 reviews on their website and a rating of 4.5 out of 5. It utilizes the classic jar method, allows you to grow up to 30 jars at once. Pretty much everything you need to cultivate this way will come in the box, except spores of course.  

Final thoughts

Whether you plan on growing mushrooms using jars, tubs, bags, or whatever method, you’re likely to find a kit that comes with everything you need to easily cultivate your own magic mushrooms. All you need to buy is your own spores! Although there will be an initial investment of up to $300, depending on what kit you choose, growing shrooms at home will save you quite a bit of money in the long run, especially if you use magic mushrooms regularly for therapeutic purposes.

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Ohio Cannabis Industry Announces Opposition to Medical Weed Revamp Bill

A group of medicinal cannabis operators and advocates in Ohio have joined forces in “strong opposition” to a bill that would dramatically alter the state’s medical marijuana program. The measure, Senate Bill 9 (SB 9), was introduced by state Senators Steve Huffman and Kirk Schuring on January 11.

The bill aims to update Ohio’s medical marijuana law, which was passed by the state legislature and signed into law in 2016. But this week, the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association (OMCIA) came out against SB 9, saying that the increase in medical marijuana dispensaries and cannabis cultivation space included in the measure would lead to an oversaturation of supply that could cripple the industry.

“SB 9 punishes companies like mine that have invested hundreds of millions of development dollars into our state,” Daniel Kessler, co-owner and CEO of medical marijuana cultivator and processor Rivera Creek said in a statement from the OMCIA. “Instead of reducing bureaucracy, this bill does the opposite by adding an additional level of oversight in the form of a commission of lifetime political appointees.”

The group says that the bill would add an additional two million square feet of medical cannabis cultivation space and add more than 60 new medical marijuana dispensary licenses to the 130 permits already issued. The legislation also adds cultivation licenses for some independent cannabis processors, as well as processing licenses for level 2 cultivators. 

“What we’ve found is that many of the growers want to expand and grow more,” Huffman said when the legislation was introduced earlier this year. “There’s more growers, there’s more demand. They put an application into the Department of Commerce, and it sits there for 18 months, two years. Hopefully this takes the bureaucracy out of this and streamlines things and make it a better-functioning industry.”

Ohio Group Says Increased Capacity Unnecessary

But the OMCIA says that the increased production capacity would come at a time when “many current cultivators have scaled back their production by 30% – 50% and are not operating at full capacity.” The group also noted that Ohio’s current medical marijuana program regulations already have provisions allowing current operators to expand their operations as the market grows. 

“We are opposed to the massive expansion outlined in SB 9 because it lacks the data justifying that such an expansion is needed,” said Bryan Murray, executive vice president of government relations at multistate cannabis operator Acreage Holdings. “The negative impact of oversupply in markets across the nation cannot be overstated – and opening the floodgates in contradiction to market realities would be detrimental to the industry in Ohio.”

Kessler added that “the expansion measures in the bill would add immense supply to an already over-supplied market. Despite my company’s high-quality product reputation, we currently have hundreds of pounds of product in our inventory that we cannot sell. Even at wholesale pricing, the demand is not there. If the bill passes in its current state, it is likely that the industry will crumble, and the only winner will be the illegal illicit market.”

The bill creates a new state agency within the Ohio Department of Commerce, the Division of Marijuana Control, to regulate the state’s medical marijuana program. The legislation also creates a 13-member commission responsible for oversight of the new agency and the medical program. Under current law, the state’s medical marijuana program is overseen by the Ohio Department of Commerce, the State Medical Board of Ohio and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. 

Senate Bill 9 would also add autism spectrum disorder, arthritis, migraines, chronic muscle spasms and opioid use disorder to the state’s list of medical conditions that qualify a patient to use cannabis medicinally. Currently, the list of qualifying conditions includes more than two dozen serious medical conditions including cancer, chronic pain, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD and terminal illnesses. The measure also allows medical marijuana use by patients who have other debilitating medical conditions that can be treated with medicinal cannabis, as determined by their physician.

The OMCIA notes that the number of participants in Ohio’s medical marijuana program “has remained stagnant at an average of 163,000 active patients” and argues that adding more production and retail capacity is not needed. Instead, the group called for several changes to make medical marijuana accessible to more patients.

“Ohio’s stagnant patient base does not warrant SB 9’s additional licensure and expansion of cultivation space,” said Matt Close, executive director of OMCIA. “The last thing we need is more supply. Instead, legislation should focus on addressing our industry’s most significant challenge: excessive barriers to patient participation.”

The OMCIA recommends adding anxiety, insomnia and depression as qualifying conditions for the program and for annual medical marijuana identification card fees to be reduced or eliminated. The trade group is also calling for medical marijuana recommendations to be valid for three years instead of the current one year and for patients with incurable conditions to be granted lifelong approval. 

Further recommendations from the group include eliminating state, county and local taxes on medical marijuana purchases, employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders and a prohibition on intoxicating hemp cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC from being sold outside the state’s regulated medical marijuana program.

SB 9 is currently under consideration by the Senate General Government Committee, with a hearing on the legislation scheduled for this week.

The post Ohio Cannabis Industry Announces Opposition to Medical Weed Revamp Bill appeared first on High Times.

Legalization Bill Moving Along in Hawaii Legislature

A bill to make Hawaii the next state to legalize recreational cannabis cleared a legislative hurdle this week.

The legislation “advanced out of two state Senate committees Thursday — and is now moving to the full senate,” according to local station HawaiiNewsNow.

Under the measure, adults aged 21 and older could legally possess and consume marijuana, while the state would regulate and oversee a cannabis market. 

The station said that the bill was “approved by the Consumer Protection and Ways and Means Committees.”

According to local news station KHON2, the chair of the Consumer Protection Committee “chose to provide some proposals on amendments that had been integrated to cover issues that had been raised in earlier hearings.”

Per the station, those amendments are: “1. Language was added to establish civil penalties for unlicensed cannabis growth and distribution activities; 2. Language was added that protects employers who seek to prohibit cannabis use amongst their employees; 3. Prohibition of advertising within 1,000 feet of any youth-centered area; 4. Proposed licensing of cultivation, manufacturing, testing and retail facilities that ensure a properly regulated industry while also preventing future consolidation and monopoly control of cannabis dispensaries.”

Democratic state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, who chairs the Consumer Protection Committee, said that the bill’s approval by the two senate committees marked “a significant step forward in the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Hawaiʻi.”

“These amendments are reflective of the Senate’s commitment to ensuring a fair and well-regulated cannabis market that provides safe access to both adult consumers and existing medical patients,” said Keohokalole, as quoted by KHON2.

Democrats control both chambers of the Hawaii state legislature. The state’s Democratic governor, Josh Green, who was elected and took office last year, has said that he would sign a cannabis legalization bill if it were to land on his desk.

“I think that people already have moved past that culturally as a concern,” Green said during a gubernatorial debate in the fall. “But here’s what I would do. First of all, if marijuana is legalized, it should be very carefully monitored, and only done like cigarettes, or I’ve been very careful to regulate tobacco over the years. We should take the $30 to $40 million of taxes we would get from that and invest in the development and recreation of our mental healthcare system for the good of all.”

An adviser to the governor reiterated that support this week.

“Governor Green supports legalized use of cannabis by adults, providing that any legislation that emerges protects public safety and consumers, and assures product safety with testing and tracking. The Governor also seeks to ensure the continued viability of our medical cannabis industry. Because these are complicated issues, he has encouraged his departments to state their concerns, and to make suggestions if there are ways to mitigate them. If a bill passes the legislature that accounts for his primary concerns, he has indicated he will likely sign it,” the adviser said in a statement, as quoted by HawaiiNewsNow.

Moreover, there is broad public support for legalization among Hawaiians. 

A poll released earlier this year found that more than 50% of residents there support the legalization of adult-use marijuana.

But while the bill is widely expected to pass out of the Hawaii state Senate, it is “likely to run into strong opposition in the state House,” according to HawaiiNewsNow.

The station reported that the speaker of the state House of Represenatives, Scott Saiki, has “said the state is not ready this year.”

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