Maine residents approved legal recreational marijuana back in 2016, but have been waiting on the government to approve a regulatory framework for the industry. Happily, the end of that wait is now in sight. Governor Janet Mills has signed into effect a law establishing cannabis industry guidelines that is set to take effect in September. That means the state’s first marijuana sales could take place as soon as early 2020.
“The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders and the public to accomplish a shared goal,” said Mills. “With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters.”
The initial regulatory framework is restrictive for out of state cannabis companies hoping to expand into Maine’s new industry. A person who has lived in the state for four years will need to have at least 51 percent ownership for a company to be eligible for a license, a clause that will remain in effect until June 2021.
That’s actually a more relaxed version of the originally proposed policy, which caused uproar from the state’s largest medical cannabis business Wellness Connection of Maine.
The law establishes other restrictions on those eligible for a marijuana sales license in the state; those who have lost a marijuana license in any part of the US, and those who have been convicted of a felony related to a drug besides cannabis in the last decade are out of luck.
Jurisdictions will be allowed to opt out of the green rush. In fact, only 15 of Maine’s 455 municipalities have so far expressed interest in stepping up recreational sales systems. The bill’s regulations also stipulate extensive security guidelines for retail location and acceptable marijuana dispensary business hours — from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., open to certain exceptions.
Of course, it would be a misnomer to claim that the governor had single handedly legalized marijuana in the state by signing into effect. That honor would more accurately go to the Maine electorate, who voted by a very slim margin back in 2016 to legalize recreational cannabis.
But the road to legal weed sales in Maine hit many snags. In 2017, Republican governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have provided for cannabis sales by November of that year. His reasoning? Saving the youth, of course. “Sending a message, especially to our young people, that some drugs that are still illegal under federal law are now sanctioned by the state may have unintended and grave consequences,” LePage wrote in his veto letter.
At a public hearing in May, the state’s judiciary committee heard arguments on how to deal with past criminal records. Lawmakers had proposed one plan to automatically expunge past non-violent cannabis misdemeanors, and another that would merely seal qualifying criminal records.
Mills’ office will continue to iron out the details of the plan, including a public education campaign and regulations surrounding the cannabis tracking and licensing processes. The regulations are based on a 74-page rulebook developed by the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy, the full text of which is available online.
Two lawmakers from Oregon introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress on Thursday that would allow for the interstate commerce of cannabis between states with legal pot. Under the measure from Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, federal agencies would be prohibited from interfering with cannabis trade between states that have specifically authorized such transfers.
If successful, the bill would allow for the implementation of an Oregon state measure authorizing the export of marijuana to other states with legal cannabis. That bill, which was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown earlier this week, is seen as a way to deal with the state’s ongoing glut of legal marijuana.
Protecting States’ Rights
Wyden said in a press release on Thursday that the new federal bill, the State Cannabis Commerce Act, aims to preserve states’ rights while Congress struggles with the broader issue of marijuana legalization at the national level.
“As more and more states legalize cannabis, the gap between state and federal laws will only grow more confusing for both legal businesses and consumers,” Wyden said. “The solution is clear: the federal government needs to end its senseless and out of touch prohibition. As we fight for that ultimate goal, however, Congress can and should immediately act to protect the will of Oregonians and voters in other states from federal interference—and that should include interstate cannabis commerce.”
The introduction of the State Cannabis Commerce Act comes only days after representatives in Congress approved a Blumenauer amendment to an appropriations bill that would protect cannabis businesses complying with state or tribal regulations.
“The federal government is hopelessly out of touch with the American people on cannabis,” Blumenauer said. “Last week, the House agreed and passed my amendments to forbid the federal government from interfering with cannabis programs in the states, D.C. and tribal communities. This week, we are turning to a top priority for Oregonians—allowing for interstate sale of cannabis. It’s past time we protect the states, like Oregon, that have gotten it right.”
The protections afforded in the State Cannabis Commerce Act are similar to those in place since 2014 for medical marijuana patients and providers. But the bill also extends that protection to all compliant businesses and consumers, including those in states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
Promoting Cannabis Trade
Justin Strekal, the political director of activist group the National Orgainization for the Reform of Mariuan Laws (NORML), said in a statement that cannabis should be treated like other regulated consumer commodities.
“Interstate commerce is good for both patients and consumers, as it will decrease the amount of time it takes for recently enacted medical programs to see products on the shelves and increase the variety of consumer options in both the adult-use and medical marketplaces,” Strekal said.“Just as Americans around the country enjoy Kentucky bourbon, so should they be allowed to enjoy Oregon cannabis.”
Blumenauer and Wyden have also campaigned for their “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a package of bills to legalize cannabis at the federal level. Senate Bill 420 would deschedule, regulate, and tax cannabis while Senate bills 421 and 422 would “shrink the gap between federal and state cannabis laws and keep the federal government out of the way,” according to the lawmakers.
“Durante décadas, los científicos y los médicos de salud mental intentaron descubrir cómo funcionaba el THC en el cerebro y el cuerpo”, explicó el Dr. Paul Song, Director Médico de Calyx Peak Companies a través de un correo electrónico. Un avance significativo se produjo con el descubrimiento del sistema endocannabinoide (ECS) a finales de los 80 y principios de los 90.
Investigaciones adicionales han identificado desde entonces a los endocannabinoides como los cannabinoides producidos dentro de nuestros propios cuerpos. El sistema endocannabinoide regula e interpreta una serie de procesos en el cuerpo, que incluyen la memoria, el dolor, la reproducción, el apetito, la función inmunológica y muchos otros. Los dos endocannabinoides principales que se identificarán hoy en día son la anandamida y el 2-AG, o aracidonoilglicerol.
En un correo electrónico a High Times, Katie Stem, CEO de Peak Extracts, ofreció una breve descripción del sistema endocannabinoide. “El sistema consta de dos tipos principales de receptores: CB1 y CB2. Los endocannabinoides son neurotransmisores basados en lípidos que provocan efectos en todo el sistema nervioso, desde tu cerebro hasta la punta de tus dedos “.
Stem agregó: “Aunque todavía tenemos mucho que aprender, parece que en algunas situaciones, el ECS actúa como un control de volumen para una variedad de procesos y factores, modulando la forma en que nuestro cuerpo interpreta las señales, ya sea dolor, hambre, emoción. , etc. ”
El Dr. Song agregó otro beneficio significativo de la ECS. “Tener esta base biológica de los efectos terapéuticos de los cannabinoides ha proporcionado más credibilidad y justificación para el uso medicinal del cannabis”.
Cómo el THC y el CBD interactúan con el ECS
Esta puede ser la parte donde las personas entienden el sistema endocannabinoide más de lo que podrían haber imaginado. La razón por la cual una persona siente los efectos de un nivel alto cuando consume THC es porque se une a los receptores CB1 y CB2, lo que le da un efecto en todo el cuerpo y la cabeza. Por otro lado, el CBD no tiene el mismo efecto en los receptores, pero sí tiene un efecto al activar otros receptores en el cuerpo.
Stem elaboró el CBD, que considera el más fascinante de los fitocannabinoides que tienen afinidad por el ECS, que también incluye THC, CBN, 11-Hydroxy THC, THC-V. “[CBD] actúa sobre los receptores de serotonina y los miembros de la familia de receptores acoplados a la proteína G, que están completamente separados del ECS. “Hay evidencia de que actúa como un modulador de la forma en que otros cannabinoides actúan en el ECS, por ejemplo, bloqueando la actividad del THC, o modulando los efectos de otros estimulantes del ECS”.
El cannabis está lejos de ser el único factor de influencia en el sistema endocannabinoide. Otros medicamentos interactúan con él, así como una serie de acciones diarias y opciones de estilo de vida que van desde el sueño y la dieta, al ejercicio, el sexo y la terapia de acupuntura. Sin embargo, está lejos de ser una talla única para todo tipo de evaluación.
Stem explicó cómo el sistema endocannabinoide de cada persona es único. Escribió: “Los cannabinoides, u otras cosas que afectan la ECS, tendrán diferentes efectos en diferentes personas según sus fisiologías individuales. Por lo tanto, no existe una “bala mágica”, y las personas experimentarán diversos beneficios del consumo de cannabis en función de su sistema ECS”.
Ian Jenkins, director general de Frelii, un proveedor de secuenciación de ADN y análisis del genoma, escribió cómo alimentar la ECS puede extenderse mucho más allá de los dos cannabinoides más populares. “Aunque la mayor parte de la investigación se basa en el THC y el CDB, casi todos los cannabinoides pueden considerarse nutritivos”.
Amplió su punto: “Son ligandos que se unen a un receptor que crea reacciones fisiológicas nutritivas, aunque ellos mismos no necesariamente” nutren “el sistema. Todo se reduce a la homeostasis y la salud, y no necesariamente a la nutrición o la nutrición en el sentido clásico “.
Quedan todavia múltiples ideas erróneas La información que rodea al sistema endocannabinoide continúa desarrollándose y expandiéndose. Como tal, a menudo surgen ideas erróneas. El Dr. Song mencionó varios, entre ellos que el ECS no evolucionó debido al consumo de cannabis. Jenkins estuvo de acuerdo con esta opinión. “Aunque puede haber habido coevolución, la ECS es una parte esencial del cuerpo humano, y tanto los cannabinoides como los terpenos se encuentran en más plantas que solo cannabis … Sin embargo, es probable que tengamos una relación a largo plazo con todos Las plantas que tienen cannabinoides debido al beneficio que tienen en el cuerpo “.
El Dr. Song también señaló que los cannabinoides se pueden encontrar en plantas distintas al cannabis. También reconoció los conceptos erróneos acerca de cómo el CDB y el THC se unen a los receptores del cuerpo. Jenkins discutió un punto similar con respecto a la ubicación de los receptores críticos. “Aunque las concentraciones más altas de CB1 están en el cerebro y CB2 están en el sistema nervioso periférico, ambos receptores CB1 y CB2 se encuentran en todo el cuerpo”.
Últimos desarrollos El Dr. Song notó el cambio en el sentimiento en torno al cannabis como un factor principal para entender mejor cómo funciona el sistema en la prevención, el desarrollo y el tratamiento de diversas enfermedades. Agregó que “también se está haciendo un gran trabajo para desarrollar cannabinoides sintéticos altamente específicos para fines farmacéuticos, y se están desarrollando cepas de cannabis altamente personalizadas para proporcionar una respuesta terapéutica aún mayor”.
Stem discutió el aumento en las discusiones sobre el síndrome de deficiencia de ECS, dijo que el síndrome “podría ser la etiología de una variedad de enfermedades graves como la esclerosis múltiple y la enfermedad inflamatoria intestinal”. La creencia es que la falta de cannabinoides endógenos puede llevar a que el sistema inmunológico se salga de control. Como una víctima de más de 20 años de la enfermedad de Crohn, los desarrollos la golpearon cerca de casa.
Además de los desarrollos, Stem está en un equipo de investigación que tiene como objetivo estudiar diferentes métodos de consumo y cómo se absorben y metabolizan. Con el tiempo, esperan comenzar a explorar los diferentes perfiles terpénicos de varias cepas y cómo afectan a la ECS en concierto con los fitocannabinoides.
Jenkins reconoció las mejoras en la inteligencia artificial, un espacio con el que su compañía trabaja en estrecha colaboración. Al hablar sobre el alcance más amplio del espacio de ECS, dijo: “Independientemente de si cree o no en la teoría de la evolución conjunta, existe una interacción increíble entre los seres humanos y el cannabis”. Añadió: “Acabamos de comenzar a desbloquear los beneficios. . ”
High Times TV is proud to launch a new cannabis-infused cooking channel: Farm to Table Cannabis presented by The Hydroponic Chef. You may have caught The Hydroponic Chef on 420 Live a few weeks ago. Now, you can watch his cooking show anytime you want on High Times TV!
A bonus post and recipe from The Hydroponic Chef:
Table-side meal preparation seems to be a thing of the past. Other than your elaborate dining space in upscale neighborhoods serving hand prepared Caesar salad table-side or a rolling service cart accompanied by an under-enthusiastic staff member mixing raw beef, egg, and Worcestershire for steak tartare, these services are not something that you will find at your local eatery.
After witnessing the flaming cheese wheel on travel shows and catching glimpses of friends videos coming home from Europe, these experiences inspired me to do my own cannabis-infused cheese wheel pasta. Procuring a cheese wheel was more challenging than I anticipated. The experience of visiting a cheese store is an experience all in itself.
After getting turned down at my local cheese store and then again at Costco, I found an Italian specialty food store that deals with imported cheeses. This turned out to be the best location when looking for a cheese wheel. Now, don’t expect your local cheese store to have a cheese wheel in stock; you will likely have to order it ahead of time to be picked up.
Traditionally, cheese would not be cut down the middle to create a bowl shape, but with a little persuasion (maybe I kicked the cheesemongers some weed), he cut the wheel horizontally exposing the beautiful 18-month aged cheese that was perfect for melting and grating over pasta. He explained the imported cheese is a big ticket item, but if it was used often and stored properly you can get months’ worth of cheese out of one of the half-wheels.
After lacing the cheesemonger for hooking me up, it was time to seek out the rest of the ingredients. Carbonara is a classic Roman dish consisting of four primary ingredients: guanciale (or pancetta) egg, garlic, and pecorino Romano cheese.
For this recipe, I added a fifth ingredient from my hydroponic garden: gelato cannabis.
Boil pasta in salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes.
While pasta is boiling heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add medicated olive oil and pancetta. Crisp the pancetta about 2 minutes.
Add red pepper flakes, peas and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir adding all the flavors from pan together.
In a separate bowl, beat yolks and mix with 1 oz of hot pasta water to temper egg
Drain pasta and add directly to the skillet with pancetta and medicated oil then remove from heat
Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss well
Scrape cheese wheel to get some loosened bits of cheese for pasta.
Pour grappa into a metal sauce pan and flambé with a torch. While alcohol is lit, pour over loosened cheese in cheese wheel.
Let alcohol burn off while cheese melts, then transfer pasta into cheese wheel. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta. Pepper to taste then garnish with parsley and serve topped with more pecorino. #HydroChefApproved
Hydro Chef Medicated Bellini
1 teaspoon Chronic Elixir THC or CBD syrup
1 frozen peach slice
4 fluid oz chilled sparkling wine
1 drop of your favorite terpene (optional)
Pour Chronic Elixir into a champagne flute
Add frozen peach
Slowly pour sparkling wine over peach
Drop 1 drip or your favorite terpene over champagne mixture
¿Será que ya podemos parar con el estigma del “marihuanero” flojo de una vez por todas?
Una nueva investigación de la Universidad de Colorado indica que el cannabis puede aumentar el disfrute de la actividad física y ayudar a motivar a los usuarios a hacer ejercicio. Recientemente se publicó un resumen de la investigación y la revista médica Frontiers in Public Health publicará pronto los resultados completos del estudio.
Los investigadores escribieron que el estudio del consumo de cannabis en el contexto de comportamientos de salud como el ejercicio físico “se está volviendo cada vez más relevante a medida que continúa la legalización del cannabis, una situación que se ha asociado con un mayor inicio de uso entre adultos y una mayor potencia de los productos disponibles en Estados legalizados “.
Para llevar a cabo el estudio, los investigadores reclutaron a 600 usuarios de cannabis para completar una encuesta en línea sobre la relación entre la actividad deportiva y su consumo de cannabis. Más de ocho de cada 10 encuestados fueron reclutados de estados donde el consumo de cannabis es legal. Ellos dijeron que el cannabis puede conducir a una mejor experiencia de ejercicio.
“Los resultados indicaron que la mayoría (81.7%) de los participantes respaldaron el uso de cannabis simultáneamente con el ejercicio, y los que sí tendían a ser más jóvenes y más propensos a ser hombres”, escribieron los autores del estudio.
“Además, los participantes informaron que el consumo de cannabis aumentó la cantidad de ejercicio en el que participaron, y que no solo aumentó el disfrute del entrenamiento sino que mejoró su recuperación después del entrenamiento”, agregaron.
Mejores entrenamientos con cannabis
Los consumidores de cannabis informaron que practicaban más ejercicio aeróbico y anaeróbico y encontraron el mayor beneficio cuando lo consumían inmediatamente antes o después de hacer ejercicio.
“Además, la mayoría de los participantes que recomendaron consumir cannabis poco antes o después del ejercicio informaron que al hacerlo aumenta su disfrute y recuperación después del ejercicio, y aproximadamente la mitad informó que aumenta su motivación para hacer ejercicio”, se lee en el estudio.
Los investigadores señalan que la actividad física es uno de los comportamientos más importantes para una vida saludable, pero que muchos estadounidenses no hacen suficiente ejercicio.
“Los problemas comunes que rodean las bajas tasas de ejercicio incluyen el disfrute inadecuado y la motivación para hacer ejercicio, y la mala recuperación del ejercicio”, según los autores del estudio “, escribieron.
Con datos que ahora muestran que el cannabis puede llevar a una mayor actividad física, tal vez el estereotipo anticuado de que los usuarios de marihuana son perezosos y desmotivados finalmente se puede poner en reposo. Los autores del estudio pidieron más investigación sobre el tema.
“Este estudio representa un paso importante para aclarar el uso de cannabis con ejercicio entre usuarios adultos en estados con mercados legales de cannabis, y proporciona orientación para futuras instrucciones de investigación”, concluye el resumen.
Those misdemeanors now require lab tests. But there’s one massive dilemma: under the new law, most labs in the state are unable to differentiate between marijuana, hemp and hemp-related products. The new law in Texas, signed by Abott on June 10 and went into effect immediately, allows farmers in the state to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, while also clarifying which CBD products are legal.
The signing of the law came on the heels of Congress’ passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, which removed a huge obstacle for states by making hemp legal on the federal level. But both the federal law and the new state law in Texas complicated longstanding legal definitions of what constituted marijuana and hemp. Under the new laws, the concentration of THC would be the chief factor distinguishing the two.
In order to conduct the necessary testing, Miller said, laws will require additional equipment.
As such, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a “lab report in our estimation is now a requirement of the crime because it’s the only way you can tell legal from illegal.” Most of the dismissed cases, according to Wilson, were for possession of two ounces or less of marijuana.
Those tests “could be quite expensive because it’s rare,” Wilson said, adding that her office is close to finding a viable lab.
“We think we found two,” Wilson said. “I’ll be communicating with our police agencies about what those labs are so that they can get that needed lab result and refile the case.”
The bill to legalize industrial hemp drew bipartisan support in the Texas state legislature, with both Democrats and Republicans alike applauding what they said could be a boon for local farmers.
Sid Miller, the state’s agriculture commissioner, said that “Texas will be a leader in hemp production.”
“This will be another tool for farmers that are looking to diversify their farming operations,” Miller said.
More than 40 states have laws allowing for industrial hemp.
Those over the age of 20 might remember MTV’s shows, 16 and Pregnantand Teen Mom, and its very memorable cast member Farrah Abraham.
Since her high-profile part in these shows came to an end, though, Farrah has been doing all kinds of things, from acting, to releasing albums, to writing books – one of which even landed on The New York Times Best Seller List.
As a mom-preneur, Farrah is always looking for fun, interesting new ventures to get into. The latest one: weed.
A few weeks ago, Farrah announced she was teaming up with California cannabis delivery company SpeedWeed to launch a new line called Culture. The line will include a variety of products both with CBD and THC, including pre-rolls, pet tinctures, and erotic CBD massage oils.
Picking The Right Partner
During an exclusive chat with High Times, Farrah explained Culture was kind of a natural fit for her lifestyle, an idea that just spurred from how she transits life. “I don’t have to be a hippie in the weeds of marijuana fields to know that, mindfully, I can utilize CBD and THC… I am on the go, I have pressures, my career is not easy, my lifestyle is not easy, and, as a parent, I want to bring something that’s just natural.
“I’m not trying to push anything on anyone, I just want them to mindfully think about how it can help relieve stress or whatever they hear that it can help them with. I wanted it to be a common, commercialized, and accessible product.”
Farrah chose SpeedWeed due to an alignment in values and their support of women in cannabis – the company’s COO is female.
By Women, For Women…
While unisex, Farrah’s new brand has a strong female mark.
She brought up her recent experience at South by Southwest, where she attended numerous panels on cannabis, hemp and CBD. She said many execs and attendees noted this in an industry still dominated by males. But, she says, people want this to change, and are increasingly putting their money where their mouths are.
“If money is given to the right person, with a business sense, and the right team behind her, then I feel like this will be a monumental year and a big growth year for cannabis, and for Culture.
“I feel we need more business-minded females to help guide us and luckily with my background I hope to do this properly.”
…Or Maybe For Everyone
When we asked Farrah about her target demographic, assuming it was young women, the answer surprised us.
“My dad, who is a baby boomer and a veteran, has heavily inspired me to be open to starting a company for CBD and THC, because he utilizes all of the products when it comes to CBD and THC,” she disclosed. “I just hear so much when flying in and out of Austin, Texas that they want more of the culture, they want more of the products, and it’s huge in the veteran community. I want to work more on that with my father. I see what it helps him with and I also see where it helps other veterans.
“If it wasn’t for that, which came through my father, I probably wouldn’t of ever thought of starting Culture.”
She acknowledged, however, that her following is skewed young and female. “I have around 70 percent of women watching my social platforms over the five million that I have and I know that I speak for women mostly. I do have a large following of male supporters and buyers of my products, and they’re all using CBD and THC in one form or another. Whether it’s tinctures or gummies or pre-rolls, I know that it speaks to them.”
Even For Moms!
We then asked Farrah about consuming cannabis as a mom, and how she felt that was perceived socially.
She said she knows moms want cannabis products that are discrete and childproof. Many of them also seek for organic stuff. “ Those are things that speak to me and were super important in creating the brand of Culture. I need to always be consistent with that, because it’s how I buy and that is my lifestyle choice.”
But, despite being an overt cannabis activist, Farrah is also discreet about her cannabis use around her family, friends and daughter. “I take that very seriously. My daughter doesn’t even know. Again, I’m all about child-safe products and I’m all about being discreet.”
All About Discretion
Down these lines, Culture’s erotic massage oil also looks discreet, just like a tincture that you would have in your medical cabinet.
“I want parents to feel comfortable to have their culture CBD product around and not feel like they need to hide it like they do with their sex toys. You can be the best parent, you can be relaxed, you can focus on your career, and you can definitely implement CBD and THC into your lifestyle and still feel in control, be successful, and balance your family time. I show that to the utmost and I’m very successful.
“I have a lot of female owned firms and companies who are reaching out to me. They want me to be a part of their platforms because they are criticized or they feel like life is critical about their parenting. Whether you’re a mom or a dad, no matter if you’re a single parent, you still have that time while your kids are asleep to have a quick pre-roll. No one even sees me and I’ve been doing this for years – it helps me stay positive, be more productive, and feel relaxed.”
Sex And Weed, What Else?
Finally, we went into the lubricant in detail. Farrah is certainly not shy when it comes to sex topics: she’s even written books about it.
Farrah owns her sexuality. Period. End of discussion.
Her new erotic massage oil combines the properties of coconut oil with those of cannabis oil.
There are two versions of it. One is sold through dispensaries, and contains THC. The other one can be sold anywhere, as it only contains hemp-derived CBD.
“It’s got the CBD healing factor from the perspective of an anti-inflammatory. If you have an issue with tightness or irritation, the lubrication helps to make it more enjoyable for you,” Farrah explained, assuring the stuff can even be applied to genitalia.
By means of conclusion, Farrah added, “as someone who has an international license in erotic novelty sex toys for about five years and winning awards for my erotic novel toys, I felt that … they (couples) want the best for their intimate time. If I didn’t deliver something for a pleasurable time with a significant other, I feel like I would be doing an injustice to my supportive customer base.
“I didn’t want to come out with a regular lubrication and I don’t use a regular lubricant. I use a CDB-coconut oil and I make sure it’s the highest quality…I don’t want to talk about people’s issues with orgasms, but I want to give them the tools, I want to make sure that they’re comfortable, like I have with everything I’ve done.”
Cannabis activists in Idaho have launched a bid to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in the state and will soon be collecting signatures to put a voter initiative on the ballot for the 2020 election. The legalization initiative was filed with the Idaho Secretary of State on Tuesday by members of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition. Once the initiative has been reviewed by the Secretary of State, activists will have until the end of April to gather the more than 55,000 signatures necessary for the initiative to qualify for the 2020 ballot.
If the initiative is successful, patients with a qualifying serious medical condition would be allowed to possess up to four ounces of cannabis for medicinal use. It would also establish a system to regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana and protect medicinal cannabis users from discrimination in employment, housing, and education.
“It’s a pretty carefully thought-out regulatory system both for patients and providers,” said James Piotrowski, an attorney representing the initiative effort.
Patients Campaign for MMJ
John Belville of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition has a chronic condition known as peripheral neuropathy that causes severe pain. His doctors prescribed strong narcotics that were not only ineffective but harmful to his health. Belville learned that medical marijuana could bring him relief while he was visiting neighboring Oregon, where cannabis is legal.
“I took this little eye dropper and put it under my tongue and waited about 15 minutes and the pain went away,” Belville said about his initial experience with cannabis oil. “Now, I don’t know what anyone thinks about anything else but I’ll tell you right now this stuff works.”
Cannabis activist Serra Frank of the Group Legalize Idaho said that it is time to catch up with surrounding states, most of which have already legalized cannabis in some form.
“The Idaho Cannabis Coalition’s long-awaited petition provides real hope to the sick and disabled citizens of Idaho,” Frank told High Times in an email. “We have watched anxiously from our little Island of Prohibition, as the rest of the country changes their laws to catch up to common sense.”
Frank, who left Idaho for Oregon so she could use medical marijuana legally, will be able to return home if the initiative succeeds.
“We’ve been waiting for so long to have a chance to use this natural medicine without risking persecution, prosecution, incarceration, and the destruction of our families,” she said. “We finally see a light in the darkness – a chance to be able to access our medicine like normal patients, and buy it from a regulated store, instead of in the parking lot from a black market dealer.”
Piotrowski dismissed suggestions that the initiative was a step to legalizing cannabis for adult use.
“We are absolutely not trying to push something that’s going to be a wink and a nod for recreational use,” he said. “This is truly a medical-use law that we’re proposing, that would focus on patients who need or can use the drug for medical purposes.”
Cannabis Queens. Marijuana Moms. The Women of Weed.
Those are some of the monikers bestowed upon the four Illinois legislators who collaborated, cajoled, and prodded the United State’s most comprehensive adult-use marijuana legislation to the finish line.
On June 25, 2019, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is slated to sign into law the 610-page Illinois Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, and make Illinois the 11th state to legalize adult use cannabis.
This historic legislation will:
Create adult-use markets in the country’s sixth-most populous state.
Expunge more than 700,000 criminal records of minor marijuana offenders.
Guarantee that a portion of cannabis sales revenues will return to communities devastated by the federal war on drugs.
Allocate jobs, training, and cannabis business opportunities for people of color and residents of low-income communities.
Legalize marijuana use for Illinois residents and visitors.
When the law goes into effect, Illinois residents 21 and older will be able to legally keep up to 30 grams, or a little more than 1 ounce, of cannabis flower, while out-of-state visitors can possess half that amount. Medical marijuana cardholders can legally cultivate up to five plants at home. Licensed cultivators and dispensaries currently under the state’s medical marijuana program have the option of also serving the new adult-use population.
Illinois state Sens. Toi Hutchinson and Heather Steans, and state Reps. Jehan Gordon-Booth and Kelly Cassidy, all Democrats, along with the bill’s campaign manager, Rose Ashby, a former high-school English teacher, succeeded in guiding and delivering the bill over a two-year period.
They said it helped that both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and the incoming governor shared one political party. But political control hasn’t guaranteed legalization in other states, as New Jersey and New York have found out.
Sisterhood of the Cannabis Plants
The bill’s journey to law is a story about sisterhood and friendship, listening to others — even opponents — and crafting a bill that meets the needs of many diverse communities.
“Illinois succeeded because of great leadership from strong, committed women and the collaborative approach they took to build consensus and then follow through after the meetings ended,” explained Kelli Hykes, Weedmaps’ Director of Government Relations.
“The women who crafted the historic legislation convinced a governor who initially was not quite on board to go from indifferent to being an enthusiastic supporter, Hykes said.
Illinois became the second state to enact adult-use legalization through legislation and the first to legislatively regulate cannabis sales. Nine adult-use states achieved legalization through a ballot initiative. With Illinois, 11 U.S. states will permit adult-use marijuana.
Co-sponsor Cassidy, who previously worked on the state’s medical marijuana law, began crafting a version of the current legislation two years ago.
“We spent a lot of time working on it and it passed on the first vote. That’s because we decided to go about it a little differently,” Cassidy told Weedmaps. “The four of us had worked together on other issues and had been friends for a long time.”
The Path to Passage
Cassidy said early on the sponsors realized that the legalization process would require dedicated attention.
“Rose (Ashby) assumed the campaign manager role as the herder of cannabis cats, the point person who keeps track of all the moving parts. I don’t know whether it could have been done without her,” Cassidy said.
“I know I couldn’t have survived without her. She had a mastery of the details. We did so many of these town halls and community meetings that I think I talked about cannabis in my sleep. But it’s so important to keep reaching out and keep all of that enthusiasm flowing.”
Hykes also credited Ashby as a driving force behind the landmark bill.
“Rose is not an entrenched political operative. But people believe and trust her because she’s honest. She listened to the concerns and motivations of many disparate groups and insured that they were addressed in the bill’s final form,” Hykes said.
The Marijuana Policy Project, which also worked to help craft the law’s language, said the bill contains “the most far-reaching social equity provisions ever included in a legalization law.”
Hykes said the legislation would never have passed without the social justice and social equity components.
“The sponsors made sure those were included in the spirit and the wording of the legislation. They were so successful because of the consensus-building efforts they took and how their constituent issues were addressed in the final legislation,” Hykes explained. “They legislated like women legislate.”
“America spent decades dismantling these communities, disinvesting economically, and destroying the lives and careers of generations of young people. Being able to engage in this conversation, hear their concerns, and craft a collaborative, credible response to that was huge.”
In addition to Gordon-Booth, Hutchinson, and Steans, Cassidy also credited state Rep. Celina Villanueva.
“Much of the talk has been about the four of us legislators, but Celina, who used to be a community organizer, also played a big role in this effort. It’s unusual for a freshman legislator to get this deeply engaged.”
Can the Illinois Model Be Replicated?
The “Marijuana Moms” think their method not only can serve as a template for other states seeking a path for legalization, but also become a standard for making politics work in an era marked by political divisiveness and legislative inertia.
Cassidy said she believes other states can follow Illinois’ blueprint: “I think our dream team is the dreamiest, but you can build one anywhere people are willing to be collaborative. Nobody in our group had any strong individual ownership feelings. We were all happy to accomplish this collectively.”
Cassidy advised legalization advocates in other states to “stay at the table when it’s hard not to leave, to keep talking throughout the process, and never give up, not just with your side, but with your opponents as well. Our willingness from day one to engage with people who would never support this bill gave us the training to pursue legalization to the finish line.”
Cassidy said the sponsors knew that Illinois law enforcement associations would never publicly support the bill.
“But we wanted them to know it would be coming and felt obligated to explain what they would need to know and to listen to their concerns. In the end, nobody could say we didn’t care what they thought. But we knew that these leaders would have to enforce this law and would need tools to do so.
What Comes Next?
Hykes said the law’s tax structure is a little complex and warned that its relatively high tax burden potentially could threaten future revenues. She predicted the state also will need to add more retail licenses to meet market demands.
“But the bill got them to where they needed to be. They succeeded in passing one of the biggest social justice laws in Illinois history. It is a remarkable success.”
They succeeded in passing one of the biggest social justice laws in Illinois history. It is a remarkable success. Click To Tweet
Cassidy agreed that the law will require some cleanup and views the law as a historic first step in an ongoing process.
“We knew we would revisit this legislation. This will never be over. Congress repealed the Prohibition law in 1933 and we’re still dealing with it. I can see us going back to work on home cultivation. For this bill to pass, we could only get it for medical marijuana patients. But when people see that the sky hasn’t fallen and the world didn’t come to an end with plants in the basement, I can see us going back to allow home growth.”
Ashby pointed out that Colorado’s legislature has returned to tweak its adult use bill five years in a row.
“This is a new industry. You don’t know what you don’t know,” Ashby said. “I don’t foresee any substantive changes. We’re in a place we want to be. We set out to create the standard and I hope that’s what this ends up being.”
Featured Image: Visiting the mirrorlike Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park is considered a must for Chicago visitors. When marijuana becomes legal on Jan. 1, 2020, there would be more reasons to visit Illinois, too. (Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash)
At the start of each year, experts and insiders across virtually every industry come out with their predictions of what trends are going to have the largest influence over the next 12 months — and the cannabis industry is no different.
But now that June is officially upon us and we’re halfway through the year, what 2019 cannabis trends have actually come to fruition?
CBD is Everywhere and in Everything
Most experts agreed that cannabidiol (CBD) trends would only increase in popularity in 2019, both in dispensaries and among over-the-counter (OTC) retailers — and that has definitely been the case. “Clearly, the biggest trend is CBD, now mainstreamed in all manner of products,” said Daniel Levine, trends expert and director of global trends consultancy the Avant-Guide Institute.
In addition to more well-known cannabis products like edibles, 2019 has seen the CBD trend spread to a number of other product categories, including beauty, sun protection, and foods and beverages — and while CBD is exploding now, the potential for the future looks even more promising.
Today’s cannabis industry is more competitive than ever. And in order to break through the clutter and grab their ideal customer’s attention, experts predicted that 2019 would see an increased interest in cannabis branding — a trend that has proven to be not only true, but quickly become a must for companies to stand out in today’s increasingly cutthroat cannabis market.
“A big trend we’re seeing is the scaling and geographic expansion of multistate license holding cannabis-businesses,” Bianchi said. “More and more companies are coming onto the scene, working to establish brands and looking to expand to new markets.”
A Variety of Products for a Variety of Consumers
As many experts predicted, 2019 saw an increased variety of products, technology, and consumption methods to cater to the wide variety of today’s cannabis consumers, from the growing baby boomer market to the more conservative cannabis consumer looking for lower-dosed products.
An example of this increase in product types is the “microdose” market that includes low-dose, discreet cannabis products such as capsules, sublinguals, and tinctures. Forbes contributor Sara Brittany Somerset reported that in May 2019 and based on data from Headset, that the total “microdose market grew over 80% across recreational sales in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington” and “sales in the capsule and tincture and sublingual categories rose 125% and 250% in sales, respectively.”
And as more types of consumers start exploring legal cannabis, the industry will likely see an even increased interest in innovation and catering to specific sectors of the market.
“The methods for consumption of cannabis continue to evolve as the industry releases new technology and methods of consumption that meet a wide variety of consumer needs,” Bianchi said.
Looking Ahead to the Second Half of 2019 (and Beyond)
Clearly, many of the trends that were predicted to be big this year have proven true. But what trends might be in store for the rest of 2019 (and beyond)?
“As cannabis-based businesses continue to scale and expand into new markets, I have no doubt we will see even greater growth in the investment of significant capital and the formation of more strategic partnerships,” Bianchi said.