Cannabis Friendly Campgrounds Utilize Interesting Legal Loophole

Since the first legal cannabis market came to be, we’ve had a bit of a chicken or egg conundrum… you can buy weed legally, but might not have anywhere to consume it legally. Most states have laws against public cannabis consumption, so you can only smoke on private property. If you live in said state, that’s no problem. But say you’re visiting Vegas, for example, and you hit up Planet 13, the largest dispensary in the world that’s right off the strip and geared towards drawing in tourists… you do some shopping only to realize that the hotel or Airbnb you’re staying at has a ban against cannabis use. You can’t smoke in public on the strip, and even though they have just been approved, no legal consumption lounges are open in the state yet. What’s a law-abiding stoner to do in that situation?

One way savvy cannabusiness owners have been skirting the regulatory insanity that goes along with opening a consumption lounge, is by launching cannabis-friendly campgrounds. It makes sense if you think about it. It falls under private property laws and weed typically makes for a nice addition to any outdoor adventure, but if cannabis-use is permitted can the land be legally registered as a public campground? That is where the law gets a bit confusing, so let’s take a closer look.

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Smoking in nature

Edibles are fine, and even vaping can be pretty discreet, but what about the old fashioned among us who still enjoy smoking flower and who definitely love to light up a nice joint or bowl when camping, hiking, or otherwise connecting with nature. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and it feels like a rite of passage; but is it legal?

Now this topic is a bit more complicated and depends entirely on where you are – and no, I’m not referring to whether you’re in a legal state or not. This particular question comes down to if you plan on hiking in a national park, BLM land, or private property. If you’re in a national park, consume cannabis at your own risk because national parks adhere to federal regulations. This means cannabis and certain CBD products are illegal when hiking, backpacking, camping, and off roading – at all times.

This also applies to BLM land. BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management and any region under their jurisdiction is considered federal and state laws do not apply, so yes, cannabis use and possession is technically prohibited on BLM land. In my experience, it’s really hit or miss here. Some BLM officers (in legal states) are very lenient while others are stricter than police. So use at your own risk.

State parks can be a bit different depending on what state you’re in, although the laws really aren’t that much different than in national parks. According to Adeline Yee, an information officer for California State Parks, under state law, “persons 21 and older may possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana. That said, smoking or ingesting cannabis products in public places is still illegal, and cannot be done in state parks, which are public lands.”

So, while you might not get in trouble for having weed products with you in certain state parks, you’re still not legally permitted to consume them until you’re on private property. Hiking on private property is a different story. For example, there is an area where I’m from near Joshua Tree, a private, 600+ acre lot owned by a man who is very pro-pot. There are miles and miles of hiking trails and smoking is allowed on his property, granted that you follow local burn ordinances and don’t litter.

More about cannabis campgrounds

Camping has seen a spike in popularity over the last couple of years, but it’s been especially noticeable following the COVID-19 pandemic. With the traditional forms of recreation like restaurants, bars, and festivals closing their doors for months, people who wanted to get out of the house started migrating to the wilderness. In 2020, national parks across the country hosted more than 237 million visitors, and that number stays rising.

With cannabis use becoming more mainstream, it’s no surprise that cannabis friendly campgrounds are seeing a spike as well. Michigan, Maine, Illinois, all throughout the West coast, and even the four corners area of the southwest offer 420-camping. Typically, a camper can find comparable amenities as they would at standard campgrounds such as picnic tables, fire pits, kayaking, swimming, grilling, and so forth.

One immediately noticeable difference is the décor. Many of the cabins or tents will have pot leaf fabrics, psychedelic paintings, trippy colors, and other stoner-themed decorations. And of course, unlike other camping areas, smoking weed is encouraged while drinking is discouraged and at some locations, alcohol and tobacco are actually prohibited. Campgrounds are BYOB – bring your own bud – but you may find cannabis related gifts and paraphernalia available on site.

“I don’t want the shame with it. This is medication, it’s legal, and I want people to be able to not feel awkward or weird. I want them to be safe,” says Debi Bair, owner of Camp Happy Trees in Michigan. “I love camping … It’s a whole different vibe. It’s calm, it isn’t rushed. You can just go sit by a tree and just relax.”

So, are they legal?

As it stands, cannabis campgrounds are permissible because they fall into a fun legal loophole. Since they are neither dispensary nor social consumption club, standard state regulations governing those two established industries don’t apply.

To open a recreational cannabis consumption lounge, the location would first have to be a licensed dispensary and would operate similar to bars in the sense that any cannabis consumed within the building must also be purchased onsite. They are starting to gain traction, but still aren’t yet legal in most adult-use states and the licensing process to open one is a nightmare.

In most legal markets, cannabis use is only permitted on private property with explicit permission from the property owner, which is undeniably inconvenient and frustrating for tourists. This is where cannabis campgrounds come into play – it’s privately owned land and all the visitors do have permission to consume on the property. Where it becomes murky, is on the issues of charging for a campsite and various legal liabilities.

David Heidrich, spokesman for the Office of Marijuana Policy, advises any businesses to “tread lightly when it comes to becoming cannabis-friendly and to consult legal counsel before making decisions. There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the law, he said, because it’s simply an untested area.”

What about 420-friendly Airbnbs?

Cannabis friendly vacation rentals fall into yet another legal gray area, one of those things that’s legal still only because no one has banned it. In the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., cannabis is legal but of course, there is no legal place to consume it if you don’t own property in the region. In D.C., homeowners have a lot of autonomy over what they can do with their own personal space, so it’s not uncommon to 420-friendly short term rentals scattered around the city.

“In D.C. you can do what you want in your home so why not offer a safe space for people to come consume, visit monuments have a cannabis-friendly vacation,” says Ayana Everett, local homeowner. Everett operates A High Escape out of an apartment conveniently situated near various city landmarks, where upon check-in customers get to relax with two “free fat pre-rolls”. Her place is currently advertised on a site called Bud and Breakfast, a lodging and hotel site similar to Airbnb but with cannabis-friendly listings instead. This is a growing trend in legal states.

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“You come on vacation, you don’t come to get arrested or get a ticket for cannabis consumption,” Everett said. “You’ve come to enjoy. Having that safe space is really the main reason why I wanted to offer my spot out.” Airbnb has no official policy on cannabis, so it is up to the host whether they allow cannabis or not, however, Bud and Breakfast takes away the stress of guessing and having to ask if it’s allowed.

Just like with the cannabis campgrounds, the legal confusion stems from the fact that money is being exchanged. Of course it’s legal to invite people over to smoke with you in your house, but when you’re accepting donations for their stay and have the property licensed as a short term rental in your city or county, are the rules different? Again, the Airbnb website states that it’s entirely up to the homeowner, but every city can have different local ordinances regarding the issue so it’s hard to say exactly what’s legal and where.

Final Thoughts

Getting stoned and exploring the great outdoors go hand-in-hand, but finding a place where you can do this legally can be a challenge. Cannabis campgrounds exist to bridge the confusing gap between private and public consumption, offering both nature and cannabis enthusiasts a safe, fun, and judgement-free outdoor experience.

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Louisiana & ‘Total THC’: How This Effects Delta-8 THC Market

Now that there are different kinds of THC that are known about, like delta-8 and delta-10 THCs, governments have been changing words in their laws to find ways to regulate all of it. Some US states have explicitly banned delta-8 as a synthetic, while others, like Louisiana, count it as a part of total THC. Louisiana, by regulating it this way, makes a delta-8 THC market very hard.

Louisiana adopted a recent cannabis update, which causes issues for the delta-8 THC industry, but is otherwise a good thing that should keep more people out of jail. Delta-8, of course, is a great alternative to delta-9, providing users with a slightly less intense high, without the anxiety, paranoia, or couch locking associated with delta-9. This makes it preferable for many people. We want to get you your product of choice ASAP, so take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals, and see why so many cannabis aficionados are going the d8 route.

Louisiana and HBs 652 and 640

What Louisiana did is technically a good thing, even if it doesn’t work out for the entire cannabis industry, and I think it’s important to understand this first. On June 14th, 2021, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 652 into law. This law decriminalizes up to 14 grams of cannabis, making a punishment of $100, with no threat of jail time. This goes for the first, and all subsequent, infractions. Those unable to pay this amount can be offered an alternative like paying in installments, or community service. This decriminalization goes into effect on August 1st, 2021, however, being caught with more than this amount will still incur much harsher criminal penalties.

To give an idea of how much this should improve things in Louisiana, consider that the current criminal punishment for having less than 14 grams of cannabis, is up to 15 days in prison. Even with only convictions for simple possession charges, four of these can garner an individual eight years in prison. This, by the way, will remain the punishment for those charged a fourth time with having over 14 grams, after the new law goes into effect. This law should greatly help reduce convictions for minor cannabis crimes though.

The other cannabis related bill to get signed off on recently, was HB 640, also set to go into effect on August 1st, 2021. HB 640 is a hemp law, and has to do with lessening restrictions, in light of the fact that hemp is a big industry in the state of Louisiana. The new law does a few things, like:

Louisiana laws
  • Updates current laws to allow licenses for storage, possession, trimming and curing of industrial hemp. Technically, a license for this was already necessary, but the updated ‘handler license’ is easier to get and more expansive in what it allows.
  • Updates language by taking out “industrial hemp-derived CBD product” and replaces it with “consumable hemp product”. What this provision also does, is prohibit the sale of hemp products for consumption that contain any cannabinoid not found in nature. We’ll get to how this effects delta-8 THC soon.
  • Institutes permit requirements for production and sale of consumable hemp products, which costs up to $50. This provision also attaches civil penalties to those caught selling these products without the correct permits.
  • Stipulates that all consumable hemp products must contain no more than .3% delta-9 THC (in line with Federal regulation), or, to not have above a 1% ‘total THC’ level. We’ll get to what this means for delta-8 soon.
  • Provides the penalty for unlicensed processing of consumable hemp products, which is quite intense. Up to 20 years in prison, and a fine up to $50,000.
  • Puts a requirement on CBD products to have an excise tax.
  • Promotes research and development of cannabis, specifically citing the University of Louisiana Monroe Agribusiness Program, giving it the ability to cultivate and process industrial hemp in connection to research purposes, which also comes with an exemption for licensing requirements.

How does HB 640 effect delta-8 THC?

This is where things get a bit more specific, and these specificities directly effect the delta-8 industry. Louisiana HB 640 has two provisions that will likely have a negative effect on the delta-8 THC market.

1 – The first is the prohibition of consumable hemp products that contain non-naturally occurring cannabinoids. While delta-8 THC is naturally occurring as a result of oxidation of delta-9 THC, this happens in tiny amounts only, requiring a need for human processing help in order to produce large enough amounts to use in products. This plays into the debate already going on federally with delta-8, since it is both naturally occurring, yet must be synthesized for use in products. It is unclear how this provision effects delta-8, since it depends on the definition of delta-8 when it undergoes human synthetization help.

2 – The more damning provision actually does make a fair amount of sense, and regardless of its effect on delta-8 THC, it has a profoundly worse impact on non-decarboxylated products that have a high amount of the precursor cannabinoid acid THCA. This provision is about the definition of ‘total THC’, meaning the total amount of all the different THCs together.

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  • The idea of ‘total THC’ means that all tetrahydrocannabinols are considered, and this extends to all delta THCs (delta-8, delta-9, delta-10), as well as precursor acid THCA. THCA, however, does not produce a psychoactive high, and is therefore being added to a category of ‘high-inducing’ compounds, when it explicitly does not cause a high. This will rule out products like raw hemp juice if the THCA level reaches above 1%, and that means criminalizing a part of the plant which is only used medicinally.
  • This idea of ‘total THC’ does two things to delta-8 THC. First it explicitly does NOT ban it, it simply treats it the same way as it treats delta-9, and this – like it or not for producers and vendors – is fair. What it also does, is close any ability for a delta-8 THC market outside of the laws that govern delta-9 THC. So, if it can’t be done with delta-9, it also can’t be done with delta-8. On the other hand, if it can be done with delta-9, then it also can be done with delta-8. While some states like Colorado have explicitly banned delta-8 (using the definition of synthetic to do so), Louisiana’s provision actually keeps it at the same level of legality/illegality as delta-9.
  • The takeaway here is that, under the new Louisiana update, no delta-8 THC market can legally exist, except for where delta-9 already has legality (like the definition of ‘hemp’). However, the new law also keeps it from being completely criminalized apart from delta-9, since it regulates them together. The one thing to keep in mind is that, should it be considered a synthetic, the ‘total THC’ aspect no longer applies, and its just illegal. Since it’s specifically being regulated with delta-9, it doesn’t seem like that’s the thinking, but this could change. The bigger issue with what Louisiana did, is not about delta-8 THC, but the fact that it works to rule out THCA products, which are not meant for getting high.

What is delta-8 and does this matter?

Delta-8 THC is a half-brother of delta-9, sharing the same chemical formula of: C₂₁H₃₀O₂, but with a slightly different configuration of atoms. Delta-8 is therefore an isomer and an analogue of delta-9. Though the two are nearly structurally identical, and offer nearly identical medical benefits, there are some key differences between the compounds which set them apart.

There are a few things that can make delta-8 a preferable option to delta-9. The first is that it has been known to produce less psychoactive high in testing, approximately 2/3 the high of delta-9. The high it does create is associated with leaving the user in a more clear-headed mode with a higher energy level, and less couch locking effect. And it isn’t known to produce the same anxiety and paranoia often associated with delta-9 THC.

These three factors: less high, more clear-headed and energetic high, and less anxiety and paranoia, create a different experience from delta-9 for many users. Especially for medical patients who would prefer to feel less psychoactive effects, delta-8 becomes the much better choice. This is also true for recreational smokers who have a hard time with delta-9 related anxiety.

Louisiana hemp laws

We wouldn’t be talking about delta-8 if not for the most recent Farm Bill (2018), which legalized the production and cultivation of industrial hemp, creating what looked like a loophole to sell legal THC. Though this loophole is certainly debatable, it doesn’t seem like it ever really existed, being used more as a marketing scheme to get products out there. Delta-8 has been on the DEA’s Controlled Substances list for quite some time, it acts as an analogue to delta-9, making it illegal under the Federal Analogue Act, and its an isomer of delta-9, which technically makes it regulated the same way in terms of the definition of hemp.

Delta-8 has not shown to be dangerous, much like delta-9, but since it can require harsh chemicals in the synthetization process, this idea has been used as a way to ban it, with states insisting that if safety can’t be controlled, that the compound can’t be sold. This can be seen in Colorado‘s reasoning for disallowing delta-8. Of course, all kinds of concentrates exist that require the use of harsh chemicals, so the logic is very much flawed. And its flawed again in that this would only require regulating what chemicals can be used, making a full ban completely unnecessary. Even so, for whatever reason, that’s what’s happening.

My guess is that it comes down to two factors. The first being that this is a great medical – and therefore pharmaceutical – product, and this hesitation to allow it, leaves the door open for it to be big in the pharmaceutical market. The other thing to consider though, is that the US government (and local governments) probably understand how little ability they have to actually regulate where and how it gets made (since it can be made in a house, like meth or crack), meaning they can’t ever really control the industry, with their best bet being what they’re doing now, attempting to stop the above-board market.

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Recent attempts to enforce some kind of ban/regulation, have helped government entities to keep a competing product off the market (since government bodies can’t earn money from unregulated industries). It also shows a glaring understanding that they really can’t do anything about it. Hence the fact that debates about it exist, and laws are updated, while almost no one is actually getting arrested for producing, selling, or using these products (with a few minor exceptions).

Conclusion

It’s hard to say that what Louisiana did was bad, even if it effects the delta-8 THC market. In fact, it’s a move of progress all the way. A deep south state that just decriminalized marijuana, and widened the door for industrial hemp production. While it doesn’t do anything to help delta-8 THC, this is – I believe – secondary to the fact that these new provisions will hep decrease prison sentences, and allow recreational use, even if only in a decriminalized fashion. All in all, good job Louisiana. Just maybe rethink that ‘total THC’ thing.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Mexico Became the 4th Legalized Country

It started with Uruguay in 2013, then came Canada in June 2018. This was followed by a recreational legalization in Georgia in July 2018, and now by Mexico in 2021. Though the US and Australia both boast legal locations, Mexico is now the 4th legalized country to allow recreational cannabis use nationwide.

With Mexico as the newest legalized country, the world of recreational cannabis is growing even bigger. More recreational legalizations = more products for you to choose from. We support cannabis legalization, and provide our readers with the best products on the market. This includes delta-8 THC, a different THC experience with less associated anxiety and couch locking, and a clear-headed and energetic high. We’re happy to ship you your product of choice ASAP, so take a look at our array of delta-8 THC deals and figure out what’s best for you.

The mess: how Mexico became a legalized country

In order to understand what just happened, and how it impacts life in Mexico, it helps to understand the recent history that led up to it. The legalization process began at the end of 2018 when a fifth consecutive Supreme Court ruling was made in support of defendants and their use of recreational cannabis. In Mexico, jurisprudencia kicks in when the supreme court makes five consecutive rulings on any matter, in the same way. That ruling becomes binding for all lower courts, essentially setting law that the legislative section of government must catch up with to stay in concert with the courts.

The Supreme Court rulings started in 2015 with a case against The Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Self-Consumption. They ended in October 2018 with two cases that got ruled on in the same month, both about the ability for an adult to use cannabis recreationally. The court found that personally developed human beings must be allowed to choose their own recreational activities without the interference of government. It is stipulated in the Mexican constitution that personal development is a given freedom of the Mexican people.

All this enacted jurisprdencia, thereby ending the ability for lower courts to find an individual guilty of personal possession, use, and cultivation crimes. However, the Court ruling itself only stipulated that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional, the Court doesn’t set up criminal penalties or regulated markets. This is done by legislation in Congress. Once the Supreme Court made the final ruling to end prohibition, the ball went to Congress’s court to pass an actual law with fundamentals.

Of course, if you’ve been following along, you know this didn’t happen. In fact, four times the government failed to do its duty, continuously asking for extensions until it missed its most recent deadline of April 30th 2021. The initial period of time given to the government to fulfill its duty, was one year. At the end of 2019, Congress was granted its first extension. This was followed by a second in April, 2020, and a third extension on December 15th, 2020.

mexico ends cannabis prohibition

This time around, when it came to the most recent due date on April 30th, Congress did not submit a bill, nor did it ask the Supreme Court for an extension. This threw the ball back to the Supreme Court’s court, and allowed the Supreme Court the ability to officially end prohibition without any confirmed laws on the books. This end of prohibition invalidates the laws that are stated, concerning any parts that have been changed by the new update, but it doesn’t go any deeper in terms of setting up regulated systems.

What did the court actually do?

After repeatedly allowing extensions for Congress, an essential stalemate was reached. The government seemingly doesn’t want to pass anything, and the reasons for this are debatable. Personally, I think it’s fear. Cannabis is a huge narco industry and the idea of that changing is kind of silly. Cartels aren’t likely to give up their hold on this business, and that could mean potential danger for politicians who take a side, or go up against the wrong entity. This might not be the standard line associated with these delays, but it’s the one that makes the most sense. Nothing is this difficult to pass.

I also believe that Congress specifically not asking for another extension, is a signal that the governmental body is refusing to make any finite decisions about how the industry will be run (for now). It instead left the initial legalization – without a setup system of regulation to govern it – to the court system. It’s actually a rather weak move, and I think obvious. If the government was going to take its responsibility seriously, it would have passed a bill or asked for an extension, rather than doing the action that puts the responsibility back on the Court. But that’s what it did.

Without the government to act on its ruling, the Supreme Court finally stopped waiting around, and officially ended prohibition of cannabis on June 28th, 2021. In an 8-3 decision, the court ruled on officially dropping the laws that prohibit recreational cannabis use in terms of personal consumption and person cultivation, the prohibition of which, had already been ruled as unconstitutional. This makes Mexico a recreationally legalized country, along with Uruguay, Canada, and Georgia.

Smoking in public and in front of children is still expressly banned, no mention has been made of a commercial system, and the ruling requires the Health Ministry to issue permits for actual use…which is a bit odd, and kind of funny to expect, and likely only temporary until Congress submits something. However, unlike other legalized locations, the Mexican court has set the minimum age for cultivation and use at 18 years of age. This ruling comes after the court filed a declaration of unconstitutionality earlier in June, also in hopes of getting the government moving.

cannabis in Mexico

To be clear, the only parts that the Supreme Court currently struck down officially, are relevant to personal cultivation and consumption. Mexico is a legalized country for recreational use, but possession and transportation were left out for now, and so criminal penalties attached to these things still apply. Essentially, the Supreme Court passed a partial law, but the country still waits on the details to be ironed out by Congress. In that sense, the exact provisions right now are not as important as the fact that the Supreme Court made the step of pushing this through, since the government has failed to do its job.

Why did the Supreme Court do this?

This is an interesting question, and certainly open for debate. I think the biggest issue here is power. The Supreme Court made a ruling nearly three years ago which ordered the legislature to come up with laws. By the legislature not doing this, its essentially not following orders. And not only is it not following orders, this is a slap in the face to the power of the Supreme Court. After all, if the Supreme Court can’t issue an instruction and have it followed, then it erodes the power of the institution. Nearly three years ago the Supreme Court gave this order, and yet it can’t get the government to follow it.

By pushing forward with this legalization, it forces the government to get its act together. The Supreme Court was careful as to what it dropped, as it didn’t want to create pandemonium by dropping all laws, and allowing a free market with no regulation. Instead it dropped the most basic part of cannabis prohibition, which made Mexico a legalized country for adult recreational use, but it didn’t open the door enough for it to be taken advantage of before the official laws come in.

Some might see this action as simply moving a step forward in an otherwise stalled endeavor, and perhaps that’s the case. But I think the Supreme Court is getting antsy that it can’t back up its rulings, which threatens both it, and the concept of jurisprudencia. Does this function as a complete legalization? No, not completely. But it’s now legal to use cannabis recreationally in Mexico, even if the rest hasn’t been figured out just yet.

The world view

Where are we worldwide with cannabis recreational legalizations? Mexico’s inclusion into the list of legalized countries, expands the listing out that much further. Uruguay was the first country to officially end prohibition in 2013, and the only country to set up a government-run system. Following Uruguay, Canada legalized for adult recreational use in 2018, instituting a free market system.

cannabis legalization

The third country to legalize was Georgia, though it set up some wonky laws, allowing recreational use (possession and consumption), but not allowing sale, purchase, or cultivation. This is because the law also came out of a supreme court ruling, and therefore doesn’t quite jive correctly with the other laws on the books. At least for now. But this doesn’t change the fact that this former member of the Soviet Union, is the only country in the European/Eastern European/ former Soviet bloc area, to do such a thing.

We also know that with the inclusion of Connecticut, there are 18 legalized states in the US, as well as Canberra, Australia’s capital state, which also allows adult recreational use. These are the only true legalizations, though places like Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands are certainly known for their incredibly lax cannabis laws, and in the case of Spain and the Netherlands, the coffeeshops and social clubs that go along with them.

Conclusion

In a way, what the Mexican Supreme Court did was ceremonial. It doesn’t help establish a regulated industry, it sets up a strange requirement for licensing for use, and it doesn’t remove criminal penalties that the final legislation will. But it did get the ball re-rolling, and applies some much needed pressure to some slow-functioning politicians. Will this actually bring about a law on paper? Well, that’s certainly the idea. But I wonder if in another few months, we’re going to be reading about a new Supreme Court update in light of a non-functional Congress. Either way, Mexico officially became the 4th legalized country for recreational cannabis use.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Connecticut Legalized Recreational Cannabis, What States Is Next?

After passing a bill back and forth between the Senate and the House, and threats of a veto if certain provisions remained, Connecticut became the 18th state, when it legalized recreational cannabis this week. The question now, which state is next, and when can we expect it to happen?

Now that Connecticut has legalized recreational cannabis, the market for products has grown even bigger, and that means more options. Luckily, Connecticut did not ban delta-8 THC. Delta-8 is the half-brother to delta-9 THC – what most people associate with getting high. However, delta-8 doesn’t cause the same anxiety or couch locking as delta-9, and provides a clear-headed high, making it preferable for many users. There is an ever growing selection for Delta-8 THC deals, so go ahead, and pick the product best for you.

Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis

On June 17th, after haggling back and forth, Connecticut’s House and Senate were able to agree on the accepted provisions of a cannabis legalization bill. The Senate Bill 1201 was originally passed by the Senate during regular sessions, however it didn’t get to the House before congress adjourned for the year. This led to requiring a second vote in a special session, before which the Senate added some last-minute provisions, one of them related to equity.

The original bill stated that based on where a person lived, they could gain the ability to get a license faster to cultivate and produce cannabis products, thereby allowing more easy entrance into the market. This was geared mainly toward people from areas where drugs have taken a great toll.

Before the second Senate vote, the provision was changed to include anyone who had been convicted of a cannabis crime, or other crimes, and the family members of those who had been convicted. Somehow, that actually passed, even though the overstep was huge, and Governor Ned Lamont threatened to immediately veto that version of the bill if it did pass the Senate and the House.

The House then scrapped the provision, passing the bill in a vote, before sending it back to the Senate to vote on the same version. A bill in government cannot be passed unless both the house and senate vote on, and pass, the exact same version. This was done on Thursday June 17th, and the bill was signed by Governor Lamont on Tuesday June 22nd.

recreational cannabis Connecticut

Connecticut is now the 18th state in the US to allow a recreational cannabis market. Said Lamont of the bill, “The law that I signed today begins to right some of those wrongs by creating a comprehensive framework for a regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, criminal justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous, unregulated market and support a new and equitable sector of our economy that will create jobs…”

What cannabis rights do Connecticut residents have?

The basics

  • According to the new law, adults can have up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis on their person, and up to five ounces in a locked home or car (glove box). This starts on July 1st.
  • Cultivation, manufacturing, and sale of products require licensing that can be acquired from the state.
  • The law stipulates that delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 all count as cannabis, and can be treated the same way. This means delta-8 has not been banned!
  • Cannabis can be given without a license as a gift, but not sold. And not to anyone who has paid for, or donated to obtain, another product of the same nature.

Cultivation

  • Beginning October 1st, 2021, medical patients will be allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes – three mature, three immature.
  • This extends to the rest of the state’s adult non-medical population on July 1st, 2023.
  • If a person jumps the gun and is caught growing before the aforementioned time when it becomes officially legal, the action will no longer be considered a felony by July 1st, 2021, with lesser non-criminal punishments given.

Prior records

  • In terms of expunging prior convictions, the law states that some cannabis convictions will be automatically erased if they happened between January 1st, 2000, and October 1st, 2015.
  • Those who want to expunge their cannabis-crime from their record, which occurred out of this time frame, will have to petition for it.
  • While I haven’t seen a listing of the specific crimes that will be automatically expunged, I can nearly guarantee that it only involves simple possession and use crimes, and possibly minor selling crimes. Any large-scale cultivation, trafficking, and sales crimes will likely not lead to expungement.

Equity

This was the part that nearly tanked the bill in congress, and relates to who is allowed first crack at licensing for cultivation, production, and sale of products.

  • At least ½ of all the first licenses to go out, will go to applicants from communities that have taken a large toll due to the ‘war on drugs’.
  • The legislation creates the Social Equity Council which will provide programming and help to those who apply for applications under social equity.

Taxes, taxes, taxes

  • A 3% municipal sales tax will be applied.
  • A 6.35% state sales tax will be applied.
  • A THC tax will be applied as follows: 2.75 cents per milligram of THC in edibles, .625 cents per milligram of THC in flowers, and .9 cents per milligram of THC in all other products.
  • This puts Connecticut at approximately the same tax rate as Massachusetts, which is about 4% lower than New York.
  • Portions of tax revenue from sales will go to offering economic opportunities to communities hit hard by drugs, and to rehabilitation services and substance abuse prevention programs.
Connecticut laws

Misdemeanors

Obviously, there are plenty of things that can still get you in trouble. Besides having more than the stipulated amount on person or in houses/cars, there are other things that can put a person in hot water.

  • Providing cannabis to someone under the age of 21 is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Allowing an under-21-year-old to loiter in a cannabis store can result in a fine of 1,000 for the first offense, and be considered a Class B misdemeanor for subsequent offenses.
  • If a person under 21 lies about their age to buy cannabis (verbally or with a fake ID), the person can be charged with a Class D misdemeanor.
  • Any delivery service will need to verify ages and IDs online.
  • The law requires that police be trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and also allows for evaluations through a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), which can lead to license suspensions for people caught driving while impaired on any substance.

What states should we expect to see legalize next?

The first interesting thing to happen when Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis, is that it left only two states in New England that still outlaw recreational cannabis: Rhode Island and New Hampshire. And Rhode Island is actually working on changing that as well.

Rhode Island

On June 22nd, 2021, the same day that Connecticut’s Governor signed the state’s cannabis bill into law, Rhode Island had its own partial victory. On the 22nd, Rhode Island’s Senate approved a cannabis legalization bill in a 29-9 vote. That’s a pretty big margin. This bill was introduced in March of this year, which was actually followed up just a few days later by Governor Dan McKee coming out with a statement about making cannabis legislation key, including it in the fiscal plan for 2022.

The fact that both the Governor and the Senate are pushing for legalization, makes clear it will probably happen soon. This was made that much clearer by Joshua Miller, the Health & Human Services Chairman in the Senate, who made this statement: “It is important that we act expeditiously to enact a regulatory framework.”

A final note to show just how much Rhode Island wants to legalize, a third call for legalization came from the House as well, by Representative Scott Slater, along with cosponsors. There seems to be agreement from all sides about getting a bill done this year, making Rhode Island nearly a shoe in for recreational cannabis legalization very soon.

Minnesota

cannabis laws

Minnesota is another state looking to join Connecticut with legalized recreational cannabis. There seems to be more friction in congress in the Gopher state, meaning that legalization will likely come down to a ballot measure to decide it in 2022. The current bill being considered is HF600, which was brought forth in the beginning of February, 2021. This law would allow those 21 and above to have up to 1.5 ounces of flower on their person, and would also expunge simple cannabis crimes. The bill has so far passed nine different committees in the legislature.

The bill requires a full House vote, which should easily pass given the House is democratic led. However, the Senate is republican held, and there is more opposition to the bill there. This break in party lines between the two parts of congress has already shown to effect (stop) the passing of other progressive legislation, and since the Minnesota legislature tends to vote by party lines, this means the bill is almost sure not to pass this way. Luckily, Governor Tim Waltz does support legalization, and there is a growing expectation that if/when it gets stymied in the Senate, that Waltz will create a ballot initiative for the mid-term elections in November, 2022. And that should get the job done.

Hawaii

A third state to be on the cusp of legalization is Hawaii, but this state also has some issues with a final pass. Unlike other states that have problems with democrats vs republicans in passing cannabis legislation, Hawaii is actually being held up by democratic Governor, David Ige. Several times the legislature has passed bills for adult-use cannabis and expungement of records, and every time, the governor has vetoed. In fact, in 2019, he vetoed two out of three bills related to cannabis. The only one he was okay with, was a decriminalization measure for up to three grams of bud. He has expressed concerns for two current bills working their way through congress now.

He hasn’t made a specific statement about vetoing these pieces of legislation should they come through to his desk, but it’s expected that he would, given his vetoing history, and general agreement with the federal government on cannabis being a Schedule I substance.

Luckily, Hawaii limits governors to only two terms, and Ige is set to leave office in November 2022. Waiting for him to leave office might, unfortunately, be the only way to get a cannabis legalization bill passed, especially if a new governor is voted in who agrees with legalization. So while Hawaii’s government is ready and waiting for legalization, it probably won’t happen until there’s a new governor in office.

Conclusion

18 is over 1/3 of all US states. Seven more states and a clear half of the country’s states would be legal. And considering this includes some of the more populated states, like California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan, somewhere in the neighborhood of half the population is living in a legalized location. Which state will be next is certainly a big question, along with the bigger looming question of, at what point does the US federal government have to give it up and legalize nationally?

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Resources

Connecticut Ready to Pass Recreational Legalization Bill
Start Spreading the News: Recreational Cannabis is Legal in New York… and New Mexico The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals The Question of Delta-8: Recreational or Medicinal?
The MORE Act – Will Cannabis Be Legalized Federally This Month? Delta-8 THC Threatens Legal Cannabis Industry
Texas Ready to Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

New Jersey Wants Home Cultivation for Cannabis

The post Connecticut Legalized Recreational Cannabis, What States Is Next? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Delta-8 THC Threatens Legal Cannabis Industry

Let’s be honest, the cannabis market is becoming a cut-throat one, with everyone looking to make a buck, a range of low-level and possibly dangerous products on the market, and a rush by local governments to save revenue by outlawing what they can’t regulate. This brings up the question of whether a hemp-derived THC like delta-8 threatens the revenue of the legal cannabis industry, and explains why recreational states are quickly banning it.

Delta-8 THC runs the gamut from accusations that it threatens the legal industry, to governments like Texas which recently failed to fully criminalize it. What’s all the fuss about? Well, this alternate form of THC gives a milder psychoactive high, doesn’t create the anxiety that delta-9 can, and leaves users with more energy and less couch locking. There are very good reasons why delta-8 is liked by so many, and we have an array of great Delta-8 THC deals that can get you started with this new form of THC.

What is hemp-derived THC?

In short, THC and CBD are the two more prevalent cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. Some plants, which we use the term ‘marijuana’ for as a differentiator, have more than .3% of THCA in the plant, whereas the term ‘hemp’ implies cannabis with less than .3% THCA, and a higher amount of CBDA. The reason I use the terms ‘THCA’ and ‘CBDA’, instead of ‘THC’ and ‘CBD’, is because THCA and CBDA are the precursor acids that are found in cannabis flowers, and the actual compounds for which these measurements are made in fresh and dry plants. THC and CBD occur only after decarboxylation. Even the term ‘THC’ really isn’t a good one, as that merely stands for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, and the THC of interest is specifically delta-9.

It is much easier to extract THCA from marijuana plants since there’s way more of it there. In hemp plants, it only exists in small amounts, but CBDA exists in larger amounts. This CBDA can be converted into CBD, and then into delta-9 by way of a solvent and some processing. Realistically, this is not the issue, though. The issue, is that it can also be used to source delta-8 THC.

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Delta-8 THC is also naturally occurring, like delta-9, and is produced through the oxidation of delta-9 when it comes into contact with oxygen. This happens at an extremely low rate, however, so in order to produce enough to be used in products, human processing help is needed. This has caused an argument as to whether delta-8 should be considered a synthetic, and bound to laws related to THC synthetics.

The delta-8 legality issue

What should be pointed out about delta-8, is that while there is still talk of a federal loophole, and while it seemed briefly like this might be the case, it never was the case at all. Even if it had been, the US government ended all discussion of its federal legal status by officially adding it to the DEA’s Controlled Substances list, as an alternate name for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, along with delta-9, for regulation under DEA criminal code 7370. This wasn’t totally necessary in my opinion, as , even without considering it synthetic (which is indeed debatable), its still an analogue of delta-9, and therefore illegal due to the Federal Analogue Act.

CBD to delta-8

Plus, since its an isomer of delta-9, its also required that concentrations not be over .3% for processing or final products, which rules out the ability to use it anyway. As stated, whatever debate there was, ended with the Controlled Substances list update. However, why this is happening is a very good question, as delta-8 itself has not been found to be dangerous, but merely the possible processing techniques that can use harsh chemicals. I’ve said it several times already, but this means all that’s needed is regulation in the delta-8 industry, not an illegalization of it.

The reason we’re talking about this at all, is because the 2018 US Farm Bill legalized hemp production and the production of hemp-based products. The perceived delta-8 loophole gave the impression that THC could legally be sold, leading an industry to sprout up around it. Delta-8 isn’t merely a half-brother to delta-9, it has its own impressive list of characteristics that actually make it a better option for many recreational and medical users. This is primarily because delta-8 has not been shown to produce the anxiety and paranoia of delta-9, and it’s associated with less couch-locking effect, a slightly less intense psychoactive high, more energy, and a clearer-head.

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It’s no wonder that recreational users who experience anxiety with delta-9 would like this product, and the same for medical users who don’t want to be weighed down during treatment. As delta-8 produces nearly the identical list of medical benefits, it therefore provides a really great workaround for some of the issues associated with delta-9. And so, legal or not, the industry has been pushing it out, with some worried that this hemp-derived THC will cannibalize legal THC sales. This is what’s being spoken about now in Washington state.

How delta-8 threatens the legal industry

First and foremost, any black market like delta-8 threatens a legal industry, that’s just the nature of it. So what’s going on here, is essentially no different than the legal industry fighting the standard cannabis black market, which it already is doing a lackluster job with, likely because of high prices due to taxes. In that sense, complaining about delta-8 is kind of useless, and simply highlights that its a black market product. Let’s be honest though, delta-8 threatens the legal industry way less than the standard cannabis illicit industry does, and this is not likely to change.

The complaint being made, regardless of how relevant – or even true it is, is that marijuana growers in Washington are afraid they’ll be put out of business by the growing delta-8 market. The reason given by growers, as per mjbizdaily, is that its cheaper to convert CBD into delta-8 and 9, than to grow marijuana plants. This sounds a bit suspect to me, since both cases involve growing cannabis plants, with the former method requiring extra processing, thereby likely making it more expensive. It sounds more like these growers are simply angry that they’re legal, and competing with an illegal part of the industry.

Delta-8 legal industry

As of right now, Washington state law requires marijuana to be grown only by licensed producers, with only their products available in dispensaries. This is, of course, how legalized location works, and is not specific to Washington at all, or even the cannabis industry. In any regulated industry, products must come from licensed providers only in order to be in concert with the law.

It should be pointed out, that much like with federal regulation which never legally allowed delta-8, neither does Washington state as of late April, 2021. At that time, the States Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSCLB), issued a statement regarding the banning of lab-created cannabis products from hemp. This is standard, as synthetics have never been covered by any legalization in any state. The statement made, talks about “the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, or any other marijuana compound that is not currently identified or defined in the RCW, the WAC, or both.”

This clarifying statement came about because products were being sold that were in violation of the State’s law, which only allows pre-approved marijuana-infused products. Legal products must be grown and produced by licensed cultivators and producers. It was found that products were being sold containing other cannabinoids, like delta-8, and other additives.

The states that have moved to illegalize delta-8, like Colorado and Vermont, did so under the guise of safety, rather than closing a tax loophole. With statements about the possibility of dangerous processing (which, is actually a worthwhile fear, just not one being handled properly). The first concern of the WSCLB is that CBD is being altered to make synthetic equivalents of compounds found in the cannabis plant. Once again, remember synthetics are always illegal. The second issue is that these compounds have then turned up in regulated markets, though they are unregulated. These products are not allowed for sale under i-502, which governs marijuana products for sale, and makes sure all relevant parties are in concert with the RCW (Revised Code of Washington).

The RWC – which regulates controlled substances, makes clear that both synthetic and non-synthetic cannabinoids are covered under the term ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, making both kinds Schedule I compounds. Under ‘unfair and deceptive practices’, the RWC states that it’s a deceptive practice to sell or manufacture “any product that contains any amount of synthetic cannabinoid.”

However, the illegality is not clear-cut, because the RWC allows for exemptions, mainly in the form of a legal recreational cannabis market. Whether this exemption of a controlled substance therefore counts for both delta-9 and delta-8 is debatable, and many see the overall statement as not clarifying delta-8 illegality. Regardless of possible future court debates, the current standing is that Washington’s LCB disallows synthetic cannabinoids from entering the legal market.

Delta-8 legal industry

Does it matter if delta-8 threatens the legal cannabis industry?

It depends how you look at it. It might not help marijuana farmers, but competition exists everywhere in life, and that’s just a reality. The only front that this matters on, is lost tax revenue. The government doesn’t care if a producer thinks they’re not making enough money, they sure don’t care in any other industry. The government cares about the rise of products being sold that it can’t make money off of, and these illegalizations function to attempt to rid these legal markets of illegal products.

In terms of the safety issues associated with synthetics, there really aren’t any thus far, yet it keeps being the line spoken by government officials. Take a look at this study from 2014 which notes that 1/2 of all respondents currently used, or had used synthetics, and yet no truly negative issues were mentioned. Whereas a study like this indicates that synthetics are used by a large percentage of cannabis users, government sites rarely make mention of total usage, instead focusing on negative cases without giving a frame of reference in terms of whether the numbers given represent a large or small percentage of the total.

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It does the same thing with vapes, talking up 68 deaths over more than a decade of time, while failing to make the immediate comparison to the 480,000 that die every year from smoking. It’s some of the worst fear marketing out there. The government has spread intense fear over compounds like K2 and Spice, yet people aren’t falling down dead, or having issues en masse, which creates a logical quandary. If they are so bad, how are so many people using them without a problem? This subject presents a massive contradiction between what the government is warning, to what’s actually going on. In fact, the government has no issue with pushing synthetics like Dronabinol, the only difference being that this is an approved pharmaceutical product that puts money in the government’s pocket.

Yes, safety issues do exist, which is why the industry should be regulated. This is exemplified by the vitamin e-acetate issue in vape cartridges, and other additives that have caused problems. We don’t want harsh chemicals in our products. But, way more importantly, we also don’t need opiates all over the place. Yet these drugs, which accounted for approximately 75,500 deaths between March 2019 and March 2020 in the US, are still given out in huge amounts, and in every state that has banned delta-8 because of safety concerns. It makes considerably more sense that governments are concerned with losing money, more than being worried about our collective heath. Or for that matter, the loss of profit to some producers in a competitive market.

Yeah, delta-8 will cut into other cannabis product revenues, because that’s how life works. Just like Walmart takes money away from higher end stores. Markets work off competition, and if marijuana growers are unhappy with another relevant product cannibalizing their sales, they should rethink their own strategies. But one thing for sure is, the government will never care about this. Not federally, and not on any state level.

Conclusion

This particular news story is no different than those of other states that have outlawed delta-8, or even the federal government. No government wants to lose tax revenue because of unlicensed products. The better question now is, why isn’t delta-8 being regulated to end this problem? My guess? The government already knows it can’t get it under control, or is waiting for a pharmaceutical version that its willing to push for its own cut. As far as the idea that delta-8 threatens the legal industry, sure, but that’s mainly related to tax collection. As far as marijuana growers losing out, they might, but that’s life in competitive markets, and they should really stop complaining.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Delta-8 THC Threatens Legal Cannabis Industry appeared first on CBD Testers.

The MORE Act – Will Cannabis Be Legalized Federally This Month?

On Friday, May 28, 2021, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was reintroduced in the U.S. congress. Back in December 2020, it passed the House of Representatives but didn’t advance in the Senate. This year, with a new senate majority leader, the cannabis industry is more hopeful and numerous organizations and advocacy groups are pushing for another vote by the end of June. Will cannabis become legal in the U.S. this month?

Cannabis laws are constantly changing. Although legalization is the ultimate goal, there are many legislative steps we must take in order to get there. To learn more about the MORE act and other regulations, make sure to subscribe to the CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter – your source for all the most up-to-date cannabis information, as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

What is The MORE Act?

One of the most important things to remember with the MORE Act is that it will NOT legalize cannabis. If passed, H.B. 3884 would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis from its current position as a schedule 1 narcotic. For a drug to listed under schedule 1 of the controlled substances act, it needs to meet the following criteria: no currently accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse.

In case you were wondering how absolutely asinine the drug schedules are, consider the fact that cannabis and magic mushrooms are categorized as schedule 1, which is reserved for the most dangerous drugs, whereas cocaine and methamphetamine are listed as schedule 2. Other drugs like codeine, ketamine, and steroids are schedule 3. So, since we know that cannabis has many therapeutic uses, and it’s not dangerous nor is it addictive, removing it from the list of schedule 1 narcotics is a very welcomed change.

Also, take note that decriminalization is very different from full legalization, but I’ll cover more on that later. For now, let’s take a look at the most important points of the bill. First and foremost, the bill intends to address various social justice issues that have been plaguing the cannabis industry for decades. For example, the MORE act would establish a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses.

People with felony cannabis convictions will no longer be barred from obtaining business permits. The Small Business Administration would establish the Cannabis Restorative Opportunity Program, which would provide any necessary aid to businesses owned and operated by “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.” Additionally, this bill would prevent the federal government from denying benefits and social services to cannabis users, as has been the case in the past.

The MORE Act would also impose a 5% tax on all cannabis products, and the revenue would be deposited into a trust fund that would support various programs and services for individuals and businesses that have been most impacted by the war on the drugs. According to a 2020 report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), people of color are three times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for cannabis possession than white people. The ACLU estimates that taxpayers pay approximately $3.6 billion each year on the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws.

“The whole intention and vision behind this bill is that it would repair past harms of drug prohibition,” said Maritza Perez, national affairs director at the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit working to reform drug laws. “We’re hoping that another successful House vote would continue to pile on momentum.”

Decriminalization vs Legalization

The terms “decriminalization” and “legalization” are often used interchangeably, but they are very different. The ultimate goal is full legalization of cannabis, or the act of removing most legal prohibitions against it (age restrictions would still apply, like with tobacco and alcohol sales). If cannabis is completely legalized, individuals found selling or possessing it for personal use will not be subject to criminal OR civil penalties.

On the other hand, cannabis decriminalization would mean that it is still federally illegal, but criminal penalties would not be enforced. Instead, users would face civil penalties such as fines and forced rehabilitation. Records may be kept in a local tribunal, but they will not affect employment, housing, or travel opportunities. If an individual is court-ordered into a rehab program, and they chose not to attend, it’s possible that criminal penalties would be imposed at that point.

Decriminalization is a completely pointless step in between prohibition and legalization that allows for too much “interpretation” of the law. For example, in a decriminalized state, a police officer can take your cannabis, fine you, and send you to court where your case will end up getting thrown out if it meets the criteria of a legal decriminalized amount. So, you’re out the money you spent on flower that remains confiscated, the city doesn’t get any additional money from you because the case is tossed out in court, and the entire ordeal is a mega waste of time for everyone involved.

Marijuana/marihuana vs Cannabis

One more thing that I did not mention above is that the MORE ACT will change up the lingo we’re currently familiar with. Statutory references to marijuana and marihuana would be officially replaced with the word “cannabis”. To some, this may seem pointless (and ironic considering the name of the bill still uses the word “marijuana”), but it is a significant change.  

Now remember, the word for the entire plant and all of its parts is Cannabis. For legal purposes, marijuana is used to describe cannabis with more than 0.3% THC and hemp is used to describe cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. From this point, Cannabis can be broken down into three additional subtypes: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These subtypes can apply to both marijuana and hemp. This vocabulary is the most common way to differentiate between cannabis types at the regulatory cutoff point. However, the word itself, “marijuana“ (or “marihuana” as the government likes to call it), is a loaded one historically.

Before 1910, the word “marijuana: did not exist in American culture. Instead, “Cannabis” was used when discussing the plant as a medicinal remedy. Back then, Bristol-Meyer’s Squib, Eli Lilly, and other current pharmaceutical giants used to include cannabis extracts, and sometimes even whole plant matter, in their medicine formulations. After 1910, the United States started getting an influx of legal immigrants, mostly from Mexico, who were seeking refuge post-war. It was during that time that the idea of smoking cannabis recreationally was becoming ingrained within the American mainstream culture. Up until then, it was used mostly therapeutically.

Fast forward to the 1930s, when Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the newly established Federal Bureau of Narcotics, launched his war against “marijuana”. Although “cannabis” has been part of United States history since the very beginning, “marijuana” was viewed as this new dangerous substance that lurked in the shadows of America’s counterculture. If there was one thing Anslinger was good at, it was without a doubt, media manipulation. During his numerous public appearances, some of which were to promote his trademark film Reefer Madness, Anslinger made sure to use the term “marijuana”, to keep people from making that connection with medicinal cannabis.

To sum it up, the word itself is not racist, it’s actually Spanish. But the word “marijuana” was adopted by a racist individual who used it alongside targeted fear mongering and prejudice against Hispanic immigrants, as the central focus of his campaign against the Cannabis plant. Today, the industry is taking the word back, using it in a professional manner that’s more rooted in science, not politics. However, until now, all government documents that discussed cannabis in any form have been referring to it as “marihuana”, which incorrect and incredibly outdated.

Taxation of Illegal Goods in the United States

Another confusing point for many people is probably the 5% tax. If a product is decriminalized, it’s still technically illegal, and how can you tax an illegal product? While that may sound like a catch 22, in the United States it is actually very common to tax illegal goods, services, and other enterprises.

Taxation of illegal income in the United States arises from the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), enacted by the U.S. Congress mainly for the purpose of taxing net income. As such, all taxable income will be subject to the same Federal income tax rules, regardless of whether the income was obtained legally or illegally. So basically, the government cares less about what you’re doing if you make sure to give them a cut of the money you’re making.

One interesting example of this would be drug tax stamps. Say you go out and buy some meth from your local dealer, your next move would likely be to go home and consume it, but according to the government, you should first pay taxes on your illegal purchase. In case you’re wondering how, it’s quite simple. All you need to do is go to your state’s Department of Revenue website and purchase your prepaid drug tax stamps (the government says it’s completely anonymous but I’m honestly not sure if I trust that), which serve as proof of your tax payment.

Unsurprisingly, it’s not very common for people to actually pay these taxes voluntarily. As of now, only 17 states are still imposing the stamps. However, in those states, if you get arrested for drug possession, you will likely face harsher civil or criminal penalties for “tax evasion”, and you might get stuck paying double what you would have paid if you did it up front.

This probably sounds like a way for the greedy government to get extra money, and it is. But on the flipside, people paying taxes on their ill-gotten gains are also eligible to claim deductions for any “ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on a trade or business,” as stated in section 162(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. Yeah, our government is pretty strange.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, it seems unlikely that the MORE Act will pass as it is currently written. It’s very likely that Senate republicans may use the filibuster to block this bill. Many conservatives have expressed concern over some of the language in this bill, stating that it is not as economically-oriented as they would like it to be, and that it lacks provisions for veteran business owners. Although it seems largely symbolic, the MORE act is still being hailed as positive step for cannabis reform.

“Since I introduced the MORE Act last Congress, numerous states across the nation, including my home state of New York, have moved to legalize marijuana,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. “Our federal laws must keep up with this pace.”

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Connecticut Ready to Pass Recreational Legalization Bill

It looks like Connecticut is going to be the 18th US state to adopt a recreational cannabis legalization policy. After talks of vetos, and fighting over provisions, the bill is up for its final vote before being signed by the governor.

Another state falls as Connecticut gets ready to pass a recreational legalization bill! The whole country is going cannabis-crazy, and new markets mean more products and more options, which is great for you. Like delta-8 THC instead of delta-9 THC. All the same health and wellness benefits, but with slightly less high, no anxiety, and a clearer head. We love helping people find the products they need. If you’re a delta-9 user who wants to try something else, check out our array of Delta-8 THC deals and take advantage of the growing offering of cannabis products.

Connecticut and recreational cannabis legalization

On Tuesday, June 15th, the Connecticut senate passed legislation for the second time this week, for the recreational legalization of cannabis, and to establish an adult-use market. The original bill was passed on June 8th, during the regular congressional session, with a vote of 19-17, however it never made it to the House before adjournment by the General Assembly on June 9th. Before the second vote, revisions were made to the bill, which the governor decided were not appropriate. The revised version passed the Senate again Tuesday during a two-day special legislative session in a vote of 19-12, only to have the governor threaten a veto if it passed the House in the same form.

Recreational cannabis legalization efforts started about five years ago in Connecticut, but floundered over the years. This year, there was renewed vigor, and support by Governor Ned Lamont. The bill should have come up before the end of the legislative session, but as tends to happen in government, it stalled for months, before finally coming to light right before congressional sessions ended. Regardless, its there now, and it looks like Connecticut will be state # 18 following New York and New Mexico, which both legalized a couple months back.

What is the issue?

The issue making a mess of things has to do with a provision about equity, which was specifically designed to help those who had faced prosecution as a result of cannabis criminalization, to get something back. The idea being to allow this population the ability to more quickly obtain licensing to cultivate or produce cannabis products, and be a part of the legal market. Unfortunately, when the provision was added after the first Senate vote, lawmakers went a bit crazy, expanding that equity to other drug offenders, other criminal offenders, and even their families, which earned the ire of the governor, and rightly so.

cannabis bill

The bill, says Lamont, would open the cultivation and production industry to many people who don’t deserve to get an expedited pass. The governor’s chief of staff, Paul Mounds, issued a statement with a promise of the governor’s veto if the bill passed the House with the current language.

According to Mounds, the legislation: “Simply put, does not meet the goals laid out during negotiations when it comes to equity and ensuring the wrongs of the past are righted. To the contrary, this proposal opens the floodgates for tens of thousands of previously ineligible applicants to enter the adult-use cannabis industry… This last-minute amendment creates equity in name only by allowing these individuals expedited opportunity to obtain access to the marketplace.”

While admittedly not all criminals should have this access, he specifically stated “just about anyone with a history of cannabis crimes” would have access. Don’t we want that? Isn’t that the point? I mean, traffickers wouldn’t ever have access, so he’s talking about personal possession and use cases, which theoretically would be expunged. Yet these people shouldn’t have access to cultivation and production licenses at an expedited rate? Does the governor not want people who have already paid a price for something that wouldn’t even come with criminal implications anymore, to have expedited access to the legal market they were once punished for being a part of?

Apparently not. This is what he stated: “If a rich suburban kid is selling pot outside of a high school and he gets busted all of the sudden he’s at the front of the line to get a license, that didn’t seem to make much sense to me. I really think it’s the community, not the person, that ought to be prioritized.” Weirdly, I think it’s the person who had to serve the sentence who should get the help, and it shouldn’t matter who they are. But that’s just my opinion.

Sen. Gary Winfield, who co-chairs the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, and who is a major sponsor of the bill, did show an understanding of going a bit too far with including so many groups:

“I think what we were doing was trying to address the concerns of some people who felt like people who had records, particularly on cannabis, in the criminal justice system, would be able to participate under the system… I think that the initial change we made definitely allowed this to go too far, and so we made an attempt to bring it back along the lines of some of the concerns of the governor … In doing that, clearly the governor feels as though we missed the mark.”

cannabis crimes

Second thoughts?

Only hours after threatening to veto a bill that passed the Senate twice, Governor Lamont changed his tone a bit. Considering his only issue is in who gets expedited licenses, and not in the actual legalization of cannabis (which he actually was a huge proponent of), its not that surprising that something worked out in the end.

Not 24 hours after asserting his desire to veto the bill if it passed the House in the same form passed by the Senate, Lamont stated he expected a final vote to go through this week. House Speaker Matt Ritter stated that most members of the democratic caucus were happy enough to change the language, given that the bill already passed the Senate once without the revised equity provision (which originally was based on location). This means that the ever-important part about helping those who have already faced criminal penalties for cannabis, wouldn’t be a part of it.

Said Lamont of the bill going to the House: “The Senate passed a really good marijuana bill a week ago, a bill that had been carefully negotiated over a period of time… There were a couple of curveballs that came in at the very last moment late last night, and I think you’re going to see the House go back and pass what was the originally agreed-upon bill, and I think we’re going to get something passed within a week.”

As it turns out, the House did pass the bill June 16th, but with the original equity allowance based on location, not the amended one. Rather than simply changing the language to not involve other criminal offenders, the provision to help those who had been previously convicted of cannabis crimes to get expedited licensing, was dropped. Along with that, a second provision was dropped, which would have made it so that anyone earning over a certain amount wouldn’t have eligibility for equity at all, regardless of other circumstances. This sends the bill back to the Senate for yet another vote, since the House and Senate have to pass the same version of the same bill. The bill passed in a vote of 76-62 after debates on the floor. The Senate is scheduled to go at it again on Thursday the 17th.

To give an idea of the craziness that exists in marijuana thought, Representative Tom O’Dea, made this statement: “Mark my words… people will die because of this bill, because of marijuana being sold in Connecticut.” He seems to misunderstand that there isn’t really a death count associated with cannabis. Perhaps he should worry more about the 1,359 reported overdose deaths in 2020 in Connecticut, and how 85% were related to fentanyl.

What are the provisions of the bill?

Assuming the bill does end up passing, and getting signed, it would legalize cannabis for those 21 and above, starting July 1st. The new law would allow individuals to have up to 1.5 ounces on their person, and up to five ounces in a home or vehicle that is secure.

cannabis legalization bill

Products will be required to have THC labeling, and home-growing, which originally was not going to be a part of it, will be allowed. If it passes, residents will be able to have up to three mature plants, and three immature plants, in their homes by 2023.

The retail market would not be up and running until around May of 2022, and possibly later than that. And the bill would actually ban any state lawmakers from entering into the market in any capacity until at least two years after leaving office.

Conclusion

Politics sure are messy, and the majority of the time, we regular citizens have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, or why. Connecticut will almost definitely be passing a recreational cannabis legalization bill on the 17th, but unfortunately, it won’t afford extra help to those who have already been damned by the system. On the other hand, this now makes 18 states. Can’t be upset about that!

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Resources

Start Spreading the News: Recreational Cannabis is Legal in New York… and New Mexico
America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals Conservative Cannabis: Legalization Gaining Republican Support
Psychedelic Legalization to Follow in the Footsteps of Cannabis Texas First State to Say ‘No’ to Delta-8 THC Criminalization
Alabama Set To Become the 37th State To Legalize Medical Cannabis

Mexican Cannabis Legalization: Why Hasn’t Legislation Passed?

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Connecticut Ready to Pass Recreational Legalization Bill appeared first on CBD Testers.

The NFL Wants CBD for Pain Treatment

When looking at the effects of cannabis on pain, the athletic community is often a great place to gain a lot of useful and relevant information, since professional athletes, particularly in sports like football, are known for their extreme injuries. Recently, the NFL has showed a growing interest in CBD for pain treatment.

It’s great that NFL players can use CBD for their pain, and that the NFL is further studying cannabis for this purpose. Lucky for you, there is already plenty of research on the positive benefits of cannabis, whether you’re an athlete or not. And one product that might be good for both groups is delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC is great for anxiety, and doesn’t couchlock a person, while keeping their head clear – all great attributes for athletes, or really, anyone else. We’ve got a great selection of Delta-8 THC products, so give our catalogue a look-thru, and find the products perfect for you.

NFL wants CBD for pain treatment of athletes

For years, the idea of cannabis used for athletes was a sharp no-no in the NFL, with players being suspended if they tested positive more than once for marijuana. That began changing a couple years ago. Back in 2019, it was reported that the NFL had agreed to be a part of two committees meant for investigating CBD for use with athletes. At the time, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, stated “I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way”. Part of the reason for this turnaround, was because of the problems athletes were having using opioids to deal with their extreme pain issues.

The logic of the situation was made clear by former Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe, who stated in 2017 in an interview for Rolling Stone, “We don’t see the NFL trying to control players’ alcohol consumption or tobacco consumption. In fact, the NFL advertises those things. Cannabis is less damaging, less dangerous, less addictive than both of those. However, we see those being celebrated. The NFL is even expanding its hard liquor advertisement.”

Now, two years later, things have slowly moved forward. On June 8th, 2021, it was reported that the NFL and NFLPA (player’s association), are offering a combined $1 million for researchers who can help with the research and development of cannabis alternatives to opioid treatments. Dr. Allen Sills made an appearance again on the topic, saying, “Players are always looking to find treatments that are going to improve their quality of life… But at the same time, players are significantly concerned about the impact on performance.”

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The two questions looking to be researched, are the two basic questions in this arena: is it safe, and does it work? The current goal for the NFL, is to issue 1-5 grants in December, to whichever researchers win the bid, totaling the $1 million offered. None of this changes the NFL’s current policy on cannabis, but the policy itself has been modified recently to be easier on players.

In the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2020, it was decided that players will no longer be suspended for marijuana use (testing positive), and testing can only be administered during a two week window each year during training camp, which is a major reduction from the four-month testing period from before. A new threshold was also put in place for positive tests, requiring 150 nanograms of THC, up from 35. Plus, those that do test positive, go in front of a medical board for review, which decides if the player needs treatment. This board is approved by both the league and the players. The new goal is to provide help, rather than punishment.

It should be noted, that since the testing is relevant to THC, and since punishments have been removed, this has now allowed NFL athletes to enjoy the benefits of CBD on their own. I expect the reason for this is that CBD has been globally rescheduled to be legal for medical purposes by the UN, which would make it difficult for the NFL (and the US in general) to continue disallowing it. The World Anti-Doping Agency, has also concluded that CBD is not prohibited, likely for the same reason.

Cannabis and athletics in general

In order to understand why the NFL might be looking to the cannabis plant – and specifically CBD – to help its players with their pain management issues, let’s take a quick look at how cannabis and athletics go together. Research into cannabis use with sports is still in its infancy. Most research in the past was done on terminal populations, or to shine a light on any negative attributes, with way less funding for topics like how cannabis effects athletes. However, we still know a lot, and as the world changes, more research on this particular topic has come out.

Here are some things we already know about cannabis, as it pertains to athletics. We know there’s a lot of evidence that it can be used for at least some kinds of pain management. This is one of the more studied attributes of the plant right now, which is partly because it offers a fantastic alternative to opiates which have been causing massive issues with addictions and overdoses in the US, and worldwide. We know it’s a good remedy for muscle spasms because one of the pre-eminent uses is for spastic disorders like epilepsy.

We know that depending on the specific products (not all cannabis is included here) it has been shown to help with mental acuity. We also know it can help with sleep, which is highly important when constantly stressing out the body. Last, but certainly not least, we know cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, which is incredibly useful for athletes who are pulling muscles, putting a lot of pressure on joints, and generally putting their bodies under huge amounts of stress.

cannabis with athletics

Apart from how it can physically help with injuries, cannabis has been shown in studies to help mentally, by improving exercise experiences. Those who smoke regularly consistently show more motivation to exercise, more enjoyment of the exercise, and more satisfaction afterwards. Furthermore, research also shows a lack of general detriment associated with cannabis use and athletic performance.

In fact, studies like this systematic review – Chronic cannabis consumption and physical exercise performance in healthy adults: a systematic review, have shown no difference between heavy cannabis users, and non-users, on measurements like peak workout ability, cardiorespiratory fitness, strength and endurance, resting heartrate, pulmonary measures, blood pressure, and perceived exertion. (Resting heartrate was the only measure where there might have been an inconsistency, though even this inconsistency, was inconsistent among studies).

Is cannabis legal to use in athletic competitions?

This is a good question, because even if a drug has been found to be useful, it doesn’t actually mean it’s legal to use, and the world of sporting and sporting events has its own rules for drug use. On this topic, the first thing to know about cannabis, is that as of 2004 it’s been on the prohibited substances for sports competitions list, by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which itself was instituted in 1999.

WADA’s job is to regulate and police what substances are allowed in official sports competitions, and which are not. In order to do this, WADA came up with the World Anti-Doping Code, which lists three criteria that can get a drug banned from use in competitive sports, although how much relevance they provide is very much debatable. Banned drugs, are drugs that:

  • Enhance performance
  • Pose a risk to athlete health
  • Violate the spirit of sport

If you’re like me, and wondering what the ‘spirit of sport’ could possibly mean, well, here’s the definition: “The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is reflected in values we find in and through sport, including Ethics, fairplay and honesty; health; excellence in performance; character and education; fun and joy; teamwork; dedication and commitment; respect for rules and laws; respect for self and other Participants; courage; community and solidarity.”

Let’s break this down. In terms of the first bullet point, while cannabis has shown to increase motivation and enjoyment of exercise, it has specifically been cited as not being a performance enhancer, and really, no one ever indicated it was, at least not that I’ve ever seen. I, myself, am an athlete, and never have I ever experienced cannabis to increase my own performance. It’s also hard to imagine that simply helping with mental acuity on a non-superhero level, would constitute performance-enhancing either.

cannabis over opiates

In terms of the second bullet point, vaping and edibles were not big in 2004 when cannabis was ruled out, making smoking it the primary method of ingestion (which it still is). Smoking anything is bad, and we know this, so yeah, if that was the only means of ingestion, the argument could be made, but it would still be a paltry one considering studies on performance did deal with athletes lighting up, and there still wasn’t a negative in comparison to non-smoker performance.

Since vaping so incredibly lowers the number of smoking injuries and deaths (like by such massive margins its silly to argue over), once lighting up is taken out of the mix, there isn’t much out there to imply, or outright state, that cannabis is negative for health. If anything, its health benefits are spoken about more and more, with often very little negative mentioned, especially when looking at the fact that no one has ever died from cannabis. Add onto that, that vaping injuries were related to additives, and not the actual plant material, and there’s very little to say that cannabis poses risks to health.

In terms of the third bullet point, sounds like the kind of BS used to make a blanket statement to fit whatever cause is relevant, in this case, banning cannabis. The ‘respect for rules and laws’ part does have some value, I suppose, since using an illegal substance does constitute breaking the law, but so does not paying a parking ticket, and I’d wager a bet that there are plenty of professional athletes with unpaid tickets. Which means, how exactly cannabis ever made the cut here, is truly a mystery.

Conclusion

It’s a slow process no doubt. Two years ago the NFL started talking about an interest in CBD for pain management, and now two whole years later, the farthest it got was a decision to research it. Regardless, the NFL does now technically allow CBD for use with pain, or other issues among athletes. And with money going into research, its quite possible the NFL might be very useful in spearheading the production of better overall cannabis pain medications for everyone, not just athletes.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post The NFL Wants CBD for Pain Treatment appeared first on CBD Testers.

Conservative Cannabis: Legalization Gaining Republican Support

These days Americans are more divided than ever: republican vs democrat, conservative vs liberal, different views on healthcare and pandemic response, and numerous other economic and social issues prevail – there is one thing that nearly everyone seems to agree on though, cannabis legalization.

It’s a commonly held assumption that democrats favor cannabis (to an extent) and conservative republicans don’t, and traditionally that’s been true. But ballot initiates in numerous different red states show that republicans and independent conservatives are coming around on legalization issues. It’s one of the few topics that seems to garner support across the board, regardless of which side of the political line you’re looking at.

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“The prevailing wisdom has been that a conservative administration would be less receptive, but I think cannabis legalization is now inevitable on its own kinetic energy,” said Sturges Karban, chief executive officer of cannabis logistics company ManifestSeven. “While federal legalization was a political ‘third rail’ as recently as 2016, it now looks as though 2021 will be a turning point for the industry.”

The world of cannabis is always evolving, especially when it comes to regulations. To learn more about cannabis legislation, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, where you will get all the latest news as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.


“People are just much less afraid of marijuana”

This year, we have a lot of action in unexpected states. With cannabis use becoming increasingly prevalent around the world, especially following all the changes brought on by COVID-19, it seems that new legislation at the federal level is inevitable. There are quite a few republican states that already have very lax rules regarding cannabis, and some numerous swing states that have legalized it completely.

Currently, 16 states and Washington D.C. have fully legalized adult-use cannabis, 37 states have implemented some type of medical cannabis program, and 46 states have “decriminalized” cannabis to some extent. A survey of 500 New Jersey voters, conducted by legal firm Branch Eichler LLC, found that a higher-than-expected number of republicans support adult-use cannabis – 75% of democrats and 52% of republicans.

“People are just much less afraid of marijuana than they used to be,” said John Fanburg, who co-chairs the cannabis practice at the New Jersey-based law firm that conducted the poll. He attributes that to the state’s “successful medical program, which has grown from 20,000 participants three years ago to 90,000, removing the stigma of marijuana for thousands of people on both sides of the political aisle.”

Red States Considering Cannabis

Conservative states have been a bit slower to adapt to the changing times, however, there seems to be a major shift in viewpoints over the last few months with numerous cannabis-related bills being introduced in these areas. One of the most notable being Texas. Within the last month, the Texas senate approved several bills for cannabis decriminalization, as well as to expand the existing medical industry, lower the penalty on THC concentrates, and to force the study of psychedelics.

Last month, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee passed a limited medical cannabis bill that would raise the cutoff for THC in hemp products to 0.9%, three times higher than the federal limit. Also, a handful of new disorders would be added to the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions for cannabis use. Louisiana just passed House Bill 391 which will allow dispensaries to sell smokable flower products, while allowing patients to buy up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days.

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Last month, Governor Kay Ivey officially signed into law the medical marijuana bill that we’ve been tracking, making Alabama the 37th state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis; and there have also been notable changes in Wyoming, Idaho, Mississippi, and Kansas.

“The conservative states are empirical evidence that there’s enough demand and support at the grassroots level that the issue of cannabis is agnostic to party,” Karban said. “How do you ignore that if you’re in Washington? As bipartisan support for legalization grows in states across the country, there’s increased likelihood of change at the federal level, too.”

What’s up with Biden?

Although blue is known for being the “forward-thinking” party, with most democratic politicians showing some level of support for fair marijuana reform, our current president doesn’t have the best track-record when it comes to cannabis legislation and the subsequent social equity issues that come par for the course with drug prohibition. In the 1980s, Biden was actually very committed to the war on drugs, with a heavy focus on cannabis, helping draft numerous pieces of legislation that would keep low-level, non-violent drug offenders incarcerated for years to come.

As of 2010, his opinions hadn’t changed much and he can be quoted saying, “There’s a difference between sending someone to jail for a few ounces [of marijuana] and legalizing. The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake. I still believe [marijuana] is a gateway drug.” So far, that’s roughly 30 years of Biden against cannabis.

Fast forward another decade and Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States, during a time when cannabis legalization is an incredibly polarizing topic on many fronts: economic, social, and health institutions all have a major stake in the industry. At the very least it seems Biden has accepted that cannabis legalization is inevitable, and even mentioned that he thinks “it is at the point where it has to be, basically, legalized.”

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However, he maintains his stance in favor of decriminalization over full legalization. But as we already know from watching the many states that have tried it already, decriminalization is a completely pointless step in between prohibition and legalization that allows for too much “interpretation” of the law.

In his latest move. In March of this year, at least five members of the Biden administration had their employment terminated, and dozen more were forced to “resign” for admitting to past marijuana use. This is move is right on the heels of an announcement made just one month prior, in February, in which the Biden Administration stated that past marijuana use would not disqualify someone from employment with the federal government.

Final Thoughts of Cannabis in Conservative States

Note that I’m a moderate, sometimes I align with conservative ideals and sometimes I lean liberal, so this is NOT an attempt to push people towards a republican vote. On the contrary, this shows that even in a world meant to divide us, there are still some topics that have the power to bring people together. When it comes to cannabis legalization, the overwhelming majority of Americans are tired of prohibition and ready for progress.

I can personally attest to this. Having been raised blue California where cannabis has been legal in some fashion since the 90s, and currently living in Indiana, one of the most cannabis-restrictive states in the nation – everyone I have met so far in both states support legalization. Either they consume cannabis products themselves, or they just don’t care if other people do.

The attitude toward cannabis these days is much more laissez-faire, and rightfully so. At its worst, cannabis a harmless substance that induces a mild psychoactive high. At its best, we have a powerful, therapeutic plant that can be used to treat a myriad of different conditions, greatly improving ones quality of life. To legalize seems like the only logical option at this point, regardless of what political party one supports.

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The post Conservative Cannabis: Legalization Gaining Republican Support appeared first on CBD Testers.

Texas First State to Say ‘No’ to Delta-8 THC Criminalization

Delta-8 THC has been the center of controversy in the United States. While the US government did officially illegalize it, and while many states are following suit independently, Texas is not. In fact, Texas is the first state to officially say ‘no’ to delta-8 THC illegalization.

We’ve known that delta-8 is pretty awesome for a while now. After all, it’s another form of THC that has benefits like less psychoactive high, no anxiety or paranoia produced, a clear-headed energetic high, and no couch locking. We’re not the only ones who think that either, as Texas just said no to delta-8 THC illegalization. We’re dedicated to bringing you the best products available, so take a look through our Delta-8 THC deals and give this new-fangled version of THC a try.

Recap of what’s been going on in Texas

Last month, I reported on four different cannabis-related bills that were making their way through Texas’ Congress at that time. When I wrote the article, none of the four bills had passed. All bills represent a general loosening in Texas law toward cannabis and cannabis crimes. The following is a brief breakdown of the initiatives in Texan government:

HB 441: This bill would decrease criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis. Under this new legislation, up to an ounce would be only a class C misdemeanor with no jail time attached, or loss of driving license. While this bill would purportedly terminate the threat of being arrested for small-time possession, it also indicates that in order for offenders to take advantage of this, they’d have to plead no-contest to a charge (meaning there is one), which would then defer the case for a year.

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No criminal record would be attached if a year is completed without incident. All of this indicates that this is not a decriminalization, as it implies a defendant will still face criminal charges if this exact procedure isn’t followed. Defendants would also be required to pay fines up to $500.

HB 1535: This bill would expand the medical cannabis program in Texas by including all cancer and PTSD patients. In an edit of the bill, chronic pain was left off, even despite growing issues with the opioid epidemic. A provision to allow Department of State Health Services to add qualifying conditions as needed was removed as well. And so was a provision that would have increased the THC cap to 5%, instead of 1%.

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HB 1802: This isn’t actually a cannabis bill, but since both cannabis and psychedelics are enjoying new legislative freedoms, I thought it should be included. This bill would institute a requirement of the state to study psychedelics, specifically for the treatment of veterans. The bill makes specific mention of MDMA, psilocybin from magic mushrooms, and ketamine (the close cousin of the already FDA approved esketamine – Spravato.) Passage of this bill would put the responsibility of the research jointly between the state of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine.

HB 2593: This bill would also lower penalties for cannabis, but this time centered on THC concentrates and infused products. Both are currently felonies right now, but this bill would enable the possession of two ounces as a class B misdemeanor – the same penalty for flowers. This bill came with another provision which was not originally there, but which was added on by the Senate after the House approved without it. This provision creates a definition for ‘total THC’, which then automatically includes all isomers. This provision would therefore mean a criminalization of delta-8 THC. This update sent the bill back to the House to either approve, or create a committee to come to an agreement.

Update on these bills

HB 441 cleared the House – as per the last article, but still has not entered the Senate. HB 1535 has officially cleared both the House and Senate, and was sent to the governor on May 31st, 2021. It does not appear to have been signed into law just yet. HB 1802 ALSO passed both the House and Senate, and was sent to the governor’s office where it awaits signing. And last is HB 2593, which is an interesting story.

As mentioned before for HB 2593 – the bill that would lower penalties for concentrates and extracts, but which would also criminalize isomers like delta-8 THC, the provision that would illegalize delta-8 THC was added by the Senate after the House already passed the bill. And this meant the House had to either accept the revisions or create a commission to work on a resolution. The House decided on the latter, with the last action taken that the House would convene a conference committee to form a resolution.

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The latest news to come out about HB 2593, will sure make those in the delta-8 industry take a sigh of relief. The House was not happy with the ‘total THC’ provision which would illegalize delta-8 THC, and removed it from the draft. The House conference committee then approved it once again without this provision in a 95-44 vote. However, the Senate did not vote on it again, as the legislative session ended, meaning the bill was adjourned sine die. This term means that since the congressional session ended with no new date given, that all unfinished cases end with it. Thus HB 2593, was killed.

Though this was a positive moment for those who did not want delta-8 to be more heavily restricted, it also means that sanctions have not been lowered for THC concentrates and extracts which therefore remain felonies. The dying of this bill is only partway positive. The other part is actually a major setback.

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And let’s not forget HB 3948

While it wasn’t mentioned in my last article, HB 3948 is yet another bill that would have criminalized delta-8 THC. This bill missed its deadline just like HB 2593, and died the same way last month. HB 3948 related to “the production and regulation of hemp and consumable hemp products; providing administrative penalties; creating a criminal offense.” This bill represents another case where the senate added a provision which slowed things down, and which would have criminalized delta-8 THC by attacking it as a synthetic, as well as limiting delta-9 usage.

A conference committee was called (as was done for HB 2593), and the issue of delta-8 was one of the main motivators to cause gridlock. No resolution was met in time, and the bill died when it didn’t meet the deadline, meaning no update to the hemp program will be made. It also means that two times last month Texas said ‘no’ to a delta-8 THC criminalization.

What is delta-8 THC, and why the fuss?

In short, delta-8 THC is a double bond isomer of delta-9 THC, meaning they share the same chemical formula, but have a slightly different configuration of atoms, specifically the placement of a double bond. Delta-8 is naturally occurring and is produced from the oxidation of delta-9 when it comes into contact with oxygen. Delta-8 has been associated with not producing the anxiety and paranoia that standard delta-9 is often known for, and it’s said that delta-8 creates a high 2/3 the intensity of delta-9. Delta-8 is also known for producing a high that’s clear-headed, leaving users with more energy, and less couch-locking effect. All of this makes delta-8 sound pretty good.

Delta-8 came into prominence with the advent of the 2018 US Farm Bill, which made it appear that delta-8 fit into a loophole that allowed the legal sale of THC. This, because delta-8 can be sourced from the ‘legal’ delta-9 of hemp (delta-9 content no more than .3%). However this was essentially not the case, with several legalities making delta-8 less legal than what people thought.

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A lot of this has to do with the Federal Analogue Act; the cap of .3% THC in flowers, processing, and final products, which applies to delta-8 as an isomer of delta-9; and its definition as being a possible synthetic due to human processing help, which would mean it was never under the definition of hemp.

Though delta-8 appears naturally, this is in tiny amounts, leading to the need for human processing help, which has been taken to mean synthetic by many government bodies at this point, including Colorado, which along with other states, independently illegalized delta-8. As a final nail in the coffin, the US government recently added delta-8 to the Controlled Substances list as an alternate name for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’ which sits in Schedule I, under criminal code 7370.

marijuana plants

Colorado, when it illegalized the compound, made no bones that it was in regards to health dangers related to processing methods, and NOT the compound itself, which has never showed medically to be dangerous. This implies that simply regulating the processing of the compound would be the more ideal way to go. My guess is that there is a pharmaceutical push to keep delta-8 out of the mainstream, until it can be formulated into a pharmaceutical product for sale. Just a thought.

Texas is the only state thus far to show some kind of understanding that simply illegalizing delta-8 is not necessarily the way to treat it. And thus, in a state with no recreational program, Texas has actually said ‘no’ to a concrete delta-8 THC criminalization. And this despite its federally illegal status. Texas can’t legalize delta-8 without legalizing recreational cannabis altogether. So, the only thing it did, was to not officially criminalize it. This is still progress.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, small wins for delta-8 THC in the most unexpected location of Texas. Who’d have thought that a state still refusing a recreational cannabis program, would work this hard to keep delta-8 from complete criminalization. Well, that’s what’s been happening so far. Texas has legislatively said ‘no’ to delta-8 THC criminalization. At least for now.

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Resources

Texas Ready to Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill
Colorado Just Banned Delta-8 THC! Who’s Next?
What is Delta 10 THC & does it gets you high?
The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals

Vermont is the newest state to ban Delta 8 THC The US Government Secretly Illegalized Delta-8 THC
The Question of Delta-8: Recreational or Medicinal?

Pharmaceutical Psychedelics – What’s Already Legal and Available

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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