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    Jay Inslee signed an omnibus bill that made a handful of changes to the industry and directed the Liquor Control Board LCB , which oversees recreational marijuana, to look into regulating home grow.

    The bill did not actually legalize and regulate the practice, however. While Inslee has not yet commented on whether or not he would sign this specific legislation into law, it is unlikely he would oppose it if it made it to his desk.

    There cannot be more than 15 plants in a single residence regardless of the amount of legal adults. Property owners can still prohibit their tenants from growing it, and any personal supply of homegrown flowers exceeding an ounce will need to be labeled similar to commercially produced product: Home extractions must be non-combustible ie: In years past, some of the biggest opposition to similar legislation has come from some of the biggest licensed cannabis producers supplying the legal market, specifically the Washington CannaBusiness Association WACA.

    Not all producers are in opposition, however, and are actually members of an organization supporting homegrow efforts, the Cannabis Alliance. Activist Don Skakie is part of HGW and has advocated for this issue directly in the statehouse in Olympia for the last three years, and says from initial conversations he has had this week with legislators, he is optimistic it can pass. We have legalization in Washington that is just Prohibition 2. Home grow represents something much bigger than it really is.

    Brian Blake has sponsored similar legislation three years in a row, and says he will continue to re-file home cultivation bills each session until it passes. Despite the failure of previous bills, Blake is still working on it. Alongside the home cultivation bills pre-filed last Friday, Blake also prefiled H. I have a marijuana problem. By that, I mean a cannabis sativa-related problem. It is the mindfulness mantra turned into a curse.

    The wellness influencers stalk my every step. At a coffee shop in Queens. At a bodega in Brooklyn. At a bookstore in Boulder, Colorado. Gwyneth Paltrow is selling CBD. Gas stations, convenience stores. Cosmetics, coffee, doggie treats. You name it, someone has added CBD to it. The CBD hysteria is not new. Chemists have known about the cannabinoid for generations, and cannabis-industry figures have been touting the medical benefits of cannabidiol, which has psychoactive properties as well as medical benefits but without the familiar mind-bending punch of THC, for almost a decade.

    The New York Times was on it last year. The Washington Post ran an explainer on January 5. Hemp, recall, is cannabis sativa with 0. CBD is also the recipient of positive earned media. Studies show that CBD does indeed lower arthritis-related pain and inflammation. CBD is probably good!

    CBD is probably safe! For one, not everyone selling CBD is good. In fact, some CBD-slingers are very bad and have been reprimanded by the FDA for marketing products they swear will cure cancer. Breathless sandwich boards plopped outside hip boutiques in upscale neighborhoods anywhere gentrification can be found are also guilty of similar dissembling.

    Claims that CBD is good for everything might be true, but are also patently unverifiable. In this way, CBD has become the fitness and wellness fad of our day.

    Consider the source material. The CBD pre-rolls at the gas station could be ditchweed from up the street for all you know; nobody is regulating that stuff or checking it for purity or contaminants. There is also potential for lasting psychological damage β€” that is, a ruined reputation. For most of its salespeople, CBD is nothing more than a handy and buzzy marketing tool du jour, the acai berry or pomegranate juice of the moment.

    The cannabinoid does have real potential that requires careful study and mindful application rather than a freewheeling, paint-the-town-with-vaguely-hem-related-shit attitude. The market will always love bright and shiny things. And CBD is that. Eventually, the hysteria will die down and the wave will recede, leaving β€” what?

    People who could benefit from high-quality, tested and accurately dosed CBD products. Could cannabis affect your brain structure or its function? While researchers are trying to answer these and other questions, the science remains unsettled. While some studies say that cannabis could cure brain cancer, others suggest the plant could actually have bad long-term effects on the brain. No Effect on the Structure of the Brain A recent study in the medical journal European Neuropsychopharmacology found that marijuana has no discernible effect on the cortical structure of the brain.

    But does this mean that cannabis is definitely safe for your brain? Could Cannabis Cure Brain Cancer? Many patients use cannabis to reduce the nausea associated with chemotherapy, but studies have shown that cannabis could actually help treat cancer.

    According to a recent report by 9News in Australia, neurosurgeon Dr. Long-term studies should be conducted for every type of disease β€” with every type of cannabis available β€” if we want to be sure about all the possible benefits and risks. As for the long-term effects, they might be negative cognitive impairments or positive curing brain cancer. New scientific findings and trials will ultimately be needed to determine which. When most of us think about cannabis jobs, positions like budtender and trimmer probably come to mind.

    The cannabis world has changed drastically since medicinal bud was first legalized in the late s. The New Era Of Weed Careers As with any high growth industry, the canna-boom has revealed a whole host of opportunities for professionals of all specialties.

    From high-profile legal and compliance positions to retail management and even sommeliers β€” yep, just like the wine professionals β€” legitimate cannabis companies are attracting top notch talent from more established, mainstream industries. Putin the Heat On Rap Music. The ongoing Russian election meddling drama has entered its latest chapter. Putin cares about rap music? Yes, you read the headline correctly.

    For some reason, despite the long list of troubles facing the world as we know it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has set his sights on Public Enemy Number 1 β€” drug references in rap songs. Because rap music encourages drug use, of course! Russian music producer Igor Matvienko fired the first shots against rap music when he was quoted as saying: So, what does a morally conscious Russian president do in the face of the rising tide of social decay?

    Naturally, he issues a ban! Instead he simply and directly mentioned tightly regulating the music played on Russian radios. The growth of the cannabis industry showed no sign of slowing down in , and that growth can be expected to continue in Anything is possible for the legal weed industry this year β€” new ideas, new products, new companies, and, of course, new legislation.

    Here are a few of our pot industry predictions for This year, we are likely to see even more products infused with the cannabinoid, allowing it to reach an even larger population. Cannabis Growers in Canada While Canada legalized cannabis in , a supply shortage quickly forced some shops to temporarily close. It took a long time for growers to get their licences approved β€” and while some intermittent shortages are still to be expected β€” many growers will finally be able to planting their crops this year.

    Illinois Could Be the Next State to Legalize Recreational Weed Nothing is final just yet, but Illinois could might be legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in Legal Cannabis in Spain Spain could very well become the next country to fully legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana. For now, possession on the streets is illegal, but you are allowed to consume cannabis in private clubs, thanks to strict private property laws.

    The Big Boys Will Take a Bigger Seat at the Table Spurred by the need to keep customers who might prefer cannabis to their products, major alcohol, tobacco, and beverage companies are expected to launch a significant number of CBD- and THC-infused products in And when they do, they will likely become some of the biggest players in the industry. There were no major setbacks, there were no disasters β€” there was nothing to stop or even slow the momentum that marijuana legalization and the attendant legal cannabis industry has enjoyed for most of the past decade.

    And it and he did. On the very first day of , retail recreational cannabis stores opened in California. Red states legalized medical marijuana. Everything continued as before, and almost nothing was too horribly bad. Depends on your perspective.

    Medical marijuana patients in the United Kingdom have legal access, but without any way to get any. There are improvements to be made and much more to be done, but in recounting the biggest news from , there is no disaster to lament.

    And that is the biggest news of all. Here, then, in no particular order, are our most important stories of the year: Red States Love Medical Marijuana Voters in North Dakota said no thanks to one of the more ambitious recreational legalization efforts to be seen in the United States, but medical marijuana continued its winning streak at the ballot box β€” and in the Utah state Legislature. Better yet, the bills approved in Oklahoma in June and in Missouri in November are workable and viable.

    Medical cannabis is a political winner that transcends whatever aisles, divides, and walls that exist elsewhere in our great and groovy society. Results from the latest stage of the experiment, which began Oct. Share prices in Canadian marijuana company stocks skyrocketed, and these same firms continue to export medical cannabis all over the world.

    The biggest concern for some Canadians is how to negotiate the border with the United States. So ripe is the melon that, in October, John Boehner, the Republican former Speaker of the House of Representatives who joined the board of an Ohio-based marijuana company, jumped into the business of selling marijuana-related stock tips.

    But a series of increasingly shrill bellicose statements was followed up with absolutely no action. Sessions was let go after the midterm elections for his refusal to trigger a constitutional crisis and fire Special Counsel Robert S.

    Which brings us to the biggest development of , which was β€” nothing. Nothing bad, as we said the outset. Marijuana legalization has yet to fulfill its worst or even its less rosy prophecies. We knew this would be the case, but now it is undeniable. Other analysts expect even bigger growth in the coming years. The rapid growth of the CBD market can be partly explained by the availability of products containing the compound. Of course, a facial mask containing CBD has nothing to do with a dried flower from a dispensary.

    As a result, the image surrounding CBD products is completely different, thus attracting more β€” and, specifically, more non-marijuana-using β€” consumers. This non-psychoactive compound is becoming more and more popular because of its medical properties with many doctors recommend CBD products to patients dealing a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, or muscle aches.

    A few drops of CBD under the tongue has also been known to help epileptic children and adults. There are also many people who start using CBD-infused products without consulting a medical professional, proving that these products are increasingly been seen as completely normal. All kinds of products are now being infused with CBD: But now, Canadian cannabis company Invictus M. Why the sudden change and what does this mean for the industry?

    The story starts with a 6-year-old girl living with epilepsy. Until seeing this little girl struggling with her illness, Gene Simmons had held a fairly strong anti-drug line. Despite recent Canadian law prohibiting celebrity endorsements for cannabis companies, British Columbia-based Invictus M. Besides producing medicinal effects and a nice feeling of getting high, legal cannabis produces economic benefits, too.

    According to a recent study published by the Journal of Contemporary Economic Policy, housing prices in Denver, Colorado increased by an average of 7. While this development is certainly encouraging, other factors can obviously influence property values, as well, leading researchers to indicate that their findings might be a tad premature.

    Numerous coffeehouses have closed in Amsterdam in recent years due to new laws, most notably new regulations in Amsterdam which prohibit coffeehouses from operating with meters of a school. In Amsterdam, this is very understandable, as many tourists visit the city in order to patronize coffeeshops. When it comes to housing prices in American cities, however, these results might be a bit more surprising.

    While people who regularly buy cannabis at a dispensary might agree to pay a bit more to be close to one, a 3 percent increase seems a bit high. And speaking of legislation, where does our current surgeon general stand on marijuana legalization? An anesthesiologist and former Indiana state health commissioner, current U. Jerome Adams took office in September of As we have discussed previously, in classifying marijuana under Schedule 1, not only has the government declared pot to have no health benefits, but it also says the drug has a higher potential for abuse than drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and Vicodin.

    While cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, it turns out that more and more banks are offering services to cannabis companies. According to Marjiuana Moment, newly released federal data shows that the number of banking institutions that are actively servicing accounts for marijuana businesses has grown by nearly 20 percent since the beginning of In November of , the U.

    Actually, these banks and credit unions filed suspicious activity reports after noticing that one of their clients might be selling cannabis or infused products, for example , instead of the products or services they declared when creating their bank accounts.

    Basically, this means that these financial institutions are breaking the law involuntarily. In , the Obama Administration attempted to give banks some freedom to provide services to cannabis businesses.

    In June , an amendment attached to a federal finance bill was shut down. Again, this was bad news for banks wanting to do business with marijuana companies. For now, it seems like nothing will change until cannabis is no longer a Schedule I drug. Of course, everyone working in the cannabis industry would love to see banks provide services legally. Handling large amounts of cash causes dispensaries and their employees to become targets, and allowing banks to provide services to cannabis-related businesses could actually increase the safety of everyone involved.

    If regulations are every changed, this will undoubtedly be a factor. While the growth of β€” and increasing public support for β€” legal marijuana is clear, the rules associated with marketing legal weed remain cloudy. Cultivating cannabis has become a booming business since the advent of its legalization in several states across the nation.

    While only 10 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use, 33 states now allow the sale and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. As the cannabis legalization wave continues to swell over the United States, its use remains illegal at the federal level, complicating how legitimate cannabis businesses do their banking, file their taxes, and promote their products. In addition, state laws regulating how cultivators and dispensaries may advertise their services vary widely, thickening the legal quagmire.

    Though all members of the canna-business benefit from consulting with qualified legal counsel, there are some guidelines businesses can follow to get the word out while still steering clear of penalties. The Importance of Advertising You could be sitting on the cure for cancer, but if no one knows you have it, you won't make a dime. Advertising and marketing remain a popular deduction come tax time for good reason. Marketing your brand is simply part of the cost of doing business.

    Advertising builds brand awareness, and consumers are more likely to purchase from a company they trust. The importance of name recognition cannot be overstated. To understand just how powerful building brand recognition truly is, consider the last time you cleaned out your ears. Did you call the little cardboard stick with cotton on either end a cotton swab or a Q-tip?

    Some brands become so ubiquitous the names of their products become part of the common lexicon, which is every marketer's dream come true. However, many of these traditional advertising avenues create legal quagmires for those in the cannabis industry. Certain kinds of ads can only be shown during specific hours to avoid the risk of children viewing them. Because most television programming crosses state lines, those in the cannabis industry run the risk of prosecution should their ads be viewed in a state where it remains illegal.

    In addition, because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the United States Postal Service prohibits the mailing of cannabis-related advertisements. Advertising becomes even murkier when state laws come into play.

    For example, in California, cannabis is legal for both recreational and medical purposes, but advertisements such as billboards may only be placed in areas where at least Anywhere that has a school or day care nearby remains out of reach to cannabis marketers.

    Finally, the largest social media outlets, Facebook and Google, both have instituted a policy prohibiting the advertising of cannabis on their platforms. While these are private entities with the rights to make their own rules, due to the potential risk of liability, they will likely not change their advertising policies until and unless cannabis becomes legal at the federal level. Even advertising in local newspapers that don't regularly cross state lines is considered too risky by many due to the risk of federal prosecution for drug trafficking.

    Effective Marketing for Cannabis Entrepreneurs With so many restrictions on where they may advertise, how can those in the canna-business get their names out there? Doing so takes a bit of extra creativity. Smart marketers know it costs far less to keep repeat customers than it is to attract new ones. Repeat customers also help build brand-name recognition because they often recommend businesses they love to their friends and family.

    Nothing creates more trust among potential new customers than a recommendation from someone they personally trust. Medical cannabis businesses have an advantage here: Whenever a new patient registers at a dispensary, they are often asked to provide a preferred contact method consisting of email, text, or phone. Cannabis business owners can then use those specific contact methods to blast announcements of special deals and offers directly to their patients.

    To attract new customers, businesses can extend "bring a friend" special deals right to the populace they already serve. Cannabis information sites allow the placement of website banners and ads that catch the eye of those interested in medical cannabis. For a modest fee, some websites will even create an entire marketing campaign including sending regular emails to consumers.

    This win-win solution allows cultivators and dispensaries to focus on creating better strains and products instead of spending their limited time running their own email and text campaigns. The federal status of cannabis coupled with conflicting state laws creates challenges for those in the cannabis marketing community. However, with a bit of innovation, it is possible to build engaging advertisement campaigns that do not run afoul of the law.

    This article was contributed by Kacey Bradley. State-funded universities follow state law β€” except when it comes to cannabis. This means real consequences for students. It need not be so. Elsewhere, medical marijuana won in nearby Missouri and in Mormon-controlled, deep-red Utah. As the experience of every other state to embark on the marijuana legalization path shows, it will be quite a while before cannabis is available in Michigan stores to those of us without a medical-marijuana recommendation, at least; Detroit is replete with medical cannabis dispensaries and looks likely to remain so.

    But if the administrators at state-funded Michigan State University have anything to do with it, nothing will change at all β€” not now, and not in the future. Marijuana legalization does not apply on campus. Defying Davies carries severe consequences: He warned of outright dismissal from school should they defy his will by exercising newfound rights under state law. How can they do this? The short answer is because they can β€” and everyone else is doing it.

    As Inside Higher Ed reported, college campuses in Colorado, California, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, and everywhere else marijuana has been legalized have declared themselves marijuana legalization-free zones. The slightly longer answer is that universities receive federal funding and thus have to follow federal law, under federal drug-free acts cited by MSU.

    These are the same laws that employers often cite when justifying failing to hire or outright firing employees or potential hires for using cannabis. Police departments are a good example. Local police departments apply for and receive federal funding in the form of grants, and often take advantage of federal money to pay for equipment. And local police departments enforce… local law, which β€” in states like California, Colorado, and now Michigan β€” says that marijuana is legal for adults 21 and over.

    To date, not a single police department has reported losing federal funding because it did what it is chartered to do β€” that is, follow state law. Airports may provide a clearer example for universities to follow, should they so choose. Denver International Airport has declared itself a marijuana-free zone. Other airports have not β€” and in either case, if a passenger boarding a flight is found to have any quantity of marijuana, regular procedure for Transportation Security Administration officials is to call local law enforcement.

    Not the feds, not the military, not the Space Force. Why are colleges different? Like airports, they are state-chartered institutions, funded primarily by a state. Someone caught breaking the law on a college campus may be subject to arrest by either campus or local policeβ€”in either case, law enforcement chartered by a state entity or government. If arrested, they will be tried in state court. If convicted of a serious enough offense, they will go to a state prison.

    See the pattern here? Of course you do. So do the colleges, which is why they are choosing to fall back on federal law to justify their retrograde and anachronistic policies β€” which are in turn causing students real harm. But they can punish a student with consequences that are. They can eject them from campus housing. They can take away their student loans, their work-study stipend β€” and they can kick them out of school.

    And that β€” for reasons that are spurious and utterly dishonest β€” is something that colleges appear totally fine with.

    It is possible that these hard-line stances are merely preemptive cover-your-ass moves university presidents feel they need to take to keep the feds away. That may be so. In which case, this is merely a demonstration of moral cowardice rather than draconian evil.

    Neither is much to be proud of. Is the next center of marijuana production in California former flower farms in Monterrey County, is it hoop-houses enjoying ocean breezes in Santa Barbara β€” or is it neither? Prior to marijuana legalization, one line of frequently repeated conventional wisdom in certain cannabis circles was that once prohibition ended, The End Times would soon follow.

    In California, that means the land in least demand, which means the desert or the agricultural communities of the Central Valley, where cannabis would become a complement to the oceans of pistachios, almonds, stone-fruits, and other commodities produced by industrial agriculture. It was a compelling thesis, and there was some credible evidence β€” wholesale marijuana prices were indeed dropping and some of those farms were going out of business, and some old growers who could still make the nut financially were left out on technicalities, after they found that their unconventional arrangements disqualified them for state permits β€” but these arguments suffered from a few flaws.

    First, beside the fact that such an enterprise was completely impractical, there was never any credible evidence that tobacco companies, Soros, Monsanto, or any combination of the three were plotting a land-grab of remote, hard-to-access, harder-to-develop-into-industrial agriculture former timber land in Trinity County.

    Second, the thing about cheap land in California is that it is cheap for a reason. At one point, according to one estimate, there were roughly 55, marijuana cultivators of various sizes in the Emerald Triangle, meaning if Santa Barbara wants to be the next best home for cannabis cultivation, there needs to be an extended period of growth, and proof that it can be sustained. The truth is that everybody is still figuring out exactly what will work β€” and nobody can say with certainty what that will be.

    Which is to say it may matter very much exactly where a cannabis flower is grown, in the same way that it matters extremely to the market and to the palette if a grape comes from Napa County, or just a few hillsides away in Solano County. And there are considerations far more earthly to consider.

    It could also be that the impractical Central Valley could become lucrative if local governments make it so. That works in most agricultural industries, but only so far.

    Wine is an object lesson yet again. Cannabis may not be quite as picky β€” especially with indoor growing β€” but indoor growing is costly, and the cannabis plant is a more fickle mistress than some growers realize. It has yet to be proven beyond doubt that massive, mold, and pest-resistance high-quality cannabis can be grown reliably at scale.

    Like a snow globe just snatched from the shelf and given a furious shake, the image of large-scale marijuana farming is hazy and unclear and has yet to coalesce and to settle. Inside the Mormon Medical Marijuana Caravan.

    Harris is a Las Vegas-based herbalist, medical cannabis advocate, mother of nine, and lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She discovered cannabis through her work as an herbalist and has dedicated much of the last four years to educating the conservative Mormon community about it. Utah patients have continually found her through Church networks and made their way unsolicited to Harris seeking help and guidance.

    Meanwhile, legislators in Utah are working diligently and quickly to undo a voter-backed medical cannabis ballot initiative that passed earlier this month. Harris understands the hesitancy in the community, she herself was completely anti-cannabis until she started to learn more about it and how it became illegal in the first place. In , she advocated for medical cannabis at the state capital in Salt Lake City with patients who had caravanned to her home in Nevada.

    She wants them to take into account all the suffering Utahns currently smuggling or using on trips to nearby states to craft a workable policy. For a Latter-day Saint that is huge, that is a big deal, it is part of who we are β€” believing that we obey the laws of the land. It is disturbing to watch this. In states where medical cannabis is legal, many LDS patients are using cannabis with the blessings of their bishops or other Church leaders.

    Let them get out of pain! That is the thing, no one has died from it and teen use has gone down. After a multi-year struggle, advocates succeeded in putting medical cannabis on the midterm ballot in Utah, where it passed despite well-funded opposition, including from the Church itself. Now the lame duck Utah legislature plans to replace the medical cannabis bill voters approved, Proposition 2, in a special session with a legislative bill that will restrict access and potentially be non-functioning.

    Lawsuits are already pending. Patients in Utah are demanding a program in line with the nearby states they are currently smuggling from. As an herbalist, Harris believes cannabis should be left to the realm of herbalism not pharmaceutical medicine. Harris has been following the negotiations and how they have been influenced by big business and is worried the new law will do nothing to stem the tide of patients being sent to her door for legal guidance in Nevada.

    Raw flower would be sold in blister packs. Further, because of the nature and unaccounted for costs of the state-run central fill pharmacy proposed under the legislation, the program may be non-functional by the deadline. Referring to an analysis done by Americans for Safe Access of the first draft of the replacement legislation that determined the program would be non-functional, these groups have advocated heavily against it.

    More concessions were made to the financially incentivized opposition to safe access. Utah is moving forward with cannabis policy and should create meaningful legislation rather than public messaging stunts.

    This is wrong to do to people who are clearly suffering. It's an ugly situation β€” ugly because because we can't help these suffering Saints up in Utah. We tried to change the law so now the only choice for relief is to break the law and risk losing there Church memberships," Harris concluded. While Asia is probably not the first place you think of when you think of marijuana legalization β€” and with good reason β€” things might be starting to change.

    Some Asian countries have a reputation for handing out severe punishments β€” ranging from fines to prison times to the death penalty β€” for the consumption of possession of weed. Despite that strict history, some Asian countries are starting to consider varying levels of legalization.

    Newsweek recently took a look at the progress toward legalization across Asia. Legalization is still a long way away, but this is an important step, nonetheless. Ministers in the nation are also talking about decriminalizing medical marijuana. The country might also start exporting medical marijuana. For now, only medical marijuana is considered for legalization in some countries.

    Recreational use seems out of the question. Until something changes, laws will remain very strict and high sentences will continued to be handed out.

    According to a reminder tweeted out by the Canadian government, custom officers in Singapore, for example, can request a drug test as soon as you enter the country. Earlier this year, we told you that public support for legal weed had not reached its peak. And we were right. According to a new poll released by Gallup, public support for marijuana legalization has reached yet another high.

    This marks the third year in a row that public support has hit a new record. This age group has seen the biggest increase in support in the last few years. Public support has increased rapidly in the last few years. At the same time, many states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. This is likely not a coincidence. But a large group of supporters could be enough to sway lawmakers to propose a ballot.

    In , for example, public support was lower in the South and Midwest than in the East and West. In the South, the number was only one percentage point higher. This increase could continue the streak of good news for the industry, leading lawmakers in the Midwest and South to rethink their stance on legalization β€” as well as efforts by cannabis companies to push their expansion efforts towards other parts of the U.

    Stay tuned to the Sugar Leaf for updates. The Inexact Science of Cannabis and Pregnancy. While little scientific research exists about cannabis' effects on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies, one thing is certain: There is plenty of conjecture about cannabis use during pregnancy but very little fact. Despite women using cannabis for millennia during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, doctors and government officials have become increasingly wary of the topic.

    Some cite flawed studies to prove it is dangerous to the development and growth of offspring, but from a truly scientific point of view, medical professionals have very little knowledge on how cannabis use during this critical time affects real human babies.

    Either way, more and more women are doing it. One doctor has at least set out to understand what can be gleaned from the studies and to highlight the flaws in research available to medical professionals on the topic. Borgelt also surveyed how dispensaries responded to calls from pregnant mothers and found major flaws in both the response from the research and medical community as well as the cannabis industry.

    She says she decided to embark on these studies with the University of Denver because she identified the major gap between medical knowledge and patient practice. One day during a consultation with a pregnant mother and medical resident she says the question of whether it was safe to consume cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding clearly highlighted the need for the work. She also notes a major flaw in the research; almost all of it refers specifically to the cannabinoid THC, leaving yet another gap in the study on CBD, other cannabinoids, and whole plant cannabis.

    As in most knowledge gaps in cannabis, there is also a large gap between medical research and the practice of how humans actually interact with cannabis and its chemical constituents. Despite what the medical profession has to say on the topic, 15 to 28 percent of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in and out of legal states are using cannabis. With so much uncertainty, why are they risking it? CB1 receptors are receptors in the nervous system that interact with cannabis and endogenous cannabinoids produced by the human body.

    The higher presence of receptors means the effects of cannabinoids would be more potent on a developing fetus or child than an adult. Borgelt says there is a potential that because THC could disrupt and interfere with proper cell signaling during the development of these neurotransmitter systems there could be an effect on fetal development. However, there is still no definitive current research that could prove or disprove this.

    Borgelt says this speaks to the types of trials conducted and their limitations and points out that a lack of conclusive evidence is positive. But she says the literature does point, but not prove, to the possibility that cannabis could affect mental development, which would not become apparent until adolescent and teenage years, noting the human brain does not stop developing until the age of Borgelt agreed with Dr. As for the effects of cannabis use during breastfeeding, Dr.

    Borgelt acknowledges even less is known with the available studies. While these natural cannabinoids in breastmilk are safe, Dr. Borgelt warns that very little is known about phytocannabinoids in breast milk. What we can say is THC readily passes into the breastmilk and there are numerous studies to confirm that. When I have patients that ask about that, I will fully acknowledge our body makes its own endocannabinoids, but the exogenous are far more potent and last longer on receptor sites than what our body does normally which can influence the way the cell functions and develops.

    One of the primary reasons women use cannabis in pregnancy is for immediate relief of nausea. Women who are more comfortable with medical use of cannabis are more likely to view cannabis use as safer than pharmaceutical drugs that could be prescribed to women in pregnancy.

    There is a historical precedent for cannabis use in pregnancy. Cannabis has been used by midwives and herbalists to treat pain during menstruation and child birth and pain, nausea, anxiety, and insomnia in pregnant women for millennia. American and English doctors as late as the 19th century would recommend cannabis to mothers to induce and hasten childbirth.

    Although there are thousands of years of human experience with cannabis use during reproduction, very little formal study can point to any absolutes about effects.

    Melanie Dreher, currently the Dean of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and previously the Dean of Nursing at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, conducted a series of studies that are considered the most thorough studies of cannabis use in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

    She followed mothers in rural Jamaica already regularly using real cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the development of their children over time. The neonates of heavy-marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers. Real longitudinal studies that account for a host of confounding factors like other substance use, nutrition, genetic conditions, wellness and socioeconomic status are necessary to prove if there are negative side effects to development or growth of human offspring.

    While Borgelt encourages doctors to err on the side of caution, she acknowledges these flaws in research and suggests doctors keep an open mind so that doctors can get honest dialogue with their patients. The Birth of the Marijuana Megastore? While Cannabis is legal in Las Vegas, finding a place to use it is another story.

    Consuming weed in a public place or car is illegal, as is smoking it in your hotel, unless you have the explicit permission of the owner β€” which none have reportedly granted as of the time of this writing. The only option for using pot in Las Vegas is knowing β€” or finding someone β€” who will let you smoke your weed or eat your edibles on their private property.

    But while finding a place in Vegas to take a hit can be a bit of a drag, shopping for weed there is not. The city is now home to Planet 13, a new dispensary that sells flowers, edibles, and concentrates. Planet 13 is just like any other dispensary in the country except that it is absolutely enormous. When all phases are completed, the mega-store will total , square feet β€” more than enough to handle thousands of customers daily.

    The Next Big Thing? The LED lights, outdoor water feature, interactive floor, and other experiences are, of course, perfect for Las Vegas, but would likely be a little much for smaller cities or towns. But, hey, next time you're in Vegas, be sure to check out Planet And we wish you best of luck in trying to find a place to enjoy your stash once you do.

    The sad case of Patrick Beadle, the Portland, Oregon resident sentenced to eight years in prison for driving through Mississippi with medical marijuana he obtained legally, illustrates how far most places have to go on cannabis.

    Talley is a year-old barber. In through the open portal swarmed four SWAT officers in full tactical gear, fingers on the trigger of their assault weapons, the weapons pointed square at Talley. They also found plastic bags and three digital scales, though Talley claimed to own only one, and it was broken. Talley was nonetheless put in handcuffs and taken to county jail on suspicion of committing a misdemeanor β€” possession of marijuana. To defense attorneys and retired law enforcement, they are much worse.

    They are violations of the Fourth Amendment that also jeopardize the health and safety of the public. And yet, they have happened dozens and dozens of times, to dozens and dozens of other people like Talley. In eight others, they found only marijuana despite obtaining a search warrant for harder drugs. The city is 42 percent black and 46 percent white. Sometimes, the occupants of the raided homes are evicted, or charged by their landlords for the damage caused by police.

    And then they do it again β€” and again and again. Another individual, a registered legal gun owner, had his weapon seized, was charged for it, and was evicted from his apartment. The problem β€” for police β€” is that they also appeared to have lied. We know that is all untrue, because Talley set up a video security system outside his apartment following a few thefts which were never solved by police. And that video footage contradicts the account to which police swore in their affidavit signed off by a judge.

    To date, that has not resulted in any punishment for the police or compensation for Talley, who waged a one-man campaign for many months, obtaining public records and using social media to spread the news of his case. How many people like Talley are set up without the exculpatory power of a home security system? In how many other cities is there a SWAT team happy to stage raids suitable for cartel kingpins for a few scraps of weed? The answers are obvious and depressing, and illustrate the broader truth: Dispensaries have always targeted men.

    If they want to beat the competition, however, they need to market to women, too. But with an increasing number of states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana β€” and public support for legalization continuing to rise β€” a longtime truth has become more widely recognized: Women like weed, too. While everyone is different β€” and some women likely smoke more weed than the average man β€” there are some generally recognized differences between male and female pot consumption.

    Men, for example, typically prefer high-potency weed, which allows them to get high quickly, while women often want to be more discreet β€” especially when they feel like they could be judged by others for using weed.

    As a result, women are more likely to be interested in products like lotions with CBD, low-THC buds, edibles, and vape pens. Not surprisingly, marijuana-related businesses have noticed these differences, with weed marketing strategies looking more and more like those of beauty products. By appealing more directly to women, dispensaries will likely not only increase their bottom lines, but they could also be playing a significant part in the normalization of weed. Over time, women picking up kids from play dates will feel as comfortable talking to each other about their favorite weed-infused products as they will talking about the weather.

    Over the years, researchers have discovered the power of marijuana to help people suffering from myriad health conditions. The symptoms of this disease can be very incapacitating for patients, sometimes stopping them from holding down jobs or having a social life β€” or both.

    According to a new study, however, cannabis could offer relief to patients dealing with this frustrating condition. Some were given cannabis oil, others a placebo. Marijuana has been shown to reduce the number of epileptic episodes β€” especially among children. It can also be used to reduce pain, which is appealing for multiple sclerosis or arthritis patients.

    It can also relieve nausea in chemotherapy patients. While there are plenty of weird places to grow weed, outer space now tops our list. Cannabis and hemp cultivators Atalo Holdings and Anavii Market β€” also based in Kentucky β€” decided to partner with Space Tengo to send some ganja plants to a galaxy far, far away. The microwave-sized boxes are actually clean room laboratories that will be used by ISS scientists to grow and observe the plants. So, what can we learn from weed grown in outer space?

    Growing weed in a low-gravity environment sounds like fun, but is it useful? According to pharmacy professor Joe Chappell of the University of Kentucky, it is. The goal is to see how the plant reacts to this low-gravity environment, and how that could be useful for humankind. England's legalization of medical marijuana has been a predictable process, with at least one minor-sounding β€” yet very significant β€” deviation.

    On November 1, medical cannabis becomes legal in the United Kingdom. This is a technically true statement. There will be no flood of pain patients, cancer sufferers, and everyone else for whom medical marijuana can bring relief to dispensaries and clinics.

    Exactly what those products will be, when they will become available, for whom and how easily β€” and how expensive β€” all remains to be seen. All those very important details will be hammered out over the next year, with exact answers to be determined. It will also sound familiar in Canada and Australia, two former British Commonwealth countries that have also moved more quickly.

    But there is at least one minor-sounding yet very significant deviation from this otherwise predictable script. All those entrepreneurs, the founders and the funders, want to be seated at the literal and metaphorical table, when members of the government and Parliament sit down with stakeholders and figure out how to get cannabis to the public.

    There is a desire to make sure that patients get in first before the industry. At one-third the population of the United Kingdom, Florida is nonetheless an enormous market for cannabis, with an aging population that includes a significant number of military veterans. There, medical marijuana was approved by voters, but then dictated by lawmakers in consultation with health-department officials. It should not go unsaid that those health officials work for Gov.

    Rick Scott, himself a healthcare-industrial complex tycoon. A ban on marijuana that could be smoked. A ban on home cultivation, forcing patients to go to capitalized companies for access to a plant.

    So few licensed dispensaries and cultivators that it equated to a state-sanctioned monopoly. A byzantine permitting process that gave preferential treatment to farms that had once grown citrus fruits. Some of these restrictions have been overturned by the courts, but the fact that the courts had to be involved at all should be proof enough that the laws were imperfect and unworkable. It should surprise nobody that the imperfections were put there by someone other than the patients for whom the laws were intended.

    They would do so if they listened to pain doctors in charge of prescribing pharmaceutical alternatives to cannabis, which β€” according to the literature, is effective for pain. It would be bad.

    While Germany has made some progress as far as cannabis legalization is concerned, the number of Germans who can legally obtain the drug is rather limited, as are the chances that that number will increase any time soon.

    Berlin, for example, is known for its party scene. Getting β€” or getting away with β€” marijuana may be technically possible in Germany, but growing it is not. If a company wants to grow medical cannabis in Germany, they have to apply for a license with the cannabis agency of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.

    The agency has yet to grant any licenses, however, leaving Germany to import all of its cannabis from the Netherlands and Canada. But how is this stereotype affecting legit businesses and what can companies do to break free?

    In movies and on television, it seems every ensemble cast features some sort of lovable stoner. Chill, but lacking in motivation and general wherewithal, we all know the type. But now that weed is legal in some capacity in 30 states, the idea of the video game-loving, fast-food devouring stoner is proving bad for business. Dispelling the Stigma Across the country, marijuana companies are seeking out new and creative ways to shake off the stoner stereotype and present cannabis as the ticket to pain relief and recreation for people of all walks of life.

    For some companies, this comes across in more effective branding and marketing techniques β€” leveraging billboards and ads portraying nurses, doctors, grandparents, and more as responsible cannabis users instead of stoners. Other brands have set their sights on product design to add a more refined air to their weed products β€” ridding packaging of pot leaves in favor of sleek, modern designs.

    Thanks in large part to decades of criminalization, cannabis still has a reputation of the drug of choice for characters on the fringes of society, especially in movies and on television. Fast forward a few decades, and TV shows and movies are starting to show pot users in a more realistic light. As the image of the half-baked, goofy stoner are replaced with real-world representations of weed users, the tide of common opinion is sure to change.

    Can Pot Prevent Performance Anxiety? If you count yourself as part of this statistic β€” fear not! Cannabis may help make your next performance a total breeze. And your big speech is only a few hours away. Sure, you could freak out. Or you could enjoy a little cannabis and knock it out of the park. According to a recent study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, using cannabis prior to public speaking can reduce performance anxiety, as well as symptoms of daily, general anxiety.

    Participants were given mg, mg, or mg, and a placebo at random and then asked to give a 4-minute speech. Doctors assessed anxiety markers before, during, and after the speeches, and the findings were promising.

    Participants who received a mg CBD dose showed lower anxiety levels compared to those who received the placebo. Embracing the Benefits Based on these recent findings, people struggling with anxiety may have a truly effective option for managing symptoms. In the United States, that means roughly And, yes, it may make your next presentation more bearable, too.

    All jokes aside, studies like this one are proving tremendously valuable in further identifying the medical benefits of cannabis. As more applications are identified, more work may be done to legalize medicinal cannabis across the country. Recreational weed might not be too far behind. Recreational cannabis consumption is still prohibited, however.

    There are several ways to initiate the legalization of marijuana. In the United States, states have put it up for a vote, leaving it up to the residents to decide. Lawmakers can also create new acts of law, allowing the medical use of marijuana. In Mexico, however, several lawsuits have been filed over the last few years, as MerryJane. Five consistent rulings by the Mexican Supreme court are necessary before the judgment can be applied to all residents.

    Three rulings have been issued so far, which will likely put some pressure on the government. When will it be legal? While the people of Mexico will probably have to wait until at least to see some real change, things are moving quickly. Many resources have to be allocated to the war against drugs β€” resources that could be put to better use if marijuana became legal.

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