Efforts To Diversify Medical Marijuana in Maryland Move Forward

Legislators say that efforts to diversify medical marijuana in Maryland move forward after amendments to the bill are made. In January, a disparity study ordered by Gov. Larry Hogan determined that women and minorities lack representation in the industry. Currently, minorities own only one of the cannabis processing companies licensed by the state.

Lawmakers had hoped to set aside a portion of the state’s medical marijuana licenses for businesses with minority ownership. But Attorney General Brian Frosh determined such a plan would violate the state’s constitution.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan added that reserving licenses for minorities would expose the state to litigation from white business owners denied permits.

“You can’t throw those guys out or the state will be subject to lawsuits from all of them, but if they can find a way to broaden it and be more inclusive, we are all for it,” he told local media.

Lawmakers Seek Alternate Plan

Baltimore City Delegate Cheryl Glenn is the chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus. She also has arthritis and uses medical marijuana to treat it. She said that she has prioritized increasing diversity in the state’s medical marijuana industry.

“We have a litany of people who are ready to apply for those licenses, who have the money to get these businesses up and running,” Glenn said.

As a solution, members of the House of Delegates introduced House Bill 2 (HB 2) at the beginning of the legislative session. The bill mandates changes to the state medical marijuana commission’s structure and operations. The measure also includes several provisions to encourage minority involvement in the industry.

HB 2 would increase the number of commissioners that serve on the regulatory body to eight. It also requires the board’s membership to at least somewhat reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state. The bill also forbids members from having a financial interest in the industry.

The new regulations would require the commission to perform outreach to existing minority-owned businesses to inform them how they can participate in the cannabis industry. The bill also creates training programs for jobs in the cannabis industry.

Under the measure, the commission would create a partnership with the state Department of Labor to identify job opportunities for minorities and ex-offenders.

In order to increase access to medical marijuana for patients, the bill also creates a Compassionate Use Fund. The commission would administer the fund, which would provide free or discounted cannabis to eligible patients in need.

Final Hit: Efforts To Diversify Medical Marijuana in Maryland Move Forward

The House of Delegates passed HB 2 on March 2. The bill was subsequently referred to the Senate, where it is currently being debated.

Although it has been a long road with many obstacles, Glenn believes lawmakers will succeed in diversifying the industry.

“I think we are going to finish the session with a product I’m going to be satisfied with,” Glenn said.

A Senate committee is now considering even more amendments to the bill. They plan to send it to the floor on Monday for consideration by the full body. If successful there, the measure would head back to the House for review. Gov. Hogan would then need to sign it before it could become law.

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Can You Get A Hangover From Weed?

Can you get a hangover from weed? Many individuals have experienced the phenomenon known as a “weed hangover,” while others have questioned if such thing really exists. It may not leave you with a raging headache and a nauseous stomach the next day. But cannabis can leave you feeling a bit out of it and all around lousy the morning after.

There have been a surprising amount of research on the subject. A study from as early as 1985 stated that “marijuana smoking can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking.”

The most recent study, done in 2005 by Wadsworth, looked specifically at how individuals suffer from weed hangovers at work. The outcomes of the study showed that cannabis can cause hangover symptoms. These may increase depending on how frequently an individual smokes.

A weed hangover can occur after a night of smoking copious amounts of weed. If you’re smoking a lot at a time, or are smoking a large amount over the period of your night, you may wake up the next morning with a terrible surprise.

Signs of a Weed Hangover

Can You Get A Hangover From Weed?

Side effects of a weed hangover can often be similar to the feeling of a mild hangover from alcohol.  However, unlike alcohol, hangovers from marijuana are quite bearable and easy to handle.

Headaches can be present after a night of blazing, this may be due to dehydration. Although there is little to no evidence of weed-induced headaches, users have noticed this pain after smoking up.

To avoid dehydration and experiencing the dreaded cotton mouth, be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water during and after a smoke session.

Another symptom of a weed hangover is the feeling of fogginess and grogginess. Studies have suggested that marijuana can mess with your cognitive function and short-term memory.

This symptom may just be your high continuing on into the morning, or a lack of sleep can also contribute to the feeling. The best way to deal with this, besides staying hydrated, is to get out and get some physical activity.

Fatigue is the number one symptom of a weed hangover. Although marijuana may help individuals as a sleep aid, it can also leave users feeling like they didn’t have a proper nights sleep. In 2008, a Penn Medicine study found that marijuana may impair sleep quality for those who consumed it throughout their teenage years.

According to the study, “any history of cannabis use was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting difficulty falling asleep, struggling to maintain sleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep and feeling daytime sleepiness.”

As you may already know, smoking marijuana can leave your eyes feeling dry. This effect can last until the morning, causing a discomfort throughout the day. This may be because THC causes a decrease in blood pressure, causing a dilation of blood vessels and capillaries.

This causes a dilation of the ocular capillaries, increasing the blood flow through the eyes and causing them to turn red. This is the reason why THC is a great medicine for those suffering from glaucoma.

Congestion and dehydration are also symptoms that have been noted by users, but this is usually due to your bodies reaction to the smoke.

What Causes a Weed Hangover?

Can You Get A Hangover From Weed?

The real answer behind our “Can you get a hangover from weed?” question is actually quite simple. To put it simply, you may just be experiencing a morning-after high from the night before.

You can experience the side effects of THC after it’s initial high wears off. After consuming an excessive amount of weed, cannabinoids may hang around longer than expected. Your weed hangover may just be the THC sticking around in your system.

So can you get a hangover from weed if you consume it another way besides smoking it? You are actually more likely to experience these symptoms after ingesting an edible. The THC becomes a more potent compound after being metabolized by the liver.

The compound is known as THC-COOH, which is also known as carboxy THC. Colorado NORML states that “it may be found weeks or longer after the intake of marijuana, while the impairing effect of the active delta-9 THC may be almost gone within three hours more or less.”

Edibles produce a more intense high than the high you experience after inhaling marijuana smoke. If you’ve eaten more edibles than expected, it may take your digestive tract a day to fully metabolize the THC.  It is very uncommon for an edible high to last more than 48 hours, but morning after effects aren’t that uncommon.

Final Hit: Can You Get a Hangover from Weed?

As mentioned, your weed hangover may just be the lingering effects of THC. If you want to get over these symptoms, there are ways to do so. With some physical activity, healthy eating and hydration, your weed hangover will be on its way out the door. There’s nothing worse than feeling foggy and out of it after a night of rolling joints and enjoying moonrocks. Maybe try not to overdo it next time.

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States With Legal Marijuana Seek Summit With Jeff Sessions

Oregon, Illinois, California and other states with legal marijuana seek summit with Jeff Sessions. Recently, the federal government suspended the policy preventing the DEA from going after marijuana businesses in states where weed is legal. And infamously anti-marijuana Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a big part of the Trump administration’s agenda.

Who Asked to Meet With Jeff Sessions

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, and many are hopeful that more states will follow suit in 2018. As cannabis is still illegal federally, millions of people now live in places where marijuana policy is uncertain.

Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oregon and California’s state treasurers were the architects behind the letter to Jeff Session. In their letter released this Thursday, lawmakers asked for a meeting to discuss how the federal government’s crackdown on marijuana will affect businesses and banks.

“This is not just a blue state phenomenon but includes purple and red states in every corner of our country. A majority of Americans now live in states where they have decided to legalize cannabis,” lawmakers said in their letter to Sessions.

The letter goes on to explain that the lack of federal clarification “leaves the industry and financial institutions in the dark.” They propose that federal agents and state legislators meet to “reach a consensus” on marijuana regulation.

Businesses, such as the Maine Credit Union League, also signed the letter.

California Treasurer John Chiang Started The Conversation

Over a year ago, Treasurer Chiang reached out to Trump to discuss marijuana businesses and banking. Chiang hoped to get a head start on California’s 2018 recreational marijuana legalization date, but to no avail.

This year, Chiang teamed up with lawmakers from other states with marijuana legalization programs. Their newest petition asks the same question of federal lawmakers. Today, the issue with marijuana’s legal status is now on a much larger scale.

Chiang is also running for governor of California this year.

What The Federal Government Needs To Clarify

States with legal marijuana seek summit with Jeff Sessions to discuss the lack of banking available to the legal cannabis industry.

Marijuana remains a Schedule I substance according to federal law. Since banks are regulated on a federal level, and marijuana remains illegal federally, most banking institutions (with the exception of some select credit unions that do) won’t accept money made from cannabis. Another unfortunate consequence of the lack of banking available is that marijuana companies only have access to high interest cash loans.

Some marijuana businesses turn to cryptocurrency and armored cars, and others hope for municipality-run banks. No matter what the solution to marijuana’s banking problems, the industry needs clarification from the federal government.

The letter states that banks require “some comfort that they will not be prosecuted, or lose access to customer assets, simply for banking this industry.”

The Problem With The Marijuana Industry’s Lack of Banking Services

The inaccessibility of proper banking is stopping the marijuana industry from realizing its full financial potential.

About 40 percent of Colorado’s marijuana businesses do not have bank accounts. Considering the industry made 1.3 billion dollars in Colorado in 2016 alone, this is a huge amount of cash. Some pot entrepreneurs are able to open accounts with smaller banks. However, most larger financial institutions are staying away from the industry.

In short, weed businesses can’t get loans at reasonable rates or store their cash like other professions. This hurts the industry.

Final Hit: States With Legal Marijuana Seek Summit With Jeff Sessions

The legalization movement is hitting its stride and more Americans turning to legal cannabis.

For these reasons, lawmakers and businesses need of federal clarification on cannabis more than ever.

Though Trump has done nothing besides complicate the relationship between state and federal marijuana laws, it’s time the administration faced with the realities of legalization.

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This State Could Allow Non-Residents Access to Medical Marijuana

If the Hawaii House of Representatives passes this bill, this state could allow non-residents access to medical marijuana. After the first dispensary opened last August, the state is looking to give out-of-state resident access to cannabis throughout the islands.

What Will This Bill Allow?

The Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed House Bill 2729 on Thursday. In January, Hawaii officially began allowing out of state medical marijuana patients to buy weed from medical marijuana dispensaries. However, the state requires a system to register these out-of-state cardholders in order for them to buy cannabis. Until now, lawmakers had yet to create such a program.

The bill proposed this week would create a structure so non-residents can buy medical marijuana. This program will be reciprocal, meaning that out-of-state residents can purchase medical marijuana in Hawaii, and Hawaii-residents can do the same out of state.

What Will Out-Of-State Residents Be Able To Buy?

If this bill passes, Non-Hawaii residents will be able to buy half what is allowed for in-state residents. The trade association, representing Hawaii’s dispensaries, testified, “This should help to minimize the concern about an out-of-state patient obtaining a large quantity of product.”

Out-of-state buyers will also need to pay a $45 state registration fee to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Why Is This Bill So Significant?

Many are hoping that the legislature passes the bill meaning that this state could allow non-residents access to medical marijuana. Maui Grown Therapies director of community relations and patient affairs Teri Gorman explained the sheer volume of patients looking for medical marijuana treatment.

A notice on Maui Grown Therapies’ website explains that the policy allowing for non-resident treatment hasn’t gone into effect. Despite this, Gorman said, “we have received 178 email inquiries from out-of-state patients and our staff has answered more than 300 telephone queries over the past four months.”

Many of the people looking for medical marijuana suffer from serious conditions. “Mentioned most often [in the emails and calls] are cancer/chemotherapy, severe pain, and end-of-life care. Compassion dictates that Hawaii develop a program to serve visiting patients without further delay,” Gorman explains.

With Hawaii’s booming tourism industry and distance from the other 49 states,  the number of out-of-state residents to benefit from such a program would be considerable.

Hawaii’s Dispensaries Are In Favor Of The Bill

Not only are out-of-state residents advocating for access to medical marijuana, but Hawaii’s eight dispensaries advocate for the bill. They issued a joint statement through the trade program, which is made up of all eight medical marijuana businesses:

“[The bill] would enhance the medical cannabis dispensary program with additional patient access, product controls and safety, and provide improvements to the administration of the program.”

Final Hit: This State Could Allow Non-Residents Access to Medical Marijuana

There was a considerable delay between approving out-of-state medical marijuana purchases in January to proposing this bill. This suggests that it will take time before Hawaii allows non-residents, even those in need, access to the permits required.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana last year, though the process hasn’t been without controversy. In August, Maui’s first medical marijuana clinic closed temporarily because demand far exceeded supply. Later last year, the police forced medical marijuana patients in Honolulu to turn in their guns.

As the majority of states implement medical marijuana programs and more and more move towards legalization, state lawmakers are scrambling to implement programs for everything from taxation to who can buy medical marijuana.

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What Is A Gravity Bong and How Do You Make One?

Before the abundance of highly concentrated forms of cannabis, we had to get creative to elevate highs to levels the average pipe and bong couldn’t. The only two ways to accomplish this were with the help of kief which could take a long time to accumulate and the gravity bong. There are all-glass versions you can buy that are safer to smoke. However, a homemade gravity bong typically consists of cut up plastic bottles and an aluminum foil bowl. As a result, you shouldn’t re-use them or rely on one as a regular method of consumption. In case you want a potent blast from the past or you feel like turning your smoke session into a DIY project, we’ll show you how to make a gravity bong.

What Is A Gravity Bong?

What Is A Gravity Bong and How Do You Make One?

A gravity bong comes in two different styles. The term can be used to describe both a bucket bong and a waterfall bong. Here’s how they work.

Bucket Bong

A bucket bong usually consists of the bottom half of a 2 liter of soda and the top half of a smaller plastic bottle. However, any sizes will do as long as the bottom is larger than the top.

The bottom half is filled with water and the top half will consist of both the bowl and mouthpiece. Despite the name, gravity doesn’t play much of a role in the function of a bucket bong. Instead, a high-pressure environment is created as the top half is forced into the bucket of water. Then, the flame of your lighter and smoke will be vacuumed into the bottle as you pull it up out of the water.

Clearing a bucket bong is easier than a waterfall bong because the pressure in a bucket bong helps to force all of the smoke out of the bottle and into your lungs as soon as possible.

Waterfall Bong

The other style of gravity bong is called a waterfall bong. It will only require the use of one large plastic bottle. It actually uses gravity and gravity alone to milk the bottle for you.

The top consists of both the bowl piece and the mouthpiece like on a bucket bong. The bottom is just your standard bottle with a hole at the bottom. When it’s time to smoke, the bottle gets filled with water while the hole is plugged. Then the cap with a bowl full of weed is put back on. Removing your finger will allow gravity to pull all of the water out of your bong like a waterfall.

Make sure the lighter is sparked above the bowl before you remove your finger from the hole. Then watch the water pour as smoke takes its place.

The waterfall experience saves your lungs from the effort of milking the bong. However, clearing the bong is on you.

How To Make A Bucket Bong

What Is A Gravity Bong and How Do You Make One?

 

Before you learn how to make a bucket gravity bong you’re going to need the following materials and tools.

Materials:

  • Box cutter or scissor
  • Two different sized plastic bottles
  • Aluminum foil

If you’re using a homemade gravity bong with the bucket style, you’ll need to cut some plastic. Use a box cutter or scissors to carefully cut the bottom of the smaller bottle off. The larger the top half is, the more smoke it can hold.

Cut the larger bottle in half and toss the top out so that you’re left with a plastic bucket. The bucket needs to be deep enough for the top to be submerged down to the neck without touching the bottom.

Finally, carve a hole in the cap with a box cutter or scissors and use the aluminum foil to form a bowl. Poke holes so the smoke can travel into the bottle. If you completed every step we mentioned, your gravity bong is ready for use.

How To Smoke Bucket Bongs

Now that you know how to make one, we’ll go over how to smoke out of a bucket bong.

First, fill the bottom half with water but not all the way to the top. You don’t want it to overflow when you submerge the top half. Then, remove the cap and fill the bowl with ground up weed.

The next step is where some people make rookie mistakes. Submerge the top half down to the neck in water with the cap still aside. If the filled bowl is screwed on as you push the top half into the water, the weed will go flying out everywhere.

The final part of the process is to have the flame of your lighter above the bowl as you slowly pull the top half out of the water. Don’t pull too far out or the bottle will come up and let all the trapped smoke out. Once you’ve got the bottle as far out as it can be, remove the cap. While inhaling through the mouthpiece, push the top half into the water down to the neck. The pressure will help all of the smoke quickly travel into your lungs.

How To Make A Waterfall Bong

What Is A Gravity Bong and How Do You Make One?

Before you get started on making a waterfall gravity bong, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment.

Materials:

  • Box cutter or scissor
  • One large plastic bottles
  • Aluminum foil

Carve a hole in the cap with a box cutter or scissors and use the aluminum foil to form a bowl. Poke holes so the smoke can travel into the bottle. Then, carve a hole at the bottom of your bottle where it’s easy to cover with your finger.

How To Smoke Waterfall Bongs

Now that you’ve got everything ready, we’ll show you how to smoke out of a waterfall bong.

First, keep the cap separated and fill the aluminum bowl with ground up weed. Then, cover the hole at the bottom of the bottle with your index finger. Fill the bottle to the neck in water. You may need the help of a table, sink or friend when lighting the bowl.

Spark the lighter above the bowl before moving your finger at the bottom of the bottle aside. Make sure to keep the flame away from any of the plastic components. If you’re tasting plastic during a gravity bong rip, you’re doing something wrong. Put the flame out once the weed starts to cherry and everything should go smoothly.

Once the water is emptied out, quickly remove the cap and clear the contents. The longer you leave the smoke sitting there, the staler and harsher it will taste.

Final Hit: Gravity Bong

The gravity bong was the classic way of bypassing a heavy smokers tolerance for potent highs. They’re easy to make when you’re in a pinch without a pipe or papers. However, we wouldn’t recommend them to beginners or as a method for regular consumption. Now when we’re looking for a more potent high, we can do it without stressing our lungs out. You can do a dab or smoke moonrocks out of bowls comfortably and get super baked without coughing up a lung.

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Illinois Is Taking Action Against Synthetic Cannabinoids

In the month of March alone, nearly two dozen people have wound up in Illinois hospitals bleeding severely from their eyes, ears and open wounds. They weren’t involved in accidents or the victims of violent assaults. And no, they weren’t infected by some flesh-eating virus. Instead, these people were hospitalized after using “Spice,” a drug that mixes synthetic cannabinoids with smokable herbs or vaping liquid. State public health officials just made the connection between the cases of seveer bleeding and the drug. And now, Illinois is taking action against synthetic cannabinoids.

“Spice” Is Causing People To Severely Bleed From Their Eyes, Ears And Wounds

Since March 7, the Illinois Department of Public Health has received reports that 22 people went to the hospital due to severe bleeding. The cause of the bleeding, according to state health officials, is synthetic cannabinoids.

Branded with names like “K2” and “Spice,” synthetic cannabinoids are lab-made analogs to the cannabinoids marijuana plants naturally produce, like THC.

Yet the analogs are far from perfect copies. And they have the quality of being several times more potent than their natural counterparts. “They are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana,” said an IDPH spokesperson.

That increased potency can wreak havoc on the human body. And it doesn’t help that synthetic cannabinoids are typically manufactured in unknown and unregulated conditions and contain who-knows-what kinds of chemicals.

In fact, manufactures of “Spice” and “K2” often switch up their recipes in order to keep their products legal. Consequently, it’s common to find synthetic cannabinoids for sale in convenience stores, bodegas, gas stations and other innocuous places.

The availability of “Spice” leads to the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are legal. In turn, that creates the belief that they’re a safer alternative to marijuana.

But the exact opposite is the case. The effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable and can be life-threatening.  “The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah.

Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked To Death Of 14 Year Old

While the effects of synthetic cannabinoids can be extremely debilitating and dangerous, they can also be lethal.

Outbreaks of “Spice”-related hospitalizations aren’t exclusive to Illinois or even the United States. The UK is also dealing with its own rash of incidents, including the recent death of a high schooler in Manchester.

Luke Pennington, 14, experimented with a form of synthetic cannabinoids at a friend’s sleepover. Luke and his friends immediately fell ill and called paramedics.

Paramedics arrived and rushed the boys to the hospital. Doctors rushed Luke to an intensive care unit, but he died at 1:55 am on March 18.

So far, the young man’s cause of death is unknown. Officials are awaiting histology and toxicology reports.

In response to their own cases of severe bleeding, and in an effort to prevent deaths like the one in Manchester this month, Illinois is taking action against synthetic cannabinoids. And their first step is to target the places where the drug is available.

Chicago Law Enforcement Cracking Down On “Spice” Shops

Illinois is taking action against synthetic cannabinoids. And on Thursday, Chicago police began sweeping neighborhoods suspected of selling “Spice.”

“People have reported purchasing it from various convenience stores, dealers or acquiring it from friends,” said Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer with the IDPH. According to Layden, most of the purchases stem from the Chicago area.

Chicago police have already shut down one store in Lawndale suspected of selling “Spice.” So far, however, officials have not linked this store to the recent outbreak of severe bleeding.

Final Hit: Illinois Is Taking Action Against Synthetic Cannabinoids

In addition to shutting down stores that sell synthetic cannabinoids, Illinois officials are trying to identify a common product that accounts for the cases of severe bleeding.

Officials with the IDPH know that synthetic weed is causing the problem. But they don’t know exactly what chemicals in the drug are causing the severe reactions. They suspect, however, that this batch of “Spice” contains an anticoagulant or some other blood thinner.

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This State Will Soon Allow Medical Marijuana For Autistic Children

Wednesday marked the first step in getting Louisiana children living with autism access to medical marijuana. A committee of Louisiana lawmakers passed an expansion of state medical marijuana law that broadens who will have access to cannabis treatment. This could mean that this state will soon allow medical marijuana for autistic children.

The Expanded Bill

Almost two years ago, Louisiana legalized medical marijuana, though has been slow to act on its marijuana legislation. The law qualifies people with serious conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, Crohn’s disease and other illnesses for cannabis, as recommended by a doctor. This list did not originally include autism treatment for children.

On Wednesday, March 28, a committee composed of members of the Louisiana House of Representatives approved an expansion to Senate Bill 271 that will make autistic children eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

However, not everyone will autism will automatically qualify. A pediatrician will need to approve and observe any child with autism on medical marijuana.

The House committee voted 9 to 4 in favor of the bill. This is only the first step in permanently adding this expansion to the original medical marijuana legislation. Next, the entire Louisiana House of Representatives will vote on whether to make it law.

Many Strongly Opposed This Legislation

The committee heard from many who felt strongly about whether this state will soon allow medical marijuana for autistic children.

Those against this legislation include Republican Representative Dodie Horton who asked those in favor, “If the FDA hasn’t approved this for treatment, who are we? Why are you qualified?” Others raised similar concerns about FDA regulations.

The committee also heard from prominent members of the medical community who were not in favor. Dr. John Vanchierre, head of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, argued, “Allowing medical marijuana to be used, without FDA standards, is not appropriate. This is a safety issue.”

In his testimony, Dr. Vanchierre asserted the need for more research on the effects of marijuana on children, specifically on brain development.

Others Vocalized Their Support for The Bill

Political forces behind the bill included Democratic Representative Rodney Lyons. He argued, “Autism can cause a burden and there are few treatment options. And the one out there has horrible side effects.”

Many people with debilitating illness turn to cannabis for more side-effect free treatment. The parents who have used marijuana to treat their children with autism often report its immediate beneficial effects.

Mieko Hester-Perez tested over 13 treatments for autism for her son, Joey. Only after consuming a medical marijuana brownie did Joey regain his appetite, become less anxious and start attempting to communicate. Now, Hester-Perez is one of the parents advocating for cannabis as a treatment for autism in California.

Dr. James Smith, who specializes in cardiology, testified in front of the committee in favor of treating autistic children with medical marijuana. “Cannabis is a safe medicine,” Dr. Smith explained, “900 people died last year from acetaminophen. None from cannabis.”

Acetaminophen is one name for pain and fever medications like Tylenol.

Final Hit: This State Will Soon Allow Medical Marijuana For Autistic Children

Though the committee heard many voices against legalizing medical marijuana for children with autism, they approved the measure. Next, it moves on for approval from the entire Louisiana House of Representatives. Will it pass when many are hesitant to approve it due to lack of clinical trials and FDA approval?

The FDA is notoriously slow to approve treatments and has been reluctant to look into medical marijuana claims. With pressure from the pharmaceutical companies, why would they rush to approve an all-natural remedy that would take away a serious chunk of drug companies’ business?

In the meantime, let’s hope that we can continue to approve medical marijuana treatments on a state level. Hopefully, medical marijuana for children with autism in Louisiana will be next.

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This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption

Months away from national legal recreational marijuana, this city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption. Lawmakers in Calgary, the capital and largest city in Alberta, and hoping to pass a bylaw that would only allow marijuana smoking indoors.

The Bylaw: What We Know So Far

If approved, Calgary residents would face $50 to $100 in fines in caught smoking marijuana outside. The only place where residents would be able to consumer cannabis would be a private home.

If passed by a council committee, this law would strictly limit legal cannabis consumption. If you live in an apartment or don’t own your home, you may not be able to smoke indoors in the first place.

This legislation would not apply to those with medical marijuana licenses or to specifically designated ‘cannabis gardens’. The concept behind these spaces is similar to a beer garden. They will also be strictly regulated.

So far, the rule for a cannabis smoking area is that it has to be separate from beer and cigarette designed areas.

You’ll also have to bring your own weed because Alberta law dictates that you can’t smoke cannabis in the same place where you bought it.

The Problem With Banning Outdoor Cannabis Use

This law will be difficult, and probably costly, to enforce. How do you distinguish between medical and recreational users? To police everyone smoking marijuana outside will require more police and more government funds.

Les Hagen, described as a tobacco control advocate by the Calgary Herald, argues, “We think it’s [the bylaw] impractical. It’ll lead to widespread violations and stigmatization as well. Anyone who is using cannabis in public, it will be seen as breaking the law.”

Not only does would this legislation be difficult to enforce, but it would also stigmatize a substance that will be completely legal by the end of the summer. This is just one example of how provincial governments are discriminating against cannabis, despite upcoming legalization.

Others are critiquing this measure for unjustly limited legal cannabis consumption for those living in shared spaces and for those who do not own homes.

Even Those Supporting This Legislation See Its Flaws

City Council member Shane Keating supports this legislation but believes that the city should create spaces for outdoor marijuana use. Keating explains, “I have no sympathy for those who deem that they have to smoke cannabis regardless of how it affects others around them.”

This does not, however, mean that Keating is completely against cannabis. He believes that edibles and inhalers are a better solution, though the former won’t be legal until 2019.

Keating is in favor of cannabis-specific locations, describing, “There may need to be certain places where you consume it like a lounge.” This sort of policy is already in place in Ontario.

Marijuana Divides Calgary Residents

This city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption, though its residents are conflicted on the matter. In a report on cannabis published in February, 55 percent of Calgary residents surveyed supported regulating marijuana like alcohol. This would mean barring public consumption. Only 32 percent voted to treat cannabis like tobacco in public places.

Contrastingly, 43 percent those surveyed in late 2017 voted to permit outdoor cannabis use. 19 percent of Calgary residents in that survey hoped that cannabis would be controlled like alcohol.

Final Hit: This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption

Next week, a committee will decide on the legislation that would ban public marijuana consumption in Calgary.

Considering the restriction already placed on indoor cannabis consumption, some are saying that this bylaw is impractical. It would also be a step in the wrong direction in terms of cannabis tolerance.

With Calgary residents divided on the issue of outdoor smoking, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week.

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Legal Medical Marijuana In South Carolina Is Closer Than Ever

In major medical cannabis news out of South Carolina, a bill that would legalize the drug for seriously ill patients made it out of committee on Thursday and will soon be under consideration in the full Senate. Now that it’s possible for the bill to get a floor vote in both chambers before the end of the current session, legal medical marijuana in South Carolina is closer than ever.

South Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act Clears Committee

On Thursday, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted to approve S 212, a bill that would grant qualifying patients access to medical cannabis with a physician’s recommendation.

Next up, the bill will face consideration before the full Senate. It will very likely come to a floor vote before the current legislative session’s April 10 deadline.

S 212 would task the Department of Health and Environmental Control with regulating and licensing cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and testing labs. Additionally, the department would establish a patient and caregiver registry and distribute registration cards to those enrolled.

The Compassionate Care Act, however, prohibits patients from smoking medical cannabis. For patients, the herbaceous form of cannabis is the most cost-effective, but dosing can be more challenging. Healthcare professionals also view smoke inhalation as a health hazard.

Law Enforcement Lobbying Hobbles South Carolina’s Medical Marijuana Bill

Other restrictions in S 212 would make South Carolina’s one of the most carefully regulated medical cannabis programs in the country. Those restrictions are the result of lobbying efforts by some in law enforcement.

As a result, legislators introduced several additional safeguards and amendments to address law enforcement concerns. And that has upset many supporters of the bill. They feel lawmakers are caving to pressure from police and ignoring testimony from prominent medical professionals.

Other law enforcement officials, however, have spoken out in favor of S 212. Jeff Moore, former executive director of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, said: “it is presumptuous, irresponsible, and arrogant for law enforcement officials to take it upon themselves to determine what medical resources should be available for the citizens of South Carolina who are suffering and in need of relief.”

Indeed, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel has made repeated statements claiming marijuana has no medical value. He also vowed not to support any legislation that went against the federal ban on cannabis.

The bill’s supporters, like Moore, have criticized Keel for “hiding behind dubious federal policy.”

Moore’s son, a combat veteran, uses medical cannabis to treat his PTSD. He lives in Michigan, one of the 29 states, along with D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico, with legal medical cannabis.

So while medical marijuana in South Carolina is closer than ever before, advocates will likely have to continue to struggle to expand access for ill patients.

State representatives who support the bill have broad public support. According to a September 2016 poll, 78 percent of South Carolina residents approve legalizing medical cannabis.

The Final Hit: Legal Medical Marijuana In South Carolina Is Closer Than Ever

Despite the Compassionate Care Act’s progress, there’s still a chance the bill won’t make it out of the legislature this session.

The Senate is moving forward.

But the House has so far declined to hear its own version of the medical cannabis bill. And that could mean it stalls on S 212. The deadline for S 212 to advance is April 10.

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Former MillerCoors Brewmaster Is Launching New Weed-Infused Drinks

Keith Villa made a name for himself as the craft brewer behind the popular Blue Moon Belgian White Ale. But a few months ago, he left his 32-year brewing career with MillerCoors to start a different beverage venture. One that involves everyone’s favorite plant: cannabis. Now, the former MillerCoors brewmaster is launching a new line of weed-infused drinks in Colorado.

Non-Alcoholic, THC-Infused Beer Is About To Hit Colorado

On Wednesday, ex-MillerCoors brewmaster Keith Villa revealed his new operation Ceria Beverages. Ceria is an Arvada, Colorado-based firm that is developing a line of three non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beers.

But Villa isn’t going it alone. He’s partnered Ceria with the breakthrough cannabinoid extract company ebbu. Ebbu specializes in creating effects-tailored cannabinoid extracts for use in recreational and medicinal cannabis-infused products.

According to ebbu CEO Jon Cooper, the company’s recent breakthroughs enable them to give customers and patients fine-grained control over the experience and sensations they want from cannabis. And Villa wants to leverage that capability for Ceria’s new cannabis craft beers.

The turn toward cannabis-infused beverages is more than just a career pivot for Villa. In fact, the former MillerCoors brewmaster behind Blue Moon said he voted against legal recreational cannabis in 2012, when Colorado voters passed Amendment 64.

After a couple of years, however, Villa came around to cannabis, realizing he had bought into the fearmongering about the drug. Now, he sees cannabis as a great alternative to alcohol. And he thinks the trend is catching on in Colorado.

“I’ve been seeing firsthand where consumers are drinking less and less beer,” said Villa. “This is an alternative to regular, alcoholic craft beer.”

The economic incentive is there, too. According to BDS analytics, cannabis beverage sales increased 26 percent in the first half of 2017, totaling $13 million in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Cannabis plants, of course, are cousins of hops plants. “As a beer professional, it really opened up a lot of ideas,” Villa added.

Brewmaster Secretly Worked On Weed Beer At MillerCoors

Villa began looking into blending cannabis and beer while he was still working at MillerCoors. But he had to keep his concoctions secret and work on them off the clock.

Alcoholic substances are federally regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Those federal regulations make it illegal to introduce a Schedule I substance like marijuana into a legal alcoholic product. Indeed, miller could have lost his brewmaster’s license if anyone found out about his experiments.

That’s why Villa’s removing the alcohol from his weed-infused beers is more than just consideration for potential drinkers—alcohol and cannabis can sometimes make a gnarly duo. It’s also a legal necessity.

But, Villa admits, “It’s tough to make a good tasting non-alcoholic beer,” he admitted. And since retiring from MillerCoors after 32 years, Villa has been hard at work on test batches using a new brewing system.

So from Villa’s perspective, nothing too much has changed about what he does. Ceria will still specialize in creating craft brews. But it will send those products to ebbu, who will infuse them with cannabinoids and distribute them to Colorado dispensaries.

Meet The Beers This Brewmaster Is Infusing With Cannabis

Currently, Ceria has three types of beer in the works: an American-style light lager, an imperial IPA, and Villa’s specialty, a Belgian-style wheat. Lighter beers will have less THC per bottle, while the heavier stuff will offer THC in the 15-20 milligram range

Of course, Villa isn’t the first to come up with the idea of infusing cannabis in beverages or even in beer. But what makes his venture unique is its focus on the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.

Other “weed beers” typically use a hemp infusion to impart the taste of cannabis to alcoholic beer. But Villa thinks that’s not what customers are after.

“THC is what gives people that buzz, which is similar to the alcohol buzz that people get from beer, spirits and wine. A lot of consumers of cannabis look for that buzz,” Villa said.

Partnering with ebbu will allow Villa to create weed-infused beverages that offer customers highly-tailored experiences, from chill to upbeat and social.

Final Hit: Former MillerCoors Brewmaster Is Launching New Weed-Infused Drinks

Villa plans to label the products in a manner similar to the way ski slopes are ranked: by intensity. A green pot leaf will adorn low-THC beers for beginners. But the most potent drinks, offering “the ultimate experience,” will get a double black leaf.

Ceria is still working out all of the logistical details. But the firm expects their weed-infused beers to hit dispensaries by the end of the year.

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