Spectrum King LED: The Ins and Outs of Point Source Lighting

With so many lighting options available for indoor gardening, it can get confusing at times. Today, let’s talk about point source lighting. Considering most indoor gardeners come from a high pressure sodium (HPS) lights background, and therefore have used bulbs to light their plants, they’ve been using point source lighting all along.

When LED grow lights first appeared in the marketplace, many growers felt let down by them when they replaced their HPS grow lights because those are a very intense point source lights, while the early LED fixtures were only array-source light fixtures.

So, what is a point source light and why is it important to indoor growers? A point source is a point of intense light emanating out of a central spot. You can use bulb fixtures or LEDs that are built to replace bulbs. HPS are point source lights.

Just like anything else in growing plants indoors, it all depends on what you wish to achieve, the size and quantity of plants, and the dimensions of your grow space. All of that, and your environmental conditions, must be considered. If you have a single-level grow and aren’t looking to save space in your grow room, then point source lights are great. But if you grow vertically in order to save space and maximize square footage, then array source grow lights would be a better choice. Consider the LowPro Series by Spectrum King LED as a solid option. Like their name suggests, these low-profile fixtures can be used in vertical farming spaces in closer proximity to your plants for each level of racking.

Spectrum King LED makes point source LEDs with the promise to replace point source HPS and DE bulbs that use much more power than these LED fixtures. These LEDs also create significantly less heat and can be swapped out most of the time at a 1:1 ratio with bulb fixtures. For example, the CC140 can replace a 315CMH, an SK402 can replace a 600w to 1,000w single-ended HPS with ease, and an SK602 goes toe to toe with any 1000w DE fixture on the market.

If you’ve been using point source lights, then you now have fixtures available to you for a direct swap-out that will save you tons of power and create much less heat. Depending upon the size and location of your grow, electric usage can drop as much as 70% per month when lighting, HVAC, and all other necessary appliances are taken into account. Not a small amount of savings to be had and much less maintenance needed. You don’t need to buy a new bulb often either. Just keep on growing for years without worries.

Choosing to use point source lighting or array source lighting, is a function of the way your indoor garden is set. If your grow is vertical farming on racks, then you’d want array style lighting like the LowPro Veg or LowPro Flower grow lights by Spectrum King LED. If you grow bigger plants “old school”, then you should use a point source light.

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Upright Citizens Brigade Co-Founder Matt Walsh is Tapped In

Matt Walsh is pumped up. For the first time in 20 years of operating, the Del Close Marathon will be held in Los Angeles. When we connect by phone, Matt is busy preparing for the 55-hour non-stop weekend of long-form improv comedy shows that run June 28th through June 30th at both UCB locations.

Back in Chicago, what first drew you to comedy?

I did performing in high school, a variety show, and I loved the skill of writing, creating and then performing your own material. It was a real drug for me. After college, I fell into improv, which was even more thrilling, and started to take classes. I guess I just liked the ability to create something and make people laugh. It’s endlessly entertaining and there’s so many different ways to do it. It’s always exciting when you discover a new bit or a new line. I’ve always been in the world of sketch and improv, which is more scenic and collaborative stuff. I did stand-up but wasn’t great at it and have always enjoyed the ensemble.

Sort of the energy of feeding off another person and building something.

And their interpretation of a line if it’s a sketch, or you know it could be anything obviously. But in the world of comedy, it’s always their take on it and they’re making it funnier than it probably was on the page or they’re improvising something that catches you by surprise. It’s very exhilarating. And obviously with improv, the audience is sort of on that ride with you and that’s what live theater has that nothing else does: everybody kind of feels that tension and the release of tension.

You studied under Del Close. What impact did he have on both your improv and you as a person?

He treated comedy like a profession. He gave you a reading list and he said “professional satirists should have life experiences.” He gave you a curriculum to pursue comedy and improv and nobody I’d met up to that point had done that. He kind of gave it value. And then he was also an innovator. I’d be in classes with him and he was always trying to find new things that were interesting and relevant to—what I felt like was our generation—because he was from the sixties and was part of the beat movement in the fifties and was sort handing off this art form where the challenge was to make it vital and interesting. Comedy and performance that spoke to the time and to the people who came through the door.

A lot of my early experiments discovering my voice were emulation. I think standups unconsciously emulate the people they see until they find their voice, and I think in improv you’re emulating sort of other moves and choices. So you’re in that development, and then a guy like Del comes by and forces you to make the choice that’s basically your second or third choice. He really hit that hard. “Don’t have it be your first choice, don’t have it be your second choice, have it be your third choice. So really think in surprising ways.” 

In improv, you’re taught to listen and make your partner look better than yourself. Del was pushing you to go beyond just your first thought or second thought, because your third thought might be more interesting. Often times you can get a cheap laugh that sells out the scene or betrays your partner, and it’s a laugh the audience has seen before. It’s sort of a formulaic laugh. Del had great disdain for those choices. He always liked the interesting and the specific and the odd. Hopefully some of that stuff stayed with me so everything I do isn’t run-of-the-mill.

Where did the idea for the Del Close Marathon come from?

I think it started within a year of his passing. He was the voice for our tv show, and before he passed away he had a living funeral where people came before they pulled the plug or whatever. We sent a camera to his living funeral and he recorded a video where he gave us “marching orders.” His basic thing was “keep spreading the love of improv, keep spreading the love.” [Matt] Besser would know the quote, but that’s what I remember. We had done 24 hour theater festivals in Chicago, so it was in our DNA, and the next year, we decided let’s do a 24-hour improv festival. And it was born.

It became a wonderful festival where people from all over the country came and got slots or applied to be in it, and it was a real coming together of this outsider artform. Improv was sort of beginning to grow right when we got to New York, or we helped it grow, too. It was neat to see the growth of all these college teams coming out or post-college teams, or people from Japan, or Finland. That kind of growth was crazy.

How did  you parlay Upright Citizens Brigade into a successful theater operation in both LA and NY?

The New York one started as a clubhouse. We had all these people we were teaching, we had our own show that we were doing and we wanted a place to keep our props. So we found an old strip club and turned it into a theater. By the time we all lived in Los Angeles, we opened a little theater there, which made sense because we were all living there and wanted to have our Sunday night Asssscat show. And then the other two venues that came after, I think, were just due to the demand. Classes were growing, people wanted grad shows, so we had to open another stage. Success was driven by student interest.

What was your first experience with cannabis?

I guess I was probably in high school. I feel like it was at a gymnastics camp. We were downstate Illinois and somebody had it. And then I really didn’t smoke until after college. I think I tried it then but I wasn’t really somebody who regularly used until post-college. Chicago’s kind of a drinking town, so that was sort of the social thing. In New York I became more of a regular or occasional pot smoker.

Does smoking play a role in your creative process for writing, directing, performing, etc?

It doesn’t work for me for writing, but if you have a mundane thing to rewrite, you can do that a little buzzed on weed. Any sort of capacities where you can’t access your quick brain—whether it’s alcohol or cannabis – it doesn’t do you any service, so you have to keep it light. But I think you could rewrite a little high. A friend of mine told me he writes sober and then he rewrites high.

In terms of my process, I have to be of clear mind. I certainly can’t direct under the influence of anything, that’s just me. I don’t do it when I’m acting. Though I guess at a late night improv show you could be a little toasty.

Is being in an altered state perhaps more conducive to the improv stage because you’re using a different part of your brain?

I think the expectation is lower from the audience because it’s late night and it’s probably rowdy. I think the fact there’s six or seven of you on the stage means that you’re not carrying the burden of everything, you know what I mean? Like a pick-up basketball vibe.

The best thing for me in terms of like the benefit is I’ll get high and take a hike or I’ll get high and go workout. That is part of my process. That I like. If I can get to nature and be a little toasted, it’s nice.

You’re the first person in these interviews to mention the nature element.

Los Angeles is littered with wonderful hikes that are like a twenty minute drive. Burbank’s got a couple or you can get to Malibu. Or you can go out to Pasadena and see a waterfall. That’s one of the things I really love about LA. The hikes. We’ve got kids, so we force them to go up with us sometimes, too. It’s nice.

Do you feel when you’re reconnecting with nature and clearing your mind that you’re filling the well and generating new ideas?

You are replenishing. Definitely. Nature always wins. If you can get to nature, it’s the best. It biologically calms and centers people. Something as stunning as the ocean where you can look out or float in it. It’s pretty amazing.

I think solitude, silence, is very good for the brain. To sort of get away from the city noise and hear silence or birds I think is really good for you. I know a lot of people who get up and do mediation in the morning and that supposedly is amazing. I do it occasionally. Like I’ll do 15 minutes in the morning and find that to be a nice clearing. Just wake up and sit for 15 minutes, monitor your breath. Living in a city—whatever city—you need to find stillness or peace of mind because there’s such an onslaught of stimuli.

The challenge is finding that balance.

You have to build it in. Fortunately, I’ve been a working actor for a while so I can carve out my days for myself sometimes. I guess if you have a nine-to-five job you have to do it at seven in the morning or after work. I know people who sneak out and meditate for 15 minutes in the stairwell of their office building.

Somebody was telling me you have to do it twice, once in the morning and once midday. A sort of centering meditation.

Is the thought one session builds on the other or there’s a balance between the two sessions?

My guess would be, and I’m not a meditation scientist, you’re just taking another dosage of meditation. You take a dose in the morning and then you take a dose of meditation in the afternoon and it should last you the whole day.

You’ve spent the past seven years on “Veep.” Have you ever taken time on set to “duck into that stairwell” and meditate for a minute?

No, I’m not that good. I’m not that dedicated. I really just started mediation in the last year. I never have done it habitually.

But you’re on set for long hours during the day. Even nights sometimes. How do you keep your mind and body awake?

Our job was in Baltimore for four seasons so we had a lot of time at home. A lot of long hours. So we as a cast would play a lot of squash, we would go on field trips to change scenery and get out of the hotel. But the key to any good actor is knowing how to nap. That maintains your immune system. If you can just lay down and check out, that’s amazing. Most good actors know how to take a quick nap.

And you have to discipline yourself too. You either have to skip lunch or don’t hang out at lunch and just go to your trailer and have a bite and lay down. If it’s a regular nap, I don’t think it can be longer than 25 minutes. Because then you wake up all weird from almost touching REM sleep. But if you’re not needed on set for like six hours and they’re not sending you home, then take a four hour nap and you’ll come back feeling like a hundred bucks.

Follow @mrmattwalsh and check out https://delclosemarathon.com/ for Del Close Marathon tickets and showtimes

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HTTV Launches New Cooking Channel: Farm to Table Cannabis by The Hydroponic Chef

High Times TV is proud to launch a new cannabis-infused cooking channel: Farm to Table Cannabis presented by The Hydroponic Chef. You may have caught The Hydroponic Chef on 420 Live a few weeks ago. Now, you can watch his cooking show anytime you want on High Times TV!

A bonus post and recipe from The Hydroponic Chef:

Table-side meal preparation seems to be a thing of the past. Other than your elaborate dining space in upscale neighborhoods serving hand prepared Caesar salad table-side or a rolling service cart accompanied by an under-enthusiastic staff member mixing raw beef, egg, and Worcestershire for steak tartare, these services are not something that you will find at your local eatery.

After witnessing the flaming cheese wheel on travel shows and catching glimpses of friends videos coming home from Europe, these experiences inspired me to do my own cannabis-infused cheese wheel pasta. Procuring a cheese wheel was more challenging than I anticipated. The experience of visiting a cheese store is an experience all in itself.

After getting turned down at my local cheese store and then again at Costco, I found an Italian specialty food store that deals with imported cheeses. This turned out to be the best location when looking for a cheese wheel. Now, don’t expect your local cheese store to have a cheese wheel in stock; you will likely have to order it ahead of time to be picked up.

Traditionally, cheese would not be cut down the middle to create a bowl shape, but with a little persuasion (maybe I kicked the cheesemongers some weed), he cut the wheel horizontally exposing the beautiful 18-month aged cheese that was perfect for melting and grating over pasta. He explained the imported cheese is a big ticket item, but if it was used often and stored properly you can get months’ worth of cheese out of one of the half-wheels.

After lacing the cheesemonger for hooking me up, it was time to seek out the rest of the ingredients. Carbonara is a classic Roman dish consisting of four primary ingredients: guanciale (or pancetta) egg, garlic, and pecorino Romano cheese.

For this recipe, I added a fifth ingredient from my hydroponic garden: gelato cannabis.

Hydro Chef Medicated Cheese Wheel Carbonara

  • 1 pound Bucatini pasta
  • 1/4 cup medicated olive oil
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Large Pecorino Cheese Wheel
  • 3 tablespoons Grappa
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Boil pasta in salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • While pasta is boiling heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add medicated olive oil and pancetta. Crisp the pancetta about 2 minutes. 
  • Add red pepper flakes, peas and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir adding all the flavors from pan together. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat yolks and mix with 1 oz of hot pasta water to temper egg
  • Drain pasta and add directly to the skillet with pancetta and medicated oil then remove from heat 
  • Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss well
  • Scrape cheese wheel to get some loosened bits of cheese for pasta. 
  • Pour grappa into a metal sauce pan and flambé with a torch. While alcohol is lit, pour over loosened cheese in cheese wheel. 
  • Let alcohol burn off while cheese melts, then transfer pasta into cheese wheel. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta. Pepper to taste then garnish with parsley and serve topped with more pecorino. #HydroChefApproved 

Hydro Chef Medicated Bellini

  • 1 teaspoon Chronic Elixir THC or CBD syrup
  • 1 frozen peach slice
  • 4 fluid oz chilled sparkling wine
  • 1 drop of your favorite terpene (optional)
  • Pour Chronic Elixir into a champagne flute
  • Add frozen peach
  • Slowly pour sparkling wine over peach
  • Drop 1 drip or your favorite terpene over champagne mixture


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Una nueva investigación indica que el consumo de cannabis puede motivar a uno a hacer ejercicio

¿Será que ya podemos parar con el estigma del “marihuanero” flojo de una vez por todas?

Una nueva investigación de la Universidad de Colorado indica que el cannabis puede aumentar el disfrute de la actividad física y ayudar a motivar a los usuarios a hacer ejercicio. Recientemente se publicó un resumen de la investigación y la revista médica Frontiers in Public Health publicará pronto los resultados completos del estudio.

Los investigadores escribieron que el estudio del consumo de cannabis en el contexto de comportamientos de salud como el ejercicio físico “se está volviendo cada vez más relevante a medida que continúa la legalización del cannabis, una situación que se ha asociado con un mayor inicio de uso entre adultos y una mayor potencia de los productos disponibles en Estados legalizados “.

Para llevar a cabo el estudio, los investigadores reclutaron a 600 usuarios de cannabis para completar una encuesta en línea sobre la relación entre la actividad deportiva y su consumo de cannabis. Más de ocho de cada 10 encuestados fueron reclutados de estados donde el consumo de cannabis es legal. Ellos dijeron que el cannabis puede conducir a una mejor experiencia de ejercicio.

“Los resultados indicaron que la mayoría (81.7%) de los participantes respaldaron el uso de cannabis simultáneamente con el ejercicio, y los que sí tendían a ser más jóvenes y más propensos a ser hombres”, escribieron los autores del estudio.

“Además, los participantes informaron que el consumo de cannabis aumentó la cantidad de ejercicio en el que participaron, y que no solo aumentó el disfrute del entrenamiento sino que mejoró su recuperación después del entrenamiento”, agregaron.

Mejores entrenamientos con cannabis

Los consumidores de cannabis informaron que practicaban más ejercicio aeróbico y anaeróbico y encontraron el mayor beneficio cuando lo consumían inmediatamente antes o después de hacer ejercicio.

“Además, la mayoría de los participantes que recomendaron consumir cannabis poco antes o después del ejercicio informaron que al hacerlo aumenta su disfrute y recuperación después del ejercicio, y aproximadamente la mitad informó que aumenta su motivación para hacer ejercicio”, se lee en el estudio.

Los investigadores señalan que la actividad física es uno de los comportamientos más importantes para una vida saludable, pero que muchos estadounidenses no hacen suficiente ejercicio.

“Los problemas comunes que rodean las bajas tasas de ejercicio incluyen el disfrute inadecuado y la motivación para hacer ejercicio, y la mala recuperación del ejercicio”, según los autores del estudio “, escribieron.

Con datos que ahora muestran que el cannabis puede llevar a una mayor actividad física, tal vez el estereotipo anticuado de que los usuarios de marihuana son perezosos y desmotivados finalmente se puede poner en reposo. Los autores del estudio pidieron más investigación sobre el tema.

“Este estudio representa un paso importante para aclarar el uso de cannabis con ejercicio entre usuarios adultos en estados con mercados legales de cannabis, y proporciona orientación para futuras instrucciones de investigación”, concluye el resumen.

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Farrah Abraham, From ‘Teen Mom’ Star, To NYT Best Seller, To Cannabis Entrepreneur

Those over the age of 20 might remember MTV’s shows, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, and its very memorable cast member Farrah Abraham.

Since her high-profile part in these shows came to an end, though, Farrah has been doing all kinds of things, from acting, to releasing albums, to writing books – one of which even landed on The New York Times Best Seller List.

As a mom-preneur, Farrah is always looking for fun, interesting new ventures to get into. The latest one: weed.

A few weeks ago, Farrah announced she was teaming up with California cannabis delivery company SpeedWeed to launch a new line called Culture. The line will include a variety of products both with CBD and THC, including pre-rolls, pet tinctures, and erotic CBD massage oils.

Picking The Right Partner

During an exclusive chat with High Times, Farrah explained Culture was kind of a natural fit for her lifestyle, an idea that just spurred from how she transits life. “I don’t have to be a hippie in the weeds of marijuana fields to know that, mindfully, I can utilize CBD and THC… I am on the go, I have pressures, my career is not easy, my lifestyle is not easy, and, as a parent, I want to bring something that’s just natural.

“I’m not trying to push anything on anyone, I just want them to mindfully think about how it can help relieve stress or whatever they hear that it can help them with. I wanted it to be a common, commercialized, and accessible product.”

Farrah chose SpeedWeed due to an alignment in values and their support of women in cannabis – the company’s COO is female.

By Women, For Women…

While unisex, Farrah’s new brand has a strong female mark.

She brought up her recent experience at South by Southwest, where she attended numerous panels on cannabis, hemp and CBD. She said many execs and attendees noted this in an industry still dominated by males. But, she says, people want this to change, and are increasingly putting their money where their mouths are.

“If money is given to the right person, with a business sense, and the right team behind her, then I feel like this will be a monumental year and a big growth year for cannabis, and for Culture.

“I feel we need more business-minded females to help guide us and luckily with my background I hope to do this properly.”

Courtesy of Culture CBD

…Or Maybe For Everyone

When we asked Farrah about her target demographic, assuming it was young women, the answer surprised us.

“My dad, who is a baby boomer and a veteran, has heavily inspired me to be open to starting a company for CBD and THC, because he utilizes all of the products when it comes to CBD and THC,” she disclosed. “I just hear so much when flying in and out of Austin, Texas that they want more of the culture, they want more of the products, and it’s huge in the veteran community. I want to work more on that with my father. I see what it helps him with and I also see where it helps other veterans.

“If it wasn’t for that, which came through my father, I probably wouldn’t of ever thought of starting Culture.”

She acknowledged, however, that her following is skewed young and female. “I have around 70 percent of women watching my social platforms over the five million that I have and I know that I speak for women mostly. I do have a large following of male supporters and buyers of my products, and they’re all using CBD and THC in one form or another. Whether it’s tinctures or gummies or pre-rolls, I know that it speaks to them.”

Even For Moms!

We then asked Farrah about consuming cannabis as a mom, and how she felt that was perceived socially.

She said she knows moms want cannabis products that are discrete and childproof. Many of them also seek for organic stuff. “ Those are things that speak to me and were super important in creating the brand of Culture. I need to always be consistent with that, because it’s how I buy and that is my lifestyle choice.”

But, despite being an overt cannabis activist, Farrah is also discreet about her cannabis use around her family, friends and daughter. “I take that very seriously. My daughter doesn’t even know. Again, I’m all about child-safe products and I’m all about being discreet.”

All About Discretion

Down these lines, Culture’s erotic massage oil also looks discreet, just like a tincture that you would have in your medical cabinet.

“I want parents to feel comfortable to have their culture CBD product around and not feel like they need to hide it like they do with their sex toys. You can be the best parent, you can be relaxed, you can focus on your career, and you can definitely implement CBD and THC into your lifestyle and still feel in control, be successful, and balance your family time. I show that to the utmost and I’m very successful.

“I have a lot of female owned firms and companies who are reaching out to me. They want me to be a part of their platforms because they are criticized or they feel like life is critical about their parenting. Whether you’re a mom or a dad, no matter if you’re a single parent, you still have that time while your kids are asleep to have a quick pre-roll. No one even sees me and I’ve been doing this for years – it helps me stay positive, be more productive, and feel relaxed.” 

Sex And Weed, What Else?

Finally, we went into the lubricant in detail. Farrah is certainly not shy when it comes to sex topics: she’s even written books about it.

Farrah owns her sexuality. Period. End of discussion.

Her new erotic massage oil combines the properties of coconut oil with those of cannabis oil.

There are two versions of it. One is sold through dispensaries, and contains THC. The other one can be sold anywhere, as it only contains hemp-derived CBD.

“It’s got the CBD healing factor from the perspective of an anti-inflammatory. If you have an issue with tightness or irritation, the lubrication helps to make it more enjoyable for you,” Farrah explained, assuring the stuff can even be applied to genitalia. 

By means of conclusion, Farrah added, “as someone who has an international license in erotic novelty sex toys for about five years and winning awards for my erotic novel toys, I felt that … they (couples) want the best for their intimate time. If I didn’t deliver something for a pleasurable time with a significant other, I feel like I would be doing an injustice to my supportive customer base.

“I didn’t want to come out with a regular lubrication and I don’t use a regular lubricant. I use a CDB-coconut oil and I make sure it’s the highest quality…I don’t want to talk about people’s issues with orgasms, but I want to give them the tools, I want to make sure that they’re comfortable, like I have with everything I’ve done.”

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Bid For Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative Launched in Idaho

Cannabis activists in Idaho have launched a bid to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in the state and will soon be collecting signatures to put a voter initiative on the ballot for the 2020 election. The legalization initiative was filed with the Idaho Secretary of State on Tuesday by members of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition. Once the initiative has been reviewed by the Secretary of State, activists will have until the end of April to gather the more than 55,000 signatures necessary for the initiative to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

If the initiative is successful, patients with a qualifying serious medical condition would be allowed to possess up to four ounces of cannabis for medicinal use. It would also establish a system to regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana and protect medicinal cannabis users from discrimination in employment, housing, and education.

“It’s a pretty carefully thought-out regulatory system both for patients and providers,” said James Piotrowski, an attorney representing the initiative effort.

Patients Campaign for MMJ

John Belville of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition has a chronic condition known as peripheral neuropathy that causes severe pain. His doctors prescribed strong narcotics that were not only ineffective but harmful to his health. Belville learned that medical marijuana could bring him relief while he was visiting neighboring Oregon, where cannabis is legal.

I took this little eye dropper and put it under my tongue and waited about 15 minutes and the pain went away,” Belville said about his initial experience with cannabis oil. “Now, I don’t know what anyone thinks about anything else but I’ll tell you right now this stuff works.”

Cannabis activist Serra Frank of the Group Legalize Idaho said that it is time to catch up with surrounding states, most of which have already legalized cannabis in some form.

“The Idaho Cannabis Coalition’s long-awaited petition provides real hope to the sick and disabled citizens of Idaho,” Frank told High Times in an email. “We have watched anxiously from our little Island of Prohibition, as the rest of the country changes their laws to catch up to common sense.”

Frank, who left Idaho for Oregon so she could use medical marijuana legally, will be able to return home if the initiative succeeds.

“We’ve been waiting for so long to have a chance to use this natural medicine without risking persecution, prosecution, incarceration, and the destruction of our families,” she said. “We finally see a light in the darkness – a chance to be able to access our medicine like normal patients, and buy it from a regulated store, instead of in the parking lot from a black market dealer.”

Piotrowski dismissed suggestions that the initiative was a step to legalizing cannabis for adult use.

“We are absolutely not trying to push something that’s going to be a wink and a nod for recreational use,” he said. “This is truly a medical-use law that we’re proposing, that would focus on patients who need or can use the drug for medical purposes.”

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How Janet Varney Found Her LA Magic

There’s an excitement to Janet Varney’s voice that’s infectious. As we connect by phone mid-morning, Janet’s enthusiasm and friendly demeanor are certainly reflective of someone who’s in the running for an Emmy. But as she thoughtfully explains, the road to her successful career in comedy almost didn’t happen.

What motivated you to move back to acting after pursuing a career in interior design?

I would say I didn’t have a strong sense of anything else that I could or would do growing up, other than performing or somehow being involved in the entertainment business. When I made the decision to move to San Francisco, I had already abandoned the idea of making a living off anything performative and had developed an appreciation for things like architecture and people making their own furniture. Around that same time, I started performing sketch comedy for fun because I was cajoled into it by three of my friends from SF State who wanted to form a sketch group. I was sort of backing into performing comedy, which continued all the way until I moved to Los Angeles.

Is there anything from interior design that influences the way you create content?

I don’t know that I’ve taken anything from that world other than any type of project management – and that’s what I was, a project manager – can be crossed over into production of another sort. Because I founded and produced a comedy festival where we’re managing our own budgets and are adapting year to year as we grow, those are elements on a more practical level that have become invaluable to me working on the production end of show business.

As a performer, certainly some of those skills are handy, but I can’t say anybody has hired me for an acting job and then asked me to dress the set. [Laughs] But I’d probably be pretty happy to do that.

How did you know acting was the career for you?

I was very reluctant to put all my eggs in [the acting] basket because I didn’t want to feel like I was just being judged for what I looked like or what my voice sounded like. I wanted to feel like I was a whole human. One of the things I loved about comedy was it wasn’t so focused on the physical, and I felt my values were pretty grounded in quality of work and ideas. So when I finally came to Los Angeles, I did so begrudgingly at the request of my managers who said “why don’t you come down and give pilot season a try. If nothing happens, you’ll go back up to San Francisco.”

Like many other people who “try on” the idea of performing, I couch surfed, and went from writing purchase orders and balancing budgets to deciding what skirt to wear as I was faxed audition sides. I had to get out my Thomas Guide and figure out where Fox Studios was. It was so surreal. It seemed absurd to me that this was my “job.” I felt like I was floating above my own life. I was watching it happen, thinking “this is so strange.” 

And then I sort of started working right away, which forced me to reckon with the fact I was staring down the barrel of a career that was secretly what I had always hoped for but been afraid of. I had to look at myself in the mirror and shrug and go “this feels right.” Coming down to Los Angeles and engaging with literally hundreds of people who I respected, who were in the same kind of situation that I was in and wanted to make their own stuff, who wanted that sense of community…I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the people first. I found my own LA Magic.

Where did you find the inspiration for “Fortune Rookie”?

Los Angeles is the kind of place you make fun of but you also love. Perhaps not surprisingly, when I made “Fortune Rookie” with IFC, I unconsciously instilled and injected that same LA story influence into what we were writing. The show is much more surreal than just a standard “let’s make fun of LA.” It’s sort of this upside down “Alice in Wonderland” version of that. But it’s still very much a valentine to a city I find absurd but also absolutely adore.

The things that piss you off about it are also the things that create the light to make fun of it.

Absolutely. Coming into the city in the way that I did and then falling in love with so many things about it, even while having this “filter” through which I could feel contemptuous about this thing, or sad this certain portion of the population may have different ideals than me…when you can flauntly make fun of it, you find a different way of dealing with it that somehow feels more productive.

What was your first experience with CBD?

When I first started using, it was in response to a neck injury I had gotten when I was riding my bike up in Griffith Park. I hit a pothole and flew over my bike and landed on my back and neck.

Helmet or no helmet?

Always helmet, always helmet. I was raised by a very avid cyclist father who put me in a giant white bell helmet with a bright orange trim. It looked like I had a second head. I had to double pad it since they weren’t making kids helmets back then and have always been “safety first” ever since. I can’t imagine riding without one.

Anyway, [the accident] created this patch on my shoulder blade where the scar tissue became arthritic. I was trying to manage the pain but didn’t want to do so in an overly addictive or pharmaceutical way. My boyfriend is a journalist and was writing a piece on CBD and through the process of his own research became convinced I should try it.

Why CBD over THC?

I smoked a ton of weed as a teenager and then my freshman year in college had one really really bad high from a bong. I had this horrible out of body experience. And unfortunately, in the several times that I tried to go back to smoking pot after that, it would happen every time. So I stopped. For a long time I’d get scared of getting a contact high from going out to things like a music show. 

Long story long, my boyfriend says “I think we should try CBD” and I say “no no no no no, that’s pot.” He really broke down for me the difference and shared the research he’d been doing, and we started using Apothecanna, the Colorado company that’s pure CBD. I absolutely felt the benefits and the fact that it helped so much was really exciting to me. Just within the last year I graduated to 10 to 1 CBD/THC. I’m officially now taking in THC with zero ramifications and eventually would like to get high and giggle with friends again.

Follow @janetvarney and check out http://janetvarney.com/ for shows and festival information

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Hemp: A Growing Market Ripe for Protection

With recent changes in federal and state law, and growing consumer awareness, the long-dormant hemp industry may finally be able to take heed of George Washington’s advice, “Make the most you can of [India Hemp] … The Hemp may be sown anywhere.”1

Hemp has a long and varied history in the United States. Throughout his lifetime, George Washington cultivated hemp at his Mount Vernon Estate, and, for a time, Washington even considered replacing tobacco with hemp as the Estate’s primary cash crop.2 Like Washington, Thomas Jefferson grew hemp at Monticello and his lesser-known Poplar Forest plantation.3 Both Founding Fathers primarily used the hemp cultivated on their property for making household items like clothing, rope, and fishing nets.

From the colonial era until 1970, hemp was routinely cultivated across the United States for industrial use. But, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) in 1970, U.S. hemp production ceased.4 The CSA banned cannabis of any kind, eliminating any distinction between hemp and other types of cannabis. As a result, hemp production became illegal in the United States.

A wide variety of hemp products can be found throughout the Untied States markets. Image courtesy of Direct Cannabis Network

More recently, the U.S. government finally began to ease restrictions on hemp cultivation and production. The 2014 Farm Bill introduced the USDA Hemp Production Program.5 Under the Program, universities and state departments of agriculture are allowed to cultivate hemp if:

  1. The industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and
  2. The growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the state in which such institution of higher education or state department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.

The 2014 Farm Bill did not remove hemp from the auspices of the CSA, nor did it address the continuing application of federal drug control statutes to the growth, cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of hemp products.

The 2018 Farm Bill built upon the deregulation that began in 2014.6 Although both the 2014 and 2018 bills define hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant that has a delta-9 THC concentration of 0.3% or less by dry weight,7 the 2018 Farm Bill took the additional step of removing hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and categorized it as an agricultural product. As a result, the production of hemp is now subject to USDA licensure and regulation. However, until the USDA completes its rulemaking process for implementing hemp regulation, hemp production remains illegal unless done in compliance with the terms of the earlier 2014 bill.8 For the time being, legal cultivation of hemp still must occur in a state that has authorized hemp research9 and the researcher must be either an institute of higher education or a state department of agriculture (or its designee).

With the increasingly favorable changes to federal and state law allowing for the expanded cultivation and production of hemp in the United States, the market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In 2014, the U.S. industrial hemp market was estimated at approximately $504 million.10 In only one year after the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, the industrial hemp market was estimated to have increased by over $95 million to almost $600 million. By 2017, the worldwide market for industrial hemp was estimated to be $3.9 billion and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14%.

In addition to favorable changes in U.S. law, the hemp market is benefiting from growing consumer awareness and demand for hemp-based food products.11 High in omega-3 and omega-6, amino acids and protein, hemp is growing in popularity as a cooking oil, dairy substitute, flour source and bakery ingredient. Among other things, hemp is considered by some to provide positive health effects for those seeking help with insulin balance, cardiac function, mood stability, and skin and joint health.

Although hemp cultivation is now allowed in the U.S.—at least for research purposes—and the market is forecasted to rise steadily under growing demand for hemp-based products, broad access to viable, legal seeds continues to present a challenge for researchers and commercial growers. In order to legally implement authorized cultivation programs and take economic advantage of a swiftly growing market, farmers must have access to seeds that can be guaranteed to consistently produce plants that fall under the legal definition of hemp. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, several states, including California, Indiana, Maine and Oregon, have implemented programs to license or certify compliant seed distributors and producers.

The importance of hemp seed availability and development has also been recognized on the federal level. On April 24, 2019, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service published a Notice to Trade announcing that the USDA’s Plant Variety Protection Office (“PVPO”) is now accepting applications of seed-propagated hemp for protection under the Plant Variety Protection Act (“PVPA”). Among other things, the PVPA provides intellectual property protection to breeders who have developed new varieties of seed-propagated plants. Under the new guidance, breeders of new hemp varieties can now secure protection pursuant to the PVPA. Those holding a certificate of protection from the PVPO can exclude others from marketing or selling a registered hemp variety and manage how other breeders and growers use their protected variety.

The process for requesting protection under the PVPA is fairly straightforward. Breeders, or their attorneys, must complete all application forms, pay the required fees,12 submit a distinct plant variety name, and provide a deposit of at least 3,000 viable and untreated seeds of the variety (or 3,000 seeds of each parent variety for a hybrid). One required form for a completed PVPA application is the Objective Description of Variety form.13 This form provides a series of questions that identify the distinct aspects of the variety in question, including, among other things, plant and leaf characteristics, seed properties and anticipated uses. Upon receipt of the completed application and fees, the PVPO examines the application to determine whether the listed plant variety is new, distinct, uniform, and stable. If the PVPO determines that the requirements are satisfied, it will issue a certificate of protection granting the owner exclusive rights to the registered variety for a period of 20 years.Now is the time for farmers, researchers, and hobbyists alike to take advantage of the expanded opportunities available for protecting intellectual property for proprietary hemp varieties.

Although hemp has traditionally been used in the textile and fiber industries, the estimated 17.1% CAGR in the hemp seed segment is being driven by the increase in demand for hemp oil, seedcakes, and other food and nutraceutical products. These products are primarily derived from the hemp seed as opposed to its fibers. Presently, hemp seeds contain approximately 30-35% oil, of which approximately 80% is essential fatty acids, and 25% crude protein.14 Under the new PVPA guidelines, if a breeder is able to cultivate a sustainable plant that increases the plant’s production of the desirable compounds, he or she could achieve a significant position in the growing market.

The protection provided by the newly expanded PVPA builds upon other avenues of intellectual property protection now available to hemp breeders and growers. In addition to the PVPA, plants meeting certain criteria may also be protectable under a plant patent or a utility patent, both of which are administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Generally speaking, PVPA protection may be available for seeds and tubers, plant patent protection applies to asexually propagated plants, and utility patent protection may be available for genes, traits, methods, plant parts and varieties.15

With a market that is expected to grow substantially in the near future, and with the passing of increasingly friendly federal and state legislation, the hemp industry is on the cusp of significant expansion. Now is the time for farmers, researchers, and hobbyists alike to take advantage of the expanded opportunities available for protecting intellectual property for proprietary hemp varieties.

  1. George Washington to William Pearce, 24 February 1794.
  2. George Washington and Agriculture, https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/george-washington-and-agriculture, last visited May 14, 2019.
  3. Hemp, Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/hemp, last visited May 14, 2019.
  4. Controlled Substances Act, Pub.L. 91-513, 84 Stat. 1236.
  5. Agricultural Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113-79.
  6. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub.L. 115-334.
  7. Any plant having a THC content in excess of 0.3% is considered marijuana and remains illegal as a controlled substance under the CSA.
  8. See, e.g., https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/farmbill-hemp.
  9. To date, at least 41 states have passed legislation authorizing hemp cultivation and production programs consistent with federal law. As of the date of this article, those states that have not enacted legislation allowing the cultivation of hemp for commercial, research, or pilot purposes include: Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
  10. Industrial Hemp Market – Market Estimates and Forecasts to 2025, Grand View Research, https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/industrial-hemp-market, last visited May 14, 2019.
  11. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration prohibits hemp-based CBD in food and beverages. However, the FDA has set a public hearing to discussing the legalization of CBD in food and beverages for May 31, 2019.
  12. The PVPA application fee is currently $4,382 with an additional fee of $768 due upon issuance of a certificate of registration.
  13. The Objective Description of Variety form for Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) can be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/113HempST470.pdf.
  14. Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Proteins: Composition, Structure, Enzymatic Modification, and Functional or Bioactive Properties,Sustainable Protein Sources (Ch. 7), R.E. Aluko (2017).
  15. Regulations are currently under consideration that could expand or otherwise modify the scope of protection available under each of the enumerated intellectual property protection schemes. Consult a licensed attorney for questions regarding the specific program that may apply to a particular set of circumstances.

The post Hemp: A Growing Market Ripe for Protection appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.

Ireland Greenlights Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

Ireland on Wednesday launched a scheme that will allow its citizens to use cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Simon Harris, the country’s health minister, signed legislation that establishes a program to give patients access to marijuana for treatment purposes. “The Medical Cannabis Access Programme” will be maintained for five years until 2024, at which time it will undergo a review. Previously, medical marijuana was available only to select patients in the country. Recreational marijuana remains illegal there.

Ireland is just the latest European country to greenlight medical marijuana, as more and more governments across the continent reconsider anti-pot laws. In February, the European Union passed a resolution encouraging member states to ease restrictions on medical marijuana. Portugal approved a measure legalizing medical marijuana earlier this month, while Italy, Germany, and Great Britain have enacted similar laws. On Wednesday, the Swiss government announced plans to make it easier for patients to get prescriptions for medicinal cannabis.

In Ireland, the effort has been marked by a series of fits and starts. Harris proposed the program two years ago, but its ultimate enactment was delayed by an inability to find a supplier that could export the products into the country. That hurdle was finally cleared earlier this month, allowing Harris to turn the program into a reality on Wednesday.

The program will allow medical cannabis treatment for patients suffering from various conditions associated with multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy and epilepsy—as long as those patients have failed to respond to more conventional treatments. The legislation comes a month after a group of doctors, calling themselves the “Cannabis Risk Alliance,” penned an open letter voicing their concerns about the effects of marijuana. In the letter, which was among others signed by Dr. Ray Walley, the former president of the Irish Medical Organisation, the doctors lamented what they called a “one-sided discussion about cannabis.” 

“Most of the people taking part in these discussions are sincere and well-intentioned,” they wrote in the letter. “However, as doctors, we are concerned that Ireland is being led down the path of cannabis legalisation. We are opposed to such a move as we strongly feel that it would be bad for Ireland, especially for the mental and physical health of our young people.”

On Wednesday, Harris seemed to address those concerns, saying that, “It is important to state that there are no plans to legalise cannabis in this country,” as quoted by the Irish Post. 

“The purpose of this programme is to facilitate compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed,” Harris said. “Ultimately it will be the decision of the medical consultant, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe a particular treatment, including a cannabis-based treatment, for a patient under their care.”

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Canadian Company Exports Medicinal Cannabis Oil to UK

Canadian firm Tilray, Inc. has exported its first bulk shipment of medicinal cannabis oil to the United Kingdom, according to a press release from the company. The shipment comes after a controversy over another Tilray product led the U.K. government to approve the use of medical cannabis therapies for some seriously ill patients.

The medicine exported to the UK is an oral solution with both THC and CBD as active ingredients. The medication is used to treat pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis-associated spasticity. Tilray produces the cannabis oil in Canada at a Good Manufacuting Practices (GMP) certified facility and has already completed bulk shipments of the drug to other European nations including Germany, Croatia, Cyprus, and Malta.

Catherine Jacobson, Tilray’s vice president of medical and regulatory affairs, said that importing the cannabis oil into the U.K. will create a more reliable and accessible source of medicine for patients.

“This bulk import of Tilray medical cannabis oral solutions provides patients in need access to a sustained supply of GMP-certified, high quality medical cannabis,” said Jacobson. “This is an important step in improving access in the U.K. Tilray will continue to advocate for reasonable patient access to medical cannabis in the U.K. and countries around the world.”

“This allows us to hold a reliable supply in the U.K. so we can avoid having to import on a per-patient basis, shortening the amount of time from prescription to the patient getting the product,” Jacobson added.

“If access is too difficult patients will just go to the black market,” she said. “We’ve seen that happen and it’s really dangerous for patients.”

Mum’s Advocacy Leads to Legalization of Medical Cannabis in the UK

Tilray’s medicinal cannabis products were thrust into the international spotlight last year when another product made by the company was confiscated by customs officials at Heathrow Airport from Charlotte Caldwell. She had traveled to Canada to obtain the medicine for her severely epileptic son Billy, who had been receiving it under a special prescription from the National Health Service. But when Britain’s Home Office ended those prescriptions in May 2018, Charlotte was left without a source of an effective medication for the 12-year–old boy.

After missing just one dose of the cannabis medicine, Billy suffered an epileptic seizure and was soon hospitalized. A public outcry augmented by pleas from celebrities caused the government to relent, and Billy’s medicine was returned. The controversy led to a reassessment of the U.K. policy on medical cannabis and in November, the government announced that it would be legal for physician specialists to prescribe cannabis medications for patients with a special clinical need.

Tilray has subsequently received approval for six of its cannabis medications to be imported into the U.K. for patients with a prescription from a specialist. The company hopes to begin importing the other five medicines in bulk by the end of the year.

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