The 2018 Farm Bill Legalized Industrial Hemp. Now What? Get Your Answers Here.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized the growth, sales and transportation of industrial hemp across state lines. Although it looks identical to other types of cannabis, this cannabis plant contains less than 0.3 percent THC, and can be used to make building insulation, beauty products, car dashboards and more. Most significantly for farmers, it can serve as an ideal rotational crop because of its ability to reduce soil toxicity.

Until this update to the Farm Bill, hemp was considered a controlled substance and few U.S. farmers were granted rights to plant and harvest it. Now, the agricultural commodity is expected to raise the crop’s already growing GDP to that of liquor and beer sales and some estimate it should reach $20 billion in as little as five years.

Agribusinessesand farmers alike will now be looking to secure processors and other commodity buyers ahead of planting industrial hemp and purchasing the necessary equipment for its harvest. Because hemp can be grown in any climate, it may be especially attractive to tobacco growers and dairy farmers who have been less profitable as of late. 

Now that it’s been legalized, what’s the risk?

As more agribusinesses and farmers look to confirm viability of industrial hemp growth, potential liabilities will surface. The 2018 Farm Bill left many questions unanswered. Here are a just a few FAQs:

Question: Can I just add hemp to my crop rotation, or is additional insurance required?

Answer: The standard multi-peril crop insurance policy DOES NOT provide coverage for planting hemp, or endorsements for its storage and transportation- yet. Instead, industrial hemp must be insured on separate private policies for: harvest, extreme weather and crop storage and transportation. There’s a strong push to get industrial hemp into the federal crop insurance program as early as crop year 2020. As hemp planting, harvesting, storage and transportation become more understood and predictable, new policy options will likely become available. Inquire about new coverage options at your next annual renewal.

Q: How will the FDA regulate industrialized hemp?

A: The FDA will develop rules and regulations on industrial hemp throughout 2019, and will be ready for rollout during the 2020 crop year. Because it’s impossible to distinguish a cannabis plant with THC from an industrial hemp plant in the field, crop lifecycle testing and documentation will likely be required. The question remains if this testing and documentation will be incumbent on the farm/agribusiness, or FDA agents. Some states are further along in this process and have already hired testing and compliance officers.

Q: How can farmers ensure that the THC content of their plants does not exceed .3%?   

A: Farmers must have a contingency plan for monitoring their hemp’s THC content which should include employing a seasoned agronomist who can institute controls, keep plants properly hydrated and create a plan to maintain optimal THC levels. In the heat of the summer, THC levels typically remain low, but rise with cold and rain. Should there be a local cold spell, high rainfall, or if the hemp plant was seeded late in the season and the harvest runs into the fall, THC levels could rise quickly. When this happens, farmers will have to chop down the plant to control the level and harvest the plant’s flower before its next THC test.As with any emerging market, there is still a lot of doubt surrounding the growth and sales of industrial hemp, as many risks are unknown. 

Q: Can I transport hemp across state lines to a processor in another state?

A: On paper, industrial hemp is legal across all 50 states, and therefore can be transported across state lines and sold as any other commodity. In reality, though, hemp is undistinguishable from cannabis to the naked eye, and therefore, shipping an entire biomass directly from the field across state lines has a good chance of being confiscated.

When hemp is confiscated on the side of the road – even if it is eventually returned – there could be significant lag in delivery, storage is uncertain and quality control can’t be maintained. Alternatively, farmers are now shipping their hemp in smaller, unmarked loads, which is forcing them to hold onto product for longer than usual.

As with any emerging market, there is still a lot of doubt surrounding the growth and sales of industrial hemp, as many risks are unknown. On the flip side, industrial hemp offers small farmers and agribusinesses alike an unprecedented opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a new crop. If you do, make sure to work with your insurance broker to secure proper coverage immediately.

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Keeping Your Environment Clean: Preventative Measures Against Contamination

For years we have heard about and sometimes experienced, white powdery mildew when growing cannabis. It is a problem we can see, and we have numerous ways to combat it. But now more and more states are introducing regulatory testing on our harvests and they are looking for harmful substances like Escherichia coli., Aspergillis Fumigatus, Aspergillis terreus, …  just to name a few. Mycotoxins, mold and bacteria can render a harvest unusable and even unsellable- and you can’t see these problems with the naked eye. How much would it cost you to have to throw away an entire crop?

You bring in equipment to control the humidity. You treat the soil and create just the right amount of light to grow a superior product. You secure and protect the growing, harvesting, drying and production areas of your facility. You do everything you can to secure a superior yield… but do you?

Many of the organisms that can hurt our harvest are being multiplied, concentrated and introduced to the plants by the very equipment we use to control the growing environment. This happens inherently in HVAC equipment.

Your air conditioning equipment cools the air circulating around your harvest in a process that pulls moisture from the air and creates a perfect breeding ground in the wet cooling coil for growth of many of the organisms that can destroy your yield. As these organisms multiply and concentrate in the HVAC system, they then spew out into the very environment you are trying to protect at concentrated levels far greater than outside air. In effect, you are inoculating the environment you are trying to protect at concentrated levels far greater than outside air. You you are inoculating the very plants you need to keep safe from these toxins if you want to sell your product.

The cannabis industry is starting to take a page from the healthcare and food safety industries who have discovered the best way to mitigate these dangers is the installation of a proper UVC solution inside their air conditioning equipment.

Why? How does UVC help? What is UVC?

What is Ultraviolet?

Ultraviolet (UV) light is one form of electromagnetic energy produced naturally by the sun. UV is a spectrum of light just below the visible light and it is split into four distinct spectral areas – Vacuum UV or UVV (100 to 200 nm), UVC (200 to 280 nm), UVB (280 to 315 nm) and UVA (315 to 400 nm). UVA & UVB have been used in the industry to help promote growth of cannabis.

What is UVC (Ultraviolet C)?

The entire UV spectrum can kill or inactivate many microorganism species, preventing them from replicating. UVC energy at 253.7 nanometers provides the most germicidal effect. The application of UVC energy to inactivate microorganisms is also known as Germicidal Irradiation or UVGI.

UVC exposure inactivates microbial organisms such as mold, bacteria and viruses by altering the structure and the molecular bonds of their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is a “blue print” these organisms use to develop, function and reproduce. By destroying the organism’s ability to reproduce, it becomes harmless since it cannot colonize. After UVC exposure, the organism dies off leaving no offspring, and the population of the microorganism diminishes rapidly.

Ultraviolet germicidal lamps provide a much more powerful and concentrated effect of ultraviolet energy than can be found naturally. Germicidal UV provides a highly effective method of destroying microorganisms.

To better understand how Steril-Aire UVC works, it is important to understand the recommended design. Directed at a cooling coil and drain pan, UVC energy destroys surface biofilm, a gluey matrix of microorganisms that grows in the presence of moisture. Biofilm is prevalent in HVAC systems and leads to a host of indoor air quality (IAQ) and HVAC operational problems. UVC also destroys airborne viruses and bacteria that circulate through an HVAC system and feed out onto the crop. HVAC cooling coils are the largest reservoir and amplification device for microorganisms in any facility.

For the most effective microbial control, UV germicidal Emitters are installed on the supply side of the system, downstream from the cooling coil and above the drain pan. This location provides more effective biofilm and microbial control than in-duct UVC installations. By irradiating the contaminants at the source – the cooling coils and drain pans – UVC delivers simultaneous cleaning of surface microorganisms as well as destruction of airborne microorganisms and mycotoxins. Steril-Aire patented this installation configuration in 1998.

The recirculating air in HVAC systems create redundancy in exposing microorganisms and mycotoxins to UVC, ensuring multiple passes so the light energy is effective against large quantities of airborne mycotoxins and cleaning the air your plants live by.

Where are these mycotoxins coming from?

Aspergillus favors environments with ample oxygen and moisture. Most pre-harvest strategies to prevent these mycotoxins involve chemical treatment and are therefore not ideal for the cannabis industry.

Despite the lack of cannabis protocols and guidelines for reducing mycotoxin contamination, there are some basic practices that can be utilized from other agricultural groups that will help avoid the production of aflatoxins and ochratoxins.

When guidelines are applied correctly to the cannabis industry, the threat of aflatoxin and ochratoxin contamination can be significantly reduced. The place to start is a clean air environment.

Design to win

The design of indoor grow rooms for cannabis is critical to the control of airborne fungal spores and although most existing greenhouses allow for the ingress of fungal spores, experience has shown that they can be retrofitted with air filters, fans, and UVC systems to make them relatively free of these spores. Proper designs have shown clearly that:

  1. Prevention via air and surface disinfection using germicidal UVC is much better than chemical spot treatment on the surface of plants
  2. High levels of air changes per hour enhance UVC system performance in reducing airborne spores
  3. Cooling coil inner surfaces are a hidden reservoir of spores, a fertile breeding ground and constitute an ecosystem for a wide variety of molds. Continuous UVC surface decontamination of all coils should be the first system to be installed in greenhouses to reduce mildew outbreaks.

UVC can virtually eliminate airborne contaminants

Steril-Aire graphic 4

Steril-Aire was the first and is the market leader in using UVC light to eliminate mold and spores to ensure your product will not be ruined or test positive.

  1. Mold and spores grow in your air handler and are present in air entering your HVAC system.
  2. Steril-Aire UVC system installs quickly and easily in your existing system.
  3. The Steril-Aire UVC system destroys up to 99.999% of mold/spores.
  4. Plants are less likely to be affected by mold…with a low cost and no down time solution.

It’s time to protect your harvest before it gets sick. It’s time to be confident your yield will not test positive for the contaminants that will render it unusable. It’s time to win the testing battle. It’s time for a proper UVC solution to be incorporated throughout your facilities.

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The High Priestess: A Stoner’s Guide to Leo Season

Suns out, bums out, it’s time to spark it up in honor of the heat. We’ve made it past Eclipse season and now we get to celebrate. Summertime sadness WHOMST? We’ve officially departed from the emotive world of watery Cancer season and now we’re in the luxurious and loud vortex of Leo season. Represented by the glyph of the lion, there’s nothing quiet about this season or the height of summer it rules over. It’s said that you will always know a Leo is a Leo. This is partially because this is a sign and season that doesn’t skimp on presentation; drama and theatrics are the name of the game. Leo’s love to be the center of attention, and they love to be adored. Who doesn’t! This is also why you’ll know a Leo is a Leo; they’ll always tell you.

In Cancer season, your heart was the star of the show. In Leo season, YOU are the star of the show. If Cancer season was for CBD and chilling, Leo season is for lighting it up and living it up! A fixed fire sign, Leo season hits us in the height of summer, halfway between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox. A time of intense fervor and passion, this is when we can step firmly into our power, own it and be adored for it.

While I love smoking on the couch with some Netflix as much as the next stoner, this is a reminder that summer and Leo season specifically are a time to party. To have fun! To celebrate all that we’ve cultivated since the beginning of the year! To get the most of Leo Season I talked to astrologer and tarot reader The Tarot Lady, Theresa Reed, author of Tarot For Troubled Times, The Tarot Coloring Book and the forthcoming Astrology For Real Life.

Since we just finished up eclipse season—with eclipses representing major moments of transformation and endings leading to new beginnings—I wanted to ask Theresa about what the stars have in store for us this summer. Thankfully, we get a spicy beginning to August after the New Moon, and some solace when Mercury, the planet of communication stations direct, streamlining our lives and our highs. 

With the Leo New Moon we have an opportunity to reflect on the joy of summer, and all we’ve worked hard to achieve. And more than anything, we can take time to enjoy it. 

“The New Moon in Leo arrives on July 31st, the same day that Mercury is direct. Mark this day on your calendar and set intentions around creativity, self-expression, and fame. How big do you want to be? Leo doesn’t play small and you don’t have to either,” Theresa explains. “There is nothing wrong with wanting a first-class life. Remember: fortune favors the bold. Don’t be afraid to ask the Universe for what you want on this day!”

 Stage fright be damned, you deserve to be recognized for your hard work, and you deserve to bask in abundance! Leo season is a time to be lavish and luxurious, when your desires shall be catered to you on a golden platter. Cannabis, thankfully, can aid you on this journey to owning your fullest and most potent sense of self, by helping you find your center and gain the confidence to ask for what you want. Whether you’re looking for rituals to help with this, movies to watch to inspire your #drama, or stones to get stoned with, read on for a stoner’s guide to Leo season.

Ivory Woods

Method of Cannabis Consumption: Anything with Fire

Like fire itself, Leo season requires intention. There’s a dedication and loyalty here that ask us to be present- or else. You don’t play with fire unless you’re ready to get burned. In the case of us who are cannabis connoisseurs, we can connect to the moody and sensual energy of Leo season by smoking. Whether you pick a joint, bowl, bong, blunt, or dab is up to you. My only suggestion? Work with fire. Literally! Don’t be afraid to use some hemp wick and really admire the flame. 

Before you begin to smoke, take a moment to ground, breathing into your body and finding a sense of peace as you find a steady inhale and exhale. You may wish to set an intention for your smoke session, whether that’s to connect to more to your passions, to honor Leo season by living boldly, to be present or something else entirely. 

When you’re ready, light up what you’ll be smoking, taking time to witness the flame and flower interact. As you inhale, visualize or feel warm, golden light filling your lungs, as you exhale, this warm healing energy fills your physical and energetic body, cleansing it. When you’re finished, say thank you to yourself, the element of fire, and the flower itself. 

Ivory Woods

What to Smoke: Chamomile or Damiana

Leo Season is a chance for us to shine as our fullest, brightest selves. This can be a frightening process of molting and becoming, as we reveal a new version of who we are. If this process of being truly seen is something that you have to get used to, you may wish to smoke a CBD-heavy strain, or use a tincture or vape with 1:1 CBD to THC to help you relax and open up to the possibility of seeing yourself from a new angle. 

On the other hand, if you’re feeling obsessed or consumed with how others see you, you may wish to try a similar 1:1 CBD-heavy strain as well. 

“Leo energy can be dramatic and when it goes into that direction, we can lose our objectivity. Cannabis can help us to calm down and get introspective. When we operate from that perspective, we can make brave but mindful decisions. That’s always the key to a magical life,” Theresa says.

If you’re already feeling calm, however, you may want to add some herbs like chamomile and damiana into your joint, bowl, bong, or blunt. Chamomile is an herb ruled by the sun that is associated with vibrancy, healing, confidence, and warmth. Chamomile is a relaxing and bright herb that can bring a sense of joy and ease to a high. Damiana is an aphrodisiac and an herb that can draw in and enhance sexual energy. This herb can help us tap into the erotic energy of Leo season, where we want to be seen, touched, heard, admired and lusted over.  

Grind up some chamomile and/ or damiana with your cannabis as you thank the plant for its help. This combination, alongside some ganja, will have you feeling relaxed and assured in your presence. Let your aura draw people and opportunities to you; the king of the jungle rushes for no peasant!  

Ivory Woods

What to Watch: Moulin Rouge, Showgirls, Hairspray, Pose, Almost Famous, Bohemian Rhapsody 

Leo season is the perfect time to go out with your best foot forward; the bigger the hair and redder the lips the better. But, it’s also a perfect time to get baked out of your mind and watch a musical with all the fit and flair you’ve been longing for. Dualities—we all contain them. 

My picks this season feature saturated color pallets, plenty of sex, and the unyielding desire to chase ones dreams. You can’t take down a lion without a fight! This is the season to wear your fiercest gold jewelry and sit on the couch with your babes, lighting it up to your favorite drama that inspires you to live a little more loudly and a little more daringly. 

Ivory Woods

What Stone to Get Stoned With: Fire Agate

Fire agate is balanced with lunar and solar properties, which means this is a great stone to work with during the Leo New Moon on July 31st and the Aquarius New Moon on August 15th. This stone is activating while also helping us to let go so we have more room in our life to bring in, to tend to the pyres of our inner and outer world. A stone of earth and fire, Fire Agate can help us tap into the expansive and commanding qualities of Leo season without getting absorbed in ego. 

The stone of the hero’s journey, fire agate can help us keep ourselves rooted and inspired, even in moments of intense transformation. If you have this stone, hold it in your hand while you smoke or meditate to foster your purpose and passion. If you don’t have this crystal, you can meditate on a photo of it or keep a photo as your phone background to channel its intensity.

What to Listen to: Lizzo, Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, ABBA

There’s an infinite amount of good dance music, but anything that makes you want to stay up until 4am shaking what your mama gave you is absolutely invited to be on your Leo Playlist. My picks are all of the shining women above and Sweden’s greatest contribution to America: ABBA. 

Eat your edible, smoke your j, dab your dab, and then put on something shiny, cheetah print or leather and go out and dance. Theresa’s suggestions for this season all have the same vibe too: “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, “Wonder Woman” by Lion Babe, and “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps.

You can’t expect to be seen if you’re not out on the town, and there’s nothing that Leo wants less than to be ignored. Hit up your favorite gay club or your trustee rooftop bar to make sure you’re look and attitude don’t go unnoticed. Don’t forget to take photos so the Internet knows how good you look too.  

Ivory Woods

Ritual: Burn it Up

Fire is a potent tool for release, and with Mercury stationed retrograde on July 31st (when all things communication and travel straighten out after a few weeks of misdirection),  there can be quite a lot that we are ready to release. Ritually burning something is an easy and potent way to do this. 

Before you begin your ritual, take a moment to set up the space. Turn your phone off, put on some ambient music, let partners or roomies know not to disturb you. Find somewhere safe you can burn paper, either in a pot of water over the stove, or outside in a fire safe bowl. You can of course, work with cannabis as an addition to your ritual. You can ask for the plant spirit to help you let go of what you no longer need, to bless the ritual, or to aid you in finding compassion for yourself and others in this situation. When you’re ready to begin the ritual, light up, grab a pen and paper and get ready to burn some shit up.

“Take a minute to think about what has held you back from expressing yourself fully. Did someone make you feel ashamed for who you are? Have you ever been told to “not outshine” a sibling or classmate? Was there ever a situation where you were made to feel small or scared? Journal about these experiences. Then burn that paper. Let all of those old situations and limiting beliefs go,” suggests Theresa. ”When we release those thoughts and old stories, we make room for the big life that Leo loves so much.”

When you’re done burning this paper up, you can flush it down the toilet, throw it out or cast the ashes to the wind. Take a moment to breathe into your body and thank the cannabis and yourself for the ritual. 

Ivory Woods

What to Wear for Leo Season

This is no time to play it subtle, darling. Leo yearns for the spotlight, for the attention their glamour will finally get them. Think silk robes and joints in long gold holders, magenta blouses in silks unbuttoned to show lace or a bare chest. Nothing screams summer like an animal print, and monochrome looks coordinated with gold jewelry are sure to kill it. 

If you feel like you’re wearing something that’s “too much,” then you should definitely wear it. Go big or go home, muchacho. Don’t be afraid to live it up as the sun smiles and shines on us at the height of his (literal) season. 

“In tarot the Sun card is full of joy, optimism, and abundance. Leo is ruled by the Sun. Let the focus of these few weeks be on joyful activities and positivity. Look at the sunny side of life – and think big!” Theresa suggests.
No matter how you celebrate this season, may it inspire you to live up as your fullest, shiniest and most vibrant self.

You can keep up with The Tarot Lady on her Instagram, and check out her books as well. Here’s to the most being stoned in style, all season long. So it is!

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UK Lawmakers Aim to Fully Legalize Cannabis Within 10 Years

Sometimes all that’s needed for a policymaker to change their mind on marijuana legalization is a quick trip to a place where regulation is in place and the apocalypse has not yet arrived. Such was the case when members of UK parliament (MPs) made an exploratory visit to Canada’s rapidly evolving legal marijuana industry. The British politicians came back enthused, with one of them from a political party that hasn’t even declared itself in favor of legalization saying that the UK could shake off cannabis prohibition within a year

“I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs,” said that individual, Labour Party MP David Lammy, in a BBC Newsbeat documentary that captured the trip. “I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised in this country.”

Lammy was joined on the excursion by a number of his peers from various political parties, who all financed their own trip. Sir Norman Lamb of the Liberal Democrats (who have taken an official pro-legalization stance) made history on the trip by becoming the first currently serving British member of parliament to take a cannabis-derived product in public, as documented by the BBC cameras.

Sir Norman also shared that he thought it was “ridiculous” that he had to dispose of his remaining cannabis oil before flying home. The politician says that he uses the oil to sleep and for relaxation.

Happily, not everyone is flushing their medicinal marijuana rather than sending it off to Great Britain. In June, Canada’s Tilray, Inc. sent out company’s first large shipment of cannabis oil to the UK, a THC-CBD blend oral solution.

But though medicinal marijuana has been legal in Great Britain since November of last year, the country is still home to intense stigma against the drug. In May, a morning talk show abruptly cut off a segment featuring medical marijuana champion Charlotte Caldwell. The advocate had been telling viewers the harrowing story of her son Billy, who was reportedly near death when Heathrow Airport security officials confiscated the CBD oil that the family was using to treat his severe epileptic seizures. The hosts of This Morning interrupted Caldwell in the middle of her narrative to transition to an interview with the stars of a hospital-themed soap opera.

Sadly, that stigma has been reflected in the actions of health care professionals as well. At the beginning of the year, hospital staff reported reluctance at Royal Derby Hospital to prescribe cannabis for qualifying health conditions, citing “the risk of serious side effects.” 

And not all policymakers were in agreement with Lammy’s year-long prognostication for full-scale cannabis legalization. Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly went so far in the BBC documentary to estimate that recreational use was still 10 to 15 years away. 

“I think we have got a lot to learn before the legalisation of recreational cannabis, which I think will happen at some point,” said Djanogly.

Nevertheless, cannabis politics have seen some recent shifts in the UK. This spring, the National Police Chief’s Council announced that it would be giving officers the freedom to let individuals off for small scale cannabis possession with a simple recommendation that they seek addiction treatment (which, sure, is a slightly annoying suggestion, but surely better than a fine or jail time.)

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Ohio’s Governor Just Signed a Bill Legalizing the Sale of Hemp and CBD

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio signed a bill on Tuesday that legalizes hemp agriculture and sales of products made from the crop, including CBD. The measure, Senate Bill Number 57, decriminalizes hemp cultivation and establishes a system to license growers and processors. DeWine signed the bill on Tuesday morning during an appearance at the Ohio State Fair.

The bill also removes hemp derivatives other than THC from the state’s list of controlled substances, opening the door in Ohio for legal sales of CBD oil for use as a dietary or health supplement. Under previous state law, hemp was a Schedule I controlled substance like all other varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa. Senate Bill 57 amended state law so that it now conforms with the federal legalization of hemp passed by Congress with the 2018 Farm Bill.

S.B. 57 also requires that CBD oil previously confiscated be returned to the seller, provided that the product conforms with federal law. In August of last year, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy released a statement requiring CBD products to be sold only at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. That decision led many retailers to pull CBD products from their shelves while some openly flaunted the ruling. Others had their merchandise confiscated and embargoed by authorities.

Rules for Hemp Program Already Being Drafted

The bill tasks the Ohio Department of Agriculture with creating a regulatory system to license hemp farmers and processors. Rules for the program are already being drafted and there are currently no plans to limit the number of licenses, which should be available by next year’s growing season. Dorothy Pelanda, the director of the agriculture department, said that staff at the agency have been studying hemp regulatory programs in other states in anticipation of creating the rules for Ohio.

“We want to make sure that Ohio has the very best hemp program in the nation,” Pelanda said, adding that she anticipates no problems drafting the regulations within the six-month time limit mandated by the bill.

The measure signed by DeWine on Tuesday also authorizes a hemp research program for the state. Ohio State University plans to purchase 2,000 hemp plants next week to study growing methods, pests, pathogens, and other issues.

Hemp Legalization Brings Economic Opportunity

Farmers and small business owners in Ohio have been eager to get into the growing CBD market, estimated to reach $26 billion by 2023. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has estimated that hemp could potentially be the state’s third most valuable crop after corn and soybeans.

Dave Arend opened his Your CBD Store in Anderson Township, Ohio despite the rule that CBD products be sold only in medical marijuana dispensaries. He said that the bill should lead to more customers coming to the store.

“I think this removes the stigma that what we sell is medical marijuana,’’ Arend said. “It’s not, and we definitely anticipate a lot more customers who want the benefit of CBD without the high of medical marijuana.’’

S.B. 57 goes into effect immediately with DeWine’s signature. The bill was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives earlier this month after being approved by the state Senate in March.

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La reina del Desierto Priscilla Vilchis, con paso fuerte en el mundo del cannabis.

crédito de imagen a TalbotSnow.

Priscilla Vilchis, fundadora y CEO de Premium Produce, es la primera latina en obtener una licencia para cultivar y producir cannabis medicinal en Nevada y  California. Su planta de cultivo con tecnología de punta, Premium Produce, se encuentra a pocos kilómetros del nuevo estadio de los Raiders y de Las Vegas Strip, donde crece y empaca su marca de cannabis inspirada en sus raíces latinas, Reina.

Vilchis es pionera en la industria rompiendo varias barreras culturales y de género al tiempo que ataca los estereotipos de los consumidores de cannabis.  “Ser pionera en este espacio también ayuda a allanar el camino para que otras mujeres y minorías se involucren”, dijo Vilchis a LA Weekly.

Su primer acercamiento con el mundo de cannabis fue a principio de sus veintes cuando una amiga fue diagnosticada con cáncer de mama  en etapa III. Ella acompañaba a su amiga a sus quimioterapias y uno de sus doctores le sugirió el consumo de la marihuana para calmar el dolor después de cada tratamiento. Fue entonces que en solidaridad fumó marihuana por primera vez. 

Vilchis no solo se enfrenta a la discriminación en ventas locales de hierba, sino que tiene que convencer a su propia comunidad para que cambie su percepción de la marihuana, que es una medicina y no una droga. Ella comenzó con su familia.

“Antes de ingresar a esta industria, tuve una larga discusión con mis padres y abuelos, que tradicionalmente son conservadores, y entienden que el cannabis es un medicamento para niños con epilepsia y dolor”, dijo Vilchis a Telemundo. “Apoyan plenamente los objetivos comerciales y mi misión de promover el cannabis como una alternativa a los opioides”.

Como muchos en la floreciente industria, Vilchis no comenzó con el cannabis. Se convirtió en empresaria a principios de sus 20 años como consultora de prácticas médicas, donde ayudó a los médicos a navegar las regulaciones y negociar con las compañías de seguros para tratar a pacientes que sufren lesiones ocupacionales.

A través de su trabajo en el cuidado de la salud, Vilchis vio de primera mano la creciente epidemia de opioides, que la impulsó a aprender sobre la marihuana medicinal como alternativa.

Ahora, Vilchis dice que espera poner el cannabis medicinal en manos de los médicos con los que trabajó en su carrera anterior.

“Mi objetivo es un día conseguir que la marihuana sea reembolsable en lugar de un opioide”, dijo. “Espero ser el frente y el centro de eso”.

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Tinturas de cannabis: todo lo que necesitas saber

Todo lo que necesitas saber sobre las tinturas.

Hay muchas maneras de consumir cannabis, pero algunas son más fáciles de usar que otras. Ya sea que sea un nuevo usuario de marihuana medicinal o un nuevo usuario recreativo, las tinturas son un excelente lugar para comenzar su viaje de cannabis. ¿Qué es una tintura sin el cannabis? Son cualquier medicamento hecho al disolver una droga en alcohol. Repasaremos todo lo que necesita saber sobre una tintura de cannabis, incluida la forma en que se fabrican, usan y almacenan.

¿Qué es una tintura?

Las tinturas están hechas con un alto porcentaje de alcohol y vienen en botellas de vidrio con goteros. Como resultado, la tintura de cannabis es uno de los mejores métodos de consumo para una dosificación precisa.

El alcohol se usa para extraer terpenos y cannabinoides como el THC del resto del material vegetal. El cannabis utilizado debe descarboxilarse para garantizar que todos los ingredientes estén activos. De lo contrario, los efectos de la medicina no serán tan fuertes como podrían ser.

Similar a los comestibles, las tinturas se consumen por vía oral. De hecho, las tinturas se pueden usar por vía sublingual, oral o para infundir casi cualquier plato que desee. Lo mejor de todo, las tinturas son de acción más rápida que su típico comestible. Por lo tanto, no tendrá que esperar dos o tres horas solo para descubrir que su medicamento no funcionó. Debe poder saber, poco después de una dosis de tintura, si necesitará más o no.

A pesar de su conveniencia, rara vez se habla de tinturas de cannabis. Antes de la prohibición, era la forma más común de cannabis medicinal en los Estados Unidos.

Hoy, la mayor atención se dirige a otros métodos de consumo de cannabis, como fumar y al mercado de concentrado de cannabis que está en constante crecimiento. Sin embargo, el interés en formas alternativas de consumo ha estado creciendo en los últimos años. Como resultado, puede encontrar tinturas de cannabis en casi cualquier dispensario de marihuana medicinal en el país.

Cómo hacer una tintura de cannabis

Para hacer una tintura de cannabis, querrás tener el mayor porcentaje de alcohol posible. No todas las tinturas son iguales. La potencia del producto final dependerá de la calidad y cantidad del cannabis que use.

Ingredientes y equipamiento:

Como mínimo, querrás los siguientes ingredientes y equipos para hacer una tintura de cannabis:

  • Media onza de flores de cannabis.
  • Alto contenido de alcohol por volumen de licor.
  • Amoladora
  • Estopilla
  • tarro de albañil
  • Botellas cuentagotas de vidrio
  • Sartén a prueba de horno
  • Papel de aluminio
  • Vaso medidor de vidrio
  • Guantes

Descarboxilación

Antes de comenzar, necesitará hierba o concentrados descarboxilados. Según una investigación de científicos en Holanda, la temperatura óptima para la descarboxilación es de 230 grados Fahrenheit durante 110 minutos.

Así que muele tu cannabis o rómpelo en trozos más pequeños y llena la sartén apta para horno con ellos. Cubra la sartén con papel de aluminio para que la hierba no se caliente lo suficiente como para quemar o vaporizar. Hornee en un horno que haya sido precalentado a 230 grados Fahrenheit durante 110 minutos.

Direcciones

Una vez que haya reunido los materiales necesarios, hacer una tintura de cannabis es fácil.

Paso 1: coloque su cannabis descarboxilado en el tarro de albañil y llénelo con el mayor porcentaje de alcohol como Everclear hasta que el cannabis esté completamente sumergido.

Paso 2: varias fuentes recomiendan congelar el frasco lleno de alcohol y cannabis durante varios días o dos semanas mientras lo sacas para agitarlo una vez al día. El frío ayuda a separar los componentes menos deseados de la planta de cannabis como la clorofila del producto final.

Paso 3: El siguiente paso es colar los materiales a través de una gasa en una taza medidora de vidrio. Una vez que el líquido ya no pase a través de la gasa, use guantes para exprimir el líquido restante a través de la gasa y dentro de la taza de medir. Puede usar otra gasa para limpiar el material aún más antes de llenar las botellas de vidrio con cuentagotas.

Paso 4: El último paso es almacenar adecuadamente su tintura. Transfiera todo a un frasco cuentagotas de vidrio para una fácil dosificación. Para el almacenamiento a largo plazo, puede dejarlo en un tarro de albañil. De cualquier manera, querrás que el ambiente sea fresco y oscuro. El aire, la luz y el calor disminuyen la calidad y la potencia de las tinturas.

Cómo usar tinturas de cannabis

Una vez que hayas hecho o comprado una tintura de cannabis, hay tres formas de usarla. Agréguelo a cualquier plato, colóquelo en su boca o ingiéralo por vía sublingual.

El método de consumo sublingual es uno de los mejores si desea sentir los efectos más fuertes y rápidos. Deje caer la dosis adecuada debajo de su lengua. Espere medio minuto y trague. Esto permite que el medicamento ingrese al torrente sanguíneo para un inicio más rápido.

La forma más fácil de usar una tintura de cannabis es simplemente colocando la dosis deseada en la boca y tragando. Los efectos no aparecerán tan rápido como con la técnica sublingual. Tardará casi tanto como lo haría con los comestibles para sentir los efectos.

El método final de consumo es relativamente simple. Coloque la dosis que desee en cualquier alimento o bebida que elija. La aparición de los efectos debería tomar tanto tiempo como los comestibles. Al consumir una comida con el medicamento, puede comenzar a combatir a los bocadillos incluso antes de que comiencen.

Razones para probar tinturas

Como hemos ilustrado, hay muchas ventajas al usar tinturas sobre otros métodos de consumo de cannabis. Aquí hay una lista de los beneficios de usar tinturas sobre otros métodos de consumo:

  • Menos calorías: puede obtener la experiencia comestible de las comidas que ya estaba planeando comer en lugar de dulces como gomitas y brownies.
  • Discreción: las tinturas no huelen a cannabis y en una botella de vidrio con un gotero, se verán como cualquier otra medicina.
  • Inicio más rápido: Sublingualmente, los efectos duran más.
  • Dosificación precisa: con comestibles, flores y concentrados, es más fácil tomar accidentalmente una dosis mayor de la necesaria. Las tinturas te permiten tomar unas gotas a la vez hasta que sientas los efectos deseados.
  • Más simple que fumar: las personas a las que no les gusta o les cuesta fumar o vapear cannabis se encuentran mejor usando tinturas.

Golpe final: tintura de cannabis

Las tinturas de cannabis ofrecen una manera simple y discreta de recibir los beneficios médicos de la planta sin tener que ser fumador. Solo se necesitan unos pocos ingredientes para hacer tinturas de cannabis, pero debes tener cuidado al prepararlos en casa porque un alto porcentaje de alcohol es inflamable. También hay dispositivos que facilitan completar todo el proceso en un solo lugar.

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Sweden Joins Italy In Path To Defining CBD Oil Regulations

The highest court in Sweden has weighed in on the novel food, and the darling of the Swiss marketplace, CBD conversation. Further, it has done so in a move that seems predetermined to push the so-far escalating novel food debate EU-wide. Along, of course, with what constitutes “narcotic” cannabis.

Namely, Sweden’s highest court ruled in June that CBD oil with any concentration of THC falls under the narcotic jurisdiction.

Sound confusing? Welcome to the world of every CBD producer and purveyor on the “right”  side of the Atlantic.

Beyond The Lingo and Legal Mumbo Jumbo

When one follows the logic, there is one, hidden in the Swedish meatball of careful legal wording. Here is a translation, more or less of what the court intended.

The first is that the Swedes, along with the Italians (and expect this attitude to be reflected all over Europe) accept that cannabidiol when it comes from hemp, if not CBD oil derived from the same, generally, is excluded from the definition of cannabis (as a narcotic). Therefore it is not a narcotic drug.

However, according to the court, the loose definitions of what “CBD oil” is both legally and in the marketplace, no longer applies if the plant has been converted into a preparation containing THC. This is a clear shot across the bow of the “Cannabis Lite” movement that has been so popular across the continent for the last year or so and has absolutely electrified certain regions (see not only Switzerland but the UK and Spain).

This has added to the sky-high evaluations of the cannabis industry (or even the CBD part of it) in certain industry predictions, rosy scenarios and forward-looking statements.

However, in a nod to reality, the court also recognized that there is an exemption for trace amounts of CBD in the current frameworks, although it is indeterminate. In other words, this is a move to force regulators to determine what trace levels of THC are permitted. And further, to force regulation and licencing of the so-far, fairly free-wheeling industry that hoped, much like Holland, to establish itself in the grey spaces between the regulatory schematic of Europe.

Just some of the many CBD products on the market today.

No dice. See Holland of late. But also see Italy, Austria and Germany.

For those who still held out a vague dream of hope that this whole issue was going to go away, or get swept under the carpet of anti-regulatory Brexit mania (in the British case), think again.

In the Swedish situation, much like the Italian CBD caper, the individual at the heart of the court case was a man who escaped a minor drug charge for possession of CBD oil. However, the message is clear: Large scale distribution of CBD oil with “undeterminable” levels of THC (essentially all of it in the market until the rules are set), is courting a criminal drugs charge.

Look for licensing definitions soon.

What Does This Say About The CBD Future In Europe?

Much of this debate is also caught up in larger issues, namely labelling. The British, for example, have just seen recalls at some of the largest supermarkets in the country because of the same. It is a hot topic in several places.

The structure of cannabidiol (CBD), one of 400 active compounds found in cannabis.

Europeans, in general, and this includes the British, are generally also horrified at how Americans in particular, consume food and other products exposed to chemicals they know are toxic. However common chlorinated chicken is in the U.S., for example, this is a discussion as toxic to all Europeans, including the British, as well, chemically treated anything.

This is also a reflection of the much “greener” lifestyle Europeans aspire to lead (even with bizarre gross-outs like “fatbergs” in the Victorian recesses of London sewers). Even if they have not managed it yet, here. Climate change denial, especially in mostly air-conditioner free Europe, and especially this summer, is a rare concept indeed.

The novel food issue where it crosses with cannabis, in other words, has just popped up again, in Sweden. And given its proximity to not only recent legal decisions on the same, especially by their neighbors, if not on the calendar, the industry and all those who hope to chart its projections if not successfully surf its market vagaries, need to take note if not adjust accordingly.

The post Sweden Joins Italy In Path To Defining CBD Oil Regulations appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


UK Non-Profit Launches Project TWENTY21 To Register 20K Cannabis Patients

In late June, as more than a thousand people descended on the South Bank Center to attend the largest cannabis conference held so far in the UK, another development was taking place away from the headlines.

Drug Science, a non-profit research group founded to reform drug policies based on scientific evidence rather than politics or even economic considerations, launched an ambitious trial project in the UK.

The goal? To get medical cannabis to 20,000 British patients suffering from a range of conditions that the drug is well known to help treat.

Who Is Drug Science?

Founded by Professor David Nutt, the former chief drug advisor to the British government who was fired in 2009 for stating that ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol, the group itself is clearly not afraid to tackle controversy. The Project TWENTY21 initiative is an ambitious if not desperately needed undertaking.

Targeted patient groups include those suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, MS, Tourette’s and addiction.

Several cannabis companies have already signed up to support the effort which also includes the United Patients Alliance ,and academic researchers.

According to Abby Hughes, Head of Outreach for UPA, “Whilst a change in UK law has given clinicians the green light to prescribe medical cannabis, the majority of patients are denied access, some even being criminalised, whilst corporations are profiting from the same plant.”

UKflagHughes also noted that the goal of the project is to begin to ground patient demand in research and hard data. “We hope that by having a dataset that proves the efficacy of medical cannabis, thousands of patients will be able to access legal, affordable medicine, which may improve their quality of life,” she said.

What Is The Scope of Project TWENTY21?

It is the first-of-its-kind project in the UK where, 9 months after the law changed to allow prescription of cannabinoids as well as the medical importation of the same, there are less than 20 (legal) patients in the country. And all of the successful candidates so far have fought for the right and still do.

While important in its own right, the concept if not forward motion on the same, is also poised to create similar trials all over Europe. This is especially true in countries (like France) where the issue of reform has not moved at all. Or even in Germany (with well over 50,000 patients two and a half years after similar reform was passed by the Bundestag) where problems with access and questions about medical efficacy still frustrate the close to a million Germans who cannot access the drug. Switzerland and Luxembourg may yet prove to be similiarly interesting.

Why Is This Timely?

There has been an increased call for the need for widespread and sustained population trials across Europe as the cannabis industry has really begun to establish itself since mid-2016. This is the only way to help forward medical understanding of cannabinoids at a level that leads to mainstream acceptance. And more importantly, medical and payer mainstream approvals. Until that happens, despite all the press releases, overall sales across the continent remain low.

One of the most important issues beyond this – the extraordinarily high pricing seen in Europe until late last year – has also played a role of course. Payers (see the German “statutory” health insurers) on the front lines of uncertain medical efficacy are still reluctant to pay for a drug, in any form, they do not understand, do not have evidence for, and are still highly suspicious of.

There has been an increased call for the need for widespread and sustained population trials across Europe With cannabis companies agreeing to provide product (in this case potentially from Australia), a research organization with national chops and brave leaders is likely to take the conversation far. And not just in the UK.

While Drug Science is of course not the only British entity planning canna trials and in part supported by the Canadian industry (see The Beckley Foundation for starters), Project 2021 is also certainly likely to be a study with both local as well as regional and global implications.

In Europe, there are other regional trials now in the offing (see Switzerland, Germany and France). Only Germany of course, has a patient population that is starting to be large enough to be effectively studied, and of course, the majority of these patients are still receiving dronabinol.

It is also clearly a steady state march, rather than a discussion that is likely to see significant boosts in patient numbers any time soon. Unless of course, there are other contributing factors.

Regardless, unlike the U.S. and even Canada, the strict medical focus of Europe (including the UK) is finally moving the conversation to the next level. Large, regional and/or national medical trials – and further for conditions the drug is well-known to treat but are so far considered “off-label” for most Europeans will be the watchword here for the next several years.

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Utah’s Top Anti-Cannabis Lawmaker is Also One of the State’s Largest Opiate Sellers

A potentially explosive report detailing the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates reveals a disturbing connection between Utah’s anti-medical cannabis movement and the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, one of the state’s leading anti-legalization policymakers is also one of the state’s biggest seller of opiates.

The revelation has sparked outrage among medical marijuana patients and advocates, and has intensified ongoing tensions surrounding Utah’s controversial medical marijuana laws.

New Stats About Opiates Made Public

Recently, the Washington Post released a trove of federal data related to the distribution of pharmaceutical opiates across the country. Specifically, the searchable database tracks who is selling opiates and how much they’re selling.

The stats unveil a number of problematic trends. For starters, the database shows that the country’s pharmaceutical companies have sold 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills between 2006 and 2012. During that same time period, roughly 100,000 people have died from complications related to opiates and opiate addiction.

Additionally, the publication of the database has spurred in-depth searches and analyses, one of which found that Utah Senate Majority Leader—and top anti-cannabis lawmaker—Evan Vickers is one of the state’s biggest sellers of opiates.

As a result, legalization advocates are calling foul. And some of Utah’s top activists are demanding that Vickers recuse himself from all legislation related to marijuana.

“When we saw the outrageous numbers of opiates that Vickers is dispensing, it was alarming to all of us,” Christine Stenquist, Founder and Executive Director of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE), told High Times. “Even more alarming is that this man is trying to prohibit cannabis from coming into the state. And we’ve seen in states where there is cannabis, that there’s a decline in pharmaceuticals, especially opiates.”

Vickers: Leading Opiate Seller and Anti-Cannabis Lawmaker

According to researcher and writer Angela Bacca, Vickers, who owns a chain of pharmacies in southern Utah, distributes 34 percent of all opiates in Utah’s rural Iron County. Vickers’ two Cedar City pharmacies sell even more opiates than massive national chains like Wal-Mart.

For many medical marijuana advocates in Utah, the sheer number of opiates sold by Vickers is alarming enough. But to make things even worse, it turns out that Vickers has been a leading voice in the fight against medical marijuana in Utah.

Specifically, he was the sponsor of the controversial H.B. 3001. This medical marijuana bill was rammed through in a special legislative session in December 2018, just two days after a voter-approved initiative went into effect.

In 2018, a medical marijuana bill called Proposition 2 qualified for the ballot. But long before voters had a chance to vote, powerful forces in Utah began working against Proposition 2.

Specifically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church or the LDS Church. For starters, the church formally opposed the initiative. Further, church leaders sent a letter to members urging them to vote no. Given that roughly 62 percent of Utahns—including the huge majority of lawmakers—are Mormon, the LDS Church has significant political sway.

Alongside publicly speaking out against Proposition 2, Mormon Church representatives began meeting with lawmakers to draft a “compromise bill,” which ultimately became H.B. 3001. And Vickers was the bill’s floor sponsor.

“They’ve put up roadblocks, excuses, and weak-kneed legislation,” Stenquist told High Times. “Policymakers have made very confusing policy and it’s just not where we need it to be. And I believe it’s special interests that drive our policies. What I’m concerned about is that special interests are making profit at the expense of our communities.”

Utah’s Medical Marijuana Controversy: The Newest Chapter

H.B. 3001 has drawn significant backlash from medical marijuana patients and activists. For starters, TRUCE and other medical marijuana advocates have filed a lawsuit against the state.

Among other things, the suit claims that the Mormon Church exerted unlawful influence over the lawmaking process, culminating in the quick replacement of the voter-approved Proposition 2.

Additionally, many advocates say that H.B. 3001 is far too restrictive. In particular, according to Stenquist, it limits the number of dispensaries and the number of patients to whom a doctor can recommend medical marijuana.

“Vickers is behind this restrictiveness for patients,” Stenquist told High Times. “This is all motivated because Vickers is protecting his bottom line. This is a clear conflict of interest. Special interest legislators like Vickers are writing policies that better their particular industry and put money in their own pockets. That has to stop.”

She added: “We need to lower our dependency on pharmaceutical drugs and cannabis is one of the tools that can do that. But Vickers does not want to harm his bottom line.”

In light of the news about Vickers’ opiate activities, Stenquist is calling on him to recuse himself from all marijuana-related legislation. It is unclear what, if any, legal action TRUCE or other groups may pursue. But for now, the suit filed earlier this year remains ongoing.

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