• Trinidad and Tobago’s House of Representatives Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana
    The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is making history with the advancement of two new marijuana related bills. Most notably, the country’s House of Representatives just approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of cannabis. Taking things a step further, the nation is also considering a second bill. This one could set up a framework for regulating the production and sale of marijuana. All in all, this new legislation could bring big changes to the country. But it could also have much broader implications throughout the region. Trinidad and Tobago Getting Close to Decriminalizing Weed On Wednesday, the House of Representatives in Trinidad and Tobago approved the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019. After the House’s approval, the bill will now move on to the Senate. The Senate will discuss and debate the bill before it goes up for a vote. All of that is reportedly going to take place this week and next week. If the Senate agrees on a final version of the bill and approves it, the legislation would eventually be sent back to the House for one more vote. And from there, it would finally be handed on to President Paula-Mae Weekes to be officially signed into law. The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019 introduces a number of big changes for cannabis law in the country. These include the following: A person can possess up to 30 grams of weed and five grams of resin without facing any criminal charges.Possession of between 30 and 60 grams of weed, and between five and 10 grams of resin, will face a fee of roughly $200 USD. Importantly, this will not carry any criminal charges.Possession of 60 to 100 grams of weed, or 14 grams of resin, would carry a penalty as high as $11,092 USD.Citizens will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at home. A previous version of this legislation allowed for home-growing male plants only. But this was changed, since male plants don’t actually produce smokable flowers.None of these will result in criminal offenses punishable by jail time. But, failure to pay fines could lead to additional fines and community service. Far-Reaching Impact Obviously, if these amendments pass into law it will immediately affect Trinidad and Tobago. But it could also have ripple effects throughout the Caribbean. According to Investopedia, Trinidad and Tobago is the wealthiest country in the Caribbean bloc, giving it a lot of weight and influence throughout the region. One More Piece of Cannabis Legislation While the nation ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Massachusetts Lifts Ban On Cannabis Vaping Products
    Cannabis regulators in Massachusetts have modified a ban on marijuana vape products that will allow businesses to begin selling newly manufactured goods as soon as retailers can get them on the shelf. However, vape products manufactured before December 12 will remain under a quarantine imposed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) on November 12. Under the amended quarantine order, medical marijuana treatment centers and adult-use dispensaries will be permitted to sell devices that vaporize cannabis flower or concentrates provided that they comply with new regulations. November’s quarantine order was issued in response to the outbreak of lung illnesses that has been dubbed e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) by health officials. In its ongoing investigation of the lung injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified vitamin E acetate as a toxin of concern. Shawn Collins, the executive director of the CCC, emphasized that the new regulations, which were put in place in the interest of consumer safety, only apply to products purchased from licensed retailers. “These protections exist in the legal market,” he said. “They do not exist in the illicit market.” New Rules Push Transparency Dispensaries that carry cannabis vaping products will be required to post a warning and disclaimer to consumers that reads “This product has been tested for contaminants, including Vitamin E Acetate, with no adverse findings. WARNING: Vaporizer Products may contain ingredients harmful to health when inhaled.” The warning must also be contained on an insert provided with vaping products. Amanda Rose, the president of cannabis retailer New England Treatment Access, said that the new regulations will help advance consumer safety and confidence in licensed cannabis businesses. “[The commission’s decision] is really a win for our customers and our patients who can now have access to a product that has been tested, that’s well regulated, that comes with accurate information about what’s inside those products, and that really drives them back into the regulated market and away from the illicit market,” she said. Businesses selling cannabis vaping products “will be required to list their active or inactive additives, including the amount infused or incorporated during the manufacturing process, including thickening agents, thinning agents, and specific terpenes,” according to Thursday’s announcement from the CCC. Regulators are also requiring transparency on the parts used in vape pens and other devices, which “will be required to include a written insert that identifies their manufacturer, battery, and other known components, and discloses the materials used in their atomizer coil. This information will be required ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Virginia Attorney General Hosts Cannabis Summit To Discuss Reform
    On Wednesday, Virginia attorney general Mark Herring, a Democrat, hosted a day-long summit in the capital city of Richmond, where he made his case for joining the more than dozen states and cities that have lifted pot prohibition. “Front and center is badly needed reform of our cannabis laws in Virginia. I don’t believe that Virginia’s current system of criminalizing cannabis is working. It is needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions. The human and social costs of this are enormous,” Herring said, as quoted by Cannabis Wire. Herring bolstered his argument by pointing to some statistics. He noted that the number of pot-related arrests in Virginia “more than tripled” between 1999 and 2018, going from 9,000 to 29,000. Herring also pointed to a recent poll showing that more than 60 percent of Virginians support legalization for adults. “It is clear to me that it is time for a new, smarter approach to cannabis in Virginia. And the question that we’re here to answer today is: what does that look like?” Herring said, according to Cannabis Wire. “To me, the best path forward is to immediately decriminalize possession of small amounts and start moving toward legal regulated adult use.” Herring, who is running for governor in 2021, announced the summit last month as part of his effort to move legalization through the legislature, where Democrats control both chambers. Virginians in Favor of Decriminalization Herring announced his support for legalization in a tweet back in October. In the tweet, he cited the poll he mentioned at the summit on Wednesday. The poll, conducted by the University of Mary Washington, found that 61 percent of Virginians support legalization marijuana for recreational use—up from 39 percent when the school polled the same question only two years ago. “Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring wrote in the tweet. The summit featured panels and presentations that, among other things, focused on other states like Colorado and Illinois where marijuana has already been legalized for recreational use. It also included remarks by other Virginia lawmakers, including Democratic state Sen. Dave Marsden, who preached caution as the state moves toward legalization.“What we have to be careful of is that full legalization, or recreational, or whatever you want to call it, that people drift away from this as medicine,” Marsden said, as quoted by Cannabis Wire. “We have to proceed, I think, cautiously. Clearly, we need to do decriminalization.” The post Virginia Attorney General Hosts Cannabis ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Study Finds Washington’s Cannabis Shops Are More Prevalent In Disadvantaged Areas
    A study by Washington State University researchers found that cannabis dispensaries tend to be located in lower income neighborhoods. Though it did not offer definitive answers about the causes of this correlation, its results are leading some local Washington policymakers to question current zoning laws that affect where marijuana businesses can be located. “It’s the same thing you see with NIMBYism, not in my backyard,” Spokane city council president Ben Stuckart said when contacted for his take on the study by a local publication. “NIMBYism is tough. If you tried to change it, then you’d have all those same neighborhoods coming out to speak against it.” Stuckart was asked to comment because he has lobbied to open up prime Spokane neighborhood commercial areas to cannabis businesses. When the city council voted on zoning regulations in September, every other member voted against his suggestions to ease up on current restrictions. To Stuckart, policy decisions like these say everything you need to know about why marijuana businesses are located in the areas that they are. “It’s government decision-making, not just because of the industry,” he commented. A Question of Zoning Regulations Initiative 502 regulated adult use cannabis in 2012, and the rules that the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board developed to guide the industry allow local governments to set their own zoning regulations. Spokane County has customized its zoning laws to address cannabis “odor,” which county commissioner Al French says is the jurisdiction’s “No. 1 criteria.” Based on this worry, the county banned outdoor cultivation operations in 2016, raising concern for marijuana farmers committed to using sun grow techniques, which can also be much more environmentally friendly methods of growing cannabis. “You’ve got these businesses out here trying to operate normally, and they’re legal,” said executive director of the Washington Sun Grower’s Association. “But they’re up against regulations, laws and zoning — any number of things that are still treating them more harshly.” The same year, Spokane county also banned new dispensaries, and it has prohibited any future businesses from opening close to certain trails, Spokane city hall, and even vacant plots owned by libraries or school districts. It has also loosened state recommendations on how far away cannabis businesses must be located from schools and playgrounds. The WSU investigation, which was published by the Drug and Alcohol Review journal, tracked counts of cannabis growers, processors, and retail locations across the state. It employed a metric called the Area Deprivation Index to measure average area income, home values, plus employment ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Everything You Should Know About Weed Paranoia
    Paranoia has always been the Achilles heel of nature's most wondrous plant. As with all things in life, a dark side exists in the ying-yang of cannabis use. While a medicinal cure-all to many, some weed exists as a portal to one's personal hell, complete with spells of anxiety, doubts of self-worth and the psychological implications that follow.   The web woven from the many intersections of marijuana and paranoia is built on a strange bed of scientific facts and first-hand accounts, peppered by the lies lingering from Reefer Madness-era propaganda and its accompanying pseudoscience.  There are scientific theories as to why weed causes paranoia, and then there are a plethora of cultural stigmas surrounding the plant itself. The public perception exists somewhere between the two.  In an attempt to dissipate the metaphorical smoke surrounding this topic's many mirrors, here is a brief explainer of weed paranoia, addressing each of the scientific and cultural facets of this strange, hazy paradox.  The science behind weed paranoia First, it might be helpful to distinguish anxiety from paranoia. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension that something bad will happen; this mood state is a common response to stress. Paranoia, however, means an excessive or irrational fear that someone is trying to harm you. Because of cannabis' status as a Schedule I substance (and ensuing research barriers) few scientific studies have focused on understanding exactly why weed makes people either anxious or paranoid. Leading research points to a few different theories, and it stands to reason that THC is a major culprit in the unpleasant feelings associated with cannabis. New or infrequent cannabis users may be surprised when they experience a racing heart after consuming a cannabis-based product. This effect is caused by THC, which activates the autonomic nervous system (the “fight, flight, or flee” responses). It is also possible that THC causes a racing heart by directly binding to heart tissue. Because the brain interprets a rapid heart rate as a “fight or flight” response, feelings of anxiety can frequently accompany a high dose of THC, though it is common for this side effect to diminish over time as people develop tolerance to the effects of THC. 
    this is what weed paranoia looks like pic.twitter.com/1Lo1UE0998 — mila (@hatingmenbot) July 17, 2019 By starting at a low dose, and increasing slowly over time, ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Canadians Spend Nearly A Billion Dollars On Recreational Cannabis In First Year Since Legalization
    It’s been a little over a year since Canada legalized recreational weed across the entire country. Throughout that year, a lot has changed and evolved in the country’s legal cannabis industry. Now, new stats show exactly how much Canadians have spent on recreational weed. According to the new numbers, which come from Statistics Canada, the country as a whole spent just under $1 billion in year one of legalization. That works out to be roughly $24 per Canadian. New Stats Put Number on High Demand for Legal Weed The new data covers October 2018—the month that weed became legal in Canada—through September 2019, covering almost one year exactly. In that time frame, Canadians spent $907,833,000 on recreational marijuana. This number is helpful, as it puts a specific amount on what had previously been recognized only very generically as a year of very high demand for recreational weed. Recreational cannabis officially became legal in the country on October 17, 2018. Right away, there was massive demand. So much so, in fact, that shops and online retailers around the country started running out of product. In the months immediately following legalization, there were predictions of months-long supply shortages. Many of those concerns came from the fear that cultivators and producers wouldn’t be able to harvest fast enough to restock shelves at retailers. Based on a province by province breakdown of purchases, demand was the highest in Yukon. There, per capita sales came in at $103 per person. Prince Edward Island was the second highest. The average in that territory was $97 per person. On the other end of the spectrum, British Columbia had the lowest per capita purchases, coming in at an average of only $10 per person. Brick and Mortar vs. Online Retailers One of the interesting details highlighted in the new stats is the difference between brick and mortar retailers and online sellers. In some provinces, the only place to purchase legal weed is on province-run websites. Meanwhile, other provinces allow for brick and mortar shops to sell legal weed. Taken as a whole, Canada saw a steady increase in the number of brick and mortar stores throughout the first year of legal weed. Specifically, Statistics Canada said there were 217 physical retail stores in March 2019. Just a few months later, in July 2019, there were 407 brick and mortar shops. Interestingly, access to physical retailers appeared to draw a significant portion of business away from online sellers. More specifically, stats show that as the number of brick and ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • San Francisco’s First Black-Owned Dispensary To Open This Month
    Growing up, San Francisco’s first Black dispensary owner Shawn Richard sold marijuana on the streets of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. He was far from the first person to do so. The Haight gave birth to the 1960s hippie movement and cannabis has long been a cornerstone of the area’s culture. But now, on December 21, Richard will open the doors of Berner on Haight, the neighborhood’s very first legal marijuana dispensary. Speaking of pioneer moves, Richard is also the city’s first business owner to emerge from its cannabis equity program. His success is an encouraging sign that San Francisco is taking some action to reverse the long-running injustices of the Drug War, and in so doing, support a Black community that has dwindled dramatically over the last decade. “This is going to be a store like no other store,” Richard told High Times in a phone interview. “It’s going to be real up to date, real modern, but it gives you that Haight Street feeling when you walk in.” Richard is partnering with San Francisco-born rapper Cookies a.k.a. Gilbert Milam, already a cannabis industry pro who opened his fifth eponymous marijuana store earlier this month in Oakland. But the two hit a snag when they went to name their Haight Street location. San Francisco regulations prohibit dispensaries from marketing themselves with kid-friendly language, and apparently “Cookies” didn’t cut it as an appropriate cannabis store name in the eyes of the authorities. The two opted to dub the project Berner’s, after Cookies’ alias. That’s not to say that city bureaucracy hasn’t assisted the project in other ways. Richard is the first graduate of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis’ equity program, which prioritizes and gives financial support to businesses led by entrepreneurs who have been previously impacted by the War on Drugs; low income would-be business owners; longtime city residents; and those who live in low income neighborhoods. The city also requires all prospective cannabis business owners to demonstrate how they will support equity partners to take part in the industry. But the equity program remains largely undefined, notwithstanding a series of six-week educational workshops that have been offered for potential entrepreneurs. With his history of activism in the community, Richard was a natural choice for the program’s first equity partner. He started a 501(c)3 named Brothers Against Violence over 25 years ago. He also spent three years at Folsom State Prison for selling cocaine. He first started dealing at 13, and found it hard to leave the illegal ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • MLB To Remove Cannabis From List Of Abused Drugs, Will Test For Opioids And Cocaine
    Still reeling from the sudden death of a young pitcher, Major League Baseball and its players’ union have agreed to a policy under which players will be tested for opioids and cocaine. The policy, which was announced Thursday, comes a little more than five months after the Los Angeles Angels’ Tyler Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas. Skaggs, who was only 27, died after choking on his own vomit, and was found by an examiner to have alcohol and two opioid-based painkillers, fentanyl and oxycodone, in his system. The untimely death prompted discussion for the new drug testing policy, which is expected to take effect next season. “The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a statement, as quoted by ESPN. “It is our hope that this agreement — which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education — will help protect the health and safety of our Players.” Baseball Players On Board Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that the league’s players “are overwhelmingly in favor of expanding our drug-testing regimen to include opioids and want to take a leadership role in helping to resolve this national epidemic.” The policy change also includes a reclassification of how the league approaches marijuana, which ESPN reported will now be treated the same as alcohol, which means players will be referred to voluntary treatment. Previously, players who didn’t go along with the treatment plan for marijuana were were subject to fines. That punishment is now out, and players in both the major and minor leagues will be able to use marijuana to treat injuries without the prospect of discipline from the league office. That’s a potentially milestone precedent, as other professional sports leagues increasingly consider allowing players to use cannabis as a method of pain treatment instead of deadly prescription painkillers. The National Football League, which lists marijuana as a banned substance, launched a study earlier this year in conjunction with its own players’ union to examine the potential of medical cannabis, as well as the use of prescription drugs by its players. NFL players are regularly tested for banned substances, and violation of the league’s marijuana policy results in fines and suspensions.  Under the MLB drug policy, the league will test players for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol; those who test positive will be referred to a treatment ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • Peru Effectively Launches Its Medical Marijuana Program
    Government officials effectively launched Peru’s medical marijuana program last week with the publication of regulations for the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Although some rules to implement the South American nation’s 2017 law legalizing medical marijuana had been issued by decree earlier this year, they did not include guidelines for companies to apply for required licenses. Under the new rules, licenses will be available for research, production, import, wholesale commercialization, seed production, and retail sales of cannabis. To obtain a license, applicants must submit detailed information including agricultural production plans and security protocols. Regulators also issued rules that will allow businesses with production licenses to import seeds from other countries including Colombia. However, some regulations including the procedures for exporting medical marijuana products to other nations have not yet been issued. “While there are always more details that regulators need to figure out, these guidelines represent the initial building blocks that will allow Peru to create a framework for companies to start capitalizing on different businesses opportunities, joining the global cannabis industry,” said Andrés Vázquez Vargas, the executive director of agricultural consulting firm ACM Peru. “The long-awaited guidelines just published allow businesses to really start having meaningful operations in the country,” he added. Medical Marijuana Legalized in 2017 The medicinal use of cannabis was legalized in Peru in 2017 following generations of strict enforcement of laws prohibiting marijuana. As he signed the legislation, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that it was time to reject cannabis’s reputation as a dangerous drug. “Here we are breaking with a myth,” he said. “Peru is turning several pages, moving toward modernity.” The Peruvian congress passed the bill legalizing medical marijuana in response to the work of Buscando Esperanza (Spanish for Searching for Hope), a group of mothers who were covertly cultivating cannabis to create medicine for their seriously ill children. Ana Álvarez, a leader of the group, had been making a tincture for her son. “Anthony has suffered from severe epilepsy since he was 3 years old,” she told High Times last year. “For years, he had seven or eight fits each day. Pharmaceuticals would work only for three or four months. Trying one medicine, another—that’s how the years passed. We went to different neurologists, they all said the same thing—there’s no cure. And with each fit, neurons are killed, and the condition worsens.” With the cannabis tincture, however, Anthony’s seizures have been reduced to about two per day. The severity of the seizures has lessened, as well. He is ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • State’s Attorney for Illinois’ Cook County Files Over 1,000 Cannabis Expungements
    In less than a month, millions of Illinois adults will be able to buy marijuana legally for the first time. But before that, the state is doing right by those who got busted in the previous era.  Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney for Cook County, Illinois (where Chicago is the county seat), went to court on Wednesday to file a motion calling for the expungement of a little more than 1,000 low-level and non-violent convictions for possession of less than an ounce of pot.  “As a prosecutor who has previously prosecuted these cases, we must own our role in the harm we have caused, particularly to communities of color and we must actively work to play our part in reversing those harms,” Foxx said, as quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times.  The Sun-Times reported that Wednesday’s hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago drew a crowd of activists and lawmakers, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. An Ongoing Effort In June, Pritzker signed a bill making Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and expunge the records of 800,000 residents in the state who were previously convicted of petty, non-violent cannabis possession.  “Today Illinois is demonstrating everything that can be accomplished when we set aside our comfort with the status quo and instead govern with the belief that our best days are ahead,” Pritzker said at a press conference announcing the law. “With this legislation our state is once again a leader.”  The new law officially takes effect on January 1, when residents aged 21 and older will be able to buy pot at local dispensaries and possess as many as 30 grams of marijuana (visitors to Illinois will only be able to have half that amount in their possession).  The Sun-Times reported that many of the 1,000 residents on whose behalf Foxx filed the motion likely aren’t yet aware that they were granted relief, but Foxx said they will be notified as such in the mail.  According to the newspaper, Foxx “personally read the first 100 names into the record one-by-one” at the hearing on Wednesday as Judge Timothy Evans signed the orders and handed them to his clerk for a final stamp of approval.  ”I commend you and your office and all those who supported this legislation. I think it’s altogether appropriate,” Evans said, as quoted by the Sun-Times. The post State’s Attorney for Illinois’ Cook County Files Over 1,000 Cannabis Expungements appeared first on High Times. ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • MLB Removes Marijuana From Banned Substances List For Baseball Players
    Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB players union announced on Thursday that they have reached an agreement to remove marijuana from the list of banned substances and will begin to treat its consumption by players in the same way that  alcohol use is handled. The agreement is the product of negotiations on the league's drug policy, with both parties agreeing that steps must be taken to handle drug misuse through a treatment-focused model, rather than by simply imposing penalties. With that, MLB will also start to test for opioids and cocaine, and players who test positive will be referred to treatment. Only those who refuse the treatment program will be penalized.
    Today, @MLB and the @MLB_PLAYERS jointly announced significant changes to the Drug of Abuse provisions of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. pic.twitter.com/jIie1JDVAg — MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) December 12, 2019 The cannabis change reflects an attempt to modernize the league's drug policy as more states move to enact legalization. “Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties' Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides for mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player's Club or the Commissioner's Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids,” MLB said in a press release. In other words, players will only face discipline for violations related to unsanctioned conduct while under the influence, rather than simply for testing positive for THC. Previously, a positive test resulted in mandatory treatment, and failure to comply was punishable by a fine of up to $35,000. At the same time, MLB is adding several substances to its list of drugs that will be tested: synthetic cannabinoids, cocaine, and opioids including fentanyl. Additionally, players will be required to participate in educational programs on “the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana.” The programs will focus on “evidence-based and health-first approaches based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.” The changes will take effect beginning with the 2020 Spring Training. “In agreeing to these modifications to the Program, MLB and the MLBPA continue to ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-12
  • Brothers In Hemp-Weed Mixup Consider Suing New York City And The Police Department
    NEW YORK (AP) — The bust was a bust, and it could end up costing New York City some serious green. A day after prosecutors dropped criminal charges in a case spotlighting confusion over hemp, marijuana and conflicting laws, the Brooklyn brothers caught in the chaos took the first step toward suing the city and the police department. Oren and Ronen Levy filed notices of claim Wednesday, saying the “nightmare” ordeal that began with Ronen’s Nov. 2 arrest and the seizure of 106 pounds (48 kilograms) of hemp plants tarnished their reputations and threatened their livelihoods selling CBD, the extract showing up lately in everything candy to coffee. A notice of claim isn’t a lawsuit, but could pave the way for one. State law requires such a document, which outlines allegations, at the start of legal action against a municipal entity. The police department said it will review the lawsuit if one is filed. Police boasted on social media about the bust, but Oren Levy said officers relied only on a field test that came back positive for marijuana while ignoring lab test results and other paperwork he provided that showed the plants were hemp, not marijuana. Oren Levy says he’s out about $40,000 between legal fees and the cost of the plants, and was told told not to expect them back, while Ronen Levy was shaken by his arrest on felony marijuana possession charges. Through prominent civil rights lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, the brothers are demanding $10 million. Moreover, Oren Levy said, they want the officers held accountable. “What they did is completely illegal, and these are the people we have to trust to keep us safe?” Oren Levy said. Complicating matters are conflicting laws on hemp, CBD and related products. The U.S. government cleared the way for the CBD explosion last year when it removed industrial hemp from the list of illegal drugs, so long as it contains 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in cannabis that causes people to get high. CBD, or cannabidiol, is also found in marijuana but does not have an intoxicating effect. Some people say it provides them with pain and anxiety relief. New York penal law still considers hemp illegal, regardless of THC level. The state’s agriculture department has been running a pilot program for the sale and distribution of hemp, but authorities said neither the Levys nor the Vermont farm that supplied the plants had the required permits to participate. Oren Levy said it’s his understanding that no ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • The Best Blunt Wraps for Every Stoner
    After a long day, there's nothing like rolling up a blunt and blowing down. Rolling papers, glass, and vapes are cool, but blunt wraps will forever be the OG vehicle for weed. They burn slow, come in tons of flavors and are ideal for passing around a smoke circle.  Looking for the perfect wrap for your next smoke sesh? From the classics to the obscure, here are 10 of the best blunt wraps on the market.  Dutch Masters  As the great Missy Elliott once said, “pass that dutch.” Made with natural tobacco-leaf wrappers, Dutch Masters cigars are famously filled with bud for a mellow smoking experience. It's Palma Dutches, often called vanilla dutches despite being unflavored, are always a solid option when choosing a blunt wrap that everyone will like. Dutch Masters also makes great cigarillos in tasty flavors like Honey Fusion, Berry Fusion, and Rum Fusion.  Game Game cigarillos are another popular favorite for flavored cigarillos. They're a little harsher than a Swisher because they have an added exterior leaf, but less harsh than a Backwood. Additionally, they fall somewhere in the middle in terms of difficulty to roll. Basically, Games are the goldilocks of blunt wraps, and I highly recommend the green flavor (I know green is generally a color, but trust me on this one).  High Hemp High Hemp's organic wraps are made with domestically sourced hemp and contain naturally occurring CBD. They're also pesticide-free, GMO-free, and vegan. The wrap itself is a bit thicker than a typical blunt and comes with a filter tip to make rolling (and smoking) easier. I've tried several flavors including the original, Maui Mango, Grape Ape, and Honeypot Swirl. These are now my favorite non-tobacco wraps ever.  Minty's  For the blunt-lover who is looking for a tobacco-free alternative, Minty's are a great option. These herbal wraps are made from 100% organically grown, additive-free mint leaves. While some people enjoy the harshness of tobacco, Minty's offers a smooth, fresh hit that won't leave you coughing.  Backwoods Nothing screams “I'm a blunt aficionado” like rolling a Backwood. They're made from raw tobacco leaves so it takes a little bit of finesse to unroll the entire leaf then carefully roll it around your flower. The end product, however, is worth the effort. They come in ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-12
  • GOP Shows Support For Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Wisconsin
    For more than a decade, the Wisconsin Legislature has been where marijuana reform bills go to die. But a new bill to legalize some forms of medical marijuana, introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers instead of the usual cohort of Democrats, may fare differently. At the very least, the new medical marijuana proposal may mean that the Wisconsin GOP’s brick-wall opposition to marijuana legalization is beginning to crack. GOP Lawmakers Hope to Begin Hearings on Medical Cannabis Bill Next Month In Wisconsin, public support for medical marijuana legalization is significant. At 83 percent, according to an April poll conducted by Marquette University Law School, more people back medical cannabis than ever before. Support for full legalization has even tipped the scales into the majority, at 59 percent according to the same poll. But neither strong public support nor Democrats’ persistent efforts have been able to budge Republican lawmakers on the issue of marijuana reform. The GOP in Wisconsin won’t even get behind decriminalization efforts. But in a region that has moved decisively into the legal cannabis industry, with neighboring states Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois having legalized medical cannabis and Michigan and Illinois recent legalization recreational cannabis, attitudes may be shifting among some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin. But certainly not all GOP lawmakers. As recently as September this year, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald dismissed the idea that a legalization bill would pass the GOP-controlled Senate. “Everyone knows that medical marijuana leads to legalized marijuana,” Fitzgerald said. Indeed, the Senate GOP have prevented progress on both Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ medical cannabis proposal from earlier this year and a bill introduced in October by 36 Democrats (and one Republican). “It’s time for Wisconsin to do the right thing and allow doctors to prescribe medication that’s best (for) their patient and their families,” Gov. Evers wrote in a tweet supporting the bill. New Medical Cannabis Bill Is First-Ever Introduced by Wisconsin Republicans Rep. Mary Felzkowski and Sen. Kathy Bernier are the two GOP lawmakers sponsoring a new bill to legalize medical cannabis. In fact, their proposal marks the first time Wisconsin Republicans have introduced legislation to legalize cannabis. Rep. Felzkowski and Sen. Bernier know they have public support for their proposal. In addition to polls, the GOP lawmakers point to non-binding support votes held in communities across Wisconsin. The people want to have the conversation, and Felzkowski and Bernier hope to get it started. “We can and must find a way to make ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-11
  • MLB Plans To Remove Marijuana From Banned Substances List For Minor Leaguers
    Major League Baseball (MLB) is making a move to address opioids and remove marijuana from its banned substances list for minor league players. MLB and the MLB players' union are negotiating the new drug agreement, which has not yet been finalized. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first tweeted the news.
    As part of a new agreement on opioids being negotiated between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, MLB will remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers, sources tell The Athletic. Major leaguers have not been subject to testing for marijuana. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2019 This new agreement would be for minor leaguers who aren't on the 40-man roster of players who are eligible to be added to the active major league roster. So far in 2019, there have been 13 players suspended for “drugs of abuse,” a blanket term that includes marijuana. The current penalties for a positive test are strict. Players are suspended 25 games for their first positive drug test, 50 games for a second, 100 games for a third and are banned for life for a fourth. Players on the Major League 40-man roster have not been regularly tested for cannabis since 2002, when the league's focus shifted to performance-enhancing drugs. Major leaguers are only tested if there is “probable cause.” A positive THC test is 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter of urine, and it results in a $35,000 fine and a treatment plan, but no suspension. Drugs of abuse on the current banned substances list include natural cannabinoids, THC, synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice), cocaine, LSD, opiates (e.g., oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine), MDMA, GHB and PCP.
    This is the full list of “drugs of abuse” previously banned under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program: pic.twitter.com/z34q60wUGg — Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) December 10, 2019 Tony Clark, MLB players' union chief, is optimistic an agreement could be reached before the year's end. The deal also includes opioid testing and a recovery plan. Minor league players who test positive for opioids would be “put into a treatment program rather than suspended,” CBS Sports reported. The Los Angeles Times first reported in October that changes may be coming to MLB at the behest ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-11
 
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s House of Representatives Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana
    The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is making history with the advancement of two new marijuana related bills. Most notably, the country’s House of Representatives just approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of cannabis. Taking things a step further, the nation is also considering a second bill. This one could set up a framework for regulating the production and sale of marijuana. All in all, this new legislation could bring big changes to the country. But it could also have much broader implications throughout the region. Trinidad and Tobago Getting Close to Decriminalizing Weed On Wednesday, the House of Representatives in Trinidad and Tobago approved the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019. After the House’s approval, the bill will now move on to the Senate. The Senate will discuss and debate the bill before it goes up for a vote. All of that is reportedly going to take place this week and next week. If the Senate agrees on a final version of the bill and approves it, the legislation would eventually be sent back to the House for one more vote. And from there, it would finally be handed on to President Paula-Mae Weekes to be officially signed into law. The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019 introduces a number of big changes for cannabis law in the country. These include the following: A person can possess up to 30 grams of weed and five grams of resin without facing any criminal charges.Possession of between 30 and 60 grams of weed, and between five and 10 grams of resin, will face a fee of roughly $200 USD. Importantly, this will not carry any criminal charges.Possession of 60 to 100 grams of weed, or 14 grams of resin, would carry a penalty as high as $11,092 USD.Citizens will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at home. A previous version of this legislation allowed for home-growing male plants only. But this was changed, since male plants don’t actually produce smokable flowers.None of these will result in criminal offenses punishable by jail time. But, failure to pay fines could lead to additional fines and community service. Far-Reaching Impact Obviously, if these amendments pass into law it will immediately affect Trinidad and Tobago. But it could also have ripple effects throughout the Caribbean. According to Investopedia, Trinidad and Tobago is the wealthiest country in the Caribbean bloc, giving it a lot of weight and influence throughout the region. One More Piece of Cannabis Legislation While the nation ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Massachusetts Lifts Ban On Cannabis Vaping Products
    Cannabis regulators in Massachusetts have modified a ban on marijuana vape products that will allow businesses to begin selling newly manufactured goods as soon as retailers can get them on the shelf. However, vape products manufactured before December 12 will remain under a quarantine imposed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) on November 12. Under the amended quarantine order, medical marijuana treatment centers and adult-use dispensaries will be permitted to sell devices that vaporize cannabis flower or concentrates provided that they comply with new regulations. November’s quarantine order was issued in response to the outbreak of lung illnesses that has been dubbed e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) by health officials. In its ongoing investigation of the lung injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified vitamin E acetate as a toxin of concern. Shawn Collins, the executive director of the CCC, emphasized that the new regulations, which were put in place in the interest of consumer safety, only apply to products purchased from licensed retailers. “These protections exist in the legal market,” he said. “They do not exist in the illicit market.” New Rules Push Transparency Dispensaries that carry cannabis vaping products will be required to post a warning and disclaimer to consumers that reads “This product has been tested for contaminants, including Vitamin E Acetate, with no adverse findings. WARNING: Vaporizer Products may contain ingredients harmful to health when inhaled.” The warning must also be contained on an insert provided with vaping products. Amanda Rose, the president of cannabis retailer New England Treatment Access, said that the new regulations will help advance consumer safety and confidence in licensed cannabis businesses. “[The commission’s decision] is really a win for our customers and our patients who can now have access to a product that has been tested, that’s well regulated, that comes with accurate information about what’s inside those products, and that really drives them back into the regulated market and away from the illicit market,” she said. Businesses selling cannabis vaping products “will be required to list their active or inactive additives, including the amount infused or incorporated during the manufacturing process, including thickening agents, thinning agents, and specific terpenes,” according to Thursday’s announcement from the CCC. Regulators are also requiring transparency on the parts used in vape pens and other devices, which “will be required to include a written insert that identifies their manufacturer, battery, and other known components, and discloses the materials used in their atomizer coil. This information will be required ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Virginia Attorney General Hosts Cannabis Summit To Discuss Reform
    On Wednesday, Virginia attorney general Mark Herring, a Democrat, hosted a day-long summit in the capital city of Richmond, where he made his case for joining the more than dozen states and cities that have lifted pot prohibition. “Front and center is badly needed reform of our cannabis laws in Virginia. I don’t believe that Virginia’s current system of criminalizing cannabis is working. It is needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions. The human and social costs of this are enormous,” Herring said, as quoted by Cannabis Wire. Herring bolstered his argument by pointing to some statistics. He noted that the number of pot-related arrests in Virginia “more than tripled” between 1999 and 2018, going from 9,000 to 29,000. Herring also pointed to a recent poll showing that more than 60 percent of Virginians support legalization for adults. “It is clear to me that it is time for a new, smarter approach to cannabis in Virginia. And the question that we’re here to answer today is: what does that look like?” Herring said, according to Cannabis Wire. “To me, the best path forward is to immediately decriminalize possession of small amounts and start moving toward legal regulated adult use.” Herring, who is running for governor in 2021, announced the summit last month as part of his effort to move legalization through the legislature, where Democrats control both chambers. Virginians in Favor of Decriminalization Herring announced his support for legalization in a tweet back in October. In the tweet, he cited the poll he mentioned at the summit on Wednesday. The poll, conducted by the University of Mary Washington, found that 61 percent of Virginians support legalization marijuana for recreational use—up from 39 percent when the school polled the same question only two years ago. “Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring wrote in the tweet. The summit featured panels and presentations that, among other things, focused on other states like Colorado and Illinois where marijuana has already been legalized for recreational use. It also included remarks by other Virginia lawmakers, including Democratic state Sen. Dave Marsden, who preached caution as the state moves toward legalization.“What we have to be careful of is that full legalization, or recreational, or whatever you want to call it, that people drift away from this as medicine,” Marsden said, as quoted by Cannabis Wire. “We have to proceed, I think, cautiously. Clearly, we need to do decriminalization.” The post Virginia Attorney General Hosts Cannabis ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Study Finds Washington’s Cannabis Shops Are More Prevalent In Disadvantaged Areas
    A study by Washington State University researchers found that cannabis dispensaries tend to be located in lower income neighborhoods. Though it did not offer definitive answers about the causes of this correlation, its results are leading some local Washington policymakers to question current zoning laws that affect where marijuana businesses can be located. “It’s the same thing you see with NIMBYism, not in my backyard,” Spokane city council president Ben Stuckart said when contacted for his take on the study by a local publication. “NIMBYism is tough. If you tried to change it, then you’d have all those same neighborhoods coming out to speak against it.” Stuckart was asked to comment because he has lobbied to open up prime Spokane neighborhood commercial areas to cannabis businesses. When the city council voted on zoning regulations in September, every other member voted against his suggestions to ease up on current restrictions. To Stuckart, policy decisions like these say everything you need to know about why marijuana businesses are located in the areas that they are. “It’s government decision-making, not just because of the industry,” he commented. A Question of Zoning Regulations Initiative 502 regulated adult use cannabis in 2012, and the rules that the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board developed to guide the industry allow local governments to set their own zoning regulations. Spokane County has customized its zoning laws to address cannabis “odor,” which county commissioner Al French says is the jurisdiction’s “No. 1 criteria.” Based on this worry, the county banned outdoor cultivation operations in 2016, raising concern for marijuana farmers committed to using sun grow techniques, which can also be much more environmentally friendly methods of growing cannabis. “You’ve got these businesses out here trying to operate normally, and they’re legal,” said executive director of the Washington Sun Grower’s Association. “But they’re up against regulations, laws and zoning — any number of things that are still treating them more harshly.” The same year, Spokane county also banned new dispensaries, and it has prohibited any future businesses from opening close to certain trails, Spokane city hall, and even vacant plots owned by libraries or school districts. It has also loosened state recommendations on how far away cannabis businesses must be located from schools and playgrounds. The WSU investigation, which was published by the Drug and Alcohol Review journal, tracked counts of cannabis growers, processors, and retail locations across the state. It employed a metric called the Area Deprivation Index to measure average area income, home values, plus employment ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Everything You Should Know About Weed Paranoia
    Paranoia has always been the Achilles heel of nature's most wondrous plant. As with all things in life, a dark side exists in the ying-yang of cannabis use. While a medicinal cure-all to many, some weed exists as a portal to one's personal hell, complete with spells of anxiety, doubts of self-worth and the psychological implications that follow.   The web woven from the many intersections of marijuana and paranoia is built on a strange bed of scientific facts and first-hand accounts, peppered by the lies lingering from Reefer Madness-era propaganda and its accompanying pseudoscience.  There are scientific theories as to why weed causes paranoia, and then there are a plethora of cultural stigmas surrounding the plant itself. The public perception exists somewhere between the two.  In an attempt to dissipate the metaphorical smoke surrounding this topic's many mirrors, here is a brief explainer of weed paranoia, addressing each of the scientific and cultural facets of this strange, hazy paradox.  The science behind weed paranoia First, it might be helpful to distinguish anxiety from paranoia. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension that something bad will happen; this mood state is a common response to stress. Paranoia, however, means an excessive or irrational fear that someone is trying to harm you. Because of cannabis' status as a Schedule I substance (and ensuing research barriers) few scientific studies have focused on understanding exactly why weed makes people either anxious or paranoid. Leading research points to a few different theories, and it stands to reason that THC is a major culprit in the unpleasant feelings associated with cannabis. New or infrequent cannabis users may be surprised when they experience a racing heart after consuming a cannabis-based product. This effect is caused by THC, which activates the autonomic nervous system (the “fight, flight, or flee” responses). It is also possible that THC causes a racing heart by directly binding to heart tissue. Because the brain interprets a rapid heart rate as a “fight or flight” response, feelings of anxiety can frequently accompany a high dose of THC, though it is common for this side effect to diminish over time as people develop tolerance to the effects of THC. 
    this is what weed paranoia looks like pic.twitter.com/1Lo1UE0998 — mila (@hatingmenbot) July 17, 2019 By starting at a low dose, and increasing slowly over time, ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-13
  • Canadians Spend Nearly A Billion Dollars On Recreational Cannabis In First Year Since Legalization
    It’s been a little over a year since Canada legalized recreational weed across the entire country. Throughout that year, a lot has changed and evolved in the country’s legal cannabis industry. Now, new stats show exactly how much Canadians have spent on recreational weed. According to the new numbers, which come from Statistics Canada, the country as a whole spent just under $1 billion in year one of legalization. That works out to be roughly $24 per Canadian. New Stats Put Number on High Demand for Legal Weed The new data covers October 2018—the month that weed became legal in Canada—through September 2019, covering almost one year exactly. In that time frame, Canadians spent $907,833,000 on recreational marijuana. This number is helpful, as it puts a specific amount on what had previously been recognized only very generically as a year of very high demand for recreational weed. Recreational cannabis officially became legal in the country on October 17, 2018. Right away, there was massive demand. So much so, in fact, that shops and online retailers around the country started running out of product. In the months immediately following legalization, there were predictions of months-long supply shortages. Many of those concerns came from the fear that cultivators and producers wouldn’t be able to harvest fast enough to restock shelves at retailers. Based on a province by province breakdown of purchases, demand was the highest in Yukon. There, per capita sales came in at $103 per person. Prince Edward Island was the second highest. The average in that territory was $97 per person. On the other end of the spectrum, British Columbia had the lowest per capita purchases, coming in at an average of only $10 per person. Brick and Mortar vs. Online Retailers One of the interesting details highlighted in the new stats is the difference between brick and mortar retailers and online sellers. In some provinces, the only place to purchase legal weed is on province-run websites. Meanwhile, other provinces allow for brick and mortar shops to sell legal weed. Taken as a whole, Canada saw a steady increase in the number of brick and mortar stores throughout the first year of legal weed. Specifically, Statistics Canada said there were 217 physical retail stores in March 2019. Just a few months later, in July 2019, there were 407 brick and mortar shops. Interestingly, access to physical retailers appeared to draw a significant portion of business away from online sellers. More specifically, stats show that as the number of brick and ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • San Francisco’s First Black-Owned Dispensary To Open This Month
    Growing up, San Francisco’s first Black dispensary owner Shawn Richard sold marijuana on the streets of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. He was far from the first person to do so. The Haight gave birth to the 1960s hippie movement and cannabis has long been a cornerstone of the area’s culture. But now, on December 21, Richard will open the doors of Berner on Haight, the neighborhood’s very first legal marijuana dispensary. Speaking of pioneer moves, Richard is also the city’s first business owner to emerge from its cannabis equity program. His success is an encouraging sign that San Francisco is taking some action to reverse the long-running injustices of the Drug War, and in so doing, support a Black community that has dwindled dramatically over the last decade. “This is going to be a store like no other store,” Richard told High Times in a phone interview. “It’s going to be real up to date, real modern, but it gives you that Haight Street feeling when you walk in.” Richard is partnering with San Francisco-born rapper Cookies a.k.a. Gilbert Milam, already a cannabis industry pro who opened his fifth eponymous marijuana store earlier this month in Oakland. But the two hit a snag when they went to name their Haight Street location. San Francisco regulations prohibit dispensaries from marketing themselves with kid-friendly language, and apparently “Cookies” didn’t cut it as an appropriate cannabis store name in the eyes of the authorities. The two opted to dub the project Berner’s, after Cookies’ alias. That’s not to say that city bureaucracy hasn’t assisted the project in other ways. Richard is the first graduate of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis’ equity program, which prioritizes and gives financial support to businesses led by entrepreneurs who have been previously impacted by the War on Drugs; low income would-be business owners; longtime city residents; and those who live in low income neighborhoods. The city also requires all prospective cannabis business owners to demonstrate how they will support equity partners to take part in the industry. But the equity program remains largely undefined, notwithstanding a series of six-week educational workshops that have been offered for potential entrepreneurs. With his history of activism in the community, Richard was a natural choice for the program’s first equity partner. He started a 501(c)3 named Brothers Against Violence over 25 years ago. He also spent three years at Folsom State Prison for selling cocaine. He first started dealing at 13, and found it hard to leave the illegal ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-13
  • MLB To Remove Cannabis From List Of Abused Drugs, Will Test For Opioids And Cocaine
    Still reeling from the sudden death of a young pitcher, Major League Baseball and its players’ union have agreed to a policy under which players will be tested for opioids and cocaine. The policy, which was announced Thursday, comes a little more than five months after the Los Angeles Angels’ Tyler Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas. Skaggs, who was only 27, died after choking on his own vomit, and was found by an examiner to have alcohol and two opioid-based painkillers, fentanyl and oxycodone, in his system. The untimely death prompted discussion for the new drug testing policy, which is expected to take effect next season. “The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a statement, as quoted by ESPN. “It is our hope that this agreement — which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education — will help protect the health and safety of our Players.” Baseball Players On Board Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that the league’s players “are overwhelmingly in favor of expanding our drug-testing regimen to include opioids and want to take a leadership role in helping to resolve this national epidemic.” The policy change also includes a reclassification of how the league approaches marijuana, which ESPN reported will now be treated the same as alcohol, which means players will be referred to voluntary treatment. Previously, players who didn’t go along with the treatment plan for marijuana were were subject to fines. That punishment is now out, and players in both the major and minor leagues will be able to use marijuana to treat injuries without the prospect of discipline from the league office. That’s a potentially milestone precedent, as other professional sports leagues increasingly consider allowing players to use cannabis as a method of pain treatment instead of deadly prescription painkillers. The National Football League, which lists marijuana as a banned substance, launched a study earlier this year in conjunction with its own players’ union to examine the potential of medical cannabis, as well as the use of prescription drugs by its players. NFL players are regularly tested for banned substances, and violation of the league’s marijuana policy results in fines and suspensions.  Under the MLB drug policy, the league will test players for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol; those who test positive will be referred to a treatment ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • Peru Effectively Launches Its Medical Marijuana Program
    Government officials effectively launched Peru’s medical marijuana program last week with the publication of regulations for the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Although some rules to implement the South American nation’s 2017 law legalizing medical marijuana had been issued by decree earlier this year, they did not include guidelines for companies to apply for required licenses. Under the new rules, licenses will be available for research, production, import, wholesale commercialization, seed production, and retail sales of cannabis. To obtain a license, applicants must submit detailed information including agricultural production plans and security protocols. Regulators also issued rules that will allow businesses with production licenses to import seeds from other countries including Colombia. However, some regulations including the procedures for exporting medical marijuana products to other nations have not yet been issued. “While there are always more details that regulators need to figure out, these guidelines represent the initial building blocks that will allow Peru to create a framework for companies to start capitalizing on different businesses opportunities, joining the global cannabis industry,” said Andrés Vázquez Vargas, the executive director of agricultural consulting firm ACM Peru. “The long-awaited guidelines just published allow businesses to really start having meaningful operations in the country,” he added. Medical Marijuana Legalized in 2017 The medicinal use of cannabis was legalized in Peru in 2017 following generations of strict enforcement of laws prohibiting marijuana. As he signed the legislation, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that it was time to reject cannabis’s reputation as a dangerous drug. “Here we are breaking with a myth,” he said. “Peru is turning several pages, moving toward modernity.” The Peruvian congress passed the bill legalizing medical marijuana in response to the work of Buscando Esperanza (Spanish for Searching for Hope), a group of mothers who were covertly cultivating cannabis to create medicine for their seriously ill children. Ana Álvarez, a leader of the group, had been making a tincture for her son. “Anthony has suffered from severe epilepsy since he was 3 years old,” she told High Times last year. “For years, he had seven or eight fits each day. Pharmaceuticals would work only for three or four months. Trying one medicine, another—that’s how the years passed. We went to different neurologists, they all said the same thing—there’s no cure. And with each fit, neurons are killed, and the condition worsens.” With the cannabis tincture, however, Anthony’s seizures have been reduced to about two per day. The severity of the seizures has lessened, as well. He is ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • State’s Attorney for Illinois’ Cook County Files Over 1,000 Cannabis Expungements
    In less than a month, millions of Illinois adults will be able to buy marijuana legally for the first time. But before that, the state is doing right by those who got busted in the previous era.  Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney for Cook County, Illinois (where Chicago is the county seat), went to court on Wednesday to file a motion calling for the expungement of a little more than 1,000 low-level and non-violent convictions for possession of less than an ounce of pot.  “As a prosecutor who has previously prosecuted these cases, we must own our role in the harm we have caused, particularly to communities of color and we must actively work to play our part in reversing those harms,” Foxx said, as quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times.  The Sun-Times reported that Wednesday’s hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago drew a crowd of activists and lawmakers, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. An Ongoing Effort In June, Pritzker signed a bill making Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and expunge the records of 800,000 residents in the state who were previously convicted of petty, non-violent cannabis possession.  “Today Illinois is demonstrating everything that can be accomplished when we set aside our comfort with the status quo and instead govern with the belief that our best days are ahead,” Pritzker said at a press conference announcing the law. “With this legislation our state is once again a leader.”  The new law officially takes effect on January 1, when residents aged 21 and older will be able to buy pot at local dispensaries and possess as many as 30 grams of marijuana (visitors to Illinois will only be able to have half that amount in their possession).  The Sun-Times reported that many of the 1,000 residents on whose behalf Foxx filed the motion likely aren’t yet aware that they were granted relief, but Foxx said they will be notified as such in the mail.  According to the newspaper, Foxx “personally read the first 100 names into the record one-by-one” at the hearing on Wednesday as Judge Timothy Evans signed the orders and handed them to his clerk for a final stamp of approval.  ”I commend you and your office and all those who supported this legislation. I think it’s altogether appropriate,” Evans said, as quoted by the Sun-Times. The post State’s Attorney for Illinois’ Cook County Files Over 1,000 Cannabis Expungements appeared first on High Times. ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • MLB Removes Marijuana From Banned Substances List For Baseball Players
    Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB players union announced on Thursday that they have reached an agreement to remove marijuana from the list of banned substances and will begin to treat its consumption by players in the same way that  alcohol use is handled. The agreement is the product of negotiations on the league's drug policy, with both parties agreeing that steps must be taken to handle drug misuse through a treatment-focused model, rather than by simply imposing penalties. With that, MLB will also start to test for opioids and cocaine, and players who test positive will be referred to treatment. Only those who refuse the treatment program will be penalized.
    Today, @MLB and the @MLB_PLAYERS jointly announced significant changes to the Drug of Abuse provisions of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. pic.twitter.com/jIie1JDVAg — MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) December 12, 2019 The cannabis change reflects an attempt to modernize the league's drug policy as more states move to enact legalization. “Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties' Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides for mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player's Club or the Commissioner's Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids,” MLB said in a press release. In other words, players will only face discipline for violations related to unsanctioned conduct while under the influence, rather than simply for testing positive for THC. Previously, a positive test resulted in mandatory treatment, and failure to comply was punishable by a fine of up to $35,000. At the same time, MLB is adding several substances to its list of drugs that will be tested: synthetic cannabinoids, cocaine, and opioids including fentanyl. Additionally, players will be required to participate in educational programs on “the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana.” The programs will focus on “evidence-based and health-first approaches based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.” The changes will take effect beginning with the 2020 Spring Training. “In agreeing to these modifications to the Program, MLB and the MLBPA continue to ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-12
  • Brothers In Hemp-Weed Mixup Consider Suing New York City And The Police Department
    NEW YORK (AP) — The bust was a bust, and it could end up costing New York City some serious green. A day after prosecutors dropped criminal charges in a case spotlighting confusion over hemp, marijuana and conflicting laws, the Brooklyn brothers caught in the chaos took the first step toward suing the city and the police department. Oren and Ronen Levy filed notices of claim Wednesday, saying the “nightmare” ordeal that began with Ronen’s Nov. 2 arrest and the seizure of 106 pounds (48 kilograms) of hemp plants tarnished their reputations and threatened their livelihoods selling CBD, the extract showing up lately in everything candy to coffee. A notice of claim isn’t a lawsuit, but could pave the way for one. State law requires such a document, which outlines allegations, at the start of legal action against a municipal entity. The police department said it will review the lawsuit if one is filed. Police boasted on social media about the bust, but Oren Levy said officers relied only on a field test that came back positive for marijuana while ignoring lab test results and other paperwork he provided that showed the plants were hemp, not marijuana. Oren Levy says he’s out about $40,000 between legal fees and the cost of the plants, and was told told not to expect them back, while Ronen Levy was shaken by his arrest on felony marijuana possession charges. Through prominent civil rights lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, the brothers are demanding $10 million. Moreover, Oren Levy said, they want the officers held accountable. “What they did is completely illegal, and these are the people we have to trust to keep us safe?” Oren Levy said. Complicating matters are conflicting laws on hemp, CBD and related products. The U.S. government cleared the way for the CBD explosion last year when it removed industrial hemp from the list of illegal drugs, so long as it contains 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in cannabis that causes people to get high. CBD, or cannabidiol, is also found in marijuana but does not have an intoxicating effect. Some people say it provides them with pain and anxiety relief. New York penal law still considers hemp illegal, regardless of THC level. The state’s agriculture department has been running a pilot program for the sale and distribution of hemp, but authorities said neither the Levys nor the Vermont farm that supplied the plants had the required permits to participate. Oren Levy said it’s his understanding that no ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-12
  • The Best Blunt Wraps for Every Stoner
    After a long day, there's nothing like rolling up a blunt and blowing down. Rolling papers, glass, and vapes are cool, but blunt wraps will forever be the OG vehicle for weed. They burn slow, come in tons of flavors and are ideal for passing around a smoke circle.  Looking for the perfect wrap for your next smoke sesh? From the classics to the obscure, here are 10 of the best blunt wraps on the market.  Dutch Masters  As the great Missy Elliott once said, “pass that dutch.” Made with natural tobacco-leaf wrappers, Dutch Masters cigars are famously filled with bud for a mellow smoking experience. It's Palma Dutches, often called vanilla dutches despite being unflavored, are always a solid option when choosing a blunt wrap that everyone will like. Dutch Masters also makes great cigarillos in tasty flavors like Honey Fusion, Berry Fusion, and Rum Fusion.  Game Game cigarillos are another popular favorite for flavored cigarillos. They're a little harsher than a Swisher because they have an added exterior leaf, but less harsh than a Backwood. Additionally, they fall somewhere in the middle in terms of difficulty to roll. Basically, Games are the goldilocks of blunt wraps, and I highly recommend the green flavor (I know green is generally a color, but trust me on this one).  High Hemp High Hemp's organic wraps are made with domestically sourced hemp and contain naturally occurring CBD. They're also pesticide-free, GMO-free, and vegan. The wrap itself is a bit thicker than a typical blunt and comes with a filter tip to make rolling (and smoking) easier. I've tried several flavors including the original, Maui Mango, Grape Ape, and Honeypot Swirl. These are now my favorite non-tobacco wraps ever.  Minty's  For the blunt-lover who is looking for a tobacco-free alternative, Minty's are a great option. These herbal wraps are made from 100% organically grown, additive-free mint leaves. While some people enjoy the harshness of tobacco, Minty's offers a smooth, fresh hit that won't leave you coughing.  Backwoods Nothing screams “I'm a blunt aficionado” like rolling a Backwood. They're made from raw tobacco leaves so it takes a little bit of finesse to unroll the entire leaf then carefully roll it around your flower. The end product, however, is worth the effort. They come in ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-12
  • GOP Shows Support For Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Wisconsin
    For more than a decade, the Wisconsin Legislature has been where marijuana reform bills go to die. But a new bill to legalize some forms of medical marijuana, introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers instead of the usual cohort of Democrats, may fare differently. At the very least, the new medical marijuana proposal may mean that the Wisconsin GOP’s brick-wall opposition to marijuana legalization is beginning to crack. GOP Lawmakers Hope to Begin Hearings on Medical Cannabis Bill Next Month In Wisconsin, public support for medical marijuana legalization is significant. At 83 percent, according to an April poll conducted by Marquette University Law School, more people back medical cannabis than ever before. Support for full legalization has even tipped the scales into the majority, at 59 percent according to the same poll. But neither strong public support nor Democrats’ persistent efforts have been able to budge Republican lawmakers on the issue of marijuana reform. The GOP in Wisconsin won’t even get behind decriminalization efforts. But in a region that has moved decisively into the legal cannabis industry, with neighboring states Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois having legalized medical cannabis and Michigan and Illinois recent legalization recreational cannabis, attitudes may be shifting among some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin. But certainly not all GOP lawmakers. As recently as September this year, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald dismissed the idea that a legalization bill would pass the GOP-controlled Senate. “Everyone knows that medical marijuana leads to legalized marijuana,” Fitzgerald said. Indeed, the Senate GOP have prevented progress on both Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ medical cannabis proposal from earlier this year and a bill introduced in October by 36 Democrats (and one Republican). “It’s time for Wisconsin to do the right thing and allow doctors to prescribe medication that’s best (for) their patient and their families,” Gov. Evers wrote in a tweet supporting the bill. New Medical Cannabis Bill Is First-Ever Introduced by Wisconsin Republicans Rep. Mary Felzkowski and Sen. Kathy Bernier are the two GOP lawmakers sponsoring a new bill to legalize medical cannabis. In fact, their proposal marks the first time Wisconsin Republicans have introduced legislation to legalize cannabis. Rep. Felzkowski and Sen. Bernier know they have public support for their proposal. In addition to polls, the GOP lawmakers point to non-binding support votes held in communities across Wisconsin. The people want to have the conversation, and Felzkowski and Bernier hope to get it started. “We can and must find a way to make ... read more
    Source: High TimesPublished on 2019-12-11
  • MLB Plans To Remove Marijuana From Banned Substances List For Minor Leaguers
    Major League Baseball (MLB) is making a move to address opioids and remove marijuana from its banned substances list for minor league players. MLB and the MLB players' union are negotiating the new drug agreement, which has not yet been finalized. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first tweeted the news.
    As part of a new agreement on opioids being negotiated between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, MLB will remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers, sources tell The Athletic. Major leaguers have not been subject to testing for marijuana. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2019 This new agreement would be for minor leaguers who aren't on the 40-man roster of players who are eligible to be added to the active major league roster. So far in 2019, there have been 13 players suspended for “drugs of abuse,” a blanket term that includes marijuana. The current penalties for a positive test are strict. Players are suspended 25 games for their first positive drug test, 50 games for a second, 100 games for a third and are banned for life for a fourth. Players on the Major League 40-man roster have not been regularly tested for cannabis since 2002, when the league's focus shifted to performance-enhancing drugs. Major leaguers are only tested if there is “probable cause.” A positive THC test is 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter of urine, and it results in a $35,000 fine and a treatment plan, but no suspension. Drugs of abuse on the current banned substances list include natural cannabinoids, THC, synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice), cocaine, LSD, opiates (e.g., oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine), MDMA, GHB and PCP.
    This is the full list of “drugs of abuse” previously banned under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program: pic.twitter.com/z34q60wUGg — Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) December 10, 2019 Tony Clark, MLB players' union chief, is optimistic an agreement could be reached before the year's end. The deal also includes opioid testing and a recovery plan. Minor league players who test positive for opioids would be “put into a treatment program rather than suspended,” CBS Sports reported. The Los Angeles Times first reported in October that changes may be coming to MLB at the behest ... read more
    Source: Marijuana.comPublished on 2019-12-11