Alaska Credit Union Launches Program to Serve the Legal Marijuana Industry

By Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, Marijuana Business Daily

An Alaska credit union has joined the growing ranks of state-chartered financial institutions to announce plans to serve the legal cannabis industry.

Credit Union 1 – a 66-year-old, Anchorage-based business – announced Thursday it is kicking off a pilot program to provide financial services to the state’s approved marijuana-related businesses – otherwise dubbed MRBs.

“Since 2014, when marijuana was legalized in Alaska, the lack of financial services for MRBs has flooded local streets with cash, resulting in a community safety issue,” the credit union explained in a news release.

Only legally operating MRBs will be served, the credit union noted – adding that those firms’ accounts “will be under constant, comprehensive monitoring by our compliance team to ensure all aspects of their businesses stay legal.”“Credit Union 1 hopes to help relieve this is issue by providing financial services to MRBs.”

Earlier this week, Ohio-based Wright Patt Credit Union announced plans to offer limited financial services to licensed medical marijuana operators in the Buckeye State.

FDA-Approved Marijuana Medicine Now Available by Prescription

By Nick Lindsey, HighTimes.com

The first FDA-approved, cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical drug is now for sale in the U.S.

After clearing all regulatory requirements, GW Pharmaceuticals’ CBD-based drug Epidiolex is now available in all 50 states. Although the U.S. government is now allowing this drug to be sold, the federal government still classifies actual cannabis as a Schedule I illegal substance.

Epidiolex Available by Prescription

Epidiolex is a seizure medication derived from cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. In particular, the drug is designed for patients 2-years-old and up. It is meant to treat two specific types of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Now that Epidiolex has received all necessary approvals, it is essentially treated as any other pharmaceutical drug. That means that patients with a prescription will be able to buy it. And GW Pharmaceuticals expects the drug to be covered by most insurance plans.

Notably, the drug will now be available to all patients regardless if they live in a medical marijuana state.

This is not the first time Epidiolex has made headlines. In fact, the drug’s move through the regulatory process has attracted a decent amount of attention.

For starters, an advisory committee recommended Epidiolex for approval back in April. That approval came relatively quickly when the FDA approved it in June.

Then, Epidiolex cleared the last remaining roadblocks in September. That month, the U.S. Department of Justice and the DEA both gave the drug the approvals needed to move it into the market.

In particular, the law enforcement agencies classified Epidiolex a Schedule V drug. Under that classification, the product is allowable as a prescription drug.

Interestingly, while Epidiolex was given Schedule V status, actual marijuana–from which Epidiolex is derived—remains a Schedule I drug. That category is reserved for “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Raising Questions in Medical Marijuana Community

For many in the medical marijuana community, Epidiolex’s relatively quick move into the market is not necessarily a thing to be celebrated. For starters, there are a lot of questions about why this pharmaceutical drug is approved as legal while actual cannabis—including THCand CBD—remains illegal.

Similarly, many have concerns over the price of the new drug. According to CNN, Epidiolex will cost $32,500 a year. And while GW Pharmaceuticals insists that price is in keeping with other anti-seizure medications, many are concerned by the high price point especially compared to regular medical marijuana.

In particular, Epidiolex has become a moment to question why marijuana—which can be grown and produced for much cheaper than an expensive pharmaceutical drug—is still illegal.

For some, the government’s willingness to approve a much more expensive pharmaceutical drug has the appearance of corporate favoritism.

And this is not the first time that there has been tension between pharmaceutical companies and the marijuana legalization movement.

Last year, Insys Therapeutics received DEA approval to develop its own synthetic marijuana drug. The part that really rubbed the medical marijuana community the wrong way is that Insys was also one of the largest single donors to a campaign to keep marijuana illegal in Arizona.

In both of these cases, there are suspicions about the seeming collusion between government agencies and “big pharma.” Simply put: the government seems much more willing to let large pharmaceutical companies like these push their marijuana-based drugs onto the market instead of simply allowing patients to access medical marijuana directly.

Researchers Finds Moss With Marijuana-Like Properties

By A.J. Herrington, High Times

Researchers have discovered that a compound found in certain species of moss-like plants called liverworts has properties similar to THC from cannabis. Jürg Gertsch of the University of Bern in Switzerland and a team of researchers recently published their findings in the journal Scientific Advances.

Some species in the liverwort genus Radula produce a substance known as perrottetinene, or PET, a chemical first discovered in 1994. Gertsch and his team have determined that PET is very similar in both structure and effect to THC.

‘Legal High’ Available Online

In their report on the study, the researchers noted that one species of the plant native to New Zealand and Tasmania, R. marginata, was being collected in the wild and dried for sale on the internet as a legal high. The team was able to obtain samples of the plant for their research from incense sellers, Gertsch reported.

Daniele Piomelli is a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the study. He applauded the team’s work in an interview with Scientific American.

“Curiosity-driven research can lead to interesting results,” said Piomelli. “This is solid work, very credible, showing that this type of liverwort contains compounds that are akin both in structure and pharmaceutical activity to psychoactive cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.”

To conduct their study, the scientists synthesized PET based on the samples they had obtained. They then compared the action of PET to THC and found it bound to the same receptor sites in brain cell membranes. It was also found that both THC and PET were inactive at other specific receptor sites.

Lab Mice Stoned on PET

The researchers also discovered that PET and THC had similar effects when administered to lab mice, although PET was less potent. The mice moved more slowly and had a lower body temperature when under the effects of both substances.

But the team of scientists also noted a difference in how the two chemicals affect prostaglandins, molecules associated with inflammation. PET lowered levels of prostaglandins, while THC did not. Michael Schafroth, a postdoctoral researcher at The Scripps Research Institute and one of the study’s co-authors, said that these chemicals are involved in several biological processes.

Potential Medicinal Value

“These prostaglandins are involved in many processes (such as) memory loss, neuroinflammation, hair loss, and vasoconstriction,” Schafroth said. That makes PET “highly interesting for medicinal applications, as we can expect fewer adverse effects while still having pharmacologically important effects.”

Because of its lower potency and the increasing availability of legal cannabis, Radula probably is not a viable product for recreational uses. But mosses and similar plants, collectively known as bryophytes, might offer undiscovered pharmacological opportunities. Further research into the properties of PET could lead to treatments for inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, according to Gertsch.

“To date, bryophytes are a bit neglected in terms of bio-prospecting,” said Gertsch. “I think this is a great example that liverworts can generate natural products of relevance to humans.”

However, because bryophytes do not reproduce from seeds, “the cultivation and reproduction of Radula species containing the cannabinoid might be challenging,” Gertsch said.

Election 2018: A Complete Guide to Cannabis on Next Month’s Ballot

By Bruce Barcott, Leafly.com

Cannabis legalization goes before the voters in a number of states on Nov. 6. This year’s highlights:

  • Michigan and North Dakota will decide statewide measures on the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
  • Utah and Missouri will consider medical marijuana legalization initiatives.
  • Other states will consider smaller reforms or advisory measures, including Ohio and Wisconsin.

Leafly’s political staff will continually update this page with the latest poll numbers, financial contributions, and election data. Follow our campaign features and expanded coverage at Leafly Politics.

Nine states and Washington DC have legalized the adult use of cannabis. Thirty-one states allow patients to legally access medical marijuana. Click map to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)
In November, Michigan and North Dakota are voting on adult-use legalization. Missouri and Utah will consider medical legalization. Click map to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)

States in Play: November 2018

Adult Use

STATEBALLOT MEASURECURRENT STATUS
MichiganProposal 12018 Polls:
61% Yes
35% No
5% Undecided
North DakotaMeasure 3No Polling Available.

Medical

STATEPROPOSALCURRENT STATUS
MissouriAmendment 2
Amendment 3
Proposition C
No Polling Yet
UtahProposition 2Yes: 64%
No: 33%
Undecided: 2%

Local Decriminalization

LOCATIONBALLOT MEASUREWHAT IT AFFECTSSTATUS
Dayton, OhioAdvisory MeasureCity Of DaytonNon-Binding Advisory Vote: If Passed, It Would Still Take A City Commission Vote To Amend City Ordinances
OhioState Issue 1Entire State Of OhioMeasure Would Reduce Felony Drug & Paraphernalia Possession To Misdemeanors
WisconsinCounty-By-County Advisory Referendums16 Of Wisconsin’s 72 Counties16 Counties Will Vote On Cannabis Policy. Some On Medical, Some On Adult Use. All Will Be Non-Binding, Advisory Votes Only.

Statewide Ballot Measures

Michigan

Proposal 18-1, Adult Use

Prop 18-1 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 or older. The measure would allow flower, concentrates, and cannabis-infused edibles, as well as homegrow (up to 12 plants) for personal consumption. Possession limits: 10 ounces of cannabis flower. Local opt-out would be allowed, giving local municipalities the ability to ban or severely restrict cannabis businesses. A 10% cannabis tax would be imposed on retail sales. That revenue would be devoted to regulatory costs, clinical research, schools, roads, and municipalities where cannabis businesses are located.

Who’s backing the initiative: The MI Legalize 2018 campaign includes buy-in from the Coalition To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, Michigan NORML, the ACLU, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, the marijuana law section of the State Bar Association, and other groups. That amount of unity is unusual for a legalization campaign–and indicative of the organizational power behind the movement in Michigan.

Who’s opposing it: Nobody yet.

See the full text of the measure here.

Flying the flag for legalization at Michigan’s annual Hash Bash. (Courtesy MI Legalize)

Missouri

Amendment 2, Medical (New Approach Missouri)
Amendment 3Medical (Ben Bradshaw)
Proposition CMedical (Travis Brown)

Yes, Missouri has three competing measures on the same ballot. That’s the bad news. The good news: It’s pretty easy to differentiate between them. Amendment 2 is the grassroots standard MMJ measure. Amendment 3 and Proposition C are one-off attempts by individuals to pass measures that may or may not benefit them personally.

Leafly’s Dave Howard has an outstanding piece explaining the differences between the three measures, linked here.

RELATED STORY
Missouri Has Three Legalization Measures. Two Are Very Odd

Amendment 2: This New Approach Missouri effort would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for medical purposes. It would:

  • Tax medical cannabis at 4%.
  • Use tax revenue for healthcare services for military veterans, and administer the state cannabis regulatory program.
  • Allow patients to grow their own medical cannabis.

Amendment 3: This effort, led by personal injury lawyer Ben Bradshaw, would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for medical purposes. It would:

  • Tax medical cannabis at 15%.
  • Use tax revenue to establish and fund a state-run cancer research institute.
  • Not allow medical patients to grow their own cannabis.
  • The cancer institute would be chaired by Brad Bradshaw, author of the amendment.
  • Brad Bradshaw would also select the institute’s governing board.

Proposition C: This measure, written and led by lobbyist Travis H. Brown, would amend Missouri law to allow the growth, sale, and use of marijuana for medical purposes. It would:

  • Tax medical cannabis at 2%.
  • Create regulations and licensing procedures for medical cannabis facilities (cultivation, production, testing, dispensing).
  • Not allow medical patients to grow their own cannabis.
  • Use tax revenue for veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and public safety in cities with medical marijuana facilities.

Order CBD Products Online Today

The latest: The wild cards in this race are, of course, Brad Bradshaw and Travis H. Brown, authors of the two off-brand initiatives. Bradshaw, a physician and personal injury lawyer based in Springfield, is essentially running a one-man “Ohio ’15” campaign, whereby he would control all the tax revenue generated by the state’s MMJ system. After getting his measure on the ballot, he then sued to knock the competing measures off the ballot. The courts tossed the case in early September.

Brown, a public affairs lobbyist, is keeping a lower profile, but St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger has accused Brown of being a stalking horse for a group of silent financial partners tied to St. Louis County Executive Steve Senger. According to Messenger, Prop C’s language grants local municipal authorities like Senger wide zoning and regulatory power to determine who gets the licenses to grow and sell medical cannabis.

Micheal Mahoney@KCMikeMahoney

Mo. Gov Mike Parson on medical marijuana questions on November ballot: “I think it has a good chance of passing”. Says might be tough for voters to pick between the 3 MedPot Questions. Says he has not focused on it personally.

The odds: “I think it has a good chance of passing,” Gov. Mike Parson said of medical cannabis legalization, in an interview with KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney on Sept. 5. Of course, Parson didn’t say which version of legalization he believes will carry the day.

North Dakota

 

Measure 3, Adult Use

With Measure 3, it feels like the state’s legalization advocates decided to roll the dice on a tomato-plant initiative,* the kind of measure envisioned by the cannabis pioneer Jack Herer. Measure 3 would remove “hashish, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinols” from the state’s list of Schedule I substances, and prohibit prosecution of anyone over 21 for any non-violent cannabis related activity (including growing, processing, selling, or testing), except for the sale of cannabis to a person under 21. The measure would also require the automatic expungement of prior cannabis arrests and convictions.

What Measure 3 would not do is regulate cannabis in any way. There’s no mention of licensing. There are no limits on possession. North Dakotans could stack it like hay bales in the barn. North Dakotans could see that as a feature or a bug, hard to say.

North Dakota residents could stack cannabis like bales of hay under the no-limit language in Measure 3. (kevinjeon00/iStock)

Who’s backing the measure: Legalize ND, the local advocacy group, is flying solo here. There’s no financial help or drafting language from Drug Policy Alliance or the Marijuana Policy Project. “We leave our bill wide open so the legislature can do their job — regulations, taxes, zoning, whatever,” Cole Haymond, an adviser to the Legalize ND campaign, told the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham. “This bill is by far the most progressive yet most conservative marijuana legalization bill that will be on any ballot across the country.”

See the full text of the measure here.

* A tomato-plant initiative is a measure that treats the cannabis plant like a tomato plant, free for all to grow, consume and distribute as any person sees fit, without any state or local regulation whatsoever. 

 

Utah

Proposition 2, Medical

Utah’s Prop 2 would establish a state-controlled process that allows persons with qualifying medical conditions (cancer, HIV, epilepsy, chronic pain, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, MS, PTSD, autism) to acquire and use medical cannabis.

Leafly’s David Downs has an informative FAQ on what Prop 2 would and wouldn’t do, available here.

In certain limited circumstances, patients would be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal medical use. Prop. 2 would authorize the establishment of facilities that grow, process, test, or sell medical cannabis and require those facilities to be licensed by the state; and establish state controls on those licensed facilities, including: seed-to-sale inventory tracking, as well as limits on packaging, advertising, and the types of products allowed.

Medical marijuana enjoys widespread support throughout the state. It was polling at 75% earlier this year, but recently that support dropped to 64% following the Mormon church’s official statement opposing Prop 2.

Current Polling

Click on chart to enlarge. (UtahPolicy.com)

Who’s backing the proposition: The Utah Patients Coalition, led by director DJ Schanz, includes support from TRUCE (a Utah patients group), Libertas Institute (a Utah think tank), and the Marijuana Policy Project.

Who’s opposing it: The Utah Medical AssociationGov. Gary Herbert, and the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the single most powerful political entity in the state. The Drug Safe Utah Coalition, which is running an active “No on Prop 2” campaign, includes the Utah Sheriffs’ Association, DARE Utah, the Utah Eagle Forum, and others.

See the full text of the measure here.

Down Ballot: Contests Affecting Cannabis

 

California

Governor

At the top of the ticket, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is seen as a shoo-in to replace Gov. Jerry Brown, which would increase cannabis’ support in the governor’s mansion. Gov. Brown has repeatedly denigrated cannabis users as lazy and unfocused. By contrast, former San Francisco Mayor Newsom embraced cannabis law reforms early, similar to his leadership on same-sex marriage.

US Senate

Polls suggest California Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) will skate into re-election in the mid-terms, fending off an insurgency on her progressive flank. After decades as a drug war hawk, Feinstein has been forced into evolving on supporting states’ rights to set cannabis policy. This September, the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee member also signed on as a co-sponsor of a cannabis descheduling bill.

US House

Also of note in California, incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – Huntington Beach)—cannabis’ most staunch ally in the House of Representatives—faces a formidable Republican challenger for his seat. After 2016’s election interference by Russia, Rep. Rohrabacher’s pro-Russia statements and positions have dogged him.

Municipal Cannabis Measures

At the local city and county level, California is awash in dozens if not more than 100 ballot initiatives to set local cannabis taxes and/or decide on allowing local dispensaries or farms. Voters also hold the power to approve of local stores and cannabis businesses through the election of hundreds of local city council members or county supervisors, many of whom are taking key positions on local store bans.

Florida

Governor

The race between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) is a battle between an unabashed advocate of legalized regulation (Gillum) and an old-school prohibitionist (DeSantis). Whoever replaces outgoing Gov. Rick Scott will have a lot of say over the state’s emerging medical marijuana system, and over any possible adult-use legalization campaign. Leafly Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott wrote about the race here.

Ohio

Statewide
State Issue 1, an omnibus drug policy reform measure, would reduce many cannabis possession and paraphernalia felonies to misdemeanors.

City of Dayton
Dayton voters will consider an advisory measure to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. If voters pass the measure, the city council would still have to vote to confirm it. The measure calls on the council to eliminate the current $150 fine for minor misdemeanor marijuana and hashish possession offenses.

 Wisconsin

(Cannabadger.com)

In an unusual campaign, cannabis activists in the Badger State have waged county-by-county combat to put legalization advisory measures on the ballot in November.

Because Wisconsin has no statewide initiative process, any full-state legalization measure would have to be approved by the state legislature.

These county ballots are expected to show legislators how popular cannabis reform is, and put added pressure on them to pass statewide medical or adult-use legalization in 2019.

7 Reasons You Should Use Medical Cannabis Daily

By Barbara M.

Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana is a medicine made from cannabis and cannabinoids which are provided by doctors for medical purposes such as pain relief and to subdue and control different disorders in the human body.

It’s legitimacy is increasing as more countries legalise cannabis and marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

As a result of its increased popularity and first hand positive results from users, it is creating more possibilities for medical cannabis resources to be used on a daily basis for medical purposes. Below we have detailed 7 reasons to use medical cannabis on a daily basis.

Read more7 Reasons You Should Use Medical Cannabis Daily

Five Maine Men Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges for Saying They Don’t Use Marijuana

By Betty Adams, Portland Press Herald (republished with special permission)

Five central Maine men were indicted earlier this month on federal firearms charges. Four have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are free on unsecured bail pending their next hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

The fifth, Donald “Donny” Henderson, 33, of Winthrop, is set for arraignment May 4. He was issued a summons to appear in court and is represented by attorney James Nixon.

Henderson’s indictment says he made false statements on Feb. 28, 2017, while buying a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber pistol from Audette’s Inc., located in Winthrop. It alleges he checked a box indicating he was not an unlawful user of marijuana when, in fact, he was. The allegation is repeated in the second count, which says Henderson purchased an SCCY model CPX-1, 9 mm pistol on March 2, 2017, also from Audette’s.

Read moreFive Maine Men Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges for Saying They Don’t Use Marijuana

A Look at Six States That Could Pass Marijuana Initiatives This Year

By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org

While marijuana reform efforts continue at an excruciatingly slow pace in state legislatures — Vermont became the first state to free the weed at the statehouse just last month — the initiative and referendum process continues to serve as a direct popular vote alternative to the crap shoot that is trying to get a pot bill through two houses and signed by a governor.

There are at least six states with a serious shot at legalizing either recreational marijuana or medical marijuana via the initiative process this year. In one state, a medical marijuana initiative has already qualified for the ballot; in another, plentiful signatures have already been handed in for a legalization initiative; in three others, signature gathering campaigns are well underway; while in the last, a legalization initiative hasn’t been officially filed yet, but already has serious financial backing.

By the time we get past election day, we should be looking at a legalization victory in at least one more state and medical marijuana victories damned near anywhere an initiative manages to get on the ballot. In the last election cycle, marijuana reform initiatives won in eight out of nine contests.

Here are the 2018 contenders:

1. Michigan — Legalization

The Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already completed a petition campaign and handed in more than 365,000 raw signatures in November for its legalization initiative. It hasn’t officially qualified for the ballot yet, but it only needs 250,000 valid voter signatures to do so, meaning it has a rather substantial cushion. If the measure makes the ballot, it should win. There is the little matter of actually campaigning to pass the initiative, which should require a million or two dollars for TV ad buys and other get-out-the-vote efforts, but with the Marijuana Policy Project on board and some deep-pocketed local interests as well, the money should be there. The voters already are there: Polling has shown majority support for legalization for several years now, always trending up, and most recently hitting 58% in a May Marketing Resource Group poll.

2. Missouri — Medical

New Approach Missouri’s Right to Medical Marijuana initiative would legalize the use of medical marijuana for specified medical conditions and create a system of taxed and regulated medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales. The campaign is well into its signature gathering phase and reported this week that it already has 175,000 raw signatures. It only needs 160,000 verified valid voter signatures, but has set a goal of 280,000 raw signatures to provide a comfortable cushion. Signature gathering doesn’t end until May 6. There is no recent state polling on the issue, but medical marijuana typically polls above 80% nationally.

3. New Mexico — Legalization

The Land of Enchantment has a unique path to a popular vote on marijuana legalization: A measure before the legislature, Senate Joint Resolution 4, would, if approved, take the issue directly to the voters in November. New Mexicans would vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize weed, and if they approved it, the legislature would meet next year to promulgate rules and regulations. The measure passed one Senate committee on Friday, but still faces another Senate committee vote, a Senate floor vote, and action in the House, and the clock is ticking. Supporters have only about two weeks to move this bill before the session ends. If it can get before the voters, it could win: A poll last week had support at 61%.

4. Ohio — Legalization

Responsible Ohio tried to legalize marijuana in 2015 via a “pay to play” initiative that would have created a growers’ oligopoly limited to cash-heavy early supporters who financed the entire campaign. Ohio voters didn’t buy that, so some of the players are back again with what they’re calling the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment. It hasn’t been officially filed yet, but would reportedly have a “free market” approach to a system of taxed and regulated cultivation, distribution, and sales, and it would allow for personal cultivation. Organizers say they have $3 million already for signature gathering and campaigning. They will need 305,592 valid voter signatures and they have a goal of July 4 for getting them.

5. Oklahoma — Medical

The Oklahoma medical marijuana initiative, State Question 788, has already qualified for the ballot and will go before the voters during the June 26 primary election. The initiative legalizes the use, cultivation, and distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients. A January Sooner poll had support at 62%, a fairly low level of support for medical marijuana, which typically polls above 80% nationwide. But this is Oklahoma.

6. Utah — Medical

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. It limits the numbers of dispensaries and growers, and patients could only grow their own if they reside more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary. Patients could not smoke their medicine, but they could vaporize it. The Utah Patients Coalition is currently in the midst of its signature gathering campaign. It needs 113,000 verified voter signatures by April 15, and it has the money in the bank, including $100,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project, to get it done. A series of polls last year had support levels ranging from 69% to 78%.

Ross Rebagliati: Olympics Should Allow Athletes to Use Cannabis

By Dina Ibrahim, ThePuffPuffPost.com

Ross Rebagliati, the world’s first Olympic gold medalist for Men’s Snowboarding and a long-time cannabis activist, believes Olympic events should allow athletes access to cannabis if their countries of origin allow.

Ross Rebagliati had a cannabis business but Kelowna municipality in British Columbia shut it down in late 2017. (Photo via Ross’ Gold Facebook Page)

“Athletes from countries that allow [one of the many psychoactive compounds in marijuana] THC like Canada, America, and other countries in the world like Portugal and Spain, those Olympic athletes should be allowed to use cannabis because that is part of culture they live in,” the 47-year-old Rebagliati told The Puff Puff Post.

As thousands of international athletes ready up for the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the trend to legalize marijuana is taking a sweeping effect around the globe.

Read moreRoss Rebagliati: Olympics Should Allow Athletes to Use Cannabis

5 Differences Between THC and CBD

By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com

What are the differences between THC and CBD? Here’s a look.

When you first start smoking weed, you hear the acronyms THC and CBD a lot. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. There are over one hundre other cannbinoids such as THC-V, THC-A,  and CBN, but if you’re first starting out you should primarily concern yourself with the first two, at least for now. Cannabinoids are these neat little compounds that interact with the endocannabinoids that naturally occur in your body. Though they are both cannabinoids, there are quite a few differences between THC and CBD. For instance…

CBD is Non Psychoactive

This is one of the biggest differences between THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid; it’s the one that gets you baked. You know that heavy and relaxing feeling that you get after smoking some OG Kush? That can be attributed to THC. CBD on the other hand, is considered to be non psychoactive. This doesn’t mean that you feel nothing after using a high CBD strain or oil, quite the contrary. You won’t experience a noticeable change in your mood, but your body will feel uplifted and just all around. If you were feeling like you’re coming down with a cold prior to smoking, CBD will make you feel better almost instantly. Hence one of the reasons why CBD strains are more popular among medical cannabis users

CBD has Antipsychotic Properties

Sometimes when you smoke a high THC strain you might feel a little off. You might feel a little paranoid, you might have trouble concentrating, maybe your brain feels a little too slowed down, or maybe you feel dizzy. Regardless the effect, it seems that you got too high. The nice thing about CBD is that it can counteract some of those negative effects, and in some cases erase them entirely. High CBD strains are an excellent choice for first timers or those who haven’t figured out what their limits are.

CBD was Discovered First

A lot of people are inclined to believe that THC and CBD were discovered at the same time, or that THC was discovered first  This is another of the biggest differences between THC and CBD. CBD was discovered by American scientist  Roger Adams, a chemist at the University of Illinois, some 20 years before.  THC was actually discovered later by Israeli scientist and college professor Raphael Mechoulam back in the sixties. Mechoulam, better known as the father of cannabinoid research, is quite the extraordinary man.  You can read an interesting interview with Dr. Mechoulam here. Amazing as he is, he is often mistakenly credited with discovering both.

CBD Doesn’t Cause Anxiety

While some strains of high THC cannabis seem to cause endless anxiety in some, CBD does not cause any anxiety. Strains with low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD are often used to treat anxiety, and I can tell you from experience that they are  extremely good at it. The next time you are feeling some anxiety, try reaching for a CBD strain like  ACDC rather than your usual THC strain. You will notice the difference and you’ll feel a lot better.

CBD Energizes You More

This is one of the differences between THC and CBD that a lot of people don’t know about. After consuming certain strains of THC, you’ve probably felt a little tired. This is because of the psychoactive effects of THC. This is why it is commonly used as a sleep aid. That’s great when you’re looking to go to sleep, but if you’re looking for a strain to pep you up and get you ready for the day, then you should try a CBD strain instead. You will notice that you feel more energized, with none of the fogginess that comes with using some other strains. Here’s another little secret: they’re great for hangovers. They say the best cure for a hangover is time, well add a little CBD to that and you are golden.

So as you can see, CBD has a lot of uses, and is in fact, quite helpful. CBD is what helps to heal the body, hence why it’s so popular among medical users. Try some today and it will change your life, I promise.

The Top 5 Best Smelling Marijuana Strains in Washington

By Will Hyde, Leafly.com

Here’s a list of the top 5 best smelling marijuana strains in Washington State:

#1 | Lemonder by Seattle’s Private Reserve

Lemonder from Seattle’s Private Reserve is a 91-point strain that was awarded the Best Aroma in Washington State using Leafly’s Cannabis Rating System. While somewhat wispy in appearance, it was the only qualifying strain that scored perfectly for its aroma. The strain is a hybrid of Super Lemon HazeOG Kush, and Lavender, and it produces a sweet citrus aroma with the added pungent zest of fruit when ground up. Its flavor is a fruity, floral experience that reminds me of candied orange.

Find Lemonder Nearby

From the Tasting Notebook:

 “Lemon, cream, spice, and some middle savory note that is mellowing the lemon in an unexpected way.” –Jeremiah Wilhelm, Strain Researcher

#2 | White Tahoe Cookies by Royal Tree Gardens

Royal Tree Gardens has a diverse mix of aromas and flavors coming from their flowering rooms. Their White Tahoe Cookies is a prime example of the quality and consistency their garden produces. A 94-point strain overall, White Tahoe Cookies’ aroma is a compelling mix of its parent genetics, The WhiteTahoe OG, and an unspecified GSC cut. This flower has a grape and berry sweetness that blends with notes of musky mint, pine, and skunky earth to complete its enchanting bouquet.

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From the Tasting Notebook:

“Robust grape and berry notes charged with a hint of dank, musky Kush and a sweet finish. Aromas of mint, eucalyptus, and pine forest erupt when this bud is broken down into shake.” –Will Hyde, Cannabis Expert

#3 | Gummo by Gabriel Cannabis

Gummo from Gabriel Cannabis is an irresistible 92-point strain that crosses the sweetness of Bubble Gum with the intricate citrus aroma of Orange Bud. The tight buds covered in fiery orange hairs emit an intense citrus sour with soft floral sweetness. The flavor follows suit with a sharper, spiced finish reminiscent of cinnamon and sandalwood. The resulting effects are immediate, heady, and introspective.

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From the Tasting Notebook:

“Loud, ripe berry aroma that expands into a sweet citrus medley of mandarin and tangerine.” –Bailey Rahn, Strains & Products Editor

 

Gummo grown by Gabriel Cannabis.

#4 | Blueberry Pancakes by Nebula Gardens

A truly amazing flower with a captivating, nuanced, and unique terpene profile, Blueberry Pancakes from Nebula Gardens really does emulate its namesake: a mix of berry notes that finish with a creamy touch of citrus, evoking memories of fresh baked muffins. Scoring 89 points overall and near perfect for its aroma, Blueberry Pancakes provides soothing effects that pair nicely with its pungent essence.

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From the Tasting Notebook:

“Bright strawberry, wildflower, and sweet pine with doughy vanilla. Its aroma feels clarifying with diverse nuance.”–Bailey Rahn, Strains & Products Editor

#5 | Golden Ticket by Khush Kush

An 87-point strain overall, Golden Ticket from Khush Kush is a flower with fragrant fruity notes of citrus and subtle undertones of tropical flowers. The nuanced smells of Golden Ticket were just a couple points shy of a perfect aroma score. Its complex smell gives way to fresh pine and spearmint flavors with just a touch of sharp lime upon exhale.

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From the Tasting Notebook:

“Sweet, floral, and sort of tropical like a papaya
. Reminds me of a Trainwreck
 cross. When I grind it up, the aroma is even sweeter like a sour green apple or an overripe pineapple
.” –Will Hyde, Cannabis Expert