How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

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How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

Medical Marijuana for Amputees

07-21-2017

marijuana for amputees

Though modern medical techniques have improved amputee surgery survival rates, it’s still a last-resort treatment for several different conditions. The number of amputees has increased because of combat and other situations, including advancing cancers and trauma due to accidents.
Amputation is a life-saving technique, but it often leaves patients with chronic health issues. Limb… Read more

Benefits of Consuming Raw Cannabis

07-20-2017

benefits of raw cannabis

Juicing leafy greens like spinach and kale for their healthy properties might not sound that amazing to you unless you’re a juicing enthusiast. But pressed vegetable juices are increasing in popularity — with consumers, nutritionists, athletes and healthcare professionals.
Have you ever considered juicing marijuana, though? What we’re talking about here is the juicing of raw cannabis,… Read more

Marijuana Infused Coffee

07-18-2017

marijuana coffee

Cannabis and coffee might be the ultimate “wake and bake” combination, but for some it can be hard to picture combining a substance that wakes you up with one that lulls you to sleep. You might expect them to cancel each other out, and in a way, they do.
Coffee drinkers consider the beverage necessary for life. It starts them up each day, and whether they drink one cup or four,… Read more

Dabbing Medical Marijuana

07-14-2017

dabbing marijuana

Cannabis, a remedy used as a holistic healing elixir for centuries, offers many benefits to the human body and mind. Since its benefits have been known, different means of consuming marijuana have been invented. Since it’s a plant, drying and smoke seemed to be a natural fit, similar to tobacco.
Unfortunately, smoking marijuana isn’t always convenient, and if your medical condition… Read more

Marijuana and Blood Pressure

07-12-2017

marijuana and blood pressure

Approximately one in every three American adults has high blood pressure — that’s roughly 75 million people. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and strokes. The leading cause of disability in this country, strokes affect about 795,000 Americans each year.
Medical marijuana is used for an approved list of conditions in most states. Some states even allow… Read more

Why Doctors & Practices Should Recommend Medical Marijuana

07-10-2017

doctors should recommend marijuana

Medical marijuana is often controversial and heavily debated, so it’s natural to wonder, “Should I recommend medical marijuana?” As a medical professional, it’s important to have the full picture of a particular treatment option. Explore the benefits of recommending medical marijuana for doctors and practices to help make your decision. 
Increased Patient… Read more

A Proposed Bill Could Legalize Medical Marijuana in Kentucky

07-06-2017

ky medical marijuana

The Kentucky state legislature is considering a medical marijuana program that could start in 2018. Legislators in favor of the measure cite other states’ progress on medical marijuana as evidence that it could be a good move. With 29 other states already authorizing marijuana for medical use, some legislators in Kentucky want to join the movement, so their state isn’t the last to… Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana and Health Insurance

07-03-2017

marijuana and health insurance

Medical marijuana is steadily gaining ground as a valuable treatment option for hundreds of different health conditions. Medical marijuana has treatment applications for medical issues affecting nearly every part of the body. It has been shown to control symptoms for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, ease pain levels in cancer patients, help patients cope with post-traumatic stress… Read more

Medical Marijuana Therapy

06-30-2017

marijuana therapy

For people who still associate marijuana with the 1970s drug subculture in the U.S., it might be hard to imagine cannabis as medicine. The idea of a bunch of middle-aged women sitting around in turbans smoking pot seems a bit surreal. However, for those women who are fighting cancer with chemotherapy and finding relief from the nausea and anxiety with medical marijuana, the idea is not so… Read more

Medical Marijuana Under Donald Trump

06-28-2017

trump medical marijuana

Donald Trump’s candidacy for president ushered in a new era in American politics. He seemed to do everything wrong along the campaign trail, and yet he gathered momentum until he was elected the 45th president of the United States. While some celebrate and others mourn this political anomaly, the country continues to operate on an uneven keel while our leader adjusts to life as an elected… Read more

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Published at Fri, 28 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Benefits of Consuming Raw Cannabis

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Benefits of Consuming Raw Cannabis

Posted by Jason Draizin on 07/20/2017 in Medical Marijuana

benefits of raw cannabis

Juicing leafy greens like spinach and kale for their healthy properties might not sound that amazing to you unless you’re a juicing enthusiast. But pressed vegetable juices are increasing in popularity — with consumers, nutritionists, athletes and healthcare professionals.

Have you ever considered juicing marijuana, though? What we’re talking about here is the juicing of raw cannabis, and it’s nutritionally complete and very therapeutic — not to mention, since it’s freshly harvested and not dried or cured, it won’t get you stoned.

The Benefits of Raw Marijuana

The marijuana plant’s leaves are rich in properties such as antioxidants, polyphenols and antibiotics as well as cancer-reducing and anti-inflammatory compounds known as cannabidiols. These compounds are what makes raw weed a superfood.

marijuana chemical compounds

In fact, the marijuana plant is made up of more than 400 different chemical compounds. Because of the number of acids, vitamins and essential oils in the plant, experts like Dr. William Courtney, who provides patients with raw marijuana therapeutic services in his Luxembourg clinic, call cannabis a “dietary essential.”

Marijuana is a powerfully beneficial vegetable. Even its seeds have nutritional value and contain:

  • Protein
  • Minerals (calcium, iron, etc.)
  • Fatty acids (Omegas 3,6,9 and palmitic and stearic acid)
  • Vitamins (A, B1, 2 & 3, C, and E)

The protein content in cannabis seeds contains amino acids, including those the human bodies need and can’t produce on its own. Also, a tablespoon of hemp seed can have up to 2,500 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and up to 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

When you juice the leaves, you extract essential minerals, antioxidants and other elements as well. They include:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Carotenoids

The marijuana plant has more abundance and variety of plant phytochemicals, which are stored in the trichome heads and leaf tissue, than just about any other species. For instance, it shares limonene with lemons, beta carotene with carrots and anthocyanins with cherries and blood oranges. Anthocyanins are a very effective analgesic even though they are non-narcotic.

raw weed

Along with its nutritional value, raw weed also contains cannabinoids (acidic form) and terpenes (essential oils in marijuana) that are responsible for most of marijuana’s therapeutic effects. And, since marijuana contains high cannabinoid acid concentrations, it’s considered to be an exceptional plant in the nutrition world, with its acids being essential for basic cell function.

Raw marijuana juice activates the endocannabinoid receptors of your brain and prompts an antioxidant release that removes damaged cells from your body. Both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid (EC) system that manages a broad range of physiological processes, such as pain sensation, memory, appetite and mood.

The EC receptors are located in your connective tissue, brain, glands, organs and immune cells in your body. Your body produces endocannabinoids naturally to stimulate all those functions. However, cannabis also stimulates your EC receptors and boosts your well-being.

According to studies, raw weed has the potential to: 

  • Treat lupus and arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Treat neurodegenerative diseases due to its neuroprotective properties.
  • Help with appetite loss and nausea due to its antiemetic properties.
  • Prevent the spread of malignant cells of prostate cancer because of its anti-proliferative properties.
  • Prevent cell damage that can lead to serious illness and poor health due to it being rich in nutrients like protein and essential amino acids, omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants.

The U.S. federal government found in its pre-patent research that CBD was a stronger antioxidant than vitamins C or E. Since you’re able to consume CBDs in large amounts when eating raw pot, you’re also increasing the number of antioxidants you’re getting per serving.

cbd federal government

The terpenes are thought to have their health benefits as well. For instance, linalool is said to have anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

The Difference Between THC and THCA

Raw cannabis has two primary cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). The “a” represents that they’re non-psychoactive, acidic form. Your body can metabolize THCA in larger doses than THC since it’s non-psychoactive. Therefore, if you’re looking for the medicinal benefits of marijuana but don’t want to get “high,” THCA is a better option.

There hasn’t been enough research conducted on THCA to positively state how effective it is and what it treats, though. However, preliminary research is suggesting that as the industry evolves, THCA will become a big part of marijuana medicine.

The main difference between THC and THCA is that when the pot plant is growing, it isn’t psychoactive. The THC psychoactive chemical isn’t present as of yet. It’s only in its elemental or decarboxylated form (THCA). You wouldn’t receive any effect from the fresh buds of the plant. You first need to convert the THCA into THC to get the psychosomatic effect you get with marijuana.

thc from heat

It’s when THCA is heated (cooking or smoking) or curated that you get this conversion to THC. If you were to eat the plant raw, you wouldn’t get the THC. Digested weed needs to enter your bloodstream to give you that “high” feeling. Since it’s difficult for your body to break down the composition of weed, it doesn’t absorb the chemical. It just passes through your digestive tract instead.

If your body is compromised by cellular dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, cancer cells, chronic inflammation or other illnesses, consuming CBDs provides an array of health benefits. One way to get your CBDs is by juicing the buds and leaves of raw cannabis. Mix the juice of cannabis with other things such as fruits, vegetables and juice to create a healthy drink.

What Is Juicing

Because of its health benefits, juicing raw cannabis is gaining a lot of attention. Marijuana isn’t just for eating or smoking. You can now drink it as well. And, when you juice it, you’re getting a lot more of its health benefits than if you were to eat or smoke it.

drink your weed

In fact, you’re losing around 99 percent of the health benefits of marijuana when you smoke or cook it.

Many health enthusiasts and dieters have been juicing their vegetables. Juicing creates a beverage that’s rich in nutrients and easy to consume and digest. It’s convenient if you have a busy schedule, too, since it’s simple to make it and take it with you.

When you juice raw weed, you’re getting large doses of THCA and CBDA. These two cannabinoids help saturate your CB1 and CB2 receptors with cannabinoids, which benefit the natural endocannabinoid system of your body. This produces an effective two-way communication system between your cells and nerves which was not present previously. Patients with everything from nerve disorders to diabetes realize the power behind juicing raw weed.

Raw Marijuana Juicing Health Benefits

Dr. Courtney claims that juicing marijuana, a potent vegetable, is the most beneficial and healthiest ways to consume the plant. He says that many of the disorders you treat with marijuana, you can prevent by consuming raw marijuana juice regularly, and about 8,000 of his patients drink raw marijuana juice.

doctors orders

In addition to being rich in the same nutrients (iron, fiber, calcium) as leafy greens, it’s also loaded with beneficial cannabinoids exclusive to the weed plant, and juicing cannabis is an extremely potent and nutritionally-dense medicine. Ingesting raw marijuana through juicing may be beneficial for alleviating the symptoms of certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for for general health maintenance.

NYC Surgical Associates’ co-founder and managing director and double-board certified surgeon, Dr. David A. Greuner, said that you get the same therapeutic effects juicing raw cannabis for certain conditions as you do by smoking medical cannabis. For instance, studies show that cancer patients find relief from nausea and pain with juiced cannabis while it helps HIV patients who have difficulty eating.

Other benefits of juicing cannabis include:

1. No Psychoactive Effects

Although many people might consider having no psychoactive effects a disadvantage, there are some individuals who want the health benefits of marijuana but don’t want to get high. Since you need heat to convert the THCA into THC (psychoactive form), you still get the raw cannabis juicing health benefits but without feeling stoned.

2. Avoidance of Cannabis Smoke

Like vaporizing, juicing marijuana allows people to enjoy the benefits without being exposed to the effects of smoking it. Smoking weed can lead to discomfort in your lungs’ air passages, which can result in chronic bronchitis and other respiratory disorders.

3. Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Cannabis is often used to treat certain chronic conditions. The easiest way to add it to your diet to keep you healthy and prevent various diseases is to juice it. The cannabinoids in cannabis, as mentioned, contain high amounts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, making it an excellent supplement to help prevent certain diseases including:

raw weed benefits

4. Reduction of Free Radicals in Your Body

Marijuana’s rich antioxidants help your body to fight off free radicals. Juicing raw marijuana is best since smoking it reduces the potency of the antioxidants.

5. Energy Balance, Appetite and Food Intake

A study showed that cannabis helps treat obesity and other risk factors that are cardiometabolic related.

6. Sleep Induction

Another study published in the Journal of Brain Research suggested an increase of cannabinoid receptor activity in your body with raw cannabis that helps induce sleep without the THC effects.

The above isn’t an exhaustive list of all health benefits of raw marijuana, of course. Researchers believe that consuming raw weed (like juicing) can positively impact nearly all your body’s systems. And, as research on marijuana in its natural form is more widely allowed, many more benefits will show themselves.

Keep in mind that juicing raw cannabis isn’t necessarily for acute symptom relief, although some people may find immediate results. It may take you up to three days to appreciate benefits. However, sometimes it can also take longer for the effects to build, so it may take even more along the lines of four to eight weeks for you to realize the benefits.

Ways to Consume Raw Cannabis

You can enjoy all the benefits of raw cannabis by consuming it in its natural form. The best way of using this plant for its nutrients is by extracting the juice. However, you can also chew and swallow fresh, recently harvested cannabis leaves and buds, too.

raw weed consumption

One suggestion is to consume around 30g of fresh leaves each day to use it as a supplement. You can also consume the oil from hemp seeds each day, toss sprouted cannabis seeds into your salads or divide 120 to 240 ml of raw cannabis juice into five doses.

Other tips when juicing raw cannabis are:

  • Use a blender. When you are processing a big amount of leaves, using a juice extractor is recommended. Use a blender to shred buds so you reduce the loss of cannabinoids that can attach themselves to the filter of the juice extractor. To blend large quantities of cannabis leaves, use a wheat-grass juicer. This type of blender makes it easier and quicker for you to clean. In addition, you’ll recover more of what you place in the blender.
  • Freeze your weed juice. You can make ice cubes with your weed juice to prevent dilution in your drink.
  • Create the perfect smoothie. Use your favorite recipe and add in your marijuana juice.

To extend the freshness of raw cannabis before blending, store it (un-rinsed) in the freezer or refrigerator in freezer bags. Before juicing, rinse well and soak the leaves in cool water for five minutes.

The Process of Juicing Cannabis

If you’re thinking about juicing marijuana yourself at home, there are some things you should keep in mind. You don’t want to use dried weed. It won’t work. You have to have fresh, recently harvested cannabis you either grow yourself or get from your dispensary. Ask your local dispensary for recommendations.

Here’s how to juice your raw cannabis:

1. Gather Fresh Ingredients

The fresher the better, since vegetables break down soon after they’re harvested and lose their valuable enzymes. Your vegetables and cannabis need to be fresh to reap maximum benefits of your marijuana smoothie. If allowed by your state, an indoor closet or outdoor greenhouse works great to allow you to get enough marijuana for juicing regularly.

2. Choose Your Strain

Use a strain with a cannabinoid profile that’s effective as a treatment for your specific ailment or symptoms. For instance, there are certain strains of cannabinoids that are effective for treating arthritis and seizures. 

Different Strains of Cannabinoids (Non-Psychoactive Compounds)

The cannabis plant provides essential cannabinoids that provide the most health benefits. These include THCA, THC, CBG, CBD, CBN, CBC. Excluding THC, these cannabinoids aren’t psychoactive and provide relief without the “high.” Here’s a closer look:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG).CBG is thought to be the ‘mother’ of all other cannabinoids since enzymes can transform it from their acidic forms into CBC, CBD or THC. The CBG cannabinoid is non-psychoactive. Studies found that it stimulates new brain cell growth, even in the elderly. CBG has antifungal, antibacterial and antiproliferative properties. It stimulates bone growth, and researchers are continuing to study it for the treatment of:
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is a cannabinoid that’s most abundant in a large majority of high-THC, freshly harvested marijuana strains grown in the United States. Preliminary studies found that the anti-inflammatory properties in THCA are effective in treating arthritis and Lupus patients with severe pain that’s caused by inflammation. It also has other medical benefits including anti-emetic (anti-vomiting), neuroprotective, anti-proliferative properties. 
  • Cannabidiol (CBD).The CBD cannabinoid has antipsychotic properties that researchers are still studying as an alternative treatment for psychosis, schizophrenia and anxiety. It has been proven to treat MS, Dravet syndrome and epilepsy. According to animal research, it’s been shown to act as an anticonvulsant without making seizures worse. CBD has this same anti-epileptic effects in human beings.
  • Cannabinol (CBN). CBN reduces glaucoma-related intraocular pressure, according to studies, making it a good alternative for people looking for relief without the THC psychoactive effects. It also provides pain relief to people who need it but want to stay clear headed.
  • Cannabichromene (CBC). Studies have revealed that the CBC cannabinoid has been shown to be 10 times more effective in treating stress and anxiety than CBD. It has certain beneficial properties including:
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Analgesic
    • Antifungal
    • Anti-proliferative
    • Antiviral

It also promotes bone growth and is effective with or without other cannabinoids.

Remember, THC is the only cannabinoid that will get you “high,” which is why its use isn’t mentioned here. All the other cannabinoids will provide relief without the psychoactivity.

3. Add Your Buds and Leaves

To make marijuana juice, just add in two, 2- to 4-inch buds and 15 large fan leaves into a juicer. You should see small, sticky crystals on the flowers (trichomes) that indicate the buds are ready to harvest. They’re amber colored. Avoid nuggets that have been cured already for smoking. These won’t work and will waste your pot.

4. Add in Other Vegetables

Adding in other vegetables like cucumbers, carrots or sweet potatoes with five parts vegetable juice to one-part marijuana juice might cut down on the strong weed flavor. Once mixed, you can drink it immediately or store it for up to three days. Combining one part of cannabis juice to 10 parts of carrot juice can help to reduce the bitterness associated with raw cannabis.

juicing weed

Side Effects of Cannabis Juice to Consider

There’s minimal risk to juicing marijuana. In fact, Dr. Courtney said that only one or two out of his 8,000 patients reported an allergic reaction to the raw leaves that touched their skin.

You should know that cannabis typically isn’t organic. In fact, growers often use insecticides, pesticides and other types of chemicals you don’t want to ingest. Be sure you clean your cannabis well before consuming, or try to find an organic variety. Some people have reported feeling ill after consuming raw weed due to the use of pesticides.

Users have also reported throat irritation due to the sharp hairs on cannabis. This isn’t a huge concern when juicing the plant, but it’s something to take into consideration if you wish to chew on a cannabis stem.

Additionally, like any other cultivated plant, raw marijuana may harbor an array of microbes, and some of them may be pathogenic. The risk of being exposed to pathogens from fresh, raw weed is small, but if you have a compromised immune system, you should be careful.

If you’re interested in juicing raw cannabis, you should first search for a medical marijuana dispensary or doctor, so it’s legal and prescribed.

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Published at Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Munchies: Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Munchies: Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mrs. Nice Guy

Summertime is now in session, so cool treats are mandatory!

When I found out that Hostess released an ice cream sandwich version of their Ding Dong dessert snack I had to have one. I did what any sane and somewhat stoned person would do and rushed to my local Freddy’s.

The Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches are wrapped individually and come 5 in a pack, each sandwich is 180 calories. The sandwiches are slightly bigger than the unfrozen version of itself and they’re covered in a smooth layer of chocolate coating. Once you bite into it the coating won’t hold up well and it’ll crack and crumble, so they can be a little messy. If you eat it with the wrapper you should be a-okay, or if you wanna get fancy with it you can go full Costanza and eat it with a knife and fork. Once you bite into it you’ll also notice a crunchy chocolate cookie layer and the inside filled with vanilla ice cream. Think a Klondike bar, only better!

Fans of regular Ding Dongs and Ice Cream Sandwiches will definitely love to cool down with this dessert, I only wish they were bigger. While these sandwiches aren’t life changing, they’ll definitely satisfy your sweet tooth cravings…AKA THE MUNCHIES!

Hostess has other ice cream products: they have a Twinkies Cone and Snoballs Bar along with Twinkies, Cupcakes, and Snoballs ice cream. Too bad they didn’t include Chocodiles.

The post Munchies: Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

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Published at Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:45:51 +0000

U.S. Senate Committee Approves Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

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U.S. Senate Committee Approves Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that allows Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where the medicine has been legalized.

The amendment was approved with a bipartisan 24 to 7 vote (with even a majority of Republicans voting in favor, 9 to 7); it’s attached to a larger spending bill that funds the VA. The amendment allows VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients in states where its legal, changing current policy which prohibits “V.A. providers from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a Veteran’s participation in a State marijuana program.”

Last year a similar amendment was passed by a 20 to 10 vote, following by a 233 to 189 vote in the House. However, the amendment was eventually removed from the larger bill it was attached to before becoming law.

According to Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), who introduced the amendment, it simply “allows the V.A. patients in states with medical marijuana programs to discuss that option with their V.A. doctor of physician”, something that is currently not allowed.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:42:17 +0000

Many pot firms strapped with cash

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Many pot firms strapped with cash

The Columbian / Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Slip a fresh $20 bill under the bulletproof teller window of Donnie Anderson’s Medex marijuana dispensary — perhaps for a gram of cannabis or some THC-infused toffees — and the legal tender is transformed into something else: drug money.

Though the transaction is legal in California, under federal law that bill is not much different from the contents of a drug cartel’s safe — cash that most banks won’t touch.

So how is Anderson supposed to pay his employees, suppliers or business taxes? He deposits cash, in drips and drabs, into an account held by a limited liability company that his bank thinks is a property management firm.

“The bank doesn’t know what we do,” he said.

If this sounds like money laundering, you’re not far off.

Yet consider this: That same $20 exchanged at Canndescent, another cannabis company, takes a direct and transparent route into the financial system.

When the marijuana cultivator sells its product to a dispensary, one armored car drops off the pot and another picks up the cash payment — and then heads to a downtown Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.

There the cash is deposited into the account of a local credit union, one that’s eager to do business with Canndescent.

“After all the horror stories I’ve heard, it does seem like a little bit of magic,” said Tom DiGiovanni, Canndescent’s chief financial officer.

Indeed, though the same laws apply to Anderson’s dispensary and Canndescent’s farm, the world of cannabis banking is so full of contradictions that one business can truck money to a federal facility while the other is left to play a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek with its cash.

“It’s the early stages of the Wild West,” said California Treasurer John Chiang, who is leading an effort to reform cannabis banking, a problem dating back to 1996 when California legalized medical marijuana.

With recreational use set to become legal next year under Proposition 64, cannabis sales in the state are expected to top $7.5 billion in 2020, up from about $3.3 billion last year, according to data provider New Frontier and cannabis investor network Arcview Group.

But while Proposition 64 broadened the legal use of pot, it did nothing to relax banking regulations.

“It left significant questions unresolved,” Chiang said. “How do you handle the taxation of cannabis dollars and the banking of billions of dollars of transactions that are going to take place here in California?”

Last year, Chiang created a group of cannabis and banking industry trade groups, attorneys, regulators and others, trying to figure out how to bring the cannabis industry into the financial mainstream. But it’s a vexing challenge, and one that cannot be solved by the state alone.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in 29 states and for recreational use in eight, yet the federal Controlled Substances Act lists it alongside heroin and LSD as both dangerous and having no accepted medical use.

And for banks, federal laws are paramount.

Banks and credit unions can guarantee deposits because they have federal deposit insurance. They rely on Federal Reserve systems to make wire transfers, handle electronic payments and process checks. And they all answer to at least one federal regulator.

Banks and credit unions also are required to tell federal authorities if they suspect that their customers might be engaged in illegal activity. And when it comes to following those rules, the stakes are high.

“The FDIC could step in and shut down a bank, and it can do that with very little notice,” said Julie Hill, a law professor at the University of Alabama and former finance industry attorney who has studied cannabis banking. “Nobody’s ever gotten their bank brought back to life after it’s been closed by regulators.”

Because of that, many banks won’t even take the risk.

“From a federal level, it’s illegal,” Jim Brush, chief executive of Summit State Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif., told Chiang’s working group in May. “It really doesn’t matter what California does.”

Still, federal officials have cracked open the door for banks and credit unions.

In 2013, the Justice Department said it would focus its marijuana-enforcement efforts on preventing sales to minors, interstate trafficking and a handful of other crimes.

The following year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, released guidelines for financial institutions that want to work with marijuana companies. They require additional reporting and demand that banks monitor companies for activities that remain Justice Department priorities.

No clear protections

FinCEN reported that 368 banks and credit unions were serving the industry in March, up from fewer than 300 at the beginning of 2016. But that’s a tiny fraction of the nation’s nearly 12,000 banks and credit unions.

Hill said so few institutions are playing along because FinCEN’s guidelines don’t offer clear legal protection. And some banks don’t want to be in the uncomfortable position of policing cannabis companies.

“How would you know a business isn’t selling to minors unless you’re in the store all the time?” Hill said.

What’s more, with a new administration in the White House and avowed marijuana opponent Jeff Sessions running the Justice Department, it’s not clear whether the feds will take a harder line on pot.

With many cannabis companies unable to get bank accounts, they are often left to deal in cash, which is inconvenient and dangerous.

Take Jerred Kiloh, owner of Higher Path Collective. His Los Angeles dispensary had sales of about $4 million last year, so he owed more than $200,000 in taxes to Los Angeles alone, he told Chiang’s group.

Imagine, Kiloh said, carrying that much cash.

“Right now, at the downtown office of finance, there’s a six-story parking structure 500 yards away,” he said. “I have to walk through what is essentially a homeless encampment with a duffel bag full of cash, walk across the street, go through security and then sometimes stand in line.”

Kyle Kazan, a former area police officer who runs a firm that invests in cannabis growers and retailers, said the lack of access to banking poses big safety risks.

“Real lives are in danger because there’s so much cash in play here,” Kazan said.

(Why?)

Published at Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:00:07 +0000

California Assembly Committee Votes Unanimously to Urge Federal Rescheduling of Marijuana

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California Assembly Committee Votes Unanimously to Urge Federal Rescheduling of Marijuana

A joint resolution asking Congress to reschedule marijuana on the federal level has been passed unanimously by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Senate Joint Resolution 5 was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday with a 7 to 0 vote. In April the resolution was given approval by the state’s full Senate with an overwhelming – though not quite unanimous – vote of 34 to 2.

The resolution “formally requests the United States Congress to pass a law to reschedule cannabis, marijuana, and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug, and for the President of the United States to sign such legislation”.

According to its legislative analysis, the resolution urges:

1) Congress of the United States to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule, therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use and allowing for the legal commerce of marijuana or cannabis so that businesses dealing with marijuana or cannabis can use traditional banks or financial institutions for their banking needs, which would result in providing a legal vehicle for those businesses to pay their taxes, including, but not limited to, payroll taxes, unsecured property taxes, and applicable taxes on the products sold in accordance with state and local laws.

2) President of the United States to sign such legislation.

3) The Secretary of the Senate to distribute copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, to each Senator and Representatives from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author for appropriate distribution.

For the full text of Senate Joint Resolution 5, click here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:33:37 +0000

Weed Porn: Blue Magoo

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Weed Porn: Blue Magoo

Mrs. Nice Guy

Blue Magoo is a strain I reviewed before, but it was purchased on the rec side in Washington and it was only a gram, so the pics didn’t turn out as awesome as I wanted them to. A friend who grew for me when I was a medical patient grew the stuff pictured above.

I enjoy the sweet taste and berry-like aroma of Blue Magoo, also THE COLORS. It’s so pretty!

The post Weed Porn: Blue Magoo appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:24:20 +0000

Study: THC May Help Prevent HIV from Becoming AIDS

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Study: THC May Help Prevent HIV from Becoming AIDS

According to a new study being published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may help prevent the progression from HIV infection to the development of AIDS.

“Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a crucial role in host antiviral immune response through secretion of type I interferon”, states the study’s abstract. “[P]rolonged pDC activity has been linked with progression from HIV infection to the development of AIDS.”

The study states that; “Patients with HIV in the United States routinely use cannabinoid-based therapies to combat the side effects of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy. However, cannabinoids, including Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are well-characterized immunosuppressants.” In this study, researchers report that “THC suppressed secretion of IFNα by pDC from both healthy and HIV+ donors through a mechanism involving impaired phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 7.” These results suggest that “THC can suppress pDC function during the early host antiviral response by dampening pDC activation.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Michigan State University East Lansing, can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Wed, 12 Jul 2017 03:10:59 +0000

Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS)

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Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS)

Posted by Jason Draizin on 06/27/2017 in Medical Marijuana

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Six U.S. senators have reintroduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS) to the Senate in the hopes of protecting state medical marijuana laws and patients from prosecution by the federal government. CARERS was originally proposed to Congress in 2015, but it failed to progress.

The revised proposal features several provisions to protect and help patients, as well as improve the ability to research and distribute medical marijuana. If it passes, it would also help secure medical marijuana’s future as a treatment option for numerous medical conditions.

What CARERS Proposes

The CARERS Act proposes moderate changes to federal law to ensure state rights are protected. The earlier, 2015 CARERS Act suggested more groundbreaking changes, such as removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and resolving federal banking laws which prohibit banks from accepting money earned by businesses through medical marijuana. It’s believed those changes are why it received minimal support from Congress.

The new, 2017 CARERS Act proposes the following changes:

  • Modification of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Removal of cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Allowance for Veterans Affairs physicians to discuss and prescribe medical marijuana to veterans.
  • Simplification of the process for obtaining marijuana for research and studies.

The simplification of obtaining marijuana for research is a significant proposal, as it makes it easier for researchers to conduct their studies on medical cannabis. Without CARERS, researchers are limited to obtaining research-grade marijuana from the University of Mississippi and going through a lengthy application process, which can take a few years.

Modifying the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, is another substantial proposal. Schedule I drugs are defined as having a high abuse potential and severe safety concerns, without any medical uses. The definition no longer applies to marijuana, as research has shown it’s an effective medicine for various conditions, yet it’s remained with an inaccurate classification.

The CARERS Act does not propose to change this classification, as it’s earlier form did. The bill would instead modify the Controlled Substances Act to allow states to create their own medical cannabis laws and prevent federal government agencies from enforcing their Schedule I marijuana classification. A budget amendment, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, provides a temporary protection from federal enforcement as of now.

While the proposals for changing how researchers obtain medical marijuana and modifying the Controlled Substances Act are significant, the removal of CBD and alteration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ policies would have a substantial and positive impact on patients and doctors across the U.S. and in states where medical marijuana is legal.

How CARERS Affects Patients and Doctors

CARERS would impact patients and physicians in two significant ways. One is by removing CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, and the other is by allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe medical cannabis.

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States, such as Georgia, are CBD-only states, meaning CBD is legal to use, but it’s illegal to produce or distribute. Because of these states’ legislation, patients are left to find their own distributor, while in-state producers are at risk for raids or seizures by state and federal officials. By removing CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, it would then be legal for states to import CBD medical marijuana and give patients easier access to treatment.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs denies physicians from prescribing medical marijuana. Congress has attempted in the past to pass legislation to give veterans access to medical cannabis without success. If CARERS passes, it would allow doctors to discuss and prescribe medical marijuana to veterans, which can help treat PTSD and other conditions.

What CARERS Means for the Future of Medical Marijuana

CARERS plays a vital role in the future of medical marijuana because it proposes to amend federal law and allow states, where medical marijuana is legal, to establish their own policies regarding medical cannabis’ use, distribution and research.

While many states have already legalized medical marijuana and created programs for its use, the Controlled Substances Act overrules those laws. Per the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is compared to heroin, and whether it’s medicinal or recreational, marijuana is illegal to:

  • Use
  • Distribute
  • Possess
  • Grow

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment has protected patients, doctors, distributors and producers from the federal government enforcement by preventing the Justice Department from using government funds to interfere in the application of state medical marijuana laws.

The amendment was introduced in 2014 and has been renewed since then in federal budget bills, but due to the Trump Administration’s and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s antic-medical cannabis stance, there’s concern over whether the amendment will be renewed in September. If the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment expires, statements from Sessions indicate he will take action against medical marijuana.

CARERS’ importance and influence on the future of medical cannabis is substantial because it’s a bill — meaning, if it passes, it becomes law and does not require continued renewal, as with the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. By protecting state legislation and patients from federal interference, as well as declassifying CBD, CARERS helps solidify medical marijuana’s future as an effective treatment method and grants more patients, like veterans, access to this medicine.

Discover Medical Marijuana Doctors Near You

Medical cannabis helps people every day with their pain and symptoms resulting from an injury or severe medical condition, like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or fibromyalgia. The CARERS Act ensures you and your loved one continue to have safe access to medical marijuana, without fear of legal action. It’s a significant bill that will have a long-term impact on medical cannabis and its availability to people across the U.S.

At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we help you find licensed physicians and dispensaries for medical marijuana. Our search filters make it easy to discover a doctor that’s compassionate and experienced, as well as a dispensary with knowledgeable and friendly staff in your area. Find a medical marijuana doctor or dispensary near you to begin easing you or your loved one’s discomfort.

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Published at Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Reparations for Drug War: Oakland to Give 50% of Marijuana Licenses to Those Most Effected

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Reparations for Drug War: Oakland to Give 50% of Marijuana Licenses to Those Most Effected

Those convicted of marijuana-related charges, and those in neighborhoods that police have excessively targeted for drug crimes, will be given 50% of all marijuana business licenses distributed by the city.

Oakland’s city council has unanimously given approval to the Equity Permit Program. The new law mandates that half of all licenses for marijuana businesses be given to Oakland residents who have either been imprisoned for a cannabis crime in the past 10 years, or live in one of several specific neighborhoods that cops have been shown to aggressively and excessively target in an attempt to arrest drug users.

“Communities of color have been negatively and disproportionately impacted by disparate enforcement of cannabis laws,” states the ordinance’s WHEREAS section. It also notes that “individuals arrested or previously incarcerated fro cannabis related offenses face significant barriers to obtaining employment, financial aid, public housing, and other economic opportunities”.

“I believe it’s an attempt not to perpetuate some of the inequities we’ve seen here locally and also in other states,” says Greg Minor, assistant to Oakland’s city administrator.

According to Minor, the city’s application process will be revised by the end of the year..

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:59:13 +0000