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Updated: 5 days 12 hours ago

Can Marijuana Use Lead to Spontaneous Orgasms? A Case Study

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:36
Marijuana use combined with previous sexual activity resulted in spontaneous orgasms for a 40-year-old woman, according to a new case study published by the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, and published online by the National Institute of Health,

“A case is described of a 40 year old woman with persistent spontaneous orgasms after use of Cannabis and five hour hard pounding sexual activity”, begins the study’s abstract. “She presented with severe anxiety in particular to suffer from Restless Genital Syndrome (ReGS). However, she did not fulfill to any of the five criteria of ReGS.”

It was concluded that “her spontaneous orgasms were the result of the use of Cannabis combined with long duration of previous sexual activity.” researchers state that; “This is not only important for physicians but also for highly exposed subjects like those active in the sex industry.”

The study, conducted by researchers in Pennsylvania and the Netherlands, can be found by clicking here.

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Nevada May Become First State to Allow Marijuana Clubs

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 06:27
Marijuana clubs where the plant can be consumed onsite aren’t prohibited under Nevada law, according to state officials.

This means that Nevada may soon become the first state with legal marijuana to have marijuana clubs or lounges; such facilities are illegal in the seven other states where the plant has been legalized (although several states, namely Alaska and Colorado, have been discussing allowing them for some time now).

According to the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, the state’s marijuana law does not prohibit city or county governments from operating a marijuana club or lounge where visitors may use marijuana onsite. This means that if a city or county chooses to approve of such outlets, they are within their legal right to do so.

In Nevada, it’s legal for someone 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana, though there’s currently no place for them to consume marijuana outside of a private residence; this makes it particularly challenging for tourists, given most motels don’t allow marijuana to be consumed, and consume in public remains illegal. Establishing marijuana clubs would give tourists and Nevada residents alike a place to legally consume cannabis, similar to how people can consume alcohol at bars.

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Study: THCA has “Potent Neuroprotective Activity”

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 02:42
According to a new study, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) has potent neuroprotective activity which may help treat Huntington´s Disease and other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.

(Photo: Leafly)

“Phytocannabinoids are produced in Cannabis sativa L. in acidic form and are decarboxylated upon heating, processing, and storage”, states the abstract of the study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology and the U.S. National Institute of Health. “While the biological effects of decarboxylated cannabinoids such as Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 -THC) have been extensively investigated, the bioactivity of Δ9 -THCA is largely unknown, despite its occurrence in different Cannabis preparations.” The aim of this study “was to determine whether Δ9 -THCA modulates the PPARγ pathway and has neuroprotective activity”.

For the study; “The effects of six phytocannabinoids on PPARγ binding and transcriptional activity were investigated.” In doing so, researchers found that;

Cannabinoid acids bind and activate PPARγ with higher potency than their decarboxylated products. Δ9 -THCA increases mitochondrial mass in neuroblastoma N2a cells, and prevents cytotoxicity induced by serum deprivation in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells and by mutHtt-q94 in N2a cells. Δ9 -THCA, through a PPARγ-dependent pathway, was neuroprotectant in mice intoxicated with 3-NP, improving motor deficits and preventing striatal degeneration. In addition, Δ9 -THCA attenuated microgliosis, astrogliosis and the upregulation of proinflammatory markers induced by 3-NP.

The study concludes by stating ;”Δ9 -THCA shows potent neuroprotective activity, worth consideration for the treatment of Huntington´s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.”

Th full study and its abstract, conducted by researchers in Spain, the U.S. and Italy, can be found by clicking here.

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Republican Senator Introduces Marijuana Research Bill

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 23:24
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 (the MEDS Act) which is designed to improve the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana as a safe and effective medical treatment.

In introducing this legislation, Senator Hatch was joined by Senator Schatz (D-HI) and cosponsors Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch said. “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”

“I urge my colleagues to join Senator Schatz and me in our joint effort to help thousands of Americans suffering from a wide-range of diseases and disorders. In a Washington at war with itself, I have high hopes that this bipartisan initiative can be a kumbaya moment for both parties.”

According to a press release from Senator Hatch, the MEDS Act will:

  • Encourage more research on the potential medical uses of marijuana by streamlining the research registration process, without imposing a scheduling determination on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
  • Make marijuana more available for legitimate scientific and medical research and the commercial production of any FDA-approved drugs derived from marijuana.
  • Retain important checks to protect against diversion or abuse of the controlled marijuana substances.
  • Require the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop and publish recommendations for good manufacturing practices for growing and producing marijuana for research.
  • Require the Attorney General to increase the national marijuana quota in a timely manner to meet the changing medical, scientific, and industrial needs for marijuana.
  • Codify the administration’s decision to terminate the Public Health Service and its review of proposals for medical research on marijuana.Prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from instituting any other marijuana-specific protocol reviews, other than the voluntary review that a researcher can request from National Institutes of Health (NIH) in order to access the expedited DEA registration process.

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Dutch Treat Marijuana Strain Review

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 21:06
Dutch Treat, a classic strain that’s one of the most popular in the U.S. and across the Amsterdam coffee shop scene, is a distinct and much-loved indica-dominant hybrid.

Dutch Treat has earned its vaunted reputation by continuing to be one of the most consistent strains on the market. It’s distinctly sweet and piney taste and flavor is thoroughly enjoyable. The high is pleasant and uplifting. It packs a small punch that’s stronger than many sativas, but far less so than a lot of heavy indicas. This makes it a perfect late-night, relaxation type of strain, while also being one you can use during the day without fearing much lethargy.

Not much is known about the true origin of Dutch Treat, though many believe it originated in the Pacific Northwest (particularly Vancouver Island) before making its way to Amsterdam.

 

Smell and taste:
  • Sweet, almost like slightly burnt sugar
  • Strong pine smell

 

 

Effects:
  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • Increased appetite
  • Happiness

 

 

Reviews:

At the time of publication Dutch Treat has 702 reviews on Leafly with an average score of 4.3 out of 5.

Highlighted quote (from one of the Leafly reviews): J9qw: “This heavy cerebral high is perfect for a night time adventure or a long hibernation in a comfortable bed. With earthy, piney, and lemony tones, the exhales comes off very sweet, not a bit of smokeyness, and left my mouth watering and wanting more. [T]he body and mind high… put me in the perfect mood for a session of music and headphones. This is the best tasting strain I’ve ever had, it did quite literally make my mouth water. Highly recommend this to new and old stoners alike.

 

Where to find it

If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, Leafly has a strain finder that can use your exact location to find the closet cannabis store or dispensary to you that is currently carrying the Dutch Treat marijuana strain; you can also look for a variety of other strains.

Click here for this strain finder.

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There Are Nearly 150,000 Full-Time Marijuana Jobs in the U.S., a 22% Increase from Last Year

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 02:15
There are 149,304 full-time marijuana-related jobs throughout the United States, according to an estimate calculated by Leafly.

This numbers marks a 22% increase from last year, when Leafly found that 122,814 jobs relied on the legal status of cannabis in America. In just 12 months, the legal cannabis industry has added 26,490 jobs to the nation’s workforce.

In order to calculate this, Leafly “devised a method that roughly translated annual sales into FTE (full time equivalent) jobs.” You can find the full explanation of that method here. As  noted by Leafly; “Not every job in the industry is a full-time gig. So these figures are FTE jobs, in which two half-time jobs equals one FTE. Also, it’s worth noting that these are jobs supported by legal cannabis. Not every one of those jobs touches the plant.”

These estimates include lawyers who advise business owners, electricians who consult on grow operations, hydroponic farming supply houses, insurance brokers, software developers, realtors who specialize in commercial cannabis real estate, etc., etc..

“Behind every one of these  jobs is a hard-working, taxpaying American”, states Leafly. “They’re the botanists at Medicine Man in Denver; the oil extraction technicians at Dama in Seattle; the budtenders at Farma in Portland; the mechanical engineers at Apeks Supercritical in Johnstown, Ohio; the scientists at Steep Hill Labs in Portland. They’re lawyers at Harris Bricken, they’re software developers at MJ Freeway Business Solutions. They’re writers, editors, web developers, event planners, and customer support specialists here at Leafly.”

Below is a list of the total number of estimated marijuana-related jobs in each state:

Alaska: 542

Adult Use and Medical

This is a tough market to figure out because such a high volume of sales occur to tourists during cruise ship season. Growing booms in summer, too, with the whole midnight sun thing happening. Depending on the month you choose, you could extrapolate to an annual market as low at $27 million and as high as $51 million. We’ll stick to the low side and estimate Alaska as a $30 million market in 2017. That supports 542 FTE jobs.

Arizona: 6,520

Medical

Arizona has 136,515 medical marijuana patients. That’s a per-capita rate of 2%, one of the highest in the nation, and it yields an annual market worth $360.8 million, which supports 6,520 jobs.

Arkansas: 11

Medical

Weeks after the application period for medical marijuana dispensary licenses, the state Department of Health had only received two completed forms. So we’re keeping our estimate of private-sector jobs at six (three for each application). Within state government, we figure there are probably about five full-time jobs supported by the need to create and carry out the licensing process. Even at mature build-out, the market here doesn’t figure to be robust. Arkansas has a population of 3 million. Qualifying conditions are strictly limited, and concern over the illegality of owning both a gun license and an MMJ card may keep a number of people from obtaining theirs. The buy-in for dispensaries is steep, too: a $15,000 application fee, and $100,000 for a license. With a tight capture rate of 0.09% (about that of New Jersey prior to its recent reforms), that would lead to an MMJ patient population of about 2,700. That’s a $7 million market, which would support about 129 jobs.

California: 47,711

Adult Use and Medical

The legal medical market in California is notoriously difficult to quantify. Last year we settled on an estimate of $2.4 billion. We’re conservatively estimating 10% growth that encompasses the natural expansion of the MMJ market as well as ramped-up hiring by companies getting ready for the 2018 opening of the state’s adult-use market. A 10% bump puts the annual value of the California market at $2.64 billion, which supports 47,711 FTE jobs.

Colorado:  26,891

Adult Use and Medical

Colorado sales, reported by the state, seem to have reached a leveling point in the past five months, averaging about $126 million per month since March. That translates into an annual market of $1.488 billion in sales, which supports 26,891 FTE jobs. We consider that a conservative estimate, because Colorado hosts an unusually high number of ancillary businesses that serve legal markets around the country. In legal affairs—to take just one sector—firms like Vicente Sederberg and Hoban Law Group have expanded rapidly and opened satellite offices in more than a half-dozen legal states.

Connecticut: 911

Medical

As of August 13, the state had 19,077 registered patients, nine dispensaries, and four producers. Based on the patient count, that’s a $50.4 million annual market, which supports 911 FTE jobs. That’s an increase of 44%, or 279 jobs, over our 2016 estimate.

Delaware: 67

Medical

Straight up: Delaware has terrible records on its medical marijuana program. The state counted 1,407 patients in FY 2016. That translates into $3.7 million in sales, which supports 67 full time jobs. That’s actually a decrease from the 81 jobs we estimated in 2016. How is that possible? It’s Delaware. They really don’t know what’s in their own data. We’re hoping for a better 2017 from Joe Biden’s old home. 

District of Columbia: 257

Adult Use and Medical

Last year we noted about 3,500 medical marijuana patients registered with the District of Columbia Department of Health. As of August 1 of this year, that number had grown to 5,372. At $2,643 in purchases per patient annually, that makes up a market worth $14.2 million—not quite double what it was late last year. That supports about 257 full time jobs.

Florida: 1,290

Medical

We’ve seen wild estimates of the state’s potential patient pool at upwards of 500,000. With a total population of 30 million, that would be a 2.5% capture rate—not impossible, but unrealistically high. In a report prepared for state officials last year, the Marijuana Policy Group estimated the patient pool at closer to 300,000. That would put the market at a value of $793 million, which would support more than 14,000 jobs. That’s at full maturity. As of July 27, though, there are only 26,968 registered patients. The growth is phenomenal; on June 7, there were 16,760 patients. At that rate, we could see up to 50,000 patients by the end of 2017. For now, we’ll base the market on 27,000 patients, call it $71.4 million, and estimate that it supports 1,290 full time jobs.

Hawaii: 860

Medical

Hawaii recorded 18,004 patients as of July 31. That translates into an annual market of $47.6 million, which supports 860 jobs. The data from Hawaii is tricky. The state has a high per-capita patient rate—with a population of 1.4 million, 18,000 patients represent a 1.25% MMJ rate—and continues to grow at a rate of about 500 new patients per month. At the same time, the first of the state’s eight licensed dispensaries only just recently opened on Maui. We’re a little hesitant to go with the 860 figure; that one dispensary isn’t supporting all those jobs, obviously. But 18,000 patients have to get their medicine somewhere. At this point most of them are accessing it, legally or semi-legally, outside of the licensed dispensary system—and that supports local growers and caregivers. We’ll call it 860 with reservations, and we’ll hope that Hawaii has all eight dispensaries open by this time next year.

Illinois: 1,352

Medical

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Medical Cannabis Division counts 27,100 patients as of August. That pencils out to about $71.6 million in annual sales. State records show that sales through the first seven months of 2017 came to $43.6 million, which puts annual sales at $74.8 million. We’ll go with that figure, which supports 1,352 jobs. That’s an increase of 466 jobs, or a growth rate of 49%, over the past year.

Louisiana: 22

Medical (soon)

When it comes to Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, very little makes sense to us. Earlier this year, the Las Vegas-based cannabis company GB Sciences agreed to pay Louisiana State University $1.2 million per year for five years for permission to grow medical cannabis at a secure location on the LSU campus. Patients are expected to access the market in 2018. Using $1.2 million per year as a kind of “market,” we figure that supports at least 22 FTE jobs at LSU.

Maine: 942

Adult Use and Medical

Homegrow is huge in Maine. How do we know? There are 51,324 registered medical marijuana patients in the state. That should translate into about $135 million in annual sales. Instead, the state only recorded $26.8 million in dispensary sales in 2016. Industry officials estimated an additional $27.3 million in caregiver sales in 2016. That’s a total market of $52.1 million, which supports 942 jobs.

Maryland: 559

Medical

Medical Maryland still hasn’t opened its dispensaries, but they say they’ll be serving patients by the end of 2017. In the meantime, there are actually quite a few people working in Maryland’s cannabis industry already, gearing up for opening day. And we have some unique data on those jobs. Because Maryland’s medical marijuana law contains diversity clauses, the state keeps statistical information on industry owners and employees. According to that data, there are currently 559 people working in the cannabis industry in Maryland.

Massachusetts: 1,873

Adult Use and Medical

As of July 31, the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services recorded 39,202 active registered patients. That translates into an existing medical market worth about $103.6 million, which supports 1,873 jobs. About 800 new patients join the registry every month. The opening of the adult-use market next year is expected to change all that, of course. With 6.8 million residents, Massachusetts has a population nearly the size of Washington’s—with another 4.5 million people in Connecticut and Rhode Island within driving distance. It wouldn’t be surprising to see annual sales approaching $1 billion by 2019.

Michigan: 12,515

Medical

The state reported 218,556 registered patients in late 2016. We estimate a 10% growth in those numbers over the course of this year, putting the patient count at around 240,400. We can extrapolate that to an annual market of $635.4 million, which supports 11,483 jobs.

Minnesota: 295

Medical

In one of the nation’s most restrictive medical marijuana programs, Minnesota’s two licensed cannabis manufacturers have lost $11 million in the past two years. The reason? Not enough patients. That’s changing. According to quarterly data from the Minnesota Department of Health, the state recorded 6,184 patients on June 30. That’s nearly double the total from 2016. The annual market is around $16.3 million, enough to support 295 jobs.

Montana: 621

Medical

Montana’s entire MMJ industry went through a painful shutdown last year; after a November ballot measure revived dispensaries, patients are finding medicine again. As of July, the state counted 17,819 patients, with 616 providers. That translates into a $47.1 million annual market, which supports 851 jobs. That’s a decrease from our late 2016 estimate, because of all the dispensary closures in 2016.

Nevada: 4,193

Adult Use and Medical

Nevada isn’t expected to release first-month adult use sales figures until later this fall, so we’ve had to do some back-of-the-envelope estimating here. There are 60 cannabis stores open in Nevada. The majority are in the Las Vegas area; nearly all the rest are in Reno/Sparks. Based on what we know from other adult-use states, we’ll estimate that the state’s top 10 stores will bring in $750,000 a month by the end of the year. The next 35 will realize $300,000 per month, with the bottom 15 bringing in about $90,000 a month. That adds up to annual sales of $232 million, which supports 4,193 jobs. We expect that number to continue to rise as a stop at a legal cannabis store becomes a part of the Vegas experience for many of the city’s 43 million annual visitors.

New Hampshire: 100

Medical

New Hampshire just opened its medical marijuana program up to patients with chronic pain and/or PTSD, which should expand the patient base considerably. In its 2016 annual report, the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program Registry counted 2,089 patients. That should support a market of around $5.5 million, which in turn supports 100 jobs.

New Jersey: 516

Medical

New Jersey counted 10,799 active patients in 2016. That’s an annual market of $28.5 million, which supports 516 jobs.

New Mexico: 1,102

Medical

As of July, the state had 45,441 active patients licensed, and 6,182 active personal production licensees. $15.2 million worth of medical marijuana products were purchased in the second quarter of 2017. That extrapolates into an annual market worth $60.8 million, which supports 1,102 full time jobs. That’s an increase of 52%, or 379 jobs, over our 2016 estimate.

New York: 1,341

Medical

The inclusion of chronic pain as a qualifying condition has finally made New York State’s medical marijuana program viable. Since adding the condition in March, the state’s patient population has grown by 87%. New York is now adding about 3,000 patients every month. The New York Department of Health had 28,077 patients registered as of Aug. 22. That translates into an annual market of $74.2 million, which supports 1,341 jobs. That’s more than twice as many jobs as in late 2016—an increase of 121%.

North Dakota: 6

Medical

The state of North Dakota has budgeted money for six full-time employees at the Department of Health. Until they roll out the regulations and grant licenses, there isn’t much else happening here.

Ohio: 90

Medical

Ohio’s market isn’t open yet, but plenty of people are already hard at work. In July, 185 companies applied for Ohio’s 24 available medical cannabis growing licenses. The state has also awarded substantial contracts for seed-to-sale tracking systems and licensing design. The medical market in Ohio could eventually be significant, as state law allows for a wide variety of qualifying conditions, including chronic pain. If 0.5% of the population carries a card, that’s a market of 55,000 patients, or around $150 million annually. For now, though, we’ll estimate that each of those applying companies required the work of at least one half-time partner. So 90 FTE jobs.

Oregon: 10,843

Adult Use and Medical

According to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, sales for the past five months have averaged $43.32 million, with a rise of about $5 million in sales every month. We estimate that by the end of 2017, Oregon will be a $600 million annual market. That supports 10,843 jobs.

Pennsylvania: 90

Medical

Pennsylvania granted 27 permits for MMJ dispensaries on June 29. Each is eligible to open a total of three locations. There are expected to be 52 open within the year (total). If you figure at least three full time owners/operators of those dispensaries, that’s about 90 jobs right now. The dispensaries may become operational on Jan. 1, 2018.

Puerto Rico: 215

Medical

A few months ago, the US territory has 4,000 registered patients, with 7,000 more awaiting their patient IDs. We’ll estimate 4,500 patients with cards by now. That equals a market size of $11.89 million, which supports 215 FTE jobs.

Rhode Island: 781

Medical

The state’s 16,360 patients and 3,000 caregivers translate into a $43.2 million market, which supports 781 jobs. That’s an increase of 78%, or 342 additional jobs, over 2016.

Vermont: 227

Medical

Vermont’s patient count is rising slowly, by about 29 new patients per week. The state doesn’t report its patient counts very often. Last November they had 3,487. By this June, they tallied 4,438. By Sept. 1, we expect the state to have 4,750 patients registered. That pencils out to an annual market of $12.5 million, which supports 227 jobs. That’s a 59% increase over 2016.

Washington: 26,556

Adult Use and Medical

Sales for the past four months (March–June) averaged $122.4 million. We expect Washington to nearly hit $1.5 billion in sales in 2017, at $1.469 billion. That supports 26,556 jobs.

West Virginia: 5

Medical

Move along, folks, nothing to see here. The Bureau for Public Health may not issue patient ID cards until July 1, 2019. The Bureau is currently drafting rules to implement the Medical Cannabis Act signed into law on April 19, 2017. We figure there may be 5 FTE jobs for state employees working out the regulatory system.

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Hawaii to Become First State to Go Cashless for Marijuana Sales

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 01:50

By Audrey McAvoy | AP

Hawaii said Tuesday that it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1 and will require people to use a debit payment app instead. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.

Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government, which regulates banking and still bans marijuana.

The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. Some mainland credit unions have opened accounts for cannabis businesses.

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000 but the state didn’t grant licenses to any dispensaries until last year. Maui Grown Therapies became the first to open last month after the state Department of Health gave it approval to begin sales.

During the Obama administration, the Justice Department issued guidelines to help banks avoid federal prosecution when dealing with pot businesses in states where the drug is legal.

But most banks don’t see those rules as a shield against charges that could include aiding drug trafficking. And they say the rules are difficult to follow, placing the burden on banks to determine if a pot business is operating within the law.

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Washington Budtender Abducted and Still Missing

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 01:33

By Lisa Rough, Leafly

A well-known budtender from a Eastern Washington cannabis dispensary remains missing this week after being abducted outside the shop Sunday afternoon.

The abduction of Cameron Smith from the Lucid retail store in Cheney, just outside the city of Spokane, has rocked the local cannabis community.

Cameron Smith, who works at Lucid as a budtender, was abducted outside of the dispensary Sunday, Sept. 10, in Cheney, Wash. He is a father of two and a strong advocate for cannabis. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

According to Dennis Turner, Lucid’s co-owner and Smith’s brother, the encounter started off simply enough.

Two women and one man pulled up to the dispensary in a white Ford F-250 truck, he told Leafly. Turner recalled that one of the female suspects appeared to be watching the dispensary intently. “It looked like she was casing the building, checking out the video cameras, and walking around the building,” he said.

Cameron Smith, pictured left (courtesy of Lucid’s Facebook profile).

The male suspect and one woman attempted to enter the dispensary, but when asked for identification, the male could not provide his ID, saying he had left it behind in Yakima, a city located about 190 miles west of Cheney, Turner said. He was subsequently denied entrance. The woman produced identification that showed her year of birth as 1999, Turner said. “She wasn’t in compliance and she was rejected from the shop.”

A sign dedicated to Cameron Smith sits on a chair outside of Lucid in Cheney, Wash., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Smith, who works at Lucid as a budtender, went missing Sunday, Sept. 10, after being abducted outside of the dispensary. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

“Our brother, Cam, was working as lead budtender—he’s everyone’s favorite budtender,” Turner told Leafly. “On lunch, he likes to sit in his car and listen to his music while he eats.”

Smith, the 46-year-old barber-turned-budtender from Toledo, Ohio, exited his car for a moment and walked right past the male suspect. He then returned to his vehicle, a 2008 silver Acura SUV, to finish his lunch.

“The gentleman pulled up to Cam’s car and it appeared there was a verbal exchange between them,” Turner explained, referring to video surveillance footage that captured the moment between the two men. “At that point, the dude pulled a gun out and fired two shots into the car. It knocked out the back window. He jumped into the driver’s seat and took off with Cam still in the car.”

The two accompanying women took off in the white Ford truck, which was later reported stolen from the White Swan area of Yakima County.

A poster board is filled with notes to Cameron Smith from community members and friends at Lucid in Cheney, WA, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. “Everyone knew Cam. Even if they didn’t partake in marijuana they appreciated him and they got to know him for who he was,” said store manager Stacia Shirley. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

“We haven’t seen or heard from him since,” said Turner.

The Cheney Police Department responded to requests saying they have warrants out for two individuals, but neither are currently in custody. Law enforcement have identified the male suspect as Donavon Culps and the woman as his 18-year-old niece, Violetta Culps, both from the White Swan area of Yakima.

Store manager Stacia Shirley holds a picture of Cameron Smith at an office near Lucid in Cheney, Wash., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Smith, who works at Lucid as a budtender, went missing Sunday, Sept. 10, after being abducted outside of the dispensary. “He got along with everybody and he had such a positive presence. There was no way you couldn’t love that man,” said Shirley. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

The case has expanded to include the nearby Spokane Police Department, Yakama Tribal Police, and the FBI.

Efforts were made to ping Smith’s cell phone, but the signal was lost near Medical Lake, at which point authorities believe the suspect threw Smith’s phone out the window.

Signs and candles are set up outside of Lucid in Cheney, Wash., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. “He embodied Lucid. He loved everybody in this company. He was a light in the shop. When you walk in he was the first thing you seen,” said Smith’s brother Dennis Turner. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

“They’re treating it as a kidnapping and potential homicide,” Turner said. “This guy has an extensive criminal background.”

The team at Lucid Marijuana has not given up hope. The group planned a vigil seeking Smith’s safe return, and law enforcement has been using all resources to bring him home. There’s been an outpouring of support local community members on social media, as Smith is well-known and well-loved within the small town of Cheney.

A site dedicated to Cameron Smith is set up inside the Lucid store in Cheney, Wash., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (Sofia Jaramillo for Leafly)

“They put out an APB [all-points bulletin] on his vehicle,” Turner said. “They’ve got helicopters searching, they’ve got the dogs out.”

A Cheney Police Department spokesperson told Leafly on Tuesday that Smith’s vehicle had been located in Airway Heights near Medical Lake, which is where authorities last made contact with Smith’s cell phone.

“The Washington state crime lab is still processing the scene,” Cheney PD reported. “We still have not located the victim.”

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For First Time Monthly Recreational Marijuana Sales Surpass $100 Million in Colorado

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 01:21
For the first time since the start of legal sales, the monthly market for recreational marijuana has surpassed $100 million in Colorado.

According to data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue, there was $137 million in legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state in July, with $101 million being from recreational marijuana sales (with the remaining $36 million from medical marijuana). This is a slight increase over the $95 million in recreational marijuana and marijuana products sold in June, and adds to the over $750 million in marijuana sold in the first half of this year. For July, Colorado earned roughly $15 million in taxes from these sales; since the start of legal marijuana sales in 2014, Colorado has garnered well over half a billion dollars in taxes.

July marked the start of a new tax structure for marijuana in Colorado. The tax is now 15% at the point of sale, with recreational marijuana sales exempt from the 2.9% state sales tax; prior to July the tax was 10% in addition to the state sales tax.

“Due to this tax change, the marijuana industry is in a period of transition,” says the Department of Revenue. “The value reported (for the retail marijuana tax revenue from the 2.9 percent state sales tax) may include, but is not limited to: errors filed by taxpayers that may be corrected by amended returns in the future, prior period return payments and 2.9 percent state sales tax collected on accessories.”

In Colorado tax revenue garnered from marijuana sales goes to fund schools, hospitals and roads.

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Poll: 57.5% of Those in Germany Support Legalizing Marijuana

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 16:11
New polling shows strong support for legalizing marijuana in Germany.

A new poll conducted by Mafo, a research firm, and commissioned by Playboy Deutschland, has found that a strong majority of German adults support the idea of legalizing marijuana.

According to the poll, 57.5% of German residents support the legalization of marijuana for adults, including allowing them to purchase the plant from retail outlets. 90.5% of the poll’s respondents stated that they believe the country’s current laws don’t work at preventing cannabis from being consumed.

Roughly 30% of those involved in the poll have consumed marijuana, considerably less than the nearly 50% of Americans who have consumed the plant at least once in their lives.

When it comes to “hard drugs” like cocaine and heroin, support for legalization is drastically lower, with 92.9% opposed to making these substances legal.

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California to Allow Marijuana Deliveries, but Not by Drones or “Unmanned Vehicles”

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 15:48
According to recently-released rules, marijuana deliveries will be allowed in California once the state’s legal marijuana system is up and running, but with some caveats.

On Wednesday the California Bureau of Cannabis Control released emergency regulations for the legal marijuana industry. The regulations allow marijuana to be delivered, but states that “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles”.

According to the regulations; “Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries. Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”

To read the nearly 500 pages of regulations released by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, click here.

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Ontario Announces Framework for Legal Marijuana – 150 Stores by 2020, Online Sales by July, 2018

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 21:33
The Ontario government has announced a framework for legal marijuana.

The plan, unveiled yesterday, will allow online as well as brick-and-mortar cannabis stores. Ontario officials expect there to be 80 marijuana stores open by July 1st, 2019, with 150 open by the following year. Online sales are expected to start throughout Ontario by July of 2018. The government is proposing a minimum age of 19 for purchasing marijuana from one of these outlets.

The plan was unveiled by Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins. The announcement makes Ontario the first province or territory in Canada to publicly put forth a comprehensive framework for marijuana, which will be legal throughout Canada by next year.

According to Naqvi, one of the primary goals of the plan is “stopping the sale of illegal, unregulated and unsafe cannabis”.

For cannabis retail outlets; “Trained and knowledgeable staff will sell products in a safe and socially responsible manner to restrict access for minors and give consumers the information they need,” said the Ministry of Finance in a statement.

Under the proposed framework, cannabis outlets would follow the same standards that apply to outlets that sell alcohol, as well as federal requirements for cannabis sales. This includes no self-service and mandatory training for staff members.

For online sales, the ministry says it will ensurte “secure and safe” delivery across Ontario.

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Cannabis Consumers Walk Differently than Non-Consumers, Finds Study

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:45
Those who consume marijuana walk differently than those who don’t, according to a new study published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

According to its abstract, the aim of the current study was to “investigate balance and walking gait in adults with a history of cannabis use”. To determine this researchers had cannabis consumers and non-consuming controls complete “screening tests, a gait and balance test (with a motion capture system and in-built force platforms), and a clinical neurological examination of movement.”

Compared to controls, cannabis users “exhibited significantly greater peak angular velocity of the knee (396±30 versus 426±50°/second, P=0.039), greater peak elbow flexion (53±12 versus 57±7°, P=0.038) and elbow range of motion (33±13 versus 36±10°, P=0.044), and reduced shoulder flexion (41±19 versus 26±16°, P=0.007) during walking gait. However, balance and neurological parameters did not significantly differ between the groups.”

In other words, cannabis consumers tended to move their elbows more, but their shoulders less, while swinging their knees in a quicker fashion.

According to researchers; “The results suggest that history of cannabis use is associated with long-lasting changes in open-chain elements of walking gait, but the magnitude of change is not clinically detectable.”

They conclude by stating that “Further research is required to investigate if the subtle gait changes observed in this population become more apparent with aging and increased cannabis use.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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Study: THCA May Treat Neurodegenerative and Neuroinflammatory Diseases

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 19:32
According to a new study, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a compound found in cannabis, may be useful in treating neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.

“While the biological effects of decarboxylated cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) have been extensively investigated, the bioactivity of Δ9-THCA is largely unknown, despite its occurrence in different Cannabis preparations”, states the study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. “The aim of this study was to determine whether Δ9-THCA modulates the PPARγ pathway and has neuroprotective activity”.

For the study; “The effects of six phytocannabinoids on PPARγ binding and transcriptional activity were investigated. The effect of Δ9-THCA on mitochondrial biogenesis and PGC-1α expression was investigated in N2a cells.” The neuroprotective effect “was analysed in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells expressing a mutated form of the huntingtin protein, and in N2a cells infected with an adenovirus carrying human huntingtin containing 94 polyQ repeats (mHtt-q94).” In vivo neuroprotective activity of Δ9-THCA “was investigated in mice intoxicated with the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP).”

After conducting the above-mentioned research, researchers conclude that; “Δ9-THCA shows potent neuroprotective activity, worth consideration for the treatment of Huntington´s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Metabolism?

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 23:44

By GreenDoorWest

How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Metabolism?

One of the more relatable side effects of smoking marijuana is feeling hungry. Getting the munchies has always been a natural part of getting high, but it turns out that the influence of medical cannabis on the human digestive system is much more complicated than we initially thought. More specifically, it seems that marijuana can have a profound impact on the body’s metabolism, and could lead to better overall health as a result.

Lower Obesity and Diabetes Rates

At first glance, one would assume that eating junk food while stoned is a surefire way to gain a ton of weight and become unhealthy, but the fact is that there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. In fact, despite plenty of stories of stoners eating food that would make a sober person think twice, it seems that those who partake are far less likely to become obese or diabetic. This is according to several recent studies, including one of the Inuit people, who are common marijuana smokers.

Cannabis and Metabolism

Overall, patients that smoke marijuana regularly seem to have an improved carbohydrate metabolism than nonsmokers and have less risk of developing high blood sugar, retaining fat, and having high cholesterol. But what gives?

Well, one leading theory as to why this happens is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the body, and they can help regulate all kinds of internal systems such as digestion, mood, and movement.

Overall, it seems that smoking weed contributes to both increase one’s enjoyment of food while also reducing one’s appetite and ability to gain weight.

While more research needs to be conducted, it seems like smoking weed can have a net positive effect on your metabolism and lead to both weight loss and improved blood sugar.

Medical Marijuana Delivery

Although you should consult your doctor before trying any kind of alternative treatment, if you are taking weed for any reason, you should look into getting it delivered. Whether you smoke it or use other methods like a cannabis Epsom salts bath, delivery makes it easier for you to get what you need.

So, if you were looking for another reason to get high, it seems like your waistline may thank you for taking up the habit.

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Oklahoma Has Spent Over $2 Million to Drug Test Welfare Applicants, Less than 3% Tested Positive

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 23:45
Oklahoma has squandered millions of dollars drug testing applicants for welfare over the past five years, with just a minimal percentage testing positive.

Since Oklahoma implemented a policy for drug testing applicants of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds in 2012, the state has spent over $2.2 million administering such tests. Out of 19,878 individuals drug tested under the new law, just 2.8% tested positive for drug use.

As part of the law, those applying for welfare are mandated to complete a drug screening. Those deemed likely to be drug users must then undergo a drug test; those testing positive for an illegal substance are banned from receiving funding for at least a year, unless they seek treatment in which case the ban is reduced to six months.

In 2014 the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that a similar program in Florida is unconstitutional. The court concluded that there’s no evidence to explain why it’s necessary to force individuals seeking welfare to submit to unreasonable search in order to receive aid, and suggested that the policy plays on stereotypes.

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President Trump Rescinds Order Limiting Police Militarization

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 21:05
President Trump has officially repealed an order that limits police militarization.

On Monday the Trump Administration rescinded Executive Order 13688, which limited the Pentagon’s ability to transfer some kinds of military equipment to state and local police departments. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the move “leaves law enforcement’s federally provided drones, explosives, and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles without oversight.”

“Military equipment should only be transferred to police if departments can prove appropriate use, training, and oversight, and that the equipment will only be used in specific and necessary circumstances, such as active shooter scenarios,” says Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). “At tremendous risk to public safety, the 1033 Program doesn’t require these vital measures.

Major Franklin goes on to state that; “We must stop reinforcing the mentality that police are warriors and civilians are the enemy – it endangers everyone.”

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Three Marijuana Strains Inspired by Game of Thrones

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:10

By Evan Hundhausen, Herb.co

With the seventh season of Game of Thrones officially over, and with just one season remaining, we thought now was the time to take a look at some marijuana strains inspired by the hit show. Whitewalker OG

Whitewalker OG is bred by Gold Coast Extracts. It won first place at the High Times 2013 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. Jake Browne of “The Cannabist” said this after sampling the strain, “(it) almost entirely shut down the speech center of my brain and made movement feel labored.” Woh, man! Maybe that’s exactly how those white walkers in the show really feel anyhow. You can also find another strain called White Walker Kush bred by DNA genetics.

 

Khaleesi Kush

Khaleesi Kush is a Game of Thrones strain invented by HighRise Seeds, but the seeds seem to have sold out fast and are not available at the time of this writing. It’s an indica and has genetics of Lavatera, Pakistani Kush and Bubblegum.

 

Blackwater

Blackwater is a potent Indica, which received 3rd place at the High Times 2014 Los Angeles Cannabis Cup. The flowers are purple and known to be sticky with a grape aroma. It’s bred by The Cali Connection. Just to remind you, “The Battle of the Blackwater” was when Tyrion Lannister (Yes, the short guy.) lead his army into battle and sent out the stuff called “wildfire” blowing up all those ships!

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FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA (Ecstasy) for PTSD

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 22:06
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA (the main compound found in ecstasy) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MAPS and the FDA have also reached agreement under the Special Protocol Assessment Process (SPA) for the design of two upcoming Phase 3 trials (MAPP1 and MAPP2) of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for patients with severe PTSD.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a novel treatment package that combines psychotherapeutic techniques with three administrations of MDMA as a pharmacological adjunct.

By granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation, the FDA has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.

The first Phase 3 trial (MAPP1), “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Site Phase 3 Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Manualized MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,” will begin enrolling subjects in Spring 2018, after the completion of an open-label lead-in training study at Phase 3 sites starting this fall.

“Reaching agreement with FDA on the design of our Phase 3 program and having the ability to work closely with the agency has been a major priority for our team,” said Amy Emerson, Executive Director of the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC). “Our Phase 2 data was extremely promising with a large effect size, and we are ready to move forward quickly. With breakthrough designation, we can now move even more efficiently through the development process in collaboration with the FDA to complete Phase 3.”

“For the first time ever, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will be evaluated in Phase 3 trials for possible prescription use, with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD leading the way,” said Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS. “Now that we have agreement with FDA, we are ready to start negotiations with the European Medicines Agency.”

The Phase 3 trials will assess the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 200-300 participants with PTSD, aged 18 and older, at sites in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. Participants will be randomized to receive three day-long sessions of either MDMA or placebo in conjunction with psychotherapy over a 12-week treatment period, along with 12 associated 90-minute non-drug preparatory and integration sessions. The primary endpoint will be the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5), as assessed by a blinded pool of independent raters.

In MAPS’ completed Phase 2 trials with 107 participants, 61% no longer qualified for PTSD after three sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy two months following treatment. At the 12-month follow-up, 68% no longer had PTSD. All Phase 2 participants had chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, and had suffered from PTSD for an average of 17.8 years.

MDMA transiently increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature in a dose-dependent manner that is generally not problematic for physically healthy individuals. Serious Adverse Events involving administration of MDMA in MAPS studies have been uncommon and non-life threatening. Phase 2 trial results are currently being prepared for publication.

About Breakthrough Therapies

The FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to treatments that (1) are intended alone or in combination with one or more other drugs to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition; and (2) preliminary clinical evidence indicates may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. Since 2012, the FDA has implemented this program to expedite the development and review of any treatment designated as a breakthrough therapy. For more information, see the FDA’s Fact Sheet.

About Special Protocol Assessments

The Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process is an agreement resulting from official evaluation and written guidance from FDA on the protocol design, clinical endpoints, planned conduct, and statistical analyses for the Phase 3 trial to ensure they are acceptable to support regulatory approval. Final marketing approval depends on the efficacy results, adverse event profile, and an evaluation of the ratio of risks and treatment benefits demonstrated in the Phase 3 clinical program. The SPA agreement may only be changed through a written agreement between the sponsor and the FDA, or if the FDA becomes aware of a substantial scientific issue essential to product efficacy or safety. For more information, see the FDA’s Guidance for Industry.

About MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a novel treatment package that combines psychotherapy with the administration of MDMA (approved generic name: midomafetamine) to achieve significant and lasting reductions in PTSD symptoms. MDMA is administered in three single-dose psychotherapy sessions administered in a clinic setting spaced three to five weeks apart, along with preparatory and integration sessions. Phase 2 clinical trials have shown that MDMA can reduce fear and defensiveness, enhance communication and introspection, and increase empathy and compassion. These combined neurological effects can enhance the therapeutic process for people suffering from PTSD.

About PTSD

PTSD is a serious, long-lasting, and life-threatening condition when not adequately treated, highlighting the need for expedited approval of new therapies. PTSD sufferers may relive their traumatic experiences through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached from daily life. Approximately 7% of the U.S. population, and 11-17% of U.S. military veterans, will have PTSD sometime in their life. As of June 2016, more than 868,000 veterans were receiving disability compensation for PTSD, with an estimated taxpayer cost of $17 billion per year. PTSD is a stress-related condition associated with reduced cognitive and psychosocial functioning, fractured relationships, inability to maintain employment, substance abuse, and increased risk of depression and suicide. In the general population, 27% of suicides are associated with PTSD.

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Netflix Develops Line of Marijuana Strains Inspired by their Shows

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:30
In an interesting move, popular streaming service Netflix has developed a line of marijuana strains meant to be consumed with some of their most popular shows.

According to a press release each of the new strains were “cultivated with the specific shows in mind, designed to complement each title based on their tone.” For example, “sillier shows may be more indica dominant, while dramedies will be more sativa dominant to help the more powerful scenes resonate.”

Three of the strains – Omega Strain, Eve’s Bush, and Rutherford B. Haze – were created to compliment one of Netflix’s newest shows Disjointed, about a California-based dispensary owner. Other strains include:

  • The Camp Firefood strain inspired by Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, described as a “very chill indica”
  • Banana Stand Kush inspired by Arrested Development
  • Vodkush inspired by Chelsea
  • Prickly Muffin inspired by Bojack Horseman
  • Peyotea 73 inspired by Grace and Frankie
  • Sassafrass OG inspired by Lady Dynamite
  • Poussey Riot inspired by Orange in the new Black
  • Baka Bile inspired by Santa Clarita Diet; and
  • Moon 13 inspired by Mystery Science Theater 300 Returns

 

According to Netflix, they aren’t making a profit from these strains, which were developed for promotional purposes.

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