Medicinal Cannabis

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Team Formed

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Ballot issues vet Brandon Lynaugh — who helped lead the campaign against the Responsible Ohio initiative last year — will serve as campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Monday announced it has formed a campaign team to support its initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio.

Brandon Lynaugh, a veteran of more than a dozen statewide ballot issue campaigns, will serve as campaign manager. Lynaugh most recently served as campaign manager for No On 3, which led the effort to defeat the Responsible Ohio initiative last year.

“We’re excited to have Brandon at the helm of our Ohio campaign,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is supporting Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “His extensive experience with ballot issues and his history of standing up for Ohioans make him the right person to lead our team. He is committed to establishing a sensible, fair, and compassionate medical marijuana program that will benefit countless seriously ill Ohio residents.”

Lynaugh’s support for establishing legal access to medical marijuana stems from his experience with a close family member who suffers from epilepsy.

Nevada: Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Host Fundraising Event For Parkinson's Disease

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The+Source medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host an awareness and fundraising event for Parkinson’s disease from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20.

The goal of the event is to raise money to support local Parkinson’s research organization, on behalf of Friends of Parkinson’s.

On Tuesday, April 19, the dispensary will introduce five new strains, all testing over 24 percent in THC. Evergreen Organix will offer edibles at a 10 percent discount and a free T-shirt with a purchase over $60. In addition, The+Source will offer $10 grams and an eighth of an ounce for $35 on select strains, as well as a 10 percent discount on all concentrates.

In addition to these specials, The+Source will also feature supplementary offers on Wednesday, April 20, including scratch and win cards. Fifty percent of the scratch-offs will award winners with a free gram, or an eighth of an ounce of its best-selling strain, Kimbo Slice, while the others will include free pre-rolls, percentages off a purchase and free reward points. Eight patients who make a purchase that day will be automatically entered to win a free quarter of an ounce of Grape Stomper, one of The+Source’s signature strains.

Canada: Current Oncology Mag Devotes Special Issue To Cannabis For Cancer Patients

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The treatment of cancer and its symptoms has been recognized as one of the most critical advances in cannabinoid therapeutics. Now, a special issue of Current Oncology magazine highlights the use of marijuana for cancer patients. The supplement is aimed at informing the medical community in Canada about the role that medicinal cananbis and cannabinoids can play in cancer management./

The special issue is guest edited by Dr. Mark Ware, director of clinical research, Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre, and executive director of the nonprofit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC). The issue is sponsored by Mettrum Health Corp., a vertically integrated producer of cannabis products.

"Finding answers to the questions regarding cannabis and cancer will require a concerted effort by patients, scientists, clinicians and the industry," said Dr. Ware. "We at CCIC are proud to have stimulated this discussion, and we urge all stakeholders to move forward with the needed research to address an issue that really is a matter of life and death.

Israel: Australian Premier Visits, Learns About Israeli Cannabis Scene

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Israel-Cannabis.com's co-founder, CEO Saul Kaye met this week with Australian Premier Mike Baird and the Australian trade mission currently in Israel. Kaye highlighted iCAN's involvement in medical cannabis clinical trials and plant based research via iCAN's partnership with Breath of Life (BOL) Pharma. The two companies recently partnered to form the first private Cannabis R&D center in Israel.

"As a company in Israel with two Australian founders, I was especially honored to have the opportunity to present our initiatives in front of Premier Mike Baird and the Australian mission," Kaye said. "The mission visit comes fresh off our CannaTech global innovation summit as we are looking to collaborate on research and development initiatives to advance medical cannabis and further Australia's entrance into a responsible medical cannabis program."

Baird, the Premier of Australia's New South Wales district which encompasses Sydney and has a population of about 7.7 million inhabitants, is one of Australia's leading proponents of legalizing medical cannabis in his country and could be on the cusp of leading historic legal reform as clinical trials have begun.

Nevada: Information Session Set For Seniors and Veterans on Medical Marijuana

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The Grove’s Medical Director Dr. Sue Sisley, nationally recognized cannabis expert, discusses treating ailments & diseases with medical cannabis

Dr. Sue Sisley, renowned medical cannabis researcher and expert, will lead an information session on medical cannabis and its potential for treating a variety of ailments and diseases. This discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7, at the Pahrump Senior Center.

“Information will be presented to seniors and veterans who want to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana, especially if they have a condition that could make them eligible," Dr. Sue Sisley said. "We will also provide resources for obtaining your medical marijuana card.”

Dr. Sisley is the medical director for The Grove. She is also a member of the Nevada state medical marijuana commission (ILAC). Her 20-year work with veterans has been noted as groundbreaking. She is the SITE principal investigator for the only FDA-approved research using whole plant medical cannabis, which studies the risk and benefits of cannabis for combat veterans with treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karma Holistic Health Foundation will be on site to walk applicants through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. This session is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Pahrump Senior Center
1370 W Basin Ave.
Pahrump, Nevada 89060

U.S.: Medicare Mermaids Hash Out Marijuana In Episode 2

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The newly released Episode 2 of "Medicare Mermaids," a satirical new political web series which debuted earlier this month, deals with medical marijuana -- as in, the mermaids get blunt about Republicans out to kill their buzz.

LB Zimmerman stars as "Rozzie Mendlebaum" and Susan J Sommer stars as "Sheila Rabinowitz" in "Medicare Mermaids." Each episode runs under 4 minutes and addresses the issues from a progressive perspective with humor and insight.

"We're thrilled that over 10,000 people have watched Episode 1 on Facebook and YouTube and would like to thank all our viewers and supporters," said LB Zimmerman, creator/writer/"Rozzie Mermaid. "I think Episode 2 will strike a chord with many Americans who think our country's laws about marijuana need to be changed, despite what Trump-supporter, Governor Chris Christie says and thinks.

Episode 2 takes on the issue of legalizing Medical Marijuana and addresses the absurdity that it is considered a Schedule I narcotic by the DEA. Episode 3 will debut on April 11, and it deals with Climate Change, which greatly affects Mermaids and Humans alike.

On "Medicare Mermaids" Mondays (every other Monday) there will be a new episode with Rozzie and Sheila tackling the political issues in their unique way, with humor and intelligence.

Progressive and liberal, Rozzie and Sheila tackle big issues like protecting Medicare, gun control, marijuana legalization, climate change and a Mermaid's "right to choose."

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Certified For Ballot; Supporters Prepare To Gather Signatures

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The Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

“We plan to mobilize a large group of volunteers, and we’ll be enlisting the help of paid petitioners to meet the state’s sizeable signature requirement in the short amount of time we have,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is supporting the initiative.

“A lot of our volunteers are family members of patients or patients themselves, so they’re incredibly motivated," Tvert said. "The initiative process isn’t easy, but it pales in comparison to undergoing chemotherapy or witnessing your child have seizures on a daily basis.”

Nevada: Information Session on Science of Medical Marijuana Set For April 7

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Dr. Sue Sisley, renowned medical cannabis researcher and expert, will lead an information session on medical cannabis and its potential for treating a variety of ailments and diseases. This discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7 at the Pahrump Senior Center, Pahrump, Nevada.

“Information will be presented to seniors and veterans who want to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana, especially if they have a condition that could make them eligible," Dr. Sisley said. "We will also provide resources for obtaining your medical marijuana card.”

Dr. Sisley has been hired as the medical director for The Grove. She is also a member of the Nevada state medical marijuana commission (ILAC).

Her two decades of work with veterans has been noted as groundbreaking. Dr. Sisley is the SITE principal investigator for the only FDA –approved research using whole plant medical cannabis, which studies the risk and benefits of cannabis for combat veterans with treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karma Holistic Health Foundation will be on site to walk applicants through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. This session is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7th 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Pahrump Senior Center - 1370 W Basin Ave, Pahrump, NV 89060

ABOUT THE GROVE

California: SF Bay Cannabis Career and Job Fair Set For April 10

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Bloom Farms™, a San Francisco based medical cannabis company, will present its fourth SF Bay Area Cannabis Career & Job Fair, Sunday, April 10, at City Nights, 715 Harrison St, San Francisco, from 12 pm - 4 pm PT.

“The last SF Bay Area Cannabis Career and Job Fair in July helped hundreds of job seekers take their first step toward a new career in the medical cannabis industry," said Bloom Farms Director Michael Ray. "This will be our fourth industry specific career fair for cannabis job seekers.

"This career fair represents a shift in the way people view the medical cannabis industry," Ray said. "We’re chipping away at the negative social stigma that exists around marijuana by helping great job candidates find great companies to work for.”

“Bloom Farms’ Cannabis Career and Job Fair is one of the only recruiting events that truly caters to the cannabis industry,” said Harborside Health Center HR Recruiter Mistie Jung. “Since participating in the last two fairs, we’ve hired four qualified and quality applicants to our team.”

Last year’s event hosted 1,800 attendees, including 26 employers that hired 125 workers, according to Bloom Farms. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger.

"This will be an opportunity for those who are just getting started in their professional careers to find actionable advice from medical cannabis industry experts," reads a March 30 press release from Bloom Farms. "In an effort to support motivated job seekers the Bloom Farms team will also host a resume workshop the week prior; space is limited."

Colorado: Military Veteran Gives Away Free Marijuana To Fellow Vets For PTSD

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Colorado Springs cannabis club headed by a military veteran is handing out free marijuana to other veterans, hoping to give them relief from issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for chronic pain they suffer after returning home from war zones.

The Veteran Farmers Alliance over the weekend gave away more than a half-pound of weed, along with cannabis edibles, worth about $1,400, to veterans at the Dab Lounge, reports RT.com. Founder Steve Defino said other groups should be doing the same thing, and that cannabis was essential for him to deal with his PTSD, which he has battled for more than a decade.

Defino said he was prepared to spend nearly 20 times the amount he spent on Saturday at a followup event planned for Veteran's Day in November, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.

“I’ve seen other organizations operate, and I’m not very happy with the way they do it,” Defino said in an interview with KXRM. “They need to be donating more and doing more to show these guys that they actually care.”

“I’ve been able to actually go through my memories, recall my memories without getting upset anymore, and I’m starting to live my life again like a normal person,” Defino said.

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified By Attorney General; Advances to Secretary of State

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The measure proposed by Ohioans for Medical Marijuana would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Friday notified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana that he has certified the summary of the group’s proposed ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program and submitted it to the Ohio Secretary of State.

The attorney general confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

The Ohio Ballot Board will now have 10 days to review the measure and confirm it complies with Ohio initiative laws. Initiative backers will then need to collect an additional 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July in order to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

“We’re pleased with the attorney general’s determination and appreciate his guidance during this process,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is supporting the initiative. “Ohio is one step closer to adopting a sensible medical marijuana law that ensures seriously ill people have safe and legal access to their medicine. We’re looking forward to hearing back from the secretary of state and getting our petition drive started as soon as possible.”

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Nevada: Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Host Patient Orientation

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The+Source, one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries to open for business in the Las Vegas Valley, will offer an informational orientation and seminar at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 3.

Located at 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd., the orientation is free of charge and does not require an RSVP. Aimed at new medical marijuana patients and cardholders, the orientation is also open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about the medical uses of cannabis.

All attendees will have the opportunity to speak with The+Source’s director of medical education, Dr. William Troutt. Attendees do not have to be cardholders to participate.

“It has been my sole focus to consult with thousands of patients to help them find the cannabis-based medicine that is right for their ailment,” said Dr. Troutt. “Every patient is different; and how each person reacts to various strains of cannabis is different. I work with The+Source to educate patients, so they can find the best medication.”

More information about the upcoming orientation can be found online at www.thesourcenv.com.

About The+Source

"The+Source aims to provide a safe, clean, comfortable, respectful and compassionate environment to its patients looking to obtain medical marijuana," according to the dispensary.

Canada: Government Won't Challenge Medical Home Grow Court Ruling

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Good news! The Canadian Government won't be appealing the recent Federal Court decision to allow authorized medicinal cannabis patients to grow their own marijuana.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada's Minister of Health, on Thursday issued the following statement regarding the matter of Allard v. Canada:

"Following a careful review of the Federal Court's decision in the matter of Allard v. Canada, the Government of Canada has decided not to appeal the decision. In the coming months, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) will be amended to give effect to the Court's judgement. The Government's intention is to have completed the amendment process by August 24, 2016, which is the timeframe set by the judgement.

"In the meantime, I would like to remind authorized medical marijuana users that the MMPR remain in full effect," Philpott's statement reads. "Unless one is covered by a Court injunction, Licensed Producers are the only legal way to obtain marijuana for medical purposes.

"At the same time, our Government will be moving forward with the legalization, strict regulation and restriction of access to marijuana," Philpott's statement reads. "In the near future, a Task Force will be established that will consult broadly with experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement in order to examine and report on all of the issues related to legalization."

U.S.: Veterans Increasingly Turning To Marijuana For PTSD Relief

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More and more states and considering allowing military veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana for relief. But many veterans aren't waiting for permission.

Military veterans are increasingly using medicinal cannabis, although it remains illegal in most states and is frowned upon by the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports the Associated Press.

Marijuana does a lot better managing anxiety, insomnia and nightmares than the harsh pharmaceuticals approved by the federal government and handed out by the VA, according to many former members of the military. Prescription drugs such as Zoloft and Klonopin are often ineffective and make them feel like zombies, many veterans said.

"I went from being an anxious mess to numbing myself with the pills they were giving me," said 39-year-old former Marine Mike Whiter of Philadelphia, where marijuana is still illegal. "Cannabis helped me get out of the hole I was in. I started to talk to people and get over my social anxiety."

After Andy Zorn got home from serving with the Army in Iraq, he suffered from PTSD and self-medicated with cannabis. The VA diagnosed him with "marijuana dependence" as well as depression and bipolar disorder, according to his mother, Sally Schindel of Prescott, Arizona.

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Bill To Be Introduced In State Senate

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Ohio Legislature could debate a medical marijuana bill as early as next month, but it's still unclear whether Republicans, who control the statehouse, will support the legislation.

Sen. Kenny Yuko said he plans to introduce a bill in the coming weeks based on medicinal cannabis laws in 23 other states and the District of Columbia, reports Jackie Borchardt at Cleveland.com. People with certain medical conditions, including seizure disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could be authorized by their physician to buy and consume cannabis if the bill is approved.

Yuko didn't give additional details about the bill, including who might grow cannabis for the program. He said his bill is a "starting point" and he hopes his Senate colleagues will weigh in so it can be passed before June.

"It's a piece of legislation that most people who are reading it are finding palatable and are supportive of it," Yuko said.

Lawmakers need to pass the bill before they adjourn for their summer break in June, according to Yuko. They likely won't return to work until after the November election, and by then, voters could have already rendered their action moot.

Three constitutional amendments legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes have been proposed this year. Polls show Ohio voters overwhelmingly support medical marijuana.

Global: Marijuana-Based Drug Found To Reduce Epileptic Seizures

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The first major clinical trial of an experimental drug derived from marijuana has shown that Epidiolex reduces epileptic seizures, the product's developer announced on Monday.

The shares of Big Pharma giant GW Pharmaceuticals more than doubled on Monday after the announcement.

GW said Epidiolex achieved the main goal of the trial, reducing convulsive seizures when compared with a placebo in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare, severe form of epilepsy, reports Andrew Pollack at The New York Times.

If Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, as expected, it would be the first prescription drug that is extracted from marijuana. Marinol (Dronabinol), the THC capsules prescribed for nausea and appetite, use synthetic rather than plant-derived THC.

Epidiolex is a liquid containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis.

As many as one-third of the nearly 500,000 American children with epilepsy aren't sufficiently helped by existing Big Pharma drugs, according to GW. Parents of these children have, in desperation, tried medicinal cannabis extracts prepared by medical marijuana dispensaries.

U.S.: New CDC Guidelines Instruct Pain Doctors Not To Test For THC

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Long-awaited guidelines on prescribing opioid medications for pain, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, instruct physicians not to test patients for THC and its metabolites.

This is a much-needed development, particularly as many pain patients nationwide, especially veterans, have had their painkiller prescriptions canceled and care terminated because of showing up positive for marijuana.

"Urine drug testing results can be subject to misinterpretation and might sometimes be associated with practices that might harm patients (e.g., stigmatization, inappropriate termination from care)," the guidelines state, reports California NORML.

"Clinicians should not test for substances for which results would not affect patient management or for which implications for patient management are unclear,” the CDC guidelines state. "For example, experts noted that there might be uncertainty about the clinical implications of a positive urine drug test for tetrahyrdocannabinol (THC).”

Alabama: Democratic Senate Nominee Favors Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

While the pace of cannabis law reform may sometimes seem far too slow, we are making major progress. One way that I know this, is by watching my home state of Alabama, the "Heart of Dixie," rightly considered one of the most conservative states in the union.

You may be asking, "Progress? What progress?" Well, for the first time in history, as far as we've been able to determine, the 2016 Democratic nominee for United States Senator from Alabama favors marijuana legalization.

"Current marijuana policy in Alabama, and across America, lacks reason, intelligence and sanity," said Democratic Senate nominee Ron Crumpton, a native of Wilsonville, Alabama. "It creates criminal enterprises, puts our children in unnecessary danger and clogs our courts and prisons with people who would be considered normal productive members of society, but because they choose to use marijuana as opposed to alcohol, they are considered criminal."

It is mighty refreshing to see a major party nominee for Senator with such an enlightened viewpoint -- and doubly so, since Crumpton is from the Deep South.

"The prohibition of marijuana promotes violence, costs millions of dollars in law enforcement/corrections, and violates the constitutional rights of Americans," Crumpton said. "Using marijuana does not present a viable danger to anyone. Therefore, denying the use of marijuana, or arresting someone for the use of marijuana is not only a violation of our personal rights and liberties… it is asinine."

U.S.: Former NBA Star Says 80% of Players Use Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American basketball star Jay Williams believes it's time for the NBA to get up to date on marijuana.

"It's easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin, and look, I was addicted to it for five years plus so I know," Williams told Jade Scipioni at FoxBusiness.com. "But when you say marijuana you get a reaction, ahh, it's a gateway drug."

Williams estimated that "75 to 80 percent" of NBA players use marijuana.

"You see pictures of guys in California going in and getting their medical marijuana cards," he said. "And I'm not just saying athletes; let's talk about society. I know a lot of people that use it.

It's something that the whole world is becoming more progressive with," Williams said. "So it's about time some of these entities do so as well."

The NBA's "anti-drug" agreement specifies that players are subject to four random drug tests through the season. The tests are conducted by an independent, third-party entity without prior notice to the athlete.

Players who test positive for cannabis and are convicted of the violation will be required to enter a "Marijuana Program." Second offenses result in a $25,000 fine, and third offenses result in a five-game suspension.

“I know so many athletes that play on Percocet," Williams said. "Have you ever taken Percocet by the way? It makes you way more groggy than rubbing cannabis oil into your skin.”

California: S.F.'s First Boutique Style Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens

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Harvest, which is calling itself "San Francisco’s first boutique-style cannabis dispensary and private member lounge," opened in January, and according to its owners, the shop "offers a new style of shopping experience for those who are seeking a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free, tested medical cannabis products."

Harvest, which is located on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond District, offers, according to management, "expertly curated artisanal products sourced from California’s craft cannabis artisans."

The retail store and members-only lounge interiors "were imagined by top designers from San Francisco and Chicago, reflecting a completely innovative approach to cannabis merchandising and consumption," we learn from a Wednesday press release.

"Harvest serves a growing number of San Franciscans who are seeking a retail experience that transcends the counter-culture industry reputation," the prepared release reads. "With windows open to Geary Boulevard, the bright and airy atmosphere features modern wood detail, contemporary lighting, polished concrete floors, and open shelving.

"Customers can freely interact with cannabis consultants and carefully chosen selections of cannabis flowers, concentrates, cosmetics, edibles, accessories, pet supplies and other products," the release reads.

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