New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis

NEW MEXICO: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday formally enacted adult-use cannabis legalization in the state of New Mexico, signing into law an historic measure approved by the state Legislature after the governor called them into a special session for that purpose late last month.

“The legalization of adult-use cannabis paves the way for the creation of a new economic driver in our state with the promise of creating thousands of good paying jobs for years to come,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We are going to increase consumer safety by creating a bona fide industry. We’re going to start righting past wrongs of this country’s failed war on drugs. And we’re going to break new ground in an industry that may well transform New Mexico’s economic future for the better.”

New jobs, new revenue

The sales of adult-use recreational cannabis could amount to $318 million in the first year, creating over several years what could be more than 11,000 new jobs, according Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, independent economist and public finance expert. Preliminary estimates are that the excise tax will raise at least $20 million for the general fund in the first full fiscal year, with significant growth in subsequent years. Local governments will also benefit from the added revenue.

“As we look to rebound from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, entrepreneurs will benefit from this great opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises, the state and local governments will benefit from the added revenue and, importantly, workers will benefit from the chance to land new types of jobs and build careers,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.

“Today, New Mexico seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish a multi-million industry with a framework that’s right for our state and will benefit New Mexicans for generations to come,” said Rep. Javier Martínez. “Not only are we launching a burgeoning industry that will strengthen our economy, create jobs and generate tax dollars, but we are doing so in an equitable way that will curb the illicit market and undo some damage of the failed war on drugs.”

A well regulated industry spurs economic activity, creates revenue for state and local government and protects the public

The governor’s signature today launches an administrative process that will culminate in the launch of commercial sales for adults no later than April 1, 2022. The issuance of licenses to conduct commercial cannabis activity will begin no later than Jan. 1, 2022.

“This is a major new program for the state that will have a positive impact on job growth and the economy, but it does require smart regulation in order to protect the public and entrepreneurs seeking to get into the business,” said Sen. Katy Duhigg. “I’m proud of the work we did to ensure that we are creating a fair and equitable program that has a low barrier to entry. At the same time, proper regulation and oversight will keep our successful medical cannabis program intact and help new businesses grow while keeping consumers safe.”

Gross receipts tax and local taxes apply to the value of the adult-use purchase.

“This is the right model for New Mexico because it creates a local, sustainable and regulated industry while at the same time protecting what’s near and dear to all us, including public health, road safety and the well-being of our youth,” said Superintendent Linda M. Trujillo of the state Regulation and Licensing Department, which will oversee and manage the new industry.

New Mexico becomes the latest state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use cannabis, and is only the fifth state to enact it through its state Legislature.

“The standardization and statewide regulation that comes with a bona fide industry will protect consumers,” said Trujillo. “In addition, local jurisdictions will be able to enact reasonable zoning, land use and other business requirements.”

Protecting public safety, health, consumers and N.M. youth

The legislation creates a Public Health Advisory Board to monitor cannabis use and data pertaining to the health effects of legalizing cannabis. In addition, the Department of Health is required to provide annual reports, including information on youth access, driving and road safety, workplace safety, consumer and product safety and emergency room visits involving cannabis.

“Protections for our children are an essential part of this plan and include strict restrictions of packaging, labeling and advertising, as well as stiff penalties for anyone selling cannabis to persons younger than 21,” said Sen. Linda Lopez.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Javier Martinez, Rep. Andrea Romero, Rep. Debbie Armstrong, Sen. Linda Lopez and Sen. Katy Duhigg.

“The legalization of cannabis is ultimately a public health measure. When we regulate the industry, we can control the product quality, protect consumers, and bring down the dangerous illicit market in our state,” said Rep. Debbie Armstrong. “This law includes dozens of necessary safeguards to protect our youth, ensure adequate supply for the medical program, and will bring in additional funds for programs, services, and research to support the health and wellbeing of New Mexicans.”

Expungement of convictions

Surrounded by legislative sponsors and advocates outside the state Capitol, Gov. Lujan Grisham, who has advocated for legalization since taking office, signed legislation that will authorize the expungement old low-level cannabis convictions from the record of what is expected to be tens of thousands of New Mexicans and make possible the potential early release of low-level convicted cannabis offenders who are currently incarcerated.

“Thousands of people, and a disproportionate number of them from communities of color, have been wronged by this country’s failed war on drugs,” said Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino. “We will all benefit from our state’s smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions.”

“For decades, our communities of color have been discriminated against for minor cannabis offenses, so we must ensure that those who would not be arrested today do not continue to be incarcerated or held back by criminal records for acts that are no longer crimes,” said Rep. Andrea Romero. “By ensuring equity and social justice in our cannabis legalization, we are saying ‘enough’ to the devastating ‘War on Drugs’ that over-incarcerated and over-penalized thousands of New Mexicans.”

This important social justice measure was sponsored by Sen. Lopez, Sen. Duhigg, Rep. Martinez, Rep. Romero and Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino.

“The signing of the cannabis legalization and expungement package will ensure equitable opportunities for farmers and other small businesses, and long overdue justice – including automatic expungement – for those with past cannabis arrests or convictions,” said Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director, Resident States and New Mexico, Drug Policy Alliance. “We thank the Governor and our legislative allies for not taking ‘no’ for an answer and stopping at nothing until we were able to get justice for New Mexico communities – particularly Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native and Indigenous – that have been immensely harmed by cannabis prohibition.”

***

“This legislation is a major, major step forward for our state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Legalized adult-use cannabis is going to change the way we think about New Mexico for the better – our workforce, our economy, our future. We’re ready to break new ground. We’re ready to invest in ourselves and the limitless potential of New Mexicans. And we’re ready to get to work in making this industry a successful one.”

The governor’s signature on the final bills to have reached her desk from the special session caps an incredibly productive spring 2021 legislative season, during which the Legislature and governor delivered a series of significant policy achievements, including many that were either campaign promises and/or longstanding priorities of the governor.

On top of the passage of a constitutional amendment ballot measure that would authorize an additional portion of the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education, and in addition to long-sought social welfare measures, the Legislature authorized and governor enacted almost $1 billion in direct pandemic relief for individuals and businesses across the state, including $200 million in small business grants, $500 million in small business loans, a tax holiday for hospitality businesses and restaurants, a $600 tax rebate for working families and a sweeping tax overhaul that will amount to a significantly boosted tax rebate for tens of thousands of New Mexico middle-class families.

Curt’s Cannabis Corner: What Are Flavonoids?

Welcome to the next installment of Curt’s Cannabis Corner, a new series of educational articles from technical writer Curt Robbins at Higher Learning LV and MJNews Network. This collection is intended for cannabis and hemp industry professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this specialand newly legalherb. 

This week readers learn about flavonoids, a third category of wellness molecule produced by the hemp/cannabis/marijuana plantbeyond psychotropic cannabinoids and fragrant terpenes. 

Please remember to #LearnAndTeachOthers™ by sharing this article far and wide!


CURT’S

CANNABIS

CORNER

What are Flavonoids?

By Curt Robbins

 


Most cannabis consumers are familiar with cannabinoids and, more specifically, the two commercially dominant examples produced by the cannabis/hemp plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, the herb produces two other families of wellness molecules beyond the set of roughly 146 cannabinoids discovered to date: Terpenes and flavonoids. 

The functional distinction between these two families of phytomolecules is clear. Terpenes employ aroma to protect hemp and cannabis plants from pests and predators while simultaneously attracting pollinators (insects or human cultivators). Likewise, flavonoids perform the same basic evolutionary function, but do so with plentiful pigment rather than abundant aroma. 

Modern peer-reviewed research has revealed that both terpenes and flavonoids possess value in the treatment of literally hundreds of disease states and adverse health conditions. All three families of chemical compounds produced by hemp have exhibited significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This makes these phytomolecules potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of common diseases such as cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and a variety of eating and sleeping disorders. 

The following excerpt from the Higher Learning LV™ course Cannabis Core Concepts will teach you more.


Overview

Flavonoids, sometimes called bioflavonoids, are the third major family of wellness molecules produced by the hemp plant. The lack of attention to flavonoids by hemp industry professionals and the scientific community has inspired some thought leaders to label them “the red headed stepchildren of phytomolecules.” 

Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals found in a large number of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These special compounds are responsible for the sometimes vivid colors of the plants that produce them. Perhaps of greater value to humans, they also have demonstrated significant medicinal efficacy—most notably anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Like terpenes, flavonoids are produced by thousands of plant types in nature beyond cannabis. In fact, tens of thousands of plant species collectively make more than 6,000 types of flavonoids. Of these, about 20 appear in the hemp genome (DNA). 

Flavonoids = Pigmentation

The Latin root of “flavonoid” is flavus. Literally interpreted, flavus means “yellow” (it is sometimes translated as “organic/natural yellow”). Despite the understandably common misinterpretation of the root term’s meaning as “flavor” in modern English, flavonoids serve the pigment-driven evolutionary function of attracting pollinators and dissuading pests for the plants that produce them (flavor, for the most part, is provided by terpenes).

In this respect, flavonoids are the visual equivalent of the aroma produced by terpenes. Both serve as sensory siren songs for pollinating insects (of critical value to the propagation of the species) while simultaneously warning predators to stay away and seek their meal elsewhere.

The Butterfly Effect

Interesting, flavonoids provide the color for not only thousands of plants in nature, but also some of the insects that feed on them. In fact, one of the most photographically coveted insects in nature, the butterfly, maintains an intimate relationship with flavonoids and the plants that produce them.  

According to a 1994 article by Nicolas Wade entitled “How Nature Makes a Butterfly Wing” that appeared in The New York Times, flavonoids are responsible for the sometimes vibrant dyes in the wings of butterflies. 

“In the pupil stage, the patterned wing cells develop a rainbow of tones as each crafts a scale of a single hue,” wrote Wade. It seems that butterflies are among insect species that are incapable of producing flavonoids. “The rich palette of dyes in butterflies’ wings are all derived from…flavonoids, which the insects cannot make themselves and must sequester from their food plants,” he continued. 

Copyright © 2021 Higher Learning LV™. All Rights Reserved. 

Curt’s Cannabis Corner: What Is Delta-8 THC?

 

UPDATE: “Understanding Legal Status”

Editor’s Note:  Welcome to the first installment in the new series of educational articles from technical writer Curt Robbins at Higher Learning LV and MJNews Network. This collection is intended for cannabis and hemp industry professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this specialand newly legalherb.  

For the next two weeks, Curt teaches readers about the hot new phytomolecule delta-8 THC that is causing such a stir among consumers, entrepreneurs, and medical professionals.


CURT’S CANNABIS CORNER

What is Delta-8 THC?

By Curt Robbins

For years, the producers, processors, distributors, marketers, regulators, and consumers of cannabis have focused primarily on only two molecules produced by the plant: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both are sold by thousands of companies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

 

As a wave of medical and adult use marijuana legalization reaches beyond North America to the far corners of the globe, companies are beginning to promote and exploit additional wellness molecules produced by cannabis and hemp. Creative entrepreneurs and product formulators are seeing the advantages, both financially and legally, of leveraging molecular options beyond CBD and THC. 

The Big Picture

The cannabis/hemp plant species produces three primary families of wellness molecules that, together, number in the hundreds. There are approximately 146 cannabinoids, 20 flavonoids, and 200 terpenesthe majority of which have demonstrated significant medicinal efficacy, as revealed by thousands of peer-reviewed research studies since the late 18th century. 

Before delving into the details of delta-8 THC, it is important to properly frame the topic.   

Understanding Molecular Analogs 

Most cannabis consumers are ignorant of the fact that the chemical compounds produced by cannabis are members of small groups called analogs (sometimes cited as isomers in research literature). In fact, the CBD family features seven distinct analogs, as does the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG).    

 

THC is no exception. The analog with which most consumers are familiar is the infamous delta-9 variant (technically called the neutral analog), which produces sometimes significant psychoactivity. There’s also the acidic precursor THCA, which conveys no psychoactivity but significant wellness benefits and is popular as a juiced edible.

Yet another THC analog is the varin version, THCV, which conveys greater psychoactivity than delta-9, but only at more potent doses. An Italian research study published in December 2019 discovered additional THC and CBD analogs, THCP and CBDP, respectively (the researchers dubbed them the phorols). Delta-8 THC is yet another member of this collection of molecular analogs.

While molecular analogs sometimes share many of the same effects when consumed by humans (such as decreased systemic inflammation or an alleviation of depression or pain), such homogeneity cannot be assumed. For example, while delta-8 and delta-9 THC both stimulate appetite, THCV decreases it! Another frequently confusing feature of cannabinoids is a characteristic called the biphasic response curve. This mechanism involves a molecule producing one effect at a low dose and a differentand sometimes polar oppositeeffect at a stronger dose. 

A good example of the mechanism of biphasic response curves is delta-9 THC. At low doses, this molecule is known for helping consumers manage stress and decrease anxiety (“Netflix and chill, dude”). At more potent doses, however, the same molecule can cause increases in anxiety and paranoia and even result in panic attacks. 

In the end, the differences between cannabinoid analogs are good because they provide additional options to patients and lifestyle consumers. Crohn’s disease and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience sometimes extreme nausea and lack of appetite, which can lead to malnutrition and worsen their health. Wellness molecules that function as effective appetite stimulants are of obvious value to such consumer populations. 

Understanding Hemp vs. Cannabis

To properly understand the characteristics of delta-8 THC relative to the myriad molecules produced by the cannabis plant, one must first gain insight into the legal and technical differences between hemp and cannabis. Hemp is considered any sample of the plant that tests below 0.3 percent (one-third of one percent) delta-9 THC in weight by volume (research has indicated that psychotropic effects do not manifest in most adult consumers until samples feature at least one percent delta-9 THC). 

Hemp and cannabis have been illegal in the United States since August 1937, when the Marihuana Tax Act was passed by Congress. In December 2018, Congress reversed course after 81 years of prohibition by enacting the Farm Bill, which legalized samples of the plant containing below the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC standard employed in North America. Europe features a stricter 0.2 percent delta-9 THC limit, although this may change to 0.3 percent, in alignment with global market leaders such as the U.S. and Canada, in the near future.    

Delta-9 THC is currently considered a Schedule I drug which, by definition, implies that it provides zero medicinal benefit while displaying a strong propensity for abuse. Delta-8 THC, however, is legally categorized as a component of hemp, meaning that it falls under different regulatory oversight and can be sold in dozens of U.S. states. Legally, delta-8 and delta-9 THC are in different universes. From a regulatory perspective, delta-8 THC is managed more similarly to CBD. 

This important legal distinction means that companies can formulate and market products containing delta-8 THC and sell them in most states. Delta-9 THC products, on the contrary, can be produced and sold in only 15 U.S. states, with no interstate commerce or merchant banking permitted under the current scheme of federal prohibition. 

Understanding Legal Status

Hemp and cannabis have been illegal in the United States since August 1937, when the Marihuana Tax Act was passed by Congress. In December 2018, Congress reversed course after 81 years of prohibition by enacting the Farm Bill, which legalized samples of the plant containing below the 0.3 percent THC standard employed in North America, which it defines as “hemp.” Europe features a stricter 0.2 percent THC limit, although this may change to 0.3 percent, in alignment with global market leaders such as the U.S. and Canada, in the near future.    

Both delta-9 and delta-8 THC are currently considered Schedule I drugs by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This means that all regulatory oversight and legal restrictions placed on delta-9 THC also apply to delta-8. Some of the companies producing delta-8 products are doing so legally under the laws of their home state, but, just as with delta-9 products, in defiance of federal oversight. 

It must be emphasized that such companies remain legal only if they restrict sales of their product to within the borders of their home state. Any interstate commerce activity falls under the strict purview of federal authorities, including the DEA, and Schedule I status.   

Confusion regarding these relatively new laws surrounds many interpretations of the legal status of delta-8 THC and emerging products. Some parties believe that delta-8 derived from hemp (samples of the cannabis plant genome that feature <0.3 percent delta-9 THC) are a legal loophole that allow them to narrowly skirt any laws of prohibition at the state or federal level. 

“You have a drug that essentially gets you high, but is fully legal. The whole thing is comical,” said Lukas Gilkey, CEO of Hometown Hero CBD in Austin, Texas, during an interview with the New York Times

However, many legal authorities paint a different picture. “Dealing in any way with delta-8 THC is not without significant legal risk,” said Alex Buscher, a Colorado lawyer who specializes in cannabis law, during an interview for the New York Times article cited above.

Some companies have invested in production and multi-state marketing of delta-8 products. Unfortunately, they are doing so under the false belief that their formulations are categorized as hemp under the Farm Bill and, thus, legal.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Delta-8 and delta-9 THC fall under the identical categorization and carry the same enforcement mechanisms and penalties.     

Understanding Delta-8 THC

Regardless of the legal status of delta-8 THC, let’s compare and contrast the medicinal efficacy of both compounds. Despite its reputation for helping consumers unwind from a stressful day, delta-9 THC has a nasty reputation for causing the opposite when consumed in strong doses: Elevated anxiety, paranoia, and sometimes panic attacks. Disorientation, confusion, and other forms of distress resulting from too much delta-9 have been documented by hospital emergency rooms and psychologists for decades. 

Delta-8 THC has been reported, through both formal research and anecdotal testimony, to deliver roughly two-thirds of the psychoactivity of the delta-9 isomer, but without the paranoia. This provides an option for those who avoid delta-9 THC or cannabis overall due to a previous negative experience with the herb. 

That said, it should be noted that the potential for consumers, especially novices, to experience increased anxiety or paranoia when consuming any psychotropic substance, especially in potent doses, always exists. Doctors and wellness professionals should experiment over time and “start low and go slow” with the dosing of delta-8. Many consumers have reported positive experiences when consuming delta-8 THC, especially in comparison to delta-9. 

One distinct difference between these two analogs is their relative volumes in plant samples. Most modern cultivars and chemovars (“strains”) of cannabis have been bred to increase delta-9 THC levels (which typically range from 10 to 30 percent), not CBD or delta-8. As such, delta-8 THC is found in small quantities in natural plant samples (typically well under one percent, similar to CBG). Delta-8 is sometimes extracted and concentrated by complex processing equipment requiring specially trained technicians. More often, however, it is synthesized from molecules that feature similar molecular structures, such as CBD and delta-9 THC. 

Some doctors, including Dr. Benjamin Caplan (a clinical practitioner in Boston who recommends legal cannabis to his patients), are finding superior results with their patients when they mix the correct doses of delta-8 and delta-9. Some wellness professionals are employing such a formulation instead of the more traditional delta-9 and CBD mix. 

“While the combination of delta-8 and delta-9 often yields a less euphoric experience, it can be a very pleasant alternative to blends of delta-9 THC and CBD,” Caplan told me during an exclusive interview.

In addition to appetite stimulation, delta-8 THC delivers anxiety reduction, can help treat pain, has shown antioxidant efficacy, and is a powerful tool in the treatment of nausea. Caplan described delta-8 THC as a “fan favorite” among his patients. 

Delta-9 Tolerance Break Tool?

Some companies and caregivers have begun exploring the use of delta-8 THC as a tool to help daily users, especially heavy cannabis consumers, to lower their tolerance to delta-9 THC. Even slight improvements in the relative potency of delta-9 based on reduced tolerance can equal significant monetary savings for such large volume consumers. 

“It’s not uncommon for those who use delta-9 THC to find that efficacy wanes after a long period of consistent use,” said Dena Putnam, President and co-founder of Leafwize Naturals in Orange County, California. Leafwize Naturals sells a variety of vape cart products featuring the dominant ingredient of delta-8 THC.  

Putnam explained how the delta-8 isomer of THC “may offer a way to circumvent the body’s tolerance of delta-9 while delivering similar benefitsall while taking a break from delta-9 in an effort to bring back the full effectiveness” she explained during an exclusive interview. 

Putnam said that delta-9 THC tolerance breaks “can be scary for those who depend on it for daily pain relief and mood management,” but explained that it is “sometimes necessary to reset the effectiveness of the medicine.” She explained how “delta-8 may offer a way to take a delta-9 break while providing a level of medicinal relief that is similar to delta-9.”

When queried about the success of this approach, Putnam explained how she and her staff noted two positive outcomes from their experiment: Delta-8 efficacy that mirrored that of delta-9 and the overall goal of achieving a lowered tolerance for delta-9 THC. Both target outcomes were achieved, somewhat of a unicorn in the world of science-based health and wellness.      

“We found that, after a period of switching from delta-9 THC to delta-8, that delta-8 helped in a manner similar to delta-9,” said Putnam. “More important, when the user resumed consumption of delta-9, the effects were greater, as if they had taken a conventional tolerance break,” she added.

It’s a Wrap

Delta-8 THC, only one of several THC analogs that includes THCA, THCV, and THCP, offers a number of advantages over its sibling delta-9. From the perspective of medicinal efficacy, delta-8 provides 60-70 percent of the psychotropic (psychoactive) effects of delta-9 THC while, typically, delivering little or none of the paranoia and anxiety that may result from delta-9.

Medical practitioners and business entrepreneurs are beginning to recognize the advantages of a world in which phytocannabinoids beyond CBD and delta-9 THC are readily available in thousands of products from hundreds of companies. If businesses like Southern California’s Leafwize Naturals have anything to say about it, that world will be here sooner rather than later.   

Kaycha Announces Three New Labs In Massachusetts, Nevada & Oregon

With locations across the U.S., Kaycha Labs is establishing a national network of Cannabis and Hemp labs that provides essential product quality and safety information

FLORIDA: Kaycha Labs, a leader in Cannabis and Hemp testing technologies and methods, is adding three new states to its national network of labs. The company’s nine labs are in California, Colorado, Florida (Fort Lauderdale/Davie and Gainesville), Massachusetts, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

In recent weeks, Kaycha has acquired Evio Labs in Medford, Oregon, signed a definitive agreement to acquire DB Labs in anticipation of Clark County and Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board approvals, and received a provisional license to open and operate a lab in Natick, Massachusetts. Both the Oregon and Nevada labs were early entrants to their respective markets; Evio Labs Medford commenced operations in 2014 and DB Labs was organized in 2014 and operates its ~11,500-square-foot lab several blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip. The Massachusetts lab is a new build and is strategically located in Natick near major interstate highways within a couple hours driving time to all major customers.

James Horvath, CEO of Kaycha Labs, commented, “We know that the Cannabis industry is rapidly consolidating and that national Cannabis companies are working hard to build national brands. As they grow, we appreciate that there is a need for a testing partner who can provide and apply a uniform and consistent process.  Furthermore, all Kaycha labs will be equipped with back-up instrumentation so that client testing is not interrupted by an outage.” Chris Martinez, Kaycha Labs’ President, added, “We know clients value quality testing, fast turnaround times, and attractive pricing. And by adding to our network, we will be achieving even more scale, which will allow us to continue to lower our cost structure and pass these savings along to our clients.”

Eaze Announces Major Expansion Of Social Equity Menu In Los Angeles

Menu expansion promotes Black-owned cannabis brands, establishes industry-leading support for equity license holders, and encourages conscious consumption

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, today announced expanded efforts to support an equitable cannabis industry: A major menu expansion in Los Angeles featuring Black and POC-owned brands, and the Social Equity Partners Program, a multi-point initiative to assist and elevate equity license holders.

Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Menu, which already features well-recognized brands Cloud 9, KGB Reserve, and SF Roots in Northern California, is debuting all of its equity brands in the greater Los Angeles market and welcoming LA-based Dreamt, Blaqstar Farms, and Bay Area-based James Henry SF and Oakland Extracts to the menu.

The menu makes it easy for consumers to support a diverse industry, and address the War on Drugs’ disproportionate effects on the BIPOC community, by putting their dollars toward these brands. Customers can simply visit Eaze.com to order products, which range from unique flower to prerolls to a sleep-aid vape pen.

In a first move for the cannabis industry, Eaze announced its multi-point Social Equity Partners Program, which provides brands with financial and operational support to help them scale and succeed on Eaze and beyond. Specifically, Social Equity Partners are eligible for a variety of benefits, including:

  • Preferred financing and payment structuring
  • Discounted access to Eaze Partner Portal data
  • Incorporation into the Eaze supply chain
  • Marketing and public relations support

Brands on Eaze’s Social Equity Menu must either hold a social equity license, or be actively engaged in the application process for an equity license in a city or county. Since Eaze launched its equity menu in the Bay Area market, social equity brands have been well received by consumers with high and consistent demand. To date, social equity brands have sold nearly $1M of products on the Eaze platform.

“We’re proud to offer these incredible brands industry-leading terms that support their growth by addressing chronic small business challenges that include access to capital, tight cash flow, and customer education,” said Darius Kemp, Eaze’s Head of Equity and Change. “Shopping these brands is one of the best ways consumers can support equity and consume conscientiously.”

“Consumers are more thoughtful than ever about the products they consume and ensuring they come from a brand that aligns with their values, and cannabis is no exception,” said LA-based Blaqstar Farms’ Founder and CEO Bryant Mitchell. “Eaze is an exceptional partner for Black-owned cannabis brands, allowing us to step into the spotlight and reach consumers who not only want a fantastic product but want to know their dollars are going towards a new generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”

Eaze’s equity menu includes:

  • Blaqstar Farms: The son of the first Black police officer in the city of Orange, Texas, Bryant Mitchell grew up and saw many peers, family members and friends lost to and affected by the War on Drugs. It wasn’t until 2001, after he graduated college and went into consulting in the Bay Area, that he became immersed in cannabis and saw the results of pain relief and so many other benefits. These professional and life experiences led Bryant to establish Blaqstar Farms in 2012 in Los Angeles. A selection of Blaqstar Farms products, including premium flower The Glue, Thin Mint and Orange Rose to prerolls Boss OG, Doc OG, Super Sour and F3, are available the week of September 14 on Eaze.
  • Cloud9: Degi Simmons, founder of Oakland-based Cloud9, has been involved in cannabis commerce and culture since the earliest days of Proposition 215. As a beneficiary of Oakland’s Koncepts Cultural Gallery, an organization promoting art and education funded by Better Us dispensary, Degi partnered with cultivator and DJ Clayton Whitaker to form Cloud9 in 2010. A selection of Cloud9 flower, featuring Sour Diesel for sativa and Runtz for indica, are now available on Eaze.
  • Dreamt is an award-winning science-backed sleep aid created by Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, a nationally recognized cannabis scientist. Dreamt’s 45-night pen and 30-night tincture contain THC, CBD, melatonin, valerian root, and terpenes, and are now available on Eaze.
  • James Henry SF: Co-founders Henry Alston and James Victor are on a mission to improve the stigma surrounding cannabis consumption through quality branded products and Black entrepreneurship. By partnering with accomplished medical doctors and scientists who understand the medical value of endocannabinoid therapy, James Henry SF promotes responsible consumption for a responsible lifestyle. A selection of James Henry SF flower, including hybrids Donnie B and True Ryder and social flower Lemon Jack and Tropical Slice, are now available on Eaze.
  • KGB Reserve: KGB stands for killer green bud, the main ingredient used in all of their products. As a self funded equity company based out of Oakland, KGB Reserve is grateful for its place in the legal cannabis space. They stand for unity and believe in equality. Currently known for their top shelf infused products, KGB Reserve has consistently been on Eaze’s list of top 10 pre-roll brands in the Bay Area since its launch. KGB Reserve’s Sauce Pen, Bambino and Torpedo products are now available on Eaze.
  • Oakland Extracts: Oakland Extracts, a Black-owned business, began as a way to bring the community together. Founders Terryn Niles Buxton and Aaron Tran saw prices climbing with legalization and realized there was a need for people in Oakland to have access to quality cannabis at an affordable price. Over the years, they fine-tuned a proprietary technique that allows for maximum terpene retention. Oakland Extracts’ Red Congolese Cookie Crumble Wax is now on Eaze.
  • SF Roots: Founder and CEO Morris Kelly started in the cannabis industry 13 years ago making edibles under Proposition 215 for local collectives, then launched Greencuredelivery cannabis delivery service in 2015. “Equity is about leveling the playing field for companies who paved the way for this economic green rush,” said Kelly. “We’re this industry’s originators, it’s about getting consumers to support equity brands every day. We are partnering with Eaze to ensure that happens.”

Eaze has long worked to help build a more equitable cannabis industry. With access to capital serving as one of many barriers for new entrepreneurs in the space, Eaze launched Momentum—a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders—in September 2019. Eaze’s social impact work also includes a partnership with Code for America to help clear 250,000 low level criminal offenses; a permanent 25% discount for U.S. veterans; partnerships with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project; and a $25,000 contribution to the NAACP, among others.

To learn more about Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Program, read our latest blog from Darius Kemp.

Maine: 17 New Adult Use Conditional Licenses Issued

MAINE: How big is Maine’s new adult-use cannabis industry? According to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, there are 17 new adult use conditional licenses. The breakdown includes seven marijuana stores, five cultivation facilities, four products manufacturing facilities, and one testing facility.

The First Cannabis IP-Licensing Company, Breeder’s Best, Officially Launches

New company brings together cannabis industry leaders including attorney-scientist Dale Hunt, researcher-physician Ethan Russo, and botanist-author Robert C. Clarke

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis industry pioneers, Dale Hunt, PhD, JD, Ethan Russo, MD, and Robert C. Clarke have joined forces to create Breeder’s Best, the first cannabis company to focus on intellectual property (IP) protection for independent plant breeders and licensing IP for access to markets worldwide. Breeder’s Best brings a global plant-licensing model, proven successful in other agriculture industries, to cannabis.

The liberalization of global cannabis laws and growing public acceptance of cannabis have created a rapidly escalating demand for cannabis flower, as well as therapeutics and products made with cannabis. According to a report by Prohibition Partners, the international cannabis industry is projected to grow to more than $103.6 billion by 2024.

While the cannabis industry presents significant opportunity, there exists a critical disconnect that separates the creativity of breeders from the markets that are demanding products with unique and proven genetic profiles. Additionally, there is typically very little IP protection to support good partnerships between breeders and cannabis brands. Breeder’s Best will connect these two key stakeholders while legally protecting the genetic inventiveness of breeders.

Breeder’s Best founder and CEO Dale Hunt says, “Our mission is to connect the best Cannabis genetics to the greatest needs and most promising commercial opportunities. To do that, we have assembled an unparalleled team of experts with deep experience at every level of the cannabis supply chain. As the industry matures, Breeder’s Best will be positioned to meet the demands of the increasingly professional and GMP-oriented marketplace while doing business in a way that benefits breeders and directs profitable and reliable business to growers who may otherwise be left behind. With our vision, team, model, know-how, and relationships, Breeder’s Best is poised to become the global leader in patented cannabis genetics and related products.” Dr. Hunt has been practicing IP law for 23 years. He has a PhD in plant cellular and molecular biology and has obtained thousands of patents and plant variety rights for his clients in more than 30 countries.

“Cannabis use is finally normalizing. At Breeder’s Best, we present independent Cannabis breeders the opportunity to protect their unique varieties and assist them in placing those genetics in lucrative markets. This is a great service to breeders who would prefer to focus on the art and science of breeding, instead of dealing with the mechanics of commercialization,” said Breeder’s Best Director of Agronomy and Genetics, Robert C. Clarke. Mr. Clarke is a 40-year cannabis industry veteran, revered for his books Marijuana Botany, published in 1982, and Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany, published in 2013.

The Cannabis plant produces over 450 chemical components, many of which are potentially therapeutic. However, decades of cannabis prohibition have resulted in a lack of genetic diversity worldwide and a predominance of only a small fraction of potential agents.

“We have just begun to scratch the surface of everything that cannabis can do to improve and enhance our lives,” said Dr. Ethan Russo. “That’s what Breeder’s Best will do. Identifying, selectively breeding for and utilizing specific chemical components will truly transform medicine in the coming decades.” Dr. Russo is a board-certified neurologist, preeminent medical cannabis expert, author of more than 50 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and a veteran of GW Pharmaceuticals where he served as Senior Medical Advisor as well as the Sativex® and Epidiolex® clinical trial Study Physician and Medical Monitor.


About Breeder’s Best:  Breeder’s Best is a privately held Cannabis IP genetics company organized as a B Corporation to demonstrate our commitment to independent Cannabis breeders and to meeting the worldwide needs of patients and consumers for superior products. To learn more about Breeder’s Best visit www.breedersbest.com.

Is Cannabis A Cure For Coronavirus?

MJNews Network Exclusive Report

By Lorelei Caudill

Are we potentially growing our own cure for this global pandemic?

Is the United States the most well-equipped country to potentially conduct one of the most extensive case studies in our world’s history?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at why the answer may be a yes.

In these times of uncertainty, globally, we are starting to look at science and data to help guide critical decisions to determine our new social norm needs. Cannabis is under the microscope on a global level since the beginning of this pandemic.

We are leaning on technology, data, and statistics on how and when to reopen our states and communities. We look to science to help us learn more about how the virus is spread. Some of the world’s best doctors have now taught us “How to wash our hands.” It seems a little crazy, right?

When we think of COVID19 and Cannabis, we need to do the same and lean scientific data from successful cannabis studies in the past (which is quite a bit, despite what many think) and watch the continuing studies with COVID19 scientists are conducting today on a global level.

Initially, some may say, “Nope, I consume cannabis, and I tested positive” (to be honest in my current COVID Survey has only been one person since I published on March 21st).

See the source image

Disregarding Cannabis as a potential to help with this global pandemic, is like saying you wash your hands, and you still contracted COVID19.

Realistically everyone’s next questions would be based on scientific data:

  1. What did you wash your hands with?
  2. How long did you wash your hands?
  3. How often did you wash your hands?

We need to think the same way and apply theory and scientific data to Cannabis:

  1. What cannabis product did you consume?
  2. How frequently did you consume Cannabis?
  3. What form factor of Cannabis do you consume? (inhaled, edibles, tinctures, etc.)

Cannabis plants are not all created equally. The plant contains more than 110 possible cannabinoids and over 120 terpenes, all of which work differently in the human body. To add yet another layer of complexity, research has found certain cannabinoids work differently with other cannabinoids/terpenes. This variable is called the entourage effect.

According to Strain Genie :

In addition to how Cannabis interacts with our human endocannabinoid system, there are other scientific data points to consider, our individual DNA. Research Scientist Nicco Reggente Ph.D., co-founder of Strain Genie, takes cannabis science to a whole new level by providing insight and data required to understand how we can use human DNA to further analyze how an individual metabolizes Cannabis, including the infamous intoxicating compound THC.

Strain Genie analyzes over 450 genetic biomarkers to recommend the best consumption methods and ratios per consumer. With this type of data and information, we can be less fearful of Cannabis as a potential aid in COVID19, knowing we will not have to walk around high or heavily sedated to prevent contraction and spread. It may even help you wash your hands a little longer!

Strain Genie uses DNA biomarkers to align cannabinoids and terpenes within the cannabis plant the help tame or mitigate much of the “high” with Cannabis by providing a custom THC: CBD ratio along with additional terpenes to pair when looking to combat things like cannabis-induced anxiety in individuals that may also be genetically predisposed to having depression, PTSD, or OCD.

Let’s Put Actual COVID19 Under A Microscope With Cannabis:

Next, let’s apply this potential:

As you can see, the public-facing laboratory test for each harvest in our legal markets holds valuable data.  This is the type of data we can use to help propel us forward when thinking about Cannabis and the potential with COVID19. Cannabis consumers may request their products laboratory test upon purchase.

Could this lead to one of the most extensive human case studies in cannabis history?

Slight curveball, not every state-level legal growing operation, is required to provide a terpene content and potency profile. Currently, California, Michigan, Connecticut, and our nation’s capital District of Columbia are the only places that require a terpene profile on top of the cannabinoid profile per harvest; this makes them prime candidates to further research!

In closing, I believe we are much closer than ever to have the ability to quickly link cannabis COVID19 when looking for ways to prevent the spread, and potential treatments. We may find Cannabis as a temporary relief until a vaccine is created. This would allow us to open up more safely and to mitigate much of the risk. The world’s scientists, cultivators, and our states rigorous regulations and testing requirements that have progressed us forward while leaving a valuable data trail in a moment when time is not the most kind.

Caveats – AS ALWAYS PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BEFORE PURCHASING OR CONSUMING CANNABIS BASED PRODUCTS

  • Smoking cannabis is unfavorable, regardless.
  • Consuming cannabis may pose a risk to pregnant women.
  • Products with THC are not recommended for consumers with some cancer types where tumors are present.
  • Be aware Cannabis is known to have interactions with other medications.

About Lorelei Caudill – Cannabis Science 101 – www.cannabisque.org

I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a granddaughter. My family and I have personal experience with the medicinal value of Cannabis.

Over the past few years, I have dedicated much of my spare time to understand the science behind the “how” and “why” Cannabis works with the human body. Why do some consumers benefit from the medicinal value of Cannabis while others do not? Why would one product have little to no results, while others not only relieve symptoms but help with the root condition?

My goal with Cannabisque is to provide an unbiased platform of educational content created directly from highly regulated studies to educate Cannabis curious consumers globally as we learn more about this miracle plant the promise scientists are documenting in research today.

NECANN Launches FREE Cannabis & Hemp Virtual Seminar Series

With conventions on hold nationwide NECANN and its partners are creating online networking and education programs

MASSACHUSETTS: The New England Cannabis Convention today announced it has launched a free series of Cannabis and Hemp virtual seminars in partnership with NECANN Boston convention exhibitors and sponsors.

The weekly series of free webinars, virtual meetings, instructional videos and educational content is designed to help fill the current void in cannabis industry networking opportunities created by the cancellation or postponement of business meetings, trade shows and conventions nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“Our network of NECANN exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and followers have been incredibly responsive to this,” said Marc Shepard, President and Co-Founder of NECANN. “We are all in this together as an industry and as a nation. It’s unclear exactly when large-scale events and conventions will be able to resume in full. That’s why we are working together as the NECANN community to stay connected through high-quality virtual seminars and other networking and education opportunities.”

The first NECANN Cannabis and Hemp Virtual Seminar Series program was a webinar with Nic Easley of 3C Consulting on the actions cannabis business operators should be taking to maintain essential operations, ensure safe patient access to cannabis and manage through mandatory closures.

The Green Cannabis Packaging Series, a YouTube video mini-series created by Contempo Specialty Packaging, will educate participants in eco-friendly and sustainable packaging and packaging best practices. NECANN is also offering the instructional video  Home Growing – produced by Trifecta Natural Solutions. The program delivers expert guidance on handling mold, mildew and pests with preventative maintenance using Trifecta Crop Control. And Heady Vermont – also in partnership with NECANN – is moving the Women in Cannabis Summit to an all-virtual online format on Saturday, April 11th.

Other programming in the NECANN Cannabis and Hemp Virtual Seminar Series will be announced through weekly email updates every Monday, and a full list of offerings can be found in the free content section at NECANN.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

NECANN Boston 2020 has been rescheduled to June 27, 28 and 29 at the Hynes Convention Center. NECANN will honor all vendor registrations, pre-sale tickets, and sponsor commitments on the convention’s new date. The New England Cannabis Community Awards, The Diversity Supplier Expo/Job Fair, and the first-annual NECANN Competition awards will remain as featured programs during the rescheduled three-day cannabis trade show. A full list of all NECANN show reschedule dates is also available at NECANN.com.

Why Researchers Recommend Using CBD After A Workout

By Hannah Jones

The workout is considered as trending physical activity these days. As interest continues to grow among health and fitness trends, people have begun to look for new ways to enhance their fitness regime.

Perhaps, eating a lot of protein and taking pre and post workout supplements can help you make the most out of your workout. This is where CBD comes in. Although CBD is not classified as a health supplement by the FDA – CBD helps restore the body, including muscle building and recovery.

A group of Colorado based researchers recently conducted a study to know how the use of cannabis affects athletes. And, it was found that there exists a possible role between the plant and pain management. The study took into account cannabis use patterns and its effects in a community-based cohort of adult athletes.

AIM OF THE STUDY

Athletes typically don’t sleep well and are anxious, so, the Athlete PEACE Survey aimed at examining cannabis use patterns and subjective effects of cannabis amongst adult athletes. Besides, it also observed the pain outcomes after the treatment.  Out of 1,161 athletes who completed the survey, 301 were current cannabis users.

The researchers determined cannabis user phenotypes and also created subjective effects factors. Additionally, over half of the cannabis users reported consumption three or fewer times per week.

  • Cluster analysis identified three statistically distinct cannabis user phenotypes

1) Athletes aged forty years and above – Primarily medical CBD users

2) Mixed age athletes – Recreational Cannabis users using both THC and CBD

3) Mixed age athletes – Long-time cannabis users using primarily THC and CBD.

  • EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis) showed three subjective effect factors:

a)     Well-being (To measure pain-relief)

b)     Calm (To measure anxiety-relief)

c)     Adverse (To measure side-effects)

The athletes exhibited the most benefit to well-being and calm with minimal adverse effects.

This methodology can be used to develop real-world evidence to inform future use of medical cannabis products.

IMPORTANT FINDINGS

The analysis revealed:

  • Three distinct cannabis user type clusters – (It intended to inform -the patterns of using cannabis by each phenotype-cluster to experience corresponding benefits)
  • The difference in subjective effects of cannabis by these cannabis user type clusters
  • Combined THC and CBD use provided the largest benefits which increased with frequent use.
  • Athletes experienced adverse effects at low frequency
  • More athletes achieved anxiety-relief as compared to ones experiencing pain-relief

In all the three clusters, positive effects were more often observed than adverse effects. However, amongst all the three clusters, long duration COMBO cluster showed the strongest positive and adverse associations to the use of cannabis. Henceforth, the full spectrum CBD oil which has CBD & THC is the most beneficial and plays a vital role in the well being and calming factors together with having low adverse effects.

The study shows that cannabis had an effect on athletes well being together with calming and adverse effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

WHAT THE RESEARCHERS HAVE TO SAY?

The cluster analysis in cannabis research focuses on the problem use behaviors. The analyses suggest that adult athletes are using cannabis responsibly and primarily for medical conditions such as pain and anxiety. In addition, current cannabis users exercised at a high frequency with about 63% exercising 5–7 days per week and 71% exercising 6–15 hours per week (data not shown), numbers that far exceed the weekly recommendation of 150 minutes per week of exercise.

The researchers hold the view that the research of cannabis use and especially for certain groups won’t be stopping anytime soon. They are more excited and enthusiastic to study cannabis use in more demographics.

Amongst all, the older adults are the fastest-growing demographic initiating cannabis use. Such research studies will also help you know how the products affect the consumers and how they’ll be used in future.

CONCLUSION

Scientific research has laid down the base to outline the possible benefits that CBD consumption can offer post workout to athletes.

Most importantly, CBD widens the therapeutic effects of THC and benefits more as a whole. It helps reduce some painful side effects caused by muscle recovery.

The effect of CBD differs from individual to individual. However, it can make a noticeable change in your workout routine or muscle soreness.