Elixinol Welcomes Hemp Industry Advocate Joy Beckerman As Regulatory Officer & Industry Liaison

COLORADO: Elixinol announced Joy Beckerman’s appointment to Elixinol’s team starting January 1, 2019.

In Beckerman’s role as Regulatory Officer and Industry Liaison, she will advise Elixinol’s executive team on the industry’s changes and ensure Elixinol’s practices continue to meet or exceed the requirements of hemp’s dynamic regulatory framework following the 2018 Farm Bill which federally legalized hemp. In addition, Beckerman will represent Elixinol in national and regional cannabis and hemp industry alliances and memberships, including the Hemp Industries Association, the National Hemp Association, Vote Hemp, and sharing Elixinol’s representation with Gabriel Ettenson at the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

“We’re proud to announce Joy is joining Elixinol. Joy’s contributions to the U.S. hemp industry, and her decades of advocacy, policy, and regulatory insight, are significant for their longevity, knowledge, and passion,” said Gabriel Ettenson, President, Elixinol.

“We know Joy will be a valuable team member as Elixinol continues to lead the industry with the highest of standards,” he continued.

Beckerman’s extensive industry influence and experience has redefined hemp industry standards and advocacy and will ensure that Elixinol remains an industry leader and leads the hemp industry’s development in best practices and regulatory adherence.

In addition to serving as President of the Hemp Industries Association, a non-profit trade association founded in 1994 that represents over 1,200 hemp farmers and business members in the U.S., Beckerman is also Vice President of the U.S. Hemp Authority, which created the first certification seal program for hemp industry Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices. She also serves as National Board Member for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Most recently, Beckerman has served multiple clients as Principal of Hemp Ace International, a New York-based consulting, legal support, and expert witness firm serving the global hemp community. Beckerman’s extensive background in compliance and complex civil litigation support includes high profile corporate cases and multiple multi-million-dollar civil lawsuits.

As a hemp industry leader and internationally renowned educator and public speaker, Beckerman has received accolades from industry organizations for her contributions, including earning her the 2014 “National Hemp Activist of the Year” award from the Hemp Industries Association.

“I appreciate Elixinol’s ‘Do Good, Be Good,’ philosophy which is actively demonstrated through their seed-to-sale quality standards and widely acknowledged support for the important work undertaken by non-profits,” said Beckerman.

“Elixinol has already been a leading voice on regulatory, legal, and manufacturing standards and I look forward to the continued advancement of U.S. hemp and Elixinol’s advocacy and industry leadership,” she continued.

Beckerman will report to Elixinol President Gabriel Ettenson. She will remain on the Boards of leading industry institutions and continue to speak around the globe on hemp’s future and the U.S. regulatory environment.

Hemp Industry Expert To Speak At Thurston County Committee Meeting

WASHINGTON: The Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee will host a speaker from the Washington Hemp Industries Association on Thursday.

Joy Beckerman will talk about the latest state and federal legislation affecting hemp, as well as industry and global economic trends concerning the sale and production of hemp.

“The growing demand for hemp could make it an important crop for Thurston County farmers,” Beckerman said in a news release.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the WSU Extension Office, 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia.

The Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee is an 11-member group of rural residents and farmers. The committee advises Thurston County’s board of commissioners and its planning commission on agriculture issues.

Set The Truth Free – Cannabis Science Now!

By Vivian McPeak

WASHINGTON: Before cannabis was prohibited in the early 20th century, it was one of the most widely prescribed botanical medicines in the pharmacopeia. Its safety has been supported by the fact that humans have used it therapeutically for thousands of years. Not content with just prohibiting the sale, manufacture, & use of cannabis, the United States government has also prevented scientific research from being conducted on any promising aspects of cannabis for many decades.

Despite prohibitionist restrictions, some science has taken place albeit primarily via the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where research is limited to harmful effects of the drug on the brain and body. Despite this research bias, there is still a large body of work supporting that cannabis has significant therapeutic potential. Research bias in the United States has prevented many people from receiving the benefit of reduced suffering in untreatable disease as well as the potential for actual treatment for a wide range of diseases.

Relief delayed and obstructed?

In America and beyond, there are many children and adults suffering from a host of neurological, autoimmune and degenerative diseases such as autism spectrum, epilepsies, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Conventional medicine and pharmaceutical products have little to offer these patients while cannabis has the potential to provide effective treatment and/or relief. This year the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in a new position statement that cannabis “may be useful in treating some illnesses of the brain and nervous system” and called on the federal government to allow research to happen.

Both child and adult athletes often suffer traumatic injuries to the head and brain. Cannabinoids are the only compounds that have been identified as potential neuro-protectant and anti-inflammatory agents. They have shown potential in animal models that mimic traumatic brain injury for preventing further damage and accelerating healing, and even grow new brain cells.

An average of 22 U.S. veterans commit suicide each and every day. Cannabis, as a whole plant medicine, has shown potential in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), pain, and depression, all common disorders veterans experience after discharge. Soldiers suffering from combat related injuries all over the world could benefit from cannabis as medicine.

A Cannabis Use Survey has revealed that anxiety and depression are third in the list of conditions for which patients self-treat with cannabis in Washington State. In fact, one in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication, some of which have shown potential catastrophic side effects. Cannabis is safe and non-toxic, and has promise in treating both anxiety and depression without intolerable side-effects.

America’s baby boomers are aging, and ground breaking research in Israel, where scientific study on cannabis is allowed, indicates that cannabis has great promise in the treatment of dementia. Israel’s ministry of health licensed 10,000 patients to use cannabis medicinally and has sanctioned more than a dozen studies to treat dementia as well as illnesses like Crohn’s disease, PTSD, pain, and even cancer.

Much of American research is focused on cost-prohibitive, potentially addictive, pharmaceutical drugs that have unknown long-term effects. Nearly seven out of 10 Americans were prescribed at least one drug in 2009, and half were given two or more, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic. Prescription medicine has progressed at unprecedented levels, while consumers are trending back toward natural and botanical medicines, such as cannabis.

Sixty percent of the 38,329 people who died of a drug overdose in the U.S. in 2010 died taking prescription drugs. Three out of four of those deaths were caused by opioid analgesics, according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers alone, although that number is likely higher.

Cannabis is known to work wonderfully for pain management. Additionally cannabis has never killed a single person from overdose or toxic reaction, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. In the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.

Science lags behind public awareness

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” It is impossible to truly gauge how much needless suffering may have been prevented if scientific study of cannabis would have been allowed these last decades. Scientific prohibition has likely cost many lives, as well as quality of life, by thwarting scientific advancement on several fronts.

In January of 2014 President Obama publicly declared that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol. In a historic recent development, Congress has prevented federal intervention in states that have legalized medical cannabis.

A clear majority of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana. Now that things are changing dramatically in public policy, it is time to the set the truth free.

It is now time for the DEA to de-schedule cannabis once and for all so the plant can legitimately join the American Herbal Pharmacopeia with its botanical counterparts. This move would enable clinical trials of locally-accessed products, not just government-grown pot. How has Israel advanced light years ahead of the United States when it comes to cannabis research? How can we miss this opportunity for a homegrown, American-made, sustainable industry that could do public good while revitalizing our stumbling economy?

Hemp is on the way

But that’s not all. In addition to the medicinal research of cannabis that needs to take place there is also the gargantuan economic and environmental potential offered by the domestic production of industrial hemp. Cannabis prohibition has also prevented innovation and advancement in the U.S. industrial hemp industry merely because hemp looks like intoxicating “marijuana.”

The potential that hempcrete, hemp bio-composites, hemp fiber board, hemp seed oil, hemp foods, textiles, paper, and other industrial, environmental and agricultural applications that the cannabis genus offers are almost incalculable. Research and development must take place in the industrial hemp industries as well, particularly so that America can catch up to the other developed countries that possess the varieties that meet current, and in many cases, sophisticated market demands. And hemp is the future in ways we never imagined! There have been amazing discoveries in the last year that hemp cellulose is superior to graphene and ideal for 3D-printing, super-capacitors and nanotechnology.

America is already the largest importer of industrial hemp products in the entire world, importing over $58 million in 2013/2014, and importing 90% of all hemp seed grain and oil being harvested and produced in Canada. Industrial hemp is literally a biospheric sponge, soaking up and converting carbon dioxide, while its long tap roots help maintain moisture and are phenomenal erosion controllers. However, industrial hemp continues to be lumped in with intoxicating “marijuana” by the federal government, impeding research and development, while industrial hemp could potentially produce as many new jobs as The New Deal.

Historic federal legislation was signed into law in early 2014 that allows for research and pilot plots in states where hemp is legal, and subsequent law was passed precluding federal intervention in legal hemp states acting in accordance with the federal research and pilot plot requirements. Yet only two states have thus far taken advantage of this right, and Washington isn’t one of them.

Final note

Finally, with recreational retail outlets opening up in at least four states it is even more important for critical health and safety research to take place concerning cannabis and its use. Public safety demands it.

It is time for the DEA or Congress to de-schedule cannabis entirely (just like alcohol and tobacco, both of which are known killers) and treat it like other botanical medicines by allowing the scientific community to examine the cannabis plant in every way possible. Fear of knowledge is an anathema to the American way, and an impediment to compassionate, informed public health, economic and social policy. How can a government that is afraid of the truth govern in the best interests of its citizenry?

Lastly, as a biotech state with progressive marijuana policies, Washington could benefit from research funding if government obstacles were not in impeding of research.

It is time to let the truth free. We need cannabis science, now!

 

– By Vivian McPeak, Dr. Michelle Sexton, Dr. Michele Ross, Joy Beckerman

Cannabis Freedom March In Seattle Is Saturday May 9th

WASHINGTON: Medical marijuana is undergoing a sea change in Washington State after Governor Inslee signed SB 5052 into law, officially putting the state’s unregulated mmj dispensary system under the oversight of the LCB (Liquor and Cannabis Board) and integrating it into the I-502 recreational marijuana regulatory scheme.

Hundreds of cannabis activists and community supporters are expected to gather in Seattle this Saturday for the Cannabis Freedom March to raise awareness for Patient Rights and to demand Global Legalization of Cannabis. The March will begin on Saturday, May 9th at 11 AM at Volunteer Park and wind up at Westlake at 7PM.  A bevy of local activists and cannabis industry leaders are scheduled to speak including Solstice’s Alex Cooley, Washington Bud Company’s Shawn DeNae, MJBA Women’s Alliance’s Morgan, CCSE’s John Davis, Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, Tim Pate, Delta 9’s Stephanie Heart, and HIA’s Joy Beckerman.

 

Defining Washington Hemp Politics Harder Than You Think

Defining WA’s hemp politics, harder than you think.

By Bailey Hirschburg

WASHINGTON: Industrial hemp legislation looks certain to pass after Washington’s state senate voted unanimously in favor of legislating the crop. After years as a low-priority issue, hemp is poised to join the agricultural community in a big way. Though many people worked on the bi-partisan effort, one of the lead forces making it come together was Joy Beckerman, head of Washington State’s Hemp Industries Association (HIA).

Substitute Senate Bill 5012, sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-Raymond) passed unanimously in early February. The bill was changed by the state House’s Committee on Commerce & Gaming, but in conversation’s with legislators Beckerman is nearly certain a consensus version will reach Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk this year. The issue has broad public support, but is a hot-potato when it comes to how it will be licensed.  

Beckerman and the HIA joined the input of the State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA), State Patrol, State Toxicology lab, and other legislators and other activists to settle on the best possible language for the law. To Maher, definitions matter. A lot of the fight over the bill focused on who was defining basic things, like cannabis.

Did you think cannabis was a plant? Wrong!

“Our bill says that hemp is ‘…all parts and varieties of the genera Cannabis,’ not the cannabis sativa plant!” Beckerman explains in our phone interview. Beckerman’s personality is a hemp-centric Leslie Knope, of the show “Parks and Recreation.” Upbeat, knowledgable, detail-oriented, even a bit loud, only Maher’s hair color easily sets her apart from the feisty TV character. That, and she’s focused on hemp. She’s thrilled about the result, even if the process was stressful.

A lot of federal and state laws refer to the “cannabis sativa plant” when they’re actually talking about hemp. Sativa is a species of the Cannabis family, grown and used as a drug. It’s varieties are generally called strains (Indica, another popular variety of strains, is actually a sub-species of sativa.) Hemp is actually cannabis ruderalis, a different species in the same genera.

Poor definitions help stereotype hemp as a drug and encourages sativa strains (which have weaker fiber compositions) to be grown as hemp. For Washington hemp to be a viable crop, it needs reliable genetics, a pedigree seed certification system, and unified standards of measurement. Beckerman credits Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) for listening to her and fighting to keep the fees and regulations on farmers as minimal as possible.

Another threat to a viable hemp law was licensing fees. The WSDA wanted collecting and testing done by their staff only, a process not even recreational pot goes through. They also wanted the right to inspect hemp farms without cause at any time. Beckerman was certain the testing could be done by state licensed labs for about $10 an acre. The WSDA was pushing for testing costing $30 an acre.

“Representative Shea did everything he could to hold [the WSDA] off.” explains Beckerman.

Proposed language still has samples collected by the WSDA, but third party labs will do the testing. The WSDA got their fees, but only for the first year. After that licensing fees will be re-evaluated. Beckerman says current law already requires the WSDA return any collected fees beyond testing and administration costs to the farmers who paid them.

Looking back on the process thus far Maher has found she can play hardball politics as well as any bureaucrat “We can play that game.” she tells me chuckling.

A final sticking point was defining a THC concentration to test for. Hemp’s THC concentrations are so low, by the time you include receptor-blocking chemical CBD, it’s easy to show how hemp could never get a person high. Still, the state patrol and toxicology lab preferred their current testing system which didn’t include CBD. Ultimately, Beckerman was out flanked.

Still, she remains convinced Washington’s will be one of the best hemp systems once it’s growing, and she has no ill will over the process. She admits she’s become a focal point for hemp at the state capitol, but that the bill is a total team effort. “People are working together to do their jobs.”

SSB 5012 has been referred to the House Appropriations committee. You can track it’s progress here:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2015&bill=5012

Meet The Women Behind “The Power of Politics”

WASHINGTON: In preparation for tomorrow evening’s historic gathering, MJNewsNetwork sat down with the Washington power women behind the “Power of Politics” – ladies from both sides of the political aisle, representing recreational and medical marijuana business owners – to ask them about tomorrow’s historic event.  Organized by the MJBA Women’s Alliance, and sponsored by Eden Labs, Washington Bud Company and Cannabis Basics, the exclusive evening of information, inspiration and activation takes place on Wednesday, March 25th, 6PM at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle.

Since Colorado and Washington first voted to legalize recreational marijuana use in late 2012, the legal cannabis market has grown from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion last year, according to industry estimates. That kind of velocity gets the attention of investors, many of whom focus on tech.

AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs

 

AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs, Presenting Sponsor of “Power of Politics” and National Sponsor of MJBA:

We have an opportunity as a state to create two separate and hugely successful industries: Adult Use (Recreational) and Medical Treatment.   Currently Medical is in a legal grey area which does no one any good.  This needs to be changed immediately and legislated in such a way as to compliment and support both industries.  Washington has a long history of Best Practices and some of the most successful companies on the planet.    We can lead the nation in research, consumer protection, sustainability, social responsibility while supporting our historic micro business culture and big industry.  We are a state of innovators and activists…a powerful combination when we work together for change.

Why should women in the cannabis industry become politically engaged? 

Legislators are very busy people who are multi tasking as best they can to represent your voice.  They need factual information, real-life perspectives, problem solving suggestions and a personal connection to effectively legislate on your behalf. No one wants to make a bad decision, making them entirely open to advisement and suggestion. It is profoundly important to listen to their perspective and questions and then offer your assistance.  Your voice is truly the future of the industry.

And lastly, who should come to this event and why?

Women are the largest growing sector in the Cannabis industry not only as a market, but also as business entrepreneurs and medical practitioners who bring a set of sensibilities that are ESSENTIAL for the paradigm shifts happening in the business world.  There is nothing to hold you back and we are here to support and promote you.  Be the very best and most powerful you can be…we are.

 

 we are allowed to attend, but NOT allowed to testify. However, we can send written comments that will be delivered to the Planning Commission via sally.evans@snoco.org.

Shawn DeNae, President of Washington Bud Company

 

Shawn DeNae, President of Washington Bud Company, Mistress of Ceremonies and MJBA National Sponsor

This is the first time in the history of mankind that women are poised to lead an industry and this ancient yet infant industry is it! The atmosphere is not only favorable but supportive; blame it on the Age of Aquarius, [Facebook COO] Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In or the female nature of the plant we love.

Why should women in the cannabis industry become politically engaged? 

Now is the time the important foundation of legal cannabis is being planned and women are helping guide that conversation.   Direct communication with our lawmakers is vital and that is why the MJBA Women’s Alliance chose to have this event now.  We do not have the luxury of decades to become part of each other’s circles of influence.  We need to know our lawmakers and they need to know the pioneering women, the entrepreneurial women and the legacy women of cannabis.  We must build trust so we can cross the bridge to legitimacy in every corner of politics beginning at the local level.

Who should come to this event and why?

Join us in the relaxed atmosphere of the lovely Palace Ballroom while we get a glimpse into what inspired these politically placed women to step up and take charge.  They can be our mentors to being more effective at creating change toward a future we are proud to pass along.

I’m excited to be Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening and have some really juicy questions lined up! You’ll want to be there; bring your story and come make “herstory” with us!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=210Y9i4uEWc]

Expected speakers will include Republican Senator Ann Rivers, author of the market consolidating SB 5052; Democratic Senator Jeanne-Kohl-Welles, author of SB 6083 calling for home grow for all adults 21+; Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas, Mayor of Sultan Carolyn Eslick; Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden, along with the MJBA Women’s Alliance’s cadre of  business leaders, including Cannabis Basic’s founder Ah Warner – who helped to write the HABA bill, which would allow for the legal sale of  “topicals” — salves and lotions made with low-levels of THC, and Joy Beckerman, President at WA State Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association, a leading activist helping to legalize industrial hemp in the state.will explore how Washington’s medical and recreational laws are changing, and how those changes will impact operators of the state’s cannabis businesses.

 

 

 

Senators Ann Rivers, Jeanne-Kohl Wells Keynote “The Power of Politics” on Wednesday, March 25th in Seattle

WASHINGTON: The legal landscape for marijuana businesses in Washington is about to change radically as a result of new legislation under consideration in Olympia designed to bring the state’s unregulated MMJ system together with its nascent I-502 recreational pot industry. The authors of two leading marijuana bills are veteran women lawmakers – and to sell these changes through to the cannabusiness community – both will be featured speakers at “The Power of Politics,” a gathering of the important female cannabis executives. Organized by the MJBA Women’s Alliance, and sponsored by Eden Labs, Washington Bud Company and Cannabis Basics, the exclusive evening of information, inspiration and activation takes place on Wednesday, March 25th, 6PM at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle.

Republican Senator Ann Rivers, author of the market consolidating SB 5052, and Democratic Senator Jeanne-Kohl-Welles, author of SB 6083 calling for home grow for all adults 21+, will explore how Washington’s medical and recreational laws are changing, and how those changes will impact operators of the state’s cannabis businesses.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that women are poised to lead an industry,” mistress of ceremonies and Washington Bud Company founder Shawn DeNae told MJNN in an exclusive conversation.  “Blame it on the Age of Aquarius, on [Facebook COO]  Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In’ or the female nature of the plant we love! Now is the time the important foundation of legal cannabis is being planned and women are helping guide that conversation.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=210Y9i4uEWc&w=560&h=315]

Joining Senators Kohl-Welles and Rivers, will be Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas, Mayor of Sultan Carolyn Eslick and Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden, along with the MJBA Women’s Alliance’s cadre of  business leaders, including Cannabis Basic’s founder Ah Warner – who helped to write the HABA bill, which would allow for the legal sale of  “topicals” — salves and lotions made with low-levels of THC, and Joy Beckerman, President at WA State Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association, a leading activist helping to legalize industrial hemp in the state.

“Direct communication with our lawmakers is vital and that is why the MJBA Women’s Alliance chose to have this event now,” DeNae explained. “ We do not have the luxury of decades to become part of each other’s circles of influence.  We need to know our lawmakers and they need to know the pioneering women, the entrepreneurial women and the legacy women of cannabis.  We must build trust so we can cross the bridge to legitimacy in every corner of politics beginning at the local level.”

MJBA Women’s Alliance’s “The Power of Politics” takes place on Wednesday, March 25th at 6PM at the Palace Ballroom in downtown Seattle. Tix are available online via EventBrite: