North America

Fri
04
Mar

New World Health Org Report: The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use

Chapter 9. Conclusions

9.1 What do we know?

In summary there is less knowledge about the health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use than about the use of alcohol and tobacco. On the basis of the current review by experts, the following conclusions of the known and unknown effects can be made.

9.1.1 What do we know about the neurobiology of cannabis use?

We know the following:

·       CB1 receptors (which respond to THC) are widely distributed in the brain, including areas that control attention, decision-making, motivation and memory.

Fri
04
Mar

Wacky weed: Getting into the cannabis business

Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.

The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses — and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.

"It's a gray market industry, that's just how it is," says Kayvan Khalatbari, who owns a marijuana dispensary and a chain of pizza restaurants in Denver.

Wed
02
Mar

‘Just Add Weed’: How Brand Licensing Allows Cannabis Companies to Expand Across State Lines

Federal cannabis prohibition is a buzzkill on many levels, but for cannabusinesses in legal states, it’s an especially frustrating hurdle to expansion. When a brand outgrows its home turf, it can’t just start shipping packages of product to the next state over. 

Despite the difficulty, a number of companies have managed to cross state lines. Colorado’s Dixie Elixirs has products in Washington, California, and Oregon. They recently launched in Nevada, and Chief Marketing Officer Joe Hodas says the brand is close to inking a deal in Arizona. 

Wed
02
Mar

Washington: Marijuana Worker Protection Standards Released by Agriculture Department

As legal cannabis business grows larger, states are realizing standards need to be set.

In the latest step toward standardizing cannabis cultivation, the Washington State Department of Agriculture released formal recommendations called the “Worker Protection Standards (WPS): Requirements for Marijuana Growers.”

Standards in the regular world of agriculture are created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, USDA inspection or certification of cannabis is prohibited because USDA employees must abide by federal laws. Over half of U.S. states have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana use, but since the USDA cannot get involved, there are no set standards for cannabis cultivation.

Wed
02
Mar

Medical Marijuana to Reduce Puerto Rico's Debt

Puerto Rico is about to welcome medical marijuana to the island.  The action, by executive order, could have potential economic benefits for the debt-ridden country. But it’s also recalling memories  of colonial exploitation.

Drug policy activist Rafael Torruella, who is based in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, worries the budding industry will mirror other industries on the island, where foreign investors reap most of the economic reward.

At this point, no medical marijuana is being grown on the island and no dispensaries have been authorized.

Tue
01
Mar

Puerto Rico Governor Calls for Legalizing Marijuana

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –  Puerto Rico's governor has called for the legalization of marijuana during his last public address as leader of the U.S. territory.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Monday that taking such action would lower crime and target hypocrisy. He said legislators should at a minimum approve a bill filed in 2013 that would decriminalize marijuana. Puerto Rico's Health Department recently adopted a regulation allowing the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of medical marijuana.

Fri
26
Feb

Five Reasons Craft Cannabis Is Blowing Up

Traditionally, people who use marijuana have had no idea where their buds come from. You visited your guy, or maybe he came to you, and you took whatever he had. And despite the increasing professionalization of some black-market delivery services, it’s still hard to know how the plants were grown or what pesticides were used.

But as legalization spreads through more and more states, it’s obviously changing the game. Out in the open, businesses and consumers are getting savvier and more demanding. Cannabis companies are investing in branding, and more customers are willing to pay top dollar for artisanal bud with specific characteristics of taste, potency or sustainability.

Fri
26
Feb

Marijuana Stocks: The 411 on Investing in ’420′

Marijuana enthusiasts around the world are celebrating 4/20,  a code-term that refers to cannabis consumption, and one’s ‘membership’ in the cannabis sub-culture.  4:20 is actually the time of day a group called the “Waldos” would meet outside of a California school in 1971, to go in search of a cannabis field they learned about. The Waldo’s never found the field.   An article in theHigh Times magazine, however, and a lit

Thu
25
Feb

UNGASS and the "Drug Free World" illusion

The killer fact is a public speaker’s friend. It can be used as a way of not so much simplifying a complex argument, but of giving the audience a peg on which to anchor the complexity. I deployed a few of them in my talk introducing the drug policy discussion at Splore on Saturday, but none of them stirred as audible a response from the crowd as this part:

At UNGASS 1998 – the second meeting of the United Nations’ most senior policy-making body, the General Assembly, to discuss the global drug problem – the boundlessly confident slogan for the event was: ”A drug-free world – we can do it!”

Thu
25
Feb

The Keys to Smart Dispensary Operations: Professionalism and Accountability

In my last column I wrote about dispensary operations. More specifically, I discussed structural organization, suggesting some departments to create in order to manage your retail store.

At Pure Green (my dispensary), we approach structural organization by emphasizing two themes — professionalism and accountability.

Professionalism can be hard to define, but the focus here is on treating your business like any other business.

Accountability means making certain that you define who is ultimately responsible for each department. Know where the buck stops so that when issues arise (and they will), you know who is in charge of correcting them.

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