Smoking, possessing, and growing cannabis will no longer be a criminal offense across the nation of Canada thanks to the approval of a legalization bill by the Senate this past Tuesday. The bill passed with a vote of 52-29. As of today, the bill has been given royal assent, the final step in the Canadian legislative process. While it is officially passed, the law does not take effect until October 17th so don’t become careless and be aware you can still be charged with a crime. The regulation of cannabis will be done in a much different way then it has been done in individual U.S. states. One of these differences is the minimum age required to legally consume and purchase the plant. The federal government has set the age at 18, but provinces can set some of their own unique rules and many are expected to add another year to that federal requirement. Canadian officials argue that setting the age too high will encourage many young adults who will use cannabis regardless to seek out their weed from the black market. Youth consumption rates in Canda are among the highest in the world, and they believe that setting a similar age to the states will only encourage criminal organizations.
When it comes to possession limits the maximum amount a person can possess is 30 grams. While an oz is a decent amount for personal use, setting magical limits is kind of a ridiculous practice. You aren’t allowed to only have 30 cans of beer per person. Every state so far has also set their own unique limits in the U.S. The cool thing about the legislation in Canada is there is no possession limit within a private dwelling. This is a key addition to the law because growing the 4 allowed plants will provide much more than 30 grams of usable cannabis and that’s not taking into consideration leftovers from the last harvest.
Another aspect of the law that makes it unique is the idea of mail order weed. This is already a practice in the medical marijuana industry for registered patients. Soon it will become available for recreational users as well. To protect against youth accessing marijuana, it will not be delivered unless someone is home and able to show I.D. for the package. There aren’t any specific details regarding how much can be ordered at a time but it can be assumed that it’s the possession limit of 30 grams. It will be interesting to see how popular this method of purchase will become in comparison to the retail shops that will also be dispensing marijuana. The convenience of a quick delivery could cause the same problems Amazon has caused for retail shopping giants.
Altogether the Parliment did a good job drafting a well thought out piece of legislation. They thought about many different factors when drafting the rules with the main one being protecting the youth. Limiting advertising and lowering the legal age of consumption are just two of the steps they have taken to eliminate the damage from years of prohibition. The only thing that wasn’t mentioned in the bill that I would have liked to see included would be the expungement of records for those previously convicted of cannabis possession or cultivation crimes. This will likely be something that happens in the future after the law takes effect but it is a crucial step nonetheless.
Great news came from a Florida courtroom this weekend as smokeable forms of medical marijuana became legal for registered patients to possess and use. Prior to this ruling, Florida medical marijuana patients were limited to using alternative oils and forms of the drug that could not be smoked. (Dispensaries have mastered making the best vape cartidges I’ve ever tried) Raw marijuana was allowed, but only if it was being used with a vaporizing device. It appears that allowing raw marijuana but not allowing it to be smoked seemed ridiculous to a Judge who ended up ruling that the law was unconstitutional. The state argued in the case that smokable cannabis was not an effective treatment method for the list of qualified conditions. Judge Gievers said that wasn’t important, and that when the state gave patients constitutional protection from prosecution it shouldn’t have been restricted to different forms of the plant. Even though the original law was unconstitutional, court testimony from suffering patients would have convinced the judge to overthrow the rule anyway.
I knew that the no smoking rule wasn’t going to stick around long in Florida or anywhere else it’s enacted because there is no way to enforce it unless they caught someone in the act. Patients were allowed to have the raw form of the drug because vaporization was allowed. Nothing was stopping that patient from rolling the buds into a joint and smoking them. It’s the traditional way of using cannabis for a reason; it’s extremely effective. A lot of patients need immediate relief when they use their medicine, so they can’t wait around for an edible or pill to take effect. A lot of stoners would argue that the high you get from hitting a vaporizer is a different experience than smoking a joint or bong. There is a more clear-headed feeling to vaporization and some people need the knockout punch that will put them to sleep. On top of that vaporizers are very expensive and many people would prefer not to make that initial investment.
The medical marijuana law enacted in 2016 did not lay out possession limits and prohibited all home cultivation. The Florida Department of Health establishes the amount of cannabis a patient can consume on a daily basis and physicians are allowed to write certifications for three 70 day periods each consultation. There is definitely a ton of regulation and strict rules surrounding the new industry. I believe much of this will disappear like the ban on smoking and patients will be given more rights such as growing their own medicine and not having to visit the physician on numerous occasions each year. I would also predict that the amount of qualifying conditions will expand outside the serious debilitating diseases currently on the list. Many more people can benefit medically from the plant even if their ailments are not life-threatening. However, even with the law as it stands, Florida is definitely leading the way when it comes to the southern United States. Medical marijuana laws are either non-existent or not yet operational/highly restrictive down south. Georgia and Alabama, for example, have no medical marijuana laws available outside of CBD-only forms of the drug. Catching a marijuana possession charge in either of these states means up to a year in jail and possible license suspension. I hope to see Florida continue to lay the foundation for these states and progress to a more sensible system of medical marijuana like Michigan has. The number of patients will likely increase with the news of the judges ruling as will the number of options available at dispensaries.
Up until 2015, marijuana was not legal for medical purposes in Jamaica. While it may not have been hard to find the sweet leaf in reggae’s homeland, there was little protection from prosecution and no taxes or facilities of distribution. Many areas of the island suffer from poverty and the absence of a sustainable economy. There is hope that this new forming industry can provide a tourist goldmine. In March of this year, the first medical marijuana facility opened its doors to anyone with a medical marijuana prescription from any state in the U.S. It is called Kaya Farms, and is located on the northern coastline of the country. They hope to attract tourists from countries all around the world and accept paperwork or licenses of any kind that certifies your use of cannabis is for medical purposes. Those who do not have a recommendation can come along for the trip too because there is a doctor on site at select times that can provide recommendations at the facility. Jamaica is really pushing to stimulate the economy and benefit from its premium outdoor cannabis climate.
I think this is a great move by the government to embrace the history of the plant on the island and that they will be successful in raising money and creating jobs as more facilities open. They are essentially opening their business to an unlimited market of cannabis consumers. One business will not be able to sustain demand for long and many more will enter in to fill the void. Looking at how much money a single state has made off taxing recreational weed sales, entrepreneurs in Jamaica should be hopeful. In the calendar year of 2017, Colorado raised $247,368,473 in tax, license, and fee revenue from operating marijuana businesses (Colorado Department of Revenue). While Jamaica technically is only selling to patients, one site doctors open up their market significantly. A beautiful tropical climate draws plenty of tourists as it is, and a place like Colorado can’t compete with its location. That is not to mention the locals who choose to purchase their medicine from Kaya Farms and other dispensaries. I believe there are likely well-established suppliers on the black market that will remain in competition with facilities like they currently do in the states.
I know I would enjoy a trip to Jamaica much more knowing I’m already certified to purchase cannabis legally while on vacation. Not having to worry about finding a reliable dealer with a quality product would be a great relief. However, because the dispensary just recently opened a few months ago, prices may be inflated. This is likely to happen due to a lack of retail locations with medicine. The quality medicine is going to be sold at a premium that surpasses local distributors. After letting the market develop and saving some cash, the vacation may happen for me.
Many of us cannabis consumers have no problem paying a premium price for a product that is significantly more potent then normal. On the flip side, CBD-only producers and distributors have proven people are willing to pay top dollar for the non-psychoactive variety of medicine. There is no doubt that these types of products extracted from the hemp plant has many uses in the medical world just like dried cannabis flowers do. However, I was completely shocked to learn the prices these companies were advertising this natural product for. To be clear, there is absolutely zero euphoria or uplifting qualities to these edibles and oils. At the same time, people find it helps them relax at night and fall to sleep easier without any noticeable areas of pain. It also has a relatively short list of negative side effects when compared to man made medicine. These include: low blood pressure, dry mouth, and sometimes drowsiness.
Despite the positive benefits CBD can offer to patients with different aliments, it is no competition for the plant in it’s natural form containing all the cannabinoids. All patients that benefit from the effects of CBD would also benefit from the effects of THC because they balance each other out so much better then when either is isolated on it’s own. The CBD market is limited to those who can’t consume cannabis because it’s illegal as well as children, who nobody wants getting high. There are also those who fear failing a drug test and losing their job in an unstable economy. CBD is an attractive product for these groups of people with medical problems. There is a much larger market for people who want to really have a euphoric and enjoyable experience, one worth their hard earned money. So how much are these people selling CBD oils and gummies for exactly?
There were definitely variety and price differences among distributors like with any manufactured product on the market, but all remained within a rather small ballpark. For a bag of infused gummy bears the most competitive price I could find was $20 for a relatively large bag. It would probably be enough to get you through a couple days, but that would be the extent of it. Imagine spending $20 every few days. Even for medicine that provides great relief, most people would think twice about that price tag. The Oils are not cheap either and depending on amount of milligrams of CBD and milliliters of fluid, range from $20-$60 a dropper. They are probably your best budget option though, as the edibles wouldn’t last nearly as long as dropping a few drops every time you dose. You could purchase a traditional edible for $10 that would likely be an extremely strong dose capable of splitting into at least two separate sessions. Not only would it be euphoric, but extremely effective at helping someone sleep for hours uninterrupted.
The way CBD is currently being priced, it’s pretty clear that if you have safe access to cannabis products to choose them over CBD products for medical purposes. You will be spending a similar if not smaller amount each month on your medication and are likely to be less stressed along the way. Unless you really don’t like the feeling mary jane gives you, I suggest sticking to the flowers.
In order to grow the best quality medicine, you need to have an understanding of the techniques growers have been using for decades to dry their harvests. Nobody wants to put 3 plus months of effort and investment into a beautiful crop that will not burn or taste right due to poor drying technique. There is far too much at stake to rush the process or not research what methods work best for your precious flowers. Just like the cultivation process, there are many different ways to accomplish positive results. Whether you decide to whole plant dry, trim when you harvest, or some sort of combination, with the right technique the drying stage will go smoothly and you’ll be left with some top shelf buds that are ready to cure.
The method that has brought the most pleasing results to my harvests, is to trim each branch as you go before placing them on hangers. This is my favorite method because not only has it brought great results, but it makes the trimming process easier as leaves and stems are easier to remove when the plant is fresh. Once all the small leaves harden and dry up into the buds, it becomes very difficult to get stems without removing parts of the flowers as well. When you are dealing with large yields, trimming is enough work on its own so there is no reason to make the process more tedious then it has to be.
In the drying area your nipples should be hard because you’ll need a cool dark and well ventilated space. It is definitely important to have a fan circulating the air around the buds but you do not want to have the fan blowing directly on them. The buds will dry up much faster and have the potential of being too crispy and breaking up into dust when you grind it. In these environmental conditions the drying stage should take around 4-5 days. Another good way to verify that they are actually ready to begin curing is to break one of the branches. If it snaps clean then it’s already too dry and you left them hanging too long but if you break it and it fractures slightly without much resistance that’s the sweet spot. Getting it down inside the correct time frame is so key because curing too early leaves the possibility of molding out your due to trapped moisture. Taking them down too late will also make buds lose the sticky feel connoisseurs are looking for.
Timing and using your best judgement on buds appearance/feel is essential to maximizing your product’s potential. I don’t think people weigh the importance of the drying stage and treat it as a minimal stage in the cultivation process instead of a determining one. While the method of drying can change, the drying environment can not so don’t settle for using drying racks or not properly controlling/ventilating the designated drying space. I truly wonder how much of the lower shelf medicine available was actually grown professionally but ended up how it did due to poor processing techniques.
Although it was November 8th of this year when Massachusetts voted to eliminate penalties for personal consumption and cultivation of marijuana, the law officially takes effect today. For legal sales, the soonest we’ll see stores opening is not until January of 2018 however. This is huge as Massachusetts is the first state on the east coast to implement a law like this. Maine also passed the ballot measure to legalize marijuana but it hasn’t taken effect yet. Keep in mind, these two states are very far away from the next closest recreational state of Colorado. This is definitely a victory worth celebrating and is the best example of an effective drug policy outside the western coastal area.
So what can the people of Massachusetts do exactly without going to prison or facing fines? What they should have always been able to do, cultivate and bring up to an oz of buds with them on their person. At home, the rule is 6 plants per person and total of 12 per household. You can also have up to 10 ounces kept at home. Prices at the recreational shops are sure to be ridiculously high when first starting out, so make sure to start your grow now and save some serious cash come 2018. Tax rates in the state are supposed to be low in comparison to other states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon but the law of supply and demand the first opening months will guarantee some pricey buds.
For those of us that can’t grow because they don’t have the resources, knowledge, or time to put into an operation, there are no new options for obtaining cannabis. It’s illegal for people to sell and advertise on Craigslist and other sites so still go to your connection that you used before it became legal. There is no real legal way to purchase weed it’s suppose to just appear from nothing.(wouldn’t be so bad) Sticking to this method will not put the consumer at any additional risk instead of going to someone new who is openly advertising illegally. There have been plenty of cases on the news of police operations based on this idea in other states. This is a huge moment in history for personal freedom and I am just smiling thinking about the real crime that will be stopped, and the innocent lives that will be saved from the permanent damage of a criminal record. As long as you remember not to use in public or surpass the limits allowed, you can sleep at night knowing you’re no longer considered a criminal.
I would like to start by explaining where the love and interest of the cannabis plant stems from and why sharing/spreading information is so important.
Like many others, in my teenage years I was told by people and held the common belief that drugs are dangerous and held very little information about differences and side effects of both legal and illegal drugs. When it came to marijuana, I wouldn’t have known what it was if I smelt it from the other room or even saw it. I held the belief that your stupid if you smoke it and that it’s right up there with the other hard drugs. It wasn’t until I started having discussions with friends at school who had actually tried it and were familiar with the potential side effects, benefits, and dangers. These were people I viewed as intelligent in general and definitely had more knowledge on the subject of weed. The more I talked about it with them the more I became interested and did a small amount of research before experiencing with it.
My first experience with cannabis turned me on to it big time. There was no other experience in my life where everything was enhanced in a way that made it so easy to enjoy and appreciate. Music was something that I had considered myself passionate about but after that day it was a whole different story. The only way to describe it is being able to take in every musical note and focus with such clarity without any distraction. This experience was clearly 1oo% recreational and enjoyable but I still knew little about it’s benefits to both healthy and especially sick people.
This changed when I saw videos and information everywhere of people experiencing a complete turnaround in their health from using cannabis. The list of diseases that it either treats or heals is too long to list. The number of medications it could replace is staggering and the number of side effects it could eliminate is even higher. I watched a man with violent seizures stop them seconds after using medical marijuana in its natural form. It reduces the number of these episodes dramatically and with continued treatment has even stopped them. This is just one serious aliment and yet it’s been illegal for a period of over 70 years for both sick and recreational users.
The moment I realized I needed to do something for the cause was after I watched my aunt battle cancer in its late stages. Her appetite was gone and she was in way too much pain to do anything. The chemo therapy made her nauseous even though she wasn’t eating. I finally got her to try a cannabis edible and she managed to get some of it down through our help. Within 30 minutes she told me all the pain was gone and it was wonderful. She could feel the breeze through the window and actually ate a small meal. This changed my life forever and I knew that there was true potential in this demonized plant. Not long after that she passed, but I know this relief can help others and be used in time to give these suffering people the quality of life they deserve.
All of these events in my life made me want to write about this plant and the people who use it. Whether that be legislation or just interesting information, the goal is that someone learns about and maybe even personally benefits from this medicine. If this underrated medicine interests you and you’d like to read and discuss about it then follow my blog and share your thoughts!