Key Takeaways from Today’s Hearing on the SAFE Banking Act

A Senate committee held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss ways for cannabis businesses operating legally under state law to obtain access to banking and financial services. At the hearing, Senators and witnesses including members of the cannabis industry focused on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019.

Under the measure, federal banking regulators would be prohibited from penalizing banks that choose to serve cannabis firms doing business in accordance with state law. Under current regulations, banks are subject to penalties under federal money laundering and other laws for servicing such companies, leaving the cannabis industry to operate in a risky environment heavy in cash.

The Senate’s version of the measure, (S. 1200) was introduced in April by Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, and has 31 co-sponsors. The House bill (H.R. 1595) was introduced by Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Oregon and is co-sponsored by 206 representatives. In March, the bill was approved by the Financial Services Committee and is expected to be considered on the House floor after the August recess.

Witnesses Testify at Hearing

In his testimony before the committee, Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, one of the co-sponsors of the SAFE Banking Act, testified that public opinion is in favor of a change in cannabis policy reform. Gardner also noted that the bill has bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, a rarity in today’s hyper-partisan political climate.

“There has been a dramatic shift in Americans’ views of cannabis in recent years,” Gardner said. “Polling shows that about 65% of Americans support legalization of marijuana. 93% support medical marijuana. In fact, majorities of both parties support legalization. In a time when all the talk is about how divided we are, it’s hard to find that sort of support for an issue.”

Gardner added that cannabis policy reform was even succeeding in conservative states and that in just the last year five more states, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont, had adopted or expanded marijuana programs.

“In short, the states are leading on this issue, and the federal government has failed to respond,” he said. “It has closed its eyes and plugged its ears and pretended the issue will go away. It won’t.”

Current Rules an Unfair Burden on Cannabis Industry

Another witness who testified before the committee, John Lord, the board chair of the Cannabis Trade Federation and the CEO of a Colorado vertically-integrated operator in the industry, said that current regulations put a substantial burden on cannabis businesses.

“Due to the dichotomy between state and federal laws, banks and credit unions have been reluctant to serve cannabis businesses or have refused to do so altogether,” Lord told the committee. “In some cases, banks that were willing to work with cannabis companies were discouraged or prevented from doing so by their regulators. As a result, we have frequently struggled to obtain and maintain bank accounts with egregiously high fees.”

Lord also noted that the negative impacts of current regulations hit small firms the hardest.

“The current situation is especially challenging for small businesses. While we, due to our size, are able to absorb the additional costs associated with cash management and exorbitant bank fees, many small businesses are not,” he added. “Furthermore, resolving the banking issue could significantly aid cannabis businesses in securing business loans. This is critical to small business owners who may not have access to other sources of capital.”

Cannabis Insurance Measure Introduced

Before Tuesday’s hearing, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey announced that he was introducing a bill that would give the cannabis industry greater access to insurance services. The bill would protect insurers who offer coverage to cannabis firms and associated firms such as landlords and attorneys.

“Current federal law prevents these small business owners from getting insurance coverage, and without it, they can’t protect their property, employees, or customers,” Menendez said. “We can solve this problem with legislation that allows insurance companies to provide coverage to these enterprises without risk of federal prosecution or other unintended consequences.”

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10 ideas de primera cita para los amantes del cannabis

Las personas que les gusta los tragos lo tienen fácil cuando se trata de citas: hay un bar en cada esquina. Pero, ¿a dónde llevas a la chica stoner caliente con la biografía de Tinder compatible con 420? Incluso si vives en una ciudad que aún no se ha legalizado, hay muchas maneras atractivas de pasar tiempo con tu nuevo amigo con una mente mejorada.

Aquí están 10 de mis ideas favoritas de la primera cita 

1. Comer un poco de pizza:

Ya sabes el dicho de que el sexo es como la pizza, incluso cuando es malo, ¿sigue siendo bueno? Bueno, si estás drogado, se garantiza que tanto la pizza como el sexo serán estupendos.

2. Visita un refugio de animales:

Una de mis cosas favoritas sobre la marihuana es que me hace menos gilipollas, y finalmente comprendo la sensación a la que a menudo se hace referencia como “felicidad”. Agregale  algunos perros corriendo con sus lenguas colgando y lindos gatitos frotando mis pies , y le daría lo que fuera al tipo que me llevó allí (si no asustaría a los animales).

3. Noches de manualidades:

Si la cita es con alguien que no te daría miedo invitarlo a tu casa, invitalo a una noche de manualidades. Puedes quemar, luego cortar papel de colores y jugar con pistolas de pegamento como un grupo de niños de cinco años. Eso es, por supuesto, hasta que tomes tu nueva tiara de cartón para colocarla en tu cita y coronarla como tu diosa del sexo stoner.

4.Mirando las estrellas

Ya sea una manta en un campo o un par de sillas de cubierta en un tejado de Brooklyn, enrolla un poco de Northern Lights debajo de las estrellas para suavizarte y besarte con tu soñadora de elección.

5. Yoga

Algunas ciudades ya están ofreciendo clases de yoga 4:20, pero todo lo que necesitas son dos alfombrillas, una lista de reproducción relajante y un Sour Diesel que levanta el ánimo en la primera cita.

6. Visita un museo

Solía ​​pensar que el Museo Metropolitano de Arte era para gente vieja y rica y que olía a pedos. Eso es hasta que fui a una gira de Museum Hack precedida por algunas pastillas de CBD y cookies de Girl Scouts (ya sabes de qué tipo estoy hablando) en una primera cita. “Un recorrido por el museo para personas a las que no les gustan los museos”, nos mostraron el diente de Mary Magdalene escondido en un jarrón antiguo (a menos que yo alucinaba eso).

7. Caminar en la naturaleza:

Tan glorioso como quedarse y tragar comida, ponte un par de pantalones, enrolla un porrito (o tres) para guardar en tu bolsillo y lleva tu cita a un parque o jardín botánico. Puedes enamorarte por el olor de las rosas y contemplar en silencio una telaraña durante 10 minutos preguntándote cómo algo tan pequeño podría crear algo tan hermoso.

8. Ver algo de música:

La marihuana y la música ya tienen una mejor relación que cualquiera de nosotros experimentará con otro humano, así que aprovechemos esa energía para tu primera cita. Para una noche más íntima, vea un espectáculo en un espacio de bricolaje o una galería emergente; Sofar Sounds es una organización increíble para encontrar pequeños conciertos en todo el mundo. Probablemente incluso puedas llamar la atención de los músicos, simplemente no dejes que te roben tu cita.

9. Pintura: ¿Qué es mejor que fumar con tus enamorados y pintar jirafas? Tira algunos nachos y tendrás la tarde perfecta. Si esta fecha es tan buena como debería, un año más tarde puede comprar un kit Love is Art para su aniversario: un lienzo en blanco para cubrir su piso y botellas de pintura para cubrir sus cuerpos a medida que  hacen el amor y arte.

10. Ir al cine:

Netflix and chill es una rutina increíble para deslizarte una vez que estás en una relación, pero para la primera cita quieres al menos pretender estar cómodo con tu pijama y entre los vivos. Ver a Matt Damon tratando de escapar de Marte será infinitamente más entretenido si fumas Skywalker antes de las vistas previas, o mejor aún, infórmate en algunas gomitas de cannabis para comer durante el show.

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How To Choose The Best Convection Vaporizer Without Breaking Your Bank

Vaping technology has single handedly changed the way we consume cannabis, and it’s here to stay. Believe it or not, vaporizers have origins going back to 1963 when a “smokeless tobacco cigarette” patent was first proposed by Herbert Gilbert. Yet, it wasn’t until 2003 when inventor Hon Lik patented the modern electronic cigarette to curb his own smoking addiction that the benefits of the vaporizing really started to take to the masses. 

While vaporizers have been available on the market for roughly 16 years now, many are still confused on how they operate and what the difference is between convection and conduction heating. If you have been asking yourself similar questions, let us break it down for you. Vaporizers heat in three ways: Conduction, convection, and hybrid heating. Conduction heating involves placing cannabis or cannabis concentrates onto a heated surface. Convection heating, on the other hand, involves heating the air that encounters the cannabis or cannabis extract, using either an internal fan or through the process of inhalation. Hybrid vaporizers combine both heating systems. While conduction vaporizers have been available on the market longer, convection vaporizers offer a superior vaporizing experience, boasting cleaner flavor, evenly distributed heat covering more surface area and no combustion which could prove harmful to the lungs. Some might argue, best of all, that it also allows you to use your weed twice.

Unfortunately, convection vaporizers have been notoriously expensive, alienating users new to vaporizing or looking for a bargain—that is, until now.

Welcome to the best convection vaporizer under $100, the Linx Eden

We are Linx Vapor, a SoCal based, health conscious and technology driven vaporizer brand with a mission to expand the boundaries of the market as we know it today. Our cannabis line of vaporizers has landed many top awards by leading industry media such as Forbes, High Times, Gizmodo, Leafly, and Herb.

Over the past few years, our customers have given us some amazing feedback on our award-winning products and it always seems to boil down to the same few things: Flavor, technology and affordability. The result is something we couldn’t wait to share with all of you. Our team is happy to introduce the best convection vaporizer for under $100, the Linx Eden.  We stand by our word, now let us tell you why. 

Inspired by a minimalistic design, the Eden is stripped down to only the essentials, flavor and vapor. The device is packed with the latest technologies to optimize flavor delivery, including a true convection heating system, pure quartz chamber, and dual use capabilities – allowing simultaneous use of both dry herb and concentrates with the included “Lava Plate” concentrate pads. The Linx Eden can truly unlock the flavor of your herb.  

And yes, you read that right, the Eden lets you use your herb twice. How does this work you may ask? The Eden’s convection heating system activates cannabis molecules (THC-A or CBD-A) by a process called decarboxylation. While combustion triggers these molecules, they are destroyed. Convection heating on the other hand not only activates, but preserves them. After vaping, the nice brown leftovers can be then used in a variety of ways, from cannabutter to a food garnishment that will get the job done (and quite well, may we add.) 

At this point, we know what you’re thinking. If all the Eden’s technologies are this advanced and its design is made of only the highest-grade materials, how can we possibly offer it at such a low price? Comparable models can easily cost as high as $200- $300, yet the Eden comes in well under that at $99.99. While we’ve done our homework and opted for the latest vaping technologies and materials that are needed to make a great vaporizer, we had to trade off on features such as variable temperatures or a designer shape. (If those features are more up your alley, click here to learn more about the award winning Linx Gaia) 

Even with such tradeoff, the Eden’s long list of attributes for the price are still unrivaled. Every Linx Eden features four pre-programmed temperature settings and comes complete with an interchangeable silicone sleeve, magnetic mouthpiece cap, cleaning brush, glass mouthpiece, USB charger, filter screens, and medical grade stainless steel.

We have also remained on the forefront of health consciousness, minimizing the use of plastics throughout our entire product line. The Eden is no exception. It uses air instead of silica gel to insulate heat production.  Furthermore, Linx has completely removed the plastic insulation section in the chamber itself. Such design is so unique and novel that it separates us from other mainstream vaporizers. 

It is this type of dedication- a constant pursuit of the prefect balance of value, experience and innovation that has put us on the map. The Eden is keeping the momentum going, already taking the title of “Best Dry Herb Vaporizer Under $100” by Medium as well as placing #1 on the Vape Guide’s “Best Dry Herb Vaporizer List Under $100 by The Vape Guide.

We know you’ve got a lot of options to choose from these days, but there’s a reason our Linx fam continues to grow. Try the Eden for yourself and learn more on how we are shaking things up in the vaporizer industry.  This one’s dedicated to all of you!

Order your own Linx Eden here!

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Philadelphia University Announces New Cannabis Industry MBA Program

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia announced last week that it would begin offering a Master of Business Administration degree program focusing on the cannabis industry. The university is currently enrolling students in the Cannabis Industry Option MBA in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program and will begin conducting classes online in September.

Founded in 1821 as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in North America, the University of the Sciences now offers more than 30 degree programs from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees in the health sciences, bench sciences, and healthcare business and policy fields.

Andrew Peterson, the executive director of the University of the Sciences Substance Use Disorders Institute, said in a press release that the new degree program will help train business professionals for the quickly growing legal cannabis industry.

“There are many unique aspects to the medical cannabis and hemp industries, and those in this new industry have been testing the waters for the last few years,” Peterson said. “This new program will help to formalize those teachings for those currently in the cannabis industry, entering the field, or interested in other fields associated with the industry.”

Teaching the Business of Cannabis

The new cannabis MBA program at the University of the Sciences, which the university says is the first of its kind in the United States, will be offering coursework that includes education in the business of cannabis, hemp, and dispensary operations. The option includes four elective courses that were created in partnership with the Substance Use Disorders Institute with input from cannabis industry professionals.

Coursework in the program will include Introduction to the Medical Cannabis Industry; Finance and Regulation in the Medical Cannabis Industry; Cannabis Marketing and Sales, and a project-based course where students will work to write a business plan or bring a product to market.

Peterson added that as cannabis legalization continues to spread, the new industry will see new opportunities to integrate with more conventional business sectors.

“As the industry grows, and the potential for medical cannabis to converge with the pharmaceutical industry, a specialization in pharmaceutical and healthcare business will be an asset to those in the cannabis industry,” said Peterson. “A combination of healthcare, pharmaceutical, and cannabis business knowledge and expertise will be incredibly valuable as graduates move forward in their career.”

The University of the Sciences MBA program is the second graduate degree program focusing on the cannabis industry to launch recently. In June, the University of Maryland revealed that it was launching a Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics degree program.

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Cannabis Church Goes High Tech

A new cannabis-inspired multi-sensory experience in Orlando, Florida is blending music, light, live performers, and theatrical effects with a spiritual message about overcoming life’s obstacles. The production, titled “The Reflections Show,” was created by cannabis advocate and technology artist Joseph Andrew.

As the owner and visionary of “The Reflections Show,” Andrew has set out to create an experience that is both uplifting and cathartic. To do this, he combines his message with an audio-visual production that includes elements such as music, live performances, and state-of-the-art lighting effects.

“I saw there was a void in lighting productions at cannabis churches so I wanted to design something from the heart that had a lot of programming behind it so you could really feel the energy of the technology and our message,” says Andrew. “The main goal is to create a fundamental mind shift in the way people think and treat each other by using mega-church technology.”

Joseph Andrew

Addressing the Stigma Around Cannabis

Andrew believes that the experience has the power to change people’s attitudes about marijuana and how it can be incorporated into a healthy and spiritual lifestyle.

“We are breaking the stigmas surrounding cannabis by creating an all-inclusive haven molded by a new generation of conscious minds,” Andrew says about the mission of the Reflections Ministry.Without a plan, the best ideas are only dreams and at Reflections ministry, it becomes a place of opportunity, guidance, and transformation. There is no intrinsic value that can buy the passion we possess deep within, or our beliefs of the power of plant healing alternatives. Thus, we are using state of an art technology, light, and sound to bring spirituality and plant culture together.”

Joseph Andrew

High Tech Production

Augmenting the sensory experience with massage chairs and 3D glasses, the audience is treated to an artistic mix of intelligent lighting effects, video projection, transcendent music, and live performers including DJs, dancers, and acrobats. Further drama and excitement are built through the use of analog theatrical effects including fog, foam, bubbles, and confetti, adding to the production value. Each show ends with a message of inspiration and personal growth from Andrew for those in attendance to contemplate.

To create the show, Andrew controls the lighting and other effects with advanced software and  high-tech lighting consoles.

“It takes hundreds of hours to execute the programming for a single song,” says

Andrew, “I’ve spent thousands of hours over the years just refining how it all interphases and comes together.”

Joseph Andrew

Ministry Plans to Support Local Community

Andrew already has ideas for the expansion of the Reflections ministry and is seeking sponsors and investors to help fuel its growth. Plans for the future include the construction of a cafe featuring plant-based comfort foods from Jaya Bressack. The venue will also be available to rent for seminars, weddings, video production, and other private events.

Andrew’s ministry also plans to support the local community by hosting fundraisers, food drives, and counseling services. A donation of 5 percent of the revenue raised will be donated to the advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project to support its work fighting for the reform of cannabis laws.

Joseph Andrew

The Creator

Joseph Andrew is not your average tech-head. From a young age, he showed an uncanny aptitude for repairing electronics and seemed to naturally understand computer software and technology, while gravitating towards ambient lighting and electronic music. It wasn’t until later in life he discovered the ability to affect the energy in his environment using lighting and music which he would eventually master and choreography down to the millisecond.

Joseph Andrew

Inspiration from Cannabis

Through his formative years, Joseph was able to connect with his creative side using cannabis, which he feels has been bestowed to us by a higher power. Cannabis provided him the strength needed to get through the hard times and realize his life’s purpose by creating something meant for everyone to enjoy. His favorite strains include Blue Dream, Juicy Fruit, AC/DC, Granddaddy Purple, Durbin Poison, Jack Herer, and White Widow.

Joseph Andrew

Opportunities

With either your ROI investment, a pledge, or sponsorship, Reflections will be given the opportunity to do more than grow, it will blast off into a new dimension of entertainment on par with many of today’s leading productions. But one thing that sets this show apart from any others is its heart and soul, and its message of hope that inspires healing and transcendence. Without a doubt, this is an amazing opportunity for anyone to be involved with, a production that owns its potential to be ‘the next big thing’. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Joseph Andrew

Jobs

Growing a movement like Reflections will create many wellpaying Jobs in our community.

Videographers, Editors, Audio Engineers, Camera Operators, Lighting Technicians, & front of house personal to name a few.

Reasons to get involved

  1. Reflections consist of over eight years of relentless research and development with 500K in investments.
  2. Years of sweat equity, huge sacrifices, passion for our project and the message it delivers that makes the audience part of the show.
  3. 5% of all donations will go directly to MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) in their efforts to continue changing the laws of prohibition. Also, we want to give back to the community in ways to enrich others and help them on their journey to enlightenment.
  4. We have already test marketed our show to over 300 people, many lives have been changed while also bringing the hope & unity that many are seeking.
  5. Reflections will help to break the stigma on Cannabis allowing more people to indulge in a safer, more educated & responsible way.

Joseph Andrew – 407-731-0767

Click here to donate.

Click here for a virtual tour.

Non Profit EIN
83-1955065 – Reflections Arts & Culture, INC – Florida Sunbiz.org

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Website

Joseph Andrew

The Future

In addition to being a place for finding inspiration, Reflections will open its doors to aerial yoga/meditation, weddings, private parties, filming and photography, musical events/bands, seminars.  There will be a plant-based café run by Jaya Bressack, who has over 15 years cooking experience with a specialty in plant-based comfort food. Also, With an advanced menu for special events.

Continuing to develop as it breaks through its Beta phase, Reflections will expand into a full-blown production with the addition of more lights, a larger theater, more performers and surround sound.

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El cannabis y la salud mental: trastorno bipolar.

Los expertos en salud mental advierten que el cannabis puede no ser un tratamiento adecuado para el trastorno bipolar.

El trastorno bipolar, con la misma probabilidad de afectar a hombres y mujeres, hace que el estado de ánimo, la energía y la claridad mental de una persona varíen enormemente. Tal fluctuación lleva a la persona a experimentar olas de manía y depresión. La mayoría de los pacientes experimentan la aparición del trastorno bipolar alrededor de los 25 años, aunque los adolescentes y los niños pueden desarrollar el trastorno bipolar en menor proporción que los adultos. En total, el 2,6% de la población de EE. UU. Tiene trastorno bipolar.

Existen cuatro tipos de trastorno bipolar, con síntomas que van desde sentirse increíblemente positivo y energizado, hasta deprimido y sin energía. Dependiendo del tipo de bipolar que tenga una persona, los síntomas pueden incluir un aumento de la actividad, problemas para dormir, agitación, pensamiento rápido, patrones de habla rápidos y comportamientos de riesgo. Otros pueden sentirse con poca energía, incapaces de encontrar la felicidad, incapaces de concentrarse, experimentando una pérdida de apetito y posiblemente considerar la autolesión.

Melissa Vitale dirige una empresa de publicidad de cannabis con sede en Nueva York. Después de luchar con sus emociones durante toda su vida, finalmente se le diagnosticó un trastorno bipolar. “Mi estado de ánimo incontrolable a menudo me hacía sentir como si estuviera en la cima del mundo. Yo era la niña más feliz y más útil. Cuando mi estado de ánimo cambió, sin embargo, sentí una pared de emoción que me impedía ver con claridad. Estaría hirviendo de ira y queriendo golpear, patear, golpear o insultar a cualquiera que no me estuviera diciendo que todo estaba bien “.

A los doce años, empezó a autolesionarse, lo que la hizo sospechar que tenía un trastorno bipolar. 

Con millones de personas solo en Estados Unidos que tratan el trastorno bipolar, tanto los pacientes como los médicos siempre están buscando el tratamiento adecuado que pueda ayudar. Algunos recurren a la marihuana para darse un capricho. A menudo, esto se hace por medios ilegales: el trastorno bipolar no es una condición de calificación común para los programas de cannabis medicinal de los estados. A pesar de esto, una parte de las personas que viven con el trastorno bipolar insiste en incluir el cannabis en su tratamiento.

Algunos estudios sugieren que este no es un método viable. Un estudio de junio de 2017 de la Universidad de Washington sobre los efectos de la marihuana en la salud mental descubrió que “el consumo de marihuana y los trastornos por consumo de cannabis son notablemente más frecuentes entre las personas con trastornos del espectro bipolar en comparación con la población general y las personas con alguna enfermedad mental”.

El análisis observó informes que afirmaban lo contrario, su estudio encontró varias asociaciones adversas. Las cuales mencionan:

“Con respecto a los trastornos del espectro bipolar, el uso de la marihuana se asocia con un empeoramiento de los episodios afectivos, síntomas psicóticos, ciclos rápidos, intentos de suicidio, disminución de la remisión a largo plazo, un funcionamiento global más deficiente y una mayor discapacidad. “Los pacientes bipolares que dejan de usar marihuana durante un episodio maníaco / mixto tienen resultados clínicos y funcionales similares a los que nunca lo hacen, mientras que el uso continuo se asocia con un mayor riesgo de recurrencia y un funcionamiento más deficiente”.

El Dr. Paul Song es una autoridad en cannabis medicinal, además de formar parte de la junta nacional de Physicians for Health. Señaló estudios adicionales que sugieren que el consumo de cannabis no se recomienda para personas con trastorno bipolar.

“La investigación ha encontrado que los pacientes con trastorno bipolar que consumen cannabis han aumentado los episodios maníacos y depresivos, los resultados son más deficientes del tratamiento y el cumplimiento, y presentan su primer episodio maníaco a una edad más temprana”, dijo en una respuesta escrita, que también incluyó el estudio vinculado. Aquí.

A pesar de las sugerencias de algunos de los médicos, muchas personas han recurrido al cannabis de todos modos. En algunos casos, las personas comenzaron a consumir cannabis para tratar los síntomas que no descubrirían que eran trastornos bipolares hasta mucho más tarde. En otros, los pacientes recurrieron al cannabis como una opción médica cuando fueron diagnosticados.

Jeff Allen es un paciente de Cannabis de 27 años de Ontario, Canadá. Fue diagnosticado con trastorno bipolar hace nueve años y comenzó a consumir cannabis dos años después, a la edad de 20 años. El intérprete de teatro musical dijo que sus síntomas eran tan graves que no podía interactuar en público durante casi dos años.

En una respuesta escrita, Allen dijo que el cannabis le salvó la vida y cambió su mundo. “Durante los extremos, alto o bajo, es como si mi cerebro fuera un automóvil y el acelerador se empujara al piso. Después de la medicación, es como si ese pedal se cayera del suelo y volviera a poner mi cerebro por debajo del límite de velocidad “.

Vitale se encontró luchando a principios de sus veinte años antes de buscar ayuda por sugerencia de su entonces novio. Incluso entonces, la confirmación de su condición no fue bien recibida. “Fue un camino largo y difícil llegar allí, pero una vez que lo hice a los 22 años, detesté de inmediato el diagnóstico bipolar, olvidando que me había diagnosticado correctamente una década antes. Mi médico, en el día de mi diagnóstico, me dijo que me había automedicado con cannabis durante toda la universidad “.

Ella dijo que su regreso a casa del médico estaba lleno de ira, pero eso cambiaría después de fumar antes de irse a casa para la clase. Ella ya no estaba enojada. “En 10 minutos y en un cuenco lleno, mi estado de ánimo había terminado en 180. Sabía que los médicos y Melissa de 12 años tenían razón: yo era bipolar”.

El defensor del cannabis y paciente Mickey Nulf comenzó a usar cannabis a los 11 años, pero no fue diagnosticado con trastorno bipolar hasta aproximadamente 13 años después. Dicho esto, el joven de 29 años ahora siente que sabía algo sobre sí mismo mucho antes del diagnóstico. “Siento que incluso cuando era tan joven, estaba usando cannabis para ayudar con algo, pero no lo entendía del todo”.

Nulf explicó que durante muchos años, su uso sería un conjunto con medicamentos farmacéuticos prescritos. Sin embargo, él escogería ir solo con cannabis en torno a su diagnóstico.

“He elegido seguir consumiendo cannabis porque las píldoras siempre han sido reparaciones temporales o adormecimiento de la vida donde el cannabis me ha permitido experimentar la vida”. Por primera vez. Estoy más feliz en general. Mis saltos no son tan bajos, y mis subidas no son tan temibles. Soy capaz de regular y disfrutar de lo que me rodea en lugar de dejar que el mundo me pase por alto “.

Olivia Alexander, dueña de un negocio de cannabis, es otra de las que renuncia a los medicamentos. Lo hizo usando CBD.

El fundador de los productos Kush Queen CBD pasó siete años combinando productos farmacéuticos para tratar su trastorno bipolar. Ella dijo que este ciclo dejó su sistema inmunológico disparado. Eventualmente, comenzaría a usar 100 mg de CBD por vía oral cada día. Ella escribió cómo el CDB juega un papel importante en su plan de cuidado. “No fue tan simple como verter CBD en él, pero con la combinación de terapia, dieta, ejercicio y CBD oral / tópico, pude dejar la medicación”.

Mientras Alexander y Nulf decidieron no usar ningún producto farmacéutico, otros optaron por mantener ambos en su plan de tratamiento. Alexander explicó: “Es importante para mí tener en cuenta que, en mi experiencia, dejar los medicamentos no es la mejor opción para todos. He visto a miembros de la familia beneficiarse de el CDB en combinación con medicamentos recetados, supervisados ​​por un médico “.

Ella agregó: “La salud mental no es una talla para todos y tampoco lo es el CDB; sin embargo, funcionó para mí y cambió mi vida en el proceso “.

La conclusión es estar seguro de hablar con los profesionales médicos antes de tomar cualquier decisión. Algunos pueden tener dificultades para encontrar respuestas a través de sus médicos, gracias en gran parte a las regulaciones vigentes de los EE.UU. Este problema puede hacer que una persona no pruebe el cannabis como tratamiento. O bien, podrían terminar intentándolo de una manera poco legal.

“Lo que hago no está sancionado por el estado en el que vivo”, dice Vitale. “Compro todo mi cannabis ilegalmente, pero la forma en que lo consumo no es criminal. Me salvó la vida y me dio la capacidad de ser un ser humano normal “.

Si bien eso puede sonar bien, Vitale también enfatizó que esto no siempre será así. Ella lo llama “una hermosa alegoría para la vida”.

“Hay algunos días en que mi estado de ánimo, no importa lo que haga, se deprimirá. Como a veces, no importa cuánto planifiques, la vida te arroja una mierda a la vez. A veces tienes que atravesar el infierno, pero siempre, siempre mejorará “.

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Thai Lawmakers Reportedly Pushing for Medical Marijuana Research

In Thailand, there is a long cultural tradition of using cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Like many of its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, however, Thailand has historically imposed harsh anti-drug laws that strongly penalize cannabis cultivation and use. But late last year, the nation of nearly 70 million people became the first in the region to legalize medical cannabis. And now, Thai lawmakers are pushing to develop policies aimed at creating a robust medical cannabis industry.

In a policy document released July 21 ahead of a key national assembly debate set for Thursday, Thai leaders call for accelerating research and developing technologies to bring marijuana, hemp and other medicinal herbs into the country’s medical industry. The policy document also sets out the unique goal of enabling all Thai citizens to grow and sell cannabis for medical purposes.

Thai Lawmakers Propose Policies to Jumpstart Medical Marijuana Industry

In March 2019, Thailand held its first election since the 2014 military coup d’état that installed coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minster. Following the controversial March elections, Prayuth held on to power to head up Thailand’s civilian government with a ruling coalition of 19 parties. One of the largest parties of that coalition, the Bhumjaithai Party, made developing Thailand’s medical cannabis industry a central part of its agenda. And since the election, the party has been demanding policy action from Thai lawmakers and the prime minister.

One of the leading voices pushing to make medical marijuana a part of the government’s agenda is Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul. Charnvirakul serves as deputy prime minster and health minister. And in statements to Thai media, Charnvirakul has called for changes to the banned drugs list and new rules to make it easier for hospitals to prescribe drugs containing CBD and THC.

The health minister has also called for highly permissive cultivation laws that would permit all Thais to grow and produce medical cannabis to make money. All of those demands are part of a policy document Reuters obtained Sunday. “The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people,” the policy document said.

Policy Shift Could Position Thailand as Major Regional Cannabis Supplier

Support for a legal medical marijuana industry is widespread across Thailand and backed by the ruling military government. Late last year, the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly approved medical marijuana legalization with a vote of 166 to 0 (13 abstaining). After the vote, the lawmaker in charge of drafting the medical marijuana bill called its passage “a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.”

Indeed, economic analysts predict a medical marijuana industry in Thailand could be a gift to the whole region. According to Bloomberg, the forecast for the legal cannabis market in Asia is expected to grow to $8.5 billion over the next five years. Those projections are prompting some in Prime Minister Prayuth’s coalition to push for full recreational legalization. It’s a move that has the support of deputy prime minister and health minister Charnvirakul, whose positions in government make it easy for him to change regulations and laws surrounding cannabis cultivation and patient access.

The Thai government is also taking steps to prevent its nascent industry from being overtaken by international cannabis conglomerates. Sopon Mekthon, who heads Thailand’s medical cannabis research efforts with the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, said “we want to be a leader in marijuana. And we have traditional Thai medicine knowledge that’s over 300 years old.”

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Cannabis Infused Creativity at LA’s Puff Pass & Paint Class

It’s a Saturday night in North Hollywood, and I’m about to take a painting class. It’s not just a regular painting class, though. Everyone involved will be at least a little bit stoned. There’s a big sign on the storefront with a cartoon joint and the words “Puff Pass & Paint.” I have a pre-roll in my purse, ready and raring to go. 

Upon entering the studio, I’m welcomed by instructor Austa Martin, whose clothes are endearingly completely covered with paint. Beautiful paintings created by Austa and the other instructors lined the walls of the studio, even the bathroom. Along the tables, easels are set up with canvases, paint palettes, water cups, brushes, and of course, ashtrays. There are also a few completed reference paintings, each one a little different: a version of a cityscape sunset scene. This is the painting we’re going to be creating tonight.

As we wait for more class-goers to roll in, I chat with Austa about how she started teaching these classes. “My friend saw [the job opening] and was like, ‘I think you’d be really good at this!’ and I was like, ‘That sounds like the perfect job.’ I hit it off with the owners and it’s worked out really nicely.” After teaching in Oakland for two years, she moved to LA and now teaches at this North Hollywood location. On top of this more traditional style of painting class, the studio also offers a mixed media collage class, abstract fluid painting (happily taught by Austa, as well, who is primarily an abstract artist). An “X-Rated” figure drawing class is in the works, too, with porn stars as models. 

“Before, for wine and paint classes, you’d smoke in your car before, you know? But now you can [smoke in class] and fuel your creative fire as you go, so it makes it really fun,” she says. “You’ll see…this class is a little different. Cannabis makes you so creative, so people really go off on their own whim a lot. Every painting is gonna turn out different. There’s always someone who goes rogue, who doesn’t paint what I’m painting at all, which is cool. I support that!”

As the other class-goers arrive, joints are being lit, and Austa let’s everyone know her name (“Austa, like pasta”) and offers up a bong for anyone who’d like to use it to smoke their own flower, as the classes are bring-your-own-bud. Once everyone’s settled, she begins to demonstrate at her easel in the front of the class, teaching us how to paint the background of the scene and blend colors to create a beautiful sunset gradient. She ensures us that we don’t have to worry about making our paintings look exactly like hers or any of the other reference paintings–they’re just there for inspiration.

For the most part, I decided to stick to the instructions and try to not mess up too badly. I was very serious about art in high school, and I’ve been wanting to get back into painting, but I always find myself being too critical of my own work, feeling like I need to create something perfect and that nothing I make is ever good enough. 

But in this particular class setting–especially after taking a few hits of my joint–I’m smiling, peacefully running my brush back and forth across the canvas, creating my sunset. Not perfect, but it’ll do. I’m content, painting and creating without judgement. 

Austa came over to check on me and my painting’s progress, and I told her how zen I felt. “It’s almost meditative, right?” she said. I agreed.

Next up, she taught us a couple different methods to create stars in the sky, if we wanted to include them–either making tiny dots with the hard end of our paintbrush or getting a little more daring and using a splatter paint approach. After waiting a little while for the background to dry, she gave us some pointers for how to paint some palm trees, mountains, and buildings. The instructions were broken down simply, step-by-step and we were encouraged to take our time and to add (or not add) whatever we wanted. 

When we were all waiting for our paintings to dry at the end of class, we got to walk around and check out everyone else’s creations. It was clear that, as Austa said, people had “gone rogue.” I couldn’t stop giggling at the accuracy of the prediction. One girl’s canvas was almost half painted black, with plants that looked like they were on fire. One guy decided to add a UFO and a floating phone booth into his scene. An older man had scribbled a motivational quote across his sky. Everyone was happy and smiling, complimenting each others’ masterpieces. I decided there was no other way I’d rather be spending my Saturday evening. This is exactly what I was looking for–a laid back environment that fostered creativity for me to get back into art.

So, who’s behind this awesome class concept? I spoke to founder Heidi Keyes about how Puff Pass and Paint got its start. As a Carthage College Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, Keyes was doing rather traditional artist things right out of school. “I was selling my work, doing commissions, and a little bit of teaching,” she says. “A friend jokingly suggested I should ‘start weed and painting classes…like those wine and painting classes’ and I started them as something that I thought would be fun. The rest is history. They just took off!”

Took off is an understatement. She joined forces with Colorado Cannabis Tours to create CannabisTours.com (which offers everything from these art classes to farm tours to cannabis infused dinner parties). Now, Puff Pass & Paint has grown to 13 locations, the newest being San Diego. They hope to expand to even more cities as they are “legally able.”

“My favorite part about the classes is the way they bring people of all different ages, backgrounds, and experience levels of cannabis (and painting) together,” Keyes shares. “Cannabis is such a communal thing, and to see strangers laughing together, passing joints, making art, is so amazing and uplifting. As adults, we aren’t really encouraged to make art anymore, and Puff, Pass & Paint (and all of our classes) are about enjoying the process of being creative, instead of making a perfect work of art.”

That was exactly what I got out of the class – a creativity boost and motivation to enjoy the process rather than stress about creating a museum (or Instagram) worthy painting.

Keyes continues, “We want to continue to help remove the stigma of our favorite plant, and encourage people to make art, laugh, get creative, and enjoy themselves, even for just a couple of hours.” 

Mission accomplished.

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Florida’s Largest Police Force Stops Detaining People Over Pot Smell

The tell-tale smell of cannabis smoke has long been law enforcement’s best excuse for questioning and detaining people over suspected cannabis possession. And police often use “marijuana odor” as a pretense for stop-and-frisks and searches, whether they actually detected a smell or not. But in Florida, the mere odor of cannabis will no longer be enough cause to detain and search people suspected of consuming or possessing weed. Not because Florida police departments are relaxing their enforcement of marijuana laws. But instead, because Florida has legalized hemp, and officers don’t have the training or the technology to distinguish cannabis from its non-psychoactive cousin.

Florida’s New Legal Hemp Law Is Changing How Police Enforce Marijuana Laws

After the U.S. federal government legalized hemp late last year, states have been moving to revise their own marijuana laws to carve out space for legal hemp. Under the blanket prohibition of cannabis, many state laws didn’t make a distinction between hemp—now defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC—and the forms of cannabis people consume for recreational and health reasons.

But in light of the lifting of the federal ban on hemp and hemp products, which range from clothing, food and textiles to cannabidiol (CBD) products, states are bringing their own rules in line with the new federal law.

And in Florida, the legalization of hemp is causing an interesting knockdown effect: it’s changing the way police enforce laws against marijuana. So when Florida’s legal hemp law went into effect July 1, 2019, removing hemp and hemp products from the state’s list of controlled substances and therefore making it legal to possess, Florida police departments began instructing officers that the smell of cannabis alone could no longer be just cause for detaining a person or conducting a search.

Despite the major difference between hemp and weed—their respective quantities of THC—the two breeds of cannabis have much in common. In the first place, hemp and weed have virtually the same odor. And to the untrained or inexperienced, the plants can look and feel very similar. Indeed, as far as their legal definitions go, the only difference between marijuana and hemp is which side of the 0.3 percent THC they fall on. Go over, and the law considers that to be an illegal substance. Stay under, and you’ve got legal hemp.

Miami-Dade Police Now Need “Odor Plus” to Detain People for Weed

And it’s exactly because of their similarities, and the apparent difficulty officers have telling the difference, that Florida police departments are changing their enforcement of marijuana laws. Before hemp was legalized, the alleged “smell of marijuana” was enough to stop, search and detain someone. Now, however, smell alone isn’t enough.

Instead, Florida police officers now have to produce “odor plus” in order to stop someone for suspected cannabis possession. And according to a memo sent to the Miami New Times by the Florida Police Legal Bureau, “plus” means additional factors that would lead an officer to suspect the presence of illicit marijuana and not legal hemp. “Accordingly, officers can no longer search a vehicle based solely on the odor of cannabis,” the memo reads.

The memo defines “odor plus” as including factors like signs of impairment, any admissions or statements a suspect might make regarding marijuana or any information or intelligence that suggests illegal activity. If an officer can articulate any of those factors, then they can detain and search a suspect.

Implementation of the policy shift began in sheriff’s departments in Central Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel. And on July 19, the change was adopted by Florida’s largest police force, the Miami-Dade Police Department. Other police departments across Florida municipalities are following suit.

Will Legal Hemp Make It Harder For Police to Bust People for Weed?

Overall, the new “odor plus” requirements should make it more difficult for officers to stop, detain and even arrest people for suspected marijuana possession. And Florida’s legalization of hemp could introduce further changes to the way police investigate alleged cannabis possession. For example, the Florida Department of Police only tests cannabis samples for the presence of THC, not whether THC quantities go over the 0.3 percent limit, according to the Miami New Times. But now that plants with THC below that amount are legal, police will likely have to adopt new testing procedures.

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Beyond the Streets: Cannabis Isn’t the Only Counter Culture en Vogue

One of the first things that drew me into ‘counter culture’ at a young age was the sense of rebellion it evoked. Part of the ‘cool factor’ of smoking weed was that I wasn’t allowed to do it, and that I’d get in trouble if I got caught… it made me feel like an outlaw. I didn’t realize until years later that part of the reason I was writing my name on everything was because it was evoking similar feelings. I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, but the same feeling of rebellion that lead me to graffiti years earlier was the catalyst for arguably the longest lasting relationship of my life— my relationship with Mary Jane. 

We often don’t think of these two cultures as being particularly intertwined past the questionable legality—likely because graffiti typically involves a lot of running, and weed makes you, well, slow down. But still, the similarities are plentiful. I won’t dig into the minutia, but here’s the 101: both practices began as less-than-legal forms of expression, developed cult-like followings, exploded into major industries, and eventually moved into the cultural zeitgeist. Now, at a time where CBD is available at gas stations around the country, Street Art is maturing at a similar pace—moving from slaps and tags into coveted (and impossible to obtain) art pieces commanding top dollar. 

Last summer I bought three tickets to a show in Los Angeles that I saw on one of my favorite designers Instagrams. It was called Beyond the Streets. None of my friends had heard of it, but it looked interesting, so I managed to entice two of them to go through promises of a hazy trip over, and by buying their tickets. What we experienced was unlike any of the countless other shows I’ve seen since I moved to California – it was raw, it was creative, and it was FUN. From the split cop car, to the original Keith Haring, to the six-foot LA Hands, this show had something for everyone. Needless to say, when I found out they were opening a new show in New York, I had to check it out.

The show, which runs until the end of August, takes place across two floors of a glass-encased building on the edge of Williamsburg. Nestled along the Hudson river in arguably the most gentrified part of Brooklyn, the show juxtaposes the outlaw mentality that fueled street artists for generations against the vogue-like regard their content is held in today. Not only does it beautifully marry two seemingly unrelated frames of being, but the show really embraces it’s New York setting, recruiting the likes of east coast legends like Taki 183, CORNBREAD and SAMO to not only feature work in the exhibit, but to include Easter egg tags around the venue as well. (Try to find all of SAMO’s—they’re worth it, I promise.)

It’s worth mentioning that the show is MASSIVE. Accounting for roughly one full city block, BTS: NYC is packed with loads of new additions for this exhibition, as well as several fan favorites from LA revamped for round two. New elements include a Beastie Boys retrospective, complete with their original beat machines, logo designs, lyric sheets, and even a hilarious note from one of the hotels they stayed in asking them to stop throwing things from their window, a 30-year anniversary gallery celebrating some of Shepard Fairey’s biggest accomplishments, a slew of the ever-popular totems from Faile, and a beautiful collaborative piece tag-teamed by Takashi Murakami, MADSAKI and TENGAone. My personal favorites include the expanded and redesigned Barminski room, the Parla slabs, Risk’s shark, and the rusty can cart, but there wasn’t a single piece in the show that didn’t deserve it’s own spotlight.

After getting to roam the show for a few hours I caught up with Roger Gastman, graffiti historian and lead curator for Beyond the Streets, to chat about how far the culture has come.

High Times: What made you create Beyond the Streets? The irony of taking what used to be illegal and displaying it in beautiful galleries is not lost on me.

Roger Gastman: This show is all about the evolution of the art form of graffiti and street art. We brought together artists who helped shape and expand the landscape: graffiti and street artists operating at the highest levels with dynamic studio practices, as well as major artists inspired by graffiti and street art. Our aim is to celebrate the heights to which the world’s most recognizable modern art movement has risen.

HT: We’ve noticed that cannabis is undergoing a sort of identity crisis as it shifts from the outlaw / rebel culture into something more commonly accepted. Do you see that happening in street art? 

RG: The mural culture has exploded. And while it is awesome to see the display of public art it is often branded as street art. Legal murals done by artists are not street art just because they are outside. There needs to be more education on the movement, its history and its terms. But overall there will always be the next wave of kids who want to go out and write on things and don’t care about the rules.

HT: Do you see these cultures as being intertwined?

RG: Both have an outlaw, just-do-it nature to them that I don’t think will ever go away, no matter how mainstream they become.

HT: How do you feel about the corporatization of street art? Do you think it’s important that this stuff remains underground?

RG: While it has risen to incredible heights, it amazes me how much more can be done to educate audiences on the people and moments that make up this culture. This show is an attempt to highlight this impact, of mark making and rule breaking, and its impact on and intersections with pop culture. Vandalism as contemporary art—in our own way, without the confines or politics of an institution.

We hope this show continues to legitimize this art form, and shines a light on the people who have dedicated and risked their lives for their passion.

HT: What’s the most exciting / innovative thing you’ve seen come from the culture lately? Anything you never would’ve thought possible years ago?

RG: The world of graffiti and street art is MASSIVE. They are entire cultures with many subcultures that have spun off of them. I can’t keep up with how much keeps coming up. I find the most joy in continuing to dig up the history, something that as these cultures continue to explode will become more important.

HT: Is that the same thing that excited you about street art in the beginning?

RG: I’ve spent my life surrounded by graffiti and street art. You could say that I’m obsessed with understanding the culture, its origins, its evolutions, and the way it’s infiltrated culture at large… It’s incredible to me how far this culture has come, how large its impact is, and how diverse the creativity is.

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