Basketball Player Dion Waiters Suspended For Weed, Refuses to Snitch On Source

NBA guard Dion Waiters of the Miami Heat has been suspended for using weed gummies after he suffered a panic attack on a flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles. And, according to sources, he’s remaining tight-lipped about the source of his stash, who is reportedly another player from the Heat.

News of the story first broke on Friday, when South Florida Fox Sports Radio host Andy Slater reported that Waiters had experienced a reaction to a cannabis edible that he had taken before the flight.

“Waiters overdosed on ‘gummies,’ sources say, and was passed out when [the] plane landed,” Slater said. “He had a seizure when he was finally woken up, I’m told.”

But on Saturday, ESPN reported that Waiters had actually experienced a panic attack on the chartered flight following Thursday’s game with the Phoenix Suns.

“Waiters missed the game in Phoenix because of a stomachache and was seeking relief when he took an edible he was unfamiliar with,” reported ESPN, citing unnamed sources.

After the team landed in Los Angeles on Thursday night, Waiters was taken to the hospital for treatment. He subsequently missed Friday’s game against the Lakers.

No Snitchin’

Sportswriter Shams Charania tweeted on Sunday that Waiters had refused to reveal who he had received the weed-infused gummies from, apparently deciding not to snitch on a friend.

“The Heat believe Waiters was given the ‘gummy’ by a teammate, but Waiters has been reluctant and has decided not to say who provided it,” Charania said.

Monique Brown, Waiters’ mother, took to social media to defend her son.

“Please don’t Believe the rumors the media will report fake news to get clicks and likes … smh none of that mess is true!” she wrote.

Using THC is against NBA rules, with violations resulting in mandatory participation in the league’s marijuana program. A second violation of the policy also carries a fine of $25,000 while a third infraction results in a five-game suspension. However, Waiters was not suspended for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy. Instead, he was benched for “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to the Heat.

Miami Heat ‘Disappointed’ in Waiters’ Actions

On Sunday, the Miami Heat issued a statement regarding last week’s incident and Waiters’ subsequent suspension.

“We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the team said.

Waiters also missed the first game of the season due to a suspension for ‘unprofessional conduct’ after reportedly complaining on the bench during the final game of the preseason.

“There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team,” the statement from the team added. “Accordingly, he will be suspended without pay for 10 games, including the Lakers game last Friday, and will be eligible to return after the Golden State Warriors game on November 29th.”

“We are proud of how our players have started the season,” the statement continued. “We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”

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Did Elon Musk Smoke The Most Expensive Blunt of All Time?

According to a new report on SpaceX’s safety review following Elon Musk hitting a blunt on Joe Rogan’s podcast, it may have been the most expensive blunt of all time!

Politico national security reporter Jacqueline Feldscher dug up some contracting records revealing that NASA ended up paying SpaceX $5 Million to conduct the review. While the review was widely publicized a year ago when it was first ordered, this is the first time it’s been reported that taxpayers got the bill for it. 

Boeing, SpaceX’s rivals in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to outsource trips to the space station so the agency can focus its time on more distant efforts like mars, were also forced to go through a review. Politico reported unlike SpaceX, Boeing did not get additional funds to cover the process. 

The Washington Post reported last fall that the reviews would take months and involve hundreds of interviews that would dive into the workplace culture at SpaceX and Boeing. 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the Post the whole point of the reviews was to assure public confidence in the two companies about to make their first test flights. 

“If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that,” he said. “As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.”

The National Security Institute’s quarterly publication Employee Security Connection is for the defense industry and government employees, and is distributed at NASA by the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Protective Services. This spring, in the wake of the Elon Musk uproar, it covered the impact of cannabis on security clearances for staff and contractors.

“Here’s the problem: In connection with SpaceX, Musk holds a security clearance. In the wake of his televised toking, an investigation was launched (pardon the pun) into whether he should retain that clearance,” the article said of Elon’s puff. 

The NSI emphasized that federal agencies and defense contractors definitely weren’t treating marijuana like alcohol regardless of the number of states that have legalized or decriminalized. “This is true regardless of the amount of pot or the form in which it is ingested,” the article read. 

The next part was a bit more interesting. With cannabis only being criminal in 15 states at the time of publishing, the article addressed whether the use of cannabis impacting someone’s security clearance could change in the future. 

“Many experts say it will—but for now, marijuana use can still harm your chance at obtaining or retaining a security clearance,” the article read.

NASA, SpaceX, and Elon Musk

The NSI next noted that all marijuana use isn’t the same level of a red flag. Use that “happened so long ago, and so infrequently, that it does not cloud a candidate’s judgment or trustworthiness” isn’t the kind of thing that will prevent you from getting clearance. They mentioned guidelines specifically written so that candidates who can demonstrate measures they’ve taken to disassociate themselves from past drug use would not be ruled out.

Finally, when addressing cannabis questions these days, you’re likely to get some questions about CBD. They had that covered too. It’s in the exact same boat as pot with federal law, and would definitely impact someone’s chances of getting a security clearance. 

SpaceX only has one more in-flight abort test to complete before the first Dragon test flight to the international space station with crew members on board. 

We reached out to NASA and SpaceX for more details on the review. 

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Cannabis Control Commission Plans To Quarantine Vaping Devices

At 12:01 p.m. on November 12, Massachusetts’ emergency ban on medical cannabis vaping products expired. But in its place, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission immediately instituted a quarantine of all medical marijuana vaping devices and products, with the exception of devices that vape flower. Officials with the Cannabis Control Commission say the quarantine isn’t as far-reaching as the Department of Public Health ban that a state judge ruled exceeded the agency’s authority. However, the state’s ban on nicotine vape products and recreational cannabis vape products remains in place.

As Ban Expires, Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission Blocks Sale of Medical Cannabis Vapes

Last Tuesday, Massachusetts Superior Court judge Douglas Wilkins blocked Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration from enforcing its emergency ban on medical marijuana vaping products. The authority to regulate medical marijuana, Wilkins ruled, belongs entirely to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.

Medical marijuana vaping products, along with nicotine-based vaping products like e-cigarettes and recreational cannabis vape products like THC cartridges, were all banned under emergency regulations Gov. Baker and the Department of Public Health filed in late September.

The blanket ban on vaping devices came as a response to the nationwide rash of vape-linked illnesses and deaths that hospitalized thousands with unknown lung diseases. As health experts rushed to determine a specific cause connecting vaping to the outbreak of lung illnesses, politicians in several states acted quickly to institute temporary bans on all vaping products.

But after a series of legal challenges, Judge Wilkins ruled in late October that Gov. Baker’s administration did not follow the legally required procedures to institute such a ban. Wilkins’ ruling kept the ban in place, but ordered Baker’s Department of Health to adhere to all of the steps of the process, which include holding public hearings on the emergency ban and assessing its economic impact on small businesses.

Under Quarantine, Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Patients Can Only Vape Flower

Then, on November 5, Judge Wilkins ruled that the governor’s ban on medical cannabis vaping products specifically was unconstitutional. Wilkins cited the “exclusive powers” over medical marijuana regulations granted to the Cannabis Control Commission. In banning medical cannabis vaping products, the Department of Public Health had “very likely exceeded its authority,” Wilkins wrote in his decision.

The ruling kept the ban on medical marijuana vapes in place for a week in order to give the commission time to make a decision regarding the ban. If the commission took no action, then the ban would expire at noon on November 12.

But just as the ban was coming to an end today, the Commission issued a quarantine on all medical marijuana vaping products except devices that operate exclusively with dried flower.

Under the quarantine, medical cannabis patients cannot access vape pens designed to work with oils or concentrates, vape cartridges, aerosol products or inhalers.

The Cannabis Control Commission said its decision stems from a recent CDC report linking the common vape cartridge additive vitamin E acetate to the spate of lung illnesses and related deaths. Under the commission’s current regulations, testing protocols do not require screening for vitamin E acetate. As such, legal cannabis products sold at licensed dispensaries could contain the suspect additive, the commission said.

Massachusetts Regulators Work to Improve Testing for Suspect Vape Additives

Retail operators that sell quarantined products are now required to place administrative holds on those products in the state’s tracking system. The commission is currently working with third-party testing labs to improve their capacity to screen for vitamin E acetate and other suspect ingredients.

The commission’s decision has already drawn criticism from cannabis industry groups and patient advocates. They say the ban effectively pushes patients back into the illicit market. Many experts believe counterfeit vape cartridges widely available on the illicit market are the primary source of vape-linked lung illnesses. Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title said the quarantine was a response to the credible evidence provided by the CDC report.

Meanwhile, the state’s ban on nicotine vape products and recreational cannabis vape products will remain in effect. In line with Judge Wilkins’ ruling, the Baker administration will hold a public hearing on the vape ban later this month. The state Supreme Judicial court will begin hearing lawsuits against the ban from business owners and cannabis industry representatives in December.

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CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game

There’s no denying that parenting is up there among some of the hardest jobs in society—yep, that includes digging ditches, bomb deactivation, and uranium mining. 

In a telephone-based study of 5800 parents, only 48% of women reported getting 7 hours of sleep per night—this on top of also being responsible for carrying out countless additional household and work tasks. Their children aren’t the only people who depend on them and some parents must also care for special needs or ill kids, while simultaneously taking care of other family members and working additional jobs. Add to that how hard it can be to communicate with young people and things become even more complicated.

Due to America’s typical family structure where children increasingly move away from parents and settle some distance from home, questionable childcare arrangements and lackluster maternity leave programs (or no leave programs at all, in many cases), much of the responsibility of family care falls on the mother, or on one primary caregiver. 

But CBD companies have been stepping up with a host of products and services that appear to be just what the doctor ordered for tired, overextended, and frustrated moms. 

Perhaps this is because an increasing number of CBD products and companies are led by women—a 2018 report states that 27% of America’s cannabis companies are women-run. 

Shanel Lindsay, CEO and founder of Ardent Cannabis and mother to two children is one of them, and she gets it. “Using cannabis helps me relax not just in parenting situations, but also after having a long, stressful day.”

Katie Miles, a fashion product designer and Los Angeles-based mom of two feels confident that CBD aids her in her mom related duties. “My husband I often take CBD on the weekends when we are just hanging about the house with the kids,” she explained. “It helps us be more relaxed around our seven and four-year-old who have so much energy and constantly want to play and make messes. I feel like I can be more in the moment and get down on their level when my anxieties about all the stuff I need to do around the house and with work is calmed by the CBD.”

The options of ways to utilize CBD without necessarily having to smoke or vape cannabis are ever increasing. 

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of Homesick

Light It Up

Candles are a multi-billion-dollar industry which, in 2013, earned $3.14 billion in profits. OK, then! Stand-up comedian Selena Coppock, host of the candle podcast Two Wick Minimum, says “A lot of closet “candleheads” revealed themselves when [my podcast] launched. In the current political and cultural climate, there is such a need for self care and relaxation, and my podcast really showed me that.” 

The Homesick brand bridges that gap with a cannabis-scented candle, perfect for moms who need to relax after a long day of schlepping, shopping, and shepherding children around. Scents include bergamot, cedar wood, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and of course, cannabis, in relaxing, mom-approved combinations. Made from a soy-wax blend, the candles also burn safely and cleanly for upwards of 80 hours.

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of CannaCakeBabe

One Bite At A Time

Cupcakes have long been a popular coping mechanism for moms, parents, and people of all ages and responsibility levels and for good reason. They are pretty much awesome. What’s not to love about a palm-sized iced muffin? Baked Bazaar, a new online marketplace that sells quality CBD products from top-of-the-line artisan makers, has rolled out the thing moms didn’t know they needed — mini cupcakes in jars with customizable flavor, filling, and toppings.

Voila! It’s a cupcake in a jar. 

Perfect for snack-loving moms everywhere, CannaCakeBabe cupcakes, the brainchild of Nandi Shange based out of Las Vegas, are made using vegan ingredients. Each jar contains two servings (about 550 calories total) with 25 mg of CBD total, and take the edge off like…woah. Having these cakes in my refrigerator as a quick pick-me-up and mellow-me-out has been a literal godsend. I sampled the vanilla and chocolate flavors and loved them both tremendously. I ate them one blessed spoonful at a time over the course of a week or so. Many, many CBD products come across my desk and these things are a solid gold hit. They’re not cheap, running about $20 per jar (or $10 per “slice” if you’re doing the math, which moms always are), but they are real tasty. Bonuses: they travel well, stay fresh longer and come in a cute reusable jar.

‘I’m finding that a lot of moms are looking for new ways to incorporate CBD into their lifestyle,” Nandi told me, referring to her new, increasing fan base. “I’m combining CBD with treats that the whole family can enjoy.”

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of Dawson+Hellman

Sleep It Off

The National Sleep Foundation recommends choosing breathable, loose sleepwear in a fabric best suited to your body to aid a quality night’s sleep. Designer luxury bedding and sleepwear company Dawson+Hellman have just the thing for us tired mamas. Their truly comfortable pajamas arrive in a beautifully wrapped and gloriously smelling package that will bring a smile to any weary mom’s face. It’s like Christmas in…whenever. The two-piece piped sleep shirt and cozy pants pajama sets ($95) are super soft, appropriately loose and casual, and here’s the kicker: they are covered in pot leaves, so moms can spread a political bedtime message, be the cool mom at the sleepover, or just connect with their inner hippie child as they hit the pillow. They also have a shortie version of the sleepy pants set ($130) and a lovely, crisp white knee-length nightgown which are both simultaneously adorable with a hint of sexy, for those who are feeling that mommy magic.

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of Moon Mother Hemp

Cream Of The Crop

Skincare products of a wide variety are ever up-and-coming in the CBD market and provide a series of functions that serve moms of all ages. From facial creams to under-eye salves, each product is geared towards helping parents in all the many ways they can be benefited from them. 

Ester Vigil, president of 1933 Industries uses and loves her company’s own Canna Hemp CBD products. “I use an array of them every day,” she explained. “The body lotion is easily absorbed into the bloodstream when rubbed into my skin, leaving me feeling soft and moisturized.” 

Plant People won my heart over with a wonderful, useful tincture which legitimately changed my sleep game. Now they have added a skincare line to their offerings. The new Revive (serum, $82), Restore (face mask, $62) and Nourish (lotion, $55)—it’s like these products were made with moms in mind—are highly rated on the website and along with CBD, contain CBC (cannabichromene), a hot new element of cannabis, which like it’s cousin, CBD, also bonds to pain receptors, furthering relief. So they’re basically a two-fer, and you know how us moms feel about getting a good deal (almost as good as sex).

Jessica Bates, mother of two and CEO and founder of Moon Mother Hemp attests to how the tide is shifting regarding mothers using CBD products. “I take CBD daily for anxiety and sleep issues and it helps so much,” she explained. “Many of our customers are moms and they are feeling increasingly more comfortable calling and asking questions and speaking out about the stresses of motherhood. The stigma around admitting that motherhood can be stressful is lifting and so is the stigma around cannabis use for moms.”

Hear, hear!

For those moms who wake with puffy eyes (hello, all of us?), TriBeauty CBD Eye Cream ($60) tackles under eye lines while also offering a relaxing and comforting sensation that is refreshing and soothing in the morning.

But perhaps my favorite of all the lotions and maybe even all CBD products is the TribeRevive pain cream ($50), sold by TribeTokes, an NYC-based lady duo. It’s sincerely incredible and worth every penny. I use it on everything from muscle aches to headaches and neck aches. I rub it into my hairline when I feel a migraine coming on, into sore muscles or errant pains and within minutes, I feel relief. Some on my neck also helps me drift into sleep with ease. It is truly a miracle product.  

The best thing about CBD products is that they are now easier to come by and are in nearly every corner of the country, even available at many gift shops and online stores. National drugstore chains and even Amazon carry them in most states, so if your state doesn’t (yet), look around a state over.

As a tired mom who is always looking for quick fixes and magic answers to the issues that may arise, I find myself turning to CBD regularly, and it never disappoints. CBD is truly Mother Nature’s gift to all mothers.

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North Carolina Gets First Accredited Cannabis Lab

In a press release published on Monday, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), announced the renewal of accreditation for Global Laboratory Services, Inc. for ISO 17025:2017 in cannabis testing. The laboratory, based in Wilson, North Carolina, becomes first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in that state by adding the industrial hemp testing to their chemical scope of accreditation.

According to Kim Hesse, business development manager at Global Laboratory Services, they plan to expand their services in the hemp market with additional types of hemp testing. “At Global Laboratory Services, we always strive to keep pace with industry needs,” says Hesse. “We saw the need for an accredited laboratory in the hemp industry and therefore added CBD and THC testing to our scope. Our next step is to expand our service offerings to include agrochemical analysis of industrial hemp.”

Adam Gouker, general manager at A2LA, says accreditation plays a vital role in the cannabis industry and its regulatory requirements. “We congratulate Global Laboratory Services on becoming the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in the state of North Carolina, specifically for industrial hemp,” says Gouker. “A2LA realizes the vital role that accreditation plays in the cannabis industry to support compliance with regulatory requirements, and we are thrilled to see that our service has been adopted in a new state. We look forward to our continued relationship with Global Laboratory Services in the provision of their accreditation needs.”

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Doctors & Researchers Push Medical Efficacy Forward at 10th IACM

It is easy to forget as one steps inside this world-class medical conference (held this year in Berlin), that cannabis is disputed as medicine anywhere in the world.

Inside a packed conference hall in an upscale hotel in East Berlin, international researchers presented evidence that when taken as a drug, this simple plant can make a world of difference to patients suffering from a range of illnesses.

There were also doctors who talked about prescribing this as medicine (even to children), with dramatic and affirming results (if not heart-warming pictures).

In sum, as always, the IACM is the best place to find facts if not evidence galore to convince even the most hard-boiled egghead that this drug works – and across a broad range of so far “other” drug-resistant medical conditions.

As a participant in the IACM said after the opening remarks on the very first morning, it is so easy to ask the question – “Why are doctors still so afraid of if not resistant to this drug?”

Medical efficacy is no longer an unanswered question…

For those seeking affirmation and evidence, this year’s IACM did not disappoint. There were presentations on the drug’s impact on neurological, oncological and inflammatory conditions that while not all new, are increasingly impactful in an aging planet.

A full house of attendees for the patients panel

But that is not all that was discussed. The broader implications of adding cannabis into skincare, diets and medicine chests were also presented – from cannabis’ impact on lowering obesity and positively affecting acne to impacting the opioid epidemic.

Also intriguing this year was a far-reaching study on how polluted the CBD supply chain is in Europe, even for non-medical and nutraceutical products. Not to mention a socio-political plea for legalization of personal use in South Africa.

And that was just the presentations from the stage and in the poster hall.

The conversations swirling around were just as interesting. Because of course, nobody at this three-day gathering, for all the normalization on display, did forget that this gathering of doctors, scientists, cannabis companies and patients is still an anomaly.

The fact is that there are still too few doctors prescribing. And too few trials. And too many fights over efficacy still in the room.

As Alice O’Leary Randall (wife and former partner in activism with her late husband, Professor Randall who initiated the medical efficacy fight in the U.S. in 1975 over glaucoma) said to Cannabis Industry Journal, “It is hard to believe that we are still fighting the same fights all over again.”

Another “AIDS” Crisis?

There is a more dramatic sense of urgency at the IACM than other conferences that focus just on the “business.” In part, this is because the conference is made up of not only doctors and researchers who fight to prescribe the drug or get trials funded, but also patients on the front lines in a country where the drug is supposed to be covered by health insurance.

Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen (seen on the table) and others during a panel discussion

The patient panel, as a result, was an international face of accusation: To national authorities who still refuse to mandate cannabinoid care – across Europe and beyond. To medical establishments who are not demanding cannabinoid treatment be made mandatory in hospitals and emergency rooms in every country in the EU and beyond. To individual doctors who refuse to come to such conferences, where, if they wanted to, could learn how to begin prescribing the “next penicillin.” To payers and insurers who are still too slow to pick up the message if not the tab.

Indeed, one of the best panels of the conference was a gaggle of doctors, led by Grotenhermen, who discussed the particulars of approaching a new drug – for the very first patient and first time.

Act Up, Speak Out, Silence Equals Death

As the conference wrapped up with its awards dinner, there was of course, a sense of needing to go home with not wanting this to end. For those in the thick of this multi-generational fight, there of course were words of encouragement to colleagues from the industry, internationally. But there was also a new sense of needing to up the pace, if not create faster change.

The battles are far from over – in fact, they are just beginning in many places. As one questioner said of a panel about halfway through the conference – “We need to pick up the fight the same way the AIDS community did on this drug.”

That remark perhaps means less today than it did 20 to 30 years ago when an embattled LGBTQ subculture was the organized point of the spear that fought the early state legalization battles as pioneers for a cause that sought equality as much as it sought a cure.

The plea did not fall on deaf ears.

In the midst of studies, statistics and scientific evidence, in other words, there was a new sense of a need for a renewed fight – and from the medical and scientific community as well as patients.

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Risks of Bare Concrete Flooring in Cannabis Grow Rooms & Greenhouses

With legalization rapidly increasing across states, the cannabis market is exploding. And with estimates of sales in the billions, it’s no surprise that greenhouses and grow rooms are emerging everywhere. As growers and extracting facilities continue to expand one important consideration that most tend to underestimate, is how flooring can impact both their production and product. Bare concrete is often a popular choice in cannabis facilities, as there are typically very minimal costs−if any at all−associated with preparing it for use. However, concrete floors can pose unique challenges when left untreated, which could inadvertently create unforeseen problems and unexpected costs.

Understanding the Risks of Bare Concrete Flooring

Whether a facility is growing or extracting, the proper flooring can play a critical role in helping maintain optimal safety and sanitation standards, while simultaneously contributing to production. That’s why its important for growers and extractors to know and understand the potential risks associated with bare concrete.

Concrete is porous: While concrete is a solid material, people may forget that it is porous. Unfortunately, these pores can absorb liquids and harbor small particles that spill on the floor. They create perfect hiding places for bacteria and other pathogens to proliferate. Pathogens can then contaminate product within the facility, causing a halt on production, and/or a potential product recall. This can incur unexpected costs associated with shutdown time and loss of product.

Light-colored white or pastel floor surfaces in glossy finishes can help reduce the amount of energy needed to properly illuminate grow rooms.

Concrete can be damp: When in a facility with an untreated concrete floor, at times the slab can feel slightly wet or damp to touch. This is due to moisture within the concrete that can eventually work its way up to the surface of the slab. When this happens, items that are placed on top of the floor can be damaged by trapped moisture above the slab and below the object. When this happens, if a product is not protected properly, it can be damaged.

Concrete is dark and unreflective: An untreated concrete slab can often make a room feel dark and it does not reflect lighting within the room. This can result in the need for extra lights and electricity to properly grow cannabis.

Concrete lacks texture: When working in areas where water and other liquids can fall to the ground and accumulate, flooring with traction can play a key role in helping aid against slip and fall incidents. Untreated concrete typically does not provide sufficient texture and can become very slippery when wet.

The Benefits of Bare Concrete Flooring

While the previously mentioned risks can be associated with bare concrete flooring, there is an upside to the situation! Concrete is the perfect substrate for adding a coating that is built to withstand the industry’s demands.

Non-porous flooring options are impervious in nature, helping to isolate contaminants on the surface, thus enabling proper cleanup and disposal.

With the application of a fluid-applied or resinous floor coating, the risks of bare concrete flooring can be mitigated. There are a variety of resin and fluid-based coating systems that can be applied, such as:

  • Epoxy and Urethane Systems
  • Urethane Mortar Systems
  • Decorative Quartz Systems
  • Decorative Flake Systems

These durable coatings have numerous benefits and can offer:

  • Protection against the proliferation bacteria and other pathogens: Unlike porous concrete, a smooth and virtually seamless floor coating eliminates the little crevices where pathogens can grow. This in turn helps aid against the growth of bacteria, keeping hygiene standards at the forefront and grow rooms in full operations.
  • Protection against moisture damage: As moisture within the concrete can move upward to the surface of the slab, there are moisture mitigation coating systems, that keep it trapped below the surface, thus helping toprotect items placed on the floor.
  • Brighter spaces and light reflection: Installing a floor coating that is light in color, such as white or light gray, can help brighten any space. The benefits of this are twofold: First, it can help with visibility, helping employees navigate the space safely. Secondly, light reflectivity of the flooring improves lighting efficiency, resulting in fewer light fixtures and smaller electric costs.
  • Texture options to help aid against slip and fall incidents: Floor coating systems can offer a variety of texture options−from light grit to heavy grit−depending on how much accumulated water and foot traffic the area receives. Without additional texture in wet areas, slip and fall incidents and injuries are inevitable.
  • A wide range of colors and decorative systems: These coating systems can be designed to match the aesthetics of the building or corporate colors. Some manufacturers even offer color matching upon request. When it comes to colors, the options are virtually endless.

Choosing the Right Flooring: Considering Bare Concrete

Choosing the right flooring for a cannabis greenhouse or processing facility requires important consideration as every grow room and greenhouse is different. Bare concrete is a popular flooring option for manufacturing and processing facilities across industries, however, as discussed, it can pose unique challenges due to its innate nature. That said, by taking the right steps to ensure that the concrete substrate is properly sealed, it can then be an effective and hygienic flooring option, offering high durability and a longer life cycle.

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Italian Government Cancels One of Aurora’s Licenses

Aurora has just faced a rare setback in Europe. The Italian government has cancelled one of three tender cultivation lots to supply Italian patients it granted Aurora this summer (in July).

Aurora was the only company to win the bid after other companies were disqualified.

For this reason, the high-level parliamentary attention to the bid this fall is even more interesting. Most foreign cannabis is being imported from the Netherlands and Bedrocan. While Wayland (ICC) and Canopy are in the country (Wayland has established production facilities for CBD in fact), Aurora was the only foreign Canadian cannabis company to actually win government issued, cultivation slots.

What Is Going On?

In July, Aurora won the Italian bid, beating out all other companies for all three lots.

aurora logoYet in September, the third lot, for high-level CBD medical flower, was cancelled by the Ministry of Defense which oversees cannabis importing and production, for an odd reason. Specifically, the lot was suddenly “not needed.”

As of October 31, the Minister of Health responded to parliamentarians who wondered about this administrative overrule by saying that the rejected lot (lot 3, for high-level CBD) was in fact rejected because stability studies to define the shelf life of products were not being conducted.

EU GMP Standards Are In The Room In Europe

This is not really a strange turn of events for those who have been struggling on the ground in ex-im Europe to learn the rules.

For at least the second time this year, and possibly the third, a national European government has called stability tests and the equality of EU-GMP standards into question. As Cannabis Industry Journal broke earlier this fall, the Polish government apparently called the Dutch government into question over stabilization tests (albeit for THC imports) during the February to September timeframe.

european union statesIt is still unknown if there is any connection between these two events although the timing is certainly interesting. Just as it was also interesting that both Denmark and Holland also seemed to be in sync this summer over packaging and testing issues in July.

Aurora and Bedrocan are also the two biggest players in the Polish market (although Canopy Growth as well as other international, non-Canadian cannabis companies are also making their mark).

What is surprising, in other words, is that countries all around Germany are suddenly asking questions about stability tests, but German authorities, still are notably silent.

Why might this be? Especially with German production now underway, and imports surging into the market?

Is This A Strange EU-Level CBD Recreational Play In Disguise?

There are no real answers and no company is talking – but in truth this is not a failure of any company on the ground, rather governments who set the rules. If there are any cannabis companies in the room at this point who are not in the process of mandating compliance checks including stability tests, it is the governments so far, who have let this stand.

Notably, the German government. Nobody else, it appears, is willing to play this game.

Further however, and even more interestingly, this “cancellation” also comes at a time when novel food is very much in the room in Italy. Namely, it is now a crime to produce any hemp food product without a license. There is no reason, in this environment, why a national cultivator could not also produce locally a high-quality, high-CBD product for the nascent Italian medical market.

While nobody is really clear about the details, there is one more intriguing detail in the room. The government may, in fact, allow medical cultivation now by third parties.

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Hemp Vs. CBD

Hemp for Victory

North America is bustling with hemp crops this growing season, and there’s talk of more and more planting in the seasons to come. It appears that the majority of more recent hemp-growing efforts are for the production of CBD (cannabidiol), the highly sought-after medicinal compound found in cannabis.

CBD is used for a wide range of applications and has a variety of benefits for both people and animals. CBD provides physical and mental stimulation, although it’s not considered to be a psychoactive substance because it doesn’t produce the noteworthy buzz that people associate with recreational cannabis use. CBD is used to treat pain, promote healing, reduce anxiety, stimulate appetite and encourage sleep. Some research shows that the human body produces its own substance that is biologically very much like the CBD that comes from cannabis. In fact, there are receptors in the human brain that are very specific to CBD. Preliminary research even suggests that CBD can be a disease-fighting substance, even for use against cancer.

While CBD is just one of the many beneficial substances produced by the cannabis plant, including THC and terpenes, it’s an area of great focus that continues to grow from consumer, research and industrial perspectives.

In the United Sates, CBD is relatively unregulated (especially when compared with THC), which has resulted in its widespread adoption and acceptance as it is increasingly included in a wide range of consumer products.

CBD can be vaped, smoked, eaten or taken topically (e.g., in skin creams), with each delivery method having its own benefits depending on the desired end result. If you name a type of product, chances are there is a CBD-infused version now available. If not, it’s not very far off.

Without a doubt, CBD is widely accepted as a beneficial and therapeutic substance, and we are likely to see more and more of it in everyday applications.

This crop of CBD buds grows short and squat, perfect for modern growing practices. Dried and cured, these buds tested over 20% CBDA and less than 1% THCA/ Erik Biksa

CBD Isolate

The majority of consumers who are interested in CBD tend to associate it with the hemp plant—marijuana’s cousin, if you will. A lot of the time this is accurate—many CBD-infused products are formulated with CBD isolates, which are typically derived from industrial hemp crops.

At present, a significant percentage of CBD isolates coming into North America are imported legally or otherwise from China. There have been a number of concerns raised by those in the know regarding importation from China, citing poor or even dangerous agricultural practices used to produce hemp crops as parent material for CBD isolates.

CBD isolate is an accurate name for this substance—it is an isolated component from a wide range of naturally occurring substances in cannabis plants, typically hemp. CBD isolate is usually a white, crystalline powder with no strong discernible odor or flavor. From a CBD-infused-product manufacturer’s perspective, it’s easy to work with to create products that are consistent in effect, flavor, smell and appearance.

From a consumer point of view, is CBD isolate from hemp the best choice as an ingredient to deliver the therapeutic effects desired? The short answer is likely not.

Why Full Spectrum?

The best and briefest answer to why full-spectrum cannabinoid extracts rich in CBD are often superior when it comes to the effects and benefits we desire has roots in what has been coined the “entourage effect.” Basically, full-spectrum CBD extracts contain other important substances such as aromatic compounds and traces of other cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis plants that work synergistically with the key ingredient, CBD, to amplify and improve the benefits we seek.

Compare powdered orange juice with fresh-squeezed juice. Both will supply you with your necessary daily dose of vitamin C; however, fresh-squeezed juice will also provide your body with other important substances like enzymes, naturally occurring sugars, calcium and more, all working together to improve your health more than vitamin C can do alone. Arguably, the natural source is easier for your body to absorb, too, as it is supplied with other healthy substances.

A simple observation many consumers have made when it comes to products containing CBD is that they feel more of the desired effects, like pain relief or relaxation, when the product they take—comparing milligram to milligram of CBD—has been derived from full-spectrum sources.

Take the very popular CBD gummy bear for example—which, by the way, was Google’s No. 3 food search in 2018. Given the same listed amount of CBD—for example, each bear is tested to have 20 milligrams of CBD—the majority of consumers find they have to eat more of the isolate-derived bears to begin to achieve the same benefits as when eating the full-spectrum bears.

Again, this circles back to the entourage effect that cannabinoids are thought to have. Consumers prefer a full-spectrum cocktail of naturally occurring ingredients to a one-dimensional synthesized single ingredient.

Live CBD Resin Extracts

A full-spectrum dose of CBD won’t necessarily get you high. It’s entirely possible to create natural full-spectrum extracts or even smokable flowers that are very low in THC but contain very high levels of CBD—for example, 20:1 ratios of CBDA to THCA—without removing the other beneficial substances like the aromatic compounds, including terpenes (or terps).

Live CBD resin extracts are a great example of this, with the end result being a highly concentrated full-spectrum CBD extract that can be added to a wide array of consumer product goods or even dabbed or vaped in its raw state. A live CBD resin extract from quality cannabis appears golden and transparent—you can read newsprint through it.

What it all really boils down to in obtaining highly beneficial and naturally occurring CBD extracts is plant genetics, i.e., cannabis plants that naturally produce very low THC levels while containing very high CBD levels and beneficial terpene profiles for therapeutic purposes where no “buzz” or intoxicating effects are sought.

What to Grow?

The majority of us are taught that hemp is the version of cannabis that fits that criteria—and this is where our CBD extracts for infusion in a variety of products should come from.

This isn’t entirely accurate—or even beneficial for either the consumer or the environment.

Here’s why.

Historically, hemp has been cultivated in North America for food and fiber, e.g., stalks for rope or textiles. Hemp seeds are harvested for their nutritional oil and protein content and not for high levels of CBD. Hemp tends to be a low-potency cannabis-plant variant that genetically has a higher ratio of CBD to THC, with not a whole lot of either compared with modern recreational-use cannabis genetics.

Hemp was not bred for its cannabinoid content, terpene profile, etc.—all the stuff that people who take CBD for its nutraceutical value are seeking. Hemp was bred and selected to be a hardy plant that grows easily and yields thick cellulose- and lignin-rich stems and stalks along with protein- and oil-rich seeds. Hemp is an extremely useful agricultural plant and makes for excellent fiber and food—however, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s the best source of therapeutic substances like CBD.

CBD from Hemp?

At present, regulations for growing hemp crops in North America make it much easier to obtain a license for legal cultivation, especially on any industrial scale when compared with growing marijuana, although both are in fact members of the cannabis plant family. That’s why a lot of people interested in producing CBD are cultivating cannabis as hemp, even though they may not desire to harvest the crop for food or fiber (which is what hemp was bred and selected for).

Regulations vary in North America from country to country, state to state and province to province to greater or lesser extents.

The majority of these hemp crops being grown for their CBD content at present day have tight restrictions placed on seed sourcing. By regulation, these approved hemp-seed genetics have very low THC potency, which usually means low CBD yields too.

This has created a situation where would-be CBD field-crop producers are forced by legislation and the law to select and buy approved hemp varieties. Most of these varieties are not likely to produce over 6 percent CBD. In fact, most will be closer to 3 percent while keeping with THC values of 0.3 percent or less (as is often mandated).

Growing your own high CBD flowers is both therapeutic and rewarding/ Erik Biksa

CBD from Drug Cultivars

Now let’s take modern CBD drug cultivar genetics and compare.

CBD drug cultivars are strains of cannabis with genetics that more closely resemble modern high-THC plant types—all your favorite high-potency strains. Unlike hemp, these plants do not grow very thick stems in a pole-like pattern. Drug cultivars are squat and more widely branched. The most important thing here is that the drug cultivars have been bred and selected with a large emphasis on resin production rather than on thick stocks or hardy seeds as with true hemp genetics.

CBD drug cultivars have lots of trichomes and pump out lots of resin. Really, one of the only differences CBD drug cultivars have compared with high-potency recreational cannabis strains is that the THC-to-CBD ratio is for all intents and purposes reversed.

There are feminized seed sources available that are capable of producing over 20 percent CBD consistently and that also carry a beneficial terpene profile (for the entourage effect), making them absolutely ideal for full-spectrum CBD-rich extracts. However, some of these genetics may produce 0.3-0.7 percent THC.

While that THC level is not enough to create a high, it is enough for the seeds not to meet the present-day criteria as hemp genetics and therefore get lumped into the same category as traditional marijuana cultivars.

Although these strains yield a 500-1,000 percent increase in CBD compared with approved hemp varieties, they are unavailable to legal producers because of a few decimal points’ difference in THC (which in reality is no real difference).

So, to sum it up in the context of hemp crops versus a true CBD crop, a producer has to grow five to 10 times the acreage to achieve the same end yield of CBD, which is not likely to be as high a level of quality—simply to satisfy current regulatory standards. To reiterate, the 20 percent or greater CBD strains (versus 3-6 percent, at best, with hemp) are not producing enough THC to get anybody high, but they are explicitly forbidden by most hemp-growing regulatory bodies.

In short, that’s nuts. That’s five to 10 times the resources and expenses to achieve a lesser end result. And to what end? Who really benefits from this?

The Future of CBD

Improved regulations for growers need to address CBD production specifically. Lumping CBD production and hemp into the same crop category, especially for mandatory seed sourcing, seems like a mistake. Other countries have created workable allowances for high-CBD strains with very low THC levels that work for farmers and CBD producers—for example, 1 percent THC or less is permissible in Colombia.

Undeniably, the increase in hemp-farming licenses issued recently is a positive step forward in renewing the value of hemp production in North America. However, due to modern breeding and selection, crops for CBD may not really be “hemp” anymore. It’s like comparing the heavily seeded brick weed of the ’70s with what is presently harvested in a modern cultivation facility; the two products are simply worlds apart.

Following regulations is not optional on an industrial scale, and having the voice of the growing community heard in public forums where decisions are influenced or made surrounding cannabis crop production is as important as it ever has been. Facts are difficult to debate, especially when resources like fresh water for crops are becoming increasingly scarce in important growing regions—growers need policies and regulations that are based on reason, as does the public, which supports these practices and regulatory bodies as consumers.

In some parts of the world like Europe, hemp production is a well-established institution, and Canada is also becoming an established hemp producer since improved legislation for field-hemp farmers has been rolled out over the last two decades.

In comparison with the hemp-production industry, the global CBD industry is in its infancy, with massive potential for use in a wide array of products the world over.

It is important for people to understand that while hemp and CBD crops may be similar in some aspects—both are from the cannabis family, after all—they are in fact very different plants when it comes to desired genetics. Educated and informed consumers can help influence legislation and regulations that better fit CBD producers—often, the most powerful vote we make is when we spend our money.

Just like the food you eat, it’s good to know where the CBD you take is coming from or sourced. And also like the food you eat, sometimes the best choice can come right out of your own garden. Choose wisely.

Originally published in the November, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.

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New Jersey Man Sues Amazon For Firing Him Over Medical Marijuana Use

A New Jersey man filed a lawsuit in October against his employer Amazon for allegedly firing him after not advising his superiors of his medical marijuana treatment. The man, who has been publicly identified only as D.J.C., failed a random drug test in July, and was put on temporary paid leave. After supplying the documentation of his condition that the company asked for, he was officially terminated.

That decision may well put Amazon on the wrong side of New Jersey law. Though an appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court, a state appeals court has ruled that medical marijuana patients may not be fired if they flunk a drug test.

D.J.C.’s lawsuit holds that the company discriminated against him in a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He had been employed at the Edison, New Jersey Amazon warehouse since February 2017, and according to his lawsuit had never run into disciplinary problems at the company—to the contrary, he was promoted twice during the year that he was employed by the company. In July 2018, he did a random oral fluid test for drugs, and tested positive for marijuana.

D.J.C. says he was prescribed cannabis to help treat his anxiety and panic disorder.

Mixed Messages

The employee remembers being told that, should results come back positive, he would have an opportunity to send proper documentation of his reasons for needing the substance for medical treatment.

He did get the opportunity, but not before a human resources worker told him he was being fired based on his positive test results. D.J.C. showed the HR rep his New Jersey medical marijuana card, and the termination was changed to a temporary leave with pay, pending the presentation of his physician’s certification of his fitness for work.

Though the man turned in the requested paperwork two days later, a week after the start of his “temporary” leave, in August 2018 he was told he was being fired for not letting the company know in advance about his medical cannabis treatment.

When he later applied to work at Whole Foods, the man was informed that his termination from Amazon precluded him from being considered for the position.

This is not the first time an employee has sued Amazon for wrongful termination over use of medical marijuana. In 2016, the company fired a woman who had worked for the company for eight years. It wound up settling with her for an undisclosed sum.

Amazon has come under fire for its treatment of its employees, from unreasonable task schedules to indifference in the face of workplace injuries. In October, 1,800 Amazon workers from the United States, England, Australia, and other locations organized a global walk-out, one sign of the growing labor movement within its ranks.

Regardless, the company continues its astounding upward trajectory. A recent report said that the value of Amazon shares has quintupled over the past five years, and that executives expect third quarter sales to rise by 24 percent.

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