What’s in Your Stash? Autumn Saylor, Stay-at-Home Mom, Treating PTSD With Cannabis

Stay-at-home mom, Autumn Saylor, is a true New Englander. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she loves her Dunkin’ Donuts and her cannabis and coffee breaks, once the kids are off to school. 

Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2014, from a traumatic incident she’d rather keep private, Saylor said she actually first tried cannabis at 17, long before the diagnosis.

“I was handed a spoon pipe at a party and was so nervous!” she shared. “Of course, I had no idea what to do and it showed. I drew too much and it was long and harsh. I remember a lot of coughing, followed by a lot of laughter.”

It wasn’t until 2015, when she was in her late 20s, that she considered cannabis in a medicinal way.

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

“I’ve always had difficulty sleeping, and one night as I was pouring a glass of wine, I realized I wasn’t drinking wine because I liked it – I was drinking it so I could fall asleep. Alcoholism runs in my family. My father died from alcoholism just a few years ago. When I had that realization it kind of freaked me out. But it also put a fire under my butt to try something else that might help me with the insomnia.”

After a few close friends gifted her some flower and shared their own cannabis experiences with her, she began testing it out at home. She was hopeful she’d also get some much needed relief with the subsequent anxiety and depression from her PTSD diagnosis.

“After the first week of uninterrupted sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning, I didn’t look back,” she shared. “I’m a born skeptic, and for a while I was waiting for that moment to happen when cannabis would ‘stop working for me,’ but that didn’t happen. It’s been three years now and this little plant is still working wonders for me!”

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

Pot for PTSD

PTSD from trauma is how many people begin abusing alcohol and/or other addictive substances, in an effort to self-medicate and quell some of the said 17 symptoms that may arise. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms of PTSD include, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, feeling anxious, and easily angered. 

“I still have work I need to do, but cannabis allows me to focus, prioritize, and gives me patience – for my husband and my kids. It also helps me to have more forgiveness – especially for myself,” she shared. I believe that cannabis allows me to be a better wife and mother. My anxiety and depression has played a major role in my day-to-day life, and has affected everyone around me.”

The stigma of using cannabis is a real, especially for moms who medicate. Saylor said it was a no brainer to replace alcohol – especially in light of her father’s passing from the disease.

“I want to do my part to help normalize its use,” she said. “I live my life as honestly as I can. It’s not always easy, but anything worth having requires hard work and a little elbow grease. I’ve met some incredible women through social media, and being able to share and medicate with other moms who understand my lifestyle – not just tolerate it – is a wonderfully positive experience.”

Dunkin’ Donuts, Weed, and Ritual

Saylor’s smoking trays and sesh situations are a favorite follow on Instagram. Inspired by a combination of her love of photography and pretty, shiny things and to help create an atmosphere for herself of peace and tranquility.

“I’m a stay-at-home mom – and it simultaneously drives me nuts and I absolutely love it!” she declared. “I’m not the kind of person who unwinds easily, so putting together these smoking shrines is like my version of being in a Zen garden. I’m using colors, textures, talismans, patterns, candlelight, and sage – all to create an ambiance that makes me feel comfortable and at ease.”

As said, Saylor is a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee junkie – she likes it medium roast, regular, cream, no sugar. Her favorite mug right now is an Ember mug, a Mother’s Day present from the family. 

“The Ember mug is temperature controlled – it keeps my coffee piping hot from the first sip to the last,” she continued. “For my first sesh of the day, after the husband and kids are at work and school, I’ll snuggle into my favorite chair, break out my bong, assess where I’m at mentally, and choose a cultivar accordingly.”

The orange and white “Poke Bong,” is a take from Pokemon, but it’s sadly seen its last bowl full, retired now after a fatal crash. She now uses the pink bong – a gift from her husband. The gold grinder is made by Instagrinder. Saylor said she prefers a bong, but enjoys joints, as well.

“Most of the objects in my smoke sets are of sentimental value, creating a nostalgic mood,” she adds. “The little Buddha figures where a gift from a cousin; the wire poker came from another cannabis mom, and the semi-precious stones were gifted to me by my doula during my first pregnancy.”

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

Saylor said the high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cultivars are helpful to lift her out of depression, but too much THC can also trigger negative emotions.

“I’ve found that a good 2:1 ratio of CBD/THC gives me a good balance,” she shared. “Otherwise, too much THC amplifies the little nagging voice in the back of my mind, triggering anxiety. I also take smoke breaks, using a vape pen, or I take a 25 milligram capsule, made by the Commonwealth Cannabis Company in Southborough, Massachusetts.”

A typical morning dose is about 1 gram of flower, and Saylor said she’ll micro-dose throughout the day, as needed, with a Pax Era – allowing her to choose the right temperature, flavor and duration for each sesh. 

“I enjoy the Tangie pods from Liberty Cannabis,” she continued. “Tangie gives me uplifting energy and has a phenomenal citrus-sweet flavor.”

At the end of the day, after the kids are tucked in, she and her husband will enjoy a session together.

“It’s like having a special meal together – it’s our time to unwind, share our day with each other, make plans for the weekend, and sigh a little over how big the kids are getting!” she laughed. “For me, it’s the height of luxury, sitting on the back porch, toking on a King Palm packed with Purple Punch, easing into that gentle euphoria – usually leading into sweet pillow-talk and sweet dreams.”

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Study Finds Legal Cannabis Reduces Illicit Grows in National Forests

Conversations about the effects of legalizing cannabis frequently focus on a few key issues: economic opportunity, social justice, the potential for new medical treatments, and other health benefits. What’s less talked about, however, is how cannabis legalization impacts the environment. Researchers have long documented the ways unchecked outdoor cannabis cultivation can strain resources and negatively impact the environment. And data from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that a significant amount of illegally produced cannabis is grown on federal lands— especially, national forests.

But what if legalization was making a difference? That’s exactly the question a new, first-of-its-kind study set out to answer. Do cannabis-related policies have any effect on illicit grow operations in U.S. national forests? The answer appears to be that yes, legalization does impact illegal grows. In fact, it reduces them significantly.

Expanding Legalization Reduces Illicit Grows in National Forests by a Fifth or More, Study Concludes

As the legal cannabis industry in the United States expands, demand for cannabis products is growing with it. But in the U.S. market, supply and demand have yet to find their equilibrium. So despite the major changes in the production and consumption of legal cannabis over the past decade, the unregulated, illicit market still dominates. As recently as 2018, experts estimated that legal sales accounted for over $10 billion of the $50 billion in total cannabis sales that year. Put simply, the illicit marijuana market isn’t going anywhere, at least in the short term.

Of course, supplying that market requires a significant number of illicit grow operations. And based on data about law enforcement seizures of outdoor-grown plants, national forests appear to be prime real estate for unlicensed cultivators. Illicit grows in Oregon, Colorado and California feed the bulk of the illegal market’s supply. National forests cover 24 percent of land in Oregon and 21 percent in Colorado. California has more national forests, 20, than any other state. Not coincidentally, illicit grows are highly prevalent in national forests in those states (and other legal cannabis states) despite their shifts toward regulated commercial production.

Even in an economic environment that continues to incentivize illicit cultivation, however, legalization is cutting down on the number of grows in national forests. “Recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreased reports of illegal grow operations on national forests,” according to “Cannabis legalization by states reduces illegal growing on US national forests,” a study just published in Ecological Economics. And that’s good news, not just for the legal industry, but for the flora and fauna of America’s forests.

Two Ways to Reduce Illicit Grows in National Forests: Legalization or Incarceration

There’s lots of data out there documenting the scale and scope of illicit cannabis grown in U.S. national forests. But there has been no published empirical research on how cannabis policy changes and law enforcement efforts are affecting illicit cultivation.

To address that gap, USDA Forest Service researchers gathered data on the number of reported grow sites in 111 national forests between 2004 and 2016. Then, they analyzed that data alongside changes in state cannabis laws. Researchers also used their dataset to run simulations allowing them test how different policy scenarios would impact grows in national forests. So in addition to testing how recreational legalization impacted reported grows, researchers also simulated changes to cannabis tax codes and even changes to law enforcement. Here’s what they found.

In the first place, recreational legalization significantly lowered the number of illicit grows reported on national forests.

Likewise, in a simulated elimination of legalization in all states, the study estimated illicit grows would increase by double digit percentages. Conversely, simulated expansion of legalization would reduce growing on national forests by a fifth or more, researchers found. Moreover, most of that reduction would happen in California. Going further and simulating a nationwide legalization of cannabis, the study estimated that illicit national forest grows could be cut in half and eventually eliminated.

But researches also ran tests from the opposite direction. Instead of legalization, they simulated increases to law enforcement presence. And while they found that increasing law enforcement would also reduce reported illicit grows, the gains were significantly less compared to legalization. For example, if law enforcement budgets and officer counts doubled from their current numbers, illicit national forest grows would decrease by 10 percent, at most.

Cannabis Taxes Contribute to Illicit Grows in National Forests

Based on their statistical analysis, the authors of the study show that legalization would have a much more positive effect on reducing illicit grows than a massive uptick in law enforcement expenditures. “Arguably, our models hint that outright, national recreational cannabis legalization would be one means by which illegal grows on national forests could be made to disappear.”

But separate from policy changes and better-calibrated supply and demand, researchers also tested how cannabis taxes are impacting illicit grows in national forests. And they found that taxes are actually contributing to those grows. “The imposition of taxes on legal cannabis sales […] appears to make illegal cannabis growing somewhat more frequent on national forests,” the study found. In other words, as long as the after-tax price for legal cannabis is higher than illicit products, taxing cannabis will encourage illicit cultivation.

Cannabis Legalization Can Protect National Forests

The study’s findings are significant for a number of reasons. But legalization’s potential to protect national forests is a key one. The unregulated use of pesticides and fertilizers, clearcutting, terracing and the poaching of wildlife by grow site workers create real and lasting environmental damage. So reducing illicit forest grows is a win not only for the environment. It’s also a win for everyone who visits and manages and ultimately enjoys the forests.

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El Método Pechoti: ¿Puedes poner marihuana en tu ombligo?

Si bien hay quienes juran que lo mejor son los porros, los consumidores de cannabis continúan encontrando nuevas formas de ingerir la planta. Hay comestibles, tópicos, vaporizadores, bongs, sodas, toques y sublinguales, por nombrar algunos. Tal vez sean los poderes creativos del cannabis en acción. Un método de ingesta, conocido como el Método Pechoti, le pide que ponga aceite de cannabis en el ombligo. Si bien el método Pechoti ha ganado atención en línea recientemente, está lejos de ser nuevo. Si bien no está clara la fecha exacta en que se creó el método de Pechoti, sabemos que se utiliza en las tradiciones ayurvédicas, un antiguo sistema médico indio conocido como uno de los más antiguos sistemas de atención médica. Entonces, ¿qué es el Método Pechoti, cómo funciona y quién debería usarlo? High Times habló con un médico y naturópata para aprender más.

¿Qué es el Método Pechoti?

El método de Pechoti, o Nabhi Chikitsa en las tradiciones de Ayurveda, se refiere a poner aceite en el ombligo con fines medicinales. Los aceites como el aceite de árbol de té y el aceite de eucalipto se usan a menudo por sus propiedades antibacterianas y antivirales. Dado que se sabe que los cannabinoides reducen las náuseas, combaten la inflamación y destruyen las células cancerosas por nombrar algunas, es natural que los practicantes de la medicina ayurvédica recurran al aceite de cannabis. Como no se metaboliza en el hígado, es no psicoactivo. Este sistema de administración recibe el nombre de la glándula Pechoti, que se cree que se encuentra detrás del ombligo y continúa existiendo después de cortar el cordón umbilical.

“Cuando te estás formando como un ser humano, toda tu nutrición pasa por el ombligo”, dice la naturópata tradicional y herborista maestra registrada, la Dra. Lakisha Jenkins. “Esa es su fuente de nutrición desde el momento en que comienza a desarrollarse, ¿por qué no puede ser para el resto de su vida?”

Si bien las tradiciones ayurvédicas tienen una antigua tradición de usar esta glándula, la medicina occidental no está convencida. Se ha informado por fuentes anecdóticas de la existencia de una glándula debajo del ombligo.

“A través de mi estudio de anatomía, histología, embriología y genética, nunca había visto una glándula así y no podría hablar sobre el potencial de recibir aceites esenciales como recomienda la medicina ayurvédica”, dice el investigador de cannabis Carlos Rizo, MD.

¿Como funciona?

“Hay alrededor de 72,000 venas que recorren directamente el ombligo en todo el cuerpo”, dice el Dr. Jenkins. “Está directamente conectado a las venas del estómago”.

Según el Dr. Jenkins, nuestro intestino contiene muchos receptores de cannabinoides y determina trastornos del sistema nervioso central. Por lo tanto, cuando aplica aceite de cannabis en el ombligo, se absorbe sistémicamente en todo el cuerpo. En Ayurveda, este método de ingesta es un enfoque integrado de la endocrinología, tanto con cannabis como con otras hierbas.

“Su sistema endocrino y sus hormonas son la causa de muchas de las enfermedades comunes que afectan a la existencia humana”, dice el Dr. Jenkins. Ella dice que debes usar la extracción de aceite más orgánica y limpia que puedas tener para obtener la máxima eficacia, y agrega que el aceite de Rick Simpson también funciona.

¿Quién  se puede beneficiar?

El método de Pechoti es similar a los supositorios de cannabis, ya que es sistémico (absorbido por todo su sistema en lugar de localizado) pero no psicoactivo. Es una opción para los niños o aquellos que no reaccionan bien o no pueden ingerir cannabis, como una mujer embarazada que combate las náuseas matutinas o una paciente de cáncer que experimenta náuseas y vómitos. Sin embargo, cualquiera puede poner aceite de cannabis en su ombligo. El Dr. Jenkins dice que las personas que tienen trastornos del sistema nervioso central, trastornos neurológicos, ataques del sistema endocrino o problemas gastrointestinales, todos los cuales están asociados con enfermedades crónicas, pueden beneficiarse del método Pechoti.

“Si tiene fuentes acreditadas para enseñarnos cómo funciona el método de Pechoti, tal vez los pacientes que no toleran el cannabis puedan usarlo”, dice el Dr. Rizo.

Herbolarios, naturópatas, métodos ayurvédicos y otras formas tradicionales han confiado en este método de tomar hierbas lo suficientemente fuerte como para que pase la prueba del tiempo. Necesitamos más investigación para comprender completamente sus beneficios, pero es probable que no te hagas daño si te relajas con un poco de aceite de cannabis en el ombligo.

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Recreational Cannabis Comes to Northern Nights Music Festival

While Zhu, Big Wild, and more than 70 other EDM artists head to Northern California’s Northern Nights Music Festival on July 19-21, cannabis will also get a slice of the spotlight. For the first time in camping music festival history, attendees 21+ will officially and legally be able to buy weed and partake onsite.

Tucked in the Redwoods along the Eel River in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, the festival’s “Tree Lounge” will be Mary Jane’s mainstage, with more than 20 local farmers and brands setting up shop for the first time and a wide variety of cannabis-infused wellness programming. 

NNMF has already cemented itself as a boutique, cannabis-infused festival with previous years’ programming that centered around cannabis education and its medicinal benefits. But thanks to recent amendments to Prop 64, the organizers are taking the experience to new heights with the help of local cannabis brand Humboldt Farms and San Francisco’s City Fit Fest co-founder Nate Mezmer.  

Spanning all three days at the festival, the programming includes a variety of wellness classes, workshops and mindful gatherings open to attendees 21 and over. This wellness activation will explore movement, mindfulness, healing, and community, in combination with the restorative powers of cannabis and CBD. Dubbed “Re-Creation,” attendees can expect infused yoga and movement classes from top wellness practitioners, workshops on medicinal plants and how to use cannabis for self care, breathwork and cacao ceremonies, and even a workshop with a relationship coach on how to use cannabis to foster connection. 

Grove Stage; Photo by Peter Karas

For those who simply like a little toke with their tunes, California-based cannabis brands such as The Green Door SF, Filigreen, Flow Kana, and more will be dispensing onsite. Plus, local and visiting DJs and trance dance classes will play throughout the weekend in the Tree Lounge, joining artists like Berner, Fuego, Desert Hearts and more at the five other stages taking over Cook’s Valley Campground. 

NNMF organizers are able to offer this robust cannabis programming thanks to the new AB2020 bill, which grants local jurisdictions in California the power to authorize temporary events to permit on-site recreational sales. Before under Prop 64, state fairgrounds were the only legal place hold cannabis events. The bill went into effect in early 2019, making NNMF the first overnight music festival in the country to offer recreational dispensing at a mainstream event. Now cannabis is being treated similar to alcohol vending at the event, while NNMF re-imagine the relationship between weed and music festivals. 

Photo by Anna Katarina

NNMF organizers, who helped write the bill, say this amendment to Prop 64 sets the stage for more mainstream cannabis events and creates more opportunities for local businesses and farmers in the regulated market to interact directly with consumers. 

“I personally feel strongly that cannabis is a positive thing that can bring people together,” event organizer Matty Roberts said. “It’s great to see it be so normalized and not stigmatized.” 

Watch this space as High Times takes on Northern Nights 2019 and covers this new era of cannabis culture.

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The Winners of the 2019 Bay Area Cannabis Cup

Everyone put their best face—and flower—forward at the festival. Here are the winners of the 2019 Bay Area Cannabis Cup:

Indica Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: C.R.A.F.T. – Dimepiece
2nd Place: Topshelf Cultivation – Whoa-Si-Whoa
3rd Place:North Country Pharms – Grape Jelly Donut

Sativa Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Sovereign – Mother’s Milk
2nd Place: Team Elite Genetics – J1
3rd Place:C.R.A.F.T. – Super Lemon Haze

Hybrid Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Caliva – Z Cube
2nd Place: 3C Farms – Sasquatch Sap
3rd Place:C.R.A.F.T. – Sour Girl

Sun-Grown Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Grandpas – Grandpas T.I.T.S
2nd Place: LitHouse – Lava Cake
3rd Place:Honeydew Farms – Venom OG

CBD Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Eve Farms – Forbidden Fruit X EVE
2nd Place: C.R.A.F.T. – CBD OG
3rd Place:3C Farms – AC/OG 2:1

Preroll

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: LoadedCo – Golden State Banana Preroll
2nd Place: Sovereign – XXX OG Pre-Roll
3rd Place:Cuba Libre x Fig Farms –  Cannarillo

Edible

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: IncrediMeds – Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
2nd Place: Loudpack – Spearmint Cannabis Infused Mints
3rd Place:KEY – Red Jellie

Vape Pen

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Raw Garden – Orange Cookie Pie Cart
2nd Place: Raw Garden – Extreme Punch Cart
3rd Place:Apex Extractions: Pinnacle Vape – Alien Rock Candy

Infused Product

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Sovereign / Emerald Genetics – Mother’s Milk Solventless Geode
2nd Place: Sovereign / Emerald Genetics – XXX OG Solventless Geode
3rd Place:Lola Lola – Trance

Indica Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Noble Farms x Summit Boys – Pac Girl Live Resin
2nd Place: URSA Extracts – Zkittles Live Resin
3rd Place:Raw Garden – Banana Punch Refined Live Resin Diamonds

Sativa Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Raw Garden – Italian Soda Live Resin Sauce
2nd Place: Raw Garden – Rose Water Live Sauce
3rd Place:Cresco Labs – Cherry AK Live Resin Sugar

Hybrid Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Apex Extractions X Poseidon Estates – Wedding Crasher #18
2nd Place: Pacific Reserve x Summit Boys – Pacific Forbidden Banana Live Resin
3rd Place:Noble Farms x Summit Boys – Gelato Live Resin

Topical

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: C.A.D – Nana’s Cooling
2nd Place: Mary’s Medicinals – Transdermal Compound 1:1
3rd Place:C.A.D – Mimosa Roll-ON

People’s Choice

Best Glass

1st Place: Dab Nation – Serum & Tonic Substance
2nd Place: Huni Badger – Vertical Vaporizer
3rd Place:Dr. Dabber – SWITCH

Best Product

1st Place: The Hemp Candle – Butt Naked
2nd Place: Lithouse – Dark Dosi
3rd Place:Summit Boys – Caviar

Best Booth

1st Place: The Hemp Candle
2nd Place: LitHouse
3rd Place:C.R.A.F.T.

The post The Winners of the 2019 Bay Area Cannabis Cup appeared first on High Times.

The Winners of the 2019 SoCal Cannabis Cup

From sun-grown flower to vape pens, we’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 SoCal Cannabis Cup:

Indica Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Triple Seven – Wedding Cake
2nd Place: Top Shelf Cultivation – Woah-Si-Woah
3rd Place: Team Elite – Cookie dough

Sativa Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Nameless Genetics – Insane Gummie Bearz
2nd Place:
Team Elite – Orange Juice Flower
3rd Place:
Top Shelf Cultivation – Candyland

Hybrid Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Team Elite – Nova Cane
2nd Place:
Triple Seven – Peanut Butter Breath
3rd Place:
Choice : cultivated in collaboration with SOGARMY – MAC 1 CAPS CUT

Sun-grown Flower

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Loudpack – Guava
2nd Place:
Honeydew Farms – Sundae Driver
3rd Place:
Honeydew Farms -Venom OG

Preroll

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Golden State Banana – Banana Indica Preroll
2nd Place:
Choice : cultivated in collaboration with SOGARMY – MAC 1 CAPS CUT
3rd Place:
Loudpack x Lift Ticket – Cuvee Cookies x Birthday Cake

Edible

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Chill, The Highest Chocolate – Acai Berry Blast
2nd Place:
Defonce – Hazelnut Dark Chocolate
3rd Place:
Dr Norms – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Infused Product

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Loaded – Mimosa Infused Hybrid Preroll
2nd Place:
Tikun – Midnight Tincture
3rd Place:
Tikun – Avidekel Tincture

Vape Pen & Cartridge

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Moxie – Pina Colada Dart Pod
2nd Place:
Raw Gardens – Orange Cookie Pie
3rd Place:
Raw Gardens – Strawberry Jack

Indica Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Team Elite – Sh3rb3t Sauce
2nd Place:
Apex x Cali Kosher – Papaya
3rd Place:
Raw Gardens – Banana Punch

Sativa Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Team Elite Genetics – Orange Juice Live Resin Sauce
2nd Place:
Apex x Redwood Remedies – Bananna Pudding
3rd Place:
Choice : cultivated in collaboration with SOGARMY – The Shire

Hybrid Concentrate

Jesse Faatz

1st Place: Team Elite – Peach Soda Sauce
2nd Place:
Apex x Cali Kosher – GMO
3rd Place:
NUG x Monterey Kush Co – Kandy Kush

CBD Vape Pen & Cartridge

1st Place: Airo Pro – Buddha’s Smile
2nd Place:
Quarter – AM Uplift
3rd Place:
Double Barrel – Smoke Tint

People’s Choice

Best Booth

1st Place: Choice
2nd Place:
Burning Bush
3rd Place:
Ethos

Best Product

1st Place: Choice – Mac1 Indoor Flower
2nd Place:
Burning Bush Dab Dots
3rd Place:
Ethos – Mandarin Cookies

Best Glass

1st Place: Choice – Mothership Glass
2nd Place:
Cobra Extracts – FLO
3rd Place:
Dab Nation Dabber

The post The Winners of the 2019 SoCal Cannabis Cup appeared first on High Times.

Leading Cannabis Brand Bhang Corporation Goes Public

Florida-based cannabis company Bhang went public on Thursday, with shares in the company beginning trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Shares in the company are listed under the ticker symbol BHNG and were up more than 70 percent in Friday morning trading.

Bhang currently owns a family of eight active brands with more than 100 cannabis and hemp products including cannabis edibles, beverages, oral sprays, pre-rolls, terpenes, and hemp-derived CBD consumer goods. The brand’s products are manufactured, sold, and distributed by the company directly and through licensing agreements with partners in jurisdictions with legal cannabis.

Bhang Expanding Its Reach

Bhang’s licensing arrangements include partnerships with Origin House/Crescp in California, Trulieve in Florida, and a 50/50 joint venture with Indiva for distribution in Canada and other international markets. The company’s plans for 2019 include launching eight new brands, offering more products, and expanding its availability to 2,000 stores from the current count of approximately 1,000.

Scott Van Rixel, the CEO of Bhang and a 2018 selectee for the High Times 100, said in a press release that going public will help fuel the company’s expansion goals.

“We’re proud to announce this major milestone for Bhang and the industry, as we see a national cannabis brand begin trading on the CSE. This public listing fuels our strategy to meet the growing demand for today’s most innovative cannabis products,” Van Rixel said. “While our model is not reliant upon accessing the capital markets, our going public transaction will allow us to evaluate new opportunities to accelerate our growth, build our industry-leading house of brands and increase shareholder value.”

He added in an interview that going public now will poise the firm to react quickly once cannabis is legalized in the U.S. nationwide.

“When [federal] legalization happens, I’d rather have the long, arduous process of going public out of the way and establish Bhang’s rightful place as a cannabis industry pioneer,” Van Rixel said.

Tasty Beginnings

Van Rixel, who is a trained chef and chocolatier, said that he started Bhang after visiting a friend’s cannabis facility nine years ago.

“Back in 2010, edibles were still coming in basic ziplock bags – no nutritional information, no serving size, no ingredient list. I brought my food industry knowledge in and we changed packaging to include that information and meet [U.S Food and Drug Administration] standards, even though obviously cannabis isn’t an FDA-approved product,” he said.

Bhang’s award-winning chocolates primed the company’s early growth and expansion into other product lines. Van Rixel said continuing cannabis legalization can make the world a better place.

“Marijuana and hemp both have a lot to offer society,” said Van Rixel. “It’s not just a way to get high. There’s real medical value and the taxation opportunities for cities and states to fund things like schools could be extraordinary.”

The post Leading Cannabis Brand Bhang Corporation Goes Public appeared first on High Times.

Florida Court Rules Medical Marijuana Licensing Law Unconstitutional

A Florida appellate court ruled on Tuesday that a law enacted to license cannabis providers in the state does not comply with the amendment that legalized medical marijuana and is therefore unconstitutional. The ruling by the 1st Court of Appeals in Tallahassee held that the law requiring cannabis businesses to be vertically integrated and handle all aspects of cannabis production from seed to sale created an oligopoly and should be struck down.

The court also upheld the lower court’s ruling that provisions of the medical marijuana regulations enacted by the state legislature that capped the number of licenses for providers also did not conform with the amendment passed by voters in 2016. The decision by a panel of three judges is expected to be further appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, according to media reports.

Suit Challenges Vertical Integration Requirements

A suit challenging the requirement that cannabis providers in the state be vertically integrated was filed by Florigrown, a company based in Tampa.
Leon Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who heard the case, ruled in favor of the plaintiff, finding that the regulations passed by lawmakers in a 2017 legislative special session did not properly carry out the amendment. Dodson then issued a temporary injunction requiring the state health department to begin issuing licenses to Florigrown and other applicants for medical marijuana licenses, but that order was put on hold pending appeal.

Upholding the original court’s decision, appeals court judges Scott Makar, James Wolf, and T. Kent Wetherell wrote that the regulations create “a vertically integrated business model which amends the constitutional definition of MMTC (medical marijuana treatment centers) by requiring an entity to undertake several of the activities described in the amendment before the department can license it.”

Plaintiffs Pleased with Ruling

Joe Redner, one of the owners of Florigrown, said that Tuesday’s appeals court ruling is “a good thing for the state of Florida.”

“If the Legislature can create oligarchies in any field, it’s crony capitalism,” Redner said. “They’re picking winners and losers. And that’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not constitutional.”

Adam Elend, the CEO of Florigrown, said that the appeals court ruling has the potential to shake up Florida’s medical marijuana program and the industry.

“It drops a bomb on the current licensing scheme. It’s just changing the whole regime,” Elend said. “People are not getting medicine. The dispensaries are out of stock all the time. The products are limited, and the prices are high. That’s what happens in an oligopoly and that’s what we have.”

The appeals court also found that regulating medical marijuana providers
“without applying the unconstitutional statutory provisions”  is in the public interest, but the ruling “does not support requiring the department to immediately begin registering” new providers.

In a separate concurring and dissenting opinion, Weatherell noted that the majority opinion could cause the value of medical marijuana licenses, which can be up to $50 million or more, to drop significantly.

The majority opinion “will effectively mandate an immediate change in the entire structure of the medical marijuana industry in Florida,” Wetherell wrote.

The post Florida Court Rules Medical Marijuana Licensing Law Unconstitutional appeared first on High Times.

¿Es la marihuana legal necesariamente segura?

Con el acceso legal al cannabis en expansión en los Estados Unidos, es seguro asumir que la marihuana que compra está en alza, ¿no?

En la mayoría de los casos, sí, pero muchos continúan reprobando las pruebas y muchos las falsifican en el mercado. Esto puede ir desde la flor a ser mohosa o mal etiquetada. En otros casos, la flor puede estar contaminada. En los últimos años, las pruebas de productos resultaron en fallas para una gran cantidad de productos. Esto incluye una ocurrencia en 2018 cuando casi una quinta parte de los productos de cannabis de California fallaron en las pruebas.

Se han planteado muchas preocupaciones con respecto a las pruebas de productos. Van desde el alto costo de las pruebas de laboratorio hasta la cantidad de laboratorios disponibles, y hasta las regulaciones, como la de California, lo que hace que los productos sean muy difíciles de aprobar.

Aaron Riley es el presidente de Cannasafe, el primer laboratorio acreditado de cannabis del país. Desde 2012, Riley y Cannasafe han visto la evolución del mercado y sus productos. Señaló que los consumidores que visitan los dispensarios acreditados probablemente encontrarán productos que se someten a pruebas de laboratorio y que se les confirme su contenido antes de la venta.

Riley explicó que la tecnología de seguimiento y rastreo ha hecho un gran trabajo al permitir a los minoristas y consumidores saber dónde ha estado su planta en la cadena de suministro. Dicho esto, la tecnología todavía tiene soluciones que algunos han abusado. “Hay muchos conceptos erróneos o personas que intentan engañar a los consumidores … donde una marca tiene una licencia, pero tienen, en cierto modo, una operación dividida. La mitad es legal, la mitad no lo es “.

Los vendedores de poca reputación y ciertos servicios de entrega van de la mano. A diferencia de un dispensario acreditado, algunos servicios de entrega no cumplen con los mismos estándares que otros minoristas. Riley considera a estas compañías como “actores esquemáticos” que comprarán a proveedores no aprobados, lo que les dará a los consumidores un mayor riesgo de comprar productos de marihuana contaminados o mal etiquetados.

Hay una opción para sofocar esta actividad, según Riley, pero tiene un costo. Eso es regulación. Dijo que muchos mercados actuales tienen bajos riesgos y altas recompensas para los actores esquemáticos. “No tiene que pagar ningún impuesto … Realmente no tiene ningún otro gasto que no sea el que hace, lo vende, paga sus facturas o los que sean sus costos de producción”, dijo Riley.

Añadió que solo una octava parte del mercado actual de California cumple con las normas.

John Roulac es el fundador y director de cáñamo de RE Botanicals, una empresa de CDB derivada del cáñamo certificada por el USDA. Dijo que el cambio puede venir de los consumidores que demandan ciertos productos. También señaló que podría haber un cambio si los inversionistas y ejecutivos se dieran cuenta de que no hay un plan B. “Es hora de que honremos a la madre tierra”, dijo Roulac.

Roulac agregó: “Más agricultores se están enfocando en la salud del suelo. Es hora de que el THC y la industria del cáñamo honren a la Tierra y hagan lo correcto “. Dijo que esto incluye:” Confiar en la luz solar de ayer; “Los productos químicos sintéticos para cultivar cultivos de maíz a cannabis dañan nuestros suelos, nuestros océanos, nuestro clima y la salud de las personas”.

Cannasafe hace su parte probando partes de los productos de sus clientes. Riley explicó que Cannasafe prueba los productos de los clientes para detectar pesticidas, metales y otros contaminantes que podrían hacer que un producto no supere la prueba de seguridad exigida por el estado. También explicó cómo un futuro con cannabis compatible podría impactar positivamente al consumidor y la industria. “Lo bueno de si todos siguieran las reglas … realmente no habría necesidad de retiros, porque si un producto ha falla en el nivel de distribución, nunca va a los minoristas”.

Se han logrado avances excepcionales en los últimos años, a pesar de que se necesita hacer más. Riley señaló que el 70 por ciento de los productos estaban fallando hace unos años. Hoy, el número ha disminuido significativamente a porcentajes de un solo dígito.

¿Por qué las empresas siguen fallando las pruebas? Hay una combinación de razones, según Riley. Él las agrupa en tres categorías. O bien la compañía es nueva y puede que no haya examinado completamente su cadena de cultivo y suministro. O en algunos casos, la empresa puede ser como un cliente y simplemente ser estafada. Explicó que los productos falsificados se producen entre vendedores y productores, al igual que a los consumidores.

Un producto puede encontrarse en la última categoría debido a apariciones aleatorias. Los factores que van desde las fugas de agua en los techos hasta los contaminantes en el sistema de canaletas pueden provocar una falla. En esos casos, Riley dijo que la falla a menudo es única y corregida por el productor lo suficientemente pronto.

Las pruebas también varían según el estado. “California siempre va más allá”, dijo Riley. Mencionó que estados como Colorado una vez tuvieron “pruebas terribles”, pero ahora esperan “reforzarlo”. También señaló que Oregon y Massachusetts tienen pruebas “buenas”, mientras que Florida aún tiene que elaborar reglamentos para su mercado médico.

Riley agregó que si bien no existen estándares federales de prueba, los estados más nuevos tienen una hoja de ruta que seguir. “Por lo general, todos los estados que se conectan en línea, como Pennsylvania, Ohio, estos estados más nuevos suelen tener buenas regulaciones porque siguieron, o siguen en general, el tipo de norma actual”.

Las pruebas deberían continuar mejorando gracias a los operadores sofisticados que se unieron al campo, según Riley. Estas personas deberían ayudar a llevar un estándar que hace que los productos de cannabis no solo sean más compatibles, sino también uniformes. Con esperanza, los consumidores podrán comprar GSC en California, Florida o en cualquier otro mercado legal y tendrán el mismo sabor, al igual que las marcas importantes como Coca-Cola lo han hecho a lo largo de los años.

The post ¿Es la marihuana legal necesariamente segura? appeared first on High Times.

UFC Champ Henry Cejudo Talks Cannabis, UFC, And Legalization & Stigma In Mexico

If you’ve never seen Henry Cejudo fight, don’t worry, you are not alone. After the blitzkrieg of blows Cejudo delivered in UFC 238, even other fighters like Marlon Moraes can hardly claim that they have. 

Depending on what sport you follow, Henry Cejudo has either been a household name for close to 15 years, or a relatively new addition to the elite tier of UFC fighters. In 2006, while still in high-school, Cejudo won the American Wrestling Federations National Freestyle Tournament at the most elite level. Within two years, Cejudo represented America in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games and brought home the gold, making him the youngest ever Mexican-American Freestyle Wrestling Olympic Champion.

Those great victories were not achieved without even more significant hardships. The son of two undocumented immigrants, Henry Cejudo, was one of seven children raised solely by his mother. His first time sleeping alone was when he was provided one by USA Wrestling during his Olympic training. To overcome such obstacles and claw one’s way into the elite tier of globally recognized fighters is awe-inspiring.

Frankly, Henry Cejudo’s origin story embodies the American Dream.

To try and imagine the day-to-day training of an elite fighter conjures images of Rocky montages, grueling workout regimes, and a one hundred percent commitment to the physical discipline they practice. For most people, cannabis is not (and could not) be a part of that routine.

High Times spoke to Henry Cejudo to shatter that idea.

CBD And UFC 

2019 has been a massive year for the advancement of CBD into the mainstream, and professional sports are no exception.

Less than a month ago, Aurora Cannabis and the UFC signed an exclusive, multi-million, multi-year, global partnership to advance clinical research on the relationship between 100% hemp-derived CBD products and athlete wellness and recovery. For fighters like Cejudo, there is no need to wait for the results to be in: they know CBD works for them.

“I’ve been taking this oil for the past four months, and it’s something that my body really needs, it craves it.” Cejudo told High Times. “You don’t go through a hard day of sparring and go take an Advil or pain killers – we go through what we go through and now it’s CBD.”

Cejudo’s belief in the healing power of CBD is concrete. The compound has not only improved his personal life, but also his financial standing. Announced in October of 2018, Cejudo partnered with High Falls Hemp, formerly known as High Falls Extracts, a “seed to soul” hemp-derived CBD oil producer. 

“It started off when I was injured, and a friend of mine told me to try some of this CBD oil. I was a little bit hesitant, but once you’re injured, once you’re hurt, and all these painkillers and rehab don’t work… I didn’t think it was for me, but I tried the cream on my neck and literally the next day my neck felt like normal.”

Surprisingly, the sponsorship originated at the behest of none other than Cejudo himself.

“I had added more of the CBD oil onto my neck, and I thought, “Hey, I gotta contact these people and see if they can potentially sponsor me because I believe in their product.” I can’t represent them if I don’t believe in the product, especially something controversial like CBD. I’m not just a sponsored athlete, I’m someone who has gone through the turmoil and found alternative medicine to heal myself. High Falls balms happen to be one of them.”

Reflecting On His Heritage 

Cejudo’s heritage and descent are closely intertwined with his beliefs about CBD’s healing power.

“I feel like cannabis is the alternative medicine that traditional people are still not accepting or embracing because of our background.”, said Cejudo, reflecting on its stigma in Mexico. 

To Cejudo, CBD is a “part of everyday life. I have to use the CBD oil and have it in my body. It’s not an addiction, I could let it go, but it’s more the comfort and how my body reacts to it. It’s amazing, I’ve had so much trouble sleeping – you could say insomnia – until I started taking CBD.

“I think now it’s finally catching up. These alternative medicines that they used to use back in the time of the Mayans, the Aztecs, and other cultures, is coming back now. It’s gone from a bad stigma to being allowed at the Olympics,” said Cejudo. “I remember watching this documentary on CNN about a 12-year old girl who had seizures every half hour, and they couldn’t find any medicines that could heal her. Then they tried CBD, and it was the only thing that calmed her down – her life is basically normal now.”

But while CBD is still stigmatized in Mexico, Cejudo remains optimistic towards the future. After all, who gets to be the arbiter of what parts of nature are allowed and which aren’t? 

“The way I see it, everything that is involved with the plant/flower is like tea. You see people in Europe drinking tea casually, it’s a plant, and you can smoke it or make it into tea – so rolling for some might be just making some tea – you can take it any way you like, and it makes you feel better.”

Legalization In Mexico 

Towards the end of our conversation, Cejudo reflected on what legalization of cannabis in Mexico would mean to him. 

“I would congratulate Mexico. What they should really outlaw is alcohol – alcohol causes addiction. You never hear people say: “I’m addicted to cannabis, I’m addicted to CBD.” The traditional stuff really has to stop a bit. People have to be educated and give it a chance.”

Comparing the risks of CBD versus traditional painkillers is a no-brainer for Cejudo. Almost any person undergoing pain, stress, or mental unwellness could see a dramatic improvement in their day to day lives. In a country riddled with violence, drugs, and damage, Cejudo espoused expanding CBD to the veterans who had protected his country. 

 “This is what soldiers should be taking after coming home from war. CBD is a plant-based medicine – God created it for a reason.”

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