New Hampshire Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill

The New Hampshire state Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would allow medical marijuana patients to cultivate cannabis at home. The measure, House Bill 364, was approved by a vote of 14-10. Under the measure, patients registered in the state’s medical marijuana program would be allowed to possess up to three mature cannabis plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings.

The 7,000 registered medical marijuana patients in New Hampshire are currently restricted to obtaining cannabis from one of four Alternative Treatment Centers, driving up the price and causing some patients to turn to dangerous options instead, according to Democratic Sen. Tom Sherman.

“Therapeutic cannabis can be very expensive when sold at an Alternative Treatment Centers, and some patients have had to turn back to opioids as a cheaper option to ease their pain,” said Sherman during the debate for the bill on Thursday.

Bill Survives Opposition in Senate

But some senators, including Republican Sen. Sharon Carson, opposed the bill, believing there were not strong enough measures for control and enforcement. Some of those fears were allayed with a floor amendment that removed a provision that would have allowed a patient cultivating medical marijuana to gift cannabis to another registered patient.

Republican Sen. James Gray said last week that he is opposed to the bill.

“I think right now the places that we’ve authorized to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes – we have many many controls over that place, including walls, cameras, etc.,” Gray said. “And opening up to home grow just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. It’s still illegal federally.”

Activists Support More Options for Patients

Matt Simon, the New England political director for cannabis reform advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release that passing the bill will give patients a new alternative to obtain their medicine.

“This critically important bill will make medical cannabis more accessible to qualifying patients in New Hampshire,” said Simon. “Medical cannabis is not covered by health insurance, and many patients are unable to afford the products that are available at dispensaries. For some, home cultivation is simply the best, most affordable option.”

This is the first time that home cultivation for medical marijuana patients has received support from the New Hampshire Senate. House Bill 364 now heads back to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, which approved an earlier version of the measure last month. If the House concurs with amendments to the bill made in the Senate and votes to approve the bill again, it will be sent to Gov. Chris Sununu for his consideration.

The bill is opposed by the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, whose members fear that home-cultivated medical marijuana will be diverted to unauthorized users, according to media reports.

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Michigan Cannabis Shops Will Now Only Accept Supply from State-Licensed Growers

Michigan regulators have been trying to get a grip on the state’s vast network of unlicensed cannabis growers and sellers for nearly a year. But the latest move by the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) could have the opposite effect, driving unlicensed growers back to the so-called “black market.” On Thursday, LARA issued new policy guidance barring licensed medical marijuana provisioning centers from stocking caregiver-grown cannabis, effective immediately. Instead, Michigan cannabis shops will now only accept supply from state-licensed growers and processors. Caregiver growers will still be able to sell cannabis to state-licensed growers and processors—just not sellers. But they’ll have to pay to have those products tested, first.

Rejecting Caregiver-Grown Cannabis Latest Page in Ongoing Regulatory Saga

Michigan’s transition from a largely informal medical cannabis economy to a fully regulated retail and medical industry has been, in a word, chaos. Or in the words of Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello, who has been at the center of the state’s ongoing regulatory saga, it has been “apt to sudden change, freakish, or whimsical.”

Borrello has ruled on multiple legal challenges to LARA’s attempts to shut down unlicensed dispensary operators. In every case, he’s filed injunctions to block the closures and keep dozens of unlicensed dispensaries operating. Judge Borrello’s latest ruling gave those unlicensed dispensaries a 60-day grace period, which allows them to continue operating up to two months after LARA denies their license application.

But Borrello left one thing up to LARA. Namely, the question of whether to allow caregivers to supply the licensed market. On Thursday, LARA issued guidance addressing precisely that issue. It told caregivers that they could no longer supply licensed cannabis retailers with products. But caregivers can still sell to licensed processors and growers.

New Regulations Could Make Michigan’s Unlicensed Market Explode

LARA’s latest policy shift barring caregivers from selling to licensed retailers has stirred the already simmering pot between Michigan’s small-scale caregiver-growers and the corporate “mega-growers” keen on muscling them out.

Requiring the licensed market to switch over to regulated product is a major win for corporate growers, who have long-criticized the state’s reliance on caregiver-grown cannabis. That caregiver-grown cannabis has also come under increased scrutiny after some batches of product tested positive for E. coli, Salmonella, mold, and other contaminants. Contaminated products were recalled and according to officials did not cause any illnesses or other adverse effects among consumers.

Corporate growers and other licensed cultivation operators also claim that caregiver-growers cut into their bottom line. From the consumer side, however, caregiver products are still favorable as less expensive and more focused on the needs of patients. Corporate growers are more interested in the retail market, patients and caregivers claim.

And that, according to Jerry Millen, owner of Walled Lake, a licensed provisioning center, is a recipe for “black market” diversion. “I’m afraid this is going to make the black market explode 100-fold,” Millen said.

The beef over the quality of caregiver-grown products has soured many unlicensed growers to the licensed industry. And since Judge Borrello’s ruling means unlicensed dispensaries can stay open, caregivers are now highly likely to simply take their products to them instead. And without the regulatory overhead costs for testing and labeling, those products will be cheaper and potentially more medically-focused. It’s inevitable that patients will seek them out.

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Cannabis Pioneers vs. Cannabis Innovators: Who Has the Advantage?

In today’s innovation marketplace, everybody wants to be the first. Tech and non-tech companies alike are racing to raise capital for crypto, blockchain and AI, yet these sectors and technologies are still not even close to mass adoption.

Today’s entrepreneurs are obsessed with disruption. While this is obvious in the world of tech, it may soon be overshadowed by the nascent cannabis industry in the United States. Every time a new state opens an application submission period for a new cannabis dispensary, hundreds of companies apply. Each new market and state have pre-existing demand. Until recently, obtaining cannabis was difficult for many and illegal.

Often, the latecomers who learn from pioneers’ mistakes are the ones who earn the greatest successes.

Most of these companies apply in good faith, only to run into unforeseen problems as the regulatory landscape changes. This is part of the risk inherent to pioneering and disrupting industries. Often, the latecomers who learn from pioneers’ mistakes are the ones who earn the greatest successes.

The Difference Between Pioneering and Innovating

In the world of commerce, paving the way for a new product to hit the market is usually a thankless, time-consuming task. It exposes the weaknesses of the market’s operators and invites newcomers to disrupt the already unstable status quo.

Although household names like Levi’s and Wells Fargo owe their success to the California Gold Rush, historians pay relatively little attention to the hundreds of thousands of casualties the Gold Rush caused. Pioneers paved the way, and innovators – like Levi Strauss – profited from the result.

Similarly, when it comes to cars, Peugeot and Tatra are not household names like Ford and Honda. Henry Ford’s assembly line innovations and Honda’s unbeatable factory flexibility led to those younger companies becoming far more successful than their older counterparts.

Pioneers change the way an industry operates. Airbnb did not succeed because it offered superior service compared to the powerful and deep-pocketed hotel industry. It succeeded because it improved the model that HomeAway and VRBO launched years prior – and did so in a way that undermined the hotel’s typical strengths while capitalizing on their weaknesses.

Pioneering disruption is not equal to innovation, and the cannabis industry will follow the same course.

Although pioneering the creation of new business models is an admirable thing to do, it’s not for everyone. Airbnb has been fighting regulators since the very beginning. The company has been forced to pay fines and taxes that simply didn’t exist until Airbnb’s business model came into being.

Uber’s regulatory troubles regularly make headlines around the world. Although it successfully disrupts every market it enters, established taxi companies and newcomers like Taxify often get the last laugh when they implement Uber-like functionality into existing business models. Uber found it too difficult to compete in China and sold its business to local newcomer Didi Chuxing.

All of these cases demonstrate that being the first or early to introduce a business concept comes with many challenges. Pioneering disruption is not equal to innovation, and the cannabis industry will follow the same course.

Cannabis Industry Pioneers vs. Innovators

In the cannabis industry, being the first often meant living in constant fear of being arrested. During the early years of medical cannabis legislation, it was unclear whether federal authorities would raid and prosecute cannabis cultivators and dispensaries.

Every new cannabis market offers important, expensive lessons to future cannabis entrepreneurs:

  • California changed its cannabis product packaging laws several times before its market went live.
  • Oregon’s lack of state inspectors led to a laboratory testing bottleneck and an upsurge in black market cannabis diversion that the state’s last audit called “currently unstoppable.”
  • The two largest medical marijuana cultivation facilities in Illinois cost about $40 million to build, yet they compete over a market of less than $10 million.
  • Major pioneers like Medmen have paid enormous sums of money to gain entrance into regulatory environments they can’t accurately predict profits from.

Newer cannabis industry entrepreneurs are taking notice of all these obstacles and implementing plans to overcome them. It’s likely that the next generation of medical and recreational dispensaries will have far greater success than today’s biggest names, primarily due to this fact.

Consider the fact that all three of the S&P’s biggest cannabis industry companies have valuations far in excess of their actual sales. It is possible that these large, deep-pocketed organizations will generate enough revenue to justify their valuations, but in the meantime, newer players will enter the picture with greater responsiveness and startup efficiency.

Newcomers to the cannabis industry are setting themselves up for success with highly targeted business objectives, strong executive teams and high-impact advisors. They are navigating the regulatory landscape with more agility than early cannabis pioneers can muster, obtaining lower price-to-sales ratios in the process.

Cannabis entrepreneurs need to be creative in their assessment of the opportunities these new environments create.

This is the hallmark of innovation. While disruptions and inventions typically take the form of new products or services, innovations expand marketplaces and lay the groundwork for new interactions between economic actors in those marketplaces.

What Tomorrow’s Cannabis Innovators Can Do Now

States like Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey are currently leaning towards recreational marijuana legislation like those currently in place in Colorado and California. Cannabis entrepreneurs need to be creative in their assessment of the opportunities these new environments create.

Opening a cannabis company is no small task. As regulators gradually come to agree on the requirements each state will ask its business owners to meet, the next generation of pioneering cannabis entrepreneurs will have to adapt. At the same time, a relatively small contingent of innovators – the new generation of Levi Strauss’s – will coincide to provide much-needed products and services to the incoming rush.

These innovators will not be limited to one side of the industry. Innovation thrives on integration, and tomorrow’s cannabis entrepreneurs are going to develop streamlined solutions for tackling today’s inefficiencies in ways that simply are not possible right now. These lean, sophisticated startups will use that path paved by the first generation of cannabis industry incumbents.

Cannabis innovators will need to develop solutions for minimizing the costs and complications of setting up companies in highly regulated environments. This can mean anything from developing superior seed-to-sale tracking POS integrations to building a more efficient supply chain and a path to the consumer.

With luck, the next generation of cannabis entrepreneurs will look to the past when informing their strategic decisions for the future.

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The Secret to Using Cannabis for Energy and Focus

Staying focused and energized throughout the day isn’t always easy, and sometimes you need more than another cup of coffee to get through your to-do list. But before you reach to your favorite sativa for a pick-me-up, remember that a variety of factors go into using cannabis for energy. 

So, what should you look for if you want something that will help you stay productive and feel accomplished—without the caffeine jitters?

A Northern California company called dr. delights has a formula for maximizing the energizing power of cannabis with their Elevate line of vape pens and tinctures. Here’s their secret for harnessing the entourage effect for energy, focus, and an overall mood boost.

Uplifting Terpenes

You’ve heard a lot about terpenes lately, and for good reason. They provide an array of therapeutic benefits to help you stay focused and slay your day. The dr. delights Elevate line incorporates a variety of uplifting terpenes including these two that pack a powerful punch for an energizing cannabis experience:

Pinene

Pinene is a terpene that comes in two types—alpha and beta. It produces a range of aromas from pine needles to basil and is known for its ability to promote alertness, increase creative energy, and sharpen mental focus. It can also improve memory functions and encourage a positive mood.

Limonene

Limonene is the same chemical that gives citrus fruits their distinctive scent and flavor, but it also contributes to the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis. It’s an impressive mood elevator and stress reliever, and popular for its ability to promote uplifting focus, concentration, motivation.

Courtesy of dr.delights

The Right THC:CBD Ratio

Both THC and CBD can work to help you get-up-and-go, especially when combined in the right ratio. Cannabinoid levels vary widely between strains, so knowing the THC:CBD ratio helps you predict the outcome and tailor your cannabis experience for increased energy.

Some of the more popular energy-boosting cannabis strains tend to have high THC and low CBD levels. While that’s no problem for more seasoned smokers, it can cause anxiety and paranoia for others.

The 2:1 ratio in the Elevate pens and tinctures lets you benefit from the uplifting effects of THC while the CBD helps prevent feeling over-stimulated or anxious. CBD also helps to diminish the short-term memory impairment caused by THC, so it’s perfect for those days when focus and memory are crucial. 

Looking for a THC-free option? If you want an energy boost without the psychoactive effects of THC, dr. delights has got you covered. The Elevate line also comes in a CBD only formula, with all the uplifting benefits minus the THC.

Courtesy of dr.delights

Focus-Promoting Essential Oils

The right cannabinoids and terpenes on their own are fantastic for energizing the body and mind. But combining essential oils with cannabis can boost those benefits – and even produce new ones! The Elevate line incorporates these powerful natural oils that take you to the next level:

Lime Essential Oil

This fruit offers a refreshing and stimulating scent, but that’s not all it can do. It contains both alpha and beta pinene as well as limonene terpenes. It relieves stress, promotes mental clarity, and boosts memory and focus.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Besides being a tasty ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking, lemongrass has some impressive energy-boosting benefits. It’s also great for easing the stress, anxiety, and headaches from a busy schedule.

The Perfect Dosing

Cannabis is known as biphasic, which means it can have opposite effects at low and high doses. Lower doses of THC can be energizing, while higher doses are more sedating and may impair cognitive function. Remember that “less is more” when you want to use cannabis for focus. 

Getting the right dose can be tricky. But with dr. delights Elevate vape pens you’ll never have to worry about getting it wrong. The pens come in 100 equal microdoses for the right energy boost every time. Predictable dosing is also made easy with the Elevate tinctures. They come in 60 dose bottles and are simple to measure with an easy-to-read dropper.

Courtesy of dr.delights

Ready to ditch the afternoon coffee? Check out drdelights.com for more information about Elevate and their full range of outcome-specific formulas.

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Hawaii House, Senate Approve Bill to Decriminalize Small Quantities of Marijuana

Hawaii is on the verge of implementing a far-reaching decriminalization bill. If the bill is signed into law it would replace criminal charges for marijuana possession with a simple fine.

Hawaii’s House Bill 1383

The bill currently working its way through the legislative process is House Bill 1383. Simply put, this bill aims to decriminalize the possession of cannabis throughout the state.

Under the terms of the bill, it would no longer be a criminal offense to possess three grams or less of marijuana. Instead, people busted with weed would only be fined $130.

Importantly, the bill also takes into consideration people who already carry a marijuana-related charge on their records. Specifically, it provides a way for people in this situation to have their records expunged if the charge was not related to any other crimes.

So far, House Bill 1383 has found success among lawmakers. In particular, it cleared the Senate with unanimous approval.

But things were a little different in the House, where the bill reportedly had many more opponents.

In particular, some lawmakers expressed concern that the decriminalization bill did not have any provisions that would require minors caught with weed to attend rehabilitation or educational programs.

Similarly, opponents of House Bill 1383 also claimed that the bill should make distinctions according to strain and potency.

In the end, the bill ended up clearing the House, although by a much tighter margin of 34-16.

Now, after being approved by both the Senate and the House, the bill is being handed off to Hawaii Governor David Ige for final review and approval. If he signs the bill it will officially become Hawaii state law.

Cannabis Laws in Hawaii

The bill is largely being hailed as a step forward toward more progressive cannabis laws.

In particular, many see decriminalization as an effective way to significantly reduce some of the harm caused by cannabis prohibition laws.

However, full legalization has so far failed to pick up serious traction among lawmakers. As reported by Honolulu Civil Beat, legalization efforts stalled and died earlier this year in the Legislature.

But the state’s medical marijuana program has seen some significant growth in recent years.

The state first began taking applications for medical marijuana dispensaries in 2016. Immediately, the program received a lot of attention from people hoping to open a dispensary. Notably, even celebrities like Woody Harrelson applied for a license.

After reviewing applications and issuing licenses, Hawaii allowed dispensaries to open for business in 2017.

At that point, Hawaii’s medical marijuana program received broad enthusiasm from patients. In fact, the first dispensary to officially open its doors sold out in a single week.

Most recently, officials in Hawaii decided to open medical marijuana to out-of-state visitors.

As originally planned, this amendment to the state’s program would allow visitors with a qualifying health condition to apply for a special temporary registration card. This would then allow them to access and purchase from medical marijuana dispensaries.

With well over 8 million visitors spending time in Hawaii every year, this decision could have big implications for the state’s medical marijuana program.

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Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients Can Now Get Approval, Medication Without Delay

One more roadblock has been demolished that stood in the way of Michigan medical marijuana patients and reliable, safe access to cannabis treatment. On Wednesday, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (which oversees both medical and recreational cannabis in the state) announced that patients can use their approval email from registering in the program to buy cannabis, rather than waiting for a physical registry card to be sent in the mail.

“A process that used to take several weeks now can be done in a single day,” commented MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo to Click On Detroit. “We are excited to offer this new online approval option for the state’s medical marijuana patients.”

Before the change, patients had to wait for their their registry card to arrive to begin buying medical marijuana. Even with a recently instituted online processing system, that often meant a lag in seven to 10 business days for them to be ready to go.

Now, patients are authorized to obtain medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary merely by heading over to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website, uploading the appropriate documents, and presenting their confirmation email to a dispensary.

Michigan’s medical marijuana program has been in the process of expansion and improving access to the state’s patients ever since its first licensed dispensaries opened their doors in November of 2018 (the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program was approved in 2008, but lagged in providing access points for its participants.)

But the process of establishing the supply system has not been without its challenges. The amount of marijuana that is available for sale through authorized dispensaries — or provisioning centers, as they have been called in the state since a 2018 regulatory change up — has been outpaced by demand. It’s gotten to the point where a Court of Claims judge had to block a “drop-dead date” once again in March for unlicensed dispensaries due to concerns over patient access and affordability. Critics of the judicial block say that it will only extend patient access to marijuana that may not have been properly tested, and may contain fungus or other contaminants. At the beginning of the year, over 70 such unlicensed dispensaries were forced to shut down over such concerns.   

To address worries over access, this spring Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that did away with the previous Medical Marijuana Licensing Board, opting instead for a (hopefully) more streamlined agency that would oversee medical and recreational cannabis industries called the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, to be overseen by LARA.

Despite such kerfuffles, the medical industry has managed to rack up $42 million in sales over its first four months. Such is the popularity and lucrativeness of the program that officials have considered lowering the registration fee that is required of patients.

The proposed registration fee changes were due to the fact that the medical marijuana program has turned out to be financially self-sustaining. “The revenue generated based on the current application fee for the past three years is approximately 90-100% more than (the department’s) operational expenses,” announced LARA in February.

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Sherbinskis Profile in The New York Times Signifies Cultural Shift in Weed Journalism

In “A Marijuana Brand with Loads of Street Cred” published by The New York Times this week, Alex Williams tells the tale of Mario Guzman AKA Mr. Sherbinski, a cannabis breeder who rose from San Francisco’s underground pot community to head, after legalization, one of the fastest-growing brands in an exploding industry.

His story, to be sure, is compelling.

Starting with a 30 square-foot garden in his Sunset District garage, Guzman has created world-class genetics including the strains Gelato and Sunset Sherbert, and now manages cultivation operations from Mendocino to Santa Barbara that encompass more than 1.2 million square feet. His strains have received mentions in more than 200 hip-hop tracks and led to collaborations with Nike and Barneys of New York’s flagship store in Beverly Hills.

Williams effectively sets out to demonstrate the esteem and influence Sherbinskis has on a nascent industry and, more broadly, our society. But his piece, in itself, also signifies a cultural shift in cannabis journalism and is indicative of the new street cred enjoyed by marijuana itself.

For decades, readers were forced to look to genre publications such as High Times to find writing that portrayed marijuana and pot culture in a positive light. Mainstream publications focused their efforts on cannabis prohibition and interdiction, serving as sensationalist cheerleaders for the War on Drugs. In contrast, Williams’ NYT piece is a testimony to Gomez’s entrepreneurial prowess and the ubiquity and legitimacy of cannabis today, going so far as to republish strain reviews for Gelato and Sunset Sherbert from Sherbinskis promotional literature.

That’s right, cannabis strain reviews. In The New York Times.

And The Gray Lady isn’t alone. Other newspapers of record (particularly in pot-legal states) such as The Denver Post and The Boston Globe and national publications like Forbes are also now providing thoughtful cannabis coverage that doesn’t concentrate on crime. Even Bon Appetit has published dozens of weed-related articles, exploring not only obvious topics such as edibles, but issues such as the stigma surrounding cannabis and the ethics involved in the new industry, as well.

Even the fact that journalists are writing about “cannabis” is a milestone for the movement. For years now, activists have been pushing for weed to be referred to as cannabis, rather than more popular terms with negative or even racist connotations (although as a writer focusing on the subject, I confess I appreciate all the synonyms).

It’s a battle still being fought in some markets, but the trend is clear. We’re at a pivotal time in the coverage of cannabis, as it moves from being a subject leveraged to sell papers and drive web traffic, to the documentation of marijuana’s newfound acceptance emerging as the zeitgeist of our time.

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The High Priestess: Embracing Hedonism and Sex Magick for Taurus Season

Ah Taurus season. A time when we can let our inner stoners shine in all their relaxed magnificence, when we can receive with ease, and when pleasure is simply the name of the game. Taurus is represented by the bull, an animal that can be both loyal and stubborn, reflective of this sign which has a tendency towards the delicious and visceral. We entered Taurus season on 4/20, and with the New Moon in Taurus on May 4th, there’s no excuse to not unleash your inner hedonist.

You deserve to follow what feels good, period, and this is something that we can embody this season. Taurus is an earth sign which means they’re all about the physical; this is a sign that wants all of the sensory experience. They want a delicious meal and a beautiful outfit made of the softest and finest and most luxurious fabrics. They want to smoke the highest shelf cannabis, relax in the most glamorous settings, they want delicious smells and sights and tastes. Taurus season wants it all, and it wants you to have it all too.

New Moons are a time to manifest, since we focus on what we want to grow as the light of the Moon grows. In Taurus, this New Moon is highlighting all things erotic, delicious, sensual, physical, and pleasurable. If there’s ever a time to get stoned and do some sex magick, or get stoned and do something that makes you feel pleasure and turns your soul on, it’s now.

Sex magick is basically using orgasms and sexual energy (also known as life force/ Kundalini/ Prana) as a way to raise energy and send it to a desired intention. And since this New Moon is in Venus-ruled Taurus, this means all Venusian themes are extra supported including magick around love, sex, beauty, pleasure, victory, and money.

You don’t even need to have sex or be with a partner to practice some stoned sex magick under the New Moon, so what even are you waiting for? Here’s how to have a delicious and sensual stoned sex-magick ritual.

Set The Intention And Write It Down

Setting an intention is a fancy way of saying ‘taking a moment to think of what you want to get out of this experience’. The cool thing with sex magick is that you can pretty much use your orgasms as a way to manifest whatever you want—money, love, more weed.

Are you looking for a new lover? Do you just want to manifest something with orgasms because it feels good? Maybe you need some extra moola to make your Taurus fantasy a reality—that’s all chill! Take however long you need to think of what you want to call in with this ritual.

Take the time to honor this, making sure it feels aligned. Hold it in your minds eye, writing it down, either as specifically as you can or with as much feeling as you can.

You can also make a sigil out of this. After writing down your intention, cross out the repeating letters and cross out the vowels. Then take the remaining letters and make a symbol of out them, layering and Frankensteining that shit together. When you’re done, you should have a symbol that looks nothing like letters and is kind of weird. Hold on to this, and spend time with your intention, connecting with this for a few days up until the ritual.

Ivory Woods

Decision Time: Partnered Magick or Solo Magick?

If you’ve never worked with sex magick before, then my recommendation is to start solo! This can be a really healing experience that can help you connect to pleasure and your intention and body in a new way. However, if you’re in a partnership, or have worked with sex magick and want to work with a partner, you totally can! Just make sure you’re on the same page and working towards the same intention.

Pick Your Poison And Method of Consumption

Before you begin any kind of ritual ever just in general, and generally before you smoke or consume anything, you should ask yourself “how am I feeling right now? What do I need?” Where you are in the present may not be where you’d thought you’d be last week or earlier today or an hour ago. So just check in. Think back to your intention and think of what kind of space you want to be in. And since this is a weed column, we can’t forget to invoke Mary Jane herself.

THC

If you want to get to a transcendent state, you’ll want to work with THC, or the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. Think about what kind of sensation you want to experience. I like something that gives me a body high while still stimulating my mind and inspiring me creatively.

Smoking

I definitely have an oral fixation and I find something so sexy especially about smoking with someone who turns you on—including yourself! Take a hit or two (or ten) from your bong, bowl, joint, or dab for a quick way to get stoned before you bone.

Edibles

Although edibles take longer to kick in, usually around an hour, they also last way longer in your system, with a high that stays for four to six hours. This can be really great for when you’re having sex, but like smoking, dosage is important! Start with small amounts of THC like 5mg and then increase if you need. Experiment with dosage before your ritual, adding a 5mg or small amount every hour or so until you find what feels good in your body.

CBD

You can also work with CBD to help get your sex life from mundane to magick, without the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD can help reduce inflammation and pain, as well as helping to manage anxiety, and you can definitely work with this during your sex magick practice to really get yourself in the right energetic space. You may wish to use a CBD oil or tincture, or try one of the following methods.

Lube

Companies like Foria are making CBD lube, which help lubricate the vagina naturally and increase sensation by encouraging blood flow. They’re topical, so you don’t have to worry about getting stoned. Massage into skin as you hold your intention in mind for extra magick.

Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, or Lotion

Taurus season is all about the body, which means that taking a-CBD infused bath or massages with CBD-infused lotions are not only appropriate but encouraged. Taking the time to reconnect to your body and unwind is vital, and there are few things quite as delicious as a cleansing bath before a ritual. Bath bombs, bath salts, lotions, face masks, oils; all of these rituals of beauty blessed by the Ganja Goddess are perfect for sex magick.

Pick Your Sensory Experience

This is where the maxim of “knowing thyself” comes into play, and where knowing what feels good to you helps guide you deeper into your intention.

Think of your five senses, what kind of sex you want to have, and what kind of sex toys you may need. Think of what kind of sensations you’ll want to feel; soft, hard, rough, gentle? Do you want to wear something special, or have your lover wear something special? Maybe you want to grab your favorite pillows, light some candles and incense, put a favorite playlist on. Put on some perfume or spray it on your sheets, wear your lucky underwear or red lipstick. Taurus loves the physical, so think of what you need to do to feel more pleasure in the moment, whether that’s eating fruit or drinking some water, or putting some jewelry on.

If you’re kinky, you can also work with sensory deprivation like a blindfold or gag, sensations like feathers or ice, impact like spanking or flogging, or bondage to get a different experience. Sex magick is raising energy, so think of how different physical sensations impact you. Also be careful if you’re doing any kinky shit while stoned. Know your limits, and make sure to do your homework so you’re risk aware.

Ivory Woods

And Now Comes The Ritual

So, you have an intention for your ritual, which is written down or formed into a sigil. You know if you’re going to be doing this partnered or solo, and how you’ll be consuming your cannabis. You know what toys you’ll be using, and what kind of sensation you’ll be working with. All you need to do now is set up the ritual space and get to it.

If you’re taking an edible or tincture, you’ll want to consume this before your ritual so you’ll feel it. You can do this up to an hour before you begin. You can also take a CBD-infused bath, or perform whatever other beauty rituals you want before Step 1 as well.

Set The Space

Hopefully by now your space is set. You have somewhere you’ll be able to consume your cannabis or CBD, perform your ritual and raise energy. Gather your supplies, including lube, condoms, your intention or sigil, any sex toys and whatever else you need. Put the playlist you decided to on, burn some incense and candles, let any roomies or partners know not to disturb you, and turn your phone on silent.

Connect To The Moment And Your Intention

Find a comfortable position, seated or lying down, and take a moment to connect to your breath. Breathe into your body, feeling present. You may wish to ground, visualizing roots moving from the base of your spine into the earth. Breathe into the present, and into your body and then connect with your intention. Remember why you’re performing this, what you’re calling in.

When you’re ready, you may open your eyes and place your written intention under your pillow or mattress, continuing to connect with this and breathe as you do so. If you created a sigil, you’ll keep this next to you to look at during the ritual.

Consume The Cannabis

If you’re not taking an edible or tincture, now is the time to consume your cannabis. Take time to enjoy this process whether it’s smoking or giving yourself a cbd infused massage or taking a hit of the dab. Thank the universe for this offering, and let the heavens know it’s for connecting with pleasure, healing and your highest self.

Raise The Energy

Now comes the fun and the sex magick! You’ll have sex or masturbate as you breathe, connecting to your intention as much as you can. Feel what you can in your body, doing your best to be present. This is your time to be guided by what feels right in your own body, so do whatever freaky or non-freaky thing you need to do.

As you climax, or raise your energy as much as possible, you’ll visualize your intention moving from your sex organs, up your spine, out the crown of your head to the cosmos. If you created a sigil you can stare at this, sending and directing the energy towards this. Stay in the afterglow in this same way, sending energy to your intention, until whenever the ritual feels complete.

Ground

Once you’re finished with the ritual and have sent the energy to your intention, take a few breaths and come back to your body. Envision the roots moving into the base of the earth from before moving back up your spine. Exhale any tension or energy you feel. Thank the cosmos, cannabis, yourself, and when you’re ready open your eyes. You may wish to find a child’s pose, sending any excess energy back into the earth through your third eye.

You can place your sigil or intention under your mattress, in a magickal diary or journal or you can destroy them, burning them up over a pot of water or in a fireproof container.

Know that the spell has worked, and take some time to reflect and enjoy! Write down your experiences and what you felt, and how you ingested your cannabis and how much. If you want to do sex magick again in the future, you’ll have a reference to see what worked.

This Taurus season, let your body and pleasure be your guide. Allow what feels good to carry you through, and know the cannabis plant is always there to help too. No matter how you’re choosing to connect to pleasure this Taurus season, may it be delicious and stoney. And so it is!

The post The High Priestess: Embracing Hedonism and Sex Magick for Taurus Season appeared first on High Times.

Large-Scale Cannabis Business Park in Detroit Will Train Past Marijuana Offenders

Detroit may soon be home to a multi-million business project that aims to help correct damage done by racially biased cannabis policing. WXYZ Detroit reports that Green Cure Wellness and Southeast Provisioning’s new business complex will put priority on training local residents with prior marijuana convictions in the skills they need to take part in the state’s relatively new legal cannabis industry.

The project, located on Livernois Avenue on the west side of Detroit, will house five large-scale growing operations, two processing facilities, and a provisioning center in addition to the training program. The latter will be free of charge to individuals who were convicted of a marijuana-related offense in the days before legalization, and intends to provide skills in growing, budtending, processing, and cannabis entrepreneurship.

Such training programs address the immense pressure that has been put on Detroit’s communities of color by the War on Drugs. The Michigan State Police reported that in 2017, one out of every 12 people they arrested was charged with an offense related to marijuana, and the vast bulk of those were related to possession or consumption. Black men between the ages of 18 and 24 had arrest rates 10 times higher than white woman despite similar rates of usage.

Last year amid such reports of biased policing, 55 percent of Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, which approved the use of recreational marijuana by adults 21 years old and up. Of course, voters’ approbation was just the first step in undoing the injustice committed by selective cannabis prohibition enforcement. The bill did not include automatic expungements for those with cannabis crimes on their record, an omission that was criticized by criminal justice advocates at the time.

In the first four months after the opening of state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries — at the end of which the state saw an expansion in qualifying conditions — $42 million in sales were reported. $18 million in medical marijuana tax revenue alone is predicted in 2019. That’s a big pie, and hopefully those whose lives have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs will get a slice.

Maurice Morton of the Morton Law Group, a former Chief of the special operations division on the Detroit police force, said that was one of the motivations behind the establishment of Green Cure Wellness and Southeast Provisioning.

“As a former prosecutor, many people have been surprised by my investment in the cannabis industry, but I refuse to sit back and watch as other build wealth and African Americans are left out,” Morton, a native Detroiter and one-time candidate for Congress, commented in a press release. “I want to help build opportunities for other people of color.”

The project is not the first large business complex that has been approved in the Detroit area. The Cannabis Property Brokers of Michigan announced that the Oakland Business Park broke ground in October. According to the Detroit News, the 288,000 square foot complex located one hour north of Detroit in the town of Orion plans to include space for “marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters and safety compliance tenants,” but not dispensaries, which are not permitted in the township in which it will be located.

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$9 Million Donation Given to Harvard and MIT to Promote Cannabis Research

An alumnus of Harvard and MIT has made a donation to promote cannabis research at both schools.

In an announcement Tuesday, Charles R. Broderick said he is donating $9 million—split evenly between the two institutions—in support of research into how marijuana affects the brain and behavior.

It is, according to the schools, “the largest donation to date to support independent research of the science of cannabinoids.”

Broderick said the gift was driven by a desire “to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”

“I want to destigmatize the conversation around cannabis—and, in part, that means providing facts to the medical community, as well as the general public,” Broderick said in the announcement.

The founder of Uji Capital, which describes itself as “a family office focused on quantitative opportunities in global equity capital markets,” Broderick has distinguished himself as a vanguard investor in the cannabis industry. He got into the Canadian cannabis market early, taking equity positions in Tweed and Aphria. Broderick, who goes by “Bob,” also made a separate investment in Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis company that merged with DOJA in 2017 to create Hiku, which in turn was acquired by Canopy Growth Corp. a year later.

Although marijuana is now legal in Canada and in a growing number of states and cities in the United States—including in Massachusetts, home to both Harvard and MIT, where voters legalized recreational pot in 2016—there remains a dearth of credible research, preventing it from fully shedding its stigma. Research efforts have been hamstrung by the U.S. federal government’s ongoing hostility toward cannabis, which it still regards as a dangerous drug offering no medical value.

A 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine urged public agencies, philanthropic organizations and private companies, among others, to “develop a comprehensive evidence base on the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use (both beneficial and harmful effects)” through funding and support “for a national cannabis research agenda that addresses key gaps in the evidence base.”

Broderick’s gift was made in that spirit. He said in the announcement on Tuesday that it was important for all to be “working from the same information.”

“We need to replace rhetoric with search,” Broderick said.

The $4.5 million donation to MIT will provide support to four scientists over the course of three years, two of whom will “separately explore the relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia,” the school said. One of those researchers, John Gabrieli, will look into the value of cannabis for adults with schizophrenia, saying that the “ultimate goal is to improve brain health and wellbeing.”

Gabrieli told the Boston Globe that it’s been “incredibly hard” to get money for research into marijuana. “It’s been illegal all over the place until very recently,” Gabrieli told the Globe.

“Without the philanthropic boost, it could take many years to work through all these issues.”

At Harvard, the $4.5 million will be used to start the Charles R. Broderick Phytocannabinoid Research Initiative at the medical school, which “will fund basic, translational and clinical research across the [Harvard Medical School] community to generate fundamental insights about the effects of cannabinoids on brain function, various organ systems and overall health.”

Such research will be concentrated at Harvard’s Department of Neurobiology, led by Bruce Bean and Wade Regehr, both professors in the department.

“The research efforts enabled by Bob’s vision set the stage for unraveling some of the most confounding mysteries of cannabinoids and their effects on the brain and various organ systems,” Regehr said in a statement.

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