House Judiciary Committee Approves Historic MORE Act

A cannabis legalization bill just got farther in the legislation process than any other such bill since prohibition. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act a.k.a. the MORE Act has passed the House judiciary committee by a vote of 24 to 10. If it is not claimed by another committee for review, HR 3884 will go onto to a floor vote in the House of Representatives.

“Thousands of individuals — overwhelmingly people of color — have been subjected, by the federal government, to unjust prison sentences for marijuana offenses,” said House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler, who has been one of the bill’s primary architects. “This needs to stop.”

“For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notable on communities of color and other marginalized groups,” said NORML executive director Erik Altieri in a press release.

The MORE Act vs The SAFE Banking Act

Congress has fielded criticism for its first attempt at regulating cannabis, the SAFE Banking Act. Many marijuana activists noted that legislation was built around protecting financial institutions that work with cannabis companies — not users, and not the out-sized population in the United States of people incarcerated on nonviolent drug-related charges. 

The issue is a significant one. The New York Times reports that the number one reason for arrests in the United States over the past 10 years has been drugs, and the number one drug involved in those arrests was marijuana. In 2018, that totaled to 659,700 cannabis-related arrests.

The MORE Act has the potential to dramatically alter this state of affairs. By removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, it would allow states to craft their own ways of regulating marijuana. Federal courts would be required to expunge past cannabis-related convictions and to hold re-sentencing hearings for people currently incarcerated or on parole. 

It would also remove many of the penalties that currently exist on a federal level for those that use cannabis. The MORE Act would ban federal housing discrimination, and bar any adverse effects on immigration status or processing that is now a fact of life for individuals that use cannabis, or have a past cannabis-related conviction. 

“This legislation won’t make up for the full scale of harm that prohibition has caused to its victims,” commented Drug Policy Alliance executive director Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno in a press release. “It’s not going to return anyone their lost dreams, time lost at the mercy of the criminal justice system; or the years spent away from their families. But this legislation is the closest we’ve come yet to not only ending those harms at the federal level, but also beginning to repair them.”

The bill would also set into motion a five percent excise tax on cannabis sales, money that would be reinvested into programs intended to ameliorate some of the disastrous effects of the War on Drugs. Different funds would be established to help individuals whose lives have been impacted by drug policing, as well as small business owners looking to get a foothold in the expanded cannabis industry. 

“Now that Chairman Nadler has moved the MORE Act through committee, it is time for the full House to vote and have every member of Congress show their constituents which side of history they stand on,” said NORML political director Justin Strekal.

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New Study: Cannabis May Reduce Illicit Opioid Use For Those With Chronic Pain

How does cannabis use influence the use of illicit opioids to manage pain? That’s the question at the heart of a just-published study in a special issue of “PLOS Medicine” that focuses on substance use, misuse and dependence. For medical researchers, caregivers and patients, the need for an alternative to opioid painkillers is an urgent one. Opioid-related deaths are still on the rise across the United States and Canada, fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and a trend of over-prescribing pharmaceutical opioids. And the role cannabis might play in reducing opioid dependence and abuse is still little-understood.

But the new “PLOS Medicine” study, “Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain,” provides an important perspective on the question by researching individual-level data—something many current studies lack. Following more than 1,100 individuals over a 30-month period, researchers aimed to investigate associations between how often people with chronic pain use cannabis and how often they turn to illicit opioids. And what they found could change the way we look at cannabis and the opioid epidemic in dramatic ways.

Daily Cannabis Use Significantly Lowers Odds of Daily Illicit Opioid Use

Doctors over-prescribing opioid painkillers is undeniably a contributing factor in the opioid epidemic. But what about people suffering from chronic pain who don’t have adequate access to the healthcare system? For such marginalized groups, under-treated—or untreated—pain can promote a higher risk of substance use and abuse, including the use of illicit opioids like heroin or fentanyl and counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs.

Yet people without access to the healthcare system can also turn to cannabis as a pain management strategy. Given the research that already supports using cannabis as a possible opioid substitute, and studies that have identified how cannabis-based medications can treat chronic pain, alongside the simple fact that cannabis doesn’t pose a fatal overdose risk, this strategy is both a safer and more desirable way to manage untreated or under-treated pain.

In fact, multiple studies show how states and provinces that provide access to legal cannabis are observing population-level reductions in opioid use, dependance, abuse and fatal overdoses. At the same time, one recent study has countered that narrative, suggesting that for patients with long-term opioid prescriptions, cannabis use doesn’t produce meaningful reductions in opioid prescriptions or doses. To help understand these divergent findings, researchers drilled down to individual-level data to analyze how cannabis use is related to illicit opioid use specifically.

Study Highlights How Cannabis Can Replace and Reduce Opioid Use

What they found is eye-opening. According to the new study, people who used cannabis daily were 50 percent less likely to use illicit opioids every day. Furthermore, people with chronic pain who only used cannabis occasionally were no more or less likely to use illicit opioids than patients who used no cannabis at all. The study also concluded that daily cannabis users were more likely than occasional or non-users to report therapeutic reasons for their cannabis consumption: pain, nausea, sleep and stress.

“We observed an independent negative association between frequent cannabis use and frequent illicit opioid use among people who use drugs with chronic pain,” the study concluded.

To reach their conclusions, researchers used data sets from 2 large studies of people who use drugs (PWUD) in Vancouver, Canada. The data sets total 1,152 PWUD, representing 424 women and a median age of 49.3 years. Of those individuals, 455 (40 percent) reported using illicit opioids daily, while 410 (36 percent) reported daily cannabis use at least once during a 6-month followup interview.

Using statistical methods that adjusted for demographic factors, substance use and health-related factors, researchers found that daily cannabis use was associated with a 50 percent lower chance of daily illicit opioid use.

Researchers’ findings have a couple of important implications. First, they suggest that increasing the availability of legal cannabis is benefitting people with chronic pain who are turning to cannabis to either alleviate pain and/or reduce their opioid use. Second, they add weight to claims that cannabis can serve as a substitute for illicit opioid use and a companion treatment to reduce prescription opioid use.

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Cannabis Industry Insurance Outlook for 2020

Cannabis businesses have a lot to look forward to in 2020. After a bipartisan push through the House, the Safe Banking Act currently awaits passage in the Senate and then the president’s signature. If all goes well, the bill will allow the financial sector to finally service cannabis businesses – from banking to investments and insurance.

What else can cannabis business look forward to this year? Check out HUB’s Top 5 cannabis industry predictions for 2020.

  1. Hemp/CBD products go to market in droves. The passage of the Farm Bill and the ease of shipping hemp across state lines has led to a production boom for the crop. With little federal regulation around manufacturing and distribution, hemp/CBD products from edible oils to clothing and anti-inflammatory lotions are extremely profitable. Expect final federal Domestic Hemp Production Program rules on acceptable levels of THC in hemp/CBD products to be published sometime in 2020. These will be based on the current rule draft. There’s a strong push to move industrial hemp into the federal crop insurance program, which is also likely to happen in 2020.
  2. Product liability insurance is no longer a luxury. Thanks to significant vaporizer, battery and contamination claims currently in the courts, cannabis business can expect higher product liability premium rates in 2020. Expect rates to jump as much as 30 to 40%, depending on the resolution of these cases. For this reason, carriers will be more diligent about underwriting and may even ask for certification of insurance from vendors, and additional insureds on third-party policies. Exercising more caution and oversight when selecting vendors is a must for cannabis businesses operating in 2020 under this premise. It’s critical for all organizations to take a hard look at business practices before entering partnerships moving forward.
  3. Phase II industry growing pains surface. Now that the cannabis gold rush is dying down, businesses are poised to enter Phase II of their growth.Those who failed to institute proper hiring processes, including background checks, as well as protocols to promote security and prevent theft are currently facing challenges. Significant industry consolidation is making way for cannabis conglomerates to become multi-state operators. Directors and officers that made poor investments or acquisitions are facing scrutiny at the hands of the SEC or business investors. Without D&O insurance, or adequate limits, directors and officers could find their personal finances drained. Insisting on adequate D&O protection going forward is a best practice for cannabis executives.  
  4. Product and state regulatory testing expands. High-profile manufacturers and distributors of cannabis are standardizing their cannabis, hemp and CBD ingredient labeling. However, many others are taking advantage of the lack of rules currently surrounding cannabis production by falsifying labels and misrepresenting THC content in products. This has led to recent lawsuits and claims. As a result, states will begin to administer product testing and license regulations and enforce carrying time limits, track and trace and bag and tag rules. Get ready for fines, penalties and increased non-compliance liabilities in 2020.
  5. Increased availability of policies and limits. Both the cannabis industry and the number of insurance carriers entering the market continue to grow steadily. Businesses are enjoying higher liability limits as a result – to the tune of $15M on product liability and $60M on property. Coverage for outdoor cannabis crop is now a possibility, and workers’ compensation coverage can function as a blanket policy for businesses across state lines as well. Should the Safe Banking Act pass soon, stay tuned for additional insurance opportunities as well.

2020 Growth and Beyond

The 2020 presidential election will bring the federal legalization of cannabis to the forefront of public discourse. While the law may not change yet, passage of the Safe Banking Act and increased regulatory action at the state level will highlight the successes and failures of the 33 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized cannabis in some capacity. These will serve as a guiding light for federal legalization down the road.

The post Cannabis Industry Insurance Outlook for 2020 appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.

MORE Act Passes House Judiciary Committee

According to a press release published by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the House Judiciary Committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act by a 24-10 vote. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced The MORE Act (HR 2884), which now has 55 cosponsors. This marks the first time in history that a congressional committee approved a bill to legalize cannabis.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (Image credit: Ralph Alswang)

“Today’s vote marks a turning point for federal cannabis policy, and is truly a sign that prohibition’s days are numbered,” says Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of advocates and lawmakers from across the political spectrum, we’ve seen more progress in this Congress than ever before.”

A little bit of background on the bill: The MORE Act, if passed, would decriminalize cannabis completely on a federal level. It would remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, not reschedule it. If the bill were to pass, it would expunge all prior federal cannabis convictions. The bill provides for the establishment of the “Cannabis Justice Office,” which would develop a. program for reinvesting resources in those communities most affected by the war on drugs. That program would be funded by a 5% tax on cannabis commerce in states that have legal regulatory frameworks.

The bill also would allow the Small Business Administration to provide loans, grants and other support to cannabis-related businesses, as well as support state equity licensing programs. Through the bill, physicians in the Veteran Affairs system would be given permission to recommend medical cannabis to patients as well.

Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA

“Supermajority public support for legalization, increasing recognition of the devastating impacts of prohibition on marginalized communities and people of color, and the undeniable success of state cannabis programs throughout the country are all helping to build momentum for comprehensive change in the foreseeable future,” says Smith.

According to NCIA, there was a recent amendment to the MORE Act that includes language from the Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades (RESPECT) Resolution introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). That resolution is based on the white paper that NCIA’s Policy Council published back in March of 2019.

“There is still much work to be done, including the establishment of sound federal regulations for cannabis products,” says Smith. “This vote brings us one step closer to ending the disaster that is prohibition and repairing the harms it has caused while we continue the discussion in Congress about how to best regulate cannabis at the federal level. We urge lawmakers to move forward with this necessary bill without delay.”

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Mark Your Calendars: The Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference Returns

On January 15th, 2020, Cannabis Industry Journal is hosting the 3rd Annual Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference. From 11–4 pm ET, you’ll get access to five veterans of the cannabis industry discussing a wide range of cannabis testing issues. Hear from subject matter experts who will share their perspectives on regulations for cannabis and hemp testing, THC and CBD testing, laboratory management, moisture content and water activity and microbiological testing.

Speakers include:

  • Charles Deibel, President & CEO of Deibel Labs, Inc.
  • Dr. Brady Carter, Sr. Applications Scientist with Neutec
  • Aaron Hilyard, Microbiologist at DigiPath Labs
  • Heather Wade, President of Heather Wade Group, LLC
  • Heather Ebling, Senior Applications & Support Manager at Medicinal Genomics

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask speakers questions during the live Q&A session that follows each presentation. Five experts, five presentations, all on the same day and free to attend. Register now for this complimentary series of webinars. 

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Doctors Are Increasingly Tapering Patients From Opioid Medications

A new study out this month shows that doctors are increasingly tapering their patients off powerful opioid medications, perhaps so fast that they are putting them at risk. Results of the study, “Trends and Rapidity of Dose Tapering Among Patients Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy, 2008-2017,” were published by the journal JAMA on November 15.

“We wanted to understand how often opioid dose tapering happens, how rapidly patients’ doses were being reduced when tapering, and which patients were more likely to have doses tapered,” said lead author Joshua Fenton, a professor of family and community medicine.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines on the prescribing of opioid medications in response to the continuing rash of overdoses and deaths that has plagued the country for more than two decades. The guidelines suggested that patients be slowly weaned off opioid medications by reducing the dosage at a rate of ten percent per week or less.

However, some doctors and hospitals have been reducing some patients’ doses more aggressively than federal guidelines, by as much as 15% or more for one-fifth of the patients in the study. In 2008, only 10.5% were being tapered off of opioids that quickly.

Reducing Opioid Use Too Quickly Has Risks

“Stigma and safety fears have made daily dose tapering of opioid prescriptions more common,” wrote Science Daily in a summary of the study. “New research, however, shows tapering can occur at rates as much as six times higher than recommended, putting patients at risk of withdrawal, uncontrolled pain or mental health crises.”

Alicia Agnoli, an assistant professor of family and community medicine and another of the study’s authors, said that tapering plans should be tailored to each patient in order to avoid complications.

“Tapering plans should be based on the needs and histories of each patient and adjusted as needed to avoid adverse outcomes,” said Agnoli. “Unfortunately, a lot of tapering occurs due to policy pressures and a rush to get doses below a specific and sometimes arbitrary threshold. That approach can be detrimental in the long run.”

The study also found that some demographic groups were treated differently than others in the development of tapering plans to reduce the use of opioid medications. Patients who were young, women, minorities, people on higher doses of opioids, people who had recently overdosed, and people on commercial insurance were all more likely to be subject to more aggressive tapering. Dan Laird, a pain physician and medical malpractice attorney, said in a statement that these trends in the tapering of opioid medications are unfair for chronic pain patients, who he says are not responsible for the ongoing opioid epidemic.

“This study confirms that many chronic pain patients are receiving substandard care,” said Laird. “The opioid crisis is largely driven by illegal fentanyl and heroin, yet chronic pain patients continue to be victimized.”

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Kiva Confections Launches Fast-Acting THC-Infused Gravy in Time for Thanksgiving

With the winter holidays rapidly approaching, you’re probably getting bombarded with holiday-themed foods and drinks everywhere you look. But this year, there’s something completely unexpected in store for cannabis fans: THC-infused turkey gravy, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Kiva Announces New Thanksgiving-Themed Edible—THC-Infused Gravy

Cannabis company Kiva Confections today announced its newest weed-infused food product.

THC-infused gravy is part of a new line of holiday-themed products coming this year from the edibles company.

And according to Kiva, the new gravy is much more than just a Thanksgiving condiment. It’s reportedly the result of some clever cannabis engineering designed to produce a very unique high.

“Kiva’s fast-acting technology utilizes individually encapsulated molecules, which radically transforms the cannabinoids,” the company said in a statement.

“Not only are these encapsulated molecules isolated from other molecules they might interact with, they are also small enough to be absorbed directly into the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, one molecule at a time.”

This rapid absorption, the company claims, allows for a much faster-acting high. Typically, edibles are metabolized first through the liver before then passing into the bloodstream. This slightly more delayed route is why the effects of edibles usually take longer to set in than those from smoking or vaping.

As a result, regular edibles typically take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to produce noticeable effects. But Kiva says that, thanks to its products specialized molecular design, consumers will feel the effects of its new THC-infused gravy in as little as two to 15 minutes.

“The resulting experience is predictable, precisely dosed, and controllable, every time,” Kiva said.

Kiva’s special edition weed-infused turkey gravy will only be available in limited quantities. And for now, it will only be sold in select California dispensaries.

Each package of gravy contains 10 milligrams of THC. The product will be priced at $5 per package.

Kiva Confections Launches Fast-Acting THC-Infused Gravy in Time for Thanksgiving
Courtesy of Kiva Confections

Initiating a Full Holiday Lineup

If you’re into the idea of weed-infused gravy for Thanksgiving, then Kiva has more good news. The company said that the THC-infused gravy is just the first in a new line of products designed to coincide with the winter season and end of year holidays.

So far, the company has stated that it has plans to unveil a new cannabis-infused hot cocoa product. But beyond that, Kiva has not revealed what else will be in its winter-themed lineup.

At this point, the following statement is the only hint the company has dropped about what could be coming up: “This festive, cheeky moment is just a precursor to the milestone holiday products launching later this month and December.”

The World of Edibles is Rapidly Changing

THC-infused, holiday-themed foods are nothing new to the world of cannabis culture.

In fact, there is a longstanding and incredibly rich tradition of coming up with clever ways to infuse marijuana into virtually any imaginable food, dessert, or snack.

But today, the legal cannabis market is opening up seemingly endless new possibilities.

Now, anybody can get high from virtually any food they plan to eat—without having to cook or bake anything.

In fact, edibles are fast becoming one of the biggest segments in the legal cannabis space. According to stats released in April, the edibles market is now on pace to hit $4.1 billion by 2022.

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“Is This Work Brave?” An Inside Look At The Clio Cannabis Judging Session

In an office overlooking the beach of Santa Monica, California, ten experts in the cannabis and marketing sectors gathered for the final judging session of the inaugural Clio Cannabis Awards.

Established in 1959, the Clio Awards is an international competition that celebrates creativity, excellence, and innovation in the advertising and marketing space. It’s essentially the Academy Awards for ads; there was even a Mad Men episode about it. Now in its 60th year, the Clio Awards is still going strong, with a mission to “celebrate bold work that propels the advertising industry forward, inspire a competitive marketplace of ideas, and foster meaningful connections within the creative community.”

In the spirit of propelling the advertising industry forward, the Clio Awards has teamed up with High Times for a new, collaborative venture: the Clio Cannabis Awards. After all, with legalization comes new businesses, and with an influx of new businesses comes competition, especially in the areas of marketing and advertising. We’re living in an exciting era.

Inside the Clio Cannabis Judging Room

After two rounds of voting online for the many ad campaigns that were submitted for consideration, the jurors met onsite yesterday for a final vote. The panel consisted of Rebecca Brown (Founder & CEO of Crowns Agency), Lisa Buffo (Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association), Anne-Marie Dacyshyn (Chief Marketing Officer of GSW Creative Corp.), Greg Dacyshyn (Co-Founder of Camp High), Jason DeLand (Founding Partner of Dosist/ Anomaly), Evan Goldberg (Co-Founder of Houseplant), Elizabeth Hogan (Vice President of Brands of GCH Inc.), Tommy Means (Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Mekanism), Darren Romanelli (Founder of StreetVirus), and Jason White (Chief Marketing Officer of Cura Partners).

Also in attendance were Nicole Purcell (President of Clio), Carly Angeloni (Associate Director of Events), Janie Sircey (Associate Director of Social Media), Rachel Kruge (Senior Coordinator of Clio Music & Clio Cannabis), and Alexa Martinelli (Client Relations Manager).

Moderating the judging session was Michael Kauffman, Director of Clio Music & Clio Cannabis. He started the session by reviewing the process for judging the 47 entries that made it to this final round. Each entry would be presented and the judges would cast their votes on whether the entry should receive a gold, silver, or bronze statue, an honorable mention, or be voted out. The “ballots” were to be cast on iPads that were handed out at the start of the session.

After that round of voting, the judges would then do a final vote to determine the winners. The entries were broken down into separate categories, including advocacy, brand design, digital/mobile, and film/ video.

Kauffman read aloud a list of questions to be considered during the Clio Cannabis judging process:

  • Is this work creative? Original? Inspiring?
  • Is this work brave? Bold? Innovative?
  • Am I jealous of this work? Do I wish I had done it?
  • What does it say about our industry? What message does it send?

In an industry as exciting and relatively new as the cannabis industry, one would thing that advertising would be a breeze. But as it turns out, effective advertising and marketing is a challenge for everyone, across all industries. It’s not enough to have an amazing product; you have to convince everyone that your product is superior. The Clio Cannabis judging session wasn’t just about products and companies, though. The jurors were also evaluating campaigns advocating for education, access, and acceptance—all things that most other industries take for granted.

That’s what makes the Clio Cannabis Awards unique. At the end of the day, cannabis companies aren’t just competing against each other for a prize; they’re competing to support each other. Competition pushes people to strive for excellence. When everyone works hard, the industry gets stronger, proving that it’s viable—and worth legalizing on a federal level.

The issue of prohibition hangs heavily in every cannabis-centric event and conversation. It certainly was not absent here. I asked Kauffman if moderating the Clio Cannabis judging session was any different than moderating sessions in other sectors.

“Since laws and regulations make it so that many types of traditional advertising are not currently available for cannabis companies in most places, the conversation in the Clio Cannabis judging session definitely takes into account restrictions and processes that other programs don’t,” Kauffman explained. “That’s why we have the different programs. Creativity can take on many forms, depending on the industry.”

The Clio Cannabis judging session was so interesting to observe because of the emphasis on not only the ad campaign itself, but on the message it promoted (or didn’t promote) about the cannabis space and the people who work and live in it. Spirited debates and discussions were had. Questions about placing certain ads on the shortlist for the purpose of encouraging others were asked. Issues of separating an ad from the company that created it were brought forth.

It’s worth noting that these questions are unique to Clio Cannabis. During the judging processes for other Clio Awards, the conversation is solely centered on the work that is presented. But because the legal cannabis industry is still in its infant state, because the industry still carries a stigma, and because the people who consume cannabis are often still misunderstood, certain considerations had to be made.

Everyone in the room had an opinion on every issue, and at times the conversation seemed almost combative. But it was because everyone in the room cared about the future of the industry and the precedents they were setting. When cannabis becomes federally legalized and more widely accepted, the Clio Cannabis judges will have the luxury of judging the entries solely on creative and artistic merit.

“As legalization and regulations evolve, there will be a huge need to attract new talent and provide marketing and advertising pros with a broader palette of channels to share their messages for hope, health, and consumption,” Kauffman said.

“Based on the high levels of creativity and innovation in the work submitted this year, and on the level of inspiring conversation by our jurors this year, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll continue to see an explosion of award-winning advertising that will impact our culture for years to come. There’s very exciting creativity that we’re proud to celebrate.”

The Clio Cannabis Awards will be presented Wednesday, November 20th. Check back in with us the next morning for a complete list of the winners.

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Does Weed Go Bad & How Long Does it Last?

How long does a marijuana high last? What if it’s from an edible? Or a vape? We answer all of your questions. Check out the definitive guide here on High Times.

How Long Does Weed Stay Good: The Basics

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. How long is weed good for? Under ideal storage conditions, cannabis can actually stay relatively fresh for a surprisingly long time.

If it’s been properly harvested, dried, cured, and then stored, you can expect your weed to stay fresh for anywhere from six months to a year.

If you’ve done an exceptionally good job of storing your bud, and you’re a little bit lucky, you may be able to stretch that timeline even further. Possibly to the point of approaching two years.

But for most weed smokers, conditions are less than ideal. In the absence of humidity controlled storage containers, and assuming that your weed will encounter some degree of light and the temperature might be less than perfect, don’t expect to get a full year out of your weed.

So how long does weed last? In general, try to consume all your weed within six months of purchasing it. But, of course, if you’ve invested in high-quality storage equipment, then you can push it out to the year mark.

How Long Is Weed Good For: The Scientific Answer

Now that you have a general idea for how long does weed last, let’s get into the more scientific answer. First, it’s important to understand what actually happens to marijuana as it ages.

Essentially, all the chemicals that make marijuana special break down. Over time, many of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis slowly break down and lose potency.

As the terpenes break down, your bud loses flavor and scent. As a result, old bud is relatively tasteless and lacks that distinctive, sharp odor that fresh weed is supposed to have. Sometimes, old weed will end up tasting harsh and nasty. Either way, when the terpenes have broken down, your weed won’t taste or smell the way it’s supposed to.

Similarly, and probably more importantly, cannabinoids also break down over time. Old, worn out bud won’t be as potent because a lot of the THC will have broken down and dissipated.

And here’s where we can get very precise with figuring out how long is weed good for. Fortunately, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has looked into things for us.

Their researchers found that, on average, cannabis plant matter loses THC potency at this rate:

  • After one year, weed loses roughly 16% of its THC.
  • Two years in storage results in a loss of 26% of its THC.
  • Weed loses 34% of its THC after three years.
  • After four years in storage, weed loses 41% of its THC.

How Long Does Weed Last: Is Your Weed Bad?

Let’s return to that old bag of weed you found at the back of your closet. How do you know if it’s bad? Basically, you’re looking for a few things:

  • Is it moldy? If your weed was too moist or humid, it may develop mold. Do not smoke moldy weed!
  • Is it dried out? If your bud has crumbled into dust, it’s obviously too old.
  • Does it smell fresh? Old marijuana lacks the crisp scent of fresh weed.
  • Does it break apart? If it’s spongy and doesn’t make any sounds when you pull apart a nug, it might be damp and moldy. If it instantly breaks down into dry dust, it’s too old.

So How Long Does Weed Stay Good For?

If you determine that your weed has gone bad, it’s not the end of the world. Technically speaking, you can still smoke it. It just won’t taste very good. And since most of the cannabinoids have probably already broken down you probably won’t get very high.

But smoking old weed won’t kill you or make you sick. The only exception is moldy marijuana. If your flowers have encountered too much moisture they might get moldy.

If you see discolored spots, white fuzzy mold, or if it smells like anything other than cannabis, don’t mess with it. Smoking or otherwise ingesting mold can definitely make you sick or worse, so steer clear.

Now that you know the answer to the question, how long does weed stay good, what should you do to keep it fresh? To preserve your bud for as long as possible, practice proper storage techniques.

Try your best to control temperature and humidity. Keep it away from direct sunlight, and store it in a cool, dry, dark location. With a little bit of care and some basic equipment, you can get the most of your bud.

[Updated from a post originally published on July 20, 2018]

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Nuevas pruebas de laboratorio muestran los peligros de los cartuchos de vapor de THC no regulados

Solo un recordatorio para comprar solo vapes probados de fuentes autorizadas.

Nuevos datos de un laboratorio de California muestran que los cartuchos de vapores de THC pueden conllevar un riesgo sustancial de exponer a los usuarios a productos químicos nocivos. Y aunque los resultados de las pruebas del laboratorio analítico CannaSafe muestran que los productos ilícitos del mercado representan el mayor peligro, incluso los cartuchos de compañías con licencia pueden ser inseguros si se usan de manera incorrecta.

CannaSafe, un laboratorio de cannabis con licencia estatal en Los Ángeles, realizó un estudio de cartuchos de vaporizadores de THC que obtuvo de dispensarios con licencia y servicios de entrega sin licencia. La compañía completó un análisis de laboratorio de los cartuchos que probaron el vapor producido por los cartuchos para detectar la presencia de compuestos inofensivos. A diferencia de otras pruebas que analizan el contenido de los cartuchos, las nuevas pruebas revelan las toxinas presentes en el vapor después de que el aceite de cannabis se calienta y se vaporiza antes de la inhalación. Actualmente, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades están realizando pruebas similares en su investigación continua de la serie de lesiones pulmonares causadas por el vapeo que ha cobrado la vida de al menos 40 personas.

El peligro de los cartuchos de vapor no regulados

Los seis cartuchos ilícitos probados contenían altos niveles de químicos potencialmente dañinos, incluido uno etiquetado como Maui Wowie que tenía 1,500 veces el nivel permitido de pesticidas y cinco veces la concentración legal de plomo.

“Tenía todo lo malo”, dijo el vicepresidente de operaciones de CannaSafe, Antonio Frazier. “Si observa algunos de los datos [de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades] para la dosificación fatal, estaría dispuesto a apostar que algunos de estos están por encima de lo que considerarían una dosis fatal”.

El vapor de los cartuchos falsificados fabricados para imitar los productos de las marcas autorizadas Stiiizy y Kingpen contenía formaldehído y monóxido de carbono. El vapor de un cartucho vendido bajo la marca ilícita Dank Vapes mostró la presencia de siete pesticidas diferentes, pequeñas cantidades de formaldehído y niveles significativos de acetato de vitamina E, un aditivo utilizado en muchos productos no regulados. Los CDC han identificado el acetato de vitamina E como un probable culpable de la serie de lesiones pulmonares conocidas como lesión pulmonar asociada al uso de cigarrillos electrónicos y productos de vapeo, o EVALI. Cinco de los seis cartuchos del mercado ilícito contenían acetato de vitamina E en niveles que van del 30% a casi el 37%. Los cartuchos ilícitos también tenían niveles más bajos de cannabinoides y terpenos que los productos de fabricantes con licencia.

Los cartuchos legítimos también pueden ser peligrosos

El vapor de los cartuchos de las compañías reguladas no mostró productos químicos nocivos cuando se vaporizó a una temperatura consistente con una batería de vapor de 3 voltios. Pero cuando se calienta con un voltaje más potente, incluso el vapor de los cartuchos con licencia mostrarón la presencia de productos químicos nocivos conocidos como HPHC, que también se encuentran en el humo del tabaco.

“A la alta temperatura, encontramos cantidades considerablemente altas de formaldehído, monóxido de carbono y cianuro de hidrógeno en algunos de los cartuchos ilícitos”, dijo Frazier a High Times. “Ninguno de los productos legales produjo estos tres químicos, pero se encontraron niveles bajos de otros componentes dañinos y potencialmente dañinos como el benceno y el tolueno en los cartuchos legales a voltajes más altos”.

Para abordar el problema, Frazier recomienda que los fabricantes de cannabis adopten un hardware de vapeo más sofisticado como el estándar de la industria.

“Sabemos que muchos de nuestros socios con licencia tienen mecanismos para controlar la temperatura en sus dispositivos, y este mismo nivel de calidad debe implementarse en toda la industria”, dijo. “Nuestras regulaciones actuales nos dan el petróleo más limpio de la nación, y ahora debemos actualizarlas para incluir hardware”.

Al señalar que la mayoría de los casos reportados de EVALI parecen haber sido causados ​​por cartuchos de vaporizador de THC adquiridos de fuentes sin licencia, Frazier dice que la mejor manera para que los consumidores en estados legales como California se protejan es asegurarse de que están comprando a un minorista autorizado .

“CannaSafe continúa instando a los consumidores a mantenerse alejados de los productos ilícitos de cannabis y a comprar productos legales en dispensarios autorizados”.

The post Nuevas pruebas de laboratorio muestran los peligros de los cartuchos de vapor de THC no regulados appeared first on High Times.