October 17, 2018, the long-awaited day that cannabis goes legal across Canada has arrived and the world will never be the same. With all due respect to the great progress made by Uruguay, who helped pave the way for Canada, it can be argued that Canada, by permitting regulated sales to tourists is the first nation to truly legalize cannabis.
The cannabis industry has been one of the most exciting markets to watch and take part in over the course of the past few years, but new updates to legislation and the changing public paradigm of the industry have all contributed to an even more exciting market of the future. Thank you to Canada for taking a brave step into the unknown to pave the way for the rest of the world!
Article by Javier Hasse
17th October, 2018
On Wednesday , Canada became the first G7 nation and second country in the entire world (after Uruguay) to legalize adult-use cannabis. As the hands of the clock superimposed at midnight, the first retailers opened their doors in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, allowing long lines of customers in to pick up some good green.
While great news for recreational weed users, legalization might be problematic for patients: many fear the country’s supply will not be enough to cover the explosion in demand — with e-commerce software provider Shopify reporting more than 100 transactions per minute. After all, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce estimates that by 2020, the Great White North will be consuming about 810,000 kilograms (about 1.8 million pounds) of weed per year.
Interested in getting some expert opinions on the matter, MERRY JANE reached out to a few industry insiders and asked if the shortage concerns were justified.
It’s All In The Quality
Vinay Tolia, CEO of publicly-traded Canadian producer Flowr Corp. noted the fears are “absolutely justified on day one. Meeting health and safety standards on a large scale is not an easy task, and it’s apparent that there are big differences between what some LPs state as their capacity and what they can actually produce.” [Editor’s Note: Hyperlink added by MERRY JANE, not Tolia]
There are many other unknowns in the market, he added, arguing that the situation will be “dynamic” for some time, as suppliers figure out exactly what the consumers want and in what supply. It’s most likely we’ll see a steady offer of mass-market, low-priced cannabis, as there are a lot of LPs that can fill demand there; but premium quality, Snoop Dogg-approval-worthy weed will be a different issue.
The Early Days
Jessica Billingsley, CEO of seed-to-sale technology provider MJ Freeway seemed to disagree with Tolia, telling MERRY JANE that supply shortage fears are overblown “unless there is a tremendous amount of export pressure.”
“The Canadian cultivation operations have been built for scale,” she said. “Even if there is a temporary period of supply shortage at the start — two to three months, once the cultivation operations are fully online, there will be a glut that will even out and supply will meet demand.”
Down a similar lane, Kris Krane, president of cannabis investment firm and multi-state operator 4Front, said that while the size of the demand in the early days remains unknown, “it is reasonable to assume some supply issues in the early days as companies ramp up production” — as we’ve already seen in many U.S. states.
Also in agreement, Beth Stavola, COO and President of U.S. Operations of MPX Bioceutical, argued that we will need some time “to get production to where it fulfills the demands of the marketplace,” as Canada begins to issue new licenses and regulations. “Depending on how long this takes, there may be a temporary shortfall in supply, but hopefully it won’t be as dire as some suggest. If the government moves quickly to get licenses in place and expand the range of products available, they will have a thriving market in the near future.”
Finally, we reached out to equity analyst Alan Brochstein, best known as the 420 Investor, who’s been anticipating supply shortages for a while now. “It looks like there won’t be nearly enough product or SKUs of product on day one,” he stated. “With that said, the number of physical stores open on 10/17 truly rounds to zero in the scheme of things, and I expect online [sales] will be slow to take off as a channel — but will build over time.”
“It’s important to not judge the success on day one,” he continued, explaining we need to understand the launch will be “underwhelming but then moving in a positive direction over time, with more supply and points of distribution, as well as a better products set a year from now.”
Unlike the previous experts quoted, Jodie Emery, famed activist and owner of the hemp-themed café Jodie’s Joint, assured MERRY JANE that supply is definitely enough. The problem, in her view, lies in the new regulations and what the government allows to be sold.
“Canada has enough cannabis supply to meet demand,” she told MERRY JANE, arguing that Canadians have been growing enough weed to supply everyone for decades. The problem is that “the federal government isn’t legalizing that supply, though.” She added, “This is ill-deemed ‘illicit cannabis,’ just as it was ‘illegal cannabis’ before today.”
Emery also noted that “the costs and barriers to getting licensed as a federal legal grower are too prohibitive and prevent the existing suppliers from being able to transition into legality. Legalization should mean the legalization of the industry that grew despite prohibition, not the exclusion of those pioneers and prohibition victims.”
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More News from Canada….
The first recreational cannabis to be legally bought in Canada was purchased at midnight on Wednesday on the eastern island of Newfoundland amid queues of hundreds of people. Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.
Our healing and nourishing plant!
True planetary love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The Truth of Nature, strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep its legislation gloriously free!
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
Recreational marijuana will be legal throughout the country, but rules will vary from province to province.
Can I grow my own?: Federal guidelines allow recreational users to grow up to four plants per household, up to a metre tall. Most provinces have acceded to this suggestion, with some (like British Columbia) stipulating that the plants must be grown in a secure location out of public view. In Manitoba and Quebec, however, home growing is illegal. Landlords in some provinces are also pushing for the right to ban tenants from growing cannabis in their rental properties. Also: do not move your plants while they’re budding or flowering! Appearing in a public space with a blooming cannabis plant nets you a fine up to $5,000, or five years behind bars.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada for recreational-use, contravenes the key International Drug Control Convention, and is “not a healthy” lifestyle choice. That’s according to Viroj Sumyai, head of the independent UN-backed International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), in an interview with UN News.
Before we celebrate, let’s take a moment to remember the Black and Indigenous peoples who have been overrepresented in Canada’s cannabis-related arrests, despite similar rates of cannabis use across racial groups.
Peer-reviewed study finds ‘significant impairment’ on complex, driving-related tasks.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Saturday morning the incoming Quebec government’s plan to raise the legal age for smoking cannabis to 21 could leave an opening for organized crime.
Canada on Wednesday will become the largest country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. That means it will be available under the law in seven more NHL cities (it’s been legal to adults in Denver since 2012). The move is a step forward for those who believe marijuana has been stigmatized and should be accepted as a form of treatment.
We spoke to dealers, cannabis farmers and edible bakers about their plans post-legalization.
August 04, 2018
By Dr. Mercola
Marijuana, or cannabis, has been used for at least 5,000 years and has an extensive history of traditional uses as an industrial material and a botanical medicine all throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and America.1
Read on to learn more about medical marijuana’s healing benefits how it has gotten its bad rap and why you’d want your own state to approve its use, too.
The term “medical marijuana” refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant and its pure extracts to treat a disease or improve a symptom.2 It must be sourced from a medicinal-grade cannabis plant that has been meticulously grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
Marijuana’s incredible healing properties come from its high cannabidiol (CBD) content and critical levels of medical terpenes and flavonoids. It also contains some tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule that gives the psychoactive effects that most recreational users are after. Through traditional plant breeding techniques and seed exchanges, growers have started producing cannabis plants that have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC for medical use.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved medical marijuana,3 more and more physicians are starting to reverse their stand on the issue and swear by its effectiveness and health benefits.
In a 2015 CBS interview, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged that marijuana may be useful for certain medical conditions, saying: “We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, marijuana can be helpful.”4
Likewise, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta also made a highly publicized reversal on his marijuana stance after the production of his two-part series “Weed.” In a commentary published on CNN’s website, he said:5
“There is now promising research into the use of marijuana that could impact tens of thousands of children and adults, including treatment for cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, to name just a few.
With regard to pain alone, marijuana could greatly reduce the demand for narcotics and simultaneously decrease the number of accidental painkiller overdoses, which are the greatest cause of preventable death in this country.”
Historically, marijuana has been used as a botanical medicine since the 19th and 20th centuries.6 Today, marijuana’s claim as a potential panacea is backed up by countless studies crediting its healing potential to its cannabidiol content.
There is actually an endocannabinoid system in the human body. This ancient biological system, which also exists in other mammals, was first described in the journal Science in 1992,7 and is said to be responsible for releasing human cannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors found in virtually all your tissues, embedded in your cell membranes.
Cannabinoid receptors can be found in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and immune system. Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor.8
There’s still ongoing research as to how far they impact your health, but to date, it’s known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function.9 Overall, it’s said that cannabinoids bring balance to your tissues and biological systems.
Dr. Allan Frankel, a board-certified internist in California who has successfully treated patients with medical marijuana for more than a decade, has personally seen tumors virtually disappear in some patients using no other therapy except taking 40 to 60 milligrams of cannabinoids a day. Other common ailments that may benefit from medical marijuana use include:
|Arthritis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis10||Degenerative neurological disorders such as dystonia11|
|Multiple sclerosis12||Parkinson’s disease13|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)14||Epilepsy and seizures15|
At present, medical cannabis is now legal in 30 U.S. states. Most of these areas permit its use under certain medical circumstances only, and some allow CBD oils or pills only. In eight states, it’s legal to be used recreationally.17,18
In states where medical marijuana is legal like California, Colorado, Vermont and New York, you can join a collective, or a legal entity consisting of a group of patients that can grow and share cannabis medicines with each other. By signing up as a member, you gain the right to grow and share your medicine.
Frankel notes that a patient who’s at the age of 18 can secure a medical cannabis card recommendation letter if their attending physician or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) advises or agrees to it. With your medical cannabis card, you now have the liberty to choose the collective you want to belong to. Medical marijuana can be administered to patients using one of the following methods:19,20
|Inhalation — Allows the patient to titrate the dosage. It has an instantaneous effect as the medication is rapidly taken into the lungs and quickly absorbed through the capillaries into the bloodstream. The effects of inhaled cannabis will last approximately four hours.|
|Smoking — Can be done using a joint or the cigarette form (hand-or machine-rolled), a pipe, or bong (water pipe). Smoking medical marijuana by joint is believed to be inefficient, though, as the medication goes with the smoke as the cigarette burns. Smoking small amounts using a water pipe is more advisable because the cool smoke is less irritating to the airway. This method is not recommended to anyone with lung damage.|
|Vaporization — Like a nebulizer treatment, cannabis can be heated to a temperature that will release the medication in vapors to be inhaled by the patient.|
|Sublingual (under the tongue) or oramucosal (in the oral cavity) delivery — Made possible using oils or tinctures, it is readily delivered into the bloodstream and provides a rapid effect. Tinctures can be administered through a dropper under the tongue or sprayed in the mouth to be absorbed in the oral cavity. This is highly recommended for nonsmoking patients.|
|Oral ingestion — Nonsmokers can also take medical marijuana through pills or mandibles, which are edible cannabis products in the form of teas, cookies or brownies.
The primary drawback of this approach is that because cannabinoids are fat-soluble, there may be issues when it comes to absorption, depending on the patient’s metabolism. A good workaround for this problem is using cannabis butter, which fat-soluble cannabinoids blend well with.
|Topical application — Cannabis can be applied as an ointment, lotion or poultice for treating skin inflammations, arthritis and muscle pain. It is unclear how cannabinoids are absorbed transdermally, although its credit should also go to the more soluble terpenoids and flavonoids that also have anti-inflammatory properties.|
Keep in mind: Make sure that your medicine has been sourced from a medicinal-grade cannabis plant without the threat of chemical residues, which may cause further harm. It’s also important to find a knowledgeable cannabis physician who can help you determine the correct amount you need, as proper dosing is crucial when using medical cannabis.
Dr. Margaret Gedde, a Stanford-trained pathologist and award-winning researcher who specializes in the therapeutic use of cannabis, says the only concern you’ll have to worry about medical marijuana is the psychoactivity of THC or its ability to make you feel “high.” Too high a dose of THC can also trigger anxiety. You can avoid this side effect by specifically looking for high CBD and low THC marijuana formulations.
“THC can induce anxiety if the dose is wrong or the strain is not compatible with that person. [Still], many use THC to relieve anxiety. Because we have hundreds of different strains of marijuana and cannabis, each of which is slightly different, there is a huge potential to customize [the drug] for each person,” Gedde explains.
She also notes that CBD and THC actually work very well in combination. She notes that CBD actually helps temper the psychoactivity of the THC. What’s more, when the plant is unheated or used raw, it actually does not contain THC, but rather THC acid (THCA). So if you eat it raw, you get the THCA, which is responsible for relieving pain and spasms. THCA acts as a synergizing agent, yet it doesn’t deliver the psychoactivity associated with THC. Hence, consuming marijuana raw will let you reap the benefits without the adverse effects.
The risk brought by different versions of synthetic marijuana should also be considered. Imported from Asian countries under the guise of potpourri, herbal incense and even plant food, the synthetic powder is mixed in a lab and shipped to the U.S., where retailers spray it onto a leaf — often an herb or a spice — that can be smoked, just like pot.
It not only binds to cannabis receptors in your body up to 1,000 times more strongly than standard marijuana, but also produces gripping effects on serotonin and other receptors in your brain. You can’t overdose on real pot, but you CAN overdose on synthetic versions — and it doesn’t take very much.
Most people don’t realize how dangerous synthetic marijuana can be. Unlike medical marijuana, synthetic marijuana not only is void of any healing component, but also may put you at risk of serious side effects, including:21,22
|Cardiac problem||Acute psychosis|
|Tachycardia (an abnormally rapid heart rate)||Hypokalemia (a deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream)|
I highly recommend asking your physician or D.O. about reputable medicinal-grade marijuana plant growers or credible apothecaries near your area that sell natural cannabis products for medicinal purposes.
In one of my interviews with Frankel, he explained how people have forgotten cannabis was once a botanical medicine, and how it became known as a notorious form of illegal drug:
“What happened in the ’60s and ’70s was that due to desires for psychedelia, the changes in the war in Vietnam, and the war on drugs with Nixon, the types of strains that were available and the demand for psychedelia changed. Before we knew it, CBD — due to a lack of ‘stoniness’ — was bred out of the plant.”
As a result of growers breeding out the all-important CBD, marijuana became known primarily as a plant that gets you high. Its original medicinal properties and uses largely fell by the wayside.
Currently in the U.S., marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, a category reserved specifically for the most dangerous illicit drugs, such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ecstasy.23 Based on the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, drugs from this group:24
Personally, I find it disheartening that something as promising as marijuana is being demonized due to inappropriate use.
It’s such a shame, too, that the federal government seemed so careless in approving the recreational use of marijuana (which made the ongoing cycle of substance abuse and addiction in our country even worse), but played it tough when it comes to approving medical cannabis, which could potentially benefit countless of people by improving many conditions and taking the place of a number of synthetic drugs. Who would not want that? Well, clearly, not those whose bottom line would be affected.
Homeopathic remedies have always been under assault, and the case with medical cannabis is a clear example. Despite its outstanding health potential if used in medicinally appropriate methods, it’s still shunned by federal agencies and demonized to be “dangerous” — even though there’s no risk of overdose or death from cannabis, which is something that cannot be said for other conventional remedies like opioids.
It really all boils down to freedom of choice. I believe that if a homeopathic is working for you, then you should be allowed to use it, especially considering the other things you’re allowed to use but expose you to significant if not extreme risks, like alcohol, cigarettes or opioids and certain over-the-counter medications.
I advise you to read my other articles on medical marijuana and watch my interview with Gedde, who also runs a Colorado-based alternative medical practice that specializes in cannabis use. Meanwhile, my interview with Todd Harrison, an attorney who specializes in food and drug law, expands on the current legal status of CBD oil and other homeopathic treatments. You can also read about the history of cannabis in this article “Cannabis: A Lost History,” which includes other helpful resources about the medical benefits of this plant.
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