DENVER, CO - 10/24/2016 - Where’s Weed, a popular mobile app that allows consumers to discover and review local marijuana businesses, has announced the release of “Strain Check-Ins.” Through Where’s Weed, marijuana users can connect with their local community, discover trending strains and review strains at local businesses. “Where's Weed is gamifying strain check-ins in a way proven successful in other verticals," said Tyler Bartholomew, Co-Founder of Where's Weed. "In doing so, we are building upon our already active and organic user base, while also standardizing strain data across the nation. Strains vary from dispensary to dispensary, and we intend to bring clarity to an already explosive market." Users can “check-in” to various strains they are enjoying, tag a business and add their own ratings, review and photos. Taking it a step further, Where’s Weed “gamifies” the experience by rewarding users with “achievement badges” after various strain check-in milestones. “This data is key for dispensary owners as well. The insights gained through users checking-in allows local business owners to better understand the market they’re operating in, which strains are in highest demand, and where gaps exist in the current market landscape,” said Bartholomew. About Where’s Weed Since 2011, Where’s Weed has been the leading cannabis technology company, connecting medical and recreational users with trusted local marijuana businesses in their community. Cannabis users can search and filter for exactly what they’re looking for, whether that be a business, strain, or product. Additionally, users can connect with other members of the community for a daily newsfeed of local offerings and events happening within the cannabis industry.
The newly developing regulations in Oregon's recreational marijuana industry have caused problems for many of the state's concentrate, extract, and edible manufacturers as they're having trouble getting their products properly tested before being ready to sell. Of the 18 accredited testing labs in Oregon, only 4 are able to test for pesticides which is a requirement in the cannabis industry. Several businesses allover the state fear they will have to lay off employees or close their doors permanently due to not being able test and sell the available inventory. The edibles company, Lunchbox Alchemy, was forced to stop production of products now that they have 600,000 cannabis candies awaiting testing, but no connections to a lab. The few labs still able to test using the new regulations have driven up prices and lack availability for the competitive industry. What would normally cost $125 can now cost some retailers thousands of dollars. "There is a fundamental failure going on here," said attorney Amy Margolis, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association, a trade group. "I am getting countdown clocks from clients saying, 'This is how many days I have until I have to shut down.'" "This is not a joke," he said. "We followed all of their rules. If you follow their rules, you cannot succeed. I don't think I am going to make it out of this." "What would have cost $125 is now into the thousands," he said.
Alaska's first marijuana dispensaries will be opening very soon as owners made their way yesterday morning towards the state's first testing facility. With 4 grams of each strain sealed and set aside in tamper-proof containers, CannTest, Alaska's first testing facility, will soon approve the cannabis that passes inspection to be the first legal buds sold to retail dispensaries. Testing facilities were the last link needed to jump start the state's marijuana industry, and now many more marijuana businesses will be opening in the coming weeks. Two Kenai Peninsula growers wasted no time delivering their product to the state's first cannabis testing facility when it opened its doors at 8 a.m. Monday in Anchorage, one of the final steps before Alaskans can legally purchase marijuana. Abel pulled out 10 white containers, labeled and sealed with tamper-proof tape, from a plastic bag within a latched carrying case. In each container was a 4-gram sample of different cannabis strains from his first outdoor harvest. Before marijuana can be sold to consumers, it must be tested for potency and microbials. The opening day for CannTest had been pushed back later than anticipated, so all eyes have been on the testing facility, all other opening dates dependent on the Anchorage lab.
The 8th richest person in the UK, Richard Branson, recently gave a keynote speech at the New West Summit in San Francisco where he spoke to marijuana investors and patients about the futures of the marijuana. "Screw it, just do it" was his advice to those taking risks and adventuring into the legal-gray area that is the marijuana industry. As a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Branson is part of 22 world leaders advocating for the decriminalization and regulation of drugs around the world. In his keynote speech, Branson cited Portugal's 2001 transformation, when they decriminalized many illicit substances like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, and began providing treatment instead of jail. Since 2001, drug-related HIV infections have dropped 90%, and the number of people seeking treatment rose to 60%. The regulation of drugs and treatment of illness has proven to be a better solution for both the the government and it's citizens. The group calls for the decriminalization of all drugs, and believes regulating drugs — rather than "leaving it up to the underworld," Branson says — places a greater emphasis on public health and protects the safety of communities around the globe. he gave the example of Portugal's revolutionary drug policy. In 2001, the small European country decriminalized marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other illicit substances to shift government efforts from locking addicts up to providing treatment. Drug-related HIV infections plummeted over 90% since 2001, while the number of people in drug-treatment rose 60% from 1998 to 2011. The results were astounding. " If I was not part of the global drug commission, I certainly would be out there in this industry," Branson said. "It's an industry with enormous potential, and it can do a lot of good." He ended by saying, "I'm going to go have a spliff, I think."
'I'm lovin' it', 'Have it your way', 'King of Beers', all slogans that most Americans are familiar with, but if several states vote to legalize marijuana next month then marijuana branding could become much more mainstream. The still new industry has created a plethora of competitive businesses, and the only way they'll last is good branding and marketing. The anti-marijuana movement is worried about the future of the marijuana industry, corporate marijuana, and all the advertising and pushing they will do for profit. Prop. 64, California's upcoming legalization initiative, has limits on marketing geared to protect minors under 21. If passed, certain symbols, language, music, and cartoons will be banned from all cannabis marketing, as well as billboards being banned within 1,000 ft of schools, playgrounds and youth centers. Pot is illegal under federal law, meaning California residents probably won’t see television and radio ads for the drug in the near future. But things may change, and Prop. 64 opponents have criticized the measure for leaving the door open for such ads — which are permitted on television and radio broadcasts, as well as online and in print, as long as the typical audience is at least 71.6 percent adult
The legal cannabis industry has pioneered some of the strongest strains of marijuana and marijuana products ever, but the newest trend gaining attention is the low dose edible movement. Also called 'microdosing', the act of eating a minimal portion of cannabis edibles has surfaced as new users and recreational users are mindful of their tolerance. Several companies now have products featuring chocolates, bbq sauce, and even bottled water with 5-10mg of THC that consumers can eat without worry of taking too much. There are no deaths on record associated with ingesting marijuana, however consuming too much cannabis can make the user very uncomfortable. Edibles can take up to 2 hours for the user to feel the effects, which has caused many inexperienced users to eat too much. This has made some wary of cannabis edibles, but many people still prefer the lengthy and healthier buzz that eating marijuana brings. Knoblich says the trend borrows from the pharmaceutical industry, which has heralded the "minimum effective dose" principle in recent years. It's the idea that patients should consume the smallest dose possible that produces a desired outcome without negative side effects. "It's that person looking for a glass of wine or beer in the evening [type] experience," Knoblich says. "We're looking for that person who isn't looking to get blasted."
The United Kingdom has become the next country to legalize the cannabinoid CBD for medicinal purposes, but those caught possessing the flower or buds of the plant still face time in prison. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced that CBD, while not getting the user "high", has the ability to treat forms of cancer, IBS, depression, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. The MHRA says the compound CBD has "restoring, correcting or modifying" properties on a person's physiological functions. The acknowledgement of CBD as medicine is progress for marijuana reform, however a strict CBD-only program can hurt many patients who rely on other forms of cannabis and force them into the black market. “We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine,” a spokesman for the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency told The Huffington Post. The MHRA found that CBD has a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on the human body’s “physiological functions,” the Independent reported. “It’s definitely a positive development,” said Michael Collins, deputy director for the Drug Policy Alliance, but he cautioned that measures pertaining only to CBD can be too limiting for patients.
Cannabis has grown more popular over the last decade and recently more information regarding potential health risks and benefits has started to surface. While researchers know that the health risks of marijuana on adults are minor, the question remains, can pregnant women consume cannabis safely? Relieving arthritis pain for one man and morning sickness for one woman may share cannabis as a similar remedy, however scientists say they need more research to confirm the risks of cannabis on a developing fetus. Currently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends mothers halt marijuana consumption until they're finished breastfeeding, but the list of precautions for pregnant women also include deli meat, fish/sushi, raw eggs, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Cannabis, while having some similar compounds as tobacco, is not shown to be increase the risk for cancer, and in fact the primary compound in marijuana, THC, has been shown to slow the growth of some cancers. A. There’s no level of marijuana use that’s considered “safe” for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, per the experts, just as there’s no safe level of alcohol, tobacco or many other substances. More research is underway. But the American Medical Association feels there’s enough evidence of risk to push for this warning on all marijuana products: “Marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding poses potential harms.”
Marijuana legalization has taken huge strides in the last several years, but the movement is far from done. About 5% of the U.S. population has access to recreational marijuana, and on November 9th that number could shoot up to 25%. There are currently 5 states pushing recreational marijuana initiatives with a chance to pass next month, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada. All 5 states are showing winning results in the polls, but it's important for voters to maintain strong support until the vote. Many experts believe if California legalizes recreational marijuana then the federal government will be forced to follow suit soon after. Ontop of the 5 states considering recreational marijuana, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and Arkansas are all considering medical marijuana initiatives this year. While Florida has shown strong support for legalization, the other states aren't polling as confidently. Measures to legalize and regulate the sale of cannabis are on the ballot in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada, and recent polls show the “yes” vote is winning in all five states. Approval would mark the biggest advance yet for advocates in the decades-long fight over legalizing marijuana—one that they believe could ultimately force the federal government to end its prohibition of the drug. “On November 8, you can safely say we’ve reached the tipping point if these go our way,” said Tom Angell, founder of the group Marijuana Majority. The most important battleground is California, where advocates expect voters to approve personal use of pot six years after they defeated a similar measure. Support for Proposition 64 is polling at nearly 60 percent, and the measure has drawn support from leading politicians and newspapers that opposed it in 2010, including Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom..."
Proposition 205 is Arizona's chance to legalize a recreational marijuana program next month, and while the opposition would have you believe it has no chance, the initiative is actually gaining traction. If passed, the initiative would allow adults over 21 to possess and grow cannabis, as well as purchase it from a retail shop. Those hoping to halt the legal marijuana movement have funded misleading polls and spent millions to slander Proposition 205 with false ads. But despite their best efforts and private financial backing, the odds are on the side of progress as more young liberal voters are expected to take part in this year's presidential election, voters who would likely also support marijuana legalization. For instance, one ARDP ad claims that Denver schools get "nothing" from marijuana taxes, but it's not true, according to Denver Public Schools. A video by the school district explains that Denver doesn't get the tens of millions in marijuana state-tax money, which mainly goes to rural school districts, but that Denver schools do get a small amount of funding from city-level marijuana taxes. The implication, of course, is that Arizona would also get "nothing" from taxing a substance more than 600,000 Arizonans 21 and older already use regularly. In fact, the state's own budget analysts predict that Prop 205 would rake in at least $124 million annually in taxes and fees by 2020
Floridians will soon have their chance to vote on Amendment 2, a medical marijuana initiative that would allow THC products alongside the CBD products already available for medical marijuana patients. Those opposing marijuana legalization seem unaware that Florida already has an operating medical marijuana program with warehouses full of cannabis and ill patients buying medicine. Amendment 2 is only an expansion on the qualifying conditions and available products for patients. In 2014, 57% of Floridians voted yes on an amendment that was similar to this year's, falling short of the 60% needed to pass. If this year's Amendment passes, Doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana after roughly 9 months. An estimated 2,000 shops selling medical marijuana would be regulated by the state. If the amendment passes you could expect: -Patients with Cancer, Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, AIDS, and PTSD to be eligible to use marijuana -Doctors would be allowed to prescribe marijuana within nine months. -The state would regulate shops selling marijuana. Early estimates show there could be as many as 2,000 of them. Pollara said, “I don’t think most people will see any change. Sick people will get the medicine that they need without having to be criminals. Maybe when you are on South Beach instead of a new tattoo parlor, you see a marijuana retail facility but I think by and large most people will see zero impact from this.”
November is right around the corner now and state marijuana initiatives are making the final push to get people aware of the upcoming votes to legalize marijuna in different forms. Rick Steves, an author and TV show host, is doing his part by travelling around the country to advocate for marijuana legalization, and he will soon make his stop in Massachussetts where he's promoting the Yes On 4 Campaign. Ontop of his $100,000 donation to the campaign, Steves brings a common sense approach to the legalization argument. His travels of Europe have opened his eyes to what could be here in the U.S. He says that "pragmatic harm reduction makes much more sense than legislation morality" meaning we should make laws based on real data and focus on less harm instead of the laws written out of fear. Education about marijuana is needed now more than ever as 5 states will soon be voting on recreational marijuana, and 5 more will vote on medical marijuana. “There are so many reasons to end the prohibition on marijuana,” Steves said in a press release. “Whether you’re concerned about the well-being of children, fairness for our minority communities, redirecting money away from criminals and into our state’s coffers, stemming the horrific bloodshed in Mexico, or civil liberties, it is clearly time for a new approach.” “If I work hard all day long and want to go home, smoke a joint, and just stare at the fireplace for three hours, that is my civil liberty,” he added in an interview on YouTube. “To me, high is a place and I really treasure that. When I want to get there, I want to go there, and I don’t need my government to give me a passport for that place.” The travel lover, who resides in Washington State, has been moving around the country in support of legalization during these critical pre-election months as five states prepare to vote for full legalization and five for medical marijuana