Woman Rids Body of Cancer in 4 Months Using Cannabis Oil

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Woman Rids Body of Cancer in 4 Months Using Cannabis Oil

Medical doctors and healthcare personnel alike are stymied by the miraculous cure which recently occurred to Michelle Aldrich who suffered from a deadly form of lung cancer.

Michelle was sixty-six years old at the time. Initially she developed a low-grade fever and cough which she couldn’t shake. Several months later it worsened; she developed signs of a pneumonia which prompted her to seek medical care. Her doctor ordered a CT scan trying to determine what the problem was. The scan revealed a large mass in the central region of the chest consistent with lung cancer.

NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER (NSCLC)

Unfortunately the biopsy and staging of the tumor revealed it to be poorly differentiated, non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) or NSCLC for short, stage three. All lung cancers carry a poor prognosis but this form is particularly aggressive. From the National Cancer Institute:

General Information About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

NSCLC is any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The most common types of NSCLC are squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma, but there are several other types that occur less frequently, and all types can occur in unusual histologic variants. Although NSCLCs are associated with cigarette smoke, adenocarcinomas may be found in patients who have never smoked. As a class, NSCLCs are relatively insensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared with SCLC. Patients with resectable disease may be cured by surgery or surgery followed by chemotherapy. Local control can be achieved with radiation therapy in a large number of patients with unresectable disease, but cure is seen only in a small number of patients. Patients with locally advanced unresectable disease may achieve long-term survival with radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy. Patients with advanced metastatic disease may achieve improved survival and palliation of symptoms with chemotherapy, targeted agents, and other supportive measures.

Incidence and Mortality

Estimated new cases and deaths from lung cancer (NSCLC and SCLC combined) in the United States in 2015 1:

• New cases: 221,200.

• Deaths: 158,040.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. 2 The 5-year relative survival rate from 1995 to 2001 for patients with lung cancer was 15.7%. The 5-year relative survival rate varies markedly depending on the stage at diagnosis, from 49% to 16% to 2% for patients with local, regional, and distant-stage disease, respectively. 3

Michelle was classified with having stage three or T3, involving a number of regional lymph nodes in the chest. A T4 staging means distant nodes were found to be positive for tumor metastasis. Five-year survival vastly decreases from T3 to T4.

Surgically resectable disease is generally stage I, stage II and selected stage III tumors. Generally T3 and T4 use combination modalities since surgery cannot be used solo for cure. One must also use chemotherapy and or radiation.

But let’s face it, survival for this type of cancer hasn’t improved since the war on cancer began in the seventies as Dr Abramson reminds us. In his pivotal book “Overdosed America,” he explains that the age-adjusted death rate for all cancers has actually increased since the “war” began. Put simply: you are no better off today with most cancers than you were 45 years ago. Unless you have the courage to venture outside the conventional medical “box.”

ASTONISHING CURE IN LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS

At best using conventional medicine Michelle had an approximately 49% five year survival and that’s with only local tumor involvement. It drops quickly as you can see from above down to 2% five year survival with distant stage disease.

“I thought I was going to die,” Aldrich says from her Marina District apartment. But she didn’t. And now, she is busy telling anyone who will listen that, along with diet and chemotherapy, a concoction of highly concentrated cannabis oil eliminated her cancer in less than four months. 4

Initially diagnosed in January of 2012 and by April 2013 a repeat CT scan showed a reduction in tumor size by 50%. What tumor remained was surgically removed. Repeat CT scan showed no tumor involvement anywhere in the chest.

Her doctors — one of whom noted the effect of “homeopathic treatments, including hemp oil” to reprogram the cancer cells to kill themselves — “are floored,” she says. “They’ve never seen anything like it.” 5

CONFUSED?

See how confusing the nomenclature is? To clarify, Michelle did not use “hemp oil” she used cannabis oil which is completely different. Specifically she used Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), AKA Phoenix Tears. It is also not homeopathic in any sense of the word. RSO is allopathic all the way; it acts much like a powerful drug, as powerful as any pharmaceutical. In fact, it appears to be much more effective than any chemotherapeutic currently on the formulary.

Using “hemp oil” which is the essential oil extracted from industrial hemp, to treat ANY disease is a fool’s errand. Only authentic cannabis oil can cure cancers. Please be aware of that fact. Industrial hemp is good for food-grade seeds, its bright green oil can be used in salads. It’s also good for textiles and paper but when you want to cure disease you need the big guns that real cannabis employs.

MEET CONSTANCE FINLEY

In the East Bay area of San Francisco where I had my medical practice lives a woman who is very well known to the cancer community. She is a very busy person. While the webpages of the NCI claim that there is no evidence that cannabis cures cancers, we have plenty of real-time and anecdotal case reports of numerous cures of “incurable” late stage, highly aggressive tumors. Some of those reports come from Constance Finley.

Employing the same manufacturing techniques seen on Rick Simpson’s website, she takes a pound of cannabis and reduces it into one ounce of pure medical magic.

This cannabis reduction sauce (essential oil) in its thickened final stage is called Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).

Most oncologists would guffaw over the idea that the sap of a common weed could defy the realm of possibility and outperform the best that Big Pharma can deliver. But it can and it does. The internet is overflowing with anecdotal cures of virtually any cancer regardless of cell type. Doctors and laypersons alike would never believe it was possible were it were not for the scores of bona fide, documented, cases seen by this woman and many others.

She was quoted as saying that there is a world-class oncologist in San Francisco who has already referred 26 “deaths door” patients to her in 2013. All 26 of Finley’s referrals had stage 4 cancers. The patient population included brain tumors, colon cancers, and lung cancers to name a few. Stage four is a death sentence since it means the malignant cells had escaped the primary tumor and metastasized to other organs. Most had only a few months to live, some had less than six weeks. All patients received modern medical treatments such as chemotherapy with the concentrated oil. She reportedly has “cured” all but one of them. That’s a 96% cure rate, the best in the business if it’s true. And it’s not just in San Francisco.

These survival stories are becoming more common. One of the most high-profile was the case of Montana toddler Cash Hyde, diagnosed with a brain tumor at 20 months, whose family credits cannabis oil for keeping the tumor at bay and keeping him alive — until a change in Montana state law cut off his access to oil for a few months. The tumor returned and he died in November, at age four. 6

A LOW PROFILE

Understandably this San Francisco oncologist prefers to keep his name private when being quoted. Even when a powerful remedy like this mops up cancer cells like a Pickwickian tween in a pie-eating contest, academics still prefer to remain hidden lest they succumb to the predictable harassment and ridicule of their peers. Some could easily lose their jobs should they become overzealous reporting the truth that a simple plant extract outperforms the best chemo by an unbelievably wide margin.

One question. When will these oncologists start referring patients to Finley before the system nearly kills them? Imagine how helpful it could be then.

WIDE SAFETY MARGIN

Remember also that RSO is NON-TOXIC. There is no devastating blowback from using it. Contrast this to your typical chemotherapy course which causes blood cancers years later in up to 15% of patients who received chemo at some point earlier in their disease course. Furthermore, chemotherapy is an efficient immune system destroyer. Just what you don’t need when fighting for your life.

Meanwhile, by definition late stage cancer is incurable and always leads to 100% mortality. This makes RSO even more astonishing. That’s because these people are written off by modern medicine as failures where nothing could help them. Sick, emaciated from chemo and radiation, cachectic and nearly dead she revives them like a modern day Lazarus factory.

Take a moment to reflect on this humble fact. It reveals to us the absolute beauty of this incredible, health-regenerating, symphony of phytocannabinoids. A true gift from God.

If it’s all true. And that’s a big if. We need controlled studies now more than ever before. But don’t hold your breath. Clinical trials are ten years away, minimum.

EASY AS BOILING WATER
To make this unpretentious oil is actually very easy. Simply go to Rick Simpson’s website for instructions. The most important of all is that you use a safe solvent for extraction. Aldrich’s providers use Everclear in making what they call “Milagro oil” which is the same as RSO, at Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, CA. Finley’s operation uses isopropyl alcohol which can be toxic in large doses. Theoretically you will boil off all of the isopropyl alcohol but personally I think it’s far better to use ethanol the only truly safe alcohol (in small doses).

Once they have procured the precious oil patients with end-stage disease need to ramp up to an anti-cancer blood level as soon as humanly possible. But the material is extremely potent: a concentrated extract clocking in at around 70% active THC or higher. The oil is a reduction using heat so all of the acidiccannabinoids are converted to psychoactive decarboxylated forms of which THC is a major component.

THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

But it’s not just the THC that they need. All of the 60 phytocannabinoids, decarboxylated and ingested along with the terpenes, and thousands of other mysterious chemicals found in the oil, produce the “entourage effect.” Scientists have speculated that this synergy is the real reason why RSO is so strangely effective. You need whole plant extracts of real cannabis to knock cancer cells into next week. The potent psychoactivity is the biggest hurdle to overcome.

That’s why patients need to start out with a dose that will not pound them into submission the first day which may discourage its use. Practitioners who use the drug regularly recommend starting out with a small rice grain sample of the sticky oil, rub it inside your mouth along the gum line. After that you simply swallow it. From there you quickly work your way up to dosing four times a day or more. For those familiar with the high of cannabis they can accelerate the dosing very quickly if they like the way they feel. You’ll be doing a lot of sleeping since the preparation normally comes from an indica only species. No sativas are used since the preparation becomes too speedy for most patients especially at high dosages. Sleep induces healing. It’s all part of the process: eat, sleep, relax, protect, and don’t forget…forget.

With perseverance one can increase the dose rapidly to full-strength in one week. You’ll want to increase the dosing of a “rice grain” to four time a day or more to achieve a total of one gram per day. So each dose is about ¼ gram. At that point blood levels are high, we start to see the magical entourage effect take place. Tumors shrink and finally disappear to be replaced with healthy cells.

HOW MUCH?

The cost? At a gram per day one needs to take it until the cancer is gone which is at least four months. A pound of quality (organic) Indica which is what they prefer to use to help you sleep and heal, runs about $2,500 to $3,000 in the Bay Area. Aldrich says a three-month regimen costs her $1,200 a month; Finley charges $5,500 for a two-month cycle. 7 That’s pricey but compared to what?

A typical cancer patient caught in the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS) could buy a (used) Bentley with the money they need for chemotherapy and radiation. In the US they will on average spend eighty thousand dollars toward chemotherapeutics during the last two years of life and often die in spite of “cutting edge” therapy. When viewed this way cannabis oil looks exceedingly cheap and very worthwhile. With the added bonus-you get to live.

The statistics tell us either you pay eighty thousand over two years for the right to die in pain, anguish, and loss of dignity; or you shell out eleven thousand on RSO and possibly receive a new lease on life. I don’t know that’s a tough choice.

Furthermore, patients with NSCLC who have survived their ordeal often develop secondary lung cancers years later as a matter of course.

Not so with RSO. Taking a lower maintenance dose of RSO after the tumors disappear is highly recommended since it will help prevent the ignoble recurrence of tumors.

 

Notes:

  1. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2015. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2015. ↩
  2. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2015. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2015. ↩
  3. Ries L, Eisner M, Kosary C, et al., eds.: Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2002. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2005. ↩
  4. (http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/miracle-cannabis-oil-may-treat-cancer-but-money-and-the-law-stand-in-the-way-of-finding-out/Content?oid=2825695) 09/22/2015 ↩
  5. IBID ↩
  6. (http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/miracle-cannabis-oil-may-treat-cancer-but-money-and-the-law-stand-in-the-way-of-finding-out/Content?oid=2825695) 09/24/2015 ↩
  7. IBID ↩

Oregon’s cannabis fair celebrates growing pot industry

 

Junnelle Hogen, The (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal , KHOU 9:34 PM. EST August 14, 2016

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(Photo: Molly J. Smith, Statesman Journal)

SALEM, Ore. — Marijuana leaves of all shapes and sizes lined a competition alcove at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday. The plants were surrounded by hundreds of booths listing technology, agriculture and business innovations in the cannabis growing industry.

“People say we’ve ‘Microsofted’ the cannabis industry,” joked organizer Mary Lou Burton.

The weekend even was the first marijuana growers fair in Oregon, hosted at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Sponsored by the state marijuana business council, and with presentations from state agencies regulating the newly legalized industry, it highlighted a number of desires from Oregon entrepreneurs and businesses to turn the state into a go-to region for marijuana.

“It’s no longer a black market. It’s a burgeoning market,” said Caleb Hoffman of Colorado. He said he reserved a hotel room for the weekend to attend the fair, to draw inspiration from state innovators.

Saturday afternoon, the fair also hosted the first cannabis live plant competition in the state, featuring 51 leafy plants. Five judges led by Ed Rosenthal, the styled “guru of ganja” by admirers, picked out nine winners for sativa, hybrid and indica varieties.

Several of the winners came from the outskirts of Salem. Danny Grimm and Nathan Martinez hugged after the winning results, and proudly displayed blue ribbons.

The two men, with the cannabis farm Uplifted, won first in two categories, boasting honed indica and sativa plants.

They say they are planning to switch to pure recreational marijuana grows in a few months, and are signing a lease on a new 50,000-square-foot facility, in place of their local 5,000-foot facility.

“I’ve been growing plants for 12 years,” said Grimm. “It’s basically trial and error. It has molded our company into what it is today.”

Portland winner Daniel DeMeulle, whose stocky offering placed first in the hybrid category, is a home grower. He decided to enter the competition “on a whim,” and has been honing techniques from online tutorials.

“The internet, books, trial and error. That’s about it,” DeMeulle said.

The winning plants will resurface at the fairgrounds for the Oregon State Fair in two weeks. Due to controversy with the 4-H, and concern from parents that their kids might get hold of the leafy plants, they will be featured in a separate greenhouse guarded by volunteers, who will card onlookers, only admitting people ages 21 and older.

The upbeat nature of the fair contrasted with a recent ruling from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

On Thursday, the DEA announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose on the federal level, retaining its standing as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Fair administrators found this was a deterrent before the fair. Because of the illegal federal standing, FCC regulations kept them from advertising the event.

Instead, they put a “mobile billboard” on a car to draw in passersby.

Several growers and organizers said they hoped the federal deterrent might keep the Oregon industry out of the hands of big businesses.

Already, the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates the government will take in $43 million from pot taxes this year.

“We have hurdles to jump through,” said Burton. “But where we’re at right now is our silver lining. We’re going to have a couple more years before the big boys come on board.”

 

Buyer Beware: Oregon’s First Marijuana Investor Fraud Scandal

Aug 1, 2016 at 4:20 PM

I can’t count the number of times I’ve warned potential investors that the cannabis industry is rife with fraud and bad behavior. With legalized cannabis still a relatively new industry and with states constantly changing their cannabis regulations, fraudsters can have a field day.


Cue the bizarre (though unsurprising) case of Portland-based dispensary,
Cannacea, and allegations of cannabis investor fraud swirling around it.I can’t count the number of times I’vewarned potential investors that the cannabis industry is rife with fraud and bad behavior. With legalized cannabis still a relatively new industry and with states constantly changing their cannabis regulations, fraudsters can have a field day.

Last week, as reported by The Oregonian, “[t]he Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services [“Department”] ordered Tisha Siler, CEO of a Northeast Portland pot dispensary called Cannacea, to pay $40,000 in fines for multiple violations of state securities law, including selling securities without a license.” You can read the Department’s order against Cannacea and Siler here.

According to the order, in November 2014, Green Rush Consulting, a California cannabis consulting company which “worked with a felon previously convicted in a financial scam,” helped Cannacea and Siler come up with a private placement memorandum for potential investors of Cannacea. The Department found this PPM contained multiple misrepresentations, probably the most egregious of which was that “Oregon regulators contacted and specifically invited Siler to ‘open cannabis dispensaries in Oregon,’ and that ‘Oregon regulators stated they would ‘pre-approve’ or ‘green light’ up to six of Respondents’ medical cannabis dispensary applications, ‘ensuring [Siler] would sail smoothly through the application process.’ This ‘pre-approval’ or ‘green light’ was emphasized repeatedly throughout the PPM. In truth and in fact, no such statements were made by any Oregon regulator.” Out of all of the suspect PPMs the cannabis business lawyers in my firm have seen (which are many), this takes the cake as the most outrageous since no regulatory authority would ever make such a promise to anyone.

The facts get even more interesting:  In connection with the creation of the PPM, Siler provided Green Rush with a letter, dated October 16, 2014, that was purportedly from the Oregon Health Authority Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program (the “MMDP Letter”). The MMDP Letter represented that Cannacea had received a ‘green light’ from MMDP for six dispensary locations. In truth and in fact, the MMDP Letter was a fraudulent document. Specifically, the MMDP Letter: was created on letterhead that is not used by MMDP; contained fabricated statements, and; contained a forged signature of a regulator that did not even work in the MMDP. Upon information and belief, the MMDP Letter was created by Siler, or by another at her direction.

The result from all of this is that Cannacea and Siler cannot do any business in Oregon, and both Cannacea and Siler are jointly and severally responsible for $40,000 worth of civil penalties assessed against them by the Department. And while Green Rush Consulting is allowed to continue its consulting service in the state, Green Rush Consulting is “prohibited from engaging in any business activity related to securities in Oregon without permission from the Department of Consumer and Business Services.”

The foregoing is a cautionary tale for investors, marijuana businesses, and state regulators. Far too often, state regulators are too bogged down with satisfying current federal enforcement priorities to deal with the actual business of marijuana. So, I applaud the State of Oregon for setting an example for other states by actually taking relatively swift action here. As the industry matures in all states that seek to legalize, fraudster companies and at least some “cannabis consultants” will no doubt continue to take advantage of unwitting investors. In turn, state securities regulators should be setting their own guidelines for how to better prevent this kind of fraud. In the meantime, be careful out there and exercise caution when you receive a multimillion-dollar cannabis private placement.

 

Oregon Cannabis Legalization: State Fair Will Display Blue Ribbon Winning Marijuana Plants

BY @LYDIATOMKIW ON 07/29/16 AT 9:09 AM

Amid the chocolate layer cake bake off, the homebrew competition and displays of curvy vegetables, something new will be making an appearance at the Oregon state fair in August: marijuana.

In a sign of changing times as voters face questions of legalization across the U.S., marijuana growers in Oregon will compete for blue ribbons alongside other agricultural products.

“We regularly reach out to the community with some form of education, to de-stigmatize the industry and the plant,” Don Morse, chair of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, told leafly.com earlier this week. “For the people at the state fair to let this happen is really groundbreaking.”

marijuanaA cannabis plant is pictured at the “Weed the People” event as enthusiasts gather to celebrate the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon July 3, 2015. Smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on July 1, fulfilling the first step in a voter-approved initiative that will usher in a network of legal weed retail stores in 2016, similar to the systems already operating in neighboring Washington state and Colorado.PHOTO: REUTERS/STEVE DIPAOLA

The state’s growers will showcase their winning plants at the fair that runs from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 in Salem, Oregon. Over 60 growers are expected to show off their leafy greens at the Oregon Cannabis Fair from Aug. 13 to 14 where three winners will be selected in three categories: sativa, indica and hybrids.

“This is really a reflection of where Oregon is now as a state,” Dan Cox, a spokesman for the fair, toldthe Oregonian. He said the state fair is meant to be a reflection of Oregon’s agricultural sector which has seen an uptick in marijuana farming.

“We are doing it 4H style,” Cox said. “You get a blue, purple or yellow ribbon. We are celebrating the plant as a farm crop from Oregon.”

Oregon has approved medical marijuana use and in 2014 legalized adult recreational consumption of the leafy green plant. Sales of recreational marijuana began in the Beaver State in October 2015.

The plants will be on display in the fair’s greenhouse and visitors must be 21 years old or older to enter the building and no smoking of any of the plants is allowed. A security guard will monitor the display.

Whoever takes home the grand prize will have the distinction of being the first blue ribbon winner in the U.S. of a plant that is still banned by the government, the Los Angeles Times reported.

 

 

 

Pot-themed golf tourneys becoming the new normal

Cannabuzz: The Rise of Canna Bullies

pot1-weedleafNot Everyone in the Cannabis World Is Chill

“That’s the thing about people who smoke weed,” said a friend to me recently. “They are some of the most laid-back, easygoing people I’ve ever met.”

We were talking about how people who have just consumed cannabis behave compared to those who have consumed alcohol. And within the context of that particular comparison, I absolutely agreed.

But recently, I’ve found the exact opposite to be true. And after conversations with others in the cannabis industry, I’m beginning to rethink my position. Because there is some truly fucked-up behavior going on, and it’s not helping anyone.

It wasn’t always like this—and by “always,” I mean prior to July 1, 2015, when Measure 91 went into effect. Sure, up until then, there were the normal squabbles and ego fits you might expect, but they remained pretty low-key. (“Bro, I grow weed waaaay danker than that trash, bro.”) (“Bro, that pound was light by eight grams. Eight grams, bro.”) (“I think his weed has bug feces all over it.”)

I started to notice a strong uptick in trash talk once dispensaries started selling to adult recreational buyers. No great shock—where there is money to be made, people don’t always behave at their best.

But then I started seeing some truly vitriolic postings on social media. People began attacking groups and individuals, in strings of increasingly hate-filled diatribes. The blocking of other profiles started to rise.

A wholesaler I know was asked by a potential client if the trim they carried had been blasted with butane prior to sale, explaining he’d heard from three individuals in Southern Oregon that was the case. The individuals in question had a beef with one of the wholesalers, and had taken to spreading false rumors about their products.

And some other people I’ve spoken to had experiences so hateful and disturbing that they asked I not share what they endured.

I’ve been immune, thankfully, until two weekends ago. I was responsible for booking speakers for the main stage at a local hemp conference—”main stage” being a terribly grand way to overstate the 14-inch-high platform pushed into a corner of an Expo Center hall, so near the concessions window that I could hear every order called out. I booked seven speakers for that main stage, with additional speakers booked into the various breakout rooms upstairs.

A “History of Hemp” expert I’d booked contacted me, ranting at some length that she had been mistakenly “relegated” to one of the breakout rooms, and that shedemanded to be placed onto the main stage. I explained we wouldn’t be able to accommodate her request, as the speakers had all been booked a month ago, but the breakout rooms at past hemp conventions had been standing-room-only events, and I was sure she would be speaking to a packed crowd.

The day before the convention started, I received a text. “I will absolutely be speaking on the main stage,” she informed me. “I will do this even if I have to remove whoever is on the stage at 12:30 in order for me to get on the stage. There is no changing my time, and I trump Josh. Josh, that’s how it is, and all you need to do now is retreat and say ‘Yes ma’am’ or not, but it’s over. I’m on the main stage, do not fuck any further with me.”

The emails that followed were even more profane and unhinged, and again, this was all about a 30-minute talk about hemp. We accommodated her request out of pity, only to have her hit the stage 15 minutes late to speak to a grand total of four people.

I get that the canna industry is taking a toll, with long hours, obscenely high fees, and ill-informed decisions being made by regulators with no real love for the plant. These are stressful days. And while I don’t believe we will all be kumbaya cuddle buddies, we have to do better. Threatening each other and trying to destroy each other’s businesses doesn’t serve anyone’s best interests. In case you’ve forgotten, weed is the ultimate chill-out tool. If we’re finding we can’t all get along, then let’s all get a bong and take a time out.

Why Seattle Is Failing at Pot Tourism

The City’s Regulatory Restrictions Are Partially a Result of Washington’s New Law Eliminating the Medical Marijuana Marketweed-mag

by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act.

By all accounts, Denver’s cannabis tourism economy is thriving. As highlighted by a recent New York Times article, potheads are gallivanting about the city, dabbing on minibuses, visiting cannabis concierges, and reclining poolside with joints at cannabis-friendly lodgings. PotGuide.com lists more than a dozen cannabis-friendly hotels in Denver alone, plus bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs, as well as more than a dozen “social lounges” in Colorado, but no such businesses in Washington State. Why?

Our regulatory climate has a lot to do with it. While there are certainly bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs in Seattle that advertise as cannabis-friendly, they aren’t legally allowed to do so. That’s because any business—even a business operating out of a private home—that advertises itself as cannabis-related must have a cannabis business license with the city. “If a hotel were to advertise marijuana-specific rooms, it would likely bring them under the umbrella of the city licensing ordinance, which allows for it with a license, but those licenses cannot exist under current state law,” said Julie Moore, communications director for the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department. Public consumption is illegal under state and city law.

According to David Watkins, general manager of the Inn at the Market and a former board member of the Seattle Hotel Association, hotels don’t advertise themselves as cannabis-friendly but simply look the other way. “No hotels downtown have smoking rooms,” he noted. “If we smell marijuana in the hallway, we will ask the guest to stop smoking. We have to do that every once in a while. We won’t call the cops. But if someone’s eating an edible cookie in their room, that’s their business.”

In Colorado, lodging facilities are allowed to let guests smoke marijuana in up to 25 percent of their rooms, according to David Rowland, citywide communications adviser for the City and County of Denver. However, they cannot charge guests for marijuana, nor can they offer free products to guests by charging $100 above market rate for a room, as one cannabis bed-and-breakfast was doing. In fact, Denver has clamped down on illegal consumption, raiding at least two cannabis lounges recently. (In Seattle, hotels are also allowed to designate up to 25 percent of their rooms for smokers, though actively allowing cannabis consumption is verboten.)

There’s also the matter of city pot tours. Denver boasts about a dozen tours, while Seattle has only three. Rowland said Denver’s law regarding cannabis consumption inside vehicles is similar to open container laws. “If you’re in a limo or private shuttle or something like that, the driver obviously can’t have it and no one in the front passenger seat,” he said. “But the back of the vehicle, that is allowed for.”

In Washington, passengers of commercial vehicles are not allowed to have open containers of pot, let alone smoke it. Pot must be in the original sealed container and stored behind the backseat or in the trunk.

On a recent Kush Tour in Seattle, I spent three and a half hours in and out of a van, looking at pot, talking about pot, and thinking about pot, but was strictly prohibited from actually smoking any pot. At the end, my guide announced the tour was over, ushered us to a well-ventilated lounge area in the privately owned Seven Studios building, informed us that we were cordially and privately invited by the glassblowing studio to “hang out,” and then left.

“The official answer is ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Michael Gordon, cofounder of Kush Tourism, when asked about the work-around. “When the tour ends, it’s no longer our responsibility, but they do have that lounge up there and people do seem to meander up that way.”

David Blandford, vice president of communications for Visit Seattle, said that while he’d like to market the city as a cannabis destination, his hands are tied: “Visit Seattle and other marketing organizations have to be cautious about how they advertise or promote to travelers. Legally, we’re not in a position where we can promote usage other than home-based. It does create a lot of challenges for a marketing organization.”

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052), which specifically prohibits cannabis consumption in any business. Regardless of Seattle’s feelings on the matter—City Attorney Pete Holmes is a notable advocate for well-regulated, responsible public consumption facilities—state law takes precedence and the city is obligated to enforce it.

In the meantime, Seattle is leaving a whole lot of cash on the table—although how much is hard to say. “Marijuana tourism is so new that there really is very little [data] out there, it’s all anecdotal,” said Blandford. The evidence, however, points to stacks on stacks. “April is the highest month in revenue for legal marijuana in Colorado,” he said. “[Four-twenty] brought an influx of travelers to Colorado for this marijuana holiday.”

The time to update Washington’s laws on public consumption is, said Gordon, within “the next year and a half, because California is going to go [legal].”

“We have the opportunity right now to brand ourselves as a tourism destination,” he continued. “It’s obvious that we’re failing when you look at the tourism dollars coming into Colorado.”

Microsoft, marijuana industry software firm announce deal

BY KAREN TURNER

Microsoft becomes the first major tech firm to attach its name to the legal pot industry.

America’s burgeoning weed industry just seems to be climbing higher.

Tech giant Microsoft announced Thursday it is partnering with a cannabis industry-focused software company called Kind Financial. The company provides “seed to sale” services for cannabis growers, allowing them to track inventory, navigate laws, and handle transactions all through Kind’s software systems. The partnership marks the first major tech company to attach its name to the burgeoning industry of legal marijuana.

While most big tech companies have been shy to get involved, tech start-ups have been flocking to the up-and-coming pot trade, which is fully legal for both recreational and medical purposes in five states. The weed industry’s specific needs for data tracking to optimize plant growth and other logistics, as well as its booming market potential, make it well-suited for tech partnerships. “Nobody has really come out of the closet, if you will,” said Matthew Karnes, the founder of marijuana data company Green Wave Advisors, to The New York Times. “It’s very telling that a company of this caliber is taking the risk of coming out and engaging with a company that is focused on the cannabis business.”

This hesitancy comes from the still murky legal status of marijuana in most of the country. Marijuana is still illegal nationwide, and the risk of crackdowns where federal and state laws contradict have discouraged many banks from working with marijuana businesses. There are also risks in taking a weed business across state lines where it could have a different legal standing. And there’s always the danger that a change in government leadership, say with a changing Presidential administration, could result in a backtracking of relaxed weed laws.

Then there are the potentially negative association. “My company has stayed away from investing in the cannabis industry because it’s like investing in the porn industry,” said Zach Bogue, a venture capital investor. “I’m sure there’s a lot of money to be made but it’s just not something we want to invest in.”

Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, sees marijuana software and Microsoft as a natural pairing. “If you are trying to go big macro strategy at a company like Microsoft, and you want a super diverse portfolio, and you’re located largely in a place where you can visibly see the marijuana commerce happening, and of course maybe your employees and others are engaged in that commerce, why wouldn’t the company invest in it?” he said.

He adds that he believes that Microsoft association with legal weed will ultimately be helpful in the legalization effort. (Microsoft is based in Redmond, Washington, a state that has legalized marijuana for recreational use.) The legitimacy it lends will make it easier for marijuana producers to go about business, citing growers who see their ad dollars refused by corporations who don’t want to be associated with the substance. “Having a brand name like Microsoft will definitely catch people’s attentions,” he said.

He also thinks the partnership could have an affect on legislation. “Microsoft has a leviathan lobbying effort up here in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Illegal Dealers Owe Thanks to Washington State’s Marijuana Regulators

| June 14, 2016

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The state’s doomed scheme for a centrally planned market in pot creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market in the stuff.

Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and the first retail store opened in 2014 in a popular move widely hailed as a success for reform. So how come the authorities are moving to close a pot shops across the state in just a few weeks? Are they actually trying to revive the black market in pot?

Probably not. More likely, political hubris and managerial ambition have overwhelmed basic knowledge of how economic incentives work.

Tacoma ranks among the municipalities where new licensing regulations will have a major impact on the marijuana market, potentially inconveniencing consumers and creating a huge opening for those willing to work outside official channels.

“Last August, there were close to 70 unlicensed operators in Tacoma,” noted The News Tribune last week. But a 2015 law merged the medical and recreational markets and required all vendors to be licensed—with a strict cap on the number of permitted retailers. “Tacoma is limited by the state to 16 retail licenses, and a recent city ordinance requires every retail operator to also get a medical endorsement to provide for those with medicinal needs,” the article added.

So, let me get this straight. A market that sustained 70 businesses will be adequately served by 16 after the rest are closed by government order? That’s the official story, and politicians and bureaucrats are sticking to it.

Statewide, “the former retail store cap of 334 was lifted to a new cap of 556. The recommendation followed an analysis of the entire marijuana marketplace by the state’s contracted research organization, BOTEC Analysis Corporation,” according to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

“We illustrate the methods and tools for two particular target numbers of stores statewide: 200 and 330, BOTEC noted in a 2013 report before the recent legal change. Still, the company hedged its bets. “[B]ut we do not necessarily endorse either as the ‘correct’ number.”

Washington’s “current grow canopy license limits are sufficient to supply both the recreational and MMJ markets” the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law and Policy Projected predicted separately. The group also hedges and notes “we defer to WSLCB to make that determination.”

That’s right. A quarter-century after the Soviet Union did a face-plant into the ash heap of history, Washington state officials are trying to centrally plan the market for marijuana.

This sort of micromanaged legal-but-only-sort-of market is a characteristic of state officials who were forced to change the law by voters and not as a matter of their own preferences. To carefully control the implementation of the voters’ will, they brought in a consultant who perfectly reflected their reluctance: public policy professor Mark Kleiman. Kleiman is a sort of middle-way type on the marijuana issue, favoring legal reform out of conviction that full prohibition has been counter-productive—not as a weed cheerleader or out of a commitment to personal choice.

“The free market is an excellent system for maximizing consumption. That’s why I don’t want it to apply to this product,” he told an interviewer an interviewer at UCLA where he worked before moving to New York University. “I wouldn’t want that system for alcohol either, but we lost that battle.”

In the same interview, he expressed a preference for state stores, non-profit vendors, and high prices that would make marijuana available, but not cheap or convenient.

Kleiman, by the way, is the head of BOTEC Analysis.

I’ll note here that Kleiman is a tad prickly and has tangled with Reason’s Jacob Sullum over marijuana issues, even when they are in general agreement.

But black market dealers don’t appear just because marijuana—or anything else—is technically outlawed; they arise when restrictions drive prices up, restrict availability, or both, and leave an opening for vendors willing to flout the law to satisfy demand. Eric Garner was killed by New York City cops in a confrontation rooted in his sale of loosies—loose cigarettes—in defiance of state and city tax rules. Cigarettes are legal, but so heavily taxed and restricted as to invite illegal dealers to enter the market and make a buck.

As a former dope dealer myself, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that severely restricting the availability of “legal” marijuana (and otherwise jacking the price with a 37 percent excise tax) creates a wonderful opportunity for black market dealers. Even before the latest change, Washington’s underground economy in marijuana was thriving despite its nominally legal status.

BOTEC’s reports for the state fully acknowledges the existence of the black market. Kleiman and company’s latest submission grants that the scope of illicit sales is not entirely knowable and “the feasible range covers as low as $60 million and as high as $740 million.” In fact, “Due to the considerable amount of uncertainty in the estimation process, as well as the rapidly changing nature of cannabis markets in Washington at present, it is valuable to reference feasible ranges rather than a single point estimate.” That is, the whole marijuana market is too dynamic and in flux to get a firm handle on its size.

So, with “rapidly changing” markets, how do you predict, as a central planner, “sufficient” production capacity? Or the magic number of retail outlets to satisfy demand?

The answer is that you can’t. Central planners can never respond to shifting supply and demand as quickly as buyers and vendors can in their multitude of independent transactions. That’s why central planning failed in the old Soviet Union, and why it can’t any more effectively serve the trade in marijuana in one state. And unable to satisfy buyers, it will inevitably leave room for sellers who don’t care what officials think ought to be.

Washington’s impossible scheme for a centrally planned market in marijuana creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market in the stuff.

New Research Reveals Why You Can Never Overdose on Cannabis

Medical-Marijuana-Regina-Bed-buds-ReginaResearchers have found a hormone that’s being produced naturally by the brain whenever THC levels tend to rise over the limit. In other words, marijuana has a ‘self-limiting’ effect triggered by the brain whenever cannabis users smoke or ingests too much of the herb, thus making overdosing on cannabis virtually impossible.

No matter how much cannabis you smoke or ingest, chances of dying from an overdose are extremely unlikely. Intrigued by this ‘defense mechanism’, a team of French researchers decided to furtherly investigate the phenomenon, and they came across a natural hormone that’s reversing marijuana intoxication in rats.

Author of the study, Dr. Pier Vincenzo Piazza, gave more details about their little experiment. Whenever they exposed rats to a high dose of THC, they released a hormone called pregnenolone which acts as a shield for marijuana’s intoxicating effects.

When the brain is stimulated by high doses of THC, it produces pregnenolonea 3,000 percent increase – that inhibits the effects of THC.”

In other words, cannabis has its own ways of taking care of you. How is that for a plant that’s still seen as a risk drug worldwide?

The study was originally intended at developing a treatment for cannabis addiction, but the results evolved in a different and surprising way. The authors of the study conceive using pregenolone as a possible treatment for addiction, and the recent research on rats succeeded in identifying the auto-defense mechanism used by the brain to deal with an otherwise deadly cannabis overdose.

Where the buzz is created….

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