Category Archives: technology

Oregon Sets Massive Precedent — Refuses to Enforce THC Blood Limit for Driving

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Photo Credit: Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office
The state is leading the way by insisting that science and evidence prevail when it comes to marijuana and DUID.

There’s a lot to be said for states that have legalized recreational and/or medical cannabis, but even Colorado and Washington have one problem – arbitrary blood-THC limits which imply a driver is impaired.

These numbers, such as Washington’s 5ng/ml, have no scientific basis for assessing the level of impairment. Despite this, six states with legal weed have per se limits for tetrahydrocannabinol; being over that number automatically makes you guilty of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Oregon, however, is bucking the trend. In its DUI Legislative Report, the state’s Liquor Control Commission said it is recommending against a per se THC limit. By relying on the actual state of science, this welcome exercise in rationality should set an example for other states setting up their own regulatory framework.

Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission was tasked in 2015 with “regulating the recreational marijuana market in Oregon, with studying the question of THC-related intoxicated driving.”

According to the report:

Due to restrictions on cannabis research and limited data, it is difficult to make definitive statements about the risk of THC-intoxicated driving. The body of evidence that does exist indicates that while attitudes towards driving after marijuana use are considerably more relaxed than in the case of alcohol, the risk of crashes while driving under the influence of THC is lower than drunk driving. Little evidence exists to compel a significant change in status quo policy or institute a per se intoxication standard for THC.

widely-reported study by the American Automobile Association in 2016 found no scientific basis for blood-THC limits and called on the six states using such laws to abandon them. Chemical tests for THC have not been shown to correlate to things like brake and gas pedal coordination, distance perception and general attention.

The only thing we know about blood-THC and driving is that it is not comparable to the tests for alcohol impairment. There is no THC breathalyzer test, and urine tests cannot detect it. Some blood tests can distinguish between THC and its longer-lasting metabolites, but these levels can vary widely depending on how often the person uses cannabis. Test results will also vary based on whether one smoked or ate the cannabis.

One person can feel impaired at 5ng/ml while another can function with no detectable impairment. In fact, many people charged with DUID based on arbitrary blood-THC limits have convinced juries they were not impaired when they were pulled over.

Even so, driving studies show driving while on cannabis is far less dangerous than driving on alcohol, including one finding virtually no driving impairment from cannabis. Other studies have found that speed is typically reduced while driving on cannabis, and people deliberately compensate for any impairment, although multitasking was somewhat affected.

In no way does this mean anyone can just toke up and get behind the wheel. Cannabis is psychoactive, and people unaccustomed to cannabis – especially teenagers – should certainly refrain from driving.

The Oregon Commission’s report also supports the premise that cannabis users are more responsible drivers than alcohol use.

The rate of drivers tested by Drug Recognition Experts who are positive for THC intoxication rose between 2013 and 2014, but did not increase following legalization. Fatal accidents data is highly variable year-to-year, making trend analysis difficult. But in Oregon in 2015 there were only three more traffic fatalities involving a driver testing positive for THC compared to 2004. Moreover, the rate of THC-related fatal accidents is also considerably lower than such accidents involving alcohol intoxication. Finally, while overall traffic fatalities and alcohol-related fatalities spiked in 2015, THC-related fatalities did not.

As a spokesman for AAA noted when their study was published, the increased risk from driving on cannabis is about the same as driving with a “noisy child in the back of the car,” and only half as dangerous as talking on a hands-free cellphone (legal in all states).While thankfully avoiding an arbitrary blood-THC limit recommendation, the Oregon Commission still felt compelled to offer advice on cannabis and driving. It recommended increasing the use of “Drug Recognition Experts” who administer lengthy sobriety tests specific to cannabis, as well as implementing a voluntary oral swab test to collect data.

Portland startup Phylos Bioscience raises funds to bring a scientific approach to the cannabis industry

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The Phylos Galaxy, an interactive genetic map of cannabis strains, was the result of collaboration between Phylos Bioscience and the American Museum of Natural History. (Click for interactive graphic)

When Mowgli Holmes moved back to his home state of Oregon in 2013, the cannabis industry was beginning to take off in a big way — but as a molecular and evolutionary biologist, Holmes was surprised by the lack of research into cannabis as an agricultural plant.

“This new industry was taking shape really rapidly all around me, and it had no science driving it,” Holmes said. “All the basic science that we have for every other crop just doesn’t exist, and people are just running with zero knowledge.”

Holmes and co-founder Nishan Karassik started PhylosBioscience in 2014 to fill that gap in understanding. A new investment round will help the company expand its infrastructure in support of a new phase in its development. Phylos has raised $1.4 million of a planned $5.5 million round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“We’re going to be getting an Oregon State cannabis research license, and starting to do the basic genetics research that will help breeders develop new plant varieties,” Holmes said.

Phylos has spent the last two years developing tools to help cannabis breeders and growers learn about the genetics of their crop, including the Phylos Genotype, a tool that catalogs the DNA of  individual plants. Holmes said a commercial version of the tool is planned for release in two weeks.

The startup also partnered with the American Museum of Natural History on the Cannabis Evolution Project, a two-year research project which tested the DNA of thousands of cannabis samples to produce an evolutionary map of the crop. The project also resulted in the Phylos Galaxy, an interactive visualization of the data, including the genetic relationship between cannabis strains.

“We tried to make it so that the basic visualization of the genetic structure of the population would be interactive, so people could play with it and zoom around in it and learn from it,” Holmes said.

Holmes also pointed out that, unlike in many agricultural industries, genetic information can be as valuable and interesting to a consumer as it is to growers and breeders. Holmes now serves as Phylos Bioscience’s chief science officer, and Karassik as its CEO. The startup employs 15 people at its headquarters in downtown Portland.

Woman Rids Body of Cancer in 4 Months Using Cannabis Oil

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MEDICALMARIJUANA.CO.UK – News, information and discussion on the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabis extracts.

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 ↩

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.

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.

Seattle-based tech company binds itself to cannabis industry

May 9, 2016, 1:43pm PDT  Coral Garnick

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    Kelly Ogilvie is CEO of DeepCell Industries, a new company that licenses technology to… more

Through a new licensing agreement between two Washington-based companies, cannabis-infused sugar and salt can make its way to the state’s recreational retail marijuana market.

Seattle-based DeepCell Industries developed a technology to fuse THC from marijuana with crystals, like salt and sugar. Now, Green Labs, a licensed producer/processor in Raymond, have inked a deal to manufacture and distribute DeepCell’s brands.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DeepCell has three brands so far, Ruby (THC-infused sugar), Sapphire (THC-infused salt) and Emerald (THC-infused no-calorie sweeter). Ruby is currently in the process of being approved by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and DeepCell CEO Kelly Ogilvie expects Green Labs to submit Sapphire and Emerald for approval in the fall.

The industry standard right now for pot-infused edible products is butters and oils. Though infusing those products changes their flavor, Ogilvie said.

“What we are trying to do is unlock a new corner of edibles by allowing not just candies, gummy bears, cookies and brownies,” Ogilvie said.

Dosed packets of the DeepCell branded products will be available at recreational pot stores for use in say lemonade and coffee or to season a steak or pasta sauce. They could also be used in baking so a brownie can taste like a brownie.

The names and design of the products are marketed toward women and people who would drink a glass of wine or sip a scotch, versus taking shots or chugging a beer. This means no pot leafs on the packaging and a focus on quality ingredients.

One thing Ogilvie is sure to make clear, and it says it on almost every page on the website: DeepCell does not ever touch the marijuana.

The reason: Ogilvie actually left his job as senior policy advisor in Gov. Jay Inslee’s office in November to become the CEO of DeepCell. So, he knows the rules and regulations of the industry better than most.

A friend of Ogilvie came up with the technology to infuse crystals with the THC from cannabis, but Ogilvie saw the market possibilities to go beyond what started as a sugar tablet for the medical marijuana industry.

Because DeepCell can license its technology to regulated companies across state lines, it has even bigger market potential than just Washington’s recreational scene.

“So, we forgo some of that margin,” Ogilvie said about not producing the products within DeepCell itself. “But, it allows us to keep an arms distance from the licensing process and it allows us to cross state lines.”

Tracking chips will follow Oregon marijuana products

Nina Mehlhaf, KGW 6:46 PM. PDT April 19, 2016

tracking_oregon_pot_1461113172857_1763362_ver1-0PORTLAND, Ore. — Tracking pot from seed to sale.

The state of Oregon is starting to train marijuana growers, processors and store on new technology to make sure marijuana stays legally in our borders. This uses the same kind of chip that pets get from the humane society.

It’s the software that will put Oregon’s pot market on the same level as any corporation-organized inventory, tracked delivery and point of sale records.

It’s from a company called Metrc. Colorado uses it as well. Washington uses something similar.

A blue barcode starts in the soil. Inside the tag is a chip with a serial number that is read by an RFID scanner.

As the plant grows, the same numbered tag moves to a branch, then a sticker for pot products that head to stores where customers will buy it. The state keeps track of every move.

“One, it keeps everything that’s grown and produced in the regulated market, in the market so we can see if there are any diversions to the illegal market, it also prevents illegal product from entering the legal market,” said Mark Pettinger, spokesperson for the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Division.

That’s important because every legal weed product is lab tested at least once for pesticides, mold and THC levels. It can’t be sold if it’s not clean.

The state paid $1.6 million for the software, but each grower and marijuana store will use it for free.

Casey Rivero is a grower in Hillsboro. He says the tracking system legitimizes the cannabis industry and gives piece of mind.

“Having that accountability from the beginning, I feel is really important,” Rivero said.

If Oregon pot ends up illegally across state lines before it’s sold to the public, the state can track down who had possession of it last, and their license might go up for review. It’ll be helpful on the road too.

“If someone takes it out of the system for transport, from A to B, it shows it’s in transit. They can show that document to a law enforcer and it’ll have our mark on it, and it will show that it’s legal and verifiable,” said Rivero.

Up until now, medical marijuana growers have been providing the recreational product. Starting April 29, licenses just for recreational growing will start to be handed out. Then store licenses will start in the fall.

Want to Extract Cannabis in Oregon? You’ll Need a License For That

It’s safety first for cannabis extractors in Oregon’s legal weed scene.

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For those that aren’t careful, the side effects from bad quality extracts can include chemical poisoning, brain and lung damage.

That’s why the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) began instituting manufacturing licensing rules to minimize home extractions with butane, co2, and propane to create hash oil.

The OHA’s original plan was that extract manufacturers would need to be licensed, and that any extracts sold from non-licensed manufacturers after October 1st would be considered illegal.

While these new restrictions were put in place to prevent unsafe hash from being sold and consumed to and by the public, the measures legally prevented extractors from working while simultaneously leaving the public without medicine.

Since the effect would be much too great to ignore, the policy was updated to grant applicants a grace period.

In order to be a licensed manufacturer, extraction processors must meet specific requirements. Extractions must take place in an enclosed room that is spark proof and equipped with lower explosive limit detectors and evacuation fans.

To prevent malfunctions, processors must use commercially manufactured closed-loop extraction services that recover the solvent that’s used.

Additionally, the equipment and facility has to be approved for use by the local fire code official; meet all safety, building and fire codes, have an emergency eye-wash station in all rooms that process extracts, and have all applicable material safety data sheets available at all times.

Even though the application process didn’t begin until April 1, the policy started being enforced exactly a month prior; leaving companies like Elephant Extracts, who operate according to the OHA’s guidelines, without work.

“We were forced to close our lab for two weeks and counting, putting 12 people out of work,” Elephant Extracts’ Operations Manager, Nick Bradley, explains.

“The extract processors were hurt from the policy, but they weren’t the only people feeling the pain. “We had multiple stores return products to us because they were informed they could not even have products from unlicensed processors on the premises. So on top of the 12 people that are out of work, hundreds if not thousands of patients are forced to go without their meds,” he added.

The original plan to halt processing was reversed because of its effect on safe extract manufacturers, so now applicants can operate under a provisional license until their application gets approved. These temporary passes to produce hash are being granted to compliant companies that produce healthy material for consumption, but are currently legally prevented from doing so otherwise.

Even with the obstacles created by the OHA’s new guidelines, Bradley says that he still supports forcing processors to be licensed.

“We are not opposed to regulations, we are all for them. We have gone through all the hoops to remain operational through all the changes,” he explains.

In order to assure that extracts are safe, it’s best to search out processors that are applying to be licensed, since they are already complying with the regulations. Although it’s hard to tell if your oil is healthy just by looking at it, researching the source is a recommended way to protect yourself.

Written on May 09, 2016 by Tyler Terps

Liquor and Cannabis Board needs to work to maintain reputation

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The Liquor and Cannabis Board needs to make sure its emerging reputation is a good one.

ONE of the arguments offered by advocates of legal marijuana has been that users will know what they are inhaling or ingesting; they will know its potency and that it is free of mold and pesticides — unlike the days when pot sales were left to the criminal element.

Creating that kind of assurance is the responsibility of the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and its work is still in progress.

A story by The Seattle Times’ Bob Young reported that a marijuana testing lab in Poulsbo“showed consistent inaccuracies” in test data and “blatant disregard for laboratory practices as well as sound scientific methods,” according to auditors hired by the state.

The board will rule this week on the auditors’ recommendation that the lab be shut down. Thirteen others continue in operation.

Meeting last week, the board took actions that seemed in the category of closing the barn door while viewing a receding horse’s tail. Emergency rules were approved on lab suspensions and penalties. An advisory group was set up to establish acceptable levels of pesticides. Proficiency tests for labs were discussed.

These are steps that should have been taken soon after marijuana was legalized in 2012 and the LCB was created to guarantee the public’s health, safety and welfare in this new venture.

Participants in the new industry have been calling for stricter oversight of pot testing.

Dana Luce, owner of a Vancouver lab, told Young, “If you don’t like the numbers from one lab, take it to another and chances are you’ll get a more favorable result.”

Hardly words to inspire confidence.

The board needs to make sure its emerging reputation is a good one — a task with challenges.

In another recent action, the board approved a retail license for George Dalton Gehrett, who killed his wife in 1993. He was sentenced to 13½ years in prison and changed his name to George James Garrett in 2011.

Because it has been 10 years since Garrett’s conviction in the murder of Stephanie Rooks Gehrett, the LCB could not use it to deny him a license.

Garrett did not try to hide the conviction. He is no longer under legal supervision and has not been found guilty of other crimes. Under the law, he can get a second chance.

But for critics of legal marijuana, it’s a reason to look askance.

Brian Smith, communications director for the LCB, said the case “has led to discussion of whether serious crimes including violent ones and money laundering, for example, should be elevated to a higher level for more discussion.”

Washington and Colorado, the first states to legalize recreational pot, are “bellwether states,” he said. They will be emulated by other states legalizing marijuana. That makes it all the more important for the board to continue revisiting procedures and adopting the strictest regulations and procedures on marijuana production, testing and sales.

The Green rush: Finding Tech Business Opportunities Within The Cannabis Sector

CRUNCH NETWORK

The Green Rush: Finding Tech Business Opportunities Within The Cannabis Sector

CRUNCH NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR

Eddie Miller is CEO of InvestInCannabisHow to join the network

Cannabis, marijuana, pot, weed, ganja, Mary Jane, doobage. Whatever you call it, it has taken center stage in the world of investment. It’s getting the 15 minutes of fame it rightfully deserves, and it’s getting it right now. Traditionally, whenever anyone mentioned the words “cannabis” and “entrepreneur” together in one sentence, it meant one thing: drug dealer. That’s changing very quickly — and technology will play a huge role in the industry’s future legitimacy.

Exchange Platforms

The working theory is that cannabis, as an industry, is headed toward commoditization, regulation and standardization. It makes sense…most other plants that are grown achieve similar status. They’re also traded on public markets, with transparency, and have market-based and regulator-based rules that are upheld to maintain the integrity of those markets.

In achieving this within the cannabis industry, an enormous opportunity exists for technologists to both standardize and create proper marketplaces within which to sell raw cannabis, as well as its derivatives. According to the Huffington Post, if marijuana is legalized at the federal level, the overall market will reach in excess of $35 billion annually by 2020. By that virtue, at least one-third of that can be traded at a commoditized level.

Exchange platforms, like Amercanex, CCX and CHEX, are changing the face of legal cannabis and hemp, as well as creating catalysts for the proper industrialization of these plants. These companies are creating standards and qualitative rules for scoring and grading, as well as setting up environments for market-based pricing. The future of wholesale transactions in this nascent industry will be done on exchanges and marketplaces, and on top of mobile, optimized, transparent technologies.

Agra-Tech

Along with commoditization comes more efficient or Agra-tech-enabled industrial cultivation. California is by far the biggest producer of cannabis today, and also is experiencing a terrible drought — which has led companies to create energy and water-efficient greenhouses for cannabis cultivation. These greenhouses are using solar panels and limiting the amount of water usage through techniques that are in full bloom throughout agriculture and have yet to be truly instituted on industrial levels within cannabis and hemp.

With the majority of U.S. states legalizing marijuana cultivation in one form or another (medicinal versus recreational uses), the time to institute these methods is now.

Testing

To adequately define the properties of the plants grown and their potential effects, technology and laboratory grade testing must be the rule and not the outlier.

To make sure that finished cannabis products are safe and consistent, laboratories are popping up across the world. Tech innovation is needed to make this testing more efficient, and testing needs to be enabled on-site, at the farm, rather than having to always send it to a lab for testing.

Further testing technology is also needed for cannabis users. To confirm that patients and recreational customers alike are actually getting the advertised benefits, patients must be tested during usage and proper data must be derived. Clinical trials and recreational taste tests must be offered to catalog and properly understand the effects of this plant. The world needs to definitively know all potential side effects, long-term negative effects and all of the positive and medicinal benefits of marijuana.

Anything you want today will come to you on-demand, when you want it — and so shall cannabis.

One of the biggest problems in the industry today is consistency. You may think you’re buying a specific strain but, in actuality, you’re not. Shop owners and the sellers of cannabis are not consistent at all … you can feel different every time you imbibe, even though you thought you bought the exact same thing. Growing conditions, the age of the product and storage can all have a dramatic effect on the final outcome for users.

Mold, pesticides and other chemicals used in the cultivation process can also bring as yet undetermined negative effects. The solutions are mandatory and prolific testing of cannabis products, as well as technological processes for distillation akin to beer and whiskey.

Manufacturing And Production (Not Growing)

Consistency can and will be achieved through extraction and distillation of raw cannabis. There is a whole breadth of opportunities in super-critical extraction and derivative creation, and companies such as Ebbu are on the forefront of these technological innovations. Products will not just be limited to edibles, such as brownies and cookies, but will span the gamut of oils, pills, waxes, tinctures, oral strips, patches, lip balms and even sexual enhancement lotions. All sorts of machinery and hardware will need to be invented to efficiently carry out these processes.

Technological Infrastructure And Business Technology

With all of these tech-based opportunities, surely managing these businesses will require technological infrastructure, as well. Whether it’s POS and inventory management systems created by the likes of MJFreeway, “Seed-to-Sale” tracking systems, traditional accounting software or tools for web presence management, the potential for tech disruption is ripe. And that doesn’t even touch on the technology required for securing patient data — like regulatory compliant-applications and privacy enabled HIPAA-compliant data storage — which will need to be easily accessible for physicians.

The new businesses will need to be built to put all of their resources together and not silo all of their data. Enterprise platforms like SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics and Zoho will all be enabled to manage these businesses’ operations and create transparency within. Even more importantly, they will serve to provide a platform to ensure a safe, consistent and customer-focused set of products and services.

Reaching the cannabis industry’s extremely targeted demographic will become more and more competitive, so focused advertising is necessary. Advertising technology has a role to play here. The most efficient service of ads, as well as the use of marketing dollars, will be needed. Programs to deliver those ads, companies to write those ads and testing to see which ads deliver the highest ROI will all be avenues for marketing companies to provide their services.

The current advertising opportunities in legal cannabis are more limited than liquor, tobacco and gambling. To navigate those marketing waters efficiently and successfully, the best and brightest marketing companies are needed to create campaigns,

eCommerce And The On-Demand Economy

Once the products and the industry are efficiently regulated, eCommerce becomes the best medium for transactions; transactional commerce, as well as basic buying information, must be relayed in a manner that today’s consuming public accepts. Mobile-friendly applications will need to be created to meet the demands of an enormous market, and all of these options have to be easily accessible and easily researchable. Reviews for products, as well as providers, need to work just like every other store or commonly sold item.

Reaching the cannabis industry’s extremely targeted demographic will become more and more competitive.

As all of these companies are operating and they begin to resemble other American industrial mainstays, financial technology and payments come into play. Instead of the current state of play, where most transactions are in cash, Bitcoin, credit cards, Apple Pay and PayPal will all have a distinct role in your purchase of an “eighth” with one-click on a super-easy-to-use app. While banks and financial institutions have shied away from touching the industry because of its questionable legal status, and until there is adequate and transparent technology, a void will continue to exist and, thus, present a massive business opportunity.

With mobile usage comes the right-now economy. Anything you want today will come to you on-demand, when you want it — and so shall cannabis. Enterprises are popping up everywhere that promise to deliver your medicine within the hour, and some will even provide a medical consultation via your mobile device. Hungry after you’ve consumed cannabis? Partnerships and cross-marketing opportunities with the $70 billion food-delivery and takeout industry are huge.

The “Green Rush”

So why is the “Green Rush” happening and why should you get involved? Simple. Within almost every other established industry, all of the technology opportunities discussed in this article have already been flagged and tagged, and companies are actively competing for their slice of the industry. Here, within legal cannabis, the field is completely wide open! As the industry grows and becomes more viable as legalization spreads, the allure for professionals and experienced operators to enter the fray becomes that much more real and that much more lucrative.

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