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The Role Marijuana Legalization Can Play In Fighting Racial Injustice

Though NORML said marijuana legalization will not solve racial injustice in America, the organization believes it can be “an important part of this emerging discussion.”

The National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML) released a statement this week detailing how marijuana advocates can play a role in enacting racial justice in America. Following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, voices across the nation have protested against police brutality and policies that disproportionately target communities of color.

Racial inequalities have long existed in enforcing drug policies. According to analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), African Americans are close to four times as likely to get arrested for marijuana possession compared to white Americans, despite the group consuming marijuana at similar rates. In some states, black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. From 2010 to 2018, racial disparities actually increased in marijuana enforcement.

“As protests continue to take place across our nation, more Americans are beginning to publicly demand action from their local, state, and federal leaders to end the policies and practices that promote, enable, and drive systemic racial injustice,” NORML executive director Erik Altieri said in a statement.

“In these conversations about policy solutions, many will include in their demands an ending to the war on drugs — or, at a minimum, an ending to marijuana criminalization. But while ending cannabis prohibition is both important and necessary, we must also recognize that doing so is but a single piece of a much larger puzzle.”

Marijuana Legalization Could Get A Boost Post Coronavirus


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How To Reduce Odor When Growing Indoors

Everyone who has grown a substantial crop in their basement will attest to the strong odor the crop produces as the plant matures. Most people have been busted simply because of the strong smell of a mature plant permeating the air around the home in question.

There are a few things that can be done to keep the smell of cannabis down both within and outside the house where it is being grown. Running a hepa filter in the growing area will stop a large amount of the odor, but not all. While the activated charcoal in a hepa filter will stop most of the smell, some ventilation to the outside will also be needed.

Hepa filters come in many sizes and shapes. Some are just the filter, while others incorporate a of fan. If you have the choice, choose the filter with the fan. Most basements have at least one small window, so use it is as the output of the filtered hepa filter. Remove the glass and replace the window with a board with the hepa filter shape cut in. Choose a window that vents to the backyard or a window on the side of the house with low traffic.

Another way to keep the scent down is with eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is great for covering odors and replacing them with the cool scent of the plant. Eucalyptus is also great for keeping the humidity down, an action which negates the growth of mold and fungus, since they both need a damp environment to grow in.

The eucalyptus needed is usually in the form of an oil, which won’t do its job if the surface area is as small as the diameter of the jar it came in. To that end, pour the oil in a wide, shallow pan. This will result in a decreased marijuana odor. The eucalyptus will also reduce the humidity due to its very efficient moisture retention properties.

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Black-Owned Cannabis Businesses You Can Support Right Now

The movement to show support for Black Lives Matter has encompassed the nation. Protests have erupted calling for systematic change, police have responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, stores have been ransacked, including some in the cannabis industry.

We help, in part, beginning in the smallest way—where our money goes.

Not every consumer knows where they spend precious dollars, or how to best contribute their money to causes and people they want to support. As we become more conscious consumers, Green Entrepreneur is highlighting small businesses and black-owned, equity, indigenous, and people of color-owned businesses.

In cannabis, those businesses are few-and-far-between. Equity entrepreneurs work tirelessly to receive licenses in their respective markets. Against all odds, sometimes with massive inequities in funding and access to the type of revenue stream that cannabis industry businesses need to get off the ground. They deserve patronage now.

Here are 20 black-owned cannabis businesses that you can support.

Angela White, left, and Liz Jackon-Simpson, right, of Success Centers.


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4 Key Differences Between The Florida And California Cannabis Consumer

America’s cannabis industry is a fractured marketplace. A scattered hodgepodge of state, county, and local municipalities piecing together a byzantine set of rules and regulations that seem to defy logic and common sense. And don’t even get me started about the social media restrictions.

Figuring out which hoops brands have to jump through within each state takes up enormous resources. But the fog of this minutiae can cloud the bigger picture: Do you know who your audience truly is?

To define how consumer psychographics can vary from state to state, we at The Statement Group dug into the analytics of cannabis consumers in Florida and California. While Florida is a medical-only state, it is a growing powerhouse with massive potential that will only increase as restrictions loosen. And California is already the largest legal cannabis market on the planet.

Below are four notable macro-level takeaways on the behavioral interests and psychographic makeup of each state’s consumers. We define those consumers by analyzing the millions of connections across those following a cross-section of brands in each state.

This analysis gives us the ability to understand the broad differences in interests (can you guess which state loves Porsche more?), as well as digs deep into the data to find the granular passions specific to each brand. We get insights into everything from which influencers their audience actually follows most, to the publications and other brands they consume. Answering these questions is vital for brands to build laser-focused marketing strategies and create deeper connections with their target audience.

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U.S. researchers will study hemp’s potential to clear algae

Researchers in the U.S. state of Florida are studying how hemp plants could help in the battle against toxic algae, a persistent problem at the state’s two coasts.

Steven Edmonds, founder of Hemp4Water and a political science instructor at Valencia College in Orlando, has teamed up with researchers from Florida State College on the initiative. The group said it will test grow hemp mats in Florida waterways to check their potential to clear nutrient pollution that feeds toxic blue-green algae and red tide algae.

Algae a serious problem

Scientists have found that decades of farming, development and canal dredging has overloaded Lake Okeechobee, the state’s biggest fresh-water body, and other Florida waters with the nutrients that feed toxic blue-green algae and red tide algae in coastal waters. The researchers suggest the mats could provide a source of hemp fiber in addition to cleaning the water.

A severe outbreak of red tide algae in southwest Florida in 2018 hit the fishing and tourism industries. Blue-green algae in 2016 left harbors full of dead fish in the Indian River Lagoon along the Atlantic Coast. And in 2013, a severe bloom of red tide algae in southwest Florida killed more than 240 manatees, prompting Edmonds to seek a solution.

“I know that hemp growers spend a lot of money creating a water supply that’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorus because cannabis needs that,” Edmonds told UPI. “It just makes sense to try this.”

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Using Tech to Increase Employee Health and Safety

From cultivators to dispensaries, cannabis operators are required to get creative and deploy new ways to manage day-to-day business activities as the coronavirus pandemic shapes the “new normal”.

While some have seen an increase in demand, others are facing tough decisions when it comes to production and staff. Either way, cannabis companies are doing everything they can to avoid furloughing staff.

No matter the situation, it’s important to make data driven decisions. That’s why many are turning to cannabis-specific technology to better manage their operations. With the right tools in place, cannabis operators have been able to alter protocols and adjust processes to keep employees safe and maintain an efficient workflow.

From plants to people, here are the key adjustments taken by the industry that can greatly impact your business:

Labor Planning

Many cannabis operators are turning to reduced staff and staggered schedules. This is a necessary step for the health and safety of employees, but if not done properly, can be detrimental to production.

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65% of Arizonans Support Recreational Marijuana Legalization

A new poll found that 65% of Arizonans would vote for the Smart and Safe Arizona Act if it makes it onto the ballot this November. The initiative would legalize marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older in Arizona.

The poll by HighGround also found that just 25% said they’d oppose the ballot measure and 9% are still undecided, AZ Mirror reported.

In March, the Smart and Safe Arizona ballot initiative reported that it had already gathered more than 300,000 signatures, well surpassing the 237,645 required to get listed on the ballots in November.

“Voters 50 and older are likely to make up more than half of the Arizona electorate this November,” said HighGround. “Despite reservations that these audiences have indicated in the past, they appear likely to support Smart and Safe Arizona this time around. Voters 50-64 support the proposal with 63% and 65 and older indicated 55% support… In fact, across all demographics, the only subset that did not achieve a majority of support was among those who described themselves as ‘Very conservative.’ Among that audience, the issue was split evenly – 47.6% in favor and 47.6% opposed.”

In 2016, Proposition 205, an initiative attempting to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona, failed 48.23% to 51.77%. This failure was, in part, due to pro-marijuana Arizonans vying for multiple initiatives instead of compromising on Prop 205, which was by far the most popular initiative with the best chance of winning. If Arizonans had joined forces, Prop 205 would have passed and adults in Arizona could have been enjoying legalized recreational cannabis for the past few years.

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4 Reasons Smart Entrepreneurs Should Be Thirsting To Get Into The Cannabis Beverage Industry

Consider for a moment the three most widely used drugs on earth: caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Collectively, they represent a nearly $2.7 trillion global market —$420 billion in the United States alone. Each has been socialized into our collective consciences and even enjoy a sanctioned time for daily use: the coffee break, the smoke break, and happy hour. Two of the three are beverages.

Cannabis has quickly emerged as the fourth leg of this legal-use psychoactive stool. This has tremendous implications for investors and operators alike, as consumer preferences are migrating from artificial and invigorating products to natural and calming. Twenty-five of the top food and beverage companies in the US had an $18 billion loss in market share in just the last five years. Consumers want functional benefits, craft appeal, natural ingredients, experimental flavors, and low caloric counts. These trends, when combined with the health benefits of cannabis, are likely to drive outsized growth in infused beverages in the decade ahead.

1. Cannabis beverages have been around for centuries.

While it may appear that cannabis drinkables are a relatively new idea, cannabis has been used in medicinal beverage preparations throughout history. The Chinese have enjoyed Mafeisan for thousands of years, while Indians have long referred to bhang as the ancient Nectar Of the Gods. Bhang is sold today at government-licensed stores in India, having never been made illegal due to its religious ties as the official drink marking the arrival of spring. As public opinion and the stigma associated with recreational cannabis throughout the world continues to soften, consumers search for social and innovative ways to consume their favorite cannabinoids.

2. Cannabis-beverage science is getting better.

Infused drinkables currently hold a market share of under 1 percent in the US, a figure that is far too low when compared with industry estimates for a $2.8 billion global cannabis beverage market by 2025. Advances in cannabis science is a factor behind this anticipated growth.

Up until recently, crafting cannabis beverages has been challenging. Cannabinoids are oily, fat-soluble substances that do not mix easily in water-based beverages. Oral consumption has thus traditionally been facilitated with oil and butter infusion. That's why gummies, brownies, and confectionaries comprise the majority of infused edibles today. The opposing nature of cannabinoids and water has challenged product developers with taste masking, dosing uniformity, and shelf-life stability. Formulation technologies honed in the pharmaceutical (60 percent of newly marketed pharmaceutical drugs demonstrate poor water solubility) and food industries can help circumvent some of these challenges while bringing infused beverage ‘onset’ closer to the 7 to 10 minutes that alcohol enjoys, instead of the 75 to 120-minute traditional edible average.

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Exploring the Pros and Cons of CBD-Infused Drinks

The benefit of a world so driven towards the next ‘new’ is that it takes you along as it progresses. The cannabis industry is one such usherer of change. But, as CBD-infused everything gains popularity, are there downsides to the substance? 

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most famous cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Its medicinal benefits have been tested and proved time and again. Now it stands as a legitimate component in many of our products.

As the CBD industry expands, its uses do too, particularly as research mounts for it’s medicinal properties. The World Health Organization (WHO) published an official report stating CBD can be useful for a number of ailments, especially seizures.

It’s no surprise that people want its therapeutic benefits in all their products. According to the experts from Las Vegas dispensary, innovative methods of ingesting CBD have increased and the newest player is CBD-infused drinks. 

CBD has faced a lot of controversy, so let’s first start by answering some important questions surrounding this super ingredient:

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THC breathalyzer program could help police detect marijuana impairment

Oklahoma law enforcement officers patrolling the state’s roads and highways may soon have a new tool for testing drivers who they believe may be under the influence of marijuana.

Signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt on May 2, HB 4161 directs the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to spend $300,000 to create a pilot program to explore the use of breathalyzers to detect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

Rep. Scott Fetgatter (R-Okmulgee) is among the most engaged state legislators on the topic of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry. He said he had first raised the idea of a breathalyzer program at “a meeting in February with representatives from city police, county sheriffs and the Department of Public Safety.”

“We took them through the science behind the breathalyzer, and I took a vote among those in the room if they were interested, and it was unanimous,” he said. “They were all in favor of the idea of a pilot program.”

The development of a device to detect THC from a user’s breath has puzzled scientists for years. Having a dependable breathalyzer would solve a sticky problem for officers in the field, who lack the ability to accurately and quickly test impaired drivers rather than using drug recognition experts and blood tests.


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The Endocannabinoid System and Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the mid-1980s was a major breakthrough in modern medicine. Yet, if you looked at the curriculum for most medical schools, you might not know it. The finding would not have been possible without the help of the cannabis plant, which remains illicit in most countries around the world. After wide-spread legalization of medical cannabis and over three decades of research, knowledge about the endocannabinoid system and its associated pathologies, like clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, remain sorely overlooked.

The Endocannabinoid System: The Find of the Century?

Two decades before the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a team of scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medical chemistry a the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, had finally isolated the primary psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). After the discovery, researchers around the globe began the quest to figure out exactly how the compound worked.  A group led by Dr. Allyn Howlett, a neuroscientist then with St. Louis University, finally cracked the mystery: THC produced its psychoactive effects through engagement with specialized cell receptors.

A cell receptor can be thought of as a lock that is embedded on the surface of a cell membrane. These locks only respond to specific chemical keys. In this case, THC was the key that engaged a cannabinoid receptor. As research would soon reveal, cannabinoid receptors are part of a larger endocannabinoid system (ECS), a neurotransmitter and cell signaling network like none other.  Made up of receptor sites, their respective chemical activators, and the enzymes that deactivate these compounds, scientists quickly unveiled that the ECS was ubiquitous throughout the human body. Cannabinoid receptors are nearly everywhere — connective tissue, the brain, the spinal cord, internal organs, the digestive tract, the skin, and immune cells.

After what surely was many long hours in the lab, Howlett and her team landed on something big. Why on earth would these receptors be found in so many places? Nearly three decades down the line, scientists are still exploring the wide-reaching ramifications of the endocannabinoid system, Howlett included. In the time since its first discovery, the ECS has been found to be a potent regulator of brain activity, hormonal function, and immune response, linking the three main regulatory systems together. It’s this pervasive modulatory network that responds to THC and other cannabis constituents. When a person consumes intoxicating forms of cannabis, THC hijacks the cannabinoid receptor sites that are normally inhabited by compounds that the body produces naturally.

These compounds are called endocannabinoids. The prefix endo- refers to endogenous or internal cannabinoids. In contrast, the cannabinoids found on the cannabis plant are phytocannabinoids with the prefix phyto referring to plants. As it turns out, endocannabinoids are molecules that help maintain a state of equilibrium, or homeostasis, throughout the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Endocannabinoids play the part of harmonizers or middlemen, managing how each of these systems responds to stressful stimuli and communicates with the others.

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CBD vs. THC – Helping You Choose Your Favorite Cannabinoid

Cannabis is gaining momentum as a wellness trend. Preclinical studies have shown it can help treat epilepsy, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and can make living with cancer much more bearable.

One of the hemp plant’s substances – CBD or cannabidiol – is causing the most hype. Today we can find it almost anywhere – from food and drinks, through decorative cosmetics, to oils and topicals that can be purchased legally in physical or online stores. 

The situation is a bit different with THC, the second of the two predominant cannabis compounds. That’s why there’s often a comparison between these two cannabinoids – the CBD vs. THC argument.

But let’s back up a bit. 

Cannabinoids 101

Cannabinoids are active organic chemical compounds that affect cannabinoid receptors in the human body. 

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Your Genes Have A Surprising Impact On How Marijuana Affects You

Studies have found links between genetics and the ways in which people react to marijuana.

Marijuana is a widely used drug yet it remains unpredictable. Seasoned users can usually manage the effect that marijuana has on them, while also staying calm during an unpredictable high. For newcomers, however, it’s different; novice users usually can’t predict how the drug will affect them, whether it’ll lead to a paranoid high or giggle fest.

Science says your genes might play a part in how your body reacts to cannabis.

Cannabis functions by binding itself to the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, which are located in our cells, containing our individual DNA. Mutations in CB1 or CB2 receptors can make you more vulnerable to different illnesses, such as Chron’s disease or anorexia. These changes could also impact how your cells bind to different molecules including the ones in cannabis.

In a 2019 study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that a variable in the gene CHRNA2 could increase the risk of becoming addicted to cannabis. Cannabis addiction is something that’s not all that understood, with many people doubting its existence. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include depression, irritability, a higher heart rate and more.

nice genes this new dating app using your dna to find your perfect match


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Hemp Fiber Materials Have Major Environmental Upside

Every day, you come across a media story addressing concerns over the environment, and one of the biggest issues being addressed in these reports is environmental plastic pollution (EPP).

EPP is the problem caused by oil-based plastic products, which are not recycled and left anywhere outdoors, especially in nature and the oceans, to breakdown into their toxic polymer components over the next 700 years.

Bio-composite products could have a big impact on this problem. In fact, it could be argued that utilizing hemp fiber to replace a portion of the polymer volume in existing plastic products is the only immediate, low-cost, and practical opportunity to meaningfully impact this situation.

Ziner’s Main Argument

Compounding plastic polymers with a broad range of different natural fibers, including wood, flax, jute, bamboo, and hemp is a proven, viable option to accomplish objective engineering characteristics. It creates a lighter weight, cost-effective material with improved operating characteristics including durability and strength, compared to oil-based plastics.

There have already been significant amounts of bio-composite compounds formulated and converted into marketable products using a broad range of different fillers: both organic, like natural fibers, and in-organic, like fiberglass.

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How to Choose the Best Seeds for Planting Cannabis

There are all kinds of techniques people use when it comes to growing premium bud. Some people have their tried-and-true methods that they swear by while others are still in the trial-and-error period of their growing journey. Regardless of skill level, when it comes to growing a flourishing crop, the first place to begin when choosing to grow cannabis plants is with knowing how to properly select quality seeds.

Seeds that are not mature are typically small with a greenish hue and soft shell. Good, healthy seeds will be more greyish to brown with speckles and have a glossy appearance free from cracks. They are typically bigger in size as well. Seeds that are very dark or near black and appear to be dull may be old. To avoid immature seeds or aged seeds, try not to purchase seeds that have recently been harvested as well as those that have been kept in storage for long amounts of time.

Fresh seeds have a high germination rate that drops dramatically over time — from 90 percent down to 20 percent after three or four years. Excellent seeds are the cornerstone of successful plant growth because each one contains the genetic material that determines certain characteristics like size, shape and potency.

The strain of the seed determines what type of effects will be experienced after consumption. Indica and sativa are the two main strains that have distinct characteristic. Indica strains are known for their physical effects, with a noted body high and deep relaxation being the most commonly reported feelings, while sativas provide a cerebral buzz often associated with increased sensitivity to sights and sounds. Most seeds are hybrid strains that are either more indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.

It’s helpful to consider how long it will take plants to grow before picking out seeds. After deciding whether to grow indoors or outdoors, calculate the amount of time estimated for a plant to come to full maturation. Most plants take between seven and nine weeks until they are ready to be harvested, although indica plants tend to grow a little bit faster than sativas.

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Hemp is Legal, but What About Smoking It?

Hemp legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill unleashed unexpected markets for the crop. One unexpected market: people are consuming hemp the way they often consume its higher THC cannabis cousin—by smoking it.

The Farm Bill defines hemp as cannabis with a THC content that doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent. With THC levels this low, smokers aren’t getting high on hemp. Some are using it as a tobacco alternative, while others are seeking the CBD, a compound marketed for therapeutic effects, like reducing anxiety—although scientific research has yet to conclusively back this claim. Farmers are excited about pre-rolled hemp because it doesn’t require a processor between them and the consumer, for example, as a CBD oil would. Also, hemp flower fetches a good price, compared to common crops like corn or wheat. 

The challenge for state regulators, lawmakers, and law enforcement, however, is that hemp pre-rolls look like joints.

The landscape of states with laws allowing and outlawing smokable hemp looks like a checkerboard. Some states are giving the market the okay. In February, Virginia lawmakers affirmed that it’s legal for people aged twenty-one and up to smoke hemp. A bill in Tennessee last year only bans the sale of smokable hemp to minors. And in Arkansas, local entrepreneurs have found a loophole to meet consumer demand: while the state does not allow local hemp growers to sell flower directly to retailers or customers—they must sell to processors who turn who can turn it into products like CBD oil—retailers are selling out-of-state smokable hemp products. State Rep. David Hillman, R-Almyra, who sponsored Arkansas’s hemp legalization bill, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette it wasn’t his intention to cut Arkansas farmers out of this market. Hillman plans to fix this in the 2021 session.

Meanwhile, other states are not as open to the idea. Texas’s 2019 law allowing hemp production bans the manufacturing of smokable hemp. Louisiana bans the sale of hemp “for inhalation” and Kentucky doesn’t allow the sale of hemp in cigarette or cigar form (A bill in the Kentucky General Assembly this year to remove this ban failed to get any traction before the session ended). The South Carolina Attorney General said in an opinion last year that he’ll leave it up to law enforcement to determine if hemp flower is considered unprocessed and thus illegal to sell. Some retailers in the state decided to err on the side of caution and remove raw hemp from their shelves in the wake of the opinion. A bill in the South Carolina House would have removed the ban on the sale of raw or unprocessed hemp. The General Assembly adjourned on May 12 after a COVID-19 related break, but could be back for a special session in the fall.

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