The USA Track & Field (USATF) confirmed on Tuesday that the Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson will not compete in Tokyo after testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Since the 30-day suspension of the Breakout Sprinter was announced on Friday, celebrities and lawmakers, including US Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have come to her defense to give the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) a stance of designating marijuana. Calling for reassessment as a banned substance, and for USATF to compete with Richardson.

WADA, which sets anti-doping guidelines for sports organizations around the world, bans substances that can improve performance, pose risks to athletes, or “violate the spirit of sports.”

CU Boulder Today asked Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience who studies the risks and benefits of cannabis, what science says about the relationship between weeds and sports.

Is THC performing better?

There is little research on this topic, many of which date back to the 70’s. Available data suggests The cannabis does not improve performance in terms of speed, power, or strength. In one study, researchers asked cyclists whether to use cannabis and evaluated their bike performance. They saw both speed and power, and both diminished in cannabis. Others show little or no difference in performance.

Note: These studies were conducted using less potent products provided for research by the National Institute of Substance Abuse (NIDA) and reflect what athletes are actually using these days. Further research is needed as it may not have been done. There is no evidence that using it a few days before the competition will affect performance after a few days.

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South Dakota’s Native American Tribes not only legally opened a medical cannabis dispensary without consulting the state, but this past week, advocates also filed four different recreational legalization initiatives for consideration on the ballot later this year.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was the first tribe in the nation to legalize cannabis following a memo published by the Department of Justice in 2014. Even though medical cannabis is legal in South Dakota now, as of July 1, 2021, sales aren’t expected to begin until July 1, 2022 due to Governor Kristi Noem not having enough time to “study the issue and implement a program,” she said in February, according to the Associated Press.

However, this restriction didn’t stop the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe from bringing medical cannabis to its reservation. The tribe pursued this action without getting it approved by the state first, which is within their right. “The grand opening of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s Native Nations Dispensary went very well, and customers have flooded the dispensary all day,” Flandreau Santee Sioux  Attorney General Seth Pearman said to Native News Online

“The Tribe is confident that the regulatory structure it put in place will create a safe product that will benefit customers.” The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe states that under tribal law, patients must have a valid medical cannabis ID card, which will be different than the state’s medical cannabis program ID card.

This creates some grey areas for tribe members, but Governor Noem released a press statement ensuring that tribe members would be protected. “The nonresident card provision applies in this instance, so long as the cardholder is an enrolled tribal member and presents an unexpired medical cannabis card issued by the resident’s tribe,” she said in a press release. Low quality cannabis offenses should no longer be an issue of concern for those carrying three ounces of cannabis or less, regardless if they are a tribe member or not. 

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Despite some businesses claiming so, you can’t yet register for a cannabis card in Alabama.

Wednesday, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners warned the public to be on the lookout for businesses claiming they can help them receive or get pre-registered for a state cannabis card by having a physician evaluate them.

The state medical cannabis law passed in May still requires several steps before medicinal use is legal in Alabama.

Executive Director William Perkins said physicians haven’t even been authorized to evaluate patients yet.

“There is really no service these companies can offer Alabamians at this time. No physician has yet been authorized to evaluate patients for medical cannabis in Alabama, and no one in Alabama can be pre-registered for a medical cannabis card. Alabamians should be warned against engaging with any business that claims otherwise.”

ALABAMA BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WILLIAM PERKINS

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These three countries are far from the only jurisdictions of interest in Latin America and the Caribbean. There could be dark horses that surprise us.

In what has undoubtedly been the biggest cannabis news to come out of Latin America in a while, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared the prohibition on adult-use cannabis to be unconstitutional. This means you can now drive the 7,498 miles between Sydney, Nova Scotia and Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas passing solely through jurisdictions where cannabis is legal (though you should not attempt to cross any international borders with cannabis).

Following Mexico’s historic move, cannabis observers are wondering who the next newsmaker will be. Here are some countries we should keep an eye on, in alphabetic order.


Photo by Fabian Schmiedlechner / EyeEm/Getty Images

Argentina

In June, a bill was introduced to regulate medical cannabis and industrial hemp. As explained in a previous post, medical cannabis was legalized in Argentina in 2017, but inadequacies in the regulatory framework have forced many patients to turn to the black market.

Latin America Moves Toward Legalization With Some Absurd Exceptions

Do these senators have ties to industries and sectors that don’t serve your interests?

Most Americans want to legalize recreational and/or medicinal marijuana. Scientific research shows its benefits. It’s proven to be viable businesses and states with decriminalized cannabis enjoy incredible revenue. Simply put, legalized marijuana is a hefty source of income, approved by most Americans and truly helps people’s health.

Both science and history have proven the efficacy of cannabis, yet several U.S. senators won’t vote to legalize marijuana on a federal level and/or pass a law that will let banks work with cannabis businesses. Why? It doesn’t make sense. A mystery, indeed. Solving a mystery always starts with questions. Let’s start with the following:


Photo by Harold Mendoza via Unsplash

Who benefits from keeping marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug? Big pharmaceuticals is certainly one of them. After all, who’d need their expensive addictive opioids if marijuana can alleviate pain and aid crippling anxiety?

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Numerous police departments in New Mexico are the latest to lament the retirement of dogs that cannot make the distinction between cannabis—now legal in many states—and illegal drugs. The ramifications of using K9s to sniff out cannabis poses serious legal problems.

On June 29, the Tucumcari Police Department posted a long “eulogy” on Facebook announcing the retirement of Aries, the latest drug-sniffing dog to be retired—blaming the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

“We would like to take a moment to congratulate K9 Aries on his retirement effective today, June 29, 2021,” they wrote. “With the legalization of recreational marijuana, K9 Aries is unable to continue his function as a narcotics detection dog.”

Last May, KOB 4 Investigates featured a piece on how the Farmington Police Department planned to retire all its drug-sniffing dogs. Why? Because using the dogs would legally destroy efforts to establish probable cause.  

“Now marijuana is legal—if the dog alerts on it, and we got a search warrant, we’d be violating somebody’s rights. So that meant the easiest, simplest thing was to just stop using those dogs for that purpose,” said Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe.

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Nickolas Jarosh started smoking marijuana after his shifts as a 911 dispatcher. He’d flip between working days and nights, and the inconsistent schedule made it difficult to fall asleep. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, helped, he said.

Jarosh, 29, who now lives outside Houston, no longer works a job that forces him to keep inconsistent hours. He also no longer has access to marijuana, which he said had also been helping to ease his anxiety and depression.

 

But four months ago, he found a substitute: a federally legal form of the psychoactive compound called delta-8 THC. Now, he orders it from a company in Boston that works it into gummies, chocolates and vape cartridges.



 

“Delta-8 makes a huge difference in being able to relax, clear my mind and get to sleep. I wake up feeling more rested,” said Jarosh, who has also tried cannabidiol, or CBD, products, which he said help a little, but not enough.


A proper curing process is a key to producing a smooth, flavorful smoke representative of the most delicate buds. A recent blog post from Growlink outlines what curing cannabis is, and how to do it.

What Is Curing Cannabis?

Curing is a process that involves aging/drying harvested plant material to fine-tune the moisture content and allow for the decay of sugars and chlorophyll before consumption. Many plants are cured, such as cannabis, hemp, sagebrush, bay leaves, tea leaves, and tobacco.

In cannabis cultivation specifically, the curing process creates a cleaner, smoother smoke, and enhanced flavor. It ensures the bud has a moisture level that doesn’t allow mold and other pathogens to thrive as long as it’s done correctly.

Benefits to Properly Curing Cannabis

Every vegetable requires a different curing process for the best outcome. Regardless of the process, the goal is the same: to protect the product while retaining robust flavors, nutrients, and, in the case of cannabis, cannabinoids.

Proper curing ends the degradation process before active compounds like terpenes and cannabinoids evaporate or transform.

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As of July 1, Virginia is the first Southern state, 17th overall, to be painted green with the legalization of recreational marijuana – shaving three years off lawmakers original plans to permit it.

Since the move came three years sooner than lawmakers originally planned, there are still many wrinkles to iron out in the legislation -- but it’s something that has been hovering in the halls of Virginia’s capitol building for decades.

Believe it or not, the road the legalizing marijuana for medical use in the Commonwealth started in 1979, according to an article posted by The Baltimore Sun from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Legislators gave doctors the power to prescribe marijuana to treat glaucoma and to help cancer patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy in an overhaul of the state’s drug laws, the article stated.

Technically, doctors could only recommend the use of the plant – not actually provide it to patients -- and the law didn’t outline a process for how those patients could obtain it.

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A House committee is backing federal efforts to track down illicit grows on public lands in California. This will become a reality if issues around cybersecurity and domestic production can be resolved so that the drones can be fully trusted to carry out their mission. 

While drones looking for grows is not a new idea, the language is different this year, as newly discovered grows have brought more attention to how many cannabis farms can pop up on public land under the radar. 

“The Committee is aware that trespassers illegally grow marijuana on public lands in California,” the report claimed. “These unlawful activities harmfully impact the public, water, soil, and wildlife. The Committee supports Forest Service efforts to develop tools to detect and eradicate grow sites.”

“The Committee also supports the Department of the Interior’s use of drones to conduct statewide remote-sensing surveys of federal public lands to identify grow sites and allow for the development of cost estimates for reclamation after concerns about cybersecurity, technology, and domestic production have been addressed,” it added. 

So far, the report doesn’t get into cybersecurity issues, including technology and domestic production, but last year, Chinese-made drones were grounded because of the risk they cause to cybersecurity and U.S. security in general. 

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The spread of legalization to new states, particularly on the East Coast, is providing new opportunities for security companies that provide armed guards to cannabis businesses, and for veterans with firearms training.

 

Paul Ballenger, Chief Executive Officer of Invicta Solutions, is a Marine veteran and Army Reservist with about 400 armed security guards working in five states including California, Colorado and Arizona. They guard schools, religious institutions and shopping malls. Invicta also provides armed guards for cannabis companies, having acquired the security guard business last year from Helix Technologies of Denver, and it’s a hot market given the attractive target that cash-flush cannabis shops pose for robbers.

“I never really intended to be in the cannabis space at all,” said Ballenger, who said he supports legalization though he doesn’t use cannabis. But now, he said that he’s “100%” committed to expansion to the East Coast.

At last count, adult-use has been legalized in 18 states, and also Washington, D.C., and Guam, according to the cannabis website Leafly. This includes New York and New Jersey, which legalized adult-use cannabis earlier this year. While the retail markets for recreational cannabis have yet to launch in these fledgling states, companies are poised for expansion opportunities there. This includes companies that provide armed security guards to dispensaries in Western states, which have suffered a rash of armed robberies and break-ins.

A budtender was robbed a gunpoint at Ascend dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on Feb. 23, 2021.

Legal Cannabis Laws Are Now In Effect In These 3 States

It’s been an eventful time for cannabis legislation in 2021. This has been made apparent with the fight for new laws legalizing cannabis. Particularly for states where recreational or medical use goes into effect in three new states on Thursday. In states like Connecticut and Virginia, legislators have passed laws enacting recreational marijuana.

Yet while medicinal cannabis use has been passed in South Dakota which happened back in 2020. Which has come a short time after the adult-use marijuana legalization took effect in New Mexico. Not all of the elements of the new laws are instantly in motion. Here’s a summary of what is and isn’t legal in each state as of July 1st

Virginia

Having up to 28 grams of marijuana for people 21 and over is now legal in Virginia. In addition to growing up to 4 plants at your home is also legal as well. Privately giving others cannabis of the legal age is also legally allowed up to one ounce. But only if no compensation is involved. State regulators in Virginia started a website in June.

Taken from the site “all records of misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute marijuana arrests, charges, and convictions will be automatically sealed from public view in the Virginia State Police’s systems” starting on Thursday as well.


North Carolina lawmakers appear serious about bringing medical cannabis to the Tar Heel State, with a legislative proposal passing a major test on Wednesday.

Members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee approved “bipartisan legislation that creates a patient, manufacturing, licensing and sales structure…” for a medical marijuana program in North Carolina, the Associated Press reported this week.

The bill passed with majority support on a voice vote, the Associated Press said.

Under the proposal, patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions, would be eligible to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state, while a “special advisory board would have the power to add to the list of conditions,” the Associated Press reported. 

The AP has more details on the proposal: “Qualifying patients could obtain medical cannabis products for smoking or other uses through 10 suppliers licensed by a new state commission. Each supplier would control production from seedlings to sale at ‘medical cannabis centers’ from which to sell to the public. An amendment on Wednesday reduced the maximum number of sales centers for each licensee from eight to four. Suppliers would have to pay 10 percent of gross revenues monthly to the state.”

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Earlier this year in April, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a publication that included changes to state “wholesale food, industrial hemp and shellfish regulations.” Some of these regulations officially went into effect on July 1, and now, the state will move forward into a new era of legal cannabis, but one that could potentially cause problems.

The state already allows CBD and hemp extracts to be used in the preparation of food and drinks, but those products must now be tested for potential pesticides and other harmful contaminants. According to Hemp Industry Daily, hemp products will now be tested for 106 different pesticides by October 1. Previously, only 13 pesticides were required for testing within the industry. Products must go through a lab testing facility—and there’s only one officially authorized to operate in the state right now.

Hemp product labels do not currently list THC or cannabinoid content either, and companies don’t have to list that information as long as the 0.3 percent THC threshold isn’t surpassed. According to the new rules, information regarding both contained THC and any other cannabinoids must be listed.

Colorado and the “Final Rule”

Earlier last month on June 1, Colorado submitted a revised version of its Hemp Management Plan, which revolves around the USDA’s “Final Rule” on hemp production. “With the publication of this final rule, USDA brings to a close a full and transparent rule-making process that started with a hemp listening session in March 2019,” stated USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach in a press release from January 2021. “Key provisions of the final rule include licensing requirements; record keeping requirements for maintaining information about the land where hemp is produced; procedures for testing the THC concentration levels for hemp; procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants; compliance provisions and procedures for handling violations.”

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As North Carolina approaches a marijuana milestone, potentially legalizing the drug for medical use, nearby states are split in their approach.

The Southeast is coming late to the marijuana scene. The region is home to several of the 14 states that do not have comprehensive medical marijuana programs or full marijuana legalization, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

With nearly 80% of voters approving of medical marijuana in North Carolina, according to a poll conducted by Elon University, support is also building in the state legislature, where a Senate committee approved a medical marijuana bill Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the condition of marijuana laws in some other Southeastern states.

South Carolina

South Carolina has not legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

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It started with Uruguay in 2013, then came Canada in June 2018. This was followed by a recreational legalization in Georgia in July 2018, and now by Mexico in 2021. Though the US and Australia both boast legal locations, Mexico is now the 4th legalized country to allow recreational cannabis use nationwide.

With Mexico as the newest legalized country, the world of recreational cannabis is growing even bigger. More recreational legalizations = more products for you to choose from. We support cannabis legalization, and provide our readers with the best products on the market. This includes delta-8 THC, a different THC experience with less associated anxiety and couch locking, and a clear-headed and energetic high. We’re happy to ship you your product of choice ASAP, so take a look at our array of delta-8 THC deals and figure out what’s best for you.

 

The mess: how Mexico became a legalized country

In order to understand what just happened, and how it impacts life in Mexico, it helps to understand the recent history that led up to it. The legalization process began at the end of 2018 when a fifth consecutive Supreme Court ruling was made in support of defendants and their use of recreational cannabis. In Mexico, jurisprudencia kicks in when the supreme court makes five consecutive rulings on any matter, in the same way. That ruling becomes binding for all lower courts, essentially setting law that the legislative section of government must catch up with to stay in concert with the courts.

The Supreme Court rulings started in 2015 with a case against The Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Self-Consumption. They ended in October 2018 with two cases that got ruled on in the same month, both about the ability for an adult to use cannabis recreationally. The court found that personally developed human beings must be allowed to choose their own recreational activities without the interference of government. It is stipulated in the Mexican constitution that personal development is a given freedom of the Mexican people.

All this enacted jurisprdencia, thereby ending the ability for lower courts to find an individual guilty of personal possession, use, and cultivation crimes. However, the Court ruling itself only stipulated that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional, the Court doesn’t set up criminal penalties or regulated markets. This is done by legislation in Congress. Once the Supreme Court made the final ruling to end prohibition, the ball went to Congress’s court to pass an actual law with fundamentals.

mexico ends cannabis prohibition

In Minnesota, two issues have become entwined unexpectedly. The first is the drive to exclude medical marijuana from the federal government's list of banned controlled substances. The second is the right for people to get a permit to buy and carry a gun.

The issue revolves around an effort by marijuana advocates to get the state's health leaders to petition the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to grant an exemption for the Minnesota marijuana program from the federal law that makes cannabis illegal.

They've won support for their cause from Republicans. That's because medical marijuana patients could get banned for life from owning a firearm if arrested for marijuana possession under current federal law.  

Thomas Gallagher of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition - Minnesota said in a press release:" Reducing or eliminating the criminal penalties we're seeing around marijuana is where we have consensus. Let's focus on the people who have small quantities. There is injustice in a trivial amount of marijuana resulting in life-changing punishments like imprisonment, criminal records, and lost jobs and kids." 

Minnesota could be a first

If the proposal is successful, Minnesota will become the first state to appeal to the federal government on behalf of the people in its medical marijuana program (36 states now have legal medical marijuana laws in place).

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The eve before medicinal marijuana becomes legal in South Dakota, residents are largely at a loss for the details of a program the state has tried to stand up in a matter of weeks, following the collapse of a delay in the legislature.

"What exactly becomes legal on July 1?" asked Alex from Sioux Falls, at the outset of a public forum held on Monday, June 28, by the South Dakota Department of Health.

The telephone town hall was billed as an opportunity for "public input" on the state's rollout, and, fittingly, callers gave DOH officials plenty to chew on about a state law approved by 70% of voters and still standing after an alternative legislative plan failed in the session's final days. That plan, which Gov. Kristi Noem blessed, invoked the pandemic emergency as reason for a 6-month, even year-long delay.

"There's no other state that has stood up a medical marijuana program this fast before — except Oklahoma, and it's a mess," said Gov. Noem at an early March press conference.

Some officials within her own executive branch might be quick to say the governor was right.

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After passing a bill back and forth between the Senate and the House, and threats of a veto if certain provisions remained, Connecticut became the 18th state, when it legalized recreational cannabis this week. The question now, which state is next, and when can we expect it to happen?

Now that Connecticut has legalized recreational cannabis, the market for products has grown even bigger, and that means more options. Luckily, Connecticut did not ban delta-8 THC. Delta-8 is the half-brother to delta-9 THC – what most people associate with getting high. However, delta-8 doesn’t cause the same anxiety or couch locking as delta-9, and provides a clear-headed high, making it preferable for many users. There is an ever growing selection for Delta-8 THC deals, so go ahead, and pick the product best for you.

 

Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis

On June 17th, after haggling back and forth, Connecticut’s House and Senate were able to agree on the accepted provisions of a cannabis legalization bill. The Senate Bill 1201 was originally passed by the Senate during regular sessions, however it didn’t get to the House before congress adjourned for the year. This led to requiring a second vote in a special session, before which the Senate added some last-minute provisions, one of them related to equity.

The original bill stated that based on where a person lived, they could gain the ability to get a license faster to cultivate and produce cannabis products, thereby allowing more easy entrance into the market. This was geared mainly toward people from areas where drugs have taken a great toll.

Before the second Senate vote, the provision was changed to include anyone who had been convicted of a cannabis crime, or other crimes, and the family members of those who had been convicted. Somehow, that actually passed, even though the overstep was huge, and Governor Ned Lamont threatened to immediately veto that version of the bill if it did pass the Senate and the House.

recreational cannabis Connecticut

Starting Thursday, Virginians can legally grow and possess marijuana.

But the change in law doesn’t exactly open up a pot free-for-all. Legal amounts are limited, and buying and selling marijuana will remain illegal until Jan. 1, 2024, when retail sales are expected to begin. Smoking marijuana in public is still against the law.

Here are some highlights of the new law:

 

Virginians ages 21 and older may legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana “on [their] person or in any public place.” There are some exceptions for public school grounds.

Adults can privately share up to 1 ounce of marijuana, as long as it is given away and not sold.

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