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State pot rules a zoning mishmash

State pot rules a zoning mishmash

The Columbian / Associated Press

YAKIMA — Five years after Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana, uncertainty continues in cities and counties across the state over how to regulate pot businesses — or whether to allow them at all.

For example, Yakima County voters will determine in November whether a ban on such businesses in unincorporated areas of the county should remain. Last year, the city of Yakima lifted its ban, allowing recreational marijuana retail stores.

To the east, Benton County seeks to cap the number of retail marijuana stores in its unincorporated areas but still broadly allows growers and processors.

And Spokane County recently lifted a moratorium on outdoor marijuana growing operations in its unincorporated areas but now requires future ones to acquire a conditional use permit, a process that involves a public hearing.

A look across the statewide landscape reveals that varying concerns among different communities are fostering a checkerboard landscape of where and what types of marijuana businesses are allowed.

One cause behind the differing approaches is that marijuana isn’t designated as “agriculture” by the state, which causes zoning difficulties for some local governments, said Seattle attorney Daniel Shortt, who specializes in legal issues facing the marijuana industry.

Under state law, growers, processors and retailers have to abide by rules similar to those for liquor stores. They have to be at least 1,000 feet away from parks, churches, schools and other areas where youths may congregate. In addition, they must follow a slew of other operating regulations such as security and inventory tracking requirements and advertising restrictions.

“Without an agriculture designation, it’s tougher for cities and counties to fit these businesses into existing code,” Shortt said. “For businesses, it’s tough to find a location that meets those restrictions. It’s created a lot of uncertainty in the industry.”

Jeffry McPhee, a regional consultant for marijuana businesses, said a recently formed marijuana growers association he heads is lobbying to have marijuana designated agriculture by the state.

“If we get that, I think we’ll see a shift in counties because it will become easier to zone,” he said.

There are more than 160 growers and processors in Spokane County, but commissioners enacted a moratorium in November, saying they were inundated with complaints from residents about the smell emitted from grows.

Complaints about a retail store in an unincorporated area surrounded by the city of West Richland — which prohibits marijuana businesses — has Benton County commissioners seeking to cap the number of retailers in the county to two already in existence.

Kittitas County, which doesn’t allow any pot retail in its unincorporated areas, initially allowed growers and producers under an agriculture designation. Seeing a need for stiffer regulations, county commissioners later moved to require future operations to be zoned industrial and seek a conditional use permit, said Dan Carlson, director of the county’s Community Development Services.

“We have a handful of facilities that got vested prior to the change, and we’re still monitoring them on a regular basis,” he said.

But zoning difficulty isn’t the only issue influencing whether a community allows marijuana businesses.

Political viewpoints and fear of the federal government’s stance on marijuana under President Donald Trump’s administration also are factors, Shortt said.

Yakima County commissioners have said they based a ban on the fact that county voters rejected Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana. Even so, the measure earned statewide approval in 2012.

But that was before the state folded medicinal marijuana into the broader recreational market.

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Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:42:50 +0000

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Smoke-Free Alternatives: A Breakdown of the Latest 2017 Cannabis Trends

Smoke-Free Alternatives: A Breakdown of the Latest 2017 Cannabis Trends

Gone are the days when the benefits of cannabis could only be obtained through smoking flower. Today scientists have devised a myriad of ways to enjoy the medicinal value of cannabis, including nasal, sublingual and topical delivery methods.

These novel marijuana delivery technologies are growing in popularity as new demographics of consumers jump on board, increasing demand for healthier alternatives to smoking, vaping and edibles.

Many cannabis companies are taking note of this new industry phenomenon; Apothecanna now offers topical oils and lotions; and Mary’s Medicinals has marijuana products like patches and pens.

What are some smoke-less cannabis products?

Canna-lotions and balms mix cannabis oil with other ingredients intended to be absorbed through the skin. Unlike other methods, like toking, this type of product doesn’t not produce a “high” feeling. It really targets sore muscles while leaving the head clear, not foggy.

Skin patches, also known as transdermal patches, are another excellent option if you can’t or don’t want to inhale your cannabinoids. With patches, just apply the product to your inner wrist or on top of your foot.

Sublingual sprays and tinctures, typically come in a small bottle and can be squirted or sprayed under the tongue to absorb directly into the bloodstream using ingredients like coconut oil to carry the plant’s compounds into one’s system.

Some of the benefits for sprays and tinctures:

  • mild taste
  • easy-to-control dosage
  • odorless
  • discreet

As research and funding for cannabis research becomes more easily available in America, consumers can expect more biotech professionals moving into the cannabis business. Rooted in biotech, this next wave of cannabis products use scientific approaches to get the dosing just right.

For example, Next Frontier Biosciences is launching a cannabis nasal mist and sublingual spray. The Colorado-based biotech companies CEO is a former SVP at the biotech giant Allos Therapeutics. Similarly, California-based Kalytera Therapeutics is doing cutting-edge research on cannabinoids and bone regeneration. The Cali company is led by medical research leaders such as Robert Farrell, formerly of the Institute for OneWorld Health and Titan Pharmaceuticals. Even more impressive is their Scientific Advisory Board leader, the “father of cannabis”, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam.

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Published at Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:38:51 +0000

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Guide to The Different Vaping Devices

Guide to The Different Vaping Devices

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Takeaway: Vaping is one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis among new weed consumers, and an increasingly more available method of consumption. Here’s what’ll get you started on the right track as a beginner vaper.

From delicately and perfectly dosed pre-filled syringes to sweets that contain enough THC to put out an bear, there are just so many ways to consume CBDs, THC and any cannabis product out there. The medical marijuana scene has grown exponentially in just the last decade, with so many consumption methods for just about EVERY type of consumer!

One of the most popular ways to consume cannabis among new weed users, and an increasingly more available method of consumption, is vaping.

To explain the logistics of vaping, it is simply the precise heating of cannabis, or any related chemicals, into a fine vapor. The plant matter does not burn or toxify, and the user inhales it. Because combustion is not involved, it is believed to provide a healthier method of consumption than traditional smoking.

This popular method can become your favorite, here are many vape tips and tricks that can come in handy to the beginner.

Gearing up: Guide to The Different Vaping Devices

There are so many types out there, but deciphering them is fairly simple. To begin with, there are three main types:

Desktop Vapes

The table-top vape can feel a little like a small appliance, size wise. They’re not portable, and attempting to bring them out of the house, might just mean you need to get something portable to supplement. More like plug-in small appliances, they tend to be the most expensive, but they are the most technologically advanced.

A desktop vaporizer is an investment and is ideal for the serious user as it will, in turn, allow the user to vape with precision and have ultimate control over temperature. The importance here is that different cannabinoids and terpenes – all with their own unique effects and medical benefits – require different temperatures to vaporize best.

Cheaper vaporizers can make your cannabis taste burnt and roasted, while a quality tabletop vaporizer will deliver the best flavors. Anyone needing specific, and strong medication at home, then this might be the choice for you.

Dry Herb/Flower

Typically more portable in nature are dry herb vaporizers. Handheld, and easy to use, they come in a wide variety themselves. Many features and price ranges are vast but they will all generally function the same way. Dry herb vaporizers take the herb and heat it up to release vapors without carbonization.

What differs here is that there is rarely much temperature control, unless you are dealing with extremely high-class model vaporizers.

Someone who was a previous tobacco smoker and is concerned with experiencing the same taste and effect as smoking, a hand-held portable will provide a very similar experience to actually smoking the flower. However, it is important to remember that because the way the chemicals are being released, the type and length of the effect may vary with smoking.

Concentrates/Oils

Because of convenience, cartridges and oil vaporizers are possibly the most popular types of vaporizers out there. Also known as pen vaporizers, they’re designed to be small and discreet for those on the go. Pen vaporizers are battery powered and can provide some very strong effects.

Those who need more potency will consider the strength of an oil-based vaporizer to feel closer to dabbing then to smoking actual herb. However, effects will always vary as cartridges come in every way. Cool packaging, lower upfront costs and general effectiveness make cartridge pen vaporizers extremely popular.

Choosing the Right Vaporizer for You

With so much variance and options, it is important to choose the right one for you.

Deciding between flower and concentrates is a big decision, and it will depend on your needs and what vaporizing experiences you are looking for. Perhaps experiment with both to see which fits your needs the best.

Choosing the Right Consumable for Your New Vape Gear

You can’t just pick anything! Of course, if you’re using a dry herb, or a concentrate vaporizer, then you simply choose your favorite strain and stick it in.

But if you’re dealing with cartridges and oils, things get a little trickier. The market is full of brands to choose from, companies to explore, and flavors to experience.

Common for e-cigarette users, many people like to research the chemical solvents contained in their cannabis oil. Many cannabis oils come from an organic process, and the oil is pure (solvent-free), while others may have certain chemicals added to them to make them function better.

Purity is something certain companies take pride in. Adding nothing to their product and staying “green” is a great choice, but will definitely result in higher prices. Keep in mind, though, that what you put into your device is probably more important than the device itself. In other words, it could be the most important consideration to make before seriously getting into vaping.

How do you want to feel?

Vaping your cannabis with a vaporizer can be very different than smoking, or ingesting cannabis in some other form. Results definitely vary, depending again on the type, the effect, as well as how long the user wants the effect to last.

Table top vaporizes will provide powerful, and pure hits of specific terpenes, while dry herb vapes will be similar to traditional smoking.

For a concentrated and strong feeling, albeit sometimes short lived, cartridges and oils will be a better idea. Many people say that oils provide more of a cerebral high vs. a body high, which could be troublesome for those looking for pain relief.

However, speaking from personal experience, it depends on the brand of cartridge, the contents, and the amounts of active ingredients, whether it be the presence of THC or CBD present in the oil. It is important to know what you are buying because concentrates with THC will have psychoactive effects, while CBD oil won’t.

Experimenting different strengths, types, and materials to see what works best for you and your needs is a great journey to natural health and wellness, which can make this process really enjoyable!

Don’t Forget: Care for your Vaping Gear

It is imperative to maintain your gear. So many people fail to do this and end up having a bad experience, especially with some of the pricier gear.

If you completely neglect even just rudimentary cleaning and caring altogether, it could really ruin a vape. Keeping vaping gear clean and well taken care of is imperative to a good experience overall, cleaner consumption and protecting the pocketbook.

For all those who wish to begin vaping, we hope that we’ve equipped you with the guide that can lead you to the best decisions for you and the experience you want to create. Happy Vaping!

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Published at Tue, 25 Jul 2017 03:56:35 +0000

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Retired NFL players back new Denver nonprofit advocating for medical marijuana

Retired NFL players back new Denver nonprofit advocating for medical marijuana

During the day, the prescription opiates stung like a knife in Eben Britton’s gut. At night, cravings for the pills prescribed to manage pain caused by six years as a NFL offensive lineman roused him from his sleep.

But on this sunny Saturday morning in Denver’s Berekley Lake Park, Britton was all smiles, palming a rubber kickball he prepared to pitch in the Athletes For Care (A4C) kickball game during Denver’s 420 Games.

Britton found another way — another means of managing the pain, the depression, the anxiety, the head-rattles that plague careers and trigger darker struggles for some athletes well into retirement: cannabis as part of a holistic approach to healing. Now he’s working with A4C to help other athletes discover a path without opiates.

Saturday’s kickball game was a coming-out party for the new Denver-based nonprofit group focused on the mentorship, wellness and support of former athletes. The group advocates for cannabis as an alternative means of pain management and mental health concerns; it hopes to eventually fund research and stump for federal legislation directed at some of these causes.

“The 420 Games show cannabis as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle,” Britton said. “The two messages (of 420 Games and Athletes For Care) blend really well.”

The group hopes to change the public’s perception of cannabis — and professional athletes, said Ryan Kingsbury, who founded Athletes for Care in late 2016.

“There’s this misconception that athletes retire to a plot in Hawaii,” he said. “The reality is, a lot of these guys have no money, they’re physically limited in what they can do … it is not, I think, what the public perceives life is like as a former athlete.”

The transition into retirement can wreak havoc on a player, Kingsbury said, noting some players struggle with addiction, depression, suicidal thoughts and financial ruin.

“Guys just kind of disappear when they stop playing the game,” said Nate Jackson, a former NFL tight end who spent most of his 6-year career with the Denver Broncos.

He said he signed on with A4C to help build the support system he didn’t have when he left the league. “We want to be there to catch them — we want to be there and give them a hug.”

Reflecting on his playing days, Jackson recalled how pills were passed out like candy to players trying to take the physical and psychological leaps necessary to willingly hurtle oneself back into the same violent situation that caused injury in the first place.

A4C leader Kingsbury is a former exec for Denver’s CW Hemp, a company known for its whole plant hemp extracts rich in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabis compound touted for its potential medical benefits as an anti-inflammatory, pain-reliever and neuroprotectant. As chief of corporate strategy at CW, Kingsbury worked with athletes like former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, who advocated for research on CBD use for professional athletes.

After departing CW, Kingsbury wanted to continue that work and quickly discovered that the best solution was taking a page out of these former athletes’ playbook: Teamwork.

“Collectively, the group could really help drive change not only within the various sport leagues and potentially within legislation,” Kingsbury said.

The organization aims to accomplish these goals by providing resources and programs to assist athletes with the post-retirement transition; educating about health and safety matters affecting players; to advocate for cannabis as an alternative means for pain management, chronic pain and mental health concerns; and to eventually fund research and lobby for federal legislation directed at some of these causes.

Cannabis may not be deliberately incorporated into the programs, but it will be a “huge pillar” on the advocacy front, Kingsbury said, adding that he hopes the group could play a pivotal role in advancing discourse and research around medical marijuana.

“One could argue that the athletes are leading this movement with their stories,” Kingsbury said.

Athletes represent a middle ground in polar-opposite perceptions about cannabis consumers, he said. On one end, there are the critically ill, the pediatric epilepsy patients, and people fighting cancer and multiple sclerosis; on the other, there are the 4/20 crowd and the tie-dye-wearing contingent.

“But a huge segment in between is active people, or generally healthy people,” he said. “Nobody’s talking to them. I see it as an evolution for this industry — to bring it more mainstream.”

Athletes For Care has applied for a nonprofit, 501(c)3 status. It’s likely the organization may eventually pursue 501(c)4 status, which would open the doors for Athletes For Care to lobby for federal causes, he said.

Additionally, Athletes For Care is forging a partnership with the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Kingsbury said.

“It’s really about getting these athletes to feel better,” he said.

DENVER, CO – JULY 22: Athletes For Care co-founder Ryan Kingsbury, left, and former NFL offensive tackle Eben Britton celebrate with teammates during a kickball game at Denver’s 420 games on July 22, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Gabriel Scarlett, The Denver Post)

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Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:50:45 +0000

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Canada’s Premiers & Legalization

Canada’s Premiers & Legalization

Canada’s premiers (minus BC’s John Horgan) recently met in Edmonton to discuss a variety of things, like how to end the opioid crisis while making prescription drugs easier to get and even subsidized by taxpayers.

They also talked about how Canadians in the Far North don’t eat well enough (I wonder if they discussed how Amazon Prime is doing a better job than decades of government intervention).

The premiers also discussed cannabis legalization.

So let’s travel East to West and see what each Canadian premier thinks about cannabis in Canada.

A New Maritime Union

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil spoke for the Maritimes, referring to their small size and population.

The Maritime economies have always been connected, their distances short enough and their populations small enough to retain a sense of community. That the premier believes there should be “uniform regulations across our respective provinces,” is understandable.

But then he jumps the gun and says he thinks this could lead to nationwide regulations.

Which is why he should stick to his own backyard. What works in the Liberal-loving Maritimes doesn’t always work elsewhere.

New Brunswick Gets It… Sort of…?

Nevertheless, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said legalized cannabis could be an “economic opportunity” for the provinces.

Of course, that’s after the province regulates it to death. So what exactly does Gallant mean by “economic opportunity?”

Remember, this was the province that gave OrganiGram $990K.

And how’s that “investment” turned out so far? 

You can’t create wealth by taxing people first. There are unseen consequences and real repercussions.

Business as Usual for Quebec

They shut down Cannabis Culture shops in Montreal, but come July 2018, you’ll be able to purchase from licensed producers no problem.

This is how most of the country is shaping up to look. Except for all the stores in Quebec will be in French.

Leftist Radicalism 

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne deserves no recognition for anything but leftist destruction and chaos.

She is proof that even lesbians can’t run the state effectively.

The inefficiency of state power isn’t a “white male privilege” thing, it’s got nothing to do with gender or sexual orientation or race — it’s economics.

But more so, if you regard the modern state as a way of transcending one’s individuality for the greater good, then it makes perfect sense to centrally plan all human activity and ignore evidence to the contrary that this doesn’t work.

Therefore, when it comes to cannabis legalization, Kathleen Wynne’s core belief is that “We have to keep people safe.”

Her statist footprint goes beyond mere public policy. There is a fringe radical movement on the left that’s taken over the Ontario Liberal Party and now they’re in Ottawa.

When it comes to cannabis in Ontario, all one needs to remember is that they made money off prohibition and now they expect to make money from legalization.

It’s got nothing to do with your right to grow or enter the market.

Hodge-Podge Hot Potato

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister thinks Justin’s Liberals should wait until July 2019 to legalize cannabis.

He’s also in favour of avoiding a “hodge-podge” of provincial regulations.

“I would hope we could learn from [10 different provincial alcohol models] and not re-create that for cannabis.”

He’s annoyed that all distribution responsibilities are being passed down to the provincial level. He doesn’t want the potential health issues and public safety micro-aggressions.

And what about cannabis impairment and driving? Muh roads! Muh provincial roads!

“There are too many unanswered questions, too many issues that have not been addressed for us to rush into what is an historic change,” he told the media.

Exactly, Pallister. You can’t centrally plan your way to liberty and prosperity, so please, politely, step out of the way.

If you wish to pass the buck to someone else, free the markets and let insurance companies and the RCMP deal with the aftermath.

Play it by ear, Pallister. Don’t be afraid.

Moving Parts

“Lots of moving parts,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told reporters. But the anti-carbon tax crusader balked at provincial cannabis hegemony. “Could we have greater continuity in this? It would be desirable but hard to pull off in a short period of time.”

Can’t miss the forest for the trees if you don’t have a forest

Never-mind that farming hemp would do wonders for the Albertan economy.

Since the NDP lean heavily to the left, why not go the populist route and raise property taxes on large corporations but completely eliminate property taxes for family farms and smaller businesses?

Why not raise taxes on “the rich” but completely eliminate income taxes for lower and middle classes?

Then they could go to Ottawa and say: “you tell Health Canada to relax all the regs on hemp and the kind of equalization money you’ll pull from this place… it’ll make your head spin. It’s like that.”

But instead, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said that if the federal government takes a hands-off approach the provinces “will need more time to implement the federal government’s decision,” to legalize cannabis distribution.

Because that’s all the Liberals have told the provinces to do.

Justin will deal with the growers, the children, the propaganda about consumption, the “black market” – all you gotta do is regulate distribution.

Feel free to go as strict as tobacco, or as lenient as alcohol, or a mixture of both. It’s really up to you. The sky’s the limit. It’s not at all difficult.

These premiers are a bunch of whiners.

What about BC?

Since Horgan wasn’t in attendance, I reached out to the new BC government. That information is forth coming.

The BC file is a whole separate issue, really.

Deserves its own blog post, or two, or three, or 245.

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Published at Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:51:36 +0000

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Weed Porn: Blue Magoo

Weed Porn: Blue Magoo

Mrs. Nice Guy

Blue Magoo is a strain I reviewed before, but it was purchased on the rec side in Washington and it was only a gram, so the pics didn’t turn out as awesome as I wanted them to. A friend who grew for me when I was a medical patient grew the stuff pictured above.

I enjoy the sweet taste and berry-like aroma of Blue Magoo, also THE COLORS. It’s so pretty!

The post Weed Porn: Blue Magoo appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

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Published at Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:24:20 +0000

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What are the Health Benefits of CBD?

What are the Health Benefits of CBD?

What are the health benefits of CBD?

Other than Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) is another component found in cannabis. It is non-psychoactive, meaning that it does not make users get high. Its anti-inflammatory property has made it emerge as an effective component to treat various medical issues. Hence with CBD, there are several health benefits and in this article are some of the health benefits to expect. It might be worth trying out CBD oil if you have any of the below issues as it might dramatically help improve your health.

Treating chronic pain

Cannabinoid in medical marijuana helps in relieving both acute and chronic pain such as chronic back pain. The reason behind this is that CBD interacts with brain receptors and the immune system thereby resulting in painkilling effects. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD doesn’t get you high, making it good to treat chronic pain in kids and pets. Moreover, CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties that reverse the inflammation effects of muscles.

Relieving menstrual cramps

Apart from relieving chronic pain, CBD has shown effectiveness in relieving menstrual cramps. It has anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant properties that help relax muscles thereby resulting in lesser pain. CBD strains also help treat symptoms that result during menstruation. When you use CBC oil, it activates the cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region, which results in the reduction of pain and discomfort in the cervix, uterus, and ovaries.

Reducing seizures

CBD can treat epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. It helps lessen both the frequency and intensity of seizures. According to recent studies, patients who have epilepsy have shown a lot of improvements after taking CBD. This research also suggests that it can help treat disorders related to epilepsy such as neurodegeneration, psychiatric diseases, and neuronal injury.

Improved Acne

Acne occurs due to overproduction of sebum which then clogs the hair follicles causing pimples or blackheads. This conditions can be quite depressing resulting in low self-esteem. CBD can help reverse overproduction of sebum. It limits oil production from the skin, which helps control acne. The reason behind this is the presence of endocannabinoid receptors in sebaceous glands and hair follicles, which makes cannabinoid effects successful. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on the sebaceous glands also help in the treatment of acne. Apart from this, CBD helps provide relief from the low self-esteem as a result of acne. You shouldn’t treat yourself however without consulting with your dermatologist.

Assists in fighting cancer

CBD has anti-cancer properties. However, these are just findings from the early stages of research. According to these findings, cannabis oils has shown success in fighting cancer cells among medical marijuana patients. How does CBD help with cancer? It connects to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors on the cancer cell causing an increased ceramide synthesis which accelerates the death of cells. It also helps to shrink tumors and alleviate cancer symptoms. Its ability to keep inflammation under control and combat cell reproduction make it a promising treatment for cancer. However, it is recommended that patients with cancer should not self-medicate.

Anxiety relief

CBD has high anti-anxiety properties. Moreover, unlike other drugs used to treat anxiety related disorders, it has no adverse side effects. CBD works to enhance transmission of 5-HT1A receptors which are responsible for the management of the release of serotonin. With the liberation of enough serotonin, the brain can control depressions resulting to an enhancement of mood. Through interaction with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, it helps inhibit release of fatty acid amide hydrolase which is responsible for the degradation endocannabinoid anandamide. With the degradation of anandamide, the body cannot control anxiety and depression.

Based on research CBD health benefits are on the rise. It is advisable that you consult your doctor before taking any herb containing this component for medical reasons.

Author Bio: Taylor Walker is a freelance writer who has a keen interest in the health benefits of marijuana. From CBD oil to smoking weed he has covered it all! Make sure you keep an eye out for his other articles.

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Published at Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:14:48 +0000

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Munchies: Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches

Munchies: Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mrs. Nice Guy

Summertime is now in session, so cool treats are mandatory!

When I found out that Hostess released an ice cream sandwich version of their Ding Dong dessert snack I had to have one. I did what any sane and somewhat stoned person would do and rushed to my local Freddy’s.

The Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwiches are wrapped individually and come 5 in a pack, each sandwich is 180 calories. The sandwiches are slightly bigger than the unfrozen version of itself and they’re covered in a smooth layer of chocolate coating. Once you bite into it the coating won’t hold up well and it’ll crack and crumble, so they can be a little messy. If you eat it with the wrapper you should be a-okay, or if you wanna get fancy with it you can go full Costanza and eat it with a knife and fork. Once you bite into it you’ll also notice a crunchy chocolate cookie layer and the inside filled with vanilla ice cream. Think a Klondike bar, only better!

Fans of regular Ding Dongs and Ice Cream Sandwiches will definitely love to cool down with this dessert, I only wish they were bigger. While these sandwiches aren’t life changing, they’ll definitely satisfy your sweet tooth cravings…AKA THE MUNCHIES!

Hostess has other ice cream products: they have a Twinkies Cone and Snoballs Bar along with Twinkies, Cupcakes, and Snoballs ice cream. Too bad they didn’t include Chocodiles.

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Published at Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:45:51 +0000

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Many pot firms strapped with cash

Many pot firms strapped with cash

The Columbian / Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Slip a fresh $20 bill under the bulletproof teller window of Donnie Anderson’s Medex marijuana dispensary — perhaps for a gram of cannabis or some THC-infused toffees — and the legal tender is transformed into something else: drug money.

Though the transaction is legal in California, under federal law that bill is not much different from the contents of a drug cartel’s safe — cash that most banks won’t touch.

So how is Anderson supposed to pay his employees, suppliers or business taxes? He deposits cash, in drips and drabs, into an account held by a limited liability company that his bank thinks is a property management firm.

“The bank doesn’t know what we do,” he said.

If this sounds like money laundering, you’re not far off.

Yet consider this: That same $20 exchanged at Canndescent, another cannabis company, takes a direct and transparent route into the financial system.

When the marijuana cultivator sells its product to a dispensary, one armored car drops off the pot and another picks up the cash payment — and then heads to a downtown Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.

There the cash is deposited into the account of a local credit union, one that’s eager to do business with Canndescent.

“After all the horror stories I’ve heard, it does seem like a little bit of magic,” said Tom DiGiovanni, Canndescent’s chief financial officer.

Indeed, though the same laws apply to Anderson’s dispensary and Canndescent’s farm, the world of cannabis banking is so full of contradictions that one business can truck money to a federal facility while the other is left to play a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek with its cash.

“It’s the early stages of the Wild West,” said California Treasurer John Chiang, who is leading an effort to reform cannabis banking, a problem dating back to 1996 when California legalized medical marijuana.

With recreational use set to become legal next year under Proposition 64, cannabis sales in the state are expected to top $7.5 billion in 2020, up from about $3.3 billion last year, according to data provider New Frontier and cannabis investor network Arcview Group.

But while Proposition 64 broadened the legal use of pot, it did nothing to relax banking regulations.

“It left significant questions unresolved,” Chiang said. “How do you handle the taxation of cannabis dollars and the banking of billions of dollars of transactions that are going to take place here in California?”

Last year, Chiang created a group of cannabis and banking industry trade groups, attorneys, regulators and others, trying to figure out how to bring the cannabis industry into the financial mainstream. But it’s a vexing challenge, and one that cannot be solved by the state alone.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in 29 states and for recreational use in eight, yet the federal Controlled Substances Act lists it alongside heroin and LSD as both dangerous and having no accepted medical use.

And for banks, federal laws are paramount.

Banks and credit unions can guarantee deposits because they have federal deposit insurance. They rely on Federal Reserve systems to make wire transfers, handle electronic payments and process checks. And they all answer to at least one federal regulator.

Banks and credit unions also are required to tell federal authorities if they suspect that their customers might be engaged in illegal activity. And when it comes to following those rules, the stakes are high.

“The FDIC could step in and shut down a bank, and it can do that with very little notice,” said Julie Hill, a law professor at the University of Alabama and former finance industry attorney who has studied cannabis banking. “Nobody’s ever gotten their bank brought back to life after it’s been closed by regulators.”

Because of that, many banks won’t even take the risk.

“From a federal level, it’s illegal,” Jim Brush, chief executive of Summit State Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif., told Chiang’s working group in May. “It really doesn’t matter what California does.”

Still, federal officials have cracked open the door for banks and credit unions.

In 2013, the Justice Department said it would focus its marijuana-enforcement efforts on preventing sales to minors, interstate trafficking and a handful of other crimes.

The following year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, released guidelines for financial institutions that want to work with marijuana companies. They require additional reporting and demand that banks monitor companies for activities that remain Justice Department priorities.

No clear protections

FinCEN reported that 368 banks and credit unions were serving the industry in March, up from fewer than 300 at the beginning of 2016. But that’s a tiny fraction of the nation’s nearly 12,000 banks and credit unions.

Hill said so few institutions are playing along because FinCEN’s guidelines don’t offer clear legal protection. And some banks don’t want to be in the uncomfortable position of policing cannabis companies.

“How would you know a business isn’t selling to minors unless you’re in the store all the time?” Hill said.

What’s more, with a new administration in the White House and avowed marijuana opponent Jeff Sessions running the Justice Department, it’s not clear whether the feds will take a harder line on pot.

With many cannabis companies unable to get bank accounts, they are often left to deal in cash, which is inconvenient and dangerous.

Take Jerred Kiloh, owner of Higher Path Collective. His Los Angeles dispensary had sales of about $4 million last year, so he owed more than $200,000 in taxes to Los Angeles alone, he told Chiang’s group.

Imagine, Kiloh said, carrying that much cash.

“Right now, at the downtown office of finance, there’s a six-story parking structure 500 yards away,” he said. “I have to walk through what is essentially a homeless encampment with a duffel bag full of cash, walk across the street, go through security and then sometimes stand in line.”

Kyle Kazan, a former area police officer who runs a firm that invests in cannabis growers and retailers, said the lack of access to banking poses big safety risks.

“Real lives are in danger because there’s so much cash in play here,” Kazan said.

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Published at Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:00:07 +0000

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Strain Review: Space Queen From Phat Panda

Strain Review: Space Queen From Phat Panda

Mrs. Nice Guy

Have you guys checked out Guardians of the Galaxy 2?

I have and I meant to post about it shortly after the movie, but you know me, Lazy old Becks!

Myself and a couple people were pretty stoked to check this flick out back in May, and I thought what could help elevate this viewing? Well wouldn’t you know it, a 1 gram preroll of Space Queen fell out of the sky and went right into my lungs.

Space Queen is the lovechild between the Indica strain, Romulan, and the dreamy Sativa, Cinderella 99. As I took the preroll out of its container, I gently slid the cone against my nostrils and was met with a sensual aroma of vanilla-spice that transported me to an enchanted forest where I imagined myself lying in a meadow in deep meditation taking in each earthy scent. Since I was only imbibing on Space Queen in preroll form, I wasn’t lucky enough to see what she actually looks like…that is until Phat Panda was nice enough to provide some snaps. Covered in a regal coat of crystals with majestic hairs popping with color, Space Queen looks as decadent as she smells.

The movie was already bright and loud given that it was in full HD and picture, but Space Queen took my viewing experience to a whole nother level by making the colors and sounds much more vibrant. I felt like I was traveling through the galaxy, vibing to the soothing sounds of Yacht Rock that the soundtrack provided. The movie was emotional at times, but somehow Space Queen deepened those emotions and made them much more apparent. It was like Space Queen was Mantis and let my inner feelings out.

While I found Space Queen to be mostly cerebral, there was a nice level of physical relaxation that flowed through my body without making me feel tired when I came down. Space Queen is a great strain to elevate sour moods and enhance entertainment. I mostly felt like I was in a spaced out-dreamy-paradox with an energetic sense of euphoria and calmness. I highly recommend this strain if you’re feeling depressed, this will calm your nerves and get your mind right. My preroll of Space Queen came from Phat Panda and purchased at the Herbery , pick one up and enjoy the trip!

Space Queen: 9 – Snoop Dogg

The post Strain Review: Space Queen From Phat Panda appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

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Published at Wed, 12 Jul 2017 18:03:17 +0000

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