Milestone for Colorado marijuana: $100M in monthly recreational sales

Milestone for Colorado marijuana: $100M in monthly recreational sales

The trend of summer highs for Colorado’s cannabis industry continued in July as monthly recreational sales surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time since legalization.

The Cannabist’s calculations of the latest Colorado marijuana tax data show that the state’s cannabis shops sold nearly $137 million in marijuana products — $101.1 million in adult-use sales and another $35.8 million in medical marijuana sales — during the month of July.

The monthly sales tax reports posted by the Colorado Department of Revenue and the subsequent extrapolations by The Cannabist customarily come with their share of caveats: The reported receipts largely reflect sales made in July but could vary because of aspects such as incomplete or late-filed returns.

The July 2017 sales figures, however, come with some added wrinkles. It’s the first month to reflect a new taxing structure for recreational marijuana.

As a result of recent legislation, the retail marijuana special sales tax rate increased to 15 percent from 10 percent and exempted recreational marijuana products from the 2.9 percent state sales tax rate. Accessories or other goods not containing marijuana are still subject to the standard 2.9 percent sales tax rate.

“Due to this tax change, the marijuana industry is in a period of transition,” Department of Revenue officials stated in a footnote to the sales tax report filed Tuesday. “The value reported (for the retail marijuana tax revenue from the 2.9 percent state sales tax) may include, but is not limited to: errors filed by taxpayers that may be corrected by amended returns in the future, prior period return payments and 2.9 percent state sales tax collected on accessories.”

Department of Revenue reported $735,326 was remitted by retailers at the 2.9 percent tax rate.

Larson Silbaugh, senior economist for the Colorado Legislative Council Staff, told The Cannabist that the 2.9 percent rate collected in July “looks inflated.”

“This is the first month, there’s an education component” to vendors implementing the new system, Silbaugh said.

As such, The Cannabist’s calculations for the July 2017 recreational sales are based primarily on revenue reported for the new 15 percent sales tax.

Math aside, the July haul shows a developing trend for Colorado’s 4-year-old industry: The summer season is good for business.

Last year, monthly medical and recreational cannabis sales consistently eclipsed $100 million starting in June 2016. Monthly combined sales of medical and recreational cannabis — flower, concentrates, edibles and accessories — have not dipped below that mark since.

Seven months through 2017, Colorado’s cannabis industry tallied $888 million in sales, a 23.3 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

Economists and state officials have projected that the annual growth rates for Colorado’s cannabis sales will eventually moderate as the local market matures and other states adopt recreational cannabis measures.

The Cannabist’s Aleta Labak contributed to this report.



Sales stats for Colorado weed
A month-by-month look comparing sales of recreational and medical marijuana, as calculated by The Cannabist:
2017 Recreational total (7 months)
$632,757,152
2017 Medical total (7 months)
$255,443,890
2017: $888,201,042
2016 Recreational total (12 months)
$875,277,360
2016 Medical total (12 months)
$437,879,186
2016: $1,313,156,545



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Published at Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:37:49 +0000

NFL Kickoff: Catch up on football's off-season drive for medical marijuana and CBD

NFL Kickoff: Catch up on football's off-season drive for medical marijuana and CBD

The new NFL season kicks off this weekend following a summer that saw new momentum in the drive to put medical cannabis in the pros’ pain-management playbook.

At the beginning of August, the NFL wrote to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) offering to work in tandem to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players. It’s the first time the league has offered to work with players’ union on the topic of medical marijuana.

Days later, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reaffirmed the position during a forum held at The Denver Broncos headquarters.

“If pain management is something that medical marijuana can address responsibly, that’s something that our medical community is evaluating,” the commissioner said.

The league’s letter — and the commissioner’s apparent evolution — capped off an off-season that saw powerful figures such as Goodell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith weigh in on the marijuana issue.

The momentum isn’t limited to medical cannabis — earlier this year the NFLPA announced that it intended to pursue a new, “less punitive” drug policy that reflects the changing legal landscape as it pertained to recreational and medical consumption.

The Cannabist Network has all the NFL marijuana news on lock, so here’s everything you need to know before the first snap.


NFL alumni lead the drive

– Retired NFL pros back new nonprofit advocating for medical marijuana
– CBD patch turns former NFL star linebacker into cannabidiol disciple
– Former NFL pros say CBD oil vital pain-management tool
– NFL players hope CBD can be breakthrough treatment
– Medical marijuana key to treating former NFL All-Pro’s lingering injuries
– Former Eagle OL Todd Herremans pushes pot for pain management


NFL Players Association makes a stand

– NFLPA announces proposal for ‘less punitive’ approach to player pot use
– NFLPA looking at marijuana as possible pain-reliever for players
– Marijuana policy in NFL is ‘a CBA issue, not a law-enforcement issue’
– Give and take expected in marijuana policy negotiations with NFL owners
– Players’ families involved in push for marijuana policy change


League leadership evolves

– NFL offers to work with players’ union to study cannabis for pain
– NFL’s chief medical officer: medical marijuana research ‘really important’
– NFL commish Goodell says league ready to research medical marijuana
– Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: Lift NFL ban on marijuana
– NFL commissioner calls marijuana ‘addictive’ and questions smoking risks

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Published at Sat, 09 Sep 2017 14:56:24 +0000

GOP-led House Rules Committee blocks voting on bipartisan marijuana amendments

GOP-led House Rules Committee blocks voting on bipartisan marijuana amendments

The U.S. House Committee on Rules has blocked a number of marijuana-related amendments from a federal appropriations bill, including the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

The GOP-led committee’s moves late Wednesday mean multiple amendments protecting existing and future state marijuana laws won’t be getting a vote on the House floor. Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, told The Hill that GOP leaders viewed the amendments as potentially divisive and planned to not have them go to a vote.

The most notable measure cast out of the must-pass appropriations bill was the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which would bar the Justice Department from using funds to interfere with existing state-enacted medical marijuana regulations. The amendment formerly known as Rohrabacher-Farr (Rep. Sam Farr has retired) has been in place since late 2014, when it received a 219-189 vote in the House, and was approved again in 2015, by a 242-186 vote. It has been extended through omnibus spending legislation set to expire at the end of this month.

The committee’s removal of the medical marijuana protections from the House bill does not kill the amendment, and it still has a chance of making it into the legislation that lays out annual funding for the federal government. In late July, the Senate Appropriations Committee authorized the amendment for inclusion in the larger spending bill. Once the House version is passed, it faces reconciliation with that Senate version by a conference committee.

In a joint statement released Wednesday night, amendment sponsors Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, condemned the committee’s decision, saying the move “goes against the will of the American people” and “is putting at risk the millions of patients who rely on medical marijuana.”

“Our fight to protect medical marijuana patients is far from over,” the statement continued. “The marijuana reform movement is large and growing. This bad decision by the House Rules Committee is an affront to the 46 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized use and distribution of some form of medical marijuana. These programs serve millions of Americans.

“This setback, however, is not the final word. As House and Senate leadership negotiate a long-term funding bill, we will fight to maintain current protections.”

As The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace previously reported, the potential short-term funding deal revealed Wednesday likely would include the existing Rohrabacher-Farr language, extending those protections through year’s end if it is approved.

Earlier Wednesday, Rohrabacher, and co-sponsors Blumenauer, and Jared Polis, D-Colorado, all testified before the committee that the medical marijuana protections are existing law and that public opinion is in favor of the existing medical cannabis regulations in 46 states.

“To deny (members of Congress) the right to have a vote, I think, is unconscionable,” Rohrabacher told the committee.

Said Blumenauer: “It would be a tragic mistake to lose the progress that we made.”

Three amendments on banking were offered, sponsored by Dennis “Denny” Heck, D-Washington. They would have allowed for marijuana businesses to have access to banking by prohibiting the punishment of financial institutions that serve licensed marijuana businesses and preventing the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network from rescinding its guidance for banks that work with marijuana firms.

The measures were rejected on an 8-5 vote, with the four Democrats on the committee joined by Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington in favor of the banking amendments.

Other amendments blocked by the committee included additional protection for medical marijuana research, sponsored by Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, and another allowing the District of Columbia to use local funding to regulate and tax recreational marijuana, which D.C. legalized in 2014.

Staff Writer Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.

House Rules Committee members:
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas (chair)
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma (vice-chair)
Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Georgia
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia
Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York (ranking minority member)
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado

Watch the committee hearing:


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Published at Thu, 07 Sep 2017 04:21:06 +0000

DOJ secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

DOJ secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

The U.S. Department of Justice is secretly using the Internal Revenue Service to conduct criminal investigations into otherwise legitimate marijuana businesses in Colorado under the guise of tax audits, lawyers for the companies say in an ongoing federal lawsuit.

The IRS called the allegations baseless and illogical, saying inquiries it is making for information from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division are simply part of its efforts at verifying financial records in determining if businesses owe more tax.

The case in U.S. District Court filed by the owners of Rifle Remedies, a medical marijuana business in Silt, is one of several that challenge IRS subpoenas to MED seeking information about how much pot they’ve grown, to whom they’ve sold it, and when. The IRS said it has resorted to the tactic because businesses have refused to offer the information voluntarily.

Though properly licensed in Colorado to sell the drug, in the view of the IRS the companies are traffickers that violate the federal Controlled Substances Act that lists marijuana as an illegal narcotic. As such, the businesses cannot deduct expenses as other companies can, but before the agency can make that assessment, it must first determine the companies are actually selling pot.

Filings in the Rifle Remedies case allege a deeper conspiracy involving at least three federal agencies.

Lawyers for the companies did not immediately return messages, but have said in recent court filings they suspect the IRS is overstepping its auditing authority by conducting investigations for the DOJ. They claim the Drug Enforcement Administration has trained tax agents on how to investigate drug operations.

“The IRS is working jointly with the Department of Justice to investigate purported criminal activity of the taxpayers,” the lawyers — Greenwood Village attorneys James Thorburn and Richard Walker — wrote in a recent filing. “To this end, the IRS has converged on Colorado and is conducting mass audits of those it has determined to be unlawfully trafficking in controlled substances … dishing out summonses like candy …”

They say their clients would happily give the IRS what it wants, but only with a grant of immunity from prosecution.

They say the DEA and IRS held training sessions in March 2016, “where (IRS) agents were trained in criminal drug law investigator (sic) techniques,” but efforts to learn what actually transpired have been rebuffed.

“The depths of the IRS and DOJ joint effort is shrouded in secrecy,” they wrote, noting responses to their requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act have been repeatedly stalled.

The lawyers assert the conduct is the result of a 2016 law in which Congress prohibited the use of DOJ funds to prevent implementation of state medical marijuana laws. So because the DEA can’t conduct such an investigation, it is working through the IRS in the U.S. Treasury Department.

The IRS, DEA and MED do not comment on pending litigation and will not confirm the existence of any investigation.

The IRS called the assertion “baseless,” saying Rifle Remedies “appears to sell marijuana for recreational use,” and that the DEA doesn’t need the help.

“That the DEA is using the IRS to investigate … defies common sense,” the government said in a court filing. “If prosecution were truly the goal, it would be far simpler — and likely more effective — for the DEA to send a plainclothes agent to purchase marijuana from (Rifle Remedies) than to co-opt the IRS into issuing summons to MED for information about past years’ marijuana sales. (Rifle’s) underlying theory of this case lacks not only evidence, but logic.”

The IRS is trying to get its hands on Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance system, or METRC, which follows every marijuana plant from seed to sale. The agency wants annual gross sales reports for 2014 and 2015, but apparently also information about who is buying from Rifle Remedies.

Until now, the IRS relied on pot businesses — growers, distributors and manufacturers — to concede they are selling the drug, which the lawyers say is tantamount to admitting to a federal crime. Once done, the IRS uses section 280E of the Revenue Code in denying any business tax deductions, a move that raises the business’s tax bill by multiples.

Businesses are able to deduct their cost of producing goods from the revenues generated, just like other businesses can, but cannot do more than that, a massive liability that leaves them with huge tax bills.

No hearings have been set on the case.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:44:54 +0000

DOJ secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

DOJ secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

The U.S. Department of Justice is secretly using the Internal Revenue Service to conduct criminal investigations into otherwise legitimate marijuana businesses in Colorado under the guise of tax audits, lawyers for the companies say in an ongoing federal lawsuit.

The IRS called the allegations baseless and illogical, saying inquiries it is making for information from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division are simply part of its efforts at verifying financial records in determining if businesses owe more tax.

The case in U.S. District Court filed by the owners of Rifle Remedies, a medical marijuana business in Silt, is one of several that challenge IRS subpoenas to MED seeking information about how much pot they’ve grown, to whom they’ve sold it, and when. The IRS said it has resorted to the tactic because businesses have refused to offer the information voluntarily.

Though properly licensed in Colorado to sell the drug, in the view of the IRS the companies are traffickers that violate the federal Controlled Substances Act that lists marijuana as an illegal narcotic. As such, the businesses cannot deduct expenses as other companies can, but before the agency can make that assessment, it must first determine the companies are actually selling pot.

Filings in the Rifle Remedies case allege a deeper conspiracy involving at least three federal agencies.

Lawyers for the companies did not immediately return messages, but have said in recent court filings they suspect the IRS is overstepping its auditing authority by conducting investigations for the DOJ. They claim the Drug Enforcement Administration has trained tax agents on how to investigate drug operations.

“The IRS is working jointly with the Department of Justice to investigate purported criminal activity of the taxpayers,” the lawyers — Greenwood Village attorneys James Thorburn and Richard Walker — wrote in a recent filing. “To this end, the IRS has converged on Colorado and is conducting mass audits of those it has determined to be unlawfully trafficking in controlled substances … dishing out summonses like candy …”

They say their clients would happily give the IRS what it wants, but only with a grant of immunity from prosecution.

They say the DEA and IRS held training sessions in March 2016, “where (IRS) agents were trained in criminal drug law investigator (sic) techniques,” but efforts to learn what actually transpired have been rebuffed.

“The depths of the IRS and DOJ joint effort is shrouded in secrecy,” they wrote, noting responses to their requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act have been repeatedly stalled.

The lawyers assert the conduct is the result of a 2016 law in which Congress prohibited the use of DOJ funds to prevent implementation of state medical marijuana laws. So because the DEA can’t conduct such an investigation, it is working through the IRS in the U.S. Treasury Department.

The IRS, DEA and MED do not comment on pending litigation and will not confirm the existence of any investigation.

The IRS called the assertion “baseless,” saying Rifle Remedies “appears to sell marijuana for recreational use,” and that the DEA doesn’t need the help.

“That the DEA is using the IRS to investigate … defies common sense,” the government said in a court filing. “If prosecution were truly the goal, it would be far simpler — and likely more effective — for the DEA to send a plainclothes agent to purchase marijuana from (Rifle Remedies) than to co-opt the IRS into issuing summons to MED for information about past years’ marijuana sales. (Rifle’s) underlying theory of this case lacks not only evidence, but logic.”

The IRS is trying to get its hands on Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance system, or METRC, which follows every marijuana plant from seed to sale. The agency wants annual gross sales reports for 2014 and 2015, but apparently also information about who is buying from Rifle Remedies.

Until now, the IRS relied on pot businesses — growers, distributors and manufacturers — to concede they are selling the drug, which the lawyers say is tantamount to admitting to a federal crime. Once done, the IRS uses section 280E of the Revenue Code in denying any business tax deductions, a move that raises the business’s tax bill by multiples.

Businesses are able to deduct their cost of producing goods from the revenues generated, just like other businesses can, but cannot do more than that, a massive liability that leaves them with huge tax bills.

No hearings have been set on the case.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:44:54 +0000

DOJ is secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

DOJ is secretly using IRS to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses, lawsuit says

The U.S. Department of Justice is secretly using the Internal Revenue Service to conduct criminal investigations into otherwise legitimate marijuana businesses in Colorado under the guise of tax audits, lawyers for the companies say in an ongoing federal lawsuit.

The IRS called the allegations baseless and illogical, saying inquiries it is making for information from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division are simply part of its efforts at verifying financial records in determining if businesses owe more tax.

The case in U.S. District Court filed by the owners of Rifle Remedies, a medical marijuana business in Silt, is one of several that challenge IRS subpoenas to MED seeking information about how much pot they’ve grown, to whom they’ve sold it, and when. The IRS said it has resorted to the tactic because businesses have refused to offer the information voluntarily.

Though properly licensed in Colorado to sell the drug, in the view of the IRS the companies are traffickers that violate the federal Controlled Substances Act that lists marijuana as an illegal narcotic. As such, the businesses cannot deduct expenses as other companies can, but before the agency can make that assessment, it must first determine the companies are actually selling pot.

Filings in the Rifle Remedies case allege a deeper conspiracy involving at least three federal agencies.

Lawyers for the companies did not immediately return messages, but have said in recent court filings they suspect the IRS is overstepping its auditing authority by conducting investigations for the DOJ. They claim the Drug Enforcement Administration has trained tax agents on how to investigate drug operations.

“The IRS is working jointly with the Department of Justice to investigate purported criminal activity of the taxpayers,” the lawyers — Greenwood Village attorneys James Thorburn and Richard Walker — wrote in a recent filing. “To this end, the IRS has converged on Colorado and is conducting mass audits of those it has determined to be unlawfully trafficking in controlled substances … dishing out summonses like candy …”

They say their clients would happily give the IRS what it wants, but only with a grant of immunity from prosecution.

They say the DEA and IRS held training sessions in March 2016, “where (IRS) agents were trained in criminal drug law investigator (sic) techniques,” but efforts to learn what actually transpired have been rebuffed.

“The depths of the IRS and DOJ joint effort is shrouded in secrecy,” they wrote, noting responses to their requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act have been repeatedly stalled.

The lawyers assert the conduct is the result of a 2016 law in which Congress prohibited the use of DOJ funds to prevent implementation of state medical marijuana laws. So because the DEA can’t conduct such an investigation, it is working through the IRS in the U.S. Treasury Department.

The IRS, DEA and MED do not comment on pending litigation and will not confirm the existence of any investigation.

The IRS called the assertion “baseless,” saying Rifle Remedies “appears to sell marijuana for recreational use,” and that the DEA doesn’t need the help.

“That the DEA is using the IRS to investigate … defies common sense,” the government said in a court filing. “If prosecution were truly the goal, it would be far simpler — and likely more effective — for the DEA to send a plainclothes agent to purchase marijuana from (Rifle Remedies) than to co-opt the IRS into issuing summons to MED for information about past years’ marijuana sales. (Rifle’s) underlying theory of this case lacks not only evidence, but logic.”

The IRS is trying to get its hands on Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance system, or METRC, which follows every marijuana plant from seed to sale. The agency wants annual gross sales reports for 2014 and 2015, but apparently also information about who is buying from Rifle Remedies.

Until now, the IRS relied on pot businesses — growers, distributors and manufacturers — to concede they are selling the drug, which the lawyers say is tantamount to admitting to a federal crime. Once done, the IRS uses section 280E of the Revenue Code in denying any business tax deductions, a move that raises the business’s tax bill by multiples.

Businesses are able to deduct their cost of producing goods from the revenues generated, just like other businesses can, but cannot do more than that, a massive liability that leaves them with huge tax bills.

No hearings have been set on the case.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:44:54 +0000

What is the Best Way to Do Dabs? A Little Dab Will Do!

What is the Best Way to Do Dabs? A Little Dab Will Do!

What is the Best Way to Do Dabs?

Dabbing is the common terms for smoking or vaping concentrated cannabis. While it has been around for nearly a decade, there are still some uncertainties as to how to perform this technique.  TWB has posted about dabs before, but we wanted to give you the lowdown on different ways to do dabs so you can decide which method is the best for you.

The preference for the concentrated version over the cannabis flower lies in its much stronger and powerful kick. The potency comes from its 70 to 90% THC content and no dead plant matter. With the heightened popularity of the ‘dabs’, the increased attention to consumption methods are growing. The below methods are guaranteed whether you are novice or pro.

  1. Dab Rig

This is only advised if you know what you’re doing and have a high tolerance. The rig consists of four components; oil rig, torch, nail and wand. The concentrated marijuana goes on the wand. You heat the nail with the torch and once hot, dab the the concentrate and inhale.

A similar but alternative method is using the electric nail. Similar to the Dab Rigs, except that instead of a torch, the nail is plugged in to heat up. You get more control over the temperature this way and can be sure to vaporize concentrates rather than combusting.

  1. Health Stone

This stone is a porous rock that you place in your bowl-piece. The marijuana is placed directly on the stone; no dab tool required. You still need a torch to heat the stone which then vaporizes the dab. This method works best for any concentrates like hash or crumble.

  1. Dab Pen

This is the most convenient way to use highly-concentrated cannabis. The pens are easy to use and portable and you don’t need a torch or any tools. The biggest complaint of the pens is the plastic aftertaste that gets left in your mouth, but it is not the worst thing, considering you can just pour the liquid in and go.

  1. Pre-Filled Vape Cartridges

Easy to use, these cartridges can be used in a dab pen that allow for refills or an e-cigarette or vape pens. These are very discreet and convenient but can be pricey too.

  1. T-Waxing

When you have super potent cannabis, you can mix it with some dry herb, creating ‘twax’. It offers a pleasurable experience but the high is sub-par to other methods. When rolled with flowers, the dab will burn slower making it perfect to share.

Whichever method you decide upon, one of these popular methods will be the better choice. Then all you have to do is decide what type of concentrate you want, shatter, crumble, wax or oil, and in a short matter of time your dabbing experience will be under way.

Author bio: Taylor Walker is a cannabis enthusiast and freelance writer based in Canada. Taylor has a keen interest in the health benefits of marijuana. He has written about topics such as CBD oil and various cannabis consumption methods and almost everything in between.  

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Published at Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:38:51 +0000

Tips for Successfully Growing Marijuana Indoors

Tips for Successfully Growing Marijuana Indoors

Tips for Successfully Growing Marijuana Indoors

Whether or not you have a green thumb, growing marijuana can be a challenge. If you want to grow your own indoor marijuana plant, you might encounter some trouble. These tips can help you have a successful grow, regardless of the color of your thumb.

  1. Do your research

Before you can even consider growing marijuana, do some research. First, you should find out if it’s legal to grow it in your state. If it’s not, you may also want to research the consequences of getting caught with a marijuana plant.

You should also research growing practices. There are some great resources out there. Check out plantsily.com/ for detailed steps on how to successfully grow indoors. Learn everything about growing it; there’s a lot to learn. By educating yourself, you can save yourself the stress of many unsuccessful attempts.

  1. Be clean

Marijuana plants are susceptible to disease. You want to do everything you can to prevent the spread of diseases. And that means being clean. You should wash your hands before you handle any plants. Be sure to keep all your tools and the surrounding environment clean as well. The cleaner the area, the less likely it is that bugs and diseases can take over.

  1. Use good soil and seeds

Without the right soil and the right seeds, your plants won’t grow well. Or, the results might be disappointing. When you’re shopping for soil, don’t skimp. Look for a high-quality soil that has a pH balance in the 6.5 range.

The seeds matter too. Bad seeds might not grow, or they might result in low quality cannabis. Don’t buy the cheapest seeds you can find. Instead, do your research and buy from a reputable source.  Quality seeds make for some quality cannabis.

  1. Don’t overdo it

We get it. You’re excited about growing your very own marijuana plant. But don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you. Many novices use too much water and too much fertilizer. This can destroy your plant. Everything should be done in moderation. Only water your plant if there’s no moisture about three inches under the surface of the soil. And when you do water it, don’t drown the plant.

As far as fertilizer goes, the same is true. You don’t want to overdo it. If your soil contains the nutrients your plant needs, don’t add more to the water. And you should be aware of what nutrients your plants need throughout the growth cycle. The flowering stage uses up different nutrients than the vegetative stage.

  1. Consistency is key

Marijuana plants thrive in a consistent environment. Do what you need to in order to keep the humidity, temperature and air circulation stable. Try to keep your own attention to the plants on a schedule as well. Care for them at the same time every day.

These aren’t the only things you need to do to have a successful grow. But it’s a good start. If you’re thorough, attentive, and smart about growing, you can have great success. And the results are well worth the effort.

Author Bio: Brad Richardson is a regular contributor to Plantsily and other cannabis-centric websites. In his spare time he works hard with local organizations within his state, to ensure that Marijuana is soon legalized. 

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:12:26 +0000

Many Americans use Cannabis for Chronic Pain Because it is Better than Opioids

Many Americans use Cannabis for Chronic Pain Because it is Better than Opioids

CANNABIS FOR CHRONIC PAIN

Currently, 1/3 America suffers from chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. It commonly coincides alongside secondary symptoms and conditions, from trouble sleeping to a weakened immune system to anxiety and depression. The problem with chronic pain and other health conditions, however, is that many people turn to opioid prescriptions, the reality of which is quite dangerous. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, is a viable alternative to opioids, which you will see in the infographic below.

Apollo Cannabis Clinic aims to offer safe and effective treatment for chronic pain and a variety of other conditions such as PTSD and anxiety via medicinal marijuana. The largest study on cannabis to date found that medical cannabis is effective at relieving not only chronic pain, but also a variety of other conditions, from muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis to nausea associated with chemotherapy. Not only is it effective, but it is also highly safe, especially in comparison to opioids. In 2015, 15,000 or more deaths in the United States were the result of opioid overdoses alone – marijuana, on the other hand, caused zero deaths. This is because while it is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, the same is not true for opioids.

The opioid overdose epidemic is perhaps compounded by the misleading and often false information that the public has received regarding opioid use. In 2007, for example, three top executives from Purdue Pharma plead guilty to marketing Oxycontin as a safe alternative and for giving inaccurate information regarding the risks of addiction. Another problem in all of this is that that a large percentage of those using opioids – 49 percent – get them from family and friends.

As you will see in the infographic below, however, not only is medical marijuana a safe and effective way to treat chronic pain and a variety of other health conditions, but it is also associated with a decrease in opioid-related deaths.

cannabis vs opioids

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Published at Fri, 25 Aug 2017 16:00:38 +0000

Congressmen query Sessions over reported cannabis research obstruction

Congressmen query Sessions over reported cannabis research obstruction

A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing concern about a reported move by the Justice Department to halt marijuana research.

The letter from Representatives Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; Jared Polis, D-Colorado; and Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon; referenced a Washington Post report from Aug. 15 that, citing unnamed Drug Enforcement Administration officials, stated the Department of Justice has effectively shut down plans put in motion a year ago to reduce barriers to marijuana research. As of early August, 22 entities applied for marijuana research manufacturing licenses, but none had been approved, DEA officials told The Cannabist earlier this month.

“It is worrisome to think that the Department of Justice, the cornerstone of American civil society, would limit new and potentially groundbreaking research simply because it does not want to follow a rule,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter provided to The Cannabist. “We write to inquire whether the allegations raised by the Post are true, and, if so, to understand the Department of Justice’s rationale in refusing to process these applications.”

The congressmen’s letter was first obtained and reported by Tom Angell, of Marijuana Majority and MassRoots.

Justice Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Each of the four congressmen has had their hands in several marijuana-related federal bills aimed at aspects such as rescheduling or descheduling what currently is a Schedule I substance; creating avenues for increased research; preserving existing state-based programs; and easing restrictions for banks and financial institutions to work with the industry.

Earlier this year, Blumenauer, Polis and Rohrabacher co-founded the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus.


Read the letter from the Congress members

Letter to DOJ regarding DEA research (Text)

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Published at Wed, 23 Aug 2017 23:14:28 +0000