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California State Fair to hold first marijuana competition

California State Fair to hold first marijuana competition

Cannabis is coming to the California State Fair.

For the first time, the fair in 2022 will host a competition — open to all licensed cannabis cultivators in the state — to judge the finest flower in California.

Entrants will be divided into three divisions: indoor, mixed light and outdoor. Judges will evaluate the cannabis flower, with seven individual cannabis plant compounds being tested and identified for awards. That includes two cannabinoids — CBD and THC— and five terpenes, which are naturally occurring aromatic compounds that give the plant its characteristic smell and which are a source of plant essential oils and resins.

The California State Fair will hand out 77 bronze, silver, gold and double gold medals to the winners, as well as seven Golden Bear trophies for the “Best of California” in each category.

“We are pleased to celebrate California’s legal and licensed cannabis industry as part of the California State Fair in 2022,” said Jess Durfee, chairman of the California Exposition and State Fair Board of Directors, in a statement. “For the past 166 years, the California State Fair has always been a first mover, leading the state fair circuit with innovative programming and large-scale competitions that celebrate the best the state has to offer, making the addition of cannabis cultivation a natural new category.”

Cannabis Fear Mongering is Alive and Well

Cannabis Fear Mongering is Alive and Well

The days of reefer madness and the devil’s lettuce are behind us…or are they?

If you don’t follow the politics and history of cannabis prohibition, I don’t blame you. Cannabis is legal in over a dozen states for recreational use, with only four states keeping cannabis and hemp (including CBD) completely illegal.

In other words, the majority of the United States has either legalized or decriminalized cannabis. One would think the industry is on the up and up, and the days of cannabis fear mongering were behind us.

But in a media landscape where fear is the best seller, our trusted news sources just can’t resist pushing a new form of reefer madness for the modern generation.

The Devil’s Lettuce Trope Returns

We are all adults here, and we can admit that burning and inhaling any sort of plant matter isn’t ideal for your lungs. But if the media spoke about the strength of alcohol today compared to the 1920s like they do with cannabis, many people would be scratching their heads wondering why the media is so focused on something people already know.

Yet with cannabis, it would seem the media is very concerned for all of our safety. But for some reason, I find that pretty hard to believe. See the aforementioned example, plus the lack of coverage on the nation’s crippling opioid epidemic.

That should be enough to prove that the media is blatantly cherry picking cannabis. But what are they saying?

Lucky for us, the idea of “Reefer Madness” and cannabis driving you insane after smoking it has been disproven enough times. But that isn’t stopping mainstream media outlets like CNN from trying to find the next best scare.

In the last two weeks, CNN has published two separate articles, alleging that young adult cannabis consumers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to non-consumers, and that uncontrollable vomiting from cannabis use is on the rise.

WOW! That’s some bad news for us cannabis lovers, we all better quit.

Except of course that it’s not as simple as the headlines love to make it out to be.

Cannabis Fear Clickbait

Let’s start with the first headline: “Young adult cannabis consumers nearly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack, research shows”.

If you just read that headline you might think, “Wow, I feel like heart attacks are pretty common. If cannabis use doubles the risk, that must mean that it’s pretty dangerous!” Don’t worry, that’s exactly what the article wants you to think.

Now here’s the actual study: Researchers analyzed health data from over 33,000 adults ages 18 to 44 included in US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys in 2017 and 2018. Of the 17% of adults who reported using cannabis within the previous month, 1.3% later had a heart attack while only 0.8% of non-cannabis users reported the same.

Let’s just break down those numbers. 33,000 people. Only 17% use cannabis. That is 5,610 people. Of those 5,610, 1.3% — yes, 1.3% — had a heart attack. That’s 73 people if you round up. And we will just glance over the small detail that there is zero reference to any sort of preexisting conditions or co-morbidities that could have also played a role in those heart attacks.

It might be starting to sound like cannabis might not really do that much to increase heart attack risk, considering it’s only half a percent more than non-consumers (if you can trust the data). But that’s not even the best part.

Halfway through the fear mongering there’s this juicy snippet; “The study did not research how cannabis affects heart health.”

In other words, the study somehow concluded that cannabis increases your chance of heart attack, without doing any research into how cannabis actually affects heart health. That makes sense, right? Toward the end of this cannabis hit piece we get to the real old-timer fear mongering; “the cannabis of today is more potent than what your dad was smoking”.

Remember when alcohol content in beer rose from 3% in an old school ale to 8% in a modern IPA and the media lost it? Yeah, me neither.

If it’s starting to look like CNN might just be cherrypicking, you’re on the right track.

But Wait! There’s More!

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, The OG “Cannabis Illness”

I remember when I was a freshman in college. It was 2013, and I was just starting to dive into the culture and community of cannabis myself. My parents weren’t pro-weed by any means, and I had my fair share of talking to’s before I went to college.

But I always had a hunch that some of the cannabis fears pushed at the time might have been overblown, and I wanted to prove it to my parents. After all, if they had no issue with me drinking in college, they shouldn’t have an issue with cannabis either.

When I started looking for articles about the science and safety behind cannabis that I could send them — which was hard enough to find in 2013 as is — Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) was the first thing I stumbled upon. Uncontrollable vomiting, nausea, dizziness? NO THANKS!

But hold on a second…where’s all the research? Where’s the data? All I could find was a study from 2004 of 19 — yes, 19 — people who came into the ER with the issue.

Want to hear something funny? That’s the same study that CNN decided to cite when talking about the rising occurrences of CHS, in this article, in 2021.

Even better, halfway through the article after you read all the scary stuff, is an actual subheading that says “Research is Spotty“.

No I’m not joking. But for the sake of rubbing it in a little more, let’s dive into this article’s “research”.

From the article: “To do research, scientists looked at medical records for reported cases of repetitive vomiting and compare those to marijuana usage in an area. Wang’s analysis… found over 800,000 cases of reported vomiting in Colorado between 2013 and 2018. That was an approximate 29% increase since marijuana was legalized in the state.”

Wow. That sure is a lot of vomiting! You would think that with so many hundreds of thousands of Coloradans flooding emergency rooms with all their vomiting, doctors would start asking about their cannabis use. Not in this study!

While they mention a single anecdote of one doctor asking about cannabis use when a kid came in vomiting, that’s just what it is; an anecdote.

And that’s it. No more science, no more research. No numbers telling you what percentage of that 800,000 used cannabis, how many had actual uncontrollable vomiting or just normal vomiting and nausea. Oh, and of course we can’t forget that they just had to throw in the, “not your father’s weed” for good measure!

So….Why?

If things are starting to click in your head by now, you’re probably wondering, “Why the hell is a massive, mainstream media outlet like CNN pushing such bullshit stories?” Welcome to the club! We meet once a week.

But in all seriousness, cannabis fear mongering by the media is nothing new (see; the last 80 odd years of cannabis prohibition), and it likely won’t be going away any time soon.

Is there a chance that if we dug into the ad dollars received by CNN, a portion would be coming from pharmaceutical or alcohol companies? Probably. But does that mean that those ad dollars influence what CNN covers on their platform?

YES.

To ignore the fact that there are two massive corporate interests (Big Pharma and Alcohol) currently losing millions of dollars to medical and recreational cannabis (cannabis has nearly passed alcohol in tax revenue already) would be ignorant. We all know what’s going on there.

The reality is that these interests have very deep pockets, and outlets like CNN are always looking to have theirs filled. As long as cannabis remains federally illegal and listed as a Schedule 1 substance with no accepted medical use (Because what even is medical marijuana, right?), we can expect to see these stories continue.

What we can do as a community is combat misinformation from these outlets. Share these stories and blast them. Point out how blatantly wrong, or ignorant, or lazy they are with their research and studies.

This is just one example of the “most trusted name in news” pushing blatant anti-cannabis propaganda. So the real question is, who else is doing it?

Missouri medical cannabis industry adds over 140 dispensaries

Missouri medical cannabis industry adds over 140 dispensaries

Missouri medical cannabis dispensaries surpass 140

Missouri opened its first medical marijuana dispensary last October and now there are more than 140 across the state, with more to come.

The state’s medical cannabis industry employs roughly 5,000 people. Earlier this summer, Governor Mike Parson vetoed a bill that would have allowed Missouri medical cannabis business owners to deduct their expenses, but the head of the state program says that won’t stop the multi-million-dollar industry.

“The sales revenue is pleasantly surprising,” Lyndall Fraker, director of the section of medical marijuana with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said. “At the end of July, we surpassed $91 million in sales.”

Voters in the Show Me State passed an amendment in 2018 legalizing medical marijuana. Missouri was the 33rd state to legalize cannabis as medicine. Fraker said all medical marijuana sold in the state is grown in Missouri.

“The amendment that was voted on said that we should open the minimum number at least, which was 192 dispensaries,” Fraker said. “As of today, we have 142 open We’ve done the math and based on the number of quantities that each patient can purchase each month, how much product it would take to serve the patient base and we think we are going to be good for five or six years.”

Fraker said he believes the other 50 Missouri medical cannabis dispensaries could be open by the end of the year.

Massachusetts recreational cannabis now a $2 billion industry

Massachusetts recreational cannabis now a $2 billion industry

Massachusetts recreational cannabis sales top $2 billion

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission this week released numbers revealing sales of recreational marijuana has topped $2 billion dollars in the first three years of legalization.

The first Massachusetts recreational cannabis dispensaries opened for business in November 2018.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted other businesses, cannabis sales remains strong.

At Seed Recreational Dispensary in Jamaica Plain, which opened in March 2021, Assistant General Manager Bobby Driscoll is not surprised.

“I’m not surprised. It is definitely moving a little quicker than I think some of us in the industry had anticipated,” Driscoll said. “I think it was something we were waiting for, for a long time. A lot of people sacrificed a lot to get us to this point.”

Driscoll anticipates demand will remain strong, even as new dispensaries are approved and open for business.

What is Delta 10 THC? Delta 10 Gummies and Delta 10 Cartridges explained

What is Delta 10 THC? Delta 10 Gummies and Delta 10 Cartridges explained

What is Delta 10 THC?
When the federal government legalized industrial hemp in 2018, it changed a lot of things. It also opened up plenty of loopholes.

After the explosion of CBD and just about every hemp producer trying to sell their CBD products, the market became extremely saturated. While the market for CBD products is still huge (and growing), there are other cannabinoids that have been discovered in hemp that provide different effects.

You may have heard of CBG and CBN, two cannabinoids similar to CBD that have been shown to have therapeutic effects without producing a psychoactive high. However, there have been new, synthetically produced cannabinoids that actually do provide psychoactive effects while staying in a grey area of legality due to being derived from legal hemp.

The latest in this evolution of grey market cannabinoid products is Delta 10 THC.

Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate

Delta 8 THC was the first synthetic cannabinoid to blow up in popularity, with advertisements of a legal high nearly identical to traditional Delta 9 THC. For some, being synthetically manufactured can be a major turn off, bringing back memories of K2 or Spice — entirely synthetic “cannabinoids” created from scratch and sprayed on various herbs — which resulted in numerous injuries and deaths.

However Delta 8 is made a little differently. Instead of making it entirely from scratch, Delta 8 THC is most commonly made from CBD. Through an isomerization process, CBD can be converted in Delta 8 THC. There are lab tested Delta 8 products that are reliable, and just as many that are not, so buyer beware.

But what happens when you take Delta 8 — which is made through chemical processes — and add more chemical processes? You get THC O Acetate.

While Delta 8 THC occurs in low concentrations in cannabis that must be extracted and isolated, THC-O Acetate — commonly called ATHC or THC-O — is not naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and can only be made synthetically.

THC-O is a man-made cannabinoid produced by using specific chemicals to acetylate THC. Acting as a metabolic prodrug for THC itself, THC-O works in the same manner as heroin does as a metabolic prodrug for morphine. That alone is enough to rub many cannabis users the wrong way, especially whole plant advocates.

However the high that THC O Acetate can produce is enough for many to overlook how it is made. According to anecdotal experiences form users, THC O Acetate has been shown to be nearly 3x more potent than Delta 9 THC, and has been described as psychedelic, producing visual hallucinations.

However there are currently very few reliable THC O Acetate manufacturers, with only one claiming to have a pure, clean process for making it. With over a dozen states banning Delta 8 THC, and not enough reliable producers or consumer information on THC O Acetate, consumers and producers are looking for yet another replacement.

They may have found it with Delta 10 THC.

What is Delta 10 THC?

The good news about Delta 10 THC, is that it’s made in a near identical way to Delta 8 THC. It appears in similar trace amounts to the point where it’s not worth the time or money to try and extract it purely from a hemp plant. This means it has to be created from something like hemp-derived CBD through a chemical process.

So in the case of how to consume Delta 10 THC, it will almost always be found in the form of Delta 10 THC gummies or other edibles and Delta 10 THC vape cartridges made from distillate. This is because there is no hemp flower that produces enough Delta 10 THC that could actually be felt through normal flower consumption.

User reports of Delta 8 THC claim that it provides a more relaxing and appetite stimulating effect, similar to what most would call an “indica”. Delta 10 THC users on the other hand report it to feel more like a “sativa”; uplifting, energetic, etc..

Neither Delta 8 or Delta 10 THC provide the same intense high that Delta 9 THC can. But according to David Reckles from Private Label Hemp Lab, Delta 10 could potentially surpass Delta 8 in popularity as it provides an uplifting high that isn’t overwhelming or accompanied by paranoia and anxiety that some feel from Delta 9 THC.

Is Delta 10 THC Legal?

Just like Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate, Delta 10 THC exists in a legal grey area. Because it is technically derived from federally legal hemp which has a Delta 9 THC concentration below .3%, and the Farm Bill specifically mentions only Delta 9 THC concentrations, Delta 10 and other cannabinoids are technically legal.

However, in a ruling on CBD and other cannabinoids legalized by the Farm Bill, the DEA says, “For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.“

Unfortunately as government is wont to do, the DEA failed to clarify what constitutes a “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol”, leaving it up for interpretation. To Delta 10 THC producers, the fact that nobody is getting busted is enough to continue making it, whether it turns out to be illegal or not.

In the same vein, the caution is on the consumer when purchasing Delta 10 THC gummies or Delta 10 THC cartridges. Not just because of the lack regulation on producers which results in shady products that could potentially be dangerous, but also because it is still THC. In other words, it’s possible for someone who gets drug tested for THC to test positive, despite only using Delta 10.

While Delta 10 THC, Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate may be “legal” alternatives to Delta 9 THC in states where cannabis is still prohibited, it could change at any moment. Whether that means you should stock up on all the Delta 10 and Delta 8 you can get your hands on or just wait for legalization to come your state is up to you.

Humboldt County announces more than $2 million in grant funding for cannabis farmers

Humboldt County announces more than $2 million in grant funding for cannabis farmers

humboldt county gives out cannabis grant to farmers
Many Humboldt County growers are struggling this season as the price of cannabis falls in California.

Humboldt County announced more than $2 million in grant funding available through Project Trellis, the county’s cannabis micro-grant, marketing and local equity program, to help the local cannabis community enter into the commercial cannabis marketplace. Those eligible can apply for up to $10,000 “per service” in accordance with Humboldt County’s eligibility requirements for Project Trellis.

“All applications and supporting documents will be reviewed by Economic Development staff to ensure the applicant meets eligibility criteria. Some projects may receive a lower amount than what was requested, based on the availability of funds or needs of service,” a news release from the county stated.

“A typical approval process can take 60 or more days from when the application is received. Upon approval, the applicant will receive a notice of award, contract, fund request form and a W9 form.”

Project Trellis was built as a three-tier program to redirect cannabis tax revenue back into the local economy. In September 2019, the county sought proposals for cannabis branding and marketing.

The goal of the program is to “implement the recommendations set forth in the Humboldt County Cannabis Equity Assessment” and “to further equity among those impacted by the criminalization of cannabis, by providing services to individuals in Humboldt County’s cannabis community, particularly small growers who were adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis.”

While $2 million may seem like a big chunk of change, Humboldt County Growers Alliance executive director Natalynne DeLapp said the county’s “independent cannabis farmers are in crisis.”

“It is great that the county developed Project Trellis…and (has) secured nearly $5 million in funding from the state to support communities most impacted by the War on Drugs in entering the regulated cannabis market, but now it is time to get serious,” she said. “…Perhaps 200 of Humboldt County’s 900-plus cultivation operators, who can prove the War on Drugs has negatively impacted them, could receive up to $10,000 in fee waivers for professional services like fee waivers, technical assistance or installing solar or water storage systems.”

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