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Freezing Your Cannabis: Storing cannabis correctly

Freezing Your Cannabis: Storing cannabis correctly

How to store marijuana properly
Unless you’re making fresh-frozen concentrates, putting your cannabis in the freezer might not be the best idea.
The cannabis plant is full of wonder and a plethora of yet-to-be discovered health benefits in addition to those already helping those ailing from a multiplicity of ailments. However, when it comes to recreational cannabis, people tend to forget that it is a plant just like any other, and after it is harvested it can only stay good for so long.

When it comes to storing your cannabis, there are different options you can try out to see what maintains the flavor and scent profile the best. But not all storage methods will provide the right humidity, temperature and lighting to maintain those tastes and smells for an extended period of time.

Cannabis Storing Basics

Storing cannabis is extremely simple and easy once you know the basics. The most important thing to remember is that cannabis likes the dark and cooler temperatures after it is cured. Mildew and other molds start to thrive on cannabis if the plant matter exceeds 77º and excessive dry heat will dry out the essential oils in the plant making it dry, crumbly, and harsher to consume.

While too low of a temperature can also be dangerous for cannabis potency, a nice cool temperature between 50º and 60º in a dark place and relative humidity between 59% and 63% that blocks UV rays will be the most effective in maintaining the original potency and flavor of cannabis. So, what is the most effective way to store cannabis?

Freezing Your Cannabis

Let’s start with freezing cannabis. In short, this is not the way to go. While one may think that freezing cannabis could have its perks like slowing down the aging process or helping the buds stay firm, it is actually the opposite. 

Most cannabis is “aged” for multiple days after the harvest to dry out and cure the buds, so by the time it hits the shelves it is already cured and ready to use. However, as cannabis sits, it continues to decarboxylate, which is the process that transfers THC-A into the psychoactive THC we all know and love. Lower temperatures like that of a freezer will slow down if not halt completely the decarboxylation process, leading to less potent cannabis over time.

Another downside to freezing cannabis is the fragility of the THC crystals that sit on the outside of the buds, also known as trichomes, one of the main contributors to the potency of cannabis. As temperatures drop, trichomes will freeze and fall off, decreasing potency. However, freezing cannabis can be useful for making concentrates such as ice-bubble hash or other concentrates made from frozen cannabis product.

Other Storage Methods

While it may seem obvious that storing cannabis in a plastic bag or a cardboard box is not an effective method of storage, many do so due to lack of knowledge of the effects over time. Have you ever noticed when you go to take your cannabis out of the plastic baggy it came in there’s little pieces of it sticking to the sides? That’s because plastic can hold a static charge that attracts trichomes, taking away potency every time you take it out and put it back.

The refrigerator may seem like a viable option since it is much warmer than a freezer but still cooler than 77º, but fluctuations in humidity and temperature from opening the fridge constantly can still increase chances of mold and mildew. 

The most effective way to store cannabis and maintain its flavor and aroma profiles over time is to store it in an airtight container, like a glass jar. While oxygen is essential for the curing process, you want just the right amount in your storage container to keep humidity consistent without drying out the bud too quickly.

If you want to go the extra mile, pick up a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your storage container and make sure the jar you are using is vacuum sealed to reduce exposure to oxygen. Also remember to keep your cannabis in a separate container from grinders, pipes or other paraphernalia as the smell of burnt cannabis and other resins can stick to the container making it stink over time.

Overall, as long as you have a glass jar kept it in a dark place that is relatively cool, you don’t have to worry about your cannabis going bad anytime soon!

How Long Edibles Take to Kick In

How Long Edibles Take to Kick In

How do edibles take to start working?

Recreational and medical marijuana has come a long way since Colorado first legalized adult use in 2012.

The saying, “not your father’s weed,” has become truer than ever, as new testing and growing methods has led to great advances in potency and knowledge of marijuana’s many effects. One such delivery method comes in the form of edibles, or marijuana-infused products.

We have long-surpassed the day of brick-weed brownies and random dosages that could do nothing to one person and completely level another, and a new world of options has started to grow in its place. Brownies may still be one of the most popular edible options, but with the addition of candies, drinks, tinctures, and more there is a plethora of new choices that patients and adults can test out themselves. 

The difference between eating and smoking cannabis

One of the major issues people face when it comes to edibles is knowing the difference between edible effects and normal smoking or vaporizing effects. The other question many have before they try edibles their first time is, “how long do edibles take to kick in?”, and rightfully so. While many edibles nowadays may come with a measurement on the label of how many milligrams of THC the product has, this can lead to confusion for those who don’t know the recommended amount to take.

The recommended average dose for an edible in places such as Colorado and Washington is 10mg of THC per dose. For example, if a brownie has 100mg of THC in the whole thing, only one small piece of that brownie is equal to a normal dose. This can lead to serious problems when someone who does not know the recommended dose eats half the brownie or even the whole thing, because let’s be real, who just eats half a brownie?

When it comes to feeling the actual effects of an edible after ingestion, results vary for everyone. While one may indulge in marijuana recreationally or medicinally on a daily or chronic basis through smoking or vaporizing, edibles act within the body – from ingestion to digestion – in a very different way.

Compared to smoking or vaporizing in which THC is absorbed through the lungs, ingesting an edible takes and entirely different route through the body. Since it is technically food, the body treats it like anything else you might eat; it passes through the digestive system, which can take a while. While the effects of smoking or vaporizing are near instantaneous, edibles take much longer to take effect due to the digestive process which can vary from person to person.

How long edibles take to kick in

In the case of regular marijuana-infused food products such as brownies, cookies, candies, etc., the average onset time can range from thirty minutes to well over an hour, in some cases even taking as long as two hours to kick in. Inexperienced users many times make the mistake of assuming the edible did not work because it has been longer than what they were told at the dispensary and eat more, only to be hit a short time later with increased effects that last much longer.

When purchasing an edible, always look for labeling and dosage. Some edibles come in one single 10mg dose, while others come in a package with many pieces, each equal to 10mg but accumulate to a higher dose when taken in greater quantities (i.e. gummies that come in a package of five or ten). Always ask your budtender what they recommend for first time edible users, and make an informed decision.

The main thing to keep in mind after ingesting an edible is patience. If on an empty stomach, one can expect an edible to hit much faster, no matter the dosage. However much faster in the case of edibles still ranges between thirty to forty-five minutes for how long it takes for edibles to kick in. Many dispensaries and professionals recommend eating a small amount of normal food prior to ingesting an edible so the effects do not come on too strong and too quickly. 

Eating food after ingesting the edible, if on an empty stomach, can increase the speed at which the effects come on, as putting more food on top of the edible can push it down more quickly through the digestive system. So, if you’re looking to feel the effects as quickly as possible, eat or consume the edible on an empty stomach and eat something small afterward to help speed up the digestive process.

It is important to keep in mind that how long edibles take to kick in can also vary depending how they are made. The main methods for infusing food with marijuana consist of cannabis butter, cannabis concentrates and oils. While the former of the three usually involves using marijuana flower itself, the latter two are an already concentrated form of marijuana that can be much stronger. Cannabis butter can also be made more efficiently with concentrates to increase potency.

Shop for edibles with confidence

Asking your budtender if they know how a certain edible was made, what the dosage is, and the average onset time that other consumers have reported can greatly increase confidence when it comes to figuring out how long edibles take to kick in, and how long the effects might last.

Overall, the biggest decider when it comes to choosing an edible and figuring out how long edibles take to kick in is you. While researching certain products and asking your local budtenders about what others have experienced can be extremely beneficial, edibles effect everybody differently, and most anecdotes should be taken with a grain of salt.

As a newbie, here are some of the main notes about edibles to know before trying your first edible:

  1. You can’t overdose on edibles, but taking too much can lead to a very bad time
  2. Edibles affect everybody differently, so don’t get upset if someone who took a similar edible feels it before you.
  3. How long edibles take to kick in depends on a variety of factors from metabolism to dosage to how it is made.
  4. Nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose, you will come back down from the effects, and you will return to normal.
  5. Be patient and have a good time!
How Oklahoma Became the Nation’s Hottest Weed Market

How Oklahoma Became the Nation’s Hottest Weed Market

How oklahoma became the largest cannabis market in the country

Oklahoma entered the world of legal cannabis late, but its hands-off approach launched a boom and a new nickname: ‘Toke-lahoma.’

WELLSTON, Oklahoma—One day in the early fall of 2018, while scrutinizing the finances of his thriving Colorado garden supply business, Chip Baker noticed a curious development: transportation costs had spiked fivefold. The surge, he quickly determined, was due to huge shipments of cultivation supplies—potting soil, grow lights, dehumidifiers, fertilizer, water filters—to Oklahoma.

Baker, who has been growing weed since he was 13 in Georgia, has cultivated crops in some of the world’s most notorious marijuana hotspots, from the forests of Northern California’s Emerald Triangle to the lake region of Switzerland to the mountains of Colorado. Oklahoma was not exactly on his radar. So one weekend in October, Baker and his wife Jessica decided to take a drive to see where all their products were ending up.

Voters in the staunchly conservative state had just four months earlier authorized a medical marijuana program and sales were just beginning. The Bakers immediately saw the potential for the fledgling market. With no limits on marijuana business licenses, scant restrictions on who can obtain a medical card, and cheap land, energy and building materials, they believed Oklahoma could become a free-market weed utopia and they wanted in.
Within two weeks, they found a house to rent in Broken Bow and by February had secured a lease on an empty Oklahoma City strip mall. Eventually they purchased a 110-acre plot of land down a red dirt road about 40 miles northeast of Oklahoma City that had previously been a breeding ground for fighting cocks and started growing high-grade strains of cannabis with names like Purple Punch, Cookies and Cream and Miracle Alien.“This is exactly like Humboldt County was in the late 90s,” Baker says, as a trio of workers chop down marijuana plants that survived a recent ice storm. “The effect this is going to have on the cannabis nation is going to be incredible.”Oklahoma is now the biggest medical marijuana market in the country on a per capita basis. More than 360,000 Oklahomans—nearly 10 percent of the state’s population—have acquired medical marijuana cards over the last two years. By comparison, New Mexico has the country’s second most popular program, with about 5 percent of state residents obtaining medical cards. Last month, sales since 2018 surpassed $1 billion.
To meet that demand, Oklahoma has more than 9,000 licensed marijuana businesses, including nearly 2,000 dispensaries and almost 6,000 grow operations. In comparison, Colorado—the country’s oldest recreational marijuana market, with a population almost 50 percent larger than Oklahoma—has barely half as many licensed dispensaries and less than 20 percent as many grow operations. In Ardmore, a town of 25,000 in the oil patch near the Texas border, there are 36 licensed dispensaries—roughly one for every 700 residents. In neighboring Wilson (pop. 1,695), state officials have issued 32 cultivation licenses, meaning about one out of 50 residents can legally grow weed.
How Weed is Measured: A guide to quantities and labels

How Weed is Measured: A guide to quantities and labels

Understanding the most common weed measurements

Cannabis has come a long way since it was made illegal in the 1930s, with new methods of growing, cultivating, and manufacturing sprouting up over the years.

There is one thing about cannabis that has changed very little over the years, however, and that is weed measurements.

While the different names for different weed measurements may have been upgraded since the 20th century, the actual amounts and measurements of weed sold in dispensaries today are very similar to those once found on the prohibition-laden streets of America. But what are the most common weed measurements and what are the terms to know before you go asking your local budtender for “hella weed”? 

Let’s start with how weed is measured before we jump into all the different names.

Fun fact; measurements of cannabis start low in grams from the metric system, but move into ounces from the US or imperial system as weight increases. Confusing, right? Just how we like it here in the states!

Basic Weed Measurements

The lowest amount you can purchase (although most dispensaries don’t go this low anymore) is what is commonly called a “dime bag”. A dime bag almost always equals a half of a gram and costs on average $10, hence the “dime” in the name. However nowadays most dispensaries will sell one whole gram for around $10, reaching up to $20 for top shelf cannabis.

So, a gram is the most common small amount of cannabis that you can purchase at most places in a variety of ways, whether in flower form or pre-rolled joints. Simple enough, right? Well, this is where weed measurements can get confusing.

From a gram or two, we jump up to an eighth, or one-eighth of an ounce. This comes out to roughly 3.5 grams, and prices range from $15 on the low end to $60 for top shelf quality cannabis. Most people who don’t want to run to the dispensary every day for a gram will pick up an eighth at a time to last them through the week. For those that want more, we move up to a quarter in the weed measurements scale.

Commonly known as a “Q”, a quarter is self-explanatory. It equals a quarter of an ounce or seven grams. Prices vary on quarters anywhere from $20 for very low-end shake up to around $90 for the highest quality bud. When you want a larger quantity that will last a while longer than a quarter, you can purchase a half ounce or an ounce.

Twenty-eight grams make up one ounce, so fourteen makes up a half. Most people won’t go above this range as 28 grams is plenty to last one person quite some time, ranging between $80 for low end product to over $200, though some places may charge more for their top shelf ounces. Common names for an ounce are “O” or “zip”, which comes from the old days when an ounce would usually take up a whole zip-lock bag. Luckily in recreational places like Denver, just asking for an ounce is perfectly acceptable.

There is always more that can be purchased, although the most one can buy in Colorado is an ounce per visit. This isn’t to say you can’t just go to three different dispensaries and pick up three separate ounces, but a single person won’t need much more.

Quantity vs Quality

So, we’ve covered the amounts and names for the most common cannabis purchases, but what about how weed measurements regarding actual THC content? There is a plethora of different chemicals that make up the cannabis plant, but THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive ingredient that gives users the euphoric and relaxed feeling that is commonly associated with cannabis. 

The measurement of THC content in any given cannabis plant is taken as a percentage that the compound makes up of the plant’s flower compared to the other lesser known compounds. Average THC content in Colorado varies between 15% and 30%, with more potent strains being created every year. 

When it comes to concentrated forms of cannabis like wax, shatter, hash and edibles, the weed measurements switch from a percentage to milligrams. A gram of concentrate such as shatter may be 80% THC, but it is labelled as 80mg of THC per dose. Similarly, edibles are given a THC per mg dose, with the average dose for edibles begin 10mg. Suffice to say, concentrates are much stronger and work much faster than an edible, but the effects of an edible can last much longer.

Now you’re ready to stomp into the dispensary and ask for whatever amount you want to match your desired price point, whether its flower or concentrates.

Street Measurement Metric Equivalent About the size of a/an…
1g 1 gram Grape
1/8 ounce 3.5 grams Kiwi
¼ ounce 7 grams Apple
½ ounce 14 grams Grapefruit
1 ounce 28 grams Coconut
1 pound 16 ounces or 448 grams Watermelon

 

 

 

 

 

US House passes historic bill to legalize cannabis at federal level

US House passes historic bill to legalize cannabis at federal level

US house passes historic cannabis legalization bill MORE Act

In a groundbreaking vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a comprehensive bill that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, ending the federal government’s decades-old prohibition on the plant.

Lawmakers in effect voted to legalize marijuana by approving the social justice-focused Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act by a margin of 228-164 after an hour of debate. A handful of Republicans voted for the measure.

The vote – while largely symbolic because the bill still must pass the Senate – comes only two days after the United Nations took the historic step of reclassifying cannabis as a less dangerous drug.

Opponents of the MORE Act criticized Democrats for prioritizing marijuana during the coronavirus crisis and voiced concerns about health risks for youth.

The MORE Act

The legislation could potentially open up an already fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry to billions of dollars of additional business opportunities and interstate commerce over time.

However, the vote Friday will prove to be emblematic unless Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate by winning two run-off races in Georgia on Jan. 5.

Even then, the more conservative Senate might be resistant to such a major change in federal marijuana policy.

“I have been waiting for this historic moment for a long time. It is happening (Friday) because it has been demanded by the voters, by facts and by the momentum behind this issue,” U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and a Democrat from Oregon, said in a statement distributed late Thursday.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced the bill a year ago in what then was seen as a landmark development.

What’s misunderstood about the MORE Act

The measure wouldn’t create a federal licensing or federal regulatory framework. States would, however, continue to regulate marijuana as they see fit, without federal interference.

The MORE Act decriminalizes and deschedules cannabis,” said Randal Meyer, the executive director of the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce.

“It would allow state-legal businesses to operate in a federally legal environment, with business-tax deductibility and access to legal processes, and permit states to set their own cannabis policy, be it total prohibition or not.”

Steve Fox, strategic adviser to the Cannabis Trade Federation, said: “The MORE Act is a wonderful piece of legislation that would end cannabis prohibition at the federal level and take some critical and much needed steps toward restorative justice. It would provide major benefits to cannabis businesses, which would become legal at the federal level.”

Businesses, he said, would have greater access to financial services and be freed from Section 280E of the federal tax code, which currently prevents marijuana companies from taking deductions for ordinary business expenses.

“The MORE Act does not, however, establish a regulatory framework for cannabis at the federal level. So, from an industry perspective, the MORE Act is just one step in a longer process,” Fox said.

Vincent Sliwoski, a cannabis attorney at Harris Bricken in Portland, Oregon, echoed Fox, noting that licensed marijuana commerce will remain in place unless changed by states or local jurisdictions.

“What the MORE Act actually does is remove marijuana from control under the federal Controlled Substances Act while adding a 5% federal excise tax and tacking on key provisions like expungement for past marijuana convictions under federal laws. As with alcohol, there will be no federal business licensing element.”

He also emphasized that there would be “a lot of benefits here for state-licensed cannabis businesses, including everything from banking options to tax relief under (Internal Revenue Service) code 280E to federal trademark availability.”

Experts also note that they expect a number of federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Agriculture, to weigh in on various issues, including health claims, cultivation standards and banking issues.

Michigan Designated Consumption Establishments Explained

Michigan Designated Consumption Establishments Explained

cannabis cafes coming to Michigan

Michigan legalized cannabis in 2018, and passed emergency rules to get the industry rolling in July 2019.

In addition to creating your run of the mill rules regarding licensing for growers, processors, distributors and retailers, Michigan also created some new license types. These new licenses include a Marijuana Event Organizer license, a Temporary Marijuana Event license and an Excess Marijuana Grower license.

But what has the consumers excited is a different license. A Designated Consumption Establishment license.

Michigan Designated Consumption Establishments

A Designated Consumption Establishment (DCE) license allows the license holder, with local approval, to operate a commercial space that is licensed by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and authorized to permit adults 21 years of age and older to consume marijuana and marijuana products on premises. A DCE license does not allow for sales or distribution of marijuana or marijuana product, unless the license holder also possesses a Retailer or Microbusiness license.

It is common for public cannabis possession public arrests to rise after a state legalizes cannabis. This happens because most states only allow consumption on private property, and many people who rent may have to go outside to smoke. Michigan saw this problem in other states and is aiming to deal with it before it grows with DCEs, more commonly known as cannabis cafes or lounges.

This license is available to any applicant regardless of if they are currently holding any other licenses. The DCE license is also open to marijuana retailers, microbusinesses or anyone wanting to operate a “bring-your-own-cannabis” model.

DCE Requirements

Applicants for a DCE license must have met a multitude of key criteria. The foremost is a location approved and supported by the local municipality. Next, the facility must have:

  • An identified area specifically suitable for marijuana consumption, as well as smoke-free areas. DCE rules do allow facilities in which only non-smokable cannabis is consumed; in these spaces, no specified place for smoking cannabis is required.
  • A smoke-free area for employees to monitor the marijuana consumption area. Facility operators must ensure employees are not subjected to indirect or unintended cannabis consumption while working at the facility.
  • The facility must have a ventilation system that directs air from the marijuana consumption area to the outside of the building, through a filtration system designed to remove visual smoke and odor.
  • The facility must have sufficient walls and barriers to ensure smoke does not infiltrate into nonsmoking areas or adjacent spaces.

Additionally, when applying to be a Designated Consumption Establishment for marijuana in Michigan, microbusinesses will need to submit the following information as well:

  • A Designated Consumption Establishment Plan, or diagram of the facility that explains layout, defines facility locations, and indicates distinct areas or structures distinguishing a DCE from other licenses that may be applicable in adjacent locations.
  • Building, Construction and Zoning Details so the MRA can verify a safe operation including building and fire safety review, plus ensure a detrimental impact will not occur on adjacent businesses and residences.
  • A Business Plan that must include proposed hours of operation and, if part of the plan, the intended mechanisms for consumers to acquire cannabis at the facility.
  • A Plan for Responsible Operations such as an employee training program, how consumption will be monitored, plus prevention of over-intoxication, underage access, and the illegal sale or distribution of cannabis within the establishment.
  • Waste Management Plan for handling and disposal of any waste at the facility, including unconsumed cannabis products left by patrons of the facility.

Applicants for a Designated Consumption Establishment for Marijuana in Michigan also must undergo a preliminary background check. The Initial Applicant fee for a Designated Consumption Establishment is currently $1,000 and is valid for one year. The renewal fee is also $1,000. Like all other Michigan dispensaries and other licenses, MRA reserves the right to increase fees collected by 10% each year.

A model to follow?

Many states have the same issue that Michigan is trying to deal with right now. As previously mentioned, most states require cannabis consumption to take place on private property, but very few states have cannabis consumption establishments. This leads to more public consumption, and more arrests or citations.

A few states like Colorado have attempted to create consumption establishments, but have fallen short due to restrictions on smoking indoors in Denver. While dabbing and vaping is popular, most people are comfortable doing that in a place they rent since the smell doesn’t stick around.

We have yet to see how the Designated Consumption Establishments will pan out in Michigan or if certain municipalities will ban them all together. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency plans to finalize their rules and begin implementation in January 2021.

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