by The Real Dirt | Sep 13, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Cannabis News, Culture, Industry News, Legalization
The multi country cannabis brand has partnered with the Black-owned cannabis school to provide equitable access to the cannabis industry through delivering high quality education to its community
Viola, the premium Black-owned cannabis brand rooted in equity, announced the launch of the Harrington Institute, a school for cannabis education created in partnership with Cleveland School of Cannabis, which is currently on pace to be the first cannabis focused school accredited by the Middle States Association.
Aligning with Viola and its commitment to excellence, the mission of the Harrington Institute is to provide equitable access to the cannabis industry by providing high quality education to its community. With cultivation in Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon along with long-standing partnerships across the greater U.S. and Canada, Harrington Institute provides unique access to a vast network of industry professionals, cutting-edge information, and community investment.
“Harrington Institute is something that’s very important for me and something that’s needed,” said Al Harrington, CEO of Viola Brands. “I feel like right now the cannabis industry isn’t seeing all of the talent available, so we wanted to create a platform and program that educates on all verticals within the industry. It’s really important to us to provide access for young entrepreneurs and people from our community looking to get into the space.”
Harrington Institute will offer the Viola Build Scholarship to students of color who have been affected by the War on Drugs up to $3000 toward tuition. While classes are available to take individually, scholarships will be prioritized to students taking the full 6-course program. To create more access to education, Harrington Institute will also provide student loans that will protect the students from predatory situations. The first classes will begin on November 8, 2021. Interested donors are invited to invest in this life-changing opportunity to meet the growing demand for cannabis industry professionals.
Viola is the leading Black-owned producer and licensed wholesaler of premium cannabis products rooted in purpose. Founded in 2011, NBA veteran Al Harrington was inspired to launch the brand by his grandmother, Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and found solace in cannabis remedies. The brand integrates the latest cutting-edge technology with its own proprietary processes designed for every stage of cultivation, extraction and production. Viola is known for its wide variety of product offerings, from high-quality flower to premier butane extracts. From regulation to representation and reform, Viola’s mission is to create opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry.
by Travis C | Sep 10, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Hemp, Legalization
Like a lot of European countries, Italy has a complex history with cannabis.
Since 1990, Italy has had a relatively relaxed stance on cannabis use and possession. It was that year that the country passed a Consolidated Law which basically decriminalized cannabis use, but kept possession illegal. This made the question, is weed legal in Italy, seemingly less clear.
As confusing as this adjustment was, it wasn’t until 2014 that the Italian government clarified their position on cannabis. Law 79 was introduced, which essentially granted the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) the power to authorize off-label use of medicinal products (under certain conditions) if warranted by public interest (including for financial reasons) even where a valid therapeutic alternative was available.
Included in those medicinal products is cannabis. However the new law only legalized medical marijuana and clarified punishments for non-medical cannabis possession. First-time offenders for cannabis possession would just get a warning, while a follow-up offense leads to suspension of a driver’s license for one to three months.
After legalizing medical cannabis production in Italy, only the Ministry of Defence were permitted to grow it. As a result, the military-owned Institute of Pharmaceuticals in Florence is the only place that cultivates cannabis for medicinal use. Astonishing as it may seem, the Italian military are responsible for growing cannabis!
So you’re probably still asking, “is weed legal in Italy?” The short answer would appear to still be no. But in 2016, there we some big changes.
Italian hemp legalization
While hemp is actually native to certain regions in Europe, few countries have really regulated its production. In 2016, Italy decided to do just that.
In the United States, the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, which legalized industrial hemp on the federal level. The government defined industrial hemp as any part of the cannabis plant containing less than .3% THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
When Italy passed their hemp production law in 2016, they set the limit at .6% THC. This created a new booming grey market industry of hemp flower in Italy.
In shops across the country, jars of hemp flower are sold as “collectibles” that are meant to be used for “technical purposes”, not to be consumed by humans (wink, wink). While the hemp flower being sold was not psychoactive due to its low THC levels, many still sought the hemp flower for its high CBD levels which provide some therapeutic effects.
In the same year that Italy legalized hemp production, the country’s parliament threw out the idea of allowing the cultivation of 5 cannabis plants for personal use. This idea was quickly shot down by Catholic lawmakers and right-wing politicians.
However just recently in September of 2021, Italy decided to move forward with a slightly adjusted version of this idea.
Is weed legal in Italy?
As of today, cannabis possession and consumption is more or less legal. This reform decriminalizes the cultivation of four cannabis plants at home. Since consumption is already decriminalized, private possession has more or less been decriminalized as a result.
However, the parliament also increased the penalties for trafficking and distribution. In other words, the sale of cannabis in Italy still remains illegal (except for hemp flower). This is why the question, is weed legal in Italy, is tough to answer.
Italians won’t be buying recreational cannabis in dispensaries any time soon, however it is likely that a strong grey market will develop with the new lax restrictions.
To use Washington D.C. as an example; the District of Columbia legalized cannabis recreationally in 2014, however a rider in the bill prohibited any district funds from being used to implement a retail industry. In other words, it was legal to grow and possess cannabis, but there was nowhere to buy or sell it recreationally.
This created a grey market in which consumers would “gift” cannabis to each other in exchange for a “donation”, skirting around the law prohibiting the sale of cannabis. If we can assume anything following the rise in popularity of hemp flower, it is that there will likely be a similar grey market that develops in Italy.
by The Real Dirt | Sep 1, 2021 | Blog, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Legalization, Medical Marijuana
The National Legislative Assembly of Panama has approved this Monday a bill that legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis with 44 votes in favor and none against. It thus becomes the first country in Central America to regulate the consumption of this substance.
The new law, which will come into force after its approval by President Laurentino Cortizo, will create a regulatory framework for the use and controlled access of cannabis “for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes”, as stated in the approved text.
This measure responds to a historical claim of patients from different pathologies, to which this substance could help mitigate pain, and to which they only had irregular access. Those who will see their quality of life improved are people with glaucoma, epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraines or seizures and those who suffer from different types of pain, including those caused by cancer.
From now on, in Panama the import, export, cultivation, production and commercialization of cannabis and its derivatives will be allowed through licenses granted by the state. Its cultivation will take place in established areas with limited access and only pharmaceutical companies or companies specialized in therapeutic services will be able to acquire and commercialize it. Its illegal production and sale will be punished with penalties of 10 to 15 years in prison.
Thus, the sale of cannabis at home, through the Internet or outside authorized establishments is prohibited. Likewise, its advertising in the media or social networks will also be prohibited.
by Travis C | Aug 31, 2021 | 420 Culture & Travel, 420 News, Blog, Broscience Mythbusters, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Hemp, Hemp Law, Science & Technology
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.
by The Real Dirt | Aug 18, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Cannabis News, Culture, Legalization
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The percentage of U.S. adults who say they have tried marijuana has ticked up to 49%, the highest Gallup has measured to date. More than 50 years ago, just 4% said they had tried the drug, but that percentage surpassed 20% in 1977, 30% in 1985 and 40% in 2015.
A much smaller proportion of U.S. adults, 12%, say they “smoke marijuana.” The percentage of current marijuana smokers has been steady in recent years, varying between 11% and 13% after increasing from the 7% Gallup initially measured in 2013.
The results are based on Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll, conducted July 6-21.
Generational patterns explain the increase in marijuana experimentation over the last five decades. The oldest Americans living today, those born before 1945 whom Gallup calls “traditionalists,” are much less likely than those in other birth cohorts to have tried marijuana, with just 19% saying they have done so. That compares with about half of millennials (51%), Generation Xers (49%) and baby boomers (50%).
These generational figures are based on combined data from the 2015-2021 Consumption Habits surveys. Gallup does not yet have sufficient data to provide reliable estimates for Generation Z, the oldest of whom are 24 years old now.
Comparing the most recent generational figures with data from the 1980s and 1990s finds little change in the rate of marijuana experimentation among baby boomers and Gen X. Combined data from the 1985 and 1999 Gallup polls shows that 44% of members of Gen X and 50% of baby boomers had tried marijuana as of then.
During those years, a lower proportion of traditionalists than today had tried marijuana (10%). The increase in that group today compared with the 1980s and 1990s probably reflects the dying off of many of the oldest members of that generation, who were much less likely than younger traditionalists to have tried marijuana.
by The Real Dirt | Aug 16, 2021 | 420 Culture & Travel, Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Culture, Denver Post, Growing, Industry News, Legalization, Medical Marijuana
Lax regulation and low barriers to entry have triggered cannabis’s explosive growth in Sooner State
OKEMAH, Okla. — Chip Baker surveyed a vast field on the outskirts of an old hay farm an hour east of Oklahoma City, his ponytail waving in the thick, humid air, his voice growing excited.
“This is probably the largest collection of Squirt in the world!” he boasted, pointing to an array of neatly plotted cannabis plants before him that will soon flower pounds of the popular strain.
Baker would know. From the time he planted his first marijuana plant at 13, he’s been all about growing weed. A dream formed in the Georgia fields took him to Humboldt County, California — the nation’s earliest pot epicenter — then Colorado, the country’s first recreational market.
But it’s here in rural Oklahoma, down a dusty dirt road along the banks of the North Canadian River, where true cannabis cowboys — including droves of Colorado entrepreneurs like Baker — are buying mammoth properties to grow mammoth numbers of plants, all in a quest for mammoth stacks of kush-derived cash.
It’s a place unlike virtually any other in America.
“Other states grow patches,” Baker said with a grin, taking in the 90-acre, 40,000-plant cannabis farm before him. “In Oklahoma, we grow fields.”
The Sooner State, as deeply red as the American political palette will go, has almost overnight become the hottest place in the country to grow marijuana. It’s an unprecedented look at what happens when the government stays largely out of the picture and lets the free market run wild.
And Colorado businesses are pumping their sizeable dollars and cannabis expertise into the state, hoping to cash in on what Baker and others in the industry call the next green rush.
“It’s the Wild West of weed,” he said, “in all its glory.”