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British Soccer Coach Jailed for 25 Years in Dubai for Cannabis Oil

British Soccer Coach Jailed for 25 Years in Dubai for Cannabis Oil

British soccer coach arrested in Dubai for cannabis oil

A British football coach has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after four small bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis oil were found in his car.

Billy Hood from from Notting Hill, West London, was given the harsh sentence despite being able to prove the vape liquid belonged to a visiting friend who had mistakenly left them in his car.

The 24-year-old fitness fanatic, who is anti-drugs and doesn’t smoke, was convicted by a court of drug trafficking with intent to supply.

Police in Dubai are thought to have singled out Hood after monitoring WhatsApp messages and looking for key words related to drugs. A week before his arrest the friend who owned the vape liquid sent a message telling Hood he had mistakenly left it behind in his car.

The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed was last week revealed to have used spyware to hack into the phone of his ex-wife and her lawyer Baroness Shackleton while a custody hearing was taking place at the High Court.

The United Arab Emirates are known to be users of the Israeli made spyware known as Pegasus.

Hood, who played semi-professional football for Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, was stunned when police unexpectedly turned up at his flat in January and demanded to search his home and company car.

Four small vials of vape liquid containing cannabis oil (CBD) and a vape pen were later found in the passenger door compartment.

After his arrest Hood volunteered to take a urine test for drugs which came back negative.

Is Weed Legal in Italy? Yes and No.

Is Weed Legal in Italy? Yes and No.

is weed legal in Italy?
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.

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.

Texas lifts ban on smokable hemp, with caveats

Texas lifts ban on smokable hemp, with caveats

Texas lifts smokable hemp ban but it can't be grown in state

An appeals panel in Texas issued a mixed judgment Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on smokable hemp. Regulators may enforce a ban on the processing and manufacture of products intended for smoking or vaping, the court ruled, but it cannot prevent such products made elsewhere from being sold in the state.

The decision creates a situation in which consumers may be able to freely purchase smokable hemp flower and hemp-derived CBD oils for vaping, but only if the products are produced outside Texas.

Four Texas companies challenged the ban in a lawsuit last year, asking the court to declare the restrictions unconstitutional and allow hemp products intended for smoking or vaping to be produced and sold legally. In response, a state judge eventually put the entire ban on hold, preventing the government from enforcing it until the matter could be resolved in court.

In Thursday’s ruling, a three-justice panel of the Third District Court of Appeals drew a distinction between the processing and manufacturing of smokable hemp—which lawmakers strictly prohibited its production when they legalized hemp in 2019—and distribution and sales, which regulators at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) forbade under a rule adopted a year later.

Writing for the panel, Justice Melissa Goodwin reasoned that lifting the ban on product sales was justified because the DSHS restriction went beyond the scope of lawmakers’ manufacturing ban.

“The Legislature required that the Department’s rules must reflect the principle that ‘the processing or manufacturing of a consumable hemp product for smoking is prohibited,’ but did not mention retail sale,” the judgment says. “Nevertheless, the Department adopted a rule that banned not only the processing and manufacturing of consumable hemp products for smoking, but also the distributing and retail sale of such products.”

On the other hand, the panel’s ruling will allow lawmakers’ ban on production and manufacturing of smokable hemp products to take effect. Thursday’s ruling reversed a lower court’s decision to prevent the state from enforcing that part of the ban.

“Because the Hemp Companies never provided ‘a plain and intelligible statement of the grounds’ to enjoin the enforcement of rule 300.104’s bans on manufacturing and processing consumable hemp products for smoking, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the temporary injunction and enjoining the enforcement of that portion of the rule,” Goodwin wrote.

Advocates in favor of broader legal access to cannabis products emphasized the significance of the court’s decision to allow smokable hemp to be sold in the state. But they lamented the fact that in-state manufacturing of the products will remain illegal.

“The reversal of the ban on distributing and selling smokable hemp products is a big win for Texas farmers and hemp businesses. It is extremely important that regulatory overreach is kept in check so that Texas companies are not prevented from excelling in this market,” Jax Finkel, executive director of Foundation for an Informed Texas, told Marijuana Moment on Thursday. “I am hopeful that manufacture portion of the suit will end in a similar opinion.”

THC-O Acetate: Will it replace Delta 8 THC?

THC-O Acetate: Will it replace Delta 8 THC?

What is THC-O Acetate and is it like Delta 8 THC?

As more states begin banning and regulating Delta 8 THC, manufacturers are looking for alternatives to skirt the rules. Bring in THC-O Acetate.

Before we dive into the latest designer cannabinoid that aims to replace Delta 8 THC as it becomes banned in several states and regulated in some others, let’s briefly run through what Delta 8 THC is itself.

All cannabinoids, from CBD to THC and beyond begin as CBGA. Because of the shared molecular structure of cannabinoids, manipulating them is simpler than it may seem. While Delta-8 is relatively new, producers have been using these methods to manipulate cannabinoids for a long time to find exotic new cannabinoids.

While Delta-8 THC exists in a wide range of cannabis strains, it is in minuscule, trace amounts. To extract and purify Delta-8 from raw plant material with less than one percent of the targeted cannabinoid is unprofitable. This is why producers have begun converting other, more prevalent cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-9 THC into Delta-8.

Through a synthetic isomerization process, CBD is combined with a solvent to create Delta-8 THC. This is why the most popular products are vape cartridges and gummies. Cannabis cannot produce enough Delta-8 on its own.

Why Delta 8 THC is being banned

If you read the above section and started thinking, “That sounds pretty similar to those designer cannabinoids like spice that hurt a lot of people”, you would be on the right track. That is why over a dozen states have already banned Delta 8 THC.

Due to grey areas in the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp and all of its derivatives (besides Delta 9 THC), producers of Delta 8 believe they technically aren’t breaking any laws. However unlike CBD which was immediately popular and thus regulated by the FDA for safety, Delta 8 has had no such treatment.

In 2020, the DEA released a set of rules for hemp production in the country. This ruling states that any naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinols in the hemp plant that has a Delta 9 THC percentage below .3% is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. In other words, it would seem like Delta 8 in the clear.

However the DEA also includes that for synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols (like Delta 8 which is created synthetically), 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. In other words, maybe Delta 8 is not so in the clear.

For the states that have already banned Delta 8 THC, it seems the easiest solution to a product that the FDA and DEA have made no mention of regulating. For producers however, THC-O Acetate is the solution.

What is 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.

THC-O Acetate can also be made from Delta 8 THC, so in states where it has been banned and producers may have a bulk supply of Delta 8, it can be converted relatively easily. And what truly makes THC-O so popular is the effects users feel.

Traditional THC Molecule:

Delta 9 THC vs THC-O AcetateTHC-O Acetate Molecule:

What is THC-O Acetate and is it safe?

A better high than Delta 9?

According to user reports and the little science behind it, THC-O Acetate has been shown to be two to three times stronger than Delta 9 THC. You read that right. THC-O can be 300% more potent than traditional Delta 9 THC.

Users have claimed that THC-O Acetate is a much more introspective and psychedelic experience compared to Delta 9 or Delta 8 THC, which is likely due to the extreme potency. Similarly to Delta 8 THC, THC-O can only be made through isolation, which means most products will be either a vape cartridge or edibles.

While for most, normal Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC does the trick just fine and taking such a concentrated product would be excessive, there is a real appeal for medical applications of THC-O Acetate. For some, traditional Delta 9 doesn’t provide enough relief from pain, anxiety or other issues.

Due to its potency, many believe that THC-O could be a great beneficial medicine for those who want to use cannabis but need a more concentrated dose that isn’t easily attainable through traditional consumption. With that said, THC-O Acetate is treated similarly to Delta 8 currently.

That means in states where Delta 8 has already been banned, you may be unable to have THC-O products delivered, or find them at smoke shops. However since there is so little information on THC-O, few states actually know about it, which means distributors may be able to get away with it for a while.

Is THC-O Acetate the new designer drug?

Of course for now it is too soon to say if THC-O is likely to end up in a similar grave to Spice or K2. These were synthetically created cannabinoid products that ended up hurting a lot of people, leading them to be banned across the country. However the way these products skirted the law was by minutely adjusting their chemical makeups every time one was banned.

Because the government would ban specific makeups of these products, small adjustments made them different products technically. It is always possible, being a fully synthetic creation, that THC-O befalls a similar fate. In grey markets, profits typically rise above safety. As competition grows, just like Delta 8 became more widespread, the same will likely happen to THC-O Acetate.

Producers will try to create stronger and cheaper versions of the drug, the latter effort being that which leads to danger. We all saw what happened when illicit market vape cartridge producers tried to cut costs by including Propylene Glycol and Vitamin E Acetate in their products. This resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and even deaths.

With any grey or black market cannabis products, it is always on the user to ensure they are getting a safe and reliable product. If demand for THC-O Acetate grows enough, you can bet there will be a market for it.

However as a non-natural cannabinoid, THC-O isn’t measured with most testing methods used for cannabis currently. While some have claimed to created a reliable process for measuring THC-O, nothing has become the standard. Due to this it might be a while before there are truly reliable providers of THC-O products, but that hasn’t stopped consumers before, and likely won’t this time around either.

Cannabis growing facility proposed for former New York prison

Cannabis growing facility proposed for former New York prison

A New York prison that closed in 2011 may be repurposed for cannabis and hemp production.

When Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility closed in 2011, it freed up 740 acres of prime property that its host community, Warwick, readily bought for $3.1 million.

During the past decade, the town has actively worked to repurpose the property and has seen positive results from its efforts. With Covid-19 fading and the state reopening, business is again percolating on the former prison property, now known as Wickham Woodlands.

Along with a new Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park on the campus, where the town’s business accelerator is working with three-startup companies, business is growing along its winding State School Road: a former administration building has become the trendy Drowned Lands Brewery; the prison’s old guard tower is now the gateway to Hudson Sports Complex; and the land surrounding Wickham Lake, which inmates could view from behind barbed wire fencing, has been turned into a town park.

The Warwick Valley’s fertile landscape also offers ample opportunities for those who grow hemp and its soon-to-be-street legal counterpart, marijuana, and is seeing that business beginning to boom within Wickham Woods’ borders.

When the United States eased federal regulations on growing hemp in 2018, the floodgates of products produced from hemp’s byproduct, cannabidiol — better known to the public as CBD — started hitting the shelves.

Medical marijuana has been legal since 2016, and the state also relaxed its regulations for CBD-infused food and beverages. In April, 2021, the New York state Legislature approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, which has opened a whole new revenue stream for cultivators.

Those measures have propelled Wickham Woods into the spotlight for those with a vested interest in both legal hemp/cannabis cultivation and CBD production.

Chicago-based Fiorello Pharmaceuticals/Green Thumb Industries is poised to build a 100,000-square-foot cannabis growing and processing facility on 40 acres in the technology park.

The company received approval in May from the Orange County Industrial Development Agency for subsidies that include a sales and tax use exemption, mortgage recording tax exemption and a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, as well as approval for the issuance of taxable revenue bonds.

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