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Recreational marijuana sales in Arizona could start this week

Recreational marijuana sales in Arizona could start this week

Cannabis dispensaries in Arizona could open this week.

Marijuana sales to anyone 21 or older in Arizona could start within a day or two, with state health officials telling dispensaries they are poised to issue licenses for recreational sales.

The first stores able to sell recreational marijuana and marijuana products, such as vape pens and gummy edibles, are existing medical-marijuana dispensaries. Some of those businesses said Tuesday they are awaiting approval from state regulators to show up online so they may open their doors to anyone with a state-issued ID. 

“I’m sitting here at my computer hitting refresh, refresh,” said Raúl Molina, a partner and senior vice president of operations for The Mint dispensaries in Mesa and Guadalupe.

A spokesman for the Department of Health Services said 40 medical dispensaries had applied to sell recreational marijuana as of Tuesday afternoon.

The quick turnaround for licenses was unexpected by some dispensary owners, who anticipated the state agency would use the full amount of time given under the law to approve applications, meaning recreational sales wouldn’t begin until March or April.

About two-thirds of dispensaries in the state have yet to make an application, meaning their competitors will have a jump on them in attracting the recreational market.

Molina said he is ready to begin sales as soon as he gets the OK, and that officials with the Department of Health Services told him it could come at any time.

“I am so ready,” Molina said, adding that he has submitted documents to the state for his employees to work in a recreational dispensary, stocked childproof packaging, added cash registers and programmed them to add the appropriate tax to recreational sales, and bought an additional 800 pounds of marijuana in the past month to meet the anticipated demand.

“We expect rushes like 4/20 (April 20) for probably like 10 to 30 days straight,” he said. “Basically it’s going to be 4/20 for a full month.”

Molina said he has dedicated registers for medical-marijuana patients to prevent a displacement by new recreational customers.

Arizonans approved Proposition 207 in November, legalizing adult use and possession of marijuana. The measure also allowed the state’s 120 or so operating medical-marijuana dispensaries to apply for a license to sell to any adult, not just those who have a state-issued medical-marijuana card.

Delta 8 THC Explained: The New THC?

Delta 8 THC Explained: The New THC?

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC

It’s Delta-9’s close relative, but why is it becoming so popular now?

If you’ve been in a head shop or a smoke circle recently, you might have heard about or even seen Delta 8 THC. This hemp-derived compound has been growing in popularity over the last year, but why?

In 2018, the federal government passed the Farm Bill which legalized hemp across the country. While classifying hemp as hemp is as simple as measuring the Delta 9 THC content and ensuring it is below .3%, Delta 8 THC is not the same thing, and therefore not included in that judgement.

In other words, as long as D9 THC is below .3%, D8 THC is irrelevant. With this loophole and discoveries of Delta 8’s effects, the race was on to start production of Delta 8 THC products.

Just like D9 THC, our knowledge about the effects and benefits of D8 THC are limited due to lack of research. For the most part, the resources for learning about Delta 8 THC come from first hand accounts of users.

What we do know about D8 THC is that it is chemically different from delta-9-THC by only a few atomic bonds, and according to the National Cancer Institute is defined as, “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

In other words, it sounds a lot like plain old Delta 9 THC. However the experiences noted by Delta 8 THC users reveal some slight differences.

Does Delta 8 THC get you high?

The short answer seems to be yes. Most descriptions of the Delta 8 THC high note that it is more mild or “lighter” than a traditional Delta 9 THC high. User have also said that the high feels almost identical to D9 THC but without the associated paranoia or anxiety many experience.

Other anecdotes note how it can take multiple hits of a D8 THC vape to get a similar effect to a Delta 9 THC vape of similar potency, and that the flavor differs, and not always in a good way. Granted, taste is typically associated with processing, especially when it comes to distillate cartridges.

The most popular form of consumption seems to be vaping and consuming D8 edibles like gummies. However just like CBD, you can also find Delta 8 THC flower and other extracts.

Is it worth it?

Anybody who lives in a state where cannabis is still illegal or only available medically, or anyone who does not want to risk their safety with an illicit market Delta 9 THC vape cartridge might find Delta 8 THC to be a very strong alternative.

For now, D8 THC is completely legal on the federal level and available in 38 states with multiple online retailers that ship nationwide. That’s a very appealing offer when the alternative isn’t available anywhere. There are no dangers currently associated with D8 THC consumption compared to D9 THC, and the high seems to be at least comparable.

However as with any unregulated “grey market” product, Delta 8 THC should be treated with more scrutiny and consumed carefully compared to its state-regulated cousin.

Arkansas medical marijuana sales hit $175M in 2020

Arkansas medical marijuana sales hit $175M in 2020

Arkansas medical marijuana sales saw a big boom in 2020

Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas reached $175 million in 2020, ending the year with a record $1.22 million day.

The Marijuana Business Factbook projects that Arkansas MMJ sales will nearly double this year to $300 million-$365 million, boosted by new items such as edibles and vape products. The state recently opened up licensing for processors.

The state’s dispensaries sold 26,000 pounds of medical marijuana products in 2020, Medical Marijuana Commission spokesman Scott Hardin told Arkansas Public Radio.

The market, which launched in May 2019, started 2020 with fewer than 10 dispensaries but ended the year with 32, according to the report.

Six additional licensed retail entities are working toward opening for business, Hardin wrote in a recent email to Marijuana Business Daily.

Meanwhile, a medical marijuana dispensary in Hot Springs filed a lawsuit alleging that three cultivators have refused to sell product to the retailer, costing the outlet $5 million.

Green Springs Medical Dispensary, once the state’s leading seller, is requesting that the Garland County Circuit Court bar the growers from boycotting the dispensary, according to The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs.

CEO Dragan Vicentic also wants state regulators to impose a rule that prohibits cultivators from refusing to sell to dispensaries, which his lawsuit claims violates federal antitrust laws.

He claims the growers are retaliating against his comments to regulators that the state needs more cultivators because the existing ones cannot meet dispensaries’ demand. There are currently only eight licensed cannabis cultivators in the state to meet the demand of 32 dispensaries.

UFC won’t punish fighters for marijuana use in policy change

UFC won’t punish fighters for marijuana use in policy change

UFC is no longer going to punish fighter for cannabis use

The UFC will no longer punish fighters for using marijuana in most cases, making a major change to its anti-doping policy.

The world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion confirmed Thursday that it will no longer worry about positive tests for carboxy-THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, unless it believes a fighter used it intentionally to enhance performance.

All other cannabinoids derived naturally from marijuana are no longer prohibited substances, said Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s senior vice president of athlete health and performance.

“The bottom line is that in regard to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases,” Novitzky said. “UFC athletes will still be subject to marijuana rules under various athletic commission regulations, but we hope this is a start to a broader discussion and changes on this issue with that group.”

Indeed, the UFC’s decision doesn’t affect the rules of various state athletic commissions and international governing bodies, but those groups often follow promoters’ leads on anti-doping policy. The UFC hopes state commissions will similarly relax their rules to reflect the more widespread tolerance for marijuana use.

The UFC won’t allow fighters to compete while under the influence of cannabinoids, but Novitzky said the promotion recognizes that MMA fighters often use marijuana for pain management or relaxation. Fighters advocating for legal competitive marijuana use have previously argued that a relaxation of the UFC’s anti-marijuana rules could lead to a reduction in the use of more addictive pain medications.

The UFC partnered with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 to produce a comprehensive anti-doping program in a notoriously fractious sport. Mixed martial arts once frequently showcased fighters semi-openly using steroids and testosterone replacement therapy, among other performance enhancements.

Despite its prior ban, marijuana and CBD products have had a prominent role in many MMA fighters’ training and financial backing. Many fighters have sponsorships from CBD businesses, while others have launched CBD-related business ventures.

Nick and Nate Diaz, two semi-retired but wildly popular fighters from Stockton, California, have built their outlaw image partly around their enthusiastic use of marijuana and CBD products. Nick Diaz, who hasn’t fought in six years, tested positive for marijuana use after two of his last three fights.

Low Stress Training vs High Stress Training Cannabis

Low Stress Training vs High Stress Training Cannabis

Using low stress training and high stress training to increase cannabis yields

Stress training is a very effective way to get more out of your plants.

For most growers stress training is a way to increase yields. However if you’re growing indoors and have limited space you could see yourself using stress training to prevent your plants to outgrowing your space too.

What is stress training?

Stress training involves putting your plants through specific forms of stress, so that they produce a specific response. For example, if your plants naturally grow tall, you can train them to grow outward instead of upward.

When it comes to yields, some plants may divert most of their energy to one central flower, while smaller bracts are ignored over time. With stress training you can force your plants to divert energy more evenly for more flower sites and inevitably more yields.

There are two different forms of stress training for plants, low stress training and high stress training. It goes without saying that these two methods will produce different results, but you can achieve the same goals with both.

Low stress training

While it may take more time to see results compared to high stress training, low stress training is still a highly effective (and the most common) way to take control of your plants.

A common form of LST would be de-leafing. By removing smaller leaves on the plant that aren’t directly attached to a flower site, your plant will take that energy and focus it elsewhere, and without leaves to take it, it goes right into your flowers. Less leaves also means that light will be able to hit more of your plant.

Another LST method is tying plants down. Using ties or wire designed specifically for plants, you can tie down branches that keep growing upward so they train themselves to grow outward instead.

As you can see with both of these LST techniques, you aren’t damaging the plant or modifying in any extreme way. The results of these techniques will take longer to appear, but will work just as effectively as other high stress training methods.

High stress training

High stress training, while more impactful, is also more risky. Certain plants can only take so much stress and knowing what your plant can handle is essential before you go and start cutting the top off, which is one common high stress training method.

Topping your plant is when you cut off the the top of the main stem of your plant. While it sounds extreme it is highly effective at creating new nodes and flower sites. Topping can be done from the time you transplant a clone up until the first couple week of flower.

Super cropping is another high stress training technique that utilizes stem mutilation to decrease the height of the plant and stimulate growth. The goal of super cropping is to break down the inner fibers of the branch so that the stalk becomes pliable and can be trained into another position, all without harming the outside of the stem in the process.

Compared to low stress training, high stress training is more risk for more reward so to speak.

Is stress training cannabis essential?

The short answer is no. If plants were designed to be broken, shortened, tied down, we wouldn’t have to do it. Any plant will grow just fine without any sort of training.

However for experienced growers that want more out of their plants, using any sort of training technique will help keep your plant under control, increase yields, save space and more benefits when done correctly.

Mexico publishes medicinal cannabis regulation

Mexico publishes medicinal cannabis regulation

Mexico pushes forward rules legal medical marijuana

The legislation marks a major shift in a country bedeviled for years by violence between feuding drug cartels.

Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday published rules to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis, a major step in a broader reform to create the world’s largest legal cannabis market in the Latin American country.

The new regulation was signed off by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and will now allow pharmaceutical companies to begin doing medical research on cannabis products.

 

The cannabis reform taking place includes the recreational use of marijuana, and will create what would be the world’s biggest national cannabis market in terms of population.

The new medicinal rules state companies which wish to carry out research have to obtain permission from the Mexican health regulator, COFEPRIS, and this research has to be done in strictly controlled, independent laboratories.

“The standard of regulation is very, very high,” said Luisa Conesa, a lawyer and pro-cannabis activist who spearheaded legal challenges that led to decriminalization of medical cannabis.

“(The regulation) is not aimed at patients growing their own cannabis, it is aimed at pharmaceutical companies producing pharmaceutical derivatives of cannabis which are classified as controlled substances that need prescription,” he said.

The regulation also sets rules for the sowing, cultivation and harvesting of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which would allow businesses to grow marijuana legally on Mexican soil.

While some cannabis plant imports are permitted for companies looking to create products, exports of Mexican-grown cannabis is prohibited.

Foreign weed companies from Canada and the United States have been looking at Mexico with interest. Many had delayed making investment decisions due to policy uncertainty and were waiting for the final regulation to be published.

Mexico’s lawmakers are also in the final stages of legalizing recreational use of marijuana, with the bill expected to pass in the next period of Congress.

The legislation marks a major shift in a country bedeviled for years by violence between feuding drug cartels, which have long made millions of dollars growing marijuana illegally and smuggling it into the United States.

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