By Dalton Rosario
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Editorial Director, Rux Martin
Long Story Short. The Cannabis edibles food space is evolving far beyond the pot-brownies of years’ past. Intricate cooking recipes mixed with chemistry and botany has led to incredible advances in the arts and sciences of cooking with cannabis.
Gimme the Juice! As an emerging niche market combining the culinary sector with unique publications from literary houses and experimenting writers, the legal cannabis trade is becoming injected with a burst of excitement geared around the intricacies of cooking with THC. Cook books expounding upon recipes infusing cannabis with lamb chops marinated in yogurt, cilantro-cannabis dressings layered over fresh kale and bacon bits, and pepperoni cured from pot is becoming the standard of a new direction previously unexplored to such culinary depths.
So What’s the Bottom Line? Human civilizations have been cultivating cannabis and cooking with these home-grown herbs since the beginning of Time. Whether cited in research spanning back to the Mesolithic era, or ritualistic concoctions named “Bhang” shared by Yogis in India for over 3,000 years; this ever-present fascination of infusing cannabis in our daily diets to nourish the body and spirit have been a part of our culture as a people.
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By Dalton Rosario
Long Story Short. Florida Health Officials are allowing the state’s largest medical cannabis manufacturer - Trulieve - to open more dispensaries than the State law limits; totaling 49 retail locations.
Gimme the Juice! Florida’s medical cannabis program caps dispensary operators at 25 locations statewide. This limit increases as more companies enter the emerging market. The outcome was supposed to create a level-playing field and reduce the risk of market monopolies. This limit has risen to 35 locations per operator since, and will be in place until April 2020.
So What’s the Bottom Line? Reducing product availability does not help the end-user in any way, and even adds unnecessary barriers of entry for companies looking to take a foothold in Florida’s medical cannabis market. Trulieve has set the precedence by being allowed to lawfully open a total of 49 dispensaries. This amount includes the original 14 locations they started in business with, plus the additional 35 retail store limit to be revoked from state law in April 2020.
click here to read more: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-ne-nsf-trulieve-dispensary-ruling-20190401-story.html
By Dalton Rosario
Susan Curtis, Executive Director of Massachusetts’ Medical Association
Long Story Short. The pet market is the largest growing niche within the CBD Market for states that have legalized cannabis.
Gimme the Juice! Particularly in Massachusetts, Veterinarians are reporting increasingly more cases of pet-owners giving cannabis-derived products to their pets to treat their ailments. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Veterinarians and pet-owners are in favor of medication that mitigates pain in animals; however, Massachusetts law strictly enforces punishable offensives for licensed vets that recommended cannabis to a pet that experiences adverse side effects.
So What’s the Bottom Line? Veterinarians confirm from pet-owners that cannabis and CBD derivatives work wonders for pets with a myriad of health conditions. But without the proper scientific research to back these claims, even though Vets are doing what is morally right to reduce pain in these animals, they are still unlawfully recommending medications that they can and will be held accountable for under state law.
click here to read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/03/28/more-people-are-treating-their-pets-with-marijuana-and-veterinarians-aren-sure-quite-how-handle/lZXlrHE2mQTFiR4BuhpBQK/story.html
By Dalton Rosario
America’s former number one cash crop has been aggregating spectacular developments in allocation of lands cultivated and state pilot programs sprouting throughout the nation. After having been legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp crop and its derivates of industrial production have been removed from the Controlled Substances Act and has been administered into the hands of the Department of Agriculture rather than penal enforcement and scrutiny under the restrictions of the Justice Department.
Investments in industrial hemp manufacturing have increased exponentially in the past two years. 78,000 acres of hemp spanning across 17 states have been cultivated; particularly for increased demand of CBD products booming in markets across America due to its legal status, non-psychoactive properties and medicinal value as a healthy alternative to opioid prescriptions and rehabilitative treatments for opioid dependence and addition. This year alone hemp is expected to ramp up its production to an estimated 125,000 acres being planted across the country. That is more acres of hemp lands cultivated than the past two years combined. As of 2017 the U.S. industrial hemp market was already valued at $820 million, and based on how licensed cultivation and sponsored state programs have exponentially increased years since, it is not far fetched to classify the current valuation of hemp within our nation to have the capacity to build into a billion dollar industry. America’s cash cow is back in business. - And business is booming.
By Dalton Rosario
Next week on February 7th, Hawaii’s Committee on the Judiciary will vote on cannabis legalization. This is a widely discussed topic throughout the state lately as the Democratic Party presidential nominee Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) openly advocates for cannabis reformation ranging from years of supporting bills that exempt CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, to legalizing industrial hemp and providing assurance for banks that service registered cannabis businesses. This legislation, if passed in Hawaii's Committee on the Judiciary, would allow for adults aged 21+ to cultivate, consume and possess cannabis. Also, manufacturing licenses would be issued for dispensaries and retail locations throughout the islands.
As outlined in the bill, “the legalization of marijuana for personal or recreational use is a natural, logical, and reasonable outgrowth of the current science of marijuana and attitude toward marijuana,” deducing a commercial interest in regulating and taxing the statewide cannabis market and a fundamental understanding that investing in healthy industries such as these reduce black market incentive for violent crimes related to the cultivation and distribution of cannabis. The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii (DPFH) believes that regulatory frameworks of commerce are not enough to address the iniquities disproportionately targeted against communities of poverty thus far perpetrated by the war on drugs. They say that more needs to be done; which would likely include expungement services against prior non-violent convictions and/or on-going possession charges being dropped based on similar examples of restitution programs implemented across the country.
By Dalton Rosario
A new cannabis bill proposed this week by the Senate requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to actively study the medical benefits of cannabis for prescription use in the treatments for our veterans. According to statistics from Military Benefit’s PTSD Awareness Day: an estimated 44 million veterans develop PTSD symptoms and suffer from a number of ailments revolving around traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. Within the U.S. half of all mental health patients have been diagnosed with PTSD.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation filed by Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) and Clay Higgins (R-LA), which follows the first Senate cannabis bill of the 116th Congress filed just the week prior. Said legislation was authored by bi-partisan partners Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). As remarked in a press release by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), “Rather than risk becoming dependent on opioids, these veterans find relief in medical cannabis… With the opioid crisis raging across America, it is imperative to the health and safety of our veterans that we find alternative treatments for chronic pain and service-related injuries.” As stated these efforts attempt to target the severity of opioid abuse for our veterans and the rates of addiction exhibited within our country. Many states have begun mobilizing lawmakers and passing legislation that places precedence upon medical clinics, physicians and certified practitioners utilizing cannabis as a healthy alternative for pain-relieving opioids. Most recently earlier this week in New Jersey, the state Department of Health declared that physicians may immediately begin recommending medical cannabis for opioid addiction. Similar treatment plans have been written into law in New York and Pennsylvania. Our veterans deserve the very best methods available on the market. If that includes cannabis as their preference of choice - so be it.