Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Meets

Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Meets

Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Meets

On Monday, June 26, 2017, Dykema attorneys were present as Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board conducted its first public meeting in Lansing, Michigan. This meeting was the first time that members of the public had the opportunity to address the newly-appointed Board, and marijuana industry advocates and participants took full advantage, overflowing the G. Mennen Williams Building’s auditorium.

At the outset of the meeting, Board Chairman and former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson made clear that the inaugural meeting would not be a question and answer session, but that the Board would listen to public comment as its members continue to learn about the issues that lie ahead. Members of the public to address the Board included attorneys, dispensary owners, caregivers, patients, and township trustees, who collectively voiced varying concerns about the uncertainty in the medical marihuana field that will continue to exist until the rulemaking process concludes.

From the activist community, some speakers criticized the composition of the Board, questioning both the political make-up (appointees include only Republicans and Independents) and the fact that Board member Don Bailey is a retired Michigan State Police Trooper with a history of drug enforcement work. (Board member David LaMontaine is also a police officer, and a law enforcement background is hardly unheard of on a regulatory board—the Executive Director of Michigan’s Gaming Control Board was a longtime officer with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.)

Toward the end of the meeting, Mr. Bailey explained that marijuana obviously involves law enforcement issues, causing some consternation when he offered the observation that the Board may have trouble believing potential licensees who had failed to comply with the current Michigan Medical Marihuana Act would comply with the new law going forward. He also noted that going forward, the Board’s duty is to follow and apply the law, not personal views. Other members of the Board echoed comments demonstrating that they are eager to hear and learn from the public. Chairman Johnson encouraged members in the audience to continue to make their voices heard and to work together with the Board as the process unfolds.

Chairman Johnson concluded by indicating that there would be “at least” one public meeting between June and October of this year. As we have written previously, the timelines in Michigan’s rulemaking process will force the State to promulgate emergency rules to be able to comply with the law’s December 15, 2017 date for accepting licensure applications. Because emergency rules can only extend for one year, we expect the State to begin work on promulgating final rules nearly simultaneously.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates regarding future Board meetings and other news relating to the rulemaking process.

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Published at Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Fourth Corner Credit Union Obtains Pyrrhic Victory for Marijuana Banking

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Fourth Corner Credit Union Obtains Pyrrhic Victory for Marijuana Banking

Fourth Corner Credit Union Obtains Pyrrhic Victory for Marijuana Banking

The long-awaited  Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the case of Fourth Corner Credit Union v. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City was issued this week. In short: the would-be credit union, formed to serve participants in the state-legal marijuana sector, lives to fight another day—but minus its original purpose for existing.

Background

Fourth Corner Credit Union was originally formed to solve an acute problem for marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) and individuals associated with MRBs: the inability to obtain mainstream banking services. Without access to bank or credit union accounts, MRBs remain chiefly cash-based businesses, left to their own devices to figure out how to store money and move it around, including how to pay employees and vendors, and to keep cash safe from theft. 

Despite many state laws allowing marijuana activity, the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana all are patently illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance as to how financial institutions may meet their Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money-laundering (BSA/AML) compliance obligations while serving MRBs, incorporating guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to U.S. Attorney’s Offices regarding situations in which federal law enforcement resources should or should not be focused on state-legal marijuana activity. But none of these issuances have the power to change the CSA or other laws, or to authorize financial institutions to serve MRBs in the first place (even if BSA/AML obligations are met to FinCEN’s satisfaction). And so, to date, the vast majority of financial institutions remain unwilling to deal with MRBs.

Fourth Corner’s organizers saw an opportunity to leverage state law to solve this problem. They could obtain a state credit union charter in Colorado, a state friendly to MRBs, rather than a federal charter. (While state-chartered entities are still subject to federal law, it could be possible that state regulators might be more open to allowing their state-chartered institutions to work with MRBs operating legally under their state laws.) Colorado offers the additional benefit of being among the few states to provide a mechanism for allowing state-chartered credit unions to obtain share insurance (comparable to FDIC deposit insurance for banks) from a private insurer rather than from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). That would eliminate the involvement of one more federal regulator, and perhaps keep the credit union’s activity as much as possible within the friendlier confines of state regulation.

But at least one federal authority could not be circumvented. The Federal Reserve controls a major payment system that banks and credit unions use to move money around. Without a “master account” on that system, the Fourth Corner Credit Union would likely not be able to do business, as it would be limited in its ability to move funds.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the entity handling Fourth Corner’s application for a master account, denied the application, due in part to the fact that the credit union’s business model centered on serving members whose activity is illegal under federal law.

Fourth Corner sued in federal district court in Colorado, seeking injunctive relief forcing the Kansas City Fed to give the credit union a master account. In January 2016, the court declined to grant this relief and dismissed the case with prejudice, citing the illegality of marijuana activity under the federal CSA.

Fourth Corner appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which heard oral argument in November 2016. 

The Tenth Circuit’s Opinion

On June 27, a divided three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit issued three separate opinions in the case, overlapping in some issues and in direct conflict in others, inviting the need for a Venn diagram to sort out the interplay among the three. But in short, the court vacated the district court’s order and directed that court to dismiss the amended complaint without prejudice. This allows Fourth Corner to have the case heard again.  

While this seems like a victory for Fourth Corner, in practice the purpose of the credit union is  now watered down. This is because Fourth Corner had amended its complaint to provide that it would comply with any applicable law, and thus presumably not serve MRBs that violate federal law, only persons operating legally such as non-MRB supporters of legal marijuana. Since the district court did not directly rule on that amended complaint, the Tenth Circuit said, it can be reconsidered. Thus, Fourth Corner is now free to pursue its case, and/or its master account application, premised on serving only those who are not operating in violation of the CSA or other law. 

On those terms, is it worth pursuing?

To proceed, Fourth Corner must essentially abandon the business model that was its reason for existing—the ability to serve MRBs and persons affiliated with MRBs that operate in violation of the CSA, and who for that reason have been shut out of mainstream banking channels. Now, it appears that Fourth Corner is now free to pursue the ability to operate a credit union that can only serve persons that could already be served by existing banks and credit unions.

If the credit union were to open, given the credit union’s original stated purpose—to serve MRBs, which, by their nature, violate federal law—it is also reasonable to expect that it would be subject to some additional regulatory scrutiny. In particular, regulators would likely be focused on confirming that only legal transactions were flowing through the credit union, and that MRBs were not obtaining services from the credit union under false pretenses. For instance, regulators could require that the credit union establish account opening and monitoring policies and procedures that are more detailed and intensive than would ordinarily be required. This scrutiny could come from state regulators as well, since all bank and credit union regulators have an interest in having their supervised institutions maintain compliance with applicable laws and appropriately mitigate risks. That is not only the province of federal regulators.

In theory, the credit union might be able to open for business to serve a more general population of members operating legally, then later decide to also serve MRBs, as a small number of other financial institutions are doing. However, this would  carry a number of risks. It could be halted at any time by regulators or law enforcement, as, again, MRBs’ activity inherently violates federal law. And if the master account approval were premised on not serving such businesses, the Fed could withdraw account access, to name one possible consequence. And, through publicity from this legal action, the credit union could attract some heightened level of attention from federal authorities.

Takeaways for Marijuana Banking

Does this opinion advance the ball for marijuana banking?

In short, no. The judges, though divided on certain issues, did not give credence to any argument that state marijuana law somehow trumps or abridges the conflicting federal CSA.

Fourth Corner is now free to pursue the ability to open for business to serve persons and businesses that are already operating legally—not in violation of the CSA or other law. This is something it did not have to go to court in order to do.  

The experience of Fourth Corner so far is an important case study. It shows the power that federal law—particularly the CSA—continues to have to encumber the operations of businesses that operate in full compliance with state laws. It shows that there is no way to craft a magic solution to the marijuana banking problem by using only state chartering and licensing regimes. And it shows that the underlying federal statutory  law must change in order for the marijuana banking issue to truly become unstuck.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Announces First Meeting

Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Announces First Meeting

Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Announces First Meeting

Some six months after Michigan’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act took effect, the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board created by that Act today announced its first meeting.

On Monday, June 26, 2017, at 1:30 p.m., the Board will meet in the first floor auditorium in the State’s G. Mennen Williams Building, the building that houses the State’s Attorney General’s office. (The Williams Building is located at 525 West Ottawa in Lansing.)

The agenda released by the Board announces that this will be the Board’s organizational meeting. As required by the State’s Open Meetings Act, there will also be an opportunity for public comment.

The members of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Board were appointed by Gov. Snyder last month. Chaired by former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson, the Board also consists of Donald Bailey, Nichole Cover, David LaMontaine, and Vivian Pickard.

For more information on the activities of Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Board and the State’s creation of a new regulatory framework for medical marijuana, check back with the Cannabis Law Blog.

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Published at Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Vaping Products

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5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Vaping Products

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Whether you’re a smoker or not, you cannot deny the effects smoking has on your body. From literally destroying your lungs to making you prone to harmful diseases like cancer, smoking causes everything. Fortunately, the majority of smokers are starting to shift to vaping, or at least consider the move.

Why Vape?

Well, for starters, vaping does not cause cancer. It does not squeeze the life out of your lungs, and it does not make you prone to critical illnesses. If that isn’t enough reason for you to begin vaping, here are some of the enticing factors about it.

  • One of the best things about electronic cigarettes is that they limit the intake of nicotine to a bare minimum. In fact, most vaping products don’t even contain nicotine.
  • Vaping liquids come in a variety of flavours. This means that you don’t have to resort to that unpleasant smoky tangent coming from your mouth.
  • The key element that causes cancer is tar that is present in abundance in a regular cigarette. When you shift to vaping, you are exposed to absolutely no tar, reducing the chances of extracting cancer by a huge margin.

Keep Your Money in Your Pockets

One of the best things about vaping is that you get to make the most of your hard-earned money instead of just smoking it out. If you are planning to make a shift, here are five great ways to make sure that you save a good portion of your money while using vaping products.

#1: Enter a Contest

One of the simplest ways get your hands on some vaping products is to enter a contest. There are several different contests held by companies throughout the year that offer free vape gear. This is a way for the vaping community ad manufacturers to make sure more people switch to this healthier alternative. So, look out for contests and giveaways!

#2: Write Testimonials

The vaping industry on a whole is still in its infancy. Businessmen that are a part of it require more people to use their products for the industry to flourish. There aren’t many ways to get a person to vape than a true testimonial. You can simply contact a vendor and ask them for a vaping kit, and in return, you can write a true testimonial. You can even offer to sponsor them on your social media in which case you can give their product a shout-out.

#3: Deals and Discounts

Want to keep things simple? Always watch out for deals! Companies tend to offer discounts from time to time and this can be a great way to save some money and get a vape pen at an extremely affordable price. You can find discounts that start at 10% and go up to an amazing 45%.

The key to landing a great product on an excellent deal is to always be on the lookout.

#4: Incentive Programs

A lot of companies also offer a variety of referral programs. Whether you use the product or are planning to make a purchase, these programs are a great way to keep your money in your pocket while getting a vaping kit. The way it works is that you will be required to refer a potential user to the company. Some manufacturers offer you points simply by referring, while others would offer your points if the referred person purchases something.

Either way, you can gather enough points to eventually purchase vaping gear on a discount. You can even get something for free, provided you have enough credit points from referrals.

#5: Engage in a Gathering

People who vape often form a co-op. This means that they acquire a large amount of vaping pens and kits from a wholesaler. This allows them to get these products at extremely low prices. You can look for such groups online or even ask a fellow vaping partner if they know someone from a co-op.

In a Nutshell

The benefits of vaping outweigh the reasons you smoke conventional cigarettes. Not only does vaping allow you to stay away from the detrimental aspects of a cigarette, it replaces them with benefits that you can enjoy! The only thing that bars a lot of people from vaping is the initial costs.

Once a person has those covered, it is expected that the vaping industry will grow at an even better pace. You can make use of the above-mentioned ways to get an e-pen without paying the full retail price.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 07 Jun 2017 04:42:58 +0000

What is Rosin and Why You Should Try It

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What is Rosin and Why You Should Try It

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

All About Rosin

If you love to dab or are just getting started with concentrates, there is a new solvent-less option that is quickly gaining a cult following for its purity, flavor, and potency. That concentrate is rosin, which is technically “mechanically separated” as opposed to extracted because only heat and pressure are used to remove the cannabinoids (think THC, CBD) in buds or other cannabis starting material. First pressed out on hair straighteners a couple of years ago, rosin has recently skyrocketed in popularity and is now made on commercial-grade rosin presses across the country. Rosin can be made from virtually any material including flower, kief, or even bubble hash for a supremely pure product that is 100% free of any harsh solvents, such as butane or propane.

Nowadays, everyone is looking for the best dabs that they can get their hands on as concentrates frequently provide superior flavor and unrivaled potency. In fact, rosin is equivalently potent or in some cases more so than BHO, PHO, and other solvent-based extracted products, typically in the 70% – 90% range. Rosin pressing also does not remove any residual contaminants that BHO processing typically removes, ensuring that when you are dabbing top quality rosin it came from truly premium cannabis. Often BHO is made by blasting questionable trim, moldy or powdery mildew-laden cannabis which can also damage the terpene profile considerably. Some premium hash rosin has been tested to have a terpene content as high as 13% or more, which approaches or even exceeds the current king of concentrates, live resin.

Another huge benefit that rosin provides to the cannabis community is that pretty much anyone can make it at home completely safely, as opposed to risking your life or a severe felony by open blasting BHO outside of strictly controlled lab settings. Since only heat and pressure are applied to liquefy the trichomes and other cannabinoids, using a rosin press is extremely safe. Whether you’re a home grower or just have some extra material you want to turn into dabs, rosin is a sure bet to take your extra kief or nugs and turn them into a full melt product.

If you haven’t tried rosin yet or your local dispensary doesn’t carry it, make sure to ask them. Rosin is one of the most flavorful concentrates that has the benefit of not carrying any nasty solvents and is frequently made from top shelf buds and hash, so you know you’re going to have a great product to dab. If you’re looking to make some of your own rosin, whether you have a hair straightener and need some accessories or you’re looking for an industry leading press, check out PurePressure. They’re based in Denver, Colorado and make some of the best products in the rosin market for everyone, whether they’re a lab or a home user. If you aren’t dabbing rosin yet, what are you waiting for?

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 31 May 2017 05:10:22 +0000

Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Board Appointed!

Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Board Appointed!

Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Board Appointed!

Today, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed the five members of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Board. Under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, the Board is responsible for working with the State’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (within which the Board is housed) to promulgate the rules that will govern the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. Beginning this December, the Board will start accepting license applications, and will then oversee the licensing and regulation of industry participants. Governor Snyder’s press release follows:


Gov. Rick Snyder makes initial appointments to the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board

Friday, May 26, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the initial appointments to the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board established by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Housed within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the five-member board was created to implement the system of licensing and regulation established under the act for marihuana growth, processing, testing, transporting and provisioning.

“This board will help provide the proper oversight of medical marihuana facilities to keep the public safe by ensuring proper health and safety standards are being met,” Snyder said.

Member with term expiring Dec. 31, 2018:

Nichole Cover of Mattawan is a licensed pharmacist and healthcare supervisor for Walgreens. She currently serves as chair of the Michigan Board of Pharmacy and previously served as the Board’s representative on the Controlled Substance Advisory Commission. Cover holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University. She will represent Independents.

Members with terms expiring Dec. 31, 2019:

Serving as the nominee of the Senate Majority Leader is Rick Johnson of LeRoy, who also will serve as chair. He manages Common Cents Farm in LeRoy. Johnson was a state representative from 1998–2004, serving his last four years as Speaker of the House. Johnson holds an honorary doctorate of public service from Ferris State University. He will represent Republicans.

Serving as the nominee of the Speaker of the House is David LaMontaine of Monroe.  He is a business agent and executive board member for the Police Officers’ Association of Michigan. LaMontaine previously served in the United States Marine Corps, as a police officer in Hamtramck, and as a hostage negotiator and detective for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. LaMontaine studied employment and labor relations at Wayne State University. He will represent Republicans.

Members with terms expiring Dec. 31, 2020:

Donald Bailey of Traverse City recently retired as a sergeant for the Michigan State Police with 36 years of law enforcement and investigative experience. Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Michigan University, attended the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy, and received a certificate from the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety in Police Management, Staff, and Command. He will represent Republicans.

Vivian Pickard of Bloomfield Hills is the president and CEO of The Pickard Group consulting firm. She recently retired as director of public policy for General Motors and served six years as president of the General Motors Foundation, during which she managed all the company’s U.S. philanthropic donations. Pickard holds a bachelor’s degree in human services management from Ferris State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She will represent Independents.

After this round of initial appointments, subsequent members will serve four-year terms.


For further updates on the rulemaking process and development of Michigan’s industry, check back here with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog.

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Published at Thu, 25 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Weed and Shrooms: A Closer Look

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Weed and Shrooms: A Closer Look

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Psilocybin and Cannabis: A Comparative Analysis

According to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) cannabis and psilocybin (commonly referred to ‘Magic Mushrooms’) have no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse. While this description for both of these substances is highly inaccurate for a wide variety of reasons, the current classification makes it very difficult to conduct research into the medical benefits of the plants.

Regardless whether these substances are illegal, millions of people around the world use these ‘Teacher Plants’ for recreational, medical and spiritual uses. Thus, in the following analysis we’ll be going into details about the effects, potential medical uses and potential pitfalls when consuming these substances.

How Accessible are Weed and Shrooms?

Despite the fact that there is an entire government system and an international collaboration to inhibit people from consuming these substances, it has done very little to stop people from taking them. In fact, the highest consumed illicit drug is cannabis. Mushrooms, on the other hand, are not consumed nearly as much as cannabis for obvious reasons (we’ll get into that later).

Today, there are 28 states in the United States that have some sort of marijuana legislation in play whereas zero states provide easy access to the hallucinogen psilocybin, save for a few universities where studies are being conducted.

Most people around the world find their own ways to get their hands on these substances, whether it’s through cultivating the plants at home, or purchasing it illegally on the black market.

Mushrooms grow wild in places where there is a lot of humidity and frequently can be found in cattle ranches or certain mountainous areas. People who consume magic mushrooms go on the “hunt” within the first few hours after it rained and before the sun is too potent that will make the mushrooms dry out and wither.

How to Consume Weed and Shrooms

For the most part, people consume cannabis via smoking it. Lately, with newer devices, vaporizing cannabis has become popular. However, with the expansion of the cannabis industry, the methods of consumption has evolved drastically.

From extracts to infusions, cannabis can now be consumed via smoking, vaping, eating, drinking and even topically through creams and so forth.

For mushrooms, however, most people eat it directly or drink it in a tea. Depending on the strength of the mushroom, usually 6 ‘caps’ would do the trick to send you into a hallucinogenic state. For preservation, some people place the mushrooms in honey, allowing it to be stored for years while others dehydrate the caps, which gives it a shelf life of about six months to a year.

The Effects of Cannabis and Mushrooms

Some people say you can’t “trip” on cannabis, however, they would be mistaken. It takes roughly 10 micrograms of cannabis in your system to induce hallucinations (in most) however, this mostly occurs through edibles. For those who smoke marijuana, the effects are usually mild, with a case of euphoria due to dopamine levels increasing, laughter, hunger (the munchies). Since cannabis has nearly an infinite amount of strains, the effects may range depending on the genetics of the plant you are smoking. It will either ‘lift you up’ or ‘lock you down’ depending on the phenotype you’re smoking (indica/sativa).

Mushrooms, on the other hand, are much more ‘intense’ in terms of experience. The mushroom trip lasts anywhere between 6-12 hours depending on the amount you consumed. As opposed to cannabis, psilocybin is a fully immersive experience that will create vivid hallucinations to the point where you can ‘smell colors’ or ‘feel sound’. This is due to the fact that when under the influence of psilocybin, the entire brain is connected and the sensorial experience is magnified.

For some, they experience psilocybin almost with a child-like fascination. It’s common to have people giggle like little children, frolic in nature and amaze at the wondrous sights they see. Others, experience a much more intense experience where there is a sense of inter-connectivity between the individual and the surrounding areas.

It’s quite difficult to explain a subjective experience such as psilocybin to someone who has never tried a psychedelic. In fact, every experience is unique. One of the most important factors is to have your mind in the ’right place’ to induce a pleasant experience. This means, not harboring feelings such as ‘guilt, envy, fear etc.’ Within the realm of psychedelics, these emotions tend to leak into the visual experience and can turn a ‘good trip’ into something ‘not-so-pleasant’

Medical Uses

Cannabis is said to treat up to 200 individual diseases and conditions ranging from cancer, depression, pain management, inflammation, seizure disorders, arthritis, PTSD and much more. There are over 20,000 publications outlining the medical benefits of cannabis and as laws surrounding the plant fades, more research will be conducted to verify the benefits of cannabis.

Psilocybin on the other hands has only recently been utilized for medical reasons. For the most part, researchers have been looking into mushrooms to treat things like depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

Utilizing Cannabis and Mushrooms Simultaneously

Every good psychonaut uses cannabis with whatever psychedelic they are using. There are several reasons for this namely, Cannabis is a regulator allowing you to ‘surf the psychedelic’ and cannabis also acts as a booster for when your ‘trip is diminishing’ it can give you an extra few hours of “tripping”.

Cannabis and mushrooms go very well together and whenever you feel like your mushroom trip is getting ‘out of hand’, a few tokes from weed can bring down your anxieties and provide you with a slight sense of control over the experience.

The biggest factor when tripping on mushrooms is to accept your fate, to understand that you will be tripping for a few hours and that is ‘okay’. Simply accept it, ride it out and you’ll be fine.

Conclusion

To say that cannabis and mushrooms have no medical validity and a high potential for abuse is erroneous. No one has ever overdosed on cannabis as it is virtually impossible and similarly with mushrooms, people tend to stop after consuming a certain amount as the sensorial experience is intense and doesn’t require greater doses.

Of course, these are people who do abuse these substances, however for the most part…this is not the case.

Author Bio

VolcanoVape founder and vape enthusiast, Ian Lebowski has been involved in marijuana industry for close to a decade now. Originally working in quality control and testing, he has reviewed hundreds of vape products over the years. He also loves to write so he never misses a chance to share his knowledge trough some marijuana-related article.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 18 May 2017 04:34:00 +0000

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

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Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Is vaping safer than smoking? Pitched as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco, we unravel the hype and break down the controversy surrounding vaping and vaporizers to evaluate the question: are e-cigarettes really a safe alternative to tobacco?

What are the benefits, risks and controversies surrounding Vaping?

The concept of vaping has rapidly shot to the spotlight over the last few years, and is rapidly becoming a mainstream phenomena. Evolving from a socially acceptable smoking alternative, vaping and vaporizers have now become the epitome of cool for millennials and gadget-enthusiasts alike. As the popularity of vaping intensifies, vaping it has even become a full-fledged competitive sport – ushering in a new era of self-styled YouTube stars, vaping communities, and even fierce competitions! If vaping is so socially acceptable and trend-setting, why are many states and countries gradually banning vaporizers from public places, and even stigmatizing or alienating vapers? Marketed as a healthy cigarette alternative, each week there seems to be a myriad of conflicting reports on the subject. For every positive study there is a negative one on the health effects, dangers and risks of vaping. So we have put our detective glasses on, to produce your e-guide to vaping. We break down the hype, opinions, stigmas and studies to evaluate the question: are e-cigarettes really as healthy as they smell?

Vaping vs Smoking Cigarettes

Why is Smoking Dangerous?

Back in the day, smoking was marketed as the essence of style, grace and even prescribed by doctors to pregnant ladies for positive health benefits. However with the advancement of medicine, science and technology, studies have shown smoking tobacco is highly addictive, containing tar, nicotine, carcinogens as well as plenty of other cancer-causing agents. And that’s just the start, as tobacco contains dangerous chemicals that can cause lethal diseases. The World Health Organization reports that smoking kills around 6 million people per year worldwide. Smoking has slowly become less socially acceptable and in this millennial age of health-obsession, conventional smoking has become socially outlawed and banned in most public places.

Is Vaping a Healthy Alternative?

To answer this question, we had to dive into the archives, as there have been many conflicting reports on the health benefits, dangers and risks involved with vaping. In one monumental study from the UK’s Department of Health, e-cigarettes were found to be 95% safer than traditional cigarettes and therefore a much healthier alternative to tobacco. Another recent scientific study

by Cancer Research UK, showed that after six months, smokers who switched to e-cigarettes had fewer toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than tobacco smokers. The report also negated previous studies which suggested vaping is as dangerous as smoking.

However, across the pond in the US, many authorities have taken a negative and cautious view on e-cigarettes. Some studies have shown that vaping is harmful, as vaporizers use e-liquid or e-juice, which contains nicotine. Other reports show e-cigarettes contain toxins, formaldehyde, or even cancer-inducing chemicals. In another twist, other studies have shown that this is only harmful with e-cigarettes been used at high temperatures. In moderate temperatures, there is actually less nicotine and chemicals than cigarettes. The vape is also not lit like a cigarette, so there is no combustion or release of carcinogens. Instead, the user inhales flavoured steam, which is comparatively safer. Others would argue that there still are traces of other chemicals, which one would not otherwise inhale and there are issues with second-hand smoke.

Why do many states have a negative view of vaping?

Despite numerous studies showing that vaping is a cooler, healthier alternative to smoking, vaping is still stigmatized by many and viewed on par with smoking. This is because e-cigarettes and vaporizers still produce “second-hand vapor” and trace-chemicals. People also argue that studies are not conclusive at the moment, as we will only know the long-term effects of vaping in years to come. Since there is still some controversy surrounding vaping, many countries, states and cities have even begun banning vaping in public places.

Conclusion: Vaping Versus Smoking

In a show-down battle between vaping and smoking, vaping would win hands down. In health terms, e-cigarettes and vapes contain less nicotine and other cancer-causing chemical and concoctions than tobacco. Another benefit is the smell, as many e-liquids have a mesmerizing aroma, like sweet vanilla, and do not discolour your fingers or teeth. This means vaping is comparatively more socially acceptable, less offensive and there are less bans and laws about vaping than smoking. Another cool benefit is that vaping has become a fierce competitive sport and “claim to fame”, with a new generation of vaping super-stars and viral videos. Another plus for gadget-enthusiasts is that vapes come in variety of vaporizer models from beginner to pro, with a myriad of trendy accessories, gadgets and kits. You can also find uber-convenient dry herb vaporizers that are compatible with weed, and stealthy vape pens for your wax.

So, while vaping still contains nicotine, and we have to wait to see full the long-term effects, it’s safe to say vaping is comparatively safer than smoking. Vaping also wins hands-down in terms of cool factor, trendiness, and social acceptance.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 19 May 2017 04:51:43 +0000

Vaping Cannabis or Smoking – Which is Safer?

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Vaping Cannabis or Smoking – Which is Safer?

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Vaping cannabis or smoking – which one is safer of better?

Cannabis can be enjoyed in several different ways. It can be smoked, vaped or dabbed. There’s a constant debate happening around the main pros & cons of vaping Mary Jane versus conventional cigarette smoking. Most studies argue that the mere idea of vaping cannabis is losing ground. Nonetheless, there are people who have positive things to say about vaping marijuana. As opposite to smoking pot, vaping it doesn’t harm the lungs; even though the effects are milder, three hits are enough to get you high.

Is vaping cannabis healthier than smoking it?

Vaping is without a doubt healthier than smoking – whether it’s nicotine or cannabis, it doesn’t really matter. Burning the cannabis plant creates tar – just like tobacco – as well as additional carcinogens. Through vaping, it’s just essential plant oil; this happens because the plant doesn’t catch fire. The effects of vaping marijuana comes from the terpenes and cannabinoids oils, meaning that vaporization can have the exact same effects as smoking pot.

However, there’s a main drawback associated with vaping pot. For starters, there are lots of devices out on the market, and many of them are made in China. This means they don’t work properly, and might feature defects. Rumor has it that some may even contain heavy metals or glue which are off-gassed at increased temperatures.

But there are trusted manufacturers out there. It’s very important to stick to the one that makes quality parts. The best vaping pens are made from titanium and ceramic heating elements, which excel in quality are a lot better than those manufactured from glass or steel.

Vaping is discreet

Portable vapes have increased in popularity because they’re more discreet and subtle. When you use a vaporizer, the smoke is barely noticeable, and it doesn’t catch on your clothes, breath, and hair. High-quality vaporizers have a soft smell that instantly dissipates when you exhale. Furthermore, the device is thinner and sleek; it almost looks like a very interesting tech gadget, and some people won’t even tell if a cannabis vaporizer. Another added benefit is that vaping devices are very easy to charge with an USB recharger. You can forget all about taking the time to roll a joint or load a bong.

Different flavors

Since vaping doesn’t involve burning the cannabis plant, the flavor is cleaner and free of that woody and harsh finish we often get when we smoke pot. Some people prefer this nuanced flavor, but this doesn’t mean you should too. Just remember that smoking catches tar and additional chemicals you won’t find when using a vaporizer. As far as flavors are concerned, they vary and often depend on grow skill, plan strain, and more.

It’s no secret that smoking – whether cigarettes or weed – is harmful to the health. Burnt tobacco and pot produce tar and other toxic chemicals that might get straight into your lungs. Vaping on the other hand, is a lot safer because it doesn’t involve burning. This means that the intake of carbon monoxide is reduced, leading to fewer toxic hydrocarbons. Basically, a vaporizer can fill out a need without the side-effects.

Interesting designs & outstanding effects

There are lots of efficient, incredibly appealing vaping pens in the marketplace. Choose the shape and size that best appeals to your personality, and forget all about rolling joints. These cool new devices are very high-tech. To some degree, you might confuse them with the most interesting social device, but with an added twist. You won’t need lighters anymore because vaporizers are recharged by USB.

We can’t guarantee that vaping cannabis is healthy. But it is healthier than smoking cannabis. Vaporizers can be even better, and make you higher without too many puffs. It all depends on how qualitative the device is. We prefer them because they’re flavoured liquids. The pungent flavor of pot doesn’t fade away when vaping, and you only need a few hits to get the desired effect. Now it’s all up to you, although it’s best to thoroughly assess all your options. This way you’ll be able to a make a sensible choice; a choice that might help preserve your health and the health of those around you.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 12 May 2017 04:48:32 +0000

Michigan’s Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Announces Filing of 2018 Ballot Initiative

Michigan’s Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Announces Filing of 2018 Ballot Initiative

Michigan’s Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Announces Filing of 2018 Ballot Initiative

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol today announced that it has filed petition language with the State of Michigan, kicking off an effort to enact an adult use law at the ballot box in 2018.

As of the writing of this post, ballot language was not available on the Coalition’s website. Earlier today, that website linked to a March 22, 2017, draft of the ballot measure. Highlights of that draft included:

  • Allowing cultivation, processing, possession and use of marijuana by all Michigan residents more than 21 years of age.
  • Allowing “homegrow” of up to 12 plants.
  • Protecting users of marijuana from adverse governmental actions.
  • A unique provision for “microbusinesses,” which could grow up to 150 plants, process marijuana into infused products, and sell marijuana and marijuana products.
  • Provisions for licensing growers, processors, testing laboratories, retailers, and transporters, largely mirroring the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).
  • Limits on market entry—for two years, only businesses licensed under the State’s MMFLA could receive adult use licenses for businesses other than the new microbusinesses or 100-plant growers.
  • Providing for licensure and regulations by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
  • Allowing municipalities to “opt out” of allowing licensed businesses, although decisions to opt out would be subject to citizen referenda.
  • Providing a short time frame for the State to act on license applications.
  • Providing that if the State did not have regulations completed within one year, adult use businesses would have the right to apply for licensing at the local level. If licensed at the local level, the State would be prohibited from enforcing regulations against the licensee for one year.
  • Although the earlier draft split tax revenue on a new 10 percent excise tax between municipalities, counties and community colleges, the Coalition’s website now states that taxes will be split between the School Aid Fund, the Transportation Fund (for repairs to roads and bridges), municipalities, and counties.

Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog will have more details on both the initiative and the next steps in the process as they become available.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 04 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000