For better or worse, legalization is just around the corner. It’s not coming as soon as we thought, with recreational sales being pushed to late August or early September instead of July, but legalization is still coming soon. As a result, cannabis is heavy in the news these days, with a lot of updates to follow, and even more misinformation to sort through. BC Bud wants to keep you informed and up to date, with the best information available. So, we’ve decided to give a run-down of the top stories in cannabis for May, 2018. Please let us know your thoughts, and send any updates you think are relevant our way.
No More Stereotypes
First up is a little bit lighthearted. A recent survey found that marijuana users, both recreational and medical, are fed up with how Hollywood portrays cannabis. While many in the cannabis community are upstanding citizens, with active social lives and careers, the media tends to portray us in a not so positive light. If you had never met a smoker, or edible user, in your life, you might be inclined to believe that all of us sit around all day, eating Cheetos and giggling like crazy at the new Sponge Bob episode. The idea seems laughable, until you realize that the majority of people against weed fully believe these stereotypes. In fact, people believe that weed is highly addictive and any tax brought in will ultimately be spent on repairing the “social damages” caused by marijuana.
Most cannabis users are fully functioning members of society. We have good jobs, contribute to our communities, raise children, and smoke or take edibles merely as a way to relax or to help with medical issues. The “Cheech And Chong” portrayal of the incompetent stoner is definitely funny and has its place, but it would be nice for movies to start showing weed in the same way they portray wine or beer, as something that everyone can use while maintaining a normal and productive life.
Fake CBD Hits Utah
This story is generating a lot of comments based on misinformation. So for the cannabis advocates out there, be ready to hear about this and take some time to educate your friends.
Recently, 52 people in Utah suffered poisoning after purchasing what they thought were CBD oil capsules. After police found and tested nine different products used by the victims, none had CBD but all had “4-cyano CUMYL-BUTINACA (4-CCB), a synthetic cannabinoid meant to mimic the effects of THC”. And eight of these nine were labeled “Yolo CBD Oil”.
Now, this story is generating a lot of debate for and against legalization. Those against cannabis claim that even though marijuana is legal in Utah, these poisoned capsules still got through. While those in support of legalization claim that this proves cannabis needs to be legal at the federal level to allow for greater regulation and testing controls. Both sides have points, but have ultimately missed the key problem, one that will also come up when Canada steps into the legalization waters.
Events like the ones in Utah occur when governments have failed to put knowledgeable people in the right positions. The key problem with legalization, in Canada, is the people in charge of the process have little to no experience with marijuana. We’ve covered this issue in past articles. While the governments have been so concerned with distribution, taxation, monetary regulation, and following a model that mimics alcohol regulation, they have failed to put knowledgeable, marijuana-experienced/informed people in the right places. Hopefully, the later date for legalization will give the government more time to create a system with the right people.
Mary Jane Is More Popular with the Business Crowd
May 24th kicked off the three-day Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo. This event was dedicated to the business and marketing side of cannabis, with workshops and panels on how to market and invest in marijuana. While the idea is nothing new, this conference marks one of the biggest pushes to educate consumers and businesses on how to profit from legalization. Plus, this business event had the great community feel that marijuana is known for creating.
At the conference, panels on branding, social media, and investing were top of the bill. But, there was a real desire for companies and small growers to just connect with each other. People could reach out and ask questions, find support, and get ideas. In a world where money can quickly change any industry or product, and cannabis is definitely going to be making a lot of money, it’s great to see that the spirit of the cannabis community still prevails.
Condos do Not Like Weed
In a move that has people enraged, and rightly so, many condo boards are trying to clamp down on cannabis before it even becomes legal. Basically, boards are looking at imposing fines and regulations to prevent people from smoking weed in their own units. Also, weed would not be allowed on private patios and growing pot plants, inside your condo or on your patio, would also be banned.
From any angle, this is a little bit ridiculous. While the condos are still allowing cigarettes to be smoked in these areas, they are simply trying to ban marijuana products – products that will be perfectly legal. How can they hope to ban growing legal pot plants, when other plants are allowed to grow freely? Also, the rule itself does not apply to anyone with a medicinal marijuana license, so it probably will have little to no effect in the long run.
Still, the big problem here is what a condo board can tell you to do, or not do, in your own home. It seems quite intrusive that a condo board can ban something from your own unit, when it causes no harm to those around you. This is just another piece of misinformation that is informing rules and regulations around cannabis.
Medicinal, but Not Allowed?
For those of you who tote cannabis for its medicinal properties, we are behind you. And, slightly off topic, this link will take you to a great video clearing up some of the misconceptions regarding medicinal marijuana. Back on topic, you have also probably heard about the two big cases around medical cannabis right now: Billy Caldwell and C.J. Harris.
Billy Caldwell’s case is the more controversial of the two. Billy suffers from severe, and potentially life threatening seizures. Billy’s mother took him from Ireland to Los Angeles to receive treatment for his condition. He received a prescription for cannabis oil containing THC. Even though he was just 11, the THC cannabis oil was prescribed as it decreased his seizures dramatically and he went from having up to 100 seizures a day, some of them lasting hours, to just a few. When he returned from the US to the UK, he was told that he could no longer have access to the cannabis oil for his treatment. Now his mother is begging the government to allow him to renew the prescription as his current dose is almost completely gone.
There is also the story of C.J. Harris. Harris, who suffers from epilepsy, was recently told he could not play college football in the NCAA. To treat his epilepsy, Harris uses cannabis oil. Initially, it was assumed that the NCAA made their decision based on the fact that players are not allowed to have THC traces in their blood (an outdated rule for sure). Newspapers and supporters were very vocal in support of Harris and that he should be allowed to play.
However, it soon came out that team physicians did not know about the use of cannabis oil when they rejected Harris to play. Auburn team physicians stated that their decision was simply based on a fear that further head trauma would put Harris at extreme risk since he already suffers from epilepsy.
These two stories only serve to show how little governments and regulating bodies understand cannabis for medicinal purposes. What will happen when recreational cannabis is legalized?
There is a lot of information out there right now, so keep your ear to the ground. Legalization is going to be a confusing time with many grey areas to navigate. Please let us know at BCBud.store if you hear anything important, or anything at all that peaks your interest.
Until next time,