Massachusetts Becomes the First East Coast State with Legal Marijuana Shops

Though Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, the state saw its first two legal marijuana shops open on November 19th, 2018. The state first voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2012, earlier than most states and realized the opportunity that recreational marijuana provided 4 years after. Two United States military veterans received the honor of being the first customers to initiate the new, cannabis friendly, era in Massachusetts. Cultivate Holdings in Leicester, MA, and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton, MA were the two stores to kick off the new era in the state.

One of the military veterans, David Narkewicz, is also the current mayor of Northampton. As a former member of the US Air Force, Narkewicz did not purchase an item for his own personal use, yet rather for conservation purposes of a symbolic day. Purchasing a cannabis-infused chocolate bar, Narkewicz received a large amount of cheers as he ushered in a new Massachusetts.

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David Narkewicz (right), Northampton Mayor, made the first purchase at NETA, kicking off a new industry in Massachusetts. Arnon Vered (left) is the co-founder of NETA.

Narkewicz is setting a great example for many other politicians, as he has encouraged the growth of the industry, while not compromising his own values. Supposedly he does not plan to indulge the cannabis chocolate bar, but even if he did, I don’t think any of his constituents would be too upset. After a round of applause, Narkewicz spoke to the public and stated,

“I’m proud that Northampton is playing a role in this historic day ending some 80 years of prohibition here in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and moving into a new modern era where we have safe, tested, well-regulated adult use of marijuana and cannabis,” – David Narkewicz, Northampton Mayor, 2018

At the the other shop that opened on November 19th, Cultivate Holdings in Leicester, Stephen Mandile made the first purchase. As a US Army veteran who served in Iraq, Mandile has also been a long-time medical marijuana advocate. Not only was he thrilled to be able to be the first customer, yet he was just as excited that veterans were able to take part in such a historic day. After the purchase, Mandile stated that,

“I get to make history. It means a lot, and I never expected this would be the outcome of my advocacy — I was just trying to go about helping people. I’m pumped to break the stigma and the weird, scary aura people want to put around cannabis.” – Stephen Mandile, US Army Veteran, 2018

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Photo of Stephen Mandile (right), US Army Veteran who made the 1st purchase at Cultivate Holdings in Leicester, MA.

If you do not think that the people of Massachusetts were excited, just look at the turnout. The Leicester Police Chiefe, Jim Hurley, was surprised himself at the turnout. Originally they were expecting anywhere between 600 to 1000 people on the first day at Cultivate Holdings, but the amount of people they saw was easily more than that. According to Hurley, there were probably 300 people in line outside when he left at just 1:30 PM.

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Even on a cold Massachusetts afternoon, the line at Cultivate Holdings on opening day was wrapped around the facility.

Although the state used other states that have legalized recreational marijuana as a blueprint, Massachusetts still employed its own laws. Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission knows that the state has benefited from others as an example, but knows no process is the exact same.

“So you can’t just lift and shift from other states, but we certainly can learn lessons about things that they’ve done that worked well and things that they wish they could have done differently,” – Steven Hoffman, Chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, 2018

Massachusetts laws allow shops to sell up to one ounce of flower or five grams of concentrate in a single purchase. Public consumption and driving under the influence of marijuana are still illegal in the state. A huge difference in Massachusetts legalization, was their emphasis on diversity, a concept that other states should follow suit. Hoffman stated that MA laws stand alone,

“…not just in terms of employment in the industry but in terms of equity ownership.” That also includes a requirement to “help those communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the previous war on drugs to make sure they’re full participants, – Steven Hoffman, Chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, 2018

This emphasis on not just employment, but ownership is something that I hope will carry on to other states. Many of my people, being a young African American, have been subject to the legal system and jail time over a substance that is now being sold for recreational use. Minorities should not be left out of this industry, and people like Steven Hoffman are making strides to make sure of that. I commend Hoffman for his efforts, and hope to see changes in the trend elsewhere as well.

Article: Massachusetts Makes History as First Legal Marijuana Shops on East Coast Open Tuesday

Cannabis College Program at Niagara College

I have always believed that education should be a direct reflection of society and its development, rather than be based solely off of what we already know. While history is important for individuals to learn, education should always be looking to the future as to foster innovation. As countries begin to change their personal and legal interpretations of cannabis use, the education systems provided should also begin to grow. Of course, our Canadian neighbors are leading the way since their decision to nationally legalize cannabis, as the first cannabis college program was opened not to long after.

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Photo of Frank Campion, Mayor of Welland, and Dan Patterson, Niagra College President, holding up new street signs for the campus.

Niagra College Canada became the first post-secondary certificate program in the production of commercial cannabis when it opened in November 2018. Still in it’s beginnin gphases, the program only accepts 24 students, 3 times a year. Bill MacDonald, the Coordinator of the Commercial Cannabis Production Program, understood the importance of creating a real curriculum focused around the production of cannabis. MacDonald was a coordinator the greenhouse technician program at Niagra College originally, until he began consulting in the cannabis industry. With his new knowledge of the rapidly growing industry, MacDonald knew that the trends in cannabis would transform the greenhouse industry in total.

” {We] saw how much it was transforming the greenhouse industry and approached the college and said, hey, we need to do a program because this is transforming the whole greenhouse industry, growing industry, and a lot of licensed producers were coming to me saying, ‘ we need qualified growers. We don’t have enough experienced talented people,” – Bill MacDonald, Coordinator of the Commercial Cannabis Production Program, 2018

MacDonald makes an amazing point. As industries emerge, education ALWAYS follows. Take for example the technology industry. At one point in time, there was no fundamental curriculum for educating the youth about how to use technology, let alone develop it. Now, these types of programs are even offered at the grade school level. Not to say that Commercial Cannabis Production Programs will be offered to minors, however, I do believe that for those who are generally interested there should be a tangible education for them to attain.

Once college leadership was on board, MacDonald was able to build the program from scratch. There is no program for the school to follow being the first of its kind, therefore it is still in its developmental stages. To even be considered for the graduate program, a student must have a degree in a related field such as Agricultural of Plant Sciences.

What is funny about the article posted on 2 On Your Side is the reactions that many of the students family members had once hearing about the program. Opposed to before, in the current climate, cannabis production must be looked at as a profession, not just a hobby. Two of the first Canadians accepted into the Commercial Cannabis Production Program at Niagara College detail how their loved ones have grown to understand that what they are studying is a viable profession.

“Older people are like wow congratulations, it’s a growing industry. Then the younger people, you know, give me props and they’re like nice, you’re growing weed in school,” – Carson Otto, Commercial Cannabis Production Graduate Certificate Program at Niagara College, 2018

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Photo of a cannabis lab at the Commercial Cannabis Production Program at Niagara College

There is no doubt that as legalization sweeps through the United States, colleges and universities will begin to follow the lead of Niagara College. To build a successful industry, individuals need to be educated, and Niagara College is on the forefront of developing the next trends in the Cannabis Cultivation space.

“Like even my grandma’s going around telling people, hey, my grandson, he’s growing pot at school. So, it’s pretty awesome to see that and get that reaction from people,” – Denzil Rose, Commercial Cannabis Production Graduate Certificate Program at Niagara College, 2018

Article: Exploring Canada’s First Cannabis College Program

Women Changing the Face of the Cannabis Industry

As the cannabis industry continues to grow in the United States and around the world, the perceptions of cannabis use is continually evolving as well. Society can no longer label individuals that use cannabis products as “potheads” or “stoners” because those titles simply do not fit in the industry in 2018. With more understanding, education, and communication, we now know that cannabis does not only serve as a substance that caters to those that are lazy or lack ambition. We now know that productive members of society, such as doctors, chefs, and even writers alike use cannabis as a daily piece of their lives, and it does not hinder their productivity.

Realistically, the look of marijuana has changed and in my opinion, has changed for the better. One of the largest benefactors of this change has been women, as the changes in perception have allowed it to be specifically more acceptable for women in the greater eye of society. Prior to changes in regulation, women using marijuana were often considered “unladylike” or inappropriate, which was simply unfair. Based off an article posted in The Guardian by Candice Pires, we will highlight two women who have turned their love for cannabis into viable jobs, while never compromising their professional image. Continue reading “Women Changing the Face of the Cannabis Industry”

The Merging of the Alcohol and Cannabis Industries

With regulations on cannabis beginning to loosen at a rapid rates in the world, and the United States alike, it is apparent that everyone will be trying to get a piece of the pie. Although an individual would think that companies involved in alcohol production would be opposed to the increase of support for cannabis related products, we have found that many of them have already begun to capitalize on the trend. While many alcoholic beverage companies have begun to explore the possibilities of marijuana-infused beverages as well, other companies have taken their investments even further. Constellation Brands $4 Billion investment into Canopy Growth Corporation serves as a monumental indication of what is to come between these two spaces, and how they will coexist in a leveled playing field.

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Official logo for Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED and NYSE: CGC. As of November 19th, 2018, the company’s stock sells for nearly $33 a share.

Prior to the era of legalization, alcohol companies had little to worry about when it came to marijuana. They naturally owned the competitive advantage over cannabis related companies due to one fact:

Alcohol has been legal in the majority of the world for years. Cannabis is just now recently nationally legal in a few countries; yet that wont last long. 

The alcohol industry enjoyed this exclusivity over cannabis, yet now it does not own the same luxury. Though alcohol has proven to temporarily impair individuals and also cause long-term health effects when consumed improperly, it has enjoyed nationwide legalization regardless. By being a legal entity, it has reaped the benefits of a much more relaxed perception and connotation, even though it’s record of destruction has been recorded along the way. In today’s age, however, cannabis is now creeping into the same space. Companies such as Constellation Brands have already made the conscious decision that rather than try to delay what is inevitable, they will invest in the development of the cannabis industry.

For background information, Constellation Brands is one of the leading international producers and marketers of beer, wine, and spirits. Ranked as the number 3 beer company in the United States, Constellation is the host brand for many iconic beers including Corona, Corona Light, Modelo Especial and Pacifico. Under its premium spirits brands, the company supports SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey. On the other hand, Growth Corporation was one of the early distributors in the Canadian and international marijuana market, which has in turn allowed it to become the largest player in the game. The company is not solely interested in providing consistent access to high quality cannabis products, but is just as invested in educating healthcare professionals and conducting clinical research about cannabis.

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Image depicting the iconic beer brands under host company, Constellation Brands.

Constellation Brands investment gives them a 38% share in Canopy Growth Corp., while also giving them further warrants that could take the stake to over 50% in the near future. The investment will help Canopy solidify its position as an industry leader and gives them the funds to build or acquire new assets. While more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Germany, and South Africa, begin to purse medical cannabis programs, the $4 billion investment will help Canopy to serve those markets. According to Forbes, the money will also help for the company to be more invested in the cannabis edible space. Forbes states that,

“For example, in Colorado, the share of edibles and concentrates went up from 11% and 13% at the beginning of 2014 to 15% and 29% by the end of 2017. Furthermore, in California and Oregon, their combined share exceeds 35%.” – Trefis Team, Great Speculations, 2018

The leading alcohol brand was determined to find a new influx of revenue, as it’s own industry has been suffering. According to Forbes, in US States where medical marijuana has been legalized, there has been a 15% drop in monthly alcohol sales. This figure can prove to be detrimental to the industry at large, but to Constellation in particular. It has already experienced falling revenues in the wine and spirits segments, and predicts a decline in the beer market and the US as well.

This trend will continue to grow as regulation continues to spread across the United States. What company do you think will follow next? Comment and let us know!

Article: What Constellation Brands’ Massive Investment In Canopy Growth Corp. Means For Both Companies

Marijuana Dispensaries Tapping Into High Design

Let’s face it. The industry of cannabis is developing into that of a household name, similar to the domination of Tobacco related products for the past century. In 2018, many industries are beginning to take more advanced and technological approaches when it comes to the way they conduct their businesses, and the way that they present them to consumers. The cannabis industry is no different; as consumer perceptions continue to become more and more positive and accepting, the industry itself must adapt to create a culture that is no longer associated with the negative stigmas of marijuana consumption. Professionals in the cannabis industry want their stores to mirror the concept that cannabis can be consumed professionally and is, in fact, a modern substance.

In recent years we have all seen the merging of art and certain industries. Hospitality approaches in the residential, healthcare, retail, and now, cannabis, are all moving towards art for the design. As marijuana becomes legalized across the United States more and more, emerging modern design niche’s make many industries look synonymous. Interior designers of cannabis shops are now looking to design their interiors to the point that if you somehow did not recognize the marijuana, you could easily mistake it for a high-end hair salon or advanced coffee shop. In an article by Meghan Edwards on Interior Design, she outlines 5 different cannabis stores that exhibit modern approaches to interior design.

1) Park Range Recreationals by The High Road Design Studio. Located in Oak Creek, Colorado. 

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Inside look at the Park Range Recreaitonals store by The High Road Design Studio owned by Megan Stone.

For retail designer, Megan Stone, forging a positive connection with the community was her primary goal for the project. Stone owns the first design firm that Interior Design has seen that specializes in retail design. Park Range Recreationals is a 500-square-foot space that keeps a sense of openness due to storage that is cleanly concealed behind wooden panels and stainless-steel canisters. The steel library looking ladder in the left hand corner of the photo above adds to the stores inviting atmosphere. Stone states her reasoning for designing the store as such:

“Design can be a powerful tool in changing negative perceptions of cannabis and elevating the value these businesses can add to a community. As a result, a more sustainable and profitable business is possible.” – Megan Stone, Owner of The High Road Design Studio, 2018

2) Paper & Leaf. by Johnson Squared Architecture and Semigood Design. Located in Bainbridge Island, Washington 

The co-owners of Paper & Leaf opened the doors of the shop in 2017 to embody a central vision; that of a high-end art gallery that featured a warm, inviting atmosphere. The store is very brightly light, features handcrafted wooden cases, and a 12-foot-long oak table that they call the “discovery station”. Brendan Hill and Steven Kessler decided that bamboo lining across the rafters of the store help to banish any concern that their purchase is “taboo”. In other words, they want their customers to know they are purchasing quality marijuana.

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Paper & Leaf by Johnson Squared Architecture and Semigood Design located in Bainbridge Island, Washington State

3)  Columbia Care by Bruce Hampton and RPG. Located in New York City, New York

Design and build firm based in New York city, RPG created a branded experience for 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of New York. The very first flagship was revealed in New York in January 2018. Columbia Care features wood, marble, bronze, and white solid surfacing. These features are meant to appeal to patients, pharmacists, and consultants alike by fostering a contemporary and comfortable environment. Their spaces create a new image for medical marijuana shops due to soft lighting, modern seating, and large-format photos to educate patients on various cannabis products. The store also runs videos and has tablets for each patient to maintain professional.

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Columbia Care by Bruce Hampton and RPG located in New York City, New York.

4) Silverpeak Apothecary by Tanagram Design. Located in Aspen, Colorado.

If you notice the theme, 2 of the shops that we have already mentioned are located in the country’s leader in marijuana sales. Having legalized marijuana in Colorado first, the retail scene is transforming with marijuana shops everywhere. Mentioned by Meghan Edwards, one can expect the stores in Aspen to look much more upscale. Tanagram Design turned Silverpeak into a luxury environment with warm wood accents and sleek display cases.

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Silverpeak Apothecary by Tanagram Design located in Aspen, Colorado. 

5) Pineapple Express by The McBride Company. Pineapple Express is a national chain.

The McBride Company is ahead of the curve with their design concept that they soon plan to implement across the country once legal marijuana takes place nationwide. Their aesthetic of a refined Hawaiian resort. The CEO of the McBride Company is very adamant in providing a sales experience that reflects the continuously evolving perception of marijuana. He states that,

“The store design and atmosphere we created offers consumers a space that incorporates all the elements of great retail design, but addresses the unique display and service challenges faced by the cannabis retail industry.” – Pat McBride, CEO of The McBride Company, 2018

Go check out your local dispensary and see how they have adapted for the modern day political climate and consumer perceptions. Thank you to Meghan Edwards and Interior Design for the wonderful article.

Article: Trending: 5 Marijuana Dispensaries Tap Into High Design

 

Artist Feature: Snoop Dogg Is More Than Just An OG In The Rap Game

Growing up in Los Angeles, I have always been a fan of Snoop Dogg. Growing up in Long Beach, Snoop Dogg has created timeless music for the West Coast, and has been an active member of the community as well. Coincidentally, I actually have experienced the charitable person that Snoop Dogg is, having played in his youth football league growing up in the city. Though he did not come up in the best situation, having an unstable presence of a father in his life, Snoop Dogg made the most out of what was given.

Growing up, Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, ran into the law frequently due to his affiliation with the Rolling 20’s Crip gang in East Long Beach, but I can assure you that he has never been just a “gangster”. Since dropping his debut album, Doggy Style, in 1993, Snoop Dogg has continued to alter his life. Now, the infamous Westcoast rapper has been at the pinnacle of the rap game, and has been active in finding new ways to make money off of what he enjoys: Marijuana.

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The Original Cover Art for Snoop Dogg’s Debut Album “Doggy Style” (1993)

Debuting in 1993, Snoop Dogg is considered one of the original rappers of the Gangster Rap era in the early 90’s. His status as an OG is not cemented solely by his tenure in the rap game at this point, as he is one of the most successful artists to be involved in the business of cannabis as well. Snoop Dogg’s company, named Leafs by Snoop, was launched in November of 2015, and since has gained considerable traction. Using capital that he had accumulated during his music career, the rapper was able to begin selling his own cannabis pens, strain, and other related products.

Though it is known that the artist has been very successful in his cannabis adventures, new developments in his charge have landed him on our blog. There is a great article by Sean Williams of The Motley Fool that speaks to just how much money the artist has been able gather for the cause. Williams points out a major figure that influences Snoop Dogg’s success, and it isn’t simply his status as a superstar. Williams states that,

“Cannabis research firm ArcView recently noted that legal pot sales in North America climbed 33% in 2017 to $9.7 billion, and they’re expected to grow annually by 28% through 2021, hitting $24.5 billion a year in the process. You’d probably struggle to find an industry with more consistent growth prospects.” – Sean Williams, The Motley Fool, 2018

One unique aspect about the cannabis industry is that it is not simply the direct growers that have been able to capitalize of the legalization of marijuana, but the ancillary players as well. Snop Dogg has been on the forefront of capitalizing on what he has always loved to do, and has co-founder a venture capital firm that focuses on investments in the cannabis space. Casa Verde Capital (translated to “green house”) is currently the leading venture capital firm focusing exclusively on the cannabis industry.

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Photo of the Casa Verde Capital Logo. Currently the firm has more than $45 Million in Investments.

Before closing to new investors, Casa Verde Capital had raised $45 million. Its reason for closing to the public was sos it can look for large investments of more than $1 million or up only. The firm plans to follow up with closing that requirement, and making all investments $3 to $5 million instead. TO date the company has made 8 investments in total and plans to continue growing!

Article: Snoop Dogg’s Marijuana Fund is Budding After a $45 Million Capital Raise

Forget Fossil Fuels: Creating Environmentally Friendly Fuel From Hemp

No matter how much people attempt to deny the presence of global warming, it is clear that it is not simply just a facade. Since the industrial revolution, humans have continued to destroy the natural balance of the Earth with our practices and developments. While society has evolved exponentially due to our advances, one thing is certain: the environment has paid a heavier price than any other aspect of our daily lives. We have continued to place convenience at the core of our values, and have viewed it as king as we continued to strive toward the future. It is too late to completely  overturn the effects of climate change, however, it is not too late to find ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint on the Earth.

In order to reduce our carbon footprint, as a society we need to be more receptive of alternative solutions, even if they challenge the status quo. In this current age, oil wars, oil spills (such as the one in the gulf by BP in 2010), and the fast approaching state of peak oil, make it clear that we will not be able to rely on oil as a fuel source forever. Quite frankly, we shouldn’t want to. We shouldn’t want to continue global wars due to a commodity that is replaceable, nor should we want to damage the environment of our home because fossil fuels have proven to work effectively.  According to Dave Burkey from the National Hemp Association, there are two sustainable alternatives that should be considered:

Hemp Ethanol and Hemp Biodiesel. 

Ethanol in general is made from grains, sugars, starches, waste paper, and forest products among other ingredients. Methanol is made primarily from wood or pulp matter. Burkey states that

“Using processes such as gasification, acid hydrolysis and enzymes, hemp can be used to make both ethanol and methanol. Bio-diesel is made from oils and fatty acids in plants and animals.” – Dave Burkey, National Hemp Association, 2016

As for Hemp Biodiesel, it is made through the pressing of hemp seeds to extract their oil. There is a complicated process of doing so, however, it is relatively inexpensive in comparison of the cost of extracting fossil fuels from the ground. The concept of using vegetable oil as an engine fuel dates more than 100 years ago, to 1895. Burkey states that,

“Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Diesel demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 using peanut oil as fuel. Even Henry Ford built his first cars to run on Bio-diesel. ” – Dave Burkey, National Hemp Association, 2016

Not only can Hemp Biodiesel be made from RENEWABLE oilseed crops, like Hemp obviously, but it has also not been completely developed. With more investment into research on the study, I believe that we will find hemp to be a valuable alternative to classic fossil fuels. Dave Burkey lists a few reason that Hemp Biosdiesel can be a viable alternative for the future.

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Model of what a Hemp Bio-Fuel Station would look like, very similar to that of which we are already used to
  1. Biodiesel is the one alternative fuel that can run any convenional, unmodified diesel engine.
  2. Hemp Biodiesel can be stored in any location that petroleum diesel fuel is already stored.
  3. Since it is as biodegradable as sugar, Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport. Just for some comparison, Biodiesel is 10 times less toxic than table salt, and has a combustion temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit, about 175 degrees higher than petroleum diesel fuel at 125 degrees.
  4. Biodiesel has been proven when tested, registering over 30 million successful United States road miles, and more than 20 years of use in Europe.
  5. When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel gets rid of the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with the much more pleasant smell of hemp.
  6. By nature, biodiesel is made up of 11% oxygen by weight and contains no elements of sulfur.
  7. The Congressional Budget Office, Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, and others have determined that biodiesel is the low cost alternative fuel option for fleets to meet requirements of the Energy Policy Act.

These are just a few of the benefits of using Hemp as a source of alternative fuel. One fact to remember is that fossil fuels, though vast in number, are not renewable once we run out. On the other hand, Hemp plants can be grown in a wide range of climates and in a faster manner.

Link : Making Environmentally Friendly Fuel From Industrial Hemp

The History of Cannabis Museum

Washington D.C, the capital of the United States of America, is home to one of the most prominent tourist industries in the world. Besides the obvious appeal of the white House, Washington D.C is home to many other attractions that bring tourists from all over the world. D.C is a historic hotspot, and encompasses attractions that can appeal to everyone. Due to the fact that they are free, museums tend to be of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington D.C. Visitors can enjoy the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Zoo, National Museum of American History, and the new National Museum of African American History and Culture all for FREE (besides waiting in long lines during peak seasons).

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A photo of the National Mall during a busy tourist day in the Spring.

Though it is not apart of the Smithsonian, one museum that has not been spoken about much since its conception has been the History of Cannabis museum that was opened on April 17th, 2017. One reason it may not be as popular at the moment is because it doesn’t employ the same policy as the other Smithsonian’s; Unfortunately it costs $10 to get in. However, for those tourists who are looking to also indulge in Cannabis Tourism, this museum would be a great visit.

In 2014, Initiative 71 was passed in Washington D.C. The initiative legalized the recreational use of cannabis in the district, allowing for attractions such as the History of Cannabis Museum to be opened. The museum welcomes the Washington D.C community and all tourists to learn more about the development of cannabis use throughout time and the positive ways that it can impact society. 

Now located at 2822 Georgia Ave NW, Washington D.C, 20001, The History of Cannabis Museum is very close to my university. Right across the street from Howard Universities School of Business, the museum will definitely be a great place to visit at some point before my graduation. THCb

The History of Cannabis Museum, also known as THC, takes a visitor through the progression of cannabis use throughout the ages, specifically starting at the year 800 BCE in ancient Taiwan. Through their website, THC provides information about how the Hemp plant evolved from Northern China at the beginning of civilization, and is even believed to be the first cultivated fiber plant. According to their website,

“The earliest archeological record of the use of fiber from Cannabis was in China twelve thousand-years ago. Archaeologists unearthed an old Neolithic site at Yuan-Shan, and among the remains dug up included pottery with hemp cord markings on it along with a rod-shaped stone beater, used to pound hemp. Cannabis (Hemp) was also used to make items such as fishing nets, rope, clothes, and paper. The Chinese are thought to have invented hemp paper. Cannabis seeds were used for food, as was cannabis oil, in China.”

According to this timeline, Cannabis would be one of the first and oldest human agricultural crops. For the uses mentioned, it is clear that before cannabis was utilized to get high, it was used in a much more productive lighting by the Chinese. They were aware that hemp is a plant that can be a key resource for humans thousands of years ago, and today it still remains. Unfortunately, cannabis has gotten a negative stigma, however, there is so much more it can be used for that many are not aware of.

THC’s progresses a long way in order to get to the modern day uses of cannabis that we currently abide by. From Emperor Fu Hsi (2900 BCE), The Golden Age of Sail (1000-1400AD), William Shakespeare (1600), all the way to Hollywood Propaganda Films (1936-1950), the museums website is very informative. With such an educational website, I can only imagine the amount of content that the actual museum must have inside. The museum also hosts informative events that involve the community and attempt to educate visitors. Open until 8PM on Friday and Saturday, the THC museum is a great attraction for the weekend crowd! Stay tuned for my visit this upcoming week!

Link: The History of Cannabis Museum

 

 

23 Proven Health Benefits Of Marijuana

Along with Washington D.C, 29 states around the country have legalized medical marijuana. According to an article by the Business Insider, the American public is in large support of medical marijuana use. The author of the article states that:

“At least 84% of the public believes the drug should be legal for medical uses, and recreational pot usage is less controversial than ever, with at least 61% of Americans in support.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists that there are viable medical uses for cannabis, though some of its advocates often overstate its power. Though there are about 400 or more chemical compounds in marijuana, scientists mainly focus on the two active ones that are believed to have medical implications. According to Loria, the two are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The two min components act in different ways though; CBD seems to impact the brain without a high, while its counterpart, THC, has pain relieving properties but is largely responsible for the high. From Loria’s research, I will provide the 23 health benefits:

  1. The best-supported medicinal use of marijuana is as a treatment for chronic pain.
  2. There is strong evidence that medical cannabis can help with muscle spasms.
  3. The actual smoking of marijuana has not been proven to harm lung capacity (unless used in combination with tobacco) and may in fact improve it.

    “Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity. It’s possible that the increased lung capacity may be due to taking a deep breath while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  4. It may be of use in treating glaucoma, or it can be possible to derive a drug from marijuana for this specific use. 51f92144ecad04532d00000e-750-563
  5. It can help control epileptic seizures.
  6. It decreases the symptoms of severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome. The article provided an interesting anecdote about this specific use as well:

    “During the research for his documentary “Weed,” Sanjay Gupta interviewed the Figi family, who treated their 5-year-old daughter using a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC. The Figi family’s daughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and severe developmental delays. According to the film, the drug decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children in the state were using the same strain of marijuana to treat their seizures when the film was made — and it seemed to be working.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  7. A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading, at least in cell cultures.
  8. It can decrease anxiety in low doses.
  9. THC can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This is of particular relevance to me, due to the fact that I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s earlier this year. There is no cure to Alzheimer’s, but if I would have known about some of marijuana’s healing ability for it, it definitely would have been explored as an option.

    The 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill brain cells and are associated with Alzheimer’s. A synthetic mixture of CBD and THC seems to preserve memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study suggested that a THC-bases prescription drug called dronabinol was able to reduce behavioral disturbances in dementia patients.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  10. Marijuana eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.
  11. It seems to lessen the side effects from treating Hepatitis C and increase treatment effectiveness.

    “… A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy. Only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessen the treatment’s side effects.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  12. It has been proven to help with inflammatory bowel diseases.
  13. It relieves arthritis discomfort for many.
  14. Marijuana users tend to be less obese and have a better response to eating sugar.
  15. Though it isn’t a medical or health benefit, marijuana could spur creativity.

    “Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity, at least in some contexts. Even though people’s short-term memories tend to function worse when they’re high, they actually get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  16. Cannabis soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease.
  17. Marijuana can help veterans suffering from PTSD.
  18. Studies on animals suggest that marijuana can protect the brain after a stroke.
  19. Particularly related to sports, marijuana can protect the brain from concussions and trauma.533c206f69bedd2a3a0a1aab-750-493
  20. Though this one can’t necessarily be proven, marijuana use can help eliminate nightmares.
  21. Cannabis reduces some of the pain and nausea from chemotherapy and stimulates appetite.
  22. Marijuana can help people who are suffering from alcoholism, which has proven to damage the liver and cause aggressive behaviors.

    “Research published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons patients make that substitution are that marijuana has less negative side effects and is less likely to cause withdrawal problems.” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, 2018

  23. Medical marijuana legalization seems to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

Article: 23 Health Benefits of Marijuana