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JUNE 2016

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PHYSICIANS SEE THE LIGHT THE DOCTOR

DISCONNECT

MEDICATING IN THE WORKPLACE Patients go behind-the-scenes with Industry Focus Tour


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from the editor Publisher Guy Bertuzzi, guy@elevatenv.com

Editor-In-Chief Beth Schwartz, beth@finetheagency.com

Creative Director Brooke Bertuzzi, brooke@finetheagency.com

Contributing Writers: Amanda Connor, Rio Lacanlale, Dr. Pouya Mohajer, Lissa Townsend Rodgers, Danielle Russell, Julie Vigil

Media Consultant Shanna Perry, shanna@elevatenv.com

ELEVATION PUBLISHING LLC President Jonathan Fine

Chief Financial Officer Cassandra Lupo

FINE THE AGENCY Partner Kelli Maruca, kelli@finetheagency.com

Graphic Designer James Nigbur, James@finetheagency.com

Digital Services Austin Grantham, austin.grantham@finetheagency.com

Elevate Nevada magazine makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors, false data or omissions. Elevate Nevada assumes no responsibility for any claims or representations contained in this publication or in any advertisement. Elevate Nevada magazine does not encourage the illegal use of any of the products or advertisements within. Reproduction in whole or in part strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 7120 Rafael Ridge Way, Las Vegas, NV 89119 Phone: 702.737.8464 | Email: info@elevatenv.com

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Since we first began publishing Elevate Nevada more than a year ago, I have been eager to do a Doctor’s issue. As we covered various medical issues during the last year from epilepsy, PTSD, cancer, and diabetes to neuropathy, migraines, and concussions (to name only a few) that cannabis is used to treat, I wanted to provide readers with a local resource who could provide the necessary medical guidance. But because cannabis is still federally illegal, there are not a whole lot of people who have the luxury of risking their very hard earned medical licenses. Additionally, because it is a Schedule 1 drug, which makes it a tough prospect to study and test, access to research makes it challenging to knowledgably treat patients interested in medicating with cannabis. In turn, medical knowledge and expertise regarding specific conditions and illnesses was a fairly significant puzzle piece that has always been missing in each issue. So I continued to put off publishing a Doctor’s issue. But on April 15 I was heartened to see that a group of more than 50 physicians, including a former surgeon general and faculty members at some of the nation's leading medical schools, announced the formation of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR). DFCR is the first national organization of doctors to call on states and the federal government to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in the interest of public health. The group’s website acknowledges that: Until recently, many physicians have been reluctant to publicly voice their opposition to the war on

marijuana, lest they appear to condone recreational cannabis use and violate their ethical responsibility to “do no harm.” But through daily immersion in anecdotal patient experience and scientific evidence, many knowledgeable American physicians recognize: • Use of cannabis by healthy adults is generally benign, making its prohibition unnecessary. • Cannabis is far less harmful for adults than alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal because of the impracticality of prohibiting so-called ‘soft’ drugs. • Cannabis can be harmful to minors, but prohibition doesn’t prevent children and teens from accessing the drug. • The burden of cannabis prohibition falls disproportionately upon communities of color and the nation’s poor. So in spite of the fact I only knew a handful of medical professionals working in Nevada’s cannabis space, I decided it was, indeed, the perfect time for a Doctor’s issue with the tide turning, common sense prevailing, and physicians, like those who are a part of DFCR, taking a stand. It’s the right time because, perhaps, if physicians on the fence about medical cannabis recognized the strides being made by their colleagues, more doctors would be open to learning about this miracle plant for the sake of their patients. With an open mind,


CONTENTS 5

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Cooking with Cannabis Happy Nerd Rope Candy

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Cannabis Tour de Force

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Industry Focus Tour gives patients a behind-the-scenes look

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Taking Root New medical cannabis product lines start spreading across Nevada

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A Compassion for Healing Physicians working in Nevada’s cannabis space embrace and explore the plant’s potential

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Healing: the Power of Medical Cannabis Military veteran uses CBD to take life back from PTSD and phantom pain

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Dispensary Spotlight Nevada Medical Marijuana

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Legalease Medicating in the Workplace

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Dispensary Map A patients’ guide to finding medical cannabis in the Las Vegas Valley

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Elevating the Conversation with Mitch Britten

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Cooking Cannabis HAPPY NERD ROPE CANDY BY CHEF DEE

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INGREDIENTS: Chef Danielle Russell, more popularly known as Chef Dee, is our contributing canna-chef this month. Chef Dee has been featured on streaming network site Breal.TV, Snoop Dogg's Merry Jane, and in High Times. Dubbing herself The Happy Chef, Chef Dee has authored two cookbooks: “The Happy Chef: Dr. Greenthumb” and “The Happy Chef THC: 50 Shades of Green” and also offers an array of recipes at thehappychefthc.com.

70 grams of gelatin 140 grams of water 225 grams of sugar 245 grams of corn syrup 15 grams of citric acid

1 dram of flavor 6-10 drops of food color three 6 oz. boxes of Nerd candy 1.5 grams of canna oil *cornstarch as needed

NECESSARY EQUIPMENT: 2 small pots/saucepans 2 candy thermometers spoons two 7" x 11" baking trays

parchment paper knife *cornstarch as needed over molds

PART 1: GELATIN SOLVENT In separate pot, make a water bath with a candy thermometer keeping temperature around 150°F. Pour 70 grams of gelatin and 140 grams of water into a ziplock bag. Mix thoroughly, removing clumps and streaks. Cook in water bath for 20-30 minutes until clear.

PART 2: SUGAR SOLVENT Mix 225 grams of sugar and 245 grams of corn syrup well, when sugar has dissolved (around 10 minutes) add oil to the pot. Mix well! Continue cooking for 20 minutes.

PART 3: COMBINE

Please remember when cooking with medicinal cannabis you are cooking with a medicine and the medicine amount and portions of the food ingested should always be taken into consideration. Always start out with small portions or doses and wait 30 minutes to an hour before eating any additional portions of food that has been medicated.

-Combine parts 1 and 2. Add *food color, citric acid, and flavor of choice. *Add 6-10 drops for a good hue. Mix well! -Let the mixture set awhile, approximately 25-30 minutes, until it thickens, viscous (pourable, not watery). -Place parchment paper on baking tray, covering all sides. Coat the parchment lightly with cornstarch. Pour the mixture onto tray or, if you are comfortable with the viscous consistency of your mixture, you may pour the mixture right on to the parchment allowing it to pool, but it shouldn’t be too much of a liquid consistency so as not to stay on sheet. -Let mixture set 5-10 minutes on parchment. -Grab the other baking tray. Place the parchment paper covering the bottom of the baking tray. Fill tray with Nerds. Take your "slab" of gummy mixture and slice into desired sized ropes. -Roll the ropes in your pool of Nerds and get ready to enjoy.

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ELEVATE YOUR STATE

Medical cannabis updates from across the United States

ILLINOIS: A bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of a personal amount of marijuana has passed both the House and Senate of the Illinois Legislature and will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. SB 2228 would lower penalties by removing the possibility of arrest and a jail sentence for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. It would also remove the possibility of a criminal record for cannabis possession, which can last a lifetime, and instead, the bill would replace criminal penalties with a fine of between $100 and $200. Once the governor officially receives the bill, he will have up to 60 days to sign it into law.

CALIFORNIA: The Golden State’s initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana is headed for the November ballot. In early May, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, leading a coalition of supporters that included physicians, law enforcement and civil rights leaders, said the campaign had gathered approximately 600,000 petition signatures of registered voters, well above the 365,880 minimum required to qualify the initiative for the November 8th ballot. California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act calls for a 15% tax on retail sales of cannabis.

TENNESSEE: During the final week of the 2016 Tennessee legislative session in April, Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 1478 into law, which eliminates the provision that makes a third conviction for possession of marijuana a felony. The law will take effect on July 1, 2016. This change reduces the penalty for third-time possession from between one and six years of incarceration to less than one year in jail. In addition, having a misdemeanor rather than a felony record will reduce the collateral consequences associated with the conviction. The bill also increases penalties for repeat DUI offenders and makes third-time possession of all drugs, with the exception of heroin, no longer a felony.


MAINE: In late April, state officials announced that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine officially qualified for the November ballot. After a courtordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures necessary to qualify. According to a new poll released this week by the Maine People’s Resource Center, nearly 54% of likely voters would approve the initiative if the election were held today. Approximately 42% said they would oppose it.

CONNECTICUT: In 2012, Connecticut enacted a medical marijuana program that allows seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana. However, the law does not allow access for minor patients. Of the 24 states that have medical marijuana programs, Connecticut is the only state that does not allow access for younger patients. A bill currently being considered, HB 5450, would allow minors to be qualifying patients. It would also allow dispensaries to distribute marijuana to hospices and other inpatient facilities and would allow nurses to administer marijuana in licensed healthcare facilities.

Looking for a medical marijuana dispensary? Go with the original. We’re Las Vegas’ first legal medical marijuana dispensary, offering the biggest variety of flowers, concentrates, pre-rolls and edibles. All products are 100% lab tested to ensure the highest quality medicine. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is here 7 days a week to assist you in finding the right medicine for your needs. • FREE express delivery valley-wide! (with valid Nevada medical patient card and valid Nevada ID) • Call ahead and have your order waiting for you when you arrive! • We accept out-of-state cards! Check out our entire menu at euphoriawellnessnv.com Mon – Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sun: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 702.960.7200 7780 South Jones Blvd. (at Jones & Robindale) Las Vegas, NV 89139

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CANNABIS

TOUR DE FORCE

LAS VEGAS MEDICAL MARIJUANA ASSOCIATION’S INDUSTRY FOCUS TOUR GIVES PATIENTS A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK by Rio Lacanlale

“Honestly, I was ignorant and misinformed before taking this tour,” Henderson patient Jada Webb explains of Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association’s (LVMMA) Industry Focus Tour. When Webb took the tour this past February, she was a new medical cannabis patient cardholder—and extremely unsure of her decision. So Webb, who asked that her real name not be used, decided to find out firsthand about Nevada’s medical cannabis industry by taking the trade association’s tour alongside other patients, business professionals, and LVMMA President John Laub, who directed the tour. A typical Industry Focus Tour, which LVMMA debuted in December 2015, allows patients to explore three dispensaries and either a lab or cultivation with the aim of showcasing what is going on in Nevada’s cannabis space. LVMMA President John Laub notes that other states like Colorado, where cannabis is also legal, offer tours. LVMMA decided to follow suit and started the tours as a way for the business community and patients to see the dispensaries, labs and cultivation facilities as well as bring attention to Southern Nevada’s newest industry.

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“We want the community to see how serious the industry is about its mission to serve patients,” Laub explains. “We believe that we have the best looking dispensaries in the world and we are very proud of the testing that our labs perform. Las Vegas should be proud of what this industry has accomplished.” The monthly tour, which costs $50 per person, falls on the last Friday of the month and usually fills up two buses, with nearly 60 patients and business professionals along for the ride. Webb’s tour started at The Apothecary Shoppe, a dispensary located across from the Palms. Here, according to Webb, is when she began to realize that cannabis is anything but the stigma with which it is surrounded by. From meeting the owner of the dispensary to touring the newly remodeled facility with a resource book in hand, Webb says, “It was all just amazing. It went way beyond medicine.” Next, Webb’s tour group visited MM Lab. Sectioned into smaller groups, she learned about Nevada’s stringent cannabis testing regulations from MM’s laboratory director.


“That day wasn’t about buying medicine. Instead, I learned about what I was taking," remarks Webb. Patient safety is a factor covered by all the facilities on each stop of the tour but MM Lab specifically caught Webb off guard. “There’s so many different things that cannabis is tested for… things I never thought to even look into as a patient,” she explains. “But it really made me feel better about using weed as medicine.” The third stop on the Industry Focus Tour Webb took was NevadaPure, which is licensed as a dispensary as well as a cultivation/ production facility. When Webb stepped into the cultivation room, she was surprised by its size. “NevadaPure was seriously massive. I mean it! It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before—like a department store for marijuana,” she explains of the facility’s 50,000-square-foot grow area. The LVMMA tour group was met by NevadaPure’s owners, who schooled Webb on the detail-oriented and lengthy cultivation process. “The time it takes for weed to be grown legally and safely is incredible,” says Webb. “Seeing

NevadaPure, I felt a wave of gratitude come over me. It sounds corny, but it’s really true.” The final stop on Webb’s tour was to a third dispensary, Oasis Medical Cannabis Dispensary located on Industrial Road. Laub believes the dispensaries are a vital part of the tour. “It’s important that the dispensaries integrate with the community,” he explains. “Most people don’t know that they can visit a dispensary, they can go inside and sign in as a visitor to see what it is all about. Right now that outreach is extremely important as this industry ramps up.” Webb seconds that. “I really had no idea what was going on at first, but I can say that I needed this to ease my doubt,” she concludes of her LVMMA Industry Focus Tour experience and decision to be patient cardholder. LVMMA’s Industry Focus Tour takes place monthly and is open to everyone. Patients who are not yet cardholders are also welcome on the Industry Focus Tour, and will be allowed into most facilities with visitor passes. To take the June tour, register on LVMMA’s website, www.lvmma.org.

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TAKING ROOT

New medical cannabis product lines

start spreading across Nevada

By Julie Vigil Cultivated from seed over the course of the past year, Nevada’s medical cannabis market has slowly matured and blossomed. Medical dispensaries, cultivation and production facilities are branching out across the state and the variety of cannabis-infused products is just starting to come to fruition.

CHEW LIKE A WEED Deep Roots Harvest, a cultivation and production facility located in Mesquite, is now Nevada’s exclusive distributor for the popular Cheeba Chews, a medical-grade cannabis-infused candy known as “America’s favorite edible,” according to High Times. A three-time Cannabis Cup winner, Cheeba Chews ensures medical cannabis consumers a potent, consistent, and discreet product. The company tests its cannabis oil during multiple stages — from growing through processing — to ensure a consistent experience with every chew. Ryan Breeden, Deep Roots’ chief operating officer, says his company will offer several types of the medible and anticipates Cheeba Chews to be on medical dispensary shelves across the state this month. “We’re going to start with an indica, a sativa, and a hybrid Cheeba Chew,” Breeden said. A high-CBD Cheeba Chew will also be available. “We’re really excited to carry them because we believe it’s going to provide patients consistency in their dosages.” The chews have been compared to Tootsie Rolls but unlike the classic candy, Cheeba Chews are infused with cannabis

Patients looking for an all-natural path to help alleviate garden-variety symptoms like pain and inflammation, nausea, stress, anxiety, skin conditions, or even mobility need not dig deeper than the newest line of medibles, holistic cannabinoids, and plantbased nutritional supplements taking root on local dispensary shelves.

and other all-natural ingredients. They’re a gluten- and peanut-free product too, and can be easily portioned to suit patients’ individual needs. “Cheeba Chews’ bread-and-butter product is a 70 mg quad dose,” Breeden said. “It’s really a discreet product. I think the discreetness along with the consistency, and that it’s low in calories, make it really easy to eat. You can eat (something the size of) half a Tootsie Roll at 35 mg and you’re going to feel it. “I think that’s appealing to people, to be able to medicate and not have a full stomach,” Breeden added.

GARDEN OF WEEDIN Dixie Elixirs, another big name in the medibles market, is breaking ground in Nevada thanks to a joint venture agreement with locally-based Silver State Wellness. The well-known brand’s line of elixirs, chocolates, Synergy edibles, and mints should be in all Nevada dispensaries by the end of the summer, once the local manufacturing facility has finished its build-out. “We’re taking our tried-and-true and tested formulations and product development and putting that into the

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Nevada market,” said Joe Hodas, Dixie Brands’ chief marketing officer, “so you’re getting the benefit of the last six years of development experience we’ve had in perfecting these products. “Part of our standard operating procedure is when we partner with someone they have to triple lab test everything so that we can assure dosing, quality, and consistency of the product.” Late last year, Dixie Brands introduced two new products to its hemp wellness lines: Aceso, designed to provide general wellness and relief from minor aches, pains, and mild anxiety, and Therabis. Therabis, while similar to Aceso, is actually designed for pets to relieve itchy skin, mild anxieties, and joint mobility. Both product lines utilize a holistic cannabinoid blend in the form of a daily 7.5mg CBD powder sachet packet or a 5mg CBD spray. The Aceso line, named after the Greek goddess of healing, comes in Calm, Soothe, and Wellness formulas. And for pets, the Therabis line offers Stop the Itch, Up and Moving, and

Calm and Quiet. “What’s really unique about Aceso — and Therabis, although they’re obviously designed for different audiences — is that the products not only have cannabinoids like CBD but they also have other natural ingredients that attenuate the effect so that it has an ‘entourage effect,’ ” Hodas said. “For example, with Aceso’s Calm formulation we have the cannabinoids plus terpenes known for their anti-anxiety effects, such as limonene and linalool from grapefruit and lavender, and passionflower extract that provides anxiety-reducing benefits.” Aceso is currently available for purchase online at myaceso.com or at Las Vegas dispensaries ReLeaf and Oasis. Therabis is available for purchase at therabis.com, and at Sierra Wellness dispensary in Reno and ReLeaf in Las Vegas.

continued on page 24

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Patient Primer: THE DOCTOR

DISCONNECT By Dr. Pouya Mohajer

Medical cannabis in itself would give the impression that physician involvement is paramount for patient education and recommendation. Unfortunately, there is a large disconnection between physicians and medical cannabis. There is an array of reasons for this, with some of the more common explanations being its drug classification, the stigma associated with it, and lack of education surrounding medical cannabis. The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a poll in 2013 which showed the majority of clinicians would recommend the use of medicinal cannabis in certain circumstances.1 This was further supported by a subsequent survey conducted by WebMD/Medscape in 2014 which showed that a majority of physicians support legalization of medical cannabis.2 If the majority of physicians support medical cannabis,

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why aren’t more of them writing recommendations or discussing the benefits of medical cannabis with their patients? Medical cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,”3 thus some physicians may be reluctant to recommend it. Physicians can prescribe medications after obtaining a registration number with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). With cannabis being federally illegal, some physicians fear repercussions from the DOJ. Physicians, who work in large groups or for hospitals, may also be discouraged from discussing or recommending medical cannabis as an option for their patients. This was seen last year at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Massachusetts when CHA officials directed their providers not to certify patients “pending better evidence


about the benefits and risks of marijuana.”4 Physicians may also be concerned about potential liability and possible lawsuits. Most physicians also feel they do not have enough education on medical cannabis to make recommendations. The body’s endocannabinoid system and its workings are not taught in medical schools and physicians interested in medical cannabis have to do their own research. In order for cannabis to become more acceptable as a medicine, physicians need to be more involved. At the very least, physicians can educate themselves about it. The more physicians get educated on medical cannabis, the more comfortable they will be in discussing it as a possible choice for appropriate patients. Medical societies also need to take the lead in educating their physician members. Most states require continued medical education (CME) for medical or osteopathic licensure renewal. The requirements vary state by state. In states where medical cannabis is legal, medical cannabis CME for providers interested in recommending this medicine might help encourage more physicians to educate themselves about it. In Nevada, Clark County Medical Society (CCMS) has taken an active role in this matter offering a CME-accredited symposium on medical cannabis this past April.

Is your medical marijuana business ready?

The nation’s largest medical association, American Medical Association (AMA), is opposed to the legalization of cannabis; however, the AMA has called for review of the current scheduling of cannabis as a Schedule I drug.5 Rescheduling of cannabis will open federal funding for research projects and allow more researchers to study cannabis. Most physicians tend to practice conservatively, unless there is persuasive evidence, they tend to change their practice patterns very slowly. As more research is conducted on medical cannabis, more science-based information will be available to more accurately guide physicians, patients, and the general public. Dr. Pouya Mohajer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with a subspecialty in pain medicine, and founder of Nevada Cannabis Medical Association. REFERENCES 1. Adler JN, Colbert JA. N Engl J Med 2013;368:e30 (www.nejm.org/ doi/full/10.1056/NEJMclde1305159) 2. www.webmd.com/news/breaking-news/marijuana-on-main-street/20140225/webmd-marijuana-survey-web 3. www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml 4. http://archive.boston.com/health/2015/09/23/niche-business-mainstream-doctors-are-wary-prescribing-medical-marijuana/0tmtBNGOisiE8qJpgFCzJI/story.html 5. www.ama-assn.org/ssl3/ecomm/PolicyFinderForm.pl?site=www. ama assn.org&uri=/resources/html/PolicyFinder/policyfiles/ HnE/H-95.952.HTM

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A COMPASSION FOR

HEALING E

Physicians working in Nevada’s cannabis space embrace and explore the plant’s potential ducation is key in the world of cannabis. Yet, as essential as it is, it’s one of the trickiest issues patients will encounter -- a lack of physicians with the cannabis expertise to offer knowledge, education and healing. But take heart, Nevada is fortunate enough to have a few working in different roles in the medical cannabis industry who are a great resource for those patients in search of guidance. They not only share an expertise of cannabis, but also an open-minded compassion for healing and understanding “first, do no harm” in the truest sense.

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THE HEALER – DR. SEAN DEVLIN by Beth Schwartz

Dr. Sean Devlin

Meet the unicorn of medical cannabis in Nevada – Dr. Sean Devlin of Reno-based Washoe Wellness. The boardcertified family physician is somewhat of a rarified creature in the world of cannabis care. Not only is he supremely educated with board certifications and fellowships in Anti-Aging and Regenerative medicine, a master’s degree in Biochemistry and doctoral studies in Pharmacology, but he has been treating patients with cannabis since Nevada voters legalized it in 2000. “Back then it was very primitive, it was like if you’re going to smoke it, vaporize it or consume it through inhaling, then you basically had to take metered doses of it via inhaling, so you would have one hit, wait five or 10 minutes, and see if you were having an effect and then take a second one,” explains Dr. Devlin. “Of course, now the world has changed and we have almost pharmaceutical-grade cannabis and, in many cases, are actually able to give milligram dose recommendations to patients for whatever is ailing them along with combinations of different cannabinoids and, ultimately, we are going to recommend a hybrid versus sativa versus indica. We can kind of sculpt a patient’s therapy around different symptoms and what they are looking for as far as either relief or treatment goes. It’s a lot better now than it was 15 or 16 years ago.” Dr. Devlin was in the second year of his residency at University of Nevada, Reno when voters passed Question 9, amending the state constitution to sanction medical cannabis. Patients would ask him about it and he “would write recommendations because I had researched it, was familiar with it, and believed in it,” he explains. “Specifically under Nevada statutes, the law allows for licensed physicians to make a recommendation in good faith after they complete a full history and physical, and have counseled the patients about the good, the bad and the ugly associated with using cannabis.” Both an owner and lead physician at Washoe Wellness,

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Dr. Devlin became “known in Northern Nevada as somebody who is not only competent, well researched and credentialed, but somebody who is open to recommending cannabis for patients with cancer because I was primarily using it to treat cancer patients as an antineoplastic and the word got out and doctors in the area would refer patients to me,” he explains. “I have seen a multitude of benefits from this one agent that I have not seen in any agent before. You have anti-nausea effects, a pro appetite effect, a bone stimulating effect, an immune modulating effect, antineoplastic effect, an antianxiety effect, an antispasmodic effect, it’s also anti-inflammatory -- and for cancer patients with advanced stages of disease it’s a no-brainer. Globally they need to be on a combination of cannabinoids: CBD, THC, THC-A.” In addition to treating patients with advanced stage cancers who have run out of options, Dr. Devlin’s other specialties are pain management and Lyme disease. “Yesterday I saw five patients and all except one had Stage 4 cancer and the last one had a severe seizure disorder,” he notes. “These folks are not dreadlocked 21-year-olds who are traveling with the Rainbow Troop. These are legitimate patients and I think the public doesn’t really understand that. They get a view of this as basically being this hippy-dippy, drum circle kind of collective and that medical marijuana is what they do, and that’s a great falsehood that’s been foisted on the public through the media.” Doing his part to correct that falsehood, Dr. Devlin and his partners decided to bring a game-changer to the world of cannabis, creating “a very strong academic, scientifically-based program which would support a cultivation company, an extracts company, a dispensary, and eventually a clinic -- and all of those things fell into line over the last two-and-a-half years,” he explains of Tahoe Regional Botanicals, Tahoe Regional Extracts, Canopy Reno, and Washoe Wellness. Naturally, Washoe Wellness, which opened earlier this year, is the only one of its kind in Nevada -- just like the state’s other unicorn in the cannabis care space.

THE RESEARCHER – DR. NICK SPIRTOS by Lissa Townsend Rodgers The Apothecary Shoppe is a bit different than other Las Vegas dispensaries. First, there’s the look of the place: Rather than the standard white box or spa waiting room, it looks like an old-time library or doctor’s office. But what really sets it apart is the team behind the glass cases (and what’s in them). “A group of five of us docs said, ‘Let’s do this,’” explains Dr. Nick Spirtos, one of the doctors who created the Apothecary Shoppe. “We have three GYNs, an internist/pulmonologist, and an anesthesiologist. It’s a diverse group of doctors that’s used to taking care of patients with pain and other debilitating issues.”


Dr. Nick Spirtos

In his fourth decade practicing medicine, Spirtos’ specialty is gynecologic oncology—a field whose complexity appealed to him. “The world of cancer was always going to be evolving,” he says. “There was never going to be the issue of boredom. Then there was the surgical aspect: My dad was a surgeon, I loved going to the E.R. But the oncological aspect and the challenge of moving the needle in that field—the genetics, the computer world has changed our ability to look at individual genes now. There’s always something going on.” Dr. Spirtos’ enthusiasm for new methods of treating patients includes cannabis. “I grew up in Southern California during the ‘60s,” he laughs, “So although I never used any stuff like that, I certainly had an awareness of it.” That awareness and openness served his patients well later: “You watch enough patients who abandon their treatment because of side effects—you start looking for other answers for them,” he says, “It was clear, anecdotally, that patients who could not have their symptoms relieved by standard available medications were responding to cannabis in a variety of forms.” To that end, the Apothecary Shoppe is conducting a series of medical trials to study the effects of cannabis on chemotherapy patients. “It’s placebo-controlled—half the patients get a syrup with no THC or CBD. The other half will get the medicated syrup,” Spirtos explains, “After they’re treated, we compare it to their baseline, their first cycle of chemotherapy and their responses, their nausea and vomiting based on that first cycle.” The ability to conduct these studies and others like them was a motivating factor in opening the Apothecary Shoppe. The doctors involved see the dispensary less as a way to make money than as a way to make change in patients’ lives, not only through dispensing medicine,

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but through researching it. Spirtos explains, “We wanted to know that if we wanted our studies done, that would be a priority. If we had to choose between using oil in a syrup for our studies versus oil in a vape pen to sell—those are some of the choices you make.” Spirtos says the study will take a year to complete, but the timeframe also depends on how fast patients can get their medical marijuana cards—a problem many Nevada cardholders are familiar with—which are required to participate in the study. While Spirtos appreciates the Silver State’s rigorous licensing as compared to California’s laissez-faire attitude— “the state has tried very hard to do this properly, they want it regulated, they want the quality”—he notes that such thoroughness carries problems. “Imagine you see a patient who’s vomiting their guts out, who can’t handle their chemotherapy. But you can’t get them a Nevada card for eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks. That’s three-quarters of the way through their chemotherapy.” Even though the study is still underway, patients undergoing chemotherapy can get access to the syrup he is testing now as the Apothecary Shoppe sells it under the name Soothing Remedies medicated syrup. Despite the delays, Dr. Spirtos is still happy to see patients who need medicine finally getting it—and other doctors increasingly willing to give it to them. “There's a generalized acceptance that there's a benefit,” he says. And Dr. Nick Spirtos and the Apothecary Shoppe will continue researching—and offering—those benefits for as long as patients need them.

THE EDUCATOR – DR. WILLIAM TROUTT By Beth Schwartz

Photo by Jeff Ragazzo

Dr. William Troutt

“Cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all medicine,” explains Dr. William Troutt, a licensed Naturopathic physician who specializes in cannabis-based medicine. “It’s very

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individualized to the patient who is using it.” That’s why he believes dosing is one of the most important things a patient needs to understand when using cannabis. “How they start dosing is very important, especially as far as the experience they are going to get from it. We educate patients on conservative dosing or safe dosing strategies,” says Dr. Troutt, who is the Director of Medical Education for Las Vegas dispensary, The Source. “However,” he cautions, “we are not their treating physician so we can’t tell them what to specifically take. But, we can educate them on strategies they can use to most conservatively find the best dose that works for them.” Another tenet Dr. Troutt espouses during the new patient orientation he teaches at The Source each month is that cannabis’ psychoactive effect is not for everybody. “There are some people who just do not do well with it. People who have never used cannabis before typically are a lot more affected by that psychoactive effect than someone who is a regular user of it. So we educate them on THC and how they can use that as an indicator of the psychoactive potency of the medicine and understand which medicines may have more THC.” Dr. Troutt, who also provides medical direction for five dispensaries in Arizona, has been educating patients on dosing and offering guidance on cannabis since 2010 when the Medical Marijuana Act passed in Arizona. “For the last six years, I have been exclusively working with cannabis patients and dispensaries, which allowed many of the patients and the physicians to come out of the closet. “When I first started practicing medicine in 2004, I had many patients who were using cannabis medically but they just couldn’t talk about it then, obviously, because of the politics of it and the law. But as a naturopath who was open to that, they would share that with me and I would take that into consideration for their full treatment plan,” says Dr. Troutt, who is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. And that is one of the major challenges with regard to patient education, according to Dr. Troutt. “I hate to say it, but that is still taking place now -- patients don’t want to talk to their primary care physicians or the specialists they are seeing about their medical cannabis use because they are afraid they are either going to get kicked out of their practice or the physician is going to have biases against them. That is still the biggest problem we are facing -- patients are scared to have that dialogue.” Although patients might not feel comfortable talking to their primary care physicians, they can feel at ease speaking with Dr. Troutt in his role at The Source. He notes that, “The Source really does care about this being a medical program and putting patients first and absolutely provides great educational resources so the patients can get the best benefit out of this medicine.”

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HEALING THE POWER OF MEDICINAL CANNABIS

MILITARY VETERAN USES CBD

TO TAKE HIS LIFE BACK FROM PTSD AND PHANTOM PAIN

T

This is going to be one of those stories where the customer liked the product so much he bought the business. Joff Paradise, a former member of the Airborne Special Forces for 27 years, was so satisfied with the results cannabidiol or CBD had in helping treat his PTSD and chronic pain, he decided to start an online business that would allow him to make it available to others who were suffering. “We are in this to help people, I want to give back,” said Paradise of myhempcare.com, where he sells CBDbased products that comes in the form of sprays, capsules and concentrates and is legal in all 50 states. “I tell patients and clients all the time, I might not add years to your life, but I can definitely add life to your years.” After discovering CBD in 2014, Paradise put life in his own years by slowly weaning himself off of 21 pharmaceuticals he used to treat chronic pain and PTSD he suffered as a result of a military career that included being shot four times, stabbed twice, and blown up once. Those injuries resulted in a textbook amputation of the military veteran’s left leg, a complete right knee replacement, plates in his head and knee, and a total of 34 surgeries and procedures just on his neck and spine alone.

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At the suggestion of a fellow military veteran who had been exposed to Agent Orange and was a proponent of medical cannabis, Paradise initially started using CBD for “intense pain in my stump, but I have pain all over. I was suffering from all this chronic pain. But my biggest pain area and the place where I saw it work the quickest was on my phantom pain. “Used to be, I always felt like something was standing on my foot, crushing it or I would have a burning sensation in the balls of my feet that

physically part of the body. “After using CBD, that pain wasn’t there anymore. Now it just feels normal and that’s a big deal because phantom pain makes some people go crazy. Since I have been using CBD, it’s gone and that just blows my mind because no doctor can do anything for phantom pain. There is no remedy or drug that they can prescribe to you for phantom pain.” Paradise, who is 53, uses 100 milligrams of CBD spray from myhempcare.com each day, two squirts

Since I have been using CBD, it’s gone and that just blows my mind because no doctor can do anything for phantom pain. There is no remedy or drug that they can prescribe to you for phantom pain." wouldn’t stop,” Paradise explained of his phantom pain sensations, which are perceptions related to a limb that is not

in the morning and two squirts in the evening. “After it saturates the cells of the body and the receptors and the nerves, it


just works and it continues to work,” he relayed. “When I first had my brain injury I couldn’t find my way around the block, I couldn’t complete a sentence and I would lose focus about what I was talking about,” Paradise recalled. “Now today, since I have cleared up all the prescription medications and use CBD, I can get anywhere we need to go, I am not getting lost anymore, I am keeping my focus and I don’t stutter since I have been able to drop pharmaceuticals.” Not only can Paradise focus now, but he is also currently on track to get his Ph.D. in anti-aging medicine and nanotechnology in 2018 and finds himself in a much different mental state. “I am functioning now but before I didn’t want to go out into society, I was mad all the time. I wasn’t a happy person. Now I am easy to deal with. Instead of fighting at being an amputee, I accepted it. Now I am walking, I am going to conventions and I am giving seminars about homeopathic ways and being a naturalist,” Paradise explained. “It’s just a life-changing event to not be living in a fog. It changed my whole attitude, it changed my way of thinking.”

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continued from page 12

BREAKING NEW GROUND There is an over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) epidemic tearing through the United States, debilitating and even killing tens of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds every year. Fueled by physicians’ desires to treat America’s chronic pain problems, and with an aggressive marketing push from pharmaceutical companies, doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012 alone — that’s enough to give a bottle of pills to every adult in the country. Too often people are unaware of the very dangerous and very real side effects that come with frequent and long-term use of NSAIDs, such as blood clots, strokes, kidney failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and intestinal bleeding. Armed with this knowledge, educated patients who seek a safer and all-natural alternative to aiding their body’s own response to musculoskeletal inflammation now have two new holistic dietary supplements to turn to, Preleve and HempChoice Preleve. "We built the Preleve brand to be an advocate for both patients and licensed medical providers,” said Dr. Scott Martin, CEO and founder of Preleve Therapeutics. “We have focused our efforts on handcrafting more pure, and more

holistic alternatives to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and narcotics." To augment the body’s natural response to inflammation, targeted botanicals like Chinese skullcap, curcumine (turmeric), ginger, boswellia extract, and undenatured collagen are used in Preleve products, which are 100 percent natural, GMO-free, and soy-free, and are taken via a plant-based capsule. HempChoice Preleve has the same five nutraceuticals as Preleve, plus the added benefit of phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp oil. HempChoice, a highly concentrated PCR hemp oil, increases the bioavailability of phytocannabinoids, meaning the body can absorb it easily. "Our goal is to provide dietary supplements patients and licensed medical providers can rely upon,” Dr. Martin said, noting Preleve is currently available through licensed healthcare providers while HempChoice Preleve will be available this summer through medicinal dispensaries only. “Our Preleve brand was expertly developed and is meticulously manufactured to help promote the body’s natural response to inflammatory musculoskeletal stress,” explained Dr. Martin. “We invested heavily to provide our clients products that maximize bioavailability and minimize psychoactive effects."

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DISPENSARY SPOTLIGHT Nevada Medical Marijuana www.nevadamedicalmarijuana.com 3195 St. Rose Pkwy., Suite #212, Henderson, NV 89052 702.737.7777 Photos by Hector Leyva, SugarMill Studios

MOST POPULAR STRAINS: Skywalker OG, Cherry Diesel MOST POPULAR CONCENTRATES: Giddy Up Live Resin, Kabunky Shatter RANGE OF EDIBLES: Nevada Medical Marijuana carries Kabunky dark, milk and white chocolate bars and Kabunky multi-flavored lozenges as well as a line of sugar-free products. All of Nevada Medical Marijuana’s edibles are manufactured through an agreement with Sweet Elements, confectionary consultants to Nestlé's Disney General Mills and Sunkist. MISSION STATEMENT | Nevada Medical Marijuana (NMM) is not only committed to providing quality state-regulated and tested medical marijuana in flower, extracts, edible and infused products to valid medical marijuana patients, but also to educating new patients on how far the industry has come and the healing properties of cannabis as an alternative solution to pharmaceuticals, especially with the current opiate epidemic. PATIENT PHILOSOPHY | NMM strives to dispense a better quality of life for all of its patients, which the dispensary achieves by identifying the strains that best target the patient’s ailment and, in turn,

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recommending a patient-specific strain that has the most positive affect. NMM bud-tenders work with each patient to educate them on the methods of consumption and the effects of medical marijuana. STAFF EDUCATION | The staff at Nevada Medical Marijuana is trained by the dispensary’s general manager Chris DeGraff. “I take this very seriously,” explained DeGraff, who has been in the industry for over 5 years and managed dispensaries in Colorado. “I make sure all my employees are fully trained on every single product that comes through our doors. At the end of the day, we are dealing with medicine so we need to make sure our bud-tenders are highly trained.” CUSTOMER SERVICE | From the time they walk in the door to the time they leave, NMM’s patients are treated the same, relays DeGraff. “Our staff finds out how the patient likes to medicate, their experiences from the past and what works best for them. Medical marijuana affects every person differently so we find out what product works for them the best,” he explained.

UNIQUE ATTRIBUTE | Located in a professional medical complex, NMM is staffed by some of the most knowledgeable bud-tenders in the state, according to DeGraff. “The relationships our patients have with our bud-tenders are unique. If you have been here more than once, we know you by name,” he said. “Our dispensary is a place where anybody, young or old, can come and the bud-tenders selling it to them are very knowledgeable of our products." SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS | DeGraff and his team are working on a series of how-to videos to educate patients about topics such as dabbing, rolling a joint, and keeping medicine fresh. NMM will also be starting a monthly cooking class featuring chef demonstrations for patients who want to learn about making infused butter or oil to use in their food. NOTEWORTHY EXPERTS | Van McConnon, a nationally recognized cannabis cultivation expert, runs NMM’s grow facility. Jason Emo, closed loop innovator and founder of EmoTek Labs, is also on the NMM team.


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LEGALEASE

MEDICATING IN THE WORKPLACE RISKING YOUR JOB OR RISKING YOUR HEALTH: DO YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE?

Y

By Amanda Connor

ou are a medical marijuana patient in Nevada. Your employer requests a drug test. Your first thought: Do I have to tell my employer about my patient status? And, more importantly, can my employer fire me for using medical marijuana?

Do I have to inform my employer? In Nevada, a patient is not required to inform their employer about their patient status. That information is confidential. However, if a patient wants to tell an employer, the patient can consult with an attorney to decide the most favorable way to do so.

Can my employer fire me for using medical marijuana? Nevada is one of the few states that attempt to minimize discrimination against medical marijuana patients. However, the law is still a little unclear for patients. A patient should first check the employer’s drug policy. Currently, Nevada law says an employer does not have to allow the use of marijuana on the business property; including medical marijuana. Therefore, on company property, an employer can enforce or create regulations that prohibit medical marijuana use. However, to protect patient rights, the Nevada Legislature amended the statute (NRS 453A.800), which requires employers to attempt reasonable accommodations for employees who hold valid patient cards. So what does that mean? Reasonable accommodations are changes that enable an individual to perform their duties, or let an employee enjoy equal benefits and privileges of the position. Some examples of reasonable accommodation include updating facilities, job restructuring, or acquiring new equipment. The amended statute also has some limitations. An employer can avoid reasonable accommodations if the changes: • Pose a threat of harm or danger to persons or property or impose an undue hardship on the employer; or • Prohibit the employee from fulfilling any and all of his or her job responsibilities.

What poses a threat of harm or danger? Jobs that require the use of heavy machinery or operation of equipment that can be dangerous if used incorrectly may fall within this category. For example, if an employee has to drive a forklift on the side of a busy highway, the employer may prohibit marijuana

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use to ensure the safety of both the employee and the public. But keep in mind; since medical marijuana law is still under development, Nevada has yet to define this language.The courts will likely play a role in narrowing down the specifics.

What is an undue hardship on the employer? Second, there is an “undue hardship” limitation. An employer does not have to make reasonable accommodations if the changes would impose an undue hardship on the business. Again, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission defines an undue hardship as actions “requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer's size, financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation.”

What prohibits an employee from fulfilling a job responsibility? Lastly, an employer does not have to make reasonable accommodations if the changes would prohibit the employee from fulfilling any and all of his or her job responsibilities. Nevada does not define this language, so the application is a little unclear. But it can be inferred that a bus driver, who cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana, cannot fulfill his job responsibility and the employer is not forced to accommodate. As with the other exceptions, the details will

probably be determined by future legislation and Nevada’s courts.

Are there any other exceptions or limitations? There may be other special circumstances that restrict the use of medical marijuana for certain jobs. Since marijuana is still federally illegal, federal government jobs can still be terminated based on marijuana usage. Additionally, jobs that involve public safety or transportation may have heightened restrictions. Lastly, if a patient requires frequent use of medical marijuana, employers can still have restrictions on being under the influence during work hours or using on business property. As always, the law will evolve as the industry grows. It is important to remember that Nevada is an “at-will” employment state which allows employees to be terminated without cause at any time. Therefore, it is difficult to tell an employee if they will be protected. Upcoming legislation and the court system will likely play a huge role in the future of patients’ rights and medical marijuana. If you have any questions about medical marijuana law and rights in Nevada, you should contact an attorney familiar with medical marijuana laws.

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A subsidiary of Terra Tech Corp., the first publicly traded, vertically integrated medical marijuana company, Blüm dispensary has opened a Las Vegas location at 1921 Western Avenue. Blüm opened on April 20th and offers many products from local cultivations as well as Terra Tech’s exclusive concentrate line, IVXX. The dispensary also carries unsweetened topical and ingestible medications. letsblum.com THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace, downtown Las Vegas’ largest medical cannabis dispensary at 10,000 square feet, has opened at 1112 S. Commerce. Downtown’s THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace carries the highest quality medical cannabis, including a full line of edibles, tinctures, oils and concentrates, as well as a variety of vape pens and glass pipes. Appointed with chic, urban-industrial décor designed to foster a sense of old-school charm and relaxation, the downtown dispensary features a rotating art gallery showcasing work by local artists. THRIVE’s North Las Vegas location is also open at 2755 W. Cheyenne Ave. thrivenevada.com The first of three Nevada locations of The Dispensary will open this month at 5347 S. Decatur. The other two are planned for Henderson and Reno. “One of my plans is to comingle the cultures of Reno and Las Vegas because they both have amazing products that can crossover,” explains Ryan Bondhus, menu curator and floor manager of the Dispensary. With strains curated by the Dispensary’s staff of connoisseurs, cicerones, and the Canna Somm of Bake N Wake Review, Bondhus says “we will have a live menu that will always be changing and morphing to what the patient wants, what the growers are doing, and what’s the best in town. So we are never going to have a stagnant menu.” The Dispensary will require its budtenders to go through a week’s worth of training, during which they will learn about the five major cannabinoids as well as the top 12 terpenes. In addition, “they will have to take a test, much like a food server would, not only on our menu, but also on the terpene and cannabinoid profiles, to make sure they are ready to stand behind the counter,” relays Bondhus. “Two times a month our budtenders are required to go to a canna class where during the first half hour I will be going through tasting notes with them, and they will meet master growers who will be on hand to personally educate the staff on their products.” thedispensarynv.com

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DISPENSARY MAP

A Patients’ Guide to Medical Cannabis in Southern Nevada 1. Apothecarium apothecariumlv.com 7855 W. Sahara Ave Las Vegas, NV 89117 702.564.6420

10b. Reef Dispensaries reefdispensaries.com 1370 W. Cheyenne Ave North Las Vegas, NV 89030 702.475.6520

18a. Thrive Cannabis Marketplace thrivenevada.com 2755 W. Cheyenne Ave Ste #103 North Las Vegas, NV 89032 702.776.4144

2. CannaCopia cannacopialv.com 6332 S. Rainbow Blvd #105 Las Vegas, NV 89118 702.487.6776

11. Sahara Wellness 420sahara.com 420 E. Sahara Ave Las Vegas , NV 89104 702.478.5533

18b. Thrive Cannabis Marketplace thrivenevada.com 1112 S. Commerce St Las Vegas, NV 89102 702.776.4144

3. Euphoria Wellness euphoriawellnessnv.com 7780 S. Jones Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89139 702.960.7200

12. Silver Sage Wellness sswlv.com 4626 W. Charleston Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89102 702.802.3757

19. Blüm 20. Getting Legal 21. Nevada Wellness Center 22. ShowGrow

4. Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary inyolasvegas.com 2520 S. Maryland Pkwy Ste #2 Las Vegas, NV 89109 702.707.8888

13. The Apothecary Shoppe theapothecaryshoppe.com 4240 W. Flamingo Rd Las Vegas, NV 89103 702.740.4372

5. Las Vegas ReLeaf lasvegasreleaf.com 2244 Paradise Rd Las Vegas, NV 89104 702.209.2400 6. Medizin medizinlv.com 4850 W. Sunset Rd Ste #130 Las Vegas, NV 89118 702.206.1313 7a. Nevada Medical Marijuana nevadamedicalmarijuana.com 3195 St. Rose Pkwy Ste #212 Henderson, NV 89052 702.737.7777 7b. Nevada Medical Marijuana nevadamedicalmarijuana.com 1975 S. Casino Dr Laughlin, NV 89029 702.737.7777 8. NevadaPure nevadapure.com 4380 Boulder Highway Las Vegas, NV 89121 702.444.4790 9. Oasis Medical oasismedicalcannabis.com 1800 Industrial Rd Ste #180 Las Vegas, NV 89102 702.420.2405 10a. Reef Dispensaries reefdispensaries.com 3400 Western Ave Las Vegas, NV 89109 702.475.6520

14. The Dispensary thedispensarynv.com 5347 S. Decatur Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89118 702.476.0420 15a. The Green House OPENING SOON thegreenhouselv.com 6540 Blue Diamond Rd Las Vegas, NV 89139 702.420.7301 15b. The Green House OPENING SOON thegreenhouselv.com 1324 S. 3rd St Las Vegas, NV 89104 702.420.7301

OPENING SOON

15c. The Green House OPENING SOON thegreenhouselv.com 2113 N. Las Vegas Blvd North Las Vegas, NV 702.420.7301 16a. The Grove TheGroveNV.com 1541 E. Basin Ave Pahrump, NV 89048 775.556.0100 16b. The Grove TheGroveNV.com 4647 Swenson St Las Vegas, NV 89119 702.463.5777 17. The Source thesourcenv.com 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd Ste #8 Las Vegas, NV 89146 702.708.2000

Please call the dispensary before you visit to confirm they are open.

OPENING SOON: North Las Vegas Location


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Elevating the Conversation with Mitchell Britten

M

itchell Britten, founder and CEO of two THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace dispensaries in Southern Nevada, as well as a North Las Vegas growing facility, worked in Colorado’s cannabis industry from 2009-2014, making him a virtual veteran in the industry. When Britten started his cannabis journey in 2009 for a Colorado company, it had a single store, a 5,000-square-foot grow, and a staff of 30 people. By the time Britten left the company in 2014, he was managing 13 stores, 550 employees, and $40 million a year in sales. With regard to his experience in the space, Elevate was curious to find out how the cannabis industries differed between Colorado and Nevada.

WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE NEVADA MARKET THAT ISN’T ALREADY HERE? The first thing I am bringing to Nevada is changing the pricing model. I think I was the first store that came to market here that doesn’t price our products based on THC content. I compare it to alcohol, you don’t always go and order Everclear just because it’s 180-proof. Most people like to have a glass of wine and will pay more for a glass of wine that’s 13 percent alcohol versus something like Everclear or vodka. I do think the entire industry will shift more towards exactly what the consumer wants, it won’t be driven by THC or CBD -instead it will be the strains everyone is looking for. It’s not necessarily that this strain is 13 percent; it will be that this strain tastes good and makes me feel good and it was exactly what I was looking for. Not everybody in the market is out to get high and I think a really big misconception is that everybody who smokes pot is looking to get high and that couldn’t be further from the truth. HOW IS THRIVE UNIQUE TO THE NEVADA MARKETPLACE? Branding our stores as cannabis

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marketplaces was really important to me. I wanted to position THRIVE to be the storefront for the cultivators who didn’t get storefronts and, in turn, we would be a one-stop shop that doesn’t just sell our product. My product will probably only meet about 30 to 40 percent of our customers’ demands so I am looking for that other 70 percent of product to come from the state’s top cultivators so patients don’t have to go anyplace else. It’s important for making sure the patients have really easy access to the medication that they need. DO YOU THINK THE DEA WILL RESCHEDULE CANNABIS FROM 1 TO 2? It would be great. I think it would bring in a new set of challenges that aren’t necessarily good or bad. I think there are upsides and downsides to the possibility of rescheduling. I would encourage it. A lot of people who don’t want to drop through the regulatory loops are not going to be in favor of adding to the compliance load. But the way that I look at my job in this industry is that it has very little to do with marijuana and it has everything to do with compliance. People who share that

elevatenv.com | industry connect | june

same viewpoint will succeed if it is rescheduled because it’s a necessity to our industry. People who are willing to get on board will do a great job and those that don’t want to deal with all of the red tape won’t do so well. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU HAVE DISCOVERED ABOUT CANNABIS? It’s shaped up to be a lot more emotional of an industry than I thought it was going to be. I have received more invites to funerals in this industry than anybody probably gets in a lifetime. It’s because these families see you as part of this support system that’s been helping their loved ones. Usually by the time they turn to cannabis, oftentimes it’s too late so it’s less about a cure and more about the end-of-life comfort it can lend. That to me has been the most surprising thing. I didn’t anticipate getting attached to people and see people go through the hardest part of their life. Fighting for your life is a tough one and an emotional situation for everybody surrounded by it. To read our entire interview with Mitchell Britten, visit elevatenv.com/ Elevating_the_Conversation.


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april | elevatenv.com

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A compassion for healing  
A compassion for healing  
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