Elevate june july issue

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One family’s journey to find relief for their child's seizures


e Publisher Guy Bertuzzi, guy@elevatenv.com

from the editor

Associate Publisher Michele Walden, michele@elevatenv.com

This past May I went to Colorado on a cannabis fact-finding mission and instead stumbled upon a bunch of supermodels – but more on that later. Since Nevada’s medical marijuana establishments (MMEs) haven’t opened yet, I decided to head over to a state that is already considered a veteran in the industry even though its recreational MMEs only opened on January 1, 2014.

Editor-In-Chief Beth Schwartz, beth@elevatenv.com Contributors: Amanda Connor, Pouya Mohajer, MD, Deanna Rilling

ELEVATION PUBLISHING LLC President Jonathan Fine Chief Financial Officer Cassandra Lupo Vice President of Business Development Kim Armenta

Elevate Nevada magazine designed by

FINE THE AGENCY Creative Director Brooke Bertuzzi, brooke@finetheagency.com Graphic Designer Christina Cassaro, christina@finetheagency.com Digital Services Director Josh Steenmeyer, josh@finetheagency.com Social Media Manager Jocelyne Childs, jocelyne@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 2 June-July 2015 elevatenv.com

I was fortunate enough to secure a private tour of a dispensary as well as a cultivation and production facility located in Boulder. The dispensary, although probably only 300 square feet, was just like you would imagine. Lining the room were counters topped with big glass jars full of marijuana buds labeled for customers. This particular dispensary had a spacious waiting area outside the dispensary for customers who were each called by number to enter the dispensary so they could select their product and complete their transaction privately. The only thing I hadn’t considered was the matter of security and that there would be armed guards. But it makes sense since there is a lot of expensive product on hand which is much the same as having guards protecting the valuables at a high-end jewelry store. The cultivation facility was beyond anything I could have pictured. At 15,000 square feet it was room after giant room of marijuana plants in all stages of growth. Each room had something different going on whether that involved testing a new set of LED lights or trying out a soil nutrient. All of it diligently tracked, a regulation of the state, with software made specifically for the cannabis industry. In addition to the grow rooms, the facility also had a trim room, a cloning room, and a dry room. What I was most in awe of was the way the plants were treated. Lined up in row after row on tables and sitting under lights with fans blowing on them, you could tell they were treated with the utmost care. As I was walking through the rows of cannabis I was struck at how much the plants were treated like supermodels. Carefully lit and watered, fanned with just the right amount of air and given only the best to eat, these prized beauties are the industry’s bread and butter and are handled as such. The entire operation was so high tech and professional that I finished my tour with a new appreciation for what Nevada’s patients have in store for them when the Silver State’s medicinal cannabis dispensaries open in the coming months. With an open mind,



June-July 2015 elevatenv.com


from the publisher What a whirlwind it has been to be a part of a start-up publication in an industry that itself is in its genesis. During the last several months, I have had the opportunity to meet many passionate and brilliant people within and around the cannabis industry who, as pioneers, are not only sharing their expertise but are more than capably leading us into this burgeoning industry. There are a few I need to single out. First is Liz McDuffie from MCI Medical Caregivers Institute, which is an organization that helps patients go through the process of applying for their medicinal marijuana card. She is a wealth of knowledge and exudes passion for patients in a way that cannot be replicated. I am now lucky to call Liz my friend. Please reach out to her and thank her for all she has done for the last couple decades to further the cause and open minds to the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Another person I met during my journey as publisher of Elevate Nevada is Ethan Nadelmann. As the founder and executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, he was described by Rolling Stone as “the driving force for the legalization of marijuana in America.” When Ethan was in town a few weeks ago he extended an invitation to me to join him at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) for a debate on the “War on Drugs” that he facilitated along with Sir Richard Branson, former Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, and Solutions Recovery President David Marlon. It is hard for me to put into words the feeling of being surrounded by the most brilliant minds in the world discussing an advocacy that we are passionate about and helping move the conversation forward. Please check out Ethan’s TED talk it is worth it, www.ted.com/speakers/ethan_nadelmann. In this issue, you will read about six-year-old Avery Spadafora who battled seizures for five years and finally found relief by taking a CBD oil. As a father of an eight- and five-year-old, I would do anything to help my child if they suffered. Nevada’s legislators understand this and are paving the way for all of its citizens to have access to high quality medicines that are clean of pesticides by setting the gold standard for lab testing of medicinal cannabis. This is why I am proud to call Nevada my home because our state made changes to amend pesticide testing to allow labs, cultivators and dispensaries to move forward to the benefit of patients like Avery. Salute,


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contents A HANDFUL OF HOPE 10

Cooking with Cannabis

One family’s journey to find relief from the ravaging effects of seizures for their child


Simon Steamed Vegetables by chef Kerry Simon


Championing a Cause Catching up with Senator Tick Segerblom


A Patient's Guide to Epilepsy: Should you give your child medicinal marijuana?


Haleigh’s Hope creator continues breeding new products to give hope to others


Elevate Your State Medicinal cannabis updates from across the United States


Inside the Industry: Behind the scenes with professionals from the medicinal cannabis field



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e The Drug Policy Alliance is the nation’s leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We envision new drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. DPA has been at the forefront of marijuana reform for 20 years, and welcomes the emergence of a responsible, safe, ethical and inclusive marijuana industry.

drugpolicy.org facebook.com/drugpolicy twitter.com/drugpolicynews youtube.com/drugpolicyalliance 6

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championing a cause


Writer: Deanna Rilling

Catching Up with Senator Tick Segerblom on Nevada’s Marijuana Progress Marijuana advocacy in Nevada has a friend in State Senator Richard S. “Tick” Segerblom. A fourth-generation representative in Nevada, he currently represents Senate District 3. Most recently, the former attorney made news with Senate Bill 372, legislation the media touted as a “pot for pets” bill. But there is far more to said bill, as there is to Sen. Segerblom himself, as well as the future of marijuana in the Silver State. The journey towards an interest in marijuana prohibition began for Segerblom back in the 1960s. “I remember how free love and marijuana and everything—we thought those things were going to happen,” Segerblom says. “And then Reagan got elected governor of California and everything just went backwards. Now, I think finally society is starting to realize they spent almost 60 years going in the wrong direction and it’s time to go back.” He adds that while no substance or drug is 100 percent safe, marijuana is the least harmful one there is, even less so than alcohol. “A lot of people enjoy [marijuana], it has health benefits and to criminalize it and prosecute people—particularly people of color— is wrong. If we can rectify that, then I’m a happy camper.”

Segerblom believes the “War on Drugs” has failed. “We lost and we might as well deal with it and decriminalize most drugs, legalize a lot of them and then deal with the consequences,” he says. “We have rehabilitation available. Tax the drugs, tax the alcohol, than provide rehabilitation services to people who can’t handle it. But get away from

putting people in jail who sold it, they used it, they had trouble because of their addiction. It destroyed a whole generation of people for no good reason. These are mental health issues, not criminal issues.” Looking at the state of marijuana in Nevada, it was unfortunate that Senate elevatenv.com June-July 2015


e and that’s why we have Bill 276, which hopefully brings more dispensaries to Nevada,” says Segerblom. “But as far as the technical issue where Clark County said you can’t purchase marijuana from outside of Clark County to sell in Clark County, I’m not sure if we’re able to address that issue. I think it’s actually unconstitutional.” He adds that unfortunately with all the given issues that need to be addressed, it’s not a top priority. Another issue of concern to patients is the possibly of being charged with a DUI if they’ve medicated that day or even a few days prior. Segerblom says he feels bad about that, but currently they won’t be able to address it. “The Democrats lost control of the legislature and a lot of those issues went up in smoke, so to speak.” In regards to education and training programs, Segerblom feels the responsibility lies on the dispensaries themselves, not a requirement by the government. “I think most dispensaries will have their own training programs as far as teaching budtenders to tell customers what the products do,” Segerblom says. “I’m not sure those employees need to be trained by the state.” Bill 372 died in committee earlier this year. Key components tied into the bill (in addition to medical cannabis for ailing pets) were needed, including transfer of ownership. “It involves a five-mile rule where dispensaries can move within five miles,” Segerblom says. “It also involves keeping home grown alive for another two years, keeping reciprocity provisions for another couple of years, there’s a lot of little technical things.” With regard to transferability of the medical marijuana license, Segerblom 8

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believes he will be able to address that issue. “We’re working on an amendment to one of the existing bills that deals with medical marijuana and I’m optimistic that will be approved.” Senate Bill 372 also brought up the issue of “seed to sale” software solutions. This places a restriction on dispensaries in Clark County where they’re only permitted to purchase medical marijuana from cultivation and processing facilities also within Clark County, which could potentially drive up the cost to patients. “I have lots of concerns about the cost

One question many patients have is that if reasonable accommodations are being made for medical marijuana patients, for instance being allowed to use a CBDonly medication at work. “It’s a question that a lot of employers feel they have to do that already,” Segerblom says. “Again, that’s just a gray area which we hope to make black and white.” On a more positive front, Segerblom currently has a related bill that would legalize the growing of hemp. SB305, which Segerblom sponsored, initially

e was written to create regulations for an industrial hemp industry in the state. However, after many amendments inserted by both Assembly and Senate committees over the last several weeks, the bill has been limited to authorizing an institution of higher education or the State Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for purposes of research. More positive strides forward include Segerblom’s recent trip to Colorado to investigate the marijuana business in that state. “It’s a very successful business,” he says of the recreational marijuana industry in Colorado. “It’s coming to Nevada, so get ready.” In fact, recreational marijuana will appear on the Nevada ballot in 2016. “It’s guaranteed. We got the 100 and some thousand signatures to get it on

the ballot, the legislature did not act within 40 days, so it’s going to be there,” Segerblom says. “I think it’s going to increase the turnouts. The people that show up to vote for marijuana will probably vote for the Democratic candidate for president.” He adds, “No one can stop it at this point.” Well, almost no one. In the event a Republican president takes office, there are concerns of progress reversal. “Well, if it was up to the Republicans, they would do it and roll back the clock,” Segerblom says. But the reality is the cat is out of the bag. “I don’t see how they’re going to put it back. This thing has gone so far and become so popular—especially once it starts to raise money and put taxes in the state coffers, to take that away I think would be very difficult. I do think

there’s some presidential candidates that are much more positive for the growth of marijuana and bylaws.” Involvement and showing up at the polls next November is key for supporters of medical marijuana, and now recreational marijuana. “If we can pass recreational, that will really change Nevada, in my opinion,” Segerblom says. “It’s perfect for our current industry. It will also get away from this idea the police are out there to put everybody in jail and this vicious cycle where cops bust you, your house, sell the house, use the money for SWAT armor to go bust another house. “We just need to move forward and recognize this drug is better than alcohol as far as drugs go and deal with the fallout, but don’t put people in jail or pay cops to bust people because they’re using marijuana.” e

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A handful of


Writer: Beth Schwartz

Sometimes we find hope in places we don’t expect it to be. This is the story of one family’s five-year journey to find relief from the ravaging effects of nightly seizures for their child. From visiting the finest pediatric neurologists in the country to taking a chance on a plant, Jon and Sandi Spadafora stopped at nothing to find a way to make their daughter, Avery, whole again.

At 18 months old Avery Spadafora had her first seizure. Over the next five years she would have on average between one and four seizures per night with some lasting 45 seconds and others lasting up to 45 minutes.


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e Although Avery Spadafora was born five weeks before her due date in November 2008, her parents had no indication that she was going to be anything other than a perfectly normal, healthy child. “We brought her home from the hospital as a very well behaved baby who appeared to be happy and healthy,” explains Avery’s father, Jon Spadafora. “After getting her home, we realized that she slept a lot more than our other children had but, with two older children in the house, we understood that babies are unique and we didn’t worry about it.” However, as the months went by, Jon and Sandi Spadafora began to grow concerned as Avery missed key developmental milestones. By the time Avery was eight months old, the Las Vegas couple was getting used to spending hours meeting with various specialists who were trying to determine what was wrong with their little girl. But before they found an answer, when Avery was 18 months old, she had her first seizure. “She was taking a nap in her stroller during our Fourth of July party and to say that it took us by surprise is an understatement,” says Jon. In their quest to help Avery, the Spadaforas took her to see the best neurologists in

the country, visiting Boston Children’s, Texas Children’s, Colorado Children’s, and UCLA. “My wife took it upon herself to learn what was causing Avery’s seizures and orchestrated visits to some of the best pediatric neurologists around the country in the hope that one of them would take a special interest in our child and help us to understand what was happening so that we could treat and help her,” explains Jon.

maze of available seizure medications. “Without a clear diagnosis on the type of seizures that Avery was experiencing, it was challenging for him to identify the right medicine to treat them. So we tried them all. Some helped for a short period of time, some were promising and some were scary, but at the end of the day none of them were the answer,” Jon remembers. “It was increasingly frustrating

to leave her appointments without answers as we watched the frequency and intensity of her nighttime seizures increase.” Avery would have on average between one and four seizures per night with some lasting 45 seconds and others lasting up to 45 minutes. “The stress on our family seemed to increase each month, as Avery, my wife, and I failed to sleep for entire nights at a time. They got

Without a clear diagnosis on the type of seizures that Avery was experiencing, it was challenging for him to identify the right medicine to treat them. So we tried them all. “We were always nervous as we walked into these gigantic research hospitals, hoping that the answer was at the top of the elevator. We always left with the same disappointed feeling after we watched our daughter being poked with needles, enduring overnight EEGs, sleep studies, MRIs, and what seemed like endless tests, only to be told that her condition did not fit the definition of any the doctor was familiar with.” While looking for answers, a geneticist at UCLA introduced the Spadaforas to Dr. Shaun Hussain, a pediatric epilepsy specialist at UCLA. Not liking the medical options available in Las Vegas, the Spadaforas chose Dr. Hussain to become Avery’s neurologist and guide the family through the

HALEIGH’S HOPE Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation’s signature CBD oil is named for Haleigh Cox who has Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, which is an intractable seizure disorder. In two weeks she went from 200+ seizures a day to as few as four a day after using the cannabanoid based medicine with a 24:1 CBD to THC ratio designed specifically for her by Jason Cranford, a botanist who has 25+ years of cultivation experience and is founder of Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation. “Conventional seizure meds were killing my daughter. It was at that point that we decided to pack up and move to Colorado, seeking healthier alternatives in order to save Haleigh’s life,” explains Haleigh’s mother Janéa Cox. “I met Jason through mutual friends and we formed an instant friendship. He truly saved my daughter’s life.” www.floweringhope.co

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e so bad that Avery’s siblings would hear her and wake up to sit with my wife or I as we tried to calm her down. “Perhaps the worst of all was that we were watching milestones that Avery was gaining -- the ability to play peek-a-boo or making a ‘mmmm’ sound when she wanted her mom -- disappear. We were concerned that the seizures were the reasons she seemed to lose these things that she worked very hard to gain.” In April 2014, Dr. Hussain told the Spadaforas that they had run through the majority of the seizure medications that he could recommend and there were only a few options left that could help Avery. He gave them three choices: a Ketogenic diet, a lobotomy or a new experimental drug called Fycompa that was coming onto the market. The Ketogenic diet would have required a feeding tube and hospitalization to implement so “obviously that is very challenging to stick with,” offers Jon. As for the lobotomy that would potentially cut out the part of Avery’s brain that caused the seizures, Jon was adamant. “Sandi and I both felt like that was a definite 'no' from the get-go.” Having just seen a news story about a family who used a form of medicinal cannabis called CBD oil


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Perhaps the worst of all was that we were watching milestones that Avery was gaining – the ability to play peek-a-boo or making a ‘mmmm’ sound when she wanted her mom – disappear. We were concerned that the seizures were the reasons she seemed to lose these things that she worked very hard to gain.

with much success, Sandi asked Dr. Hussain’s opinion on it and whether it was a possibility he would consider. (Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 60 cannabis compounds that is well suited as an antispasmodic and, unlike THC, does not cause a high.) “He was very honest and told us that while UCLA would not allow him to recommend it; he believed it might be an option to consider after the experimental drug,” Jon recalls. “Sandi was pushing for it (the CBD oil) but I was more skeptical. My only concern was there was not a tremendous amount of

e The failure of Fycompa was the impetus for Sandi and Jon to start the process of looking for a CBD oil to treat Avery’s seizures. Unfortunately for the Spadaforas, there were some pretty big logistical challenges for them to overcome. First, they lived in Las Vegas where medicinal cannabis was not available. Next, CBD oil was almost impossible to get as very few places were actually selling it. Finally, they didn’t know if it would actually work.

Avery surrounded by her siblings.

a check using a Colorado address to get his driver’s license. Then it was down the rabbit hole to doctor’s offices, both professional and unprofessional, that could sign off on Avery’s need for CBD oil.

In August 2014 they began their quest for CBD oil with not much more than determination, resourcefulness and luck. The family decided to take a road trip to Denver to visit Sandi’s sister where they hoped to secure Avery’s red card which is required for a minor to use medicinal cannabis in Colorado.

“The first doctor’s office was as we hoped it would be, professional and filled with people who really wanted to help people that the system has dubbed helpless,” says Jon. “The next was a nightmare, operating out of what appeared to be an abandoned office building, with a waiting room full of all the characters from a pamphlet distributed by a politician against medical marijuana. We left the appointment confused and feeling like we were making a mistake to let our six-yearold daughter take anything prescribed by this place.”

Remembering the news story she had seen on CBD oil, Sandi recalled the doctor’s name in Colorado who was mentioned by CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, searched for him on the internet and called him. Although he wasn’t available, Dr. Shackelford’s receptionist advised Sandi that she needed to get a Colorado driver’s license and appointments with two doctors who could give her prescriptions for medicinal cannabis.

In spite of their misgivings, the Spadaforas soldiered on to their next stop – a cultivator that Dr. Shackelford had recommended to them who might be able to fill Avery’s prescription. “We had an appointment with the H.O.P.E. Foundation shortly afterward, and decided to keep it, since we had already come so far. Even though we were not sure what to think when the GPS gave us the address of a home, we made the trek to Longmont,” explains Jon of the cultivator.

Jon is self-employed so he was able to cut himself

The couple had opted for a medicine created by

research on either side.” Upon leaving UCLA, the couple decided to try the experimental drug Dr. Hussain suggested, and if that didn’t work, they would find a way to start using CBD oil. For the next couple of months Avery took Fycompa. “It never really worked to control the episodes, but we saw enough of a reduction in the frequency and intensity that it felt like a break. Then sometime during the middle of the summer they came back with a vengeance,” Jon summarizes of Avery’s experience.

Jason Cranford, founder of the Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation, called Haleigh’s Hope over the more wellknown Charlotte’s Web, made popular by Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” documentary on CNN, because it had a lengthy waiting list of 8,000 people. (Editor’s note: As of February 2015, there was no longer a wait list for Charlotte’s Web hemp oil.) The team at Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation explained the process of receiving and administering the medicine, showed them Jason’s lab and answered all of the Spadaforas’ questions. “We weren’t super comfortable with the idea of the CBD oil but we had just gone through a really rough summer where our daughter was having some of her worst episodes yet. We had gotten to the point where we willing to try anything,” explains Jon. But there was one small hitch. “They were out of medicine. They were still getting started so we left the house that day with no medicine,” recalls Sandi, who felt utterly defeated. “As you can imagine, it was a very emotional drive home. Sandi was so upset and during that drive we decided to go ahead and rent a home and move to Colorado. We didn’t feel we had a choice,” explains Jon of listing their Las Vegas home of the last seven years, which they had never expected to leave,

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e and packing up their family and uprooting them. “Three weeks later we pulled into Colorado – full of hope but not expecting a change as nothing had really worked for us yet.” And then their luck changed. Although they were inundated with requests for Haleigh’s Hope, the Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation eventually had Avery’s medicine ready for her. And true to its name, the CBD

oil called Haleigh’s Hope brought the Spadaforas' some. “With butterflies in our stomachs, we gave her the first dose,” Jon explains of the CBD oil he and Sandi put under Avery’s tongue for the first time. “That night she had a seizure but it seemed to be less intense than they had been. We continued to give her the medicine and we were shocked when all of a sudden she went 18 nights without a seizure. We hadn’t had 18

nights of sleep in a row since she had that first seizure, five years ago.” “She’s a different kid on this medicine,” interjects Sandi. “Before she slept till noon every day even though she went to bed at 8 p.m. Now she’s up at 7:45 a.m. every day and doesn’t take naps.” Jon finishes, “She has occasional episodes, but never with the frequency or intensity that she used to. In fact, it is now more common to have her go all night without an issue than it is to have a night with seizures. More importantly, we are watching her personality develop and watching milestones come back to her.” To this day, Avery does not have a technical diagnosis. And, if he had it to do over again, Jon would have handled pursuing Avery’s diagnosis differently. “In retrospect I would have abandoned trying to find out what the issue was and just treated the symptoms. We would have concentrated on finding out a way to make the seizures stop

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rather than get a diagnosis.” As for Sandi, she is more pro-marijuana. “I would have moved here (to Colorado) five years ago,” she relays with a laugh. “I started trying to get here about five months before we made it happen. For those six months of her having horrific seizures…if we could have known the answer was in Colorado we would have been here.” As for parents who are on the fence and can’t decide if CBD oil is the way to go, Sandi is adamant. “Oh, try it, absolutely,” Sandi enthusiastically urges. “I thought back to all of these drugs that they were trying with her and as far as the list of side effects, some were horrible, and I thought how could taking medicinal cannabis be any worse than some of the things we have given her before.” Jon agrees. “I think that’s why we were so comfortable with doing it [trying Haleigh’s Hope] because the doctors couldn’t even tell us what her diagnosis was so why shouldn’t we give it a try?” e


DISCOVERY: EPILEPSY PATIENTS FIND RELIEF FROM SEIZURES WITH CBD BASED MEDICINES CHARLOTTE’S WEB Made by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, Charlotte’s Web, due to its feature on CNN’s 2013 “Weed” documentary, is the most popular and well-known of the CBD oils children with epilepsy take. “From The New York Times and CNN to People and National Geographic, the nation has paid attention to these families and their plight,” Heather Jackson at Realm of Caring Foundation, a nonprofit providing support for families using cannabinoid products, explains of Charlotte’s Web popularity. “The ratio of CBD versus THC in Charlotte’s Web is about 26:1 right now,” Jackson explains of the medicine that is currently supplied to 4,000 families. “They are working at the lab to have even higher ratios of up to 200:1 in the future.” As for Nevadans interested in Charlotte’s Web, it is available. “Because it was grown under the hemp program here, it is being shipped to Nevada families,” reports Jackson. Additionally, when the dispensaries open in Nevada, CWNevada is the Stanley Brothers' Nevada partner and has exclusive rights to Charlotte's Web here in the state. Visit cwbotanicals.com for details.

GW also initiated the second Phase 3 clinical trial of Epidiolex for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome. GW anticipates that topline data from both Phase 3 Epidiolex trials will be available in early 2016. www.gwpharm.com

INSYS THERAPEUTICS The FDA has granted orphan drug designation to INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. for its pharmaceutical cannabidiol oral solution (CBD). Insys started dosing pediatric epilepsy patients in a Phase 1 safety trial and also announced that a pharmacokinetic study is being conducted on pediatric epilepsy patients. The clinical trial will evaluate INSYS's pharmaceutical CBD oral solution at three different dosage strengths. This is INSYS's first in-patient dosing with its pharmaceutical CBD formulation. www.insysrx.com

KING HARVEST California-based King Harvest Wellness offers a line of marijuana based medicines used to treat pediatric epilepsy that includes Daytime Sativa Oil (all THC), CBD Wellness ACDC Oil (18:1 CBD to THC ratio), and Indica Nighttime Coconut Oil (1:1 ratio). A nonprofit, compassionate care collective made up of growers, processors, suppliers, and caregivers, King Harvest specializes in cannabis oil and other cannabis-based, critical illness medicines. King Harvest offers Diagnosis Specific Cannabis Oil medications and CBD Wellness Therapies to Proposition 215 compliant patients in California that has been tested by a third party to accurately determine the medicine’s cannabinoid profile. For more about King Harvest products, call 310.962.0425.

EPIDIOLEX London-based biopharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals is developing a cannabinoid prescription medicine called Epidiolex for the treatment of Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes. In May GW Pharmaceuticals commenced a Phase 3 clinical trial of Epidiolex for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). In April, elevatenv.com June-July 2015 15


SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILD MEDICINAL MARIJUANA? Writer: Dr. Pouya Mohajer, Nevada Cannabis Medical Association member

How would a parent know if medicinal cannabis is the right way to go if their child is suffering from epilepsy? I will start out by saying the use of medical cannabis in children is very controversial. There are no published studies on the use of medical cannabis/cannabinoids in the pediatric population. Thus, there is no efficacy, safety, or tolerability data available. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reaffirmed its opposition of the use of medical cannabis in the range of 0-21 year olds, citing negative health and brain development effects in this age group. Furthermore, AAP opposes medical cannabis use outside of the FDA regulatory process. However, AAP also recognizes medical cannabis/cannabinoids may be an option for children with severely debilitating conditions for whom current therapies are insufficient. Finally, AAP “strongly supports” research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids, reclassifying medical cannabis as a Schedule II drug in order to facilitate research, and decriminalization of marijuana use. So, going back to the question, parents should start to seek alternative therapies once traditional interventions have failed and/or have caused significant side effects. But all decisions should be made under the advice and supervision of a physician.

What’s the first step for parents to begin navigating the medicinal cannabis road? Parents need to consult their pediatrician and do some research. Several large epilepsy centers will be participating in a study to test the efficacy of GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, which is a liquid form of CBD, www.gwpharm.com/Epidiolex.

How does medicinal cannabis work for patients who are suffering from epilepsy? The exact mechanism of action is unknown but several hypotheses include: • Modulation of neurotransmission • Decrease neuro-inflammation • Modulation of oxidative stress • Multifactorial in modulation of number of endogenous systems in order to attenuate and or possibly prevent hyper-excitability of neurons, which may be influenced through ion channel control, endocannabinoid system, and inflammatory processes • Of note, CBD has very minimal binding at the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1), which is a binding site for THC


How are CBD oils administered? Oral administration is probably the simplest route. Administration of the medication has been via slow titration to desired effect. Again, there is no efficacy, safety or tolerability data to help guide caregivers and physicians. The majority administer the oral medication anywhere from one to four times per day.

How do you determine who should be using cannabis oil? Most parents have chosen medical cannabis for their child whom is refractory to the standard treatment with Antiepileptic Drugs (AED), or the side effects from these medications have become intolerable to the child. Intractable epilepsy can lead to frequent seizures, neurodevelopmental delays, impaired quality of life, severe side effects from AEDs, and possibly death. Treatment with medical cannabis is usually the last option parents turn to for reprieve from the medically resistant seizures.

How can parents determine if the medicine they are getting is legitimate and safe? This is such an important point and very difficult to verify. A recent study from Colorado revealed a significant variation in the concentration of THC, presence of contaminants, and inconsistencies in the reported CBD/THC ratios. Colorado will now require independent testing. Nevada already has statutes in place for independent laboratory testing to confirm what the cultivation and production facilities place on their labels. Therefore, once the dispensaries open, the patients can be confident that what they purchase will contain the percentages written on the label.

What should parents ask a physician/caregiver to make sure he/she is qualified to treat their child with medicinal cannabis? Experience is important; however, this quality might be difficult to find because there will not be many experts in this burgeoning field.

The FDA has given GW Pharmaceuticals orphan drug status for Epidiolex which is described as an oral liquid formulation of a highly purified extract of CBD. How far are we from seeing Epidiolex becoming an over-thecounter drug? Manufacturers are afforded 20 years of patent protection from the date of filing. GW Pharmaceuticals is going through the FDA process. Thus, once they get FDA approval for Epidiolex, it will be a covered medication through the insurance companies. This is much different than obtaining a similar high-CBD oil from a dispensary, which will be cash based. 17

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And if Epidiolex is as effective as the studies show, will it become the go-to drug that physicians will prescribe over traditional epilepsy medicines now in use? The jury is still out on this. Epidiolex will have to go through the Phase III and Phase IV clinical trials in order to assess efficacy, safety, therapeutic effect, and long-term effects.

The most well-known medicinal cannabis treatment for epilepsy is Charlotte’s Web made by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, which was made famous by the 2013 CNN documentary “Weed.” If a Nevadan has a medicinal marijuana card, can they get legal access to Charlotte’s Web? The cultivation of medical cannabis has become very scientific. The different genetics produced are becoming very specialized. There will most likely be many different strains that will contain very high CBD/THC ratio, which will potentially have antiepileptic properties. Editor’s note: CWNevada is the Stanley Brothers’ Nevada partner and has exclusive rights to Charlotte’s Web here in the state.

Are there any cons to giving a child medicinal cannabis? There are several potential negative effects of cannabis that one needs to be aware of. These effects have been observed in adolescents and include: • Impaired short-term memory; • Decreased concentration, decreased attention span, difficulty problem solving; • Adolescent brain, specifically the pre-frontal cortex, which controls judgment and decision-making, are not fully developed until early to mid-20s. Thus, substance use may affect the developing brain. One thing to keep in mind is that these children are being administered medical cannabis because they have intractable epilepsy which leads to frequent seizures, neurodevelopmental delays, impaired quality of life, severe side effects from antiepileptic drugs, and possibly death.

Has the success of CBD oil started to change the way the medical community views the treatment of epilepsy? In general physicians are very conservative. Any change in how medicine is practiced is thoroughly scrutinized. Physicians look for studies to confirm the outcomes. Most physicians and most medical societies favor changing the classification of medical cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II in order to facilitate research. Going back to your question, there is no doubt in my mind that physicians are looking at the potential positive effects of medical cannabis after the investigative reporting of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. elevatenv.com June-July 2015 17


Haleigh’s Hope creator continues breeding new products to give hope to others It would seem Jason Cranford, creator of Haleigh’s Hope, has been on a trajectory toward healing others through the use of medicinal marijuana for as long as he can remember. “I’ve worked around plants my whole life,” said Cranford. “I interned at University of Georgia greenhouses in Athens, Georgia while I was in college and moved to Humboldt County in California about seven years ago and cultivated for collectives in the Bay Area.” It was during Cranford’s stint in Humboldt County, well-known for its cultivation and proliferation of marijuana, that he discovered the work of Israeli organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, best known for his work isolating tetrahydrocannabinol. That was in 2008 and the work of Mechoulam sent Cranford immediately on a strain hunt for a high CBD genetic. “I collected and tested hundreds of plants in Northern California and Colorado until I found two high CBD strains in 2009. I have been creating products and breeding them ever since,” recollected Cranford, who is now based in Longmont, Colorado.


June-July 2015 elevatenv.com

Cranford was most interested in what he could develop to help people with MS, epilepsy and cancer. “In 2010 I started giving the low THC oil to children. Two years ago I started seeing an increase in patients after CNN’s “Weed 1” documentary aired. My test results were posted publicly on a lab website so people started finding me.” Exactly how CBD oil works to eliminate seizures is complicated, but Cranford succinctly summarized it as: “Cannabinoids are a neuro-protectant, meaning the compounds protect your neurons which control motor skills and the electrical current that runs through your brain called synapsis. I believe the Cannabinoids regulate the electrical waves that are measured in Hz. At the same time they are protecting the neurons from being damaged by the spike in brainwaves that happen during a seizure.” Cranford’s Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation now treats approximately 200 patients using Haleigh’s Hope, www.floweringhope.co. Although Haleigh’s Hope won’t be available in Nevada, Cranford is open to

partnerships or licensing agreements but has not found a dispensary to partner with yet. As Cranford continues on his trajectory toward helping others (he’s currently working on a CBD oil for Crohn’s disease) he does not describe himself as a scientist or a botanist but “a simple person who stumbled on a miracle and now I’m just trying to do the right thing with it.”



How to become your child’s medical marijuana caregiver Writer: Amanda Connor

A parent who has a child suffering from seizures or an adult child caring for a terminally ill parent may look to medical marijuana as a treatment option when traditional options have failed. Nevada’s medical marijuana laws specifically address an individual acting as a caregiver and has created duties and requirements for the designated caregiver defining them as: A caregiver is an individual over the age of 18 with significant responsibility for managing the well-being of an individual who is a medical marijuana patient and who has been designated and approved as that patient’s caregiver. If a patient needs or wants a caregiver, the patient must designate a specific individual as his or her caregiver by submitting forms to the Nevada Division of Health and Human Services, http://health.nv.gov/MedicalMarijuana_Cardholder.htm. It is important to note that a patient under the age of 18 can only receive a medical marijuana patient card if the parent or legal guardian agrees to be the designated caregiver. A patient can only designate one caregiver and that caregiver must be a resident of Nevada, approved by a physician, consent to being the caregiver and pass a background check. A caregiver is given the same protections from state prosecution as a patient once the caregiver obtains a registration card. However, just like a patient, the caregiver must act within the law, which includes being able to: • purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana every 14 days for the patient • purchase from the patient’s designated dispensary (once dispensaries open) • grow up to 12 plants until a dispensary opens in the county Also, the caregiver is responsible for managing the well-being of the patient including purchasing the medical marijuana and overseeing the dosage and frequency of use. Please remember marijuana remains illegal under federal law, therefore, being a caregiver carries a certain amount of risk. A caregiver should contact an attorney to get a better understanding of the law and the risks when considering becoming a caregiver.


June-July 2015 elevatenv.com

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Medicinal cannabis updates from across the United States

HAWAII CALIFORNIA San Diego’s City Attorney’s Office ordered 10 marijuana dispensaries closed in mid-May after illegal pot shops were found operating. The City Council has established specific guidelines for the locations and conditions in which marijuana dispensaries can operate legally in San Diego. None of the illegal dispensaries had permits. To date, the City Attorney’s Office has closed 265 illegal dispensaries.

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The state legislature has passed a bill that would allow for as many as 16 medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. The Senate’s unanimous vote and the House’s 36-13 vote in May comes 15 years after state leaders authorized the prescription and use of medical marijuana but did not establish a dispensary system to provide access to the drug. The measure, House Bill 321, now goes to Governor David Ige’s desk.

The state of Nevada certified its first medical cannabis lab in Southern Nevada. In late April, DB Labs, LLC received state approval and certification to begin safety and potency testing of medical cannabis products. The state of Nevada requires that all medical cannabis produced and sold be tested for potency, mold, heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants before being made available to patients.

MASSACHUSETTS Boston’s Department of Public Health is unveiling changes to the way it issues licenses under the state’s medical marijuana dispensary program. The changes outlined in midMay include a revamped application process that allows marijuana dispensaries to be approved similar to how other healthcare facilities, such as pharmacies, are licensed. Under the new process, dispensaries will be evaluated individually, not as part of a group. The state has issued only three certificates of registration, and, to date, no dispensaries have opened.

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OREGON Cana King is the second marijuana dispensary to open in Roseburg, Oregon and more may be on the way. Dispensaries need a state license before opening and the city of Roseburg has developed local regulations which need to be met to attain a license. Other Douglas County cities are still deciding if they will allow dispensaries within their respective city limits. Sutherlin has recently banned them while Winston agreed to allow dispensaries with additional regulations.

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e NYU physicians present ‘Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Epilepsy’ in June Medical leaders researching epilepsy will present the most recent findings of CBDs during a one-day lecture entitled “Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Epilepsy” on Friday, June 26 at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. NYU School of Medicine Professor of Neurology Orrin

Devinsky, M.D. and Daniel Friedman, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, will present their findings on the latest clinical science on cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive component of cannabis, and medical marijuana in the treatment

of epilepsy. This one-day course is an important step for CBD research as clinicians and researchers need to understand the neurobiology of cannabinoid agents. To find out more about the conference, visit www.med.nyu.edu/cme/epilepsy.

The Travel Joint establishes Cannabis Refugee Program to aid families in healing The Travel Joint is establishing a Cannabis Refugee Program to aid families who have not found pharmaceutical medications to be effective and are, in turn, migrating to states that have legalized medicinal marijuana. Launching in mid-fall 2015, the objective of the Cannabis Refugee Program is to ease the financial burden of families so they can focus on healing. “It is heartbreaking to see what families go through when their children or family

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members are suffering from rare medical conditions that are only aided through the use of cannabis oil,” explains Rachel Zimbelman, Chief Creative Officer for The Travel Joint. “It is equally heartbreaking to hear about what the families go through to have to get it. Parents are often separated and one stays back to work and help fund the move while the other moves on with the child to begin a long and often lonely process.” Currently a portion of any purchase made

on TheTravelJoint.com goes to fund the Cannabis Refugee Program. Utilizing social media, The Travel Joint will choose one family a month for the program. Families will be chosen based on a list of criteria ranging from severity of illness to financial need. To find out more, Travel Joint will be posting via its social media outlets @thetraveljoint when the program starts or interested parties can email contact@thetraveljoint.com.


Rock n’ Roll Chef Kerry Simon of Carson Kitchen, who contributed the recipe below, is using medicinal cannabis to find relief from the effects of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Support Kerry in the continued research of and battle against MSA, donate to his non-profit organization Fight MSA at www.fightmsa.org.

Cooking with Cannabis Simon Steamed Vegetables by chef Kerry Simon

1 1/2 quarts of water 6 asparagus spears 12 baby carrots, peeled and washed 4 mushroom caps (about the size of a quarter) 4 broccoli flowers 2 tsp THC/CBD oil* Kosher salt

Method: Pour water into skillet with rack inserted and turn to setting of ten. When water begins to simmer, place vegetables on rack. Cover with lid and steam for about 6 minutes or until vegetables are bright in color and just cooked. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle with THC/CBD oil.

Level of THC/CBD should be easy on the system and able to increase regularly for an individual’s protocol. Start with a very small amount of THC/CBD. Try 1 tsp olive oil to 1 tsp THC/CBD.* *Please remember that when cooking with medicinal cannabis you are cooking with a drug and the amounts of the drug 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 prepared with medical marijuana.

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Photography: Jeff Ragazzo

Elevate NevadaLaunch Party Months in creation and development, Elevate Nevada, the state’s first medicinal cannabis magazine, was introduced on April 24 with a launch party at Chayo Mexican Kitchen in the LINQ Promenade. Movers and shakers from the medicinal cannabis community including dispensary and laboratory owners as well as cultivation experts, scientists, caregivers and supporters celebrated the magazine’s inaugural issue. “We had a great turnout and were pleased to see the overwhelming support offered by the medicinal cannabis community for the magazine that is going to change the way people view medicinal marijuana,” said Guy Bertuzzi, publisher of Elevate Nevada. A big part of the night’s celebration was the cover of Elevate Nevada’s inaugural issue which featured rock n’ roll chef Kerry Simon who is using Phoenix Tears, a form of medicinal cannabis, to help with the debilitating effects of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to tell Kerry’s story,” Jonathan Fine, president of Elevation Publishing, explained. “Stories like Kerry’s are the reason we are

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publishing this magazine. Whether it is for PTSD, the side effects of cancer, MSA or childhood epilepsy, we need to share the stories of people who are finding relief through the healing properties of medicinal cannabis.” In honor of the magazine’s first cover, Chef Robert “Teddy” Thompson of M. Antoinette cakes and confections created a pastry masterpiece using the magazine’s inaugural cover to top a cake that appeared to be a stack of magazines. Thompson also created white chocolate covered petit fours filled with chocolate ganache and raspberries featuring the magazine’s signature e logo to display around the cake. In addition to the specially made confections, guests nibbled on Chayo’s sweet corn empanadas, shrimp ceviche, mini chorizo sopes, and chicken enchiladas while sampling signature cocktails called the Conversation Starter and Cottonmouth Cure concocted with Deep Eddy Vodka. The evening’s festivities also included a raffle with all of the proceeds going to Kerry Simon’s Fight MSA charity, www. fightmsa.org. Launch event sponsors were Ace Analytical Laboratory and Evergreen Organix. e

Amanda Kouretas, Demetri Kouretas

Bruce Madsen, Kris Madsen, Kelly Black

Jennifer Solas, Kirk Duchac

Margo Rogat, Bruce Rogat, Lauren Rogat

Eddie Ramirez, Braunwyn Delta

Daniel Kouretas, Jeff Timmons, Mike Foland

Mark Fine, Robin Greenspun

Guy Bertuzzi, Jonathan Fine, Brooke Bertuzzi, Beth Schwartz, Michele Walden

Raymond Adray, Lori Knight

Jonathan Fine, Lesley Miller, Ross Miller

Robbie Wright, TJ Wright

Dani Kay, Demetria Robinson, Shane Terry

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WOMEN WHO WEAR THE COATS Leading Ace Analytical Laboratory are from left: Lizette Matos, Manager; Traci Carranza, Scientific Director; and Kris Madsen, Co-founder and Manager.

Ace Analytical Laboratory

founders on the forefront of safe cannabis care Ace Analytical Laboratory co-founders Kris Madsen and Bruce Burnett are not your typical laboratory owners. In fact, it wasn’t even their idea to get in the business of testing medicinal cannabis. Although Madsen is a self-described serial entrepreneur, it was a business associate who suggested she pursue obtaining a laboratory license through the state of Nevada last year. “I was in the market to buy another business and I went to a friend to review P&Ls to get his opinion on potential businesses. As we were discussing the prospects, he asked why I wasn’t getting in the medicinal marijuana testing business.” The idea clicked instantly. Madsen approached her husband Dr. Bruce Burnett, an anesthesiologist, and the rest is history. “We have been working on this since last May and it's been like drinking from a fire hose. We have been diligent in reviewing the entire cannabis movement, and are enthusiastically pursuing the dream of opening our lab,” said Madsen who secured a provisional state license last November, has been taking delivery of lab equipment, and anticipates receiving final state approval to begin operations during the beginning of the third quarter of 2015. Madsen’s associate was right, she and Burnett are obvious choices for the medicinal cannabis industry. The duo not only knows how to get things done quickly, but as Madsen explains, “Bruce has extensive experience in dealing with

and understanding the incredible benefits the proper drugs can bring to patients in need. He understands how the right drugs can benefit patients with certain disorders, is very comfortable in the lab environment and understands the testing methodology.” There’s certainly no question about Burnett’s medical knowledge when he speaks about cannabis’ future as a medicinal/pharmacological compound. “We are at the very early stages of understanding the complex human endocannabinoid system and the many specific conditions for which we may be able to develop clinically relevant treatments utilizing compounds derived from cannabis,” explains Burnett. “The scientific and medical understanding of cannabis and its myriad interactions with human diseases and conditions is set to explode over the near term. I thoroughly believe that it will be one of the more exciting areas for research in medicine over the next several decades.” While Burnett is excited about cannabis’ medical ramifications, Madsen is fervent about Ace Analytical Laboratory’s, www.aalabnv.com, future in the industry. “We are passionate about healthcare and want to make sure what gets introduced into the Las Vegas community is safe, efficacious and used properly,” says Madsen. “We also know that we can be on the forefront of ‘how good it can get’ for people who are suffering from a wide range of diseases and conditions.”

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builds team

commitment to providing

most effective medicinal cannabis possible

“Medicine the way nature intended.” That’s the short answer to how Demetri Kouretas, CEO of The Grove, www.thegrovenv.com, describes the products being carried at the two dispensaries he and his team will be opening in Las Vegas (4647 Paradise Road) and Pahrump (1541 E. Basin Avenue) in early fall. The long answer? “The mission of The Grove is to provide high-quality and organically grown medical marijuana products to qualified patients in a compassionate and ethical manner,” further explains Kouretas. “We will listen to our patients’ needs and adjust our inventory based on their requests so we can continue to help treat their conditions.” So committed to its patients, The Grove has hired a general manager to run both dispensaries who is a registered nurse and very knowledgeable of the different strains and ailments they treat. In addition, the majority of The Grove’s employees will have medical backgrounds to better assist patients. “It’s imperative that we help our patients learn how to medicate properly,” says Kouretas. The Grove will offer a full range of products, all produced according to strict standards for organic growing and processing, including a variety of flower (buds), joints (prerolled), blunts (all natural), topicals, CBD varieties, tinctures, hash, oil concentrates, drinks, sub-linguals, pills, extracts, and possibly seeds and/or clones. “The medicines we plan to offer will be based on what local cultivators have that is aligned with our patients’ needs,” explains Kouretas of the wide selection of strains the dispensaries will carry when they open, which includes: OG, Bubba Kush, Blackberry Kush, Strawberry Chemdog, Pineapple Cheese, Gorilla Glue, The Sauce, Grand Daddy Purple and Velvet Elvis. The Grove’s own operational grow and production facility will be up and running in early 2016. “With the help of our experienced master grower and his team of experts, we will carefully cultivate hybrid strains that grow the most effective medicinal marijuana,” Kouretas proudly notes of the experts he has assembled, continuing, “we have built a team of people who embody both experience in a variety of medical backgrounds and a heartfelt commitment to improving the lives of those who can benefit from medical marijuana.”

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Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association forms to support flourishing cannabis industry LVMMA President John Laub

Envisioning Nevada as a leader in the medical marijuana industry through research, innovation and proper regulation, the Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association (LVMMA) was established one year ago in an effort to organize, promote and support Southern Nevada’s medical marijuana industry.

With regard to economic opportunities, the organization’s founders believe the industry will initially create 3,000 jobs in Nevada and as demand grows, they estimate close to 10,000 people will be working in the medical marijuana industry.

Founded by John Laub - president, James Lamb - vice president and Tom Haynie, LVMMA was formed to be a chamber of commerce type of organization for the Las Vegas medical marijuana industry. Although still in its infancy, the organization has held over 20 meetings and events, covering everything from education, regulation, and new innovations to networking, packaging, security and safety.

As for medicinal marijuana’s beneficial health aspects, Laub believes that in time the Silver State will become a premiere destination for medical marijuana tourism -- predicting that families and patients will come to Nevada for the latest treatments and advancements in medical marijuana to treat everything from autism, PTSD and Parkinson’s, to migraines, cancer, epilepsy and other maladies.

LVMMA’s membership is made up of dispensary owners, production facilities, cultivators, labs and various companies that work with the industry. The organization also has members who are patients, doctors, nurses and researchers.

“Patients will come to Nevada to see if certain strains and cannabinoids can treat Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders in children, ADD & ADHD and reduce the plaque in brains that leads to Alzheimer’s disease,” says Laub.

“We are an inclusive group that includes members who are supporters of medical marijuana,” John Laub explains of LVMMA’s open invitation to anyone interested in attending meetings. “We believe that we need to include as many people as possible for the health aspects as well as the economic opportunities it will create in Southern Nevada.”

“Nevada has always been open to new ideas and we don’t see that being any different with regard to the medicinal marijuana industry,” concludes Laub. For more information about Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association, visit www.lvmma.org.

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Canalysis Laboratories will open this summer with state-of-the-art instruments

O “Lab testing is the bedrock of the industry,” noted Heath Timmons, a chemist at Canalysis Laboratories, www.canalysislaboratories.com. “Labs are going to be the gatekeepers of quality for cannabis commerce.” And that’s the very reason why Timmons and his fellow chemist Corey Terry will be instrumental to the success of Canalysis Laboratories, which will begin testing medicinal marijuana products later this summer in Southern Nevada. “The unique and distinguishing factor about Canalysis is the experience of the staff and that we come from a rigid, data quality background that’s been applied and proven in environmental safety analysis and pharmaceutical quality testing. We will be bringing these practices to the cannabis industry in Nevada,” explained Terry, who has Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Metropolitan State University in Colorado. Timmons agreed, adding, “Combining our backgrounds sets us apart from other scientists in the industry. The data quality control [Corey] brings is unparalleled. “My background is with extraction, purification, and identification of bioactive natural compounds, and I now bring that expertise to certifying cannabis as safe for the patients of Nevada,” finished Timmons, who graduated with a Master of Science in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois. Helping Timmons and Terry to perform the exemplary work they speak of at Canalysis’s 10,000-square-foot laboratory will

be a slew of state-of-the-art instruments. The duo is particularly enamored of a recently acquired liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer. “It allows us to see everything with the highest sensitivity possible. We will be able to detect organic residues and toxins at the parts per trillion level,” Timmons explained in awe. “It allows us to detect multiple contaminants with one instrument and one run – giving us the best method possible.” “That’s some serious firepower,” added Terry of the spectrometer, noting it will be instrumental to the three- to five-day testing turnaround Canalysis customers can expect. Terry and Timmons are also excited about Nevada’s role in setting the standard for lab testing. “No market has been given this opportunity but in Nevada we are getting to do real science,” said Timmons. “It’s a unique opportunity for us to set a standard that will be adopted across the United States.” “We are a national lab using Nevada to set up the lab testing model and then we will roll it out into other states that have legalized medicinal marijuana,” added Tyree Brown, Canalysis CEO. But to Canalysis’s chemists it is much more than having a national footprint. “Canalysis is definitely concerned with patient health and Nevada’s health as a whole,” explained Terry. “Our motivation is about people and taking care of people, first and foremost.” www.canalysislab.com

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Gabe Sbarglia (left) and Mark Weldon are systems engineers at Sting Alarm.

Sting Alarm uses expertise to safeguard medicinal marijuana industry With Sting Alarm’s extensive expertise in the world of casino security systems, it isn’t much of a stretch that the Las Vegas-based security company would possess the necessary qualifications to service Nevada’s various medical marijuana establishments as they prepare to open their doors over the next several months. Similar to gaming, the medicinal cannabis industry will be heavily regulated. “Much like gaming regulations, the state of Nevada requires that security systems are installed by a licensed security company like Sting,” explained Gabe Sbarglia, a systems engineer at Sting Alarm who has diligently followed the cannabis industry for the last year-and-a-half. “We have studied the law and are fully versed in state, city and county regulations – making sure that our clients not only meet those regulations, but, at times, exceed them.” Under Nevada state law, NRS 453, medicinal marijuana establishments (MMEs) are required to utilize strict

security measures in order to safeguard their facilities. “They are expected to track their products from seed to sale, and our systems are meant to aid in that process,” explained Mark Weldon, another of Sting’s experts in the field of MME security who, like Sbarglia, is familiar with the regulations set forth by the city of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Clark County, Nye County, the city of Mesquite and beyond. In order for MMEs to safeguard their product properly, Sting has implemented the following in all of the MMEs they have designed and installed security systems for over the last several months. “We’ve been implementing network based high-definition cameras, electronic access control which gives the client the ability to track who is entering controlled areas, and burglar alarms with our video verification feature,” said Sbarglia. “Beyond those which meet state regulations, we also recommend video analytics which allows us to install a camera that can detect movement and generate an alert even when a guard may not be looking at that particular screen.”

“We are strongly recommending MMEs install video verification systems because it allows us to tie the camera system to the alarm system and when the alarm goes off we can see the facility immediately and dispatch local authorities right away. The goal is to provide them with an accurate description of what is going on,” further explained Weldon. Other recommendations Weldon and Sbarglia suggest MMEs consider are outfitting transportation vehicles with surveillance for when they are moving product and the utilization of auditing tools for their facility so they can zero in on missing product. “Our methods are very stringent because we want to prevent diversion of product to people who shouldn’t have it like kids, criminals, and unlicensed patients,” concluded Weldon. “Safeguarding product is critical to these establishments and we are here to help prevent product from actually hitting the streets and getting in the wrong hands.”

Serving business, residential and commercial customers since 2003, Sting Alarm has an A+ rating with the Southern Nevada Better Business Bureau. To find out more, call2015 31 elevatenv.com June-July 866.84.STING or visit www.stingsystems.com.



Evergreen Organix

to carry exclusively bred medicinal marijuana strains The creator of such well-known marijuana strains as Orange Crush and Godzilla has been tapped as the chief cultivator for Evergreen Organix Cultivation and Production, www.evergreenorganix.com. Under the direction of cultivator Kurt Barrick, CEO of The VonDank Group, Evergreen Organix will be releasing 29 strains when it opens later this year. “We will be doing some exclusive strains being bred just for them,” explains Barrick of the medicine Evergreen Organix plans to offer its patients. “There will also be some older popular ones and some of the current ones, too. There will also be some CBDs like ACDC, Harlequins, with low, low limits of THC. “Looking at what the patients want is what Evergreen is going to carry. We are taking from our experience of what has sold very well in the past and that is what we will bring in. We are also looking at our genetic library,” said Barrick, who has created 16 of his own strains throughout his career as a cultivator. “We will bring those into the rotation so we have those too. We are going to be working some very good genetics to create some exclusive strains that will have a demand.”

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In addition to cultivating exclusive strains for Evergreen, Barrick has also been instrumental in collaborating on the facility’s grow philosophy. “For Evergreen, specifically, it’s about setting a quality of standards, consistency and cleanliness. They want to produce the cleanest possible medicine that they can,” said Barrick who has been in the marijuana business for 30 years. “It’s really an oversized laboratory. It’s medicine so we want to treat it as medicine. We have taken this to indoor growing so we can control the environment and control the quality of that plant.” Growing marijuana has become very high-tech since Barrick started in 1986 with only a small pack of seeds. “At that point there wasn’t really any technology or method out there so it was all trial and error. There wasn’t a huge genetic pool of selection.” Times have changed. Evergreen Organix’s cultivation area is approximately 30,000 square feet in which the facility plans to grow hydroponic organic products as well as house a production kitchen. “Evergreen will have a flexible extraction process so they are going to be flexible in what products they bring to the market,” revealed Barrick who has grown marijuana in Colorado, Arizona, California and patient-only in Nevada. “It’s a patient-driven product so it’s in everybody’s best interest to produce the safest, best product possible,” explained Barrick. “Evergreen will do that and more because they will be able to meet the demands and needs of the patients.”