August 2022

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THE ECONOMY AND THE PLACE OF HEMP IN US AGRICULTURE BY KEN GIBSON

The status of hemp has changed much over the years; after being the world’s most traded commodity, it fell into a state of neglect. Then it was restored, as the hemp movement led by the likes of Jack Herer, rallied the public to support a change in the laws. When I wrote my book in 2006, hemp was for the most part illegal in the US. It was made legal in the past few years on the federal level, and many states now allow it to be cultivated. .

Part of the reason for the change in attitude was the overall usefulness of hemp, which provides many raw materials to industry. This fact is putting hemp more in the spotlight today, as the world is changing faster than ever. Wars and scarcity of supplies are making people think more about the basis of the economy, which, as Adam Smith noted, is agriculture. One aspect to agriculture is food, as most would readily agree. Another, that is not so apparent, is fuel. Simple biomass, mostly in the form of cellulose, provides raw material for methane and ethanol. The latter is a much debated issue, as in some areas ethanol is mandatory, seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum. Economists are now joining forces with ecologists on this issue, as petroleum, much of which is produced in

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Russia, the Middle East and other areas that are not entirely friendly to the United States at this time, has gone way up in price. As the price of a gallon of gas rises, so does the price of a gallon of milk. This simple logarithm is not so simple, however, when politics and journalists get involved. Recently Tucker Carlson of Fox News was on the air talking about the use of corn for ethanol, and how this would lead to an increase in food prices. I remarked that there ought to be debate about the fact that kernels need not be used, but rather, stover, the waste parts of the plant, ought to be in the ethanol vat while the kernels ought to be reserved for the grocers. Looking over the blog ‘hempforvictory’, I was reminded that this debate has been

going on for decades. In the very first year of posting, 2006, I wrote on it about a New York Times article which expressed the same concerns as Carlson did. Most US readers would note that the NYT and Fox News are at opposite ends of the political rainbow. Bipartisan concern happens when a nation is faced with a rise in food prices; we all need to eat, democrat or republican. At that time the rise in a bushel of corn went from $2.00 to $2.10. This sharing of ideas from both sides of the aisle did some good, and the NYT article, by Matthew Wald, suggested that we reduce our driving. Decades later one sees SUVs everywhere, but less on the road as it is costing so much to get them going. In 2007, corn was again in the news, as a new ‘monster’ breed entered the market: MON863, a genetically modified corn approved for use in Australia, Canada, the Philippines, the EU and the US. It contained a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Researchers were finding effects including liver damage and hormonal changes. The debate on the issue of corn vs. hemp had a new angle to it. No hemp on the market, by the way, has been genetically modified. This was a hotter issue in the EU, where I was working, than in the US (to which I returned in 2009). Discussion about using corn, and possibly hemp, for energy, continued all over the world. There were food riots in 2007 in Mexico, due to the rise in the price of a bushel, with most leaders missing a major point: the fact that farm waste could be used to produce energy, while leaving the edible parts of a crop for the plate. Jonathan Watts in the Guardian that year talked about biofuel production as if it were an enemy to food production, while George Monbiot of the same paper thought that the waste parts of these plants were most suitable as fertilizer. Monbiot mistak-



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LEE HEMP SEEDS OFFERS ‘SUPERIOR QUALITY’ CBD STRAINS

BY RACHEL NELSON

Hannah Lee co-owns Lee Hemp Seeds with her brother in Durango, Colorado. Like many Americans, the Lees became interested in growing a hemp crop in 2018 when the Hemp Farming Bill was passed. What started as a hobby making CBD-infused products for personal use soon grew into a full-time business. While creating lotions and tinctures for personal use was their initial priority, a successful hemp crop set the business in motion. Lee, who had recently graduated with a marketing degree, joined her brother’s venture and assisted with building a website and packaging. The company’s e-commerce sales took off in 2020. As they dove into hemp entrepreneurship, Lee and her brother observed a gap in the industry. When searching for genetics, they observed that many businesses had a minimum order requirement of 500 or 1,000 seeds. “We wanted to create hemp seed genetics where people could buy a few seeds at a time,” Lee said. Lee Hemp Seeds began selling female hemp seed packets for backyard gardeners and farmers who wanted to test out seeds on a small scale. Currently, the company offers two varieties, both of which contain high CBD and low THC content.

Their Two Strains 1. Uno-B Lee Hemp Seeds purchased this genetic from a farmer and owns the rights to it. Currently, the strain is in its seventh generation, and Lee describes it as “very stable.” 2. The Dream Lee Hemp Seeds used Uno-B to create this hybrid, which has a 99.9% germination rate.

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“So far we’ve had nothing but great reviews on those hemp seeds,” Lee said. “We hear that they’re all germinating, they’re producing a ton of plant biomass and that they’re a hearty plant” Additionally, Lee said both seed varieties have been doing well in humid and dry climates. In addition to quality products, Lee Hemp Seeds prides itself on its transparency, top-tier customer service and the fact that they are in charge of every piece of its process. In addition, Lee said they encourage customers to reach out for growing advice when needed. “When we were first getting into the industry, people were keeping ti secret how they were growing their hemp and what their best practices were, and we’re like, ‘Why?’ Obviously, they’re our seeds, and we want them to do well,” Lee said.



CBD, THE PROMISCUOUS CANNABINOID New research explores the versatile therapeutic potential of CBD for depression, substance abuse, and antibiotic-resistant infections. BY NATE SELTENRICH

What’s so special about CBD? Why all the hype? Let’s strip it down to the basics. Discovered more than 80 years ago, 1 CBD/ cannabidiol is a chemical compound found only in the cannabis plant. In high-THC/ tetrahydrocannabinol cannabis “strains” – those with the most pronounced psychoactive effect – CBD is typically the second-most abundant cannabinoid. But there are also cannabis varietals with more or less equal parts CBD and THC, as well as CBD-rich cannabis and “hemp” plants with little THC.2 Though structurally similar, THC and CBD act in different ways on various receptors in the brain and throughout the body. Both compounds are hypotensive, lowering blood pressure, and neurogenic, stimulating brain cell growth. But CBD and THC also exert opposing effects at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. THC is notorious for inducing “the munchies,” for example, while CBD lessens appetite and lowers the ceiling on the THC high.3 Overall, CBD has a significantly broader range of pharmacological action than THC or any other known plant cannabinoid, of which there are more than 100. A recent paper highlights the role of transient receptor potential [TRP] ion channels in mediating CBD’s effects on seizure, inflammation, cancer, pain, acne, and vasorelaxation. CBD also binds to serotonin receptors and PPAR nuclear receptors that regulate lipid

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metabolism and gene expression.4 CBD has a much broader range of pharmacological action than THC or any other plant cannabinoid. It’s this “promiscuous” nature, coupled with the extensive reach of the endocannabinoid system anchored to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the human body, that explains why CBD can affect such a broad range of physiological processes – and why there continues to be so much clinical and pre-clinical research focused on its therapeutic potential. Below are some of the latest medical science findings: evidence of, if nothing else, CBD’s sheer versatility.

Killing Harmful Bacteria The authors of a new study in the journal Scientific Reports suggest5 that CBD could be “repurposed” as an antibacterial agent in clinical trials given its ability in lab experiments to counteract a variety of harmful bacteria, including some classified as multidrug-resistant. Pure CBD exhibited antibacterial activity against all 21 strains of Gram-positive bacteria tested, as well as against lipooligosaccharide-expressing bacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the cause of tuberculosis). But CBD performed better, especially

against problematic Gram-negative bacteria, when paired with low concentrations of the powerful antibiotic polymyxin B, suggesting an additive or synergistic effect that could reduce reliance on this drug of last resort – and thus help maintain its efficacy. “We highlight the promising translational potential of CBD repurposing as an antibacterial agent, mainly in the combination [of] CBD plus polymyxin B against Gram-negative bacteria, for rescue treatment for life-threatening infections,” the authors write.

Healing Depressive Symptoms The downstream effects of CBD’s wide-ranging activity in the brain are key to a recent study of depressive-like behaviors in mice. Here’s the rationale followed by the China-based researchers, whose work was published in February 2022 in the journal Frontiers of Medicine:6 A growing body of evidence suggests CBD may be an effective antidepressant, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. It’s known that chronic stress impairs neural stem cell differentiation and adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN), and that promoting AHN can increase stress resilience against depression, the study authors write. So could this be a pathway through which CBD exerts an anti-depressive effect?


Based upon an experiment in which CBD administration relieved depression and anxiety symptoms in stressed mice, the authors think so. While the findings don’t implicate a specific receptor or molecular target, they do reveal a previously unknown mechanism for neural differentiation and AHN in depression, the researchers write, and provide mechanistic insights into the antidepressive effects of CBD. While they’re optimistic about the implications (“undeniable direct evidence that CBD could be a potential treatment option for depression”), the authors acknowledge that much more is left to learn – especially in humans. “This study highlighted the need to deepen our understanding of CBD-induced neurobiological effects to understand fully the therapeutic potential of this phytocannabinoid in psychiatric disorders,” they conclude.

Reducing High-THC Cannabis Use Could CBD-rich cannabis help people who engage in problematic use of highTHC cannabis? A March 2022 paper in Frontiers in Psychiatry7 describes a survey out of France in which 11 percent of cannabis-consuming respondents (n=105) reported using CBD (mostly via smoked

hemp-CBD flower) for the primary purpose of reducing consumption of illegal, highTHC cannabis. Of these, more than half reported a “large,” real-world reduction in high-THC cannabis use. In a French study, CBD diminished the desire for high-THC cannabis. But the next survey question was even more interesting: when asked how, exactly, CBD use reduced overall consumption, most respondents cited “reducing cannabis withdrawal symptoms.” (Other options included “delaying first illegal cannabis joint of the day,” “using less illegal cannabis in joints,” and “increasing the time between smoking joints.”) This suggests they weren’t using high-CBD flower as a simple placebo or filler, but rather because the CBD actually diminished their desire for high-THC cannabis. Again, these findings appear at least partially predicated upon the fact that in France high-CBD hemp flower is legal and high-THC flower is illegal. But the notion that CBD can ameliorate some unwanted side effects of too much THC is sound. In fact, earlier this year researchers in Colorado reported that cannabis with a balanced 1:1 THC:CBD ratio was

associated with similar levels of positive subjective effects, but significantly less paranoia and anxiety, as compared to high-THC, low-CBD bud.8 Nate Seltenrich, an independent science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of subjects including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission. Footnotes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC1760722/ 2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsomega.1c04992 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC5345356/ 4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002432052200282X?… 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC9018834/ 6. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/ s11684-021-0896-8 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC8968154/ 8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34467598/ 1.


CBD & THC FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY Plant cannabinoids reduce tissue damage and trauma following a closed head injury. BY THE EDITORS AT READER’S DIGEST AND PROJECT CBD

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide in people under the age of 45.1 Many who survive severe head injuries suffer permanent behavioral and neurological impairment that adversely impacts learning and memory and often requires long-term rehabilitation. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability.2 Even so-called mild cases of TBI can result in post-traumatic seizures, impaired brain function, and lower life expectancy. People can also suffer an acquired or nontraumatic injury, such as in the case of stroke, which causes similar damage to the brain by internal factors like lack of blood flow and oxygen (ischemia). Cannabinoids like THC and CBD may reduce the trauma and the symptoms that follow brain injury thanks to their positive interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). A 2011 article in the British Journal of Pharmacology describes the ECS as “a self-protective mechanism” that kicks into high gear in response to a stroke or TBI. Coauthored by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, the article notes that endocannabinoid levels in the brain increase significantly during and immediately after a TBI. These endogenous compounds activate CB1 and CB2 receptors, which protect against TBI-induced neurological and motor deficits.3

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Preclinical study: CBD can limit the amount of damaged tissue and help normalize heart rhythm disturbances that are common after a closed head injury. By manipulating the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids, medical scientists have been able to reduce brain damage and improve functional recovery in animal studies of stroke and TBI.4 According to a 2010 report in the British Journal of Pharmacology, CBD can limit the amount of damaged tissue and help normalize the heart rhythm disturbances like arrhythmia that are common after a closed head injury.5 6 A damaged brain can be remarkably plastic, but there is only a limited window of opportunity — generally thought of as 10 to 60 minutes7 — for therapeutic intervention to prevent, attenuate, or delay the degenerative domino effect of brain cell death and damage to the protective blood-brain barrier that occurs during a secondary injury cascade (a wave of further damage that occurs as a result of the lack of blood flow to the brain following the initial injury).8 CBD expands that window of opportunity. Researchers have learned that CBD can convey potent, long-lasting neuroprotection if given shortly before or as much

as 12 hours after the onset of ischemia.9 In 2016, scientists at the University of Nottingham (UK) reported that CBD shields the protective blood-brain barrier from the damaging effects of lack of oxygen and fuel after an injury.10 CBD prevents your blood-brain barrier from being damaged and becoming more permeable by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and the PPAR-gamma nuclear receptor.11 CBD also protects the brain by increasing the concentration of endocannabinoids in the brain. The researchers at the University of Nottingham have also conducted preclinical animal or laboratory research that examined the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the raw, unheated version of CBD found in the cannabis plant. “Like CBD,” the researchers concluded, “CBDA is effective in reducing blood brain permeability and inflammation in a cellular model of stroke.” CBD and CBDA both restore blood-brain barrier integrity by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which mediates CBD’s and CBDA’s anti-inflammatory effects.12 Several athletes claim that CBD can help to ameliorate the lingering neurological



WHAT IS CBDA AND HOW CAN WE PRESERVE IT?

SANA V’RITZVAH

Some purveyors of CBDA and some scientists involved in the study of cannabinoids make the claim that CBDA is up to 1000 times more potent, and therefore effective, than CBD.

C

BDA is cannabidiolic acid while CBD is cannabidiol. The “mother” cannabinoid in marijuana is CBGA which cascades into THC, CBD, CBDA etc. This is similar to how the human body produces hundreds of useful hormones out of DHEA. Various parts of the plant as well as various strains will contain wildly different levels of biochemicals. Hemp plants contain the highest levels of CBDA, especially if not dried. Israeli scientist Rafael Mechoulam isolated CBDA in 1965 and to this day is still involved in researching synthetic forms. Only in 2019 Mechoulam spoke at the CannMedd Conference in California “We have taken the unstable acid molecules and synthesized them in such a way to provide a consistent basis for research into therapies for a broad range of medical issues- including spinal cord disorders and inflammation. In addition we provided several delivery mechanisms including tablets, topical applications and others to facilitate several approaches.” A start-up EPM has offered their intellectual property portfolio to the healthcare industry in the hopes to attract funding and the spread of cannabis as medicine. Other groups involved in research are the NIH, Guelph University of Canada,and the US Government. Because CBDA is an acid and CBD an oil CBDA is considered acidic while CBD alkaline. Since the body is a delicate balance between acidity and alkalinity ingesting foods and herbs that have these qualities have incredible different effects. Cayenne is an example of an acidic herb while aloe vera alkaline. With both CBD and CBDA binding to the CB1 and CB2

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receptors throughout the human body they will take varying pathways as they disperse and are utilized. Acidic herbs cause heat while alkaline generally are cooling. Acids are more quickly detoxifying as well. CBDA’s affinity for serotinin receptors make it an amazing tonic for mood and nausea. Also CBDA is a top-notch Cox-2 enzyme inhibitor reducing inflammation at rapid rates. As it binds little with the CB1 receptors there can be no intoxicating effects at most dosages. This makes the chemical a valuable alternative for those patients struggling with the psychoactive effects of cannabis proper or dronabinol, a pharmaceutical. During a long-term study on seizures by Dr. Max Alzamora in Peru a participant’s family was importing CBD from the USA. The 14-year old girl Glendy suffered from autoimmune enchephalitis. As the doctor found a local source he did not realize the extracts were not decarboxylated (the same process as breathing) and the youngster was taking CBDA. The result was reduction from 10 seizures per day to ten a year. With the added bonus that she was able to halt all regimens of anti-epileptic drugs. CBDA has a close chemical structure to allopathic NSAID’s (nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs). Due to cancer’s effect of inflating body areas a preclinical study found that CBDA was able to downregulate the production of Cox-2 enzyme and that breast cancer cells in petri exposed to CBDA halted metastasis over a 48 hour period. In analysis Cox 2 and Id-1 were reduced and SHARP-1, an anti-metastasis agent, rose.

Glaucoma and other eye problems are often the cited reason for proscribing medical marijuana. 1990’s research by Brenda Colsanti utilized CBG,and THC for reducing pressure and allowing aqueous outflow ability in the human eye. And a 2016 study in Canada of cannabinoid receptors in monkeys revealed that CBDA might help with improving vision and healing and protecting the retina. A UK study showed that CBD probably acts a detoxifying agent for bacteria produced by the overstimulation of glutamic acid in macular degeneration cases. When live hemp is heated to 270degreesC the carboxyl group is removed and CBD formed out of CBDA. Imagine all the wasted CBDA! However it is not dicarded, it is destroyed in the process of heating. CO2 critical extraction, popular in the ‘organic’ herbal world, uses CO2 gas as a subcritical extraction process with the gas non-heated. However.. the pressure involved crushes the CBDA. Hydrocarbon extraction (propane or butanol) leaves toxic residues. Ethanol is an alcohol and some hardy herbs stand up well to the solvent. However cannabis is an extremely biodiverse plant and it does not- the alcohol breaking the fragile CBDacid. While a warm tea of your home buds might make for a nice concoction mass production faces some mountains when it comes to preservation of such a flighty chemical as CBDA. Folks have tried freezing it, icing raw hemp, super-cold water extractions, to no lasting avail. Fortunately Moon Harvest company, and its dispensary, spent years with a team to arrive at a patent: it is a proprietary artisanal extraction process that has been able to secure shelf-life for oils, tinctures, capsules and ointments. They contain an oxygenated CBDA.


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Federal cannabis legalization bill unveiled in Senate

BY JESSE WILLIAMS | TEXAS CANNABIS COLLECTIVE

Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that has been long in the works to propose marijuana legalization, placing the matter in the hands of state legislatures. While the bill aims to not only legalize marijuana, it will establish FDA monitoring requirements like those that are already in place for tobacco and alcohol. “Cannabis legalization has proven immensely successful at the state level, so it is time that Congress catches up with the rest of the country,” Schumer state Thursday afternoon on the Senate floor. “I am proud to be the first Majority Leader ever to say that it is time to end the federal prohibition on cannabis, and this bill provides the best framework for updating our cannabis laws and reversing decades of harm inflicted by the war on drugs.” Schumer did not announce next steps on the legislation or whether he will attempt to bring it up for further consideration on the Senate floor, though he said he hopes to get something done on marijuana “this year”.

resulted in over 350,000 arrests in 2020, disproportionately impacting people of color who are almost 4 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than their white counter parts, despite equal rates of use across populations. The bill points to an issue many Texas have decried about since 2015, and that are the fees associated with running a marijuana dispensary. Of which there are only 2 legally operating out of the allowed 3 in Texas. The bill notes that applicants for cannabis licenses are limited by numerous laws, regulations, and exorbitant permit applications, licensing fees, and costs in these States, which can require more than $700,000.

Congressional findings

Decriminalization of Cannabis

The new bill notes that legal cannabis businesses support more than 428,000 jobs throughout the United States. Legal cannabis sales totaled 25 billion dollars in 2021 and are projected to reach 45 billion dollars by 2025. That enforcing cannabis prohibition laws costs taxpayers approximately $3.6 billion a year. The continued enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws

Cannabis removed from schedule of controlled substances Cannabis is to be removed from the schedule of controlled substances by statute. The bill outlines this stating Schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act is amended in subsection by striking ‘‘Marihuana.’’; and by inserting ‘‘in cannabis (as defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and

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Cosmetic Act) or tetrahydrocannabinols’’ before ‘‘in hemp’’; and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph: ‘‘Such term does not include any substance made of or derived from cannabis (as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) or hemp (as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946)’’. The bill also calls for the Attorney General to finalize a rule making under the Controlled Substance Act to remove marijuana and THC in cannabis from the schedules of controlled substances. Going as far as to state requirements for this rule such as, marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols in cannabis (as so defined) shall each be deemed to be a drug or other substance that does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule. A rule making under this paragraph shall be considered to have taken effect as of the date of enactment of this Act for purposes of any offense committed, case pending, conviction entered, and, in the case of a juvenile, any offense committed, case pending, and adjudication of juvenile delinquency entered before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act. Retroactivity regarding decriminalization This is echoed again in the bill under retroactivity, the amendments made by this section to the controlled Substances Act are retroactive and shall apply to any offense committed, case pending, conviction entered, and, in the case of a juvenile, any offense committed, case pending, or adjudication of juvenile delinquency entered before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act. If understood correctly this would mean than convictions for marijuana offenses are to be retroactively affected. It will affect cases that took place before the enactment of this act. Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, United States Marshals Service, or United States Parole Commis-


sion, as applicable, shall release from its control, and the sentencing court shall enter an order vacating the conviction and sentence. This would apply for any individual convicted or sentenced before the date of enactment of this Act for any Federal offense involving marijuana, marihuana tetrahydrocannabinols. And any individual that is not serving a sentence for any conduct not covered by this Act or serving multiple sentences as provided in section 3584 of 21 title 18, United States Code. Whether or not this may affect Texas cases will remain to be seen as it appears it will have to take place at a state level for state offenses, and the public should inquire with a cannabis focused attorney on such matters. Other conforming amendments The bill seeks to change FAA and FTA regulations with the Secretary of Transportation. As well the language seeks to change contraband language for prisons on a federal level. Then there are outlines for dealing with cannabis testing. The Secretary of Health and Human Services or the head of an agency may deem cannabis to be a schedule I controlled substance within the meaning of the Controlled Substances Act. And make it unlawful to possess, exclusively for the purpose of drug testing of any law enforcement officer or any Federal employee in a position that the head of an agency determines, in writing, to have significant involvement in national security or the protection of life, property, public health, or public safety, provided that either such employee is subject to this section, Executive Order 12564, or other applicable Federal laws and orders. There will be a re-designation of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Tax and Trade Bureau. Adding that any reference in other materials or codes to the previous title would now be a referring to the new designation.

Public Safety and State’s Rights State’s Rights with legalization The bill immediately begins it’s states rights section with what most of the hemp community has been familiar with, interstate and intrastate commerce. Unlike the hemp bill, marijuana will be treated differently. The bill states that all cannabis trans-

ported into any State or territory of the United States or remaining therein for use, consumption, sale, or storage therein, shall, upon arrival in that State or territory, be subject to the operation and effect of the laws of that State or territory enacted in the exercise of its police powers. And that it can be done so to the same extent and in the same manner as though the cannabis had been produced in that State or territory. It shall not be exempt therefrom by reason of being introduced therein in original packages or otherwise. Basically, any transport of marijuana through a state that has not legalized marijuana, will still be illegal in that state. Even if it is being transported to an legal state. The legal cannabis becomes illegal at that point, as the federal government will allow an illegal state to treat the cannabis as though it originated from the illegal state apprehended in. The bill states that doing this will also still be prohibited on a federal level. The shipment or transportation, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, of cannabis from a place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other place that is subject to the jurisdiction thereof, which said cannabis is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, in violation of any law of the receiving place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, is prohibited. There is an exemption carved out for tribal lands though. No State or Indian Tribe may prohibit the transportation or shipment of cannabis or cannabis products through the State or the territory of the Indian Tribe as applicable. Meaning the state may have outlawed cannabis but it cannot stop another legal area

from transporting it through the state for the purpose of it arriving on tribal lands. States will still be able to maintain authorization over the cultivation of marijuana that results in over 10lbs of product. A person will not be able to knowingly grow, manufacture, ship, transport, receive, possess, sell, or distribute or purchase 10 pounds or more of cannabis without authorization under a State law or pursuant to a permit issued under section 301 of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. That act will also be amended by this proposed act to reflect as such. The bill repeats itself for 20lbs of product as well. Tracking and Tracing with legalization Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury (referred to in this section as the ‘‘Secretary’’), acting through the Administrator of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Tax and Trade Bureau and in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall issue regulations relating to the tracking and tracing of cannabis products. The Secretary shall put regulations into effect regarding the establishment and maintenance of records by any person who manufactures, processes, transports, distributes, receives, packages, holds, exports, or imports cannabis products. In creating those regulations, the Secretary shall consider which records are needed for inspection to monitor the movement of cannabis products from the point of production through distribution to retail outlets. This will be done to assist in investigating potential illicit trade, smuggling, or counterfeiting of cannabis products. The Secretary may require codes on the labels of cannabis products or other designs or devices for the purpose of tracking or tracing the cannabis product through the distribution system. The Secretary shall not require any retailer to maintain records relating to individual purchasers of cannabis products for personal consumption. This is quite a bit to take in and there is still much left of the bill to review and digest. Texas Cannabis Collective plans to go into further detail about this bill over more articles. Be sure to subscribe to get an email when updates are released. https://txcannaco.com/federal-cannabis-legalization-bill-unveiled-in-senate/

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CANNABIS V. WEED: THE MEDICINAL V. RECREATIONAL INTOXICANT DICHOTOMY BY MICHAEL JOHN WESTERMAN, ESQ.

Some individuals drink alcohol to lessen their anxiety, whether social or the general malaise type, does that make alcohol medicinal? Pharmaceutical substances prescribed by qualified individuals, think Xanax or Zoloft, are medicines. Cannabis prescribed by a qualified individual in a medicinal market state is also classified as medicine. Does this dual-classification of cannabis as both medicine and intoxicant help or harm the cannabis market at large? Some 38 and DC having medicinalized cannabis at this point in mid-2022, another 19 having legalized a recreational market, while 12 others have decriminalized the possession of small amounts at least. Here, we see a clear overlap in designations of essentially the same product. If Jack Daniels were both recreationally intoxicating whiskey and a recognized medical product proven to lessen the ennui and emo-ness of life as a legitimate anti-depression drug, would it change how Jack Daniels is made? Some states have “seed-to-stem” systems in place, which allows the government to track, test, and generate revenue through the cannabis plant at each stage of its life from seed to stem to shelf. This was the case in Massachusetts for the medicinal market, and when their recreational market came, the government required a completely separate seed-to-stem process for recreational cannabis. Separating the products delayed the market release of recreational cannabis and stymied the growth of the smaller-business side of the dispensary sector, allowing giant out-of-state corporations to gobble up the market.

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Should extra volume of medicinal cannabis stock be allowed to be diverted into a recreational market? If one state has a medicinal market and another a recreational market, is there any way to overcome the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution to allow these states to do business without risking federal drug charges? These are questions we need to be asking nationally, and answering them with well-written scripts that are put in the hands of well-funded lobbyists, to make the United States a post-prohibition nation when it comes to cannabis. Beyond all that, currently I’ve been pondering the LEO (law enforcement officer) treatment of smoking cannabis in public in post-prohibition states. This will be the subject of a future column, as Texas can learn lessons from these states to help not turn cannabis into a reason for LEOs to stop and question Lone Star citizens. Is public cannabis smoking viewed like cigarette smoking and subject to mandatory minimum distances from public entryways? Or is it like alcohol, and perhaps subject to something like

the “paper bag compromise” that most LEOs in major cities have accepted, or is it altogether banned? In many major American cities where drinking alcohol in public is illegal, an unspoken compromise has been established through which persons who show the LEOs enough respect to put their cans or bottles in a paper bag are shown enough respect by the LEOs to not be bothered about it. In other cities this may lead to an open container charge and potentially a public intoxication charge, depending on how aggressively that city might be targeting and criminalizing individuals who might like to get a buzz on while going about their day-today. Insofar as they are not getting behind the wheel or bothering anyone, what harm is there really? One’s mental state is internal, and seemingly should be firmly within the bounds of our personal freedom to alter it however we might prefer. This will be an interesting area to research, and if any readers have LEO relatives in post-prohibition states who would like to chime in, email me their feedback and I just may plug it into the article. Cheers, Michael John Westerman, Esq. American Writer, Lawyer, and Freelance SEO Blog Copywriter for Law Firms www.mjwestermanlaw.com


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POT THE VOTE

IF VOTING FOR CANNABIS FRIENDLY CANDIDATES IS HOW YOU CHANGE THE LAW IN THE STATE OF TEXAS IN NOVEMBER, HERE’S WHERE THEY STAND BY JESSE WILLIAMS

We’ve finally escaped primaries in the state of Texas with the runoffs giving us our November candidates and new seat holders. Some seats are called as there will be no opponent on the ballot in November. Unfortunately this also means that there is likely to be a point of contention among people when it comes to discussing cannabis friendly candidates showing on the ballot where there are incumbents and party loyals. When it comes to the individual reps on the ballot, most Democratic candidates have shown to be in favor. That does not mean the Republican candidates are always opposed either. Texas NORML has put together a wonderful list of candidates that responded to a survey they put forward well before primaries started. Several questions were asked and candidates were given a chance to respond. If a candidate for your state house or senate district has not responded, it is recommended that one reach out to the contact information listed on the survey results for that candidate. On a state level it’s not looking so much in the favor of the Republican candidates this election. Greg Abbott has signaled that he does not want to see prisons and jails filled with cannabis offenders, but has also put forward that possession should still be hit with criminal penalties instead of civil penalties. Abbott has stated that he is a hard no on legalization of marijuana and has not signaled any current favor towards expanding the medical cannabis side of things in Texas. Abbott’s Democrat opponent Beto O’Rourke is almost a total 180 on cannabis positions. Beto has posited legalizing to help provide property tax relief and help to fund schools in the state. Expanding the medical program on the radar, and so is eliminating criminal penalties. It should be expected to be a big topic when it comes time for debates between the candidates. Abbott’s stance on criminal possession charges, while better than not moving it at all, is hit by a roadblock of the incumbent Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Patrick is the Republican incumbent running for this election with Democratic opponent Mike Collier making a ballot appearance return. Collier was the Democrat opponent 4 years ago and lost by a narrow margin. Patrick has vocalized in a previous legislative

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session that any movement to decriminalize cannabis possession would be killed in the Senate. Legalization is off the table with Patrick and the notion of getting medical advancement is insanely difficult given that Patrick has shown to not be favorable and his stand-ins during his absence on the floor have been rather against cannabis progression as well. Collier has been vocal about changing the law in the state and has been in favor of using the program for the same reason’s Beto has. Collier has also noted that a vast injustice has been created socially with the criminalization of cannabis and that legalization would rectify that. One may think that Collier would be a Texas favorite for this election given his work within the oil industry in Texas along with his work with the highly trusted accounting and audit company PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The agency is known for maintaining the integrity and secrecy of the academy award nominations every year. Oil and election integrity - sounds very Texas. Then there is the race for AG Commissioner. Incumbent Republican Sid Miller has been on the record saying that he desires to see cannabis move forward for medical reasons in the state of Texas and changes for the better with the hemp program in the state. These statements came about before the most recent legislative session. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller was not very vocal publicly during the 87th legislative session and a hemp cleanup bill was killed over delta-8 language added by the senate. Medical only moved a slight margin with no public statements from Miller during the legislative session on that topic either. Sid’s opponent is Democrat Susan Hays. Susan is an attorney and a rancher in Texas and has most recently been in the spotlight as one of the attorneys involved in the smokable Hemp ban case.

Susan has helped to craft the hemp bills in Texas and guide the process so that things like who is responsible for what, would make more sense. Of course language gets changed after drafting it and before it’s submitted for official filing by an official. Hays has been vocal about having a properly regulated program in place that makes sure each law enforcement agency in the state is aware of the agricultural programs Texas now has legalized. And when it comes to attorney general, there is the incumbent Ken Paxton whose office is currently fighting the delta-8 cases brought forward by the Texas Hemp Federation. Paxton’s office was initially trying to defend a retail ban along with the manufacturing ban of smokable hemp products in the state of Texas. The retail ban was not kept as DSHS dropped fighting to keep it. Paxton has not shown any support for the industry. Rochelle Garza is the Democrat opponent that Ken Paxton will have to face in November. Garza’s stance is that of “it never should have been criminalized. The fight for legal cannabis isn’t about making a dangerous substance legal. 18 states have already legalized cannabis, and Texas needs to be next if we want to jump-start criminal justice reform.” It would be great to see conservative statewide office holders showing the enthusiasm Sid Miller was showing in 2020. The voting base is for it and that includes Republican voters when promoting it to fund schools and keep property taxes down. As much as there are conservatives that are for having a stellar medical program the way Oklahoma does, the key positions within the statewide offices, don’t seem to be there. The offices and incumbents need votes to stay around and every candidate is doing a behavior to either obtain something or avoid something. They need votes to obtain time in office and avoid getting out to the curb. Elections happen so that people can decide to not give them their votes if they cannot learn to do the right things for the people when in office. This is your voice Texas, this is your vote. We as journalists shouldn’t tell you how to vote when it comes to articles such as these. But when it comes to these topics we can give you the facts available on their positions and the candidates history with the topics. Be sure to vote, Texas. If you are not registered, do so. Start finding out now what your voting locations are and your candidates. Ask them questions. Use your first amendment right and question these people. To check out the NORML voting guide for Texas, just Google Texas NORML Voter’s Guide



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turned in to the City Secretary or City Clerk, when the City Secretary/Clerk verifies the requisite numbers of signatures have been submitted, and then when City Council takes it up for vote”. Ultimately, we’d love to help drive turnout in lower-turnout elections (like the midterm election later this year). JW - What other organizations has Ground Game partnered with that are local and statewide organizations to fight for change? I know of Mano Amiga, Texas Cannabis Collective, and Decriminalize Denton, as I have personally worked with all three in some capacity on campaigns for signature drives and events to change cannabis law in San Marcos and the state? JO - Yes, we’re grateful for the boots-onthe-ground partnerships we’ve made in the cities you mentioned. We couldn’t do any of this work without local partners. In Killeen, we are working with local activists and the former Mayor Pro-Tem, who retired from City Council but still wants

to see meaningful criminal justice reform in her city. In El Paso (which is probably our most ambitious and comprehensive initiative), we partnered with the local Sunrise Movement hub. In South Texas, we are working with Lupe Votes. And as I mentioned, if we do work in Houston next year on cannabis decrim, it will be in partnership with local advocates there as well. JW - Are there any other big names whether they be current officer holders, former office holders, celebrities or the like that have

shown support for Ground Game Texas? Or are there any names that would come as surprising to show support? I know that Beto O’Rourke has made cannabis a talking point of his campaign for Governor, I can imagine he supports GGT. MS - I’m sure there are :-) JW - What does the organization see as its future after the 2022 elections? JO - Texas is a huge state, and we see the opportunity in many cities to put “workers, wages, and weed” on ballots across our state. JW - The website for Ground Game Texas is https://www.groundgametexas. org/. Are there any other avenues of information for readers to check out to get a better grip on what’s going on with the policy changes you’re tackling that you all could recommend? MS - In addition to our website, we also have a social media presence - IG, Twitter, FB - @groundgametx


LEE HEMP SEEDS OFFERS ‘SUPERIOR QUALITY’ CBD STRAINS

BY RACHEL NELSON

Hannah Lee co-owns Lee Hemp Seeds with her brother in Durango, Colorado. Like many Americans, the Lees became interested in growing a hemp crop in 2018 when the Hemp Farming Bill was passed. What started as a hobby making CBD-infused products for personal use soon grew into a full-time business. While creating lotions and tinctures for personal use was their initial priority, a successful hemp crop set the business in motion. Lee, who had recently graduated with a marketing degree, joined her brother’s venture and assisted with building a website and packaging. The company’s e-commerce sales took off in 2020. As they dove into hemp entrepreneurship, Lee and her brother observed a gap in the industry. When searching for genetics, they observed that many businesses had a minimum order requirement of 500 or 1,000 seeds. “We wanted to create hemp seed genetics where people could buy a few seeds at a time,” Lee said. Lee Hemp Seeds began selling female hemp seed packets for backyard gardeners and farmers who wanted to test out seeds on a small scale. Currently, the company offers two varieties, both of which contain high CBD and low THC content.

Their Two Strains 1. Uno-B Lee Hemp Seeds purchased this genetic from a farmer and owns the rights to it. Currently, the strain is in its seventh generation, and Lee describes it as “very stable.” 2. The Dream Lee Hemp Seeds used Uno-B to create this hybrid, which has a 99.9% germination rate.

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“So far we’ve had nothing but great reviews on those hemp seeds,” Lee said. “We hear that they’re all germinating, they’re producing a ton of plant biomass and that they’re a hearty plant” Additionally, Lee said both seed varieties have been doing well in humid and dry climates. In addition to quality products, Lee Hemp Seeds prides itself on its transparency, top-tier customer service and the fact that they are in charge of every piece of its process. In addition, Lee said they encourage customers to reach out for growing advice when needed. “When we were first getting into the industry, people were keeping ti secret how they were growing their hemp and what their best practices were, and we’re like, ‘Why?’ Obviously, they’re our seeds, and we want them to do well,” Lee said.



Mr. Nice Guys: Not Your Average Smoke Shop BY RACHEL NELSON

If you’re looking for an eclectic mix of local glass, CBD products, delta strains and more, check out Mr. Nice Guys in north Austin. Located at 13201 Pond Springs Road, Suite 105-A, Mr. Nice Guys is far from your run-of-the-mill smoke shop, according to owner Kelly Gartzke. ”We have an amazing selection of local glass as well as work from artists around the country,” he said. “We try to be the shop that carries something for everybody, and we always have a friendly, knowledgeable person working.”

The shop takes its name from the 1998 movie Half Baked — the popular marijuana culture comedy. Through the years, it has grown a loyal customer base.

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“When new customers come in, we hear them say, ‘I found my new smoke shop’ all the time,” Gartzke said. Gartzke first opened the shop in south Austin with his business partner, Jeff Turner, in 2006, but it wasn’t their first business venture. They also own Chief ’s BBQ on South 1st Street. Four years ago, Mr. Nice Guys moved into its north Austin location — close to The Local Outpost Saloon and Shenanigans Nightclub. In addition to its broad selection of products, the shop strives to provide top-notch customer service. “We want every customer to leave with a smile,” Gartzke said. “We take really good care of our customers. One of the things we do that most shops don’t is that if you come in and ask for an item we’re out of or we don’t carry, we put you on a list and call you as soon as the item comes in.” Gartske calls the store a “one-stop-shop” for CBD, vapes, glass and more. In addition to hand-blown smoking accessories, Mr. Nice Guys carries glass jewelry, marbles and millefiori (decorative glass pieces with distinct, intricate patterns).

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It also carries CBD treats for dogs and humans, as well as a unique collection of apparel and backpacks. They are also planning for an 1,800-square-foot expansion. Be sure to follow them on Instagram (@

mr_nice_guys_austin) for emerging details Gartzke said business is good and that the shop’s sales have doubled since the pandemic struck in 2020. “We’re headed for another record year this year,” he added.



The Future of Chemically Derived Cannabinoids BY SHAYDA TORABI

Every now and then a customer walks into my CBD store, RESTART CBD, and asks for a product or cannabinoid that we don’t currently sell. And as a business owner, I take the ownership of filtering through all the requests we get and ultimately deciding on what product to put on the shelf. That paired with tracking industry trends, requires businesses to stay on top of consumer demands. While consumers ask and demand, that doesn’t always necessarily mean that businesses need to deliver. It’s why Walmart and Target both exist, in reality, they sell similar products, but they also have two different target demographics. So with that information in mind, I am constantly filtering what customers are looking for and balancing that with what I’m interested in and willing to sell. For example, we get asked from time to time if we sell Kratom, which we do not at my store. My brand focuses on selling high-quality cannabinoids vs a more broad smoke shop store type approach. We can’t be everything to everybody, and I think that’s an important piece of discernment for today’s story. On the other hand, we get asked for products like HHC and THC-P, which are naturally occurring cannabinoids but are more mysterious with less known information about the longterm effects. It’s interesting because in our industry there are a dozen or so cannabinoids on the market, but the cannabis plant has over 100 different phytocannabinoid compounds and just because we don’t know enough about something doesn’t mean we should demonize it, does it? This takes me back to when Delta 8 THC hit the market back in 2019, we didn’t know enough about it and everyone was reluctant to introduce products to the market. But a few years later, not that we aren’t still facing some of the same battles, there is more adoption and acceptance of the minor cannabinoid. So as a brand, how do you determine what is the best product to put on the shelf? And even more critically to consider is what is the quality of the product you are looking to put on the shelf because 80% of something is different than 90% of something, etc. We now see the emergence of chemically derived cannabinoids. This does get confusing because even though the cannabinoid is naturally occurring like CBN, for example, there is a whole market emerging for chemically creating and synthesizing these cannabinoids.

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And thanks to the chemistry you can create a lot of cannabinoids with a lot more stability than when produced naturally, which is an integral part of repeatability for a consumer. Is it right, is it wrong? I understand the concern from within the industry, from the purists, the full plant people, and the cultivators, struggling with this recent shift in the market. I remember having a conversation with a friend who is cultivating hemp here in Texas and he was asking if as a retailer I sell more


hemp flower vs Delta 8 flower, and the reality is consumers want the Delta 8 experience. My advice to the cultivator was to get creative and pay attention to where the market is going if he wants to move his products because consumers are driving the demands. I also look at the fragility of our industry, without proper avenues for operation we’re left to interpreting the law and getting creative with what some would call loopholes. I don’t fully think cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC or HHC are outright loopholes, but I do believe that we have yet to bust the door wide open and are just getting a crack at what is to come. Ultimately we have a choice, as operators, as consumers, as an industry and until we can look at the whole picture instead of just one frame at a time, we’re neglecting the realities and all I’m trying to do is to get us to be on the same page. A regroup if you will. Texas is heading into our next legislative session in 2023 and the smokable hemp ban just got reinstated for manufacturing and processing. Will we go another year introducing more minor cannabinoids? We flinch at the idea of chemically synthesized Delta 8 but what about nonpsychoactive cannabinoids like CBN? Where does the line get drawn? And what is this going to do to cultivation of you can produce everything stably in a lab? I don’t have a definitive answer on what is going to happen or can even speculate on what could happen. Especially with so much up in the air still with the Delta 8 lawsuit still open and an upcoming legislative session.

But as always, I encourage the continuation of this discussion and invite you to tune into my recent episode with Tyler Roach of Colorado Chromatography, one of the leading manufacturers of HHC and CBN amongst other cannabinoids. We dive into the future of chemically creating cannabinoids and what impact that will have on our industry, you can listen at tobeblunt.buzzsprout.com.


The Top 7 Reasons CBD Brands Should Start Accepting Cryptocurrency BY RACHEL NELSON

For many business owners, cryptocurrency is an enigma — mysterious, puzzling and difficult to understand. However, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are diversifying their payment options to include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While embracing crypto payments means treading on new territory, it can offer several benefits for businesses in any industry — including the CBD sector. We consulted with an expert at Texpaid — an Austin-based merchant services brokerage group — to help us understand why accepting crypto payments may be a worthwhile endeavor for businesses.

1. Accepting crypto positions you as an industry trailblazer. It’s easy to see the writing on the wall. I think we can all agree that crypto payments will become more mainstream as time moves on. Even if the option isn’t popular among customers now, having the ability to tout that you accept crypto payments raises the perceived value of your brand.

2. A crypto payment option sets you apart from your biggest competitors.

of Dish Network — began accepting cryptocurrency, setting it apart from streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu.

3. Accepting cryptocurrency puts you ahead of the curve. As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, it will likely begin to take over some of the credit card payment market. Businesses that already have the infrastructure in place to process crypto payments will be at an advantage.

4. There are no chargebacks with cryptocurrency. Once a crypto transaction is initiated, there’s no going back. Fraudsters sometimes buy products and then dispute charges with banks, which is referred to as a chargeback. Then, the company ends up taking the loss.

5. You still receive a cash payment Nothing says “innovative” more than ac- when customers pay with crypto.

cepting crypto payments this early in the game. Recently, Sling TV — a subsidiary

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Just because a customer pays with crypto doesn’t mean that the merchant receives

payment in crypto. When a customer pays with cryptocurrency, the full cash value from the purchase (minus the processing fee) will arrive at the business account in dollars. Some business owners shy away from crypto because they see headlines that show the market going up and down. However, it doesn’t matter how much Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are worth at the time of purchase. Regardless, businesses will always get paid in full for their products.

6. It’s cheaper to accept cryptocurrency than credit cards. The processing fee to accept crypto payments through Texpaid is 1.5% per transaction. That’s $1.50 on a $100 purchase and about half as much as credit card companies charge.

7. There is no equipment necessary. Accepting crypto payments through Texpaid is easy. Merchants just have to download an app on any Android or Apple device. There are no startup costs or monthly fees. Visit texpaid.com to learn more about accepting cryptocurrency at your business.



Q&A with Texas Hemp Coalition INTERVIEW BY ILISSA NOLAN

Meet Mike Biegalski, Vice President of Sales and Operations at Flex Payment Solutions Why did you get into the hemp industry? Flex was founded with the purpose of supporting legal business types that are generally misunderstood/underserved from a banking and payments perspective. Hemp was a perfect fit for that description after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed and our team immediately educated ourselves on the industry requirements so we could start finding ‘good players’ in the hemp space to partner with. Tell me about your company? What does it specialize in? Flex Payment Solutions is a third-party payment processor and ISO for multiple US banks. We specialize in ACH and card processing programs, but more than that are extremely flexible and responsive as a family owned business which any entrepreneur can comment on being imperative in a vendor. Our team is not afraid of getting in the weeds and really digging in to make sure our partners are taken care of! What is something unique that your business does? Flex gives hemp merchants the power to control their own business as much as they choose. All card processing clients run their own card account and chargeback

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From the perspective Flex participates, be transparent about your business and product types throughout a bank/processor relationship. Planning to sell a product that is new to the bank creates a conversation, not a stop sign, but trying to hide information or lying will always get you into trouble. Can’t operate if you run payment processing options dry with bad behavior!

dispute process, but Flex can also provide in-house shopping cart, card gateway and even website construction services. We feel it is important to mitigate the risk of a larger third-party vendor deciding ‘we can’t work with your industry anymore’ What do you think are the main challenges within this industry? Because the space is still so new, changes come about extremely quickly which is hard for banks to react to. So many merchants are trying to differentiate themselves with different product types (Delta 8, Delta 10, THC-o, etc.) and payment programs (subscription, BNPL, etc.) that lack of communication can cause temporary accounts issues which are still costly. Regulation changes seem to occasionally drop without much heads up causing full-stops in business development to react. What is the most important advice that you would give individuals who are looking to get involved in this industry?

What do you hope to see for the future of the hemp industry in Texas? Definitive resolutions on smokable hemp and Delta 8 for one. Coordination between all of the big players in the state to shape the industry is important as well; the hemp industry in TX has shown to be extremely resilient and can accomplish a lot going forward if pulling in the same direction. How to get in contact with Flex Payment Solutions: info@flexpaymentsolutions.com https://www.flexpaymentsolutions.com/ cbd-merchants/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/flex-payment-solutions/mycompany/?viewAsMember=true The Texas Hemp Coalition’s goal is to provide industry specific information to growers, processors and entities that are involved in the Texas Hemp Industry. We will serve as an advocacy, educational and networking liaison to reputable entities within the hemp industry. Visit www.texashempcoalition.org for more information and membership availabilities.


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What are Cannabinoids and what do they do? BY DR. PEPPER HERNANDEZ

Cannabis has a wide range of effects, which are attributed to its cannabinoids. What are cannabinoids, and what do they do, you ask? They’re so vital that cannabis would be just another plant growing in the wild if they weren’t present. Cannabinoids are a class of compounds produced by the cannabis plant. There are over 480 compounds produced by the plant, with dozens of them being cannabinoids. They are the active elements that determine how they will affect different people, especially when using it to treat a medical condition. Cannabinoids have a wide range of effects on the brain and body, ranging from euphoria to increased flavor appreciation. They are able to achieve this because they have a great interaction with the human endocannabinoid system along with the CB1 & CB2 receptors in the brain and gut. Consider the endocannabinoid system

to be a network of electrical outlets in the brain and central nervous system. The receptors activate when various chemicals plug into these outlets, known as cannabinoid receptors. Movement, mood, memory, pain sensation, and appetite are all controlled by these receptors. The effects produced are determined by the type of cannabis that is used. Each cannabis cultivar contains a long variety of cannabinoids that can cause euphoria, pain relief, increased heart rate, and drowsiness, among other positive experiences. The health advantages of cannabis are due to these effects. The type and concentration of cannabinoids in cannabis determine how it makes you feel.

Cannabis contains anywhere from 60 to 120 cannabinoids, depending on the source. The majority of the current studies are focused on the cannabinoid’s major actors. THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, and THCV constitute the major ones currently. Except for THC and CBD, the majority of cannabinoids are classified as minor, meaning they have concentrations of less than 1%. Minor cannabinoids such as THCA and CBDA, which are chemical precursors to THC and CBD, have only recently been the focus of substantial research. Not all cannabis cultivars are alike, and as organic farmers continue to breed their specific genetics, users need to know what the cannabinoid profile is. Knowing the flower they are testing can bring positive experiences. The best experience and outcome, and make an educated decision on what will be best for their medical issue and or aliment. Please check with your cannabis therapy consultant for more guidance. All information in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources. Please check with your Cannabis Educated Primary Health Care Physician or Educated & Trained Cannabis Therapy Consultant before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change. Written by Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC, CNHP in ECS & Naturopathic Medicine, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, The Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute. To find out more about her telemedicine consultations, educational programs, YouTube videos, and other creative content, you can find her on the massive inter-webs on all platforms or at drpepperhernandez.com. Go forth, Go Cannabis...


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WHY CANNABIS POISONING IN PETS IS INCREASING ANALYSIS BY DR. KAREN SHAW BECKER

Recently published survey results show that cannabis poisoning in pets has increased significantly in both Canada and the U.S. after legalization • Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College who conducted the survey of U.S. and Canadian veterinarians found that ingestion of cannabis edibles by unsupervised pets (primarily dogs) was the most frequent cause of poisoning • Most poisoned pets made a full recovery with at-home monitoring; a few required treatment at a veterinary hospital and a small number died, though cannabis poisoning may or may not have been the cause in those cases • THC levels in cannabis are higher than ever before, so to protect your pet, keep all marijuana plants and products stored safely away, and when outdoors with your dog, stay alert for signs she’s picked up something in her mouth • If you know or suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, call your veterinarian, the nearest emergency animal hospital, or an animal poison control center right away A 2021 survey of 251 veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada, conducted by researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, shows that cannabis poisoning cases among pets is increasing significantly. While the findings suggest most of these cases end well, the operative word here is “poisoning.” The survey results were published in April in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.1

Canada legalized the use of cannabis in 2018. In the U.S., 37 states have legalized use for medicinal purposes, 19 states have legalized it for recreational use, and another 12 states have decriminalized its use.

Pet Poisonings Rose Substantially After Legalization

We know that pets are most often exposed to cannabis through ingestion and develop toxicosis that ranges from mild to severe. While the evidence suggests cases of poisoning are on the rise, the extent of the problem and typical outcomes have been unclear. To increase understanding of the situation, lead study author Richard Quansah Amissah and his team surveyed U.S. and Canadian veterinarians about the cannabis toxicity cases they had run across over several previous years. Statistical analysis of the survey responses showed that the number of poisonings in both countries rose significantly after the 2018 legalization of cannabis in Canada.

The researchers found that ingestion of cannabis edibles by unsupervised pets was the most frequent cause of poisoning. However, information about what proportion of ingested cannabis products were for human consumption vs. “medicinal use” by pets of misguided owners remains unclear. The researchers also noted that the increase in pet poisonings postlegalization may be the result of increased cannabis use (especially of edibles), increased reporting of cases (now that it’s legal), or both.

Not Often Lethal, but Miserable for Affected Pets

Dogs were most often the victims of poisoning, but other animals for which reports were made included cats, ferrets, cockatoos, iguanas, and horses. Most cases appeared to be mild, with symptoms (seen primarily in dogs) that included disorientation, urinary incontinence, and abnormally slow heart rate. According to online news journal HealthDay: “In general, vets can readily spot the signs and symptoms of a ‘pot puppy,’ according to Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski, a critical care veterinarian at Tufts University’s Foster Hospital for Small Animals, in Massachusetts. ‘They usually come in stumbling, disoriented and dribbling urine,’ Rozanski said.”


recovered, but two who ingested chocolate baked goods containing marijuana-infused butter died. No conclusion was reached as to whether the culprit was the marijuana-infused butter, the chocolate, or both. Butter and dark chocolate — both highly toxic to dogs — are common ingredients in edible marijuana products. Not only has marijuana become available in novel forms such as foods, pills, oils, and tinctures, but new hybrids and cultivation techniques have resulted in plants with significantly more THC than in decades past. The Pet Poison Helpline reported a 448% increase in calls for marijuana poisoning over a 6-year period from 2012 to 2018, with the majority involving pets who ingested marijuana-laced food products.8

If You Think Your Pet Has Ingested Cannabis Most of the animal patients were treated at home, and nearly all made a complete recovery. Occasionally a brief hospital stay was needed to monitor, for example, an animal with a particularly low heart rate. Veterinarians sometimes use intravenous (IV) lipid therapy (lipids are fats, and the active ingredient in cannabis is fat-soluble) to speed up excretion of the drug. There were a small number of deaths (16) reported by the veterinarians, but while cannabis poisoning was the presumed cause, the researchers couldn’t rule out other potential causes, such as underlying conditions or the chocolate in edibles (since chocolate is also toxic to pets). As the legalization of cannabis continues to grow, the Ontario Veterinary College team is calling for additional research into the effects of the drug on pets so that both veterinary staffs and the public can better understand how to keep companion animals healthy. In the meantime, they stress the importance of protecting animal companions from the misery of cannabis poisoning, also citing the expense of an emergency vet visit. “Most dogs will recover,” Rozanski said, “but you’d rather not see them go through this.”

THC Levels in Cannabis Are Higher Than Ever Before The most potent psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana is THC, and dogs are up to 10 times more sensitive to THC than humans,4 because they have more cannabinoid receptors than any other animal we know of. This means trace amounts of THC — amounts most humans wouldn’t even notice — can be toxic for dogs. The medicinal CBD extracted from the “weed” plant has less than 0.3% THC, not enough to cause any side effects or negatively impact pets in any way. According to the Los Angeles Times: “… While the amount of THC … in professionally manufactured edibles is strictly regulated in states where they’re sold legally, the potency of homemade treats is a wildcard. In California, edibles can’t contain more than 100mg of THC per package, and 10mg per serving.” A 2012 retrospective study (2005 – 2010) analyzed trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in states with legalized medical marijuana.7 The researchers looked at 125 family dogs in Colorado that had been seen by a veterinarian at one of two veterinary hospitals for known or suspected marijuana poisoning. Their results revealed a significant correlation between the number of medical marijuana licenses and marijuana toxicosis cases seen at the 2 hospitals. Most dogs

In dogs who’ve ingested marijuana, noticeable symptoms can appear within minutes to hours depending on the type of exposure (inhalation vs. ingestion). Typical signs of poisoning include glassy eyes, a dazed expression, slow response times, loss of coordination, and dribbling urine. There can also be vomiting and drooling, seizures, changes in heart rate, decreased body temperature, low blood pressure, tremors, dilated pupils, vocalization, neurological stimulation, hyperactivity, and coma. The more THC the dog ingests, the more severe the symptoms usually are. Treatment is supportive in nature, and depending on the situation may include inducing vomiting and/or administering activated charcoal to minimize the amount of toxin absorbed by the body. For more serious cases, intravenous (IV) fluids may be given, and respiration monitored. Bottom line: Keep all marijuana plants and products stored safely away from pets, and when outdoors with your dog, stay alert for signs he’s picked up something in his mouth. Marijuana isn’t the only drug dogs are being exposed to during walks, hikes, and other outdoor activities. If you know or suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, call your veterinarian, the nearest emergency animal hospital, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435, or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 immediately.



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DEA Cancels Proposed Ban Of Five Psychedelics, Giving Scientists More Time To Research Therapeutic Benefits BY KYLE JAEGER

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has withdrawn a controversial proposal to ban five psychedelic compounds—a decision that’s being celebrated by advocates and researchers. Just weeks after posting a notice of a rare hearing that was scheduled in the face of broad pushback against the proposed prohibition, DEA said on Friday that it was no longer necessary because it is pulling back the idea to enact the ban, at least for now, and has instead decided to submit a request for an updated scientific review of the tryptamines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). DEA first proposed scheduling the compounds—4-OH-DiPT, 5-MeO-AMT, 5-MeO-MiPT, 5-MeO-DET and DiPT—in January. And it faced significant criticism, receiving nearly 600 messages during a public comment period, with most opposing the rule change and requesting a hearing. The agency’s own administrative court subsequently agreed that there was a need to hold a hearing on the matter before the prohibition could be enacted. But while it seemed that the stage was set for an August 22 hearing, DEA ultimately decided against it, which is at least a shortterm victory for researchers who say the

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designating the tryptamines as Schedule I, as proposed, would seriously inhibit studies into their therapeutic potential. It’s not clear how long it will take HHS to conduct a new scientific review of the substances. And it’s also not guaranteed that it will recommend keeping the compounds unscheduled or placing them in a less restrictive schedule. But the hearing cancellation means that, at the very least, scientists will have more time to do their own research into the psychedelics without the onerous barriers imposed by a Schedule I classification. “The decision to get an updated evaluation will allow important research and development to continue that could lead to lifesaving medicines and a better understanding of this drug class,” Matt Zorn, an attorney representing a client with a research interest in the tryptamines, told Marijuana Moment. “I’m glad the Administrator and DEA took a hard look at the science and data before it.” In its latest notice, DEA said simply that it had decided to submit a request for HHS review upon “further consideration” of the

circumstances surrounding the scheduling proposal. The agency also stated that it “may issue a new proposed rule in the future regarding these substances if warranted.” DEA’s Administrative Law Judge Teresa Wallbaum had issued an order in February that set the hearings into motion, detailing a timeline for prehearing statements from the agency and stakeholders, as well as setting a date for a prehearing conference in May. The function of the Office of Administrative Law Judges is specifically to adjudicate in cases related to DEA enforcement and regulations. In this case, the opponents of the agency’s proposed ban were hoping that the judge would ultimately recommend either a lower schedule or no schedule at all for the five compounds. With the agency’s latest move, they don’t need to rely on the judge’s opinion, at least for now. In its initial rulemaking filing for the five tryptamines, DEA said that it took into account research and recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which found that “these substances are being abused for their hallucinogenic properties,” as well as its own eight-factor analyses, before it made the scheduling proposal.


DEA said in the notice that agencies have identified cases of hospitalizations related to the use of two of the tryptamines. It was only able to cite one death where one of the compounds, 5-MeOAMT, was found in the person’s system, in addition to alcohol and an antidepressant. DEA acknowledged that “it is unclear what role 5-MeO-AMT played in the death.” Hearing request letters that were obtained by Marijuana Moment earlier this year contested the agency’s justification for the proposed ban on the basis that it was not only unnecessary given the limited evidence of abuse potential but would also interrupt the research and development of medicines that could help treat serious mental illnesses. Separately, DEA is being sued—again—over its refusal to allow a doctor to treat terminally ill patients with psilocybin therapy pursuant to federal and state “Right to Try” (RTT) laws, which are aimed at expanding access to Schedule I investigational drugs that aren’t currently approved for general use.

The agency is also facing increased political pressure from bipartisan lawmakers, who are taking an extra step to provide additional congressional clarification, filing companion bills in the House and Senate last week to reaffirm that the scope of Right to Try policy should include psychedelics. The bill filing comes about six months after bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), requesting that DEA allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an investigational treatment without the fear of federal prosecution.

Meanwhile, in May, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (DHI) separately pushed top federal officials to provide an update on research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, arguing that ongoing federal prohibition has stymied studies. Federal health officials recently recognized that federal prohibition makes it harder to study the benefits of psychedelics, requiring researchers to jump through additional regulatory hoops. Activists—including one of the plaintiffs in the RTT case, Erinn Baldeschwiler—staged a demonstration outside of DEA headquarters in Virginia in May, demanding that the agency allow terminally ill patients to access psilocybin therapy. DEA is separately being sued over repeated delays in processing requests for public records related to psychedelics and marijuana. The agency has separately increased production quotas for the production of certain psychedelics like psilocybin in an effort to promote research, but it’s scheduling decisions have continued to represent obstacles for scientists.

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