Medical cannabis and recreational use among adults has been legal in a few states for several years. As an avid consumer of cannabis it is nice to be able to relax and not worry about law enforcement. At least, as long as you are not acting like a fool. Having a nice selection at the shop makes us all feel like kids in a candy store. Even though it can be a bit overwhelming to have so much to choose from. One of my favorite movie lines from Grandma’s Boy – “I don’t care what it’s called. I just want a bag of pot” becomes more real at times. You do get used to it and find strains and deals that work for your budget. Everything is great until you get home and roll one up. Then you notice the back of the package with the harvest date. There is an issue with all the packaging and retail aspects of the legal cannabis industry.
Fresh Cannabis, Maybe
Paying a fair amount for the product you kind of expect something fresh. We do not buy rotten apples do we? So why is it that some places you go, a vast majority of their products are a year or more past the harvest date. But not all of them. Sometimes you find a brand or strain that is still fresh, only a few months old. I do not mind a well aged bud, but can we keep it from getting crispy and falling into dust. It is not the fault of the grower or the retail location. Not at all. There is a bigger issue at fault and it needs to be addressed.
An Obvious Problem
The issue for some states is that there were far more producers licensed that there were retail locations. This caused an overflow of product that could not be moved fast enough to keep the stock fresh. Growers and retail shops had to sit on product far longer than anyone would want to. By the time it hits the shelf and the customers hand, the bud has dried out severely in the plastic package or the glass jar with a cheap lid. A crispy nug is not fun to roll with. Since there are so many growers and companies packaging product there is a large selection. Some stuff on the shelf is fresh but it sells fast.
Environmental Impact Of Legal and Medical Cannabis
As much as I love having legal weed in my country, the way we are packaging 1g in a small ziplock pack has to stop. With all the people who smoke in the states that have legal adult use that is a ton of unnecessary garbage. For a “Green” industry the marketing and packages could be a bit more green. Most people would be willing to pay slightly more for a product in an eco friendly container. Or, why not bring your own glass jar? They weigh it and place your freshly filled jar into a paper bag for exiting the dispensary. If a customer can walk into a grocery and refill a growler with beer what is so different about filling a jar with fresh nugs? It is not perfect and may need to work, but it is a step in the right direction.
The Future Of Medical And Recreational Cannabis
We all know this is still a new industry and new laws. When prohibition of alcohol ended there was madness for a while. There will always be those among us who may take things a bit too far at times. It will pass. This industry is no different and there will be many kinks to work out and obstacles to avoid. Especially for those getting into the industry as a grower or a retailer. As a consumer, I think we are all happy to have legal cannabis be it for medical or recreational use. Be mindful of the products packaging as well as the harvest date and the date you are purchasing the product.
What To Expect
As Louisiana puts it’s medical cannabis program into effect what can we expect with the products? How will the state and producers handle the packaging and the time from growth to consumer? Although there will not be any smokable forms of cannabis our friends and family deserve fresh products. Who wants a stale brownie? I would hope the state has thought about this and has a plan to get fresh medicines to patients. We have yet to see what products will be available. But, that should change soon with doctors and dispensaries ready to serve patients around the state.
Chuck Schumer and the Democratic party are seeking to change marijuana policy. Senator Schumer stated that he is introducing a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level across the country. With around 60% of the country leaning towards the legalization of marijuana and the laws surrounding it, the time has come for marijuana reform.
The proposed legislation to be released within the next week will touch on 6 key points. The first of which is to remove marijuana from the DEA’s list of controlled substances ending prohibition and allowing each state to regulate and tax as they wish.
Out With The Old
Removing marijuana from the controlled substances list would relieve some strain on the legal system. Many citizens who have had convictions involving marijuana have a hard time finding employment or housing due to the stigma that has followed cannabis for so long. The new legislation would help relieve some of that stress on the system saving both the states and the citizens time and money in the process.
In With The New
With cannabis legal at the federal level more states would have the opportunity to set up and establish medical marijuana facilities to benefit cancer patients and other ill citizens. Many people with severe illness who would benefit from the medicinal aspects of cannabis live in states with no access to medical marijuana. If the legislation passes it would open up opportunity to those states to establish medical marijuana facilities and provide patients with much needed medication. Currently people are traveling to states where cannabis is legal and bringing it back into their state of residence. A big risk for anyone today but more so for someone on limited income and fighting a serious illness.
This proposed legislation has Senator Schumer joining Senators Bernie Sanders, Ron Wyden, and a few others who have been in favor of marijuana reform. If it is to succeed the Democratic Party must have their ducks in a row and work together in an effort to really make a change. Legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis as well as overturning convictions is long overdue.
We will be following this and other topics closely. If the new legislation passes it could open up more options and availability for medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana. With our medical marijuana program barely off the ground and running this proposed legislation could mean great things for our patients.
More information and the full article from NORML can be found here.
Louisiana Schools Select Growers For Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis research and legalization is on the rise along with recreational use around the world. Many states here in America have either legalized medical use or it is a hot topic on many ballots. Society is opening its eyes on a healthy alternative to many medications that are just as, if not more, dangerous as the cancer or tumor they are intended to treat. Health conscious people are seeking out more natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. As people continue to accept cannabis, more funding becomes available and more research is done on the medicinal properties of the plant.
The majority of cannabis users have known about the medicinal properties for a long time. I myself find cannabis does a wonderful job of relieving headaches and nausea. Having a blood disorder, Often I have no appetite. A quick toke or two and in little time at all I am able to eat without forcing it. A family member uses Rick Simpson Oil, also known as RSO, to combat seizures.
Home Grown Medical Cannabis
Louisiana recently updated its medical marijuana policy which previously only allowed LSU Agricultural Center to cultivate and research cannabis. Although there has been some form of medical marijuana program in the state since the late 1970s, there were no places to access medical cannabis, nor were there any doctors that would actually recommend cannabis for medical purposes. The state will now allow LSU and Southern University to cultivate cannabis and produce medical products in the form of oils, topical applications, and pills to name a few.
A big issue is that any form of cannabis that can be smoked will be against policy. What is the purpose of this? People are going to smoke it just as they always have. Seems like that might be an issue if and when recreational passes here. Certainly that will be a legal battle that we will see soon. LSU Agricultural Center and The LSU Board of Supervisors have selected GB Sciences of Las Vegas to be the producer of high grade cannabis.
Southern University has not yet selected a producer at this time. Board members are working on a selection but nothing has been confirmed yet. As things move forward we will continue to post new information. Maybe we will see Southern make their selection. And soon after, some medical products for patients available at the dispensaries.