A bill at the Arizona Legislature would mandate state-regulated testing for medical cannabis, lower patient registration fees, and make other improvements to the 2010 law.
Arizona rips off medical-marijuana patients by collecting fees that are much higher than what it costs for the state Department of Health Services to run the program.
Last year, for instance, DHS could have funded its $11.7 million in expenditures by collecting $5.7 million from patients. Instead, the state agency collected $18.9 million from them. The extra money went into a useless overflow account that now sits at more than $33 million.
“I wish I would have thought about writing the rule to include a variable fee.” — Former Arizona DHS Director Will Humble
A bill co-sponsored by nearly the entire Legislature, Senate Bill 1420, would change the equation. It would bring down the cost of a medical marijuana card from $150 a year to something more reasonable — something lower-income or fixed-income people could afford.
For many people, the best part is that it would also mandate state-regulated testing for mold and other contaminants in medical marijuana.
But would the bill trade the state program’s high annual surpluses for annual deficits that could end up costing taxpayers?
ANA / Maxwell Hall of the World Economic Forum interviews Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja, founder and CEO of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services at WEF Africa 2017 in Durban.
Meet The New Way To Farm!
This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business.
In this age of Eat Local campaigns, one might be a little alarmed to encounter vegetables called rucola, petite-this and mange-that, on a plate in the Nigerian capital, but fear not, Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja told a briefing at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa meetings on Friday, these micro greens are not just grown near Abuja, they are grown within the teeming metropolis.
This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business. Her business is growing micro greens in shipping containers in town, allowing her to add “hyper local” to the tag.
The founder and chief executive of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services in Nigeria said her business started with a regular farm, but making a success of that proved so challenging that she was forced to innovate.
How did it all Start?
The business started with 10 greenhouses on a leased 300 hectare farm. The green houses took up only a small part of the land, with the rest covered with trees. Beside the cost of clearing, which would have been exorbitant, Angel said, she had a problem with the idea of displacing forest.
An additional problem was that the farm was three hours from market
As any farmer will confirm, this business is not for the faint-hearted. Angel told the briefing on the last day of the WEF Africa meetings in Durban that small farmers like herself could expect to lose up to 50 percent of their crop before harvest. Lack of funds compounds problems around a shortage of information and lack of inputs and tools.
Access to finance would be a game changer for farmers, but bank loans are usually available only to landowners in Nigeria.
“First I need to be rich before I can get a loan,” Angel said.
Transporting often-delicate, perishable goods along bad roads and a lack of storage facilities added to problems which meant that, she added, another 25 percent of produce could be lost from farm to market.
Another challenge that forced a rethink of the business was when the fuel price increased from 87 Naira a litre to above 200 Naira in a short period of time.
It was these and other challenges that forced Fresh Direct to innovate and “pivot”, as she described it, and develop their genius plan to grow vegetables in town. The business now grows micro greens in containers stacked five high at two sites in Abuja.
Each 20-foot shipping container would fit a car – instead they take 4 000 plants per cycle, with a cycle lasting from seven days to a month.
The vegetables are produced using a hydroponic method where plants are grown in nutrient-filled water, rather than soil. The business is moving into aquaponics too, where fish are added to the system to enhance the cycle.
This is a long way away from fast food, but the vegetables can be delivered to customers 15 minutes after they are harvested and washed.
Fresh Direct’s customers are restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. “The nice thing with corporate customers is that they are consistent,” Angel said.
An outlet in Lagos will soon be added to the two already operating in Abuja. In Lagos, Angel said she expects to tap into an ever bigger demand for micro greens, niche foods that are a favourite of modern chefs, foodies and other hipster types.
Fresh Direct currently employs 10 people full-time and another 59 part-time, many of whom would find it hard to secure good jobs elsewhere. Angel told the WEF briefing that not one of her staff had gone to secondary school and just one has previous agricultural experience.
She said her staff call themselves “tech farmers” in a country where farming is sometimes looked down on as a less-than-dignified career.
Angel clearly doesn’t look down on traditional farming. In fact, she seemed pleased and relieved to say that doing the fancy vegetables, rather than staple foods, meant she was not competing with traditional rural farmers, rather they are providing vegetables that are otherwise imported.
Cannabis reform has been arguably the biggest public policy topic of this decade. Cannabis reform touches on law, social justice, economics, and a number of other areas in public policy.
You will be hard-pressed to find a public policy topic that is as dynamic as cannabis reform. A recent poll from April of this year found a record level of support for ending federal cannabis prohibition – 61%!
This record level of support is not surprising given cannabis’ ability to help treat a number of conditions, and the fact that cannabis is safer than many legal substances.
With so many obvious reasons to end cannabis prohibition in America, it begs the question, ‘why was cannabis ever prohibited in the first place?’
Cannabis was legal in America for a long time. It was not uncommon for cannabis to be found in products that were in homes across America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Cannabis was a common ingredient in medicines that were widely distributed all over the country, and it was seen as being a safe substance to use.
That changed during the 1910’s and 1920’s when America saw an influx of immigrants from Mexico and the growing popularity of genres of music that were associated with minority communities.
Authorities were looking for a way to search, and/or detain and/or deport immigrants and people of color, and they found exactly what they were looking for via cannabis prohibition.
Harry Anslinger, the driving force behind federal cannabis prohibition in the 1930’s, was quoted as saying at the time, “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
The Hearst and DuPont theory
In his groundbreaking book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer offered up the theory that cannabis prohibition was also driven by the financial interest of William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont company.
Humans have used cannabis for over 10,000 years, dating our relationship to the plant at the start of the Neolithic era.
The Neolithic era marked the very beginnings of modern agriculture. However, some experts speculate that the cannabis-human connection began earlier than that.
The herb is one of a handful of plants that has been used for millennia in a variety of different ways, including as food, fiber, medicine, and as a spiritual aid.
It’s also thought to be one of the oldest plants traded for economic value.
Cannabis seeds dated as old as 10,000 years have been found in fossilized Japanese pottery relics, along with scraps of woven cannabis fabrics.
Yet, Japan isn’t the only prehistoric location to show evidence of cannabis remains and cultivation.
The multitude of uses for the plant meant that it was likely an extremely valuable herb to have handy.
The archeological evidence thus far suggests that cultivated cannabis likely originated in Central Asia, spreading to many different regions and continents with human migration.
Access to cannabis not only gave people the means to make durable housing materials and clothing, but nutrient-rich hemp seed provided a brain-healthy dose of essential omega fatty acids. Oils from the herb were possibly even used as some of the first cooking oils.
In medical applications, some of the earliest records of cannabis as a healing aid come from ancient China.
Emperor Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching was one of the first to write about the uses of cannabis as medicine. It’s estimated that he lived sometime between 3494 and 2857 BCE. His manuscripts are dated as early as an estimated 4700 years before present time.
According to these writings, cannabis was used to treat ailments like menstruation, constipation, rheumatism, and absentmindedness.
Throughout ancient history, the herb was also frequently used as a women’s medicine in many different cultures.
Other ancient uses of the plant include pain relief, an anesthetic, an antibiotic, migraine relief, antiparasitic, sedative, and many more.
Doctors used to prescribe cannabis
Fast forward several thousand years.
Cannabis continued to be used in the form of hemp in countries all over the world. The first U.S. President, George Washington, even grew hemp on his plantation, Mount Vernon.
Washington used the hemp for industrial purposes, particularly for fishing nets and perhaps rope and cloth sails for boats.
Several countries around the world, such as India, had fully integrated the cannabis plant into medical practice.
In Western countries, cannabis tinctures and preparations were frequently used and prescribed by doctors.
Since not all Americans are intimately familiar with patents — and because of the reams of misinformation out there regarding this patent in particular — here’s a handy explainer about Patent No. 6,630,507:
U.S. Patent No. 6,630,507 was granted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003.
The recent social media flurry has consisted of posts varying in allegations and accuracy — some have claimed that the government patented the marijuana plant in its entirety. But the overall intent is one that is symbolic in nature, said Sam Mendez, an intellectual property and public policy lawyer who serves as the executive director of the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law & Policy Project.
“Naturally, it shows that there is a certain amount of hypocrisy that there is ‘no accepted medical use’ for cannabis according to federal law,” Mendez said. “And yet here you have the very same government owning a patent for, ostensibly a medical use for marijuana.
“It’s certainly hypocritical, but there’s no laws against doing so.”
Mendez, patent lawyers, the research arm of the HHS and the New York biopharmaceutical firm that’s working as an exclusive licensee under the patent also caution that the existence of Patent No. 6,630,507 isn’t necessarily so black and white.
“(The federal government is) a very large organization with hundreds of thousands of federal employees and innumerable number of departments,” he said. “It’s much more complicated than to think about them as a single organism. … The government is allowed to file and obtain patents, and that has no bearing on the Controlled Substances Act.”
More broadly, the existence of Patent No. 6,630,507 shines a light on what could result from legalization — an explosion of marijuana-related patents, he said.
No. 6,630,507’s inception
The National Institutes of Health has roughly 6,000 doctoral-level scientists in its employ, working mostly in Maryland, said Mark Rohrbaugh, who holds doctorates in biochemistry and law and is special adviser for technology transfer at the NIH. When one of those scientists invents a new technology or makes a new discovery, the NIH evaluates the result and determines whether to file for a patent.
Over the years, the NIH has conducted and funded research involving cannabis — both as a drug of abuse and for its potential therapeutic properties, said Renate Myles, an NIH spokeswoman.
In this case, the researchers discovered that non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis may potentially have antioxidant properties that could be beneficial in the treatment of certain neurological diseases, she said.
“This patent describes the therapeutic potential for cannabinoid chemical compounds that are structurally similar to THC, but without its psychoactive properties, thereby treating specific conditions without the adverse side effects associated with smoked marijuana,” Myles wrote via e-mail. “It should be noted that the patent is for the use of cannabinoid compounds similar to and including those that naturally occur in marijuana (cannabis), but not for the whole marijuana plant.”
The DEA’s decision has nothing to do with the NIH’s cannabis-related patent, Rohrbaugh said. The patent doesn’t yet prove the chemical compound is effective in the stated treatment, he said, adding that the compound would have to be purified, synthesized in a lab setting, subjected to extensive testing in animals and humans, and ultimately require U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to show that it’s safe and effective for the intended purpose.
The intent behind patenting and licensing NIH discoveries is to not have technology that could potentially benefit the public sit idle, he said.
To ensure this, it sometimes requires looping in the private sector, he said. Laws in the 1980s further established the technology-transfer capabilities of entities such as the federal government and universities to have discoveries accessible to others who are in a better position to progress research and potentially commercialize the developments. The entities behind the discoveries typically receive payments as part of the licensing agreement.
Many people can’t help but laugh the first time they hear the phrase “cannabis suppository.” But don’t be mistaken: This method of accessing the active ingredients in the cannabis is no joke. And the benefits are convincing a growing number Europe’s medical patients to make the switch from more traditional methods of consumption.
Until about five years ago, the vast majority of Europeans who treated their ailments with cannabis either smoked or vaporized the plant. But thanks largely to Rick Simpson, a Canadian who treated his cancer with cannabis oil and lived in exile in Eastern Europe between 2009 and 2013, more and more people started to discover the amazing properties of extracts. There was one big problem: Consuming extracts that had a high THC percentage—up to 90 percent in some cases—was overwhelming for many patients, especially those without previous experience with cannabis.
The benefits of suppositories—combined with how easy it is to make them at home—has made them quite popular.
“Some six years ago, after meeting with Rick Simpson, I started to produce extracts and provide them to many sick people. Illegally, of course,” said a producer in the Czech Republic who asked to go by Martin T. “But lots of them could not bear the psychoactive effects of THC.”
This prompted some patients and their caregivers to look for another way of ingesting the medicine. “I tried to infuse cocoa butter—with a little bit of shea butter and coconut oil—with the extract and made rectal suppositories,” Martin said. “Patients immediately loved them, especially those with digestive and urinary issues.”
Rectal suppositories seemed promising for at least two reasons. First, they go to work quickly. Suppositories exert systemic effects when they enter the rectal mucosa, spreading healing compounds quickly through nearby organs and into the bloodstream. Second, it’s an effective way of diminishing the “head-high” psychoactive effects of THC.
The benefits of suppositories—combined with how easy it is to make them at home—has made them quite popular, especially in Central Europe.
Despite the emergence of vaginal suppositories in the U.S., the suppositories Martin makes are for rectal use only. “A vagina has a very sensitive and specific environment, requiring a special gel carrier, which is pretty hard to get,” he explained. About 90 percent of his patients are now using only suppositories, he said, and the results have been amazing.
Do Cannabis-Infused Suppositories Actually Work? We Tried One to Find Out
One notable case is that of Václav Novák, 67, who suffers from prostate issues. In 2013, doctors found signs of cancer, measuring a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of more than 10. They scheduled him to begin chemotherapy three months later.
Immediately after the diagnosis, Novák began using 1-gram suppositories, each containing one-tenth of a gram of cannabis extract with more than 70 percent THC and around 5 percent CBD. “I did not feel any high, which was a big difference from oral consumption, when 0.1 gram would get me couch-locked for half a day,” he said.
“I just felt pretty relaxed and slept much better. And the best thing was, when I went to the hospital after three months, there was no need for chemotherapy or any other treatment. Much to my doctor’s surprise, my PSA was back to zero.”
At NHCC, We have personally seen this help people and allow them to take high amounts of THC, without the psychoactive effects. For more information, please follow Leafly.com and contact Natural Healing Care Center (click) or Call 520-323-0069
In order to understand how paw paw works, it is helpful to be familiar with a little biology on human cells. It is also recommended that you watch the video animation on paw paw if you have not already done so. It may take a couple of times watching it to catch everything, but it should help your comprehension of the material.
Simple Cell Biology and ATP Production
Simply put, cells need energy to live, survive, and multiply–no real surprise. After all, we know that we must give our bodies energy in the form of food in order to live. During the digestion process, the food begins to be broken down and put into a form that eventually can be utilized by the cells in our body. One result of this process is the formation of blood sugar, or glucose. As blood travels throughout the body, the cells absorb the life-sustaining glucose. All cells need it, but some need more than others and are thus “high-users.”
The cell has some special molecules on its exterior that transport glucose from the blood into the cell–appropriately called “glucose transporters.” However, at this point, the process is not done. The cell must then convert the glucose into usable electrons–in other words, usable energy. There are a couple of different processes that the cells use to accomplish this, but the vast majority of the metabolism (energy conversion) that takes place is through the mitochondria of the cell.
The mitochondria resides on the interior of each cell. Actually, each cell has hundreds or thousands of them. (On the picture, the mitochondria are the “sausage-shaped” structures on the interior of the cell walls.) As noted earlier, their primary purpose is to take glucose and oxygen and use it to produce the energy that the cell needs. The energy that is produced is called adenosine tryphosphate, or ATPfor short.
In general, cancer cells fit the profile of “high users” of ATP. In fact, some studies indicate that they need anywhere from 10-17 times as much ATP as a normal cell in order to survive and multiply. Thus, if the ATP that is produced by the mitochondria of the cancer cells can be somehow controlled or reduced significantly, those cells can be negatively impacted, hopefully making them die off.
Marijuana gets all the praise when it comes to useful plants. And while it contributes to everything from pain relief to building material, did you know that there are other plants that contain cannabinoids that are also extremely useful?
These plants are not psychoactive; they don’t contain the ingredient THC. Rather, they contain cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids due to their positive interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for maintaining internal balance (homeostasis).
In other words, these plants won’t get you high but they do pack a punch in anxiety relief and painkilling.
1. Coneflower (Echinacea)
According to WebMD, echinacea can do a little bit of everything, from fighting cold symptoms to reducing anxiety, arthritis and fatigue.
by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 7, 2018
Cannabis therapy is safe and effective among elderly patients diagnosed with chronic pain, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from Hebrew University and the Ben Gurion University of Negrev in Israel assessed the use of therapeutic cannabis over a period of six months in a cohort of 1,186 patients above 65 years of age. The majority of patients enrolled in the trial suffered from pain or cancer. Under an Israeli federal program, over 32,000 citizens are licensed to utilize cannabis therapy.
“After six months of treatment, 93.7 percent of the respondents reported improvement in their condition, and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4,” researchers reported. The majority of respondents also reported “a significant improvement in [their] overall quality of life.”
Furthermore, over 18 percent of the study’s participants “stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose” – a result that led investigators to conclude, “Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.” Numerous prior studies, such as those compiled here, similarly show that pain patients typically mitigate or eliminate their opioid use during cannabis therapy.
The adverse effects most commonly reported by participants were dizziness and dry-mouth.
Authors concluded: “The older population is a large and growing part of medical cannabis users. Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in this population.”
Read the abstract of the study, “Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly,” here.
For more information on using Cannabis as Medicine, contact:
Whether it’s acne or eczema, treating troubled skin can feel like a battleground. There are a thousand things one can try, from over the counter creams and face washes, to prescription ointments and even pills. For some, there will be success with these methods – for others, however, the quest for clear and healthy skin can be ongoing and frustrating.
Fortunately, for those who have exhausted all conventional methods, or for those who desire a plant-based natural solution, cannabis may be your skin care answer.