Could Cannabis Tourism Save Puerto Rico’s Economy?

Puerto Rico is drowning in a sea of debt more than $74 billion deep, and many on the Caribbean island see legal cannabis as a potential lifeline.

The sunny Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is facing some dark financial times: Large companies fled the island for friendlier tax laws, creating a deficit that the resource-rich, industry-poor territory has been unable to fill. Puerto Ricans — about 45 percent of whom live at or below the poverty line — are following suit: The island’s population has fallen by 400,000 people, to 3.4 million, in no small part because unemployment here (12 percent) is almost triple what it is back in the full-fledged USA (4.3 percent).

Above all, Puerto Rico is more than $74 billion in debt to creditors it cannot pay and has $50 billion in pension obligations it cannot fulfill. There are assertions that up to half of the debt is “illegal” — the result of toxic Wall Street tricks of the kind that engineered the Great Recession — but the weight of the financial obligation remains.

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Utah Begins Another Push at Expanding Medical Cannabis

Utah already has a CBD-only law on the books, but activists in the state are working to expand the medical marijuana program to provide medicine for patients in need.

Organizers of Utah’s next effort to make medical cannabis a reality have been given the green light to start the signature gathering drive that will put the issue on the 2018 ballot.

Utah Patients Coalition got word from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox this week that they may start to collect the signatures required to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. Organizers put a lot of effort into producing a ballot initiative that was palatable to both lawmakers and the public with numerous hearings across the state. Now the work to collect the 113,000 signatures needed to make things a reality next year begins.

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Police Departments Telling K9 Units to ‘Sit and Stay’

What happens to K9 cops when cannabis is decriminalized? For the most part, not much — departments aren’t planning to part with drug dogs any time soon.

Humans of the 21st century think highly of our pets — almost as highly as we think of ourselves. So now that drug-policy reform is swelling government budgets and thinning prisons, some people are asking, “won’t someone think of the drug-sniffing dogs?”

Colorado Public Radio is the latest to examine the question of what to do with K9 units in an era of drug-policy reform. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, CPR points out, so what’s the use of a dog trained to suss out marijuana?

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Cannabis for the Clinic

Nurses and healthcare professionals are learning more about how marijuana works as a medicine through the ACNA.

While not yet available at the corner drugstore, medical cannabis has definitely become a part of mainstream culture in the U.S. Everyone, it seems, knows about the plant’s medical uses and most of the population supports medical access.

At this point, so many states have decriminalized to some degree that it’s easier to just list the states that don’t have some kind of a medical cannabis law — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, West Virginia, Texas and Idaho — than it is to list all of the states that do.

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Testing Company: Ohio College Ready to Host Pot Testing Lab

A recent announcement by a company eager to offer testing services to Ohio’s emerging medical cannabis market claims it has found a state-approved public college to host the lab, as per the requirements of the state’s MMJ law. At present, the identity of the college and any details about the arrangement are still a mystery.

CCV Research, a  company looking to provide testing services to Ohio’s medical cannabis market, announced it has received a letter of intent from an Ohio public institution of higher education ready to partner with the company in operating a medical cannabis testing lab.

The announcement said the governor’s office has confirmed that the (as-of-yet unidentified) academic partner is qualified under state law to host the lab.

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NFL Signals Softening Stance on Medical Cannabis

Which will come first; nationwide marijuana legalization, or NFL football players smoking weed? It’ll be close.

August is the month when the fancies of many Americans shift — totally and irrevocably, until after Christmas trees have shed their needles — towards our most popular ritual, our national religion: Football season is here again.

But pro football is in serious existential jeopardy. That is, it would be if we inhabited a rational world.

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Dispensary Profile: Verde Natural

Colorado provider grows quality cannabis with soil and selectivity.

Walk through the doors of Verde Natural and you’ll realize that this Colorado dispensary takes the “natural” part of its name quite seriously. Once inside, the comforting earth tones of Verde’s wooden interior and displays are only a precursor to the soil-grown cannabis this medical marijuana provider has become known for.

“We are hands on with our plants 100 percent of the way, from clone to harvested flower bud,” marketing manager Matthew Mattson said. “We grow all of our plants in raised soil beds using our recycled soil, feed the plants an all organic diet, hand trim the flowers at harvest and slow cure the flower to make sure it has a strong and vibrant terpene profile.”

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Microlife: Growing Cannabis Organically

Regenerative farming literally feeds the earth.

The pear tree in Meg Fender’s backyard is her pride and joy. She said, in many ways, it’s one of the key elements of her garden’s health.

“That tree has been producing major amounts of fruit for over a decade,” Fender said. “So much that I sometimes can’t even keep up with it during the picking season. A lot of it ends up on the ground.”

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RECIPE: Poke & Pot — Perfect Together

Not all of us are able to wade in the waters of Waikiki, but if you’re yearning to consume cannabis Hawaiian style, this poke infusion is a delicious bet.

Think of poke as deconstructed sushi. The word “poke” means “cut in pieces” in Hawaiian, and the recipe consists of small bites of fish marinated and served with vegetables, fruit, fresh herbs and rice. It’s super tasty and easy to personalize: Poke is kind of the Hawaiian version of a burrito bowl — so flexible you can’t really go wrong.

I have infused poke using both coconut oil and, more recently, sesame oil. Infused sesame oil is a bit of an extravagance, but I love the taste and find it’s a delightful addition to other foods like hummus, salad dressings and stir-fry.

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Becoming a Marijuana Farmer

Growing cannabis for the first time can alter a relationship with the plant.

In November 2012, my Colorado neighbors and I voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

The following month, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Amendment 64 into the state constitution, immediately legalizing the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana – though the legal sales would take more than a year to begin.

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