It’s great that countries like Italy are opening up their laws to allow for more things, like medical cannabis. But what happens when these laws are set up in a way that make it hard for the standard citizen in need to partake? Such is the problem in Italy right now, where medical cannabis access is being stymied by military production.
Italy and its medical cannabis market are facing major access issues since the country only allows the military to cultivate the plant. This is a cannabis and psychedelics news publication featuring the biggest and most interesting stories in these growing landscapes, and well beyond. We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter so readers stay updated, as well as to give access to a bunch of awesome deals on products like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabis products, and cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds including new industry staples Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and make sure to purchase products you’re fully comfortable using.
Italy and cannabis
Italy is one of those interesting countries that never instituted direct laws for drug use, while it does account for drug possession. Personal possession of drugs is decriminalized, and doesn’t incur more than administrative penalties like suspension of a passport or driver’s license. A 2014 law made the designation between hard and soft drugs, with the former category receiving administrative penalties of 2-12 months, and the latter for 1-3 months. All this so long as the amount is within personal possession limits.
How much is a personal possession amount? No specific answer, as this came from a court decision, and not a written law. Law enforcement is tasked with deciding if a case fits under personal possession, or if it’s drug trafficking or something else. Luckily, first time offenders are less likely to undergo sanctions, which are generally saved for repeat offenders.
The cultivation, sale, and transport of drugs (including cannabis) also use the same system of punishment of hard vs soft drugs. For example, more extreme supply crimes for hard drugs carry prison times of 8-22 years, while the same things for soft drugs incur 2-6 years. Cannabis fits under the soft drugs category. For either hard or soft, a minor offense is eligible for a prison sentence of about six months – four years.
In terms of cannabis, the recreational use of it is illegal, as well as cultivation and sale, according to the Consolidated Law of 1990. This law was attacked in various ways over the years in court, which led to contradictory decisions. In light of this, it finally went before the Supreme Court – and then the Court of Cassation – in order to clarify the law. The final case on the matter was about a possession charge involving a guy with two plants, and the ruling came in 2019. This resulted in the previously mentioned decision which clarified that the cultivation of small amounts of drugs for personal use, is indeed, legal.
Italy passed a medical cannabis legalization in 2013, which went into effect in 2014. In order to access cannabis medications, a user must obtain a doctor’s prescription. At the time of passage, Italy wasn’t growing cannabis, making for a purely import market, which meant expensive medications for those in need. In 2014 it was announced that the Italian military would take over domestic cultivation, and in the years since then, the system has become a bit more accessible to patients, but with a major caveat.
Italy and the medical cannabis access issue
It’s great to modernize laws, and give residents of a country things they need, like medicine. It’s great to try to keep production in the country so as to keep prices low for those in need. But what happens when the system is set up in a way that essentially minimizes access to the very services put out there for the public? This is what’s going on right now, and Italy is in the middle of a major medical cannabis access issue.
Italy is one of the biggest cannabis markets in Europe (2nd to Germany). However, regardless of market size, there’s been a problem for residents to access this system. Even as the industry grows year over year, it succumbs to one basic problem, which has been there since the beginning. In Italy, all domestic cultivation is done via the military, and the military only. This creates a monopoly in cultivation.
As more and more people want to access this system, its become evident that this monopoly is causing an impediment for patients to get what they need. Military growing hasn’t increased since 2019, but the number of people wanting cannabis medications, has. So even though Italy’s medical cannabis market is second biggest in Europe according to the number of patients within it, those patients are having an increasingly hard time getting their medications.
How bad is Italy medical cannabis access?
That Italy is most certainly not meeting demand is an understatement. Italian journalist Fabrizio Dentini was able to get data from the Italian Ministry of Health, according to the publication Businesscann.com. In terms of last year, the military grew 101.90 kg of weed, which is a huge 175% increase from 2020, which had paltry growing numbers of only 37 kg (likely a result of corona). However, that big increase still put production at lower rates than pre-corona times, when in 2019 the country produced 123 kg.
Plenty of cannabis is sold in Italian pharmacies, but most of it is still imported, which means higher prices for buyers. In fact, military growing hasn’t accounted for more than 20% of sales at most, and that was back in 2018. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, domestic production accounted for 14%, 3%, and 8% of sales respectively.
According to Dentini of these numbers, “The figures speak for themselves… In fact, if compared to the 1,400 kilos estimated by the Ministry of Health as national requirement for 2021, the military agency only managed to cover 8% of the 1,271 kilograms concretely distributed during the same year.”
He goes on to explain, “The monopoly production regime de facto fails to carry out the functions for which it was put into operation, and the lack of production authorisations for the private market blocks the development of a healthy and competitive production chain.”
When the military sells to pharmacies, it does so based on estimated production costs, and sets limits for how high the price can go. These prices are lower than import prices, making it easier for patients to afford. Though no formal numbers exist for how many medical cannabis patients there are in the country, estimates put it at about 20,000 residents. In March of 2021, it was reported that as many as two million patients in the country could benefit from cannabis medications.
Technically Italy does provide medical cannabis access to patients, but the majority that’s accessible, is much higher priced. While a few medical conditions are covered completely by healthcare in the country, everyone else must pay out. And this limits how many people can realistically use the service.
What about a legalization?
Sometimes these issues lead to new reform measures, and its possible this could happen here, especially since Europe is moving toward recreational legalizations. If nothing else, the country is looking to cement the laws around that 2019 decision allowing home-growing. In 2021, the Lower House’s Justice Committee approved a text to decriminalize up to four plants for home cultivation so long as its for personal use. The measure also works to lower punishments for soft drug law-breaking, from up to six years, to only one.
This doesn’t change the current set-up with the military holding a monopoly, or the general supply issues this creates, but it would help the sick to get what they need (as the ruling already does), and without going to the black market. This last point is a strong factor to Italy, as the black market is seen as an impediment to the legal one. (Technically, this is standard just about anywhere a legal market exists).
However, Italy hasn’t been as quick to move in this direction, as it probably should. Earlier this year, Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation approved a referendum measure to legalize cannabis, and which would’ve allowed the personal cultivation of plants like magic mushrooms, as well. This approval was based on about 630,000 signatures which were verified by the Supreme Court of Cassation.
In order to get the measure officially on the ballot, it needed approval by that court, as well as the Constitutional Court. The latter makes sure the provision is legal per the country’s laws. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court decided it was not a legal measure, and banned it from a vote. The referendum committee responded with, “This is not a defeat of us and of the hundreds of thousands of citizens and citizens who signed up for legal cannabis. Today’s first and foremost is a defeat for the Institutions that are no longer able to comprehend a major part of this country.”
Italy is a country at odds with itself. This was probably best exemplified by opposing and simultaneous decrees a couple years ago over the legality of CBD, one saying it could be sold on store shelves, one which classified it as a narcotic. Italy wants to minimize the black market, but is hesitant about a legal one. And while it fights with itself, the country loses money to other countries by requiring cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! imports, rather than upping domestic production.
Whether Italy opens up the cultivation market, more officially allows home growing, or both, something has to change. And if it doesn’t, the best the country can expect, is a major growth in its black market.
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Smoking Bush Weed In the Himalayas
Deep in Asia, rising high above the rest of the world, between Nepal and China but within Tibet, sits the god-like Himalayan mountain range. These black and white peaks stand like etched statues in the horizon like ancient myths. The view, if you’re ever lucky enough to see it, is one that you will never forget. Well, I just returned from a trek of a lifetime to the base camp of one of the largest mountains in the region: Annapurna.
First things first, it wasn’t easy. The trek covered 110km over 10 days, reaching heights of 4200 meters, altitude sickness and blood-sucking leeches blessed the route, and it was only the distant views of the Himalayan peaks and a stash of natural bush weed we found on our way that kept us going. This is the story of how Nepalese cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! helped me complete the infamous Annapurna base camp trek in the Himalayas.
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The Himalayas is one of the most – if not the most – famous mountain ranges in the world. It sits in the continent of Asia and separates the nations of India and China. Covering a width of 590,000km squared, the region spans over many nations: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China and Pakistan. This is why it’s often difficult to define who legally owns the Himalayas, and with very few people having managed to summit these mountains, it’s unlikely that there will be a war to decide who has rights over them anytime soon. There are many reasons why this region is so important.
First of all, the Himalayas are the third largest deposit of ice and snow on Earth, after Antarctica and the Arctic. Secondly, this region and its many major rivers help to regulate the planet’s climate. But other than the climactic importance of the Himalayas, it is also home to 9 out of 10 of the highest peaks in the world – including, of course, Mount Everest. This mountain climbs to the height of 8,849 Meters and is the highest point on Earth. National Geographic writes:
“How dangerous is it? As of the end of the 2018 season, the Himalayan Database reports that 295 people are known to have died climbing Everest, while there have been 9,159 successful summit climbs by 5,294 people.”
Whilst Everest is the highest mountain in the world, it is now one of the most consistently climbed. Thanks to improvements in technology and consistent expeditions, this mountain has become safer to climb. That’s not to say that it isn’t a huge feat of mankind – facing landslides, avalanches and seriously dangerous terrain – but it has become more common. In fact, the record of summits came in 2018 when 800 people climbed it.
Annapurna has only ever been summited by 191 people and has a death rate of 32%. That is why it is considered one of the deadliest in the region. It sits at 8,091 meters, which is of course smaller than Everest, but it’s made difficult by its steepness and architecture. Its south face, which is a steep ‘wall of rock’ that climbs 3,000 meters, is considered one of the hardest climbs on Earth. Breeze Adventure writes:
“Annapurna Mountain is full of seracs, crevasses, sharp ridges, and other difficult elements… There is always a chance for an avalanche to occur, and big chunks of ice and boulders falling from the mountain… Unlike many other mountains that the mountaineers climb upon, Annapurna range is secluded. So, it’s quite tough to get the help on time, provided that any health risk occurs.”
Now it’s important to realize that I wasn’t about to try and attempt to climb the summit of Annapurna. I am far too inexperienced and an enjoyer of low altitude to do that. I like my feet on the ground. However, I was about to trek to the Annapurna Base Camp, which is over halfway up at 4130 meters. As treks go in Nepal this one is considered ‘moderate and demanding’, but it was far more than those two words can describe.
Trekking in Nepal
The Himalayas cover around 75% of the nation of Nepal, which is why trekking to the region from this country is so popular. In fact, due to the Lord of the Rings-like scenery, there are hundreds of organized treks from Nepal. The one I completed was the Annapurna Base Camp trek, with a detour to Poon Hill, and it lasted 10 days – with around 6 hours walking each day. The Himalayan Glacier writes:
“Experience the glorious trek to Annapurna Base Camp, one of Nepal’s classic short treks amid spectacular high peaks. Annapurna Base Camp Trek (ABC) is an amazing walk through diverse landscape and culture complete with rich mountain vistas, terraced fields, quaint Gurung villages and a wide variety of flora and fauna.”
I’ll be honest, in comparison with other treks and according to professionals, the ABC would be considered a walk in the park – quite literally. But for myself and my girlfriend, this was far from that. We weren’t expecting the hugely demanding 3000 steps up to Ulleri, or the dangerous landslide cliff face routes to Chomrong, the constant rain, the shivering nights in teahouses and, who could forget, the blood sucking leeches that only want to cause pain and discomfort to everyone you love. The leeches, or ‘juka’ in Nepali, come out of the soil during monsoon time and will do whatever it takes to get a suckle of your blood. However, whilst I had many bloody socks and my girlfriend even had an unfortunate incident with a leech and her breast, it wasn’t too fatal.
Whilst we were pushing on through beautiful, quaint, hilltop Nepali villages, exhausted, needing some reason to go on, the grey sky suddenly cleared and for the first time we saw the peaks of the Himalayas. We must have been walking for 4 days, in the dreary monsoon season, with no view of the peaks. But there they were, in all their glory, like black and white sketches on blue paper, it was truly magical. But not only that, as the sunlight pierced through the clouds, they shone on the ground in front of us and there, also filling our noses as well as our eyes, was a sea of bush weed. The cannabis indica plant grows wild in Nepal, especially in the mountain regions. In fact, there is a common belief that the first ever cannabis plant was found on the base of the Himalayas. Perhaps that is the same place I found these ones. Alchimia writes:
“Over the centuries, Nepal has made a name for itself in cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! culture for several reasons, such as its spectacular sativas, its incomparable handmade hashish or charas, and the natural way in which consumption was handled by the authorities (as well as the arrival of western tourists attracted by precisely these reasons) during the 60s and early 70s.”
Whilst the plant has been technically illegal and punished strictly since 1976, cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! still has an important place in religious practices and grows freely. Amazed by the sight of naturally growing weed – we definitely don’t get that in the UK – we began to pick as much as we could and stash it in our pockets. This was definitely our saving grace. Each evening, in our cold teahouse, we would roll up a joint and allow it to relax our aching bodies.
We didn’t want to smoke too much, as it is known to dehydrate and reduce lung abilities, but one joint an evening was a huge help to us. The cannabis itself had a beautifully dull high and didn’t send us ‘west’ – as the kids would say. No paranoia, no uncomfortable feeling, just a relaxing sensation and a smile on both our faces. However, this wasn’t the end of the story. As we reached the Annapurna base camp altitude sickness took hold. At 4100 meters, I began to feel nauseous, have cold sweats, and my head was pounding. The rule with altitude in the Himalayas is that if you begin to vomit, you must descend immediately.
I felt like I wasn’t far off. The issue was, it was dark, pouring with rain, and a long way to the lower teahouse. I didn’t know what to do. But in an act of inspiration, one of the Nepali guides prepared me some strong garlic soup and told me to have a few puffs of a joint. It was magic, within 15 minutes I was better. The research into cannabis as a cure for altitude sickness is limited, so I wouldn’t advise anyone to use this story as gospel. But for me it worked, and I was extremely thankful it did. Emerald Health Advocates writes:
“If you do decide to try medical marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! to combat your altitude sickness, it’s important to remember that marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! can increase dehydration, so drink plenty of fluid. Keep your doses low and wait at least five minutes to see what effect it has on your system”
If you’re reading this and considering doing the ABC trek, don’t be put off by how hard I found it. Overall, it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. The views were incredible and the Himalayas are something to marvel at. The monsoon season was the real reason for our hardship and perhaps if we’d gone at a different time the leeches and cold wouldn’t have slightly tarnished the experience. But, at the same time, it was the monsoon that caused such a lustrous growth of gorgeous bush weed. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.
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DIY Mescaline Extraction: How Best to Get the Good Stuff Out
I recently covered the mescaline loophole, and how to access mescaline without breaking the law. The thing is, unless you’re eating the plant, you’ll need to take the plant in question, and get the mescaline out. It’s definitely not the easiest process, but neither is making meth, and that’s a pretty popular activity in some places. For those with the wherewithal to do so, here are some basic DIY mescaline extraction instructions, along with some further reading, to help get the process started.
Check out these instructions for a DIY mescaline extraction. A fun project for those with a little chemistry experience! We are an independent news publication offering comprehensive coverage of the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! and psychedelics landscapes. Subscribe today and we’ll send you regular updates via the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, as well as providing you some super sweet deals on tons of merchandise like vapesThis post contains affiliate links!, smoking devices, edibles, cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! paraphernalia, and the ever-popular cannabinoids Delta 8 & HHC. You can find details in our ‘best of’ lists, so go ahead, and pick yourself up some brand new swag.
Disclaimer: The following article includes actions which could be illegal depending on location. Neither this publication, nor its writers, are encouraging anyone to break laws. We are, however, providing scientific information, which is already open to the public.
Mescaline – the low-down
Of all the classical psychedelics, mescaline comes with the benefit of not being quite so illegal. Mescaline, (3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenethylamine), is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound, which is serotonergic in nature, like its compatriots LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. It’s found in plants like the Peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana), San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), and in the Cactaceae plant and Fabaceae bean families. It’s a member of the phenethylamine class of drugs, along with the likes of methamphetamine, MDMA, and amphetamine.
Mescaline acts like other psychedelics, producing subjective experiences in the form of hallucinations. These happen with eyes open or closed, and are also associated with distortions in time, vision, and sound. Also, like other psychedelics, mescaline produces feelings of euphoria, well-being, connectedness, and an overall loss of ego. It’s often spoken about as being gentler than other psychedelics, with less negative come-down experience.
Psychedelics do come with the stipulation that they can cause bad trips. The topic of bad trips is way less flushed out than it should be, and the concept is often not well understood. It more or less seems to be an anxiety response, likely caused by the stimulant effect of increased serotonin. Prospective users should keep this in mind when considering dosing, and whether to try mescaline at all, (though it seems the majority of people don’t have this issue).
Mescaline made an entrance into Western science in 1897, when German chemist Arthur Heffter isolated the compound from a Peyote plant. It was synthesized for the first time in 1919 by Ernst Späth. It’s history goes back way farther than this, with ritualistic use dating back as far as 5,700 years ago. It has been a staple in MesoAmerican cultures, used in different spiritual and ritualistic events throughout history, and into today.
How legal is mescaline?
The mescaline loophole exists because of this rich history of religious use. Mescaline itself is a Schedule I substance on the Controlled Substances list, as of the implementation of the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The plant Peyote, which contains mescaline, and is the most popular plant to do so, is also Schedule I. But not other mescaline-containing plants like San Pedro or Peruvian Torch. According to the US government, these other mescaline-producing cacti are perfectly legal for possession, sale, and transport; and are legal for cultivation without rules attached, as they aren’t mentioned in any drug law.
Even Peyote isn’t 100% illegal. In 1978, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was put into place, originally meant to cover Peyote use for Native American communities only. This was expanded in 1991 to include anyone using the plant for religious purposes, and then amended in 1994 to include harvest, possession, consumption, and cultivation of the plant for religious purposes. Which means, so long as your Peyote is used for something bigger than yourself, its totally cool.
For the purpose of clarity, its best to touch on an important point. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act gives a lot of freedom to use mescaline via Peyote for religious purposes, as does the lack of inclusion of other mescaline-containing plants in official drug scheduling. But this doesn’t include mescaline production. The term ‘production’ technically relates to any part of growing a plant or making a drug, but in this case is geared toward doing something specifically with the mescaline inside.
In native cultures, mescaline isn’t extracted from the plant, but instead, taken in with the plant. It’s common to cut the heads off the Peyote cacti and dry them into disc-like buttons. The user can simply chew the buttons to release the mescaline. The other option is to soak the buttons in hot water to make a tea. Neither of these include major production methods beyond growing the plant, and therefore don’t deal with specific mescaline production.
As such, when it comes to physically taking the mescaline out of the plants, the legality is a bit more gray. There’s area to argue it either way, especially if an extraction is for a religious purpose. However, as of right now, the laws technically don’t cover the idea of taking the mescaline out of the plant.
DIY mescaline extraction tips
Doing a DIY mescaline extraction isn’t the simplest process, but for those with the right training, its not that different from a small-scale science experiment, and doesn’t require tools that a standard person can’t get. Here is the basic process of a mescaline extraction from the Peyote plant (or similar cactus). These instructions are not meant to be followed without further research, and are more to give an idea of the general information, with an expectation that anyone who wants to do it, will research the topic further first.
- The first thing you must do is make a cactus soup. Either take dried cactus and powder it, or take fresh cactus and puree it in a blender. Before doing anything else, weigh your cactus matter, as this becomes important information for later. Use a stainless steal pot, and cover the Peyote with water. It needs to be an acidic soup, which means you’ll need to add something like citric acid to lower the pH. This soup is then boiled for about 20 minutes. The cactus matter is strained out, and this process should be repeated three times, and the water from each time put together.
- The second step is de-fatting the liquid, to get rid of fats and other unnecessary plant material. The pH must be around four at this point, which means the alkaloids will be salts, and therefore soluble in water, but not the compound xylene. First let it cool, then transfer to a glass container. Add 25-50% of the solution volume in xylene (which can be bought easily over the internet). Put on a lid, and turn the jar over lightly about 50-100 times. No shaking, as that much agitation can cause emulsions to occur. After this light mixing, the contents will separate into three layers: a top solvent layer, a middle fatty layer, and a bottom acidic aqueous solution layer, which contains the alkaloids.
- Once you have the layers, you can get rid of the top two layers. This involves using a turkey baster to take off the top two layers. If this doesn’t get it all, you can siphon off all of the top two layers along with a little of the bottom layer. Put this in a tall thin glass container like a test tube, and let it separate itself into layers again. Then, you can use an eye dropper to get out all the solvent and fat, and add back the rest of the aqueous solution. This whole process should be repeated until no fatty layer is left at the top.
- Now you need to make your acidic solution, into something basic. To do this, add in sodium hydroxide slowly to raise the pH to about ten. If you choose to do this by making a sodium hydroxy mixture with water, make sure to use non-heat-sensitive containers as the mixture produces heat. Sodium hydroxide should be handled carefully in general as it can cause burns, and if possible you should wear protective gloves and goggles for this part.
- After making your solution basic, add in more xylene at the same ratio as the first time. Do the same turning over lightly process to mix it while avoiding emulsions. When you leave it to sit, two layers will separate out, a top layer of xylene and alkaloids, and a bottom aqueous solution. Collect the xylene layer and put it aside, by either siphoning it off, or using a separatory funnel. Some alkaloids will remain in the bottom layer, so this process should be done a few times to capture as many of the alkaloids in the xylene as possible. Now get rid of the remaining aqueous solution.
- Now you need to make and extract the salts. You’ll add acidic water to the xylene to do so. This converts the salts to water soluble form. If using hydrochloric acid, make sure its diluted if bought from a store. If using vinegar, no need to dilute it and it can be used as is. If using citric acid, you should make a mixture with a small amount of water. At this point you’ll look back on the weight measurements made in the beginning, as a way of assessing how much alkaloid is expected in the solution. Mescaline is generally about 50% of the alkaloid content. Add an equimolar quantity of acid to the solution, based on the weight from the beginning. If you don’t have the weight, its okay. Add in acidic water to the xylene, let it separate, and take out the water layer. Repeat until water layer is acidic. When you are done this step (from either method), get rid of the xylene, safely.
- A separate option is to simply allow the xylene to evaporate out, and skip the last step. This comes with the detraction that the mescaline oil in freebase form, is extremely caustic and could burn the skin. It’s preferable to instead access the salt form by using the previous step, but if you have a way of using the mescaline oil, this is also an option.
- The last step is to pour the water into a baking pan (pyrex), and leave it to evaporate. This results in the mescaline forming crystals. This should be done at room temperature with no heat applied. At the end, scrape off the crystals and store in capsules or vials.
- In terms of how to dose it, the important thing to know is that the type of mescaline is dependent on the type of extraction solvent. Citric acid creates mescaline citrate, vinegar creates mescaline acetate, and muriatic acid creates mescaline hydrochloride. The different molecular weights of the different acids, means different dosing requirements. Check all related material so you can feel comfortable with how you dose your final product.
If you’re looking to do a DIY mescaline extraction from the Peyote plant, the above guidelines can help, but you’ll need further information. Interested extractors should check out this guide which is less specific to Peyote, this guide for yet another view and more pointers, and this source which offers more information on mescaline extractions in general. My advice is to read through all the information to figure out if this is desired, the method that works best for you, and your solvent of choice.
As stated previously, the legality of a DIY mescaline extraction is less concrete than the ability to use mescaline in ritualistic capacities as part of a plant. Interested parties should make sure they are comfortable with the process and legalities involved.
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Problems in The Industry? Cannabis Giant Canopy Growth Sells Retail locations
It’s the coolest industry in the world, right? Well, maybe it is, but for all the government claims of tax flow, it doesn’t seem to be the most lucrative. Now, as industry giant Canopy Growth makes deals to sell its retail locations, what does this really say about our coolest new industry?
Canopy Growth selling its retail locations could signal a big problem in the retail weed market. This news site is an independent resource for stories in the growing cannabis and psychedelics industries of today. Subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates to your email, and to get access to a host of awesome deals on a range of products including vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabis paraphernalia, and the highly-in-demand cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds Delta 8 & HHC. You can find more info in our ‘best of’ lists, so head on over, and pick out the products you’re most happy to use.
Who the heck is Canopy Growth?
A decade ago, cannabis companies weren’t much of a thing. Sure, there were some medical markets opening, but recreational was still years away, and the same issue of federal government illegalization kept anything from really popping on a huge level. Plus, weed was still illegal for all purposes nearly everywhere in the world at that time, so no large global markets existed.
Since then, the cannabis industry has become a real thing, complete with verticals from seed to sale. And while we hear of all the money its worth, and projections for how big it *could get, the reality has been creeping alongside the whole time; that it’s not quite the lucrative industry so many predicted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, a very much struggling industry. This is exemplified by recent news of industry giant Canopy Growth, making plans to sell off its 28 brick-and-mortar retail locations.
Canopy Growth isn’t a nobody in the industry. The company, based out of Swiss Falls, Ontario, in Canada, was the largest cannabis company in 2019 in terms of stock value. Canopy Growth came out of a merger between Tweed MarijuanaThis post contains affiliate links!, Inc, and Bedrocan Canada, in 2015. The company has the designation of being the first Canadian cannabis company to be federally regulated, licensed, and publicly traded in North America.
It trades under WEED on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and opened in the New York Stock Exchange under CGC in 2018. It was the first cannabis producer to enter the NYSE. Canopy was also the first company to make a recreational cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! sale when it was officially legalized in Canada. This took place in a Tweed store located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Back in November 2016, the company was singled out as the first unicorn of the weed industry, with a $1 billion valuation according to the Financial Post. The company operates dispensaries through its subsidiary Tweed, Inc. in the provinces that allow a private sector market, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. It operates as well in Manitoba and Ontario under the brand name Tokyo Smoke.
By 2018, the company had market capitalization exceeding $14 billion, and Canopy even funded Professorships in Cannabis Science at University of British Columbia in Vancouver. However, the company’s quick rise, started to falter in 2018. The biggest issue stemmed from Canopy’s attempt to make greenhouses in British Columbia and Quebec larger, which led to pretty big losses. How big? In the last quarter of 2018, the company posted losses of $335.6 million for shareholders. Constellation Brands, which held four out of seven board seats at that time, was unhappy with the company’s direction.
All this led to an emergency board meeting where CEO Bruce Linton was thrown out; but this didn’t stop stock prices from falling. In 2019, stock prices slid further down for Canopy, and it was reported that all of the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! industry was suffering, showing the lowest numbers since 2017. The company instituted new CEO David Klein in December 2019. By 2020, Canopy was already announcing the closing of stores.
Canopy Growth has operations globally. It’s partnered with Alcaliber S.A. pharmaceutical company in Spain; owns Spectrum Therapeutics GmbH in Germany for medical cannabis imports; is partnered with Spectrum Cannabis Denmark ApS, which cultivates medical cannabisThis post contains affiliate links!; acquired Annabis Medical, a Czech Republic distributor; as well as Daddy Cann Lesotho, an African medical cannabis supplier; has a partnership with the UK’s Beckley Foundation for medical cannabis; and has other operations in Australia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Jamaica.
Canopy Growth sells retail locations
It was already a downhill slide for the weed giant, so this latest news isn’t surprising, but it is a little depressing; especially in what it signals for the legal marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! industry as a whole. On September, 27th, 2022, the company announced that it was forging agreements to sell off its retail market locations throughout Canada. This includes retail stores under both the Tweed and Tokyo Smoke brand names.
OEG Retail Cannabis, already a Canopy partner that owns and operates franchises of Tokyo Smoke stores in Ontario, will take all of Canopy’s corporate stores outside Alberta, and all intellectual property related to Tokyo Smoke as well. Canopy also reached an agreement with the company 420 Investments Ltd., in which the latter will take ownership of five retail locations within Alberta. Neither deal is officially closed, as they are both subject to regulatory oversight and approval.
While this doesn’t necessarily say good things about how Canopy Growth sees the retail market, it’s certainly not the end of the company, which is using this move as a way to refocus attention elsewhere. According to its press statement, the company will continue on with a focus on premium cannabis consumer packaged goods.
According to David Klein, “We are taking the next critical step in advancing Canopy as a leading premium brand-focused CPG cannabis company while furthering the Company’s strategy of investing in product innovation and distribution to drive revenue growth in the Canadian recreational market.”
He continued of the deals, “By realizing these agreements with organizations that possess proven cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! retail expertise, we are providing continuity for consumers and team members. Through the best-in-class retail leadership that OEGRC and FOUR20 have demonstrated, they will continue to serve Canadian consumers with the high-quality in-store experiences that are essential for success in a new industry.”
It’s expected that this change will lead to operational savings for the company. These savings are projected to put the company back at the high end of their yearly target range. The company announced its overall cost reduction plan earlier this year in April.
What does this mean for the cannabis industry?
Companies switch direction all the time, or take on new ventures. Technically, it’s not that weird for a company to see a different aspect of a market, and go towards it. Cannabis food products are getting quite popular, so it could be seen as Canopy Growth simply changing lanes for the drive forward.
But there are some other stark realities to this situation. Realities that are often hidden behind announcements of all the cannabis tax income for states. The reality that this industry is not bringing in nearly as much revenue as expected. That the black market is a formidable opponent that many still prefer, and that legal markets were instituted with taxes so high, that it makes legal operators struggle to stay afloat. Sure, some companies are making money, but not that many.
It’s easy to forget that one of the biggest winners in the weed game is not private companies, but government entities. And for them, this is all new income; so whether its high or low, its adding money to government coffers. Think of how much cigarettes cost because of those ‘sin’ taxes meant to dissuade us from buying them. Obviously, sin taxes don’t work, but what they do mean, is that as we continue to buy these sinful products (in the same quantities as when they weren’t taxed to kill us), the government reaps the benefits.
Philip Morris still makes plenty of money from cigarettes, but probably not as much as the government. In Mexico, for example, its reported that an entire 70% of the price of a pack of cigarettes, is taxes. That governments have turned taxing items into a full industry, means that governments can profit off an industry as much, or more, than the actual companies within it. Such is the case right now with cannabis, where tax money is coming in, but the markets themselves are waning.
This whole concept was exemplified well by economists Daniel Sumner and Robin Goldstein, who together put out the book Can Legal Weed Win?: The Blunt Realities of Cannabis Economics. The two UC Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics professionals, who did an interview for TIME magazine, point out how the legal weed industry is very much weighed down by overly strict regulatory measures, a market competitive within itself and with the black market, and because of a host of agricultural issues that come up in the industry.
As Sumner put it, “There are companies that have done well and there are lots of companies that have not done well at all. There are growers that are doing OK and there are lots of farms that are not doing OK at all… It’s been a gold rush and a few people have found some gold and a lot of people haven’t.”
Goldstein explained further about investing in the industry, that “The ones that are probably making the safest money are probably the ones who were taking flat fees… But folks who took their compensation in the form of shares in these big cannabis holding companies, those stocks have not done well on the whole.”
If this doesn’t sound like the headlines blaring about a massive and growing weed industry, with no obstacles in its way, that’s because those headlines mainly speak in market projections, and market projections aren’t real. That’s the nature of projections, they’re just someone’s thoughts, but they’re not facts, or indicative of what will actually happen. Market projections were extremely high for the cannabis industry, but that never meant they had to be realized.
In actuality, according to Sumner, “People say this is a $100 billion industry. Robin and I are skeptical of that, but there could be a $10 billion industry, which is a lot of money if shared among a few players… We’ve seen nothing like the consolidation yet where the really big money could be coming. We haven’t even seen an indication that it’s going that direction.”
Canopy Growth is one of those big players, which is why this move is a possible signal of a bigger problem; namely an inability to really make enough money outside of projections. After all, why would a leader in the retail cannabis industry, give up that part of their business in an effort to recoup losses? As Canopy Growth sells its retail locations and exits that part of the game, we should wonder who can survive in the market, if this company can’t.
The news that Canopy Growth is selling its retail locations to focus on other aspects of the market in an attempt to recoup losses, is a pretty big indication that its a bumpy ride in the cannabis retail industry. What will happen next for Canopy Growth and the market in general? Stay tuned to life to find out.
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Owning Guns is a Constitutional Right, Unless You’re a Cannabis User
Take two of the most hot-button, tendentious issues of our time – cannabis use and gun rights – combine them, and now we really have a debate. As the law currently stands, medical cannabis patients are not afforded their 2nd amendment right to bear arms. Technically, all cannabis consumers are banned from buying guns, but only medical users who are registered in the states’ databases feel the brunt of these regulations. In Florida, the agriculture commissioner sided with medical users and filed a lawsuit on their behalf, in hopes of getting that law overturned… only to be promptly shut down by the DOJ and their illogical talking points. What exactly happened with that case, and how can an entire group of people be denied a constitutional right based on what should technically be HIPAA-protected, private medical information?
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What’s the news?
So, a bit of background before the most recent news. Back in April, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, who also happens to be a well-known human rights activist, as well as a born and bred Floridian – Nikki Fried – filed a lawsuit alongside a number of medical cannabis patients on the grounds that it is unconstitutional to prevent them from owning firearms.
“I filed this lawsuit to bring attention to how the federal government’s inconsistent and illogical cannabis policies are creating not only confusion, but actual harm,” Fried stated. “Unfortunately, the issue raised in our lawsuit is just one of the many dilemmas posed that is affecting a massive number of Floridians and even more patients nationwide.”
At first, it seemed like this lawsuit might get some positive attention and results, but a few days ago the Department of Justice filed a motion in response to the case claiming that the existing law remains, and attempted to dispute a series of claims made by the plaintiffs. The DOJ is requesting the case be completely dismissed or issued a summary judgment.
In addition to many outlandish statements (read below) about cannabis users and how reckless and mentally unstable we are, the DOJ made it very clear that as long as cannabis remains a schedule 1 narcotic, anyone using it (even medicinally) is breaking federal law – regardless of what the specific laws are in their respective states. In short, because of the inherent criminality of using cannabis, that means people who partake are “too dangerous” to own guns because of our disregard for federal law (insert eyeroll here).
It’s worth mentioning that personal cannabis possession is only a misdemeanor offence. Add to that, prohibition is unjust, outdated, and ineffective anyway. It should be repealed, not enforced and followed. Numerous laws throughout history have been overturned because they were unconstitutional and/or violated basic human rights; and change typically starts with a revolt at the citizen level.
Cannabis users are “violent”, “mentally ill”, and “dangerous”?
First of all – no, no, and another hard no. But if you were to ask someone from the Department of Justice, their answer would be a resounding “yes” to all three. These were some of the reasons they provided when responding to the lawsuit in Florida. More specifically, they stated that: “Defendants showed that marijuana’s impairing effects make it dangerous for marijuana users to possess firearms … Cannabis can affect a user’s coordination, motor skills and cognition, as well as result in dizziness, anxiety, confusion, an inability to concentrate, paranoia and psychotic symptoms.”
The DOJ motion also contended that, “MarijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! users also engage in criminal activity that renders firearms possession dangerous, albeit for different reasons (i.e., the propensity for violence for domestic violence misdemeanants, and the impairing effects of marijuana for marijuana users). A marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! user who possesses a firearm will have access to that firearm when he/she uses marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links!. And because marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! impairs judgment, the danger exists that he/she will fail to exercise sound judgment and use the firearm while impaired.”
Honestly, it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve read in a very long time. As if people get stoned and just go buck wild and start shooting with no regard to anything – very reminiscent of Reefer Madness-style propaganda. But it’s simply not true, and at this point, it’s not something that anyone with even a shred of common sense would be inclined to believe.
They did point to a couple of flawed studies which claimed marijuana use was prevalent among men who were arrested for domestic violence. What the studies failed to address is any other confounding variables that may have led to the domestic violence – such as the use of other substances, family histories of violence, mental health, and so on. An act as serious as domestic violence is a complex psychological issue that takes years and numerous different elements to develop. It’s certainly not as black and white as “smoke weed, get paranoid, become violent”, which is what these studies, and the DOJ, are making it out to be.
Hypocrisy beyond measure
These regulations might make more sense if everyone got drug tested before purchasing a firearm, but that is not how it goes. I’ve owned guns in three states: California, Nevada, and Indiana. California’s laws were the most stringent and even there, I did not have to submit a drug test. As a matter of fact, not a single US state requires any sort of drug screening for weapons purchases. In the latter two states (NV and IN), buying a gun was just about as easy as grabbing a pack of cigarettes or case of beer at your local mini mart. Just pick what you want, show your ID and pay, and you’re out the door with your gun of choice – be it a little purse pistol, a semi-automatic assault rifle, and everything in between.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not actually have a problem with that. Aside from the fact that I own guns myself and feel safer having at least one on my property; I truly believe that good, law-abiding people should be able to do whatever they want (within reason of course), and whatever makes them feel safe, happy, and comfortable in their lives. Owning a full-blown arsenal of weapons and ammo seems a bit crazy, but having a couple of guns around just in case, that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me (although this is just my personal opinion on that specific matter).
Where this all gets hypocritical in regards to weed, is in the methodology used to deny medical cannabis patients the right to bear arms. The way that it’s done, is during the background check process in medical and adult-use states, the customer is searched in the medical cannabis patient database (if they don’t provide the information upfront) that states are required to maintain through the department of health. If they’re in it, they’ll get denied for a firearm purchase.
The reason for this is because cannabis use is federally prohibited, and engaging in criminal activity bars people from being able to buy guns. But the fact that no drug test is administered during background checks, indirectly means that recreational users can continue buying guns unhindered; whereas medical patients, who are following the laws in their state of residence, cannot do the same. Not to mention, people who use equally illegal but much more dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, and so on, are not getting turned away at gun stores like medical pot patients are.
And don’t even get me started on alcohol. It’s legal, despite being statistically known as the “deadliest drug on earth”, responsible for more violent crimes and homicides than all other drugs combined. In American cities and towns, higher rates of violent crimes are directly linked to the presence of liquor stores in neighborhoods. According to a 2021 study, in areas where there was a “10 percent increase in access to liquor stores and beer and wine stores, there was also a 37 percent greater association with violent crime”. Yet alcoholics can buy guns, and medical cannabis patients cannot. In the small town I currently live in – Cloverdale, IN – where we don’t even have a pet store or a CVS, we do have a liquor store and a gun shop, and they happen to be right across the street from each other.
A brief history of constitutional gun rights in the United States
Ah, the second amendment – one of the most fundamental, yet controversial of our constitutional rights as Americans. Let’s take a quick look at the exact text of the second amendment and break down what it means. The text: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
What exactly does that mean… or more specifically, what were our founding fathers referring to when they said, “a well-regulated militia”? Some argue that a “well-regulated militia” is a military group that is organized and supervised by the government, but by definition, a militia is “any fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state.” Often, militias are formed to fight against the government or ruling force of a nation. When combining “well-regulated militia” with “free state” and “right of the people”, it seems clear that the right to bear arms was established in order to give citizens a fighting chance to protect themselves against a tyrannical and out of control governing body.
There’s debate on whether the 2nd amendment is even still relevant today or not, and those who oppose the 2nd amendment generally offer two common arguments: (1) because it was written so long ago and during a much different period in history, and (2) because the weapons we have today are much more destructive and technologically advanced than weapons they had when the constitution was written.
In my opinion, both arguments are moot points because when you get down to the core of it, the right to bear arms is actually less about the right to own certain weapons, and more about the right for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from immediate danger, whether that danger comes from criminals or corrupt government forces. And if we’re assuming that all the other amendments are still our intrinsic rights, it’s safe to conclude that the right to bear arms counts as well.
Whether you like it or not, both cannabis and guns are a huge part of American culture and history; and use/ownership of both are fundamental human rights. According to founding-era legal scholar St. George Tucker, “The right to self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine the right within the narrowest limits possible.” That’s hard to disagree with.
Regarding weed, let’s look at the preamble to the Declaration of Independence about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. That short statement essentially encompasses the entire essence behind what a democratic government should be, and considering how cannabis is natural, therapeutic, and a person’s use of it does not infringe on the rights of another, banning it should be viewed as being unconstitutional as well.
But again, regardless of what your views are on the 2nd amendment, the main takeaway here is that preventing ONLY medical cannabis users from buying firearms, while other drug users are free to purchase them as they please, is a particularly low blow.
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Top 5 Reasons Its Insane That Plants Are Illegal
Maybe it’s a norm in life that we’ve grown up with, but does that make it right? Or, is it one of those things that needs an overhaul in how we’ve been trained to think about it. And yes, trained. When something prevails throughout your life, or a pattern of behavior happens within it that you’re obliged to go by, it does create a certain level of training in thought. We are all accustomed to the weird idea that part of nature, is banned from us, and we seem to think this makes sense. Or at least, some of us do. But some of us don’t. So, in light of that, here are the top 5 reasons it’s absolutely ridiculous to make plants illegal.
Why are we so complacent with the government telling us which plants we’re not allowed to use? Here are the top 5 reasons this practice of making plants illegal, is insane. Thanks for stopping by our comprehensive and independent news site, featuring the best in cannabis and psychedelics reporting. Subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates; and product offerings on tons of cool stuff like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, cannabis paraphernalia, and the super popular cannabinoid compounds including Delta 8 & HHC. Take a trip to out ‘best of’ lists for more info, and pick yourself out the products you’re most happy to use.
5) Nature can be illegal???
Ever since I was a child there have been plants that were legally off-limits, and somehow, in my child brain, this made sense because it was authoritative bodies telling me they were. As I got older, I started thinking about it more, and questioning it more. Why is any part of nature off limits to any of us? People sleep in live volcanoes and jump out of airplanes. We swim in shark-infested waters, and hike through areas with animals that can kill us. And according to government, these dangerous nature experiences are fine.
The truth in life is that when something is truly poisonous, or dangerous, like really in need of staying away from, we will. That’s how animals in general work. If we really have to do it, we have senses for these things, and the ability to learn from experience. Yeah, maybe someone gets poisoned here or there, but that happens anyway, and in nature, these little experiences help entire species to know what they can partake in, and what they can’t. No animal population makes a habit of eating plants that kill them. Consider how dumb governing bodies must think we are, to tell us what to be afraid of in the natural world.
We’re always told we’re the most intelligent species, right? So, why then are we considered incapable of assessing which plants we want to come into contact with? There are actually poisonous plants out there that will kill immediately upon consumption, and somehow, plenty of them are legal. But a few that make a person feel good, or worse, help them in some way? Apparently all those are off limits. The #5 reason its insane to make plants illegal, is because it illegalizes part of the natural world. As animals, we have no reason to have a governing body tell us which parts of nature we can use. If it grows out of the ground, it should it be automatically accessible to everyone who wants it.
4) Here, have a fake version
The reality of the pharmaceutical industry, is that its based on natural plants, even if the medicines produced are all synthetic. The only reason for this? That plants growing naturally can’t be patented. This means, companies aren’t allowed to take a plant in its natural environment and claim it legally. This, obviously, is a good thing. If it wasn’t this way, Johnson & Johnson could literally take a plant like cannabisThis post contains affiliate links!, pay a certain amount, and then have all control of it.
Since plants can’t be patented, their chemical abilities can’t be monopolized by one company. Instead, many companies can use the same plant to come up with their own synthetic formulations, and this is how the pharmaceutical industry works. Not every medicine is taken from a plant, but the vast majority are, as there is less basis to know how to treat things without the backbone of natural medicine. For as much as Western medicine likes to degrade Eastern medicine, it is still nearly 100% based on it, since pharmaceutical medicines are based in real plant structures.
When plants are illegal, and only their synthetic counterparts are legal, it means pushing synthetics over the real thing. Much like the idea of making part of nature illegal, this is a weird concept we’ve been acclimated to; that a fake version of a real thing is somehow better, and the real thing is somehow dangerous. A great example of where this fails, is antibiotics, and the oft mentioned issue of antibiotic-resistance.
Antibiotics fail because they’re simple, and bacteria can adapt to them and change. But they can’t do this with the original plant compounds, as those are way more complicated. It’s almost funny that this fear of antibiotic resistance continues, when the plants will always work. That brings us to the #4 reason plants shouldn’t be illegal. Because its means pushing people toward the fake version, instead of the real one.
3) They’ll save you if you let them
Natural medicine traditions didn’t persist through thousands of years because of how useless they are. They maintained through history because they work, and they work using natural plants with no synthetic components or processing, because back in the day, these things weren’t possible.
One of the interesting things about natural medicine traditions, is that there are tons of them. Think of how many little cultures of people came and went through history, or still exist in their tiny corners of the earth. These traditions have mostly been separated by space and time, with often no knowledge from one reaching another. After all, can you imagine natives in Siberia sharing their wisdom of fly agaric mushrooms with natives in Brazil, 1,000 years ago…wouldn’t have been possible. Yet, many compounds found their ways into the exact same places of treatment and spiritual use, in tons of different cultures.
Or, as native cultures use the plants relevant to where they are geographically, similar compounds from similar plants are used in different traditions, for the same ailments. This is a massive backing up of these plant attributes, that unrelated cultures would use them through history, in the exact same ways. If none of this worked, this repetition of use wouldn’t be seen, and it most certainly is.
Plants are extremely useful for treating nearly anything, so long as the right plant is used. There have even been studies showing plant compounds that effectively fight coronaviruses, something not mentioned during a two year pandemic in which synthetic vaccines were actually forced on people in some places. When plants are illegalized, these medical benefits, often used for thousands of years, are also barred from us. The #3 reason to question why plants are made illegal? It makes it harder to benefit from their natural properties.
2) Cocaine and heroin aren’t natural…they’re processed versions
We’re often told of the danger of plants like poppies and coca, because of the psychoactive effects. However, the drugs used as scare tactics, like cocaine and heroin, are not direct constitutions of the plants, but instead are processed versions. The actual plant versions are much weaker. Try chewing some coca leaves, it’s not the same as snorting a line of cocaine. Most of the time, the drugs we’re most warned about, are not what a person would pick out of the ground, making it even more insane that the plants take the blame.
When it comes to psychedelics and other psychoactive components from plants, like DMT, psilocybin, mescaline, fly agaric mushrooms, and salvia, the plants/compounds don’t need to be changed in order to gain effects. However, in all cases just mentioned, there’s also no death and disability toll, making for no actual danger. If it’s really not about death and disability, why does the government intervene for our safety? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. If the government doesn’t want coca leaves being processed into cocaine, or poppy leaves to be processed into heroin, then it should make those practices illegal, but the whole plant? That makes no sense as the plant itself doesn’t generally cause the extreme effects of the processed version.
And for that matter, considering all pharma products are a processed version of something, the idea that processing a plant to make an incredibly strong version of it, is sort of what Western medicine is all about. If you look up statistics for opium overdose deaths, you’ll be hard pressed to find them. What you will find plenty of, is opioid death statistics, and that relates to the pharmaceutical synthetic versions.
Which means a deadly processed version is legal and pushed by the government, while the unprocessed version which is unlikely to kill you, is banned from use. The #2 reason why its crazy to take plants and make them illegal is because the actual plants aren’t what’s causing the problem in the first place. If you look at the picture below, it highlights the misunderstanding between natural and synthetic medicine. It labels Western medicine as ‘classic’ medicine, and natural medicine, as ‘alternative’ medicine. In reality, these terms should be switched, as natural medicine is the classically used form, and Western medicine is the synthetic alternative.
1) Too much government control
Perhaps all the other reasons back up the #1 reason…it means a ridiculous amount of government control. We elect government officials to make laws and keep society functioning, but where’s the line? And if it’s crossed, how do we do anything about it? Maybe seat belts are good, and speeding limits. Maybe its good there are requirements for building engineering, and behaviors we don’t allow in workplaces.
However, this body meant to protect us, often does the opposite. It allows weird chemicals in our food that have helped the population balloon out into obesity. It allows toxins in the air that hurt our lungs and affect our ability to breathe. It allows trash to be dumped into our oceans, where it affects all marine life, including that which we eat. And it doesn’t seem to care about things like instituting a workable healthcare system, and instead will watch a sick person get themselves into debt, and then penalize them when they can’t pay.
Yet this same government which can’t get guns under control enough to not have schools shot up, and which constantly has to recall FDA approved medications due to horrifying health issues that are sometimes known about but not published, also thinks it should be able to tell us which plants are cool to use, and which are not. I mean, come on, guns are legal, but the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! plant isn’t? Is anyone else facepalming this massive logical discrepancy?
Where does it end? Especially when the same government promotes dangerous versions of the same thing through regulation? I mean, shouldn’t a person have the right to choose if they’d prefer to use the poppy plant over a way-too-strong synthetic opioid like fentanyl? The #1 reason its insane to make plants illegal, is that it allows the government a level of unnecessary control, that no government should have.
As more states legalize cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! and plant-based psychedelics, or create ballot measures for their legalization, perhaps we should ask why we have to argue about this in the first place. Not only is it insane to illegalize a plant, its even more insane to make the residents of a state have to fight just to get legal access to something that should never have been barred in the first place.
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Nicotine Gummies Could Save You, But FDA Prefers You Smoke & Die
So, we know smoking damage is the absolute biggest killer. When it comes to deaths from drug damage, nothing else compares. Not in the US, and not outside. Yet, every new advance to get people away from smoking, has been met with resistance by the FDA. Vapes are constantly demonized, dry tobacco vapes are massively underplayed, and now nicotine gummies are on the horizon, and the FDA would still rather have you light up and die, than eat them.
Nicotine gummies just came out, and the FDA is already trying to keep them from you….so you won’t stop smoking. This publication is geared toward the expanding cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! and psychedelics spaces with news stories covering important topics and happenings in these industries, and beyond. Subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates, and for access to a range of awesome offers on a load of products like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! paraphernalia, and the growing-in-popularity cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds like Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists for all the details, and make sure to purchase the products you’re perfectly comfortable to use.
Nicotine gummies? For real?
Yup, guys, nicotine gummies are for real, and if you ignore government lines, they’re one of the best things to happen in light of the issue of smoking damage and death. The story came to national attention last month, when the FDA started sending warning letters to VPR Brands, which is the parent company to Krave, Inc., an outfit selling a line of flavored nicotine gummies, each containing one milligram of nicotine. The gummies come in three different flavors. The letters were of the cease and desist nature.
There are currently a lot of issues with cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! companies using the packaging and candy designs of big-name brands in order to sell their products. Mars, Inc. just won a lawsuit against some of these companies for breaking trademark law. But that issue stems from the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! companies using nearly exact replicas, so close that trademark law is broken. The lawsuits weren’t about ruling out all weed gummies (all of which look like something a kid would like); and weed gummies (and edibles in general), are legally sold in tons of dispensaries.
So, the line about confusing children, well, it just doesn’t apply here. Just like it doesn’t apply to any kid-friendly looking candy sold in legal dispensaries, so long as those edibles don’t break trademark law. Yet, that’s the FDA’s ammunition. That the nicotine gummies might look a little too much like something a kid likes. And this, even though they provide an alternative to the smoking damage, which kills 480,000 people a year in the US alone, according to the very government trying to stop these new products.
The nicotine gummies, of course, are meant for adults. And were advertised as a safe way to get nicotine in a person without smoking. If a person doesn’t have to light a cigarette, and breathe in the products of smoke, not only do they have way less chance of developing the cancers, cardiac diseases, and pulmonary issues associated with smoking, they also can’t hurt another person with their secondhand smoke. What’s the FDA’s response to this? That said nicotine gummies are a “a public health crisis just waiting to happen among our nation’s youth.”
It said the same thing about Juul nicotine vape products. Products specifically fingered for helping people stop smoking. And products for which not one claim of a health issue has come out. And yet the FDA recently banned their products from sale, because of possible (yet currently non-existent) dangers, while leaving cigarettes on shelves! Funny move if the idea is to protect children. Somehow, nowhere in any of their letters or statements, did the FDA detail how these products could pose even a fraction of the risk of smoking.
In the fight against vapes, the FDA used vaping fear campaigns to push its point. But this time around, those fear campaigns can’t apply, because vapes aren’t a part of it. Though vaping is roundly NOT associated with the issues of smoking, the FDA has been on a mission to launch fear of these products into the public’s minds, even as we – the smokers – can physically feel the difference between the two. Now, it doesn’t have that ‘vapes are bad’ line, as all those issues which it used for vapes, don’t apply to gummies.
So, it’s just talking about kids. And instead of having a realistic conversation over what smoking dangers are, and how these gummies can prevent them, its trying to scare you from using them. Let’s remember, if you’re not buying cancer sticks, the government doesn’t make an insane profit from exorbitant cigarette taxes. The exact taxes put on to dissuade people from smoking, but which actually just bring in loads of revenue for the government. The government’s antics imply an expectation that people can and will simply stop smoking, without the need for an alternative; even as reality repeatedly proves this is not true.
How bad is nicotine? Or…is it bad at all?
I don’t know, do you think coffee is bad? They’re on par, if you haven’t noticed. They’re both minor stimulants that give a little kick, without a cocaine-like burst. That’s why nicotine and caffeine users use so much. It’s pretty standard in this world to go through 2-10 cups of coffee a day. I picked those numbers based on what I tend to see around me, but we all know the general range. And let’s not forget tea products, soda like Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, chocolate products, energy drinks, and all the other non-caffeine products that get caffeine shoved into them, so you can get that boost more often. It’s literally everywhere.
Has anyone ever complained about the detriments of caffeine addiction? Nope. Want to take a wager on why? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s the inherent lack of a death or injury toll associated. But make no mistake, caffeine-addicted people have a monumentally hard time breaking the habit, and are often cranky and irritating when they don’t get their fix. Just like smokers.
The reality of nicotine is that it doesn’t hurt or kill anyone. There’s no death toll associated with it, and it doesn’t seem to be wildly different than caffeine in addiction potential, or overall use. In fact, let’s be honest for a second, not everyone smokes, but nearly everyone ingests caffeine, at least sometimes. If this doesn’t sound like what you hear from government agencies, check it out yourself. Look up death statistics for nicotine. Not for smoking, but for nicotine itself. I couldn’t find even one.
Its not about nicotine. Which means its not about tobacco, as the part of tobacco always spoken about as the danger point, is nicotine. What it really is, is that lighting anything on fire and breathing it in, means breathing in carcinogens. And nicotine is addictive enough to keep people doing that, since there aren’t a million ways to get nicotine outside of cigarettes. If you don’t want coffee or tea, there’s Coke and Mountain Dew, but the only alternatives to cigarettes, keep getting taken away under fear campaigns. Even as they act as alternatives to a yearly 480,000 death toll.
Will nicotine gummies make it?
My expectation is yes, and that’s a good thing. The fact the FDA is already trying so hard, means there’s something threatening its tax revenue line, enough that it wants to attempt to put the kibosh on it now, before you even hear about, or get used to the products. Maybe it likes using the tagline of worrying about children, but what about the adults who can benefit?
And for that matter, let’s bring it back to the kids. See, it actually is good for kids. Maybe its best they don’t develop a nicotine addiction, but don’t we want them gravitating toward the safer option if they are going to do it? And since when did telling kids not to do something, ever work? We need to expect that a certain number will take up nicotine, and for that, we want them acclimated to a version that won’t kill them.
The popularity of vapes, and the gravitating toward them in spite of smear campaigns, is a powerful indication that regardless of government lines meant to stop people from doing the healthier thing, people seem to know. Maybe it’s a subconscious understanding, maybe its an outright distrust of government.
Maybe it’s just the underlying logic that one causes noticeable damage, and the other doesn’t. Whatever it is, the smear campaign lines are getting weaker, and that’s very positive. It’s even becoming more obvious, as countries like the UK publicize reports speaking of the detriments of any smoke damage, and how vapes should be encouraged to bring down smoking numbers.
One last thing to remember… There are tons of cigarette brands including small, barely-known ones. But the majority of cigarette sales come from big cigarette companies, which are fully taxed. What the US (and all other countries) is having a hard time doing, is reining in black markets related to vaping and edibles. It doesn’t have big main companies to tax, and it can’t really get to these other, smaller companies.
So, when you switch to vaping or edibles from smoking, it means all that tax money collected from your Marlboros, probably isn’t collected by the mom-and-pop vapes or edibles company you now buy from, and therefore, not going to the government. All that money you’d pay to continue smoking, is now lost to the government. Is it really any wonder that the same country allowing the continued sale of opioids through regulation (despite overdose numbers close to 100k a year), would also prefer you continue to smoke over using healthier options?
If you’re a smoker, and you want to quit the actual act of smoking, switch to vapes or edibles, if you can. Until any real death statistics come out related to these products, ASIDE from additives that don’t need to be used, these are your better options. And it’s actually, and fundamentally not up for debate. Not until these methods start killing anywhere near 480,000 people a year, in a place the size of the US.
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