If marijuana was regulated like tobacco and alcohol, the effects of the vaping illness would have been minimized.
Massachusetts cannabis regulators have quarantined all medical marijuana vaping products that use oil-based vape cartridges, while allowing sales of flower-based vapes to continue.
In September, Governor Charlie Baker announced a temporary ban on all vape products sold within state lines, in an attempt to control the outbreak of vaping-related lung illness responsible for killing dozens of people and sickening thousands more. This four-month emergency ban applies to all nicotine and cannabis vape products, including medical marijuana vapes.
This latter issue outraged medical marijuana patients, advocates, and business owners — several of whom sued the state over the ban. Last week, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that the state Department of Public Health “very likely exceeded its authority” by banning medical marijuana vapes, MassLive reports. According to Massachusetts law, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has “exclusive powers” over medical marijuana regulations, not the health department.
Judge Wilkins ordered that the state ban on medical marijuana vapes be lifted as of noon on November 12. “The court therefore allows the [Cannabis Control Commission] time to adopt the [medical marijuana vaping ban] in whole or in part, or decline to adopt any ban at all,” the ruling states.
This Wednesday, the CCC announced that they would continue the ban, but only for oil-based vaping products.
Gallery — Curious If Your Vape Is Legit? Check Out These Photos and Compare:
The Commission announced that they will quarantine all “devices that rely on vaporization or aerosolization, including, but not limited to: vape pens, vape cartridges, aerosol products and inhalers, in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Massachusetts.” This ban does not “prevent the display, sale, or distribution of devices designed to exclusively vaporize marijuana flower for medical-use patients,” however.
CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins said that he “has determined that additional testing of certain products for vitamin E acetate and other substances of concern and the development of additional regulatory and policy safeguards is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare,” WWLP News reports. “Based on current manufacturing processes, it is possible that legal marijuana products sold in the state could contain vitamin E acetate or other potential ingredients of concern,” the CCC said in a statement.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now believe that Vitamin E acetate, an additive sometimes added to black market THC vapes, is likely responsible for this illness — which is now officially known as EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury). A recent study found that this additive was present in lung fluid samples of 29 EVALI patients from 10 different states.
The CDC now reports 2,051 confirmed cases of EVALI, and at least thirty-nine deaths have been linked to this illness. Although most people diagnosed with vaping-related lung problems eventually recover, the consequences can still be severe. In Michigan, doctors only just barely saved a 17-year-old EVALI patient’s life by performing a double lung transplant.
The founder of Cirque du Soleil may find himself walking a legal tightrope after cops busted a cannabis grow on his private island in French Polynesia.
60-year-old billionaire Guy Laliberté is currently in custody of French Polynesian police on the island of Tahiti, facing charges of growing weed. Local authorities reportedly opened a judicial inquiry against Laliberté for drug trafficking after discovering images of cannabis plants on his business associate’s mobile phone.
“We confirm that Mr. Guy Laliberté is currently held in custody at the Gendarmerie on the island of Tahiti,” Anne Dongois, head of communications for Lune Rouge Entertainment (one of Laliberté’s businesses), said in a statement. “A medical cannabis user, Mr. Laliberté is being questioned in respect of cultivation of cannabis for his personal use only at the residence on the island of Nukutepipi, located in the French Polynesia.”
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The official statement adds that “Laliberté categorically denies and dissociates himself completely from any rumors implicating him in the sale or the traffic of controlled substances. We [will] collaborate with the local authorities in the investigation.”
The billionaire will appear in court this Wednesday, where a judge will determine whether or not the weed was being grown for personal use or for drug trafficking.
Although Laliberté owns Nukutepipi, where the weed was discovered, the island is still subject to French Polynesian law. The island nation completely prohibits the cultivation, use, or sale of cannabis, even for medical use. “Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe,” the Global Affairs Canada website warns in a travel advisory for the country. “Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.”
Laliberté founded Cirque du Soleil in Montreal in 1984, and continued growing the business until 2015, when he sold 90 percent of the company to an investment firm for $1.5 billion. Some of this money was used to fund the purchase of Nukutepipi, a tiny atoll in the Pacific. The billionaire reportedly lists his private island as a getaway on Airbnb, where up to 52 guests can book a week’s vacation for a cool $1.3 million.
A new report claims that Kentucky grows more unlicensed weed per capita than any other US state — and yes, that even includes California.
The report was written by the DEA based on data from American Addiction Centers. According to the DEA, Kentucky grew 9,356 illicit cannabis plants per 100,000 residents in 2018. California, known for its flourishing black market, comes in at second place with just 4,572 unlicensed weed plants per 100,000 residents that same year.
Kentucky is one of the final 13 states that has resisted cannabis reform, although voters may approve medical marijuana next year. California was the first US state to legalize medical weed in 1996, and it legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016.
Gallery — Have You Ever Seen This Much Confiscated Weed?!
The states that grew the least illicit weed were Wyoming and Massachusetts. Oddly enough, like Kentucky and California, Wyoming and Massachusetts both have wildly varying laws regarding cannabis. Wyoming, like Kentucky, does not have any legal forms of weed, whereas Massachusetts, like California, has medical and recreational marijuana programs. The DEA did not seize any illicit cannabis plants in Wyoming or Massachusetts in 2018.
Other states where the DEA made no weed seizures include Delaware, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington DC, ProCon reported.
Overall, the DEA seized 2.82 million cannabis plants in 2018, which was roughly 560,000 fewer plants seized than the year before. The federal agency said in addition to plants, it seized $52,308,982 in assets related to illicit cannabis cultivation in 2018, as well.
At this rate, federal law enforcement may need to find another source of revenue, since it looks like busting unlicensed weed grows won’t be terribly lucrative in coming years.
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Illegal cartels use public forests to grow their marijuana crops, contaminating nearby wildlife and water sources.
Have you been thinking about new strains to try? Well, there is definitely plenty to choose from. The bigger challenge is finding the right one. Never fear! We’ve collected our twelve favorite sativa-dominant strains to give you some place to start. Here are some of the best sativa strains for growing and enjoying.
Take a look at our picks for the best sativa strains!
Blue Dream is a beautiful strain quite famous on America’s West Coast. An 80/20 sativa-dominant strain, Blue Dream is a cross between Blueberry and Haze. It has a high THC content, but it lacks sedative side effects, so it can easily be consumed during the day. Blue Dream has a sweet, berry-like scent, and is known for its euphoric, calm high. If you’re looking to grow a sativa strain, Blue Dream is one of the highest yielding popular strains that you could try.
This green giant tops out at taller than seven feet and is ready for harvest in 8 weeks. Harvests can be as large as 19 oz. per square yard, and the THC content is up to 25%. Long story short, Bruce Banner is a straight-up superhero strain! It can be grown indoors or outside in a sunny climate. It’s not quite a beginner strain – it has an intense, quick high, and the plant itself grows very quickly. However, for someone with a green thumb, Bruce Banner is probably one of the best sativa strains you could consider.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is one of the most sativa-heavy strains on this list, at 90/10. It won the High Times Cannabis Cup three years running, for its high-energy high and overall uplifting effects. Most users report euphoria, creativity, and high energy within minutes of trying this strain out. Super Silver Haze can be a little finicky for the beginner grower, so be ready to put some attention into the seven-foot-tall plants. This famous strain is more than worth the effort for the high, however!
Tasting like pineapple and ready to pep you up, Maui Wowie is a super-easy strain to grow in warm, wet climates or a bright indoor setup. It’s a lightweight high, allowing you to get stuff done with the energy this classic strain will give you. This plant can deliver a great yield in 8 weeks, making it an efficient choice for a grower looking for a sativa strain to lighten their load.
Super Lemon Haze
The Super Lemon Haze is a zesty, citrusy 80/20 sativa blend. It’s a hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze, and it’s reminiscent of lemonhead candies in both taste and smell. While it’s a bright flavor, it’s not as sharp as you might expect! The high, however, is plenty sharp, and most people consider the effects to be especially energetic. Growing this strain will take a little effort, but by no means is it difficult. Put some sunshine in your day with the Super Lemon Haze.
A historical sensation that was made famous by Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze is a veteran sativa blend that will make any psychonaut satisfied. A descendant of Haze and Purple Thai, this lovely lavender strain has a sweet, earthy flavor with hints of spice. It flowers fast and stays a manageable size while maintaining a significant yield, so it’s great for people who are a little space-constrained in their growing. A true classic, Purple Haze is one of the best sativa strains out there for someone looking to get back to basics.
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Blue Haze strain is a tasty, versatile strain that is good for what ails you – literally. It delivers a balanced high that affects both the body and the mind and has a THC content upwards of 20%. It also has a moderate CBD content, while avoiding couchlock symptoms. Many people swear by Blue Haze for everything from anxiety to chronic pain. It’s one of the best sativa strains to grow indoors because the plants remain moderately sized, and it’s easier to keep conditions as stable as the strain prefers. Blue Haze is a great daytime, nighttime, anytime strain!
Amnesia Haze 80/20
If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you’ve probably tried Amnesia Haze. It’s easy to find in coffee shops around the city. As recently as 2012, this strain won the Sativa Cup for its beloved, creative high, and easy grow. It’s a compact plant with an earthy, citrus-heavy flavor that comes from its wide variety of landrace ancestors. Amnesia Haze is a hardy plant, but due to its size, its harvests are not quite as large as some other strains on this list. But everything else about it makes it l worth the time, especially for city growers.
Strawberry Cough 80/20
Strawberry Cough is a strain with some mysterious origins – no one is quite sure where it came from. The plant itself has a pink tinge to its leaves, and rumor has it that the strain was first found in a strawberry field. It’s easy to grow, quick flowering, and has an excellent yield, which is why it is a grower’s favorite. Users love it for its strawberry scent, and potent effects – just keep an eye out for the intense sensations that often makes even veteran users cough – hence the name!
Are you ready for a tropical treat? Pineapple Haze combines the mental euphoria of Haze with the tastiness that you’d expect from a strain with pineapple in its name. This strain is for those with the time to wait for a great result. It’s a huge plant with huge yields, but it takes time to get those results –12 weeks to be exact. If you’re in a warm climate, you can grow Pineapple Haze outside and be ready to reap the rewards at the end of the season.
AK-47 is the result of a cross between a variety of landrace strains – none of them from Russia, despite what its name might imply. This strain remains compact while having harvest sizes up to 14 oz. per square yard, and a THC content upwards of 20%. It’s a 65/35 sativa-dominant strain, which is a little less than most other strains on this list, but this provides a balanced effect that gives most people a relaxed, happy high.
Another 65/35 sativa-dominant strain, Trainwreck is a versatile, easy grow that is very popular in Northern California. Spicy and sweet, Trainwreck hits quickly with a happy, creative high that can eradicate migraines and pain without a second thought. It’s an even-keel high, too – couchlock is unlikely, but it’s also not going to push people with high anxiety into overdrive. Trainwreck is really one of the best sativa strains for beginners, if they’re ready for a fast turnaround time.
As you can see, there’s a wide variety of sativa-dominant strains to choose from. This just means that there’s a plant for you somewhere on this list! Take a chance on one or two of these strains that sound appealing – you won’t be disappointed.
Law enforcement across the country reference the green coating as probable cause in DUI cases.
A New York City diner is irate after finding a roach in their fast food meal, but the contaminant in question didn’t come with creepy crawly legs. Nope, in this case we’re talking about a charred roach clip.
According to the New York Post, 23-year-old NYC resident Jeremy Merdinger stopped by a local Alphabet City Popeyes location to try the second coming of the chain restaurant’s famously viral fried chicken sandwich.
When Merdinger got home to enjoy his much-lauded meal, though, he discovered an extra special side dish in his take out bag — a pre-smoked joint roach nestled between the sandwich’s two brioche buns.
@PopeyesChicken Do all your chicken sandwiches come with with a joint in them? Found this in my sandwich the other day in NYC. Just wanted to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. pic.twitter.com/hS48SpsM5X
— Jeremy Merdinger (@JMtarheels41) November 11, 2019
“I was shocked at first,” Merdinger told the Post. “These are things you see on social media a couple of times a year, and for it to happen to me, I was shocked and disgusted.”
Merdinger, who works at an “influencer marketing firm,” is no stranger to viral sensations. And after sending an email to Popeyes corporate office with his story and complaints and receiving an unsatisfactory reply, he said that he sent the story to the Post and posted the photos on social media. And just like that, the fast-food story took off on sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the 23-year-old reacted to the joint as if it were radioactive plutonium.
“I was taking my last couple of bites from the second sandwich when it fell out and into my lap,” Merdinger said. “It was 100 percent marijuana. I saved the evidence. It’s in a plastic bag at home.”
Gallery — Edibles That Look Like Real Food Products:
Since Popeyes reintroduced their chicken sandwich earlier this month, long lines have sprung up daily at locations across the country. Prompted by its own viral social media fame, the sandwich has spurred frequent arguments and even violence. With that kind of stress, it’s no wonder Popeyes employees are bringing a little extra lettuce to work.
A Popeyes representative told the Post that “we take all feedback about our meals seriously and quickly take action to make sure all of our guests have a good experience,” but did not mention if the company had offered Merdinger an official apology or refund.
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As America’s legal weed industry continues to grow, police, environmentalists, and wildlife officials are complaining of expanded black market grow operations hidden throughout the country’s dense public forests. With no regulation or oversight, the off-grid cultivation plots are pouring chemicals, trash, and other waste into the environment at previously-unseen rates, killing animals and eroding the land.
In California, in particular, forestry regulators say that there are more than 2,000 known contaminated grow sites waiting to be cleaned. In NorCal’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest, officials said they encountered one site with more than 3,000 pounds of trash, as well as spilled toxic chemical pesticides like carbofuran and the rodenticide Bromethalin.
The unscrupulous growers use those and other chemicals banned in US agricultural operations to make sure that critters and environmental uncertainties don’t disrupt the plant’s potential profit margins. But long after the crop has been harvested and sold, those chemicals — along with the piles of rubber, plastic, metal, and other trash — leech into animals’ diets, waterways, and soil tables.
“The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a US Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told National Public Radio. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not gonna repair itself.”
And while California has a long and rich tradition of underground cannabis cultivation, law enforcement officials say that the grow sites popping up in deep backwoods are not operated by local farmers, but by well-funded international crime organizations.
Gallery — Moldy Marijuana and Signs of Bad Bud:
“We estimate that that 95% or more of the grows on public lands are controlled by foreign drug trafficking organizations,” says Rich McIntyre, who directs CROP, the Cannabis Removal on Public Lands Project. “These growers are trying to undercut the legal market by about 50 percent, and of course, a lot of the product that they’re growing is filled with these poisons,” McIntyre says, “and it’s likely finding its way into the market in various forms — flower, oils, and vape pens.”
McIntyre and his CROP cohorts are trying their hardest to bring attention to these ramifications of the black market bud trade, but with only six police officers patrolling more than 2.2 million acres of Shasta-Trinity forest, enforcing cannabis law and slowing the spread of contamination in National Parks is like picking needles out of a haystack.
“The Forest Service is grossly underfunded on a number of fronts — not just on a law enforcement front but on the scientific front as well,” McIntyre told NPR. “And that’s something that we hope to change.”
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Multiple studies have showcased that THC and CBD offer an alternative to opioids and other pain medicines.