Tag: dispensaries (page 2 of 10)

Accessibility in the Cannabis Industry: Respect for Disabilities Determines Future Success

The cannabis industry is making headlines each day. Business people are thrilled by the wide-spread attention that estimated tax revenues and industry pioneers have been receiving.

As cannabis becomes more comfortable for traditional business investors and operators, a troubling trend emerges:

Patients are no longer the greatest concern.

This is not meant to be a rant against business people that are entering the space, and should not be viewed as a discussion of opportunism. This article is an overview of accessibility in the cannabis community, and how respect and compassion for those with disabilities has propelled the cannabis movement.

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Accessibility has been such an important consideration so far, and must not be overlooked as the industry moves forward.

California and Access to Medical Cannabis

“Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.”

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On November 6th, 1996, California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215), establishing protected access to medical cannabis. Accessibility to cannabis was not perfect overnight, but very important groundwork was laid that day.

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Now, twenty years later, California voters must decide if the largest and longest-standing medical cannabis jurisdiction (in the world) will also protect recreational use. Due to unprecedented historical support for cannabis, many analysts believe they will.

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Legalization in California has been largely a discussion of licensing, taxing, and equal protections and opportunities for those wanting to enter the cannabis industry.

Those who participated in the Prop 215 movement in 1996 had many reasons for doing so, including political freedom and the torment of watching friends hopelessly deteriorate from their fights with HIV/AIDS.

In the 1980s, San Francisco Experienced an Epidemic of Deaths from HIV and AIDS

In the 1980s, San Francisco Experienced an Epidemic of Deaths from HIV and AIDS

There were many, many more factors than just those two driving the need for cannabis medicine in California. This is clearly evident in the language of the CUA, which lists qualifying conditions including any illness for which cannabis provides relief.

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By passing this specific language, voters of the largest economical state in America determined that people with disabilities have an inherent right to safe and reliable access to cannabis medicine.

This was in no way a decision driven by business opportunities. It was carried by people who wanted to set a precedent for compassion.

Shifting Cannabis Laws in America

Although there have been hiccups and obstacles with different legislative attempts, there are now twenty-five states with medical cannabis access and an additional sixteen with access to CBD-only medicine (non-psychoactive).

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The CBD-only states have passed laws  due to public outcry over epileptic children having to relocate across the country to find relief. Once again, accessibility for patients in need is able to trump lingering social stigma.

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In addition to the medical progress happening in America right now, four states have implemented bountiful recreational cannabis industries, and this seems to be what the majority of journalistic publications wants to discuss.

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While news regarding industry matters is important, businesses currently fighting for banking privileges must not overlook that the fight for cannabis has always been about access. Most importantly, even for recreational brands, is the need to maintain awareness of the patients who fought for what we have today.

Ways for Businesses to Consider Accessibility

Many successful businesses in the cannabis space have surrounded themselves with compassion and holistic mission statements. We would hope these companies are true to these principals. However, it is up to us as a community to identify and support the brands that truly care about people, and are not just paying a temporary homage to the medical aspects of cannabis.

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How can the community figure out who is walking the walk and not just talking the talk? Here are some practical tips for businesses who want to show their customers they really care about accessibility.

“Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.”

Whether you are a brick-and-mortar dispensary or an online listing service, it is important to commit to providing accessibility for as many different types of people as possible. Building a comfortable space for people to explore cannabis is necessary, both now and in the future to come.

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Brick-and-mortar retailers are already required to abide by state accessibility laws for business locations. However, those laws are by no means perfect, and are often only held to the minimum requirements. Dispensary owners should be very conscious of how people with conditions involving vision and movement would actually get into the shop.

Yerba Delivery Applies Extra Care for Patients Who Need Special Attention When Accessing Cannabis Medicine

Yerba Delivery Applies Extra Care for Patients Who Need Special Attention When Accessing Cannabis Medicine

Another important note for retailers is keeping resources in place to help an individual who needs immediate accessibility assistance. Delivery services should be extra conscious of this idea, and should make sure that the delivery schedule can account for individuals who need extra attention from a delivering representative.

Sava Delivers Cannabis Across California to Patients Who Are Unable to Access Medicine Locally or Comfortably

Sava Delivers Cannabis Across California to Patients Who Are Unable to Access Medicine Locally or Comfortably

Online platforms are also responsible for creating a space that is accessible to people with disabilities. It is important that everyone is able to perceive, navigate and interact with web technologies, even if it is just a company’s home page.

CannabisReports.com is Consciously Designed So Folks with Visual Impairments Can Easily Absorb and Navigate the Database

CannabisReports.com is Consciously Designed So Folks with Visual Impairments Can Easily Absorb and Navigate the Database

New technologies are constantly being introduced that address the needs of people with “visual, auditory, physical, speech cognitive and neurological disabilities.” Everyone from big databases to small web pages should spend some effort keeping their technology accessible for the largest range of people possible.

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Cannabis patients are exposed to many services and environments (like expos and conventions) that are not specific to one brand. These are the defining moments for accessibility in cannabis.

If the event host provides a comfortable setting that considers a variety of disabilities, every company in attendance should strive to offer the same opportunities and services for the many people that make up the cannabis community. Respecting disabilities is precedent that the industry must believe in to be successful even in recreational markets.

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Cannabis means so many things to each individual, and has embraced humans in medical, recreational, and spiritual ways. As cannabis becomes more socially acceptable, it is necessary that the excitement of the industry does not overshadow the importance of the people they serve.

Cannabis Reports covers interesting topics that are important to the cannabis community. For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

Another Week in the World of Cannabis: April 8th, 2016

Cannabis is emerging from the shadows of prohibition. Every week, there are advancements in many fields related to cannabis. Cannabis Reports will be re-capping the weekly events of the cannabis community and industry, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

DEA Releases Inventory Data, Sets Timeline to Consider Rescheduling Cannabis

The DEA, along with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, released answers to political questions regarding America’s backward approach to cannabis. In response to demands of transparency, the DEA announced it would be reconsidering cannabis scheduling during the first half of 2016.

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There is no guarantee that the DEA will recommend the rescheduling of cannabis, however the fact that they are addressing it is a big step for the cannabis movement. The DEA confirmed it has received a report from the FDA on the matter.

Another surprising instance of transparency was that the DEA answered inventory and supply questions about the NIDA-University of Mississippi exclusive contract for cannabis cultivation. In 2015, the University of Mississippi produced a total inventory weight of over 1,000 kilograms.

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However, considering that much of that plant weight consisted of live clones, the potential quantity of flowers that could be created under the NIDA program far exceeds the amount listed in the response.

Cannabis Reports CEO Featured in MarketWatch Article

David Drake, founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports, was featured in the recent MarketWatch article on big data in the cannabis industry. Other technology CEOs were interviewed for the article, and they all shared Drake’s message of responsibility and transparency as we build an open cannabis community.

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“It makes people a lot more comfortable about the industry when you know all the data is there and it’s all transparent.”

-David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

Harborside Dispensary Cancels Plans to Expand Outside of California

Steve DeAngelo and his brother Andrew have made it known that they will no longer proceed with expansion outside of California. Harborside Health Center is often considered the shining model for legal cannabis retail, and the DeAngelo brothers have already grown beyond their Oakland-based location.

Steve DeAngelo Harborside Health Center Oakland

Harborside recently sold its Portland Oregon branch due to the lack of flexibility in the Oregon cannabis market. Constrictive laws reduce the ability for businesses to make profits in Oregon, so the Harborside franchise will focus on cornering the California market.

Cannabis Activist Arrested in Calgary

Dana Larsen was arrested for passing out free cannabis seeds during his cross-country Overgrow Canada Tour. Larsen’s tour is a protest against Canada’s twisting opinion on cannabis.

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Justin Trudeau was recently elected Prime Minister and had promised to make cannabis a non-issue with new, responsible laws. So far, there have been over 25,000 cannabis possession arrests under Trudeau in the few months he has held office.

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Medical Cannabis Companies Join Forces to Research Whole Plant Extracts

Constance Therapeutics has announced a partnership with Gridiron Cannabis Coalition to conduct research that highlights the effectiveness of full-plant extracts for cannabis healing. Past research from international locations like Israel has shown whole-plant extracts to be more medically effective than an isolated cannabinoid on its own.

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Upcoming Cannabis Events

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IMPACT: Cannabinoid Deficiency Diseases – (Denver, CO: April 9)

IMPACT: Cannabinoid Deficiency Diseases is here to answer all your questions. Each panel will have a 10 min Q&A session, and vendors will be on-site to help answer your questions on products, getting a medical card, and more.

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San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Career and Job Fair – (San Francisco, CA: April 10)

Attend the San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Career & Job Fair taking place Sunday, April 10th at City Nights in San Francisco, CA! There will be dozens of well-established employers on site excited to meet prospective new team members!

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CannMed 2016 – (Boston, MA: April 10-11)

With over 27 US states and several countries now legalizing medicinal use of cannabis, the endocannabinoid system is becoming an important public health topic and a rich area of discovery for novel therapeutic interventions.

With the recent advent of next generation sequencing and the enablement of personalized medicine, never before in history have we been as well-positioned to better understand the genetics and regulation of the endocannabinoid system.

Likewise, the intersection of mobile analytical technologies is enabling a new field of safety testing for production of cannabinoids. CannMed 2016: Personalized Cannabinoid Medicine Conference will focus on the intersection of these three powerful fields: cannabinoid-based therapies, personalized medicine, and mobile technologies.

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Oregon Quarterly Cannabis Caucus – (Portland, OR: April 12)

NCIA’s Quarterly Cannabis Caucuses will educate, connect, and inspire you and your team, with a customized state and federal policy briefing and meaningful networking opportunities with regional and national industry leaders.

Mid-Atlantic Quarterly Cannabis Caucus – (Washington, D.C: April 12)

The NCIA is debuting a new nationwide event series! NCIA’s Quarterly Cannabis Caucuses will be held in the cannabis industry’s 12 most active regions, and in the Mid-Atlantic Region will take place in Washington, D.C. on the second Tuesdays in the first month of each new quarter.

Northeast Quarterly Caucus – (Boston, MA: April 14)

Each Cannabis Caucus is free of charge for current NCIA member and includes: an in-depth federal policy update from senior NCIA staff or staff from a disctrict gonressional office, a comprehensive state and local policy update from a local elected offical or memeber of NCIA, an informational packet filled with detailed legislative analysis and recent federal policy developments, an organization update so you can keep up to date with what NCIA is doing for you, the opportunity to network with the leaders in the cannabis industry.

Florida Quarterly Cannabis Caucus – (Miami, FL: April 14)

Each Cannabis Caucus is free of charge for current NCIA member and includes: an in-depth federal policy update from senior NCIA staff or staff from a disctrict gonressional office, a comprehensive state and local policy update from a local elected offical or memeber of NCIA, an informational packet filled with detailed legislative analysis and recent federal policy developments, an organization update so you can keep up to date with what NCIA is doing for you, the opportunity to network with the leaders in the cannabis industry.

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The 10th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Cannabis: A Botanical Medicine – (Baltimore, MD: April 14-16)

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together leaders in the herbal/botanical world with cannabis/cannabinoid researchers, clinicians, patients and caregivers.

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The Official 420 Rally – (Denver, CO: April 16)

Food, fun and music for everyone, all holiday weekend! This year’s event line-up is still being finalized, official lineup to come!

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Hempcon – (San Francisco, CA: April 15-17)

Hempcon is a medical marijuana show catering to those who may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. This will be one of the premiere event of the year with live A-list entertainment & huge amount of exhibits including medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, caregivers, evaluation services, legal services, educational institutes, equipment, accessories, and many more.

Hempcon will be an educational event with a full weekend of seminars and presentations by industry leaders, advocates, and attorneys. Whether you are a patient or someone who wants to get educated more about medical marijuana, you have got to be there!

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SoCal Cannabis Cup – (San Bernardino, CA: April 15-17)

The Cannabis Cup has been moved to San Bernardino, CA at the NOS center. This three-day festival features educational seminars, cannabis industry booths, and a medicating area.

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For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page. If you see that we overlooked an event this past week in cannabis, please join the discussion in the comment section below, or through our social media links.

Clinical and Anecdotal Evidence: The Cannabis Industry Needs to Spread Information Responsibly

Cannabis is an incredibly powerful plant, but there is a lot of information being passed around the community that has no scientific basis. It is the responsibility of every patient, doctor, and industry worker to know fact from fiction when it comes to cannabis.

We are slowly accumulating clinical research from across the world that supports the medical efficacy of cannabis, but for the most part, the evidence that we rely on is anecdotal, meaning it is based on personal accounts rather than clinical studies.

People working in the cannabis industry need to be responsible for providing patients with the best possible information, but that is not always easy. Cannabis is incredibly complex as a plant, and the industry that is emerging is running into issues properly explaining how this plant interacts with our bodies.

So Many Cannabis Choices (source)

So Many Cannabis Choices (source)

Medical cannabis has been the foundation of legalization, over the last two decades, policymakers across America have been passing laws making cannabis available for medical patients. This social shift has been influenced in part by articles and interviews featuring the positive influence that cannabis can have on children with epilepsy, cancer patients, veterans with PTSD, and many other groups.

But anecdotal evidence is only the beginning of the conversation. It is important that there is scientific research to back up the personal experiences of individuals so that others can replicate the healing effects. Cannabis Reports currently lists data on 365 studies for 99 different conditions and diseases.

Despite mounting clinical research, the cannabis industry may be relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence. It is important that we do not pass around anecdotal evidence as scientific fact. Over-embellishing a reality before you can replicate the results is a sure-fire way to damage public trust in cannabis.

The reason for this article is a recent call we took on the Cannabis Reports hotline. The patient asked us to help her find a specific strain that a budtender told her was “the brain cancer strain.” Statements like these are increasingly common, but destructive nonetheless.

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This does not mean that cannabis cannot help with brain cancer, but presenting anecdotal evidence as medical fact is incredibly irresponsible. This patient was extremely disheartened to learn that there was no silver-bullet strain to help them and they asked, “Why would someone working at a dispensary tell me this strain would cure my cancer if that’s not how it works?”

Misinformation is rampant in the cannabis community, but the fact that a patient learned this from a representative of the industry shows the immediate need for all of us to step back and re-examine our approach. There is good information out there, and it is the responsibility of everyone in the industry to seek it out.

We are All Different, Just Like Cannabis

There is still a lot we have to learn about how cannabis works within us. Words such as “indica” and “sativa” are passed on to consumers as scientifically accurate, but are actually based on an outdated cannabis taxonomy. Still, many manufacturers and retailers alike are confident that this is scientific fact, and are unwilling to consider new evidence.

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One of the finest resources for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of cannabis must read Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. Robert C. Clarke and Mark Merlin provide one of the best accounts of the history and science of the human-cannabis relationship. The book took Merlin and Clarke fifteen years to write, and explores our approach and understanding to cannabis genetics.

Genetic variation appears in every living thing, and is considered the foundation of evolution. There are billions of people on the face of the planet, each walking around with a different set of physical traits, like height, eye color, and blood type. These traits are known as an organism’s phenotypical properties, and are unique to that organism.

Endocannabinoid System Diagram, from The Cannabis Health Index

Endocannabinoid System Diagram, from The Cannabis Health Index

Just like people, each cannabis plant has a different set of physical traits and tendencies that make it a unique organism. Every person has their own endocannabinoid system that is unique, just like their immune system, their digestive patterns, and their allergies. This endocannabinoid system responds differently to each cannabis phenotype, which in itself is a unique genetic variation.

Basically, there is this huge misconception that cannabis consumption can be a consistent process, and be applied in the same way as traditional pharmaceuticals. The desire to describe cannabis in these simple terms has actually caused the industry to take this to heart as scientific fact.

Full Plant Extracts More Effective Than a Single Cannabinoid (source)

Full Plant Extracts More Effective Than a Single Cannabinoid (source)

Due to a lot of miscommunication, the cannabis community firmly believes there are two types of flowering cannabis plants: indica and sativa. The Indica variety are considered to be shorter with wider leaves that leave you relaxed, while sativa is a taller plant with long branches and narrow leaves that provides cerebral stimulation.

Consumer Language is Not Always Based in Science

Consumer Language is Not Always Based in Science

This classification simplifies cannabis and is widely used as consumer language. The issue is that these effects are not universally felt by everyone. Flowers are increasingly being labelled with their cannabinoid content, which is far more valuable information than terms like “indica” or “sativa.”

Identifying a plant by its observable characteristics and then claiming that there are universal effects associated with those traits is a major overstatement. Clearly, humans are programmed to categorize things into neat little boxes, but the dichotomy of indica vs. sativa is holding  us back from a deeper understanding of cannabis plant science.

Only You Know How Cannabis Makes You Feel

There are an increasing number of medical practitioners beginning to enter the cannabis space, and international cannabis research is booming. Still, the cannabis industry is made up of a wide spectrum of people, all of whom have had their own personal experiences with cannabis.

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Patients must be aware that there is a lot of conflicting information being spread in the world: some of it is accurate, some of it is close, and some of it is scientifically impossible. It is up to each of us to educate ourselves to know the difference between clinical data, anecdotal evidence, and what is hearsay.

Educational materials are scarce but they certainly do exist, and many are free online:

For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

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