According to a press release published back in September, Steep Hill announced their expansion to the state of Oklahoma. Steep Hill, a cannabis science company that started with cannabis testing labs in California, has been on an impressive expansion trajectory over the past few years.
In 2016 and 2017, the company expanded into Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Oregon, Hawaii, among other regions of the country. In May of 2018, they announced a plan to go international, expanding to places like Mexico, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom via licensing agreements. As recently as March of 2019, Steep Hill announced plans to open a testing lab in New Jersey as well.
Kandice Faulkenberry, co-owner and CEO of Steep Hill Oklahoma, says they hope to raise the bar for cannabis lab testing in Oklahoma. “With Oklahoma being one of the fastest-growing medical markets in the nation, we are excited and honored to be a part of our state’s growth,” says Faulkenberry. “We hope to be a valuable resource in our community and Oklahoma’s cannabis industry. Through our partnership with Steep Hill, the world’s leading cannabis science company, we aim to raise the bar in laboratory services, education, and product safety for the medical cannabis industry in the Sooner State.”
Dr. Chris Orendorff, the other co-owner of Steep Hill Oklahoma, is a family physician based in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. “As a physician, I understand that safety and regulations are critical to patient outcomes and I look forward to providing the same assurance for my patients and fellow Oklahoma residents in the cannabis industry,” says Dr. Orendorff. “I am excited to partner with Steep Hill to provide the highest quality testing in the State of Oklahoma.”
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According to a press release published earlier this month, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) announced the accreditation of both North Coast Analytical Laboratories and North Coast Testing Laboratories to ISO 17025:2017 for cannabis testing.
Both labs are located in Streetsboro, Ohio, becoming A2LA’s first accredited labs in the state. North Coast Testing does cannabis testing for Ohio’s medical cannabis industry, whereas North Coast Analytical does testing for the hemp industry.
Carolyn Friedrich, Ph.D., scientific director at North Coast Testing, says they are excited to help ensure the safety of patients for Ohio’s medical cannabis program. “We are extremely proud of the work of our entire team in rapidly developing and implementing a comprehensive quality management program that can give all participants in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program confidence in the quality and safety of products tested in our laboratory,” says Friedrich.
Nick Szabo, laboratory director at North Coast Analytical, says A2LA went “above and beyond at every step, we greatly appreciate their efforts. Our accreditation by A2LA is a testament to our ability to meet the most rigorous quality management standards in analytical testing of hemp products, and a vote of confidence in our team’s ability to perform at the highest levels.”
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This morning, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. The program, as stipulated by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill, will establish a regulatory framework for hemp production in the country.
Secretary Perdue made the announcement in a YouTube video titled “USDA’s Hemp Policy.” Later in the week, an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register, according to the USDA’s website. “The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements,” reads the press release. “It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.” The interim final rule will go into effect as soon as it is published in the Federal Register, which should be by the end of this week.
You can find a preview of the rule here. The agency has also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures, which you can find here. Those documents are meant to provide more information for hemp testing laboratories.
You can watch the YouTube video and read the announcement he made below:
Hello everyone, as I travel across this great country of ours, I hear a lot about a strong interest in a new economic opportunity for America’s farmers: the production of hemp. Which is why today I am pleased to announce the USDA has published the rule establishing the US domestic hemp production program. We said we’d get it done in time for producers to make planning decisions for 2020 and we followed through. We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program. As mandated by Congress, our program requires all hemp growers to be licensed and includes testing protocols to ensure that hemp grown under this program is hemp and nothing else. The USDA has also worked to provide licensed growers access to loans and risk management products available for other crops. As the interim final rule, the rule becomes effective immediately upon publication in the federal register. But we still want to hear from you. Help us make sure the regulations meet your needs. That’s why the publication of the interim final rule also includes a public comment period continuing a full and transparent rulemaking process that started with a hemp listening session all the way back in March 2019. At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets. And I encourage all producers to take the time to fully educate themselves on the processes, requirements and risk that come with any market or product before entering this new frontier. The Agricultural Marketing Service will be providing additional information, resources and educational opportunities on the new program. And I encourage you to visit the USDA hemp website for more information. As always, we thank you for your patience and input during this process.
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One of the surest ways to understand that you are entering not just another country, but what is called an “emerging market” is when you travel from Germany to Poland by train.
There is only one “intercity” option from Berlin Hauptbahnhoff – a far cry from the modern, internet-connected, fast ICE trains that go West. This line is run by the Poles. By the time you reach Warsaw five hours later, however, it is clear at least some parts of this country are booming. The skyscraper construction in the center of town rivals London and Berlin.
Like every emerging market, there are vast disparities in wealth and income, if not opportunity here. And into this discussion, now is coming the entire cannabis discussion. Visiting, as an American, in particular, one is reminded of a city that could be East Berlin 15 years ago.
As a cannabis journalist, it feels, from this perspective, like every American state in the 1990’s. Reform is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. But not quite realized yet, except for a few elites. Beyond such realities which are common in the world of cannabis, how very, well, Iron Curtain.
The difference of course, these days, is that the conversation next door in Germany, as well as other places, is finally forcing the Polish government to face reality. But it is clear, from interviews with activists and patients in particular, as well as the nascent newcomers from abroad testing the cannabis waters, that this fight is not going to be easy on the ground.
Then again, when and where has it ever been?
As always, real reform and market opening is driven by the sheer numbers of sick people who brave arrest to gain access to the plant. Some do it for themselves. Many do it for their children (of all ages). An elderly, boomer couple who talked to Cannabis Industry Journal about their ordeal also see it as a form of justified struggle. And Poles are no strangers to that, far from the cannabis kind.
That ethic is much in the room among the nascent industry that is also struggling to find respect. The Polish side of the discussion is looking at hemp. And growing THC illicitly, just like elsewhere.
But the budding movement here is highly organized, including on the business end, with hundreds of thousands of members. How this translates into a legal industry (besides media and hemp products) is of course, still up for grabs.
That is very much in the minds of those who brave the struggle daily. The patient collective in Warsaw is also highly organized – providing free and non-profit product to those most in need. It is an impressive operation. And further one that is increasingly distrustful of foreigners seeking “market share.” If not the already floating “suits.” Just knowing how to speak Polish, as the activists are, at least realizing, is not a guarantee that they will not be dealing with cannasharks only interested in their contacts and mailing lists. Patients over profits is a phrase you hear a lot here. This has nothing to do with not wanting to support a legit, safe industry. But when you are poor, you find ways to improvise. Including getting your medication.
The Foreign Companies…
Aurora and Canopy Growth are already in the room and there are other Canadians lining up to follow. However, these two are the only ones so far who have been able to get their products registered locally and even then, availability is still in the offing.
These are also highly expensive products. And do not begin to compete with producers now eying the Polish market from North Macedonia and the rest of Eastern Europe.
The foreign companies, in other words, are already broadly falling into two camps. North American curiosity seekers (at this point), and companies, mostly from the East and South, who are looking to Poland to be the “next Germany.” Especially because their product is so price and geographically convenient.
A Battle For Poland’s Emerging Market
It is clear that at least the Canadian companies are already lining up against more home grown and patient interests. Just as what happened in Germany and the rest of Europe so far. And not even on purpose, but more on matters of price.
Like other pre-commoditized markets, the Polish industry is still trying to be (relatively) equal and fair, as much as there is a huge amount of positioning already just below the surface. Everyone is tired of struggling. Dreams of cannabis riches are enticing just about everywhere.
Of course, add to that, patients are dying here, and that always sets the tone – especially when only the richest and lucky few can afford to access the drug through legitimate channels. Face pain, unpleasantness or death or buy in the black market? For the Polish industry on the forefront of the debate, in other words, the stakes are high, the government is moving glacially, and those on the ground are organizing to meet the winds of change.
Foment for another kind of Green Perostroika? Perhaps.
There will, almost certainly as a result of these forces, be a call for a Polish bid – and further one that allows for local producers to enter the medical market.
But the bottom line is that this strange, and exciting and certainly new market is going to be as volatile, and wild west as any in Europe for the immediate future. Expect interesting things, if not more of the same.
The post Poland Gets Cracking (Sort Of) appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.
You have read the press releases. You may have heard about such ideas at a recent cannabis conference in and around the EU of late. Or you may have encountered new distributors coming into the game with a German presence and a decidedly interesting ex-im plan that sounds a bit, well, off the map.
No matter how geographically creative some of these plans are, the problem is that many of these ideas literally do not make economic sense. Either for the companies themselves (if not their investors), and certainly not for patients. Not to mention, truth be told, the looming price sensitivity issues in the European market that North Americans, for starters, seem to still just be waking up to.
Some Recent Examples….
Yes, exports from Denmark have been much in the news lately (including into both Germany and Poland). Truth be told, however, this makes about as much sense, economically, as importing ice to eskimos. Why? Denmark, for all its looser regulations and less-uptight approach to the cannabis discussion generally, is one of the most expensive labour markets in Europe. Fully automated production plants are one thing, but you can build those in other places too. Especially warmer climates, with lots of sunshine. German production, as it comes online, will also make this idea increasingly ludicrous.
Who on earth got on this bandwagon? It seems that the enthusiasm in the room began when Denmark began to import to Germany (where the disparities in wages in production are not so noticeable). However, lately, several Canadian companies with a Danish footprint have been eying Poland of late.
And on that particular topic – there are many who are doing the math and trying to figure out, as the alternatives get going, if even Canada makes much sense, or will in a few years.
Low Wage Markets With Sunshine Are Hotspots For European Cannabis Production
Like it or not, the European market is extraordinarily price sensitive – namely because it is not “just” consumers called patients picking up the tab but health insurance companies demanding proof of medical efficacy.
That starts, a bit unfortunately, with understanding wage economics across Europe. The warmer the climate, in other words and the further east on the map, wages drop precipitously. That is “good” for an industry looking to produce ever cheaper (but more compliant) product.
It is also good, at least politically, for countries whose elected leaders are being forced to admit that cannabis works, but are less than copacetic about encouraging local production. See Germany for starters, but places like Austria, Poland and most recently France (which has just embarked on a first of its kind medical cannabis trial).
Here, no matter the temporary buzz about Denmark, are the places that cannabis production makes sense:
Portugal: The country is a newcomer in the cannabis discussion this fall, although in truth, the seeds of this reality were sown several seasons ago when Tilray began to build its production plant in the country in 2017. They are far from the only company who has seen the light, and these days, farmers are getting hip to the possibilities. Especially if they are already exporting crops throughout Europe.
Spain: The industry that can afford GMP certification is getting going, but everyone else is stuck in a limbo between pharmaceutical producers and the strange gray market (see the patient clubs in Barcelona). That said, political groups are beginning to discuss cultivation as an economic development tool, if not sustainable food and medication strategies.
Greece: The weather is warm, and the investment climate welcoming. Of all the countries in the EU, Greece has embraced the economic possibilities that cannabis could bring. How that will play out in the next years to come is an intriguing story.
Italy: The southern part of the country in particular is ripe for cannabis investment and it’s full of sunshine. However, as many have noted, organized crime in this part of the world is a bit fierce and starts with the letter M.
Malta: The island is a comer, but does importing cannabis from here really make economic sense? There are trade routes and economic treaties tying the island both to the apparently Brexiting British and Europe. Why not, right? Just remember that along with labour, transportation costs are in the room here too.
And Just Outside The EU…
The country now (sort of) known as North Macedonia and struggling to get into the EU if France would just get out of the way is also going to be a heavyweight in this discussion for years to come. Wages, of course, will increase as part of EU membership, but in general, this country just north of Greece is going to play a highly strategic role in exports throughout Europe.
The post The Economics of Ex-Im In Europe appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.
The use of cannabis as medicine for animals has been getting a lot attention in the medical, scientific, and pet owning communities. One of the potential uses showing the most promise is in the treatment of seizures. Does it work as well for pets as it does for people?
Does Time of Day Have an Effect on How Cannabis Works?
Cannabis is known to interfere with the understanding of time, but does the time of day have an effect on how Cannabis works? It very well might, especially at night. Sleep cycles and dreaming can be interfered with when using THC. So, to avoid THC from interfering with Sleep cycles and dreaming, it’s recommended to avoid Cannabis use at least four hours before bedtime.
What About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Night Terrors?
If you’re someone who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PMDD) or night terrors, then you actually want THC to interfere with your Sleep cycle and dreaming. In these cases, using cannabinoids before bedtime can break these cycles and therefore are beneficial.
Timing CBD to Relieve Anxiety
Anyone who battles with anxiety can tell you how exhausted anxiety can make them feel by mid-afternoon. That mid-afternoon exhaustion can be reduced by using CBD in the morning.
While the timing of taking Cannabis is still under research- we do know that cannabinoids mimic the body’s own homeostatic regulators, so properly timing a cannabinoid dose go a great deal farther in helping stabilize an imbalanced system.
The post Does Time of Day Have an Effect on How Cannabis Works? appeared first on Crowned Hemp.
Due to the wide range of misconceptions about cannabis and the compounds it contains, we gathered a few quick facts about cannabis (and the most important):
cannabis THAT CONTAINS LESS THAN 0.3 PERCENT THC, is considered hemp and is available for purchase.
cannabis THAT CONTAINS OVER 0.3 PERCENT THC can be found in states that have medical marijuana dispensaries or permit adult use of marijuana.
THC AND CBD can both be psychoactive.
ONLY THC can be intoxicating (meaning it creates a high).
Yes, CBD and THC are Cousins
Take a look below to learn how much CBD and THC have in common:
Both THC and CBD come from the cannabis sativa plant.
THC and CBD are each one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids found in cannabis.
CBD and THC both directly and indirectly impact multiple receptor systems in the body.
Both CBD and THC require decarboxylation from their acids forms, CBDA and THCA, to become CBD and THC.
Both THC and CBD have medicinal benefits.
Working Better Together
Many scientists believe that CBD and THC work better together, not in isolation (referred to as the “entourage effect“). For example, sometimes the healing properties of CBD are more effective when THC is also present.
The post Quick Facts About CBD & THC appeared first on Crowned Hemp.
How does cannabis interact with other drugs? When taking cannabis orally, its active ingredients interact with enzymes as part of the body’s process in metabolizing cannabis. This particular interaction can increase or decrease the effect of cannabis and other medications as well. Caution is crucial when taking oral cannabis while also taking the medications we have listed below. While the interaction of smoked or vaporized cannabis in combination with these other medications is still unknown, caution is still advised.
Blood Plasma Protein
Blood plasma proteins are primarily combined in the liver. A smaller percent of blood plasma proteins due to immunoglobulins are produced by lymphocytes and plasma cells. Total protein in made of albumin, globulins, and fibrinogen (in plasma only). The role of proteins is to control oncotic pressure, transport substances such as hemoglobin, lipids, calcium, and promote inflammation.
Understanding Blood Protein Binding
Blood plasma proteins are not specific with their binding habits, which means that they are not picky as to what they bind to. So, this means that different drugs have to compete for the same binding site. Displacement may be a problem when the protein chooses one molecule over another, therefore throwing off one chemical in favor of another.
Since THC in cannabis is strongly bound to blood plasma proteins, caution is strongly advised when taking any other medication that also strongly bind to blood plasma proteins.
Drugs That Can Increase the Effects of Oral Cannabis
Amiodarone (Cordarone): This medication treats cardiac arrhythmias
Clarithromycin (Biaxon): Antibiotic
Diltiazem (Tiazac, Cardizem, Dilacor): This medication treats high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), and angina.
In addition to the medications listed above, cannabis (whether it’s smoked, taken orally, sublingually, or vaporized-also increase the effects of alcohol, benzodiazepines (Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, Xanax, etc.) and opiates (codeine, fentanyl, morphine, etc.)
The post How Does Cannabis Interact With Other Drugs? appeared first on Crowned Hemp.
It’s easy to see that the cannabis underground is filled with assumptions on the distinction between high- or low-quality cannabis. Before the 1970’s, cannabis laboratory testing wasn’t available. A common rule of thumb was that a pepper aroma indicated high-potency cannabis. However, today-now we know that the smell of pepper is associated with the presence of beta-caryophyllene, which is the primary compound of black pepper oil.
Thai Stick Beliefs
It was believed during the Vietnam War, that Thai Stick (which are cannabis flowers from Southeast Asia that were tied to short bamboo stick with fiber, were commonly dipped in opium. The opium explains the potency of the Thai Stick effects. However, some Thai marijuana might have been spray with byproducts of local opium or heroin production within the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Burma, and Laos. It is much more likely that the one’s exposed to high-potency Thai cannabis (which is a cannabis variety that grows natively in Thailand , thought that it was contaminated, when really, it was that the Thai cannabis was simply stronger than anything these users had experienced previously.
Tropical narrow-leafleted cannabis is often five to ten times more potent (extremely psychoactive) than commercial Mexican cannabis (which refers to indigenous varieties of cannabis (or landraces) that grow natively in Mexico . Mexican cannabis was broadly available in the United States during the Vietnam War.
Myth Variation-Black Hashish
There’s also a variation of this myth which branched off to black hash. Black hash was known to sometimes have inside a white layer which was claimed to be opium. What was foolishly thought to be opium, was actually in fact a mold which often grows in poor quality, hand rubbed hashish. Opium and hashish both burn differently and opium is rarely combined with hashish.
What the Cannabis Underground Got Right
While it appears the cannabis underground was wrong about numerous things, there was one thing they did get right-its descriptions of high-quality cannabis. It described high trichome density as “a lot of crystals”, which is a great description of high-quality cannabis. Other descriptions which became associated with high-quality cannabis are “piney” (which turned out to be pinene), “citrus” (which turned out to be limonene), and “mango” (which turned out to be terpinolene and mycrene). The fact that these descriptions came way before the use of headspace analysis which is the process that confirms the presence of these terpenes.
The post Cannabis Underground-Insight and Absurdity appeared first on Crowned Hemp.
THC is a common cannabinoid that has “tails” of five carbon atoms. This defining feature classifies this cannabinoid as pentyl cannabinoids. Olivetolic acid is the precursor to pentyl cannabinoids. Olivetolic acid is used by the cannabis plant to create CBD. This CBG is then used to further make THC, CBD, and/or CBC. However, there is another class of cannabinoids that consists of three-carbon atom tails and they are called propyl cannabinoids. Certain cannabis plants in southern Africa has evolved a different precursor to CBG called divarinic acid. Divarinic acid is used by the plant to make a variation of CBD acid called CBGV acid. CBGV is then used by the plant to create the propyl cannabinoids: THCV, CBDV, or CBCV.
Tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid or THCVA is a far scarcer propyl form of THCA produced by Afghan and Pakistani and southern African cannabis cultivars. THCVA (as with all acidic cannabinoids, is converted to its bioactive neutral form, THCV, either through heat or time. The percentage in these cultivars of tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid (THCVA) rarely exceeds 2 percent in its dry weight form.
Is THCV Psychoactive or Does It Just Modulate the Psychoactivity of THC?
Controversy surrounds the question of whether THCV is psychoactive or simply just modulates the psychoactivity of THC. The reason for this is due to the fact that THCV’s psychoactivity hasn’t been studied since the early 1970’s. Historically speaking, THCV was thought to present around 25 percent of the potency of THC, however, more modern accounts claim that THCV does not produce psychoactivity on its own. The contradiction might have come from the dosage used, since THCV causes problems with the CB1 receptor at low doses, but will react with it at higher doses. THCV is thought to display a wide range of effects opposite to those of THC.
THVC is similar to THC in terms of analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and similar to CBD with its anticonvulsant effects. There is actually interest in molecules which are similar to THCV as being a potential weight loss and increased energy expenditure in animal testing.
The propyl form of CBD is CBDVA. Recently, CBDVA has captured the attention of the cannabinoid medicine community due to its potential use as an anticonvulsant, alone as CBDVA and in combination with CBD.
The post Propyl vs. Pentyl Cannabinoids appeared first on Crowned Hemp.
USDA Gives Industrial Hemp Farming The Green Light by Ryan Tengco at CBD Origin
As more and more people realize the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), the industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. As a result, farmers across the entire country will soon be able to grow hemp in an industrial fashion under the guidance of the United States Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program was announced just a few days ago by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This announcement is a huge milestone hemp industry and for countless farmers who are looking to expand into the fast growing hemp market.
Seeking to Create New Opportunities for Farmers
One of the reasons why the government regulators decided to give this program the go-ahead is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is always looking for ways to provide new economic opportunities for farmers. The USDA knows that farming is an important cornerstone of the country’s economy. The opportunity to grow hemp should provide openings for new products and markets. They have worked hard to come up with a regulatory framework that will work well for this rapidly growing industry. Under the new program, farmers will be able to grow hemp in every state as well as on reservations. This should provide a fair opportunity to all that is based on consistent regulations established by the government.
New Requirements Under the Program
Of course, the USDA has a handful of regulations regarding the program to ensure that it is conducted both fairly and safely. Those who decide to grow hemp will need to obtain a license from the proper regulatory authorities. They will also need to maintain records of their business and have their products tested for THC levels on a regular basis. Furthermore, the USDA is also going to set up rules and requirements for the disposal of plants that do not meet the requirements of the new program. These regulations are going to help farmers grow their hemp in a safe, consistent, and fair manner.
A Rapid Increase in the Demand for CBD Products
One of the main reasons why the USDA decided to go ahead with this new program is that there has been a rapid rise in the demand for products containing CBD (cannabidiol). There have already been published research studies investigating the use of CBD as a treatment option for a variety of medical conditions. Some people have claimed that CBD can help those who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and other medical conditions. In some cases, CBD might be used to help families who might not have any other option. Many authorities believe that the potential of CBD to help with these conditions has led to a rapid rise in demand. Therefore, the USDA decided that is was time to give this program a green light.
The Projected Growth of the Industry
As the demand for CBD has grown, so has the industry. Some financial studies have expected the sales of various CBD products to total more than $20 billion in the United States by the year 2024. In addition, the sales of CBD products are various CBD dispensaries rose from six percent in 2017 to 11 percent in 2018, nearly doubling. In this sense, many economic leaders believe that a transformation is taking place when it comes to CBD products. It is growing from a sub-category to a full-blown industry and should be treated as such. This creates a tremendous opportunity for those who are looking to become more involved with the growth of CBD.
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