Guide to Cannabidiol

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabidiol-Pre-Testing for Cannabis

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabidiol

Guide to Cannabidiol: These days, you’ve probably come across CBD somewhere, whether online or in a local shop, it’s become a nationwide phenomenon. With all the different brands and products out there, learning about CBD can seem daunting. If you’re considering giving CBD a try, but don’t know where to start, then this guide is for you.

Key Terms

To fully understand this guide and information related to CBD, it is important to familiarize yourself with a few key terms.

Hemp – hemp, as defined by the 2018 Farm Bill, is any Cannabis L. Sativa plant grown to be federally compliant with less than 0.3% THC content. Hemp is often grown for it’s high CBD content and strong fibers that can be used for textiles.

Decarboxylation – a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group from a molecule. Decarboxylation often refers to the process of heating hemp and hemp extracts to transform acidic versions of cannabinoids into their active forms. For example, hemp plants naturally contain large amounts of Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), which when heated up turn into Cannabidiol (CBD).

Bioavailability – refers to the actual percentage of a substance that the body can absorb into the bloodstream. Taking a 100mg supplement with a bioavailability of 50% would mean that the body would only absorb 50mg of the supplement.

Entourage Effect – a concept that all of the compounds in the hemp plant work together to promote their strengths and create a different physiological and psychological effect than a single compound alone.

Full Spectrum – a product that contains not only CBD but all other cannabinoids and terpenes at their naturally occurring quantity.

Broad Spectrum – contains mostly CBD, but also contains the other cannabinoids at a much lower quantity. Any residual THC is often completely removed from these products.

Isolate – the form of CBD where all other cannabinoids have been removed.

COA – COA’s, or Certificates of Analysis, are third-party tests that provide information on the products safety, potency, and quality.

Endocannabinoid – Cannabinoids naturally occurring in the human body

Phytocannabinoid – Cannabinoids naturally occurring in cannabis

Now that you’re familiar with these terms, you should be able to more fully understand the lingo surrounding CBD, and the rest of this guide.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most abundant cannabinoids present in hemp. It is only one of over a hundred unique compounds that are found in hemp. However, unlike it’s arguably more famous cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and will not get you “high”.

Wait, so CBD products won’t get me high?

No, CBD is non-psychoactive. As long as the CBD product has been extracted from federally compliant hemp, it should contain less than 0.3% THC and will not produce any “high” or euphoric effects.

It is crucial for your safety and wellbeing to only buy CBD from brands that provide third-party COAs of their products. This helps make sure you are not buying a product that contains contaminants, heavy metals, or mislabelled potency.

What are people using CBD for?

People are using CBD to help them alleviate their anxiety, sleep-related issues, and chronic pain. Last year the FDA approved Epidiolex (a medication whose primary active ingredient is CBD) to treat seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy.

How Does CBD Work?

Across all of our bodies, we have cannabinoid receptors which, together, comprise the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating a variety of physiological and psychological processes such as pain, mood, and memory.

The most often referred to cannabinoid receptors are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is located across the brain and nervous system and is also found in several major organs. This is that most naturally occurring cannabinoids bond to, such as THC when it creates the “high” feeling.

However, CBD does not directly interact with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it modifies the receptors ability to bind to other cannabinoids. By doing this, it is thought the CBD leads the body to interact with more of it’s naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Often, you’ll hear about people having highly individualized reactions to cannabinoids. For example, CBD may make some people sleepy, whereas it may energize others. This is because everybody has different levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids, and some people’s endocannabinoid systems may have different sensitivities to CBD.

Is CBD Legal?

The answer is… not clearcut.

According to Congress’s 2018 Farm Bill, purchasing hemp-derived CBD products is federally legal. This means that the source of the CBD is incredibly important to its legality. As long as the CBD product is extracted from hemp, not marijuana, it is federally legal.

However, it is often a misconception that this means CBD is legal in all 50 states. The Farm Bill defers the legality of hemp and hemp-derived products to the states, who can decide CBD’s legal status. For example, recently Massachusetts banned the sale of all CBD-infused food products, meaning any edibles/drinks had to be stripped from store shelves. However, this law did not affect the legality of other CBD products like oils and vapes.

Currently, the CBD market is mostly unregulated and few methods are being used to monitor CBD companies. In response to an inflow of questions and curiosity about CBD, the FDA announced that they are expediting their work on answering questions about CBD, and expect to report on their work by the fall.

Hemp Vs. Marijuana

Understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana is paramount to staying safe and legal in the confusing world of CBD.

While hemp and marijuana both come from the Cannabis L. Sativa, legally, they are entirely different. Marijuana is generally grown for its high THC content and is recreationally illegal in most states. Whereas hemp is considered federally legal when grown to the specifications of the 2018 Farm Bill.

However, it is important to understand that law enforcement has very little way to tell marijuana and hemp flower apart. Standard police marijuana detectors scan for phytocannabinoids, and hemp will light them up like a Christmas tree. So it is important to recognize that there are risks associated with openly using CBD products in public, and you should always use discretion.

Will CBD Make Me Fail A Drug Test?

If you search this question on Google, you’ll be welcomed by a world of obscure answers pointing in both directions.

The most common type of drug test is a urine drug screening. In this process, a sample is collected and sent to a doctor or technician to be analyzed. In these tests, they are specifically looking for THC and often no other cannabinoids.

So, products that use CBD isolate are unlikely to make you fail a drug test. These products should contain extremely minute to absolutely no other cannabinoids, including THC. Broad-spectrum products should also be relatively safe to use in the event of a drug screening, as they should also contain virtually no THC.

Full-spectrum products, however, like oils and whole flower, pose a slightly more significant risk. These products naturally contain trace amounts of THC and could be picked up by a drug test.

It is important to understand that there is no guarantee you will pass a drug test when using any CBD products. Before using CBD you should consider your risk tolerance and be mindful that the CBD industry is widely unregulated, and unscrupulous products could contain more THC than labeled.Guide to Cannabidiol

How Should I Take CBD?

Not every consumption method is the right fit for each individual, and each method has its pros and cons.

Pills, Capsules, and Edibles

Oral consumption of CBD is great for people who don’t like the taste of CBD oils or vaporizing. A wide variety of products are available from gel capsules, pills, flavored gummies, and even drinks. Often, these products utilize CBD isolate, and are a good choice for those concerned about drug tests (you should always check what form of CBD is contained before making a decision).

However, because the CBD must pass through the digestive system before it can enter the bloodstream, it takes a while to work and offers one of the lowest bioavailabilities of CBD. Oral consumption is estimated to have a bioavailability between 4% and 20%, or for every 100mg of CBD taken orally, 4mg to 20mg will be absorbed into the bloodstream.


Beneath our tongues is a large vein known as the sublingual gland. When medicines/oils like melatonin, or in this case CBD, are administered under the tongue, they get absorbed directly into the bloodstream. CBD products taken sublingually range from oils, tinctures, lozenges, and even sprays, and are probably the most commonly taken form of CBD.

This method provides begins working itself into the bloodstream much quicker and is reported to have a bioavailability between 12% and 35%, which is much better than oral consumption.


Vaporized consumption is a great way to get the most out of CBD. Products in this category range from e-liquid to vaporizing hemp flower in a dry herb vaporizer. Vaporizing CBD hemp flower is one of the best ways to take CBD because of its efficiency and utilization of the whole plant and its compounds. Guide to Cannabidiol

Besides straight up intravenously injecting yourself with CBD (don’t), vaporized consumption offers one of the highest bioavailabilities of any other consumption method at an estimated 34% to 56%. Because of the large surface area of the lungs, the CBD is absorbed much faster than any other method, and with much greater efficiency.

How to Choose Safe Products

Guide to Cannabidiol: As stated earlier, the CBD market is largely unregulated and there is an ocean of CBD products available to choose from, and not all are necessarily safe.

Here are some good guidelines to follow when choosing a CBD product: Guide to Cannabidiol

  • Ensure the product provides third-party, up-to-date, and accurate COAs (Certificates of Analysis)
  • Ensure it was grown domestically, as hemp grown overseas may not be as stringently tested
  • Ensure the product provides an ingredients list, and how much CBD it contains
  • Avoid products that make extravagant health claims (this is illegal)
  • Check to see if the company has an online presence. If the company doesn’t have any online presence, it’s probably wise to avoid it.

As with buying product, exercise due diligence before purchasing and ensure you comply with your local laws. Guide to Cannabidiol


Cannabis Saved My Life

Cannabis Saved My Life: Veterans Share Stories of Healing and Recovery

Cannabis Saved My Life’: Veterans Share Stories of Healing and Recovery, once a week, a handful of military veterans gather at the Seattle Vet Center to practice the art of writing and the process of healing. Some write fiction. Others reveal themselves in memoir.

“We help people find tools to tell their own stories,” says Warren Etheredge, who teaches and leads the sessions. “I’ve been a teacher at every grade level for 30 years, and this is easily the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.”

7 Veterans, 7 Stories

To mark Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, this year Leafly is partnering with the Red Badge Project to bring some of those stories to life. Etheredge recently asked writers in his group to create a story that touched in some way on cannabis—a common topic of conversation among those managing PTSD.

“For the younger vets, it’s easier to talk about cannabis,” Etheredge recently told Leafly. “But for some older folks, from the Vietnam generation, it’s still something that’s not talked about a lot. Those who use it, swear by it. For some writers, their reaction was: ‘Oh please, let me spread the word.’”

While the rest of society is breaking down taboos around cannabis, it’s still a difficult topic in the military. A number of Red Badge writers, in fact, felt the need to use authorial pseudonyms because of the risk to their careers or VA benefits.

We’ve provided a few opening lines from each story, below. Click on the link to read the full piece.

We’ve also recorded the stories, and collected them in a short audiobook:

Aaron Patrick

Aaron Patrick is a social worker and dad from Washington state. He served in the Washington Army National Guard from 2002 to 2010, including a deployment to Iraq during “The Troop Surge”. Aaron began his enlistment as an Avionics Equipment Repairer but reclassified to Military Police and deployed as a Military Police sergeant. His favorite strain is Sugar Plum.

Bringing Back the Feelings

I can’t sleep unless I drink myself unconscious. It seems I can’t do much of anything without a drink. They say alcohol is an anesthetic, but I’m not drinking to numb any pain. I’m drinking because I can’t feel anything at all. I’ve cauterized my feelings. Cannabis Saved My Life

Click here for the rest of the story.

J. Brad Wilke

J. Brad Wilke is a co-founder and principal of Smarthouse Creative. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington’s Department of Communication, and a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army in 2003, having attained the rank of captain.

Just Follow Orders

As a non-combat veteran of the U.S. Army, I’ve never had the need to use cannabis to alleviate or minimize the effects of PTSD. My cannabis use has always been purely recreational and didn’t begin until well after I transitioned out of the service. My military experience was more Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H than Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. I hated people telling me what to do and I loathed the lack of agency that began as a cadet at West Point and lasted until I finally transitioned out of the service in late 2003.

Shortly thereafter, I took my first hit off a joint.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Sam Arrington

Sam Arrington grew up on the east coast and enlisted in the US Army after the attacks on September 11, 2001. He served eight years, including combat tours in Iraq and deployments as a combat advisor in Lebanon and Yemen. He now lives in Washington with his wife and two sons and spends his days teaching, writing, and coaching baseball. 

A Time To Be Still

“This doesn’t kill kids. It kills adults, but not kids.”

Early on a doctor had told him that. Now he just repeated it whenever the silence took him to some place he didn’t want to be.

A small girl was sleeping on the bed in front of him. Her frame was overwhelmed by the bulk of the large bed. She was asleep and the last of the daylight was fading on the mountains outside the window of her hospital room. It cast a beautiful rose glow on her skin.

A nurse entered the room.

“Take a break. I will come get you if I need to.”

Click here for the rest of the story. 

Maggie S.

Maggie S. spent six years in the active duty Army as a public affairs specialist and broadcast journalist.  She met her husband while stationed in Germany and they have been married for over 20 years. She has three children, Timothy, Madison and Aidan. 

Try the Home Grown

When everything got really bad, Mom thought it would help.  I was, of course, hesitant since I didn’t really have a decent track record with anything beyond say Tylenol.  But, Mom decided, after it had been brought up that we would try it together.  She, at 62 and I at 35 would have some cannabis together in an attempt to calm my mind, and my body from 6 years of service that wrecked havoc on both.

While I had certainly tried it once before – it was before, before everything.  I was 18, and in Amsterdam, then Denmark, then Norway, and finally what was previously East Germany.   The last of my cousin’s stash was imbibed at the top of a cathedral where my sister, cousin and I all had to huddle together and block the wind so the makeshift wooden pipe bought in desperation in Amsterdam could be lit.

Click here for the rest of the story. 

Skip Nichols

Skip Nichols is a Marine combat veteran who served in Vietnam from 1967-68. He and his wife, Paula, live in Walla Walla, Wash. They have two daughters and two grandsons. Nichols’ hobbies include writing and scuba diving. He has a degree in wildlife biology and worked as a newspaper editor for 40 years.

Introduction to War

Six black body bags lay in a row, splattered with the red mud that stained everything on top of the small hill south of the DMZ in Vietnam.

Fred Cleary whistled while Bobby Erl Baker remained silent as they struggled to pick up the bodies, Marines killed at nearby Con Thien during a massive bombing siege by the North Vietnamese Army. When they finished loading the bodies on a UH-34 helicopter, Baker was visibly shaking.

“What’s the matter?” Cleary asked. “At least it wasn’t you.”

Baker didn’t answer, but he wondered if someday someone would one day load his body on a chopper. The war suddenly seemed very real.

Click here for the rest of the story. 

Reg Doty

Reg Doty

Reg Doty was born in 1947 and went to war in 1967. He married his wife Jenise in 1971, graduated from Washington State University in 1976, the same year their son was born. He has been diagnosed with severe PTSD from his war years. “I have great difficulty talking to people,” he says, “but I try to make up for that through writing.” 

Redneck Buffet

After two tours partaking in the great “Asian vacation” I was looking forward to starting my life over as an expatriate in a place far away from the insanity that hijacked my dreams and left my spirit weary: a place where I might find my way to moral redemption? Fate intervened, though, when I met a young woman with whom I shared much in common. So as it happened we became expatriates together, not on the far side of the world, however, but in the community where she was born and raised, deep within the confines of eastern Washington State. Cannabis Saved My Life

We all know that it takes faith to move mountains, but coupled with love and kindness you just might be able to save souls too. I was a hard case, to be sure, but here was someone who wasn’t about to give up on me. Persistence and perseverance is a motto we should all live by and my beautiful friend put meaning and action into those words. Perhaps even a half-wit like me could get swept-up in a campaign to salvage himself.

Click here for the rest of the story.


L.J. is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and stand-up comedian. He comes from a tribal community in Minnesota and now lives in Seattle with his two kids.

Secret Cigarette Lighter

In the late 90’s I bought a ragged old 1987 Toyota pickup truck to drive around base and get me in to town.

This was when I was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave desert.

At one time this base was considered a remote location and the military gave personnel living there a small stipend for having to be in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere along the way, the powers that be in the defense department decided to move the checkpoint gate five miles closer to town in order to deny the stipend and be able to say the base had easy access to civilization even though the junior enlisted dormitories and other base housing did not move five miles closer to town. Cannabis Saved My Life

Click here for the rest of the story.

Etheredge, a nationally known film critic, curator, and founder of The Warren Report, is one of eight writers who work with dozens of veterans in The Red Badge Project, a nonprofit group that helps wounded warriors “rebuild their individual sense of purpose and unique individuality” through the creative process of storytelling.

The group was created six years ago by Tom Skerritt, the actor, director, and Air Force veteran; and Evan Bailey, a former US Army captain. Red Badge groups now meet in Vet Centers  around the Pacific Northwest, from Spokane to Walla Walla, Everett, and Federal Way. Cannabis Saved My Life

Cool Down With These 8 Chill Cannabis Products

Cool Down With These 8 Chill Cannabis Products Temperatures are starting to rise now that summer is closing in. It’s the perfect time for relaxing by the pool, cranking up the A.C., swimming in the ocean, or taking advantage of some cool cannabis products.

Find Cool Summertime Strains Nearby

From infused ice cream to cooling balms and medicated cold brew, discover eight unique ways cannabis can help you beat the heat.

Ice Cream by Remedy Ice Cream Company

(Courtesy of Remedy)

With eight exciting flavors to choose from, this premium, medicinal ice cream from the Remedy Ice Cream Company makes the perfect summer treat (with a little twist). With natural, hand-selected ingredients, each 4-oz portion contains 80mg of THC. Available flavors include Reese’s Pieces, Mayan Spiced Chocolate, Cocoa Menthe, Cookies & Dream, Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Earl Grey Blueberry, Salted Caramel, and Coffee. Or switch it up and create your own dream flavor!

Available in: Canada

G Drink Original Lemonade by GFarmaLabs

(Courtesy of GFarma Labs)

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day. GFarmaLabs’ cannabis infused Original Lemonade contains 100mg of THC. Along with the classic lemon flavor, it’s also available in pink and strawberry lemonades. Serve it ice-cold on a sweltering day or keep it in the cooler on the way to the beach.

Available in: Most recreational and medicinal states

Coava Cold Brew by Level+

(Courtesy of Level)

Each 16oz bottle of Level+ buzzy Coava Cold Brew contains 5mg of THC, making it the best choice for a pleasant, light dose each time you need a refreshing jolt. Say goodbye to hot coffee in the already hot heat, and say hello to a cool alternative with just as much caffeine power.

Available in: Oregon

Popsicles by Remedy Ice Cream

(Courtesy of Remedy)

Remedy Ice Cream was so good, we had to give them a second shoutout. Creamsicle, Lime Coconut, and Rocky Mountain Fudgesicle are three incredible flavors of the infused popsicle line by this innovative company. Each treat contains 40mg of THC and two of the three options are naturally vegan. Try one or try them all for the ultimate summer pick-me-up.

Available in: Canada

Synergy Cool: CBD & THC Cooling Balm by Dixie Elixirs

(Courtesy of Dixie Elixirs)

Dixie Elixirs combines 50mg of CBD, 50mg of THC, and a litany of invigorating oils for a balm that will send a pleasant shiver down your spine (or anywhere else you apply it). Peppermint, eucalyptus, pine, and chamomile are just a few ingredients making up the 20 essential oils in the soothing CBD & THC Cooling Balm.

Available in: Colorado, California, Nevada, and Arizona

Petra Eucalyptus Mints by Kiva Confections

(Courtesy of Kiva)

Petra Eucalyptus Mints from Kiva Confections are the perfect quick-fix for both stale breath and stifling heat. Each individual mint has 2.5mg of THC, allowing accurate and precise dosing or microdosing. They are sugar-free with refreshing eucalyptus oil that will revitalize the senses.

Available in: California

Spring Citrus Sparkling Drink by Sprig

(Courtesy of Sprig)

Sprig’s zesty Citrus Sparkling Drink is a light refreshment best served on the rocks. With 45mg THC per can, it’s a potent drink practically made for unwinding after a long day.

Available in: California

Mellow Mint Stillwater Tea by Stillwater Brands

(Courtesy of Stillwater Tea)

A tall glass of iced tea is a welcome summer tradition. Stillwater’s Mellow Mint Tea puts a twist on this hot-weather staple by boasting invigorating flavors of mint with 2.5mg of THC per bag. Simply brew up a batch, allow to cool in the fridge, then enjoy in a tall glass filled with ice for an enlivening cannabis iced tea.

Available in: Colorado


Restrictive Laws Power Indoor Cannabis in California

Restrictive Laws Power Indoor Cannabis in California, Cannabis is a multibillion dollar industry in California, but travel through any of the grand stretches of agricultural land that line the state’s highways and chances are you won’t glimpse a single outdoor cannabis crop.

Only 12 municipalities in the state allow for outdoor cultivated cannabis. Instead, most cannabis is grown indoors, under high-intensity industrial lighting, which comes with a serious carbon footprint. The few outdoor operations that do exist face expensive regulatory fees and high taxes compared to indoor grows.

According to a 2011 article in the Journal of Energy Policy, the electricity used in indoor cannabis operations adds up to 1% of the nation’s power, equivalent to the amount needed to power 2 million average homes in the US. Additionally, the high-intensity bulbs used in most operations contain about 30mg of mercury each—the EPA considers mercury emissions to be among the most serious air quality threats to human health.

With indoor grows, there are also issues of water use (especially in a state that just came out of a long drought) and potential water pollution from water waste produced by large industrial grows that often use nitrate-rich fertilizers.

Meanwhile, sustainable outdoor operations rely solely on sunlight and rainwater, using little-to-no irrigation, and employ organic farming practices that don’t use polluting fertilizers.

With large corporations like Marlboro in the cannabis industry, small, sustainable farms are likely to face even more steep competition in coming years.

“What we can see with cannabis is kind of the same thing that’s happening with so many other commodity crops, where huge industrial agricultural organizations move in and displace small family farm ecosystems that are planned in a much better way,” says David Bronner, CEO of the popular sustainable soap brand Dr. Bronner’s. “We need to shift away from industrial, chemical, and energy-intensive agricultural methods that diminish soil and the surrounding ecosystems.”

Nevedal has been working for farmers rights, education, and sustainability in the cannabis industry for more than a decade, and says the reason outdoor cultivators in the state face so many regulatory hurdles today is likely due to the environmental destruction caused by large trespass grows during prohibition.

Those grows wreaked serious environmental havoc—illegal and toxic chemical pesticides were used, water systems were dammed and polluted with synthetic fertilizers, forests were cleared, and waste was left behind.

But today’s regulations don’t account for most legal outdoor cannabis operations, which by and large are small family homesteads, many of which have been pioneers in organic, sustainable farming.

Dr. Bronner’s has contributed $5 million to the cannabis legalization movement and to the scientific study of cannabis (and of psychedelics, by way of the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies). The company also plans to donate $2 million more throughout the 2020 election cycle, Bronner said.

Why Is Indoor the Go-To Growing Model?

How did a grow method with a serious carbon footprint become the standard in California’s cannabis industry?

According to Kristin Nevedal, cannabis industry pioneer and founder of the International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA), the popularity of indoor grows has to do with leftover symptoms of prohibition. Before adult-use legalization, cannabis grows had to stay hidden and indoor operations were the easy-to-follow, cookie-cutter model already in place. This, combined with a lingering public stigma surrounding the plant—like people worried about the smell of outdoor crops—led to indoor becoming the standard, she says.

“From a cannabis industry perspective, if we aren’t going to really start paying attention to putting this plant back into the ground, we aren’t going to be able to manage our environmental impacts as an industry,” she said. “Not just in CA, but on a global level, we can’t necessarily afford the greenhouse gas associated with cultivation under high intensity discharge lighting in a yearlong manner when, really, this plant can go in the ground and be farmed using natural sunlight.”

The Sun and Earth Certification

Michael Steinmetz, CEO of Flow Kana—California’s largest distributor of sungrown organic cannabis from small craft farmers—says he founded the company based on the core belief that “cannabis can be a catalyst for social, economic, and environmental change. Cannabis is an agricultural crop, and agriculture—specifically the practices of mass industrial agriculture (Big Ag)—is one of the greatest perpetrators of climate change,” he said.

He and his company have been working to make consumers aware of the burgeoning craft cannabis industry, and the potential it has to mitigate cannabis’ environmental costs.

“Sungrown cannabis, cultivated on a small farm that uses beyond organic practices, yields a high-quality, craft product,” he says. “These stewards of the land have spent their lives balancing a unique and harmonious relationship between the farm, the genetics and the terroir. The result is an unparalleled product that simply cannot be found anywhere else. Further, by being a consumer-activist that choses a sungrown product, one can help combat climate change and the threat of Big Ag on this community.”

One of the major hurdles to sustainable cannabis farming practices on a wide scale is the fact that cannabis farms aren’t yet federally legal, so they can’t apply for organic or other certifications through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

To address this issue, Flow Kanna partnered with Dr. Bronner’s and a coalition of companies and organizations to develop the Sun and Earth Standard for cannabis growing operations. The certification holds farmers accountable to organic, regenerative practices as well as standards of human empowerment and community engagement.

“The goal here is basically to create the consumer basic standard for the really high level regenerative, organic cultivation of cannabis,” said David Bronner.

David Bronner also recently launched a nonprofit cannabis brand platform called Brother David, which will give 100% of its profits to increase awareness of the Sun and Earth certification and sustainable cannabis practices.

Brother David will use its profits to cover the actual costs of farmer certification, and fund organizations like Kirstin Nevedal’s ICFA “and all their really rad advocacy on behalf of small farmers,” Bronner said, as well as anti-prohibition advocacy.

Bronner says it’s time to transition our farming landscapes—which he notes now makes up 40% of the earth’s surface—to reflect nature.

“If you look at a wild ecosystem, there is no external chemical input. It’s all completely self-regenerating,” he said. “We want to help transition cannabis farming, generally, to a regenerative, sustainable practice.”

Kern County Just Became California’s Worst Cannabis Desert

Kern County Just Became California’s Worst Cannabis Desert, Just in time for Memorial Day, a rural California county is shuttering its medical cannabis dispensaries and making its residents—many of them military veterans—drive at least 150 miles round-trip to the nearest legal store.htt


Friday, May 24 marks the end of limited immunity for unincorporated Kern County’s 28 medical cannabis dispensaries. They had been grandfathered in for years, and amassed tens of thousands of patients. But come midnight tonight, those business risk being raided by the local sheriff, and having their property, cash, and medicine seized.

In a state where medical dispensaries and adult use stores are opening up by the dozens, Kern County—which is the size of New Hampshire—is going backward.

“This is the most regressive county I can think of,” said California NORML coordinator Ellen Komp.

At The Crop medical dispensary outside of Bakersfield, manager Jacob Gonzalez said the law-abiding, tax-paying shop will cease serving its 9,800 patients after today. The ban is only hurting the most vulnerable, he said. That includes senior veterans getting off opioids or fighting chronic illness, the type of people who don’t have a hookup in the local illicit market.

“Younger kids looking for cheap deals and dabs—they go to other places,” said Gonzalez. “It is hurting a lot of people here. I’ve just seen the reaction on patients’ faces—they’re not happy at all.”

“We’re seven to ten years behind everyone else,” said Gonzalez, who graduated from a local high school and worked his way up from security guard to manager. “It’s like going back in time.”

The Edge of Freedom

If you’re looking for the avatar of recalcitrance to cannabis law reform, look no further than the arid, low-income wastelands northeast of Los Angeles.

Across California, more than 800 licensed medical or adult-use stores or delivery services generated more than $350 million in tax revenue in 2018. Not in Kern.

More than 23 years after Proposition 215, the first licensed stores are coming to big coastal cities like San Leandro, Emeryville, and Alameda. The adoption of medical regulations in 2015, and Proposition 64 in 2016, have given local cities a legal scaffold on which they can develop retail ordinances.

More stores are also opening in California’s longtime cannabis deserts than ever before—places you’ve never heard of: Pt. Hueneme, Adelanto, Needles, and Sylmar.

These new shops are the low-hanging fruit. Roughly 75% of jurisdictions in the state still ban stores.

California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, but Kern County has never regulated medical dispensaries. Its 800,000 people, though, most certainly use them.

In 2016, voters in Kern County sided against the state’s adult use legalization ballot measure by a wide margin, 53% to 47%.

Reefer Madness Country

In 2017, the Board of Supervisors—faced with contracting oil taxes, and at least $20 million in county deficits—considered allowing a local legal cannabis industry worth 8,750 jobs and $37 million in estimated taxes.

Local prohibitionists proved louder than supporters, however. Some critics even invoked the gateway theory.

“Do our county officials want to make it easier for our families to fall into a lifetime of drug addiction — is that what they want? Hopefully the answer is no,” said longtime Bakersfield city councilmember Jacky Sullivan.

Komp noted that the gateway theory has been rejected by the federal government, and cannabis use rates by teens have fallen amid adult-use commercialization in California. This May, Gov. Gavin Newsom budgeted $26 million in 2019 and 2020 for public health messaging in cities that license stores.

Other critics said essentially ‘not in my back yard.’

“Now that it is legal, statewide, Kern county does not need to provide that service,” said local resident Carol Bender in a letter to officials that concluded with a Bible passage about greed.

But Komp said there are tens of thousands of Kern locals who’ll prefer safe, tested, taxed cannabis, instead of the illicit market—which is expected to thrive under the ban.

“It’s already pretty easy to get,” said one local. “The high school I went to 90% of people smoked before there was even stores.”

Still, Supervisors rejected the legal market in 4-1 vote and gave the 28 grandfathered shops a hard deadline to close up shop.

Kern County voters are more divided than ever. In 2018, a countywide ballot measure to allow adult-use stores lost at the ballot box by just 9,243 votes, just 2.4% of all registered voters.

“It was so close,” said Gonzalez.

The Clock Runs Out

Now the clock has run out on the grandfathered dispensaries, adding to the county’s tough economic and environmental conditions, Gonzalez said.

The local oil industry is laying off people, and homelessness is rising. Kern has atrocious air pollution, chronic drought, and an economy reliant on drilling, farming, prisons, and the military.

The population center of Bakersfield’s nearest licensed outlet is 80 miles south to Sylmar, 76 miles north to Woodlake, 273 miles east to Needles, or 132 miles west to San Luis Obispo, the beach.

“I’ve been here all my life and it’s tough to stay here,” Gonzalez said. “I would love to tell you there’s a lot keeping me here. But when I think about having my family here, the past ten years I’ve been out of high school it’s gotten considerably worse.”

“The thing that’s been keeping me here the most is this shop,” he said. “If I have the chance to leave, I would take it.”

What About Delivery?

Lastly, licensed delivery is legal only in name in Kern County. Kern is so remote, most state-legal delivery services won’t drop there.

In April, the city of Tehachapi in Kern County joined 23 California cities and one county suing the state to overturn the legality of licensed couriers.

Eric Sklar, member of a new alliance of legal cannabis businesses called Californians for Equal Access, said “the situation in Kern County is an example of why we need cannabis delivery to be available in every county in the state. Prohibition is over. Restricting a legal product from being delivered is as ridiculous as banning Fedex from delivering a case of wine.”

And by the way, illicit couriers are definitely serving Kern.

When I called a licensed delivery service and asked if they dropped in Kern, they said no, too far. When I asked if they knew of any licensed couriers out that way—the service rep pointed me to a website listing 17 unlicensed delivery services serving Kern.

Marijuana is a Psychoactive Drug. But is it Really a Medicine?

Marijuana is a Psychoactive Drug. But is it Really a Medicine? .

Marijuana is a Psychoactive Drug Marijuana laws are changing rapidly, but as of now, adults can use it recreationally in just 10 states.

So which is it: A pleasure drug or a pharmaceutical one? And what
difference does that make when it comes to regulating cannabis?

These are questions to consider as states like Illinois explore
moving from a medical program to a more open-ended recreational one.



Chicago-based Cresco Labs grows some 30 strains of marijuana at its main cultivation center, in a manufacturing area in suburban Joliet.

While the marijuana leaf may be the unofficial, international symbol for weed – that’s not where the plant’s power resides.

“So if you look closely at this flower part, you can see that it has a
dusting or a frosting of trichomes. Those are little oil glands that do
contain the cannabinoids,” explains Jason Nelson, Cresco’s vice
president for production.

Those cannabinoids contain the power that Creso seeks to harness and
sell to patients in Illinois who are looking to marijuana to alleviate
their symptoms.

Patients like Adrienne Aaronson, a 78-year-old grandmother and artist from Highland Park who suffers from fibromyalgia.

“Fibromyalgia is constant pain throughout your body. And there’s no
way of stopping it, it’s just – it’s there,” she said. “Pain in my
joints. Swollen hands. Achiness. Sometimes down in my leg. It just

Aaronson had never smoked weed. Until two years ago.

She tried acupuncture but says, “I thought it was silly.”

When those didn’t do the trick, she followed her physician’s advice
to visit another doctor – a specialist in integrative medicine who
somewhat unwittingly has become an international expert in medical
marijuana after Illinois’ law passed in 2013. 

“I knew nothing about this as a physician and I read further into it
and I saw that the qualifying conditions described my medical practice,”
said Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple. “Fibromyalgia, people with cancer,
multiple sclerosis, seizures – and these are the kinds of patients who
seek out integrative therapies. And I thought, I better learn a lot
about this so that I know more when the patients ask me, ‘cause I knew
they would ask me.”

And they did, in increasing numbers. Temple, who went on to become
the first chair of Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, says her
waiting list has ballooned since she became one of the doctors willing
to certify that a patient has a qualifying condition.


Though hesitant at first, Aaronson says weed is working. She says
when she first visited Temple, on a scale of 1-10 her pain used to
measure an 8.

“The last time I went to see her, she said, ‘How do you feel?’ I
said, ‘I feel great! I feel fabulous!’ And I did, I really did,”
Aaronson said.

She takes her medicine every night, religiously: a chunk of cannabis-laced mango candy she keeps tucked in the fridge.

She says it helps her sleep; and a good night’s sleep helps her with the pain.

“They’re 25 milligrams of THC. Whatever that is. And I probably …
will bite off about so much,” she said, pointing to a chunk about the
size of a fingernail. “And I’m not going to do that now, because I’m not
ready for bed.”

It may taste and look like candy, but Cresco’s Nelson believes in the
healing power of these pot gummies, and the other products his company
makes – the cannabis gel tablets, oils and tinctures. 

“I used to think of myself as something like a tobacco grower or
distiller, in that I’m essentially making a vice – at worst – or a
lifestyle choice for someone who is of age and can make that choice,”
Nelson said. “But what we’ve been really pleasantly surprised with is
that now that more research has been enacted from a medical perspective,
that there really are true medical benefits from either the whole plant
itself or the individual compounds within the plant.”  

But how does it work? What magic might these pungent, leafy green plants hold in helping to stem nausea and seizures?

“Our body actually has an endogenous, our own homemade system that
creates cannabis-like looking substances. And they help us do five
things: they help us eat, sleep, protect ourselves from harm, forget
pain when we need to and relax. So you can imagine from moment to
moment, when it’s time to eat you get a burst of cannabinoids that, say,
drive the appetite and then you eat. When it’s time to sleep you get a
little burst there – and this is happening in every cell,” Temple said.
“We have this plant from the outside world which we can ingest or smoke
that influences this system … The way that cannabis works is that it
influences those systems in a way to either enhance one of those
functions – to help us forget pain, to get us to eat, to relax, to

Still, details on how and whether marijuana does this are elusive, even in the medical community.

Because the federal government classifies cannabis as an illegal drug, researching it has been difficult.

Dr. Stephen Hanauer, the medical director of Northwestern Medicine’s
digestive health center, is going about it in a roundabout way.

He’s studying patients already on marijuana.

“Crohn’s disease, which is what I deal with, is one of the autoimmune
diseases (of which) we do not yet know the cause or have a medical
cure,” Hanauer said. “As soon as you tell a patient that you’ve got a
condition that we don’t know what causes it and we don’t have a cure,
they’re looking elsewhere. They’re looking for other approaches and
that’s obviously nowadays using social media and going online, and
there’s a great deal of usage of alternative therapies – not just

He’s about a year into a study, funded by the Digestive Health
Foundation, that’s comparing Crohn’s disease patients’ personal
evaluations of how they’re feeling with blood and stool samples that can
detect intestinal inflammation.

The study won’t be compete for another six months, but Hanauer has a hypothesis.

“My suspicion, is that it makes the patient feel better, but it doesn’t really change the disease activity,” Hanauer said.

Making pain subside sounds great, but that isn’t the same thing as a
cure. Hanauer said marijuana could actually pose a problem for people
with chronic diseases like Crohn’s if it merely masks the symptoms.

“They go on for essentially a lifetime. They can progress into
complications such as narrowing within the bowel that can lead to bowel
obstruction and even cancers develop in the presence of ongoing
inflammation,” he said. “So we don’t want the patient to be fooled and
think that because their symptoms are controlled they’re out of the
woods as far as inflammation and the prognosis for the disease is

Hanauer warns his Crohn’s patients who choose to go the cannabis
route to steer clear of smoking pot, as that can aggravate the disease.

And while pot is often regarded as an anti-nausea remedy, people who
rely on it too much may experience Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, in
which they’re unable to stop vomiting.

Temple said she tells patients to follow a motto: Go low and go slow in their cannabis doses.

“What matters to me most is it has helped my patients,” she said.
“Most of them, not all. And that it is a good medicine, definitely not a
perfect one, and that we have to have a very balanced viewpoint of what
medical cannabis can do. It’s not the miracle that many people will
tout that it’s a cure-all, and it’s also not this evil vice that
everyone should avoid. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and the
truth is going to be different from person to person.”

Temple says it isn’t as simple as writing a prescription for a
pharmaceutical drug that’s gone through the rigors of FDA testing. It’s
trial and error.

“CBD, THC, CBG, CBN – so there’s an alphabet soup of these different
chemicals that have activities on your brain and on your body that can
be given in so many different routes,” Temple said. “It can be smoked,
vaped, ingested, the oil can be rubbed on the gum, there’s creams,
patches and suppositories … You add that times the infinite combinations
of cannabinoids and terpenoids and other chemicals that occur naturally
in this plant – there’s really no way to determine how I should be
dosing every patient.”

That’s precisely why Hanauer says marijuana is not a “medicine.”

After all, it isn’t approved by the FDA (and so insurance won’t pay for it) and it hasn’t been through rigorous studies.

“Every drug that I prescribe to a patient, I know the dose, it has
been approved based on studies demonstrating how it’s effective, in what
conditions it’s effective and it’s safety profile. We don’t know that
for cannabis,” he said. “We don’t know what dose patients would be
using, we don’t know what dose is going to be effective, and we don’t
know what dose is going to cause them harm.”

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is still technically in the pilot
stages, and it’s tightly regulated – so much so that our cameras aren’t
allowed into any of the dispensaries where products are sold. 

Temple says anyone using marijuana – for medical reasons or otherwise – needs to be careful.

“We have to be really cognizant of that dark side of cannabis,
because I’m concerned that the legitimizing of this as a medicine sends a
message to the community that it’s a free-for-all and let’s just use it
willy-nilly without any restraint. And that is a big concern of mine.”

Temple’s patient Adrienne Aaronson is busy prepping for an art show.

She’s thankful she’s virtually free from fibromyalgia pain, and
she’ll tell friends who ask, “’Yeah, I’m taking pot.’ I just love to be
able to say that!” she said.

She also appreciates that Illinois could use every penny if weed brings about a windfall of revenue.

Even so, she doesn’t think people should be free to smoke a joint, or pop a cannabis candy, just because they feel like it.

She said she wouldn’t take it, if she didn’t have to.

“I’m not in favor of that. Isn’t that terrible? Here I am using it, and I feel that it can be abused,” she said.

Should Illinois legalize marijuana for recreational use, Aaronson’s
friends – and anyone else 21 years or older – could take pot too.

In anticipation, Illinois-based marijuana companies have been growing like weeds.

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky


Everything You Need to Know to Buy Legal Weed in California

Everything You Need to Know to Buy Legal Weed in California :

Recreational cannabis use is legal in California—and now, shops are licensed to sell it. But who can buy it? Where can you smoke it? We answer all your burning questions.

Everything You Need to Know to Buy Legal Weed in California Can you legally buy a beer? Congratulations! That means you can also legally buy cannabis (pot, weed, marijuana) in California. Decriminalization came into effect on January 1, 2018, after voters passed Proposition 64 in November 2016. California joins Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, Alaska, Maine, and Nevada in legalizing recreational cannabis use, making the state the largest legal marijuana market in the country.

Here’s what you need to know about getting high in the Golden State.

Who can buy?

You have to be 21 or older to buy recreational cannabis products (we’ll get to them in a bit) and present a valid ID—a driver’s license or a passport will do just fine—upon entering a marijuana dispensary. People with a medical marijuana card issued by a doctor must be 18.

Potany 101

Marijuana plants come in two main branches, indica and sativa. Indicas bring the body buzz, promoting relaxation. They are typically lower in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels and higher in cannabidiol (CBD) levels. THC is pot’s psychoactive element that fosters a feeling of higher energy levels and euphoria. CBD doesn’t cause a person to feel high and has a muting effect on THC. Sativas are typically the inverse of indicas, having higher THC levels and lower CBD levels, causing a trippier high. A third branch, hybrids, are crossbred plants that produce effects of both indica and sativas.

Dried marijuana buds, also referred to as “flower.”

What products can I buy?

Cannabis products are broken down into four main categories: flower, concentrates, edibles, and applications.

Flower refers to the plant itself—the dried buds of a marijuana plant—and comes in a seemingly endless variety of strains, each with clever monikers such as LA Confidential, Granddaddy Purple, or Nina Limon. Leafly is an excellent app and online resource to better know your strains. Flower is meant to be smoked either in joints or out of a pipe or bong.

Concentrates include a range of products made from trichome extractions taken from a pot plant. (Trichomes are those sparkly little crystals that cover mature plants.) Concentrates pack a more powerful punch than flower and are sometimes used to top off flower in a joint or bowl. The extracts come in a variety of forms, including kief, wax, and oils. One of the easiest ways to enjoy an extraction is with a vape pen. They’re sold in a nifty kit that includes a cartridge containing the oil, a rechargeable battery that powers the pen, and a charger that plugs into your laptop. Popular cartridge brands include Bloom Farms, Legion of Bloom, and Dosist.

Edibles are just that: food that has extractions incorporated into their manufacturing process. Look for cookies, gummy candies, lollipops, chocolate-covered anything (dried fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and raisins are popular), and even cannabis-infused drinks such as sodas, hot cocoa mixes, and cold-brewed coffee. While smoking brings on immediate effects, the effects of an edible can take as long as two hours to be felt and last much longer than simply smoking. Because it can take some time, people sometimes make the rookie mistake of over-consuming edibles. Don’t be that person. Kiva and Satori manufacture low-dose edible products. Start with those if that’s your thing.

Applications use extractions to target medical conditions primarily. High CBD products such as tinctures and patches are used to alleviate physical pain, anxiety, and even depression.

Where do I buy?

In California, you’ll need to visit a licensed dispensary to buy cannabis products. If you’re at a dispensary to purchase recreational weed, remember that it’s a medical facility first and foremost, so don’t whip out your phone to take a selfie. Respect patients’ right to privacy.

Also, bring cash. Although some dispensaries do accept credit cards, many do not.

When you get to a dispensary (use an app or site like Weedmaps to locate one near you), you’ll have to check in at the front desk with your ID to prove you’re of age, then you’ll need to wait your turn. Since recreational marijuana became available in California, long lines have formed at dispensaries, especially on weekends, overwhelmed by demand. Patience is key.

Once your name is called by one of the “budtenders,” take as much time as you need to discuss what kind of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to mellow out, or do you want to laugh and explore? The people behind the counter are well-informed and can talk in-depth about different products and will direct you to the item that’s right for you.

An alternate method for purchasing is using an app-based delivery service like Eaze. Go online or download it to your phone, create a brief user profile, upload your ID, then order away. Typically your product is delivered within an hour after placing your order, a convenient service for travelers staying at hotels or people who aren’t quite ready to come out as a cannabis user. Some dispensaries also offer delivery services. In the San Francisco Bay Area, places like the Apothecarium publish their full daily menu online and offer both delivery and in-store pickups, the latter helping to cut down on wait times.

Where can I smoke my weed?

Here’s the tricky part. While it’s legal to have recreational marijuana, it’s not legal to consume it in public places, just like alcohol. That being said, enforcement is a low priority for police, and, if enforced, a ticket comes with a relatively low $70 penalty.

While the law doesn’t allow it, societal norms in major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco do foster public consumption. Visit any urban park on a sunny weekend day, and the scent of marijuana will come wafting by at some point. Discretion is key.

Another option is to stay in an Airbnb that allows it. Even though they don’t have a filter for it (yet), a search of Airbnb for “420 friendly” will bring up listings of properties that allow guests to consume. Two sites, TravelTHC and Bud and Breakfast, market accommodations targeted specifically at pot enthusiasts.

Finally, consider a cannabis tour. Currently operating tours in San Diego, West Coast Cannabis Tours offers half-day jaunts that include visits to dispensaries and breweries, all on groovy, decked-out private buses on which you’re allowed and encouraged to enjoy your purchases. The company is developing new tours in LA and Orange County, set to launch later in 2018. In the Bay Area, Emerald Farm Tours offers a seed-to-sale tour, where participants visit a cannabis farm, a manufacturing plant, and a retail shop all in one day. The company plans to expand its tour offerings.

But what about the feds?

While medicinal or recreational cannabis use is legal in the majority of states, it is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government. In fact, it’s still a Schedule I drug on the federal level, putting it in the same category as cocaine or heroin. You can’t ship it or send it in the mail, and you absolutely cannot fly with it. For more details on federal law concerning cannabis, Americans for Safe Access is a great resource.

If you want to make sure you know every little detail on recreational marijuana use in California before you consume, visit GreenState, an online publication dedicated solely to the subject. But if you’re ready to explore the world of legal recreational cannabis, it’s high time you get to California.

CBD -Cannabis-Flower

CBD Flower and Cannabis Comparison-marijuana in California?

CBD Flower and Cannabis Comparison

Effects on the Body

CBD Flower and Cannabis: The cannabidiol found in CBD flower has been said to be used as a pain reliever, to reduce nausea, to ease migraines, to reduce anxiety, and even decrease seizures.

The THC found in Marijuana has been said to have psychoactive side effects and increase appetite, which are a few of its major differences compared to CBD flower. However, THC has been found to relieve pain, reduce nausea and anxiety, and ease migraines like CBD. (Source: Healthline)

Aroma and Appearance

Both hemp flower and marijuana have similar, distinct smells. They are also visually similar to the untrained eye. This can make it very difficult to tell the products apart. (Source: Green Entrepreneur)

cbd flower aroma and appearance

Genetic Makeup

cbd genetic makeup

(Source: CBD Origin)

THC Content

While Marijuana is bred to contain up to 30% THC, legal hemp does not contain more than 0.3% THC. (Source: Berkshire CBD)

Same Plant, Different Uses

Both CBD Flower and Marijuana come from the same genus, Cannabis. (Source: Trusted CBD Oil)

cbd uses versus marijuana

2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 bill legalized the production of hemp and listed the product as a covered commodity under crop insurance. It was also an influencer of streamlining the process for developing hemp policies. (Source: American Farm Bureau Federation)

Marijuana Legalization

marijuana legalization

While Marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, there are a handful of states that have legalized recreational use.

(Map Key from darkest to lightest: Legalized, Medical and Decriminalized, Medical, Decriminalized, Fully Illegal) (Source: DISA)

CBD Hemp Flower Legality

With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, smokable CBD hemp flower was made legal in the United States. In order to maintain its legal status growers must adhere to these regulations:
– Must be HEMP derived CBD
– Must contain less than 0.3% THC
– Must adhere to shared state-federal regulations
– Must be a properly licensed grower

(Source: CBD Origin)

Sources: CBD Flower and Cannabis


Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but your boss doesn’t have to allow it -- yet-226XIDBFDZBGBMQ353M57KFU6I.jpg

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but your boss doesn’t have to allow it-yet

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but your boss doesn’t have to allow it — yet

  Using marijuana is legal in Massachusetts — but that doesn’t mean your boss has to allow it.

Business advocates say company policies about marijuana use are currently all over the map. But a bill sponsored by Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, would change that.

Lewis’ bill, S.978, would forbid employers from penalizing or discriminating against an employee or potential hire for marijuana use outside the office and off company time, as long as the employee is not impaired while working.


“I think that we shouldn’t be discriminating against adults who want to make their own decision to responsibly consume cannabis on their own time, in the same way they can consume other legal products like alcohol,” Lewis said.

Lewis’ bill would not affect employers who are required to drug test due to federal requirements. For example, trucking companies or defense contractors are federally regulated, and their employees can be subject to drug testing for marijuana use.

An employer could still fire someone who commits a marijuana crime, such as selling to minors, or who cannot perform their job or maintain certifications needed for their job due to marijuana use.

The bill is pending before a legislative committee.

Lewis, a previous vice chair of the Legislature’s marijuana policy committee, said he was swayed by Bernadette Coughlin’s story.

Coughlin oversaw kitchen staffers at a hospital Methuen. She fell and broke her wrist and was sent for a drug test. She had used a vape pen three days earlier and tested positive for marijuana. The company fired her.

Coughlin has been lobbying the state to pass a bill to protect workers from being fired for using marijuana on their personal time.

“It just seemed like something that was unfair,” Lewis said. “And if this is happening to other people, or could happen to other people in Massachusetts, we should probably take steps to prevent that from happening.”

The Supreme Judicial Court, in a 2017 decision in Cristina Barbuto vs. Advantage Sales and Marketing, ruled that an employer cannot fire or discriminate against someone for using medical marijuana.

But the court has not yet ruled on any cases related to workplace protections for marijuana for non-medical use.

Chris Geehern, a spokesman for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which represents businesses, said company policies today are “all over the place.”

Federally regulated companies have not changed their drug testing policies, since marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Most other companies, Geehern said, “are taking a wait and see attitude at this point.”

Geehern said some companies still drug test, but not for marijuana. Others continue to test for marijuana.

The difficulty with testing for marijuana is there is no scientifically accurate test to measure marijuana-related impairment, and THC can linger in someone’s body for days.

“You can drug test someone and you may come up with a trace of marijuana that somebody used a couple of days ago,” Geehern said. “So the real question is, is it impairing that person’s ability to run a … machine or drive a forklift or other safety specific occupations?”

Geehern said employers must figure out how to measure impairment — for example, in a person who uses marijuana in the morning, then comes to work. “That’s the uncharted territory that employers are dealing with,” he said.

Tamsin Kaplan, an employment attorney at Davis, Malm & D’Agostine in Boston, said she thinks Massachusetts employers are becoming more comfortable dealing with marijuana, since medical marijuana has been legal since 2012.

“Really the same common sense approach applies in this situation as it did with medical marijuana,” Kaplan said. “In many ways, it’s similar to dealing with alcohol, which we’ve been dealing with for a long time.”

Kaplan said she tells clients it is appropriate to test for marijuana if there is a safety concern — for example, if a job involves driving or operating heavy equipment.

Otherwise, she tells employers to consider whether an employee is living up to expectations in performing their job. “If they do, it’s a non-issue whether they’re off premises, off work time, using recreational marijuana,” Kaplan said.

If a worker is sleeping on the job or behaving inappropriately, Kaplan says she tells company officials to address that behavior.

Under state law, there are limited circumstances under which a company can drug test employees. One of the allowed times is when an employer has a “reasonable suspicion” that an employee is using drugs.

Employment attorney Erica Flores of Skolar Abbott in Springfield said since marijuana became legal, she has seen employers beefing up their policies regarding what constitutes a “reasonable suspicion,” training human resource workers on those policies and reminding employees that they can be drug tested if they act high while on the job.

“Just like with alcohol, it’s not okay to be intoxicated where you’re working,” Flores said.

Flores added that “reasonable suspicion” policies ensure that no one is tested unless an employer already has evidence to suspect they are impaired.

Trump Agriculture Secretary Accepts Invitation To Tour Hemp Farms-Screen-Shot-2019-04-11-at-8.20.38-AM-e1554996425394.png

Trump Agriculture Secretary Accepts Invitation To Tour Hemp Farms

Trump Agriculture Secretary Accepts Invitation To Tour Hemp Farms The head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted an invitation to tour hemp farms in Oregon, telling Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) that it would help him learn about the industry as a whole.

In the latest in a series of lawmaker queries about hemp for federal officials during congressional hearings in recent weeks, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was again pressed on the issue when he appeared before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Thursday, with two members imploring him to “speed up” the rulemaking process to enact regulations that are required under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Perdue said that he would “love to” expedite the regulations but that the department was currently prioritizing the dairy industry and it was more likely that the rules would be implemented in time for the 2020 planting season.

“This is obviously a new issue. It requires a lot of complexities because of its uniqueness in its product and similarities and things that many states and the federal government considers illegal,” Perdue said, referring to marijuana.

Merkley, the ranking member of the subcommittee, then extended an invitation to join him in Oregon for a “little tour of our hemp industry.”

“I welcome that actually,” Perdue said. “We need to know more about the industry as a whole. I probably know less about that than I do most of the crops, and certainly I would welcome that.”

“There’s no lack of enthusiasm for sure for the CBD oil and the others, and I’m interested really in what the fiber utilization is, because what are all of those industrial uses? Because as productive as an American producer is, I’m fearful that we can crash this market before it gets off the ground,” he said.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) asked Perdue if he was able to approve state regulatory plans for hemp and claimed that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was blocking Montana farmers from importing hemp seeds from Canada because of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Perdue said that farmers are able to continue cultivating the crop under the rules of the prior 2014 Farm Bill that allowed limited research programs focused on hemp while the department develops new regulations for a commercial market. USDA is currently accepting state regulatory plans, he said, and it’s “news to me” that the DEA is interfering in hemp seed imports.

The head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted an invitation to tour hemp farms in Oregon, telling Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) that it would help him learn about the industry as a whole.

In the latest in a series of lawmaker queries about hemp for federal officials during congressional hearings in recent weeks, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was again pressed on the issue when he appeared before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Thursday, with two members imploring him to “speed up” the rulemaking process to enact regulations that are required under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Perdue said that he would “love to” expedite the regulations but that the department was currently prioritizing the dairy industry and it was more likely that the rules would be implemented in time for the 2020 planting season.

“This is obviously a new issue. It requires a lot of complexities because of its uniqueness in its product and similarities and things that many states and the federal government considers illegal,” Perdue said, referring to marijuana.

Merkley, the ranking member of the subcommittee, then extended an invitation to join him in Oregon for a “little tour of our hemp industry.”

“I welcome that actually,” Perdue said. “We need to know more about the industry as a whole. I probably know less about that than I do most of the crops, and certainly I would welcome that.”

“There’s no lack of enthusiasm for sure for the CBD oil and the others, and I’m interested really in what the fiber utilization is, because what are all of those industrial uses? Because as productive as an American producer is, I’m fearful that we can crash this market before it gets off the ground,” he said.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) asked Perdue if he was able to approve state regulatory plans for hemp and claimed that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was blocking Montana farmers from importing hemp seeds from Canada because of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Perdue said that farmers are able to continue cultivating the crop under the rules of the prior 2014 Farm Bill that allowed limited research programs focused on hemp while the department develops new regulations for a commercial market. USDA is currently accepting state regulatory plans, he said, and it’s “news to me” that the DEA is interfering in hemp seed imports.

Watch the video of Perdue’s hemp comments at about 32:50 and 48:02 into the video below:

A spokesperson for DEA told Marijuana Moment that she was unaware of any ongoing involvement by her agency in hemp imports, noting that the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and hemp-derived products from the Controlled Substances Act and shifted regulatory responsibility for the crop from the Justice Department to USDA. The crop is “not our problem” anymore, the spokesperson said.

During the hearing, Tester also complained that, without USDA regulations in place, individuals can’t develop various aspects of the hemp market and he touted the longevity of hemp materials.

“I have a hemp hat that I’ve been trying to wear out for 20 years that I got out of Canada,” Tester said. “You can’t wear the stuff out.”

Perdue made similar comments about the timeline for USDA hemp regulations when asked about it during a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.