Weed is going to be legal in Canada, and soon. In some sense, this was already a foregone conclusion, but what that looked like specifically, was not. As Bill C-45 wormed its way through Senate committees, reports, and multiple readings, the final shape of what legalization will look like in 2018 began to take shape.
And while the core concept of legalization—that adults should be able to smoke weed in the privacy of their own homes, and to their heart’s content—remains pretty much constant, it’s also not the only question at play. For cannabis consumers in Canada, the devil is in the details… and when it comes to the details, there are still plenty of question marks and aspects of the bill that activists plan to continue pushing for.
In truth, the bill is an imperfect one. It’s a compromise between the notion that cannabis should be treated like alcohol and tobacco and the notion that cannabis legalizations should be (excuse the expression) taken low and slow. Here are the current biggest areas of concern.
Arguably the biggest hole in the country’s cannabis legalization effort is around edibles. They’re not banned outright, but the country effectively put a pin in the discussion for a year or so. According to Health Canada, the regulation and sale of edibles, “would be authorized no later than 12 months following the coming into force of the proposed legislation.”
Effectively, though, this will shut out a huge segment of the market: government data released in April found that 28% of cannabis users used edibles, making it the second-most popular way to get high.
While the government pressing pause on the world of chocolates and mints and sodas will give them time to write the regulations (and help enterprising newspaper columnists like Maureen Dowd avoid, uh, harrowing experiences with edibles), it also shuts people out of the system. Those who are wary of smoking or find the price of vaporizers prohibitive may find edibles to be a more (literally) digestible way to dip a toe in the cannabis market.
While the country’s federal legislation, Bill C-45, doesn’t regulate where you can and can’t smoke weed, it does grant the provinces the right to do so. In most provinces, you’ll be severely limited as to where you can smoke pot — mostly in your own home.
For example, there are unlikely to be any legal places that resemble Dutch coffee shops where you can purchase and consume your weed in the same location. Same goes for bars and clubs. While some provinces (namely British Columbia and Alberta) are allowing cannabis to be smoked alongside tobacco and e-cigarettes, most of the other provinces say you need to be in a private dwelling.
Ontario, the country’s largest province, is toying with the idea of allowing consumption spaces of some sort. “I don’t know why anybody would be offended by the notion of creating these spaces if they are offended by the concept of cannabis use,” Trina Fraser, an Ottawa-based lawyer, told The Leaf News in January, “because it will actually remove it from places where they would be exposed to it.”
As the legalization bill has approached its final vote in the Senate, Conservative senators have mounted a last-minute charge against the home growing provisions, including forcing a vote on an amendment that would have banned it outright. That effort failed.
But while home growing of cannabis is allowed under C-45 — the bill grants you the right to grow as many as four plants — it is not a right that is enjoyed equally across the country. In Quebec and Manitoba, home growing will remain illegal, and in several other provinces, landlords will have the ability to bar you from growing pot plants.
Questions have been raised, and not yet answered, about whether or not that is constitutional. There has been talk that a constitutional challenge might be imminent, with Quebec officials accusing the feds of actually encouraging such a legal challenge.
A hot-button issue in the late stages of the legalization push is whether or not the government will grant amnesty to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have a criminal record for simple cannabis consumption.
“People convicted of marijuana possession shouldn’t have to wait so long,” writes the editorial board of the Winnipeg Free Press, who publish The Leaf News. “After legalization, Ottawa should move promptly to free these citizens from the shackles of convictions. When it’s no longer a crime, they should no longer be criminals.”
For activists, this issue is one with a racial dimension, as Black and Indigenous Canadians are statistically more likely to be saddled with criminal charges for simple possession. “We know that there’s a racialized aspect to the war on drugs, to cannabis enforcement,” Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto, told me last month.
“We’re recognizing that the war on drugs has failed, and that it’s had a detrimental impact on our society generally, and certain segments of our society in particular.”
Owusu-Bempah was part of a coalition of academics and lawyers behind the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, an awareness and lobbying campaign that was urging the government to grant amnesty. While the government’s pot czar Bill Blair (himself a former police chief) has indicated that the government is exploring amnesty, it has yet to materialize in any way.
In Canada, we’re mostly used to buying our vices from the government: booze is mostly only available from the Ontario government-run LCBO or The Beer Store, for instance. So it’s not much of a surprise to see pot receive the same treatment. The problem, though, is that governments who have spent decades busting pot dealers haven’t learned a ton about how to actually be one, and are moving slowly when it comes to making buying easier.
In Ontario, with a population of over 13 million, there will only be 40 stores to start with. And even that is looking unlikely: after the announcement of the first four locations for the Ontario Cannabis Stores, public backlash over one of the locations in Toronto being too close to a public school sent most cities back to the drawing board.
In Ottawa, the entire process seems to have stalled completely, with even the mayor claiming to be out of the loop. Quebec, Canada’s second largest province (and when it comes to alcohol its most permissive), there will only be 20 stores — one store for every 400,000 residents.
This, too, is highly unequal across the country: Alberta, a province with a historical tendency towards freedom from government regulations, expects to dole out 250 private dispensary licenses in its first year.
Given that the government has been making a lot of noise about its desire to stamp out the black market for weed once and for all, it’s a curious approach: if the government expects people to stop buying from their dealer, wouldn’t it make sense to have more stores, not fewer?
An eleventh-hour twist to the legalization story has been the amendment banning promotional items like shirts, hats, and more.
The amendment, moved by Sen. Judith Seidman, would impose a complete ban on all cannabis advertising. She said that since partial bans have been shown to be ineffective when it comes to tobacco advertising, it made sense to impose a full-ban when it comes to cannabis.
“My amendment fixes that loophole, closes what I could call the backdoor on marijuana marketing,” she told the Canadian Press. “We have a unique opportunity with a new product to do the right thing; we should learn from our past mistakes.”
That amendment still needs to be approved by the House of Commons, but it has already prompted eye-rolling from observers. A semi-joking #FreeTheSwag movement has started on Twitter, with prominent cannabis industry players mocking the ban.
It is not so much a problem with the bill. Nobody needs to wear a pot-leaf t-shirt, after all (and in truth the edicts of good taste would recommend against it), The problem is illustrative of the mentality of those legalizing it. Among conservative politicians, a reefer-madness-esque prudency has emerged, wherein selling pot is okay but doing so openly is less acceptable; as one user put it online, it will be legal to use the drug but illegal to wear the t-shirt.
The post 6 Glaring Problems with Canada’s Weed Legalization appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.