The post Pacific Northwest Marijuana Growing Limits Are Becoming Absurd appeared first on High Times.

It seems like it should be an easy question to answer. How many cannabis plants are you legally allowed to cultivate at home if you’re an adult living in Washington or Oregon?

After all, both states approved medical marijuana 19 years ago. Washington has had marijuana legalization for five years and Oregon for three. If any place should have a handle on indoor home cannabis cultivation, it should the Pacific Northwest.

And yet, lawmakers in those states are still treating home grows as restrictively as if people were building homemade nuclear weapons.

Washington Curtails Medical Marijuana Cultivation

In the Evergreen State, if you are a person authorized by a doctor and approved by the state to use marijuana for medical purposes, you may cultivate four cannabis plants in your home and possess six ounces of usable marijuana. That has been reduced from the 15 plants and 24 ounces that existed before recreational legalization.

Wait, you say. Six ounces from four plants? Just 1.5 ounces a plant? Why does the state think medical marijuana patients are such terrible growers? Seems like you could get that from one plant. Doesn’t this just set up patients to have criminal amounts of marijuana at home every time they harvest?

Well, if you’re worried about that, you can choose to sign up for the state’s new medical marijuana registry. If you do, then you’re allowed to cultivate six cannabis plants and possess eight ounces. So, instead of one-and-a-half ounces per plant, now you’re down to one-and-a-third—even more likely to harvest a criminal amount.

Maybe you need a great deal of medical marijuana. Your doctor then can approve you for up to 15 plants and possession of 16 ounces, or one-and-one-fifteenth ounces per plant. That’s right—the more plants Washington approves you to cultivate, the less marijuana you’re legally allowed to harvest off each plant.

Washington Proposes Nation’s Strictest Home Grow Laws

Of course, if you’re healthy, you can’t grow any cannabis plants, because Washington infamously failed to include home grow rights in its 2012 marijuana legalization initiative.

Since then, voters in seven other states and Washington, D.C. have approved marijuana legalization. They all allow adults to cultivate their own cannabis plants at home.

Washington’s cannabis regulators heard many complaints about that. So, they decided to research three other states—Colorado, Oregon and Rhode Island—and take input from the public, law enforcement and public health organizations on how the state might proceed on recognizing an adult’s right to cultivate cannabis at home.

They issued their report outlining three potential scenarios for home growing. However, one scenario is to just keep the prohibition status quo, so there are really only two viable options offered.

In Option 1, the regulators propose a statewide framework for cannabis cultivation that requires an adult to secure a permit from the state granting them the right to cultivate just four cannabis plants, total, in any household. Adults would have to report their cultivation and harvest into a state database. There would be mandatory security requirements to prevent diversion and access by children. Presumably, adults would still be subject to a one-ounce possession limit. Finally, if police discovered you had more than your four legal plants, they can seize all of your plants, not just the excess plants.

In Option 2, they considered the same framework as Option 1, with the added feature of cities and counties either opting-in or opting-out of allowing any home grow permits.

We need only look at the institution of moratoria and bans on medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational marijuana retailers to know how that will turn out—adults west of the Cascade Mountains will be able to get permits, and those east of the mountains will be banned from them.

Oregon Overreacts To The “Card-Stacking” Phenomenon

Meanwhile, in Oregon, adult-use home cultivation requires no permit, no reporting and no mandatory security requirements to cultivate the same four plant limit Washington is considering. Neither do any of the other legal marijuana jurisdictions, and some of them allow cultivation of more than four plants.

However, Oregon legislators recently passed some bills to curtail the rights of patients cultivating marijuana for their medicinal purposes.

Medical marijuana patients in the Beaver State can cultivate six mature cannabis plants and 12 immature (non-flowering) cannabis plants at home. They may possess 1.5 pounds of cannabis from those plants (four ounces per plant). They have no state reporting requirements.

It used to be that many patients could then grow cannabis at one location, with six plants and 1.5 pounds allowed for each patient. This led to a condition called “card stacking,” where growers would collect as many patient cards as they could to create large cannabis farms, culminating in an embarrassing news story about a garden with 624 mature plants servicing 104 patients who all lived in Southern California.

So, in addition to adding a state residency requirement for medical marijuana, the legislature decided that the maximum number of plants that could be grown at home are 12 mature plants and 24 immature plants, regardless of how many patients live there. That includes any of the four legal recreational cannabis plants that can be grown in a household by a healthy adult.

Oregon Creates Additional Medical Marijuana Confusion

The problem with that hard limit is that for every card-stacked grow that was abusing the system, there were many altruistic caregivers who were legitimately growing lots of cannabis to provide huge amounts of marijuana to the sickest, most disabled patients.

To try to tiptoe that line between legit and abuse, the legislature has added more considerations for medical marijuana growers.

If your medical grow is located within city limits in a residential zone, and it contains no patients growing for themselves, but rather is run by growers cultivating for patients, that grow may have 12 mature plants and 24 immature plants, but those immature plants may be over 24 inches tall, and they may cultivate an unlimited number of immature plants under 24 inches tall.

So, this has led to a situation where a husband and wife who are both patients living at home who each grow for themselves get 12 mature plants and 24 immature plants, period. But if the husband grows for the wife and the wife grows for the husband, they get 12 mature plants, 24 immature plants over two feet, and unlimited seedlings, plus another adult living in the home could grow four recreational plants.

But what if the grow is located outside the city, or in the city but zoned non-residential? Well, then you get to cultivate 48 mature plants, 96 immature plants over 24 inches, unlimited seedlings, and four recreational plants.

However, you can only cultivate a maximum of six mature plants and 12 immature plants per patient. So, your 48-plant garden must cover eight patients. Furthermore, a grower can only cultivate for four patients, so the grow must have two growers.

Confused yet?

Oregon Tries To Separate Compassion From Greed

During negotiations on these bills, some of the biggest compassionate growers pointed out that they were already serving more than eight patients. Which of their cancer, AIDS and PTSD patients should they abandon to meet the new limits?

That led the legislature to craft a “grandfather clause” for large grows that existed before 2015.

If your site qualifies under that clause, you are allowed double the plant limits for your grow, up to 96 mature plants and 192 immature plants over 24 inches at a rural or non-residential grow, based on six plants per patient that you had before 2015 and still have today.

The other problem was that is that many of these large grows, especially in Southern Oregon, are growing cannabis trees that can reach 20 feet tall. There’s no way a 1.5 lb possession limit per patient would work out.

So, the legislature decided that if your grow was an indoor grow, you could have 6 lbs per mature plant. An outdoor grow may have double that.

Let that sink in. If you have an Oregon medical cannabis grow site in the country that’s operated before 2015 and has four growers cultivating for 16 patients, your grow can have 96 mature plants and you can harvest 1,152 pounds—over a half-ton!—of marijuana.

Now, keep in mind that your 16 patients are allowed only 1.5 lbs possession each, for a total of 24 pounds between them all.

Gee, what then happens to the other 1,128 pounds?

Oregon Prices Out Compassionate Growers

For all these medical grow sites that are not simply a patient growing cannabis for themselves, there are also reporting requirements.

First, the grow site must possess a scale that has been certified by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for weighing the product. That cost comes in at around $300 to $900.

Then, the grower must pay a $200 fee to register the grow site for each patient that it is growing for.

If that grow is cultivating 12 or fewer plants, it may sell back product into the medical dispensary system, after paying for proper testing. The grow must also report its operations to the state health authority.

But for those larger grows, the grow site may sell product back into the recreational marijuana system. They must still buy the scale and pay the $200 fee per patient. Additionally, the grower must pay $40 per month to the recreational authority for access to required online reporting, plus a yet-to-be-determined annual administrative fee.

So, for that hypothetical grandfathered rural 16-patient garden producing over a half-ton of marijuana, the costs would add up to at least $8,960, not counting the unknown admin fee and before all the expenses necessary to secure and operate such a large grow.

To make up that cost, the state will let these growers sell up to 20 lbs of product to the adult pot shops per year.

Which again begs the question, what happens to the other 1,108 pounds?

Final Hit: This Doesn’t Need to Be So Difficult

Oregon and Washington are making home marijuana cultivation so difficult because of the mandate to prevent out-of-state diversion called for by the federal Department of Justice’s so-called Cole Memo.

It’s a fool’s errand. We had the greatest mandate ever to stop diversion for decades; it was called prohibition. Any cultivation by anybody anywhere led to a felony record and prison time.

If that didn’t stop weed from flowing eastward, why do these regulators think easily-cheatable online reporting databases and labyrinthine regulatory requirements are going to work?

When it comes to legal cultivation, the solution is simple: let the people grow, period. Don’t set unenforceable limits, require useless registrations, or maintain corrupted databases that will have no real effect on criminal intent, but will needlessly curtail adult rights and have devastating effects on patient needs.

But what about diversion? Don’t define a certain amount of plants or marijuana as per se evidence someone intends to traffic weed. If you catch them trafficking weed, bust them! You know, like we do for cigarettes and alcohol—you can possess as much of those as you like, but if you sell them without a license, you’re busted!

After all, it’s not nuclear weapons, it’s pot. What’s the worst that will happen? Adults in non-legal states might commit a crime by buying some of this marijuana from another adult who committed a crime to get it to them? And then they might get high? Like they are already doing now?

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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. organic hemp seedsTypically 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?

colorado growing operationWe 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 CBD Oil Extractside 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?

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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 thereCannawell.

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. mjna message boardWe 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.

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