Cannabis and Skin Cancer

Cannabis and skin cancer 

By Baynard Woods

'I've been preaching about [how] cannabis cures cancer since 2008," Laurie Gaddis says. And she's been preaching it because it works.

Gaddis moved to Colorado from Arizona after she was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer she says comes from her father's exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. She says she's been a medical marijuana refugee for nearly a decade.

The patchwork of state laws under a federal ambiguity that has gotten worse with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' anti-pot statements has created hundreds of medical marijuana refugees who have to move to a state where they can get the kind of medicine either they or their doctor feel is necessary.

Gaddis has never had to undergo chemo or radiation therapy. She still has problems, but she is alive. And relatively well.

"I am in a blessed position," she says of her life in Colorado. "I'm glad I am, but I think everybody should have that opportunity. It upsets me that other people are suffering every day and don't know what to do."

She says she can remember what it felt like with the choice of being "illegally alive or legally dead."

Gaddis treated her cancer with a homemade cannabis oil similar to that made famous by Rick Simpson.

Simpson was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in 2003. When no other treatments seemed to work, he applied a cannabis oil to his skin. Simpson says that within four days, his cancer was cured.

Simpson has written books and tells people how to make the oil — using a super high-potency THC indica — but does not sell it, though others do.

Gaddis, who has used oil topically and also ingests it, hasn't had quite the success of a total cure in four days. She still struggles. But as she experiments with her own oils, she's discovered a lotion that she says seems to also work for arthritis. And, unlike oils or other topicals, it is not greasy. "I'm not bonding the cannabis to the fat, so it's not a greasy formula at all," she says. "It absorbs beautifully and gets right into where it needs to go."

This, she says, could be revolutionary for conditions like hers. Cannabis could be in sunscreen lotion, potentially helping to keep people from developing skin cancer.

"We're just now starting to realize how effective this medicine is and how many people's lives it's changing," she said.

Dr. Stuart Titus, the CEO of the first publicly traded medical cannabis company, Medical Marijuana Inc., has been involved with various studies overseas, where it is legal to study the medical effects of cannabis. He says that Gaddis is not alone.

"Currently there is a study underway in Australia, where the incidence of melanoma cancer is quite rampant," he says. "They're looking at a topical as well as ingestible application."

MMI makes an oil similar to the Rick Simpson Oil, except it has a high concentration of CBD instead of THC, and while they have not been able to study the results as thoroughly as they would like, he says he has anecdotal stories about its success for skin cancer. But he says that the body has numerous cannabinoid receptors, and large doses of CBD such as are legal in Florida, even without any intoxicating effect, can have tremendous benefit.

It was easy to hear stories of success at a recent medical marijuana conference in Washington, D.C. Christine Stenquist, who came to the capital from Utah, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1996. "During surgery a blood vessel was hit; when I awoke I had left side paralysis, I had chronic pain and a litany of issues. For 16 years I've been bedridden and housebound. Four years ago, I discovered cannabis and it's changed my life," she said in front of a couple dozen people at a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

Her state won't take action on medical pot until the feds do.

Nicole Snow is from Massachusetts, which just legalized recreational marijuana, which is far better. But because there is no federal protection there are still issues, say, for children who need cannabis as medicine. Patients, Snow says, "have very different needs than adult users."

"We need our home rights, residential protection, discrimination protection, protections from losing our jobs, protection from losing our kids, protection from losing our health care," she says. "Which is absurd."

Gaddis says such laws are "so disrespectful to the millions of lives" like hers that have been changed and perhaps saved by cannabis. "People are changing their lives," she said. "They're becoming free from prescription drugs, they're able to interact with their families and it's changing the quality of their life."

Originally published here

Maryland just got its first licensed grower of medical marijuana

By Aaron Gregg May 17 at 5:47 PM 

The commission that oversees Maryland’s fledgling medical cannabis program voted Wednesday to award the state’s first full license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The Stage 2 license, awarded to ForwardGro LLC, is a final sign-off from regulators for putting plants in the ground. The company will still have to wait for dispensaries to be fully inspected and licensed before it can sell cannabis products to approved patients, which it hopes to do by late summer or early fall.

Gail Rand, chief financial officer and patient advocate for ForwardGro, said “the patients of Maryland will finally have an opportunity to try this medicine that could help tens of thousands of people.”

The vote by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is a milestone for a program that has been beset by repeated delays and questions about the fairness of the licensing process.

“A new industry in Maryland has been officially launched,” said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the commission, in a statement. “Medical cannabis production will change the face of Maryland and will have a profound economic and health impact on the entire region.”

In August, the commission awarded “preapproval” licenses to 15 companies after receiving a crush of applications. Businesses that failed to win licenses brought lawsuits seeking to open the program to more firms.

One lawsuit takes issue with the commission’s decision to reshuffle the list of winning firms in the name of geographic diversity. Another alleges that the commission failed to properly account for racial diversity in awarding licenses.

A legislative effort to expand the number of licenses to include minority businesses and the companies suing the state over geographic diversity failed in the General Assembly last month. And as recently as Monday, a jilted license applicant filed an injunction seeking an emergency ruling to halt the issuing of licenses.

Like many of its competitors, ForwardGro’s investors include well-connected political donors and former government officials. A partial owner of the firm is Gary Mangum, the chief executive of flower wholesaler Bell Nursery and a top donor to Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

(full story from Washington Post)

Daily dose of cannabis extract could reverse brain's decline in old age, study suggests

The Guardian

Researchers have come up with an unusual proposal to slow, or even reverse, the cognitive decline that comes with old age: small, daily doses of cannabis extract.

The idea emerged from tests on mice which found that regular, low doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – impaired memory and learning in young animals, but boosted the performance of old ones.

The discovery has raised hopes for a treatment that improves brain function in old age without inducing the behavioural effects well known to recreational users of the drug. To investigate whether it works in humans, the scientists plan to launch a clinical trial later this year.

“If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care then that is more than we could have imagined,” said Andras Bilkei-Gorzo at the University of Bonn.

Research on cannabis use by adolescents has found compelling evidence that regular, heavy use can impair the memory. But the impact of the drug on older people’s brains has been far less well studied.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the scientists describe how they gave a month-long course of daily THC to mice aged two months, one year, and 18 months. The mice were then tested to see how fast they solved a water maze, and how quickly they recognised familiar objects such as mice they had met before.

Without the drug, the younger mice aced the tests, while the older ones struggled. But infusions of THC had a dramatic impact on both groups. The performance of the younger mice plummeted on THC, while older mice improved so much that their scores matched those of healthy drug-free young mice. The benefits lasted for weeks after the infusions ended. None of the mice displayed the strange effects one might expect from doses of THC. (full article)

Medical Cannabis and Your Second Amendment Right to Bare Arms

Under our current legal system, medical marijuana and guns do not mix. This was made very clear in a Federal Appeals Court ruling last year, which decided not to extend 2nd Amendment gun rights to medical marijuana patients.

This stems from a case originating in October of 2011, when Rowan Wilson made an unsuccessful attempt at purchasing a gun from a Nevada firearms shop. The shop refused the sale, stating that they were prohibited under the law from doing so, the dealer knowing Wilson possessed a medical marijuana license, had to consider her an “unlawful drug user” under the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”) regulations.

Looking at federal firearms statutes, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) no person “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” may “possess... or… receive any firearm or ammunition.” In addition, it is unlawful for “any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person… is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” Id. § 922(d)(3).

In September of 2011, ATF, the agency charged with enforcing gun laws, issued an Open Letter to all federal firearms licensees which stated the following:

[A]ny person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition… and you may not transfer firearms or ammunition to them. Further, if you are aware that the potential transferee is in possession of a card authorizing the possession and use of marijuana under State law, then you have “reasonable cause to believe” that the person is an unlawful user of a controlled substance. As such, you may not transfer firearms or ammunition to the person…

Applying the federal statute and the ATF directive, the Nevada dealer was prohibited from selling a gun to Wilson, and Wilson was prohibited from making a purchase. Wilson subsequently sued the Federal government, challenging the statute, ATF regulations, and the ATF Open Letter as unconstitutional infringements on her 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

Ultimately, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Federal government, and in doing so, limited the rights of medical marijuana license holders to own or purchase a gun. In Wilson’s case, the court used a two-prong test to determine the constitutionality of the challenged laws. First, the court looked to whether the government’s stated objective is significant, substantial, or important. Then, it examined if there is a reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and its asserted objective.

The government’s objective in the firearms regulations was for public safety and the prevention of gun violence – long established as an important government interest. Secondly, the court determined that there was a reasonable fit between prohibiting illegal drug users from obtaining guns, and the objective of preventing gun violence.

The court determined that individuals who firearms dealers have reasonable cause to believe are illegal drug users are more likely actually to be illegal drug users (who, in turn, are more likely to be involved with violent crimes). With respect to marijuana cardholders, it is reasonable for federal regulators to assume that such a cardholder is much more likely to be a marijuana user than an individual who does not hold a registry card.

These laws will sometimes burden (albeit minimally and only incidentally) the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are reasonably, but erroneously, suspected of being unlawful drug users. However, the Constitution tolerates these modest collateral burdens in various contexts, and does so here as well.

What does this all mean for medical marijuana patients? The federal government sees you as an illegal drug user, and indeed, under federal law, marijuana (medical or otherwise) is an illegal Schedule I substance. Although the majority of states to date have passed some form of marijuana policy reform, it has fallen on the federal government’s deaf ears. And until marijuana is descheduled or rescheduled, medical marijuana patients will continue to have their Constitutional rights limited when it comes to gun ownership.

Alex Pe is an attorney based in Baltimore, Maryland. Former general counsel for Medical Marijuana Advocates Group, he concentrated his practice in marijuana policy, licensing, and compliance. His firm, Hensley Pe Law represents clients on a range of issues, from business matters, civil litigation, immigration and criminal defense.

This article isn’t meant to be construed as legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you need to seek legal counsel and/or require representation on a certain matter, feel free to contact us for a for a free consultation.

Cannabis’ Crafty Cousin: the Wonders of Industrial Hemp

The most versatile plant on the planet is illegal to grow in large parts of the United States. However, that fact may change quickly as lawmakers in both parties are rediscovering the amazing benefits and potential uses of industrial hemp.

Botanically speaking, hemp is marijuana’s close cousin. However, it does not contain THC, which is pot’s psychoactive ingredient. As a result, you can’t get high from consuming hemp. Nevertheless, industrial hemp, which was a fixture in the American economy up through WWII, has been a casualty in the War on Weed.

State and national leaders, perhaps recognizing their folly, are moving to legalize industrial hemp. In fact, many economic experts believe the commodity is so promising that it could supplant coal and revive other dying industries.

Here are 10 amazing things you can do with industrial hemp:

1). Hemp Oil is rich in omega fatty oils, which can help lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, and promote cardiovascular health.

2). Hemp can be used to make microbe-resistant bedding for horses and small animals

3). Moisturizers and body lotions can be made from hemp.

4). Hemp can be used to make one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly ethanol type fuels.

5). Cereals and granola bars made with hemp are rich in dietary fiber.

6). Hemp can be used to make non-allergenic and non-polluting detergents.

7). Industrial hemp can actually be used to make biodegradable plastics, which can be fashioned into a variety of objects by utilizing 3D printing technology. Indeed, cellulose plastic made from hemp can be used in aircraft and cars

8). Hempcrete is a form of building material made from lime, water, and hemp. It is strong, durable, flame-retardant, and very bio-friendly.

9). Hemp fiber furniture. Yes, you can make sturdy chairs solely from hemp.

10). Hemp and recyclables. It’s possible to make consumer electronic items — such as speakers — from Zeoform, which is a mixture of hemp and recycled water bottles.

The possibilities of industrial hemp are almost as unlimited as the human imagination. Our forefathers recognized how important hemp was. For example, Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, wrote, “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

Indeed, experts say that more than 25,000 useful products can be made from this environmentally friendly and sustainable crop. It’s pretty obvious that allowing U.S. farmers to grow hemp will be a win-win for the consumer, the economy, and hard-hit industrial regions across the country.

Does Marijuana Reform Lower Your Deportation Risk?

By: Alexander X. Pe, Esq.

The public perception of marijuana, has experienced a dramatic shift from the days of “Reefer Madness” to general acceptance as a medicine or even a recreational substance less harmful than alcohol.

From cannabis decriminalization, legalization, recreational sales, and medical programs, the majority of US States have greatly reformed marijuana policies and punishments. In Maryland, possession of small amounts of cannabis has been decriminalized. This means that if you get caught with less than 10 grams of flower, you are no longer considered a criminal, and the maximum punishment is equivalent to receiving a parking ticket.

For many cannabis enthusiasts this is a significant improvement.

On the Federal level however, it’s still a totally different story. Cannabis remains an illegal substance. For cannabis consumers and patients, there is some level of protection provided by the states with reformed drug policies, and our legal system is such that the Federal Government cannot compel states to enforce Federal law.

This allows for patients and recreational consumers to carry on with their treatments or usage with minimal risk of being thrown in a Federal prison because the fact is, the Feds are going after the suppliers; those crossing international and state borders, and they simply don’t have the time or resources to go after individual consumers… if you are an American Citizen, that is.

If you are not an American citizen, the picture is much less clear.

Immigrants and non-immigrant visa holders, being subject to the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), a Federal law, are given no protection by progressive states, and marijuana-related offenses can land them in an immigration detention center and ultimately deported.

The fastest way for something this unfortunate to happen is through an arrest record.

Although states cannot be forced to enforce federal law, state law enforcement agencies share fingerprinting data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for individuals taken into custody. This automatically triggers the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) to begin what are called removal proceedings, commonly referred to as deportation.

When ICE is informed of an immigrant’s criminal arrest, they may choose to detain the individual pending their removal, so they won’t have the chance to flee if they are released on bond. Even if ICE decides not to detain the alleged criminal immigrant immediately, the violation of state criminal law, is a violation of the INA, and removal proceedings will be initiated against the immigrant upon conviction.

But what happens when there is no arrest to begin with?

For example in the case of Maryland, where, as previously stated, possession is now considered a civil infraction rather than a criminal offense? The fact is, all offenses both civil and criminal remain on an individual’s record. This is true for speeding tickets and its definitely true for marijuana citations.

Those who get pulled over for speeding, and additionally get cited for marijuana possession because of a visible baggie or device, will be let go by local law enforcement. However, the incident still lingers on their record and may very well come back to haunt them later, sometimes years after the event occurred.

Will these infractions pass under the radar?

Often in these cases, the triggering event alerting USCIS and ICE to the immigrant’s past violations of the INA typically occur when the visa holder either applies for an extension, adjusts status to permanent residency, or applies to become a citizen.

There are many pending cases involving exactly this, where a marijuana offense occurred years ago, and the immigrant now faces the threat of being uprooted from a life built in the U.S. and sent to a place they no longer consider home.

This may seem unfair to many readers out there, and it is.

The stated purpose of this strict immigration policy is to protect the American public and protect communities from the violence and crime caused by serious drug offenders and traffickers. However, the broad application of these rules end up separating families and harshly punishing non-violent individuals whose only crime was smoking a joint.

It's sad, but it's the truth.

If you think you may be in this situation, have a friend or family member who is, the best thing to do is consult with an experienced attorney in both immigration and criminal law.

Individuals should be proactive in seeking legal counsel, not waiting until they receive a notice to appear in immigration court for removal proceedings.

Many times, the risk of deportation for non-violent marijuana possession offenses can be avoided or at least reduced with the help of a lawyer.

Lucky for you all, I happen to know just the right guy! :-)


Alex Pe is an attorney based in Baltimore, Maryland. Former general counsel for Medical Marijuana Advocates Group, he concentrated his practice in marijuana policy, licensing, and compliance. His firm, Hensley Pe Law represents clients on a range of issues, from business matters, civil litigation, immigration and criminal defense.

This article isn’t meant to be construed as legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you need to seek legal counsel and/or require representation on a certain matter, feel free to contact us for a for a free consultation.

Should legalizing recreational marijuana be on the ballot in Maryland?

Maryland could put the power to legalize marijuana in the hands of voters.

State lawmakers have proposed a constitutional amendment that would let voters decide in 2018 whether to tax and regulate marijuana in the same manner as alcohol — potentially making Maryland the first state in the region with a full-fledged legal marijuana market.

The legislation, which is still being drafted, faces an uphill battle in Annapolis. But it draws from the same political playbook that lawmakers used a decade ago to legalize casinos, and some powerful legislative leaders say they will not stand in the way.

Public opinion on marijuana has moved toward legalization so swiftly — by double-digit percentage points in just two years, according to some polls — that adult-use marijuana advocates in the General Assembly believe it is no longer a question of whether the state will legalize it.

It’s a matter of when..It’s become very clear that this is no longer a fringe issue. It’s totally mainstream.
— Del. David Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat

Some predict putting marijuana legalization on the ballot could drive up Democratic turnout in 2018, when the party is hoping to unseat popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. The governor declined to take a position on the referendum.

Bills to legalize marijuana have failed in committee for the past several years. Passing a constitutional amendment to allow the drug would require significantly more support than ordinary legislation — three-fifths of the Democrat-dominated legislature, rather than a simple majority.

Many lawmakers see sending an issue to voters as a different choice.

Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Ed Kasemeyer, for instance, said he would vote against any legalization plan. But letting the voters decide?

"I don't have a problem with that," the Baltimore County Democrat said.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Southern Maryland Democrat, has said he "has no objection" to a constitutional amendment allowing a referendum on recreational marijuana. But he plans to focus first on revamping the state's fledgling medical marijuana program, which has been criticized for having too little minority participation.

Republican leaders did not reject a constitutional amendment outright but questioned whether it should be a top priority.

"I'm all for the expansion of citizens initiatives, but I really think we should we start with the ability to petition any new budget matters — such as newly imposed taxes," said Senate Minority Whip Stephen S. Hershey of the Eastern Shore.

The referendum initiative is part of a multi-prong push by marijuana legalization advocates to capitalize on the growing popularity of legal pot — and the millions of dollars it has generated for other states.

Del. Curt Anderson, the Democrat who chairs the Baltimore delegation, will again be one of the sponsors of legislation that would legalize marijuana and dedicate most of the tax money to schools.

The debate, he said, has shifted as advocates have more data from states that have legalized marijuana — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — to back up their case and as the state again faces a structural budget deficit.

Four more states — California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — voted in November to legalize pot. Congress has blocked the District of Columbia's referendum to sell and tax marijuana.

Anderson and the Marijuana Policy Project advocacy group are putting their energy into passing bills to legalize marijuana and tax it.

They hope emphasizing the big financial windfall will apply pressure to those resistant to legalization.

But Anderson said there's an obvious political advantage to sending the matter to voters instead.

"Certainly it's an easier vote," he said. "But is it an easier vote for enough people?"

A decade ago, lawmakers were at an impasse over whether to legalize casinos. Despite the division, three-fifths of the legislature agreed to let voters decide if they wanted to amend the state's constitution to allow it. The measure passed in 2008.

Then, however, Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch advocated for a public referendum. Busch, a Democrat who represents Anne Arundel County, said last week he has not been persuaded the timing is right to ask voters to legalize recreational marijuana.

"It would be unwise for us to go down that path at this time, even before we have medical marijuana up and running," he said.

A referendum could have implications for Hogan's re-election bid. Polls show support for legalizing marijuana tends to be strongest among Democrats and young people. Hogan's surprise 2014 victory in deep-blue Maryland came amid particularly low turnout.

"If this is on the ballot, it should bring out some people who otherwise would not have showed up," said Michael Hanmer, research director at the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland.

Sixty-one percent of Maryland residents support legalizing marijuana, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll that Hanmer helped direct in October. Support had increased 12 percentage points from 2014.

Based on current polls, Hanmer said, Maryland would likely vote to legalize marijuana.

Unlike the other states that legalized pot by popular vote, Maryland lacks a ballot initiative process that can be launched by citizens. There are only two ways to put laws before voters. Residents can petition to overturn a law passed by the General Assembly, or the General Assembly can propose a change to the state constitution.

Legalizing marijuana by ballot initiative would make it cumbersome to tweak the program or solve problems later. Lawmakers would need to return to the voters for every change.

Sen. Michael Hough, a Frederick County Republican, said he objects to a referendum because it's unwieldy and violates the principles of representative democracy.

"You could take every high-profile issue and throw it on the ballot just to get people to come out," he said. "It's really cute, but that's not the way that you're supposed to do this stuff."

Several other lawmakers declined to take a position.

"It's never a bad idea to take things to the voter," said Del. Jay Walker, the Democrat who chairs the Prince George's County delegation. "But, yeah, in terms of how I'd vote on that, I really don't know."

Sen. Bobby Zirkin, chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said he thought if gambling was in the state constitution, "it's not too strange, then, to put marijuana in there."

But the Baltimore County Democrat was hesitant to stake out a position.

"I don't want to come out and give an answer on that definitively," he said. "I do believe at some point the voters should have their say on this. I don't know if that point is now."

Meet The Expert Who Says Cannabis Is The Secret To Better Sex

The connection between marijuana and great sex may seem relatively trendy, but as Joe Dolce writes in his new book Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabiscannabis has actually been praised for its aphrodisiac properties for at least three thousand years, ever since it entered India and was applied to Tantra. 

Dolce, the former editor-in-chief of Details and Star magazine, spent the past few years researching and reacquainting himself with marijuana, after a relative started growing and introduced him to Super Lemon Haze, a Sativa strain, which Dolce fell in love with. And thanks to more weed-friendly laws, Dolce says that now's the time to reevaluate the way we look at the plant's potential effects on our lives, particularly our sex lives. (Cannabis is currently legal in eight states for both medical and recreational use, and available for forms of medical use in 23 states. In Washington D.C., it’s legal for personal use but not commercial sale.) 

"As we approach the world of post-prohibition, it’s time to open that conversation up to different thoughts, different people, and different ways of using the plant," Dolce says. 

One way the game is already changing? Cannabis-based intimacy oils and lubes for people with vaginas, like Foria Pleasure and Apothecanna Sexy Time, which are being created to heighten arousal and increase orgasm. Products like these are showing people a new way to experience the ancient aphrodisiac. Of course, enjoying more classic methods, like a joint or a cannabis edible, with a lover can be just as intimate. 

Ahead, I spoke with Dolce about two of the most fun things on Earth (in my opinion, at least): weed and sex. If you're an avid cannabist (the preferred term to "stoner") or curious consumer, I recommend that you read Brave New Weed in its entirety — it covers much more ground than the sex aspect, including what's in store for the weed industry in general. In the meantime, read on to learn what Dolce has to say about how cannabis can transform sex for the better. 

As you mention in Brave New Weed, cannabis has been praised for its aphrodisiac properties for thousands of years. Speaking currently, how did you learn of it as an arousal tool? 

"I have to be honest: For the first 30 years of me using cannabis, I never found it to be very effective [erotically]. It used to make me tired and not sexually aroused. What I use [now] is this concept of micro-dosing [ingesting very low doses], using less to do more. That works super effectively. Then, I learned other things, like mixing delivery systems. You can play with a low-dose edible, and a couple of vape hits or puffs. However, you want to inhale it; that yields a nice effect."

Yes, especially in regards to edibles, consuming the proper dosage is essential. 

"If you're in a legal state, it’s really easy to buy edibles that are dosed, so you can find out [what works for you]. Am I good at 10 milligrams, or am I good at 50 milligrams? I know I like between 5 and 10 milligrams. Fifty to 100 milligrams is just not going to make me a fun partner in bed. I’m going to be zoned out, and I’m not going to be connected. Like all things with cannabis, you really have to explore on your own body, and then with your partner’s body, too. There are new interesting [cannabis intimacy oil] products, like Apothecanna Sexy Time or Foria. Have you tried them?"

Yes. I’m a fan. 

"It’s quite interesting; everybody has a different response. I know some women who said it’s amazing and that it recharged their entire sex lives, but then I know other women who are real [cannabis] enthusiasts who said, 'I used it five, six, seven times, and nothing. Zip.' What is interesting is that older women I know have said it is so useful to them. I know some women after menopause who have said it has absolutely reawakened their sexuality. It’s an incredible thing. If it gives someone another 10 years of a sex life, with no side effects, how great is that? That’s a miracle product, basically.


"Also, you don’t have to use it vaginally or anally, if it’s made with a good base [like cannabis and coconut oil]. You can put it under your tongue and in the oral tissue of your mouth. You get the same effect, the same uptake, and it’s quick. For a woman to use this on a man, he’s not going to get this from applying it to his cock."

Well, Foria makes anal suppositories

"Anal suppositories sound like no fun [to most straight men]. So for a guy, you have to be willing to use it on their mouth or explore areas that are not typically or initially explored [during heterosexual sex]. That’s how it works. It’s not going to work by putting it on their cock. If you're a woman [dating someone with a penis], you need to know that. Talk about opening up to your partner, like, 'Hey, we’re going to try this out together — are you willing, buddy?' That’s important! Certain men are really afraid of that stuff. They’ve got to get over themselves; it’s well worth the exploration."

It can create a better experience if both parties are enjoying. 

"If your partner is inexperienced, it’s nice to say, 'I want to enjoy this with you. Are you willing? Will you go there with me? I’ll be your guide. It will be safe; it will be fun. I’ll make sure that we’re here together. It’s quite nice. It’s better than nice; it’s sexy." I like the fact that Apothecanna calls Sexy Time an intimacy oil. I think that’s accurate. To call it a Viagra or a female version of Viagra would be inaccurate, and it would be setting you up for disappointment. This is not about the organs. It’s about your feelings. I have found that cannabis, in general, does remove a barrier or layer of resistance."

Aside from cannabis intimacy oils, how can using cannabis with a partner in more traditional forms (smoking, vaping, etc.) increase intimacy?

"It’s not aggressive-inducing; cannabis is known for its benevolence. When it comes to being with a partner, not only can it help you communicate, but it can slow you down a little bit. I tend to be a type A person, so I think and I speak quickly. Sometimes, it's really useful just to shut up a little. I’ve learned the hard way; it’s better to take it down a notch and relax sometimes. In a sexual situation, the same idea can be applied; it seems to align me or point me in tune with my partner more. Also, it enhances your sexual being. You feel your partner and you feel their response. If you’re pleasantly high, you can get lost in a kiss, or god knows where we go — we go to Mars sometimes and come back in the span of two seconds. But it’s a beautiful journey to Mars."


In the 1970s and '80s, a few promising studies suggested that cannabis could work as an aphrodisiac and aid in intimacy, but there hasn’t been much research since then, due to federal laws that affect funding. How do you think the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug prevents further research on intimacy? 

"These soft areas that are hard to scientifically prove, but these are things that I’ve known and [other] people have known. I don’t think it’s so much a matter of law. I think it’s more: How do you study intimacy? It’s such a personal, human, thing. It’s something that comes from experience. I don’t know how science is going to be able to define that. And by the way, not everybody has that experience. Some people just don’t enjoy it. So I think it is a matter of sampling and testing, and I don’t think science is really going to get us there. This is outside the realm of science." 

Are there any other benefits of legalization? 

"Legalization gives you education, and that’s the main goal. The more you know, the smarter you are about how to use it, and the less fearful you are. We need the basic facts: 'Here is the amount I am comfortable with, here’s when it’s going to cross the threshold, here’s what I can expect.' You need to teach yourself these things. In a legal state, you can go into a dispensary, have a conversation, with a budtender, who is often quite knowledgeable about the basics, and really have a foundation for exploration. When you're in the black market, you’re still reliant on the guy who brings you stuff or your friends who have their own. But look, the good news is that, with cannabis, it’s never permanent, and it’s never fatal. There are some uncomfortable moments you’re going to have if you’re not educated, but you’re always going to come down, and you’re always going to be okay. That’s the great news."

What advice would you give to first timers looking to use cannabis as an aphrodisiac and intimacy tool? 

"Learn about what you’re using. Dose matters, delivery matters, and intention matters, too. Let’s talk about how having a partner that you trust matters. It may not be the best to try this with somebody you just met or at a first date or a hook up. You want to be where, if you do get paranoid, they can hold you and make you feel good. We want to be loved. We’re talking about intimacy and love. Give it a little experimentation, and find your comfortable place."


Study Links Medical Marijuana to Fewer Traffic Fatalities

The health and public safety concerns that kept marijuana illegal for generations are proving unfounded where it is now legal.

A new study from Columbia University found that traffic fatalities have fallen in seven states where medicinal cannabis is legal and that, overall, states where medical marijuana is legal have lower traffic fatality rates than states were medical marijuna remains illegal.

The study found that “medical marijuana laws were associated with immediate reductions in traffic fatalities in those aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 years, and with additional yearly gradual reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years.” Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states.

Study details

Seven researchers from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health worked on the study, with two more researchers from the University of California at Davis and Boston University. They published the study in the American Journal of Public Health.

The researchers used traffic accident data from 1985 to 2014, about 1.2 million accidents. They focused on the relationship between medical marijuana laws and the number of fatal traffic accidents, examining each state with legalized medical marijuana separately.

They also looked at the relationship between the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries and traffic accidents, finding a reduction in the number of fatal accidents among those ages 25 to 44 in areas where dispensaries were open.

Report conclusions

The researchers concluded that both medical marijuana legalization and dispensaries were, on average, associated with a reduction in traffic fatalities, particularly among drivers 25 to 44-years-old.

They suggested a few possibilities for this conclusion.

  • Those under the influence of marijuana are more aware of their impaired condition than those under the influence of alcohol and may more often make the choice not to drive.
  • More people have replaced going out to drink in bars with partaking of marijuana at home, reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road.
  • An increased police presence in areas where medical marijuana is legal could have led to fewer people attempting to drive while under the influence of marijuana.

“Instead of seeing an increase in fatalities, we saw a reduction, which was totally unexpected,” Julian Santaella-Tenorio, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters.

Findings varied by state. Rhode Island and Connecticut saw increases in traffic fatalities after medical marijuana became legal. California and New Mexico saw double-digit drops immediately after legalization, followed by increases.

The varying statistics point to the need for further study into each state’s laws and how they have been implemented, Santaella-Tenorio said. (continue)

A ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for long-awaited Maryland medical marijuana program

By Fenit Nirappil December 26, 2016 

Medical marijuana could finally become a reality next year in Maryland, one of the states slowest to make the drug available for purchase after legalizing sales.

In 2016, regulators awarded long-awaited licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis while grappling with fallout from those shut out of the potentially lucrative industry. Now selected businesses are racing to set up facilities and pass final inspections so the first seeds can be planted and flowers can hit the shelves by the end of 2017, four years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“For many of us who have been along this journey for a long time, that we have seen licenses issued is a light at the end of the tunnel for patient access,” said Darrell Carrington, a medical marijuana lobbyist who leads the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association.

But ongoing litigation from three companies denied growing licenses, and looming legislation to address the lack of minority-owned marijuana firms, could delay the program.

As in 26 other states and the District of Columbia, the legal medical marijuana program in Maryland also hinges on the federal government’s continuing to turn a blind eye to businesses that are violating the federal marijuana prohibition. It’s unclear whether that will change in the presidency of Donald Trump, who has supported medical marijuana but tapped marijuana legalization opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as his attorney general.

Maryland marijuana regulators say the time spent exhaustively vetting businesses and developing strict oversight of their operations will end in one of the nation’s most reputable legal pot programs.

“It’s no secret that marijuana has a long-documented black market history,” said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and a former state trooper. “The Commission understands that medical cannabis can be controversial, but it intends to make Maryland’s program a ­high-functioning, professional, industry-leading medical program.”

Officials say they will closely monitor marijuana at every stage of the marketplace, from how much is grown to how much is sold, using a tracking system in place in Colorado meant to stop illegal diversions of the drug and cash.

In addition, Maryland is one of few states to require that marijuana be tested by an independent laboratory before it can be sold, an attempt to avoid poor-quality cannabis containing excessive amounts of pesticides. (continue reading)


Marylanders and our neighbors are likely to have heard of marijuana decriminalization in our great State. The act of possessing under 10 grams of cannabis has been reduced from a criminal offense to a civil infraction since 2014. In other words, instead of probation or possibly a jail term and a $500 fine, you get a ticket with $100 fine for your first offense, increasing to $250 for your second, and $500 plus mandatory substance abuse counseling for your third offense and beyond. Although you’re no longer at risk of being imprisoned for possession and use of small amounts of cannabis, the substance itself and its use are still considered illegal. Many people forget that decriminalization is not an interchangeable word with legalization. You may still be punished for this activity, albeit a lesser punishment, but a punishment nonetheless. What are Marylanders to do? We have legitimate, qualified patients in our state who are still subject to fines and rehab for use of cannabis as a medication. Yes, of course, medical cannabis is the answer to this issue, and Maryland has a Medical Cannabis program, but with the licensing process being dragged on for over a year, and no operational dispensaries in sight, a prospective Maryland medical cannabis patient is faced with only one option: to break the law. They break the law when they obtain cannabis, they break the law when they use it, they even break federal law when they leave the state for meds and return (a little interstate commerce can get the feds so riled up and let me add: THIS IS STILL A CRIMINAL FEDERAL OFFENSE). What’s the solution? First off, don’t leave the state when doing your business, so the feds mind their own. Second, talk to your physician about your symptoms, how cannabis seems to be the only course of treatment that’s been effective is alleviating or helping with whatever that chronic condition may be. We hear so much about decriminalization of marijuana, and the medical cannabis program, but we don’t often hear about the Medical Necessity law. When possession was a criminal offense, medical necessity was used as a defense in court, and if properly used, lessens the maximum penalty to a $100 fine. It’s not the perfect solution, but until the medical program is fully operation, Maryland patients need to know EVERY legal solution available to them. Tell me you don’t agree that $100 sounds more appealing than $500 and drug counseling every few months.

Alex Pe is an attorney based in Baltimore, Maryland. Former general counsel for Medical Marijuana Advocates Group, he concentrated his practice in marijuana policy, licensing, and compliance. His firm, Hensley Pe Law represents clients on a range of issues, from business matters, civil litigation, and criminal defense.

 This article isn’t meant to be construed as legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you need to seek legal counsel and/or require representation on a certain matter, feel free to contact us for a for a free consultation. 

A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high

By David Kohn Washington Post

Jackson Leyden had always been a healthy kid; he practiced taekwondo, and he played lacrosse and baseball. But in 2011, a few months after his eighth birthday, he began having seizures several times a day. Many were brief, a half-minute of staring into space, but he also had severe episodes in which he would collapse, sometimes injuring himself. Over the next two years, he was hospitalized about 50 times, and he missed much of fourth and fifth grade.

His parents took him to more than 20 doctors around the country, and he tried more than a dozen medications. Nothing worked. Two years ago, the Leydens were at the end of their rope. They decided to see whether marijuana might help. (Medical use of the drug is legal in the District, where they live, and the Leydens found a doctor willing to work with them.) In 2014, Jackson got his first dose of cannabis.

“Within a few days, he was having hardly any seizures,” says his mother, Lisa. “I was shocked.” Over the next few months, he stopped taking other medications.

Not only did the medicine help, it did so without making him high. The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not.

[Medical marijuana for kids: Often, no clear path, legally and practically]

Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems, while CBD was thought to be biologically inactive in humans. But in the past 10 years, scientists have concluded that CBD may be quite useful. Dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer.

Now 13, Jackson — whose diagnosis is undetermined — continues to use marijuana every day. (Like many patients, he ingests it in droplet form, which allows for more precise dosing and avoids lung problems.) He still has seizures, but they are less severe and they occur once every week or two, down from around 200 a month before he started using cannabis. He is back in school full time and is well enough to go on hikes and bike rides with his family.

Thousands of people around the country are using high-CBD marijuana.

“This is a really powerful compound,” says Mikhail Kogan, the medical director of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine. “I’ve seen it work for a lot of my patients.” He prescribes high-CBD strains of cannabis regularly for such illnesses as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, autism and insomnia.

‘A game-changer’

In the cannabis plant, CBD and THC generally have an inverse relationship: The more THC there is, the less CBD, and vice versa. In recent years, growers have bred some plants to contain high levels of CBD. Some say the two compounds work synergistically and that for many ailments, combining CBD and THC is best.

What makes CBD especially appealing is that it doesn’t get the user high. Most recreational marijuana users want this effect, of course, but many patients would rather avoid it. This has allowed CBD to sidestep many of the political, legal and medical concerns that have hindered the spread of medical marijuana.

“CBD has been a game-changer for medical marijuana,” says Martin Lee, the director of Project CBD, a Northern California nonprofit that promotes use of the compound. “Its safety and lack of psychoactivity undermines any argument that it should be illegal. It’s really shifted the national discussion on this issue.”

As more scientists recognize the compound’s potential, there has been an “explosion of research,” according to Pal Pacher, a pharmacologist and cardiologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. He has been studying the chemical for more than a decade; his work has shown that CBD may have benefits in both heart disease and diabetes.

One key area of CBD research is epilepsy. Several scientists are focusing on its potential to reduce seizures, especially among those for whom other treatments have failed. “We’ve found significant positive effects with CBD,” says New York University neurologist Orrin Devinsky, who studies the compound for severe childhood epilepsy.

In a study whose findings have not yet been published, he and a colleague, Daniel Friedman, found that patients receiving CBD in addition to their usual medicines had 39 percent fewer convulsive seizures than patients who remained on their normal drug regimen. Given that the study included only the most treatment-resistant patients, this is an “excellent response,” Devinsky says.

Much more research is needed, he says, to establish whether CBD works, and if so for what conditions, but he understands that severely ill patients, or their parents, may not want to wait for this data: “If other drugs don’t work, it’s certainly reasonable to try this.”

The compound has also shown promise in treating anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Much of this work has been in rats and mice, but several studies have found benefits for humans. For instance, German researchers showed in 2012 that giving CBD to schizophrenic patients reduced psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and disordered thinking.

CBD seems to have anti-cancer properties, too. At the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, researchers Sean McAllister and Pierre Desprez have found that CBD can block cancer cells from metastasizing.

It’s not clear how CBD works. This is partly because it stimulates multiple biochemical pathways, which may account for its wide range of effects. The compound is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and it increases levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin as well as another molecule, anandamide, which reduces pain and anxiety.

Francisco Guimaraes, a pharmacologist at the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil, has found that it increases growth of new neurons in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, a region that plays a key role in depression and anxiety.

“[CBD] is a Disneyland for a pharmacologist,” he says. “There are so many possible mechanisms, so many possible ways it can be useful.”

But studying CBD is not easy: Scientists complain that laws and regulations put excessive constraints on their work. Although it doesn’t make users high, CBD (both the molecule and CBD-rich cannabis) is classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug, which means they have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

The list includes marijuana (undifferentiated by strain) and heroin. (While the federal government oversees marijuana research, marijuana use is regulated, in part, by state laws.) As a result, scientists who study the compound must follow a host of restrictive rules. Last year, responding to a request from several governors to change marijuana’s designation, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that all cannabis would remain a Schedule 1 drug.

Still on Schedule 1

“It’s ludicrous and arbitrary,” according to Devinsky, who says getting government approval for his epilepsy trial required dozens of hours of extra work. Like most scientists who study the compound, he uses almost pure CBD. Although not at all psychoactive, it must be kept in a heavy safe with an alarm system.

Even as the research proceeds, thousands of people are using CBD as medicine. A British pharmaceutical company, GW Pharma, has developed two CBD drugs: Sativex, which contains a 1-to-1 ratio of CBD and THC, and Epidiolex, which is pure CBD. The former is prescribed for the painful muscle spasms that occur in multiple sclerosis, while the latter is aimed at childhood seizures. Sativex is not available in the United States, but it is approved in 29 other countries, including Canada, England and Israel.

Epidiolex has not been cleared for sale anywhere in the world; GW Pharma says it expects to begin the approval process with the Food and Drug Administration next year.

And thousands of Americans are using strains of cannabis with a strong CBD content. Advocates and medical marijuana dispensaries agree that as awareness about CBD grows, so does demand.

Stephanie Kahn, who with her husband, Jeffrey, runs the Takoma Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northwest Washington, says that about half of her 1,200 patients use CBD-rich products. Her dispensary offers several strains of high-CBD cannabis as well as CBD oil, with different ratios of CBD and THC, each of which she recommends for particular conditions. “We get questions about it every day,” she says. “A lot of our patients get relief with this, and a lot of times this works better than pharmaceutical drugs.”

No insurance

The cost of treatment varies: Depending on the dispensary and the dosage, it can range from around $100 a month to more than $1,000. Despite the cost, which is not covered by insurance, CBD medicines are drawing great interest for children with severe, intractable epilepsy. California and Colorado, which were among the first states to legalize medical marijuana, have become hot spots for such patients. Before other states legalized medicinal CBD use, some families moved to these states so they could have access to the compound.

One of the most experienced practitioners in this field is Los Angeles physician Bonni Goldstein, who has used the compound to treat dozens of children with intractable epilepsy. She says about half of these patients have seen a significant drop in the number of seizures. “Used in the right way, with the right patient, CBD is extremely powerful,” she says.

Yet even those who believe in this power recognize that CBD medicine remains largely unexplored: Treatments are not systematized, many products are not standardized or tested, and patients (or their parents) are generally left to figure out dosing on their own. While some suppliers and dispensaries test the CBD and THC levels of their products, many do not. “We really need more research, and more evidence,” Kogan says. “This has to be done scientifically.”

For Lisa Leyden, Jackson’s mother, these issues don’t negate the compound’s enormous potential. “I realize this isn’t perfect,” she says. “We absolutely need to know more. But in the meantime, many people need help. They’re in bad shape, and this seems to work.”

16 Cannabis Lifestyle Trends that Helped Define 2016

You could call it the year of the cannabis consumer: retailers finally focus on UX, celebrities cater to enthusiasts, media outlets clamor for attention and a more refined world of edibles and concentrates has emerged.

By Katie Shapiro, The Cannabist Staff

Winding down a year that most would describe as soul-sucking, the ongoing progress of marijuana legalization and exploding growth of the cannabis industry are two of the few things keeping us cautiously hopeful as we head into 2017. It’s already been called the year of Greenery, after all, so we’re off to a promising start. But let’s take a moment to mark the monumental strides for marijuana in the past twelve months. Here, we present the 16 biggest cannabis lifestyle trends that defined 2016:

1. Celebrity strains

With Marley NaturalWillie’s Reserve and Leafs by Snoop serving as pioneers early in legalization, star-backed cannabis brands blossomed this year. Several Colorado cannabis businesses have staked out partnerships with entertainers of all stripes. Among the new goods in legalized states: Wiz Khalifa and Sublime with Rome rolled out pot products; Tommy Chong debuted his “high grade medical” collection; Willie Nelson’s brand dropped in Washington and Colorado shops; and just this month, Hunter S. Thompson’s widow announced plans for a Gonzo brand of cannabis from six strains the writer actually smoked. And not that we’re hoping it’s actually in the works, but whatever happened to Bethenny Frankel’s plan for a Skinny Girl strain?

2. Marijuana hits mainstream TV

Bill Maher started 2016 off proper, lighting up on “Real Time” for the first time. Since then, MTV’s “Mary + Jane” opened a rush of crappy weed sitcoms with Adam Scott’s “Buds” still on hold at NBC and Margaret Cho’s “Highland” still in development at Amazon. The much-buzzed about “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” on VH1 lacks the main ingredient of chemistry — getting high together — making it a skip. But the move from Vimeo to HBO for “High Maintenance” makes up for all of the misses (we hope WhoHaha’s “Cannabis Moms Club” follows the same trajectory). Viceland continues to develop some of the best cannabis content around with “Bong Appétit” — it’s been called “the only reality show about weed you need to see” — featuring The Cannabist’s own Ry Prichard.

Read More at The Cannabist

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Announces 102 Dispensary License Pre-Approvals

Baltimore, MD (December 9, 2016) – The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (“MMCC”) today announced the names of 102 Dispensary entities who have been awarded Stage One license pre-approvals from a total of 811 applications submitted for up to 109 available licenses statewide.  This marks the conclusion of this phase of the Grower, Processor, and Dispensary application process.  Each pre-awardee has 365 days from date of pre-approval to implement their operations.

Dr. Paul W. Davies, Chairman for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission stated, “These qualified entities will be on the front line providing medical cannabis to qualified patients in Maryland. They will have a tremendous responsibility in serving the legitimate needs of those patients that seek medical treatment.”  

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s Executive Director, Patrick Jameson stated, “These dispensaries will be the new face of the medical cannabis industry in Maryland, once final licenses are issued. The Commission has an expectation that these dispensaries will operate in an extremely professional manner.  Professional business operations will provide reassurance to the general public that these companies will have a positive impact on their communities.  The Commission will tightly regulate these dispensaries and looks forward to a productive working relationship with their management and staff.”  

Pursuant to COMAR requirements, the Commission was tasked to recommend pre-approval of up to two licensed Dispensaries per Senatorial District, other than the number of licensed grower dispensary facilities located in the Senatorial District.  The full Commission voted unanimously on 92 Dispensary applications for pre-approvals, as well as 10 pre-approvals associated with pre-approved Growers, for a total of 102.  Two Senatorial Districts had only 1 pre-approval for those Districts and the remaining Districts were awarded 2 pre-approvals. By regulation, a party is only permitted to have an interest in one license in the State of Maryland.

All 10 Grower pre-awardees who submitted a separate Dispensary application were awarded a Dispensary pre-approval. Each Grower-associated Dispensary application was evaluated and scored on its own separate merit, as with the remaining 92 pre-approvals.

MMCC commissioned the Regional Economic Studies Institute (“RESI”), a division of Towson University, to coordinate the review of the Dispensary applications by subject matter experts and to utilize the same process as used for the Grower and Processor applications, including compiling the scores and application rankings.  The Commissioners reviewed blinded applications which were redacted as to the applicant names, entity names, and locations, and used a Nobel Prize winning mathematical algorithm, most famously used by the “National Resident Matching Program”, to place applicants into Senatorial Districts, using both the applicant’s score and District preferences.  All applicants, including those who did not receive pre-approvals, were notified today as to the status of their application via email and US mail.

The pre-approved Dispensary entities will continue on to Stage Two of the approval process, which will include undergoing criminal background investigations, financial due diligence, and compliance inspections by the MMCC, as well as completing regulatory requirements, raising capital, securing local zoning approvals, and construction of facilities. The Commissioners will vote for licensure in a public meeting once compliance with the regulatory requirements is complete.