What Maureen West Learned From Running the Nation’s Leading Hemp Program

As with many emerging industries, getting ahead in the industrial-hemp industry often involves hiring the people who created the original regulations. In legal marijuana, for example, everyone from former state legislators to past Marijuana Enforcement Division officials have moved to the business side, helping companies and clients stay on top of Colorado’s strict cannabis laws.

One of the largest moves from government to the hemp industry (so far, at least) came last month, when Maureen West jumped from managing the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program to take a job as compliance officer for hemp-oil company Functional Remedies.

As head of the CDA’s hemp program from 2016 to 2019, West witnessed the recent hemp and CBD booms in Colorado and had to deal with such issues as hot hemp with too much THC and lack of guidance from the Food and Drug Administration. Those challenges didn’t prevent Colorado from leading the nation in hemp farming acreage during that span, however.

We recently caught up with West to learn more about the future of the plant now that it’s legal at the federal level.

Westword: How would you compare Colorado’s hemp industry and regulations with those of other states? I hear some are relatively friendly, like Oregon, while others, like South Dakota, aren’t so much.

Maureen West: Over the course of my career as the head of the CDA Industrial Hemp Program, we built one of the most robust state-level industrial-hemp programs in the country. We worked closely with farmers across the state and listened to their needs and concerns. Hemp could be the next big cash crop that saves small farmers across America, and we are proving that to be true right here in Colorado at Functional Remedies.

What have you learned about hemp since you started at the CDA, and how did that help you with your new job?

Marijuana Deals Near You

Hemp has been a product in America’s history since the founding fathers; George Washington famously grew hemp. But today’s hemp landscape, because of stigma and prohibition, is confusing without clear guidelines at the state and federal levels. The work we did at the CDA was to put those guidelines in place to not only help legitimate businesses bring good jobs to Colorado, but also to protect consumers from products that they shouldn’t be ingesting. We did this all when there was no real blueprint. So my role will be to help Functional Remedies navigate, influence and stay within those guidelines, even as they are being created.

What challenges are hemp farmers and product makers facing today that the public might not know about?

One of the biggest challenges right now is that we aren’t getting any clear guidance from the FDA. This is leaving a huge gap for illegitimate companies to compete with legitimate companies, all while consumers lose trust with hemp or CBD products. The saying goes, ‘A bad apple spoils the bunch.’ With tighter regulations, it’s much easier to find and toss those bad apples.

Is the 0.3 THC limit a looming problem for hemp farmers as it becomes legal nationwide?

The 0.3 percent THC limit has already presented problems for companies shipping hemp across state borders. The hemp industry doesn’t have standard testing protocols across the United States. In part, we need the FDA or Congress to help set those standards. Another solution would be to allow an acceptable range. Plants are plants; the top of the plant can test differently than the bottom, and two plants of the same strain could test differently.

How ethical do you think the CBD industry really is? We hear a lot of snake-oil stories, but a lot of companies are operating in unregulated markets.

The problem is that we don’t have any real consistent regulations across the board, and many people and companies are happy to jump on what they see is a trend or act within that gray area. This is why it’s so incredibly important that we put them in place to protect consumers and help legitimate businesses thrive.

How far behind is America’s hemp industry from Europe’s or Canada’s?

America is just starting to overcome the decades of stigma against hemp because of its ties with cannabis. However, we are moving incredibly quickly as we see states enacting their own hemp laws across the U.S. The faster we can build this momentum and gain additional clarity from the FDA and Congress, the faster we can create a globally competitive hemp industry.

Toke of the Town

Lowell Farms Cannabis Cafe to Open in West Hollywood

Right before 2018 ended, the city of West Hollywood made history in announcing that cannabis consumption restaurants and lounges would be coming to the area in 2019.  Smoking, vaping, and edibles will be allowed on site for the eight companies lucky enough to get one of the consumption licenses.  The marijuana brand Lowell Herb Co. has dubbed the first restaurant to open “Lowell Farms:  A Cannabis Cafe.”  They are slated to open during the Summer months of 2019.

West Hollywood to Open Eight Cannabis Lounges and Restaurants

lowell farms

Photo Credit: Lowell Farms.

The renderings show a rooftop restaurant with gorgeous views, lots of gorgeous landscaping, and an outdoor dining area.

The kitchen will be ran by Andrea Drummer, owner of Elevation VIP Coop, who is also a cannabis chef who has done private marijuana events in the area since 2012.

Cannabis will be worked into every dish, and there will be a menu with THC, as well as one with out THC.

California law doesn’t allow for booze to be consumed at the same location as a cannabis consumption location, so drinkers, you are out of luck.  However, you will find a variety of coffee, tea, fresh juices, and smoothies.

The bud will be grown locally in Santa Barbara, (pesticide free, of course) and the menu will consist of sandwiches and salads mostly, with “a modern twist on comfort classics.”

More About Lowell Farms

Lowell Farms products can be found in over 250 dispensary locations in California, and they recently started being distributed in the Canadian market.  They have investment capital from MedMen, who is a very large player in the dispensary business.  They specialize in pre-rolled products but also have made headlines by making weed flower crowns for Coachella, as well as and Hannukah gift sets.

At this point, there isn’t any other information known, such as location, or who else got ahold of the remaining 7 consumption licenses in the area.

More on this story as it continues to develop.  This story first ran in LA Eater.  We’ll definitely be visiting this establishment and giving it a full 420 Times review!

Lowell Farms Cannabis Cafe to Open in West Hollywood

5 (100%) 2 votes

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

West Virginia general election is less than one week away!

Learn where candidates stand on marijuana policy before you vote on Tuesday, November 6!

West Virginia’s general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. The outcome of state legislative races will be critical in determining the future of marijuana policy in West Virginia. There are also strong contrasts between the candidates in races for U.S Congress:

• State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who championed West Virginia’s medical cannabis bill and strongly supports federal reforms, is running for an open Congressional seat in District 3. His opponent, Del. Carol Miller (R), voted for the medical cannabis bill, but she also voted to dramatically restrict it, and she won’t commit to supporting federal medical cannabis legislation.

• District 1 candidate Kendra Fershee (D) has expressed strong support for medical cannabis. Her opponent, incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R), has not supported marijuana policy reforms.

• In District 2, incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney (R) has voted to protect state medical cannabis programs from federal interference. His opponent, Talley Sergent (D), has expressed strong support for medical cannabis.

Before you go to the polls, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide, which includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbent legislators, and candidates’ public statements.

After you read our West Virginia voter guide, please share it with your friends and remind them that next Tuesday is Election Day!

The post West Virginia general election is less than one week away! appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

MPP’s West Virginia Primary Voter Guide

2018 was a frustrating year for marijuana policy in the West Virginia Legislature, with the Senate’s excellent version of a medical marijuana improvement bill never getting a House vote, and other reforms stalling. Fortunately, it is now election season, and candidates all over the state have been talking to voters about marijuana policy. The primary election will take place on Tuesday, May 8.

Before you go to the polls tomorrow, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide for the West Virginia primary election. After sending surveys to all candidates for state House of Delegates and state Senate and compiling their responses, we now have quite a bit of information available on candidates. The voter guide also includes votes cast by incumbent legislators and any available public statements.

The post MPP’s West Virginia Primary Voter Guide appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

West Virginia to Consider Medical Marijuana Improvements

West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda, who championed last year’s medical cannabis legislation, has put forward a new bill for 2018 seeking to make the medical cannabis program more accessible for patients.

SB 487 would make several positive changes to the law, including allowing patients and caregivers to grow their own limited supply of cannabis. It would also eliminate onerous restrictions on doctors and make it easier for patients to qualify. You can read a summary of the bill here.

The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Board is also expected to consider changes to the current law later this month.

The post West Virginia to Consider Medical Marijuana Improvements appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

West Virginia Considering Medical Marijuana Improvements

The 2018 legislative session is underway in West Virginia, and several bills have already been introduced to make the medical cannabis program more workable and accessible for patients.

The two most important bills that have been introduced so far are HB 4147 and HB 4149. HB 4147 would require the state to begin issuing ID cards to qualified patients and caregivers in July of this year instead of waiting until July 2019. HB 4149 would allow patients to purchase cannabis flowers from dispensaries, rather than limiting patients to more expensive extracts.

If you are a West Virginia resident, please email your state legislators today and tell them patients can’t afford to wait another year and a half, and that they need access to whole plant cannabis.

The post West Virginia Considering Medical Marijuana Improvements appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

West Nile Virus May Pose Zika-Like Threat to Fetus

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 — Zika may not be the only virus that can harm a fetus, a new study in mice suggests.

“We found that West Nile virus and Powassan viruses shared with Zika the ability to infect the placenta and cause fetal death,” said senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Miner, who’s with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Both of those viruses are spread by the bites of insects and are in the same family of viruses as Zika, called flaviviruses.

So far, the researchers have only confirmed this in mice, although they have found these viruses have the ability to replicate in human placental tissue.

Does that mean pregnant women should be concerned every time they get a mosquito or tick bite?

Miner said this study definitely shouldn’t be the cause of “mass hysteria.” Research done in animals doesn’t always turn out the same when done in people.

“The work we do is basic science. We try to understand what may be possible. Our work is not done to make a claim about what is occurring in the human population,” he explained.

He’s an assistant professor in the departments of medicine, pathology and immunology and molecular microbiology.

Miner said no one can know for sure yet if these other viruses can cause the same types of problems in a developing human fetus as the Zika virus can. He noted that with Zika, which has been linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes undersized brains and heads, it was relatively easy to make the statistical link needed because the outbreak was so large. These other viruses have only had smaller outbreaks, he explained.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the findings aren’t surprising, particularly given the findings of older studies on other flaviviruses.

“It will be important to assess how frequently this occurs and whether any human congenital syndromes with Powassan and West Nile have gone unnoticed,” said Adalja, who wasn’t involved with the study.

“In general, mosquito-borne viruses of this family should be considered as a potential danger to a developing fetus based on all the historical and emerging evidence,” he said.

The basis for the latest study was the idea that Zika likely wasn’t the only insect-transmitted virus that could affect a developing fetus.

The researchers looked at four viruses to assess their ability to cause fetal harm in pregnant mice. Three of the viruses are spread by mosquito bites: West Nile, chikungunya and Mayaro. The fourth virus, Powassan, is transmitted by ticks.

All of the viruses were able to cross the placenta. All replicated inside fetal brains. But only West Nile and Powassan caused fetal death.

The researchers also found that West Nile and Powassan were able to replicate in human maternal and fetal tissue.

“Our study underscores that there may be other viruses like Zika that could cause outbreaks in the future, and that’s one reason why basic science like this is so important. No one was really looking at Zika before the outbreak. Basic discovery allows us to be prepared,” Miner said.

Asked if he had any advice for pregnant women or women thinking about becoming pregnant, Miner suggested that women “take reasonable precautions.” He said most women are probably already doing what they can to avoid mosquito and tick bites, and it’s a good idea to continue to do so.

The study was published Jan. 31 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

More information

To learn more about Zika and pregnancy in humans, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Daily News Bytes: Toon Tribute to Adam West, New ‘Pony’ Poster, Encore VFX & More


VIDEO: In Loving Memory of Adam West – ‘Family Guy’ Season 15
Following the screen legend’s passing last month, EP Steve Callaghan stated that the show would be keeping his performances as Mayor West in the upcoming 15th season. Enjoy this supercut of his hilarious moments from Family Guy. Thanks for all the laughs, Mr. West. Thank you, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

‘The Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ VFX Breakdowns from Encore
See how Deluxe’s Encore built Gorilla City and a gorilla gladiator for The Flash ep. 313 (Watch!) and pulled off some fantastic facial replacement, vehicles and explosions for Supergirl ep. 221 (Watch!) — both projects were supervised by Armen Kevorkian.

Unfortunately, You Can Never Buy These Incredible Disney Animation T-Shirts
A huge exhibit of department crew T-shirts from Disney feature animation stole the show(floor) at D23 Expo over the weekend. As if there weren’t enough reasons to polish up your portfolio and try to get a gig over there…

Summus Unveils “Simple Animation” at SIGGRAPH 2017
The all-inclusive, cloud-based virtual animation studio will be presented at an Exhibitor Session on Wed., August 2 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Room 409A of the LA Convention Center.

New ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ Poster Debuting at SDCC 2017
San Diego saddles up with the reveal of the colorful new character-filled poster, featuring the Mane 6 and Spike in their undersea forms (which we can only assume are scientifically dubbed mer-pony, pega-fish and unicorn-acanth). My Little Pony: The Movie gallops into theaters Oct. 6. [Trailer.]

Family Guy

Family Guy

My Little Pony: The Movie

My Little Pony: The Movie

Animation Magazine

West Virginia Medical Marijuana Bill Takes Effect, but No Access for Most Patients Until 2019

The West Virginia medical cannabis bill officially took effect on Wednesday. Unfortunately, however, most or all patients will not be able to benefit from the law until July 1, 2019, unless something changes.

The law would allow the regulatory agency to make agreements with other states to allow terminally ill cancer patients to buy medical cannabis in another state, but it is not clear yet if that will happen.

For details on how the law will work, including who can qualify for the program, check out our summary.

On a positive note, the members of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board were announced last week, and the first meetings are expected to be scheduled soon. The Advisory Board is important because it will provide an opportunity to discuss improvements to the policy.

The post West Virginia Medical Marijuana Bill Takes Effect, but No Access for Most Patients Until 2019 appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

‘Batman,’ ‘Family Guy’ Star Adam West Dies at 88

Adam West

Adam West, the actor best known for playing Batman on TV and more recently as a prolific voice actor on programs such as Family Guy, died Friday at his home in Los Angeles following a short battle with leukemia. He was 88.

West’s family issued a statement that said:

“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”

Born in 1928 in Walla Walla, Wash., he made his acting debut in 1954. He was a rising star on television when he was cast as Batman in the iconic TV series, which ran three seasons from 1966-1968 and also a feature film in 1966.

In the years after the Batman phenomenon waned, West struggled to find roles because his association with the character was so strong. It lead to his first voice acting work in animation, reprising his role as Batman in the 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman. He continued to voice Batman in animation in the 1980s on the long-running series Super Friends, as well as a part on a 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

He also began appearing as himself in numerous TV shows and played an animated version of himself as Mayor Adam West on the long-running Family Guy series.

West was a frequent convention guest, along with his Batman co-star, Burt Ward. The pair most-recently re-united for an animated DC Universe feature, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader, released last year. A sequel, Batman vs. Two-Face, is due for release this year.



Animation Magazine

West Virginia Becomes the 29th Medical Marijuana State

Today, West Virginia officially became the 29th state to pass medical marijuana legislation!

Gov. Jim Justice signed the law today after the bipartisan bill passed both the Senate and House earlier this month.

While the law isn’t perfect, it’s a great start toward providing safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. A summary is available here.

This achievement didn’t happen overnight. In fact, MPP, along with many other advocates, has been working tirelessly to get a medical marijuana bill passed for years.

MPP released the following in a press release:

“This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

Six states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws in the past 12 months. Three of those laws, including West Virginia’s, passed through Republican-controlled legislatures. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio approved them last April and June, respectively. The other three were approved by voters in November in states won by Donald Trump — Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota.

“Intensifying public support and a growing body of evidence are driving the rapid growth in the number of states adopting medical marijuana laws,” Simon said. “Lawmakers are also learning about marijuana’s medical benefits from friends, family members, and constituents who have experienced them firsthand in other states. More than nine out of 10 American voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. In light of this near universal support, it is shocking that some legislatures still have not adopted effective medical marijuana laws.”

The post West Virginia Becomes the 29th Medical Marijuana State appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Amended West Virginia Medical Bill Approved by House of Delegates

A bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it was approved by the West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday. SB 386 passed 76-24 on third reading after being revised on second reading.

SB 386 was originally introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) in the Senate, where it was approved 28-6 last week. The House version of the bill, which is titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, would charge the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries, while the Senate version would set up a 16-member independent commission. Under the amended House bill, patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions could use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. This differs from the Senate version of the bill and most of the other state medical marijuana programs.

“The Legislature has answered the prayers of many seriously ill West Virginians and their families,” said MPP’s Matt Simon in a press release. “This could be life-saving legislation for some patients. We commend House members for working diligently to make sure it passes this year, but we urge the Legislature to continue efforts to make sure the program truly works for the seriously ill and to ensure it does not unnecessarily drive up costs.”

The post Amended West Virginia Medical Bill Approved by House of Delegates appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog