Let me begin by letting all those know who have served, currently serving or thinking about serving in the United States military that on this memorial day, you are greatly appreciated for your courage and conviction when it comes to giving up your life for the protection and advancement of this great country. The fact that you can load up your guns and mentally prepare yourself to die for this great country is simply amazing, but like all great endeavors, it comes with a price.
The price comes with a name and it’s called “PTSD” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A lifelong emotional and physical battle that most in the United States military will have to endure due to experiencing a seriously traumatizing event. When a soldier is exposed to trauma, it stimulates that person’s mind. In turn, creating for them feelings that produce sleeping problems, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts and phobias. So with that being said it’s clear, we have a problem and this problem needs a solution.
As of today, that solution has been to prescribe these mentally disturbed soldiers antidepressants and we all know these antidepressants come with side effects. Yes, this helps a person momentarily but over a long period of time it can be very damaging to the mind and body.
Luckily it’s 2018 and the times are changing, different roads are being paved and the interpretation of cannabis knowledge is being accepted and not looked over. At this point in the game we’re talking about how to produce relaxation for the mind of a person who often entertains the past thoughts of trauma in a healthy way.
A soldier has a 30 percent chance of developing PTSD but when you factor in the childhood problems and the times they might have accidentally harmed the innocent. A veteran has a 97% chance of developing PTSD following combat. Therefore, when dealing with a very serious mental situation it comes to those who serve or have served united states military. Like every situation that isn’t properly handled it can create a problem for not only them but all those indirectly involved too.
So is Cannabis the answer? Is it the sunshine or the cannabis of California that makes California the top choice for active enlisted soldiers? Are today’s soldiers secretly smoking to ease the tension and pain from combat? I’m not sure, but if so, do you blame them? See, the world relies on the US military and in all due respect we need a healthy military. So the question is, as a nation do we push forward with the plant or press on with the pharmaceutical? I’m not one to take money out anyone’s pocket but I am one to present a page to profit on it if the book is available.
Yes, a healthy military is key when it comes to concentration and control. So as we settle in the scene the seeds have set. Let us push forward and become great again by letting the plant produce the pleasure outta the pain because the patient in each and every soldier needs to be a priority.
I would have loved to keep this topic black and white, but I have no choice but to keep it black and blue when it comes to the history of marijuana in America. You know, I close my eyes right now and picture the slaves circling up at Congo square, I can open my ears and hear the woman whispering to each other as the jazz played on, but I can’t help but open my eyes and ears to the prejudices and racist rhetoric that has brought marijuana in American to the point we are at today.
Take a minute, Can you picture the face of the upright, uptight white man as his wife whistles and taps her heels to the vibration she heard only in Storyville (the redlight district in New Orleans)? Can you imagine what the conversation was like among white lawmakers as they counseled together to stop the voodoo music from spreading to other cities like Memphis, Kansas City, and Chicago? Can you envision the black entertainers refusing to wear the black dye; the white entertainers wore to mimic them on stage? And if so, most people would say its not a pretty picture.
The fact of knowing a group of people would use such words as satanic and evil to describe a plant that enhanced a person’s creativity and sense of warmth towards another person is terrible. But one thing’s for sure in America with all adversity that stems from hate there’s always a black man with extreme perseverance and talent who comes out more golden than ever in the end. And in that era that one strong and sauced up black man happened to be a musician named Louis Armstrong, known by millions as ‘Satchmo” or ‘Pops” Yeah, before Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali, the worlds first black mega superstar who stood up for the people and the most precious plant was Ol’ Armstrong.
See, like most entertainers today, entertainment brought Armstrong out of his misery, born dirt poor and raised by his grandmother who was a former slave, Armstrong spent most of his early life running errands for local pimps and whores. But all that changed when he migrated to Chicago and linked up the vipers, some musicians that loved the smell and felt the same effects that Satchmo did when it came to the plant. See for Armstrong, marijuana wasn’t just a recreational substance-it was a nostrum, a tonic an essential part of his life. It calmed his nerves and lifted his spirits. “I had myself a ball,” he effused, adding, “It’s a thousand times better than whiskey”.
See, Armstrong smoked reefer daily and it never compromised his musical dexterity or his work ethic. Still able to perform in on average 300 concerts a year, one of the only few black entertains that could stand on the stage with other white entertainers back in heyday of racism and bigotry. But don’t get it twisted, off the stage he was still treated like a regular old second-class nigga. While touring in the south, he and his band were consistently harassed by the police. They were barred from whites-only restaurants, hotels and bathrooms. Some white supremacists bombed a theater in Knoxville Tennessee, not to forget the mob-controlled venues up north that brought the same type of risk that it did down south.
“Danger was dancing around you back then, “he remarked.” But going forward, Satchmo appeared in about sixty films, singing, swaging, blowing his horn and” mugging” at each and every camera. He became the first black to consistently show his face in A-list movies. His songs were in steady rotation on the radio and listened to throughout the entire world. But just like today’s black entertainer, his fame didn’t always protect him from the police.
Armstrong ended up getting popped by two Los Angeles narcs while smoking a joint with a white drummer in the parking lot of the New York Cotton Club. He ended up spending nine days in jail, convicted and sentenced to six months in prison and a one thousand dollar fine. But luckily this is America and due to his talent and genuine conduct, it was still Satchmo’s world to a certain degree. So with the right string being pulled and right judge being properly persuaded his sentence was suspended with the proviso that Armstrong leave California. So as he told record producer, John Hammond, “It makes you feel good, man. It relaxes you, makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro.”
And with that being said, like any other person that pulls the people together and properly promotes the plant, Armstrong went on to smoke his “shuzzit” for the rest of his life with a smile on his face, cash in his pocket and a gang of women on his lap.
The President of the United States has always been a position held with honor and prestige but most importantly it has been a seat that can persuade, promote and bring about awareness to topics that have been overlooked or even hidden from the eyes of most American people. It was once said, to understand your future you must know your past and according to most writers of American history, it’s safe to say at one point in American history hemp/marijuana was held in high regard for its lucrative placement economically, socially and not to forget its medical uses.
It is the honorable position of president that can carefully intertwine or unlock the importance of hemp/marijuana within the free fabric of the America culture. Like most products of value, hemp/marijuana brought with it a steady stream of cash flow and that influx of cash would only go to the pockets of those that cultivated or traded hemp/marijuana. In turn, leaving many on the outside trying to find ways to get on board or disrupt this flow of production. Profits that only a few American farmers and businessman were able to capitalize on.
America has and always will be a land of restricting corporate laws and profit-driven headlines, so there’s no one really to blame for the propaganda of the past that shorted hemp/marijuana from becoming one of the world’s most widely used and beneficial earth grown products. Yes, people often write about how George Washington grew huge fields of hemp and kept a nice detailed grow log. Yes, people have documented how Thomas Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds out of France and China just because he couldn’t resist the benefits. Yes, American historians have recorded how James Madison was heard to say that smoking hemp/marijuana inspired him greatly to pen the Declaration of Independence.
These presidents benefited from cannabis. Even the presidents that fought against marijuana used that fight to their benefit.
Today is President’s Day 2018 and this prestigious position is being held by businessman Donald Trump. I believe that it all comes down to money and this president because he’s a businessman will leave the industry alone.
Franklin wasn’t a president, so it’s not about the Benjamin’s. Instead, it’s about the Jackson’s.
Pennsylvania seems to have forgotten its cannabis roots with the cautious approach the state is taking towards its medical marijuana program. William Penn, the man that American history states founded Pennsylvania, became a vital voice in Pennsylvania’s original outlook on cannabis.
Back in 1619, it was known as the “hemp state.” Yes, it was William Penn that gave way to the General Assembly passing the first law encouraging farmers to grow hemp and position the crop as a major commodity within the trade. It took over 300 years for cultivation to come back to the state.
On April 17, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law SB3, of the Pennsylvania Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which did not fully go into effect until May 17, 2016. The first medical marijuana dispensary in the state opened last month in Bethlehem, PA called Keystone Canna Remedies and Pittsburgh opened its first dispensary CY+ last week. Cure Pennsylvania is planned to open on March 7 in Lancaster County. A total of 12 companies will be able to grow and process medical marijuana with a vision of having a total of 25 in the near future. As of now, eight dispensaries have been approved and 10 growers/processors have begun operations.
“Each week, we are making great strides in expanding our network where patients will be able to get medical marijuana,” Governor Wolf said. “The approval of two more dispensaries is another positive step forward. Work continues to move patients one step closer to having medical marijuana as a tool to help with their medical condition.” According to Marijuana Business Daily estimates, the state’s dispensary sales could exceed $100 million annually a few years after the program launches.
Still, only 16,600 patients have registered to receive medical marijuana cards and 3,800 patients were certified by a physician. The physicians seem even less enthused. Take the process of registering qualified and actively licensed physicians for instinct, with a total of 57,670 active physicians statewide, to date, 701 have registered and of those, 355 have completed the training to become certified practitioners.
Now with Pennsylvania equipped to provide a service that not only helps the health of its residents but also creates a federal and state stream of taxable income that has yet to be matched by any other current commodity.
So the question that comes to mind, why are current northern American physicians so reluctant to jump into the medical lane of marijuana? Is there a cultural stigma holding these physicians back or is it a lack of education and marketing tools that can expose the future benefits of this sector of medicine? Will Pennsylvania have the same dilemma that New York had when it came to registering physicians or will the years ahead just show the solutions and strategies it took for Pennsylvania to overstep these current state structural and psychological barriers?
Back in 1683, Lancaster County in Pennsylvania was known to locals and most outsiders as the “hempest place to be” and with licenses being awarded for growers and processors to produce oil, pills, and tinctures. Counties like Lancaster seemed to have embraced those roots and is allowing out of state companies like Bay LLC to utilize and convert old 1970, brink and mortar stores like the Kmart on 890 Fruitville Pike in Manheim Township into 125,000 square feet of a modern-day dispensary.
I was thinking the process towards anything always has a beginning and an end. The thought of when and what to start and the notion of where and how to end it is a guarantee. So unlike many other states, Pennsylvania is a newcomer in this new booming cultural and economic class of cannabis, but with a commonly known and influential past.
Pennsylvania will slowly but surely makes its way into the headlines of the cannabis class going forward. I think its safe to say, that the state of Pennsylvania has a huge upside when it comes to the awareness and educational factors that help maximize the use and perception of cannabis within the framework of their local northeastern American economy. The medical sideline of Pennsylvania is leading the way back to making cannabis a common component in the wealth and health of its state.
In all aspects of life, the ability to start strong and finish even stronger is a must, but what happens in between the start and the finish varies depending on the situation, and I must say, the state of Michigan is surely shaking things up going forward when it comes to the culture of cannabis. Michigan has been able to produce and provide medical marijuana to patients since 2008, but this Friday all this is going to change. The state department of licensing and the regulatory board will start accepting and rejecting people looking to set up shop within the state boundaries of Michigan.
Last year, the Michigan Legislature passed and the governor signed into law three bills (House Bills 4209, 4827 and 4210) that will create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical marihuana that must be implemented by December 15, 2017. This new deadline for a prequalifying licensor has been the topic of discussion for some time now because at the moment any dispensary that’s operating in Michigan is under a legal, but illegal cloud.
Michigan is the home to nearly 272,215 medical marijuana patients. There are expectations of adding nearly $71 million in tax revenue for the state and you best believe that there’s major competition for the right space to operate. Michigan is second to California for medical marijuana users and outside investors believe that number could go even higher.
An example of this is Harvest Park in Windsor, Michigan. It is using the industrial park model and applying it to medical marijuana. This company has 130 acres positioned and poised to become the state of Michigan’s epicenter for medical marijuana cultivation, processing, testing and secure transportation. I know you’re wondering how this township of Windsor, a place slightly west of Lansing, Michigan executed this future economic and medical platform for the culture of cannabis and how this recent announcement made Windsor the largest medical marijuana development east of the Mississippi. The Township has set up its program for approval of 138 medical marijuana licenses, 10 class A, 10 class B and 100 class C cultivation licenses. Then another 10 for processing, 3 for secure transporting and 5 for lab testing.
This is where Hudson Park Managing Director Jeff Donahue comes into play. “We’ve worked with the Township and gained approval for the local zoning and ordinances required to enable licensure for all levels of cultivation, processing, testing and secure transport,” said Donahue. Harvest Park has been granted easy access to I69 and I96, which is located directly in the center of Michigan. When it comes to the heavy power demands of this industry, Harvest Park has partnered with one of the major utility companies to ensure all licensed operators have an ample supply of power, redundancy, and competitive rates.
The state of Michigan plans to begin licensing, regulating and taxing medical marijuana by early 2018. Harvest Park is already one leg up on the competition with 70 percent of their fully improved lots sold or pending approval. Also, with the projection of phase two opening early first quarter of 2018 the economic and medical future for the state of Michigan is looking modernly massive with the opening of Harvest Park. The industrial park expects to bring 1000 new jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan is experiencing 4.5% unemployment as of October 2017, which is higher than the nationwide average of 4.1%. Making this a desirable project for the community.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol officially submitted ballot language to the state of Michigan today that would legalize adult consumption of marijuana in Michigan and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s initiative would create six categories of licensed marijuana businesses that would be regulated by the state and also be subject to local control.” The site said that the coalition must submit a petition with at least 252,523 valid signatures of registered Michigan voters. MPP also stated that if approved by voters in November 2018, Michigan would follow Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in legalizing marijuana.
History is being made in the Lone Star State as Texas prepares to open its first medical marijuana dispensaries. The state of Texas saw Compassionate Cultivation as one of two companies to set the tone for the state when it comes to the current market for cannabis and the treatment of epilepsy. The dispensary is located in the liberal bastion of Austin Texas with plans to open its doors in January.
Dr. Karen Keough, a board-certified child neurologist, who specializes in the treating of intractable epilepsy at child Neurology Consultants of Austin is a key team member. ““I know many of my patients are incredibly excited about this. For them, it’s a new and promising opportunity to manage this devastating neurological disorder when more traditional options just aren’t working,” said Dr. Keough. Like every new state that decides to intertwine into the culture and business of cannabis, don’t expect a line of epilepsy patients at Compassionate Cultivates front door January of 2018 ready to walk in and to buy some high-quality CBD oil.
Matt Karnes of Green Wave Advisors estimates that the addressable market in the state is 1.9 million patients. Texas will only allow for patients with epilepsy to be treated at this time, reducing that patient count to approximately 185,000. Karnes believes the market could see $9 million for 2018 and then if the program restrictions are eased, it could grow to $162 million in 2020. He also thinks that as the state grapples with hurricane expenses from this past year, it may begin to quickly consider legalizing adult-use marijuana in order to reap the tax revenues.
Austin is a state of structure and proper percentages, so when it comes to growth there must be a few guidelines to follow in order for a patient receive this miracle medicine. First, they must be a current resident of Texas and have a written prescription from a licensed doctor that treats epilepsy and that prescription must be entered into the computer system of Compassionate Cultivations as active. Lastly, the patient must be resistance to two of the current drugs on the market that are already expected and recommended to treat epilepsy.
So, there are some limitations and restrictions that come with current patients being treated for epilepsy, but under this new Texas Compassionate Act, Austin is providing for the state a great start. At least some families will be able to stay in state to receive treatment instead of traveling to a nearby state to receive treatment. And situations like the one of 12-year-old Alexis Bortell whose family filed a lawsuit against the federal government this month will stay out the headlines.
Compassionate Cultivation teamed up with well-known cannabis management consultant group MJardin to operate its grow. The company manages 30 licensed facilities in 13 states and two countries. MJardin has produced over 150,000 pounds of cannabis product since its inception in 2014, making it the largest cultivator of legal cannabis in the world. “MJardin and the Compassionate Cultivation team have worked seamlessly throughout the process thus far,” says MJardin Chairman and CEO Rishi Gautam. “And the fact that we are about to achieve an unprecedented five-month stand up from provisional license to final license is a testament to the level of expertise this team will bring to the medical cannabis community of Texas.”
In addition to Compassionate Cultivation, Knox Medical is slated to open its doors in small hill country town of Schulenberg, Texas. It is owned by Jose Hidalgo, who also has licensed operations in Florida and Peurto Rico. Knox will not operate a storefront and instead will deliver by courier to registered patients. The Florida stores have been described as looking like Apple stores with its clean, sleek minimal style. While the group is hoping for a December opening, it’s possible that it won’t be able to begin filling prescriptions until January.
It seemed like Texas’ tightly restricted medical marijuana wasn’t going to get off the ground. According to Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, “only 411 doctors in the state have the necessary qualifications to register for the program. This amounts to approximately 0.54% of the licensed physicians in Texas. Far fewer may decide to register in light of the personal and professional risk involved.”
With that being said and the facts too bold to ignore, watch out for the state of Texas and the city of Austin when it comes to using some of the world’s most high-quality cannabis as a medicine to treat and prevent epilepsy. The state of Texas will now be responsible for every patient that the standards and the business ethics of this calibration will always be held to the highest.
You know in today’s day and age.We need examples. We need people that dream. We need people that plan and we need people that execute. And I must say, Austin Texas has officially stamped itself as one of those examples within the culture of cannabis with the partnership of Compassionate Cultivation and MJardin. This tandem has now produced a strong platform, but uniquely this tandem isn’t all about getting patients elevated. It’s all about producing some of the world’s most high-quality CBD. You know that beautiful extract of oil that is known to prevent the sudden shock of epilepsy. And now with the state’s approval, these two companies are set and ready to produce some of the world’s most high-quality cannabis in order to do so.
Think about this for a minute, Compassionate Cultivation’s CEO Morris Denton is a homegrown businessman of 30 years and a few of his partners have now teamed up with one of the world’s largest cultivators and processors of cannabis. And with a full license and local laws on their side, these two companies are able to start planting hundreds of seeds in their own backyard, with no duplication unless you have their approval.
I would let you know how much to expect from each quarterly harvest and what strains to expect to hit the market first and most often, but all this information is still under wraps. And personally I don’t blame them, because small roots will always rise to be respected in the culture of cannabis, because believe it or not this direction towards the production of CBD oil wasn’t a choice for Morris and his partners, yes it was pondered on by them for years, but truthfully it was the best direction for the state according to its planners.
On October 11, Atlanta City Mayor Kasim Reed signed an ordinance that decriminalized marijuana sending a powerful statement to state lawmakers. Georgia has some of the most punishing marijuana laws in the country and according to a 2013 American Civil Liberties Union study, blacks were 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites in the state and that number had increased 71% from 2001 to 2010.Georgia also ranked number four for the highest number of marijuana arrests for black people in the country.
So what’s next for Atlanta? Marijuana is still illegal, but based upon ordinance 17-0-1152 section 106, the perception of marijuana has changed when it comes to the amount less than an ounce. Yes, a whole 28 grams. It sounds minor but this is a major statement for the city of Atlanta and its surrounding counties and states. See, an ounce of marijuana has a street value of $25 to $450 depending on its quality and your location within the United States. But this ordinance is about Atlanta, the home of southern high-end luxury and cannabis consumers willing to spend big bucks in the illegal market.
So what’s this new ordinance all about? First off, it reduces the possession penalty to $75 and you will not receive any jail time within the city limits of Atlanta, which does include some parts of DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb County. But since the law has always controlled the lesser man there are still some foggy areas surrounding this new ordinance. One of those concerns that come to mind is, what can happen when a person is dealing with a police officer other than a city of Atlanta officer when in possession of marijuana because under this new ordinance a state trooper can still send you to state court with a criminal conviction. While a city officer can send you to Atlanta city court and you will not have a criminal conviction.
Secondly, with marijuana being very proximate and heavily promoted among millennials, what’s the deal when it comes to college campuses, At schools like Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, and Spellman, campus police still work for the state, not the city of Atlanta. So situations like this are still up in the air and will continue to give off a big what if and huge why is that, going forward.
Also, it is still illegal to be under the influence of marijuana and drive behind the wheel of a vehicle. and with this new ordinance, the Atlanta police are still able to use discretion to arrest someone in possession. And you better not have any other charges along with a possession of less than an ounce, like fleeing from an officer because you will be taken into custody
So with marijuana still being illegal but attaching to it weaker possession penalties, families will continue to be fed, money will continue to rain down in nightclubs and automobiles will continue to be bought.
It will also save the state money. The ACLU study found that in 2010 the state of Georgia spent $58 million on police to enforce marijuana possession, $44 million on judicial and legal costs and $19 million on corrections. It is in the top ten list of states for spending the most on marijuana enforcement.
So with that being said, this new ordinance towards marijuana has set a new tone and direction for Atlanta but we must admit many areas are still unknown. But one thing this new ordinance is telling us is that those in authority do know people in Atlanta possess marijuana. So smoke on, but be safe and remember Atlanta isn’t California yet!
Have you thought about it yet, the future of cannabis product placement in hip-hop? It’s already happening as cannabis product pushers will be planting its current $7 billion dollar roots into the culture of hip-hop. With hip-hop already being shaped and approved by the likes of Mercedes, Sprite, Adidas, Versace, and many other US and International companies, expect and get comfortable with the growth and awareness this duo will bring to our new world.
This is a brave new world of product placement using the hip-hop forum as an important source to reach the cannabis consumers. The latest is an exclusive deal with hip-hop artist Kurupt and Friday Night Inc. Kurupt is bringing his brand The Real Kurupt’s Moon Rock into Nevada with an exclusive license to Friday Night Inc. to grow, process and distribute the brand. According to the company’s statement, “The agreement is comprised of a two-year, renewable, exclusive manufacturing, sales, and distribution license for the State of Nevada. The arrangement allows for cross-marketing from both the Kurupt and AMA brands by each marketing team.”
Several brands have failed and succeeded when it comes to product placement within the hip-hop culture. Many companies like Cookies, Jungle Boys, Exotikz, and Reef have already collaborated to ensure a solid hold on the cannabis industry. They realize now that progress is the only option and the mind set isn’t why not – it’s more like how high and when. These leading companies have already proven the mix of music and retail alongside a signature or extract is the beginning of what’s next, so be anticipate a flood of future companies and investors to try the duplication of this newfound business model.
Take Atlanta-based rapper PeeWee Longway for instance, who on his recent mixtape Blue M&M 3 has a track entitled “Gelato” a popular strain on today’s market of cannabis consumers. So again, the day is coming when investors will be diagramming a way to cash in on cannabis using the lyrics from the lips of your most culturally relevant artist, because with no sign of hip-hop nor cannabis letting up when it comes to creating capital and influencing our global economy towards a new direction. The question must be asked how will this inevitable merger using product placement propel both sides?
DJ Khaled’s recent video “I’m The One” featured a key product placement of a KandyPens vape pen. This video has nabbed over 737 million views. That is a super successful way to get around the restrictions that cannabis products face with mainstream advertising.
So with that being said the question still stands – will this extension of cannabis product placement within hip-hop create the next wave of acceptance and exposure to those who don’t know, but have the power to buy, because unlike any other of your household names in product placement. This new flux of companies entering into the fold will not only bring with them consistent cash but a vision that will culturally shift the boardroom to the basement of music, retail, and economics forever.
The excitement comes with uncertainty and the product comes with an effect. So is our current global economy prepared for this elevation and normalization of cannabis? And is hip-hop fully equipped to take another product to a new phase of global appeal? Maybe so, maybe not, but one thing’s for sure the smoke is about to clear as the cannabis cash keeps rolling in.
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