ISN’T ALL CANNABIS USE MEDICINAL ANYWAY?

There is a good argument that all cannabis use is medicinal. By consuming cannabis, the user really cannot avoid benefitting from the medicinal properties contained within. Of the hundreds of cannabinoids present in cannabis, we really only have a partial understanding of two, CBD and THC. Ah, but we know enough to confirm that both have real, natural medical potential.

The trouble is, scientists like to analyse compounds in isolation. However, the synergistic qualities of THC and CBD make this a tricky task. Whole plant medicine is gaining a lot of traction as both patients and researchers are slowly beginning to see eye to eye. A combination of THC and CBD produces what is known as the “entourage effect,” which is simply the enhancement of the effect of one cannabinoid by the presence of another. In simple terms, THC is not just for getting high and that’s a fact.

THE GREEN RUSH

“On Wednesday and Thursday, as fears of a marijuana shortage mounted, regulators announced they would issue the first two marijuana distribution licenses” - that’s from a 13/7/17 NY Times article by Thomas Fuller entitled: Nevada Rushes to Address Shortage of Newly Legalized Marijuana. From the moment recreational marijuana became legally available in Nevada dispensaries on 1st July, demand has far exceeded supply.

Cannabis dispensary

This US State is really a microcosm of cannabis commerce. Legalisation of recreational cannabis use distinct from medical marijuana has cut the cannabis market in two. Nevada, like most places, legalised medicinal cannabis first and recreational second. Thus, a small legal medical market segment developed initially. This will inevitably be devoured when the mainstream marijuana market is unshackled.

Import/export are more or less a no-go. Nevada cannabis must be produced and sold within the state and no place else. Sound familiar? The indigenous cannabis cultivators must cater to the needs of the local domestic market. On the one hand, this is the gift of monopoly and on the other, it’s the curse of public service.

LET’S TALK TURKEY

Recreational cannabis is a white hot commodity. Medical marijuana is not so hot; for quite a few commercial reasons. Medical cannabis sales are often state tax exempt. Plus, medical cannabis strains are rarely sold at premium prices. Not attractive to business and government. However, top-shelf, high-THC cannabis concentrates for recreational use retail for as much as $100 per gram stateside. Very profitable and taxable. The smart money is rushing toward the most popular cannabis varieties anyone over 21 can buy.

Uruguay is the best bad example, having just legalised the sale of medical marijuana from pharmacies. The Uruguayan canna-business model is highly regulated and controlled by the government. Pretty much the polar opposite of US cannabis capitalism.

Sure, you can get 5g of South American weed for the equivalent of $6.50, provided you register as a patient with the government. But it’s under 10% THC schwag and not CBD-rich. No fun and not very good medicine either. Sinsemilla socialism doesn’t work.

Worse, there are only two types of weed available “Alpha 1” and “Beta 1.” Limited legalisation = limited consumer choice and low profit. Don’t expect a downturn in black market marijuana sales in Uruguay anytime soon with this approach.

HOME CULTIVATION VS MCDONALDIZATION

“McDonaldization” of marijuana is most ordinary decent stoner’s nightmare scenario. Today, there are more dispensaries in the state of Colorado than there are McDonalds and Starbucks locations combined. You don’t have to be a futurist or an expert trends forecaster like Gerald Celente to imagine that mass produced, standardised marijuana is just around the corner. The more important question is who will set the standards and control the quality of marijuana mass production?

Home cultivation is one answer. By growing your own cannabis for whatever purposes, you control the quality and to varying degrees, the quantity. Unfortunately, even in places where the sale of marijuana has been legalised, provisions for legal home cultivation are often wanting. Legal home growers are typically restricted to a handful of cannabis plants. Marijuana self-sufficiency ain’t easy.

cannabis industrialitzacion

DRUGS ARE BAD UMM KAY

Many will continue to hear “The Call of Cthulhu” until marijuana is traded freely. Cannabis branded as contraband is a high octane injection of jp-5 (jet fuel) for the black market. Marijuana is a cash crop after all. On the flip side, everywhere cannabis is legal, criminal gangs go out of business. Ironically, the most effective way to wage a war on drugs is to legalise the cultivation and sale of cannabis. Street weed now occupies a lower underworld third tier that most contemporary users try to avoid like the weird dimension in Stranger Things.

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