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Cannabis & Technology

Google Bans In-App Marijuana Sale and Delivery on its Play Store

Daniel King

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Google Bans Marijuana Apps

Google announced in its policy update that it is banning applications that facilitate sale and delivery of marijuana, regardless of legality.

The Play Store ban includes apps that allow buyers to use a phone or other mobile device to order cannabis through a shopping cart for delivery or pick-up. It will also prohibit apps that make the sale of THC products convenient.

Android Police and Marijuana Moment first spotted the update early this week. A Google spokesperson said marijuana app operators should transfer the shopping cart option outside of the app to comply with its policy.

The tech giant said app developers have 30 days to comply.

The ban will probably impact Weedmaps, an app that assists users to find dispensaries for medical and recreational marijuana and helps online ordering and delivery and other related apps.

The spokesperson said that Google releases policy updates regularly to make sure it provides safe and positive experiences for users and developers. The updates will also ensure that the tech company complies with various legal policies worldwide.

In the past, Google did not have a policy prohibiting apps related to marijuana. Apple’s has previously banned cannabis-related apps but lifted that ban in 2015, Android Police said.

Companies in the cannabis industry have been complaining about the inconsistency from social media companies regarding its rules and actions about marijuana-related pages and apps, particularly in US states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal. In some instances, Facebook pages for state agencies concerned with marijuana sales or regulation have been removed.

Aside from cannabis, Google’s new policy update also prohibits apps that facilitate the sale of tobacco. The tech giant has yet to ban apps related to the sale of alcohol.

Google enforces its shopping cart ban despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in several states, including California, the company’s home state. Medical marijuana is also legal in more than 30 states, although it remains illegal on the federal level.

 

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Cannabis & Technology

solo* sciences Launches Unique Cannabis Authentication System

Jordan Webber

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Solo Sciences Authtentication System Against Fake MJ Products

A Boston-based company solo* sciences recently announced the launching of what it calls the first “cryptographically-secure cannabis product authentication system” in the world.

The company claims its system aims to enable distributors to verify the origin of their product.

The company’s authentication system uses a mobile app that will decipher uniquely encoded labels to identify verified products. Unlike RFID chips or holograms, these labels are cost-efficient and easy to produce and apply to existing packaging.

The company aims to help the industry spot fake cannabis products, primarily concentrates used in vaping. While the industry is on its way to improve regulation, the confusion on state and local laws on marijuana has led to the rise of illegal operators. Even in states where supervision on cannabis is strict, a distributor would likely call the authorities to check suspected counterfeit products.

This problem of authentication has given rise to the need for a system that can detect fake cannabis products.

A former CIA profiler, Ashesh Shah, CEO and founder of solo sciences said its verification system is designed to give security to customers. Their technology can provide users assurance that what they are consuming are real and effective marijuana products.

Advanced Verification Technology

Shah said solo’s authentication technology is similar to a unique digital fingerprint. Distributors or customer can only use and decode the codes imprinted on the label using solo’s app.

So far, solo sciences have partnered with more than 50 cannabis brands, which account for more than 9 million encoded units in one to two years.

Vertical Wellness is one of solo’s partner. Its CEO J. Smoke Wallin said the cannabis company demands only the highest standards in the safety and excellence of its products. With solo’s verification system, Vertical Wellness enables its distributors to find out if the brands and CBD products they are selling are genuine.

According to solo sciences’ internal research, up to 80% of all packaged cannabis products sold in the market may be counterfeit.

Deadly Counterfeits

Consuming fake marijuana products is dangerous to health. In April 2018, synthetic cannabinoids were linked to 56 incidents of severe bleeding across Chicago and areas in central Illinois. Two of them died.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said that all of the cases needed hospitalization to treat their condition. The patients’ symptoms include coughing up blood, bloody nose, blood in the urine, and bleeding gums. Nine of the patients tested positive for rat poison.

 

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Cannabis & Technology

Cannabis in TV: The Role of Television in Promoting the Plant

Daniel King

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Cannabis TV Shows

Television is criticized as a black hole that causes children and adults to be lazy, useless and unintelligent in many ways. For some people, spending time-consuming these media content is a waste of time as it takes away precious time which could have been spent being productive. Some people even say that TV “rots your brain.”

In some aspects, marijuana is subjected to such harsh judgments, as well. However, this platform can be used by producers and viewers alike to effectively send messages. One of these is the potential to advocate for the plant. Read on to find out how this venue can help in promoting cannabis.

4 Quirky TV Show Characters Who Definitely Had Cannabis

There’s a lot to unpack when talking about the role of television in rousing discussions about marijuana. Perhaps the best way to start this is by looking at quirky characters in modern television that offer a representation of cannabis supporters and enthusiasts.

These characters are relatable to supporters and consumers alike as they possess certain levels of eccentricity that many viewers have come to love. Knowing and appreciating these fictional people can shed some light about the real-life individuals who use the plant.

  • Doug Forcett

First on our list is no other than Doug Forcett. If you are wondering why we hold Doug with such regard even though you haven’t heard of him before, it is because he is considered a legend in the series The Good Place. While Doug is a minor character in the series, he is popular in the show’s version of the afterlife because he guessed what happens what will happen after we die.

Well, almost. He was 92% correct when he guessed what will happen in the afterlife during a mushroom-induced stupor. Known as a “stoner kid from Calgary during the 1970s,” we can be sure that Doug also smoked marijuana.

Two other characters who definitely consumed the plant before are Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell) and Jason Mendoza (played by Manny Jacinto).

  • Lip Gallagher

Those of you who are familiar with Shameless (the US version) know that this dysfunctional family has a high likelihood of having members who enjoy cannabis. One of the most prolific smokers in the series is Philip Gallagher, or Lip (played by Jeremy Allen White). Lip was shown smoking a blunt multiple times on-screen. He also sold marijuana at one point in the show.

The Gallagher family lives on the wrong side of the tracks, which coincides with the unfortunate reality that people who live on the Southside are at the lower end of the social strata. While this may be so, Lip and his siblings are shown to have all kinds of smarts: street, business, and even academic smarts. In fact, Lip is known as the most intelligent Gallagher kid.

Other characters in the show who smoked cannabis include Ian and Carl, perhaps maybe Debbie and Fiona, too. So, that’s five out of six of the Gallagher children!

  • Phil Dunphy

Trying his best to be the cool dad, Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) from Modern Family certainly has quirks many people may find uncool. Phil is an aspiring magician who has the penchant for inventions, theatrics, and cheer leading. As we witness him and his family grow, we also witness different sides of the character that are definitely heart-warming.

In one episode, Phil and his brother-in-law Mitchell Pritchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) ate cannabis-infused gummies. Then, hilarity ensues as the two navigate the challenges of acting as adults while high with THC.

  • Klaus Hargreeves

One of the 7 Hargreeves kids, Klaus is definitely the definition of quirky for his substance-induced antics. Haunted with the particularly peculiar power of communing with dead people, Klaus was pushed to marijuana (and illicit substances) to try to block out the spirits. At one point, he was found to have MJ-infused chocolates among other things.

As the resident hedonist and addict, his siblings tend to dismiss his opinions. However, he has proven himself to be reasonable, in some instances.

How Modern TV Shows Promotes Marijuana

With a bit of a background about the lives of these characters who definitely consumed the plant, we can begin to understand the hilarious and beneficial effects of the plant. Moreover, some of their circumstances highlight the dangerous effect of irresponsible use.

This only goes to show that television has the potential to promote cannabis. Aside from showing characters with relatable stories, the platform can also support the plant in the following ways:

Normalizing Mainstream Use of the Cannabis

One of the most important roles of television in advocating for the herb is its contribution to making cannabis consumption normal. In the past, depicting the intake of marijuana on TV is considered a taboo. In fact, a lot of things were taboo in the olden times including interracial kissing scenes and pregnant women on TV!

However, as time and the society’s mentality progressed, these things are no longer considered taboo on- and off-screen. The same can be true for cannabis. With the help of these television marijuana shows, the use of this plant can be normalized and seen without judgment. Then, discussions about responsible and safe use can follow.

If you are interested in watching some cannabis-themed shows, here are the best shows to start with:

  • Weeds
  • Disjointed
  • Bong Appetit
  • Cooking on High
  • Other shows which are perfectly watched while consuming cannabis
  • …and many more

It Shows the Reality of Marijuana Use

As mentioned, the stories of these characters depicted in the shows do not merely display cannabis use. It also offers a look into the reality of marijuana use. In the case of the Gallagher family, the social realities experienced by each member contribute to their involvement with cannabis, from consumption to distribution.

However, it is important to keep in mind that cannabis is not only consumed by individuals from dysfunctional contexts. It is perfectly acceptable to consume the plant and its cannabinoid for recreational and medical purposes. TV can be a key contributor in making sure that these prejudices are corrected.

It Offers Insights on Its Benefits and Dangers

Aside from the inciting conversations about the contexts of individuals who use marijuana, these shows also allow for a platform to tackle the positive and negative effects of the plant. This creates a healthy environment for discussions in which enthusiasts and supporters acknowledge the detrimental effects of irresponsible use, while also giving them the chance to show that consuming marijuana in itself is not bad at all.

At the same time, shows also have the potential to expose the harmful effects of unsafe and irresponsible consumption. Klaus’ case is a classic example of reckless use of the plant. Aside from using it along with illicit drugs, he also turned to the plant (and drugs) to escape his nightmarish experiences.

It Opens Up the Stage for Discussions

With the TV’s potential to show different sides of marijuana consumption, a deeper discussion about the plant is possible. There is nothing better than a holistic conversation, especially considering the realities that shows are able to depict. Ultimately, this platform can help educate viewers and help them form their own opinions regarding the herb and its effects.

Some Things to Remember When Watching Cannabis Shows

As more and more television shows are displaying and its use on-screen, there are some things you should keep in mind while consuming such media content.

  • Not Everything Should be Taken Literally – It is important to know that while one scene depicts the negative effects of reckless use of the plant, it does not mean that marijuana in itself is bad. So, make sure to look at deeper meanings. Remember, critical thinking pays off, especially in tackling a complicated matter such as marijuana and its social, political and historical context.
  • Take Note of the Messages they Convey – You should also remember that most stories are not told just for the sake of telling them. Instead, many of these shows have underlying nuances which can help in developing your insights.
  • Take a Stand and Act Accordingly – As a cannabis enthusiast, you are likely to have a positive perception of the plant. Some of these shows can reinforce such opinions. If you are looking for ways to promote the plant, then you need to take a stand and contribute toward this end. Even a simple social media post can help educate your friends and family.
  • Lastly, Enjoy Your Show – While these shows may have social and political commentaries, there is nothing wrong in taking pleasure in watching these contents! After all, they are produced by the entertainment industry. So, make it a point to enjoy the show!

The prejudice against television and marijuana can be partial and imbalance. By using the platform to advocate for the plant (and other worthwhile endeavors), people in the industry can work to change these perceptions. As a viewer, you want to make sure that these messages are heard and are translated into a more impactful effect. Make sure to learn from these characters and their stories and you can contribute to the advocacy!

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Cannabis & Technology

LegitScript Kicks Off CBD e-Commerce Certification Program

Daniel King

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CBD Ecommerce Cert

LegitScript recently announced the launching of its new certification program for CBD products and websites that comply with regulators.

The leading issuer of merchant and product certification in the e-commerce and payment sectors opens application for certifying cannabidiol products and websites that comply with DEA, FDA, and USDA regulations. The certification will also cover laws within a specific state.

The program aims to bring transparency and organization to the CBD industry, LegitScript CEO John Horton said.

By getting the LegitScript seal, merchants can now show proof that they comply with applicable laws and regulations.  The seal will give internet platforms, banks, and consumers confidence that the CBD merchant they are dealing with sell only legal and safe CBD products, Horton added.

Horton also stated that while the federal government legalized some cannabidiol products, many remain illegal. Most of the products that did not pass federal regulation primarily include ingestible products and those that contain more than the standard trace amounts of THC.

Through the certification program, LegitScript will review and check the validity of marketing claims for consumer protection, apart from ensuring compliance with the guidance of regulators.

As a leading third-party certification expert, particularly in complex and high-risk sectors, LegitScript’s services are acknowledged and used by government agencies, search engines, credit card companies, and e-commerce platforms all over the world.

At present, policies of most internet platforms and payment providers prohibit sales of all CBD products, Horton said. Through the certification, LegitScript is working with some internet and payment partners to use its certification program as a way to reduce their regulatory risk. Through the program, the company can also help in promoting greater acceptance of safe and legally compliant CBD products.

Opens Opportunities for Some Industries

Despite facing scrutiny from regulators and politicians, the CBD industry remains thriving. For some digital payment and e-commerce companies, the industry is a great opportunity that awaits tapping.  One of the companies that expressed its desire to get involved in the CDB industry is Square. The digital payments company has recently announced its plan to launch a payment processing service for the market.

According to some reports, giant retailers Target and Walmart have been meeting with manufacturers of cannabidiol-infused products. Retailers are also reportedly requesting for samples of CBD items apart from pricing data and lab results.

Some larger chains have begun to offer CBD topical creams to help provide relief to pain and wrinkles in states where they are legal.

With the LegitScript certification program, digital payment providers, retailers, and other companies can have a better assurance of the safety and legality of CBD products sold in the market.

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