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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

For Pleasure or Cure – How Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis Differ?

Jordan Webber

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Cannabis

Marijuana is getting the lion’s share of media attention in relation to health after 33 US states legalized the plant specifically for medicinal use. What’s interesting is that 10 of these states also gave the green light for the use of pot for recreational purposes.

You may ask, how come ten states have approved the use of marijuana for pleasure while 22 states have restricted its use to medicinal? We will entrust the explanations to the politicians and medical authorities of these 33 states but, for this article, we’re more concerned with the difference between buying weed from a state that has only decriminalized medicinal cannabis and buying weed in a state that has legalized cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use.

Cannabis Law on Each State

Early History of Marijuana

To start with, let us first study the history of cannabis. The texts of the Chinese emperor, Shen Nung, dating back to 2737 BC, recorded the healing wonders of marijuana in the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria, absent-mindedness, and other medical conditions. The literature also made a small reference to the intoxicating and mood-changing properties of this drug.

While the Chinese focused on the therapeutic aspect of pot, both Ancient Indians and Muslims used it more recreationally. The early Muslims even used this plant as an alternative to liquor, which is prohibited by the Koran. Through trading, the Muslims introduced the use of weed to Persia (now Iran) and North Africa. By conquering the Iberian Peninsula, Muslims introduced the plant to Spain and Portugal too.

Pot Luck in the US

The Spanish conquest of North America paved the way for the introduction of cannabis to this New World in 1545. Meanwhile, the English started planting marijuana in Jamestown in 1611. Some of the medicines in the late 1800s contained marijuana. It was included in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 up to 1942.

Doctors prescribed pot as a cure for nausea, pains from labor, and rheumatism.

During the same period, the use of weed for recreation was also common. Also, in 1930s, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) noticed the addictive properties of pot. Since the 1970s, the government started focusing on the potential dangers of cannabis to people, including its intoxicating and mood-changing properties. In recent years, researchers have re-discovered the healing wonders of marijuana and, in response, 33 US states have approved its use as medication. Ten of these have also approved the use of weed for recreational purposes, much like alcohol and tobacco.

How Dispensaries Sell Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis

Now that you know the properties of weed through a brief historical reference, you now need to know how to buy medicinal and recreational marijuana.

• In the states that have legalized only medicinal pot, cannabis products can be sold exclusively to people with a medical cannabis card and valid ID proving that the buyer is an adult. Patients can only avail of the medical cannabis card upon the recommendation of their doctors. Dispensaries may request the prescription to sell weed products. Each state also has a list of medical conditions that qualify patients for the use of medicinal marijuana. The most common health conditions include epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Most products are cannabidiol-based.

• For those states where recreational cannabis has been decriminalized, you should produce valid ID showing that you are aged 21 or over. You can choose from accredited dispensaries in the area. Each of these shops has a unique look and feel as well as deals, promos, and product selection. It is also imperative for you to ask budtenders about their recommended strains, depending on your preferences. You should also choose different kinds of products. Check items such as Flower which is ready for smoking or vaporizing and Pre-rolls which are leaves that budtenders will roll for you. Moreover, you can also choose concentrates for vaping and edibles like cookies, chocolates, and drinks. Some shops also sell bath soaks, suppositories, and lubricants.

Remember these things the next time you plan to purchase cannabis, whether for medicinal or recreational use. You can also visit your doctor for the safe and productive use of cannabis.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Columbia Care Kicks Off First Cannabis Credit Card

Jordan Webber

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Columbia Care Cannabis Credit Card

Columbia Care announced the launch of its National Credit program with its CNC Card.

The medical marijuana company licensed to operate in the U.S. and 15 jurisdictions in the European Union said the launch of the card follows a successful test run in New York in the second half of 2018. The introduction of the card led to an 18% increase in the number of in-store purchases. Moreover, the card also helped boost repeat visits and home delivery orders.

With the card, people in the U.S. can now get a credit card for buying medical cannabis.

From New York, the Columbia Care will offer the program to its Delaware and Pennsylvania markets. Later, the company’s Illinois and Arizona customers can apply for the card. The firm aims to expand the reach of its program to all its locations by the end of 2019.

Cannabis Credit Card

Available initially only at Columbia Care dispensaries, the firm is looking into opportunities for expanding the availability of the card across the country through targeted partnerships.

Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said the firm aims on expanding the cannabis market in the country. Through the launching of the first cannabis credit card in the country, the company allows consumers and participants in the industry to purchase cannabis products.

He also said the card would act as a starting point of the company’s nationwide growth initiatives, including home delivery, the launching of an e-commerce site, and automatic fulfillment.

In addition to having a tool for an electronic form of payment, CNC cardholders can also be eligible for other benefits including discounts, cash back affinity programs, educational seminars, privileged access to new products and other exclusive offers.

Cannabis Banking Gaining Steam

Aside from having a cannabis credit card, medical marijuana customers may also enjoy the benefits of banking. Earlier this month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation that kicks off a three-year pilot program wherein cannabis firms could use an online system in sending and receiving digital currency.

Last month, the California State Senate passed a bill allowing financial institutions to offer products and services dedicated to cannabis financial transactions.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the legislation, around 900 bank branches in the state would be allowed to handle cannabis cash, California Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg said.

The federal government is also working on protecting legitimate cannabis financial transactions. Earlier this month, a U.S. House committee approved a bill that includes a provision that would safeguard banks serving legal marijuana businesses from getting penalized by federal financial regulators.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Church of England Backs Medical Cannabis Use and Investment

Stacey Wellington

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Church of England Cannabis Investments

The Church of England (CofE) has recently given the green light on the use of medical marijuana and cannabis investment.

The investment arm of CofE, the Church Commissioners of England, said it would lift its self-imposed ban on investing in medical cannabis. This reversal takes place at a time when many significant investment funds remain steadfast on so-called “sin stocks” or companies operating in industries facing legal uncertainties.

The CofE investment arm, which manages the church’s £12.6 billion ($16 billion) portfolios, had previously enforced an investment exclusion policy on cannabis. So far, it has not yet invested in companies related to the sector, Church Commissioners head of responsible investment, Edward Mason, said.

Mason said the change in CofE’s stand comes after it has made a distinction between recreational and medical cannabis. After realizing the potency of the plant’s medicinal properties, the church is content with its proper use for therapeutic reasons.

The UK government legalized medicinal cannabis in October 2018. However, only a fraction of British patients received a medical cannabis prescription, citing difficulty in persuading specialists about marijuana as a right medical option as a primary reason. Other reasons include the problems dispensaries face in obtaining licenses for cannabis-based products as well as the trouble in transporting them once they arrive in the country.

The Duality of Marijuana as an Investment

Like the Church Commissioners of England, other ethical investors are also starting to recognise the dual nature of marijuana as an investment. KLP Fund, an Oslo-based firm with $80 billion in assets, has recently sold its stocks in recreational cannabis. But it retains its stakes in medicinal marijuana

The AP Funds in Sweden also recommended the exclusion of recreational marijuana from its $180-billion portfolio. Like KLP, it said, it will still invest in medical marijuana companies. The Swedish fund referred to the recent guidance of the UN on both ethical investment and narcotics.

The CofE said it will not invest in companies that get more than 10% of their revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. This rate is the threshold the company uses for the majority of its other ethical exclusions, including tobacco, gambling, pornography, and lenders charging at high interests.

The UK’s church is known for publicly voicing its positions in ethical investment issues. It considers factors such as morality, environmental impact, corporate governance, and social good. It the past, the church has challenged ExxonMobil and Glencore by pressuring executives to improve their policies related to environment preservation.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

VA Restricts Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

Jordan Webber

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VA's Restriction to Medical Marijuana

Veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are having difficulty accessing medical marijuana for their medical conditions, says US News. The department has policies in place preventing doctors from prescribing medical cannabis to retired military personnel.

The VA has taken this move because of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. The policy applies even in medical facilities in states with legal medical marijuana. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal cannabis, 10 of which allows recreational use of the plant.

Marijuana laws in these states allow medicinal application for chronic pain, spasms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just to name a few. However, Lt. Col. Doug Distaso of the Air Force has not been able to access the plant for therapeutic purposes due to VA’s restrictions. Instead, Distaso was prescribed a ‘drug cocktail’ which causes him to undergo a ‘medicated stupor.’

Aside from Distaso, there are thousands of veterans experiencing chronic pain and treated using opioids. Moreover, these military personnel also retire from service with PTSD. Reports show that there are at least 20 deaths through suicide recorded every day.

According to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the Schedule I list is composed of drugs, substances, and chemicals that have nor currently accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Marijuana is listed along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The US News reports that the VA has only created two opportunities to discuss cannabis for veteran patients when they request information.

Meanwhile, veteran groups such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are calling for reforms to VA’s systems. These groups also promote cannabis for pain management and mental health illnesses. They also recognize the plant’s potential to address the opioid epidemic.

 

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