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21 for Booze, 25 for High-THC Weed? Raising the Age Limit to Buy High-THC Cannabis Products to 25 Years-Old?



25 to buy legal weed in washington

In 1996, California made history by becoming the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then, 40 states and the District of Columbia have followed suit, legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis. Moreover, 24 states and the District of Columbia have gone a step further, allowing recreational or adult use of cannabis, although four of them are yet to establish commercial retail markets. Similar to alcohol regulations, the minimum age for cannabis use in all these instances is set at 21.


However, in Washington, there is a proposed bill aiming to increase the minimum legal sale age for cannabis products with over 35% THC concentration to 25 years. The bill, known as House Bill 2320, focuses on “high-THC cannabis products” and was introduced to the Washington state House Committee on Regulated Substances and Gaming by Representatives Lauren Davis (D-Shoreline) and Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) on January 11, with a public hearing scheduled for January 16. The proponents argue that products with high THC content pose both physical and mental risks that demand attention. Additionally, the proposed legislation includes exemptions for qualified patients and designated medical providers.


Assessing the Risks of High-THC Cannabis Products


Davis remarked, “Currently, there is no legal restraint on the potency of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis concentrates. Cannabis vape oils, dabs, and shatter are commonly available with a THC potency reaching nearly 100%—a tenfold increase in strength since cannabis legalization in 2012. These concentrated products are distinct and pose significant risks,” according to KOIN 06.


Dent stated, “The landscape of the cannabis industry has undergone substantial changes since its legalization. This legislation is essential to navigate the dynamic market and implement measures to safeguard both cannabis users and our youth.”


As outlined by Cannabis Business Times, back in November 2012, Washington, alongside Colorado, was the pioneering state to legalize cannabis for adult use. Commencing sales in 2014, both states allowed the sale of adult-use cannabis to individuals aged 21 and older. Subsequently, 18 additional states have embraced similar legalization measures. However, if the proposed bill is ratified, the minimum age for cannabis sales will increase to 25. Advocates for cannabis legalization in the U.S. argue for harmonizing the age limit with that of alcohol sales. Conversely, lawmakers in certain state governments, adhering to more conservative perspectives, have proposed elevating the cannabis age limit to 25 years, citing the ongoing development of the human brain up to that age as justification.


While the brain concludes its growth in size during early adolescence, its development and maturation persist until the mid-to-late 20s. The prefrontal cortex, situated behind the forehead, is one of the last areas to undergo full maturation, influencing vital skills like planning, prioritization, and decision-making. Although there is evidence suggesting that cannabis can impact the developing teenage brain, advocating for delaying its use until adulthood, the proposed bill to elevate the permissible age for cannabis use from 21 to 25 appears somewhat impractical. This is because, when observing human behaviour and the limited efficacy of current prohibition measures, or even comparing it to the drinking age, the bill seems unlikely to have a substantial impact other than further restricting legal markets.


Scientific Basis and Criticisms of Proposed Cannabis Age Increase


The bill’s proponents contend that their rationale is supported by the research conducted by scientists from Washington State University and the University of Washington, relying on a November 2020 report titled “Cannabis Concentration and Health Risks.”


According to the report, “The use of cannabis with high THC concentration increases the likelihood of developing cannabis use disorder or addiction, especially among adolescents,” as stated by the university researchers. They further highlight that “Daily cannabis use, particularly with high-potency products, heightens the risk of developing a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, and is associated with an earlier onset of symptoms compared to individuals who do not use cannabis.”


Although the bill incorporates such language, David and Dent omitted the detail that this evidence specifically addresses the effects of THC on individuals aged 14 to 19, not the target demographic of adults aged 21 to 25, who would be impacted by the bill if enacted.


Furthermore, the bill proposes that Washington’s Department of Health establish voluntary training programs for retail cannabis staff to educate them on potential health and safety impacts. Additionally, it mandates the University of Washington’s Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) to implement guidelines for healthcare providers and patients identified as “at risk of severe complications from cannabis use.”


Critics argue that this initiative represents another costly and bureaucratic misuse of taxpayer funds, manipulating scientific findings that could otherwise serve practical purposes.


Examining the Potential Impact on Cannabis Market Dynamics and Legalization Advocacy


The proposal to raise the legal cannabis age to 25 in Washington has triggered a nuanced conversation about its potential effects on the cannabis market and broader legalization advocacy. Advocates for the bill contend that it represents a proactive measure to address the rising potency of THC in cannabis products, particularly those with concentrations exceeding 35%. Proponents argue that this targeted approach is essential to mitigate potential health risks associated with high-THC products, echoing concerns about addiction and mental health issues. However, critics raise questions about the practicality of such legislation, expressing concerns that it might inadvertently contribute to a more complex regulatory landscape without substantially impacting cannabis usage patterns.


Additionally, the proposed bill sparks discussions on aligning cannabis regulations with those governing alcohol. While proponents advocate for consistency in age limits, critics argue that cannabis and alcohol affect individuals differently, warranting a nuanced approach to their regulation. The ongoing discourse reflects the challenges in finding a balanced regulatory framework that safeguards public health without stifling the cannabis industry’s growth. As the bill undergoes scrutiny and a public hearing, stakeholders continue to explore its potential implications, considering both the immediate impact on the cannabis market and the broader implications for the evolving landscape of cannabis legalization in the United States.


Bottom Line


The proposed bill in Washington, aiming to elevate the legal cannabis age to 25, has initiated a contentious discussion, blending concerns over public health, industry repercussions, and the broader context of cannabis legalization. While advocates stress the importance of addressing the perceived risks linked to high-THC products, skeptics question the practicality of the legislation and its potential impact on an already intricate regulatory framework. The ongoing discourse explores parallels with alcohol regulations, underscoring the nuanced considerations in aligning age limits for substances with distinct effects. As the legislative process unfolds, stakeholders face the challenge of striking a balance that ensures public welfare without impeding the growth of the evolving cannabis industry. The examination of scientific evidence, potential market dynamics, and the broader implications for legalization advocacy paints a complex picture, prompting a thorough evaluation of the proposed measures and their real-world implications.





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How Legal is CBD, Really?




The legality of CBD remains a subject of considerable debate. Despite the fact that many CBD companies[1]  have now existed for more than a decade, the legal context surrounding this non-intoxicating cannabinoid remains muddy for the average shopper. In this guide, we’ll explore the legality of CBD in detail, examining the implications along the way.

History of CBD Laws

Extracts of Cannabis sativa have been widely prepared and sold for centuries beyond count. It’s unclear exactly when human beings and cannabis intersected, but it’s believed cannabis has been a part of daily life at least as long as apples and potatoes.


It’s only recently that laws have turned discriminatory toward cannabis. Starting in Europe in the 19th century, this anti-cannabis fervor eventually reached the United States, spurring the “Reefer Madness” craze that ultimately led to cannabis being illegalized with the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.


In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act sealed the deal, and hemp was not grown in considerable acreage until academic pilot programs began resurfacing in the early 2000s. By the early 2010s, legal loopholes were identified at the federal level that allowed CBD commerce to emerge online.


In 2014 and 2018, the United States Congress gave CBD the nod with Farm Bills that facilitated hemp cultivation and commerce. Not much has changed in the ensuing years, however, leading to a hemp economy that has begun to stagnate in some sectors.

Recent Developments in CBD Legislation

Cannabis-related measures continue to be proposed at both the state and federal level. Few of them focus specifically on CBD, however, which remains in a gray area loosely delineated by the 2018 Farm Bill and subsequent clarifications from the FDA, DEA, and USDA.


It appears the situation with CBD will remain unclear federally for the foreseeable future. There seems to be an “unwritten rule” that upstanding CBD companies will not run afoul of federal agencies as long as their conduct meets a certain unofficial threshold.


The FDA continues to issue warning letters to CBD companies that violate the dictates of the 2018 Farm Bill, but enforcement is rare and usually amounts to relatively small fines. At the state level, legislators continue to evolve their stances on CBD and related products, mainly in an effort to siphon tax revenue.

Potential Future CBD Regulations

Over time, the slew of largely unrelated hemp and cannabis laws continuously being produced by Congress may begin to amount to a comprehensive federal stance on cannabinoids. At this current juncture, however, cannabinoid regulations ever more commonly have less to do with the shopper’s interests and more to do with securing government revenue.


The ideal solution that hemp proponents have expounded for years, namely that CBD be judged an over-the-counter substance, appears further and further away as time goes by. At present, it seems the de facto approach is to not address the underlying legality of cannabinoids but to instead determine how best they should be taxed.


It might not be an ideal situation, but for the average CBD producer, this is still good news. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when it seemed the federal government was on the verge of attempting to ban CBD products outright. Though the current circumstances may remain muddy, at least there’s no longer any indication that the federal government is antithetical to hemp and CBD overall.

CBD Legality: The Bottom Line

As we finish up, it’s important to carefully address a few final points:

CBD regulations vary by state

For most intents and purposes, CBD can be considered federally legal. Each state has its own laws and regulations pertaining to CBD and other cannabinoids, however, some of which are more restrictive than others. CBD laws can be restrictive both in states that are firmly anti-cannabis and in those that have newer adult-use cannabis industries that suffer from direct competition with online CBD vendors.

No medical claims

CBD is certainly not legal when it is advertised as offering medical benefits. It’s fine to reference evidence that CBD might be useful for a particular ailment. To outright say that CBD treats or cures a medical condition, is tantamount to asking for the scrutiny of the federal government.

Professionalism first

The CBD companies that are currently succeeding are those that go above and beyond. Clean products, transparent communication, impeccable certification: these are the hallmarks of the future’s top CBD brands. Focusing on quality will make it less likely to flub regulations.

Respect CBD

CBD is a powerful compound, and it comes from a plant that has an amazing power to heal. Put CBD’s benefits first and foremost, and you’ll find that your company naturally begins to fit the parameters that both shoppers and regulators approve of most.

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California Cities: Prohibition Doesn’t Work




California has a population of nearly 40 million, six years of cannabis licensing, but only has about 1,200 licensed dispensaries. These stores are mostly spread out in highly populated areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and so on. The problem is that many California cities still prohibit cannabis licensing, even in places where a majority of the locals approved the state’s recreational cannabis program in 2016. This is a massive problem and is one of the key reasons the illegal market thrives. Let’s look at why that is the case and what these cities can do to change it.

Why prohibition doesn’t work

When the government prohibits something, there is an existing market for that thing, and a fear on the part of the government (justifiable or otherwise) that failure to prohibit it would lead to some kind of societal harm. Because there is an existing market for the thing, there is necessarily some kind of demand for it. If the government bans the thing, some people will realize that the potential cost (prison, fines, stigma, etc.) outweighs the benefit, and demand will go down.

But others will find that the benefit outweighs the potential cost, no matter how high it is — which is why people still roll the dice in countries like Singapore that will execute drug traffickers. So while prohibition may decrease demand, it won’t end it. And so long as there is some demand, again, some people will roll the dice.

This is exactly what has happened in the decades since cannabis was prohibited. If prohibition were an effective deterrent, then you would expect there not to be a high level of use or incarceration. But we’ve seen the opposite. There have been millions of people arrested and incarcerated for violating the Controlled Substances Act and state-law counterparts. It’s pretty clear then that these laws don’t have their intended effects, which brings me to the next point.

What problems are California cities creating?

When California voters passed the state’s flagship recreational licensing law in 2016, California cities were given an immense amount of control over the new industry. Perhaps realizing the initiative would face strong opposition if it took power away from cities, the drafters included provisions that allowed California cities to completely ban cannabis activities within their limits. These provisions led to local bans in vast swathes of the state.

While cities have slowly “come online” over the years, there are still vast swathes of the state without legal access to cannabis. In fact, many cities even sued the state when it tried to officially sanction statewide delivery rules. What this means is that there are still many California cities that prohibit cannabis.

If those cities are trying to eliminate local cannabis markets, I’ve got a bridge to sell them. Prohibition didn’t work before the state legalized cannabis, and it certainly won’t work when the state won’t lift a finger on enforcement. California cities that keep their bans alive are only bolstering their illegal markets and making it more difficult for the legal market to survive.

What California cities should be doing to combat the illegal market

I recently corresponded with Hirsh Jain of Ananda Strategy, who believes that the state needs 4,000 to 5,000 dispensaries to carry the legal market. And those dispensaries shouldn’t just be in Los Angeles or San Diego. They’d need to be dispersed across the state so that people have access and the legal dispensaries could compete with the illegal ones (and ideally put them out of business). If more California cities don’t end prohibition, illegal dispensaries and delivery services will continue to operate whether they like it or not.

That said, there are other things that California cities can do to combat the illegal market without allowing brick-and-mortar sales. One big one would be to allow outside delivery services to deliver into their borders. While the state did pass a law attempting to expand statewide access to medical cannabis deliveries, that fails to include the much larger recreational market. It also likely excludes potential medical cannabis purchasers who don’t want to or don’t have the resources to obtain a physician’s recommendation or medical marijuana ID card (MMIC).

Expanding retail deliveries would be a win-win for the legal market and cities alike. Yet for some reason, California cities fought it tooth and nail. While those cities may have thought they won, the real victory belonged to the illegal market, which continues to grow and grow.

If the legal market is to survive, California cities are going to have to make compromises when it comes to cannabis prohibition. After all, cannabis is still being sold within their borders. For some of my thoughts on California’s problematic illegal market, check out these posts:

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The Good ‘Dirty Little Secret’ about Weed




cannabis marijuana secrets


You may remember that Justin Timberlake once said, “Some people are just better on weed”. Well, if he was referring to people with ADHD or ADD, he may be right.  While many studies on marijuana for ADD or ADHD show great results to help people with “scatter” brain start to focus, UFC Sean O’Malley is the latest person to preach the plants’ benefits for focus.

Bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley breaks the stereotype associated with marijuana users. At 29, he incorporates marijuana into his training regimen to achieve a state of intense focus, which appears to yield positive results.


In an interview with Demetrious Johnson, O’Malley clarified misconceptions about his marijuana use: “Contrary to popular belief, I don’t consume as much as people assume.” Asserting his professionalism as an athlete, he claims to excel in managing his recovery compared to others in the UFC, attributing it to his disciplined habits and routines.


Recognizing the potential drawbacks of smoking on lung health and conditioning, O’Malley adopts measures to safeguard his fitness standards. He opts for vaporizing marijuana, particularly during training camps, using a high-quality vaporizer once daily instead of traditional methods like joints, bongs, pipes, or dabbing.


O’Malley reveals that during specific training sessions, such as longer, lower-intensity workouts lasting up to 60 minutes, he trains while under the influence, leveraging marijuana to enhance his focus. However, he acknowledges the importance of using it as a tool responsibly, cautioning against falling into unproductive habits like aimlessly watching YouTube while high.


The upcoming UFC 299 main event on March 9 sees O’Malley defending his 135-pound championship title for the first time against his rival, Marlon “Chito” Vera. Seeking redemption for his only career loss, which Vera inflicted upon him at UFC 252 in August 2020, O’Malley is determined to emerge victorious.


The Science Behind O’Malley’s Approach


Sean O’Malley’s use of cannabis to increase concentration during training begs interesting concerns concerning the relationship between marijuana use and athletics. Cannabis includes chemicals like THC and CBD that interact with the brain’s endocannabinoid system to influence a variety of physiological activities, despite being frequently linked to relaxation and altered perception.


Studies suggest that low to moderate doses of THC may improve focus, creativity, and cognitive performance in some individuals, potentially explaining O’Malley’s reported ability to “hyper-focus” during workouts. Additionally, CBD, another prominent compound in cannabis, has been linked to reduced anxiety and improved recovery, which could complement O’Malley’s training regimen.


However, the effects of cannabis on athletic performance remain complex and multifaceted. While some athletes may experience benefits in terms of concentration and relaxation, others may encounter impairments in coordination, reaction time, and cardiovascular function. Furthermore, individual responses to cannabis can vary widely based on factors such as dosage, method of consumption, and personal tolerance levels.


Experts caution that while cannabis may have its place as a performance-enhancing tool for certain athletes, careful consideration must be given to its potential drawbacks, including the risk of dependence, negative effects on lung health, and legal implications, particularly in professional sports settings.


O’Malley’s method offers as an engaging case study for negotiating the complex link between cannabis use and sports performance as researchers continue to investigate the physiological and psychological impacts of cannabis. O’Malley starts a wider discussion about the place of cannabis in contemporary sports training and competition by illuminating the science underlying his unorthodox training techniques.


Managing Marijuana Use in Professional Athletics


Navigating the use of marijuana in professional athletics involves a delicate balance between personal choice, regulatory compliance, and performance optimization. Despite evolving attitudes toward cannabis, organizations like the UFC maintain stringent anti-doping policies, prohibiting its use above specified thresholds during competition periods. Athletes such as Sean O’Malley must therefore carefully manage their marijuana consumption to ensure adherence to these guidelines while still leveraging its potential benefits for training and recovery.


For O’Malley and others incorporating cannabis into their routines, managing marijuana use requires strategic planning and adherence to regulatory standards. This involves selecting consumption methods and timing consumption to minimize the risk of exceeding allowable THC thresholds during testing. O’Malley’s transparency about his usage patterns and advocacy for responsible consumption practices set a precedent for athletes navigating the complex landscape of drug policy in professional sports.


Professional sports may see more changes in policies and attitudes as talks about decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis continue. Athletes who are willing to share their personal stories and advocate for more nuanced approaches to drug policy, such as O’Malley, are vital in influencing this conversation. Going forward, managing the changing link between cannabis usage and sports performance will need constant communication and cooperation between players, coaches, and regulating authorities.


O’Malley’s Training Rituals: Balancing Intensity and Recovery


Gain insight into Sean O’Malley’s methodical strategy to integrating cannabis into his routine while striking a balance between intensity and recuperation by learning about his training rituals. To maximize effectiveness in the octagon, O’Malley’s training regimen combines focused rest times with intense sessions in a calculated manner.


The understanding that efficient recuperation is equally as important as intense exercise is at the heart of O’Malley’s training philosophy. O’Malley makes sure that his body can adjust and get stronger in response to the demands of his training routine by using restorative habits like healthy eating, drinking enough of water, and getting enough sleep. When utilized responsibly, cannabis is another weapon in O’Malley’s toolbox that he can employ to improve concentrate during longer, lower-intensity sessions without jeopardizing his recuperation.


O’Malley is a perfect example of the value of an all-encompassing approach to sports training as he strikes a balance between effort and recuperation. O’Malley reduces the chance of injury and fatigue while simultaneously optimizing his performance capacity by placing equal emphasis on restorative techniques and physical activity. O’Malley’s training regimens are always being improved, and his techniques are proof of the need of smart, individualized approaches to physical preparation for success in the UFC and other competitions.


Bottom Line


Sean O’Malley’s pioneering approach to incorporating cannabis into his training regimen challenges stereotypes and opens up discussions about its potential benefits and drawbacks in professional athletics. His transparency and advocacy for responsible usage set a precedent for athletes navigating complex drug policies while seeking performance optimization. As attitudes toward cannabis continue to evolve, ongoing dialogue and collaboration among athletes, coaches, and governing bodies will be crucial in shaping policies that balance regulatory compliance with individual health and performance goals. O’Malley’s dedication to balancing intensity and recovery underscores the importance of personalized, holistic approaches to training, serving as a blueprint for athletes striving for success in high-level competitions like the UFC.





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