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Federal Rescheduling Of Marijuana Could Lead To Cascade Of State-Level Changes

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If the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reschedules marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), experts say the change would not only have big implications for cannabis at the federal level, but could also cause series of legal adjustments in states.

As the result of so-called “trigger laws,” most U.S. states would either automatically reschedule marijuana to follow a change in its federal status or would begin a process to reclassify the substance. The ripple effect could impact politics, criminal justice and medical marijuana, among other issues.

Broadly, states fall into one of three categories in terms of their response to federal rescheduling. In slightly more than half, a federal scheduling change automatically triggers state-level rescheduling. In others, federal rescheduling would initiate a process requiring further action by the state legislature or a controlling state authority. And about 10 states don’t directly tie their scheduling decisions to  drug’s federal status.

That’s according to Shawn Hauser, an attorney who co-chairs cannabis-focused law firm Vicente LLP’s hemp and cannabinoids department.

“The majority of states have a state scheduling procedure automatically triggered by a schedule change” at the federal level, she told Marijuana Moment. “The state is required under the state law to control the substance in accordance with state law, unless there’s an objection by the state regulatory body.”

In Texas, for example, rescheduling would happen automatically under the state’s trigger law. The commissioner of the Department of State Health Services would have 30 days after receiving notice of federal rescheduling to similarly reschedule, unless the commissioner objects.

Among other potential changes, the state-level shift could give Texans broader access to high-THC medical marijuana. Currently patients are limited to products containing no more than one percent THC.

In automatic trigger states where cannabis is currently illegal for all uses, such as Idaho, rescheduling would essentially clear a path for medical marijuana, at least in certain cases.

In states without an automatic rescheduling process, further action would be required from the state legislature or another controlling authority, Hauser said. For example, in Kansas, lawmakers have the ability to make scheduling changes with recommendations from the Board of Pharmacy.

Such state-level rescheduling efforts were on display after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to Epidiolex, an oral solution of CBD, in 2018. The federal government subsequently moved CBD to Schedule V of the CSA. After that, the maker of Epidiolex, then known as GW Pharmaceuticals (now Jazz Pharmaceuticals), went state-by-state to ensure states made similar scheduling changes at the state level.

Yet other states have laws specifying that action is discretionary. In Virginia, for example, state law says regulators may amend rules in order to match scheduling changes at the federal level, but no formal action is required.

As for what effects state-level rescheduling would have on residents, impacts would likely vary significantly based on how the state currently handles marijuana, Hauser said.

In states that already have legal medical or adult-use cannabis, she expects little will change.

“I think in those states it would be moot,” she said, “because those states have already chosen to regulate marijuana less restrictively than federal law, knowing that the federal government likely isn’t going to enforce and pursuant federal enforcement priorities.”

Hauser doubted that states with mature cannabis systems would roll back their laws to adhere to strict Schedule III restrictions. “I think states like Colorado and Washington and others, with mature regulatory models and a mature industry, I don’t think this will turn back the clock on them,” she said.

States without any legal form of marijuana, meanwhile, would likely see at least limited access for medical patients as the eventual result of rescheduling, with the drug regulated more akin to other Schedule III substances, such as ketamine and Tylenol with codeine—at least once additional FDA-approved cannabis medicines become available. The process of FDA approval, however, could take years and require millions of dollars in research and application fees.

Beyond those formal legal changes, Hauser also expects broader state-level rescheduling to have a political impact by fueling the changing conversation around cannabis—among doctors, elected officials, law enforcement and others.

“As we’ve seen with the way it’s federally classified,” she said, “the way it’s classified at the state level colors how doctors look at it, how government officials look at it, how police look at it, parents—everyone.”

“Schedule III means it has an acknowledgment of medical use and lower potential for abuse,” she continued. “That’s going to make it a much different conversation with doctors and in health care and in conversations with government.”

In addition to helping facilitate broader reform around medical marijuana, Hauser said that perspective could also change how law enforcement handles cannabis cases. While she noted that most marijuana crimes are based on volume and not on the drug’s specific schedule, she said prosecutors and sentencing judges might nevertheless take into consideration marijuana’s lower schedule when processing cases.

“Viewing cannabis in the lens of Schedule I, it’s shaped prosecutors and it’s shaped judges,” she said.

The changes could also put further pressure on governors to pardon people with past cannabis convictions, especially for simple possession.

“When Biden made the announcement to reschedule cannabis, he also pardoned federal prisonerswhich, there are a few—and directed state governors to do the same,” Hauser said. “Much of what needs to happen at the pardon level is at the states.”

Rescheduling at the state level would provide another opportunity.

Meanwhile, as DEA reviews the federal marijuana rescheduling recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), some opponents have attempted to scuttle the process.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), for one, filed a legislative amendment to block the Biden administration from rescheduling cannabis. The provision would prevent federal funds from being used to “deschedule, reschedule, or reclassify marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act.

Sessions recently led a letter urging DEA to “reject” the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana and instead keep it in the most restrictive category under the CSA.

In September, two Republican senators introduced a separate bill that would strip DEA of its rescheduling power, preventing all federal agencies from rescheduling cannabis without approval from Congress.

That same month, 14 GOP lawmakers sent a letter urging DEA to reject the marijuana rescheduling recommendation.

While marijuana rescheduling would not federally legalize access through current state-level medical cannabis programs, it would free up research into the plant and have significant implications for the marijuana industry.

Congressional lawmakers across party lines have applauded the top health agency’s recommendation. Some have described it as an important “step” on the path to federal legalization. Others have claimed credit for the move, pointing to their years of advocacy around marijuana reform.


Written by Ben Adlin for  Marijuana Moment.





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Organic farming and regenerative agriculture

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In the vibrant yet challenging landscape of California’s cannabis community, Sun Roots Farm is a rare gem situated in Covelo, California. Driving up its winding entrance will lead to a picturesque landscape, unveiling the incredible experience of visiting the farm’s gorgeous gardens. There, you’ll be greeted by towering cannabis plants reaching 12+ feet high and weighing an impressive 10 – 20 pounds each.

Founded by Forrest Gauder and Patricia Vargas, Sun Roots Farm is a testament to the resilience and integrity within the cannabis community.

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Owners Forrest Gauder and Patricia Vargas among Sun Roots Farm’s huge cannabis plants

By embracing a lifestyle around sustainability, they’ve created an enchanting, forest-like atmosphere with their approach, growing massive plants requiring a ladder for proper care. This landscape is common in Mendocino County, and due to dry weather, it makes for the perfect environment for growing colossal cannabis plants.

The founders’ vision of regeneration

Over the past 12 years, Gauder and Vargas have transformed Sun Roots Farm into their permanent residence. With its foundation rooted in regenerative agriculture, the couple not only cultivates cannabis plants but also tends to various vegetables, herbs, fruits, fungi, native medicinal plants, and perennial gardens. 

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Fruits, herbs, and vegetables grow healthy on the farm

To nourish their garden, they rely on contributions from their animals, with coops full of chickens and fields of alpacas serving as an exemplary model of regenerative agricultural practices. The farm aims to increase biodiversity and introduce closed-loop farming, where farmers recycle all organic material back into the soil and the farm. This system fosters a harmonious coexistence between the land and its inhabitants.

Exclusive seeds and strains 

The farm takes pride in its commitment to exclusive seed cultivation, a distinctive approach that sets them apart. Gauder described the process: “We grow all our plants from seed yearly. From the year before, we’ll select pollen and put it on certain plants to make new [strains] — we’ll then collect those seeds. By the middle of February, we’ll crack open the chosen varieties, starting them in a greenhouse … and propagating them until they reach five-gallon pots.”

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
All Sun Roots Farm strains are grown from seed each year

The decision to grow exclusively from seed is rooted in the farm’s philosophy of embracing genetic variability and maximizing plant vigor. “The reason behind growing from seed … is the genetic variability,” said Vargas. “We grow exclusively from seed. Local breeding has played a pivotal role in shaping plants that are finely adapted to the valley’s conditions, showcasing positive characteristics such as mold resistance, pest resistance, frost resilience, and more.” 

Sun Roots Farm’s staple strain is Velvet Purps, bred locally over ten years ago. This strain descends from the valley and is made from various crosses by Gauder’s family and colleagues. Its origin begins with Jah Goo, crossbred with its brother T2 and Magic Bus, giving rise to a cultivar with impressive purple characteristics.

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Sun Roots Farm’s outdoor grown Velvet Purps

“The plant produces anthocyanins to protect itself, but it’s also purple,” explained Gauder. “You can find anthocyanins and all sorts of fruits and vegetables, too. It’s the pigment, the color. This compound has beneficial aspects when consumed by humans, like antioxidants, and it protects the plant. We had a bad frost a few years ago that destroyed a lot of gardens around here, but all our purple plants were just fine.”

Packed with trichomes and a captivating blend of berry and pine aromas, Velvet Purps luxuriously unfolds on the palate. This unique strain, locally bred and cultivated by Sun Roots Farm and a select few friends only, expresses a distinctive charm. Beyond its sensory delights, it delivers a tranquil and relaxing buzz, making it an ideal choice for evening consumption. 

In a market saturated with options, the exclusivity of strains like Velvet Purps emphasizes the farm’s commitment to offering something truly exceptional.

A farm dedicated to sustainable practices 

The farm is also Dragonfly Earth Medicine (DEM) certified. “To be DEM is to achieve a certification beyond organic through third-party verification,” explained Vargas, “It’s a community committed to intentional growth and the creation of closed-loop systems.”

Sun Roots Farm maximizes what the land naturally provides, whether it’s blackberry vines for tea or alpaca manure from their animals. “It’s similar to a homesteading lifestyle,” Vargas continued, “incorporating the cultivation of cannabis with an element of integrity into the product.” From closed-loop systems and water conservation to wildlife sanctuaries and companion planting, the farm is a testament to sustainable living techniques. 

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Chickens contribute to the sustainable practices used at the farm

Vargas also emphasized the importance of observation and mindfulness in their approach, “Take a moment to observe before you go ahead and start harvesting or before you go ahead and start crunching all over the earth.” Gauder added, “As long as we keep stuff covered in the garden, magic always happens. So we’re feeding the bugs, which eat the material on the ground that feeds the plants. It’s a continual cycle of life, rebirth, death, life, rebirth, death.”

The farm extends its commitments beyond the cultivation season. After harvest, they break down plants, mulch with oak leaves, and cover them with hay, creating a winter blanket that transforms into a layer of beautiful topsoil come spring. 

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Gauder lighting up a rose petal joint made from roses grown on their property

At Sun Roots Farm, a calming environment and sustainable living encourage a deeper connection to the products they make and the ones we consume. The farm is a reality where integrity, intention, and regenerative practices converge to create a sanctuary of sustainable cultivation in the heart of California.





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8 cannabis gift ideas for your Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and if you’ve been thinking about the perfect gift for your sweetheart, consider these infused options. From boxes of stoney chocolate hearts to ultra-relaxing THC massage oils, there’s something charming and sweet for every type of cannabis consumer.

Love Drops from 1906 

Courtesy of 1906

Meant for everyone to enjoy and experience, 1906’s Love Drops contain a 2.5:2.5 ratio of THC to CBD. They’re made with the popular hybrid Blue Dream and a blend of arousing plants like Damiana and Muira Puama. 

Customer review: “So these really do work. I was skeptical at first because I had tried several other ‘arousal products’ that never affected me. LET ME TELL YOU THESE WORK. I took one last night and had the best … well, you know… of my life! I haven’t felt like that since I was 19. THANK YOU for these; they have saved my sex life.” — CherishL

Available: Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania

Chocolate hearts from Soft Power Sweets

Courtesy of Soft Power Sweets

A stoney take on an age-old classic, New York-based Soft Power Sweets recently released a line of infused vegan and gluten-free chocolate hearts perfect for the edibles lover. These vintage-inspired High, I Love You boxes come with five heart-shaped chocolates, each containing 10 milligrams of THC. Find them at Verdi and Dazed dispensaries. 

Not in the mood for hearts? Check out the brand’s vegan Dulce de Leche Chocolate Caramels for an extra-sweet kick on V-day.

Available: New York

Massage oil from Evergreen Organix

Courtesy of Evergreen Organix

Each bottle of Evergreen Organix Intimate Massage Oil houses 100 milligrams of THC and is free of fragrance and harsh ingredients, so you can get down with your love whenever the mood hits. 

Customer review: “Picked this up in Vegas at Reef Dispensary, and WOW, that stuff was 100% worth every penny.” — JTM1973

Available: Nevada

Arousing strain: Bubblegum Kush

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Thought to induce feelings of arousal and intimacy, Bubblegum Kush is a popular pick for couples wanting to get closer. A cross between Bubblegum and an unknown Kush strain, it’s a tasty indica-dominant cultivar with notes of citrus and fruit. Roll it in a joint, drop it in a dab rig, or hit it from a bong before a cozy night-in. 

White chocolate bars from MKX Oil Co

Courtesy of MKX Oil Co

MKX Oil Co. goes beyond the usual dark and milk varieties with its smooth white chocolate bar featuring 100 or 200 milligrams of THC.

Customer review: “The white chocolate bar is made from some of the best chocolate money can buy. I could barely detect any THC in the taste, but definitely could feel the effects. This one’s already a favorite for me.” — jonpenn

Available: Michigan

Macarons from Hervé

Courtesy of Hervé

Skip the chocolates and go for these gorgeous hand-crafted macarons from Hervé. Your loved one will appreciate their beauty, delicious taste, and 10 milligrams of THC per treat. Bonus: they’re also gluten-free and dusted with real 23K gold for a touch of luxury. Find them in three flavors: Chocolate Ganache, Raspberry Buttercream, and Salted Caramel.

Customer review: “So tasty and just the right amount of lift. Will leave you wanting more.” — luckilycrazy88

Available: California

DrinkLoud Cucumber Haze THC Shots from Rove

Courtesy of Rove

Planning a date night at home? Whip up a couple of infused mocktails with DrinkLoud’s Cucumber Haze THC Shots from Rove. Each bottle contains 100 milligrams of THC and can be enjoyed alone, on the rocks, or mixed with lemonades, sodas, and sparkling waters. 

Customer review: “If you are looking for a tasty drink to float out into cloud 9. This is it right here! The cucumber flavor is a yummy & refreshing taste, and you can’t even taste the cannabis! I drank it straight from the bottle, it hit me fast. Munchies set in for sure. Be ready to lay back and enjoy the high.” — banananuts240 

Available: California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Nevada

1:3 CBD:THC Releaf Body Oil from Papa & Barkley 

Courtesy of Papa & Barkley

Give your love the gift of relaxation with Papa & Barkley’s 1:3 CBD:THC Releaf Body Oil. Made with cannabis, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, and other natural oils, it can offer rest and ease for those dealing with general muscle aches, pain, and inflammation. 

Customer review: “If you feel any sort of tension or tightness in your body, have a loved one rub some of this on you and feel the relief within minutes. The aroma of the essential oils work together with the cannabinoids to combat tension in the body without any psychoactive effects.” — GreatHeights

Available: California





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7 best cannabis products for Game Day

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Hosting or heading to a Game Day party? Along with the usual beer, wings, and jalapeño poppers, consider bringing a few infused options for a stoney gathering with fans and friends. 

Good News and The Fifty/50 Buffalo Wing Sauce 

Good News wing sauceCourtesy of Good News

For a limited time and only while supplies last, cannabis brand Good News and Chicago sports bar The Fifty/50 are offering an infused mild buffalo wing sauce just in time for game day. Available at Sunnyside dispensaries in River North, Wrigleyville, Schaumburg, and Buffalo Grove, each jar contains 100 milligrams of THC — 10 milligrams per 1-ounce serving.

For the best experience, add one serving to your desired amount of wings and toss to evenly coat. 

Available: Illinois

Wyld 1:1 THC:CBC Blood Orange Gummies 

WYLD blood orange  gummiesCourtesy of WYLD

Made with real fruit, Wyld’s 1:1 blood orange gummies meld 10 milligrams of cannabichromene (CBC), thought to be an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, with 10 milligrams of THC, resulting in a sweet crowd-pleaser that may also quell aches and pains. 

Customer review: “They have a pleasant aroma, a great taste, and offer good value for the money. Plus, they effectively help me relax my body.” — toni_lou

Available: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington

Strain: Jack Herer

Game day spread with weed and chipsGina Coleman/Weedmaps

Rolled into a joint, loaded in a pipe or bong, or dropped into a dab rig, Jack Herer is a classic daytime strain that typically gives way to an energetic and social buzz.  

Free Space CBD Seltzers

Free Space CBD seltzers 4-packCourtesy of Free Space

A collaboration between Missouri-based Proper Cannabis, 4 Hands Brewing Co., and Mighty Kind, Free Space is a line of CBD seltzers that offer a non-psychoactive and non-alcoholic alternative to the usual options. Sold as singles and in 4-packs, they come in Mango Passionfruit (20mg CBD) or Apricot Elderflower (10mg CBD).

Available: Missouri

Dogwalkers Play Mini Pre-rolls

Dogwalkers pre-rolls canCourtesy of Dogwalkers

Don’t care about the commercials? Take a break between plays with a few puffs from Dogwalkers’ Play mini pre-rolls. They’re the ideal size for a quick sesh so you can get back to watching the game. 

Customer review: “…these smoked so well, and I legitimately hit them when I walked my dog. They were the perfect length for a nice buzz” — CyrusPro

Available: ​​Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Nevada

Detroit Edibles Bee Sting Honey

Detroit Edibles Bee Sting HoneyCourtesy of Detroit Edibles

If you plan on honey-glazed wings or a sweet-and-salty snack mix for the game-day feast, consider mixing your regular honey with a serving of Detroit Edibles’ Bee Sting Honey. Each jar contains 100 milligrams of THC. 

Customer review: “Absolutely delicious, perfect blend between body and head high. Relaxing without being sedating, you can use this in a million ways! I always keep some on hand!” — Kayseepee

Available: Illinois

Ayrloom Unflavored Beverage Enhancer

Ayrloom Unflavored Beverage EnhancerCourtesy of Ayrloom

Simple and efficient, you can infuse any drink you like with Ayrloom’s unflavored beverage enhancer — it’s perfect for crafting unique mocktails if you’re not into beer. Each bottle contains 300 milligrams of THC.

Available: New York

The post 7 best cannabis products for Game Day appeared first on Weedmaps News.





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