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Hemp Heaven vs. Hemp Hell



hemp heaven vs hemp hell


When hemp got freed up federally, Bud saw his long-held dream materialize – finally he could cultivate this misunderstood historian plant pioneered by the Founding Fathers he revered. He dove in headfirst, planting acre after acre of cannabidiol-rich hemp.


The first years proved bountiful, the versatile crop’s popularity booming for everything from fibers to extracts to essential oils. Pride swelled in Bud as his harvests rippled out, benefiting people’s lives across the country. He smiled imagining the Fathers nod approvingly.


Soon Bud’s state legalized recreational cannabis. After ensuring compliance boundaries, he expanded modestly into this new adjacent frontier, bolstering regional access to plant medicine. His operation began truly thriving, optimism higher than his homegrown Everest Kush.


But one morning dread crept in as Bud read a mystifying dispatch – the USDA was revoking his federal hemp license due to his recent state cannabis activities somehow violating their policies. No further explanation given. His stomach knotted imagining the catastrophic losses ahead.


Bud re-read the opaque injunction over and over until his eyes glazed. Where was due process? How could a distant bureaucracy sabotage his sovereign state’s laws this way without warning or recourse?


It smacked of the same arbitrary overreach and coercion the Founders seceded from Crown rule to escape. Yet here the new federal government inhaled authority to quash pioneer industries and livelihoods without accountability. Bud’s faith in freedom wavered.


“But our Constitution enlightened history by enshrining harvest liberties the Fathers fought for…” Bud muttered aloud. “Life and property sacrosanct”. He sighed grievously, gazing over fields indicating that truth now lay ravaged too.


So Bud the Hemp Farmer sits heart-weary on his tractor, gazing over wavering crops he can no longer legally tend, lamenting the impotence of paper rights against tidal power. Wondering how divine freedom venerated in theory continues facing betrayal in practice even now…


Now let us examine closer this real happening currently victimizing rural cannabis farmers pursuing the agrarian way – the American way – coast to coast. Why must these revolutionary plants remain so needlessly controversial and restricted from inhabitants of the land of the free? What of natural law before human law…



A peculiar regulatory crackdown has blindsided hemp farmers in certain states, costing them licenses and livelihoods after entering newly legal state cannabis industries.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees hemp cultivation regulation nationally per the 2018 Farm Bill’s provisions removing non-psychoactive hemp from Controlled Substances Act purview.


While 33 states administer their own USDA-approved hemp oversight programs with licenses, a few rely on direct USDA management, including Vermont and Mississippi.


Under this federal licensing, home cultivators like Sam Bellavance successfully grew boutique hemp crops for years, benefiting regional access to CBD medicines. But recently, a frightening pattern emerged.


In both Vermont and Mississippi, pioneer hemp farmers choosing to expand strategically into their state’s fledgling recreational or medical cannabis market suddenly faced termination of their federal hemp licenses by USDA decree without explanation. Despite wholly distinct licensing clearly separating activities.


This sudden non-negotiable forfeiture threatens catastrophic loss of harvest investments and revenue flow without recourse. Bellavance estimates a $250,000 personal blow while his farm faces bankruptcy.


Yet curiously some state-administered USDA hemp programs like Colorado foresaw this potential expansion issue, establishing firm boundaries for separate cannabis versus hemp operations rather than restrictive blanket termination as enforcement mechanism.


Why this contradictory aggressive tactic leaving law-abiding businesses stranded by irrational federal intervention beyond jurisdiction? When contacted for clarification on rationale, USDA simply provided vague platitudes about navigating complex jurisdictional nuances but remained opacity on reasoning.


Attorneys advise the unilateral muscle-flexing devoid of communication or statute grounding leaves USDA vulnerable for lawsuits from aggrieved farmers lacking options. But litigation proves costly and lengthy, leaving real families distressed urgently.


Mississippi farmer Eric Sorenson relates his cruel predicament after receiving medical cannabis licensing – “It doesn’t make any sense, it’s the same plant.” Yet antiquated perceptions in Washington invoke Reefer Madness fears conflating all cannabis subspecies. Definitive science be damned.


In Missouri, aspiring medical cannabis grower Chris Beerman received spontaneous warning that USDA would rescind his hemp license if he dared apply for state recreational permitting – effectively extortion denying him economic liberty other states enjoy freely.


What becomes clear is prohibition’s lingering grasp breeding market unpredictability and unnecessary suffering from political disconnect with commonsense industry integration. Yet public representatives remained unaware this landed hardship plagued constituents at all.



While the USDA could rectify this immediate hemp licensing debacle through consistent state-federal cooperation, the arbitrary interference spotlights the urgent need for ending prohibition’s regulatory dysfunction altogether.


For a temporary bandaid, the USDA should defer cannabis oversight fully to state agencies in legalized regions rather than sabotaging progress through distant bureaucratic power grabs insensitive to real-world needs. Cannabis governance proves inherently local.


Federal legislators could also statutorily protect interstate commerce around legal hemp and state cannabis, preventing agency overreach. Though patchwork policy still fails holistically.


Better yet, Congress should deschedule cannabis plant products entirely from the Controlled Substances Act, recognizing outdated misclassifications worsen problems tenfold. Healing plants never belonged designated Schedule 1 beside heroin and LSD, lacking medical utility or safety as the FDA itself confirmed.


Full federal cannabis legalization allows farmers seamlessly cultivating economic and therapeutic abundance for society without second-guessing hostile whims of federal agencies. The golden path forward shimmers clearly as ever more regions end senseless prohibition successfully despite bureaucratic addiction to it.


Because ultimately the Controlled Substances Act itself represents the original sin cursing botanical freedom and breeding regulatory chaos. Its very premises enact religious fundamentalism and corporate protectionism, not reason, compassion or science.


This law anomalously empowers pharmaceutical monopolies to commodify cures through isolationist medical dogma, belying intrinsically safe holistic plant synergies refined over eons through collective human trial and error.


It embodies a reductionist power grab to concentrate nature’s secrets into proprietary formulas for elite wealth accretion above universal wellbeing. The people bear no moral obligation obeying illegitimate institutional overreach.


Hence the foundational solution for farmers long-persecuted involves dismantling this unethical prohibition regime completely. No just healthcare or agricultural system denies farmers agency over their sovereign land for growing natural god-given plants. That constitutes high crime against individual and Earth liberties.


The sticky truth remains – either Americans stand with courage today reclaiming freedom’s first principles or continue suffering incremental overreach eroding liberty’s last shreds. Prohibition by definition cannot balance competing stakeholder interests. It proves philosophically irrational and thus pragmatically unworkable.


This is why the only way forward out of this predicament is to completely dismantle the machinery, and rebuild from the ground up. The fact of the matter is that the system we have was ushered in by deceptions and backdoor meetings. Prohibition does not benefit the greater good, it does not make the world safer – it only serves to stifle the independent free thinking people of the world, place them in a system that a central authority can decide your fate without any real pushback.


It seems, that prohibition is the core cancer in this whole problem and the only thing we can do with cancer is to cut it out lest the whole body succumbs to it.



Beneath debates around “legal hemp” languishes a philosophical crisis point – what enlightened liberties and self-evident human rights truly constitute the American experiment our visionary Founders died ensuring? Are we beholden crown subjects or sovereign beings?


Because permitting agencies to veto without warning our participating in lawful state markets for growing versatile heirloom crops shaped this nation’s fabric contravenes fundamental principles birthed in revolution.


Hemp herself stands sentry honoring that seminal struggle for autonomy from imperial overreach on home soil. Her hardy stalk cut colonial ropes binding seafaring fortunes to servitude. Clothed pioneers taming wilderness, rigged wagons rolling west, penned constitutions consecrating freedom as divine inheritance never the crown’s to permit or deny voters.


Thomas Paine declared the greatest tyrannies forged not upon actions but omissions – glimpsing how prohibiting life, liberty and livelihood proves the profoundest despotism. What could exceed ruthlessness of denying citizens economic sovereignty over their land’s bounty by executive fiat?


Henry David Thoreau yet reminds even the best government but a necessary evil without strict limitations. So who deputized USDA in hubris to contravene state law unilaterally shattering farmers who sought only contributing their gifts through botanical enterprise free of harm?


The sticky truth confronts us that prohibition’s perversions infect every treaty, agency and court arrogating authority meant checked and localized. But natural law supersedes human law, and the greatest crime iterating is normalized aggression against individual and Earth. No just social contract honors that.


So shall we muster the civil courage ennobling those who came before or resign generations more to unlawful search and seizure from soil-less lab coated cohorts leveraging bad science and fear for anti-freedom? The choice endures eternal as Fathers smile or mourn from mythic graves awaiting the mythic chime heralding truth’s torch passing. But destiny turns now on whether hearts hardened by false Security bend then crack then open fierce to meet this ripening hour with spirits vestal as the first Sons of Liberty. Let freedom ring!





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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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