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The Good ‘Dirty Little Secret’ about Weed

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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.

 

CANNABIS AND ADD/ADHD, READ ON…

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50% OF CANNABIS USERS SUFFER FROM ADD OR ADHD? WHAT?



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Foreign Investment in U.S. Cannabis: Five Key Considerations

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Cannabis investments are difficult enough when the investor is a U.S.-based person or entity. But things can get immensely more complicated when foreign investment is on the table. Today I want to highlight some of the top considerations for foreign investors and U.S. cannabis companies alike.

1. Legality could cause serious headaches

To this day, cannabis remains federally illegal. State legality has zero effect on federal law. Even the possible rescheduling to schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) will not make cannabis federally legal. Things are clearly a mess.

In our cannabis team’s experience, a huge number of foreign investors do not appreciate the nuances between state and federal law and how it could effect them. For example, federal tax laws are unforgiving and don’t allow standard deductions for marijuana businesses. Additionally, federal illegality means that businesses will be siloed without interstate commerce, can’t get access to banking, can’t get access to basically anything for market rate, and so on.

All of these things mean that investments are simply unlikely to net big returns. Sadly to say, lots of investors end up writing off their investments. While federal legality alone isn’t the only reason that businesses, and by extension foreign investments, fail, it’s certainly a big one.

2. Cannabis investment may not be compatible with home country laws

This is actually probably more important than point 1. Cannabis is still illegal in most places in the world. There are still places where possession of cannabis can lead to the death penalty. While possession in a such a country is different from investing into the U.S., the governments in those countries may not see eye to eye, and such investments could lead to a host of different penalties. I’ve spoken with attorneys and business people from other countries who have said that foreign investment directly into a cannabis company is simply not possible.

What this can often lead to is investment into adjacent or ancillary companies in overly complicated deals. And when something is ancillary to the industry and/or a deal is overly complicated, netting a healthy return on investment is even more unlikely.

3. The cannabis industry and immigration law do not mix

Probably the first issue that comes up when looking at foreign investment is immigration and visa status. Immigration law is the province of the federal government. That means that it does not mix well with cannabis. If you’ve been in this space long enough, you’ll have heard of things like denial of naturalization petitions, denial of visas, arrests, and even lifetime bans on entry into the states. So for foreign investors who plan on relocating to the U.S. or even visiting to see the company they are investing in, there are huge risks.

4. Disclosure will likely be required

All states with legal cannabis markets require disclosure of certain people affiliated with a cannabis business. In many states, this includes investors, lenders, or people with other financial interests. Sometimes, the disclosures can be relatively benign, and in other cases much more aggressive.

For reasons expressed in points 2 and 3 above, a lot of foreign investors aren’t exactly thrilled to learn that they have to give personal data (and maybe undergo background checks) over to a state agency. This is yet another reason why foreign investments are often made into ancillary companies — to avoid disclosures. But even that isn’t always likely to fix the issue, and again, overly complicated investments into ancillary companies aren’t necessarily great.

5. Investment targets may get things wrong

Foreign investors often make a critical mistake in assuming that their targets know what they are doing. I’m not talking about operational issues — though a lot of companies clearly need help there — but about legal structures. It’s not unheard of for an investor to want to invest into a company that promises something it legally cannot do — like sell stock to a foreign investor in a state with a residency requirement. Yet things like this do happen from time to time, and once a foreign investor gives money over, it’s a lot harder to get it back.

Foreign investors who know what they are doing usually work with lawyers or other professionals experienced in their target jurisdiction, not only to diligence the target’s operations, finances, etc., but also to make sure that the fundamental aspects of the investment won’t trigger massive legal liabilities.

For some of our older posts on foreign investment in the U.S. cannabis industry, see below:



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America Can’t Defend Its Border Because Border Patrol Agents Are Smoking Too Much Weed?

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A Republican senator is pushing back against a recent policy change by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that reduced the term of ineligibility for work due to past marijuana use from two years to three months. The senator doubts the trustworthiness of recruits who have used cannabis and believes that this move jeopardizes the safety and integrity of Border Patrol agents.

 

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) wrote to CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, expressing severe concerns about the effects of this shift. He stated that the amendment blatantly contradicts the Border Patrol’s principal mission of safeguarding the country from illicit drugs.

 

Ironically, no one in the Senator’s office seemed worried about the US and Canadian border where cannabis has been recreationally legal for 7 years now.  Many Canadians have been stopped and banned for cannabis use, yet the security issue does not seem relevant at the Northern border, just the Southern.

 

While the exact timing of the CBP’s policy revision remains unclear, Senator Lankford disclosed that his office became aware of it during a briefing last month.

 

The senator alleges that CBP officers told his staff that ambiguity generated by disparities between state and federal marijuana regulations in places where cannabis has been legalized had a role in the policy shift. Senator Lankford did, however, emphasize that CBP, as a federal agency, is responsible for ensuring that federal rules governing the use of illegal substances are obeyed.

 

Additionally, the senator asserted that individuals who admit to past marijuana use often disclose involvement in other criminal activities, which he deemed unsurprising. He attributed this to the fact that irrespective of state laws, users frequently obtain marijuana from unlicensed vendors in the “gray market” due to its lower cost.

 

Furthermore, Senator Lankford alleged that licensed cannabis establishments frequently encounter corruption issues, citing reports of malpractices within his state’s medical marijuana program. He claimed that undocumented immigrants are exploited for labor and subjected to adverse conditions in these facilities.

 

Addressing worries about the health repercussions of cannabis usage, the senator cited a putative relationship between marijuana intake and diseases including schizophrenia and psychosis. Despite contradicting study findings on the subject, Senator Lankford emphasized the need for federal government screening for psychiatric disorders and illegal drug use during background checks for federal jobs.

 

In conclusion, Senator Lankford cautioned that regular marijuana use, particularly in states where it is legalized, could significantly affect the trustworthiness of Border Patrol recruits, especially considering the incidence of psychosis among heavy cannabis users.

 

Concerns Over Border Patrol Recruits’ Ties to Transnational Criminal Organizations Due to Altered Marijuana Use Review Period

 

Lankford expressed concern that shortening the period for reviewing marijuana use history raises the risk of Border Patrol recruits having financially supported transnational criminal organizations for marijuana cultivated by illegal immigrant labor. This scenario directly contradicts the Border Patrol’s mission and could lead to significant security and integrity issues among agents.

 

In his capacity as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Governmental Operations and Border Management, Lankford emphasized his Subcommittee’s authority over Federal hiring and border management. He strongly objected to the policy change, fearing it would undermine the security and integrity of the Border Patrol workforce. Consequently, he urged CBP to revoke the policy and reinstate the two-year review period for marijuana use among Border Patrol recruits.

 

The senator presented eleven questions to CBP, seeking clarification by May 7 on various aspects, including the rationale behind the cannabis policy alteration, its impact on polygraph passage rates, and any other modifications to employment standards related to past marijuana use.

 

In essence, Lankford’s stance is clear: despite acknowledging CBP’s ongoing recruitment challenges and advocating for legalization to bolster border security and increase the agency’s personnel, he believes that hiring individuals who may have used cannabis three months prior, as opposed to two years ago, poses an unacceptable risk.

 

Meanwhile, CBP advised its employees and their families against using even federally legal CBD products last year. The federal legalization of hemp and its derivatives has complicated CBP’s enforcement efforts, prompting officials to seek portable marijuana analyzers to swiftly identify cannabinoid profiles and differentiate between marijuana and hemp.

 

Lankford’s opposition to the policy change is unsurprising, given his longstanding reputation as a fervent prohibitionist. For instance, last September, he spearheaded a separate letter urging the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reject a recommendation to reschedule cannabis.

 

Potential Impact on Border Security and Drug Interdiction Efforts

 

Senator Lankford is concerned about more than just the short-term effects of shorter qualifying periods for recruits to the Border Patrol. He predicts a chain reaction that may make border security and drug interdiction efforts less successful. Lankford contends that CBP runs the danger of admitting people who may have engaged in criminal activity in the past, especially those connected to transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), by loosening the scrutiny on prior marijuana usage. Because TCOs frequently take advantage of gaps in border control to move narcotics, weapons, and people across international borders, such links directly endanger national security.

 

Furthermore, Lankford questions the reliability of background checks and polygraph tests in identifying individuals with ties to criminal organizations, particularly given the evolving nature of drug-related crimes. The shortened review period may not provide sufficient time to uncover deeper associations or patterns of behavior indicative of criminal involvement. This, in turn, could lead to the infiltration of Border Patrol ranks by individuals sympathetic to or actively engaged in illicit activities, compromising the integrity of the agency and its mission to safeguard the nation’s borders.

 

Lankford’s worries about the wider social effects of permissive marijuana laws among law enforcement agencies go beyond the direct security ramifications. He argues that CBP’s decision may undermine attempts to curb drug misuse and related criminal activity by sending a message of tolerance toward drug use. It also calls into doubt the coherence of federal drug enforcement initiatives, particularly given disparate state legalization policies for marijuana. Lankford highlights the necessity of a unified strategy for border security and drug control, one that respects federal authority while taking into account the intricacies of changing state laws.

 

Bottom Line

 

Senator James Lankford’s staunch opposition to the recent policy change by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which shortened the term of ineligibility for Border Patrol recruits due to past marijuana use, underscores concerns about potential risks to national security and the integrity of law enforcement agencies. His apprehensions regarding the infiltration of criminal elements into the Border Patrol workforce, coupled with doubts about the efficacy of screening procedures, highlight the broader implications of drug policy shifts within federal agencies. Lankford’s stance emphasizes the importance of maintaining stringent standards in border security efforts while navigating the complex landscape of state and federal marijuana regulations.

 

US BORDERS AND CANNABIS, READ ON…

BORDER PATROL ON WEED

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Can Florida Pull 60% of the Votes Needed on Election Night to Pass Legal Weed?

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florida votes on recreational cannabis and abortion

In a blow to Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida conservatives opposed to the measure, the state’s Supreme Court on Monday approved a recreational marijuana constitutional amendment for the November 2024 statewide ballot.

 

The proposal, known as Amendment 3, will legalize the “non-medical personal use of marijuana products and marijuana accessories by an adult” 21 or older if approved by 60% or more of statewide voters. It would take effect six months after the election.

 

The cannabis industry may have a secret “ace card” up their sleeve if Ohio is any indication off liberal voter turnout.  You may remember that Ohio voted on cannabis legalization and abortion rights on the same ballot and voting night last year.  This dual liberal ballot caused a swell or women and liberals to hit the voting booths, passing both measures in the same night.  Florida finds itself in the same situation this November, with abortion rights on the same ballot.  A “two birds, one stone” voting night may happen again as more liberals and women come out to vote.

 

In 2021, the court rejected two proposed constitutional amendments for recreational marijuana. But this time five justices ruled favorably on the measure with only two opposing.

 

The amendment was the subject of a multi-million-dollar campaign, spearheaded by Smart & Safe Florida, a group that’s collected more than $40 million in recent years. Two dozen states have already legalized recreational weed.

 

The Florida amendment would allow non-medical marijuana possession of up to 3 ounces, with no more than 5 grams in concentrated form.

 

To get a measure on the Florida ballot, supporters must first get 891,523 signatures from residents. The Supreme Court then must decide whether the amendment language sticks to a single subject and isn’t misleading, which can be a difficult threshold to overcome.

 

But, for the majority of justices, it met that bar.

 

In light of those limited considerations, we approve the proposed amendment for placement on the ballot,” Justice Jamie Grosshans, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, in the majority opinion.

 

The state Supreme Court Monday also effectively upheld a six-week abortion ban but also OK’d a ballot measure that would guarantee access to abortion, even further raising the stakes of an already pivotal presidential election.

 

Florida’s Attorney General Against Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

 

Ashley Moody, the attorney general of Florida, expressed her disapproval of the recreational marijuana ballot issue, claiming it was deceptive and did not satisfy the required requirements.

 

Additionally, Moody’s chastised the proposal for supposedly benefiting Trulieve, the biggest medicinal marijuana provider in the state and the main source of money for Smart & Safe Florida. Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, praised the court’s ruling and said she was looking forward to helping the campaign move closer to the autumn ballot.

 

The legalization of medical marijuana in Florida stemmed from a 2016 ballot measure approved by over 71% of voters. Previous polls have indicated broad support among Floridians for the 2024 recreational marijuana measure.

 

While Governor DeSantis, who has appointed five of the court’s seven justices, had anticipated the court’s approval of the recreational marijuana measure, he recently expressed concerns about its potential impact. Specifically, he mentioned worries about the odor and the lack of restrictions on where and when marijuana could be consumed, including near schools. He criticized the broad language of the amendment, stating it was the most extensive he had encountered.

 

Justice Meredith Sasso, appointed by DeSantis and one of the dissenting voices, believed the amendment misled voters, citing its language regarding the “allowance” of recreational marijuana.

 

Moody argued in court filings that describing the amendment as “allowing” marijuana use is misleading, as marijuana remains illegal federally, despite its legality in over 20 other states. However, Justice Grosshans, writing for the majority, found the amendment’s summary not misleading, noting the court’s prior rulings on medical marijuana and its jurisdiction over state, not federal, law.

 

Potential Implications for Florida’s Cannabis Industry

 

There has been much conjecture on the significant consequences that Amendment 3’s passage by the Florida Supreme Court may have for the state’s rapidly expanding cannabis sector. Leading companies in the field, including Florida’s well-known medical marijuana supplier Trulieve, are positioned to profit from the growing market as recreational marijuana use gets closer to approval. With the potential to solidify its position as a leading participant in the medical and recreational cannabis sectors, Trulieve’s significant financial support of Smart & Safe Florida’s campaign highlights the company’s strategic interest in the amendment’s successful passage.

 

However, alongside established players like Trulieve, the legalization of recreational marijuana is expected to spur increased competition within Florida’s cannabis market. As the state opens its doors to non-medical cannabis use, new entrants are likely to emerge, seeking to seize a slice of the lucrative market pie. This influx of competition could lead to innovations in product offerings, retail experiences, and branding strategies as companies vie for consumer attention and loyalty in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

 

Furthermore, Amendment 3’s adoption is likely to change Florida’s cannabis laws about retail, wholesale, and growing. The elements of the amendment, such as possession limitations and regulatory frameworks, will be crucial in determining the operational parameters that enterprises in the state’s cannabis market must adhere to. Stakeholders in the sector are keeping a close eye on changes as politicians and regulatory bodies strive to create rules for compliance and enforcement. This is so they can efficiently manage the constantly changing regulatory landscape.

 

Political Ramifications and Public Opinion on Recreational Marijuana

 

The approval of Amendment 3 by the Florida Supreme Court not only carries significant implications for the state’s cannabis industry but also holds substantial political ramifications. Governor Ron DeSantis, who has appointed the majority of the justices on the court, had previously expressed mixed sentiments regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana. While anticipating the court’s approval, DeSantis recently voiced concerns about potential societal impacts, including odor concerns and the absence of stringent consumption restrictions, especially in proximity to educational institutions.

 

In addition to DeSantis’s stance, the passage of Amendment 3 amplifies the ongoing discourse surrounding recreational marijuana at both the state and national levels. Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, echoed concerns about the amendment’s language and its potential to mislead voters. The debate surrounding the amendment reflects broader discussions on the legalization of cannabis across the United States, with advocates emphasizing social equity, criminal justice reform, and economic opportunities, while opponents highlight public health and safety concerns.

 

The public’s perception of marijuana use for recreational purposes in Florida seems to be changing despite differing opinions. Voters overwhelmingly supported the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, demonstrating the increasing acceptability of cannabis use for therapeutic purposes. Recent polling indicates a similar trend in support of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, reflecting Floridians’ changing views on the drug. The result of the Amendment 3 vote will not only influence Florida’s cannabis industry but also act as a gauge for larger social views toward marijuana legalization in the US as the state prepares for the November 2024 election.

 

Bottom Line

 

The approval of Amendment 3 by the Florida Supreme Court marks a significant milestone in the state’s journey towards the potential legalization of recreational marijuana. Despite opposition from Governor Ron DeSantis and other conservatives, the amendment’s passage signals a shift in public opinion and could have far-reaching consequences for Florida’s cannabis industry, political landscape, and societal norms. As stakeholders navigate the evolving regulatory environment and prepare for the upcoming ballot in November 2024, all eyes will be on the outcome of the vote and its impact on the future of marijuana policy in the Sunshine State.

 

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