Tag Archive: medical cannabis

  1. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Seizure Disorders (Epileptic & Non-Epileptic)

    Leave a Comment


    Imagine walking down the aisle of your local grocery store comparing cereal boxes when you suddenly see bright, flashing lights everywhere. You try to look away but feel like you’re spinning in circles, causing a sour stomach. As you come to, you’re surrounded by bystanders who watch an EMT race you to the ambulance parked outside.


    This frightening experience is all too familiar for the 2% of adults worldwide who experience seizures. They’re frequently associated with whole-body convulsions, but not every seizure takes this highly visible form. Those susceptible to seizures need to make drastic lifestyle changes to remain safe if and when another occurs.



    What Are Seizures?


    seizure is the body’s physical response to abnormal electrical activity that takes place in one or more regions of the brain. But not everyone who has a seizure is an epileptic. In fact, many people who suffer from a seizure do not experience repeat occurrences. There are focal seizures, which occur in one specific part of the brain, and generalized seizures, which seem to affect multiple regions. Not all seizures result in convulsions or lack of consciousness, though some do.


    The following list details the most common generalized seizures:

    • Absence seizures: common in children, they’re defined by a blank stare and/or small, uncontrollable body movements.
    • Clonic seizures: characterized by repetitive muscle movements, especially the arms and face.
    • Myoclonic seizures: defined by the rapid onset of minor twitches or jerking of the limbs.
    • Tonic seizures: characterized by stiffened muscles, especially in the back and limbs. Because this type can affect the legs and back, there’s an increased risk of falling.
    • Atonic seizures: also know as “drop seizures,” they’re marked by a sudden loss of muscle control, which also boosts the chances of falling.
    • Tonic-clonic seizures: previously known as grand mal seizures, they’re associated with loss of consciousness and convulsing that can cause a bitten tongue. They typically consist of a tonic phase, which lasts for less than 30 seconds, and a clonic phase, which can last up to two minutes.


    What About Epilepsy?


    Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that affects the central nervous system. Epileptic seizures are still caused by abnormal electrical brain activity, yet individuals with epilepsy are at risk of having recurring seizures because that abnormal brain activity is an ongoing condition.


    In order to be diagnosed with epilepsy, you must have at least two or more unprovoked seizures, meaning it wasn’t triggered by external factors like low blood sugar, drug use or alcohol withdrawal.


    What Causes a Seizure?


    Because there are numerous types, there is no single cause. The three major are:

    • Nonepileptic seizures mimic the symptoms of a seizure without the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that characterizes a “true” seizure. Can be caused by muscle disorders, certain psychological conditions or fainting.
    • Epileptic seizures may be caused by brain injury, a brain tumor, or genetic predisposition. Not every case of epilepsy has a clearly defined cause.
    • Provoked seizures are true seizures caused by abnormal brain activity, though not caused by continuous or recurring brain abnormalities and therefore aren’t related to epilepsy. Some factors that can prompt one include illicit drug abuse, substance withdrawal, or sudden internal variations in equilibrium (a drop in blood sugar).


    These are the primary reasons for seizures, but the cause is different from a trigger. A seizure trigger is any event or occurrence that sets off abnormal electrical activity in the brain of an epileptic, which, in turn, activates a seizure.


    Common triggers for epileptic seizures include (but aren’t limited to):

    • Failing to take medication (or taking it improperly)
    • Lack of sleep
    • Alcohol (this includes dehydration or hangover the day after drinking)
    • Illicit drugs
    • Flashing or flickering lights
    • Music


    How Are Seizures Treated?


    The way your doctor treats a seizure will depend on the underlying cause of that seizure. First, he or she will perform a variety of tests to determine why you experienced a seizure. This may include a review of your family’s medical history, a panel of blood tests, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity, and imaging tests like a CT scan or an MRI. In cases where an infection is the suspected cause, the doc might order a lumbar puncture to test your cerebrospinal fluid.


    If you experienced a provoked seizure or a nonepileptic seizure, the doctor will need to treat the underlying condition or circumstances that caused it. This may include medications, lifestyle changes, or detoxing/rehabilitation (in cases where seizures were caused by illicit drug use or alcohol withdrawal).


    If your doctor diagnoses you with epilepsy, he or she may recommend certain medications to help control your seizures. Some people benefit from nerve stimulation treatments while, in extreme cases, doctors recommend surgery. However, the majority of epileptics can control their seizures with prescription medication and lifestyle changes.


    While cannabis probably won’t help individuals who’ve experienced a provoked seizure, some who live with epilepsy use it to help manage their symptoms.


    Which States Allow Cannabis for Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders?


    Cannabis laws significantly vary from state-to-state. However, the majority that allow medical cannabis recognize that citizens with seizure disorders may find relief by using cannabis.


    Some states allow marijuana use for a variety of seizure disorders while others only authorize it for epileptics. Many states allow qualified patients to use a variety of cannabis products, including smokable flower, but some only permit patients to use non-psychotropic CBD oil that won’t make you feel “high.” Check your state’s laws to better understand what, if any, forms of cannabis you may be permitted to consume for your condition.


    The following states allow doctors to recommend the use of cannabis to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders:

    • Alaska
    • Arizona
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia (low-THC oil only)
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Indiana (CBD oil only)
    • Iowa (low-THC oil only, restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi (CBD oil only)
    • Missouri (CBD oil only, restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • Montana
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico (restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • New York
    • North Carolina (restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oklahoma (CBD oil only)
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina (CBD oil only)
    • Tennessee (CBD oil only)
    • Texas (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)
    • Utah (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • West Virginia (effective September 15, 2018)
    • Wisconsin (CBD oil only)
    • Wyoming (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)


    Current Research on Cannabis and Seizure Disorders


    A number of studies have examined whether cannabinoids like THC and CBD can help manage seizure disorder symptoms. Some researchers point out the fact that cannabis has reportedly been used to treat epilepsy and seizure disorders for hundreds of years.


    While many studies and anecdotal reports produce positive results, further research is needed. Among cannabis treatment options, studies suggest that strains and oils high in CBD may offer promising results for some individuals. This is why a number of states permit CBD oil but not smokable cannabis or extracts high in THC. Some researchers found that whole plant extracts may be more effective than synthetic pharmaceutical CBD.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?

    The first thing you’ll need to do is work with your doctor. He or she will know your medical history and is the only person who can safely determine whether cannabis is right for you. If you’re diagnosed with epilepsy or any seizure disorder and live in a MMJ state, your doctor may recommend cannabis if he or she believes it can help.


    When it comes to medical cannabis, there’s a lot to consider. Once your doctor has written an MMJ recommendation, Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge team will help you get started! We have knowledgeable experts who’ll provide information on different cannabis products, recommend some to suit your condition, and show you where to get them. Reach out to Nugg’s free concierge service today and learn more about the wonders of medical cannabis.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.


  2. Medical Cannabis In New York: The New Patient’s How-To Guide

    Leave a Comment


    When President Nixon began the Drug War in earnest, it was nearly inconceivable to most illicit cannabis users that the world would acknowledge the Devil’s lettuce as an actual medicine. Oh, the hippies knew what cannabis was capable of, but the rest of the world treated “marihuana” like a weapon of mass destruction.


    You can still see some of this leftover mentality in the intensely prohibitive regulations that surround the plant – even in legal states. Still, we’ve come a long way since the ’70s, as a recent poll shows an astonishing 94% of Americans approve of medical cannabis.


    New York is one of the 31 (and counting) states that now allow cannabis use for medical purposes. If you’re thinking about asking your doctor whether cannabis is a good choice for your particular condition, you’ve come to the right place.


    ­­­In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming a medical cannabis patient in New York. Whether you feel like a deer in headlights when it comes to cannabis options or you’re having trouble digesting the legal jargon – we’re here to ensure you have the best experience possible. As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, we want to make sure you have accurate, reliable information so that you can find the relief you need…and the happiness you deserve.



    Are You a Candidate for Medical Cannabis in New York?


    What to Know About Your Initial Cannabis Consultation

    There are four basic steps to becoming a registered cannabis patient in New York:

    1. See a doctor
    2. Obtain a patient certification
    3. Register online as a patient
    4. Purchase from one of New York’s authorized dispensaries


    While this is a very straightforward process, there are a few things you will need to consider before you begin the process.



    You’re required to prove New York state residency to become a cannabis patient here. This requirement is usually satisfied with a driver’s license or a state ID. If you don’t have a state ID, you can show proof of residency through a utility bill or a lease with your name on it. The department may also allow other proof of residency at their discretion.


    Those who temporarily reside in New York for serious medical treatment can also sign up for the program, so long as they provide documentation of temporary residency.


    Qualifying NY Medical Cannabis

    Not everyone qualifies for medical cannabis in New York. While the law is less restrictive than it was originally, you need to have one of the following “severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions:”

    • Cancer
    • Positive status for HIV or AIDS
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
    • Epilepsy
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Neuropathy
    • *Chronic pain as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)
    • Huntington’s disease
    • PTSD
    • Opiate replacement


    You must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions:

    • Cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness)
    • Severe or chronic pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures
    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms


    Finding a Licensed Cannabis Doctor in New York


    Because the Empire State requires these serious conditions to access medical cannabis, your doctor won’t recommend it for a minor condition. Any doctor who promises to approve, no matter what, is likely not compliant. Some people simply won’t qualify for the program.


    Your doctor should ask to see the medical records connected to your condition. These records might include:

    • Hospital visits
    • Prescriptions
    • Physical therapy records
    • Detailed patient charts
    • Medical test results

    It’s a good idea to have all of those records ready before you talk to the doctor so you can provide any supplemental information he or she needs. Also, plan for the extra time it may take to track down certain records and other info. A legitimate doctor will take every step necessary to ensure you qualify under the law before certification.


    For New York residents who shudder at the thought of making a special trip or simply don’t have time in their hurried schedule, consultations can be done entirely online. Save the car fare and cook that homemade meal while talking to your cannabis doctor from the privacy and comfort of home.


    Cannabis or Medical Marijuana Vs Opiods


    How to Start the Conversation with Your Cannabis Doctor

    It’s important to know that not every doctor in New York can recommend cannabis as medicine. Doctors are first required to take a 4-hour certification course then register with the program as providers; so don’t be bewildered if your doctor won’t prescribe it. Instead, ask for a referral to a cannabis-friendly doctor who is qualified to help.


    During the registration process, your doctor will have the option to tell the state their recommended method of administration and THC:CBD ratio. He or she will also have the option to leave this decision up to your dispensary’s pharmacist. Just discuss these preferences with your doctor during the consultation to make sure you get the proper dosage and cannabis type that meet your needs.


    How to Get Your Medical Cannabis Registration in New York


    If your doctor determines you’ll benefit from cannabis, he or she will register you with the state as a medical cannabis patient. Here’s the NuggMD process:


    1) Create an account with NuggMD.


    2) Provide basic info like your name, address and proof of age.


    3) Provide your medical history with as much detail about your condition(s) as possible so the doctor will have a chance to evaluate your potential treatment options.


    4) Provide your payment information and enter the virtual waiting room. You shouldn’t wait too long since there are several fully-licensed, cannabis-friendly physicians currently working with NuggMD. While you do, chat with one of our knowledgeable cannabis concierges to learn more about medical cannabis in New York.


    5) When your new physician becomes available, he or she will finish your evaluation via our telemedicine platform. The video consultation can be as short or long as needed, with some consultations only requiring a few minutes to complete. And remember: don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is an important new step in your journey to wellness, and knowledge is power.


    Some questions you should consider:

    • What ratio of CBD to THC do I need?
    • What method of application should I try?
    • Should I combine methods?
    • How often should I take my medicine?
    • How will this affect other medicines I am taking?


    Be sure to tell your doctor about every medicine, vitamin and herb you’re currently or have recently taken so he or she can ascertain any possible interactions.


    6) As a NuggMD member, you only pay $149 for the evaluation.


    7) Once approved as a cannabis patient in New York, you’ll receive an email with specific instructions to complete your state registration process. If you have any trouble completing this process, just hop on over to our site and our concierge service will happily give you a hand.


    * On July 12, 2018, the Department of Health announced that they are enhancing the registration process to allow patients to print out 30-day temporary ID cards. This will allow patients to purchase medicine immediately upon completion of registration while they wait for the Department to process their application and mail out an ID card (ID cards must be renewed each year). 


    Buying Medical Marijuana in New York


    How to Buy Medical Cannabis in New York

    After you’ve obtained your certification and registered with the state, it’s finally time to purchase your herbal medicine.


    There are currently only 10 organizations in New York that are allowed to legally dispense medical marijuana:

    • Columbia Care
    • Etain, LLC
    • MedMen, Inc.
    • Vireo Health of New York LLC
    • Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc. *
    • Valley Agriceuticals, LLC *
    • Citiva Medical LLC *
    • PalliaTech NY, LLC DBA


    Facilities marked with an asterix (*) are in the process of licensing dispensaries and will open soon.


    What Cannabis Consumption Methods Can I Use in New York?


    There are three main consumption methods available for cannabis in NY:

    • Inhalation
    • Oral
    • Topical


    Let’s explore each of these methods in detail.



    This allows the active ingredients from your cannabis to directly enter the bloodstream through your lungs.



    It’s the slowest method of cannabis administration, but also the longest lasting. The effect of edibles tends to be much stronger than inhaled cannabis so proceed cautiously.


    This is because taking cannabis orally produces different compounds in our bloodstream that affect us differently than inhalation. Basically, our liver converts at least some of the delta-9 THC (the ingredient that makes us high when inhaled) to 11-hydroxy-THC, a much more potent psychedelic. When we inhale cannabis, it bypasses the liver so we don’t get all of that 11-hydroxy-THC.



    Some new patients prefer topical cannabis applications because they’re (mostly) non-psychoactive. Rather than ingesting cannabis and feeling the potent effects of THC, topicals deliver THC and CBD directly into the affected area.


    Topicals come in many forms, including lotions, balms, oils, lubricants and transdermal patches. They also come in many different THC:CBD ratios. But since THC isn’t easily absorbed into the skin, high THC topicals might be a little pricey when compared to their effects. Most are high in CBD and combined with other soothing ingredients like capsaicin, mint or other essential oils for added benefit.


    A more recent trend in topical application is the transdermal patch. It utilizes the same type of agents that help the nicotine patch deliver compounds through the skin. These transdermal patches can make you high if they contain enough THC, so be careful when choosing the right topical.

    Medical Marijuana Topical Treatment


    Picking the Right Ingestion Method

    All of these methods of delivering cannabis into the system provide a unique opportunity to help alleviate symptoms. Your physician might even recommend a combo of up to three different methods to get the maximum benefits.


    For instance, the doctor might recommend a vape pen for immediate pain, then an oral dose since the vape pen’s effects tend to wear off sooner. With careful timing and dosing, it’s possible to get relief without the associated peaks and lows that come with other medicines.


    Whichever methods your doctor recommends, be sure to follow dosing instructions to the letter. Taking your medicines in the wrong order or doubling up on doses could give you anxiety or couch-lock instead of relief.


    Types of Cannabis Product Available in New York


    Unlike many medical cannabis states, the range of legally available products in New York is very restricted. The state regulates the amount of THC in a product, the way it can be administered, and the amount that can be dispensed in a 30-day period.


    The products currently allowed are:

    • Metered liquid or oil preparations like vape pens and tinctures
    • Solid and semisolid preparations like capsules, tablets and lozenges
    • Ground, non-smokable plant preparations
    • Topical applications and patches


    The NY Compassionate Care Act forbids smokable cannabis and edibles. So the only fast-acting inhaled form of cannabis allowed is vaporization. Gummy bears or brownies are definitely out.


    Each registered cannabis organization is also required to have at least one brand of cannabis with low THC/high CBD and one with equal THC/CBD. Aside from that, they’re allowed to produce their own brands with their own proprietary ratios of THC and CBD, so long as they get department approval first. We’ll go over a comprehensive list of the products available so far, a little later in this guide. For now, let’s go over the basics.


    Each of these formulations and administration types are designed to target certain symptoms and conditions. Your doctor or pharmacist may have an in-depth discussion with you about these. In the meantime, here’s a basic breakdown of each product type, what conditions they’re most commonly used for, and how they’re used. 


    Vape Pen

    Relatively new compared to the old joint, vaporizer pens are metered oil preparations heated into vapor then inhaled. They first started popping up in the early 2000s and have caught on quickly due to their convenience and discretion.


    Vape pens are usually heated with a small cylindrical battery the size of a cigarette, although there are other battery types on the market. You can purchase vapor oil in bulk to fill cartridges, or in disposable cartridges.


    When the cartridge is attached to the battery and activated, the solution heats up to about 390°F. This is actually below the combustion level so the active ingredients are inhaled without the smoke and tar you’d get with a joint or a bong.


    Vaporizing Medical Marijuana is the best method



    A cannabis tincture is a liquid solution held under the tongue for fast absorption through the network of blood vessels there and in your gums. They might also be called cannabis oral solutions, but the action is basically the same.


    Sometimes patients assume a tincture doesn’t work because they don’t take enough with the first dose and don’t feel the effects fast enough. This leads to discomfort once they get a surprise dose of highly psychoactive 11-hydroxy-THC, which grows more uncomfortable if they took another sublingual dose. Use extreme caution with this potent method and don’t take another dose ’till it’s time.


    Like vaping, tinctures come in low to high CBD to THC ratios designed to treat different conditions.


    Oral Sprays

    Cannabis oral sprays work like tinctures, though make microdosing much easier. You’ll know exactly how much cannabis you absorb per spray, controlling your dose. This factor makes oral sprays ideal for first-time users who need THC, but want to start light.


    Ads for oral sprays often refer to the fact that they mimic smoking. This doesn’t mean you should inhale like you do joints or vaporizers. You’re supposed to spray it on the mucous membranes inside your mouth and hold it for 30 seconds to a minute without swallowing. While you’ll feel the effects faster if administered properly, swallowing immediately still produces the same effects as other oral doses. Ask your pharmacist exactly how much THC is delivered with each spray.



    This is a more comfortable way to take cannabis for those who have never taken anything other than pills. Cannabis capsules come in a very wide variety of dosing options and a wide range of THC:CBD ratios.  


    If you have any allergies such as gluten or wheat, let your pharmacist know as inactive ingredients may contain something that will irritate your allergies. Capsules come in very precise doses so you’ll have little risk of accidentally taking too much as long as you follow the doctor’s instructions.


    Hard-Pressed Tablets

    Tablets affect you in roughly the same way as capsules, but unlike capsules, you can break them down into smaller doses. This is a new product that recently became available and comes recommended for those who lack the motor control necessary for more intricate dosing methods.


    What Does Cannabis Feel Like?


    Surely you’ve heard stories about uncontrollable giggles, paranoia, and the unrelenting craving for a hot fudge sundae. But what does being on cannabis really feel like?


    When you feel cannabis’ psychoactive effects you might mildly hallucinate, although strong hallucinations aren’t common. Colors might seem brighter or faces might appear weird, yet a more noticeable change is your state of mind. People tend to experience their surrounding environment in a more enhanced way. It’s also common to become very introspective or want to spend time creating art or music.


    It’s a good idea to do something enjoyable while taking cannabis and surround yourself with friends and family – especially when getting used to your regimen. Also, be prepared with munchies and plenty of refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages as hunger and thirst are nearly universal symptoms of being “high.” This is why cannabis is used so often to treat anorexia.


    Other most common effects of cannabis are:

    • Relaxation
    • A changed perception of time
    • Loss of concentration
    • Temporary memory loss
    • Giggles
    • Happiness
    • Increased energy
    • Decreased energy, colloquially called “the couch lock”


    Marijuana Leaf


    What to Do If Your Dose Is Too Strong


    One effect of cannabis new users need to watch carefully for is anxiety. This can happen if you take too much THC for your tolerance level. Everyone is different, and what might be the perfect dose for your friend can be too much for you.


    Some people find that they become slightly paranoid and experience palpitations and panic instead of calm and euphoria. If this is you, remember to stay calm; no one has ever overdosed on cannabis. Call your doctor as soon as you can so he or she can adjust your dosage, method of administration and THC:CBD ratio.


    Meanwhile, first things first: eat something and drink plenty of fluids. Eating helps to slow down THC absorption rates in your digestive tract (if you took an edible form) and tends to curb the effects of the high. Drinking fluids will help to flush the extra THC from your system as well.


    Eating can also occupy your mind, which leads to our next point – find something fun to do. Some people find a panic attack can be turned around by watching a stand up comedian, playing cards with friends, and even reading a good book in a quiet room. And try to find someone pleasant to spend your time with. If you ingest a little too much THC, remember it’ll eventually wear off – even if it seems like forever. However, if you start to experience any abnormal symptoms like vomiting, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.*


    *A Note About Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

    Unlike a well-known disease for which we know the cause, we call a set of symptoms with uncertain causes a syndrome. No one knows exactly what causes cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, but it’s thought to be a result of using highly potent cannabis. It also appears to come in three stages:


    • Prodromal: Can last for months to years and consists of feeling abdominal pain and nausea. Often, the patient increases their cannabis use to provide temporary relief from the symptoms.


    • Hyperemetic: At this point, patients begin vomiting profusely. They’ll also decrease their food intake and can become dehydrated in severe cases. Many find that the only relief is from the nausea is a hot shower. This is when the patient usually begins to seek help.


    • Recovery: Typically won’t start until the cannabis intake stops. Once it does, most patients begin to experience relief within days, but it could take months. If they use cannabis again, symptoms will likely return.


    No one knows why some develop this condition after using cannabis for years, and some don’t. It’s also confusing to hear that cannabis can actually cause nausea and vomiting after heavy use as it’s usually used to treat nausea and vomiting. As cannabis potency strengthens and legalization reduces conversational barriers between patients and physicians, it’s becoming more common for people to seek treatment for CHS.


    While this condition is very rare, it’s important to make sure new users understand that there are risks associated with heavy cannabis intake. Discuss these risks with your doctor and ensure that you follow up if you experience any unexpected nausea or vomiting.


    Trial and Error

    Sometimes it takes a little while to find the perfect dose. Often, a patient can become impatient with microdosing, especially if their doctor starts them on doses as low as 5mg. Lots of new patients find that tracking their symptoms helps monitor and find this perfect balance. Try saving your reactions to your doctor’s recommended administration methods and formulations in a journal or chart. 


    How to Stay Out of Trouble in New York


    None of the information in this section or article constitutes legal advice. We’ve provided the non-comprehensive list of potential violations below so you understand it’s still possible to get into legal trouble for cannabis possession, even with a valid medical marijuana card. You should not consider this the full summary of all regulations that apply to you as a patient. Always seek the advice of an attorney for legal questions about your medical cannabis use and possession. There are still tens of thousands of cannabis-related arrests in New York every year. Don’t put yourself in the position to be one of them.


    New York has decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis – 25 grams or less. However, you must keep your medical cannabis out of plain sight, not consume it in public, and definitely not possess more than the legal limit.


    Even if you’re a registered MMJ patient, keep your cannabis out of sight or face possible criminal penalties. Having any amount in public view, smoking or otherwise consuming in public could result in a misdemeanor and 90 days in jail. This includes using your legally authorized vape pen. And remember, vaping is the only legally approved way of inhaling cannabis. Keep in mind that your medical cannabis recommendation is for your use only – sharing your medical cannabis with others can also get you in trouble.


    The first couple of times you’re caught publicly possessing small amounts of unauthorized cannabis, you’ll be subject to a $100 or $200 fine (similar to a traffic ticket). If you’re caught more than twice, you could incur criminal penalties and even time in jail.


    Possessing less than a quarter ounce of concentrates without state authorization is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail. Possession of more than a quarter ounce of concentrates is a felony that results in a minimum seven years in prison.


    Private New York cultivation remains illegal and will result in a misdemeanor and one year in jail. Possession charges for the amount grown can also result in a potential felony with several years in jail.


    Unauthorized possession of any paraphernalia, such as cannabis scales, bongs or pipes, is a misdemeanor as well, punishable by up to a year in jail. Be aware of these additional charges:

    • Giving away a joint can land you up to 3 months in jail
    • Selling any amount can cost you 7 years in jail
    • Trafficking will give you 15-25 years
    • Driving while high will result in criminal charges
    • Felony offenses can and likely will result in asset forfeiture


    As you can see, non-medical cannabis is anything but legal in New York, and there are still plenty of ways to get into trouble with authorized cannabis. This makes it all the more important to obtain and maintain your status as registered cannabis patient. There are far more protections for legal patients than for recreational users.


    Medical Marijuana Plant in the outdoors


    Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Cannabis in New York


    How much does cannabis cost in New York?

    Believe it or not, the Health Commissioner has the final say over New York cannabis prices. Dispensaries submit the cost of growing and manufacturing cannabis products and their proposed prices. Then the commissioner decides if it’s reasonable and approves or denies the cost.


    Can I get a card if I’m not a New York resident?

    Your doctor can register you as a temporary resident if you’re staying in NY for treatment. Your certification will only be valid for the length of your stay, and you’ll be required to provide proof of temporary residency.


    What if I don’t have a New York state ID?

    Your doctor can verify your identity using other methods if necessary. According to the alternative patient verification instructions:

    “The patient will upload a photo as a form of identification during the Patient Registration process. If your patient uploads a photo, you will receive an email from the Medical Marijuana Program to the email address printed on the patient’s certification asking you to validate that the photo received is a true likeness of your patient’s actual appearance. This validation must be performed before the New York State Department of Health can approve the patient’s registration.”


    If I become a registered patient, will that excuse me from drug testing at work?

    No. The state doesn’t provide protections for employees who use medical cannabis. If you’re concerned that your job doesn’t allow cannabis use outside of work, consider the potential consequences before making a final decision.


    Can cannabis use affect parental rights?

    Yes; there are no protections in New York for parents who are cannabis patients. The state does have a process, however, for parents to administer cannabis to their sick children in need.


    Are patients allowed to re-register before their old card expires?

    Yes. In fact, you’re expected to schedule your re-approval before your current registration expires.


    Need Help? Here’s Where to Go


    Our cannabis concierge team answers more than 300 questions each day through a live chat. Although these cannabis experts bend over backwards to solve any problem you have, even we admit there are some problems we can’t solve. The New York laws just aren’t perfect – yet.


    The list below contains contacts and links for some of the more active cannabis advocacy organizations in the state. If you know of any other organizations we could add to this list, we’d love to hear from you.


    The way we see it, the legalization fight is an ongoing battle that can only be won when no one has to worry about jail time for using this healing herb again and every prisoner of the cannabis drug war is free.  


    Please join us and the vast number of Americans who are now the marijuana majority in advocating for full legalization and an end to the war on drugs. We hope you now feel empowered to help make a change but, above all, you help change your own life with the medicine necessary to achieve the quality of life you deserve. 


    Additional Resources






    Activist Organizations:

    • Marijuana Policy Product
    • Drug Policy Alliance
    • Norml
    • High NY
    • Cannabis Society of New York
    • New York Cannabis Alliance
    • NYCannaBar


    Medical Cannabis Products Available in New York


    Medical Marijuana Products are available in New York


    Columbia Care

    Columbia Care has three different THC to CBD ratios for their product line:

    • High THC / Low CBD: This traditional formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including severe pain, nausea, vomiting, appetite stimulation, and difficulty sleeping.
    • Equal THC / CBD: This balanced formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including moderate pain, neuropathic pain, nausea, vomiting, appetite stimulation, inflammation, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
    • Low THC / High CBD: This specialty formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including neuropathic pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures/epilepsy, and muscle spasms.


    Each of these formulations come in four different, easy-to-use consumption methods:

    • Sublingual tinctures
    • Vaporization oil
    • Hard-pressed tablets
    • Oral capsules


    You can find out more about Columbia Care’s line of products here.



    MedMen has five different formulations of THC to CBD for their line of products:

    • Wellness: A pure CBD ratio that optimizes health benefits and provides body relaxation with minimal cognitive side effects. Recommended for: patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
      • 0:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 0.00 mg*
      • CBD 200.00 mg*

    *THC below the limit of detection; <0.1mg/dose

    • Harmony: A perfect balance of THC and CBD that promotes well-being with subtle euphoric effects and mild cognitive side effects. Recommended for: patients with neuropathies, multiple sclerosis, cancer, IBS and chronic pain conditions.
      • 1:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 100.00 mg*
      • CBD 100.00 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Awake: A 20:1 THC to CBD ratio appropriate for daytime treatment that provides a euphoric, uplifting effect with moderate cognitive side effects. Recommended for: Treatment of moderate to severe pain, multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS and IBS.
      • 20:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 190.48 mg*
      • CBD 9.52 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Calm: A 50:1 THC to CBD ratio with subtle euphoric effects and notable cognitive side effects to help manage more severe symptoms. Recommended for: more severe symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic pain conditions.
      • 50:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 196.08 mg*
      • CBD 3.92 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Sleep: A 100:1 THC to CBD ratio that provides a relaxing and sedative effect with higher cognitive side effects and better suited for nighttime use. Recommended for: Treatment of pain conditions and patients with multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS and cancer.
      • 100:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 198.02 mg*
      • CBD 1.98 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.


    Each of these five formulations come in two different consumption methods:

    1.) Vape pens for inhaled administration

    2.) Drops for oral administration.

    Find out more about MedMen and their product offerings here.



    Etain offers four different THC to CBD ratios for their product line:

    • Dolce: A high-CBD medical marijuana product. Dolce is formulated to provide a subtle euphoric effect in patients while concentrating on the calming effects of CBD. Dolce is formulated primarily from CBD with trace amounts of THC, and is intended for use by patients suffering from symptoms related to epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.

         Dolce is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use
    • Mezzo: A 2 CBD to 1 THC medical marijuana product. It’s formulated to lessen THC’s euphoric effects with CBD’s calming effects. Mezzo is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), neuropathies, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.

         Mezzo is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
    • Balance: An equal THC:CBD product. Balance provides a moderate euphoric effect accompanied by the calming effects of CBD. Balance is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Neuropathies, Spinal Cord Damage, Epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, or Parkinson’s Disease.

         Balance is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use
    • Forte: This high-THC product provides a strong euphoric effect in patients. Forte is formulated primarily from THC with trace amounts of CBD and is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to ALS, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, neuropathies, spinal cord damage, and cancer. Recommended for those with experience taking cannabis.

         Forte is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use

    Discover more about Etain’s line of cannabis products here.



    Vireo’s products come in five different general formulations of THC to CBD, with slightly different precise ratios for each administration method.

    Blue: Vireo Blue products are predominantly CBD, with a small component of THC.

    • Blue Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 7 mg/mL

    CBD : 42 mg/mL

    • Blue Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 7 mg/mL

    CBD : 42 mg/mL

    • Blue Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 0.7 mg/capsule

    CBD : 4.3 mg/capsule

    • Blue Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 36 mg/mL

    CBD : 214 mg/mL

    • Blue Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 72 mg/mL

    CBD : 428 mg/mL

    Green: Vireo Green products are balanced, with equal amounts of THC and CBD.

    • Green Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 25 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    • Green Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 25 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    • Green Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 2.5 mg/capsule

    CBD : 2.5 mg/capsule

    • Green Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 125 mg/cartridge

    CBD: 125 mg/cartridge

    • Green Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 250 mg/mL

    CBD : 250 mg/mL

    Indigo: Vireo Indigo products are predominantly CBD, with a small component of THC.

    • Indigo Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 2.5 mg/mL

    CBD :  47.5 mg/mL

    • Indigo Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 2.5 mg/mL

    CBD :  47.5 mg/mL

    • Indigo Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 2.5 mg/capsule

    CBD :  47.5 mg/capsule

    Red: Vireo Red products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    • Red Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 23.75 mg/mL

    CBD : 1.25 mg/mL

    • Red Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 23.75 mg/mL

    CBD : 1.25 mg/mL

    • Red Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 4.75 mg/capsule

    CBD : 0.25 mg/capsule

    • Red Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 237.5 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 12.5 mg/cartridge

    • Red Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 475 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    Yellow: Vireo Yellow products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD. With all

    • Yellow Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 24 mg/mL

    CBD : 4 mg/mL

    • Yellow Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 24 mg/mL

    CBD : 4 mg/mL

    • Yellow Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 4.3 mg/capsule

    CBD : 0.7 mg/capsule

    • Yellow Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 214 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 36 mg/cartridge

    • Yellow Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 428 mg/mL

    CBD : 72 mg/mL

    Vaporizer Starter Pack: The vaporizer starter pack contains vaporizer cartridges from 3 different formulations, Green, Yellow and Red. Each formulation may have a different effect on your condition:

    • Vireo Green products are balanced, with equal amounts of THC and CBD.

    THC: 50 mg/cartridge

    CBD: 50 mg/cartridge

    • Vireo Yellow products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    THC: 85.6 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 14.4 mg/cartridge

    • Vireo Red products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    THC: 95 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 5 mg/cartridge

    Special discounts are offered to patients that require financial assistance. Listed prices are prior to any discount and subject to change. You can learn more about Vireo’s line of products here.



    Aqua Vaporizer (2:1) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 167.5mg, CBD 82.5mg

    Aqua Tincture (2:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid,THC 8mg per 2 ml, CBD 4mg per 2 ml

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Indica Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Sativa Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Hybrid Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Tincture (20:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 5mg per ml

    Blue Capsule (20:1) Extra Strength

    UNIT: 60 per bottle

    Ingredients: Proprietary, THC 9.5mg per capsule

    Blue Capsule (20:1) Standard Strength

    UNIT: 60 per bottle

    Ingredients: Proprietary, THC 5mg per capsule

    Green Vaporizer (1:1) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (65%), THC 200mg, CBD 200mg

    Green Tincture (1:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 5mg per 2 ml, CBD 5mg per 2 ml

    Lime Vaporizer (1:4) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 50mg, CBD 200mg

    Lime Tincture (1:4) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 2mg per 2 ml, CBD 8mg per 2 ml

    Yellow Vaporizer (1:20) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), CBD 250mg

    Yellow Tincture (1:20) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alphatocopherpol acetate, Ascorbyl palmitate, Peppermint Oil, CBD 9.5mg per 2 ml

    You can find out more about Curaleaf’s line of cannabis products here.



  3. Budget Rider Provides Medical Cannabis Protections, For Now

    Leave a Comment


    President Trump just signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill, and it looks like the entire country is angry. The only people happy with this are the medical cannabis patients and providers who’ve received yet another stay of execution via the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. But will this happiness last?



    What Is the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment?


    Originally called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment stops the federal government from funding enforcement efforts against medical cannabis in legal states.


    First introduced in 2001 by Maurice Hinchey, the amendment took over a decade to pass through the House and become enforceable as part of the omnibus spending bill in 2014. Since then it’s been successfully renewed; however, the fight was particularly dicey this time due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempted interference.


    And the sense of relief among cannabis patients is almost palpable today – especially in light of Sessions’ increasingly alarming announcements. In fact, his choice to rescind the Cole Memo was just the start of a Nixonian attempt to reignite the drug war. Sessions also reversed an Obama-era stance that prevented asset forfeiture abuse by law enforcement.


    Worse, just this week Sessions induced the eye-roll heard ’round the world when he literally encouraged the death penalty for drug dealers. Cannabis activists and patients are glad that such ill-conceived concepts won’t affect them – at least until the 2019 budget.


    How Long Will the Amendment Protect Us?


    Only until about September, when it must be renewed yet again with the 2019 budget bill. And as much trouble as President Trump has trying to convince Congress to dance to his tune, the 2019 budget could take just as long to approve as it did this year. So, in a few months, medical cannabis patients will surely be sweating again.


    But do these protection gaps really matter? After all, the amendment has been fairly successful and most Americans now support it. But as it turns out, those gaps do matter. If the amendment doesn’t pass next year, prosecution efforts could move forward on several federal cases currently on hold.


    What the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Isn’t


    The amendment recently had the support of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The decision overruled the Justice Department’s aggressive stance toward medical cannabis and forced them to acknowledge that the amendment does prevent federal enforcement against medical users and dispensaries in legal states. But it’s still not a free-for-all.


    These protections only apply to cannabis for medical use. They don’t protect recreational users. There was an attempt to protect recreational users as well, initiated by Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, but his efforts failed to gain enough supporters for this round of federal funding.


    If the community wants to protect newly-won recreational cannabis rights in the eight states that have moved out of the dark ages, it’s going to take some serious effort. Sessions has proven to be rather rabid on the issue.


    What We Need to Watch For


    First, stay informed. After all, a good defense is the best offense. See a roadmap to the prohibitionists’ efforts to renew the drug war here. This conservative article from exactly one year ago shares 11 tactics that the federal government can use to enforce federal cannabis prohibitions, and several of these tactics have already been initiated. So this author must be on to something.


    Among the most alarming suggestions are:

    • Rescinding the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s bank guidelines.
    • Using RICO (racketeering prevention laws) as a prosecution tool.
    • Coordinating with lower level state officials.
    • Prosecution of cannabis operations’ financiers (including general stockholders?).
    • Selecting businesses that are in violation of both state and federal law to prosecute.


    Tactics like these can be easily be halted in their tracks by informing state and local representatives that we support a legal and safe market for cannabis, not a return to the prohibitionist stone age.


    At least we can breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that the most vulnerable members of our cannabis community are safe – for now.

  4. Top 10 Cannabis Sativa Strains for Overcoming Writer’s Block

    Leave a Comment

    Cannabis cures a variety of ailments, and while writer’s block isn’t on the list of medical ailments to get you a medical card in any state, recreational marijuana can still assist in artistic endeavors. If you’re looking to spark up something creative, try one of these tasty sativa strains, favored by writers for their brain-stimulating properties.

    Strawberry Cough Best Writer Sativa Versability

    Strawberry Cough

    Leafly Rating: 4.1

    Strawberry Cough combines the Strawberry Fields strain with Haze genetics to create a potent sativa blend. The skunky, berry flavors will capture your senses while the cerebral, uplifting effects provide an aura of euphoria that is sure to leave a smile on your face. Strawberry Cough has been a popular strain since medical and recreational decriminalization began, so it’s easy to find in dispensaries. This will quickly become your go-to strain to overcome creative obstacles.

    Chocolope Best Writers Sativa Versability


    Leafly Rating: 4.2

    DNA Genetics developed Chocolope by crossing Chocolate Thai with Cannalope. The hefty sativa buds give earthy, sweet coffee flavors that provide a dreamy, cerebral effect. Chocolope is your morning or dessert coffee and smoke rolled into one mocha-flavored blunt. It’s also a great strain to blend with tobacco for a quick spliff.

    Moby Dick Best Writer Sativas Versability

    Moby Dick

    Leafly Rating: 4.0

    Moby Dick is a cross between indica-dominant hybrid White Widow and sativa Haze, creating a mostly sativa plant that delivers a charged buzz. The aroma is a sweet citrus from the Haze, which dominates the palate with vanilla and eucalyptus tones. Named for the literary whale, Moby Dick isn’t a myth you have to hunt – it’s the motorized, GPS-enabled submarine you’re hunting it in.

    Maui Waui Best Writer Sativas Versability

    Maui Waui

    Leafly Rating: 4.1

    Maui Waui (or Maui Wowie) is a classic sativa straight from the shores of Hawaii. Lightweight sativa effects allow your mind to drift away to creative escapes, while Maui Waui’s motivating, active effects may be all you need to get outside and enjoy the sun. The first marijuana strain I ever smoked, Maui Waui is the perfect meditative bud to get you focused on creating a space in the world around you.

    Lambs Bread Best Writers Sativa Versability

    Lamb’s Bread

    Leafly Rating: 4.3

    Also called “Lamb’s Breath,” Lamb’s Bread is a bright green and sticky sativa strain. The effects have been known to give mass amounts of energy and positive introspection. Even Bob Marley encountered this wonderful slice of cannabis genealogy while exploring his philosophical and political ideologies. Lamb’s Bread is one of my favorite fast-thinking smokes to get the mind revved up and thinking.

    Sour Diesel Best Writer Sativa Strains Versability

    Sour Diesel

    Leafly Rating: 4.2

    Sour Diesel, or Sour D, is an invigorating sativa named after its pungent, diesel-like aroma. This fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that have pushed Sour Diesel to legendary status. Many writers, musicians, and artists use Sour D to push beyond the walls of creative blocks, and it can have the same effect on you, if you’re over 21 and living in the right place.

    Laughing Buddha Best Writers Sativa Versability

    Laughing Buddha

    Leafly Rating: 4.3

    Laughing Buddha is an earthy cross between Thai and Jamaican strains with a sweet, fruity smell broken up by hints of spice. It provides a rich, pungent smoke. As the name implies, the strain will leave you feeling giggly, so humor writers will enjoy smoking Laughing Buddha most while writing. Writers in other genres, however, will likely only need it for brainstorming.

    willie nelson best writers sativa versability

    Willie Nelson

    Leafly Rating: 4.1

    Willie Nelson is a mostly sativa cannabis strain lauded for its euphoric, creative effects. This strain leaves you clear-headed, allowing you to perform artistically the way you want. There’s nothing worse than hitting that mental wall you can’t overcome. A walk will clear your head, as will a quick meditation and yoga break, but to prepare for all of it, you need Willie Nelson.

    mexican_sativa Best Writers Sativa Versability

    Mexican Sativa

    Leafly Rating: 3.0

    Mexican Sativa is a 70/30 sativa-dominant hybrid that offers an uplifting, clear-headed buzz alongside a fresh sandalwood aroma. Being raised on the Mexico/Arizona border, Mexican dirt weed was all we had to smoke back in the day. Though filled with stems and seeds, and not nearly as potent as today’s strains, Mexican Sativa inspired nearly everything creative I wrote from my late teens to mid-20’s.

    Green_Crack_Extreme Best Writers Sativa Versability

    Green Crack

    Leafly Rating: 4.1

    Few strains compare to Green Crack’s sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going throughout the day. With a tangy, fruity flavor redolent of mango, Green Crack is the perfect daytime smoke for writers looking for a creative boost. This strain will get your brain going, but don’t worry about the name – there’s no cocaine or baking soda anywhere near it, and there is no spoon.

    If you need a long-term creative boost, you’re not going to find it in drugs. Working in the creative arts requires you to be a little unhinged, but if you’re fueled by substances, you’ll end up on the wrong path. For short-term help with creative projects, there’s no better natural and organic substance than cannabis. So head to your nearest dispensary, caregiver, or street dealer to find out if they have any of these strains in stock.

    Brian Penny Versability Anonymous iPhone SelfieBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, freelance writer, and troll. Penny has been featured on Huffington Post, Lifehack, The Street, Cannabis Now, and Hardcore Games.

  5. South Dakota Tribe to Open Nation’s 1st Marijuana Resort

    Leave a Comment

    Tribune wire reports     Contact Reporter

    The Santee Sioux tribe has already proven its business acumen, running a successful casino, a 120-room hotel and a 240-head buffalo ranch on the plains of South Dakota.

    But those enterprises have not been immune to competition and the lingering effects of the Great Recession, so the small tribe of 400 is undertaking a new venture — opening the nation’s first marijuana resort on its reservation. The experiment could offer a new moneymaking model for tribes nationwide seeking economic opportunities beyond casinos.

    Santee Sioux leaders plan to grow pot and sell it in a smoking lounge that includes a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service and, eventually, slot machines and an outdoor music venue.

    “We want it to be an adult playground,” tribal President Anthony Reider said. “There’s nowhere else in America that has something like this.”

    The project, according to the tribe, could generate up to $2 million a month in profit, and work is underway on the growing facility. The first joints are expected to go on sale Dec. 31 at a New Year’s Eve party.

    The legalization of marijuana on the Santee Sioux land came in June, months after the Justice Department outlined a new policy that allows Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana under the same conditions as some states.

    Many tribes are hesitant to jump into the pot business. And not everyone in Flandreau, about 45 miles north of Sioux Falls, believes in the project. But the profit potential has attracted the interest of many other tribes, just as the debut of slot machines and table games did almost 27 years ago.

    “The vast majority of tribes have little to no economic opportunity,” said Blake Trueblood, business development director at the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. For those tribes, “this is something that you might look at and say, ‘We’ve got to do something.’ “

    Flandreau’s indoor marijuana farm is set against a backdrop of soybean fields. If not for a security booth outside, the building could pass as an industrial warehouse.

    Inside, men are working to grow more than 30 strains of the finicky plant, including those with names like “Gorilla Glue,” ”Shot Glass” and “Big Blue Cheese.”

    Pot is prone to mildew and mold, picky about temperature and pH level and intolerant to tap water. So the Santee Sioux have hired Denver-based consulting firm Monarch America to teach them the basics.

    Tribal leaders from across the country and South Dakota legislators will tour the Flandreau facility in mid-October.

    “This is not a fly-by-night operation,” said Jonathan Hunt, Monarch’s vice president and chief grower. Tribal leaders “want to show the state how clean, how efficient, how proficient, safe and secure this is as an operation. We are not looking to do anything shady.”

    Elsewhere, crews have begun transforming a bowling alley into the resort.

    A marijuana resort open to the public has never been tried in the U.S. Even in states such as Colorado and Washington, where pot is fully legal, consumption in public places is generally forbidden, although pro-pot activists are seeking to loosen those restrictions. Colorado tolerates a handful of private marijuana clubs.

    Unlike the vast reservations in western South Dakota, where poverty is widespread, the little-known Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation is on 5,000 acres of gently rolling land along the Big Sioux River. Trailer homes are scarce and houses have well-trimmed lawns.

    The Santee Sioux hope to use pot in the same way that many tribes rely on casinos — to make money for community services and to provide a monthly income to tribal members. The existing enterprises support family homes, a senior living community, a clinic and a community center offering after-school programs.

    Reider hopes marijuana profits can fund more housing, an addiction treatment center and an overhaul of the clinic. Some members want a 24/7 day care center for casino workers.

    The prosperity that marijuana could bring to Indian Country comes with huge caveats. The drug remains illegal under federal law, and only Congress can change its status. The administration that moves into the White House in 2017 could overturn the Justice Department’s decision that made marijuana cultivation possible on tribal lands.

    Meanwhile, tribes must follow strict security measures or risk the entire operation.

    The marijuana cannot leave the reservation, and every plant in Flandreau’s growing facility will have a bar code. After being harvested and processed, it will be sold in sealed 1-gram packages for $12.50 to $15 — about the same price as the illegal market in Sioux Falls, according to law enforcement. Consumers will be allowed to buy only 1 gram — enough for two to four joints — at a time.

    Want another gram? The bar-coded package of the first gram must be returned at the counter.

    Since the Santee Sioux announced their plans, the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine signed a letter of intent with Monarch to build a cultivation facility for industrial hemp. The Suquamish Tribe and Washington state officials signed a 10-year agreement that will govern the production, processing and sale of pot on the tribe’s land.

    In the long run, Reider is certain that the benefits will outweigh the risks of tribal marijuana enterprises.

    The tribe, he said, must “look at these opportunities because in order to preserve the past we do have to advance in the present.”

     Associated Press

    Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

  6. SC Senate Subcommittee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

    Leave a Comment



    A state Senate subcommittee passed a bill Thursday to allow the use of medical marijuana in South Carolina. The bill will now go to the full Senate Medical Affair Committee, but the subcommittee will meet again first to get input from opponents on how to make the bill better.

    The bill would allow the use of medical marijuana only for patients suffering from a list of ailments and with a doctor’s prescription. The bill also sets up a seed-to-sale tracking system and would have the state Department of Health and Environmental Control license marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries.

    The subcommittee heard from opponents of the bill Thursday, including State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel. He said other states with medical marijuana laws have seen increases in overall marijuana use, traffic accidents caused by drivers high on marijuana, and emergency room visits caused by marijuana when children ingest edible forms. He said in those states some doctors become “pill mills,” writing prescriptions for a fee for medical marijuana for just about anyone with any kind of ache or pain. And there’s nothing stopping people with marijuana prescription cards from getting the drug and giving it or selling it to others, including minors.

    “I don’t know of any other proposed legislation that I’ve been aware of, and certainly not since I was director of the Department of Public Safety and more involved with the legislature or since I’ve been the chief of SLED, that I think has the opportunity to negatively impact the state that we live in than this piece of legislation,” Chief Keel told senators.

    But senators sponsoring the bill say there’s a long list of illnesses and conditions for which marijuana provides relief, and lawmakers shouldn’t block a doctor from being able to prescribe something that will help a patient.

    Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, one of the sponsors of the bill, said, “If a doctor, with all his or her training, believes something can be of therapeutic benefit, why in the world would we as politicians, for reasons that are non-medical, step in and say no?”

    Co-sponsor Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, said, “It should not be illegal in South Carolina for a doctor to prescribe medicine to a patient that’s going to help that patient.”

  7. 5 Ways to Consume Cannabis


    Doctors have only recently begun to publicly recognize the medical benefits of cannabis. From treating debilitating diseases in humans to easing pain in pets, there are countless applications for this remarkable plant.


    But many people still don’t know what it really means to consume cannabis. Sure, you might be able to spot the difference between a joint and a bong, but there’s so much more to be aware of. . . 


    . . .like knowing the difference between a 100mg and 1,000mg edible. Yeah, we’re talking about that time in college you and your roommate ate the whole thing and found yourselves on planet Zargab (not a real planet).


    So let’s get meducated! (No, that’s not a typo and, yes, you can give us credit for the word).


    Here’s 5 ways to consume medical cannabis


    1) Smoke it: cannabis flowers

    2) Vaporize it: cannabis flowers or extracted oils

    3) Eat it: cannabis infused foods, desserts, drinks, and more

    4) Dab it: concentrated cannabis oil

    5) Drop it: cannabis tinctures




    A lot of people choose smoking as their main way of consuming cannabis. The effects are pretty much immediate and the dosage is relatively easy to control. Depending on a strain’s THC & CBD content, effects from smoking cannabis can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2-4 hours.


    In its flower form (as it’s most commonly found), cannabis can be smoked plenty of different waysYou can use a pipe, bong, blunt, bubbler, piece of fruit (apples are highly-recommended) or just about anything else with a spot to put your herb and a hole to smoke it through.


    Not sure where to start? You could just go with the classic joint; or the bit more fancy blunt. Granted, the better you filter the smoke, the better it is for your body.


    HINT: Smoked marijuana can cause throat and lung irritation, so have some water nearby and first inhale small and slowly!


    Want to learn how? Click here for our easy instructional video! (under 2 minutes long)




    “Vaping” (the act of vaporizing) is arguably the future of cannabis consumption. It’s become popular with medicinal/recreational users and experts/doctors alike because it’s discreet and produces a smoother, tastier and healthier hit, free of the toxic chemicals and tar consumed when smoking cannabis. 


    A vaporizer electronically heats up cannabis flowers and extracted oils to a low enough temperature that’ll release their beneficial compounds without the potentially harmful combustion. They come in many shapes and sizes, but almost all require a power source (either battery or wall plug) to use.


    This process causes cannabis’ active ingredients, mainly CBD and THC, to be “cooked” off and turned into vapor which is then inhaled. Depending on CBD & THC content in the oil you’re consuming, effects from vaping may take 5-10 minutes to hit and can last up to 4 hours.


    HINT: There are tons of companies that offer vaporizer products, so the best place to start is with a simple online search, but watch out for fake reviews!


    Want to learn how? Click here for our easy instructional video! (under 2 minutes long)


    Eating Edibles


    For may, cannabis and tobacco are all the same—dangerous. The fact is, smoking just comes with a negative stigma (we’re trying to change that), which is why some cannabis users purposely avoid smoking and the stigma associated with it by turning to edibles—THC infused foods and beverages.


    Caution is extremely advised for the first time edible consumer. Remember factors such as body weight, height, fat, and external stimuli, like how recently you’ve eaten or how active you’ve been, can affect your reaction to an edible.


    Most will take 45min-1 hour to take effect but can sometimes take as long as 3 hours, so don’t make the mistake of thinking your first dose was a dud then scarf down brownie number two. You’ll regret it! Depending on its THC & CBD content, an edible’s effects can last anywhere from 3-8 hours.


    Because marijuana is very fat soluble, it can easily be infused into either oil or butter for baking. Types of edibles include (but are not limited to) brownies, cookies, gummy bears, lollipops, chocolate bars, pizza, ice cream, honey, and even the occasional birthday cake.


    Craving a sweet treat? Find any and all delicious cannabis-infused treats on California’s top online MMJ marketplace, Nugg! And just between us, we’re notorious for throwing in free snacks of our own (just not cannabis-infused)!



    HINT: if taking an edible for the first time, be in a comfortable environment under the supervision of a friend and start with just one small dose.


    Want to learn how? Click here for our easy instructional video! (under 2 minutes long)


    Dabbing Concentrates


    Although most concentrates are technically “smoked,” they fall under their own form of consumption known as “dabbing.”


    Cannabis concentrates produce the strongest form of medicating. Effects are immediate, and last 1-4 hours depending on relative THC vs CBD content. Many individuals in the medical cannabis community prefer concentrates such as oils, shatter, and wax for their intense pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.


    How does it work? Dabbing requires a water bong with an attachment known as a “dab nail,” typically made from quartz or titanium. You heat the dab nail with a torch to ~900°F, then “dab” your concentrate onto the hot nail while simultaneously inhaling the resulting vapor through a pipe or bong.


    HINT: Just like an edible, try and be with someone experienced if dabbing for the first time, and start small.


    Want to learn how? Click here for our easy instructional video! (under 2 minutes long)


    Taking Tinctures


    Tinctures are liquid cannabis concentrates made by extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using high-proof grain alcohol. Peak effects are felt within 20 minutes and are steady and rather mellow.


    These THC tinctures can be administered simply by putting a few drops from the bottle’s droopper under the tongue (we recommend 1-2 drops for first time users), allowing for easy dosage control. Effects are almost immediate and peak effects be felt within 20 minutes and last 1-3 hours.


    HINT: Anyone medicating with cannabis should do so in a safe environment, and is strongly advised not to drive, operate machinery or participate in dangerous activities.


    Want to learn how? Click here for our easy instructional video! (under 2 minutes long)


    In a follow-up post, we’ll talk about some things to know when it comes to knowing how much cannabis to consume.


    If there’s one thing you HAD to know about cannabis, what would it be? Leave a comment!

  8. Lawmakers Challenge Justice Department on Medical Cannabis

    Leave a Comment

    Lawmakers Challenge Justice Department on Medical Cannabis

    Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and Representative Sam Farr (D-Carmel) have taken a bipartisan stand against the Justice Department’s overreach on medicinal marijuana. Responding to the continued harassment of dispensaries in the Golden State, the Representatives schooled the Justice Department on it’s recent interpretation of an amendment meant to free pot clinics of continued federal coercion.

    The two teamed up after an LA Times article on the continued persecution and prosecution of Bay Area cannabis providers.
    “Criminal prosecutions … as well as asset forfeiture actions like those mentioned in the recent L.A. Times article against dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay Area, were what motivated us … to approve this measure.”
    (h/t LA Times)