Month: November 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s Remember to Support Small Businesses this Week! (And Every Week!)

I’m not gonna lie, it was embarrassingly hard to cancel my Amazon Prime membership. It has been even embarrassingly harder to avoid hopping onto Amazon to order things I need, along some early Christmas gifts. Those that know me best know that I go through headphones, cell phone chargers, and water bottles at a ridiculously rapid pace as I lose them across the city and basically everywhere that I travel. I am doing the best that I can to shop local and I hope that everyone, including the cannabis community, can do their best to support small, local businesses this week and every week.

Here’s some great information about small businesses Steve Bulger, the acting Mid-Atlantic regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, in the The Weston Democrat:

In so many ways, small businesses are the glue that holds our communities together. In addition to providing jobs and contributing to the local tax base, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local nonprofits and community causes.

In fact, 75% of small businesses donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations annually. As of 2019, 81% of small businesses plan on giving back to their community in 2020.

Each small business typically has a list of different organizations and causes it donates to: 66% give to local charities, 48% support local youth organizations, 42% donate to local first responders … the list goes on.

If you are around the Pendleton area and are a part of the growing trend of sharing cannabis at holiday gatherings, I certainly encourage you to visit Kind Leaf which is a local cannabis boutique that is giving its employees Thanksgiving off, but providing some great deals this Friday and Saturday. You will be helping the local economy, supporting an Oregon small mom-and-pop, and enjoying the largest cannabis selection in the Beaver State. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Some of Kind Leaf’s great deals this Friday and Saturday:

30% Off Flower: Sour Peach Cobbler, Rainmaker, 24K, PCG Cooks, Mimosa, Mac #8, DogWalker, Tiramisu Cooks, Lavender, Gorilla Confidential

20% Off: Empower Topicals, Portland Extracts, Flav, Karma Originals, Twax Joints, Legal Beverages, Wyld

30% Off: Smokies Taffy, Journeyman Edibles, Green Dragon Vape, Canna Fusion Topicals, Dab Society – Hash Fruit & MAC Dragon, Happy Cabbage -Mendo Burst & Purple Starburst

40% Off: That Taffy, Periodic Edible Caramels, Echo Vape, Co2 Company Batteries, Shadow Box Prerolls, Vitonic Drinks, Magic Beverages, Dark Matter RSO, Sexy Time by Apothecanna, Echo Extracts – Lemon Remedy, ACDC, & Ringo’s Gift

 

 

Green Wednesday and Black Friday a Big Day for Cannabis Sales

In most states, cannabis sales have surpassed expectations and continue to climb. Jobs are being created and states’ coffers are bringing in millions upon millions in revenue. However, despite the gaudy meta financial numbers that make headlines, cannabis businesses, especially retailers, need the support of the cannabis community thanks to tough regulations and that pesky 280e IRS tax code that doesn’t allow normal business deductions.

Like a lot of businesses, cannabis retailers rely upon “Black Friday” sales the day after Thanksgiving to boost profits. However, unlike other businesses, “Green Wednesday” (the day before Thanksgiving) is also a big sales day as sharing cannabis with family and friends over the holidays is growing in popularity. New sales data shows that the days before and after Thanksgiving are big for the cannabis industry, as Marijuana Business Daily reports:

As shoppers head out to prepare for Thanksgiving and participate in Black Friday sales, data from two firms show consumers may be upping their purchases of marijuana products as well.

Data from Seattle-based Headset reveals that 2018 sales on “Green Wednesday” – the day before Thanksgiving – increased 63% over the average Wednesday.

And Santa Cruz, California-based Jane Technologies – which operates an online marketplace where consumers can shop for cannabis – found that 2018 Black Friday sales were up 62% over the average day.

While Green Wednesday and Black Friday sales are big for the cannabis community, those sales days are still dwarfed by April 20th, our famous holiday. Providing cannabis flower and products at the holidays among adults will only increase overtime and I imagine could cut down on drinking alcohol a bit, a potential benefit to our health and well-being (as you’ll know if you’ve ever had to deal with drunk friends and family members at holiday celebrations). This holiday season, let’s continue to spread the truth about cannabis and #BeKind.

Personally, I’m proud of Kind Leaf and other businesses that give their employees Thanksgiving Day off. Let’s support these businesses on Green Wednesday, Black Friday, and every other day.

Check out the great deals that Kind Leaf is offering this week:

Kind Leaf Black Friday Deals

Oregon Bans Vitamin E Acetate From Cannabis Vape Cartridges

Last week I wrote a couple of blogs about cannabis vape cartridges, including whether Oregon should follow Michigan’s lead and ban vitamin E acetate from the market after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) named the substance as the most likely culprit behind over 40 deaths and 2,000 illnesses nationwide. On Friday, state regulators announced the ban on the ingredient. OPB reported on the decision by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission:

Based on the CDC’s findings, the OLCC has determined that vitamin E acetate is an “adulterant,” or an ingredient which is “foreign, inferior, poisonous or deleterious.”

This action by the commission supports the public health finding. The ingredient would still be allowed in non-inhaled products such as lotions and edibles.

“We’re making it clear that to protect consumer health we will vigorously scrutinize what goes into marijuana products sold in Oregon’s legal marketplace,” Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, said in a news release. “The commission is taking steps with our regulatory partners to put in place additional consumer safeguards.”

Erin Purchase, Director of Operations of Kind Leaf and a member of Oregon’s new formed Vaping Public Health Workgroup, stated, “I am happy to see that the OLCC has taken the first steps in ensuring consumer safety by banning Vitamin E Acetate. I hope that our state regulators take additional steps by requiring additives to be labeled on the packages. Perhaps with further studies and clarifications the importance of transparent labeling will be revealed.”

Personally, I applaud this decision of the OLCC and am proud of Kind Leaf and other good actors in the Oregon market that have been proactive and are working towards more safety precautions and labeling transparency. The ability to adapt to new information with new industry norms and regulations is just one of the examples why legalization is a much better policy than prohibition. It’s possible that the cannabis industry will need to adapt again as the CDC continues to study the vaping issue to determine if any other factors besides vitamin E acetate are involved, as The Washington Post reports:

Investigators are also trying to find out what other toxins might be flowing into people’s lungs as they vape. Federal health officials have said the outbreak may have more than one cause.

***

“We’ll be looking to see if we get anything unusual,” (the CDC’s Jim) Pirkle said. Most of the sick patients vaped multiple products, including those containing THC. “It could be that only one of the products causes disease and the others did not. But we don’t know which one, so we still have to analyze all of them.”

 

Scientists hope to have “a good chunk” of results within about six weeks, he said.

Stay tuned as we keep you posted on the latest science, regulations, and industry decisions impacting consumer safety. Here is the OLCC’s full announcement on the banning of vitamin E acetate from cannabis vape cartridges:

November 22, 2019

OLCC Affirms Authority to Prohibit Marijuana Adulterants

Ban Vitamin E Acetate from Marijuana Vaping Products

Portland, OR —  At its monthly meeting on November 21, 2019, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission affirmed the OLCC’s existing authority to ban adulterants, such as Vitamin E acetate, from inclusion in marijuana products.  The Commission also approved eight marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Public health investigators with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have identified Vitamin E acetate as a potential culprit in the national vaping respiratory illness outbreak.  Forty-two people, including two in Oregon, have died from the illness.  More than 2,100 individuals have been afflicted with the lung injury, including 18 Oregonians.

Previously the OLCC had not expressly allowed or banned Vitamin E acetate from being mixed into marijuana vaping products.  Ingredients for marijuana products are already screened as part of the OLCC’s packaging and labeling pre-approval process.  The Commission’s action supports both the public health finding and the agency’s ability to ban Vitamin E acetate.

“We’re making it clear that to protect consumer health we will vigorously scrutinize what goes into marijuana products sold in Oregon’s legal marketplace,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.  “The Commission is taking steps with our regulatory partners to put in place additional consumer safeguards.  Just this week we discussed with the legislature establishing a state-run reference lab so that regulators can test marijuana products in an effort to better protect consumers.”

Under Oregon law, the OLCC can prohibit recreational marijuana licensees from selling a marijuana item that contains “injurious or adulterated” ingredients. See ORS 475B.232(2) for reference.

Under existing OLCC administrative rules “adulterated” is defined to mean in part “a foreign, inferior, poisonous or deleterious ingredient or substance that renders the marijuana item injurious to health.  See OAR 845-025-1015(2) for reference.  Based upon the CDC finding, the OLCC has determined that Vitamin E acetate is an adulterant.

Vitamin E acetate may continue to be included in non-inhaled marijuana products, such as lotions and edibles, so long as its introduction into those products meets all other OLCC requirements.

Michigan Bans Vitamin E Acetate in Vaping Products, Should Oregon Follow Suit?

To be perfectly honest, the deaths attributed to cannabis vape cartridges have hit me pretty hard. As someone that has dedicated most of my adult life to ending cannabis prohibition, the fact that any cannabis product has contributed to a death troubles me. Of course, probably all of the 47 deaths and 2,000+ illnesses have been caused by cartridges from the illegal market, but just the fact that the two victims in Oregon shopped at licensed retailers is extremely alarming, even if it hasn’t been proven that the two deaths were in fact caused by licensed products.

While Oregon’s plan to ban flavored vaping products has been temporarily halted by the Oregon Court of Appeals, we certainly haven’t heard the last of proposed regulations. With the additive vitamin e acetate a very likely culprit according to experts, shouldn’t Oregon be seriously considering a ban on the unneeded ingredient? Michigan just announced such a ban, as reported by The Detroit News:

Michigan regulators have temporarily paused the sale of marijuana vaping products as they implement new safety standards spurred by an outbreak of lung injuries. Also, regulators banned on Friday the use of vitamin E acetate, an additive that’s been linked to the injuries, in marijuana vaping products.

***

Under the new rules, Michigan is now requiring that all inactive ingredients added to marijuana products be clearly listed on the product label.

“Prohibiting additives that could cause harm to human health is a step forward in efforts to protect the public during this outbreak of lung injury cases,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

I’m thankful for Kind Leaf stepping up to work with processors to ensure that vape cartridges are properly labeled. This type of leadership is just one reason why consumers should support the craft cannabis boutique. Kind Leaf’s CEO and founder, Brandon Krenzler, stated:

“Kind Leaf is asking every single Oregon producer to proactively label all ingredients found within any cannabis product on our shelf. If the product has flavorings, label the each additive individually, if there is MCT oil, label it accordingly, if there is residual butane, it should be labeled.

“It is the right of the consumer to be informed and make concrete purchase decisions, and be confident that all ingredients are transparently listed. This has become a matter of integrity in the cannabis industry to ensure consumer safety by being fully transparent.

“We have the chance to set the tone and move past the contrived corporate mindset that has befallen this country and establish standards that can be used as an example to other industries. We shouldn’t have to have the FDA make requirements. We all purchase food from the store and can appreciate the listing of ingredients, shouldn’t we provide the same peace of mind?”

Speaking for myself, the state needs to step up its testing and labeling procedures and banning vitamin E acetate seems to be a no-brainer. Oregon has done a great job of leading on several cannabis policies, but here’s an example when the Beaver State may want to follow Michigan’s lead on consumer safety protections.

The Gateway Theory Has Been Debunked

As the cannabis legalization debate has moved into the mainstream, with 2/3 of Americans wanting to put an end to prohibition, it is still frustrating to hear those that oppose legalization cite the debunked “Gateway Theory.” There is simply no proof that using cannabis makes you want to move onto other drugs. Unfortunately, the debunked Gateway Theory is something that just won’t die, invading the public debate like a mindless zombie. Thankfully, a strong majority of people see through the nonsense and Reefer Madness propaganda.

From the good folks at the Drug Policy Alliance:

Research simply does not support the theory that marijuana is a “gateway” drug – that is, one whose use results in an increased likelihood of using “more serious” drugs such as cocaine and heroin. However, this flawed gateway effect is one of the principal reasons cited in defense of laws prohibiting the use or possession of marijuana.
Significant amounts of research as well as measures implemented in other countries suggest that there are far more effective and less harmful strategies for decreasing youth use of marijuana and reducing the potential harms of other illicit drug use than using the “gateway” myth as a scare tactic. New evidence suggests that marijuana can even serve as an “exit drug,” helping people to reduce or eliminate their use of more harmful drugs such as opiates or alcohol by easing withdrawal symptoms.
Reefer Madness prohibitionists may discount DPA, so here’s the Institute of Medicine debunking the Gateway Theory as “underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, ‘gateway’ to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”
While we are clearly winning the debate of whether to end the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition, it is still irritating to have to deal with debunked theories and stereotypes. For the cannabis community to truly be free, not just legally, but also professionally and socially, it is imperative to share your stories, including whether you and loved ones have decreased the use of more harmful drugs, like opiates and alcohol, thanks to cannabis.

History Made: Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes House Committee

Positive federal cannabis law reforms move forward step by step, person by person, as elected officials and policymakers start to catch up to the will of the voters. It took several tries through Congress to pass a budget provision protecting state-legal cannabis patients and providers from federal prosecution, but now this protection is a common yearly budget rider.

We’re still looking for the U.S. Senate to pass similar legislation for adult-use consumers and retailers, but we’ve passed such a measure through the House, after a couple of attempts; same thing for the SAFE Banking Act that will allow cannabis businesses’ access to banking services. Today, history was made as a bill to deschedule cannabis, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, passed the House Judiciary Committee with a bipartisan 24-10 vote.

As usual, Marijuana Moment was on top of the breaking news:

The approved legislation, introduced by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would federally deschedule cannabis, expunge the records of those with prior marijuana convictions and impose a five percent tax on sales, revenue from which would be reinvested in communities most impacted by the drug war.

It would also create a pathway for resentencing for those incarcerated for marijuana offenses, as well as protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis and prevent federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearance due to its use.

“These steps are long overdue. For far too long we’ve treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health,” Nadler said in his opening remarks. “Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating people at the federal level is unwise and unjust.”

With two-thirds of American adults wanting to put an end to federal prohibition, it is only a matter of time before legalization becomes the law of the land. However, the Reefer Madness prohibitionists in power won’t go down without a fight. We must continue supporting advocates, organizations, and elected officials that are on the right side of history. Most importantly, the cannabis community just needs to keep speaking the truth.

 

Keep Spreading the Truth: Support for Legal Cannabis Is at an All-Time High

After decades of Reefer Madness propaganda and being treated like criminals, the cannabis community has suffered through a stigma that impacts every aspect of life, from criminal prosecutions to family law to employment to personal relationships. Thanks to the hard work of advocates and objective researchers, the lies perpetuated by prohibitionists have slowly but surely been exposed, and the American people are finally realizing the truth about cannabis, that legalization is a better policy than prohibition. The efforts are clearly paying off as a recent Pew Research poll shows that support for legal cannabis has reached an all-time high.

Pew has polled on cannabis legalization since 1969 when only 12% of adults favored ending prohibition and a whopping eighty-four percent supported criminalizing marijuana use. The polling agency reported its latest findings:

Two-thirds of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The share of U.S. adults who oppose legalization has fallen from 52% in 2010 to 32% today.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (91%) say marijuana should be legal either for medical and recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal just for medical use (32%). Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) prefer to keep marijuana illegal in all circumstances, according to the survey, conducted Sept. 3 to 15 on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

There are many activist heroes over the years. Folks like Jack Herer, Willie Nelson, and Bob Marley will come to mind to many people, while Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the scientist that first isolated THC, was certainly an influential figure. I’ve long called Oregon’s Elvy Musikka, and her fellow federal medical cannabis patients, prophets of the movement because they revealed the truth about the plant’s medicinal uses. However, we are finally winning the war that has been waged against the nonviolent cannabis community because of ordinary people spreading the truth. Keep spreading the truth and the truth shall set us all free.

 

Kind Leaf Wins LeafLink’s Best Purchase Variety Award

LeafLink today released its second-annual LeafLink List, honoring the standout cannabis brands, products, and retailers on its business-to-business (b2b) e-commerce marketplace, which processes over $1.4 billion per year in wholesale cannabis orders. Kind Leaf Pendleton, Eastern Oregon’s favorite craft boutique, was announced as the winner in the “Best Purchase Variety” category.

Best Purchase Variety highlighted retailers who purchased the greatest variety of unique products available compared to total products purchased in the state. Kind Leaf, with the largest cannabis selection in the great state of Oregon, is now getting national attention for the variety of high-quality products on its shelves. This award follows on the heels of two Kind Leaf budtenders nominated for awards at the 2019 Budtender Awards, with LaRain Miller taking home the Dazed and Infused Award for her knowledge of edibles and terpenes.

LeafLink, which is live in 24 territories across North America, created LeafLink List by analyzing wholesale cannabis orders between over 1,300 industry brands and more than 4,000 retailers from January 1st, 2019 to September 30th, 2019.

We’re excited to continue the tradition of recognizing some of the incredible brands and retailers who are a part of the LeafLink community,” said Ryan G. Smith, LeafLink CEO & Co-Founder. “LeafLink List is not only a celebration of amazing cannabis businesses, but also of the ways in which they are helping push the industry forward as a whole.

“We are so pleased to win LeafLink’s Best Purchase Variety Award because we pride ourselves on meeting the demands and needs of patients and consumers. We understand the variety of preferences and price points that our community deserves,” stated Brandon Krenzler, Kind Leaf’s CEO and Founder. “This acknowledgement only further motivates us to be the best craft cannabis boutique retailer that we can possibly be.”

Adults over the age of 21 can visit Kind Leaf and see the best selection in the state of Oregon, and possibly in the entire United States, at 1733 SW Court Ave, in beautiful Pendleton, Oregon. Check out Leafly for daily deals and remember that patients always receive an additional 15% off.

LLList Winner Kit 

 

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Kind Leaf Responds to the Oregon Court of Appeals Blocking the State’s Ban on Flavored Cannabis Vape Cartridges

With the death toll reaching 42 and more than 2,100 serious illnesses reported, contaminated vape cartridges have rocked the cannabis and vaping industries. After Oregon first confirmed deaths and illnesses in the state, Pendleton’s Kind Leaf took the proactive approach of pulling vape cartridges that contained artificial ingredients, or couldn’t prove all-natural ingredients, off of their shelves.

Opinions may vary and I respect differences of opinions, but I personally applaud Kind Leaf’s decision and am glad that the company’s Director of Operations, Erin Purchase, has been appointed to the state commission looking into the matter. Oregon Governor Kate Brown eventually announced a temporary ban on flavored cannabis vape cartridges, but that directive was just temporarily blocked by the Oregon Court of Appeals. What happens now is anyone’s guess, but we can probably expect the Oregon Legislature to take up the issue and for formal rulemaking to take place next year.

Speaking for myself only, it seems to me that the state should be looking into the additive vitamin E acetate first and foremost since it seems to be a prime suspect. I’m also concerned about any and all non-cannabis additives and think that, at the bare minimum, every ingredient should be labeled so consumers can make informed decisions.

Once again, Kind Leaf is demonstrating real leadership on the this issue and is working with others in the industry to put consumer safety at the forefront. Kind Leaf CEO and founder Brandon Krenzler released the following statement:

We have received clarification from our regulatory agencies on what Vape pens are currently allowed on retail shelves in Oregon, after this stay on the governors blanket ban by the Oregon court of appeals.

After this information, we will begin to work with our vending partners to be provided detailed information about their products and any utilized additives. We will use this information to best make the decision as to whether or not their products are of high enough quality to be on the shelves at Kind Leaf, we are making the request that producers list each individual ingredient on their label.

We will maintain our position of a highest priority to customer care and safety. Many companies have already expressed interest in disclosing their additives on the label.

I sincerely applaud Kind Leaf’s stance on cannabis vape cartridges and hope that processors and others in the industry join them in placing the health of customers, many of whom are sick patients with compromised immune systems, ahead of simply making profits. The cannabis industry still has an opportunity to be different than other industries that have gone completely corporate and place the financial interests of shareholders over the wellbeing of our communities. Kind Leaf is certainly helping lead the way.

 

Spread the Word: Medical Marijuana Patients Get an Additional 15% Off at Kind Leaf

When searching for local cannabis retailers to support, I love to find mom-and-pops and locally-owned stores like Kind Leaf in Pendleton. When you find that the retail outlet also supports medical cannabis patients, then that is an amazing bonus. If you know of any medical marijuana patient anywhere close to Pendleton, Oregon, you should definitely direct them to Kind Leaf, where they will receive an additional 15% off all cannabis products.

Sales Ending Today (November 14th, hurry, Kind Leaf is open until 10pm)

Dab Society Mac Dragon & Hash Fruit Live Resin Sale

Take an extra 30% off Dab Society Hash Fruit & Mac Dragon Live Resin while supplies last! Limit 5 Grams Per Customer

Shadow Box 3 Pack Preroll Sale

WOW! Shadow Box Pink Cooks & Night Walker 3 packs of prerolls are now 30% off! Limit 28 Grams Per Customer

Magic Drop Sale

Take 20% off Magic Drops today! Limit 16 OZ Per Customer

Willamette Valley Alchemy Sah-Moas & The Bizz Sale

Take an extra 25% off WVA Sah-Moas & The Bizz shatter while supplies last! Limit 5 Grams Per Customer

Mule Sugar Blow Out Sale
Take 40% off Mule Infused sugar!
24K Sale!
Take 25% off 24K! A relaxing indica hybrid that’s sure to rock you to sleep. $27 an eighth
Sales Ending on November 17th 
Cookies & Kind Leaf Apparel Sale!
We have a huge selection of Cookies apparel now 30% off and Kind Leaf apparel at 40% off! Hoodies galore! Just in time for the holiday gift season! Hurry, supplies won’t last long!
Vitonic Infused Drink Sale

Take $3.50 off Vitonic Infused drinks all week long! (Limit 16 OZ Per Customer)

With Thanksgiving around the corner and upcoming holiday parties and shopping coming before you know it, stock up this Holiday season at Kind Leaf, an Oregonian-owned mom-and-pop shop that helps its local economy and community. Shop local and #BeKind, good people.