Author and historian Joseph Marshall III stated that, “Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories,” while author Chris Brogan, said, “Celebrate small victories often. Mourn failures quickly.” These quotes have stuck with me over the years and are good reminders for activists working in cannabis law reform, or any other field. The cannabis community has had victories big and small over the years, with a few major setbacks, but building upon our wins and not letting our losses detract us, have been important to our momentum.
When the end of the year winds down, there are always a rush of “Top 10” lists and cannabis is no different. Tom Angell listed his top 10 marijuana victories of 2019 in Forbes, including banking and hemp legislation. Here’s a snippet:
After decades of being swept up in broader cannabis prohibition, hemp finally became legal late last year through the 2018 Farm Bill. In response, numerous federal agencies have taken major steps in 2019 to implement the legalization of marijuana’s non-psychoactive cannabis cousin.
The roll call tally, 321 to 103, demonstrated broad bipartisan support for fixing an issue that industry leaders and regulators alike have pointed to as a public safety concern. Current law, by preventing many cannabis operators from being able to store their profits with financial institutions, forces them to operate on a cash-only basis and makes them targets for robberies.
The victories for the cannabis community in 2019 will certainly be a springboard into 2020 as the U.S. Senate should take up banking legislation and the federal government is expected to provide more clarity around all things hemp. We can look forward to reforms to pass in a few more states and the advances we make in 2020 will reverberate across Washington D.C., and across the country. We have made such great progress over the years, that it is easy to forget to celebrate all of our victories. Let’s not fall into that trap, let’s appreciate how far that we have come and come back in 2020 more motivated than ever before to fight for freedom and equality.
Ever since the days of Reefer Madness, prohibitionists have found various ways to provoke fear about cannabis cannabis, from saying that it makes all of its users crazy to claiming that legalization will cause mayhem on our highways. As most of us now know, these “the sky is falling” stories have been debunked one by one, including the prediction of the extreme dangers on our roads. Somewhat surprisingly however, a new report out of the Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity, authored by economist Benjamin Hanson, found that legalization in Washington State led to a decrease in alcohol-related car crashes in neighboring Idaho.
Two key dates, Hansen noted in his paper, were September 2015 and March 2016: That’s when recreational marijuana sales began in Walla Walla, Washington, and in Huntington, Oregon, respectively. Both are located within driving distance of the Idaho border, thus making it easy for residents to drive across state lines to purchase cannabis. Additionally, the paper states, Idaho law enforcement report “consistent increases in trafficking and seizures following Washington’s and Oregon’s legalizations.”
Hansen confirmed that searches for the term “dispensaries” increased “dramatically” in Idaho after Washington legalized marijuana. “This suggests that interest in marijuana—specifically, marijuana available in Washington and Oregon—increased significantly as stores opened nearby and that the trend break is not due to random chance,” he writes.
The author also found that access to recreational marijuana was associated with a 21 percent decrease in accidents involving alcohol in Idaho counties directly bordering Washington. Counties located one hour away from Washington saw a reduction of 18 percent, while counties three hours away saw a reduction of 10 percent. When the driving distance from Washington was four hours or more, the effect was insignificant, the author writes.
As cannabis moves more and more mainstream, with Michigan just starting regulated sales, it will be interesting to see if these results are replicated across other states. One thing is for certain–Reefer Madness fearmongering gets debunked each and every time and it is time to stop criminalizing patients and responsible adults all across our great nation.
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.
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.
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.
Medical cannabis has clearly gone mainstream with over 90% support across the nation and a majority of states have now passed medicinal laws. There are several problems with many of these programs, but one of the glaring issues is the fact that too many military veterans lack access to these state programs because of federal law. While some progress has been made at the federal level, unfortunately, Veterans Affairs doctors aren’t allowed to sign off on medical marijuana authorizations.
NORML describes the VA’s current medical cannabis policy:
A policy guidance update issued by the US Department of Veterans Affairs encourages greater communication about cannabis between doctors and veterans, but continues to forbid physicians from explicitly recommending it as a therapeutic option in states where the substance is legal.
The updated directive urges V.A. doctors to foster discussions with veterans about their cannabis use “due to its clinical relevance to patient care.” It also affirms that “veterans must not be denied VHA [Veteran Health Administration] services solely for participating in state-approved marijuana programs.”
However, the updated directive maintains that “providers are prohibited from completing forms or registering veterans for participation in state-approved [medical marijuana] program[s].”
Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, writes in The Hill that, “Congress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans:”
According to nationwide survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 75 percent of military veterans “would be interested in using cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option if it were available.”
The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has adopted a resolution urging the “United States government to permit V.A. medical providers to be able to discuss with veterans the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recommend it in those states where medical marijuana laws exist.”
It is time for Congress to grant physicians affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs the same discretion as other doctors in medical cannabis states. Politicians should no longer put politics ahead of the health and well-being of America’s military veterans, some of whom may potentially benefit from medical marijuana.
Whether military veterans decide to use cannabis medically or recreationally, they certainly deserve to be free from government persecution for marijuana after serving our nation and sacrificing so much. It’s great that many political leaders are bringing this issue to the forefront, but for the sake of our veterans, let’s do all that we can to help those that have given so much to us.
Responding to tragic deaths across the United States, including two in Oregon, along with many reported illnesses, Kind Leaf made the decision back in September to be the first cannabis dispensary only carry cannabis vape cartridges with natural ingredients, before any government action took place. The death toll has unfortunately climbed to 37 and reported illnesses are now reaching close to 2,000 across the country.
It is true leadership to put consumer safety over temporary profits, but that is just what Kind Leaf, one of Oregon’s premier cannabis retailers, did. It is even more impressive considering that the Pendleton store is a true, mom-and-pop shop, not backed by out-of-state or out-of-country investors or corporate interests.
Cannabis legalization has ended unnecessary arrests and citations in Oregon while creating thousands of jobs for our residents and generating millions of revenue for the state, but more testing and labeling regulations are needed regarding additives to cannabis oil cartridges. While the state of Oregon took several steps forward, first asking retailers to review products on their shelves and to remove any products that may have concerns about, before finally announcing a temporary ban on flavored cartridges and establishing a workgroup to look at the issue, Kind Leaf lead the way and did not wait for government regulators, or anyone else, to act.
Kind Leaf Pendleton removed 68 vape cartridges from 15 different brands because they contain additives that aren’t specifically listed as ingredients. While more information is needed, tests of vape cartridges suspected to be the cause of some illnesses have found vitamin E acetate, used by some companies as a thickener, to be a prime culprit. Currently, vitamin E acetate and other potentially harmful additives aren’t required to be tested for or labeled under state guidelines. The cause of these frightening illnesses is still unknown and there could be multiple causes.
“We take our responsibility to provide safe cannabis and cannabis products very seriously,” stated Erin Purchase, Kind Leaf’s director of operations. “Consumers should know what they are ingesting and potentially fatal additives should not be allowed to taint an otherwise safe product. We believe that it is common sense to put people before profits and will work with regulators and businesses to ensure that Oregon’s cannabis program is as safe as possible for all Oregonians.”
Thankfully, Kind Leaf’s own Erin Purchase has been appointed to serve on Oregon’s Vaping Health Public Workgroup. Erin will rely upon her knowledge of Complementary Alternative Medicine, her experience in the cannabis industry, as well as her passion for consumer rights and safety, to advise the state to the best of her ability. It is great that the state is taking this issue seriously and has chosen someone with her heart and mind in the right place to help the state develop safer industry regulations.
7 Points Oregon is a craft, Clean Green Certified, indoor cultivation facility based in Portland, Oregon
7 Points Oregon cultivates with the intention to elevate the potential of their Cannabis plants with emphasis on top-tier quality and environmental sustainability. They utilize only organic plant based nutrients with a targeted focus on terpene expression.
The top 3 factors that the team at 7 Points Oregon takes into consideration when cultivating their award-winning cannabis are:
In order to ensure the level of quality 7 Points Oregon built their name on, they design all aspects of their production environment to the highest possible standards. Exerting control over each minor environmental detail allows for perfection during the key stages of flower development, allows for pest mitigation and lowers the carbon footprint produced from Cannabis cultivation.
Robert Elam, founder of 7 Points Oregon has always prioritized quality over quantity throughout every stage of production, utilizing only Organic inputs, namely “Veganics.” 7 Points also adheres to strict pest and fungal control protocols so as not to utilize damaging chemical inputs so many farms are forced to turn to.
A genuine company belief is that from seed to harvest, the single most important factor in growing great cannabis is giving the plants every bit of the TLC they need to become the state’s next favorite cultivar.
Growing with Veganics.
“Veganics” is a style of farming that utilizes only organic plant based nutrients during cultivation. Plant based nutrients are easily broken down and readily available for the uptake by the plant. The intention is to elevate the potential of each of the different plants with emphasis on quality while providing an ultra clean product that promotes spectacular palates and aromas. Practicing “Veganic” cultivation methodology requires not only the removal of any chemical fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide from use in or around the facility, but also products containing animal-based additives such as manure fertilizers and animal byproduct-containing soil amendments.
It has been shown that animal residues breakdown slowly in soil. After a Cannabis plant metabolizes the available nutrients, animal residues remain. This affects the overall quality and can have a particularly noticeable effect on the flavor and aroma inherent in the finished product. Ensuring maximum nutrient bio-availability through the application of beneficial microbes, 7 Points Oregon maximizes palate and potency. The only bi-product of plant-based nutrient metabolism is a complex carbohydrate which is then consumed by microbes in the soil, continuing the cycle.
Veganic cultivation is dependent on soil teaming with microbes, bacteria and fungi that take part in a process resulting in 100% nutrient bio-availability. Soil nutrient bio-availability is a measure of the amount of consumable nutrient in the soil around a plant’s root system. Commonly purchased synthetic nutrients, and inorganic additives designed for Cannabis are comprised mostly of salts which demonstrate absorption rates as low as 20-25%. Maximizing the soil’s bio-availability is the key to unlocking the powers of veganic cultivation.
7 Points Oregon has demonstrated the ability to coax cultivars into expressing their genetic potential utilizing veganic methods with daily dedication and determination to protecting the plants and the environment. Currently the farmers are hard at work exploring new cultivars in a never ending pheno-hunt and carefully crafting the next generation of beloved Oregon strains such as Voyager 1, Moon Puppies, Sweet Relief OG and Future #1.
Three times 7 Points Oregon has taken home awards for their high quality flower, once they were awarded the title Oregon’s Best Producer. Their dedication to quality and craft has led them to align with companies like Willamette Valley Alchemy to produce derivative products like concentrates and extracts.
Since Kind Leaf opened in 2017, we have worked closely with 7 Points Oregon to be the exclusive provider of their award winning Cannabis flower in the Pendleton, Oregon area. We share many of the same values and ideals.
Daniel John aka “DJ Short” has been developing and cultivating new strains of cannabis for well over 30 years. DJ is best known for creating the legendary strain “DJ Short’s Blueberry” as well as other award winning cultivars like Flo, Vanilluna, New Berry and Whitaker Blues. He is also known for his passion for educating the public about cannabis and a distinctive style of activism for the ending of cannabis prohibition.
They call him the Willy Wonka of Pot, the Wizard of Weed, and the Cannabis Professor
The path to greatness never comes without struggle, for Daniel, the struggle inherent in his path led him to experiment with Cannabis as a young teen. His first few experiences with cannabis sparked curiosity in his young mind, and according to DJ, “One day in 1973, he bought a box of cereal that came with a plastic seed sprouter. Out of simple curiosity, he moistened the chamber, inserted a bud from his stash of Hawaiian, and watched with delight as it grew roots and a sprout.”
High Times was publishing its homegrown variety of guerilla cultivation methods in various publication releases. DJ wanted to cultivate and experiment, but knew that outdoor cultivation was out of the question. He purchased some high end fluorescent shop lights so he would be able to cultivate indoors, in secret.
One downfall to the early seventies and cultivation of Cannabis was the wide availability of rich landrace sativa genetics in the US. Not until the latter seventies did shorter, stout and robust Afghani Indica varietals became available. DJ sourced some of these new genes for himself to reduce the long winded flowering time of the Sativas, which falls around 14-16 weeks. After successful cultivation of Indica varietals, DJ discovered the relaxing and sedative nature of these hash rich Afghanis was not the same enjoyable experience as the buzzy, energetic and creative experience of the Oaxacan and Thai genetics he had grown fond of.
Hybridization was the answer. His plan, to combine the unique traits of the Sativa genetics with the short, stout and faster flowering Indicas to create a balanced, routinely easier to cultivate Cannabis plant that was an enjoyable middle ground for the end consumer.
As DJ crafted indoors in his secret garden, outside the Drug war was getting into full swing led by then President Ronald Reagan. During early 1980 national anti-cannabis rhetoric built up and spilled over, coincidentally, as the square footage of the breeding garden diminished. This reduction in square footage did not limit the abilities of DJ during cultivation but rather allowed him to hone in on and patiently seek the specific qualities he was seeking, exploring each phenotype with his nose. Cataloging which plants produced floral, sweet and fruit notes and which produced the chemical, fuel and acrid skunk notes.
DJ compares the subtleties of quality Cannabis to that of fine wines. The olfactory chart used by cannabis connoisseurs is not unlike the wine wheel. Like Sommelier, Cannabis aficionados have the ability to detect a diverse blend of aromas such as fruit and berries, grasses, teas and earthen humus, fuels and chemical notes.
“The range of flavors expressed by the genus cannabis is extraordinary. No other plant on the planet can equal the cacophony of smells and tastes available from cannabis.”
Short credits his passion for cannabis and natural propensity for successfully crossbreeding Sativa and Indica varietals into award winning hybrid strains as an inherited trait from his Romanian great-grandmother. According to DJ, she was a gypsy herbalist who cultivated cannabis and among other herbs for medical purposes, taking time to pass down her acquired knowledge and skills to her daughter, DJ Short’s Mother.
Honey and Fruit
After extended trial and error, establishing specific genetic traits and isolating terpene levels via testing with the WERC Shop in California, DJ began comparing his flowers with those that were considered above par and high-grade on the underground marketplace. Armed with this data, DJ continued to select the plants he favored most, deftly cultivated them to maturity, carefully cured the buds, and personally smoked privately for months before releasing them to friends and buyers, to ensure an enjoyable, superior quality of Cannabis flower was offered.
Before long, selective breeding led to a lineage with sweet honey and strong fruit aromas. From this line rose the now legendary DJ Short’s Blueberry. Known by name, smell and sedative, pacifying body high. Once DJ stabilized this special genetic, he sought to create an energetic, uplifting strain. This project led to Flo, which gifted DJ with the effects he was seeking.
After realizing how popular his new genetics were, he began cloning his mother plants and releasing the genes to underground cannabis growers in Oregon and California and some overseas to Europe.
It is well known that the widely revered DJ Short’s Blueberry, bred and cultivated just outside of Pendleton, Oregon is in the ancestral pedigree for most any modern hybridized varietal that includes “Blue” or “Berry” in the name.”
DJ Short’s renowned seeds and Cannabis breeding capabilities earned him a revered spot in the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame, which was created to commemorate “brave pot pioneers and trailblazers.” DJ was included in the first commemoration in 2007. He was spotlighted as “The Willy Wonka of Pot” in a 5,000-word tome for the website Grantland, and wrote the 2003 book “Cultivating Exceptional Cannabis: An Expert Breeder Shares His Secrets.”
2016- Daniel crafted a “letter to the Editor” of Pendleton, Oregon’s premiere media source, The East Oregonian. In this letter he wrote, ” I would very much enjoy the opportunity to help teach my community about the wonders and merits of this valuable plant that offers something beneficial for almost everyone.”
DJ Short x Kind Leaf
Kind Leaf is proud to announce that we are the destination which will provide the space in which to bridge the gap between our local residents and visitors and world renowned breeders like DJ. We are set to host a Meet-and-Greet with the infamous DJ Short on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 5 pm -7 pm.
Happy Cabbage farms introduced a higher level on Rosin method extracts to the Oregon Market. Setting the standard higher for bubble hash derived Rosin pressed extracts, Happy Cabbage extract artists craft delicious cannabis extracts from flower cultivated by both themselves and other award winning Oregon cannabis farms.
First- What is Rosin?
“Rosin” refers to a Cannabis extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and high pressure, instead of volatile solvents, to break open trichome and squeeze resinous sap from your cannabis flower or Hash. The result is a golden, even clear, sappy or sometimes shatter-like product. If produced with proper methodology, Cannabis rosin can compete directly with the flavor, potency, and yield of other solvent-based extraction products.
Many people prefer quality rosin products over more commonly found Butane and Propane solvent extracted cannabis products. This preference comes from both non-solvent adulteration being lower in risk regarding residual solvents, as well as the ability of the Rosin method to capture rare plant essences that are often lost with the introduction of volatile solvents.
Happy Cabbage farms is a craft small-batch producer with an affinity for purity and flavor. Recently their work has been isolating extracts from strains like Tropicanna Cookies, Thug Life, Punch Breath, Purple Petals many of which are currently on the shelves at Kind Leaf in Pendleton, Oregon.
Happy Cabbage practices reservation concerning which dispensaries carry their brand. Seeking to partner with companies that put their customers and communities first, who care about quality and have the ability to represent their products for what they are.
For the past year, Kind Leaf has partnered with Happy Cabbage Farms to be the exclusive provider of Happy Cabbage products in Eastern Oregon. You can visit our Leafly Menu a see which Happy Cabbage Farms varietals we currently stock, and even order in advance for pick up.
Currently popular Happy Cabbage Rosin strains are Ice Cream Cake, Thug Life and Oregon Diesel. Come visit with one of our friendly Kind Leaf budtenders and learn why Happy Cabbage Rosin may be an exceptional choice for you.
The smooth hits of this sticky flower will not disappoint even the pickiest cannabis connoisseur. Expect to feel creative, relaxed, and even slightly aroused as you enjoy the lift from this indica dominate hybrid. “The Sweeties” will put you on the fast track to feelin’ fine for hours at a time, so be sure not to leave her behind.