Tag: Oregon Medical Marijuana Program

Like Cannabis, Oregon Psilocybin Pioneers Tackle How to Provide Safe Access to All

The first meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s Psilocybin Advisory Board was last week and the topic that was at the forefront of the committee members’ minds was how the Beaver State can develop a program that will be as equitable as possible while establishing a model that will have a big impact on other states. Providing healthcare services and medicines to everyone that can benefit, across various demographics is a tough challenge for any program, complicated even more when the medicine is still illegal under federal law.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) has certainly had mixed success. With Oregon having the most affordable cannabis in the nation and dispensaries like Kind Leaf offering discounts to OMMP patients, a lot of patients are acquiring an adequate supply of medicine, but too many are falling through the cracks. Unfortunately, this will be an issue for cannabis so long as federal prohibition remains in place. This is a also huge challenge for Oregon’s psilocybin program, so it’s great to see equitable access for a big focus while the state institutes a first-of-its kind system, as KTVL reported:

“I know Measure 109 is the name that’s fresh in our minds, but I actually think about it as the Oregon model of psychedelic care, which we’ll all work together on defining,” said board member Tom Eckert and founder of the Oregon Psilocybin Society, which championed the measure. “I think our work together is going to reverberate across the state, across the country, and across the world deep into the future.”

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“With all this expertise, it’s only to Oregon’s benefit to be able to continue to bring in the capacity and expertise that exists on this board. In addition to the capacity and expertise that may exist outside of this board,” said Sam Chapman, the manager of the Yes on 109 campaign and now Executive Director of the Healing Advocacy Fund. “Here in Oregon, even prior to the pandemic, Oregon has been suffering from one of the most several mental health crises in the country.”

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“It will be my work along with all of you to ensure that we center holistic equity and decolonization in everything that we do. Every aspect of our work here is an equity issue. From licensing to treatment centers to access and affordability and everything else in between, we have to ensure that our recommendations here are equitable,” said Dr. Rachel Knox, an endocannabinologist and member of the board.

Just as we’ve seen a deluge of evidence about the medical benefits of cannabis over the last few decades, we will likely start seeing more and more evidence about how psilocybin (aka “magic mushrooms”) and other psychedelics can help people battling post-traumatic stress, depression, and other mental health conditions. It’s exciting that Oregon is leading the way and we should be proud to be a pioneer in this field and across the spectrum as we implement drug policies that invest in people instead of prisons.

Kind Leaf is proud to offer discounts to military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Featured photo available via Wiki Commons.

Senate Bill 758 Would Improve the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program

Overall, cannabis legalization has been a success for Oregon and other states, a much better policy than prohibition for sure. As a recent report published in NPR notes, much-needed jobs have been created and revenue generated while violent crime and traffic accidents haven’t skyrocketed as Reefer Madness Chicken Littles like Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts proclaim. However, improvements to our cannabis laws can certainly be made, including providing better service to the thousands of patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).

At its peak in 2015, there were more than 78,000 OMMP patients and we are now down to under 23,000. While too many people think that we don’t need the OMMP anymore, especially those that love collecting taxes, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that our sickest, poorest, and most isolated patients still need support and traveling to a dispensary and purchasing an adequate amount of cannabis is unrealistic. Yes, the cannabis system in Oregon is amazing for patients and consumers that can afford to purchase some of the best cannabis in the world, but we can do more to help those most in need. Senate Bill 758, which has a hearing today before the Senate Health Care Committee, will help course correct the OMMP and benefit tens of thousands of Oregonians battling severe and debilitating medical conditions.

Under Senate Bill 758, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act will be more properly renamed the Oregon Medical and Therapeutic Cannabis Act. Some key components of this important proposal:
-The state shall issue permanent cards for lifetime chronic conditions that cannot be cured.
-Naturopaths and any medical professionals that can prescribe medicine will be allowed to recommend cannabis.
-Expands PTSD definition to chronic anxiety and chronic depression.
-All Social Security Disability Insurance program patients will be eligible for a reduced state registration fee of $20.
-Requires state regulating agencies to collaborate on a plan to create a care and long term medical access program.

The proposal will also help benefit patients who find therapeutic value in gardening for themselves by eliminating regulatory hurdles and barriers for small medical cannabis gardens with 12 or less plants. This bill is a win-win for Oregon. After passage of SB 758, the Oregon cannabis industry will still be creating thousands of jobs and generating plenty of revenue, but more patients battling poverty will be helped. Please contact the Senate Health Committee and your legislators and urge them to support this important bill. A sincere thanks to Compassionate Oregon (my wife is a volunteer board member) for working hard for Oregon’s patients and on this important bill.

Kind Leaf is proud to provide OMMP patients with an additional 15% off all cannabis & hemp purchases.

The Oregon Liquor and CANNABIS Commission is Long Overdue for the OLCC

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has overseen the nascent Oregon cannabis industry since Measure 91 went into effect in 2015. Since then, the OLCC has been the chief regulator over an industry that went from the underground into a licensed and regulated billion dollar business sector. With federal legalization getting closer and closer, the future looks bright Oregon’s cannabis industry to bring in even more revenue, but some sensible reforms are needed at both the state and national levels to fully unleash the economic benefits of cannabis, starting with helping craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf thrive.

Adding “cannabis” to the OLCC’s name, may not seem like much, but it’s an important symbolic step in mainstreaming cannabis and implementing common sense regulations. That said, it’s important that the OLCC not regulate Oregon Medical Marijuana Program as the needs of OMMP patients and providers are distinct from those of consumers and for-profit businesses.

The Willamette Week reported on Governor Kate Brown’s House Bill 2111 would replace the word “control” with “cannabis,” renaming the regulating agency the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission:

With Oregon retailers on a pace to sell $1 billion worth of recreational cannabis in the 2020-21 fiscal year, Gov. Kate Brown is asking lawmakers to change the name of the venerable Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which has worn the same label since its formation in 1933, after Prohibition ended.

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But following voter approval in 2014 of recreational cannabis, the OLCC took on a vast new responsibility, regulating legal weed. (To put the two industries into perspective, the OLCC expects to sell about $777 million worth of distilled spirits in the next fiscal year. That’s not an apples-to-apples comparison to cannabis, because it doesn’t include the retail markup on booze, but it shows that cannabis has quickly become a significant industry for the state to regulate.)

Unlike liquor, where established multinational and domestic distillers produce versions of the same booze Oregonians have drunk for decades, cannabis is a rapidly emerging and evolving industry. The state plays a much different role with cannabis: It is not a seller. Instead, the Oregon Department of Revenue collects a tax of 17% at the retail level, while the OLCC provides regulation. It is involved in helping the industry maximize safety without stifling growth and innovation.

With cannabis moving on par with alcohol, in the great state of Oregon and slowly but surely across the USA, the OLCC, legislators, and policymakers need to stop being afraid of federal intervention and start maximizing the industry, while protecting the needs of patients and growers. Oregon needs to move forward with expanding delivery services, allowing cannabis cafes (after the COVID pandemic ends), ending restrictions designed to curb the cannabis supply, and promote the state as a cannabis tourist destination, the same way that our local wineries, microbreweries, and distilleries are celebrated. Changing the name of the OLCC is a start, let’s continue, step by step, to treat cannabis as it should be, as a relatively safe substance. Let’s fully put Reefer Madness behind us and start using some cannabis common sense (hat tip to activist Paul Stanford and his crew) across the board.

STILL More Arrests for Cannabis Than All Violent Crimes Together

We’ve made so much progress all across the nation legalizing and regulating cannabis for both medical and adult use, that it baffles the mind that we are still arresting and jailing so many people for cannabis in this nation. While some people try to brush off the importance of ending cannabis prohibition, the war on the cannabis community continues to ruin lives and disrupt an industry that is one of the bright spots in today’s economy. In fact, the United States arrests more people for cannabis than for all violent crimes combined:

According to the Uniform Crime Report, which was compiled by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, police in the U.S. made 10,085,207 arrests in 2019. Of that total, 545,602 were for cannabis violations. That number is higher than the 495,871 individuals arrested for violent crimes and represents more than 5 percent of all arrests carried out by law enforcement that year. Cannabis arrests made up about one-third of all drug-related arrests despite being considerably safer than other illicit drugs or opioid-based prescription medications. 

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“Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 58 seconds,” said Erik Altieri, executive director at NORML. “At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession.”

The total number of arrests only tells one part of the story. There is a notorious disparity between rates at which white people are arrested versus those from black and Latinx communities. However, the rates at which these groups consume cannabis are similar. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, black Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related violations. 

It is imperative that we don’t remain complacent and continue to urge our federal officials to end prohibition. Too many people are losing their freedom and livelihoods and cannabis businesses can’t flourish without reasonable banking and tax policies. Cannabis businesses in legal states are creating jobs and generating revenue for important social services, and it is simply nonsensical and un-American to continue the harmful and wasteful war on the cannabis community.

Be sure to take advantage of living in the great legal state of Oregon and enjoy the selection and deals at Kind Leaf, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique. Discounts available for Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Patients, seniors, veterans, and everyone utilizing the pick-up window. Order online via Leafly to save time.

Too Many Veterans Are Still Being Forced Into the Illegal Market

Monday was Memorial Day, when the United States takes a day to remember members of our armed forces that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Unfortunately, our nation doesn’t do enough for veterans and their families. Too often, supporting our troops is just a slogan, and our government doesn’t put in place the services and policies to adequately address the needs of those that signed up to protect us. From their pay to their healthcare, we need to do better for those currently in the military and those that have moved back into the private sector. Cannabis policy is certainly no exception and it’s past time that our veterans be allowed to utilize cannabis without fear. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam is pushing too many veterans into the illegal, underground market.

Politico reports:

Even as marijuana legalization continues to expand across the country (33 states have some form of legal marijuana on their books and well-known former politicians have becomes spokesmen for the cannabis industry), many of the nation’s 18.2 million veterans occupy an uncomfortable limbo between rapidly liberalizing cultural attitudes and an unbending federal standard that hasn’t changed since the 1970s. Veterans looking for alternatives to addictive and dangerous opioids and other pharmaceuticals are effectively prevented from using marijuana, by price, policy and quite often the ongoing stigma that marijuana still carries.

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Veterans are also a group in crisis. A 2012 report by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that up to 22 veterans were dying by suicide daily. While the VA has since lowered that statistic, some veterans’ advocacy groups say that number is probably much higher—closer to 50 a day—when opioid overdoses and despair over opioid addiction are taken into account.

The VA and lawmakers “need to understand how important cannabis is to veterans,” says Patrick Seifert, a Marine Corps veteran who founded the Twenty22Many advocacy group in Olympia, Washington. “There’s no demographic that benefits more from cannabis.”

With evidence showing that medical cannabis access helping opioid patients decrease their use of addictive narcotics and a reduction in opioid prescriptions overall, it is time that the federal government do right by our veterans and allow medicinal cannabis as a part of their healthcare. They’ve given too much to be forced to buy from the unregulated, illegal market or to take more addictive and lethal drugs. Let’s not pay lip service to supporting the military. Allowing cannabis use won’t fix all of the problems facing our service members and veterans, but it’s a start.

A friendly reminder that Kind Leaf provides a 15% discount to all registered Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patients and a 10% discount to all veterans. Order online or come on into the store and peruse the biggest and best inventory in the Great Northwest.

Happy 4/20! Celebrate Safely with Kind Leaf!

April 20, 2020 was supposed to be a 4/20 celebration unlike any other as April has actually been 4/20 all month long, but, well, we don’t even have to get into why there aren’t massive in-person celebrations around the globe. But don’t fret, cannabis community, as there are still many ways to celebrate responsibly, and one of the best ways is to take advantage of great deals like the ones at Kind Leaf, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique.

Kind Leaf Store Safety First

Kind Leaf has always put the safety of the community first and you can be rest assured that the dispensary has taken every reasonable precaution to continue providing the finest cannabis products to the people, including curbside pickup. In fact, when you utilize Leafly online pickup and curbside pickup services, you save 5% off the already amazing prices. Also, you can have your cannabis delivered directly to your door, from 10am to 6pm. There are great deals everyday, with selections from Oregon’s best and biggest inventory, but the 4/20 deals take things to another level:

25% OFF Flower – Voyager 1, Emerald Cake, Midnight Moon, Cascade Orange, Fall Frost, Mystery Haze, Sour OG, Sour Best Shit Ever, Head Dog, Blackberry Cheesecake, Tenzin Kush, Ice Cream Cake, Super Punch, Lucid Dream, Sherbert, GG #12, Llama, Crumpets #5, Koffee Prerolls – 20% off ALL prerolls and preroll packs Edibles

20% OFF – Flav Gummies, Golden Fruit Chews, Peak Chocolate, Magic Beverages, Elbe’s hardcandy,

Extracts – $7.10 OFF Happy Cabbage and Echo Electuary, Capital Cannabis (40% OFF), Portland Extracts (25% OFF), 30% OFF White Label Extracts Live Resin Tahoe OG X GDP, Mandarina Kush, Diamonds Dawgwalker, Diamonds Hot Rod, Peach Cheesewreck, Diamonds Gorilla Cooks, Animal Mints, The Vision, Southern Belle. 30% OFF all White Label Extracts DabTabs. 30% OFF Willamette Valley Extracts Gak Nana, Orange Zkittlez, Kitchen Sink, Platinum Garlic.

Vape Cartridges – 20% off all varieties

30% OFF all GLASS bongs, pipes, dab rigs

20% OFF all Apparel items

As always, seniors (5%) and military veterans (10%) get discounts, as do all licensed Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patients (15%). Kind Leaf works hard to serve the cannabis community and help mainstream cannabis so that we can be truly equal and free. Please support small Oregon cannabis businesses that do good work and invest in our local neighborhoods. Happy 4/20, everybody and remember to #BeKind.

4-20-20-Kind Leaf Deals Whoa