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Michigan Reform: The Not-So-Lazy Days of Summer

Flickr user yooperannDon’t know about you, but I really love summer in Michigan.
No more putting on eight layers of clothing, a reprieve from rushing the kids
onto a bus and, of course, everything

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Flickr user yooperann

Don’t know about you, but I really love summer in Michigan.
No more putting on eight layers of clothing, a reprieve from rushing the kids
onto a bus and, of course, everything is green. There is nothing we all want
more after a cold, dark Michigan Winter than to spend some time outside in the
hot sun. It is all the more remarkable then that the Michigan legislature has
foregone its Summer vacation and rolled up its sleeves, the House extending its
session through June, and the Senate is working through the entire summer.

Our ailing medical cannabis law is likely not the
legislators’ reason for keeping their boats docked, but it is entirely possible
that cannabis will end up benefitting from Michigan’s “pot hole” problem and we
will see some serious legislative action by summer’s end. House Judiciary
Committee Chair Klint Kesto held a flurry of hearings in May, enduring
decidedly one-dimensional presentations from the prosecuting attorneys and the
Michigan State Police, and taking testimony from a constituency that ran the
gamut from parents of children with devastating illnesses to monopolies
disguised as non-profits. There is no question that Representative Kesto, and
his equal in the Senate, Rick Jones, have their work cut out for them.

It will be virtually impossible to satisfy such a diverse
group of interests, and regulating this deceptively simple plant has
far-reaching legal impact for our state, from health and public safety to budget
and local economy, from municipal zoning and privacy rights to unemployment
benefits. The sheer length of time for which Michigan has lacked a state-level
regulatory structure for safely distributing medical cannabis increases the
pressure to get it right this time, as does the threat of impending
legalization. 

It will never be perfect. For one, our federal elected
representatives must find a way to do what they do least: Making law. Until
cannabis is legal, whether that be through rescheduling or de-scheduling,
banking will continue to be its highest hurdle. Without banking, everything
required to run a business, from contracts to insurance to intellectual
property registration, will continue to be hampered by legal limbo and general
unavailability. Employers will likely never be legally required to hire a
person who uses cannabis recreationally, although if they insist on going down
this road I imagine several of our nation’s coolest and most productive
companies may have to lay off their entire work forces. Parents will always
have to parent, and now a conversation that should have always included
alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis will, well, still have to include
cannabis. 

No, it will never be perfect, and considering how many cooks
are in the Capitol kitchen right now, it is truly anyone’s guess as to what the
medical cannabis law will look like when it is finished; however, I think there
is little doubt that there will finally be a law to look at this year. So
please call and thank you state representative and state senator for canceling
their summer vacations, and while you’re on the phone remind them that medical
cannabis, regulated the right way, will be good for Michigan.

 

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Dispensary Highlight

Top Shelf | Washington

 

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Name:
Top Shelf
Medicinal

Address:
13724 Canyon Rd.
E., Puyallup, 98373

Website:
topshelfmedicine.com

Phone: (541) 389-1043

Interviewed:
Top Shelf
Owners, Management and Staff

What’s
the story behind the name of your access point?
The whole thing behind the name
is we just wanted to have a place that lives up to its name and reputation of “Top
Shelf.” With my conditions, I have to consume clean medicine. It has to be
grown properly, flushed properly . . . the whole nine yards. If it isn’t, I can
have extreme allergic reactions to the nutrients and/or pesticides still left
in the flower. It’s just one of those things where I wanted to provide
consistent, quality, proper flowers for both myself and our patients.

Whatdoes your access point offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else?

Here at Top Shelf, we provide a down home, easy feel to the place. Our patient interactions are never
rushed, and all of our patients comment on how comfortable and relaxed they
feel at our shop. We even have male patients that come in and say “Ok, I’m
going to bring my girlfriend/spouse here now, I always go in and check out
these places first to make sure it’s safe. She’ll like this place, I’m bringing
her in.” We hope to offer educational classes/seminars for those who want to
learn more about cultivation, cooking with cannabis and more.

Howhas the cannabis industry changed since you’ve been here? Where would you like
to see it go?
I
would like to see us do more of something like Colorado where if you want to be
on the medical side you have to produce your own product. This would eliminate
a lot of the middle men out there, if you want to do this—and you need to know
what you’re doing (e.g. cultivation of cannabis). We would like to see mandatory
testing of all medicinal products on shelves, which is something we feel will
be mandatory soon anyway. We encourage all vendors to have their products
tested if they are going to be consumed by patients. We would also like to see
a fair market price on medical cannabis, and not see medical cannabis taxed out
of affordability for low income patients that need clean, safe and effective
medicine.

Whatis the most important thing you hope to accomplish in the industry?

Helping people; hoping
to make a positive impact in the lives of the patients that come to our access
point. Also trying to get patients off a lot of these pharmaceuticals that are
so toxic and damaging to our bodies with long term use. Creating natural
remedies daily, offering a safe, alternative pathway to healing for our patients.

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Dispensary Highlight

Sweet Leaf Illusions | Oregon

 

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Collective Name: Sweet Leaf Illusions

Address: 8434 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, 97266

Website: facebook.com/sweetleafillusionspdx

What’s the story behind the name of your dispensary?

We were
trying to figure out a name that no one else had. We didn’t want to do the same
thing that every other company has done. And so we came up with Sweet Leaf
Illusions, me and Ian, one of our employee budtenders here. And the next thing
we know, after we got our license, four days later, there were a whole bunch of
Sweet Leaf companies. I guess they liked the name too.

How has the cannabis industry changed since you
have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go?
I think the testing
companies should be held liable for their testing results. As it is now, if a
patient gets sick on a product that had been tested but still had contaminants,
it is the dispensary that is liable.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in this
industry as a dispensary? . . . Biggest joys?

Trusting the testing companies results that are coming out. They are saying that the
product is clean when you know that they haven’t tested for, probably, about 15
other pesticides. I want them to be in compliance, like dispensaries have to be
with the state. And have the state going after them to see that they are doing
their job, so they keep putting it all on the dispensary owner to verify that
the products are clean. Our biggest joy is really just helping the sick people
that come in. I can’t leave the patients I’ve gotten to know.

 

What is the one thing you want patients to know
about your dispensary?
I pretty much quiz all of our vendors to verify that their product is
clean. I only take the few vendors that test and I try to ensure that they are
the cleanest products you can get.

What is the most important thing you hope to
accomplish while in the MJ/MMJ community?

The state
needs to start doing inspections of the testing companies. They should spray
flowers with poisons and send them through (like a control test), to at least
verify that they are in compliance with the state law that the state put in,
that they are supposed to test for all pesticides. They need to find out that
they are not testing for pesticides that we all know have been around for
years.

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Tokyo OG

Available at Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative in Point Loma.The Tokyo OG from PLPCC is a real stand out due to its darker green coloring and dark red hairs. The nose is slightly earthy, a

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Available at Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative in Point Loma.

The Tokyo OG from PLPCC is a real stand out due to its darker green coloring and dark red hairs. The nose is slightly earthy, and very skunky and oily. Its flavor is really earthy and pungent, not at all sweet. Just a few hits provide an instant head change. The effects are not only cerebral though. The body effect provides complete, long lasting relaxation. Tokyo OG is ideal for muscle pain, sleep and appetite stimulation.

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