Category Archives for "Education"

5 Things Veterans Who Need Medical Marijuana Should Know

Even with medical and recreational marijuana laws expanding in states across the U.S., military veterans still have to struggle, in many instances, to access programs, due to the continued federal prohibition of cannabis.

Veterans need safe access

On a day like Memorial Day, we should definitely remember the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women who have given their lives for their fellow Americans. And since many of those who did survive returned with deep physical and psychological wounds, we have to reaffirm our commitment to the fight for safe access for all veterans.

More than 22 veterans commit suicide every day, according to advocacy groups. It doesn’t have to be this way. Cannabis has shown incredible promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), any many other conditions faced by our returning heroes.

Here are a few things of which veterans and those who love them should be aware.

1. Veterans who participate in state-approved medical marijuana programs will not be denied healthcare

This is now official VA policy. Even so, the use and possession of cannabis are prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds, and VA physicians are not allowed to complete paperwork or forms for veteran patients to participate in these programs.

VA will not pay for medical marijuana from any source. While veterans are “encouraged” to discuss cannabis use with their VA providers, they can still run the risk of losing their pain pill prescriptions when they do so. According to the VA,

VA doctors and clinical staff will record marijuana use in the veteran’s VA medical record along with its impact on the veteran’s treatment plan.

Veterans who are employees of the VA are subject to drug testing and dismissal.

2. Cannabis is safer than your prescriptions

Kate Cochran Morgan, a veteran of the Navy hospital corps, reports KXAN,

Every day, veterans are prescribed dangerous and addictive pharmaceutical drugs to treat service-related injuries and illnesses.

Many of these drugs cause side effects for which another pill is prescribed. Cannabis can help treat conditions like PTSD and chronic pain, and it has a better safety profile than aspirin.

It is unacceptable that veterans are being denied access to this medicine.

3. Veterans suffering from PTSD are currently participating in the first clinical trial studying the effectiveness of treatment with cannabis

Each of the 76 participants will undergo treatment with marijuana over a 12-week period, with a required six-month follow-up, reports the Daily Caller. Researchers are hoping the results can give guidance to lawmakers in terms of future policy when it comes to treating veterans.

The study, funded by a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is expected to greatly increase knowledge about the medical properties and uses of marijuana.

4. The politicians are finally showing signs of catching up

For the first time ever, the U.S. Senate last year included a stipulation in the military appropriations bill to allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it is legal.

5. You aren’t facing this alone; there are a number of organizations here to help

Several national organizations exist to help veterans navigate the process of accessing medicinal cannabis.

The California-based nonprofit Weed For Warriors Project, for example, has chapters across that state, as well as in Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, D.C., and Wisconsin. WFWP educates veterans on the benefits of medical marijuana while providing free cannabis to veterans who have proof of service and a current medical marijuana authorization.

The Weed for Warriors is a grassroots organization that is attempting to help bodies plain and simple.

What occurs within our Chapters goes beyond just access to cannabis, one of the only medicines stemming the tide of suicides and overdoses in this country.

It is the camaraderie that heals and creates a tremendous safety net for all of us that is just plain lacking for too many. – Sean Kiernan, president of WFWP

Other groups helping veterans in the struggle for safe access include Grow For Vets, which has chapters in California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state; and the Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP), which is in the midst of a plan to expand nationwide.

Original Post: Herb

Join us at CannaDay Tampa Bay for our veterans panel.  Representatives of Weed For Warriors Project, Buds 4 Vets, and Veterans United will discuss veterans issues when it comes to obtaining the medicine they deserve.

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How to Become a Budtender

There are certain traits that every budtender should have.  Should you be interviewed by your local dispensary for this position, below is what your potential boss is going to be looking for.  You should reasonably display this knowledge.

Budtending isn't just a job position.  Budtenders need to be experts.  This is what you should be experts in.Continue reading

3 Ways Florida Can Screw Up Medical Cannabis

Florida is set to be the 2nd biggest medical cannabis market in the United States.  However, Florida law makers don't have the best track record.  It is true that they might screw things up.

Below is a list of how 3 things that they might screw up.  As I was writing it I also realized that it can serve as a list of thing that prove that the cannabis business in Florida will inevitably be an open market.  Might not happen right away, but it will.  Due to the high demand for medical cannabis in Florida, a free and open market is the only way to actually meet that demand. Continue reading

Why Florida MMJ Patients Shouldn’t Have to Wait for Their Medicine

Dr Joseph Rosado is an educator for the Florida Cannabis Coalition and a Florida Physician who is certified to recommend cannabis.

At a patient meetup taking place at the newly opened Tampa dispensary, Truelieve, he tells a story of one of his first medical marijuana patients.  His patient, who is affectionately named JuJu, had terminal cancer in his neck, face and brain at 15 years old.  Rosado had his doubts if JuJu would survive due to a 90 day waiting period for Florida patients to receive their medical recommendation.  Sometimes these patients need their medicine immediately and unfortunately JuJu recently passed.Continue reading

How to Start a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in 10 Steps

  1. Do Your Research

    • Just having a location in mind and an affinity with cannabis isn't the only thing that you  are going to need to open a dispensary.  You are going to have to do your research.  First take a look at the legality behind opening a dispensary in your state.  Then take a look at your local zoning laws. You will most likely have to be zoned in a commercial zone.  However, local governments tend to put their own requirements on zoning, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to reach out to your local government officials anyways.
  2. Evaluate the Risks

    • After you've done your research you will have a good idea of the risks involved with joining the cannabis industry.  Every business comes with a certain amount of risks, but the truth is the cannabis industry comes with more than the average business.
    • Believe it or not, I am not talking about the risks of going to jail.  There used to be a time when arrest was a very possible risk with joining the cannabis industry but the risk of being arrested at this point is slim to none as long as you follow the rules set by your state government.
    • Many of the risks involved with the cannabis industry at this point are:  facing social stigmas, theft or vandalism, and the vast amount of competition involved with joining this business.
  3. Seek training on cannabis

    • Once you have decided that the cannabis industry is for you, don't make the mistake of thinking that you know all there is to know about cannabis. I have been in the cannabis industry for four years now and an enthusiasts for over 15 years now.  I still learn more about this plant and this business every day.  Don't think that all you have to learn is about dispensary management and budtending, you will also have to be versed on the medical benefits of this plant and how the plant is cultivated.
    • There are plenty of institutions that provide cannabis education. Florida Cannabis Coalition being one of them; however, we are not the only one and urge you to seek additional training.  The most famous of these institutions is Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California.
  4. Design your logo

    • This is one of the first things you should do when setting up any business.  Designing your logo is when you start to see everything coming together.  It should be something simple that people can identify with.  Your logo should be the first step in setting up the theme and culture of your dispensary.
  5. Hire a Team

    • You are going to need a team of experts and professionals to help you make this into a reality. You will need a physician as a Medical Consultant, a Internet Marketing expert, a good accountant, you might need to hire a grower, you will most certainly need a good attorney.  An attorney will also help you to secure the appropriate permits and licenses, and make sure you are in full compliance with any and all regulations.
  6. Prepare a business plan.

    • You are most likely going to need to find investors. A well written business plan is going to be needed to secure your funding. It will provide potential investors with a clear description of your company's goals, assets, plans, and projections.
  7. Secure the necessary funding

    • In most cases in this business (especially in Florida) it is unclear on exactly what you are going to need to raise in order to fund your dispensary.  But, like writing most business plans, it is best to prepare for the worse and hope for the best.  Map out the worse case scenario and properly express why in the plan. Then go for the funding needed for that scenario.
    • Many people don't know where to start when searching for funding.  The best place to start is with friends and family.  Present the opportunity to anyone you know personally first.  If that doesn't work then there are a number of different avenues that you can go through.  Search for local investor pitch forums.  Also the Arcview investor group is the largest and oldest investor network for the cannabis industry and would be a good place to find an investor as well.
  8. Set up your location

    • Take the zoning issues that you researched to heart here.  You may have a difficult time finding a rental.  When renting a location to a dispensary the owner of the location takes on a certain amount of risk, and it may be difficult finding an owner to take on that risk.  However, that is not to say that this shouldn't be pursued.  If not you will have to buy your location.
  9. Start branding

    • You designed your logo, built your plan, and have a location.  You should have a clear theme for the culture of your business at this point.  Make sure your brand represents a respectable business image.  Now is the time to achieve that image.  Decorate your building, start your social media accounts and begin designing your website.  Form your company culture and make sure it grows.
  10. Conduct customer surveys

    • A helpful tool for any business that often times goes overlooked.  Find your target customers and begin surveying them.  Ask them what kind of cannabis helps for their condition or that they enjoy most. Find out what method of ingestion that they prefer.  Your customers have preferences and it is in your best interests to cater to those preferences. Doing this market research will help you to cater to them.

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Trump to be Advised By Colorado DA on Cannabis Reform

The National District Attorney's Association (NDAA) has created a policy group featuring 14 district attorneys who are to advise Trump on possible law or policy changes regarding marijuana.

Among the DAs selected is Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, and Garnett isn't the only prosecutor from a state that has legalized the adult use of cannabis.  DAs from California and Oregon have also been selected to advise the Trump administration on policies regarding cannabis.

“It’s a reflection of the NDAA’s interest in having a fairly balanced committee, which will be largely advising on what our policy position should be in communications with the Trump Justice Department,” Garnett said.

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