Two Major Marijuana Reform Bills Filed in Texas

Two Major Marijuana Reform Bills Filed in Texas

[Ed Note: Go Texas! It’s hopeful that Texas might see both expanded medical cannabis and decriminalization for smaller amounts of marijuana. The pair of bills have bipartisan support.]

Among the first bills filed for the 2019 legislative session in Texas are two major attempts at marijuana policy reform in regards to medical access and decriminalization. The Senate’s medical effort led by SB 90 sponsor Senator José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) would widely expand Texas’s highly restrictive medical marijuana medical marijuana program to numerous debilitating conditions and clean up other issues. In the House, State Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso) filed AB 63 to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

“Doctors, not politicians, should determine what is best for Texas patients,” Menéndez said following SB 90’s filing, “Studies have proven that cannabis is a legitimate medicine that can help a variety of Texans including individuals suffering from opioid addiction, veterans coping with PTSD, cancer patients, and people on the Autism spectrum. Texas should provide real relief for our suffering patients.”

Moody shared his excitement with Cannabis Now in a statement via email. “Civil penalty legislation is the first thing I’ve filed on the first day of filing for the 86th Session,” Moody wrote. “There’s been an incredible swell of bipartisan support since last session and the official Texas Republican and Democratic platforms both approve of this kind of reform now. I’m optimistic that this will be the session we finally see smarter, fairer marijuana laws in Texas.”

With the Texas legislature convening once every two years and marijuana becoming a more bipartisan issue on a seemingly monthly basis, advocates feel these two bills are well positioned to capitalize on the previous enthusiasm around both issues. Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Director Heather Fazio spoke exclusively with Cannabis Now on her hope for both bills this time around and what goals the group is looking to accomplish. “We have tremendous momentum in Texas for bringing about meaningful reform in the 2019 legislative session,” Fazio told Cannabis Now. Fazio pointed to the work advocates did over the past two years that has seen major political players in Texas take a stand on the issue.

“The Republican Party of Texas has officially endorsed basically what is the civil penalties bill,” said Fazio. “They even asked for less of a fine than what’s in the bill.” Governor Greg Abbot’s recent statement around his wiliness to consider decriminalization also proved a nice way to set the tone going into the legislative session. “We have the governor making a public statement on live television in September saying he’s open to working with lawmakers on reducing penalties for possession, that he doesn’t want to see our jails stockpiled with people who are there for small amounts of marijuana,” said Fazio. But the governor has recently been less receptive about expanding the state’s medical program.

The scale of what decrim could mean in Texas is massive. Fazio notes the state arrested over 64,000 people for the simple possession of marijuana in 2017. Of those, about 40,000 were convicted.

“[Convictions] means they now have a lifelong criminal record that will affect their ability to go to college, their ability to be employed, opportunities for housing,” Fazio said. “Their driver’s license is automatically suspended. The civil penalties bill by Chairman Moody will go far in helping to eliminate the arrests, jail time, and even the criminal record associated with small amounts of marijuana.”

In light of how tough it is for patients at the moment in Texas, Fazio is hoping the medical bill SB 90 will not only expand access to a wider list of conditions that includes cancer, ALS, and PTSD but also fix a few other issues within the law.

“Texas’s law is unreasonably restrictive in that it only allows those with Intractable Epilepsy to access low THC cannabis,” said Fazio. Another one of the big flaws currently is the requirement for doctors to prescribe cannabis.

“By having the language in the law that requires them to prescribe, we are not protecting doctors from federal interference,” said Fazio. “There are now 32 states that allow or have passed legislation for medical marijuana and every single one of them requires doctors to recommend cannabis.” The language is an important legal specification because you can’t prescribe a Schedule I drug.  As the doctors should feel safe, so should the patients and creating independent lab testing in the state is an important step SB 90 looks to take. Under the current system companies test their own products, “or the Department of Public Safety to test the product in an enforcement mechanism.” said Fazio. As SB 90 does, advocates would like to see the state acquire an independent lab testing scene to allow patients to choose for themselves based on fair results.

Two Major Marijuana Reform Bills Filed in Texas was posted on Cannabis Now.

Harvest Hype: The Most Exciting New Strains of 2018

Harvest Hype: The Most Exciting New Strains of 2018

Ed. Note: There are some really interesting strains listed here. We love the accent on the growers and look forward to the days where grower’s reputations are a huge part of the retail mix.

It’s that time of year again where we put our chips down on the fresh genetics that we are most excited about for this year’s harvest — and this year has some quality newcomers to consider.

Last year, our harvest predictions did, in fact, go on to garner the hype we expected. Our top pick of 2017Rozé from 3rd Gen Family/Dying Breed Seeds, went on to place second in The Emerald Cup two months later, while taking home the coveted Breeders Cup. Another one of our 2017 picks, the Paris OG x Tanganimal Cookies cross Goyard, also made waves on the competitive circuit. We can’t promise this year’s picks will reach the same heights, but we’re sticking to the same methodology we’ve used in the past to highlight exceptional cultivars.

The list this year is more important than ever. As companies attempt to scale up operations for the demands of the legal market without good planning and foresight, in many cases the results will be a lackluster rushed product. The folks we’re highlighting here have the opposite problem. They crush it every time, from propagation until they close the lid on the jar. Even if you can’t grab these particular offerings from the growers about to be mentioned, anything from them tends to be closer to the top of the mountain than most.

Gas Station Bob — 3rd Gen Family/Dying Breed Seeds

While the team at 3rd Gen Family and Dying Breed Seeds has taken us on terp adventures with strains like the aforementioned Rozé and Preach Ringz, they still deliver top-shelf strains in a more traditional style. As much as we love wild new flavors, this year we’re keeping it classic and focusing on their Mendocino gas. Gas Station Bob is a pairing of 3rd Gen’s original hype cut the OG Eddy and Gas Pedal OG, and of course, the name of the dude who discovered the original Zkittlez cut. We’re convinced it will be one of the sensations from this year’s crop.

Gelato 33 x Gelato 41 — California Connected

Gelato #41 has made waves over the last year as one of the most award-winning versions of the strain ever — and the folks at Connected California have crossed it with one its dopest siblings, Gelato #33. This was no small effort, as Connected popped over 150 seeds of the new strain this summer on the hunt for the most primo traits possible to be used in the forthcoming cut. While we expect some variation in this first wave, we know some of it will be at the top of the mountain.

Cherry Punch — Symbiotic Genetics

The team that produced last year’s strain of the year, Purple Punch, is at it again with their Cherry Punch. Symbiotic Genetics crossed their primo Purple Punch F2 with an elite Cherry AK-47. The resulting Cherry Punch is a new smell of its own. Some phenos will be a bit skunkier, some will be a bit gassy, but the best we’ve come across seem to be a mix of cherry-flavored Kool-Aid, fuel and the classic AK-47 smell notes. Expect to see Cherry Punch across awards lists this fall, as this was the first full outdoor season folks had access to it.

Cereal mYlk — The Cookie Fam

From the championship squad that brought us decade-defining cuts like Cookies and Gelato, Cereal mYlk is the newest cut from the Cookie Fam that any true marijuana enthusiast has to keep an eye out for. Cereal mYlk is a blend of Y Life and Snowman. When we ran into to Cookie Fam patriarch Jigga at the New West Summit in Oakland, California in early October, he noted the Cereal mYlk gets its ginger flavor and trichrome coverage from Y Life — hence the unusual strain name spelling to emphasize the Y, Jigga said. He also said that a quality Snowman cut provided the extra pow to give the dope flavors a high impact high, and that Cookie Fam member Kenny Powers put in a lot of effort on the cut. The Anxiety Killer strain he is working on with rappers Berner and Logic should be out soon, too.

TELL US, what strains are you most excited about this harvest season?

The post Harvest Hype: The Most Exciting New Strains of 2018 appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Harvest Hype: The Most Exciting New Strains of 2018 was posted on Cannabis Now.

Researchers Identify 4 Plant Pathogens Harming Cannabis For First Time

Researchers Identify 4 Plant Pathogens Harming Cannabis For First Time

Ed. Note: Finally. Finally, we have real research being conducted on cannabis. This particular research is about the pathogens that can attack cannabis. Now we need research that shows what happens when cannabis is harvested early or late. Right now, it’s all by guess and by gosh. This needs to change.

More cannabis is growing than ever at a commercial level and all those nasty plant pathogens that can mess up a crop have more opportunities than ever to do it. In a report published on Oct. 17 in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, a group of researchers identified four pathogens that are harming cannabis plants — and warned that the fungal diseases can easily spread through hydroponic systems.

Researcher Dr. Zamir Punja and his team spent the last three years studying hydroponically grown cannabis to determine the prevalence of root pathogens. They analyzed the root rot that occurred on the plants, and discovered the root rot was two Pythium species and two Fusarium species. The research marks the first time any of the four pathogens had been detected in cannabis in a laboratory, though they have been found previously in other plants like tomatoes. Pythium is a fungus-like parasitic oomycote, while Fusarium is a vascular wilt fungal disease that is not just dangerous to cannabis — it can also cause eye infections like keratitis, and onychomycosis, which causes infected toenails.

Punja led the research at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He spoke exclusively with Cannabis Now on what inspired him to kick off the research.

“I think one advantage of hydroponics is you can visualize the root, you can hold them up, lift them out of the bucket, or just look at them in the rockwool system,” said Punja. “Visually you can actually see the roots turning brown, and that wasn’t normal.”

When Punja and his team saw the roots browning for the first time, they thought maybe something was eating at the roots or infecting them. That was three years ago, and that inspired them started the work to hunt down the source of the problem.

Identifying the Potential to Ruin Crops

At first, the researchers didn’t actually see the issue in the clones they were working with which were cut and rooted by one of Canada’s Licensed Producers. Then, as they looked closer at the plants that were being impacted, they discovered the pathogens were indeed appearing during the propagation cycle in some instances.

“It starts really early, and we can actually see the browning and in some cases, the rotting of the crown on the propagated cutting,” said Punja, who said the problems can persist until — worst-case scenario — the plant is dead.

Punja says the crown rot aspect is the most damaging symptom of the group. He noted it could be caused by any of the four pathogens they identified.

“The browning of the roots happens first, then the crown rot sets in. And that’s basically when the plant calls it quits,” he said.

According to Punja, one of the interesting discoveries about the cannabis-infecting organisms is the way they transmit pathogens. They can actually move through the hydroponic system.

“So when a large producer has an infection, there is a good chance it is going to move around that facility or potentially even spread with propagated plants,” he said.

Punja is worried certain producers are selling cuttings that actually have some Fusarium on them. And once it’s out there, it’ll spread no matter what, be it through the hydroponic system or through cuttings.

All of these pathogens have definitely proven they can survive a bath in the Clonex solution typically used in industrial operations.

“I think it’s not obvious, especially when we went through and made the isolations and cultured up whatever was growing. Now that we’ve published the paper, I think there will be more and more people looking [for symptoms] early,” said Punja.

Diseases Spreading From Traditional Crops to Cannabis

We asked Punja if we should continue expecting to see different known plant pathogens make their debut appearances in cannabis in the future, due to the sheer amount of opportunity in large-scale operations.

“I think you hit the nail on the head,” Punja replied. “I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. In Canada, a lot of the greenhouse growers who used to grow tomatoes and peppers are moving to cannabis. And despite how well they try and clean everything up, there is some stuff that’s is either leftover or moved over from tomatoes and gets on the cannabis.”

Punja isn’t excited to make the discovery of these pathogens appearing on cannabis for the first time, but is glad to be able to help people be aware. He also says there aren’t a lot of options to fight these things off. It’s going to take sanitation, monitoring your plants and a lot of forward-thinking about what’s happening in your grow.

TELL US, did you know fungal diseases can spread from tomatoes to cannabis?

The post Researchers Identify 4 Plant Pathogens Harming Cannabis For First Time appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Researchers Identify 4 Plant Pathogens Harming Cannabis For First Time was posted on Cannabis Now.

Terpenes of Champions: Cracking the Terpene Code of 3 Award-Winning Strains

Terpenes of Champions: Cracking the Terpene Code of 3 Award-Winning Strains

Terpenes of Champions: Cracking the Terpene Code of 3 Award-Winning Strains was posted on Leafly.

Ed. Note: Terpenes terpenes terpenes. Apparently many believe terpenes separate cannabis strains from each other. We’ll posit here there’s more to it than terpenes. How about all the different forms of THC that can be a part of a cannabis plant? We believe a more holistic approach to strain definition should include the different THC compounds found in cannabis flowers. Without a look at the bigger picture, we’ll never get a handle on the entirety of the plant. Yes, terpenes are important, but they’re not all there is to a flower.

In the grand scheme of cannabis cultivation, few things have been as exciting as continually developing laboratory practices that let us know which compounds are driving the flavor profiles and effects we love.

Master cultivators and breeders use this lab data to produce the heaviest terpene profiles of the winningest strains. Apart from a reasonable amount of cannabinoids and not ruining them in post-production, terpenes are the third leg on the table that holds up world-class cannabis. These days, certain terpenes are associated with varying experiences of both the body and mind. Below are three award-winning strains that demonstrate the importance of terpenes when raising a champion.

Zkittlez: Beta-Caryophyllene

(Matt Stangel for Leafly)

Grown by: 3rd Gen Fam / Dying Breed Seeds

Dominant terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene (0.75%); humulene (0.33%)

The strain that demonstrated how good outdoor-grown can be, the terpenes of Zkittlez—more than its THC—places the strain in the winner’s circle time and again. And the stand-out terp of Zkittlez is beta-caryophyllene, lab reports show. It’s so iconic, they train police dogs on the smell.

Beta-caryophyllene’s peppery, dank, herbaceous complexity combines with a diverse mix of secondary terpenes captained by humulene—the earthy, woody, hoppy terpene—as well as floral linalool.

Find Zkittlez Nearby

Rozé: Myrcene

California Black Roze. Courtesy of Dying Breed Seeds. Photo by Kandid Kush.

Grown by: 3rd Gen Fam / Dying Breed Seeds

Dominant terpenes: Pinene (0.87%); myrcene (0.45%)

There’s nothing heavier than a THC-dominant strain with a lot of myrcene, as it contributes to the tranquilizing body high of cannabis. But that is simply some people’s cup of tea, and Rozé is serving myrcene up hot, lab reports show.

“There are not many terps left on the flavor wheel that have not already been discovered. The art of winning is in selection.”

Zkilltez’s offspring, Rozé, blew up after a big run at the 2017 Emerald Cup. It beat out hundreds of entries, only to lose to Lemon Crush.

Balancing out myrcene’s couchlock effect is the alerting terpene pinene. Both are bronchodilators that open up the airways and can decrease inflammation. It’s proper forest therapy in jar.

Finding trophy-level terps started early for the growers, Third Gen Family and Dying Breed Seeds team.

To find Zkittlez’s best offspring, they started in early in the growing season, going out in the early morning when terpenes are loudest.

“It all goes back to being able to classify stuff as undeniably different,” Brandon of 3rd Gen told Leafly. “When you’re looking for new things, you have to be looking with an open mind, because there are not many terps left on the flavor wheel that have not already been discovered. The art of winning is in selection.”

Find Rozé Nearby

Super Lemon Haze: Limonene

Award winning weed strain with myrcene: rozeC.R.A.F.T.. Super Lemon Haze comes straight from the source in Amsterdam. (Courtesy CRAFT/SC Labs)

Grown by: C.R.A.F.T. Bay Area

Dominant terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene (0.48%); limonone (0.44%)

For those who don’t drink coffee, few things in the world are as uplifting as a strain packed with the lemony goodness of limonene. Its flavor profile—as expressed in award-winning California samples of Super Lemon Haze—has kept the strain at the top of the food chain for 10 years since it won back-to-back Cannabis Cups in Amsterdam.

Americans in Amsterdam like California cultivators C.R.A.F.T. scooped up Super Lemon Haze and hunted down rare offspring to take to market. We asked C.R.A.F.T. founder Alan if he thought it would hold up the way it has.

“Yes!” he told Leafly, “[We] planted 50 seeds from Greenhouse Seed Company back in 2007, and picked the number one stunna we have now. This cut has more electric candy [genetics] of Lemon Skunk versus the piney sharpness of [its] mom, Super Silver Haze.”

Lab data shows limonene as the number two terpene by volume, behind beta-caryophyllene, in C.R.A.F.T.’s Cup-winning sativa. By contrast, surveys of Washington cannabis samples found less limonene and more terpinolene. Multiple terpenes combine to create cannabis’ lemon smell.

Find Super Lemon Haze Nearby

Lead image courtesy of Dying Breed Seeds. Photo by Kandid Kush.

Original Post: Leafly: Terpenes of Champions: Cracking the Terpene Code of 3 Award-Winning Strains

Headie vs. Scientific Glass

Headie vs. Scientific Glass

While some might say understanding the difference is as easy as production work versus one-off artistic creations, the line between the two is as murky as it’s ever been, with collaborations between artists of varying backgrounds getting more complex than ever.

Some of the greatest pieces in the world might be the hardest to categorize. At some point, you have to consider all glassmaking a science, given the dozens of hours someone may spend just doing prep work or getting colors ready, right?

We asked Doug Dracup, founder of Hitman Glass and the hash-and-glass megafest Chalice, for his take on the differences between headie and scientific glass.

“When I think of scientific glass, I think of people’s background,” Dracup said. “I’ve dealt with actual chemistry facilities and companies making glass for other fields, so I think it comes down to the skill set.”

Dracup pointed to glass artists Hamm Brushland and Steve Bates as examples.

“These guys are from a scientific background, but they make clear glass that I consider high-end headie stuff for sure,” he said. “The functionality, the seals, the attention to detail are all there — but in the end, the function really is the biggest separator.”

Dracup then spoke on the more defined headie glass market saying it mainly came down to color, linework and different styles of drawing.

“But for us, my crew will spend a week making a crazy compound recycler thing and it’s about as technical as you can get,” Dracup said. “It’s a really complex piece. Even though it’s clear it’s headie.”

Dracup describes the generalizations around glass terminology as rough.

Some of the headiest and most coveted pieces of the moment — lamps from Bluegrass Glass  — are whipped up by another former scientific craftsman, Ari Rom.

“Ari worked for Hitman for years, but before that, he spent years working in a scientific glass factory,” Dracup said. “I kind of poached him out of there and hired him after I sold him on the idea there was a demand for these pipes. He ended up making a good portion of the Hitman customs.”

Dracup says particular skills transfer immediately when going from beakers to bongs.

“It’s a lot of lathe work,” said Dracup. “The actual lathe work is the scientific background. When a lot of these glassblowers are doing this stuff by hand, these other guys have shop experience and have worked on a lathe. A lot of times, these guys are taught by someone who really knew how glass worked, as opposed to what they could get away with.”

We reached out to the King of the Kraken, otherwise known as Jimi from Wicked Glass, to get his take as an artist exclusively making pieces that are wild on the eye.

“I never thought about it, but I’d say the difference is headie glass puts artistic form first, function second,” Jimi said. “Scientific is about function with a dabble of art, but there is an art in function so it depends on what flavor you like.”

Regardless of the vernacular, for collectors, the only definition that has mattered over the years is how the piece spoke to them and to market trends. Etienne Fontan, the vice president of Berkeley Patients Group (the oldest operating dispensary in the U.S.), has been around the glass scene since the mid-’90s back at the Galaxy Gallery in LA. He believes whether glass is defined as headie or scientific is really all just a matter of preference because so many great artists are doing both.

“Look at Mothership — the clear motherships are a work of art and fully functional, some more functional than others in that lineup,” Fontan said. “Yet their colored pieces made the same style and function sell for sometimes go two or three times what the clears go for. Why? That ‘why’ has always fascinated me.”

Fontan said, in the end, it’s all art and depends on what you personally value as art.

“Some value scientific [glass] for its lack of flaws, others value the colors,” he said. “The market seems to sustain the idea of color has more value. The market set that, the artists promoted it. It has become reality.”

In the end, both types of glass can go for hefty price tags.

“What shapes the future is the present and presently both have significant market value and pull,” Fontan said. “With legalization, more people will become aware of the art currently and of its recent past. It’s fun to watch this go down and to watch artists push each other the way the Impressionists used to do when they gathered in Paris. It is that type of art and artists making work today.”

TELL US, do you own work by any glass artists?

Originally published in Issue 31 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post Headie vs. Scientific Glass appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Headie vs. Scientific Glass was posted on Cannabis Now.