[Canniseur: Now this this is what cannabis legalization should be all about. Innovation, not just in growing, but in meeting needs. These new cannabis companies are full of the creative spirit of cannabis…and some capitalism as well…and that is what used to make America great: Creativity and Chutzpah! The author never mentioned the name of the company responsible for this; It’s name is Facible.]
In the continued fight against COVID-19, testing for the virus has become one of many pitfalls in the country’s delayed crisis response. Without enough test kits to check everyone who seeks one, and long wait times for results, asymptomatic carriers have been freely spreading the virus in their communities.
Now, in an effort to help solve the US COVID-19 testing crisis, one Idaho cannabis start-up is converting devices built for roadside THC tests into coronavirus screening tech that works in five minutes. By checking for viral proteins instead of antibodies, Facible CEO Steven Burden is confident that the cannabis tech company can use its machines to help with the public health crisis.
“It’s not the traditional test which is what most — 90 percent of the market right now — [is using], and it’s not a stereological test, meaning you don’t need blood for it, so we’re not testing for antibodies. We’re actually testing for the presence of viral proteins, and it’s actually different from anything else on the market right now, in terms of how fast it is and how accurate it is,” Burden told news station KTVB.
The machines still need to pass clinical trials before they can be used to test the American public. But due to the dire crisis that COVID-19 presents, FDA approval timelines have been shortened for test kits, giving Facible a potential fast-track to production.
“We’re launching with COVID-19 because the regulations have dropped; they don’t have that year-long FDA approval process,” Burden said.
For Facible, the next step in turning their THC and CBD testing machines into COVID-19 screeners will be securing FDA approval and then funding to produce more of this potentially game-changing technology.
[Canniseur: This story is disgusting on so many levels, it’s hard to imagine. I don’t normally like to publish stories like this, it’s not Canniseur’s wheelhouse, but this one shows these neferious “officers of the peace” cheating. I know that many cannabis and or drug arrests in many arrests made in many places are illegal plants. I have no idea (nor does anyone else really) why planting drugs on a ‘suspect’ has anything to do with serving and protecting. If there’s a lack of respect for law officers, it’s because of stupid shenanigans like this.]
A pair of New York City police officers are once again in hot water with the public after newly-released body camera footage shows the cops clearly planting cannabis in a car before making an arrest. The footage of illegal police malpractice — which was released this week, two years after the stop occurred — came just months after the exact same officers were caught on camera planting false cannabis evidence in a separate car.
The new video, which was obtained exclusively by The Intercept, shows Staten Island NYPD officers Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran stopping a car, telling the driver and passenger that they smelled weed, and demanding the two get out of the car so they can search it.
Immediately, the car passenger, Jason Serrano, informs the officers that he is returning from the hospital after surgery for a stab wound, and shows them his bandages and stitches. Officer Erickson can then be heard saying, “I don’t want to see that,” before forcing him out of the car and then quickly pushing him to the ground. Serrano would remain handcuffed, in visible pain, lying on the sidewalk for the rest of the incident before an ambulance had to come take him to the hospital.
Before Serrano could be treated for the damage to his wound, the cops rifled through every inch of the car, with their body cameras catching multiple muttered expletives as the officers failed to find any contraband. On a third trip into the front seats of the car, Officer Erickson’s body camera clearly shows him holding a small nug of what looks like cannabis, before he drops it in the center console, immediately picks it up, and then tells his partner that he found something. A few moments later, the same cop is seen fiddling with Serrano’s jacket — after it had already been thoroughly searched — before allegedly finding an empty plastic bag with drug residue in it.
As a result of Erickson’s false evidence accusation, Serrano sat for five days handcuffed to a hospital bed while his stab wound re-healed, and was charged with both possession of illegal drugs and resisting arrest. In an attempt to avoid jail time, Serrano took a plea deal. The video of the false arrest would not come out for another two years.
“They said I was resisting arrest, but I just didn’t want to hit the floor, the only thing I was thinking about was this,” Serrano told The Intercept, pointing to the scar on his stomach. “I still had staples in me… I couldn’t even stand up straight.”
And while Serrano’s case alone may seem like enough to keep Officers Erickson and Pastran off the street and put into jail cells of their own, the cops were actually caught planting cannabis as evidence during another traffic stop just two months before Serrano’s arrest. The victim in that instance, who was also detained for narcotics possession, has since filed a $1 million lawsuit against the NYPD. Despite clear video footage of the officers planting false evidence in at least two separate cases, both Erickson and Pastran are still on the force, patrolling the same Staten Island neighborhood.
New York legislators and citizen advocates have for years tried to tamp down the power of the NYPD, especially when it comes to minor, non-violent offenses like cannabis possession. But as the world continues to change dramatically in the face of the growing coronavirus crisis, departments across the country — including major east coast cities — have taken a hands-off approach to policing. The recent changes have been pitched as ways to protect officers, but with arrest stoppages for most misdemeanor and non-violent crimes in places like Philadelphia, the new cop directives will also protect thousands of citizens from the police. Similarly, newly detected calls of COVID-19 inside of America’s prison system have led to loud, encouraging calls for widespread prison reform in the interest of safety, including the release of all cannabis offenders.
[Canniseur: This is a very welcome piece of legislation and I would add that it’s about time! Minorities have been given short shrift in obtaining a license for anything because the regulators in all the states (almost all at any rate) have put the barriers to entry high…in other words, licenses have been very expensive almost everywhere. I’m happy to see that those most affected by prohibition are at least allowed affordable entry into the industry.]
Emerald State lawmakers will put nearly three dozen marijuana
business licenses into the hands of those most affected by prohibition.
Washington lawmakers passed a new bill welcoming longtime victims of America’s War on Drugs into the state’s cannabis market this week, in an attempt to begin reconciling a huge access gap in legal weed business licenses.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, the new law, approved by both houses of the state legislature, will guarantee that at least 34 previously-revoked cannabis business licenses are redistributed to qualifying equity applicants.
Despite trailblazing as one of the first states with a fully functioning adult-use cannabis industry, Washington has since struggled to spread the wealth, with large swaths of the local marketplace dominated by deep-pocketed investors.
“When we first started issuing those licenses, it was easy access for those who had a lot of resources and understood the process,” Rep. Eric Pettigrew, who sponsored the new bill, told MJBizDaily. “Not surprisingly, this made it difficult if not impossible for many would-be entrepreneurs in communities of color, especially African Americans and Latinos, to obtain licenses to grow and process marijuana, or to open retail shops. This gives us an opportunity to go back and offer more equal access to citizens throughout the state.”
Under the new bill, total licensing access for the 34 open slots will cost under $2,000, with additional support from a cannabis tax fund. After years of back and forth between equity applicants and Liquor Control Board regulators, Paula Sardinas, commissioner and lobbyist for the state’s Commission on African American Affairs, said that the guaranteed equity permits will hopefully build a new trust between the community and state officials.
“We will now have the most progressive social equity program in the country,” Sardinas said. “In order for that work to be successful, we must also address the lack of trust that exists between the community and the LCB.”
The new law, which is currently sitting on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk, where it is expected to be ratified soon, will also create a task force to oversee the distribution and successful use of the equity licenses. The task force is expected to have its first meeting this summer, July 1st, with plenty of new cultivation sites, manufacturing centers, and dispensaries opening shortly after.
“It’s a great start to allow for more opportunities for people of color to be a part of this growing industry, and to reap the benefits not only for their business community but for the entire community,” state Rep. Eric Pettigrew said.
[Canniseur: Nike, of all companies, is releasing a shoe called “Strawberry Cough” which is, if you’ve spent any time at a dispensary, a cultivar of cannabis!!! Nike. Really. And of course, it’s going to be released on April 20th.]
4/20 is still more than a month away, but Nike is wasting no time prepping for the high holiday.
In a new set of leaked pictures, it appears that the multi-national sportswear brand will be celebrating this year’s annual smokeout with a new pair of high-top Dunk SBs based on the famed sativa strain, “Strawberry Cough.”
First Look at the Nike SB Dunk High ”Strawberry Cough” 🤧🍓 releasing later this year #solebyjc
A post shared by Jean Carlos (@solebyjc) on
Despite Nike’s status atop the corporate sneaker heap, the Swoosh has always spent big bucks to stay relevant with the cool kids and tastemakers. For stoners, that means an yearly skateboard shoe paying homage to some part of cannabis culture. Last year, the brand rolled out a “Dogwalker” shoe, and a “White Widow” mid top marked the holiday in 2018.
This year, Nike once again tapped legendary Midwest skateboard artist and designer Todd Bratrud to create the kushy kicks. In a leaked picture of this year’s 4/20 Dunk SB, sneaker fiends can check out a red and green shoe styled in the vein of the fruit-flavored sativa “Strawberry Cough.” The bright pair comes decked out with a strawberry seed print, a clear sole, premium materials, and a coughing strawberry decal on the outer heel and insoles.
In addition to hemp shoes and intergalactic dunks in past years, Bratrud has used motifs from Cheech & Chong to help Nike stay hip on 4/20 without explicitly engaging with the words cannabis, weed, or marijuana. Yet with close to a decade of 4/20 SB Dunks in their portfolio, neither Nike or Bratrud has ever spoken candidly about the annual collaboration.
Of course, because the new pictures are an unofficial leak, we cannot confirm whether the Strawberry Cough shoes will actually be hitting skate shops on 4/20. But if confirmation does come, make sure to get in line early, as Nike Dunk SBs continue to draw fanatic obsession from sneaker heads across the world.
[Canniseur: Not surprising. California has botched its legal cannabis market from the beginning. So have a lot of other states. Whether black market cannabis is better than what’s in the stores, is a different topic, but in the meantime, it appears that those looking for black market weed have to look no farther than YELP! for the nearest dealer. The problem with this is it’s illegal, but YELP! can’t police each and every comment made on their site…black market weed or legal weed…YELP! cannot have the staff to police this.]
Two years into adult-use cannabis legalization, California cannabis regulators are still stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the state’s prolific black market. And as SoCal cops continue to raid illicit dispensaries and wood chip their way through unlicensed grow sites, a new tool has emerged to help underground operators get the word out about their wares: Yelp.
Yes, the DIY food critic website has now evolved into a directory for Southern California’s vast network of black market dispensaries. According to a new investigation from NBC News, unlicensed pot shops across the Southland have profiles on the community review site, with location pins, posted hours, and countless reviews recommending unregulated flower, vape cartridges, edibles, and more.
“This is a clear public health threat that needs to be addressed,” Raphael Cuomo, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, where he is researching the vape crisis, told NBC. Cuomo said that companies like Yelp are rarely held accountable for their part in the cannabis black market because posts on the site come from community members, and not the website itself.
“We haven’t seen strong evidence that [Yelp is] going to suffer a great deal of backlash, whether from the public or legislators,” Cuomo added.
Previously, the Irvine-based website Weedmaps has served as the industry’s most visible dispensary directory, for both fully licensed and off-book pot shops. But at the turn of 2020, Weedmaps said that it would take steps to remove unlicensed listings and require state license verification from dispensaries.
“It simply isn’t true that unlicensed operators have an easy path to list on Weedmaps,” Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals told NBC about the site’s updated policies. “Between the vetting processes in place for our suite of products, internal reviews, and responses to reports from users, licensed shop owners, regulators, and law enforcement, Weedmaps has a robust process in place to ensure the cannabis operators on the site are licensed.”
In a direct response to the NBC investigation, Yelp officials said that they would begin implementing a license verification process of their own, but would not remove listings for unlicensed dispensaries. Instead, Yelp will place large red warnings on listings for dispensaries that have not provided the site with proof of their licenses.
“Removing local businesses from Yelp could hurt consumers as they would no longer have that resource for information, whether positive or negative, about the business,” a Yelp spokesperson told NBC. “Consumers have a right to speak their minds about all businesses, irrespective of licensing status.”