[Canniseur: So sad. COVID-19 or any other disease for that matter has no bounds. Charlotte, as in Charlotte’s Web CBD, passed away today. While she was too young to be a true advocate to the movement, she was instrumental in getting many medical cannabis programs passed by state legislatures. She will be missed by many more than her family. Medical marijuana patients who have been helped by cannabis all owe a big debt of gratitude to her.]
Advocates and lawmakers are mourning the loss of a young icon in the medical marijuana reform movement. Charlotte Figi, who showed the world how CBD can treat severe epilepsy, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 13 due to complications from a likely coronavirus infection.
Across social media, people are sending their support to the Figi family and sharing anecdotes about how Charlotte’s battle against Dravet syndrome—and the success she demonstrated in treating it with the cannabis compound—changed hearts and minds. Her impact has been felt across state legislatures and in Congress, where her story was often told as a clear example of why laws prohibiting access to cannabidiol needed to change.
The domino effect Charlotte’s story helped set off—with states, particularly conservative ones, passing modest reform bills for CBD access—paved the path for a successful congressional rider that ended up protecting more far-reaching medical cannabis programs across the U.S., advocates say.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who has become one of the leading GOP champions for broad marijuana reform on Capitol Hill, said he was personally influenced by Charlotte and, as a state lawmaker in 2014, her story motivated him to support legislation to reform Florida’s medical cannabis policies.
Charlotte lived a life of tremendous significance. Her story inspired me to completely change my views on medical cannabis and successfully pass legislation so that patients could get help in Florida.
“Charlotte lived a life of tremendous significance. Her story inspired me to completely change my views on medical cannabis and successfully pass legislation so that patients could get help in Florida,” the congressman said. “I’m so sad she is gone, but the movement she has ignited will live forever.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), another top marijuana reform advocate who has raised the issue directly with President Trump on several occasions, wrote that Charlotte “made a positive and everlasting change in the world by the age of 13, and her inspirational courage will always be remembered.”
Charlotte changed the way the nation thinks about #CBD through her grace and advocacy. We should honor her by fixing our federal cannabis laws as soon as possible.
“Charlotte changed the way the nation thinks about CBD through her grace and advocacy,” he said. “We should honor her by fixing our federal cannabis laws as soon as possible.”
Florida state Rep. Rob Bradley (R) agreed with the sentiment, writing that “Charlotte Figi was a bright, beautiful light that changed how our state and country views cannabis. I am saddened to hear that this sweet soul has left us.”
Charlotte Figi was a bright, beautiful light that changed how our state and country views cannabis. I am saddened to hear that this sweet soul has left us. https://t.co/lg4tj2bcHn
In Illinois, state Rep. Bob Morgan (D) said Charlotte, who is the namesake of one of the most well-known CBD brands, Charlotte’s Web, “singlehandedly transformed how the world viewed medical cannabis and children with epilepsy.”
Charlotte Figi singlehandedly transformed how the world viewed medical cannabis and children with epilepsy.
“She suffered so much so that others would not have to,” he said. “May her memory be a blessing.”
Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) also said Charlotte “inspired me to get involved in the cannabis movement” and “showed the world that Cannabis is medicine and the trail she blazed has helped millions.”
This is incredibly sad. #CharlotteFigi journey inspired me to get involved in the #cannabis movement. She showed the world that Cannabis is medicine and the trail she blazed has helped millions. The world will miss you Charlotte. https://t.co/8uQ3Wehfjx
“The world lost a fighter,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who previously advocated for CBD reform as a state senator, said. “Charlotte Figi-who helped inspire passage of CBD Oil legislation for epilepsy treatment nationwide-passed away. I worked w/her mom/others in 14 in MO. My speech in the Senate was a tribute to her, June Jesse, my son & many others.”
The world lost a fighter. Charlotte Figi-who helped inspire passage of CBD Oil legislation for epilepsy treatment nationwide-passed away. I worked w/her mom/others in 14 in MO. My speech in the Senate was a tribute to her, June Jesse, my son & many others.https://t.co/LlMi8bOq0u
Beyond championing a successful CBD bill in Florida, Charlotte’s family also captivated national audiences and became a household name in the reform movement. Her story was featured on a popular CNN documentary, “Weed,” hosted by Sanjay Gupta, that introduced people from diverging political ideologies to an issue that’s since become a focus of legislation across the country.
A bipartisan congressional bill named after her—the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act—was first introduced in 2015.
But while that standalone legislation didn’t advance, the growing number of state-level policy changes that were inspired by Charlotte and other young patients could help to explain why Congress, including members who oppose legalization, has consistently supported a budget rider that prohibits the Justice Department from interfering in state-legal medical cannabis programs. It was first approved in 2014—after repeatedly failing on the House floor—and has been renewed each year since.
With CBD-only states included on an enumerated list of those that would be protected from legal action, it became increasingly difficult for lawmakers to defend voting against a measure to prevent federal harassment of their own constituents. Support from more conservative-minded Democrats and a handful of Republicans, including those from states that had recently enacted or were debating their own CBD laws, allowed the amendment to narrowly advance for the first time when it had been handily defeated two years earlier.
Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and South Carolina stand out as examples of states where cannabis reform came online between those votes and where support for the measure also increased among their congressional delegations.
The measure as approved by Congress and first signed into law law President Obama, has given explicit protection from federal prosecution not just to people complying with limited CBD-focused state laws but also medical cannabis growers, processors and retailers in states with more robust policies such as California and Colorado (though it does not protect recreational marijuana businesses or consumers).
“Charlotte Figi personalized this issue in a way that few others have, and her story humanized the medical cannabis fight to such a degree that many politicians could no longer ignore it,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “There is little doubt that Charlotte’s story, arguably more than any other, paved the way for politicians in several southern and midwestern states to finally move forward to recognize the need for CBD, and in some cases, whole-plant cannabis access.”
Don Murphy, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said even opponents of cannabis legalization “can’t say ‘no’ to young mothers pushing sick kids in strollers,” referencing the many other patient advocates who helped usher the reform to victory.
“There’s no doubt it helped move the debate in our direction,” he said. “Truth is, I was once told that CBD hurt our effort [for broader reform]. I don’t think so.”
A person writing on behalf of the family on Tuesday said that “Charlotte is no longer suffering” and will be forever seizure-free.
[Canniseur: In these days of sequestration or quarantine or whatever you want to call it, many of us are alone in our homes. And we want to get high. Swami’s tips for getting high alone are worthwhile and appropriate for our time. It’s good to get high alone sometimes even if our natural tendency is to share. But we just can’t pass a joint around anymore!]
As we know, unusual times call for unusually creative measures — and that’s the case for spring 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic. So, there you are, stuck at home, alone or just with your partner, family, or housemates. You scored a good stash of weed to keep you going. You hopefully have a good supply of food and entertainment, too. But, still, it’s just odd not to go out and share that tasty bud with your friends in the world, at a concert, a house party, or just about anywhere else outside. The good news, however, is that you have your medicine and can still get high.
When we get elevated at home alone, it is a whole other beast than when doing the same while out socializing. The first thing to do is get cozy in a comfy space. Without all the distractions, you can truly focus on the experience and let it carry you away. As the stoned effects come on, sit back, and be at peace. Tune in to the sounds around you — sounds you most probably have never even noticed before. Let your mind soar and drift away with the sensations. It could be compared to a cannabis meditation technique, a time for introspection and centering yourself. No worries if you get off-point and find your mind in a faraway place; that’s pretty much the point. Not to say it’s an escape — think of it as a journey to the unknown, and go with it. Be at peace.
If the weed you are imbibing is more sativa-esque and makes you want to move, dance with yourself! Put on some good rockin’ tunes, and you can really dance like nobody’s watching — because no one is! Move your bones, jump up and down, go for it until you just can’t dance anymore. Feel the music in every cell of your body, and let go. If your downstairs neighbors complain about all the ruckus, suggest that they dance, too!
Of course, you can also channel that extra energy into cleaning out closets or writing poetry or experimenting with a painting. Let your creative nature blossom while we have this precious time to ourselves. You’ll feel the stress flow out through your projects. Take another hit, and start again when you feel tired. Creativity doesn’t sleep.
Yet, we all know there will also be moments when the couch beckons, and all you want to do is kick back and smoke a fatty. Go for it — again, now is the time. Cuddle up with some snacks and enjoy the feeling of doing nothing. Now that is a real novelty in today’s culture. Can you handle it? Some good, relaxing weed is just the ticket to take you there and let you wander into the space of nothingness.
Forget about your job, your responsibilities, and the woes of the world during this crazy period. It’s easier said than done, but try and think about things that humans have pondered since the start of time, or at least when they first discovered the wonders of cannabis. Who am I? Who do I want to be? What are my goals? Look out your window and consider how small we are in this universe and how we are all One. Contemplate your relationships and reflect on your blessings. You can deal with the stressful realities of life at another time — now is your time to just feel life, and let it be.
And when you return to your body, there’s always sex with your best friend, meaning yourself. Or your partner, if you have one with you. Getting high will always heighten that experience. Take the time, because you have it right now. Turn down the lights and get comfortable, create as luxurious a space as possible in your home, prop up some pillows and get out those silk sheets your aunt gave you years ago. As for the neighbor downstairs again, well, if you make enough noise to stir them up, good on you!
In fact, doing exercises while sequestered at home is imperative, if only to balance out the couch-lock time. Don’t even try to pretend it’s like going to the gym, though. Working out on weed is a time to be outside the box and get creative. Chances are you’ll get so into the highness that you forget how much you are sweating. There are lots of lifts you can do with an armchair, or holding jars of food for weights. Also, besides dancing and sex, you can always find your favorite exercise videos online and knock yourself out. Then, you won’t feel so guilty when you eat all those cookies you made… because baking is another great way to pass the time when high!
Probably the “partners” we all hang out with the most during this time of shutdown are our devices. Not that it is unusual, as most professions these days seem to include computer time, and all of us have some sort of device with us ‘round the clock. But during this era of isolation, knowing our friends and family are just a text away is reassuring. Now, chances are that whoever is reading this article is not new to being stoned while working on a laptop. So, you’ll understand when we say that cannabis and computers are like peanut butter and jelly. After all, we all know that Steve Jobs was very high in his garage when he and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computers in the mid-70s.
Although staring at a screen while really high may flatten the experience of the effects of the individual cultivar you are smoking, it will augment the intensity and guide you into total engrossment with your computer endeavor. You will feel literally plugged in, one with your device. Use this time to be creative and not just focus on mundane online tasks. Let your fingers fly as you express yourself in so many ways. Or, actually take the time to fully read all those stories that usually are just a headline flash across your eyes. Use this tool as Steve Jobs originally intended — as a gateway to access knowledge from all over the globe.
Hopefully, for those of you who are cloistered with your partner, family, or housemates, they also enjoy cannabis. While sharing the same joint is not suggested at this time, you certainly can all get baked together. Maybe turn off all devices and the TV, sit together, and participate in a lively or deep or funny conversation — whatever comes up. Consider that it was 1876, only 144 years ago, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. And it was only about a hundred years ago when most families had a radio at home. Before that, it was just people sharing face-to-face stories and information, making music, telling jokes, and more. Cannabis can encourage that return to simplicity again if you let her free your mind.
History tells us that when a global pandemic situation such as this happens, humans tend to quickly forget it once it is over. This may be part denial and part just wanting to move forward, and out of the darkness. For example, our old relatives when we were kids never mentioned the 1918 flu pandemic, when one-fifth of the world’s population died. That was over and done with. Onward to the future. And we can always trust that the future will include more times of trouble, as well as periods of peace. That’s the yin and the yang of life. Consider that while you are getting high at home. We sure will.
[Canniseur: OMG is this real. The conjecture is that it’s something other than a cannabis vape. It’s not. It’s cannabis. For sure. OK, we really don’t know, but nicotine vaping devices are usually much larger as are their cartridges. It doesn’t leave us with much other than we can’t tell what cultivar she’s vaping! And in North Carolina where everything cannabis is illegal. Come on Mary-Ann tell us what you’re smoking!]
A North Carolina mayor was probably only trying to highlight best social distancing practices and support for local businesses when she posted photos of her takeout dinner on Twitter. But by failing to crop out what appears to be a marijuana vape pen, she sparked a different conversation entirely.
“Here is what we did tonight to support our local restaurants,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin (D) wrote earlier this month. “Take out from Garland. And we left a 35 percent tip. Please do the same.”
As residents in more jurisdictions around the country have been encouraged to stay at home amid the spread of the coronavirus, delivery and takeout food orders have become popular ways of supporting small businesses. Baldwin’s tweet included two photos of her group’s Indian dinner spread, still in its to-go packaging.
In one photo, just north of the tandoori poussin, is what appears to be a cannabis vape pen.
Here is what we did tonight to support our local restaurants. Take out from Garland. And we left a 35 percent tip. Please do the same. pic.twitter.com/SI21NAvV8U
The apparent slip-up immediately drew fire on Twitter.
“More like Mary-Jane Baldwin am I right,” quipped one commenter in the replies.
“So the Mayor is allowed to have weed pens??” asked another, tagging the Raleigh Police Department’s account.
“If you or I get caught w marijuana in N.C. we get thrown in jail,” replied a third, “while the mayor posts pictures telling you how much to tip with her weed pen in the picture.”
Others correctly pointed out that it’s not clear from the picture that the vape pen contained marijuana at all. Devices like the one in Baldwin’s photo can contain a number of legal or illegal substances, including nicotine, THC, CBD or even psychedelic drugs.
“Everyone is assuming that [it] is a weed pen,” Jon Lubecky, veterans and government affairs liaison for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, posted in a reply. “It very well [may] not be a weed pen. It might be DMT,” a powerful hallucinogen.
Lubecky later clarified to Marijuana Moment that he was being facetious: “It was tongue in cheek due to NC’s and Raleigh’s draconian drug laws,” he said. “Whether it was DMT, Cannabis, or some other substance, she would have anyone else arrested for it.”
To Baldwin’s credit, however, she has previously indicated that punitive policing of cannabis offenses may not be productive and called for a debate over the appropriate approach to marijuana.
Neither Baldwin nor a mayoral spokesperson replied to Marijuana Moment’s requests for comment on Wednesday. Messages left with the Raleigh Police Department also went unreturned.
Much of the critical response focused on the hypocrisy of the mayor allegedly having a marijuana product at home while others in the city face arrest and criminal punishment. Arrests for cannabis vape pens in Wake County, where Raleigh is located, climbed from six arrests in 2018 to at least 33 last year, according to a CBS 17 report in November. The county sheriff’s office also last year broke up an operation where individuals allegedly put the psychedelic DMT into vape pens, according to deputies.
Between January 31, 2017 and July 7, 2019, the Raleigh Police Department made 3,154 cannabis-related arrests, according to documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
If the vape pen indeed contained THC, it’s likely to be less than 0.05 ounces. Possession of that amount of cannabis concentrate in North Carolina is a misdemeanor and carries a punishment of $200 and up to 10 days in jail.
Baldwin herself has called for leniency in cannabis arrests, telling the local publication Indy Week during her mayoral campaign last year that there were likely better ways of dealing with marijuana possession than sending people to jail. Asked how she would improve police relations with the city’s black community, then-candidate Baldwin questioned Raleigh’s existing approach.
“You get kids busted for a little bit of marijuana, where we’re sending people to jail for something that is legal in other parts of the country,” she said. “Is that really how we should be policing? Are there ways that we can help kids, help young people, instead of just busting them? What are we doing to facilitate conversations in the community between the police? We have a great police department. At the same time, I know that there’s opportunity for improvement.”
Baldwin stopped short, however, of saying she would ask police to end such arrests.
“That’s where I would need feedback from the police chief,” she said.
Legalization advocates said they didn’t want to judge Baldwin for having what may have been cannabis as depicted in the tweet, which was first noted by The Daily Dot. But they hoped it would be a lesson to the mayor about the importance of treating everyone equally under the law.
“Some mayors consume cannabis just like many of their constituents,” Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “Hopefully this tweet will represent a teachable moment and Mayor Baldwin will immediately direct law enforcement to halt marijuana related arrests and be an advocate to legalize it at the state level.”
[Canniseur: Times are strange and will get stranger. COVID-19 is also creating upheavals in the cannabis market. Dispensaries in most states are open, but there are rumblings of closures and supply issues. Yesterday in Colorado, two stores I visited said several of their growers will stop operations. How you can put plants on pause is beyond me, but I understand the fear.]
Since social distancing and quarantine have been widely enacted, many have been advised to work from home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). But because so many other places are closing down that don’t offer any kind of work from home options — such as restaurants, gyms, and retail shops — many aren’t seeing paychecks coming in as the government figures out a plan to ease the burden.
And as some wait it out, others have stocked up on more than just toilet paper and hand sanitizer: according to Headset, a data analytics service for the cannabis industry, last week, “sales of Adult Use cannabis in Washington State were up 23% on Friday, 14% on Saturday, and 33% on Sunday.” Additionally, “average baskets on Sunday were $33.70 before taxes, up 22% over the prior week and 28% compared to baskets in January and February of this year.”
So whether you’ve bulked up your stash this past couple of weeks in preparation, or you’re just planning on stretching whatever nugs and buds you have left, follow our guide to making your dollars last without completely depleting your favorite cannabis products.
What do quarantine and social distancing mean?
What’s the difference between quarantine and social distancing? Vox recently reported on the coronavirus outbreak and the utilization of social distancing to help quell the spread of the virus:
Quarantine: to separate individuals completely from the public if it is believed that they have been exposed, but aren’t yet showing, symptoms of sickness.
Social distancing: requires the public to refrain from social gatherings and maintain a conservative and clear radius around oneself and others when out and about.
Including these practices in your plan to help fight the virus will greatly and positively affect your community. Protecting those who are immunocompromised or most susceptible to the virus is the number one priority throughout this pandemic.
Even if you are symptom-free, you can still be a carrier of coronavirus. According to various experts interviewed by The Atlantic, you should be avoiding social interaction as much as possible at this time. This includes skirting the gym, canceling non-essential appointments such as beauty treatments, stepping away from birthday parties and large family or friend gatherings, and keeping a healthy separation between you and the public when grocery shopping or running errands.
Basic tips for cannabis shopping
Depending on your state, some cannabis retailers have closed their doors to adult use consumers but may offer delivery or curbside pickup to patients at this time. If you still haven’t made it to your local dispensary before total lockdown, but have access to goods or services, consider our shopping tips for the busiest times of the year.
Once you find a retailer that does curbside pickup or delivery, see if there are any deals they are running. Typically, retailers will promote buy-one-get-one-free deals and specific discounts on certain items on their Weedmaps listing page under the Details and Deals sections. You can also take advantage of the Weedmaps Orders platform to order pickup and delivery online.
Want to get super elevated the cheapest way possible? Consider investing in a few nugs of moon rocks. These little devils are flower buds dipped in concentrate and then rolled in kief.
You won’t have to smoke an entire bowl to feel the effects, just one or two puffs should get the job done.
If you’re big on concentrates yet falter on the high price tag, think about picking up some crumble. Unlike regular concentrates that are usually fluid or sticky, crumble is a type of concentrate extracted using a solvent and maintains a “crumbly” consistency.
You dab it just like you would any other concentrate while saving a few bucks since “a gram of shatter costs a median price of $40 compared to a median price of $37.50 for a gram of crumble,” according to WM News data.
Kief can make any smoke session just a bit stonier — all you have to do sprinkle any leftover particles over fresh bowls of cannabis and you’re good to go. It’s one of the simplest ways to stretch your stash, even when you’re down to the bare bones.
If you don’t have a large amount of kief at the bottom of your grinder, some retailers sell it by the gram at a cheaper price than other concentrates and some flower.
Look for high THC strains
If you usually stay away from high THC strains, it may be worth your while to look at some of our picks in order to save some money. While low THC products definitely have their place in stash boxes everywhere, during times of financial distress, you may be able to get more for your buck with less when it comes to powerful strains.
Instead of going through a full joint, one, two or three puffs of high THC strains could be all you need to get the same effect.
Use terpenes to enhance cannabinoids
Terpenes are to cannabinoids as peanut butter is to jelly. They enhance the best qualities of cannabis and can expand on a certain elevation you’re gearing toward. If you’re looking to stretch the last of your weed, try a boost of terpenes to get you through the coming days of increased quarantine.
[Canniseur: COVID-19 is all the news today along with the market, quarantines, shortages, etc. But if you don’t have enough weed, you could be in trouble as dispensaries close because of the quarantine around the country. Just remember there are a lot of cannabis plants ripening in their greenhouses, and fields, weather permitting. The coronavirus is not going to stop those plants from ripening, so there should be a good supply. Don’t panic. It doesn’t work with cannabis anyway.]
If you’ve been to a large retailer or grocery store in the last week or so, you’ve likely noticed that certain shelves are empty. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, eggs: all of these things are non-existent at my local big grocer.
Large numbers of people, fearing they will have to spend considerable time isolated from the outside world, are stocking up on what they feel are essentials. This list includes liquor, guns and marijuana in places like Los Angeles. Bulk marijuana buying has been seen at many dispensaries and retailers across the country, from Massachusetts to California and points in between.
Illicit dealers are likely seeing the same pattern from their customers, as more people decide that staying in their homes as much as possible is the prudent course. Uncertainty breeds fear, and few things are more uncertain right now than the spread of Coronavirus. For many, fear is accompanied by the urge to do something and get ahead of what they are worried about, which often takes the form of stockpiling.
Another point mentioned by multiple articles I’ve read is that with Coronavirus creating anxiety and worry in many, marijuana is what a lot of people will turn to in order to try and calm down. Using more marijuana creates the need to buy more, and customers who realize that will tend to make larger purchases.
As far as continuing supplies, I suspect things like hand sanitizer and toilet paper will be easier to re-stock than legal cannabis, for many reasons. Not only does marijuana take a bit of time to grow, but most places with legal marijuana were already experiencing various levels of shortage, especially on the adult-use side.
Unfortunately, those with compromised immune systems seem to be the most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus, and many people with compromised immune systems are also medical marijuana patients. They will feel the effects of shortages more than others.
The next few weeks to few months could be unlike anything we have ever experienced. The balance between remaining calm and being cautious and vigilant will be a hard one to maintain. Just try to remember that while it is a cliché, all of us have to face this together. Some have it tougher than others, and everyone is deserving of a chance to be healthy.
Perspective, while always important, seems even more important now.
[Canniseur: Cancel Hash Bash? I’m not sure this is even possible. Hash Bash has its roots in protest. I doubt it will be as large as it was in 2019 when Cannabis was just legalized in Michigan, but I’m sure a crowd will gather. If you choose to go, you should definitely bogart your joint or pipe! Please be careful out there. Stay safe and practice ‘social distancing’.]
ANN ARBOR, MI – There are mixed messages about whether Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash will happen this year.
Thousands in the cannabis community have gathered throughout the city on the first Saturday of every April since 1972.
The Monroe Street Fair, which has partnered with the event since 2002, earlier this week was postponed to the fall in the wake of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Tuesday declaration of a state of emergency over confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan.
And, while a Hash Bash social media message has announced this year’s April 2 celebration will be postponed because it can’t get a permit, “Mr. Hash Bash” plans to smoke it up anyway.
“You can’t cancel Hash Bash,” said Adam L. Brook, who calls himself by the moniker. “I just got off the phone with the Legendary John Sinclair, who will be joining me and others at what Hash Bash was always intended to be…a protest and smoke-in.”
Sinclair, who has protested for marijuana usage for the last five decades, served two years of a 10-year prison sentence between 1969-71 for possession of marijuana that he was accused of giving to an undercover Detroit cop. His case was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court, and he said he has smoked marijuana everyday since.
The University of Michigan student group that organizes Hash Bash will not get a permit for the event, as the university has disallowed all events of at least 100 people due to the threat of the spread of coronavirus.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must postpone the 49th Hash Bash,” said Nick Zettell, founding board member of MI Legalize. “To protect the health and safety of our participants, we will not be gathering on the Diag this April. We are so grateful for you, our attendees, Monroe Street Fair, and U of M. We love you all!”
Photo credit: Bryan Melle of Grand Rapids lights a joint during the 48th annual Hash Bash on the University of Michigan diag, Saturday, April 6, 2019 in Ann Arbor. (Ben Allan Smith | MLive.com)Ben Allan Smith | MLive.com
[Canniseur: A perfect example of a doom and gloom prediction where neither comes to pass. The fact is property values have gone UP after dispensaries have opened in neighborhoods. In Denver, tourism has risen because of legalization. Eight years ago, nobody knew this would happen, so I’ll give the mayor of Denver the benefit of the doubt. Legalization has helped Denver immensely.]
In 2012, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock openly opposed recreational pot legalization in Colorado. He warned voters that the “perception that Denver is the marijuana capital” would “disproportionately harm” the Mile High City’s largest industry: tourism.
History has proven Hancock wrong.
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that Colorado’s hotels made $130 million in new revenues and saw a 9 percent increase in bookings shortly after launching legal adult-use cannabis sales in January 2014. The study’s author, John O’Neill, credited the spike in lodging expenditures — and Denver’s soaring economy — solely to legal weed.
“Although I studied Denver during a period of economic growth, its growth after legalizing recreational marijuana was above and beyond what would have been otherwise expected without legal recreational marijuana,” he told Phys.org. “In addition, its growth was greater than comparable cities, such as Albuquerque, Austin, and Salt Lake City. Also, its growth was greater than national averages.”
However, the buzz wore off after about a year. Initially, hotels charged greater rates in 2014 due to increased demand — and let’s face it, given the hype around legalization, hotels could charge damn near whatever they wanted back then. But from 2015 onward, the average number of hotel reservations returned to their normal numbers, and rental rates fell back to their pre-2014 prices, as well.
Additionally, how close a hotel was located to a pot shop didn’t matter. Tourists didn’t care how close dispensaries were to their lodging, probably because they wanted to visit as many dispensaries as possible.
O’Neill plans to deliver his findings to state governments that are considering legalizing recreational weed. Areas with struggling tourism industries, or which could just use a financial boost, may find the data useful. He only looked at Denver since the capital has the most, and longest period, of weed legalization data. The same data trends may be found in other big cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles shortly after their respective states legalized, too.
Cannabis hospitality is one industry that experts didn’t see exploding in popularity after legalization, but it’s been persistently successful as new weed-legal states come online. Overall, Colorado’s tourism industry was worth $21 billion in 2017. By 2018, it was worth $22.3 billion.
[Canniseur: This list includes two women I know. Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins are some of the hardest working women in this crazy semi-legal world of cannabis. It’s difficult to be a woman in any profession and get noticed. The cannabis industry seems even harder. Congratulations Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins who are the show-runners and talent for “The Marijuana Show“. You’re being noticed and applauded for your efforts!]
In honor of International Women’s Day, we are releasing our annual “Most Important Women in Weed” list for 2020. This list includes women in the industry that have collectively moved the industry forward with all of their hard work, continuous dedication and effort.
This year we opened up the list for nominations and received almost a thousand nominees. After consideration of each, we have developed what we feel is one of the most inclusive and carefully curated lists of the most accomplished and impressive women in the cannabis industry.
As we could not name them all, we would like to thank and celebrate all of the women who have dedicated their precious time to the advancement of cannabis globally.
It is because of each one of these ladies that this industry remains in the lead above all others as far as female leadership is concerned.
This list is in no special order. Each one of these women provide a great contribution to the cannabis industry in their own unique and badass way.
Thank you to every one of you for all that you do!
Dr. Chanda Macia
Yvonne DeLaRosa Green
Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran
Jasmine Rose Gunderson
Pamela Nicole Epstein
Dr. Michele Ross
Chef Lauren Gockley
Sara Brittany Somerset
Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
Dr. Rachel Knox and Dr. Jessica Knox
Mary Jane Gibson
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan
Selena Xochitl Martinez
Sarah Mitra Payan
Alicia Rose Kelley
Dr. Jacqueline Harding, PhD
Dr. Uma Dhabalan
Yvonne Perez Emerson
Again, thank you to all of the women who do so much in our industry day in and day out. Your work does not go unnoticed and is deeply appreciated.
Happy International Women’s Day to all women around the world!
Special shout out to our Green Market Report co-founders Debra Borchardt and Cynthia Salarizadeh on this day!