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What is the Status of Cannabis in The Black Market?

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cannabis west

Scientists from the University of Puget Sound with the support of scientists from the University of Washington have made a new study. It shows that cannabis consumption has not only increased but also has markedly shifted from the black markets of the US since 2014.

It is because of the upsurge in the legalization for the legal retail sale for the substance that started during that year. They drew their conclusions by analyzing public wastewater sampling in a minimum of one population center in Western Washington.

The main author of the publication is a chemist Dan Burgard. With the help of his lead, the analytical team examined the samples of the wastewater.

This wastewater was previously gathered by two treatment plants dedicating their services to around two hundred thousand people constituting a community of Western Washington between the years 2013 to 2016.

What was the goal of the researchers?

The main focus point of the researchers was to conduct the analytical study that would show the influence the legalization of cannabis has on its consumption. Moreover, the scientists wanted to explore if this method could also potentially determine the dimension of the market that legally sells cannabis.

They discovered a metabolite – a waste substance that forms as a result of human metabolism – which excretes out of the body from the consumption of cannabis in the users. This metabolite is tetra hydra cannabidiol acetate which the scientists found in the wastewater sample.

The total increment in the substance was up to 9 percent from the fall of 2013 to 2016. In that period, there was an increment in sales of cannabis by a surprising 70 percent every four months for legal market stores from 2014 to 2016.

The scientists relied on the samples as according to them, the wastewater was a representation of the total population living in Western Washington. The shift they found was interestingly quite rapid. This switch indicates that the black market is now lagging from the legal market.

Scientists from the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute of the University of Washington aimed to assist in the in-depth knowledge of the influence recreational cannabis has on its consumption in a community.

They acknowledge the analytics as an efficient measure for policy makers and authorities on not only the local scale but also at the international level.

Where is cannabis legally available for recreational use and what issues does this research address?

Some states of the U.S and the whole of Canada and Uruguay have been the three countries to have fully legalized cannabis for recreational use since 2014.

There is a need to have insightful research with data collection at larger scales in order to fully understand the prospects of cannabis legalization on the consumers to modify policies at a global level.

The amount of psychoactive compound, tetra hydra cannabidiol, consumed is also necessary to track to implement better policies. This research effectively addresses these concerns.

The Society for Study of Addiction published the study. It appears online in the Journal Addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse financially supported a part in this study.

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Cannabis

How The Upcoming US Elections Could Benefit The Marijuana Industry

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candidates on marijuana legalization

This November 3rd, 2020, marks a potentially momentous turning point in American politics. For all voters in the United States, and expatriates abroad, the fate of their nation rests on the electoral system. That is because, as they did countless times before, the Democratic and the Republican parties will face off once more. At their helms stand candidates Joe Biden and incumbent president Donald Trump. Both politicians diverge greatly on their policies regarding immigration, healthcare and climate change. And lastly, but also just as important, is the issue of cannabis legalization.

The problem is that by enabling a bipartisan, extreme, polarized setup, voters need to fully accept the gravity of individual votes. If you liked the incumbent’s hardline anti-immigration stance, you might like the other’s expanded Obamacare plan too. So, choosing between either means thinking on the merits and demerits of each. Although, for most, that choice is overwhelmingly anti-Trump. Joe Biden, knowing his strong support amongst people of color, and the youth, plays to his base accordingly. Not surprisingly, one of his biggest plans is social equity with respect to drug-related convictions.

Both candidates bring differing viewpoints on cannabis to the table

Donald Trump, even after serving 4 years as a largely unconcerned figure in weed policies, now bears a new campaign. His party makes vague promises about relaxing marijuana import bans and restrictions. However, with no time frame nor effective plan given, there is not much to look forward to. Furthermore, the president did not go any further when it came to current legislation, which federally outlaws recreational cannabis.

Meanwhile, Biden holds a bit more promise on this front. Incorporating moderates and left-wingers into his mainstream, he seeks the approval of the newer generations. He may come from the “boomer” category, but his aides and advisors do not. His party advocates social equity for cannabis related convicts. This also aims to gain the support of affected Black and Latino communities affected by the War On Drugs. Interestingly, but also worryingly, Biden speaks extensively of decriminalizing, but not legalizing, weed. That means he is not pro-cannabis regulation, just expecting users to manage their own sources. However, as many detractors quickly point out, Biden himself signed off on the disastrous 1994 bill against drug offenders.

Experts predict that this potential shift in attitude could mean growth for the cannabis industry

As the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay, at least for some time more, economic strains become increasingly apparent. Over 8 months of social distancing rules and safety precautions leave their mark everywhere. Public gathering places were closed for months on end, and airlines went bankrupt due to travel bans. One of the few growing industries during the time of self-quarantine was the recreational cannabis industry.

Even now, as election day fast approaches, politicians seem to gravitate in from both sides. They all know, after all, that the secret to winning public sympathy may lie in cannabis culture. That is evidenced from Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, and her assurances that she would work for federal legalization. Either way, the winning candidates will need to prove their claims.

Increasing numbers of states head towards cannabis legalization, signaling an inevitable federal decision

As more and more states, from the traditionally conservative to the progressive, embrace legal cannabis, speculations abound. Most of these concern the near future, on a national scale. Will cannabis ever reach federal legalization, in the vein of gay marriage in 2015? Only time will tell.

 

 

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Economists Discuss The Fiscal Outcomes Of Cannabis Legalization

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Marijuana costs and benefits

Canada has long been a sort of reference point for how marijuana laws should be drafted and enforced. The country made cannabis legal federally back in 2018 with it’s Cannabis Act of June. That was a huge step forward then and showed that Canada was a lot further along the road to drug regulation than its neighbor. And even two years after that momentous occasion, the effects are still being studied. What kind of economic expectations should we keep, now that one of the most widely purchased black market commodities was easily available at a number of stores? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

You might expect that under federal control, the industry would thrive. Being a legal drug with a huge market share means government subsidies, bailouts, tax cuts, and even more perks. So what’s the huge fuss? Let’s chalk it up as a win win scenario and call it a day, right? We wish we could, but the matter becomes a little more complicated. Because now, instead of simple transactions between dealer and consumer, cannabis has to go through the proper channels. And every person wants a slice of the pie at each level in the system. That means overhead costs go up, and then what exactly? To help explain it we’ve come up with a summary of the findings by two Canadian economists, and we’ll try to evaluate their thesis in the end.

 

Simply put, illegal is cheaper

 

As we mentioned earlier, when a commodity is obtained through a channel that isn’t regulated by the government, it has to pass through fewer barriers. Things like import tax, quantity size restrictions, and delays due to shipping companies’ mismanagement don’t apply when drugs are smuggled illegally. That isn’t good, of course. Smuggling leads to multiple socio-economic problems for a country. But what it ensures is the overall cost is low.

So if a drug dealer in Canada wants to sell cannabis, after they receive the drug from their sources, they can charge as much as they like. In order to stay competitive, though, they will try to keep a stable price. Because they only need to make a profit for themselves, that price could be just a few cents higher than what they bought it for. Contrast that to a company, which can have hundreds of employees that each need to be paid from the profit of the same amount of cannabis. The fact is, there are more mouths to feed when you go through the right channels. That means the sale price needs to be higher.

 

Two Canadian economists warn against the dangers of federal control over marijuana and other drugs

 

Ian Irvine and Miles Light talk about how more government control can mean higher costs of a drug, which in turn can lead to less sales. The market for cannabis is in direct competition with the alcohol and cigarette industries. Studies show that when weed gets harder or more expensive to buy than alcohol, most people turn to alcohol instead. The niche for marijuana is unstable, and governments adding to that instability can only do worse.

 

Taxes on marijuana will likely reduce the industry’s profits

 

The issue is, the more taxation cannabis producers and distributors have to put up with, the less they’ll sell. So indirectly, governments trying to get a share in the weed business can ruin things for everyone. The two experts published their dissertation in one of the foremost economic journals of Canada, the University of Toronto Press. So it can’t really be said whether things will turn out this way or not, but it is important to temper our expectations by keeping this in mind.

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Set A Proper Halloween Vibe With These Pipes

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Halloween And Cannabis

Halloween‘s right around the corner and it’s time to get into a celebratory spirit. If you’re planning a small get together with friends and loved ones after months apart thanks to the pandemic, you have to have the right stuff to set the mood. We’re not talking just party balloons with ghost faces on them, either. We’re talking everything in the right theme. So yeah, that means Jack-o-lanterns, but we’re more interested in cannabis paraphernalia, especially pipes with spooky vibes. Pipes that can be used to smoke cannabis, if that’s how you want to party. But also pipes that double as decorations, if that isn’t the type of part you had in mind.

If you don’t have anything special planned, we’ve got you covered. It’s important to still stay in sync with the festivity in the air, even if you’re socially distancing at the moment. Halloween is a time to celebrate the struggles we faced in 2020, and how we overcame them. So let’s get right into some special glass items that really send shivers down our spines! Remember to support small artists this year after so many were left unemployed. It really can make a huge difference if you shop from Etsy rather than Target. Having said that, let’s look at these three excellent, above average glassware items to set that eerie atmosphere this year.

 

 

The Zombie Pipe

Chameleon Glass has made a stunning entry on this year’s list with their newest glassware. The Zombie Pipe is stylish, sturdy and robust. It isn’t too over the top, and it also isn’t afraid to show off it’s high quality craftsmanship.

 

Priced at around $56 USD, this is by no means cheap, but it is certainly very much worth every buck. However, if we’re being completely honest, there are a few shortcomings with this new item. For one, it has a color palette that isn’t easy on the eyes. The green of the glass could be a shade or two darker, and the red a bit lighter. At this price though, we can’t complain. We liked the missing eye, the visible brains and overall curvature of the item, which makes it a great display item.

The Spider Pipes

We took points off the last entry for its higher pricing that we feel wasn’t completely merited by the item. In this case though, we feel the complete opposite. The Spider Pipe by Puffing Bird doesn’t over promise. It is a small sized pipe, so small you wouldn’t figure it doubled as a pipe for smoking marijuana.

It is attractively shaped, with matte sleek curves and a nice finish overall. The Spider Pipe has only three legs on either side, so points off for not being anatomically correct. One of the legs has a hollow inside that acts as the intake for the smoke. You can use this to play pranks on unsuspecting friends, you can leave it as a decoration piece. It’s got many purposes. Personally, we suggest you don’t show it off to too many people who might think it’s real. Even if it does get smashed by an arachnophobe, the good news is this item is very moderately priced. At around $30 USD, this item is definitely a bargain and we highly recommend it.

 

Oshun Water Bubbler

The picture speaks for itself. A very minimalist, modern approach to decor, the Oshun Water Bubbler is a classy piece that blurs the line between utility and art. Canna Luxe has cited the goddess Oshun as an inspiration for this beautiful monolith. With a volcanic obsidian cut through by golden orange streaks, this item is definitely worth the $67 USD you can get it for.

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