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Info for the CannaCurious

Part Two: Cannabis Legislation in Canada

Part Two: Cannabis Legislation in Canada

Hi friends :)


Disclaimer: This is not a political post. Nor is it a rant. I am also still not high as I write it (if you are finding yourself wondering). 


Also, please don’t take what I am about to write as ultimate truth. That is correct, I am hoping you will google the heck out of everything I put forth in this little blog series on Cannabis in Canada. 

I am NOT an expert,  just someone speaking about Canadian Cannabis issues.

PLEASE for the love of all things holy (including the plant) question everything I say. And EVERYTHING you hear in the news and EVERYTHING the big companies with hoards of cash are about to lay on you (be aware, really really really really conscious of how and what is being SOLD to you).

This particular blog post is for those interested in cannabis legalization and how we got here.  It is a  VERY Brief History of Cannabis legalization in Canada:
It may come as a surprise to some people that Cannabis has been “legal” in Canada for about 17years....YES! That is true. BUT this legalization was for cannabis for medical purposes AND  it pertained to plants patients grew FOR THEMSELVES.
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These beginnings stages of legalization did not happen over night. It took the lobbying of many patients and advocates many years to bring and end to Cannabis prohibition in Canada (if you are interested the world wide web has many detailed accounts all about the history of Cannabis in Canada I encourage you to read more about it :)
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Some major highlights that have happened since I have been a grown up are:
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2001: The Canadian government enacted the first rendition of the country’s medical marijuana law, the Marihuana for Medical Access Regulations(MMAR), allowing licensed patients to grow their own cannabis or access it from licensed growers. Note that this legislation only allowed patients to consume cannabis that they grew themselves. They were definitely not allowed to buy, sell or trade with any other patients (side bar: a lot of the Master Growers you will find in the industry today started this way, and it really is astonishing how they become so well versed in growing by only growing for themselves wink wink). If you want to learn more about the MMAR here is a helpful link:  http://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-2001-227/page-1.html
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2013: Enter the commercial production of Cannabis for Medical purposes. The government implemented the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), which created a commercially licensed industry for the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis. This is when the licensed producers (LPs)  were born. BUT they kinda messed up and made it so patients could no long grow their own plants BOOO. 
To learn more about this legislation here is a helpful link: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2013-119/page-1.html
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TWO VERY IMPORTANT COURT CASES WERE:
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2015: Owen Smith, a cannabis baker, was charged with the possession of cannabis-infused cookies. He appealed the charge, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that restricting legal access to only dried cannabis flower violated the constitutional rights of medical patients. Licensed producers were now allowed to produce cannabis oils and patients were allowed to possess and alter different forms of cannabis.
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2016: Neil Allard challenged the MMPR for suspending personal production licenses from patients, requiring patients to access cannabis solely through licensed producers. The Federal Court of Canada ruled in Allard’s favor, and revised the law yet again with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). 
This was a really big deal. Now patients could grow AND buy from licensed producers. Yipee. It also really started to highlight that giant ball rolling toward the legalization of recreational cannabis. 
If you want to read more about the CURRENT LEGISLATION that is in place until October 17, 2017 (Which is Gord Downie’s birthday, coincidence? I think not) here is a helpful link: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2016-230/index.html
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2017: The Government of Canada proposed the Cannabis Act, which would legalize the possession, use, cultivation, and purchase of limited amounts of cannabis by adults 18 years of age and older. On June 19, 2018 the Senate passed that bill and it went for Royal assent on June 21, 2018.  It will come into affect on October 17, 2019. 
Here are two very helpful links if you to see what will be coming at you this fall:

 

SO now what?

 

Well, you can still get a prescroption at one of the many clinics and sign up with a Liscenced producer, here is that list of LPs again:

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https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/licensed-producers/authorized-licensed-producers-medical-purposes.html

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Or you can wait a couple months and buy some recreational weed at a Cannbis store in your neighborhood.  Last time I checked Alberta would have the most amount of stores per capita at a whopping 220 stores to service our cannabis needs (Albertans love their weed I guess?)

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Here is what you will be allowed to buy/have (in case you skipped reading those links I provided above):

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Upon coming into force of the Cannabis Act, adults in Canada will be allowed to legally engage in the following activities:

  • Purchase fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants and seeds for cultivation from either a provincially or territorially regulated retailer, or where this option is not available, directly from a federally licensed producer;
  • Possess up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis or equivalent in public;
  • Share up to 30 grams or equivalent of legal cannabis and legal cannabis products with other adults;
  • Cultivate up to 4 plants in their own residence (4 plants total per household); and
  • Alter cannabis at home in order to prepare varying types of cannabis products (e.g., edibles) for personal use provided that no dangerous organic solvents are used in the process.

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And to conclude here is link to a VERY funny video that about sums up the new situation, have a good laugh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ei9nEWfyU

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Make sure to stay tuned to the next blog in the series about the INDUSTRY, yes that is right...I will talk a bit about the money makers in this big cannabis scene.

*As always: if you spot a typo in this blog please email it to me and  I will send you a promocode ha!

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Part One: What is Cannabis

Part One: What is Cannabis

Hi friends :)


Disclaimer: This is not a political post. Nor is it a rant. I am also not high as I write it (if you are finding yourself wondering). 


Also, please don’t take what I am about to write as ultimate truth. That is correct, I am hoping you will google the heck out of everything I put forth in this little blog series on Cannabis in Canada. 

I am NOT an expert,  just someone speaking to what I have seen over the last three years being immersed in the Canadian Cannabis industry.

PLEASE for the love of all things holy (including the plant) question everything I say. And EVERYTHING you hear in the news and EVERYTHING the big companies with hoards of cash are about to lay on you (be aware, really really really really conscious of how and what is being SOLD to you).

Why am I blogging about this out of no-where? Many people are curious about what is going on and want to know more about cannabis but don't know where to start.....This blog is not paraphrased from any source, if you want to know more I implore you to get on the google, there are literally thousands of articles about this very interesting topic.

What is CANNABIS?!

Have you heard of things like "ganja, marijuana, weed, deew, dope, devil's lettuce, green, mary-jane, blunt, spliff, doobie, etc"? Those are all slang terms for cannabis, and since after all these years weed is actually OKAY now, it is getting a re-brand. Oatmeal has always been oatmeal. But now "steal cut oats" are super groovy and extra good for you. Same mushy goop...just a better glycemic index and new image. Same thing with our old pal Mary Jane.  Same great plant, but a more refined image..she is all grown up and drives a Tesla (metaphorically speaking).

Cannabis is a plant that contains VERY SPECIAL compounds called CANNABINOIDS. Science is saying they have now discovered over 100+ of these unique compounds that are completely unique to the cannabis plant (seriously? YES). Why is this important? Well....

Humans (and other mammals too!) Have what they call an ENDOCANNABINOID system. Like the endocrine system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, this is a WHOLE SYSTEM IN OUR BODIES THAT THEY NEGLECT TO TELL US EXISTS. It is a pretty heavy duty system that regulates both physiological and cognitive systems in our body (kinda like the master system? Yeh). This ENDOCANNABINOID system has some cool receptors that BIND TO THE CANNABINOIDS in the Cannabis plant. 

*NOTE: our body produces its own cannabinoids too...we even give them to our babies through breast milk...so hmmmmm maybe that's how we build immunity? Maybe its milk "high" and not "drunk"...think on that one for a bit...ever seen a baby rage and punch someone after some breast milk? yeh no...they have some smiles, then fall asleep. The endocannabinoids that we produce as humans  bind to the same receptor in our bodies as the cannbinoid THC and is called anandamide or the "Bliss" molecule, NEATO!!

The Endocannabinoid System discovery is pretty new...1964 by an Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam. So in the last few decades the science has REALLY made a lot of discoveries about this system and how it works...also about the intricacies of the Cannabis plant.  Cannabinoids found in this glorious plant vary from strain to strain. THAT IS NO JOKE.  For a long time people have thought of Cannabis as having two strains: Indica (In-da-couch) and Sattiva (happy fun social times). But actually the strain has A LOT to do with Terpenes and the specific blend of cannabinoids and their ratios in each and every plant. This is why one strain can make a HUGE difference in a extremely low functioning autistic child (non-verbal, no eye contact, violent) and another strain will have little to no affect. We are unique as humans and the plant is just as complex and unique. 

The major cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant are:

THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, delta8THC, delta9THC, delta9THCA. And they all bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body. Look those up...they will each serve a different function in regulating human health.

*NOTE: you cannot die from Cannabis, the reason is:  there are no CB1 and CB2 receptors located in the part of the brain that governs lung and heart function, aka you won't have a heart attack or stop breathing from taking it (which is what happens with opiates).

The big cannabinoid stars of the cannabis show right now are THC and CBD. VERY BRIEFLY: THC is the cannabinoid that makes you HIGH and relieves pain, CBD does not make you high, and relieves the symptoms that are causing you pain (usually from stress and inflammation).  Cannabis contains various ratios of THC:CBD. *sidenote: it is really hard to find a cannabis product in Canada right now that contains only CBD.  That is where hemp enters the cannabinoid picture. THERE IS NO THC IN HEMP.  THERE IS A LOT OF CBD IN HEMP. (Stay tuned in this series to learn more about hemp, the legislation about industrial hemp, and how to get your gosh darn hands on some CBD oil).

Which leads me to: how do I get this glorious product in my body already? You can smoke it or ingest it. Smoking and/or ingesting it can come in MANY forms. For the purposes of this intro to the series, lets just say: if you suffer from anxiety smoking is usually the way to go and if you have pain, ingesting it is usually the way to go. That was a very very simplified statement.  Cannabis consumption is almost as unique as the plant is- really.  If you plan to try it out, or want to know how to start...I would seriously find a good clinic that can educate you about the options (there are clinics in pretty much every city...don't ask your doctor, they don't know. If they are a cannabis doctor they will have been poached from the public health system to work in a cannabis clinic. And don't ask your cousin that smokes a lot of weed, they just know what works for them. Find a reliable clinic or person to help you when you are starting out).

Next obvious question? Where do I even get this Cannabis stuff.  Under current legislation you need to obtain a prescription and purchase from one of our lovely Licensed Producers (LP) OR better yet, grow your own weeeeeee (do that!). THAT'S CORRECT you can only buy direct from a licensed producer until October 17, then there will be stores that carry all sorts of brands that are all OWNED by those same licensed producers ( the brands are owned by the LPs, not the stores...that's another topic). There is also a pretty rampant selection of online dispensaries available to us for a limited time (also more on that in another blog post). All the options available currently are online here:  https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/licensed-producers/authorized-licensed-producers-medical-purposes.html   ....and you can get set up through your clinic with anyone you want. The organic ones supposedly do not irradiate their product (more on that later too). *Note: the clinics are usually sponsored by a big Licensed Producer (LP) and therefore push, I mean "recommend" their products, so you may have to ask specifically for the one you want. I can think of worse things to have to find your favorite of.... teehee. *Warning: if you have bought the weed before (from a dude in a parking lot)...it is WAY more expensive to get the government stuff...but I hear great things.

There are some buzz words you are going to be hearing A LOT:

Entourage Effect: They mean that it is a special plant that has many complex moving parts, and that some of those moving parts get along well with other components of other plants. IE: Cannabis plays well in the sandbox and likes working as a team.

"Start Low and Go Slow": Start with a REALLY low dose of THC and see how you react, slowly increase your dose by 5mg per trial. and WAIT at least TWO HOURS before adding more to the amount you already consumed.

Hemp Based CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD) derived from industrial hemp instead of Cannabis.

Topicals: Lotions etc that you can rub on your body for pain relief or skin issues.

Smokeables: Joints, vapes, pipes, bongs, etc.

Edibles: Cannabis that you take in the form of food or candies.

Oh my goodness there is so much more! I will continue this series with some talk about the legislation in Canada currently, and what to expect in the next little while. *HINT: it is gunna get CRAZY!

I will leave you with this: in all this hubub about Cannabis, try to remember it is a plant.  A magical plant that has been grown and cultivated for thousand of years. Cannabis has been both: highly revered while used in countless religious ceremonies AND persecuted for being a gate-way drug. Right now it is cool to know about weed; everyone thinks they are an expert, and everyone feels they have some claim to the capitalist situation about to explode in Canada. But at the end of the day you need to be really conscious of who you are listening to (including me gosh darn it!) and what is their motivation?, notice how what you are being told is making you feel, and is Cannabis even right for YOU? AND if you choose to try it, know where you are getting your product, who is making it, what their company is like, where does your money go? And always always remember you CAN grow your own :) I will stop there for now, that was getting a tad ranty.  Please feel free to email me any questions: jill@hipbees.com . Until next time....XOXO

*NOTE: if you spot a typo in this blog please email it to me and  I will send you a promocode ha!

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