As we keep adding states to the list that legalize marijuana, so too are we adding potential uses for this flourishing herb.  Why not give cannabis to our fine furry friends to help improve their quality of life when they are sick or dying?

Doug Kramer, a veterinarian in Los Angeles said “I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn’t doing everything I could to make their lives better…I felt like I was letting them down”.  When his Siberian husky developed terminal cancer and stopped eating, he gave her small amounts of marijuana to improve her quality of life.  Her appetite and energy returned and as a result he had six extra weeks with her.  “I’d exhausted every available pharmaceutical pain option, even steroids”.  However, he also states and sides with the AMA in that “we need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work.  We also need to know what the risks are”.

Protections are given to physicians in states where medical marijuana is legal but no such protections apply to veterinarians.  There are veterinarians who share Kramer’s views but are afraid to even talk about it.

Dr. Duncan Lascelles is a professor of surgery and pain management at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is interested in studying the effects of cannabis on pets but thinks that it is a long way off because of the complexity of determining which of the hundreds of extracts applies to which symptoms as “not all syndromes are alike”.

Pet owners though aren’t waiting for studies but instead believe that it’s worth the risk.  Yet, in Colorado and at a clinic study in Renton, Washington, they have seen an increase in cannabis overdoses in dogs which seem to correlate with the increase in the number of licenses that have been issued.  One should also keep in mind that these two states also have legal recreational marijuana and that may be a factor.

In that it is us humans who are making the choices for our pets, it is incumbent upon us that we keep our personal stashes out of their reach and that we consult a medical professional before administering marijuana to our pets and putting them in danger.


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Now that four states have legalized marijuana the “open bar” has taken on a whole new meaning.  Couples are requesting weed bars with bud-tenders at their wedding and are even serving cannabis infused dinners and desserts to enhance the nuptial experience.  Weed tents, weed bouquets, ganja gift bags and nug bootineers have become somewhat commonplace.  Couples like the “unity bowl” that allows them to take their first “married hit” together.

Wedding vendors hesitate to jump into this lucrative business because they don’t want to take the risk and because they worry that their other non-cannabis clients will look unfavorably toward them.  But with events like the Cannabis Wedding Expo and the Cannabis Wedding Giveaway, proponents hope to show the world that there is class in cannabis.

By far the most requested weed-friendly vendors for weddings are the weed bar and bud-tender and the caterers.  The idea is to enhance the flavors of the food, wine and beer.  Some caterers encourage a cannabis infused late night snack like friend chicken on a biscuit with honey mustard and pickle and of course that subtle extra added ingredient.  Other vendors include fun custom labeled edibles.  Caterers agree that you should stick to licensed manufactured edibles in order to guarantee the recommended dosage rather than baking yourself.  A good bud-tender will help educate guests especially ones with a sweet tooth and prevent them from having seconds too soon.

The motto from the Cannabis Wedding Expo was that they wanted to “change this from a trend into a tradition”.

And by the way, one wedding planner, Bec Koop owner of Buds&Blossoms and Cannabis Events, states that “I have dealt with my fair share of bridezillas on the traditional side, but with my cannabis wedding business, I haven’t seen one yet!  They are far more relaxed and down to earth”.


Guns and Ganja; Robberies on the Rise

On August 7, 2016, employees of Have A Heart Greenwood, a licensed recreational marijuana store in North Seattle, WA, went through what many in the marijuana industry have already experienced; an armed robbery. The footage of the break-in shows the store’s employees zip tied and held at gunpoint while the criminals attempt to rob the store. As the terrified employees stared down the barrel of the criminals’ guns, the store’s manager watched the robbery on the store’s surveillance system and immediately alerted the police. Fortunately, no one was harmed and the police were able to quickly apprehend the criminals before they could get away with any money or merchandise.

Have A Heart Greenwood joins the far too long list of legal marijuana businesses that have suffered armed robberies. Within the last two months, violent criminals have seriously wounded a dispensary security guard in Los Angeles, CA, killed a 24-year-old security guard and father of three at a dispensary in Aurora, CO, and shot a 35-year-old dispensary security guard from San Bernardino, CA in the head. Though none of these incidents are related, the criminals’ motivation in every instance was cannabis cash.

What sets Have A Heart Greenwood apart from the others, however, is that the recreational store is among the nearly 140 licensed marijuana businesses in Washington that rely on PayQwick to drastically reduce their cash dependence. PayQwick facilitates business bank accounts for its users through its compliance assessment programs, which require that, among other things, all users have a robust surveillance system like Have A Heart Greenwood’s. PayQwick then regularly collects cash from its users’ premises with an armored car service. In fact, PayQwick had picked up cash from Have A Heart Greenwood just days before the thwarted robbery.

To further free licensed marijuana businesses from cash, PayQwick allows business users to pay each other through PayQwick’s Business-to-Business platform, which works much like PayPal®. This means that a recreational store like Have A Heart Greenwood can pay a producer, processor or ancillary business, which is also a PayQwick user, with nothing more than the click of a button. If a PayQwick user wants to pay a non-user without cash, no problem! Aside from using the checks that come with their PayQwick facilitated bank accounts, these businesses can use PayQwick’s PayQwick’s Bill Pay option and have PayQwick create and mail a physical check on their behalf to the recipient.

PayQwick also allows consumers to pay at participating retailers like Have A Heart Greenwood with a PayQwick loadable card or the PayQwick smartphone app, so that that consumers can also go cash-free and pay for their marijuana without paying steep ATM fees.

PayQwick’s services have proven that legal marijuana businesses can operate safely and smoothly without relying on cash. Because of PayQwick, marijuana businesses can free themselves from cash; the target that invites violent crime.