HIGH SOBRIETY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may be counterintuitive, but what if marijuana is not a ‘gateway” drug to other more dangerous drugs at all, but rather is quite the opposite?

Made possible by the growing legalization of marijuana, rehabilitation centers like High Sobriety in Los Angeles are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent drugs and as a bridge to the addict’s new sober life.

Dr. Marks Wallace is the University of California San Diego’s chairman of the division of pain medicine in the Department of Anesthesia and has treated hundreds of patients with marijuana over the past five years to help in the transition off opiates. He like others do agree that more studies are needed for this specific use.

Even though a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences “found no evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for achieving abstinence in the use of addictive substances”, the group did find strong evidence that cannabis and related compounds can be used to treat chronic pain in adults. As chronic pain is a different animal, experts remain skeptical if this applies to wean people off opioids.

Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Willenberg, who treats addicts and oversaw research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, calls it completely absurd! He says that it doesn’t work and it is like “trying to cure alcoholism with valium”.

The idea for this type of treatment is a result of several emerging factors in the world of addiction. There has been an explosion in the number of opiates consumed in this country and an increased death toll to go along with it. The traditional 12-Step program requiring abstinence with its prohibitive costs often leads to relapse and failure. A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that states with medical marijuana laws have seen lower rates of death from opiate overdose. The Schedule 1 label by the federal government has made funding for additional studies to test this hypothesis, sparse. A combination of these and other factors have led to alternative ways to treat addicts.

The national opioid epidemic will continue to encourage and necessitate the need for better options as the climate of addiction treatment struggles to find a better way.

written by VEG PayQwick

California’s Cannabis Conservation

A group of six California legislators, led by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, have drafted new legislation in response to the Trump Administration’s statements on marijuana. The bill, which has drawn disapproval from local law enforcement officials, aims to block local police and sheriffs’ departments from assisting federal investigations and arrests of state licensed marijuana businesses unless compelled by a court order. According to Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer, “[p]rohibiting [California’s] state and local law enforcement agencies from expending resources to assist federal intrusion of California-compliant cannabis activity reinforces…the will of [the] state’s voters who overwhelmingly supported proposition 64.”

Those opposed to the bill, like Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, believe directing law enforcement’s cooperation with the federal government is “really quite offensive.” Youngblood further argues “[growing and selling marijuana] is still a federal felony and we are still in the United States of America and the state of California cannot take over the United States.”

In response, the bill’s proponents assert pot protective legislation is necessary because marijuana businesses pursuing state licenses need assurance that licensure will not make them more susceptible to arrest and prosecution under federal law. Accordingly, the bill seeks to prohibit local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to assist a federal agency to “investigate, detain, report or arrest” licensees unless served with a court order. The bill would also ban California authorities from giving licensees’ personal information to federal agencies. According to the bill’s co-author, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, protecting licensees’ personal information ensures they are willing to share it with state regulators. Currently, California’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation treats all requests for personal information as a formal request and determines, pursuant to the information sought, what it may release and what is exempt from disclosure.

This bill reiterates that when it comes to cannabis, California law makers are on the side of the compliant. To ensure their compliance and its accompanying protections, California marijuana businesses should take advantage of compliance platforms like PayQwick, whose comprehensive compliance assessment programs incorporate all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines. By making compliance a priority, these businesses can worry less about federal prosecution and focus more on profits.

K Berke

Cashing in on Cannabis; CannaCon’s Banking Panel

Marijuana’s profitability is no secret. Since Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, recreational marijuana sales in the state have totaled over $1 billion, translating to over $250 million collected in taxes. Such substantial sales, however, have also brought problems in the form of cash.

Because of marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule I substance, financial institutions continue to deny banking services to state licensed marijuana businesses. Consequently, these businesses have been forced to deal in cash and suffer the sometimes lethal consequences.

There are, however, licensed marijuana businesses who have broken free from cash with the help of third party platforms like PayQwick. Licensed marijuana businesses can now easily access regular businesses bank accounts, cash management and bill pay services and the ability to send and receive electronic payments. These businesses also enjoy the added benefit of compliance services, which keep them operating in line with all of the state’s regulations.

To learn how to break free from cash, marijuana business owners and those considering the marijuana industry can attend CannaCon’s banking panel, “Cashing In On Cannabis – Compliance, Banking and Cash Management” on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:30 am in seminar room two. Moderated by MJBA CEO and Co-Founder David Rheins, the panel consists of Kenneth Berke, Christine Masse and Myles Khan.

Ken is the Co-Founder and CEO of PayQwick, Inc., a compliance, cash management and electronic payment processing platform that has facilitated regular business bank accounts for over 200 licensed marijuana businesses throughout Washington. He is also an attorney with 29 years of experience and has advocated for the legal marijuana industry before regulators throughout the U.S.

Christine Masse is a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, where she leads the government and regulatory affairs practice group and specializes in representing businesses in highly regulated industries with their transactional, regulatory, and public policy needs. She also leads the firm’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on matters such as marijuana.

Myles is a legal officer at Foundry Law. His practice focuses on corporate, entertainment, intellectual property, business development, cannabis and regulatory matters. Myles also owns Buddy’s, one of Washington’s most prominent marijuana retailers.
The panel will focus on how businesses can reduce their cash use, secure bank accounts and remain compliant. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists.