Quality Plans for Lab Services: Managing Risks as a Grower, Processor or Dispensary, Part 4

In the last three articles, I discussed the laboratory’s responses or defenses used to reply to your questions about laboratory results that place stress on the success of your business. The Quality Control (QC) results can cause this stress if they are not run correctly to answer the following questions:

  1. Are the laboratory results really true?
  2. Can the laboratory accurately analyze sample products like my sample?
  3. Can the laboratory reproduce the sample results for my type of sample?

Now let’s discuss the most important QC test that will protect your crop and business. That QC sample is the Matrix Sample. In the last article in this series, you were introduced to many QC samples. The Matrix Sample and Duplicate were some of them. Take a look back at Part 3 to familiarize yourself with the definitions.

The key factors of these QC sample types are:

  1. Your sample is used to determine if the analysis used by the laboratory can extract the analyte that is being reported back to you. This is performed by the following steps:
    1. Your sample is analyzed by the laboratory as received.
    2. Then a sub-sample of your sample is spiked with a known concentration of the analyte you are looking for (e.g. pesticides, bacteria, organic chemicals, etc.).
    3. The difference between the sample with and without a spike indicates whether the laboratory can even find the analyte of concern and whether the percent recovery is acceptable.

Connecting with Lawmakers at NCSL

From July 29 through August 2, Americans for Safe Access attended the annual National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in Los Angeles, California. We joined over 5,000 conference attendees (about 1,200 of which were state lawmakers or state legislative staff) to promote the goals of our End Pain, Not Lives Campaign.

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/connecting_with_lawmakers_at_ncsl…

Colorado Lawmakers Explore Solutions for Opioid Epidemic

With six meetings scheduled before next year’s legislative session, members of Colorado’s Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee are working diligently to address an issue many local and state governments are currently struggling with across America. As the total number of opioid-related deaths continues to grow beyond the more than 40,000 deaths that were reported in 2016, lawmakers are willing to consider all options.

Click here to urge Colorado’s Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee to acknowledge the role that marijuana can play in combating Colorado’s opioid epidemic

The committee was established earlier this year with the passage of House Bill 18-1003 to explore what other states are doing to address substance use disorders, explore harm reduction, treatment, and recovery option, and of course identify possible legislative solutions.

“Among other initiatives, the committee will study data and statistics on the scope of the substance use disorder problem in the state, study current prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery resources available to citizens, as well as public and private insurance coverage and other sources of support for treatment and recovery resources and examine measures other states and countries use to address substance use disorders.”

Read more from The Pueblo Chieftain

Several observational studies – such as those here, here, and here – find that medical marijuana regulation is correlated with reductions in opioid-related use, drug spending, abuse, hospitalization, and mortality. Separate data evaluating prescription

|Why I Traded in My Wine for Weed

I stopped smoking marijuana years ago. But with pot being pitched as the answer to everything from stress to sleeplessness, I decided to find out if cannabis is the fastest route to wellness. Introducing the new world of weed. I’ve never really liked smoking pot. More to the point, I’ve never really liked the way pot makes me feel: foggy and sleepy and clumsy. Once, while stoned, I attempted to make a peppermint tea and…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/08/06/why-i-traded-in-my-wine-for-weed/…

Cannabis Getaways Offer Experience, Chance to Explore Bud Culture

Sari Starr recalls having to sneak around in order to smoke weed with her friends when she was growing up in Toronto in the mid-to-late ’90s. Her parents were vehemently against drug use, and one of her biggest adolescent memories was the fear she felt when a police officer caught her smoking pot in a park. Now living in cannabis-friendly California, Starr has become an ardent advocate of marijuana use, and believes the potent plant…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/08/06/cannabis-getaways-offer-experience-chance-to-explore-bud-culture/…

Proposed US Tariffs Threaten Vaporizer Industry

The Blinc Group’s Arnaud d Dumas Rauly: “The cannabis industry will suffer from these tariffs.”

The US vaporizer industry is in a panic over proposed 25% tariffs on Chinese products. This would affect pen devices, hardware and batteries. China dominates the worldwide vaporizer hardware market.

“The rationale behind this administration’s trade war against China is twofold: stealing American jobs and stealing American IP and know-how,” Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, co-founder and co-CEO of the New York-based vape company, The Blinc Group, tells Freedom Leaf. “However, as it pertains to vaping products, none of these jobs and know-how are in the US to begin with. The cannabis industry will suffer from these tariffs.

“The supply of raw material isn’t big enough in the US to support a switch to US manufacturing,” he continues. “The skillsets aren’t in the US either. Bottom line, these tariffs will not bring jobs to America. In addition, given the small margins (10-15%) on the hardware, the cost of these tariffs will be passed on to consumers, which will limit patient/consumer access to cannabis products, especially in states like Florida and New York, whose medical programs relay on vaping products. Finally, the regulatory uncertainty is already stifling the cannabis industry, so this trade war will be adding ‘federal action’ onto already struggling businesses. It just doesn’t make sense, not to mention the loss of taxes on a state level that will result from

Pot Crusader Jodie Emery Sells Coffee Now, but Maybe Cannabis Later?

Owner will open a smoking lounge if privatization legislation passed. Jodie Emery has a new drug of choice: coffee. The longtime pot advocate recently opened a café in Kensington Market, Jodie’s Joint. The establishment serves locally-roasted coffee and baked goods — many of them enhanced by hemp, a variation of the cannabis plant commonly used in foods and manufacturing. “We’re only moving pounds of (coffee) beans, as I say now,” said Emery about her new…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/08/04/pot-crusader-jodie-emery-sells-coffee-now-but-maybe-cannabis-later/…

Rohrabacher Received Campaign Donations from Manafort, Had Meetings with Assange and Butina

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) may be a friend to marijuana legalization, but that’s where his liberal leanings stop. The Congressman is a major backer of Donald Trump and has been implicated in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Though his name has not been mentioned so far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, it’s now known that Rohrabacher attended a 2013 meeting with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who’s been indicted by the special counsel.

Rohrabacher, Manafort and former Rep. Vin Weber, a Minnesota Republican who’s now a lobbyist with Mercury, were at the meeting on Mar. 19, 2013, which was disclosed in retroactive filings with the Justice Department last year that detailed Manafort and Rick Gates’ work for the European Center for a Modern Ukraine. Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort associate, pled guilty on Feb. 23 to felony charges of conspiracy and making false statements in a plea bargain with Mueller.

Gates lied about the 2013 meeting and his Ukraine-related work with Manafort. He’s charged with “admitting to take part in a conspiracy to hide tens of millions of dollars that he and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort obtained from their consulting work related to Ukraine.” Gates later helped Manafort prepare “a report that memorialized for Ukrainian leadership the pertinent Ukraine discussions that Manafort represented had taken place at the meeting.”

Weekly Legislative Roundup 8/3/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!Legalize marijuana

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) filed a new bill in the US House of Representatives this week to shield federal employees from being fired for marijuana use that is legal in the state in which they live.

The Oklahoma Board of Health reversed course this week and revoked their previous set of proposed rules that went against the intent of SQ 788, which voters approved in the June special election. This reversal comes shortly after the state’s Attorney General warned health officials that they “acted in excess of their statutory authority” when they amended State Question 788. These new rules now go to Governor Fallin’s desk, she has 45 days to approve or reject them. As a reminder, the proposed rules remove the ban on the retail sale of herbal cannabis, eliminate the requirement that dispensaries hire state-licensed pharmacists, and no longer mandate that women of childbearing age undergo a pregnancy test prior to receiving a medical cannabis recommendation.

Missouri’s secretary of state certified that three separate medical cannabis initiatives have enough signatures to appear on the November ballot. The Missouri Constitution specifies that if conflicting initiative measures appear on the same ballot, the one which receives the most votes will prevail. It is likely that all three of these measures will have the support of a majority of the voters. Two are constitutional amendments and …

New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified for November Ballot

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to be able to tell you that this morning, Thursday, August 2, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office certified that the New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative will appear on the November 6 ballot this year! New Approach Missouri is closely allied with Missouri NORML and the active Missouri NORML Chapters around the state whose members were instrumental in gathering the signatures which were submitted in early May and have just been certified sufficient to place this measure before the voters.

In fact, the Missouri Secretary of State certified that three medical marijuana initiatives will appear on the ballot this November, an unprecedented event in the marijuana law reform movement and possibly in the history of our state, and possibly the nation!

Having three initiatives on the same ballot dealing with the same issue complicates the situation considerably. The Missouri Constitution specifies that if conflicting initiative measures appear on the same ballot, the one which receives the most votes will prevail. It is likely that all three of these measures will have the support of a majority of the voters. Two are constitutional amendments and the third is a statutory initiative.

Most observers believe that either of the constitutional amendments would prevail over the statutory initiative even if it got more votes, which seems very unlikely.

The other constitutional initiative is funded by a single individual, a wealthy personal injury lawyer from Springfield, Missouri. His …

UPDATE: Oklahoma Board of Health Revokes Previous Undemocratic Meddling with Medical Marijuana

The Oklahoma Board of Health reversed course this week and revoked their previous set of proposed rules that went against the intent of SQ 788, which voters approved in the June special election. The measure, which legalized medical marijuana in the state, was approved with support from 57% of voters.

After SQ 788’s passage, the board initially attempted to meddle with its implementation, passing rules that would have banned or severely restricted key components of the ballot question – including a ban on the retail sale of herbal cannabis, a requirement that dictated that dispensaries hire state-licensed pharmacists, and an arbitrary limit on the THC content of medical cannabis products. These former proposed rules have all been reversed.

“The actions taken by an unelected group of health officials in Oklahoma were egregiously undemocratic. We are heartened to see them now reverse course, but they should have never attempted to meddle in a voter approved measure in the first place. It is our hope that state officials take heed at the nearly unanimous backlash they faced due to these actions and move to swiftly enact SQ 788 in the patient-centric manner the ballot language called for,” commented NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri.

This reversal comes shortly after the state’s Attorney General warned health officials that they “acted in excess of their statutory authority” when they amended State Question 788. These new rules now go to Governor Fallin’s desk, she has 45 …

California Laboratory Achieves National Certification

For Immediate Release: August 1st, 2018

Contact: Dr. Jahan Marcu | 215-828-9183 | Jahan@safeaccessnow.org

California Laboratory Achieves National Certification

Los Angeles, CAAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) is pleased to announce that Consumer Safety Analytics (AKA CannaSafe) Laboratory of Van Nuys, California has been certified for laboratory analysis of medical cannabis products under ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program. PFC is a project of ASA, and the only nonprofit, third-party certification program for the medical cannabis industry based on quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP).

 

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/cannasafe_press…

NORML Chapter Newsletter

Lehigh Valley NORML Continues Push to Decriminalize Possession of Marijuana

Members of Lehigh Valley NORML are circulating a petition with the hopes of convincing members of the Easton City Council to reconsider an ordinance that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Read more from The Morning Call!

Follow Lehigh Valley NORML on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter today!

 

Collaboration and Education Remain a Priority for Kentucky NORML

Members of Kentucky NORML recently teamed up with the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition (KCFC), Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana (KY4MM), the Alliance for Innovative Medicine (AIM), to host an educational forum.

Read more from NORML.org!

Follow Kentucky NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

NORML Leaders in the Media

NORML Chapter Leadership in Pennsylvania Question Police Tactics That Led to Man’s Death Over Small Marijuana Grow

“The body of a suspect in the case, Pennsylvania resident Gregory A. Longenecker, was found earlier this week under a bulldozer operated by a Pennsylvania Game Commission worker. The bulldozer was carrying a Pennsylvania state trooper in pursuit of Mr. Longenecker, who was suspected to have been cultivating ten marijuana plants in Penn Township, PA. A police helicopter was also used in the search.”

Read more from NORML.org!

Follow NORML on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

“Exactly how many cannabis extracts Arizona patients consume isn’t known for sure, …

Orange Photonics Introduces Terpenes+ Module in Portable Analyzer

Last week at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Cannabis Business Summit, Orange Photonics unveiled their newest product added to their suite of testing instruments for quality assurance in the field. The Terpenes+ Module for the LightLab Cannabis Analyzer, which semi-quantitatively measures terpenes, Cannabichromene (CBC) and degraded THC, adds three new chemical analyses to the six cannabinoids it already reports.

CBC, a cannabinoid typically seen in hemp and CBD-rich plants, has been linked to some potentially impactful medical applications, much like the findings regarding the benefits of CBD. The module that tests for it, along with terpenes and degraded THC, can be added to the LightLab without any changes to hardware or sample preparation.

Dylan Wilks, chief technology officer of Orange Photonics
Dylan Wilks, chief technology officer of Orange Photonics

According to Dylan Wilks, chief technology officer of Orange Photonics, this could be a particularly useful tool for distillate producers looking for extra quality controls. Cannabis distillates are some of the most prized cannabis products around, but the heat used to create them can also create undesirable compounds,” says Wilks. “Distillate producers can see potency drop more than 25% if their process isn’t optimized”. With this new Terpenes+ Module, a distillate producer could quantify degraded THC content and get an accurate reading for their QC/QA department.

We spoke with Stephanie McArdle, president of Orange Photonics, to learn more about their instruments designed for quality assurance for growers and extractors alike.

Stephanie McArdle, president of Orange Photonics
Stephanie McArdle, president of Orange Photonics

According …

5 Things You Can Do To Get the Most Value From Your Consultant

I worked for about 18 years as a company employee in various levels from entry-level engineer to senior director. Since then I have spent over a decade as a consultant in the life science industry as the founder of Sebald Consulting. Presently, I also use consultants as CEO of GxPready!, a web based CMMS software company. Based on this experience, I have put together a top 5 list of things you can do to get the most value when using consultants:

1. Recognize when a project requires a consultant

There can be several reasons a project may benefit from having a consultant which may include bringing a new skill set, industry experience or an outside perspective to bear on a project that is not available otherwise.

Provide clear guidance as to what the task and deliverables are on an ongoing basis.Also, there are occasions when resources are already stretched and you need short-term support to get through an intensive segment of a project, but the work may not be enough to justify additional longer-term resources.

In any of these cases, filling the gap internally can be difficult and time consuming. A consultant can be a great solution. Even if you don’t plan to use a consultant for the project, it may be to your benefit to have a consultant perform a “gap assessment” to help you to identify areas which require improvement to meet compliance requirements or best practice …

Pennsylvania: Dispensaries To Begin Selling Herbal Cannabis

Licensed dispensaries in Pennsylvania are anticipated to begin providing herbal cannabis this week to registered patients.

Nearly half of all Pennsylvania dispensaries will begin selling medical marijuana in plant form on Aug. 1, with others following suit by Aug. 8, according to a Department of Health news release.

As initially enacted by lawmakers, state law mandated that patients only have access to non-herbal cannabis preparations, such as infused oils and pills. However, in April Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine approved a unanimous recommendation by the state’s 11-member Medical Marijuana Advisory Board to permit sales of cannabis flowers.

“The dry leaf form of medical marijuana provides a cost-effective option for patients, in addition to the other forms of medication already available at dispensaries,” Dr. Levine said in a prepared statement. Retail prices for medical cannabis products in Pennsylvania are among the highest in the nation.

NORML has long argued against regulations that limit or arbitrarily restrict patients’ access to whole-plant herbal cannabis. (See NORML’s op-ed, “The case for whole-plant cannabis” here.) Many patients seeking rapid relief from symptoms experience fewer benefits from cannabis-infused pills, tinctures, or edibles because they possess delayed onset compared to inhaled cannabis and are far more variable in their effects. Furthermore, isolated formulations of individual cannabinoids lack the so-called ‘entourage effect’ associated with the concurrent administration of the plants naturally occurring compounds, oils, and terpenes.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/07/31/pennsylvania-dispensaries-to-begin-selling-herbal-cannabis/…

Study: Patients Report Herbal Cannabis Provides Insomnia Relief

The use of herbal cannabis is associated with reductions in self-perceived insomnia severity, according to data published in the online, open-access journal Medicines.

University of New Mexico researchers assessed the influence of marijuana use on self-perceived insomnia severity levels in 409 subjects. Study participants recorded real-time ratings of their symptom severity on a zero to 10-point scale using a mobile software application.

Authors reported that subjects “experienced a statistically and clinically significant improvement (-4.5 points on a zero to 10-point scale) in perceived insomnia levels. However, products made with C. sativa were associated with less symptom relief and more negative side effects than products made from C. indica or hybrid plant subtypes.” They added, “CBD potency levels were associated with greater symptom relief than were THC levels.”

Researchers concluded: “[O]ur results show that consumption of cannabis flower is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia with differential effectiveness and side effect profiles. The widespread apparent use of cannabis as a sleep aid underscores the importance of further medical research regarding its risk-benefit profile and the effectiveness of cannabis as a substitute for other substances, including alcohol, over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids, and scheduled medications (e.g., opioids and sedatives), many of which are used in part as sleep aids.”

Full text of the study, “Effectiveness of raw, natural medical cannabis flower for treating insomnia under naturalistic conditions,” is available online here.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/07/31/study-patients-report-herbal-cannabis-provides-insomnia-relief/…

German Drugs Agency Issues New Cannabis Cultivation Bid

Lessthan a week after Cannabis Industry Journal reported that BfArM had finally cancelled the first German tender bid for cannabis cultivation, and after refusing to confirm the story to this outlet, the agency quietly posted the new one online, at 3.45pm Central European Time, July 19.

First Thing’s First

For those who have not seen it yet, here is a first look at the “new” bid auf Deutsch. It is basically identical to the last one. For the most part, Europe is shaping up to be a high volume ex-im market.For now, that is all that exists. However,a move is on in Europe to translate the bid into English. Why? To hold BfArM accountable. And to help educate all the foreign and for the most part, non-German speaking investors who want to know what is required to get the bid in the first place. The process last time left a great deal to be desired.

Bid Redux

Apart from this, however, very little seems to have changed from the last time. Notably,the amount to be grown domestically is the same. This means that the government is deliberately setting production below already established demand.

german flag
Photo: Ian McWilliams, Flickr

Why?

As has become increasingly clear, the German government at leastdoes not want to step into the cultivation ring. Further,because they are being forced to, the government wants to proceed slowly. That means that for at least the next couple of …

Legal Hemp Spurring Nascent Industry in Alaska

Denali Hemp’s Ember and Chris Haynes

The Denali Hemp Company in Talkeetna, Alaska is a family affair. Ember and Chris Haynes, along with their 18-year old daughter, have been making and selling hempseed-oil-based products like balms, oils, butters and soaps since 2014.

Denali Hemp grew out of their other business, Silverbear Sundries, a retail store in Willow where part of their Extreme Alaskan product line includes a handful of hempseed-oil items. Their customers loved those products so much that the Haynes’ decided to start a second business solely devoted to hemp.

The Haynes family got a boost on April 18 when Gov. Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 6 into law, which legalizes industrial hemp production separate from marijuana (0.3 THC threshold). It sets up regulations for hemp farming, and clarifying that adding hemp to food “does not create an adulterated food product.” The program should be up and running by the 2019 growing season.

Until now, they  sourced their hemp from Colorado. They make and package their hemp products by hand and use organic and fair-trade ingredients, most grown on their own land. “We make products with hemp seed oil and we’re proud of it,” Ember tells Freedom Leaf. “Cannabis is a safe product and there’s no reason for it to be a Schedule I drug.”