Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


Pittsburgh City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization

Creating a little more elbowroom for The Steel City’s real criminals, the Pittsburgh City Council decisively approved legislation on Monday that will decriminalize the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana. Whether it was the Holiday sprit or fiscal concerns, Council members closed out the 2015 legislative session on an elevated note, also approving […]

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Gourmet Medibles

marijuana cooking

Hungry, craving good food to enrich your day and help you stay medicated?  Well, for patients living in Oregon there are a few choices available to them.  The first cannabis serving eatery in the United States opened in Portland, Oregon over two years ago.  The Cannabis Cafe was a smashing success when it debuted.  Following most recently on its heels is the new Earth Dragon Edibles, in Ashland, Oregon.  Now the state has coverage in both the North and South sides.  Although the two restaurants are very different in look and feel, they both cater to the growing medical marijuana community.

The Cannabis Cafe is on its second iteration. Originally it opened at 4:20PM on November 13, 2009 in the Woodlawn section of North Portland.  Madeline Martinez of Oregon NORML fame opened the establishment in concert with the building’s lessor Eric Solomon.  The cafe itself was similar to those found in Amsterdam, a coffeeshop with accommodations for medicating.  They offered baked goods, coffee, drinks and snacks.  They had a few pool tables, HDTV, and Wifi access for patients to enjoy as they dosed.  It was a nice, relaxing setting in a laid-back area of town.  However, due to differences between NORML and the lease-holder, the Cafe shut down after six months.  Luckily, Ms Martinez sorted things out and the Cannabis Cafe was reopened, albeit in a new location. Now it resides at 322 SE 82nd Ave, in the Montavilla section of Portland and business continues to do well, despite having an exclusive clientele.  Visitors of the Cannabis Cafe must be card-carrying members of Oregon’s NORML chapter and must also have Oregon medical marijuana program (OMMP) cards. The cafe also has its own membership dues, $5 per visit in addition to the NORML dues. Also, no medical is sold on the premises. Patients may bring their own to the cafe. Cannabis Cafe keeps marijuana on hand for patients, and thanks local growers and dispensers for the donations.

Earth Dragon Edibles Restaurant and Lounge is an establishment of a different flavor.  It is a full-fledged restaurant that has marijuana-infused items available on the menu.  Located at 1662 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland, Earth Dragon is a Mongolian barbecue joint that decided to spice things up a little differently than their competitors.  They offer both regular and medicated items on their menu, with three levels of intensity to their hashish-infused grapeseed oil.  They also have a desert menu for after dinner medicating.  Patients must show proof of OMMP membership, though NORML membership is not necessary.  Furthermore, they skirt marijuana sales laws by requesting donations for their dishes.  The restaurant also contains a hash bar where patients may medicate while they wait, choosing from hash or herbs, vaporizers, pipes or bongs.  However, in accordance with Oregon state laws, there is no smoking in the restaurant section.  And, the medication at the bar is also free, though “donations suggested.”  Earth Dragon has been doing well despite a legal challenge.  They operate without a city-required business license, because they are in violation of Federal statutes.  Local police chief Terry Holderness said that Earth Dragon is not a priority they are pursuing, “Nobody’s life is at risk here…We will prioritize this appropriately. But ultimately, if they are in violation of the law, they will be shut down.”  Ashland authorities appear to be lenient for now, perhaps waiting for further marijuana law resolution from higher levels of government.

We’ve had plenty of exciting news from Oregon.  Hopefully marijuana patients can see more growth like this in other states. Colorado is jumping on the bandwagon too. Maybe California and Washington will follow soon.  Perhaps this phenomenon will find its way to the East Coast.  New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Washington DC patients should keep their eyes open for opportunities.  For those in Oregon, with the proper credentials, Bon Appetit!

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The cannabis plant is consumable in many forms.  One of the most storied and controversial preparations of marijuana is hashish.  Hashish is a compressed and purified form of the resin that grows in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.  Historically, bud harvests were pressed between palms or other plant leaves until all excess plant matter, save the resin, was rubbed away.  This left a much finer substance, varying in consistency from fine powder to a paste of oily substance.  The final product has a much higher cannabinoid content than regular bud clippings.  Today, there are numerous ways of preparing hash, from mechanical tumblers, to ice baths, chemical separation treatments, and even vacuum distillation.  This can result in powdered hash, hard blocks, nuggets of goo (for lack of a better description), or even a resiny oil, often called “honey oil”.  These preparations can range from 30-90% in THC content, as opposed to untreated buds (up 27% THC).  Although, as marijuana research and development has progressed, growers are now using high CBD strains to produce hashish that offers medical benefits to a greater diversity of patients.

Though hashish has been found frequently in historic sites throughout the Near East, Middle East and Indian subcontinent, many historical sources tie the name “hashish” to the word assassin and the story of al-Hassan bin al-Sabbah, a warlord from the mountainous region south of the Caspian Sea.  In a nutshell, Hassan used hashish preparations in training and maintaining the loyalty of his warriors, often sent out to kill (assassinate) his enemies.  This story came to the West, compliments of Marco Polo’s travels in the late 13th Century.  This is the most accepted tale, but many scholars refute this story’s accuracy.  From the 13th through 18th centuries, the use and spread of hashish stayed mostly in the East.  But in the late 1700’s it began to spread West as Napoleon’s conquests into Egypt exposed his troops to it.  Despite his prohibition, use of hashish continued and expanded, finding its way to the New World.
By the start of the 20th century hashish production and trade was widespread, with centers in the Middle East, Chinese Turkestan, and on the Greek/Turkish borders.  However, as time marched on, many laws prohibiting hashish production and trade were passed across the world.  As quickly as it had risen to prominence, it was quickly blacklisted.  Today it can be found, in many places but is still castigated in others. In Amsterdam (home of the Ice-olater production method), many kinds of hash can be found, or in India and Nepal as “charas.”  In California, Colorado, and other compassionate use states, it can be found at dispensaries. And these cultivators are some of the pioneers pushing the strains in new directions to help benefit patients whose afflictions leave them with few treatments.

On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma recently passed a bill including sentencing for anywhere from two years to life for production, sales or distribution of hashish.  House Bill 1798 names a mandatory 2-year minimum sentence, as a felony, for first time convictions.  Subsequent offenders face sentences without leniency or parole to a lifetime sentence.  This is a newly-minted law for a cannabis-based product, not heroin, crack or cocaine (although those laws are just as strict).  By the way, Oklahoma and Colorado share approximately 100 miles of border.  At the same time, Colorado is looking into DUI laws for cannabis.  This may not be welcome news to most patients, but it is a key part of regulation and acceptance.  Most people rail against sobriety check points (for alcohol), but they deter drunk driving and therefore save lives. Hopefully Colorado’s legislators will spend time to review the science behind the detection of cannabis in the body. It is not as simple as a test as for alcohol inebriation.

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