Insights from across the cannabis industry
Oregon’s legislature has a busy agenda on cannabis this year. The state is trying to deal with a massive oversupply of legal cannabis, a declining medical marijuana program, and deciding on licensing and regulation of social consumption lounges. Often overlooked in legalization regulations, however, are basic protections and employment rights for users. Over 20 years after Oregon legalized medical marijuana, even patients still don’t have these protections for off-the-job or non-impairing medical use. Last week, the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives heard arguments for and against proposed legislation that would grant cannabis users employment protections, H.B 2655 and S.B. 379. So far, no vote has been taken to move the bills out of their respective committees, but the proponents for and against the issue are lining up to support or oppose those bills. Basically, if these bills become law, if the job isn't for the federal government users cannot be discriminated against — i.e., fired from their job — for THC in their urine on a drug test, with some exceptions. Both bills would declare an emergency, meaning they will be enacted into law immediately after passage. Right now, only summary text is online, but this legislation gets at a larger national issue. Despite the majority of states having medical or adult use cannabis programs that allow some forms of access, only a small handful have laws protecting patients or adults who use cannabis “recreationally.” At issue is how to determine “impairment” based on cannabis in a blood sample or urinalysis, and the science isn’t settled on that approach. Legislators around the country have been trying to find a scientifically solid way to determine and regulate cannabis impairment by THC content in the blood. In Oregon, big industries are coming out hard against these employment protection bills specifically because they do not have a scientifically valid impairment test. All are arguing that until such testing is a reality, their employees should be prohibited from off-the-job legal use. The Opposition Although many advocates and pro-cannabis lobbyists were aware there was an employment protection bill in the House of Representatives, many were surprised to find out there was an identical bill in the Senate, which was heard first. During that hearing there was only one proponent, Casey Houlihan of ORCA, to defend the bill against a host of lobbyists that represent industries that mandate drug testing for safety. Pro-cannabis advocates did testify in larger numbers for the house bill. The overwhelming majority of opponents are requesting that the legislature outright oppose the bills. One opponent, Rob Bovett of Association of Oregon Counties did offer to work with the legislature to amend the law in a way that exempted certain high-risk industries. %related-post-1% “I am more than willing to assist in a work group if there is a desire to amend S.B. 379 [and H.B. 2655] in a manner that attempts to comply with constitutional requirements,” Bovett offered. Most cited the lack of a scientific means of determining impairment by THC levels in the body as a reason to uphold the status quo. “Many employees within the trucking industry are still in safety-sensitive positions where impairment of any kind could jeopardize the health and safety of themselves, our drivers, or the motoring public. Instead of creating a two-tiered policy for workplace impairment, most trucking companies rely on and enforce a drug-free workplace for all employees. This is necessary because current drug tests are unable to determine whether an employee is impaired at work or merely has marijuana in their system. If passed, SB 379 would place employers in the untenable position of lowering the bar for safety for all employees in order to accommodate the lawful use of marijuana for some,” testified Waylon Buchan of the Oregon Trucking Association. The Proponents Proponents of employment protections for cannabis use say medical use should be treated the same as prescription medicines and suggest there are better ways to determine impairment from cannabis use than THC content in the body. Sarah Duff, a board member of both Oregon NORML and Compassionate Oregon, suggested using mobile applications like DRUID App to determine impairment. These jobs serve as a punch clock for employees who work jobs with a high potential for danger (such as truck driving) and are already in use in Colorado. Employees are not allowed to clock into work without passing an impairment test based on reaction times. Well-known cannabis researcher and physician Dr. Sunil Aggarwal also agrees with this approach. “A better measure of impairment is something like the DRUID App, a validated application that can be run on a mobile device that can measure one’s reaction time, speed, coordination, balance, and other psychomotor variables, and compare it to an individual’s baseline value,” Aggarwal said. %related-post-2% Duff testified that she believes the industries opposing these protections with valid safety concerns should be exempted from the law, which she says she interprets the law as doing. She added that after learning about the potential danger of impairment on these jobs she would hope “that they do impairment tests daily to ensure that fatigue does not cause employees or contractors to work in dangerous conditions. Those who support this bill want pilots to be alert and not under the influence of any drug or fatigue, but urinalysis does not provide this assurance.” “I would like to mention that some industries have used drug tests to avoid paying out workers compensation claims. The OHA website states that 55 percent of Oregonians admit to having used cannabis at some point in their lives. They state that 16 percent of Oregonians currently use cannabis. It seems that some businesses have figured out that they can save money on worker's compensation insurance if they can use a positive drug test for cannabis as an excuse to not pay out the claim,” Duff added. “We need to pull apart these layers of prohibition.” “Right now, you have a choice between a life-saving medicine and your job, that is a difficult situation,” testified Heather Kell, who added cannabis was a safer alternative to prescription painkillers, especially in light of the opiate epidemic. It seems at least the House Business and Labor Committee was favorable to this take, with Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) adding that she has replaced opiate painkillers with cannabis for her own back pain and “is happy to still have my own job.” “The current dynamic is hindering the ability of otherwise qualified people to find and/or keep jobs — increasing Oregonian’s risk of financial insecurity. This is especially true for lower wage employees, further entrenching legal cannabis as a right only for the wealthy and privileged,” testified Jesse Bontecou, who represents the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA). %related-post-3% Further testimony in favor of the employment protections was submitted by Beth Creighton representing the Oregon affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), which is “an organization of attorneys committed to advancing equality and justice in the workplace.” Creighton has represented Oregon employees for over 20 years and says that ever since the state legalization in 2014, she receives at least one call a month from a citizen who was fired for legally consuming cannabis in their off hours. “Ninety-eight percent of the time I have to tell clients that I am unable to help them because under the current law, an employer can fire an employee for using any substance while off duty, even if it is legal to do so. The only exception is tobacco, which is protected… There is absolutely no business-related reason that an employee who has a beer on Friday night after work should be terminated Monday morning for doing so. Also, it makes little sense to fire employees who take pain medication at night that wears off by morning, but is still in their system. There is no current law preventing employers from doing just that. Allowing employers to terminate employees for something that the voters in this state have decided is perfectly legal infringes upon Oregonians’ fundamental rights to freedom,” Creighton testified. Can impairment be measured by THC content in human blood or urine samples? Read more in part 2.
“The Latter Day Saints are coming like crazy to my door, it’s like this huge caravan coming back and forth from Utah… The Saints are coming down, these Saints with little broken halos because they are breaking the law,” said Angela Harris. Harris is a Las Vegas-based herbalist, medical cannabis advocate, mother of nine, and lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She discovered cannabis through her work as an herbalist and has dedicated much of the last four years to educating the conservative Mormon community about it. Thanks to her advocacy and experience — as well as the Church’s strong interconnected network — LDS stake presidents and bishops have been sending a steady stream of people to her to help guide them through administering medical cannabis legally in Nevada. Utah patients have continually found her through Church networks and made their way unsolicited to Harris seeking help and guidance. Meanwhile, legislators in Utah are working diligently and quickly to undo a voter-backed medical cannabis ballot initiative that passed earlier this month. Harris understands the hesitancy in the community, she herself was completely anti-cannabis until she started to learn more about it and how it became illegal in the first place. In 2015, she advocated for medical cannabis at the state capital in Salt Lake City with patients who had caravanned to her home in Nevada. She has been watching the debate over medical cannabis in Utah unfold around the Proposition 2 campaign and the legislature’s current attempts to replace the new medical cannabis law with a program so restrictive it might not work. She wants them to take into account all the suffering Utahns currently smuggling or using on trips to nearby states to craft a workable policy. “The [Utah legislature is] misinformed to think that this is not going on. [The patients] are dying. For some people they want to save their life more than they don’t want to break the law. For a Latter-day Saint that is huge, that is a big deal, it is part of who we are — believing that we obey the laws of the land. It is disturbing to watch this. These are medical refugees seeking asylum from the prejudices of their church,” said Harris. “These are all Saints, our own members." %related-post-1% Harris is referring to the 12th article in the LDS Articles of Faith, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Simply put, it is a core belief of the LDS faith to “follow the law of the land,” and so many LDS patients in Utah are either abstaining from getting relief using it, even if they want to, or actively traveling to states where it is legal to use it, or even just try it. In states where medical cannabis is legal, many LDS patients are using cannabis with the blessings of their bishops or other Church leaders. Harris says that it is time for LDS Utah patients to stop being sent to Las Vegas, aka “Sin City,” or other nearby Nevada cities to seek relief from medical cannabis. She says some of the people she has met will leave their homes, families, and work duties to “lock themselves in hotel rooms” for weeks to use legally in attempts to get better. “You have to change these laws so they don’t have to come down here,” she said. “Let them get out of pain! Let them get out of pain! That is the thing, no one has died from it and teen use has gone down. So ok, let’s go!” Harris is referring to the policy currently being created in Salt Lake. After a multi-year struggle, advocates succeeded in putting medical cannabis on the 2018 midterm ballot in Utah, where it passed despite well-funded opposition, including from the Church itself. Now the lame duck Utah legislature plans to replace the medical cannabis bill voters approved, Proposition 2, in a special session with a legislative bill that will restrict access and potentially be non-functioning. Lawsuits are already pending. %related-post-2% On December 3, the Utah legislature will hold the special session amid protests and patient opposition. Among the changes in the replacement bill are quite a few points that butt up against federal law; doctors will “prescribe” (not recommend) specific dosages of cannabis, most private business will be eliminated and cannabis will be distributed through local departments of health via a state-run “central fill pharmacy.” Much of the idea is to treat cannabis like a pharmaceutical drug, although it is not one and cannot legally, under federal law, be treated as such. Patients in Utah are demanding a program in line with the nearby states they are currently smuggling from. As an herbalist, Harris believes cannabis should be left to the realm of herbalism not pharmaceutical medicine. Harris has been following the negotiations and how they have been influenced by big business and is worried the new law will do nothing to stem the tide of patients being sent to her door for legal guidance in Nevada. “The recommendations the Utah Medical Association are making are asinine, to say the least,” she said. Under the proposed replacement legislation, autoimmune diseases and gastrointestinal disorders not diagnosed as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis were removed. Patients must “fail” two alternate delivery methods (such as orally consumed oils and tinctures) in order to be allowed to access raw flower for vaporization. Raw flower would be sold in blister packs. Further, because of the nature and unaccounted for costs of the state-run central fill pharmacy proposed under the legislation, the program may be non-functional by the 2021 deadline. %related-post-3% Patient groups such as the Epilepsy Association of Utah and Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) were kept out of negotiations and have vocally opposed the replacement legislation. Referring to an analysis done by Americans for Safe Access of the first draft of the replacement legislation that determined the program would be non-functional, these groups have advocated heavily against it. “TRUCE believes that if the legislature’s goal here really is for patients to have proper safe access to medical cannabis, Utah patients deserve at least a passing grade,” said Christine Stenquist, executive director of TRUCE. “My biggest concern is that this replacement bill was born in fear and designed to fail. More concessions were made to the financially incentivized opposition to safe access. Under this replacement legislation Utah’s sick are treated as ‘criminals until proven patients.’ It is important that when crafting a quality program that is patient-centric, we call on experts from the field for guidance. Utah is moving forward with cannabis policy and should create meaningful legislation rather than public messaging stunts.” Harris hopes that better information and compassion for human suffering will inform better policy making in Salt Lake. "I feel like angels are weeping. This is wrong to do to people who are clearly suffering. It's an ugly situation — ugly because because we can't help these suffering Saints up in Utah. We tried to change the law so now the only choice for relief is to break the law and risk losing there Church memberships," Harris concluded.
Companies that operate in areas where medical marijuana is legal should be proactive in reviewing their drug policies. Should they allow the possession and/or consumption of cannabis during work? Could cannabis possibly increase workplace safety? According to a recent study, legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a “19.5% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers ages 25-44.” While more research is needed to confirm, the reduction might be due to people replacing their alcohol or prescription drugs with marijuana. If someone needs medical marijuana to function better — to experience less pain, for example — using the drug during work can be a big benefit for the company. Someone who isn’t in pain will be much more focused, thus decreasing the chance of getting hurt. CBD doesn’t cause side effects, which makes it less likely employers will forbid employees from using it while on the job. Of course, if someone uses a high amount of THC as a medical treatment, the high produced by the drug will likely impede their work. Not only that, but becoming less vigilant is, of course, also very dangerous. Weed-friendly Jobs If you’re a recreational weed user, there are some jobs that might be just right for you. First of all, many people with creative jobs — musicians, writers, artists, fashion designers, etc. — use cannabis to get the juices flowing. If you get extra creative after a smoking session, you might want to consider one of these careers. Becoming a pastry chef is also a nice option. If you like inventing new recipes, why not use cannabis as an ingredient and create some great edibles? If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, you might even be able to start your own business. Weed Users Need Not Apply Weed users, especially those who regularly consume THC, should NOT consider jobs that require precision, sharp reflexes, or an emphasis on safety. These jobs include: • Driver (public transportation, delivery, etc.) • Heavy machinery operator • Surgeon • Construction worker …and many, many more. Note: CBD products won’t get you high, meaning it’s possible to consume those in much more situations than THC products. Yet, it’s important to note that a company policy might state that CBD products are also forbidden during work.
Despite being home to the world’s largest cannabis pharmaceutical manufacturer, or perhaps because of it, efforts in the United Kingdom to provide safe access to botanical cannabis for the chronic and terminally ill are stymied, at least for now. Local activist groups are divided on end goals, but are all closely watching a bill introduced in Parliament last October by Paul Flynn of the Labour Party. Flynn has been leading the charge alone and has faced considerable opposition from within his own party. Flynn has been outspoken about the hypocrisy he sees in the policy as he has struggled to even get his legislation debated in the House of Commons. He has voiced his frustrations about the lack of safe access for suffering citizens to the press, stating publicly, “I would urge them to break the law, because the law, in this case, is an ass.” Flynn’s bill would move the cannabis plant from Schedule I to Schedule II, an acknowledgement that it does, indeed, have medicinal value. “It is a simple matter, the law states that cannabis has no medical advantages, which is an absurdity and very bad science. Whereas, in other parts of the law, the government is actually growing cannabis and promoting its use in some forms, and not the most effective forms in my view,” Flynn said. Formally, No Accepted Medical Value In the UK, cannabis remains federally illegal and a Schedule I controlled drug with no accepted medical use. If this sounds familiar to Americans, that is because it is by design. In 1961, 186 nations (including both the United States and United Kingdom) signed an international treaty, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, that laid out plans to organize drugs by medicinal value, regulate them accordingly, and work together to ensure conformity of international laws. As a result, the U.S. filled its treaty obligations to create agreed-upon drug scheduling through the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, in the UK it was the United Kingdom Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. Inevitably, international scheduling and profit-driven research has tended to deem pharmaceutical patented medicines safer than the plants they are derived from. UK citizens caught simply possessing could be punished with fines and up to five years in prison. Producers and distributors face up to 14 years if charged. Even though prohibition is still the law of the land, arrests and incarceration for cannabis have declined by 33 and 48 percent, respectively, since 2010, and some local police jurisdictions have decided not to focus their resources on enforcing cannabis laws at all. There also happens to be a large network of cannabis social clubs that have created a safe access program and distribution scheme that is currently serving the demand for botanical cannabis. %related-post-1% One company, however, has the exclusive ability to produce cannabis medicines in the UK and is about to become the first FDA-approved pharmaceutical manufacturer of such medicines in the United States: GW Pharmaceuticals. GW Pharmaceuticals has two drugs approved for use in the UK and other parts of the world now, Sativex™ (nabiximols) and Epidiolex™ (cannabidiol). Unlike predecessor cannabinoid-drugs, like Marinol™ (dronabinol), a drug consisting solely of synthetic delta 9-THC (which was FDA-approved in the US in 1985), Epidiolex and Sativex are alcohol-based tinctures derived from whole botanical cannabis that utilize “the entourage effect” not found in isolates like Marinol. The impending approval of Epidiolex for treatment in drug-resistant epilepsy has hyped GW’s stock, which some believe could grow nearly 50 percent after the approval. On one hand, when the US starts approving drugs like Epidiolex and Sativex, activists can point to their approval as proof cannabis itself is safe, and that is essentially the argument Flynn is making with his bill now in UK Parliament. On the other hand, getting any drug through the approval processes to market and turning a profit can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and that money doesn’t come cheap. The very nature of proving cannabis is safe is also what may prevent the plant itself from decriminalization: research work is not charity nor is it government sponsored, it is a for-profit endeavor and GW Pharmaceuticals are not the only company looking to profit from the international demand for cannabis medicine. Investment groups in the UK, US and Canada have been clamoring to put their money into competing ventures. Many UK and US activists are distrustful of pharmaceutical-cannabis companies like GW because they feel the profit-incentive is in direct conflict with the social justice and human rights goals at the core of the medical cannabis movement. Flynn describes his goals as getting medicine to patients first, but also calling attention to the failure of cannabis prohibition as a whole and a call to follow the available science and learn from history. Flynn’s Effort Flynn introduced The Legislation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes Act (Bill 108) in October 2017. When the bill finally received a reading in Parliament this February, it was effectively filibustered by members of his own party and the second of three readings in the House of Commons was pushed to this June. Flynn attributes the opposition from within his own party to one thing: “cowardice.” Like the United States, the United Kingdom has a bicameral government. Legislation must be approved by both houses and the head of state before it becomes law. Unlike the US, not all of England’s Parliament are elected. The House of Commons (or, “house of commoners”) is democratically elected and functions much like the U.S. House of Representatives (except the live debates are way better television). Legislation either starts by citizen petition or is brought by a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons. Legislation must then be approved by the royally-appointed House of Lords (like the Senate) before being approved by the Queen. While there are currently about 10 parties represented in Parliament, the majority are either Conservatives (Tories) or Labour Party. %related-post-1% Flynn is a member of the Labour Party and has served as a member of Parliament since 1987 representing the Welsh constituency of Newport West. Flynn has a professional background in science, having worked for nearly 30 years as an industrial chemist, which he says is how he has come to the conclusion cannabis is safe and prohibition is the real problem. He says that beyond “killing people and wasting huge sums of money”, he is motivated to continue pushing cannabis law reform because the UK’s current policies are “especially cruel to those who suffer ailments that cannabis will treat He says that while he has some support among other Labour MPs, leadership has no desire to even give his bill a fair hearing. He doesn’t go as far as suggesting the government (or individual members) have a financial incentive to continue the criminalization of botanical cannabis while giving the green light to GW Pharmaceuticals to supply the world. He does, however, point to the fact that fellow MP Victoria Atkins is married to the general manager of British Sugar, Paul Kenward, who are the exclusive growers of cannabis for GW. Atkins, a Conservative, also happens to be the UK Drugs Minister and works directly under the Home Office (the UK equivalent of the DEA). British Sugar was historically a part of the British government and although they are a private company today, the close ties to Parliament remain. On a side note, here is an enlightening video of Victoria Atkins having a friendly public discussion with the United State’s “quarterback of the anti-legalization movement”, Kevin Sabet: https://youtu.be/xunngQDv9SQ Despite the uphill climb, Flynn, an octogenarian with no other political ambitions, says he will continue pushing forward with this issue because someone must take a stand against “politicians acting in blind denial of the facts and evidence.” In the UK, Parliament will consider for debate issues brought by citizens if a petition reaches 100,000 signatures for the issue. In 2015, a petition to fully legalize cannabis received 203,000 signatures, at the time the second-highest ever for a citizen petition. Parliament refused to debate it. The Elephant in the Room “In the UK, this money, this backing and this manipulation has really split the activist scene and caused a lot of distrust between a lot of people and a lot of organizations,” said Alistar Burrell. Burrell adds that most groups are suspecting the others of being more invested in “money and positioning” rather than simply changing a law together because they think it is wrong. Burrell, an IT professional by trade, also runs the Bristol cannabis social club, organized by the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs (UKCSC). The UKCSC operates similar to early US medical collectives and operate outside of the law. They are an organized network of regional clubs that bring cannabis consumers and growers together to “make sure everyone gets what they need”. For medical patients, they send product to a Spanish testing lab to screen for pesticides and measure potency. (No, he is not worried that Brexit will hinder this). Unlike the UPA, the UKCSC takes both a medical and social justice approach, advocating for decriminalization and a citizen’s right to grow their own. %related-post-3% He says enforcement of cannabis laws in the UK vary by region and police force, but in Bristol, a city of artists and musicians, police are no longer prioritizing cannabis crimes. While Burrell generally supports Flynn’s legislation, he acknowledges that even if it passed, the clubs would remain outside the law. He also feels it doesn’t have support in Parliament largely because of financial interests in companies like GW Pharmaceuticals. “I don’t trust any of of these guys because they are purely looking at the money to be made. The problem with big business is once you start spending money, you want that to come back again,” said Burrell. “It’s utterly fucked,” said Tom Lincoln, a London-based actor, cannabis patient and activist. “How should we wait months and months and months for the government to even decide they are going to hear this, and all the while we labor on under [a law that states cannabis has] no medical benefit and no one is licensed to sell it? Whereas, the big elephant in the room is GW Pharma.” Lincoln recently started volunteering with one of the more prominent cannabis groups, the United Patients Alliance (UPA), though he supports and works with activists across various groups. The UPA have a professionally-branded campaign and media presence, but do not promote the right to grow at home, eschew acts of civil disobedience and have taken a somewhat controversial stance of embracing GW Pharmaceuticals. The UPA is the most organized group supporting patients, but activists outside of it point to big business ties on the group’s board that they feel drive its motivations. In 2017, they added a new trustee and small-time donor, Gavin Sathianathan, CEO of Forma Holdings. Forma has a partnership with Oxford University to study and produce cannabinoid-medicines in much the same way as GW Pharmaceuticals. Forma, which has offices in London and Los Angeles, was formed and financed through partners at Kingsley Capital. Forma also has a separate fund, Anthos Ventures, which includes investments in most of the operations affiliated with California cannabis magnate Steve D’Angelo: Harborside Health Center, FLRish and The Arcview Group. Also under Anthos is Altai Brands, which include Dixie Elixirs and Foria cannabis lube. They maybe best remembered for the meat platter served on a mostly-nude model at an after party for the 2016 MJBizCon in Las Vegas. So, while the UK may be the world’s biggest producer of cannabis pharmaceuticals and among the biggest financiers of the global industry, consumers and patients are stuck outside Parliament begging for mercy. Pharmaceutical Extracts versus Botanical Access Despite being an untested theory, the theory of pharmacologicalism has prevailed in Western medicine. It goes like this: isolated or synthesized patentable plant compounds are safer than the plants they come from. It may sound crazy, but the entire drug scheduling and drug approval system used in the United States, the United Kingdom and hundreds of other countries, is based on this false but profitable premise. As this unproven ideology prevails, patients suffer. In speaking of his inspiration to bring about the schedule change in the UK, Paul Flynn points to the case of Alfie Dingley, an epileptic boy who suffers over 150 seizures daily. The Home Office has said they would consider allowing Dingley legal access to cannabis medicines, but have yet to make a decision. The Home Office has previously denied the Dingleys, and they may have to wait for the legal version, produced by GW, to be approved. Still, Flynn is pushing for the approach to follow the science. “There isn’t any rational reason left to deny cannabis is a medicine,” Flynn said.
There are countless reasons why we’re excited to launch cannabis delivery in Portland. Out of them all, though, here are five of the biggest reasons. But if you want cannabis delivered to you without reading this list, then head over to our Shop Now page ASAP. The City of Roses. Ah yes, Portland, Oregon. We are, to be completely honest, beside ourselves with excitement to finally launch our cannabis delivery service in this dynamo of a town. It’s a natural, no-brainer of a partnership. We could go on for days citing the reasons we’re happy to be here. But, since you no doubt have other things to do today, we’ll settle for these five. Great food No shocker here. After all, one of the most popular duos of all time is good cannabis and good food. And it’s no secret that Portland has an enviable culinary community that our products complement nicely. Whether it’s tapas from Ataula, Szechuan wontons from Duck House, or a sugary treat from Voodoo Doughnut, we know Briteside is the perfect pairing for Portland’s delectable food scene. Incredible outdoors Hey, we have absolutely nothing against cannabis and couch time. We’re fans of it, actually. However, for those moments when the spirit moves us to get outside and be active, it’s hard to beat the natural beauty surrounding Portland. From Forest Park right outside downtown to nearby breath-takers like Eagle Creek and Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland is an outdoor wonderland. Nonstop entertainment When we’re not stuffing our faces or working those calories off on a closeby trail, Portland is loaded with in-town places and events that keep us moving. Awesome venues like Mississippi Studios and Dante’s: Check. Unique festivals like Pickathon and Soul'd Out: Check. And let’s not forget museums and sports: Check and check. Portland is a feast for fun, and we always brag about it. A leading cannabis industry It’s like a scientific fact, or something: People like to be around people they identify with — and so do businesses. As a cannabis company, we are inspired by others in this up-and-coming industry, and we want to surround ourselves with the best peers. Portland, naturally, is the place to be when it comes to cannabis. We are thrilled to join its already thriving roster of cannabis companies and leaders. Dang good people Sort of related to the last point, we feel like we’re good people. But we already know Portland is filled with tons of good people. So, it doesn’t take a professional matchmaker to figure out that we’re going to hit it off well. Now, just head over to brtside.com, fill up your cart, and we’ll come introduce ourselves...with some goodies, of course!
We publish a lot of cannabis articles here at the Sugar Leaf, and while they all attract plenty of eyeballs, here are the ones readers seem to like the most. The cannabis industry is booming with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Sure, there are hurdles (side-eye at Jeff Sessions), but we remain bullish about matters. And while we love to connect you to the best cannabis products, we also enjoy providing you with worthwhile cannabis articles. Of those articles, here are the types our readers engage with the most. Anything by Angela Bacca We are fortunate to have Oregon-based industry guru Angela Bacca as a regular contributor to the Sugar Leaf. She’s incredibly well-versed in all things cannabis, from growing to policy, and her insights never disappoint. Why The Legalization Of Marijuana Is Not Enough Cannabis In A Commodity Market Marijuana Prices Are Plummeting: What Does It Mean? Chris Roberts’ wordsmithing Chris Roberts is an OG writer in the marijuana world with bylines in just about every cannabis publications you’ve heard of. From San Francisco, he supplies us with editorial goodness twice monthly, and our readers love his work. What To Do When Some Cannabis Voters Aren’t Your Friends The 5 Biggest Cannabis Roadblockers In Washington D.C. First Impressions From California’s Commercial Cannabis Rollout Classical music as a smoking backdrop No lie, we were kind of surprised by how well these posts performed, but hey, we’re happy to learn our readers have high-brow musical tastes. Our Classical Music for Marijuana series is relatively new, and we look forward to publishing more installments. Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 1: Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 2: Le carnaval des animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 3: English Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach Law and politics There are no two ways about this: Given the mishmash of federal, state, and local laws related to cannabis, it is impossible to understand the industry today without following law and politics closely. These are always at the top of our most read cannabis articles. Cities Move To Erase Past Marijuana Convictions Marijuana Law In America: A Brief History How Legal American Marijuana Is Helping Kill Border Violence Cannabis industry did-you-knows? Not a week goes by that we don’t come across some tidbit of information that makes us say “hmmmm.” In its nascent state, the cannabis industry is littered with new findings that easily make their way into conversations. “Say, did you know….?” How Marijuana Consumer Preferences Are Driving The Vape Boom How Mexican Marijuana Prohibition Has Reversed The Flow Of Cannabis Smuggling How Big Tobacco And Marijuana Are Merging Music recommendations It’s no secret that music is a perfect cannabis complement. In addition to our classical series and best of the month recommendations, we also have a robust collection of other music articles. And they ALWAYS get tons of interaction from readers. One Stoner’s Top Rap Albums Of 2017 5 Electronic Acts You Should Know (And Smoke To) 5 Great Grateful Dead Live Albums Cannabis 101 information People love to learn about cannabis. And as the industry grows, more people are wanting to have their questions answered. Our 101-type cannabis articles are big time favorites of our readership. And we’re always building out this content. Why THC Content Shouldn't Be The Only Variable Influencing Your Cannabis Purchase Why Does Weed Make You Hungry? What Are Cannabis Hybrids? Whatever the angle, we’re always working to get you the most helpful cannabis articles. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you'd like to read more about, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter, so we can fill your timelines with some good stuff.
Briteside is fortunate to count among our friends some of the leading canna-advocates for America’s military veterans. Two were recently featured on NBC Nightly News, discussing the first ever FDA-approved veterans marijuana trial for former soldiers suffering from PTSD. If you caught NBC Nightly News on November 30, you might have seen Iraq veteran and longtime veterans health and cannabis advocate — who’s also good friend of Briteside — Roberto Pickering (he even donned a Briteside t-shirt for the spot). " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Pickering was interviewed by NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez about his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and how cannabis helped him not only overcome his symptoms, but also eliminated the need for the 14 (fourteen!) drugs he’d been prescribed after coming home from war. “I stopped all pills cold turkey, and I picked up cannabis because, in my opinion, it was either find relief or (commit) suicide,” Pickering says in the interview. Pickering isn’t the only veteran facing a similar crossroads, and he’d love to see more research done on the benefits of cannabis for others battling PTSD — research like the kind being done by scientists in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Sue Sisley — another Briteside friend — site principal investigator with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), is the administrator of the first FDA-approved trial of its kind. Sisley says Phoenix was chosen as the location of the study because the city’s VA hospital has highest density of U.S. military veteran patients who continue to suffer from PTSD symptoms despite undergoing VA-administered medical treatment and/or therapy. Sisley says that new treatments for PTSD are desperately needed, and that she, like Pickering, believes cannabis “will reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms.” We’ll present the findings of the veterans marijuana study as soon as they become available. In the meantime, you should definitely watch NBC’s full report. Keep fighting the good fight, Sue and Roberto.
Briteside releases “the dopest” cannabis commercial, according to industry insiders. To coincide with the launch of their cannabis delivery service, Briteside has released a cannabis commercial unparalleled in the legal marijuana industry. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Briteside partnered with Sandwich Video out of Los Angeles to produce the commercial. Sandwich’s client roster is chock full of top-tier brands, including Facebook, Starbucks, Uber Airbnb, and Amazon Studios. That impressive list spurred Briteside CEO Justin Junda to reach out to Sandwich. “When you’re looking to for a video production partner to manage your company’s initial public-facing presence, you have to trust that partner completely,” said Junda. “We saw what Sandwich had done for other companies, and we believe Sandwich delivered a wonderful commercial for us at Briteside.” %related-post-1% Junda’s sentiment is shared across the cannabis industry. Dope Magazine, one of the most popular marijuana industry publications, called Briteside’s video “The Dopest Cannabis Commercial (Ever)” — that’s high praise. For those familiar with pharmaceutical advertisements, the Briteside commercial will seem familiar. With one big difference: Humor. Sandwich and Briteside decided on a creative take blending the calming aesthetic appeal of pharma commercials with a subtle Saturday Night Live-like humor. The result was a “spot on” cannabis commercial. “I can't tell you the last time I enjoyed a commercial as much as I enjoyed Briteside's first ad," said Andy Williams, CEO of Medicine Man, a cannabis industry leader. "It is spot on, and quite frankly I hope we start seeing more video production like that in our space since it presents cannabis consumption is an everyday, relatable light.” As for the product itself, Briteside is launching its cannabis delivery service first in Oregon. Successes there will inform future rollouts in other states across the U.S. Briteside begins with a Shop Now service, which delivers individual online cannabis orders in roughly an hour. Soon, they’ll launch Discovery, a recurring delivery service that introduces consumers to new strains and products. They’re currently taking sign-ups for that service.
According to a new report, legal cannabis sales in California are projected to hit $2.8 billion next year, and reach $6.6 billion by 2025. And who’s driving those sales? Millennials. Not only does the report give us a clearer picture of who is jumping at the chance to buy legal weed, but it also provides a glimpse of how marijuana delivery purchases made online are impacting the cannabis industry. The study, prepared by cannabis analytics company New Frontier Data in conjunction with online marijuana delivery marketplace Green Rush, outlines product trends, market growth, and consumer demographic numbers — numbers showing that millennials account for a whopping 80% of all online cannabis sales. %related-post-1% Increased access to legal weed, as well as millennials’ embrace of technology and increased preference for pot over alcohol, have all combined to drive those sales. And while that growth in cannabis sales shows no sign of slowing down, the report predicts retail prices to decline over the long term, especially if more producers are granted licenses or if larger producers enter the market. Here Are Some More of the Study’s Findings: Cannabis flower products top online cannabis sales, representing 70% of products sold via greenRush.com. Cannabis concentrate represents 22% of online cannabis sales through the site, with its market share predicted to grow year-over-year as consumers increasingly move toward non-flower and liquid vaporization products. Smaller product package sizes dominate marijuana delivery sales, as consumers prefer the flexibility of purchasing smaller quantities, but more frequently. As the report indicates, specific demographic and product segments are the main drivers of demand and “will have a major impact on product packaging, brands, new service providers, and backing-investors entering the space” nationwide. %related-post-2% “Significant changes are already underway in California for medical cannabis and adult use laws, which we see will have major implications for the cannabis industry, including e-commerce and delivery services in the state,” Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data, said. “As the largest state in the country — and the largest potential market for cannabis products — the implications for the growth of the industry because of California’s adult use market cannot be overstated.”
So you want to know how Briteside delivery works, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place. But first things first, let us all pause for a moment to reflect on the wonder that is legal cannabis. It really is amazing, isn’t it? And though we still have a long way to go in our fight for further legalization and decriminalization, we stand in a fairly remarkable place today considering where we’ve come from. %related-post-1% What’s more, not only can we (in some states) freely purchase and consume cannabis, we can even (in some places) order cannabis online have it delivered to our homes. Which, is why you’re reading this now. Okay, okay. Now back to explaining how Briteside delivery works. Briteside partners with your favorite local dispensaries The key to understanding how Briteside delivery works is knowing that all the products we offer come from your favorite local dispensaries. It’s true. Each of our partner dispensaries has their own page on our site where they regularly update which products they have in stock. When you visit the Briteside website, the inventory you see listed is the same inventory you’d find if you walked into your favorite dispensary. The main difference being that you can peruse the menu from the comfort of your couch, your bed, your office chair, your pool float, your...well, you get the point. Gone are the days of driving to the dispensary only to find out your preferred products aren’t available. We can recommend products or your can choose on your own If you know exactly what products you want, great. You can head over to our “Shop Now” page and select those items to go in your cart. However, if you need a little help deciding, you can sort through our menu by product category (flower, edibles, topicals, etc), strain type, or the desired mood you want to enjoy during your cannabis experience. Once you’ve filtered down the menu to your liking, you can choose the right products for you and put them in your cart. %related-post-2% Tell us when and where to deliver your cannabis products Once you’ve filled up your cart with your favorite cannabis products, you tell us when and where to deliver them, so long as you live in an area where cannabis delivery is permitted. You can even opt for in-store pickup if you want. As of now, Briteside operates on a cash on delivery (COD) basis. What that means is you don’t have to pay until your online order has been delivered to your residence. And don’t forget, Briteside can only deliver cannabis to the person that ordered it. So if you made the order, we can only deliver it to you personally. To get started, visit our “Shop Now” page. But if you still have questions about Briteside, head over to our FAQ page or our "What Is Briteside, Anyway?" post. *If you live in a Briteside market that does not allow residential delivery, it’s all good. You can still make your order through our site, and then pick it up at your favorite dispensary. We’ll have it waiting on you.
If you’d told cannabis consumers a decade ago that they’d be able to order cannabis online in just a few short years, your statement would likely be met with one of two responses: A hi-five or a skeptical “yeah right” look of disbelief. But here we are, friends. It’s 2017, and in a handful of states you can have cannabis delivered to your doorstep. What a time to be alive! %related-post-1% And while it’s pretty tough to replicate the enjoyable experience of visiting a top-tier dispensary and holding a conversation with a knowledgeable budtender — the sommeliers of spliff — it’s also really nice having someone deliver your favorite cannabis product to your residence. With that in mind, here are three reasons you should order cannabis online and have it handed to you on your front porch. And if this list whets your cannabis appetite, try making a Briteside delivery order. No long lines Even if you’re a “people person,” your preferred environment for interacting with other humans probably isn’t waiting in a (sometimes long) line at a store. If we’re wrong about you in this regard, ignore this bullet point, but we’re just going to assume you prefer face-to-face interaction as opposed to staring-at-the-back-of-a-stranger’s-head “interaction.” You can stay in your PJs Okay, technically you can wear your jam-jams to a dispensary (we’re not hating on that). But on the chance you subscribe to fashion-based social norms, going out in public requires something like jeans and a t-shirt, at least. Sometimes, though, you don’t want peel out of your fleece pajama pants and abandon your Netflix binge to drive to the dispensary. In moments like those, a cannabis hand-off at your door is probably preferable. Keeps your schedule simple Like your daily schedule isn’t hectic enough already — throwing in an extra errand to pick up cannabis sometimes doesn’t make for an easy addition to your adulting checklist. For shame! If you’re up to your eyeballs in chores and errands and other pressing matters, just order cannabis online and have someone bring it to you so you can keep knocking out your other responsibilities. %related-post-2% And remember, when you do order cannabis online, order with Briteside. We partner with the best local dispensaries to bring your favorite products directly to you. It’s that simple. Have questions about Briteside? That's a-ok. Either head over to our FAQ page or give our "What Is Briteside, Anyway?" post a read. *We would be remiss if we didn't include this one caveat: In order for Briteside to deliver cannabis to your residence, you must live in an area where cannabis delivery is permitted. That said, if you do live in a Briteside market where delivery is not (yet!) permitted, you can still order cannabis online and pick up your Briteside order at your favorite dispensary.
It seems that as the cannabis industry and the laws that govern it evolve at lightspeed, new businesses enter the marketplace every other (or every single?) day. We hope that continues to be the case, as cannabis consumers — whether they be of the medical or adult use variety — are long overdue in having the ability to enjoy the best cannabis products whenever, and wherever, they choose. At Briteside, we hope this trend continues because our aim...wait...you’re probably wondering something like "um, but what is Briteside?” right about now, aren’t you? Good question. We're glad you asked. What is Briteside? It's your best option for ordering cannabis online The good news is that you now have the ability to purchase and consume cannabis without worry if you live in a state that has seen the light. Hurray for that! %related-post-1% However, thanks to a mishmash of laws and regulations, the experience is not as simple or straightforward as enjoying your favorite craft beer or beauty products. While we don’t have a magic wand to rid the cannabis industry of its confusion and complexity overnight, Briteside is here to help make it easier for you to order cannabis online. That's right, you can order your favorite cannabis products from your favorite local dispensaries online and a Briteside delivery courier will deliver it to your door. Why does Briteside partner with local dispensaries? At Briteside, we believe your local dispensaries deserve all the help they can get. These shops are typically owned and operated by good, knowledgeable people who have a desire to supply cannabis consumers with the best products they possibly can. And we want to help them, as well as the consumers they serve. Every Briteside partner dispensary has its own page on the the Briteside website where they can list their in-stock inventory. This gives consumers the chance to scan an active menu from their home, or office, or...wherever, really. %related-post-2% No more standing in line at the dispensary only to find out a particular item is out of stock. Shoppers can then order their products online, and either pick them up at the dispensary, or — where available — Briteside will deliver them to their residence. Really, Briteside will deliver cannabis to your door. Give Briteside a try Whether you opt for in-store pickup, or you prefer cannabis delivery, give Briteside a try. We’d love to help you get your favorite products from your favorite local dispensary. Oh, and stay tuned. The answer to the question "What is Briteside?" will get much longer in the very near future. (How's that for a teaser?) If you have more questions about Briteside, be sure to head over to our FAQ page.