Marijuana’s expansion is incredible. Still, it may not be as jaw-dropping and surprising as the study released by the Pew Research CenterOpens a New Window. last month that showed a surprising group of individuals who want to see marijuana legalized on a national scale.

Between May and August of 2016, Pew interviewed a national sample of more than 7,900 police officers in local police and sheriff departments with at least 100 sworn officers to get their opinion on whether or not marijuana should be legalized nationally. Pew’s findings showed that:

  • 32% of the police officers believe cannabis should be legal for recreational and medical purposes nationally.
  • 37% of police officers want to see marijuana legalized nationally for medical use only.
  • 30% of police officers believe pot should remain illegal nationally.

You’ll note that rounding keeps the figures from adding perfectly to 100%, but that by more than a two-to-one margin police officers around the country would prefer to see marijuana at least legalized for medical use. Though within the margin of error of two to three percentage points, fully legalizing the drug is also slightly more popular than keeping it entirely illegal. Consistent with other previous studies, younger police officers are considerably more likely to favor some form of legalization than older police officers (ages 50 and up).

It’s worth pointing out that police officers were still notably more conservative in their views than the general public. Pew questioned more than 4,500 adults between August and September 2016 and found that 49% wanted to see cannabis legalized for a recreational and medical purpose; 35% wanted to see it legalized for medical use only, and just 15% opposed its national legalization. Once again, rounding keeps these figures from adding to 100%.

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With 28 states legalizing medical marijuana and eight going one step further with legal recreational use, the cannabis business is booming. But since the drug isn’t yet federally legal, there are still bureaucratic roadblocks for investors looking to go legit on the weed-equivalent of Wall Street.

One barrier weed advocates and entrepreneurs encounter is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) classification of the drug. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, or “substances, or chemicals defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the federal government. This groups weed with more serious and dangerous drugs like LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. However, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse issued a series of reports concluding that marijuana was “less a serious threat to public health than a sensitive social issue and recommended changes to federal law that would permit citizens to possess a small amount of it at a time, while still maintaining that the drug should not be legalized.” Weed’s mis-classification poses restrictions for patients in non-weed-friendly states who are seeking marijuana to treat serious illnesses. Its Schedule-I title also puts a damper on investors’ plans: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)—the chief regulator of Wall Street—blocked a S-1 filing from weed companies attempting to go public and trade stock until the drug is re-scheduled.

Despite these challenges, the economic potential of the blossoming cannabis industry may be worthwhile. If you’re willing to risk it all for a career in weed, check out this advice from Khadijah Adams, the founder and CEO of Cannabis consulting company MIPR Holdings. Complex talked to the entrepreneur about how to invest in the weed industry:

Can you explain what “the green rush” is?
The green rush is referred to as the beginning of recreational cannabis. Kind of like the Gold Rush where people discovered gold, where they came searching and seeking, rushing to find it. Colorado legalized recreational cannabis on January 1st 2014, and that was the beginning of the green rush. I actually sold everything in my house, had a garage sale, kept my clothes and cell phone, my computer, loaded up Mercedes and hit the road.

Tell us about the birth of your marijuana consulting company, MIPR holdings.
I met a couple young ladies in the industry and I reached out prior to coming to Colorado by phone and made some calls. They really encouraged me to just get involved in the community and just get to know the people, and get to know the foundation, and how it all started. And that’s what I began to do because I didn’t know how I would fit in.

What are some of the risks of investing in marijuana stock? 
One of the major big risks that most experts would point to is the fact that is cannabis is still illegal and the Feds can come in at any time and shut the whole program down at anytime. So you’re taking a risk there—whether you’re touching the plant or not. That’s why we have classes and education teaching the basics. And we invite people to come in and get the information they need before jumping into cannabis stocks or any investments. We’re not financial advisers or brokers or anything like that—I’m an investor just like they are—but it’s always good to have someone you can speak to and say hey, is this a good move or not?

What’s a common misconception about the marijuana business?
I share with people that I’m in the cannabis industry, they automatically assume that I’m touching the plant—but the only time I’m touching the plant is when I consume it. When you start investing in the cannabis industry or stock, they assume that you’re actually investing in the plant. They don’t realize that this is an entire industry that has an advertising company, a marketing company, a PR company within the industry.

The common misconception is that everyone is a pothead and smoking weed and the world’s going to end. How I debunk that is through character and presentation. You lead by example. When you show people that you are not the “typical pothead” that they’ve pictured through propaganda and the media, they get a different perspective, and they are really shocked. They say, “Oh my god, really? You smoke cannabis, but you’re so professional!”

There’s a lot of professionals in the closet. And I was in the closet for a long time, but times have changed. In the next two to ten years, we’re going to see a lot more changes.

What kind of changes?
Federal Legalization: I believe the cannabis industry will be legalized on the federal level. There will be families that will stand out, just like the Kennedys stood out when alcohol prohibition ended. Joseph Kennedy became the fifteenth wealthiest man in America and 85 percent of his wealth came from alcohol, according to the New York Times and what other experts believe, and this is why we know the Kennedys. People that will create generational wealth when federal legalization happens, it’s going to be the people that take advantage of their time and positioning. That’s where we are right now.

What advice would you give to someone looking to invest in the cannabis industry?
I would tell them to buckle up, because they are in for a ride and the surprise of a lifetime. It is a brand new legalized industry. You’re going to see a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I can tell you that you better have a big pair of pants and a pair of high boots on. But it is exciting. Get with like-minded individuals that are doing things and going places and making things happen and align yourself with these people, and stay focused. The money will come, but being able to be of service to people in the industry and working to perfect that is key to success. [Be] committed, because this industry is changing every single day.

You have companies that are start-up companies and the OTC Market (over the counter market), [where] you’re dealing with a lot of penny stocks … They are very volatile—there’s no liquidity, which means they have no money. They are actually going to the OTC to raise money to pay off early investors; some of them are raising money to avoid bankruptcy. Some of them are raising money to fund their project or products or services or whatever they’re offering. And so they don’t have a lot of information, they don’t have any past history that an investor can look at and say, “Okay, let me see what they did a few years ago and compare it to what they want to do now.” So you’re taking a big risk on some fairly new companies and some of them are penny stocks—not all of them—but the ones that are, they’re big risks.

Before you invest in any company, get as much information about that company as you possibly can … Find out if they are even a legitimate company … Who’s the management team, who’s running the company? Look at the company’s finances, the balance sheet, the cash flow, the income statement, the shareholder’s equity. Look at all of that before making a decision. Call the nearby Chambers of Commerce, find out if they’re even a legitimate company, if they even know the people. Get some background on the management as well. That’s the advice that I give and to really speak to a financial adviser before getting started because most people really don’t know their financial investment needs. Many of us are new to this, and it’s because of cannabis that a lot of us are new to the investment side.

Coming into this industry, networking is key. Mix and mingle with people, get to know them and establish relationships because you never know who they may know. But once you find out what it is you want to do, have a crystal clear vision of what that looks like. Align with the right people—positive people. And people who can actually encourage you and help take you to the next level. That’s with any industry, but especially with the cannabis industry because you’re dealing with a new industry where many people are coming from underground and really don’t have the business 101 yet. That’s why so many educational platforms are popping up here and there. As a newcomer, as an entrepreneur, be mindful of your time. It’s valuable and you can never get it back. Make key contacts.

It wasn’t until one evening when I had come home and my spouse at the time shared with me that he began adding cannabis stocks to our portfolio. When he shared that with me, a lightbulb went off and I was like, “Marijuana stock, what? Are you kidding me, we have marijuana stocks, there’s marijuana stocks?”

I began to do my research and began to be a student of people who had earned money in the industry. I began to give him different companies to invest in and then I opened my own account and began to invest myself. And my story got out there and people began to call me and say, “Can you teach me how to do this? Can you show me the basics?” … I began to help people, next thing you know, I started MIPR Holdings, Marijuana Investment and Private Retreat. We are a professional consulting service with a focus on investor relations. We help accredited investors and connect them to investment opportunities in the industry. We work with the investors and connect investors to small to mid-sized companies looking for funding and also to investment firms in the cannabis industry. [People who called me] wanted to learn how to invest online from the comfort of their own home. So, that’s how I got started. But I also wanted to educate people and warn them about the risks of investing in this industry as well.

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Marijuana Use – Different factors in decision-making

Even in states where marijuana use is legal, about a quarter of people will never use it. There are also about a fifth of people will use the drug regardless of its legal status.

However, for all the people in the middle of those two extremes, many things factor into their decision of whether to use marijuana. The price, potential governmental records and the rules in their workplace are all important considerations, according to Mike McLaughlin, a Yale School of Public Health graduate student. He noted that workplace bans are a particularly key issue.

McLaughlin presented his research at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting. He tried to determine what matters most to people in the states that are voting on marijuana legalization, and what states can do to influence people’s decision.

For his study, he surveyed over 500 adult residents of Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

Workplace rules have the greatest impact

About five percent of survey respondents said that they would be less likely to use the drug if the state government tracked purchases. A similar number said that if it were illegal to smoke in public, that would be a deterrent. If the price rose by about $20/gram (through taxes and fees), another five percent would be less likely to use.

However, if a state made it difficult for a company to fire an employee for using marijuana outside of the workplace, nine percent of people were more likely to smoke. A complete lack of workplace repercussions meant that 20 percent more people would use the drug.

Certainly, as McLaughlin said, an individual’s commitment to their job makes a difference. If someone is in a low-paying job with high turnover, they may care less about their employer’s rules. However, someone with a highly paid job that they enjoy might decide that avoiding any possible repercussions is most important to them.

Might not be a problem much longer

Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act, companies are allowed to test for marijuana use and prohibit employees from using even when they are off the clock. But, if it stops being regulated at the federal level, that could change.

It’s difficult for a test to tell how recently a person used cannabis. In Colorado, employers have started turning to drug tests that ignore marijuana use altogether, since the drug has been legal for recreational use since 2012.

Many industries have relaxed their views on recreational marijuana use outside of work hours, but industries with a high level of safety concern have been more likely to maintain a no-tolerance policy.

For most people in McLaughlin’s study, the goal was clear – they want marijuana to be treated like alcohol. Depending on how votes go in the next few years that may happen sooner than you think.

Written by Robert Bergman, founder of ilovegrowingmarijuana.com. Robert has been passionately exploring and experimenting with cannabis seeds for over 20 years and shares these insights to help prospective growers get the most out of their plants. On top of that, Robert engages to fully liberate marijuana by offering his views in the political, social, market and industry area of our beloved plant.

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With people preparing for the Super Bowl, the biggest NFL game of the year, also one of the best day for munchies, we are excited to share some amazing ideas for cannabis-infused recipes from Chef Smith of Tribe Society.  Enjoy!

Tribe Society Super Bowl Menu by Chef Seth

We used this cannabutter for most of these dishes and this weed olive oil for some of these dishes.

 

PRETZELS WITH WEED INFUSED CHEESE SAUCE

Buy some pretzels. (That part is easy. You’re a stoner, so you probably already have a whole drawer of them. If not, hit up your local munchie stop or make some from scratch if you’re a pretzel guru.)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of cannabutter

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

½ cup of milk

¾ cup of darker beer (don’t leave any wounded soldiers in the kitchen now!)

1 tsp. of dry mustard

2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce (Wor-chest-shire? Worst-ches-shire? Who cares… no one knows!)

12 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size saucepan, melt cannabutter. Mix in flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir with a little bit of love until the mixture is simmering.

Slowly pour milk and beer into the mixture. (This is one of the ONLY times it is appropriate to combine beer and milk!) Continue stirring over a medium heat until the mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese, Worcestershire and mustard. Continue stirring until all of the cheese is melted and the dip is smooth. Serve warm after adding salt and pepper to taste.

Now dip until you’re ripped!

 

MAC N’ CHEESE BALLS MADE WITH CANNABUTTER

Every Superbowl needs a ball, so we’ll make ours out of mac ’n cheese.

Ingredients

1 lb of elbow macaroni

½ cup of unsalted butter

½ cup of cannabis butter

2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

1 cup of flour

¾ cup of bread crumbs

4 cups of milk

4 cups of sharp cheddar

2 cups of gruyere

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and cannabutter over medium heat. Slowly add the flour into the melted butter, and whisk the mixture for 2 minutes. Whisk in warm milk until the mixture is smooth. Continue to heat the mixture for two minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly add the cheeses. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Then add the cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Pour the cheese sauce into the macaroni.

Scoop the macaroni and cheese into a pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Shape the macaroni and cheese into balls and place them on a tray lined with wax paper. Place the tray in the freezer overnight.

Create an egg wash by whisking the eggs and 2 tablespoon of milk in a shallow bowl. Pour bed crumbs into another shallow bowl.

Take the macaroni and cheese balls out of the freezer. Dip them in the egg wash then into the breadcrumbs, coating the ball evenly. Place the macaroni and cheese balls back into the freezer until you are ready to fry them.

Heat vegetable oil to 350°F. Fry the macaroni and cheese balls until they are golden brown and cooked in the center, about 5 minutes.

You don’t want a false start and to burn your mouth, so let those balls chill for a minute and you’ll be ready to chow in no time!

 

BUFFALO WINGS WITH WEED-INFUSED BUFFALO SAUCE 

Football is always better with some buffalo wings, so we’ll herbify ours with some cannabutter!

Ingredients

2.5 lbs of chicken wings

1-2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of kosher salt

¼ cup of cannabutter

¼ cup of buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 420°F… heh!

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper and salt.

Place chicken wings in a large dish or bowl and coat the wings with olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on them being sure to coat all wings evenly. (Look at you go… you’re a damned Gordon Ramsay!)

Cover a cookie sheet with foil and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the wings on an even layer on the cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat and stir together. Once the butter is melted and the mixture is well-blended, remove the mixture from heat and reserve for serving.

Put a few wings into a large bowl, then pour some of the buffalo sauce on them, mix them around in the bowl being sure to coat all of the wings. Repeat this process until all of the wings are done.
It’s time to throw down!

 

CAPRESE WITH MARIJUANA INFUSED OLIVE OIL

Ingredients

4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 lb of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons of extra virgin weed olive oil

Fine sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil on top, and season with sea salt and pepper.

INFUSED LAVA BROWNIES WITH WEED-INFUSED “LAVA”

Ingredients

1 lb of bittersweet chocolate

½ lb of unsalted butter

½ lb of cannabutter

9 whole eggs

10 egg yolks

5 cups of sugar

1 2/3 cups of flour

How to Make Infused Fallen Chocolate Lava Cake:

Prep Work:

Step 1: Melt butter and chocolate together in a metal bowl that sits in a pot of lightly simmering water. Let the steam gently melt the chocolate and butter together and stir until the consistency and texture is even throughout.

Step 2: While the chocobutter is doing its thing, mix all the remaining ingredients in a mixer. (It is not impossible to do this by hand, but you’ll be wishing for a mixer by the time you’re done!) Using the whisk/whip attachment for the mixer, mix until smooth and seamless.

Step 3: Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the other egg mixture, stirring until smooth and evenly textured.

Now ya have batter, ya mad hatter!

To Bake:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Take ramekins or similar kind of oven-safe baking dish (cupcake trays will work in a pinch, but they will be harder to get the cake out cleanly), and coat the inside surface of the dish using either butter or a light coating of olive oil. Spoon in some of the batter, leaving about a 1/3 – 1/4 inch of space left on top.

Step 2: Cook for about 7-10 minutes, depending on how much of a lava factor you’re looking for. Essentially, the lava cake is just a partly cooked brownie. If you like it more “cakey”, bake it longer. If you want it gooier and delicious, use less time.

Step 3: Once it’s cooked to your level of satisfaction, take the ramekin out of the oven with some heat protection and run a paring knife around the inner edge of the dish. If all went well, you should now be able to simply upend the dish onto a plate, and your warm decadent chocolate pile of love should come sliding out.

(Optional) Step 4: I like to complete the dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a drizzle of balsamic and a side of strawberries.

Enjoy friends; let me know how your lava cake bakes!

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Saint John police have sparked a debate over what seems to be a growing industry in the Maritimes. This week, police raided and shut down several marijuana dispensaries that they say were operating illegally, but some argue it’s a necessary service.

Brock Merchant is the son of the owner of HBB Medical Inc, one of six marijuana dispensaries raided. Merchant says they had hundreds of regular customers, who have now lost a fast and reliable source of marijuana products.

“Right now unfortunately, even if they want to go through licensed producers, you’re three to five days away. So that being said, you turn to the black market, you’re back down with buddy down the street, and God knows what you’re buying,” says Merchant.

– Read the entire article at CTV News.

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