Recreational Cannabis in NM – Weekly Alibi

weed

Courtesy NM Political Report

A majority of New Mexico voters support legalizing recreational marijuana. And a governor who opposes the idea will leave office at the start of the year, giving hope to some supporters of the idea.

But even if New Mexico’s next governor supports the legalization of recreational marijuana, a familiar obstacle would still stand in the way: the state Senate.

State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino has sponsored legislation to legalize recreational marijuana since 2014. He’s tried with constitutional amendments in the past, but since Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supports legalization, won office then the effort will go through regular statue.

And he knows that even though public sentiment has shifted, 2019 still won’t be the year things go his way. “It’s going to be tough,” Ortiz y Pino told NM Political Report. “The House will probably vote for it. The Senate is going to be its usual 30-years-behind-the-times self.”

The Albuquerque Democrat attributed opposition in part to the age of senators. “I think it’s a generational or a cultural thing more than anything,” Ortiz y Pino said.

This isn’t stopping supporters from working to make legalization of recreational marijuana a reality. Emily Kaltenbach, the director of the New Mexico chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance, noted that of the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana, only one state has done so through the legislative process–Vermont. All other states, including New Mexico’s northern neighbor, Colorado, legalized recreational marijuana through ballot initiatives. New Mexico law, however, does not provide for statewide ballot initiatives.

Kaltenbach says Vermont is “a model for states to follow a path to get through a legislative process.”

There are benefits to passing the effort through the legislative process–like no need for an expensive, likely contentious and time-consuming campaign.

Kaltenbach said the Drug Policy Alliance is already working on the steps to move the bill through the Legislature. One step is to get feedback and buy-in from many stakeholders and communities, including law enforcement, the medical cannabis community and others.

Kaltenbach says the Drug Policy Alliance has worked on a bill that would include protections for children, medical cannabis patients and drivers. But they still want feedback. “We’re holding a series of community conversations around the state,” she said. “We plan to take this to clinicians, we plan to take it to the business community, with the faith-based communities.”

The Drug Policy Alliance thinks that revenue from taxes on recreational marijuana should go towards things like funding Medicaid or programs for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Still, she acknowledges the tough pathway to legalization. “We have yet to get a piece of legislation through both chambers,” Kaltenbach said. “So even if the governor is open to signing a bill, that doesn’t mean that in this next year there is something to the governor’s desk.”

Ortiz y Pino also thinks that the revenue from marijuana sales could help the state. He previously said the money would go towards various efforts to improve the state, including money for public schools and substance abuse and behavioral health programs.

The N.M. Senate

In 2016, the effort reached the floor of the Senate as a constitutional amendment. Passing that legislation would have required a majority of the chamber, not just those voting, but also would have bypassed the governor and instead gone to voters for approval.

The Senate voted against the proposed amendment 17-24. Six Democrats voted against the proposal, and are unlikely to change their minds. Some changes in the Senate since then include two Republicans losing to Democrats, with one Democratic supporter losing to a Republican.

Ortiz y Pino thinks a change in approach could change the minds of some Republicans, giving an alternate pathway to passage.

“I don’t want to count on them, but several of them have indicated to me it’s certainly something they could support if it’s not a constitutional amendment,” Ortiz y Pino said. “That was the excuse they gave previously for voting against it, that it didn’t belong in the constitution.”

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Los Alamos startup begins sales of greenhouse product – Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Greenhouse growers can now bathe their crops in yield-boosting, late-summer-like sun rays all year round courtesy of Los Alamos startup Ubiquitous Quantum Dots.

UbiQD Inc. launched commercial sales of its red-light emitting window film for the first time this week, marking a major milestone for the 4-year-old company, and possibly a ground-breaking advance for greenhouse production.

The company says its film can boost crop yields by 10 percent or more by using quantum dots that shift sunshine into a red-light-emitting spectrum that mimics late-summer sun year-round. That’s considered the most potent time of year for plants because they sense winter coming and grow faster, said UbiQD CEO Hunter McDaniel.

“We’ve been testing it in greenhouses in commercial settings for about a year and a half now,” McDaniel said. “We’ve seen yield improvements in excess of 10 percent in numerous crops.”

The company is now selling rolls of quantum-dot-coated film as a simple retrofit that attaches to the undersides of greenhouse windows.

“You just string it up under any existing structure,” McDaniel said. “It’s quick and easy to install, so growers can test it out in sections before laying it out across acres of production.”

The film is currently installed in five commercial greenhouses in New Mexico, Oregon and Colorado, where growers are producing tomatoes, cucumbers, cannabis and hemp.

The film can last four to five years. It currently sells for $10 per square foot, but the company expects the price to drop over time, and McDaniel said growers can quickly earn back their investment through higher yields in just a few months.

The new “UbiGro” film is UbiQD’s first commercial product since launching in 2014. The company developed a low-cost, low-toxic process for making quantum dots, which are tiny, three-dimensional structures that manipulate light in unique ways. They’re used in everything from transistors and sunscreen to LCD televisions and smartphones.

The company is also building photovoltaic window coatings to generate electricity for buildings.

UbiQD uses a copper and zinc base in its manufacturing process, which it licensed from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LANL recently completed extensive testing for toxicity that showed the product is “extremely safe,” McDaniel said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved UbiGro for commercial sales this month.

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Recall issued for Boulder-grown marijuana after pesticide residues detected

The Colorado Department of Revenue has issued a safety and health advisory after potentially unsafe pesticide residues were found on certain medical marijuana plant material and products.

The revenue department, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, released the warning Wednesday after traces of two unapproved pesticides were found in Crossroads Wellness LLC dba Boulder Botanics products, according to a department news release.

Sample tests by the agriculture department identified the pesticides as bifenthrin and diuron, both of which are not on an approved list for use in marijuana cultivation. Consumers who possess marijuana flower, trim, concentrates or infused products cultivated by Crossroads Wellness are being urged to return them to the medical center where they were purchased to ensure proper disposal.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


The Colorado Department of Revenue has issued a safety and health advisory after potentially unsafe pesticide residues were found on certain medical marijuana plant material and products.
The post Recall issued for Boulder-grown marijuana after pesticide residues detected appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Boulder-based Vera aims to take high energy use out of marijuana cultivation equation

Alex Park and his two partners wanted to grow cannabis commercially without using an excessive amount of energy, a problem that has plagued indoor marijuana cultivation.

The young entrepreneurs, who have been friends since their days at the University of Colorado, found a solution by designing a facility that allows plants to be drenched with sunlight while remaining submerged in hydroponic canisters located within a warehouse. The 22,000-square-foot facility includes growing areas of different sizes, and space for storage and processing.

“It’s the first of its kind of facility. It gets the best of the indoor and outdoor environments,” said second business partner Harrison Somoza, who serves as chief operating officer of Vera Cultivation, which started growing cannabis in August.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Alex Park and his two partners wanted to grow cannabis commercially without using an excessive amount of energy, a problem that has plagued indoor marijuana cultivation.
The post Boulder-based Vera aims to take high energy use out of marijuana cultivation equation appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Marijuana movement energized with Sessions out as attorney general

He described marijuana as a “very real danger” and has said its effects are “only slightly less awful” than those of heroin. Once, during a drug hearing when he was a senator, he said he wanted to send a clear message: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

So when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned recently, proponents of legalized marijuana — activists, politicians, investors — were pleased.

Sessions’ departure has translated into surging stocks for cannabis companies and a reset of sorts for the legalization movement, which since 2012 has succeeded in nearly a dozen states.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


He described marijuana as a "very real danger" and has said its effects are "only slightly less awful" than those of heroin.
The post Marijuana movement energized with Sessions out as attorney general appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Marijuana is getting cheaper. For Colorado and some states, that’s a problem

Wholesale marijuana prices in Colorado have fallen by a third in just the past 12 months, continuing a price crash that began soon after the drug was legalized. Although this implies that some marijuana entrepreneurs are going to go bankrupt, the bigger financial hit will be felt by states that tax marijuana based on its price.

Marijuana prices are collapsing in Colorado and in other legalization states (e.g., Oregon, where the price can go as low as $100 per pound) because a legal business is dramatically cheaper to operate than an illegal one. Because states generally set their marijuana tax rates as a percentage of price, their revenue per sale sinks in direct proportion to the fall in marijuana prices. Ironically, in a bid for more tax revenue per marijuana sale, Colorado increased its marijuana tax rate from 10 percent to 15 percent last year, only to see the anticipated added tax revenue wiped out by falling prices in a year’s time.

States may have failed to anticipate this problem because of misleading predictions about the effects of legalization. Pro-legalization economist Jeffrey Miron projected in 2010 that marijuana prices would only fall 50 percent when prohibition was repealed, leaving the drug at a price that would yield high tax revenue. That was clearly a rosy scenario.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Although falling marijuana prices imply that some entrepreneurs are going to go bankrupt, the bigger financial hit will be felt by states that tax marijuana based on its price.
The post Marijuana is getting cheaper. For Colorado and some states, that’s a problem appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Gov. John Hickenlooper issues health warning on marijuana cultivated by Colorado Wellness Centers

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order along with a health and safety advisory Wednesday warning people not to use marijuana cultivated by Colorado Wellness Centers because the company used unapproved pesticides.

The company, which also does business as Lush, allegedly used off-label pesticides called pyriproxyfen while cultivating marijuana, according to the Wednesday afternoon bulletin, according to a joint advisory by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Affected products include marijuana flower, trim, concentrates, and infused products, the advisory says.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper [cq comment="cq"]issued an executive order along with a health and safety advisory Wednesday warning people not to use marijuana cultivated by Colorado Wellness Centers [cq comment="cq"]because the company used unapproved pesticides.
The post Gov. John Hickenlooper issues health warning on marijuana cultivated by Colorado Wellness Centers appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

First recreational marijuana dispensary opens in Longmont city limits

Legal recreational pot sales within Longmont city limits began Monday morning with Black Hawk resident Tyler Worley’s purchase of 28 pre-rolled joints from Boulder-based Terrapin Care Station at its new store at 650 20th Ave.

“That’s pretty cool,” Worley said about being the first person to legally purchase recreational cannabis from a retailer within the city limits.

A group of nearly 50 people, including Longmont elected officials, city staff and nonprofit leaders, celebrated the opening of Terrapin as the city’s first recreational marijuana dispensary.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Legal recreational pot sales within Longmont city limits began Monday morning with Black Hawk resident Tyler Worley’s purchase of 28 pre-rolled joints from Boulder-based Terrapin Care Station at its new store at 650 20th Ave.
The post First recreational marijuana dispensary opens in Longmont city limits appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for illegal marijuana operation in San Isabel National Forest

A federal judge sentenced a 25-year-old man last week to three years in federal prison for growing and intending to sell large quantities of marijuana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Margarito Yepez-Sanchez, a Mexican living in the United States illegally, also received three years of supervised release for conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants.

Yepes-Sanchez was first charged in September 2017, after federal agents discovered an illegal marijuana grow in San Isabel National Forest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Agents found approximately 13,800 marijuana plants and at least 120 pounds of processed marijuana on 12 acres of federal land.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Agents found approximately 13,800 marijuana plants and at least 120 pounds of processed marijuana on 12 acres of federal land.
The post Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for illegal marijuana operation in San Isabel National Forest appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Rise of the terpenes: The next wave of weed innovation focuses on a little-known compound

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that impact marijuana's flavor and smell, but can also have biological effects.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that impact marijuana’s flavor and smell, but can also have biological effects.
Image: Vicky Leta
This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.


Chicken and waffles. Moscow Mule. Gingerbread cookies. Plum.

Joe Edwards says he’s made cannabis flower taste like all of the above and then some, using a high-tech curing unit produced by Colorado startup Yofumo.

The plum was made specially for his grandma who uses cannabis for her arthritis pain but hates the taste.

“My grandmother has no interest in Skunk No. 1,” Edwards, vice president of client applications and deployment at Yofumo, jokes, referring to a popular cannabis strain that smells, well, skunky.

Yofumo is part of a growing contingent of companies using science and tech to experiment with cannabis terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic organic compounds found naturally in marijuana, and they impact weed’s flavor and smell. The type and amount can also have varying biological effects when paired with THC and CBD, according to marijuana researchers.

“My grandmother has no interest in Skunk No. 1.”

As terpene experimentation advances, more producers are adding the amount and type of terpenes in their offerings to product descriptions. The compound, lesser-known among the general public, is something consumers are becoming more aware of as they seek out a specific kind of high — or flavor.

“We’re seeing a lot of our patients, or our clients, are demanding to be able to see terpene expression data for the flower that they purchase,” says Philippe Henry, director of R&D genetics and analytics at Flowr, which operates cultivation facilities in Canada.

“It’s part of educating people that they can make better choices,” adds Henry, who has a Ph.D. in population genetics and has analyzed 5,000 cannabis plants to study terpenes and genetic markers.

Cannabis gets a trim at a Flowr facility.
Cannabis gets a trim at a Flowr facility.

Image: Flowr

Sometimes marketing gets in the way of information in the cannabis field. Blue Dream is a popular strain, but some producers may call their plant Blue Dream even if it isn’t the same as the original product, Henry says. Knowing more about the flower’s chemical expression, and how you react to that mix, helps you as a consumer.

While there are hundreds of terpenes, a few show up more frequently. Generally linalool, also found in lavender, calms you, while limonene, with its citrusy aroma, can give you energy. Keep in mind, compounds may impact people differently. For example, myrcene generally relaxes, but it could do so to a different degree depending on the individual. When it comes to terpenes, and cannabis in general, it’s often about finding what works for you.

“I like to refer to it as the Jurassic Park principle.”

“It’s synergism,” says Mark Lewis, founder and president of NaPro Research in California. He compares a single terpene or a single cannabinoid, be that THC or CDB, to a note — but when everything works together, it’s a chord.

What Lewis compares to a musical chord, others have called the “entourage effect.” Researchers have analyzed how terpenes interact with other compounds, but there’s room for further investigation. Weed is complicated, and there’s more to discover with expanding legalization.

While terpene levels in cannabis flower tend to be below 2 percent and cannabinoids hover around 20 percent, NaPro tweaks that through breeding plants with desired attributes together over several years. They’ve amped the terpene level up to 7 percent and THC down to 9 percent in one plant for a client entering a competition that awards top quality cannabis. Changing a plant’s composition can take years of breeding. Think about how watermelon today looks and tastes different than it did thousands of years ago, due to human intervention.

Once you get below 1.5 percent, the THC takes over, Lewis, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, says. But if a single terpene is higher than 2 percent, the flavor and impact “will hit you like a ton of bricks.” One NaPro offering that has 4.5 percent myrcene will cause one’s eyes to feel heavy for 15 minutes or so and then provide balanced, euphoric pain relief, Lewis claims.

NaPro Research has also built a search tool for clients to review the chemical expression of marijuana products to discern quality and value.

A breakdown of Cookie Crizzle from NaPro's search tool, called PhytoFacts.
A breakdown of Cookie Crizzle from NaPro’s search tool, called PhytoFacts.

Image: NaPro Research

Flowr and NaPro mess around with a plant’s terpene profile through breeding, but Yofumo uses a different technique.

Its curing unit is currently only available commercially (the company is working on a consumer model). It releases terpenes from other plants stored in rods into a mahogany chamber, and through atmospheric transfer, the terpenes bind to the plant at a molecular level.

There’s a trend in the marijuana space of upping THC content to get super high, but Edwards says cultivators should look beyond THC.

“Instead of just maximizing THC potential, how can we also look at post-harvest curation practices and maximize terpene potential as well?” he questions.

OK, but how did he do that for his flower with hints of chicken and waffles?

Yofumo plans to release smaller units for consumers next year. As of know they focus on commercial clients.
Yofumo plans to release smaller units for consumers next year. As of know they focus on commercial clients.

Image: Yofumo

He starts with scrutinizing what makes up the flavor of chicken and waffles — the herbs you use, the buttery crunch of the bready exterior, the syrupy sweetness — and then replicates that as best as he can through chemical means.

“Once you understand the creation and how this works, it really does open itself up to you,” Edwards says. “I like to refer to it as the Jurassic Park principle.”

Edwards has had his share of duds in the past, but those failures have helped fine-tune the curing process.

“I’ve personally consumed an amount of cannabis that is extraordinarily unpleasant,” Edwards says. “I’ve had results that are similar to orange dish detergent just as often as I’ve had them be similar to orange fruit.”

Yofumo customers work with flower as well as oil, but it’s the expanding vape and oil market that has added an extra boost to terpene’s rise. (The strength of terpene’s impact in flower versus oil can differ because of a variety of factors, including the types of terpenes used, their source — cannabis or another botanical, synthetic or natural — and the ratio of cannabinoids to terpenes.)

Yofumo sells terpene formulas to clients to use in their curing units.
Yofumo sells terpene formulas to clients to use in their curing units.

Image: Yofumo

LucidMood adds terpenes from other botanicals to enhance cannabis oil for its vapes.

The Colorado company removes the jargon from the equation, naming vape pens based on the desired effect, including Energy, Calm, and Relief. Each contains roughly 40 percent THC, 40 percent CBD, and 20 percent terpenes. LucidMood is focused on new users, not the seasoned dabber. “It’s for the person who doesn’t have a Ph.D. in cannabis,” Tristan Watkins, LucidMood’s chief science officer, quips.

“The more that we learn about these, the more we can control.”

Calm includes geraniol, a terpene that smells like roses. LucidMood names its pens based on focus group studies in which the first group gets pens with terpenes and a second does not. By having a control group, LucidMood can show that terpenes were behind certain biological effects felt by the first group.

“The more that we learn about these, the more we can control,” Watkins, who has a Ph.D. in neurology, says.

There is a divide among terpene researchers, though. Purists believe terpenes should come from the cannabis plant, not an additive. There are also those who don’t want their marijuana’s flavor messed with at all.

“Consumers should be asking for a product that’s 100-percent cannabis,” Flowr’s Henry says. “The ones that are really 100-percent cannabis are going to catch a premium sliver of the market.”

LucidMood's "lifestyle" collection of pens include Chill and Energy.
LucidMood’s “lifestyle” collection of pens include Chill and Energy.

Image: LucidMood

As marijuana legalization spreads in the U.S., each state has its own regulations, from who can buy to requiring mold checks. At least two U.S. states, Nevada and New Mexico, mandate terpene testing.

Now, what about weed you eat? If terpenes bring flavor and aroma, are they being used in edibles? Not so much. Edibles tend to use distillates, a form of THC that is supposed to be void of taste, or cannabutter, which is butter infused with cannabis that provides a strong, euphoric high.

Periodic Edibles uses terpenes in their caramels, but for the effect, not the taste.

“We’re actually limited on how high we can go with the dosage because of the flavor that they add,” says the Oregon company’s founder, Wayne Schwind. If Schwind adds limonene to give a burst of energy, he doesn’t want the lemon flavor to overwhelm the caramel.

Periodic Edibles current packaging that lists terpenes.
Periodic Edibles current packaging that lists terpenes.

Image: Periodic Edibles

Periodic Edibles caramels will get a packaging makeover in 2019, but the terpene content will still be listed.
Periodic Edibles caramels will get a packaging makeover in 2019, but the terpene content will still be listed.

Image: Periodic Edibles

Periodic Edibles started listing terpene profiles on their packaging a few months ago. Schwind says budtenders, the people who sell weed at dispensaries, love it, but buyers are sometimes confused. Many don’t know what terpenes are, but that may change over time.

Multiple brewing companies have also been adding cannabis-derived terpenes to their beer. Devour Brewing Co. in Florida uses cannabis terpenes to add lemon, pine, and earthy flavors to its Florida Thunder IPA, and Lagunitas, a California brand owned by Heineken, adds them to its SuperCritical Ale. Prank, a Los Angeles bar, mixes terpenes in cocktails.

The terpene innovators may disagree on what’s best, but they concur that discerning customers will be key. Those seeking high-quality products, the craft beer drinkers of weed, if you will, are the target market for terpene experimentation.

“It’s not a big thing now, but I think that return to quality is going to explode,” says Yofumo founder Alfonso Campalans. “It’s really the only way the small and middle producer is going to compete.”

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Hemp taking off as viable product, and Colorado entrepreneurs are at the forefront of industry

Rianna Meyer doesn’t like talking about herself. When prompted, she ticks off a list of milestones: joining the Air Force, becoming a firefighting captain, finding her way to the Antarctic by way of Thailand. Her words tumble out with quick cadence, ready to talk about her latest adventure: hemp farming.

If she was a record, you would probably want to pick the needle up and play that first part over a few times. Yes, she lived in Antarctica and worked as a firefighter in one of the coldest places on Earth for five years.

Now, she is the vice president of operations for SanSal Wellness’ Veritas Farm in Pueblo. SanSal is an agribusiness wellness company that operates the Veritas Farm from their headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The farm grows and processes on-site hemp products that include medicinal oils, lip balm and gummies.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Like with marijuana, Colorado entrepreneurs have been at the forefront of building up hemp as a viable undertaking.
The post Hemp taking off as viable product, and Colorado entrepreneurs are at the forefront of industry appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Alt-rock icon Dean Ween pitches marijuana-friendly concert venue in downtown Denver

Dean Ween has big plans for Denver.

The guitarist, best known for his work in the iconic alt-rock band Ween, hopes to open a Denver concert venue where the audience will be allowed to use marijuana — without hiding from security.

The venue would be named Dean Ween’s Honeypot Lounge and would be located near Coors Field, according to chief operating officer Michael Polansky, who announced the plan at a city meeting on Monday.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Dean Ween has big plans for Denver. The guitarist, best known for his work in the iconic alt-rock band Ween, hopes to open a Denver concert venue where the audience will be allowed to use marijuana — without hiding from security.
The post Alt-rock icon Dean Ween pitches marijuana-friendly concert venue in downtown Denver appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss