People have talked about using cannabis for many decades. However, some of those talking today are no longer doing so quietly. Although the legal status of marijuana and its products varies across the U.S., the tide seems to be turning in favor of full legalization, potentially making you able to legally possess it. In the meantime, here is how things stand today:
Learn the Laws
In the U.S., current Federal laws state you can’t legally possess or use marijuana for any reason. Cannabis is considered to have a high possibility for abuse and no proven legal medical use. Regardless, most U.S. States have made it legal to use cannabis for medical use.
38 U.S. States allow cannabis use for a medical reason (with a doctor’s recommendation.) Ten additional states restrict the use of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – a psychoactive substance) while permitting CBD (cannabidiol.) Some compounds derived from cannabis-like Marinol – are approved by the FDA for prescription use. (1)
Legal penalties for marijuana vary by State law. Possession of any amount is considered a misdemeanor and would result in a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment from 15 days to 2 years. (1) The sale of cannabis carries a harsher penalty: up to $250,000 fine and imprisonment of up to 20 years. As you can see, if you’re planning to buy or sell marijuana, you should make yourself aware of some local bail bonding companies. (1)
If you live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal, you may wonder how to buy marijuana. In states where marijuana is legally sold, stores are called dispensaries. You can locate a dispensary through an online search. You can find a store or delivery service; their ad will often list the products they provide.
Despite State laws allowing you to legally possess cannabis products, many States regulate how a dispensary may advertise. Ads placed by dispensaries must carefully word their advertisements. If you wonder about the quality of a product being advertised online, the online search that found the dispensary also locates reviews of the products.
To purchase a cannabis product, you need proof you are over age 21. A State driver’s license would be a suitable document. You don’t have to live in the same State where you buy marijuana. It’s essential to know that most brick-and-mortar dispensaries accept only cash for purchases.
Where Does it Come From?
Before marijuana comes to a dispensary, it must be grown. U.S. laws regulate it must be grown in the state where it’s sold. Most regulated cannabis is currently grown indoors. For cannabis to grow, it requires specific conditions. Although it can be cultivated in hydroponic conditions, it is primarily grown in soil that meets several requirements:
For soil to be suitable for marijuana growth, it must be rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The amount of light is also crucial; indoor farms typically use ‘grow lights,’ which shine 16 hours daily. After the light cycle, the plants can remain in darkness for eight hours.
Marijuana farm management requires knowledge of the above principles related to its growth. It will also entail close attention to their state’s laws and regulations for marijuana cultivation. Once their products are harvested, the farm manager will want to be sure they can legally be sold to people who can legally possess them.
How is it Prepared?
After the marijuana plants are harvested, they will go to the manufacturing facility. The CBD oil must be extracted from the plant to instill it into snacks and other legalized products. Before any forms of cannabinoids can be sent to the stores, they must be tested in state-accredited labs.
Just as laws about marijuana use differ from State to State, the standards and methods of CBD testing also vary. Transportation to stores for product sale will also vary according to state because CBD products can’t be transported by any vehicle registered in a state that doesn’t allow people to legally possess marijuana. (3) This will further affect the ability to transport the merchandise, as interstate transportation is prohibited. (3)
Whether you’re planning to build a marijuana processing plant or decide to use an existing facility, it may be essential to consider the extent to which the public may become curious about your activities. With the increased controversy regarding the legalization of CBD products, people may be fascinated – or enraged – by your facility. It may be worth the investment to contact a fence contractor to construct a barrier around your building to decrease the amount of prying eyes in your processing facility.
Ask Your Doctor
As a patient, you have the right to ask your doctor about the possibility of using marijuana. If you are the caretaker for someone who might benefit from it, you should also ask a doctor about their use of marijuana. Your doctor will know your state’s laws for who can legally possess CBD products, and under which circumstances they can be recommended. Start your conversation by letting the doctor know the symptoms you or your loved one may have and ask any questions you have.
If your doctor agrees you are an appropriate candidate for medical marijuana, the Federal law against marijuana says the doctor can’t write you a conventional prescription. Instead, they can write a ‘recommendation’ for the products. The conversation about the recommendation should be documented in the patient’s clinical record. The doctor should include information such as the patient’s symptoms, past use of pain medications, and any relevant history of pain medication use – including any history of drug abuse.
Because of the importance of that documentation, it’s preferable to request marijuana from a doctor with whom you have a professional relationship. Although it’s unlikely a doctor at a walk in clinic would feel comfortable recommending CBD products, it’s not impossible. However, if your state still has very restrictive laws against cannabinoids, it will be improbable that you could get a CBD recommendation in that way.
Relieve Physical Symptoms
You may be wondering which conditions qualify you for a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana, making you able to legally possess the substance. According to the American Epilepsy Society, current research is being done, which shows that the use of cannabidiols may decrease the incidence of seizure activity. In a 2016 study, cited by Healthline.com, 214 patients diagnosed with epilepsy were prescribed oral doses of CBD over 12 weeks. The participants reported 35.6% fewer seizures during the study period. (4)
One of the most frequently reported uses of medical marijuana is for pain relief. Because of the increase in serotonin, CBD is believed to alleviate some pain. In a subsequent citation by Healthline.com, cancer patients who took CBD before chemotherapy sessions reported reduced pain and nausea. (4) Sativex, which citizens of the UK and Canada can legally possess, has been approved for treating multiple sclerosis pain.
Patients suffering from severe acne may be interested to learn that CBD oil may help decrease acne. According to the Journal of Clinical Investigation study, also cited by Healthline.com, CBD oil prevents the secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands – therefore preventing acne eruption. (4) Research is currently being done into the effects of cannabinoids on conditions – such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease – that cause brain deterioration. Those studies have not yet produced any significant conclusions. (4)
Ask Your Therapist
Just as it’s your right to talk with your medical doctor about the use of medical marijuana, you should feel free to discuss its use with your team of mental health providers. According to Verywellmind.com, several studies have been done on clients suffering from anxiety. The studies concluded that CBD was beneficial for patients with generalized anxiety syndrome. Other conditions that appear to benefit from the ability to possess these products legally include OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, and panic attacks. (5)
Clients with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) have been studied to see if the use of medical marijuana might help to alleviate their symptoms. (This disorder is experienced by those who have suffered a traumatic event and then suffer from repetitive thoughts and nightmares related to their memories of the event.) According to a study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, CBD may reduce those symptoms. (5)
Research is also being done to determine if cannabidiols could benefit people with depression. Although the serotonin increase was thought to reduce depression, current studies have not verified this proposal. Other recent studies are being done to determine whether CBD might help people with insomnia. According to Verywellmind.com, one study showed success, with 65% of participants reporting an increase in the quality of their sleep.
Don’t Drive High
Even if a doctor’s recommendation means you can legally possess medical marijuana, don’t drive your car when you’re high from its use. Your state laws may have legalized marijuana – but you aren’t allowed to drive when marijuana has impaired your ability. State laws vary regarding what constitutes ‘being under the influence’ of marijuana, but your THC level can be measured as proof that your driving ability was impaired.
If you are charged with DUI (with marijuana), the penalty and fines will be about the same as those you would incur if charged with DWI (with alcohol.) Although producing a recommendation for medical marijuana use from a doctor may reduce your penalty, it will not eliminate it. Some states may sentence you to jail for six months – or more. A first offense for DUI with marijuana would also result in fines of at least a few hundred dollars and a suspension of your driver’s license.
According to insurance information source Obrella.com, cannabis doesn’t affect your car insurance premiums. However, if you’re convicted of DUI with marijuana, it will raise your premiums (like an alcohol conviction would.) Talk to your auto insurance agent if you have any questions about related laws in your state.
If your circumstances mean you’ve received permission to possess any cannabis preparations legally, you may experience some changes in your body sensations. However, many users feel euphoric, relaxed, or easily amused. Some users reported heightened sensory experiences. Others can report feeling chills or an increase in room temperature.
If your perception of room temperature is hampering your enjoyment of cannabis products, you should contact one of the local AC companies in your neighborhood. You can ask your air conditioning installer to install a unit with several remote-control devices. With this added flexibility, you can adjust the room’s temperature as needed, if your body is experiencing sensory changes.
If you are a business owner or manager, you probably know you shouldn’t use your cannabis products at work. However, the after-effects of your CBD or cannabis products may cause your body to experience body temperature changes later. Therefore, it can be advantageous to contact a commercial HVAC installation team. You can ask for multiple remote controls for the office or store just as you did at home.
Make Cannabis Snacks
Many people enjoy cannabis but don’t enjoy the taste of CBD oil. Some people have reported using the oil to make snacks or buying prepared snacks in stores that carry CBD brownies or candies. Many recipes are online for brownies, cookies, candy, crackers, and other CBD snacks. Your dispensary may have some recipes – or recipe websites – available.
If you make non-perishable snacks from a recipe, they may stay fresh in your kitchen wall cabinets. Store any snacks made from cannabidiol in an airtight container and label the container. If you have children in your home, keep storage containers locked. Locking the cabinet is especially crucial if your snacks are gummies – since children won’t know those gummies aren’t candy. There are online companies that make locked cabinets with chambers specially designed to store CBD edibles.
According to the Cannigma, you can bake edibles from CBD. If you do, store them in the same way you’d keep perishable foods or snacks made from similar baking supplies (eggs, milk, flour, etc.) The same site recommends storing brownies in waxed paper in the freezer.
If you believe you could benefit from using medical marijuana, talk to your doctor or therapist about the ability to legally possess these products. When used correctly, they may solve your physical or mental health challenges. If you decide to use marijuana or CBD products, always use them responsibly.