Category Archives: Cannabis

Jesce Horton is the owner of Panacea Valley Gardens a cultivation center and boutique edibles line serving cannabis patients in Portland, OR.

In addition to providing a network of contacts and educational resources for aspiring entrepreneurs of color, MCBA advocates for legislative changes to state and local policies that impose legal and financial barriers to legal weed for many would-be business owners and consumers of color.

Beyond its being a “slap in the face” to the communities hurt most by marijuana enforcement, Horton sees the legal industry’s lack of diversity as a real hindrance to its potential for growth.

“It’s not just about doing the right thing and doing the moral thing,” he said. “But I think we’re in a unique industry where doing the right and the moral thing means more money, means more growth, means more sustainability.”

Meanwhile, in New York, Plowden and his fellow co-founders at the nonprofit Cannabis Cultural Association are hoping to get ahead of this issue by educating people of color on the evolving city and state marijuana policies, and encouraging minority involvement in the ancillary products of the cannabis industry, such as vaporizers and hemp products.


“We know we can’t do the same things as California or Portland can do,” but, Plowden insisted, it’s important to start having these conversations about diversity now.

“The industry is coming, but if we don’t have somewhat of a structure set up, we can stumble and put ourselves back 20 years,” he said.

For both men, their missions to reshape the black community’s relationship with marijuana have led them to change the conversation within their own families.

About a year or two ago, Plowden broke his family’s long-standing “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and asked his great-aunt Molly if she smoked weed. Yes, she answered, adding, “you’re the first one in the family to honestly ask me that question.” A few months later, she spoke at one of CCA’s events about her experience with marijuana and the effects of drug laws on her family.

Even Plowden’s mother has recently begun exploring medical marijuana as an option for dealing with skin cancer. However, she continues to implore her son to use caution, reminding him, “You’re still a black man who is promoting something that’s federally illegal.”

More than four years after he gave up his comfortable corporate career, Horton says, his parents are “very, very excited” about his success in the legal cannabis industry.

“My dad sees that I’m an entrepreneur now,” he said. “I’m much, much happier than I was when I was in corporate.”

Horton has also opened the door for other members of his family, like his cousin and brother, who both moved to Oregon to work with him. More than anything, though, marijuana is no longer the cause of family strife.

“My dad is a cannabis consumer; he always has been,” Horton said. Now “we can finally smoke together.”




Hemp has gotten a bad rap over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that this plant was widely used in our society for making fabric, building supplies, and paper. As a matter of fact, the original Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

Of course, this was all before industrial hemp growth and cultivation became illegal. What many people do not know is that hemp is different from recreational or medicinal marijuana. The hemp plant is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high, which begs the question: Why is it even illegal in the first place?

It’s crazy that there is there was a plant available to us today that could be grown in pretty much any soil, requires no pesticides and it takes very little maintenance to grow, and this magical plant could be used for a very large number of necessities and goods we use today yet we don’t use it.

These plants are and have been illegal for quite some time, and the only people who are allowed to grow it have to do so under very tight regulations.

Recently, College Humor went ahead and made a pretty comical video that neatly summed up exactly how Hemp and Marijuana both became illegal. You can view that here.

1. Hemp and Recreational/Medicinal Marijuana DO Come From the Same Plant

While all derived from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L, hemp, and recreational marijuana are still vastly different products. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, the active component that gets you high, while hemp is cultivated to contain little-to-no THC. The marijuana plants grown to produce the flowering buds we find on the street or in dispensaries contain, on average, around 12% THC. By comparison, hemp plants contains less than 1%. Currently in the United States, the cannabis plant is considered to be industrial hemp if it contains less than 0.3% THC.


2. It Is Legal to Transport Hemp in the U.S.

Within the U.S. it is only legal to bring hemp across state lines in its processed form. Included in this are products containing hemp like skin lotions, granola bars, etc. Hemp is also used to make a number of popular CBD products, and you can find these in most states. CBD is the non-psychoactive active component of the hemp plant, and it has a number of potentially healing properties. This makes hemp products ideal for those who can’t access medicinal marijuana or for those who want the health benefits without the high, such as children.

3. Researching Hemp Is a Waste of Time

Just because we have already researched the properties of this plant doesn’t mean that we should stop there. There is always more to be discovered, and when something has the potential to be life-changing, to drastically improve someone’s quality of life, it definitely deserves to be given a second, third, and even fourth look.

4. Hemp Can Save the World

Being such a bold statement, most consider this claim false. However, hemp can be used to make food, clothing, shelter, fuel, and medicine, and considering how scarce such resources are becoming, and how unsustainably they are being produced, we should be exploring every avenue possible. The hemp plant can help accommodate many of our basic needs, and for this reason alone we should be utilizing it much more than we are right now.

5. Hemp Can Only Be Used to Make Textiles

Believe it or not, hemp has been being cultivated for nearly 10,000 years. Many believe this plant to be the first agricultural crop, as many ancient civilizations used the plant to make clothing, rope, and boat sails. Although textiles are a wonderful use for the hemp plant, this only scratches the surface of what this plant is capable of. The hemp plant contains protein- and magnesium-rich seeds that are a great addition to any diet. The plant can also be used to make fuel, biodegradable plastics, building blocks for construction, and cosmetic products. This list goes on.

6. Consuming Hemp Will Cause a Positive Drug Test

If you are concerned about a drug test at work, you do not have to worry that hemp seeds or CBD will show up. These tests look specifically for THC, and if you are consuming government approved products — those containing less than 0.3% THC — then you will be fine. Unless you are going out of your way to have an all-hemp diet, and consuming tons of it, you have nothing to worry about.

7. The Hemp Plant Is Male, Marijuana Female

Because these two products come from the same species of plant, as mentioned above, they have the potential to be either male or female. THC content is determined, not by gender, but by how the plant has been bred and engineered over time. Hemp is not given the opportunity to mature; it grows quickly and is cut down much earlier than its cousin marijuana, which is allowed to fully mature.

8. Cultivation of Industrial Hemp Is Legal

Surprisingly, this is incorrect. The growth and cultivation of industrial hemp is only legal in accordance with agricultural pilot programs allowed to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp, and in certain states only.

Collective Evolution has a very large collection of articles relating to the medicinal properties, nutritional benefits, and various other uses of the hemp plant. To access these articles.

Are there some other common misconceptions that you can think of about the hemp plant? Let us know.


A ‘Catch-22’ of medical marijuana and organ transplants

A rise in the use of medical marijuana has spurred a debate about organ transplantation, and it’s changing some laws across the nation.

Garry Godfrey found out in 2010 that he was removed from an organ transplant waiting list in Maine due to a health risk associated with his use of medical marijuana, CNN affiliate WGME reported. Now Godfrey is speaking out in support of a bill in Maine that would prohibit hospitals from determining a patient’s suitability for transplantation solely on the basis of medical marijuana use (PDF).
That bill is in committee, and similar legislation has been passed in other states, including California, Washington, Illinois, Arizona, Delaware and New Hampshire (PDF).
Godfrey, 32, uses marijuana to relieve pain and other symptoms he suffers due to Alport syndrome, a genetic condition that can cause renal failure — and he needs a new kidney, WGME reported.
“I’ve tried so many pharmaceuticals and none of them worked, but the medical cannabis does,” Godfrey told WGME. “It helps me function. It helps me take care of my kids.”
But if a transplant candidate already has a compromised immune system and is taking prescribed or recreational marijuana, that can increase their risk of a deadly fungal infection known as Aspergillosis during the transplantation process, according to a press statement released this week by the Maine Transplant Program. Once off marijuana, patients can be put back on the waiting list.
Meanwhile, researchers are desperately trying to better understand the potential health risk that may be associated with marijuana use and organ transplantation.

‘When we turn someone down, it’s a personal failure’

“The thing that comes up with marijuana is the risk of pulmonary infections, (specifically) fungal infections with Aspergillosis,” said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Such infections “can be an absolutely devastating complication but, you know, how often does that really happen? How likely is it? Those questions are less well understood,” Klassen said. “It’s a question of how much risk does that really impose versus the benefit that the patient potentially gets from getting the transplant.”
The Maine Transplant Program has a policy in place around marijuana because two people who had transplants died as a result of the fungal infection, Maine Medical Center spokesman Clay Holtzman said. Both patients had smoked marijuana, which suggests it might have been the cause of the infections. It’s not clear what the risks are around edible medical marijuana, he said.