Category: Blog

Ex-NFL Player Ricky Williams Launches Marijuana Brand

Ricky Williams

Former Miami Dolphins player Ricky Williams has debuted his own marijuana brand.

The product line, Real Wellness by Ricky Williams, offers six products sold as topicals, tonics and vape cartridges that contain THC, hemp-derived CBD, or a blend of both, Sun-Sentinel reports. The products also contain extracts like arnica, lavender and turmeric.

Williams said it’s a dream come true to comingle his interest in healing and plant-based medicines into a business. He said, “I am known as a professional football player. In the last 14 years, I have been educating myself and training as a health care practitioner.”

Williams previously studied herbalism and became a poster child for marijuana use among athletes and he thought the timing was ideal for developing his own brand because marijuana use is legal in California where he resides.

Williams said, “Surprisingly enough, our research found that the main demographic coming into the [cannabis] market are women ages 35 to 60. Cannabis coming on the scene is a reemerging of herbalism back into our culture.”

For this new venture, he’s partnering with OutCo, a Southern California medical marijuana dispensary and consulting firm, to create his products. As of March 20, the products are offered at dispensaries in San Diego and Los Angeles. The products will soon be available for purchase online and range from $35-$70.

Williams said, “Our larger plan in the future is to find manufacturing partners in other states.”

Williams has supported marijuana use for a long time. He was recently in the news for tweeting that he was hosting a marijuana-friendly Super Bowl Party for about 50 people at a private residence located in Hollywood Hills. Guests were permitted to bring their own marijuana. Due to the increased interest, the party’s guest list rose to 150 people.

Williams said, “It was a fun experience, it was a healing experience and it was a networking experience. And we were treated to a very good game.”

Williams was awarded the 1998 Heisman Trophy and became a running back with the Dolphins starting in 2002. During his time with the Dolphins, he received two suspensions by the NFL for marijuana use. He retired from the NFL in 2011.

In 2017, Williams was a featured speaker of the “Pro Football, Pro Cannabis” segment at the Southeastern Cannabis Conference and Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Photos: @rwrealwellness

Nevada’s Marijuana Prices Remain High at $350 Per Ounce

Vegas Weed

Despite Nevada marijuana cultivators keeping up with demand, marijuana prices are still high.

Ounces of marijuana flower are sometimes selling for more than $350, according to U.S. News & World Report. Grams generally sell for $14 – $18, and sometimes reach as high as $21. Sales are averaging $1 million a day, and demand for legal marijuana in Nevada is expected to stay high.

The Nevada Department of Taxation evaluated an average wholesale market price per pound at $2,268. Trim has an estimated value of $601 per pound.

Jerry Velarde from the marijuana producer Evergreen Organix in Las Vegas said, “The higher the THC content, the more you can command your price.” Velarde says that marijuana averaging 16% THC with decent terpene profiles sells for between $2,300 and $2,600 per pound.

The Source dispensary in Las Vegas purchases marijuana at different price levels. They pay $1,800 per pound for what is sold on the “value shelves.”

Ben Sillitoe of Oasis Cannabis in Las Vegas says that wholesale prices went up from July to October and didn’t start to come down until December. He said, “At this point, there really are no delays in getting inventory. Selection isn’t as great as you’d like it to be, but it’s getting better.”

Andrew Jolley from The Source said, “I don’t know of anyone who’s running out of product now. Versus last summer when we made the switch to recreational. I think there’s actually going to be too much supply within the next year.”

Some processors are also paying top dollar for marijuana that will be made into oils and other products. Quality is what helps them establish their brands. Some are paying upwards of $2,000 per pound for marijuana that will become oil.

Brandon Rexroad of Shango said, “It’s hugely expensive. I don’t know how these people are doing it. They’re willing to pay it just to get product on the shelves even if they’re not making money at that price point.”

Rexroad continued, saying, “People always seem to strive for the best when they come to Vegas, whether it’s a bottle of liquor or weed and that’s really where our focus is.”


San Francisco’s First Marijuana Lounge Opens for Business


The smoke is always dense and business bustling at Barbary Coast dispensary’s new marijuana consumption lounge in San Francisco.

Only in California is on-site marijuana use permitted at approved recreational marijuana dispensaries that have specially designed lounges, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

San Francisco is setting the stage. It’s the only city in California to completely embrace the Amsterdam-like coffee shops, the iconic tourist destinations in the Netherlands where marijuana consumers can buy and use marijuana in the same establishment.

San Francisco’s marijuana czar, Nicole Elliot, said that new permits will be issued when city health officials finalize regulations outlined to protect employees from secondhand smoke and protect the neighborhood from unwanted marijuana odor. Lounges are required to install specific heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems preventing marijuana odors from reaching outdoors.

West Hollywood approved plans to issue as many as eight licenses for lounges and Alameda has plans to issue two licenses. Oakland and South Lake Tahoe each plan to issue one license.  Sacramento, Los Angeles and a few additional cities are considering allowing lounges.

Jackie Rocco, the city of Los Angeles’ business development manager, said both locals and marijuana businesses grumble there is “no safe place, no legal place, to use it.” Rocco said Los Angeles officials see marijuana-smoking lounges set up like regular bars, but right now the idea is more conceptual than an actual plan.

In the meantime, lawmakers and officials in a few other states are discussing the issue.

Massachusetts marijuana regulators are considering the approval of “marijuana cafes.” Nevertheless, the proposal came under much criticism from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration and law enforcement officials, claiming that opening such establishments could lead to an increase in inebriated drivers.

Jim Borghesani of the MPP said, “Those who wish to consume cannabis are going to do so whether social sites exist or not, and are going to make driving decisions regardless of where they consume. Social sites will simply give cannabis users the same options available to alcohol users.”

In Denver, one consumption lounge just got approval. Consumers will provide their own marijuana and can hangout and consume on-site.

Nevada has pushed a vote back on the issue until 2019, but lawmakers in Alaska and Oregon have discussed and denied legislation.

General manager Jesse Henry said Barbary’s owners plan to open a larger dispensary and consumption lounge about a mile away, across the street from a big concert hall. He said, “This city is built for tourists. We put a lot of work into giving them a ‘San Francisco experience.’”

Photo: barbarycoastsf. org


New Colorado Law Requires ‘Universal THC Symbol’ on All Packaging

THC Label

The way marijuana products are packaged and labeled in Colorado has continually raised concerns for state government officials. So, starting in 2019, all marijuana packaging in the state will have to show the “universal THC symbol.”

Prior packaging rules required that only recreational marijuana products bear the universal THC symbol, according to Westword. But the new law requires medical products also show the same THC symbol (the word THC inside a red or black diamond).

The new labeling requirements were selected following tedious stakeholder conversations in 2017. Both the Colorado Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made the final decision.

CDPHE Deputy Executive Director Karin McGowan said, “Whether it’s used on retail or medical marijuana products, the universal symbol helps both consumers and non-consumers easily identify that a product contains THC and avoid unintentional ingestion. We’re confident that the integration of a single symbol will help streamline our public health message, which focuses on the importance of educating yourself, young people and out-of-town guests about what the symbol means.”

The symbols on retail products won’t become mandatory until January 1, 2019, and medical marijuana products will have until July 1, 2019 to make the required changes.

According to CDOR executive director Mike Hartman, creating the standardized diamond symbol was a vital move for universally recognizing marijuana products. He said, “The adoption of a single universal symbol is part of our ongoing effort to protect public health and safety by enhancing consumers’ ability to identify products containing marijuana and reducing confusion stemming from two distinct symbols. One truly universal symbol also works to simplify and improve industry compliance with regard to packaging and labeling.”


Photo 1: JacquelineCollins/Westword. Photo 2: CDOR


Must-Have Marijuana Gear for Celebrating This 4/20


Marijuana’s worldwide holiday, April 20th (aka 4/20), is near, which means everyone needs new marijuana-related gear so that they can celebrate the holiday in style!

Below is a list of awesome marijuana gear that every connoisseur should obtain.


Marijuana Gear

AirVape Xs Vaporizer

AirVape Xs Vaporizer


NoGoo Non-Stick Containers

NoGoo Non-Stick Containers


The Marijuana Leaf Shirt

The Marijuana Leaf Shirt


KandyPens Ice Cream Man Vaporizer

KandyPens Ice Cream Man


Black Leaf’s ELITE Beaker Base Perc Bong

Black Leaf’s ELITE Beaker Base Perc Bong


R Series Mega Torch

R Series Mega Torch


DaVinci IQ Vaporizer

DaVinci IQ Vaporizer

Federal Prosecutors Won’t Take on Small-Time Marijuana Cases, Says Sessions

Sessions Cannabis

Federal prosecutors will not waste time on minor marijuana cases, regardless of the Justice Department’s announcement of lifting an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. authorities from cracking down on marijuana industries in states where it’s been legalized, according to a new statement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Federal law enforcement just does not have the resources to take on “routine cases” and will focus on drug-related gangs and other large conspiracies, according to Sessions, The Press Democrat reports. The comments came after the Trump administration sent the blossoming marijuana legalization industry into uncertainty by rescinding the hands-off approach of the Obama administration.

The Obama-era policy allowed the marijuana industry to flourish, with nine states legalizing recreational marijuana use. The reversal has increased confusion regarding whether it’s okay to grow, buy or use marijuana in states that have legalized it, since it remains illegal federally. It also raised concerns that prosecutors would be empowered to imprison individuals for marijuana possession.

Sessions said, “I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States law.” He added that federal prosecutors “haven’t been working small marijuana cases before, they are not going to be working them now.”

Areas of particular interest include problems that federal authorities have tried to tackle for some time, like illicit marijuana cultivation operations on national parklands and gangs that sell marijuana along with dangerous drugs like meth and heroine. Some law enforcement officials in marijuana-legal states argue the legalization has caused unintended problems such as black-market marijuana cultivations and illegal dealings by people that aren’t interested in complying with state law.

It remains to be seen, however, whether prosecutors will seek to punish state-licensed marijuana businesses. Some state U.S. attorneys have said that they have no plans to do so. Sessions said, “Those are the kinds of things each one of those U.S. attorneys will decide how to handle.”


New Studies Find Legal Marijuana Access Reduces Opioid Abuse

Marijuana Research Study

Scientific studies increasingly support that marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes helps to reduce opioid use and abuse.

According to newly published data by the Minnesota Department of Health, 63% of patients using opiate pain medication upon their enrollment into the state’s medical marijuana program were able to “reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months,” The Hill reports.

Minnesota’s pro-medical marijuana conclusion is becoming commonplace. In 2016, data was compiled from patients enrolled in Michigan’s medical marijuana program and reported that marijuana treatment “was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use, decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life.”

A review of state-registered patients from several northeastern states returned similar results, finding that 77% of respondents said they’d reduced their use of opioids after starting medical marijuana therapy. A large percentage of survey respondents also reported decreasing their use of anti-anxiety medications (72%), migraine medications (67%), sleep aids (65%) and some antidepressants (38%).

A 2017 assessment of medical marijuana patients in Illinois determined that participants in the state’s medical marijuana program reported frequent use of marijuana “as an alternative to other medications — most commonly opioids, but also anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatories, and over-the-counter analgesics.”

New Mexico patient data indicates that, compared to non-marijuana users, medical marijuana patients “were more likely either to reduce daily opioid prescription dosages between the beginning and end of the sample period (83.8% versus 44.8%) or to cease filling opioid prescriptions altogether (40.5%  versus 3.4%).”

Two newly published clinical trials from Israel, where medical marijuana use is legal, further confirms this phenomenon. The first study assessed marijuana use among the elderly, and investigators reported that more than 18% of the participants “stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose” in a 6-month period.

Researchers concluded that, “Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.” In the second trial, assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana in a group of over 1,200 cancer patients, scientists reported that almost half of the respondents reported either a decrease or elimination of their use of opioids during their treatment.

Investigators from Columbia University’s Medical Center looked into the efficacy of low doses of inhaled marijuana and other sub-therapeutic doses of oxycodone on experimentally induced pain in a double blind, placebo-controlled study model. They concluded that while neither the administration of marijuana nor oxycodone alone significantly eliminated the subjects’ pain, the combination of both medications was effective.

The authors determined that, “Both active cannabis and a low dose of oxycodone (2.5 mg) were sub-therapeutic, failing to elicit analgesia on their own; however, when administered together, pain responses … were significantly reduced, pointing to the opioid-sparing effects of cannabis”. They concluded that, “Smoked cannabis combined with an ineffective analgesic dose of oxycodone produced analgesia comparable to an effective opioid analgesic dose without significantly increasing cannabis abuse liability.”

The science-backed pro-marijuana data are consistent, concise and accruing.

UN Says UK is World’s Largest Producer and Exporter of Legal Marijuana


The United Kingdom is the largest producer and exporter of legal marijuana for medicinal and scientific use in the world, according to new data by the United Nation’s International Narcotics Control Board.

The UK produced 209,439 pounds of legal marijuana in 2016, which is over double the production totals in 2015, Sky News reports. This accounts for 44.9% of the marijuana produced in the entire world.

The closest competitor is Canada, with 177,913 pounds produced.

About 4,630 pounds was exported out of the UK, making it responsible for 67.7% of the world’s total marijuana export, with the Netherlands next at 16.4%.

One drug policy reform lobby group faults the UK government, saying it has “consistently refused to allow medical marijuana in the UK on the basis that it has ‘no therapeutic value.’”

Steve Rolles, Transform’s senior policy analyst, said, “It is scandalous and untenable for the UK government to maintain that cannabis has no medical uses, at the same time as licensing the world’s biggest government-approved medical cannabis production and export market.” He continued, “UK patients are either denied access and suffering unnecessarily or are forced to buy cannabis from the criminal market. Countries with proper access to medical cannabis do not have this problem, as standardized cannabis products are in the hands of doctors and pharmacists.”

A large portion of the UK‘s legal marijuana production goes into making a marijuana-based medicine called Sativex, produced by GW Pharmaceuticals. It is available via prescription to patients such as those suffering with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Marijuana Advocacy Group Selling Mock Jeff Sessions Rolling Papers

Jeff Sessions Rolling Papers

A marijuana legalization advocacy group, #JeffSesh, has released rolling papers with Jeff Sessions’ face front and center.

According to its website, #JeffSesh is a “grassroots campaign” telling the U.S. Attorney General that all kinds of people smoke legal marijuana, and they aren’t “criminals, junkies, or idiots,” reports.

The “General Jeff’s Old Rebel Session Papers” are available in two colors. The first batch of the papers has already sold out, but the group says a new company is working on making more rolling papers fast.

The packages are available in black and white, both showing Sessions smoking a joint with the slogan, “Don’t Beauregard that joint, my friend!” Other slogans used are “Please sesh responsibly” and “Have a #JeffSesh.”

The papers can be ordered on the #JeffSesh website or on the advocacy group’s Etsy store.

#JeffSesh has an additional message for the attorney general: “We’re good, responsible, patriotic Americans. We’re voters from both parties, and no parties. We are regular Jeffs all over the USA. We are upstanding citizens who don’t want to hide every time we want to enjoy a sesh. And frankly, we’re offended the top law enforcement officer in the nation thinks we’re bad people. #JeffSesh is the coming out party for 21st century legal cannabis users. We bet Mister Sessions will be surprised to see what good people we are!”

Photo: goo. gl/9GFh4i

Fewer Employers Drug Testing for Marijuana as Legalization Grows

Job Drug Test

Employers continue to have trouble hiring workers in the tightening U.S. job market, and as more states legalize recreational marijuana there’s been a decrease in pre-employment drug tests, which for many decades was a requirement for new hires in industries ranging from manufacturing to finance.

As of 2018, Las Vegas-based Excellence Health Inc., a health care company that employs roughly 6,000 people, decided to stop drug testing employees in the pharmaceutical side of the business, according to

Liam Meyer, Excellence Health spokesperson, said, “We don’t care what people do in their free time. We want to help these people, instead of saying: ‘Hey, you can’t work for us because you used a substance.”

In February, AutoNation Inc., the largest automotive dealer in the country, announced that it would no longer disregard job applicants that test positive for marijuana, and in 2016, The Denver Post stopped its pre-employment drug screening process for all non-safety sensitive positions.

Companies in states that have legalized some form of marijuana are leading the way on nixing drug tests.

A survey in 2017 by Mountain States Employers Council surveyed 609 Colorado employers and found that the number of companies testing for marijuana dropped to 66%, down from 77% in 2016.

Drug testing reduces the candidate pool and in the current narrow labor market it’s affecting productivity and growth.

In surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve in 2017, employers noted an inability for applicants to pass drug screenings as a reason for difficulties in hiring. Failed screenings reached an all-time high in 2017, according to data compiled from Quest Diagnostics Inc.