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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Spotlight - Methadone to Marijuana - December 2019


Michiganders have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, particularly that police actions against marijuana have nearly ground to a halt. In addition, our elected officials now fully support our ‘free the weed’ movement; and Michigan friendly scientists and doctors are in the forefront of creating safer and more effective cannabis-related products. Among these is a product called Parachute, which enables cannabis users to land safely when they get “too high.”

We checked out Pure Green, the company that created Parachute (which is easily administered via special sublingual tablets) and found an amazing scientist and a doctor behind it all. The scientist, Steve Goldner, actually invented the liquid form of Methadone in 1972 (when he was just 23 years old) to help his heroin addicted Viet Nam veteran buddies.

“My buddies were coming back from the Viet Nam War and some of them had picked up the heroin habit. I wanted to help them,” Steve explains. “Most people thought that these heroin addicts were just ’scum of the earth.’ But they were my buddies, valiant war fighters who had gone down bad roads. I searched the medical literature for remedies that might ease pain, and discovered some molecules invented in Germany in the 1930’s. Along with my mentor, John Broich, I repurposed the molecules, made them into a drinkable liquid, added Tang for flavor and color, and then Metamucil to ease constipation. That made a one-ounce drink with enough active ingredient to replace heroin for one day. It’s called Methadone and I hoped it would get people off heroin, and then over time they could reduce their dosage and ultimately get off of the Methadone.”

Steve was working as a forensic toxicologist at the New York Medical Examiner’s Office at that time. He helped solve dozens of difficult murder cases using science while working on 18,000 autopsies. He says, “There was a saying over the front door of the morgue: ‘This is the place where death delights in helping the living.’ So, I had to help my buddies.”

Steve built a drug manufacturing company to produce Methadone and ran it for three years. He sold it to a large drug company that built more production centers worldwide, helping to save more than 20 million people from heroin addiction. Then he went to law school, becoming a highly sought out attorney specializing in FDA issues. He’s gotten more than 250 medical devices and 20 drugs approved.

But how Steve became a famous cannabis scientist (he invented THC and CBD water-soluble molecules) and the CEO of Pure Green is more compelling. As he explains, “One of my buddies came back from Viet Nam with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was a true hero who had saved his platoon from an ambush and sustained serious wounds. He never got over the anxiety and night fears from that war. He appreciated that my Methadone helped our buddies kick heroin, but he kept asking me to make a drug for his extreme anxiety. I noticed that he got worse when he was drinking or using pills from the VA, but he was calm, happy and pain free when he smoked marijuana. I told him that he didn’t need me to make a drug, as he already one. But Pot was illegal. He made me take a vow that I would create a real PTSD medicine. John died seven years ago.  The cannabis legalization revolution allowed me to make these pure medications for PTSD, and a dozen more, from cannabis ingredients.”

Pure Green’s latest product, Parachute, is a great example of the cannabis industry solving its own problems. As people sometimes get too high from edibles, Parachute is made from pure CBD and four terpenes, working in eight minutes to lessen the effects of an intense high. The CBD is made water-soluble using Goldner’s patent-pending process and then pressed into a fast disintegrating tablet that gets the cannabinoids into a person’s blood stream in 60 seconds, and throughout the body in eight minutes.

Goldner is pretty frank when it comes to discussing his views on cannabis, and how it has gotten a bad reputation that it doesn’t deserve. “Cannabis is so safe, it’s ridiculous. No drug developer has ever seen molecules like the ones that the cannabis plant produces when it comes to safety and efficacy. Nobody has ever died from using the cannabis plant—in centuries of worldwide use. And cannabis is effective for pain relief, anxiety relief, sleep aid and nearly two dozen other real-life problems. Plus, it is easy to use.”

Goldner’s work is different from most other cannabis processors across the country, because of the amount of clinical testing Pure Green conducts on its tablet products. “Cannabis is real medicine. Scientists have been unable to study it because it has been illegal. But this situation is changing. We’ve run eight clinical trials, with many of them posted on www.clinicaltrials.gov, the National Institutes of Health clearinghouse for significant clinical trials. We are running three clinical trials right now for pain relief from diabetes, osteoarthritis, and for women with painful menstrual periods. We’ve met with the FDA several times and they have given FAST TRACK status to our dog pain relief tablets.”

These clinical trials are important because medical marijuana patients find that some products work better for their symptoms than others. There’s no “one-size fits all” when it comes to getting relief, and as a result, educated patients are not only paying attention to the THC/CBD potency, but also to the terpenes present in products. This balance produces an entourage effect and is responsible for symptom-specific relief.

“The entourage effect is very real” Steve explains. “Physicians treat cancer patients with a combination of medications, called ‘drug cocktails.’ The FDA usually insists that each drug has only one active ingredient. That’s why doctors combine medications, tailoring mixtures for each patient. We used that idea to combine pure THC with pure CBD and curated terpenes. Then volunteers tried our tablets in clinical trials to learn what mixtures work best to help them sleep, relieve pain and relieve anxiety.”

So, what does Goldner think about how easy it is for consumers to get accurate information about the products they’re using (especially flower)? “Relying on strain names is not as straight forward as consumers would like to believe” he says. “Some growers and dispensaries change the names on cannabis strains to maximize their profits. Saying this will not make me popular with some people, but I think it’s important to be honest to our customers and patients. So how do we prove honesty? How do we make the best possible cannabis products?  Simple–we lab test every batch multiple times, we publish our results, and I put my name on the license. Plus we are working to get our products approved by FDA to make these medications available worldwide. “

While Steve works on worldwide availability, you can find Pure Green tablets, including Parachute, at provisioning centers across the state of Michigan. For more information on their family of products, visit www.pure.green. If you have any specific questions about the products or their formulation, email contact@pure.green. Steve responds personally to the majority of questions of a scientific nature.

Grow Tips - Clean Water, Please - December 2019

                 By Ben Horner


The purity of the water that we drink and use to water our plants should be the concern of everyone.  Your health and that of your plants can be diminished by water that is loaded with chlorine, iron and other minerals, as well as bacteria and other nasty microscopic bugs.

When watering your plants the wise grower uses purified water whenever possible. Reverse osmosis (RO) systems and bulk filters are often attached to a fifty-gallon drum with a float value to insure a steady reserve of pure water. Using a TDS meter to test for Total Dissolved Solids, growers can determine how many residual solids are still left in the water after filtering.


Pure water should test below 50ppm (parts per million), if you have hard water consider using a RO water purification system, or adjust your nutrient line to compensate.

After adding nutrients the TDS will raise. For Hydroponics, readings between 800-1400 are typical, but for coco and perlite substrates 600-1200 is more ideal. For soilless/soil mixtures 300-600 should be your max, alternating between watering with nutrients and straight water to flush.



PH is also really important when feeding your plants. Ideally your water should be between 6-7 PH. Products like Ph UP and PH Down can help you stabilize you PH.

World News - December 2019


Greece Moves Toward
Legalizing Grows

Greece is moving towards legalizing the growth of medical cannabis. On Wednesday, November 6, legislation was submitted to parliament to be put to a vote regarding the production of medicinal cannabis, which is not legal at this time. The medical use of cannabis was allowed beginning last year, but the country does not have the legal framework in place as of yet for the domestic growth of the plant. Currently, the country is reliant only on cannabis products that have been imported. 


Their Government has said the growing interest from investors could attract $1.85 billion worth of investments over three years from production and processing domestically, helping their country’s economy grow as well.


Legal Weed in Barbados
Passes Important Hurdle

The Senate in Barbados passed the Medicianl Cannabis Industry Bill on Nov. 27, just two short weeks after earning approval in the House. 

The law gives the power to govern processing, dispensing and export, and anything related to cultivation, to the Medical Cannabis Licensing Industry.  This newly created authority will also set rules for patients and license holders, and includes things like requiring they be citizens of Barbados, permanent residents, hold immigrant status, or be a citizen of a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state.

Of interesting note was the concurrent passage of the Sacramental Cannabis Bill, which makes legal the cultivation and consumption of marijuana for any individual whom adheres to the Rastafarian religion.  Both bills were signed by the governor general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason.


Israeli Companies Agree On 
Six Ton Marijuana Deal

Two Israeli businesses have recently arranged a deal involving six tons of medical marijuana.  Univo, owners of an IMC-GMP (International Medical Cannabis and Good Manufacturing Practices) medical cannabis processing facility, and is building a cannabis cultivation farm, has agreed to supply Shor Tabachnik Pharmacy for three years, at two tons a year.  Revenue  from the deal is projected at over ILS 60 million over the next three years.

“The agreement with Shor Tabachnik, which takes immediate effect, realizes Univo’s strategy to strengthen our presence in the market and expand our distribution chain, whether through agreements with pharmacies or though the acquisition of a pharmacy which we reported this week.  Univo is currently operating independently of other entities, and until cultivation begins at Amit Farm, we are buying raw materials from existing farms.  The company has already begun production and sale of medical cannabis products under the new regulation,” boasted Golan Bitton, CEO of Univo.  This move places Univo as the only company in Isreal that holds full control throughout the value chain.



Brazil Says No to Domestic
Cultivation, Yes to Imports


Brazil’s National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) announced new rules for medical marijuana, with some surprising twists.  Domestic Cultivation is completely banned, as well as flower, and use of the word ‘medical’ or any equivalent  Every Cannabis product must now require a special prescription, and doctors are, by law, to be reluctant to prescribe cannabis.  

Also included in these new regulations are strict Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements, and a mandate that any THC products over 0.2% be authorized only for terminal and “last resort” patients.



What is allowed is the import and distribution of clinically untested cannabis products.  Speculators agree that this could set Brazil up to become the largest importer of medical marijuana products in the world.

Not yet publicly available, the new rules will be printed in the nation’s official Gazette, taking effect 90 days later.  Critics argue the laws cater directly to the commercial market, and not to the desires of the people.


Ireland Approves Imports
from Canadian Company

Aurora, one of Canada’s major marijuana companies, has announced it has secured approval to import it’s cannabis oil prodcuts into Ireland.  The Irish Minister of Health has officially added their High CBD Oil Drops to a regulatory schedule allowing them to be prescribed and supplied in Ireland, making it one of only two products to achieve this status.

Ireland signed the Medical Cannabis Access Programme into law in June of 2019.  The law facilitiates access to cannabis-based medicine for a specific list of ailments; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and severe refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.   


Australian Researchers
Make Known Discovery

Aurora, one of Canada’s major marijuana companies, has announced it has secured approval to import it’s cannabis oil prodcuts into Ireland.  The Irish Minister of Health has officially added their High CBD Oil Drops to a regulatory schedule allowing them to be prescribed and supplied in Ireland, making it one of only two products to achieve this status.

Ireland signed the Medical Cannabis Access Programme into law in June of 2019.  The law facilitiates access to cannabis-based medicine for a specific list of ailments; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and severe refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.   


National News - December 2019



Warning Sent By FDA
Regarding CBD Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 15 companies on November 25, stating that they have violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by illegally marketing and selling products containing CBD. The FDA has stated, “Cannabis and cannabis-derived products claiming in their marketing and promotional materials that they’re intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases are considered new drugs or new animal drugs and must go through the FDA drug approval process for human or animal use before they are marketed in the U.S. … Additionally, it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.” Earlier this year 7 other companies also received letters issued by the agency. As of right now, most commercially sold CBD products are unregulated by the FDA, unlike the CBD products sold in state-licensed provisioning centers which are subject to state regulations and requirements such as lab tests on their products. FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D. says “We recognize the significant public interest in CBD and we must work together with stakeholders and industry to fill in the knowledge gaps about the science, safety and quality of many of these products.”


Massachusetts Adult-Use
Sales on Track to $1b

Hitting almost $400 million in sales for it’s first official year of adult-use is impressive considering there are only 36 licensed shops in Massachusetts.  Add to that the fact that none of them are in Boston, the most heavily populated area of the state, and you have solid looking numbers.

Averaging $46 million in sales per month from August to October means they could potentially breach $400 million by 2019’s end, running the numbers forward places them at over $1 billion by 2021.

Put into perspective, Colorado’s recreational market launched in 2014 with 306 stores and barely reached $300 million in sales for the year.

Massachusetts lack of viable purchasing locations has resulted in long lines, short supply, and high prices.  Despite all this, sales march on.


Vermont Launches Weed
Education Website

The Vermont Health Department has launched a marijuana education site called “Let’s Talk Cannabis”.  Their intent is to educate the citizens about how marijuana could impact their overall health.

Reported to include science-based information ranging from the effects on youth and people who are pregnant, to responsible use among adults, it also includes information for health care providers.

“With changes in the legal landscape surrounding possesion and use, it’s important that people understand how it can affect their health,” said Vermont’s health commissioner, Dr. Mark Levine, in a recent press release.  “As with all substance use, consumption of cannabis can be unhealthy.  Let’s Talk Cannabis gives Vermonters the information they need to make safe and informed choices.”

With 24% of Vermont high school students responding to a survey by saying they used marijuana in the past 30 days, officials are focused on the youth.  “Marijuana use changes teens’ brains, bodies and behaviors,” Levine stated.  The website aims to “provide relatable information to young Vermonters, so they can understand how the drug influences their bodies and thinking.”  

According to the site, this campaign was adapted from educational resources from the California Department of Public Health.  To see for yourself, visit: www.healthvermont.gov/lets-talk-cannabis


House Panel Approves Bill
to Legalize at Federal Level


The House Judiciary Committee approved 24 to 10 a bill to remove marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act, effectively legalizing it at the federal level.  This would give an official federal thumbs up to states enacting their own cannabis policies as well as well as incentivise them to clear criminal records.

According to the America Civil Liberties Union, weed arrests comprise over 50% of all drug related arrests in the United States.  Meanwhile a Pew Research Center poll determined that a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana.


The bill next moves to the Senate, where Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell will decide whether or not to take up the bill.  “I don’t think a majority of the Republicans will support this bill,” stated Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, “It is even less likely that the Senate would take it up.  Therefore, I would just suggest that we deal with other bills that we can get a much larger bipartisan support from.”

Chairman Rep. Jarrold Nadler took a more middle of the road approach, “I don’t think it is a good idea ... to say, ‘the Senate won’t take this bill’.  When the House passes a bill, it’s part of a continuing process.  It’s not the end of a process.”

Both NORML and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws are hailing this as the “biggest marijuana news of the year.”

Michigan News - December 2019



Recreational Marijuana
Sales Begin in Michigan


December 1st, 2019, marked the birth of retail marijuana sales in the state of Michigan.  Six shops were open and operating on the day.  Four Ann Arbor locations, Arbors Wellness, Exclusive Ann Arbor, Greenstone Provisions, and Skymint.  Meanwhile two small towns placed themselves on the map with Lit Provisioning Center in Evart, and Stateline Wellness in Morenci, being the only recreational locations outside of Ann Arbor.

News outlets covered the massive lines and people camped out just to purchase legal weed on the first day.  Arbors Wellness gave the honor of first customer to long time Michigan marijuana activist and MM Report columnist John Sinclair.  It was an historic day for marijuana legalization and the state of Michigan, and sales for the day ended at $221,000, not including $22,100 paid to the state for the 10% excise tax, or the 6% sales tax which totalled $14,586.




Ohio Police Keeping One
Eye on Michigan


In what may be a strategic move, Ohio law-enforcement officials have stated they have “no specific plans” to crack down or monitor more closely the border between Michigan and Ohio.

“We’re not going to profile people.  We’re going to just do our jobs,” were the words of Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association.  “And as we stop people for probable cause, we’ll look to seach and go from there.”

He does admit that officers around the state will not be able to ignore Michigans legal cannabis market, saying it was a “given fact” that more Ohians will inevitably be bringing more pot home from their northern neighbor.  “It makes us more attuned to watch for individuals coming into Ohio with illegal substances,” he furthered, “I think it will be in officer’s minds.”

Lt. Robert Sellers, a spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol also stated his organization had nothing planned as far as policing the Michigan border.  Although he added, “We do continue to moniter what is occuring in other states to ensure our troopers have the information they need to make sound enforcement decisions.”


Recreational Prices Raise
Black Market Concerns

While marijuana is now recreationally legal for anyone 21 and up and available for purchase in select retail locations, consumers are being met with exhorbitant prices.  Ranging from $50-$70 for an eighth (approximate ‘street’ price $20-30) and ounces breaching $400 after taxes (an approximate street value of around $200).  

Medicinal marijuana prices had managed to meet those of the unregulated market in recent years, with patients able to purchase flower at $5-10 a gram.  One year from the day, licensed medicinal facilities now charge on average twice as much as an equivalent bag of weed on the street would cost.  ‘Adult-use’ marijuana users pay these prices, plus 6% sales tax, plus 10% excise tax.

According to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, black market sales in California still outnumbered sactioned ones, nearly two years after legalization.  Citing prices, but also availability as the reasoning, both issues Michigan now shares. 


Vape Sales Halted, Vitamin E
Acetate Testing Begins

After a string of recent lung illnesses related to vaping sparked a media frenzy, state officials placed a temporary ban on all sales of THC cartridges.  Vitamin E Acetate has been identified as the culprit and regulations now require all cartridges be tested to ensure they do not contain the substance.

DL-Alpha tocopheryl acetate, otherwise known as Vitamin E Acetate or pure vitamin E oil, is a stable form of Vitamin E used primarily in skin care and cosmetic products.  Having never been inhaled prior to being placed in vape cartridges, this beneficial product protects cell membranes from damage by oxygen free radicals, as well as preventing premature aging due to UV rays.  It is readily available at drug and vitamin stores, billed as supporting immune and antioxidant health as well as being “pure enough to swallow”.  Found naturally in foods such as canola oil, olive oil, and almonds, it is not until it is inhaled that all benefits cease and the harmless substance becomes harmful.


Dozens of patients nationwide have suffered respiratory illnesses from the unforseen effects of inhalation.  Soon after the media picked up the story, government officials moved to discover the cause at both the state and federal level.  Reported symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or chest pain being the most common issues, but some patients experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and even abdominal pain.  After extensive testing of supplied samples of vape cartridges showed a relatively common variable (Vitamin E Acetate) authorities began to suspect they had found the answer.  While some cartridges contained as much as 23-40% vitamin E oil, not all samples contained it.  Other samples were reported to include both THC and nicotine, a mixture not available in retail stores from any licensed provisioning centers or tobacco shops, lending creed to the idea that the real culprit was black market vape cartridges.

The halt on sales has met mixed reactions, despite most agreeing on the fact that Vitamin E Acetate should not be used in vape.  Curtis Goure, owner of BDT Shops and Tobacco store in Hazel Park, voiced this thought, “It’s been the counterfeit products where the additive Acetate vitamin E has caused a bit of hysteria.”  

Sales of THC vape will resume eventually, as manufactureres and retailers scramble to meet the new testing demands.  

Elizabeth Hollin's Within the Mind of a Budtender - December 2019



Licensed and compliant. What does that mean? It means that you are cooperating with the laws necessary to operate. Call it what you will, but I’ll continue to call it, in most cases, good business. In the Michigan cannabis industry, it means knowing that your products are clean, safe, and accurately dosed to whatever degree…but it also means dealing with the regulatory turbulence. After all, this industry still has much to learn.

Progress has never been easy. When we started the fight for legality so long ago, we knew it would be a long and difficult path. Often, for the sake of moving forward, you have to give a little to get a little. Sacrifice and cooperation.
On the afternoon of Friday, November 22, 2019 some of this sacrifice and cooperation came into play when LARA and the MRA released an emergency regulatory bulletin that temporarily suspended the sale of cannabis vaping cartridges with the purpose of inhalation at any licensed provisioning center, effective immediately, until new testing is completed.


By this point, I’d be genuinely surprised if word of the vaping crisis hasn’t reached your ears. Hundreds of lung illnesses reported across the country, tens here in Michigan, and multiple fatalities. Michigan has, unfortunately, a claim to at least one of those deaths. There was also recent news made when a Michigan teen had to undergo a double lung transplant due to the irreversible vaping related damage. Though he is expected to recover, it has no doubt changed his life, and he may not be the last.

Vitamin E Acetate is believed to be the culprit connecting these illnesses. Often used as an additive in foot and face creams for its great skincare properties, there is very little research in regards to its inhalation. Doctors have linked lipids (oils) in the lungs to illnesses for quite some time now since they tend to coat the lining of your lungs, and they seem to be currently overflowing in the black market. How many people do you know that vape? How many times do you see one pulled out at a party, after dinner, or on a quick break?

Type dhGate.com into your browser and do a quick search for anything like ‘ccell’ or ‘Dank Vape’ and you’ll see just how easy, and lucrative, it can be to start selling black market vape carts. Multiple investigations across the country have shown up to 90% of unlicensed product can contain the thickener Vitamin E Acetate that started to sweep the market in 2018, replacing what had been PGs and VGs. Not only that, but those bulk carts that can be bought so cheaply? They may contain lead, aluminum, formaldehyde, and more. Not exactly the things I’d like to have coating my lungs.

With the upcoming recreational market, and the current amount of medical users depending on their choice of medicating, vaping, I definitely think that this could have been handled far differently on the licensed side. The magnitude of investigations into the vaping crisis have linked the cause primarily to illicit carts. The items that you should not be finding in a licensed and compliant provisioning center. All major licensed Michigan players have publicly released statements in regards to the purity of their products. This new regulation has effectively taken the licensed products out of the hands of the patients and could push them back into the black market…where the root of the problem seems to be stemming from in the first place.


With that being said, I do stand behind the testing regulations 100%. Too many times I’ve had headaches, bad coughs, and a general feeling of sickness in the past from bad stuff. As we’re seeing across the country, things can get far worse from simply not being accurately informed about what’s in your product.

I’ve learned that off a tested 50mg distillate edible, I can achieve a nice high (I know, a bit of a light weight in the long term user category). When I checked out an unlicensed local spot and picked up an inexpensive 200mg edible that I was told was made with distillate, I was a bit disappointed when I ate ¾ of it and didn’t get so much as a light buzz (not saying I expected too much, because I had assumed from the beginning that it probably wouldn’t be accurately labeled). Now imagine you’re being told that the vape cartridge you are being shown is 100% Organic, High THC, with No Additives. It comes in a nice fancy looking box, and it has little warning labels on it. Must be legit right? Now go get that cart tested. Let me know if those results come back all organic, no additives. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

From licensed prices, to regulatory procedure there are a lot of aspects of the Michigan cannabis market that need to be improved upon, but our citizens safety should always be #1. You are inhaling these products. You are purchasing this product, from goodness knows where, heating it up, and taking a fat puff. Coating your lungs. Not too long ago we couldn’t believe kids were munching on Tide Pods, and now we think it’s crazy to think that the pen you got from your buddy, Kevin, may not be the purest thing on the market?

Testing, and purity standards absolutely need to be in place for safeties sake. Regulation, not prohibition. Is this the most popular opinion? Who knows, but I’m not willing to risk the life of thousands of individuals simply to make some cash. Something to keep in mind while you’re doing your last minute Christmas shopping for your cannafam.

John Sinclair - Free the Weed 104 - December 2019

A Column By John Sinclair Guest Authored by Jamie Lowell



Recreational sales of marijuana officially began in Michigan on December 1, 2019. While many more locations will be open to those 21 and over in upcoming months, only a few, mainly in Ann Arbor, were licensed and authorized to begin sales right away.
  
Arbors Wellness is one of those centers. After 3rd Coast in Ypsilanti, Arbors Wellness was amidst the original cannabis dispensaries. Both are in Washtenaw County, an area traditionally favorable to cannabis use and is ripe with industry commerce. James Daly and others of Arbors Wellness knew that the intensity of this historic moment would draw a lot of attention and therefore arranged to highlight a couple of exceptional people as the first to participate in a legal cannabis transaction under the Michigan Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act. 

Those two people are John Sinclair and Ryan Basore. 



Although it has taken decades of time and the effort of thousands of people to get to where we are in the cannabis reform movement in Michigan, Sinclair started it all. The man who has become an industry icon started it all as a counter culture figure and self-described “trouble maker,” pointing out the hypocrisies in leadership and unnecessary policies concerning cannabis in the 1960’s. Ryan Basore came into the fold in the modern era of reform shortly after the passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act with a center in Lansing called Capital Caregivers. He helped to transform the movement with an approach to protect what has already been achieved, to ensure individuals the ability and right to have cannabis and grow for themselves as well as promoting a sensible commercial market. 


Both men have been arrested, convicted and their liberty taken away for cannabis activity. Sinclair took his case to the State Supreme Court where, in the 70’s, he was vindicated by a ruling that lifted all cannabis prohibitions in the state for a period of time and initiated the annual political rally in Ann Arbor known as Hash Bash. Basore was convicted in 2013 by a federal court for participating in legal state activity. Both men emerged from their respective ordeals with more strength and motivation than before they were senselessly targeted by law enforcement. 

Joining in on the early moments of history was long time activist, MINORML board member and cannabis media expert Rick Thompson who recorded the second recreational cannabis transaction in the state. Rick was appropriately in the mix at the beginning of a new era for Michigan. After the press frenzy and accolades subsided, the initial group left Arbors Wellness to make room for the general public, which had lined up down the street and around the block. The diehards began the line in the cold at 4:30am, including people who traveled from out of state to participate in the event.  



It was a fitting tribute to the people highlighted, but more importantly created recognition for the many who came together over the years to make it all happen.