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The most popular cannabis stories of 2021

Dec 29, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Out of 41 editions of Weekend Dispensary, here are the five most popular reads.

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We made it. 

This is the final edition of Weekend Dispensary for 2021. We sent out our first edition on Jan. 16 and hit our initial growth targets for the year four weeks later. Thank you to everyone that made that possible, by signing up, reading along and engaging with the stories. Extra thanks to those who have gotten in touch with feedback, tips and ideas. 

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I’m always happy to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. In particular, I want to thank those who were willing to speak with me about their health and how cannabis and psychedelics have impacted them.

People like Michael Reynolds, who shared with me his story of treating a rare neurological disease with psilocybin, or Ashleigh Brown, who encountered stigma and a lack of information when consuming medical cannabis and in turn founded SheCann, a digital community where Canadians can share their insight, resources and experiences. 

I also want to thank Trevor Smith, who, under a pseudonym, spoke with me about his long wait for a federal exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Smith, a two-time cancer survivor was seeking an exemption to treat his depression and anxiety.  Alongside two other Canadians, Smith was finally granted his exemption earlier this month .

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These stories were a privilege to tell and I was happy to have a home for them at Weekend Dispensary. Thank you, too, to the organizations, PR pros and everyone else in the cannabis and psychedelic world that made each edition of the newsletter possible. In total, we sent out 41 editions. Below is a list of the five most popular reads. 

#5: Meet the cannabis advocacy group partnering with one of Canada’s leading HIV/AIDS centres

In the third edition of Weekend Dispensary , I focused on the work of Cannabis For Harm Reduction (CFHR), a women-led coalition that’s partnered with the Vancouver-based Dr. Peter Centre . Established in 1997, the Dr. Peter Centre provides stigma-free care and a range of clinical supports to those living with HIV/AIDS. In 2002, the centre became the first health care facility in North America to include supervised consumption in its model of care.

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CFHR’s first initiative with the Dr. Peter Centre was a winter clothing drive that resulted in more than 10,000 new clothing and ancillary items being procured and distributed around Vancouver and beyond. The group is now working to improve access to medical cannabis for patients in need.

#4: What do we talk about when we talk about cannabis?

When the United Nations reclassified cannabis to recognize its therapeutic uses last year, member states reviewed a number of recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), which had conducted research on the matter for several years.

In parallel with the WHO research, Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli, an independent researcher of drug policy based in Barcelona , and a team of international researchers, conducted their own work, pouring over scholarly research, clinical data, and international documents concerning cannabis policy and scheduling, and more.

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They found that inconsistencies in cannabis terminology were abundant, and many widely used terms were scientifically imprecise.

This finding became the basis for Cannabis Ontologies I, a study published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law . In this edition of the newsletter, Riboulet-Zemouli talks about the scope of his research and the implications terminology can have on everything from policy decisions to patient access.

“Everybody uses the language that is useful for them from a particular perspective and point of view, it’s okay to use utilitarian language, it’s not a problem per se,” Riboulet-Zemouli explains. “The problem is not having the ability to go beyond this utilitarian aspect of language.”

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#3: ‘I’m a firm believer that this is the next CBD’

In April, I did a deep dive on cannabigerol (CBG) , a cannabinoid with potent antimicrobial properties. I spoke with companies focused on synthetic production of CBG as well as MTL Cannabis, a Canadian cannabis brand whose Sage N Sour cultivar packs a punch of CBG. It was also one of my favourite cultivars of the past year.

#2: How this former NFL linebacker became a leading cannabis physician for athletes

I’ve interviewed a lot of athletes in my life and Dr. Herve Damas is one of my favourites. The former Buffalo Bills linebacker tore three ligaments during his rookie season and was forced to reevaluate his career. Now a physician in Miami, Dr. Damas spoke with me about the NFL’s approach to cannabis versus painkillers and how the league has moved from what he calls symbolic gestures to signalling it may finally be ready to have a more nuanced conversation about the plant.

#1: This UFC star credits cannabis for his rapid rise

In his late twenties, Daniel Rodriguez decided it was time to change his life . After spending most of his life dipping in and out of prison, Rodriguez began applying his natural fighting abilities to mixed-martial arts. Six years after making his professional debut at age 28, Rodriguez is now ranked the 16th best welterweight fighter in the world.

From California, he told me not only how cannabis has helped him reshape his life, but how his success has landed him a signature cultivar with L.A.-based cannabis retailer Tradecraft Farms.

That’s it! Thanks again for reading and I’ll see you back in your inbox for our first edition of 2022 on Jan. 15.

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