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4/20 Buzz: Mary Jane Constantly Making News Headlines

Marijuana’s high holiday is upon us, and this year, a changing global culture means there’s a little bit more to celebrate on 4/20. Not a day goes by where pot doesn’t make the headlines; recreational marijuana, after all, is on track to becoming legal in Canada this summer, and in the USA, is already legal in nine states (medical marijuana is legal in 29 states). Some of the cannabis-related stories are interesting and informative; others are unusual and amusing. So, take a look, and if there’s a lull in conversation at your 4/20 festivities, feel free to bring one of these up.

Drugged Driving

With the legalization of marijuana looming in Canada, a topic that isn’t to be taken lightly is how better access will impact the safety on our roads. “Drugged driving” is a real concern; in fact, a study finds there are more road deaths on 4/20 in the United States than there are on Super Bowl Sundays. Over a 25 year period, they’ve been found to jump by 12 percent compared with evenings a week apart. Right now, Canadian police test for cannabis impairment by asking suspected drivers to perform certain roadside sobriety tests. After weed becomes legal, so-called “spit-kits” will test for drugs. Read the whole story in The Star.

Field of Dreams

Aurora Cannabis is building a high-tech marijuana grow-op in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The company has bought about 29 hectares of land so it can build a facility the size of about 21 football fields. The first half of the crop will be planted at the beginning of next year; once completely up and running, the “Aurora Sun” will be able to produce about 430,000 kilograms of marijuana a year!

Coffee Pot

Canada’s Second Cup coffee chain is hoping to bring new life to its shops by making recreational marijuana available to those who want it. The Financial Post says Second Cup has struggled to stay competitive in recent years, but following the announcement, its shares rose 30 percent! The coffee shop will partner with National Access Cannabis, a marijuana retail and dispensary company. Together, they’ll apply for dispensary licenses at a number of Second Cup stores in Western Canada. The company’s hope is to see the participating locations turn multi-million dollar annual profits.

Cannabis-infused Beer

There’s a new brew on tap; Colorado’s Dads and Dudes Breweria has created a beer that contains cannabinoids, but no THC. That means it won’t get you high, but the alcohol will work the same. What’s the point, you ask? The creators say “General Washington’s Secret Stash IPA” contains antioxidant-rich cannabinoids for its health benefits. The beer has been available in Colorado, where marijuana is legal, for some time, but the brewery has just received permission to sell it in stores across all 50 states. Dads and Dudes has plans for a total of five CBD brews, including the IPA, a double IPA, a cream ale, and a Berliner Weiss. Read all about this cool brewery in Men’s Journal.

Leaving Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? If you’ve been smoking weed during your stay in Sin City, that saying is especially true. Marijuana has been legal in Nevada since last summer, but it’s still a banned substance at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. So, to help keep you out of trouble with security (and possibly even spare you a full cavity search) green bins called “amnesty boxes” have been installed around the airport. The mailbox-type bins are closely monitored so that anything that goes into them stays there, but they are emptied every so often by a contracted company. CNN says the amnesty boxes also exist at Colorado’s airports where marijuana is also legal.   

Ghost Town Turned Marijuana Mecca?

This headline really caught my attention because I’m actually a little bit scared when I hear about ghost towns. I realize this isn’t “Tales from the Crypt”, but you have to admit there’s something spooky about deserted villages. Anyway… in California, plans to turn the town of Nipton into a cannabis-themed resort are somewhat uncertain after it changed ownership this week. Cannabis technology company American Green had bought Nipton last year for $5 million with the hopes of turning the town’s western-style hotel into a “Buds and Breakfast” Inn. CTV News says cannabis-infused drinks were also going to be produced and sold thanks to Nipton’s plentiful desert aquifer. But alas, buying and building towns requires a lot of cash, and so Nipton was sold this week to Delta International Oil & Gas for $7.7 million. Not to worry, though; you still might be able to vacation there one day. American Green says both parties agree the marijuana mecca will still be built.

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.