Thursday, 15 June 2017

The DIN: A Dangerous Safety Net



I work at a Cannabis Clinic that follows all of the rules.  Our Doctors get paid through OHIP to assess patients only after copious amounts of supporting documents are received.  Heck, sometimes I think we ask for more just to ask for more!

This is because our Doctors are also overly scrutinized by the CPSO.  Capping THC and limiting grams per day keeps them on their toes and ever aware that they're risking their license to help strangers use a plant.

A friend has been going through a stressful time at work.  Depression is ever close at hand in times like these so he went to his Doctor for help.  His Doctor couldn't see him so another stepped in. She gave him Clonazepam for immediate effect.

Immediate effect or immediate addiction?

What's more curious is this friend hadn't been to the Doctor this one replaced in 25 years.  There was no relevant medical history, no supporting documents to prove diagnosis or need for medication at all and she gave him one of the most addictive, sedative, and damaging meds created.  Zombie-pills.

If this guy came to my Cannabis Clinic, he would never have been booked for an assessment.  We'd make a file for him and we'd send requests for information to his Doctor, but no visits means no treatment notes, no medical history at all.  To be prescribed medical Cannabis you need relevant medical history and a clear diagnosis even though by toxicity it's safer than water.

What's the difference between Clonazepam and Cannabis?  A drug identification number or DIN.

The DIN is the medical industry's way of identifying drugs.  To get a DIN, the drug has to go through rigorous testing and studies so that its effects, side effects, and contraindications are known.  So knowing how addictive it is didn't deter this Doctor from prescribing it to my friend?  Why is that? Because with that DIN all she has to say is that the patient needed an anxiolytic.  The DIN protects the Doctor and the Pharmacist goes over risks and contraindications.  Easy-peasy.

The DIN is a dangerous safety net that allows too many of us to be harmed and addicted to meds that do no good.

Cannabis on the other hand doesn't have a DIN and if you talk to most Doctors outside of the Cannabis industry, they'll tell you there are no studies.  Absolute nonsense.  Humanity has been doing a Cannabis study for the past 5000 years.  And guess what?  By toxicity, Cannabis is the safest medication known to man.

Then why the fiery hoops?  Why do the Cannabis-curious have to prove diagnosis, list past meds, and give a urine sample to be given permission to try this uber safe plant while my friend got a highly addictive benzodiazepine that is incredibly difficult to withdraw from?

When you're stressed and on the verge of the dark hole of depression, you're like a hungry Sunfish biting at any therapy thrown at you.  Who questions the white-coats?  We do every single day through search engines and family friends, online forums and support groups.  As a member of this pack I feel that we are obligated to warn our fellow human about medications like this, and share the good news about Cannabis.

Lastly, only we can change Canada and these archaic prescribing mindsets.  When Cannabis was mentioned my friend says the Doctor acted like she didn't hear him.  She could have prescribed him Cannabis and capped his THC at 10% recommending high CBD and 1:1 strains only.  But the evil you know is better than ... a plant that has never killed anyone I guess and it's because of that stupid DIN.

Write your MP and your MPP and demand respect, research, and better access for Cannabis-curious Canadians.





Saturday, 3 June 2017

Boots & Hearts with a Side of Cannabis?

Last weekend my bff Julie texted me by surprise saying that the song she had just listened to, made her think of me.  It was “Little Bones” by The Tragically Hip.  They’re our band, always have been. Heck, at age 18 Julie and I tried to sell fine art and gift ware listening to “Highway Girl” from their debut album, until the boss found out.  We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ to the tunes of the Tragically Hip for as long as I can remember.

I grew up playing air guitar on the handlebars of my bike listening to lyrics that pulled at my heartstrings with their Canadian flavour.  I learned about my country through their lyrics province by province.  Early years of guitar riffs that played to my anger at our ineffective “Trickle Down” system;  then soon after riffs that played soft like the sway of Wheat Kings".  Leaf lovers, those living where the great plains begin, communities like Bobcaygeon, The Hip put these places on the map.  We thank them for it.

A little over a year ago, time stopped for many as the news told us about lead singer Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis.  I immediately tweeted for him to research whole plant Cannabis oil.  I know my friends did too.  I wonder now if those messages and the obvious outpouring of support for the use of this safe plant in his treatment, pushed the Hip to make this most recent announcement.



The Tragically Hip are partnering with Newstrike, a soon to be public producer of Medicinal Cannabis.  I work at Canadian Cannabis Clinics counselling new patients on the safe use of this plant in the same city that half of the band still live, so I feel a newfound connection to them.  These are individuals that anchor pride in the hearts of thousands of Canadians living in Kingston and the surrounding area.  I can’t help but feel hopeful that this venture will further breakdown the stigmatic barriers that keep locals from coming to our clinic for help.

As last summer’s farewell concert proved, these guys are more than they think they are.  Humans all over the planet watched and wept and wailed like we were locked in the trunk of a car.  Kingston rocked that night.  The Prime Minister ate somebody’s poutine in front of Sir John’s A’s Pub!  Gord put him on the spot for our Indigenous people too.  Rob’s glossy hair swayed, Johnny pounded with purpose on the drums, Paul and Gord grinding out the guitar chords that every hand in the place played in time.  The night the Hip said goodbye, may have been the most poignant and endearing act they ever played, further solidifying them as true representation of great Canadian talent.

The future is green and Cannabis is at every angle you look.  It’s nice to see involvement with people that hold the same core values as many of us, however varied they be.  Cannabis is about health and with The Tragically Hip partnering with Newstrike, we know we’ll be hearing more from them. That’s something for Canada to look forward to.

Welcome to the industry guys!  Reach out anytime!!




Raise the Wage to $15, Raise the Quality of Life!



Perfect example for the need for the minimum wage raise:

A friend of a friend of a friend just posted about a friend needing
to rent an apartment in the range of $700-$800 a month.

Let's say you make minimum wage and you're lucky
enough to work 40 hours per week.

$11.40 x 160 hrs/mo = $1824

less 20% income tax = $1460 net income per month

$1460 - $800 rent = $660 left

If you were to go to get credit they would calculate your
total debt service ratio.

With $800 rent and only rent, your TDSR is 44%

No credit for you!
No progress for you!
No car for you, no trips for you, no hotel stays for you!
No purchase between paychecks, no extras, no booze,
no chippies, no dime bags, nothing.

If you made more you could spend more.

But you can't even get credit so you simply can't spend more.

Dear business owners, we can't wait to spend more when
we make more.

Doesn't this excite you??

It really should excite you.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Stone City Gardens~ Dear Local Minds in Regulation


This post is to my local members of change:

MP Mark Gerretsen
MPP Sophie Kiwala
Mayor Bryan Paterson
About Kingston
Visit Kingston Soon!

I believe in putting my desires out into the universe to help them come to fruition.  So, in light of this I'd like to announce that with your help, I will have a storefront just down the street from each of you. My storefront could be beside our beloved and ever-growing Stone City Ales.  To match marketing I might call it "Stone City Gardens".

Like SCA, I too will 'produce' my commodity in the rear area of my location.  My commodity, like SCA's is rich and ripe with its own historic culture and pride.  With our Government's plans to legalize my commodity, tax-paying citizens like myself are going to start coming out of their prohibition-imposed Cannabis closets.  No more Canadians should feel the need to hide in closets!!  :-)

How many Kingstonians are illegal medicinal Cannabis users?  How many simply ingest Cannabis in place of wine or beer?  Where are they buying their product?  Is it safe to ingest?  Has it been grown without pesticides?  There is currently nothing in place to protect these people who are soon to shed their criminal skin.  Surely you can see that storefronts are necessary now if not next Spring!

While the SCA crew produce incredibly tasty craft beer ~ try the Green Goddess! ~ I will produce medical grade Cannabis and legal Cannabis derivatives in all forms.  I will offer classes and guidance to all who wish to medicate with this safe plant and this will help with Ontario's push to "denormalize smoking".  The real magic with Cannabis is happening when we eat it;  not when we smoke it.  Heck, my storefront will offer pick-your-own leaves for juicing or eating!

Who else will supply my location?  SCA offer wines and beers from other local craft businesses. What pride they must feel!  Will I be allowed to feel this pride too?  Kingston is full of green-thumbed gardening geniuses who could help supply my store.  Kingston Organics & Hydroponics is ready to supply them, local security companies are ready to secure them, all we really need is a testing facility. Kingston's Queen's University Chemical Engineering Department could break new ground by creating testing facilities that could be adopted by municipalities province and nationwide.


Stone City Ales production area >



< Stone City Gardens production area
By day I work up the street from you counseling new patients in the safe use of legal medicinal Cannabis.  My co-workers and I join the wee circle of local Cannabis educators.  Wee but growing rapidly by the way as at last count the City of Kingston now has seven locations to get legal.  My knowledge of safe ingestion methods for individual ailments is solid and growing daily as is my knowledge of the evolving legal status of this plant in Canada.  I'm perfect for the job since I'm already guiding locals at work and now weekly on CFRC Queen's Radio where I co-host "Medical Grade Canna Chat" on Thursday nights at 7pm with my counter-balance and friend MC Sinical.

We just need regulation.  There are other municipalities allowing storefronts right now.  Check out my buddy's storefront "Carter's Cannabis" in Huntsville.  They see the need for safe product and they see the benefit a successful retail outlet like a Cannabis dispensary can provide a city.

Dear local leaders, members of parliament, and Mayor Paterson, we have an airport to expand, homeless to house, and a bridge to build.   This city is changing, let's do this right!

We'll see how many times I can get this blog post shared on my social media!!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Agreeing on Cannabis


For as long as they've been together, John and Linda have agreed to disagree on the topic of Cannabis.  What Linda calls his dope;  John calls his medicine.  By now, the house wouldn't smell homey to even Linda without that faint whiff of herby skunk.

John will tell you that his blood runs green without the faintest hint of humour.  He's used Cannabis every single day since the age of 14.  At 60, he believes his body is a machine fueled by a well-oiled endocannabinoid system.  This machine has been through a lot and normal wear n' tear does not describe the damage his active life has left him with.  If he didn't smoke Cannabis he'd undoubtedly be one of the millions addicted to opioids for pain.  Thank God for Cannabis.

Linda's pain treatment has not been so successful.  She's been through the gamut of meds for pain and inflammation, never really finding relief.  Lyr!ca, Cympa!ta, so many pills.  The heating pad and a hot bath have been her comfort over the years, along with a glass of wine or two.  No matter how many times John has urged her she refuses to even try his medicine.

Last month after reading about the success others were having with Cannabis infused oil, John decided to try to smoke less but ingest his cannabinoids in other ways at every meal.  He'll tell you plain and simply that his life changed once he found The Magical Butter Machine.  The crazy thing is, Linda will tell you the same thing.

The MBM got a workout that first month with John making butter and baking edibles, making tinctures and making oils.  One night he took a cup of his freshly made Canna-Coconut oil and added some local Beeswax to it.  When it was cooled he decided to do something he never did before and offered to rub some cream on Linda's legs.  Her Fibromyalgea really made the back of her knees ache and stiffen after sitting for any length of time.  So John rubbed some on both of them, kissed Linda on the forehead as she sat reading her e-reader, and went to watch hockey downstairs.

Within twenty minutes Linda stood atop the stairs yelling down at John about how good her legs felt. She'd tried other creams but they usually warmed or cooled or numbed while this just took away the pain and stiffness.  She felt no pain but no numbness either.  Because Linda thought Cannabis was only ever smoked, it never occurred to her that the cream would be made with it until she saw John's grinning face climbing the stairs to kiss her.

"I made it in my magic machine." he said and he kissed her on the nose.

"And THAT'S what you rubbed on my legs?  Really?" squeaked Linda with a look of shock and awe on her face.  Had she been so wrong for this long?

The two made their way to the kitchen where John proudly handed Linda the little jar of light green cream and just said, "Where does it hurt my love?".

The rest as they say is history for John and Linda.  Sure, they still had pain and stiffness but now that they were ingesting their cannabinoids among healthy fats, their health is improving in ways they never imagined it would.  Biological annoyances that they once took as simply part of aging are a thing of the past now and they've even bonded over baking their edible medibles.

That plant ... she's just good for everything!




Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Goodbye $5 Grams


Today marks my one year anniversary of being a legal Cannabis patient.  I've been chasing the $5 dollar gram right from day one out a combination of need and a matter of principal.  I refuse to take part in the belief that a pricier gram is a more medicinal gram.  And I refuse to feed into the capitalistic machine that allows medicine to be profitable.  Believe you me, that $5 a gram is still making loads of profit!

My first producer was Bedrocan where I had "True Compassionate Pricing" and months of choosing from 6 different $5 grams. Today I would pay $8.50 with a compassionate price of $6.80 there.  Their selection dropped to 5 strains and half are usually only available in pre-ground or what they call "Granulated".

Next I jumped to MedReleaf where I once again had the choice of 2 different $5 grams.  Within months those began to waver in supply where I really only had the one to choose from.  It was like buying on the street all over again!  A few months later both of those $5 grams jumped to $6.50 without warning and remain that price today.

Next I hooked up with Organigram where I always paid between $5.25 and $6.50 per gram.  Today I couldn't buy a gram even with my compassionate pricing under $7.50.  Not that I would.  Although I thank them for taking care of that pesky appetite and weight problem I had.  Can't wait to see what happens with that class action law suit!

I ran for abcann when given the chance but could only ever afford their pre-ground for about $5.35 a gram and now I couldn't buy one gram under $8.50.  Once abcann started trading on the stock market, bye-bye went the $5 grams.

Finally I settled with Aurora and after kissing so many frogs I was so happy with them, still am!  I once again qualified for their compassionate pricing of $5 grams down from $8.  But this ended today and effective June 1st, all Aurora grams are $9 or $6 with discount.

Good bye $5 gram, we had a good run.

Part of the Health Canada regulations for Licensed Producers is a restriction on marketing and advertising.  But allowing them to make their own prices IS marketing and it leads patients to jump from one to the other searching desperately for the illusion of affordability.  How can you still allow any kind of self regulation in healthcare amid capitalism?  It defies logic that anything good will come of it.

So many things happen today actually.  I have my one-year performance review where I work.  I hope it comes with a raise, now that Aurora increased the price of my medicine by 20%, I'll surely need one!

I can see a glimmer of hope in the future for me though, since I patiently wait for Health Canada to approve my application to grow my own in my closet for under $1 a gram.  Honestly, feeling healthy shouldn't be this stressful or expensive.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Canna-Maple Candy



It’s Spring in Eastern Ontario, the season where Maple gives liquid love to mankind. Speaking of giving, a very generous friend gave my Daddy a jug of this golden nectar from trees around my home town.  My Daddy shared some with me and I knew I had to make candy.  The only decision was:  plain or medicated?  Medicated it is.


I believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how many ways we can use the Cannabis plant.  One of the best ways for patients who have little to no appetite is in the form of candies and toffees.  The reason for this is simple; this method takes advantage of the multitude of tiny blood vessels under the tongue that lead right into the bloodstream. When we suck on candy or toffee, the cannabinoids can linger in the mouth and under the tongue for longer thus giving more time for mega absorption directly into your circulating blood.  Another benefit of sublingual administration is that it protects the precious compounds from coming into contact with other substances like digestive enzymes and stomach acid that can degrade them.


2 cups Maple Syrup (nectar of the Maple Goddess)
4 grams CBD-dominant Cannabis (decarboxylated)


When I write about my creations, I in no way believe it is the one and only way.  But I like to be versatile so I decided to decarb my bud differently this time.  Normally it goes into the oven but this time it went into my double boiler for 40 minutes on burner heat 4 to 5 with foil covering the top.  I stirred occasionally to ensure even heating.  We want all of those cannabinoids to vibrate and knock those acids off so they’ll fit into our cannabinoid receptors.

Next I simply took 2 cups of maple syrup and added that right to the decarbed bud in my double boiler. Stirring occasionally, I let that simmer on 4 or 5 for approximately 1 hour.
For me, the double boiler is a safety measure as I find it almost impossible to get liquids up higher than 215*F. When it comes to infusing cannabinoids into a solvent like Maple syrup, it’s more about time than temperature.  

Next, strain and transfer into another saucepan that will allow us to ramp up the heat to candy-town temps!  Once your canna-syrup reaches 240* to 250*F, pull it off the burner and let it cool approximately 10 minutes to about 175*F and start stirring.  I wanted this to be smooth and last a while in the mouth, so I only stirred it for 2-3 minutes and then poured that onto parchment paper.  Once hard, a smash to break up and voila!
In waste-not-want-not fashion, I also kept the syrup-soaked bud to be ingested over time. No cannabinoid left behind in my kitchen!  


This canna-maple candy has been wonderful in the mornings when I’m not ready to vape or smoke.  For the past year or so I’ve suffered from fairly extreme anxiety in the mornings before work.  Cannabidiol is an anxiolytic and calms my nerves without sedation.  The candies are wonderful with my morning coffee since the maple is still strong with only a hint of the herby flavour coming through at the end.  So if you’re looking for a new way to ingest your Cannabis, try making some medicated maple candy!