Sunday, August 24, 2014

CannaDay in Tampa Bay

Posted By on Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 8:04 AM

click to enlarge Greta Carter with this reporter on Friday.
  • Greta Carter with this reporter on Friday.
On Friday, the Florida Cannabis Coalition hosted "CannaDay Tampa Bay", an all day seminar at The Cuban Club in Ybor City. The event was co-hosted by Tom Quigley and Pete Sessa from the Florida Cannabis Coalition. It was aimed on educating the public about marijuana and all of it's glory. It was fronted by some of the best in the industry; from Greta Carter of the Cannabis Training Institute, to Tyler Markwart, writer for Culture and Ladybud magazine, as well as plant scientist and researcher. 

'CannaDay' was an all day event involving all aspects of the industry: medicine, science, politics, environment, distribution, education, compassion. People from lawyers and lobbyists, to growers and \veterans of the military attended; and they all shared one thing- a "common bond." Everyone was there together in the name of marijuana. The overall consensus was that Floridians need to know what to do after Amendment 2 passes.  To those in attendance on Friday, it is not a question if it will pass, but rather how to be prepared when it does this November. 

The seminar began with the heart wrenching yet empowering aspect of the event, the 'CannaMoms'. These mothers gave their testimonies on why Charlotte's Web - an oil extract used from hemp plants - is not enough, and whole plant care is necessary. It was especially motivating to hear such passion in their voices. Bill Wohlsifer spoke next. He's the Libertarian Party candidate for Attorney General, advocating for the multiple bills for marijuana use. He promised on the first day in office he would remove marijuana from being classified as a Schedule 1 drug, as well as working to create an industrial hemp cultivation industry in Florida. Adam Bierman followed with a down-to-the-dollar type approach. He discussed the at-risk capital of what is financially necessary in order to obtain a license once Amendment 2 passes. As the President of MedMen, he helps with applications to obtain a license for a dispensary, setting it up once qualified, and managing a marijuana business thereafter.

I then spoke with Greta Carter, founder of The Hope Clinics and Cannabis Training Institute. She spoke about the importance of educating people thinking of getting into the marijuana industry, and dispelling myths. Carter holds online classes as part of her cannabis education program,concerning law, medicine and business. She was also granted a license in Washington state to process cannabis, and grows 90 different strains. 

Next upwas Steve Edmonds, the co-founder of One Florida Foundation and proponent of Hemp 4 Water. He works with Bill Wohlsifer in educating Floridians about the promising hemp industry that the legalization of marijuana could open the door to. He touched on all of the areas of economic and environmental sustainability hemp could take part in: biomass, biofuel, textiles, health supplements, beauty products, etc. Following Steve was Dr. Genester Wilson-King, M.D. FACOG, who spoke on what medical research has learned regarding cannabis. Dr. Wilson-King explained that the body "pre-existingly" entails its own endocannabinoid system, and that cannabis allows the individual to balance that system. There are no cannabinoid receptors in the brain, she explained, which is why you cannot overdose on marijuana.

Later, Tyler Markwart spoke on Strains, Concentrates and Science. The executive director of non-profit organization Allele Seeds Research based out of Washington state, he was the plant scientist and braniac of the day. Markwart explained the science of cannabis and where it is taking us; from dabs to tinctures to beverages. He even explained how to specifically match your flavor preference to determine which strain you would prefer. Based on the terpenes, (naturally occurring cannabis oil) the plant will dictate its aroma or flavor. An example: the Linalool strain is known for its candy-floral taste, therefore it would taste especially delicious in edibles or for those with a sweet-tooth. 

All told, the day was filled with a wealth of information, and certainly an eye opener for a vast majority of cannabis advocates. Every speaker stressed the importance of getting politically attuned in the next coming months. The people need to familiarize themselves with the officials who govern their local areas and vote in order to make the biggest impact concerning cannabis.

Marijuana advocates do not want to break the laws; they just want to change them.

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