Program Offers Flow Kana and Select Dispensary Partner Employees Sustainably-Cultivated Produce From Small Independent Farms

REDWOOD VALLEY, Calif. — April 24, 2019 —  Flow Kana, the leading sustainable supply chain company and distributor of sungrown cannabis products and services andnumber one flower brand in California, today announced the next manifestation of their mission to provide scale to decentralized producers with a commitment to community supported agriculture (CSA). Within six months of initiating their FlowCSA employee perk program, Flow Kana became one of the largest purchasers of produce grown on small farms in Mendocino and Lake counties through the MendoLake Food Hub.

Since June 2018, Flow Kana has offered their California employees a monthly CSA box of fruits and vegetables grown locally in Mendocino, Humboldt and Lake Counties, as continued support of small food farmers, decentralized food systems and the local communities where the company operates. Flow Kana is expanding its program in 2019, by offering a similar benefit to select dispensary partners and other supply chain collaborators for their employees.

The FlowCSA initiative has been an evolving vision between Casey and Amber O’Neill of HappyDay Farms and Flow Kana founders Michael Steinmetz and Flavia Cassani since the company’s inception.

“The quality of the cannabis and vegetables produced in small batches with the love and intention of a family farm are incomparable, and we want to see a world where this type of agriculture thrives and prevails,” said Michael Steinmetz, Flow Kana CEO. “The cannabis industry has an opportunity to build infrastructure that supports all kinds of localized, decentralized, supply networks, ushering in diversified and regenerative farming practices that promote environmentally responsible agriculture. We can offer a real alternative to the big industrial agriculture models we see so prevalent in our world today, and slowly encroaching on our amazing existing cannabis community in California.”

To encourage farmers to adopt more regenerative practices, Flow Kana also funds the newly created Local Food Systems Development Program in partnership with the MendoLake Food Hub. The program is designed, in phase 1, to offer support to cannabis farmers who want to diversify their crop portfolios by providing a guaranteed purchaser of their produce via the FlowCSA program through the MendoLake FoodHub. Local produce through the Emerald Triangle and Northern California areas are welcomed from all farmers in the area, whether or not they also cultivate cannabis.

“By encouraging a decentralized production model, we can support small, diversified producers who utilize regenerative land-use practices and have the time and resources to develop beneficial methodologies,” said HappyDay Farms’ Casey O’Neill, a third generation diversified cannabis and vegetable farmer. “These farmers are uniquely suited to address climate change and feed the planet in the process. The Flow CSA and the Local Food Systems Development Program offers an opportunity and platform to do just that.”

Currently, Flow Kana provides monthly seasonal produce boxes to the company’s now more than 245 employees throughout California. Since June of 2018, more than 2,500 boxes have been purchased and distributed from the MendoLake Food Hub and HappyDay Farms.

“Flow Kana has become one of our largest wholesale buyers, and we are grateful for their continued work in supporting small farms in our community,” said Caroline Radice, Executive Director of the MendoLake Food Hub. “The MendoLake Food Hub has seen substantial growth over the past year which would not have been possible without supportive, committed partners. We are happy to be working with Flow Kana to provide year-round fresh produce for their employee CSA, and we are excited to see them continue developing this program.”

Flow Kana is a driving force in the cannabis movement to not only honor these communities and these environmental and social values, but to make this decentralized model of agriculture the gold standard for others to follow across cannabis and beyond. The company believes there is great power in coming together with careful collaboration across many operators, distributors, retailers, and brands working in tandem to preserve, protect and evolve our industry and world. You can read more on this movement here:Never doubt that a group of dedicated small cannabis farmers can change the world.

About Flow Kana

Flow Kana is a pioneer in the cannabis industry, creating the first sustainable, sungrown cannabis brand that embraces California values and the small independent farm ecosystem. Flow Kana partners with and gives scale to craft farmers in Northern California, who focus on beyond organic farming practices. With any Flow Kana or “Powered by Flow Kana” product, customers can trust that, regardless of form factor, the cannabis inside is sungrown and cultivated organically by independent craft farms. The company offers a range of distribution and white label services to a variety of licensed cannabis companies who share the company’s values to provide consumers with clean, compliant and sustainable products through delivery to licensed retail operators throughout California. For more information, please,, and connect with us onFacebook,TwitterandInstagram.

About HappyDay Farms

HappyDay Farms is a small, diversified family farm located in the hills of Northern Mendocino County, California. At 3,000 feet on a southwest slope, their terraced gardens produce year-round. In addition to medicinal sungrown cannabis, HappyDay Farms grows produce and flowers for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and local farmers’ markets. Their unique terroir and microclimate produces small-batch, craft medicinal cannabis products from artisanal, seed-stock varietals. You can learn morehere.

About MendoLake Food Hub

The MendoLake Food Hub’s mission is to increase the availability of local food and the viability of local farms by connecting growers and buyers through an easy-to-use network. The Food Hub aggregates and distributes produce from small farms around Northern California by providing farmers access to a shared sales and distribution network which serves wholesale buyers such as grocery stores, schools, and restaurants. The MendoLake Food Hub is one of a network of food hubs across California working to build a vibrant, diverse new food system where small farms thrive and the freshest, local produce is easily accessible to the community. Learn more about the MendoLake Food Hubhere and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

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5 days ago

Illicit Cannabis Vape Carts Hospitalized 7 in California, Doctors Say

SAN FRANCISCO—Unregulated cannabis vaporizer cartridges tainted with a potentially deadly lung toxin have hospitalized seven people with pneumonia-like symptoms in Hanford, California, officials there reported Wednesday. The cluster of tainted vape cart poisonings caused the Kings County public health department to issue a rare warning this week urging consumers to avoid buying cannabis e-cigarettes from unlicensed sellers. Street cannabis products are not subject to the rigorous testing that licensed products undergo in California. 'If you’re going to vape THC, get it from a licensed dispensary where you know there’s a certain amount of testing required.' Dr. Milton Teske, Emergency Room Physician, Adventist Health Hanford, California “If you’re going to vape THC, get it from a licensed dispensary where you know there’s a certain amount of testing required to do. It sounds like it’s going to cost twice as much as the stuff on the street, but you don’t want to end up in with a life-threatening respiratory condition,” said Dr. Milton Teske, a health officer with the Kings County Department of Public Health. Officials haven’t yet determined the cause of the lung illness, the public health warning says, but they’ve determined that all cases so far have involved cartridges purchased from unlicensed pop-up markets. Some think the cases could be tied to similar clusters of vape-related poisonings that have recently been reported elsewhere in the country. “Anyone that vapes THC they got off the street and has shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing—go to the ER and tell them you’re vaping, and have heard about this acute respiratory distress syndrome developing from that,” said Teske, who’s spent the last 35 years as an emergency room physician in the rural central California town of Hanford, where three patients remain in care at Adventist Health Hanford hospital. In the past 30 days, six people in their 20s and one 60-year-old have been hospitalized for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARDS) at Hanford’s intensive care unit. Two patients had to be put on mechanical ventilation to save their lives. “If they hadn’t been intubated, they wouldn’t have made it,” Teske said. “And if it got any worse, they wouldn’t have made it.” Connecting Dots ‘Everywhere’ Teske suspects Hanford hospital pulmonologist Dr. Vishnu Bezwada identified a vape cart poisoning cluster that’s part of a rash of similar poisonings going on across the US. A Monday call with Centers for Disease Control and public health representatives from other states indicated a suspected cluster of 15 poisonings in Wisconsin, plus reports from Illinois, and Nebraska. “I think Dr. Bezwada is very astute and was the first to connect all the dots. Same with Wisconsin,” said Teske. “But there’s dots everywhere.” “I had heard about the midwest outbreak this weekend and called my relatives in Wisconsin who I know vape and told them to stay away,” said Josh Wurzer, founder of licensed California cannabis analysis lab, SC Labs. “It was only a matter of time until something like this happened with the black market vape cartridges.” ‘Something’s Going on Here’ Dr. Bezwada usually sees just one acute respiratory distress case per month in Hanford, population 56,499; and usually it’s an older person. But after diagnosing a couple young people with SARDS in June, followed by several more in July and August, he decided to call Teske. “He said, ‘Something’s going on here’,” Teske said. Bezwada had treated a series of young people with symptoms of hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the blood, who got worse and worse. Two nearly died. All are now recovering. Teske and a Kings County public health investigator reviewed all seven case files and conducted follow-up interviews with patients in the hospital and at home. A common theme emerged—all had been using vape carts bought off the street around Kings County, in rural Central California. All reported doing it to save money. They were buying them at local, unlicensed pop-up markets, advertised by word of mouth. At these markets, vendors sell untested THC products that look similar to tested goods. The empty vape cartridges come in from China. Producers then fill the carts with raw THC oil cut with agents such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, or more exotic chemicals. “Almost every patient had a different brand name,” said Teske. “And everyone had purchased it on the street.” Teske suspects the lung illness comes from an additive, though he’s not sure what. “Whoever is mixing it up in their garage, they’re adding other flavors, I suspect, or it’s how they’re diluting it. I suspect it’s some type of hydrocarbon.” Teske has ruled out other potential causes of SARDS, including other drugs, bacteria, or viruses. The patients were generally young—18, 22, some 27s, 34. One was 60. All had been consuming cannabis for six months or more, and some were heavy consumers who smoked every day. But long-term cannabis smoking is not associated with decreased lung function. The 60-year-old had been smoking cannabis for years, tried vape carts for the first time in her life, and developed the syndrome. Teske also thinks the poisonings are batch-specific. Some patients had been vaping THC regularly for two years before getting this bad batch. “I wouldn’t take anything from a pop-up store, or friends, or strangers off the street, because where did they get it? If it’s a good price, it’s coming from one of these questionable sources,” he said. “It’s too high a risk. Just because you got good stuff from him last week doesn’t mean this stuff is good.” ‘Just on the Edge of Surviving’ After repeatedly using a tainted cart, patients felt shortness of breath, weakness, tightness in the chest, and sometimes nausea. When symptoms got bad enough, they went to their primary care doctor or urgent care. Patients were usually misdiagnosed with pneumonia and sent home with antibiotics, but their condition worsened. Patients ended up in the ER, admitted with pneumonia, but disease workups and bacterial cultures revealed nothing. Their lungs looked terrible on MRIs—inflamed, opaque, and full of fluid, Teske said. The hypoxia got worse. Some patients needed to be strapped to a machine that forces air into their exhausted lungs. Two patients had to be intubated and mechanically ventilated. A major course of steroids stops the lung inflammation from this hypersensitivity-type reaction. Recovery generally takes one to two weeks in the hospital, at which point patients are sent home with steroids to heal further. What Could Be in Tainted Vape Carts? California leads legalization states in requiring all products sold at licensed stores to be tested for dozens of contaminants—most notably pesticides, residual solvents like hexane, and heavy metals like lead. But with untested products, said Wurzer, a wide variety of allergens, irritants, and toxins could lurk inside. After lab testing became mandatory in California in 2018, hundreds of products were flagged. To date, more than 5,169 batches have failed state lab testing for labeling or impurity standards. After inaccurate labeling, pesticides have been the biggest culprit. Lead has also popped up in cartridges. “We saw this with the heavy metal contamination issues in some vape cartridges when we switched to phase three testing,” said Wurzer. Wurzer is also seeing it in a type of popular tobacco vape pod called JUUL pods. “Again, this isn’t limited to black market THC cartridges, the e-juice nicotine vapes we’ve tested are consistently even worse for some contaminants.” The unlicensed cannabis market, which might be three times as big as California’s legal market, does not test at all. In recent years, public health officials have reported many cases of poisonings from adulterated CBD vape carts and CBD oils bought online or at truck stops. Labs have found cough syrup and dangerous synthetic cannabinoids in the unregulated mixtures. A significant portion of the country’s illicit cannabis supply chain would fail testing, but vape carts are an especially dangerous vector, Wurzer said. “Black market cannabis was a relatively safe product for so long because—outside of illegal pesticide use—it is hard or impractical to adulterate it to the point it’s going to lead to a public health issue. However with these vape cartridges, it doesn’t have to be nefarious, it can just be incompetence. You need to be very careful about the purity of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and any additives you use, but you need to monitor the quality of the materials used to manufacture the cartridges themselves.” 'You don’t want to trust your lungs with some chemicals someone mixed up in their garage!' Josh Wurzer, founder, SC Labs, California “You don’t want to trust your lungs with some chemicals someone mixed up in their garage!” Wurzer said. The Bureau of Cannabis Control is conducting a statewide public messaging campaign titled “Get #Weedwise” warning consumers of adulterants in the unregulated market. “This is the entire reason why we are running our get weed wise campaign. To educate the public about the importance of shopping from licensed retailers only. There are things out of your control when you decide to purchase cannabis from the illegal market. Your health is more important than cost,” said Alex Traverso, communications chief for the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. What’s Next? Teske obtained samples of the tainted carts from each affected patient, and the California Department of Public Health will lab test them, he said. On the national front, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to release a national public health bulletin to officials to be on the lookout for young, sudden acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARDS) sufferers who vape. Otherwise, these poisonings can be easy to miss. SARDS usually has a lot of other causes. “Any young person that comes in with even a mild respiratory ailment—primary care and urgent care needs to be asking about that,” said Teske. “If people look for it, they’re going to find it.”

5 days ago

Former Drug Warrior Biden Unveils Cannabis Decriminalization Plan

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden tacked away from his drug warrior past with a new plan Tuesday. He wants to reduce mass incarceration in the US with a 10-page proposal including: decriminalization of cannabis, $20 billion in prevention funds for communities, efforts to reduce racial profiling by police, more job training in prisons, ending private prisons, and other proposals. “I believe my criminal justice reform package is as strong or stronger than anyone else.” Joe Biden, former vice president, Democratic presidential candidate “Today, too many people are incarcerated in the United States–and too many of them are black and brown,” Biden’s team said in a post to his campaign website on Tuesday. “To build safe and healthy communities, we need to rethink who we’re sending to jail, how we treat those in jail, and how we help them get the health care, education, jobs, and housing they need to successfully rejoin society after they serve their time.” According to FBI reports, cannabis is a key driver of mass incarceration—marijuana arrests are the number one type of drug arrest in the US, and drug arrests are the number one type of arrest police make. Former Vice President Biden’s cannabis decriminalization would come with automatic expungements of past marijuana records, support for federal medical legalization, and a downgrade of cannabis to Schedule II, “so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts.” As for adult-use federal legalization, Biden echoed President Trump’s position in recent years, stating he would, “leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states.” Critics Pounce on Biden’s Past Votes Facing another debate with Sen. Kamala Harris next week, Biden’s “Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice” proposals move the vice president away from his historically tough-on-crime policies, for which he is being attacked from both the right and the left. Biden joined with many Democrats, Republicans, and minority leaders in the ’80s and ’90s to enact harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug use, three-strikes laws with life sentences, civil asset forfeiture, and the death penalty for drug-related murders. GOP critics note Biden once claimed George H.W. Bush’s war on drugs was “not tough enough, bold enough, or imaginative enough.” While former President Bill Clinton has apologized for crime policies that “made the problem worse,” Biden responded by saying the 1994 crime bill he led was “another part of my long record that is being grossly misrepresented.” He made no apologies for past votes Tuesday. “I believe my criminal justice reform package is as strong or stronger than anyone else,” Biden said in a video. Sen. Cory Booker reacted to Biden’s Tuesday proposal with a tweet: “It’s not enough to tell us what you’re going to do for our communities, show us what you’ve done for the last 40 years. You created this system. We’ll dismantle it.” An Important Evolution Nonetheless Biden’s proposals amplify the reach of once-radical ideas into mainstream political thought, though. The laundry list of ideas includes ending cash bail, a proposal California enacted in 2018 but put on hold pending a 2020 referendum sponsored by the bail industry. Biden’s campaign notes the cash bail system is “the modern day debtors’ prison. The cash bail system incarcerates people who are presumed innocent. And, it disproportionately harms low income individuals.” Biden’s plan also would create universal pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, because “focusing on addressing [mass incarceration’s] underlying factors is not just the right thing to do, it is also good for our communities and our economy.” Biden would also work to reduce the jailing of children through grants for diversion programs. San Francisco intends to close its juvenile hall by the end of 2021, citing high costs, low use, and incarceration’s irreparable harm to youth. The former vice president faces off against Harris and other Democratic primary contenders in a televised debate in Detroit Wed., July 31.    

5 days ago

Poll Finds 63% of Americans Support Cannabis Legalization

Yet another national poll shows that a strong majority of Americans support the federal legalization of cannabis. According to a poll from Investor’s Business Daily and TIPP, 63 percent of Americans support cannabis legalization, including 75 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Republicans. The survey found that nearly one-fifth of investor households consumed cannabis in the past six months. Support for legalization was highest in the West at 72 percent, and lowest in the Northeast, at 55 percent. The poll found that 23 percent of those surveyed indicated that someone in their home had used medical or adult-use cannabis in the last six months – 35 percent of those were among people 25-44 years old. In all, 27 percent of independents said they had used cannabis over the last six months, along with 25 percent of Democrats, and 15 percent of Republicans. The IBD/TIPP poll is consistent with a 2018 Gallup poll which found 66 percent of Americans supported broad cannabis legalization; although, that poll found 53 percent support by Republicans, and 71 percent support among independents. Both polls found three of four Democrats support the reforms. A Fox News poll, conducted by both Democratic and Republican polling firms last February, found 59 percent support for legalization. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from the prior month had similar results showing 60 percent support. A 2017 poll conducted by Survey USA for Marijuana Majority found stronger support – 76 percent – for allowing states to enact their own medical cannabis regimes without federal interference while just 12 percent said the feds should arrest and prosecute people using cannabis, even if legally allowed by the state in which they reside.

5 days ago

Impression Healthcare Advances Trial Testing CBD Treatment for Gum Disease

Medical cannabis company Impression Healthcare Limited has been approved for a Phase 2a Clinical Trial in Australia investigating the effectiveness of CBD-infused mouthwash and toothpaste products in the fight against gum disease. Specifically, the trial will investigate the products’ safety and effectiveness against Gingivitis and Periodontitis, which are two highly prevalent problems around the world whose treatment have so far been dominated by major pharmaceutical companies. The trial is the result of concerted efforts by Impression and AXIM Biotechnologies Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products. AXIM, a US-based innovator in cannabinoid medicines, will supply the unique mouthwash and toothpaste products for the trial and has agreed to provide commercially available products if the trial proves successful. Impression, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ticker code ‘IHL’) with a market capitalization of about $20 million, has first right of refusal over all current and future such products by AXIM until June 2022. “Formal registration of the gingivitis and periodontitis trial represents significant progress in IHL’s medicinal cannabis activities and is the culmination of many months of work by our team and research partners,” said Joel Latham, Impression’s CEO, in a statement. “We are excited to have assembled highly qualified researchers for a world first trial for the use of CBD in treatment of Gingivitis and Gum Disease, which are major problems representing a major market.” Recent research from Impression’s Australian peer Botanix Pharmaceuticals indicates that CBD could have potent antibiotic properties. Lab tests from that study showed the cannabinoid was killing bacteria, including bacteria highly resistant to existing antibiotics. Impression believes that, should the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic nature of CBD prove helpful in halting the progress of gum disease, the products will have a strong case for meeting the criteria of Category B under Australia’s Special Access Scheme, administered by the federal Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This means that patients — with the approval of their doctor or dentist — would then be able to access the CBD-infused mouthwash and toothpaste products. “We are confident that the quality of the trial will supply the requisite peer-reviewed data for unique product sales under the SAS and will further develop commercialisation opportunities for our products in this field,” said Mr. Latham. Impression’s gum disease trial is the first of four separate clinical trials investigating unique cannabinoid products. The other three trials will cover concussion remediation, Sleep Apnea, and TMJ disorders. Impression’s concussion trial aims to investigate neurological damage after traumatic brain injury as a result of playing Australian-centric sports; namely, the AFL (Australian Rules Football) and the NRL (National Rugby League). Similar product lines are being developed by Canadian companies Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth for the UFC and NHL Alumni Association, respectively.  About Impression Healthcare Limited Impression healthcare Ltd (ASX:IHL) has a rapidly expanding medicinal cannabis business with four unique clinical trials driven by the medical community for globally significant markets. The Company has its license to import, export and distribute cannabis products, and sales channels already in place with Australia’s largest distributor of cannabis medicines. IHL also has strong revenue growth from existing products; including, sports mouthguards for teeth protection and to reduce concussion risk, and sophisticated devices made to combat sleep apnoea, snoring and bruxism. Under this business, Impression offers best-in-class oral devices that are sold direct to the consumer and via our growing B2B Preferred Practitioner Network of Dentists.