Cannabis Advocate, Reiki Practitioner, And Operator Of The First Licensed Cannabis Lounge In Canada’s Durham Region, Reverend Kelly Addison To Be Featured On August Cannabiziac™ University

Cannabiziac™ is a global cannabis-focused Incubator, Accelerator, and CoWorking Community

by Shevauna Dumay


West Palm Beach, Florida – August 10, 2021 — Cannabiziac™ will feature special guest Reverend Kelly Addison (Rev. Addison) on this month’s Cannabiziac™ University – Online Webinar Series. The August topic is “How to Talk to Your Kids About Cannabis.”
The event will be held via zoom on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 12 p.m. EST. The cost is FREE for Cannabiziac™ Members and $10 For Non-Members. Attendees can register at www.cannabiziacstaging.local/events.

Rev. Addison truly embodies what she does as the founder and Managing Director of Kelly’s Green Lounge (KGL Network), a cannabis-friendly establishment quickly gaining notoriety within the cannabis community, and within its local community of Orono, ON.

She brings a wealth of experience as an educator, counselor, and builder of the community to her work in founding KGL. She is a Certified Reiki Master Practitioner and is studying plant medicines and other healing modes to add to her skill set. She has been practicing reiki on cannabis plants, saying “Goddess Bless” as she prays over them for a fruitful harvest. Motivated by the spiritual aspects of the plant, Rev. Addison was ordained as a Minister in 2020 and holds “The Cannabis Church of KGL” as a celebration of unity, community, and respect for the cannabis plant and her divine properties. The Church is in the process of being recognized with Vital Statistics Canada, making “Cannabis” a spiritual designation in the country.

Rev. Addison has been recognized in several media publications on the international stage for her role in advancing cannabis and advocacy for the eventual inclusion of cannabis lounges under The Cannabis Act.

She has appeared on media across Canada, The United States, The UK, and also on the Australian T.V. show “Obsessed With”. On Monday morning’s she is one half of the show “The Reefer Report” on Paceradio.net. Rev. Addison is also Vice President (and Advocacy team lead) of the People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada.

Every month Cannabiziac™ hosts four signature events for members and aspiring members. These events include: Cannabiz Café, Hemp Happy Hour, Cannabiziac University, and a Book of the Month Event featuring best-selling international cannabis authors.


For more information about Cannabiziac™ membership levels, training courses, and events, please visit www.cannabiziacstaging.local or call 561-651-9565.

ABOUT CANNABIZIAC™
Cannabiziac™ is a premier global cannabis focused, member-based incubator, accelerator, and coworking company which assists new and existing cannabis professionals tap into the growing industry by creating and cultivating their cannabis business and career. It offers networking events, training, access to funders, and coaching via various levels of membership. Find us online at www.cannabiziacstaging.local or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Join our Cannabiziac App Community powered by Mighty Networks at community.cannabiziacstaging.local.


Broward State Attorney’s Office joins Prosecutorial Performance Indicators project

The Broward State Attorney’s Office has joined a network of nationally recognized researchers and prosecutors who are committed to increasing transparency and accountability by objectively measuring and analyzing prosecutorial practices.

Following through on Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor’s commitment to make the criminal justice system as transparent and accountable as possible, the Broward State Attorney’s Office is partnering with Florida International University (FIU) and Loyola University Chicago to measure Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPIs). This innovative partnership is part of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which is funding the Broward research.

The project creates data dashboards that are shared with the public online. The neutral and objective information is then used to help analyze and measure prosecutorial decision making and its impact on communities. The research will help prosecutors to make smart decisions and analyze what works and what needs attention or improvement.

“Before I was sworn in, I promised to help reform the criminal justice system in smart ways that deliver equal justice to all and keep our communities safe,” Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor said. “It will take time to conduct this research and implement changes but we are going to dig into the data so we can understand what works and what doesn’t work so well. Our goals are to address serious crime, improve our effectiveness, lower costs for taxpayers, and protect and serve victims while also reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.”

The Prosecutorial Performance Indicators are 55 measures of performance that challenge and expand traditional measures of success in the field of prosecution. They emphasize the priorities of safety, community well-being, justice, equity and fairness for everyone affected by our criminal justice system.

Prosecutors and other staff members at the Broward State Attorney’s Office are eager to work with researchers and our community to examine how we do our jobs. Using neutral and objective data will allow us to analyze the fairness and effectiveness of how we handle cases from the time they are presented to us by police agencies, through the evaluation and decision-making process on whether charges should be formally filed, which charges would be appropriate, and how cases are handled through dismissal, referral to diversion programs, prosecution, pleas, trials and sentencing.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office is the seventh prosecutorial office in the US – and the third in Florida – to join the project. The six other offices that are already part of the project are based in Charleston, S.C., Chicago, Ill., Milwaukee, Wis., Philadelphia, Pa., and Jacksonville and Tampa in Florida.

“Success for prosecutors should be associated with more than convictions and harsh sentences,” said Aisha Edwards, program officer at the MacArthur Foundation. “The Prosecutorial Performance Indicators offer a holistic way to define success, data collection to measure progress, encourages collaboration with community members, and provides the tools needed to tackle racial inequities. This data-driven approach will help create a more equitable and effective criminal justice system.”

“It is an honor to assist State Attorney Harold Pryor’s historic administration in meeting their goals of transparency for the people of Broward County. He joins Florida State Attorneys Melissa Nelson and Andrew Warren in leading the work in our state to make data culture in prosecution the norm,” said Melba Pearson, Director of Policy and Programs for the Center for the Administration of Justice at FIU and a co-manager of the PPI project.

“As more and more prosecutors are seeking guidance about how to use data to bring about a new vision for justice, it is time for researchers and prosecutors to work together in close partnerships. We look forward to working with the Broward State Attorney’s Office,” said Besiki Kutateladze, a criminology professor at Florida International University and lead researcher on the project.

The indicators look at nine objectives for a prosecutor’s office, from increasing timely handling of cases, to reducing racial and ethnic disparities, to expanding community outreach and engagement. They help create a multilayered and holistic assessment that moves beyond individual cases to determine broader impacts and effectiveness. They also allow prosecutors to discern trends, learn about progress and anticipate problems.

It will, of course, take time to set up the process and undertake the analysis of so many cases but this is a long-term commitment to improvement and change. State Attorney Pryor will create a Community Advisory Board for this project to seek input, ideas and feedback from community members and experts.

About the partners:

PPI team includes: Besiki Kutateladze, Florida International University; Don Stemen, Loyola University Chicago; Rebecca Richardson Dunlea, Florida International University; Melba Pearson, Florida International University; Ana Carazo, Florida International University; Lin Liu, Florida International University; Branden DuPont, Medical College of Wisconsin; David Olson, Loyola University Chicago.

Florida International University is Miami’s only public research university. Designated a top-tier research institution, FIU emphasizes research as a major component in its university mission. FIU is among the top 10 largest universities in the nation. Of its 54,000 students, 67% are Hispanic and 12% are Black.

Loyola University Chicago, a private university founded in 1870 as St. Ignatius College, is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities. Loyola is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including the Carnegie Foundation.

Contact: Paula McMahon, spokeswoman for the Broward State Attorney’s Office
[email protected] or 954-831-7910
https://browardsao.com
https://prosecutorialperformanceindicators.org/


Decoding Cannabis

Article by Tess C. Kelly
CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Via The Crimson

Before cannabis had been legalized in any state, Staci Gruber was already studying it in her lab.

Currently a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School and the director of McLean Hospital’s Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) Program, Gruber has studied the effects of cannabis for roughly three decades. She has recently turned her attention to a project focusing on the effects of cannabidiol, or CBD, the semi-mysterious compound heralded by health bloggers and celebrities for its supposed alleviation of pain and stress.

That project is a partnership between McLean Hospital and Charlotte’s Web Holdings, a CBD company that sells hemp-based products like oils and gummies. Gruber cites their reputation as “one of the most recognized names in industrial hemp-based products,” as a key factor in her decision to work with them. “They really were the very first to bring [medical cannabis] to the nation’s consciousness,” she says. She also recalls an earlier study conducted by MIND in which she tested the cannabis products used by study participants and noted the high quality of those made by Charlotte’s Web.

Gruber’s partnership with Charlotte’s Web includes two projects related to the effect of cannabis on different medical conditions. One evaluates a hemp-based product’s impact on people with moderate to severe anxiety, while the other examines a different product’s effect on anxiety in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

While this partnership is unique in its link to an outside company, in most ways the research process is the same for Gruber as it was in past projects. Charlotte’s Web helps with the choice of study and the products used, but the actual research is up to Gruber and her team. This distinction, Gruber says, is key to ensuring the integrity of the results. “I think that’s also incredibly important [that] we don’t do anything in which we are beholden to an outside organization with regard to how we do the study [and] what the data will say,” she says.

Her research with cannabis began about 30 years ago as she studied the neurological effects of recreational cannabis on college students. Around that time, she also was studying various psychiatric disorders, and her work with bipolar disorder in particular was a “turning point” in her approach to cannabis.

Gruber noticed that patients with the disorder would report using cannabis to combat feelings of depression. “I thought, ‘That’s really interesting — I’ve never heard that before,’” she recalls. She secured a grant in 2008 to study the effects of cannabis on people with bipolar disorder.

As she began to look into medical cannabis, Gruber noticed a lack of available research and particularly a lack of long-term data. She started the MIND Program in 2014 to combat this problem. Its first project was a long-term study to observe participants’ medical cannabis habits and examine the products they used.

That study has led to a variety of current projects, including research into chronic pain, cannabis use among veterans, and clinical trials. Those trials include the “first-whole plant full-spectrum” solution, containing not only CBD but all compounds found in the cannabis plant, designed by Gruber to treat moderate to severe anxiety.

While cannabis is the general subject of Gruber’s research, she feels the term is often misplaced. “We tend to use one term, cannabis or marijuana, to define the entire landscape, that is anything that comes from the plant,” she explains, “which is unfortunate because it’s a misnomer.” That landscape actually includes hundreds of compounds, such as the commonly known CBD and psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and the more obscure terpenoids and flavonoids. These compounds exist in various combinations: some cannabis products include all compounds, some are THC-free, and others are a single compound.

The climate around cannabis research can be difficult to navigate. “In many ways, it’s much like the Wild West because there are very few guidelines and regulations for certain types of -products-,” Gruber says. Strong opinions about cannabis and its potential risks, as well as its Schedule I status under federal law — the most restrictive status for substances — complicate the ability to get funding and study cannabis. “You have to be tenacious if you want to do research in this area,” she adds.

Gruber’s future research “may very well” include more work with Charlotte’s Web, but she also intends to develop the types of studies and programs currently running at MIND. She still sees her current goals guiding future research. She’s focusing on “how you can possibly use this for addressing symptoms and conditions, and health and wellness, but reduce the risk of potential liabilities, and I think those things are equally important,” she says.

Gruber hopes for increased government regulation in the future of cannabis. Based on current guidelines, some CBD products are not subject to any regulations. “Everyone deserves to know what they’re taking,” she says. As the government and general public become more educated about cannabis and its various forms, however, Gruber believes more oversight and quality assurance will follow.

She adds that people are currently interested in cannabis-based products not only to treat medical conditions but also to promote general health and wellness. “I think the future is likely headed towards greater numbers of individuals exploring the use of these products,” she says.

As a scientist, though, she would still like to see more research, regardless of the public’s increasing confidence in cannabis. “It would be great if we had a little more data,” she says, “to help people make good decisions.”

— Magazine writer Tess C. Kelley can be reached at [email protected].


Schumer Hosts First Marijuana Meeting To Formulate 2021 Federal Legalization Plan

(Article from MarijuanaMoment.com | by Kyle Jaeger)

Key U.S. Senate leaders held a meeting with marijuana stakeholders on Friday, the first formal step toward crafting a new bill to federally legalize cannabis.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) heard from a group of advocates and stakeholders as the trio prepares to unveil draft reform legislation “in the early part of this year.”

The senators released a joint statement announcing the plan earlier this week that decried the failures of marijuana criminalization and called for a federal policy change that prioritizes repairing the harms of prohibition. Getting input from stakeholders is part of that process, they said.

Around the virtual table on Friday was a mix of representatives from advocacy groups and the cannabis industry, according to five people who attended the meeting and spoke to Marijuana Moment about it.

The discussion lasted a little over an hour and included staffers from NORML, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Students for Sensible Drug Policy and other organizations affiliated with the Marijuana Justice Coalition. Business-focused groups such as the National Cannabis Industry Association and Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) were also present.

Discussion topics ranged from the regulatory structure for marijuana to tax policy to social equity. The senators didn’t go in-depth into the details of the forthcoming reform proposal, but they signaled that they would incorporate feedback from these organizations and others as they move forward.

One commitment from the start, according to attendees, is that the Senate bill will at a minimum deschedule cannabis and seek to regulate it with a justice- and equity-focused approach. Booker is expected to be the lead sponsor of the legislation when it is filed, and it will likely be referred to Wyden’s committee.

Read the full article on Marijuana Moment.

“This was historic,” Amber Littlejohn, MCBA’s executive director, told Marijuana Moment about the meeting. “Leader Schumer and Senators Booker and Wyden made clear that equity and justice as the foundation of federal reform. We look forward to working with them to that end through every phase of this long journey.”

A major theme of the meeting was the need for unity among advocates and lawmakers as they pursue reform. There’s a desire to avoid the kind of intra-movement conflict that was seen last year when the House passed a bill to protect banks that service marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators before approving more a comprehensive bill that addresses the harms of prohibition.

“We are excited to have such a dynamic trifecta of leadership in the Senate ready to build on the best of the MORE Act, in order to deliver justice to communities most affected by cannabis prohibition,” Queen Adesuyi, policy manager of national affairs for the DPA, told Marijuana Moment. “Senators Booker and Wyden and Majority Leader Schumer understand the urgency of this issue, and we are delighted to see their commitment to descheduling, justice reform and economic justice.”

Schumer has said on several occasions both before and after the election that he would work to move reform legislation with his new power to control the Senate floor agenda. Since Democrats secured a majority in the chamber, the stage is set for action.

“In the early part of this year, we will release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform to ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations,” the senators said in the joint statement this week. “Getting input from stakeholder groups will be an important part of developing this critical legislation.”

Other groups who participated on Friday’s meeting include the ACLU, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights and Veterans Cannabis Coalition.

The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill to federally deschedule cannabis, cleared the House last year, but it did not advance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Lawmakers like Schumer and Booker stressed that Democrats reclaiming a majority in the chamber was an imperative for any comprehensive reform to pass this year.

While it’s not clear what the draft Senate marijuana reform proposal will entail, or when it will be released, Schumer said lawmakers are in the process of merging various pieces of legislation, which could include his own cannabis descheduling bill that he filed in the last two Congresses. The separate MORE Act could also serve as the basis of reform in the 117th Congress.

Participants in Friday’s meeting addressed areas where they felt the MORE Act needs to be improved. Advocates took particular issues will a provision of the House-approved version that excludes people with prior cannabis convictions from getting a required federal permit to operate marijuana businesses.

Wyden, for his part, said in a recent interview that his goal will be to “end the prohibition and come up with sensible tax and regulatory oversight at the federal level.”

Although President Joe Biden does not support full legalization and only backs relatively modest cannabis reforms, advocates are hopeful that he would not veto or seek to undermine any broad marijuana legislation that congressional leaders decide to prioritize.

At a meeting earlier this week, Schumer pressed Biden’s attorney general and other Justice Department nominees to respect the rights of states that legalize marijuana.

Already in 2021, several congressional marijuana bills have already been filed: one to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, another to prevent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from denying veterans benefits solely because they use medical marijuana in compliance with state law and one to allow hemp-derived CBD to be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement.


Bestselling Author to Discuss the World’s Most Lucrative Crop During Book of the Month Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Danielle Jones, The Mosaic Group

What: Cannabis Book of the Month
Award-winning journalist turned hemp farmer Doug Fine will be featured with his recent book, American Hemp Farmer. The book is the eagerly-awaited follow-up to his now legendary bestseller Hemp Bound, an immersive, instructive, funny blueprint for ensuring that independent regenerative farming spearheads hemp's return.

Why: American Hemp Farmer, is the inside story of the world’s most lucrative crop. It follows the rigors and pleasures of an entire hemp season from soil preparation and genetics acquisition through harvest and regenerative marketing. Fine gets his hands dirty with healthy soil and sticky with terpenes when growing his own crop and creating his own hemp products. He shares his adventures and misadventures as an independent, regenerative farmer and entrepreneur, all the while laying out a vision for how hemp can make farming the hottest profession in the digital age.

Speaker: Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and solar-powered goat herder. His latest book is American Hemp Farmer: Adventures and Misadventures in the Cannabis Trade (Chelsea Green Publishing, April 2020). He has cultivated hemp for food, farm-to-table products and seed-building in four U.S. states; Willie Nelson calls Doug’s work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” The Washington Post says, “Fine is a storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams.” A website of Doug’s print, radio and television work, United Nations testimony, and TED Talk is at dougfine.com and his social media handle is @organiccowboy.

Event details coming soon. Stay tuned via cannabiziacstaging.local/events