Is Marijuana Legal in Florida

The answer to the question ‘is marijuana legal in Florida’ is a disappointing, No. Not only is it a No – there are still draconian laws on the books which prevent legal cannabis in Florida.

Early in the 2020 legislative session, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) introduced a bill — SB 1860 — to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. A companion bill — HB 1389 — was also introduced in the House.

Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned its session in March without taking action on the bills, and an effort to put legalization on the ballot for voters to decide on in 2020 also failed.

How draconian are Florida’s pot laws?

  • Possession of small amounts is illegal: Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Sale or delivery qualifies as a felony: Sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, or other specified area is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. The sale of 25 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. However, the delivery of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Is medical marijuana legal in Florida?

Medical marijuana permitted: An individual may register as a medical marijuana patient if his or her doctor certifies that the individual suffers from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition

To qualify, a patient must be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida, be entered into the medical marijuana use registry, and obtain a medical marijuana ID card. You can learn more about the requirements to become a patient here. Patients can purchase marijuana from registered marijuana dispensaries, called Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers

When will marijuana be legal in Florida?

This table is a compilation of marijuana policy reform in Florida

DATEACTION
1978The Florida Legislature enacted the Therapeutic Research Program, which was never operational. The program would have required federal permission and would have involved pharmacies dispensing marijuana to cancer and glaucoma patients. It was repealed in 1984.
1991In Jenks v. State, the First District Court of Appeals allowed two seriously ill HIV/AIDS patients to raise a medical necessity defense to marijuana cultivation and drug paraphernalia charges. The court found that the defendants had met the burden of establishing the defense at trial and reversed the trial court’s judgment and acquitted the defendants.
1998The same First District Court of Appeals upheld the medical necessity defense again in Sowell v. State, even after the legislature made a slight change to its Schedule I statutory language that was unfriendly to the use of medical marijuana
2012Simultaneous bills HJR 353 and SJR 1028, a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana in Florida, were introduced by Rep. Jeff Clemens (D – Lake Worth) and Sen. Larcenia J. Bullard (D – Miami) but never voted on. This marked the first time that medical marijuana bills were filed in both the House and the Senate.
2014The “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014” allows specified physicians to issue orders for certain patients, allowing them to use low-THC cannabis, which is defined as having no more than 0.8% THC and more than 10% CBD. It requires the Department of Health to create a registry of patients and to authorize five organizations to grow and dispense the cannabis. Requiring doctors to issue “written orders” rather than recommendations or certifications puts them at risk under federal law.
Advocates were able to get a medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Since it was a constitutional amendment, it needed 60% or more of the vote to pass. Unfortunately, it only got 57.6%.
2015Local governments began opting to allow officers to cite, rather than arrest, adults found in possession of marijuana.
2016Amendment 2 – which established a medical marijuana program – passed with a popular vote of 71%.
20172017: In special session, the legislature passed SB8A to regulate Amendment 2, and implementation is underway by the Office of Medical Marijuana Use within Florida’s Department of Health.
In June 2017, Gov. Scott signed the Industrial Hemp Pilot Projects Bill, which gives Florida A&M University and the University of Florida permission to conduct research pilot projects on growing and selling hemp. Nearly two years later, in May 2019, the Florida Legislature passed a bill enabling the commercial production of hemp. Florida had its hemp regulatory plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in April 2020.
2019The legislature enacted SB 182, repealing a ban it had previously instituted on smoking medical cannabis.
June 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 7107 to allow a cannabis-derived drug for children with epilepsy. The bill changes that specific drug’s classification in state law from a Schedule I substance to Schedule V.

Recreational Marijuana in Florida

  • Florida has some of the harshest recreational marijuana laws in all of the United States. The possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor with one year imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. Possession, use, or sale of anything greater than 20 grams is charged as a felony with prison time ranging from five years to 30 years and up to $200,000 in fines.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Marijuana

  • A mandatory minimum sentence is when a judge must sentence the defendant to at least the outlined mandatory minimum amount of jail time for violating a specified law.

Hash, Concentrates and Paraphernalia

  • Being caught in possession of hash can result in up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Selling, delivering, or manufacturing hash is also a felony, and carries the same penalties as a possession.
  • Marijuana concentrates hold the exact same penalties as hash, with possession, sale, and/or delivery resulting in five years of jail time and a $5,000 fine.
  • “Marijuana paraphernalia” is any product used as an accessory for using marijuana, such as pipes and bongs. The possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with Florida marijuana law punishing those in possession of paraphernalia with up to one year of jail time and a $1,000 fine.
  • Drivers in Florida are forbidden from using their car or some other type of motor vehicle if there is any detectable level of THC and/or marijuana in their system. If you have recently consumed marijuana, even if it is legally obtained medical marijuana, do not operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances.
  • While hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
  • Even for first-time offenders, the cultivation of cannabis for any purpose is considered a felony in Florida.
    • If found cultivating fewer than 25 plants, it is considered a third-degree felony punishable by incarceration up to five years and fines up to $5,000.
    • If an individual is the owner of the property where more than 25 plants are being illegally cultivated, the offense is charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison.
  • Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in March 2016, permits certain dispensing organizations to grow and distribute cannabis.

Local Decriminalization of Marijuana in Florida

Several local jurisdictions that have passed resolutions or laws that decriminalize the possession of marijuana or other cannabis products. For example, in Miami-Dade County, possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana only comes with a $100 fine.

What To Do Since Marijuana is not legal in Florida?

If you are planning a Cannabis Vacation, consider a visit with Happy Travelers Tours in the heart of Northern California’s Wine-and-Weed Country. Book one of our up-close-and-personal Tours with Cannabis Plants!


Is Marijuana Legal in Nevada

Is Marijuana legal in Nevada? Yes, but. While it’s come a long way since pot-hibition started, it’s still heavily stigmatized and consumption on their properties make the casino’s and hotel’s as nervous as when the hookers are at the bars.

Nevada legalized recreational use in 2017 however, it’s illegal to smoke in any ‘public spaces’ (see table below) and, technically, the ONLY place you can smoke marijuana legally in Nevada is in a private residence.

This list shows places where consuming cannabis in Nevada is prohibited:

  • Hotel Rooms
  • Casinos
  • Schools and Universities
  • Dorm Rooms
  • Common Areas in Apartment Buildings
  • Offices Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Stadiums
  • Public Restrooms
  • Federal Property

Is Marijuana Legal in Nevada? Only if You Buy From a Dispensary

Most dispensaries are in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno. A county’s population determines the number of dispensaries it can license.

COUNTY# of DISPENSARIES
Clark County80
Washoe County20
Carson City4
Remaining 14 Counties2

Local governments determine their dispensaries’ store hours. And the dispensaries must keep these hours conspicuously posted. Currently, Las Vegas dispensaries may operate between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. And in Reno, closing must be no later than midnight.

Nevada Residents and Tourists Can Legally Purchase Marijuana

As the individual is over the age of 21 and presents valid government ID, that person is legally eligible to purchase.

For tourists, this means that anyone meeting the age criteria is free to purchase marijuana legally. This is the case regardless of that individual’s country or state of origin and the rules regarding marijuana in that location.

In the state of Nevada, an individual is able to purchase one ounce of marijuana or 3.5 grams of concentrate at one time. This same rule applies to how much an individual is legally allowed to possess at any given time.

Traveling with Marijuana in Nevada

When marijuana is being transported in a vehicle, it should be in a sealed container away from the driver and any minor passengers. Failure to do so could result in an “Open Container” fine or, in the case of minors in the vehicle, the much more severe citation “aggravating circumstance.”

It is also illegal to take marijuana across state lines even if the next destination also has legal marijuana laws because of different marijuana regulations in each state.

Conclusion

Yes, marijuana is legal in Nevada however you can only smoke or consume it in or at a private residence. Due to their Federal Licensing rules, Hotels and Casinos are especially strict about smoking weed on their properties. They take their licensing very seriously so, either find your old “sneak-a-toke” or buy a vape instead.

What To Do Now that Marijuana is legal in Nevada

If you are planning a Cannabis Vacation, consider a visit with Happy Travelers Tours in the heart of Northern California’s Wine-and-Weed Country. Book one of our up-close-and-personal Tours with Cannabis Plants!


Is Marijuana Legal in Texas

Is Marijuana Legal in Texas? Not Quite. But, it’s come a long way since pothibition started in Texas in 1931. Texas was the first state to impose penalties for pot possession and, over the decades, created the most draconian cannabis laws on the books.

Reforms have been slow to come, but, finally, are starting to gain momentum at the City, County and State levels.

The State of Cannabis in Texas

This table shows progressive and positive changes in cannabis law in Texas since 2017

DATEJURISDICTIONACTIONDETAILS
2017Dallas, City• Cite-and-ReleaseIn April 2017 the Dallas City Council voted 10–5 to adopt a cite-and-release policy for possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis. In October 2017 county commissioners 4–1 voted to approve the plan, and it went into effect in December 2017.
2017Bexar County• Cite-and-Release
• Diversion
In September 2017, Bexar Country District Attorney Nico LaHood announced a new cite-and-release policy for persons caught with less than 4 ounces of cannabis. The program also allowed cited individuals to avoid criminal charges by attending a class, paying a fine, and performing community service. The policy went into effect for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in January 2018.
2017El Paso County• First Change ProgramIn October 2017, El Paso County commissioners voted unanimously to allow people caught with less than 4 ounces of cannabis to pay a $100 fine and perform 8 hours of community service in lieu of facing criminal charges. Named the First Chance Program, it only applies to people that are not caught with any other drugs.
2017Travis County• Diversion ProgramIn December 2017, Travis County commissioners unanimously approved a plan to allow persons cited for less than two ounces of cannabis to take a four-hour educational course (at the cost of $45) rather than being subject to criminal charges. The policy went into effect in January 2018.
2019Dallas County• Limited Enforcement
• Diversion
In April 2019, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot announced that individuals caught possessing misdemeanor amounts of cannabis would no longer be prosecuted for first-time offenses. Individuals who commit subsequent offenses would be offered diversionary courses to avoid a criminal conviction.
2019Bexar County• Expanded Cite-and-Release
• Limited Enforcement
In May 2019, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced that an expanded version of cite-and-release would be implemented during the summer and apply to San Antonio Police Department as well.[54] Additionally, Gonzales announced that his office would no longer prosecute possession of less than one ounce of cannabis.
2020Austin, City• DepenalizationIn January 2020, Austin City Council voted 9–0 in favor of a resolution that effectively eliminates penalties for possessing up to 4 ounces of cannabis and directs the city manager to "take the steps necessary and appropriate to eliminate, to the furthest extent allowable under state law ... the use of arrest or other enforcement action for cannabis-related possession offenses". In July 2020 Austin Police Department announced that it had revised its enforcement policies to comply with the resolution.
2020El Paso, City• Cite-and-ReleaseIn May 2020, El Paso City Council voted 7–0 to adopt a cite-and-release policy for possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis. The measure directed the city manager to devise a plan to put the policy in effect by September 1.

Medical Cannabis in Texas

Medical cannabis is legal in Texas in very limited circumstances. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas Compassionate Use Act into law in 2015, allowing people with epilepsy to access cannabis oil with less than 0.5% THC. Last year, he signed House Bill 3703, which expanded the list of qualifying conditions to include diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS.

Hemp Yes, Cannabis No

Since Cannabis and Hemp are often indistinguishable by look or smell because they both come from the cannabis plant. The difference amounts to how much of the psychoactive compound THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, they contain.

Texas now says that cannabis (plants or its derivatives) with a THC concentration of more than 0.3% is considered illegal but if the substance has less than 0.3% THC, it’s considered hemp.

What To Do Until Marijuana is Legal in Texas

If you’d like to learn more about Cannabis, visit Happy Travelers Tours in the heart of Northern California’s Wine-and-Weed Country and Book one of our up-close-and-personal Tours with Cannabis Plants!


Is Marijuana Addictive

Is marijuana addictive? The science says “yes” but the way cannabis is consumed says “doubtful”. So, is marijuana addictive? It all depends. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 9% of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it, and that number jumps to 17% when use begins at younger ages (notably, teenagers), according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Given this, should our question be: do people develop “dependencies” for cannabis? Further, how does a medical marijuana patient’s use avoid dependence or, addiction?

Dependence and Addiction: What Are the Differences?

Marijuana Dependence:

  • a person feels “withdrawal” symptoms when not using cannabis

Marijuana Addiction:

  • a person can not stop using cannabis even though it interferes with many aspects of their life.

Estimates of the number of people addicted to marijuana are controversial, in part because epidemiological studies of substance use often use dependence as a proxy for addiction even though it is possible to be dependent without being addicted.

The majority of pot smokers do not develop a marijuana addiction, but some smokers (about 9%) do develop all the symptoms of an actual addiction after chronic marijuana use.

Marijuana Addiction

The fact that most users never develop an addiction doesn't mean that it never happens. Some marijuana users will exhibit all the classic behaviors of someone who has an addiction. People who use marijuana will become dependent on it (about 17% in those who start using in their teens), according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Users who begin smoking marijuana before they reach the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a disorder compared with those who wait until after 18 to smoke, according to the NIDA

Higher Potency Factor

Cannabis is significantly more potent than it was during the NIDA studies of the 1990’s. While the average THC level in the cannabis used in the 90’s was about 3.7%, the average confiscated by law enforcement in the 10’s checks in at about 9.6%. This is a 159% increase in potency, which may be a driver behind the rising number of people who develop a dependency issue.

Marijuana Abuse v. Dependence

There is a difference between marijuana abuse and marijuana dependence. Marijuana abuse occurs when someone continues to use the drug despite negative consequences.

What kind of negative consequences are indicators of an abuse issue? Job loss, difficulties with school or even getting arrested for something related to cannabis (buying on the street, for example).

But, is it an addiction? Maybe.

Classic Addictive Behavior

When a person becomes dependent upon marijuana, then, they have a cannabis use disorder. They might display some of the classic behavioral symptoms of addiction:

  • Will begin to lose control, needing increasing larger amounts
  • Will spend more time thinking about using
  • Will deny claims from those close to him that he has changed
  • Substance use will begin to take a central role in life
  • Will spend more time and money acquiring more marijuana
  • Will become irritable or agitated if they run out
  • As negative consequences mount, they will continue to use

The exception to this ‘use escalation’ is with Medical Marijuana, consumed with a Doctor’s recommendation, and monitored by a medical professional. When using cannabis in a clinical way, addiction and dependency are managed similarly to any prescribed medication.

Seeking Treatment

As Americans become more understanding that drug addiction is not a character flaw but, rather, a disease, they continue to have a disconnect that marijuana addiction is real. Not only are more Americans entering treatment, there’s also the issue of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome.

Regardless, some argue that there is no ‘safe dosage’ of marijuana. However, no deaths due to a marijuana overdose have ever been substantiated.

How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

THC, the main compound in marijuana, interacts and activates brain proteins called cannabinoid receptors, which are critical in the areas of learning, memory and reward processing. It also causes the brain to release a chemical known as dopamine, which is often associated with positive emotions.

Marijuana Legalization & Public Opinion

“We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, it doesn’t have a high potential for abuse and there are very legitimate medical applications…the science is there. This isn’t anecdotal.” says CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

More and more states are changing their stances on both medical and recreational cannabis use. It’s predicted that soon, cannabis could be legal throughout the United States of America.

What To Do In The Meantime

To learn more about cannabis, get up-close-and-personal with cannabis plants and learn about the cannabis industry Book a Happy Travelers Tours Adventure today!


How To Grow Marijuana

We’ve published a couple of articles on how to grow marijuana under Cannabis Cultivation Outdoors, How To Build Hoop-Style Greenhouses and Cannabis Cultivation Indoors. These articles are good starting points to learn how to grow marijuana; this article will talk about several things to consider.

Strains and Other Considerations

First up: strains and other considerations. Let’s start with: do you have a preference when it comes to the kind of cannabis you consume? If you’re a ‘body high’ type of person, then, consider Indica and Indica-dominate hybrids.

If, on the other hand, you like a cerebral high, then, consider working with Sativas. Another consideration is: how long is the grow cycle? If you’re thinking quick turns in an indoor room, then, you should focus on the strains with 90 day cycles (from Flowering).

On the other hand, if you’re not concerned with “cycling the room” as frequently as you can, then you might think about the longer flowering strains: ones which need 120 days to mature.

Growing Marijuana Indoors

Continuing the thought from above, if you’re going to build out an indoor grow room, remember this: you are going to be recreating the outdoor environment inside. This means you will have to deal with: heat, air circulation, water and pests.

Space

While it’s certainly true you can set up a ‘grow room’ inside your residence, creating a space specifically for growing is the best option. When you build up a room (or set up a greenhouse) you can ensure you accommodate for: plumbing, air conditioning and dehumidifying as well as electrical work (sub-panels are often needed).

Lights

Lights are the biggest energy draw and can produce significant heat through the ballasts (if you’re using incandescent technology). LED lights have advanced in recent years to the point they’re used either as the only source of light in commercial grows or they’re being used in conjunction with sodium vapor or other lights.

There are a couple of advantages to LEDs: size, UV light spectrum and heat management are much easier to manage with LEDs. In fact, using computer controllers, the UV spectrum which the LEDs generate can be modified to mimic the natural UV spectrum changes which occur outdoors during the grow season.

Air Circulation

All grow rooms need air circulation for several reasons, including: creating ‘wind’ so the plants grow up strong, moving the air so there’s plenty of CO2 and Oxygen exchanging going on and, keeping the room cool (this is critical if you’re using ballast driven lights).

Nutrients

Both indoor and outdoor growers need to pay attention to the soil they’re using and the nutrients which get added to supplement the grow stages. Nutrient science is a deep dive unto itself and the more experience you have with your strain choices and your growing methodology (dirt versus hydroponic) the more success you’ll have over time.

Learning how to grow marijuana is a long-term process – your first foray may or may not produce an optimized yield, however, you’ll learn so much on the way that your SECOND time growing will have huge improvements.

Pest Control

Indoor pests run the gamut from mites to mold; ALL grows have to manage pests. Some indoor grow operations run “clean green” operations which use clean-room level protocols. Other operations are lower-tech.

The first rule is: don’t go into your grow room with same clothes you wore to your FRIEND’s grow room. You don’t want to transfer any pests from their room to yours.

Research the types of pests which are common in your area and know that Ladybugs are your friends. They act like Roomba’s in your grow room, eating anything which could be a problem for the plants but leaving the plants alone.

Harvesting

Most strains are “auto-flowering” which means, when you ‘flip’ your lights from the 18+ hours of daylight to 12 hours of day and 12 hours of dark, the plants will start to flower. If a strain is a 90 day grow, the “90 days” start when you ‘flip’ the lights to 12/12.

This means, on or about day 90, your plants will be ripe and ready to harvest. How do you know if they’re ripe? That’s a conversation about trichomes. To learn more, read our article Trichomes, What the Heck are Trichomes.

Curing and Drying

Quite possible the most overlook aspect of learning how to grow marijuana is the curing and drying process. If you dry your weed to quickly, the flavor profile gets lost. If you take too much time, the risk of mold increases exponentially.

Fortunately, curing and drying is both art and science. The science part is this: your drying room needs to be pitch black, it needs to maintain a temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and about 60% humidity (use a dehumidifier if you need to).

When your science part is optimized, then the art part comes into play in deciding the “when” you plants are ready for the next step, called “bucking” (for snapping the buds off the stalks and putting them into a Bucket before they’re trimmed).

Usually, that moment is around day 12 or 14 of curing; you’ll know the plants are ready when a bud ‘snaps’ right off the stalk without any stalk-strings. You’ll know it when you get there.

Growing Marijuana Outdoors

The first thing to think about when you’re going to grow outdoors (or ‘sun grow’) is: what is the microclimate and terroir of the soil? Just like a vineyard, cannabis grows thrive when the strains are compatible with both the climate and the soil. So, how to you figure this out?

If you don’t have a friend who is showing you the ropes, then, it’ll be by testing. Your first season you’ll want to try two or three strains to see which thrive and which struggle.

When working with a mentor, work with someone who has grown successfully in your area – they’ll have a leg up on the strains and any unusual pests.

Space

The beauty about sun grows is that all you need is a container for your plants and a nice Southern exposure for maximum sunlight. You can grow one plant in a pot or you can set up a garden, it’s really all about your location and how much sunshine the plants will get.

Nutrients

Growing outdoors brings unique nutrient challenges to your garden. Again, if you’re working with a mentor, they’ll have a good idea of what to use. If you’re doing this on your own, you’ll want to research when to bump your plants with nitrogen versus when you should mix in phosphorus.

Pest Control

Outdoor pests are numerous and it’s almost impossible to ‘immunize’ your plants against them. You can, though, help them out by doing a couple of things. If you can get dried rice hulks (it looks just like hay), you an spread this on the ground around your plants.

The most common pest, dirt mites, HATE dried rice hulks, so, when you spread it on the ground, the mites won’t climb up your plants. You can also encourage beneficial insects (dragonflys and ladybugs for example) to visit your garden by putting other plants and flowers nearby to attract them.

Harvesting

As we discussed under indoor growing, harvesting is usually determined by both the grow cycle of the plants and the appearance of ‘ripe’ trichomes. With outdoor grows, the flowering is triggered by the Summer Solstice, so, typically, plants are put into the ground around the first or second week of May and allowed to “veg” until June 21st. On June 22nd, because the sun will be out one second less than it was on Solstice, the plants will automatically start to flower.

This is why outdoor cannabis harvests happen in late September and early October – most plants have a 90 to 120 day grow cycle.

Curing and Drying

Again, the curing and drying of marijuana is the most important step in the grow cycle. Since outdoor grows are an annual event, you don’t want to mess up all your hard work by either under or over drying your cannabis.

What To Do To Learn More

Book either a Happy Travelers Tours Farm Tour or Dispensary Tour and get up-close-and-personal with cannabis plants. Learn how to grow marijuana from industry professionals.

Our Dispensary Tour visits a state-of-the-art indoor grow and our Wine-and-Weed Tour visits a mountaintop outdoor grow.


How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System

How long does marijuana stay in your system should not be confused with how long does a marijuana high last. While you might feel stoned for an hour or so, (read: How Long Does a Marijuana High Last) the metabolized THC stays in your system longer, and is detectable via a number of tests.

The Variables for How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System

Here’s a list of variables which affect how long cannabis can be detected after consumption:

  • How frequently you consume
  • What types of cannabis you consume
    • Strains and THC Content
  • How you consume it
    • Smoke
    • Vape
    • Edible
    • Topical
  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Your gender

Cannabis can be detected in a hair follicle test for as long as 90 days or more.

Types of Tests

This table shows the various types of tests which are used to detect cannabis in your system:

TEST TYPEEFFECTIVENESS
Blood Test25 Days +
Urine Test30 Days +
Saliva Test@ 29 Days
Hair Test90 Days

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your Blood?

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your SystemThe first thing to know is that cannabis metabolites are fat-soluble. This means they bind to fat molecules which means it can take some time for them to leave your system.

Professional Journals, like Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, suggest cannabis is detectable in the bloodstream basically as soon as it is inhaled. Further, it remains detectable in your blood for up to two or three days; heavy use (daily and chronic) increases the length of time is can be detected in the blood, as much as 25 days or longer.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your Urine?

When we continue to look at professional journals, like Mayo Clinic Proceedings, we see that urine holds onto weed metabolites as well.

  • 3 days for “occasional” users: up to three times a week
  • 5 to 7 days for “moderate” users: four times a week
  • 10 to 15 days for "daily” users: daily
  • More than 30 days for “chronic” or “heavy” users: multiple times a day

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your Saliva?

When you smoke or eat cannabis, the metabolites can be present in your oral fluid (saliva) for up to 30 days. In some places where weed is legal, e.g. Michigan, an oral fluid test can be administered for roadside testing.

  • For occasional users – up to 3 days
  • For chronic/heavy users – up to 30 days

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your Hair?

Hair tests are the most effective for finding indications of long-term use. The reason is that cannabis metabolites reach hair follicles through small blood vessels and stay there. Human hair grows at about ½ an inch per month, so, the test takes about a 1.5 inch piece of hair from close to the scalp and gets a window into cannabis consumption over the past 90 days.

What’s the Difference between Smoking, Vaping and Eating Cannabis?

Cannabis is metabolized differently depending on if you smoke, vape or eat it. While it's true you'll feel the affect of cannabis quicker is you smoke or vape it, it's also true you'll feel 'high' when you eat it, however, the high you'll feel is 'different' in it's chemical composition than if you smoke it, due to how it's absorbed into your bloodstream.

Regardless of whether you smoke, vape or eat cannabis, the metabolites get stored in body fat.

How much do you have to consume to fail a drug test?

While it’s true that THC tests can detect small quantities of cannabis post-consumption, there are several variables which make it difficult to determine what the 'low-end fail' threshold is.

These variables include the percentage of THC in any given cannabis strain, how much cannabis was consumed and how (smoke, vape, edibles) and how frequently cannabis is consumed (occasional, moderate, daily or chronic/heavy) and other things.

Examples of Test Results

One consistent finding is that the more frequently you use cannabis, the more likely it is you’ll fail, as compared to infrequent users. In one study done several years ago, two groups of cannabis consumers, “frequent” and “infrequent”, were tested after smoking the same strain and amount of cannabis.

Urine Test Results

They were urine tested hourly for eight hours and the results showed the highest concentrations between 30 minutes and 7 hours after consumption. Their highly sensitive test detected THC 100% of the time in the ‘frequent’ users group and 60-100% of the time in the ‘infrequent’ group.

Hair Test Results

Another study done in 2017 found that 77% of heavy users and 39% of light users tested positive in a study using hair samples. In the study, over 100 consumers were broken into three groups: heavy, light or no use. Their hair was sampled and yielded these results. It also showed zero positive tests from the ‘no use’ control group.

Takeaway: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System

At this point in time, there isn’t a way to determine how long it will take to completely metabolize and eliminate THC from their body. In general terms, for most people, it should disappear or be in very low concentrations within 30 to 60 days.

Factors like body fat, frequency of consumption and THC levels within the cannabis all contribute to the complex calculation of your personal metabolism and it’s ability to flush THC from your system.

So, How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System

The bottom line is while there are average times, every person is unique and there’s no specific formula to calculate how long weed will be detectable in your system in particular.

The best measurements are:

  • Infrequent Users – about 10 days
  • Moderate Users – up to 30 days
  • Daily Users – up to 90 days
  • Chronic Users – over 90 days

Learn More About Cannabis

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Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Planning Guide

Happy Travelers Tours is proud to present the Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Planning Guide. The Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Planning Guide visits the historical and contemporary Cannabis story in the United States. In it we discuss highlights on the timeline of cannabis legalization and visit important historical locations to talk about the history of Hemp (and Cannabis) in the United States. Download your Guide!

We start our Ultimate Cannabis Vacation on the East Coast and work our way from the New England States, thru parts of the South and Mid-West on our way to the West Coast, where we swing up the Coast touching on points-of-interest in California, Oregon and Washington.

While there are several "route 420's" in the USA, our version is fanciful and ties together historical hemp and cannabis landmarks as a way to explore the significance of cannabis in America. Most folks don't know hemp was a required crop during America's formative years. As a seafaring nation, we needed rope, sails and oil for our commercial and naval ships and hemp provided it all! In fact, did you know the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) used 44 tons of hemp rope in her rigging?

Or, were you aware Pennsylvania was founded with the goal of becoming the hemp production center for the United States? When planning your Ultimate Cannabis Vacation consider what you're looking to do. Are you in search of specific strains of cannabis or are you more interested in learning how hemp and cannabis is grown and what is considered state-of-the-art technology? Whatever your goal is, you'll find information and ideas about how to plan your ultimate cannabis vacation.

How To Use the Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Planning Guide

The Guide is broken into two sections:

  • Things to Consider and Adventure on Route 420.  In Things to Consider, we discuss the history of hemp in the United States and we describe landmark and historical sites of interest.
  • In the Adventure on Route 420 section, we break-down places and moments in Cannabis history by geographic location and provide state-by-state highlights which focus on cannabis and hemp history and education.

Interested in Learning About Cannabis?

If you're interested in learning about cannabis, we suggest a Happy Travelers Tours cannabis adventure! From our Dispensary Tours to visiting our MountainTop Grow site, our Tours focus on getting up-close-and-personal with cannabis plants while getting educated about this most fascinating plant! Call 707-386-9859 or email: [email protected] for more information!

Download the Guide for Free!

Currently, the Guide is not Gated and so you can download the Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Planning Guide for Free! Please enjoy it and we hope this Guide inspires you to plan your own Ultimate Cannabis Vacation – we’ll see you on Route 420!


Trichomes, what the heck are Trichomes?

Trichomes. You have read about them and you have heard people 'in the know' talking about them, but, what the heck are trichomes?

According to Wikipedia, plant trichomes have many different features that vary between both species of plants and organs of an individual plant. These features affect the subcategories that trichomes are placed into. Some defining features include:

  • Unicellular or multicellular
  • Straight (upright with little to no branching)
  • Spiral (corkscrew-shaped)
  • Hooked (curved apex)
  • Presence of cytoplasm
  • Glandular (secretory) vs. Eglandular
  • Tortuous
  • Simple (unbranched and unicellular)
  • Peltate (scale-like)
  • Stellate (star-shaped)
  • Adaxial vs. abaxial [referring to whether trichomes are present, respectively, on the upper surface (adaxial) or lower surface (abaxial) of a leaf or other lateral organ]

In a model organism, C. salvifolius, there are more adaxial trichomes present on this plant because this surface suffers from more UV, solar irradiance light stress than the abaxial surface.

Trichomes can protect the plant from a large range of detriments, such as UV light, insects, transpiration, and freeze intolerance.

Cannabis Trichomes

Looking at a multi-colored, frost covered, cannabis flower/bud often causes a cannabis aficionado to pause in anticipatory wonder. For those who haven’t yet learned their way around a cannabis plant, one question comes up frequently: what is the ‘frosty’ stuff?

If you zoom in on those tiny little crystals you will notice they tend to be shiny, sticky, and ‘stinky’ (or aromatic, if you prefer). What you are looking at are trichomes.  In addition to the characteristics described above, trichomes are a cannabis or hemp plants’ way of producing cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids: the “things” which makes cannabis plants so fascinating.

Cannabis Trichomes, what the heck are trichomes?

Many plant species produce trichomes, which can take on different forms (straight, spiral or hooked) and can serve different purposes. With cannabis plants, the trichomes help to protect the plant from insects, animals (the trichomes give the plant a taste bitter), UV rays and wind.

The different types of trichomes on cannabis

As noted above, trichomes exist in many shapes and sizes. The three that appear most often on cannabis plants are: bulbous trichomes, capitate sessile trichomes and capitate-stalked trichomes.

  • Bulbous trichomes: 10-15 micrometers. These appear on the entire plant
  • Capitate sessile trichomes: 15-20 micrometers (slightly larger than the bulbous trichome) and contain both a head and a stalk
  • Capitate-stalked trichomes: 50-100 micrometers (big enough to be seen by the naked eye). These consist of a stalk (epidermal and hypodermic cells) which build up to a basal cell that attaches to a gland head. The gland head is the epicenter for cannabinoid and terpenoid synthesis.

While all three types of trichomes produce cannabinoids, it is the capitate-stalked trichomes which, due to their size, produce the highest concentration of cannabinoid resin.

Trichrome Production and Lifecyle

When cannabis plants are exposed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness (for indoor production) or, on the day after Summer Solstice (when it’s one second less light than it was the day before), they start to bloom. Cannabis plant geneticists call this “auto-flowering”.

Blooming triggers cannabinoid synthesis in the trichomes which culminates with the gland head metabolizing vacuoles and plastids into the precursors of the various cannabinoids found in that specific strain of cannabis. In other words, when the plant starts to bloom, the trichomes begin their ‘journey’ into individual pods of ‘resin’.

The genetic profile of any given cannabis strain drives the rate and concentration of trichome production. The most impactful variable on the concentrations of cannabinoids and/or terpenes is UV light. Growers know that when cannabis plants are exposed to the broadest UV spectrum, the plants, typically, produce higher concentrations of cannabinoids. The other variable is the strain itself, as many strains respond to UV spectrums differently.

Since the trichome’s and plant’s lifecycles are linked, monitoring trichome maturation is a time-testing way to monitor the plant’s lifecycle stage. In other words, the plant is ready to harvest when the trichomes are completely ‘mature’.

What do ‘mature’ trichomes look like? When the plant and trichomes are young, you’ll see mostly clear ‘crystals’. People say cannabis plants look “sparkly”; this is because of the light refracting off all the translucent trichomes on the plant. As the plant matures, the trichome change from clear crystals lying flat on the plant (almost like a fur) to a cloudy white. The other phenomena which is occurring is the trichomes begin to ‘stand up’. In the final, mature, phase, the trichomes are all standing fully erect and have changed from a cloudy white color to a golden or amber.

It is at this stage that the plants are ‘ripe’ and ready for harvest.

Another Method of Determining Harvest Time

For the sake of completing the conversation, there’s another measurement which can also be used to tell if a plant is ready for harvest, and that is: how old are the plants?

All cannabis plants have a ‘pre-determined’ number of days of growth and ripening coded into their genetics. Typically, grow cycles are 90 to 120 days, starting from when the lights are “flipped” to 12 hours on/12 hours off (for indoor) OR the day after Solstice (for outdoor).

For example, if you are growing outdoors and the stain has a 90 day grow cycle, then, by the calendar, 90 days from June 22nd means that on or about September 22nd the trichomes on those plants SHOULD be completely mature.

Due to environmental and grow technique variables (indoor versus outdoor) trichome coloration is the standard for determining harvest time for most strains.

Trichome Farming

Trichrome farming is the process of focusing on maximizing specific types of trichomes by growing strains rich with those varieties. Long time growers are very familiar with the concept of ‘growing with intention’. In fact, many growers of medicinal cannabis work diligently to propagate strains which are rich in one trichome profile or another.

Cannabis Processing

Clearly, trichomes are critical to the output of carefully grown cannabis, and as such, processing cannabis is also a ‘trichome-centric’ activity. Processing cannabis creates opportunities to capture or extract individual trichomes from the biomass of the cannabis plant.

21st century industrial cannabis trimmers are constructed like a tumble-dry dryer, except, the inside of the ‘tumbler’ is built like a cheese-grater. As the cannabis plant is fed into the trimmer, the machine bounces the biomass around shaking off trichomes (Gasp! No!) while ‘trimming’ cannabis buds to a consistent size and shape.

Next time you open a container of processed cannabis, notice how all the buds are similar is size and shape AND that there are, unless it’s been hand-trimmed, NO trichomes sitting on the bud – it’s like the bud had a very tight haircut.

The trichomes which got ‘trimmed’ off the plant are gathered up in a catch-bin for processing (if you hand-trim cannabis, you can sift your buds and shake off “kief”, which are these same loose trichomes.

The biomass which is left over from the trimming process, including stems, leaves and small buds, can then be processed, under pressurized systems, to create concentrates and oils.

Bottom Line: trichomes are important to both cannabis plants and people’s health!

Conclusion

To learn more about trichomes, take Happy Travelers Tours Cannabis Dispensary Tour and get a behind-the-scenes tour of an indoor production facility or Book our MountainTop Grow Tour and get up-close-and-personal with Cannabis Plants. Book your Tour Today!


Does Weed Go Bad?

It’s a classic scenario: you’re out of weed and in your frantic search for more you discover a long-forgotten baggie of buds in a drawer. Victory! Hold on: is the pot still good? Does weed go bad? It smells ‘ok’ and doesn’t crumble to the touch, so, maybe, but, what about mold?

Weed doesn’t go bad like produce or condiments, but, it can, have a noticeable drop in potency. Aging weed can also undergo changes in texture, taste and aroma.

How long does cannabis stay fresh?

Dried cannabis keeps for 6 months to 1 year when stored properly.

According to research, weed loses roughly 16 percent of its THC after 1 year, and it just keeps dropping from there:

# of Years% of THC Loss
116%
226%
334%
441%

How do I know if my weed is old?

  • Smell It.
    • Weed that’s past its prime will smell different or lose its aroma entirely
  • Look at it.
    • Does it look dried out and aged?
  • Feel it.
    • Fresh weed shouldn’t crumble or feel spongy when you break it off.
  • Taste it.
    • Tasting a little shouldn’t harm you, but be prepared for changes in texture and potency.

The exception is weed that has grown mold. Obviously, smoking moldy weed is not a good idea.

How do I check for mold?

Look closely!

It typically looks like white powdery or fuzzy spots, some of which can be pretty small. Mold is often hard to see unless you look very closely.

Moldy weed tends to have a bit of an “off” taste and usually smells musty, kind of like hay.

Mold on weed isn’t likely to cause major health problems, but it can lead to cannabis hyperemesis syndrome symptoms: nausea, vomiting, and coughing.

In people with weakened immune systems, inhaling smoke or vapors from weed containing bacteria or fungi could cause serious illness or even death.

How should I be storing my weed, anyway?

Four factors have a direct impact on cannabis aroma, taste and potency:

  • Light
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Oxygen Exposure

What is the right storage container?

Glass jars with an airtight seal, like mason jars, are the way to go. They don’t have any static charge and limit oxygen exposure. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to find.

Ditch plastic baggies and containers. Plastic holds static that can affect delicate trichomes and mess with potency.

And your cute stash tins? They let in too much oxygen.

Watch the Humidity

Weed is best kept at a relative humidity of 59 to 63 percent. Any higher and you run the risk of trapping moisture, which can lead to the growth of mold. Anything lower can cause your weed to dry out. Keeping weed in a cool and dry spot away from sunlight is as important as the container you use, if not more so.

Cannabis Humidors

You can also go the extra mile and store your weed in a humidor made specifically for cannabis. There a many brands to choose from; a Google search will get you all the information you need.

Can I use the freezer?

Danger! Putting cannabis into freezing temps can cause trichomes to become brittle and break off. What are trichomes? They’re the tiny hairs on cannabis (and hemp) flowers that produce the cannabinoids which we care about.

Also keeping weed in the freezer can expose it to moisture, especially when ‘defrosting’, which can result in mold.

So, Does Weed Go Bad?

When cannabis is exposed to environmental factors such as light and air, the cannabinoids and terpenes deteriorate. So, the more exposure to these factors increase how quickly it deteriorates, or, goes “bad”.

How to Keep Different Types of Cannabis Fresh Longer

Different storage for different tokes is necessary to keep your cannabis products fresh and potent. Here’s a breakdown by cannabis product type:

Flower

To keep flower fresh, you need to store it properly. This includes limiting exposure to light and open air, and maintaining a proper humidity level, typically somewhere in the range of 54 percent to 63 percent.

To accomplish all this, store your bud in either a small glass Mason jar or a container designed specifically for marijuana. Keep the lid on tight, don’t open it very often, and keep it in a cool dark place.

Vape Pens

Since cannabis oil is already inside an airtight cartridge you don’t really need to worry about humidity or exposure to air, however, it’s best to keep your vape pens away from direct light.

  • Store your vape pen standing upright. This will keep all the oil at the bottom of the cartridge which means it’s ready for immediate use.

Concentrates

Typically, the container your concentrate (or Edible) comes in will be the best container to store it in.

Edibles

As mentioned above, to keep edibles fresh, keep them in the original package and store them in a place that’s away from open air and direct light. Be sure they’re in a cool location; gummies and candies can easily melt if you’re not careful.

Does Weed Go Bad Conclusion

Weed can last 'forever', however, after about a year it will begin to age, lose potency and, potentially, develop mold, rendering it not good to smoke.

To learn more, take our Cannabis Dispensary Tour and get a behind-the-scenes tour of an indoor production facility and learn how they store cannabis. Book your Tour Today!


Elevated Wine and Weed Tours – Enjoying the Crossfade Experience

In the new world of wine and weed tours it’s easy to get on the bus and get lifted, as it were. You can experience a wine and weed tour, or mix and match with beer destinations in Sonoma County.

Wine Country Weed Trips

Anyway you cut it, getting on a wine country weed trip is as easy as finding the Tour your like and booking it. The question is: during a day of tasting wine and cannabis, how do you enjoy the crossfade experience?

Enjoying the Crossfade Experience

What does ‘crossfade experience’ mean? It’s when someone consumes both alcohol and cannabis at the same time.

There’s an art to doing this and if you’ve never mixed the two before, you might want to go slow because instead of feeling ‘elevated’, you might end up feeling nauseated or worse.

How can the crossfade be enjoyed? Moderation! Yes, in the new world of wine and cannabis tourism, the temptation to taste as much as possible looms large. One way to ensure maximum enjoyment is to not mix within groups, and by this we mean: if you’ve been drinking wine, don’t switch to beer.

Likewise, if you’ve been smoking or vaping cannabis, don’t also munch down an edible or wash down your lunch with a cannabis-infused beverage!

Knowing Your Limits

One very effective way of enjoying the crossfade experience is to limit how much you consume. Instead of having a third glass of wine and smoking another joint, what if the ‘buzz you’re at” is fine? Check in with yourself and your friends – figure out when ‘too much is just enough’ and when it’s too much.

The MountainTop Wine-and-Weed Tour

Happy Travelers Tours specializes in cannabis education and our primer format for this is our nationally recognized MountainTop Wine-and-Weed Tour. The views on this Tour are spectacular and guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face who enjoys weed, wine and nature.

And, being in nature, where you can walk around and metabolize the wine and weed means, you’re more likely to enjoy your crossfade experience and the commonalities between cannabis and wine.

The Cannabis Dispensary and Wine Tasting Tour

There’s another way to enjoy a crossfade experience in Sonoma County and that’s on the Cannabis Dispensary and Wine Tasting Tour with Happy Travelers Tours.

This Tour visits a dispensary and indoor grow operation so Guests can get the cannabis education they want (and purchase cannabis products for later consumption) and then visits two wine tasting rooms for a catered lunch and a glass (or two) of Sonoma County Wine.

Which Comes First

While there has only been some initial clinical research into the crossfade experience, there are plenty of anecdotal experiences which suggest that smoking cannabis first and then consuming alcohol has a better “satisfaction” rating than drinking alcohol and adding weed on top.

It has to do with the way human bodies metabolize both substances and the fact one is ‘numbing’ part of the brain while the other is opening mind consciousness. The 'best practice' (as it were) is to:

  • Smoke or vape some cannabis
  • Enjoy a Glass of Wine or Beer
  • Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Crossfade

What Is a Canna-Curious Adventurer To Do?

Book a MountainTop Wine-and-Weed Tour or a Cannabis Dispensary and Wine Tasting Tour with Happy Travelers Tours and enjoy the best crossfade experience that Wine and Weed Country has to offer.