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This Cannabis Company Is Paying Employees Twice the Minimum Wage

Do you want to work in the cannabis industry? Oregon-based Cura Cannabis Solutions is hiring, and they are paying nearly twice the minimum wage.

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Minimum Wage
PHOTOS | Cura Cannabis Solutions

Working in the cannabis industry is a dream for many. The good news is as legalization continues, more opportunities are opening up to help make this dream a reality. Cura Cannabis Solutions (Cura), one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, is hiring. And they have just announced that they have just announced a company-wide minimum wage increase.

Increased Opportunities

Cura, the makers of the Select Oil and Select CBD brands, has seen unprecedented growth since its launch in 2015. Subsequently, they need more people to join their team in Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada.

They are currently hiring for senior management and executive level positions across all departments, including marketing, finance, sales and more. The majority of these positions will be based in their Portland, Oregon headquarters.

President and Chief Executive Officer Cameron Forni credits the company’s success on their carefully curated team.

“One of the most exciting elements of Cura is that we continue to hire the most incredible people,” said Forni. “It is those incredible people from diverse backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities that are helping the Select brand establish itself as an integral part of the future of cannabis.”

Increased Pay

As with most industries, some companies are better to work for than others. Recently named as one of Oregon Business Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon, Cura offers employees benefits like comprehensive healthcare and generous vacation policy.

Additionally, from November 1, Cura increased their minimum wage to $14/hr — almost twice the federal minimum wage, and 30 percent higher than the minimum wage in Oregon.

The increases in wages has been a huge hit with the Cura employees. “We’ve had a great response at every level,” said Forni. “It feels good for our managers to be able to hire new employees at higher wages, and our staff have also responded well to the increase in pay.”

The company’s key motivator for increasing wages was to focus on building up and supporting their team. “We’ve grown quickly and scaled fast, and none of that would be possible without the support of more than 500 people and growing, all who have worked incredibly hard and made big sacrifices at the early stages of this industry,” said Forni.

Cura’s intention is to help raise standards in the cannabis industry, and Forni believes employer standards are a huge part of that.

“If you want the best people, you have to take care of them and show them that you know that they’re the best,” said Forni. “The world’s leading brands weren’t built by one person, they were built by a team of incredible thinkers.

Cura celebrates diversity of thought, race, gender and background, acknowledging the need for the cannabis industry to raise and exceed conditions for all workers.

“Right now, the cannabis industry is at a critical point where we truly need the world’s greatest thinkers working together to find solutions to problems that have never been solved before,” said Forni.

“We hope that this decision signifies to the entire industry that now is the time to raise standards of employment across the board. That means health insurance, benefits, higher wages, better working conditions and values-based environments.

“We’re incredibly proud of everything that we’re working on in these areas.”

If you’re interested in applying, visit their website.

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How Cannabis Is Inspiring People to Help Save the World

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PHOTO | Germaican Hotel

With climate change and greener, more eco-friendly solutions at the front of most people’s minds and cannabis more popular than ever before, it makes total sense to combine the two, right?

That’s what Marian Erbach, a German national living in Jamaica and owner of the Germaican Hotel, decided to do.

Frustrated by the plastic waste that often washed ashore and littered the sand at Long Beach Bay on the east coast of Jamaica, Erbach put up a sign offering one free “pure ganja no tobacco added” spliff for each bucket of trash someone brought him.

He rolled up 56 joints, each holding a gram of cannabis, and thirty only minutes later someone already had a full bucket to exchange.

“The buckets are at the bar next to my sign, so take up a bucket, walk the beach, fill it, bring it to the bar and get a spliff,” said Erbach. “One of the funniest things about all that, the two buckets I bought were more expensive than all the joints.”

Puff, Puff, Give Back

Doing good for the earth and being rewarded for it with cannabis is not just exclusively Erbach’s idea, however.

In states in the U.S. where cannabis is legal for recreational use like Colorado and Maine, similar initiatives have spurred people into eco-friendly action.

In 2016, the Colorado Springs-based Pothole Cannabis Club offered a special 4/20 deal, giving people who came out and helped clean up trash at a local park a free joint.

Taking inspiration from that clean-up, residents of the town of Gerdiner, Maine set aside some time on a Saturday to pick up trash around the city in exchange for some free weed.

Led by Summit Medical Marijuana shortly after cannabis was legalized for recreational use back in 2016, the dispensary gave people two trash bags and promised them if they returned with them filled with litter they’d be gifted a free gram.

The initiative was so successful that the company nearly ran out of room in the dumpster for all the collected trash.

It’s not just businesses that are taking getting stoners up off their couches to collect trash either. Even Reddit is fighting the good fight against litter.

Last year, a member of the cannabis-focused subreddit group r/trees issued a challenge to fellow online stoners, posting a picture of a bag of trash they collected from their favorite smoke spot with the caption, “Cleaned up the smoke spot #StonerCleanUpInitiative.”

That post got more than 22,000 upvotes and inspired even more posts from the community helping keep things clean, even making the leap onto popular social media sites like Twitter and Instagram where smokers have posted pictures and videos of their clean up efforts both big and small.

With all of these examples of cannabis users making a difference for the environment,their communities and the health of the planet overall, maybe it’s time to retire that worn out “cannabis users are lazy” stereotype and start acknowledging that cannabis isn’t the only thing green about stoners.

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Yes, You Can Buy & Consume Weed at Outside Lands Festival

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Grass Lands Festival
PHOTOS | Courtesy of Outside Lands

Outside Lands festival is making history for the second year in a row with confirmation that consumption will be allowed at Grass Lands, the event’s cultivated cannabis experience.

It gets better.

Not only is on-site consumption allowed, you will also be able to buy cannabis products.

According to the L.A. Times, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control approved on-site sale and consumption to people 21 years and older. The city of San Francisco had already granted its own permit for cannabis use at the event and has suggested other events in the city may also be granted such licenses.

“I think Outside Lands is unique in that it’s a large outdoor music festival in the park — not typically where cannabis events have been licensed,” said bureau spokesman Alex Traverso

“Permitting Grass Lands as the inaugural event is the first step in creating a safe cannabis event space for those aged 21 years and older,” said Marisa Rodriguez, director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis to the L.A. Times. “Attendees will be able to purchase and consume lab-tested products away from the rest of the venue’s attendees.”

Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener also voiced his approval.

“Cannabis is part of our culture — particularly at music festivals — and it makes sense to allow people to obtain it legally,” Wiener said. “We need to move past prohibition, which doesn’t work.”

According to the Outside Lands website, as long as you have a valid Government-issued photo ID, everything from pre-rolls, flower, edibles, cartridges, and more will be available.

And while there may be designated consumption areas if you’re smoking or vaping in Grass Lands, edibles or beverages can be consumed anywhere within the event’s grounds.

The Grass is Greener at Grass Lands Festival

Outside Lands made history last year with the inaugural Grass Lands event, becoming the first curated cannabis experience at a major American music festival. Held South of the Polo Field (SoPo), Grass Lands was embraced by the extended Bay Area cannabis community as the perfect place to educate, elevate and celebrate cannabis.

“Much the way that Wine Lands celebrates Napa and Sonoma as the leaders in U.S. wine production, Grass Lands will shine a light on the area’s importance as pioneers in the cannabis world,” said Outside Lands co-producer Rick Farman.

This year, presented with Eaze, Grass Lands promises you even higher experience at America’s first legal cannabis consumption music event.

Grass Lands is part of Outside Lands, this weekend 9-11 August in San Fransisco’s Golden Gate Park. Headliners include Paul Simon, Childish Gambino and Twenty One Pilots. Be part of history. Get your tickets here.

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‘Masterclass in Medical Cannabis’ Signals Global Change in Cannabis Opinion

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Masterclass in Medical Cannabis
PHOTO | cendeced

The global trend in cannabis legalization and acceptance of the plant as medicine took another leap forward recently. New Zealand’s largest medical cannabis firm and the leading British expert in medical cannabis recently joined forces to host a ‘Masterclass in Medical Cannabis’ series to educate local doctors and healthcare professionals about the benefits of incorporating the plant into their prescription.

Professor Mike Barnes, a highly experienced consultant neurologist and the Director of Education for the Academy of Medical Cannabis based in London, and Helius Therapeutics hosted three ‘Masterclass in Medical Cannabis’ events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the first RNZCGP-endorsed professional training of its kind.

Paul Manning, CEO of Helius believes it is “absolutely critical that New Zealand’s doctors have access to professional training in advance of locally-produced medicinal cannabis products becoming widely available from next year.”

“As the country’s largest medical cannabis firm, I feel it’s incumbent on Helius to invest in educational opportunities for healthcare professionals, in what is a rapidly emerging field of clinical practice,” said Manning.

We sat down with Prof. Barnes and Paul Manning to discuss the importance of education, the global trend of cannabis legalization and their mutual concern of the specialist sign-off requirement that’s recommended in the discussion document on New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

Professor Mike Barnes

Professor Mike Barnes

Cannabis Aficionado: Why do you think doctors are so hesitant to prescribe medical cannabis?

Professor Mike Barnes: There are several reasons: lack of knowledge and lack of guidance, also medical cannabis products being unapproved medicines, which means the doctor had to take additional responsibility — so they can be scared of prescribing!

Education is key to informed decision making. In an ideal world, what educational resources would you like medical professionals to have access to?

As many different formats as possible. On-line training, one-day masterclasses like we ran in New Zealand, and written material.

What do you think the most compassionate legal cannabis model looks like?

Wide access to all that may benefit without restriction on conditions that can be treated. Leave it up to the doctor to decide whether its right for that patient (like any other medicine). Allow all doctors (specialists and GPs) to prescribe any GMP standard product.

What parallels do you believe New Zealand has with the U.K. with regards to thoughts around cannabis legalization?

Very similar — general doctor reluctance to be involved — although I felt much more interest than we have in the U.K. That’s for medical cannabis of course. General legalization for recreational use is at about 50:50 split in the U.K. now — similar again to New Zealand.

Have you seen N.Z.’s proposed medical cannabis scheme? If yes, what are your thoughts?

Yes, and it’s generally excellent. The main issue is the proposed prescribing restriction that requires specialist sign off, which is unnecessary. I believe that GPs would make very good prescribers as medical cannabis is mainly a symptom treater and GPs treat the sort of symptoms that cannabis helps all the time, such as chronic pain, anxiety, sleep problems, etc.

What three things do you wish all doctors knew about medical cannabis?

That it is very safe. It is generally different from unregulated cannabis and there is good evidence for several indications.

Any advice for New Zealand moving forward with legalization?

Make medical cannabis products available through GPs without the need for a specialist recommendation. Help all doctors to learn by organizing a range of educational opportunities. And don’t rely on the traditional medical bodies to provide guidance, as they are usually far too conservative – the wrong generation!

Paul Manning, CEO, Helius Therapeutics

Paul Manning, CEO, Helius Therapeutics

Cannabis Aficionado: Why does Helius believe that educating doctors is so important?

Paul Manning: Thousands of suffering New Zealanders will be relying on their GPs for professional advice about medicinal cannabis for a range of therapeutic possibilities, and if appropriate, to access to products on prescription. We strongly believe every Kiwi has a natural right to a pain-free existence.

However, access will not improve unless doctors are well-informed about medical cannabis and how to prescribe the products. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of Australia and the U.K., where doctors were simply unprepared for the changes, causing widespread frustration among patients.

This initiative marked New Zealand’s first RNZCGP-endorsed professional training in medicinal cannabis for doctors on a national scale. It’s a major milestone for our burgeoning medicinal cannabis industry, as well as the healthcare sector.

How did Prof. Barnes become involved?

Mike became widely known after the U.K. Government commissioned him in 2016 to assess evidence for the medical use of cannabis. I had read this report, Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use. It helped to change the direction of legislation in the U.K. and acted as a catalyst to the eventual rescheduling of medicinal cannabis in November 2018. He is also the author of more than a dozen books and 200 published papers, several of which have been referenced by our team.

Mike also famously consulted to Alfie Dingley’s case in England, a six-year-old boy who suffers from a rare form epilepsy that was causing up to 150 seizures a month. His seizures have been since dramatically reduced after being given cannabis products. Mike is the Director of Education at The Academy of Medical Cannabis, so I reached out to him about this opportunity.

Did he enjoy himself?

Absolutely. We had an ambitious schedule, to deliver three full-day masterclasses in three cities, so we were flat out, but it was a lot of fun too! I think Mike really liked New Zealand and I know he was very encouraged by the positive response from healthcare professionals down here.

What has the feedback been from attendees?

We had 330 healthcare professionals attend the three masterclasses. The feedback has been fantastic. The majority of attendees were general practitioners. It was a big commitment to join the class for a whole day, and I think this demonstrates just how open-minded many doctors are to medical cannabis.

What is the biggest reason you believe cannabis should be legalized for medical purposes?

Cannabis is an extraordinary, natural treatment for many chronic conditions. These products present alternative to many harsh drugs, such opioids, and can improve the lives of millions of people across the world.

What is one thing you wish people knew about the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis?

You don’t need to get high to get healthy. Even products that contain THC need not necessarily come with a euphoric effect.

How can the public educate themselves on medical cannabis?

There are some wonderful resources available online, such as Project CBD. There’s a fantastic book by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with the snappy title The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. We’re also working on a unified repository of the world’s published cannabis research, which will be launched in 2020.

Any plans for more events like this again?

You bet. The Masterclasses in Medical Cannabis were just the start. We’ll be rolling out a program of professional and public education initiatives over the next 24 months. Helius has also just signed a quarter-million dollar commitment with BiotechNZ to stage a major education event in New Zealand early next year.

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