The use of topical cannabis products to treat symptoms of psoriasis and arthritis, or to help reduce localized pain and inflammation is a relatively new concept in modern medicine. Those among the medical cannabis community will not be surprised to learn, however, that a homemade cannabis salve is currently providing relief to a toddler suffering in Nevada when doctors and pharmaceuticals could not.
When Carter Grey Padelford entered the world on November 26, 2016, he did not look like most newborn babies. Carter’s skin was bright red, and pulled so tight that it was impossible for his eyelids to close all the way. “He was very…almost swollen,” said Shai Sifford, Carter’s mother. “Bright red–like fire engine red. And his skin was just extremely, extremely tight.”
These symptoms are caused by a rare skin disorder called lamellar ichthyosis. Affecting only one out of every 100,000 babies born in the United States, few doctors are familiar with lamellar ichthyosis, and even fewer understand how to treat the symptoms. “Doctors didn’t offer us much advice or help. I feel they neglected us because they didn’t know what was going on,” Shai said. “They told me to keep him covered and to avoid baths and to come back in two years when he was two.”
What is lamellar ichthyosis?
Affecting the skin, lamellar ichthyosis is a genetic condition that displays slightly different symptoms depending on the person. In Carter’s case, it causes his skin to grow up to 14 times faster than normal. His body cannot keep up with shedding the dead skin cells at that rate. As a result, the dead skin cells build up into dry, itchy, and painful scales which cause his skin to be pulled so tightly that it limits his mobility and causes bloody sores. His parents have to give him multiple oatmeal baths each day to moisturize his skin and scrub the scales off. As he grows rapidly, like toddlers do, this is overwhelming for Carter and his parents.
Very little is known about this rare genetic disorder, and Carter’s parents were desperate to do anything to help their little boy live a normal life. Posting about Carter’s experience on popular social media sites brought them a tip from a helpful stranger who found relief using cannabis infused shampoo.
Topical Cannabis to Treat Lamellar Ichthyosis Symptoms
Lucky to be living in Nevada, a state where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, Carter’s grandmother learned how to make a salve at home using cannabis oil and other essential oils. Now, Shai covers him in the topical cannabis from head to toe multiple times each day, and it has produced dramatic results. “His progress has been insane,” Shai posted on social media. “His eyes could never really close completely, but since I’ve been using the cannabis oil on his eyelids, they are almost closing all the way.”
Like in the brain, immune system, and nervous system, endocannabinoid receptors are also found in skin cells. The cannabinoids in cannabis, like CBD, bind directly to those receptors in the skin when applied topically, delivering help directly where it is most needed. The psychoactive properties of cannabis are not translated through topical application, so Carter is not getting high or experiencing any negative side effects from this treatment method. It is simply helping his body work to heal itself naturally.
Carter’s parents understand that many people in the United States are not yet aware of the medical efficacy of cannabis. “I know there is a lot of controversy about cannabis use with kids, and I’m sure I’ll receive some backlash for choosing this method,” Shai said. “But cannabis has been literally changing his life, and I’m so excited I could burst.”
Photos courtesy of: KTNV Nevada
Among the four states to legalize recreational marijuana use and sales on Election Night 2016, a clear winner in the competition to cash in on tax revenue has emerged.
Voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved cannabis legalization measures on the same night two Novembers ago.
Of these, Nevada was the first to record licensed and regulated retail sales in July 2017, a full six months before the first day of sales in California on January 1, 2018.
And since sales began, Nevada marijuana retailers have enjoyed a booming market—and with it, higher-than-expected tax revenue for the state, much of which is going directly to schools.
According to Nevada state marijuana regulators, taxable sales in the 12-month period from July 2017 to June 2018 are expected to exceed $500 million.
That’s 25 percent higher than official state revenue projections, which generally err on the side of caution.
And it absolutely destroys sales figures seen in Colorado and Washington during those two states’ first-in-the-nation early days of retail sales. In the first six months of 2014, Washington recorded $67 million, and Colorado $114 million.
The relative ease with which Nevada rolled out retail marijuana sales and their overwhelming success stands in stark contrast to the other states. In California, first-quarter sales fell well behind official state projections, in large part due to a highest-in-the-nation tax burden and cities and counties slow to adopt or outright to retail marijuana sales.
And in Massachusetts and Maine, a combination of local NIMBYism and government foot-dragging has meant that neither state has yet recorded a single sale.
“We are viewed by many others outside Nevada as essentially being the gold standard,” Nevada Taxation Department Director William Anderson told The Associated Press. “It’s an often-used term, but it’s appropriate here.”
At the same time, Nevada still has a long way to go before it catches Colorado’s current sales figures. In 2018, fueled by visitors from New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere, retail sales of marijuana in Colorado exceeded a staggering $1.5 billion, according to the Denver Post.
According to official first-quarter sales figures released by the state Department of Tax and Fee Administration, California raked in nearly $61 million.
That’s still on pace to miss Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) prediction of $175 million in tax revenue from the first six months of the year. At the same time, more cities and counties—which must license retail dispensaries for them to operate—that were slow to allow for retail sales, such as Los Angeles, have come online.
In Alaska, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana sales in 2014, revenue from state marijuana taxes increased almost tenfold from year to year, with sales expected to continue to increase this year.
According to official figures released Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Revenue collected more than $11 million in taxes during the fiscal year that ended June 30—compared to $1.7 million the year before.
“I don’t believe the market has saturated and we haven’t seen exactly what capacity the state is going to operate in as far as cultivation and retail stores and the other facilities,” Kelly Mazzei, a tax official with the Department of Revenue, told NBC affiliate KTUU.
After Nevada’s first few days of legal recreational cannabis, both dispensaries owners and customers are enjoying the end of prohibition in the state.
“I just couldn’t believe the day has come and that’s it’s finally real,” said Nicholas Hatheway, a medical cannabis patient. “The lines are longer, and the products are probably going to run out faster, but I’m not greedy. I think everyone deserves this.”
An estimated $3 million worth of recreational cannabis was sold within the first four days. While Colorado, Oregon and Washington had much higher sales in their first days of legalization, cannabis business owners in Nevada were expecting much less.
“We had a higher demand than everybody initially thought,” said Riana Durrett, director of the Nevada Dispensary Association. “It shows this market really exists.”
Restocking depleted inventory is one of the most significant concerns facing Nevada dispensaries. In the fine print of the state’s new cannabis laws is a regulation that only allows liquor distributors the right to transport cannabis. After these distributors showed little interest in becoming cannabis distributors, state officials allowed other distribution companies the same opportunity.
Apparently, the liquor distributors had a change of heart. In response, the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada decided to sue the Nevada Department of Taxation so they alone would have the right to distribute cannabis in the state. A judge ruled in favor of the alcohol distributors last month, giving these distributors the sole right to distribute cannabis, whether they take advantage of the opportunity or not.
“It is important to emphasize that nothing in the order prohibits the marijuana industry from starting — the state can simply license the alcohol distributors and let them get to work,” said Kevin Benson, a lawyer representing the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada. “That is, of course, what we would like to see happen.”
Unfortunately, no licenses have been granted to any distributors at this time, and dispensaries owner are nervous about their supply. “I think they’d like to do it; they’re just not ready,” said Andrew Jolley, CEO of The Source, a dispensary company with locations in the Las Vegas area. “We hope we have sufficient supply to last a few days or weeks until the distributors are able to come online to supply us.”
According to Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation, the licensing process is still moving forward. “We expect to have some distributors licensed within the next three weeks or so,” she said.
But three weeks of waiting might leave dispensaries without products to sell. To keep the initial momentum of legalization going, the state is allowing dispensaries to use inventory designated for medical cannabis patients for recreational customers.
“It’s already affected business, not being able to re-stock,” said Jeff Grossman, owner of The Dispensary in Reno. “This is the game we play, but at least they let us play.”
Nevada joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska as the fifth state that has legalized recreational cannabis. Adults 21 and over can now purchase cannabis at dispensaries in Nevada, whether they are state residents or not.
Nevada’s largest industry is tourism, and business owners are wondering how legal cannabis will exist within that industry. Scot Rutledge, an activist who worked on the campaign to legalize cannabis last fall, believes private cannabis clubs could be a reality in certain parts of the state.
“In Las Vegas, you have strip clubs, so you’ll have consumption clubs,” he said. “It’s not the exact same thing, but it’s a similar model.”
Dispensary owners noticed a large amount of customers from other states within the first few days of sales, which may be a sign that Nevada may be a destination for cannabis tourism.
Nevada is still on track to begin recreational cannabis sales on July 1st, but new regulations for edibles have dispensary owners scrambling.
Tourism and gaming are the state’s largest industries. Under Nevada’s legislation, cannabis may only be consumed at a private residence. This could lead to more tourists purchasing edibles out of convenience. The idea that 63 percent of the state’s 40 million annual tourists would be buying edibles triggered lawmakers to apply more regulation to edible cannabis products.
Stephanie Klapstein, the spokesperson representing the Nevada Department of Taxation that enacted the new rules said,
“From day one, we want to make sure that potency, packaging and labeling are strict from the start.”
Edibles will now be sold in doses of 10mg or less with no more than 100mg per package. Any type of product that may appeal to children, such as gumdrops or lollipops, are prohibited. The packaging and labels must not use illustration or graphic details that might appeal to a child. Since many existing products don’t fit the new criteria, edible manufacturers are working with dispensaries to provide quick fixes so that their products are legal for sale. “We are frantically having our graphic people rework those as we speak,” said Nancy Whiteman, co-owner of Wana Brands in Colorado said,
Governor Brian Sandoval moved to support revised regulation that would go into effect on the first day recreational sales are scheduled to begin. Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for the governor’s office said,
“The Governor wants to see the state realize the revenues from its sales, and most importantly, wants a regulatory structure that is restricted, responsible and respected.”
As of July 1, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase 1 ounce of cannabis or less, as well as an eighth of an ounce of edible cannabis. As the ninth state to legalize recreational cannabis, Nevada has plenty of data to use as reference. “We really went around the country, looked at the best laws, and brought them here because we want to be the model,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom.
But it appears that Nevada will already have its own rules. Earlier in June, a court order gave state-licensed alcohol distributors the sole responsibility of transporting and distributing recreational cannabis. The state hopes to eliminate this order so that they may license distributors without the involvement of the alcohol industry. Currently, no other state has a regulation of this nature.
Industry experts in both the cannabis and alcohol industries have been speculating as to how recreational cannabis sales will affect alcohol sales in Nevada, a state with a thriving appetite for liquor. The number of tourists who may flock to Nevada for recreational cannabis within the confines of “America’s Playground” have investors keeping a close watch starting July 1.
“This is the ‘big boy’ state. If you are the ‘who’s who’ of the cannabis industry, you are in Nevada because of our tourism.” said Clint Cates, director of compliance for Mainstream Partners and Kynd Cannabis Co.
In the short term, dispensary owners are anticipating long lines on the first day of recreational sales, and are working with the local authorities to maintain public safety.
Last month, it was announced that an early start to adult use marijuana retail sales slated to begin on July 1st in Nevada. Under the plan, established medical marijuana dispensaries were to apply for licenses to sell cannabis to anyone over the age of 21.
Now it looks like those plans will be put on hold after a judge issued a temporary restraining order that prohibits the state’s Department of Taxation from enforcing an application deadline for dispensaries wishing to participate in the program. This comes after the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada argued that the Nevada marijuana legalization measure gave liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to adult use marijuana distribution licenses for the first 18 months of sales.
The judge ruled:
“The statute clearly gives a priority and exclusive license to alcohol distributors, in order to promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol.”
According to the Nevada tax department, they put out the word to liquor distributors to see if anyone was interested in the marijuana distribution licenses; they say not a single distributor even submitted a business plan until very recently. That’s why they opened up the application process, lest they not have anyone able to actually deliver the marijuana from growers when the time came.
To be fair, you can’t blame the liquor distributors for wanting exclusive rights for the 18 month span – that’s a pretty sweet gig with no competition. But why wait so long to express interest? It’s been 8 months since Question 2 passed in Nevada, that’s plenty of time to let authorities know you want to participate in the activity you claim that measure passing gave you the rights to.
For their part, dispensary owners say the exclusive distribution rights scheme will end up making the entire supply chain longer and more difficult than it needs to be. Companies that have growing and retail centers on the same property would have to use a liquor middleman to deliver cannabis from one room to another in the same building.
Treating cannabis like alcohol means to treat them similar in a legal sense. It doesn’t mean that the alcohol industry has to be literally involved in the legal marijuana industry. If that were the case, why not sell cannabis at liquor stores? Or staple dime bags to 6-packs of Bud Light?
The legal cannabis industry is already fighting an uphill battle in many ways; making things even more difficult for no reason makes no sense.
Originally published: The Marijuana Times