ML Capital Group Inc.’s Platinum Highlife Tours Exposes Numerous New MJ Tourism Opportunities in Las Vegas OTC Markets:MLCG


| Source: ML Capital Group, Inc.


MIAMI, Nov. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ML Capital Group, Inc. (OTC PINK:MLCG), recent efforts by MLCG’s Platinum Highlife Tours division have yielded an unprecedented opportunity in Nevada with its recent legalization of cannabis both for medicinal and recreational use. With this recent development, it has exposed numerous new tourism opportunities for Platinum Highlife Tours to exploit within Las Vegas and throughout the State.

“Despite legalization, visitors without access to a private residence are currently finding it difficult, if not impossible to locate a legal place to enjoy their cannabis purchases,” says CEO Kevin Bobryk. “Platinum Highlife Tours is well into the process of building a high-value solution to this challenge.”

MLCG is also currently forming a private real estate lending and acquisition division, targeting buildings and land in greater Las Vegas and beyond that are appropriately zoned to meet the needs of the explosively growing cannabis industry.

“The initial thrust is to acquire land and buildings that can be economically upgraded to service the cannabis industry,” says Bobryk. “A focus on tourism will remain our top priority, though we will also be seeking high value properties that are sought after by the wider cannabis industry.”

For further information:

Platinum Tours Maui and ML Capital Group politely and formally request that all inquiries, whether stock-related or travel be submitted to investor relations at info@mlcginc.com.

About ML Capital Group Inc.:

ML Capital Group Inc. (OTC:MLCG) is a global holdings company focusing on acquisitions in luxury travel, leisure and lifestyle industries. MLCG’s business model looks to identify under-valued “brick and mortar” luxury tour operators to be acquired, re-branded and integrated within the Company’s luxury tourism portfolio.

Safe Harbor: This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 27E of the Securities Act of 1934. Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results may differ materially from that projected or suggested herein due to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, ability to obtain financing and regulatory and shareholder approval for anticipated actions.

ML Capital Group

Investor Relations 
Email: info@mlcginc.com

SOURCE: ML Capital Group Inc.





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Uncovering how dabbing cannabis can impair driving ability


The van that the research team uses to conduct tests on participants. Credit: Colorado State University

Researchers studying how an intense cannabis consumption method could impair driving ability have turned to a simple device that many people have lying around their homes.

Colorado State University faculty member Brian Tracy is collaborating with a group of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder to study the effects of dabbing, a highly potent method of ingesting cannabis. In a first-of-its kind project that could eventually help prevent driving under the influence, they are examining how dabbing affects things like balance, movement ability and reaction time—and they’re using an Apple iPod for several of the measurements.

Tracy created four of the tests being administered to the research subjects. He’s using the gyroscope and accelerometer in the iPod Touch to measure bodily movements, and the widely available device is proving just as accurate as equipment costing thousands of dollars more.

About dabbing

Dabbing is the vaporization and inhalation of cannabis concentrates, and users report that dabs provide an immediate rush, which could affect their ability to drive safely.

“Users get very high, very rapidly,” Tracy said. “It’s almost instantaneous, and the feeling is very strong.”

Uncovering how dabbing cannabis can impair driving ability
The iPod is attached to the lower leg to measure reaction times. Credit: Colorado State University

The problem is, there has been little to no research on the physical and health-related effects of dabbing, like its impact on driving ability, so the results of the new study are expected to be groundbreaking.

By advertising for , the team identifies existing dabbers who agree to be studied. Using a van outfitted with testing equipment, researchers have been traveling around the Boulder area for several months to test those participants at a prearranged time when the subjects plan to be dabbing. The research team parks outside participants’ homes to conduct an initial set of tests that establish their sober baseline, and then after the subjects dab inside their homes, they return to the van to undergo the same tests under the influence.

The study only involves participants who have dabbed before; the team isn’t involved with handling or dispensing the drug to participants.

“The team is not providing or administering the cannabis,” Tracy said. “The subjects are doing what they would normally do, to themselves. It’s an observational study.”


First study of its kind

The three-year project, called “Effects of Dabbing on Marijuana Intoxication, Driving and Cognition,” was funded by a $839,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to researchers at CU. It is the first study of dabbing’s effect on motor function and reaction time.

Uncovering how dabbing cannabis can impair driving ability
A research assistant poses during a mock experiment. Credit: Colorado State University

The tests that Tracy provided are focused on movement ability. His tests measure subjects’ ability to maintain balance and rapidly move a leg, tap a finger and move an arm. An app collects the data using the sensors built into the iPod Touch, which can be affixed to the participant’s body during the tests.

“Testing has shown that this $200 iPod Touch is just as accurate as the high-tech $1,000 accelerometer I have in my lab,” he said. “And the accelerometer can’t leave the lab, because it is connected to very expensive equipment and amplifiers that are not easily portable. The iPod is both inexpensive and portable, so it opens up access to researchers in many different settings.”

The ballistic leg movement test measures how quickly participants can move their leg, similar to the motion of lifting one’s foot off the gas pedal. The second test tracks participants’ neuromotor speed by measuring their rate of finger tapping. In the balance task, participants try to stand steady, with their eyes open and then closed, to measure their postural stability. The last , the ballistic arm punch, measures subjects’ peak acceleration and , which can relate to how quickly they’d be able to turn a steering wheel under the influence.

In total, participants complete 10 tests, so researchers can get an accurate read on the participants’ overall cognitive and movement ability—both when they’re sober and when they’re high.

Recreational marijuana has been approved by voters in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska and Washington, D.C., so it’s becoming increasingly important to learn more about this method of consuming cannabis.


Explore further:
Study links cancerous toxins to cannabis extract



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Raids on pot grow houses finding more Chinese nationals, mysterious financing


Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Sacramento Bee in October.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police are arresting large numbers of Chinese nationals in raids on illegal marijuana operations in California, Colorado and other states, raising questions about who is financing these grow houses and recruiting the immigrants to tend them.

In one recent indictment obtained by McClatchy, money from a southern China bank account was transferred to California to pay for down payments on homes that later become grow houses, suggesting that some investors in China are putting money into the illicit U.S. marijuana market.

“These are sophisticated operations,” said Thomas Yu, a longtime Asian gang investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “When we hear about Asian gangs, we think about young guys doing drive-by shootings. This isn’t like that. These are organized ad hoc enterprises, run by businessmen. They are in it for the profit.”

In and around Sacramento, police have arrested numerous Chinese suspects in recent raids on indoor pot farms. But raids have also taken place in more far-flung locations, such as Garfield County in Colorado’s northwest corner.

Last year, Garfield Sheriff Lou Vallario and his deputies descended on an illegal marijuana farm, arresting 14 suspects. To Vallario’s surprise, all 14 were Chinese nationals.

Vallario and other law enforcement officials are quick to note that people from many backgrounds — U.S. citizens, Mexicans, Russians — are involved in the illegal marijuana trade.

“We’ve had nationals from all over coming to this part of Colorado,” he said. “There are grow houses popping up in every neighborhood.”

But in recent years, Chinese operators seem to be expanding their reach:

In three separate raids in September, authorities in California’s Yolo County and the cities of Roseville and Elk Grove arrested 13 Chinese immigrants in raids on marijuana grow houses.

In a case filed in U.S. District Court in July, prosecutors allege that 10 Chinese suspects with out-of-state driver’s licenses were growing marijuana inside nine Sacramento-area homes. More than 7,700 plants were seized.

North of Sacramento, Yuba County sheriffs arrested 14 Chinese — some U.S. citizens and some with Chinese passports — in three marijuana busts between March and May. Those raids hauled in 8,000 plants, six firearms and thousands of dollars in U.S. currency, according to the county, which says it has turned the case over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In July, a federal jury in Nevada convicted a 66-year-old Chinese man, Jianguo Han, on charges of running a large-scale marijuana operation in two Las Vegas houses. A month earlier, Colorado indicted five Chinese immigrants and 69 other defendants. They are accused of participating in what Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman called “the largest illegal marijuana trafficking ring” since the state legalized the drug in 2015.

Coffman and other law enforcement officials say that marijuana growers and smugglers are targeting states such as Colorado and California assuming they can operate in the shadows of commercial enterprises that are licensed to grow pot. Coffman called the June indictment “a prime example that the black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state.”

Yu, who has investigated scores of large-scale marijuana operations, say the Chinese grow houses share much in common. Many are purchased with cash and are located in quiet, unassuming suburbs. Electricians are brought in to bypass the electricity meters, so growers can tap a free source of power to run grow lights and fans.

They can reap enormous profits. A single pot house can produce three crops annually, which can net a grower $1 million or more, depending on the size of the grow and the quality of the bud, Yu said. Often the marijuana is shipped to markets on the East Coast, one reason that Chinese immigrants from New York have recently been arrested in Sacramento-area raids.

Yu said that he’s seen a general pattern with the pot-house caretakers he’s arrested. Many are experienced farmers from poor Chinese provinces, often in their 50s and 60s. Some have been smuggled into the United States, but many arrive with Chinese passports, presumably arranged by the grow house operators, he said.

Having obtained B-1 or B-2 visas, they are allowed to stay in the United States up to six months. If arrested, they often provide little help to investigators, even when Mandarin translators are brought in.

In Garfield County, Vallario and his deputies dug up 3,000 marijuana plants from the Chinese grow operation they raided last year. But when investigators tried to question the 14 Chinese suspects they arrested, they quickly encountered language barriers. “We didn’t do a very thorough job of interrogating them,” said the sheriff. He later turned the case over to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which declined to comment.

In Sacramento, attorney John B. Renwick has carved out a practice representing Chinese arrested on drug charges and other offenses. Fluent in Mandarin, with a bilingual website, Renwick said he’s represented 100 Chinese arrested for marijuana growing over the last decade. Often the court appoints him because of his language skills.

Like Yu, Renwick said many the Chinese arrested are recent arrivals, often misled into thinking that large-scale marijuana grow houses are legal under California medical marijuana law.

While his Chinese clients rarely reveal anything about the bosses that recruited them, Renwick said he’s gleaned some information from evidence that has come out in court proceedings.

In one case in which he represented one of several defendants, for instance, he learned that the operation “was an arrangement between three people — a guy, I guess you could call him a kingpin, who put up money to put people in houses. He was the ‘money guy.’ The person who took title in his name was the ‘title guy.’ And then there’d be a third guy who managed the grow, and they split the profit three ways,” Renwick said.

Yu said that China is a source for at least some the money financing grow houses, and the July indictment of 10 Chinese suspects supports his contention. Prosecutors in that case allege that one female suspect, Xiu Ping Li, received three separate wire transfers of $48,985 each in early 2016 to purchase three homes that ultimately became Sacramento grow houses.

The money was allegedly transferred from a China Construction Bank account in Fujian province to Li’s Bank of America account. According to the indictment, she is accused of international money laundering and other offenses. The money laundering charge could get her up to 20 years in prison.

In California and other states, Chinese busted in marijuana grow operations generally receive probation and face potential deportation. But for many years, China has generally refused to take back its citizens convicted of U.S. crimes, in part because the United States — out of human rights concerns — has refused to extradite Chinese that Beijing claims are criminal fugitives.

As a result, many Chinese busted for pot growing “end up in a legal limbo,” according to a California court interpreter involved in several of these proceedings.

“I’m aware of several cases where (Chinese) people have been waiting for months and months,” said the interpreter, who asked to remain nameless because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “China will not take them back. So they periodically report to an ICE agent in town and get on with their lives. But they have no legal status. Some are stateless. Their Chinese passports have expired.”

With the help of the interpreter, McClatchy contacted three Chinese currently on probation for involvement in a Elk Grove pot house that police raided last year. All three — Jiabin Haung, Jun Song Chen and Annie Hong — declined to be interviewed.

Yu, of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, said he’s tried for years to land a successful prosecution of ringleaders who lure Chinese farmers to man grow houses. But obtaining the resources — and getting people to talk — has proven difficult, he said.

Drug detectives are overwhelmed these days with traffickers of heroin, fentanyl and other opioids. Yet illegal marijuana trafficking shouldn’t be seen as a “victimless crime,” said Yu. Last year, authorities arrested an alleged marijuana grower named Andy Chen and charged him with murdering one of his associates, Min Gu, a Chinese national. Police found Gu’s body in the trunk of a parked Lexus sedan in Monterey Park, a suburb east of Los Angeles, after neighbors reported a foul odor wafting from the vehicle.

By a margin of 57 to 43 percent, California voters last year approved Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana for persons 21 years and older. The law takes effect Jan. 1, requiring businesses to obtain state and local licenses to grow and sell marijuana for recreational use.

As in Colorado, California proponents have argued that legalization will help stamp out black-market marijuana. Many Colorado officials say that hasn’t happened.

According to a state study last year, police nationwide made 166 seizures of Colorado marijuana bound for other states between 2014 and September of 2015.

In Garfield County, Sheriff Vallario estimates that 90 percent of the marijuana grown in Glenwood Springs, the county seat, is destined for out-of-state black markets.

“Everyone in our town of 9,900 people would have to be stoned 24 hours a day just to smoke half of what is being grown,” he said.

(Brad Branan reports for the Sacramento Bee.)



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An iPod in a van may uncover how dabbing cannabis can impair driving ability | College of Health and Human Sciences | SOURCE


Researchers studying how an intense cannabis consumption method could impair driving ability have turned to a simple device that many people have lying around their homes.

Colorado State University faculty member Brian Tracy is collaborating with a group of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder to study the effects of dabbing, a highly potent method of ingesting cannabis. In a first-of-its kind project that could eventually help prevent driving under the influence, they are examining how dabbing affects things like balance, movement ability and reaction time — and they’re using an Apple iPod for several of the measurements.

Brian Tracy

Tracy created four of the tests being administered to the research subjects. He’s using the gyroscope and accelerometer in the iPod Touch to measure bodily movements, and the widely available device is proving just as accurate as equipment costing thousands of dollars more.

About dabbing

Dabbing is the vaporization and inhalation of cannabis concentrates, and users report that dabs provide an immediate rush, which could affect their ability to drive safely.

“Users get very high, very rapidly,” Tracy said. “It’s almost instantaneous, and the feeling is very strong.”

The problem is, there has been little to no research on the physical and health-related effects of dabbing, like its impact on driving ability, so the results of the new study are expected to be groundbreaking.

By advertising for participants, the team identifies existing dabbers who agree to be studied. Using a van outfitted with testing equipment, researchers have been traveling around the Boulder area for several months to test those participants at a prearranged time when the subjects plan to be dabbing. The research team parks outside participants’ homes to conduct an initial set of tests that establish their sober baseline, and then after the subjects dab inside their homes, they return to the van to undergo the same tests under the influence.

Dabbing van for dabbing study
The van that the research team uses to conduct tests on participants.

The study only involves participants who have dabbed before; the team isn’t involved with handling or dispensing the drug to participants.

“The team is not providing or administering the cannabis,” Tracy said. “The subjects are doing what they would normally do, to themselves. It’s an observational study.”

First study of its kind

The three-year project, called “Effects of Dabbing on Marijuana Intoxication, Driving and Cognition,” was funded by a $839,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to researchers at CU. It is the first study of dabbing’s effect on motor function and reaction time.

The tests that Tracy provided are focused on movement ability. His tests measure subjects’ ability to maintain balance and rapidly move a leg, tap a finger and move an arm. An app collects the data using the sensors built into the iPod Touch, which can be affixed to the participant’s body during the tests.

Ipod testing for dabbing study
The iPod is attached to the lower leg to measure reaction times.

“Testing has shown that this $200 iPod Touch is just as accurate as the high-tech $1,000 accelerometer I have in my lab,” he said. “And the accelerometer can’t leave the lab, because it is connected to very expensive equipment and amplifiers that are not easily portable. The iPod is both inexpensive and portable, so it opens up access to researchers in many different settings.”

The ballistic leg movement test measures how quickly participants can move their leg, similar to the motion of lifting one’s foot off the gas pedal. The second test tracks participants’ neuromotor speed by measuring their rate of finger tapping. In the balance task, participants try to stand steady, with their eyes open and then closed, to measure their postural stability. The last test, the ballistic arm punch, measures subjects’ peak acceleration and reaction time, which can relate to how quickly they’d be able to turn a steering wheel under the influence.

Research assistant poses for photo during mock experiment
A research assistant poses during a mock experiment.

In total, participants complete 10 tests, so researchers can get an accurate read on the participants’ overall cognitive and movement ability — both when they’re sober and when they’re high.

About the researchers

Cinnamon Bidwell, the principal investigator of the study, is an assistant professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science at CU. Tracy, an associate professor in the CSU Department of Health and Exercise Science, received the Alumni Association’s Best Teacher Award in 2013. His work with the neuromuscular system led him to found Muscles Alive!, an educational outreach program that teaches kids about the communication between their brain and muscles.

Recreational marijuana has been approved by voters in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska and Washington, D.C., so it’s becoming increasingly important to learn more about this method of consuming cannabis.

While marijuana studies have been conducted before, universities are limited in their involvement because the drug is still illegal according to federal law, and handling it requires special licenses.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.



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A Girls Getaway to the Alternative Side of Las Vegas


“Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine heaven must look at night.” –Chuck Palahniuk

The Thomas Gals were in action, anti-Sin City style! LA based Kelly traversed the desert for a few days of rest, relation, and good old fashioned fun!

Yes we bookended the visit with an obligatory (and spectacular) sojourn to the Strip, but this trip was about the other side of Vegas, the one that most of our 42 million visitors per year miss out on!

First stop was Red Rock Canyon, this popular picturesque desert park showcases a set of large red rock formations (hence the name): a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The park consists of a one-way loop road, 13 miles long, which provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. The devastingly gorgeous walls are up to 3,000 feet high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. No national resource wallflower, a good amount of people make 15 mile trek from the Strip to experience the park’s desert wonders: the area is visited by more than two million people each year.

As Walter Eliot says, “a desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation,” so with that we headed over to the hustle and bustle of local favorite: Downtown Container Park. Home to a giant fire breathing mantis, a kickass barbershop housed in a retired boxcar and caboose, and numerous intimate spots for a cocktail time. Downtown Container Park is an open-air shopping center and entertainment venue featuring 39 shops, restaurants, and bars, located in downtown Las Vegas. The innovative shopping center was built from 43 re-purposed shipping containers and 41 locally manufactured Xtreme cubes.

Downtown Container Park is also home to an interactive play area, which features The Treehouse, a one-of-a-kind, dynamic environment where both children and adults can have fun and be active while exploring their creativity. Special features of The Treehouse include a 33-foot-tall slide, NEOS play system, and oversized foam building blocks; so embrace your inner child!

After perusing the dozen food and drink options we settled on Bin 702, a cosmopolitan charcuterie and cheese joint that specializes in famous mini sandwiches. Bin 702 has been with Container Park since it opened November 2013 and is made of two shipping containers totaling 640 sq. ft. There we grabbed some beers while noshing on Cuban inspired Montaditos, mini sandwiches filled with gourmet meats and cheeses. We went with the house specialty: Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. Kelly was wary, but the dish became an instant favorite! We also splurged on their Lobster Grilled Cheese compromised of lobster salad and smoked Gouda. Both were the perfect complement to a fantastic sunset!

After our liquid courage we sauntered over The Freemont Street Experience to fair Slotzilla. The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) occupies the westernmost five blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as “Glitter Gulch,” and portions of some other adjacent streets. We prayed that “Luck Be a Lady,” as we fared SlotZilla. This attraction at the Fremont Street Experience is a 12-story, slot machine-inspired zip line attraction. SlotZilla offers “flyers” two levels of lines, the lower “Zipline” (77 feet up) and upper “Zoomline” (114 feet up). SlotZilla cost $17 million to construct and features a launch tower with over-sized dice, a martini glass, a pink flamingo, simulated video reels, a giant arm and two 37-foot-tall showgirls. The lower lines travel halfway down the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall. The upper lines go the entire length of the mall (1,750 feet). Guests on the upper “Zoomline” travel prone, or “superhero-style.” The wait breed new levels of fear, but the adrenaline rush was worth every moment of nail biting. Exhilaration was never so tangible!

The next day we drove up to Jean to experience the art exhibit Seven Magic Mountains. Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colorful large-scale, public artwork is a two-year exhibition, featuring seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders. Visible across the desert landscape along Interstate 15, Seven Magic Mountains offers a “creative critique of the simulacra of destinations like Las Vegas.”

Then it was off to the ultimate relaxation at Spa Mio at The M Resort. Spa Mio is the Forbes Four Star award winning spa at M Resort Spa Casino. The 23,000 square foot, full service spa and salon features 16 luxurious Men’s and Women’s treatment rooms and offers a variety of treatments including massage therapy, facials and body treatments. The spa offers a wet area with two whirlpool hot tubs, a steam room and sauna (that includes LED lightings for a more “rainbow” experience). 

Day passes are available for purchase for Vegas Locals wanting a quick getaway and allow access to the spa and M Pool fitness center. As I relaxed under the polychrome of colors in the sauna, I was able to settle into the art of doing nothing. With iced cucumber slices on my eyes and a cucumber lemon spritzer in my hand I sighed an exhale of relaxation.

After our spa time, Kelly and I headed to The Source in Henderson to experience one of Nevada’s newest attractions: recreational marijuana. As Charles Baudelaire said in 1860, “The brain on marijuana will never deviate from its destined disposition, nor be driven to madness. Marijuana is a mirror reflecting man’s deepest thoughts, a magnifying mirror. It’s true, but only ever a mirror.”

The Source is one of Las Vegas and Henderson’s premier retail and medical marijuana dispensaries offering selections in edibles, flowers, and oils. There we purchased one of Evergreen Organix Chocolate Chip Cookies. Established in 2015, Evergreen Organix has grown to be Nevada’s premiere marijuana edibles producer. They are 100% locally owned and family operated. Made from scratch with premium ingredients EGO’s Chocolate Chip Cookies are a classic cookie favorite with a cannabis twist. The perfect one two punch, we indulged in our sweet tooth while opening up our mind just a bit more to the universe!

And after two days of seeking out alternative Vegas we decided to finish the trip with some first-class Strip time. So like modern day Sin City Cinderella’s we Uber-ed over to Hyde at the Bellagio. Hyde’s first Las Vegas location invites guests to take in Sin City with floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive terrace with a stunning view of the Fountains of Bellagio. There’s nothing like seeing the Pink Panther performed though fountain water ballet front row center stage!

We started our drinks with the Love Unit, a bell pepper juice martini (Absolut Vodka/Absolut Vanilla Vodka/Thai Basil/Fresh Lime, Grapefruit & Hand Extracted Bell Pepper) that was featured in The New Times. This cocktail tasted like an Italian Villa, of an August day wearing a crisp white shirt. It was a naughty wink to sweet and spice. We partnered this with the Burning Mango (Belvedere Mango Passion Vodka/Fresh Lemon and Mango Juices/Peach Bitters/Jalapenos)…. which tasted like something you drank on your desert ranch. Just a hint of smoke that something burned here, maybe peach trees, maybe not.

We paused from imbibing to nosh on Al Cipollo E Speck Pizza (Buffalo Ricotta/Cipolline Onion/Speck), Bruschetta Al Pomodoro with break that tasted like it was soaked in olive oil, and Salumi Charcuterie plate that included the best Salami we’ve ever tasted.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It was then another round of drinks (because why not!) The first was a Watermelon Cucumber Margarita (Avion Silver Tequila/Grand Marnier/Muddled Cucumber & Watermelon/Fresh Lime Juice). The beverage tasted bright, like poolside pink bikini. We partnered this with the dessert drink: Brunch in Beverly Hills a wuzzle of Ciroc French Vanilla Vodka/Bailey’s Almande/Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut/Orgeat Syrup/Aromatic Bitters). Similar to a Horchata, it tasted like an alcoholic Cream soda would in St. Tropez. Trés Yum!!!

By the end of our two days, Kelly really felt like she had seen another side of the city: one of painted deserts to inventive innovate food experiences, from 33 foot slides to giant fluorescent boulders. Each showed a different side of Vegas, a varied as numbers on a roulette wheel.

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com



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The Next American Ski Towns


The ski town as we know it is dead. The cause? A toxic combination of all-time national wealth inequalities, wage stagnation, the proliferation of short-term rentals, and too many damn tourists. Unless you got in early, have a family inheritance, or somehow snagged one of the few affordable rentals in town, living in a traditional ski town is a less viable option than it has ever been.

Places like Jackson, Telluride, and Mammoth—classic cute-as-a-button ski communities—are no longer realistic places to move to, but weekend stops where one might find a cool Airbnb while flexing another stop on their Mountain Collective pass.

What, you thought you could actually live there? C’mon. The median listed home prices for great places to live and ski: Bozeman, $410,000; Whitefish, $519,000; Mammoth Lakes, $539,000; Truckee, $704,250; Telluride, $1.2 million; Jackson Hole, $1.4 million. Trailers in Aspen are going for half a mill. A recent headline from the Vail Daily: “Housing In Summit County Too Expensive to Hire Housing Director.” Talk to anyone in a ski town who does hiring and it’s the same story. Plenty of jobs, nowhere to live.

So what to do? If a friend wanted to settle in a place near the mountains—or was recently forced out of their ski town bungalow—where would you send them? Where are there careers, reasonable housing options, and powder?



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Offbeat | Las Vegas pot dispensaries offer Black Friday deals


Big-box stores weren’t the only ones offering discounts to shoppers in Las Vegas this Black Friday. Marijuana dispensaries were rolling out deals, too.

More than 40 dispensaries in the Sin City area offered discounts on marijuana flower products, edibles such as chocolates, and concentrates, the Las Vegas Sun reported. This was the first Black Friday since legal sales of recreation marijuana began in Nevada.

“It’s a great stocking-stuffer, and now you can treat it like alcohol in that regard,” said state Sen. Tick Segerblom, who helped legalize recreational pot in the state. “As long as no kids can get to it. It’s for adults only.”

Legal sales of recreational marijuana began in the state July 1. Those 21 and older with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot. People can only use the drug in a private home as it remains illegal to consume it in public, including the Las Vegas Strip, hotels and casinos.

“Cannabis use has been misunderstood and vilified in our country for over 80 years, so this day will feel both surreal and celebratory,” said Andrew Jolley, owner of dispensaries and president of the Nevada Dispensary Association. “We’re very excited about the first holiday season of adult-use in Nevada.”



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Marijuana in Casinos? Nevada Gaming Policy Committee to Review


The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee is about to do something that marijuana users are known for: waste time.

Marijuana conventions aren’t allowed to take place inside casino resorts, but the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee is considering easing that strong stance. (Image: Andrew Burton/Getty)

On Wednesday, the 12-member panel will begin reviewing whether the state’s casino industry can find a way to coexist with recreational and medicinal cannabis businesses. The odds are seemingly very long of that actually happening, but nonetheless, the committee is moving forward with a review.

Cassandra Farrington, the CEO of Marijuana Business Daily, a Colorado-based news outlet that covers all things cannabis, will provide commentary on why the drug should be allowed inside casinos. Nevada Department of Taxation representatives will also attend the Wednesday meeting.

The federal government maintains that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Attorney Brian Barnes will explain the government’s position and how it relates to potentially allowing casinos to welcome marijuana events.

Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana during last November’s election. The ballot question passed 54 percent to 46 percent. The recreational use law allows only for private consumption.

The Gaming Policy Committee is made up of some of Nevada’s most influential leaders. Along with Governor Brian Sandoval (R), the committee includes the CEO of the state’s largest employer, MGM’s Jim Murren.

Odds Long

The Nevada Gaming Police Committee’s review presumably won’t lead to casino floors becoming inundated with pot. It was just last summer that the state’s Gaming Commission extinguished any rumors that gambling and marijuana might be able to work together.

Commission Chairman Tony Alamo, who is also a doctor, said in August, “We’re not setting policy here. We are discussing and interpreting the law as it stands. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug making it illegal under federal law.”

The commission directed casinos to keep marijuana use out of their resorts, and refuse conventions and events that are linked to the cannabis industry. Wynn Resorts went so far as to refuse membership of its rewards program to a known marijuana industry businessman.

The Marijuana Business Conference and Expo, the largest cannabis conference in the world that was held earlier this month at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drew over 10,000 attendees and 700 vendors. But casinos are currently barred from welcoming that event to their properties.

Proponents of allowing Nevada’s resorts to deal with businesses linked to marijuana feel that Sin City is the perfect locale to lead the drug’s evolution into a more mainstream and accepted product.

High on Weed

In Colorado, where recreational weed has been legal since 2012, the state collected more taxes last year on its cultivation and consumption than it did from the sale of alcohol.

Nevada expects to raise $120 million in annual marijuana taxes once the market is fully matured. Marijuana producers pay a 15 percent wholesale tax, which goes to state schools. An additional 10 percent tax is levied, and that money goes to Nevada’s “rainy day” fund.



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Recreational cannabis in Canada will weigh at least 435 tons yearly


New Brunswick has been the first Canadian province to announce its recreational cannabis framework, and almost everything that goes along including the three companies which will be supplying the Crown Corporation which will distribute and retail the product.

This comes as no surprise, given that the 2nd smallest province has only around 750,000 residents and fairly little infrastructure to be implemented when compared to the likes of British Columbia and Ontario.

Going through Deloitte’s recreational cannabis market research, I noticed a staggering number — every 5th Canadian smokes weed on some basis.

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I did a little calculation on the subject and came to some outrageous numbers.

It is no secret that a huge gap in demand will appear in the months following the opening of the market, meaning that a shortage will be imminent.

It has happened everywhere weed got legalized, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, you name it, and the current “state of the union” tells us it’s about to happen in Canada too.

With that being said, let’s get a bit deeper into the facts of New Brunswick’s and Canada’s recreational cannabis regulation plans.

New Brunswick cannabis plan — short summary

What we know with relatively fair accuracy is that New Brunswick has around 750,000 residents, give or take a few hundred, which makes it the 2nd smallest province by population.

The government of New Brunswick has announced they will be retailing cannabis through a Crown corporation typed organization, which will be supplied by three licensed producers:

After doing some quick maths, we came to the conclusion that the supply which is supposed to cover the whole province for a year comes down to 12 grams per resident.

If the rest of Canadian provinces were to take New Brunswick’s numbers into account, Canada would need at least 435 tons of cannabis on a yearly basis.

Given that not every resident of NB is a stoner, but more likely every 5th, this means that every stoner will have at the very most 60g/year for himself.

Not a whole lot, when you take into account the 7% of people that smoke daily which will go through their whole yearly stash in under a month probably…

I wonder how long would it take NB’s daily smokers to smoke the province’s yearly stash?

Under the condition that daily smokers consume 2 grams daily, the ~50k daily consumers located in New Brunswick would smoke about a 100,000 grams per day.

In a year, that same group of people would have smoked an approximate of 35 million grams, which is almost 4x the whole provincial supply.

Even if we take down the daily use to one gram for every consumer, it would still approximate to 2x the supply announced by the government.

And then…

Then we have to account for those that smoke only on a weekly and monthly basis. Let’s not even take into account the 8% that smoke every once in a blue moon.

Here’s a list showing you just how much cannabis will be roughly needed to supply all the demands, and not just those of regular daily smokers:

New Brunswick Yearly cannabis supply

But, what does this mean for the rest of Canada, and its provinces more specifically?

Foreshadowing recreational cannabis market in Canada

By multiplying the number of grams NB’s government has in thoughts for every resident of the province, we got a total of 435.5 million grams.

Is that number supposed to represent the whole supply for a country with over 36 million people?

No, not even close.

I understand that there are no definitive norms when it comes down to how much an average daily cannabis consumer smokes, but as a daily smoker myself I can definitely say I smoke anywhere between 1 to 3 grams per day, depending on if its a workday or a weekend.

So, by smoking 1 gram on work days and 2-3 grams on weekends (let’s take 2.5 for the sake of lowering the numbers) that’s a total of 10 grams per week or 1.43 grams per day.

For the 6.5% of Canadians that smoke every day (2.36 million people), bad news is coming our way as we might need over 1.2 billion grams (1,200 tons) per year for our needs.

As you may see that’s nearly 3x the whole market size, just for daily smokers.

Let us apply the numbers from the previous list to the general Canadian population:

Canada demand

Whatever numbers you apply, except maybe for the absolute lowest ones, the outcome is always the same — Canada is up for a dry season when it comes to cannabis for the first couple months, or maybe even a year or two.

We will probably see surges in the supply every now and then once the next generation of plants is ready to be harvested and sent out to stores.

Given how the primary goal of the federal government was downsizing the black market, I see no signs of moving in that direction with the current setup in New Brunswick.

How will the provinces respond?

Many provinces haven’t yet fully wrapped their heads around the whole cannabis ordeal.

Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba have so far given hints and some have even come out with formal announcements of the plan, but many other including British Columbia have not yet decided which road they will be taking.

Take a look at this list, which represents the supply implemented in New Brunswick compared to how it fares in other provinces:

Province Residents Yearly kg Yearly tons
British Columbia 4,361,000 52,332 ~52
Manitoba 1,282,000 15,388 ~15
New Brunswick 754,000 9,048 ~10
Nova Scotia 943,000 11,316 ~11
N&L 528,000 6,336 ~6
Ontario 13,600,000 163,200 ~163
Prince Edward Island 146,000 1,752 ~2
Quebec 8,215,000 98,580 ~100
Saskatchewan 1,130,000 13,560 ~13
Alberta 4,146,000 49,752 ~50
Total 421,264 ~422

I came very close to the 435 tons which I calculated off the top of my head, but due to rounding down numbers turned out a bit smaller.

We are now left to wait and see what other provinces will choose as their course of action with little over 8 months till legalization hits the streets.



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Marijuana And Sexual Dysfunction — Could Your Marijuana Usage Be Hindering Your Performance in Bed?


What is marijuana? Marijuana, also called pot, cannabis, weed, reefer, Mary Jane, dope, broccoli, chronic, reefer, and 420, among countless others, consists of a mixture of dried plant leaves, flowers, and/or stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant. In addition, there is a resin-based version of marijuana that is called hash. Most people either smoke marijuana or vape it (warming it, but not cooking it), but it can also be ingested in oil form. The most common way to ingest marijuana is to roll it up and smoke it like you would a cigarette or cigar, or use a smoking tool like a pipe. Some users, however, consume weed by infusing foods (i.e., butter and cooking oil) or teas.

What happens to your body when you ingest marijuana? THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most active ingredient in marijuana. When you smoke this herb, it travels to your lungs before entering your bloodstream. Once in your blood, it travels to your brain and other organs (i.e., heart, tissues, etc.). FYI: Drinking or eating marijuana can delay the effects of THC. But, once it bonds with your brain’s neural receptors you become “high.”

THC can also affect the sections of your brain that control memory, thinking, concentration and focus, and coordination. When this occurs, it can trigger unpleasant side effects like distorted thinking, delayed learning, lethargy, increased appetite, low inhibitions, hallucinations, distorted perception, clumsiness, and memory loss. These side effects are normally temporary; however, they can still lead to dangerous consequences, especially if you drive while under the influence.

Is marijuana legal in the U.S.? Yes and no. The state legalization process (for medical marijuana) first began during the seventies. But, unfortunately, even though the process started 40-plus years ago, there has been very little progress on this front, in many states. Why not? Because each state is tasked with developing and enforcing its own laws, rules, and regulations.

Ironically, marijuana possession (in small amounts) has been legalized in other parts of the world (i.e., Czech Republic, Canada, and Israel), yet only 29 states (Oregon, Montana,  Alaska, Ohio, New Mexico, Arkansas, California, Illinois, New York, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Arizona, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia) have moved to decriminalize the herb for medicinal purposes.

It is important to point out that medical marijuana has not been thoroughly tested due to government regulations and production limitations. However, research suggests that it may ease nausea and vomiting during chemo treatments, alleviate chronic pain, boost appetite in those with HIV/AIDS, and relieve muscle spasms. In November 2016, Nevada, Massachusetts, California, and Maine also passed measures to legalize recreational marijuana.

Common Sexual Dysfunctions and the Effects of Marijuana

What are sexual dysfunctions? Sexual dysfunctions, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual disorders, premature ejaculation (PE), sexual malfunctions, and sexual arousal disorders, are issues that can occur during any stage of the sexual response cycle (i.e., anticipation, plateau, orgasm, and decline). This issue can prevent couples from experiencing sexual fulfillment during sexual intercourse.

What are the different types of sexual dysfunctions? They usually involve four categories: (1) desire disorders (a lack of sexual desire or a loss of interest in sex); (2) arousal disorders (an inability to become or stay aroused during sex or sexual activities; (3) orgasm disorders (unable to climax (orgasm) or a delay in climaxing); and (4) pain disorders (pain that occurs during sexual intercourse).

Should I use marijuana for my issue? Regarding marijuana and sexual dysfunction, THC can negatively affect penile function, possibly leading to premature ejaculation. How? Well, there are receptors in a man’s penile tissue that when confronted with THC, increases the risk of erection and orgasm issues. Why does this happen? Marijuana boosts dopamine levels in the body. Dopamine regulates moods and emotions. If you get accustomed to really high levels of dopamine, you may subsequently find that your natural level of this hormone may not be high enough to sexually stimulate you, thus, making it harder for you to maintain an erection.

Is it Even Safe?

Is it safe to use pot for sexual dysfunctions? Unfortunately, the answer is complicated. Study results have been both inadequate and variable. For instance, a recent La Trobe University study interviewed over 8000 Australian men and women, between 16–64 years old, to determine how marijuana usage could affect sexual function. Researchers focused on condom use, sexual partners, sexual dysfunctions, and sexual-transmitted diseases (STDs).

Results indicated that men, who use marijuana daily, are four times more likely to have orgasm problems and three times more likely to experience premature ejaculation, than men who do not use it or don’t use it regularly. In addition, researchers also found that daily male marijuana users are at-risk for delayed orgasms. So, why do men use it if it has serious side effects? Well, the researchers of the La Trobe University study believe that some men with premature ejaculation use marijuana because they believe that the herb will help them “last longer” – the reality is, however, that for many men, it actually worsens their conditions, causing them to ejaculate even faster. The common practice methods used to fix premature ejaculation don’t involve the use of marijuana.

Similarly, another study on sexual dysfunctions and marijuana found that marijuana usage is linked to lower testosterone levels, which is a contributor to erectile dysfunction. Like the previous study, the results also suggested that cannabis (marijuana) is associated with orgasm problems like premature ejaculation and an inability to achieve orgasm. Likewise, a 2010 study found that marijuana can affect sexual functions by disrupting the part of the nervous system that regulates erections, thereby, possibly leading to sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

What are the Signs of Overuse?

To better understand the possible signs of overusing marijuana, it is important to answer the following questions. Have you gained or lost any weight, since using marijuana for sexual dysfunction? Do you need a higher amount of pot to get the same results, i.e., “last longer?” Are you spending exorbitant amounts of money on this herb hoping it will improve your sexual performance? Do you suffer from terrible withdrawal symptoms (i.e., cravings, insomnia, increased hunger, mood swings, irritability, depression, and/or anxiety) when you ease up on it or quit taking it all together? And lastly, is it creating a disturbance at work and/or issues in your relationship?

The truth is, most people believe that marijuana, in general, is harmless, but this is certainly not the case when it is being overused for sexual dysfunctions. Dr. Juan Paredes, a South Beach Clinic board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in male sexual dysfunctions, asserted that one of the major consequences of marijuana overuse, when treating sexual dysfunctions, is that it can lead to extremely weak orgasms, premature orgasms, or no orgasms at all.

In summary, marijuana usage and allowances have started to relax in some states and countries. And, legal restrictions and people’s perceptions of the herb have also eased over the last ten years. Because there is an increased acceptance of marijuana usage for a variety of reasons (i.e., from recreational to medicinal), it is important to learn the possible consequences of regularly ingesting it. Why? Well, because more and more studies are finding that there is a relationship between marijuana and male sexual dysfunctions. And, although smoking, eating, or even drinking marijuana may relieve some symptoms for some men, for others, it could end up being a disaster waiting to happen—in the bedroom.

References

Pro Con. (2017). 29 Legal medical marijuana states and DC. Retrieved from here.

Wu, B. (2017). Marijuana and erectile dysfunction: What is the connection? Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317104.php

Harclerode J. (1984). Endocrine effects of marijuana in the male: preclinical studies. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series, 44, 46-65. Access here.

Smith, A. M.A., Ferris, J. A., Simpson, J. M., Shelley, J., Pitts, M. K. and Richters, J. (2010). Cannabis use and sexual health. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 787–793. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01453.x

Localization and Function of Cannabinoid Receptors in the Corpus Cavernosum: Basis for Modulation of Nitric Oxide Synthase Nerve Activity

Image via GDJ/Pixabay.



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