Marijuana Media: Snoop burns his cred; Cannabis OK in the NBA; NZ’s new virtual piss-testing ‘experience’

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He fooled us once, but we won’t be fooled again, on this week’s Marijuana Media on 95bFM with Chris Fowlie from NORML and Jonny from bFM Drive – thanks to The Hempstore!

 

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Snoop keeps smoking – but burns his credibility.

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Snoop Dogg has burned his credibility with the cannabis community, with a lousy PR stunt to sell some merch. Turns out he wasn’t giving up weed, he was just launching a portable ‘smokeless’ fireplace and fooled a lot of people.

Reported on Stuff, the BBC and CNN, the Gin and Juice hitmaker announced the news last Friday with a cryptic post:

“After much consideration & conversation with my family, I’ve decided to give up smoke. Please respect my privacy at this time.”

This was highly newsworthy, given Snoop Dogg’s status as a successful artist and huge weed smoker. As cannabis consumers shared their grief on social media, the Stuff article quoted Abe Gray – local cannabis activist and curator of Whakamana cannabis museum – confirming that Snoop’s rumoured 81-joints-a-day habit, equivalent to about a half pound of weed, is a “very excessive amount” of cannabis to smoke.

Abe predicted any abrupt cessation by Snoop could see a few major changes to his body, including weight gain and a possibility of seeing himself age “quickly”. He may snap “a little bit more easily”. The change could even be a “major identity crisis for him.”

Gray said it deciding to stop can happen to anyone. “Sometimes, with age, that just happens, but not to everybody: Willie Nelson’s still going hard.”

Willie Nelson himself said “We support our brother Snoop in any decision he makes for his own body as your body-your choice.” Bob’s son Rohan Marley said “You’ll always be welcome in the cannabis community whether you’re blazing or not.”

I’m sure all their comments were on the assumption Snoop’s post was authentic. But there is “egg on the face” on those who eulogized the end of Snoop’s prodigious pot-smoking career, according to the CelebStoner website. Playing on his cannabis cred to sell an unrelated sponsor’s product, the Solo Stove, is “crass and commercial” and “takes Snoop down a notch”.

But we keep falling for these stunts, The Guardian noted:

Snoop Dogg isn’t the first celebrity to take advantage of an increasingly time-pressed and click-starved media industry. While marketing stunts are nothing new, this particular breed of bogus social media announcement has become rife in recent years. And we keep falling for it.

The formula is always the same: make outlandish social media announcement, win media coverage, reveal it was all a big joke, then profit. Or at least prompt a collective groan, and a second round of headlines.

Snoop knew this lazy marketing would go viral, but as George W Bush said: “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

At least it means Renegade Piranha will keep her job as Snoop’s blunt roller. Hopefully with medical coverage for rolling-induced RSI.

Lifetime ban on cruise line for CBD gummies

Meanwhile, the lifestyles of the non-rich and famous are quite different. Whereas Snoop Dogg can live like it’s legal, flaunting his cannabis use with his fame, the NZ Herald reported a woman was banned for life from Carnival Cruises over CBD gummies:

Melinda Van Veldhuizen, 42, was in Miami boarding the Carnival Horizon ship when security pulled her aside, Local 10 News reported.

This is despite Cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, being legal everywhere in the USA under their Farm Act.

CBD is widely used not just for therapeutic purposes for various conditions but also as a supplement for general wellness. It is available over the counter in Florida, from gas stations and convenience stores.

Carnival Cruises said it was a federal crime, called the cops and slapped the woman with a lifetime ban. The banned traveller pointed out the cruise line’s terms did not explicitly ban CBD or warn there would be any problem.

LeBron’s blunt celebration shows cannabis is Ok in the NBA

As Snoop trolled the world and that cruise line was busy banning passengers, LA Lakers forward LeBron James mimed passing a joint after scoring in last Sunday’s game and he wasn’t penalised – which confirms cannabis is now “all good” in the NBA and other professional sports.

Photo credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

According to a report on Andverse.com:

Last April, the NBA reached an agreement with the players’ union to officially allow marijuana use. Players are no longer tested for it or penalized for using it. Similar agreements were already in place in pro baseball and hockey. In the NFL, weed has basically been allowed since 2021, when teams began testing players only once per season, at the start of training camp.

James didn’t just mime puffing on LeBlunt. At other points he mimed rolling up, passing, and stubbing out the roach with his foot. The NBA usually polices gestures such as stare downs, throat slitting and demonstrations of big balls – so this is big news in the US.

But here, Drug Free Sport NZ has launched this week a virtual reality “experience” of piss-testing athletes. You too and enjoy the invasion of privacy and loss of dignity “from the comfort of your own home.”

It’s super weird. A guy stands really, really, close and tells you to lift your top up high and pull your pants down “so I can witness the flow of urine from your body.”

“Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards,” the nosy humanoid advises.

It’s an experience thousands of workers are put through every day, for dubious benefit given urine testing for inactive metabolites cannot show on-the-job use.

Current WADA rules mandate testing for the inactive metabolites of THC – which merely indicates past exposure, not current use – while athletes can apply for exemptions for prescribed CBD.

Medical cannabis prescriptions reach 8000 monthly, as ‘First’ NZ-branded medical cannabis product to hit Australia

Speaking of prescribed meds, Radio New Zealand on Thursday revealed statistics from Te Whatu Ora which showed there are now around 8000 prescriptions each month for medicinal cannabis products.

That’s up from 1118 in December 2020. But most medicinal cannabis prescriptions are for THC oils or flowers, which require monthly prescriptions as THC remains a controlled drug. CBD prescriptions can be for a 3-month supply.

Including CBD, it’s likely that the 8000 prescriptions are for barely more than 10,000 patients. According to Ministry of Health figures there are around 300,000 New Zealanders currently using cannabis medicinally. It shows less than 3 per cent of patients obtain legal prescriptions in any given month.

The Radio NZ story said local industry and farmers are yet to see the benefits. Southern Medicinal founder Greg Marshall said: “The New Zealand medicinal cannabis industry is in utter duress, and many businesses are close to going under.”

This week Stuff ran a sponsored post from Aether Pacific (formerly known as Medical Kiwi and led by former Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio) which trumpeted their deal to export Kiwi branded cannabis to Australia.

The MOU with Alliance Healthcare will see the Australian distributor of alternative therapies take delivery of Christchurch-grown cannabis rated at 17-25% THC, with options for this to be Kiwi branded or white labelled.

The two businesses will also form a joint venture, reports Cannabiz, to open a cannabis pharmacy to dispense prescriptions from Aether’s dispensary which is called The Pain Clinic.

But the exports haven’t happened yet – and NZX-listed Cannasouth is already distributing their Waikato-grown cannabis-based ingredients there.

Aether Pacific is currently undertaking a capital raise. Then known as Medical Kiwi, in August 2020 the company admitted to making “false and misleading statements” in relation to medicinal cannabis licenses and its contractual arrangements when seeking investment through PledgeMe.

The Financial Markets Authority obtained “a payment in lieu of a pecuniary penalty in the sum of $250,000” together with an option for shareholders who participated in the offer to be refunded or exit the company.

Green Wednesday and Dak Friday

In legal America this week, the second- and third-largest cannabis sales events after 420 Day: Green Wednesday and Black Friday.

mage credit: CelebStoner.com

It’s Thanksgiving in the US, and give thanks that where cannabis is now legal, the data shows that edibles outperform on Green Wednesday:

In 2022, sales of cannabis beverages grew 13.2% on Green Wednesday compared with previous Wednesdays in November, while edibles grew 6.1%, according to data from Headset cited in Green Market Report.

Sales of cannabis vape cartridges, though, were down 11.4%, while traditional unprocessed cannabis was down 10.8%.

The likely reason? “The products that people could consume without Aunt Gertrude being any wiser grew,” according to Green Market Report. Something to bear in mind for Christmas.

Check out our updated guide at The Hempstore for how anyone can access legal medicinal cannabis in New Zealand – and come to Auckland J Day on Sat 2nd December to learn all about the good herb and immerse yourself in Aotearoa’s cannabis culture.

Coming up:

  • NORML & The Hempstore present J Day: Saturday 2 December in Albert Park, high noon to 4:20. Details here.
  • First Thursdays Double Kirihimete Special: Thurs 7th with substance testing at The Hempstore, 3-7pm, thanks to the NZ Drug Foundation (or find a testing clinic here) and Thurs 21st December with SANG Band live and free Terp & Co tastings.

 

Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at 95bFM.com (or via iTunes / RSS feed). Thanks to The Hemp Store!

 

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