Category Archive 420News

ByMieko Perez

The Tree Moguls Brand

Innovative Branding

February 2, 2001 | By Mieko Hester-Perez

Everyday cannabis technology is proving to stabilize its place in the American economy, valued at over $76 billion dollars by 2027. Companies like TrellaGro LSTAn automated horizontal plant-training system and Bloom Automation using (A.I.) artificial intelligence robots to water plants in greenhouses, cannabis apps that address clinical research by enhancing the consumer experience this technology is empowering one of the fastest growing global markets amid an unforeseen virus that has forever changed how we view “Reefer” in 2021.

Damian and Talla Rivera, founders of Tree Moguls, sat down with Mieko Perez to discuss their new brand that uses innovative technology on cannabis packaging. While this concept has been brewing and evolving for several years, former prop 215 cooperative model owner and consultant, knew he had something special on his hands when he developed his first prototype in early 2019, launching in January 2021 amid one the most productive cannabis research and consumer driven decades to date.

Tree Moguls

Tree Moguls uses augmented reality to stream videos on their cannabis packaging through the ease of your phones’ camera. Damian Rivera states that while their intention is to showcase various aspects of the cannabis culture- through seed to sale walk throughs, industry nightlife, and the behind-the-scenes aspect that typical consumers do not get to see- highlighting the diversity of the community and unification through cannabis plays a significant role in the brands development. The brands growth vision includes creating a space for consumers to connect with influencers, music, art, and more through their love of cannabis and the excitement is palpable when they speak on what is to come.

The California Brand

 So? Where can you find Tree Moguls, and more importantly, how is their flower? “Cookie Glue” Growing quickly and quite elusive, I was surprised to find local California shops The Medicine Woman in Bellflower, CA and The Green Room in Long Beach, CA  were carrying this brand within weeks of their launch to let consumers determine if their technology & brand will raise the bar with savvy California consumers.

I knew from speaking with Tree Moguls that they were consumers themselves and were careful in product selection, with a high focus on quality of flower.

3 out of 5 consumers found the strain to be a quite euphoric high with a strong flavor profile and enjoyed it very much. With new strains being dropped frequently, we are confident Tree Moguls will be a new consumer favorite.

Reviewed by “The Molecule”, an anonymous pharmaceutical technical scientific in-house advisor.

Cookie Glue is a hybrid indica dominant strain out from the genealogy of Girls Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue. Its genetics came originally from the Mediterranean specifically from the South of Africa and the Afghani regions. As a very particular physical characteristics it has long spade-shaped dark olive green nugs with coating of chunky crystal trichomes and light amber hairs.

It is a strain well recommended for medical cannabis patients who are looking for pain relief, mind numbness (heave head high) and utterly relaxed effects. It can be suggested for patients looking for relieve from chronic debilitating conditions such as: arthritis, spasm, fibromyalgia, and seizures, among others. The effects of Cookie Glue increase gradually after consumption until reach a completely numb relaxation that soon spreads to your mind as well allowing you to have a full pleasant resting time.

This hybrid indica dominant strain lineage suggests having a ratio of 40% sativa – 60% indica with THC levels reported from a range between 18.0% up to a 28.2%. A remarkably interesting cannabis specimen which also reported a 1.0% of CBG (Cannabigerol) as part of its overall profile which contributes in most of the part as muscle relaxer agent.

Overly sweet flavors and aromas can be found on this strain. After evaluating the premium flower sample provided by “Tree Moguls”, I can personally talk about and describe the fruity, sour and piney flavors mainly suggested for this strain. These flavors had a direct correlation with the terpenes that can be found as part of its content like for example:

  • Myrcene – Associated with mangoes and lemongrass, providing beneficial medical effects for insomnia, muscle inflammations, muscle relaxer and pain reliever.
  • Humulene – Associated with hops and ginger, providing beneficial medical effects also for insomnia, muscle inflammation and calming effects.
  • Caryophyllene – Associated with floral and citrusy tones that provides which is proven to boost your endocannabinoid system providing anti-inflammatory effects.

In an overall personal/ professional Cannassuer rating, I consider this strain as a 4.8 out of 5 stars for physical characteristics, flavors, potency, and medical quality attributes.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In conclusion, what other brands would Tree Moguls like to collaborate with using their packaging technology?

The Congo Club, A highly sought out brand from the Bay area. Deuces 22 LA Co-founded by the father-daughter duo, John and Tyla Salley. GroLen, A Commercial cultivation software company. Humble Bloom, An educational platform based in Brooklyn New York. Global Research Ventures, Industry leading genetics, cultivation, manufacturing, and research for the advancement of responsible and therapeutic cannabis use.

Instagram: @treemoguls Website: For more information on licensed California dispensaries, go to: .

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon ft. former NFL player, Turk Mcbride

 February 22, 2021 | By Mieko Hester-Perez

photo courtesy of Turk McBride

Turk Mcbride recently sat down with Mieko Perez to discuss how he is pioneering change in the cannabis industry.

Turk Mcbride is a former NFL defensive end who started his football career playing at the University of Tennessee where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

During his seven year NFL career, Turk played for the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and Chicago Bears before retiring in 2013. He later attended the University of Miami and received his MBA.

Upon retiring from the league, Turk made the permanent move to California where he became exposed to the medicinal cannabis industry and studied the medical benefits of the whole plant, including cannabidiol (CBD).

As Turk saw many of his NFL heroes diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), he correlated the benefits of cannabis, specifically, CBD in assisting those diagnosed. He not only began advocating for the use of CBD in retired players, but he sought opportunities to become part of the solution. Turk explored intricacies of the medicinal cannabis market in California. He partnered with experts and immersed himself in learning every aspect of the industry.

In 2016, Mcbride founded Global Research Ventures (GRV) with a mission to provide industry leading genetics, cultivation, formulation and research for the advancement of responsible and therapeutic cannabis use.

1. As a former professional athlete, what inspired you to enter the California cannabis business sector?

Lack of representation in the cannabis industry inspired me to enter this sector. I did one year of due diligence trying to find a mentor in the industry. It was extremely difficult to find any minorities and anyone under the age of 40. The opportunity of being a pioneer in a new emerging industry also propelled me to enter.

2. In the next 5 years, where do you see Global Research Ventures making an impact? And why?

In 5 years, GRV will be making a global impact by assisting minorities and disenfranchised people to gain an opportunity to get in the cannabis space. The resources and blessings from my previous career in the NFL enabled me to experience the opportunities in cannabis I have today. In the same manner, I will use any opportunity I have to facilitate any mentorship or job creation and pass along the blessings I’ve received.

3. If you were able to tour a cannabis analytics lab, what are some of your interest and why?

If I had the opportunity to tour a lab I would love to see the process of uncovering the terpenoid profiles. These molecules are the most important parts of the plant’s biology. They determine the taste, smell and high. As a cultivator, this feedback is crucial in helping us optimize the plant’s performance.

Website: GRV Global Research Ventures

Instagram: @turkmcbride @GRV (Global Research Ventures)

ByMieko Perez

High Jinx Host Adam Ill and Co-Host Angela Mazzanti sat down with Ricky Williams professional NFL player and got to hear how cannabis impacted his life.

High Jinx Episode 2 Hosted by Adam Ill and Co-Host Angela Mazzanti
High Jinx Episode 2 Hosted by Adam Ill and Co-Host Angela Mazzanti

February 19, 2021   |   Executive Producer of Cannabis Content, Infused Digital Mieko Hester-Perez

At Infused Digital, you never know who you will run into at the studio, as we continue to enforce covid mask polices, the soft spoken voices of giants can’t stay hidden in our hallways. If, you have ever wanted to “feel” the true definition of being “high off of life” Mr. Williams, will not disappoint you. His aura is felt as soon as he walks in the door and his humbleness right down to his Vans footwear will let you know – he’s either going to be “spot on” with your astrology chart or challenge you on a gaming console of his choice…or both.

It was a pleasure to meet Ricky Williams, the man behind RW Wellness Herbal.

Let’s talk about High Jinx, meeting Mr. Williams

High Jinx was filmed at Cannabis Capitol, a division of Infused Digital with host Adam Ill and Co-Host Angela Mazzanti both sat down with Ricky Williams ( @williams ) professional NFL player and got to hear how cannabis impacted his life. We saw clips from the #CannabisCommunityand the #NFLand learned how he went from being the best running back in history, to losing over $10million at the height of his career for smoking weed. Check out what #RickyWilliamshad to share on Episode 2 of #HighJinx​.

Cannabis Capitol is a division of Infused Digital a full-service marketing and content creation agency headquartered in Los Alamitos, California specializing in crafting and implementing marketing communication programs, producing original video and digital content, developing social media presence and delivering lifestyle channel programming. Since its founding in 2007, Infused has developed successful campaigns for a variety of industries, including: cannabis and CBD, art and culture, entertainment, festivals and events, real estate, and small businesses. Currently, the company has achieved more than 67 million unique views of its digital content and counting. For more information, visit


Special thanks to @angela_mazzanti @gethigheverywhere 

ByMieko Perez

Who are the Cannasseur Boys?

We are a multidisciplinary team with over twenty years of experience in the industry, we specialize in growing, extraction and manufacturing medical cannabis products under the highest standards always pushing the science forward.

Our approach consistently produces measurably superior cannabis flowers with greater yields at lower costs for our clients. Our company is aligned with core values related to social, environmental, and economic principles, our clients and their communities prosper in all areas of cannabis operation.

As certified master cultivators in the Caribbean medical cannabis industry we specialize crop science of cultivating in Latin American climates, guaranteeing the highest effectiveness in production, quality, and terpenes of the flower and all its derivatives offering patients, the best medicine.

Our collaborative effort and dedication earned this team the Island Cup 2017 award chosen by patients for their favorite hybrid strains.

En español haga clic aqui.


Mike Tyson smoked weed before fight vs Roy Jones Jr

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. fought to a draw in a California State Athletic Commission-sanctioned exhibition bout that had plenty of rules to it before the two competitors stepped into the ring.

The two fighters underwent drug tests but were reportedly not tested for marijuana, which is legal to buy in California. Tyson said after the fight that he smoked weed before going toe-to-toe with Jones.


“It’s just who I am. It has no effect on me from a negative standpoint. It’s just what I do and how I am and how I’m going to die. There’s no explanation. There’s no beginning, there’s no end,” he said at the post-fight press conference, via USA Today.

Tyson appeared to be right about the effects. Fans watching the bout believed that the former heavyweight champion was the winner of the bout despite it being scored a draw.

Tyson has said the fight was a part of his plans for a Legends Only League. The winner of the fight would have won the WBC Front Line belt, but it is still vacant due to the draw.


“It’s just who I am. It has no effect on me from a negative standpoint. It’s just what I do and how I am and how I’m going to die. There’s no explanation. There’s no beginning, there’s no end,” he said at the post-fight press conference, via USA Today.

Tyson appeared to be right about the effects. Fans watching the bout believed that the former heavyweight champion was the winner of the bout despite it being scored a draw.

Tyson has said the fight was a part of his plans for a Legends Only League. The winner of the fight would have won the WBC Front Line belt, but it is still vacant due to the draw.


He told reporters that he wasn’t fighting for money despite the probable monster buys it drew.

“I’m not here for my ego. My ego is taking the money, buying some planes, some nice houses, packing up a bunch of chicks and have some orgies and stuff,” Tyson said. “This is not who that is right now. That guy was just somebody that had to be, eventually he was a platform to become me.”


Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces Public University Research Grant Funding Recipients

Author: Bureau of Cannabis Control
Published: Nov 13, 2020
Sacramento, California

SACRAMENTO – The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) announced today that it has awarded $29,950,494 in public university research grant funding to universities across California.

“The research conducted through these public university grants will provide critical information for evaluating our legal cannabis system and its impacts,” Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said. “This research will be a valuable tool to inform future cannabis policy in California.”

Research proposals had to fall within one of the several specified categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic, environmental impacts, and the cannabis industry. A detailed description of the list of research subjects for grant funding can be found in Revenue and Taxation Code section 34019.

In total, the Bureau received more than 100 applications for grant funds up to $2 million for any specific proposal. After a thorough review process, the nearly $30 million was awarded to the following public universities:

PublicUniversityAwardedFundingResearch Proposal
UC San Francisco $2,000,000.00Comprehensive Analysis of Developmental Cannabis Exposure on Brain, Immune, and Sensory Systems
 UC Santa Barbara $1,999,191.00Surface Water Emissions from Cannabis Cultivation Sites: Quantity, Quality, Toxicity, and Relationships to Farmers’ Practices
CSUDominguez Hills $1,866,311.00 Cannabis Industry in South Bay Los Angeles
UCBerkeley$1,827,596.00Local Regulation of Cannabis in California
UC Los Angeles $1,429,001.00Impact of Cannabis Potency on The Properties, Composition, and Toxicity of Inhaled and Second-Hand Smoke
UC San Francisco$1,384,466.00Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use on Endothelial Function
 UC Irvine $1,351,556.00Exploring Cannabis Policies and Practices That Influence Adolescent Use: Evolution of Local Cannabis Law, Products, Sales, and Marketing
 UC San Diego $1,321,833.00The Public Health Impact of Cannabis Legalization in California: A Comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis by Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Regions
UC Los Angeles $1,082,815.00Assessing the Feasibility and Consequences of Implementing a Cannabis Potency Tax in California
UC San Francisco $1,067,483.00The LEAF Study: Lung Effects and Function Associated with Cannabis Use
UC Los Angeles $1,048,857.00Study of Employment Conditions and Equity in California’s Cannabis Industry
 UC San Francisco $1,038,782.00Public Health Impacts of State Policies Mandating Point-of- Sale Warning Signs Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
UC Davis$1,034,730.00Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Use in Early Psychosis
UC San Diego $987,738.00Evaluating the Impacts of Packaging and Labeling on Cannabis Edible Use among Youth
UC San Francisco$952,540.00California Cannabis Poisonings Under Proposition 64
 UC Los Angeles $896,794.00Assessing the Impact of Proposition 64 on Cannabis Use, Maladaptive Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment, and Public Health
UC San Diego $887,101.00The Role of Cannabidiol in Anandamide-Related Improvement in Alexithymia and Health Outcomes
UC Los Angeles $781,707.00A Demographic Analysis of the California Licensed Cannabis Industry and Consumer Market
UC Los Angeles $758,517.00The Impact of Cannabis Marketing on California’s Youth: Neuro-Behavioral Studies for Informing Policy
  UC Davis  $726,816.00Cannabis Industry: Assessment of the Location, Structure, Function, and Demographics of Licensed Cannabis, Focusing on Geographical Price Differences, and Differential Impacts of Local Prop-64 Related Regulations on the Competitiveness of Licensed Businesses
UCBerkeley $658,306.00Transformation of Unregulated Cannabis Cultivation Under Proposition 64
  UC Davis  $655,564.00Economic Impacts: Market Prices for Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis and the Effects of the Current and Alternate Cannabis Tax Structures and Tax Rates on the Private and Public Sectors in California, Including Government Administrative Costs and Revenues
  UC Davis  $562,240.00Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Cultivation in California As Affected by the Farm Economics of Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis Production, Including Effects of Testing Regulations and Compliance with the Criminal Prohibition of Unlicensed Cannabis
 UCBerkeley  $489,762.00Assessing Environmental Impacts of Cannabis-Related Noise and Light Disturbance to Inform Management of California Wildlife
UCBerkeley $465,902.00Examining Tribal Sovereignty Over Cannabis Permitting on Native Ancestral Lands
CSUHumboldt$464,997.00Cannabis Business Entrepreneurs and Jobs
UC Los Angeles $414,183.00Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Marketing on Cannabis Use Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
UCBerkeley $328,916.00Cultivation Bans, Local Control, and the Effects and Efficacy of Proposition 64
UCBerkeley $319,091.00Cannabis and Wildfire: Current Conditions, Future Threats, and Solutions for Farmers
UCBerkeley $314,417.00Cannabis Water-Use Impacts to Streamflow and Temperature in Salmon-Bearing Streams
UCBerkeley$270,269.00The Effect of Local Cannabis Regulation on Property Prices
UC San Diego $235,039.00Evaluating Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Use by Older Adults: A Pilot Study
CSUHumboldt $183,015.00The Economic Impact of Cannabis Legalization in Rural Northern California
 UC Davis $144,949.00California Cannabis Workers: Perceptions, Beliefs, and Knowledge of Occupational Health and Industry Hazards

Top Marijuana Stocks for September 2020

The marijuana industry is made up of companies that either support or are engaged in the research, development, distribution, and sale of medical and recreational marijuana. Cannabis has begun to gain wider acceptance and has been legalized in a growing number of nations, states, and other jurisdictions for recreational, medicinal and other uses. Some of the biggest companies in the marijuana industry include Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB), and Tilray Inc. (TLRY). Many big marijuana companies have continued to post sizable net losses as they focus on investing in equipment to speed up revenue growth, which remains strong despite the pandemic-spurred economic downturn.

Marijuana stocks, as represented by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), have dramatically underperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of -47.2% compared to the S&P 500’s total return of 23.9% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of August 26.

Here are the top 3 marijuana stocks with the best value, the fastest sales growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks 

These are the marijuana stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For young companies that have not reached profitability, this can provide an idea of how much business you’re getting for each dollar invested.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($M)12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Village Farms International Inc. (VFF.TO)CA$7.53CA$425.32.0
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (HARV.CX)CA$1.57CA$576.12.1
Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO)CA$6.05CA$1,7432.9

Source: YCharts

  • Village Farms International Inc.: Village Farms International is a Canada-based agricultural producer. In addition to growing standard vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, the company now produces cannabis. Village Farms International reported a 15.1% increase in produce sales for Q2 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. However, the company also posted a net loss of $119,000, a significant deterioration from net income of $3.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
  • Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.: Harvest Health & Recreation is a Canada-based cannabis company that specializes in cultivation, dispensaries, and production facilities for medicinal and recreational marijuana. The company announced in late June the appointment of Deborah Keeley to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective immediately. Keeley replaced Leo Jaschke, who resigned from his post.
  • Aphria Inc.: Aphria is a Canada-based company engaged in the production and sale of medical and recreational cannabis. The company announced earlier this month that it had entered into a Strategic Supply Agreement with Canndoc Ltd., a subsidiary of InterCure Ltd., a leading Israel-based medical cannabis producer. Aphria will supply Canndoc with dried bulk flower over a two-year period under the terms of the contract.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks 

These are the marijuana stocks with the highest year over year (YOY) sales growth for the most recent quarter. Rising sales show that a company’s business is growing. This is often used to measure growth of young companies that have not yet reached profitability.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($M)Revenue Growth (%)
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NEPT.TO)CA$3.39CA$378.2389.9
4Front Ventures Corp. (FFNT.CX)CA$0.84CA$425.4348.9
Cresco Labs Inc. (CL.CX)CA$9.14CA$1,899226.7

Source: YCharts

  • Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc.: Neptune Wellness Solutions is a Canada-based integrated health and wellness company. The company is focused on building a portfolio of natural, plant-based consumer products, including cannabis and hemp. Neptune reported revenue growth of 389.9% for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended June 30, 2020. The company announced in mid-June the launch of Neptune Halo, an electronic pulse oximeter device that detects oxygen saturation levels in the body and could be used as an important tool in the battle against COVID-19.
  • 4Front Ventures Corp.: 4Front Ventures owns and operates a group of cannabis cultivation and production facilities. The company also packages, distributes, and retails cannabis products.
  • Cresco Labs Inc.: Cresco Labs is a consumer-packaged cannabis products company involved in growing, manufacturing, and distribution. The company announced in late June the appointment of Dennis Olis as CFO. He will replace Ken Amann, who will be retiring at the end of the year.

Marijuana Stocks with the Most Momentum 

These are the marijuana stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Marijuana Stocks with the Most Momentum
 Price ($)Market Cap ($B)12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (TRUL.CX)CA$27.45CA$3.1154.6
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (PLTH.CX)CA$4.82CA$0.694.4
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTII.CX)CA$19.00CA$4.080.1
S&P 500N/AN/A23.9
ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ)N/AN/A-47.2

Source: YCharts

  • Trulieve Cannabis Corp.: Trulieve Cannabis is a Canada-based holding company that, through its subsidiaries, engages in the cultivation, possession, sale, and distribution of medical cannabis.
  • Planet 13 Holdings Inc.: Planet 13 is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, develops cannabis-based products. The company’s products include cannabis, cannabis extracts, infused products, vapes, edibles, and more.
  • Green Thumb Industries Inc.: Green Thumb Industries operates as a pharmaceutical company that manufactures and distributes medical marijuana and cannabis products.


Advice to California immigrants seeking to stay in US: Don’t work with pot

Photo: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle 2017

Workers sweep cannabis leaves at Harborside Farms in Salinas in 2017. The federal government considers employment in the marijuana industry a strike against immigrants seeking permanent residency.

Bob Egelko | on August 10, 2019

The headline of a sign that a San Francisco immigration clinic is distributing to marijuana growers and dispensers in California, where personal use by adults has been legal since 2016, gives some dire advice:

Warning: If you are not a U.S. citizen, it may be legally dangerous for you to work in the marijuana industry.

Undocumented immigrants fighting deportation can also be affected. Those who have lived in the United States for more than 10 years can avoid removal by showing that it would cause hardship to family members who are U.S. citizens, but not if the immigrant lacks “good moral character.”

And under the federal policy, proof of disqualifying “marijuana-related activities” doesn’t require federal prosecution and conviction. Instead, immigrants can be snared by their own statements to federal officers.

“You are asked, ‘Have you ever used illegal drugs,’ and you say, ‘No, just marijuana,’” said San Francisco immigration attorney Zachary Nightingale, describing a typical interrogation of a legal resident seeking citizenship. “Did you possess marijuana in the state? If you say ‘yes,’ you’re automatically disqualified for five years.”

Nightingale said he advises noncitizens who work in marijuana-related businesses to find a new line of work for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

“Immigrants are caught in the middle, often unknowingly,” said Bill Hing, a University of San Francisco law professor and co-director of the school’s Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. “They think, ‘I have permission to work, here’s a job that’s legal in California,’ and they take it. They could very well be falling into a federal trap.”

Asked about the policy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services responded, “Federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does.”

Hing’s clinic has been providing pot businesses with the warning signs it obtained from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in San Francisco. The state Employment Development Department issued its own warning in February, saying noncitizens “who work in the cannabis industry may suffer negative immigration consequences,” including deportation.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center went further in an advisory notice to potential clients in January 2018.

“Stay away from marijuana until you are a U.S. citizen,” the notice said.

It advised against carrying cannabis, a medical marijuana card or stickers and T-shirts with marijuana messages. It also recommended removing pot-related texts and photos from cell phones and social media. And it said anyone who needs medical marijuana, or who faces questioning by federal agents about the drug, should first consult a lawyer.

As those messages suggest, the federal policy was in place long before the April 19 announcement.

“Perhaps this administration takes a more aggressive posture, but it was the same policy in prior administrations,” said Joe Rogoway, a Santa Rosa attorney specializing in marijuana cases.

He said he has had clients for the past decade who faced immigration penalties because of marijuana. Some, Rogoway said, had been granted political asylum because of persecution in their homeland, but were sent back when they ignored legal advice to steer clear of the cannabis industry. Others, he said, were charged with illegal cultivation under pre-2016 California law, but avoided immigration problems by reaching plea agreements that did not implicate them in federal crimes.

Nightingale, the San Francisco attorney, said immigration officers started asking citizenship applicants last year whether they had used illegal drugs, but the document containing that question had been approved for use in December 2016, a month before President Trump took office.

USF’s Hing said reports of stepped-up immigration penalties are coming mostly from Colorado and Washington, which were also the first states, in 2012, to legalize personal marijuana use. A Colorado resident, Oswaldo Barrientos, told the Associated Press he was denied U.S. citizenship late last year because he worked for a state-licensed marijuana grower.

“I was shocked, appalled, sad,” said Barrientos, 30, who was brought to the U.S. from El Salvador as an infant and received a green card at age 13. “I had no idea I was going to be in this situation.”

The impact is also being felt in Florida, whose voters legalized medical use of marijuana in 2016.

“People are calling me and asking, ‘Should I naturalize?’ and I say, ‘You may not want to’” because of employment in the marijuana industry, said Elizabeth Ricci, an attorney in the state capital of Tallahassee. “Or they may want to go visit Mom and Dad at home, and then they might not be able to come back.

“I think it’s laughable,” Ricci said. “We have people working in pharmacological labs, producing opioids, and they’re not considered controlled substances (under federal law). Here, people working legally want to be U.S. citizens, and yet they’re told, ‘Poor moral character.’”

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: begelko@sfchronicle.comTwitter:@BobEgelko



Can CBD help supercharge athletic performance?

     In recent years, more people are searching for alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical painkillers and opiate drugs. Now, they are reaching for natural, non-pharmaceutical products like CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis.

One of the greatest supposed benefits of CBD is its potential to manage pain. For world-class athletes, this is proving to be a game-changer.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 120 compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD works within your body’s endocannabinoid system to help to regulate functions such as reducing pain and inflammation, heal injured bones, promoting better sleep and serving as an overall neuroprotectant.

It was these benefits and more that inspired Mike Kolb to found Xwerks, a health and wellness-focused brand dedicated to providing top-notch hemp-derived oils to supercharge athletic recovery.

“It started with wanting to create products that I wanted to use,” said Kolb. “I had a background in the supplement space but had not yet worked on the type of products I personally wanted to use. I started out creating a pre-workout product and we are now at seven products and plan to add more.”

Like many others, Kolb first learned about CBD through its ability to reduce seizures.

After CBD was removed from the banned substances list of both the U.S. and World Anti-Doping Agencies, it was clear to Kolb that CBD was the way of the future for optimal athlete recovery.

“It became pretty clear it could be greatly beneficial for athletes and once WADA cleared CBD for use in Olympic athletes, I knew I wanted to pursue launching our own CBD products.” Kolb said.

Elite CrossFit athlete like Xwerks brand ambassador Alex Anderson are living proof of how top-quality CBD products can positively impact performance and boost recovery.

While Xwerks is great for young, athletic and active people, that’s far from the only use someone could get from their line of CBD products.

“Our customers are typically 25-35 very active individuals looking to better recover from their workouts, but we do see some older/elderly customers using our CBD products for various reasons,” said Kolb. “My father and uncle, for example, both use it to help their arthritis.”

With study after study proving the effectiveness of CBD to help manage pain from issues like arthritis while improving bone health, quality of sleep and deterring neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis, the cannabinoid can be a great choice for people of any age.

Another key part of the rise of CBD is its position as a non-addictive alternative to oft-prescribed opiates. Former pro athletes like retired NHL player Ryan VandenBussche, retired NFL linebacker David Ahrens and former NHL winger Riley Cote all advocate for CBD use for recovery and as an alternative to opiates, swearing by its healing effects and health benefits.

And that’s the key for Kolb. Despite some commonly held misconceptions about CBD, like that it’ll get you high or that it’s addictive, Kolb wants the public to know that his top-quality Xwerks products are more than just some “magic weed pill,” he said.

“It’s not a scary drug that will get you high and addicted,” said Kolb. “I have seen some push back from people associating it with marijuana and getting high or they think it might be dangerous like prescription pills.”

In addition to stand alone orders, Xwerks products are available wholesale to fitness enthusiasts interested in carrying them in their gym or store.

“Wholesale has been a big part of our growth,” said Kolb. “We have many new CBD wholesale customers but it’s also exciting that our existing wholesale customers selling our other products are now adding CBD to their lineup.”

As more research emerges about the benefits and uses for CBD, the sky’s the limit for what Kolb and his company can do in the coming years.