Read Rabbi Jeff Kahn’s testimony to the DC Council on 11/19/2021 in favor of Bill 34-113 the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2021 and Bill 24-118, the Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021

My name is Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn. I am a resident of Brightwood Park and my wife, son, and I own and operate Takoma Wellness Center, the District’s first and longest operating medical cannabis dispensary. Before discussing cannabis, let me put on my rabbi’s hat to say 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

This is a moment to celebrate for we have been kept alive, we have been sustained, and we’ve been brought to this moment when we begin to legalize the use of cannabis for all adults in Washington, D.C. Thank you Chairman Mendelson, Council Members McDuffie and Allen, and all the members of the Council of the District of Columbia for making today possible.

I don’t think anyone testifying today will oppose marijuana legalization. I-71 passed with 65% of the vote in 2014. I’m sure even more Washingtonians support full legalization now. But today you will hear many different ideas of who, how, what, where, and when it should be done. The proposed legislation aims to maintain and strengthen our medical cannabis program. That intention is stated several times in the proposed legislation. I don’t think anyone testifying today will oppose maintaining a strong medical cannabis program. We all want medical use and adult use and we all want it done correctly.

We will not be the first jurisdiction with a medical cannabis program to legalize all adult use. Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Alaska, New Mexico, and Illinois all had medical programs in place when their adult use programs began. All wanted to keep a medical program in place. Some have been far more successful than others.

The states that have succeeded have:

  1. Built their new adult use program on the foundation of their medical cannabis program. Takoma Wellness Center has a ten-year unblemished record of successfully operating in a heavily regulated and taxed DC cannabis program. Current and proposed rules and legislation call for additional medical dispensaries and cultivation centers. An Adult Use program will, no doubt, require even more. But the current licensed dispensaries and cultivators must be grand-mothered into any Adult Use program and must be able to sell cannabis to any adult as soon as the Act is effective. That is our first step to success.

  2. Established a large enough tax difference between medical and adult use cannabis to encourage medical patients to see a medical care provider and register with the state. It costs at least $200 to enter DC’s medical marijuana program. People will not spend that much and pay the same or a similar sales tax as adult use. The proposed legislation calls for a 13% sales tax for adult use and 6% for medical. The tax is too high to encourage medical registration or encourage regulated adult use sales. It would be best for adult use cannabis to be taxed at the regular 6%. Like any other medicine, medical cannabis should not be taxed at all. A low “recreational” tax and no medical tax is our second step.

  3. Allowed dispensaries that serve medical and adult use clients to mark all differences at the point of sale. It is at that point that all differences in tax, limits, products, and prices can be made. States that have adopted programs that require different entrances, inventories, counterspace, etc. have all found them excessively burdensome and unnecessary. We hope to see changes made to the proposed legislation to remove these stumbling blocks so we can succeed.

  4. Encouraged greater diversity and local participation by carefully expanding their program. We need to be sure that rules and regs are promulgated so that supply and demand are maintained. New players must be added to the program to serve more clients. ABRA is about to open applications for new cultivators and a dispensary. The legislation under consideration today doubles the number of dispensaries. DC currently has one the most diverse cannabis industries in the nation. Most of our dispensaries are Black and/or woman owned. We are encouraged that this legislation will keep us as local and as diverse as possible. That’s step four to our success.

Today, you are hearing many ideas about how DC can create a safe, legal, taxed, and regulated adult use cannabis market. Please remember that while doing so, we must maintain and strengthen our medical cannabis program, upon whose foundation the adult use program will be built. All current, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries must be able to sell to the general adult population as soon as regulations are finalized. We must stop taxing medical cannabis altogether and create a low adult use sales tax. We must continue to encourage diverse and local ownership. ABRA has already proven itself to be an outstanding regulatory authority, and we greatly appreciate Director Moosally’s leadership. Together, we can make all this happen and ensure the success of our efforts.

Bird's Eye View of marijuana flower on table, in grinder, in jar and female hand holding an open joint

Ask a DC Budtender: How Much Cannabis is Too Much Cannabis?

We want to make sure you have the best cannabis experience every time you consume, so we wrote this helpful blog. 

As experienced Patient Consultants, we’re familiar with many of our customers’ concerns about accidental overindulgence. Before legalization, there were many horror stories about cannabis enthusiasts eating one brownie too many and vanishing into a black hole of paranoid couch lock.

Nowadays, thanks to clearer, more consistent measuring of THC levels on packaged products, it’s easy to make sure you get the appropriate dose for your experience level and body type (just ask us for tips!). But as the market grows and technology improves, cannabis products are becoming more potent, and consumers who haven’t indulged since pre-legalization may find the flower they encounter is stronger than expected! 

So we wanted to write you a helpful guide covering how much cannabis you can safely consume as a beginner and what to do if you’ve accidentally overindulged.

How much is too much when it comes to cannabis?

The slightly unhelpful honest answer is, it depends! For the best experience, it’s always a good idea to have an IRL conversation with your friendly neighborhood Patient Consultant about your familiarity with cannabis, past experiences, and general metabolic level.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t helpful guidelines to follow. The LA Times made a beneficial calculator for this purpose. A general rule is to stick with minimal dosage the first time you try a new cannabis product. If you’re a newbie smoking an unfamiliar strain, take a single puff and wait about half an hour to feel the peak of the effects. If you’re trying out an edible, give yourself slightly more time–around an hour or two–to see how the dose hits you.

hand holding lit marijuana joint with blurry outside background

How to avoid taking too much cannabis?

When it comes to figuring out your ideal cannabis dosage, we give all our favorite clients the same advice: start low and go slow.

If you’re trying out a new cannabis product, whether it’s a new vape gel, edible, tincture, or strain, always carefully read the dosage information. Some manufacturers will suggest dosages, while others merely tell you how much THC a product contains and leave you to decide for yourself. Either way–consulting that packaging is always a good move!

If the suggested dosage isn’t doing it for you, you can increase the amount of THC you’re taking in about 5 mg at a time, leveling up with a slightly higher dose the next time you use the product. So, for example, if you’re eating a 20 mg candy bar, and ate a quarter without feeling much, start next time by just eating half. You can go for the full dose next time if the experience isn’t as intense as you’d like!

Can you overdose on marijuana?

Let’s get this out of the way: No! 

If you scrolled down here in a panic to make sure you’re not about to die, the good news is that there have been zero recorded deaths or any other adverse health outcomes longer than the length of a stormy afternoon. 

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overdose. It’s just that, unlike other, more dangerous compounds, the effects of a cannabis overdose can be unpleasant rather than harmful. Overdosing on cannabis happens most often to people who don’t use THC products often and accidentally exceed their limits. It’s also more common when people mix cannabis with alcohol or other substances that can increase the effects. 

upset women with hands in pray position up against mouth and female friends hand on shoulder

Signs you might have overindulged.

It’s all very well for us to tell you overdosing on marijuana isn’t dangerous–when you’re in the middle of a bad experience, it can still feel overwhelming. Here are some telltale signs you might have ingested too much THC:

  • You feel generalized, free-floating anxiety or paranoia
  • You’re confused, unable to distinguish what’s really happening from your imagination
  • Your heart is racing, and you feel panicked
  • You feel nauseated, or maybe even vomit
  • You feel dehydrated like you’re sweating more than usual.

What should I do if I’ve taken too much?

Suppose you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, deep breaths! Fortunately for you, your friendly neighborhood Patient Consultants  know a few good tips to stop feeling so high:

  • Stay calm. It might feel like forever, but these effects will only last a few minutes. We promise you’ll feel better soon!
  • “Mom” yourself. What are the foods you find most comforting? How about a nice glass of water, or a piece of fruit? Feeding your body something nourishing and straightforward is a great way to get centered.
  • Lie down and rest. You’ll feel better if you let your body relax and your mind roam. Find a dark, quiet place where you can be still and dream for a while.
  • Get outside. If you’re feeling too anxious to stay still, indulging in a bit of nature time in a familiar place, like a garden or back yard, can help calm and focus your mind.

The most important thing you can do if you think you’ve consumed too much cannabis is stay cool, calm, and collected. Remember, this too shall pass! And next time, check-in with your patient consultant before you try something new. We’re here to help!

woman's hand holding a cannabis pipe with flower in it

The Washington DC Dispensary Guide to Cannabis Microdosing

New (and seasoned) cannabis consumers can benefit from an understanding of microdosing. Here’s everything you need to know. 

If you’re a seasoned cannabis consumer, you’re likely familiar with the potency race to the top. As cannabis becomes legal in a growing number of states, producers battle to attract consumers with products that pack a more potent punch. 

But stronger doesn’t always mean better! 

There are days when you want to experience the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, but you still need to get things done. That’s where cannabis microdosing, our Patient Consultant’s secret weapon for sustainable daily cannabis consumption, comes in. So what is cannabis microdosing? And how can you incorporate the benefits of micro-dosed cannabis into your daily routine? Let’s take a closer look!

Up close of Cannabis Tincture Dropper

What is cannabis microdosing?

First things first; what is cannabis microdosing? While the actual amounts of cannabis an individual uses for microdosing can vary from person to person, micro-dosing consists of using a minimal dose of cannabis, either by taking a small amount of a pure THC product or a larger amount of a high CBD, low THC product for a more mellow effect enjoyable over a long period. 

The techniques of micro-dosing cannabis were initially associated with hallucinogens like LSD or mushrooms and have recently been expanded to investigate the potential of low dosage THC.

The idea is to balance the desirable benefits of THC and the sometimes overwhelming psychoactive effects to create a sustainable daily high.

How is cannabis microdosing different from a full dose of cannabis?

When it comes to cannabis consumption, microdosing is all about calibration. Rather than maxing out THC levels for a complete mind/body experience, the small doses utilized by practitioners of cannabis microdosing are designed to deliver precise effects. 

Where consuming a full dose of THC creates a specific bodily experience that some find overwhelming, the effects of microdosing are far more subtle and vary from person to person depending on several factors, including the cannabis strain, dosage level, and your body’s tolerances. Basically–the effects of microdosing are more subtle and controlled, allowing you to experience the therapeutic benefits of THC while continuing to go about your day unimpeded by the psychoactive effects.

What are the benefits of cannabis microdosing?

So, why microdose? The short answer is, it all depends! 

Individuals might try microdosing for a variety of reasons–depending on their physical and psychological needs. Some people enjoy the relief microdosing can provide for bodily conditions like relief from chronic pain or topical treatments for inflammation. In contrast, others turn to the treatment for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

While most academic studies on microdosing have been done on psychedelic substances, consumers often report symptomatic relief; in addition, if you’re new to the world of cannabis consumption, microdosing can be a great way to test your tolerances and find out the right level of THC for your individual needs.

woman sitting and flipping through a notebook

How to start cannabis microdosing?

First things first—let’s get you talking to a professional! 

As with any change in your wellness or supplement routine, you should always check with an expert who understands the ins and outs of consumption to see if cannabis microdosing is right for you. A qualified Patient Consultant will help you determine if cannabis microdosing is right for you and determine the best place to start.

Once you’ve got the professional go-ahead, check out some of our favorite low-dose products! If you’re brand new to the world of microdosing, a high dosage CBD product like Abatin Wellness CBD oil can be a great place to start. A low THC/high CBD tincture like Liberty’s MediHaze allows you to control your dosage drop by drop. Or try a little infused honey for a sweetly light dose. Whatever product you choose, Takoma Wellness’ experienced budtenders are here to help guide you through your cannabis microdosing journey.

woman holding a handful of cannabis gummies

Ask a DC Budtender: The Rules of Cannabis Edibles Consumption

New cannabis consumers often approach edibles with a mixture of excitement, fear, and caution. We get it – edibles have an interesting reputation. But they shouldn’t. Our cannabis edibles basics will ensure you have the best experience – every time. 

When it comes to cannabis edibles, there’s an element of mystery that can make taking the first bite of that infused chocolate bar (or oat bar, marshmallow crisp, or cookie in a jar) a nerve-wracking experience. How do you know the correct dosage? And what effects will you experience? 

Unlike more familiar forms of cannabis, like flower and vape cartridges, it’s hard to make a visual assessment of the perfect amount (and variety) of cannabis edibles to suit your needs. 

That’s why we decided to sit down with our favorite professional Patient Consultants to learn the ins and outs of cannabis edibles and how new consumers can ensure a perfect experience every time.

chocolate chip cookies next to cannabis leaves

What are cannabis edibles?

Let’s start with the basics: what are cannabis edibles, and how do they work? 

Put simply–a cannabis edible is any cannabis-infused food product that contains either THC or CBD. Some cannabis edibles enthusiasts prefer them for their convenience, while others like the relief of not worrying about the impact of smoking on their lungs. 

These days, edibles come in many forms beyond the familiar pot brownie, from beef jerky to breakfast cereal! With the world of cannabis edible brands growing by the day, it’s easy to find a product to suit your palette (and dosage and effects requirements).

How long does it take cannabis edibles to kick in?

Edibles tend to take longer to kick in than inhalable cannabis products. Typically, you can expect to wait between 30-60 minutes to experience the effects of cannabis edibles. Many factors can affect the timing of cannabis absorption via edibles. Let’s go over a few:

  • You might feel the effects of high dosage THC edibles more quickly than a lower dose product.
  • Edibles you consume by sucking on them (like lozenges, lollipops, and gum) kick in faster since they’re absorbed directly through your saliva (they’re sublingual). 
  • Chewable edibles (like gummies, cookies, or that oat bar we talked about earlier) take longer to kick in since they have to be digested before your body absorbs the THC or CBD they contain. 
  • Other factors, like how empty your stomach is and your sex, weight, and cannabis tolerance, can affect how quickly your body reacts to edibles.

If you’ve consumed an edible and don’t yet feel the effects, have patience! Our Budtenders recommend waiting 24 hours before taking a second dose to avoid consuming too much. Instead, try eating something else to kick-start your digestion.

smiling person about to eat a cannabis gummie

How do edibles make you feel?

One advantage of edibles is the intensity they offer compared to other cannabis products. Cannabis edibles create a more powerful high than some other consumption methods, and you’ll feel the effects longer than inhalable cannabis products. 

That’s why it’s so important to read your labels and consult your budtender before embarking on a novel cannabis experience. Make sure you pay attention to serving sizes–what sounds like a reasonable dose for that chocolate bar you’re chowing down on might just represent the THC content of a single square!

The bottom line: whether you’re brand new to the world of edibles, or a seasoned pro, starting low and going slow is always the best advice. Taking a mindful approach to cannabis edible consumption will ensure you have a blissful, relaxing experience that’s 100% DC Budtender approved.

Do you have cannabis consumption questions? Drop by Takoma Wellness and ask a DC Patient Consultant (Budtender)! We’re here for you.