Things That Matter

Uruguay May Soon Become The World’s Medical Marijuana Hub

Uruguay made history by becoming the first country to legalize cannabis in 2013, with former President Jose Mujica signing legislation to allow for recreational use of the plant. Now, investors are hoping the country can become an export hub for medical marijuana as the industry continues to expand globally.

There is serious money to be made off medical marijuana and investors want in on it.

Uruguay has been at the forefront of regulating and cultivating medical marijuana but a new investment group wants to capitalize on this. Silverpeak Life Sciences Uruguay Inc, one of the companies in the Uruguay’s growing medical marijuana industry, is working with investors to raise $35 million to increase production and build a larger extraction lab next year.

According to Silverpeak Life Sciences CEO and U.S. cannabis investor Jordan Lewis, the company expansion is expected to increase revenues by the millions.

“Our planned and desired expansion would be about 25 tons next year and that should push us above $100 million in revenue,” Lewis said told Bloomberg.

According to a report released in 2018 by Arcview Market Research in partnership with BDS Analytics, Legal marijuana sales in certain South American market are expected to jump from just $125 million in 2018 to $776 million by 2027.

“While Brazil and Argentina will far outweigh other countries in terms of spending, Uruguay is the clear leader in early liberalization of its cannabis regulations,” the report said. “Any adult citizen/legal resident of Uruguay can now legally purchase cannabis from pharmacies at government-controlled prices intended to undercut illicit market rates and starve out cartel operations there.”

Despite getting a head start in terms of legalization, Uruguay’s weed economy hasn’t fully developed.

CREDIT: Acrview Market Research/BDS Analytics

Uruguay had a head start in terms of the legalization of marijuana compared to countries like the U.S. and Canada. But that hasn’t translated into a profitable economic source for the country.

Instead, various investors have tapped money into the U.S. and Canada in hopes of taking advantage of the relaxed marijuana regulations the countries now have. The inflow of investment in those countries has created a very promising legal marijuana market that comes after the drug was vilified for decades.

Uruguay hopes to see this type of revenue flow as Fotmer Corporation SA, Silverpeak’s subsidiary headquartered in Uruguay, has asked the country’s cannabis regulatory agency Ircca, to increase its allowed annual production to 400 tons of cannabis plants.

There are a handful of companies that have invested in Uruguay by building greenhouses and extraction laboratories. They have done this in order to supply medical marijuana to other countries in Latin America Canada and in Europe.

With enough investment and support, Uruguay could become one of the world’s leading medical marijuana producers.

Since 2015, Ircca has approved cannabis projects that are worth $57 million and is currently looking at other permits for 21 projects worth approximately $40 million. Their goal is to increase the number of licensed marijuana producers that supply recreational weed to pharmacies from two to as many as five by the end of the year.

By the current pace of investments in Uruguay, all this numbers might change as U.S. and Canadian cannabis producers start to look at the country as a pot destination.If there is enough government support, Uruguay could become the first country to reach $1 billion in annual medical marijuana exports in as soon as five years.

Lewis says that based on early projections, Uruguay’s cannabis industry could become a $100-million-plus industry as soon as 2020. Either way, the country of 3.4 million people is sure to reek some of the benefits of what is expected to bring a millions of dollars in revenue.

READ:Uruguay Legalized The Sale Of Marijuana But The Banks Are Not Dealing With Pharmacies That Sell It

An Arizona Medical Marijuana Farm Turned The Sky Purple And People Were Left Wondering What Was Going On

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An Arizona Medical Marijuana Farm Turned The Sky Purple And People Were Left Wondering What Was Going On

Navajo County / Facebook

A Navajo County medical marijuana farm in Snowflake, Arizona filled the sky with a strange purple haze that illuminated the horizon. Local residents took photos of the electric violet fog that enveloped them on an early Friday morning last week. 

Copperstate Farms is the largest medical marijuana wholesaler in Arizona, according to CNN. The farm has 40 acres of greenhouses (totaling the size of 30 football fields). The greenhouses use red and blue lights at night to boost the plants’ growth. Anyone who paid attention during the color theory section of art class knows red and blue make purple, but the lights don’t look like this every day in Navajo County. 

So why was the sky filled with a purple haze?

❄ The snow wasn't the only gift the skies had in store for us this morning. 💜This photo taken from Snowflake, AZ early…

Posted by Navajo County on Friday, January 10, 2020

“The purple lights are always there but don’t usually light up the sky like this,” Cara Smith, who took the viral photo at 6:30 AM on her way to work, told CNN. “It had snowed that morning and was still very foggy and cloudy.”

While the lights can sometimes look a little purple from afar, the weather conditions magnified the violet hue. According to KTLA, water droplets from a particularly low fog reflected the growth lights which made the purple color spread across the dark sky. 

“The snow wasn’t the only gift the skies had in store for us this morning. This photo taken from Snowflake, AZ early this morning showcased purple glow for miles! Huge shout out to resident Cara Smith for sharing her photo.
The purple glow is a result of LED grow lights from nearby medical marijuana farm Copperstate Farms and the snow clouds overhead,” the official Navajo County Facebook page wrote. 

Copperstate Farms has been growing crops for three years with 70 cannabis strains in production and another 40 in development. 

With more states legalizing marijuana, a purple haze could be coming to you.

While Arizona legalized medical use in 2010, it has struggled to legalize it for recreational use. In fact, in 2016 a ballot initiative to legalize it recreationally failed with 48.7 percent of the vote. Nevertheless, in just four short years the state has a new initiative on the ballot that is facing little opposition. 

“With over $1.6 million in funding, the political action committee formed to push the ballot initiative is the best-funded PAC in the state, according to campaign finance filings. What is surprising is the seeming lack of any opposition in a state that, just four years ago, narrowly struck down a similar bill,” according to the Phoenix New Times.

In 2016, Arizona may have suffered from a 6.4 million anti-cannabis movement but there is little resistance this time. There have been changing attitudes around marijuana use with 33 states making it medically legal and 11 making it recreationally legal. 

Here are the states we can expect expanded access to marijuana use from in 2020.

According to Newsweek, over a dozen states are posturing towards ballot initiatives for recreational cannabis use in 2020. States like these include Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Dakota, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and North Dakota and Rhode Island. 

States in the beginning process are working to garner local and public support, while others, further along, are figuring out implementation processes. For example, Minnesota Democrats are trying to establish the best practices before drafting the bill. 

“It just is manifestly unfair to say ‘Okay, well, now that we think [marijuana] is good and we’re going to make money, let’s make it a corporate, whites-dominated industry,'” Minnesota state house majority leader Ryan Winkler told Newsweek. “We may not be able to stop that, but we’re going to try.”

Marijuana legalization has largely become a criminal justice issue with Black and Brown people incarcerated at much higher rates for usage despite racial groups using cannabis at the same rates. 

Illinois may be the model to follow, after passing a bill to legalize recreational use, the state plans to expunge criminal records for related low-level offenses. It has allocated $30 million in special low-interest loans so that communities, largely of color, affected the most by the so-called War on Drugs can lead the way as cannabis entrepreneurs. 

A Man In Mexico Was Hospitalized After A Three-Day Erection After Taking Bull Stimulants

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A Man In Mexico Was Hospitalized After A Three-Day Erection After Taking Bull Stimulants

@peter_fleming / Unsplash

He’s a man without a name or a face but is what every tía is cackling about in Mexican cocinas across the country after news circulated that a man was hospitalized after taking sexual stimulants meant for bulls. The man was planning to have sex with a 30-year-old woman, Peruvian newspaper La Republica reports. The eager man decided to seek out something stronger than Viagra. The man eventually traveled to Veracruz, a 12-hour drive south of where he was eventually hospitalized, in order to seek out a sexual stimulant typically reserved for bulls used by the agricultural industry as inseminating machines. 

Local news outlets have not confirmed whether or not the highly-anticipated sexual encounter ever took place.

The man is currently being hospitalized at Specialist Hospital 270 in Reynosa, on the U.S.-Mexico border.

CREDIT: MAP DATA ©2020 INEGI, GOOGLE

The Mayo Clinic confirms that an erection can become a medical emergency if it has persisted for more than four hours. There are two different types of persistent erections. The more common one results from the use of erectile-enhancing drugs and can cause permanent damage to the penile muscles, causing erectile dysfunction, if not treated immediately. Essentially, the blood is not able to flow and be oxygenated, which means the surrounding tissues lose oxygen, which they need to function. Symptoms also include a “rigide penile shaft, but the tip of penis (glans) is soft” and “progressive penile pain,” according to the Mayo Clinic

This man waited three days before seeking medical attention. 

His doctors have confirmed that the substance that caused his condition is typically used to stimulate bulls for insemination.

CREDIT: @PETER_FLEMING / UNSPLASH

“He was admitted to the Specialties 270 hospital of the IMSS of this city (Reynosa), a man who would have ingested a sexual stimulant that he brought from Veracruz, used by farmers in that region, to stimulate bulls for insemination,” the man’s doctors told La República. In case you missed it, in order to have the mass production of meat and dairy that the existing human population demands, the animal agriculture industry has to get creative. It’s standard protocol to hire professional ejaculators whose sole job is to inject “viagra for bulls” into a selected bull and “collect semen.” It is a common practice in the meat and dairy industry to inseminate cows to increase the numbers in the herds.

The man told the outlet that he took the “viagra for bulls” because he was planning to have sex with a 30-year-old woman and didn’t want to underperform. Unfortunately, the very drug he sought out likely has permanently caused enough damage to his penis that he almost certainly suffers from erectile dysfunction as a consequence.

Some are choosing to make light of his condition.

CREDIT: MAP DATA ©2020 INEGI, GOOGLE

“Get well soon, @BorisJohnson,” one Twitter user joked of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “He should have tried the new Viagra LIGHT,” another user tweeted. Meanwhile, the unnamed man continues to recover at the Specialized Hospital 20.

The medical term for his condition is priapism and can cause permanent damage.

CREDIT: @CHARLESDELUVIO / UNSPLASH

The name itself, priapism, comes from the Greek god of fertility and lust, Priapus. Most of us are, thankfully, only familiar with priapism because of Shonda Rhimes’ “Grey’s Anatomy,” but it is considered a medical emergency if an erection lasts longer than four hours. According to Weill Cornell Medicine, even just 6-8 hours of priapism can cause irreversible damage and cause erectile dysfunction disorder, and “it has been estimated that priapism of 24 hours duration is associated with an approximately 50% incidence of permanent erectile dysfunction.”

The first step in treating priapism caused by erectile-enhancing drugs is to drain “the old stagnant blood from the penis” and inject “a vasoconstrictive medication directly into the erectile tissue of the penis,” says Weill Cornell Medicine’s Male Infertility non-profit. When caught early, it can be effectively resolved in this manner. In the case of this unnamed man, he required a surgical procedure to attempt to reverse the erection. Typically, surgeons will have to place a shunt to drain the stagnant blood in the penis somewhere else. Still, surgical outcomes predict a 25-50 percent rate of long-term erectile dysfunction.

The surgery fails to relieve symptoms 25-50 percent of the time, in which case a penile prosthesis may be surgically implanted. There have been no updates on the status of this man’s recovery or projected sex life.

READ: NARS’ Sexually Explicit Ad Has Moms Of Twitter Riled About The Old Adage ‘Sex Sells’