Ancient Cannabis 'Burial Shroud' Discovered in Desert Oasis - National Geographic

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** Ancient Cannabis 'Burial Shroud' Discovered in Desert Oasis (

Archaeologists are hailing the discovery of an "extraordinary cache" of cannabis found in an ancient burial in northwest China, saying that the unique find adds considerably to our understanding of how ancient Eurasian cultures used the plant for ritual and medicinal purposes.

In a report ( in the journal Economic Botany, archaeologist Hongen Jiang and his colleagues describe the burial of an approximately 35-year-old adult man with Caucasian features in China's Turpan Basin. The man had been laid out on a wooden bed with a reed pillow beneath his head.

Thirteen cannabis plants, each up to almost three feet long, were placed diagonally across the man's chest, with the roots oriented beneath his pelvis and the tops of the plants extending from just under his chin, up and alongside the left side of his face. (Read how Eurasian gold artifacts tell the tale of drug-fueled rituals ( .)

Radiocarbon dating of the tomb's contents indicates that the burial occurred approximately 2,400 to 2,800 years ago.

This discovery adds to a growing collection of archaeological evidence showing that cannabis consumption was "very popular" across the Eurasian steppe thousands of years ago, says Jiang.

A Truly Unique Burial

The burial is one of 240 graves excavated at the Jiayi cemetery in Turpan, and is associated with the Subeixi culture ( (also known as the Gushi Kingdom) that occupied the area between roughly 3,000 to 2,000 years ago. At the time, Turpan's desert oasis was an important stop ( on the Silk Road.

Cannabis plant parts have been found in a few other Turpan burials, most notably in a contemporaneous burial in nearby Yanghai cemeterydiscovered ( nearly a decade ago, which contained ( close to two pounds of cannabis seeds and powdered leaves.

West of Turpan, cannabis seeds have also been found in first millennium B.C. Scythian ( burials in southern Siberia, including one of a woman who possibly died of breast cancer ( . Archaeologists suspect she may have been using cannabis in part to ease her symptoms. (Read "Will Marijuana for Sick Kids Get Government to Rethink Weed? ( ")

This is the first time archaeologists have recovered complete cannabis plants, as well as the first incidence of their use as a "shroud" in a human burial.

** A Republican lawmaker's hat at a marijuana conference says it all: 'Make Cannabis Great Again' (

As more people around the country gradually begin to accept marijuana as a plant rather than a drug, more plans surrounding this growing business continue to emerge. In a recent interview with Billboard ( , Damian Marley ( explained his plans to help expand the business in a way that would benefit all parties involved. Marley, in partnership with Ocean Grown Extracts, is working to transform an old California state prison into a grow space for medical marijuana. The former prison has 77,000 square feet of land available to be turned into farm land that could grow product for the many medical marijuana dispensaries within the state.

Marijuana is key part of Marley's lifestyle as it is always around him due to his friends, family, and faith. It comes as no surprise that he would try to make an effort to take the news and business around the plant into a positive direction. It seems ironic that a prison that once held inmates for legal offenses brought on by marijuana could become a new space to legally grow the same exact plant, but Marley is aware of this. "Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up," says Marley. "If this [venture] helps people and it's used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it's a success."

Marley and his partners from Ocean Grown Extracts $4.1 million purchase of the Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, CA has already lifted an estimated $3.3 million debt from the city. This new business venture is also expected to provide at least 100 new jobs, not to mention the millions of dollars in profit and revenue. However, as medical marijuana continues to spread and become legalized in more states around America, Marley and his partners have hopes to expand beyond California. Just last month, Marley partnered with TruCannabis in Colorado to launch Stoney Hill—a 3,000 square foot dispensary in Denver—as well as a 30,000 square foot grow space.

This has been a long time coming for Marley, and many others, but it's just the beginning. "This was definitely something we were working towards for a long time, before I was even born," says Marley. "There was Peter Tosh's "Legalize It" and songs like that—this is something our culture has been working towards. I was optimistic that it would one day be legal—and now it is here."

** Man seeks damages from Sheriff’s Office for culling cannabis grow (

A Round Mountain man has filed a claim saying Shasta County Sheriff's Office violated his civil rights when they destroyed his medical marijuana collective garden in July, the second time in about five years, his attorney said Monday.

James Madison Coleman, through Redding attorney Eric Berg, submitted the claim against the Sheriff's Office seeking restitution and punitive damages, Berg said at a news conference Monday morning.

Sheriff Tom Bosenko couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

The claim challenges the 2014 measure voters passed in 2014 that outlaws all outdoor grows in the unincorporated county.

The claim, a first step in filing a lawsuit, centers on a July 7 incident that began with a dispute between neighbors, Berg said.

According to a sheriff's report released by Berg, two Shasta County sheriff's deputies went to Coleman's home at about 6:45 p.m. The report doesn't mention what the argument was over, though sheriff's logs say it revolved around a locked gate.

Deputy Gary Nunnelley Jr., in his report, said that he and deputy Tim Estes noticed "several marijuana plants" outdoors and a boarded-up shed he suspected housed weed while approaching Coleman's home to speak with him about the dispute.

Nunnelly asked Coleman about the grow and Coleman showed him his doctor's recommendation and said he grew for a 17-member collective, the deputy wrote.

That collective is registered with the state, thus it's legitimate and protected by the California constitution, Berg says.

Nunnelly wrote he asked to see the indoor grow and went with Coleman to the shed, which housed 80 plants and 175 clones and lacked sufficient security and ventilation, and thus was out of compliance.

Deputies, even if they were able to see some outdoor plants from the road, should have offered Coleman a chance to fix the problems instead of destroying the grow there.

None of the plants were flowering but were out of compliance of the county ordinance banning all outdoor grows, Nunnelly wrote.

However, Coleman told Nunnelly he'd been raided by the county before in April 2011 and charged with marijuana possession for sale and transportation, Berg said. He was acquitted of all charges and has a right under California's constitution to grow, Berg said.

One of the deputies allegedly told Coleman to move to Mendocino or Humboldt counties, Berg said.

His client is planning to move, Berg said.

"The only way he can live in peace is if he leaves Shasta County," Berg said.


You’ll notice something different about cannabis edibles in Colorado starting October 1st, namely a prominent THC warning printed on all the goodies, due to the implementation of House Bill 1366, which was approved by State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman back in August 2014 ( .

These “emergency rules,” intended to address the issue of people accidentally ingesting pot food, have been slow to roll out due to numerous complications including designing a universal THC warning symbol and deciding how to apply it to a diverse selection of cannabis-infused foodstuffs.

Last November, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division revealed the universal symbol: a diamond shape containing the letters THC along with an exclamation point.

Applied to cannabis-infused foods by using expensive custom molds, stencils, airbrushing or frosting, the universal symbol is impracticable to imprint on bulk products like granola or liquid drinks, so those items are now limited to individually-packaged, single serving sizes of only 10 milligrams.

All edibles manufacturers must comply with this new rule by October 1st, while recreational stores and dispensaries can sell inventory without the universal symbol until December 1st. (Look for big sales on Black Friday!)

Other new rules include mandated servings sizes of ONLY 10 mg of THC each that must be scored, marked or cut; a ban on using the word “candy” on packaging or labeling; and a limit on how many edibles can be purchased at one time, so you can only walk out of a legal pot store with 80 10-mg servings of pot food, intended to be equivalent to one ounce of flower.

Last week, the Marijuana Enforcement Division released a bulletin regarding HB 16-1427 and its effect on multi-dose liquid products. Cannabis-infused drinks are still permitted as long as they are “packaged in a structure that uses a single mechanism to achieve both child resistance and accurate pouring measurement of each liquid serving in increments equal to or less than 10 milligrams of activated THC per serving, with no more than 100 milligrams activated THC per package.”

Colorado edibles producers have been preparing for the new rules for over a year, with many manufacturers researching innovative ways to mark their products with the THC warning. Designing new molds for cannabis-infused chocolates was a straightforward solution, but retooling production processes was costly and time-consuming.

Denver-based cannabis chocolate company Blue Kudu ( took the opportunity to envision a complete re-design of their product line, requiring 2,000 new chocolate molds that cost upwards of $30,000. Still, the company embraced the change, confirming their commitment to public safety by going above and beyond the new requirements to also include a 10 mg dosage stamp on each chocolate segment.

“We needed to increase our chocolate bar size by 33 percent to legibly fit the THC warnings,” company spokesperson Gina Cannon explains, “This, in turn, required changing our packaging as the new bar would not fit, which then necessitated an entirely new packaging solution. Using the most advanced child-resistant packaging available from Ecobliss, we created a new box-shaped packaging that fit the bar and met the state regulations.”

Baked goods aren’t as easy to stamp or mark compared to chocolate, so Karin Lazarus at Sweet Mary Jane ( had to get more creative, printing the symbol on tiny candies which were then added to her signature truffles.

“These alone are fairly expensive, however, the major cost is putting them onto the products. Along with the new packaging rules, this has added quite a bit to our costs,” Lazarus writes. “We tried about 10 different methods of getting the symbol onto our edibles and for the most part they looked so unappealing that we chose not to use them. I don’t see another way to get the symbol on the truffles or chocolates and still have them look beautiful.”

Sweet Mary Jane is still experimenting with how to apply the universal symbol to their coveted brownies and cookies while continuing to making them fresh and visually stunning.

Alternatively, Sweet Grass Kitchen ( , a wholesale edible manufacturer in Colorado that produces mostly baked goods, is using a class 4 laser to engrave the universal symbol into all of their baked goods. This was the best solution due to the porous nature of baked goods which the CO Marijuana Enforcement Division deemed, to much industry objection, ‘practicable to imprint’ with the symbol.

“This regulatory change requires production capabilities that are extremely advanced for a wholesale bakery of our size. The timeline to get into compliance was also unreasonable—any other industry would have multiple years to comply, whereas the cannabis industry had less than one.” remarks Eric Knight, the COO of Sweet Grass Kitchen.

As stated previously ( , these new regulations will do little or nothing to decrease accidental ingestions by toddlers, the age group most susceptible to these mishaps, because little kids don’t read or care about symbols printed on food. They’ll eat batteries, makeup or detergent pods, let alone pot brownies. Parental education campaigns and increased public awareness are the only real tools available to battle the pesky problem of kids visiting the ER due to eating cannabis-infused edibles.

Also, the new rules only effect license-holding manufacturers, not people making edibles at home, where no metered dosing, child-resistant packaging or printed THC warnings are mandated. Higher prices for professional edibles will continue to drive customers to purchase black market products which are difficult to dose correctly without the benefit of lab testing.

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