Not exactly the greatest news on the pandemic front these days. But in addition to vaccinations, maybe there’s some other kind of relief of sorts soon to be available to sufferers of a variety of issues. For example, perhaps you’ve noticed that as the numbers of Covid-19 cases continue to trend upward again in Georgia, there seems to be heightened interest in medical marijuana. Coincidence? Possibly.
While eighteen states have legalized the use of recreational cannabis, Georgia is not one of them. However, it seems some six companies have been granted the go-ahead to produce medical marijuana within the confines of the Peach State. I don’t pretend to know all the medical complexities, but it seems the caveat is, the final product cannot contain more than 5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that produces the high most recreational users seek. (It also seems to produce accompanying cravings for Cheetos, Fritos, and tortilla chips among other munchies, but that’s another story.)
As I understand it, medical marijuana is not to be equated with the cannabidiol (CBD) products that are already commonly available at many retail outlets. CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis. By itself, CBD contains zero THC while medical marijuana, in addition to including CBD, also has at least a little of the “wanna get high?” ingredient.
The medical marijuana industry is reportedly exploding around the country, and companies in Georgia are looking to capture their fair share of the expected profits. Something known as the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission recently chose those aforementioned winning six providers from among dozens with a keen interest in the Georgia market. The companies with the most advantageous licenses in hand now apparently plan to build some very large growing facilities. Contrary to some people’s thoughts, though, their collective motto is not “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
From what I read, there will be some strict controls put on dispensing and using the weed for medicinal purposes in Georgia. Patients need a doctor’s approval for one thing. It’s not available off the shelf at your local (legitimate) pharmacy just yet. Although, that may not be too far off. Especially if it works as well as it’s purported to for things such as pain control. With other symptoms too, people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, endometriosis, Crohn’s, and several other maladies may benefit greatly as well. Makes you wonder if it might help with Covid too.
Speaking of Covid, that brings up an interesting possibility. China may well be looking to get into the medical marijuana business. Raise your hand if that would be a shock to you. Seeing none, I’ll continue. One report I saw indicated China is already responsible for producing a huge percentage of the world’s hemp, the plant from which marijuana comes. (It’s even been suggested that hemp originated there.) What if the rulers in Beijing decided to ramp up cultivation even more now and followed their tried and true economic model of undercutting price and flooding the marketplace worldwide?
Not only that, but given the suspicions of many regarding the origin of the Covid-19 virus, you don’t suppose there’s a certain lab in Wuhan Province that’s doing anything to enhance medical marijuana, do you? You know, infusing it with who-knows-what to make Americans buy all manner of Chinese made products.
Hey, wait a minute. Don’t we already do that?
Have We the People been secretly consuming hemp-derived additives without our knowledge? We do get a lot of beneficial fruits and veggies, spices, tea, and more from mainland China. Think about it. Do you feel a bit mellow? Have you recently unexpectedly gotten rid of a certain ache or pain? And what’s in that mask you’ve been wearing for over a year? Chances are, that cover-up was made in . . . where else . . . China.
Oh, and think about this: What age group is currently having the most medical issues? Baby Boomers, right? And who were the biggest users of marijuana in their youth? That audience is already wired to positively accept the miracles of medical Mary Jane.
How’s that for a conspiracy theory, eh? And just in case Chairman Xi Jinping should happen to get wind of this supposition, know that I’m not casting any aspersions on any people, any country, nor any production of marijuana. Just like Dragnet’s Jack Webb, though, we simply need to always look at “just the facts.”
Were he alive today, would John Denver disregard the Rocky Mountains and change his song title to “Great Wall High?”
©MMXXI. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer