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Courtesy of John Lyons

John Lyons was set to retire from four decades of training horses and sell his seventy-acre training facility in Parachute, Colorado. Instead, he started one of the country’s first nutraceutical and medical hemp research and treatment facilities, the Colorado Hemp Institute.

“I was retiring, selling the place, taking the money and running,” Lyons says. “[But] God had a different plan for my life than that.”

cannabis for painJake Holschuh

Cannabis can treat a number of medical conditions, but by far the most common affliction listed on medical marijuana patient applications is pain. Of the 93,095 active patients on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry, 86,317 — nearly 93 percent — listed severe pain as a qualifying condition, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Unfortunately, several of the most effective cannabis remedies for extreme pain aren’t available at recreational dispensaries in Colorado because of their high production costs; current regulations don’t allow others to be sold commercially. But there are still some good options out there to combat pain, including these five:

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After Denver Environmental Health prohibited sales of kratom for human consumption in the wake of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert late last year, advocates for the plant-based pain reliever spoke out, with many saying the product had helped them kick addictions to powerful opioids, including heroin. These testimonials are echoed by Roxanne Gullikson, facility director for Portland, Maine’s Greener Pastures Holisticare, a residential treatment center opening next month that will use kratom in combination with marijuana as part of a formal and comprehensive addiction treatment regimen. To her, Denver’s ban is both unjustified and potentially damaging.

“It’s very counterintuitive,” Gullikson says. “With the rising rates of deaths by overdoses, we need to have all options on the table. And certainly, removing one that’s non-toxic and non-lethal makes no sense at all.”

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Today, February 21, as we’ve reported, Denver’s National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws branch is taking part in a lobbying day at the Colorado State Capitol during which lawmakers will get the chance to learn about a major element in the group’s attempt to fix drug-testing laws that put cannabis users at risk of being fired for lawful use. Specifically, they’ll be able to try out Alert Meter, which tests for impairment rather than relying on blood or fluid draws that Denver NORML sees as undependable and unfair.

Jacqueline Collins

If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis grow in your house but aren’t an expert botanist, don’t worry: There’s now an app for that. The first app to offer personal horticulture services specifically for weed launched on the Apple App Store at the end of January.

Three a Light, released by cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, is based on the book of the same name that uses simple methods to teach regular people how to increase their yields — up to three pounds per light, thus the name of the book — from their cannabis plants.

cannabis Bengtsson

Classes teaching the ins and outs of the cannabis industry have been around since the birth of the industry itself, but one new institution wants to reach professionals further away from the plant than trimmers and growers. Inspyre, a school aimed at accountants, engineers, human resource professionals, government regulators and legislators, plans to educate individuals who can affect the future of a pot business but have little experience or training in the growing industry.

“We’ve identified a lack of continuing education. A lot of folks have their heads down trying to put out these day-to-day fires,” says co-founder and vice president of business development Eric DeWine. “Technology, tracking systems, lighting systems, heating and air technology — you have to seek that knowledge out. It’s not provided.”

Pre-filled hash cartridges are one of the most popular cannabis products to come out of legalization, providing a discreet and convenient way for consumers to toke where and when they want. Butane hash oil has been the dominant variety of cannabis oil used to fill the cartridges since retail sales began in Colorado in 2014, but now distillate, once an expensive treat, is pushing old techniques out the door.

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