Journalist Jen Bernstein’s Inside Look at Legalization, Media, & Women in Cannabis | Infused Apple Cake Recipe | The Latest from Azuca
Journalist Jen Bernstein’s Inside Look at Legalization, Media, & Women in Cannabis | Infused Apple…
This year is off to the races for cannabis with the ball rolling for legalization in several states and continued, explosive growth in the infused products market. Columbia Care executive Rosemary Mazanet provides us with valuable insights in our newest “4 Questions With” series. Plus, we share a special CBD recipe you’ll be sure to love this Valentine’s Day.
Q: With your celebrated background in medicine, what prompted you to enter the cannabis industry?
A: I was a young oncologist in Boston when Marinol (synthetic THC) was approved by the FDA (now I am showing my age). So, the ability of THC to reduce nausea, vomiting and anorexia during cytotoxic chemotherapy was known more than 20 years ago. Almost a decade ago, I agreed to work with the founders of Columbia Care to collect data from their medical cannabis patients to determine what ratios and strains work best for authorized conditions. Having that information database (representing a few hundred thousand customers) is very important now, it is what is termed “real world” evidence. Going forward, we will be able to advise customers what products are more likely to provide them with the desired effect.
The big variable here has always been the ability for the body to absorb and use the water insoluble cannabinoids effectively—the “bioavailability” is very low in the current forms we have now. And everybody has a different timeline for when the cannabinoids will take effect on them. This is why I am so excited about the TiME INFUSION™ formulations from Azuca— we will be able to tell people WHEN they can expect to have effects and they can plan their lives instead of waiting.
Q: The medical cannabis field is changing so rapidly, fueled most recently by the FDA approval of cannabinoid-based therapy, Epidiolex. What other changes do you see for cannabis in scientific and medical applications in 2021?
A: The fact that cannabis is federally illegal in the US (despite medical cannabis being legal in most states) has made the FDA approval of Epidiolex very exciting. The high cost of the clinical trials required to show efficacy make this a very expensive CBD product. After the 2020 elections, and the increasing showing of states who want cannabis products available to them, we are optimistic that the federal stance toward cannabis will shift also. When this happens, I believe there will be a seismic shift in the industry.Many activities such as medical research will be permitted— and allow us to learn how to use cannabis as a medicine more effectively. But there will probably also be more regulation on safety and quality nationwide as well, just as food and tobacco are regulated.
But with medical research comes the big variables again— how much, what dose, how often? Formulations with TiME INFUSION™ that allow a more predictable effect will help patients and consumers take the right product in the right amount for the effect they desire. That is really exciting to me.
Q: What advice would you give to other women in the cannabis business?
A: Women have been, and continue to be crucial to the cannabis industry, as to any health and wellness industry. The attention to quality and customer features are really important in this industry as the consumer base expands. This industry is new and growing, and there are abundant opportunities for everyone because these products ARE for everyone. All cultures and genders have historically used and been helped by cannabis products (going back thousands of years), and hopefully the cannabis industry can be more of an equal opportunity with fewer barriers.
Q: Columbia Care is leading the charge in best in class medical cannabis. Is it possible to predict what its legacy will be as a company?
A: First of all, I am really happy you recognized that we want to be best-in-class medical cannabis. From inception, we have tried to make and sell high quality products that were worthy of our customers’ trust, and we wanted to be able to give them expert advice on how to choose and use those products. As markets became adult use due to state approvals, we continued that model for consumers as well. Everyone deserves a good and somewhat predictable cannabis experience, regardless of their intent for use.
I hope our legacy is that we always put the consumer first and only sold products that were safe (no toxins, metals) and high quality (easy to determine the dose or amount taken). Now we look forward to having products that are even better-predictable, yummy, safe, digestible— thanks to TiME INFUSION™.
About Columbia Care: Columbia Care Inc. is one of the largest and most experienced multi-state operators in the medical cannabis industry, with licenses in 15 jurisdictions in the US and the EU. Azuca products are sold at Patriot Care, the Massachusetts arm of Columbia Care.
With momentum from 2020 still at an all-time high, more states have introduced legislation for adult use legalization. We’re keeping our eye on the following:
Azuca President & CEO Kim Rael spoke with the Sante Fe New Mexican about cannabis legislation in her home state. Rael, a long time Albuquerque resident, shares how her perspective has evolved over time, growing up in the Nancy Reagan era to today, touching on the shifting mindset about legal cannabis and inherent benefits for New Mexico. Click here to read more.
Ron Silver, Azuca founder and owner/chef of Bubby’s NYC, was recently featured for his knockout CBD hot chocolate, made with Azuca sugar sticks, on Pure Wow’s Top 5 Absolute Best Hot Chocolate in NYC, Hands Down, No Question list. New Yorkers, remember you can get your own dose of Azuca at Bubby’s in Tribeca.
Looking for the perfect cocktail to chill out for your Valentine’s Day date night at home? Check out our Hibiscus Gin Sour recipe, which is both festive and delicious.
Makes 2 servings, 25 mg Azuca CBD each
4 oz gin
2 oz + 1 tsp Hibiscus Simple syrup
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp Azuca simple syrup or 1 ¼ tsp Azuca sugar and 1 tsp water
2 egg whites
1 oz Campari
Dried hibiscus petals, for garnish
Hibiscus Simple Syrup:
⅓ cup water
5 tsp white sugar
3 Tbsp dried hibiscus petals
½” fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
Make hibiscus simple syrup by combining water, white sugar, hibiscus and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer until sugar is dissolved and the flowers are soft. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and allow to cool completely. Combine 2 oz + 1 tsp of hibiscus syrup, gin, lemon juice, and Azuca simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the sides of the shaker feel quite cold, then strain into two coupes. Empty cocktail shaker of ice, then fill with egg whites and Campari. Shake for about 30 seconds or until egg whites are foamy. Top glass with foam and garnish with hibiscus petals.
Enhance your Valentine’s Day chocolate too. Azuca CBD chocolate coins are made with 61% Valrhona dark chocolate and make the perfect upgrade to classic Valentine’s Day treats. Use code LOVE25 for 25% off on azuca.co through February 14th. Find more CBD recipes here and don’t forget to share them with us on Facebook and Instagram.
This Black History Month, we are proud to continue to donate a portion of all Azuca proceeds to Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit working to bring restorative justice to the cannabis industry and dedicated to releasing those incarcerated for cannabis, a disproportionate amount of whom are Black, and helping them rebuild their lives. Learn more and support this great cause here.