Safe and Responsible Cannabis Use and Practices

The following information is to assist the cannabis consumer and greater community with the most current information regarding cannabis usage. reLeaf Alternative is dedicated to providing safe, moderate, and appropriate usage information to its customers. This information should not replace consultation with medical professionals or as it relates to specific individual health issues or concerns you may have.

Safe Usage

  • Cannabis can have different effects on individuals. Utilize titration – start small and gradually increase dosing. You can always take more! Edibles can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to feel psychoactive effects.
  • The effects of cannabis can be different depending on the method of ingestion, dose, set/setting, history of use/tolerance, age, and many other factors
  • Absolutely no one should ingest cannabis prior to operating machinery, operating a motor vehicle, boating, etc.
  • It can be helpful to have someone who is more experienced with cannabis use by present for your first experience with the product

Impact on the Body and Mind

Some of these effects may be desirable in certain situations. Reactions from cannabis can vary between users. Also, methods of ingestion, type of cannabis products, and other factors can influence your experience with cannabis. Overall, cannabis may impact (5):

  • Alertness
  • Concentration
  • Coordination
  • Reaction time
  • Relaxation
  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Cognition
  • Perception of time

Minimizing Potential Impacts and Promoting a Safe Community

  • Ongoing cannabis education provided to consumers and public by employees with extensive experience in education and cannabis products
  • Cannabis products are independently tested to ensure safety
  • Potency of cannabis products are clearly labeled and known to promote responsible usage
  • Community partnerships and collaboration to ensure prevention of issues and appropriate response to potential problems
  • Removal of a single illicit drug market where individuals may illegally purchase cannabis from a dealer who also sells dangerous hard drugs
  • reLeaf is not located within 500 feet of a pre-existing public or private school (K-12) or within 500 feet of another dispensary
  • Liability insurance and other documented safety/security protocols have been established
  • Extensive training for employees – including extensive background checks, training and continued training supervision, bi-annual performance evaluations, weekly department meetings, monthly company meetings, documentation of security related events and related follow up, etc.
  • reLeaf community services days, community partnerships, and letters of support from The Rotary Club, The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN), The Natick Service Council, YMCA, and Social Services Network, Inc.
  • All cannabis products are stored in compliance with 935 CMR 500.110 to provide secure, locked vault, reinforced steel-security mesh as to prevent diversion, theft, and loss
  • reLeaf employees reserve the right to refuse sales to any individual engaging in unsafe usage practices, including, but not limited to attempts to purchase more than the daily limit and evidence of product diversion

Responsible Vendor Training

  • Orientation process for employees to provide a comfortable, educated, knowledgeable, and prepared staff to meet consumer and community needs
  • Ongoing outreach to the community will be elicited to continually improve our services to the community
  • Responsible Vendor Training Topics Include:
    • Marijuana/cannabis effect on the human body
    • Diversion prevention
    • Prevention of sales to minors
    • Acceptable forms of identification
    • Key state laws, rules, and regulations affecting owners, managers, and employees
    • Any other areas of training determined by the Cannabis Control Commission to be deemed best practices or required
  • Ongoing Responsible Vendor Training Topics Include:
    • Cannabis products, strains, safe usage, and titration
    • Safe storage and transportation of cannabis
    • Security practices
    • Customer service practices
    • Consumer education
    • Industry updates and cannabis research
    • Inventory control and diversion prevention
    • Emergency/incident management
    • Deliver and transportation
    • Waste management
    • Workplace safety
    • Compliance, regulation, and law
    • Confidentiality requirements
    • METRC/Recording Keeping/Seed to Sale systems
    • Product handling and sanitation
    • De-escalation techniques
    • Quality control

Product Diversion Prevention

  • reLeaf Alternative is dedicated to ensuring prevention of diversion, theft, and illegal/unauthorized conduct pursuant to the Cannabis Control Commission’s Adult Use of Marijuana Regulations (935 CMR 500.000)
  • Use of METRC Compliant Software
  • Includes reLeaf and adult consumer accountability
  • Education and community outreach, including, but not limited to direct education/classes, orientation for new consumers, visual materials provided at point of sale (flyers, pamphlets, etc.), auditory reminders of safe/legal practices concerning cannabis usage
  • On-Premises Verification of Identification – no individual under the age of 21 years of age is permitted to enter reLeaf facilities
  • Identifying, recording, and reporting diversion, theft, or loss
  • Transportation, analysis, and retail sales will be stored and tracked in a manner that prevents diversion, theft, and loss
  • Compliance with the Consumer Project Safety Commission standards references by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (in accordance with 16 C.F.R. 1700.200), including: child-resistant/tamper proof packaging, clearly labeled, odor-proof, and sealed BPA-free/food compliant/pharmaceutical grade packaging
  • Resealable packaging will also allow for multiple uses, while maintaining product quality and safety, free from contamination
  • If this packaging is not available – appropriate packaging in compliance with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission as include at 16 CFR 1700 – releasable, tamper/child-resistant after being open, not easily cut with scissors, labeled: KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN
  • Samples of gifted cannabis products is prohibited
  • Individual purchase of one ounce of marijuana/cannabis or five grams of marijuana/cannabis concentrate per day (topical and ointments are not subject to a daily sales limitation)
  • Packaging that attracts youth is strictly prohibited, including: bright neon colors, imitating child food or beverages, cartoons, use of symbols or celebrities familiar to children, use of words familiar in children pop culture, etc.

Consumer Experience

  • Trained staff to meet your needs – all employees will complete a responsible vendor training program with a curriculum including, but not limited to: diversion preventions, preventions of sales to monitors, and any other training requirements
  • First time consumers – intake process, education on regulations, safe consumption, storage and transportation of product, information and education on strains, dosage, and desired effects
  • Signature of a community norms agreement – reLeaf exists contingent on respect for the Natick community
  • Consumers are prohibited from public consumption, diversion, queuing, loitering, and other behaviors that harm this relationship between reLeaf and the community of Natick – this will result in eliminating a customer’s future opportunity to visit the school
  • Cannabis consumer education will include topics such as
    • Warning that marijuana/cannabis usage has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA, there is limited information on side effects, there may be health risks associated with using marijuana/cannabis products, it should be kept away from children
    • Driving and the operation of machinery should not be conducted under the influence of marijuana/cannabis products
    • Information to provide education choices in the selection of marijuana/cannabis, effects of different strains and methods of ingestion, proper dosing, starting small (cannabis titration), potency of various products
    • Methods of tracking usage and products that provide desired effects to the individual
    • Information on tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal
    • Facts and information regarding substance abuse disorders and referral information for substance abuse treatment programs
    • Product diversion, such as consumer resale of cannabis products is illegal and prohibited; information related to penalties for possession and distribution of marijuana in violation of Massachuset law
    • Any other materials or suggestions from the Town of Natick, Natick Board of Health, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Methods of Keeping Cannabis Safe

  • Have an ongoing conversation with your children or other vulnerable individuals, just as one may regarding alcohol or other legal adult activities
  • Store cannabis in a lock container
  • Keep cannabis products clearly labeled
  • Treat cannabis smoke as any other second hand smoke
  • Keep track on your personal amounts that are safely stored
  • Keep cannabis products away from pets and animals as this can result in dangerous interactions

Recognizing When There is a Problem

  • Usage and tolerance increases despite any desired effects increasing
  • Being unable to limit consumption when consuming a designated amount of cannabis
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as changes in appetite, mood, sleep, or anxiety
  • Withdrawal from typically enjoyed activities, social withdrawal, abandoning previously established relationships, and preference for cannabis usage vs. social and other activities previously enjoyed
  • Continued usage despite negative personal and/or professional consequences
  • Dependent on cannabis to escape problems, be social, complete work, etc.
  • Inability to meet every day needs such as cleaning, self-care, work, etc.

Youth Use Prevention

  • Polls show that youth consider cannabis less harmful than other substances.
  • Start an ongoing discussion with youth early – by 4th or 5th grade
  • Be clear with your expectations regarding cannabis usage
  • Set positive modeling – do not consume adult substances around children, model appropriate and responsible usage
  • While there are medical applications for youth with medical conditions, such as epilepsy, cannabis use has not been proven safe for children or teens. Some studies suggest that effects such as alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time may not return to normal states as quickly in a developing brain than adults. (3)
  • Roll-play social situations where your child may be offered cannabis
  • Focus on language to use, alternatives to drug usage, providing a no-consequence ride home
  • Become actively involved in your child’s life, preferences, activities, circle of friends, parents of friends
  • Spend time together

Recognizing Youth Usage

  • Cannabis paraphernalia such as baggies, packaging, scent masking products (scented sprays, candled, fans, incense, etc.)
  • Cannabis smell present on clothing and around the person (often a skunky, sweet, and flowery scent, but this can vary) – some methods of ingestion such as edibles or vaping may not present a strong smell
  • Reduced enthusiasm, decreased motivation in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Issues with memory, cognition, and coordination
  • Distorted thinking or perception
  • Cannabis paraphernalia such as lighters, rolling papers, vape batteries, pipes, butane/propane torches
  • Bloodshot/red eye, use of eye drops, looking tired or fatigued
  • Chronic coughing, bronchitis, or other respiratory changes
  • Changes in friends/social circles
  • Depression, anxiety, mood swings

Community Partnership and Charitable Giving (1% of Gross Revenue - Approximately $100,000.00)

  • Partnerships with drug addiction, substance abuse, and dependency referral services
  • Natick Service Council
  • The Center for the Arts in Natick
  • YMCA
  • Social Services Network, Inc.
  • Natick Rotary Club
  • Parent education events
  • Natick Board of Health

Citations

External Resources

Cannabis Control Commission

The mission of the Cannabis Control Commission is to honor the will of the voters of Massachusetts by safely, equitably and effectively implementing and administering the laws enabling access to medical and adult use marijuana in the Commonwealth.

mass-cannabis-control.com

Americans For Safe Access - Medical Cannabis Research

The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.

safeaccessnow.org

C3RN

Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) is a public benefit corporation (B Corp) based out of Worcester, MA that provides contract research, analytics, education, and strategic advising services for the cannabis, academic, and healthcare industry in the area of cannabis.

c3rn.org

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

In one of the most comprehensive studies of recent research on the health effects of recreational and therapeutic cannabis use, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999. This report summarizes the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries. Areas in need of additional research and current barriers to conducting cannabis research are also covered in this comprehensive report.

nationalacademies.org

MIND

This study is a non-invasive investigation of participants who currently hold a certification for medical marijuana for various medical and/or psychological conditions.

drstacigruber.com