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Marijuana, Hemp, CBD: What’s Legal and Where

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With cannabis products becoming increasingly popular, this is a very common question. With so much false and uncertified information about CBD products being spread online, users are often left wondering where they stand when the legality of the various cannabis products is concerned.

But really, the question here should be, what is the difference between cannabis, marijuana, hemp, and CBD, and how do they relate to one another?

Understanding the differences between these terms is the key to understanding what is legal and where. We will, therefore, go straight to explaining the differences between cannabis, marijuana, hemp, and CBD.

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is an annual herbaceous plant. It is classified into five different species, among which are Sativa and Indica.

Both hemp and marijuana are sub-classifications of the genus Cannabis. So contrary to what most people think, marijuana is not another name for the cannabis plant, but it does in fact represent a female plant of the Cannabis Sativa plant.

Although hemp and marijuana are strains of the same plant, they have different chemical compositions and impact the body differently. However, having the same originating plant, hemp and marijuana definitely share some traits.

In the following section, we will be explaining the differences between hemp and marijuana.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is described as a cannabis plant with 3% to around 20% THC concentration on average.

The cannabis plant is made up of at least 120 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most common and well understood among them.

The legality of cannabis products is actually based on THC concentration. This is because THC is responsible for the ‘high’ effect associated with the consumption of the marijuana plant. 

On the other hand, CBD is not a psychoactive ingredient and it causes no mind-altering effects.

The marijuana plant contains a high concentration of THC and is harvested for its relaxing, psychoactive and euphoric properties.

According to the federal government, marijuana is considered a ‘schedule 1’ substance. This means that the federal government does not recognize any medical benefits or uses of the plant. For this reason, marijuana is still federally illegal.

What Is Hemp?

With the signing of the 2018 Hemp Bill into law by President Trump, the growth, use, and possession of hemp products are completely legal in all 50 US states.

Hemp can be described as cannabis which contains less THC. While it is low in THC concentration, hemp has exceptionally high CBD content making it very popular among natural wellness enthusiasts.

Different parts of the hemp plant are usually put into various uses as shown below: 

  • Flowers are harvested for their cannabinoid content (mostly CBD and other helpful terpenes)
  • Seeds are often used in the cosmetics and food industries.
  • Stalks provide fiber used in the clothing and building industries.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is brought about by the difference in cannabinoids, i.e. the concentration of THC and CBD.

The legality of Marijuana, Hemp and CBD

Now that we understand what all these terms mean, it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room: their legality!

The cannabis industry is a relatively new one and it is faced with a major hurdle; lack of a well-organized system to regulate the use of cannabis products.

In addition, different laws regulate the possession and the use of these products in different countries and states. This means that product A may be illegal in one state and completely legal in state B.

These differences leave people confused as they don’t know what is legal and what is not. What you want to know here is whether hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD products are legal. And if they are legal, where can you find them? In some states such as Michigan, the use of CBD in drinks and food is illegal. In other states such as Oregon, there is very little quality control, so you must be very careful to avoid buying poor quality or potentially harmful CBD products. And if you’re looking to buy CBD oil in Minnesota, for instance, make sure you check all relevant sources.

To start off, know that all hemp-based CBD products are completely legal in the US. This means that you should be okay using any form of hemp CBD. However, you should be careful since there have been cases of harmful or wrongly labeled CBD products finding their way into the market. 

States Where Only Medical Marijuana Is Legal

The following states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical use but not for recreational purposes:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Florida
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Louisiana
  • North Dakota
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • West Virginia
  • Rhode Island
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah 
  • Pennsylvania.

Although legal, most of these states will require you to provide a prescription from an authorized physician in order to access medical marijuana.

States Where Only Hemp-Based CBD Products Are Legal

The following states only allow CBD products with less than 0.3% THC content:

  • Alabama
  • South Dakota
  • Idaho
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Lowa
  • Nebraska
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Virginia.

That is the general breakdown of the legality of both hemp and marijuana-based CBD products. 

However, it is crucial to note that these laws keep on changing, and so this may not be the stand a week or even a few days from today. You should, therefore, keep updating yourself on what is happening at the state and federal level regarding the legality of cannabis products.

So are cannabis products legal? Yes and no. Cannabis products are legal in all 50 US states only if they have been derived from the hemp plant.

When it comes to marijuana, the laws differ between the states. However, following the passing of the 2018 hemp bill, more states and countries are warming up to the use of cannabis products, and it is only a matter of time before marijuana is completely legal, too.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Columns

My View: Another Chapter Added To The Great American Songbook by The Jazz Ensemble at The King’s Academy

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A first-class experience. That is the epitome of The King’s Academy (TKA) Jazz Ensemble’s Night of Jazz. From walking the red carpet into the beautiful Page Family Center for Performing Arts to the electrifying buzz in the air from the sold-out audience, everyone knew they were in store for a special evening.

The sound, the look, and the stage presence of the TKA Jazz Ensemble is undeniable as they carry themselves with style, grace, and sophistication as ambassadors of the Great American Songbook. Director of Instrumental Arts Wes Lowe opened the night speaking about the transformative teaching and training happening at TKA and how concerts like this go a long way in creating innovative experiences for the students. This concert was proof that there is something transformative at TKA that sets it apart from the rest.

The night began with the impressive sounds of Julia Drahos as she dazzled the audience with a powerful trumpet solo followed by a remarkable drum solo by Ashton Horne on the opening number “Tiger of San Pedro.” Senior vocalist and Young Artist Award Winner (from The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook) Maddie Begin took the audience on a musical journey with stunning renditions of “Feeling Good” and “But the World Goes Round.” The way she flawlessly sung these difficult numbers goes to show that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Junior vocalist Ella Garcia sung a beautiful cover of the Etta James classic, “At Last.” Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, another Julia, trombonist Julia Basile, completely owned the stage with precision, presence, and power with her rendition of the Latin standard Black Orpheus. Hadiya Stewart, a bassist extraordinaire and another Young Artist Award Winner, had everyone grooving to the sounds of “Ziggy Strut,” a newly commissioned piece written specifically for her by TKA Composer-In-Residence, Mark Taylor.

This Night of Jazz concert continued to crescendo to the point that many in attendance had been waiting for. Sometimes a beautiful voice that is delivered with authenticity and experience is all you need. In the case of Nashville based Wendy Moten, things went well beyond expectation when she added her talent to the teaching at The King’s Academy as their Artist-In-Residence. Wendy Moten captivated the audience from the moment she stepped on the stage to the Stevie Wonder classic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Whether it has her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I have Nothing,” a gospel hymn like “How Great Thou Art,” or an Aretha Franklin classic “Ain’t No Way,” Moten’s voice that night was a bright and transcendent light that gave all that listened hope to hold on to through those songs.

Wendy not only has massive vocal chops, but a heart for music and those young people who will become the future. That was on full display as she dueted the Natalie Cole classic “This Will Be an Everlasting Love” with Maddie Begin and dueted “Sir Duke” with TKA Jazz Alumnus, Mikayla Smith. The soulful and moving voice of Wendy Moten along with the first-rate players of TKA Jazz Ensemble made this year’s Night of Jazz a night to remember. The combination of this band with this balladeer made for a musical moment in time no one wanted to end.

Many in attendance for this sold-out show were there as fans from Wendy’s appearance on NBC’s The Voice in 2021. Many were also aware of Wendy’s collaborations with fellow luminaries like Julio Iglesias, Michael McDonald, Kirk Whalum, Vince Gill, and Blake Shelton, just to name a few. But her collaboration that night with the students of The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Wes Lowe was both a sight and sound to behold. This year’s Night of Jazz was more than just a concert. It felt like a chapter had been gracefully added to the Great American Songbook.

HTE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

WES LOWE

WENDY MOTEN & MADDIE BEGIN

WENDY MOTEN & MIKAYLA SMITH

WENDY MOTEN & JULIA BASILE

MADDIE BEGIN

HADIYA STEWAR

ASHTON HORNE

WENDY MOTEN & MICKEY SMITH

WENDY MOTEN & MICKEY SMITH

ELLA GARCIA

ELLA GARCIA

WENDY MOTEN & MIKAYLA SMITH

SAXOPHONES

TRUMPETS

WENDY MOTEN

SAXOPHONES

WENDY MOTEN & MADDIE BEGIN

WES LOWE & THE JAZZ ENSEMBLE

 

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Events

They Burnt The American Flag and Chanted Death to America How is This Not Illegal

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On Monday hundreds of anti-Israeli protesters descended to Lower Manhattan taking on the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping traffic, burning American flags and Jewish flags yelling “Death to America.” They also set fires to One Police Plaza later on that night while chanting pro-Palestinian slogans.More than two dozen were taken in custody, but will DA Alvin Braggs again let them go? So far only one was arrested.

The group responsible was “Within Our Lifetime” and this is not the first time this group has done this. Their rights are protected, yet we are not! They can disrupt our lives and we can do nothing! Something is wrong with this picture.

By the way did you  know there is a flag code, but though it is a federal law, guidelines are only stated and no matter what you do it is not illegal.

Most speech, including offensive, hurtful, and words of hate are protected by the First Amendment, unless it is a true threat. This means a statement that puts someone in fear of bodily harm or death, specifically illegal violence. Say someone says “I’m going to kill you” even this could be called protected speech.

Under federal law, it is illegal to threaten the president, vice president and certain high-ranking officials in line for the presidency. Saying or writing “I’m going to kill you” to the president could prompt a visit from the Secret Service or FBI. But such threats must be investigated and shown to be true and actionable.

In political speech, even words that are aggressive or perceived as hateful, are largely protected.

Sadly this is now being used against us and though we can be mad as hell, the victims are now unprotected.

 

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Cabaret

My View: Dick Robinson’s Birthday Continues at 54 Below with Marilyn Maye

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Marilyn Maye (96) and Dick Robinson (86), a decade apart in age… both have a youthful exuberance for the music and performance of The Great American Songbook. The Songbook is played on Robinson’s Legends Radio stations worldwide ‘round the clock’ and Marilyn is singing it around the country in nightclubs and concert halls.

The “old jock”, as Dick is affectionately referred to may not be able to do that Marilyn Maye kick when she sings “IT’S TODAY” but he sure was swinging along with the rest of us last night at 54 Below. Dick was celebrating his 86th birthday while watching Marvelous 96 year old Marilyn celebrate her Birthday Month with another phenomenal show.

MARILYN MAYE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DICK ROBINSON

DICK ROBINSON & SALLY ROBINSON

DICK & SALLY ROBINSON, MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

TEDD FIRTH & MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

JIMMY, MISSY,JILL ROBINSON & ROB RUSSELL

DICK & SALLY ROBINSON

JILL ROBINSON, MISSY ROBINSON, EDA SOROKOFF

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Cabaret

My View: Dick Robinson & Family Celebrate at Cafe Carlyle With Peter Cincotti

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Cafe Carlyle, a preeminent location in the world of Cabaret was visited by a preeminent figure in the world of radio broadcasting last night.  Dick Robinson, founder of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook (SPGAS) and Legends Radio (WLML) was in the house for a performance by Peter Cincotti, who is in the midst of a residency in the historic Woody Allen Monday spot.

Bobby Short began his residency at Cafe Carlyle in 1968, Woody Allen in 1997, and Steve Tyrell in 2005.  Now it’s   Peter Cincotti in the legendary hotel exhibiting the exciting pianistic and vocal style (with his killer band) that have made Cincotti a world famous songwriter and entertainer….. and Dick Robinson was there to enjoy the show with family and friends celebrating “the old jocks” birthday!

Singer, Pianist, Composer, Cincotti was recently awarded SPGAS’s “Legend Award” at their annual Gala held at The Kravis Center For The Performing Arts.

DICK ROBINSON & SALLY ROBINSON

PETER CINCOTTI

Jimmy Robinson, Jill Robinson, Eda Sorokoff, Stephen Sorokoff, Dick Robinson, Sally Robinson, Missy Robinson

ROB RUSSELL, STEPHEN SOROKOFF, PETER CINCOTTI, EDA SOROKOFF, DICK ROBINSON, SALLY ROBINSON, MISSY ROBINSON, JILL ROBINSON, JIMMY ROBINSON

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

CAFE CARLYLE

CAFE CARLYLE

PETER CINCOTTI, SCOTT KREITZER, JOE NERO, TONY GLAUSI, COLE DAVIS

STEPHEN SOROKOFF, EDA SOROKOFF, MISSY ROBINSON, JILL ROBINSON, ROB RUSSELL, JIMMY ROBINSON, DICK ROBINSON, SALLY ROBINSON

MISSY ROBINSON & JILL ROBINSON

MISSY ROBINSON & EDA SOROKOFF

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News

Corruption in The Courts

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I have been writing about the discrepancies in my friends divorce case (See part 1 and part 2 and part 3). I wrote about it for several reasons; 1: After being in the court for over a year, being told multiple times I was not being called as a witness, in order to intimate my friend all of a sudden I was called. I still have not been subpoena and I doubt I will. However how can you truly be a witness in a court that breaks the basic principle of equality before the law and deprives people of their right to a fair trial? In a corrupt judicial system, money and influence may decide which cases are prioritized or dismissed. From what I have witnessed this seems to be happening.

Another reason I wrote about this is our judicial system is broken and we all need to speak up about this. The most relevant fact is that America’s criminal justice system is ineffective. Right now perpetrators are getting away unpunished while victims are left with no answer, no justice and in many cases paying the price. How are illegal migrants getting away with theft, rape and murder, while my friend in a divorce court due to un-factual evidence is threatened with Rikers and a pediatrician with a pre-up is force to pay his wife’s attorney bill and before he does is thrown in Rikers?

If someone breaks into your house and squats, you can be arrested and fined for exercising your rights. If you don’t pay the bills involved your credit is destroyed, while the people committing the crime are given a slap on the hand by the time it is over.

The wave of random street and subway violence, the deepening migrant crisis and the fatal shooting last month of an officer during a routine traffic stop, has those in charge saying everything is ok. Is it? Rape, car jackings and felony assaults are at an all time high.

In the mean time Mayor Eric Adams has claimed that “crime is down” in the Big Apple. Mr. Adams what does it take for you to say the truth?

When will our laws work for the people? When will our lawmakers stop trying to help the person committing the crimes and help the victims?

Did you know in New York there are 11 different trial courts and multiple levels of appellate courts, far more than any other state in the nation?

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