The marijuana industry’s newest customers are sick and elderly dogs
A day before a scheduled vet appointment to euthanize her dog, Wendy Mansfield decided to try one last resort to alleviate the chronic pain of her 15-year-old labrador mix: cookies from a marijuana dispensary made specifically for ailing dogs.
Kali, a mild-mannered 80-pound rescue, was never much of a complainer. But she often licked her paws—an obvious sign of pain, according to her vet—which was typically accompanied by bouts of coughing because of the shedding fur that got in her throat. One treat and 20 minutes later, the licking suddenly stopped.
Seeing this, Mansfield, who lives in Fort Bragg, California, gave her dog a second cookie, and then a third. Kali, who had been listless and depressed, got up to drink some water and walked outside—something she hadn’t been able to do recently without groaning or obvious signs of pain.
Mansfieldthen called the vet to cancel her appointment. That was three weeks ago. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated this,” she tells Quartz. “It brought my dog back.”
With marijuana flourishing into big business in the US, a new segment of the market catering toward aging and ailing pets has been growing under the radar. The legal weed market raked in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2014, and one estimate by the ArcView Group, a network that connects investors with cannabis startups, projects the industry to top$10 billion in sales by 2018.
The pet-pot market is treading on new territory, however. The legal gray area is posing challenges for companies to market and distribute cannabis-derived products for animals. There’s also insufficient scientific backing and industry guidelines. Still, that’s not deterring desperate pet owners, like Mansfield, or keeping investors from getting on board.
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'Poisoned pot' Easter cakes: Norwegian students arrested for flooding school with marijuana
Two Norwegian teenagers have been arrested for bringing Easter cakes with massive doses of marijuana inside to school. Three teachers suffered from food poisoning and sought medical help.
The “joke” was revealed when several teachers and other employees of Lier Upper Secondary School experienced symptoms of a mysterious illness and found themselves having difficulty remaining on their feet, local media reported.
“They felt ill. They were dizzy and felt totally out of it. They were basically bedridden,” head of the local police Arne Lauvålien told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK on Thursday.
Nobody suspected the bakers until three teachers were taken to the hospital where blood tests revealed they were sickened by large doses of cannabis. At that point, suspicion fell on the Easter cakes.
“When we began to unravel it, it became clear quite rapidly which of the cakes it had been. The school knew who had baked the special cake, so we were on the trail of the cake bakers relatively early,” The Local quoted Lauvålien as saying.
The students who brought the cake to school to share with their class were arrested the next day after the incident and charged with possession of marijuana. Both teens admitted to filling the cakes with cannabis.
Lauvålien’s colleague Finn Håvard Aas told VG newspaper that they may face even more serious charges of poisoning.
Police questioned the students to find out where they had got the marijuana and what inspired them to drug their teachers and classmates.
“What we have here is someone who has not thought about the consequences,” Lauvålien said. “The teachers have actually been poisoned.”
Police say pizzeria was front for marijuana operation
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Police say a St. Paul pizzeria and ice cream parlor turned out to be a front for a marijuana trafficking business.
The investigation began last summer after a concerned citizen reported that Papa Dimitri's Classic Pizza and Ice Cream was rarely open and didn't seem to do much actual business. According to the criminal complaint, the employees there complained about a lack of heat, even though it had a pizza oven, and typically ate at nearby burger restaurant instead of at the pizzeria.
On Friday, Ramsey County authorities charged the owner, 32-year-old Ryan Dimitri Brooks Sr., his 61-year-old mother, his 82-year-old grandmother and his 24-year-old girlfriend with drug and firearms offenses.
Ryan Brooks declined to speak with police when he was arrested. It's not clear if he has an attorney.
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