Summer 2022

From the Editor: Summer Flowers

At this time of year, gardening enthusiasts all over America have prepared their planter beds, turned over the soil, and begun, in these warmer days, to set the seeds that will bloom in their gardens later in the season. At the same time, many gardeners and farmers have begun to nurture cannabis seedlings indoors—plants that will bloom in late summer and fall. But unless they’re residents in one of fewer than 20 states permitting home cultivation, many of them will be breaking the law, even if the yield is solely for their own use. Those who use cannabis medicinally and cannot grow their own are forced to pay out of pocket for products not covered by their insurance. Even if they are able to cultivate plants at home, but are in a state in which adult use isn’t legal, they still face the expense of getting a medical card.

Generally, states in which adult-use cannabis is legal permit home cultivation, and in states that permit medical use, medical card holders may grow their own. But even in states in which it’s legal to grow your own cannabis, it’s not necessarily easy to do so. State laws often dictate that cannabis can be cultivated only indoors, and it can be costly for individuals to purchase the necessary lights, tents, soil, nutrients, and more. There’s a limitation on how many plants can be grown per person and per household. And there’s a learning curve.

There’s an effort to change this state of affairs. In Washington, a House bill seeks to address the issue. And New Jersey has a determined advocate for change, David Nathan, MD, a psychiatrist and founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. In this issue, contributor Marilyn Fenichel reports on Nathan’s efforts.

Also in this issue, an exploration of the risks and benefits of cannabis for people with asthma, a primer on the gut-endocannabinoid system, and a look at the role of cannabis in immunity.

Happy Summer!

— Kate Jackson


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