He delivers the hemp

Our ancestors had medical cannabis, but for the last 80 years we’ve been legally barred from using it, even though it’s the greatest naturally occurring anti-inflammatory yet discovered. This is what drove Boris Shcharansky to found Heartland Hemp Company and The Iowa Hemp Association. Shcharansky and his partners are on a tour to raise awareness of the history of hemp and cannabis. It’s been illegal for less time than it was legal, and it was the number one cash crop in the United States from 1800 to 1900. More than corn, beans, tobacco or wheat.

“Hemp was legalized at the federal level in 2014, so we wrote legislation in line with that…both those pieces of legislation died, but…we are working to make this a national issue,” Shcharansky said.

While Shcharansky says his role is strictly as a supplier of hemp, his company has an ambassador who has begun to gain attention. Harli Kirkpatrick is a young Iowa woman with Angelman Syndrome which, among other severe symptoms, caused her to fall into a near-constant state of seizures. Shcharansky worked with manufacturers to deliver free samples to Carli’s mother. “Let’s see if this works for her,” he told her.

According to Harli’s mother, Tami Mugler,

“We had traveled many miles, all the way to Boston, to seek treatment and help for her. Harli’s medicaid would put up obstacles preventing her from trying new medications.
Then an amazing guy sent me a life changing message! He was CEO of an upcoming new company here in Iowa, and he wanted to know if he could help Harli!!! Boris Shcharansky of The Heartland Hemp Company met with me and Harli soon after. He brought with him a 25% CBD pure hemp extract. As hemp and cannabis are virtually the same plant, differentiated by the way in which they are grown, he had a question. On the molecular level CBD should be CBD regardless if its derived from hemp or from cannabis. He was offering Harli the chance to find out.
After several hours of questions from me, and others I had present, it was time for Harli to ask her questions. She had only ONE.
She looked at Boris and wrote ‘will it make me walk’.
With a slight lump in his throat, he put his hand on her shoulder and softly said ‘i hope so.’
Harli began the journey of taking this extract and we slowly titrated the dose until we found her ‘sweet spot’.
Harli has been completely seizure free since August of 2014. She can lift her spoon all on her own, she laughs and giggles and engages those around her, again. She is Harli again.”

The challenge of hemp/cannabis legalization is melding anecdotal evidence like Harli’s with scientific proof.

Two medical cannabis experts in social media

The issue with medical cannabis is that the evidence of its effectiveness is anecdotal. This creates controversy in which lawmakers seem to put their fear of a patient getting high (nearly impossible with trace amounts of THC in medical strains) above relieving pain, seizures, tremors, mental illness, and other debilitating disorders.

Two international experts emerge from divergent corners to add to the base of data about the effects of medical marijuana on serious illnesses.

The first is Kyle Kushman. Kushman, a former editor of High Times Magazine is now host of The Grow Show and has spent the last two decades perfecting the cultivation of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use. His current focus is on making medical cannabis available to patients.

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There were no mentions of Kushman on LinkedIn, but he does have a  profile.

On Google+, Kushman promotes news and videos about medical cannabis, including this one about the Cannabusiness summit.

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On Facebook, Kushman’s presence is expanding as he also promotes his show.


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Medical cannabis — real access for patients is slow in Iowa.

Created in Piktochart by Amy H. Peterson
Created in Piktochart by Amy H. Peterson

It’s a sunny Saturday morning. You’re at home in your sweats flipping pancakes as part of a leisurely breakfast. The popping, perky playlist is on, and your two-year old is in a booster seat, using her kid-sized spoon as a drumstick on the table keeping the beat. The dog is underfoot, there’s no pressing errand to be done today. It’s a play day. Suddenly the drumming on the table slows and the banging sounds come from the booster chair. Your child’s entire body is stiff and shaking, her eyes are rolled back into her head, and the guttural sounds from her mouth can only be described as frightening. You leave the pancakes and rush to her. You unbuckle her from the chair and slowly bring her to the floor, keeping an arm under her head and the back of her knees so she doesn’t harm herself. After doctor visits, imaging, tests, and pokes and probes, the report comes back: intractable seizure disorder. The seizures happen as much as ten times per day. This is your life now.

This is reality to parents across the nation; Iowa is no exception. For the last ten years, Shelby Heuck has experienced daily seizures, and complications from the strong anticonvulsant medications prescribed by doctors all over the Midwest. Her parents have appealed to the Iowa legislature, and progress has been slow. In 2014, Iowa passed a law that made it legal for patients or the parents of minor children with intractable epilepsy to possess small doses of medical cannabis. However, no one in Iowa can produce it, and it’s illegal to transport it across state lines.

In 2015, the legislature considered expanding access to medical marijuana. Real access may come to late for Shelby, according to her parents.

According to the National Epilepsy Foundation, 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. This translates to 12 million people alive today. They have developed the hashtag #1in26 to raise awareness.