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When Proposition 19 (legalization of cannabis for recreational use) was the hot local issue and there was much talk of making Humboldt County the Napa Valley of cannabis, I proposed to the Humboldt Medical Marijuana Advisory Panel and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to make Humboldt County the Silicon Valley of cannabis.

My reasoning was this: Cannabis contains more than 80 chemicals called cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, that have a large potential for medical use. We know very little about many of these compounds because it is illegal or very difficult to research them. There is even a U.S. patent on cannabis listing cannabinoids and their medical uses. The synthetic THC drug Marinol has already been approved by the FDA over 30 years ago and yet cannabis remains Schedule I (no medical use and highly addictive).

Robert Sharpe's letter to the NCJ on Feb. 12, "Virtually Worthless," makes me wants to say this: If Marinol was made with naturally grown cannabis with a THC concentration of about 20 percent it would have a retail value of about $90,000 a pound. A second drug, Sativex, is made from naturally grown THC and CBD. It costs at least twice as much as Marinol. When cannabis is eventually taken off Schedule I there will be a huge amount of research on cannabinoids and their medical uses. In the same way that growers have been able to increase the strength of THC and CBD in cannabis they will be able to increase the strength of other cannabinoids. This will potentially create a booming industry here in Humboldt County, supplying cannabinoids to research facilities in the U.S. and around the world.

— Charles Davy, Bayside

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