Posts tagged with "medical"

October - Selena Gomez - ELLE Canada illustration by Anh Hoang use by 360 Magazine

October – Selena Gomez – ELLE Canada

KO MÉDIA REVEALS A FORWARD-LOOKING  SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF ELLE CANADA

KO Média is excited to unveil the October issue of ELLE Canada featuring Selena Gomez. The multi-hyphenate star opens up about her mental illness, shooting her new Hulu show with Steve Martin and releasing her first record in Spanish. “I focused so hard on making sure the language I was speaking — and the way I was speaking it — was authentic,” she says in the candid interview. “I wanted it to exude love. I wanted it to talk about pain but in a way that was confident. There is a song about girls saying goodbye to things that aren’t good for us.” One thing Gomez has said goodbye to is her access to Instagram. “I suffer from mental illness, and [social media] just wasn’t adding anything to my life,” she says, adding that once she gave it up, “I felt like I was suddenly able to be so present.”

Other stories of self-care and self-discovery in this issue include Canadian Grammy-winning artist Alessia Cara finding stability as her star continues to rise; Nesta Cooper on coming into her own opposite Jason Momoa in the second season of See; and Mohawk actor Devery Jacobs’ experience working on an Indigenous set and being an activist in her community. Rounding out the bunch is Jonathan Van Ness who, with six seasons of Queer Eye behind them, is now focused on feeding their own well-being, inside and out.

For readers who need some me time, we offer up Canada’s best spas to visit this fall, whether you want a full-body scrub en plein air in B.C. or a lakefront Nordic spa experience in Nova Scotia. Plus, the magazine looks at why dawn is the new time to get things done and how to properly care for sensitive or irritated skin (just in time for winter!).

In fashion, this edition is all about looking back — on the overt tackiness of the early-aughts (which is making a comeback for a surprising reason); the 40-year legacy of Max Mara’s 101801 coat; and the coming-together of two friends to design Markoo’s cool, effortless aesthetic.

And we get serious, diving into the history (and current reality) of medical misogyny, dissecting the downfall of the girl boss and what it says about women in power, and exploring the healing effect of restorative tattooing.

Ending on a lighter note, this issue has everything from forest-inspired fragrances and the next generation of Canadian winemakers to dinner party glow-ups and a mother-daughter road trip.

The October issue of ELLE Canada will hit stands and Apple News+ on October 20, 2021.

Cannabis illustration for 360 magazine

Kevin Durant Partners with WeedMaps

Weedmaps Announces Multi-Year Partnership with Kevin Durant, Thirty Five Ventures, and Boardroom

Partnership inclusive of collaborative content aimed to combat misconceptions around cannabis and advocate for legalization

Weedmaps, a leading technology platform for cannabis consumers and businesses, announced today a multi-year agreement with Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures as well as a sponsorship deal with Boardroom. As part of Weedmaps’ mission to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy, this strategic partnership will aim to further deconstruct the negative stereotypes associated with cannabis while elevating the conversation around the plant’s potential for athlete wellness and recovery.

Now more than ever, there is so much opportunity for growth in the cannabis industry as well as the removal of any remaining stigmas around its use, said Kevin Durant, two-time NBA champion and president of Thirty Five Ventures. As the technology leader in the industry, Weedmaps has consistently been at the forefront of change over the last decade. In partnering with Boardroom and Thirty Five Ventures, they’ve shown an even bigger commitment to innovation.

Weedmaps will become an official sponsor of Thirty Five Ventures’ sports business media network, Boardroom, as part of the agreement. Available today, the latest episode of Boardroom’s Out of Office podcast brings together Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant, and Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals to discuss the potential for the strategic partnership’s long-term impact across the industry, as well as the many challenges ahead that we must address as the country moves closer toward legalization.

As the largest technology provider in the sector, we are serious about our responsibility to lead the national discussion around cannabis and the need for cannabis regulations to be updated across the board, said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of Weedmaps. This partnership with Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, and the team at Thirty Five Ventures is a pivotal step forward in our ongoing efforts to break down stigmas surrounding cannabis, especially in the sports industry.

In addition to its sponsorship agreement, Boardroom will collaborate with Weedmaps to produce an original content series, which is tentatively slated for debut in 2022. The multi-year agreement also comprises ongoing integrations with Boardroom, including: Out of Office podcast, development and distribution of original content, co-branded collaborations and events, exclusive merchandise, and more.

Part of Weedmaps’ broader sports and wellness initiative, the company’s partnership with Thirty Five Ventures aims to further educate consumers about the plant’s potential for wellness and recovery. For information about how cannabis affects the body, cannabis products used by some of today’s biggest names in sports, and more, visit their website. Check out the latest episode of Boardroom’s Out of Office podcast here, and for more on Boardroom, visit the website.

About Weedmaps

Weedmaps is a leading online marketplace for cannabis users and businesses, operated by WM Technology, Inc. WM Technology, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: MAPS) mission is to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy. Now in its second decade, WM Technology has been a driving force behind much of the legislative change we’ve seen in the past 10 years.

Founded in 2008, WM Technology is a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry, comprising a B2C platform, Weedmaps, and B2B software, WM Business. The cloud-based SaaS solutions from WM Business provide an end-to-end operating system for cannabis retailers. WM Business’ tools support compliance with the complex, disparate, and constantly evolving regulations applicable to the cannabis industry. Through its website and mobile apps, WM Technology provides consumers with the latest information about cannabis retailers, brands, and products, facilitating product discovery and driving engagement with our retail and brand customers.

WM Technology holds a strong belief in the power of cannabis and the importance of enabling safe, legal access to consumers worldwide. Since inception, WM Technology has worked tirelessly, not only to become the most comprehensive platform for consumers, but to build the software solutions that power businesses compliantly in the space, to advocate for legalization, social equity, and licensing in many jurisdictions, and to facilitate further learning through partnering with subject matter experts on providing detailed, accurate information about the plant.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, WM Technology supports remote work for all eligible employees. Visit Weedmaps here.

About Thirty Five Ventures

Co-founded by 2x NBA champion Kevin Durant and entrepreneur Rich Kleiman, Thirty Five Ventures includes the sports business media network Boardroom; an investment portfolio with over 70+ companies, including Acorns, Coinbase, Dutchie, Overtime, Dapper Labs/NBA Top Shot, Postmates, Goldin Auctions, and more; a film/TV arm with projects including the documentary series In the Water (SHOWTIME), the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), and the upcoming scripted series SWAGGER (Apple); equity partnerships with premium audio brand Master & Dynamic and digital media network Just Women’s Sports; a minority stake in the Philadelphia Union; and management of Kevin Durant’s on-and-off court business

About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman that looks inside the business of sports as we’ve never seen. The old days of gate-keeping and closed-door meetings are gone: now, athletes, tech moguls, and executives alike are moving the sports world – and culture itself – forward. Boardroom is at the forefront of this change, bringing both fans and entrepreneurs unique perspectives on the sports business news, hot topics, and key industry players they want to know about. Boardroom is a Thirty Five Ventures company.

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Medjet COVID-19 Air Medical Transport Benefits

Medjet, the industry leading air medical transport and travel security membership program, announced today that it has expanded its transport benefits for COVID-19. Effective today, Medjet members who fall ill from COVID-19, and become hospitalized while traveling globally, may now be transported to a home hospital of their choice. In October of 2020, Medjet was the first program of its kind to add COVID-19 transport benefits, but previously had limited transport services to travel within the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“As more and more countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America have opened their borders to travelers, we have increased our COVID-19 transport capabilities. Our members’ safety is always our top priority, and we continually evolve our services based on member needs,” said Mike Hallman, CEO of Medjet.

The expansion of global benefits will not increase Medjet membership prices, and benefits are applicable to both existing and new MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon memberships as of July 12, 2021.

“While COVID is still a top concern for travelers, our own internal polling (in May) also showed that members were still very concerned with all the other accidents and illnesses that kept us busy pre-COVID. I think there’s now a heightened awareness of vulnerability, overall, while away from home. We hope that being able to get members back from more destinations, even for COVID, gives them the confidence to enjoy traveling again,” said Hallman.

Despite the increased cost of providing transport for a COVID-19 positive member, Medjet will continue to absorb 100% of all costs associated with the transport, and maintain its “no cost caps on transports” policy. A regular air ambulance transport can cost up to $30,000 domestically, and up to $180,000 internationally. Medjet memberships start at $99.

Updates and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 transport benefits can be found here. Full Medjet rules and regulations can be found here.

ABOUT MEDJET

Medjet was the first company in the U.S. to implement the air-medical transport membership concept. Since 1991, Medjet has forged a global network of air medical transport and security response providers to meet traveler health and safety needs. At any given time, Medjet has access to hundreds of air ambulances, commercial medical escorts, and highly trained security and crisis response personnel, ready to launch from both domestic and international locations. The company most notably differentiates from other players in the market through its commitment to arrange air medical transfer, regardless of medical necessity, to the member’s hospital of choice in their home country. It is the preferred program for virtually every major luxury travel consortia (Virtuoso, Signature, Westa), and thousands of organizations including AARP, Morgan Stanley, and the NFL.

Medjet memberships are available to residents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and protect members while traveling 150 miles or more from their primary residence (domestic and international travel benefits).

illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

The Alzheimer’s Association Joins National Charity League

The Alzheimer’s Association and National Charity League (NCL) announced a new partnership today aimed at educating and engaging 200,000 NCL members in local communities in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  

The Alzheimer’s Association and NCL will work together to create greater awareness of Alzheimer’s Association resources, programs, care, and support services for families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia in communities served by NCL members, while engaging members in the Association’s volunteer, education, awareness and fundraising initiatives. 

The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased to join with National Charity League to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and to engage its members in the fight against Alzheimer’s,” said Stephanie Rohlfs-Young, senior director of volunteer & community engagement, Alzheimer’s Association. “This important partnership will help extend the Alzheimer’s Association reach into communities served by National Charity League, providing more families access to care and support services, while engaging in all our work to end Alzheimer’s.”

Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. Nearly two-thirds of the more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women. In addition, women are more likely to provide care and support to someone living with the disease. The partnership will look to further inform NCL members about Alzheimer’s and other dementia, risk factors, the importance of early diagnosis, and additional important disease-related information. 

To kick off the partnership, NCL is sharing resources and educational materials from the Alzheimer’s Association with its members. Resources include links to Alzheimer’s Association support services for individuals and families affected by the disease, including the Association’s 24/7 Helpline. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association and NCL will focus on three key activities during the first year of the partnership, including: 

  •       Increasing concern and awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia among NCL members and the general public
  •       Growing social media awareness of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
  •       Supporting Alzheimer’s Association fundraising efforts, particularly those benefiting senior care communities in their hometowns

“National Charity League looks forward to working with the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Jennifer Lane, NCL, Inc. Board President. “Empowered through the expertise offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, our members will learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia and be able to take action in local communities supporting families across the United States.”

Ovulation illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Fertility Technology

The future of home-diagnostic tests

By Aayush Rai, CEO, Inito

During the pandemic, many of us worry about our own health and of our families. And recently, a conversation with a close friend turned to this topic. She has Hypothyroidism and needs to be on lifelong medication to manage the condition.

While managing this ailment in regular times wouldn’t be an issue, doctor visits and trips to the hospital for regular check-ups have either been put on hold or become dangerous and stressful during the pandemic. That led her to use an online service to get her thyroid medication delivered home. The convenience of an online consultation with a doctor and medicine delivery to her doorstep was great; she still had to go to the lab to get a blood test.

Clinicians and patients alike do not want to spend time traveling to labs and incur the expense, pain, and delays associated with traditional testing. And now, there is no need in many cases since there are alternatives such as home blood pressure monitoring, urine pregnancy, ovulation test kits, glucose monitoring, and more. In fact, advances in technology have even made it possible to conceive at home, in the privacy of your own space, without the need to visit a doctor’s office. This is wonderful news for women who are struggling with infertility problems, since home insemination is a cost-effective solution that can be done completely on your own.

Besides being cost-effective, quick, and confidential, home use tests can help:

  • Detect health conditions even before symptoms arise so that you can get early treatment and lower your chance of developing later complications such as cholesterol, hepatitis, and other STI testing. Home EKG tests can pick up atrial fibrillation long before symptoms arise. 
  • Detect specific conditions when there are no symptoms or signs to take immediate action, such as pregnancy testing so that you avoid alcohol intake and start prenatal vitamins.
  • Monitor conditions to allow frequent changes in treatment, such as to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetes and making insulin adjustments or adjusting blood pressure medications in the case of hypertension.

While home-use tests are a necessity during the pandemic, the change in user behavior will be permanent. In older days, couples trying to conceive could only track when they are fertile at home using Ovulation Tests. Ovulation tests can be done at home, measuring the presence of L.H., which shows up in the urine after ovulation occurs. Modern ovulation tests like Inito have advanced such testing by measuring the actual value of three essential fertility hormones, two of which predict, in advance, the time of ovulation and one that confirms that it did actually occur.

The user can simply send the chart of their hormones to the doctor rather than going through the anxiety and stress of lab tests. Once users and doctors experience the ease of use of these, they will not want to back to traditional methods.

People want to live healthy lives autonomously without excessive medical intervention. Even after the pandemic, consumers will continue to adopt home diagnostics.  As technology sufficiently matures, every house will have a single connected device capable of conducting these tests – becoming as much a part of the household as a thermometer is today. This is especially critical in the U.S., given the high incidence of chronic diseases.

About 45% of the U.S. population – close to 133 million Americans have at least one chronic disease.  The total costs for direct treatment for chronic conditions totalled $1.1 trillion —equivalent to nearly six percent of the U.S. GDP. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoarthritis are the most expensive conditions in direct healthcare costs.

For people with diabetes, the HbA1c test (also known as the hemoglobin A1c or glycated hemoglobin test) is an essential indicator of their average glucose levels. It indicates how well their disease is controlled and must be taken every three months. Not testing regularly can lead to the condition spiralling out of control, risking life, and increased costs of care. Many other conditions, like Hypothyroidism, require constant monitoring and lifelong medication.

The ability to conduct home testing dovetails perfectly with online consultation and medicine delivery. With modern connected devices, patients can directly share test reports with their doctors, consult with them online, have their prescriptions renewed, and await the arrival of medicines at their doorstep. A complete ecosystem.

Managing conditions at home will gradually become a norm, as we build out this complete ecosystem. By taking travel and waiting times out and delivering care faster, home diagnostics can save us millions of years, spent in the pursuit of our health at an equivalent or even lower cost.

Inito is the world’s first home device that tests for fertility hormones on a single device connected to a smartphone. This groundbreaking device is the only ovulation test to perform lab-grade fertility diagnostic tests at home. 

Geneva Supply illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Geneva Supply Increases Minimum Wage

Geneva Supply Increases Minimum Wage to $15 for Hourly Employees

Co-Founders Jeff Peterson and Mark Becker lead efforts to boost worker wages in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Arizona and offer new day-of-hire benefits.

Geneva Supply Co-Founders Jeff Peterson and Mark Becker, along with the company’s human resource team, Mariann Hunter and Emma Hobday, have announced a pay adjustment and wage increase to $15.00 per hour for all full-time hourly employees. The increase became effective on April 5, 2021. 

  • In addition, employees are now eligible for medical, dental, and vision benefits on the day of hire. 
  • Workers also can choose to be vested in the company retirement plan as soon as they have started their employment with Geneva Supply. 

The moves have impacted workers operating from five U.S. cities across three states, including employees at Geneva Supply’s corporate headquarters in Delavan (Wisconsin) and business locations in Wilmot (Wisconsin), Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin), Charleston (South Carolina), and Phoenix (Arizona).

“This has been an ongoing matter of great importance to us, and the employee feedback and support for these positive changes continues to enliven us,” said Jeff Peterson, CEO of Geneva Supply. “As we move ahead, we will keep focused on our workers and acknowledge the significance of what this increase means to each of them – their families – and the communities they live in.”

Wisconsin and South Carolina’s minimum wage is currently set at $7.25, the same level as the federal minimum wage. Arizona’s state minimum wage rate bumped to $12.15 per hour in early 2021. Although this is a considerable recalculation for Geneva Supply, it is one which Jeff and Mark feel is essential when offering competitive wages to current workers and for attracting potential employees. 

“As Geneva Supply continues to grow, we have made it a priority to invest in our people. Adjusting our full-time minimum wage to $15.00 per hour contributes to the people-first momentum our incredibly hard-working employees support each day. This adjustment is necessary, and we have no doubt it will open more doors for our workers and company in the future,” said Mark Becker, COO of Geneva Supply.

Part of Jeff and Mark’s mission has always included focusing on company culture and employee retention. By raising the minimum wage for all full-time hourly employees, the Small Business Administration award-winning entrepreneurs and leadership team are confident Geneva Supply is taking another step in the right direction.

“Raising our wages is also a smart business move. We know that paying people fairly leads to greater employee retention, which reduces the cost of hiring and training new people to replace employees who leave,” said Mariann Hunter, Human Resource Manager of Geneva Supply. “More important though, we value the people that choose to work here and hope that by increasing the hourly wage, they see and feel that.”

For more information, visit Geneva Supply or for available career opportunities, head to Geneva Supply Careers.

Stethoscope illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

TMS Therapy

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation/TMS Therapy?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, otherwise known as TMS therapy, is a non-invasive technique where magnetic fields are used to stimulate the brain.

TMS therapy is used in people suffering from depression. It is an alternative to other forms of treatment like psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. TMS therapy is painless and highly preferred by most patients.

How does TMS Therapy Work?

TMS treatment for depression follows a certain process. The therapy is conducted by a TMS physician/TMS technician.

Before the therapy begins, you should get rid of any magnetic-sensitive objects or items on your body like credit cards and jewelry. For comfort and ear protection, you’ll be asked to put on earplugs. Also, the process is conducted while the patient is sitting.

The therapy involves placing a magnetic coil against the scalp close to the forehead. Before the coil is placed on your head, the therapist must conduct various measurements to determine the right position of placing the magnetic coil. The coil conveys a magnetic pulse stimulating the nerve cells in the part of the brain that manages depression and mood control.

The physician then applies multiple brief pulses to measure the patient’s motor threshold. This ensures that the treatment settings are personalized according to the patient’s motor threshold.

During the TMS therapy, the patient will experience a sequence of clicking sounds and a tapping sensation under the coil.

Depending on various factors, the TMS treatment can last anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes, and you’re good to resume normal activities afterward. However, you’ll need to come back for the same procedure about five days a week and continue doing so until five to six weeks. However, this period can vary depending on how the patient responds to treatment, among other things.

Why Go for TMS Therapy?

There are many reasons why most patients go for transcranial magnetic stimulation/TMS therapy. First, the treatment is non-invasive. This means nothing will be inserted into your body during the treatment. Also, the treatment is painless. Pain is not something most people love. Anyone will always go for a painless alternative if it’s available.

In addition, TMS therapy has reported a high efficacy rate compared to other depression treatment methods like antidepressants. When it comes to health matters, effectiveness is essential.

Furthermore, TMS therapy is an outpatient treatment that allows patients to get treatment while continuing with their daily activities.

The FDA approved transcranial magnetic stimulation in 2008 for the treatment of depression. This means it is a safe method. And in the future, we could see TMS therapy being used to treat other brain disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tinnitus, generalized anxiety, and cognitive impairments.

Side Effects and Cons of TMS Therapy

Despite its high efficacy, TMS therapy has some cons and side effects.

Patients experience mild to moderate side effects which disappear after some time. The possible side effects include.

  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tingling, twitching, or spasm of facial muscles
  • Scalp discomfort

Some patients experience seizure and hearing loss, especially if their ears are not well covered during the therapy. Those with bipolar disorder complain of mania. However, such cases are rare.

One of the downsides of TMS therapy is that the patients keep visiting the treatment center until they get well. This can be tiresome, especially if you do not respond to the treatment in a short period. It can also be expensive if you have to cover a long distance to get the treatment. You’ll need to pay for transport costs daily.

 TMS therapy takes a long time; for instance, a patient may need more than 30 treatments to get better. Also, some insurance policies may decline to cover your TMS therapy costs. You should find out if your insurance policy will cover the costs.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation/TMS therapy is a non-invasive and painless procedure used to treat depression. The procedure is conducted by a TMS technician or physician, and it follows a specific sequence. The treatment is an outpatient service, has high efficacy, and is FDA approved. However, it has some side effects, including headache and scalp discomfort, which go away after multiple sessions. The therapy takes time to work, usually four to six weeks of regular visits.

Child with phone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Children and Screens Announces Grant

­CHILDREN AND SCREENS ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH INTO DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Marc Potenza, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Yihong Zhao, Ph.D., member of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University, and their interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team, in support of their research exploring the associations between screen media activity and brain development in school-aged children. 
 
“It is vital to investigate what ever-increasing digital media engagement means for developing brains, especially in middle childhood when children’s devices and brains are working on overdrive. Technology is advancing rapidly, and we hope to do our part to help science keep up; we are delighted to create opportunities to advance scientific research on this topic through the Institute, which I founded 13 years ago.” Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development 
 
Drawing on longitudinal data from the NIH’s landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Dr. Potenza, Dr. Zhao, and their associates intend to utilize state-of-the-art statistical methodology and predictive modeling to investigate the relationships between digital media use and changes in brain structure and function, as well as the associated clinically relevant behaviors. The study, which was proposed following the Institute’s March 2020 Digital Media and Developing Brain Research Retreat, will examine the effects of a variety of specific media-based activities and will focus on children from ages 9-12. The results of this research will yield benefits and insight not only for the research community, but also for families, clinicians, and policymakers.
 
“The advances in ‘big data’ approaches have led to an unprecedented increase in our understanding of how brain structure and function relate to specific behaviors. With the support of Children and Screens, we aim to apply novel and innovative big data approaches to ABCD data to understand how brain structure and function relate to, and importantly may be impacted by, types and patterns of screen media activity. Dr. Martin Paulus and colleagues used a portion of the first wave of ABCD data to identify patterns of cortical thinning associated with screen media activity. We hope to build off and extend this work by examining the full initial sample and subsequent waves of ABCD data to determine brain-behavior relationships with respect to youth screen media activity. We hope to communicate these findings in order to advance prevention and policy efforts that promote healthy childhood development in environments increasingly involving digital technologies.” – Dr. Marc Potenza, Grant Recipient
 
Bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social scientific, education, and academic communities, the Children and Screens’ interdisciplinary scientific research grants program was conceived as part of a larger research program to advance and support study, knowledge, and scientific collaboration. Developed in 2017, the grants program provides researchers with access to the early-stage financial support necessary to pilot worthy new projects studying the impact of children’s engagement with current and evolving technologies.
 
In addition to the research funds awarded as part of the retreat program and those granted to explore the impacts of digital media during the current health crisis, Children and Screens’ regular Tips for Parents newsletter provides evidence-based, practical advice for families coping with the unprecedented realities of the pandemic, including changed economic circumstances, health concerns, lockdowns, social distancing, remote learning, and working from home. Each newsletter features insights from world-renowned experts, who share tips and advice about managing screen time, social media use, gaming, technology addiction, privacy, parenting, and more.
 
In addition, our popular, bi-weekly Ask the Experts virtual workshop series features dynamic conversations among international, interdisciplinary experts in the field of digital media and child development. Each discussion explores a different digital media challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and presents families with current scientific research, clinical advice, and practical, evidence-based advice. Panelists include leading parenting experts, former AAP Presidents, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, high-impact journal editors, leading researchers, well-known authors, and others. To date, the series has reached parents, researchers, educators, clinicians, government agencies, and public health professionals in over 30 countries and all 50 states.
 
About Children and Screens:
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness.

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Future Fax Filing Tips

Tips for Tax Filing in the Future

Tax time is near, and soon everyone will be rushing to get their taxes filed. Last year, Americans were met with quite a few delays in getting their refunds with the onset of the pandemic.

If you have a refund coming, the sooner you file, the sooner that refund will make its way into your bank account.

If you’re like most tax filers, you probably want to do everything you can to reduce your overall tax bill. We know that taxes are needed to run the government, but there’s no need for you as an individual to pay more than you need to.

Here are a few areas to consider or understand for future tax filing years:

  • Funding tax-preferenced accounts. One way to save on taxes is by putting money in various tax-preferenced savings accounts such as an IRA, a 401(k), and others. Depending on the account type, you can deduct your contribution each year, defer paying taxes on growth or take withdrawals tax-free. In health savings accounts (HSA), you can do all three. There are eligibility requirements you need to meet. An HSA can only be used for medical expenses.  With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your contributions, and you defer taxes on the account’s growth. You do pay taxes on withdrawals you make in retirement. A Roth IRA has different advantages. You can’t deduct your contributions now, but your money grows tax-free, and you aren’t taxed when you make withdrawals.
  • Using a 529 for K-12 private or college education. Many people are familiar with 529 plans, but they often think of these solely to save for a college education fund. But a 529 can also be used to pay for a private school in elementary and high school. The significant tax advantage with a 529 is that you don’t pay federal income taxes on the account’s growth. However, you must spend the money on qualified educational expenses and nothing else. This is essential to remember and understand because if you use the money for other reasons, you will pay taxes on that withdrawal, and you will also pay the penalty. A 529 account is something to consider if you have children or grandchildren and want a tax-efficient way to save for K-12 or college education.
  • Making charitable donations. Charitable donations are a great tool for reducing your tax bill. They come with the bonus of allowing you to make a positive impact in your community. Through charitable donations, you can reduce your income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax. Some people view this most straightforwardly – you choose an organization that qualifies under the tax rules to donate to. There are other ways to contribute as well: You can establish a donor-advised fund, which is a personal charitable account opened in the name of the donors and held by a nonprofit organization. For example, let’s say you sell a stock and, instead of paying the capital gains tax, you choose to place the proceeds in a donor-advised fund. You can claim the total amount as a charitable deduction, although you don’t have to donate the money in one lump sum. The money remains in the fund and can be donated in small amounts over a period of years while drawing interest.

These are just a few things you can consider as you look for ways to reduce your tax bill. Your financial professional will be able to help you work your way through the process and find what works best for you and your situation.

Marijuana illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Honest Marijuana Company

In the old days of illegal weed, the price you paid for your weekend toke depended mostly on who was selling it to you. These were behind-the-scenes transactions, with no recourse for a deal gone bad and no way to price compare with a competitor. You paid the price asked or you went without.

Now, as state legalization grows and the chatter about federal legalization becomes less talk and more reality, the game has changed forever for the buyer. So, it’s a good time to be clear on what you’re paying for before you go to your local cannabis boutique, or even the corner store, if you should be so lucky to have marijuana available for sale there!

First off, price comparing starts with quantity

If you want to look at what your weed is going to cost you, and even compare different strains, it’s best to pick a quantity. From state to state, the price of quantity X will vary, based on factors we’ll discuss later, but for now, it’s important to understand what quantities you can order in. 

The most common quantities you can buy cannabis in are a gram, eighth of an ounce, quarter of an ounce, half an ounce, and a full ounce. Notice how the common quantities mix metric and Imperial measuring units? A gram is 1/1000th of a kilogram and an ounce is 1/16th of a pound. Typically, you’ll find that dispensaries will use ounces for larger quantities, and grams for a smaller purchase.

What does a gram look like? It’s about the size of a bottle cap, which gives you a visual point of reference to figure out what you’re getting for what price. The average joint is about 0.7 grams of weed so a gram will give you about 1.5 joints. Here are the other measurements, to give you a rough idea of what you’re getting:

  • An eighth of an ounce (which is roughly 3.5 grams) will give you just about 5 joints.
  • A quarter of an ounce (7 grams) will net about 10 joints.
  • A half an ounce (14 grams) will give you about 20 joints.
  • A full ounce (28 grams) is just about equal to 40 joints.

From Alaska to West Virginia, that price per ounce of medium quality weed can run anywhere from $6 to $12.

Quality is the next factor

If you look at average prices of weed across the country, they’re pretty stable and typically refer to medium quality cannabis. When you want to compare a gram of cannabis from one shop to another, a major increase in price could be because of the quality of the product. 

For example, an organic and locally indoor grown variety might be more expensive than a mass produced, imported one. You really do have to compare apples to apples, if you want to be sure you’re getting the right picture.

Other factors that will influence the price of weed

Your state’s legal stance toward cannabis

If you live in a state where cannabis isn’t legal in any form, obviously you’re still operating in the old ways of quiet deals made with people who don’t really care to negotiate the prices they feel like charging. After all, they risk going to jail for providing you with your ‘chill’ so there’s a premium attached to that.

In the states that have legalized recreational marijuana (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington), you’ll find competition higher and prices that reflect that.

The remaining twenty-one states that have legalized medical marijuana require a doctor’s note to obtain it, which isn’t a particularly challenging hurdle in most places, so this doesn’t affect the prices too significantly.

One place where cannabis is particularly expensive? Washington D.C. Despite legalization of medical and recreational use, they didn’t legalize the purchase of cannabis. That little detail is reflected in prices that are almost twice the national average for legalized / decriminalized states!

The physical geography of where you live

Cannabis isn’t an overly fussy plant to cultivate but it does prefer warm, stable temperatures, averaging in the daytime around 80 degrees. Places that have daytime temperatures that run hotter than 88 degrees or colder than 60 degrees have a harder time growing—it’s a slower process—and can end up with plants that have lower THC content and therefore lower overall quality.

So, if you live in Alaska or New Hampshire, for example, your weed has most likely been brought in from elsewhere, which means added costs in transportation and labor, to package and ship.

How your weed is grown

How your preferred brand is grown makes a difference on quality. 

  • Are they grown outdoors where light, water, soil, and ambient daytime temperatures are all free for the asking and therefore don’t add to the cost of production? 
  • Are they grown indoors, where special electrical lighting, watering and feed systems, and climate control are all required and add to the cost of production? 

Outdoor grown weed can be lower quality in that there aren’t many ways to control Mother Nature. Being able to control elements through technology can yield a higher quality product. From pest and humidity control to very specific watering schedules, as well as the use of light waves to maximize growth and intensity, indoor growers have the keys to control quality in ways that outdoor growers really cannot.

Factor in also whether the grower is using organic production methods, as this will definitely yield a higher quality product. No toxins from pesticides means a cleaner experience for you.

Where you buy your marijuana

Are you buying from a boutique dispensary or a corner store? Are you buying from a chain of cannabis stores or from a one-man dealer? Which way you go will affect the price you pay.

Dispensaries have overhead and staff to pay, which adds to the cost. However, they also have guidelines to follow in terms of packaging and labeling, as well as a vested interest in pleasing their customer, so they’re a good bet. You will know exactly what you’re getting, including the sourcing, THC content, whether it’s organic or not and so on. If you buy from a dealer, who is claiming to sell high quality products, you have no guarantees whatsoever that they are telling the truth.

Competitors drive the price down

Supply and demand is an easy equation. If there are several dispensaries with similar offerings in your area, the price per gram will be lower than in an area with no competition for your one dispensary. There is less supply for potentially similar demand, which can easily affect the price. The key as a consumer is to know your average pricing so you can tell whether or not you are getting a good deal.

Taxation and legalization go hand in hand

The states that have legalized marijuana have also clued in that it is an important revenue source. Sales tax, if the state has one, is applied to cannabis too. The rate can be higher for weed than for other products, as it is in Colorado. They have a state sales tax rate of 2.9% but the rate for weed? 10%.

In addition to sales tax, legal sellers are faced with taxes in production, purchasing, packing and transportation, costs that are typically downloaded to the end consumer.

The timing of your purchases

Time of year can impact the price of weed. Like most cultivated crops, the largest amounts are harvested in and around the month of September. Result? The supply is up, and prices should go down a little. 

As legalization continues to expand, state to state and even federally, the pricing will become more standard and easier to predict. At that point, the quality of the weed will be the big differentiator and as the end consumer, that’s not a small factor to consider. Buy with care and enjoy yourself!

Bio:

Anthony Franciosi, also known as Ant, is an honest to goodness farmer whose fingers are as green as the organic cannabis he grows. He is the proud founder of Honest Marijuana– an all-natural, completely organic marijuana growery in Colorado.