August 19, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
19 Aug

Today alcohol is legal in the U.S. at the federal and state level. Cannabis is legal in some states but not yet at the federal level. Wherever they are legal, however, alcohol and cannabis provide considerable tax revenues.

Founded in 2014, Wikileaf, an online company serving cannabis consumers, lists more than 3,500 legal cannabis dispensaries, deliveries and brands across the U.S. and Canada, and it claims to serve over 1 million organic cannabis users monthly.

The company’s founder and CEO, Dan Nelson, says, “…we have dedicated a

significant amount of resources to ensuring that we have the most up-to-date research and data. While the majority of our business hinges on bringing transparency to cannabis pricing, sales taxes on cannabis are still quite significant and people want to know where their dollars are going…” He adds, “There is still a lot of negative stigma surrounding the industry…By highlighting how the cannabis industry spends its tax revenue compared to adjacent industries, we hope that we can open people’s eyes.”

To that end, Wikileaf released a paper titled, “Data for Alcohol vs. Cannabis: Which Taxes Help Society More?” The data was gleaned using reports and statistics in five legal recreational cannabis states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, each of which supports a robust beverage alcohol trade. 

Wikileaf claims, “Cannabis and alcohol are taxed in similar ways across all five states…” The paper shows that each of the five states have legislated a cannabis-specific excise tax which is earmarked at least in part for crucial social services. The states also collect beverage alcohol excise taxes, and some states earmark that tax in part for social services. 

The Five States

1. Alaska imposes no sales tax on either beverage alcohol or cannabis, but, generally, the wine and beer excise tax is $2.50/gallon; malt beverages and cider are $1.07/gallon; tax on most spirits is $12.80/gallon. Alcohol tax revenue in 2017 and 2018 hovered around $20 million.

Marijuana cultivation facilities in Alaska pay an excise tax of $50 per ounce. In 2017, the tax brought in just under $1 million in revenue; in 2018 the tax revenue exceeded $5 million.

Approximately 50% of alcohol and cannabis excise tax revenue in Alaska goes toward some sort of alcohol/drug education and treatment program, with an emphasis on youths.

2. California reaps 7.25% retail sales tax on alcohol; localities are free to add local sales tax to that. The excise tax on wine and beer is $1.24 for every 31-gallon barrel, and at a proportionate rate for any other quantity. Wine under 14% alcohol by volume pays an additional one-cent/gallon, which rises to two-cents for wine over 14%. Sparkling wine and distilled spirit excise taxes are much higher. 

The state collected $368 million in taxes on alcohol in 2017; $376 million in 2018. The state puts its excise tax revenue into the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Fund, to be used for general state services and to support the ABC Board that oversees liquor licensing. According to Wikileaf, in 2017-2018, a significant portion of the alcohol excise tax went for the ABC’s administration of alcohol controls.

California imposes an excise tax on cannabis cultivators based on the weight of leaves ($2.75/dry ounce) and of flowers ($9.25 dry ounce). In addition to the 7.25% retail sales tax, cannabis buyers pay another 15% in excise taxes collected by the retailer and paid to the state. In 2017, $345 million in taxes from cannabis was collected; in 2018 it was $288 million. The lion’s share of the money is used to fund a variety of drug/alcohol prevention and treatment programs, child care, environmental and public safety programs.

3. In 2017, Colorado collected $46 million in sales and excise taxes from beverage alcohol; and almost the same in 2018. About 85% of this revenue is allocated to the Old Age Pension Fund; the rest goes to the general fund.

Also in 2017, recreational cannabis brought Colorado over $99 million in sales and excise taxes; the take jumped to $236 million in 2018. Most revenue goes to the Building Excellent Schools Today Fund, the rest of the money goes into a general fund for education.

4. Oregon charges no sales tax and, since it is an alcohol control state, there’s no state excise tax on liquor sold at state stores. But there is an excise tax on beer and wine production: $0.67/gallon and $0.08/gallon respectively. Of the state’s approximate $250 million in alcohol excise tax revenue in each of the past two years, about half went into a general fund; about $90 million went to counties and cities and $9 million went into mental health alcohol and drug services. 

The state imposes a 17% retail sales tax on cannabis consumers. Of the approximately $250 million in 2017 & 2018 cannabis excise tax revenue, about $50 million went to administration and distributions to cities and counties; about $200 million went to state school funding, mental health services, state police, and drug abuse prevention. 

5. The excise tax on most wine in Washington is $0.80/gallon; beer is taxed at $0.26/gallon. A sales tax of 6.50% also applies. The distilled spirits excise tax is $14.2/gallon, and consumers are subject to a 20% retail sales tax on spirits, while businesses are charged an additional $9.24/gal and 13.7% sales tax. All alcohol tax revenues go into the Washington “Liquor Revolving Fund” (LRF); its allocation is subject to legislative discretion. LRF’s financial distribution of its nearly $191 million in alcohol tax revenue for 2018 was: general services, 58%; municipalities, 35%; alcohol education, abuse prevention and research, 07%.

In addition to a general sales tax, Washington imposes a 37% excise tax on cannabis. The tax revenue from cannabis in 2018 was almost $284 million, which all went into a dedicated “marijuana account.” The state dispenses lump sums to state agencies, schools, and research. 50% of remaining revenue goes to the state’s health plan trust account; 15% to programs that study, prevent, and educate the public about substance abuse among youth; 10% to broader education and campaigns about marijuana; 5% to community health centers that provide general health care; unallocated revenue goes to the general state fund and municipalities.

To summarize: Wikileaf’s paper appears to say that, in these five states overall, and by percentage, cannabis taxes provide slightly more support to social programs than taxes from beverage alcohol.

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19 Aug

Rave:
* Complexion products. Some of their complexion products are amazing. The Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer is not only a great concealer (minimal creasing, good coverage), but it comes is a huge size and tons of shades. The foundation is also great, but I would actually use the concealer as foundation rather. 😀 Now… if the concealer come in a squeeze tube or with a pump (I don’t like doe foot applicators) that would be even more amazing.
* Shadow Insurance. One of the best eye primers I have tried (and it comes in an hygienic squeeze tube). And it’s been out for such a long time and they didn’t released other stuff; and this is OK. Why change something that is a staple and works great?

Rant:
* Too many releases. The brand right now to me looks all over the place, a mess of constant releases that make no sense. Most of the releases are just seasonal and have poor quality, forgotten over time. I just wish a company with so much money would invest more in a core line of great `old` products, tried-and-true, invest in research to make old formulas and packaging even better.
* Too childish and colorful packaging. This is just personal opinion, but I like a classic sleek look in packaging. All the pinks, golds, sparkles, crystals, dogs, unicorns, cookies, hearts and chocolate bars are just not my vibe.
* Scented make-up. Again, very personal, but I simply don’t want my eyeshadow to smell like chocolate and my blush of peach. I don’t want any scent / fragrance in my make-up, but food related scents (except vanilla) are the worst.
* It’s fake and slightly shallow. The last (hopefully) very personal opinion is that the brand in itself and the owners are quite fake, playing on marketing gimmicks. Even the addition of more shades (including more deeper/darker complexions) seemed done just as a marketing thing, rather than a true stand of inclusion; even the releases targeted to animal welfare seemed forced, rather coming from love of pups. Make-up is shallow in the end, but Too Faced seems to make things even more shallow. It’s just the vibe I get from the brand and although I like some of their products, it’s not a brand I would say I trust.

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19 Aug

Austin (KXAN) — As part of our Save Our Students project, KXAN is sitting down with superintendents from a handful of school districts in the Austin area to talk with them about how their campuses are addressing mental health issues. These superintendents have a conversation live on the KXAN morning show followed up with an in-depth conversation on mental health and wellness with Digital Reporter Alyssa Goard.

Lake Travis Independent School District

Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster

Lake Travis ISD serves communities who live in the areas near the south shore of Lake Travis. KXAN Graphic/ Ricardo Ruano.

“I think it’s a topic we just talk about more,” Lancaster said of bringing the discussion around mental health in schools to the forefront. This will be his 36th year working in education.

This summer, LTISD hired a licensed, clinical social worker who will respond to crisis situations and work in collaboration with school counselors across the district.

“This person’s job is to react to crises, and when she gets a phone call, she will go to the campus and intervene with that student, work with that family, and ultimately over a period of weeks get them some help in our community,” Lancaster said.

LTISD also employs many counselors, one at each elementary school, two or three at middle schools and eight at the high schools.

Last year, the district also brought on a safety officer, a person who retired from the Austin Police Department after more than 20 years and now advises the district on things like building security and emergency drills. Additionally, the district is trying to work with local law enforcement to make sure their campuses and families all understand the terminology that’s being used related to both drills and threats. Lancaster believes one of LTISD’s successes in the realm of mental health is a “Cavs Who Care” tipline where students, staff, and community members can submit tips on anything from threats against the district to reports of bullying. Already, the tip-line has helped the district. Lancaster explained that it can lead to police knocking on a family’s door to check on a student in extreme cases and in other situations can lead to a simple conversation with students after a misunderstanding.

“Most of our tips come from our secondary grades, 6th through 12th grades, but we still get some occasionally for elementary school and depending on which campus is identified, that tip goes to the campus principal, a counselor and two or three district-wide people who monitor all of the campuses, so instantly we know if there’s a problem going on,” Lancaster explained.

KXAN will also be interviewing superintendents from Hays CISD, Austin ISD, Georgetown ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Round Rock ISD, and Leander ISD as part of our continuing coverage of the solutions districts are turning to when it comes to addressing mental health and wellness.

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19 Aug

Join Yoga Journal in Boston, MA. 

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JOIN US AT YOGAWORKS BACK BAY AUGUST 20-25

364 Boylston St Boston, MA 02116

8/21 @ 7:30pm | Strength & Structure w/ Alissa

8/22 @ 5:45pm | Vinyasa Flow w/ Erica

8/23 @ 6:30pm | Vinyasa + Deep Relaxation


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19 Aug

If you were to ask me what my favorite food was in the whole world, I would most likely respond, enchiladas!

Not the exotic, wonderfully complex authentic enchiladas from Mexico, but the cheesy American casserole version my mom made for us growing up.

Just smelling the tortillas being lightly fried (to soften them so they roll up easily), and my tummy will leap for joy knowing that enchiladas will be ready shortly. We always make enough for leftovers because as my father will happily tell you, there is nothing better than my mom’s enchiladas re-heated for breakfast.

These Green Chile Enchiladas are a riff on my mom’s cheesy enchiladas. Instead of a tomato sauce we are using a tomatillo salsa verde sauce, and we stuffing the enchiladas with roasted green chiles and jack cheese.

roast green chiles for enchiladasroast green chiles for enchiladas

The Best Chiles for Enchiladas

To make these green chile enchiladas of course you’ll want to start with some good green chiles. I like to use fresh Anaheim green chiles, but you could easily use Hatch green chiles, or even poblanos if you want a spicier enchilada. Anaheims and Hatch chiles tend to be milder than poblanos.

When working with fresh green chiles, you need to roast them first (either over a gas burner or under the broiler), to blacken the outer tough peel, then remove the charred bits to reveal the roasted chiles.

If you don’t have access to fresh green chiles, you can use canned, but note that the flavor of freshly roasted chiles is far superior to canned.

What Are Tomatillos?

For these enchiladas, I’m also making a homemade tomatillo salsa verde, by roasting and puréeing fresh tomatillos. Have you ever cooked with tomatillos? They have papery husks around them, and some people confuse them with green tomatoes but the taste is quite different.

How to Make Green Chile Enchiladas

To put the enchiladas together, it’s just a matter of frying the tortillas in a little oil and rolling them up with cheese and chiles. Then, you assemble them in a casserole dish, cover them with sauce and bake them until the cheese melts.

Green Chile EnchiladasGreen Chile Enchiladas

Green Chile EnchiladasGreen Chile Enchiladas

Short on time?

Of course the enchiladas will taste best with roasted fresh chiles and homemade salsa. But if you are running short of time, you can easily use prepared tomatillo salsa (3 cups) instead of making your own, and/or use prepared canned whole Anaheim green chiles.

Make ahead Instructions

You can easily make the tomatillo salsa verde ahead of time, it will store well in the fridge for several weeks.

You can also roast chiles ahead of time. I like to buy chiles in season (late summer) and roast them all at once. If you freeze them with the blackened charred peel still on, the chiles will continue to absorb the roasted flavor, and when you defrost them, the blackened peel will slip right off.

You can assemble the enchiladas (without the sauce) a day or two ahead, then pour the sauce over them and sprinkle with cheese to bake.

Green Chile EnchiladasGreen Chile Enchiladas

Green Chile EnchiladasGreen Chile Enchiladas

How to Store and Reheat Enchiladas

Once cooked, the enchiladas will keep in the fridge for up to four days, or you can portion them out and freeze them for up to three months. Take some enchiladas to work and reheat them in the microwave. Or reheat them and top with a fried egg for breakfast.

If you’re looking for a freezer meal, this is a great one to double, cook, freeze, and reheat. Let the whole pan cool to room temp. Transfer them to a freezer safe container. When ready to eat, reheat them in a microwave or transfer them to a baking dish, covered in aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F until heated through.

HERE ARE 5 MORE WAYS TO LOVE MEXICAN FOOD

Updated August 19, 2019 : We spiffed up this post with new photos and more information to make your next batch of enchiladas amazing. No changes to the original recipe. Enjoy!

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19 Aug

Like some viticultural version of the Pied Piper, Kevin Buckler led Sunday a group of wine lovers down First Street in Petaluma.

Instead of playing a musical instrument, the founder and CEO of Adobe Road Wines carried a golden sledgehammer, which he then used to begin demolition on the old Bay Bridge Garage.

That riverfront parcel, between the Petaluma Yacht Club and a PG&E substation, will be the site of the 16,000-square-foot Adobe Road Winery, which is expected to open in a year.

Topped by a bell tower, the L-shaped, two-story mission-style building will include a tasting room, banquet facilities, a brick pizza oven and a production operation that will make some 5,000 cases of wine a year.

The winery also will be home to a motor sports gallery — a nod to Buckler’s roots as a race car driver.

He owns The Racers Group, whose drivers have won their class of the 24 Hours of Daytona four times.

That’s why the gallery will feature a section of banked track, 31 degrees steep, simulating the Daytona International Speedway.

Standing in the center of the soon-to-be razed garage at Sunday’s “Demolition Party,” Buckler told a group of several dozen investors and wine club members that he was standing “right in the middle of where the pizza oven is going to be.”

Motioning to the sturdy, redwood support beams above them, he explained that much of that lumber would be salvaged and used in the tasting room of the new building.

“We’re probably not saving any money,” he said. “But it’s the right thing to do, and it’ll be really cool.”

As Buckler talked about his vision for the new facility, the sledgehammer he wielded took on a kind of symbolic significance. By building a winery in the downtown of a midsized city, Adobe Road is breaking a Wine Country tradition.

“Why drive to some snooty Napa tasting room if you don’t have to?” he said. “The world’s changed. People have shorter attention spans. They want to have fun, and Petaluma’s fun.”

The winery will be a short walk from the Petaluma SMART train station near the corner of East Washington and Lakeville streets. During Buckler’s remarks, a SMART train whistle could be overheard in the background.

By the time the winery is complete, SMART’s extension to Larkspur Landing will be complete.

That will allow visitors to get on a ferry in San Francisco and then walk to a train that will deposit them in Petaluma less than 40 minutes later. With its banquet space and conference rooms, Adobe Road expects to attract corporate clients from San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

“I want to be a good ambassador for Petaluma,” Buckler said. “With this awesome project, we’re going to get more people to see it.”

You can reach Staff Writer Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or austin.murphy@pressdemocrat.com.

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19 Aug

Neutral Mattes Milieu

Viseart Neutral Mattes Milieu Eyeshadow Palette ($80.00 for 0.84 oz.) is a new, permanent palette designed to be the follow-up to the brand’s original Neutral Mattes palette. It contains twelve shades with all being new except for Penombre (the deep blue). There are four shades that are considered Pressed Pigments (containing Red 7 or Red 28), and they are: Groseille, Cacao, Dahlia, and Baie. For those looking for slightly deeper, richer neutrals that lean a bit redder, I think this palette is in that vein. It’s much cooler and deeper, less orange, compared to Warm Mattes and much richer and richer and redder-leaning than the original Neutral Mattes. The color story seems most similar to the deeper side of the Grande Pro (Vol. 1) palette.

The majority of the shades were pigmented, long-wearing, and easy to use, though a few were a little dusty, powdery, or could have been more blendable–there were no real duds or major misses.

NOTICE for the following shades: Groseille, Cacao, Dahlia, Baie.  All products categorized under “Pigment” carry a warning in the US that the product is “not intended for use in the immediate eye area.” Brands in the US typically market these products as “Pigments” (instead of “Eyeshadow”), and there is often a warning on the back of packaging or the label. The product includes color additives that are not approved for usage on the eyes per the FDA. Some color additives in “Pigments” have no usage restrictions in the EU, per CosIng, and can be used on the eyes. We recommend checking ingredients to confirm current safety assessment/restrictions: FDA/CosIng.

Chiffon

Chiffon is a deeper, peachy orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation with a soft, lightly powdery texture that had a little bit of fallout, which was especially noticeable when I used it above my lid. It lasted nicely for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a deep, mustard yellow with warm, brown undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had excellent color coverage in a single layer, which adhered evenly to bare skin and blended out with ease. The consistency was soft, finely-milled, and easy to work with. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading noticeably.

Roussillon

Roussillon is a muted, medium-dark copper with warm, reddish undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was opaque in one layer, while the texture was soft, a smidgen dusty in the pan (but not problematic on the lid), and easy to blend out on my skin. It stayed on well for eight and a half hours before showing signs of fading.

Platane

Platane is a soft, peachy brown with warm, orange undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff in one pass, which was buildable to full coverage with a second layer. The texture was lightly powdery and had some fallout during application. It lasted nicely for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Latte

Latte is a medium brown with muted, warmer golden undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had a soft, blendable consistency that wasn’t too firmly nor too softly pressed in the pan. It had rich pigmentation that wore well for eight and a half hours on me before I noticed any fading.

Sorrel

Sorrel is a medium-dark brown with moderate, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had full color coverage in one pass, though the texture seemed a bit more prone to adhering more strongly in certain places, so I would recommend using it with a primer to avoid potential issues. I experienced it on my arm but couldn’t see it translate onto my lid (but it’s an issue of moisture/natural oils on my lid vs. arm). The texture seemed, otherwise, to be soft and blendable without being too powdery. It stayed on well eight hours on me before it started to fade a bit.

Groseille

Groseille is a deep red with muted, warm undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was opaque in one layer, which applied evenly and blended out nicely along the edges over bare skin. The texture was soft, smooth, and a smidgen dusty in the pan but wasn’t prone to fallout during application. It lasted nicely for eight and a half hours before starting to fade a bit.

Nue

Nue is a medium brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was slightly powdery in the pan, so there was light fallout during application if I wasn’t careful to tap off excess. It had opaque color payoff that adhered well to bare skin and blended out nicely. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading visibly.

Cacao

Cacao is a deep brown with cooler undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had rich pigmentation with a smooth, velvety texture that was a bit more substantial than most Viseart matte eyeshadows, but it applied evenly and smoothly to bare skin. I had no trouble diffusing the edges while maintaining the opacity I wanted. It stayed on well for eight and a half hours before showing signs of fading.

Dahlia

Dahlia is a rich, pinky berry with cool undertones and a matte finish. The consistency was a smidgen dusty in the pan, but it didn’t seem to be prone to fallout during application. The eyeshadow had nearly opaque pigmentation in one layer, which was easily built up to full coverage with a second layer. It lasted well for eight and a half hours on me before fading and left a very faint stain behind.

Baie

Baie is a muted, medium-dark burgundy with neutral-to-cool undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had opaque pigmentation with a soft, lightly powdery texture that was blendable and easy to work with as it had almost no fallout during application. It wore nicely for eight and a half hours on me before fading noticeably.

Penombre (Cobalt Blue)

Penombre (Cobalt Blue) is a deep, navy blue with cool undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had ultra-fine shimmer throughout, but it looked matte to my eye on my skin. The texture was firmer, a little stiffer, and as a result, did seem to be harder to blend out on my skin so I’d recommend using a light hand and building up or using it over an eyeshadow primer. It stayed on well eight and a half hours on me before I noticed any fading.

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19 Aug

Women with severe sleep apnea appear to be at an elevated risk of getting cancer, a study shows. No causal relationship is demonstrated, but the link between nocturnal hypoxia in women and higher cancer risk is still clear.

“It’s reasonable to assume that sleep apnea is a risk factor for cancer, or that both conditions have common risk factors, such as overweight. On the other hand, it is less likely that cancer leads to sleep apnea,” says Ludger Grote, adjunct professor and chief physician in sleep medicine, and the last author of the current study, in a release.

The research, published in the European Respiratory Journal, is based on analyses of registry data, collected in the European database ESADA, on a total of some 20,000 adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 2% of them also had a cancer diagnosis.

As expected, advanced age was associated with elevated cancer risk, but adjusting the data for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking, and alcohol consumption nevertheless showed a possible link between intermittent hypoxia at night and higher cancer prevalence. The connection applied mainly to women and was weaker in men.

“Our results indicate a cancer risk that’s elevated two- to three-fold among women with pronounced sleep apnea. It’s impossible to say for sure what causes underlie the association between sleep apnea and cancer, but the indication means we need to study it in more depth,” says Grote, who is also a senior consultant and head of medicine at the Department of Sleep Medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

“The condition of sleep apnea is well known to the general public and associated with snoring, daytime fatigue, and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in men. Our research paves the way for a new view—that sleep apnea may possibly be connected with increased cancer risk, especially in women,” Grote says.

Previous studies have shown that, more often than others, people with sleep apnea have a cancer diagnosis in their medical history. Research in this area is expanding, while the gender aspects have hardly been explored.

“Above all, the focus has been on the connection with one form of cancer: malignant melanoma. Cancer of the breast or womb may now become a new area. There may be a combined effect of female sex hormones and stress activation, induced by nocturnal hypoxia in sleep apnea, that can trigger cancer development or a weakening of the body’s immune system.”

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19 Aug

You warm up all of your major muscle groups in your flow. But we’re guessing (if you’re anything like us) that you sometimes forget to prep your joints—namely, your wrists and shoulders—before you pop up into an inversion. Those two joints are some of the hardest workers in your body, whether you’re in a Handstand or clacking away at a keyboard. Here, take a cue from Irene Pappas and give them the attention they need to stay strong and flexible enough to do everything you ask of them. 

Want to up-level your flow? In Focused Vinyasa: 11 Fresh Sequences and Drills to Advance Your Practice, Irene Pappas, cofounder of Bodhi Yoga Boulder, hits pause at key teaching moments in your vinyasa to break challenging poses down into moves you can practice and master. Learn more and sign up today!


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