New Zealand Legalizes Medical Marijuana

New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana through its third and final vote.

The legislation will now go through Royal Assent (a formality for a measure to become law), and will take effect the following day. Rules to regulate licensing and quality standards will be established in the next 12 months, reports the Marijuana Business Daily. The bill also removes cannabidiol as a controlled drug, instead making it a prescription medicine.

The initial bill would have allowed for cannabis use by anyone with a diagnosed terminal illness – which would have greatly limited its application. That was broadened in the final months of debate to include any patient requiring palliation.

Health Minister Dr. David Clark said that will open the door to medical marijuana use for approximately 25,000 New Zealanders.The expansion allows patients to “procure, possess, consume, smoke or otherwise use any plant or plant material of the genus cannabis or any cannabis preparation,” according to the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.

A certificate from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner will be required.

According to the law, the regulations “must not require that the variety of cannabis contained in the product was brought into New Zealand with authorization, if the variety is established in New Zealand at the time the product is manufactured or produced.”

In other words, medical cannabis strains currently used in New Zealand illicitly will have a path to be brought into the legal market.

“People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain,” Clark said. “So as a compassionate measure we are also creating a statutory defense for people eligible to receive palliation so that they can use illicit cannabis without fear of prosecution.

“These medicinal products will be available on prescription. This will be particularly welcome as another option for people who live …

William Barr: Bush League Choice for Trump’s Next Attorney General

President Trump is reaching back to the first Bush administration for his replacement for Jeff Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement official. William Barr did that job for 18 months from 1991-1992. His reputation is that of a hardcore drug warrior.

A conservative, white-collar lawyer who also worked in the Reagan administration, as Attorney General, Barr favored longer prison sentences for drug offenders, mass drug testing in the workplace, civil forfeiture, pursuing cannabis cultivators as if they were public enemy No. 1 and rigorous use of military in drug law enforcement.

Barr was the federal quarterback leading the efforts at the Department of Justice to block any and all efforts to legalize medical access to cannabis, from appealing NORML vs. DEA out of the administrative courts to quashing the Compassionate Investigative New Drug Program, which, in the early ’90s, had a dozen patients receiving medical cannabis from the government’s pot farm in Mississippi.

As Attorney General under H.W. Bush, Barr favored longer prison sentences for drug offenders, mass drug testing in the workplace, civil forfeiture and rigorous use of military in drug law enforcement.

“Oh, yes, using the military in drugs was always under discussion,” he said in an oral history interview at the University of Virginia in 2001. “I personally was of the view it was a national security problem. I personally likened it to terrorism… But, we never tightened the noose.”

California Officials Say Cannabis Deliveries Can Be Made Anywhere, Even in Cities Where Marijuana is Banned

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control said on Friday that marijuana deliveries can be made anywhere in the state, even in localities that ban marijuana businesses.

The issue has been one of the most debated issues as state regulators hammer out permanent rules for how marijuana is grown, tested, packaged and delivered, reports the Associated Press. Law enforcement groups and the California League of Cities opposed the move.

The delivery issue was included in regulations drafted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, which issues most retail permits. The rules will become law in 30 days unless California’s Office of Administrative Law objects.

The bureau has maintained that Proposition 64 allows for statewide deliveries. It added explicit language authorizing the practice after several law enforcement officials in anti-cannabis locales insisted they could arrest licensed deliver drivers in cities and counties that ban marijuana.

Supporters of statewide deliveries argued that sick and frail people in those areas who depend on marijuana to relieve pain or anxiety cannot make a lengthy drive for a purchase, so they are being shut out of the legal market.

California Cannabis Industry Association spokesman Josh Drayton said most California cities and counties have exerted local control and don’t allow marijuana, making it impossible for a business such as a beverage maker or nutritional supplement manufacturer to partner with a legal marijuana operator. He said the bureau’s stand against unlicensed operators went too far and will hurt the nascent industry by unintentionally preventing such things as non-licensed celebrities endorsing products and other deals not directly involving marijuana.

“The industry has slowed down enough already without this added hurdle,” Drayton said.

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Cronos Rallies, Aphria Gets Crushed as Pot Stock Volatility Continues

While cannabis may conjure up feelings of mellowness, investing in pot stocks is more of a roller coaster ride. And it’s not always fun.

Take your pick. Cronos Group, Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, Curaleaf, The Green Organic Dutchman, MedMen, Tilray and others have been extremely volatile this year.

Earlier this week, Cronos (NASDAQ: CRON) shares vaulted more than 30% in just a couple of days after it confirmed the existence of talks with tobacco giant Altria Group about a possible alliance. Altria, the world’s largest tobacco company and owner of the Marlboro brand, has been hunting for a deal for a while. This development sparked excitement because it marks the most concrete evidence yet that Altria plans to bring its considerable cash, distribution and agricultural resources into the cannabis sector.

For all the fuss around Cronos, it posted well under $5 million in revenue in the latest quarter. While it’s building facilities to meet Canada’s booming demand for cannabis, Cronos remains a micro-cap, a purely speculative play.

Quintessential Capital Challenges Aphria

Meanwhile, Aphria (NYSE: APHQF), another closely-watched Canadian cannabis company, has been beaten …

U.S. Surgeon General Says We Need to Reconsider How We Schedule Marijuana

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says we should look into how we schedule marijuana, and that its current schedule hinders medical research.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams (photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images).

“Just as we need to look at criminal justice laws, rules and regulations, we need to look at health laws, rules and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system,” said Adams during a recent question and answer session at a Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative conference. “I’ll take it somewhere else: marijuana. We need to look at the way we schedule different medications across the board, because one of the concerns that I have with marijuana is the difficulty that the folks have to do research on it, because of the scheduling system.”

Currently marijuana is a schedule 1 drug, meaning it has absolutely no medical value; other schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD and MDMA. Marijuana’s status as a schedule 1 drug makes it almost impossible for most researchers to study it in a comprehensive and unbiased manner.

Adams was nominated by President Trump to become the 20th U.S. Surgeon General in June of last year; he was confirmed by the Senate in August, and took over the position the following month. Prior to his current position, Adams served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner.

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Michigan Marijuana Supporters to Celebrate Legalization at Midnight

At 12 am tonight, recreational marijuana officially becomes legal in Michigan, making it the 10th state to break from federal policy. Passed by voters on Nov. 6, Prop 1 allows for the possession of up to 10 ounces at home and cultivation of up to 10 plants. You can gift 2.5 ounces, but can’t sell it.

Plans for a  commercial industry will get rolling next year, with stores likely opening in 2020. It’s possible that medical dispensaries will be converted for rec purposes earlier than expected.

Prosecutors in several counties—Macomb and Oakland—are already dismissing low-level marijuana arrest charges.

The bad news is that some members of the Michigan legislature, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlen Meekof, want to remove Prop 1’s homegrow provision.

Several events are planned for December 6 in Michigan:

Celebration of the Legalization of Cannabis in Michigan, Cannabis Counsel Office, 2930 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 8 pm-12 am

Women Grow Signature Networking Event, 4375 Washtanaw Ave., Ann Arbor; 7 pm-9 pm

Make Money NOW with CBD, Entrepreneurs Hub, 1400 Woodbridge St., …

Freedom Leaf FAQ: 16 Questions About Hemp and CBD

Here are 16 frequently asked questions about marijuana’s most famous non-intoxicating cannabinoid and industrial cousin.

1. What’s the difference between hemp and CBD?

Cannabis sativa L, a.k.a. “industrial hemp,” is an incredibly versatile and durable plant, making it ideal for the manufacture of rope, canvas, paper, textiles, fuel and plastic. Hemp seeds are frequently used for food and beauty products. Hemp grows tall and thin, like bamboo, and is non-intoxicating, unlike marijuana.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is extracted from hemp or cannabis to make oil. In the past few years, as the legality of marijuana has evolved, CBD sales skyrocketed by nearly 40%, according to New Frontier Data. This growth is unlikely to slow as word about CBD’s potential healing and medicinal benefits continues to spread.

2. What’s the difference between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD?

Hemp-derived CBD, extracted only from the stalks and stems, contains less than 0.3 percent THC and must be imported into the U.S. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp as part of university research pilot programs. However, most hemp-derived CBD comes from outside the U.S.

Cannabis-derived CBD is not limited to extraction from the stalks and stems. Other parts of the plant, especially the flowers, can be used to make CBD oil. Cannabis-derived CBD is grown in legal states.

Minnesota Adds Alzheimer’s Disease as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that it was adding Alzheimer’s disease to the state’s medical marijuana program.

“[T]here is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”, said state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, who made the final decision to add the disease to medical marijuana program. The move allows those with the Alzheimer’s who receive a recommendation from a physician to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis products for medical use.

Unfortunately Malcolm declined to add six other conditions that were submitted by a state advisory panel; these were opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, panic disorder, psoriasis and traumatic brain injury.

The other qualifying medical marijuana conditions in Minnesota are:
  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

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U.S. Chemist Roger Adams Isolated CBD 75 Years Ago

Roger Adams illustration by Ross Marinaro

The name most associated with cannabis science is generally Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, who’s credited with first isolating and identifying THC. But given the current CBD craze, there’s another figure who should receive his due: American chemist Roger Adams, who first isolated cannabidiol. And, by some accounts, he even has a claim to being the person who initially identified its psychoactive cousin, THC.

In addition, Adams grappled with the role of science—and its misuses—in war and totalitarianism during the great world political upheavals in the early 20th century.

A true Boston blue-blood and direct descendant of President John Adams, the precocious scion entered Harvard in 1905 at age 16. In 1913, he travelled on a fellowship to Germany, the world leader in chemistry at that time, and studied at Berlin’s prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. He returned to the U.S. to take a post at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just as World War I was breaking out. For the first but not the last time, events on the global stage had an impact on his life, career and research.

In 1917, Adams took a position with the National Research Council in Washington, DC and its associated Chemical Warfare Service. Germany was then notoriously using poison gas in the trench warfare of Europe. Adams studied this with an eye toward developing prophylactics to gas attacks—and potentially deterrents in the capacity to retaliate in kind. Ironically, the expertise he learned in Germany was now being put to use for the war effort against Deutschland. Even after the war, Adams remained close to the then-forming national security establishment, which also had an impact on what would be his life’s most important scientific work.

George H. W. Bush: The Last American Drug Warrior President

Infamously, President Bush convened a live TV press conference in September 1989 where he held up for the cameras a small bag of crack cocaine.

By every measure, America’s 41st president George Herbert Walker Bush, who passed away Nov. 30, was a fine man, father, patriot, civil servant and elected policy maker. He was decent and moderate, certainly by today’s standards.

However, likely due more to his age than social disposition, President Bush was the last great standard bearer of American presidents who publicly proclaimed the absurd idea that a “War on Drugs will be won.” After Bush Sr., such fanciful notions were never heard again from Baby Boomer presidents Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush, Barack Obama or Donald Trump, and are no longer part of the American political lexicon.

As a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and Ronald Reagan’s Vice President (from 1981-1988), President Bush was a committed drug warrior in the worst way, overseeing during his tenure as president the implementation of Reagan’s Just Say No drug war by dutifully rolling out mass drug testing, controversial civil forfeiture enforcement, enhanced policing and the ensuing swelling of prosecutions and incarcerations.

The Bush administration was responsible for the creation of the bloated and ineffective Office of National Drug Control Policy (a.k.a. the Drug Czar’s office), appointing as its first two directors the bombastic William Bennett (a.k.a. the Drug Bizarre) and former Florida Republican Gov. Richard Martinez. The Drug Czar’s office was (and still is) responsible for quarterbacking anti-marijuana propaganda, such as the DARE program in public schools, Partnership for Drug Free America campaigns and anti-drug non-profit organization funding.

Study: CBD Reduces Airway Inflammation and Fibrosis in Experimental Allergic Asthma.

According to a new study published by the European Journal of Pharmacology, and epublished by the U.S. National Institute of Health, cannabidiol (CBD) reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.

“Asthma remains a major public health problem and, at present, there are no effective interventions capable of reversing airway remodelling”, states the study’s abstract. “Cannabidiol (CBD) is known to exert immunomodulatory effects through the activation of cannabinoid-1 and -2 (CB1 and CB2) receptors located in the central nervous system and immune cells, respectively.” However, “as the role of CBD on airway remodelling and the mechanisms of CB1 and CB2 aren’t fully elucidated, this study was designed to evaluate the effects of cannabidiol in this scenario”

For the study. allergic asthma was induced in mice. “CBD treatment, regardless of dosage, decreased airway hyperresponsiveness, whereas static lung elastance only reduced with high dose.” These outcomes “were accompanied by decreases in collagen fibre content in both airway and alveolar septa and the expression of markers associated with inflammation in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung homogenate.”

Researchers state that “There was a significant and inverse correlation between CB1 levels and lung function in asthmatic patients”, and that “CBD treatment decreased the inflammatory and remodelling processes in the model of allergic asthma.”

They conclude by noting that “The mechanisms of action appear to be mediated by CB1/CB2signalling, but these receptors may act differently on lung inflammation and remodelling.”

For more information on this study, click here.

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Eaze Delivers: California Firm Brings Cannabis to Your Doorstep

Eaze’s “Chief Cannabis Evangelist,” Jason Pinsky (Photo by Tommy Quicksilver)

If you’ve ever ordered a car from Uber or a book from Amazon, navigating your delivery of a pack of Lowell Smokes from Eaze is a no-brainer for anyone with a smartphone, as I found out recently.

Just go to, set up a user name and password, take a photo of your California driver’s license (or registered ID) to prove you’re 21, submit credit card information and you’re off to the races.

The Eaze menu is clean and uncluttered, with a wide variety of flower, pre-rolls, tinctures and oils, all from least expensive to most, left to right. Like any other commerce site, you add items to your cart, then check out. Any purchase over $50 has no delivery fee; anything less carries a charge of $5.

The prices are competitive with licensed brick-and-mortar dispensaries, though the addition of the required 9.5% sales and statewide 15% excise taxes pushes the total of my two Biscotti Singoli hash-infused pre-rolls ($40) and one LoudPack Kosher Kush preroll ($12) to $69.86 with the $17.86 surcharge.

Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrates Become Legal in Michigan on December 6

The possession of marijuana and marijuana concentrates will become legal in Michigan next week on Thursday, December 6.

Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers certified the election results for Proposition 1 on Thursday, meaning that key provisions of the initiative will take effect 10 days after, on Decebember 6. Starting that day, those 21 and older in the state will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 grams of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. In addition, they will be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants at a private residence.

The initiative also legalized marijuana stores, though they won’t be open for some time. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs now has up to 12 months to begin accepting applications from those seeking to operate legal marijuana businesses. Marijuana retail outlets are expected to open sometime in 2020.

When Michigan voters approved Proposition 1 earlier this month, they made their state the 10th to legalize recreational marijuana, following Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.

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Alaska Credit Union Launches Program to Serve the Legal Marijuana Industry

By Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, Marijuana Business Daily

An Alaska credit union has joined the growing ranks of state-chartered financial institutions to announce plans to serve the legal cannabis industry.

Credit Union 1 – a 66-year-old, Anchorage-based business – announced Thursday it is kicking off a pilot program to provide financial services to the state’s approved marijuana-related businesses – otherwise dubbed MRBs.

“Since 2014, when marijuana was legalized in Alaska, the lack of financial services for MRBs has flooded local streets with cash, resulting in a community safety issue,” the credit union explained in a news release.

Only legally operating MRBs will be served, the credit union noted – adding that those firms’ accounts “will be under constant, comprehensive monitoring by our compliance team to ensure all aspects of their businesses stay legal.”“Credit Union 1 hopes to help relieve this is issue by providing financial services to MRBs.”

Earlier this week, Ohio-based Wright Patt Credit Union announced plans to offer limited financial services to licensed medical marijuana operators in the Buckeye State.

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Oregon Officials Certify Initiative to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

An initiative by the Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) that would legalize the medical use of magic mushrooms has been certified by state officials.

“The Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon has been titled!”. said OPS in a recent Tweet. “In December PSI will begin gathering the 140K signatures to get it on the 2020 ballot. Learn how YOU can support this historical campaign from anywhere on earth by visiting .”

Specifically, the initiative would allow licensed medical professionals such as physicians to prescribe psilocybin, which is the hallucinogenic ingredient found in magic mushrooms. The initiative would make Oregon the first state in the U.S. to legalize magic mushrooms for medical use, similar to how California was the first to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996.

Certification of the initiative’s ballot title gives the group the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to place the measure on the 2020 general election ballot; they will need to gather 140,000 signatures from registered Oregon voters in order to do so.

For more information on OPS and their magic mushroom initiative, click here.

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New Jersey Legalization Legislation Moves to Floor Debate After Historic Votes

The full New Jersey legislature will take up legalization of adult use of cannabis in the Garden State in the coming weeks after measures passed in two committees in a widely covered joint hearing of the House and Senate on Nov. 26.

While more work needs to be done, advocates took a breather from pondering the challenges ahead and issued upbeat statements. “This was a historic vote,” Kate Bell, general counsel of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) tells Freedom Leaf. “It’s the first time it’s gotten this far in New Jersey.”

In a hearing attending by hundreds of spectators, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved S-2703 (sponsored by Sen. Nicholas Scutari) by a 7-2 vote with four abstentions. The Assembly Appropriations Committee cleared A-4497 (sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano) cleared by a 6-1 vote with two abstentions.

New Jersey appears poised to become the first state legislature to allow retail sales of cannabis to adults.

The measures next go to the full chambers for debate and a vote. Lawmakers meet in their first full session on December 17, but it’s unclear whether the bills will come up for a vote then. Unlike other states, the New Jersey legislature meets year-round, which means the bill won’t languish for months before it gets taken up by lawmakers.

South Korea Legalizes Medical Cannabis

South Korea has became the first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis.

The country’s National Assembly voted last week to approve amending the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs to pave the way for non-hallucinogenic dosages of medical cannabis prescriptions, reports the Marijuana Business Daily.

Under the new law, medical marijuana will still be tightly restricted. In order to receive medical cannabis, patients would be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, a government body established to facilitate patient access to rare medicines in the country. Patients would also need to receive a prescription from a medical practitioner, and approval would be granted on a case-by-case basis.

As reported by MBD, South Korea’s cannabis law overcame a major obstacle in July when it won the support of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, which said at the time it would permit Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for conditions including epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS and cancer-related treatments. On November 23 the ministry said a series of amended laws passed in a National Assembly session will expand the treatment opportunities for patients with rare diseases.

“South Korea legalizing medical cannabis, even if it will be tightly controlled with limited product selection, represents a significant breakthrough for the global cannabis industry,” said Vijay Sappani, CEO of Toronto-based Ela Capital, a venture capital firm exploring emerging markets in the cannabis space.

“The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated. Now it’s a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if.”

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New Jersey Committees Pass Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

New Jersey’s Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees approved legislation today that would make marijuana legal for everyone at least 21 years old.

By a vote of seven to two, with four members abstaining, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 2703 today, which is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari. Also today, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Assembly Bill 4497, sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, by a vote of six to one, with two members abstaining. The measures will now go to the full chambers for a vote; passage in both chambers would send the legisaltion to Governor Murphy, who made legalization one of his top platforms during his successful election campaign last year.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the legislation:

  • allows adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (seven grams), although, unlike most other states to have adopted legalization, the cultivation of any amount of cannabis by adults in their own homes would remain a crime;
  • sets a tax rate of 12 percent of the retail price (including the sales tax), plus an optional local tax of up to 2 percent;
  • provides for five types of regulated marijuana businesses: growers, product manufacturers, wholesalers, testing facilities, and retailers, who can deliver marijuana and some of which may include consumption areas;
  • allows local jurisdictions extensive control over the number and types of businesses in their borders, including the ability to impose local licensing requirements; and
  • establishes a five-member appointed Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which would serve as the regulatory agency overseeing both the new adult-use and the existing medical cannabis programs.


“New Jersey is one step closer to replacing marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation”, says Kate M. Bell, general counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Arresting adult cannabis consumers is a massive waste of law enforcement officials’ …

Oregon Made Over $8 Million in Taxes From Legal Marijuana Sales in September

In September those in Oregon purchased enough marijuana legally for the state to earn over $8 million in tax revenue.

More precisely, Oregon made $8,054,422 in marijuana taxes in September, according to new data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue. Although this is lower than the record setting $10.1 million made in August, it represents a an 8% increase from the $7.4 million garnered in September, 2017.

Of the $8 million in marijuana taxes made in September, roughly $6.9 million came from the statewide marijuana tax (17%), with the remaining $1.1 million coming from local taxes (up to 3% per locality).

This new data brings the state’s marijuana tax total for FY 2019 (which began on July 1 and goes to June 30, 2019) to $22,268,666, putting the yearlong total on track to reach $90 million, which would surpass the $82 million made in FY 2018.

For a full breakdown of the marijuana tax revenue Oregon has made since the start of legal sales in 2016, click here.

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Study: Medical Marijuana Associated With Reduced Opioid Use in Fibromyalgia Patients

Fibromyalgia patients suffering from lower back pain respond favorably to medical cannabis as a treatment, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, and epublished by the National Institute of Health.

For the study, researchers assessed the analgesic efficacy of both opioids and medical cannabis in 31 fibromyalgia (FM) patients with lower back pain. Participants were treated with inhaled cannabis containing less than 5% THC for a six month period

According to a press release from NORML, patients reported greater pain improvement with medical cannabis as opposed to the use of opioids alone. Patients demonstrated increased range of motion following cannabis treatment, but did not show any similar improvement with opioids. While undergoing cannabis treatment, the majority of patients elected to “decrease or discontinue pharmaceutical analgesic consumption”.

Authors concluded: “This observational cross-over study demonstrates an advantage of MCT (medical cannabis treatment) in FM patients with LBP (lower back pain) as compared with SAT (standard analgesic therapy). Further studies randomized clinical trials should assess whether these results can be generalized to the FM population at large.”

The full text of the study,  titled Effect of adding medical cannabis treatment to analgesic treatment in patients with low back pain related to fibromyalgia: An observational cross-over single center study, appears in the latest issue of the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.

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Recreational Cannabis Stores Finally Open in Massachusetts

Update: Two years after Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 legalizing the recreational use and sale of marijuana, two stores opened on Nov. 20 – Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton. At Cultivate, pot patrons paid from $19 to $420 for flower products.

In Northampton, Mayor David Narcewicz was first on line at NETA; he purchased an infused chocolate bar for $20. “It’s just a historic moment for the commonwealth and for the city,” he crowed. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Back in June, the Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), tasked by the legislature and governor to draft and implement the establishment of a retail cannabis industry, publicly indicated that their self-directed date to open non-medical cannabis retail outlets, July 1, would not be realized.

The Commission’s intent was to avoid mistake-laden employee background checks, consumer chaos and confusion and product inventory problems that occurred in the six previous states that created commercial cannabis markets (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and California).

NORTHAMPTON MAYOR DAVID NARCEWICZ: “It’s just a historic moment for the commonwealth and

MA: Over $440,000 in Legal Marijuana Purchased in First Day of Legal Sales With Just Two Outlets Open

With just two outlets open, there was over $440,000 worth of marijuana and marijuana products purchased legally in Massachusetts on Tuesday, the first day of legal sales.

According to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, over 10,000 individual marijuana-related items (whether it be dried flower, tincture or some other product) were sold during the first day of legal sales. The total value of these products is over $440,000, resulting in over $88,000 in tax revenue for the state (which taxes marijuana at 20%).

These sales came from just two marijuana outlets, located in Leicester and Northampton. Additional outlets are expected to open in the coming weeks and months.

The start of legal sales on Tuesday comes a little over two years after voters approved an initiative to legalize marijuana in 2016. The initiative allows those 21 and older to possess and grow marijuana, and allows them to purchase the plant at a licensed marijuana retail outlet.

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Connecticut: Incoming Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Will be a Priority Next Year

Connecticut’s incoming Governor Ned Lamont (D) said on Monday that he plans to make marijuana legalization a top priority in 2019.

“It’s going to be one of the priorities we got,” said Lamont when asked about marijuana legalization. “It’s something I would support, and I don’t want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state. I think that’s a lousy way to go. Canada, Massachusetts, others are doing it”.

Lamont noted that “That’s going to lead to some enforcement things. In the meantime, we enforce Connecticut laws.”

Earlier this year Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Appropriations voted 27 to 24 to pass House Bill 5394, which would have legalized marijuana for everyone 21 and older. Unfortunately the measure failed to advance further before the legislative session ended, but it gave a clear sign that lawmakers are willing to give the issue serious consideration.

If Connecticut does legalize marijuana next year, they would become the 11th state to do so, following Michigan who passed a legalization initiative during this month’s election.

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New Jersey Governor Signs Hemp Bill Into Law

New Jersey legislation to create a hemp pilot program has been signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Assembly Bill 1330, signed into law today by Governor Murphy, “directs the Department of Agriculture to create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program that promotes the study and cultivation of hemp to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.” The measure was passed by the Assembly in June, unanimously (67 to 0), and was passed by the Senate in September, 33 to 2.

The law states that “The department may partner with any qualified institution of higher education to administer the program; however, any person participating in the program must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Agriculture that the person has complied with all federal requirements related to the cultivation of industrial hemp.”

The department is also required “to adopt rules and regulations to administer the program. These include creating requirements for the licensing or contracting of growers participating in the program, prescribing hemp testing procedures to ensure compliance with federal law, creating a fee structure for administration of the program, and certifying germinating seeds and hemp cultivars if necessary. Any rule or regulation adopted by the department must comply with federal law.”

Assembly Bill 1330 notes that “Industrial hemp is used in a wide variety of products including textiles, construction materials, and foodstuffs. The demand for these goods is growing at the State and national level and hemp can be a viable agricultural crop in the State. The ability to grow hemp on an industrial scale would allow farmers to diversify their products by adding a lucrative cash crop and researching cultivation methods of industrial hemp would greatly aid farmers seeking to grow hemp for the first time.”

For more information on Assembly Bill 1330, including its full text, click here.

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