U.S. House Committee Votes to Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted this morning to continue blocking the federal government from interfering in state medical marijuana laws.

The committee approved an amendment to the base FY2019 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill in a voice vote. The amendment, introduced by Representative  David Joyce (R), prohibits the Justice Department (which includes the DEA) from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state laws that allow the cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana for medical purposes. The bill will now be considered by the full House.

Such a provision has been in effect since 2014, but this is the first time it has been added to the base CJS Appropriations bill in committee. In previous years, the measure, which was known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment (and subsequently the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment), was added to the bill as a floor amendment, but last year Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) blocked it from receiving a floor vote.

“This is just the latest sign that support for marijuana policy reform is growing in Congress, and we’re seeing that support on both sides of the aisle”, says Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Republicans are joining with Democrats to protect compassionate state medical marijuana programs from federal interference. The strong bipartisan support we’re seeing in Congress mirrors public opinion, as polls show an overwhelming majority of both major parties support legal access to medical marijuana.”

Murphy continues; “By adding this important provision in committee, members have ensured it will not get blocked like it did last year. We commend Rep. Joyce and his colleagues for taking this step to protect state medical marijuana laws. Hopefully this is a sign that members of both parties are ready to take meaningful action on this subject and move our country toward a more sensible approach to marijuana policy — one that respects states’ rights and reduces wasteful spending …

How Massachusetts Became a Leader in Regulating Marijuana

While much of the nation was reeling from Donald Trump’s upset victory in the 2016 election, cannabis advocates were cheering when recreational-legalization initiatives passed in four states: California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

By 2017, marijuana would be officially legal for adult use on the entire West Coast, as well as in Colorado and Nevada. The New England victories finally gave East Coast legalization supporters something to crow about.

While Maine’s legalization process has been beset by delays (in part thanks to its reefer-mad governor Paul LePage), Massachusetts filed its final regulations on March 7. Starting July 1, the Bay State will be home to the only legal recreational marijuana market east of the Mississippi River.

In addition, residents will be able to grow up to six plants. However, they can’t be visible to the public “without the use of binoculars, aircraft and other optical aids,” according to the FAQ at mass-cannabis-control.com.

Starting July 1, Massachusetts will be home to the only recreational marijuana market east of the Mississippi River.

Several recent compromises on regulation included no delivery or cannabis cafes (at least …

Northern Mariana Islands Senate Votes to Legalize Marijuana

The full Senate for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has given approval to a measure that would legalize marijuana.

The proposed law would allow those 21 and older to legally possess, use and cultivate personal amounts of marijuana. It would establish  a regulated and taxes system of marijuana businesses including marijuana retail outlets, which would be authorized to sell marijuana and  marijuana  products.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives. Passage in the House will send the law to Governor Ralph Torres for consideration.

“[T]he absence of marijuana regulations in the Commonwealth allows the existing marijuana black market operators to target persons under 21 years of age with total disregard to the safety, health and wellbeing of the youth in the Commonwealth”, and current laws “prevents the Commonwealth government from imposing licenses, fees and taxes relative to the production and use of marijuana”, states an over 500-page report released by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law.

The Northern Mariana Islands are a U.S. territory with a population of around 55,000.

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CBD Pills: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

CBD pills

Once upon a time, the only way to get the cannabidiol you needed was to smoke your favorite high-CBD strain. These days, CBD fanatics have so many more options:

Now you can add one more method to the growing list of choices: CBD pills. One of the major benefits of CBD pills (as we’ll discuss at length below) is that they’re discreet. Have you ever noticed that pretty much everyone takes a pill of one kind or another? Getting your CBD in pill form means you’ll blend right in.

But what are the other benefits of CBD pills? How can you use them? And are there any side effects? The experts at Honest Marijuana tell you everything you need to know about one of the newest forms of CBD medication.

CBD Pills: Uses

CBD pills—and the cannabidiol (CBD) they contain—can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders. Here are just a few of the main uses for CBD pills.

1) Reduce Pain & Inflammation

CBD acts on the vanilloid receptors in your brain. These receptors regulate pain perception and inflammation throughout your body. So when CBD triggers the vanilloid receptors, pain and inflammation go down. This makes CBD pills a possible treatment for disorders like fibromyalgia.

2) Protect Your Body & Brain

CBD pills and brain health

CBD is a powerful antioxidant that protects both your body and brain from damage caused by harmful molecules (free radicals). Free radicals have a negative effect on your body, but they can also have a negative effect on your brain.

The buildup of free radicals can contribute to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of CBD can work to counteract the effects that result from this (and other) debilitating brain disorders.

3) Suppress Nausea & Stimulate Appetite

CBD has a two-fold benefit as …

22 Mind-Blowing Ways To Use CBD Honey

CBD Honey

Honey is awesome! It’s got a long list of health benefits, and it tastes good to boot. There are very few natural, edible options that pack the same punch. High-CBD cannabis is the other one that comes to mind.

As great as those two things are separately, just imagine what they could do together. It’s unlike anything the world has seen since Milton Hershey combined peanut butter and chocolate. Yeah, CBD honey is just that good.

But how should you use CBD honey to get the most benefits? The experts at Honest Marijuana show you 22 ways to use your liquid gold for health and happiness. We’ll even show you a quick and easy way to make your own CBD honey in case your local dispensary doesn’t have any in stock.

For organizational purposes, we’ve divided the list into two categories:

  • Edible Ideas
  • Topical & Medicinal Uses

We did this because CBD honey is more than just a tasty treat. You can also use it on your skin or mix it with one or two other ingredients to relieve various ailments. So if you’re looking for the Swiss Army Knife of the food world, check out our list of 22 ways to use CBD honey.

22 Ways To Use CBD Honey

CBD honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in most recipes. But keep in mind we’re not chefs. We don’t know how much CBD honey to use in your world-famous cookie recipe. We can’t be held responsible for the results. If something goes wrong, smoke a doobie and try again.

Edible Ideas

1) DIY Sports Drink

Need a refreshing pick-me-up to get you through a long workout? Try this DIY sports drink recipe. In a blender, mix:

  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water
  • ⅛ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of CBD honey

Ahhh, delicious!

2) Tea Sweetener

Arizona Governor Signs Hemp Bill Into Law

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill establishing an industrial hemp pilot program.

Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1098 earlier today, providing funding for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program allowing universities and those with a license from AZDA to begin cultivating industrial hemp. The law defines hemp as having 0.3% THC or less.

“This bill opens Arizona to the possibility of a new agricultural product,” said Governor Ducey in a press release. “I’m glad to sign a bill that could have a positive economic impact for the state.”

“It uses nine times less water than cotton,” says Senator Sonny Borrelli (R), the bill’s primary sponsor. “This will help our cotton growers to be able to rotate in another crop. They only get one planting a year of cotton, this can be planted once a year and at least four cuttings”.

According to congressional research, the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products ranging from textiles to food products. The United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp each year from other countries, yet retains the illegality of its cultivation among its own farmers. Despite federal law, 34 states have passed some type of policy allowing hemp to be cultivated at the state level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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7 Reasons You Should Use Medical Cannabis Daily

By Barbara M.

Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana is a medicine made from cannabis and cannabinoids which are provided by doctors for medical purposes such as pain relief and to subdue and control different disorders in the human body.

It’s legitimacy is increasing as more countries legalise cannabis and marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

As a result of its increased popularity and first hand positive results from users, it is creating more possibilities for medical cannabis resources to be used on a daily basis for medical purposes. Below we have detailed 7 reasons to use medical cannabis on a daily basis.

Fight Cancer Cells

Medical cannabis can turn off the ID-1 gene which is a natural protein you have that helps spread cancer throughout the body. This control allows cancer sufferers to slow down their illness in a natural non-intrusive way that does not require chemicals or surgery, and it does not cause pain or accelerated hair loss. It actually reduces severe pain, nausea felt from chemotherapy and improve appetite which is very important because if not treated it can cause more difficulties for cancer patients.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) carried out a study into cannabis and cancer which showed how cannabis can help slow the spread of tumor growth in the brain, breasts and lungs. It must be stressed however that cannabis does not cure cancer, it helps control how it spreads and other ailments associated with it. Therefore daily use on medical cannabis could be used as an alternative to control the spread of cancer cells.

Stop Crohn’s Disease

Certain medical cannabis strains are great at fighting different forms of inflammation throughout the body. This means it is ideal in fighting against crohn’s disease. While the exact cause of crohn’s disease is unknown, we do know that there are a number of similar contributing factors within patients who suffer from it such

Study: Cannabis Seeds and Sprouts Exert Beneficial Effects on Human Cells

Cannabis seeds and sprouts are beneficial to human cells, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry.

“In this study the antioxidant effect of Cannabis sativa L. seeds and sprouts (3 and 5 days of germination) was evaluated”, states the study’s abstract, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Pisa Research Unit in Italy.

Researchers found that “Total polyphenols, flavonoids and flavonols content, when expressed on dry weight basis, were highest in sprouts”. They also found evidence that antioxidant activity is higher in sprouts than in seeds.

“[O]ur results show that C. sativa seeds and sprouts exert beneficial effects on yeast and human cells and should be further investigated as a potential functional food”, researchers claim.

Below is the full abstract for the study:

In this study the antioxidant effect of Cannabis sativa L. seeds and sprouts (3 and 5 days of germination) was evaluated. Total polyphenols, flavonoids and flavonols content, when expressed on dry weight basis, were highest in sprouts; ORAC and DPPH (in vitro assays), CAA-RBC (cellular antioxidant activity in red blood cells) and hemolysis test (ex vivo assays) evidenced a good antioxidant activity higher in sprouts than in seeds. Untargeted analysis by high resolution mass spectrometry in negative ion mode allowed the identification of main polyphenols (caffeoyltyramine, cannabisin A, B, C) in seeds and of ω-6 (linoleic acid) in sprouts. Antimutagenic effect of seeds and sprouts extracts evidenced a significant decrease of mutagenesis induced by hydrogen peroxide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae D7 strain. In conclusion our results show that C. sativa seeds and sprouts exert beneficial effects on yeast and human cells and should be further investigated as a potential functional food.

The post Study: Cannabis Seeds and Sprouts Exert Beneficial Effects on Human

U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Can Legalize Sports Gambling, Marijuana Advocates Breathe Sigh of Relief

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the state of New Jersey has the legal authority to continue with its voter-approved law allowing sports gambling, striking down a federal ban implemented in 1992. The case has implications for state-level marijuana laws.

In a 6 to 3 ruling the Supreme Court ruled this morning that the federal law prohibiting sports gambling violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from controlling state policy, unconstitutionally forcing states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws. The case, Murphy V. NCAA, doesn’t directly impact marijuana laws, but could have had a detrimental impact if the court ruled the other way, and could have bolstered opponents of state-level marijuana laws, particularly federal lawmakers.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” said Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority opinion. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

“Today’s decision clears the way for all states to make their own decisions about legalizing sports betting, and in one fell swoop gets rid of Nevada’s monopoly on the subject and the 1992 federal statute that had protected it,” says Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.

As noted by the Congressional Research Service, the Court ruling the opposite way could have had a negative impact on marijuana laws. “[T]he federal government may be able to regulate other areas like recreational marijuana… freezing existing state laws in place, instead of through direct federal regulation”, they state in a recent analysis.

Marijuana reformers are hoping to see – in the near future – the Supreme Court come to a similar conclusion on marijuana laws, allowing states to explicitly decide their own laws.

Milwaukee County Committee Unanimously Approves Marijuana Legalization Referendum

A committee of the Milwaukee County Board has voted to place a marijuana legalization referendum on this November’s general election ballot.

The Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee gave unanimous approval yesterday to the motion to place the referendum to a vote of the people later this year. The referendum calls on the State of Wisconsin to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for those 21 and older.

“It’s time for Wisconsin to join the many states across the country that have legalized marijuana and benefited from the revenue that comes with commercial sale and taxation of one of America’s largest cash crops,” says County Supervisor John Weishan Jr., who believes that voters should have the final say on whether or not the state legalizes marijuana.

The referendum now moves to a vote by the full Milwaukee County Board, which is expected to occur on May 24. If the county approves it, voters will be asked the following this November:

“Do you favor allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana, while also regulating commercial marijuana-related activities and imposing a tax on the sale of marijuana?”

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Honest Marijuana Vaping Temperature Chart: 2018 Guide

Vaping temperature chart

Want a quick, easy, and healthy way to consume the cannabis you need? Give vaping a try! But don’t just rush out and buy the first box that says “vape” on it. You may not be getting the right product.

That’s because the temperature at which you “burn” your marijuana is almost as important as the strain you choose. But don’t worry—the experts at Honest Marijuana have created a vaping temperature chart so you can make sure you’re always getting exactly what you need.

Along the way, we’ll also talk about:

  • Cannabinoids
  • How temperature affects cannabinoids
  • Why vape gear operates at lower temperatures
  • How to adjust temperature for specific effects

We’ll also give you some general guidelines for vaping and suggest an ideal temperature for your vaping experience.

But before we get to our vaping temperature chart and all those other goodies, let’s discuss the chemical makeup of cannabis. That way, you’ll know what’s going on inside your joint, bong, steamroller, or dab rig.

Cannabis And Cannabinoids

Cannabis makeup

Cannabis is made up of 113 different chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can occur in different concentrations based on the specific strain and how it’s grown.

The most well-known cannabinoids are:

These molecules are the stuff that gets you high, relieves your pain, and takes the edge off your anxiety. They do this by interacting with certain neurons in your brain (CB1 and CB2). In fact, your body produces its own cannabinoids (a.k.a. endocannabinoids) to affect mood and behavior.

Yeah, that’s right. You’ve got cannabinoids in your body right now even if you haven’t imbibed your cup of weed tea yet. The thing is, the concentrations of these cannabinoids (that go by such names as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) are so low that they only have a very mild effect.

But when you add more cannabinoids to the mix—through smoking, eating, or …

Poll: 61% of Michigan Voters Support Initiative to Legalize Marijuana

Michigan voters will have the opportunity this November to legalize marijuana, and according to new polling they are poised to do so.

According to a new poll released by Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (their State of the State Survey), 61% of Michigan voters support legalizing marijuana for adults, with 34% undecided (a whopping 27% difference). Just 5% of voters are undecided on the issue, meaning if all 5% decided to oppose the issue supporters would still be in the strong  majority.

“Marijuana legalization is the only issue with fewer than 15 percent undecided”, says economics professor Charles Ballard, the director of the State of the State Survey. “Since the marijuana initiative has a large lead with relatively few undecideds, it appears likely that it will pass”.

Although the marijuana initiative has a big lead overall, the support for legalization is starkly different among different age groups. Only 30% of Michiganders aged 65 and over were in favor of legalization, which contrasts with 62% support among those aged 30 to 64 and 80% support from those under the age of 30.

For details on the legalization initiative being voted on this November (unless lawmakers approve it first, which is unlikely), click here.

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Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Make Medical Marijuana Law Permanent

Louisiana’s full Senate has given approval to legislation that would make the state’s medical marijuana law permanent.

House Bill 823, filed by Representative Vincent Pierre (D), was passed by the Senate in a 21 to 13 vote. The bill has already been approved by the House of Representatives 69 to 23. Given it was amended in the Senate, it will need to be passed once more by the House before it can be sent to the state’s governor who can sign it into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it.

According the official text of House Bill 823, it “Repeals the termination date of laws authorizing the recommendation or prescription of medical marijuana in the treatment of certain debilitating medical conditions”.

This would make permanent Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law, which was passed in 2016. The law allows those with a qualifying condition to purchase and use medical marijuana products, given they receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying  conditions include cachexia/wasting syndrome, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders/spasticity. This law is set to expire in 2020, but would become permanent under House Bill 823.

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Ohio AG Certifies Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has officially certified the ballot language for a proposed initiative that would legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older.

The petition language for the Marijuana Rights and Regulations act was certified as being “fair and truthful” by AG DeWine. This is the first step towards the proposal being put to a vote of the people.

The measure now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will determine if the measure constitutes one, or multiple ballot questions. Once approved by the Board, proponents of the measure will need to collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio votes to put initiative on the November, 2019 general election ballot (they have the opportunity to put the measure on this November’s ballot, but it would require the incredibly tall feat of collecting all the signatures by July 4).

“This is unfortunate [needing to wait until 2019], because people are being arrested daily for activity that simply shouldn’t be criminal, only to support a black-market system,” says Jonathan Varner, spokesperson for Ohio Families for Change, the group spearheading the initiative. However, Varner says that the group is “confident that when voters have the opportunity to vote on this issue, they will overwhelmingly approve it.”

The proposed initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess and grow personal amounts of marijuana. They would also be allowed to purchase marijuana and marijuana products from a licensed marijuana retail outlet.

“It gives the small entrepreneur an equal footing with the cannabis conglomerates, while decriminalizing personal adult use of marijuana,” says Varner. “It goes beyond existing Ohio law to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals and pesticides that can be found in cannabis, and has stringent measures to keep marijuana away from persons under 21 years of age.”

British Medical Journal: Drugs Should be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has released a paper explaining why they are “firmly behind efforts to legalise, regulate, and tax the sale of drugs for recreational and medicinal use.”

“The war on drugs costs each UK taxpayer an estimated £400 a year”, states the BMJ. “The UK is now the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, yet recreational and medicinal use are criminalised. Scotland has the EU’s highest rate of drug related deaths, double that of 10 years ago.” They state that “The global trade in illicit drugs is worth £236bn, but this money fuels organised crime and human misery. Why should it not instead fund public services?”

According to the BMJ, “A growing number of countries are taking a more enlightened route,… In Portugal, where non-violent possession of drugs has been decriminalised, consumption hasn’t increased but drug related deaths have fallen considerably. In the Netherlands, the USA, and now Canada, regulated markets for the sale of cannabis generate substantial tax revenues.”

Meanwhile, in the UK, “vast sums are spent on prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities, carried along “county lines” by vulnerable children.” The BMJ notes that Law Enforcement Action Partnership “calls for legalisation and regulation. They say that the money could instead be spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection. Revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers.”

They continue; “When law enforcement officers call for drugs to be legalised, we have to listen. So too when doctors speak up. Last month the Royal College of Physicians took the important step of coming out in favour of decriminalisation joining the BMA, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal Society of Public Health in supporting drug policy reform”.

The BMJ says that “This is not about whether you think drugs are good or bad. It is an evidence based position entirely …

Louisiana Senate Passes Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for Autism

Louisiana’s full Senate has passed a bill that would allow those with autism spectrum disorders to become legal medical marijuana patients.

The Senate passed House Bill 627 by a vote of 21 to 10. The measure has already passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 71 to 21. Given the Senate approved some minor amendments to the bill, it will need to be passed once more by the House before it can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration.

House Bill 627 would expand Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, passed into law last year, by adding autism spectrum disorders to the list of medical conditions that qualify someone to become a medical cannabis patient.

If House Bill 627 becomes law, autism spectrum disorders would join the following qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  •  HIV/AIDS
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
    • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome.
    • Seizure disorders, including those characteristics of epilepsy.
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Severe Cerebral palsy
    • Spasticity (spinal cord injury)
    • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease.

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Colorado: $135.2 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in March, New Monthly Record

There was more legal marijuana sold throughout Colorado in March than any month prior, according to new data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There was $135,183,956 worth of marijuana and marijuana products purchased legally in Colorado in March. This sets a new monthly sales record for the state, which began legal sales in 2014.  Roughly $106 million of this came from recreational marijuana sales, with the additional $29.2 million coming from the sale of medical marijuana.

The new data brings the state’s total for 2018 to $365 million, a 6% increase from the same period in 2017. This puts the state on track to sell around $1.6 billion in legal marijuana for 2018, which would be a slight increase from the $1.5 billion sold in 2017 (and a considerable increase over the $1.3 billion sold in 2016).

In Colorado, licensed marijuana retail outlets are authorized to sell up to an ounce of marijuana to anyone 21 and older. These outlets are also allowed to sell marijuana products such as edibles and topicals, as well as marijuana plants and seeds.

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Missouri Medical Marijuana Measures On the Move

It’s been quite a week for medical marijuana efforts in Missouri!

Last Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 112-44 to approve a very limited medical marijuana measure. Then, on Friday and Sunday, campaigns handed in signatures for three different medical marijuana ballot measures.

New Approach Missouri and Find the Cure submitted signatures proposing constitutional ballot measures, while Missourians for Patient Care turned in petitions for a statutory measure. Next, the secretary of state will review the signatures to see if enough are valid for the measures to make Missouri’s November ballot.

Turning back to the legislature, HB 1554 would improve Missouri’s existing low-THC cannabis oil law, but it is extremely limited and flawed. If you are a Missouri resident and would like to weigh in on the measure, please urge your senator to push for the bill to be strengthened.

HB 1554 leaves behind pain patients, steering them to more dangerous opioids. It also doesn’t allow “combustible” marijuana or for patients to be assisted by caregivers. Furthermore, patients can’t qualify unless a physician certifies they would benefit from medical cannabis “at the same dosage and with the same method of smokeless administration used in a clinical trial.” Yet, the feds have stacked the deck against clinical trials, and there are very few with non-smoked cannabis. This catch-22 could deny patients the kind of cannabis they’d benefit from.

Please stay tuned for updates, and share this news with your networks in Missouri.

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Study: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.

“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”

With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.

“After 3 months treatment, MC improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings”, states the study. Adverse effects – which included things such as  nausea, headaches and dry mouth – were reported in just 10% of subjects.

Researchers conclude by stating that “Large randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the role of MC in the treatment of chronic pain.”

For more information on this study, click here.

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Canada Marijuana Sales to Outpace Liquor Sales by 2020, Predicts Imperial Bank of Commerce

Marijuana sales in Canada are likely to outpace liquor sales by 2020, according to a report released by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

“We believe that by 2020, the legal market for adult-use cannabis will approach $6.5 billion in retail sales”, claims the CBIC. “For context, this is greater than the amount of spirits sold in this country, and approaches wine in scale.”

These numbers are based on the CBIC’s calculation that Canadian’s will purchase 800,000 kilograms of legal recreational marijuana annually by 2020, at an estimated price of $10 per gram.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party are working to have the legal marijuana industry underway by July.

“The bulk of the value generated from this industry will accrue to Canada’s provinces”, states the CBIC report. “In fact, we estimate that provinces will generate over $3 billion of income, either in the form of earned profits or taxation revenues”.

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Oregon: Nearly $8 Million in Marijuana Taxes Garnered in March

Oregon made nearly $8 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in March, a slight increase from the month prior.

According to Oregon’s Department of Revenue, the state garnered $7,839,406 in marijuana sales taxes in March of this year. $6,768,304 of this came from state sales taxes, with the remainder coming from local marijuana taxes. This is a slight increase from the $6,700,855 in marijuana sales taxes garnered in February ($7,708,791 when counting local taxes).

With the newest data the state is on tract to garner nearly $90 million in marijuana taxes for 2018. This would well surpass the $68,646,246 the state made in 2017, and the approximately $60 million made in 2016.

In Oregon, thanks to an initiative passed in 2014, the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older. Marijuana retail outlets, licensed by the state, are authorized to sell the plant. The marijuana tax rate is 17%, with localities allowed to ad up to an additional 3%.

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Georgia Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD and Intractable Pain

Legislation to expand Georgia’s medical cannabis program has been signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal.

Governor Deal signed House Bill 65 into law today, meaning it will take full effect on July 1. The new  law ads post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and  intractable pain to the state’s list of medical conditions that qualify an individual to become a legal medical cannabis patient. The legislation was passed by the Senate in March by a vote of 37 to 14. A week later it was passed by the House of Representatives 146 to 10.

Georgia’s medical marijuana law – passed in 2015 – allows certain qualified persons to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil”. It authorizes the Georgia Department of Public Health to issue a “Low THC Oil Registry Card” to qualified individuals.

Current qualifying conditions in Georgia include:

  1. Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness or recalcitrant nausea and vomiting
  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  3. Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries
  4. Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. Mitochondrial disease
  7. Parkinson’s disease, when such diagnosis is sever or end stage
  8. Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  9. Tourette’s syndrome, when such syndrome is diagnosed as severe
  10. Autism spectrum disorder, when (a) patient is 18 years of age or more, or (b) patient is less than 18 years of age and diagnosed with severe autism
  11. Epidermolysis bullosa
  12. Alzheimer’s disease, when such disease is severe or end stage
  13. AIDS when such syndrome is severe or end stage
  14. Peripheral neuropathy, when symptoms are severe or end stage
  15. Patient is in hospice program, either as inpatient or outpatient

Study: CB2 Receptor Activation a “Useful Therapeutic Approach for Alzheimer’s Disease”

Activation of the body’s CB2 receptors, something done naturally through the consumption of cannabis, is a “useful therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease”, according to a new study.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a multifactorial disorder for which there is no disease-modifying treatment yet”, states the abstract of the study, published in the journal CNS Drugs. “CB2 receptors have emerged as a promising therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease because they are expressed in neuronal and glial cells and their activation has no psychoactive effects.”

The aim of this study was “to investigate whether activation of the CB2 receptor would restore the aberrant enhanced proliferative activity characteristic of immortalized lymphocytes from patients with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It is assumed that cell-cycle dysfunction occurs in both peripheral cells and neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, contributing to the instigation of the disease.”

The study’s method included using lymphoblastoid cell lines from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and age-matched control individuals, and treating them with a new, in-house designed drug called PGN33, which is meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids by serving as an agonist for the CB2 receptors. Researchers “analyzed the effects of this compound on the rate of cell proliferation and levels of key regulatory proteins. In addition, we investigated the potential neuroprotective action of PGN33 in β-amyloid-treated neuronal cells.”

Researchers report that “PGN33 normalized the increased proliferative activity of Alzheimer’s disease lymphoblasts. The compound blunted the calmodulin-dependent overactivation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, by restoring the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 levels, which in turn reduced the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase/pRb cascade. Moreover, this CB2 agonist prevented β-amyloid-induced cell death in neuronal cells.”

The study concludes by stating; “Our results suggest that the activation of CB2 receptors could be considered a useful therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease.”

More information on this study can be found by clicking here.

This study is, of course, far from the only research to indicate that cannabis …

Georgia Governor Signs Bill Expanding Low-THC Cannabis Oil Program

Yesterday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill that will significantly expand the number of patients who qualify for the state’s low-THC medical cannabis oils. Beginning on July 1, HB 65 will allow patients with intractable pain and adults with PTSD to qualify for the program, which allows registered patients to possess cannabis oils with no more than 5% THC content.

Georgia’s most passionate legislative champion of medical cannabis — Rep. Allen Peake (R) — sponsored both HB 65 and another bill — HB 645 — which would have allowed in-state production of cannabis oils. Currently, registered patients have nowhere to legally purchase cannabis oils in Georgia. Unfortunately, HB 645 didn’t receive a floor vote. However, HB 65 includes a study commission on in-state access to cannabis. Seriously ill patients who are already granted the ability to possess cannabis products clearly need a way to obtain them without sidestepping the law.

This is Rep. Peake’s last year in the legislature; he announced in February that he will not run for re-election. His leadership will be missed in the capital!

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