Cannabis News Roundup

A Selection of Cannabis News from Around the Net.


Cannabis News Roundup 2019

A selection of Cannabis News items from around the internet that have recently crossed our screens.  Note that the links to the full articles were current when thy were added to this page... due to the nature of the internet, the links may have changed.


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JANUARY 2019  

Chart: Massachusetts recreational marijuana sales soar in first month despite obstacles
Massachusetts dispensaries rang up $9.3 million in recreational marijuana sales during the first four weeks of operation, an impressive feat considering only two stores were selling adult-use cannabis during the bulk of this period.
Compared with the first month of rec sales in other states, Massachusetts had lower gross sales but far fewer operating dispensaries than Oregon ($14 million, 320 dispensaries), Colorado ($14.7 million, 59 dispensaries) and Nevada ($27.1 million, 53 dispensaries).

Gov. Jay Inslee offers pardons for thousands with misdemeanour pot convictions
Gov. Jay Inslee will offer pardons to thousands of people with misdemeanour marijuana convictions, in an effort to help them move on from minor criminal records that can hinder housing and job prospects.
Under the plan, Inslee will pardon anyone who has an otherwise clean criminal record but with a sole conviction as an adult for misdemeanour possession of marijuana in Washington state.

Luxury Weed Tourism Is the Hot New Trend in Canada
A businessman from China hopped on a private jet last month, landed in Canada and went hiking on the Cascade Range in BC.
And then he smoked a fat blunt.
This experience cost $12,500 [$9,272]. It's part of a 'high-hiking' tour hosted by Butiq Escapes, a luxury weed tourism company based out of Victoria, British Columbia, where a hiking guide picks you up from a private airport, smokes with you in the mountains and feeds you (and up to a group of four),lunch and dinner.

The New War on Marijuana Will Be Extremely Dumb
A few years ago, I went to a new physician for a check-up. She ran through the list of questions that doctors like to ask - about allergies, exercise, my family's disease history. "Do you smoke?" she inquired. I played it coy. "Well. Not cigarettes," I said. "Marijuana?" she specified. I nodded, and she noted it on her clipboard, then advised me: "Just don't do too much, or, you know, you'll lose your oomph." End of subject.

Ontario Cannabis Lottery Has Small Business Owners Holding Their Breath
Christine Cohen's inbox was flooded after she said on live TV she was applying for a highly sought-after cannabis retail licence in Ontario's lottery. She says 14 men asked if she wanted to get married and another offered her a cool $1 million for the licence, should she win.
The business owner, who runs two spas in Ottawa, didn't respond to everyone - but she took the time to educate the man who offered to buy her licence. That's against the rules, she told him. Licences are not transferable.

Kamala Harris: Ending the 'failed war on drugs' starts with legalizing marijuana
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said in her new book that she believes the use of marijuana should be legal.
"Something else it's past time we get done is dismantling the failed war on drugs - starting with legalizing marijuana," Harris writes in The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, Forbes reported Tuesday.

House bill that would treat marijuana like alcohol named 'HR 420' in nod to cannabis culture
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill this week that would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and numbered it "H.R. 420" in a nod to cannabis culture.
The bill introduced Wednesday, dubbed the "Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act" calls for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive to be in charge of regulating the drug.

Trinidad and Tobago to Decriminalise Cannabis, Consider Legalisation
As cannabis reform sweeps the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has announced it will hold public consultations on the matter, prior to decriminalising the drug for personal use in June 2019.
In late December, Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that cannabis would be decriminalised across the Caribbean nation by mid-2019, but that the government had no plans to legalise the drug.
"We expect that by May to June of 2019, the decriminalisation would have been effected", he told journalists. "There is a big difference between decriminalisation and legalisation of marijuana. We have committed to decriminalisation. What we are working on now is the method by which and what that represents in terms of the use".

25 Ontario Pot Licence Lottery Winners Announced Out Of 17,000 Applicants
Ontario has announced the first 25 companies that can apply for cannabis retail licences in the province.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says Tripsetter Inc., The Niagara Herbalist and Pure Alpha Holdings are among those that have been selected through a lottery. The agency accepted expressions of interest for the licences earlier in the week, and received more than 17,000.

Canadians Spent $1.6 Billion on Legal Weed in 2018: Report
Canadians spent $1.6 billion on legal weed in 2018, more than double the amount that was spent on solely medical cannabis in 2017, according to a new report.
The State of Legal Marijuana Market, released Tuesday by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, found that despite pushing legalization back from the summer until October, Canada still managed to increase its spending on legal weed from $755 million to $1.6 billion, making it the number three legal weed market in the world. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians spent $5.7 billion on weed in 2017, the vast majority of which came from black market.

Medical marijuana goes on sale in Ohio, and pain patients wait in line
Leaning on her cane, Joan Caleodis stepped gingerly into history on Wednesday as one of the first people to legally purchase medical marijuana in the state of Ohio.
Caleodis, who is 55 and suffers from multiple sclerosis, paid $150 for three containers, each holding 2.83 grams of dried cannabis flowers, at the CY + Dispensary in the town of Wintersville.
"I'm feeling ecstatic," Caleodis told reporters as other pain sufferers waiting in line applauded. "The patients no longer have to wait for relief. We can get rid of this opioid issue we have in this country."

Now you can get weed delivered to you anywhere in California, even in cities that ban pot
Until now, companies trying to deliver weed to doorsteps around the state - the companies trying to follow the letter of the law, anyway - have faced a daunting patchwork of local regulations.
Buying cannabis is legal in California, but cities and counties can still choose to regulate or ban the trade as they please. As a result, neighbors on opposite sides of the same street might not have the same legal access to cannabis deliveries.

Weedmaps' Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market
Robert Taft Jr. was feeling good. It was just after 10 o'clock on a morning in January 2018 - the beginning of what promised to be another flush day in a new era. For nearly 22 years, medical marijuana had been legal to consume in California. But since the year began, anyone 21 or older could legally buy cannabis. Taft had spent five years preparing for this moment. And for the past two weeks, since California's Proposition 64 went into effect, his business had been booming.
Taft's dispensary, a squat, chartreuse and gray shop called 420 Central in the Orange County city of Santa Ana, was bringing in up to 600 people a day-more than five times as many as the month before, when only medical marijuana patients were allowed. Taft dropped his son at school and then picked up his usual breakfast - Aloha Goddess green juice and organic oatmeal with blueberries and bananas - and got back in his car to head to work. Then his phone rang.

Future of public pot smoking in Denver may be impacted as International Church of Cannabis co-founder heads to court Tuesday
Nearly two years after Denver police busted the founders of the International Church of Cannabis for public pot consumption, one of the leaders finally may have his day in court.
Steve Berke, who co-founded the church in April 2017, is set to appear Tuesday in a Denver courtroom, where he is fighting a misdemeanor charge of open and public consumption of marijuana.





Oregon Is Producing Twice As Much Cannabis As People Are Using
Oregon is producing twice as much cannabis as people are using, according to a new study from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. And Oregon has been overproducing marijuana for a while - leaving more than six years' worth of supply sitting on shelves and at farms.
On top of that, the Oregon secretary of state' office just released an audit saying Oregon's system for regulating marijuana needs to be strengthened.

Booker calls for legalizing marijuana as he launches 2020 bid
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) is calling for the legalization of marijuana as part of his 2020 presidential campaign.
Booker discussed criminal justice reform and the need for "changing our drug laws," including "ending [the] prohibition against marijuana" on the radio-syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" on Friday.
"We do not have equal justice under the law," Booker said of the disproportionate rate at which people in the black community are incarcerated under the country's drug laws. "I believe in redemption".

World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties
Global health experts at the United Nations are recommending that marijuana and its key components be formally rescheduled under international drug treaties.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for whole-plant marijuana, as well as cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV - the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world.
The body also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely removed from a separate 1971 drug treaty and instead added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention, according to a WHO document that has not yet been formally released but was circulated by cannabis reform advocates.

Marijuana's Unexpected Effect on Sperm Count Revealed in Harvard Study
There's plenty of research showing that marijuana can improve things in the bedroom, but it's not as clear whether it has the same effect in your pants. Studies about the effect of marijuana use on sperm count have had mixed results, at best. Guys who smoke weed, however, can take comfort in the findings of a large study published by Harvard University scientists on Tuesday. The sperm of marijuana smokers, it seems, is alright. Maybe even more than alright.
As the research team writes in the Human Reproduction study, the men who had smoked one or two joints of marijuana at least once in their lifetimes had a sperm count and concentration that was significantly higher than that of people who had never smoked marijuana in their lives, which is generally a good thing for a man's fertility. More intense marijuana users also appeared to have higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone, as well.

Cannabis Stock Prices On A Tear, With Canadian Index Up 60% Since Start Of Year
With optimism returning to the stock markets and a growing sense that U.S. marijuana laws are headed for an overhaul, many of Canada's largest cannabis companies have seen their share price soar since the start of the year.
The Canadian Marijuana Index, which tracks 20 large, publicly-traded cannabis firms, was trading at 723.74 at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, just about 60 per cent higher than its closing level on Dec. 31, 2018. However, that is still below a peak of 858.19 that it hit last October, days before legalization.

A California Conundrum: How to Crack Down on Illicit Sales Without Echoing the War on Drugs?
In October 2018, the California Department of Consumer Affairs' newly-established Cannabis Enforcement Unit teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Department to carry out a raid on an unlicensed shop in Sylmar, a predominantly Latino and working-class neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.
After serving a search warrant at "One Stop Healers", the authorities seized more than $2 million worth of cannabis and cannabis products, including almost 500 pounds of flower and 200 pounds of edibles. The shop's owner was arrested on misdemeanor charges, along with six employees.
The seizure, notably, took place ten months after the state had begun allowing the sale and taxation of cannabis for adult use. The end of prohibition, it turns out, has hardly ended illicit cannabis sales. A nascent industry - not to mention local governments eager for tax revenue - is pushing for this kind of rigorous enforcement.

The CBD Crackdown Has Begun
If you like cannabidiol cupcakes and live in New York City, it's time to learn how to bake your own. The city's health department confirmed in a statement Tuesday that it had begun a crackdown on restaurants that use the compound - better known as CBD - as a food additive, embargoing products and warning of fines to come. In doing so, New York becomes the first major American city to begin enforcement on CBD's questionably legal but enormously popular use in prepared food and drink. Until now, NYC consumers could find CBD in a wide range of products, including brownies, lattes, cocktails, and empanadas.

Number of Canadian cannabis users relatively unchanged since legalization, StatsCan says
The national statistics offices says legalizing cannabis doesn't seem to have much changed how many people use the drug.
Figures released Thursday morning from Statistics Canada show about 4.6 million people, or 15 per cent of Canadians over age 15, reported using cannabis in the last three months.

8 Female CEOs, 92 Male CEOs: Canada's Cannabis Industry Has A Problem
Sitting at a large black table scattered with their latest cannabis products, a pink bottle of nail polish remover and a few bright succulents, 48North co-CEOs Alison Gordon and Jeannette VanderMarel know they're outliers in Canada's newest industry.
Four months after legalization, they're two of only eight women leading a company with a federal licence to cultivate, process and sell cannabis, according to data collected by HuffPost Canada.

Kamala Harris calls for marijuana legalization: 'I think it gives a lot of people joy'
Sen. Kamala Harris called for the legalization of marijuana at a federal level in a Monday morning interview, making her the latest 2020 contender to weigh in on an issue that has become front-and-center as the presidential campaign season begins.

European Parliament Passes Cannabis Resolution, Joins WHO In Supporting Medical Marijuana
Following reports about the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending a rescheduling of cannabis and several of its key components under international drug treaties, the European Parliament voted on Wednesday on a resolution that would help advance medical cannabis in the countries that form the European Union.
While non-binding, the resolution seeks to incentivize European nations to increase access to medical marijuana, prioritizing scientific research and clinical studies. Same as the WHO's recommendation, the European Parliament's resolution shows how wide support for cannabis legalization is, but does not change any actual laws on the international or local levels.

Recreational marijuana: Police, doctors and educators fighting legalization in New York
A growing opposition movement across law enforcement, education and public health is attacking the politically charged push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York.

Pot company Canopy Growth posts nearly 300% sales jump
Canopy Growth's cannabis business is booming thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada last fall.
Revenue for its fiscal third quarter surged 282% compared to a year earlier, the company reported Thursday. Chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton attributed the lift to the company's decision to make early, "meaningful" investments that helped it corner a big part of the Canadian market when the law took effect.



MARCH 2019  

6 Best Cannabis Stocks to Buy on U.S. Exchanges
The marijuana industry is one of the hottest and fastest-growing areas on Wall Street, and that means the best cannabis stocks to buy are getting easier to find. When Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018, a flurry of legitimate pot stocks began to pop up. In 2019, the industry is still in its infancy, and it's tough to keep track of who's who. Here's a look at six of the best publicly traded cannabis stocks that trade on major U.S. exchanges, and what each company specializes in. Though some look expensive, they may grow into their valuations quickly, so watch for pullbacks.

Over 8,000 marijuana convictions in San Francisco dismissed with help from a computer algorithm
Technology meets law and order to help dismiss thousands of marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975 in San Francisco.
The San Francisco District Attorney's office announced on Monday that 8,132 convictions will be dismissed thanks to a computer algorithm that automatically scanned court records.
"This makes San Francisco the first county in the country to complete the automated marijuana record clearance process," said a statement from the office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

Cory Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide, with support from fellow 2020 candidates
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill on Thursday to legalize marijuana nationwide as he mounts his presidential campaign.
Co-sponsors of the bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act, include fellow 2020 Democratic contenders Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Booker first introduced the bill in 2017, but it was not taken up for a vote.
The bill comes as increasing numbers of states are legalizing marijuana on the local level and public opinion has shifted in favor of legalization.

Martha Stewart joins Canopy Growth to develop line of CBD products
The DIY Queen is getting into the cannabis business.
Martha Stewart, the veteran TV personality and retail executive, is partnering with Canopy Growth Corp., the world's biggest cannabis company, as an advisor to develop a new line of pot-related products, the company said Thursday.
"I am delighted to establish this partnership with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years of 'doing it all,'" Stewart said in a statement.

Beto O'Rourke calls for federal marijuana legalization ahead of likely 2020 bid
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke called for the legalization of marijuana nationwide Monday in an email to supporters that comes ahead of an expected bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The former Texas congressman's call came as part of a series of criminal justice proposals he said would "build a criminal justice system that is more fair and that urgently puts our country closer to the words written above the highest court in our land: equal justice under law."

House Bill Introduced to Remove Marijuana from List of Controlled Substances
Even before it began, 2019 has been hailed as the year of marijuana, with good reason: the number of Americans who support legalization has reached record highs, and an increasing number of Democratic presidential candidates are advocating for drug reform and an end to our draconian, racist drug laws.
On Thursday morning, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Don Young (R-AK) introduced what they called a "landmark" piece of legislation, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019, which is "the only bipartisan piece of legislation that would allow states to make independent choices about their marijuana programs," according to Young.

New Mexico House votes to legalize marijuana
The New Mexico House late Thursday voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, a deal that could make the state the 11th in the nation to allow adults to consume the drug recreationally.
The House passed the bill without any Republican votes, and several moderate Democrats also voted against the measure. But the bill's prime sponsor, state Rep. Javier Martinez (D), said he had worked with three Republicans in the state Senate to craft a compromise, giving the bill a shot to pass this session.

Britain's first medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Greater Manchester
A new private clinic in Greater Manchester has become the UK's first specialist medicinal cannabis centre. Patients at The Beeches, in Cheadle, will pay £200 for appointments with doctors and between £600 and £700 a month for a prescription.
Decisions to prescribe cannabis will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and will only be considered when staff are satisfied that licensed products cannot treat the condition.

Alaska approves regulations for marijuana consumption in retail shops
Alaska is now the first in the country with statewide rules allowing on-site use of marijuana at specially authorized stores.
On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer signed the regulations that were approved by marijuana regulators in December. Last week the Department of Law found no legal problems with the rules. The rules go into effect April 11, at which point interested retail businesses can start applying for on-site use.

From casinos to cannabis: the Native Americans embracing the pot revolution
In February 2015, amid the cedar masks, canoe paddles and totem poles at the Tulalip Resort Casino north of Seattle, the talk was all about pot. Indian country had been abuzz about cannabis since the previous autumn, when the Justice Department had released a memorandum which seemed to open the way for tribal cannabis as a manifestation of tribal sovereignty. (I grew up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, and I use the word "Indian" to refer to indigenous people within the US. I also use "indigenous", "Native" and "American Indian". These terms have come in and out of favour over the years, and different tribes, and different people, have different preferences.)

Atlanta police will no longer ask about marijuana use on applications
Smoking weed will no longer immediately end your chances of becoming an Atlanta police officer.
The Atlanta Police Department said it lost too many qualified candidates when it asked if the person used marijuana in the past two years. So, the department is doing away with that box to check on the application.

Weed weddings: Calgary hosts Canada's first cannabis wedding expo (with Video)
Brides and grooms looking to add a little extra greenery to their nuptials had a chance to check out the newest trends at Calgary's first-ever cannabis wedding expo on Saturday.
Since cannabis was legalized in Canada, wedding vendors say they've been inundated with couples wanting to highlight the plant throughout their special day.

CEO behind the largest US pot deal says this is just the beginning of the cannabis craze (with Video)
One Canadian pot company is making a huge splash in the U.S. market.
Earlier this week, cannabis product retailer Harvest Health and Recreation announced it would buy competitor Verano Holdings for $850 million in an all-stock deal, marking the largest U.S. cannabis deal to date. The combined company will be one of the country's largest multi-state operators, presiding over as many as 200 facilities in 16 states.

Socialize drugs
After nearly a century of abject failure, the war on drugs is finally slowing down. Presidential candidates are coming out in support of legal cannabis, psychedelic research is finally getting going, and people are discussing reducing sharply the criminal penalties for drug crimes.
But if "war" is our policy model for dealing with drugs, what should replace it? Here's a sensible, moderate proposal: full socialism for drugs. Recreational drugs should be legalized, but only sold through a restrictive government monopoly.

Curaleaf shines in falling cannabis sector on news of surprising CVS deal
Cannabis stocks were mostly lower Thursday, with Curaleaf Holdings Inc. a standout after announcing a partnership with drugstore chain CVS Health Corp. on a line of CBD products.
Curaleaf shares [CURLF, +7.18%] rose 3.3%, after the company said CVS [CVS, -2.37%] is already selling products including creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves in eight states.

I miss bad weed
If you, like me, used to be a pothead, then quit, but still end up smoking on occasion, you might've experienced what a friend of mine likes to call "weed hubris."
Hit your younger brother's gravity bong in an effort to appear chill, and are suddenly very worried about the last time you went to the dentist? That's what happens when you defy the weed gods. Took a puff of some random dude's blunt at a music festival, and now you can't tell whether you have to pee or not? My friend, you have flown too close to the sun. Decided to vape before a family function for old time's sake, only to settle into a quiet yet acute panic at the prospect of describing your job in digital media to your aunt? Peak weed hubris.

A record 61% of Americans now want weed to be legalized across the US, with support rising in every age group
A record 61% of Americans say pot should be legalized, according to the respected General Social Survey.
The poll, which has tracked support for legal marijuana since 1973, found that approval reached an all-time high across all age groups, US regions, and political affiliations in 2018.
The numbers reflect how attitudes toward the drug are shifting across the nation. While the majority of Americans want the legalization of cannabis now, only 16% did in 1987 and 1990, the years with the joint-lowest support.

CBD jelly beans: Jelly Belly founder releases cannabis-infused jelly beans
Jelly bean aficionados will now be able to get CBD with their sugar rush. The creator of one of the most recognized brands of jelly beans has debuted a line of CBD-infused sweets for candy lovers to enjoy.
Last month, "Candyman" David Klein, responsible for the creation of Jelly Belly's jelly beans in 1976, announced the founding of his new company, Spectrum Confections, that will offer the treats in 38 flavors.

New study casts doubt on claims softer drug laws increases teen cannabis use
Available data does not show that softer drug laws results in increased adolescent cannabis use, according to a new study.
The publication of the report comes as a State-appointed group here finalises its recommendations to the Government on possible changes to our laws on possession. The study, conducted by Professor Alex Stevens at the University of Kent, said that currently it was not possible to identify a relationship "in either direction" as a result of reforming drug laws

Legal weed won't happen right now in N.J. Lawmakers call off big vote.
Top state lawmakers have cancelled a planned vote Monday on a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in New Jersey, saying they simply haven't gathered enough support in the state Senate.
But they vowed to take up the measure - one of Gov. Phil Murphy's signature proposals - at a future date.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Team Up With Canopy Growth To Launch New Houseplant Cannabis Brand
Pineapple Express star Seth Rogen and screenwriter Evan Goldberg have teamed up with Canopy Growth Corp. to launch a Toronto-based Canadian cannabis brand called Houseplant.
The Vancouver-born actor and the Canadian screenwriter with whom Rogen collaborated on the stoner film co-founded the Toronto-based company along with "other great friends and colleagues."

DEA looking for a Houston contractor who can burn Thousands of pounds of pot
The Drug Enforcement Agency has been flooded with phone calls since we first reported they are looking for a Houston-area contractor to burn pot and other seized drugs.
There are special requirements for the job. The contractor must be able to incinerate various items like papers, cassette tapes, bulk marijuana, pharmaceuticals, and other incidental controlled substances.
The contractor must be able to burn at 1,000 pounds of marijuana per hour and for a minimum of eight consecutive hours per day.


APRIL 2019  

FDA sets first hearing on CBD in May as the agency looks at legalizing the cannabis compound in food and drinks
The Food and Drug Administration has set its first public hearing on legalizing CBD in food and drinks, to figure out how to regulate the newly legalized cannabis product. The hearing will take place on May 31.
The agency wants data on CBD's safety in food products and feedback on how it might regulate manufacturing, marketing and labelling, according to a notice posted Tuesday in the Federal Register.

Recreational marijuana use by adults now legal on Guam, new law draws swift reactions
Guam legalized the adult use of marijuana on Thursday when Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the contentious recreational cannabis bill into law. The new law allows those at least 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
"We must regulate this illicit drug that is the most widely used drug in our society," the governor said. "We have to take it and control it, monitor its use and effects, benefit from its medicinal efforts, allow our people to live in a safer environment."

Critics say sticker shock at cannabis prices will push customers back to the black market
Statistics Canada says legal buyers paid $9.70 for cannabis compared to $6.51 on the black market.
Matt Daisley said his first visit to a legal cannabis retail outlet in St. Catharines, Ont. this week ended without a purchase after he heard the prices and almost had a heart attack. "I knew immediately that I would not leave the black market," he said. "There's no chance."
The 60-year-old is a longtime cannabis user and visited The Niagara Herbalist to check out its government-approved marijuana options after the store officially opened Monday. But, when he went up to the counter to buy 3.5 grams of MK Ultra, he said he was asked to pay $45 plus tax and was rocked by sticker shock.

A day in the life of the woman who helped grow Vermont's biggest marijuana business
Bridget Conry, 48, wakes at her Burlington home to savor the quiet productivity of early-morning hours.
Just a few years ago, when Conry was helping a University of Vermont classmate launch the medical marijuana operation Champlain Valley Dispensary Inc., she'd often be woken in the middle of the night with security alarms. She'd wake up and check the video monitors from home, usually finding a false alarm.
Now the business has grown to 70 employees, with seven locations across Vermont, and she no longer gets those emergency calls.

Israel Decriminalizes Adult Use Cannabis During CannaTech Conference In Tel Aviv
New Israeli laws regarding cannabis decriminalize possession of the plant and its buds. In accordance of the new laws, the possession of a home grown marijuana plant is no longer punishable by law. Civilians found to be carrying small amounts of cannabis in public without medical authorization will now face fines rather than be subjected to criminal proceedings.

After N.J. legalizes weed, these tech wizards want to grow tons of it here. With robots.
You've heard of C-3PO. But are you ready for Seedo-3PO?
With New Jersey on the cusp of legalizing weed as early as next month, cannabis is expected to bring massive changes to the Garden State economy. But just how it will be grown is changing, too, thanks to an Israeli tech start-up with its eyes on New Jersey's $1 billion weed market: Seedo.
"Cannabis is a very smart plant, but it's very complicated to handle and grow it," says Zohar Levy, CEO of Seedo, an Israeli and Maryland-based startup that claims to be able to quadruple the yield of traditional cannabis grows using climate-controlled chambers run by robots.

Police In UK Given Greenlight To Stop Arresting Cannabis Users
British police forces have been given the greenlight to stop arresting cannabis users, softening their approach. Individual chief constables across the nation are now able to decide whether to arrest, caution, warn or simply let go those caught with the drug.
As reported by The Daily Mail, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) announced the new approach, hoping that by encouraging cannabis users to seek treatment instead of prosecuting them, it could help lower re-offending rates.

Ontario Cannabis Store Set To Lose $25 Million This Year Amid 'Federal Mismanagement'
Ontario's provincially-run cannabis distributor is set to lose $25 million in the current fiscal year, according to projections in the 2019 budget released by Queen's Park on Thursday.
The losses are the result of its initial investment in developing a wholesale distribution network, combined with the fact that OCS has sold relatively little product so far - which the provincial Progressive Conservative government blames on the federal Liberals.

Marijuana may improve women's enjoyment of sex
About one-third of U.S. women have used marijuana before sex, a small study suggests, and those who do report increased desire and better orgasms.
Marijuana use has been on the rise among U.S. adults as a growing number of states pass laws legalizing it for medical and recreational purposes, researchers note in Sexual Medicine. Although marijuana is thought to act on the cannabinoid receptor in the brain, which is involved in sexual function, little research to date has examined the drug's impact on sexual health, the study team notes.

Legal cannabis credited with boosting tax and cutting criminals' income in Canada - but Trudeau 'reluctant to say so'
The legalisation of cannabis in Canada has created jobs and revenue, improved safety and reduced illegal sales, according to officials.
Six months after the law was changed on 17 October, the most obvious effect has been a rise in prices, according to the latest government statistics, possibly due to shortages in supply. "Legalisation has gone well," a government official told Reuters news agency, under cover of anonymity.
It is now safer to be a consumer because of regulation, the official said, adding that black market sales are falling and legal jobs and revenue are being created.

Happy 4 -20 Day!

Carl's Jr. to test CBD-infused burger on 4/20 in Denver
Carl's Jr. will test a CBD-infused burger at a Denver location for one day: April 20, the unofficial holiday for cannabis lovers, CNBC reports. The burger will appropriately cost $4.20 and be sold at the restaurant at 4050 Colorado Blvd. on Saturday.
The Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight features two beef patties, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, waffle fries and about 5 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD extract in the chain's Santa Fe Sauce.

Corporate America embraces 420 as pot legalization grows
Marijuana users have for decades celebrated their love of the drug on April 20, but the once counter-culture celebration that was all about getting stoned now is so mainstream Corporate America is starting to embrace it.
No, Hallmark doesn't yet have a card to mark "420." But many other businesses inside and outside the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry are using April 20, or 4/20, to roll out marketing and social media messaging aimed at connecting with consumers driving the booming market.
On Saturday, Lyft is offering a $4.20 credit on a single ride in Colorado and in select cities in the U.S. and Canada. Carl's Jr. is using a Denver restaurant to market a hamburger infused with CBD, a non-intoxicating molecule found in cannabis that many believe is beneficial to their health.

Canadian Legal Cannabis Sales Drop 9% As Inventory Stockpile Grows: Health Canada
Sales of cannabis products in February fell by nearly nine per cent from the previous month, due to fewer days, as average daily sales stayed relatively flat, according to the latest statistics from Health Canada.
The government agency's latest sales and inventory figures also show that the inventory of finished cannabis continues to pile up at both licensed producers and government retailers and distributors.
Health Canada says sales of dried pot in February amounted to 6,671 kilograms, 8.8 per cent less than the 7,313 kilograms sold in January.

Marijuana users weigh less, defying the munchies
New evidence from Michigan State University suggests that those who smoke cannabis, or marijuana, weigh less compared to adults who don't.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, are contrary to the belief that marijuana users who have a serious case of the munchies will ultimately gain more weight.
"Over a three-year period, all participants showed a weight increase, but interestingly, those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used," said Omayma Alshaarawy, lead author and an assistant professor of family medicine. "Our study builds on mounting evidence that this opposite effect occurs."

50% of millennials would pick CBD oil over prescriptions for mental health
Eos Scientific has commissioned research across a sample of more than 2000 UK adults exploring the growing shift in health-conscious millennials seeking CBD oil over prescriptions for mental health.
The proportion of NHS A&E patients seen within four hours has fallen dramatically, leaving many people in need of immediate care waiting for longer periods to be seen.
When it comes to mental health, the NHS is providing additional funding to better service the rising number of people seeking support in this area. However, does it do enough to challenge the fears surrounding the strength of prescription medicines and their side-effects?

Marijuana makes people morally unfit for U.S. citizenship, pot users lack 'good moral character' - Trump administration
The Trump administration just issued a memo saying that marijuana use or working in the cannabis industry - even if it is legal under state law - makes immigrants ineligible for citizenship because it means they don't have 'good moral character.'
The document is available here at [PDF]:

Rep. Ilhan Omar: Legalize Marijuana Nationwide, Expunge Criminal Records of Those Jailed for Pot Offences
Though marijuana has been legalized - at least for medical use - in more than half the country, it remains outlawed by the federal government, which still considers cannabis on a par with heroin. First-term Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota said Saturday morning that she believes it is time for the U.S. to not only legalize pot on a countrywide basis, but to retroactively clear the criminal records of those previously jailed on marijuana charges.
"Cannabis criminalization disproportionately impacts communities of colour," wrote Omar on Twitter Saturday morning. "We must finally legalize cannabis nationwide and expunge records for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offences."

Ontario Cannabis Retailers Slapped With Fines For Not Opening On Time
Cannabis retailers in Ontario who have failed to open their stores by a government-set deadline are facing a new round of financial penalties.
In all, eleven pot retailers have been fined $12,500 each for not opening their stores by April 15.

CBD Arrests Flying High at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Legislators work towards possibly making CBD legal in the state, confiscation of the oil by federal officers has "skyrocketed" this year at DFW Airport, NBC 5 Investigates has learned. In some cases, passengers have been jailed on felony drug possession charges for a single bottle of CBD.
"I would say a year ago it was almost non-existent," said Cleatus Hunt Jr., port director at the airport for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "But in the last six months, the interception rate for that (CBD) has skyrocketed," Hunt said in an interview.

Cannabis possession offences fall 75pc in a decade as police accused of decriminalising the drug
Cannabis possession offences have dropped up to 75 per cent in 10 years, as MPs have accused police of decriminalising the drug.
New figures show that the number of recorded crimes for possessing cannabis have plummeted across UK police forces since 2008, with more than half recording 40 per cent fewer cannabis crimes. The drop comes despite cannabis remaining the most popular drug in the country.


MAY 2019  

Cannabis NB Loses $11.7 Million In First Fiscal Year
New Brunswick's Crown-owned cannabis retailer is recording a big financial loss in its first year in operation. Unaudited year-end results released Tuesday show Cannabis NB lost $11.7 million.
The agency says sales of legal cannabis for the fourth quarter were $9.7 million, resulting in a year-end total of $18.6 million.
General manager Lara Wood says the government knew there would be challenges but is confident objectives including reducing the illicit market and creating public awareness are being met.

The new 'runner's high'? MJ users often mix weed, workouts
Eight out of 10 marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal say they partake in the drug shortly before or after exercise, and most report that it motivates them to work out, helps them enjoy exercise more and improves their recovery, according to surprising new University of Colorado Boulder research.
The paper, published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, is among the first to explore the complicated intersection between cannabis use and physical activity.

Mexico Aims to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Before October
Momentum within the marijuana industry is undeniable. Since 1995, we've seen support for broad-based legalization in the U.S. catapult from just 25% to 66% in October 2018, according to Gallup's national poll. We've also gone from having zero U.S. states legalized for medical or recreational purposes in 1995 to 33 states having approved medical marijuana as of today, with 10 also allowing adult consumption.
This same momentum can be seen outside the United States as well. Today, more than 40 countries worldwide have given the green light to medical cannabis, with two - Canada and Uruguay - allowing the recreational sale of the drug. In fact, Canada's landmark legalization in 2018 marked the first time an industrialized country had fully legalized weed.

Illinois Governor Announces Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Saturday he's reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year.
The legislation would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess up to about an ounce (30 grams) of marijuana, while non-residents could possess about half an ounce (15 grams).

Video: Harry Anslinger | The Man Responsible for Marijuana's Prohibition

Brother David's quest to turn the cannabis industry truly green - and support activism
With the advent of marijuana legalization, the marijuana cultivation industry is being transformed - and not necessarily for the better. What was once an illicit lifestyle with mom-and-pop growers hiding in the hills and playing cat and mouse games with prohibition enforcers is now a legal, above-board economic sector that increasingly resembles industrial agriculture, complete with massive indoor grows the size of football fields that gobble up energy, suck up water, and require large inputs of nutrients and pesticides.
These sorts of practices are not exactly environmentally friendly, and they turn a blind eye to the climate change crisis that is already having an impact in this country, whether it's ever-more-drenching downpours during hurricanes, more frequent and intense tornados, shorelines inundated by rising sea levels, or, closer to home for the legal marijuana industry, drought and forest fires in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Legal cannabis could earn $1b tax revenue and create 250,000 jobs
It's 2019 and marijuana is now recreationally legal in Canada and across 10 states in the US. And it appears allowing adults to legally purchase and consume cannabis is big business.
According to The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report, Canadians spent $A2.28 billion on legal weed in 2018, with the Colorado Department of Revenue saying the state's regulated pot industry has generated more than $A8.5 billion in sales since legal recreational marijuana sales began in 2014.
Investment strategist Mark Bernberg said Australia was losing billions of dollars of potential tax revenue from legal marijuana, questioning why it's not being addressed on the election campaign.

Cannabis referendum to be a yes/no question, govt confirms (NZ)
Voters will have the chance to say yes or no to legalising cannabis at the 2020 election, based on draft legislation to be drawn up beforehand. Cabinet ministers have agreed the referendum will be binding, based on agreement by all three governing parties.
"The voters' choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current government have committed to abide by the outcome," Justice Minister Andrew Little said.

North Dakota quietly decriminalized marijuana
North Dakota quietly decriminalized marijuana earlier this month, making it the 25th state to do so.
As the news outlet Marijuana Moment and the advocacy group NORML reported, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill decriminalizing marijuana last week - but the issue got little to no attention from his office or news media. The law makes it so first-time possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana is no longer a criminal misdemeanor that carries the potential for jail time, but instead is an infraction that only carries a fine.

Coca-Cola billionaire arrested after search of private jet reveals 5,000 alleged cannabis plants
A Greek billionaire has been detained on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts after a search of his private jet yielded approximately £1 million of cannabis totalling approximately 5,000 plants, an unknown number of seeds and a variety other cannabis products.
Isle of Man resident Alkiviades "Alki" David, 50, was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Unit at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. He has been charged with Possession with Intent to Supply, Possession of Controlled Drugs and Importation of a Controlled Drug into the Federation after his plane was stopped by customs authorities.

Can CBD Really Do All That?
When Catherine Jacobson first heard about the promise of cannabis, she was at wits' end. Her 3-year-old son, Ben, had suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 3 months old, a result of a brain malformation called polymicrogyria. Over the years, Jacobson and her husband, Aaron, have tried giving him at least 16 different drugs, but none provided lasting relief. They lived with the grim prognosis that their son - whose cognitive abilities never advanced beyond those of a 1-year-old - would likely continue to endure seizures until the cumulative brain injuries led to his death.

Canadian Veterinarians Lobby To Expand Medical Cannabis Laws To Include Dogs, Cats
Parliament Hill is going to the dogs today as veterinarians lobby MPs to authorize the use of medical cannabis for critters. The vets are bringing five dogs to the Hill to draw attention to what they see as glaring omissions in the legalized regimes for medical and recreational marijuana.
The law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe pot for pets, even though preliminary research suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders - much as it is for humans.

Colorado bill would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana instead of prescription painkillers
Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) is reviewing a Senate bill focused on fighting the opioid epidemic that would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana in many of the same situations where they could prescribe opioids.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 19-013 said this option could help doctors avoid prescribing addictive painkillers for things like chronic pain, but members of the medical community are worried there's not enough research about the effects of cannabis and that the bill's language is too broad.

A Betrayal By a Leader of Oregon's Cannabis Industry Shows How the Weed Business Went From Down Home to Cutthroat
Beth Schechter's world shattered with a text message.
An Atlanta native, Schechter moved to Portland in 2015 to took a job as executive director of a non-profit called the Open Cannabis Project in 2017. Her job: protecting small cannabis farmers by challenging patent claims on commonplace weed strains.
For two years, she was a happy warrior, collecting chemical and genetic data from pot plants and every now and then checking in with Mowgli Holmes, a geneticist and entrepreneur who was cataloguing the plant DNA. Then, this April, someone texted her a 25-minute video.

London cannabis stores say they won't join trend to cut hours
More of Ontario's cannabis retail stores will follow the lead of two outlets that are scaling back hours because they can't keep enough product stocked, one industry watcher says. But London's three bricks-and-mortar marijuana stores - all of them open seven days a week - say they have ample supply and don't plan to decrease operating hours.
The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store in Ottawa and Canna Cabana in Hamilton are cutting back their hours - closing one day of the week and reducing hours on others - in response to lack of supply.

Report: Michigan recreational pot market to rival Colorado's
Michigan's recreational marijuana market is expected to rival that of Colorado and Nevada by 2023, according to a recent report.
The West Coast, where the legal marijuana business got its start, will be surpassed by by large states in the Midwest and along the East Coast as they expand medical and recreational access, according to an industry analysis by the Chicago-based Brightfield Group, a CBD and cannabis market research and consulting firm.


JUNE 2019  

Ben & Jerry's announces plans to make CBD-infused ice-cream
Usually people reach for the ice-cream after ingesting cannabis. Now hippie-capitalist ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's is hoping to speed the whole process up by producing CBD-infused ice-cream.
Long known for stoner-hinting flavours such as Bonnaroo Buzz, Phish Food and Half Baked, the US company's decision to add CBD to its products as soon as the plant extract is legalized at the federal level comes as the market of cannabinoids-infused products has exploded over the past several years.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. Its supporters claim it produces relaxation and calm, but unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive and will not get a user high.

If cannabis is having any dire health effects, Canadian hospitals haven't seen them
More than half a year in, Canada's relaxed cannabis laws appear to be earning a clean bill of health from major medical organizations.
While many hard numbers on health shifts are not yet available, some of the country's largest mental health and emergency centres say the new laws have dumped no discernible increase in cannabis-related cases on their doorsteps.
"It's certainly something that we're very concerned about and want to be watching for," says Robert Mann, a senior scientist and impairment expert at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "But I've heard nothing - no indication that there's all of a sudden a large increase."

Illinois poised to become 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana
Illinois is likely to become the 11th state to allow small amounts of marijuana for recreational use after the Democratic-controlled House on Friday sent a legalization plan to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned on the issue.
Those 21 and older would be able to buy marijuana at licensed dispensaries beginning next year under the legislation approved on a vote of 66-47. Residents could possess up to 1 ounce (30 grams) and non-residents could have 15 grams.
Illinois would become the second state to endorse the idea through its legislature, following Vermont last year. Ten states and the District of Columbia have dropped pot prohibitions, mostly through ballot initiatives.

Mike Tyson Smokes the Toad
What do you do when you hear that Mike Tyson is opening a weed resort in the middle of the California desert? You go investigate.
What we found was far more surreal than anyone could have imagined.

Earliest known signs of cannabis smoking unearthed in China
Scorched wooden incense burners unearthed at an ancient burial ground in the mountains of western China contain the oldest clear evidence of cannabis smoking yet found, archaeologists say.
Residues of high potency cannabis found in the burners, and on charred pebbles placed inside them, suggest that funeral rites at the 2,500-year-old Jirzankal cemetery in the Pamir mountains may have been rather hazy affairs.

Colorado passes $1 billion in marijuana state revenue
Colorado has now generated more than $1 billion in total state revenue from the legal marijuana industry, another milestone for the state that legalized cannabis in 2014.
Colorado already has posted some big numbers: More than $6 billion in total sales of cannabis since the birth of the new industry - over $6.5 billion at the end of May, according to just-released monthly data from the state. And the state's revenue from adult-use marijuana sales has accelerated.

Nevada bans employers from refusing to hire those who fail marijuana test
Nevada has become the first state to ban employers from refusing to hire those who fail a marijuana test.
AB 132, signed by Governor Steve Sisolak, makes it unlawful for any Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire someone if they test positive for marijuana.
There are some exceptions. Those trying to become firefighters or EMT's cannot test positive, as well as those applying for jobs that require someone to operate a motor vehicle or jobs with the federal government.

New Canadian Study Shows Low Levels Of THC Don't Increase Car Crashes
After analysing blood samples of over 3000 people, researchers at the University of British Columbia found no link between low levels of THC and car crashes.
The study, recently published in the journal Addiction, looked at the impact of cannabis, illegal drugs and alcohol on collisions. The UBC study analysed blood samples from more than 3,000 drivers who were treated in B.C. trauma centres between 2010 and 2016. It looked at accident reports for more than 2,300 of those crashes and included 1,178 of those in which the driver was deemed responsible for the crash in its final analysis.

Virginia AG calls for state to legalize marijuana
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana.
Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug. The Democratic attorney general said criminal prosecutions are costly to the state and local governments and disproportionately affect African Americans.
Herring made the remarks in an op-ed in the Daily Press and in comments to reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond.

Beijing says US legalization of marijuana is a 'threat to China'
Beijing's leading drug enforcement body has blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and parts of the United States for a spike in the amount of drugs smuggled into the country, describing it as a "new threat to China."
At a press conference in Beijing Monday, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said that the number of cannabis users in China had grown by more than 25% in 2018, rising to about 24,000 people.

Thai University Launches Marijuana Studies Program to Teach People How to Farm Weed
A Thai university will soon offer marijuana classes in a bid to nurture budding ganjapreneurs and cultivate the country's growing cannabis industry. Rangsit University, a private uni located about half an hour outside of Bangkok, this week unveiled their new undergraduate marijuana studies program: an area of study that will cover such topics as weed history, cultivation technology, and medical marijuana, Coconuts reports. Rangsit will be the first school in Thailand to offer such classes.

Cannabis taxes brought in $186 million in five and a half months
Ottawa and the provinces made $186 million from various taxes on cannabis from last October through the end of March, numbers released Wednesday show. The provinces took the lion's share of that money, with $132 million in combined sales tax and excise tax revenue; the federal treasury took in $55 million.

EconoLux Industries announces new Mc Series of low-cost COBs for Cannabis growing
The new Mc Series of PCB COBs provide your choice of 80%, 85%, or 90% match to the McCree curve at a low Cost. The Mc90 model is especially good for growing Cannabis due to the extended blue and UV light it produces. The Mc90 is available in the PRO-LED 100W light, which has a 150W heat-sink, UL and CE approved MeanWell HBG-100, 250VAC, 50/60 Hz, driver and Borosilicate glass 60, 90, or 120 Degree lenses, with IP54 (water resistant) rating. Ex-Works prices for the Mc90 PRO-LED Grow-light are between $162.43 USD and $107.79 USD each (depending on quantity), and a July special with reduced prices is available (please inquire).

France urged by government experts to legalise cannabis and 'take back control' of black market
A government-tasked commission has advised France to legalise cannabis to "take back control" of the black market, calling prohibition an abject "failure".
In potentially explosive conclusions, two experts for the economic analysis council, or CAE, an influential advisory body to the prime minister, urged the government to end a blanket ban of the recreational drug. In their report released on Thursday entitled "Cannabis: how to take back control", the two CEA-mandated economists wrote: "The system of prohibition promised by France for the past 50 years has been a failure."

Republican lawmaker on decriminalizing marijuana: 'Cat is already out of the bag on that'
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) is pushing back against critics who claim that marijuana legalization will make cannabis more accessible, and therefore, more widely used and misused.
Stivers has teamed up with Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) on a bipartisan marijuana banking bill that would prevent federal regulators from punishing financial institutions who serve cannabis businesses operating legally under state law.

San Francisco becomes first US city to ban sale of e-cigarettes
San Francisco voted to ban e-cigarettes in the first legislation of its kind in the United States.
Supervisors approved a measure banning the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in an effort to curb the rise of youth vaping. The measure will now go for final approval to San Francisco's mayor, London Breed, who said she will sign the legislation, and stores in the city will be required to remove e-cigarettes from their shelves after the change goes into effect in seven months.
However, it will still be legal to purchase traditional cigarettes and marijuana products, including vapes for cannabis, in the city of San Francisco.

Ontario Cannabis Store Got More Complaints Than Government Spending Cuts
The provincial ombudsman says his office had to create a dedicated team to handle the volume of reported issues.

Illinois just legalized marijuana
Illinois just became the 11th state to legalize marijuana - and the first where the legislature legalized selling the drug.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who advocated for legalization in his 2018 campaign, signed a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday. The legislature had sent the bill to him in May.
Illinois's marijuana legalization law will allow recreational possession and sales starting on January 1, 2020, creating a new system of taxes and regulations. Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess and buy cannabis, although tourists in Illinois will be allowed to buy less than state residents. Cities and counties may prohibit sales, but not possession, within their borders. Personal growing will only be fully legal for medical use.

Cannabis should be legalised within five years, says former Conservative Minister
Cannabis will be legalised in the UK in the next five years, a former Tory minister chairing an influential parliamentary group on drug reform has predicted.
Crispin Blunt, who supports more liberal drug laws, said discussions about cannabis were "coming into the mainstream of politics".



JULY 2019  

Reefer Madness or Pot Paradise? The Surprising Legacy of the Place Where Legal Weed Began
Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of Colorado's many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. "Good business," Serenity said.
But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high school student, David Perez, against the warehouse-like marijuana cultivations now clustered around his neighbourhood. He said their skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front door.

Illinois is expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records
If you've been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state's drug laws. In addition to legalizing marijuana, the 610-page bill offers relief to the roughly 770,000 residents of the state with marijuana-related offences on their criminal records, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

The Cannabis Debate: 63 per cent of Londoners think UK should follow Canada and make drug legal
Londoners overwhelmingly support the legalisation of cannabis for adult recreational use, according to a poll commissioned by the Evening Standard and the independent think-tank Volteface.
Sixty-three per cent of residents in the capital back legalisation and regulation of the class B drug, with just 19 per cent opposing the idea. In the country at large, 47 per cent back legalisation, with 30 per cent against and 23 per cent undecided.

New research indicates that cannabinoids could be efficacious pain management options
Cannabis and similar substances that interact with the body's natural cannabinoid receptors could be viable candidates for pain management and treatment, according to new research published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.
"Currently, more than 30 states have policies in place that permit medicinal cannabis use; many of these cite pain conditions as inclusionary criteria. However, despite expanding use, what we know about 'how' and 'why' cannabinoids alleviate pain remains poorly understood," said study author Julio A. Yanes, a graduate research assistant and National Research Service Award Fellow at Auburn University.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of previous research that had examined cannabinoid-induced alterations in pain ratings. They identified 25 peer-reviewed studies that met their criteria, which included 2,248 participants in total.

Medical Cannabis Users Feel 'Elbowed Out' By Canada's Legalization
Cindi Olsen was a medical cannabis patient when that was the only way to legally access the drug in Canada.
Nearly nine months after marijuana became legal for all Canadians, the breast cancer survivor is starting to feel like medical users have been left behind.

Teens less likely to use cannabis when it's legal, US study finds
Teenagers are less likely to use cannabis in places where the drug has been legalised, a new study suggests. Researchers at Montana State University looked at health surveys of US high school pupils between 1993 and 2017.
While overall use among US youth went up, the likelihood of teen use declined by nearly 10% in states where recreational use was legalised.

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe Set to Open in Los Angeles, California

Toronto walls off illegal pot shops with concrete blocks
Toronto has used giant concrete blocks to bar entry to a chain of illegal cannabis dispensaries operating in the Canadian city. The unlicensed chain has four locations and the city has been playing a cat and mouse game for months trying to shut them down.
The city calls them "blatant, repeat, and serial violators" of the rules. Canada legalised recreational marijuana last year but only government-licensed stores are allowed to sell the product.

Weed-Smoking Parents Are Harsher Disciplinarians: Study
In an age of new cannabis laws, advancing research and rapidly changing attitudes, the rise of the parent who uses marijuana has almost become a promised statistical outcome. Parenting is far from an easy journey, and many have been quite open about turning to the occasional joint to remain mellow through it all, to manage the day's lurching and unpredictable anxieties.
But, a new study of California parents has found that parents who use marijuana are not exactly "chill" - in fact, they might be more likely to discipline their kids than parents who are non-users.

Kamala Harris introduces legislation to decriminalize marijuana at federal level
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has introduced a federal bill that would decriminalize marijuana, highlighting her continued evolution away from her opposition to decriminalization earlier in her political career.
Harris' proposed Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which has been co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., would federally decriminalize the drug; tax revenue generated by its commercial use, including creating three trust funds; make it illegal for public benefits to be denied due to marijuana use or possession; and either re-sentence people with prior marijuana-based convictions or expunge their records entirely, according to USA Today.

U of G Researchers First to Unlock Access to Pain Relief Potential of Cannabis 
University of Guelph researchers are the first to uncover how the cannabis plant creates important pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more powerful at reducing inflammation than Aspirin.
The discovery unlocks the potential to create a naturally derived pain treatment that would offer potent relief without the risk of addiction of other painkillers.
"There's clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids," said Prof. Tariq Akhtar, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, who worked on the study with MCB professor Steven Rothstein. "These molecules are non-psychoactive and they target the inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers."



AUGUST 2019  

These Cannabis Brands' Names Look Suspiciously Familiar...
With the marijuana business hitting new - ahem - highs on a daily basis, one of the biggest headaches in the business is simply finding a name for your cannabis company that someone hasn't already used. And one that isn't totally lame.
Not to mention like with any new business with no brand recognition, you need to make yourself stand out. With that kind of pressure, it's inevitable some efforts will go wrong.

After years of waiting, medical marijuana sold in Louisiana
A Marine veteran struggling with PTSD and a woman fighting cancer became some of the first people to purchase medical marijuana in Louisiana on Tuesday, as the state became the first in the Deep South to dispense therapeutic cannabis, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to it.
Nine pharmacies are licensed to dispense medical marijuana across Louisiana and most are expected to open this week. Louisiana joins more than 30 other states that allow medical marijuana in some form. And though marijuana is banned at the federal level, a congressional amendment blocks the Justice Department from interfering with state's medical marijuana programs.

Luxembourg to be first European country to legalise cannabis
Luxembourg has called on its EU neighbours to relax their drug laws as its health minister confirmed plans to become the first European country to legalise cannabis production and consumption.
"This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work," Etienne Schneider told Politico. "Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people... I'm hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs."

Bernie Sanders: "I'll legalise cannabis as president"
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has vowed to legalise cannabis if he is elected to the White House. The 77-year-old Democrat is going head-to-head with his old foe Donald Trump next year, and he has promised to put marijuana at the top of the political agenda.
Sanders plans to give the green light to recreational cannabis throughout the States, while Trump's anticipated stance falls short of full legalisation.

Arizona Tea maker enters the cannabis market
Marijuana products will soon hit the masses, as the maker of Arizona Tea enters the cannabis market, starting with vape pens and THC-infused gummies.
Privately held Arizona Beverage announced Tuesday that it reached a licensing deal with Dixie Brands, which makes and sells drinks, chocolates, gummies and topical creams that are laced with marijuana. Through the partnership, Dixie, which operates in six U.S. states, will manufacture and distribute products branded with Arizona's name. The products will be sold through licensed dispensaries.

French cannabis legalization debate ignores race, religion and the mass incarceration of Muslims
Last summer in France, dozens of "CBD cafes" suddenly opened across the country.
Exploiting a legal loophole originally created for hemp farmers, these pop-up businesses sold queuing customers oils, drinks and salves infused with cannabidiol, a cannabis compound that is a faddish if unproven "cure" for insomnia, anxiety and more. The French government reacted quickly and by mid-June had officially prohibited the sale of CBD. The CBD cafes vanished within a month.

Cannabis stocks climb for the first time in three days with Aurora leading the pack
Cannabis stocks rose for the first time in three sessions Friday, reversing some of this week's losses that were driven by disappointing earnings with Aurora Cannabis ACB, +5.64% ACB, +3.67% leading the pack with a 5% gain.
The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ, +2.10% was up 2% with 32 of its 38 constituent stocks gaining ground. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF HMMJ, +2.30% was up 3.3% with 46 of its 54 member stocks gaining. The two ETFs have declined more than 7% this week, as major benchmarks swung between heavy losses and gains.

Explosion in popularity of hemp products leaves Texas unable to bust marijuana users
Texas politicians thought they were clear: the bill they overwhelmingly passed allowing the growth and sale of hemp had nothing to do with legalising cannabis. "This is no slippery slope towards marijuana," Charles Perry, a Republican state senator who sponsored the bill, said in May, according to The Dallas Morning News.
But since Greg Abbott signed the measure into law in June, county prosecutors around Texas have been dropping some marijuana possession charges and declining to file new ones, saying they do not have the time or the laboratory equipment needed to distinguish between legal hemp and illegal marijuana.

Toronto's Infamous Illegal Pot Shop Wins Ontario Cannabis Lottery
A Toronto illegal cannabis dispensary that's been the target of a police raid and multiple orders to shut down has just won the province's lottery to be considered for a retail license.
Cannabis and Fine Edibles (CAFE) confirmed with HuffPost Canada that one of its locations, on Harbord Street, has been randomly selected by the province to apply to sell weed legally. "CAFE has been successful in the lottery process for its application for a provincial recreational cannabis retail license in Ontario," said CAFE in an email.

The Great Seattle Pot Heist
Regina Liszanckie was about to head to work when she got the text from the owners of the business next door to hers: The razor-wire-topped chain-link gate and front door to her building were swinging open, and a single jar of marijuana lay on the ground beside the gate. She had been robbed.
Four months earlier, in September 2017, Liszanckie's business, Plantworks, had joined the thousand-plus other "producer-processors" licensed to supply Washington's burgeoning trade in recreational marijuana. She and her partner set out to grow high-end "craft" weed in 2,500 square feet of an anonymous industrial strip in Seattle's North End. On the night of the break-in in January 2018, Plantworks had a full crop - 26 pounds of high-quality dried, cured flower, worth about $52,000 - ready to deliver to local cannabis shops.
The thieves, recounts Liszanckie, bypassed the live plants and headed straight for the ready-to-sell stock, cleaning it out. It was devastating.

California Says Its Cannabis Revenue Has Fallen Short Of Estimates, Despite Gains
California's cannabis excise tax generated only $74.2 million in the second quarter of 2019, the state says, announcing numbers that are short of projections that were set months ago. It's the latest sign that the country's largest marijuana market has struggled to take off since sales of recreational pot became legal last year.
The second-quarter figure reflected a gain over the $63.1 million excise revenue from the first three months of 2019. But earlier this year, the results prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to revise his office's estimates of how much money the state would net from its cannabis industry.

Cannabis oil too expensive to prescribe to epileptic children on NHS, advisory body finds
A cannabis drug used to treat children with epilepsy is too expensive to prescribe even though it reduces patients' seizures, the UK's medical advisory body has said.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) announced today that it would not recommend cannabidiol combined with anti-seizure drug clobazam for the treatment of two types of severe epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.




A Conservative MP Just Blamed Smoking Weed For Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Next time you light up you may want to think about the damage you're doing to the environment, at least that's what politician Cheryl Gallant says. The Conservative MP blames weed for greenhouse gas emissions in a recently surfaced video that has garnered attention on Twitter.
In the video that has been seen by over 9000 Twitter users so far, Cheryl Gallant, the Conservative MP for the riding of Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke describes what she calls the "Pot Paradox." She goes on to say that it's ironic that Justin Trudeau is imposing a carbon tax to lower carbon dioxide emissions while also legalizing marijuana.

Canadian Cannabis Producers Quadruple Hiring In A Year
It's good to be in a booming new business - and in the case of Canadian cannabis, maybe more so for employees than employers, for now.
Cannabis producers haven't yet turned a profit, but employment in the legal cannabis trade quadrupled between the 2017-18 fiscal year and 2018-19, according to new data from Statistics Canada. That was the period during which cannabis was legalized.

DEA Announces Steps Necessary to Improve Access to Marijuana Research
The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that it is moving forward to facilitate and expand scientific and medical research for marijuana in the United States. The DEA is providing notice of pending applications from entities applying to be registered to manufacture marijuana for researchers. DEA anticipates that registering additional qualified marijuana growers will increase the variety of marijuana available for these purposes.
Over the last two years, the total number of individuals registered by DEA to conduct research with marijuana, marijuana extracts, derivatives and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has increased by more than 40 percent from 384 in January 2017 to 542 in January 2019. Similarly, in the last two years, DEA has more than doubled the production quota for marijuana each year based on increased usage projections for federally approved research projects.

Owner of five Michigan marijuana dispensaries headed to federal prison
The owner and operator of five Michigan dispensaries surrendered to federal authorities Monday after being found guilty in federal court on multiple marijuana charges on Aug. 23.
Danny Trevino, of Lansing, was found guilty on five counts of maintaining a drug-involved premise, as well as multiple counts of manufacturing, distributing, possessing with intent to distribute and possessing an excess of 100 plants of marijuana. He will serve a minimum of 11 years in prison.

Jefferson County no longer prosecuting most marijuana possession cases
If you are caught with small amounts of marijuana in Jefferson County, you will no longer face prosecution.The cases involve possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for people 21 or older.
This does not involve cases involving possession of more than an ounce, trafficking, cultivation or DUI. You will still be prosecuted if you are caught consuming or displaying marijuana in public. Public intoxication will also be prosecuted. This announcement comes more than two months after the Cincinnati City Council voted to decriminalize marijuana. The Lexington-Fayette County Urban Council has not decriminalized marijuana.

Cannabis trial: Dutch cities picked for cafe supply experiment
Cannabis cafes in the Netherlands are to be supplied legally with drugs from regulated producers as part of a trial aimed at tackling the black market.
Under Dutch law, cannabis can be sold over the counter in licensed coffee shops, but it is currently illegal to produce and supply the drug. The country's loose policy on cannabis has seen criminal enterprises flourish.
From 2021, cafes in 10 cities will get a legal supply of "quality" cannabis as part of a four-year experiment.

B.C. Trails All Provinces Except 1 In Legal Weed Sales Across Canada
British Columbia sold less legal cannabis than any province other than Prince Edward Island in the first nine months of legalization and officials blame supply shortages and a slow rollout of retail stores.
Statistics Canada data shows B.C. sold $19.5 million worth of legal pot from October 2018 through June 2019. The only province that sold less was P.E.I., which took in $10.7 million with only a fraction of B.C.'s population.
In its annual report, B.C.'s liquor distribution branch said problems with supply and slower than anticipated provincial and municipal approvals resulted in the province's cannabis industry evolving at a slower rate.

Want to grow cannabis? University of Guelph offering online course
An Ontario university is offering an online course to teach people how to grow better marijuana.
The University of Guelph says its cannabis production course begins next week and is already full with 60 students. The school says the course, which costs at least $545, is part of a new cannabis specialization in the university's horticulture certificate program.

Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness Surge, Health Officials Say
Medical experts and federal health officials on Friday warned the public about the dangers of vaping and discouraged using the devices as the number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states and the number of deaths rose to five.
The Indiana Department of Health announced the third death on Friday, and hours later, officials in Minnesota confirmed that a fourth person had died. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a fifth death, and an official said Friday that "vaping is a probable potential cause." Two other deaths, one in Illinois, the other in Oregon, had been announced previously.

Andrew Yang promises mass pardon to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana offenses
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang promised a "mass pardon" to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana convictions.
Yang told the crowd at a Concord, N.H., event hosted by the ACLU on Friday, "I'm going to mass pardon everyone who is in jail for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses," according to Fox News.
Yang's campaign site says he supports the full legalization of marijuana at the federal level as well as removing it from the controlled substances list. He also calls, on his website, to expunge federal convictions of all marijuana-related use or possession offenses.

Quebec's ban on growing cannabis at home unconstitutional, judge rules
Quebecers are free to grow cannabis at home, at least for now. Quebec Superior Court Justice Manon Lavoie ruled Tuesday the provincial law prohibiting Quebecers from growing cannabis for personal use is unconstitutional.
She said the ban amounts to criminal legislation, which is under federal jurisdiction.
Julien Fortier, the lawyer who led the challenge, said those wanting to grow cannabis at home can now do so legally.

UK advised to recruit former drug dealers if marijuana is legalised
Former drug dealers should be recruited and trained to produce safe, legal cannabis if the UK decides to legalise marijuana, the head of an American programme overseeing the sale of the narcotic has urged.
The Commissioner in charge of legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts has said Britain should follow her state's example of recruiting ex-drug dealers and people from communities involved in what was once the underground market for marijuana.
Ahead of talks with parliamentarians at Westminster this week, Shaleen Title, along with two other US experts on drug liberalisation, revealed that a project is under way in their state - which legalised the drug in 2016 - to retrain former cannabis dealers to enter the now legal marijuana industry.

First Marker for Mysterious Vaping Illness Identified
Doctors have identified previously unrecognized characteristic of the vaping-related respiratory illness that has been emerging in clusters across the U.S. in recent months. Within the lungs of these patients are large immune cells containing numerous oily droplets, called lipid-laden macrophages.
The finding may allow doctors to definitively diagnose the nascent syndrome more quickly and provide the right treatment sooner. It could also provide clues into the causes of the new and mysterious condition. Investigators at University of Utah Health reported the findings in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Sept. 6

Germany Imports First-Ever Medicinal Cannabis From Australia and Portugal
On the 9th of September, the company Cannamedical Pharma GmbH imported the first-ever medical cannabis from Portugal to Germany. This was the biggest-ever shipment of medical marijuana in the EU. What's more, just a few days later, Cansativa GmbH imported the first-ever medical cannabis product from Australia to Germany.
After the Canada-based cannabis investment firm Elixxer Ltd., formerly LGC Capital Ltd., announced that it increased its ownership of the Australian company Little Green Pharma (LGP) to 40.4 percent in May 2019. Now, LGP, which is the producer of Australia's first locally grown medicinal cannabis product, has reached a major milestone in the development of the Australian cannabis industry. After commencing negotiations to export to Germany in late 2018, LGP finally became the first Australian company to export a locally grown medicinal cannabis product to Germany.

Wisconsin man ran a drug ring that filled up to 5,000 bootleg vaping cartridges per day, police say
Most 20-year-olds might take on a part-time job when they need extra cash. But this Wisconsin man was a bit more criminally ambitious, police say.
Tyler Huffhines, 20, has been arrested after being accused of running an illegal vaping business, loading the cartridges with illegal cannabis-derived THC oil and selling the products for about $22 each, authorities said in a news conference Wednesday.
It wasn't just a side hustle. Huffhines had been running the operation for almost two years, since January 2018, and he had about 10 people working for him, authorities said.

Cannabis industry calls for legalization and regulation to snuff out underground vapes The recent rash of vaping-related illnesses and deaths could represent a crisis for the legal cannabis industry, which relies on vaping for an estimated quarter of its business in some states.
But, some people in the industry believe, the problem could also represent an opportunity, to both help people and push toward wider legalization in the United States. On Wednesday, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) put out a call to Congress: To deal with vaping-related illnesses, legalize cannabis and regulate us.

Legalese cannabis, says Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor
The legalization of cannabis should be tested in London to improve public health and stop young people being drawn into crime, a London mayoral candidate has said.
Siobhan Benita, the Lib Dem candidate for next year's election, said the idea of legalising the drug was "no longer controversial" and the serious crime in the capital meant it was the right place for the idea to be trialled.

Oregon pot retailers begin pulling vape brands in lung scare
Oregon marijuana retailers on Thursday began removing vaping products from their shelves and offering returns on previously purchased vape pens amid a nationwide scare over severe lung illnesses and deaths tied to electronic cigarettes.
The move came after the agency that regulates Oregon's cannabis industry told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it will soon begin asking retailers to voluntarily review their vaping offerings and pull those that spark concern.
Kind Leaf Pendleton, a pot retailer with the largest inventory in Oregon, said it has already pulled 68 vaping products from 15 brands amid uncertainty over what is causing the lung-related illnesses.

Crime fell near pot shops after marijuana was fully legalized, Colorado study shows
New research shows crime rates dropped substantially in areas with marijuana dispensaries, running counter to fears that pot shops drum up crime.
The study, published this month in the journal of Regional Science and Urban Economics, analyzed crime data from Denver between January 2013 and December 2016. Colorado, which legalized medical marijuana nearly two decades ago, kicked off sales of recreational pot in 2014.

Another banned food additive discovered in e-cig pods
A 40-year-old California man died from a mysterious lung illness linked to vaping last weekend, marking the second death in the state and seventh in the country. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still investigating the cause of the nationwide outbreak, new research has surfaced that found a food additive and potential carcinogen, pulegone, has a high presence in electronic cigarette liquids and smokeless tobacco products. Pulegone is an organic compound historically used in flavoring agents.

Vaping criminal probe announced by FDA as illnesses rise to 530
The number of cases of vaping-related lung illnesses has risen to 530 across 38 states, health officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. And the Food and Drug Administration has revealed a criminal investigation into the outbreak, according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post. There've been seven confirmed deaths from these illnesses so far, the Post said.
The FDA reportedly said it isn't seeking prosecution for ill people who've vaped cannabis and come forward with information.

U.S. to spend $3 million to find out if CBD can relieve pain
The U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the part of the plant that gets people high.
Nine research grants announced Thursday are for work on CBD, the trendy ingredient showing up in cosmetics and foods, and hundreds of less familiar chemicals. THC research was excluded.

Tests show bootleg marijuana vapes tainted with hydrogen cyanide
Fabian Castillo was suffering from crippling anxiety when his uncle handed him a marijuana vape pen one day last December. "It will help calm you down," Castillo said his uncle told him.
Over the next several months, the vape worked as advertised. Castillo, who had just graduated high school in southern California, found himself more mellow and more productive. He had no idea at the time that he was using, what he now believes, was a bootleg vape pen filled with a toxic mix of chemicals.
But on Aug. 2, Castillo's breathing grew labored. His mother brought him to the emergency room where, she says, an X-ray revealed severe damage to his lungs.

U.S. House Passes Cannabis Banking Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would grant legal marijuana businesses access to the nation's banking system. The vote is seen as a major victory for the marijuana industry.
The bill, called the Secure and Fair Enforcement or SAFE Banking Act, was passed in the Democratic-controlled House by a 321-103 vote. The bill is the first-ever standalone cannabis legislation to be passed by either the full House or Senate.

Make Marijuana Effectively Legal
The dissonance between state and federal marijuana laws has created a legal jumble of bad policies and work-arounds. Statehouses, Congress, and the White House have created a labyrinthine world of marijuana rules and rulemaking. The next president however, can clean up much of this mess with the stroke of a pen.
The wave of state-level marijuana liberalization over the last decade represents one of the more robust assertions of federalism in American history - all the more remarkable considering it concerns a drug linked to ethnic and racial stereotypes (despite centuries of medicinal use). Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, with seven states making the move just since 2016. Thirty-three states (two-thirds of the 50) have legalized medical marijuana. Arizona and Florida may see questions about marijuana legalization on the 2020 ballot.

Cannabis research pioneer hopes latest discovery is not overlooked - again
Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli organic chemist and professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, remembers the letdown after his groundbreaking discoveries surrounding the structure of the cannabis compounds CBD and THC in 1963 and 1964, followed by clinical tests with CBD published in 1980.
"Not much happened," Mechoulam said, noting that it would take more than 30 years before his clinical work on using CBD, or cannabidiol, to treat epilepsy became widely accepted. Greenwich Biosciences, which is owned by GW Pharmaceuticals, was able to develop the first cannabis-derived drug that built on Mechoulam's research. The drug, Epidiolex, treats seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy and was approved by the FDA only last year.

Pa. governor now supports legalizing recreational marijuana
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says he is now in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use and is asking lawmakers to consider it.
Wolf's announcement Wednesday advances his position from December, when he signaled that he was open to taking a look at it as it gathered popularity and momentum, particularly in bordering states.

Massachusetts to ban sale of all vaping products for 4 months in toughest state crackdown
Massachusetts will place a four-month ban on all sales of vaping products, the state's governor announced Tuesday, ushering in the most extensive state-level crackdown on e-cigarettes after a mysterious illness has afflicted hundreds and killed nine people.
The move is the latest response from policymakers to growing alarm about the popularity of e-cigarettes among young people and fears that the products, which have yet to be vetted by the Food and Drug Administration, pose unknown health risks.





OCTOBER 2019  

'Cannabis oasis': Los Angeles cafe first in the US to offer dine-and-dab service
In some parts of America, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested each year for marijuana. In West Hollywood, it's on the dinner menu.
Lowell Cafe, opening next month in Los Angeles, is the country's first legal cannabis restaurant, meaning the first business in the US licensed to serve meals with both food and weed.

Lung Damage From Vaping Resembles Chemical Burns, Report Says
The lung damage in some people who have become ill after vaping nicotine or marijuana products resembles a chemical burn, doctors from the Mayo Clinic reported on Wednesday.
Their findings are based on samples of lung tissue from 17 patients around the country whose biopsy specimens were sent to Mayo to be examined under the microscope by experts in lung pathology. Two samples came from patients who died.

Racing to Build the Starbucks of Weed
Sprawled in a tieless suit and sockless oxfords on a chair just off the lobby of the world's largest marijuana dispensary, J.J. Walker is swiping at his iPhone, trying to locate a two-month-old video of him enjoying a bong hit here in Las Vegas.
Bong videos are hardly the stuff of riveting entertainment, particularly in Vegas, where pot is legal and plentiful and restraint is in short supply. At whatever moment Walker had been placing lips to bong glass, surely there were a thousand people within two miles of him inhaling and ingesting pot in just about every form imaginable. In addition to the city's mostly pot-friendly 2 million residents, Vegas pulls in 42 million visitors a year, about a fifth of whom identify as cannabis users, and a substantial portion come from places where recreational pot isn't yet legal. Weed, in other words, has become part of the Vegas draw, leaving the smell of it wafting reliably at almost all hours outside casinos, hotels, restaurants, and pretty much everywhere in between.

Six cannabis CEOs talked to us about how they use weed
We stand at a hazy junction in cannabis business history.
Some Big Weed companies are so "eager to shake off the image of being high-end drug dealers," as the New York Times recently put it, that their CEOs won't even cop to sampling their own products. But others in the industry - including six CEOs who spoke to Quartz at Work - will gladly tell you how and why they consume cannabis products, sometimes at the office, perhaps multiple times per day.

Maine on track for legal marijuana sales by spring 2020
Maine marijuana enthusiasts will probably be able to purchase their preferred products in retail stores by March 2020 after years of waiting.
Voters approved legal adult-use marijuana at the polls in November 2016, and the road to legal sales has been long and bumpy.
But a key act passed by the Legislature is now in effect, and that means the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is in a position to complete final adoption of marijuana rules, said David Heidrich, an office spokesman.

Mexico will legalise cannabis this month
The leader of Mexico's ruling political party - Senator Ricardo Monreal - has confirmed his country will fully legalise cannabis by the end of the month.
Monreal, head of the MORENA party, said the public consultation over the prospect of Mexican marijuana legalisation had ended, with the majority of the public heavily in favour of legalization.
He added that the government was close to finalising a reform bill that would be enacted without delay.

Research Suggests Marijuana Is Competition For Alcohol, Not Tobacco
If you were asked to predict which industry would suffer more from the legalization of recreational marijuana, the alcohol industry or the tobacco industry, which would you choose? This was the question explored in a new article appearing in the journal Marketing Science.
The answer, researchers found, was the alcohol industry. But how they got there is perhaps as interesting as the finding itself.

Driving while stoned? Marijuana breathalyzers expected to hit the street in 2020
Drivers suspected of being high on pot may soon face the same type of roadside breath test cops use to catch drunken drivers, as several firms prepare new devices for the street.
Hound Labs of Oakland expects to have a marijuana breathalyzer ready by the second half of 2020, according to Mike Lynn, a medical doctor and co-founder of Hound Labs. Another firm, SannTek of Canada, also is racing to have a product ready in that timeline.

Why People Are Dying from Vaping in the U.S. and Not the U.K.
Whenever Matt Culley travels to England, he feels as if he has entered a sort of Twilight Zone.
A prominent vaping advocate on YouTube in the United States, Culley went so far as to describe the scene in the United Kingdom, where he often attends conferences, as a sort of "alternate reality."

Quebec to offer legal cannabis at $4.49 a gram, beating grey-market price
Cannabis company Hexo Corp. says it is aiming to undercut prices in the illicit market with its new 28-gram product, that costs as much as one dollar less per gram than at a illegal dispensary.
Hexo says the product will be on sale in Quebec cannabis stores for $125.70 taxes included, or $4.49 per gram.
Statistics Canada's latest price analysis based on crowdsourced data showed that the average cost of a gram of cannabis was $7.37 during the third quarter, with the price of legal and illegal weed slipping to $10.23 and $5.59 per gram, respectively.

'Gold standard' bill to legalize recreational weed in Pa. introduced in Harrisburg
Two Pennsylvania state senators introduced Senate Bill 350 in Harrisburg on Tuesday and it contains just about everything a cannabis advocate would love. There are provisions for growing cannabis at home, expungement of all cannabis criminal records, pizza-like delivery of marijuana to your door, and a bar-to-entry set so low that just about any Pennsylvanian could enter the trade as a grower or a retailer.
"This bill is fantastic," said Les Stark, director of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy organization with a statewide membership base. "It prioritizes the cannabis consumer and corrects some serious social justice problems. If it passes, it could become the gold standard legalization bill for the free world."

How Canada's Cannabis Legalization Is Shaping Laws Elsewhere
Ever since Canada became the first major country to legalize marijuana for adults a year ago, other nations have been paying attention.
The small South American nation of Uruguay was the first to legalize marijuana for adults. New Zealand, Luxembourg and Mexico are among those that have looked to Canada for guidance or lessons, while Russia has chastised it for its "barefaced" flouting of international anti-drug treaties.
Here's a look at how Canada's experiment is playing out internationally and where the next attempts at legalization are coming:

Mexican Committees Unveil Marijuana Legalization Bill Ahead Of Supreme Court Deadline
Several Mexican Senate committees unveiled draft legislation late on Thursday to legalize marijuana.
Leaders of the Health, Justice, Public Security and Legislative Studies Committees announced last week that they would remain in permanent session to finalize the legalization bill ahead of a coming Supreme Court deadline.
The court determined last year that the country's ban on personal cannabis consumption and cultivation is unconstitutional, though lawmakers now want to go even further by legalizing commercial production and sales.

Canada Legalizes Marijuana Derivatives - Canada's Cannabis 2.0
One year ago, on Oct. 17, 2018, Canada lifted the curtain on nine decades of recreational cannabis prohibition and allowed for the legal sales of adult-use marijuana. Today, on Oct. 17, 2019, our neighbor to the north will move forward with the next phase of the marijuana legalization process, affably known as "legalization 2.0." Namely, the regulations concerning derivative pot products will officially take effect. Derivatives being nondried flower products, such as edibles, cannabis-infused beverages, vapes, concentrates, and topicals.

Angela Merkel's party mulls legalizing cannabis in Germany
Prominent members of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have begun to openly discuss legalizing marijuana in Germany. The move would be a historic policy turn for the conservative party.
Germany's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is openly considering a momentous u-turn in the party's attitude to the legalization of cannabis.
"Cannabis could be freed for personal use, of course with controlled production and distribution," CDU interior policy spokesman Marian Wendt told the RND network on Friday. "The resources freed in the police and judiciary should be used to fight the illegal trade."

Finland's Government Will Consider Decriminalizing Marijuana In Response To Citizen Petition
Finland's government will soon consider decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use after advocates garnered more than the required 50,000 petition signatures to trigger a review by Parliament.
The proposals stipulates that possession of 25 grams or less of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to four plants, would not carry criminal penalties.

Edinburgh mother vows to go on 'hunger strike' over cannabis oil
The mother of a boy with severe epilepsy says she will go on "hunger strike" outside Downing Street to secure NHS funding for medical cannabis.
Karen Gray's seven-year-old son Murray suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Doose Syndrome. She says he has not had a fit since he started using cannabis oil.
The UK government said more evidence was needed to support "prescribing decisions" related to medical cannabis.

Bernie Sanders rolled out his marijuana legalization plan at 4:20 p.m.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has a plan to light up his first 100 days in office.
Sanders, a longtime supporter of marijuana legalization, unveiled a plan to make that happen if he's elected president. Specifically, he'll legalize it during his first 100 days in office, as well as enact a plan to ensure the weed industry doesn't end up like big tobacco, his marijuana plan posted at 4:20 p.m. Thursday explains.

Number Of Medical Cannabis Patients In Germany May Exceed 1 Mln By 2024: Report
Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, was legalized in Germany in March 2017, and since then, the number of patients being prescribed medical cannabis has been on the rise.
Market intelligence company Prohibition Partners has released a report on the cannabis industry in Germany, which is considered the largest medicinal cannabis market in Europe. We present some of the observations and data discussed in the report in this article.




Quebec Raises Legal Cannabis Age To 21, Bans Public Smoking
The Quebec government has passed the most restrictive cannabis law in the country, voting to ban the consumption of marijuana in most public areas and to raise the legal age from 18 to 21 years.
Beginning Saturday, Quebecers will be prohibited from consuming marijuana in public. But the law permits cities to adopt their own bylaws allowing people to smoke cannabis in specific public areas where no children are present.

Michigan gets its first applications for recreational marijuana businesses
While most of the business owners who submitted their applications for recreational marijuana licenses did so online on Friday, Michael Mathews and Nicholas Maher wanted a more personal experience.
So the Grand Rapids residents drove to the offices of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in downtown Lansing at 3 a.m. with hopes of being the first in what they thought would be a very long line to submit their application for a marijuana micro-business.

Most physicians support access to medical cannabis - why doesn't the federal government?
Voters overwhelmingly support medical cannabis access; increasingly, their doctors do, too.
According to several recent surveys of practicing physicians, the majority of health professionals now support legal access to medical marijuana.
Specifically, a survey of practicing physicians in New York State reported that 71 percent of respondents believe that cannabis ought to be legal for medical purposes, and 76 percent acknowledge having had patients who reported using marijuana for symptomatic relief at some point in their lives.

The Seven "Universal" Symbols for Cannabis Products
Last week, cannabis regulators in Maine unveiled the universal symbol that must appear on all cannabis products sold for adult use in the state. Rather than create their own symbol from scratch, the Office of Marijuana Policy decided to adopt the symbol that's already being used in Massachusetts. This may not seem that exciting, but it's actually a really big deal.
Maine is the 8th state in the country to adopt a universal symbol for legal cannabis products, but it's the first to adopt another state's symbol instead of creating its own. That's right - while nearly every state to legalize cannabis for adults adopted a "universal" symbol, every one was unique, making none of them actually universal.

Spinal patients turning to cannabis for pain relief, ditching traditional medication - study (NZ)
Spinal patients are turning to cannabis as a way of treating and managing their pain, a new study has revealed.
Newshub's latest installment in the Because it Matters series reveals that the injured patients are ditching traditional medicines in favour of cannabis, according to the study.

California authorities found and destroyed $1 billion worth of marijuana plants
A tip about supposedly legal hemp production led California investigators to fields of marijuana plants. About 10 million of them.
The Kern County Sheriff's Office - with the help of the FBI and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife - executed search warrants on 11 fields in the Arvin area, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
From the 459 acres of land, authorities destroyed about 10 million marijuana plants - a value of approximately $1 billion on the black market, the sheriff's office said.

Vaping Illnesses Are Linked to Vitamin E Acetate, C.D.C. Says
A form of vitamin E has been identified as a "very strong culprit" in lung injuries related to vaping THC, health officials reported on Friday, a major advance in a frightening outbreak that has killed 40 people and sickened 2,051.
Many patients with the mysterious illness have wound up hospitalized in intensive care units, needing ventilators or even more desperate measures to help them breathe. Most are young, male adults or even teenagers.
"For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern, vitamin E acetate, from biological samples from patients," with lung damage linked to vaping, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news briefing.

How Marijuana Legalization is becoming the Key Factor in Upcoming Virginia Elections
Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring hopped on social media and tweeted out his support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in his state of Virginia. This level of transparent support caught the attention of media and is now becoming the new norm for traditionally conservative states.

'It's a huge deal' | Colorado marijuana company sells for $140 million
The sale of a chain of Colorado marijuana dispensaries could be a sign of what's to come in Colorado.
The Green Solution was one of the first dispensaries opened in the state less than a decade ago. This week, Columbia Care bought The Green Solution for $140 million.
"We finally were able to live up to the expectations that we set out for ourselves," said Kyle Speidell, who is one of the founders and owners of The Green Solution. "This is a family business. There's actually four brothers that owned it. Not only is it monumental for us, but for the industry."

Cannabis could help treat depression in people with PTSD, B.C. study finds
Could cannabis hold the key to treating depression in people with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)?
A new study by the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) suggests pot could hold promise. For the study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers looked at Statistics Canada data from 24,000 Canadians.