Posts Tagged “Medical Marijuana News”
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Here’s the news:
The cannabis industry spent $450,000 on lobbying in the first half of 2017, twice its expenditure during the same period in 2016. It was the highest growth rate of any industry, according to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Scotts Miracle-Gro., the publicly traded lawncare company making a play for the hydroponics market, accounted for more than 80% of industry lobbying.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) are pushing back on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ criticisms of their state cannabis programs. Inslee said Sessions made claims that are “outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information.”
To avoid a federal crackdown, legal states are trying to stop “diversion” across state lines.
Politico says legalization will be a central issue during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Maine’s REC program will be delayed until next summer at the earliest. Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants REC repealed.
A new proposal to legalize REC in Michigan would be retroactive to 1970, meaning state felony convictions since then would be expunged and state cannabis prisoners would be released. Like another proposal in the state, the ballot initiative targets a November 2018 vote.
“At this stage, [CBD oil is] as far as Texas will take” legalization, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said.
The Indiana legislature will consider a Republican-backed MED bill.
Wisconsin state lawmaker Frank Lasee (R) declined to discuss his investment in Canadian MED giant Canopy Growth.
Law professor Jonathan H. Adler writes on what legalization means for federalism.
A bipartisan group of Congresspeople want to legalize hemp.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association said it would withdraw from an upcoming cannabis conference on account of keynote speaker Roger Stone, a political operative and Trump supporter known for racially-charged tactics and messaging. Cannabis Industry Journal supports MCBA’s move and briefly runs through “Stone’s Shady Past.
Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCB) said it will not revoke Stone’s invitation. “Stone has raised a lot of money. He is pushing Jeff Sessions really hard and he’s got Donald Trump’s ear,” CBCW managing partner Dan Humiston said.
Colorado Public Radio reports businesses are more concerned about their electricity bills, a sign of industry maturation. In Washington and Colorado, the piece notes, utilities are defraying the cost for grows to convert to light-emiting diodes (LED) which use less electricity than metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs.
Leafly deputy editor Bruce Barcott suggests hot cannabis stocks have reached the point where “Bullshit becomes monetized.” In particular he questions the proposed go-public valuation of High Times at $250M when it was recently valued at $70M. MarketWatch explains the “blank-check company” method High Times is using to go public.
Motley Fool examines pot stocks after a strong year.
Companies are moving away from strain names, as a way to identify their products. Strain names are widely considered unreliable.
Denver is considering alternate tax structures to push out the illegal market. Social use activists may sue Denver for settling on rules they consider too restrictive.
A Nevada judge expanded the business types eligible for distribution licenses.
Washington altered the rules to allow businesses to own more grow licenses. The step may increase competition, supply and merger activity.
Six of 15 pre-approved growers in Maryland missed the deadline to have their businesses running, but may be granted an extension.
Massachusetts edibles makers talked about how regulation drives innovation.
Trucking companies, which experience as high as 60% drug test failure rates, are rethinking their cannabis policies. Don’t expect change any time soon.
App Wikileaf is advertising in-flight on Virgin America.
L.A. Weekly asks if pesticide regulations will hurt the state industry.
The Alaska Dispatch News asks if the state is making money from legal cannabis.
Still no one has applied to run a MED business in Arkansas.
Canadian MED producer Tilray is investing $24M to convert a pepper farm into one of the country’s largest legal grows.
A Canadian producer with a Florida MED license is increasing its footprint in the Sunshine State. Canadian exports are booming, and executives are thinking about how to go global.
Israel will export MED. Kibbutzes want in on the Israeli green rush.
County law is another reason why the plan to convert tiny desert town Nipton, Calif. Into a cannabis resort seems unlikely.
Investing publication The Midas Letter toured a grow run by Canadian MED player Aphria.
Health and Science
Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R), the Justice Department will block the DEA’s push to increase federal grow permits, a program designed to foster MED research. The DEA was considering 25 applications but does not expect Justice to sign off on any of them.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Bronx-based Albert Einstein medical school $3.8M to conduct the first long term study to test whether MED reduces opioid use for adults with chronic pain, including those with HIV/AIDS. Subjects in the five year study will obtain MED legally in New York dispensaries.
A new University of Texas, Dallas, study found chronic cannabis use may reduce the risk of stroke by improving blood flow. For more see here.
Modern Farmer learns about the “Superfund-like” sites left behind by illegal grows in northern California.
In New Jersey, the parents of a recently deceased 22-year old man are convinced his MED caused his heart to beat erratically and then stop. Cannabis is not listed as his cause of death.
Massachusetts has a new marijuana training course for doctors.
At Leafly, Dr. Dave Hepburn says cannabis activists shouldn’t exaggerate its medical benefits.
A scientific breakthrough could enable large scale production of psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
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Criminal Justice
A federal judge blocked federal prosecutors from pursuing a case against two California growers who tried to act in compliance with state law. The case is the first to test the “Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.” For more see here.
A decorated special forces veteran and MED user in Colorado is suing the Denver suburb of Fountain for raiding his grow. The authorities say they had a signed warrant.
Video documentation emerged in the case of a Harris County (Houston) Texas woman suing the sheriff’s office over a vaginal cavity search conducted on her.
In an opinion piece, Jim Patterson, CEO of delivery app Eaze says the Marijuana Justice Act, the legalization bill proposed by N.J. Sen. Cory Booker (D) “legalizes marijuana the right way.
In an opinion piece, Ryan Jennemann, founder of California grower THC Design, asks if AG Sessions’ opposition to legalization is racially motivated.
The Crime Report profiles LEAR Asset Management, a private security firm that performs “Counter-Trespass Operations” against illegal grows in California’s Emerald Triangle.
San Diego cops raided two illegal dispensaries. The city says it has shuttered more than 60 since March. Voice of San Diego reports the prosecution of cannabis attorney Jessica McElfresh has sent chillsthrough the local cannabusiness community.
A disbarred Nevada lawyer is wanted in an alleged dispensary investment scam.
San Joaquin County, Calif. (Stockton) is targeting dispensaries.
Louisiana is reviewing prison sentences for 16,000 inmates who may see their sentences shortened under a new law.
A woman who tested positive for THC in Pennsylvania after a car crash that killed her two grandchildren, was not high at the time of the crash, her lawyer said. Authorities found Oxycodone pills and alcohol, but not marijuana, in the car. (THC can stay in the system for weeks after the last use.)
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration questions the accuracy of marijuana impairment tests used by police. See the government report here.
The small South American country Paraguay, which apparently produces nine percent of the world’s marijuana, has seen a major increase in gangs and drug related violence. Paraguay is also a major cocaine producer.
Charges were dropped against D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger. They stemmed from a 4/20 protest at the Capitol.
A handful of cases illustrate how diversion happens.
The New Yorker explains civil asset forfeiture, the controversial practice favored by AG Sessions.
Product reviews:
Rolling Stone has a guide to good citizenship for pot smokers.
Washingtonian (D.C.) meets Fooman Zybar who reviewed street drugs in the 1960’s and is “somehow” still alive.
College football coaches are not legalization supportersThe NBA is luke warm.
Elite Canadian athletes are using and investing in cannabis, but are concerned about rules for international competition.
Tiffany Hadish of “Girls Trip” thinks the movie will be popular with stoners forever.
Singer Melissa Etheridge compared going public about cannabis use to coming out of the closet.
Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet is taking on Seattle’s Hempfest. “They’re just off-target with everything they do and say,” Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak said.
Sabet gave an upbeat interview to Westword on his progress fighting legalization. A Florida CBS affiliate reports the evidence that legalization is advancing “at an incredible pace.
Professional dominatrix Mistress Matisse writes about her experience at the ArcView investor conference.
A new illustrated book helps growers determine “What’s Wrong with My Marijuana Plant?”
Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.
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The Health Benefits of Vaping instead of Smoking

Vaping has become increasingly popular in a short span of time. The rapid adoption has made it difficult for researchers to come up with concrete studies pertaining to the health benefits of vaping. When an individual vapes, they inhale an aerosol that is made up of flavouring, glycerine, water, propylene glycol and in some cases nicotine. When smoking, an individual inhales tobacco smoke which is made of toxic chemicals that are hazardous for the human body.

Despite the clear distinction, the misconceptions related to vaping are quite popular due to the vested interest of anti-tobacco activists and medical experts.

Normally, if you ask a medical expert about the health benefits of vaping instead of smoking, you are not likely to get a conclusive answer due to lack of data available. However, a few studies have denoted that vaping is less hazardous than tobacco cigarettes rich in nicotine and chemicals. According to a study, vaping is 95% healthier than smoking.

Today, many people are still not aware of the benefits of vaping due to minimal understanding of the subject. Thereby, in this article we will explore the health benefits of vaping instead of smoking.

Health Benefits of Vaping:

  1. Improved Respiratory System

Smoking is one of the primary causes of lung cancer due to the high percentage of carcinogens. It is believed that the smoke of tobacco comprises of several harmful chemicals among which 70% act as catalyst triggering cancer. Thereby, when you smoke cigarettes the tobacco affects the health of your lungs and other organs increasing the chances of terminal illnesses.

Even if you manage to remain safe from cancer, cigarettes do major harm to your respiratory system in general. The soft tissues present in the lungs tend to turn black and harden over time resulting in asthma, emphysema, cough, etc. On the other hand, vaping is a safer alternative to vaping where e-liquids without nicotine can offer similar pleasure without affecting your respiratory system and health adversely.

These e-liquids ranging in different flavours from cake to mint to yogurt can be bought from many suppliers online. It’s vital you find a reputable company to invest in to ensure the products are safe and so you aren’t getting scammed. Through online research on e-liquid suppliers I have found the company VapersWAREHOUSE who are members of the IBVTA and ensure you receive the highest quality products for the best prices. They have many offers and discounts on their e-liquid flavours which you can find on this link; and they are all budget friendly making it beneficial for all.


  1. Improved Physical Health

Common physical health issues related to smoking include sagging skin, stretch marks and wrinkles. When individuals smoke the elasticity of their skin becomes affected. Further, this increases the chances of warts, skin cancer, etc.

Vaping on the other hand makes use of vapours instead of tobacco smoke and other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Moreover, the e-liquids without nicotine do not harm your skin resulting in improved skin conditions. Many individuals who switched to vaping have observed improvement in the elasticity of their skin.

  1. Improved Reproductive Health

Vaping is a safer alternative for those trying to conceive. The negligible traces of chemicals make it safer for those suffering with fertility issues.

On the contrary, many couples trying to conceive do not realise the potential harm smoking can do to their fertility. Cigarettes can result in major reproductive problems due to the presence of nicotine. Generally, smokers are at a higher risk of miscarriages, birth deformations and low birth weight of children. Moreover, such individuals are likely to experience ectopic pregnancy. Similarly, men tend to suffer from erectile dysfunction due to smoking.


  1. A Healthier Heart

Vaping can help those who are trying to quit smoking. For instance, many brands offer e-liquids that are free from nicotine this not only makes them healthier for the human cardiovascular system, but also assists in quitting smoking for good.

Smoking is one of the catalysts that can affect your health. Nicotine is known as a cardiovascular stimulant where it can worsen the health of cardiac patients. Numerous studies have highlighted that smoking has an adverse effect on the blood vessels. The nicotine present in the cigarettes can clog the arteries of smokers leading to cardiac arrest or heart attacks.


Bottom Line: Vaping Is Healthier

According to the Public Health England study, “E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes. When supported by a smoking cessation service, they help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.”

Vaporisers are becoming extremely popular amongst smokers who desire to continue smoking without inhaling the harmful tobacco smoke. While it is difficult to give up on your nicotine cravings abruptly you can start vaping with nicotine e-liquids. Moreover, if you intend to go cold turkey, then nicotine free e-liquids can make the process easier.

If you are still smoking cigarettes and inhaling tobacco smoke, it’s time you give up for the well-being of your loved ones. Vaping offers a similar experience without compromising on your health or the health of others through passive smoke.
This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news matters.
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Here’s the news:

States are confused after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to Washington and Colorado expressing “serious concerns” about legal pot. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said “I think we can work together.”

Canna Law Blog asks “How harmful is Jeff Sessions?”

Slate says a crackdown may still be coming. In February, I argued in Slate that a crackdown on state-legal weed is unlikely.

Sixty-one percent of Americans favor legal REC and 94% favor legal MED, both all time highs, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators endorsed legalizing REC.

Following an outcry, Los Angeles City Council appeared to embrace full licensure for cannabis businesses. But cannabis businesses in the city still fear “harassment” from law enforcement.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) named Cat Packer of the Drug Policy Alliance to head the city’s cannabis regulatory body. In a statement she emphasized, “responsible, equitable cannabis policies that will serve as a model for the rest of America.”

Small, cash-strapped cities in L.A. County that want to allow cannabis businesses confront lots of red tape.

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece calls legalization “a bad way to promote racial equality.”

In San Francisco, disputes over dispensary locations have become very contentious.

An Illinois MED panel was disbanded. Critics say a $161,000 salary won’t attract the right person to head the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey have included cannabis reform in their platforms.

Ghana could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to decriminalize illegal drugs.

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In conjunction with a pot-themed episode of The Profit, CNBC profiles five businesses representing the future of weed.

Among them, Adrian Sedlin, CEO of California producer Canndescent, explains why his product is worth a 25% premium. And a former minister who voted against REC in California is now cashing in.

Colorado cannabis sales topped $750M for the first half of 2017, up 25% from 2016.

A report found the global market could reach $140 billion within 15 years.

New Cannabis Ventures reports American Green, the Arizona company that said it would buy the town of Nipton, Calif., for $5M and turn it into a cannabis resort, doesn’t have enough money.

Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries (GTI) raised $50M for expansion into new states.

GG Strains, a company based on the popular strain Gorilla Glue #4, is being sued for trademark infringement by the maker of Gorilla Glue glue.

The Canadian Securities Exchange said it would list companies with U.S. operations.

A Florida bank said it would work with marijuana companies.

Lots of cannabis businesses are in fundraising mode.

MED sales began in Hawaii, 17 years after legalization.

A federal judge in Connecticut ruled federal law doesn’t pre-empt a state statute that forbids firing or refusing to hire employees for MED use.

The Washington Post asks if pot growing can save West Virginia coal country.

Nevada may ban home REC delivery. The state will allow companies that are not currently liquor distributors to apply for distribution licenses.

Tourists in Vegas have nowhere to consume REC. Clark County (Las Vegas) is telling pot shops not to promote public consumption.

Canadian MED company MedReleaf completed its first shipment to Brazil.

A pot grow’s generator sparked a fire in Santa Clara County, Calif. that destroyed a dozen homes and required almost 2,000 firefighters to put out.

Stock in Zynerba Pharmaceuticals crashed after its experimental CBD gel failed a mid-stage clinical trial for epilepsy.

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Health and Science

A new study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found marijuana use may exacerbate hypertension and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The Oregonian says the study is “preliminary and comes with caveats.” For more see here.

A study in four states found restrictions on selling pot to minors are very effective, possibly more effective than alcohol restrictions.

President Trump reversed himself and  declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, freeing up funds to fight it. For more see here.

For perspective, Bloomberg studies the U.S. opiate epidemic of the 1860s and 1870s.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (D) discussed the opioid crisis after her son died of an overdose.

Despite fears, Leafly says there are no credible reports of fentanyl-laced cannabis.

A secret supervised drug injection site has been operating somewhere in the U.S. for years.

Instead of pesticides and fertilizers, some growers use compost.

A new Massachusetts campaign aims to prevent driving while high. profiles Margarete de Santos Brito, one of three Brazilians allowed to grow MED at home. It’s for her sick daughter.

Cannabis use is up more than 250% among Americans 65 and older. They’re the fastest growing age cohort.

Bruce Barcott explains how to relieve “cannabis withdrawal syndrome.”

The DEA plans to slightly reduce its quota for federal government approved weed to about 978 pounds annually in 2018. The agency doesn’t know when additional grow sites could be confirmed to produce plants for medical research.  

Thank You to WeedWeek’s First Sustaining Member:

Spencer Vodnoy

CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA

Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association

Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!

Promote your brand here with a contribution on Patreon

Criminal Justice

Right-wing pundit and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said the gun group didn’t defend black gun owner Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by a cop, because he had marijuana on hand. The NRA itself has not commented on the killing.

The Atlantic examines how plea bargaining, including for pot offenses, has corrupted the criminal justice system.

AG Sessions wants a judge known as “Hang ‘Um High Henry Hudson on a sentencing panel. Victims of crime largely oppose tougher criminal penalties for perpetrators.

A New York Times op-ed calls the American criminal justice system “exceptional in the worst ways possible.

Vice interviews Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo’s lawyer. Jeffrey Lichtman previously represented mobster John Gotti.

Two former Kern County, Calif., (Bakersfield) sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to probation, for stealing pot from evidence lockers and selling it on the black market. The judge spared them prison time due to the “unwavering support” of their wives.

In the Philippines, fishermen said police have been ordering them to dump the bodies of murdered drug suspects in Manila Bay.

A man was shot and killed in Madera County, Calif. (near Fresno) after confronting “guerrilla” growers on his property.

In California’s national forests, toxic waste from illegal pot farms is far worse than expected.

A lawsuit claims Seneca, S.C., police have used a pot charge to intimidate a witness to not cooperate in a federal investigation of a fatal police shooting.

A federal judge dismissed a civil rights suit filed by a woman whose three dogs were shot and killed by police during a Detroit pot raid.

Seattle fined the organizer of a small, private cannabis event, and then dropped the fine when a reporter asked about it.

The sheriff of Calaveras County, Calif., is under scrutiny for using pot revenue to bust illegal grows.


Product reviews:



Splinter News profiles activists who want Asian Americans to smoke more weed.

Cannabist founding editor Ricardo Baca writes about learning to grow.

Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said there’s “no reason” for cannabis to be illegal.

The Las Vegas Sun meets Nevada’s first black master grower.

Wyoming told eclipse-chasers to leave their pot at home.

Rolling Stone has been on the weed beat for 50 years.

“Freak Power” a movie about Hunter S. Thompson’s run for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colo., will be filmed in Silverton, Colo. The cast has not yet been announced.

In L.A. Weekly, I wrote about six ways to incorporate weed into your wedding.

In the Bay Area, LSD users want to rebrand the drug as an upscale, tech-y pursuit.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

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Comments Off on Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide

Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide

Posted by | August 3, 2017 | Cannabis News

Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana nationwide

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is proposing a far-reaching bill that would both legalize marijuana at the federal level and encourage states to legalize it locally through incentives.

The New Jersey Democrat’s bill, called the Marijuana Justice Act, has virtually no chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress and in a presidential administration that’s decidedly anti-marijuana.

“You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities — poor communities, minority communities — targeting people with an illness,” Booker, the former mayor of Newark, said in a Facebook Live rollout of his legislation.

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money for building jails and prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws are shown to disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

Under the legislation, federal convictions for marijuana use and possession would be expunged and prisoners serving time for a marijuana offense would be entitled to a sentencing hearing.

Those “aggrieved” by a disproportionate arrest or imprisonment rate would be able to sue, according to the bill. And a Community Reinvestment Fund would be established to “reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs” for everything from re-entry programs to public libraries.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.

“They’re actually seeing positive things coming out of that experience. Now I believe the federal government should get out of the illegal marijuana business,” Booker said, adding that it “disturbs” him that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that the federal government may take a harder line on marijuana.

Booker’s bill comes as New Jersey considers legalizing marijuana. Legislative leaders have expressed support for a bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scuatri. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy — the heavy favorite to be elected governor — has said he would sign such a bill.

Gov. Chris Christie, who leaves office in January, has vowed to veto any marijuana legalization bill. The Republican governor also chairs a presidential commission on opioid addiction.

Marijuana legalization advocates were thrilled with Booker’s proposal.

“This is the single most far-reaching marijuana bill that’s ever been filed in either chamber of Congress,” Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority, said in a statement. More than just getting the federal government out of the way so that states can legalize without [Drug Enforcement Administration] harassment, this new proposal goes even further by actually punishing states that have bad marijuana laws.

“Polls increasingly show growing majority voter support for legalization,” he said. “So this is something that more senators should be signing onto right away.”

Canadian cannabis company pays $40 million for Florida pot grower

by: Palm Beach Post Updated: 

In the first big-dollar deal in Florida’s budding marijuana industry, a Canadian company paid $40 million for one of seven firms allowed to grow and sell cannabis in the state.

Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto this month bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County, an operation that’s still very much in start-up mode.

Chestnut Hill has yet to open a retail outlet, and Liberty Health Sciences Chief Executive George Scorsis acknowledges that the company remains in a “pre-revenue” phase.

Chestnut Hill’s most valuable asset is its state license to produce medical marijuana.

However, state officials have said they’ll issue more licenses for cannabis cultivation as more patients join Florida’s medical marijuana registry, so even the license could prove a depreciating asset.

“It’s possible there could be some devaluation as the state issues more licenses, but we thought it was important for us to be one of the first entrants in the market,” Scorsis said Friday in an interview.

Pot proponents pushed medical marijuana as a safe treatment for cancer, chronic pain and other ailments.

The large sum paid for Chestnut Hill stoked concerns that the nascent industry quickly has shifted into a speculative mode.

“This is a completely immature company, and it’s going at a big dollar value,” said Ben Pollara, who led the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

Florida voters in November overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, which makes marijuana available to people with cancer, epilepsy, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.

They must get a doctor’s permission to buy cannabis.

The Canadian company’s arrival underscores just how hotly contested Florida’s marijuana market could become.

Most industry players expected half a million Floridians to sign up for the medical marijuana program, but Scorsis says the number could be higher.

“We always saw Florida as a tremendous opportunity because of the sheer population size,” Scorsis said.

Before he took over Liberty Health Sciences, Scorsis ran Mettrum Health Corp., a cannabis cultivator in Canada.

That company sold earlier this year for more than $400 million.

Liberty Health Services is an offshoot of another Canadian cannabis company, and Scorsis said its hallmark is growing marijuana cheaply compared to its competitors.

“We are the lowest-cost producer in Canada, and we also will be the lowest-cost producer in Florida,” Scorsis said. “We need to ensure that the product we produce is affordable.”

So Liberty Health Services could bring price competition to Florida, where prices have proven higher than in California and Colorado.

“Right now, there’s not much competition, and there aren’t many patients to compete for,” Pollara said.

As of July 12, there were 23,350 patients on the state’s cannabis rolls, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Now that Scorsis has taken over Chestnut Hill’s operations, he aims to begin opening dispensaries.

Scorsis said he’s negotiating three leases in South Florida and one in Central Florida.

He said the stores will focus on explaining the effects of cannabis to patients.

“Our retail outlets will be a combination of education centers and retail outlets,” Scorsis said.

While Liberty Health Services paid a hefty sum to get into Florida’s marijuana market, Scorsis stressed the company’s altruistic bent.

“Medical cannabis is there because patients need it,” he said, “and we need to work backward from there.”

Comments Off on WeedWeek, July 8, 2017: California Gets Ready for REC

WeedWeek, July 8, 2017: California Gets Ready for REC

Posted by | July 8, 2017 | Cannabis News, Weed Week News by Alex Halperin
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Here’s the news:
Denver has released its first in the nation rules for existing businesses to apply for social use permits. The requirements dropped requirements for a ventilation system and for customers entering a social use area to sign a waiver. Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s coffeehouses are on the decline.
East Bay Express has a useful piece on Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) which consolidates California’s MED and REC regulations. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed it into law this week.
The S.F. Chronicle has a package on the state of the industry in the Bay Area.
In L.A. Weekly I reported that the city’s industry is worried about the regulations proposed by City Council. Their concerns include that it would extend the city’s limited immunity policy rather than offer full licenses.
Mark Ridley-Thomas, chairman of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, is “still skeptical,” about legal weed in L.A.
California growers are worried about pesticide rules.
D.C. lawmakers are pushing to give minorities priority for cannabis business licenses. Angelenos are rallying for a diverse industry as well.
In the context of ending health care discrimination, the United Nations and World Health Organization called for the decriminalization of drugs, sex work and consensual sexual activity.
The Cannabist looks into the hemp industry’s high-stakes lawsuit against the DEA.
Philly legalization activist and journalist Chris Goldstein says Pennsylvania’s “no-smoke” law means MED will be unaffordable. John Morgan, a wealthy Florida personal injury lawyer and cannabis activist, is suing the state to allow smokable MED.
The N.Y. Times has an interesting piece on California’s sparsely populated, heavily Republican northeast,which feels underrepresented in Sacramento. The story misses an opportunity to discuss prevalent views on cannabis.
There’s a fight in South Australia over whether MED patients should be allowed to drive.

Greece legalized MED.

I recommend “Trump’s Voter Suppression Efforts Have Begun,” an important N.Y. Times Op-Ed by Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voter Suppression Project.


The L.A. Times has a fascinating and informative piece about the state of cannabis banking in California. It includes an interview with an anonymous credit union executive detailing the terms offered to cannabis companies and recounts a mutilation worthy of Quentin Tarantino. Go here for a harrowing L.A. Times account of the referenced 2012 kidnapping and torture case.

Over the Counter Markets notified social media app MassRoots of activity promoting its stock. MassRoots denied any knowledge of the activity. Paying to promote one’s own stock must be reported.

REC sales in Nevada are off to a roaring start. For more see here.

One hundred and eighty five businesses applied for Ohio’s 24 grow licenses. New Cannabis Ventures finds that applicants include several multi-state companies. The site also notes that cannabis oil sales are way up in Canada.

I wrote up notable June deals for Blunt Network.

Some Alaska dispensaries saw their Facebook pages shut down.

Colorado’s solid economy has some employers abandoning drug tests.

Colorado awarded its first transporter licenses.

Case Western Reserve Law Professor Craig Nard looks into the upcoming fights over pot patents.

Newsweek on cannabis jobs. A New Jersey man with Marfan syndrome is suing the glass manufacturerwhich fired him for MED use.

Canna Law Blog examines the issues surrounding cannabusiness reverse mergers.

L.A. Weekly profiles Jessica Assaf, CEO of focus group and networking company Cannabis Feminist. The paper also previews the upcoming female empowerment summit in L.A.

A Czech entrepreneur who lost three fingers in a printing press accident has a popular line of CBD topicals in the U.K.

Wal-Mart is selling a $299 machine for making cannabis concentrates at home. The decision was apparently motivated by Amazon selling the same thing.

The U.N. says Morocco is the world’s largest hash exporter.


Health and Science

Scientists have mapped CB1, the human receptor that binds with cannabis, Wired reports:

“For a long time, scientists thought CB1 receptors worked like lock and key with THC and its                       chemical cousins—one size fits one. However, new research shows that CB1 receptors are                       actually quite malleable, stretching to fit a wider range of molecules. That could be useful                           knowledge as researchers try to synthesize chemicals that mimic the desirable effects of cannabis           (such as pain relief) without the side effects (such as anxiety, weight gain, addiction, or federal                   prosecution).”

Scientists called out the web site for publishing a misleading article on cannabis. The article, which originally appeared at the cannabis site The Fresh Toast, claimed a study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers found cannabis users to have lower body mass index (BMI) than non-users.

The researchers were actually studying the relationship between cannabis use and bone mineral density and said the BMI data was taken out of context in the headline “Science: Regular consumption of marijuana keeps you thin fit and active.” The researchers found no correlation between cannabis use and bone mineral density. (Disclosure: I used to work for Salon.)

Almost a year after the DEA said it would make MED research easier, a facility at the University of Mississippi remains the only federally permitted grow.

Some psychiatrists consider pot a psychoactive.

The number of U.S. opioid prescriptions declined slightly between 2012 and 2015, a “glimmer of hope” in efforts against the crisis.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under pressure from veterans groups to add PTSD as a qualifying condition for MED.

Canadian MED producer Canopy Growth is funding a MED research program at the Canadian AIDS society.

An anti-drug and gang group in Carlsbad, New Mexico objects to dispensaries using the word “pharmaceutical” in their name.


Criminal Justice

Politico finds Palm Beach, Florida, near President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate, to be a center of predatory “sober homes.” These unregulated businesses present themselves as recovery centers to people who use opioids from around the country. In fact, they allow rampant heroin use and “body broker” the patients to nearby outpatient centers.

Jawara McIntosh, a musician, cannabis activist, and son of Reggae icon Peter Tosh, is in a coma after being beaten in jail by a fellow inmate. McIntosh is serving a one year sentence in New Jersey for marijuana possession. Rolling Stone has the inside story.

Violence among Mexican drug gangs is escalating in the power vacuum left by kingpin El Chapo, who is in U.S. custody awaiting trial.


WeedWeek is hiring! WeedWeek is seeking an experienced sales and marketing executive to lead its business. WeedWeek can become a leading cannabis media company, your role will be to get us there, beginning with ad sales. Experience building media brands a plus. Cannabis experience unnecessary. 
This job will pay in a generous commission and equity package. No salary. No benefits. Location unimportant. Hours flexible but the ideal candidate will consider it a full time job or close to it. The successful candidate will be able to work with minimal supervision.
Interested candidates should send their CV and a cover letter explaining how they will turn WeedWeek into a thriving business, without compromising its journalistic standards.
Product reviews:



The streets of Boston smell like marijuana. Same in Washington D.C., where the smell is, “Everywhere, all the time.” In the D.C. story, academic librarian Stephen Sears uses a great phrase for the lingering odors in the street: “Ghost weed.”

Northern Nevada Business Weekly dives into the “cannabis” vs. “marijuana” debate.

Restaurants are thrilled at the end of Utah’s “Zion Curtain” law. Some bars will now be able to tear down the frosted glass blocking drinkers’ view of the bartender and bottles on the wall. The law was designed to avoid making alcohol glamorous to kids.

I told the stories behind six L.A. strains.

Twelve racing greyhounds in Florida have tested positive for cocaine in what’s being called the “biggest greyhound drug case in American history.”

A couple got married at a Nevada grow house.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

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CBD As an Aid for Mental Health


The brain is vastly improved by CBD. CBD does this in an important and complex manner. CBD has no psychoactive effect attached to it. This is because signaling does not originate from the CB2 and CB1 receptors directly. CBD is different from THC which has psychoactive effects attached to it. For many years now THC had monopolized the news but now more and more chose a hybrid and buy marijuana seeds that grow plants of higher percentages of CBD The following are ways by which CBD can help with mental health.



It has antipsychotic effects

CBD can be used as an antipsychotic medication. It can be used the same way as amisulpride. This makes it perfect for those that suffer from schizophrenia. CBD is preferred by so many people because it has fewer side effects than amisulpride. The effect CBD has on anandamide gives it the antipsychotic effects it possesses. The availability of cannabinoids increases anandamide in the brain.



It helps to treat depression

There is a serotonin receptor relating directly to depression symptoms that interact with CBD. It has also been discovered that CBD calms those regions that get very active during an anxiety disorder. This is done when CBD reduces the flow of blood to the hypothalamus and other regions of the brain that are connected to anxiety. After treatment with CBD, neurochemical and behavioral studies were conducted on OBX mice that were modified surgically. It was discovered that CBD reversed the inability to feel pleasure which is anhedonia and OBX induced hyperactivity.



It is used to treat addictions

It was found by Morgan and some other researchers that smokers that were treated with CBD reduced the total number of cigarettes they smoked by 40%. The placebo group had no change in the total number of cigarettes smoked. The capability of CBD to decrease the need for opioids was discovered during preclinical research. But there is still a need to carry out more research on the use of CBD as a cure for addictions.


Comments Off on Top 10 Marijuana Discoveries in 2017 by Kurt Darrell

Top 10 Marijuana Discoveries in 2017 by Kurt Darrell

Posted by | June 16, 2017 | Cannabis News

Top 10 Marijuana Discoveries in 2017 by Kurt Darrell








A recent Gallup poll found that roughly 60 percent of U.S. citizens support the legalization of marijuana. As the highest percentage in 47 years, it reveals the popularity of cannabis in the United States. Despite its newfound support, there are still many detractors of marijuana usage; some calling it “harmful,” while others consider it a “gateway drug.” So what is the truth?


As the drug continues to gain popularity in American society, new research is being conducted every day that can inform users and keep them up-to-date with new findings on the benefits, and potential side-effects, of using marijuana. Here are 10 of the top marijuana discoveries from 2017 so far.


  1. Marijuana Actually Does Relieve Stress


While many marijuana users have claimed the drug helps them feel more relaxed and lowers their stress levels, there has not been actual clinical proof that supports these their claims until recently.


A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, THC, does reduce stress — although it is in a highly dose-dependent manner. While higher doses of marijuana can potentially lead to increased anxiety, lower level doses were found to reduce stress and prevent  the jittery feelings that many experience before public speaking or being in crowded, or unknown, areas.


  1. Marijuana Compounds Can Reduce Seizures







Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine presented findings that showed children with Dravet syndrome — a severe form of epilepsy — experienced fewer seizures after ingesting a cannabis compound called “cannabidiol.” Unlike actual marijuana, cannabidiol does not have psychoactive properties.


Over a 14 week trial, participants with Dravet syndrome saw monthly seizures drop from an average of 12.4 to an average of 5.9 — a 52 percent decrease. More amazingly, in five percent of patients exposed to the compound, seizures stopped altogether during the study.


  1. Marijuana Can Increase Alcohol Use


The Research Society on Alcoholism studied any correlation between alcohol use and cannabis use. Their studies concluded that the use of marijuana often increased the likelihood of alcohol users’ transition from one stage of potential alcoholism to the next.


While other factors — including “trauma exposures” or “use of marijuana by offspring” — were also linked to transitions, the RSA suggested further research must be conducted on the connection between marijuana and AUDs due to the increased use of cannabis in the United States.


  1. Marijuana Found to be Linked to Schizophrenia


Scientists at Tel Aviv University have found evidence that shows cannabis may be a trigger for mental issues in adolescents. Their research concluded that while marijuana does not necessarily make users schizophrenic, it could serve as a catalyst for schizophrenia in younger users whose genetics already make them susceptible to the disorder.


  1. Marijuana Can Calm Your Gut


According to new research, marijuana has been found to have much in common with chili peppers. Among the many similarities, both were found to interact with the same receptors in the human stomach, which can keep your gut in balance. These findings could lead to new treatments and therapies for things like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.


  1. Cannabis Helps with PTSD


PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, many of whom are American veterans that struggle to find treatment. A new study has received a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to study the effectiveness of marijuana used to manage PTSD symptoms. With several different levels of potency and over 50 veteran participants, smoking marijuana may be a big step forward in the mental care of America’s veterans.


  1. Marijuana Could Cure Heroin Addiction


Cannabinoids — extracts derived from medical marijuana — are now believed to have the ability to help heroin users reduce their cravings and ease their withdrawal symptoms from the opioid. Essentially, the cannabinoids were found to communicate with similiar neurons in the brain that opioids communicate with, just with a much stronger impact. The extracts could provide a more therapeutic alternative without the risk of overdose.


  1. Marijuana Could be Good for Your Pets

2017 may be remembered as the “Year of Animal Cannabis” because more and more pet owners are reporting that they have used marijuana extracts, as well as pet-safe edibles and ointments, to treat their pets’ cancer, seizures, arthritis, and anxiety, with positive results.


While many veterinarians do not support this practice, due to a lack of scientific research into the effects of marijuana on animals, many people are discovering that the drug is helping treat their furry friends’ wide range of ailments. This has even led some companies to begin selling cannabis tinctures that can be added to pet foods or administered orally to treat pet illnesses.


  1. Marijuana Can Help Cure Cancer


In a major medical breakthrough announcement, British company GW Pharmaceuticals has stated that cannabis does, in fact, kill cancer cells.

While the company has been testing medical marijuana’s connection to cancer for years, it only recently released clinical evidence that linked the drug to a reduced mortality rate for people with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) — a form of brain cancer that can kill patients within two years.


The U.S. National Cancer Institute, as well as the FDA, have released similar statements that point to synthetic THC as a possible treatment for leukemia and other cancers.


  1. Marijuana Could Treat Multiple Sclerosis


A study performed at the Canadian University of Manitoba is researching whether cannabinoid treatments can have positive impacts on neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). The results of the study could help provide support for clinical testing of cannabinoid oil products for MS patients who experience chronic pain. While the research is not a full-blown discovery yet, its potential effects could be wide-ranging and help the more than 2.5 million people around the world who suffer from MS.


Going Forward


With the tremendous rise in popularity of marijuana, and the legalization of it in several states, the need for research into the health benefits — and potential negative effects — of cannabis has never been more important. As scientists discover more uses for the drug, it may not be long before marijuana becomes more than just legal — it could soon become a prime treatment for many illnesses.





Author Bio:

Kurt Darrell is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. He’s been an avid advocate for medical marijuana usage for years and enjoys educating others about its various benefits and uses. When he’s not writing, he’s usually tending to his plants.

Comments Off on WeedWeek: Jeff Sessions escalates the drug war

WeedWeek: Jeff Sessions escalates the drug war

Posted by | May 14, 2017 | Cannabis News

WeedWeek: Jeff Sessions escalates the drug war

This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
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Here’s the news:

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors “to charge and pursue the most serious readily provable offense” in drug cases. A reversal of Obama-era policy, the move aims to increase the number of harsh mandatory minimum sentences that have fallen out of favor with Democrats and many Republicans.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, whose policy Sessions is reversing, called the move “unwise and ill-informed.” The Economist argues that the move is not evidence based. Libertarian leaning Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Sessions even though Paul voted to approve him in February.

As I predicted in Slate, Sessions appears to be using his authority to prosecute drug crime as a way to suppress minority voting and accelerate deportations.

On Friday May 5, Trump referred to cannabis for the first time since he became president. It came after he signed the government spending bill which extends existing protections on MED.

Activist and writer Tom Angell interpreted the remark as the government “asserting their right” to go after certain medical marijuana businesses if they choose to at a later date. Bloomberg went further saying the president has “signaled a fight” with MED.

Vermont’s legislature became the first in the country to approve REC. Gov. Phil Scott (R) has expressed concerns about legalization and has not said whether he’ll sign or veto the bill.

After years of setbacks, New Hampshire is on the path to decriminalization. It would be the last state in New England to do so.

Despite setbacks, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet plans to keep fighting.

A MED bill with unprecedented momentum died in Texas. So did a decriminalization bill.

Florida lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on MED regulation before the legislative session ended. But the legislature could hold a special session.

Some businesses in the state are already selling MED with THC. At least one sells smokable weed, which is not allowed.

Colorado lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on social use before the legislative session ended. WestWord profiles Colorado pot lobbyist and lifelong Republican Cindy Sovine-Miller.

Proposals in California would ban animal-shaped edibles and restrict packaging to limit products’ appeal to children.

Denver will require anyone entering a social use area, at a bar for example, to sign a waiver. The city could begin accepting applications from existing businesses in July.

REC could be on the ballot next year in Arizona but supporters are riven by infighting.

Oregon has not yet started distributing revenue from pot taxes.

In Arkansas, some consider MED an economic opportunity but others are wary. Pennsylvanians want to legalize REC.

To meet its plan to legalize next year, Canada has to withdraw from three international treaties by July 1. But it seems to be dragging its feet.

Australia’s One Nation party, which ran on a pro-MED platform, appears to have reversed itself, leaving patients stranded. HuffPo has more.

In the U.K., the Liberal Democrats party supports REC legalization.


The National Cannabis Industry Association is electing its board of directors. Voting ends May 22. The NCIA declined to oppose Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general.

If anyone running for the board wants to introduce themself and their ideas to WeedWeek readers, send a statement of 250 words or less to by the end of business Wednesday. I’ll share all received statements, unedited, before the vote closes.

March was the best month yet for Colorado dispensaries; they sold $131M worth of weed. In Maine caregiver MED sales, which are not tracked, appear to be outpacing dispensary growth. Maine is also struggling with REC rules.

REC sales threaten MED shops in Massachusetts.

Data firm BDS analytics compares attitudes towards cannabis in California and Colorado. In general, Coloradans have more positive and accepting views of the plant.

Producer Aphria raised C$86M, which it claims is the largest raise in Canada to date.

A new weed vending machine identifies customers with a fingerprint scan.

Canadian cannabis veteran Chuck Rifici is starting a “streaming” company that would buy a grower’s future production for cash.

A study predicted that legalization would reduce Canadian booze sales by 1%.

A $49 study from marketing firm Canna Ventures divides consumers into four categories: indies, outsiders, idealists and traditionalists.

A company called Prohibition Partners studies the business climate in Europe’s nascent legal market. Strain guide Leafly is launching a site in German.

Oregon businesses are launching the Craft Cannabis Alliance to fight corporate weed. The Sacramento Bee has more on cannabis’ incursion into wine country.

In Blunt Network, I spoke to Würk which wants to be the “ADP of cannabis.

The site Huck suggests legalizing could benefit the Greek economy.


Health and Science

A study found that THC significantly improved cognitive function in elderly mice. The chemical slightly decreased brain function in young mice.

A study found that neither alcohol nor cannabis use benefitted high school students.

Canada plans to test whether MED benefits military members and veterans with PTSD.

Colorado launched a pot-safety hotline.

Senators worry that Trump’s proposed cuts to the drug czar’s office will exacerbate the opioid crisis. A former employee told Stat that slashing the agency’s budget would be foolish.

California may phase out MED ID cards.

At Vice, a woman who’s allergic to pot shares how legalization has become a personal hell. Being in the vicinity of a lit joint can cause her itching, stuffiness and a headache.

Pharmacies in Chile are starting to sell MED, a first in Latin America.

Criminal Justice

Rolling Stone profiles Steven H. Cook, “Jeff Sessions’ right-hand drug warrior.” Tasked with reducing crime in cities, Cook is “truly committed to rolling back the bipartisan momentum on criminal justice reform.”

“After 45 years, more than $1 trillion wasted, and the creation of the world’s largest prison system, America still lacks the political will to change its failed drug policy,” Rolling Stone says.

In a wrongful death suit, an insurance company refuses to cover the manufacturer of edibles a Colorado man consumed before fatally shooting his wife.

A judge ordered the San Diego District Attorney to return $100,000+ to James Slatic whose MED business was raided in early 2016. Slatic was never charged with a crime.

The New Republic says drug testing welfare applicants is a bad idea.

Huffington Post has a story about a sober Georgia woman taken to jail because the arresting cop is a “drug recognition expert,” a controversial certification that claims to use observation to determine if someone has used drugs.  In Georgia, more than 250 cops have received the training.

Canada’s Liberal party is proposing sweeping changes to reduce drug and alcohol impaired driving. The country has also reduced the number of people charged with low-level drug offenses.

California cops are testing a roadside drug detection kit.

A former northern California drug cop was convicted for pot smuggling.

The administration is looking into the criminal records of the roughly 50,000 Haitian nationals allowed to live in the U.S. since the devastating 2010 earthquake. It’s also asking if they receive public benefits.

Canada, which plans to legalize REC next year, thinks data can help it stamp out the illegal market.

Prison drug smugglers are very creative.

California is allocating $1.5M to clean up illegal grow sites in the Emerald Triangle.

Philly writer and activist Chris Goldstein was at the Philly “smokeasy” that a SWAT team raided.

Vanity Fair excerpt’s a new book on the collapse of “dark web” drug bazaar Silk Road.

Product reviews:



NFL team owners appear to consider MED access a bargaining chip in negotiations with the players union.

Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long tweeted about weed and was quickly summoned for a drug test.

New Jersey MED users want permission to consume on the seaside boardwalks.

Denver’s non-profit pot church pays a $10,000+ monthly retainer to a for-profit PR firm run by some of its members, according to SEC filings. And some neighbors resent the church for its lack of disclosure.

Check out these photos from the Global Marijuana March.

The N.Y. Times went to country’s “premier psychedelics conference,” hosted by MAPS.

Dispensaries are celebrating Mother’s Day.

Here’s the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I’ve also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

Want to reach a devoted audience of top cannabis professionals? Advertise in WeedWeek. Contact Adrienne Nascimento at for details.
Advertising policy: Advertisers have no influence on WeedWeek’s editorial content or on the content of articles that I write for other publications. In an effort to replicate the separation of business and editorial operations practiced at reputable news organizations, a WeedWeek salesperson will be responsible for all sales-related contact with advertisers and will work, as much as possible, without input from me. Any future advertising queries sent to me will be referred to a salesperson. In the newsletter, all ads and other forms of paid content will be clearly marked. I will not approach potential advertisers to solicit business, and reserve the right to reject ads if they present a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

All rights reserved.

Comments Off on Florida Senate starts shaping up medical marijuana plan

Florida Senate starts shaping up medical marijuana plan

Posted by | April 26, 2017 | Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Florida Senate starts shaping up medical marijuana plan

Posted By

More growers, access to treatment for snowbirds and greater flexibility in the relationship between patients and doctors are among the items likely to be included in a Senate proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November to broadly legalize medical marijuana.

The Senate Health Policy Committee held a workshop Wednesday on the implementation of Amendment 2, which garnered the support of more than 71 percent of Florida voters, as lawmakers try to reach consensus on five pieces of legislation floating in the Senate.

The most controversial issues include how many licenses the state should award to marijuana growers, now limited to seven. Also, they include who should be deemed eligible to qualify for the treatment and whether to maintain the “vertical integration” system —- requiring medical marijuana organizations to grow, process and distribute cannabis products —- currently in use.

Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who was instrumental in the passage of medical marijuana laws in 2014 and 2016 and is the sponsor of the chamber’s highest-profile piece of cannabis-related legislation this year, was the only senator to appear before the committee.

The 2014 law allowed non-euphoric marijuana for limited types of patients, such as children with severe seizures. The 2016 legislation allowed full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients. But the constitutional amendment will make cannabis available to a far-broader group of Floridians.

Under Bradley’s bill (SB 406), the state would have to issue five new licenses by the end of the year and could see another 20 marijuana operators —- nearly quadruple the seven current licensed “dispensing organizations” —- once the number of patients registered for the treatment reaches 500,000. The number of licenses would go up as the number of registered patients increases.

Bradley, a former prosecutor, acknowledged that his bill was likely too restrictive but cautioned against an open market for marijuana, which he pointed out is still an illegal drug under federal law.

“I hear a lot of talk about the current system as being a cartel,” he said. “This is not the selling of lawnmowers or office supplies. In those cases, there should be unlimited markets free from government oversight. This is very different. … Mom and pop stores don’t grow and sell medication that treat your wife’s cancer.”

But Bradley stressed the importance of having “a lot of different options from different providers” to keep prices down and guarantee patient access to the once-demonized substance that is now medicine in Florida.

Bradley frequently referred to a measure sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, that would require the state to issue 10 new licenses by October, and, like Bradley’s bill, includes a component requiring more licenses as the number of patients grows.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, who referenced the other Senate measures throughout the meeting, told reporters her panel will propose a bill during the first week of April, at the earliest, giving time for the House and the Senate to hash out differences before the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 5.

The final product will likely be a hybrid of the Senate measures already filed, Young indicated.

“I do think that more licenses up front and different thresholds will be something almost certainly we’ll move to. The question is how many and what thresholds,” Young told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the political committee that successfully promoted Amendment 2, said Wednesday he felt “pretty good about” the Senate’s approach, in contrast with a House proposal that drew Pollara’s wrath.

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, is steering a measure (HB 1397) that would, among other things, bar all but terminally ill medical marijuana patients from using vaporizers or edibles to consume cannabis products.

Young, R-Tampa, said she has not been in negotiations with her House counterparts on the issue.

“I have not had any conversations with Leader Rodrigues or any members of the Florida House on this legislation,” Young told reporters when asked. “Obviously, we have got to pass a bill through both houses, but beyond that, no.”


Comments Off on Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

Posted by | April 26, 2017 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

It’s officially “go” time for the Florida Legislature to finally reach an agreement over the future of medical marijuana in Florida.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Senate’s proposal to regulate medical cannabis, green-lighting the bill with only one “no” vote, from Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for approval.

SB 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, is the Senate’s idea of how Florida will regulate the state’s newly expanded medical marijuana industry after nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall.

Senators heard several amendments to Bradley’s bill on Tuesday. One of the amendments, pushed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach and former Sen. Frank Artiles, would add minority and veterans diversity plans for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs).

Another amendment would require doctors to check the Compassionate Use Registry to verify patients weren’t “doctor shopping,” or seeing multiple doctors to get several prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Bradley’s bill, seen as the less restrictive measure moving through the state legislature, would grandfather in the seven current MMTCs and increase the cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries, expanding the number of businesses by five more when the state has 250,000 patients, 350,000 patients, 400,000 patients and then every 100,000 thereafter.

SB 406 would also allow eliminate the three-month waiting period and would also allow patients to increase their prescription cannabis supply from 45 to 90 days or even greater than 90 days with a doctor’s approval.

The legislation would create a coalition to research medical marijuana through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Center and Research Institute, one of the top medical research centers in the state.

The goal of the coalition, according to the bill, is to conduct “rigorous scientific research,” and to “guide policy” for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for medical marijuana.

An education board, appointed by Dr. Alan List, the chief executive officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, will adopt a plan for medical marijuana research in Florida. By Feb. 15 of each year, the board would need to report to the governor, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House on research projects, community outreach initiatives and future plans of the coalition in regards to medical marijuana.

Nonresidents would also be allowed to apply to receive medical marijuana in Florida as long as they are able to get medical marijuana in their home state and qualify in Florida.

Another amendment would require the Department of Health to have computer software system to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” following pot as it’s planted and distributed to patients statewide.

Bradley’s legislation has had a relatively easy time sailing through the Senate, but now the real negotiations begin to regulate Florida’s medical cannabis industry.

On Monday, a Florida House committee passed that chamber’s proposal to regulate medical pot and the bill has many provisions at odds with the Senate’s proposals.

Anti-drug groups like the Drug Free America Foundation have largely been behind crafting HB 1397 and say a more restrictive proposal is the correct way to prevent “abuse” of the state’s newest prescription drug.

The House measure, for example, includes the 90-day wait period for patients, bans edibles and vaping and also prohibits pregnant women from ingesting the drug even if their doctor suggest it.

In order to pass and become a law, both chambers will need to reach an agreement over what the state will and will not allow when it comes to medical pot.

Both bills are now ready to be heard by the House and Senate, but no hearing dates have been set.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

Comments Off on DEA website refresh? Document on marijuana health risks no longer listed

DEA website refresh? Document on marijuana health risks no longer listed

Posted by | February 15, 2017 | Cannabis News

Advocacy group Americans for Safe Access argued DEA’s information about marijuana directly influenced “the action — and inaction — of Congress.”


A document that put the DEA under fire for disseminating misinformation about marijuana’s health effects has disappeared from the agency’s website.

As of Monday, “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” a nearly 45-page publication on the various ramifications of cannabis use, no longer was available on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.

The document last year was at the center of a legal petition by Americans for Safe Access claiming the DEA’s publishing of “scientifically inaccurate information about the health effects of medical cannabis” directly influenced “the action — and inaction — of Congress.”

In December, the medical marijuana advocacy organization alleged that the DEA website’s inclusion of 25 false statements about marijuana violated the Data Quality Act, also known as the Information Quality Act, which is meant to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information that government agencies provide to the public.

Some of those statements — that cannabis plays a significant role in psychosis; marijuana smoking causes tumors of the head, neck and lung; and marijuana is a precursor to illicit drug use and heroin addiction — have been contradicted by the DEA’s own statements in its August 2016 Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana, according to ASA.

Agencies have 60 days to respond to requests to correct information, ASA said in its statement.

On Monday, the group hailed the document’s absence as a victory.

“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock,” Steph Sherer, ASA executive director, said in a statement. “This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses.”

DEA spokesman Russell Baer, citing pending litigation, told The Cannabist on Tuesday that he could not comment on the matter.

In its statement, ASA said “the fight is not over,” claiming that the DEA’s website continues to include false or misleading statements about marijuana.

Comments Off on Cannabis tampons: Women say cramps disappear within 20 minutes

Cannabis tampons: Women say cramps disappear within 20 minutes

Posted by | September 5, 2016 | Cannabis News

Positive reviews have been flooding in for the latest period painkiller, and it is not fish oil or a hot water bottle.

Instead of stocking up on Nurofen, “marijuana tampons” are being packaged as the latest suppository.

Provided by a company called Foria which is known for other cannabis-infused products and lubricant, the period pain products aim to ease discomfort without giving women a “psychotropic high”.

They are not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or tested in clinical trials.

Online reviews, however, say the products helped them with lower back problems and worked for longer than traditional painkillers.

One woman reported in Broadly that her cramps disappeared within 20 minutes.

It also smells similar to cookie dough or cookie butter, they say.

“I have endometriosis that returned after having a partial hysterectomy,” wrote one user. ”When I have flare ups, besides excruciating pain, I look pregnant and the inflammation affects my bladder. Foria is one of the very few things that brings me relief! You should share more of it’s uses.”

Another woman called Megan said her pain was normally unbearable.

“I was able to prevent the worsening pain and cramping and piercing pains in my vaginal canal,” she wrote.

A pack of four costs $44, according to the website

“Cannabis has a long, cross cultural history of use as a natural aide in easing symptoms associated with menstruation,” notes the website.

“Our intention is to share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant while utilising modern extraction techniques to standardise purity and potency, thereby ensuring a safe and accessible experience for all women.”

Foria says women can use both the suppositories and traditional tampons at the same time. Insert the suppository first, as per Foria guidance, and keep it in for about 15 minutes before inserting a regular tampon.

They are made of cocoa butter, distilled THC oil and an ingredient called CBD isolate which is grown from organic hemp.

The vaginal walls absorb the medication directly into the bloodstream, and the cannabinoids are supposed to cause the nerves in the uterus, cervix and ovaries to block out pain and relax the muscles.

The tampons are only available in Colorado and California and patients require a medical marijuana card or a doctor’s letter.




Posted by | August 30, 2016 | Cannabis News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana, Marijuana News

These nuns are breaking all traditions of ordinary nun-hood. The sisters actually don’t consider themselves Catholic or associate with any specific traditional religion. These women have the purpose of cultivating cannabis and understanding that it is a sacred medicine to be respected. They call themselves Sisters of the Valley, and on their site it states:

“We respect the breadth and depth of the gifts of Mother Earth, working to bridge the gap between Her and her suffering people,”

They’ve created a spiritual space that they consider sacred to produce different kinds of CBD oil’s, tinctures, salves and different organic medicine. Many of these concoctions have proven to be extremely effective in treating a wide range of ailments, anything from back pain, seizures, migraines and much more.

These women are amazing because they observe the cycle of the Moon and produce the medicine in conjunction with the Moon cycles. This is incredible because the energy they are putting into their creations are extremely full of care and purity.

Located in California’s Central Valley, these sisters are really bending the rules of what it means to be a sister.

Check them out here.

Comments Off on Juneau’s First Marijuana Grow Receives State Approval

Juneau’s First Marijuana Grow Receives State Approval

Posted by | August 30, 2016 | Cannabis News, Marijuana News

Juneau’s First Marijuana Grow Receives State Approval

Alaska Cannabis Now Magazine

The first-ever state-certified commercial marijuana grow in Alaska’s capitol city is scheduled to open doors as early as mid-October. The farm received it’s final state inspection and a license to cultivate commercial cannabis Aug. 19. Alaska’s first legal cannabis stores are slated to receive their licenses in early September, but The Juneau Empire reports consumers will have to wait a month until the marijuana is actually ready for sale.

Two brothers, James and Giono Barrett, launched Rainforest Farms, which will be Juneau’s first licensed commercial cannabis farm.

“It’s cool to think that someone’s going to purchase the cannabis that comes off of these. I know that’s pretty straightforward, but it’s exciting to me,” James Barrett told The Juneau Empire. “At this point, now that we have our license, it’s all real.”

The Barrett brothers say they currently are growing 300 plants inside. The brothers are growing 55 strains and plan on funneling that number down to 30 strains by the time their product reaches retail storefronts.

Per Alaskan law, each one of the plants will be donning small blue tags in strict accordance with the state’s tracking system. The tags will allow inspectors to track the product from clone to countertop.

Alaska first legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and was the second state to do so, only after the state of California. Dispensaries are not allowed under the medical law, but when Alaska approved adult-use cannabis in 2014 though Measure 2 they began to be established for the recreational market. The new state-appointed Marijuana Control Board will oversee the state’s new adult-use marijuana program, which has been revised several times since the vote two years ago.

Alaska’s new regulatory system has already gone through drastic changes in its early days. Just weeks ago, Alaska Marijuana Control Board member Bruce Schulte was dishonorably expelled from his seat on the board by  Gov. Bill Walker.

“While I have appreciated your willingness to serve on the Marijuana Control Board, I have determined that your continued representation on this board is not in the best interest of Alaska,” Walker wrote in the letter. Schulte reportedly got no explanation and was replaced on the board by Nicholas Miller on Aug. 24.

Alaska is also beginning to see cannabis lab-testing facilities, where strains can be verified. Southeast Alaska Laboratories LLC., was the first business to apply for a conditional use permit as a lab testing facility and state marijuana establishment license.

Are you planning a trip to Alaska to experience adult-use marijuana? Let us know in the comments below.

Benjamin M. Adams is a contributor for Cannabis Now Magazine,, and His work has been seen in Culture Magazine, Treating Yourself Magazine, SKUNK Magazine, and several other cannabis-related publications. He studied Art at the University of Utah and has traveled around the world from the open hash markets in Copenhagen to Jamaica. He’s focused on the efficacy of medical marijuana for HIV and other serious illnesses. Ben lives in Southern California. You can follow him on Twitter @benbot11.