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GW Pharmaceuticals slaps price tag on cannabis-based epilepsy drug

8/9/18--GW Pharmaceuticals has revealed the price of its cannabis-based epilepsy drug Epidiolex. The medication, which is expected to be available by early fall, will have a $32,500 price tag. Epidiolex was approved in June by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. The company said the $32,500 price tag is in line with other branded antiepileptic drugs used to treat these conditions. Read

Risk-taking, antisocial teens 5 times more likely to die young

8/10/18--Adolescents with serious conduct and substance use problems are five times more likely to die prematurely than their peers, with roughly one in 20 dying by their 30s, according to new CU Boulder research. The study, published today in the journal Addiction, also suggests that while drug and alcohol use among adolescents draws more attention, antisocial behavior -- including rule-breaking tendencies -- may be a more powerful predictor of early mortality. Read

College students may face pressures from opioid epidemic’s secondary effects

8/11/18--About one in five college students reported in a survey that they knew someone who was addicted to pain medications, and nearly a third said they knew somebody who overdosed on painkillers or heroin, according to a team of undergraduate Penn State Lehigh Valley researchers. This secondary exposure to opioid abuse may shine a light on the collateral damage that is often left out of the current debate about the epidemic, said Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology, Penn State Lehigh Valley. Read

‘I don’t think I look like a stoner’: the women changing the face of the cannabis industry

8/12/18--As weed’s legal status loosens across the US, the way cannabis is being marketed, sold, and celebrated is evolving. An industry that has been dominated by men is finding a female voice in consumers and new business owners. There are now yoga retreats, workouts, day spas, parties, conferences – all for women who like weed. As the weed market continues to grow, women are shifting perceptions of the drug and its users. Stoner stereotypes are being knocked back and women are talking openly about the place weed has in their lives. Read

Journal Times editorial: Pot referendums could sway election

8/12/18--This coming November, City of Racine residents will have the chance to vote in an advisory referendum on the question of whether marijuana should be legal for medicinal and/or recreational use, as well as what the potential revenue should be used for. Keeping in mind the fact that the marijuana referendums could sway the election, the poses the question: Is this the right time? Would April be a better time? Read

Believe it or not, medical marijuana sales could fall

8/12/18--Based on the continued expansion of countries and states that allow legal medical marijuana, it may be assumed that global medical marijuana spending will keep on growing in 2018 like it has in previous years. However, Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics project that global medical marijuana spending will drop by more than 19% year over year in 2018. Yet, medical marijuana sales are expected to increase again, and the growth rate over the next four years should be nearly as impressive as the period between 2014 and 2017. Read

Can Article V federally legalize cannabis?

8/12/18--Article V, a legal precedent set by America’s founding fathers, permits two-thirds of the states to call for a Convention of States to put forth proposed amendments to the Constitution.  If the proposed amendment is passed by three-fourths of the states as they are comprised in Congress, then the Constitution will be amended. Article V has been considered to be the latest legal avenue to pursue to potentially challenge the current, federal administration’s predilection for prohibition. However, according to cannabis law expert, Bob Carp, pursuing an Article V legal strategy would be an exercise in futility. Apparently, Article V is not the best precedent for challenging federal prohibition. Read

FDA takes new steps to encourage the development of novel medicines for the treatment of opioid use disorder

8/6/18--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued new scientific recommendations aimed at encouraging more widespread innovation and development of novel medication-assisted treatment (MAT) drugs for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). New draft guidance issued outlines new ways for drug developers to consider measuring and demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of new or existing MAT products. Furthermore, this new draft guidance is part of the FDA’s ongoing commitment to promote more widespread development, access to and adoption of MAT. Read

Another major beer company is now part of the marijuana craze

8/12/18--Heineken is another major beer company angling for its piece of the cannabis-infused beverage pie. With cannabis flourishing in the U.S., even as the federal government holds firm on its Schedule I classification, Heineken sees an opportunity. Roughly two weeks ago, on July 30, Heineken launched a cannabis-only beverage in a handful of dispensaries in California through its wholly owned Lagunitas craft-brewing brand. Designed to taste like beer, but containing no alcohol, Heineken hopes that its Hi-Fi Hops beverage catches on quickly with consumers. Read

How cannabis manufacturers tell a story through their sophisticated packaging

7/9/18--Product packaging is increasingly becoming a storytelling medium, especially in a nascent industry like recreational cannabis. It is more sophisticated than ever before, and brands that do it right are creating marketing history while simultaneously changing public opinion with their perfectly packaged creations. Developing cannabis manufacturers are raising the bar at the intersection of wellness, compliance, and luxury branding. Read

With marijuana legal, California flooded with dubious health claims about the drug

7/9/18--Marijuana is increasingly described online as a magical elixir for virtually every disease that afflicts humans. The claims are often unattributed and are rarely tied in a substantive way to mainstream science. Six months ago, it became legal in California to sell recreational marijuana in licensed pot shops, and many customers have been turning to the store’s “bud tenders” to tell them which strain of weed can alleviate their aches and pains or help them to sleep. Most bud tenders have no formal training in medicine or science. Read

Here are the most and least marijuana-friendly newspapers

7/9/18--A report, published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports, examining how the press covers cannabis, also revealed which publications have been the most and least weed-friendly. The percentage of marijuana stories with "positive" tones in ten newspapers include, The Columbus Dispatch: 37.1%; The New York Times: 37; The Seattle Times: 35.8%, The Washington Post: 32.4%; The San Francisco Chronicle: 31.9%; Tulsa World: 28.2%; The Tampa Tribune: 21.5%; The Dallas Morning News: 21.2%; The Wall Street Journal: 17.4%; and The Denver Post: 13.8%. Read

Here are the DEA’s newest slang terms for marijuana: ‘shoes,’ ‘my brother’ and more

7/9/18--The Drug Enforcement Administration reported over 50 new slang terms for the word marijuana since last year. And some of them are just plain weird. It seems that the federal agency is beginning to understand the concept of strains, as several common strain names are included in the update list, released this month: blue dream, green crack, and train wreck, for example. Read

How to tell if you’re too tired to drive — and what to do if you are

7/8/18--This year, AAA reported that the number of crashes involving drowsiness is almost eight times higher than federal estimates indicate. And according to the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll, 60 percent of adults admitted to driving drowsy and 37 percent admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel. A more recent Sleep Health Index put out by the foundation found that 3 percent of Americans admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within a two-week period. Maureen Short, a Human Factors Expert and Senior Safety Engineer for Chevrolet, hopes to reduce this occurrence. Read

Today’s heroin epidemic infographics

7/7/18--Today's infographics, as presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicate that more people are at risk given multiple drugs abused. More specifically, heroin use has increased among most demographic groups. Furthermore, heroin addiction and overdose deaths are climbing. Read

Health, polysubstance use, and criminal justice involvement among adults with opioid use

7/6/18--In this cross-sectional analysis, individuals who reported any level of opioid use were more likely than individuals who reported no opioid use to have physical and mental health conditions and co-occurring substance use. Involvement in the criminal justice system increased with intensity of opioid use, and any level of opioid use was significantly associated with involvement in the criminal justice system in the past year. Read

Jefferson launches the nation’s only university-based cannabis science graduate certificate programs

7/5/18--The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University has created the nation’s first—and only—university-based, graduate-level certificates in cannabis education for healthcare and industry professionals. This fall, The Lambert Center will launch graduate certificates in Cannabis Medicine and Cannabinoid Pharmacology, both the first of their kind. In 2019, the Cannabinoid Chemistry and Toxicology Graduate Certificate will be launched. Read

Medical marijuana a hit with seniors

7/5/18--Seniors are giving rave reviews for medical marijuana. In a new survey, those who turned to it for treating chronic pain reported it reduced pain and decreased the need for opiod painkillers. Nine out of 10 liked it so much they said they'd recommend medical pot to others. Read

Netflix’s Marijuana Show ‘Cooking on High’ Draws Jeers

7/5/18--Netflix has hit a low note with “Cooking on High.” The food series, in which competitors cook marijuana-infused dishes for a pair of judges, has been panned by viewers and critics alike. One Washington Post review slammed ineptitude among the show’s judges. Read

Colorado company changing name to add ‘hemp,’ remove ‘pot’

7/3/18--PotNetwork Holdings, a Colorado CBD maker, is changing its name to to BioTech Hemp to take the word “pot” out of its title and add “hemp.” The company, which owns the brand Diamond CBD, said the change “underscores the company’s strengthening identity as a dominant player in the CBD industry.” Read

In major study, cannabis shows no benefit for chronic pain

7/3/18--Cannabis' medical benefits have suffered a serious blow, with a major study finding it does almost nothing to help people with chronic pain. The study, one of the largest and most in depth ever done on the drug’s medical use, found cannabis does not cut pain, nor does it help sufferers replace opioids. And users seem to suffer higher levels of anxiety overall. Read

Here’s how California might enforce violations of marijuana business rules

7/3/18--For now, regulators say they plan to maintain a softer approach to enforcement instead of immediate crackdowns in which fines are levied on companies that don’t heed the law. The Bureau of Cannabis Control, which oversees retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses, will likely run point on inspections and enforcement, although the DFA oversees growers and the DPH governs edibles makers and concentrate producers. The strongest enforcement actions will likely be reserved for repeat violators. Read

Mr. Trump, please don’t legalize marijuana at the federal level

7/3/18--President Trump has spoken out forcefully about defeating the illegal drug problem. Now he is urged to support marijuana legalization in the midst of the most deadly drug abuse epidemic in American history. Ex-drug czars Bill Bennett and John Walters firmly believe that the President should forcefully reject marijuana legalization, and direct his staff to get the facts out and push back against the ignorance that risks turning our drug policy into one of the worst self-inflicted wounds in American history. Read

Marijuana use associated with respiratory issues

7/2/18--Individuals who smoke marijuana regularly are likely to experience cough, increased sputum production and wheezing, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read

Even once-a-week pot smokers have more cough, phlegm

7/2/18--Smoking marijuana once a week can cause coughing, wheezing and phlegm, all signs of chronic bronchitis, a new evidence review reports. Pot smoking doubles a person's risk of developing a regular hacking cough. It also triples the risk of coughing up phlegm and suffering from wheezy constricted breathing, researchers found. Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific adviser to the American Lung Association, said he's concerned that heavy marijuana use could lead to larger health problems for those who develop chronic bronchitis. Read

Are there risks from secondhand marijuana smoke? Early science says yes

3/19/18--Scientists are finding that, just as with secondhand smoke from tobacco, inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana can make it harder for arteries to expand to allow a healthy flow of blood. Read

Home Depot now selling American Cannabis Company products online

3/15/18--The Home Depot Inc. has planted a partnership seed with the cannabis industry. The Atlanta-based retail giant joined Walmart Inc. and Amazon Inc. in securing online distribution channels with American Cannabis Company Inc., a full-service business-to-business consulting solutions provider, and seller of ancillary products to the cannabis industry. Read

House of Medicine opens the door to addiction prevention & treatment

3/15/18--Two landmark developments in medicine pave the way for quality medical care to address America's largest and most costly preventable health problem - unhealthy substance use and addiction involving all addictive substances. These changes are designed to increase the number of addiction medicine physician specialists who can provide direct patient care and consultation, teach other providers and thereby drive knowledge across health care, and help policymakers and the public understand and effectively respond to our current health crisis. Read

Changing marijuana laws and the opioid crisis are prompting employer action

3/13/18--While CEOs still tend to opt for termination over rehabilitation for drug use, the reality is that employers may not be able to afford to do so while recruitment and retention remain a key HR concern. If an HR manager hasn’t dealt with a drug issue at their workplace yet, its likely they will very soon. HR will need to align with employee assistance programs (EAPs) and with workers’ comp providers to lessen the use of opioids and get provider buy-in for the anti-opioid direction. Read

Charlotte’s Web’s secrets revealed as parent company plans to go public in Canada

6/29/18--Stanley Brothers Holdings plans to go public in Canada, the latest in a growing list of U.S. businesses looking north of the border to raise capital. The firm is the parent company of CW Hemp, the manufacturer of Charlotte’s Web CBD products, that was catapulted into the media spotlight in 2013 when it was featured in the CNN documentary “Weed.” According to the firm’s preliminary prospectus Stanley Brothers, the company has been steadily posting an annual profit since 2016. Read

Mitch McConnell: Drug warrior, CBD champion?

6/29/18--The Senate passed a version of the 2018 Farm Bill that would legalize so-called “industrial hemp” – legislation that has long been a pet project of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell has been pushing the point that hemp is “a completely different plant than its illicit cousin,” marijuana, and that Americans are clamoring for more hemp products, spending $820 million last year on “everything from clothing to auto parts,” mostly made out of hemp grown overseas. Read

Ricki Lake-produced film Weed the People argues for marijuana use as a cancer treatment

3/10/18--As marijuana use continues to become decriminalized across the United States, doctors, researchers and patients are pushing to make it an accepted part of cancer treatments. The new film Weed the People, executive-produced by Ricki Lake, follows families as they discover the benefits of marijuana for their child’s cancer and chemotherapy. Read

Hot ink: CBD makers hoping tattoo-care products will open new $1.6 billion market

3/6/18--A growing number of hemp companies are launching products aimed at the tattoo industry, from CBD patches marketed as pain relief to balms and creams designed to speed recovery, to expand their retail opportunities. The trend comes as CBD producers look for non-marijuana retail opportunities amid ongoing legal uncertainty about cannabis’ legal status. Read

New studies show that legal cannabis access reduces opioid abuse

3/4/18--Scientific data is growing nearly by the day in support of the notion that legalized cannabis can mitigate opioid use and abuse. For instance, among states where medical cannabis access is permitted, patients routinely lessen their opioid intake. According to data published this week by the Minnesota Department of Health, among those patients known to be taking opiate painkillers upon their enrollment into the program, 63 percent “were able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months.” Read

Increasing study data indicates medical cannabis Can reduce opioid use, deaths

3/4/18--Libertarian think tank The Cato Institute last week posted an article citing a study report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Study results, which surveyed data from 2,000 first-time medical marijuana users with intractable pain, said 42 percent of those patients reported a 30 percent decrease or more in their level of pain. Perhaps, more importantly, the study also found that of those patients taking opioid medications for pain, 63 percent were able to reduce or curtail their opioid use, once treated with medical cannabis. Read

Federal health official says “There is no such thing as medical marijuana”

3/5/18--As health officials, law enforcement, and politicians carve a path forward through interdiction, treatment, and opioid alternatives, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar has already dismissed medical cannabis as an option, even in the face of continued research showing the controversial plant's immense ability to wean users off pain pills and heroin. According to Azar, there is no such thing as medical marijuana, and there is no FDA approved use of marijuana. Read

Legalized medical marijuana doesn’t cause more teens to smoke weed, study finds

3/5/18--According to a study out of Columbia University, teen usage of cannabis neither increased nor decreased after states legalized pot use for medical problems. The study was an analytical examination of four separate national surveys with data from eleven separate studies dating back to 1991. Still, the researchers want to study adult cannabis use next, pointing to the possibility that while connections to teen abuse appear unlikely, there may be a link to people becoming more dependent on the drug in adulthood. Read

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from problems with alcohol or other drugs?

3/5/18--Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs and were less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Read

Why the FDA is high on a marijuana drug

6/29/18--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription drug for children with severe epilepsy on June 25, making it the first prescription medicine derived from cannabis permitted to be sold in the U.S. The decision is a boost for the U.K.’s biotech industry and bolsters the nation’s position, according to the United Nations, as the biggest producer of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Read

Where pedestrian deaths are up, is marijuana to blame?

2/28/18--Pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents have reached levels not seen in years, and a safety group has sought to explain why. It has identified several possible causes, like digital distractions and an increase in driving. Now it has added another: marijuana. Read

National marijuana survey plan announced by Massachusetts consultant and UMass-Dartmouth

6/29/18--The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network of Somerville said it will work with the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth to mount a national survey of marijuana use. "The survey is aimed to better understand consumer/patient demographics, attitudes, choices, methods of consumption, and knowledge of cannabis products in legal cannabis states," a press release said. The plan for the survey was approved by the institutional review board of UMass-Dartmouth, and findings are to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and provided at conferences and forums. Read

Elizabeth Warren’s faulty claim about marijuana convictions

6/29/17--Making the case for criminal justice reform, Warren claimed that the United States locks up more people for “low-level offenses on marijuana” than for all violent crimes. As reported by The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, most crimes are prosecuted by state and local authorities, not the federal government. Furthermore, nearly 44,700 people at the state level were serving a sentence of one year or longer at the end of 2015 after being convicted of drug possession as their most serious offense, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This includes not only marijuana but also heroin, cocaine, and other illicit drugs. Read  

Cronos, a marijuana producer, starts trading on the Nasdaq

2/27/18--Canadian marijuana producer Cronos Group is the first pot producer and seller to trade on Wall Street. Although other companies with indirect relations to cannabis are trading, this marks a big step for the cannabis industry. Read

D.A.R.E. programs unsure of how to teach marijuana in legalized states

2/25/18--As more states legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use, anti-drug education programs struggle to stay relevant. Particularly, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)—a popular school program created in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department—isn't sure how to adapt to new, sensible drug policies across the United States. Read

Cannabis descheduling not one of pharma giant’s “core priorities”

2/23/18--Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., a pharmaceutical giant that once developed marijuana-based medicines, won’t be advocating for the descheduling of cannabis anytime soon. The company opposes a shareholder proposal seeking Lilly to proclaim support of marijuana descheduling, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Friday. Read

The best marijuana gadgets for the tech-y stoner in your life

2/25/18--Silicon Valley is no stranger to cannabis culture, so it's no surprise that tech companies are driving innovation in the pot world with some seriously impressive products. From edibles to vapes, cultivation boxes to dab rigs, there are seemingly endless ways to consume cannabis in the growing number of states that have passed legislature legalizing marijuana. Read

Why is it so hard to dose weed

2/26/18--It's difficult to quantify just how much marijuana is being inhaled —especially because marijuana contains some 500 chemicals that interact in ways scientists are just beginning to understand. Science has more to learn about how marijuana works on the human body, and companies making cannabis devices are figuring out ways to tackle the dosing problem. Read

After legalization, Dr. Dre’s ‘Weed Man’ is thriving

2/22/18--Virgil Grant straddles two eras, the criminal past and the legalized future. Grant spent more than eight years in federal and state prisons for marijuana dealings, but now he is thriving in a multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with three licensed cannabis businesses in Los Angeles and several hip-hop stars as customers. Read

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

2/22/18--Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths. Read

Trump administration cautions against hemp expansion

2/21/18--The Trump administration doesn’t want to see hemp expanded nationwide in the next Farm Bill because of concerns about overproduction, according to an official. Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said current hemp regulations are “fairly narrow” and that the Trump administration doesn’t necessarily want to see that change when the Farm Bill is rewritten this year. Read

One of the world’s largest tobacco giants is teaming up with Snoop Dogg’s VC firm to invest in medical cannabis research

6/28/18--Imperial Brands, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, is getting into cannabis through its venture arm in a Series A fundraising round for Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT). Snoop Dogg's cannabis-focused venture firm, Casa Verde Capital, also participated in the round. Read

Schumer introduces Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act

6/27/18--Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) formally introduced new legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Specifically, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level. Read

6 ways to beat a local cannabis ban

2/1/18--Retail cannabis may be legal statewide, but California law allows local municipalities to severely limit or ban cannabis companies. In many cases, bans were the response to the vocal outcry of a relatively small number of concerned citizens. However, bans can be reversed. Leafly presents a few ways to change votes. Read

Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of progressive stages of alcoholic liver disease

1/17/18--A study revealed that among alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis (dependent and non‐dependent cannabis use) showed significantly lower odds of developing alcoholic steatosis (AS), steatohepatitis (AH), fibrosis, cirrhosis (AC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Additionally, findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with a reduced incidence of liver disease in alcoholics. Read

It’s high time for restaurants to pay attention to marijuana

2/1/18--Marijuana has the ability to impact nearly every aspect of the food world. From restaurant brands reaching their cannabis-friendly customers on social media to THC-laced concoctions competing with established restaurants. But, while more than half the country approves of legalization in some form, there’s still concern from retailers about alienating the rest of the population or stumbling into a legal gray area. Read

As states legalize marijuana, investors see an opportunity

1/26/18--Twenty-nine states now allow marijuana for medical purposes, while eight have legalized its recreational use. As the acceptance of marijuana is growing, so are the opportunities to invest in it. Investors put $500 million into private cannabis companies last year, said Troy Dayton, the chief executive and a co-founder of Arcview, which also has an investment arm. Read

Open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

1/22/18--Paula Gordon Ph.D. submitted an open letter to Stop Pot, a non-partisan grassroots campaign started by citizens concerned about the damaging health effects, both physical and mental, of marijuana. Gordon thanked readers for rescinding the Cole Memorandum in addition to holding the marijuana industry accountable for the harms they have caused and that they are causing to public health and safety. Read

Vaping can be addictive and may lure teenagers to smoking, science panel concludes

1/23/18--A national panel of public health experts concluded in a report released on Tuesday that vaping with e-cigarettes that contain nicotine can be addictive and that teenagers who use the devices may be at higher risk of smoking. Whether teenage use of e-cigarettes leads to conventional smoking has been intensely debated in the United States and elsewhere. Read

Marijuana money increasingly flowing to Republican lawmakers

1/21/18--Marijuana business owners are increasingly pouring their profits into lobbying lawmakers as they face a federal crackdown from the Trump administration. A USA Today survey found hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing from the cannabis industry into campaign finance accounts of both lawmakers and political action committees, with emphasis this year on Congressional Republicans who are trying to stop the Trump administration from targeting marijuana businesses. Read

Did my brother’s teen pot use lead to his schizophrenia?

1/19/18--Because pot is being legalized in more and more states, many young people assume it must be safe. However, when used by people whose brains are still developing (up to age 25), there is an increased risk of developing a mental illness. Recent studies have shown this vulnerability. Not everyone who smokes pot will become psychotic, but it is not harmless. Kids need to be warned about the huge risks associated with teen marijuana use. Read