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How legalization is playing into the non-weed business world

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-39-11-pm11/2/16--Market research and economic impact studies have alluded to the potential of marijuana becoming a big business. So, as companies like Scotts Miracle-Gro and Microsoft dabble in the legal cannabis industry, financial analysts said it was only a matter of time for other traditional businesses to join the fray. The Cannabist covers how the talk of expanded marijuana legalization is starting to pop up in SEC filings for non-cannabis firms in sectors such as alcohol, pharmaceuticals, finance, and behavioral health. Read

Opioids out, cannabis in

fb-square-english-spanish11/1/16--With the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and fatalities, clinicians are being asked by federal agencies and professional societies to control their prescribing of narcotic medications for pain. Reduction in opioid prescribing leaves a vacuum that will be filled with other therapies, including cannabis. According to an article published in JAMA, the mandated transition to limit the use of opioids, paired with the current climate about liberalizing cannabis, may lead to patients' substitution of cannabis for opioids. Read

As record number of states vote on marijuana, public health questions remain

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-45-41-am10/29/16--In many ways, the states that currently have legalized marijuana in some form represent ongoing experiments in public health. Although those states have provided some interesting lessons thus far, many questions remain. How states vote could make a prediction on the national direction for marijuana legalization, recreational or medical. If many of the states vote yes, it could begin a new era in the ongoing experiment of legalized marijuana and public health impacts. Read

Marijuana could be legal for recreational or medical use in 29 states

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-30-58-am10/29/16--Currently, marijuana is allowed for medical use in 26 states. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota could join their ranks. In addition, California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine — all of which already allow medical use — could join Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska as states that also permit recreational use. Those nine states account for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. Read

Marijuana legalization 2016: a voter guide

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-17-17-am10/28/16--Voters in nine states will have the chance this year to decide whether they want to legalize the recreational or medical use of marijuana. In a Live Science article, contributor Stephanie Pappas poses the questions: What exactly does a vote for, or against, the legalization of marijuana mean? And, what impact might this legislation have? She provides an at-a-glance guide at the states voting and the issues on the table. Read

The dog ate my pot brownie: Legalization fuels increase in stoned pets

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-11-59-am10/28/16--As more jurisdictions legalize marijuana, veterinarians across the country say they are seeing a sharp increase in cases of pets accidentally getting high. Tasty “edibles” such as muffins and cookies that people consume for a buzz are also appealing to animals, who can’t read warning labels, and, in the case of dogs, rarely stop at just one pot brownie. Read

After Election Day, access to marijuana likely to reach all-time high across nation

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-15-33-pm10/28/16--California, experts say, will likely play the most significant role in cannabis legalization on Nov. 8. Voters in the most populous state are widely expected to approve the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” adding nearly 40 million names to the list of people who live in a state with legal pot. Polls nationally also show growing support for marijuana legalization. New Frontier, which doesn’t take a position on legalization, estimates the legal cannabis market could be worth more than $8 billion extra by 2020 if all the initiatives pass. Read

Spate of drugged driving deaths alarms U.S. regulators

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-09-47-pm10/27/16--The percentage of traffic deaths in which at least one driver tested positive for drugs has nearly doubled over a decade, raising alarms as five states are set to vote on legalization of marijuana. Amid a disquieting increase in overall U.S. traffic fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tracked an upswing in the percentage of drivers testing positive for illegal drugs and prescription medications. Read

This election could determine the future of pot in America

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-8-58-45-am10/25/16--The future of pot policy in America hinges heavily on the election this year. Marijuana law reform is on the ballot in nine states and has momentum at the federal level in the form of several bills pending in Congress, including ones to deschedule cannabis, reschedule cannabis, legalize hemp, and prioritize research trials. Read

Here’s who bankrolls the fight against marijuana legalization

fb-square-english-spanish10/26/16--Vice News reports the largest donors to various anti-weed political groups around the country include a billionaire casino tycoon, a woman who believes in reefer madness, a drug-crusading former U.S. ambassador, cops, prison guards, booze merchants, and a pharma company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Pro-legalization campaigns have overwhelmingly outraised the opposition. Supporters in the five states set to vote on recreational marijuana had $30 million as of Oct. 20, compared to $6.6 million for their rivals, according to Ballotpedia. Read

It’s not okay to give marijuana to dogs, doctors warn

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-10-44-47-pm10/22/16--Despite positive reports given by many pet owners and some veterinarians that reported that cannabis-based products of supplements have helped their pets, it is still unlikely to totally recommend those supplements. There are still problems that need to be addressed before ruling that these are safe to use for pets. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no stamp of approval on this---as there are actually no studies yet to prove the effectiveness and safety of cannabis on pets. Read

Inside big pharma’s fight to block recreational marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-11-58-20-pm10/22/16--Alcohol and pharma groups have been quietly backing anti-marijuana efforts across the country, raising questions about threats to market share. The plant’s threat to the alcohol industry is difficult to chart, but some researchers claim consumers substitute alcohol with marijuana when the plant is legalized. For big pharma, however, an expanding amount of data explains their fears. For instance, research published this year by the University of Georgia shows that Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat chronic pain and anxiety dropped in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Read  

High-potency pot doubles risk of marijuana dependence

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-11-44-01-pm10/21/16--The more potent the pot is, the more likely a person who uses it is to become dependent on it, a new study from the United Kingdom finds. The researchers found that 43 percent of the participants who preferred high-potency pot were dependent on the drug, compared with 22 percent of the participants who did not prefer high-potency pot. Read

Legalizing marijuana

fb-square-english-spanish10/24/16--Henry Berman,  a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, writes a letter to the editor of The New York Times openly expressing why marijuana legalization has been a "big deal" for children and adolescents. Berman cites the doubled number of visits to emergency rooms by children under 10, and he addresses the serious effects on teenagers as it pertains to long-term behavioral and learning problems. Read

Election may be a turning point for legal marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-8-59-54-am10/24/16--The movement to legalize marijuana will take a giant leap on Election Day if California and four other states vote to allow recreational cannabis, as polls suggest they may. The map of where pot is legal could include the entire West Coast and a block of states reaching from the Pacific to Colorado, raising a stronger challenge to the federal government’s ban on the drug. Read

Marijuana legalization campaigns raising more money than opposition

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-8-55-49-am10/24/16--As in the past, proponents have raised far more money to support ballot initiatives to legalize pot than opponents have been able to raise. The former has a marijuana industry that supports legalization. The latter does not. California proponents have raised a whopping $19.8 million this year, much of it from an industry driven by profit motives. Read

Preclinical and clinical assessment of cannabinoids

fb-square-english-spanish10/7/16--This article aims to review study results which evaluated effects of cannabinoids from plant, synthetic, and endogenous origins on cancer development in preclinical animal models and to examine the current standing of cannabinoids that are being tested in human cancer patients. Read

Black communities hit hardest by reduced public addiction treatment

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-11-46-38-pm10/23/16--It is important that publicly funded outpatient substance use disorder treatment facilities offer services free of charge; however, a substantial portion of US counties do not have any of these facilities. Furthermore, cross-sectional research has shown that such facilities are less likely to be located in counties with a greater percentage of Black residents. Read

NORML: Marijuana is here to stay

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-11-20-40-pm10/23/16--According to Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), despite nearly a century of criminal prohibition, marijuana is here to stay. Armentano believes America’s laws should reflect this reality, and they should regulate the marijuana market accordingly. Read

Leading psychosis expert to his students: To avoid risk, hold off on pot til 30

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-10-57-49-pm10/21/16--Dr. Dost Öngür, chief of the Psychotic Disorders Division at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, presented a sweeping slide-talk on complex current issues in treating psychosis and informed his medical students not to smoke pot until they're 30. His warning stems specifically from a body of research that has been accumulating since the 1980s, suggesting that heavy marijuana use early on -- mainly in the teen years is linked to a higher risk of psychosis. Read

Legalized marijuana boosts high school dropout rates

fb-square-english-spanish10/20/16--A study examining the impact of laws that legalize marijuana on educational attainment shows that states with these laws had an increase in the high-school dropout rate among 12th graders. In addition, among those who did graduate from high school, fewer went on to attend college or to graduate from college. Read

New study examines medical marijuana’s effects on drivers

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-1-31-56-pm10/19/16--The University of California at San Diego's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is in the early stages of conducting a two-year driving study that could help determine marijuana’s effects on driving with an emphasis on the key to understanding impaired driving. Read

What do we know about marijuana’s medical benefits?

fb-square-english-spanish10/18/16--Steven Kinsey of West Virginia University and Divya Ramesh of University of Connecticut have no political position on cannabis legalization; however, they do study the cannabis plant and its related chemical compounds. According to both experts, there's not enough information about cannabis or its elements to judge how effective it is as a medicine, but say well-designed studies are the most effective way to understand what medical benefits cannabis may have. While research on cannabis or cannabinoids is difficult, it's necessary to get the facts in order. Read

Does weed help you sleep? Probably not

fb-square-english-spanish10/17/16--Marijuana users may believe that frequent use helps them sleep, but that perception has been challenged by a new study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases. It found that daily marijuana users actually scored higher on the Insomnia Severity Index and on sleep-disturbance measures than those who did not use it daily. Read

Mormon leaders oppose marijuana, assisted-suicide measures

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-7-57-41-pm10/15/16--Mormon leaders are urging members to vote against ballot measures that would legalize marijuana in Arizona, California and Nevada and a Colorado proposal to make assisted suicide legal. Their opposition to assisted suicide is rooted in the faith's belief in the sanctity of life. Read

Cannabis strain names have the most fascinating origin stories!

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-11-00-09-am10/13/16--Strain names range from whimsical to seriously profound. Some of the most famous strains got their names from the history of their evolution. Some are derived from the intent of their breeders. Others are the products of urban mythology. This article dives into the names of 10 of the most well-known strains. Read

The marijuana boom is contributing to the climate crisis

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-10-44-15-pm10/5/16--A new report finds that marijuana cultivation accounts for as much as 1 percent of energy use in states such as Colorado and Washington. The electricity needed to illuminate, dehumidify, and air-condition large growing operations may soon rival the expenditures from big data centers. The marijuana industry’s energy use “is immense,” said the report’s author, Kelly Crandall, an analyst for EQ Research. Read

Paul LePage warns Maine against ‘deadly’ marijuana legalization in video

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-10-05-51-pm10/14/16--Maine Gov. Paul LePage released a false and misleading video in an attempt to convince residents to vote “no” on “Question 1, ” a marijuana legalization referendum on the state’s ballot in November. In the video, LePage also asserts that marijuana is three times stronger than it was several decades ago. He then links the drug to the state’s serious heroin and opioid epidemic, alleging that “people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” Read

Nine states will vote on legalizing recreational and medical marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-17-31-pm10/14/16--Nine states have marijuana measures on the ballot this November. In five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — voters will decide on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. In four others — Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota — voters will weigh in on medical marijuana, which is already legal in nearly half the country. Read

Heavy marijuana use may raise risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-9-29-45-am10/13/16--A new study, published in the American Journal of Medicine,  finds that regular, heavy marijuana use may reduce bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Compared with non-users, the researchers found heavy marijuana users had a 5 percent lower bone density, which the team says may raise the risk of bone-related health problems. Read

Support for marijuana legalization continues to rise

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-54-05-am10/12/16--The share of Americans who favor legalizing the use of marijuana continues to increase. Today, 57% of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 37% say it should be illegal. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed. Read

Ziggy Marley makes sure there’s a message in his music

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-34-27-am10/12/16--Reggae musician Ziggy Marley strives to always have multiple messages and ideas in his songs. He comments, “I feel like music has to put across a message, and that the world needs a voice like this voice. I don’t think there’s enough voices out there that are putting forth music and ideas that are uplifting—and at this point of my life and career, at this moment, that’s very significant." Read

Cannabis excess linked to bone disease, fractures

fb-square-english-spanish10/12/16--People who regularly smoke large amounts of cannabis have reduced bone density and are more prone to fractures, research has found. The study also found that heavy cannabis users have a lower body weight and a reduced body mass index (BMI), which could contribute to thinning of their bones. Read

Is marijuana causing global warming?

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-16-22-am10/6/16--The impact on the climate is one factor in the debate about whether or not marijuana should be grown and used for medical reasons. According to a new report by a clean energy policy research institute, 'Marijuana cultivation may be viewed as a burden that will lead to higher costs and larger environmental footprints.' Read

White House weed

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-08-10-am10/6/16--A long-circulating image seen often on social media claims that President John F. Kennedy (JFK) habitually smoked cannabis in the White House during his presidency to alleviate back pain and the symptoms of Addison's Disease. However, although medical records of JFK's hidden health struggles included use of unconventional drugs, marijuana was not listed among them. Read

Impulsivity, sensation seeking increase risk of alcohol and drug use

fb-square-english-spanish10/6/16--Based on the findings of a recent study, the combination of greater impulsivity with adolescent sensation seeking in youths with a family history of substance use disorders may be an important underlying component of the risk associated with a family history of a substance use disorder. In these individuals, early substance use, which further increases impulsivity, is an additional contributor to the risk of developing a substance-use disorder. Read

Pets on pot: The newest customer base for medical marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-55-22-am10/8/16--Allegedly rational people are turning to medical marijuana to treat a host of maladies their pets suffer, according to the Fashion & Style section of The New York Times. None of the marijuana products made by entrepreneurs for pets has been approved by regulators. Veterinarians warn against their use due to a lack of research showing they are safe for pets. Read

Five more states could legalize recreational marijuana on election day

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-11-26-27-pm10/10/16--There are nine state ballot measures regarding the legalization of marijuana that will be voted on this November. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are all looking to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota are proposing medical marijuana legislation. Read

What’s in a cannabis company name? Not as much slang

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-11-15-48-pm10/10/16--The marijuana industry has been in a perpetual struggle to shake the “stoner” stereotype, and the businesses that comprise the industry are leading the charge against it. An analysis of 3, 318 state-licensed cannabis companies in the Marijuana Business License Directory shows that wellness-oriented words such as “organic” or “herbal” appear far more frequently in business names than slang terms such as “ganja,” “420” and “pot.” Read

More focus needed on effects of cannabis on human development

fb-square-english-spanish10/3/16--Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center say there has not been enough research conducted on the effect of cannabis on the development of human embryos. Their study suggests an urgent need for human epidemiological and basic research that examines the link between maternal cannabinoid use and the health of newborns. Read

Marijuana grow ops could soon rival data center energy use

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-9-14-12-pm10/3/16--The amount of total energy used by pot growers is growing. Colorado estimated grow facilities used about 0.5 percent of the state’s electricity in 2014, and the state’s utilities say that figure is growing by about 50 percent per year. Read

The latest marijuana craze has users chasing bigger highs through ‘dabbing’

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-8-48-35-pm10/2/16--Dabbing is the latest marijuana-consumption craze, and it has users chasing bigger highs through a process called "flash vaporization." Marijuana dabbing poses some major health and safety risks, according to both anecdotal evidence and experts, and is illegal in some states. Read

U.S. pro-marijuana campaigners launch TV ads

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-1-22-23-pm10/3/16--Campaigns to legalize recreational marijuana use in Massachusetts and Maine launched their first television ads on Monday, hoping to boost public awareness and support ahead of November votes on the issue. The ads began just over a month before Election Day, when voters in five U.S. states will determine whether to legalize the recreational use of the drug. Read

Meet the senators and congressmen who support marijuana legalization

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-10-42-05-am9/29/16--The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) released its 2016 congressional scorecard on marijuana policy. Twenty U.S. representatives and two senators received an 'A' grade, indicating that this member has publicly declared his/her support for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults. Read

Retail marijuana could hurt medical marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-12-41-pm9/28/16--A new report from GreenWave Advisors believes that legalized retail marijuana will disrupt the emerging medical sector. GreenWave wrote, “Though Arizona permits only medicinal use, new cardholder applications were down sharply in May, perhaps in anticipation of a favorable election outcome for recreational use.” Read

9 states to vote soon on expanding legal access to marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-07-33-pm9/28/16--Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law. Read

If legalizing pot, consider health, not profits, analysis says

fb-square-english-spanish9/28/16--A new analysis of marijuana legislation offers a framework for states that are considering legalizing the drug and want to protect public health, rather than corporate profits. Read

Heavy marijuana use may damage the brain

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-7-33-24-pm9/26/16--Heavy marijuana use over a long period of time may severely damage the brain, according to a new review of previous research. The results of the new report and previous findings on marijuana's effects on the brain are particularly concerning as marijuana continues to be legalized for medical uses, the researchers said. Read

National fire safety group focuses on unique issues of marijuana businesses

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-20-17-am9/26/16--The National Fire Protection Association, a member-based nonprofit that develops codes and standards for fire safety, is steps closer to adding a chapter on marijuana grows and processing facilities to its NFPA 1, Fire Code. Read

These 3 states may vote against legalizing marijuana this November

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-15-30-am9/24/16--Based on select poll results, three states could wind up rejecting their respective marijuana initiative or amendment: Arizona, North Dakota, and Massachusetts. According to Motley Fool writer Sean Williams, while these three states could be a complete toss-up, the one given is that it's still far too early for investors to consider marijuana as a viable, long-term investment opportunity. Read

Cannabis attracting mainstream research analysts

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-10-20-55-am9/22/16--Cowen and Company joins the ranks of the few mainstream research firms to officially begin covering the cannabis industry. A comprehensive 100 plus page report with contributions from ten different analysts was issued by Cowen Washington Research Group on September 12. Read

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump on marijuana

fb-square-english-spanish9/21/16--As voters have shifted opinions on marijuana in recent years, so have government officials, as well as the leading presidential candidates. Clinton appears to have a more specific stance on marijuana than Trump and doesn't view it with much stigmatization. Whereas, Trump has offered a more cautious opinion on marijuana. Read

Study questions role for marijuana in teen users’ IQ decline

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-10-44-55-pm8/1/16--In a recent study sponsored by NIDA and the National Institute of Mental Health, teens who used marijuana lost IQ points relative to their nonusing peers. However, the drug appeared not to be the culprit. The new findings contribute to an ongoing scientific exploration of the drug’s impact on users’ cognition. Read

Review: SneakGuard keeps cannabis away from kids

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-9-55-47-pm9/20/16--SneakGuard is a new product designed for keeping cannabis products (or pharmaceuticals) locked away and secure from children. Cannabis reviewer Ry Prichard is satisfied that the SneakGuard is in fact childproof, but may be more useful for cannabis users than a safe can ever be. Read

Can marijuana really reduce pot bellies and obesity?

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-7-55-23-pm9/19/16--According to a recent study, marijuana users may be more likely to have a lower body mass index (BMI) or less likely to be obese or overweight than non-users. University of Miami researchers determined that women who use marijuana daily had on average BMIs approximately 3.1% lower than that of non-users. Read

Former NFL player Eben Britton says he played his best games while stoned

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-7-13-47-pm9/19/16--Eben Britton, who spent six seasons in the NFL, claims that he often played his best games after smoking marijuana. Britton said he estimates “over 50 percent and it could be as high as 75 percent” of NFL players smoke weed.Read

Tommy Chong wants White House pardon for selling bongs

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-47-15-am9/19/16--Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame,  spent nine months in federal prison in the early 2000s for selling bongs over the internet. Last month, he started a White House petition encouraging the president to pardon him. To date, it’s received over 13,000 signatures, and needs more than 80,000 more by Sept. 25 to ensure a White House response. Read

Merle Haggard joins the marijuana business from beyond the grave

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-7-57-40-am9/15/16--Prior to country legend Merle Haggard's death, he joined forces with the Colorado Weed Co. to develop connoisseur-grade marijuana strains. Now, after his death, his daughter Jenessa Haggard-Bennett and her husband, Brian Bennett, are working with the Colorado Weed Co. to dedicate a number of strains to her father. Read

Medical marijuana may be helping curb opioid use

fb-square-english-spanish9/15/16--A study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that there were fewer drivers killed in car crashes who tested positive for opioids in states with medical marijuana laws than before the laws went into effect. The study is one of the first to assess the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use at the individual level. Read

DOD Secretary tells tech experts: ‘we can be flexible’ on marijuana use

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-8-46-55-pm9/14/16--Defense Secretary Ash Carter strives to build bridges between the military and technology experts, and believes that with changing times, laws, and attitudes about marijuana, the DOD can also be flexible with marijuana as it relates to past drug use. Read