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Joe Biden applauds anti-marijuana speech at opioid forum

4/15/19--During an opioid forum, professor Bertha Madras claimed that patients who consume marijuana experience the same levels of pain and don’t decrease their opioid use, and she also characterized legislative efforts to allow patients with opioid use disorder to access medical marijuana as “disrespectful”—a rant that Biden enthusiastically applauded. The tacit endorsement of the panelist’s anti-cannabis speech appears to signal that Biden remains opposed, or at least skeptical about, changing marijuana policies. Read

The leader of the DOJ marijuana working group has a message for regulators: Slow down

4/13/19--In an exclusive interview, US Attorney Billy Williams weighs in on banking, hemp, overproduction, black-market diversion—and marijuana regulators who fail to think things out. Williams’ advice to lawmakers and regulators considering legalization? “Slow down, wake up, and get serious about what you’re doing.”  Read

Regular cannabis users require up to 220% higher dosage for sedation in medical procedures

4/15/19--Researchers in Colorado examined medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. They found patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14% more fentanyl, 20% more midazolam, and 220% more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy. Read

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

4/15/19--Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research. These findings suggest that the increase in 'deaths of despair' observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X more broadly in the years to come. Read

The Marijuana Policy Project helped bring the US to the brink of legalization. Now what?

4/16/19--During a one-on-one interview with Cannabis Wire co-founder Alyson Martin, Steve Hawkins, the new executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, talks equity, federal legalization, and the organization’s role in the booming, multibillion dollar global cannabis industry, while also discussing the future of the Marijuana Policy Project organization, which has been on the ground floor of marijuana legalization in the US since the 1990s. Read

Acute illness associated with cannabis use, by route of exposure

4/16/19--According to an observational study conducted to describe and compare adult emergency department (ED) visits related to edible and inhaled cannabis exposure, visits attributable to inhaled cannabis are more frequent than those attributable to edible cannabis, although the latter is associated with more acute psychiatric visits and more ED visits than expected. Read

Was ‘Reefer Madness’ right?

3/21/19--Reefer Madness portrayed cannabis as a powerful drug capable of sending users into psychotic, violent rages. In Alex Berenson's book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, he argues that the connections between marijuana and mental health are being ignored amidst the headlong rush to legalization. Read

Beyond Massachusetts, states struggle to limit marijuana behemoths

3/21/19--Massachusetts is not the only state struggling to limit the dominance of large marijuana companies. Maryland bars companies from owning more than one store. In December, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission expressed concern about a “proliferation” of management agreements, saying it had objected to at least a half-dozen that appeared to skirt state regulations. But the commission announced in January it will wait for guidance from the state’s Legislature before taking further action. Read

Doctors oppose legalizing marijuana in New York and three other states

3/22/19--Groups representing doctors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware released a rare joint statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in their states. “We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults. Most importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe,” the presidents of the four state medical societies said. Read

Marijuana motifs go from hippie to high (jewelry, that is)

3/22/19--With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, as well as in 10 states and the District of Columbia in the United States — and with every state but Idaho having passed some sort of marijuana legalization law — it was only a matter of time before jewelers picked up the vibe. Read

History of lifetime marijuana use is associated with better cognition and worse real-world functioning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

3/20/19--According to a study designed to examine the effect of cannabis on psychopathology, cognition and real-world functioning in SSD patients, lifetime cannabis use is associated with better working memory and processing speed and worse real-world functioning in the area of socially useful activities in patients with schizophrenia-related disorders. Clinicians should, therefore, be aware of it to provide patient-centered care in their daily clinical practice. Read

Highway Accident Brief: Collision between passenger train and refuse truck at active grade crossing, Crozet, Virginia

3/20/19--The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the crash in Crozet, Virginia, was the truck driver’s decision to enter an active grade crossing and his inaction when he encountered obstacles while attempting to cross the railroad tracks, most likely due to his impairment from the combined effects of the drugs marijuana and gabapentin. Read

The Marijuana Delusion

3/25/19--Even as the legalization push gains momentum, scientific journals report mounting evidence of the drug’s harmful psychological effects and social consequences, and pockets of resistance to the pot movement are emerging. According to Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal, the inherent contradiction of a country facing growing addiction problems in tandem with states rushing to legalize marijuana has not been lost on everyone. Read

Marijuana manufacturers flock to CBD e-commerce amid ongoing legal confusion

3/20/19--The dominant sales channel for CBD – e-commerce – is becoming a major draw for marijuana manufacturers, who are using hemp-derived CBD to tap into new revenue and a wider consumer base. They’re doing this despite repeated warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is illegal to include CBD in food, cosmetics or dietary supplements. Read

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue issues warning for hemp farmers

3/20/19--As the hype around hemp ramps up and states issue record numbers of licenses to farmers wanting to capitalize on opportunities the new crop may offer, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said he isn’t so sure hemp will be the cash crop everyone is hoping for. Perdue also predicted that hemp farmers would likely avoid further pursuits into the cannabis market. Read

Medical marijuana laws linked to health and labor supply benefits in older adults

3/19/19--A study that examined older Americans' well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state found reductions in reported pain and increased hours worked. The study suggests medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans' health. Read

CVS joins cannabis wellness trend by adding CBD products

3/21/19--CVS Health Corp. this week will begin selling products infused with the trendy, non-intoxicating hemp component at more than 800 of its stores as part of a distribution deal with marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc. The company’s CBD products will be available in about 800 stores to start and hopes to expand to more. Read

No, CBD-infused jelly beans definitely won’t get you high. Here’s why.

3/18/19--The cannabis-derived product, CBD, is appearing in jelly beans — designed by David Klein, the man who created Jelly Belly candies. Klein told the website that he doesn’t want to make any unfounded health claims about his new product but is sure that it “will help the world.” Read

ABCD study completes enrollment, announces opportunities for scientific engagement

12/3/18--The National Institutes of Health announced today that enrollment for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is now complete and, in early 2019, scientists will have access to baseline data from all ABCD Study participants. Read

Hemp testing confusion snarls Farm Bill interstate commerce guarantee

3/5/19--The 2018 Farm Bill promised protection for hemp transportation but left states with no uniform way to test THC content. As the industry awaits a national testing standard to determine what is hemp and what is marijuana, some states are talking about updating outdated testing methods for themselves. The updated tests won’t eliminate the problem of varying state testing methods, but they would eliminate the simple yes-or-no on whether the plants contain THC. Read

Senators are angry that marijuana sentences are longer than Paul Manafort’s

3/8/19--A lot of people, including U.S. senators, are picking up on the sentencing disparity that exists between repeatedly defraud financial institutions and the government versus non-violent marijuana offenses and the illegal possession of marijuana in a prohibition state. Read

Cannabis drinks confront a serious buzz kill—They taste terrible

3/10/19--Cannabis drinks are hitting the global market, promising anxiety reduction, pain relief and better sleep. One thing none of them tout is taste. Read

Medical marijuana gaining traction as alternative to prescription drugs

2/27/19--Overall, the number of countries that have already moved to legalize marijuana on some level has prompted other countries to consider marijuana for medicinal use as well. According to data compiled by Imarc Group, the global medical marijuana market was estimated to become more than 11 billion dollars (US) in 2017. Read

Could medical marijuana help older people with their ailments?

2/28/19--According to a preliminary study, medical marijuana may bring relief to older people who have symptoms like pain, sleep disorders or anxiety due to chronic conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. The study not only found medical marijuana may be safe and effective, it also found that one-third of participants reduced their use of opioids. Read

Junk food purchases increase after recreational marijuana legalization

2/28/19--A study released this month from assistant professor of economics Michele Baggio found a link between state recreational marijuana legalization and increased consumption of certain high-calorie foods, suggesting there may be something more substantial to the urban myth of "the munchies." The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Read

What Trump said in private conversations about cannabis revealed

2/25/29--President Trump immediately rebuked then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the day that he rescinded Justice Department guidance on federal marijuana enforcement priorities, Senator Cory Gardner revealed. According to Gardner, there was an obvious disagreement between the president and the attorney general on this issue. Apparently, this isn’t something Trump supports, but it was too late to reverse the decision. Read

Why the legal cannabis industry loves the Ford Transit van

2/27/19--In order to transport both marijuana and cash, a nondescript-looking Ford Transit cargo van has emerged in US states (and Washington, DC) where marijuana is legalized. Though not as rugged as the armored cars banks use, the Transits used by marijuana businesses undergo all kinds of security upgrades that get them close enough. Read

10 things we know (as in, actually have published evidence for) about marijuana and health

3/1/19--Considering the many controversies over marijuana, Nutrition Action Healthletter's Senior Nutrition Scientist Caitlin Dow presents a summary of the (limited) science on marijuana products, as well as 10 things that should be known about marijuana. Read

Trump Administration wants more input on marijuana rescheduling

3/1/19--The Trump administration is asking the public to submit comments to help inform the U.S.'s position on the potential global reclassification of marijuana. The comments received will be considered in preparing the United States' position on proposals for a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria. That means people who submit input could play a role in shaping how the U.S.'s United Nations representative votes when the decision comes up in the key international narcotics body. Read

FDA head reveals new details about agency’s CBD regulation plans

2/27/19--Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed new details about plans to pursue alternative pathways for CBD regulation and also acknowledged that federal prohibition drives research into medical marijuana overseas on Wednesday. Read

Association between cannabis use and complications related to Crohn’s Disease

3/2/19--Crohn’s disease is an idiopathic inflammatory process that is occasionally associated with complications. The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis in intestinal inflammation has been shown in several experimental models. This study concluded that cannabis use may mitigate several of the well-described complications of Crohn’s disease among hospital inpatients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis in the endocannabinoid system. Read

Optimism mixes with distrust: Cannabis industry reacts to Trump’s new attorney general

2/15/19--Donald Trump's choice for new Attorney General, William Barr, has been confirmed by the United States Senate. Barr signaled that marijuana entrepreneurs had less to fear from him than they did under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. With Barr in charge, many in the industry hope that legal marijuana will mature further. Yet, according to Barr’s statements, there is little chance he will legalize marijuana at the federal level. Read

Teen pot use fell in states that legalized medical marijuana

2/14/19--A new study suggests that fewer teen marijuana users are in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. States with medical marijuana laws had 1.1 percent fewer teenage pot smokers than states without such laws, researchers said. Researchers analyzed survey data gathered between 1999 through 2015 from 45 states, including more than 860,000 students. Read

Cannabis business news you may have missed for the week ending Feb. 15

2/15/19--U.S. Congressional hearing on marijuana banking boost industry's hopes for reform, California announces the National Guard Troop will combat marijuana grows, legal marijuana sales top $6 billion in Colorado -- plus other important news from around the marijuana industry. Read

Is smoking marijuana safe? Why we can’t let Big Weed bury the risks the way Big Tobacco did

2/13/19--Millions of Americans died from smoking-related illnesses before legal and political pressure forced the industry to admit the truth. Now, the risk of history repeating itself, with a different drug and a new generation of conflicts of interest — but, sadly, some of the same companies. According to Alex Berenson, author of  "Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence," marijuana is another addictive smoked product, and even as its use rises, we are still trying to figure out exactly how dangerous it might be and how to discourage its use. Read

How much is too much weed? New vaporizers take out the guesswork

2/1/19--GoFire Inc., a Colorado startup, says it’s solved one of the emerging problems in the legal marijuana industry: how to get the dose exactly right. The company has developed a high-end vaporizer, backed by patents, that doles out a precise amount of marijuana oil — 2.5 milligrams — that is heated, turned into vapor, and inhaled. Read

Worsening of overdose crisis predicted: Limits of focusing on prescription opioids

2/1/19--A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. Read

Marijuana, cocaine may play role in young Americans’ rising stroke rate

2/4/19--The number of younger adults having strokes is rising. New research suggests growth in illegal drug use could be playing a role. According to a new study, although alcohol and cigarette use in the stroke victims remained stable over the two-decade study period, drug use rose dramatically, from 4.4 percent in 1993-1994 to 30.3 percent in 2015. It's necessary for doctors to increase their efforts to get young adults to understand the health consequences of using drugs. Read

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

2/4/19--Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Read

Depressive symptoms and suicidality in adolescents using e-cigarettes and marijuana

1/24/19--A study recently published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine reports that youth with single and dual e-cigarette and marijuana use had increased odds of reporting depressive symptoms and suicidality compared to youth who denied use. There is a need for effective prevention and intervention strategies to help mitigate adverse mental health outcomes in this population. Read

The most interesting 2019 marijuana bills that you might have missed

1/31/19--The Boston Globe presents some of the most interesting marijuana legislation filed this year that may have been missed. These are just a small handful of the more than 500 marijuana-related bills that have already been filed for 2019 legislative sessions that in most cases began less than a month ago. Read

Does marijuana use really cause psychotic disorders?

1/20/19--Scientists with a combined 70-plus years of drug education and research on psychoactive substances believe author Alex Berenson’s assertions in his new book about marijuana causing psychotic disorders leading to violent crimes are misinformed and reckless. According to Carl L. Hart, chairman and Ziff professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, evidence from research indicates that aggression and violence are highly unlikely outcomes of marijuana use. Read

Alex Berenson: Pot is not a cure-all medicine – I told the truth and the backlash has been incredible

1/18/19--Alex Berenson, author of 'Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence,' is taking on his critics and responding to the widespread negative feedback about his book. According to Berenson, marijuana advocates appear unwilling to accept anything less than full national legalization of marijuana – even if they must downplay or hide the drug's very real mental health risks, and overstate its potential medical benefits, to do so. Read

Beer makers, thirsty for growth, push into cannabis market

1/17/19--The makers of Budweiser, Coors, and other large-scale brewers are placing their bets on marijuana as a way to fight saturated markets and shifting consumer trends. For years, the industry’s largest players have struggled with stagnating markets and shifting consumer tastes, so now they are fighting back by pushing into the marijuana industry as a potential engine for future growth. Read

Does marijuana use cause schizophrenia?

1/22/19--Currently, there is not enough evidence to support whether or not heavy use of marijuana causes schizophrenia or other syndromes. Even top scientists who specialize in marijuana research are divided, drawing opposite conclusions from the same data. The debate centers on the distinction between correlation and causation. People with psychotic problems often use marijuana regularly; this is a solid correlation, but it is unclear which came first, the marijuana habit or the psychoses. Read

As legal pot farms expand, so do air pollution worries

1/24/19--Researchers want to know more about how pot farms affect air quality. One study, for instance, suggested that more than 600 indoor pot farms in Denver could be worsening the city's air pollution. Next month, Colorado officials will launch one of the largest studies to date of pot farm emissions. Those findings could also aid regulators across the nation, who face a dearth of data as they try to evaluate the pot industry's potential effects on indoor and outdoor air quality as well as worker health. Read

Effect of marijuana smoking on pulmonary disease in HIV-infected and uninfected men

1/24/19--Lung disease is a common comorbidity in people with HIV/AIDS, independent of smoking status. The effects of marijuana smoking on risk of lung disease in HIV-infected individuals are unclear. Read

Taxing cannabis

1/23/19--For decades, analysts interested in the tax revenue potential of legalizing marijuana had to use unreliable survey data and speculation regarding how a legal market might operate. But this is changing, and various options exist for structuring state and local taxes on marijuana. A report presented by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) undertakes an in-depth exploration of state marijuana tax revenue performance and offers a glimpse into what may lie ahead for these taxes. Read

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

1/23/19--Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year marijuana use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, the rates of marijuana use disorder -- abuse or dependence on the drug -- were significantly lower in states with more liberal policies compared to states with more conservative policies. Read

Marijuana industry boosts DC lobbying team

1/11/19--The marijuana industry is boasting its largest lobbying team in Washington ever, as it gears up to push through major legislation in 2019. The Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF), a nonprofit to educate and advocate for cannabis in public policy, has hired 15 lobbyists to push the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The bill would protect state laws regulating marijuana use from the federal government. Read

D.C. pot lobbyist : The future of marijuana legalization on Capitol Hill

1/10/19--Massachusetts is one of 10 states that has legalized recreational marijuana, but it's still illegal on the federal level, resulting in a confusing patchwork of conflicting laws. Michael Correia, known on Capitol Hill as "The Pot Lobbyist," is working to change this. WGBH Morning Edition anchor Joe Mathieu spoke with Correia while in Washington D.C. to talk about his efforts to legalize pot around the country and a recent attempt by Senator Elizabeth Warren to protect states that have already gotten that far. Read

Madam Secretary pushes dangerous narrative on CBS

1/10/19--Sandra S. Bennett and William M. Bennett, MD, viewers of the CBS program "Madam Secretary" were stunned and dismayed when the show promoted the use and legalization of marijuana. According to the Bennett's, the alleged “facts” as presented in the program were misleading and/or incorrect. They are urging the network to change the next episode and all future episodes of Madam Secretary to remove any references suggesting that the use of marijuana or marijuana products, not approved by the FDA, are safe or beneficial. Read

The marijuana billionaire who doesn’t smoke weed

1/16/19--Brendan Kennedy’s Canadian cannabis company Tilray has unexpectedly become America’s gateway to the legal marijuana industry. Tilray sells marijuana for medical use and, more recently, recreational use. It wears the crown as the hottest IPO of 2018, returning 315% for the year and valuing the Canada-based but American-run company at $9 billion today. To stay ahead, Kennedy, who actually had an antidrug upbringing, spends a lot of time trying to predict which country will be the next to legalize marijuana, so that Tilray will be there when it does. Read

If weed is medicine, so is Budweiser

1/17/19--Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, and another eight look likely to do so in 2019. In an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal by Peter Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Bach states that although he is in favor of the move, he is troubled by the gateway to it, and we should not pretend that legalized marijuana is therapeutic. Read

A randomised controlled trial of vaporised Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination in frequent and infrequent cannabis users

1/19/19--A randomized placebo controlled trial was conducted to examine the acute effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) alone and in combination when administered by vaporization to frequent and infrequent marijuana users. CBD showed some intoxicating properties relative to placebo. Low doses of CBD when combined with THC enhanced, while high doses of CBD reduced the intoxicating effects of THC. Read

Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)

1/17/19--Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which makes a resin with compounds called cannabinoids. The FDA has not approved Cannabis or cannabinoids for use as a cancer treatment. Read

Top states for CBD retail shops?

1/11/19--As legal marijuana is slowly but surely finding its way into the mainstream, the modern pot shop has begun to provide a full-blown brand experience. And while the adoption of pro-marijuana legislation is still in its infancy in the U.S., cannabidiol (or CBD) is essentially available in all 50 states. Remedy Review combed Yelp Reviews to identify 1,000 most populous cities in America with the best-rated shops, the cheapest products, and the markets on the horizon. Read

States that legalize medical marijuana also see higher birth rates

1/9/19--States that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes can expect a moderate increase in birth rates, according to a new study by two UConn researchers. The study, led by UConn’s Michele Baggio and David Simon, both assistant professors of economics, along with Alberto Chong of Georgia State University, found that a birth rate increase corresponded with an increased frequency of sexual intercourse, and decreased purchase and use of condoms. Read

Driving under the influence of cannabis among medical cannabis patients with chronic pain

1/9/19--Driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) is a public health concern among those using medical cannabis. Understanding behaviors contributing to DUIC can inform prevention efforts. A recent study evaluated three past 6-month DUIC behaviors among medical cannabis users with chronic pain. With more research needed on how to best measure DUIC, prevention messaging for DUIC may be enhanced by addressing alcohol co-consumption. Read

New congressional marijuana bill is actually numbered H.R. 420

1/9/19--Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have officially reserved the number H.R. 420 for a bill that would dramatically change federal marijuana laws. The new bill filed in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. If passed, it would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Read