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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

New Distilled Spirits Council study shows no impact on spirits sales from legalized recreational marijuana

1/10/19--Distilled spirits sales have not been negatively impacted in the three states that have had legalized recreational marijuana retail sales the longest, according to a study by the Distilled Spirits Council. This new in-depth analysis, utilizing state-level alcohol tax receipts and actual alcohol shipment data, examined per capita alcohol sales in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon for the two years prior to recreational marijuana legalization and up to 3-4 years post-legalization. Read

Should ‘medical marijuana’ be recommended for patients?

1/10/19--According to Paul Terpeluk, DO, Medical Director, Employee Health Services, there are better alternatives than 'medical marijuana' for patients. Terpeluk believes that patients deserve to know that whatever they are using to control their symptoms is safe and effective. And clinicians need to have confidence that a treatment will work as intended. The goal of the healthcare provider is to help patients, to treat their conditions, to improve their quality of life and to ease their suffering ― within the bounds of scientific evidence. Read

Constellation Brands stock sinks 11% after releasing disappointing 2019 outlook

1/9/19--Shares of Constellation Brands dropped 11 percent in premarket trading Wednesday morning. Constellation Brands said it expects to earn between $9.20 and $9.30 per share for the fiscal 2019 year, on an adjusted basis, missing analysts' expectations of $9.43 per share. The company's stock, which has a market value of $32.7 billion, struggled in 2018, with shares ending the year down 30 percent. Read

High Times has some glossy new competition

1/9/19--Marijuana culture is being reframed, in part as a result of independently run magazines with modest press runs but impressive coffee-table presence. They are helping the archetype of stereotypical marijuana smokers evolve into cultured, luxury-designer-wearing members of the creative class. Publishers see an exciting opportunity in a marketplace that could reach $23.4 billion in consumer spending and employ a half-million Americans by 2023, according to the cannabis data firm BDS Analytics. Read

‘Everybody’s wanting seed’: Hempseed market heats up after Farm Bill passage

1/8/19--The 2018 Farm Bill guarantees interstate commerce for all hemp products, removing requirements that viable hempseeds require approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Plant breeders now have a huge new market open to them as barriers to national hempseed distribution are removed. Read

This reporter took a deep look into the science of smoking pot. What he found is scary.

1/5/19--New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s new book,  Tell Your Children, delves into research linking heavy marijuana use with violent crime and mental illness. Berenson interviewed researchers who have quietly but methodically documented the effects of THC on serious mental illness, and he makes a convincing case that a recreational drug marketed as an all-around health product may, in fact, be really dangerous—especially for people with a family history of mental illness and for adolescents with developing brains. Read

Impacts of medical marijuana laws on young Americans across the developmental spectrum

1/4/19--State legalization of marijuana for medical purposes could increase illicit marijuana use among young people. Medical marijuana laws may boost the availability of marijuana and reduce perceptions of its harmfulness, leading more young people to try it. Prior studies report little evidence that these laws are impacting marijuana consumption by young Americans, and none have systematically compared developmentally distinct age groups. Read

‘Reefer Madness’ not so mad after all, anti-pot author warns

1/3/19--As marijuana continues its seemingly inevitable march to legalization in all 50 states, most Americans simply accept that it’s relatively harmless. But what if it’s not? Alex Berenson, a reporter and novelist who authored the book “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” thoroughly presents the case for caution. Read

Reefer madness

1/10/19--According to an editorial and analysis published by The Washington Times, the use of marijuana is growing now that ambiguity over its legality is well advanced. Contrary to the view that marijuana is a trendy drug with little or no downside, there are undeniable reasons to steer clear of it. Read

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm

12/19/18--New research from Duke Health suggests men in their child-bearing years should also consider how THC could impact their sperm and possibly the children they conceive during periods when they've been using the drug. Much like previous research that has shown tobacco smoke, pesticides, flame retardants and even obesity can alter sperm, the Duke research shows THC also affects epigenetics, triggering structural and regulatory changes in the DNA of users' sperm. Read

Hemp seed oil is not CBD oil but tricky marketing fuels consumer confusion

12/12/18--There is a lot of confusion for consumers when shopping for pure CBD oil products. Retail powerhouses, in particular, sell a variety of hemp seed oils, but hemp seeds contain little or no CBD although the marketing for many hemp seed oils often implies otherwise. Therefore, consumers should take the time to do some research since there are only tiny amounts of CBD, if any, present. Hemp seed oil is frequently used for cooking, skin-care products and bio-fuels much like corn oil or other vegetable oils. Read

A state-by-state look at the 1998 tobacco settlement 20 years later

12/13/18--Despite receiving over $27 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, the states continue to severely underfund tobacco prevention and cessation programs proven to save lives and money. A report is issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative challenges states to do more to fight tobacco use – still the nation’s No. 1 cause of preventable death and disease. Read

Pot unites democrats, republicans as ex-party chiefs join Tilray

12/13/18--Michael Steele and Dean Howard, former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties respectively, are among the heavyweights joining a Canadian company’s effort to boost the prestige of the marijuana industry. Tilray Inc., the first marijuana company to list directly on a U.S. exchange, announced the formation of a 10-person advisory board. Read

People searched for a certain marijuana product a lot in 2018, Google says

12/10/18--People in the U.S. were really interested in learning about cannabidiol (CBD) gummies in 2018, according to Google’s year-end trend report. “CBD gummies” was the third most popular food-related Google search of the year—following unicorn cake and romaine lettuce. Read

Aurora Cannabis to acquire Mexican company following partnership deal

12/10/18--Aurora Cannabis Inc. has signed a deal to acquire Mexican company Farmacias Magistrales. The deal to buy the pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor follows an agreement last week that saw Aurora partner with the company. Read

Wall Street’s top pot analyst loves Cronos deal for Altria: ‘Unique entry into cannabis’

12/10/18--Wall Street's top marijuana analyst, Vivien Azer, likes Marlboro maker Altria's $1.8 billion investment in Canadian pot company Cronos Group, telling clients the move represents a "unique entry into cannabis." According Azer, Cronos' emphasis on rare cannabinoids will likely prove valuable for Altria as it looks to diversify from tobacco and into up-and-coming markets like e-cigarettes and marijuana. Read

Farm Bill agreement allows nationwide hemp cultivation for any use – including CBD

12/11/18--A long-awaited end to five decades of hemp prohibition has been approved by a House-Senate panel, potentially opening the door to hemp production in all 50 states for any use – including CBD. The measure is included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed the Senate 87-13 on Tuesday and still must pass the House before work is concluded for the year and all pending legislation dies. Read

Ending weed prohibition hasn’t stopped drug crimes

12/7/18--A study recently published in The Economic Journal found that after medical marijuana was legalized in California, violent crime fell 15 percent. Yet, authorities in California’s Emerald Triangle, say that ever since California’s 1996 medical-marijuana initiative, violent crime in Humboldt, in particular, has increased. According to Ben Filippini, a deputy sheriff in this jurisdiction, "All legalization did here was create a safe haven for criminals.” Read

Is Aphria a marijuana house of cards or a bad-news buy?

12/7/18--Shares in Aphria Inc., the third-largest Canadian marijuana company, have crashed over 50% this week because of short-sellers. Since shares have fallen significantly, Aphria's management has taken notice and responded to the allegations calling the short report "a malicious and self-serving attempt to profit by manipulating Aphria's stock price at the expense of Aphria's shareholders." Read

Older Americans are flocking to medical marijuana

12/7/18--Oils, tinctures and salves — and sometimes old-fashioned buds — are increasingly common in seniors’ homes. Doctors warn that popularity has outstripped scientific evidence. Physicians who treat older adults expect their marijuana use to increase as the number of states legalizing medical marijuana keeps growing. Read

Acute effects of smoked and vaporized cannabis in healthy adults who infrequently use marijuana

11/30/18--Significant, sometimes adverse, drug effects can occur at relatively low THC doses in infrequent marijuana users, and accordingly this data should be considered with regard to regulation of retail marijuana products and education for individuals initiating marijuana use. Read

Greater risk for frequent marijuana use and problems among young adult marijuana users with a medical marijuana card

11/25/18--According to a study comparing young adults with and without a medical marijuana (MM) recommendation from a provider (“MM card”) on their developmental trajectories of frequent marijuana use and marijuana-related problems in young adulthood, young adult marijuana users with a MM card had a higher risk profile for marijuana use and related problems compared to those without an MM card. Given expanding state legalization of marijuana for medical use, this issue warrants further attention. Read

Coca-Cola CEO on coffee strategy: We’re not going head to head with Starbucks

11/16/18--According to Coca-Cola President and CEO James Quincey, Coca-Cola's $5.1 billion acquisition of U.K. coffee chain Costa was less of an effort to take on giants like Starbucks than a move to create a new type of coffee experience. Read

New momentum in veterans’ fight for medical marijuana

11/19/18--Military veterans lobbying for an end to federal classification of marijuana as a lethal substance with no redeeming medicinal value may be closer to that goal than ever before, given the midterm election results. Between the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, last week’s forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a federal lawsuit led by a 12-year-old girl with epilepsy, the marijuana prohibition drama is set to unfold on multiple fronts. Read

NASA to launch safety review of SpaceX and Boeing after video of Elon Musk smoking pot rankled agency leaders

11/20/18--NASA has ordered a safety review of Boeing and SpaceX, the two companies it has hired to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. A months-long assessment would involve hundreds of interviews designed to assess the culture of the workplaces. The review was prompted by the recent behavior of SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk after he took a hit of marijuana and sipped whiskey on a podcast streamed on the Internet. Read

Addiction often begins with a ‘beautiful’ boy or girl

11/5/18--Robert L. DuPont, M.D., president of the Institute for Behavior and director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, discussed his perspective on the movie, "Beautiful Boy," a new film about the relationship between a good father and his good son as the teenager dives into addiction. According to DuPont, this movie is a cautionary story for teens and families, and one of the many reasons he highly recommends seeing "Beautiful Boy" is because of the riveting, relentless, and powerful portrayal of how addiction hijacks the brain. Read

Blue Moon’s founding brewer pops top on pot-infused beer

11/12/18--Keith Villa, who invented Blue Moon Belgian Wheat more than two decades ago, next month will launch the first beer from new venture CERIA Brewing Co. Grainwave Belgian-Style White Ale has no alcohol and includes 5 milligrams of THC, the high-producing ingredient found in marijuana plants. Made with blood orange peel and coriander, the ale "has a richer, deeper orange character and a little different type of bitterness because of the cannabinoids," Villa said. Read

Notice of intent to publish a funding opportunity announcement

11/7/18--The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on minor cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant as it relates to pain and nociception. Read

Marijuana ballot initiative campaigns raised $12.9 million, final pre-election numbers show

11/6/18--In the lead-up to the election, committees supporting or opposing marijuana ballot initiatives have raised a total of $12.9 million in cash and in-kind services over the past two years to convince those voters, Marijuana Moment’s analysis of the latest campaign finance records filed the day before Election Day shows. Read

Content, exposure, and effects of public discourses about marijuana

11/5/18--This review presents a comprehensive picture of research studies about marijuana-related content in news, social media, and advertisements. Studies that examined the extent of people’s exposure to the messages and its effects were also included. Read

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

11/6/18--Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The findings are the result of an animal model study focused on the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, or PFC, which controls high-level cognitive functions. Read

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

11/6/18--Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. Read

Rat models of opioid use and addiction explore risk of abuse

11/6/18--New research revealed today highlights the power of animal studies to explore mechanisms of opioid addiction, withdrawal, and relapse to inform new prevention strategies and treatments for people. Read

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state

11/6/18--A new report released by the Drug Enforcement Administration finds most overdose deaths are caused by prescription drugs, including opioids. While opioid abuse continues to plague certain states more than others, each state is unique in how it attempts to stem the crisis and its effect on families. These differences have resulted in significant variation across the country between opioid prescription rates and the number of children placed into foster care. Read

Trump ousts cannabis threat Jeff Sessions as attorney general

11/7/18--U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who less than a year ago stunned the marijuana industry by ripping up Obama-era protections for state-legal MJ businesses, has been forced out by President Trump. The development could ease industry concerns that the Department of Justice will unleash a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses – though much will depend on whom Trump picks as Sessions’ permanent replacement. Read

Sharp uptick in pregnant women using marijuana during a key time in baby’s development

11/6/18--The number of pregnant women who say they used marijuana over the last two decades has nearly doubled, according to federal data. While still rare, prenatal use is growing. Between 2002 and 2016, marijuana use in pregnant women rose from 2.85 percent to almost 5 percent, according to data from the U.S. National Survey of Drug Use. Of the 12,000 women ages 18 to 44 surveyed, 3,500 who said they used the drug were in their first trimester of pregnancy, a critical time in a baby's development. Read

Alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use between 2002 and 2016 in pregnant women from a nationally representative sample

11/5/18--In the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, the adjusted prevalence of past 30-day cannabis use in pregnant women aged 18 to 44 years rose from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. Another study found a relatively similar increase from 4.2% in 2009 to 7.1% in 2014. Corresponding rates of alcohol use and cigarette smoking during pregnancy have generally decreased. These reports encourage more detailed characterization of patterns of substance use during the course of pregnancy. Read

Deputy Attorney General names U.S. Attorney Williams Chair of National Marijuana Working Group

11/7/18--Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein today named Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, chair of the Attorney General’s Marijuana Working Group. The working group is part of the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s (AGAC) Controlled Substances Subcommittee. Read

Effect of cannabidiol on medial temporal, midbrain, and striatal dysfunction in people at clinical high risk of psychosis

11/8/18--In this investigation comparing 33 individuals at clinical high risk of psychosis who were part of a double-blind randomized clinical trial and 19 healthy control individuals, a single oral dose of cannabidiol modulated activation in the striatum, medial temporal cortex, and midbrain. In each of these regions, the level of activation following administration of cannabidiol to patients at clinical high risk of psychosis was intermediate between the response in healthy control individuals who did not receive any drug and in patients at clinical high risk receiving placebo. Read

Association of cannabinoid administration with experimental pain in healthy adults

11/8/18--This systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies including 442 adults found that cannabinoid drugs were associated with modest increases in experimental pain threshold and tolerance, no reduction in the intensity of ongoing experimental pain, reduced perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli, and no reduction of mechanical hyperalgesia. Read

Notice and Public Comment: NACB Advertising Standard

10/1/18--The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is the first and only self-regulatory organization in U.S. cannabis. The organization's Standards Governance Board and Members voted to adopt the Advertising Standard in October 2018. Read

AB InBev watching the legal marijuana market closely

10/28/18--The world’s biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), says it is keeping a close eye on the burgeoning marijuana market. Major brewing giants are increasingly linking up with marijuana producers as countries legalize the plant. This is partly because brewers are in some cases selling less beer where marijuana has been legalized. Read

Why Is CBD everywhere?

10/27/18--Cannabidiol is being touted as a magical elixir, but according to a New York Times article by writer Alex Williams, it’s hard to say the precise moment when CBD turned into a mainstream panacea. With its proponents claiming that CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress, and even cancer, it’s easy to wonder if this all natural, non-psychotropic and widely available cousin of marijuana represents a cure for the 21st century itself. Read

Marijuana legalization has gone mainstream. Rick Steves has helped.

10/27/18--Rick Steves, a travel writer and public radio and television host, is an outspoken activist for the legalization of recreational marijuana. He says smoking pot is like a “declaration of independence.” The legalization of marijuana is a more mainstream issue now than it has ever been, and this trend is both reflected and powered by the advocacy of people like Steves, who campaigned for legalization in his home state of Washington in 2012 and now travels the country doing the same thing. Read

Mike Tyson shops TV show about life as marijuana grower

10/26/18--Mike Tyson is shopping a new TV show, based on the boxer’s life as a marijuana grower and marketer. Tyson will star in the scripted comedy, called “Rolling With the Punches.” Tyson is a big proponent of weed’s health benefits and said 85 percent of pro athletes use some form of marijuana to relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Read

Marijuana use associated with faster kidney function decline in patients with CKD

10/27/18--Joshua L. Rein and his colleagues from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai analyzed data from the ASSESS-AKI parallel matched cohort study to investigate whether marijuana use was associated with kidney function decline and albuminuria. According to data presented at the ASN Kidney Week 2018, patients with baseline chronic kidney disease who used marijuana experienced more rapid eGFR decline. Read

Verano™ Holdings launched to consolidate national cannabis assets with $120 million financing and Acquisition of Florida licenses

10/23/18--Verano Holdings, LLC Co-founders George Archos and Sam Dorf today announced an $120 million financing comprised of $88 million equity investment by Toronto-based Scythian Biosciences Corp., an additional private financing of $32 million, as well as acquisitions, transactions, and executive hires that bring together numerous successful marijuana enterprises under the newly created Verano Holdings, LLC, and verano™ master brand. Read

Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito bonded over weed

10/24/18--Danny DeVito befriended Michael Douglas in 1967 over their shared love of marijuana leading to a long friendship for over 50 years. Read

States’ rights and federal wrongs: The misguided attempt to label marijuana legalization efforts as a ‘states’ rights’ issue

5/3/18--Advocates for liberalization of the federal statutes outlawing marijuana have argued that the issue of whether and how to regulate marijuana should be left to the states to decide. Congress should re-examine how federal law regulates marijuana, but Congress should be guided by the judgment of the FDA as to the costs and benefits of liberalizing marijuana use. Read