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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2/25/29--President Trump immediately rebuked then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the day that he rescinded Justice Department guidance on federal marijuana enforcement priorities, Senator Cory Gardner revealed.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

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