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This is your brain on (legal) cannabis: Researchers seek answers

12/16/16--For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer, according to new research from a team at Colorado State University seeking scientific clarity on how cannabis -- particularly chronic, heavy use -- affects neurological activity, including the processing of emotions. Read

DEA gives cannabis law significant tweak

12/15/16--United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Wednesday set new cannabis extract laws by amending the Schedule I Controlled Substances Act to include tighter regulations for marijuana extracts, including cannabidiol (CBD). Read

Establishment of a new drug code for marijuana extract

12/14/16--The Drug Enforcement Administration is creating a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number for “Marijuana Extract.” This code number will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marijuana. This, in turn, will aid in complying with relevant treaty provisions. Read

Marijuana pants for kids stoke outrage

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-10-51-45-am12/13/16--Amazon is selling a line of leggings for girls as young as 2 featuring green marijuana leaves. The leafy leggings, sold by AOSHILONG-Baby, have sparked controversy with parents and anti-drug advocates, but the company eschews any cannabis reference and calls the pattern simply “digital printed leaves.” Read

Is marijuana chewing gum the next big thing?

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-8-49-45-pm12/13/16--AXIM Biotech (AXIM), a world leader in hemp cannabinoid research and development, recently received patent approval for the use of all cannabinoids – chemical compounds found in marijuana plants – in its controlled-release chewing gum. AXIM CEO Dr. George Anastassov said the chewing gum is only approved for the pharmaceutical market, and doctor’s orders are needed to obtain it. Read

Marijuana is harder than ever for younger teens to find

12/13/16--In 2016, 8th-grade and 10th-grade respondents to the large Monitoring the Future survey gave the lowest-ever indication that marijuana was easy to get if they wanted it, a question posed to the groups every year since 1992. Only 34.6 percent of 8th-grade students said it would be easy to get marijuana, down 2.4 percentage points. Of 10th graders, 64 percent said it would be easy to get, also the lowest rate ever. Read

Weed can negatively affect your sleep, says study

12/12/16--A new study found that people who smoke marijuana on a regular basis before bed are going to experience sleep problems compared to those who occasionally smoke or don’t smoke at all. For the study, researchers surveyed 98 people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis, people who smoked once in the past month and up to five days a week, and those who never smoked marijuana. Read

Teen use of any illicit drug other than marijuana at new low

12/13/16--Teenagers' use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco declined significantly in 2016 at rates that are at their lowest since the 1990s, a new national study showed. But University of Michigan researchers cautioned that while these developments are "trending in the right direction," marijuana use still remains high for 12th-graders. Read

Chauncey Billups comments on NBA’s marijuana policy

12/10/16--Following Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr's acknowledgement of trying marijuana to treat chronic back pain, former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups spoke up on the issue. Billups believes the NBA should look into legalizing marijuana as a way for players to avoid addictive painkillers. For medicinal use, he thinks the conversation is necessary to have, and The Players Association needs to talk about it with the NBA because there’s a lot of science behind it. Read

Congressmen launch joint political effort to pass marijuana laws

12/9/16--Two members of Congress, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are joining forces to create the Cannabis Caucus in hopes of improving the odds to passing federal marijuana reform bills. The caucus will be made up of members of Congress who see marijuana reform as an important issue, and it will focus on a bipartisan effort to pass bills, Rohrabacher said. Read

Marijuana: Could it slow Parkinson’s disease progression?

12/6/16--Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurological illness in the United States, causing tremors, slowness of movement, postural instability, and impaired balance and coordination. But findings from a new review suggest symptoms of the condition could be improved with marijuana. Read

Babies’ marijuana exposure evident in their urine

12/9/16--Babies exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke take in THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in pot, a new study shows. Researchers discovered traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in urine samples from babies and toddlers in Colorado whose parents smoked marijuana. Read

Regular marijuana use may affect vision

12/9/16--Regular marijuana use may affect how quickly a person processes things in front of them, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. Researchers claim regular cannabis use can cause problems with the retina, affecting certain cells so it takes longer for visual information to go from the eye to the brain. Read

Growing marijuana could become as easy as plugging in a machine

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-01-19-am12/7/16--The gadget market is responding to the public's interest in growing their own marijuana. The Grobo, for instance, aims at making marijuana gardening easy and accessible. Now another company is launching a similar device called the Leaf that resembles a refrigerator and is meant to completely take care of the growing process once seeds are planted. Generally, Leaf tries to make growing marijuana as easy as possible. Read

7 reasons President Trump is unlikely to fight legal marijuana

12/8/16--With Donald Trump nominating Cabinet members who have spoken out against legal marijuana, some are arguing that the war on drugs may make a comeback. Time magazine presents seven reasons why it would be hard to stop what the states have started. Read

Beware: Children can passively ‘smoke’ marijuana, too

12/7/16--Youngsters inhale harmful secondary smoke if marijuana is smoked in their presence. The psychoactive chemicals in the drug are taken up by their bodies as well. Karen Wilson of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence in the US led the first study showing that it is possible to pick up traces of THC, click the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana, in the urine of children exposed to secondary marijuana smoke. Read

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment improved when teens stopped smoking

11/21/16--A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has found that addiction treatment results improved when teens in a residential program stopped smoking. The findings hold important implications for success in treating addiction since up to three out of four people with such disorders are smokers, try a significantly higher proportion than the overall national smoking rate of one out of every four Americans. Read

How NBA players reacted to coach’s endorsement of marijuana

12/4/16--Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who recently admitted to smoking weed twice over the last 18 months to help him deal with chronic back pain, has become a hot topic in the sports world. As a result, a number of players and coaches in the NBA have since voiced their opinion on the matter. Read

Klay Thompson supports medical marijuana use but ‘not recreation use’

12/5/16--Klay Thompson believes pot can help with people in pain, but should not be used for recreation use. “That should not be of its use ever, but there’s obviously a medicinal side to that people are finding out have benefits, nurse especially people in really high pain,” Thompson states. Read

Americans for Safe Access’ members challenge DEA

12/5/16--Americans for Safe Access, illness a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, filed a petition with the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) immediately update misinformation about cannabis. The petition is being filed under the rules of the Information Quality Act. Read

GW announces New Epidiolex® (CBD) positive Phase 3 data

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-8-42-09-am12/5/16--GW Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, announced additional positive Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD) Phase 3 data in poster presentations at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. Read

Five things for employees to know in states with marijuana laws

12/1/16--Many employers seem to be sticking with their drug testing and personal conduct policies, even in states where recreational marijuana use is now permitted. Others are keeping a close eye on the still evolving legal, regulatory, and political environment. The Cannabist takes a closer look at what it all means for workers and businesses, and addresses the following five questions: (1) Can my employer still test me for pot? (2) What about workplace safety? (3) Can I get fired even if I'm not high? (4) What should companies? (5) What do the courts say? Read

Marijuana extract may help treat severe epilepsy, new studies show

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-9-24-09-pm12/3/16--A drug made from marijuana that does not produce a "high" may help reduce seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy that are difficult to treat, new research suggests. In two new studies, researchers tested the drug, which is a purified solution of cannabidiol (CBD). Although CBD affects the brain, it does not produce euphoria or intoxication. Read

3 states that may legalize medical marijuana next

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-9-00-05-pm12/3/16--Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas could very well be the next states to legalize medical marijuana, but shockingly it's the state of Texas that could be in a prime position to legalize medical marijuana within the next two years. A Texas Tegna Poll found 71% support for legalizing medical pot in the state compared to just 19% opposition. The overwhelming support, coupled with a softening legislative stance and some very large dollar figures, could push Texas to legalize medical cannabis by 2018. Read

Company launching marijuana-infused Keurig coffee pods

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-47-22-pm12/2/16--Cannabiniers is launching a new line of THC and CBD infused coffee and tea. The product, known as BrewBudz, is designed to work in a home Keurig brewer, and the company will be launching sales in Nevada and Colorado starting in January with a price tag of about $7 a pod. They’ll then expand sales to Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona by March. Read

Meme sums up the debate on marijuana use by NFL players

12/1/16--Several NFL players have spoken out against the league's strict marijuana policy given its legal status in 28 states and its known medical properties, and the severity of punishment for testing positive for marijuana in contrast to those handed down to players who have, for example, admitted to domestic abuse has renewed a conversation about the NFL's policy priorities. Read 

Trump AG pick could halt legal pot industry

12/3/16--Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, ailment who has a long history of hard-line opposition to marijuana, could unravel the burgeoning recreational marijuana industry across the country. Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, Sessions, if he is confirmed, could choose to order targeted prosecutions of recreational marijuana farms and shops that are operating legally under state law. Such a move could seriously threaten the retail marijuana industry. Read

Weed business set to be one of fastest growing job generators in US

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-59-50-am12/2/16--Students are getting formally educated in cannabis to help set them in apart in an industry that currently employs some 150, 000 people. Analysts project that number could double or even triple in the years to come, making marijuana one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation, with cannabis legal for medicinal use in 25 states and recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia. Read

Steve Kerr admits he’s experimented with marijuana to treat chronic pain

12/3/16--Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that he doesn't use marijuana because it didn't agree with him, but tried doing so to treat his chronic pain in the past. Kerr believes pro athletes shouldn't be punished for using marijuana to alleviate pain when they're "prescribed Vicodin like it's Vitamin C, like it's no big deal." Read

Marijuana use gender gap widens, mainly among low-income

11/29/16--Americans have experienced a six percent increase in pot use among men earning less than $20, shop 000, corresponding to rising unemployment rate during the Great Recession, a new report outlines. Read

Chronic pain treatment without opioid or medical marijuana side effects

11/15/16--Neuroscientists have found evidence that the brain’s cannabis receptors may be used to treat chronic pain without the side effects associated with opioid-based pain relievers or medical marijuana. Read

Which states will legalize marijuana next?

11/26/16--More than half of the United States allow marijuana use of some kind after voters in eight states passed legalization laws following the 2016 presidential election. Since then, doctor cannabis advocates in states such as Texas, click Virginia, case Ohio, and Tennessee have already started considering making changes to weed laws. Read

NFL players petition league to look at marijuana as painkiller

11/24/16--A group of retired football players and medical professionals are petitioning the NFL to consider marijuana as an alternative to prescription painkillers. The player’s union is currently forming a committee devoted to exploring pain management issues for current and retired athletes. The effort comes at a time when marijuana is more widely available across the country. Read

MJ companies under fire for meat-covered model at party

tmr_image-block11/21/16--A pair of edibles companies that do business together are facing a public relations backlash after a photo from a Las Vegas party surfaced showing a nearly naked model who was lying on her back and adorned with slices of cold cuts for guests to snack on. Some cannabis professionals are now calling for a boycott of both California-based Altai Brands, which hosted the party, and Colorado-based Dixie Brands, which has a professional affiliation with Altai and was a sponsor of the event. Read

Sales projections for states that legalized cannabis

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-9-32-39-am11/21/16--States that passed marijuana measures earlier this month eventually could generate more in annual retail MJ sales than the entire U.S. cannabis industry is expected to this year. The current recreational cannabis market will bring in an estimated $1.4-$1.7 billion dollars in retail sales by the end of 2016, and the addition of four new adult-use states will expand the size of this market by another $5.9 billion-$6.7 billion annually three to five years after rec shops open in each market. Read

Trade groups are sprouting from cannabis industry

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-9-30-02-am11/23/16--As the cannabis industry has spread, a variety of marijuana organizations – particularly dozens of trade groups – have cropped up. Some trade groups are more specialized, while others are statewide or national. The growth of trade groups has reached a point where even industry insiders don’t have a good idea how many there are. The emergence of more and more trade groups is a logical evolution, given the amazing growth the cannabis industry has experienced in recent years. Read

Marijuana and mental illness: Low dopamine levels may play a role

11/21/16--A new review offers further insight into how long-term marijuana use might have a negative impact on mental health, after finding "substantial evidence" that the drug alters the brain's reward system to increase negative emotions and decrease motivation. Researchers say long-term marijuana use lowers dopamine levels in the brain, which could explain why some users develop mental illness. Read

Where marijuana is the doctor’s orders, will insurers pay?

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-9-00-55-am11/23/16--For businesses and insurers, a string of ballot victories this month for marijuana advocates are adding to an intensifying conundrum about the drug and issues such as insurance coverage. Typically, health insurers will pay for marijuana-related drugs only for F.D.A.-approved uses, but state medical marijuana laws usually give doctors permission to recommend marijuana to a patient with a “debilitating” condition. Read

Why legal pot is suddenly in big danger

11/21/16--A majority of states have legalized medical marijuana and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized recreational marijuana, but the federal Controlled Substances Act still defines production and sale of marijuana as serious crimes. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is a fervent foe of marijuana legalization and said that 'we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.' An Attorney General Sessions could immediately come down on the marijuana industry. Read

5 things Trump’s AG pick has said about cannabis

11/18/16--Trump’s nomination of US Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for US attorney general bode well for cannabis programs in legal states. Despite Trump’s reassurances he would respect state laws, past statements by Sessions make clear that the Alabama Republican is no friend of cannabis. Leafly highlights some of his many statements from his years in public office. Read

VA urged to support access to medical marijuana

11/20/16--The Weed for Warriors Project, the country’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans find relief from service-related disabilities through the use of medical marijuana, on Veterans Day called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to stop blocking the legal, ethical, and responsible use of medical marijuana and safer medical alternatives for veterans. Read

Trump’s choice for top law enforcer has cannabis proponents fearing future

11/20/16--When Donald Trump offered Sen. Jeff Sessions the position of attorney general, the pick drew criticism from civil rights groups and immigrant advocates. In the fast-growing, viagra buy multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, it is also raising fears. Sessions is no fan of marijuana or its legalization, based on his previous comments, and as attorney general he would oversee federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Read

Could Jeff Sessions hurt medical marijuana in Pennsylvania?

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-7-15-27-am11/21/16--President-elect Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to nominate Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions — a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization — to be the country's next attorney general has many in the legalized marijuana industry deeply concerned. "Jeff Sessions, if confirmed, has a significant capacity to do damage to the existing industry," said John Hudak, an expert on marijuana policy. Read

NFL players searching for painkiller choices hope for relaxed marijuana ban

11/21/16--In the next couple of weeks, the NFL Player's Association will announce it has formed a new committee to examine pain issues for players. Marijuana is going to be one of the substances they take a look at. The NFL issued a written statement on the subject, saying in part that the league would be open to reconsidering its policy, which it collectively bargained with the player's union. But for now, the league's medical experts haven't recommended any changes. Read

As more states legalize marijuana, investors and marketers line up

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-10-35-26-pm11/20/16--According to Brendan Kennedy, CEO of the marijuana-focused private equity firm Privateer Holdings, there's been a surge of interest from investors since the passage of the eight ballot measures. The marijuana market has some unique characteristics that make it attractive to investors, but the big draw is the fledgling legal market for marijuana being around $7 billion, according to New Frontier and ArcView Market Research. Read

Marijuana use may impair your coordination

11/18/16--Smoking pot may impair coordination and other motor skills, even when you're not high, a new review of studies finds. Researchers found that people who used marijuana had differences in brain areas called the corticostriatal networks compared with people who didn't use the drug. These areas are connected to motor learning and control, and can affect people's reaction time, memory, and the ability to switch between tasks, according to studies included in the review. Read

Marijuana-like drugs may offer addiction-free pain relief

11/17/16--Researchers in recent years have attempted to create drug compounds that can target pain receptors in the brain, but not affect opioid receptors, buy the source for opioid addiction. Now, drugs two independent teams of researchers have developed drugs similar to marijuana that show evidence of providing pain relief in laboratory animals, but have no apparent addictive properties and do not cause a "high" that impairs motor function. Read

Postal workers put marijuana at risk of theft by colleagues, audit finds

11/16/16--Some U.S. Postal Service workers are enticed by the prospect of free marijuana when the drug’s telltale odor seeps from a package. When the postal service inspector general's office looked into the handling of such packages at seven facilities across the country, it found few safeguards to prevent internal theft. The audit comes amid high-profile instances of postal workers stealing drug mail or using their positions to profit from it. Read

National anti-pot group SAM takes stock post-election

11/16/2016--Kevin Sabet, one of the leading opponents of marijuana legalization and head of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), recently told The Cannabist, “I don’t think that legalizers can really look themselves in the mirror and declare total victory.” Sabet also expressed that legalization backers likely will face uphill battles at the state legislature level as well as the federal level. The Republican-dominated government is the “worst outcome” imagined for marijuana advocates, he added. Read

Preventing adolescent substance use may need to start in early childhood

11/15/16--Research from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions suggests the approach to preventing alcohol and drug use by some adolescents should begin in early childhood. Read

How marijuana causes memory loss

11/12/16--Researchers have long suggested marijuana can cause memory loss. Now, a new study led by Dr. Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux in France provides insight on this association, revealing how cannabinoids in the drug activate receptors in the mitochondria of the brain's memory center to cause amnesia. Read

Five immediate concerns for states with new marijuana laws

11/11/16--The Cannabist conversed with the state of Colorado’s marijuana czar, Andrew Freedman, and policy expert Mark Slaugh, whose firm iComply works with governments drafting marijuana regulations, about some of the biggest and unique challenges facing a newly legalized state. Read

Market for legal pot could pass $20 billion

11/11/16--Legal recreational pot could expand the national market to $21 billion by 2020, according to New Frontier Data. That is up from $5.7 billion last year and an expected $7.9 billion this year. The four states that legalized recreational weed -- California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine -- stand to reap big benefits in sales and taxes. Read

Will Team Trump bust the marijuana business?

11/11/16--During the campaign, Trump argued that marijuana legalization should be decided on a state-by-state basis, for sale without being more specific. But, in addition to the vice president-elect Mike Pence, some of Trump’s closest advisers are no “friends of marijuana reform,” according to the Drug Policy Alliance. Nick Kovacevich, CEO of Kush Bottles, expressed, "It would be difficult for the Trump administration to get rid of legal marijuana given the windfall the states have earned in tax revenue." Read

The opportunities and pitfalls for the legalized marijuana industry

11/10/16--The US has 29 states with legal medical marijuana, and at least seven states have legal recreational pot markets. The legal marijuana industry could generate roughly $22 billion in annual sales across the US within four years. Yet, there is some cause for concern over what Donald Trump’s surprise victory could mean, according to Fortune writer Tom Huddleston, Jr. Nonetheless, business owners and investors in the cannabis industry reacted enthusiastically to the latest wave of marijuana legalization votes this week. Read

NFLPA to study marijuana as a potential pain-management tool

11/9/16--In the aftermath of a new set of states legalizing marijuana use in the national elections, the NFL Players Association is forming a committee to actively study the possibility of allowing players to use marijuana as a pain-management tool. The union is forming an NFL players pain management committee that will study players’ use of marijuana as a pain-management mechanism, among other things, though the union has not yet determined if an adjustment to the sport’s ban on marijuana use is warranted. Read

The expansion of legalized marijuana

11/14/16--This Policy Brief examines the continued expansion of legalized access to marijuana and changes in public opinion in favor of marijuana liberalization. The brief posits that, in light of this extraordinary movement, government at all levels must turn its attention to being proactive rather than reactive by adopting a systems approach to regulating this new industry and designing programs and policies that protect the public health and safety.

Does marijuana weaken heart muscles?

11/14/16--A study suggests that marijuana use can weaken heart muscles, particularly in young men. Recognizing the possible adverse health effects of smoking pot to get high, researchers from St. Luke's University Hospital Network focused on patients with stress cardiomyopathy, a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscle that prevents it from pumping. They examined the link between marijuana use and heart health. Read

Don’t rush to legalize marijuana, warns former Surgeon General

11/8/16--Former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, is urging against hasty adoption of laws that would legalize marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Dr. Carmona, now the Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, Phoenix, says that medical and recreational use of marijuana should be considered separately. The American Medical Association has tended to agree with Dr Carmona that marijuana should not be legalized. Read

7 states legalize medical, recreational cannabis in historic election

11/9/16--The cannabis industry scored a landslide victory Tuesday as California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota approved medical cannabis initiatives. Montana, which legalized medical marijuana in 2004, also passed a measure to set up commercial cultivation operations and dispensaries. The developments could lead to $7 billion-$8 billion in additional annual retail cannabis sales, according to Marijuana Business Daily’s preliminary estimates. Read