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Changing marijuana laws and the opioid crisis are prompting employer action

3/13/18--While CEOs still tend to opt for termination over rehabilitation for drug use, the reality is that employers may not be able to afford to do so while recruitment and retention remain a key HR concern. If an HR manager hasn’t dealt with a drug issue at their workplace yet, its likely they will very soon. HR will need to align with employee assistance programs (EAPs) and with workers’ comp providers to lessen the use of opioids and get provider buy-in for the anti-opioid direction. Read

Charlotte’s Web’s secrets revealed as parent company plans to go public in Canada

6/29/18--Stanley Brothers Holdings plans to go public in Canada, the latest in a growing list of U.S. businesses looking north of the border to raise capital. The firm is the parent company of CW Hemp, the manufacturer of Charlotte’s Web CBD products, that was catapulted into the media spotlight in 2013 when it was featured in the CNN documentary “Weed.” According to the firm’s preliminary prospectus Stanley Brothers, the company has been steadily posting an annual profit since 2016. Read

Mitch McConnell: Drug warrior, CBD champion?

6/29/18--The Senate passed a version of the 2018 Farm Bill that would legalize so-called “industrial hemp” – legislation that has long been a pet project of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell has been pushing the point that hemp is “a completely different plant than its illicit cousin,” marijuana, and that Americans are clamoring for more hemp products, spending $820 million last year on “everything from clothing to auto parts,” mostly made out of hemp grown overseas. Read

Ricki Lake-produced film Weed the People argues for marijuana use as a cancer treatment

3/10/18--As marijuana use continues to become decriminalized across the United States, doctors, researchers and patients are pushing to make it an accepted part of cancer treatments. The new film Weed the People, executive-produced by Ricki Lake, follows families as they discover the benefits of marijuana for their child’s cancer and chemotherapy. Read

Hot ink: CBD makers hoping tattoo-care products will open new $1.6 billion market

3/6/18--A growing number of hemp companies are launching products aimed at the tattoo industry, from CBD patches marketed as pain relief to balms and creams designed to speed recovery, to expand their retail opportunities. The trend comes as CBD producers look for non-marijuana retail opportunities amid ongoing legal uncertainty about cannabis’ legal status. Read

New studies show that legal cannabis access reduces opioid abuse

3/4/18--Scientific data is growing nearly by the day in support of the notion that legalized cannabis can mitigate opioid use and abuse. For instance, among states where medical cannabis access is permitted, patients routinely lessen their opioid intake. According to data published this week by the Minnesota Department of Health, among those patients known to be taking opiate painkillers upon their enrollment into the program, 63 percent “were able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months.” Read

Increasing study data indicates medical cannabis Can reduce opioid use, deaths

3/4/18--Libertarian think tank The Cato Institute last week posted an article citing a study report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Study results, which surveyed data from 2,000 first-time medical marijuana users with intractable pain, said 42 percent of those patients reported a 30 percent decrease or more in their level of pain. Perhaps, more importantly, the study also found that of those patients taking opioid medications for pain, 63 percent were able to reduce or curtail their opioid use, once treated with medical cannabis. Read

Federal health official says “There is no such thing as medical marijuana”

3/5/18--As health officials, law enforcement, and politicians carve a path forward through interdiction, treatment, and opioid alternatives, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar has already dismissed medical cannabis as an option, even in the face of continued research showing the controversial plant's immense ability to wean users off pain pills and heroin. According to Azar, there is no such thing as medical marijuana, and there is no FDA approved use of marijuana. Read

Legalized medical marijuana doesn’t cause more teens to smoke weed, study finds

3/5/18--According to a study out of Columbia University, teen usage of cannabis neither increased nor decreased after states legalized pot use for medical problems. The study was an analytical examination of four separate national surveys with data from eleven separate studies dating back to 1991. Still, the researchers want to study adult cannabis use next, pointing to the possibility that while connections to teen abuse appear unlikely, there may be a link to people becoming more dependent on the drug in adulthood. Read

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from problems with alcohol or other drugs?

3/5/18--Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs and were less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Read

Why the FDA is high on a marijuana drug

6/29/18--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription drug for children with severe epilepsy on June 25, making it the first prescription medicine derived from cannabis permitted to be sold in the U.S. The decision is a boost for the U.K.’s biotech industry and bolsters the nation’s position, according to the United Nations, as the biggest producer of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Read

Where pedestrian deaths are up, is marijuana to blame?

2/28/18--Pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents have reached levels not seen in years, and a safety group has sought to explain why. It has identified several possible causes, like digital distractions and an increase in driving. Now it has added another: marijuana. Read

National marijuana survey plan announced by Massachusetts consultant and UMass-Dartmouth

6/29/18--The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network of Somerville said it will work with the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth to mount a national survey of marijuana use. "The survey is aimed to better understand consumer/patient demographics, attitudes, choices, methods of consumption, and knowledge of cannabis products in legal cannabis states," a press release said. The plan for the survey was approved by the institutional review board of UMass-Dartmouth, and findings are to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and provided at conferences and forums. Read

Elizabeth Warren’s faulty claim about marijuana convictions

6/29/17--Making the case for criminal justice reform, Warren claimed that the United States locks up more people for “low-level offenses on marijuana” than for all violent crimes. As reported by The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, most crimes are prosecuted by state and local authorities, not the federal government. Furthermore, nearly 44,700 people at the state level were serving a sentence of one year or longer at the end of 2015 after being convicted of drug possession as their most serious offense, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This includes not only marijuana but also heroin, cocaine, and other illicit drugs. Read  

Cronos, a marijuana producer, starts trading on the Nasdaq

2/27/18--Canadian marijuana producer Cronos Group is the first pot producer and seller to trade on Wall Street. Although other companies with indirect relations to cannabis are trading, this marks a big step for the cannabis industry. Read

D.A.R.E. programs unsure of how to teach marijuana in legalized states

2/25/18--As more states legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use, anti-drug education programs struggle to stay relevant. Particularly, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)—a popular school program created in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department—isn't sure how to adapt to new, sensible drug policies across the United States. Read

Cannabis descheduling not one of pharma giant’s “core priorities”

2/23/18--Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., a pharmaceutical giant that once developed marijuana-based medicines, won’t be advocating for the descheduling of cannabis anytime soon. The company opposes a shareholder proposal seeking Lilly to proclaim support of marijuana descheduling, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Friday. Read

The best marijuana gadgets for the tech-y stoner in your life

2/25/18--Silicon Valley is no stranger to cannabis culture, so it's no surprise that tech companies are driving innovation in the pot world with some seriously impressive products. From edibles to vapes, cultivation boxes to dab rigs, there are seemingly endless ways to consume cannabis in the growing number of states that have passed legislature legalizing marijuana. Read

Why is it so hard to dose weed

2/26/18--It's difficult to quantify just how much marijuana is being inhaled —especially because marijuana contains some 500 chemicals that interact in ways scientists are just beginning to understand. Science has more to learn about how marijuana works on the human body, and companies making cannabis devices are figuring out ways to tackle the dosing problem. Read

After legalization, Dr. Dre’s ‘Weed Man’ is thriving

2/22/18--Virgil Grant straddles two eras, the criminal past and the legalized future. Grant spent more than eight years in federal and state prisons for marijuana dealings, but now he is thriving in a multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with three licensed cannabis businesses in Los Angeles and several hip-hop stars as customers. Read

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

2/22/18--Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths. Read

Trump administration cautions against hemp expansion

2/21/18--The Trump administration doesn’t want to see hemp expanded nationwide in the next Farm Bill because of concerns about overproduction, according to an official. Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said current hemp regulations are “fairly narrow” and that the Trump administration doesn’t necessarily want to see that change when the Farm Bill is rewritten this year. Read

One of the world’s largest tobacco giants is teaming up with Snoop Dogg’s VC firm to invest in medical cannabis research

6/28/18--Imperial Brands, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, is getting into cannabis through its venture arm in a Series A fundraising round for Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT). Snoop Dogg's cannabis-focused venture firm, Casa Verde Capital, also participated in the round. Read

Schumer introduces Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act

6/27/18--Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) formally introduced new legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Specifically, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level. Read

Judge allows hemp oil seller’s defamation suit to continue

6/15/18--U.S. District Judge John Steele will allow a hemp oil company’s defamation suit to continue against a Florida doctor interviewed by a local TV news station. The federal judge denied Dr. Joseph Dorn’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by AFI Holdings of Illinois last year over the doctor’s comments to a reporter about a hemp oil product. Read

6 ways to beat a local cannabis ban

2/1/18--Retail cannabis may be legal statewide, but California law allows local municipalities to severely limit or ban cannabis companies. In many cases, bans were the response to the vocal outcry of a relatively small number of concerned citizens. However, bans can be reversed. Leafly presents a few ways to change votes. Read

Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of progressive stages of alcoholic liver disease

1/17/18--A study revealed that among alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis (dependent and non‐dependent cannabis use) showed significantly lower odds of developing alcoholic steatosis (AS), steatohepatitis (AH), fibrosis, cirrhosis (AC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Additionally, findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with a reduced incidence of liver disease in alcoholics. Read

It’s high time for restaurants to pay attention to marijuana

2/1/18--Marijuana has the ability to impact nearly every aspect of the food world. From restaurant brands reaching their cannabis-friendly customers on social media to THC-laced concoctions competing with established restaurants. But, while more than half the country approves of legalization in some form, there’s still concern from retailers about alienating the rest of the population or stumbling into a legal gray area. Read

As states legalize marijuana, investors see an opportunity

1/26/18--Twenty-nine states now allow marijuana for medical purposes, while eight have legalized its recreational use. As the acceptance of marijuana is growing, so are the opportunities to invest in it. Investors put $500 million into private cannabis companies last year, said Troy Dayton, the chief executive and a co-founder of Arcview, which also has an investment arm. Read

Vaping can be addictive and may lure teenagers to smoking, science panel concludes

1/23/18--A national panel of public health experts concluded in a report released on Tuesday that vaping with e-cigarettes that contain nicotine can be addictive and that teenagers who use the devices may be at higher risk of smoking. Whether teenage use of e-cigarettes leads to conventional smoking has been intensely debated in the United States and elsewhere. Read

Marijuana money increasingly flowing to Republican lawmakers

1/21/18--Marijuana business owners are increasingly pouring their profits into lobbying lawmakers as they face a federal crackdown from the Trump administration. A USA Today survey found hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing from the cannabis industry into campaign finance accounts of both lawmakers and political action committees, with emphasis this year on Congressional Republicans who are trying to stop the Trump administration from targeting marijuana businesses. Read

Did my brother’s teen pot use lead to his schizophrenia?

1/19/18--Because pot is being legalized in more and more states, many young people assume it must be safe. However, when used by people whose brains are still developing (up to age 25), there is an increased risk of developing a mental illness. Recent studies have shown this vulnerability. Not everyone who smokes pot will become psychotic, but it is not harmless. Kids need to be warned about the huge risks associated with teen marijuana use. Read

Cigarettes and pot linked to teen psychosis

1/19/18--For teens, using either marijuana or cigarettes is associated with higher odds of psychotic-like experiences, a new study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found. Psychosis describes the mental condition of losing touch with reality, such as experiencing hallucinations or delusions. Read

Jeff Sessions struggles to get planned marijuana crackdown going

6/10/18--Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to use federal law to get tough on marijuana, announcing in January he was ending Obama-era protections for the nascent pot industry in states where it is legal. Six months into his mission, he is largely going it alone. In fact, Mr. Sessions’ own prosecutors have yet to bring federal charges against pot businesses that are abiding by state law. Read

Pot peddlers are declaring war on booze

1/15/18--Marijuana boosters have declared war on booze. The number of billboards and other advertisements aimed at converting drinkers into tokers or nibblers of edible marijuana has exploded over the past several years. Read

Marijuana stocks rallied in December

1/11/18--Marijuana stocks continued the November rally into December as investors loaded up on stocks ahead of California’s legalized recreational sales. The U.S. Marijuana Index jumped 50% and the Canadian Marijuana Index climbed 65% for the month of December. Read

Hemp industry loses case against US drug enforcement agency

5/3/18--A federal appeals court sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration and upheld its decision that CBD is a Schedule 1 controlled substance — a major setback for the American hemp industry. The decision, issued Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, means that hemp producers can only sell cannabidiol where it is allowed under state law. Read

Democrats must seize on Jeff Sessions’ misguided marijuana policy

12/7/17--Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' focus on re-criminalizing, legalization activists are celebrating the widespread adoption of new marijuana laws. But, if history is any guide, declarations of legal marijuana’s permanence may be premature, according to Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America. Still, America’s previous experiments with both legalization and criminalization can provide clues for how to handle the country’s newest legal shift. Read

CNN reporter holds joints, lights bong for pot smoker on live New Year’s Eve broadcast

1/2/18--CNN reporter Randi Kaye, sporting large marijuana leaf styled earrings, lit a bong for a pot smoker during a live report from Denver broadcast on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show Sunday night that was hosted from Times Square by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. Read

China says marijuana legalization to blame for US opioid crisis

12/28/17--According to Yu Haibin of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, the United States should look within to cut down demand for opioids which are fueling its deadly drug crisis rather than stressing unsubstantiated claims that China is the major source of these chemicals. Read

New SBA lending rules could curb loans to marijuana and hemp businesses

5/1/18--The U.S. Small Business Administration updated its lending guidelines with new rules that could have a major impact on businesses servicing the marijuana and hemp industries – not just plant-touching companies. The revised guidance, published in early April, prohibits banks from issuing SBA-backed loans to any company that has a direct business relationship with a cannabis or hemp business. Read

Several states likely to legalize marijuana in 2018

12/28/18--It was a big year for pot in 2017: For the first time, a majority of Americans said it should be legalized, four state ballot initiatives passed and startups pounced on California's approval of recreational use. The year ahead portends legalization in three states, and the first pro-pot initiatives enacted by lawmakers instead of voter referendums. Read

A doctor reveals exactly how to use cannabis for anxiety

1/7/2018--According to Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained physician and the president of both InhaleMD and the Association of Cannabis Specialists, in order to avoid the intoxication effects of cannabis while benefiting from its antianxiety and antidepressant effects, it should be used at bedtime. Even though the intoxication wears off overnight, the antianxiety and antidepressant benefits last throughout the next day. Read

The top 10 cannabis lifestyle trends of 2017

12/28/17--This article presents the monumental strides and 10 key cannabis lifestyle trends that defined the past year. Read

FDA accepts GW Pharma’s NDA filing for Epidiolex in the treatment of LGS and Dravet syndrome

12/28/17--GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) announces that the FDA has accepted for filing with Priority Review its recently submitted New Drug Application (NDA) for Epidiolex (cannabidiol or CBD), an investigational treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, two rare and difficult to treat conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date for completion of the FDA review of the Epidiolex NDA is June 27, 2018. Read

More pregnant women are using pot, study finds

12/26/17--More pregnant women seem to be using pot -- sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety -- and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age. Read

Gogek: Marijuana not the answer to opioids

12/18/17--According to Dr. Ed Gogek, a psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse, the marijuana industry wants us to believe pot can solve the opioid crisis, but if that were true opioid-related deaths would have steadily decreased after Arizona’s medical marijuana law took effect in 2011, and they didn’t. Before the law passed, the opioid death rate in Arizona was falling, and after the law kicked in, that changed. Between 2012 and 2016, opioid deaths increased by 74.6 percent. In other words, marijuana is not saving us from the opioid epidemic. Read

FDA pursues unproven cancer claims

12/19/17--Four companies have received FDA warning letters for selling products online that agency officials said made unproven anticancer claims and contained a component of the marijuana plant. The products reportedly contained cannabidiol (CBD), which isn’t FDA approved for any indication. Read

NIH’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey shows both vaping and marijuana are more popular than traditional cigarettes or pain reliever misuse

12/14/17--Findings from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th graders in schools nationwide indicates that nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report past year use of some kind of vaping device, raising concerns about the impact on their health. The survey also suggests that use of hookahs and regular cigarettes is declining. Read

Tripp Keber resigns as CEO of marijuana edibles powerhouse Dixie Brands for new role

12/15/17--Tripp Keber, the co-founder and CEO of Dixie Brands, resigned from the company Friday afternoon, effective immediately, to assume a new role in the marijuana industry. He will be taking on a “leadership role” with Rose Capital. Rose is one of Dixie’s largest funding partners and is taking the lead on new investment to help Dixie expand nationally and overseas. The resignation is part of a move that will partner Dixie with an upstart private equity company that is assembling a portfolio of infused products companies. Read

Teen drug use reaches a 43-year low, with the exception of marijuana

12/15/17--Teens today are using fewer drugs than the age group has used over the the past 43 years, with the exception of marijuana. A recent University of Michigan study found that one in 10 high school seniors say they’ve vaped marijuana in the past year. Richard Miech, the researcher in charge of the study, said the number of teens that are vaping the drug is much higher than he expected. Read

Teen marijuana use down in most legalized states, federal data says

12/11/17--According to new data from the federally-funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) published in the American Journal of Public Health, annual teen cannabis use is down across the U.S. as a whole, but the drop was less significant than that experienced in Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize marijuana. Read  

Medical marijuana for children with cancer? What providers think

12/12/17--A study published in Pediatrics examined interdisciplinary provider perspectives on legal medical marijuana use in children with cancer. It found that 92 percent of providers were willing to help children with cancer access medical marijuana. However, providers who are legally eligible to certify for medical marijuana were less open to endorsing its use. Read

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer

12/12/17--A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new Michigan State University study. Read

Helping settle the marijuana and alcohol debate

12/11/17--Data on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 was gathered to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption, in addition to focusing on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol. Read

Metatron (MRNJ) now accepts BitCoin Cryptocurrency and Update on BitWeed™ marijuana payments app

12/11/17--Metatron, a technology pioneer specializing in the accelerated release of over 2000 apps including Cannabis based, CBD, and Vaporized™ secure chat apps via iTunes and Google Play, announced the final stage development of Bitweed™, a cryptocurrency transaction and tracking app for Marijuana dispensaries and consumers. A biotech company now distributes the Metatron developed and recent updated Cannaboids™ app under its own iTunes account with Google Play soon to follow. Read

Could marijuana prevent opioid deaths? Here’s what a UNT researcher says

12/10/17--According to Melvin Livingston, lead author of a recent study and an assistant professor at UNT Health Science Center, marijuana use may reduce opioid-related deaths. The study, published in October, indicated legal recreational marijuana use reduced opioid overdose deaths in Colorado by 6 percent during a two-year-period beginning in 2013. But researchers only had two years of data on legal recreational marijuana use to draw from. Read

Could Ohio, other states lose exemption from marijuana prosecution?

12/10/17--A little-known federal budget amendment that protects growers, processors, sellers, and the professionals who work with them might expire this year at the behest of the Trump administration. Now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, the measure prohibits the U.S. Justice Department from enforcing federal law against medical marijuana in places where it's legal, as it's been in Ohio since last year. Read

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

12/4/17--Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms. But, new research led by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., of the Washington State University College of Nursing found that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it. Read

Rare and mysterious vomiting illness linked to heavy marijuana use

11/30/17--Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition only recently acknowledged by the medical community, affects a small population — namely, a subset of marijuana users who smoke multiple times a day for months, years or even decades. Doctors say it's difficult to treat the condition. There is no cure other than to quit using marijuana. Furthermore, doctors can do little to relieve the symptoms, since traditional anti-nausea medications often don't work and there are no pills to prevent the onset of an episode. Read