Weed in Review: Friday, February 9, 2018
In the United States
Jeff Sessions: marijuana helped cause the opioid epidemic. The research: no. The research shows that, contrary to Sessions’ remarks, medical marijuana may help mitigate the crisis. Medical marijuana is an effective painkiller. The best review of the research to date on marijuana, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, looked at more than 10,000 studies to evaluate pot’s potential benefits and harms. The review concluded that there’s “conclusive evidence” for marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain, as well as multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Seattle Moves To Dismiss Marijuana Misdemeanors: Seattle’s mayor and city attorney announced plans to ask the courts to vacate all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions that were prosecuted before it was legalized in Washington state in 2012 — a move that could affect the records of hundreds of people. Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes estimate more than 500 criminal convictions will be erased from court records.
Get ready for weed yoga: The first legal cannabis spa may be on its way: Owners of the Utopia All Natural Wellness Spa and Lounge submitted a social consumption application on Wednesday to the city of Denver in hopes of becoming the first “fully licensed, state-legal cannabis spa.” Which means you’ll be able to get baked and relax on the premises. If approved, Utopia will offer patrons “cannabis-infused massages, ganja yoga, and other cannabis-friendly activities to patrons 21 and older, as well as meditation coaching, educational seminars, and patient support and networking groups,” according to a press release.
Sessions’ war on pot could speed up marijuana legalization nationwide: This bureaucratic salvo is stirring fears that the Trump administration could be on the verge of a crackdown that could potentially jeopardize the nation’s growing number of legally operating pot businesses. However, based on my research and what I’ve learned while teaching the first US college course on the marijuana business at the University of Denver, I see no reason for supporters of legalization to panic. In fact, I believe that Sessions may have actually accelerated the process toward federal marijuana legalization.
Military veterans defy Jeff Sessions, fight for medical marijuana to kick opioid addiction: Army veteran CW4 Perry Parks reaches to lift a symbolic pill bottle that was placed in front of the White House by a group of medical marijuana supporters to raise awareness of opioid addiction.
Military Vets Are Among Factors Changing The Politics Of Pot: The politics of medical marijuana are changing as veterans turn to the drug to treat service-related conditions. Trump administration efforts to enforce anti-pot laws have faced bipartisan pushback.
Marijuana Facts: Biology of cannabis plants (what makes cannabis so special?)
Law Enforcement Weighs How To Police Marijuana With Federal Pressure: Law enforcement from around country convened in downtown Portland, Oregon, last week with one goal in mind: figure out how to regulate cannabis during the Trump administration.
Portland’s First Cannabis Bodega Mixes Weed and Grocery: Jeffrey’s is Portland’s first true cannabis bodega, a one-stop for tinctures, drinks, and munchies. With its reclaimed-wood, subdued wall art, and electric chandeliers, the mood inside is somewhere between subdued boutique and Portland bar—leaving aside the DayGlo candy wall spanning Swedish Fish, Haribo and Ritter Sport candy bars. After you sample chorizo you can refill your vape cartridges.
Texas’ first cannabis dispensary has opened near Austin, but don’t expect to find pot brownies: At Compassionate Cultivation’s dispensary near Austin, customers won’t find marijuana to smoke or pot brownies and gummy bears to eat. One product is for sale: a specific kind of cannabis oil. Only Texans with intractable epilepsy can purchase it.
Gimme Shelter: Massachusetts Lawmakers Push to Become a Marijuana Sanctuary State: The federal prosecutor is threatening to move against businesses operating legally under state law. Two legislators say local police shouldn’t help if they do. [This bill] would bar law enforcement officials in the state from complying with any federal-ordered crackdown on legal cannabis operations. They filed the bill in reaction to two significant events.
Ohio’s medical weed program: Medical marijuana is expected to be available for the first time in Ohio this fall. Here’s what you need to know from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program…
Medical Research Updates
Allowing Access To Marijuana May Help States Fix Their Opioid Problem: The opioid epidemic has continued into 2018, and several state and local governments are now suing drug companies and doctors for alleged misleading advertising about the costs and benefits of opioids. While lawsuits may grab headlines, it’s not clear whether they will have any effect on the epidemic itself. So in the meantime, other remedies need to be considered, and marijuana may be one.
Colloquium on Cannabis Research: Five Facts About Cannabis Genomics: Daniela Vergara is a postdoctoral researcher in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. She has been studying the biology of Cannabis plants since 2013, by exploring the genomes of multiple cultivars including hemp and medical/recreational marijuana, and also by analyzing their biochemical diversity with data provided by Steep Hill labs. Lecture: Friday, February 23 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Boulder, CO.
What Are Cannabis Flavonoids and What Do They Do?: When we consider the 200 or more bioactive compounds that have been discovered in cannabis, often the more widely understood phytocannabinoids and terpenes tend to steal the spotlight. But these aren’t the only important compounds produced by cannabis. Take flavonoids for example. They account for roughly 10% of these known compounds with around 20 varieties known to exist in cannabis.
The Top Medical Cannabis Studies of 2017: In part one of this series, we took a look at some of the most impactful studies in medical cannabis, specifically those relating to CBD. This next installment highlights several cannabis wins beyond CBD, as it shows promise in healthy aging, neurodegenerative disease, and more.
Cash-strapped Greece sees growth in medical cannabis: Greece’s government says it’s fast-tracking plans to legalize growth of medical cannabis, arguing that growing interest from investors could help efforts to pull the country out of years of crisis. Legislation to legalize cannabis production was submitted to parliament Wednesday and is due to be voted on later this month.
Colombia Wants to Supply the World with Cannabis: One of the few countries that allows its businesses to ship cannabis abroad, Colombia is well-positioned to become a player in the international cannabis market. The South American country legalized cannabis for recreational use six years ago. Andres Lopez, head of the government agency that oversees the medical cannabis program, expects Colombia to meet 45% of global demand for the product by next year.
Final Hit: Nepal Cannabis Crackdown Targets Temple Hashish: Over the past six months, nearly 280 people have been arrested and 115 criminally charged in police raids on the city’s Pashupatinath Temple complex, a UN World Heritage Site that is annually visited by thousands of Hindu pilgrims from Nepal and India alike. If a cannabis crackdown is going to be futile anywhere, it is in the Himalayan fastness of north Indian and Nepal, where the use of the herb and manufacture of its concentrated resin stretch back centuries and even millennia.
Here’s how you can make medicinal cannabis in New Zealand a reality: Parliament’s health select committee is looking for public submissions on the Government’s Bill that allows terminally ill people to possess and use cannabis. The Bill last week passed its first reading unanimously and opening it up for public submissions is the next step in the process.
Cannabis Beer Soon To Be Available — In Canada: [A]ccording to Lauren Eads, the Drinksbusiness.com, Canada’s Province Brands (PB) “filed the provisional patent for the ‘world’s first beers brewed from the cannabis plant.’” Other companies have produced wine and beer laced with cannabis, but according to the Drinksbusiness article, PB is the first company with a global reach to produce beers brewed entirely from the cannabis plant. The company bills its products as “alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating.” They claim the products are low in calories, low in sugar, and — very important in today’s consumer climate — gluten free. The patent filing is about six months old.