Weed in Review: 2.16.18

Weed in Review: Friday, February 16, 2018

In the United States

Lawsuit Argues That Feds’ Cannabis Ban Violates Our Constitutional Rights: Yesterday, plaintiffs in the federal case of Washington, et.al v. Sessions, et.al provided oral arguments in response to the federal government’s motion to dismiss their suit, which challenges the constitutionality of cannabis’ classification under the CSA.

Senate leadership agrees to timetable on cannabis bill: Under the agreed upon timetable, the Senate will hold a final vote at third reading on or before June 7.

What Are You Smoking? Episode 26: Exercising with Cannabis: This week on the show, Content Director Rebecca Kelley and Leafly Editor Hannah Meadows join Will to talk about integrating cannabis into exercise regimens.

The Open-Source Database That Can Save the Cannabis Industry Needs Your Help: The wrong company patenting your favorite strain could mean a future of watered-down copies.

Growing Cannabis Use by Patients Needs to Be Matched by Counseling and Awareness of Risks, Report Says: As the medicinal use of cannabis becomes increasingly accepted among certain patient groups, including people with fibromyalgia, physicians will be progressively pressed to understand its use, effects, limitation and risks to properly inform and guide patients.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania have been given the go-ahead by Gov. Tom Wolf to begin sales: With more than 10,000 patients already registered, Pennsylvania’s MMJ program is poised to become one of the largest in the country.

Recreational cannabis bill introduced: Georgia state senator Curt Thompson, a Democrat from Tucker, recently introduced a bill in the State Capitol for the legalization of recreational marijuana. It is undoubtedly an unpopular viewpoint in the Capitol, considering that Georgia is largely a “red” state and traditionally the conservative stance is to oppose drug legalization.

Detroit Approves Moratorium on New Marijuana Dispensaries: Michigan voters decided that the Detroit City Council shouldn’t have as much power to limit marijuana in their city, so the Detroit City Council shut it all down.

Philadelphia DA drops 50 marijuana-possession cases: Philadelphia’s new district attorney has recently dropped more than 50 marijuana-possession cases. Top prosecutor Larry Krasner told reporters Thursday that his office tossed the cases earlier this week after noticing a spike in marijuana arrests. He said it was the right thing to do and that his office could use those resources to prosecute murder cases.

Philip Morris Not Selling Marijuana Cigarettes:  Q: Are Philip Morris “Marlboro M” brand marijuana cigarettes now for sale in four U.S. states? A: No. That claim comes from a 2014 satirical story. It has recently resurfaced without the satire label.

Medical Research Updates

OHSU doc drafts cannabis primer for other doctors: Did you find anything that surprised you in your review of research? “The strength of cannabis, the potency of THC percentage by weight. That increase from the 60s and 70s until now was pretty surprising. We are talking in the 60s 1 or 2 percent THC by weight and now the strongest strains in the world are 30 percent plus by weight. As with all substances our patients are using, it’s super important to keep the dialogue open and honest and nonjudgmental and especially with cannabis it’s really important for physicians and patients to keep an open mind and continue pushing for quality research.”

Medical Cannabis Safely Reduces Pain in Seniors: A study led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Published a study this month in The European Journal of Internal Medicine. The study found that medical cannabis can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects.

Cannabis does more harm than good: Health officials warn doctors against prescribing the drug for ailments as the effects outweigh the minor benefits: Professor Mike Allan of the University of Alberta, who led the team writing the guidelines, said: ‘While enthusiasm for medical marijuana is very strong among some people, good-quality research has not caught up.’

Study: Alcohol more harmful to the brain than marijuana:  One of the most popular selling points for legal marijuana is that it is safer than alcohol. Although you’d be hard-pressed to convince US Attorney General Jeff Sessions of this, there is a growing body of evidence that shows Americans could be leading healthier lives by replacing booze with bud. In fact, the latest study shows that marijuana is less of a detriment to the human brain that its boozy counterpart. So, is it possible that more people could keep their mental faculties longer by switching to marijuana?

Is Marijuana the World’s Most Effective Treatment for Autism? Israel has been at the forefront of medical marijuana research since modern health care began considering its merits. Raphael Mechoulam, who studies medicinal chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, first identified THC and CBD by studying 5 kilos of Lebanese hashish in the early 1960s. He was eager to unlock its chemical components in the same way that researchers had studied and mapped cocaine and heroin in the past, and in 1980 his research led to the very first trial on the use of CBD for epilepsy.



Update on the proposed framework for distribution and sale of recreational cannabis in British Columbia: In anticipation of the July 2018 legalization of non-medical cannabis by the federal government, on February 5 British Columbia released policy guidelines that will inform the development of the province’s regulatory framework for the distribution and sale of non-medical cannabis within the province. Presumably, in order to simplify and promote compliance with the provincial regulations, these preliminary policy guidelines are closely modeled after the existing tobacco and alcohol regimes. They also reflect the results from a public engagement initiative the province completed in fall 2017.


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The Cannabist

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