Weed in Review: 2.9.18

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: Ipart 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.


Uruguay Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Rate Has Plummetted: The small, progressive South American nation has ended its war on drugs and has no regrets.

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.


Check out Cannabis Business Times Events Page for the latest.

Our favorite news sources:

The Cannabist

High Times

Merry Jane

Vice Marijuana


Weed In Review: 1.12.18

Weed in Review: Friday, January 12, 2018

In the United States

Trump Admin Threatens Cannabis Industry: What You Need to Know: On January 4, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of an Obama-era Department of Justice guidance known as the “Cole Memo” that provided guidelines for the federal enforcement of state-compliant marijuana possession and regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale. (Note that we use the term “marijuana” when discussing the impact of Sessions’ memo, because it addresses only the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within Controlled Substances Act’s definition of “marijuana”; industrial hemp grown in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill and applicable state regulatory provisions may not be impacted.)

OUR VIEW: Federalism solution for marijuana: Sessions’ decision is consistent with his longtime antipathy toward legalizing marijuana. But it is at odds with the stated views of his boss. During his 2016 campaign for president, Donald Trump endorsed medical marijuana and said pot legalization “should be a state issue, state-by-state.” Now it’s time for Congress to do its job and repeal the law.

These Senators Are All Talk, No Action on Cannabis Legalization: In fact, a number of senators who expressed a burning desire to halt Sessions and his cannabis-hating crusade in its tracks have not so much as signed on as a co-sponsor of any of the four major pieces of legislation addressing the issue in the US Senate. As of mid-January, one of the most powerful bills—Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act—had only a single co-sponsor, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden.

Study: Legal marijuana could generate more than $132 billion in federal tax revenue and 1 million jobs: The analysis shows that if marijuana were fully legal in all 50 states, it would create at least a combined $131.8 billion in in federal tax revenue between 2017 and 2025. That is based on an estimated 15 percent retail sales tax, payroll tax deductions and business tax revenue.

The grass is green for careers in cannabis research: The fast-growing field where these scientists work provides not only these satisfactions, but also, reportedly, offers expanding career opportunities, good pay, and scientific challenges so plentiful and significant that one feels “you’re literally on Darwin’s ship, the Beagle,” Marcu says.

Cancer Patients Asking Doctors About Marijuana Still Get Little Help: Murphy, then 49 and fighting breast cancer, dropped 15 pounds from her already slim frame in just two months. Then, she remembered what a fellow cancer patient had advised while she was waiting for her first dose of chemo: “Make sure you get some medical marijuana.”

4 Other Things Coachella Should Ban Instead of Marijuana: This year’s Coachella apparently won’t be very green, and by “green,” we’re not talking about anything to do with the environment.
Iowa State’s push to ban marijuana shirt ends in big payouts: ISU’s unconstitutional crackdown on a pro-marijuana student group’s T-shirts will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, according to a partial settlement approved Tuesday. The State Appeal Board voted to pay $150,000 in damages to two leaders of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws whose free-speech rights were violated by campus administrators. The board also approved a $193,000 payment to two law firms that represented the group…
Lawmaker claims ‘character makeup’ makes blacks more susceptible to marijuana: (CNN)A Kansas state legislator has stepped down from the chairmanship of a Kansas House committee after he said African-Americans were more susceptible to marijuana because of “their character makeup” and “their genetics.”
We Need to Destigmatize Parents Who Use Cannabis: As a cannabis advocate, I’m reasonably concerned by the social stigma around parents who use the plant. This is partially because some of my loved ones happen to be parents who use cannabis, but it’s also because I don’t think it makes sense to demonize responsible adults for enjoying marijuana. And contrary to popular opinion, successful cannabis consumers aren’t difficult to find.


CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. Announces Strategic International Cannabis Distribution Agreement with Fagron NV: Fagron to utilize its existing international distribution network to market and distribute CanniMed medicinal cannabis products to 17 specified countries with aggregate population of over 760 million

Cabinet to discuss marijuana issue: Cabinet will take a day to discuss, among other things, the marijuana issue, Press Secretary Anthony “Ace” Newbold said. “The prime minister has committed to taking a day for his Cabinet to talk about several issues, the whole issue of marijuana is one of them, in Cabinet,” Newbold said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday. “They will spend a day discussing that.

Yukon releases draft legislative summary of proposed Cannabis Control and Regulation Act: The Government of Yukon has released a draft legislative summary of its Cannabis Control and Regulation Act and is seeking feedback from Yukoners, First Nation governments and municipalities.

Momentum builds for medicinal cannabis: Lynne Hughes argues Wales should use its voice to support cannabis use for medicinal purposes