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Newsletter #110

Nevada pot shops can finally restock

Recreational marijuana sales began in Nevada on July 1st, and pot products have been flying off the shelves. While this may seem like good news for dispensaries, they’ve been stressed about restocking. This is because for the first 18 months of legal cannabis sales, alcohol distributors have exclusive rights to transport the state’s weed- and most haven’t been interested.

This component of the new marijuana law was intended to soothe the booze industry’s concerns that legal pot would mean less alcohol sales. However, this compromise became a problem when the state said “pass” to the few distributors that actually applied for the license to handle cannabis. Fortunately, Nevada made the last-minute decision to license two alcohol wholesalers to transport weed from seed to store. Learn more about Nevada’s marijuana mess here.

DEA admits you can’t OD on marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Agency recently released Drugs of Abuse, a resource guide about various- you guessed it- drugs. In this guide, the DEA wrote, “No deaths from overdose of marijuana have been recorded.” It also mentioned that the effects of cannabis include happiness and enhanced imagination. The DEA has been staunchly anti-marijuana, but maybe this is a signal of hope.

Hindu deity is sick of cannabis tourism

Malana is an ancient Indian village that happens to be famous for its primo hashish. The village elders fear that cannabis tourists are threatening this remote community’s unique culture, which is probably a legitimate concern. Recently, the village’s protective deity, Jamlu Devta, “spoke” to the elders and told them to end marijuana tourism. You can’t argue with a divine being.

World’s top marijuana cultivator

Guess which country grows more cannabis than any other? Morocco takes the lead (by a lot). The North African nation is followed by Mexico, and then Nigeria. Check out other interesting findings from the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2017 here.

Cannabis K-Cups

Do you like marijuana? What about minimal-effort coffee? Brewbudz, a San Diego startup, has debuted a line of cannabis-infused coffees and teas in single-serve packaging. The real question: could you get away with drinking these at the office?

Newsletter #109

Print your own edibles

3D printing is trendy, and so are unique marijuana edibles. Combine the two, and you get Potent Rope. Potent Rope is an edible cannabis filament for use in a 3D printer. In a nutshell, an edible thermoplastic is combined with marijuana extract, creating a filament ready for 3D printing. Want a custom-created edible in the shape of a spaceship? Here you go.

Marijuana effective at treating migraines

The results of a new study show that medical cannabis may be more effective at treating migraines than the prescription drugs currently in use. A THC-CBD combination was shown to reduce both migraine pain and the frequency of attacks in the study’s participants. Learn more about the research here.

Nevada’s first days of recreational cannabis

Recreational dispensaries in Nevada opened their doors last Saturday. You could say it went well. In the state’s first four days of legal recreational marijuana sales, it saw $3 million in sales revenue and $500,000 in tax revenue. Good for the economy, good for the government.

Lawsuit over medical marijuana smoking ban in Florida

John Morgan, an Orlando-based attorney, is suing the state of Florida over a new law that bans smoking medical cannabis. Morgan contends that toking up in private should be legal. Learn about this battle here.

Greece legalizes medical cannabis

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece announced that his nation will legalize medical marijuana. Guidelines on how cannabis will be grown and distributed are still to come.

Newsletter #108

Peace gathering attracts Feds

Rainbow Family gathering, a peace festival, is being held in a national forest in Oregon this year. The U.S. government has taken this as a cue to to send federal prosecutors to the area. The group of assistant U.S. attorneys are preparing to process citations for the festival attendees, which begs the question: will federal marijuana law be enforced? Recreational cannabis is legal in Oregon, but remains illegal under federal law. If the Feds decide to bring pot-related charges against Rainbow visitors, this could make for a very different festival scene in the U.S.

Two studies clash on effects of legalization on car accidents

Two recent studies analyzed the occurrence of motor vehicle accidents in states where marijuana is legal. They came to two very different conclusions. One study by the American Journal of Public Health found no significant increase in motor vehicle fatalities in Colorado and Washington, where recreational cannabis is legal. In another study by the Highway Loss Data Institute, it was found that car insurance collision claims increased in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Learn more about these studies here.

Patients in pain prefer cannabis to opiates

HelloMD, the popular medical marijuana website, recently conducted a survey of nearly 3,000 medical cannabis patients. Among other findings, it was discovered that a vast majority of respondents prefer marijuana to prescription pills. Take that, Big Pharma!

Massachusetts rewriting legalization law

Massachusetts residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana last November, but the state government isn’t feeling it. In fact, Massachusetts lawmakers are rewriting the ballot initiative in a closed-door session. Yes, they are rewriting a law passed by voters. Ouch.

Nevada to start recreational marijuana sales

This weekend, Nevada will open its first recreational cannabis dispensaries. With Nevada’s booming tourism industry, legalized marijuana is expected to bring in as much as $150 million in two years for the state government. Get the details here.

Newsletter #107

How cannabis played into Philando Castile’s death

In case you missed it: police officer Jeronimo Yanez (a Latino man) shot Philando Castile (a black man) during a traffic stop in July 2016. Last week, a jury acquitted Yanez of manslaughter charges. A recently-released transcript shows that Yanez insisted the smell of cannabis coming from Castile’s vehicle was reason to believe he was a threat. The explanation is truly bizarre. Read more here.

Mexico legalizes medical marijuana

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that his government has legalized medical cannabis. The bill had massive support in Mexico’s congress and senate. Not too long ago, Peña Nieto was extremely opposed to legalizing marijuana. After paying attention to the activism and dialogue about marijuana throughout Mexico, he had a change of heart. Well done.

Cannabis companies turn to Bitcoin

Because of marijuana’s federally illegal status, banks and credit companies stay away from the industry. This forces many cannabis-related businesses to operate as cash-only enterprises, which is kind of a nightmare. Now, some businesses are starting to use Bitcoin, the infamous digital currency, to manage their money. Learn more here.

Artists toke up to create pot labels

Do you choose your cannabis based on the packaging? Check out 1964 Supply Co.’s Artist Series, which features the work of nine artists. The artists assigned to their particular strain designed the stunning label while high on that strain. Genius.

Majority of Americans want Trump to leave legal marijuana alone

According to a new poll from Survey USA, 76 percent of American adults want President Donald Trump to respect state cannabis laws. Do you think he’ll listen?

Newsletter #106

Sessions asks Congress to let him go after medical marijuana

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014, prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking Congress to undo these protections, according to a letter that recently became public. His reasoning? The drug epidemic. Maybe he doesn’t know that the current, horrifying drug epidemic relates to opiates.

Luckily, Scientific American published a great article that lays out the facts of the epidemic, and how places with legalized cannabis actually have lower rates of opioid overdose death. Someone send this article to Sessions, quick!

Medical cannabis on hold in Hawaii

Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis 17 years ago. Dispensaries weren’t legalized until 2015, and weren’t permitted to open until July 2016. Now, some dispensaries are finally open, but they’re not allowed to sell their products. This is because the state has not certified any labs to run required safety tests. This leaves Hawaii’s 17,000 registered patients to grow their own marijuana or buy it on the black market. Get it together, Aloha State.

Federal medical marijuana bill reintroduced

A bill known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act has been reintroduced. This bill would amend federal law to officially allow states to implement and govern their own medical marijuana policies. It would also allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients. With a bipartisan group of senators and representatives behind it, there’s hope.

California decides on legal cannabis regulations

California’s recently-announced state budget agreement also contains provisions for the legal cannabis industry. One of the more interesting points is that state regulators would need to come up with a certification process for organic marijuana. Learn more about the regulations here.

Dennis Rodman, North Korea and PotCoin

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has once again made news with another trip to North Korea. This journey is sponsored by PotCoin, a digital currency for the marijuana industry. PotCoin has nothing to do with North Korea and simply appears to be seeking publicity. It worked.

Newsletter #105

Rhode Island’s proposal to legalize marijuana

Two Rhode Island lawmakers introduced a unique recreational cannabis bill. In short, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. An advisory panel would be established in order to provide recommendations on how to organize a legal retail trade in the future. It’s legalization, but it holds off on the bureaucratic mess of setting up legal dispensaries. Interesting.

Spain is growing Europe’s cannabis

Spain has long been known for being Europe’s point of entry for hashish coming in from Morocco. Now, it’s looking like the country has increased its own marijuana production. In fact, cannabis production in Spain has skyrocketed in recent years. Recent police busts have revealed massive amounts of marijuana heading from Spain to other parts of Europe. Someone’s gotta do it.

Colorado adds PTSD as medical marijuana condition

Post-traumatic stress disorder has been added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Colorado. Veterans have been fighting for this inclusion for years. If you think this isn’t that big of a deal, know that this is the first new condition added since the state’s medical marijuana program began in 2001. Learn more here.

Cannabis may help destroy tumors

Researchers at St. George’s, University of London found that using concentrated marijuana in conjunction with chemotherapy resulted in greater death of cancer cells. They also discovered that using medical cannabis after chemotherapy is more effective at killing cancer cells than using it before. Now you know.

Pot pizza

Do you like the idea of edibles, but aren’t into the usual high-sugar offerings? Take a trip to Quincy, Massachusetts, where one medical marijuana dispensary is offering cannabis-infused pizza. Check it out here.