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Newsletter #197

Two marijuana bills hit the House

Two bipartisan bills related to marijuana were introduced in the House of Representatives by Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Don Young of Alaska. If passed, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019 would remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances and allow states to determine their own marijuana laws. The second bill, the Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019, calls for research to study the impacts of both medical and recreational cannabis. Learn more about the measures here.

Medical cannabis aiding the elderly

A recent study tracked over 200 elderly patients prescribed cannabis through New York’s medical marijuana program. A majority of the patients experienced relief from cannabis. Additionally, about a third of the patients were able to reduce their use of opioid painkillers. While the research has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal yet, these seem to be positive, important findings.

The long-term storage solution for marijuana

You probably have your short-term marijuana storage solution worked out. Maybe you keep your bud in a glass jar, or perhaps you invested in a classy humidor. However, whatever you’re doing now likely won’t keep your cannabis fresh after several years. A recently-published study found that the best way to store marijuana long-term is in a freezer. The more you know.

Social cannabis consumption in Alaska

Alaska just became the first state to legalize on-site cannabis use. Yes, Denver and San Francisco permit social marijuana use at licensed establishments, but those regulations are city-wide only. Soon, dispensaries across Alaska will be able to open cannabis lounges. Exciting!

Legalization coming to New Jersey

Recreational cannabis might be legalized very soon in New Jersey. In fact, there may be a vote on it before the end of the month. Get the details here.

Newsletter #196

Canadians spending billions on black market marijuana

Marijuana money flow is one of the many things Canada’s national statistical agency monitors. When researchers dove into the numbers of the fourth quarter of 2018, they found that Canadians doled out nearly six billion Canadian dollars on cannabis. Perhaps the most noteworthy finding is that nearly 80 percent of that money was spent in the illegal market. Seems like government officials have quite a bit of work to do on improving the country’s legal marijuana program.

Swapping tobacco for hemp in Kentucky

Kentucky’s history of hemp cultivation goes back centuries. However, after laws classified hemp as a narcotic and made it illegal to grow without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration, hemp production in the state sharply declined. Now that growing hemp is legal again, Kentucky farmers are shifting away from tobacco cultivation and embracing hemp. Learn more about this transformation here.

NFL player quits over league’s drug policy

David Irving, former defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, is fed up with the NFL’s stance on marijuana. After being suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, Irving used Instagram Live to announce that he’s quitting the game. He also toked up during the video and brought up the NFL’s fondness for opiates. More power to you, Mr. Irving.

Facebook may become more marijuana-friendly

Cannabis companies are accustomed to having their Facebook pages randomly and unceremoniously deleted, but this might be changing. Word on the street is that Facebook officials are considering loosening the site’s restrictions around marijuana-related pages. Get the details here.

Legal cannabis creates jobs

The legal marijuana industry has generated thousands of new jobs. Of the 211,000 cannabis jobs across the United States, over 64,000 were added in 2018. This number is expected to grow even more in 2019. Cannabis, the great job creator.

Newsletter #195

CBD, THC and yeast

The future of cannabinoids might be found in yeast. No, this has nothing to do with breweries making marijuana-infused beer. In fact, scientists are working with brewer’s yeast to churn out CBD and THC. This could be a cost-effective, fairly simple way to produce large amounts of cannabis compounds. Additionally, this method may make it easier to study cannabinoids. Nice.

Marijuana Justice Act reintroduced

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey first introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in 2017, but it was not taken up for a vote then. The 2020 presidential hopeful just reintroduced the bill, which would legalize cannabis nationwide. Supporters include other 2020 Democratic candidates. Get more details about the measure here.

Martha Stewart enters the cannabis business world

It’s not too surprising when celebrities partner with cannabis companies, but this announcement was a bit of a shocker. Martha Stewart, domestic queen, is joining Canopy Growth Corporation to develop a line of CBD products. Maybe Snoop Dogg helped convince her.

San Francisco DA to wipe out thousands of marijuana convictions

If you’re hoping to read some happy news, you came to the right place. The office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón is wiping out over 9,000 marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975. Learn more about this incredible leap forward here.

Recreational cannabis in New Hampshire

New Hampshire might become the next state to legalize adult-use marijuana. House representatives just voted in favor of a recreational cannabis bill. Onwards and upwards.

Newsletter #194

No more CBD in NYC restaurants

Adding CBD to food, booze and, well, everything under the sun has become very popular. However, after industrial hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared it unlawful to add CBD to food and beverages. New York City’s Department of Health is taking this declaration seriously. In fact, the health department plans to start fining restaurants that offer CBD-laced cuisine. Watch out, Brooklyn.

Lack of representation in the marijuana industry

It’s widely known that people of color have been disproportionately targeted in the War on Drugs. Various state and local programs have tried to make it easier for black and Latinx people to join the legal cannabis industry, but many of these programs aren’t effective. The unfortunate truth is that the legal cannabis industry continues to be mostly white, and people of color are still being left behind. Learn more about this major problem here.

The link between recreational cannabis and junk food

A couple of researchers wanted to know if there was a correlation between states legalizing marijuana and the amount of junk food people consume in those states. Spoiler alert: The munchies are real. The researchers looked at junk food purchases before and after statewide legalization. Ultimately, they found that legalizing recreational cannabis leads to an increase in the sales of junk food. Finally, the research we need.

Spotting stoned customers

Ontario has introduced a retail training program for those in the cannabis industry. Soon, marijuana retail workers in this Canadian province will need to take a cannabis education course, which includes a portion on how to spot a high person. The things they don’t teach you in school.

Cannabis swag bags

The 2019 Academy Awards will make history, even if it’s only for the swag bags. This year, Oscar nominees will receive gift bags containing cannabis-infused truffles. Let’s hope for some stoned acceptance speeches.

Newsletter #193

Kamala Harris talks weed

Senator Kamala Harris wants to be the next president of the U.S., and she seems to realize that she must be pro-pot to have any chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. Harris was opposed to recreational cannabis in the past, but in a recent interview, she said she supports legalization. In fact, she admitted to smoking a joint in college. Harris added, “I think it gives a lot of people joy. We need more joy in the world.”

Marijuana banking bill

It’s widely known that cannabis businesses struggle to access basic financial services. A group of lawmakers wants to change that, so they introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The bill’s goal is to protect financial institutions and make banks more inclined to serve the marijuana industry. If passed, this would be a major win for cannabis businesses nationwide.

Deluxe cannabis accessories

There’s a market for high-end cannabis products, and plenty of retailers are happy to oblige. While many stores sell beauty products that contain CBD, Barney’s is going one step further. Its Beverly Hills store has plans to open a cannabis-themed shop with specialty items like grinder necklaces and gold rolling papers. Fun, fancy and unnecessary.

Lamar Odom’s vape pen line

Former NBA star Lamar Odom used marijuana and CBD to help him recover from the strokes and heart attacks brought on by his 2015 drug overdose. Because of this, Odom wanted to help others experience the benefits of cannabinoids. Thus, his line of CBD vape pens was born. Get more info about this endeavor here.

$1 billion in retail cannabis taxes

The marijuana industry has reached another milestone. In 2018, taxes collected from retail sales of cannabis exceeded $1 billion. This is a massive increase from 2017. Seems like California joining the other recreational marijuana states was a good idea.

Newsletter #192

California’s tribal nations and the marijuana industry

California’s cannabis industry is often talked about, but there’s one topic that rarely makes headlines: The state’s tribal nations are not permitted to participate in the regulated market. Native American tribes are not allowed to obtain the required licenses. Consequently, they cannot participate in the California cannabis industry. Learn more about this legal situation and the obstacles tribal nations are facing here.

WHO recommends cannabis rescheduling

The United Nations’ World Health Organization is recommending that member countries reschedule marijuana from its current status under international treaties. The recommendation is for whole-plant cannabis and cannabis concentrates to be rescheduled into the least restrictive category. It’s not clear if this will make waves, but it’s nice to see the effort, right?

The POT stock

Marijuana stocks are big, which is why Canadian cannabis companies have been fighting over the “POT” stock ticker symbol. In fact, the competition was so intense that the Canadian Securities Exchange held its first random lottery to pick a winner. Weekend Unlimited was the victor, and they’re stoked. The company’s current symbol? YOLO.

Marijuana and sperm count

A group of scientists found that a history of smoking cannabis correlates to greater fertility in men. Researchers originally predicted that marijuana use would negatively impact sperm count. In contrast, participants who had used cannabis in the past had higher sperm counts than non-users. Fun fact.

UC Berkeley’s cannabis research center

The University of California at Berkeley is the latest higher education institution to make marijuana news. The university is planning to create a research center that will focus on California’s cannabis industry. Get more details about this endeavor here.