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Newsletter #170

Safe space for stoned students

If you’re a regular user of cannabis, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of being way, way too high. If you’re a student at the University of Calgary in Alberta, you now have a place to go. The university has opened its Post-Alcohol Support Space, originally intended to keep drunk students safe, to those who are too stoned. Smart move.

Medical marijuana problems in Malaysia

Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad gave free cannabis oil to patients in need who could not afford the treatment, but all forms of marijuana are strictly forbidden in Malaysia. This is why a Malaysian court sentenced Lukman to death last week. Yes, a death sentence for giving medical marijuana to those in need. Terrifying.

Lab-grown cannabinoids

Cronos Group Inc., a marijuana company, is partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks Inc., a biotech firm, to genetically engineer the active compounds found in cannabis. The companies will work together to extract the DNA from various cannabinoids and produce them in a lab. Learn more about this endeavor here.

What do baby boomers and young adults have in common?

If you guessed an affinity for cannabis, you’d be correct. A recent study found that marijuana use among those aged 50 to 64 has increased. According to another study, cannabis use among young adults in college is at the highest level in the past 30 years. Different generations, same interests.

Merriam-Webster embraces marijuana

“Medical marijuana” and “CBD” are new additions to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Well done, dictionary editors.

Newsletter #169

Mormons vs marijuana

In a fairly unsurprising move, the Mormon Church has officially come out against Proposition 2, Utah’s medicinal cannabis initiative. Church leaders are voicing concerns that medical marijuana would negatively impact the health and safety of Utah communities. 60 percent of Utahans are Mormon, so the church’s statement could majorly influence the outcome of Proposition 2. Voters will decide on this measure November 6th.

The White House takes on legal cannabis

If you think Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the only Trump associate actively working against the marijuana industry, unfortunately, you’re wrong. The White House has formed the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, which recently instructed 14 federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit data that casts marijuana in a negative light. Get the details on this disappointing development here.

Pesticide problems at California’s illegal pot farms

There have been major issues with pesticide use at illegal marijuana farms for years. In California, this issue seems to be getting worse. Nine out of every 10 unlicensed cannabis farms raided in California this year contained traces of powerful pesticides that are detrimental to the environment. This percentage is up from previous years. Not good.

THC lingers in breast milk

Breastfeeding moms, listen up. A recently published study discovered that cannabis chemicals, including THC, were measurable in mothers’ breast milk up to six days after they consumed marijuana. The jury is still out on whether or not these low levels of chemicals affect breastfeeding infants. Learn more about this study here.

Illinois to allow medical cannabis as opioid alternative

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Alternative to Opioids Act into law this week. This law allows patients prescribed opioid medications to select medical marijuana instead. This seems like a smart, practical way to fight the opioid epidemic. Well done.

Newsletter #168

California bill to erase cannabis convictions passes

When California voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana, they also got rid of various cannabis-related crimes. While this applied to previous marijuana convictions, no guidelines were put in place to help eligible offenders get their convictions erased or reduced. Because of this, California lawmakers just passed a bill that would expunge or reduce tens of thousands of marijuana-related criminal convictions. Now, the bill awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature. If passed, the California Department of Justice will identify eligible cases and send them to the relevant district attorney’s office. Get more details here.

NFL player slams league’s marijuana policy

David Irving, defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, recently shared his views on the NFL’s marijuana policy via an Instagram post. Irving trashed the league’s no-cannabis rules and stated that he was medicated, presumably with marijuana, in every NFL game he had played in. No “lazy stoner” stereotypes here.

Elon Musk on his 420 tweet

Business magnate Elon Musk made headlines (what’s new?) when he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 per share. This price led many to believe Musk was referring to 4/20, the cannabis culture term. Musk insisted that this is not true and that he was not “on weed” while tweeting. Well then.

DEA calls for more cannabis

The Drug Enforcement Agency is aiming to increase the amount of marijuana grown for research purposes. Additionally, in an effort to fight the opioid epidemic, the agency is reducing the quota for the production of opioid medications in the U.S. Learn more about this plan here.

Legal marijuana projections

RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank, predicts that legal cannabis sales could reach $47 billion annually within a decade. So does this mean we should invest all of our money in marijuana stocks?

Newsletter #167

California’s cannabis tax problems

When Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana, many state officials were thrilled at the prospect of all the tax revenue that would roll in. It was estimated that the tax takings from the cannabis industry would total $185 million for the first six months of 2018. The actual total is $82 million. If you’re wondering about the reason for this massive discrepancy, you’re not the only one. Some are blaming state regulations and the black market. Get the details about this shortfall here.

The Stoner Cleanup Initiative

Last month, a Reddit user posted a picture of a bag full of trash with the caption, “Cleaned up the smoke spot #StonerCleanUpInitiative.” This post gained traction in cannabis-loving communities, and now hundreds of tokers are participating in the challenge. It’s pretty straightforward. Simply go to your favorite smoke spot, and do a little picking up while you’re there. Finally, a movement we can all get behind.

Canopy and Constellation team up

Constellation Brands, an alcohol industry giant, made headlines last year when it invested $191 million in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian cannabis company. Constellation seems to be confident in this commitment to the marijuana industry. In fact, the company recently announced an additional $4 billion investment in Canopy. Learn more about this power couple here.

North Dakota to vote on recreational marijuana

Marijuana advocates in North Dakota gathered enough signatures to place a recreational cannabis proposal on November’s ballot. The initiative would set no limits on the amount of marijuana residents could grow and possess. Bold move, North Dakota.

Cannabis jobs skyrocket in Canada

Are you looking for a job in the legal marijuana industry? If so, you may want to head to Canada, where cannabis-related job postings are growing quickly. Remember, legalization is just around the corner for our Canadian friends.

Newsletter #166

Those damn teenagers

Teenagers are often at the center of conversations about marijuana legalization. If cannabis is legalized, will every kid become the stereotype of a lazy stoner? Do dispensaries make it too easy for teens to obtain weed? Two recent studies provide more insight into what may influence cannabis consumption among adolescents. One study shows that teenagers who vape are more likely to use marijuana than their non-vaping counterparts. Another study found that the presence of medical cannabis dispensaries does not impact the rate of marijuana use by teens. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

California’s cannabis shortage

July 1st was the day that marijuana dispensaries in California needed to start following the state’s strict testing regulations. It hasn’t been easy. California has only 31 testing facilities licensed to scrutinize every cannabis product that hits dispensary shelves. This has led to a major backlog, which you can learn more about here.

Cynthia Nixon is down to toke

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon hasn’t tried cannabis since college, but this may change soon. The former “Sex and the City” actress said she would be open to sampling the green goods when marijuana is legalized in the state.

The cost of Epidiolex

Epidiolex made history when it became the first cannabis-derived drug the FDA approved. Now, Epidiolex is making headlines for its price, which will be roughly $32,500 a year. No, that’s not a typo.

Michigan grandma arrested for medical marijuana

Police in Michigan arrested an 80-year-old grandmother for using medical cannabis at home with an expired medical marijuana card. It sounds like the cops have their priorities straight.

Newsletter #165

A new kind of CBD oil

A company has figured out how to derive cannabidiol, or CBD, without using a cannabis or hemp plant. Given the legal gray area of CBD, this is a huge deal. Peak Health Foundation has worked out a process for extracting CBD oil from humulus, a variety of hop that naturally cross-pollinated with wild cannabis. It’s new, it’s fascinating and it’s completely legal.

THC takes on epilepsy

When people talk about marijuana’s medicinal benefits, they’re oftentimes referencing CBD. THC, the cannabinoid primarily responsible for getting you stoned, doesn’t get nearly as much love. This might be changing. Two recent studies show that THC may be effective in the treatment of epilepsy. Go, THC, go! Get the details here.

Cannabis and Coors

While many companies in the alcohol sector aren’t too stoked on the marijuana industry, Molson Coors is leaning in. The beer behemoth’s Canadian division is forging a partnership with a cannabis producer to develop a marijuana-infused, nonalcoholic beverage. Making friends with the competition? Nice move.

Georgia sort of legalizes marijuana

No, not the state. The Eurasian nation of Georgia has done away with punishments for the consumption of cannabis. The ruling by Georgia’s Constitutional Court does not concern the cultivation or selling of marijuana, which remain illegal. Learn more about this noteworthy judgment here.

University-sponsored cannabis competition

Do you have a big, innovative idea related to medical marijuana? If so, you might want to check out Thomas Jefferson University’s competition for marijuana-related businesses. Winners receive money and legal support. Good deal.