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Newsletter #191

Is there lead in your vape cartridge?

Spoiler alert: Yes, there is probably lead in your vape cartridge. In California, new lab testing requirements for marijuana products went into effect at the beginning of 2019. This includes testing for heavy metals. Unfortunately, it seems that nearly every vape cartridge on the market is testing positive for lead. The majority of cartridges are shipped in from China, which has more lax restrictions on lead than the U.S. does. Lead in cartridges can leach into the cannabis oil, and consumers certainly don’t want to be vaping lead. Scary stuff.

Israel approves cannabis exports

Israel’s cabinet approved a law that permits the export of medical marijuana to countries that allow its use. Advocates are excited for the anticipated economic boost, while critics are concerned an increase in cultivation will lead to more recreational cannabis use. Learn more about the new law here.

Minnesota introduces recreational marijuana bills

Both the Minnesota House and Senate recently introduced legislation to legalize recreational cannabis. Additionally, there’s a proposal to allow Minnesotans to vote on the subject in 2020. Will Minnesota be the next state to legalize adult-use marijuana?

CBD can enhance your high

Many believe that CBD can diminish the high caused by THC. However, a new study shows that this might not always be the case. In fact, it seems that low doses of CBD may actually enhance the psychoactive effects of THC. Good to know.

Baltimore to stop prosecuting cannabis possession cases

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that Baltimore will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases. This is regardless of the quantity of cannabis found or the individual’s criminal record. Well done.

Newsletter #190

Canopy Growth sprouts into the U.S.

Canopy Growth Corporation, a massive Canadian cannabis company, is entering the U.S. market. Specifically, Canopy Growth announced that it had acquired a license to produce hemp in New York. The company plans to use hemp sourced from American farmers to manufacture various cannabinoid products. Is this the start of a beautiful international partnership, or is this a sign of corporations taking over the hemp market? Perhaps both?

Joe Montana’s marijuana investment

Joe Montana, celebrated Hall of Fame quarterback, is investing heavily in the marijuana industry. First, Montana took part in a $4.1 million investment in Herb, a cannabis media company, back in 2017. Additionally, Montana is currently involved in a $75 million investment in Caliva, a California-based marijuana company. Everyone wants a piece of the pot pie.

Free weed for federal workers

During the government shutdown, many organizations jumped in to help out the affected federal employees. One such organization was BudTrader.com, a site that seems like Craigslist for marijuana. BudTrader offered free cannabis to federal employees who were unable to pay for medical marijuana during the shutdown. So sweet.

Using cannabis instead of pharmaceuticals

A recently-published study found that many medical cannabis patients were able to swap out their pharmaceutical drugs for marijuana. Get the details on this research here.

No marijuana ads this Super Bowl

In an unsurprising move, CBS rejected a pro-medical marijuana television ad intended to air during the Super Bowl. Maybe next year.

Newsletter #189

Recreational marijuana on the East Coast

Fully legal cannabis is on the horizon for two East Coast states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize adult-use marijuana statewide. Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island plans to do the same, although she’s pretty hesitant about it. Both governors have been opposed to recreational cannabis in the past, which makes their announcements rather unexpected. It’s always refreshing to see politicians adapt to changing times.

UConn’s cannabis class

In just a few days, students attending the University of Connecticut will be able to learn all about growing cannabis. UConn is offering a new course, titled “Horticulture of Cannabis: from Seed to Harvest,” to educate and train students in the process of marijuana cultivation. Learn more about this unique class here.

Why you shouldn’t leave your pot in an Uber

A man accidentally left two pounds of marijuana in an Uber. When he tried to link up with his driver to pick up the cannabis-filled packages, he met up with police officers instead. Maybe using Uber to transport a large quantity of marijuana was a bad idea.

Wisconsin and medical marijuana

Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin is working on his state budget, and he plans to include a pathway for the legalization of medical cannabis. Additionally, he expressed support for legalizing recreational marijuana. Good stuff, Evers.

California’s home delivery clarification

If you’re a Californian living in a locality that has banned cannabis sales, listen up. State officials clarified that California law allows for home delivery in every single jurisdiction. Great news.

Newsletter #188

Racial disparities in Philadelphia’s marijuana arrests

Even though cannabis possession was decriminalized four years ago in Philadelphia, hundreds of people are still arrested each year for purchasing marijuana. Additionally, as is the unfortunate case in many cities, black residents are much more likely to be arrested for buying cannabis than white residents are. Quick reminder: Data shows that black and white populations consume marijuana at roughly the same rate. The racial disparity in cannabis-related arrests is glaring.

CARERS Act introduced…again

A bipartisan group of lawmakers recently introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, a bill that aims to protect states with medical cannabis programs. If the measure sounds familiar, that’s because it is extremely similar to a bill of the same name that stalled in the last Congress. Get more information about the CARERS Act here.

Pro-pot governor uses hemp paper at inauguration

While some politicians talk the marijuana industry talk, not all of them walk the walk. Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, who was just sworn in on Tuesday, does. In addition to being an advocate for cannabis reform, Polis printed his inauguration programs on hemp paper. Finally, a politician who gets us.

420 friendly bill

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is a new bill filed by Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer. If passed, this bill will remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Also, it’s very important to note that Blumenauer reserved the number H.R. 420 for this measure. Real smooth.

Redman’s vintage weed

This week, Rapper Redman posted a video of some decades-old dimebags discovered at his mom’s house. After the find, his mom, a true entrepreneur, suggested they sell the bud on eBay. This likely won’t happen, but maybe the dimebags will turn up at an antique store.

Newsletter #187

Marijuana gifts in Michigan

Recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan on December 6th, but legal sales won’t start for at least another year. Enterprising businesses don’t want to wait, so many are using a loophole in the new law that allows people to give cannabis as gifts. These companies are selling overpriced goods and adding in marijuana as a present. For example, you can order a small amount of chocolate and receive a “free” cannabis gift. Sneaky and smart.

THC and CBD take on chronic pain

Researchers seeking to examine how THC and CBD impact chronic pain recently completed a study with some interesting findings. They discovered that strains of cannabis with high levels of THC are effective at increasing pain tolerance. However, a strain that was low in THC but high in CBD had no pain-relieving effects. In fact, CBD seems to counter the analgesic impacts of THC. Learn more about the study here.

Medical cannabis coming soon to Ohio

Ohio’s medical cannabis law passed in 2016, and the state’s medical marijuana program was supposed to be fully operational on September 8th of last year. Unfortunately, things haven’t panned out that way. Now, the latest estimate indicates that the program will be up and running on January 15th. Stay strong, Ohioans. You’re almost there.

Oregon’s pot problem

Cannabis cultivators in Oregon are growing a lot of flower. Actually, that’s an understatement. Cannabis cultivators in Oregon are growing way too much flower. While Oregon consumers smoked about 166,000 pounds of legal marijuana in 2018, the state currently has about 1.3 million pounds of unsold bud. Yikes.

The workforce is getting high

A new report found that more people are testing positive for cannabis in workplace drug tests, particularly in states that recently legalized recreational marijuana. Some are concerned that this impacts public safety. Get the details here.

Newsletter #186

California’s mediocre cannabis industry

When California legalized recreational marijuana at the start of 2018, state officials and cannabis industry enthusiasts had high hopes for the market. With the first year of legal cannabis coming to a close, many are disappointed with the results. Complicated regulations and high taxes have hindered marijuana businesses. Additionally, many cities decided to ban cannabis dispensaries. As a result of these strains, California is raking in much less tax revenue than experts estimated. Overall, it’s not a good look.

The infamous blunt of the Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders may have played their last game at the Oakland Coliseum this past week, and running back Marshawn Lynch honored the stadium in a unique, truly Californian way. Lynch lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch, and then seemingly tried to light a blunt off the torch. So perfect. So Oakland.

Legal cannabis leads to safer borders

A new study found that as more states legalize marijuana, less of the plant is being smuggled across the Mexico–U.S. border. In fact, smuggling fell 78 percent over a five-year period. Get more information about the decline in drug smuggling here.

Thailand legalizes medical marijuana

This week, Thailand’s parliament voted to approve cannabis for medicinal and research purposes. This makes Thailand the first Southeast Asian country to legalize marijuana. Way to go, Thailand.

Hostile takeover coming for Aphria

Word on the street is that U.S. marijuana company Green Growth Brands Ltd. is planning a hostile takeover bid for Aphria Inc., a major Canadian cannabis producer. Get the details here.