Newsletter #118

House Rules Committee blocks vote on marijuana amendment

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment prohibits the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency from using federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. First enacted in 2014, the bipartisan amendment has been renewed twice. This is why it came as a surprise when the House Committee on Rules blocked a floor vote on this amendment. There’s a chance it could be included in the final spending bill, but marijuana supporters are understandably nervous. If the amendment is not renewed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions might get the cannabis industry crackdown he’s been craving.

PTSD study faces early shutdown

Researchers have been exploring the therapeutic effects of cannabis on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The study needs additional participants to move on to the next level, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to help recruit. By the way, this research is federally funded and 100 percent legal. If more participants are not enrolled within the next month, the study will be forced to conclude early. Learn more here.

California bill takes on marijuana branding

Cannabis companies are not thrilled with California Senate Bill 162. If passed, this bill would impose restrictions on branded merchandise from marijuana businesses. Supporters of the bill insist that children shouldn’t be exposed to cannabis advertisements. Opponents of the bill point out that clothes with pot leaves are sold at many stores not related to the marijuana industry. Maybe someone should let the bill’s author know.

Roger Stone suing cannabis conference

Roger Stone, for the uninitiated, is a Trump supporter with a history of making extremely offensive statements. He’s also an advocate for legal marijuana. He was scheduled to speak at upcoming cannabis events, but public outcry influenced the organizers to drop him. Now, he says he’s suing them for $1 million. Check out the details here.

Washington marijuana prices continue to drop

Recreational cannabis became legal to sell in 2014 in Washington state. Since then, prices have fallen every single quarter. The change is significant: in just three years, there has been a 67 percent decrease in the price of marijuana. Maybe it’s time to take a trip to Seattle.

Newsletter #117

Veterinarians want cannabis rescheduled

The American Veterinary Medical Association may be joining the fight to get marijuana rescheduled. At the organization’s conference last month, they approved a resolution to begin exploring how to advocate for the rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. This would allow more research into cannabis’s medical use for both humans and animals. Learn more about these allies here.

China’s booming hemp industry

When you think of countries with flourishing legal marijuana industries, you probably don’t think of China. Many would be surprised to learn that the nation is responsible for nearly half of the world’s legal hemp farming. In addition, China holds upwards of half of the over 600 marijuana-related patents in the world. Now you know.

Netflix’s cannabis strains

To publicize the release of its new weed-themed show, Disjointed, streaming giant Netflix opened a pop-up dispensary last weekend. The various strains were based on popular Netflix shows, including Arrested Development and Orange Is the New Black. Good call, marketing team.

Seth Rogen, Wiz Khalifa join forces with Merry Jane

What do Seth Rogen and Wiz Khalifa have in common? They’re both entertainers known for their love of marijuana. Now, they’re teaming up with Merry Jane, Snoop Dogg’s cannabis-centric website, to launch streaming shows. Check it out here.

Marijuana smokers walk differently

A new study reveals some weird findings about cannabis smokers. Apparently, smoking marijuana results in a subtle change in the way people walk. Cannabis users tend to move their shoulders less and their elbows more. Strange.

Newsletter #116

California’s legalization deadline

When Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana last November, a retail sales deadline of January 2018 was set. With four more months to go, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control is severely understaffed. The state has not started accepting applications for business licenses. Did we mention that full legalization hits in four months? Learn more about this bureaucratic mess here.

The Shark Tank of cannabis

If you love entrepreneurship and marijuana, you might want to check out The Marijuana Show. It calls itself “the Shark Tank of cannabis,” which seems like a pretty apt description. Marijuana entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to several investors, aiming to convince one of them to invest in the venture. Auditions for season three are this weekend in El Prado, New Mexico.

Lagunitas’s new weed beer

Lagunitas Brewing Company is known for its fondness of marijuana. Now, the brewery is releasing a beer that contains terpenes extracted from cannabis plants grown in Northern California. Terpenes will give the brew some of marijuana’s flavor and aroma, but it will not contain THC. Check out more details here.

Marijuana could reduce stroke risk

According to a recently published study, cannabis users may have a reduced risk of stroke. Researchers found that marijuana use increases the flow of blood and oxygen, which in turn reduces the possibility of stroke and blood clots. Add this to the ever-growing list of marijuana’s health benefits.

CBD sales continue to grow

Hemp-extracted cannabidiol (CBD) is used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Hemp CBD sales reached $170 million in 2016. One market research company estimates that this market will climb to the billion-dollar mark within five years. Maybe it’s time to invest in hemp.

Newsletter #115

Nevada judge knocks down distribution restrictions

Nevada’s legal marijuana industry has had lots of ups and downs since sales launched on July 1. Alcohol distributors were given exclusive rights to move marijuana from growers to stores. These distributors haven’t been able to keep up with demand, which has been hurting cannabis sales. The state adopted emergency rules to allow some shops to transport their own goods. Alcohol distributors sued, and a judge sided with the state. Checkmate.

Pot state governors take on Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has contacted states where marijuana is legal to voice his concerns about regulation. Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Washington Governor Jay Inslee are pushing back. Letters show that the two governors asked Sessions to let their states do their thing. Governor Inslee even said that the claims Sessions is making are flat out wrong. Learn more about the governors’ struggle against Sessions here.

California considers state-run cannabis bank

Leaders from California’s government, financial and business sectors met last week to discuss the possibility of a state-run bank that would serve the marijuana industry. The 17-member working group will soon prepare a report on their findings and suggestions. This debate is far from over.

Utah medical marijuana advocates launch signature drive

Cannabis activists in Utah just launched a signature drive to put a medical marijuana measure on the November 2018 ballot. 113,000 valid signatures are needed to qualify the Utah Medical Cannabis Act for the ballot. Check out the details here.

Gubernatorial candidate supports marijuana legalization

Jack Bergeson is running for governor of Kansas on a pretty great platform, which includes increasing the minimum wage and legalizing marijuana. Did we mention that he’s 16 years old? Here’s looking at you, kid.

Newsletter #114

Gorilla Glue lawsuit

You may know Gorilla Glue as your favorite hybrid marijuana strain. Your dad may know Gorilla Glue as a really strong adhesive. The company that produces the latter isn’t thrilled about sharing a name with a cannabis strain. The Gorilla Glue Company, maker of adhesive products, is suing GG Strains LLC, producer of pot. One thing is certain: cannabis is no longer an underground industry. Check out the lawsuit details here.

Cards Against Humanity releases Weed Pack

The company behind Cards Against Humanity recently released a “Weed Pack” addition, with all proceeds going toward the Marijuana Policy Project. Cards Against Humanity, for the uninitiated, is a basically an obscene Apples to Apples. In fact, the game’s tagline is, “A party game for horrible people.” Horrible people doing good things.

Neil deGrasse Tyson talks marijuana

Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist, briefly discussed cannabis during a Facebook Live question and answer session. Tyson said that there’s no reason for marijuana to have ever been made illegal. Probably not enough to change the current administration’s mind on pot, but we’re glad to have him on our side.

Hawaii’s first dispensary opens

Last week, we told you about how Hawaii finally approved its first lab to conduct medical marijuana sample testing. This week, the Hawaii Department of Health issued a formal notice allowing an Oahu dispensary to begin marijuana sales to registered patients. Learn more about Hawaii’s first dispensary here.

NIH announces long-term cannabis study

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant to researchers to conduct a study on whether medical marijuana reduces opioid use in adults suffering from chronic pain. This is the first federally funded attempt to research this subject. This is also a big step in the right direction.

Newsletter #113

Cory Booker’s new legalization bill

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that would both legalize cannabis and seek racial justice for those most impacted by its prohibition. The Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana entirely from the list of controlled substances. The bill would also cut federal funding for states where people of color and low-income individuals are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. Learn more about this bill here.

Ann Coulter hates weed

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter made a whole lot of absurd claims about marijuana during a debate at the non-partisan political event Politicon. Among other things, Coulter stated that people don’t go to prison over cannabis possession. Then, in the span of a few sentences, America’s Sweetheart went on to insult marijuana users, immigrants and the intellectually disabled. Check out her offensive and erroneous rhetoric here.

Hawaii approves its first cannabis testing lab

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 17 years ago. Dispensaries were legalized in 2015, but they haven’t been allowed to open to their doors. This is because the state had not certified any labs to conduct the required testing. This has finally changed. Hawaii recently approved its first laboratory to begin testing cannabis samples. This is a big deal for the state’s 17,000 medical marijuana patients.

Marijuana company buys town

A cannabis company has purchased the tiny desert town of Nipton, California in the hopes of turning it into a marijuana tourism destination. American Green plans on opening a marijuana farm, an Old West-themed dispensary and a weed-friendly bed and breakfast, among other attractions. We wonder what the town’s six residents think of this plan.

NFL considers cannabis

The NFL wrote a letter to the NFL Players Association that indicated the league may be willing to study the use of marijuana by players as a pain management tool. This may come as a surprise given that the NFL has held a very anti-cannabis viewpoint over the years. Time will tell if the league follows through on this offer.