Newsletter #164

Cannabis beer in Canada

Canada recently legalized marijuana, and the country’s brewers want in on the party. While quite a few breweries have crafted beers infused with THC and CBD, none have successfully made beer by brewing with the cannabis plant. Province Brands is looking to change that. Get the details about the company’s cannabis beer that supposedly hits you faster than an edible here.

New marijuana bill on data collection

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act, a bill that would direct government agencies to study the impacts of marijuana programs in the states where the drug is legal. Basically, it’s a bill that fights against marijuana misinformation.

United Kingdom says yes to medical cannabis

The UK government recently announced a relaxation of the country’s medical cannabis laws. Now, doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana-derived medicine to patients. Learn more about this development here.

Sessions still hates legal weed

In a recent press conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his vague threats against state-legal marijuana programs. Thanks for nothing, Sessions.

Americans on marijuana and tobacco

According to a new poll, most Americans believe that tobacco is more harmful than cannabis. The times are certainly changing.

Newsletter #163

Kevin Smith’s weed show

Kevin Smith, filmmaker/actor/comedian, has a new comedy series about cannabis. “Hollyweed” focuses on two potheads managing a Los Angeles dispensary. While the pilot was filmed three years ago, it was just recently released on Rivit TV, a platform that allows viewers to vote on the future of TV shows. Smith is hoping his fans decide to keep “Hollyweed” going. Learn more about this endeavor here.

Cops in cannabis states

A newly published study found that legal cannabis programs in Colorado and Washington have led to more effective police departments. It seems that when police aren’t focusing on marijuana-related offenses, they’re able to reallocate resources and become more successful at solving other crimes. This is worth remembering for your next debate about the impact of legal cannabis on public safety.

Study on stoned driving

While it’s typically a terrible idea to get high and get behind the wheel, there is one exception. UC San Diego is conducting a study to learn more about how marijuana use impacts drivers. Participants in the study will be paid to smoke a joint and take a virtual driving test. Readers in San Diego, note that researchers are still recruiting participants.

Ganja grads

Looking for an official education in the medicinal benefits of cannabis? Starting this fall, Thomas Jefferson University is offering graduate-level certificate programs in medical marijuana. Get the details here.

Tilray makes U.S. stock exchange history

Tilray, a Canadian startup, became the first cannabis company to make its initial public offering on a U.S. stock exchange. As you might expect, investors jumped on this stock.

Newsletter #162

Broad City, a bong and a governor’s race

The women behind the hit TV show “Broad City” are giving their support to New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon in an unusual way. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are offering a signed bong to help raise money for Nixon’s campaign. The three New Yorkers support legalizing cannabis, so there’s some context for the bong. Kind of.

U.S. is banning Canadians in legal cannabis industry

U.S. border agents are reportedly issuing travel bans to those involved in Canada’s marijuana industry. Reminder: Canada recently legalized recreational cannabis. Apparently, U.S. border agents consider Canadians involved, even marginally, with Canada’s legal marijuana industry to be “drug traffickers.” Seriously.

Legal marijuana decreases Medicaid spending

A recently published study shows that over a 21-year period, doctors in medical marijuana states prescribed opioids roughly 30% less than doctors in states without medical marijuana programs. This corresponds to millions of dollars in annual Medicaid savings. Learn more about this study here.

Pot problems in Massachusetts

Recreational cannabis stores in Massachusetts were supposed to open by July 1st. That didn’t happen. One reason is that state law requires all recreational marijuana products to be tested by an independent laboratory, and state regulators have yet to license a single lab. Not good.

Rhode Island to expunge cannabis convictions

Rhode Island lawmakers decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis back in 2013. Just recently, legislation passed to allow Rhode Island residents convicted of low-level marijuana possession to have their records expunged. Good stuff.

Newsletter #161

Destroying $350 million worth of cannabis

Quick recap: California businesses had six months after the start of legal recreational marijuana sales to become fully compliant with the state’s regulations. The recreational market kicked off on January 1st of this year, so July 1st was the big deadline. Dispensaries had massive sales throughout June, attempting to clear out non-compliant products. They weren’t able to sell everything. Now, cannabis businesses have to destroy an estimated $350 million worth of non-compliant marijuana products. Oh, and they have to capture the destruction on video. Seriously.

Senator Schumer’s marijuana bill

If you’ve been waiting for Senator Chuck Schumer’s cool new cannabis bill, here it is. The recently-introduced Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, resulting in decriminalization of the drug. For added street cred, Senator Bernie Sanders is a co-sponsor. Read more about this bill here.

Goop-y ganja

Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s New Age-y lifestyle brand, has announced a partnership with dispensary chain MedMen. The two companies will work together to craft a line of Goop-branded cannabis products. I’m going to be disappointed if there’s not at least one item called “goop-y ganja.”

Vermont legalizes recreational cannabis

On July 1st, it became legal for residents of Vermont to possess, grow and use small amounts of recreational cannabis. As of now, there are no plans for a statewide recreational marijuana marketplace. Learn more about Vermont’s cannabis law here.

Nevada’s marijuana millions

Nevada has hit one year of legal recreational marijuana sales, and what a year it has been. Cannabis businesses raked in over $340 million in revenue, which vastly exceeds early predictions. Way to go, Silver State.

Newsletter #160

Oklahomans say yes to medical marijuana

In a recent statewide election, Oklahoma voters approved a medical cannabis initiative. This initiative does not include a list of qualifying conditions, which is unique. Doctors will be able to decide if their patients may benefit from using medical marijuana. Welcome to the medical cannabis club, Oklahoma. We’re happy to have you.

FDA approves first cannabis-derived drug

This week, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a marijuana-derived drug used to treat two severe forms of pediatric epilepsy. This is the first cannabis-derived drug the FDA has approved. For many marijuana advocates, this affirmation that cannabis has medicinal benefits is a big win.

BIG3 and CBD

If you haven’t heard of it, the BIG3 is a professional three-on-three basketball league founded by rapper Ice Cube. The organization has made history by becoming the first professional sports league to allow the use of cannabidiol, or CBD. Learn more about this decision here.

California dispensary sales

Californians, take note. California cannabis dispensaries are having massive sales to clear out products that do not comply with the state regulations that take effect July 1st. Now is the time to stock up.

Lagunitas is branching out

Lauded craft brewery Lagunitas has created a THC-infused, IPA-flavored sparkling water. Get the details on this concoction here.

Newsletter #159

Medical marijuana takes on opioids

Two states are seeking to battle the deadly opioid epidemic by offering medical cannabis as a safer alternative to prescription painkillers. The New York Department of Health will permit anyone with an opioid prescription to use medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Lawmakers in Illinois recently passed a bill that would allow those with opioid prescriptions to be part of the state’s medical cannabis program. Medical marijuana is being taken seriously as an alternative to opiates, which is welcome news to cannabis advocates nationwide.

Canada legalizes cannabis

Canada legalized recreational cannabis this week, and it’s a huge deal. The recently-passed Cannabis Act regulates how the drug will be grown, distributed and sold. Want the highlights? Here we go! Canadians will be able to purchase marijuana products both at retail locations and online. The minimum age to purchase and use cannabis has been set at 18. It’s expected that Canadians will be able to buy marijuana in just a few months. Bravo, Canada.

Portugal approves marijuana-based medicines

Portugal’s parliament voted to approve the use of cannabis-based medicines, and the bill is now awaiting the signature of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Learn more about this recent development here.

Cannabis stocks react to Canada news

If you thought that Canada legalizing marijuana would impact cannabis stocks, you were right. Marijuana stocks surged the morning after the big news.

A very expensive joint

Want to know what a $24,000 joint looks like? Here you go.