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Updated: 7 weeks 20 hours ago

Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Down in Colorado and Washington, Now Lower Than it Was Prior to Legalization

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:46
According to survey data released by the federal government on Monday, the current rate of marijuana use among Colorado and Washington teens is now lower than it was prior to the states legalizing marijuana for adult use.

The rate of past-month marijuana use by individuals ages 12-17 dropped nearly 20% from 11.13% in 2014-2015 to 9.08% in 2015-2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is now lower than it was in 2011-2012 (10.47%) and 2012-2013 (11.16%). Marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older in December 2012, and legal adult marijuana sales began in January 2014.

The rate of past-month marijuana use among 12-17-year-olds also dropped in Washington (from 9.17% in 2014-2015 to 7.93% in 2015-2016), and it is now lower than it was prior to legalization in 2012 (9.45% in 2011-2012 and 9.81% in 2012-2013).

“Colorado is effectively regulating marijuana for adult use”, says Brian Vicente, partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, who was one of the lead drafters of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Teen use appears to be dropping now that state and local authorities are overseeing the production and sale of marijuana. There are serious penalties for selling to minors, and regulated cannabis businesses are being vigilant in checking IDs. The days of arresting thousands of adults in order to prevent teens from using marijuana are over.”

Vicente continues; “These survey results should come as welcome news to anyone who worried teen marijuana use would increase following legalization. As a proponent of Amendment 64 and a parent of two young children, they certainly came as welcome news to me.”

The post Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Down in Colorado and Washington, Now Lower Than it Was Prior to Legalization appeared first on TheJointBlog.

President Trump Signs Bill that Protects State Medical Marijuana Laws

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 04:36
A day after the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation that extends protections for state-level medical marijuana laws, President Trump signed the measure into law.

President trump signed the legislation into law this morning, temporarily preventing a government shutdown. The measure extends legal protections that prevents the government from using funds to enforce federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the substance for medical uses (including those with a licensed dispensary system). The extension, however, is temporary; it will be valid until December 22nd, at which point lawmakers will need to pass another extension to avoid a shutdown of most government funding and to prevent invalidity the medical marijuana protections.

These protections – passed in 2014 as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment – prohibits the Department of Justice and DEA from using federal funding to enforce federal marijuana laws in a state that has legalized medical cannabis.

The bill signed into law by President Trump also extends protections on state-level hemp research programs.

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Congress Votes to Extend Federal Medical Marijuana Protections

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:49
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both approved legislation that will extend protections for state-level medical marijuana laws.

The legislation, which prevents a government shutdown, now goes to President Trump who is expected to quickly sign it into law. The measure only extends the protections and prevents a shutdown for two weeks, to December 22nd. Congress must approve another extension by then or most government spending will be halted and the federal law that prevents the government from attacking state-level medical marijuana laws will become invalid.

The medical marijuana protections currently in place and extended by Congress stems from an amendment introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Representative Sam Farr (D-CA). The provision prohibits the Department of Justice (which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration) from using funds to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical purposes. The amendment was first approved in May of 2014.

Congress’ vote also extends protections on state-level hemp research programs.

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LA City Council Votes Unanimously to Make City the Largest in the U.S. with Legal Marijuana Stores

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 01:01
The Los Angeles City Council has approved legislation establishing a regulatory framework for marijuana outlets, which become legal in California next month.

The council voted 12 to 0 to approve the regulations, which will soon see the city distributing licenses for marijuana stores. Residential neighborhoods will be mostly off limits under the new rules, with buffer zones created to ensure that cannabis outlets aren’t located too close to parks, schools or libraries. It’s unclear if the regulations will be in place in time for outlets to begin cannabis sales next month.

“As lawmakers we have a responsibility to reasonably regulate this industry in a manner that is safe, inclusive, and practical,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. earlier today. In addition to Los Angeles, San Francisco officials also recently approved regulations for the legal marijuana industry.

Under Proposition 64, approved by voters last year, those 21 and older are allowed to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis for any use, and are allowed to purchase it from a licensed retail outlet. The portion of the initiative that allows legal sales to begin takes effect next month.

Los Angeles, with a population of almost 4 million, is the most populated city in California and the second most populated city in the United States.

The post LA City Council Votes Unanimously to Make City the Largest in the U.S. with Legal Marijuana Stores appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Over 250% More Marijuana Waivers Granted by U.S. Army in 2017 Compared to 2016

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:40
The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana has increased by over 250% this year compared to 2016.


According to the Associated Press, the number of waivers granted for past marijuana use rose to more than 500 this year from just 191 in 2016, a 260% increase. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The large increase is due to officials dealing with orders to expand the Army’s size.

“Provided they understand that they cannot do that when they serve in the military, I will waive that all day long,” said Major General Jeff Snow, head of the Army’s recruiting command. The marijuana use exclusions represent about one-quarter of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year that ended September 30th. They accounted for much of the 50% increase overall in recruits who needed a waiver for some type of misconduct.

Snow said the figures probably will rise further as more states legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

The post Over 250% More Marijuana Waivers Granted by U.S. Army in 2017 Compared to 2016 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Medical Cannabis Bill Approved by Paraguay Congress

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:30
A bill to create a legal system to import marijuana seeds and grow the plant for medical uses has been approved by Paraguay’s Congress.

On Tuesday Paraguay’s Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation to establish a system allowing marijuana seeds to be imported and grown for medical use. The voted comes roughly seven months after officials authorized the importing of marijuana oil, with oversight given to the nation’s health ministry.

“We are very happy because this will also allow for the import of seeds for oil production,” says Roberto Cabanas, vice president of Paraguay’s medicinal cannabis organization. Cabanas daughter has Dravet syndrome which has required their family to pay hundreds of dollars each month to import cannabis oil.

In South America Peru, Chile, Argentina and Colombia have already legalized marijuana for medical purposes, while Uruguay has fully legalized growing and selling marijuana for any use.

Paraguay, the 9th most populated country in South America, has a population of around 6.7 million.

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Oregon Group Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:04
A group called the Oregon Psilocybin Society is putting together an initiative that would legalize the medical use of magic mushrooms. 

“It enhances creativity, it enhances openness,” says Tom Eckhert, who founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society with his wife Cheri Eckhert. The two have spent the past two years creating an initiative that would legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms for medical purposes. The two expect the issue to be put to a vote of the people by 2020.

“We envision a very regulated production center that the state keeps track of inventory and things of that nature, so we know that it’s not getting out where it shouldn’t be getting out to,” says Chris. If he and his wife are successful in putting the forthcoming measure to a vote, and it’s passed into law, Oregon would become the first state to legalize magic mushrooms for any use.

In California proponents of an initiative to legalize magic mushrooms were recently cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures in attempt to place the measure on next year’s general election ballot. Unlike the proposal being formulated by the Oregon Psilocybin Society, California’s initiative would remove all criminal penalties for “possession, sale, transport and cultivation”, allowing it to be used for recreational – and not just medical – purposes.


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AG Jeff Sessions May Be Just a Few Days From Declaring War on the Legal Marijuana Industry

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:20

By Sean Williams, Motley Fool

When it comes to the fastest-growing industries in the United States, legal marijuana is certainly in the discussion, if not at the top of the list. According to Marijuana Business Daily’s latest report, “Marijuana Business Factbook 2017,” U.S. legal weed sales are expected to increase 30% this year and 45% in 2018, and to quadruple between 2016 and 2021 to $17 billion. That type of growth is a big reason why marijuana stocks have doubled or tripled in value over the trailing year.

But it’s not just sales growth that’s been impressive — it’s the shift that underlies cannabis’s expansion. An October-released Gallup poll showed that an all-time record 64% of respondents now want to see pot legalized nationally. This is up from just 25% in 1995, the year before California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis for compassionate-use patients. Even stronger favorability is seen with medical cannabis. A survey conducted by the independent Quinnipiac University this April showed that an overwhelming 94% support legalizing medical pot, compared to just 5% who oppose the idea.

Sessions loathes the marijuana industry but has been kept at bay

But not everyone is on board with the expansion of cannabis in the United States. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just might be the most ardent opponent of marijuana in the country. Having previously said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Sessions has argued on numerous occasions that marijuana use isn’t a viable substitute for opioids and that pot use correlates with increased crime rates. He has also leaned on the fact that marijuana is still a schedule I drug at the federal level, meaning that it has no recognized medical benefits and is wholly illegal, just like heroin and LSD.

However, medical and recreational pot businesses have taken solace in the fact that both the Cole Memo and Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment have thus far protected their right to operate in the 29 states that have legalized medical cannabis and eight states that voted to green-light recreational weed.

The Cole Memo, named after former Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who served under Barack Obama, outlines a series of “rules” that states have to follow in order for the federal government to maintain a hands-off approach. These rules include ensuring that minors don’t gain access to pot, that drivers under the influence of cannabis are dealt with harshly, and that cannabis grown within a state stays within that state.

Meanwhile, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which was introduced in 2014 and has been included in every budget proposal since, disallows the Justice Department from using federal funds to prosecute marijuana businesses operating in the aforementioned 29 states.

But these protections may soon disappear, allowing Sessions to officially declare war on the U.S. pot industry.

Is this the end of the green rush in the U.S.?

In September, Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown by lifting the debt ceiling and passing a budget extension through Dec. 8, 2017. However, talks to formulate a new budget, or at least another extension, haven’t gone well in recent weeks. In just four days, the deadline could be hit without a new budget, leading to a government shutdown.

But there’s even more at stake for the marijuana industry.

Back in September, the House Rules Committee blocked a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment (this is the same as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment), which would provide protections for pot businesses against federal prosecution. Keeping this amendment out of the House GOP’s budget proposal is bad news, but it’s certainly not the end of the world for the industry. As long as the Senate includes the amendment in its budget proposal, the pot industry would still be protected. Yet, as noted, the Senate and House, as well as Democrats and Republicans, aren’t seeing eye to eye. If Dec. 8 passes without a deal, or if the Senate introduces a budget proposal that also excludes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, Sessions would be free to wage war on the marijuana industry and begin prosecuting companies. In other words, he could use federal dollars to go after marijuana businesses.
Furthermore, Sessions recently announced that the Justice Department would halt the practice of guidance memos and is reviewing the Obama administration’s guidance memos, including the Cole Memo, to see if the administration overstepped its bounds.

While it’s tough to tell exactly how Sessions would approach reinstituting federal law, the assumption is that he would first tackle the largest offenders (i.e., the largest marijuana grow farms). This would suggest that smaller grow farms and dispensaries would possibly be off the radar for some time, but it would be a crushing defeat for big business and investors who’ve taken a chance on marijuana stocks.

In other words, let the nail-biting begin for U.S.-based pot companies and marijuana-stock investors.

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After Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:01
Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana on Friday, ending years of delays.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. William Askinazi, one of the owners, said people who work at the store were euphoric that the day had finally arrived.

“You can tell there’s a buzz, and we’re excited for so many reasons,” Askinazi said. “We’re giving care to people who need it.”

A long line of people cheered late Friday as sales began.

Denise Broyhill was among the first in the door to buy marijuana tablets. She said she was upbeat and relieved after years of delays by authorities in making medical marijuana available in the state. A resident of the state capital city of Annapolis, Broyhill also said she hoped for good results managing the pain from a neurological condition.

“I’m very excited to try it and relieved to get through the whole process after waiting so long,” Broyhill said. “It’s been a longtime, but I’m looking to have some good pain management.”

Maryland approved its first medical marijuana law in 2013. But the effort stalled because it required academic medical centers to run the programs, and none stepped forward. The law was changed in 2014 to allow doctors certified by a state medical cannabis commission to recommend marijuana for patients with debilitating, chronic and severe illnesses.

While the initial rollout was initially expected to be limited due to available supply, Askinazi said he expected to see between 600 and 1,000 patients over the next three days.

Patrick Allison, of Annapolis, was also among the first in line. He said he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spinal joints that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.

“It’s about time,” Allison said. “I live in chronic pain. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m about an eight right now on a scale of one to 10, head to toe. The only thing that works for me is marijuana.”

David Johnson, of Frederick, said he was relieved that he could now have access to medical marijuana to ease pain from nerve damage. He said he’s tired of driving in pain to pharmacies in search of opioids.

“It’s been a nightmare,” he said. “This is a godsend.”

Medical marijuana will be available for any condition that is severe in which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and if the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by marijuana. Patients with a chronic or debilitating medical condition that causes severe appetite loss, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe muscle spasms also can have access, as well as people with glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“In Maryland, there are very liberal qualifying conditions,” Askinazi said.

Even further, Maryland will allow not only physicians but nurse practitioners, dentists, podiatrists and nurse midwives to certify patients as eligible to receive marijuana. People authorized to recommend the use of medical marijuana will be able to do so for patients from other states who travel to Maryland.

The post After Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Obama Back to Consuming Marijuana, Claims New Book

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 07:03
According to a new book by author Ed Klein, former editor-in-chief of the New York Times, former-President Barack Obama is once again consuming marijuana on a regular basis.

According to Klein’s new book All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, a friend of Obama told him that “Barack sees himself as sort of a hipster ex-president, a cool guy… He wants to go back in terms of fashion and style to his pot-smoking days as a member of the Choom Gang at the Punahou School in Hawaii.” The “Choom Gang” is a reference to a group of friends Obama smoked cannabis with in college. Obama admitted to previously using cannabis in his memoir Dreams From My Father (2005).

According to Klein’s book, Obama has made a decided effort to not lead a “resistance” against President Trump. Instead, the book claims, the former president spends much of his time; “playing video games, chatting on the phone with celebrity pals, smoking marijuana and popping cannabis-infused gummy bears.”

The supposed friend of Obama told Klein that “He gets the weed from friends who visit him.. I was told he keeps a small stash in his bedroom. He has rolling papers and hasn’t forgotten how to roll a joint. Sometimes he’ll smoke in his bedroom, and sometimes in the backyard. But mostly he does it when he’s traveling.”

Apparently, however, Obama has been shifting to edibles; “At one point, he became so concerned about people smelling pot around Kalorama that he asked friends to get him some edible stuff,” the friend told Klein. “They got him brownies, cookies, and gummy bears infused with THC.”

Klein is not only the previous editor-in-chief of the New York Times, he’s a former editor for Newsweek.

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Study: State Medical Cannabis Laws Significantly Reduce Alcohol Sales

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 06:06
States that have legalized medical cannabis have seen a 15% drop in alcohol sales on average, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University.

For the study, researchers used data “on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption and focus on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol.” To do this they exploited the differences in the timing of the of marijuana laws among states and find that these two substances are substitutes.

“Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent”, states the study’s abstract. “Our findings are robust to border counties analysis, a placebo effective dates for MMLs in the treated states, and falsification tests using sales of pens and pencils.”

The full study, published by SSRN, can be found by clicking here.

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Marijuana Sales Becomes Legal in California Next Month

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 02:41
We’re now just a month away from marijuana distribution becoming legal in California.

During the November, 2016 elections California voters approved an initiative (Proposition 64) to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older,. The portion of the initiative that allows for the start of marijuana distribution officially takes effect the beginning of next month, on January 1st. Under the new law, those 21 and older will be allowed to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from a license marijuana retail outlet. However, at this point it’s unknown how many outlets will actually be open coming the new year.

“I know this sounds crazy, but we’re looking forward to Jan. 1,” says Lori Ajax, head of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. “This is what we’ve been waiting for, what we’ve been training for,” she said. “It’s time.”

Ajax expects the Bureau’s online application system to be open in December, with temporary licenses being e-mailed to retailers before the new year. The licenses will become valid on January 1st, the first day of legal sales.

California is one of eight states across the U.S. that has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.

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Study: Cannabis May Help Treat Acute Kidney Injury

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 00:51
Activation of the body’s CB2 receptors – something done naturally through the consumption of cannabis – may help treat acute kidney injury, according to a new study published by the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

“Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), which is an increasing problem in the clinic and has been associated with increased rates of mortality”, states the study’s abstract. “Currently, therapies to treat AKI are not available, so identification of new targets which, upon diagnosis of AKI, can be modulated to ameliorate renal damage is essential.” In this study, “a novel cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, SMM-295 [meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids], was designed, synthesized, and tested in vitro and in silico. In vivo testing of the CB2 agonist was performed using a mouse model of bilateral IRI, which is a common model to mimic human AKI.”

“Histological damage assessment 48 hours after reperfusion demonstrated reduced tubular damage in the presence of SMM-295”, claim researchers. “This was consistent with the reduced plasma markers of renal dysfunction, i.e., creatinine and NGAL, in SMM-295 treated mice. Mechanistically, kidneys treated with SMM-295 were shown to have elevated activation of Akt with reduced TUNEL-positive cells compared to vehicle-treated kidney following IRI.”

The study concludes by stating; “These data suggests that selective CB2 receptor activation could be a potential therapeutic target in the treatment for AKI.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, can be found by clicking here.

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Republic of Georgia Decriminalizes Cannabis After Court Rules Criminalization to be Unconstitutional

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 04:35
The Republic of Georgia’s constitutional court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to criminally prosecute someone for consuming cannabis.

“Cannabis consumption has been decriminalized today,” says attorney Iago Khvichia, who represents the political party Girchi. “It will soon be decided whether [consumption] will be legalized”. The ruling doesn’t, however, effect the distribution of cannabis.

The ruling comes from a case brought forth by Givi Shanidze, a Georgia citizen who has been charged with several cannabis consumption offenses; Shanidze’s case was an attempt to have these charges cleared from his criminal record.

The ruling from the court comes several months after a July 14th ruling which found that the cultivation of up to 151 grams of cannabis for personal use isn’t a criminal offense.

The court’s ruling now heads to Georgia’s Parliament to be finalized into law.

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Wisconsin Governor Signs Hemp Legalization Bill Into Law

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 03:00
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed an industrial hemp legalization bill into law.

The legislation, introduced by Republican Representative Jesse Kremer, was passed unanimously by the Wisconsin House of Representatives and Senate, before being signed into law Thursday by Governor Walker. Under the proposed farmers who receive a license from the state would be legally authorized to cultivate and produce hemp. Hemp would be defined as having 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis and in small amounts in hemp plants. Farmers with a prior drug conviction would not be eligible to receive a hemp license.

With Governor Walker’s signature, Wisconsin has joined the over 30 states that have legalized hemp on the state level, despite it remaining illegal federally.

According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.

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Minnesota Adds Autism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Conditions

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 22:31
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced today that the state will be adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “However, there is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea.”

This year, as in years past, the Minnesota Department of Health used a formal petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. Throughout June and July, Minnesotans were invited to submit petitions to add qualifying conditions. The process included public comments, a citizens’ review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by Minnesota Department of Health staff. Petitioners put forward a total of 10 conditions for consideration this year, including anxiety disorders, autism, cortico-basal degeneration, dementia, endogenous cannabinoid deficiency syndrome, liver disease, nausea, obstructive sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathy. There were also petitions to add cannabis delivery methods including infused edibles and vaporizing or smoking cannabis flowers. Unfortunately these requests were not approved.

Autism spectrum disorder, which was approved, is characterized by sustained social impairments in communication and interactions, and repetitive behaviors, interests or activities. Patients certified for the program because of autism must meet the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition) for autism.  The health department’s autism research brief (PDF) found a growing body of research indicating that the human body’s endocannabinoid system may play a role in autism symptoms. In support of adding autism, the review panel report (PDF) noted the lack of effective drug treatments, the potentially severe side effects of current drug treatments and anecdotal evidence of Minnesota children with autism already receiving benefits from medical cannabis taken for other qualifying conditions.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder involving repeated episodes of reduced airflow caused by a complete or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep. Patients certified for the program because of obstructive sleep apnea must meet published diagnostic criteria for the condition, including interpretation of a formal sleep study.  Over time, sleep apnea can result in long-term health effects such as hypertension and cardiovascular problems, reduced cognitive function, decreased mood and quality of life, impaired performance at work and while driving, and even premature death. The review panel and the health department’s research brief (PDF) identified some scientific evidence of effectiveness of cannabis treatments. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a very effective treatment already in use, but people with the condition often struggle to stick with that therapy.

Under current state rules, patients certified to have autism or obstructive sleep apnea will be newly eligible to enroll in the program on July 1, 2018 and receive medical cannabis from the state’s two medical cannabis manufacturers beginning Aug. 1, 2018. As with the program’s other qualifying conditions, patients will need advance certification from a Minnesota health care provider. More information on the program’s certification process is available from the Office of Medical Cannabis.

When the 2014 Minnesota Legislature authorized the creation of a medical cannabis program, the law included a set of nine medical conditions that would qualify a person to receive medical cannabis. State rules also direct the commissioner of health to consider the possible addition of other qualifying conditions and delivery methods. The list of current qualifying conditions includes:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorders (effective July 1, 2018)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (effective July 1, 2018)

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Indiana Governor Orders Stores to Stop Selling CBD Products Within 60 Days

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:09
According to the Associated Press, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is directing state excise police to resume checking stores for marijuana-derived oils after the state’s attorney general declared them illegal with one limited exception.

Holcomb said in a statement Tuesday that excise police will “perform normal, periodic regulatory spot checks” of cannabidiol, or CBD, products, and says those checks will focus on products that contain THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The Indianapolis Star reports stores have 60 days to pull the products from their shelves.

The recent opinion from Attorney General Curtis Hill states that substances containing CBD are illegal to possess, make and sell in Indiana under state and federal law.

The opinion said the exception is CBD products that can be used by people with epilepsy who are on a new state registry.

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How To Choose The Right Arizer Vape For You?

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:05

By Barbara M.

Vapes are fast turning out to be one of the go-to method for consuming and enjoying dry herb. There are obvious advantages that have helped them rapidly climb to prominence.  The most obvious feature is that vaporizers are a great option for those of you who care for your health. This is because all the nasty toxins and chemicals that are released by combustion when smoking are completely filtered out thanks to the unique heating system that vapes use. Not only this but vapes are also great for those of you who want to get the very most out of your herb. Vaporization is much more efficient with your herb than combustion, and you’ll find that your herb will go much further in a vape, you can be sure that none of it will go up in smoke.

Vaporizers work by cleverly taking advantage of the various boiling points of the active ingredients present in your dry herb. These active ingredients are a type of chemical known as cannabinoids. These chemicals begin to vaporize far below the temperature at which combustion occurs. This means that all of the psychoactive, medicinal, and other beneficial effects are all drawn out of your dry herb while all the nasty chemicals, toxins, and nasty tastes are all left behind.

It goes without saying that the higher quality the vaporizer the higher the quality of the resulting vapor; and the better the quality of your vapor the more enjoyment you get from your herb. If you want the best quality herb you can get then it is important that you invest in a high-quality vaporizer.

There are many factors to think of when you are choosing a good vaporizer, and even within a single brand name there can be a massive amount of variety. Every seemingly minor difference within a vaporizer can lead to a very different vape experience.

Arizer are one of the most diverse brands on the market, Arizer have ticked nearly every box when it comes to the vape market. They have dabbled in every type of vaporizer from portable, to handheld, and even desktop. As an example, they are ideal as they have a common baseline.

Portable Verses Desktop

The two primary types of vaporizers on the market are desktop and portable. Though both types of vape operate on the same principles of vaping they differ greatly in the systems they use.

The main advantages of a portable vapes, a good example of which is the the Arizer Solo II, is portability (funny, that). It features a lightweight and discreet body and a long-life battery that will allow you to use it uninterrupted when you’re away from home. However due to the Solo II’s portable nature some sacrifices had to be made in the vapor potency and quality when you compare it to a desktop vape.

The Arizer Extreme Q is a great example of a desktop vape. It’s stationary nature means that there is more space inside the Extreme Q for larger, more advanced heating systems. The heating systems inside the Extreme Q are a lot more powerful and effective than the ones found inside portable vapes. So you can certainly expect more potent, quality vapor and a larger amount of it too! Because it is mains operated you can expect much longer, uninterrupted sessions that you can enjoy with friends. Of course, the desktop vaporizer achieves all of this at the cost of portability

Conduction Versus Convection

The two most common heating techniques vapes use are known as conduction and convection. Conduction vaping is often found in portable vaporizers like the Arizer Solo. Conduction is a heating method that puts your herb directly in contact with the vape’s heating element, heating it directly, much in the same way that a kitchen stove works. The advantages of conduction include super-fast heat up times, and increased power efficiency. Unfortunately, conduction can often struggle if the temperature is set too high or if the vape’s chamber is over-packed.


Convection vaping heats air inside your vape and allows it to flow across your dry herb in the vapor chamber. Convection is usually utilized within desktop vapes, some more modern, high end portable vapes like the Arizer Air II have built in convection heating. Conduction vaporization offers amazing flavour and thick, powerful vapor quality.



There are dozens more variations that can be found in a huge variety of vaporizers during this holiday season, even within a single brand such as Arizer. Aroma tubes, glass air paths, and even some more exotic features like the Arizer Extreme Q’s remote control.

As you select your own vaporizer, you should be sure to keep in mind that the smallest variation can lead to a vastly different vaping experience!

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Study: THC May Treat Diabetes-Induced Cardiovascular Disease

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:01
According to a new study published by the journal BioMed Research International, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be “a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”

“The aim of this study was to determine if chronic, low-dose administration of a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus”, states the study’s abstract. “Diabetes was induced in eight-week-old male Wistar-Kyoto rats.. Following the induction of diabetes, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was administered via intraperitoneal injection (0.15 mg kg-1 day-1) for an eight-week period until the animals reached sixteen weeks of age.”

Upon completion of the treatment regime, “assessments of vascular reactivity and left ventricular function and electrophysiology were made, as were serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation.” According to researchers, “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration to diabetic animals significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations and attenuated pathological changes in serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Positive changes to biochemical indices in diabetic animals conferred improvements in myocardial and vascular function. This study demonstrates that chronic, low-dose administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol can elicit antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant effects in diabetic animals, leading to improvements in end organ function of the cardiovascular system.”

The abstract concludes by stating that; “Implications from this study suggest that cannabinoid receptors may be a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia, can be found on the U.S. National Institute of Health’s website by clicking here.

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Poll: 62% of New York Voters Support Legalizing Cannabis

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 00:19
According to new polling, a strong majority of registered voters in New York are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults.

The poll, conducted by Emerson College and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance, found that only 28% of New York voters are opposed to cannabis legalization. With 10% unsure, even if all of them decided to start opposing legalization supporters would still have a 24% majority.

The poll also found that 60% of respondents support legalizing and taxing marijuana to help address New York’s budget deficit. Between 15% and 27% of voters supported each of the other options presented — increasing sales or income taxes, increasing tolls, or cutting public education or other services.

“It’s time New York stop wasting resources punishing otherwise law-abiding residents for using a substance that is safer than alcohol”, states the Marijuana Policy Project in a blog post published earlier today. “Let your lawmakers know voters want them to take marijuana off of the criminal market, so we can create good jobs, build the economy, and fund essential services.”

If you are a New York resident, you can  email your lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo by clicking here.

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