WeedLife News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Houston, We Have a Cannabis Problem!

It’s time to respond to our next major drug epidemic.

For years, the opioid crisis has been the leading concern when it comes to substance use. There’s certainly good reason for this emphasis, but as a result, the harms associated with other drugs have successfully been able to avoid the spotlight.

In my view, cannabis use is now the biggest contributor to mental health and substance use problems that, up until quite recently, nobody was talking about. While it may not be the most toxic substance on earth, it is arguably the one where the largest chasm exists between its actual dangers (which are substantial) and its perceived dangers (which to a lot of people are zero).

Similar to the science of global warming, research demonstrating the risks of cannabis has been steadily growing over the years to the point of being overwhelming.

Perhaps the scariest risks have to do with psychosis and psychotic disorders, particularly with the ultra-potent products now dominating the market, but there is also plenty of evidence for other things such as suicide, anxiety, PTSD, harms to a developing fetus, and progression to so-called “harder” drugs such as opiates and methamphetamines.

In contrast to the stereotype of cannabis users as silly and docile, research shows links between its use and violence with cannabis being a significant part of the lives of a disturbing percentage of mass shooting perpetrators.

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Here's what to know about recreational marijuana on the November ballot in Missouri

As Election Day approaches in Missouri, questions about marijuana on the ballot continue to circulate.

Missouri was recently ranked as the 10th most "CBD-obsessed" state by Leafwell, an organization of cannabis scientists and specialists. Leafwell examined Google Trends data of search terms used by people interested in CBD to create its rankings. Missourians were also frequently searching other marijuana-related terms, "THC" and "What is CBD?"

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced in mid-August that a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana use and clear some cannabis-related convictions would be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

What does the amendment propose?

The ballot measure proposes an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would:

Remove state prohibitions on purchasing, possessing, consuming, using, delivering, manufacturing and selling marijuana for personal use for adults over 21;Require a registration card for personal cultivation with prescribed limits;Allow persons with certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and have records cleared;Establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates;Issue equally distributed licenses to each congressional district;Impose a 6% tax on the retail price of marijuana to benefit various programs.

When would the law go into effect?

If passed, the amendment would be added to the Missouri Constitution 30 days after the election on Nov. 8, but it could take longer before people are able to legally buy marijuana for recreational use as businesses work through the licensing process.

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State politicians are growing concerned about NY’s legal marijuana rollout

Sparked by a NY Cannabis Insider story from earlier this month, New York’s Legislative Commission on Rural Resources has asked the Office of Cannabis Management for clarification and updates on the state’s rollout of its legal marijuana industry.

The commission, chaired by NY State Senator Rachel May and directed by Mayor Hal McCabe of Homer, sent a letter to Cannabis Control Board Chairwoman Tremaine Wright on Sept. 13 requesting a briefing from OCM to “clear up confusion and enable us to provide accurate information to our constituents.”

NY State Senators Neil Breslin and Michelle Hinchey, along with Assembly Members Carrie Woerner and Donna Lupardo, signed on to the letter requesting information about licensing opportunities and “conflicting timelines and regulations,” as well as clarification around potential supply problems and the enforcement of gray market vendors – all issues that are top-of-mind for those getting into NY’s cannabis industry.

“I am frustrated with the rollout,” McCabe told NY Cannabis Insider. “I think we have an amazing opportunity and that we might be in danger of squandering it.”

Asked about the letter, OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman wrote in an email Wednesday that the agency is “actively reaching out to answer” the commission’s questions “and brief them on our efforts.”

“We are excited to work with the Rural Resources Commission to get their feedback, answer their questions, and make sure every corner of New York benefits from the adult-use cannabis industry we are in the process of creating,” Ghitelman said.

‘News to all of us’

Earlier this month, NY Cannabis Insider published a statement made by OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander at an event in Yonkers: When questioned by an audience member about the anticipated timeline for the marketplace, Alexander responded that applications for non-conditional licenses will open in “the middle of next year.”

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Plans for Marijuana Dispensary in Boston's North End met with opposition

BOSTON - The North End is full of shops and restaurants with a lot of history, and now an aspiring business owner is trying to bring a new industry to the neighborhood.

It's not cannolis...it's cannabis, and a vacant storefront at the corner of Hanover and Commercial Streets is sparking quite a bit of controversy. 

"It's a bad idea, it's a bad location," said restaurant owner Damien DiPaola.

The company Bay State Herbal Solutions has submitted their plan to the city in hopes of winning their approval for the store. 

"I think CBD, THC, whatever gets you through the day is a gift," said a North End resident named Betsy. "Why not? We drink wine, we drink booze."

A virtual community outreach meeting is set for Wednesday night. The problem is many residents and business owners feel like they've been kept in the dark. 

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Mockingbird facility up and running to provide medical marijuana

JACKSON - What a difference a few months have made. The Mockingbird facility, which we first toured in January, is up and running and developing medical marijuana.

3 On Your Side has an update on Mockingbird and the work to make sure those who need the product will have access to it.

This is what Mockingbird looked like in January and then in February. This is the facility today. Employees are on site and work is underway for medical marijuana.

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Legalizing Medical Marijuana would immediately lower prescription Opioid use, study shows

Another study has found that giving people legal access to medical marijuana can help patients reduce their use of opioid painkillers, or cease use altogether, without compromising quality of life.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Substance Use and Misuse on September 27, surveyed registered medical cannabis patients in Florida, asking questions about their consumption habits and how marijuana has affected their use of traditional pharmaceuticals.

Researchers at the firm Emerald Coast Research and Florida State University College of Medicine asked 2,183 patients who were recruited at dispensaries across the Sunshine State to fill out 66-item cross-sectional surveys to learn more about the role of medical cannabis legalization amid the overdose crisis.

Nine in 10 patients (90.6 percent) said that they’ve found marijuana to be “very or extremely helpful in treating their medical condition,” and 88.7 percent said that cannabis was “very or extremely important to their quality of life.”

“The findings suggest that some medical cannabis patients decreased opioid use without harming quality of life or health functioning, soon after the legalization of medical cannabis.”

Respondents had a wide range of conditions that qualified them for medical marijuana under Florida’s law, including anxiety, pain, depression, sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most patients said that they’ve used cannabis daily to treat their symptoms.

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CBD Food and Drinks are becoming more popular, but the FDA isn’t Biting

More food manufacturers are cashing in on the public’s interest in cannabidiol, or CBD, and adding this compound to beverages and food products, including meals sold at high-end and fast-food restaurants.

Although several states have passed laws to legalize CBD, products containing this compound are technically illegal at the federal level. This includes CBD dietary supplements, as well as CBD-infused sodas, sparkling water, and cold brew coffee.

In spite of this conflict between federal law and the patchwork of state laws, the U.S. market for cannabis beverages in 2022 was an estimated $752 million, accounting for over 70% of the global market, reports Yahoo Finance.

The growth of this market is driven in part by the legalization of cannabis and CBD in certain states, but also by strong consumer interest in these products.

But don’t expect to see cannabis-infused beverages — or food products — to show up just yet in Walmart, Target and other big box stores, say some experts. These stores may wait for federal clarity on CBD foods and beverages before entering the market.

Murky legal status of CBD

CBD is a chemical compound naturally found in cannabis and hemp plants, which are both versions of the plant species Cannabis sativa.

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CBD-based bioplastic material could one day be used in Medical Implants and Food Wrappers

With the legalization of hemp cultivation, products containing cannabidiol (CBD) have become popular.

Many of these oils and creams claim to alleviate pain and other conditions, and now, new research reported in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces suggests that CBD could have another function: as a bioplastic.

The research team created a CBD-based bioplastic material that could one day be used in medical implants, food wrappers and more.

Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is well known for the euphoric "high" it gives users, caused by a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Another component, CBD, is responsible for feelings of relaxation and calmness, but unlike THC, it doesn't produce a high.

In hemp plants bred to contain little-to-no THC, CBD can make up to 20% of the plant's weight. Because it's now federally legal in the U.S. to grow hemp, the price of CBD has dropped dramatically, opening up the possibility of using CBD in other applications.

In recent years, the bioplastic called poly(lactic acid), or PLA, has become a popular option for sustainable plastics because it's made from corn and sugarcane instead of fossil fuels, and can be industrially composted.

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Marijuana vacation Rentals remain niche, but seem to be Catching On

‘I’ve really just tried to give people what they’re used to, just with the added element of cannabis’

A weed getaway is more complicated than it sounds. While a person may live in a legal U.S. state, the drug’s status of one’s desired destination comes into play.

Beyond that, cannabis is federally illegal, meaning that transporting it across state lines is prohibited, even in those jurisdictions where it’s legal.

Here’s where cannabis vacation rentals come in.

Marijuana-vacation rentals are a niche business, yet one that’s been slowly on the rise. While there are some locations that simply allow a person to rent the place in one’s (legal) state and smoke without worrying about the neighbours or the sheets, there are others that take creative routes to make guests feel welcome and meet the expectations of a true weed getaway, including, in some cases, actually providing the weed.

Websites such as BudandBreakfast.com are facilitating these transactions, connecting guests with hosts who allow marijuana use on their properties. While having a much smaller pool of locations than websites like Airbnb, these services appear to be in demand and are finding more and more customers.

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Advocates call for more equity in Illinois Recreational Cannabis Industry

CHICAGO - Advocates and state lawmakers are pushing for more fairness in the cannabis industry.

They gathered on Tuesday in the West Loop to call on state leaders and regulators to do more to help business owners to get what's called "social equity cannabis licenses."

"The cannabis industry for social equity was to hire Black and brown people in communities that were hardest hit and we have not realized that yet," said State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-8th).

The activists said Gov. JB Pritzker and state lawmakers need to do more to cut red tape and lower barriers to entry. They want to see more loans and grants distributed and more leniency for people who need more time to open their businesses so these license holders can compete with big cannabis corporations.

They also want producers to be able to grow more cannabis.

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Why Houston's 8th Wonder Brewery is expanding into the Cannabis Business

8th Wonder Cannabis, a partnership with Bayou City Hemp, plans to have locations across Texas.

8th Wonder Brewery, one of Houston's very first craft breweries, is officially making moves into another industry: cannabis. The company announced it was partnering with Bayou City Hemp to create 8th Wonder Cannabis, a new brand and dispensary dedicated to all things hemp-derived.

"Cannabis is going to be featured in the hospitality industry and it's just a matter of time," says 8th Wonder CEO Ryan Soroka. "We want to be first movers on this and really put our name out there."

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Public invited to ‘Cannabis Conversations’ about marijuana industry Oct. 3,4

Farmington Hills is hosting two public feedback sessions next week on the commercial cannabis industry, welcoming residents and members of the business community to share opinions and concerns.

“Cannabis Conversations” — outreach and education sessions — will run Oct. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Oct. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the city council chambers at Farmington Hills city hall, 31555 W. 11 Mile Rd.

At the sessions, the public will also hear results from the city’s recent information gathering efforts with commercial cannabis industry representatives on production and retail distribution of marijuana.

Cannabis Conversations are open to all members of the public and will also be livestreamed on YouTube. They will also be recorded and posted on the city’s website main page.

Questions can be submitted prior to or during the meetings via email to psmith@fhgov.com. Public comments will be limited to three minutes each.

For additional information, go to the City of Farmington Hills website at www.fhgov.com and click on the Cannabis Information Outreach icon.

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What happens to cannabis scraps?

After plants have been cured and trimmed, there remains a large mound of natural cannabis scraps to deal with

Much time, money and thought go into exactly what to do with marijuana buds once they are ripe for the picking. There are ever-evolving methods of extraction, and always a new and exciting way to consume cannabis.

But the THC rich buds, or flower, are a small fraction of the towering cannabis plant.

After plants have been cured and trimmed, there remains a large mound of natural cannabis scraps to deal with. Way back in the olden days of cannabis cultivation, the remnants could have been added to a compost pile or burned eliminated in a controlled burn. But those unregulated days are a thing of the past.

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Why smoking Weed and going to the gym are a Match Made in Heaven

Whether it's to boost motivation, facilitate recovery or find more pleasure in exercise, weed can be your new exercise partner.

One good thing about cannabis being in the constant spotlight is that much research has been developed around it. And with the growing population of people using marijuana for exercise has been an exciting subject of study.

Researchers are beginning to debunk several myths about cannabis and prove theories that stoners have long held.

Cannabis, whether in its Indica, Sativa, or hybrid varieties, can be a support in your fitness life, but don’t think that smoking a joint and lying on the couch all day will give you the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his best days.

But, the question is, what happens if you mix cannabis with exercise?

Cannabis & Exercise

Cannabis Reduces Inflammation

Cannabis is known to help reduce muscle inflammation and joint pain. Many studies we mentioned above have found CBD to be a great ally in relieving inflammation.

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Fairfield takes steps to stop Marijuana use at Local Park

FAIRFIELD - A town task force decided to take action after finding evidence of underage drug use at a local park.

Fairfield CARES Community Coalition, a town-created task force aimed at addressing youth drug and alcohol use, recently helped get community watch signs installed at the entrances of the Mary Katona Memorial Open Space.

Catherine Hazlett, the coalition's program director, said this became necessary after nearby residents repeatedly found marijuana and vaping products discarded around the open space.

Hazlett said a parent who lives near Holland Hill Elementary School and takes his children on walks through the open space told Fairfield CARES about it last fall.

 

"We are the local prevention council for the town of Fairfield, and our focus is on substance use prevention and mental health wellness for youth and young adults," she said. "He contacted me and I met him at the park and we walked the area."

That resident had photos of marijuana and tobacco vaping products, as well as pipes to smoke flower marijuana, littered around the property, Hazlett said. Fairfield CARES reached out to school officials at Holland Hill to keep them aware of the situation, Hazlett said. 

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Fairfield takes steps to stop Marijuana use at Local Park

FAIRFIELD - A town task force decided to take action after finding evidence of underage drug use at a local park.

Fairfield CARES Community Coalition, a town-created task force aimed at addressing youth drug and alcohol use, recently helped get community watch signs installed at the entrances of the Mary Katona Memorial Open Space.

Catherine Hazlett, the coalition's program director, said this became necessary after nearby residents repeatedly found marijuana and vaping products discarded around the open space.

Hazlett said a parent who lives near Holland Hill Elementary School and takes his children on walks through the open space told Fairfield CARES about it last fall.

 

"We are the local prevention council for the town of Fairfield, and our focus is on substance use prevention and mental health wellness for youth and young adults," she said. "He contacted me and I met him at the park and we walked the area."

That resident had photos of marijuana and tobacco vaping products, as well as pipes to smoke flower marijuana, littered around the property, Hazlett said. Fairfield CARES reached out to school officials at Holland Hill to keep them aware of the situation, Hazlett said. 

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Cannabis Testing Company may lose license for falsely inflating THC levels

RENO - A Las Vegas-based facility that intentionally manipulated cannabis testing results will likely face disciplinary action after state regulators denied the company’s motion to dismiss the action Tuesday.

The Cannabis Compliance Board voted unanimously to reject Lettucetest LLC’s motion to dismiss disciplinary action against the company that could see it lose a marijuana business license and be barred from operating in the industry for 10 years.

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Amazon still says no to drugs, and is booting Marijuana Businesses

For nine years, Arnold Marcus had been making a living selling spice grinders on Amazon.

His company, Golden Gate Grinders, had several colors available, repeat customers and an invitation to join the Amazon Accelerator program, a path toward becoming a supplier for Amazon's private label. Marcus, 68, would package orders and take customers' calls from his living room in San Francisco, proud that he was involved in every aspect of the business he built.

That changed overnight last year when Amazon removed his listings, flagging his products as a violation of company policy prohibiting the sale of drugs and drug paraphernalia. For the uninitiated, a grinder can be used for spices like oregano or rosemary, or for weed.

Marcus spent months fighting his ejection from Amazon's online marketplace, to no avail.

"There was no indication in all those years that this is a prohibited product," Marcus said this summer. "One day, they were supporting me and then one day it ended."

Amazon says its guidelines around drugs and drug paraphernalia are longstanding and state that products can't be primarily designed for making, preparing or using a controlled substance. Grinders that are equipped with features specifically for marijuana-related use are not allowed on the platform.

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University of Sydney to offer Free Cannabis Testing

University of Sydney is launching a robust study in an attempt to, as the university describes, “investigate cannabis consumption, behaviours, and attitudes among users.”

Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people that cultivate their own cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Cannabis was decriminalized in 2020 in the ACT and the university is researching any societal issues that may have arisen from the public policy change, as well as gain insight into the potency and varieties of cannabis that patients and consumers are using.

Free cannabis testing is available to both medical patients and non-medical patients, although only people that are current residents of the ACT can participate.

Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people who cultivate their own cannabis.

“The cannabis collected from growers’ homes will be analysed for cannabis content, including its main psychoactive components – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-intoxicating cannabidiol  (CBD) –  as well as a range of other cannabinoids and biologically active molecules, free of charge. 

Participants will be able to view, anonymously, the analysis results from their cannabis samples online,” the university stated in a news release.

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Ontario made $520M from pot last year. So why do retailers say they're struggling?

Ontario Cannabis Stores, the province's pot supplier, charges a 31% mark-up to retailers.

The province of Ontario made more than a half a billion dollars from the cannabis industry in the last fiscal year, according to public accounts released by the government on Friday.

But that $520 million is coming at least partially at the expense of struggling local retailers, according to Michael Armstrong, a business professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.

"About 56 cents of every dollar you spend at a cannabis store goes to the businesses, the retailers and producers," Armstrong told CBC Toronto.

"The other 44 cents is going to government in one way or another," he added.

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