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

Some cities are inadvertently supporting illicit Cannabis Sales, according to new Report

Instead of reasonably regulating legal sales, it’s increasingly common for leaders to opt out of legalized sales entirely, with unintended consequences. (Benzinga)

Leafly released a first-of-its-kind report detailing the unintended and harmful consequences that occur when local municipalities choose to opt out of legal and regulated cannabis sales.

The report, developed in partnership with Whitney Economics, a global leader in cannabis and hemp business consulting, data, and economic research, reveals the adverse consequences of opting out and explores why local regulation, not local prohibition is the right way to handle cannabis.

Opting In To Legalized Sales Would Benefit The Entire Community

After legal cannabis is approved in a state, numerous legalization laws enable local municipalities to establish specific regulations within cities and counties. That is, they can choose to sell cannabis or not to sell cannabis.

According to the Leafly report, “instead of reasonably regulating legal sales, it is increasingly common for leaders to opt out of legalized sales entirely, with unintended consequences that effectively create an economic protection zone for illegal street sellers to continue the business.”

Leafly’s Opt-Out Report found that local leaders who choose to opt out of cannabis sales are hurting their communities by:

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First Medical Cannabis Patient Seminar is Successful

Mississippi’s first medical cannabis patient seminar was an overwhelming success, as hundreds of patients, caregivers, practitioners, dispensaries, cultivators, and advocates packed Oxford’s Hampton Inn Conference Center.

Attendees and residents were lining up in advance before the event even started. 

Angie Calhoun, Founder and CEO of the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance, said, “the demand has been overwhelming as more and more of Mississippi’s patients are seeking educational resources about medical cannabis.

MCPA’s goal is to host more MCPA Facts & Snacks across Mississippi in the next few months. Each event helps inform patients about how to get a medical cannabis card, the opportunity to talk to approved MSDH practitioners, meet licensed dispensaries and cultivators, and more.

All along the way, MCPA is here to help the patients of Mississippi with their questions about medical cannabis.” 

The educational and awareness topics at the seminar included how patients can become certified for medical cannabis, what are debilitating medical conditions, how to lock and secure medical cannabis properly, microdosing, and the latest guidance from the Mississippi Department of Health.

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Retailers and growers warn of Cannabis shortage ahead of Retail sales

A late start for both outdoor and indoor growers, compounded by supply chain and testing problems, will mean a limited supply of recreational cannabis available in retail stores when they start opening for business on Oct. 1, according to growers, regulators and retailers.

“We’re looking at probably 20, maybe 30 outdoor licensees with product this year,” said Geoffrey Pizzutillo, executive director of the Vermont Growers Association. “That’s nothing.”

In retrospect, James Pepper, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said the board should have started to issue outdoor growing licenses in February, allowing growers to plant their seedlings in seedling pots ahead of the growing season. 

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Marijuana stays on doping Banned List

GENEVA - Marijuana use will remain banned at sports events after the World Anti-Doping Agency on Friday resisted calls to change its status on the list of prohibited substances.

The agency was asked to review the status of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — after the case of United States sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who did not go to the Tokyo Olympics last year. She served a one-month ban after testing positive at the national trials meet where she won the 100 meters. The sprinter said she had smoked marijuana as a way of coping with her mother’s death.

In a separate decision, the opiate tramadol will now be banned when athletes are competing from January 2024, the WADA executive committee decided at a meeting in Sydney, Australia.

Athletes who use cannabis were consulted by WADA-appointed experts whose conclusions included that it was “against the spirit of sport,” the agency said.

Positive tests for THC at races and events, though not in training, can therefore continue to trigger bans as short as one month.

The debate “is not straightforward,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli acknowledged Friday.

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New York Regulators vote to allow Marijuana Patients to grow their own Weed

New York cannabis regulators approved a rule that would allow medical marijuana patients to grow and harvest their own plants, making for a cheaper and more accessible alternative.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has voted to adopt home grow rules that would allow medical marijuana patients and caregivers to grow and harvest their own cannabis plants. Tuesday’s ruling will go into effect on October 5.

The rule will allow registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers to grow and harvest up to six cannabis plants at a time. They would be able to possess up to five pounds of that cannabis, complying with the state’s cannabis laws.

According to Marijuana Moment, the OCM’s Executive Director, Chris Alexander, said that their office has prioritized medical marijuana patients and that this focus will “continue to be a priority.”

“I’m just really excited that we’re able to provide this more affordable option to patients to get access to that medicine,” said Alexander.

The state of New York started accepting applications for cannabis dispensaries on August 25th. These licenses, known as Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD), will be awarded to applicants that have been “justice-involved,” meaning that they’ve been negatively impacted by anti-cannabis legislations.

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Cannabis Lounges approved to open in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Marijuana consumption lounges are one step closer to coming to the Las Vegas city limits.

City Council voted 5-1 against a motion by Councilwoman Victoria Seaman on Wednesday. She wanted to stop businesses from applying for a cannabis lounge license from the state. Nevada will open the application window for licensing weed lounges for 10 days from Oct.14-27. The decision by council will allow businesses including dispensaries to apply for the state license while the city moves forward to create its own ordinance and regulations.

“It's going to bring, you know, a whole new vibe and atmosphere, “said cannabis consumer Erik Baum. “As opposed to going to a bar, you don't have to go out and drink, you can go out and smoke socially with your friends."

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Feds to look at public-health impact of Cannabis Legalization in mandated review

OTTAWA - Federal ministers are expected to launch a long-awaited review of the government’s cannabis legislation today.

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The Liberals lifted a century-long prohibition on the recreational use and sale of cannabis in October 2018, with the provision that they review the law three years after to comes into force.

That review is nearly one year overdue.

The legislation dictates that the federal government must investigate the impact of legalization on public health, youth consumption and Indigenous persons and communities.

The review will also look at the cultivation of cannabis in homes.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett must present a report to the House of Commons and Senate within 18 months of the launch of the review.

 

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Local group gets permit for Marijuana Farm

A group of local businessmen plan to run a marijuana growing site in Chaves County, having received a special use permit from the Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Commission Tuesday night.

The citizens' group voted 4-1 for the initial 10-year term for the permit during its meeting at the Chaves County Administrative Center after hearing from the applicants, the landowner and the business operators, called Osbourn and Amigos Farms LLC.

“I have one comment. It is way out in the middle of nowhere,” said Commission Chair Royce “Pancho” Maples about the plans for the property in Dexter. “That's probably a pretty good place to build it.”

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Mobile Cannabis dispensary coming to DFW advocating Texas' Medical Program

The dispensary will be rolling into Fort Worth Oct. 8 and Dallas Oct 10.

FORT WORTH - Some cannabis enthusiasts may want to roll up Oct. 8 as the mobile cannabis dispensary Goodblend will be holding a joint marijuana march and freedom festival to inform the public on the state's medical program. 

Goodblend, a subsidiary of Parallel, is one of three medical cannabis operators license to operate in Texas. The "Ride For Your Rights" CannaBus Tour, they say, is an effort to energize medical cannabis supporters in the state and educate those interested in getting a medical cannabis prescription and how the process works. 

There are more than 150 conditions currently approved to qualify someone as a Texas Compassionate Use Program patient. Goodblend provides a network of registered physicians for anyone to find a doctor in Texas near them who can prescribe medical cannabis.

“The medical cannabis program will never change unless Texans stand up and make it change,” Parallel CEO Reece Fulgham said in a statement. “The ‘Ride For Your Rights’ CannaBus Tour was designed to educate and galvanize support for expanding access to Texans in need. We hope the support rallied will convince Texas policymakers that there’s strong public demand for real, lasting change.”

The last bill passed in Texas regarding medical cannabis was House Bill 1535, which greatly expanded access by including those suffering from PTSD and all forms of cancer to the list of qualifying conditions. Millions more Texans can now qualify for TCUP, but fewer than 30,000 patients in the state are currently registered in the program.  

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Hemp Byproducts are good alternative feed for Lambs, Oregon State study finds

CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University study found that spent hemp biomass – the main byproduct of the cannabinoid (CBD) extraction process of hemp – can be included in lamb diets without any major detrimental effects to the health of the animals or their meat quality.

The findings are significant because the hemp byproducts, known as spent hemp biomass, currently have little to no economic value for the hemp industry, the researchers said.

Spent hemp biomass also has not been legalized as feed for livestock by the Food and Drug Administration due to the potential presence of THC and its potential impacts on animal health, so this finding is one step forward to getting that approval.

“To our knowledge, our study is the first to evaluate the effects of feeding spent hemp biomass to livestock,” said Serkan Ates, an associate professor in Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“The findings are important for both hemp farmers and livestock producers because they provide evidence that this byproduct of hemp can be used in livestock diets.

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National advocacy group forms to give small Cannabis Businesses a voice

Mark Barnett is the founder of the Maine Craft Cannabis Association, one of six state organizations part of the National Craft Cannabis Coalition.

PORTLAND - After a blazing summer of sales for Maine's cannabis industry, the slow season has arrived for local stores across the state.

Maine is closing in on two years of allowing adult-use or recreational sales to anyone over 21. While both adult-use and medical markets have their own advantages, they also share similar struggles.

“The voices of smaller businesses, the voices of farmers, the voices of customers, are very often completely ignored in cannabis policy," Mark Barnett, founder of Higher Grounds and the Maine Craft Cannabis Association, said on  Wednesday.

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What to know about Cannabis and Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults.

Since many people use cannabis for glaucoma, you might be wondering whether cannabis can be used for other eye diseases, including macular degeneration.

There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Although there are a few treatments available for wet AMD, there aren’t any treatments for dry AMD.

Often, managing dry AMD includes protecting your eyes and maximizing the vision you have left. Taking certain supplements, for example, may help minimize vision loss.

What’s the short answer?

Very little is known about the connection between macular degeneration and cannabis.

Although some research seems to suggest medical cannabis could hold the key to treating AMD, other research suggests cannabis could worsen AMD.

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Weed Chips? KC brands are looking capitalize on the potential of legal Marijuana in Missouri

Guy's Chips is deep in development for a new product that would take advantage of Missouri's November ballot initiative on recreational marijuana.

ANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ahead of the vote this November that could legalize marijuana in Missouri, iconic Kansas City brands are now entering the world of medical marijuana.

Among them is Guy's Chips.

At an undisclosed location inside of Franklin's Stash House, a craft cannabis manufacturer in Kansas City, the local snack maker is developing a new weed-infused potato chip.

The cannabis maker gave KMBC a rare look inside their facility. Franklin’s manufactures cannabis products for Missouri’s medical marijuana market.

"This is a highly regulated facility. This is like food manufacturing. This is like craft beer. This is so much more normal than we maybe think it is," Franklin's Stash House CEO Michael Wilson said.

This is the first time Franklin's Stash House has let a TV camera inside. They’re currently working on a line of THC-infused James’ Lemonade.

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Virginia Beach considers creating cannabis task force before retail pot sales roll out

VIRGINIA BEACH - With miles of beaches, plenty of restaurants, and things to do, Virginia Beach draws thousands of visitors each year. Many in the resort city want to keep it that way.

“I don’t think we want to create the perception that Virginia Beach is a marijuana destination,” said Randy Thompson of Virginia Beach. “That’s not criticizing that industry. We see the positives. It’s just that we wouldn’t want a liquor store on every corner either.”

Thompson is the vice chair of the Resort Advisory Commission, a sort of watchdog for the city that brings concerns and ideas to council members.

The group’s latest proposal is to create a cannabis task force. The idea came about when speaking with Councilman Guy Tower.

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Cannabis research center established at University Kentucky

LEXINGTON - The University of Kentucky is home to a new center that will advance research on the medical use of cannabis.

The UK Cannabis Center will conduct research on the health effects of cannabis, including its risks and benefits when used to treat certain medical conditions.

Based within the UK College of Medicine’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR), the center will build on cannabis research already taking place at UK and expand the profile of clinical cannabis research.

Established by Kentucky House Bill 604, the center is intended to accelerate research on cannabis that is relevant to the health and well-being of Kentuckians. The law provides the center with a $2 million appropriation over the next two years.

During this year’s legislative session, House Bill 136, a measure to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, failed to make headway in the state Senate after passing through the House. As Kentucky considers legalizing the use of medical marijuana, research conducted at the new center will help educate medical providers, legislators and citizens on the risks and benefits of the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.

“The legislature is interested in having us explore the conditions for which medical cannabis might be useful, as well as the most effective dosing and route of administration for each condition,” said Shanna Babalonis, Ph.D., director of the UK Cannabis Center.

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Hopewell Township puts pause on future resolutions of support for Cannabis Retailers

Hopewell Township will halt future local support for cannabis retail establishments.

The township has already issued resolutions supporting four applicants.

Township Committee members voted unanimously to approve a resolution at the governing body’s Sept. 19 meeting.

“I think it is prudent to put a pause on things. We have vetted a couple opportunities and we have had a robust discussion over which applications might be stronger than others,” Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski said. “But that is ultimately a Planning Board and state decision.”

Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning, Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger, Committeeman David Chait, Committeewoman Uma Purandare, and Kuchinski voted “yes” on the resolution.

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Mississippi nears $6M in revenue off Medical Marijuana Licenses and Fees

With the medical marijuana program still in its infancy in Mississippi, the state is already raking in revenue.

Through Monday, the state has culled nearly $6 million in license and one-time application fees from dispensaries, cultivators, transportation companies, processors, and testing operations in the state, according to information posted on the state’s Department of Health website.

While sales aren’t expected to begin until November, there are already 113 licensed dispensaries on file with the state’s Department of Revenue, the entity collecting fees and taxes.

The Department of Health did not respond to inquiries for this story.

The state has already gained $4.52 million in revenue from licensing and applications fees for dispensaries through late September, and that revenue will only continue to rise once sales begin later this year. All told, just through licenses and fees, the state has collected $5.785 million.

When sales do begin, medical marijuana will be subject to a 7% state sales tax.

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Denver City Council vote hands Marijuana delivery services big win

The Denver city council on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would slash the price of fees related to starting and contracting a marijuana transportation business. 

As part of the bill, the council removed a July 2024 sunset date on an exclusivity period for social equity transporter businesses — meaning dispensaries can only use these businesses to deliver their products. 

Further, the cost for a delivery permit drops from $2,000 to $25 for retail stores, and the transporter permit cost falls from $2,500 to $25. Application fees were reduced to $25 for stores, though transporters now have to pay a fee of the same price.

The move has some excited, like Michael Diaz Rivera, the founder and CEO of Better Days Delivery, one of 14 transporter businesses. 

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Council postpones off-sale alcohol license for Cannabis Company

Council members questioned the legal gray area for approving retail on-off sale licenses for Rapid City Cannabis during the council’s Monday night meeting.

The licenses would be for a retail (on-off sale) malt beverage and SD farm wine license and a retail (on-off sale) wine and cider license at 3075 N. Plaza Drive, Suite B. The council voted 8-2 to postpone the item until the Oct. 3 meeting. Council members Bill Evans and Lance Lehmann voted against the postponement.

Council member Pat Jones pulled the item from the consent public hearing items. He said he was against it last week and encouraged his fellow council members to vote against it Monday. Jones said they’ve been told medical cannabis dispensaries will only distribute to those with medical cards and never once has alcohol come into play.

“The idea of let’s go have happy hour at the medical marijuana place, ‘buy two joints and get your first drink free,’ and that concerns me,” he said while holding paper signs with a green plus sign and an image of two pints of beer. “These two things don’t go together. They don’t go together and they shouldn’t go together, and we have to take great concern in the direction we want Rapid City to go with this.”

Jones said this is the first request for a license at a dispensary and the decision the council makes will set the tone for the future.

“I believe we have a responsibility to hold this to what we said and were told it would be — not a bar, not a place to go and get a beer or a glass of wine, which I have nothing against, I’m quite fond of it myself,” Jones said. “But not at a dispensary where we were told it was going to dispense medical marijuana and that’s the only reason it was going to be there.”

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American adolescent substance abuse—except for Cannabis and Vaping—has declined

Substance abuse among American adolescents is diminishing, except for an uptake in cannabis and vaping use—show new findings published today in the peer-reviewed journal Substance Use & Misuse.

Examining data from 536,291 adolescents between 1991–2019, an expert team of researchers suggest that while the reasons for this phenomenon are not entirely clear, they appear to correlate to a number of other social factors.

Notably among them, these include increased parental monitoring, and decreased partying and dating.

Discussing the results, lead author Noah Kreski, from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, explains that a number of demographic factors seem to correlate to increased substance abuse even today.

"Substance use prevalence decreases across decades were largest for the groups defined by significant paid employment or high levels of social time, either with low engagement in other activities or lower levels of supervision, though these groups had the highest initial prevalence of each variety of substance use," says Kreski.

Kreski and the team, which also included experts from New York University, used the Monitoring the Future survey—conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)—to track trends in use of cigarettes, alcohol, cannabis, vaping of both nicotine and cannabis, and other substances for children in school grades 8 (13-14 years-old), 10 (15-16 years-old) and 12 (17–18 years old).

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