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New legislation introduced to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho

At the behest of the Idaho Farm Bureau, the House Agriculture Committee has voted unanimously to introduce new legislation to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho, for production, processing, transportation and research. The vote clears the way for a full hearing on the bill, which supporters said they hope will settle years of debate about how to allow for industrial hemp production by Idaho agricultural producers without running afoul of concerns about hemp’s psychoactive cousin, marijuana.

Idaho is the last state in the nation to take this step; industrial hemp already is legal in 49 states and at the federal level. You can read my full story here at idahopress.com.

Braden Jensen, lobbyist for the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, told the lawmakers, "Throughout the country, there are 49 states, two territories and 48 tribes that have legalized industrial hemp in some form or fashion. The Idaho Legislature has considered the issue over the past couple of years, and we bring before you today a new proposal for your consideration."

 

Jensen said the Farm Bureau worked with stakeholders on the issue including the agriculture industry, the trucking industry, state agencies and law enforcement.

"Our first goal is to legalize the production of industrial hemp in the state," he said. "Second, our goal is to maintain a strong and enforceable drug policy; and third, to work to ensure all stakeholders are comfortable with the proposal that we've developed. ... I do not pretend that everybody will love every aspect of the proposal that is before you. Nevertheless, it does represent a certain level of consensus among the stakeholders."

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More than $205.4 million in cannabis taxes collected in Illinois as nonprofits receive first round of grants

About $31 million from adult-use cannabis taxes is going to nonprofits in Illinois as part of the Restore, Reinvest and Renew, or R3 program, and it’s not all going to Chicago.

Cannabis sales for January neared $90 million. Since adult-use sales began in January 2020, nearly $757.9 million in cannabis has been sold. The taxes on that can be more than 40%, depending on the potency and whether a local sales tax is added on to the state taxes.

For the state’s taxes, the total collected from January 2020 through last month totaled more than $205.4 million dollars.

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2021 may be the year of hemp

Floridians said they believe hemp businesses will boom this year and are hopeful about it.

“It’s just everything we worked on for two years is now in front of you. It’s very exciting,” said Holly Bell, the Director of Cannabis for the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Bell said she could barely contain her excitement looking at all the harvested plants in the middle of a greenhouse in Central Florida. 

Bell said she knows that 2021 is the year for hemp to take over.

“What we’re seeing in our preliminary numbers from our economists in our groups is tax revenues in the first full 12 months around $17 million,” Bell said.

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How to Buy Legal Weed Online

Marijuana’s slow but steady movement towards federal legalization has been heavily documented, gaining support across the nation and with more and more medical and recreational programs gaining approval. But there remains a lot of mystery in the purchase process, with many turning to black market marijuana because it seems simpler and less intimidating than legal weed.

Legal marijuana still has some growing pains, but it has slowly become a simple and more intuitive process. Now, depending on the state where you live, you’re able to purchase marijuana online, at times having it delivered or scheduled for pick-up. Here’s how to buy weed on the web.

Do Your Research

When ordering marijuana flower and marijuana products, it’s important to account for where you live, since you won’t have access to these services if you live in an illegal state.

Your second step is to get very informed and to be sure that you’re not falling for any scams or sketchy websites. The website you’re ordering from should look legitimate, like it was designed in this century, and should also have recommendations from publications and reviews from different customers. When scrolling through these reviews, make sure they use different words and ways of expressing themselves; this suggests they’re not a bot.

While there are websites out there where you can purchase marijuana products directly, there are others that can connect you with dispensaries. This latter option might be better for someone who wants to talk to a budtender regarding their marijuana purchase, who can make recommendations on the types of products that work best for them.

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Hemp's potential relies on better regulation, more research, experts say

Thirty years from now, hemp advocates envision the versatile crop will play a prominent role in the U.S. economy, used regularly in the production of everyday products including food, fiber, fuel, pharmaceuticals and building materials.

But getting to that point is not so simple. 

Lawmakers must adopt policies to ease the regulatory burden on farmers and processors. Scientists must conduct the research and development needed to pioneer new technologies. Breeders must continue studying hemp genetics that best serve such wide-ranging markets.

 

That was the underlying theme of the first National Hemp Symposium — looking ahead to 2050, and finding the roadmap for a thriving industry.

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Illinois collects $205.4M in cannabis taxes

About $31 million from adult-use cannabis taxes is going to nonprofits in Illinois as part of the Restore, Reinvest and Renew, or the R3 program, and it’s not all going to Chicago.

Cannabis sales for January neared $90 million. Since adult-use sales began in January 2020, nearly $757.9 million in cannabis has been sold. The taxes on that can be more than 40%, depending on the potency and whether a local sales tax is added on to the state taxes.

For the state’s taxes, the total collected from January 2020 through last month totaled more than $205.4 million dollars.

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The Future of Smokable CBD Products Is Not Great

The last few years have been a wild ride for the United States’ hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) industry. Ever since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took the position that CBD is unlawful in many consumer products, the industry has faced many questions about what it can and cannot do. To add fuel to this fire, many states have adopted laws and regulations that are different from, more complicated than, and/or inconsistent with the FDA’s position. To say the least, things are complex.

Life is particularly challenging for smokable CBD products. The FDA’s initial positions on CBD failed to address smokable products, and as we noted a few years ago and again last year, it didn’t appear that the FDA would expressly try to regulate smokable products.

Many states nevertheless decided to ban smokable hemp and even smokable products like CBD vapes. For example, last year, Iowa made the sale of smokable hemp products a serious offense. As another example, a ban on smokable hemp was upheld by a federal appellate court for the state of Indiana last year.

On top of that, during the vape crisis over the last few years, many states and municipalities began proposing and even passing laws that restrict flavored vape products. While many of these efforts were limited to nicotine-bearing products, not all were, further restricting how CBD vapes could be sold in some cases.

Recently, there have been a few developments that place the smokable hemp industry in even more jeopardy. First, the FDA issued warning letters to CBD product sellers, including the seller of an inhalable product. While, to be fair, it wasn’t a smokable product, the FDA in 2019 issued a warning letter for the seller of CBD vapes. So even though the agency hasn’t taken the most clear position on smokable CBD in its policy documents, it has taken action against sellers of inhalable products and it appears that will continue.

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Marijuana may significantly lower blood pressure in older users

A new study reports that cannabis use may lower blood pressure in older adults, though additional research is necessary to get a better understanding of the substance’s effect on cardiovascular health. The research comes from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Soroka University Medical Center; it was recently published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

 

The increasing legalization of marijuana, as well as medical marijuana programs, has resulted in a growing number of people — including older adults — consuming the substance for various potential health benefits. Use for chronic pain issues is one driving factor behind medical marijuana use, and the researchers say that pain relief may help explain why cannabis use is associated with lowered blood pressure in older adults.

The study focused on adults ages 60 and older who were diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension). Using data from ECG, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and more, the study found that marijuana use was associated with a ‘significant’ drop in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure over a 24-hour period, with the lowest point occurring three hours after use.

The participants consumed marijuana in the form of smoking and oil extracts, the study notes, also reporting that while blood pressure decreased during both the day and night, the nighttime decrease was more significant. BGU Faculty of Health Sciences’ Dr. Ran Abuhasira said:

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More Local Cannabis Dispensaries May Mean Fewer Opioid Overdose Deaths

One way to reduce opioid overdose death rates in American communities may be to expand legal access to another, less lethal drug. A study published in January 2021 in the BMJ suggests that U.S. counties that have more cannabis dispensaries also have lower opioid-related deaths

The study focused on 812 counties in 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that allowed cannabis dispensaries to sell recreational or medical marijuana. Across all the counties in the study, the average number of cannabis dispensaries increased from slightly less than one per county in 2014 to more than four by 2018.

When the number of cannabis dispensaries in a county increased from one to two, researchers estimated that overall opioid mortality rates fell by 17 percent.

Death rates from synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which are responsible for a greater proportion of opioid fatalities in the United States, dropped by 14 percent when the number of medical marijuana dispensaries increased from one to two, and declined by 21 percent with a similar increase in recreational marijuana dispensaries.

 

Two things might be driving the reduction in opioid-related deaths in communities with more cannabis dispensaries, says W. David Bradford, PhD, a professor of public policy and administration at the University of Georgia in Athens who wasn’t involved in the study.

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How are Industry Leaders in Cannabis Working to Dismantle Systemic Racism?

Cannabis is not the only industry that can act as a microcosm of the world but it may be the most prominent. Cannabis is still federally illegal so there are many areas in which people can be turned away from participating due to previous arrests for cannabis.

During the Fall Emerge 2020 Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo, Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) Founder and CEO Roz McCarthy led a panel discussion with industry-leading advocacy organizations. Together, they addressed the myriad concerns surrounding social equity within the cannabis industry.  

Several organizations, including Women Grow and the Last Prisoner Project, were also present to add their insights to the equity-themed conference. Each has a primary directive to achieve social equity and dismantle systemic racism within the cannabis community. 

Cannabis and Criminal Justice

The Cannabis and Criminal Justice panel covered many topics, one being what exactly is the issue with handling systemic racism within the cannabis industry. 

Mikelina Belaineh, Director of Criminal Justice Law and Policy

Mikelina Belaineh

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Taxation’s War on Cannabis

Harborside, a California cannabis dispensary, appealed the Tax Court’s decision of tax deficiencies totaling over $29 million dollars for the periods between 2007 through 2012. Harborside’s tax liability stems from the IRS’s denial of deductions under IRC §280E and the disallowances of cost of goods sold reported on Harborside’s tax returns. Internal Revenue Code §280E prohibits tax deductions for businesses whose activities involve a federally controlled substance (within the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act). Unfortunately, cannabis is still and at the time (of the facts in the case) a Schedule I Controlled Substance. 

On appeal Harborside makes two arguments: (1) whether IRC §280E violates the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (2) whether IRC §471 regulations excludes certain inventory costs for Harborside (cannabis businesses). This article will not go into the constitutionality of IRC §280E in reference to the Sixteenth Amendment but will focus on the cost of goods sold (COGS) and IRC §471 issue.

The Tax Court erred in determining that “processing costs related to inventory are not includable in Harborside’s cost of goods sold.”

The IRS did not allow Harborside to include purchasing, handling, and storage costs related to the goods it purchased for resale (“indirect costs”) — costs like testing, labeling, curing, storing, trimming, manicuring, maintaining, and packaging the [cannabis], or [cannabis] products — in its cost of goods sold.  Harborside would reject [cannabis] if it wasn’t properly cured, if it hadn’t been sufficiently trimmed, if it had an incurable safety issue such as pathogenic mold, or if it didn’t contain the right “cannabinoid profile.”

In response to Harborside, the IRS admits in the Appellee’s brief, “if Harborside could establish that Section 471 permits it to include indirect costs in its cost of goods sold, Section 280E would not prevent that result, as that section only bars Harborside’s claim to deductions.” Section 471 states that “the use of inventories is necessary in order clearly to determine” income, and “on such basis as the Secretary may prescribe as conforming as nearly as may be to the best accounting practice in the trade or business and as most clearly reflecting the income.” 

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High-stakes hemp logistics put specialty fleets, willing drivers in demand

When 1606 Original Hemp ships a load, it crosses the country, from the company’s growing facilities in California to its manufacturing plants in New York, and back again. That means crossing dozens of state lines and navigating just as many hemp transport regulations — an overwhelming prospect.

And it's more than 1606 Original Hemp wanted to manage on its own, so it turned to specialty carrier 357 Hemp Logistics for help.

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NZ medicinal cannabis is facing a looming crisis

New Zealand is facing a collapse of legal medicinal cannabis supply after March 31, when a deadline to meet stiff new government rules is expected to keep the products of three of the country’s five main importers out of the market, reports NZ Herald’s Kate MacNamara in this Herald Premium article.

Last April, the government unveiled a new regulatory system to create more safe, widespread and affordable access to medicinal cannabis. It has not yet approved a single product.

New Zealand-based importers Medleaf Therapeutics, Nubu Pharmaceuticals, and Eqalis Pharmaceuticals confirmed their products are not likely to be approved under the new standards before the March deadline. Domestic production, still in its very early stages, is not likely to reach the market until late this year.

On March 31, special provisions, which have allowed companies to import under an old, stop-gap system will expire. Shane Le Brun, regulatory and business development consultant at Medleaf, currently estimated to be the country’s largest importer of medicinal cannabis, said his firm is preparing for a hiatus from the market of at least several months. A situation he described as a “looming crisis” for patients.

Even after receiving ministry verification, products will face a lag in reaching New Zealand, Le Brun warned. Companies require licences to both import to New Zealand and export from abroad, these cannot be obtained until after verification, and shipping times are uncertain.


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How Is CBD Oil Made?

There are many ways to extract CBD from hemp and cannabis plants, which include oil infusion, distillation, liquid solvent extraction, and carbon dioxide extraction.

One of the most sought cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants is cannabidiol (CBD) because it’s believed to be a therapeutic compound. You’ve probably heard about CBD oil, and you’re now looking for more information about how it’s made and how it can be beneficial for your health.

Anecdotal evidence shows how remarkable CBD is, but your search shouldn’t stop with this. Instead, learn how CBD is made by determining the scientific process and explanation associated with its manufacturing and consumption by reading further.

CBD Oil Basics

Cannabidiol has gained so much popularity in recent years due to its medicinal benefits. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even approved a CBD-containing drug to treat patients with epilepsy, who are mostly children. Many CBD users also say that CBD oil is an effective treatment for insomnia, stress, pain, and other signs and symptoms of medical conditions.

Here are the basic things you need to know about the different types of CBD oil:

how to use CBD oil to fight inflammation

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Will Cannabis Affect How Smart You Are?

Cannabis legitimization has demonstrated several advantages for some reasons – pot’s remedial worth improves lives and decreases compulsion and the business development and potential is useful for the economy.

However, there are as yet the individuals who demand that ongoing cannabis utilization, such as using phoenix tears Canada, simply makes individuals more dumb.

To exacerbate the situation, a recent report has as far as anyone knows discovered confirmation that pot use diminishes an individual’s IQ after some time. 

This deception has fanned out quickly among against pot distributions throughout the previous five years, prompting expanded disarray on the issue. 

There are a ton of elements that go into play when considering these patterns – and making these cases – and considerably more that specialists deliberately forget about. 

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The Mexican Cannabis Market Is Shaping Up To Be A Major Global Player In 2021 And Beyond

Mexico is one of the most exciting emerging cannabis markets in the world and we expect to see increased interest in the market from leading cannabis companies. A few months ago, we published an article on the Mexican cannabis market and received a lot of positive feedback from our readers.

After noticing the amount of interest in the Mexican cannabis market, we conducted due diligence on the operators that are focused on the emerging market. Based on our analysis, we determined that the market is wide open for companies to come in and grab market share and will monitor how the industry evolves over the next year.

Many analysts expected the Mexican cannabis industry to be a major market after former President Enrique Peña Nieto signed legislation to legalize medical cannabis in 2017. Since then, the government has failed to advance the industry and medical cannabis remains out of reach for many patients.

Although we are surprised with the amount of time it has taken for the Mexican cannabis market to advance, we believe the industry is reaching an inflection point. Last year, legislation was introduced that would allow private companies to sell cannabis to the public and the bill is expected to be implemented in the near future.

During the last two years, we have noticed a substantial increase in the number of companies that are focused on the Mexican cannabis market. A few years ago, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) (ACB) announced plans to enter the Mexican cannabis market and this aspect of the business seems to have stalled. We do not blame Aurora Cannabis for the lack of execution and believe that the Mexican government is making the legalization of cannabis more challenging than it needs to be.

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California Overturns Regulation Allowing for Cannabis Billboards

California just overturned a state ruling that allowed for cannabis billboard advertising along state and interstate highways. While cannabis billboards are still allowed, they are prohibited on any highway that crosses state borders, a new restriction for the industry. 

The new regulation, which comes from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, overturns the previous ruling, which claimed that billboards were allowed unless they were within a 15-mile radius of the border. Obviously, not being allowed on any highways that leave or enter the state is a lot more restrictive than just keeping them away from the border, so this is a blow for cannabis advertising in California

“To comply with the law and regulations, licensees may not place new advertising or marketing on any interstate highway or state highway that crosses the California border,” the official notice explains. “Licensees should also begin the process of removing current advertising and marketing that meets this criteria.”  This can also be found in Business and Professions Code section 26152(d). 

Advertising Cannabis

Back when Proposition 64 first passed in California, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control was given the power to regulate the new industry, and the matter of cannabis billboards has pretty much been in debate since the state legalized. Some contend that the billboards are necessary for advertising what is a perfectly legal industry inside state borders, while others feel it’s just asking for tourists to stop at dispensaries and drive back across the border. 

Back in 2019, the regulations were set in place that allowed advertising on interstate and state highways, except for those that were too close to the border. However, this new rule was challenged by a resident from San Luis Obispo County, who claims that the billboards expose his children to cannabis advertising. 

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(Another) Study – Medical Cannabis And Prescription Opioids

A study observing the impact of medical cannabis on prescribed opioid usage in chronic pain patients has revealed interesting results.

The US opioid epidemic claimed 47,600 lives in 2017 and it’s estimated 10.3 million people were misusing opioids in 2018 – a staggering 3.7% of the US population. It’s thought medical cannabis may be able to help address the situation and various studies have indicated this might be the case.

One of the more recent studies involved 525 patients from three medical cannabis practice sites who had used prescription opioid medications to treat chronic pain for at least 3 months continuously – and were using medical cannabis in combination with these medications.

40.4% reported they stopped all opioids while 45.2% reported some decrease. 13.3% reported no change in opioid usage, and 1.1% reported an increase. Furthermore, 48.2% reported a 40-100% decrease in pain, 80.2% reported an improved ability to function and 87% an improved quality of life using medical cannabis. 62.8% didn’t want to take opioids in the future.

“We believe our results lend further support that medical cannabis provided in a standardized protocol can lead to decreased pain and opioid usage, improved function, and quality of life measures, and even complete cessation of opioids in patients with chronic pain treated by opioids,” state the paper’s authors.

A change in pain level was reportedly not affected by age and gender. However, the younger age group (

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Could cannabis help patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease?

A pilot study being conducted at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is investigating a controversial topic – how cannabis, medicinal or recreational, is used, accessed and how it may benefit individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.

Whilst recreational cannabis remains illegal in Australia, much of the research and thus the path to legalisation has been largely limited to the management of specific symptoms, such as pain.

Previous international research has shown some benefits of cannabis use in the improvement of both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects one in every 308 Australians.

Dr Andrea Bugarcic and Dr Janet Schloss from the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are leading the study and urge all patients who might be eligible to participate in the survey which will run until the end of February 2021.

While research has been done on the topic of cannabis use in neurodegenerative diseases in other countries, this aspect of self-management by Parkinson’s Disease patients in Australia has not yet been explored.

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Big Numbers (and a Few Surprises) in Arizona's 2020 Marijuana Report

The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued its end-of-year report for 2020, and to the surprise of virtually no one, medical marijuana sales increased year-over-year, for the eighth year in a row.

Arizonans purchased 106 tons of cannabis products from dispensaries in 2020, according to the report, and all signs point to much higher numbers in 2021.

That's due largely to the fact that recreational cannabis is now legal for adults to buy as of January 22, 2021. 

 
 
 
 
 

Between MMJ and recreational pot, dispensary companies in the state are planning to grow two-to-three times as much marijuana in 2021, but the reality of recreational in the state remains to be seen, said Sam Richard, executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association. Some of the revenue growth will be due to higher prices in the initial months of recreational sales, he added.

"Largely, the trajectory of the growth in medical sales will likely taper off" while the new combined industry reaches new frontiers, he said. Last year's 106 tons in sales is close to the weight of a fully loaded space shuttle on its way to the space station, and while the medical program is "approaching cruising altitude," the industry as a whole is set to travel much further.

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