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Oregon’s marijuana businesses face threat from devastating wildfires; 1 in 5 under some evacuation level statewide

Southern Oregon wildfires this week have plowed through small towns, leveled hundreds of homes and businesses and now threatens part of the state’s prized – and lucrative – outdoor cannabis crop.

Statewide, an estimated 20 percent of state-licensed marijuana businesses – roughly 408 – face some level of evacuation, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission said Wednesday. That includes stores, marijuana processors and producers.

Of those, the agency said 73 marijuana producers, most of them outdoor farms, have been ordered to evacuate.

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Results Are In: Who Pays the Most in Cannabis Taxes?

Currently, there are 11 states that allow legal recreational use.

While this is a huge win, many cultivators and customers know that this victory comes with a price.

According to the Tax Policy Center, nine of the legal states are required under federal law to administer taxes based on percentage of retail or wholesale price, weight, and the drug’s potency.

If you live in Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington, these are the types of taxes that you’ll be seeing.

Check out the graphic here, courtesy of Certified Public Accountant and author of Cost Accounting for Dummies Ken Boyd, discusses why cannabis is being taxed and highlights the biggest contenders for the highest revenue.

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Australian government considers over-the-counter access to medicinal cannabis in 2021

Medicinal cannabis could be purchased over the counter in Australian pharmacies from next year.

The Australian Department of Health's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced they intend to make cannabidiol (CBD) medicines available without a prescription.

The interim decision was released in a report on Wednesday with a suggested implementation date of June 2021.

Cannabidiol is one of the main ingredients in cannabis and is used for medicinal purposes. 

In Australia, it is currently listed as a "prescription only medicine".

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House Committee Votes To Allow Researchers To Use State-Legal Cannabis

House of Representatives committee voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would allow researchers to conduct studies using marijuana produced in compliance with regulations in states with legal cannabis. The vote marks the first time a congressional committee has approved a measure to allow scientists to use marijuana produced from sources other than those authorized by the federal government.

With a voice vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a substitute version of The Marijuana Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 3797) from Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. The bill’s new language streamlines the approval process for those applying to cultivate cannabis with the approval of the federal government. The measure also permits researchers to use marijuana and cannabis products manufactured in accordance with programs legal under state law.

Cannabis From The Feds Is Schwag

Under current federal statute, FDA-approved research must be conducted with cannabis produced at a cultivation facility at the University of Mississippi. However, many researchers have said that the marijuana produced by the facility is difficult to obtain and of low-quality, bearing little resemblance to the cannabis products available from state-legal producers.

“As momentum grows in our effort to end the failed prohibition of cannabis, we also need to address failed drug laws like the ones that make it extremely difficult for researchers and doctors to study cannabis. With some form of cannabis legal in nearly every state, it’s inexcusable that the federal government is still blocking qualified researchers from advancing the scientific knowledge of cannabis,” Blumenauer, the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said in a press release after Wednesday’s vote. “The bipartisan support of our legislation in today’s committee markup is an important step in removing unnecessary barriers to medical cannabis research and ensuring that patients, clinicians, and consumers can fully understand the benefits and risks of cannabis.”

Activists Applaud Bill

Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said that the “proposed regulatory change is necessary and long overdue. In fact, NORML submitted comments to the US Federal Register in April explicitly calling for this change.”

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A New DEA Rule Means 'Absolute Confusion' For CBD Businesses

A new U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) interim rule about CBD and hemp manufacturing has sown distress and confusion in the federally legal industry.

Operators say the rule makes it effectively impossible to produce CBD products legally. On his blog, North Carolina cannabis lawyer Rod Kight wrote that the new rule “threatens to destroy” the industry.

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Can Marijuana Help You Study?

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence on marijuana use and studying. Does this practice provide any benefits?

Marijuana is the average co-ed’s drug of choice. While a lot of people encounter cannabis when they’re younger, it’s not until college that their stoner persona solidifies. New college students are entering a stage where they’re able to smoke to their heart’s content without worrying about their parents or teachers. It’s natural for them to want to smoke all the time.

Now that colleges and universities are back in session all over the country, it’s natural for the topic of marijuana and its effects on studying to surface. Like most things marijuana, your collegiate performance under the influence is mostly up to the choices you make and the way in which your body responds to the drug.

While a lot of people use marijuana to enhance TV and food consumption, people have started to enjoy other benefits of cannabis, such as enhancing creativity and minimizing anxiety. Depending on the dosage and strain you’re consuming, marijuana could either help you narrow your focus or provide you with ideas you wouldn’t have had while sober. If you’re studying with others, it might also encourage you to engage in deeper conversations, something that works if you’re the kind of person who learns by listening to others and talking through topics.

Photo by Caio via Pexels

Books About Marijuana

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This Is Why Cannabis Is So Effective At Easing Inflammation

Cannabis has a positive effect in taming inflammation and a myriad of ailments associated with swelling.

While inflammation is the cause of many maladies, it’s also sometimes the remedy. It accounts for back pain, arthritis flare ups, headaches, bowel disorders and even an increase in heart disease. Alzheimer’s is yet another affliction associated with inflammation. And cannabis? It’s a known anti-inflammatory.

As studies show, not only does cannabis have a positive effect in taming inflammation and a myriad of ailments associated with inflammation, the entourage effect created by the combination of cannabinoids, including THC, gives a person an even better result. When this synergy takes place, inflammation is greatly relieved, and thus so are the diseases and pains that go with it.

Quality and longevity of life are sincere goals of most human beings, and accomplishing those goals takes a level of fitness that is somewhat lacking in the average American lifestyle. Many people unable to exercise or stretch for their health aren’t capable because of inflamed joints or other painful inflammations that hinder activity.

Because cannabis works as an anti-inflammatory, it could very easily be the ticket to better health and wellness all around. If the joint pain isn’t in the way and the mindset is elevated to a can-do level, the world opens up a bit and the first steps toward holistic health have been taken.


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India: Police could start cracking down on temples using weed as part of worship and celebrations

Indian temples that allow using cannabis during specific celebrations to achieve enlightenment may need to rethink their practices if police in the state of Belagavi make good on their pledge to crack down on such uses.

“We’re now starting to crack down wherever it is available,” Raichur SP Prakash Nityam said of cannabis everywhere in the country. “I’m not aware of temples or mutts particularly, but if we receive information we will raid them,” Nityam said, according to the Times of India.

It seems that some temples are using weed during prasada — wherein a deity receives an offering, partakes of it and then returns it to be distributed and eaten by worshippers — at some temples in north Karnataka.

Devotees gather at the Mouneshwara temple at Tinthini during the annual fair in January, notes the Times of India. They are said to receive a small packet of ganja as prasada, which is smoked after praying, a video posted with the article notes.

A member of the temple committee acknowledged to the Times of India that cannabis is used there and anyone can consume it during the fair, some by ingestion after boiling the plant and others by smoking its powder form.


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700 weed applicants, 21 finalists: Some hopefuls aren’t happy about who’s still in the running for Illinois’ 75 marijuana dispensary licenses

When Illinois put 75 licenses to operate recreational marijuana dispensaries up for grabs earlier this year, more than 700 groups submitted 4,000 applications.

On Thursday, the state said 21 of those groups will proceed to the final phase: a lottery to award the licenses.

Some applicants who did not make the cut are unhappy that number is so low. Black lawmakers are calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to halt the lottery, and others say the state’s selection process, designed to diversify a largely white-owned industry, has shut out some of the smaller players.

“These are people who were (resourceful) enough to apply in almost every region,” said Nakisha Hobbs, whose group made two failed bids for dispensary licenses. “Some people have more resources than others, but it was a little bit alarming to see that. I thought the list would be a little bit more diverse.”

Illinois’ recreational marijuana law laid out social equity rules, which awarded extra points on the scored applications to companies that were majority owned by a person who has a marijuana-related arrest on their record, lives in an area affected by the war on drugs or meets another qualification. Companies could also employ at least 10 people that meet those qualifications to be considered a social equity applicant.

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Former Governor Urges ‘No’ Vote On Mississippi Medical Marijuana Initiative

A Mississippi voter initiative that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes is receiving the wrath of Phil Bryant, the state’s former Republican governor who left the statehouse in January after being forced out by term limits. In a self-published op-ed replete with passages in all-caps and paragraphs that rarely exceed two sentences, Bryant urged voters not to approve Initiative 65, which would legalize and create a regulatory system for medical marijuana.

In the op-ed, which was reportedly released on Tuesday but dated November 3, Bryant said that medicinal uses for cannabis do not exist.

“They call it ‘medical marijuana’ and appeal to people’s natural concern for the sick,” he wrote. “Who could be against helping the sick? Well, no one, of course. That’s why it is all BIG MARIJUANA ever talks about, but the U.S. Surgeon General has stated there is no such thing as ‘medical marijuana’ and emphasizes that it’s a ‘dangerous drug.’”

Bryant suggested that the initiative’s prime objective was profit rather than treating people with serious medical conditions.

“If you liked BIG TOBACCO, you are going to love BIG MARIJUANA. It’s the same scheme—just decades later,” Bryant proclaimed. “Sell a product that causes permanent damage to people while claiming it has no ill effects and make as much money as you can for as long as you can. They say it’s about compassion, but follow the money.”

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Investigation Finds No Bias In Maryland’s Cannabis License Award Process

An investigation into the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission found “no evidence of bias or undue influence in the 2019 license application review process” and that former Del. Cheryl Glenn did not influence the process, despite her pleading guilty in January to accepting more than $33,000 in bribes.

A report released Thursday and written by the Zuckerman Spaeder LLP law firm said several allegations of bias leveled against the commission, including a claim that its former executive director was related to an applicant, were unfounded.

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There’s No Link Between Legal Marijuana And Car-Related Pedestrian Deaths

Researchers analyzed data spanning two decades and detected no uptick in pedestrian deaths following new marijuana laws.

When states legalize marijuana for adult-use or medicinal purposes, new research states it is not connected with increases in pedestrian fatality rates. Investigators at the University of Minnesota found that legalization was actually associated with declines in overall motor vehicle-related deaths.

The study, published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, analyzed traffic-related and fatal motor vehicle crashes in three legalized states—Oregon, Washington, and Colorado—as well as five control states, or where cannabis remained illegal. Records spanned between 1991 to 2018 and used crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

“While attention has been given to how legalization of recreational cannabis affects traffic crash rates, there has been limited research on how cannabis affects pedestrians involved in traffic crashes,” researchers wrote. “This study examined the association between cannabis legalization (medical, recreational use, and recreational sales) and fatal motor vehicle crash rates (both pedestrian-involved and total fatal crashes).”

Photo by JasonDoiy/Getty Images

is new marijuana breathalyzer technology on the way

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Are fish the key to faster medical cannabis tests?

Fish aren’t just useful for growing cannabis, but can also speed up the process of sorting medical cannabis strains, according to Israeli researchers.

As reported by ISRAEL21c, companies using a zebrafish model can identify strains and organize them based on therapeutic potential much faster than relying on mice or human models.

Zebrafish have reportedly already been used to determine which strains may help combat sleep problems, seizures, Parkinson’s disease and pain, with additional indications being studied for autism and anxiety.

The zebrafish cannabis testing model was developed by Camanex, the applied science arm for cannabis of MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, and Canonic, a subsidiary of computational biotech company Evogene.

The companies also worked together to cultivate the cannabis varieties before moving into the laboratory.

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NEWS(Meaningless?) Federal Vote On Marijuana Legalization Is On The Horizon

ARTICLE BY: HILARY BRICKEN

I’ve been practicing corporate, transactional, and regulatory law in the marijuana industry for going on 10 years now. I’ve never understood exactly why folks get excited about, or even remotely interested, when various lifetime politicians in Congress push bills on the federal legalization/rescheduling of marijuana. Why? Because these bills notoriously go nowhere (for a number of what seem to be purely political reasons) and will continue to go nowhere, in my opinion, where marijuana (while extremely popular with most Americans and obviously with certain entire states) is still too politically hot to trust out-of-touch members of Congress to do anything meaningful about it, and especially now given that the nation’s priorities seem to revolve around dealing with COVID-19 (and rightly so).

The House’s planned floor vote in early September around the most recent federal marijuana legalization measure (the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“MORE Act” (see the House version here, which was introduced last year)) is no different. While I’m glad to see members of Congress continue to try to chip away at the continued (failed) War on Drugs regarding cannabis, I’m honestly tired of seeing the fanfare attendant with these legalization bills. At the same time, my interest in these things is usually peaked when looking at what members of Congress are willing to push when it comes to nationwide legalization.

Yes, this upcoming vote is still significant and historic because neither chamber of Congress has ever voted on completely removing marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act (and the MORE Act is a bipartisan bill, too), but we all know where this is going–the Democratic-controlled House will likely pass the bill and the GOP-controlled Senate will very likely ignore it or shut it down. I also can’t ignore the fact that the bill’s Senate sponsor is Senator (and democratic vice president nominee) Kamala Harris who admittedly has a terrible record on prosecuting marijuana crimes from when she was the Attorney General of the State of California and is now in the past two and a half years miraculously behind supporting marijuana legalization culminating in a presidential election year. Pretty convenient.

What exactly would the MORE Act do? It completely removes marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing/descheduling it altogether and eliminating criminal penalties for everyone in the commercial chain of production, distribution, and sales (which would also mean that the banking access woes and draconian impact of IRC 280E would be over). Right now, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance and illegal under federal law, making its home on schedule I next to LSD and heroin. The Act would also expunge marijuana criminal records dating back to May 1, 1971 because it’s retroactive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is also charged under the Act with collecting and compiling a variety of data on marijuana businesses and their owners. The Act creates the Opportunity Trust Fund with various earmarks to the Attorney General and the Small Business Administration (SBA) (with the SBA allocations meant to support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019). A federal tax would also be imposed on marijuana products “manufactured in or imported into the United States . . . equal to 5 percent of the price for which sold.” Importantly, while the Act empowers the Feds to engage in rulemaking for a federal regulatory framework, states would still be in control of licensing, oversight, and enforcement within their borders (very similar to alcohol).

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What do we know about cannabis and autism?

For autistic people and their families, the therapeutic potential of cannabis is promising, but the research remains limited.

Spectrum, a publication dedicated to autism research, has published a guide detailing what is currently known about cannabis and autism.

Fourteen U.S. states have approved medical cannabis as a treatment option for autism and GW Pharmaceuticals, the company behind Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is currently conducting trials to measures its effectiveness in treating Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

According to Spectrum, the company is also recruiting autistic children for a phase 2 trial of cannabidivarin, another component of cannabis.

The success of Epidiolex has led many to wonder if the drug could be similarly successful in treating seizures and other autism-related traits. The quick answer? It’s still too early to know.

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Missouri Medical Cannabis Faces Delays Due to Testing

Missouri medical cannabis is being delayed yet again and is still not available for purchase, still because of a lack of testing sites for cannabis as well as delays caused by COVID-19. 

Many cannabis patients in Missouri who have been eagerly awaiting legalization are frustrated at the lack of progress in the state. A few dispensaries are open, and a few growers are geared up and ready to go, but there are still no resting facilities at all, so none of the cannabis can be legally sold. 

“Everyone thought this would be progressed along a little bit faster. We’ve got a little over 60,000 patients that are waiting for guys like me to get up and growing,” John Mueller, CEO of Missouri dispensary Greenlight, said.

The Status of MMJ in MO

Part of the setback has been COVID-19, as shutdowns, cutbacks, and timeline changes have not helped to get testing facilities up and running, but the fact remains that the state is running out of time to get things going for 2021. 

“It slowed the industry down. Your planning and zoning, your city council, everyone across the state kind of took a pause,” Mueller said.

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Social and Racial Equity in the Cannabis Influencer Industry

Both business and culture surrounding legal cannabis have certainly seen a lot of attention over the last few years.

With cannabis rapidly becoming legalized in more U.S. states, we are seeing that culture reach a much broader audience.

But, is that culture representative of Black and racially diverse industry professionals?

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What Is THCA In Cannabis And What Can It Do For You?

THCA is the acid form of THC that’s found in the raw cannabis plant. What does all this mean though, and how can THCA have a positive impact on one’s life?

The cannabis plant contains over 400 chemical entities and more than 60 of them are cannabinoid compounds. One of these cannabinoid compounds is THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), which contains its own variety of medicinal properties and therapeutic effects.

THCA is a unique compound because it’s not only non-psychoactive and medically beneficial, but it’s the acid form of THC that’s found in the raw cannabis plant. What does all this mean though, and how can THCA have a positive impact on one’s life?

About THCA & Its Link To THC

As mentioned, THCA is the acid form of THC that’s found in the raw cannabis plant. In general, cannabis produces all cannabinoids in acid form. One of the most abundant of all cannabinoid acids is THCA, which is a precursor to THC. On its own, cannabinoid acids don’t make users high. Instead, these acids deliver a variety of health benefits minus changes in consciousness.

When one consumes THC, a decarboxylation process normally takes place first. Decarboxylation is the term that’s used to describe the heating of a compound via smoking or vaping. To convert THCA into THC, raw cannabis first needs to be dried, aged, and heated via smoking or vaping. Overall, THC is a breakdown of THCA, and it doesn’t deliver psychoactive effects until it’s heated through decarboxylation.

What Is THCA In Cannabis And What Can It Do For You

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More Seniors Turning to Cannabis and Backing Its Legalization

Seniors’ use of cannabis and their support for its legalization is on the upswing.

According to nationwide polling data compiled by the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of “Boomers” (those born in the United States between the years 1946 and 1964) now say that marijuana ought to be legal for adults. That percentage is up significantly from a decade ago, when fewer than one-in-three seniors endorsed its legalization.

Some of this change in attitude is arguably the result of more seniors having firsthand experience with cannabis. According to data published this month in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, “From 2016 to 2018, cannabis use increased for men in all age groups and in most women. … Among those aged 65 to 69 years, cannabis use increased from 4.3 percent to 8.2 percent in men and from 2.1 percent to 3.8 percent in women.”

Why are increasing numbers of seniors turning to — or in some cases, returning to — cannabis? For starters, in many jurisdictions, marijuana’s legal status has changed. Medical cannabis is now legally available in 33 states and throughout Canada — providing many older adults for the first time with safe, above-ground, uninterrupted access to an array of marijuana products. This access is pivotal to older consumers, as the majority of seniors prefer non-herbal, non-smoked cannabis preparations, such as marijuana-infused capsules or edibles — preparations that are rarely available in the illicit marketplace.

Furthermore, seniors are becoming more familiar with and accepting of cannabis’ therapeutic properties. Not only are increasing numbers of seniors becoming aware that cannabis can mitigate many of the health-related symptoms that come with older age, such as chronic pain, but they also understand that it can do so with fewer side-effects than many prescription drugs, like opioids.

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More Seniors Turning to Cannabis and Backing Its Legalization

Seniors’ use of cannabis and their support for its legalization is on the upswing.

According to nationwide polling data compiled by the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of “Boomers” (those born in the United States between the years 1946 and 1964) now say that marijuana ought to be legal for adults. That percentage is up significantly from a decade ago, when fewer than one-in-three seniors endorsed its legalization.

Some of this change in attitude is arguably the result of more seniors having firsthand experience with cannabis. According to data published this month in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, “From 2016 to 2018, cannabis use increased for men in all age groups and in most women. … Among those aged 65 to 69 years, cannabis use increased from 4.3 percent to 8.2 percent in men and from 2.1 percent to 3.8 percent in women.”

Why are increasing numbers of seniors turning to — or in some cases, returning to — cannabis? For starters, in many jurisdictions, marijuana’s legal status has changed. Medical cannabis is now legally available in 33 states and throughout Canada — providing many older adults for the first time with safe, above-ground, uninterrupted access to an array of marijuana products. This access is pivotal to older consumers, as the majority of seniors prefer non-herbal, non-smoked cannabis preparations, such as marijuana-infused capsules or edibles — preparations that are rarely available in the illicit marketplace.

Furthermore, seniors are becoming more familiar with and accepting of cannabis’ therapeutic properties. Not only are increasing numbers of seniors becoming aware that cannabis can mitigate many of the health-related symptoms that come with older age, such as chronic pain, but they also understand that it can do so with fewer side-effects than many prescription drugs, like opioids.

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