WeedLife News Network

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

Washington May Redefine What It Means To Own A Marijuana Business

On May 20, 2020, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) held a virtual listen and learn forum on 

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A Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Using Cannabis to Cope With Chemotherapy

When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, I decided to get my California medical cannabis card and used medicinal cannabis products for effective symptom management. This helped me avoid taking other pharmaceuticals that could have caused further complications during treatment. There are so many things I wish I would have known then that I know now, but my expertise today helps other patients make empowered choices about their cannabis use.

My first experience in a dispensary left me feeling as though I was doing something wrong and had me fearful of asking questions. When I did ask questions, I received vague answers. In turn, I made mistakes in my self-medication and, though not fatal, at times it was uncomfortable and inconvenient.

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Drug Trial Planned For Synthetic Cannabinoid COVID-19 Treatment

By using this powerful anti-inflammatory, a Philadelphia cannabis company believes it can mitigate the immune response triggered by COVID-19.

A Philadelphia cannabis firm has joined the race to create a COVID-19 cure using cannabinoids. FSD Pharma announced last week that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the company’s application proposal to conduct clinical trials around the medicine. The treatment will use a drug called ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamid (or micro PEA) that includes synthetic molecules that mimic cannabinoids.

Micro PEA is a unique drug. It’s believed to act as an anti-inflammatory and promoted between 1969 and 1979 in former Czechoslovakia as treatment for influenza and the common cold. Clinical trials conducted at the time showed PEA was an effective prophylactic in respiratory infection, with no registered side effects. According to scientists behind the research, it could act as a quick therapeutic answer should a flu epidemic occur.

Today, the drug is promoted as a prescription nutraceutical in Italy and used to treat chronic inflammation. Pharmaceutical firm Epitech Group owned the rights to the drug and sold it under the names Normast and Pelvilen. Earlier this year, FSD, which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, purchased the worldwide rights from Epitech for $17.5 million and re-branded it as FSD-201.

“We contacted the FDA in late-March 2020 after becoming aware that several Italian physicians and scientists were advocating for use of ultramicronized PEA for patients suffering from symptoms of COVID-19, based on the drug’s mechanism of action as a potent and safe anti-inflammatory agent that reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” Philadelphia-based physician and FSD CEO Raza Bokhari said in a statement.

The Latest On FDA Clinical Trials During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Elon Musk Speaks Out Against Cannabis Convictions

It all started with a bizarre, teasing tweet on June 6th, when billionaire Elon Musk told his 35 million Twitter followers: "This will probably get me into trouble, but I feel I have to say it."

Musk has been the target of much controversy in recent months, claiming his company Tesla's stock price were too high, calling shelter-in-place orders "fascist," and calling the panic over the pandemic "dumb." All of these proclamations have come via his Twitter feed, so when Musk again turned to the platform to warn that he might be stepping in it again, the Twitterverse wondered what he would say this time. 

Speculation was rampant. Will he announce the invention of wireless seatbelts? Are Tesla stockholders about to have another nervous breakdown? Will he be saying something about the Black Lives Matter movement?

No to all of the above. Turns out his big revelation the next day was perhaps the most sensical thing Musk has said in the last few months. 

Musk became another critic of the antiquated and unjust penal system that incarcerates innocent people for non-violent cannabis crimes. Far from getting him in trouble, his tweet evoked a plethora of praise. 

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Arkansas Allows E-Signatures For Cannabis Legalization Campaign

A group pushing to place a recreational marijuana amendment on the November ballot is breathing a sigh of relief following an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling allowing them to collect signatures electronically.

“People can go to our website, they can download the special signature page and then they can sign the petition and then they can mail it to us,” said Arkansans for Cannabis Reform Executive Director, Melissa Fults.

Fults said when the pandemic hit it put a dent on their efforts to gather signatures.

“We had just gotten money to hire paid canvassers like two weeks before all of this hit,” she said.

Part of their initiative would allow Arkansans over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana. It would also increase the number of dispensaries to 30 per congressional district, with at least one in each county. Dispensaries would be able to grow a minimum of 200 mature plants and 200 seedlings, versus the current 50 plant limit.

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June Gloom Can’t Keep Marijuana Stocks Down

Marijuana stocks have without a doubt had a tough time in the past six months. With the coronavirus fighting off positive market sentiment, it seems as though in the past few weeks, pot stocks have begun to fight back. During that time, we have seen a continual increase in leading marijuana stock prices. It seems as though cannabis stocks are working to keep up with market demand as the desire to purchase cannabis continues to increase. Although the cannabis industry does still have a long way to go, it seems as though cannabis stocks are here for the long term.

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What happens to weed that gets seized by the cops?

Cannabis seizures are unlikely to inspire too many positive thoughts in the minds of weed enthusiasts, but Thailand’s decision to use almost 22 tonnes of confiscated weed to help advance related medical research isn’t likely to be met with protests among too many stoners.

The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) in Thailand is divvying up a massive haul of cannabis to the benefit of 11 medical institutes and research facilities registered to use marijuana for research purposes, according to the Bankok Post.

Big winners in the cannabis lottery were the College of Pharmacy at Rangsit University, which was gifted 500 kilograms, and the Department of Medical Science, which received about 100 kilograms.

Although no cannabis was gifted in this U.K. case last year, the discovery of an illicit grow-op and seizure of drug-making equipment benefited animals at the Blackpool Zoo near Lancashire. After law enforcement confiscated almost £20,000 in drug-related equipment such as lamps, thermometers and heaters from a cannabis farm, they donated it to the zoo to help keep the animals nice and cozy.

But not all cannabis gets a second life. In Canada, the Cannabis Act allows for seizing any cannabis, things that contain or conceal cannabis and any offence-related property that a peace officer believes on reasonable grounds contravenes the act. Once seized by law enforcement, illicit drugs must be destroyed.


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California Removes Public Information for Cannabis Businesses

In light of the recent protests over the murders of George Floyd, Breyonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, two out of the three different regulatory agencies in California temporarily removed their online databases so that dispensaries will be less easy to find for looters during protests. 

A Call To Action

According to a letter addressed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), along with the Department of Food and Agriculture, made the decision to remove these listings. The letter made it a point to highlight that the cannabis industry stands for overcoming social injustices, but still cannot stand for looting and vandalism. 

“While we are unified as an industry, a state, and a nation in overcoming social injustices through peaceful civil unrest, CCIA has learned that dozens of cannabis businesses across the state have been subjected to vandalism, looting and even violence over the past few days, the letter reads. “Some of the attacks appear to be well-coordinated break-ins taking advantage of the civil protests and unrest that are occurring in many cities across the country.

“…We respectfully request that the BCC make every effort to safeguard licensees from additional exposure to individuals targeting cannabis businesses,” it continues. “Such efforts include the prompt removal of the physical addresses of these licensees from the website.” 

Currently, the Department of Public Health database only includes limited information, excluding addresses for the state’s dispensaries and related businesses. This means anyone involved in retail, distribution, testing, delivery, and anyone else involved in the cannabis industry, will have their addresses temporarily blocked.

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Mike Tyson to Open Tyson’s Ranch Under Antigua’s New Cannabis Regulation

Mike Tyson is known as an eccentric guy. From youngest heavyweight boxing champion, to the guy who bit another guy’s ear off, to pro-wrestler, to author… Tyson has most recently styled himself as a businessman and an entrepreneur in the field of cannabis tourism. With the help of new regulation legalizing cannabis use in Antigua, Tyson is looking to set up his next Ranch in the Caribbean.

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COVID-19 Highlights Critical Flaws in Cannabis Supply Chain

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed critical vulnerabilities in national governments and business operations around the world.

The virus is significantly disrupting supply chains and consumer habits on a global level that will reverberate across every industry in the coming months.

The aftershocks of the crisis could last for years.

While the legal cannabis industry is theoretically recession-resistant in the same way alcohol and pharmaceutical sales have been impervious to historical downturns, cultivators must take necessary measures to safeguard their long-term financial safety.

An Artificial Boost in Consumer Spending

The recent surge in consumer spending has resulted in an artificial sales boost, and dispensaries cannot expect this influx of profits to last.

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COVID-19 Highlights Critical Flaws in Cannabis Supply Chain

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed critical vulnerabilities in national governments and business operations around the world.

The virus is significantly disrupting supply chains and consumer habits on a global level that will reverberate across every industry in the coming months.

The aftershocks of the crisis could last for years.

While the legal cannabis industry is theoretically recession-resistant in the same way alcohol and pharmaceutical sales have been impervious to historical downturns, cultivators must take necessary measures to safeguard their long-term financial safety.

An Artificial Boost in Consumer Spending

The recent surge in consumer spending has resulted in an artificial sales boost, and dispensaries cannot expect this influx of profits to last.

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A 500-day journey prescribing medicinal cannabis in Australia

Donielle Paul BSN, RN follows Dr Ben Jansen along his 500-day journey prescribing medicinal cannabis in Australia.

Dr Ben Jansen’s mission is solid: ‘to do the right thing’. Although this is his third consecutive conference weekend away in a row, he knows that this Monday morning, with his appointment book full of hopeful patients curious to try medicinal cannabis, he’ll have the opportunity to help change a few more lives for the better. Mission almost complete…well, for this morning.

Travelling around the country breaking stigmas and providing education on medicinal cannabis to the medical sector is just a small part of Jansen’s overall mission.

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Why California’s Legal Cannabis Sales Could Fall This Year

On June 3, The Los Angeles Times reported that the budget proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom projected a decline in California’s cannabis sales. COVID-19 induced a recession in the US economy, which could drag cannabis sales down. At the beginning of this year, Newsom expected the excise tax on cannabis to bring in $479 million this year. For the fiscal year starting on July 1, he expects an excise tax of $590 million. Meanwhile, Newsom cut his forecasts to $443 million for this year due to lower cannabis sales. For the next year, he expects the excise tax to fall to $435 million.

The budget proposal added that marijuana isn’t recession-resistant like other defensive stocks including alcohol and tobacco. The proposal said that the lack of access to banking services for marijuana companies, the higher impact of job losses on the younger population, and thriving black market sales could drag cannabis sales down.

Since marijuana is prohibited by the federal government, businesses can’t get any federal or banking-dependent assistance. However, The Los Angeles Times added that Newsom’s administration provided some operating relaxations and deferred license renewal fees for cannabis licensees. The administration extended the deadline for cannabis companies to file their tax returns for the first quarter.

California announced a 60-day deferral for licenses expiring in May and June. The state relaxed its previous rule that retailers should only operate through secured buildings. Now, retailers can provide curbside pickup services. The state also waived some of the requirements, which include a mandatory customer signature at the time of delivery, accepting expired driving licenses, and allowing retailers to sell non-cannabis products, such as sanitizers.

Cannabis sector’s performance in 2020

The cannabis sector has underperformed the broader equity markets. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ) has fallen by 18.2% YTD. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index has declined by 3.7% during the same period. The lower-than-expected Cannabis 2.0 demand, increasing operating losses, pricing pressure, and robust black market sales have all been a drag on the marijuana sector. However, marijuana sales showed some strong growth before the lockdown. Consumers stockpiled products in anticipation of store closures and a marijuana shortage. However, Newsom’s proposal, which expects marijuana sales to fall, could impact the sector.

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Let's talk about celebrities and their weed brands. How do they get around Health Canada's marketing rules?

When Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka made its Canadian debut more than a decade ago, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario banned it. It wasn’t because Akroyd was promoting the “clean” and “premium” nature of the product, or using his celebrity status to sell booze. No issues there. It was the skull-shaped bottle that had them worried. 

“The image of the human skull is the thing that’s really problematic for us,” LCBO spokesman Chris Layton told the Globe and Mail in 2010. “That’s an image that’s commonly associated with death.”

The LCBO eventually overturned its decision and the vodka, made in Newfoundland, has become so popular that it is now available globally. 

It’s hard to imagine a similar situation unfolding in the world of cannabis, where, by law, product branding and promotions are flattened and standardized. 

According to the Cannabis Act, branding elements cannot evoke a sense of “glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.” Nor can cannabis products and brands depict a person, character, or animal — real or fictional. Social media is a no go — tech giants like Facebook and Google have an outright ban on cannabis promotion — and things like sponsorship or celebrity endorsements are illegal. In other words, the mainstream marketing opportunities afforded to most everything else, other than cigarettes, are not available in the world of cannabis. 

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Rollout Of New Mexico Consumption Lounges May Be Affected By COVID-19

Onsite consumption areas at New Mexico medical marijuana retailers authorized by a law scheduled to go into effect next month could be delayed by ongoing restrictions put in place to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the state’s top cannabis regulator.

Under a bill passed by the New Mexico legislature last year, licensed medical marijuana providers will be able to apply for a license to add an area for onsite cannabis consumption to their dispensaries. The new regulation is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, pending approval from Kathy Kunkel, the secretary of the state health department, who has yet to sign off on the plan.

Dominick Zurlo, the director of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, told local media that the continuing business restrictions enacted in light of the coronavirus pandemic may affect the rollout of cannabis consumption areas. And when the lounges are permitted to open, they will be required to comply with executive orders and safety procedures issued because of the pandemic.

“What I think is very safe to say is that, just like any other business or essential service, they will have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines that are set out in the public health orders and executive orders,” Zurlo said, adding that whether the number of new coronavirus cases is going up or down is likely to affect how cannabis consumption areas are permitted to operate.

“If COVID-19 continues the way we are right now, then that’s going to make things a little easier,” he said. “But if we start seeing increases in transmission rates then once again, there may be changes.”

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Study: Marijuana Users NOT at Greater Risk of Occupational Injuries

A new study titled Systemic review of cannabis use and risk of occupational injury has found that adults who consume marijuana are no more likely to suffer injuries at work than are those employees who abstain from the substance. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia, was published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse.

For the study researchers conducted a systematic review of scientific papers assessing any potential links between marijuana consumption and occupational accidents. They found that few studies “employed research designs that ensured that cannabis use preceded the occupational injury outcome.” Others failed to adequately assess or control for confounding variables, such as the concurrent use of alcohol or other psychoactive substances, as noted by NORML who first reported on the study.

Due to these limitations, authors concluded, “[T]he current body of evidence does not provide sufficient evidence to support the position that cannabis users are at increased risk of occupational injury.”

Their finding is consistent with that of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine which conducted its own literature review in 2017 and concluded, “There is no or insufficient evidence to support … a statistical association between cannabis use and … occupational accidents or injuries.”

“In recent months, lawmakers in several municipalities – including New York City, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, DC – have enacted legislation limiting the use of marijuana-specific pre-employment drug screening”, states NORML. “Both Maine and Nevada have enacted state-specific legislation barring certain employers from refusing to hire a worker solely because he or she tested positive for cannabis on a pre-employment drug screen.”

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Massachusetts Parents Told To Leave Kids At Home For Curbside Cannabis Pickups

Massachusetts parents in the market for legal recreational cannabis will have to leave their kids at home while making curbside pickups at dispensaries under guidelines clarified by state regulators on Thursday. The decision to ban individuals younger than 21 from cars making cannabis pickups comes despite the lack of a similar restriction for curbside alcohol sales at liquor stores and breweries in the state.

Cannabis dispensaries were barred from making sales of recreational marijuana for two months under an executive order issued in March by Gov. Charlie Baker that directed nonessential businesses to close to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Sales of recreational marijuana resumed last week with restrictions in place that require social distancing protocols and curbside pickup for most transactions.

But at a meeting of the state Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday, commissioners clarified that children and adults under 21 were not allowed to be in cars making curbside pickups at dispensaries. Commissioner Britte McBride said that state law forbids people younger than 21 from being on the premises of cannabis retailers and argued that vehicles used for pickup transactions are included in the restriction.

“It states really explicitly in the statute what our obligation is,” she said. “For me that’s the beginning and the end.”

Commissioner Jen Flanagan also opposed allowing children in vehicles making pickups at cannabis dispensaries and said that marijuana isn’t an essential supply.

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Illegal status of cannabis 'a barrier to people getting support'

Research Professor Richie Poulton is the director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has gathered information over the past 45 years about the lives of 1037 people born in 1972 and 1973.

Based on data from the Dunedin Study and the similar Christchurch Study, Mr Poulton has co-written a report called Patterns of recreational cannabis use in Aotearoa-New Zealand and their consequences: evidence to inform voters in the 2020 referendum.

In September, New Zealanders will vote on whether to endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which would make cannabis possession legal for people aged 20 and older within their own homes and on licensed premises.

Mr Poulton told RNZ's Saturday Mornings that 80 per cent of people in both the Dunedin Study and the similar Christchurch Study had tried cannabis at least once by the time they reached the age of 30.

"It's entirely normative to have used cannabis, despite it being illegal throughout that time," he said.

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Arrests don't stop people smoking cannabis - researcher

The risks of developing psychosis after cannabis use are significant for teenagers, but it was legalised, it would make it easier to teach high school students about the risks, says the director of New Zealand's longest running study.

Research Professor Richie Poulton is the director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has gathered information over the past 45 years about the lives of 1037 people born in 1972 and 1973.

Based on data from the Dunedin Study and the similar Christchurch Study, Poulton has co-written a report called Patterns of recreational cannabis use in Aotearoa-New Zealand and their consequences: evidence to inform voters in the 2020 referendum.

In September, New Zealanders will vote on whether to endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which would make cannabis possession legal for people aged 20 and older within their own homes and on licensed premises.

Poulton told RNZ's Saturday Morning that 80 percent of people in both the Dunedin Study and the similar Christchurch Study had tried cannabis at least once by the time they reached the age of 30.

"It's entirely normative to have used cannabis, despite it being illegal throughout that time," he said.

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How Cannabis Can Help With OCD’s Compulsive Behaviors

According to science, cannabis can be an alternative solution to trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder that affects more than 200,000 Americans annually.

Trichotillomania (TMM) is a disorder that involves pulling out of body hair. It isn’t just limited to scalp hair either — eyebrows, eyelashes and even arm hairs are not exempt. The disorder, which affects more than 200,000 Americans each year, is treatable, but let’s be real: traditional medications don’t always work.

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