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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife Social 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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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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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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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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Study Finds Over-the-Counter CBD Products Less Potent Than Advertised

According to a new study published by the Journal of Dietary Supplements, many cannabinoid (CBD)-infused products that are purchased over-the-counter contain far lower percentages of cannabidiol than advertised on the products’ labeling. The study, titled Content versus label claims in cannabidiol (CBD) products obtained from commercial outlets in the state of Mississippi, was first reported on by NORML.

For the study researchers lab-tested 25 commercially available hemp/CBD oil products: All of these products are legally available, but none are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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5 Ways to Calm Yourself with Cannabis

There’s no denying that these are extremely stressful times. Cannabis, because of its ability to help us achieve balance in restoring homeostasis throughout our bodies, can be a great tool to calm any nerves we’re all collectively experiencing right now. That’s because the world’s most favored flower has been shown to blunt anxious reactions by reducing the release of the stress hormone cortisol. 

If you are looking for some ideas on how to mix relaxation and cannabis, try some of these methods and see if they work for you.

PHOTO Dan Armstrong

1. Take a Cannabis-Infused Bath

A cannabis-infused bath can be part of your daily routine if you’ve got the time to soak, or you can keep a stash ready for an especially rough day when you need the tension to just melt off. With these topical methods of use, there won’t be a psychoactive or “head high” feeling.

People over time have ingested cannabis, used cannabis tinctures or smoked it as flower or hash, but only in the last decade has the bathing experience reached these new heights. What a time to be alive!

A cannabis-infused bath can be part of your daily routine if you’ve got the time to soak

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Dark Web Marijuana Sales Soar During Pandemic

The continued global crisis makes it difficult to know how black-market consumer behavior will change in the future.

The coronavirus pandemic caused an uptick in doomsday hoarding behavior, with Americans stocking up on toilet paper, frozen poultry, and hand sanitizer. They also bought a bunch of marijuana.

Previous data showed legal cannabis sales skyrocketed when Americans became serious about the pandemic around mid-March. But now we have a better idea of how COVID-19 affected black market sales.

The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) studied dark web marijuana sales with findings published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, as WIRED first reported. The number of dark web cannabis sales increased more than 30% in the first three months of 2020, which coincided with when the pandemic first impacted Europe. EMCDDA analysts aren’t sure why this jump in sales began as early as it did in Europe.

“It’s possible that buyers were trying to stock up for the weeks to come, or there’s just a larger group of cannabis users discovering online as a convenient distribution channel when social contact is limited and they have limited means to reach out to their usual dealer,” EMCDDA’s principal scientific analyst, Teodora Groshkova, told WIRED.

4 Tips To Help You Avoid Online Shopping Scams

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Are Amazon, Uber, etc. the future for delivering post-pandemic cannabis?

It’s hard to say where we are in the COVID-19 pandemic right now, as infections and deaths continue to rise. But there have been movements in the cannabis industry that are changing the way the industry operates amid the pandemic that may stay post-pandemic.

Being allowed to operate as an “essential” business in the U.S. — which had a few bumps in the road between including both medical with recreational as essential businesses in states such as Colorado (that state quickly changed and added recreational) and Massachusetts — was one positive result that gave the industry some needed respect.

Sales have been strong, and delivery options were expanded as well.

Many U.S. states with legal medical and recreational cannabis have been allowing deliveries since they legalized. But because of COVID-19, dispensaries are now adjusting to curbside or drive-thru window sales to adapt to the new contactless, social distancing way of conducting business.

California licenses more than 150 legal cannabis delivery companies, the most of any state, including Eaze (now scaling back operations), Puffy, CaliExpress and more. The scaling back of Eaze may be just a delivery service experiencing hard times during the pandemic, or it may represent a harbinger of things to come, leaving the door open for more of these adapted dispensary-centered curbside/drive-thru sales.


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This Is Why CBD Doesn't Work For Everyone

CBD won’t solve all your problems.

While many other companies would like to have you believe differently, it’s true. It’s not a panacea. It’s not a miracle product. Millions of people have already begun to regularly use CBD for one reason or another, but the truth is it doesn’t work for everyone.

There are many reasons for this. Some of them have to do with the nature of CBD and the endocannabinoid system; some have to do with the fact that every person is different and has a unique lifestyle and genetic makeup. 

Here are the top five reasons why, while CBD can contribute greatly to your health and well begin, it doesn’t work for everyone.

1. We all have a unique endocannabinoid system that responds differently to CBD.

Similar to a fingerprint, each person has a uniquely configured endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is one of the largest molecular systems in the human body and is made up of millions of cannabinoid receptors scattered throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It supports your body in maintaining a stable equilibrium in response to environmental changes. 


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Monthly Cannabis Sales in Oregon Topped $100 Million for the First Time Ever

Oregon cannabis sales reached another milestone in May, topping $100 million for the first time since recreational use was legalized in 2015.

According to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, total sales for the month were $103 million—a 15 percent jump from April, and a 60 percent increase from this time last year.

It's the third consecutive record-breaking month for weed sales in the state. In March, sales hit $83 million—the highest single-month total to that point. A week-to-week analysis, however, showed a gradual rise as coronavirus spread across Oregon, the most significant spike coming just before the governor declared cannabis dispensaries an essential business, allowing them to stay open. Sales then regressed, suggesting the increase was related to uncertainty over the statewide economic shutdown.

 

"It seemed like there was a bunch of panic buying right up until the Stay Home, Save Lives order," Tyson Hawarth, owner of Oregon's Finest, told WW in April. "And then, as soon as that officially took place, we saw sales take a nosedive. Since then it's been very, very slow."

But sales have continued to climb upward. In April, sales hit $89 million. According to the OLCC, cannabis tax revenues for 2020, even before May, were expected to be $9 million more than earlier projections by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

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Attorney Drafts Bill to Make Myrtle Beach a Decriminalized City for Cannabis

An attorney in Myrtle Beach wants to write a law that would decriminalize cannabis in the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Jonny McCoy is the man who served as attorney for Julian Betton, a man who was shot nine times by police during a drug raid in Myrtle Beach in 2015. Now, McCoy wants the city to decriminalize cannabis so something like this doesn’t happen again. 

“In South Carolina, if you get stopped and you get arrested and you have 28 grams of marijuana on you, you go to jail. My office is right here and we’re filled to the brim with clients who’ve been arrested for simple possession of marijuana,” McCoy said.

McCoy’s proposal would decriminalize cannabis just within city limits. Simple possession wouldn’t carry with it a serious criminal punishment, and this would hopefully decrease incidents like the one that left Betton wounded. Although Betton received $11.25 million in a settlement with the state, he is still permanently disabled from the accident. 

“In my mind, you go to jail, you pay a bond and you get out. If you can pay the bond. But in this instance, you would get a ticket, and get out,” said Gregg Smith of Myrtle Beach City Council, who has seen the proposal. “To me, it’s something worth looking at. I don’t know if it’s the right answer, but it’s something worth looking at.”  

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The Cannabis Beverages of Summer

The summer of 2020, like the rest of the past year, is shaping up to be fraught with tension, unrest, and anxiety, but at least one thing is certain. There will be hot days (in the northern hemisphere, at least) and people will be thirsty, not just for cold, refreshing beverages, but for the opportunity to relax, unwind, and connect in whatever form is available to us in the months to come.

Sometimes soda, iced tea, or a tangy lemonade do the trick when temperatures rise, but sometimes an “adult beverage” is in order to take the edge off of these very edgy days. With favorite local watering holes either closed or restricted by limited seating and social distancing, grocers and liquor stores are stocking up on wine, beer, cocktail mixers, and alcohol-enhanced sodas to enjoy at home. Meanwhile, some companies are hatching more innovative ways to beat the heat. Enter mood33, House of Saka, and Cann Social Tonics.

Mood33 heralds the debut of its new hemp-infused herbal tea line with descriptives like “soulfully delicious” and “mindfully sweetened”, a surefire way to attract all of the hemp-minded Whole Foodies out there. Boasting 33mg of organic, American-grown hemp extract per bottle in blends that include botanicals, tea, and real fruit juice, mood33’s beverages offer more than a way to slake your summer thirst. With names like “Joy”, “Passion”, and a “Wellbeing” blend that includes 133mg of caffeine from guayusa and green tea, these drinks offer an alternative to the intoxicating effects of that IPA or chilled martini, and all at 70 calories or less.

House of Saka takes a different approach, as a Napa-based company focusing on “wine-style” libations for those disinclined to give up the grape. House of Saka is an all-female-run company focused on crafting alcohol-free, cannabis-infused wines for the luxury market. Their first release, the rosé-inspired Saka Pink, is “rosé-inspired”, and at 5mg of THC, 1mg of CBD, and only 16 calories per serving, consumers can feel good about that second glass.

As an herbalist and dedicated Whole Foodie myself, Cann Social Tonics caught my eye with its attention to wholesome ingredients and inventive infusions like Grapefruit Rosemary and Cardamom Blood Orange. Each beverage in the line is sweetened only with 100% organic agave nectar from Mexico and juices that are not from concentrate. With 2mg of THC and 4mg of CBD per can, Cann Social Tonics promises a fizzy summer fix with plenty of feel-good ingredients to ensure that the next morning is as pleasant and brain fog-free as the night before.


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Arrests for having up to 1 pound of weed would be banned in N.J. under new bill

New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a bill that would decrease punishments for marijuana possession from arrests to fines, reviving a years-long effort as the nation grapples with racial bias and brutality in policing.

The new bill, S2535, introduced to the state Senate Thursday afternoon, would decriminalize possession and distribution of less than one pound of weed, but would not make marijuana legal. Violators would receive a written warning for a first offense and a face fines of $25 for second and subsequent offenses.

“We have been over-penalizing marijuana offenses for far too long. We all know it is not nearly as dangerous as heroin or cocaine and it has no place being classified with them in statute,” Sen. Sandra Cunningham, D-Hudson, a bill sponsor, said in a statement.

“This legislation will right the ship, revising the damaging criminal codes put in place under the war on drugs, which were intentionally created to target the black community.”

Currently, possessing from one ounce to five pounds is an offense punishable by three to five years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. Under the new bill, anyone caught with more than one pound of weed would receive a disorderly persons offense, punishable by six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

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