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

Is The NBA Pro-Marijuana Now?

Not only did the head of the NBA’s player union join the board of Cresco Labs, the league suspended testing for marijuana use.

The National Basketball Association will return July 31 under a “bubble” system in Orlando. Only 22 teams will compete in an abbreviated regular season hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the Disney World grounds before playoffs commence. Should players feel stressed about the competition or coronavirus, there is good news — they can consume marijuana without repercussion.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA will not conduct recreational drug tests while players live in the Disney bubble. Tests for performance-enhancing drugs, however, will resume.

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Cleanse Yourself from Weed with a THC Detox

Worried about testing positive for pot? Here’s a collection of home remedies for flushing out THC pronto.

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Weed is a plant packed with promise. For some, it’s a medicine. For others, cannabis is regarded as a sacred herb of immense spiritual importance. Unfortunately, despite its many compelling attributes, marijuana is also a plant that remains ripe for misinformation.

As we continue to do battle against those who would have us drink bleach or consider face masks “unsafe,” it’s also important to remember that bad information isn’t limited solely to the realm of politics. While we’ve come many miles from the scaremongering tactics of “Reefer Madness” and the like, many cannabis consumers will still be faced with the prospect of passing drug tests tied to job opportunities. 

Though efforts like Code for America’s “Clear My Record” initiative have led to the expungement of tens of thousands of past criminal records, the issue of how to square legal cannabis with employers screening for THC remains a work in progress.

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Hemp Went Up Then It Went Down: What’s Next?

When hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) finally hit the stock market – after decades of nationwide prohibition – many investors saw an opportunity. However, in 2019, much of the optimism behind hemp’s stock jump came tumbling down – namely due to an overabundance in products and lack of demand for this quantity.

So, where can we expect the hemp stocks into the future?

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Why NJ Marijuana Advocates Should Be ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Ahead Of Election

The Garden State will be facing a budget shortfall through the end of the next fiscal year as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Can marijuana legalization help?

Registered voters in New Jersey are expected to vote in favor of adult-use marijuana legalization in November — but uncertainty surrounds the pending legislation.

“Cannabis advocates looking forward to creating an adult use regulated and taxed cannabis marketplace have reason to be cautiously optimistic as we approach the consideration of the issue in the form of a public question on the ballot for the voters in November,” says Charles Gormally, co-chair of the Brach Eichler LLC cannabis practice group.

Early polling has shown consistent support for the question. Nevertheless, Gormally said he expects to see a large influx of pro- and anti-pot advocacy on the question in the months leading to the election itself.

“Since the early 1970s, we have created a significant number of stake holders in the failed cannabis prohibition regime that continues to dominate federal and state law enforcement interest groups,” he says. “In addition, advocacy groups touting the false narrative of cannabis as a ‘dangerous gateway drug’ are well financed and powerful forces that oppose cannabis law modernization.”

Following Failure By Legislators, New Jersey Voters Will Decide Marijuana Legalization in 2020

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Why Does California Still Have a Black Market for Cannabis?

California was the first state to pass legislation for medical marijuana, and it was among the first to generate a legal adult-use weed industry. After just two years of operation, the recreational dispensaries have generated over $1 billion in tax revenue, which has gone to fund childcare and anti-drug programs for the state’s youth, environmental initiatives like park maintenance and wildland restoration and public safety grants for local police and fire departments. It is amazing to see so many good things come from the simple act of legalizing marijuana.

Unfortunately, California’s tax revenues could be much higher and the benefits of legal weed greater — if only it could get a handle on its thriving cannabis black market. Currently, California’s black market for weed is more profitable than its legal one. Read on to learn more about why people are opting for illegal purchases over legal ones and what the state can do to change it.

Taxes Are Prohibitively High

Almost across the board, states with legal adult-use cannabis tax the stuff at an alarming rate. The high taxes on recreational weed serve a few purposes. First, high taxes tend to financially limit how much product a single user can accrue, which seems like an effective way to keep marijuana use in check. More importantly, however, tax revenue is one of the most compelling reasons to legalize marijuana, and it is one that pro-weed advocates tend to harp on. Thus, when cannabis does gain adult-use regulations within a state, lawmakers aren’t afraid to jack the taxes up sky-high.

California piles layer after layer of taxes upon recreational marijuana:

·       State taxation. At the state level, California charges cultivators $9.25 per ounce of flower, $2.75 per ounce of leaves and $1.29 of fresh plant material.


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Why Does California Still Have a Black Market for Cannabis?

California was the first state to pass legislation for medical marijuana, and it was among the first to generate a legal adult-use weed industry. After just two years of operation, the recreational dispensaries have generated over $1 billion in tax revenue, which has gone to fund childcare and anti-drug programs for the state’s youth, environmental initiatives like park maintenance and wildland restoration and public safety grants for local police and fire departments. It is amazing to see so many good things come from the simple act of legalizing marijuana.

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Ontarians spent $20M on Cannabis 2.0 items in first three months of sales: OCS

Ontarians shelled out almost $20 million in the first three months that edibles and other products in Canada's second wave of legalization were available for sale — and experts believe that number will only grow.

Cannabis vapes, topicals, concentrates and edibles such as gummies and chocolates hit store shelves in January with beverages following in March, but roughly $19.3 million worth of those products were sold in Ontario in the 12 months ending at March 2020.

The province's distributor, the Ontario Cannabis Store, said vapes were the most popular products in the second wave of legalization, known as Cannabis 2.0. About $14.8 million worth of vapes were sold in the first three months they were available.

Sales of edibles totalled $3.8 million, beverages reached $410,000, topicals hit $40,000 and concentrates amounted to $300,000 in the same period.

The data was revealed in a new report the OCS published this week to offer a glimpse at the country's first full year of legal cannabis operations, which saw 35 tonnes or $385 million worth of cannabis sold during that time.

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Ontarians spent $20M on Cannabis 2.0 items in first three months of sales: OCS

Ontarians shelled out almost $20 million in the first three months that edibles and other products in Canada's second wave of legalization were available for sale — and experts believe that number will only grow.

Cannabis vapes, topicals, concentrates and edibles such as gummies and chocolates hit store shelves in January with beverages following in March, but roughly $19.3 million worth of those products were sold in Ontario in the 12 months ending at March 2020.

The province's distributor, the Ontario Cannabis Store, said vapes were the most popular products in the second wave of legalization, known as Cannabis 2.0. About $14.8 million worth of vapes were sold in the first three months they were available.

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Data Shows Roadside Searches Decrease After Marijuana Legalization

Traffic searches, a longtime tool in the War on Drugs, dropped dramatically following marijuana legalization, new data reveals.

Two weeks have passed since George Floyd was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic injustice. National organizations and lawmakers have admitted that rolling back Drug War policies is an important step to fixing inequalities that exist in criminal justice.

Sen. Cory Booker noted racial imbalances in marijuana enforcement as just one explanation for the protests. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, described cannabis legalization as a “civil rights” issue.

That’s because, as data shows, legalizing marijuana changes the behavior of police departments. Colorado and Washington voters approved recreational cannabis in 2012 and a 2017 analysis by the Stanford Open Policing Project examined how this affected the focus of state police. Data shows that roadside searches dropped by nearly half post-legalization, with the most dramatic decrease occurring among Black and Hispanic drivers. In addition, Burlington police in Vermont released data last year that showed traffic searches dropped by 70% after the state legalized marijuana.

According to Stanford researchers, the threshold to pull over minority drivers is lower than it is for white drivers. Though traffic stops eventually dropped by more than 50% in both Colorado and Washington following legalization, that disparity between white and minority drivers remained.

Can Police Search Cars For Marijuana Based On Odor Alone?

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This doctor’s insight on treating the pandemic with cannabis

One medical research team in Israel believes they have a small piece to the coronavirus puzzle. In an exclusive interview with The Fresh Toast, Dr. Igal Louria-Hayon, head of the Medical Cannabis Research and Innovation Center at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, says the healing properties in cannabis may be able to help the body fight against COVID-19.

Announced in May, Dr. Louria-Hayon and his team of researchers announced they would begin a clinical trial in studying how cannabis aids in inflammation within the body and if that could decrease the effects of COVID-19. One of the main causes of death with the disease is “cytokines” — proteins that signal cells to turn on to fight — that are released, causing the body to react in uncontrollable ways against the virus. As a part of the body’s endocrine signal process, once cytokines are turned on past their maximum, the proteins become difficult to control and can cause a shockwave of effects, leading to death.

In some studies, cannabis was proven to help regulate inflammation and cytokines, offering better signalling to the body. The goal of the upcoming study is to “examine the receptors to which these substances bond, the cellular messages that are communicated and the extent to which cannabinoids reduce the inflammatory response.”

Especially important to note, Dr. Shlomit Yehudai-Reshef, director of the Rambam Medical Research Institute, shared that her team was able to identify a key method to understanding the virus and the human body’s subsequent reaction: white blood cells. “Despite the complexity and high risk, we found a safe way to separate the white blood cells, including the immune cells from verified patients,” explained Dr. Yehudai-Reshef, clarifying that when the cells were separated, they were easier to study and manipulate.

FILE: University of Lethbridge researcher Igor Kovalchuk is leading a study on medical cannabis as a potential therapy for COVID-19. / Photo: Supplied. Summited photo


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California Gov. Gavin Newsom: Marijuana Legalization Is A ‘Civil Rights’ Issue

Though California legalized marijuana to roll back unjust Drug War policies, cannabis taxes help fund police operations.

California Governor Gavin Newsom discussed during a press conference last week how the state plans to fix issues of systemic injustice and racism following widespread protests of police brutality. Newsom referenced California’s efforts to roll back the consequences and policies of the War on Drugs, including mandatory-minimum sentencing and the disparity between prosecuting crack vs. cocaine drug possession.

A major act of criminal justice reform, Newsom highlighted, was California legalizing recreational marijuana in recent years. The governor went so far as to describe legalization as a “civil rights” issue.

“That’s why the state was one of the early adopters of a new approach as it relates to cannabis reform—legalization around adult-use of marijuana,” Newsom said. “It was a civil rights call from our perspective.”

“I was proud to be out in front in those efforts,” he continued. “It was about addressing the disparities. It was about addressing incarceration. It was about addressing the ills of this war on drugs.”

Your Ultimate Guide To West Coast Cannabis Tourism

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4 Reasons Cannabis Companies Are Moving to an Enterprise Solution

To say 2020 could be a defining year for vertically integrated cannabis companies is an understatement.

It will be. And those driving execution in this complex, regulated industry with an enterprise-level solution will prove to be the leaders. 

This year, the cannabis industry has been thrust into yet another transitional period. Legalization legislation is potentially off the table for the foreseeable future, and many are dealing with a shrinking economy for the first time. 

The industry has tackled license loading, product innovation, and market share grabbing in the past — now it’s time to execute on the business plans in place. Companies are rebranding and pulling out of markets in which they have previously invested. They’re beginning to look at ways to operate more strategically. For most executives, evaluating these systems and processes is fundamental to understanding what is next and how to get there. 

Amidst shifting industry trends, many vertically integrated cannabis companies are operating under the “hairball effect.” For those not familiar, the “hairball effect” is what happens when companies build a compilation of point solutions and custom-built solutions . This stems from the need to quickly adapt during the license loading phase and to deal with customer demand. This approach, though, can create disparate and inaccurate data, create manual work, increase headcount and open organizations to risk. 

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Two Marijuana Stocks That Are Showing Consistent Gains

The months of May and June have already shown a great amount of positive gains for many leading marijuana stocks. As we continue to traverse into the summer, it looks like these cannabis stock gains are becoming more and more consistent. There are several reasons as to why the cannabis industry is showing so much upward propensity right now. For one, the cannabis industry has recorded more percentage gains and on a more consistent basis than most other areas of the stock market. This has been one of the main reasons that so many investors are attracted to the cannabis industry.

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Bermuda Seeks Public Feedback on Legal Cannabis Market

Cannabis legalization is becoming an important discussion topic in most countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the economy globally. Amid the pandemic, most countries seek relief in the marijuana industry, which is still an evolving industry. Bermuda, a British overseas territory, might expand its legal cannabis market. The government wants public feedback on making marijuana legal.

Bermuda seeks public feedback

Bermuda legalized medical cannabis in 2016. The government also decriminalized marijuana for recreational use in 2017. Now, the government wants to expand its legal cannabis market. The government wants public feedback before the upcoming Bermuda Parliament sessions. On June 3, the government released a draft bill for establishing a legal marijuana market in the country. A Marijuana Moment article discussed the provisions included in the draft bill:

Adults 21 and older can possess and purchase up to seven grams of cannabis from licensed retailers.The Cannabis Advisory Authority, a regulatory body will be in charge of issuing licenses and market regulation.Seven types of licenses will be issued for cultivation, retail, research, import, export, transportation, and manufacturing.The fees for the licenses would be designed to ensure to help the economy but also not be expensive.

The draft bill comes with new regulations after one draft legislation bill gathered public feedback last year. The public thought that the bill contained more regulations and that broader legalization of recreational use was necessary. The new bill expects to collect public feedback by July 3.

Attorney General Kathy Simmons said, “The revised proposal with provide for a regulated cannabis program which has been hybridized to meet Bermuda’s requirements while modeling the best available legal provisions in Canada, both provincial and federal, and to a lesser degree, examples from the Caribbean.”

Cannabis legalization in the US

The US is nowhere close to marijuana legalization at the federal level this year. Meanwhile, other countries like New Zealand and Mexico have been proceeding with their legalization efforts even though the chances are lower in 2020. Recently, Lebanon legalized medical cannabis to recover from economic losses amid the pandemic. However, legalization efforts have continued in some US states.

The pandemic impacted marijuana campaigns in some US states including Florida, Ohio, and Idaho. Meanwhile, other states including Nebraska and Arizona continued with their plans. Following mass protests about racial injustice, the marijuana legalization topic is more important than ever. States like New Mexico and New York have been considering their options. Legalizing marijuana in more US states would benefit cannabis companies. Currently, the states have seen rising cannabis sales. Most of the states enjoyed some good gains in May. With rising cannabis demand, we can expect marijuana stocks to rise in June as well. Read Will Marijuana Stocks Continue to Surge in June? to learn more.

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What Does The Future Hold For Jamaica's Cannabis Industry?

Jamaica, an island nation most consider extremely cannabis-friendly, has experienced difficulties with its legal cannabis industry. New marijuana export regulations were under consideration just as the coronavirus pandemic hit. The coronavirus has delayed those new regulations, which were due in April. This delay may have caused some investors to pull out of the market.

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Israel: Government announces plan to advance cannabis legalization reforms

The two biggest parties making up the new government on Tuesday said they would push for increased legalization of cannabis use, a week after the police minister backed easing enforcement of existing laws.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White said in a joint statement that they would advance legislation “to resolve the issue of decriminalization and legalization,” apparently referring to recreational cannabis use.

The matter will be done “via a responsible model that will be suited to the State of Israel and the Israeli population,” the statement said, without elaborating.

The statement noted that the sides had also decided to push medical cannabis reforms in order to make it easier for patients to get access to treatment and for growers to get a license.

The legislation will be advanced by Blue and White MK Ram Shefa and Likud MK Sharren Haskel, and will be brought to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation “at the earliest convenience and after organized groundwork.”


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Iowa Down To One Medical CBD Manufacturer Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Medical cannabidiol patients in Iowa now have only one company’s products to choose from as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forces the state’s only other licensed CBD manufacturer to shutter its operations.

At the end of March, Have A Heart Compassionate Care announced that it was closing the medical CBD dispensaries it operated in Council Bluffs and Davenport. That was followed by an announcement in early April from New York-based Acreage Holdings that it was temporarily closing several cannabis facilities including its Iowa Relief wholesale plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kevin Murphy, the chairman and CEO of Acreage, said in a press release at the time that the measures were being taken due to the coronavirus crisis.

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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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