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

The normalization of Cannabis

In recent years, the cannabis industry has been booming. Research has created a new way to treat patients with debilitating health issues, like seizure disorders and chronic pain.

Businesses have created marijuana-friendly spaces such as coffee shops, restaurants and lounges. Cannabis is becoming increasingly normalized in our society and the drug has begun to lose a majority of its negative connotations with younger generations.

The wide variety of cannabis uses is astounding, from medicine to hemp-based products that help to fight pollution, to a recreational activity for those 21 and over. The United States has also made huge legal strides in terms of marijuana throughout the last decade, with 18 states having it fully legalized and 36 states having medical marijuana legalized. Rather than continuing to criminalize marijuana users, states have been able to make a profit from the product and allocate the funds to cities and programs in need.

Yet, there are still 40,000 Americans incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana-related charges. States are steadily continuing the legalization of marijuana but are not releasing people from prison at the same rate. This leaves our prisons overpopulated and underfunded, and ruins the lives of people who are, respectively, innocent.

Studies have found that people of color and white people use marijuana at roughly the same rate, yet people of color are four times as likely to be arrested for using the drug. Data collected from the New York Police Department found that in 2020, 94% of all people arrested on marijuana-related charges were people of color.

The popularization of marijuana usage has focused on white people and has become normalized by white people repeatedly speaking out about the benefits. Less than one percent of all dispensaries across the country are owned by people of color. Recently, a dispensary was under fire for naming a new strain of marijuana, “Strange Fruit.” The name was taken from a Billie Holiday song that was written as a metaphor to describe the abuse African Americans endured in the deep south.

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Hot Hemp synthetic cannabinoids: a threat to Utah's Medical Cannabis industry?

The medical cannabis industry in Utah is confusing since synthetic cannabinoid-laden products appeared in naturally abundant amounts on dispensary shelves. (Benzinga)

According to the FDA, CBD is synthesized from delta-8, THC and a variety of other cannabinoids that could pose "serious health risks." 

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, any hemp plant, or derivative thereof, that contains more than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by dry weight is hot and non-compliant with the law.

However, Utah provided a path for federally regulated hemp derivatives to enter the state's separate program for the manufacture and sale of medical cannabis, with no program for industrial hemp.

As Forbes reported, this includes the manufacture of an agricultural product (CBD biomass and other hemp derivatives) for the sole purpose of developing a synthetic psychotropic derivative sold in the Utah medical cannabis program.

According to groups such as Utah's patient advocacy group TRUCE (Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education) and Arizona-based FOCUS (Foundation of Unified Cannabis Standards), the above-mentioned could be a violation of federal law.

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Cannabis users are denied liver transplants for no apparent reason, study finds

A study looked into the supposed risk between liver transplants and marijuana users, an issue that has long prevented these people from getting the organs they need.

Despite the fact that large percentages of the US population are cannabis users, they’re  often excluded from receiving liver transplants. This procedure is one that saves lives, and showcases an instance in which cannabis users are discriminated against.

Scientists and experts have historically had concerns regarding cannabis’s role in the body. In the case of liver transplants, there’s a concern that cannabis might create a bigger risk for infections.

A new study tried to understand why liver transplants and marijuana remains a topic of concern. Published earlier this month in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, the study surveyed different data in order to paint a picture of the risks of marijuana users who have managed to receive liver transplants.

Researchers analyzed the data from 111 patients who were also marijuana users. Only 32 of them received a liver transplant. Researchers compared the marijuana users who received a liver transplant with non-users who received the same procedure and found no statistical difference between the two.

Salon explains that fungal infections are often a concern when talking about liver transplants, especially in the case of Aspergillus, a fungus that’s also present in the cannabis plant. “The fear is that by ingesting a cannabis product contaminated by Aspergillus, it would complicate the transplant, resulting in failure or death.”

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2 Accused of defrauding investors in medical marijuana grow operation in Warren County

Two men are accused of making misrepresentations to get people to invest in a reported California medical marijuana grow operation and a CBD cartridge manufacturing business.

A Warren County grand jury indicted Aaron Pitman, 34, of Morrow, and Ryan R. Goldschmidt, 39, of Cincinnati, on four counts of aggravated theft, three counts each of unauthorized use of property, telecommunications fraud and unlawful securities practices, two counts of grand theft and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

The pair deposited approximately $796,714 in investor funds into Warren County bank accounts controlled by each other, according to the prosecutor’s office. They reportedly used the funds for personal expenses and things unrelated to a medical marijuana cultivation business or CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business.

“In some cases, they diverted funds to pay off prior lawsuits or make payments to their friends,” according to a press release.

Pitman and Goldschmidt allegedly defrauded investors through multiple businesses and companies, including Oak Street Group, GGB Assets and Excelsior Leasing.

Neither Pitman nor Goldschmidt are licensed to sell securities in Ohio, according to the prosecutor’s office. The pair is also accused of misrepresenting Goldschmidt as an attorney to investors and claiming investors would get all of their money back, as well as additional profit distributions.

Despite representations made to investors, neither have experience in licensing, cultivating or selling medical marijuana or CBD oil cartridges businesses, according to the prosecutor’s office.

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South Dakota medical pot cards rise with 'pop-up clinics'

SIOUX FALLS - South Dakota has seen a rapid rise in people registering to use medical marijuana in recent months, as many obtain their patient cards through temporary consultation sites rather than their regular medical providers, a state health official told lawmakers Tuesday.

Chris Qualm, who administers the state’s medical pot program, told a legislative oversight committee that there are now more than 4,000 people registered to use the drug. That’s a rapid rise from this summer, when the state tracked several hundred people registering each month.

Many of those cardholders are getting certified to use medical marijuana at so-called pop-up clinics where physicians certify they have a medical condition that qualifies them for medical pot use. The quick consultations — sometimes lasting as little as five minutes — prompted some members of the legislative committee to voice concern that the process was not thorough enough.

Advocates for medical marijuana access said patients were turning to the temporary consultation sites because established health care systems have not embraced the drug.

“The problem is not pop-up clinics,” said Melissa Mentele, who organized the 2020 ballot initiative that legalized medical cannabis. “It’s our health systems refusing to participate in the program.”

The health care systems are operating in a legal gray area because the federal government has not legalized pot for medical use, said state Sen. Erin Tobin, the Republican chair of the committee.

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Conflicts between state, federal drug laws cause confusion over Medical Marijuana in Alabama

Applications for medical cannabis licenses are scheduled to be sent out today, but it may still be months before the first products hit dispensary shelves in Alabama.

Meanwhile, marijuana remains classified as an illegal narcotic in the eyes of the federal government, whether it's bought illicitly off the streets or recommended by a doctor.

So far, 39 states have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the federal government has mostly looked the other way. Yet there exists a tension between state and federal laws concerning the drug, and it has led to confusion among lawmakers and enforcers over how the new Alabama law will work on a practical, day-to-day basis.

"Right now, there is no such thing as a prescription for marijuana," State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) said. "By the FDA guidelines, marijuana is still listed as a [schedule] 1 narcotic… which is in the same category as heroin; no known medical benefits and can be used only in research."

Stutts said doctors would only be able to recommend medical cannabis for patients, not prescribe it like other medicines due to Food and Drug Administration's guidelines.

"Drug stores won't be stocking it, pharmacists can't dispense it, and physicians can't write a prescription for it," he said. "The deal is, on the federal level, they have just chosen not to enforce that rule in other states, so I'm sure Alabama will not be an exception."

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CBD Patches: Everything You Need to Know

CBD patches are one of the most unique ways to deliver CBD. What other method allows you to take CBD in a controlled way all through the day?

What other CBD form lets you absorb CBD into your system even overnight? How else can you get CBD discreetly and efficiently?

What are CBD Patches?

Simply put, they're transdermal patches that work through your skin and are filled with CBD.

CBD patches are not unlike nicotine patches, and work in much the same way. CBD patches release their contents through your skin and into your bloodstream over typically a 24-48 hour period.

CBD patches may also contain other cannabinoids that can increase their effectiveness. These products are known as broad and full-spectrum CBD patches as opposed to CBD isolate patches.

You may be aware of the patch immediately after application, but soon enough, you’ll forget it's even there. This makes patches perfect for use throughout the day and even while you’re fast asleep.

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‘Cannabis As A Panacea’ Revisited

Saying that cannabis is a panacea would imply that cannabis cures all types of diseases. Even in real life, it’s difficult to find one solution that fixes every problem.

The cure-all cannabis narrative has left many rational humans with unsettling feelings about cannabis legalization. Just Google “cannabis -panacea” and what you’re likely to come up with are a number of rebuttals. If anything, the world is just moving from the prohibition era when cannabis was demonized for being one of the greatest ills in society.

Just as a reminder, here are some legendary Henry Aslinger quotes on cannabis:

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”“Some people will fly into a delirious rage, and they are temporarily irresponsible and may commit violent crimes. Other people will laugh uncontrollably. It is impossible to say what the effect will be on any individual.”“If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with marijuana, he would drop dead of fright.”

With such a past that we are only beginning to recover from, it’s not surprising that any attempt to sanitize the herb is met with the level of fire and fury that it deserves. It doesn’t help that cannabis is still regarded as a compound with “no medical use and a high potential for abuse” under federal law. How then can the same plant be a panacea?

What Is a Panacea?

Merriam-Webster defines panacea as “a remedy for all ills and difficulties.” Saying that cannabis is a panacea would imply that cannabis cures all types of diseases. Even in real life, it’s difficult to find one solution that fixes every problem.

So this panacea narrative automatically comes across as a desperate attempt at marketing snake oils to an unread audience. If anything, such “exaggerated” claims seem to be doing more harm than good to the legal industry, at least superficially. But is cannabis really a “cure-all” remedy and where does such a narrative even come from? Here is a good argument for considering cannabis as the ultimate panacea.

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Cannabis can help manage menopause, study suggests

Around 1.3 million women experience menopause in the United States each year.

Although menopause begins between 51 and 52 years old, about 5% of women experience early menopause between 40 and 45 years old, while 1% experience premature menopause before the age of 40.

The most significant symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, sleep problems, low libido, and mood changes.

There are different treatments to manage menopause, including hormonal and non-hormonal therapies. Furthermore, lifestyle changes, such as eating well, exercising, and looking after mental well-being, can help with symptoms during menopause.

But as cannabis has become legally available due to its regulation in many US states for both medical and recreational purposes, some women are consuming it to successfully manage menopause, as a recent study has recently shown.

Researchers from McLean Hospital Imaging Center, Belmont, MA, and Department of Psychiatry, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, conducted a survey study recently published in Menopause: The Journal of The North America Menopause Society to find out how the use of cannabis affects women with menopause-related symptoms.

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Study: Oro-Buccal Cannabis Spray Provides Relief in Cancer Patients with Refractory Pain

New South Wales, Australia: Terminal cancer patients with refractory pain respond favorably to a proprietary cannabis spray containing equal ratios of plant-derived THC and CBD, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

 

A team of Australian investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of a novel water-soluble oro-buccal nanoparticle spray containing 2.5 mgs of THC and 2.5 mgs of CBD in a cohort of patients with advanced cancer and intractable pain.

Researchers reported that cannabis dosing was associated with improvements in pain relief among all patients, with those patients suffering from bone metastasis experiencing the greatest levels of relief. No serious adverse events were reported, though some patients did experience drowsiness following treatment.

Patients also reported improvements in appetite and emotional well-being.

“This study demonstrated that the administration of the investigative cannabis-based medicine was generally safe and tolerated in a short-term exposure in a cohort of patients with advanced incurable cancers with controlled pain or intractable pain despite opioid treatment,” authors concluded. “There was a reduction in pain overall for the study cohort of 12 percent by the end of the treatment phase. … [This] cannabis-based medicine … is of significant clinical interest given that this formulation was a self-titrated medicine, that showed preliminary analgesic efficacy in a subgroup of patients.”

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Medical Marijuana patients need greater protection from unwarranted arrests

Where there’s lack of clarity, chaos always ensues. So it is the case with both law enforcement officers and medical marijuana patients, for whom wrongful DUI convictions have led to injustices, lawsuits and downright fear.

Sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta, the State’s Senate Transportation Committee unanimously passed legislation that will protect the Commonwealth’s 700,000 medical marijuana patients who currently can be put in jail if a trace of their life saving medicine is found to be in their systems while driving.

Senators should get behind this common-sense legislation that will ensure officers have certainty in their procedures to treat medical marijuana patients the same as those prescribed pharmaceuticals: proof that the motorist is actually impaired and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Reputable road-safety organizations, from AAA to the Pennsylvania State Police, agree that the presence of cannabis is not predictive of impairment. And there’s been no correlation in any state between legalizing cannabis and an increase in road fatalities.

Since the state adopted its medical marijuana program in 2016, thousands of people across all ages and ethnicities have benefited from this plant-based medicine. It’s time that our elected officials focus on eliminating barriers through common-sense legislation that stops the passive aggressive criminal treatment of medical cannabis users.

This bill is a momentous step, especially on the heels of President Biden’s recent announcements. But more robust statewide regulatory overhauls are needed to ensure patients and cannabis business owners are treated ethically.

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20 State Cannabis Dispensaries are supposed to open this year

But Not A Single Location Has Been Announced Yet. The delay in Gov. Hochul's plan could jeopardize promised licenses for retailers with weed-related convictions.

Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York is “on track” to open some cannabis dispensaries within months — but industry leaders say they see only red signals ahead.

The state government set a goal of opening dispensaries by the end of the year that’ll allow New Yorkers to legally purchase cannabis. Hochul told the editorial board of Advance Media, owner of Syracuse Post-Standard, the state would open 20 dispensaries by the end of the year, with another 20 openings each month after.

Her plan is propped up by a $200 million loan fund to help people who have been negatively affected by weed-related convictions open their retail shops, with the first 150 licenses reserved for those with past records.

But players participating in the process warn the timetable may be unrealistic.

“We were really hoping for retail stores to be open on or around the time that cultivators were harvesting, it seemed like the best case scenario. But we’re really just not sure where these first retail stores are supposed to be,” said Dan Livingston, the executive director of the Cannabis Association of New York, a trade association.

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Can I Overdose On CBD?

MINT HILL - It’s natural for people new to CBD to ask this question. After all, anyone who wants to try CBD will want to know if it’s really safe. Well, let me help ease your mind a little.

This article talks about the safety of CBD, what happens when you’ve taken too much, and what you can do to relieve some of the discomfort.

Your body has a limited number of cannabinoid receptors that will not be able to receive more cannabinoids when saturated. This means that there is an optimum dose of CBD from which an additional unit of CBD simply does nothing. This is important because overdosing could lead to developing CBD tolerance, making CBD’s effect less noticeable with prolonged continuous consumption. Having said that, CBD will rarely cause an adverse overdose situation, and it is very safe to consume every day. However, we strongly recommend you consult your physician before defining your CBD intake schedule since, as we mentioned previously, CBD can affect each person differently.

So, to answer the question — no, you won’t lethally overdose on CBD, but it is possible to take too much and feel uncomfortable for a few hours.

Taking too much CBD may not result in fatal overdose and death, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t cause any discomfort.

CBD, just like any other drug, also has some side effects but if you follow my recommended dosage when purchasing our CBD sublingual oil, you will be fine.


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Marijuana-Dependent patients may face higher infection rates following knee and shoulder arthroscopy

Patients who are dependent on marijuana may face higher infection rates following knee and shoulder arthroscopy; a minimally invasive surgery in which a small camera is inserted to diagnose and sometimes treat injury; according to a study presented at the Scientific Forum of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2022.

Using PearlDiver, a national insurance claims database, researchers from the University of Chicago performed a retrospective study of patients with marijuana dependence who underwent knee or shoulder arthroscopy for the postoperative complications of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and infection.

"Marijuana has been gaining so much popularity, but it's a risk factor we aren't really catching," said lead study author Sarah Bhattacharjee, MD, who conducted the research while she was a medical student at the University of Chicago. Dr. Bhattacharjee is now a surgical resident in orthopedic and sports medicine at the University of Washington. "The higher infection rate found by this new study should raise a 'red flag' for patients and providers and should be discussed along with other risk factors before an arthroscopic procedure."

Although the effect of marijuana use has been studied in pain management and cardiovascular health, few studies have looked at the potential effects of marijuana use by patients who are undergoing surgery. More states are legalizing marijuana, and the size of the cannabis market is predicted to reach $91.5 billion by 2028. Given that trend, the team of researchers from the University of Chicago set out to determine if marijuana-dependent users face an increased risk of complications following knee or shoulder arthroscopy.

There's so much information out there on smoking, alcohol, and other substances, but not on marijuana use. As providers and surgeons, we should be discussing marijuana use with our patients, something that we have traditionally shied away from." Jason Strelzow, MD, Study Coauthor, Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Chicago

Study details

All patients undergoing knee or shoulder arthroscopy were identified retrospectively in PearlDiver. Next, patients who had a diagnostic code for marijuana dependence were also identified within each surgery category; this is a rigid definition requiring patients to three or more criteria, such as using marijuana longer than intended, difficulty in cutting down use, spending a lot of time in obtaining or recovering from marijuana, and high tolerance.

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University research into Marijuana urged with safety issues

State Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes told 2 On Your Side, "There's no question we don't know how to determine if somebody is impaired by it or not..."

BUFFALO, New York — As state efforts continue to get licensed marijuana sales up and running here in New York there is also a call again for more research into the usage of pot and its effects on those who use it.  

That could include anyone who uses marijuana and may be impaired while driving.

With the legalization of marijuana and the state's efforts to set up dispensaries to sell it, the Western New York politician who orchestrated the push to get it done says she has a real concern about those who might use it and then operate a motor vehicle. 

State Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes told 2 On Your Side, "There's no question we don't know how to determine if somebody is impaired by it or not. Which we should know that."   

In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety this past summer said a survey of five states which previously legalized marijuana saw a nearly 6 percent increase in traffic crash injuries. They also recorded just over a four percent rise in fatal crashes after pot sales began. That is in contrast with no increase for six other states where it is still illegal. 


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Scientists have good news about Cannabis breathalyzers

‘There exists a need for a fair forensic tool capable of detecting THC in the short window of impairment’

While drug tests can tell if a person recently consumed cannabis, there’s currently no way of measuring whether or no a person is high, something that’s becoming increasingly important as more and more U.S. states legalize the drug.

But that may be changing.

Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and ElectraTect, one of the university’s startups, are testing a promising “cannabinoid fuel cell.” They believe that further testing will provide key understandings on marijuana breathalyzers, facilitating their existence at some point in the future. The findings were published in the journal Organics.

Researchers explain that the device they’re working on is able to spot THC and measure its concentration in a solution, unlike previous efforts that measure THC in blood, urine and saliva. While bodily fluids will show traces of the drug after its use, these results are not indicative of current impairment, especially since THC can linger in the body for up to three months, depending if the test involves on hair, urine, saliva or blood.

“As such, there exists a need for a fair forensic tool capable of detecting THC in the short window of impairment,” wrote the scientists.

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Is keeping cannabis illegal putting people’s health at risk?

Researchers examined all areas where cannabis is legal and found a shocking number and amount of contaminants that, arguably, should not be present on anything that humans consume

Some argue that cannabis is far less toxic than any drugs made in a lab, since it is a plant that comes from Mother Earth. While that sentiment and logic may be in the right place, the sad truth is that the earth, its soil and the way plants are grown in modern times is a far cry from what one might consider “organic.”​

Pollution, dangerous chemicals and haphazard growing techniques have led to all kinds of health issues in modern history. Organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have entire branches dedicated to more sustainable, healthy and safe ways of farming in the U.S.

Unfortunately, these organizations are federally run, which means the multi-billion-dollar cannabis industry goes relatively unregulated at the federal level in this regard. This loophole has led to some eye-opening recent discoveries that might be putting the health of cannabis users at risk.​

A recent study from Arizona State University (ASU), published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked for contaminants in cannabis samples. Researchers examined all areas where cannabis is legal and found a shocking number and amount of contaminants that, arguably, should not be present on anything that humans consume.

Not only were dangerous contaminants found in many samples, but the sheer number was alarming.

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Once And For All: Does Cannabis Lead To Weight Gain?

Research suggests that cannabis consumption is associated with lower BMIs, especially when individuals avoid stereotypical dietary practices connected with cannabis culture. (Benzinga)

If you have even the slightest familiarity with traditional cannabis culture, then you’re well acquainted with “the munchies.” 

You know, that sensation when you’re high and all you want to do is eat everything in sight. 

I think we can all agree that, high or not, devouring an entire bag of chips or an entire bag of cookies isn’t exactly the definition of healthy eating. 

Obviously, not every cannabis enthusiast gives into the munchies. And of those who do, not all of them gorge themselves on the worst possible food. 

But some of us who enjoy cannabis do love our chips. And our cookies. And all sorts of other food we probably should’ve left behind on those summer vacations from years gone by.

Yet there’s a funny thing about those of us who partake in cannabis: We come in a wide variety of body sizes. 

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Medicinal Cannabis making headway in Brazil thanks to court rulings

PATY DO ALFERES - Medical marijuana is gaining steam in Brazil thanks to lower-court rulings giving the go-ahead for large-scale cannabis plantations.

One of the largest of these plantations – a 600,000-square-meter (148-acre) area in Paty do Alferes, a municipality located two hours from Rio de Janeiro – produces cannabis-derived oils for more than 3,000 patients with illnesses that include epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

That estate, which produces some 2,000 bottles of cannabis oil per month, is the fruit of a long, complicated effort undertaken by the Medical Cannabis Research and Patient Support Association (Apepi), an NGO that in February won a court judgment allowing it to grow cannabis.

“Our work is ‘sub judice’ (pending final judicial resolution). We’ll only have definitive legal protection once the case has been decided by the Supreme Court, and that will take time,” attorney Margarete Brito, Apepi’s co-founder, told Efe.

Brito and her husband, designer Marcos Langenbach, founded Apepi after discovering that medical marijuana was helping to control their daughter Sofia’s epileptic seizures.

“She had as many as 60 seizures in a month. With cannabis, we were able to reduce them to 15,” she said.

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San Diego OKs long-awaited Cannabis equity program to help people of color enter industry

The program was spurred by data showing racial disparities in arrests and ownership of local cannabis businesses

SAN DIEGO - People of color with previous drug convictions will get help entering San Diego’s growing cannabis industry under a new equity program the City Council unanimously approved Tuesday.

Those eligible to participate could get start-up loans, fee waivers, help finding business sites and other assistance. Money for the program will come from state grants and possibly from revenue generated by the city’s cannabis tax.

The equity program comes in response to recent studies showing people of color have suffered a disproportionate share of cannabis arrests in San Diego and that Whites own an outsized share of local cannabis businesses.

City leaders said those two things are closely tied together.

“We had some members of the community, especially the Black community, who were locked up and locked down as a result of participating in something that many other members of society were openly engaging in,” Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said. “And then the doors were thrown open to a market and those with the most resources were able to rush through and start hoarding the profits, all while folks were chained down by the actions of the past.”

An analysis conducted by the city shows that Black and Latino people made up a greater percentage of arrests than they make up of the population.

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