WeedLife News Network

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

Hemp Inc. applauds President Biden’s plan to Pardon people convicted of Simple Marijuana Possession

LAS VEGAS - On October 6, 2022, President Biden announced that he will pardon all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana and will call on federal regulators to review how the drug is classified.

The pardons will affect approximately 6,500 people convicted of federal offenses for simple possession from 1992 through 2021, as well as thousands of people in Washington D.C., according to senior administration officials. President Biden is also calling on governors to take similar actions.

“Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit,” Mr. Biden said. “Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing and educational opportunities.”

The president wants to end what he calls a failed approach to marijuana that disproportionately affects people of color with simple possession convictions, officials said.

Among additional steps, the president will also direct the attorney general to issue certificates of pardons that individuals can show to law enforcement and employers, two administration officials said.

Mr. Biden also plans to direct the Department of Health and Human Services and attorney general to review the status of marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance, a category that also includes heroin and LSD, the officials said.

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What happens if Marijuana is no longer classified as Schedule 1 Drug?

In early October, President Joe Biden granted a pardon to all people convicted previously of federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.

In that same statement, he called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to begin reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

Currently, cannabis/marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” This is the same designation given to LSD, heroin and ecstasy.

It’s also a designation that many marijuana researchers disagree with.

“The current classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug doesn’t make sense. … It does have medicinal properties and a pretty low potential of abuse,” said Carrie Cuttler, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University and a researcher involved with the university’s Center for Cannabis Policy, Research, and Outreach.

While cannabis and marijuana are often used interchangeably, cannabis refersTrusted Source to all products from the Cannabis Sativa plant and marijuana refersTrusted Source to the parts of the plant with higher amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

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Mississippi medical Marijuana regulation ‘stuck in constipation mode’

Dozens of licensed cultivators have about 80,000 marijuana plants growing.

Around 1,100 patients have signed up for medical marijuana, and 96 doctors or nurse practitioners are working to certify them. Small growers are complaining a large one has been allowed to skirt the rules.

But the Mississippi State Department of Health has zero investigators — and only three staffers — overseeing Mississippi’s new medical marijuana program.

So far only one testing facility has been licensed and is only partially ready to test products. Plus, the health department’s program director still has another job — running the department’s Office Against Interpersonal Violence.

Health Department officials told the Board of Health on Wednesday that the agency is in a four-month “provisional” period with licensed marijuana businesses. As it finds problems or violations, it’s typically just issuing “corrective actions,” giving marijuana businesses a chance to straighten up without hitting them with fines or sanctions or calling in law enforcement.

The Health Department in a meeting with its board Wednesday pledged transparency in its oversight of medical marijuana, shortly before going into a closed door session to brief the board on specific active marijuana program investigations. During its public meeting, some board members’ questions were deferred to the upcoming executive session.

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Can Hemp help reverse chronic conditions like diabetes?

"Hemp has less than 0.3 per cent (of THC), while cannabis or marijuana contains 20 per cent or more," said Ira Rattan, vegan nutritionist and holistic wellness counsellor

Hemp, a plant that comes from the same species as cannabis, contains healthy fats and essential fatty acids and is also a great source of protein. Additionally, it comes packed with high amounts of vitamins, said Ira Rattan, vegan nutritionist, and holistic wellness counsellor. She added that unlike popular notions, hemp and its products have “low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — a substance responsible for intoxication”.

“Hemp has less than 0.3 per cent (of THC), while cannabis or marijuana contains 20 per cent or more,” she told indianexpress. Does that mean one can consume hemp for good health?

Considering the growing push towards including hemp — touted as a “superfood” — in one’s diet, let’s understand more about hemp seeds, hemp oil, and hemp milk in detail.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a notification on November 15, 2021, stating, “The hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and hemp seed flour shall be sold as food or used as an ingredient in a food for sale subject to conforming standards”.

“Yes, hemp has both, medicinal and nutritional benefits. When it comes to nutrition, hemp seeds are the most important part of the plant which can be eaten whole or without the hull. They can also be turned into milk, which is similar to soy milk. Hemp seed oil can be used as a cooking oil, much like olive oil. However, it must be noted that it has a low smoke point. There are even hemp seed supplements available for those who want to enjoy the impressive health benefits of hemp in their diets,” mentioned Rattan.

Know the benefits of each

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New York’s weed laws mean marijuana is legal but the stores selling it aren’t yet

New York seems to have a weed store on every corner. None of them are legal.

New York City’s crisp autumn air has a distinct scent to it, and this year that scent is weed. Many of the city streets have a fresh look to them, too — marijuana and cannabis products are for sale, out in the open, everywhere.

New York legalized recreational marijuana in the spring of 2021, but the state is still in the process of doling out licenses to legally sell it, which makes the situation ... confusing.

So I recently treated myself to a little NYC cannabis secret shopping-reporting tour to try to figure out what was going on. A tarot card reader sold me a pre-rolled joint off of a table in Washington Square Park, warning me to watch out for other sellers who might not know what they’re talking about.

An issue to ponder for another day, on both of my merchant’s entrepreneurial fronts. Later, I bought an edible from a smoke shop even though neither I nor the guy selling it seemed clear on what it was. CBD? Just regular marijuana? The synthetic stuff that might set me up for a very bad time? Maybe the tarot reader had a point.

In the Lower East Side, I popped into a store with marijuana-leaf stamps adorning its facade. “This dispensary is not a speakeasy bar ... or is it ... sorry,” a sign outside read. Then, in some fine print, it got to the point: “We sell weed.” There, I bought what I think are more reliable edibles and chatted at length with the guy behind the counter about his plans for the store.

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University of Sydney to offer Free Cannabis Testing

University of Sydney is launching a robust study in an attempt to, as the university describes, “investigate cannabis consumption, behaviours, and attitudes among users.”

Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people that cultivate their own cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Cannabis was decriminalized in 2020 in the ACT and the university is researching any societal issues that may have arisen from the public policy change, as well as gain insight into the potency and varieties of cannabis that patients and consumers are using.

Free cannabis testing is available to both medical patients and non-medical patients, although only people that are current residents of the ACT can participate.

Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people who cultivate their own cannabis.

“The cannabis collected from growers’ homes will be analysed for cannabis content, including its main psychoactive components – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-intoxicating cannabidiol  (CBD) –  as well as a range of other cannabinoids and biologically active molecules, free of charge. 

Participants will be able to view, anonymously, the analysis results from their cannabis samples online,” the university stated in a news release.

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Doctor known for giving Medical Marijuana cards could lose her license

ST. LOUIS - A local doctor could lose her license because she is now facing discipline for doling out medical marijuana.

Dr. Zinia Thomas is also facing criminal charges. We’ve met Dr. Thomas before. She’s a licensed psychiatrist in Missouri who runs several local businesses. But she also took her medical marijuana practice on the road and that could ultimately send her career up in smoke.

In 2019, News 4 Investigates went undercover as Dr. Thomas took her Cannibus tour to a shop in Festus. KMOV employees filled out a form and though they were never seen personally by Dr. Thomas, she diagnosed one of them with a debilitating psychiatric disorder to qualify them for a medical marijuana card. In fact, she did it for everyone there.

It’s just that practice that now has her in trouble with the state of Missouri.

The complaint, filed just last week, alleges Dr. Thomas “demonstrated conduct or practices which are or might be harmful or dangerous to the mental of physical health” of patients, claiming “repeated negligence” in her duties.

The state is starting a process to possibly discipline her.

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A legal Pot Problem that’s now Plaguing the Streets of America: Plastic Litter

“We're going to have this entire new universe of plastic waste of the worst kind,” says one environmental activist.

Pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes in sativa, indica and hybrid varieties are seen for sale at a dispensary in California on Jan. 1, 2018. Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Waste packaging from a burgeoning and newly legalized marijuana industry litters streets across the country, adding to a global crisis of plastic waste.

In New York, regulators who are making the state’s first-ever rules for the retail sale of recreational marijuana hope they have answers to limit their state’s contribution to the problem. They’ve been working to include sustainable packaging requirements into the licenses that businesses will need to open by the end of this year.

However, at least one prominent environmental advocate fears New York—and other states grappling with a new and booming industry—aren’t requiring enough producer responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products.

Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, a group working to end plastics waste, said the best time for a nascent industry to bake in sustainability principles is when it’s just getting established—and for legalized cannabis sales, she added, that means now. 

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Greens announce new plans to Legalise Cannabis by 2023

A member of the Australian Greens says fresh legal advice paves a clear path for the national legalisation of cannabis.

The Australian Greens say fresh legal advice from an expert in constitutional law paves a clear path for the national legalisation of cannabis.

NSW Greens senator David Shoebridge announced on Twitter on Monday morning that his office had received advice that all state legislation criminalising cannabis use could be overridden by the commonwealth, with the legalisation of its use a possibility this year.

In an explainer released for their renewed campaign, the Greens said advice from constitutional law expert and dean of law at Australian Catholic University, Patrick Keyzer, revealed a pathway to legalising cannabis was through the commonwealth’s power to regulate plant variety rights under section 51 of the constitution.

“In short, the commonwealth can regulate the cultivation, licensing and sale of cannabis,” the Greens said, referring to Mr Keyser’s advice.

They said this included “all ancillary machinery provisions needed to create a legal national market for cannabis”.

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Does Weed help treat ADHD?

Cannabis and ADHD have a complex relationship, but there is compelling evidence that marijuana helps treat the chronic condition.

If cannabis can be used to enhance your focus, can weed help ADHD? In this article, we’ll look at what the science says about cannabis and ADHD, including recent research that suggests that ADHD may be connected to the endocannabinoid system.

While scientists are still exploring weed and ADHD, there is some early evidence that suggests cannabis may be a helpful therapy.

Cannabis and ADHD: An Overview

Before we get into how weed affects Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), let’s define what we are discussing.

ADHD is a neurological condition that makes it difficult to focus and can lead to impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD is the official medical diagnosis, whereas Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a now-outdated term that describes people with primarily inattentive symptoms. At present, one in nine children are diagnosed with ADHD and an estimated 6.76% of adults display ADHD symptoms.

People with ADHD may encounter trouble in school or work. However, many successful individuals with ADHD — such as business mogul Richard Branson or the award-winning journalist Lisa Ling — view their ADHD as an advantage, so this condition affects everyone differently.

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Parents hope Medical Cannabis production in Georgia will bring relief for their children

ATLANTA - The fight to make medical cannabis more accessible here in Georgia takes a step forward.

The state awarded two companies licenses to grow it in Georgia. The move comes as some good news to parents of children living with life-threatening seizures.

Right now, it is legal to possess medical cannabis in Georgia, but can’t buy it.

Some parents, like Janea Peloquin, moved out of state just to get it for their kids’ seizures. They say the decision to let companies grow medical cannabis in the state is a step in the right direction.

Peloquin’s daughter Haliegh Cox used to suffer hundreds of severe seizures each day. So they left behind their family in Georgia and moved to Colorado where medical cannabis is legal to buy.

"Colorado just seemed like the best place to be until we could get it legalized and grown in Georgia," Peloquin said.

Peloquin was part of a core of passionate parents who fought to bring medical marijuana cannabis to Georgia. Haleigh’s Hope, the law legalizing medical cannabis in the state, is named after Haleigh Cox. There’s even a product called Haleigh’s Hope. Peloquin can possess medical cannabis here in Georgia. She just can’t buy the product that bears her daughter’s name.

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Hemp-Derived Delta-8 skirts Marijuana laws and raises Health Concerns

Suzan Kennedy has smoked marijuana, and says her Wisconsin roots mean she can handle booze, so she was not concerned earlier this year when a bartender in St. Paul, Minnesota, described a cocktail with the cannabinoid delta-8 THC as “a little bit potent.”

Hours after enjoying the tasty drink and the silliness that reminded Kennedy of a high from weed, she said, she started to feel “really shaky and faint” before collapsing in her friend’s arms. Kennedy regained consciousness and recovered, but her distaste for delta-8 remains, even though the substance is legal at the federal level, unlike marijuana.

“I’m not one to really tell people what to do,” said Kennedy, 35, who lives in Milwaukee and works in software sales. But if a friend tried to order a delta-8 drink, “I would tell them, ‘Absolutely not. You’re not putting that in your body.’”

The FDA and some marijuana industry experts share Kennedy’s concerns. At least a dozen states have banned the hemp-derived drug, including Colorado, Montana, New York, and Oregon, which have legalized marijuana. But delta-8 manufacturers call the concerns unfounded and say they’re driven by marijuana businesses trying to protect their market share.

So what is the difference? The flower of the marijuana plant, oil derived from it, and edibles made from those contain delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance that produces the drug’s high, and can be legally sold only at dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana.

Similar products that contain delta-8 THC are sold online and at bars and retailers across much of the U.S., including some places where pot remains illegal. That’s because a 2018 federal law legalized hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. Hemp isn’t allowed to contain more than 0.3% of the psychotropic delta-9 THC found in marijuana.

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New York Regulators vote to allow Marijuana Patients to grow their own Weed

New York cannabis regulators approved a rule that would allow medical marijuana patients to grow and harvest their own plants, making for a cheaper and more accessible alternative.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has voted to adopt home grow rules that would allow medical marijuana patients and caregivers to grow and harvest their own cannabis plants. Tuesday’s ruling will go into effect on October 5.

The rule will allow registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers to grow and harvest up to six cannabis plants at a time. They would be able to possess up to five pounds of that cannabis, complying with the state’s cannabis laws.

According to Marijuana Moment, the OCM’s Executive Director, Chris Alexander, said that their office has prioritized medical marijuana patients and that this focus will “continue to be a priority.”

“I’m just really excited that we’re able to provide this more affordable option to patients to get access to that medicine,” said Alexander.

The state of New York started accepting applications for cannabis dispensaries on August 25th. These licenses, known as Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD), will be awarded to applicants that have been “justice-involved,” meaning that they’ve been negatively impacted by anti-cannabis legislations.

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What to know about Cannabis and Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults.

Since many people use cannabis for glaucoma, you might be wondering whether cannabis can be used for other eye diseases, including macular degeneration.

There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Although there are a few treatments available for wet AMD, there aren’t any treatments for dry AMD.

Often, managing dry AMD includes protecting your eyes and maximizing the vision you have left. Taking certain supplements, for example, may help minimize vision loss.

What’s the short answer?

Very little is known about the connection between macular degeneration and cannabis.

Although some research seems to suggest medical cannabis could hold the key to treating AMD, other research suggests cannabis could worsen AMD.

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Mississippi nears $6M in revenue off Medical Marijuana Licenses and Fees

With the medical marijuana program still in its infancy in Mississippi, the state is already raking in revenue.

Through Monday, the state has culled nearly $6 million in license and one-time application fees from dispensaries, cultivators, transportation companies, processors, and testing operations in the state, according to information posted on the state’s Department of Health website.

While sales aren’t expected to begin until November, there are already 113 licensed dispensaries on file with the state’s Department of Revenue, the entity collecting fees and taxes.

The Department of Health did not respond to inquiries for this story.

The state has already gained $4.52 million in revenue from licensing and applications fees for dispensaries through late September, and that revenue will only continue to rise once sales begin later this year. All told, just through licenses and fees, the state has collected $5.785 million.

When sales do begin, medical marijuana will be subject to a 7% state sales tax.

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A complete guide to Spotlight PA’s investigations of Pennsylvania’s flawed medical marijuana program

HARRISBURG - A series of investigative stories from Spotlight PA this year has uncovered serious flaws in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program and prompted calls for change from doctors, patients, industry leaders, and policymakers.

The coverage — based on months of reporting, dozens of interviews, and thousands of pages of public records — has revealed misleading or dangerous tactics by cannabis businesses, unequal advertising rules, legal gray areas for workers and employers, and inconsistent enforcement by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.

Here’s a look at the reporting, its impact, and the issues we’re keeping an eye on:

“Unproven, Unsafe”

A first-of-its-kind review of more than 60 websites revealed that some cannabis companies made statements that multiple health policy and addiction treatment experts called misleading, incorrect, or even dangerous. Spotlight PA’s analysis focused on claims companies made about using cannabis to treat opioid addiction.

Thousands of pages of records obtained by Spotlight PA also showed that state regulators do little to ensure cannabis dispensaries, which require a permit from the state, make accurate medical claims on their websites. Meanwhile, companies that offer to help patients obtain a medical marijuana card operate with little to no oversight.

Impact: One dispensary removed incorrect information from its website after Spotlight PA contacted the company in December.

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Galloway authorizes new Marijuana Standards

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - The Township Council authorized a report on Sept. 13 that lays out new, local standards on the growing marijuana industry.

The standards, which concern marijuana cultivation, come after residents raised concerns about potential odor from a proposed cultivation facility.

Township Redevelopment Attorney M. James Maley Jr. said that Galloway was a pioneer in developing the new standards. He noted how new the industry was and said officials were trying to ensure it benefited the entire township.

“We set it up in terms of a redevelopment process as a way to allow the township to have more involvement in the specifics of these businesses, because they’re new, we’re not used to them,” Maley said. “Through a redevelopment agreement, it will give us a basis to make sure that the businesses run in a way that works for all of the community.”

 
The resolution said that the “Galloway Township Cannabis Operation Standards for Indoor Cultivation,” as the report is called, was written after months of research, delving into scholarship on marijuana cultivation, national association publications and comparable marijuana regulatory regimes.

The report principally deals with heating, ventilation and air conditioning, particularly as it concerns air quality and odor.

The Blue Heron Pines Homeowners’ Association spearheaded the effort to have this process implemented, with its representatives raising concerns about the impact marijuana businesses could have on the community.

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California becomes 7th State to protect Workers who smoke Marijuana off-the-clock

It along with another bill were meant to "unwind California's failed history of cannabis prohibition," according to Newsom's office.

CALIFORNIA, USA — With a swipe of his pen, Gov. Gavin Newsom made California the seventh state to protect workers who smoke marijuana while off-the-clock.

The bill was among a series of cannabis-related bills that expanded the legal market and addressed harms from past cannabis bans.

“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” said Governor Newsom. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry.

I look forward to partnering with the Legislature and policymakers to fully realize cannabis legalization in communities across California.”

 Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) authored AB 2188. It protects workers from employment discrimination based on their use of cannabis while off-the-clock.


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Delta 8 THC sellers warn Customers to check Products before buying

CARY - While marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, cannabis enthusiasts have found a loophole.

Store owners can legally sell products with less than 0.3% THC -- the psychoactive compound in marijuana -- under the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation cleared the way for products like Delta 8 to hit store shelves and gain popularity, especially in places where recreational marijuana is still illegal like North Carolina.

Delta 8 is a type of THC itself, distilled from Cannabidiol (CBD), another chemical found in marijuana. The type of THC regulated by the Farm Bill and other legislation is known as Delta 9 THC.

But while Delta 8 is technically legal, there is little regulation of the industry that produces it. Dr. Ziva Cooper, Director of the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, said this can allow for bad actors to swoop in and make products that are unclean, unsafe or even just incorrectly labeled.

"A lot of these Delta 8 THC products are made through this type of synthetic pathway where there can be contaminants," Cooper said. "There can be heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, there can be other cannabinoids in there that people aren't aware of."

In fact, in a study published in the December 2021 edition of Chemical Research in Toxicology, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center tested 27 Delta 8 products. They found that none of them contained the correct amount of Delta 8 THC, and many contained additional byproducts including heavy metals and additional cannabinoids including delta 9 THC.

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Colorado: Medical Marijuana Sales Drop To Lowest Point Since Legalization

According to representatives of the cannabis industry, Colorado’s medical marijuana sales sit at their grimmest point, leaving the state’s cannabis industry “on the brink," reported The Modesto Bee. (Benzinga)

What Does The Colorado Department Of Revenue Say?

In July, the state’s recreational and medical cannabis sales hit almost $154 million, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) figures.

So far this year, total sales have reached more than $1 billion. Yet medical marijuana sales for July only reached just over $18 million, "the lowest monthly figure ever recorded since January 2014," when retail sales were legalized in the Centennial State.

Adult-use sales had it better at more than $135 million, which is a jump from April, May, and June figures. Still, that's significantly lower than last July at nearly $168 million. “There is a dangerous perception that Colorado’s cannabis industry is a cash cow,” said Tiffany Goldman, board chair of the Marijuana Industry Group. “This perception is false.”

The state employs more than 41,000 people to work in the industry. However, Goldman expressed that a number of small cannabis businesses had to close. As an example, Buddy Boy Brands' seven metro-area dispensaries closed permanently in June, with owner John Fritzel blaming "a tax balance," a market downturn, and high costs.

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