WeedLife News Network

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

Can Texas combat the opioid crisis with expanded medical marijuana use?

 

Can the the opioid crisis be dealt with head on if there’s expanded medical marijuana use? That’s the topic of a South by Southwest panel in Austin Tuesday, exploring what that would look like and whether it would be effective here in Texas.

Opioid use is a big talker right now, in light of a recent uptick in overdoses in Austin. Officials have warned this impacts the entire state as they haven’t pinpointed where the drugs are coming from.

Texas lawmakers are currently researching the impact of fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths in the state, looking into ways to best deal with opioid abuse.

Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation Dispensary is one of few in the entire state of Texas.

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Ananda Professional invites enrolment in endometriosis study

USA medical hemp company Ananda Professional is opening enrollment for its study of endometriosis and other forms of pelvic pain.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it. It can be a painful and at times debilitating condition.

Ananda Professional, one of Australian company Ecofibre’s businesses, has committed $40 million to advance the clinical evidence for hemp extract, including this study – which goes by the curious acronym of FREE HER (Finding Relief from Endometriosis and Exclusion).

The study, which planned to enroll 300 participants, will assist Ananda Professional in gathering information on how medications and other substances can reduce complaints of pelvic pain and related issues.

Each participant will be in the study for about one week and there are no treatments or procedures involved. However, study participants will receive one bottle of a cannabidiol (CBD) based cream; the use of which is entirely voluntary. Participants will also receive a $30 gift card if they complete the questionnaires over the 7-day study.

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How ancient medicine is merging with legalization

Ayurveda is herbal medicine that blends well with marijuana legalization

Ayurveda is an ancient medical system originating in India, dating back to over 3,000 years ago.

At the very core of Ayurveda, the treatments and lifestyle recommended are meant to promote good health while preventing illness. Some of the practices that are recommended in Ayurveda include using herbal remedies, massages, yoga, meditation, and following the specified diet.

Additionally, Ayurveda sees the 5 elements of nature which are water, fire, air, space, and earth combine in the human body as doshas, or components. These doshas are the pitta, vatta, or kapha, all of which relate to the elements of nature. Ayurveda states that for optimum mental and physical health, all the doshas should be well balanced.

In India, Ayurveda is the most widely accepted type of medical care the way we accept western medicine here. Professional ayurvedic practitioners should undergo institutionalized training in order to be able to practice.

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Best CBD oils for arthritis: Top 6 hemp tinctures for joint pain reviewed

Arthritis is no joke. Painful and even debilitating in some cases, it is a serious ailment that plagues as many as 54 million Americans each year. Moreover, it is the number one cause behind disability leave in the workplace in the United States.

CBD is becoming a favorite method for treating the pain of arthritis. But what is the best CBD oil for arthritis? How do you make sure that you are getting the right one for you? Here are five of the best CBD oils on the market today for treating arthritis.

 

Best CBD Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain

1. Royal CBD

Though they are relatively new to the market, Royal CBD has shown to be a high-grade organic manufacturer of all of its CBD products. They keep things pretty simple, offering only CBD capsules, oil, and gummies though they do have a few topicals that have been CBD-infused. Other media outlets have also given praise to this new CBD sensation, including CFAH, LA Weekly, Herald Net, Bellevue Reporter, and more.

Both the capsules and oil are full-spectrum extracts, with flavor options such as berry, mint, vanilla, and unflavored. They also offer different potencies as not everyone is going to have the same needs.

Each and every Royal CBD product is tested to ensure that their batches are clean and free of contaminants that can impact the CBD dosage. With several easy-to-swallow options in a variety of flavors, it only makes sense why this is such a popular option.

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Cannabis impacts distinct demographics differently

Most drugs come with their fair share of tall tales. These range from the fearful to the reverent, granting these substances powers that do not align with their actual effects. Cannabis is one drug that has been both understudied and over-mythologized.

“Cannabis has been around for a long time, but it has not been well studied,” said Harriet de Wit, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

“People have decided for themselves what it’s good for. It’s hard for us to know how much of those effects are pharmacological or just expectancy.”

As cannabis legalization and access expands, it becomes increasingly crucial for people to understand it more fully. Part of this understanding requires learning how cannabis can uniquely impact different populations.

De Wit is studying the effects of THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — in specific groups of people. Her research team recently released two papers on the effects of cannabis in women and adolescents. The studies measured real-time effects of THC in human participants in tightly controlled settings. They found that increasing doses of THC can increase bodily anxiety in women, and that compared to adults, adolescents are more negatively impacted by THC on cognitive tasks.

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Key findings from the largest clinical trial conducted on CBD products

Participants in the Radicle ACES study experienced significant improvement in five different health indicators while taking CBD, but they felt no difference between products with various cannabinoid spectrums.

While the effects of CBD on people are just starting to be studied, the effects of individual products have been mostly anecdotal. But a recent study has attempted to shed light on individual products and the cannabinoid as a whole.

Radicle ACES (Advancing CBD Education & Science), an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved a study conducted by Radicle Science that included 13 different CBD brands, concluded late last year. Radicle Science is led by Dr. Jeffrey Chen MD/MBA, founder and former director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, and Pelin Thorogood, president and co-founder of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.

The study took place over four weeks and included nearly 3,000 participants who were randomly assigned to take one of 13 CBD products, each from a different brand, in order to analyze the products’ effects on quality of life, well-being, anxiety, sleep quality and pain. (Meanwhile, one control group did not take any CBD products).

Overall, the study showed CBD had a significant impact on the participants–those taking a CBD product experienced “statistically significant improvement” across all health outcomes, Jessica Saleska, who led the research, said in an email. 

“The Radicle ACES study represents the largest clinical trial ever conducted on commercially-available CBD products and provides first-of-its-kind real-world evidence into what conditions users may experience benefit from CBD usage, whether these benefits are clinically meaningful, what attributes of CBD products may impact health outcomes, and what side effects may occur,” Saleska said.


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Ohio medical cannabis program has made almost $725 million

The Buckeye State’s first cannabis sales came in 2019, and now, Ohio is getting close to the $1 billion mark.

The medical cannabis program in Ohio has generated about $725 million in revenue, according to a local news report.

The figure was noted by local television station WKYC, which cited the state’s Department of Commerce Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Ohio lawmakers passed a measure legalizing medical cannabis in 2016, but sales did not begin until three years later. 

“Ohio’s program has matured pretty quickly,” said Kate Nelson, regional general manager for Acreage Holdings, a cannabis operator, as quoted by WKYC. “I’m very impressed at how much it’s grown as far as patient access goes, recommending physicians and products available.”

The Buckeye State’s medical cannabis law covers a wide range of qualifying conditions: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, Spasticity, spinal cord disease or injury, terminal illness, Tourette syndrome, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis.

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Can cannabis protect you from cognitive warfare?

We find ourselves in volatile times. The past two years have taken its toll on the collective mind, body and soul of humanity. We no longer trust the media, the institutions that are meant to safeguard us, and many have drawn imaginary lines of “difference” between themselves and their neighbors.

Many of us find it difficult to understand just how the hell we got here.

How did the conspiracy theorists get so much “right?” Are we really entering into a dystopian future, enslaved by the elite in a neo-corporate feudalistic system…where you need to prove how many times you got “boosted” against the latest alarmist pandemic before you can exercise basic human freedoms such as traveling or dining at your favorite restaurant?

These are all narratives that have been circulating the internet and have plagued conspiracy theorists for decades. Only recently, has the possibility of such a future gone mainstream due to the tyrannical reactions of western leaders and their allegiances to elitist clubs trying to shape the world in their image.

The uncertainty, the looming fear, the volatile news cycles — could all of this be part of a war strategy called “Cognitive Warfare”? As outlined by NATO:

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CBD oils from oHHo can help keep physical, mental strains in check

Companies like oHHo are planting their flag as industry leaders in the growing business, offering natural CBD oils, topicals, edibles and more that balance effectiveness with full transparency.

After centuries in the shadows, cannabis and cannabis-derived products like CBD oil are finally stepping into the spotlight. Though demonized for decades as states and federal agencies tangled over legalities, there’s little question that the age of boutique CBD products crafted to help conquer a host of health and wellness concerns has gone mainstream.

While medical study over the wide ranging effectiveness of CBD oil is still underway, organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) have deemed CBD safe and found no associations with any negative health impacts. Of course, centuries of anecdotal use around the world support even loftier claims with CBD users raving about the compound’s ability to help regulate sleep, calm anxieties, soothe body pain and soreness, and more.

With interest in CBD products at a fever pitch, companies like oHHo are planting their flag as industry leaders in the growing business, offering natural CBD oils, topicals, edibles and more that balance effectiveness with full transparency.

Working hand in hand with a finely curated collection of American small farm growers and a team of world class biochemists, oHHo is producing sustainable, high potency CBD and botanicals products that can help bring mind and body back into balance.

Unlike some of their competitors who employ artificial additives, oHHo strives for absolute purity, using only hemp extract and MCT oil in crafting their four full-spectrum CBD tinctures. Each of their four varieties – New York, Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont – hail from farms in those areas, not only helping trace the exact lineage of each oil back to their organic, sustainable sources, but offer a taste of each region’s unique combination of plant, soil, and other environmental factors.

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Here’s what changed for medical cannabis in Utah in the 2022 legislative session

Patient advocate Christine Stenquist says the state has come a long way on medical cannabis.

A range of bipartisan bills passed during this year’s legislative session expanding Utah’s medical cannabis program. They ranged from clearer protections for patients to expanded access for qualifying conditions and more regulatory labeling.

These bills had general support from some patient advocate groups.

Christine Stenquist, founder of TRUCE — a Utah-based patient advocacy group, said the state has made progress when it comes to medical cannabis.

“When we [were] discussing the CBD-only legislation and the fear and the concern that was around that legislation, to where we are now where we have dispensaries and growers,” she said.

“Now, we're just fighting for reasonably-priced access and labeling. We've come a long way.”

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Study: Cannabis lowers your BMI and fights inflammation in the human body

Using cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle and diet to bring your weight down is a great, natural way to keep inflammation at bay.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis has been recognized for many years. Scientists understood that compounds within the cannabis plant that helped humans (and animals) heal from disorders caused by inflammation, which is also linked to obesity. This is important because chronic inflammation is responsible for half of all the deaths worldwide.

For these reasons, people are told by doctors that they should be losing weight for their health. It’s much more than simply being obese or for aesthetic reasons. Obesity is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and stroke. Meanwhile, systemic inflammation can cause other fatal diseases including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

But how exactly obesity triggers inflammation in the body is relatively uncertain, though it seems like it has to do with an immune response. Scientists know that more weight means that the body has more inflammation, and reducing weight also means less inflammation.

Now, a new study reveals that our body mass index (BMI) actually plays a role in the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis.

The researchers wanted to analyze the pathways that link systemic inflammation to cannabis use. They studied the experience of 712 minority youth, including their assigned sex at birth and gender. The subjects went through 6 biannual visits during which their substance use was analyzed, their BMI was measured and plasma samples were taken during their final visit.

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Caryophyllene: What is this terpene and why should you care about it right now?

Caryophyllene has the special ability to bind to CB2 receptors, making its therapeutic benefits even more pronounced, which is a fantastic benefit for those seeking relief from inflammation and pain.

Scientists have identified around 400 terpenes, though only a fraction of them are well-known. These aromatic compounds exist not just in cannabis but in other plants too. They are best known for the unique aromas they give plants including cannabis, but they also have a host of health benefits and have an influence on the effect of strains.

There are some popular terpenes including linalool, myrcene, and limonene. But today, we’re going to discuss caryophyllene, and why this is the terpene you should be paying attention to.

What Is Beta Caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene, which is also found in herbs including basil, oregano, and black pepper, has a spicy, peppery aroma. It’s the same aroma responsible for giving the said herbs that kick when you smell it, and in some cases it can be spicy and musky.

Caryophyllene has a unique molecular structure. Specifically, it’s because it has a rare cyclobutene ring that isn’t found in other cannabis terpenes. When you consume cannabis high in caryophyllene, internally it easily binds to the CB2 receptors unlike THC which binds to the CB1 receptors. This is why THC causes a psychoactive effect but caryophyllene doesn’t produce a high. However, it will still enable you to feel its therapeutic benefits especially reducing inflammation.

It’s just one of the many primary compounds in cannabis as well as other herbs that are widely used in cooking. Not only will it make you feel good but it also has medicinal properties.

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Marijuana, metabolism & the munchies: Does cannabis cause weight gain?

 

So you’ve smoked a bit of weed. You’re chilled out, feeling relaxed, and chuckling at the TV. But you’re also really, really hungry. You’re overcome with a sudden desire to eat and faced with no other option but to raid the kitchen cupboards for a bag of crisps or box of cereal – and why does everything taste so good? 

Introducing one of the most notorious side effects of cannabis, ‘the munchies’. For years, researchers have assumed that the appetite-stimulating effects of cannabis pose a risk of weight gain for frequent cannabis users, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. The munchies don’t actually cause you to put on weight – but why is this?

The science behind the munchies

When high, many people experience an enhanced appetite, often in the form of intense cravings for sweet, salty, or carb-rich food. This sensation has been termed ‘the munchies’ and is one of the most common side effects of smoking or consuming weed, documented as early as 300 AD. 

In terms of what causes the munchies, we know that cannabis is the culprit, but what’s going on inside the brain to cause this insatiable urge to eat?  

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Arizona health department seeks info, cost estimates for marijuana clinical trials

The Arizona Department of Health Services wants to know who has the desire and credentials to do human studies on whether marijuana can treat health conditions such as autism. The agency is also asking researchers to estimate their yearly cost to do clinical trials.

The callout is a step toward issuing competitive grants — potentially worth $25 million over five years — to pay for marijuana clinical trials.

Priority review will eventually go to human studies that would focus on conditions such as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and pain.

Dr. Tally Largent-Milnes, assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona, wants to someday learn if cannabis can treat migraines.   

“But until we are able to run these clinical trials in a well-thought out manner, we’re never going to know the answer,” she said.

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Ireland: People with chronic pain want access to medical cannabis

Advocates suffering from chronic pain have launched the ‘What About Us’ campaign outside Leinster House, the seat of the Irish parliament in Dublin.

In Ireland, people with chronic pain are seeking legal access to medical cannabis, arguing that the current scheme is too restrictive.

Ireland’s medical marijuana program has only three qualifying conditions: plasticity associated with MS, nausea associated with chemotherapy and treatment-resistant epilepsy.

What About Us? Campaign

Advocates suffering from chronic pain have launched the ‘What About Us’ campaign outside Leinster House, the seat of the Irish parliament in Dublin.

Supported by People Before Profit parliament member, Gino Kenny, the group is calling on the Department of Health to expand the use of medical cannabis to include those with chronic pain.

 “The program is too restrictive; it’s only benefiting a handful of people. We think it’s not fit for purpose, so it has to expand,” Kenny said.

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Arizona gets a C- on medical cannabis report card

On a scale of acceptable to horrendous, Arizona ranks as mediocre when it comes to patient access to medical cannabis, according to Washington, D.C.-based patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.

In its latest State of the States Report, ASA said that Arizona's passing grade is largely because of its emphasis on recreational adult-use cannabis diverting resources away from the medical cannabis program.

“As the state rolls out its adult-use program over the top of the existing medical infrastructure, products for medical patients (high dosage edibles, lotions, suppositories, RSO) have become scarce while products for adult-use consumers have become ubiquitous,” the report stated.

The report highlights many of the issues raised by Arizona patients concerning the performance of the medical cannabis program, including rising costs to consumers and low accessibility, especially for those living in rural areas.

The group scored individual states on how well their cannabis laws and regulations accommodate patient needs based on seven categories, including patient rights, accessibility, program functionality, affordability, and consumer protection.

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Researchers say adolescent use of weed and amphetamines does not adversely affect future life success

Those who ditch their habits before the age of 30 “do not have lower economic and relationship success, and life quality.”

A new study out of Australia suggests that the future life success of adolescent cannabis and amphetamine consumers is not affected if they break the habit before the age of 30.

Individuals who stop in early adulthood “do not have lower economic and relationship success, and life quality,” notes a news release posted on EurekAlert detailing study findings.

“In a community sample, cannabis as well as cannabis and amphetamine use and/or use disorder in the adolescent period does not appear to predict life success in adulthood for those whose use has ceased prior to 30 years of age,” authors explain in the study, published this week in the peer-reviewed journal, Addiction Research & Theory.

A University of Queensland study from 2015 found lower quality of life (QoL) in the early teenage years predicted subsequent onset of cannabis use in young adulthood.

“Frequent use of cannabis does not appear to enhance the user’s QOL and appears to be associated with a reduced QOL into young adulthood.”

With the latest study, investigators wanted to shed light on the extent that cannabis and amphetamines use up to age 21 predicts life success at age 30. Onset use among study participants ranged from 15 to 19 years.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse to fund studies on legal marijuana

NIDA seeks to characterize the composition/potency, the pattern of use, and methods of administration of cannabis products

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and its consequences, is promoting federally funded research in cannabis expressing interest in studies on differing cannabis regulatory models and consumption patterns across the U.S., reported Marijuana Moment.

On Friday, the agency issued a notice of interest with instructions for researchers on how to apply for funding.

“Policies around cannabis products (including whole-plant cannabis and cannabis constituent compounds) in the United States (and globally) continue to evolve, and far outpace the knowledge needed to determine the public health impacts of these changes,” the notice says.

“Growing numbers of states have loosened restrictions on cannabis, including those on sales and use, bypassing medical marijuana laws or by making cannabis legal for adult recreational use, and in increasing numbers, states have done both.

In 2018 NIDA sought input from a National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) workgroup to identify cannabis policy research areas with the greatest urgency and potential for impact.

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Michigan marijuana recall reversal let businesses sell contaminated cannabis

More than 500 ounces of potentially contaminated marijuana — including some that tested positive for a fungus that can lead to lung infections or death — was quietly returned to store shelves in Michigan late last year, an MLive investigation revealed.

The action was the latest in a chain of events set in motion by a November 2021 recall of nearly 64,000 pounds of marijuana deemed potentially unsafe by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
 
The recall was prompted by a lack of faith in results from Viridis, a Michigan-based laboratory with two locations. Retests following the recall found some of cannabis contained higher than allowable levels of yeast and mold, and in some cases, the potentially dangerous banned pathogenic fungus, aspergillus, which can cause lung infections leading to death.
 
However, when a state judge reversed parts of the recall, state regulators said they had few options but to release the marijuana that failed retesting for possible sale. In fact, emails obtained by MLive via the Freedom of Information Act, show at least nine growers or retailers pressured the state to release their product from holds, despite the fact that it failed retesting.
 
MRA spokesman David Harns told MLive on Jan. 13 that nearly 32 pounds -- that’s 513 ounces of marijuana -- failed safety testing, yet made it to store shelves with no clear indicator on packaging notifying customers of potential danger.
 
“This product has been sold” or “is currently available for sale,” Harns said.
 
There were 2,475 other individual products -- items not sold as loose flower, potentially pre-rolled joints -- that also failed testing and were cleared for sale.
 
Harns said the figure doesn’t include an additional unidentified amount of failed marijuana remaining at processing or grow facilities that had yet to ship to retail stores.
 
Emails obtained by MLive reveal some companies pushed for the right to sell contaminated weed.
 
In emails sent to the MRA, two representatives from Divine Budz, identified as Samer Yokhana and Amanda Janowski, asked for clearance of marijuana that tested positive for aspergillus, considered to be one of the most dangerous contaminates the state looks for.
 
Aspergillus has potential to cause Aspergillosis, a lung infection that can be fatal. While there are threshold limits in marijuana for the presence of general molds and yeast, detection of any aspergillus automatically disqualifies it for sale.
 
In a Dec. 10 email, MRA Laboratory Specialist Dr. Patrice R. Fields notified Yokhana that some of the marijuana he and Janowski sought clearance for tested positive for aspergillus. In response, Yokhana asked Price to “look at the original testing,” indicating that despite failed retesting the marijuana met safety standards prior to the recall.
 
The MRA’s recall pertained to any marijuana flower tested by Viridis Laboratories, which operates labs in Lansing and Bay City. An audit of samples that passed testing from the Viridis Lansing lab were later tested and found to contain aspergillus. But on Dec. 3, Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray overturned part of the recall, saying since the audit only pertained to the Lansing lab, the recall for product tested in Bay City wasn’t justified.
 
“Our product was 100% tested at the Viridis North location (in Bay City),” Yokhana said in an email to the MRA. “I understand what you are saying, but the judge’s order for a (temporary restraining order on the recall for marijuana tested in Bay City) is for everything to return to status quo before this happened, which means this failed testing needs to return to its original form …
 
“This has and is costing us (an extensive) amount of losses.”
 
Samer Yokhana is named in state licensing records as a supplemental applicant, meaning he is a manager or partial owner, of two marijuana grows, including Vasmed in Vassar and Elite Pharms in Bloomfield Hills. Divine Budz is a marijuana brand with an active Facebook page listing Yokhana’s email address in the contact information.
 
MLive called a phone number associated with Divine Budz that was answered by a woman who identified herself as “Amanda.” The woman promptly hung up when the reporter identified himself. She did not answer when the number was called back.
 
Hours later, a man who identified himself as Yokhana, returned a call and said his company’s marijuana “didn’t fail for aspergillus. They just did a recall for Viridis labs.”
 
When asked specifically about the emails sent to the MRA, Yokhana said a manager would contact MLive with more information, but no one ever did.
 
Thaier Fandakly, who identified himself in an email with state officials as a technology manager representing Mediq Laboratories, a Linwood-based grow facility, became so frustrated with the MRA’s failure to clear failed marijuana, that he complained in emails sent directly to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel on Dec. 15.
 
“According to Judge Murray’s order on (Dec. 3), all recalled products should be treated as if (the) recall never happened,” Fandakly wrote. “I’m requesting our products be changed to ‘test passed’ immediately.
 
“This is costing our business irreparable harm each day (the) MRA delays the reversal. Additionally, this is upsetting our vendors that we have worked hard to keep a good standing relationship with.”
 
MLive sent several messages to the email address in MRA records for Mediq Laboratories, and received no response. In a phone call to a number linked to Fandakly, a man who identified himself as a former coworker said he contacted Fandakly, who did not wish to comment.
 
Six of the companies initiating emails reviewed by MLive, including MNS Stephens Ventures in Warren, Custom Genetics in Whittemore, Aunt Sparkies in Vassar, Levels Cannabis in Center Line, Goldkine Cannabis in Warren and High Mountain Cannabis Company in Vassar, never responded to requests for comment via phone or email contact.
 
Three businesses, Mediq Laboratories in Linwood, Puff Cannabis in Madison Heights and Divine Budz in Sterling Heights, said they didn’t wish to discuss the emails when contacted by phone.
 
Three other companies with emails included in the MRA records release -- Green Mitten Pharms in Bentley, Wanda Products in Luzerne and Golden Harvests in Bay City -- said by phone or email their marijuana was never sold to customers or never failed testing but was on hold awaiting retesting. When the recall was lifted, the samples no longer required retesting and the businesses asked MRA to remove the holds.
 
David Pleitner, the CEO of Golden Harvests, in an email to MLive, said one of 28 samples failed retesting.
 
“It should be noted, this product passed its original test and passed one of two retests meaning two out of the three results passed full compliance,” he said. “However, out of an abundance of caution, we took immediate action with our retail partners and the product was either returned to us for remediation or destroyed.”
 
Joshua Smith, a cofounder of Green Mitten Pharms, when contacted by phone said his company’s marijuana never failed testing but was scheduled for retesting, which resulted in the MRA placing a hold on the product.
 
Emails from Jeff Tenniswood, who’s listed in state records as an owner of Troy-based Wanda Products, were included in the MRA records release, but Tenniswood said in a call with MLive his company’s marijuana never failed safety testing. It was placed on hold due to the recall and scheduled to be retested when the judge reversed the portion of the recall encompassing his product.
 
At that point, Tenniswood told MLive the business didn’t feel retesting was necessary, since it originally passed safety compliance requirements at the Viridis Bay City lab that was no longer part of the recall.
 
“The whole reason for having a regulated market” is to ensure product safety, Tenniswood said. “If it failed, then absolutely, it needs to be remediated for secondary testing. For us, that wasn’t the case. For us, our stuff never failed.”
 
Attorneys for the MRA filed a court motion asking the Court of Claims to reconsider the ruling, but it was denied and the MRA did not appeal.
 
The MRA did not notify the public specifically what products failed testing, as it has for past recalls, but did release a list of nearly 400 retailers that possessed recalled product.
 
The agency opened at least 22 investigations related to health complaints blamed on recalled marijuana that included reports of flu-like symptoms, nausea, headaches, asthmatic reactions and a case abdominal pain that resulted in pancreatitis and hospitalization.
 
“Each and every action the MRA took regarding this product safety recall was based solely on protecting Michigan’s cannabis consumers,” MRA spokesman David Harns said. “When we were taken to court in an effort to stop the recall, we raised concerns through our court pleadings about potential health and safety concerns. When a large portion of subsequent tests failed, we made sure that the court was aware.
 
“The MRA was enjoined by court order from taking any further action on the marijuana product that was carved out of the recall, even after filing a motion for reconsideration. The dedicated public servants at the MRA remain committed to keeping the safety of Michigan’s cannabis consumers as our primary focus as we work to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to marijuana.”
 
In its motion for reconsideration, the MRA said 26% of retested marijuana from the Bay City Viridis lab failed, according to court documents.
 
That doesn’t necessarily mean Viridis tests were flawed, and the company maintains its testing methods are and were accurate.
 
“The failed retests have no bearing on the accuracy of our initial laboratory results,” Viridis Laboratories CEO Greg Michaud said in December. “Once a sample has cleared point-in-time testing, the associated product goes through a variety of uncontrolled environments from transportation to processing/packaging, and finally to the provisioning centers where the product is handled by staff and customers. Contamination can and does occur at any part of these handling processes.”
 
In a comment for this story, Michaud said: “MRA rules currently do not require or even allow cannabis testing beyond the point-in-time testing. If the MRA believes that post-testing microbial growth is a health and safety issue, they should require re-testing of product if it’s still on shelves after a certain time has passed since the initial test.”
 
Viridis has conducted free retesting for thousands of samples to help ensure product safety since the “ill-advised and unnecessary recall,” Michaud said.
 
If customers attempt to purchase product that was originally tested and passed by the Viridis Bay City lab, the labeling will not indicate it failed retesting.
 
Retailers face a similar lack of transparency.
 
If we had the recalled marijuana “and it was sitting here on hold, if the flower producer sent it to be retested, and the judge lifted (the recall), we wouldn’t know that it got retested and failed during that period in time,” said Troy Boquette, the general manager of Freddie’s Joint, a retailer in Clio.
 
According to the MRA, product that failed safety testing would appear as such in the statewide system.
 
Freddie’s Joint was not among the companies that emailed the MRA to have product cleared, but like most retail locations in the state, did have in its inventory marijuana impacted by the recall.
 
“I don’t like the courts being the scientists and determining what’s safe and what’s not,” Boquette said. “I mean, it’s really black and white to me.
 
“It’s either safe or it’s not, and if the state of Michigan or a licensed testing facility says that it’s not safe, then it’s not safe to me, so I think anybody who would sell it is -- just, I’d question their motive.”
 
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Patent trolls beware! This lawyer is tracking every application in the psychedelics space

 

“So, DMT vapes have now been patented,” Graham Pechenik, a San Francisco-based registered patent attorney, tweeted earlier this month.

Only it wasn’t a celebratory tweet. The application was filed in July 2020, and although vaping DMT, a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug, has been around for more than 10 years, the patent was granted earlier this month. A simple Google search could have revealed that, argues Pechenik.

“This is how patent trolls function,” Pechenik tells The GrowthOp’s Sam Riches following his Twitter post that sparked online outrage.

Graham Pechenik is a registered patent attorney and the founder of Calyx Law. Photo provided.

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