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Medicinal cannabis is changing the face of clinical medicine.  We are the leaders of that change.

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At CED Clinic, we aim to create a welcoming and professional environment in which patients and clinicians can openly discuss the benefits of medical cannabis.

Our Services

  • Massachusetts Medical Card Certifications
    • Adult Cannabis Care
    • Pediatric Cannabis Care
  • In-Depth Consultations & Care Plans
    • Concierge Care
    • EO Care
    • Medical Second Opinions
    • Talk Therapy

Our Mission

  • To Heal
  • To Educate
  • To Listen

Our Team

Benjamin Caplan, MD
Erin Caplan, NP

Benjamin Caplan, MD, stands at the forefront of medical cannabis care as the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of CED Clinic and CED Foundation. His entrepreneurial journey further extends as the Founder of multiple medical cannabis technology and educational platforms and as a medical advisor to the prestigious cannabis investment fund, GreenAXS Capital. Within digital healthcare, Dr. Caplan co-founded EO Care, Inc, a pioneering digital therapeutic and telemedicine platform, offering personalized cannabis care and product plans and continuous clinical guidance to a global clientele seeking a reliable, evidence-based cannabis care partner. Adding to his repertoire of contributions to the medical cannabis arena, Dr. Caplan has recently published “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” an industry-first resource empowering readers with the full scope of the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Through his multifaceted involvement, Dr. Caplan continuously strives to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and cannabis care, making a significant impact in evolving holistic healthcare.

Erin Caplan, NP is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a master’s-level medical education from Simmons. Her extensive clinical journey has been enriched through roles at Massachusetts General Hospital, Hyde Park Pediatrics, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she has provided both inpatient and outpatient primary care to some of the most fragile and challenging pediatric patients. A registered cannabis care provider licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, Erin seamlessly blends her pediatric expertise with the nuance and adaptability required for personalized cannabis care. A community leader, avid athlete, and dedicated mother of four, Erin’s compassionate bedside manner and steadfast commitment to evidence-based practice have earned her the trust and appreciation of patients and families, showcasing her as a harmonious blend of clinical excellence with a personal touch.

Patient Stories

Used as a Human Target as a Kid, Medical Cannabis is the answer.

I’m totally blind. I live in a rural area. So when I was 12, same-age peers thought zapping the blind girl’s eyes with laser pointers would be a great idea. It got bad enough that my paraprofessional had to have the devices banned from the school for my safety. Shortly after, I began having intense eye aches. I differentiate them from headaches because even a 12 year old can tell the difference. Doctors told my parents and I they were migraines. It wasn’t until later in life that I began realizing there was something else going on here. Really studying migraines, studying the eye, studying neurology and understanding not all was as it seemed. I began developing my own theories as to what these “migraines” were. I take migraine meds, but they don’t treat the eye aches. They treat the other migraine symptoms just fine. My younger brother suggested I try edibles last year. Because by this point, I was in enough pain where I believed I’d have to have my eyes removed. None of us wanted to see that happen. So he took me to a dispensary, (he had spoken with someone he knew there about me prior, and they’d come up with a regimen they thought would work.) The first clue I had that we were on the right track, was that I slept for 14 hours. So I kept a calendar and a spreadsheet full of virtual sticky notes, and 2 weeks later came to Dr. Caplan for my medical card, crazy theories about optic neuropathy in underdeveloped optic nerves and all. A year later, I’m studying cybersecurity, because that’s something I found I’m passionate about, and I can do it now!

Krista Pennell

To sleep well again is life-changing

Dr. Caplan was coincidentally recommended by both my dentist and a close friend. I was concerned about finding a high level, knowledgeable, physician in a professional setting who understood using cannabis in a safe and effective manner. I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan more highly. His knowledge is vast and I am grateful for his expertise, care and compassion. To sleep well again is life-changing. Very few things literally change someone’s life. Dr. Caplan’s knowledge and guidance on cannabis did that for me.

Barbara M.

Not once did I feel rushed or embarrassed, in fact I felt like he really does care about my circumstances, and wanted for me to feel confident and prepared

Honestly, I was hesitant to try cannabis. I have debilitating menstrual cramps and my OB/GYN recommended Dr. Caplan. I was more than a little hesitant to try cannibas because all I really knew about it was that people used it to get “high” – and that was not something I was interested in. This perspective totally changed when I actually came in and met with Dr. Caplan. He was incredibly understanding and really took the time to ease my mind about the whole process, what kind of options there were to choose from, what they might do, and what would probably appeal to me. He spent a lot of time answering all my questions (and I had a lot!). Not once did I feel rushed or embarrassed, in fact I felt like he really does care about my circumstances, and wanted for me to feel confident and prepared.

Mark L.

Dr. Caplan was thorough in his evaluation and friendly and accessible in his approach

Dr. Caplan was thorough in his evaluation and friendly and accessible in his approach. He provided in depth information and step by step guidance for beginning the process of utilizing cannabis therapies. He is available to his patients by email and phone. I highly recommend an appointment with him if you are even remotely considering medicinal use. I was hesitant about this approach before my appointment but now, after talking with Dr. Caplan and learning a little bit more about the science, I am eager to explore and I feel better already!

Rachel M.

I saw Dr Caplan a few months ago, and from even before I met him, he has made himself available to me over email, for questions, more than even my regular doctor

I came into marijuana medicine with zero experience. I must say, I’ve been learning a ton, and I would recommend it to anyone with terrible anxiety and depression. I saw Dr Caplan a few months ago, and from even before I met him, he has made himself available to me over email, for questions, more than even my regular doctor. A friend told me that I should see Dr Caplan, but I was still unsure about becoming a medical marijuana patient. I called and was able to speak with Dr Caplan directly. He took time, on the phone, even before he had met me, to explain the whole process, which helped me feel more comfortable putting a voice and personality to the process. Later, when I finally came in, during the visit, he spent almost 40 minutes with me, walking me through how cannabis might fit in with some of the other treatments I currently use. We have kept in touch over email since, like 3 or 4 random questions, and has always responded promptly. I think he is a truly special doctor, and from what I’ve read on Twitter, has a passion for educating and helping improve the perception of cannabis.

Alan T.

I had an enjoyable visit with clear information and education about medical marijuana and the dispensaries

Full stars. I appreciate the great parking and simple scheduling system. I had an enjoyable visit with clear information and education about medical marijuana and the dispensaries. No fancy language, no time wasted. Works for me.

Michael J.

I am a survivor of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and Dr Caplan of CED Clinic is, hands down, the favorite voice of support and cannabis education for our hospital list-serv care group

I am a survivor of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and Dr Caplan of CED Clinic is, hands down, the favorite voice of support and cannabis education for our hospital list-serv care group. I have seen him speak publicly, and on TV, and of course he is also my doctor. In spite of having what seems to be a crowd of patients who are mostly in terrible pain or have a generous helping of emotional/mental issues, I see him work tirelessly for his patients and for the cause, in general. I appreciate his leadership in the cannabis field. He is one in a million.

Stephanie W.

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have. As a person that suffers from anxiety, upon arriving at the office I felt welcomed and relaxed because the doctor is compassionate and kind. The office atmosphere is not what I expected at all and was very peaceful and relaxing, also there were snacks and beverages which I have never seen before in a doctor’s office. I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment. I made an appointment on a Saturday and was seen right away on the same day! Very easy process and very responsive. I am happy I chose Dr. Caplan!

Joshua C.

This is our second visit to Dr. Caplan in a year, and on both occasions, we were just blown away by his caring and compassion

This is our second visit to Dr. Caplan in a year, and on both occasions, we were just blown away by his caring and compassion. He is a true healer, with a great heart, enormous patience, and extraordinary expertise. My wife and I were amazed to find a physician who truly puts his patients first, and who is passionate about figuring out the best way to help us with our chronic pain. In our 60+ years of experience with health care providers, Dr. Caplan is among the most committed, generous, and caring healers we have ever met.

Heather F.

I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan highly enough

I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan highly enough. This was my third medical marijuana certification review (original plus two renewals), and the previous two doctors were just perfunctory form-fillers in shabby offices in remote office parks. Dr. Caplan is a REAL cannabis doctor who’s deeply knowledgeable about medical marijuana and clearly explains EXACTLY how to use it for YOUR specific conditions. He also has a real doctor’s office in a real medical building right on Boylston Street (Route 9) in Chestnut Hill ( not far from NETA Brookline, my dispensary of choice.) AND THE VISIT IS COVERED BY MEDICAL INSURANCE! I’ve become somewhat knowledgeable about what works for my primary complaint (chronic pain from spinal stenosis w/ radiculopathy) and what to avoid, but he gave me brand new ways to deal with my insomnia (including how and when to use edibles, which hadn’t worked for me before b/c I didn’t really know what I was doing) and arthritis in my hands (including a simple recipe to make topical lotion that’s stronger and cheaper than the commercial products). I interrupted him with frequent questions, which he answered at whatever level of detail and technical information I wanted. I had been deeply dissatisfied with the cannabis doctors I went to before, but Dr. Caplan is an outstanding DOCTOR who happens to specialize in medical marijuana because he cares about helping patients for whom traditional medicine hasn’t fully met their needs. You can book appointments on his web site, although my wait time was more than 10 minutes (during which I filled out his online patient questionnaire on my phone and ate all the Kit Kats in his candy basket), it was well worth it. This is a relatively new practice, I believe, and it’s going to get a lot busier as word spreads. But just do yourself a favor and go: this is what state-of-the-art medical marijuana care is supposed to be like.

Steve G.

Dr. Caplan patiently explained how there are so many options to chose from and exactly what each was helpful for

I recently had my first appointment with Dr. Caplan after reading negative reviews of so many other medical marijuana certification “places”. I can’t say enough good things about my visit with him. To start with he’s a very compassionate, caring doctor. I’m a 63 yr old woman and had never used marijuana or “street drugs”, so I was feeling nervous about trying it. I recently started chemo therapy at Dana-Farber and the side effects have been difficult to deal with. In particular, insomnia and a bit of evening anxiety. He is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of medical marijuana. Dr. Caplan patiently explained how there are so many options to chose from and exactly what each was helpful for. With that said, he suggested several products for me to try. I now know what helps me, but each person has to use the information he gives and then try different products from a reputable medical dispensary. I plan to have a 2nd appt. with him in a few months just to get his feedback on my experiences and possibly more recommendations. It’s not necessary to go back to him after getting your certification, but he truly knows so much about the medicinal benefits that I’d like to learn even more. I highly recommend him.

Nancy O.

I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have. As a person that suffers from anxiety, upon arriving at the office I felt welcomed and relaxed because the doctor is compassionate and kind. The office atmosphere is not what I expected at all and was very peaceful and relaxing, also there were snacks and beverages which I have never seen before in a doctor’s office. I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment. I made an appointment on a Saturday and was seen right away on the same day! Very easy process and very responsive. I am happy I chose Dr. Caplan!

Robert M.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate. He answered all of my questions and gave me a great deal of useful information (while emphasizing that I didn’t have to absorb all of it right away). He encouraged me to contact him with any more questions I might have after the appointment, and began the process of registering me immediately after I left. I had an email from the Commonwealth of MA before I got home, and completed the application online within a few minutes. It couldn’t have been an easier or more stress-free experience. Dr. Caplan truly believes in the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicinal tool, and is committed to making it more widely available for that purpose and in dispelling the ocean of ignorance that has unfortunately been created around it in our society. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

Justice S.

Excellent Experience, top to bottom

Excellent Experience, top to bottom. I scheduled my appointment on CED clinic website, got in the next day – and visit was informative, and doc was kind, compassionate, and amazingly knowledgeable. I intend to follow him as a permanent addition to my healthcare and would recommend widely.

Ellison M.

I’m shy but felt comfortable and supported

Awesome doctor. Super easy to talk to. I’m shy but felt comfortable and supported. Great teacher too. I had no idea there was so much to know!

Sara E.

I learned about different options and lots of choices, and received handouts to learn even more

First heard of Dr Caplan on /r/BostonTrees subreddit. Made my appointment online, for the next day, and did all paperwork online before I came in. Building is very professional and comfortable, with great parking, and close to where I live. As I expected, doc was kind, thorough, and efficient. We reviewed my medical history, talked about what I had been doing in the past, and discussed a host of treatment ideas, and not just marijuana. I learned about different options and lots of choices, and received handouts to learn even more. I plan to follow up in a few months, and I look forward to it.

Ryan H.

Every time I come in, I learn something new and amazing.

I followed Dr Caplan from his position as the Medical Director of Canna Care Docs to CED Clinic – and would follow him again. I have had years of back pain and arthritis – my wrists and knees and hips. Dr Caplan has helped me understand much more about marijuana, and I have to say, it has been a wonderful improvement for me. Every time I come in, I learn something new and amazing. It’s a new industry for me, and I feel very well supported.

Elizabeth P.

My visit with Dr. Caplan made it comforting to know that someone was on my side

My visit with Dr. Caplan made it comforting to know that someone was on my side. I was surprised to find that Dr. Caplan does more than just write scripts for people to take to dispensaries. He sees some of his patients on a regular basis to personalize treatment plans and it’s clear he cares about education and the destigmatization of medical cannabinoids. He goes to assisted living centers, medical expos, wellness centers, and more to speak with people on the matter. This is his passion!

Benjamin T.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate. He answered all of my questions and gave me a great deal of useful information (while emphasizing that I didnâ€t have to absorb all of it right away). He encouraged me to contact him with any more questions I might have after the appointment, and began the process of registering me immediately after I left. I had an email from the Commonwealth of MA before I got home, and completed the application online within a few minutes. It couldn’t have been an easier or more stress-free experience.†“— Dr. Caplan truly believes in the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicinal tool, and is committed to making it more widely available for that purpose and in dispelling the ocean of ignorance that has unfortunately been created around it in our society. I can€t recommend him highly enough.

Jeff E.

Very knowledgeable and compassionate

Very knowledgeable and compassionate.

Irene C.

I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the initial appointment.  It was informative, educational and an overall great experience!  Dr. Caplan is easy-going, kind, and gave clear, detailed information about medical cannabis and MA medical dispensaries.  I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan.  His clinic and his knowledge are certainly worth 5-star reviews!

Ashley S.

I had such a good experience with Dr. Caplan of CED Clinic.  

I had such a good experience with Dr. Caplan of CED Clinic.

Medical: I had a lot of worries going in, and Dr. Caplan put me at ease with his knowledge and calm manner.  As a family doctor, he asked good questions about my extensive medical background, in a supportive way.  He used normal people words instead of medical gobbledygook!  (I had just an hour before been at an appointment with a medical person who thought I should understand when he talked about my distal iliolumbar neuropathy – or something like that, I had no idea what he was talking about – so I especially noticed when Dr. Caplan used normal words that any person would know.)

Educational: He provided excellent information for total newbies, showed some devices, talked about legal stuff, and gave great info about local clinics and huge discounts available.  I’m used to doctors providing pretty poor education materials, but Dr. Caplan’s infographics and handouts were a thing of beauty – informative, easy to read, and visually simple.  I hope Dr. Caplan writes a book because I will buy it.

Logistics: This is such a streamlined practice, it is easy to get in soon, and respectful of your time.  I got an appointment within less than 2 days, scheduled online, filled out my info online beforehand, found parking easily, was in and out quickly, and received the email with next steps instructions and application activation code in 1.5 hour!  Can’t possibly be easier than this.

Laura M.

Dr. Caplan was very friendly, extremely helpful and knowledgeable

Dr. Caplan was very friendly, extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  I would definitely recommend and I am looking forward to having him as a health resource.

Timothy Y.

I’ve switched 100% to cannabis as my go-to medicine

I’ve switched 100% to cannabis as my go-to medicine.  I’m sick of pharmaceuticals; the weight gain, the weird feelings like I’m a zombie, the miserable sleep…sorry, but hard pass.  Weed helps take the edge off and I’m still fully functional.

Anonoymous

The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook

"A wealth of information and a huge dose of compassion and clarity."

Melissa Etheridge

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CED Clinic Blog
November 6, 2023Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk: Navigating the Nuances in Media and Medicine The spotlight on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” has intensified, notably with a recent CNN article by a journalist hailing from Georgia, Sandee LaMotte, sketching a picture that points to potential risks linked with marijuana use. Unfortunately, this sort of impulsive, one-sided journalism prompts an important second look at the media’s role in scientific discourse and the nuanced reality of such health risks. The Intricacies of Cannabis and Cardiovascular Health Cannabis and cardiovascular health share a complex relationship. The interplay of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, with the cardiovascular system is a subject of critical research. Studies highlight that while nitric oxide (NO) serves a protective role in vascular health, THC may impede its beneficial effects, indicating the need for a nuanced understanding of these findings. Considering the ying-yang nature of CBD and THC, this also reminds of the importance of cannabis care that is guided by experts who can help inform patients what the real risks are, and which substances may present a reality that is not only low risk, but may even pose potential benefits in cardiovascular health. Comprehensive Perspectives Beyond THC (A narrow viewpoint) Broadening the conversation on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” requires consideration of, and the roles played by other cannabis constituents, including CBD, other minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The method of cannabis consumption, from smoking or vaping to topicals, edibles, and other forms of delivery, is another important area that demands deeper discussion into their potential impacts on heart health. Ignoring the nuances of the wide range of constituents within cannabis, and demonizing it all, regardless of form, delivery, or patient, stinks worse than a skunk at a perfume factory, but perhaps not on account of the cannabis. Fast aside, did you know that, when threatened, skunks spray a potent and pungent liquid from their glands as a defense mechanism? The smell is notoriously difficult to remove and can linger for a long time.  … just saying. The Importance of Balanced Reporting in Science (Biased Science and Reporting) The tendency of health science reporting to sensationalize findings has become increasingly common, as seen in the CNN article. However, such reports must strive to mirror the spectrum of scientific research, encompassing not just the risks but also the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. As with any reporting and all science, wise readers should consider the scientific sources underpinning published work, as well as the qualifications and historical perspectives/biases of experts that support the reporting and sharing of views.  Do the papers themselves pose the risks about which the journalism reports?  Are the experts qualified and experienced in the domain of discussion? Have those experts shown themselves to be repeatedly bull-horning one particular viewpoint? Does the perspective appear like a solo, unending tiki-torch march against cannabis? Or, does scientific commentary present itself evenly on both sides of the discussion topic, from which the reader may derive their own conclusions?  Do you like your reporting to make your decisions for you? or do these nuances matter to YOU as the reader?  All important questions! ….If the reporting is pushing you to come to their conclusion, you should beware that, chances are, you’re not getting a full picture or the whole story.   Beware Causation vs Association!  Baking Cookies (Causation): Imagine you’re baking cookies. You add sugar to the cookie dough. The sugar directly causes the cookies to taste sweet. This is causation: you do something (add sugar), and it directly causes a result (sweetness in cookies). Roosters Crow and the Sun Rises (Association): Now, think about a rooster crowing at sunrise. The rooster crows every morning as the sun rises. However, the rooster’s crowing doesn’t cause the sun to rise. They’re associated because they happen at the same time, but one does not cause the other. So, in causation, like adding sugar to cookies, there’s a direct cause and effect. In association, like the rooster crowing and the sunrise, two things are linked by timing or circumstance, but one doesn’t directly cause the other.   A Call for Rigorous Scientific Inquiry (Quality of Data) Recognizing that each study enriches the collective understanding, it is essentially for ongoing investigations to add more rigorous evaluations. Self-reports, lackluster patient selection, a disregard of patient environmental, socioeconomic, and a patent disregard for the medical backgrounds, ongoing treatment, or personal experience with cannabis is no longer acceptable for quality, peer-reviewed study,  The half-baked attitude supporting the current research should be cause for hesitation and doubt about the nature of relevant scientific knowledge about the interplay of cannabis and cardiovascular risk. (see references below, which highlight available good quality research that draws intrinsically opposing conclusions about the effects of cannabinoid-based phenomena on cardiovascular effect. For journalist claiming to make evidence-based conclusions, or for readers expecting to derive insights about the real world, the details matter! The Media’s Role in Scientific Discourse (limitations of the media) Journalists have a critical role in guiding the public discourse and in shaping the direction of health and science is shaped. The importance of how information is communicated cannot be overstated. Journalists should aim to convey research findings with accuracy, ensuring complex issues are not oversimplified. For the opinions or perspectives that belong in a domain of expertise beyond the reporter, appropriate expertise, on both sides of a debate, should be included to empower readers with a balanced offering of facts  The recent CNN report underscores the influence of the media and the need for precise and comprehensive communication, and unfortunately, precisely how information can be dangerously misleading or come out so one-sided as to be outright deceitful, from a scientific point of view.   Why do Journalists Do This ?  1. Overly Simple and Catchy News: Sometimes, reporters make complex science sound simpler so more people will understand it, but this can change the meaning. Headlines that say one thing causes another are more eye-catching than headlines that just show a connection, which can be misleading. 2. Getting the Science Wrong: Reporters might not always get the science right, especially if they don’t fully get the research methods or the numbers. They often use summaries or press releases that don’t give the whole story, which can lead to wrong ideas about what the research actually says. 3. Rushed Reporting and Using Secondhand Info: News moves fast, and the rush to get stories out can mean not enough time is spent checking facts, which can lead to mistakes or oversimplifications. Reporters also might rely on other articles instead of the original research, which can add to the chances of getting things wrong. What can consumers of information do to protect themselves? 1. Seek Comprehensive Understanding: Dive deeper than headlines by reading full articles to grasp the context of scientific findings. Enhance your critical thinking by educating yourself on basic scientific principles, such as distinguishing causation from correlation. This foundational knowledge aids in evaluating the credibility of news reports. 2. Cross-Reference Information: Verify news by consulting multiple reputable sources, including the original research studies when available. Accessing abstracts and conclusions can offer more direct insights, providing a broader perspective on the subject matter and helping to identify whether certain interpretations are commonly accepted or outliers. 3. Approach with Critical Analysis: Exercise healthy skepticism and be cautious of oversimplifications in science reporting. Recognize the limitations of journalism in conveying complex scientific data, and consider using fact-checking websites to validate claims. Engage with science communicators who can effectively distill intricate concepts for wider audiences. Considering the Breadth of Evidence It is vital to a healthy flow of public education to acknowledge the limitations and varied results of existing studies on the potential cardiovascular risks – and potential benefits – of various cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabis-related consumption. Journalists have a moral obligation to ensure that the public and healthcare providers receive reliable information for informed decision-making. Unless journalists are broadcasting through channels that are openly based on personal opinion, where bias and a lack of rigorous standards in research, analysis, or message broadcasting are self-evident, it is irresponsible to disseminate questionable scientific information to sway readers toward one perspective or another. Navigating the Complex Landscape of Cannabis Research The impact of cannabis on heart health is multifaceted, laden with complexities, and marked by many unknowns. Comprehending how cannabinoids may influence cardiovascular function—including the production, release, and degradation of Nitric Oxide, as well as determining their potential risks or benefits—is a critical area of ongoing research that is far from being fully understood Moving the Discussion on Cannabis and Heart Health In light of the recent media attention, it is imperative that the conversation surrounding ‘Cannabis and Cardiovascular Risk’ progresses in tandem with scientific discovery, adopting a perspective that is both open-minded and rigorously analytical. Research must delve into the complex and dynamic nature of cannabis, recognizing it as a multifactorial substance. Much like how food is not a monolith but rather a vast array of types, varieties, and flavors, each with its own nutritional profile and culinary role, cannabis too is a tapestry of diverse elements, each with distinct properties and effects Final Reflections on Media and Medical Responsibility Considering the potential cardiovascular risks associated with cannabis use, it is essential to foster a media environment that promotes evidence-based discussions. Simplified narratives risk obscuring the intricate reality of cannabis research and its implications for health. This underscores the shared responsibility of scientists and journalists to cultivate a dialogue that is both knowledgeable and reflective of the dynamic pursuit of scientific understanding Simplifying Nitric Oxide’s Role in Cardiovascular Health As a brief primer on the significance of nitric oxide (NO) in cardiovascular health: Nitric oxide is fundamental to the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. It aids in the relaxation of blood vessels, which is essential for the regulation of blood flow. Grasping the fundamental role of NO in vascular dilation, its influence on blood pressure, and its critical role in tissue oxygenation is vital. This understanding is particularly important when considering clinical outcomes, especially in the context of heart attacks and strokes, where NO’s role becomes prominently significant. The Connection Between Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Risk The interaction between nitric oxide (NO) and cardiovascular health adds a significant layer of complexity to discussions about cannabis. NO is a critical mediator in cardiovascular physiology, influencing vasodilation and thereby impacting blood pressure and flow. It is through these mechanisms that NO can affect the likelihood of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. For instance, reduced NO availability can lead to vasoconstriction, increased vascular resistance, and subsequent hypertension, all of which are risk factors for heart attacks. Conversely, optimal levels of NO can promote vasodilation, improve blood flow, and potentially mitigate these risks. In practice, if cannabis were found to enhance NO production, it could theoretically support vascular health by helping maintain adequate vessel dilation and blood flow. However, should cannabis interfere with NO production or function, it might exacerbate cardiovascular risks by promoting vasoconstriction and hypertension. Understanding how cannabis compounds interact with the NO pathway is therefore essential, as it could inform both clinical practice and individual decision-making regarding cannabis use, especially for those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. As we conclude the conversation on how “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” is represented in the media, it is clear that both journalists and medical professionals must work together to ensure that public discussions accurately reflect the complex and developing nature of scientific research. This collaboration is essential for preserving the integrity of scientific study and patient education, allowing for well-informed healthcare choices and ensuring the accuracy of the information provided to the community.   Listen to Dr Caplan speaking with Dr Riley Kirk, PhD about this topic, here, on her podcast References Papers on Nitric Oxide 2 papers that describe cannabinoid-based Nitric Oxide support and protective effects https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nHxR5xv2bNbt0NNmEh1YsTqpFaRlMyFf/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MihQGU1I3yzDQNb1RgsZH37NtFhegM5l/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ERPC2n7U5taHYrJhhmbnlO6RlsfAutpR/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mCoEMyLyBUA1TBRI1LwOxZg4031vuSh2 THC as problematic, showing inhibition of NO: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nm_TKPyGIC3MSHuQ55EJo3-nZo0_Tfbu/ Some evidence that there is direct+indirect impact with the coupling: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q3aWLbAvZVasZToTdArw7L9D7ugEa6tl/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W9HTapsWBr232fRhGDYNOm-ZRG3kRWOH/ Confounding of tobacco flavorings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nd44QufxCiN_EriqVgFcGFLY0k66NaKK/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/view?usp=sharing Terpenes also have an impact: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/ [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023A Fresh Perspective on an Intriguing Cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCV, popularly known as the “sports car of weed,” is a compound that’s attracting increasing attention, especially in California. It’s unique not just for its rarity but also for its purported effects—less munchies and more energy. In a cultural and medical landscape that has often stigmatized cannabis for making people “stoned” and “lazy,” THCV could be a game-changer. But what does science tell us about this intriguing cannabinoid? How do its actions differ from other, more well-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD? The Complex World of Cannabinoids: Diverse Effects, Varied Applications The nuanced effects of cannabinoids on the human body are mediated by their interactions with a complex network of receptors. For example, while THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite, THCV can act as an appetite suppressant. The contrasting physiological impacts underscore the importance of understanding the science behind each cannabinoid, especially as the medical applications of cannabis continue to expand. The Complex World of Cannabinoids and Their Diverse Effects on the Body Cannabis is a highly complex plant that contains a plethora of biologically active compounds. Among these are cannabinoids, a class of compounds that engage with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to produce a wide range of effects. Importantly, not all cannabinoids are created equal; they can have vastly different impacts on physiological and psychological processes. For example, the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol), have strikingly different effects: THC is psychoactive and can induce feelings of euphoria, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects in treating conditions like anxiety and epilepsy. Even cannabinoids that sound similar can have contrasting effects on the body. Take, for instance, THC, CBN (Cannabinol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin). THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite—a phenomenon colloquially known as “the munchies”—but THCV acts as an appetite suppressant. This diversity of effects is mediated by these cannabinoids interacting with different receptors or the same receptors in varying ways, leading to distinct physiological outcomes. Understanding these nuances is crucial for both clinicians and patients looking to harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis, particularly as research into its medical applications continues to expand. THCV and Pancreatic Beta-Islet Cells: Simple Science THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) can interact with TRPV (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid) receptors on the beta-islet cells of the pancreas. In simple terms, this interaction can regulate the release of insulin, which is vital for glucose metabolism. By modulating insulin levels, THCV might affect how our bodies process sugar and influence metabolic rate, although the evidence is still emerging. The Multifaceted Effects of THCV: Glucose Processing and Metabolism THCV may have a role in glucose processing and in metabolic rate beyond its influence on pancreatic function. Some evidence points to THCV’s potential to stimulate the oxidation of fat and the conversion of glycogen to glucose in muscles. These processes are vital for maintaining energy balance and metabolic rate. Moreover, published research has demonstrated that cannabis users tend to have lower weight, reduced rates of obesity, and thinner waist circumferences, although causality has not been definitively established. A 2013 study in the “Nutrition & Diabetes” journal indicated that THCV reduced glucose intolerance in obese mice, and another study in the “British Journal of Pharmacology” suggested that it could improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic models. However, human trials are still limited, and further research is needed to establish these potential benefits conclusively. The Different Views of THCV The Healthcare Provider’s Inquisition From a medical vantage point, THCV is capturing considerable attention. Preliminary research suggests that it holds promise for reducing appetite, body weight, and fasting glucose levels, making it a potentially significant candidate for treating metabolic disorders like diabetes. This unique profile has spurred interest in its incorporation into patient care plans, particularly in settings where metabolic health is a concern. Furthermore, its potential interaction with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, points to a deeper physiological impact that could be harnessed for therapeutic purposes. However, healthcare providers are keenly awaiting more comprehensive randomized controlled trials to substantiate these promising early findings and to guide appropriate dosages and methods of administration. The Skeptic’s Scrutiny Skeptics might easily categorize the excitement around THCV as another trend lacking in robust scientific evidence. While the pharmacological effects of THCV are indeed promising, it is critical to note that these effects have not yet been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which adds a layer of caution to any claims made about its therapeutic value. Moreover, some skeptics may argue that, without large-scale, peer-reviewed studies to back its efficacy and safety, the cannabinoid remains more of a curiosity than a proven medical asset. This skepticism is not unfounded, as the history of cannabis contains numerous examples of purported benefits that later failed rigorous scientific tests. Ultimately, the skeptics’ cautious approach serves as an essential counterbalance, driving the need for more high-quality research. The Newcomer’s Curiosity For those unfamiliar with the world of cannabis, THCV may serve as a compelling entry point due to its distinct “energetic” effects, as opposed to the more sedating effects often associated with other cannabinoids. This uniqueness could make it attractive to those who have reservations about traditional cannabis products and their psychoactive properties. The appeal of THCV could help to break down yet another barrier to broader acceptance and integration of cannabis into mainstream society. Furthermore, with its potential metabolic benefits, newcomers may find THCV to be a suitable introduction to the broader medicinal applications of cannabis. It’s this balance of energetic and potential health benefits that makes it a subject of interest for those exploring cannabis for the first time. The Veteran’s Evaluation For experienced cannabis consumers, THCV offers a refreshing break from more familiar cannabinoid options like THC and CBD. Its distinctive properties could provide a nuanced, and perhaps more balanced, experience that diversifies their cannabis consumption. Moreover, as a compound that may mitigate some of the effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, it offers an alternative experience that could be customized to individual preferences or medical needs. Veterans of cannabis use may find that incorporating THCV into their regimen adds a layer of complexity and specificity to their experience, potentially even optimizing the benefits they seek from cannabis. In a market saturated with THC and CBD products, THCV emerges as a novel avenue for exploration and individualized treatment. Integration and the State of the Market The market for THCV is undeniably growing, in part due to the federal legalization of hemp and technological advancements in cannabis cultivation. These factors have made it more accessible than ever before. However, accessibility does not necessarily equate to affordability. Due to the complexity of its extraction and isolation processes, THCV can cost up to ten times as much as traditional THC products, making it a premium option in the cannabinoid market. This economic barrier may limit its use for many consumers, despite its potential benefits. Clinical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, there’s a burgeoning sense of optimism surrounding the potential therapeutic applications of THCV. Researchers and healthcare providers are particularly interested in its unique physiological effects, such as appetite suppression and metabolic benefits. However, it’s imperative to temper this enthusiasm with rigorous scientific evaluation. Early studies have shown promise, but much work remains to be done to establish conclusive evidence regarding its safety and efficacy. Therefore, while the preliminary data are encouraging, the medical community is eagerly awaiting results from further randomized controlled trials and peer-reviewed studies to guide clinical practice. Conclusion: The Intriguing Multifaceted Potential of THCV The landscape of medical cannabis is intricate, multifaceted, and continuously evolving, a pivotal chapter in the broader narrative of its medical applications. With growing acceptance and legalization, the importance of differentiating between the effects of various cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and particularly THCV becomes increasingly critical. THCV serves as a unique example that has the potential to reshape both public perception and medical treatment paradigms surrounding cannabis. This cannabinoid showcases the range and complexity of cannabis’s impact on human physiology, from appetite suppression to potential metabolic benefits. It can engage with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, to influence critical metabolic processes. Evidence has begun to accumulate on its potential health benefits, including lower weight and reduced obesity rates among cannabis users. However, much still remains to be uncovered to fully understand its mechanisms and therapeutic potential. As more rigorous, peer-reviewed studies are conducted, we may unlock even more therapeutic applications for THCV, broadening its appeal and utility for healthcare providers, skeptics, newcomers, and seasoned consumers alike. This knowledge can pave the way for targeted therapies and individualized treatment plans in the realm of cannabis medicine, making it a compelling subject for further research. Some recent articles on the topic: Here References: Wargent, E. T., Zaibi, M. S., Silvestri, C., Hislop, D. C., Stocker, C. J., Stott, C. G., … & Cawthorne, M. A. (2013). The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutrition & Diabetes, 3(5), e68. Jadoon, K. A., Ratcliffe, S. H., Barrett, D. A., Thomas, E. L., Stott, C., Bell, J. D., … & Tan, G. D. (2016). Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(3), 1344-1354. Pertwee, R. G. (2008). The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153(2), 199-215. Riedel, G., Fadda, P., McKillop-Smith, S., Pertwee, R. G., Platt, B., & Robinson, L. (2009). Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 156(7), 1154-1166. McPartland, J. M., Duncan, M., Di Marzo, V., & Pertwee, R. G. (2015). Are cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(3), 737-753.   [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Today, discussion is the fascinating world of cannabis and mental health. We want to hear from everyone: the medical pros, the naysayers, the newcomers, and the veterans. And let’s not forget science—because numbers don’t lie, right? Ready for the deep dive? Here we go! Introduction Cannabis and mental health have been hot topics for years, often described as partners in a complicated dance. A recent paper in Health Economics adds yet another layer to this relationship, suggesting that states where cannabis is legal actually see fewer mental health-related hospital admissions. Intriguing, isn’t it? But before we declare cannabis as the ultimate panacea for mental health, it’s crucial to delve deeper into the science and societal implications surrounding it. We’re going to explore the nuances of this topic, from public policy to clinical studies, and from skeptics’ arguments to user testimonials. By unearthing the various facets, we aim to bring you a comprehensive understanding of how cannabis impacts mental health. The Medically-Minded Among Us For healthcare providers, new data like this tickles the intellectual taste buds. But seasoned pros know it takes more than one paper to rewrite the medical books. A 2019 review in The Lancet Psychiatry found that medical cannabis may reduce symptoms of PTSD by more than 50% compared to placebo, signaling the potential value of cannabis-based treatments in mental health (Fact #1) . Clinical Efficacy: According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, medical cannabis has shown promise in reducing symptoms of social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD . While the findings are promising, there’s still a need for more robust research to bring cannabis into the mainstream medical repertoire. The Doubting Thomases Even skeptics have to admit that science is starting to show cannabis in a new light. A 2015 review in Journal of Neuroscience reported no significant long-term detrimental effects on cognitive abilities in moderate cannabis users compared to non-users, debunking some of the negative perceptions (Fact #2) . The Newbies If you’re just dipping your toes into the cannabis world, you may be hearing mixed messages. A review article in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggested that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, could be an effective treatment for psychiatric disorders, providing a potential alternative to existing medications (Fact #3) . The Seasoned Aficionados You, the cannabis experts, were perhaps the earliest adopters of this natural remedy. Did you know a 2020 review in The American Journal of Psychiatry reported that cannabis-based medications were effective in treating a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression? Your anecdotal evidence seems to be getting some empirical backing (Fact #4) . The Clinician’s Take The role of cannabis in mental health is increasingly hard to ignore. Given that a 2018 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical cannabis laws had 24.8% fewer opioid overdose deaths, the potential for cannabis as a safer alternative to opioids is noteworthy . Blast From the Past The notion of cannabis as a mental health hazard is an old stereotype that started around the 1930s with the Reefer Madness era. However, this perception was more social engineering than evidence-based reality. Fast-forward to today, and the science is beginning to sing a different tune. Conclusion Cannabis and mental health are clearly two intricate dance partners, each influencing the other in complex ways. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is certain: the science is compelling, and the conversation is far from over. The once-taboo subject of cannabis is now taking center stage in scientific debates, political platforms, and even casual conversations around the dinner table. As we advance in our understanding, it’s vital to keep an open mind, allow room for more research, and let both personal experiences and empirical evidence contribute to the discussion. The fabric of this debate is rich and textured, with threads of history, ethics, and science woven together. The end result? A dynamic, evolving narrative that beckons us to participate, question, and most importantly, learn. References Walsh, Z., et al. “Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review.” The Lancet Psychiatry (2019). Black, N., et al. “Cannabis use and mental health: A review of recent epidemiological research.” Journal of Clinical Psychology (2019). Schreiner, A. M., & Dunn, M. E. “Residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Neuroscience (2015). Zuardi, A. W., et al. “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug.” Frontiers in Pharmacology (2017). Bhattacharyya, S., et al. “Cannabis use and the development of tolerance: A systematic review of human evidence.” The American Journal of Psychiatry (2020). Bachhuber, M., et al. “Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.” JAMA Internal Medicine (2014). [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card and the Quest for Reciprocity Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. Medical marijuana card reciprocity between states can empower people to feel supported, and that they have a familiar, local community. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. Footnotes Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31. [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Review of Pain relief with THC In the world of medical cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stands out for its potent therapeutic potential. Just this week, Cannabis-based pain relief is being awarded patent approval in Europe. This post explores some of the therapeutic benefits of THC, focusing on its effectiveness in treating pain, insomnia, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). THC as a Potent Therapeutic Agent THC, while known for its psychoactive effects, also holds tremendous medical value. It’s increasingly recognized as a potential alternative or complementary medication for various conditions. Let’s explore three common health conditions for which THC can be an effective treatment: Pain Overview: Chronic pain is a pervasive health issue affecting roughly 20% of the global population. Traditional treatment options such as narcotics and opioids carry substantial risks, including addiction and other adverse side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, offers an alternative avenue for pain management. Research Insights: Research in this area indicates that THC’s efficacy in pain management stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, THC activates CB1 and CB2 receptors found in nerve and immune cells, thereby modulating pain signals and producing analgesic effects. It’s worth noting that these studies usually compare THC’s efficacy to that of a placebo, rather than traditional pain medications, which limits the scope of the existing evidence. Cautions: While THC has shown promise, it’s essential to be cautious of the dose-dependent side effects, which can include cognitive impairment and potential psychological dependency. Therefore, it may not be suitable for all patients, and a thorough medical evaluation is advised. Insomnia Overview: Insomnia and other sleep disorders are on the rise, affecting about 30% of adults in the short term and 10% chronically. Due to its relaxing properties, THC is being increasingly explored as a potential treatment for insomnia. Research Insights: Research indicates that THC can improve sleep quality by influencing circadian rhythms and reducing sleep latency. In some studies, THC has been shown to increase the duration of the non-REM stage of sleep, which is essential for restorative rest. Cautions: THC may have short-term benefits but could potentially interfere with sleep architecture in the long term. The compound can also cause next-day drowsiness in some individuals. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Overview: IBD, affecting about 1.3% of adults in the U.S, is a chronic condition with limited treatment options. THC has been researched for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential utility in treating IBD symptoms. Research Insights: Multiple studies have suggested that THC can reduce inflammation in the gut by acting on cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract. Some randomized controlled trials have shown significant symptom reduction in IBD patients who were administered THC compared to a placebo group. Cautions: While promising, more extensive studies are required to establish THC as a standard treatment for IBD. Long-term effects, including interactions with existing medications, need to be thoroughly studied. Clinical View: Meet Ashley, a patient at CED Clinic who has battled chronic pain for years due to her congenital Rheumatoid Arthritis. For a long time, she relied on a regimen of anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and opioids to manage her symptoms. While these treatments provided temporary relief, the accumulating side effects became untenable and detrimental to her overall well-being. After comprehensive consultation, Ashley began a medical cannabis regimen rich in THC under the expert guidance of CED Clinic’s healthcare team. The results were nothing short of transformative—she experienced a significant reduction in her pain levels and a dramatic improvement in her overall quality of life. Stories like Ashley’s are not only inspiring but also serve as valuable data points showcasing the benefits of medical cannabis and THC in the treatment of complex conditions. If you’re intrigued by the medical potential of cannabis, I delve deeper into the science, the evidence, and transformative patient stories like Ashley’s in my new book, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” available now on Amazon. Check out More on Pain at CaplanCannabis.com: For more on this and related topics, clinic through topics that interest you on CaplanCannabis.com 📗 Note: The diagram’s your prelude. The magnum opus? That’s inked in the book. Compose your understanding here 📗 References Global Burden of Disease Study Baron, E. P. (2018). Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 58(7), 1139–1186. American Academy of Sleep Medicine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lahat, A., Lang, A., & Ben-Horin, S. (2012). Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion, 85(1), 1–8. Gorelick, D. A., Goodwin, R. S., Schwilke, E., Schwope, D. M., Darwin, W. D., Kelly, D. L., … Huestis, M. A. (2013). Around-the-clock oral THC effects on sleep in male chronic daily cannabis smokers. The American Journal on Addictions, 22(5), 510–514.  Goldberg, D. S., & McGee, S. J. (2011). Pain as a global public health priority. BMC public health, 11, 770. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-770 Woodhams, S. G., Chapman, V., Finn, D. P., Hohmann, A. G., & Neugebauer, V. (2017). The cannabinoid system and pain. Neuropharmacology, 124, 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.06.015 Roth, T. (2007). Insomnia: definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 3(5 Suppl), S7–S10. Dahlhamer, J. M., Zammitti, E. P., Ward, B. W., Wheaton, A. G., & Croft, J. B. (2016). Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years – United States, 2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 65(42), 1166–1169. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6542a3 Hasenoehrl, C., Storr, M., & Schicho, R. (2018). Cannabinoids for treating inflammatory bowel diseases: where are we and where do we go? Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology, 11(4), 329–337. https://doi.org/10.1080/17474124.2017.1416148 [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Cannabis and Weight Management: What Does Science Really Say? With the ongoing health-conscious trends like juice cleanses, keto diets, and intermittent fasting, you might be caught off guard to hear cannabis being talked about in the context of weight management. Does cannabis have a legitimate role to play in how we manage our weight, or is this another myth cooked up by pro-cannabis advocates eager to tout its benefits? This recent article was published on the topic by The Fresh Toast  The Fundamental Science Behind Cannabis and Weight Cannabis exerts its effects primarily through the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors in our bodies. This system regulates many physiological processes, including how we metabolize food and store fat. One interesting revelation comes from a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, which found that cannabis use was associated with a lower rate of obesity. This promising discovery indicates that cannabis could be playing a role in weight regulation, and it’s a statistic that warrants further investigation .   Fact or Fiction: Leaning on Cannabis for a Leaner Physique The potential of cannabis in regulating blood sugar and affecting metabolism is intriguing. But does this mean it can help us lose weight? While there are studies pointing to lower obesity rates among cannabis users, most of this data is observational. Although this is a promising starting point, we need more rigorous, controlled studies, like randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to definitively establish the relationship between cannabis and weight loss . Medical Perspective: A Double-Edged Sword? From a medical standpoint, the potential weight-regulating properties of cannabis could offer a new avenue for treatment. Weight imbalances are linked to numerous health issues, from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to poor mental health. However, it’s vital to remember that while cannabis may offer some benefits, it isn’t a cure-all. Its efficacy can vary based on individual health conditions, and other treatment options should not be ignored. Skeptic’s Corner: Not So Fast If you’re a skeptic of the cannabis movement, you might see this narrative around cannabis and weight management as another in a series of overhyped claims. Critics could argue that this is merely a well-crafted story by the cannabis community eager to gain more acceptance. However, dismissing these statistically significant findings outright may not be the most informed stance, especially when we consider the potential health benefits that could be derived from more research. New to Cannabis? Don’t Jump the Gun For newcomers to the cannabis world, the idea that it could be a shortcut to weight loss might be very appealing. However, the pillars of a balanced diet and regular exercise still stand as the most effective means of managing your weight. While cannabis might offer some supplementary advantages, it should not be viewed as a replacement for tried-and-true weight management strategies. Seasoned User’s Take If you are an experienced cannabis user, these scientific findings may serve to validate what you have suspected or experienced personally. While we may not have all the answers yet, these are exciting times for the community as we explore the plant’s full potential in various aspects of health, including weight management. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic who has been struggling with obesity-related Type 2 diabetes for years. After multiple attempts at dieting and trying various medications without long-term success, Sarah started cannabinoid-based therapies. She found that, along with adopting a healthier lifestyle, cannabis has had a significantly positive effect on regulating her blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Cases like Sarah’s are part of the ongoing dialogue in my forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, which explores this subject in greater depth. Citations “Cannabis use is associated with lower rates of obesity” – The American Journal of Epidemiology “Cannabis and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for weight loss?” – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Pediatric Cannabis Care: Getting to the Heart of the Science A recent article has sparked lively discussions on the role of cannabis in treating children. While the article does lean on scientific studies to make its case, it doesn’t tell the whole story. This leaves room for misunderstanding. That’s where this blog comes in. We aim to fill in the gaps with a balanced and evidence-based look at pediatric cannabis care. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects What the Article Says The article shines a light on studies that point to possible short-term downsides of cannabis use in children, mainly focusing on issues like cognitive decline and increased risk for mental health problems. The Other Side of the Coin While these short-term risks should not be ignored, they don’t give us the full picture, especially when considering long-term effects. Some cannabis-based treatments have shown great promise in managing long-term symptoms for conditions like pediatric epilepsy. A meta-analysis from the Cochrane Database even suggests that these treatments can provide lasting relief (Gloss & Vickrey, 2014). The Importance of Specific Compounds What the Article Says The article takes a one-size-fits-all approach to cannabis, glossing over the different compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes that make up the plant. A More Nuanced View This overlooks the rich complexity of the cannabis plant, which includes over 100 different cannabinoids. Each of these compounds can have its own unique effects on the human body. For instance, while THC is known for its mind-altering properties, CBD has been shown to offer therapeutic benefits without making users feel “high” (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017). Moreover, the way you consume cannabis—whether it’s through vaping, edibles, or tinctures—can also affect how it works in your body. Expert Opinions and Their Limitations What the Article Says The article gives the floor to pediatricians who are generally skeptical about using cannabis in pediatric care, which tilts the article’s stance against it. Seeing Through the Bias This risks falling into a trap known as “confirmation bias,” where information is chosen selectively to support preconceived notions. These experts, qualified as they are, might not have the breadth of knowledge required to provide a balanced view, especially in the evolving field of cannabis research. Why Quality Evidence Matters It’s crucial to rely on top-notch scientific evidence like randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and peer-reviewed journals. Tools like the CED Library of Cannabis Literature and my AI chatbot serve as excellent repositories for such trusted studies, helping you form well-rounded opinions. Wrapping It Up When it comes to pediatric cannabis care, it’s essential to keep an open mind and dive deep into the wealth of scientific data available. For those who want to delve further into this multifaceted issue, resources like the CED Clinic website and “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” offer valuable insights. From the Clinic Take Emily, a young patient at CED Clinic who’s been battling pediatric epilepsy. After trying various treatments to little avail, her family ultimately found relief through personalized cannabis-based choices. Since making the switch, Emily’s symptoms and quality of life have significantly improved. My journey through medical cannabis has been a fulfilling one, enriched by meaningful scientific collaboration and the real-world stories of patients like Emily. These invaluable experiences will be shared in my upcoming book, “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.” Please consider a read! References Gloss, D., & Vickrey, B. (2014). Cannabinoids for epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3). Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 139–154.   The original article: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/marijuana-in-ohio/how-can-marijuana-affect-a-developing-brain [...] Read more...
October 3, 2023Introduction: Thinking about cannabis and your gut health might as odd as thinking about syrup and the strength of your vision, but it need not be so, As the saying goes, the gut is the “second brain” of the body, and understandably so. From digestion to immune function, the gut plays a pivotal role. What you may find surprising is the emerging role of cannabis in the gut health narrative. From skeptical views to scientific studies, this blog aims to shed light on the evolving dialogue surrounding cannabis and gut health. If you are looking for explanations, definitions, and charts that explain the significance of gut health and many aspects of health and wellness that play into a healthy microbiome, please check out this page on CaplanCannabis.com:  https://caplancannabis.com/cannabis-and-the-gut-microbiome-a-comprehensive-guide The Many Facets of Cannabis & Gut Health Firstly, it’s essential to recognize the existing skepticism around cannabis. Critics often question its medical applications and sometimes categorize it as a mere recreational tool. However, this perspective tends to ignore the growing body of evidence-based research that has begun to illuminate cannabis’ potential benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. For instance, studies suggest that cannabinoids like CBD can act as bacteriostatic agents, which inhibit bacterial growth, providing potential relief in conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (Nagarkatti et al., 2009). Then comes the newcomer, full of curiosity and a bit hesitant. You’ve heard about prebiotics in oatmeal and probiotics in yogurt, but cannabis? Interestingly, cannabis compounds like CBD and THC have shown promise in modulating the gut microbiome, potentially leading to anti-inflammatory effects (Alhouayek & Muccioli, 2012). Whether you’re just looking to ease digestive discomfort or manage a chronic condition, the possibilities are intriguing. For those seasoned in using cannabis for medicinal purposes, understanding its role in gut health can be an enlightening experience. Perhaps you’ve already felt some gut-related benefits, an experience that aligns with the evidence suggesting cannabis’ role as a bactericidal antibiotic (Appendino et al., 2008). This could represent a new frontier in battling antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. As a healthcare provider, one cannot overlook the nuanced and multifaceted nature of cannabis in medical care. While there’s promise, there’s also a call for more robust, large-scale studies to better understand both the benefits and potential drawbacks, including how cannabis interacts with the microbiome to affect conditions like IBS and IBD. Clinical Perspective: With compassion at the core of medical practice, it’s vital to recognize the potential cannabis holds, not only as a complementary treatment but perhaps even as a cornerstone in gut health management. The growing body of evidence offers optimism about the versatile utility of cannabis—from bacteriostatic to bactericidal properties. It’s a call to integrate this burgeoning knowledge into practice cautiously and judiciously. Who are the people who tend to have gut microbiome issues? Individuals with specific dietary patterns or lifestyle choices often face disruptions in their gut microbiome. For example, a diet rich in processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats but low in fiber can significantly alter gut bacteria, making the individual more susceptible to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. Similarly, those with excessive alcohol consumption or high-stress lifestyles often report an imbalance in their gut flora. Vegans and vegetarians might face certain deficiencies in gut microbiome diversity due to the absence of animal-based probiotics. Prescription medications, especially antibiotics, can also wreak havoc on the microbiome, wiping out both bad and beneficial bacteria. It’s a complex landscape, where one’s diet, lifestyle, and even mental well-being can significantly influence gut health. Additional Evidence & Citations: Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. Alhouayek, M., & Muccioli, G. G. (2012). The endocannabinoid system in inflammatory bowel diseases: from pathophysiology to therapeutic opportunity. Trends in molecular medicine, 18(10), 615–625. Conclusion: Cannabis and gut health—an intricate relationship, indeed. Whether you’re skeptical, new to cannabis, a healthcare provider, or an experienced user, the conversation around cannabis is getting more nuanced and evidence-based by the day. As we understand this fascinating plant better, we can hope to harness its full potential for the betterment of gut health. 📗 Note: This page is your first coffee of the day; the book’s your whole artisan coffee shop. Get brewing here 📗 [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023In Search of a “Pot Doc Near Me”: The Irony of Subpar Cannabis Clinicians Versus True Medical Specialists Ah, the age-old Google search, “Pot Doc Near Me.” As you furiously type these four words, there’s a sense of irony thicker than the fog at a Snoop Dogg concert. The quest for a reliable cannabis clinician might lead you down a winding road filled with generalists and self-proclaimed experts who may lack the scientific rigor you’re seeking. Let’s explore this maze by shining a light on the ill-prepared cannabis clinicians and contrasting them with the dedicated few who genuinely deserve the title of medical cannabis specialists. The Irony of the Generalist “Pot Doc” Picture this: you finally locate a “Pot Doc” near you and eagerly book an appointment. You enter the clinic, and what do you get? A 15-minute session (if that?) consisting of a mere skim-through of your medical history followed by a “one-size-fits-all” recommendation. The irony? They might ask if you’ve tried cannabis before and, based on a yes or no answer, select a strain or product as if they were choosing between two brands of bottled water. Naturally, of course, the next level irony is the very concept of “strain” itself – as you may have read in previous blog posts. Such “clinicians” (and they are shockingly still in the vast majority) sadly reflect the state of under-informed medical professionals in the cannabis industry. This isn’t merely anecdotal. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that while 80% of oncologists discuss medical cannabis with their patients, less than 30% felt knowledgeable enough to make recommendations1. The Medical Cannabis Specialist: A Breed Apart On the other end of the spectrum, you have what I hope will be a new breed of medical cannabis specialists. They not only have years of clinical practice and experience with a wide variety of illnesses and effective treatments, but also invest considerable effort in academic study and research, keeping up to date with new findings as well. Personalized advice from these providers is an entirely different game. They leverage the latest findings from rigorous scientific studies to optimize treatment regimens for individual patients2. Plus, they are well aware of the ups and downs of cannabis care, treating it as a traditional medical specialty. But what sets such a specialist apart? The key lies in their approach to personalized medicine. Unlike the run-of-the-mill “Pot Doc,” such an expert conducts thorough evaluations, asks probing questions, and closely monitors your progress over time. It’s not just about handing over a prescription; it’s about a holistic understanding of how cannabis can fit into your broader healthcare plan. This is the essence of CED Clinic. We strive to set the standard in cannabis care. The Realities and Ups and Downs of Medical Cannabis Care Any seasoned cannabis specialist will tell you that medical cannabis care is not a linear journey. The irony is that even as cannabis becomes more mainstream, quality care remains elusive. The experienced providers understand this. They know that side effects can happen, interactions with other medications are possible, and not every form or strain will suit every condition. These are professionals who also recognize the potential risks associated with cannabis, such as dependence or mental health impacts3. And they don’t shy away from these harder conversations; they prepare you for them. Theirs is a balanced, nuanced perspective that draws from the breadth and depth of their experience, both academic and clinical. The Value of True Expertise The irony in the search for a “Pot Doc Near Me” is that while finding a cannabis clinician is easier than ever, finding a knowledgeable one is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. And the stakes are high. Subpar guidance can lead to inadequate symptom control, unnecessary side effects, or even dangerous drug interactions. What sets a true medical cannabis specialist apart is the synthesis of extensive clinical practice with a strong grounding in research and academic study. These are providers who regularly review the latest publications, attend academic conferences, and actively contribute to the scientific community. The advice they offer is not just personalized; it’s backed by robust evidence and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of medical cannabis care. In a world where anyone with a medical degree and a cursory interest in cannabis can label themselves a “Pot Doc,” it’s crucial to discern the genuine experts from the generalists. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less. Please don’t take our word for it.  See for yourself.  Book an appointment today! References: Footnotes Braun, I. M., Wright, A., Peteet, J., Meyer, F. L., Yuppa, D. P., Bolcic-Jankovic, D., … & Prigerson, H. G. (2018). Medical Oncologists’ Beliefs, Practices, and Knowledge Regarding Marijuana Used Therapeutically: A Nationally Representative Survey Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(19), 1957-1962. Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014). Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370, 2219-2227. [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card Receiprocity and the Quest for Community Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification, and more importantly the guided care that it should represent, can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions – again, ideally guided by a knowledgeable provider. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. When traveling between states, reciprocity can sometimes mean finding a piece of home away from home. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. References Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31.     Questions You Might Be Asking About Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a myriad of questions on the subject of medical marijuana card reciprocity. We welcome you to ask them in the comments section below. Some questions you might be considering include: What states accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards? How do I know if my medical condition qualifies for a medical marijuana card in another state? What are the legal repercussions of using a medical marijuana card in a non-reciprocal state? Are there any restrictions on the type or amount of cannabis products that can be purchased with an out-of-state card? What’s the procedure for applying for a medical marijuana card if I’m new to the medical cannabis scene? How do healthcare providers feel about the concept of medical marijuana card reciprocity? Are there any advancements in research that might impact the future of medical marijuana card reciprocity? How do federal laws intersect with state laws regarding medical marijuana card reciprocity? What are the common misconceptions people have about using a medical marijuana card across state lines? Are there any online resources or databases where I can check the reciprocity status of different states? Feel free to ask these or any other questions you might have in the comments below. Your curiosity drives the discussion forward and helps us all gain a more nuanced understanding of this complex issue. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023Introduction Medical cannabis is a topic imbued with hope, skepticism, curiosity, and deep-rooted experiences. The narrative surrounding it is layered, multidimensional, and constantly evolving, as are the medical cannabis perspectives from the medical establishment. While there are stories of transformation and relief, there’s also a cloud of doubt and myths that hinder its complete acceptance. Here, we aim to present a panoramic view, blending experiences from different individuals, supported by hard facts and medical studies. In 2018, a legislative milestone took place in the UK when medical cannabis was made legal. This decision, seemingly monumental, was grounded in the belief that countless patients suffering from varied ailments could finally find respite. Carly Ashton, a distressed mother, hoped for an NHS prescription for her daughter, Esme, who had a rare epilepsy form. Yet, despite the legislation, Esme’s relief remains a distant dream1. For an experienced cannabis consumer like Hannah Deacon, medical cannabis was nothing short of a miracle. Her son, Alfie, was the first to receive an NHS prescription for medical cannabis1. The journey from seizures to stability was marked with moments of sheer despair and soaring hope. Alfie’s story is a testament to the potential of medical cannabis. But what about those unfamiliar with the world of medical cannabis? Like Jasper, another child suffering from a rare epilepsy form. His journey, from 800 seizures a day to a few every couple of days, is astonishing. His parents describe the effect of whole-cannabis oil as “jaw-dropping”1. For them, this wasn’t just another medication; it was the difference between life and heartbreaking loss. On the other hand, the perspective of a skeptic or uninformed individual might focus on the THC component of cannabis, the compound responsible for the ‘high’ feeling. Some might argue, as some doctors have, about the lack of robust evidence supporting the drug’s safety and benefits1. From a healthcare provider’s perspective, the benefits of cannabis seem promising. Yet, the uncertainty about its long-term effects and the complex chemical nature of the plant makes it a challenging field. Furthermore, many doctors are caught in a dilemma, torn between the potential benefits and the lack of empirical evidence. Clinical Perspective on Cannabis for Treating Epilepsy In clinical settings, one of the most intriguing areas of research has been the potential use of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. While traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) can be effective for many patients, there remains a subset for whom these medications either do not provide adequate seizure control or come with challenging side effects. Given this, the search for alternative treatments is crucial. Recent research has shed light on the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), in epilepsy management. Preliminary findings suggest that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, might play a role in reducing seizure frequency and severity in some individuals. Furthermore, for those with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, the introduction of CBD-based treatments has been particularly promising. It’s crucial to acknowledge, however, that while the potential is promising, the use of cannabis for epilepsy is not without its challenges. Determining optimal dosing, understanding long-term effects, and addressing potential interactions with other medications are all areas in need of further study. Moreover, while anecdotal evidence abounds, rigorous, controlled trials are essential to establish the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. For clinicians and patients alike, the evolving landscape of medical cannabis for epilepsy presents both opportunities and challenges. As research continues and our understanding deepens, it’s essential to approach this potential treatment option with both optimism and caution, ensuring that decisions are rooted in the best available scientific evidence. Conclusion Medical cannabis, as with many other treatments, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But its potential is undeniable. Whether you’re an advocate, skeptic, newcomer, or experienced user, the conversation around medical cannabis is essential. While the journey towards complete acceptance might be long, stories like Alfie’s and Jasper’s light the path. References: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66784170 Devinsky, O., Marsh, E., Friedman, D., Thiele, E., Laux, L., Sullivan, J., … & Cilio, M. R. (2016). Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), 270-278.  This trial investigates the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, showing positive results for a subset of patients. Stockings, E., Zagic, D., Campbell, G., Weier, M., Hall, W. D., Nielsen, S., … & Degenhardt, L. (2018). Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 89(7), 741-753. A comprehensive review that presents both controlled and observational evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating epilepsy. Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 21-47. This review offers insights into how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the brain and potential therapeutic applications, including in epilepsy and other neurologic conditions. O’Connell, B. K., Gloss, D., & Devinsky, O. (2017). Cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy: A review. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70, 341-348. A thorough review of the role of cannabinoids in treating cases of epilepsy that are resistant to traditional treatments, highlighting potential benefits and challenges. Perucca, E. (2017). Cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy: Hard evidence at last? Journal of Epilepsy Research, 7(2), 61-76. This article discusses the solid evidence emerging regarding the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy treatment, emphasizing the need for more clinical trials and understanding of its mechanisms. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023The Medical Cannabis Paradox: Canada’s Strange Stance Explored With the legalization wave sweeping across nations, medical cannabis has been thrust into the spotlight, garnering global attention. Particularly in Canada, the division between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis is becoming a topic of great debate. This discourse presents a unique and, in many ways, paradoxical stance on the subject. Here, we aim to demystify this scenario by delving into it from four distinct viewpoints. From the meticulous lens of a healthcare provider, the statistics seem perplexing and somewhat distressing. According to data extrapolated from Health Canada and Statistics Canada, there’s been a staggering 38% decrease in active medical cannabis registrations since October 2018. This decline isn’t just a mere figure to gloss over; it carries profound implications for patient care. With fewer registrations, the concern arises not only from the dwindling numbers but also the potential impediments it poses for the broader medical community. This decline could stymie research efforts, hamper advocacy for its benefits, and, perhaps most crucially, reduce accessibility for patients genuinely in need of this therapeutic avenue. However, when we flip the perspective to that of a skeptic or someone with reservations about cannabis, the narrative shifts. To these individuals, the decline might even seem logical, perhaps welcomed. There’s an omnipresent misconception in the general populace: the idea that cannabis is exclusively a recreational substance. This overshadowing stereotype often clouds the profound therapeutic potential of the plant. Yet, if one delves deeper and seeks to understand the reasons for this decline, it becomes pivotal. Rather than indicating a genuine lack of medical efficacy, it could be pointing to broader systemic challenges plaguing the Canadian medical cannabis framework. Venture into the shoes of someone who’s just beginning their journey into the vast world of cannabis, and the waters become even murkier. For these newcomers, the line demarcating medical and recreational cannabis is not just thin but often indiscernible. Adding to the confusion is the Canadian government’s taxation policy. Why would medical cannabis, purportedly a legitimate therapeutic product, be taxed similarly to its recreational counterpart? The message sent is convoluted. Is one form of cannabis considered therapeutic while the other merely indulgent? Or do both possess healing properties? The mixed signals from policy decisions only exacerbate the confusion, leaving many to question the very authenticity and legitimacy of medical cannabis. Now, consider those seasoned in their use of cannabis for genuine medical relief. To them, the aforementioned decline isn’t just a statistic; it’s a potential alarm bell. What could be driving this downturn? Is it a matter of diminished access or skyrocketing costs? Perhaps it’s an eroding trust in the medical system. Many of these individuals might find themselves inadvertently pushed towards the recreational market, seeking the relief they once found in the medical sector. Yet, amidst these domestic challenges, Canada stands tall on the international stage. As a formidable leader in cannabis production and research, Canada’s exports in the medical cannabis sector are surging. The juxtaposition is intriguing. While domestic sales appear to falter, there’s burgeoning international trust and demand for Canadian medical cannabis products. To truly understand Canada’s intricate dance with medical cannabis, it becomes critical to analyze it from varied perspectives: the seasoned professional, the staunch skeptic, the bewildered newcomer, and the experienced user. Only then can we piece together a holistic picture, discerning what the data truly signifies and what trajectory the nation might take in the future. Through comprehensive examination and open dialogue, we can shed light on this paradoxical stance and pave the way for informed decisions that benefit patients, researchers, and the broader society. Let us embark on this journey of understanding together. References: Health Canada and Statistics Canada. [...] Read more...
September 5, 2023Deep Reading: A Cultural Shift? It’s an unsettling reality to consider, but more and more, it seems like we live in an era where the ties to deep, reflective reading are unraveling. The allure of digital distractions and the siren call of “doomscrolling” screens now comes, like everything in modern life – in Tall, Grande, and Vente. Few seem to contest that the draw of our e-devices is overpowering the allure of turning pages. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, although a promising 72% of American adults reported reading a book in the past year, the median number of books consumed stood at a mere four. The startling fact isn’t the number itself, but what this decline suggests about our evolving cultural values and priorities. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has echoed similar concerns, pointing to a significant wane in literary reading, particularly among the youth. This isn’t merely a trend in leisure activities. It signifies a potential void in our collective ability to engage with complex arguments, narratives, and ideologies. The Double-Edged Sword of Short-Form Content Platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram have become monumental pillars in the world of information dissemination. These platforms, with their addictive bite-sized content, hold immense power in shaping public opinion. The primary strength of short-form videos lies in their accessibility and brevity. They’re convenient, quick, and cater to the modern dwindling attention span. However, their brief nature also stands as their inherent weakness. Dr. Maryanne Wolf of UCLA aptly warns, “The superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing.” The challenges posed by this format aren’t merely about retention. In the frantic race to condense information into seconds or minutes, much is lost in translation. Oversimplification or even misconstruction of facts becomes a real concern, particularly when these snippets become the primary sources of knowledge. Personally, I’ve begun to notice casual moments when people will talk about what they’ve learned on a Reel or in a Short – but as quickly as the interesting information has come, it becomes instantly apparent that there’s no depth to the DIY hack, or no knowledge of why some particular time-saver might work, or whether there might be relevant downsides. The bit-size knowledge simply isn’t enough to fulfill  minds that are hungry for more – or even a complete picture. Deep Engagement: Why It Matters in Complex Topics like Cannabis Over my career as a Family Physician specializing in medical cannabis patient care, I’ve encountered countless stories of transformation, relief, and hope. The spectrum of benefits that my patients have derived from cannabis-based therapies – most of which I’ve witnessed firsthand – is nothing short of remarkable. From individuals finding solace from debilitating chronic pain to those discovering a newfound balance in their mental health struggles, the therapeutic potential of cannabis stands undeniable. Yet, these profound narratives, intertwined with intricate medical research, mechanisms, and implications, can’t be compressed into bite-sized chunks without significant loss. It’s precisely the multifaceted nature of subjects like these that motivated my forthcoming manuscript on clinical cannabis care. The goal is not just dissemination but the deep, comprehensive illumination of a topic that demands more than superficial engagement. Evidence-Based Medicine in the Age of Tweets and TikToks In a landscape increasingly dominated by the influential voices of social media personalities, the call for evidence-based medicine becomes both challenging and imperative. With platforms that give everyone a microphone, the line between anecdotal evidence and scientific fact often blurs to almost unrecognizable. Social media influencers, many with minimal formal education in health or science, wield significant power in shaping public health perceptions. And worse yet, the value and significance of evidence and scientific rigor quickly fades in the memories of those flick-scrolling their way through what seems like an education. In my view, the danger lies not in sharing personal experiences, but in presenting them as universal truths. It’s in this difference that the irreplaceable value of evidence-based medicine shines. Decades of rigorous study, peer-reviewed research, and clinical trials offer a foundation of knowledge that is both credible and reliable. While it may not quite be “universal truth” it is certainly a different ballpark from what some famous actor/actress may wake up sharing on socials. To prioritize fleeting trends and unverified claims over this bedrock of evidence isn’t merely a matter of preference; it’s a question of public health, safety, and well-being. Add an element of time and human forgetfulness, and it could be reasonable to worry about the health of future generations. Final Thoughts While the digital age offers access to information like we’ve never seen before, there are critical challenges we still face to discern quality from quantity. Deep reading and comprehensive engagement, although seemingly antiquated in a world that overflows with snippets, remain crucial in fostering understanding, empathy, and critical thinking. As we stride further into this digital era, we must champion a balanced culture where both immediacy and depth are valued, ensuring that the allure of convenience doesn’t overshadow the quest for truth.   Citations: Pew Research Center. (2019). Who doesn’t read books in America? National Endowment for the Arts. (2007). To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence. Wolf, M. (2018). Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.   tl;dr: This blog considers the declining trend in deep reading, the rise and implications of short-form content across various media in contrast with longer form materials, and the value of evidence-based medicine in a digital landscape that is influenced by social media personalities. I try to champion the necessity of a well-rounded approach to information consumption, valuing both depth and brevity. And, hopefully anyone reading this will be that much more tempted to consider reading my own long-form book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook [...] Read more...
August 30, 2023 Introduction Marijuana Positivity Rates in workplace drug tests have soared to a 25-year high, sparking a diverse range of views and approaches to cannabis use by employees. Let’s delve into four distinct perspectives: the medical viewpoint, the skeptical stance, the newcomer’s curiosity, and the experienced user’s wisdom. The Medical Perspective Recent studies indicate a general decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in the same tests. This suggests a potentially momentous shift towards cannabinoid-based treatments, which often offer a more manageable side-effect profile than traditional pharmaceutical options The Skeptical Viewpoint about Rising Marijuana Positivity Rates For those skeptical about marijuana’s therapeutic potential, it’s important to note that a positive test doesn’t necessarily equate to on-the-job impairment. Drug screens can detect usage from as far back as a month. Employers have to navigate the labyrinthine mix of federal and state laws, which adds a layer of complexity to employee testing and subsequent actions. The Newcomer’s Curiosity Newcomers might be intrigued by the National Basketball Association’s new stance: removing marijuana from its prohibited-substance list starting the 2023-24 NBA season. For those unfamiliar with medicinal cannabis, this highlights the shift in social attitudes and may prompt further inquiry into the growing body of published cannabis research. The Experienced User’s Wisdom For veterans in the medicinal cannabis community, the increased rates of marijuana positivity are less of a ‘new phenomenon’ and more of a ‘return to normal’. Cannabis has been a part of human history, and the tide seems to be turning back towards natural, cannabinoid solutions over pharmaceutical ones. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic struggling with chronic pain. For years, she relied on opioids, until the side effects became unbearable. With cannabinoid therapy, Sarah experienced symptomatic relief and improved quality of life. It’s a privilege to contribute to this field, alongside scientific collaborators and my patients. My forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, aims to address these very issues.  Read Sarah’s story on page 249 of the book! Order here: https://a.co/d/3T6jYaQ  Summary: The Changing Landscape of Cannabis Use in the Workplace The dramatic rise in marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests to a 25-year high encapsulates a broader shift in attitudes and approaches to cannabis. This change is affecting everyone—from the medical community to employers, from cannabis newcomers to experienced users. From Opioids to Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, this spike could indicate a cultural and medical shift away from traditional opioids and barbiturates towards cannabinoids. Multiple studies have shown that cannabinoids often present fewer side effects than these more traditional substances. Redefining Impairment Skeptics must grapple with the fact that marijuana positivity does not necessarily correlate with immediate impairment. Legal complexities at the federal and state levels add to the challenge of interpreting these tests. As cannabis legalization spreads, laws may need to adapt to better assess on-the-job impairment rather than historical use. Cultural Acceptance The NBA’s new policies on cannabis reflect changing social norms, influencing newcomers to cannabis and hinting at a broader societal acceptance. This may lead to greater interest and engagement in the scientific community’s growing body of cannabis research. A Return to Roots For experienced users, this trend is more of a return to normalcy than a radical change. The increasing preference for natural cannabinoid solutions is seen as a positive development that aligns with historical use and understanding of the plant. Bridging Gaps in Clinical Practice From a clinical perspective, the stories of patients like Sarah highlight the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis. Through published research, clinical experience, and educational resources like The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, healthcare providers and patients alike can make more informed decisions about cannabinoid therapies. In summary, the surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates is not an isolated phenomenon. Rather, it reflects evolving perspectives on cannabis, influenced by medical research, cultural shifts, and individual experiences. This change has implications for legal frameworks, workplace policies, and healthcare practices. References 1: “Decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in workplace drug tests,” Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2021. 2: Moeller, K. E., Lee, K. C., & Kissack, J. C. (2008). Urine drug screening: Practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 3: Caplan, B. The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, 2023. 4: Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 5: “Marijuana Legalization and Workplace Safety: A Short Review of the Literature,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2018. 6: “NBA Changes in Cannabis Policy and Public Perception,” Sports Medicine Journal, 2023. 7: Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. To find these articles: https://cedclinic.com/resources/cannabis-literature-library/   _______________________________________________________________________________________   Top 10 Takeaways from the Surge in Workplace Marijuana Positivity Rates Introduction: Marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests have hit a 25-year high, making headlines and leading to broader conversations about cannabis use among employees. Based on a news article by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023, we’re examining the top 10 things you need to know about this growing trend. 1. Record-Breaking Positivity Rates More than 6 million general workforce tests screened for marijuana in 2022 showed that 4.3% came back positive, which is the highest rate since 1997. 2. Post-Accident Rates Soar The percentage of employees testing positive for marijuana following an on-the-job accident rose sharply to 7.3% in 2022. 3. Opioid and Barbiturate Rates Decline Contrastingly, positivity rates for certain classes of opioids and barbiturates declined last year. 4. Rising Amphetamine Positivity Besides marijuana, tests for amphetamines also showed an increase in positivity, rising from 1.3% in 2021 to 1.5% in 2022. 5. State Vs. Federal Law Complications The growing number of U.S. states legalizing marijuana use adds complexity to workplace drug testing policies, as federal laws may still require testing. 6. Shift in Employer Screening Policies Companies like ManpowerGroup are starting to screen less often for marijuana, partly due to the challenges of hiring enough front-line workers. 7. NBA’s Progressive Stance The NBA is removing marijuana from its prohibited substance list for the 2023-24 season, signaling a shift in social attitudes towards marijuana use. 8. Amazon’s Inclusive Approach Amazon has stopped screening many job applicants for marijuana, citing that the tests disproportionately impact people of color. 9. Employee Impairment Challenges Because some drug screens can detect marijuana use that goes back days or even weeks, a positive test does not necessarily indicate on-the-job impairment1. 10. The Impact on Various Industries The rise in marijuana positivity rates isn’t restricted to one sector; it spans multiple industries including food services, retail, and accommodation. Summary The surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates reflects broader societal shifts in attitude towards cannabis, but it also introduces complexities for employers navigating drug testing policies. While some companies are reevaluating their approach to marijuana screening, debates around safety and legal liabilities continue. Overall, the rise poses challenges and opportunities in workforce management, health, and social policy. Citations Note Points 1-8 are extracted from the news article “American Workers Testing Positive for Marijuana Reaches 25-Year Record” by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023. Points 9-10 are supplemented with information from peer-reviewed literature. Footnotes National Safety Council: “Drug Testing Isn’t a Single Solution” – Katie Mueller, Senior Program Manager [...] Read more...
August 21, 2023Discover the potential of cannabinoids in pain management. Explore medical insights, opposition viewpoints, and real experiences. Learn how cannabinoids could reshape the future of pain treatment. Introduction: The opioid crisis has become a public health emergency in the United States, with over 130 people dying every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. As the medical community grapples with this crisis, a new frontier in pain management is emerging: cannabinoids. Recent research suggests that medicinal cannabis may offer a promising alternative to opioids for pain relief. This blog post will explore the medical perspective on cannabinoids, address common misconceptions, and consider the viewpoints of both new and experienced users of medicinal cannabis. The Medical Perspective on Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, cannabinoids present an exciting opportunity to address the opioid epidemic. Studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can significantly reduce opioid consumption, with some patients finding cannabis alone more effective than a combination of cannabis and opioids. However, the integration of cannabinoids into medical practice requires careful consideration of dosing, legal regulations, and patient education. Continued research and development of prescribing guidelines are essential to ensure safe and effective treatment. The opioid crisis has led to a search for alternatives, and cannabinoids present a promising solution. Research supports the use of medicinal cannabis to reduce opioid consumption and provide effective pain relief. The medical community is urged to consider this option, recognizing the need for proper guidelines and continued research. Misconceptions and Opposition to Medical Cannabis Despite the promising evidence, some individuals remain opposed to medicinal cannabis. Common misconceptions include fears about its psychoactive effects, potential for abuse, and lack of regulation. Clear, evidence-based communication is vital to dispel these myths and provide accurate information about the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis. Addressing legal and ethical concerns also requires collaboration between lawmakers, healthcare providers, and the community. Some individuals remain skeptical of medicinal cannabis, often due to misunderstandings about its effects and potential for abuse. Education and transparent communication about the scientific evidence supporting cannabis as a treatment option are essential to address these concerns. The Experience of New and Seasoned Cannabis Users For those new to medicinal cannabis, initial apprehensions may include concerns about side effects, social stigma, and legal issues. Comprehensive education and support can help alleviate these concerns. On the other hand, individuals experienced with medicinal cannabis often report significant benefits, including reduced opioid consumption and improved quality of life. Their insights and advocacy can foster acceptance and understanding within the broader community. Policy and Regulatory Considerations The legal status of medicinal cannabis varies across states, creating a complex regulatory environment. Developing consistent, evidence-based regulations is crucial to ensure safe and equitable access to this treatment option. Engaging with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers, and patients, is essential to create a regulatory framework that supports responsible use.   The exploration of cannabinoids as an alternative to opioids for pain management is a multifaceted issue that requires a nuanced approach. By considering various perspectives and engaging in open dialogue, we can work towards a future where pain management is more effective, compassionate, and personalized. The potential of cannabinoids in reshaping pain treatment is promising, but realizing its full potential requires collaboration, education, research, and empathy.     This blog post delves into the medical viewpoint, opposition to medical cannabis, and the experiences of both new and seasoned medicinal cannabis users, but check out The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook for this and more: https://amzn.to/3QFToba          [...] Read more...
August 7, 2023The Impact of Alcohol and Cocaine Misuse on Cognitive Flexibility: Multiple Perspectives The Medical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, the intricacies of how alcohol and cocaine misuse affects cognitive flexibility is a matter of profound interest. The brain is a complex organ, with multiple pathways and neural connections that control not only our physical actions but also our thoughts, decisions, and emotions. The recent study provides a compelling look at the neural pathways, such as the impact on striatal cholinergic interneurons and the activity of direct-pathway medium spiny neurons, which are altered by these substances. Medical professionals are particularly interested in these findings as they can guide the development of therapeutics to treat substance use disorders. Furthermore, understanding the decline in cognitive flexibility can assist clinicians in devising therapeutic interventions, which might include cognitive-behavioral strategies, medications, or even neurofeedback sessions, to boost or restore this vital cognitive function. The Skeptical Perspective Some individuals remain wary of the current science, often comparing the misuse of substances like alcohol and cocaine to medical cannabis. This skepticism usually stems from preconceived notions, past experiences, or misinformation. They might argue that drawing conclusions from a rodent study might not translate effectively to humans, making such studies less definitive. In comparing it to medical cannabis, these individuals often point out the lack of long-term studies or the possible risks of misuse and addiction, even if used for medical purposes. While their concerns cannot be entirely dismissed, it’s essential to differentiate between misuse and medical application, and to stay updated with evolving scientific research. Newbie’s Perspective For someone new to cannabis or the broader discourse on substance misuse, the intricate details of how alcohol and cocaine affect the brain might be overwhelming. They might wonder: “How does this relate to cannabis? Is it equally harmful, or does it offer medicinal benefits?” These individuals often seek rudimentary understanding. They might find the concept of cognitive flexibility intriguing, especially if they can relate it to their daily life experiences. Perhaps they’ve noticed changes in their behavior or thought patterns after consuming alcohol or know someone battling cocaine addiction. Being new to the subject, they’re open to learning but might be vulnerable to misconceptions or biases, making it crucial to present them with clear, accurate, and digestible information. Experienced Cannabis User’s Perspective For those who consume cannabis for medical purposes, such a study on alcohol and cocaine might provide a dual reaction. On the one hand, they might be curious about how different substances can influence the brain in varied ways. On the other, they might feel defensive, anticipating that detractors could lump medical cannabis into the same category as alcohol and cocaine. These individuals have firsthand experience of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. They know that when used judiciously and under medical supervision, cannabis can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and various other ailments. When juxtaposing their experience against the backdrop of the study on alcohol and cocaine, they might assert the importance of distinguishing between “use” and “misuse”. For them, the underlying theme remains: everything in moderation, and under the right guidance. Conclusion:   the subject of substance misuse, brain health, and cognitive flexibility is multi-faceted. By looking at it from various perspectives, we can appreciate the nuances and complexities of this vital topic. Every viewpoint offers a piece of the larger puzzle, emphasizing the importance of open dialogue and continuous research. [...] Read more...
August 1, 2023In a surprising turn of events, more than a third of people aged 65 or older have tried marijuana, a figure that’s tripled since 2009. This trend is explored in depth in a recent article from The Washington Post, which also delves into the question of whether these older cannabis users are more likely to be NPR listeners. The article provides a wealth of information on the topic, including data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and insights from researchers and experts in the field. It also highlights the potential influence of legalization on the increased use of cannabis among older adults. What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you surprised to see the older generation embracing cannabis? And do you know any NPR-listening, cannabis-loving seniors? Read the full article here: https://wapo.st/3Kc4QXO [...] Read more...
July 31, 2023Introduction The name Shawn Collins may not have been a household name a decade ago, but in recent years, it has become synonymous with the burgeoning Massachusetts cannabis industry. As the Executive Director of the Cannabis Control Commission, Collins has played an instrumental role in the development and regulation of the industry, drawing both praise and criticism from various quarters. In this blog, we delve deeper into the impact of Shawn Collins’ work, examining it from the perspectives of medical professionals, typical customers, and those indifferent or new to cannabis. Section 1: A Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, cannabis is not just about recreational enjoyment; it has significant health implications. Many health professionals have praised Collins’ efforts to regulate the industry, which have made it possible for patients to have access to safe, tested, and reliable cannabis products for therapeutic use. Under Collins’ leadership, the Commission has ensured the strict regulation of product quality, offering a degree of certainty that was previously lacking. For conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, cannabis has shown considerable promise. Thus, having a well-regulated supply chain has been crucial in patient care. However, not all feedback from the medical community has been positive. Some health professionals argue that the commission’s focus on commercial and recreational use might overshadow the importance of medical cannabis, pushing patients’ needs to the backburner. Section 2: The Customer’s Lens For the average customer, the rise of the cannabis industry under Collins’ watch has been a welcome change. The most obvious benefit has been the availability of a wider range of products. Consumers now have access to a variety of cannabis strains and related products, from edibles and tinctures to topicals and concentrates. Furthermore, rigorous quality checks mean that customers can trust the products they buy. Another important aspect from the customer’s perspective is the economic impact. The cannabis industry has generated significant revenue and created numerous jobs. Many customers appreciate that their purchases are contributing to local economic growth and job creation. Section 3: The View from the Sidelines Not everyone is a fan or user of cannabis, and for these people, the growing prominence of the industry can be a source of indifference or even resentment. Some fear that easy access to cannabis might lead to increased misuse, particularly among younger users. However, many recognize that regulation is preferable to prohibition. Having clear laws and regulations in place is seen as a way to control misuse while allowing adults who wish to use cannabis responsibly to do so. In this context, Collins’ work is acknowledged as necessary, even by those who might not personally support cannabis use. Conclusion Shawn Collins’ impact on the Massachusetts cannabis industry is undeniably substantial. His efforts have helped create a well-regulated, economically vibrant sector that caters to both medical patients and recreational consumers. While some criticism and challenges are inevitable, the industry’s growth is a testament to Collins’ dedication and the comprehensive framework the Commission has put in place. It remains to be seen how the industry will evolve in the coming years, but for now, Massachusetts seems to be on the right track. [...] Read more...
July 25, 2023The recent fluctuations in the market have sent ripples across industries, and one sector that has especially caught our attention is the cannabis industry. The intriguing part? Unlike the majority of stocks that are riding the upward wave, cannabis stocks are demonstrating a distinct trend, diving when others are soaring. This unexpected behavior, as perplexing as it is, offers us an opportunity to delve deeper into the complex world of the cannabis industry and its stock market performance. Why Cannabis Stocks Are Falling When discussing stock market trends, it’s important to understand that these trends are reflections of a multitude of factors, both tangible and intangible. In the case of cannabis stocks, these factors are as diverse as the products the industry produces. Firstly, let’s discuss the elephants in the room – regulatory barriers. Cannabis, despite its increasing acceptance, still finds itself tangled in a web of legal constraints. The varying laws from state to state and the federal illegality of cannabis in the US pose serious challenges for the industry. These uncertainties can make investors uneasy and lead to volatility in cannabis stocks. Secondly, the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, with companies still exploring the best ways to operate profitably. Many cannabis companies are focusing heavily on scaling their operations, often prioritizing growth over profitability. This can result in inflated valuations that are not backed by strong financials, making the stocks more susceptible to market downturns. Tilray: A Case Study Take Tilray, for example, a cannabis company that also has stakes in pharmaceutical distribution and alcohol businesses. Despite its diversified portfolio, Tilray has not been immune to the current downturn in cannabis stocks. Its stock has seen a significant dip in 2023, a worrying indication ahead of their Q4 report. This illustrates that the industry’s challenges can impact even the biggest players, regardless of their diversification strategies. Looking Ahead: What Could Potentially Turn Things Around? Despite the current downturn, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the future of cannabis stocks. One such reason is the potential for regulatory reform. As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to evolve, there’s hope for a more progressive legislative framework that could alleviate some of the current regulatory pressures. Moreover, as the industry matures, we can expect to see companies beginning to focus more on profitability rather than just growth. This shift could lead to more robust financials, thereby making cannabis stocks more attractive to investors. Ultimately, the future of cannabis stocks remains uncertain. Investors and stakeholders must stay informed, adaptable, and open to new perspectives. With a thorough understanding of the industry’s fundamentals and a close eye on market trends, it’s possible to navigate through this uncertain terrain and make informed investment decisions. [...] Read more...
July 19, 2023I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you the upcoming launch of my very own “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook”. This has been a labour of love, the fruit of years of intense research, and a quest to bring forth the multifaceted benefits of this incredible plant – cannabis. Yes, you heard that right. My mission is not just to shed light on the often misunderstood world of cannabis, but to challenge our prevailing perceptions, and spark an informed conversation about its potential. Click to check out the amazing endorsements and to order: https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Approved-Cannabis-Handbook-Wellness-Marijuana-ebook/dp/B0BSKRN1M7 Can you believe that over the last decade, cannabis has undergone such a remarkable transformation? It’s moved from being a largely taboo topic to becoming a potential game-changing therapeutic tool within our medical community. This transition is undoubtedly encouraging, yet it has been clouded by widespread misinformation and a whole lot of uncertainty. To address this, I’ve written an all-inclusive guide that seeks to demystify the medical applications of cannabis. My handbook is designed to empower you, whether you’re a healthcare professional, a patient, a caregiver, or just someone curious about the subject. In Part 1 of the book, I take you through a guided tour around the cannabis plant, explaining its intricacies, and discussing the various products you can buy off the market. But that’s not all. I even delve into how you can DIY cannabis edibles and topicals, opening up an exciting world of homemade therapeutic treatments. As we move into Part 2 of the book, we dive deeper into the clinical uses of cannabis. Every single claim made is backed by an indexed, evidence-based, peer-reviewed reference. Together, we explore the potential of cannabis in addressing a range of conditions: mental health issues, sleep disturbances, headaches, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures, and even end-of-life care. But the journey doesn’t end there. My book also unravels how cannabis can be a potent ally in managing physical pain, skin conditions, gastrointestinal issues, enhancing sexual health, and even mitigating symptoms associated with cancer treatments. You see, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” is not just another medical guide on the shelf. It’s a testament to the REAL opportunity that holistic, patient-centered healthcare presents. In a world that’s largely dominated by pharmaceutical models, I’m hoping (and trying my best!) to bring alternative approaches to the forefront. Can you imagine what it would mean if a cannabis-positive book made it to a best-seller list? It would not only command attention but also bring much-needed respect to an industry that has often been run over. More importantly, it could bring hope to millions of people who have suffered unnecessarily because of a lack of access to this information! As we embark on this path, we do recognize the challenges we face. Societal prejudices, regulatory complexities, and even the frustrating “algorithm” which often auto-cancels cannabis. But with informed knowledge and a shared understanding, we can overcome these hurdles together. After all, every paradigm shift begins with a single, daring step. So join me in this journey to redefine wellness. Pre-order your copy of the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” today, and together, let’s command attention, respect, and inspire a change that could potentially save lives for the better. [...] Read more...
July 13, 2023The use of cannabis for self-medication is a growing trend, particularly among neurodivergent individuals. A recent poll found that 1.8 million people in the UK are using cannabis to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life, a 29% increase from 2019. This trend highlights the unique intersection of physical and psychological phenomena that cannabis research is uncovering. The Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, the use of cannabis for self-medication among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue. On one hand, cannabis has been shown to help improve attention, emotion regulation, concentration, and executive functioning, while also reducing anxiety and sleep problems. These are common symptoms among neurodiverse individuals, making cannabis an attractive option for self-medication. However, the medical community also recognizes the potential risks associated with self-medication, particularly when it comes to unregulated substances. Without proper regulation and oversight, individuals may be at risk of consuming cannabis with high levels of THC, which could induce paranoia, anxiety, or psychosis. The Viewpoint of Someone Against Medical Cannabis Those against the use of medical cannabis often cite the potential for abuse and the lack of comprehensive research as reasons for their opposition. They argue that while cannabis may provide temporary relief for some symptoms, it does not address the underlying causes of these symptoms. Additionally, they express concern about the potential for dependency and the long-term effects of cannabis use. The Perspective of Someone New to Cannabis For someone new to cannabis, the idea of using it for self-medication can be both intriguing and intimidating. The stigma associated with cannabis use can be a significant barrier, as can the legal implications. However, the potential benefits of cannabis for managing symptoms of neurodivergence can also be very appealing. The Perspective of Someone Experienced with Cannabis Consumption for Medical Purposes Those who have experience with using cannabis for medical purposes often have a more nuanced perspective. They understand the potential benefits of cannabis, but also recognize the importance of using it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They may also have firsthand experience with the challenges of obtaining cannabis for medical use, particularly in regions where it is not yet legal. In conclusion, the rise of self-medication with cannabis among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue with many different perspectives. As our understanding of both neurodivergence and the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis continues to evolve, it is crucial to continue the conversation and explore all angles of this important topic. [...] Read more...
July 11, 2023In the dynamic world of cannabis, THC-O-acetate has recently emerged as the new player on the field, largely due to bold claims of it providing a ‘psychedelic’ experience. But what does the science actually say? A new study led by UB has delved into these claims and found that the effects of THC-O-acetate are more aligned with inducing relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief rather than a psychedelic experience. This contradicts the current narrative floating around the cannabis community. Moreover, the study raises an important point of concern. The cannabis market, as it currently stands, is largely unregulated. This can result in product contamination, potentially causing unexpected and undesirable effects. Hence, it emphasizes the importance of being cautious in this seemingly Wild West market. As consumers, it’s crucial to be vigilant and rely more on scientific evidence rather than simply accepting manufacturer claims. In the rapidly expanding world of cannabinoids, safety should always be paramount. Dive deeper into the study here: https://bit.ly/46KsuEv [...] Read more...
March 14, 2023Whether you have tried other forms of treatment and failed to find relief, or you just prefer a holistic alternative, you may be wondering if medical cannabis is right for you. As a whole, over the last several decades we have learned so much about the benefits of cannabis and how this plant can help you find relief. However, we’re learning each day that the plant is complex in how it works with our bodies. No matter your symptoms or type of relief you’re seeking, it’s important to learn how to know if medical cannabis is right for you. History of Medical Cannabis Patients have touted the benefits of medical cannabis for not only years, and decades, but also through the centuries. Evidence suggests that cannabis was used extensively in what is now Romania, more than 5,000 years ago. And before that, archeological evidence has found cannabis in human culture as far back as 12,000 years ago.  In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, described in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1850. In the grand scheme of things, cannabis prohibition only existed for a handful of recent years, as opposed to centuries of acceptance. Over the last several decades, many states, including Massachusetts have recognized the need and legalized cannabis in some capacity. Massachusetts now allows both recreational and medical cannabis use, but there are still a number of benefits to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. How Does Cannabis Work? Every creature with vertebrae has an endocannabinoid system. A series of receptors exists throughout the body and serves the purpose of restoring and maintaining balance (homeostasis), as well as other multiple forms of neurological communication. Cannabinoids (cannabis molecules) interact with these receptors in different ways depending on their molecular structure. Some major cannabinoids include THC and CBD. Others you may have heard of include CBN, CBG, CBC many more (over 100 more, actually). There are a plethora of cannabis strains to choose from. Just like there are countless varieties and hybrids of roses, the same can be said for cannabis strains. Like any other plant, they can be cultivated to have specific properties like a higher ratio of CBD, or other plant compounds like terpenes, fatty acids, and proteins. Different combinations of cannabinoids and plant compounds may affect the body in slightly different ways. For example, the terpene linalool is also found in lavender and is known to have a calming effect, so strains with more linalool may be encouraged for those who are anxious or stressed. What Are The Benefits of Medical Cannabis? There are countless benefits of consuming medical cannabis, though it is important to note that your experience may not be exactly the same as someone else’s. In general, some of the primary ways medical cannabis can help you find relief is through:        • pain relief,        • decreased stress, anxiety, or worry        • better sleep habits and sleep patterns        • along with other more specific benefits depending on your specific need Qualified Conditions For a Massachusetts Medical Card In answering the question, “how do you know if medical cannabis is right for you,” it’s important to note how the condition you are seeking treatment for is certainly relevant. In order to obtain a medical cannabis certification, the state requires that you have a qualifying condition. Patients 18 and older with a Massachusetts medical cannabis card can buy larger quantities of cannabis than those who purchase recreational cannabis. Some of these qualifying conditions in a medical cannabis evaluation include:        • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)        • Cancer        • Crohn’s disease        • Glaucoma        • HIV/AIDS        • Hepatitis C        • Multiple Sclerosis        • Parkinson’s disease These conditions are governed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for medical marijuana doctors and patients and are continually updated as additional conditions are evaluated. The diagnosis of any of these qualifying conditions must be verified by a medical doctor, and the patient must go through an application process. If your exact condition is not listed above, do not let that be a deterrent. Dr Caplan has the ability to determine what conditions may benefit from medical cannabis and has the authority to issue cards for any condition where it is medically appropriate. How Do You Know If Medical Cannabis Is Right For You? Many people, with and without a medical condition can benefit from cannabis use. CED champions a holistic approach to healthcare and wellness that includes medicinal cannabis. Meet with our team of marijuana doctors in Massachusetts to discuss your medical marijuana card needs – through a cannabis evaluation, we’ll review your medical history, answer all your questions, address your symptoms and discuss how cannabis could better your health. If you think getting a Massachusetts medical marijuana card could be right for you, request an appointment online at your preferred time or call us to schedule one at (617) 500-3595 and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process. [...] Read more...
March 7, 2023Medical cannabis use was approved in 2006 for Rhode Island residents with a qualifying condition. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program administers all aspects of the state Medical Marijuana Act and all regulations for patients and certifying practitioners. This includes who is eligible to receive a Rhode Island medical marijuana card, based on their qualifying health or medical condition. Medical Cannabis Use in the United States Over the past few decades, the benefits of medical cannabis have become increasingly accepted. One survey showed that 86 percent of respondents believe in the positive benefits of cannabis for medical conditions. There are nearly 20,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Rhode Island. Because marijuana is not federally-regulated, each state that has a legal medical marijuana program has its own set of laws. Medical marijuana is available in Rhode Island for a variety of conditions. First, a patient must obtain a formal diagnosis in a medical cannabis evaluation to apply for their Rhode Island medical marijuana card. Qualifying Conditions toApply for Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island In the state of Rhode Island, there are two categories of qualifying conditions required to get a medical marijuana card. The first category lists specific health diseases or illnesses. Cannabis is also authorized to help with symptoms derived from the treatment of these conditions. • Cancer • Glaucoma • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) • Hepatitis C The second category of qualifying conditions can relate to a chronic or debilitating disease,medical condition, or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: • Cachexia or wasting syndrome • Severe, debilitating, chronic pain • Severe nausea • Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease • Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease Determining the Diagnosis of Your Qualifying Condition CED Clinic provides medical cannabis services for those seeking treatment for Rhode Island’s qualifying conditions. At CED Clinic, our cannabis doctors and physicians focus on individual patient care for specific needs. Our clinicians will review your health history in a medical cannabis evaluation to better assess the benefits for your medical concerns. During this cannabis clinic visit, it is important to talk to your doctor about all of the symptoms you are experiencing. Some chronic symptoms that do not respond to general medical treatment may qualify you for Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program – even if they are not in one of the two explicit categories. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not on the list of qualifying conditions but may be considered for a medical marijuana prescription. Applying for a Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card The first step in the medical cannabis application process is to be formally diagnosed. CED Clinic offers telehealth options across multiple states, including Rhode Island. You can expedite the process by scheduling your appointment and filling out the intake form. Our cannabis clinicians will evaluate your health history and Rhode Island qualifying conditions for a cannabis medical card. We are here to walk you through the medical marijuana card application process and look forward to helping you feel empowered and educated about your cannabis choices. [...] Read more...
February 28, 2023The disappearance of Plant Medicine from mainstream American Medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved various factors, including the rise of modern medical care, the growth of a modern pharmaceutical industry, and changing attitudes towards natural remedies. One of the key events that contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine was the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. This legislation required manufacturers to accurately label their products and disclose any harmful or addictive ingredients. While this was a step forward for consumer protection, it also created an environment in which synthetic drugs could plant a foothold in the consumer market, as medicines/formulations could be patented and sold exclusively by their manufacturers, at great financial benefit. At the same time, the medical profession was undergoing a transformation, with doctors increasingly turning to scientific research and laboratory testing to guide their practice. This shift away from traditional remedies was fueled by the belief that science could provide more effective treatments for disease than natural remedies, which were more challenging to study. The Flexner Report, published in 1910, played a significant role in this transformation, as it called for medical schools to adopt a more scientific and rigorous approach to education and research. The rise of the pharmaceutical industry also played a crucial role in the disappearance of plant medicine. Pharmaceutical companies were able to invest heavily in research and development – and political lobbying efforts – and they could patent and market their products directly to doctors and patients. As a result, synthetic drugs began to replace natural remedies, which were often difficult to standardize and lacked the financial incentives of patented drugs. At the same time as the pharmaceutical industry blossomed and a more sterile system of ingredients and methods of study evolved, changing attitudes towards natural remedies also contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine. As modern medicine became more dominant, natural remedies were often seen as outdated and unscientific. This attitude was reinforced by the media, which often portrayed natural remedies as ineffective or even dangerous, relative to the more machined alternatives. The disappearance of plant medicine from mainstream American medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved a wide variety of interconnected factors, including the rise of the modern medical approach, birth and growth of the pharmaceutical industry, and evolving attitudes towards natural remedies by experts and professionals. While plant medicine is still used today by some healthcare providers, its disappearance from mainstream medical care was largely due to the emergence of synthetic drugs and the transformation of the medical profession towards a more scientific approach to treatment. [...] Read more...
February 8, 2023Once you have your medical marijuana card, it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own. Unfortunately, there is a trend among cannabis clinics of providing exceptional service until clients have their medical marijuana certifications, and then rushing them out the door. That’s not the case at CED Clinic. Current cannabis cardholders — not just those hoping to become patients — are welcome to make telemedicine appointments at any time with their medical cannabis doctor. Our Massachusetts cannabis doctors are here to provide holistic, cannabis-centered care throughout the duration of your treatment. These are just some of the reasons you might schedule a follow-up. 1. Your medical needs have changed. Life is dynamic. Whether you obtained your medical cannabis card last week or two years ago, your overall wellness may have changed since. The following are some examples of updates you may want to communicate to your cannabis doctor: New diagnosis Upcoming medical procedures Changing or worsening symptoms Dramatically improved symptoms Your cannabis doctor can answer questions, provide professional insight, and recommend any necessary adjustments to your medical marijuana prescription. 2. Your cannabis prescription isn’t working out the way you’d hoped. Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you wanted from cannabis use. This could mean you’re not feeling relief from your symptoms or the effect is minimal. Perhaps cannabis use is helping, but with other undesired effects. It’s important to remember that these issues occur with prescription medications, and you can consider a follow-up at our cannabis clinic the same way you would with your primary care provider. The truth is, there are myriad reasons why cannabis might not be delivering the desired benefits: it could be related to your dosage, the products you’re using, the method of consumption, or even other aspects of your routine or treatment regimen. By raising your concerns, you allow your canna-doctor to identify potential causes and make informed recommendations. 3. Your treatment used to work, and is now no longer effective. Sometimes cannabis loses its effectiveness — even when you’ve been using the same strain from the same company for an extended period of time. Trust us, you’re not crazy. There are several potential causes: Lack of consistency in medical cannabis products (which is a well-known problem in the industry) You’re building up a tolerance Changes in your medications, routine, or diet During your appointment, your cannabis doctor can shed some light on the issue, and offer suggestions on how to combat it. 4. There are updates to share with your cannabis doctor about your journey. When you have a traditional check-up, it helps your PCP stay informed of your wellbeing, monitor your progress with various treatments, and learn of any changes in your health. Our goal is for you to think of your care at CED Clinic the same way. Consider this: you want a medical professional to keep tabs on your overall well being, your prescriptions and whether they’re helping your symptoms; why wouldn’t you want the same as a medical marijuana patient? 5. You need a medical liaison to represent your cannabis treatment. Whether you have a regular doctor’s appointment approaching, are seeing a new specialist or have an upcoming medical procedure, your cannabis use may be relevant information. These are all opportunities for your cannabis doctor to offer support. Dr. Caplan can communicate directly with the providers involved, acting as a go-between or liaison for your medical needs. Further, receiving updated medical details allows him to make recommendations for your cannabis care routine if necessary — for example, increasing your dosage after a procedure, or altering usage to prevent adverse reactions with new medications. 6. You’re curious about new developments in the medical cannabis industry. Maybe you’ve heard about new cannabis products or formulations, or while conducting your own research, stumbled across new potential use cases, studies or data. As a result, you wonder, “How does this affect me, and what does it mean for my cannabis treatment? Should I alter my approach?” Luckily, you’re in the right place for this conversation. Dr. Caplan is not only the founder of other cannabis businesses (such as EO Care, Inc, a new digital therapeutics company that is changing the future of cannabis care), but shares access to the CED Clinic Library, (which is the world’s largest digital library of free medical cannabis research). By sharing free research with his medical cannabis patients, there are no barriers to learning cannabis health for all. You’re welcome to make an appointment to gain his professional insight and to discuss this research or other cannabis-related developments. 7. You want to learn how cannabis interacts with your medications, diet and more. If you’ve been experiencing altered effects in your cannabis use, have you noticed they correlated with changes in your health and wellness routine? If so, you could be onto something. The way that cannabis affects your body — specifically, how cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system — is directly connected with things like food, exercise habits, sleep patterns and much more. If you’re seeking information about the potential interactions of cannabis and related effects (especially if you’re starting a new medication), Dr. Caplan would be happy to address this with you. Remember: cannabis knowledge is power over your own health. Ready to schedule your appointment Just visit our website and request an appointment online for a medical cannabis evaluation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you! [...] Read more...
January 31, 2023The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has long been associated with how we process emotions, including stress and fear. Anandamide, the very first discovered, and likely most well-understood endogenous cannabinoid, functions as a neurotransmitter that actively combats the feelings of stress and fear. In the body, Anandamide is degraded by the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), so blocking FAAH activity can effectively increase anandamide in our bodies, much like how preventing a faucet from closing will set up for a flood of extra water. Fear extinction is one of the core known functions of the anandamide molecule. When a stimulus is un-coupled from a fear response in the body, this is a process governed by anandamide. For example, mice can be trained to associate a certain noise with a shock (fear training) and then dissociate the noise from the shock when they are presented with the noise by itself (fear extinction training). Research about the endocannabinoid system and fear In astudy published in Molecular Psychiatry, administration of an FAAH inhibitor in mice decreased fear when it was paired with a fear extinction training. Interestingly, however, the FAAH inhibitor did not impact fear if no extinction training occurred. Of particular interest, anandamide levels in the amygdala, another memory organ in the body, were increased, after fear extinction training, an effect that was increased further in the presence of a FAAH inhibitor. Considering these findings, the researchers speculate that variations in the FAAH gene, and therefore one’s expected level of anandamide breakdown, may be a relevant chemistry dynamic that underlies differences in one person’s ability to detect fear or cope with stress, from another’s. Consider, for example, a young boy who is afraid of a spider. When he notices the spider, consciously or not, his body immediately responds with a flight or fight response. This process happens in a synchronized way across multiple organs, including the amygdala, the adrenal glands, and traversing blood vessels throughout the body and brain. What does this mean for me? Toward a goal of minimizing the impact of fear, the natural response can be subdued in the presence of anandamide, perhaps aided and amplified by the actions or inactions of FAAH. Should someone have a gene which builds for them a very weak FAAH system, it is likely that they will have a much easier time recovering from fearful stimuli, because there will be less breakdown of anandamide. On the other hand, someone who has a very strong FAAH system would degrade their natural levels of anandamide and may have more persistent fear responses. In a world flush with fear, anxiety, and aggression, it is easy to imagine the relevance of a body system that helps to quell these negative emotions. Or, the contrary, it becomes simple to see the opportunity presented by a system of introducing molecular copy-cat molecules to some of the substances. To learn more about the endocannabinoid system and existing research about cannabinoids, explore the CED blog for our insights.   [...] Read more...
January 30, 2023Why is industrial hemp growth coming from the Cannabis Sativa L. strain of cannabis is restricted in many countries? Because it’s often confused with marijuana. But this lower THC strain has very little psychoactive properties, and is more often used for textile purposes. Also, essential oils from this low THC cannabis strain may have hidden benefits: antimicrobial activity. Can Hemp Oil Fight Bacteria? This essential oils of industrial hemp study looked at the antimicrobial properties of hemp oils against different types of bacteria. They looked at three different hemp oils (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) and found the oils might be most effective at fighting off gram positive bacteria (i.e. strep or staph infections). Futura Oil Fought Best Out of three different varieties of industrial hemp, oils from the Futura plant were the best at fighting a broader range of bacteria including food-born pathogens. Futura oils were virtually identical in composition to the other two essential oils, with the exception of a twofold increase in terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova. The Key is Terpinolene Concentration Therefore, the higher terpinolene concentration is likely the cause of the increased antimicrobial activity. This effect is particularly applicable in the context of rising antibiotic resistance, where diseases such as MRSA become resistant to our current antibiotics. Topical hemp oils with antimicrobial effects could provide an alternative method of fighting off bacteria. Curious About Hemp and Cannabis as an Alternative to Antibiotics? To learn how the essential oils of hemp and cannabis could be used to help fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595). Dr. Caplan and his team at The CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you! Social Media Post This study finds yet another use for industrial Hemp – antimicrobial activity. The researchers here tested essential oils from three different types of industrial hemp plant (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) against bacteria. They found that Futura oils had the broadest and most pronounced antimicrobial activities compared to the other two hemp varieties. Futura oils had a higher concentration of the compound terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova oils, which likely explains their higher antimicrobial activity. Hemp oils might be a beneficial alternative to fight bacteria, particularly in the context of increasing antibiotic resistance. Tweet Hemp oils have antimicrobial properties and could be used to help fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Infographic/Question Would you trust hemp oils over other antibiotic treatments such as neosporin? [...] Read more...
January 24, 2023Cannabis aversion in mice increases at higher doses of THC How much is too much when it comes to marijuana use? While marijuana in small doses can be rewarding, high doses could lead to anxiety and paranoia. Although anecdotally documented in humans, mice studies have found inconsistencies in the rewarding versus aversive (unpleasant) properties of cannabis. This review untangles the dose-dependent effects of THC in mice studies that use a place conditioning paradigm to determine the rewarding and aversive potential of marijuana. Do Mice Find Marijuana Rewarding? Using conditioned place preference and aversion tests determine whether mice find a certain stimulus – in this case marijuana – rewarding or aversive. Unsurprisingly, this review finds that mice given higher doses of THC found the THC aversive as opposed to rewarding. Priming mice with a low dose of THC a day or two before testing on the conditioned place paradigm seemed to increase the likelihood that mice would find THC rewarding. Interestingly, at smaller doses, mice were just as likely to have no preference for cannabis as they were to find it rewarding. Given the reported rewarding properties of cannabis among humans, perhaps these mice studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Worried About Anxiety or Paranoia from Cannabis? To learn if cannabis is right for you or how to avoid high doses, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595). Dr. Caplan and his team at The CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you! Social Media Post Aversion to THC in mice increases at higher doses. A comprehensive review of THC’s rewarding or aversive effects in mice shows that mice given higher doses of THC found the THC aversive as opposed to rewarding. Priming mice with a low dose of THC a day or two before testing their preference for THC increases the likelihood that mice will find THC rewarding. Interestingly, even at smaller doses of THC, mice were just as likely to have no preference for cannabis as they were to find it rewarding. Given reported rewarding properties of cannabis among humans, perhaps these mice studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Tweet A review shows that mice do not always find THC rewarding – even at small doses, but do find it aversive at high doses. [...] Read more...
January 17, 2023Peripheral nervous system cannabinoids may increase neuromuscular communication   Many studies focus on how cannabinoids function in our brains. Of course, most of us have heard about the cannabinoids which can make us feel joyful and light. Some are familiar with cannabinoids that can make you feel creative, giggly, sleepy, or hungry. As time marches on, people are starting to hear of cannabinoids that can help with improving focus or reducing appetite.   In addition to the many areas of exploration about cannabis and its action within the brain, there is a whole sector of the endogenous cannabinoid system that resides outside of the brain. Almost every immune cell, for example, has a cannabinoid receptor on it, ready to receive the signal to change its behavior.   Let’s explore the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids that are outside of the brain in our peripheral nervous systems.   Cannabinoids and the Neuromuscular Junction The neuromuscular junction is the name of the region which links the motor nerves in the body, which control movement, to our skeletal muscles.   In the brain, endogenous cannabinoids such as 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) have been shown to decrease neuromuscular junction transmission. They are also shown to promote reduced communication between motor neurons and skeletal muscles.   The opposite effect happens in the peripheral nervous system, where cannabinoids happen to actually increase neuromuscular transmission. The authors of this paper about neuromuscular transmission also found that cannabinoids may provide therapeutic potential for diseases such as myasthenia gravis. Here, there is a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles, as well as many other models of disease where neuromuscular communication is vital to normal functioning.   In a mouse model of myasthenia gravis, administration of the cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 increased neuromuscular communication, suggesting that peripheral nervous system cannabinoids are worth consideration for therapy for individuals with this, or related autoimmune diseases.   Enhancing Neuromuscular Communication with Cannabinoids If neuromuscular communication can be enhanced or suppressed by cannabinoids, it is logical that products will arise that can manipulate the neuromuscular junction toward desired aims, like:   Stronger grip More durable hold Muscle strength Endurance   These are interesting questions to consider as the medical cannabis industry matures.   Is the athletic community aware of these advances? Would this effect prohibit cannabis from the acceptable medicinal substances list? Is cannabis a performance enhancing drug?   The answers to these critical questions will present themselves in short time, as the industry matures and products become more specific. A clear understanding  of the relationship between products and illnesses needs to be honed.   Would You Like to Explore Cannabis for Performance? To learn how cannabis may be able to enhance or suppress your physical performance, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595).   Dr. Caplan and his team at CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you!   Additional info provided- can probably be removed-   Social Media Post While most studies have looked at how cannabinoids act in the brain, this study finds a novel therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the neuromuscular junctions of the peripheral nervous system. Here they find that cannabinoids can increase communication between the nerves and muscles in the peripheral nervous system. This had the ability to negate the neuromuscular communication breakdown in a mouse model of the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis.   Tweet A preliminary mouse study suggests that cannabinoids in the peripheral nervous system may increase neuromuscular communication and are a therapeutic potential for autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis.   Infographic/Question How much do you trust preliminary mouse studies in the context of therapeutic treatments for humans? [...] Read more...
Cannabis News
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ A cannabis company with operations based in Jamaica announced this week that it has successfully exported cannabis-derived THC products to the United States, where they will be tested at a facility licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The company, Pure Jamaican and its GMP-certified, licensed pharma manufacturer Seven-10 Pharmaceuticals, said the shipment marks the first legal export of THC to the United States from Jamaica in a move that elevates the Caribbean island nation’s role in the global cannabis supply chain. Jamaica legalized the commercial export of cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes in 2015, although government regulations for exporting medical marijuana products were not approved until 2021. Pure Jamaican plans to take advantage of the opportunity by legally exporting proprietary pharmaceutical products with cannabis-derived THC, hemp-derived CBD and other cannabinoids to the United States, Brazil and other major markets around the world. Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness granted permission for Seven-10 Pharmaceuticals to export cannabis-derived THC products to the United States, while the DEA issued corresponding import permits. The company then shipped the products to a DEA-licensed facility where analytic testing was successfully completed. Scott Cathcart, CEO of Pure Jamaican and Seven-10 Pharmaceuticals, said the milestone “is a proud moment for Jamaica and for our group of companies.”  “Jamaica has long been associated with ‘ganja’ but never before in this context as a producer and legal exporter of THC as a pharmaceutical-grade medicine,” Cathcart said in a statement from the company. “As the only company in Jamaica licensed for pharmaceutical manufacturing of cannabinoids, we are proud to be leading the way to elevating the role of Jamaica in the global cannabis ecosystem.” The first legal export of cannabis from Jamaica to the U.S. comes as the DEA is considering a proposal to relax restrictions on marijuana under federal law. Last summer, Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), wrote a letter to DEA head Anne Milgram recommending that cannabis be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.  The recommendation was issued following an executive order from President Joseph Biden in October 2022 that directed the heads of the Department of Justice and HHS to review the classification of marijuana under federal law. Under the HHS recommendation, which was issued after a review of the available medical and scientific evidence, cannabis would be rescheduled under Schedule III of the CSA, a less restrictive classification than Schedule I that would ease cannabis research and likely lead to the approval of cannabis pharmaceuticals. If the DEA approves the rescheduling, Seven-10 intends to request DEA permits to ship Pure Jamaican pharmaceutical THC products from Jamaica to patients in the US. Such shipments would be made to patients with a valid prescription and would comply with all relevant regulations from the DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as state pharmacy distribution regulations. Shullette Cox, the president of Jamaica Promotions Corp. (JAMPRO), a trade and investment promotions corporation representing the Government of Jamaica, said that “the growth of the cannabis industry for medicinal purposes has been a priority of the government of Jamaica and particularly, the export of value-added products from Jamaica. The success of Pure Jamaican and Seven-10 Pharmaceuticals is applauded as JAMPRO continues to facilitate the local medicinal cannabis industry and ensuring its role in driving the growth of exports.” Seven-10 has already begun shipping medicinal cannabis formulations to patients in Brazil, where regulations allowing pharmacy sales of such products went into effect in 2019. Prime Jamaica noted that together, the U.S. and Brazil comprise a market totaling more than 500 million people. “This is a labor of love and not easy,” said Dr. Ellen Campbell Grizzle, chief regulatory and compliance officer of Pure Jamaican and Seven-10 Pharmaceuticals. “Jamaica has 52 percent of the world’s medicinal plants in our small island nation, and we are very proud to be exploring ways to identify new botanical medicines to bring health, wellness, new exports and economic growth to our country.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ Many would argue that the legalization of recreational cannabis across all 50 states is essentially inevitable at this rate. Some states without recreational cannabis laws in place are practically surrounded by others that have introduced reform.  Pennsylvania, for example, just saw Gov. Josh Shapiro calling on state legislators to get a move on and legalize. “It’s time to catch up,” Shapiro said earlier this month, arguing that the longer the state goes without legalizing adult-use cannabis, the more Pennsylvania will miss out on revenue and economic opportunities. Idaho is also mostly surrounded by states that have legalized cannabis in some form — Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana have all legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use, while Utah has legalized for medical use. Wyoming, like Idaho, has yet to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use. Though, unlike Pennsylvania, Idaho lawmakers are taking a different approach. Instead of working toward cannabis reform, a newly introduced bill would create a mandatory minimum $420 fine for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis, the Idaho Capital Sun reports. Rep. Bruce Skaug introduced the legislation, HB 606, as his second attempt to pass a bill creating a minimum fine for cannabis possession of less than three ounces. He previously introduced HB 559 on Feb. 13, though this new bill is meant to replace the former and makes a technical correction.  HB 606 adds language noting that any other penalties specified in state law can also be applied alongside the $420 fine. Current Idaho law specifies that possession of less than three ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Anyone possessing more than three ounces of cannabis can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and/or pay a fine of up to $10,000. Skaug (R-Nampa) introduced HB 606 on Tuesday to members of the House State Affairs Committee, additionally dropping a number of weed-related puns as he told the committee he had “smoked out” the issue from the last bill and ran the updates by his assistant, “Mary Jane.” The fine amount of course is a nod to 420 — a nickname for weed and a reference to the widely celebrated cannabis holiday of April 20. The Tuesday hearing was introductory, so the next step for HB 606 is to return to the House State Affairs Committee for a full public hearing. For those keeping up with Idaho’s track record on cannabis, it’s not surprising that the state has taken a less than progressive approach as surrounding states move ahead with reform measures. Gov. Brad Little has been vocal about his anti-cannabis reform stance, including measures surrounding medicinal cannabis access and industrial hemp production. Shortly after he was elected in 2019, he said if Idahoans want legal cannabis, “they elected the wrong guy as governor.” Little was re-elected in 2022, and Idaho does not have term limits for governor. Though, it does appear that residents are open to the idea of medicinal cannabis reform. A 2022 SurveyUSA poll found that 68% of Idaho adults believe that medical cannabis should be legal in the state. And a citizen-led statute to legalize medical cannabis could potentially make it to the Idaho ballot later this year. The Idaho Medical Marijauna Act 2024 is sponsored by nonprofit Kind Idaho and first received clearance in April 2023 to begin signature gathering. The campaign has until April 14, 2024 to collect approximately 63,000 valid signatures, or roughly 6% of registered voters from the most recent general election.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ A higher dose version of naloxone, the nasal spray used to reverse opioid-induced overdoses, did not lead to more saved lives, according to a new study published earlier this month. The findings, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicated that “no significant differences were found in the survival of aided persons” in the new eight-milligram naloxone. According to the study, there were likewise no significant differences in “the number of doses administered by law enforcement by formulation, suggesting that, in this field test, the increased dosage did not provide added benefit, even in light of the increased prevalence of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, in the drug supply.” “Other studies have also found that number of naloxone doses administered in response to overdose has not changed over time, even with 4-mg and other lower-potency formulations,” the study said.  “In this study, persons who received the 8-mg product were more than twice as likely to experience postnaloxone opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms including vomiting, compared with those who received the 4-mg intranasal naloxone product. When vomiting was analyzed as an isolated sign, no significant differences between formulations were found. However, the high prevalence of vomiting as an isolated sign in both groups is concerning because of the risk of aspiration in sedated persons.” Dr. Michael Dailey, one of the authors of the study, told the Associated Press that what “was really remarkable was the survival was the same, but the amount of withdrawal symptoms was significantly larger in the people that got the 8-milligram dose.” The study was conducted between March 2022–August 2023, when the  “New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) supplied some New York State Police (NYSP) troops with 8-mg intranasal naloxone” and “other troops continued to receive 4-mg intranasal naloxone to treat suspected opioid overdose,” the authors explained in the study’s abstract.  “NYSP submitted detailed reports to NYSDOH when naloxone was administered. No significant differences were observed in survival, mean number of naloxone doses administered, prevalence of most postnaloxone signs and symptoms, postnaloxone anger or combativeness, or hospital transport refusal among 4-mg and 8-mg intranasal naloxone recipients; however, persons who received the 8-mg intranasal naloxone product had 2.51 times the risk for opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms, including vomiting, than did those who received the 4-mg intranasal naloxone product (95% CI = 1.51–4.18),” they explained.  “This initial study suggests no benefits to law enforcement administration of higher-dose naloxone were identified; more research is needed to guide public health agencies in considering whether 8-mg intranasal naloxone confers additional benefits for community organizations.” The authors noted that although the 8-mg naloxone was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in 2021, “no real-world data on use of the 8-mg product are available.” “Harm reduction advocates and medical professionals have noted potential harms of higher-dose naloxone, including severe withdrawal signs and symptoms, which can result in refusal of medical care, rapid reuse of opioids, reluctance to use naloxone if witnessing an overdose, and respiratory complications, including pulmonary edema and consequences of aspiration of vomitus,” they said.  “To evaluate this potential risk, in 2022, NYSDOH partnered with NYSP to field test 8-mg intranasal naloxone use by some NYSP troops. The aims of the study were to conduct real-world comparisons of survival, the average number of doses administered, presence of postnaloxone signs and symptoms, and hospital transport refusal among persons receiving the 8-mg or the 4-mg intranasal naloxone products.” According to the Associated Press, “Dailey said the study did not lead him to endorse one product over another,” but he added that it is “important for us to recognize that the potential for increased side effects is real.” The authors of the study also pointed out that their research was “subject to at least four limitations.”  “First, responding law enforcement personnel are not medical providers, and inconsistencies in their classification of postnaloxone symptoms or behaviors might have occurred. However, NYSP personnel have been reporting using a similar form for several years and are experienced in assessing symptoms and behaviors. Second, the number of 8-mg intranasal naloxone administration reports included was limited because only three of 11 NYSP troops received this formulation. With an increased sample size, additional differences in outcomes between groups might have been observed,” they explained. “Third, no information could be compared about differences between groups on the type or dose of substance used before suspected overdose, vital signs, or demographics. Finally, because the data were gathered from New York State only, the opioid potency might not reflect that in other areas.” Although the “study suggests that there are no benefits to law enforcement administration of higher-dose naloxone,” the authors said that “additional data are needed to guide public health agencies in considering whether the 8-mg intranasal naloxone product provides benefits compared with the usual 4-mg intranasal naloxone product among community organizations, including law enforcement, given the lack of difference in survival rates or number of naloxone doses administered and the increased prevalence of opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms, including vomiting, in 8-mg recipients, when compared with recipients of 4-mg intranasal naloxone.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ AFC Gamma, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFCG) announced plans on Thursday to separate its operations by spinning off its commercial real estate portfolio into a new independent entity, Sunrise Realty Trust, Inc. (SUNS), which wants to gain REIT status. The move is designed to create two distinct publicly traded companies: AFC Gamma, which will continue its focus on the cannabis industry, and SUNS, which will concentrate on commercial real estate in the southern United States. The Florida-based company anticipates that the realignment will improve their appeal to investors by offering clearer investment propositions. The separation is expected to be finalized in mid-2024. AFC Gamma has about $330 million in assets and 12 cannabis loans its funded, while SUNS is starting with around $115 million in assets and two commercial real estate loans they’ve funded, according to a news release. “AFC Gamma has solidified its position as a leading institutional lender to state-licensed cannabis operators, and we believe now is the right time to spin off our traditional commercial real estate operations into a standalone public company,” CEO Daniel Neville said in a statement. “As separate companies, we believe each business will be better positioned to pursue tailored growth strategies. Furthermore, each company will benefit from separate cost of capital and will be able to attract an investor base ideally suited for the growth opportunities of its industry.” SUNS will look to invest in a variety of commercial real estate debt instruments, including senior mortgage loans and mezzanine loans, across multiple asset classes with an emphasis on opportunities for value creation and recapitalization in the Southern U.S. Upon the separation’s completion, while some corporate management roles will overlap between AFC Gamma and SUNS, each will operate with its own investment team and board of directors, largely composed of independent members. Brian Sedrish is slated to become CEO of SUNS, leveraging his experience in commercial real estate credit and structured finance to guide the new company. “We believe that CRE debt markets today present a significant opportunity to capitalize on market dislocations precipitated by the rise in interest rates, declining liquidity and a retrenchment of banks from CRE lending,” Sedrish said. “With an experienced management team that has a proven track record in CRE credit and structured finance, we aim to successfully execute our business strategy and generate compelling risk-adjusted returns and long-term value for our shareholders.” The process of spinning off SUNS from AFC Gamma involves the distribution of SUNS shares to AFC Gamma shareholders on a pro-rata basis, a move that does not necessitate shareholder approval. In addition to the share distribution, AFC Gamma shareholders will receive a special cash dividend as part of the transaction. The successful completion of the spin-off is contingent upon regulatory approvals.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for Feb. 22, 2024. On the Site AFC Gamma to spin off commercial real estate arm The move is designed to create two distinct publicly traded companies: AFC Gamma, which will continue its focus on the cannabis industry, and Sunrise Realty Trust, which will concentrate on commercial real estate in the southern United States. Read more here. Headset names top ten fastest growing brands for 2023 Despite the challenges in the cannabis industry, like sales slipping in mature states and the long drawn-out battle over legislation, data provider Headset has found the silver lining in a new report published on February 15. Read more here. Ascend Wellness to buy second grow operation in Massachusetts Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH) is buying its second cultivation license and associated operations in Massachusetts. Ascend did not disclose the price it paid for the transaction. Read more here. Indivior plans U.S. move, revenue up 21% to $1.1B Sublocade maker Indivior PLC (NASDAQ: INDV) (LSE: INDV) announced plans to potentially move its primary stock listing to the U.S. from the U.K. in 2024, while maintaining a secondary listing in its home country. Read more here. Lawsuit claims bad behavior around Russian-funded cannabis operation A lawsuit was filed against California businessmen Ari Stiegler and Gabriel Borden for misusing money intended for a cannabis operation. The company was named the Genius Fund and $145 million was entirely funded by Alltech Investments Limited, owned by the now-deceased Russian national Dimitry Bosov. Read more here. In Other News Mississippi The Mississippi State Department of Health, through the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP), announced its intent to revoke the license of Rapid Analytics, LLC, a medical cannabis testing facility, on Thursday. Read more here. New Hampshire The House gave initial approval Thursday morning to its latest cannabis legalization bill, which would limit the number of stores statewide to 15, with a robust system of state oversight. Read more here. Arkansas Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin signed off on ballot wording Tuesday for a proposed constitutional amendment to expand access to medical marijuana. Read more here. California Drivers, operations leads, associates, and cash counters at the Southern California cannabis delivery company Amuse have joined Teamsters Local 630. Read more here.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 23, 2024Cannabis News​ After a negotiations by stakeholders early Thursday morning, a Virginia House panel approved a revised, “compromise” version of legislation to legalize and regulate retail marijuana sales in the commonwealth. Supporters now hope to push the bill through both chambers of the legislature and deliver it to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), though he has said he is not interested in signing cannabis commerce legislation. The House General Laws Committee passed the amended bill, SB 448, on a 12–10 vote. Members first adopted substitute language that attempted to bridge remaining gaps between the bill, originally introduced by Sen. Aaron Rouse (D), and a separate House measure sponsored by Del. Paul Krizek (D). “After these bills passed their respective bodies,” Krizek told the House General Laws Committee on Thursday, “Sen. Rouse and I went to work immediately with stakeholders to harmonize them. Fortunately, there was already many areas of agreement, such as public safety, public health, enforcement, local land use referendum and regulatory oversight.” “We took up three policy areas where the bills differed,” Krizek continued. “Thanks to creative and diligent efforts, the bills are now aligned with respect to those issues, which were: one, timing for market for the market; two, the canopy size and how it’s characterized; and three, what we kind of call equity.” The Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee is expected to take up the House bill, HB 698, on Friday morning, with members expected to bring that measure into alignment with the new compromise. Regarding timing, retail stores under the new compromise bill would open no earlier than May 1, 2025, although the licensing process would begin in September of this year. And unlike Krizek’s own House proposal, which would allow certain businesses to begin retail sales ahead of others, the new May 2025 start date “will be the same for everyone,” the lawmaker said. Krizek’s proposal would have allowed existing medical marijuana businesses, some hemp businesses and up to 60 equity-focused microbusinesses to begin legal sales on January 1, 2025, with licensing opening up to other businesses later that year. Critics, however, said that approach would allow some businesses to unfairly dominate the market. Retail sales of cannabis would be taxed at about 9 percent under the amended bill, including a 4.5 percent state tax and up to a 4.5 percent tax that local governments could optionally impose. The earlier Senate bill would have taxed products at up to 17.5 percent. The compromise also regulates commercial marijuana cultivators by size, measuring scale by square footage rather than individual plant count, as the Senate bill originally provided. And unlike the House bill, which would have banned outdoor grows entirely, the compromise proposal allows outdoor cultivation by smaller-scale growers. Larger operators would be restricted to growing indoors. As for equity, the proposal would set up a microbusiness program that would award licenses based in part on applicants’ personal histories, an effort to redress drug war harm. Entities at least two-thirds owned and directly controlled by eligible applicants, which include people with past cannabis misdemeanors, family members of people with past convictions, military veterans, individuals who’ve lived at least three of the past five years in a “historically economically disadvantaged community,” people who’ve attended schools in those areas and individuals who received a federal Pell grant or attended a college or university where at least 30 percent of students are eligible for Pell grants. Microbusinesses would also qualify for additional support, including a partial waiver of application and licensing fees as well as technical and administrative assistance. Though the substitute amended Rouse’s bill, the senator himself did not appear at the House committee hearing. His office has also not responded to multiple requests for comment by Marijuana Moment in recent weeks. “Sen. Rouse and I are happy to report that the Senate and House are on the cusp of sending the governor legislation which will create a retail marijuana market in a very responsible and thoughtful way,” Krizek said before the committee vote. “And we have to do this, because we’ve got to do something about that $3 billion illicit market. It’s time to give Virginians access to a safe, tested and taxed product.” Representatives of at least two groups that have sometimes butted heads in recent months spoke in support of the compromise bill. Greg Habeeb, a former legislator who is now a lobbyist on behalf of the Virginia Cannabis Association (VCA), which represents a number of small businesses and hemp operators, described the compromise approach as “the fair way to do it.” “There’s equal access,” he said. “This takes care of small businesses, it takes care of Virginia farmers, it makes sure that the protections are in place in the market so that it’s properly regulated.” Chelsea Higgs Wise, executive director of the advocacy group Marijuana Justice, said the organization is in support of the revised bill “because it directly supports those that have been impacted by marijuana enforcement in the past.” “We’re really excited to be able to come to a consensus,” Wise said, “and I thank all the parties for their hard work on this.” Not everyone, however, is keen on the compromise bill. JM Pedini, development director for the advocacy organization NORML and executive director of the group’s Virginia chapter, did not speak at the hearing but separately told Marijuana Moment they’re disappointed that the latest bill pushes the opening of legal sales further down the road. Even a day earlier, Krizek was telling reporters that the compromise bill would open stores in March. That has now been pushed back by another two months. “It’s unfortunate that once again Virginians are being told to wait another year for retail sales to begin,” Pedini said. “There is no industry without consumers, yet consumers are being told to get in the back of the line while business interests are prioritized over theirs—businesses that purportedly need more time to better position themselves to capitalize off of those very consumers.” “I agree with Del. Krizek,” they added. “It is time to ensure Virginians have legal access to cannabis that is regulated for consumer safety. But that time ought to be in 2024, not delayed until 2025.” Pedini did note that some of NORML’s suggested fixes to earlier versions of the legislation were included in the latest bill, including amendments to remove penalties for homemade edibles and lawful public possession. Here’s what the latest version of SB 448 would do, according to a draft obtained by Marijuana Moment: Retail sales would not begin until May 1, 2025—later than what proponents said would likely be a March start date in the revised bill and later still than the January 1 date in the measures the House and Senate separately passed earlier this session. Adults would be able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a single transaction, or up to an equivalent amount of other cannabis products as determined by regulators. A state tax of 4.5 percent would apply to the retail sale of any cannabis product, and local governments could levy an additional tax of up to 4.5 percent. The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority would oversee licensing and regulation of the new industry. Its board of directors would have the authority to control possession, sale, transportation, distribution, delivery and testing of marijuana. Local governments could ban marijuana establishments, but only if voters first approve an opt-out referendum. Locations of retail outlets could not be within 1,000 feet of another marijuana retailer. Cultivators would be regulated by space devoted to marijuana cultivation, known as canopy size, rather than by the actual number of plants they grow. Both indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation would be allowed, though only growers in lower tiers—with lower limits on canopy size—could grow plants outside. Larger growers would need to cultivate plants indoors. Secure greenhouses would qualify as indoor cultivation. Only direct, face-to-face transactions would be permitted. The bill would prohibit the use of other avenues, such as vending machines, drive-through windows, internet-based sales platforms and delivery services. Existing medical marijuana providers that enter the adult-use market could apply to open up to five additional retail establishments. Serving sizes would be capped at 10 milligrams THC, with no more than 100 mg THC per package. No person could be granted or hold an interest in more than five total licenses, not including transporter licenses. People with convictions for felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude within the past seven years would be ineligible to apply for licensing, as would employees of police or sheriff’s departments if they’re responsible for enforcement of the penal, traffic or motor vehicle laws of the commonwealth. An equity-focused microbusiness program would grant licenses to entities at least two-thirds owned and directly controlled by eligible applicants, which include people with past cannabis misdemeanors, family members of people with past convictions, military veterans, individuals who’ve lived at least three of the past five years in a “historically economically disadvantaged community,” people who’ve attended schools in those areas and individuals who received a federal Pell grant or attended a college or university where at least 30 percent of students are eligible for Pell grants. “Historically economically disadvantaged community” is an area that has recorded marijuana possession offenses at or above 150 percent of the statewide average between 2009 and 2019. Tax revenue from the program would first cover the costs of administering and enforcing the state’s cannabis system. After that, 60 percent of remaining funds would go toward supporting the microbusinesses program, 25 percent would fund substance use disorder treatment and prevention, 10 percent would go to pre-K programs for at-risk children and 5 percent would fund a public health and awareness campaign. Adults could also share up to 2.5 ounces with other adults without financial remuneration, though gray-market “gifting” of marijuana as part of another transaction would be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor and a Class 1 misdemeanor on second and subsequent offenses. A number of other new criminal penalties would be created. Knowingly selling or giving marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia to someone under 21, for example, would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine, as would knowingly selling cannabis to someone reasonably believed to be intoxicated. It would also be a Class 1 misdemeanor to advertise the sale of marijuana paraphernalia to people under 21. Knowingly obtaining marijuana on behalf of someone under 21 would be a Class 1 misdemeanor. People under 21 who possess or use marijuana, or attempt to obtain it, would be subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 and ordered to enter a substance use disorder treatment and/or education program. Illegal cultivation or manufacture of marijuana, not including legal homegrow, would be a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $2,500 fine. People could process homegrown marijuana into products such as edibles, but butane extraction or the use of other volatile solvents would be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Supporters have an incentive to shepherd the consensus bill forward in both chambers. If the opposite houses pass differing legal sales bills, the issue would go to a bicameral conference committee—a process that’s often hurried and even less transparent than typical lawmaking. “We’ve all had the situation where a massive conference report—that never went through committees, that the public never saw—shows up on the floor on the last day of session, and you have to vote on that,” Habeeb, the lawmaker-turned-lobbyist said at Thursday’s hearing. “This is the most transparent way possible to pass a bill like this.” VCA President Jason Blanchette told Marijuana Moment that the group is “extremely proud to have been able to come to consensus, prior to conference, on such an impactful piece of legislation.” “Survive and advance is the name of the game, and we live to fight another day,” he said. Even if the legislature does pass a consensus legalization bill this session, it will still have to get past the governor, who has sent mixed messages around legalization. While the governor has not explicitly said he’ll veto a retail marijuana bill, he signaled last month that he doesn’t have “any interest” in legalizing sales under the Democrat-led plans. When he was first elected, however, Youngkin said he was “not against” allowing commercial sales categorically. Use, possession and limited cultivation of cannabis by adults is already legal in Virginia, the result of a Democrat-led proposal approved by lawmakers in 2021. But Republicans, after winning control of the House and governor’s office later that year, subsequently blocked the required reenactment of a regulatory framework for retail sales. Since then, illicit stores have sprung up to meet consumer demand. Following last year’s elections, Democrats are now back in charge of both chambers of the legislature. A sales bill did advance through the Democratic-controlled Senate last session, but it stalled in committee in the House, which at the time had a GOP majority. GOP Congressman Files Bill Directing VA To Update Lawmakers About Psychedelic Medicine Access For Veterans Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ A top Ohio Democratic senator says GOP House leadership is doing a “disservice” to the public by failing to advance legislation to expedite marijuana sales after voters approved a legalization ballot measure last year. The criticism is increasingly bipartisan, as Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has similarly pushed the legislature to pave a faster pathway to sales to resolve the “ridiculous” situation Ohio has found itself in—a regulatory limbo where cannabis is legal to possess and grow but access to licensed shops is months away. “It’s really being held up in the House,” Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D) told WKRC, adding that it’s “really a disservice to the people of Ohio.” The Senate did pass a bill in December that would address the issue by allowing existing medical cannabis dispensaries to dually serve patients and adult consumers within 90 days of enactment, in addition to other changes to the initiated statute. But the House hasn’t taken it up, and the chamber has also been considering an alternative package. “Every day that goes by where we don’t have the ability for folks to either go to the medical dispensaries to legally purchase, we also open ourselves up for an illegal market,” Antonio said. “All that time that passes without having these pathways to legal purchase, without having expungements, and that means people who could have this on their record that aren’t able to get jobs, not able to change things in their lives because of having this record.” House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) said earlier this month that it’s a “complex issue,” after his chamber declined to take up the Senate-passed legislation. Meanwhile, James Canepa, who was selected to serve as the first superintendent of the Division of Cannabis Control (DCC), says that the legislature’s delayed action could complicate regulators’ work to effectively stand up the new market. “To test it, to process it, to sell it, to grow it—you need a permit. And there are steps that need to happen. One of the big steps is this rulemaking process,” he said. “The division doesn’t have unilateral authority to decide whatever the rules are going to be.” “If there’s a challenge, it’s moving down the road crystallizing with a lot of input and a lot of resources and a lot of people’s time. Then somebody deciding that they want to participate in refining it,” he said. As it stands without additional legislative action, Canepa says he doesn’t expect marijuana businesses to become licensed to sell to adult consumers until September 7, as prescribed under the voter-approved ballot initiative. However, he did say in a separate interview that he expects that as many as 300 shops will be open for business for adult consumers by September 2026. In an appearance before the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Wednesday, Canepa said he plans to run the cannabis regulatory process in a “professional” and “responsible” manner. “If stoner culture is what people are hoping for, I’m not your guy. It’s going to be professional. It’s going to be responsible,” he said. “It’s going to be accountable and if diverting and appealing to children, whether it’s advertising labeling packaging, not following the under 21 sales rules, there’s zero tolerance for that.” Meanwhile, Rep. Juanita Brent (D)—who has previously emphasized the need to involve people who’ve been disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization in the legalization implementation process—has been warning colleagues that passing legislation to undermine voters’ decision to legalize marijuana in the state will jeopardize their reelection prospects. Fifty-seven percent of Ohio voters passed a legalization measure at the ballot in November, but the Republican governor and GOP leadership have insisted that further changes to the law are needed, particularly as it concerns the timeline for legal sales. In the interim, Ohio regulators recently released an initial batch of proposed rules for the state’s adult-use marijuana program, focusing on requirements for applicants seeking to become licensed retailers, as well as certain changes to the medical cannabis system. The governor has been clear that he wants the legislature to speed up the implementation of the law. He’s criticized the “goofy situation” Ohio is in, where adults 21 and older are able to legally possess and grow marijuana, but there won’t be regulated access until late this year. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— DeWine has also signaled that he’d like to see legislation that would allow for recreational sales within two months. And he’s separately stressed that he wants to see lawmakers to tackle restrictions for sales of intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoid products such as delta-8 THC. The governor, who campaigned against the legalization ballot measure, previously voiced support for the idea of moving marijuana tax dollars to law enforcement—a policy change opposed by advocates who want to maintain funding for social equity initiatives as prescribed under the ballot initiative voters approved. With respect to the broader legalization implementation debate, some Democratic lawmakers have indicated that they may be amenable to certain revisions, such as putting certain cannabis tax revenue toward K–12 education. But other supporters of the voter-passed legalization initiative are firmly against letting legislators undermine the will of the majority that approved it. Rep. Gary Click (R) filed legislation in late November that would allow individual municipalities to locally ban the use and home cultivation of cannabis in their jurisdictions and also revise how state marijuana tax revenue would be distributed by, for example, reducing funds allocated to social equity and jobs programs and instead steering them toward law enforcement training. Meanwhile, following voter approval of legalization, the Department of Commerce was quick to publish an FAQ guide for residents to learn about the new law and timeline for implementation. The commerce department also announced in December that the state’s top alcohol regulator, who previously worked as a prosecutor, would be heading up the new Ohio marijuana regulatory division. Details On Virginia Marijuana Sales Compromise Offer Emerge As Lawmakers Work To Close Gaps Between Competing Bills Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Indivior PLC (NASDAQ: INDV) (LSE: INDV) announced plans to potentially move its primary stock listing to the U.S. from the U.K. in 2024, while maintaining a secondary listing in its home country. The London-based pharmaceutical, which also files in Virginia and is known for its treatments for opioid use disorder, said that the shift aims to better align with the company’s market focus and investor base, as nearly half of its share capital is currently held by U.S.-based investors. “If the consultations indicate a strong level of support from shareholders, the Group intends to put forward a formal resolution that would facilitate a primary U.S. listing in the Summer of 2024,” Indivior wrote in filings. The firm also posted decent financials for the fourth quarter and fiscal year of 2023, with a 21% rise in net revenue for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2023, reaching $1.1 billion, up from $901 million the previous year. The growth was largely driven by its products Sublocade and Perseris, which saw revenue increases of 54% and 50%, respectively. Monthly injectable Sublocade alone generated $630 million in revenue. Despite facing substantial litigation settlement costs totaling $610 million and spending $124 million on the acquisition of Opiant, Indivior managed to turn around its operating performance. The company reported an adjusted operating profit of $269 million, a 27% increase from the previous year, and adjusted net income rose by 32% to $223 million. It also maintained a healthy cash reserve of $451 million by the year’s end. “At our December 2022 Capital Markets Day, we laid out Indivior’s strategy and medium term financial goals targeting double-digit top line growth, operating margin expansion and strengthened cash flow,” CEO Mark Crossley said in a statement. “By executing against our strategic priorities, we delivered strongly against these goals in 2023.” Indivior’s guidance for the coming year projects an 18% increase in net revenue and a “meaningful” expansion of its operating margin (~300 basis points, according to filings). The announcement also covered the company’s ongoing efforts to expand its product portfolio and penetrate further into the U.S. market, which includes the launch of a new drug, Opvee, a nasal spray drug similar to Narcan but contains nalmefene instead of naloxone. According to Medical News Today, “The key difference between these drugs lies in how long they work: A dose of Opvee nasal spray keeps working in the body longer than a dose of Narcan.” The firm also pointed to the continued growth of Sublocade and Perseris through increased patient enrollments and health system penetration.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ A lawsuit was filed on February 16, 2024, against California businessmen Ari Stiegler and Gabriel Borden for misusing the money intended for a cannabis operation. The company was named the Genius Fund and $145 million was entirely funded by Alltech Investments Limited, a limited liability company owned by the now-deceased Russian national Dimitry Bosov. Mikhail Abyzov is a former Russian cabinet member and friend of Bosov. His son, Danny Abyzov, attended Loyola Marymount University when Borden was also a student at the university. Danny Abyzov made the introduction of the men to Bosov. According to the court complaint, Bosov agreed to invest in a fund run by Stiegler and Borden because they promised Bosov that they would develop a profitable 100-acre cannabis cultivation operation within one year. Stiegler and Borden each had starting salaries of $10,000 a month for the first month, and then received $250,000 a year each in salary for their roles as co-CEOs. An attorney for the businessmen, Patrick M. Maloney of the Maloney Firm APC,  told Law360 that the lawsuit presented a “one-sided and incomplete portrayal” of his clients’ time as executives of the cannabis company in question, Genius Fund. “This is a meritless suit that desperately attempts to ignore a clear and simple fact: Messrs. Borden and Stiegler faithfully followed the directives from the investor who funded and oversaw the management of the company,” Maloney said in a statement to Law360. “This suit was filed more than three years after the plaintiff participated in an assignment for the benefit of creditors. That initial suit lacked merit, and as a result, the plaintiff has already dropped six causes of action. Messrs. Borden and Stiegler intend to vigorously defend themselves against these ridiculous claims.” Cannabis plans The two CEOs had told the Fund that it would have a cannabis operation within 12 months. To meet the timeline, they invested in an operation called Plumas Farms, which turned out to not have a cannabis license. The complaint also states that the two had no farming experience and hired friends for college who also had no cannabis cultivation experience. They are accused of spending $7 million on salaries and attempting to call the property a research facility to avoid the licensing requirement. They are also accused of spending $500,000 on bribes to the Plumas Farmer’s Board and ultimately that investment lost $6 million, although $1 million was carved back on the sale of equipment. They also are alleged to have spent $4.5 million on a Humboldt farm operation that resulted in a $4 million loss. The two also are accused of hiring a former professor to run an extraction operation. The complaint states that David French, a former Loyola professor, spent $6.5 million on a building and then another $10 million for a machine from China. He was unable to assemble it himself and paid for Chinese workers to assemble the machine. The complaint claims that the machine was never operational, yet money continued to be sent to French with no accounting of the use of the money. Lavish spending The complaint alleges that the two immediately after the Fund was established began to spend lavishly and burned through $17 million in just two years. For example, they are said to have awarded themselves new Teslas despite the company having no income. They also gave themselves bonuses and bought jet skis and a dog. They also took the company’s employees on a two-week trip to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico and encouraged them to drink and overspend. The two CEOs were also accused of signing a lease for expensive office space, which wasn’t needed since the company was just getting started. They agreed to a million a year on rent and then proceeded to renovate the office space which cost additional millions of dollars. The duo are also accused of not hiring accountants and creating numerous sub-entities to hide their incompetence. One was called Spotlight and this was the company that did most of the business for the Genius Fund. It was Spotlight that signed the office lease. The complaint also alleges that the two spent $23 million on a California property that the Genius Fund economist told them was only worth $8 million. The property was also impacted by the endangered Tiger Salamander. This deal seemed to be the final straw for the Genius Fund. The complaint says the two were terminated as a result of the bad deal. The court document stated: But it was too late. The company was already effectively insolvent, with significant debt owed to various vendors, landlords, and others. In March 2020, unable to make payroll, all but a handful of Genius Fund’s (and its subsidiaries’) 150+ employees were terminated. Russian connections According to numerous news reports in May 2020, Dmitry Bosov was found dead at his home in a Moscow suburb, in what officials say was a suicide. The Investigative Committee announced on May 7 that Bosov, 52, had died the previous evening of a gunshot wound to the head. The Alltek group controlled the coal producers Siberian Anthracite, VostokUgol, and other firms. Bosov was a billionaire and the 86th richest man in the country. According to Reuters, in December 2023 a Russian court sentenced Mikhail Abyzov to 12 years in jail, finding him guilty of fraud and organizing a criminal group. Reuters noted that Abyzov “was once an ally of former President Dmitry Medvedev and held the title of minister for open government affairs from 2012 to 2018. He was taken into custody in March 2019.” Reuters also wrote that “The Investigative Committee accused Abyzov of organizing a criminal group and, together with other individuals, embezzling 4 billion roubles ($43.36 million) from two energy companies supplying electricity to the Novosibirsk region in Siberia. Abyzov, a former electrical power executive, denied the allegations.” In 2020, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran filed suit against Bosov, saying he was owed more than $1 million for his work on a cannabis venture. Francis J. Racioppi Jr. was ultimately named CEO of the company but says he was squeezed out by the two businessmen. That case is being fought against the Bosov estate, which claims the arbitration agreement he assigned when he joined the company in a lower-level capacity remained in effect even as he became the CEO. Racioppi claims the arbitration agreement only related to the initial job. 1805000-1805185-genius v ari stiegler complaint cannabis  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana. While the body has approved cannabis legalization legislation a number of times in recent sessions that has gone on to die in the Senate, supporters are hopeful that the latest measure can finally pass the opposite chamber and curry favor with Gov. Chris Sununu (R). House lawmakers approved HB 1633, sponsored by Rep. Erica Layon (R), on a 239–141 vote Thursday. In its current form, it would allow adults 21 and older to buy marijuana from one of up to 15 licensed stores across the state. Possession of up to four ounces of cannabis, 10 grams of concentrate or 2,000 milligrams of THC in other forms would be allowed under the proposal. The bill is a departure from the state-run model supported by Sununu, and it does not include a prohibition on lobbying by the industry that his office urged lawmakers to include late last year. Layon has said those aspects of the governor’s preferred approach could risk legal liability. Since introducing the bill, however, she’s spent recent weeks working to build consensus with Senate counterparts and members of a state study commission convened last year to propose legalization legislation of its own—a task it failed to complete before a deadline in December. “There’s a lot of people in the state who currently use cannabis,” Layon said before the House floor vote. “I really don’t think the number is going to increase much by passing this bill.” “We’re concerned about those people who are buying it on the black market and they’re buying product that’s contaminated by fentanyl because of poor product handling,” she said. “Cannabis is here. The question is whether or not we provide an outlet for people who are currently turning to the streets a way to buy it in the state, and we keep some of the sales here in New Hampshire.” Despite Layon’s recent efforts to craft a consensus bill, it drew criticism from some lawmakers. “Now is not the time to pass marijuana legislation in the state of New Hampshire. There’s more than just marijuana issues on this bill,” said Rep. Tim Cayhill (R). “There’s mental health issues on this bill. There’s supporting our law enforcement on this bill. There’s homelessness issues on this bill. There’s many reasons that everyone in here could find to not pass marijuana legislation in the state of New Hampshire.” Before the vote on the bill itself, the House approved an amendment from the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee that was the result of Layon’s negotiations with senators. Rep. Jonah Wheeler (D) urged lawmakers to defeat the committee amendment, saying it is a “fundamental change to the bill that I cosponsored.” “If this amendment passes, and the bill becomes law as amended, an individual who wants to go buy cannabis for recreational reasons will have to go to one of the 15 agency stores approved by the state and buy cannabis from a state-sanctioned distributor,” he said. “That is not the free market.” Layon responded by saying she recognizes “the challenges identified by my colleague” but noted that in order to get legalization enacted into law, any plan will have to pass muster in the Senate and with the governor. “Our question is do we pass something that is makes a lot of us happy here in a free market situation,” she said, “or do we pass something that meets the outlines that are actually laid out for legalization to happen in New Hampshire and for us to stop being an island of prohibition?” “It’s a compromise,” she said. “Every single person in a seat here can find a reason to vote against the amendment and to vote against the bill. But the question is, do we have a net benefit to the state by passing this?” The committee amendment was adopted by a vote of 263-116. After being approved by the full House, the measure next heads to the body’s Finance Committee and will then come back to the floor for one more vote before heading to the Senate. The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee approved the amendment to the bill last week on a bipartisan, 17–3 vote. When the legislation first landed in that panel, chair Rep. John Hunt (R), a member of last year’s study commission, initially warned Layon that if she didn’t get support from Senate lawmakers, the proposal would be dead on arrival. In a majority report for the House committee, Rep. Anita Burroughs (D) wrote that the bill would initially open 15 stores, though additional retail licenses could be authorized later on. It sets strict limits on products and sales, the report says, which focusing on transitioning into a legal market. “Many years of work have led to this effort, which focuses the State of NH on harm reduction, not profits, and allows the state to control distribution and access through state laws, administrative rules, and local control,” the report says. “The legalization of cannabis will move production and sales from the underground, sometimes dangerous, illicit market to legal businesses, allowing for appropriate regulations and control.” Burroughs said before last week’s committee vote that the bill is “not 100 percent of what anybody wants,” but she warned that the state is “taking a crapshoot if we don’t pass it this year” given the upcoming election in November. Unlike in most states, general purpose advertising would be banned outright, including on billboards and social media. Layon has said advertisements on marijuana-specific platforms like Weedmaps, however, would be allowed in order to allow consumers to find the stores. Companies could not use slang to promote marijuana or encourage overconsumption, for example through the use of a logo showing someone with bloodshot eyes. And regulators could limit business names and other marketing. The plan includes a narrow allowance for for certain vaporization devices, though it also allows regulators to prohibit “types of vaporizers that are particularly likely to be utilized by minors without detection.” It specifies that regulators may not ban “or unreasonably restrict” vaporizers categorically, however. Layon’s proposal would further allow people to petition to have past criminal records annulled if the charges were for possession of less than what’s legal after the change. The lawmaker said earlier this month that she’s been in discussions with ACLU representatives on the issue. For opponents on the committee, Rep. Lilli Walsh (R) wrote in a minority report that the proposal “is still not ready or suitable for the citizens of New Hampshire.” “Introducing drastic cultural change, increased healthcare costs, and significant societal impact is not in the best interest of the state,” the report says. “Additionally, the unambiguous question of creating conflict with federal law specifically regarding the sale and distribution of a federally controlled substance, has not been addressed.” Some outside voices have also criticized certain elements of the bill. ACLU of New Hampshire Executive Director Devon Chaffee said in committee, for example, that she opposes how the latest changes to the bill would penalize public consumption of marijuana. Nevertheless, as the bill moves forward, some observers say they’re grateful for the leadership Layon has demonstrated in bringing together people with different views. “Overall I think this bill’s in a much better place than I could have imagined a few weeks ago,” Matt Simon, director of public and government relations at medical marijuana provider GraniteLeaf Cannabis, told Marijuana Moment. “Rep. Layon has done an outstanding job talking to all the stakeholders, talking to senators, trying to talk to the governor’s office.” “She spent a lot of time and effort on this,” he added, “trying to understand what the study commission wanted and trying to understand what potential objections are…and trying to come up with a compromise that can actually find the sweet spot.” (Disclosure: Simon supports Marijuana Moment’s work via a monthly Patreon pledge.) The House has repeatedly passed legalization bills in recent sessions only to see them consistently stall in the Senate. Lawmakers worked extensively on marijuana reform issues last session and attempted to reach a compromise to enact legalization through a multi-tiered system that would include state-controlled shops, dual licensing for existing medical cannabis dispensaries and businesses privately licensed to individuals by state agencies. But the legislature ultimately hit an impasse on the complex legislation, which was being considered following Sununu’s surprise announcement that he backed state-run legalization. The Senate also defeated a more conventional House-passed legalization bill last year, HB 639, despite its bipartisan support. In May, the House separately defeated a different marijuana legalization amendment that was being proposed as part of a Medicaid expansion bill. The Senate also moved to table another piece of legislation that month that would have allowed patients and designated caregivers to cultivate up to three mature plants, three immature plants and 12 seedlings for personal therapeutic use. After the Senate rejected the reform bills in 2022, the House included legalization language as an amendment to separate criminal justice-related legislation—but that was also struck down in the opposite chamber. Job Corps Loosens Marijuana Testing Rules For Federal Youth Workforce Training Program Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ The Biden administration is being pressed to reschedule marijuana by two coalitions representing military veterans and law enforcement—including a group that counts Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram among its members. In a pair of recent letters sent to DEA and President Joe Biden, Law Enforcement Leaders To Reduce Crime & Incarceration (LEL) and a group of veterans service organizations separately pushed for the reclassification of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The law enforcement group, comprised of current and former police chiefs, prosecutors and federal officials, said they are “concerned about how the direct conflict between state and federal laws that currently exists regarding the handling of cannabis makes it difficult for law enforcement to respond effectively to pressing public safety challenges,” adding that the policy disconnect has also empowered the illicit market. Over 30 members of LEL signed the letter to Biden. Milgram, the current DEA chief overseeing the agency’s marijuana scheduling review, is a member of the group but did not sign it. She was CCed on the letter, however. “We believe that reclassification under schedule III would be an important step to help both federal and state law enforcement better prioritize limited public safety resources,” the law enforcement leaders wrote. “They can focus efforts on working together to combat the harms that arise from unregulated cannabis markets.” “Moreover, rescheduling would also allow legal markets to compete on a level playing field potentially leading to greater reinvestments in critical programs that can bolster public safety. Therefore, we strongly urge the Drug Enforcement Administration to follow HHS’s  recommendation and reclassify marijuana as a schedule III substance under the CSA. Such a move would advance public safety and promote more efficient and effective use of law enforcement resources across the country.” Other members of the association who are not signatories of the new letter, which was first reported by The Hill, include a former White House drug czar, U.S. Marshalls Service director and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) director. Marijuana Moment reached out to DEA for comment on the administrator’s affiliation with LEL, but a representative was not immediately available. “It is absolutely critical for law enforcement to have clear federal laws and not a patchwork approach to cannabis policy,” Ronal Serpas, a former New Orleans and Nashville police chief and executive director of LEL, told Marijuana Moment. “Rescheduling is an important first step to helping local, state and federal law enforcement collaborate effectively against real threats to public safety such as violent crime and the dangers presented by an unregulated and illicit cannabis market.” The veterans groups, meanwhile, sent a letter to DEA’s Milgram late last week that urges the agency to “expeditiously accept” HHS’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. The signatories include the heads of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, the American Legion and the Minority Veterans of America. “The recommendation by HHS to move cannabis to Schedule III reflects a growing acknowledgement of the accepted medical use and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis products,” they wrote. “As organizations dedicated to advocating for the well-being of our veterans, we believe the recommendation of Schedule III will open greater access to the alternative medicines that our nation’s heroes demand and deserve.” The letter, first reported by NBC News, adds that while U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policy permits veterans to discuss their cannabis use with the agency’s doctors, “many veterans remain uncomfortable discussing cannabis use with their VA providers due to fear of retribution.” “As the nation’s largest healthcare provider, the VA can and must do better in providing treatment options to veterans—treatments that are readily available in 38 states around the country to millions of civilian Americans outside of the VHA,” the letter says. “By accepting the recommendation that cannabis be moved to Schedule III from HHS, the VA will be better positioned to integrate cannabis as an option in its pursuit of providing the best care possible for the veterans it serves.” “We understand that the administrative scheduling process involves several steps, but the sooner the DEA moves forward with a reclassification of cannabis, the sooner it could potentially be integrated into the VHA—our nation’s largest healthcare system. A prompt acceptance of the HHS recommendation will allow the VHA to explore innovative approaches to healthcare that are directly targeted to the needs of the veteran community it is dedicated to serving. We appreciate your commitment to public service and strongly believe that an acceptance of the HHS recommendation of Schedule III will lead to a more robust set of treatment options for our nation’s veterans, including treatments found to not have many of the harmful side effects that result from current options. We look forward to your final decision soon.” Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently highlighted its scientific review into marijuana that led the agency to recommend rescheduling—a process that involved a comprehensive analysis of research, as well looking at hundreds of posts on social media platforms to see how consumers described cannabis’s therapeutic impact. It’s been about six months since FDA under HHS provided DEA with its marijuana rescheduling recommendation, but the timing of a final decision is uncertain. In the interim, Congressional Cannabis Caucus founder Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) recently urged the agency to release more information about its ongoing review—including what its “planned deadline” is for finishing and whether it will take into account the fact that many states have already legalized cannabis. The correspondence came in response to a recent assertion from DEA that it has “final authority” on the rescheduling decision—which itself was a reply to a separate letter from Blumenauer and 30 other bipartisan lawmakers. On the other side of the issue, a Republican congressman who has long opposed marijuana reform claimed in a letter to DEA that FDA came to a “misguided conclusion” to recommend rescheduling cannabis, challenging the health agency’s scientific standards and imploring DEA to dismiss them as it prepares to make a final determination. A separate letter sent to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram last month—led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and John Fetterman (D-PA), along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other champions of marijuana reform—urged DEA to go further than rescheduling by fully removing cannabis from the CSA. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said last month that his agency has “communicated” its “position” on marijuana rescheduling to DEA and has continued to offer additional information to assist with the final determination. Prior to HHS releasing a trove of documents concerning its cannabis recommendation, a coalition of 12 Democratic state attorneys general implored DEA to move forward with federal marijuana rescheduling, calling the policy change a “public safety imperative.” In another letter in December, 29 former U.S. attorneys called on the Biden administration to leave cannabis in Schedule I. Also that month, the governors of six U.S. states—Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Louisiana—sent a letter to Biden calling on the administration to reschedule marijuana by the end of last year. Meanwhile, six former DEA heads and five former White House drug czars sent a letter to the attorney general and current DEA administrator voicing opposition to the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They also made a questionable claim about the relationship between drug schedules and criminal penalties in a way that could exaggerate the potential impact of the incremental reform. Signatories include DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy heads under multiple administrations led by presidents of both major parties. A coalition of 14 Republican congressional lawmakers, meanwhile, separately urged DEA to “reject” the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana and instead keep it in the most restrictive category under the CSA. A recent poll found that about one-third of marijuana consumers say they would go back to the illicit market if cannabis was rescheduled and only made legally available as an FDA-approved prescription drug. Another recent survey found that President Joe Biden stands to make significant political gains if marijuana is rescheduled under his administrative directive. Of course, Biden doesn’t directly control the final outcome. The president has routinely touted his 2022 scheduling directive, as well as a mass pardon he granted for people who’ve committed federal marijuana possession offenses. He followed up on that action in December with a renewed and expanded pardon proclamation. The Justice Department has already begun issuing certifications for people who applied under the second round. Vice President Kamala Harris’s office has been reaching out to people who’ve received a cannabis pardon—seeking assurance that the Justice Department certification process is going smoothly and engaging in broader discussions about cannabis policy reform, according to a pardon recipient who was contacted. Read the letters from law enforcement and veterans groups on marijuana rescheduling below:  New Hampshire House Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill, Though Senate Hurdles Remain On Way To Governor’s Desk Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ “I think granting judges some discretion with whether or not parolees and probationers have medical marijuana allows for really individualized health care, compassionate care and consideration of public safety concerns at the same time.” By John Hult, South Dakota Searchlight The state Senate endorsed a bill that would require parolees and probationers to get additional sign-offs from a health care practitioner to get a medical cannabis card. Current law on medical cannabis has no prohibitions on access for people on probation or parole, even as steering clear of drugs and alcohol are often expectations for those serving out a sentence of supervision. Senate Bill 191 wouldn’t bar the issuance of a medical cannabis card for a person on supervised release. It would instead require that the recommending practitioner certify that the drug is consistent with the patient’s care plan for a debilitating medical condition, that it’s reasonable based on the practitioner’s observations about the patient and that it’s a better option than alternative treatments. Those certifications would need to be delivered in some form to a court services officer or parole officer. Sen. Jim Mehlhaff (R-Pierre) told the Senate that the state’s Unified Judicial System and Department of Corrections wanted some “guardrails” against abuse of the medical cannabis system by people under their supervision. “They just want to have some level of comfort that the folks who are receiving medical marijuana certifications, that there is a bona fide, debilitating condition and that they’re receiving proper medical care,” Mehlhaff said. The language that cleared the Senate on Monday afternoon was looser than it had been in the bill’s original version. As introduced last month, it would have banned the use of medical cannabis until the drug is approved for use nationally by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, essentially putting it off limits. That version of the bill failed in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on February 5. Nine days later, it was reconsidered in light of its amended language and passed 4–3. Mehlhaff and Sen. Erin Tobin (R-Winner) both served on the 2023 Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee. Tobin told the Senate on Monday she’d initially opposed the idea, as had most of that committee’s members. The adjusted language was the product of conversations with health care professionals, she said, and now represents a bill she supports. “It’s important to make sure that we’re using this in the right patient population for the right reasons,” Tobin said. “I think granting judges some discretion with whether or not parolees and probationers have medical marijuana allows for really individualized health care, compassionate care and consideration of public safety concerns at the same time.” SB 191 passed on a 29–4 vote and now goes to a House committee. This story was first published by South Dakota Searchlight. New South Dakota Law Removes Workplace Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients In Safety-Sensitive Jobs Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ A Republican congressman has introduced a bill to direct the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to notify lawmakers if the agency adds a psychedelic drug to its formulary of covered prescription medicines. The legislation, filed by Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) last week, states that VA must report to Congress on the addition of any psychedelic medicines to its formulary within 180 days of their federal approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report would need to include “the determination of the Secretary whether to include such drug in the formulary of the Department,” as well as “the justification of the Secretary for such determination,” the bill text says. Currently, there are no psychedelic drugs that are federally approved to prescribe as medicine. But that could soon change, as FDA recently agreed to review a new drug application for MDMA-assisted therapy on an expedited basis. FDA has previously designated both MDMA and psilocybin as breakthrough therapies for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treatment-resistant depression, respectively. Last month, VA separately issued a request for applications to conduct in-depth research on the use of psychedelics to treat PTSD and depression. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— In October, the agency also launched a new podcast about the future of veteran health care, and the first episode of the series focuses on the healing potential of psychedelics. Van Orden, who filed the new VA and psychedelics bill, is also a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill to provide funding to the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct clinical trials into the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics for active duty military members. That reform was signed into law by President Joe Biden under an amendment attached to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Meanwhile, FDA recently joined scientists at a public meeting on next steps for conducting research to develop psychedelic medicines. That came months after FDA issued historic draft guidance on psychedelics studies, providing scientists with a framework to carry out research that could lead to the development of novel medicines. Biden Pushed To Reschedule Marijuana By Veterans And Law Enforcement Groups—Including One That Has DEA Head As A Member Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ “It’s a parallel track—one is to close down stores and make sure enforcement is happening, the other is to make sure that new ones are opening.” By Rosalind Adams, THE CITY New York State has levied more than $25 million in fines against unlicensed smoke shops for selling cannabis products since last year, but so far only a minuscule percent of those fines have been collected by both the state Tax Department and the Office of Cannabis Management, THE CITY has learned. The two agencies were granted greater authority last year to enforce the 2021 cannabis law and began joint raids against smoke shops for selling cannabis products without a license last summer. They levy and collect fines separately, however. Fines may be levied against individuals who operate the smoke shops or the business itself when it’s difficult to track down an owner. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) said it has collected $22,500 in fines from unlicensed shops. The Department of Taxation and Finance has collected $0 in fines so far, said sources familiar with the state’s enforcement progress. Last October, THE CITY reported that the state cannabis agency, citing a lack of resources, had paused the enforcement hearings that follow state agency raids on unlicensed shops. Lawyers for unlicensed shops told THE CITY at the time that they had received notices on behalf of their clients that the cases were being withdrawn. Meanwhile, the raids have continued. But while OCM has withdrawn many cases, some shops and their operators have separately received letters separately from the tax department warning them of fines more than $150,000, according to notices obtained by THE CITY. The state’s tax department sent out a tax fine to an unlicensed cannabis shop for over $162,000. / THE CITY “Currently, the State is prioritizing shutting down illegal shops and seizing unlawful products,” said Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesperson for OCM. “While we recognize entities being fined have a right to due process, we are committed to working within the confines of the law to collect the fines once the legal process is complete.” Fines levied by the tax department may be appealed, for example. And shops fined by the Office of Cannabis Management may be challenged in the administrative hearings the agency paused back in October, which lengthens the state’s timeline to collect the fines. Ghitelman added that the state has seized tens of millions of dollars in illicit products as part of its enforcement measures. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has repeatedly emphasized the amount of product seized in press releases about the progress of the raids. The governor’s office and the state tax department declined to answer questions and deferred to the statement provided by OCM. The dearth of fines collected so far highlights the challenge of enforcing the cannabis law in a state with a booming gray market. In New York City alone, unlicensed shops are rampant throughout some neighborhoods. Though there is no official count of the number of unlicensed smoke shops, it is estimated to be in the thousands. Last month, local news outlet CNY Central reported that OCM has only 14 investigators on staff. The two state agencies are not the only ones involved in enforcement. The Sheriff’s Department is inspecting smoke shops in New York City as well, and the NYPD has done undercover inspections of shops suspected of selling cannabis to minors. In Hochul’s annual state of the state address last month, the governor said that she would seek new enforcement powers this year as part of the annual budget. “We know there’s more to be done and we need more tools to do it. We’re going to continue working with local leaders, including in New York City, to shut down illegal cannabis stores once and for all,” she said. Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D), the chair of the Senate Cannabis Committee, agreed that more enforcement powers are needed, but added that the effort has to be in tandem with opening up new stores. “The way forward is to make sure that we have more legal stores operating on our streets,” Cooney told THE CITY in an interview. “It’s a parallel track—one is to close down stores and make sure enforcement is happening, the other is to make sure that new ones are opening.” “We’re not moving fast enough,” Cooney added. At a Senate hearing in late October, executive director Chris Alexander testified that he did not think fines were enough to deter unlicensed shops. In response to questions, he said that he expected OCM’s administrative hearings to resume within weeks. But months later, the hearings have not resumed. OCM said it is seeking expanded enforcement powers to padlock stores instead of issuing fines. Sen. Cooney told THE CITY he was unaware of this and found it “very concerning.” The fines levied by the Tax Department are determined by a formula that assesses that unlicensed shops owe up to two times the amount of tax that would have been due on that illicit cannabis, the deficiency notices said. Both letters reviewed by THE CITY say that more than 12 pounds of illicit cannabis had been seized but do not show specifically the details of the calculation. The law affords people the right to appeal the fines, which may be part of the reason why the agency has not collected any fines from unlicensed shops yet. But in both instances, the shops had been raided by the OCM and the Tax Department and had product seized but the state cannabis agency had withdrawn their proceedings. “Of course no one is paying them,” said Paula Collins, a lawyer who represents clients who operate unlicensed smoke shops. “They thought it was over.” This story was first published by THE CITY, a nonprofit newsroom that serves the people of New York. Sign up for our SCOOP newsletter and get exclusive stories, helpful tips, a guide to low-cost events, and everything you need to know to be a well-informed New Yorker. New York Officials Approve Marijuana Home Grow Rules And New Business Licenses Amid ‘Rocky Start’ For Legal Market Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Maryland House committees have taken up a pair of bills to create task forces to study psychedelics legalization and broad drug decriminalization. The House Health and Government Operations Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to consider the psychedelics legislation, while the Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the drug decriminalization proposal. The psychedelics bill from Del. Pam Guzzone (D) as introduced would establish a “Task Force on Responsible Use of Natural Psychedelic Substances” under the state Department of Health. But the sponsor said that, after consultation with the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA), that agency would oversee the task force under an amendment she’s moving to adopt. Members would study and make specific recommendations about the best path forward to legalize and regulate psilocybin, DMT and mescaline that is not derived from natural peyote. “I’ve often thought that I’m not the person who would immediately come to mind as someone who would be introducing this bill. After all, I’m a pretty straight-laced suburban woman with with graying hair and reading glasses and no significant health concerns,” Guzzone said at the hearing. “But here I am asking you for a favorable report on a bill to establish a task force on the responsible use of natural psychedelics.” “The reason for a task force, first and foremost: Treatments using psychedelic substances are expected to be approved, for example, for treatment-resistant PTSD by the FDA before the end of this calendar year,” she said. “Thus, thinking about the what, who, when and how needs to start sooner rather than later.” As originally drafted, task force recommendations for psychedelics regulations would have been related to “growing natural psychedelic substances in accordance with agricultural safety standards,” “systems to support statewide online sales of natural psychedelic substances with home delivery” and “testing and packaging requirements for products containing natural psychedelic substances with clear and accurate labeling of potency.” However, Guzzone said at Wednesday’s hearing that she’s seeking to further amend the bill to “remove a fair amount of the prescriptive language” in order to give the task force “a little bit more latitude in what they consider within the key areas identified within the bill.” The size of the membership would also be reduced under the sponsor’s revision. One of the more unique features of the current bill that the lawmaker said her amendment removes would have explicitly required the task force to make recommendations “for the sale and taxation of natural psychedelic substances.” “It is time for us to move psychedelics out of the shadows and add it to the to the toolbox of treatment for thousands who are suffering with conditions that can be so debilitating that they can’t work, that families break down and medical expenses become overwhelming,” Guzzone said. “This task force is the first step in that process.” There’s also a companion version of the psychedelics measure that’s been introduced in the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing next month. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— Meanwhile, over in the House Judiciary Committee, members considered a separate proposal from Del. Sheila Ruth (D) that would create a “Task Force to Study the Use and Possession of De Minimis Quantities of Controlled Dangerous Substances.” The 37-member group of experts and appointees of the governor, legislative leaders  and various state agencies would be tasked with studying and recommending “types of controlled dangerous substances and de minimis quantity amounts that should be eligible for a civil citation for use or possession.” It would also have to make recommendations on “alternatives to criminal justice intervention” for cases involving possession about the proposed decriminalized amounts. The task force would need to submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the governor and legislature by October 1, 2025. Ruth, the bill sponsor, said during Tuesday’s hearing that she drafted the legislation to account for concerns that committee members “rightfully” had about a measure she introduced last session that would have directly decriminalized low-level drug possession. “This session, I’m back with a task force that will look at some of these very questions because we do need to make sure we’re doing this right if we’re going to do it and to be able to answer those questions,” she said. Thomas Higdon, co-chair of the Maryland Coalition on Drug Use, Treatment, and Recovery, also testified at the hearing, where he talked about his personal drug recovery journey and echoed points in support of the legislation that he made in an op-ed published ahead of the meeting. Meanwhile, in other drug policy news in Maryland, the Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that’s meant to protect gun rights for medical marijuana patients under state law, sending it to the House of Delegates. A Senate committee also recently took up legislation that would let police search vehicles based on the smell of cannabis. GOP Congressman Files Bill Directing VA To Update Lawmakers About Psychedelic Medicine Access For Veterans Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ New Jersey’s top marijuana regulator says the state has officially surpassed $2 billion in medical and recreational marijuana sales since 2018, and he also encouraged lawmakers to explore the possibility of giving medical cannabis patients a home grow option. Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC), made the comments during a marijuana-focused hearing before the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on Thursday. “Today I’m also proud to announce another milestone. Since we started this work in 2018, cumulative sales of both medicinal cannabis and recreational cannabis have eclipsed $2 billion,” Brown said, adding that the “vast majority” of those sales have come over the past two years since New Jersey’s adult-use marijuana market launched. “But as of as of yesterday at noon, we were about to $2,000,500,000 in total cannabis sales,” he said. “I would love for the CRC to take credit for this, but it’s really the entrepreneurs who have been putting their money, their lives and their dreams on the line to make this happen.” Brown—who recently predicted that the state will “reach and surpass” a $1 billion annual cannabis sales milestone this year—also responded to a committee member’s question about the current lack of a home grow option for medical marijuana patients. He started by explaining that cannabis patient registrations have been on the decline, acknowledging that the process to become a patient can be costly and time-intensive and that the emergence of the adult-use market may be contributing to the trend. With respect to home cultivation, Brown said “that’s not in our purview” to allow as regulators, but that he would “certainly encourage the legislature to look at it and to your due diligence on that.” “We certainly hear about it all the time and hear from patients all the time that they would like the ability to home grow,” he said. “I know our neighbors in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts all allow home grow. But from where I sit, we don’t have jurisdiction over that. And I would certainly encourage you to look and do due diligence.” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has also been pressed on the home grow issue on several occasions, and he’s said that while he’s “very open-minded” to the reform, he feels the adult-use market needs to mature more before that option becomes widely available. Last week, the governor also touted a “huge milestone” for his state’s marijuana industry as regulators announced that more than 100 medical and adult-use cannabis shops are now open across the state. Thursday’s meeting—which also involved testimony from an equity grant recipient, a union organizer, other stakeholders and a representative of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA)—was the first of two planned hearings on cannabis legalization, the committee chair said. “We are now seeing the next generation of growth in New Jersey, and it’s sparked as a result of this industry,” Chairman Reginald Atkins (D) said at the close of the marijuana pun-laden discussion. A representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said during his testimony while New Jersey “has taken significant steps” on marijuana reform, “federal oversight is crucial for ensuring consistency and accountability across state lines.” “We must work together to push for comprehensive federal legislation that upholds the rights of cannabis workers nationwide,” he said. The equity grant recipient who testified discussed the importance of the state providing funding opportunities to promote diversity in New Jersey’s marijuana industry, arguing that the two most critical barriers to entry are access to capital and eduction. To that end, New Jersey opened applications for the second phase of a cannabis social equity funding program in December, which will make $150,000 grants to awardees and offer eight weeks of technical assistance. In December, the governor and state attorney general separately announced the recipients of $5.2 million in hospital-based violence-intervention grants funded with revenue from state-legal marijuana. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— Regulators have been consistent in their efforts to build upon the state’s marijuana law—which has included rulemaking around expanded edible product offerings, as well as recently finalized rules to allow for cannabis consumption lounges. The commission has already waived certain requirements to authorize the sale of additional marijuana edible types. NJ-CRC has also looked into adopting new rules that would create a permit to allow “clinically focused” cannabis dispensaries to enter into partnerships with research institutions to carry out cannabis studies using products that they grow or sell to patients. New Jersey lawmakers have filed over a dozen cannabis-related bills for the session, touching on issues that include marijuana interstate commerce, home grow, banking and employment protections. Maryland Committees Take Up Psychedelics And Drug Decriminalization Task Force Bills Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined the Pod Save America podcast and revealed who her “dream blunt rotation” would be when asked. It was hypothetical, as she doesn’t smoke, and the senator kept things positive in her responses. In what they called a special President’s Day edition episode Feb. 19, Pod Save America co-host Jon Favreau (the former Barack Obama staffer, not the MCU actor) asked her about her push to deschedule pot, and also who she’s most and least likely to invite to a blunt rotation out of a list of pre-selected choices.  The list of choices for the “dream blunt rotation” included politicians like President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Taylor Swift. Warren played along, not keeping things too serious, revealing that she could only pick one person for her dream rotation. “I’m just doing The Rock four times,” she said, laughing. When Favreau asked about her “nightmare blunt rotation,” she was given the choices of her perceived opponents: Elon Musk, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Mark Zuckerberg.  Warren declined to answer, keeping things classy.    “I’m starting to feel a little sick,” she laughed. “That is really awful to contemplate.” Earlier in the conversation, Favreau also asked her about a more serious topic—her recent push to deschedule cannabis, joining several other lawmakers.  “You and other Democratic senators recently asked the Biden administration to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act—entirely—which would decriminalize it on a federal level. Have you heard back from DOJ or the DEA, or had any conversations with the administration about this? “DEA?” She asked. “We’re pushing on them now. I want them to deschedule marijuana altogether. Look, if the Republicans didn’t block us, we’d run this through Congress. You just legalize it. “There still could be regulations around it like there is around alcohol—you’ve got to be a certain age, you got to have certain disclosures about the potency and so on, I’m all for that,” Warren said. “But I really want to say to the DEA: Guys, come on. It is not 1958, and we don’t need to be terrified of this stuff. Let’s just deschedule it and go forward.”  Pod Save America is hosted by former Obama aides Favreau, along with Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor. During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Warren discussed the push to deschedule cannabis fully rather than moving it from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. “Right now marijuana is scheduled, it’s called, as a drug by the DEA at the same risk as heroin,” Warren said. “And that means not only is it illegal, you can’t even do research on it. It’s, so no—and what we’re saying in this letter is, ‘Guys get with it,’ at the DEA. It’s not 1954. More than half of all states have legalized marijuana.” In a letter led by Warren and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), along with nine other Democrats including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) among others.  The letter urges the DEA and Biden administration to deschedule cannabis altogether, recognizing that rescheduling to Schedule III would be a “significant step forward” but would not resolve the “worst harms of the current system.” “Thus, the DEA should deschedule marijuana altogether. Marijuana’s placement in the CSA has had a devastating impact on our communities and is increasingly out of step with state law and public opinion,” the legislators said in the letter dated Jan. 30. Warren routinely calls for a just and equitable cannabis industry. But the biggest change possible would be removing cannabis entirely from the list of controlled substances. Biden could use a boost this upcoming general election, given what’s at stake. A January survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners, revealed a number of key findings surrounding registered voters and attitudes surrounding cannabis, namely that Biden could boost his favorability by 11% among younger voters should cannabis move from Schedule I to Schedule III. The survey demonstrated the support behind rescheduling cannabis, with 58% of participants showing support and 19% opposed. Researchers wrote that support also crossed most demographic lines, and no more than one-third of voters in any major subgroup was opposed to rescheduling. Young voters, those aged 18-25, showed the strongest levels of support for rescheduling at 65%, with nearly half indicating they felt strongly about the issue. Support was strong across age demographics, with seniors showing support by a double-digit margin.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Two influential Utah state lawmakers have joined forces to advance legislation that would cut funding to cities that refuse to recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate medical therapy.  Utah voters approved the medical use of cannabis in a 2018 ballot measure that passed with nearly 53% of the vote. Following the passage of the initiative, the state legislature approved a regulatory plan that essentially treats medical cannabis as a traditional prescription drug. Under the plan, cannabis is still considered a controlled substance but patients are allowed to use medical marijuana like they would any other prescribed medication. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Luz Escamilla, however, says that some local governments have refused to accept medical cannabis as a legitimate medical treatment and are discriminating against public employees who are registered medical marijuana patients. Escamilla says that some cities have questioned employees about their status as medical cannabis patients and disciplined those who say they have received a medical cannabis card. “At the end of the day they are in violation of state law,” Escamilla told local media. “It’s very clear you don’t get to force people to tell you they’re using controlled substances as a prescription. This is a recommended, prescribed medication and they’re treating them differently. That’s what we’re trying to prevent.” Escamilla is backing a bill that would make minor adjustments to the state’s medical marijuana program. To address employment discrimination by local governments, the legislation would also cut funding to cities that discriminate against medical marijuana card holders. The measure, Senate Bill 233 (SB 233), was advanced by the Senate with a voice vote on Tuesday after the measure’s third reading in the chamber. The legislation is supported by Escamilla, the bill’s chief sponsor, and Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, a Republican, giving the measure substantial clout in the upper chamber of Utah’s state legislature. Medical marijuana advocates including the Utah Patients Coalition also support the bill.  “Despite the clear legal framework supporting their rights, several public employees have still faced unwarranted discrimination and removal from positions for simply exercising their lawful right to access medical cannabis,” Desiree Hennessy, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “SB 233 provides a long-awaited mechanism to encourage compliance with state law through the potential withholding of funding, helping to shield state workers from discrimination regarding their medication.” Despite the bill’s bipartisan support in the state Senate, SB 233 is now facing public opposition. The Utah Eagle Forum, an influential socially conservative group, has come out against the bill, saying the measure would jeopardize public safety. “This bill would penalize state agencies and political subdivisions that try to enforce safety regulations against a medical marijuana card holder,” Gayle Ruzicka, the president of the Eagle Forum, wrote in an email to supporters. “This may allow a cardholder who may be impaired to work in positions, such as a heavy machine operator, a motor vehicle driver, or a child care provider. We must have exceptions and a way to protect the public.” The statement from the group led to objections to the legislation from some lawmakers, including Senator Todd Weiler and Senator Mike Kennedy, both Republicans. However, Escamilla noted that there are provisions that prohibit workers from being under the influence of medical cannabis while on the job. She also noted that Utah’s medical marijuana laws do not allow police officers to register as patients because of conflicts with firearms laws. Acknowledging the objections to the bill, Escamilla said that she is willing to negotiate with fellow lawmakers to modify the bill, including defining a specific percentage of funding cities would lose if they discriminate against medical marijuana patients. Before SB 233 can become law, it must receive final approval in the Senate before heading to the Utah House of Representatives. If passed by the House, the measure would also require the signature of Republican Governor Spencer Cox.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Bank of Guam announced in a press release on Wednesday that the launch of “Cannabis Banking” will give it a “platform cannabis clients the ability to share data from their day-to-day business activities, such as sales, inventory and required licensing documentation.”  According to The Guam Daily Post, “Cannabis Banking” will make the institution the first in the region “to serve ‘all tiers’ of cannabis-related businesses, or CRBs.” “It has always been the mission of our founder to serve the underserved and to provide access to safe and secure banking services to our communities. This now includes our cannabis-related businesses. As your partner in growth, we are committed to extending our expertise as trusted financial advisers to this new industry and to allow our local cannabis-related businesses who follow the process and play by the rules, a fair chance to succeed,” Bank of Guam President and CEO Joaquin L.G. Cook said in the press release, as quoted by the Guam Daily Post. Per the outlet, Bank of Guam will begin this month to “offer deposit and lending services to CRBs in Guam and Saipan legally licensed to engage.” Those CRBs are “organizations or businesses that grow, process, dispense, administer or derive income from selling marijuana products,” according to the Daily Post, which offered the following breakdown of the qualifying businesses: “(Tier 1) Direct Cannabis-Related Businesses: Businesses licensed to touch the plant directly. Types of direct CRBs include adult use/medical use, retail, processing, cultivation, dispensaries, seed producers, testing, delivery and consumption lounges. (Tier 2) Indirect Cannabis-Related Businesses: Includes industry-specific professional services. Types of indirect CRBs include operations support such as attorneys and accountants, landlords, hydroponic suppliers, packaging suppliers, delivery device suppliers, security firms, cannabis consultants, marijuana testing facilities, employment/payroll providers and cannabis software providers. (Tier 3) Hemp-Related Businesses: Businesses licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture or state regulatory agency to grow, test, or otherwise prepare hemp. (Tier 3) Cannabidiol Businesses: Businesses engaged in the production or sale of hemp-derived cannabinoids intended for human or animal consumption, as regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.” Guam legalized recreational cannabis in 2019 with the “Guam Cannabis Industries Act,” which, per NORML, “legalizes the personal possession of marijuana by adults, and establishes regulations governing the plant’s commercial production and retail sale.”  NORML continued: “The law permits those age 21 or older to legally possess and transfer up to one ounce of marijuana flower and/or eight grams of concentrated cannabis. The measure, which took immediate effect, also permits adults to privately cultivate up to six cannabis plants (no more than three mature) in an ‘enclosed, locked space.’ Public consumption of cannabis will remain a violation of law. The Act creates a new regulatory board to draft rules governing the plant’s commercial production and retail sale. The board has a one-year timeline to adopt rules necessary to permit for the operation of licensed cannabis establishments.” Guam’s regulated cannabis market has been slow to take shape, however. In 2022, it was reported that no one had applied for a cannabis retail license yet.  According to the Guam Daily Post, the “cannabis industry has yet to take off on Guam as there have been various roadblocks, including permitting issues that have affected at least one potential cultivator.” The outlet said that Guam is still awaiting clearance on a crucial testing laboratory.  “A testing laboratory is integral to developing a commercial cannabis industry on Guam. No cannabis or cannabis products can be sold without being tested for potency and safety. Essentially, without a testing laboratory, there can be no industry on the island under the current regulations,” the outlet explained. In 2021, Guam’s governor, Lou Leon Guerrero, said that the territory had reached an agreement with a U.S.-based company called Metrc to oversee the cannabis regulatory systems. Guerrero’s office said at the time that Metrc’s “system combines advanced software, radio-frequency identification (RFID), a dedicated customer support team, and a secure database to track cannabis from growth, harvest and processing, to testing, transport, and sale,” and that the company “holds exclusive government contracts in various areas of the United States, including Alaska, California, and Washington, D.C.” “Over the last decade, we have seen substantial evidence that cannabis has medicinal benefits. With the final review by our Cannabis Control Board on the rules and regulations for the industry, we can more efficiently control recreational use and ensure safe and regulated products,” Guerrero said at the time. “The cannabis industry will benefit our community by funding expanded public services in health and public safety, and providing alternative treatment and rehabilitation for people who need it.”   Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ A newly introduced bill seeks to ban foreign ownership of land in Oklahoma in an attempt to curb illegal cannabis cultivation. House Bill 3125 was introduced to the Oklahoma House of Representatives earlier this month, and most recently on Feb. 19 it was recommended to the full Appropriations and Budget Natural Resources Subcommittee. HB-3125 is sponsored by Rep. Danny Williams, who represents District 28 in Oklahoma. Recently he told Fox25 that foreign land ownership is one of the biggest problems in his area. “A lot of people when they come in, they’re involved in illegal activity and foreign ownership,” Williams said. “Rules and laws don’t matter to them. It’s profit.” According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBN), more than 250 people have been arrested in connection to illegal cannabis cultivation since 2021. The issue began to escalate after the pandemic began. In an interview with OBN representative Mark Woodward in September 2023, he explained the nationalities of many of the arrested individuals. “Many of them were Chinese,” said Woodward. “Now some were tied to organized crime out of Mexico, the cartels, we’ve certainly busted a lot of those farms. We’ve raided farms linked to Serbian, Armenian, and Russian. But one of the biggest criminal organizations and concerns are those that are tied back to Chinese organized crime, and the Chinese Communist Party.” HB-3125 would task the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF) to landowners. “The benefit is: I believe we’re all going to be safer,” said Williams about the bill. “We’re really looking at an in-depth look at who owns the property, and how it’s owned. Really hold people accountable to make sure it’s owned by the right people, which are Oklahomans and U.S. citizens.” Fox25 obtained a statement from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OKFB), which shared its interest in finding a solution to the land ownership problem. “Oklahoma Farm Bureau members have a vested interest in land ownership, and while Oklahoma has some of the strongest land ownership laws in the United States, loopholes can be found in any law,” the organization said. “OKFB is assessing current proposals and working with key stakeholders to find a responsible solution for our state’s family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.” In July 2022, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt spoke about the state being threatened by the Chinese “Communist Party.” “We pulled the stats, and Oklahoma was the Number 1 (in) land purchases by the communists or foreign nationals (in 2020) than any other state, it’s like 380,000 acres,” said Stitt. “That’s a red flag for anybody.” A report from The Lawton Constitution shared that between 2015 and 2021, foreign land ownership increased by 300%. Nebraska is the only other state that surpassed that growth in the same time period. According to the Nebraska Farm Bureau, 1.5% of the state’s private land is foreign-owned (73% is owned by Canadian investors, while 36% belongs to Italian investors.)  The Oklahoma constitution prohibits foreign land ownership, but a loophole was created by a 1981 court case that allowed a Canadian investment company to purchase land in Oklahoma under the condition that it conducts qualified business. The Lawton Constitutionadds that exceptions were also made for foreign-based companies to establish swine and poultry businesses in Oklahoma in the 1970s. The Agriculture Foreign Investments Disclosure Act of 1978 (AFIDA) requires foreign companies to report their purchase or land leases, but there isn’t enough enforcement to ensure that landowners are self-reporting. USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary Gloria Montaño Greene told The Lawton Constitution last September that the AFIDA reporting system is all paper-based, and the process hasn’t been updated since it was established. “Companies print out legal descriptions from their internal electronic land management systems and mail their hard copy AFIDA filings in bankers’ boxes to USDA,” Greene said. “We currently have no way to electronically identify the geographic location of AFIDA filings more specifically than at the county level.” Two other bills were recently introduced in the Oklahoman legislature as well, which aim to add metering requirements for water use. “The surface water is basically owned or regulated by the state,” said Sen. Brent Howard about Senate Bill 1341. “Groundwater is owned by the individuals, but it is subject to regulation by the state. We’re trying to get some teeth behind that, some coordination between those two.”  Another bill, Senate Bill 1352, would specifically require cannabis cultivators to pay $1.25 for every 1,000 gallons of water used, no matter if it comes from a private well or public water. “A typical marijuana plant requires six gallons of water a day,” Sen. David Bullard said. “We want to make sure that we’re metering that and using those funds to be able to store and capture more of that water.” Some legislators such as Sen. Shane Jett voted against SB-1352, claiming that it would negatively affect law-abiding businesses. “Individuals who are stealing water from farms, by using fire hoses and siphoning off under cover of darkness—those people are not going to be paying these fees,” said Jett. “The ones who are the moms and pops who are already struggling to stay open after sinking their life funds because they thought this was the new economic boom coming for Oklahoma.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Connecticut has experienced its first decline in cannabis sales since the state legalized recreational marijuana last year. According to data from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, January sales figures for adult-use cannabis dipped to more than $15.61 million, a decrease from December’s $17.18 million. Recreational marijuana sales similarly fell to more than $9.37 million in January from $10.38 million the previous month. January’s data reveal a decrease in the total number of cannabis transactions, with sales of adult-use and medical cannabis products dropping to 399,419 and 253,933, respectively, from December’s 435,944 and 291,133. Cannabis flower continue to dominate the market, constituting 51% of total sales. Vape cartridges and edibles also remain popular among consumers, accounting for 29% and 11% of sales, respectively. The sales slump piggybacks off of an already-reported shortage in cannabis supply within the state. Regulators last month said that a “limited variety of certain products,” attributing the scarcity to the natural ebb and flow of supply and demand, exacerbated by a spike in purchases over the holiday season. Industry analyst firm Cannabis Benchmarks corroborated that assessment, noting a decrease in inventory levels for both adult-use and medical dispensaries, leading to rising prices. The shortage is partly attributed to the state’s decision to double the purchase limits for cannabis from a quarter-ounce to a half-ounce of flower, or its equivalent in other products, on December 1, 2023. That regulatory adjustment led to a surge in sales, with dispensaries moving 453,944 products in the adult-use market in December alone, a 13.4% increase from the previous month. Despite the current supply challenges, the agency has remained optimistic. Industry experts, however, have cautioned that the current bottleneck reflects overall growing pains within the nascent market. Ben Zachs, Chief Operating Officer of Fine Fettle — a chain with several dispensaries across the state — pointed to the supply constraint as a natural consequence of rapid market expansion. “More demand and more stores opening has spread the inventory thin,” Zachs told Green Market Report. “Before it was a lack of choice, now some stores have no flower.” With only a limited number of microprocessors and growers to meet the growing demand, Zachs anticipates a six to eight-month timeframe before the supply chain stabilizes. “My understanding is there are microgrowers building and big growers building,” he said.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ An Illinois senator has introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and allow regulated access at service centers in the state where adults could use the psychedelic in a supervised setting—with plans to expand the program to include mescaline, ibogaine and DMT. Sen. Rachel Ventura (D) filed the legislation—titled the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens (CURE) Act—earlier this month. It’s currently pending committee assignment. “As mental health concerns rise throughout our state and nation, it’s imperative to acknowledge that conventional treatments don’t always suffice,” Ventura said in a press release. “Psilocybin shows promise as a potential solution, particularly for those grappling with PTSD and other mental health disorders. The ongoing research and trials have yielded encouraging results.” The bill would remove psilocybin and psilocyn from the state’s controlled substances list and establish an Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board under the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to make recommendations on licensing for service centers and training programs for psilocybin facilitators. The advisory board would also be responsible for “preparing proposed rules” to add mescaline (not derived from peyote), ibogaine (not derived from iboga) and DMT to the list of entheogens that would be legalized and regulated under the program. They would need to do so by July 1, 2027. While the bill states that ones of its purposes is to institute “a public health and harm reduction approach to natural medicines by removing criminal penalties for the possession of some entheogens for personal use by adults who are 18 years of age or older,” that appears limited to removing psilocybin from the banned substances list for now. A version of the CURE Act was introduced in the Illinois House by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D) last year. Ventura and Ford are now collaborating on the proposal. “Prohibition has always been bad public policy and dangerous for public health,” Ford said. “I’m proud to work with Senator Ventura to pass a law to help veterans struggling with PTSD and others seeking therapy to help with life challenges.” The legislation would also provide for the automatic expungement of prior psilocybin possession convictions, starting 180 days after enactment. Psilocybin products that are used at the service centers would be subject to a 15 percent tax. Ventura estimates that the average cost of a product for consumer will be $35 to $40 per product, Springfield State Journal- Register reported. The state Department of Agriculture would oversee psilocybin production, while the Department of Public Health would be responsible for carrying out education-related initiatives. The bill is being endorsed by the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and the Illinois Psychedelic Society. Dave Franco, a retired Chicago police officer and LEAP representative, said the organization “recognizes this bill as nothing short of life saving.” “Providing a proven means for people to work through their traumas and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives,” he said. “The benefits for mental and behavioral health can also have sizable impacts on community health and public safety.” Jean Lacy, founder of the Illinois Psychedelic Society, said “demand for therapeutic psychedelic experiences and retreats is far outpacing the supply of psychedelic guides, therapists, and practitioners.” “We are asking that lawmakers in Illinois not let unnecessary barriers stand in the way of safe, compassionate access and quality assurance for psychedelic healing,” she said. “Illinois has the opportunity to be a standard-setter for other states, creating training centers, developing standards of care, and providing a model for other states to follow.” “Illinois mental health crisis is growing and there are serious consequences to withholding these medicines from those who need it,” Lacy said. Ventura, the Senate sponsor, said that supporters are “dedicated to eliminating obstacles to healing in Illinois.” “As additional options emerge for the public, my aspiration is for plant medicines to shed their stigma and be recognized for their safe and beneficial qualities,” she said. Illinois is one of a growing numbers of states where lawmakers are pursuing psychedelics reform this session, with a focus on research and access in a therapeutic context. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— For example, a second Arizona Senate committee approved a bipartisan bill on Monday that would legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting, sending it to the floor. Last week, an Alaska Senate committee advanced a bill that would create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy in anticipation of eventual federal legalization of substances like MDMA and psilocybin. Lawmakers in Hawaii are also continuing to advance a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval. The New Mexico Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution last week requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic. Last week, an Indiana House committee approved a Republican-led bill that would fund clinical research trials into psilocybin that has already cleared the full Senate. Bipartisan California lawmakers also recently introduced a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators. A Nevada joint legislative committee held a hearing with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin last month. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling. The governor of Massachusetts recently promoted the testimony of activists who spoke in favor of her veterans-focused bill that would, in part, create a psychedelics work group to study the therapeutic potential of substances such as psilocybin. A New York lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would create a pilot program to provide psilocybin therapy to 10,000 people, focusing on military veterans and first responders, while the legislature also considers broader psychedelics reform. A Missouri House committee considered a proposal last month that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin in the state and mandate clinical trials exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic. Another Arizona Senate Committee Approves Bill To Legalize Psilocybin Service Centers, Sending It To The Floor Image courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ California regulators have rolled out a new marijuana database that’s meant to help consumers, stakeholders and lawmakers better understand industry trends—including monthly sales data and information about cannabis licensees. The state Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) officially unveiled the online resource on Wednesday, highlighting four interactive dashboards with data on cannabis licensing, harvests, pricing and monthly sales. This is “for folks who are interested in cannabis industry trends and things of that nature to be able to use these dashboards to their heart’s content,” a DCC representative said during a virtual briefing on Wednesday. Users can apply filters to each dashboard to narrow the data in granular detail. For example, they can look up the number of active licenses for manufacturers and further break it down to find the number of provisional versus annual licenses. They can also look up harvests by county, or the sales total for specific categories of each product such as flower packaged by 1/8th of an ounce. The monthly sales dashboard currently only features data from 2020 through June 2023, leaving a sizable gap. DCC said that they’re aiming to update with all 2023 data within the next few months, but after that point, they expect to update monthly sales on a quarterly basis. California stands out in that regard, with multiple other legal cannabis states providing monthly updates within days of the close of the prior month’s sales. Sean O’Connor, chief information officer at DCC, told Marijuana Moment that the state’s sales data is extracted from the department’s “track and trace software provider Metrc and is entered by cannabis businesses.” “The Department validates and tests this data at a detailed level to verify the information displayed online is as accurate as possible,” he said. “This validation and testing process is the reason data is not provided in real-time.” DCC separately released another online tool in 2022 that allows people to view an interactive map showing where marijuana businesses are permitted—and where they are blocked from opening—throughout the state. The tool draws attention to the fact that more than half of the state’s cities and counties do not allow any type of cannabis licensees to operate in their area, which advocates say is a problem that has allowed the illicit market to persist despite voter-approved legalization. Meanwhile, as the governor of California pledges to continue working to “strengthen” the state’s marijuana market, last month he also proposed to help close an overall government budgetary deficit by borrowing $100 million from a cannabis tax fund designated for law enforcement and other public safety initiatives. The California legislature is also looking at ways to build on the state’s cannabis market, while exploring other drug policy reforms dealing with issues such as psychedelics. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— Assemblymember Matt Haney (D) is renewing his push to legalize cannabis cafes in the state, with a recently introduced bill and plans to work with the governor and regulators to address concerns that resulted in the last version being vetoed. Also, bipartisan California lawmakers recently introduced a new bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators. The Republican Assembly sponsor of that legislation is also behind a separate psychedelics bill focused on promoting research and creating a framework for the possibility of regulated therapeutic access that has already moved through the Assembly this year with unanimous support. Illinois Bill Would Legalize Psilocybin And Create Service Centers, With Plans To Add More Psychedelics To The Program Photo courtesy of California State Fair. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for Feb. 21, 2024. On the Site Connecticut cannabis sees first monthly sales decline Connecticut has experienced its first decline in cannabis sales since the state legalized recreational marijuana last year. January sales figures for adult-use cannabis dipped to more than $15.61 million, a decrease from December’s $17.18 million. Read more here. “Gifting” shops hurt D.C. patient count as legal transition begins The medical cannabis industry in Washington D.C. is grappling with a deepening downturn as patient count dwindles and quasi-legal “gifting” shops begin to go legit. Read more here. Upbeat vape growth lifts Ispire Technology revenue in second quarter Los Angeles-based vape maker Ispire Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ISPR) reported decent growth in its fiscal second quarter ending Dec. 31, 2023, despite facing rising operational costs and a deepening net loss. Read more here. Agrify touts lower losses, but is silent on revenues Agrify Corporation (Nasdaq: AGFY) announced preliminary unaudited financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2023 and updates for its Ocean Deep/Golden Lake Business Park project. However, Agrify didn’t release any revenue figures and mostly touted reductions in losses. Read more here. Cannavana accuses MassCBA CEO of mishandling license deal Massachusetts privately-owned Cannavana is accusing Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association (MassCBA) David O’Brien of mishandling a license application in Tewksbury. Read more here. In Other News California The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) launched a set of interactive data dashboards for the public on Feb. 21, allowing users to retrieve aggregated licensing data, view supply chain data, and dive into monthly and yearly sales and harvest data. Read more here. Vermont As the budding industry of retail cannabis continues to grow in Vermont, medical marijuana dispensaries have reported a decline. In 2018, the number of medical licenses was well over 5,000 across the state. That number has been nearly cut in half today. Read more here. Thailand Thailand wants to ban recreational use of cannabis by the end of this year, the nation’s health minister said, threatening to put thousands of marijuana shops and farms that have sprung up around the country since a decriminalization drive two years ago out of business. Read more here. Spain Spain’s Ministry of Health has launched a public consultation on its proposals for a medical cannabis framework in the country. Organisations and individual citizens will now have until March 4 to submit their comments on the proposals, as Spain’s new government makes good on its promise to push ahead with the long delayed rollout. Read more here.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ Details about a proposed compromise bill to legalize retail cannabis in Virginia are beginning to emerge ahead of a planned negotiation session set for Thursday. While not yet final, the compromise offer—meant to bridge gaps between two competing measures passed last week by the House and Senate—would eliminate provisions in the current House bill that would allow some businesses to launch sales earlier than others while also slightly pushing back the timeline for when the recreational market would open. Del. Paul Krizek (D), the lead sponsor of HB 698, confirmed some details of the proposed compromise to Marijuana Moment via email on Wednesday. Under the revised plan, Krizek said, retailers would be able to open for business as soon as March 1 of next year—a slight delay compared to his current bill, which would let existing medical marijuana operators, five hemp businesses and up to 60 microbusinesses start sales on January 1, 2025. Under that plan, additional retailers wouldn’t be licensed until later in the year. Another topic expected to be taken up during Thursday’s closed-door negotiations include social equity. In the current House bill, an accelerator program would provide $400,000 in startup capital to dozens of equity-focused microbusinesses. Existing medical marijuana providers would each need to provide $2.4 million toward those businesses in order to open for adult-use sales on January 1. Justice advocates say those equity provisions are crucial, but others are concerned the details could prompt a veto from Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R). “We have agreed to the start date but need to see the crafting of the equity language to ensure that it is not setting up to be an automatic governor veto,” Jason Blanchette, president of the Virginia Cannabis Association, told Marijuana Moment on Wednesday. The compromise is expected to attempt to preserve funding for equity businesses but draw money from state resources rather than medical marijuana operators. Others have noted that Sen. Aaron Rouse (D), lead sponsor of the Senate legal sales bill, SB 448, could still reject the proposed compromise from the House. “Sen. Rouse has been pretty clear that he doesn’t want an incubation model where the medical providers are directly funding micro-businesses,” lobbyist Greg Habeeb told local news outlet Cardinal News, which first reported the negotiated March 1 start date. “What the elected officials have expressed is an agreement that we ought to have a way to support those small businesses, but agreed that it shouldn’t be driven by one market player,” added Habeeb, who’s also a former Republican member of the state’s House of Delegates. Rouse’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Marijuana Moment in recent weeks. House minority leader Del. Todd Gilbert (R), meanwhile, has emphasized that the governor will likely veto any Democrat-led bill—a prediction shared by some legalization advocates. “The governor said he is not interested in signing a bill like that, and it sounded definitive,” Gilbert told Cardinal News. “This should end all the speculation of what’s going to happen, regardless of how the votes turn out.” While the governor has not explicitly said he’ll veto a retail marijuana bill, he signaled last month that he doesn’t have “any interest” in legalizing sales under either of the Democrat-led plans. When he was first elected, however, Youngkin said he was “not against” allowing commercial sales categorically. JM Pedini, development director for the advocacy organization NORML and executive director of the group’s Virginia chapter, told Marijuana Moment earlier this week that as negotiations on legal sales proceed, supporters will need to craft a proposal that is palatable to Youngkin and GOP lawmakers. “Hopefully, the compromise will be able to garner bipartisan support,” Pedini said. “A bill that passes without any Republican votes is as good as dead on arrival at Gov. Youngkin’s desk.” But Gilbert doesn’t seem interested in even considering the current proposals, telling Cardinal News that dealmaking around legal sales “is between the governor and Democrats.” Here are some of the key ways the two bills differ in their approaches to regulated cannabis sales: Priority licensing: The House bill would allow some licensees to open sooner than other applicants. Specifically, it would let medical marijuana operators, up to 60 equity-focused microbusinesses and up to five hemp businesses to begin legal sales on January 1, 2025, while other operators would have to wait until July 2025 to obtain licenses. The Senate bill, by contrast, would not allow any group of retailers to have an early start on sales. Timing: Under the House bill, some retailers would be able to open retail marijuana stores on January 1, 2025, with licensing of eligible businesses beginning in July of this year. Licensing of other retailers, however, would not begin until July 2025. The Senate bill would also begin licensing stores as soon as July of this year but would not allow retail sales to begin until after January 1, 2025. Social equity: Both bills have provisions that provide some advantage to people from so-called “historically economically disadvantaged areas” that have been disproportionately policed for marijuana in the past. But the House measure includes specific provisions that would prioritize licensing of people with past cannabis convictions, as well as their family members. The House measure would also provide $400,000 in startup capital, as well as other business support, to each of 30 equity-owned microbusinesses. Medical marijuana providers would be required to pay those funds to microbusinesses in order to be eligible to open for sales in January. Tax rates: The House bill would tax marijuana at a rate of up to 9 percent, split between state and optional local taxes. The Senate bill would create a maximum tax rate of nearly double that—17.5 percent—which would consist of a 12.5 percent state excise tax, up to a 3.5 percent local tax that municipalities could impose and the 1.125 percent portion of Virginia’s sales tax that funds K–12 education. Outdoor cultivation: Outdoor grows would be banned entirely under the House bill, while the Senate bill would allow smaller cultivators to grow outdoors. Larger grows under both bills would be required to be indoors. Criminal penalties: Justice reform advocates had preferred the House bill over the Senate’s ever since the Senate version was amended to include a mandatory minimum penalty in some cases. That provision has since been removed, however. Currently both measures create new criminal charges for marijuana-related activity, but the House bill contains more restrictive language and more severe penalties in some cases. Use, possession and limited cultivation of cannabis by adults is already legal in Virginia, the result of a Democrat-led proposal approved by lawmakers in 2021. But Republicans, after winning control of the House and governor’s office later that year, subsequently blocked the required reenactment of a regulatory framework for retail sales. Since then, illicit stores have sprung up to meet consumer demand. Asked about the possibility of a veto, Krizek told Marijuana Moment in an interview Tuesday that his job is to craft the best possible legislation, not concern himself with how the governor might receive it. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— “I don’t craft bills based on what I think the governor is going to do,” he said. “All I can do is try to craft the best legislation possible and hope that it’s compelling enough that the governor would would either sign it or…just let it become law.” If Youngkin does veto a legal sales bill, however, Krizek said he’ll push the issue again next year. “Yes,” he told Marijuana Moment.” I will keep bringing this back until we pass a bill that does what we’re trying to do.” A sales bill did advance through the Democratic-controlled Senate last session, but it stalled in committee in the House, which at the time had a GOP majority. Justice Department Researcher Says ‘We May Need Better Tests’ For Marijuana Impairment, Questioning ‘Per Se’ THC Limits For Driving Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 22, 2024Cannabis News​ During debate on a drug bill before the Kansas House of Representatives on Wednesday, a Democratic lawmaker introduced an amendment that would have removed marijuana entirely from the state’s controlled substances law, effectively legalizing it. The proposal ultimately failed on a 41–80 vote, a result that comes as more limited legislation to legalize medical cannabis also faces resistance from some legislative leaders. Rep. Silas Miller (D), who introduced the broad legalization amendment, described the measure to colleagues as “the first step towards having a better discussion” about legalization, which the Senate has refused to consider in recent years despite evidence of strong support among voters. A Kansas Speaks poll from last fall found that 67 percent of Kansans, including a majority of Republicans, support legalizing cannabis for all adults 21 and older. Miller’s proposed amendment would have made the change in a bill, HB 2596, that otherwise adjusts the state’s controlled substances act to conform with the federal Controlled Substances Act, a process undertaken annually in Kansas. “This amendment essentially removes marijuana—cannabis—from the schedule entirely,” Miller explained. The proposal did not include changes to legalize commercial sales or regulate the marijuana market. House lawmakers previously passed a medical cannabis bill in 2021, but it failed to get traction in the Senate. Some lawmakers said Wednesday that it’s again time to put pressure on the Senate. “The time has come once again for the Kansas House of Representatives to send a bill to the Senate and let them explain to their constituents why they won’t act on it,” said Rep. John Carmichael (D). “Let them explain to their constituents why they ignore the votes and the popular opinion and the instructions of their constituents—be they vets that are suffering from injury, be they old people who find relief, be they people who are who are taking chemotherapy or be they people who, quite frankly, like to drink and occasionally like to smoke a little weed as well,” he continued. “It’s time for us to once again do what our constituents want us to do, and let the Senate suffer the consequences for its inaction.” Rep. Bill Clifford (R), the sponsor of the underlying drug bill, said the proposal was an unfriendly amendment and urged colleagues to vote against it. “Legalization of marijuana is a very serious issue that’s being considered in many states. As you know, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug at the federal level, considered to have no medical value and high abuse potential,” he said. “If we’re going to have that debate, you need to vet that issue properly through the committee process, have hearings, put it across this floor and send it to the Senate or similar action.” Supporters, however, questioned whether legislative leadership would actually let that happen. In the opposite chamber, Senate President Ty Masterson (R), who has been one of the key lawmakers to oppose medical marijuana in past sessions, said late last year he’s open to a discussion about a limited medical marijuana program. “I’m actually open to true medical marijuana or to palliative care,” he said at the time. “I am open to that. I am not saying no. I’m just saying we don’t have any real studies on dosing and distribution.” But last month, he appeared less open to the idea, calling medical legalization a “nonstarter” and suggesting the policy change could lead to a surge in “gang activity” and put kids at risk. He also suggested voters didn’t understand medical marijuana. “I think what people see when they think of medical, they’re thinking of, you know, palliative care and things like that,” Masterson said. Masterson, who also helped kill the House-passed medical marijuana bill in 2021, has downplayed popular support for broader adult-use cannabis legalization, suggesting voters don’t understand the policy change. “If you look at that question, I think most people would answer yes, but they don’t know what they’re actually saying yes to,” the Senate president said. In 2023, the Senate’s Federal and State Affairs Committee held several hearings on a medical cannabis reform bill, but members ultimately voted to table it. After the Senate committee shelved the medical marijuana bill, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) issued a statement urging the public to contact their representatives to demand that they take the legislation back up for action, but that did not happen before the end of the legislative session. Kelly, who has long championed cannabis reform, said at the time that she was “disappointed that some legislators are saying they don’t want to move forward with legalizing medical marijuana this year—effectively turning their backs on our veterans and those with chronic pain and seizure disorders.” A year ago, in her 2023 State of the State address, the governor said that there’s a “commonsense way to improve health care here in Kansas—and that’s to finally legalize medical marijuana.” The governor also said in 2021 that she would be “enlisting the efforts of the people of Kansas who really want this” to pressure their lawmakers to get the reform enacted. Members of the state’s Special Committee on Medical Marijuana held final meetings on the issue in December 2022, as they worked to prepare legislation for the 2023 session. Sen. Rob Olson (R), who chaired the special panel, said that he believed Masterson removed him as chair of the Federal and State Affairs Committee in retaliation for holding the medical marijuana hearings. Also in 2022, then-House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer (D) and Assistant Minority Leader Jason Probst (D) said they wanted to let voters decide on legalizing medical and adult-use marijuana in the state. The governor, for her part, previously pushed a separate proposal that would legalize medical cannabis and use the resulting revenue to support Medicaid expansion, with Rep. Brandon Woodard (D) filing the measure on the governor’s behalf. Following President Joe Biden’s announcement in 2022 on pardoning people who’ve committed federal marijuana possession offenses and imploring governors to follow suit, Kelly said that her administration is “focused on legalizing medical marijuana so that Kansans with severe illnesses no longer have to suffer. Kelly added that they will “continue to consider all clemency and pardon requests based on a complete and thorough review of the individual cases.” The governor also said in 2020 that while she wouldn’t personally advocate for adult-use legalization, she wouldn’t rule out signing the reform into law if a reform bill arrived on her desk. Details On Virginia Marijuana Sales Compromise Offer Emerge As Lawmakers Work To Close Gaps Between Competing Bills Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 21, 2024Cannabis News​ The firm is optimistic that 2024 will be a fruitful year for vape sales. Ispire Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ISPR) reported decent growth in its fiscal second quarter ending Dec. 31, 2023, despite facing rising operational costs and a deepening net loss. The Los Angeles-based vape maker saw its revenue climb 30.7% to $41.7 million for the quarter, up from $31.9 million in the same period the previous year. That increase was driven by strong sales in both its tobacco and cannabis vaping products, with tobacco vaping contributing $22.1 million and cannabis vaping products adding $19.5 million. However, the firm’s financials faced challenges as gross profit marginally rose by 24.1% to $6.4 million, with gross margin slightly decreasing to 15.3% from 16.1% year-over-year. Operating expenses saw a hefty jump, more than doubling to $10.3 million from $4.8 million, largely due to heightened marketing efforts and the costs associated with maintaining its manufacturing plant in Malaysia and navigating its public company status. Consequently, Ispire reported a net loss of $4 million, a substantial increase from a minor $100,000 loss reported in the same quarter the previous year. In their statements, Ispire’s leadership focused on the company’s initiatives and expansion efforts. “This quarter proved to be quite pivotal for not only our product expansions but also our business operations,” CEO Michael Wang said in a statement. “As we further execute on our growth strategy, we continue to expand our footprint in existing and new markets, which helps to grow our diverse customer base.” That includes obtaining ISO and GMP certification for the firm’s Malaysian facility and pursuing Pre-market Tobacco Product Application approval in the U.S. Wang also pointed to a notable partnership with Nigerian Afrobeats star Burna Boy to promote their BRKFST-branded products as a way to strengthen the company’s global brand presence. CFO Daniel Machock cited growth in cannabis vaping hardware sales, which saw a 149% increase to $19.5 million. Looking ahead, Ispire projects significant growth for its cannabis and tobacco vaping products in fiscal 2024, with revenue for cannabis vaping products expected to increase by 100% to 125% and tobacco vaping products by 33% to 47% from fiscal year 2023. As of December 31, 2023, Ispire reported having approximately $17.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, with a slight decrease in working capital from $28.8 million in the previous quarter to $24.8 million.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 21, 2024Cannabis News​ Minnesota’s top cannabis regulator gave a committee of lawmakers an update on implementation of the state’s adult-use marijuana law on Tuesday, touching on matters such as staffing up the new office and the forthcoming launch of a new business license application portal. But issues such as who would qualify for equity advantages under the plan drew ire from some Republicans on the panel. Sen. Jordan Rasmusson (R), for example, questioned why proposed equity rules would allow people with past criminal convictions for selling marijuana to not only operate retail outlets but also receive social equity status in licensing. “You’d think if we were trying to find a safe, regulated market,” he said, “that would be a surprising first proposal coming from the regulatory agency.” Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) interim Director Charlene Briner responded by pointing out that she’s a parent of someone currently incarcerated on drug charges. “I have a son who has been convicted of drug offenses and is currently incarcerated,” she told members of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee. “And while I will never defend his choices, I have to believe as a mother in second chances.” “My hope is that as a state, we will give opportunity for second chance to people who have paid their dues and who have proven that they are reintegrated into society and have become contributing members,” Briner continued, adding that those people would “have an opportunity to reduce some of the collateral consequences that they’ve experienced.” OCM officials have been working to provide updates in recent months on the status of Minnesota’s legal marijuana rollout and to detail changes recommended by the office. Briner has said the proposals are designed both to speed the opening of the legal market and to “strengthen the already robust social equity goals in the bill.” “We believe that the intention of the law is very clear but that there are opportunities to make some of those social equity opportunities even more robust,” she said during an earlier presentation last month. The proposal includes plans to begin temporary licensing of some businesses as soon as this summer, emphasizing businesses at least two-thirds controlled by those impacted most by prohibition. It’s that advantage that prompted criticism from Rasmusson at the Senate committee hearing. The change would allow equity-owned businesses to secure licenses ahead of time, according to the presentation, “so when the market opens, they have the first availability to launch.” Gov. Tim Walz (D) has said he supports the plan, though he said he wants the equity program to be crafted in a way that avoids legal challenges. Rasmusson, however, said regulators should reconsider their priorities. “I would just encourage the agency to think about the health and safety of Minnesotans,” he said at Tuesday’s hearing, “and not how we can make money for certain groups.” For the most part, Briner’s presentation to the committee on Tuesday went smoothly. The first design phase of the state’s new licensing application system is complete, she said, and OCM has begun internal testing to better understand a user’s experience on the platform. The department has also been working with other state agencies on issues such as banking and tax collection. There are also six appointments yet to be made to the Cannabis Advisory Council, an oversight board that Briner said is aiming to have its inaugural meeting in the first quarter of this year. She also outline efforts OCM has made to solicit public feedback, such as by launching a series of public surveys on topics like retail business operations, packaging and labeling, edibles standards and the state’s medical marijuana system. Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management Hundreds of people have replied to each of seven separate surveys put out by the department. The most recent—on medical cannabis—has received the most submissions, with more than 4,400 so far. Additionally, officials have hosted public webinars and met with legislative bodies and outside stakeholders to gather feedback on the legal market’s rollout. “This is novel work in state government. It is rare to build an agency from the ground up,” Briner said. “We are creating new positions and creating new standard operating procedures, and so we want to make sure that we are being intentional about it—to both capture the intended outcomes that are very clear in the law, not the least of which is our social equity outcomes that we hope to achieve, but also to establish sound regulatory practices for the long term.” Of everything OCM has been engaged with, rulemaking “is perhaps of the most interest,” she acknowledged. Drafting of rules is expected to stretch into this summer, with a notice of intent to publish proposed rules likely coming in the fall. At that point there will be a public comment period and regulators may make revisions to the proposed rules. The governor also has an option to veto the rules. Ultimately, final rules won’t be decided until early 2025. A number of Republican lawmakers have taken aim at the new system, however. In addition to Rasmusson and others’ criticisms on Tuesday, another pair of GOP lawmakers recently warned that cannabis cultivation could put a strain on the state’s electrical system. “Get ready for blackouts and brownouts. That’s what’s going to happen,” said Sen. Eric Lucero (R), who called growing the plant “unsustainable.” Legalization itself has been broadly opposed by Republican politicians. When the legislature passed the legislation last year, just five Republican House members and one GOP senator voted for the legislation. Sen. John Jasinski (R) last year spoke out against legalization, saying it would lead to early retirement for drug-sniffing dogs. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— Elsewhere in Minnesota party politics, Democrats recently asked the state Supreme Court to decertify the Legal Marijuana Now Party as a major political party. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party says the pro-marijuana party has failed to comply with state election laws. Ahead of the planned launch of legal sales next year, the city of Osseo is considering whether to open the state’s first municipally run marijuana retailer—a move leaders say would provide more local control over the look, feel and operations of the store. A city report published last month said officials are currently waiting on the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to hire a new director and proceed with opening license applications. If all goes as planned, products would likely be available April 2025, it said. Minnesota’s cannabis law has already allowed tribes within the state to open marijuana businesses before the state begins licensing traditional retailers, and some tribal governments—including the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Nation and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe—have already entered the legal market. But after a controversy in which a Red Lake Nation Tribal Council member was accused stealing from the store, NativeCare, the tribal government reportedly has pressed pause on cannabis operations. Adults 21 and older in Minnesota can already legally use, possess and grow marijuana for personal use. In August, the governor clarified that homegrown cannabis cannot be sold commercially. Following legalization, minor violations of possession or home cultivation limits can result in petty misdemeanors, charges some advocates have said should include state-provided legal representation. Even before Walz signed the reform bill, the state launched a website that serves as a hub for information about the new law. Officials have also already started soliciting vendors to help build a licensing system for recreational marijuana businesses. Walz has also renewed his search for a top marijuana regulator to lead OCM. In September, the office’s former head, Erin DuPree, a cannabis industry consultant, stepped down after one day of work following a Star Tribune report that her hemp shop allegedly sold illegal products. Lab results reportedly showed elevated THC levels and the presence of banned synthetic ingredients. Also in September, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the odor of marijuana, on its own, does not establish probable cause for police officers to search a vehicle. Aside from OCM, another body created by Minnesota’s marijuana law is the Cannabis Expungement Board, which will facilitate record sealing for people with eligible marijuana convictions on their records. The review process for eligible cases began in August. In the meantime, officials recently added a new notice to cannabis criminal history records, essentially letting reviewers know that certain marijuana records that appear on records checks may be pending expungement. Justice Department Researcher Says ‘We May Need Better Tests’ For Marijuana Impairment, Questioning ‘Per Se’ THC Limits For Driving Photo courtesy of Max Pixel. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 21, 2024Cannabis News​ A key committee in Germany’s Bundestag has approved a bill to legalize marijuana, setting the stage for floor consideration and final votes on Friday. But there are new questions about whether the law will actually take effect in April as planned. The Health Committee, a central body of jurisdiction for the proposal, passed the legislation on Wednesday. It’s one of at least eight parliamentary panels that are set consider the bill on the same day before it advances to the floor. The debate in the Health Committee apparently proved contentious. But in the end, members approved the measure with a series of previously agreed-upon changes. “The next hurdle has been overcome!” Green MP Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, who chairs the committee but passed on the responsibility to oversee Wednesday’s meeting to a member of another party because she’s a main advocate of the bill, said. However, while a final floor vote is still expected Friday, the timeline for implementation is less certain. When the bill goes to the Bundesrat, a separate body that represents individual German states, members may ultimately refer it to a mediation committee to sort out issues related to the measure’s criminal justice policy implications, Legal Tribune Online reported. The legislation doesn’t require approval from the Bundesrat, which tried to block the proposed reform in September but ultimately failed. But it does have that mediation committee referral authority. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach apparently rejected a proposal to extend the implementation timeline that could have avoided such a referral, so the current thinking is that discussions around the criminal justice components and timeline for legalization will be dealt with over the summer. “The last formal hurdle has been overcome,” Kristine Lütke of the Free Democratic Party said, according to a translation. “This means we can have the last debate in the plenary session on Friday and finally vote on the law.” The committee developments on Wednesday come weeks after leaders of Germany’s so-called traffic light coalition government announced that they’d reached a final agreement on the legalization bill, resolving outstanding concerns, primarily from the Social Democratic Party (SPD). A final vote on the legalization bill that was initially planned in December was ultimately called off amid concerns from SPD leaders. Now it’s expected to reach the floor on Friday following committee consideration, with lawmakers taking up votes for second and third reading of the legislation for final passage. Lawmakers had already delayed their first debate on the legislation, which was ultimately held in October, ostensibly due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. They also pushed back a vote scheduled for November as supporters worked on improvements to the bill. At a meeting in December, the health minister took questions from members, some of whom oppose legalization. At several points, he pushed back against lawmakers who suggested that legalization would send the wrong message to youth and lead to increased underage consumption, saying their arguments “misrepresented” the legislation. Lawmakers had made a raft of adjustments to the bill, mostly designed to loosen restrictions that faced opposition from advocates and supporters in the Bundestag. They included increasing home possession maximums and removing the possibility of jail time for possessing slightly more than the allowable limit. The legislators further agreed to stagger the implementation of the reform, making possession and home cultivation legal for adults beginning in April. Social clubs that could distribute marijuana to members would open in July. Officials are eventually planning to introduce a complementary second measure that would establish pilot programs for commercial sales in cities throughout the country. That legislation is expected to be unveiled after its submitted to the European Commission for review. The health minister responded to early criticism of the bill from medical and law enforcement groups by emphasizing that the reform would be coupled with a “major campaign” to educate the public about the risks of using cannabis. While Germany’s Federal Cabinet approved the initial framework for a legalization measure in late 2022, the government also said it wanted to get signoff from the EU to ensure that enacting the reform wouldn’t put them in violation of their international obligations. The framework was the product of months of review and negotiations within the German administration and the traffic light coalition government. Officials took a first step toward legalization in 2022, kicking off a series of hearings meant to help inform legislation to end prohibition in the country. Government officials from multiple countries, including the U.S., also met in Germany last November to discuss international marijuana policy issues as the host nation works to enact legalization. A group of German lawmakers, as well as Narcotics Drugs Commissioner Burkhard Blienert, separately visited the U.S. and toured California cannabis businesses in 2022 to inform their country’s approach to legalization. The visit came after top officials from Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands held a first-of-its-kind meeting to discuss plans and challenges associated with recreational marijuana legalization. Leaders of the coalition government said in 2021 that they had reached an agreement to end cannabis prohibition and enact regulations for a legal industry, and they first previewed certain details of that plan last year. A novel international survey that was released last year found majority support for legalization in several key European countries, including Germany. Justice Department Researcher Says ‘We May Need Better Tests’ For Marijuana Impairment, Questioning ‘Per Se’ THC Limits For Driving Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 21, 2024Cannabis News​ This story was originally published on January 13, 2022, and has been updated.  On December 20, 2021, breakthrough research at the Usona Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, revealed the true crystal forms of pharmaceutical psilocybin. It’s a new discovery of characteristics of the polymorphs of the plant that have always existed but were not detected until now. But that discovery has ignited controversy within the psychedelics industry about synthetic psilocybin patents being sought by Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS), one of the leading psychedelics product development companies, using what they said is their original discovery of essentially the same polymorph that the Usona research reported already existed. The new Usona Institute study laid out the experimental challenges to solve the crystallographic puzzle of synthetic psilocybin, bringing clarity to the polymorphs (unique crystalline arrangements) that naturally occur from the production of synthetic psilocybin.  Usona claims that the study conclusively shows that three psilocybin polymorphs repeatedly occur from the well-known crystallization process and that they have appeared in numerous places throughout the history of synthesizing psilocybin since 1959.  In short, the study finds that there is nothing new to see here. But Compass Pathways sees it differently. The company said they invented the crystalline form of psilocybin used in their synthesized psilocybin formulations, polymorph A, and want to patent it. Not so fast, the experts say. The rise of the patent conundrum The team of Usona chemists and collaborating crystallographers say that they already solved key psilocybin crystal structures using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) data collected on psilocybin at the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory.  In the Usona process-scale crystallographic research investigation, three crystalline forms of psilocybin were repeatedly observed: hydrate A, polymorph A, and polymorph B. The crystal structure for hydrate A had already been solved using X-ray diffraction.  Usona’s study presents key new crystal structure solutions for the two anhydrases, polymorphs A and B, previously unidentified but part of the crystal structure dating back to when the crystalline structure was first reported in the 1970s.  Dr. Alexander Sherwood, lead author of the study and medicinal chemist at Usona, said they were just following clues available to any researcher to put together a full, clear picture of the three psilocybin polymorphs. “The process for isolating and crystallizing pure psilocybin has been consistently reproduced since first reported in 1959, and many different clues throughout history pointed to three psilocybin polymorphs resulting from that process,” he said. “The crystal structure solutions unified all the old evidence and data with precision and elegance. Once we put it all into one place, the full picture came together to tell a complete and compelling story about psilocybin crystallization.” Then.. the twist That data, that new discovery information from a non-profit company just wanting to advance the science of psilocybin, is creating conflicts between purists who say psilocybin should not be subject to patents and companies looking to build capitalist enterprises based on patenting such new product discoveries. That’s where Compass Pathways comes in. Compass Pathways has developed a synthesized formulation of psilocybin, COMP 360, which uses crystalline psilocybin, and, in November 2021, was granted its fifth U.S. patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—U.S. Patent No. 11,180,517—which covers methods of treating treatment-resistant depression (TRD) with crystalline psilocybin.  A petition filed December 15 will challenge the patent granted on March 16, 2021. Additional petitions challenging Compass’ patents from the Freedom to Operate (FTO), a non-profit seeking to advance science and education by fighting bad and mistakenly issued patents, are expected. The December 15 FTO petition quoted expert declarations filed with it from Dr. Sven Lidin (Dean at Lund University in Sweden) and Dr. James Kaduk (professor of chemistry at Illinois Tech and contributor to the Usona study) who explained that “ ’Polymorph A’ is a mixture of known psilocybin polymorphs, not a new polymorph as claimed. Compass’s patent is therefore invalid as claiming a nonexistent polymorph..” So can Compass still claim to have identified a new crystalline structure—a so-called novel variant as mentioned in their patent application—for their synthetic psilocybin? Or does this finding by Usona and statements in the filing challenging Compass now negate the Compass Pathway’s synthetic psilocybin patents?  Usona researchers also addressed this in their study: “Revision is recommended on characterizations in recently granted patents that include descriptions of crystalline psilocybin inappropriately reported as a single-phase ‘isostructural variant.’” In other words, the Compass patents using crystalline psilocybin are at best controversial—and at worst, null and void.  But the Usona Institute v. Compass Pathways disagreement serves to illustrate a deeper and growing issue between non-profit psychedelics companies like Usona who just want to create and advance better therapies to treat human conditions, and for-profit companies like Compass who want to build an enterprise trying to control access and use of a natural product.  The questions for the psychedelics community are: Who can commercialize, and control, psilocybin? Or.. should that ever happen? There are now so many applications for patents that the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics created a patent tracker. The college noted that nonprofits, pharmaceutical companies, startups, and academic institutions are all jockeying to patent specific psychedelic compounds and formulations. UC Berkeley wrote, “To help keep tabs on the status of patent applications as they wind their way through the U.S. Patent and Trademark’s review process, BCSP has collaborated on a patent tracker with Psychedelic Alpha, an independent media outlet, community, and consultancy firm in the psychedelic field, and Calyx Law, a patent law boutique focusing on cannabis and psychedelics related IP.” “No one objects to Compass manufacturing and distributing psilocybin for medical uses, and certainly not me,” Carey Turnbull, founder and director of FTO, in a letter from the founder. “On the other hand, Compass has used its resources to try to prevent anyone but themselves from manufacturing and distributing psilocybin. That’s the rub.” He continues: “(Compass) is attempting to patent things they should know they did not invent. Patents are not a systemic fault of the system; bad patents that attempt to appropriate pre-existing knowledge from the public commons and then ransom it back to the human race are a misuse of that system.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
Cannabis Recipes
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 4 Tbsp sugar (canna-sugar may be substituted to increase potency) 1 Tbsp baking powder ½ Tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 ½ cups whole milk (canna-milk may be substituted to increase potency) ¾ cup canna-butter, melted ​1 teaspoon vanilla extract Instructions 1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder 2. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients: beat the eggs with the milk, then add the vanilla extract 3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined ​Do not over-mix, batter will be thick and slightly lumpy 4. Bake in a preheated waffle-iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown This recipe is available for download HERE! Original recipe from allrecipes.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 package of Instant Ramen Vegetable or Beef broth (use the amount listed on the package for water) Frozen vegetable medley One egg or tofu Dried seaweed (to garnish) Sesame Seeds (to garnish) Cannabis Tincture Directions 1. Follow the instructions on the ramen package, but swap the water out for broth 2. Add the frozen veggies when broth gets hot 3. Crack an egg in the hot broth and stir for a few minutes You can also use a hard-boiled egg or chopped tofu ​ 4. Add as much cannabis tincture that you want. If you are unsure, start with 1–2 drops 5. Top soup with dried seaweed and sesame seeds Original recipe from Satori MJ [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients -1.5 cups all-purpose flour -1 Tbsp sugar (canna-sugar may be substituted to increase potency) -1 Tbsp baking powder -1 Tsp salt -1 large egg -1.25 cups whole milk (canna-milk may be substituted to increase potency) -3 Tbsp of melted canna-butter or oil -​1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) Instructions 1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients 2. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients 3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined ​Do not over-mix, batter will be thick and slightly lumpy 4. Heat a large frying pan with with a small amount of butter or oil 5. Pour 1 cup of batter in the center of the pan. Fry 2–3 minutes before flipping 6. Fry an additional 3–5 minutes or until pancake reaches your preferred doneness and remove from pan 7. Garnish with your favorite toppings; powdered sugar, syrup, butter, chocolate chips or whatever you might enjoy! Original recipe from cannabis wiki [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients Cupcakes: 2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/4 Tsp salt 1 cup milk 2 eggs 1/4 cup canna-oil (vegetable is best) 1/4 vegetable oil 2 Tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles Frosting: 1 cup sugar 1 cup egg whites 1lb butter, salted, room temperature 1 Tsp vanilla extract ​ Directions ​Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk all of the liquid ingredients together until blended. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients & mix until there are no large lumps. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the rainbow sprinkles until just blended. ​ Use a 2-ounce portion scoop & fill each cupcake liner with one scoop. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit before removing them from the pan. Frosting: Put 2 inches of water into a medium-size pot, & bring to a boil. Place the sugar & egg whites into a small stainless bowl that will sit on top of the pot of boiling water, or use a double boiler system. DO NOT allow the bowl with the egg white mixture to directly touch the boiling water or the egg whites will cook very quickly. Whisk constantly until temperature reaches 140°F/60°C or until the sugar has completely dissolved & the egg whites are hot to the touch. DO NOT leave unattended or you will have a sweet egg white scramble! Use a hand mixer or pour the egg white mixture into a bowl that is fitted for a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, begin to whip until the meringue is thick & glossy, about 10 minutes on medium-high. Place the mixer on low speed, add the cubes of butter, a couple at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing & it will become smooth. If the buttercream is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing. Add the vanilla & continue to beat on low speed until well combined. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, place a large star tip into a piping bag & fill with the buttercream. Pipe a rosette onto each cupcake & add the sprinkles on top. Serve immediately, the same day or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 can whole peeled tomatoes 28 oz. 1 jar roasted red peppers 12 oz. 4 large eggs ½ cup plain Greek yogurt ¼ cup CannaOil plus more for drizzling 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 6 garlic cloves divided 2 medium shallots divided Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Mint leaves and crusty bread for serving Crush coriander and cumin seeds, pressing down firmly with even pressure. Transfer seeds to a small heatproof bowl. Slice 2 garlic cloves as thinly and evenly as you can; add to bowl with seeds. Finely chop the remaining 4 garlic cloves. Cut half of 1 shallot into thin rounds and then add to the same bowl with seeds and garlic. Chop remaining shallots. Open a jar of red peppers and pour off any liquid. Remove peppers and coarsely chop. Combine ¼ cup oil and seed/garlic/shallot mix in the skillet you used for crushing seeds. Heat over medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until seeds are sizzling and fragrant and garlic and shallots are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Place a strainer over the same heatproof bowl and pour in the contents of the skillet, making sure to scrape in seeds and other solids. Do this quickly before garlic or shallots start to burn. Reserve oil. Spread out seed mixture across paper towels to cool. Season with salt and pepper. Return strained CannaOil to skillet and heat over medium. Add remaining chopped garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent and starting to turn brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Add chopped peppers to the skillet and stir to incorporate. Using your hands, lift whole peeled tomatoes out of the can, leaving behind tomato liquid, and crush up with your hands as you add to the skillet. Discard leftover liquid. Season with more salt and pepper. Cook shakshuka, stirring often, until thickened and no longer runs together when a spoon is dragged through, 10–12 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Using the back of a wooden spoon, create four 2″-wide nests in tomato sauce. Working one at a time, carefully crack an egg into each nest. Cover skillet and cook, simmering very gently and reducing heat if necessary, until whites of eggs are set while yolks are still jammy, 7–10 minutes. Uncover skillet and remove from heat. Season tops of eggs with salt and pepper. Top shakshuka with dollops of yogurt, sprinkle with seed mixture, then drizzle with more olive oil. Finish by scattering mint leaves over top. ​ Serve pita or crusty bread alongside. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from eat your cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe can be used with your favorite vegetables and breakfast meats Ingredients Base: 4 large eggs salt and pepper (to tasste) 1 tbsp butter (canna-butter may be used to increase potency) 1/2 cup canna-milk Filling: 2 tbsp diced green pepper 2 tbsp diced green onion 2 tbsp ham or meat of your choice 1/4 cup shredded cheese ​ Instructions 1. Beat eggs in a bowl with a whisk. 2. Add canna-milk and season with salt and pepper 3. Add any vegetables and/or meat fillings to the eggs and whisk for a few minutes until egg mixture if foamy — beating in air makes the omelette fluffy​ 4. Melt butter in a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in egg mixture and twirl skillet so the bottom is evenly covered in egg. 5. Cook until egg starts to set. Lift the edges with a spatula and tilt the skillet so uncooked egg mixture can run towards the bottom of the skillet to set Repeat until no visible liquid egg remains 6. Carefully flip omelette and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute 7. Sprinkle cheese in one line in the middle of the omelette and fold it in half, cook another 20 seconds them slide the omelette on to the plate This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from the Canna School [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 cups shredded green cabbage 1 Tbsp lime juice 1/2 Tsp salt 3 Tbsp cilantro 1/4 cup canna-oil 1 tomato, diced 1/2 cup salsa 1/2 onion, diced 1 jalapeno, diced 1 avocado, sliced Meat of choice (fish or a ground meat like beef or turkey) 4 corn tortillas Directions 1. Cook choice of meat with fajita seasoning in frying pan, set aside 2. In a large bowl, mix shredded cabbage, line juice, salt and cilantro 3. In a separate bowl, mix canna-oil with tomato, onion, jalapeno and salsa 4. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm 5. Fill each tortilla with meat, cabbage mixture, cannabis salsa mixture and diced avocado ​Serve with lime wedge The recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Eat Your Cannabis [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe may be used with heavy cream or whole milk. Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients ​6 grams cannabis flower 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream ​ Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the milk or heavy cream, in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The milk will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Cannabis infused sugar offers a simple way to enhance your baked goods or beverages. Materials Mason Jar ​Cheesecloth Baking Sheet 9in x 13in Baking Pan Ingredients -3 grams of cannabis flower -1/2 cup of high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear -1/2 cup granulated sugar Directions 1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Transfer the cannabis to a jar and cover with the alcohol. Screw the lid on tight and shake every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. 3. Strain through a cheesecloth set over a bowl, discarding solids. Mix the strained alcohol with the sugar and spread into an even layer in a glass 9-by-13-inch baking dish. ​ 4. Bake at 200°F, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has evaporated and the sugar is lightly golden. This recipe is available for download HERE The original recipe is from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Servings: 12 Ingredients 1 cup soybean oil ½ ounce ganja shake 2 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ​Directions In a double boiler, combine the oil and ganja. Heat over low until the ganja smell is pronounced but not nutty or burnt. (The oil should have an earthy green tint to it.) Let cool. Remove and strain the herb, squeezing the weed in a metal strainer against the mesh with the back of a spoon to wring out every drop of oil. Make sure that all your ingredients have been brought to room temperature — this is crucial! ​In a small metal bowl, use an immersion blender or whisk to thoroughly blend the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and mustard. This can also be done in a food processor or blender. ​Using a ½ teaspoon measure, very slowly add the infused oil to the small metal bowl, a few drops at a time, while constantly blending on low or whisking until the mayo is thick and starting to form ribbons. (If it’s too thick, you can add room-temperature water in tiny increments.) If your mixture “breaks,” it can be repaired by whisking some more room-temperature egg yolks in a separate bowl, then slowly whisking those yolks into the “broken” mayo mixture. If that doesn’t do it, add a few drops of hot water. ​Cover and chill; it’ll keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Original recipe from: Boudreaux, Ashley. The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook. Red Eyed Deviled Eggs. https://saltonverde.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/10-High_Times_Cannabis_Cookbook.pdf [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 3 Tbsp mayonnaise 2 Tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 Tsp salt 1/2 Tsp pepper 2 Eggs, lightly beaten 1lb Lump crab meat 2 Tbps finely chopped parsley 3 Tbsp canna-butter Instructions 1. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and eggs. Then gently stir in crab meat, panko and parsley. 2. Shape mixture in to 12 (3-inch) patties, pressing gently to flatten. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1hr. 3. Melt half the canna-butter in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 6 patties to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining half of canna-butter and remaining 6 patties. The recipe is available for download HERE original recipe from eat your cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 lbs of potatoes 4 tablespoons cannabutter 4 tablespoons sour cream or plain cream cheese Salt and pepper ¼ to ½ cup of milk or cannamilk for increased potency 2 cloves of garlic minced or 1 tsp of garlic powder Instructions Cut the potatoes in half or quarters to make medium-sized pieces. Place the potatoes in a saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, between 20–30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and remove their skins. Add the cannabutter, garlic and sour cream to the bowl along with a splash of milk (don’t add it all at once.) Mash the contents, adding just a splash of milk each time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. ​ Stir in salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is available for download HERE original recipe from satorimj.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2/3 cup Cannabis oil (coconut or olive oil will work) 4 large potatoes peeled 3 tbsp salt Instructions Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your peeled potatoes into strips (cut them into fries!) and spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cannabis-infused oil over them and season with salt. Try to coat each fry relatively evenly with the oil so that there is a consistent potency. Cook the fries until they are golden brown. Around 15–20 minutes. Allow the fires to cool down, around 5 minutes. Divide the fries into equal proportions and serve. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from thecannaschool.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients -​6 grams cannabis flower -2 cups oil (olive, coconut, canola or vegetable oil) Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The oil will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (you may substitute some pitted cherries too!) 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white sugar (you may add canna-sugar for increased potency) 1/4 tsp cinnamon 2 Tbsp canna-butter, cut into small pieces (you may substitute canna-coconut oil) 2x pie crust recipe or store bought Directions Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream the regular butter, cannabutter, brown sugar & white sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda & salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Add the mini chocolate chips & mini marshmallows. Mix until evenly distributed. Evenly space the graham crackers on the prepared liner. Use a 2 oz scoop to portion the cookies & place in the center of the graham cracker. Bake for 12–15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool. Push all of the baked cookies together & drizzle with coating chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set & enjoy! This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe can be used with your favorite vegetables and breakfast meats Ingredients Base: 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 6 eggs 1 cup of milk (canna-milk may be used for a more potent dish) 1 pie-crust, unbaked Filling: 1/2 cup of canna-butter 1 onion, diced 1 cup broccoli, chopped 1 head of garlic ​ Instructions 1. Melt canna-butter in a pan over medium heat ​ 2. Add vegetables to butter and cook on medium heat for about 5–8 minutes (or until veggies are cooked) Do not let the butter or vegetables burn, to maintain potency of the butter 3. Scoop cooked vegetables into empty pie crust and cover with shredded cheeses 4. Beat eggs and milk together and pour into the pie crust 5. Bake for 35–40 minutes at 360°F Allow quiche to cool 10 minutes before serving This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from cannabis.wiki [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients blender ¼ cup tahini ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed w/o seeds 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 garlic cloves ¼ cup CannaOil ½ cup ground cumin 2 tablespoons water salt and pepper to taste Instructions Combine lemon juice and tahini in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, garlic, Canna Oil, cumin and water. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. Pour hummus in a serving bowl, or store in the refrigerator for later. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from eatyourcannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 eggs 1 cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar, packed 1 ¼ cups grapeseed oil ¼ cup canna-oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 ¾ cups pure pumpkin puree 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp pumpkin spice 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp orange zest, optional Directions Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a jumbo muffin tin with liners. Place the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, grapeseed oil & canna-oil into a bowl fitted for a stand mixer or use a whisk to thoroughly beat ingredients together. Blend in the pumpkin & vanilla extract. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Add to the wet ingredients & mix until just blended. Stir in the orange zest (optional). Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups using a muffin scoop, about 3 ounces each. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 22–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. ​ Allow to cool, remove from the tins & sprinkle with cinnamon. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 slices of bread Cheese Canna-Butter Optional fillings: tomato, green onion, chicken, tuna Directions 1. Use a knife to coat both pieces of bread with canna-butter Be sure to coat both sides of the bread 2. Bring skillet to medium heat and add a small scoop of canna-butter ​ 3. One the butter has melted, place one slice of bread on the skillet 4. Add as much cheese and fillings as you like, then place the second slice of bread on top 5. Flip the sandwich when the bottom is golden brown, add more butter if needed for the new side 6. When the sandwich looks adequately fried and the cheese is melted to your liking, take it off of the skillet, slice in half, and enjoy! Original recipe from Satori MJ [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 cup canna-milk 1 lb ground beef 1/2 lb ground pork 1/2 lb Italian sausage, casing removed 1 small onion, finely diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup grated parmesean cheese 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 large eggs, beaten 2 Tbsp canna-oil 1 (32oz) jar marinara sauce Instructions 1. In a small bowl, stir bread crumbs with canna-milk until evenly combined. Let sit 15 minutes, or while you prep other ingredients. 2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine beef, pork, sausage, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then gently stir in breadcrumb mixture, eggs, Parmesan, and parsley until just combined. Form mixture into 1” balls. 3. In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Working in batches, sear meatballs on all sides to develop a crust. Set meatballs aside, reduce heat to medium-low, and add sauce to skillet. Bring sauce to a simmer then immediately add meatballs back to skillet. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes more original recipe from eatyourcannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients -​6 grams cannabis flower -1 pound unsalted butter Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The milk will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients ¼ cup cannabuter, room temperature ½ cup regular butter, room temperature 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup white sugar 2 eggs, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp sea salt 1 cup mini chocolate chips 1 cup mini marshmallows 18 graham crackers Coating chocolate, melted Directions Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream the regular butter, cannabutter, brown sugar & white sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda & salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Add the mini chocolate chips & mini marshmallows. Mix until evenly distributed. Evenly space the graham crackers on the prepared liner. Use a 2 oz scoop to portion the cookies & place in the center of the graham cracker. Bake for 12–15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool. Push all of the baked cookies together & drizzle with coating chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set & enjoy! This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 quarts popped popcorn 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup light 1/2 cup cannabis butter 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp baking soda Instructions Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray and add popcorn. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, corn syrup, cannabis butter, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well. Pour syrup over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. ​ Enjoy! Keep refrigerated for extended shelf life. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from thecannaschool.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 Pork chops Salt and pepper 1 Tbsp minced rosemary 2 Cloves minced garlic 1/2 Cup canna-butter 1 Tbps canna-oil Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper 2. In a small bowl, combine canna-butter with rosemary and garlic. Set aside 3. In an oven-safe skillet over medium heat, heat canna-oil and add pork chops. Sear until golden, about 4 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes. 4. Brush pork-chops generously with the garlic canna-butter mixture and place skillet in the oven to bake for 10–12 minutes. Serve with more garlic butter. ​If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, you may use a regular one and transfer to a baking dish. Be sure to collect all the oil from the pan when transferring. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Eat Your Cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This soup can be enhanced with any of your favorite vegetables. Materials Soup Pot Frying Pan Hand-Blender or Regular blender (optional) Ingredients ​3 cups vegetable stock 1 cup chopped broccoli 1/2 red onion, chopped 2 stalks of celery, chopped 1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream (canna-cream may be substituted or blended with regular cream for increased potency) 2 TBSP olive oil Fresh cilantro (optional) Salt and Pepper to taste ​Canna-Oil (dose-dependent) Directions 1. Heat vegetable stock and broccoli in a large pot Boil for around 6 minutes 2. On another burner, saute garlic, onion and celery in olive oil until soft — about 4 minutes ​​ 3. Take the pan off the heat and add desired dose of canna-oil to vegetables Stir thoroughly and then pour mixture in to the big soup pot Be sure to scrape all material to get the maximum amount of canna-oil 4. Heat for another 6–8 minutes then reduce heat to low and add heavy cream, add salt and pepper to taste ​ 5. Let simmer for 5 minutes, serve hot  ​Garnish with cilantro if desired This recipe is available for download HERE The original recipe is from Royal Queen Seeds [...] Read more...