DEA awards Schedule II status to THC solution. A pharmaceutical company’s synthetic THC solution Syndros has gotten the go-ahead for Schedule II status. It is a liquid formulation of Marinol (synthetic THC in capsule form), which is currently a Schedule III substance. Regulators said the liquid formulation of Syndros increased its potential for abuse. The drug’s producer Insys has previously donated money to oppose legislation to legalize cannabis. In SEC filings, the company has acknowledged the scientific literature on whole-plant cannabis’ medical efficacy over synthetic cannabinoid products. The Cannabist “These pharmaceutical companies still think they’re going to win the battle in creating essentially fake cannabis and having to even compete with the real cannabis industry, but they’re not looking at the effects of certain terpenes or certain cannabinoids,” said a boardmember of the Cannabis Business Alliance. Westword
Life in prison for non-violent marijuana offense. In some states, marijuana trafficking may land you behind bars for a few years. But in Alabama, it could get you put in prison for the rest of your life. One 41-year-old father of four is serving a life sentence for marijuana possession and trafficking. He’s fighting to get his sentence reduced. “All over the United States they are legalizing the use of marijuana while here in Alabama people are being convicted to life sentences… My charge should have been reduced to possession,” he said. al.com
The Trump administration on cannabis. A handy timeline of all the things the Trump administration has said on marijuana enforcement. The Cannabist
Talking up weed. Vape startups seem to be moving away from nicotine. Startup database Crunchbase found that 45 cannabis companies disclosed a funding round the past year, but not a single company that mentioned tobacco or e-cigarettes did. TechCrunch
Lawmakers are angry at MMJ company. Vireo Health, which has a medical marijuana license in Minnesota and New York, is under fire from legislators after two executives of its Minnesota subsidiary were charged with trafficking cannabis oil to New York. Regulators have little recourse to punish the company — now lawmakers are pushing to give the state authority to immediately revoke its license and hit it with a $1 million fine. The Associated Press
Israel MMJ attracts international attention. The country is positioning itself as a cutting-edge exporter of medical cannabis and related products. The global market for medical marijuana could reach $50 billion by 2025, and the government is set to allow exports of medical-grade cannabis. Unlike the U.S., medical cannabis growers in Israel work directly with researchers to develop medically useful strains. Reuters Related: California-based cannabis testing lab Steep Hill is partnering with Israeli MMJ company iCAN to set up a testing lab in Israel. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis stocks soar in Oz. After Australia eased restrictions on importing medical cannabis oil, medical marijuana companies in the country saw their shares soar more than 130 percent in 2017. Initial demand for the drug could top A$100 million a year. Bloomberg
More raids in Canada. Toronto police have raided two more Cannabis Culture shops, two weeks after a round of raids that saw the brand’s former owners arrested. “It’s scary seeing so much brute force used against peaceful non-violent people and to know that this government is simply trying to stomp out the dispensaries in advance of the very prohibitionist regulations that they will be introducing,” said Jodie Emery, who had to remove herself from the company as a condition of her bail. Global News
And now, in local news…
- In California, controversy surrounds Oakland’s cannabis amendment.
- In Colorado, a Senate committee approved a proposal to restrict home grow.
- In Delaware, a state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to legalize cannabis.
- In Florida, a Senate committee considers medical marijuana regulations. A closer look at proposed regulations, and the money behind the debate.
- In New Mexico, cannabis advocates are undeterred by the feds.
- In Ohio, advocates are worried that restrictions on lab testing could stall patient access.
- In Tennessee, the House approved a bill to block decriminalization in Nashville and Memphis.
- In Arizona, a 2018 ballot measure seeks to legalize all drugs.
- In Maryland, legislators reach deal to issue more MMJ licenses.
- In Rhode Island, the new Senate president is “looking” at the issue of cannabis legalization.
- In Arkansas, lawmakers approved limits on smoking medical marijuana.
Word for Word
“We’ve had federal drug mandatory minimums on the books for 30 years. Drug use has remained the same; drug prices have fallen, not risen. Now we’re seeing an explosion in abuse of particular drugs and we’re told we need more of the same of the thing that didn’t prevent the problem in the first place.” – Families Against Mandatory Minimums president Kevin Ring, The Daily Beast
“I’m actually very thoughtfully entering cannabis life.” – Musician John Mayer, The New York Times
Deep Feeling. We start this week’s playlist with an early tune from Chuck Berry, before moving along a range of bluesy sounds from B.B. King to Big Mama Thornton. Word on the Tree