The CBD industry is undeterred by a federal court ruling favoring the DEA. NIDA’s director claims that marijuana “dumbs you down.” An epileptic child saw a 95 percent reduction in seizures thanks to cannabis oil, but her doctors called CPS on her parents. Also: Colorado lawmakers sent a “marijuana tasting” room bill to the governor. 🌳
CBD industry undeterred by court ruling. After a federal court ruled in favor of the DEA’s stance that CBD is a Schedule I substance, the industry is holding its ground. “There’s too much money invested in the CBD market for it just to go away,” said the CEO of a hemp consulting firm. But companies are trying to figure out what the ruling means for their businesses. Advocates maintain that the ruling is positive for them because the DEA admitted that the Farm Bill exempts industrial hemp under state pilot programs. Others hope the legal confusion will spur Congress to act to federally legalize industrial hemp. Hemp Industry Daily
‘Marijuana dumbs you down.’ Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Nora D. Volkow said she doesn’t know “that [marijuana] is safer” than other drugs like alcohol and tobacco. “Marijuana dumbs you down. When you’re a teenager and your job in life is to learn, then to slow that down puts you at tremendous jeopardy. Nicotine will not do that,” she said. “Of course you’ll pay a price when you’re at 60 years of age and you may end up with lung cancer. But how do you determine what is worse? Dropping out of school, when you’re 16 or 17, that’s one of the predictors of poor health outcomes.” (Recent research has disputed this claim.) The Boston Globe Related: The anti-cannabis group Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse is concerned about the barriers to research facing Schedule I substances, especially marijuana. Forbes
Doctors call CPS over cannabis oil. The parents of a young girl in Indiana who suffers from epilepsy saw a 95 percent reduction in her seizures after treating her with CBD oil. “We saw immediate results… We didn’t have any negative side effects. She was a normal 2-year-old!” said the girl’s mother. The Indiana legislature legalized CBD oil earlier this year, leading the parents to believe that it was legal for them to treat their daughter with the oil. They told her doctors, who seemed to be on board with the treatment. But the medical professionals reported the parents to CPS. “Officials allegedly did not prohibit them from using the oil, but ordered the parents to give the little girl Keppra as well.” The parents were fearful that their children would be taken away and started giving the girl Keppra, a pharmaceutical drug. Within five days, the girl had to be admitted to the hospital due to side effects from Keppra. People
First person. A man recounts the effects of being listed on Kansas’ drug offender registry. J.T. Perkins spent much of his teenage years locked up on a marijuana charge. In his mid-20’s he was convicted of possession with “intent to sell” cocaine, landing him on a registry alongside sex offenders. Perkins enrolled in college, but the school thought he was a sex offender. Many employers saw his name on the registry and also assumed he was a sex offender. “I explained it to people over and over that my crime had to do with drugs. It was exhausting.” He decided to look for a fresh start in Alaska, where there is no drug offender registry, making it easier for him to hold down a job. “People give you a chance [in Alaska]. I’ve seen people make deals on handshakes alone. Perhaps it’s the anti-government, anti-establishment feelings many of them have.” The Marshall Project
Ricardo Baca to submit letter of intent to buy The Cannabist. The founding editor of The Cannabist hopes to save the publication after the owners of The Denver Post laid off its entire editorial staff. Baca said he would probably personally purchase the site with the help of “some very well-curated investors” but declined to disclose how much he is offering. Leafly Despite that The Denver Post and other newspapers are profitable; the paper’s hedge fund owners continue to make cuts. “I think it’s clear to everyone that journalism is under attack, and as a result, cannabis journalism is absolutely under attack right now. You can’t look at everything that’s happening across the slate comprehensively and think that cannabis journalism is healthy,” said Baca. Merry Jane Related: The Denver Post‘s editorial page editor resigned after an executive killed an editorial he had written for this Sunday’s paper. The New York Times
🚨 Shameless Promotion 🚨
The NYC Cannabis Parade. The Big Apple’s Cannabis Parade & Rally will kick off at 11:00 a.m. at 32nd St. and Broadway, before making its way down to Union Square Park. Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon, who has emerged as an advocate for marijuana legalization, will be speaking at the event alongside prominent lawmakers, activists, and entrepreneurs. NYC Cannabis Parade
Cannabis Law Summit. The first annual Cannabis Law Summit is coming to New York City this May. Hear from such eminent speakers including Shaleen Title, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, Cristina Buccola, a cannabis attorney, advocate, and business developer, Senator Liz Krueger, an advocate of marijuana reform in the New York state legislature, and Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, the Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Word on the Tree readers get $50 off with the discount code: WORDT50. Cannabis Law Summit
Marijuana for the opioid crisis. Existing research on medical marijuana and opioids don’t show a causal relationship between cannabis access and reduced opioid abuse. Still, scientists and doctors say the initial links between the two are promising and warrant deeper investigation. “Researchers must now explore how and why these drops happen… and what the consequences of long-term pot use are on public health.” Rolling Stone At a recent cannabis conference in Philadelphia, experts discussed marijuana as an “exit drug” from opioids. But patients often cannot afford the safer option as insurance companies refuse to cover it. The Times-Tribune
A clinical trial for cannabis and autism. Researchers in New York are planning to start a double-blind, placebo-controlled study examining the effects of non-psychoactive cannabinoids on children with moderate to severe autism. The New York Post Another one is set to take place in San Diego, Calif. too. While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that cannabinoids are effective for treating autism, researchers are hoping that these studies will confirm those stories. Live Science
Cannabis in Canada. Despite calls from various Senate committees to delay marijuana legalization, prime minister Justin Trudeau said that the government would legalize recreational use by summer: “We have been working with our partners across the country to make this happen and we are going to be moving forward this summer on the legalization of cannabis.” CBC News While edibles won’t be allowed until at least mid-2019, entrepreneurs are already working on new types of products. Financial Post
Elsewhere around the world… Longtime black-market cannabis farmers in Colombia are destroying their crops in a bid to join the legal medical marijuana industry. But regulations on the number of hectares allotted to licensees means that many longtime cultivators will be shut out. One grower who destroyed his plants in a bid to join the regulated industry said that farmers had been given false hope. “To create their own medical marijuana business, the farmers would need at least $20 million a year – in laboratory equipment among other costly scientific technology – an amount far from reach.” Reuters A look at a Swiss supermarket offering high-CBD cannabis products as an alternative to tobacco. The Guardian
A great guide to microdosing. Everything you’d need to know about microdosing — mostly psychedelics, but marijuana too. Includes interesting findings from psychedelic researcher James Fadiman’s inbox: “A number of women who have had difficult periods report that their periods are now normal… The most common comment [about microdosing] is ‘I just don’t feel the need [for caffeine].’” New York
Word on the States
- In Colorado, the legislature approved a bill to allow marijuana “tasting rooms,” sending it to the governor’s desk. Why the tourism office won’t promote the state’s legal weed.
- In California, San Luis Obispo’s city council approved a marijuana ordinance to allow recreational dispensaries.
- In Maine, entrepreneurs fear the delay in adult-use marijuana implementation.
- In Louisiana, a Senate committee advanced two medical marijuana bills. A MMJ company threatens to sue a university over a contract dispute.
- In New Jersey, the governor finally said that he tried marijuana “literally once or twice.”
- In Delaware, a lawmaker introduced a bill to expunge marijuana convictions.
- In Pennsylvania, a look inside Philly’s first medical marijuana dispensary. Carlisle will welcome its first dispensary this weekend.
- In New York, 63 percent of voters support marijuana legalization. The NYC mayor announced the city will open safe injection sites. How Nixon is pushing Cuomo to the left on issues like marijuana legalization.
- In Arizona, a bill to require lab testing of medical marijuana died in the House, seemingly due to industry lobbying.
- In New Hampshire, the state Senate killed a bill that would allow patients to grow their own cannabis.
- In Missouri, the Legislature passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp.
- In Nevada, Caesars Entertainment is dropping pre-employment marijuana testing.
- In Wisconsin, the Cannabis March comes to Milwaukee.
- In Michigan, Republican lawmakers contemplate tying marijuana legalization to an income tax cut.
- In Utah, an anti-marijuana coalition is trying to persuade voters who signed an MMJ petition to take their names off.
Word for Word
“Journalists came under threat from gunmen working for drug cartels and also from security forces that objected to coverage of excessive force or crimes carried out by soldiers. In 2007, there were two cases of murder of Mexican journalists in which the Committee to Protect Journalists was able to determine that the motive was to silence the press. Several newspaper-delivery workers were also killed, apparently by drug cartels… [Journalist Emilio] Gutiérrez Soto and his son fled to the United States and applied for asylum at a border-crossing station in New Mexico… [His] case is not the only one in which the Trump Administration has decided to pursue the deportation of a professional journalist.” – Steve Coll for The New Yorker
“If anyone knows what the deal is with cannabis in Svaneti, it’s him. But my palms are sweaty: Weed is a touchy subject, and I’m nervous he might interpret my questions as disrespectful. Yet as soon as I say the word ‘cannabis,’ he grins. ‘People don’t know about this important part of our history,’ he says, explaining that until Soviet inspectors arrived in the ‘70s, every Svan household grew cannabis plants, which were used in their entirety. People plied the stem fibers into cloth and rope, and pressed the seeds for oil. Buds, flowers, and leaves (plus ground-up seeds) found their way into gooey cheese breads (knash), vegetable-walnut spreads (pkhali), and juicy meat pies (kubdari). And like the Scythians and the Jushi, the Svans associate cannabis with death: Knash was the most important dish at funeral banquets.” – Benjamin Kemper for Atlas Obscura