Massachusetts’ marijuana growers consider suing state regulators. Actually, CBD *is* psychoactive (if the dictionary is to be believed). How terrible seed-to-sale software drove a dispensary worker to quit his job in a mere six weeks. Also: An Obama staffer’s new book reveals the former president considered decriminalizing marijuana, but then Trump won. 🌳
Massachusetts marijuana growers consider suing regulators. The Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council is considering a lawsuit against the Cannabis Control Commission in an effort to compel the agency to review the host community agreements between municipalities and marijuana businesses. Regulators will only consider a cannabis business’s application if it already has a host community agreement, which cannot extract more than 3 percent of the business’s sales. But reports indicate that municipalities are striking agreements worth much more than that, putting small businesses and economic empowerment applicants at a disadvantage. “We see the issue of sticking to the law on this as important because without oversight a town can extort an applicant, or an applicant with money can make bribes, all out in the open,” said the president of the organization. Boston Globe
Dispelling CBD myths. Cannabidiol is often termed the “non-psychoactive” cannabinoid — counterbalancing the undisputed psychoactive effects of THC. But “psychoactive” is defined as “affecting the mind or body” or mental processes. “Of course, CBD is psychoactive. That’s the point. If it weren’t, far fewer people would care about it.” If CBD is helps with anxiety and depression, it’s indisputable that the cannabinoid is psychoactive. The founder of Project CBD, who once used the term “non-psychoactive,” now opts for the term “non-intoxicating” to describe CBD’s effects. “If it changes one’s mood, even if you’re not getting high, it’s psychoactive,” he explained. Cannabis Now A market research firm that thinks the CBD market is poised to boom may have overlooked some important factors for the future of the market. Here’s a look at regulatory and market forces that the analysis overlooked — even if the feds legalize industrial hemp. Forbes
Here’s an idea. A Yale law professor pens a piece on the recent spate of synthetic cannabinoid overdose deaths in New Haven, Conn: “These overdoses are better characterized as poisonings. The victims were exposed to tainted synthetic marijuana laced with Fubinaca, a powerful synthetic drug.” Here, he proposes drug exchanges modelled after needle exchanges: “State lawmakers should authorize public-health officials responding to the next tainted synthetic marijuana health emergency to trade cash or even marijuana for K2 — at least in states where recreational marijuana use is legal.” The Washington Post
Trying to study medical marijuana. A doctor who specializes in infantile spasms recounts his own difficulties researching marijuana. He was skeptical about the therapeutic benefits of CBD, until several children in his care saw dramatic improvements after taking it. “I began to wonder: What if it actually works? Could I prove it?” But his attempt to answer that question took him on a Kafka-esque journey through the FDA and DEA. “The time and energy required just to obtain approval for a small study of cannabidiol for infantile spasms would have been enough to complete multiple non-marijuana studies.” Spectrum News
Why is everyone shocked about Elon Musk? Many of those opining on the Elon Musk pot-smoking incident questioned Musk’s judgement and ability to lead after he appeared to take a puff of marijuana. “The frenzied reactions to Musk’s interview highlight a bigger problem plaguing the nation: Many of the nation’s premiere news outlets, pundits, academics, politicians and senior government officials remain willfully ignorant about marijuana.” Consuming cannabis is a normal activity for millions of Americans, and Musk’s apparent puff occurred in California, where adult-use marijuana has been legalized by the state. “It’s time for today’s media to stop with the puns and stereotypes: Marijuana is part of many Americans’ regular routines, and that’s a story the media can help spread — sometimes just by allowing figures like Musk to do their thing with no fear of condescending, ignorant judgment by people living in glass houses.” Hear, hear! NBC News
🚨 Shameless Affiliate Promotion 🚨
How to get medical marijuana. Looking to become a medical marijuana patient in New York or California, but don’t know where to start? Nugg MD simplifies the process through a simple online process, allowing you to order cannabis right away. Plus, they promise to never share your information with anyone, which is great because Jeff Sessions still continues to spout reefer madness. Sign up here: NuggMD
Researchers say… The lead author of a study on older adults’ marijuana use “was surprised to learn that many of the older Americans turning to marijuana are new converts to its use.” Meanwhile, a palliative care physician who studies medical marijuana and the elderly points out that doctors “prescribe substances that are far more dangerous than cannabinoids.” NPR Two recent studies found that medical marijuana patients saw “statistically and clinically significant therapeutic benefits” from the drug. (Though the research was limited by self-reporting.) US News
Seed-to-sale software really sucks. Maryland medical cannabis patient Aaron Shepherd took a job at a dispensary, inspired by his own experience kicking an opioid addiction with medical marijuana. His job was so frustrating that he quit in six weeks. The reason? Metrc, the state-mandated, seed-to-sale tracking software. The final straw for Shepherd was when a woman in a wheelchair tried to buy medical marijuana, waited more than an hour, and went home empty-handed. Pretty much every major software company that contracts with a state have caused massive headaches for cannabis businesses and regulators alike. Slate
In other cannabis business news… What businesses can do to mitigate odor from their cannabis operations (and keep neighbors happy). The Cannifornian California’s cannabis supply chain is facing a problem: the requirement that all growers used licensed distributors to get their product to retailers. In Trinity county, there are more than 200 state-licensed cannabis farms and zero licensed distributors. Meanwhile, retailers are struggling to stock their shelves. Marijuana Business Daily
Cannabis in Canada. Prime minister Justin Trudeau warned Canadians about the consequences that cannabis consumption could have when crossing the U.S.-Canada border. He said that his government was working with American officials ahead of recreational legalization in the country. National Post The cannabis industry is staffing up, but marijuana companies are struggling to hire workers. CTV News Canadian cannabis company Aurora announced that it had purchased ICC Labs, a dominant cannabis producer in South America. ICC holds 70 percent of the market in Uruguay, the first nation in the world to legalize recreational cannabis. The Toronto Star The military is seeking to reassure its allies about troops’ marijuana use ahead of federal legalization. The Globe and Mail
Elsewhere around the world… A U.K.-based think tank found that young people have an easier time buying cannabis than alcohol. About 44 percent of young users said marijuana was “very easy” to purchase, compared to 22 percent of young alcohol drinkers. It also found that cannabis convictions for young people have increased in the past five years, while those for adults have fallen. Sky News France has launched a committee to look into regulating a medical marijuana market in the country. Marijuana Business Daily The government in Germany plans to award the first domestic licenses for cannabis production in 2019. The country currently relies on international imports to supply its medical marijuana market. Marijuana Business Daily The eastern European country Georgia plans to legalize marijuana for export only. Georgia Today
Word on the States
- In Massachusetts, the top marijuana regulator expects retail sales to happen “over the next few weeks to a month.”
- In Maine, the state is looking for a consultant to craft rules and regulations for marijuana sales.
- In Alaska, Charlo Greene entered a plea deal on charges relating to her Alaska Cannabis Club.
- In Michigan, nearly 100 medical marijuana dispensaries will have to shut down under new emergency rules. A poll found that more than 56 percent of voters support legalizing recreational marijuana.
- In Colorado, a ballot measure would change the state’s definition of industrial hemp. Advocates are pushing a ballot initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms in Denver.
- In New Jersey, residents are more inclined to support legalization if proceeds help lower their property taxes.
- In Indiana, a look at where U.S. Senate candidates stand on marijuana policy.
- In Utah, lawmakers are divided on calling a special session on medical marijuana.
- In Pennsylvania, Lancaster’s city council voted to extend a decriminalization ordinance to a third violation within five years.
- In Wisconsin, Green Bay considers reducing penalties for marijuana possession.
- In Florida, pro-marijuana voters have helped a Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner take the lead in a new poll.
- In Missouri, the backer of a medical marijuana initiative withdrew a lawsuit against a rival MMJ initiative.
Word for Word
“President Barack Obama might have decriminalized marijuana in the waning months of 2016, one of his key staffers reveals in a new book, but then Donald Trump won the presidential election. But it’s not exactly clear why the prospect of eliminating criminal penalties for cannabis-related offenses at the end of the Obama presidency hinged on the outcome of the election to replace him.” – Kyle Jaeger for Marijuana Moment