The effort to legalize marijuana through the New Jersey legislature has failed and the issue will likely go to voters, said the Senate president. Lawmakers in New York introduced a new legalization bill. A look at the science behind questionable claims about CBD. Also: Should psychedelic researchers consume the same drugs they study? 🌳
N.Y. gets a new legalization bill, N.J. effort fails in legislature.
After failing to legalize marijuana through the state budget, New York lawmakers have introduced a new legalization bill. “We’ve attempted to take all of the negotiated agreements that took place during budget negotiations and expand our bill,” said senator Liz Krueger. The bill also contains provisions to expand the medical marijuana program. “Krueger said the Senate does not have enough votes right now to pass the bill, and she’s looking to the Assembly to approve the measure first.” WBFO In New Jersey, a marijuana legalization bill has been caught in a political fight between the governor and Senate president over tax breaks. Now, Senate president Stephen Sweeney has announced that the legalization bill won’t move forward and the issue will likely go to voters on the 2020 ballot. Asbury Park Press
Proponents of the cannabinoid have touted its efficacy for treating everything from cancer to menstrual cramps. But could a single compound actually be so therapeutically effective? A deep dive into CBD looks at how we ended up with many claims but little scientific support. The New York Times Some CBD consumers have unwittingly taken a product that leads them to fail employer drug tests. Here’s what consumers can do to protect themselves. Consumer Reports A 69-year-old woman who was arrested at Disney World for possessing CBD oil is demanding an apology from Disney World and the county sheriff’s office. The Associated Press A new London-based startup has raised $5.5 million for CBD-infused tampons, supposedly to relieve period pain. Sifted Related: But there have been no studies on cannabinoid receptors in the vagina or if the CBD would need to be absorbed into the bloodstream for a therapeutic effect. “Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know about CBD and the vagina.” The New York Times
New questions about botched Houston drug raid.
An independent investigation into the botched Houston drug raid that left two people dead raised new questions about the shootings. Police conducted a no-knock raid that was supposedly targeted at heroin dealers, but found only a small amount of marijuana and cocaine in the house. Now, independent investigators have found new evidence that doesn’t back up the police’s account: An independent forensic expert did not find evidence that the residents fired shots at the police officers. Police said that they started shooting when a dog lunged through the door, but the forensics team found that the dog was shot about 15 feet from the door. Houston Chronicle
Fired for medical marijuana.
In states that have legalized medical marijuana, patients can now use cannabis without fearing arrest. But they could still be fired for it. While courts have generally sided with employers on the issue, that has started to change. Recent rulings in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island saw judges side with employees who were fired over their medical marijuana use. But without some sort of federal reform, workers who happen to be medical marijuana patients will continue to face employment-related risks. Governing
NFL players hope for change in marijuana policy.
Retired NFL players are becoming vocal advocates for the benefits of cannabis. Many of them are becoming cannabis entrepreneurs after experiencing the therapeutic benefits of the drug. But those opportunities are only available to retired players, as the NFL maintains a strict no-marijuana policy. “In the last five years, 117 players have been suspended for substance abuse violations, lost $43.9 million in salary and 552 days of playing time.” With the NFL contract with players up for renegotiation in 2020, retired players are speaking up about marijuana: “Players should have the opportunity to use this. It’s safe, no one has died from it and it should be made readily available to players,” said one. Detroit Free-Press
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In cannabis business news…
Handbag maker Edie Parker is getting into the cannabis space with a collection of fancy pot paraphernalia called Flower by Edie Parker. “I’m very cannabis-friendly and didn’t feel like there was a lot on the market that represented what I would want to buy for my house,” said the brand’s founder and creative director. Bloomberg Natura Life + Science announced that it has raised $91 million to build a 265,000-square-foot marijuana campus in California. It will include cultivation, processing, and retail operations. Marijuana Business Daily
Canada’s cannabis companies.
Tilray’s revenues were up nearly 200 percent and its net losses grew. “We are pleased with our first quarter results,” said the company’s CEO. CTV News Aurora Cannabis reported C$160.1 million in losses for the third quarter — more than expected. The news sent shares down 2 percent in after-hours trading. MarketWatch Aphria Inc. announced that its president Jakob Ripshtein is resigning. It is still looking for a permanent CEO. Red Deer Advocate
Elsewhere in Canada…
A recent survey by Statistics Canada found that 514,000 Canadians are using cannabis before or during work. Cannabis consumers who use marijuana every day are more likely to consume on the job compared to more casual cannabis consumers. Leafly The Quebec government is relaxing its cannabis regulation bill to allow individuals to smoke weed in parks. The province’s premier said he is “sensitive” to the needs of those who are less wealthy and “do not have a place to smoke cannabis.” CTV News
Elsewhere around the world…
After Italy legalized low-THC hemp flower, the country saw “a noteworthy decrease in the number of pharmaceutical drugs it dispensed,” according to a new study. Marijuana Moment The governor of Ondo state, Nigeria visited Thailand to learn about cannabis cultivation. He’s hoping that cannabis could help boost his country’s economy. Pulse The agriculture minister for St. Lucia expressed interest in medical marijuana as a way to revive the agriculture sector. St. Lucia News Online “A Coca-Cola billionaire and his business partner were arrested [in St. Kitts] for possessing thousands of cannabis plants, which they claim are hemp — but there’s a lot more to the story, including a fight over whether new cannabis markets should be controlled by local farmers or billionaire investors.” Cannabis Now
Denver’s successful psilocybin decriminalization initiative “marks an unusual moment in the U.S. government’s failed war on drugs: The end of a 65-year smear campaign against a dead scientist by the name of Frank Olson.” The Pacific Standard Is it ethical for psychedelic researchers to consume the very drugs that they study? Is it ethical for those researchers to not consume the psychedelics that they are administering to subjects? Vice “Inside the first placebo-controlled studies testing if microdosing LSD actually works.” Wired
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Word on the States
- In Connecticut, a new draft of the marijuana legalization bill expands the definition of an equity applicant. Marijuana legalization is likely to be pushed to a special session, says the Senate president.
- In Massachusetts, the governor of Boston indicated that he is open to a pilot program for social marijuana consumption.
- In California, lawmakers consider a bill to create a state-chartered bank to serve the cannabis industry.
- In Michigan, state lawmakers are joining the fight for national marijuana banking reform.
- In Colorado, Denver marijuana sales spiked ahead of a snowstorm.
- In New Hampshire, a Senate committee voted to delay marijuana legalization bill to 2020.
- In New Mexico, medical marijuana producers are having trouble keeping up with demand, found state surveys.
- In Arkansas, medical marijuana sales topped $93,000 in the first three days.
- In Kansas, why cops in the state oppose marijuana reform efforts.
- In Ohio, Lebanon is getting the first medical marijuana dispensary in the region. Cincinnati considers marijuana decriminalization.
- In Louisiana, the House advanced a bill that would allow patients to inhale medical marijuana, sending it to the Senate.
- In Florida, farmers will be allowed to grow hemp starting July 1.
- In Georgia, most people expressed support for reducing marijuana penalties at a Macon public hearing.
Word for Word
“I think the industry is supportive of the [Illinois recreational legalization] bill. There might be a preconceived notion that industry participants are concerned about expansion, and wanting to sort of ‘keep this for themselves.’ That’s not the case. I think we’re fortunate that in a state like Illinois, it did a fairly good job during the issuing of licenses and has a highly regulated compliance-focused medical cannabis program. They did a really good job of vetting the applicants to the point where you ended up with some really good actors in this space. And I think most of us understand that you can’t have an adult-use conversation without having a social equity, social justice discussion along with it. It’s a requirement. We’re all in favor of it.” – CEO of Chicago-based Cresco Labs Charlie Bachtell, Cannabis Wire
“Mentions of cannabis in South Asia date back to at least around 1500 BC, where it makes an appearance as one of five sacred plants in the Atbarva Veda. Beloved by Sikh soldiers and Mughal kings, cannabis has also long been part of spiritual practice across South Asian religions, from Shiva devotees who smoke the god’s treasured herb, to Sufi seekers who use hashish as a tool to unite with the divine. Today, bhang recipes are widely available, and the drink, made from the leaves of the plant, is legal and broadly accepted. Yet British colonialism dramatically shaped modern attitudes toward cannabis in South Asia and, in turn, around the world.” – Reina Gattuso for Gastro Obscura