Courts in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania say the smell of weed can’t be used to justify a search. Medical marijuana is giving patients hope despite a lack of scientific evidence. Dubious CBD products could undermine the mainstreaming of cannabis. Also: Why a California cannabis company bought cats.com. 🌳
Smell and search.
The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts ruled that the smell of weed is not enough to justify a search in a case involving an underground marijuana grow operation in Amherst. Gregory Long’s attorney argued that the evidence against his client should be tossed because police had no way to know whether the marijuana smell was from a legal cultivation operation. While the court agreed, it also ruled that there was enough evidence of illegal activity in Long’s case that justified a search. The Boston Globe A judge in Pennsylvania ruled that the smell of marijuana cannot be used to justify a vehicle search in a case involving medical marijuana patient Timothy Barr. The judge wrote that it was “illogical, impractical and unreasonable” for police to suspect illegal activity once Barr showed them his medical marijuana card. The Associated Press
MMJ business shutters amid cannabis industry challenges.
The co-founders of the political action committee that got medical marijuana legalization onto the Oklahoma ballot announced that they are closing their dispensary. The husband and wife team behind FlowerCraft, who were instrumental in the state’s legalization effort, said they are shuttering the business due to the challenges of the cannabis industry. “Having a cannabis business is unlike any other thing we’ve ever experienced,” said Lauren Jenkins in a Facebook video announcing the closure. She “referenced regulatory hurdles, treatment of the medicine by federal authorities and banking woes for those in the industry.” Tulsa World
Medical marijuana gives hope despite lack of science.
Anthony Guarisco, a former Louisiana state senator, proposed the state’s first medical marijuana bill in 1978. Now, at the age of 80, he’s one of the state’s earliest medical marijuana patients. While the availability of cannabis products is finally offering relief to patients after years of delays, the science on medical marijuana is still slim. “When you have millions of Americans looking online and trying to buy CBD products that are not regulated, we really should be moving forward and trying to figure out the safety of these products,” said one psychiatry professor. US News
On hemp and CBD.
The proliferation of unregulated CBD products and marketing claims about their purported health benefits could hamper the mainstreaming of cannabis. A study out of the Virginia Commonwealth University chronicles a case of a man who vaped CBD from a company called Diamond CBD. Researchers tested nine samples of vaping liquid from the company, and found synthetic cannabinoid 5F-ADB in four of them. The New York Times U.S. farmers quadrupled their production of hemp in the past year amid the CBD boom. Quartz Related: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging federal regulators to hurry up with hemp banking rules. Marijuana Moment
US AG is not a fan of progressive prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr criticized the rise of reform-minded district attorneys — many of whom have adopted more lenient practices when it comes to marijuana enforcement. Such prosecutors “spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law,” said Barr during a speech at a police conference. “The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims.” But available data do not show a correlation between incarceration rates and crime reduction. Reason
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Medical marijuana to replace opioids.
Medical marijuana programs in three states allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for anything that they would prescribe opioids for. Many medical cannabis patients (and even recreational consumers) use the drug to treat chronic pain. While science on replacing opioids with cannabis is slim, anecdotal evidence abounds. The lack of science makes doctors hesitant to recommend the drug, even as stigma against cannabis is waning. Even in Colorado, “just under 2 percent of licensed doctors in the state had recommended cannabis to registered medical marijuana patients.” Pew / Stateline
Today in cannabis science news…
Young people who vape nicotine are more likely to consume cannabis, according to a new study in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed 20 studies on young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Those who vaped nicotine were 3.5 times more likely to also use marijuana. CNN Researchers at UC Davis are partnering with the Biopharmaceutical Research Company, a DEA-registered company, to analyze the chemistry of the cannabis plant and “investigate the interactions between cannabis and microbes, pests and pathogens to determine crop management strategies that protect the environment.” The university is planning to launch a cannabis research center later this year. ucdavis.edu
Today in cannabis business news…
Cannabis regulators in Massachusetts established rules to allow small cannabis growers team up on sharing costs like production and packaging. Such operations also pay lower licensing fees than large cannabis companies. But not a single craft cooperative has gotten a license so far thanks to a myriad of challenges facing small famers. Mass Live Cannabis industry data and analytics firm Headset is teaming up with vaporizer maker Pax Labs in a data-sharing deal. Marijuana Business Daily The argument against capitalization requirements for cannabis businesses. Reason Cannabis companies struggle with marketing as traditional advertising revenues reject their business. One California cannabis company bought cats.com to market a cannabis product called “Human Catnip.” The Huffington Post
More controversy for CannTrust.
Health Canada gave a non-compliant rating to a second CannTrust production facility, adding to the company’s compliance woes. The rating comes a month after regulators found evidence of unlicensed grow rooms at a different production facility. Reuters Shares in the company plunged as much as 31 percent on Monday. “We have retained independent consultants who have already started addressing some of the deficiencies noted in Health Canada’s report,” said the company’s interim CEO. BNN Bloomberg Related: Health Canada is not too worried about cannabis marketing activities on Snapchat. Leafly
Elsewhere around the world…
Thailand may have legalized medical marijuana, but don’t expect adult-use legalization to happen any time soon. VOA News How the Netherlands changed cannabis around the world thanks to its coffeeshops and seed banks. Leafly Legislation to legalize medical cannabis is being introduced in Barbados today and will be debated at the end of the month. Cannabis Wire Four people were arrested in Indonesia for marijuana smuggling. The Jakarta Post Medical marijuana is moving forward in Malta, but the government is staying tight-lipped about the prospects of recreational legalization. Malta Independent
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Weed + Grub
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Word on the States
- In Pennsylvania, racial bias in marijuana enforcement is persistent in Philadelphia, despite decriminalization.
- In Illinois, the governor signed a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. An MMJ grower in Rock Island hopes to expand into the recreational market. La Salle considers marijuana revenue.
- In Arizona, a proposed marijuana legalization initiative wouldn’t limit the potency of edibles.
- In Massachusetts, cannabis regulators are holding public hearings on marijuana cafes, home delivery, and other regulatory changes.
- In Ohio, 57 percent of medical marijuana patients are buying product from licensed dispensaries. Marijuana possession charges will be dismissed in Cincinnati.
- In New Jersey, the governor wants to give marijuana legalization another shot.
- In Alabama, the medical marijuana commission will hold its first meeting today.
- In Nebraska, Doane University will offer an online program on cannabis this fall.
- In Maryland, the Greater Baltimore Urban League denied a request to allow police use its headquarters to conduct drug dealing surveillance.
- In Maine, marijuana regulation in Portland stymies city councilors.
- In Michigan, Muskegon City Commissioners are expected to approve the sale of land to a medical marijuana grower.
- In Florida, Cutler Bay approved a resolution to support recreational marijuana legalization.
- In Washington D.C., a staffer for a D.C. Council member was arrested for firing a gun outside a pop-up marijuana market.
- In Guam, medical cannabis regulators voted to petition lawmakers to include funding for implementing the MMJ program.
Word for Word
“They’d told us we were going on two bands after the Grateful Dead. [Jerry Garcia] goes, ‘Well man, you better get comfortable because apparently, we’re not going on until one o’clock in the morning. It’s a mess here. And by the way, would you like to take some of this?’ It was mescaline. And I was like, ‘Let’s see, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. By two o’clock in the morning, I’ll be all right.’ I used to take LSD and mescaline a lot, so I knew the timing. After eight or 10 hours, you’re into what we call the amoeba state. Your thoughts become very galactic and universal and microscoped. Two hours after I took it, there was a face in my face that said, ‘You need to go on right now, otherwise you’re not going to play.’ By this time I was really, really on it, you know?” – Carlos Santana, The New York Times