This Month in Cannabis News (August 2016 Edition)
In this post, we take a look at some of the biggest developments regarding cannabis news around the world.
Check in with us regularly for more cannabis related infro and remember to sign up to GreenRush for free cannabis delivery from the best dispensaries in your area. Plus, for a limited time, use the promo code at the end of this article to receive $20 off your first FOUR cannabis delivery orders.
US Government Refuses to Legalize Medical Cannabis, Again
The US Government refused to change it’s stance on medical marijuana in face of a petition requesting the substance no longer be classed as a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use.”
The decision continues to put the federal government at odds with 25 states, including California, who passed laws allowing the medical use of marijuana to some extent.
Acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Chuck Rosenberg said “right now, the science doesn’t support it [the drug’s therapeutic value].”
However, the DEA did announce that it will expand the number of places allowed to grow marijuana for studies of its value as a medicine. Currently only the University of Mississippi holds an exclusive contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and is federally licensed to grow marijuana for research purposes.
UFC’s Nate Diaz Under Investigation After Using a Vape Pen
UFC Superstar Nate Diaz is facing an anti-doping investigation after vaping CBD-rich cannabis oil at the press conference following his loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 on August 20th.
"It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It'll make your life a better place,” Diaz said when questioned about his vape pen.
Cannabinoids are banned in-competition by both the World and US anti-doping agencies (WADA and USADA). In-competition is defined as within 6 hours pre or post fight, and Diaz’s press conference fell within that time frame.
According to Article 10.2.2 of the UFC anti-doping policy, an athlete violating these rules can face suspension for up to 1 year.
Ryan Madden, a spokesperson for the USADA, gave the following statement to MMA Fighting on August 22nd:
“I can confirm that USADA is aware of the situation and is currently gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps.”
Bob Marley’s Children Launch a New Marijuana Lifestyle Brand
While the company does sell cannabis flower, majority of its business lies in products like lotions, oils, and candles that contain no active cannabinoids (like THC or CDB).
The flower the company sells is grown outdoors in the Applegate Valley and comes in 4 varieties (indica, sativa, hybrid, and high CBD). The flower is available in eighths, as oil, or as a pre-roll.
Marley Natural also has a strong social mission aimed at alleviating the harms of prohibition by, for example, joining the Minority Cannabis Business Association Rise Up Oregon Expungement Day on August 27th to help expunge convictions from cannabis related crimes.
The company is based in New York.
Malia Obama Reportedly Filmed Smoking Cannabis
Malia Obama made international headlines around August 10th for apparently smoking cannabis at a music festival in July.
Video released by Radar Online reportedly showed President Obama’s first daughter taking a drag of a cannabis cigarette. The footage was taken during a Bryson Tiller set at Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago on July 31st.
Radar Online quoted Jerrdin Selwyn, 18, the alleged owner of the footage, saying “I caught Malia smoking pot and I have the pictures to prove it. You could smell the marijuana smoke...I saw some young guy hand her a cigarette and she took at least one hit.”
Local Cannabis News: State by State
Oregon Collects Over $25 Million in Cannabis Tax in 6 Months
According to the Associated Press, Oregon has raised $25.5 million in tax from legal cannabis sales between January and July 2016.
In January alone, the state collected $3.48 million in taxes.
Cannabis was first legalized for recreational and medical use in Oregon in 2014, but the state only started taxing recreational sales this year.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission previously predicted just $18.4 million would be collected in two years.
Oklahoma Petition Fast-Tracks Vote on Medical Cannabis
A petition to legalize medical cannabis in Oklahoma has received enough signatures to appear on November’s election ballot
On August 23rd, Secretary of State Chris Benge announced that the petition to amend Oklahoma Statute Title 63 received 67,761 signatures. A total of 65,987 signatures is needed for an initiative petition amending Oklahoma statutes to be placed on an election ballot.
If passed, the amendment will allow patients with a doctor’s recommendation to buy up to 3 ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 6 plants for personal use.
NY Dep. Of Health Recommends Expansion of Medical Cannabis Program
A new report by the New York Department of Health suggests the state’s medical marijuana program should expand its reach.
While the state has certified over 5,000 patients and 600 doctors since January 2016, the report proposes a number of improvements to strengthen its foundations, including:
- An expanded list of qualified conditions.
- The legalization of distribution of medical marijuana through home delivery services by registered organizations.
- Making more brands of medical marijuana products available to patients.
- Registering 5 additional organizations over the next two years, using a phased-in approach to permit their smooth integration into the industry to meet increasing demand and increase access.
- Easing of federal restrictions on and impediments to scientific research on the potential benefits of medical marijuana
- Authorization for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to certify New Yorkers for medical marijuana, consistent with their current authority to prescribe controlled substances (including opioids) for patients diagnosed with qualifying conditions.
- Exploring ways to make it easier for healthcare facilities and schools to possess, secure, and administer medical marijuana products under limited circumstances necessary to safeguard the health of registered patients.
- Streamlining manufacturing requirements.
- Broadening the capability for registered organizations to advertise their participation in the program.
The Michigan Medical Cannabis Country Fair Cup Winners Announced
The 2016 High Times MI Medical Cannabis Country Fair Cup was held from August 26th to 28th.
The fair tested products from various categories including cartridges, topicals, concentrates, and much more. Some of the winners included:
- Best Vape Pen Cartridge: Death Star Distillate Oil by LightSky Farms
- Best Topical: Vanilla Mint Michigan Organic Rub with CBD by Herbal Solutions
- Best Non-Solvent Hash: Cookies & Cream Cubantech Drysift by Exotic Genetix with The Cuban Grower
- Best CBD Flower: Cannatonic 4 by Herbal Solutions
- Best CBD Edible: Cherry Oatmeal Ganja Delight by Arborside Delights
For a full list of winners, click here.
Arkansas Attorney Rejects 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative
On August 22nd, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected a proposed initiative that would allow the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, possession and use of medical cannabis.
Rutledge claimed she rejected the proposal due to ambiguities in the text. The author of the proposal, Mary Berry, is expected to submit a renewed version in the coming weeks.
Israeli Doctors To Trial Cannabis as an Autism Treatment:
According to Haaretz, Israeli doctor Adi Eran is in the process of obtaining permits from the Health Ministry for a study which will test cannabis’ ability to treat autism in 120 autistic individuals.
Participants will be divided into two groups, one of which will ingest CBD-rich cannabis oils, while the other will be given placebos. The groups will be monitored for a test period, after which treatment will be put on hold for a month. Then, the role of the groups will be reversed. At no point will participants and their friends/family know whether they are receiving CBD or a placebo.
The study will focus specifically on a certain segment of behavioral symptoms typical of certain autistic individuals, including physical aggression toward themselves and others.
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