New marijuana licensing rules take effect Thursday

Updates to Colorado’s marijuana regulations passed by the state legislature went into effect on Thursday, the Marijuana Enforcement Division announced.

From now on, the following new rules apply: Marijuana employees with responsible vendor designations can keep their designations if they change employment; marijuana transporter licensees may transfer the license to new or additional owners; and, eligibility for social equity marijuana licenses is valid for two years instead of one year.

Beginning on Jan. 1, medical marijuana cultivation facilities will be allowed to re-designate as retail marijuana cultivation facilities. After Jan. 1, 2024, regulated marijuana products must be labeled with use-by dates and storage conditions.

Read more at Colorado Politics

The Fight to Keep Kratom Legal: Interview With an Industry Leader & Latest News

Thousands make claims that kratom, an herb closely related to the coffee plant, has saved them from numerous afflictions and are taking offense that the legality of something completely natural could even be a question.

Advocates of the herb argue that the effects are no different than having a cup of coffee, except unlike coffee, it wards off the urge to take opiates such as oxycodone and heroin. Others say they use it primarily to fight pain and anxiety disorders, or to help take away the edge of the excruciating withdrawal processes of strong pharmaceutical-grade painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants and other drugs. A natural alternative during a time that opioid use has become epidemic in our country seems like a no-brainer, yet a massive amount of people have found themselves battling the “fight of their lives,” literally.

Read the interview at Heavy.

Coloradans voted to legalize psilocybin. What’s next?

It will be years before Colorado’s new system for the legal use of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs is fully in place. 

But some significant changes are set to arrive by early next year, and Gov. Jared Polis has pledged to oversee a smooth implementation of the measure, which voters approved on Election Day.

“When the people pass things, it’s my responsibility as governor to deliver on them, whether I agreed with them or not,” said Polis, who stayed neutral on the proposal, in a post-election interview. 

“And of course, we’ll likely need some enabling legislation to set it up in a way that prevents any negative consequences and honors the will of the voters,” he continued.

The process will begin with changes to drug laws, followed within the next couple years by the creation of licensed centers where people can use psilocybin.

Keep reading at cpr.org

FPPJ to hold kratom prohibition hearing

Police Jury members are taking steps to prohibit the sale of kratom within Franklin Parish.

The group has scheduled a public hearing Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. to hear public comment about a possible ordinance that would outlaw the sale of kratom. They scheduled the hearing at their Nov. 17 regular meeting.

In their Sept. 13 meeting, Baskin aldermen unanimously banned the substance. Mangham aldermen are also looking into banning kratom which can be bought over the counter at many stores.

Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree grown in Southeast Asia, according to the Mayo Clinic. Kratom’s liquid form is often marketed as a treatment for muscle pain, or to suppress appetite and stop cramps and diarrhea. Kratom is also sold as a treatment for panic attacks.

Read more at Franklin Sun

Thailand facilitates legal agreement on data linking for kratom import and export

With last year’s removal of the kratom plant from Thailand’s national list of narcotic substances, the kingdom now hopes to export the plant and make it a cash crop. To facilitate exports and ensure compliance with legal requirements, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was recently signed on electronic data connectivity.

The MOA was signed between the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB). Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin and Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat witnessed the signing of the agreement, intended to facilitate data connectivity between the Customs Department and the ONCB. This in turn would enable licensing and the issuance of electronic documents for the exporting or importing of kratom leaves.

Get the full story at pattayamail.com

After election, marijuana advocates look to next states for legalization

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Law-abiding marijuana enthusiasts could find themselves in a predicament following voter approval of a recreational cannabis initiative in Missouri.

Though it soon will become legal for adults to possess and ingest cannabis, it could take a few months before they can legally buy it.

Maryland residents will have to wait even longer — until the middle of next year — before a voter approved recreational marijuana measure can take effect.

With the addition of Maryland and Missouri, 21 states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults over the past decade — even though it remains illegal under federal law.

Marijuana advocates are pressing forward with similar efforts elsewhere, undeterred by defeats in the general election in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Keep reading at bendbulletin.com

What to know about Indiana’s ‘magic mushroom’ laws

INDIANA, USA — Last week, Colorado became the second state to legalize the recreational use of magic mushrooms in the U.S., in a move that reflects their growing popularity across the country. But how soon could there be a similar measure in Indiana? 

“Magic mushroom” is a catchall term for any species of fungi that causes psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects. They contain two psychoactive properties — psilocybin and psilocin. Those interact with the five senses and cause hallucinations. 

They are illegal throughout much of the world, but that’s slowly starting to change in the United States. Both Oregon and Washington D.C. decriminalized their use, as did certain parts of Michigan. 

Colorado voters’ decision to largely decriminalize their use comes as multiple studies tout potential benefits of consuming so-called magic mushrooms to cure ailments like existential anxiety, aid in end-of-life care and post traumatic stress disorder. 

Keep reading at wthr.com

Strict rules ‘stifling’ kratom industry, claims ministry

The Justice Ministry is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review its regulations on the level of mitragynine allowed in kratom products after potential investors complained the rule is stifling interest.

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) has been taken off the national list of controlled substances. People can cultivate, sell, buy and consume kratom, which is widely used as a mild stimulant, regulated by the FDA.

Business operators say FDA regulations that limit the level of mitragynine in kratom products to 0.2mg per unit are too restrictive to make viable products. They also point out that a single kratom leaf, which is chewed by many people and considered safe, contains 1.2-1.6mg of mitragynine.

Read more at bangkokpost.com

Rapides Parish Police Jury unanimously votes to ban Kratom

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) – On Monday, Oct 10, the Rapides Parish Police Jury unanimously voted to pass two ordinances that ban the sale and possession of the herbal supplement kratom.

Kratom is an herbal supplement derived from an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It can be bought over the counter at most gas stations and smoke shops and contains two psychoactive compounds, and some say the effects are comparable to opioids. Ascension Parish became the first in Louisiana to ban the substance in August, and now Rapides Parish has followed suit.

Users say it can help with everything from sore muscles to headaches and insomnia, though the FDA says there is no proven medicinal use for it.

“We think it is something here in Rapides Parish that we want to address. There are enough things going around,” said Craig Smith, President of the Rapides Parish Police Jury.

Read more at KALB.com

Marijuana Laws in All 50 States: Is Weed Legal Where You Live?

Voter referendums in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota this Election Day address whether recreational marijuana should be legal, as it is in 19 other states and Washington, DC. If all five measures pass, adult-use cannabis will be allowed in nearly half the US. 

In October, US President Joe Biden issued an executive order pardoning all federal convictions for simple marijuana possession. 

“There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as a result,” Biden said in a statement encouraging governors to make similar moves. 

Here’s what to know about marijuana legalization in the US, including which states have passed laws, what’s happening on the federal level and how Americans feel about legalizing pot. 

For more on marijuana, find out about the cannabis company sued for not making customers high enough and check out the hottest new pot gadgets.

Keep reading at CNet

The use of psilocybin is on the ballot again for many Oregon voters

In the spring, Christopher Maddox flew to Mexico to get help. The former Navy SEAL had been suffering from PTSD and substance use disorder for years. At one point, he was on 13 medications. He tried a variety of therapies, but none of them worked.

“It still didn’t really fix the root cause. And the root cause was I hated myself, and I was helpless. I didn’t think there was any way out of it,” he said.

A friend connected him with a treatment center in Mexico that does psilocybin therapy. In April, he flew south for a five-day retreat that included taking seven ounces of the psychedelic mushrooms under the oversight of a coach. He said it was life-changing.

Read the full story at opb.org

‘This drug is popular with teenagers’: Family urges lawmakers to ban herb with addictive characteristics after son’s death

ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta family is suing to stop convenience stores from selling a product that killed their son. It’s called kratom and their lawsuit also goes after companies making and distributing it.

The grief is still fresh for the Pope family almost a year after their son Ethan died. The family’s lawsuit alleges while kratom is legal in Georgia, it’s not regulated, and they’re hoping to change that.

“Ethan was 23 and in the prime of his life,” Dana Pope said.

His life ended unexpectedly last December. 

“We received a call from the coroner that Ethan was found dead on the floor with his puppy Wilson by his side,” Pope said. “Months later, we received his death certificate, and Ethan’s cause of death was kratom toxicity.”

Ethan’s parents are now filing a lawsuit against about a dozen companies associated with kratom, alleging the herb contributed to his death.

Keep reading at News19

Law enforcement warns public about new drug

LOUISIANA (KLFY) — Healthcare professionals and law enforcement officials across Acadiana are raising awareness against the drug known as kratom.

Sheriff Charles Guillory of Evangeline parish said, “I went to a sheriffs association meeting and training. The main subject we talked about was kratom being transported to the United States.”

Kratom, a plant that grows in southeast Asia, has presented many challenges to healthcare professionals.

Katie Porche, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, said, “It’s definitely something we’re challenged with, most recently the popularity has increased. One of the biggest challenges is that people are able to purchase it over the counter, they can get it at gas stations and they just considered it a dietary supplement.”

Keep reading at KLFY

Medical marijuana patients get good news, but producers fret over Pa.’s final law

Patients will get safer products and better service at dispensaries, health officials say, but growers and processors predict production headaches and delays – and possibly higher prices – from the final version of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law, approved Thursday.

The final law was a long time coming, with patients, growers/processors and dispensaries governed by temporary rules ever since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana six years ago and products became available to patients in early 2018.

One of the best pieces of news for patients is a requirement that medical marijuana dispensaries must have a pharmacist available either on-site or remotely during all business hours.

Officials in the state health department, which regulates medical marijuana, said patients have complained of not being able to get answers to questions about things including what product is best for them, and the appropriate dose. Department officials also worried patients would rely on non-medical staff.

Read more at pennlive.com

Mississippi lawmakers on track to ban herbal drug Kratom

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers appear on track to pass legislation to ban kratom, an herbal drug that can be used for pain relief.

Kratom is currently unregulated in most parts of the United States but has been outlawed by some states, including neighboring Alabama. A few local governments in Mississippi have also banned the substance amid concerns that it can be harmful.

This is the second consecutive year lawmakers in the state have tried to either ban or regulate the green powdered substance. Rep. Lee Yancey, a Republican who leads the committee with jurisdiction over drug policy, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that he will advance legislation to ban Kratom.

Read the full story at SFGate.com

Thailand’s New Legal Framework For Kratom

In 2021, Thailand passed the updated Narcotics Act (No. 8) B.E. 2564 (2021), which removed kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) from the list of prohibited substances, eliminated kratom-related offenses on the basis that its consumption is part of traditional Thai cultural norms, and allowed possession and consumption.

On August 26, 2022, Thailand published the Kratom Plant Act B.E. 2565 (2022) in the Government Gazette, and the law came into effect the following day. With the aim of encouraging economic activity related to kratom, the act regulates the trade, sale, consumption, study, and advertising of kratom leaves (alone or as an ingredient in food) in Thailand.

Read more at conventuslaw.com

Vancouver mushroom dispensaries continue to operate in legal grey area

An assortment of stores in Vancouver continue to openly sell certain substances and plants in a manner that might land you in jail if you were in many other parts of the world.

Psilocybin mushrooms are generally the main retail item in these new dispensaries, but one is even carrying more powerful psychoactive compounds like LSD or DMT.

That store also has peyote, a psychoactive cactus known to be valued by Indigenous cultures for its consciousness-altering properties and spiritual significance.

In a statement from Dana Larsen, owner of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary and Coca Leaf Cafe on East Hastings Street, he explained how it was possible for his store to function without being shut down or having any serious legal troubles.

Larsen’s shop openly sells an assortment of psychedelic substances and plants along with coca leaf products derived from a plant known for its role in producing cocaine.

Keep reading at Mugglehead

GOP caucus ties cannabis to violence 

The Republican Study Committee—which represents nearly three out of four House GOP lawmakers—released a “Family Policy Agenda” that opposes legalization of marijuana and attempts to link it to suicide and violence. Some members spoke out against their own group’s agenda when approached by Marijuana Moment.

The Colombian Chamber of Representatives First Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill. The action comes as new President Gustavo Petro is broadly calling for an end to the war on drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration admitted in a new video that “racial, ethnic and class prejudice” led to drug criminalization and the agency’s own founding.

  • “What had been a medical condition became deviant or criminal. This shift led to a wave of laws against heroin, marijuana and cocaine.”

Keep reading at Marijuana Moment

Voters In Five States To Decide On Legalizing Weed This November

This November, voters in five states—Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota—will decide on whether they want to legalize adult-use marijuana. 

Currently, 19 states, comprising 44 percent of the U.S. population, have legal adult-use marijuana markets. If voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota approve adult-use, about half of the U.S. population will reside in a jurisdiction where the possession and use of cannabis are legal for adults.

Because recent polling shows that most of these measures enjoy majority support from the public, experts are predicting a successful outcome at the ballot box for all aforementioned states, regardless of their being “red” or “blue.” 

Read more at Forbes

Michigan may regulate sale of kratom, an herbal mix linked to overdoses

Whether it’s harmful or helpful, addictive or medicinal, Michigan soon may regulate the herbal supplement kratom, making it illegal for minors and requiring licenses and product testing for anyone wishing to sell it.

A Michigan bill, sponsored by State Rep. Lori Stone, D-Warren, several other Democrats and a Republican, swings the spotlight on a controversial herbal extract that can be chewed, taken in capsule form or brewed into hot water as a tea.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that kratom “affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine.” Others promote it as a natural pick-me-up that manages pain, depression and anxiety, and can help curb opioid addiction and PTSD.

Read more at Bridge Michigan