Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Urges Cannabis Legalization To Address Budget Deficit

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is urging state lawmakers to legalize the adult use of cannabis as a way to reduce the impact of a looming budget deficit. The state faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion, largely as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.

Fetterman took to Twitter last week, calling for the legalization of marijuana as a path to new tax revenue for the state and reform of the state’s penal system as a way to realize budget cost savings.

“I don’t know who needs to hear this jk I know who—but earnestly reforming our state prison system + legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit,” Fetterman tweeted on July 2. “It would, however, could have other unintended consequences like justice and personal freedom.”

Read more at High Times

Why We Might See a Wave of Cannabis Legalization in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed a number of states’ efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, at least in the near term. However, it could have the opposite effect in 2021.

In an article on Barrons.com, Barron’s report Connor Smith says as many as 16 states had initially planned to include cannabis legalization issues on their ballots for the fall 2020 election. COVID-19 may have slowed that down this year, but with many states facing budget shortfalls thanks to major shutdowns in the spring, the potential tax revenues from legal cannabis could make it a major focus in 2021.

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Workers collect cannabis legalization, tax hike initiative signatures outside Trump rally

Several workers employed by a company hired to collect signatures for ballot initiatives that seek to increase taxes, legalize recreational cannabis and permit the early release of prisoners convicted of non-violent offenses donned MAGA hats and worked the crowds at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally Tuesday in Phoenix.

The workers, employed by Phoenix-based Petition Partners, were spread about the crowd outside of the Dream City Church, where Trump spoke to about 3,000 young conservatives.

Petition Partners and the Arizona Education Association, supporters of the tax hike initiative, were not immediately available to comment about the petition gatherers working the rally.

One signature gatherer, Sabrina Johnson, showed her petitions for the Second Chances, Rehabilitation and Public Safety Act; the Smart and Safe Arizona Act; and the Invest in Education Act.

When asked about the education initiative, she said it was simply “to help teachers in Arizona.”

Keep reading at the Washington Examiner.

CDC flooded with comments on marijuana and kratom as alternative painkillers ahead of deadline

Federal regulators looking into pain management options at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received hundreds of comments related to medical marijuana and more than 1,000 about kratom.

The federal agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is looking for input on “individual stakeholder’s values and preferences related to pain and pain management options,” it said in an e-mail last week.

“Through this opportunity, CDC is seeking stakeholders’ perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including, but not limited to, the benefits and harms of opioid use,” it said. “CDC invites input specifically on topics focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments (e.g., exercise therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy).”

Read more at MSN.

Is CBD Legal In Missouri?

What is CBD Oil?
CBD is shorthand for Cannabidiol, an extract from hemp (and sometimes marijuana) plants that boasts a variety of healing properties and has been rapidly popularized across the United States in recent years. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can be used for a variety of conditions and ailments, including epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain.

While CBD oil will usually have a minor trace of THC present, it will not produce the same psychoactive effects produced by marijuana extracts. Currently, only CBD extracted from hemp plants is permitted for cultivation and purchase by the federal government.

Is CBD Legal In Missouri? Find out at The Weed Blog…

“We’re criminalizing a generation,” says one of South Dakota’s marijuana-legalization leaders

Leaders of ballot measures to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses in South Dakota rolled out for reporters a list of 50 people endorsing their efforts Wednesday.

Brendan Johnson, a past U.S. attorney for South Dakota, is sponsor of Constitutional Amendment A. It would allow people who were at least age 21 to use South Dakota-grown marijuana, or to grow, transport or distribute it in South Dakota to people who are at least 21.

A 15 percent excise tax on sales would be levied to pay for regulation by the state Department of Revenue, with any excess revenue to be split between state aid to public schools and state government’s general fund. The Legislature could adjust the rate after November 3, 2024.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

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Cannabis Legalization Is Key To Economic Recovery, Much Like Ending Alcohol Prohibition Helped Us Out Of The Great Depression

Our nation is in the midst of the greatest crisis in generations, with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting Americans’ physical and emotional well-being, while plummeting the nation’s economy into the worst economic downturn in our lifetimes. As the country begins what is likely to be a slow climb out of economic morass, federal, state, and local governments will be looking for new sources of revenue to replenish dwindling budgets and provide jobs to millions of Americans who find themselves out of work.

The situation is reminiscent of what the country faced during the Great Depression nearly 100 years ago. At that time, one of the government’s solutions was to end its 13-year experiment with alcohol prohibition. Today, the very same factors that caused the government to pull the plug on alcohol prohibition should result in the final nail in the coffin of the country’s much longer standing but equally unjust policy of marijuana prohibition.

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Can CBD Companies Secure Federal Trademark Protection?

With the growing popularity of hemp-derived cannabidiol (hemp CBD) products in e-commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has seen a significant influx of trademark applications used in association with CBD goods. However, many of these applications have been denied by the USPTO. This article briefly addresses the reasons for these denials and discusses the trademark protections currently available to the industry.

To secure federal trademark registration, a mark’s use in commerce must be lawful under federal law.

Although the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized the production of hemp and hemp derivatives, including hemp CBD, by removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana, the new law did not legalize the production of hemp CBD products. Instead, the 2018 Farm Bill expressly preserved the FDA’s authority to regulate these products under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).

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Oregon CBD company’s lawsuit claims botched extraction led to legal woes, losses

The Oregon CBD company that beat back felony marijuana charges last year in Linn County is in court again, alleging that a botched extraction job got it into that legal mess and cost it a ton of money.

Key Compounds LLC is suing Phasex Corp. and its president, claiming the Massachusetts company was negligent and in breach of contract when it allegedly shipped Key Compounds a batch of hemp oil that far exceeded the legal limit for the intoxicating compound THC.

The shipment — its odor, specifically — caught the attention of a UPS employee in Albany. That set off a chain of events that included a law enforcement raid on Key Compounds’ own local extraction facility and felony marijuana charges against CEO Alex Reyter and another employee.

Read the full story at Portland Business Journal.

2020 was supposed to be a big year for marijuana legalization. Then the coronavirus happened.

At the start of 2020, more than a dozen states seemed very likely to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical purposes by the end of the year. Now that a coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed just about every aspect of American life, it seems only a handful of states will be able to enact marijuana reform.

The pandemic has hit legalization efforts on two fronts: First, at a time of social distancing, advocates in some states just can’t gather the signatures they need to get the issue on the ballot. Second, state lawmakers who might have passed marijuana legalization before quickly shifted to other priorities once the coronavirus crisis began.

Vox has the full story.

New Virginia law recognizes hemp extracts as food

The State of Virginia has passed a law defining hemp extracts as an approved food. The law also allows a more liberal amount of THC in these products during the growth phase than does the federal description of industrial hemp.

The new definition is part of a law passed by the state to set up a fund to promote industrial hemp production within Virginia.

There are a number of states in which medical marijuana products have been approved, and a smaller number in which full recreational cannabis use is allowed. The market for hemp/CBD extracts is thriving in these locations, and CBD products marketed as dietary supplements, while technically illegal on the federal level, seem to be available throughout the country, either online or in brick and mortar outlets.

Read more here…

Charlotte Figi, 13-year-old Coloradan who inspired CBD reform, dies after family suspects she contracted coronavirus

Charlotte Figi, the young Colorado Springs girl whose battle with Dravet syndrome inspired changes to medical marijuana laws across the country and helped popularize CBD, has died after suffering an illness her family suspects was the new coronavirus. She was 13.

“Charlotte is no longer suffering,” a family representative wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night. “She is seizure-free forever.”

In a statement provided to The Denver Post, Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi, said the whole family got sick in early March, but because their symptoms did not all fit within the criteria for COVID-19, they were told to self-treat at home. Charlotte was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at a Colorado Springs hospital on Friday after her symptoms worsened and was treated on the floor specifically designated for COVID-19 patients.

Read more at The Denver Post

A State-by-State Breakdown of CBD Laws

When it comes to the legal status of products containing cannabidiol (CBD), much attention has been paid to what’s happening at the federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the substance with the caveat that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has oversight. The FDA has stated that CBD is not permitted in food, beverages and ingestible products until the agency creates a regulatory pathway for companies to do so—with no timetable of when that might happen.

Even if the FDA OKed ingestible CBD products tomorrow, however, it wouldn’t mean those products would be legal in every state. Each state regulates hemp and CBD differently, creating a patchwork of regulations that’s being tracked by the cannabis site Leafly.

Continue reading here…

North Dakota Activists Say Marijuana Legalization Initiative Unlikely In 2020 Due To Coronavirus

North Dakota activists announced on Thursday that they are suspending their campaign put marijuana legalization on the November ballot due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a Facebook post, Legalize ND said “we are going to have to face a few hard realities going forward” as businesses are shuttering, public events are being cancelled and individuals are encouraged to shelter in place. The pandemic means in-person signature gathering can’t take place, and the state does not allow for alternative signing options such as by mail or online.

“Due to the virus all of our major avenues for signature collection have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed, and going door to door is not safe for both those knocking and those getting knocked,” the group said.

Read more here

FDA Finally Sends Overdue CBD Enforcement Update To Congress

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an update to Congress this week on the status of rulemaking for CBD.

While the process remains ongoing, the agency announced that it is actively exploring pathways to allow for the marketing of cannabidiol as a dietary supplement and is developing enforcement discretion guidance. It will also be reopening a public docket to solicit additional scientific information about the risk and benefits of the cannabis compound.

After hemp and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, FDA was mandated under separate appropriations legislation passed late last year to provide an update on its regulatory approach to CBD within 60 days. That deadline passed last month, but the report and a supplementary notice were made public on Thursday.

Read more at Marijuana Moment

Expert answers: can cannabis and CBD affect coronavirus?

“In this article, integrative medicine expert, Dr. Dani Gordon, answers peoples’ question of whether cannabis and CBD can affect contracting or recovering from COVID-19, or coronavirus.

People are asking if cannabis and CBD can help buffer the immune system against getting COVID-19 in the first place, and if you do get it, can CBD and cannabis help treat it? What about the possibility that NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs may have a negative effect on the virus once you are infected and wait a —minute – CBD is an anti-inflammatory too, so what does that mean for CBD?

CBD, cannabis, and coronavirus
As for CBD and cannabis, we don’t have any studies showing it has any effect on the coronavirus, although there are some interesting studies on medical cannabis and smoked cannabis use and HIV progression.

As both a cannabis specialist and doctor trained in natural medicine and western medicine, it is important to let people know the facts and be totally honest about what we don’t know. It’s also critical not to make false claims when we are all understandably a bit scared, and of course, want to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

This effect can distance our more ‘conventional’ medicine and research colleagues who are not well versed in botanical medicine, and hurt the progress plant medicine has made in recent years in gaining support and credibility through academic research and inquiry, partnering with the research and those physicians open-minded enough to consider them.

Read the full article at Medical Cannabis Network

Four Effective Ways to Take CBD Oil

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO USE CANNABIS?


Cannabis and its extracts, like CBD oil, can be consumed in an astounding number of ways. Most options fall into a few general categories, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. You’ll experience different effects if you smoke CBD-rich flower or vape a THC-rich cartridge; swallow a gelcap or drop CBD oil under your tongue.

The key differences between ways of using cannabis pertain to these questions:

1. Onset: How quickly will cannabinoids begin to work?
2. Dose: What’s a reasonable starting dose?
3. Distribution: Which parts of the body will be most affected?
4. Duration: How long will the effects last?

INHALATION: SMOKING AND VAPING 

• Onset: Seconds to minutes.
• Dose: As little as a puff may be necessary. A typical joint is 0.3 – 1.0 grams of cannabis.
• Distribution: Affects the lungs immediately, then the heart and brain, then is distributed fairly evenly throughout the body.[1]
• Duration: Most effects, including psychoactivity, subside after 2-3 hours.

When drugs are inhaled through the lungs, they are sent to the brain before getting metabolized by the liver. This makes inhalation the fastest method for administering cannabis. Usually, between 20-30% of the phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD are absorbed this way. The heat from either smoking or vaporizing cannabis converts the acid cannabinoids into their neutral forms.

SMOKING VS. VAPING, BUD VS. OIL 

One inhales cannabinoids by smoking or vaporizing flowers. Cannabis oil extracts can also be vaporized or dabbed. The main issue with smoking is that smoke is harmful to the lungs. Although smoking cannabis is not associated with lung cancer or COPD, there are health issues associated with breathing any kind of smoke (e.g. chronic cough, congestion, asthma). The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) appears not to vaporize well, so smoking or non-inhaled administration methods may be necessary to get benefits from THCV.

EDIBLES / CAPSULES

• Onset: 1-2 hours.
• Dose: The threshold for mild psychoactive effects is 3 mg THC in most new users. Doses of CBD-rich products range from 5 mg to hundreds of milligrams. [2]
• Distribution: Absorbed through the gut and modified in the liver, then spreads fairly evenly throughout the body.
• Duration: Psychoactive effects subside after about 6 hours in most people. Other effects may last up to 12 hours.

Ingested cannabinoids are absorbed through the intestines and sent to the liver. It takes about an hour to feel effects when taken on an empty stomach, or up to three hours with food. People should not re-dose THC edibles for at least three hours after ingestion.


Read more at article PROJECT CBD

Not All Cannabis Is the Same: Pharmaceutical CBD More Effective for Reducing Epileptic Seizures

Study finds artisanal CBD not as effective as pharmaceutical CBD for reducing seizures.
Children and teens with epilepsy who were treated with pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) had much better seizure control than those who were treated with artisanal CBD, according to a preliminary study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020.

“The use of medical cannabis to treat various medical conditions has grown in recent years. While not always legal, artisanal CBD has been available longer, so some people have been using it to treat epilepsy for years,” said study author Nathan T. Cohen, M.D., of Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “They may want to reconsider because our research indicates that pharmaceutical CBD may indeed be more effective than artisanal CBD.”

However, 11 participants reported side effects. All were taking pharmaceutical CBD. Side effects included sleepiness, low appetite, nausea and diarrhea. Six of those participants stopped taking pharmaceutical CBD due to side effects.

Another limitation of the study was that it was a look back at medical records. It did not involve participants who were given either pharmaceutical or artisanal CBD and then followed over time.

Read the full article at SciTechDaily

The Five Best CBD Oils for Pain, Anxiety and Sleep

“The 2014 Agricultural Act, which made it permissible to grow industrial hemp, was a stepping stone that paved the way for the skyrocketing growth of the CBD oil industry. And with the recent passing of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act that removed hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC) from the Schedule, I Controlled Substances List, CBD manufacturers are able to now legally sell their products across state lines.

In order for CBD oil to be legally sold throughout the United States, it needs to contain less than 0.3 percent THC, otherwise known as the psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. And thanks to countless studies supporting the therapeutic benefits of the oil, now, more people than ever are incorporating it into their daily lives.

Today’s CBD oil market is flooded with companies looking to sell their products to the next enthusiastic buyer. But competing with all of those reputable companies are a host of dishonest CBD manufacturers seeking to scam consumers through sub-par products loaded with toxins, pesticides, and other unnecessary chemicals.

How Our Best CBD Oil List is Made

Always practice caution when purchasing CBD oil online. Remember that not all CBD manufacturers are equal. In fact, a great number of companies have been closed down by the FDA due to false information about the CBD content in their products.

Not only were those companies’ products less potent but upon further testing, it was also found that the products contained harmful chemicals and pesticides as well. Therefore, our Best CBD Oil List was created after careful examination of the practices, reputations, and methods of some of the best, highly-rated online CBD manufacturers.

What to Consider Before Buying CBD Oil

Among the things to consider before buying CBD oil are the following:

1. Hemp Source — The best hemp is full-spectrum, organically grown, is tested and/or verified by an FDA facility, and is harvested from a Colorado farm.
2. THC Levels — In order for CBD oils to be legally sold across state lines throughout the United States, products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
3. Discover what form of CBD works best for you. Full-spectrum, isolate, and broad-spectrum work differently with everyone’s body.
4. Thoroughly read and investigate the labels of products you are interested in purchasing for their list of ingredients.
5. Check to see if the company you want to buy from makes their third-party lab results easily accessible on their website. If so, then take the time to carefully read through them.

Read the full article at Observer

DEA to Grow Even More Garbage Cannabis in 2020

“It’s always good news when the only dealer that can supply your Devil’s Kale tells you they are soon going to have even more cannabis to buy. Yes!

Except when it’s bad news because your dealer is the Drug Enforcement Administration. And much like someone with untreated ADHD using a 40-watt sun lamp in a cardboard box to grow three sickly plants, the DEA is the nation’s worst grower.

Last week, the DEA announced they will be producing even more cannabis in 2020. It’s a 30 percent increase to 3.2 million grams, or over 7,000 pounds of that sweet, potent federal flower. The struggle with quality versus quantity is still an issue where the DEA has shown no progress, in turn undercutting all federally funded cannabis research.

Last month in a two-part series of columns for the Portland Mercury profiling Elvy Musikka (one of the last remaining recipients of federally grown cannabis for medical use), I had several joints from the six pounds of pre-rolls Elvy picks up annually in Miami from the Feds tested by Green Leaf Labs. The results of this sad sub-swag were pathetic: 5.3 percent THC, with no measurable terpenes. (You know, just like everyone is trying to find at the dispensaries.) Perhaps not too surprising, seeing as researchers have complained for years about receiving a ground-up mixture of leaves, flowers, and stems, sometimes with mold.

The quality factor could change substantially if other producers were allowed to grow for the Feds, which the DEA has been promising to do for over three years, with more than 30 grow applicants each paying a $3,000 deposit, which the DEA still holds. They say they need to establish additional rules around these new potential growers and has given no date as to when these regulations are expected to be introduced.

An increase in cannabis research is both needed and welcomed, but using cannabis which is not used by consumers, patients, or anyone isn’t true research. It radically skews towards a less effective, more harmful series of outcomes for test subjects. It hamstrings researchers from discovering the true potential and risks of cannabis. Hopefully, the DEA will move to get cracking on those grower applications. I assure you, there is no shortage of growers who could consistently produce better than what Ole Miss is vomiting up.

The Stranger