Cannabiz: Study finds lower crime rates after legalization, more

Opponents of legalizing adult-use marijuana have long held that legalization would lead to higher crime rates in and around the areas where pot shops were commonplace. While various studies have fallen on either end of this argument for years, a new study of crime data in areas within and surrounding Washington and Colorado suggests legalization may not lead to higher crime after all, though the study is limited. Washington and Colorado were chosen for the study as they were the first two states to legalize marijuana, in 2012.

The study, conducted by Guangzhen Wu of the University of Utah, Francis D. Boateng of the University of Mississippi and Thomas Roney, an economic consultant, was published in the Journal of Drug Issues in late May, and has since gained national attention…

Read more at the Colorado Springs Indy

Magic mushrooms should be made legal in the same way as cannabis so they can be used to treat depression, leading doctors say

Magic mushrooms should be rescheduled in Britain to treat depression, top doctors have said.

Leading experts have called for a change in the law to allow ‘shrooms’ to be used in a similar way as medicinal cannabis.

But they said recreational use would remain illegal, with Brits caught in possession of the Class A drug facing a jail-term of up to seven years.

Scientific studies have repeatedly shown psilocybin — the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms — has promise in boosting mental health, fighting off depression and helping PTSD sufferers.

Experts from Oxford, Manchester and King’s College London universities have called for magic mushrooms to be rescheduled.

Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it’s thought to have no medicinal value and therefore cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.

Keep reading here

Lawsuit Filed To Block Arizona Cannabis Legalization Initiative

Opponents of a voter initiative that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Arizona have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the measure. Supporters of the initiative, known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, submitted more than 420,000 signatures earlier this month, far more than the 238,000 needed to qualify the measure for the ballot in the November general election.

If passed, the measure would legalize cannabis for use by adults and create a legal framework to regulate and tax commercial marijuana production and sales. The office of the Arizona Secretary of State is currently verifying the signatures to ensure that enough registered voters have signed to have the initiative included on this fall’s ballot.

Read more here…

Will Biden Be “Slow-Mo Joe” When It Comes to Pot Legalization? Not Really.

If you think the U.S. will soon legalize marijuana at the federal level, you’re not alone. Canopy Growth CEO and former Constellation Brands CFO David Klein expects that it will happen in 2022. I’ve speculated that marijuana could be legalized nationwide as early as next year.

But could presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden be putting the brakes on the pot legalization train? Some might think so after reviewing recommendations from a task force that the former vice president formed along with Sen. Bernie Sanders. However, there’s more to the story.

Slow-mo Joe?
The Biden-Sanders “unity task force” created a 110-page document chock-full of policy recommendations across a wide array of issues. Among the issues that the task force considered was marijuana legalization. Anyone hoping that the team would recommend full legalization of pot in the U.S. probably came away a little disappointed after reading the task force’s document.

Read more

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.

Keep reading

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.

Keep reading

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.

Keep reading…

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).

Read more…

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