Organic Weed? Marijuana Growers Go Green

In the U.S., one square foot of indoor marijuana cultivation uses four times more energy than the same space in a hospital, eight times more energy than a commercial building, and 20 times more energy than a center for religious worship, according to a study by Lewis and Clark College.

In National Geographic magazine’s June 2015 edition, Editor-In-Chief Susan Goldberg wrote about the growing number of states that had legalizedmarijuana for medicinal and recreational use. At the time, less than half of the states in the U.S. had legalized the substance for medical use. Now, medical marijuana use is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

“The disconnect between the willingness of some states to regulate, sell, and tax marijuana and the federal reluctance to allow research to progress leaves an increasing number of people without the knowledge to make informed, science-based choices.”

Click here for more Information National Geographic

CBD Products Market Becoming Hottest Segment of Cannabis Industry

As the demand for CBD-based products explodes in the U.S. and continues to thrive across the globe, Cannabis-based companies race to develop and introduce the newest and higher quality products to capitalize on themomentum. Much like most of the cannabis and legal medical marijuana market, vendors and manufacturers focus on delivering a high degree of quality infused in their CBD-based products.

Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTC: ETST), an innovative biotech company focused on cannabis CBD-based (industrial hemp), cannabinoid research and development, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices is pleased to announce its new wholly-owned subsidiary KannaBidioid Inc. to manufacture and distribute vapes/e-liquids and gummy edibles to target vape/smoke shops.

Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) is known to elevate mood, decrease anxiety, stress, and tension, and suppress the appetite. In moderate doses, it induces euphoria and acts as a powerful stimulant, but can actually have a sedative effect in larger doses.

Read the full article at Cision

Massive Poppy Bust: Why Home-Grown Opium Is Rare

A North Carolina man was arrested last month when police discovered an acre of opium poppies growing in his yard.

The alleged grower, Cody Xiong, faces a rare charge in the United States. Despite a raging opioid epidemic in the country, fields of home-grown opium are rare. The sheriff in the North Carolina case said the discovery was only the second time the plant had been found growing in the United States this year, WBTV reported.

There are two big reasons for this lack of agricultural entrepreneurship: effective U.S. law enforcement and the ease of importing heroin made from opium poppies grown elsewhere, said H. Douglas Wankel, a former assistant administrator and chief of operations in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“It’s very labor-intensive,” Wankel told Live Science.

Read more at LiveScience

Massive Poppy Bust: Why Home-Grown Opium Is Rare

A North Carolina man was arrested last month when police discovered an acre of opium poppies growing in his yard.

The alleged grower, Cody Xiong, is a rare criminal in the United States. Despite a raging opioid epidemic in the country, fields of home-grown opium are rare. The sheriff in the North Carolina case said the discovery was only the second time the plant had been found growing in the United States this year, WBTV reported.

Growing enough poppies to make heroin in the United States doesn’t make much economic sense compared to importing the drug from more lawless regions, Wankel said. Compared to marijuana, opium poppies are more conspicuous and harder to process, and carry much harsher penalties for growing.

Read more at Live Science

Advocates Make Final Push for Marijuana Legalization

Lawmakers and advocates are backing legislation that would regulate and tax an industry that would be open to those who are 21 years of age or older. It’s a recycled proposal that has not gained significant traction in past sessions. Whether it can overcome hurdles in the final two weeks of the legislative session, especially in the Republican-controlled state Senate, remains unclear.

The bill has undergone revision and was reintroduced just last week. It’s core tenants are: Marijuana would be removed from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances in state law; New Yorkers 21 or older would be allowed to cultivate up to six plants at home, and those of age would be allowed to possess or transport up to two pounds of marijuana and four-and-a-half ounces of concentrated cannabis.

New York Democrats have toyed with the idea of modifying the law to legalize recreational marijuana in the past but efforts have fallen flat. Public support statewide for recreational marijuana has been mixed, polling has shown in recent years.

Continue Reading at Timesunion

Tennessee Man to Challenge Legality of Kratom

Kratom Powder

Clarksville native Christopher Miller was recently arrested in Nashville, TN for attempting to sell kratom. Kratom is an herb that recently faced up against a possible DEA ban. Luckily for the thousands who use kratom for pain, depression, anxiety or even to wean off of opiates, bipartisan support of congress and medical doctors, ethnobotanists, pharmacologists and even one of the foremost addiction specialists, Johns Hopkins professor Dr. Jack Henningfield, the DEA was forced to back down, a literally unprecedented occurrence in the history of the agency.

Unfortunately, due to a great deal of misinformation, some of which comes from sources that are questionable at best, Nashville’s Metro PD were misinformed about the plant.

Read what happened on Inquisitr

Marijuana: Effects of Weed on Brain and Body

Marijuana is a combination of shredded leaves, stems and flower buds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana can be smoked, eaten, vaporized, brewed and even taken topically, but most people smoke it.

According to research from the Potency Monitoring Project, the average THC content of marijuana has soared from less than 1 percent in 1972, to 3 to 4 percent in the 1990s, to nearly 13 percent in 2010. Today, some retail marijuana has 30 percent THC or more. The increased potency makes it difficult to determine the short- and long-term effects of marijuana.

How Cannabis is consumed

In a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 17.4 million people in the United States said they had used marijuana in the past month.

A 2016 Gallup poll found that one in eight people smoke marijuana and 43 percent of U.S. adults admit to trying it.

Read the full article at Live Science

Marijuana Legalization Could Hurt These Marijuana Stocks

One company with a cannabinoid product actually opposes marijuana legalization. Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) doesn’t want more states to legalize weed and has urged the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the past to not lower the bar for some marijuana laws. Here’s how marijuana legalization could hurt Insys’ fortunes — and perhaps those of other biotechs with cannabinoid products, especially GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH).

Why Insys wants to just say No?

Insys donated $500,000 in 2016 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group opposing legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona. The company’s investment paid off: Arizona voters rejected the proposition for legalizing recreational marijuana. However, the state’s voters narrowly approved the legal use of medical marijuana in 2010

Why did Insys Therapeutics fight against expanded marijuana legalization in its home state? The company’s official line was that the proposition on the ballot last year failed “to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.” However, Insys also said that the company “firmly believes in the potential clinical benefits of cannabinoids.”

Continue Reading at Madison.com

Horticulturalist Wants Magic Mushrooms Legalised

THE magical effect of magic mushrooms was hailed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, during an application by a horticulturist, who is fighting to have this fungus legalized.

Channelie Vanderberg (corr) turned to the court for a stay of her prosecution in the lower court on charges of possession and cultivating magic, mushrooms, pending a legal challenge in the Western Cape High Court.

But prior to her present employment, while she was living in Pretoria with her estranged husband, they cultivated a range of natural healing plants, which they distributed to the public.

Vandenberg explained that Psilocybin is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance found in various types of mushrooms.

“It is known to have therapeutic applications and its use dates back thousands of years where it was used by ancient indigenous cultures around the globe.”

IOL

STUDY: Magic Mushrom are the World’s Safest Drug

Magic mushrooms are the world’s safest drug, according to a brand new study done by Global Drug Survey.

The study, prepared by the GDS Core Research Team (Dr. Adam Winstock, Dr. Monica Barratt, Dr. Jason Ferris & Dr. Larissa Maier), is the world’s largest drug survey, which aims “to make drug use safer regardless of the legal status by sharing information in a credible and meaningful way.”

Focusing on the examination of different drugs and their usages, the ‘GDS’ works to inform the public on the effects of global drug usage, while promoting drug safety.

Continue Reading at Noise Porn

North Carolina Police Found 2,000 Pounds of Opium Poppies While Looking for a Cannabis Grow-Op

Police officers in North Carolina got a little more than they bargained for this week, when they tracked down what they thought was a rural cannabis cultivation site, but instead uncovered a half-acre field full of poppy plants ready to be turned into opium, the base form of heroin.

According to CNN, Catawba County Sheriffs went to the rural home of 37 year-old Cody Xiong, who they suspected of growing marijuana. When they got there the man didn’t even attempt to hide his uniquely illicit garden.

The half-acre plot had 2,000 pounds of poppies, with an eventual estimated street value of $500 million.

Xiong will most likely face charges of manufacturing a Schedule II narcotic and drug trafficking, but he will go down in history – Captain Jason Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office told reporters that the bust was only the second large-scale opium production shut down on U.S. soil.

Merry Jane

Green Light for Medical Cannabis

Patients and activists have long fought for the legalisation of medical cannabis, but, despite mounting evidence pointing to its benefits in both pain relief and the treatment of specific conditions, have always stumbled on strong resistance by mainstream attitudes. According to Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis, the main problem has been a “widespread, albeit false, notion that it somehow helps legitimise the use of recreational cannabis”.

A set of government-proposed regulations to allow the import, distribution and use of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, unveiled and put to public consultation in February, would, if approved by parliament, allow government to issue two licences for a period “up to 15 years”.

But the government’s proposal for the drastic overhaul of the law on medical cannabis comes with regulation so detailed and tight, making abuse – by the licensees or recreational users – next to impossible, that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the mood of people like Evdokas is hardly celebratory.

According to this document, each individual has the right “to freely choose from among different treatment procedures” and “to refuse a treatment or a medical intervention”.

A second limitation, Evdokas said, the bill places restrictions on which doctors can prescribe the drug.

Continue reading at Cyprus Mail Online

Is Magic Mushrooms are the Safest Drug?

If you’re looking to play it safe when it comes to illicit substances, look no further than the humble shroom. It’s non-addictive, hard to overdose on, and you can grow it yourself. And, according to a massive report by the Global Drug Survey, it sends the fewest people to the emergency room of any drug on the market. Take that, meth.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about psychedelic mushrooms is that they’re easily confused for the poisonous kind. There are over 100 varieties of psilocybin-producing shroomies, which is the chemical that makes you trip when you eat them. Some of them are bound to look like toxic varietals, especially if you’re in a hurry to get high.

Instead, you should befriend a mycologist (a person who studies mushrooms) so that they can help you find the sort of shroom. Most people who don’t buy their mushrooms tend to pick them themselves rather than grow them, which is the riskier—albeit faster—option. The magic varieties grow on every continent, though if you happen to be somewhere subtropical and humid you’ll find more types.

LSD also lasts longer and affects way more receptors in your brain than shrooms do. Psychedelic mushrooms only directly affect your serotonin receptors, whereas LSD affects serotonin, dopamine, and a whole host of other stimulating receptors in your brain. Shrooms may have some indirect effect on dopamine levels, but it’s minimal at best. The longer, potentially more intense results from LSD aren’t likely to do actual damage to your brain. But they are likely to give you a bad trip. And really, that’s the main danger with all psychedelics—if you’re anxious before you start or you begin to feel paranoid, the mind-altering impacts from the drugs only amplify those feelings.

Other than that, hallucinogens are pretty safe. They can reduce anxiety, ease the intense pain of cluster headaches, alleviate OCD symptoms, improve depression, and boost the psychological state of terminal cancer patients. A 2006 double-blind study sponsored by the U.S. government found that about 80 percent of people who took psilocybin reported that their well-being improved and remained that way for months after their psychedelic experience (the control group did not).

Read more at Popular Science

Marijuana convictions go up in smoke with California legalization

Since California legalized recreational pot, thousands of people convicted of marijuana crimes have asked to get their records reduced.

Partial numbers released last week show more than 2,500 reduction requests were filed through March.

The state does not record outcomes, but prosecutors say they haven’t fought most petitions. The figures do not yet include data from more than half of counties from the first quarter of the year.

Marijuana legalization advocates, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, have held free legal clinics to help convicts get their records changed. Lawyers who specialize in pot defense have noted a steady flow of interest from new and former clients.

Eye Witness News

Cannabis tax goes before voters in Santa Rosa

Should Santa Rosa tax cannabis businesses to help offset the cost of regulating the fast-growing industry?

There is no formal opposition to the measure. Tawnie Logan, executive director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, said her group of cannabis growers supports the city’s plan.

“It’s a good framework that’s representative of a tax structure that’s more approachable for the industry,” Logan said. “It’s still a little high but it’s far more accessible than the rates proposed by the county.”

Cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County face much steeper taxes under a measure approved by county voters in March. It allows the county to tax cannabis businesses up to 10 percent and doesn’t lock in rate increments. Marijuana industry players, including the grower’s alliance, opposed the ballot measure, which passed by a 3-to-1 ratio.

Santa Rosa City Councilman Chris Rogers, a member of the council’s three-person cannabis policy subcommittee, said he believes the city’s measure strikes a balance between making sure the city can cover costs associated with the newly regulated local pot industry and “not setting the tax so high it gives people incentive to stay in the black market.”

Santa Rosa cultivators would initially be taxed at 2 percent of gross receipts or $5 per square foot of cultivation space. The starting rates for dispensaries would be 3 percent and it would be 1 percent for manufacturers.

These tax levels wouldn’t change for two years, and any subsequent increases would also be locked in place for two years. A supermajority of five votes on the seven-person City Council would be needed to increase the rates above 5 percent.

City officials have said the tax would allow it to address the impact of the cannabis industry while bolstering revenues for general city purposes.

The Press Democrat

9 Plants That Contain Therapeutic Cannabinoids

Cannabinoid is a term that is thrown around a lot in the cannabis industry — but did you know there are many different types of cannabinoids that are found throughout Mother Nature’s complex web?

Phytocannabinoids are the cannabinoids produced by plants.

Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids produced within the body of humans and animals.

Synthetic Cannabinoids are the cannabinoids produced in a laboratory.

There are also a few common plants we will cover today that contain compounds that mimic the biological activity of the classic cannabinoid but have a slightly different structure. These are called cannabimimetic compounds.

Read more at Marijuana.com

Hospital Begins Dispensing Cannabis Oil

(CNS Business): Grand Cayman’s CTMH Doctors Hospital and Cayman Pharmacy Group has introduced medical cannabis for physician selected patients who are resident in the Cayman Islands. Case studies reveal life changing results for patients suffering with chronic pain, neuropathic pain and seizures, among other health related problems who are treated with cannabis oil. The medicine will, initially, be dispensed out of Professional Pharmacy to spearhead this strongly supported treatment.

The prescription of cannabis oil for many conditions, including cancer, was made possible after Dennie Warren Jr successfully lobbied government to change the misuse of drugs law and allow for what many believe is a near miraculous and natural way to treat many serious diseases.

he oil contains measurable combinations of the active ingredients of cannabis, Tetrahyrdocannabinol or THC and Cannabidiol or CBD. Hospital officials said that to begin with, only a limited supply of oil will be dispensed to a small number of physician selected patients. During this initial phase, the primary focus is to engage and educate these patients and track their progress to assist them to achieve desired outcomes and minimise side effects.

The hospital explained that specific cannabis oil product information will be circulated to physicians by CMD and Professional Pharmacy. As with all prescriptions, Professional Pharmacy provides free and confidential patient counselling on prescriptions they dispense.

The treatment is approved for use only in the Cayman Islands and cannot cross international borders legally. Patients cannot carry medical cannabis oils into the United States, UK or Canada, even with a prescription.

CNS Business

Medical Marijuana Firm Seeks Emergency Ruling to Halt Maryland Industry

A medical marijuana company filed an emergency motion Monday asking a judge to forbid the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing any final licenses to grow the drug.

Alternative Medicine Maryland asked Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams to issue a temporary injunction against the commission, arguing the entire licensing process should be stopped because the commission appears poised to grant final licenses.

The request for an emergency halt to the process comes as the marijuana commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the progress of 15 companies that did win initial approval to grow marijuana — a meeting that is among the final steps in the process to begin legal cultivation of medical marijuana.

“Time is of the essence,” Alternative Medicine Maryland’s lawyers wrote to Judge Williams. “It is undisputed that the commission made no attempt to … actively seek racial and ethnic diversity throughout the licensing process.”

The state law legalizing medical marijuana required the commission to “actively seek” racial diversity among approved growers and distributors. Alternative Medicine Maryland, which is led by an African-American and did not receive a preliminary license, filed a lawsuit last year alleging the commission broke the law by failing to use a race-conscious application process.

The commission’s failure to consider race when picking the winning companies also sparked a prolonged fight in the Maryland General Assembly over whether to expand the industry. The Legislative Black Caucus pushed for at least five more marijuana growing licenses to be issued, in order to make sure minority-owned firms had a fair shot a potentially lucrative industry. The issue was not resolved before the annual legislative session adjourned last month.

The governor and legislative leaders also are considering whether to recall lawmakers to Annapolis for a special legislative session to consider how to increase diversity among medical marijuana growers.

The state legalized medical marijuana in 2013, but it has taken more than four years for the program to launch.

The Baltimore Sun

Magic Mushrooms Are Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Treatment

You may know the chemical 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine by its more common name, psilocybin. Long used as a sacrament among indigenous peoples in the Americas — and more recently branded as an illicit party drug — in recent years, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms has received a lot of attention from scientists for potential to treat substance use disorder, anxiety, and depression.

In their review of seven published psilocybin clinical trials, the team led by Kelan Thomas, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Touro University California, concluded that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy shows strong potential for improving outcomes in patients living with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder.

The advantage of psilocybin-assisted therapy, they write, is that it provides significant benefits for patients who haven’t responded to therapy or medication. Patients can also show improvement after just a few six-hour “medicated” therapy sessions and a few weeks of follow-up therapy.

These studies all investigated the use of psilocybin in strictly controlled clinical conditions under the supervision of therapists and other health professionals. Additionally, all of the clinical trials investigated by the researchers consisted of small groups of subjects — as few as nine for an open-label (non-blinded) trial investigating obsessive-compulsive disorder and as many as 51 in a double-blind study of cancer-related depression and anxiety.

As psychological and psychiatric researchers have gained greater access to brain imaging technologies like fMRI, scientists have formed new hypotheses about the physiological roots of psychological disorders.

These new attitudes among scientists run counter to those of the law enforcement community. In most of the United States — New Mexico seems to have found a loophole — psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule I substance. This means it has “a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When — or whether — the DEA will take the most recent scientific data into account, however, remains to be seen.

Inverse

Common-sense Remedies for Sky-high Drug Prices

Partisan warfare in Washington never seems to stop. Yet, in poll after poll, Americans want lawmakers to work across the aisle and get things done.

The majority of Americans want elected officials to take action to lower prescription drug prices.

Almost 90 percent of Americans support legislation to speed generics to market. Why? Generics competing with brands drive down prices. Generics are cheaper and people get that.

There are three serious bipartisan initiatives to speed generics to market. Bipartisan — did we say that? Yes. Let us explain.

The first bill — sponsored by Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Florida Republicana, and Kurt Schrader, Oregon Democrat — provides incentives for development of new generics where there is currently no competition, and speeds up Food and Drug Administration approval times. It is modest but could get more inexpensive generics to market where there are none.

he second bill — sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Amy Klobuchar Minnesota Democrat — would put a stop to “pay-for-delay” scams. This occurs when a brand manufacturer pays a generic company not to bring a drug to market. It’s remarkable this is legal to begin with, and Congress should stop it now.

The third legislative proposal is sponsored by a bipartisan lineup of Sens. Pat Leahy, Vermont Democrat, Mr. Grassley, Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, Ms. Klobuchar, and Mike Lee, Utah Republican, along with Reps. Peter Welch, Vermon Democrat, and Steve Stivers, Ohio Republican. It would crack down on abuses of the patent laws employed by drug companies to avoid giving samples of brand-name drugs to other manufacturers to create a generic. These practices by drug corporations subvert the law and the intent of Congress. Surely we can fix this.

But can’t we hold Big Pharma to the fundamental bargain that was struck in 1984 called the Hatch-Waxman Act? The deal was that drug companies received monopoly pricing power for five to seven years. After that time, generics would be introduced to create competition and drive down prices. All this legislation does is make the drug companies abide by the intent and letter of the law.

Millions of Americans are being hurt to finance exorbitant compensation and sky-high profits of the drug companies. These companies won’t be crippled by action on generics. They’ll simply be forced to act according to law, and they’ll still make a great deal of money.

This seems so clear — so simple. No gridlock. No stalemate. Just common-sense, bipartisan action to make the laws of our country work for people. The time for action is now.

Washington Times