Canada Pledging $24.5 Million to Fund Research on Cannabis and Health

The Canadian government wants to learn more about the health benefits and risks of marijuana use, ponying up a significant amount of money to help support research.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research announced it would be dropping roughly $24.5 million to bolster cannabis research. The money will help support 26 projects throughout Canada “that cover topics such as the use of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) oil for the treatment of pain and anxiety,” according to a press release from the agency.

Additionally, the CIHR said the funding “will also support research teams that will explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis in areas such as cancer, chronic pain, and neurodevelopment.”

“We are investing in research to provide the evidence needed to maintain policies for cannabis use that protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s minister of health, said in a statement. “The projects announced today will result in new information on the health effects of cannabis, which will be valuable to governments, public health professionals, health care providers, and all Canadians.”

The funding comes in response to the Canadian government’s legalization of recreational medical marijuana use last fall, which made it the first major

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Utah Cannabis Cultivators May Be Required to Pay Over $100,000 in Fees

In what could be one of the most convincing financial arguments for the legalization of recreational marijuana yet, the state of Utah has announced that cannabis cultivators will face a licensing fee from between $75,000 to $100,000.

“The program has to be self-sufficient and pay for itself,” said Andrew Rigby, who is program manager for the state’s marijuana industry. Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food, the cannabis industry’s regulatory body, has estimated that legalizing medical marijuana will cost the state over $563,000 in 2020. All the same, at the current fee rates, applications and licensing has been forecasted to bring in $1.1 million.

Regardless of the math, such high fees will certainly present a challenge to small marijuana businesses without a lot of capital with which to open up shop, and put the ball squarely in the court of larger or more monied firms.

“It could be a barrier for a few people,” Rigby allowed to Utah publication The Spectrum. In addition to the licensing fee, cannabis entrepreneurs will also be responsible for an application fee between $5,000 and $10,000.

Utah has seen its share of cannabis political turmoil since voters passed Proposition 2, which authorized medical marijuana. After the

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Cincinnati City Council To Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization Today

Wednesday afternoon, Cincinnati City Council is scheduled to vote to decriminalize marijuana possession by adults 21 years and over within city limits. The vote will take place at Cincinnati City Hall. Last week, a majority of council said they supported marijuana legalization, suggesting that the decriminalization vote will likely succeed. But council will have three decriminalization plans to consider and choose from: one that would follow other Ohio cities by limiting possession to one ounce, and two others that would set limits much higher while also eliminating fines, jail time and court costs for possession offenses.

Cincinnati is About to Become the Twelfth Ohio City to Decriminalize Cannabis

On Monday, Cincinnati Councilman David Mann unveiled a plan to permit adults 21 and over to personally possess up to one ounce of cannabis. The plan also bans public use. The one ounce limit and the ban on public cannabis consumption follows the 10 other Ohio cities that have already decriminalized simple possession. But Mann’s isn’t the only plan Cincinnati city leaders are considering.

Last week, Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman and Councilman Jeff Pastor put forward a motion that lays out two additional decriminalization plans. One would allow personal possession limits up

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Colorado Supreme Court Rules Police Need Probable Cause Before Using Drug-Sniffing Dogs

In many ways, the legalization of marijuana is an ongoing project, even in states where possession has already been made legal. That’s because after weed is legal, there are all sorts of other legal questions and implications that arise.

The legality and role of drug-sniffing dogs is one example. Prior to legalization, K-9 units were typically trained to detect a broad range of illegal substances. And that included cannabis.

But when weed becomes legal in a state, the legal system must suddenly figure out what to do about these dogs. Specifically, state legal systems must determine if it’s still legal to have dogs alert cops to the presence of legal amounts of marijuana.

These are questions being asked in Colorado. And now, the Colorado Supreme Court has made its decision. In a new ruling, the state’s courts have decided that drug-sniffing dogs can no longer be used by cops if they don’t have probable cause for a search.

Colorado Supreme Court’s New Decision

The new decision states that cops can’t use pot-sniffing dogs before they have first established probable cause that a crime has been committed.

This is a big break from the past. Prior to this decision, drug-sniffing dogs

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Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart Announces Launch of Cannabis Brand

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has officially joined the Green Rush by announcing his new line of 1/3 gram mini-joints stuffed with a strain whose history is inextricably intertwined with the famed traveling jam band. Such is the debut of Hart’s brand Mind Your Head, which will be available for purchase at various Northern California dispensaries.

To celebrate the release of his new single serving joints, the drummer did an interview with music magazine Relix in which he waxes poetic about his debut product. Dead aficionados will no doubt find exciting the tin boxes of 10 of the mini-joints, decorated with a percussion-minded skeleton created by the musician himself.

But surely the most exciting aspect of the release is that the strain packed in the joints holds special significance for the Grateful Dead’s legions of fans. Chemdog is an indica-dominant, high (21 percent) THC flower that clocks in at 1.5 percent CBD. Legend has it that the strain was discovered by a man named Chemdog in 1991 outside of a Dead show at the Deer Creek Amphitheater (now known as the slightly less-poetic Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center) in Noblesville, Indiana. From then on, Chemdog the dealer could often be

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Clark County, Nevada Will Use Money from Weed Businesses to Fight Homelessness

Commissioners in Clark County, Nevada have passed a resolution allocating almost $1.8 million from the local commercial cannabis industry to help subsidize programs dedicated to providing assistance to the homeless.

A little more than $930,000 of the earmarked money will be provided to HELP of Southern Nevada’s rehousing services “for medically fragile, non-chronically homeless households after leaving local hospitals,” according to KTNV in Las Vegas. The station reported that a little more than $855,000 will be given to HELP “to assist the program costs” associated with a homeless youth center.

Nevada legalized recreational marijuana use in the 2016 election, one of four states to pass such measures during that cycle. Recreational dispensaries opened up for business in Nevada in the summer of 2017, enabling adults to buy as much as an ounce of marijuana flower, as well as an eighth of pot concentrates.

Earlier this year, commissioners in Clark County hit pause on efforts to open cannabis lounges in Las Vegas, opting at the time to defer to state lawmakers. But the Las Vegas City Council voted earlier this month to allow dispensaries to apply for permits to open such establishments, where customers are free to use marijuana products.

In

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New Study Finds CBD Significantly Reduces Opioid Cravings in Addicts

Coming off of a heroin addiction is notoriously difficult. But a new study suggests CBD can make it much easier. According to a study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, cannabidiol (CBD) can significantly reduce cravings in people addicted to opioids and manage withdrawal symptoms. Cravings and abstinence anxiety are two of the most critical features of addiction, and triggering them often contributes to relapses and continued drug use.

Exploratory Study Highlights How CBD Can Help Beat Addiction

The consequences of the United State’s ongoing opioid epidemic have been staggering. Yet there has so far been little effort to develop treatment options for opioid addiction that are themselves not opioid-based—e.g. buprenorphine and methadone. Some states have tried to address this problem by adding opioid replacement qualifications to their medical cannabis programs.

In New York, for example, patients are automatically eligible for medical cannabis if a doctor prescribes opioids as a treatment for their condition. And multiple studies attest to the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties of THC and CBD.

But cannabis may not only be a safer alternative to opioid painkillers; it may also be the safer, more effective way to ween people off of their addiction to opioids.

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Presidential Candidate Cory Booker Wants Marijuana Justice

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has the strongest cannabis credentials of all the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Senator Booker is the lead author of the Marijuana Justice Act (MJA), which he originally introduced in 2017 and reintroduced in February. Four other Democratic presidential candidates are co-sponsors – Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – as well as Senators Michael Bennett (D-CO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“The War on Drugs has not been a war on drugs, it’s been a war on people, and disproportionately people of color and low-income individuals,” Booker stated. “The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal at the federal level.

“But it’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvesting in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs. And we must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it’s justice.”

According to his office’s press release, the MJA would

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Vermont and New Hampshire May Delay Votes on Marijuana Proposals

Marijuana legalization measures in both Vermont and New Hampshire have hit a roadblock, reports the Associated Press.

In Vermont, marijuana has been legal since July 1, 2018, when a lawmaker-approved measure took effect. However, the law established no legal means of actually purchasing marijuana (they are the only state to legalize marijuana without allowing marijuana retail outlets).

The Vermont Senate passed a tax and regulate proposal earlier this session, as noted by the AP, but it won’t be acted upon in the House before January. Meanwhile, a legalization bill in New Hampshire could end up similarly delayed.

“We need to get a tax and regulated system as soon as possible, not necessarily for the money, but to at least regulate what people are using for a drug,”  State Senator Dick Sears (D) said on Friday. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D) has said the chamber doesn’t have time to deal with the issue before adjournment, expected within the next few days.

Governor Phil Scott (R), who supported the legalization proposal last year, has said he’s concerned about highway safety, and he’d like to see some effective way to measure impairment of drivers who use marijuana. He hasn’t said

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New Jersey Lawmakers May Vote on Medical Marijuana Expansion This Week

New Jersey lawmakers could vote as early as Thursday on a major medical marijuana expansion bill. Senate Bill 10 advanced out of a pair of committees on Monday, but only after undergoing multiple amendments. The amended version is not yet publicly available, but details are forthcoming. Still, the bill’s core framework remains the same, aiming to expand patient access to caregivers and licensed medical cannabis products. So even though adult-use legalization is off the table in New Jersey for the time being, medical cannabis consumers, caregivers and the industry stand to benefit from the bill’s new regulations.

Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Would Improve Patient Access

New Jersey has been trying to grow its medical cannabis program under Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration. When Murphy took office in January 2018, the state had registered 30,000 medical cannabis patients. That number has since increased to 46,000. But the problem is that the state’s caregiver and dispensary infrastructure has not grown to keep up.

Currently, there are only six medical cannabis providers operating in the state. As a result, many patients approved for marijuana cannot access any.

New Jersey regulators have tried to approve more providers and get more businesses operating. But the application

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