Canadian Company Starting Cannabis Education Courses for Employers

A Canadian consulting company will soon be starting cannabis education for employers, according to a report from the CBC. The Alberta firm, Cannabis at Work, will offer courses to help employers navigate the Canadian legalization of cannabis.

The classes are designed to help companies understand how the law impacts employers that may have workers who use cannabis, either medicinally or recreationally. The courses are scheduled to begin next month at the University of Calgary.

Karen Stokke, the learning manager for Cannabis at Work, said there is a great need for education for employers about the issues surrounding cannabis and the workplace.

“There’s definitely people that have taken the time to educate themselves,” Stokke said. “I certainly think there’s a gap there, though, for a lot of employers.”

Stokke said that employers have some leeway in establishing cannabis guidelines for their workers. Under Canadian law, employers must reasonably accommodate employees who use cannabis medicinally. But that isn’t the case for workers who use pot recreationally.

“A company could have a policy that allows (consumption at work), but for the most part that’s not allowed,” she said.

Stokke said that the information that her company provides to employers can help them limit exposure

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Detroit Officials Vote to Limit Number of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Allowed in City

The Detroit City Council voted Tuesday to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that will be allowed to operate within city limits. No more than 75 cannabis retail shops will be permitted under an ordinance adopted by the council without debate. The measure, which was proposed by council member James Tate in June, also places tighter regulations on the city’s cannabis industry.

Under the ordinance, cannabis businesses covering five different license types will be allowed to operate in the city. The measure regulates the commercial cultivation, processing, testing, distribution, and sale of medical marijuana citywide. The ordinance includes limitations on the number, size, location, and operations of cannabis businesses in the city. Another provision encourages medical marijuana firms seeking to do business in Detroit to include benefits for the community in their license applications.

Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia told local media that the council’s action is an effort to regulate unlicensed dispensaries that have appeared in Detroit in recent years.

“The ordinance passed today strikes a good balance that benefits both those who want development in the medical marijuana industry and those who want to preserve the City’s pre-medical marijuana character,” Garcia said.

Rush Hasan is a consultant

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Philadelphia University Launches ‘Shark Tank’-Style Competition for Weed Start-Ups

The Jefferson Accelerator Zone, a “command central’ for entrepreneurial innovation at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, is sponsoring a “Shark Tank”-style competition for weed and hemp start-ups. The contest, the first ever of its kind to be sponsored by a university, will award substantial prizes and legal services to one winner and two runners-up. Applications are open to members of the Jefferson community as well as non-affiliated parties.

Thomas Jefferson University Is Offering Prizes for CannaVation

Thomas Jefferson University started its JAZ Tank competition in 2015. JAZ Tank aims to foster entrepreneurship and innovation within the healthcare field specifically. The program encourages innovators to create start-ups that turn business ideas into products that can benefit the medical field.

In the past, winners have developed web platforms for students, reduced the toxicity of chemotherapy and even revolutionized at-home artificial insemination procedures.

But this year’s JAZ Tank contest is a little different. It will focus specifically on innovative business ideas related to cannabis. Hence, “CannaVation”.

Contest Seeks Start-Ups Focusing on Industrial Hemp and Patient Outcomes

“We want to see creative and different approaches to the industry, especially in ancillary businesses,” said Zoe Selzer McKinley. McKinley is a director at the university’s Lambert

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After Cannabis, Canadian Government Won’t Decriminalize Any Other Drugs

Despite the legalization of cannabis currently underway in Canada, the country will not be decriminalizing any other drugs, according to a government official. Thierry Belair, a spokesman for Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, told the CBC that the federal government has no plans for further decriminalization. The government announcement comes amid calls from major Canadian cities to remove criminal penalties for the consumption and possession of small amounts of drugs.

Civic officials and public health advocates in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have called on the federal government to enact such changes. Fardous Hosseiny is the national director of research and public policy at the Canadian Mental Health Association, a group that supports the decriminalization of drugs. He said that criminalizing drug use prevents people from getting the help they need and that it is time to try a new strategy.

“Given the scale of the opioid crisis in Canada, we know that we need to take bold action,” Hosseiny said. “We know that evidence tells us that the war on drugs hasn’t worked, so criminalization really stigmatizes people and creates barriers for them accessing treatment and accessing help when they need it.”

Health Canada reported last month that in 2017, almost 4,000 Canadians

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Medical marijuana initiative filed in Mississippi

Yesterday, Mississippians for Compassionate Care filed an initiative with the Secretary of State’s office that would make medical marijuana legal in Mississippi. The group is aiming to bring an amendment to the state constitution to voters in 2020. The first step to getting it on the ballot is to collect over 100,000 signatures from all over the state. You can read the proposed amendment here.

The signature collection is a huge undertaking and the campaign will need lots of volunteers to circulate petitions in their area. If you are a Mississippi resident who is willing to help collect signatures, please email the signature collection coordinator: JB Brown.

For more information on the campaign or to get involved, please go to It’s time for patients suffering in Mississippi to have access to medical marijuana.


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Legal Hemp Spurring Nascent Industry in Alaska

Denali Hemp’s Ember and Chris Haynes

The Denali Hemp Company in Talkeetna, Alaska is a family affair. Ember and Chris Haynes, along with their 18-year old daughter, have been making and selling hempseed-oil-based products like balms, oils, butters and soaps since 2014.

Denali Hemp grew out of their other business, Silverbear Sundries, a retail store in Willow where part of their Extreme Alaskan product line includes a handful of hempseed-oil items. Their customers loved those products so much that the Haynes’ decided to start a second business solely devoted to hemp.

The Haynes family got a boost on April 18 when Gov. Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 6 into law, which legalizes industrial hemp production separate from marijuana (0.3 THC threshold). It sets up regulations for hemp farming, and clarifying that adding hemp to food “does not create an adulterated food product.” The program should be up and running by the 2019 growing season.

Until now, they  sourced their hemp from Colorado. They make and package their hemp products by hand and use organic and fair-trade ingredients, most grown on their own land. “We make products with hemp seed oil and we’re proud of it,” Ember tells Freedom Leaf. “Cannabis is a safe

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Georgia Quietly Becomes the Latest Country to Legalize Cannabis Use

Georgia has quietly become the next country to legalize cannabis use after action from the nation’s Constitutional Court on Monday. The court’s ruling was handed down in a lawsuit brought by political activists. The decision eliminates administrative penalties such as fines as punishment for the consumption of marijuana.  However, the court’s ruling does not legalize cannabis cultivation or sales in the nation of nearly 4 million people at the crossroads of Asia and Europe.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili contended that the use of cannabis is a personal decision that does not put others at risk.

“It can only harm the health of the consumer, who is responsible for the results of the action,” the lawsuit read.

Constitutional Court Agrees

In its ruling, the panel of four judges agreed, deciding that the use of cannabis is not a threat to society at large.

“According to the applicants (Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili), the consumption of marijuana is not an act of social threat,” the court said. “In particular, it can only harm the users’ health, making that user him/herself responsible for the outcome. The responsibility for such actions does not cause dangerous consequences for the public.”

However, the court

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Poll: 85% of Americans Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana, 57% Support Recreational Legalization

According to a new HealthDay/Harris Poll, an overwhelming majority of adults in America support legalizing medical marijuana, with a strong majority also in support of legalizing the plant for recreational purposes.

The survey found that 85% of Americans believe that marijuana “should be legalized for medical use”, while 57% support legalizing and regulating the plant for anyone 21 and older, for any use. Among younger respondents (those ages 18 to 44), 68% agree that cannabis should be legal.

“Voters believe that ending America’s failed marijuana prohibition laws is a common-sense issue, not a partisan one,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano told HealthDay, which commissioned the poll. “It’s time for their elected officials to take a similar posture, and to move expeditiously to amend federal law in a manner that comports with public and scientific consensus, as well as with marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural and legal status.”

The results of the HealthDay/Harris Poll are similar to those of a Pew Research Center survey released in January, which found that 61% of voters in the U.S. support legalizing marijuana.

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Canadian Government Approves Device for Roadside Saliva Drug Tests

In June, the Canadian government approved Bill C-45, making Canada the second country in the world to legalize cannabis for adult use. But right on the bill’s heels was another, Bill C-46, which also passed in June. Whereas Bill C-45 legalizes cannabis, Bill C-46 dramatically overhauls Canada’s impaired driving laws. The overhaul of the Criminal Code addresses the sweeping national changes brought by cannabis legalization and establishes how law enforcement will handle drivers whom they suspect are under the influence of THC. And now, Canadian police have a new tool toward in their arsenal to do just that: a roadside saliva drug test, which the federal government just approved.

Canada Is Significantly Changing Its Impaired Driving Laws

How legal cannabis impacts traffic safety is a top concern for officials in Canada. Yet the influence of cannabis on a person’s ability to drive remains difficult to determine. Even more so is a police officer’s ability to tell if a driver is under the influence of THC or not.

Currently, officers in Canada rely on conventional field sobriety tests to judge the impairment of drivers whom they suspect are high. And as part of their rules and regulations for legal cannabis, provinces

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UC Irvine Granted $9 Million to Study Long-Term Impact of Cannabis Use

The University of California Irvine has received a $9 million grant to research the effects of long-term cannabis use on the adolescent brain. The grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will fund a four-year study at the UCI School of Medicine.

New Cannabis Research Group to Conduct Study

The research will study the effects of THC, including potential “persistent changes in endocannabinoid (ECB) signaling, synaptic plasticity, and behavior,” on young brains, according to media reports.

The endocannabinoid system uses molecules produced by the body that help regulate various functions of the mind and body. The cannabinoids from cannabis, known as phytocannabinoids, can also have an effect on the same physiological and psychological processes.

The research will be conducted by the new UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis, which was founded at the university last year. The center is a partnership between the law and medical schools at UCI and will study the pharmacological and physiological effects of cannabis in addition to its legal, social, and economic issues.

With research funded by the NIDA grant, the center hopes to learn the long-term effects of THC exposure during adolescence on behavior and brain function, as well as the

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