Study Suggests CBD May Have Antipsychotic Effect in High-Risk Individuals

The psychiatric research journal JAMA Psychiatry has just published a new study suggesting CBD could have antipsychotic effects in individuals at clinical high risk of psychosis. The study builds off compelling prior research demonstrating CBD’s therapeutic effects. Titled “Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Mid-brain, and Striatial Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis,” the randomized clinical trial sheds important light not just on whether or not CBD has calming cognitive effects, but also how it produces them.

Psychiatrists Investigate the Underlying Causes for CBD’s Therapeutic Effects

What are the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie the putative therapeutic effects of cannabidiol in psychosis? In other words, does CBD really help treat psychosis? And if so, how? Such are the questions motivating a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers began with the premise that cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic effects in humans. Exactly how it has that effect on the brain isn’t fully understood. Psychiatrists study the chemical reactions that lead to or stem from atypical mental states. For this study, researchers wanted to try to isolate the specific chemical alterations that give CBD its therapeutic and potentially antipsychotic effects.

To do so, the study examined the effects of CBD in 33 individuals at clinical high risk

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Montana Collects $1.8 Million in Medical Cannabis Tax Revenue in First Year

The state of Montana collected $1.8 million in the first year of taxing the medical marijuana industry, according to government officials. The Montana Department of Revenue also reported that the state’s medicinal cannabis businesses had generated approximately $45 million in sales during the first year of taxation.

State revenue director Gene Walborn told local media that the department was happy with the rollout of taxes on Montana’s medical marijuana industry.

“We were pleasantly surprised on how well it went,” he said. “It being a new tax, we were concerned what challenges you receive with a new tax.”

Medical Marijuana Taxes Began Last Year

Montana began levying a quarterly tax on cannabis businesses last year with the enactment of Senate Bill 333, an overhaul of the state’s medical marijuana program. Montana has not legalized the recreational use of cannabis.

Taxes for the first year were set at four percent and began on July 1, 2017. The revenue generated will be used to create additional state regulatory infrastructure including testing, inspections, and a seed-to-sale tracking system. The tax was subsequently reduced to 2 percent as of July 1 of this year and is expected to remain at that rate for the foreseeable future.

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Governor of Delaware Signs Bill to Expunge Past Non-Violent Pot Convictions

Compared with some of its regional neighbors, Delaware isn’t making rapid strides toward legalizing adult-use cannabis. But it has taken significant steps toward decriminalizing possession and use. Earlier this year, we reported on the bi-partisan effort led by the Delaware Assembly to clear past minor marijuana convictions. And on Wednesday, Governor John Carney signed SB 197 into law, providing mandatory expungement eligibility for most minor marijuana charges between 1977 and 2015, the year Delaware decriminalized possession and use up to an ounce.

New Law Provides Mandatory Expungement Eligibility for Most Marijuana Convictions

When Delaware Gov. John Carney took over for Jack Markell in 2017, he picked up exactly where his predecessor left off on criminal justice reform. Over the past few years, Delaware has implemented a number of criminal legal reforms, including reforming mandatory minimums, re-enfranchising people with felony convictions and participating in a National Criminal Justice Reform Project.

So when it came to decriminalizing cannabis, Delaware was already focusing on improving its criminal legal system. For lawmakers, criminal record expungement for prior cannabis convictions seemed like an obvious course of action. And legislation to provide mandatory expungement eligibility easily passed the state legislature. This week, it became law.


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Michigan Voters Will See Recreational Marijuana on November Ballot

Voters in Michigan will have the chance to approve recreational marijuana for the state, as a legalization initiative now dubbed Proposal 1 will appear on the November ballot. The Board of State Canvassers assigned the number to the voter initiative on Thursday. If passed, the measure would legalize the use and sale of recreational cannabis by adults 21 and older. The initiative also creates a legal framework for commercial sales and the taxation of cannabis businesses.

Campaign Update

Mark Passerini of the Om of Medicine provisioning center in Ann Arbor said in a campaign update from the National Cannabis Industry Association that legalizing cannabis for adults would be an economic boon for Michigan. He noted that legalization would create new businesses and jobs while saving and generating tax funds.

“Locking people up for growing or consuming a plant is simply not the best use of critical and limited tax dollars,” Passerini said. “Many municipalities and states across the country have recognized this fact and passed decriminalization ordinances in order to use law enforcement resources on serious crimes. Communities and states that embraced legalization have also witnessed economic development through the creation of new jobs and much needed tax revenues.”

Passerini also said that

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Illinois Governor OKs Cannabis as Painkiller Substitute

On Aug. 29, Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill that allows patients to substitute opioid painkillers with cannabis. “We are creating an alternative to opioid addiction,” the governor stated. “It’s clear that medical marijuana treats pain effectively, and is less addictive and disruptive than opioids.”

The Illinois legislature passed a medical-marijuana bill in 2013. Rauner’s predecessor, Gov. Pat Quinn, signed it into law.

Painkillers have benefits and complications for those who need them. While they relieve pain, the side effects and addiction potential cause longterm damage to patients.

In 2017, 29,406 people died from overdoses of synthetic opioids (not including methadone). Cannabis reduces the use of opioids for pain relief by 64%.

Benefits of Cannabis for Pain

Cannabis use for pain has proven to be an effective alternative to opioids. It helps with the following types of pain:

• Central pain: Discomfort arising from dysfunction of the nervous system, like fibromyalgia.

• Nociceptive pain: Inflammatory pain from tissue damage distinguished by throbbing and sharp aches.

• Neuropathic pain: Different from nociceptive pain, this deals with damage to the body’s nervous system.

Up-to-Date Cannabis and Hemp News

If you’re looking for the latest marijuana legalization news, Freedom Leaf is your

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Governor of Utah Promises Back-Up Medical Marijuana Bill if Prop 2 Fails

Cannabis legislation has struggled in Utah. Political opposition and legislative stonewalling have led to numerous setbacks and half-measures that have both failed to satisfy advocates while still drawing the ire of opposition groups. Earlier this year, Utah passed a bill adding cannabis to their “right to try” law, giving terminally ill patients the right to try medical treatments that don’t have FDA approval. But pro-cannabis organizers continued pushing ahead, gathering many more signatures than required to bring a much wider legalization bill, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, to vote this November. There’s broad support for the bill, but the Utah Medical Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have mounted a coordinated and influential counter-campaign.

So the fate of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, on the ballot as Prop. 2, remains uncertain. But at a press conference Thursday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert made a promise. He said that if voters don’t approve Prop. 2, a measure Gov. Herbert does not himself support, he’ll push for legislative action to legalize medical cannabis anyway.

Utah Gov. Wants a Medical Cannabis Bill—Just Not This One

“This bill is not perfect,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters at his monthly

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Voter guide for New Hampshire’s primary election published

Mark your calendars, learn candidates’ positions, and remember to vote on Tuesday, September 11.

We have been busy compiling the candidates’ survey responses into an online voter guide for New Hampshire’s primary elections, which will take place Tuesday, September 11. The voter guide includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbents, and any available comments.

Click here to learn where candidates on the New Hampshire ballot stand on marijuana policy!

If you’re a New Hampshire resident, please share this message with your family and friends and remind them that the primary election is Tuesday, September 11.


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Pennsylvania State Prisons on Lockdown Due to Suspected Synthetic Weed Outbreak

All state prisons in Pennsylvania are on lockdown after dozens of workers at several of the institutions fell seriously ill in the last month. Officials believe the prison employees may have been sickened after being exposed to synthetic marijuana, according to media reports.

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel told reporters that he is unsure how long the institutions will remain on lockdown.

“We’re really just trying to make sure everybody’s safe and calm everybody down until we come out of this,” Wetzel said. “We don’t want to take a chance. We don’t want to put our staff at risk and, frankly, we don’t want to put our inmates at risk.”

Corrections officials announced the lockdown of all 24 state prisons on Wednesday after employees at institutions in Greene, Fayette, and Mercer counties became ill in five separate incidents. The workers who fell ill exhibited symptoms including shortness of breath, flushing, and loss of consciousness.

While on lockdown, inmates must remain in their cells 24 hours per day. No visitors are allowed and mail service for all but legal correspondence is halted. Wetzel said in a press release that the illnesses were being investigated.

“Our state prisons, especially those in the western part

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Medical Cannabis for Pets Bill Passed by California Senate, Already Passed Assembly

California’s Assembly and Senate have both approved legislation that would explicitly allow and regulate the medical use of cannabis for pets.

Assembly Bill 2215 was given approval by the full Senate Tuesday in a 37 to 1 vote, roughly three months after the Assembly passed it 60 to 10.  Although it has already passed the Assembly it will need to go back for one final vote to concur with Senate changes before it can be sent to Governor Jerry Brown for consideration.

Assembly Bill 2215 would expand “the intent of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) to control and regulate cannabis and cannabis products for medicinal use on pets.” It would define “cannabis products” to include products intended for medicinal use on a pet, and although it wouldn’t allow a veterinarian to administer medical cannabis, it  would “allow a veterinarian to discuss the use of cannabis on an animal for medicinal purposes without being disciplined or denied, revoked or suspended by the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB).”

The measure states that the VMB “would have until July 1, 2019 to promulgate guidelines for veterinarians to follow when discussing the use of cannabis”, and it “Provides that a

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Two New Bills Could Revolutionize Marijuana Industry in New Jersey

Two bills being crafted by state legislators could revolutionize the marijuana industry in New Jersey if they are successfully passed into law. Provisions of the measures include home delivery of cannabis products, removing a cap on dispensaries, and automatic expungement of some past marijuana convictions.

For the past several weeks, a group of New Jersey legislators has been writing two bills that encapsulate the provisions of several cannabis bills introduced during this year’s legislative session. The first measure would allow the expansion of the medicinal use of cannabis, while the second bill would lead to full legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

Democratic Assemblyman Joseph Danielson is one of the lawmakers working on the bills. He told local media that the group of legislators is still working out the details of the bills.

“Everything is a guessing game because leadership still has to get the votes,” said Danielson. “There are a lot of moving parts. It’s like an erector set.”

The lawmakers have been writing the bills with gaining the support of Gov. Phil Murphy in mind so that the cannabis legalization programs will be successful.

“I learned my lesson with the medicinal marijuana program when the (Christie) administration was not

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