Switzerland May Soon Legalize Medical Marijuana

The Swiss government on Wednesday put forth a proposal to legalize marijuana as prescription medicine.

The proposal would allow prescriptions for marijuana to treat cancer and other serious ailments report Reuters. Separate from a Swiss government push to allow some cities to experiment with recreational marijuana, the proposition would replace the current system in which those seeking medical cannabis must apply for an exception from the Federal Health Office to get what is otherwise an illegal drug.

“The proposal makes it possible for doctors to directly prescribe cannabis as part of their treatment,” the Swiss cabinet said in a statement. “Growing and processing medical cannabis, as well as its sale, would then be possible under a system regulated” by Swissmedic, the country’s drug regulatory agency.

A formal comment period runs until mid-October.

“The biggest obstacle to automatic reimbursement is that the scientific evidence of efficacy is not yet sufficient and the conclusions of existing studies are sometimes contradictory,” the government said.

The Federal Health Office will launch an evaluation project to help answer questions about whether the drug is an effective remedy and, if so, for what conditions, it said.

Switzerland cited increased use of medical marijuana in

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Toronto Company Looks to Make Cannabis the Next Big Thing for Horses

Toronto-based company CannaHorse is hoping cannabis is the answer to improving equine health.

“With more than 15 million horses in North America and Europe, the equine healthcare market is a growing billion-dollar industry. We recognize the opportunity to bring the power of cannabis and cannabinoids we see working in humans and other animals to life for horses,” Warren Byrne, founder and president of CannaHorse, said in a press release.

Earlier this week, the company announced the “launch of four product lines, created from specific formulations of cannabis to treat common ailments such as pain and inflammation, anxiety/calming, exercise and surgical recovery, and overall wellness.”

Despite the launch, the products won’t be on the shelves anytime soon. Although legislators are campaigning to allow cannabis use for pets, “the law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe pot for pets, even though preliminary research suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders — much as it is for humans,” CBC reports.

– Read the entire article at Ottawa Citizen.

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Italy’s ‘Cannabis Light’ Creates Buzz Even if the Pot Won’t

Recent ruling said 2016 law was meant mostly for hemp growers, not retail spinoffs.

It’s been called the Italian “green gold rush.” Mild, barely there marijuana dubbed “cannabis light” has put Italy on the international weed map, producing hundreds of stores that sell pot by the pouch and attention from investors banking the legalization of stronger stuff will follow.

The flourishing retail industry around cannabis light — weed so non-buzzy, it’s essentially the decaf coffee of marijuana — surfaced as an unintended byproduct of a law meant to restore Italy as a top producer of industrial hemp. Now, storefronts that peddle chemically ineffective hemp flowers in varieties such as Chill Haus and Black Buddha are getting blowback that some Italians fear will nip business in the bud.

– Read the entire article at CBC News.

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Marijuana is Safe and Effective in Treating Fibromyalgia, Says Study

According to new research, the use of marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for those with fibromyalgia.

The study, titled Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in fibromyalgia, was published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine and was published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

Researchers conducted “A prospective observational study with six months follow-up period based on fibromyalgia patients who were willing to answer the questionnaire in a specialized medical cannabis clinic between 2015 and 2017. The study had 367 participants.

It was found that 81% of participants reported “at least moderate improvement in their condition”, and this occurred “without experiencing serious adverse events. 22% “stopped or reduced their dosage of opioids,” and 20% reduced their use of benzodiazepines.

“In the present study, we demonstrated that medical cannabis is an effective and safe option for the treatment of fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms,” states the study. “Considering the low rates of addiction and serious adverse effects (especially compared to opioids), cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care”. They conclude by stating that “Future studies should aim to compare medical cannabis to the

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House Bill Would Permit Interstate Cannabis Commerce

Two lawmakers from Oregon introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress on Thursday that would allow for the interstate commerce of cannabis between states with legal pot. Under the measure from Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, federal agencies would be prohibited from interfering with cannabis trade between states that have specifically authorized such transfers.

If successful, the bill would allow for the implementation of an Oregon state measure authorizing the export of marijuana to other states with legal cannabis. That bill, which was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown earlier this week, is seen as a way to deal with the state’s ongoing glut of legal marijuana.

Protecting States’ Rights

Wyden said in a press release on Thursday that the new federal bill, the State Cannabis Commerce Act, aims to preserve states’ rights while Congress struggles with the broader issue of marijuana legalization at the national level.

“As more and more states legalize cannabis, the gap between state and federal laws will only grow more confusing for both legal businesses and consumers,” Wyden said. “The solution is clear: the federal government needs to end its senseless and out of touch prohibition. As we fight for that ultimate

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Maine Governor Signs Recreational Marijuana Regulatory Framework Into Effect

Maine residents approved legal recreational marijuana back in 2016, but have been waiting on the government to approve a regulatory framework for the industry. Happily, the end of that wait is now in sight. Governor Janet Mills has signed into effect a law establishing cannabis industry guidelines that is set to take effect in September. That means the state’s first marijuana sales could take place as soon as early 2020. 

“The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders and the public to accomplish a shared goal,” said Mills. “With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters.”

The initial regulatory framework is restrictive for out of state cannabis companies hoping to expand into Maine’s new industry. A person who has lived in the state for four years will need to have at least 51 percent ownership for a company to be eligible for a license, a clause that will remain in effect until June 2021. 

That’s actually a more relaxed version of the originally proposed policy, which caused uproar from the state’s largest medical cannabis business Wellness Connection of Maine. 

The law establishes other restrictions on

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Weed Cafes in Illinois? People Could Be Allowed to Smoke Marijuana at Bars, Restaurants Under New Law.

Legalization includes an exemption to the Smoke-Free Illinois Act ban on indoor smoking, letting cities decide whether to allow on-site use at bars, restaurants, theaters, even new cannabis smoke lounges.

Since 2008, it’s been illegal to smoke indoors at most public places in Illinois. But smoking could once again be allowed at bars, restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses, even new cannabis smoke lounges and weed-friendly movie theaters and concert venues — if local officials approve that.

That’s under a largely overlooked provision of the new Illinois law legalizing recreational marijuana use and sales.

The law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana beginning Jan. 1 provides an exemption to the Smoke-Free Illinois Act that banned smoking at workplaces and most public places because of the health threat of secondhand smoke. A similar exemption already was in place for cigar lounges.

– Read the entire article at Sun Times.

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9 Cannabis-Infused Getaways To Take This Summer

Luxury leader Lord Jones became the first cannabis company to form an official partnership with a hotel chain when announcing in 2018 that The Standard would soon stock its line of gumdrops in minibars and lobby boutiques from Los Angeles to New York.

Adult-use cannabis is now legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and since Standard Hotels set a groundbreaking precedent, the travel industry is following suit with more cannabis-friendly offerings than ever before.

Of course, there are still challenges when it comes to consumption in common areas or in the privacy of your own room’s balcony (like with cigarettes, there are still hefty fines for smoking cannabis inside). But while cities try to navigate implementing social use regulations, hotels in legal states are known to turn a blind eye to lighting up outside, vaporizing or ingesting edibles—especially those that are now serving up CBD or selling cannabis paraphernalia on-property. Plus, TSA recently stated, “Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly.”

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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Texas County Prosecutors Dismiss Hundreds of Marijuana Misdemeanors

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that will legalize industrial hemp and CBD products.

Now, some county prosecutors are grappling with the fallout with the new law—namely, what to do with more than 200 pot-related offenses.

The district attorney’s office in Tarrant County, Texas has dismissed 235 marijuana misdemeanors that have been filed since June 10, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Those misdemeanors now require lab tests. But there’s one massive dilemma: under the new law, most labs in the state are unable to differentiate between marijuana, hemp and hemp-related products. The new law in Texas, signed by Abott on June 10 and went into effect immediately, allows farmers in the state to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, while also clarifying which CBD products are legal.

The signing of the law came on the heels of Congress’ passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, which removed a huge obstacle for states by making hemp legal on the federal level. But both the federal law and the new state law in Texas complicated longstanding legal definitions of what constituted marijuana and hemp. Under the new laws, the concentration of THC would be the chief factor

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Bid For Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative Launched in Idaho

Cannabis activists in Idaho have launched a bid to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in the state and will soon be collecting signatures to put a voter initiative on the ballot for the 2020 election. The legalization initiative was filed with the Idaho Secretary of State on Tuesday by members of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition. Once the initiative has been reviewed by the Secretary of State, activists will have until the end of April to gather the more than 55,000 signatures necessary for the initiative to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

If the initiative is successful, patients with a qualifying serious medical condition would be allowed to possess up to four ounces of cannabis for medicinal use. It would also establish a system to regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana and protect medicinal cannabis users from discrimination in employment, housing, and education.

“It’s a pretty carefully thought-out regulatory system both for patients and providers,” said James Piotrowski, an attorney representing the initiative effort.

Patients Campaign for MMJ

John Belville of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition has a chronic condition known as peripheral neuropathy that causes severe pain. His doctors prescribed strong narcotics that were not only ineffective but

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