Marijuana Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week The U.S. House panel that oversees federal drug enforcement is scheduled to vote Thursday, September 13th, on a bill to dramatically expand opportunities for research on the medical benefits of marijuana. Sponsored by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and 40 bipartisan cosponsors, the Medical Cannabis Research Act would require that the federal government issue more licenses to grow marijuana to be used in scientific studies, among other changes.
Scientists have often complained that it is difficult to obtain product from the sole farm authorized to supply cannabis for research and that it is often of low quality. Drug policy reform advocates who otherwise strongly support expanding marijuana research said they have serious concerns with some of the bill’s provisions. Namely, they don’t like that it bars people with a “conviction for a felony or drug-related misdemeanor” from being affiliated with research cultivation operations. They also take objection to a separate section that requires manufacturers to have letters of good standing from local law enforcement agencies, many of which have historically opposed cannabis reform. Forbes.com
Many California marijuana products failing safety tests: Nearly 20% of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1, a failure rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety. Rules require the THC concentration come within 10 per cent of what is advertised on a product label. Company executives say some products are being rejected after landing outside the margin by tiny amounts. 420intel.com
European Parliament Working to Make Medical Marijuana Available on the Continent: The European Parliament is currently working on a draft proposal on medical cannabis to harmonize laws within the European Union. The move has wide-ranging implications because it recognizes the conflict between law and medicine. The proposal cites marijuana’s known medicinal properties and how existing EU prohibitions on cannabis prevent the scientific community from implementing research and treatment, particularly in a widely fractured legal regulatory environment. www.marijuana.com
New Cannabis Ventures introduces the Cannabis Stock IPOs and New Issues Tracker New Cannabis Ventures’ Cannabis Stock IPOs and New Issues Tracker tracks upcoming initial public offerings of cannabis companies within the United States, Canada and other countries. They currently include 17 companies on the path to trading publicly, with a good mixture of U.S. and Canadian companies in both the direct and ancillary parts of the industry. The tracker also provides data on upcoming RTOs (Reverse Takeovers). This data-driven, fact-based tracker will continually update based on new filings. Companies must file with the SEC, SEDAR or their regulatory authority to be considered for inclusion. NewCannabisVentures.com
Workers In These Industries Are Most Likely To Consume Marijuana Research has identified certain cultural trends, including a new study that examines the prevalence of cannabis consumption among workers in different industries.The study, published this month in the International Review of Psychiatry, demonstrates that cannabis use is represented in a wide range of employment backgrounds. The industries with the highest use rate were food service, education/health, construction/mining. Least use was transportation, wholesale, public administration and agriculture.Marijuanamoment.com
The Amount of Older Americans Using Marijuana Is Getting, Um, Higher. Marijuana is apparently booming among, well, boomers. Specifically, marijuana use is becoming more prevalent among Americans over 50, according to a new study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. In practical terms, wider adoption of cannabis products among middle-aged and older adults certainly makes sense. In terms of medical use, marijuana is often cited as diminishing nausea and pain symptoms.
Younger people are also experimenting with marijuana earlier than alcohol and tobacco cigarettes, with the usage by 12- to 21-year-olds nearly doubling from 4.8% in 2004 to 8% in 2014. Fortune.com
Aurora Cannabis-ICC Labs Deal Fuels Marijuana Stock Momentum Canadian weed producer Aurora Cannabis has gained a new foothold in South America by acquiring ICC Labs, another Canada-based company, which has a competitive advantage in the region. The deal, worth C$290 million ($220 million), has sent weed stocks soaring.
The takeover is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Aurora, which has gobbled up at least 10 companies in the last two years in the rapidly consolidating industry. Aurora shares rose as much as 4.1%, and ICC added 5.6%.
Other Canadian cannabis companies saw gains after the Aurora and ICC deal was announced. MarketWatch reports that Valen GroWorks rallied 19%, Tilray Inc. increased 15%, Cronos Group rose 1.5%, and Canopy Growth was up 2%. Cannabis stocks rose in the US too—Nevada-based Cannabis Sativa increased 11%, while Colorado-based GrowGeneration Corp rose 5%. Bloomberg.com
Medical Marijuana for Veterans Bill Filed in U.S. Senate: Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced legislation on 9/6 to expand and facilitate medical cannabis access to military veterans suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, and other serious medical conditions. Under existing regulations, VA doctors are not permitted to fill out the mandatory paperwork necessary to recommend cannabis therapy in those 31 states that regulate it. Passage of The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would end this discrimination against veterans and prevents sanctions against VA doctors who wish to recommend medical cannabis treatment to their patients. themarijuanaherald.com Additionally, it requires VA to conduct studies on “the effects of medical marijuana on veterans in pain” and “the relationship between treatment programs involving medical marijuana that are approved by States, the access of veterans to such programs, and a reduction in opioid abuse among veterans.” The bill allocates $15 million for the research. Forbes.com
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