The Founder and CEO of Namaste Technologies Departs – Justice or Injustice Served?: Namaste Technologies (TSXV: N) (OTCQB: NXTTF), an e-commerce platform, and online portal that connects patients to doctors prescribing marijuana-related solutions continues to make headlines. If you’ve been following the recent story, you’d have heard that the company’s CEO and co-founder is facing some serious allegations. Sean Dollinger, who co-founded Namaste with Kory Zelickson five years ago out of his garage, took fire from Citron Research, a firm well known for exposing frauds and shorting companies, back in October 2018. The Cannabis Investor
Senator Ron Wyden Follows Earl Blumenauer’s Lead Proposing The New S.420 Cannabis Legalization Bill: It was only last month another federal lawmaker from Oregon, Rep Earl Blumenauer, would stencil his name into American political history as he filled a congressional bill to regulate marijuana. The H.R 420 Bill may strike as a pun but it is the furthest from a joke as it proposes to regulate marijuana like alcohol. It now marks the second time this year that marijuana legislation was primed through a bill numbered 420, and with Congress and the mainstream cannabis culture rearing their heads in influential lawmaking, it may be time for Capitol Hill to rethink their stance. The Cannabis Investor
Democrats Release Text of Proposed Marijuana Banking Bill: Draft Text Released: Congressional Democratic leaders are circulating the text of a bill allowing marijuana businesses to store their profits in banks that they are considering passing this year. The draft bipartisan legislation contains several new provisions that didn’t appear in past bills on marijuana businesses’ access to depository institutions.
- It specifies for the first time that ancillary businesses providing products or services to the cannabis industry should be allowed to bank, and adds protections for marijuana-related “retirement plans or exchange-traded funds” as well as “the sale or lease of real or any other property [and] legal or other licensed services…relating to cannabis.”
- The “distributing or deriving any proceeds, directly or indirectly, from cannabis or cannabis products” is also covered under the bill.
- Another new catch-all provision in the proposal makes clear that “proceeds from a transaction conducted by a cannabis-related legitimate business shall not be considered as proceeds from an unlawful activity solely because the transaction was conducted by a cannabis-related legitimate business.” Marijuana Moment
Illinois Governor Announces Justice Reform Initiative: Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced the creation of a new office that will address what he says is a broken justice system. The Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative will be headed by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and is expected to look at criminal sentencing, education, poverty, and the link among the three. Stratton said the JEO Initiative will move Illinois justice from a punitive system to one that examines the root causes of the issues the state faces. The governor’s order creating the new office spells out a number of general initiatives the administration will pursue to reduce the prison population such as developing “bias-free assessment tools” for judges to use to determine sentences. Stratton said part of the initiative will focus on the legalization of marijuana. “As we work on legalizing the adult use of cannabis, we will examine how to repair the harm that the war on drugs has had on so many communities of color,” Stratton said. AP
3 Legal Marijuana States are Banning CBD Edibles: Following the passage of the Farm Bill the Brightfield Group is calling for global CBD sales to soar by a compounded annual rate of 147% between 2018 and 2022, eventually hitting $22 billion in 2022. But these CBD sales estimates may have hit a bit of a snag. As reported by The Atlantic, the states of New York, Ohio, and Maine have begun waging war on edibles containing CBD. Even in states where recreational marijuana is legal, such as Maine, a gray area exists with regard to adding CBD to food products. Why is this happening? The blame primarily lies with a lack of guidelines and FDA-confirmed research on CBD. The problem here is that the FDA views this clinical indication as statistically significant for patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and unconfirmed for every other possible ailment. Even with university-based data suggesting that CBD treatments can help with chronic pain or glaucoma, that’s not been proven by an FDA-cleared study. 420 Intel
The World Health Organization Recognizes Health Benefit of Cannabis: The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced their official recommendation that cannabis be rescheduled, from Schedule IV to Schedule I, based on an international drug treaty signed in 1961. The international drug classification system is ordered in the opposite direction of the one used in the United States, where cannabis is currently a Schedule I drug, without any recognized medical benefit. According to the WHO’s recommendation, cannabis would be reclassified as a Schedule I drug, considered harmful but with some recognized medical benefits. In the same announcement, the WHO also clarified its position on the distinction between products containing more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, from those which are made up of solely cannabidiol (CBD), one of the plants non-psychoactive but medically relevant ingredients. The WHO’s recommendation is set to be voted on by the United Nation (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs, a committee made up of 53 member nations, taking place in Vienna, Austria, in March 2019. Wiki Leaf
Study Shows How Marijuana Component CBD Can Help People With Substance Use Disorders: A team of Australian researchers summarized the results of multiple human and animal trials on CBD and addiction, finding that the non-intoxicating component of marijuana can reduce cravings and the risk of relapse for chronic alcohol, tobacco, and opioid misuse. They found “mixed” results when it came to stimulants like methamphetamine. Here’s what they found:
- CBD caused reduced self-administration of ethanol (alcohol) among animal subjects, and when the dose was higher (120mg), it decreased the risk of relapse.
- A separate study indicated CBD caused animal subjects to become less responsive to cue- and stress-induced triggers for alcohol administration. That effect lasted “up to 138 days post-CBD.”
- For tobacco, a study that involved 24 smokers found that those who used CBD inhalers “significantly reduced the number of smoked cigarettes” compared to the placebo groups.
- Smokers who received CBD were less susceptible to cigarettes cues after being abstinent for one night, another study found.
- Research shows that CBD can interfere with the “reward-facilitating effect” of morphine but, generally speaking, the compound is less effective than THC or a combination of THC and CBD at addressing opioid misuse.
- THC alone “demonstrated to be more effective than CBD in inhibiting morphine abstinence syndrome in mice.”
The paper, published in the journal Frontiers In Psychiatry, ultimately determined that CBD plays on the endocannabinoid system in ways that empower people with substance use disorders to use less of a harmful substance even though the compounds don’t necessarily curb withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana Moment
Cannabis Co-ops Springing up as Smaller Growers Seek to Compete: Some say Canada’s new marijuana legalization framework is excluding the small producers with established know-how. A movement is growing in the province to address that problem with a common idea: cannabis co-operatives. ” Grow Tech Labs, a cannabis business accelerator and Victory Square Technologies launched a cannabis co-op this month that will begin with a provincewide consultation of small producers and processors. Grow Tech will provide start-up funding but it will be up to the members who pick an executive and define their roles under bylaws and a governance model. As of Jan. 31, Health Canada said it had received 83 micro-cultivation licence applications, including 54 for cultivation only, seven for processing only and 22 for both. CTV News
€350 Million Proposed Investments for Cannabis Production in Greece: A total of 30 proposed foreign investments in medical and industrial cannabis production that together surpass 350 million euros have been submitted to the general secretariat of industry for approval, Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources revealed on Sunday. Of these, two have been approved, two rejected and the remaining 26 are still pending. According to the same reports, strong investment interest has been expressed by foreign investors hailing from countries such as Israel, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, France and Russia. Tornos News
Health Canada Suspends Licence of Winnipeg Cannabis Producer Bonify: Health Canada has suspended the sales licence of Winnipeg-based cannabis producer Bonify. The federal agency barred Bonify Medical Cannabis from selling cannabis on Monday due to safety and public health concerns. “The department found that Bonify Medical Cannabis was possessing, distributing and selling product that was purchased from an illegal source, and selling product that did not comply with the good production practices as required under the Cannabis Act and cannabis regulations,” Health Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette said in a statement. The case has been forwarded on to the RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency, said Morrissette. The announcement comes after Health Canada issued a recall on two Bonify strains in December over contamination concerns on products sold in Saskatchewan. A third-party investigation found the company sold unauthorized product at retailers in Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw. CBC News
Instances of Cannabis Poisoning on the Rise, Warns Quebec Poison Control Centre: The Quebec Poison Control Centre says the number of reported cases of cannabis poisoning has more than tripled in the province since the drug was legalized last fall. Symptoms of cannabis poisoning include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, vomiting and in some cases psychosis, possibly necessitating hospitalization. The centre says that from October through December, it recorded 89 cases. For the same period last year, the centre only recorded 25 cases. Maude Saint-Onge, director of the Quebec Poison Control Centre, says the jump in local cases of cannabis poisoning were significant enough to file a report with the department of public health. “Right now, it’s hard to distinguish whether there is more exposure, more cases of over-intoxication, or simply more people calling because they feel more comfortable now that it’s legal,” she said. 420 Intel
New Bill Would Expand Medical Cannabis use for Texans: A bill was filed Tuesday in the Texas House of Representatives that would expand the use of medical marijuana for Texans with “debilitating medical conditions.” House Bill 1365 was filed by Texas State Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-Bronwsville). The bill allows patients to use certain amounts of medical cannabis for conditions like cancer, autism, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Under this bill, patients could use cannabis products through vaporization, oils, salves, or lotions, but not through smoking. To date, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana for medical uses, though the agency says it is willing to work with companies interested in bringing “safe, effective and quality products to market” as well as research on medicinal uses for it. The Farm Bill at the end of last year legalized hemp for industrial purposes. Kxan.com
New York City Cracks Down on CBD Edibles, Saying the Cannabis Derivative Is Unsafe: For months, the top-selling item at Fat Cat Kitchen was a chocolate chunk, salted flaked, CBD infused cookie. On Friday, a health inspector sealed up the restaurant’s supply of CBD-infused baked goods in a plastic bag and told Fat Cat Kitchen to stop selling them as part of a citywide embargo on food products containing CBD. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed on Tuesday that it was ordering restaurants under its jurisdiction not to sell food products containing CBD. In a statement, the health department said that New York City eateries were not “permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat.” That included CBD, which had not been “deemed safe as a food additive,” the department said. New York Times
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Legalize Marijuana: Pennsylvania Rep. Jake Wheatley (D) and 25 cosponsors filed a bill on Monday to legalize marijuana in the state. The legislation would allow adults 21 and older to possess, consume and cultivate cannabis, as well as purchase it from licensed retailers. Individuals could grow up to six plants, only three of which could be mature, for personal use. The bill would expunge the criminal records of those with past marijuana convictions and require the release of people currently imprisoned for cannabis offenses made legal under the legislation. It would also establish equity policies to ensure that “diverse groups have equal opportunity in the permitting process.” While Pennsylvania is seen as one of the most likely states to legalize in 2019, both the House and Senate are Republican-controlled and it’s not clear that cannabis proposals will necessarily receive a floor vote in either chamber. Marijuana Moment
Judge Rejects Cap on Marijuana Dispensaries in Florida: Siding with Florida’s largest cannabis operator, a circuit judge for the second time struck down a law capping the number of dispensaries medical marijuana businesses can run. The limit on the number of retail storefronts was included in a 2017 law aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. But Quincy-based Trulieve challenged the provision, arguing the restriction “arbitrarily impairs product availability and safety” and “unfairly penalizes” pot providers. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers agreed with Trulieve last month, but lawyers for the company asked her to revisit an order that also struck down the state’s “vertical integration” system requiring medical marijuana operators to handle all aspects of the cannabis trade, including growing, processing and dispensing. Gievers’ order Friday replaces the Jan. 2 ruling, which, according to Trulieve, went “beyond the scope” of what the marijuana operator had sought. Orlando Sentinel
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