Former Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson is Building a 40-Acre Marijuana Ranch in California: We all saw the Joe Rogan podcast, where Mike Tyson shared his thoughts on marijuana, and how at this particular time in his life he’s been able to really make the jump into the business landscape. The former boxing heavyweight Champ, expressed his plans to distribute all over the world, as he broke ground on his 40-acre cannabis ranch and resort called Tyson Ranch. As of right now, there is no official opening date for Tyson Ranch, however, his company Tyson Holistic is currently operating the farm.
According to reports, Tyson Ranch is in California City near Edwards Air Force Base. Tyson plans to use half of the acres for growing some of the highest quality strains of cannabis, and the other half will host extraction facilities, and factories to create edibles and store supplies. We all know Tyson doesn’t mess around, inside and outside the ring. Just look at the official Tyson Ranch collector’s box he brought Joe Rogan on that evening’s show.
Hip Hop Star Wiz Khalifa is Set to Conquer The North American Cannabis Game: Wiz Khalifa is arguably one of the most famous consumers of Cannabis just short of Snoop Dogg. In 2015 Wiz took his passion for Cannabis, and his entrepreneurial vision and started his company, Khalifa Kush Enterprise (KKE). Wiz has since moved to work with some great companies out of California, to develop what many think is one of the most exciting strains of premium Cannabis in the U.S.
This past December The Supreme Cannabis Company (TSX: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) released news of their partnership with Wiz Khalifa, as they hope to knowledge share. Supreme Cannabis will pay Khalifa, the stage name of Cameron Jibril Thomaz, $1 million in cash in addition to just over 5.7 million shares in the Toronto-based pot producer in return for exclusive rights to distribute the musician’s “Khalifa Kush” cannabis brand and provide consulting services for the next three years.
Medical Marijuana Sales in Pennsylvania Exceed $132m in First Year: Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis businesses made at least 600,000 transactions during the program’s first year and their sales totaled $132 million, according to state officials. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said that more than 83,000 people purchased MMJ at the 45 dispensaries that are up and running. More than $2 million in state taxes were paid by grower/processors. Roughly 1,000 doctors are currently approved to certify patients for the program.
Most California Municipalities Ban Commercial Cannabis Activity: Two-thirds of California municipalities prohibit marijuana businesses from setting up shop, underscoring the hurdles MJ entrepreneurs face in trying to break into the world’s largest legal cannabis market. Only 161 of California’s 482 municipalities and 24 of the 58 counties have opted to allow commercial cannabis activity of any sort, according to data from CannaRegs, a website that tracks local marijuana rule developments in the state. In addition, many of those local jurisdictions are selective about the type of cannabis business they allow, such as testing labs only. Others permit medical marijuana companies but not recreational businesses.
N.J. Close to Legalizing Weed as Murphy and Top Democrats Have a Deal: Gov. Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders have reached a deal in principle on how to tax and regulate marijuana in New Jersey after months of negotiations, paving the way to bringing legal weed to the Garden State. Multiple legislative and industry sources confirmed an agreement was in place on a bill that would tax marijuana by the ounce, rather than the contentious sales tax that had divided Murphy and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Another major sticking point was how the state’s new cannabis industry would be regulated. The tentative deal would put an independent commission in charge of most aspects. The final bill would also address clearing marijuana convictions from criminal records — expungements. Both houses of the Democrat-controlled state Legislature — the Senate and Assembly — have to pass the bill before Murphy could sign it into law.
Wisconsin – Tony Evers to Propose Pot Decriminalization in Budget, Medical use for Cancer, PTSD, Chronic Pain: Gov. Tony Evers will propose decriminalizing marijuana in his plan for the next state budget, as part of an overhaul of marijuana laws that would legalize it for medical conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. The proposal calls for allowing records to be expunged for people with previous convictions relating to marijuana possession in small amounts. It also would permit the possession and use of a marijuana derivative used to treat seizures, CBD oil, without a doctor’s certification. The plan may face pushback from Senate Republicans, as Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has said he opposes medical marijuana and isn’t sure such a law could pass the chamber. Wisconsin permits only possession of CBD oil, a marijuana derivative that does not produce a high, for people with a doctor’s certification that it is used to treat a medical condition. Evers’ plan would remove that requirement.
West Virginia House Passes Medical Marijuana Banking Bill: A bill that provides state protections for banks that deal with medical marijuana revenue was approved overwhelmingly by the West Virginia House of Delegates on Friday. Introduced by Del. Eric Nelson (R), the legislation authorizes the state treasurer to open a bidding process for banks and other financial institutions that are willing to process the “fees, penalties and taxes collected under” the state’s medical cannabis program. It would also make it so the state government could not “prohibit, penalize, incentivize, or otherwise impair” financial institutions that accept accounts for medical cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law.
The Nursing Home With A Medical Cannabis Program The Feds Can Live With: As long as the vast majority of hospitals and nursing care institutions rely on funding from Medicare and other federal sources, they opt not to put those funds at risk by allowing a Schedule 1 controlled substance onto their premises. One trailblazer, however, has challenged this status quo. The Hebrew Home of Riverdale, a 735-bed skilled nursing facility located outside of New York City, developed an ingenious program that enables senior residents to access medical cannabis under New York state law, while the institution itself remains compliant with federal law. Residents must purchase their cannabis medicine on their own from a state-certified dispensary. For those who cannot travel, the New York certified Vireo dispensary offers Skype consultations and free delivery. Residents must also self-administer their medicine, or have it administered by a caregiver who is not on the Hebrew Home staff. Because the Hebrew Home is a non-smoking facility, only orally administered medications (capsules or tinctures) are permitted.
EU Parliament Calls for Medicinal Cannabis to be Covered by Public Health: Last week MEPs voted to adopt a resolution on the medicinal use of cannabis which asked for an EU-wide legal definition of medicinal cannabis to be established, in order to distinguish it from other uses of the plant. According to the parliament, adopting a clear policy on medical cannabis would benefit the safety and quality of the drug, saying that several EU member states have already legalized the medical use of some forms of cannabis, or are considering it. The authors of the resolution also called on member states to boost funding for medicinal cannabis research. The MEPs said that creating EU-wide guidelines on medical cannabis would help reduce abuse of the drug, thwart the trade of it on the black market and prevent young people from becoming addicted to it.
S. Korea to Allow Imports of Medical Cannabis Starting in March: South Korea will allow imports of medical cannabis starting next month, health authorities said Tuesday, as part of efforts to provide more treatment options for patients with rare diseases. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said the National Assembly has passed a bill to amend a relevant law to allow imports and exports of non-hallucinogenic doses of medical marijuana for patients suffering from epilepsy and other diseases. The law will take effect on March 12, officials said.
New Problem for Legal Weed: Exploding Pot Factories: Legalization of marijuana at the state level has resulted in at least 10 recorded instances of fires or explosions at facilities that extract hash oil. In the 33 states where the drug is legal for medical or recreational use, at least 10 fires or explosions have occurred in the past five years at facilities that extract hash oil used in edible products. Nearly all resulted in serious injuries for production-line staff. Extracting hash oil from cannabis is dangerous because typically it requires pouring highly-flammable butane or some other volatile solvent into a cannabis-filled pipe to strip THC from the cannabis plant, which then drips down in liquid form and is collected. Two of the 33 states bar the use of butane to extract hash oil in professional operations. New York, for instance, allows extraction only when the agent used is carbon dioxide or alcohol; a processor who wishes to use an alternative method must receive specific approval. Eleven states require a “closed loop” system that contains the flammable agent, preventing its release into the air, where it can ignite.
Nova Scotia plans to add more cannabis retail stores: The Province of Nova Scotia has reported seeing slower than expected online cannabis sales and as such plans to add more retail stores. Finance Minister Karen Casey said that the province has asked the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to add to their current 12 locations and in doing so, it would address some of the geographical that areas that aren’t currently being serviced with a retail store. Casey said that online sales were supposed to make up 10 percent of the province’s legal cannabis sales, but as of right now it only accounts for about six percent.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Industry Grows to Estimated $5.7B+: Medical marijuana has grown into a nearly $6 billion industry in Florida for the first nine months of 2018 alone, based on the amount of product ordered. For the first nine months of 2018, more than 38.4 billion milligrams of medical marijuana were ordered in the state, including 753 million milligrams in Central Florida. That would equate to an estimated $3.4 billion to $5.7 billion in sales in Florida and $111.3 million in Central Florida for the dispensaries. In total, the state has 209,940 medical marijuana patients in the registry as of Dec. 28, 2018. That’s up from 95,460 total patients on April 6, 2018.
Georgia Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Allow Growth, Sale of Medical Marijuana: A bill introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives would legalize the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana. Georgia has had a limited medical marijuana program since 2015. Under the program, patients with one or more qualifying medical conditions who register with the state may possess cannabis oil with less than 5 percent THC. Under Gravley’s proposal, the state would issue only 10 licenses for cannabis cultivators to serve Georgia’s 8,400 (and rising) registered patients. Five of the licenses to grow, process, and manufacture cannabis oil would go to large companies, with the rest being reserved for smaller operators. Ten retail licenses could also be issued under the legislation. Dispensaries would pay $10,000 to apply, $20,000 for the first year’s license, and an annual renewal fee of $10,000. Licenses would be scheduled to be approved by January 1, 2020, with licensed cannabis products being available to patients within another year.
U.S. Cannabis Companies Have Advantage for CBD Exports to Brazil: The South American country has seen steady growth in patient numbers over the past year, with the majority of CBD products arriving from the U.S., not its northern neighbor. The reason is how products are shipped to Brazil: CBD products from the U.S. are considered nutritional supplements while they’re controlled medicines in Canada. Each patient authorized by ANVISA also must import individually, so getting products from Canada, though possible in theory, is almost impossible in practice. The caveat is that products shipped from the United States may only have residual or no THC. This same rule applies to CBD oils shipped to Brazil from the United Kingdom, and in the case of those shipped from Switzerland, the maximum is 1% THC.
Quebec Facing Strong Opposition to New Bill Restricting Cannabis Consumption: The Quebec government faced strong opposition as public consultations began Tuesday on its bill seeking to increase the legal age of cannabis consumption and ban it from all public areas by the province’s public health agencies. They say raising the legal age to 21 from 18 won’t prevent young people from obtaining marijuana. And they say banning it from public areas marginalizes tenants whose landlords have banned smoking, creating a system where only certain groups can consume a legal product without breaking the law. The current law is already one of the strictest legal regimes for marijuana in the country.
States with Legal Medical Marijuana Have Lower Teen Use Rates, Large-Scale Study Finds: Contrary to often-expressed fears of marijuana legalization opponents, teens living in states that allow medical cannabis are actually less likely to use the drug compared to those in non-legal states. That’s the result of a new study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Researchers at Boston College looked at national youth drug surveys from 1999 to 2015—a data set that involved more than 860,000 adolescents across the United States. They investigated how self-reported marijuana use changed in states that have either decriminalized cannabis possession or legalized it for medical purposes. And while opponents of legalization have long argued that loosening marijuana laws would drive more youth to consume cannabis, the study showed the opposite. The enactment of medical cannabis laws was associated with a 1.1 percentage point reduction in marijuana use among teens.
Missouri Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Expungement Bill For Medical Cannabis Patients: Medical marijuana patients in Missouri got one step closer to being able to have prior misdemeanor cannabis offenses expunged from their criminal records on Thursday. A bill providing for certain expungements, introduced by Rep. Ron Hicks (R), was approved by the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice in a 7-2 vote. The legislation stipulates that the Department of Health and Senior Services must petition the courts for the expungement of “any marijuana-related misdemeanor offenses or municipal violations” that occurred before an individual obtained a medical cannabis card, according to a bill summary. If the bill is ultimately signed, residents will still have to wait until at least July 4 before the expungement process gets underway.
Lawmakers File Bills to Legalize Medical Marijuana for Military Veterans: Lawmakers on Capitol Hill filed companion bills on Tuesday in the House and Senate to make it legal under federal law for military veterans to “use, possess, or transport medical marijuana” in accordance with state policies. Aside from shielding veterans who use medical cannabis under local laws from being harassed by federal officials, the proposal makes clear that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors can issue medical marijuana recommendations to their patients. If the legislation is enacted, VA would also be required to study “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 proposal sets aside $15 million to support such research.
Congress Urged to Fully Open Banks to Marijuana Industry: Bank officials and others urged Congress on Wednesday to fully open the doors of the U.S. banking system to the legal marijuana industry, a change that supporters say would reduce crime risks and resolve a litany of challenges for cannabis companies, from paying taxes to getting a loan.
Florida Moving to Allow Smokable Medical Marijuana: The Florida House began moving a bill Tuesday designed to comply with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ demand that lawmakers repeal a ban on smokable medical marijuana by mid-March, but there remain differences with a similar bill moving in the Senate. The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill on a 14-2 vote that would allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana. The bill restricts its use to pre-rolled, filtered marijuana cigarettes.
Senators Focus on Marijuana’s Role in Combating Opioid Crisis at Hearing: Doctors testifying about the opioid epidemic on Capitol Hill on Tuesday made clear that marijuana has medical potential as an alternative pain treatment option and that federal prohibition is inhibiting cannabis research. The Senate Health, Education, Labo, and Pensions Committee held a hearing to discuss how to manage the nation’s opioid crisis, and medical marijuana was a point of particular interest raised by several lawmakers. Cindy Steinberg, national director of policy and advocate at the U.S. Pain Foundation, said “cannabis has helped a number of people living with pain” and that it’s “another option” in the toolbox for pain patients. She stressed that marijuana’s legal status make it hard to standardize cannabis treatment. “Doctors need to be the one prescribing it, but they don’t know what they’re doing with it,” she said. “They’re not trained with it either. Without having a really good research base, we’re just flying blind.
Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Banking Boosts Industry Hopes for Reform, but Passage Far From Assured: Wednesday, a subcommittee of the now-Democratic-controlled House Financial Services Committee hears testimony on the difficulty legal cannabis businesses have opening and maintaining bank accounts. The hearing – which also will look at proposed cannabis banking legislation – is only the first step in getting a measure passed. The hearing will include a discussion of the draft “Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019,” the so-called SAFE Banking Act. The draft bill, among other things, would prevent a federal banking regulator from:
- Terminating or limiting the deposit insurance of a federal financial institution solely because it provided services to a legal cannabis business.
- Prohibiting, penalizing or discouraging banks from providing services to legal marijuana businesses.
- Taking adverse action on a loan made to a legal cannabis business.
Is FDA Behind The Latest CBD Crackdown? Or is This The Result of State and Local Paranoia?: There is local and state level crackdown presently underway on the popular cannabis extract cannabidiol—commonly known as CBD—because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants all food products containing this substance to go through the federal approval process before it is sold to the public. Maine, Ohio and New York City have all imposed bans on CBD, citing the FDA’s vague rules. Other states, including North Carolina, have also joined in. It remains uncertain just how far this backlash will go before it is all said and done, and the FDA isn’t helping much to provide clarity. The bulk of the problem apparently stems from the language of the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act, which has strict rules on adding medicinal components to food. The FDA is also not very keen on businesses making health claims about CBD products that are not approved by the agency. The CBD ban does not involve all products. For now, it appears to be focused only on CBD-infused food items. And the ban has not yet taken hold nationwide—only a few states and NYC have embraced it. However, there is a distinct possibility that more jurisdictions will follow suit in the coming weeks and months unless the FDA provides additional guidance.
Lawmakers Push FDA to Allow CBD-Infused Food Products: A bipartisan group of members of Congress is pushing the Trump administration to provide a legal pathway for food products infused with the marijuana compound cannabidiol, better known as CBD. In a letter sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, the lawmakers wrote that a series of recent actions by state and local officials in New York City, Maine and Ohio to crack down on the sale of CBD foods and beverages have “spurred a tremendous amount of confusion among product manufacturers, hemp farmers, and consumers of these products.” FDA has so far refused to say whether it was involved in the local crackdowns in any way. Following the federal legalization of hemp and products derived from it late last year through the Farm Bill, FDA released a lengthy statement saying that it reserves the right to regulate cannabis-based products. The agency would take action against businesses making unsupported claims about CBD’s therapeutic potential, it said, even if the products in question were derived from legal hemp crops, and it warned against introducing such products into interstate commerce.
European Parliament Calls for Uniform Definition of Medical Cannabis: In a move to get more clarity on what medical marijuana is, the European Parliament passed a resolution Wednesday calling on the European Commission and EU countries to provide a legal definition and draw a clear distinction between cannabis-based medicines approved by regulatory bodies, MMJ not supported by clinical trials and other applications of the plant. The resolution also calls on the commission and national authorities “to address the regulatory, financial and cultural barriers” that have been hindering scientific research. It also “stresses the importance of close cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization.”
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. The recommendation came in the form of a letter, not yet officially released to the public, written by WHO director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 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.
The UK Will Not Allow CBD in Foods and Beverages: If this new legislation goes through, producers will be unable to sell cannabis edible products for up to 18 months. CBD cosmetics still legal, for now… The trend continues… Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) now recognizes CBD edibles and supplements as “novel foods”. All foods must receive authorization before going to market, but under EU regulations, CBD products classed as ”novel foods” go through an extra layer of vigorous testing, including tests to ensure they contain the ingredients listed. CBD is slowly but surely being blocked in the EU one market after the other. With evidence that countries such as Spain, Italy and Austria have all been taking enforcement actions against CBD products on the basis of being “novel foods”, it would seem likely that they will quickly adopt the new guidance and expand their efforts to include all cannabinoid-containing food items accordingly, and now its The UK’s turn.
Why CBD Works Better With a Little THC (Even If You Don’t Want to Get High): Project CBD—a non-profit dedicated to boosting science-based understanding of cannabidiol—has compiled an extensive list of pervasive misconceptions, one of which is “CBD is medical, THC is recreational.” On the contrary, even small doses of THC combined with CBD can improve the efficacy of your cannabis medicine. The best available science makes clear that whole-plant cannabis preparations are quantifiably superior to single compounds because the plant’s complex mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids interact synergistically to create an “entourage effect” that enhances each other’s therapeutic effects.
Last Year New York City Consumed The Most Weed in The World: ABCD, an agency out of Germany, recently commissioned a study called The 2018 Cannabis Price Index to discover where cannabis is being consumed, how much of it is being ingested in each location, and how much is cost per gram. The research produced a list of the top 10 highest and lowest cannabis-consuming cities around the world. Collectively, the 10 highest-consuming cities went through 360.24 metric tons of marijuana in 2018, according to the study. New York City ranked in as the one city that smokes the most weed in the entire world, last year, with 77.44 tons of marijuana reportedly being consumed.
Study Shows How Marijuana Component CBD Can Help People With Substance Use Disorders: Cannabidiol, or CBD, shows promise as a potential treatment option for various types of substance use disorders, according to a recent review of existing studies. 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. 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. The compound also seems to reduce the “motivation to self-administer” or continue using drugs in animals. That said, “evidence on its efficacy” remains “limited and mixed,” and so additional studies are needed to substantiate these initial findings.
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