Facebook to Loosen Marijuana Restrictions – Now This Deserves a Like: The social media giant Facebook has been known to keep its hands far away from the Cannabis industry. Restrictive advertising guidelines make it impossible to advertise Cannabis related goods or services, and accounts are often banned for including Cannabis-related content. However, according to The Telegraph report on Monday, they may consider changing their rules around regulated goods. This would include how users can promote Marijuana products for sale. “We want to consider whether we can loosen this restriction, especially in relation to Medical Marijuana, legal Marijuana, and brick and mortar stores.” Said company officials at an internal presentation.
On Oct.17 (first day of legal sales in Canada) Facebook lifted a moratorium, on Cannabis-related search results. It did not block entities like legalization groups and dispensaries from having Facebook pages but did apply a “shadow ban” to all Cannabis pages. Instagram pages often face a similar fate. Facebook is now shocking the masses as they now speculate a change in outlook.
Whole Foods May Soon be Selling Marijuana Products: The global conglomerate Whole Foods Market, well known for its wide organic selections and high-ticket items, seems to have a positive outlook on selling marijuana-related products in the future. The CEO John Mackey is making headlines, after a live interview with the Texas Tribune features him speaking on Cannabis. The CEO was first questioned about alternative protein sources and in his own efforts shifted the conversation to Cannabis.
“Chances are good that grocery stores will be selling it in the future,” says John Mackey. However, he was careful to comment on regulation and what he thought of governmental policy, for fear of public out lash. “You just never know what happens over time with markets. They change and evolve.”
The FDA Provides an Update on CBD Legalization: CBD remains the talk of main street. The non-psychoactive component in Cannabis, and often referred to as the ‘sibling’ of THC, is claimed to have a myriad of health benefits and analyst backed forecasts in the billions. However, the pent up demand cannot be released as the substance remains to be sold state by state. Over two separate meetings in the past month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shed some light on their regulatory framework for potential CBD legalization.
At this time CBD in food and dietary supplements remains unlawful. This is mostly due to a similar drug named Epidiolex, which has active compounds similar to CBD. The FDA must issue new changes to re-evaluate these substances as pharmaceutical or not. But it’s not a “straightforward process,” Gottlieb told the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Although the U.S. passing of the Farm Bill loosened restrictions on growing industrial hemp, only oils used from the stalk remain federally legal.
President Trump Signals for the Public’s Input on Global Marijuana Reform: The Trump administration chimed in again for the 3rd time in history last week, asking the public to weigh in on global Marijuana reform. He urged the masses to submit comments to help inform the U.S. on the direction of the rescheduling of Cannabis. It was only a month ago when the World Health Organization formally recommended that the drug and it’s derivatives be reclassified under international consensus, and it looks like they have some strong support from the Red White and Blue.
The FDA is interested in seeing the public response and will take all feedback into consideration when preparing for their meeting with the United Nations Commission on Narcotics, being held in Vienna, Austria later this year. It is an exciting time as the nations leading medical and research bodies, as well as law-abiding citizens, can all have a say in the reform of the substance and have their voices heard.
As of 2019, Legal Cannabis Has Created 211,000 Full-Time Jobs in America: There are now more than 211,000 cannabis jobs across the United States. More than 64,000 of those jobs were added in 2018. Legal cannabis is currently the greatest job-creation machine in America. The cannabis workforce increased by 21% in 2017. It gained another 44% in 2018. We expect at least another 20% growth in jobs in 2019. That would represent a 110% growth in cannabis jobs in just three years.
Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Sales Surpass $7 Million in February: Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana market is continuing to blossom, hitting more than $7.2 million in sales in February alone. That’s up from $4.3 million in January, after a $1 million sales month in December, the first full month of MMJ sales in the state. The state’s MMJ program has almost 55,000 patients, 1,100 dispensaries and 1,800 growers all registered or licensed since August.
Florida lawmakers file bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over: HB 1117 was filed by Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and Michael Grieco, D-Miami Beach, on Tuesday. The proposal allows people who are 21 years old and above to “use, possess and transport” up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and have marijuana accessories. The bill would also let people possess, grow and cultivate up to six marijuana plants, including seedlings, and possess the marijuana produced by the plants.
Sales of Legal Bud are Reducing Purchases of Ale and Other Suds, Finance Minister Claims: The legal sale of cannabis has vaporized more than $6 million worth of provincial beer sales, Manitoba’s finance minister claimed as he continued to predict no net revenue from recreational weed. Almost six months after Canada legalized the sale of recreational cannabis, Manitoba is not expecting to make a profit off the new industry, Finance Minister Scott Fielding said Monday. Expenditures related to legal cannabis will outpace revenue from its sale for years, said Fielding, who declined to say whether the province will make any cannabis revenue projections in the provincial budget expected on Thursday. He also suggested any cannabis profits could be offset by reduced beer sales, based on Colorado’s experience following legalization.
Key Colorado House Panel Advances Bill That Would Spur Marijuana Capital Investment: A key Colorado House panel on Monday unanimously advanced a bill that would open up the state’s $1.5 billion-a-year recreational and medical marijuana industry to new sources of public and private capital. “The lack of investment opportunity is the single-biggest burden we have,” Shannon Fender, director of public affairs of Native Roots, one of Colorado’s largest marijuana operators, said at the committee’s public hearing. Current law prohibits publicly traded companies from holding a Colorado marijuana license and limits out-of-state owners to 15 people. A number of industry officials spoke in support of the bill, saying greater investment flexibility is critical to attracting the capital necessary for growth and keeping Colorado’s cannabis industry competitive in terms of product development, employee benefits and more.
Demand for Medical Cannabis Has Tripled in Germany in Just Two Years: Westfälische Rundschau reported: “Within a year, demand has tripled. This is shown by figures from the pharmacist association ABDA, which is available to the German Press Agency. According to this, in the past year, pharmacies sold about 145,000 units of cannabis-containing preparations and unprocessed flowers based on about 95,000 prescriptions. In the nearly ten months of 2017 from the release in March to the end of the year, there were 27,000 prescriptions and 44,000 units”.
Canadians Spending $5.9B on Pot, Mostly from Black Market: StatsCan: Statistics Canada said Friday that annualized Canadian household spending on cannabis totaled $5.9 billion in the fourth quarter, with the black market still accounting for $4.7 billion of that figure and the legal market estimated at $1.2 billion. Cannabis, both legal and illegal, is now included in the national economic accounts as StatCan released fourth-quarter gross domestic product figures. StatCan added that cannabis accounted for 0.5% of total household spending in the fourth quarter, while non-medical cannabis accounted for 11.2 percent of Canadian household spending on alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. At market prices, cannabis accounted for $2.2 billion or 0.4% of Canada’s GDP in the fourth quarter. The illicit market was estimated to be worth $1.4 billion, or nearly two-thirds of the total fourth-quarter spend, while the legal market was $770 million. StatCan said the average all-in market price paid for legal cannabis flower was $9.70 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2018. That compares to an average price of $6.51 per gram for illegal cannabis, which is 32.9% lower than the price of legal pot.
Mold, Labeling Errors Cause Rash of Cannabis Recalls in Canada: A number of cannabis recalls over labeling errors and mold is a sign that the federal health department’s regulatory oversight is working, an industry representative said. Seven notices involving cannabis have been posted to Health Canada’s recall portal since Oct. 17, representing a fraction of the overall production. No recall notices were posted in the nine months prior to the national adult-use launch. (The last recall before legalization was when Leamington, Ontario-based Aphria issued the voluntary recall for two lots of dried marijuana due to a labeling error in January 2018.) Health Canada recently published the first guide to promote compliance with recall requirements and helps license holders understand their role in a voluntary recall.
U.S. Hemp Authority Announces Issuance of First 13 Certified Seals for Hemp Growers and Processors: The U.S. Hemp Authority today announced the first awards of its Certification Seal to 13 outstanding companies that have met the stringent standards the industry laid out for quality and safety. The following awardees have demonstrated their commitment to assuring that consumers have access to safe and accurately labeled hemp-derived products, including fiber, seed, and extracts, such as cannabidiol (CBD).
Bill reintroduced in US Senate to remove cannabis from Controlled Substances Act: New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker reintroduced legislation that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively meaning state-legal cannabis businesses would not have to fear federal interference and could gain normal access to banking services. The Marijuana Justice Act, first introduced by Booker and Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, in 2017, is being supported by presidential candidates including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. All are Democrats except for Sanders, who is an Independent. Industry officials are bullish about the prospects of federal reform, but experts say any reform package likely would need Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support.
Two in Three (65%) Canadians Would Take a Drug Containing Cannabis if Prescribed by a Doctor and Covered by Insurance: The study revealed that two in three (65%) Canadians would be willing (36% very/29% somewhat) to take a pharmaceutical drug containing cannabis that their doctor prescribed, if it was approved by Health Canada and covered by either public or private insurance. Those more likely to be willing to take these drugs include men (69%), those aged 18-34 (72%), and residents of Ontario (71%). By contrast, if these drugs were not covered by public or private insurance and patients had to pay out of pocket, four in ten (38%) would still be willing to do so (14% strongly/25% somewhat), particularly among men (44%), those aged 18-34 (51%), and residents of BC (50%). The main findings of the Tetra Bio-Pharma Ipsos poll are:
- Majority of Canadians believe taking cannabis for medical reasons without consulting a doctor poses a risk.
- Knowledge of Canadian clinical trials investigating cannabis medicines is low.
- Slim majority of Canadians agree that their doctor is informed enough to treat them with cannabis.
- Majority of Canadians do not consider themselves as cannabis users.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Bill Passes Georgia House: The Georgia House approved a bill Tuesday that would allow medical marijuana oil to be sold to registered patients, giving them a legal way to obtain a drug that they’re already allowed to use. The legislation, which passed on a 123-40 vote, would permit medical marijuana growing, manufacturing, testing, and distribution. Sixty dispensaries would serve the state’s rising number of physician-approved medical marijuana patients — more than 8,400 so far. Marijuana would remain illegal for recreational use. Georgia has allowed patients suffering from severe seizures, deadly cancers, and other illnesses to use medical marijuana oil since 2015. But it’s against the law to grow, buy, sell or transport the drug, leaving patients no permissible method of obtaining it. The measure, House Bill 324, now advances to the state Senate.
New Mexico Relaxes Medical Cannabis Plant Limits, So Prices Should Ease: New Mexico regulators enacted an emergency rule that more than quintuples the medical marijuana plant count limit to 2,500 per grower, a development that should lower MMJ prices and increase supplies and sales. The 180-day emergency rule was in response to a November court ruling in which a district judge struck down the state’s 450-plant limit as being arbitrary. The judge’s ruling was seen a big win for the industry, which had complained that it was hamstrung by New Mexico’s strict plant-count limits.
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