Author: wnnadmin

Edgewater’s $13 million civic center, partly funded by cannabis cash, opens Sunday

This weekend, thanks to its bustling marijuana trade, this tiny city on the western shore of Sloan’s Lake will forge a new civic identity with the opening of a $13 million municipal complex complete with library, police station, fitness center and city offices.

The post Edgewater’s $13 million civic center, partly funded by cannabis cash, opens Sunday appeared first on The Cannabist.

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Senate Majority Leader Guarantees Industrial Hemp Legalization

Just two weeks after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan expressed public support for the legalization of industrial hemp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now guaranteeing that the 2018 Farm Bill will include the industrial hemp legalization provision once the House and the Senate solve their difference regarding this issue.

If there’s a Farm Bill, it’ll be in there, I guarantee that,” McConnell told reporters last Friday.

(To watch McConnell’s hemp legalization guarantee, go to 13:15 into this video clip).

As we have discussed at length, the House and the Senate versions of the bill differ in that the House version is silent on the legalization of industrial hemp whereas the Senate version, which was introduced by the Senate Majority Leader himself, would remove the crop from the definition of “marijuana” under the Controlled Substance Act, and instead treat hemp like a standard agricultural crop. Indeed, although industrial hemp and marijuana are the same species, hemp contains a negligible amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the psychoactive compound that gives its users a high.

In justifying his support of the legalization of the crop, McConnell stressed the immense value and versatility of industrial hemp. In addition, McConnell declared that he became aware of the international implications of hemp legalization during his visits of hemp processors this past year and explained that major foreign investors have expressed interest in the hemp business, signaling the crop’s tremendous potential.

I don’t want to overstate this—I don’t know if it’s going to be the next tobacco or not—but I do think it has a lot of potential. And as all of you already know, in terms of food and medicine but also car parts…it’s an extraordinary plant.”

According to the Senate Majority Leader, once legalized, industrial hemp will be “lightly regulated” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, there will be no more federal involvement except for the issuance of crop insurances to hemp farmers—which is one of the most significant provisions included in the Senate version of the bill. Instead, industrial hemp would be regulated by local law enforcement, pursuant to the state program under which hemp farmers would be registered.

Although McConnell acknowledged that a provision pertaining to work requirements for food stamp recipients had caused delays in the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, he declared that the enactment of the bill will be one of his top priorities when Congress reconvenes for a lame-duck session.

The continuing public support for the legalization of industrial hemp by conservative Congressional leaders strongly suggests that the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill is imminent, which is fantastic news!

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Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased Incidence of Liver Cirrhosis in Those With Hepatitis C

Marijuana use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis in those with the Hepatitis C Virus, according to a new study published by the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

A cirrhosis word cloud.

“The effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease (CLD) from Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection, the most common cause of CLD, has been controversial”, states the study’s abstract. “Here, we investigated the impact of cannabis use on the prevalence of CLD among HCV infected individuals.”

For the study researchers “analyzed hospital discharge records of adults (age ≥ 18 years) with a positive HCV diagnosis”, evaluating “records from 2007 to 2014 of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)” while excluding “records with other causes of chronic liver diseases (alcohol, hemochromatosis, NAFLD, PBC, HBV, etc.).”

Of the 188,333 records, researchers “matched cannabis users to nonusers on 1:1 ratio, using a propensity-based matching system, with a stringent algorithm.” They then “used conditional regression models with generalized estimating equations to measure the adjusted prevalence rate ratio (aPRR) for having liver cirrhosis (and its complications), carcinoma, mortality, discharge disposition, and the adjusted mean ratio (aMR) of total hospital cost and length of stay (LOS) [SAS 9.4].”

The study “revealed that cannabis users (CUs) had decreased prevalence of liver cirrhosis, unfavorable discharge disposition, and lower total health care cost ($39,642[36,220-43,387] versus $45,566[$42,244-$49,150]), compared to noncannabis users (NCUs).

Researchers conclude by stating that “Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis, but no change in mortality nor LOS among HCV patients. These novel observations warrant further molecular mechanistic studies.”

For more information on this study, click here.

The post Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased Incidence of Liver Cirrhosis in Those With Hepatitis C appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Massachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20

The first legal recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts will take place on Tuesday, November 20.

Two marijuana retail outlets were given the green light today to begin selling recreational marijuana next week. New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate Holdings in Leicester will become the first outlets to sale marijuana as part of the state’s legalization initiative (passed by voters in 2016).

Both stores, which were given the go-ahead to open in three days by the Cannabis Control Commission, say they will open their door to recreational marijuana customers the morning of November 20. New England Treatment Access plans to open at 8 a.m., while Cultivate Holdings will open at 10 a.m.

As reported by the Associated Press, the “commence operations” notice given to the two outlets requires them to wait three calendar days before opening so they can coordinate with local officials and law enforcement. The openings are expected to draw big crowds, based on the experiences of other legal U.S. states and Canada when they first launched recreational sales.

“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” said Steven Hoffman, chairman of the cannabis panel, in a statement. “To get here, licensees underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections and had their products tested, all to ensure public health and safety as this new industry gets up and running.”

Legal-marijuana advocates, who had complained about the slow pace of regulatory approvals in the state, cheered the news .

“We can rightfully squawk about state delays and problematic local opposition, but the fact remains that we’re the first state east of the Mississippi to offer legal, tested cannabis to adult consumers in safe retail settings,” said Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the group that led the ballot question to legalize recreational pot.

Borghesani called it a “historic distinction” for Massachusetts.

The post Massachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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