Category: News

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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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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New Jersey Lawmakers to Vote on Marijuana Legalization This Month Says Senate President and Assembly Speaker

New Jersey lawmakers will vote later this month to advance legislation that would legalize marijuana, says Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

On Wednesday at the state League of Municipalities’ annual conference in Atlantic City Coughlin said he has enough in committee to pass a measure that would legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older. Speaking after Coughlin, Sweeney said he agrees with Coughlin’s timeline, but noted that he needs help from Governor Murphy to lobby votes; Murphy made legalizing marijuana one of his primary platforms in his successful run for governor last year, evening going as far as vowing to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days (a timeline which has passed, though most people don’t hold it against him as he’s continued to make it a key issue).

“The only way something like this gets passed legislatively is if all three of us work together,” said Sweeney. “If [the governor is] not going to lobby any votes for us then it won’t get done.”

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this year, 59% of voters in New Jersey support legalizing marijuana, with 37% opposed; only 4% remain undecided on the issue.

If New Jersey does legalize marijuana, they would become the 11th state to do so; Michigan became the 10th during this month’s election.

The post New Jersey Lawmakers to Vote on Marijuana Legalization This Month Says Senate President and Assembly Speaker appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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National League of Cities Calls on Feds to Reschedule Marijuana, Respect State Marijuana Laws

The National League of Cities – which represents nearly 20,000 cities – has passed two resolutions urging the federal government to reschedule marijuana and to respect state laws that legalize the substance.

In their resolutions the League calls on the feds to remove marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance, and to pass legislation “that would ensure states and local governments have the ability to establish laws and regulations on the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of medical and adult-use cannabis within the state.” This is the first time the group has called on the government to reschedule marijuana.

The League also passed a resolution calling for a resolution in the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws and “provide guidance to financial institutions that results in the cannabis market having access to the federally regulated banking system.” This resolution is similar to one the group has passed in previous years.

In addition, in their resolutions the League calls for the addition of federal regulations overseeing “the manufacturing, distribution and sale of legal medical and adult-use cannabis”.

The National League of Cities was founded in 1924 and represents over 19,000 cities, towns and villages.

The post National League of Cities Calls on Feds to Reschedule Marijuana, Respect State Marijuana Laws appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Oklahoma Officials Issue Licenses to Over 650 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Over 1,000 Cultivators

Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana just a few months ago, but the state has already issued licensed to thousands of patients and hundreds of businesses.

According to a recent tweet by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the state has issued medical marijuana licenses to over 12,200 patients since the application process opened in late August.

In addition, the state has issued (as of November 11) licenses to 651 medical marijuana dispensaries, 1060 marijuana cultivators and 277 companies intending to process marijuana products. In total the OMMA has issued over 14,000 medical marijuana licenses.

“Thanks to the hard work of our Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) project team, we have been able to meet the required timelines of SQ 788 and provide a system that will efficiently provide for the processing of applications,” says Interim State Health Commissioner Tom Bates. “It has taken many long hours and great coordination between partners to reach this benchmark and we could not have accomplished our work without the help and expertise of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and our software vendor, Complia Government Solutions.”

For the full text of Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law, click here.

The post Oklahoma Officials Issue Licenses to Over 650 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Over 1,000 Cultivators appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Texas Lawmaker Files Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession has been filed in the Texas Legislature.

State Representative Joe Moody has prefiled legislation that would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The measure would make it so that anyone caught with up to an ounce could be fined a maximum of $250, but would not receive any jail time or criminal record. This is in stark contrast to current law, where possessing up to an ounce is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail (as well as a misdemeanor charge on your record).

“Civil penalty legislation is the first thing I’ve filed on the first day of filing for the 86th Session”, said Moody in a press release. “There’s been an incredible swell of bipartisan support since last session, and the official Texas Republican and Democratic platforms both approve of this kind of reform now,”. Moody says he’s “optimistic that this will be the session we finally see smarter, fairer marijuana laws in Texas.”

According to a poll released in April and conducted by Quinnipiac University, 61% of voters in Texas are in favor of ending cannabis prohibition, with just 39% opposed. Although unsurprisingly Democrats and Independents support ending prohibition at a higher rate than Republicans (69%), support among Republicans was still impressively high for a state considered by many to be quite conservative (50%).

The post Texas Lawmaker Files Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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There Was Over $135 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in Colorado in September

There was over $135 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in Colorado in September, according to data from the state’s Department of Revenue.

In total there was $135,536,453 in marijuana and marijuana products purchased legally in Colorado in September. This is slightly less than the $141 million sold in August, which set a record in the state for the most marijuana sold in a given month.

Of the $135 million in marijuana sold in September, $27.9 million came from medical marijuana sales, the remainder coming from the sale of recreational marijuana. These sales helped Colorado garner around $20 million in tax revenue for September alone.

This new data brings the state’s total marijuana sales for 2018 to $1,157,781,963, putting Colorado on track to sell around $1.6 billion in legal marijuana by the end of the year. This would a little higher than the $1.5 billion sold in 2017, and nearly 20% more than the $1.3 billion sold in 2016.

Marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2013, thanks to voters approving a legalization initiative in 2012; the first marijuana store opened in 2014. In Colorado marijuana is taxed at 15%, plus the standard 2.9% statewide sales tax. Revenue is allotted primarily for schools, hospitals and roads.

The post There Was Over $135 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in Colorado in September appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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A cannabis Coke and a smile? Colorado companies hoping to tap infused beverage craze

When Coca-Cola publicly announces it is sizing up business opportunities in a specific industry, people tend to take notice.That was the case with in mid September, when Coke — the world’s largest beverage company, said it was keeping an eye on cannabis infused drinks, with a particular focus on beverages containing the non-psychoactive compound CBD.

The post A cannabis Coke and a smile? Colorado companies hoping to tap infused beverage craze appeared first on The Cannabist.

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