Category: News

Oregon Garners $9 Million in Marijuana Taxes in May

Oregon garnered $9 million in marijuana taxes in May.

According to the state’s Department of Revenue, Oregon garnered $8,868,932 in marijuana sales taxes in May. Only one time in the state’s history has more marijuana tax revenue been garnered in a single month (January of this year with $9.3 million).

Of the $9 million in taxes garnered in May, $7.8 million came from a 17% statewide sales tax, with the remaining $1.2 million coming from citywide taxes (which under law can be as high as 3%).

Oregon is currently on tract to garner roughly $100 million in marijuana taxes for all of 2018. This would mark a 47% increase from the $68 million in taxes the state brought in from legal marijuana sales in 2017.

In Oregon the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older, thanks to a citizen’s initiative passed in 2014. The state has a licenses and regulated system of marijuana businesses, including retail outlets.

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Study: Cannabis May Help Treat Sickle Cell Disease

Cannabis may be a potential treatment option for those with sickle cell disease, according to a new study published on the website of the National Institute of Health.

(Photo: KidsHealth.org).

“Legal access to marijuana, most frequently as “medical marijuana,” is becoming more common in the United States, but most states do not specify sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition”, states the study. “We were aware that some of our patients living with sickle cell disease used illicit marijuana, and we sought more information about this.” Sickle cell disease, according to Mayo Clinic, is “A group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.”

For the study, researchers “practice at an urban, academic medical center and provide primary, secondary, and tertiary care for ∼130 adults living with sickle cell disease. We surveyed our patients with a brief, anonymous, paper-and-pen instrument.” They “reviewed institutional records for clinically driven urine drug testing” and “tracked patient requests for certification for medical marijuana.”

Among 58 patients surveyed, 42% reported marijuana use within the past 2 years. Among users, “most endorsed five medicinal indications; a minority reported recreational use.” Among 57 patients who had at least one urine drug test, 18% tested positive for cannabinoids only, 12% tested positive for cocaine and/or phencyclidine only, and 5% tested positive for both cannabinoids and cocaine/phencyclidine.

“Our findings and those of others create a rationale for research into the possible therapeutic effects of marijuana or cannabinoids, the presumed active constituents of marijuana, in sickle cell disease”, states researchers. “Explicit inclusion of sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana might reduce illicit marijuana use and related risks and costs to both persons living with sickle cell disease and society.”

More information on this study, including its full text, can be found by clicking here.

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Oklahoma AG Says Board of Health Doesn’t Have Authority to Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter sent out a press release today stating that the Board of Health’s recent ban on smoking medical marijuana is beyond their authority.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

“The current rules contain provisions that are inconsistent with the plain language of State Question 788 and the State Board of Health acted outside of its authority when it voted to implement them,” Hunter said in a Wednesday press release, referencing the Board’s recent vote to alter the voter-approved initiative to ban smoking medical marijuana despite the initiative clearly allowing it.

“Although I didn’t support State Question 788, the people of the state have spoken and I have a legal duty to honor the decision made by the electorate”, says Hunter. “My advice today is made pursuant to that responsibility as attorney general.”

Hunter has called on the Board of Health to immediately convene a special meeting in order to amend the rules to be in line with the will of State Question 788.

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Study: CBD May Be Useful In Treating Breast Cancer

CBD may be a useful treatment for various breast cancer subtypes, according to a new study published by the journal The Breast.

“Studies have emphasized an antineoplastic effect of the non-psychoactive, phyto-cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD)”, begins the study’s abstract, which was epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health. “However, the molecular mechanism underlying its antitumor activity is not fully elucidated. Herein, we have examined the effect of CBD on two different human breast cancer cell lines”.

In both cell lines, “CBD inhibited cell survival and induced apoptosis in a dose dependent manner as observed by MTT assay, morphological changes, DNA fragmentation and ELISA apoptosis assay.”

The results “suggest that CBD treatment induces an interplay among PPARγ, mTOR and cyclin D1 in favor of apoptosis induction in both ER-positive and triple negative breast cancer cells, proposing CBD as a useful treatment for different breast cancer subtypes.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt, can be found by clicking here.

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Study: Eating Raw Cannabis Associated With Significant Improvements in Insomnia Patients

Consuming “raw, natural medical cannabis flower” is associated with “significant improvements” in insomnia patients, finds a new study published by the open access journal Medicines.

For the study 409 people with a specified condition of insomnia completed 1056 medical cannabis administration sessions using the Releaf AppTM educational software during which they recorded real-time ratings of “self-perceived insomnia severity levels prior to and following consumption, experienced side effects, and product characteristics, including combustion method, cannabis subtypes, and/or major cannabinoid contents of cannabis consumed.” Within-user effects of different flower characteristics were modeled using “a fixed effects panel regression approach with standard errors clustered at the user level.”

Researchers found that “Releaf AppTM users showed an average symptom severity reduction of -4.5 points on a 0⁻10 point visual analogue scale.” Use of pipes and vaporizers was associated with “greater symptom relief and more positive and context-specific side effects as compared to the use of joints, while vaporization was also associated with lower negative effects.” Cannabidiol (CBD) “was associated with greater statistically significant symptom relief than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the cannabinoid levels generally were not associated with differential side effects.”

The study concludes; “Consumption of medical Cannabis flower is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia with differential effectiveness and side effect profiles, depending on the product characteristics.”

For the full study, click here.

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When marijuana is legal in Canada, Americans are expected to flock. But the border, and US law, stands in the way.

BLAINE, Wash. – Recreational marijuana has been legal here in Washington state since 2014. Adults just a few miles away in Canada also will be able to legally buy and smoke marijuana for pleasure starting in October.

The post When marijuana is legal in Canada, Americans are expected to flock. But the border, and US law, stands in the way. appeared first on The Cannabist.

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Study: Cannabis Causes Death of Colon Cancer Cells

According to a new study published by the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, cannabis can cause the death of colon cancer cells, implying that it may be a potential treatment option for the disease.

“Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer diagnosis and fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide”, begins the abstract of the study. “Purified cannabinoids have been reported to prevent proliferation, metastasis, and induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell types. However, the active compounds from Cannabis sativa flowers and their interactions remain elusive.” This study was “aimed to specify the cytotoxic effect of C. sativa-derived extracts on colon cancer cells and adenomatous polyps by identification of active compound(s) and characterization of their interaction.”

For the study, ethanol extracts of C. sativa were “analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry and their cytotoxic activity was determined using alamarBlue-based assay (Resazurin) and tetrazolium dye-based assay (XTT) on cancer and normal colon cell lines and on dysplastic adenomatous polyp cells.”

Researchers found that “The unheated cannabis extracts (C2F), fraction 7 (F7), and fraction 3 (F3) had cytotoxic activity on colon cancer cells”. Moreover, the extracts induced cell death of polyp cells.”

The study concludes by stating that “C. sativa compounds interact synergistically for cytotoxic activity against colon cancer cells and induce cell cycle arrest, apoptotic cell death, and distinct gene expression”. The study’s results suggest “possible future therapeutic value.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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New York Health Department Announces Emergency Rules Allowing Medical Marijuana as a Replacement for Opioids

The New York State Department of Health announced today the filing of emergency regulations adding any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

Effective immediately, registered practitioners may certify patients to use medical marijuana as a replacement for opioids, provided that the precise underlying condition for which an opioid would otherwise be prescribed is stated on the patient’s certification. This allows patients with severe pain that doesn’t meet the definition of chronic pain to use medical marijuana as a replacement for opioids, states a press release from the Health Department.

In addition, the regulation adds opioid use disorder as an associated condition. This allows patients with opioid use disorder who are enrolled in a certified treatment program to use medical marijuana as an opioid replacement.

Plans to add opioid replacement as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana were first announced last month.

“Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain that may also reduce the chance of opioid dependence,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “Adding opioid replacement as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana offers providers another treatment option, which is a critical step in combatting the deadly opioid epidemic affecting people across the state.”

Opioid replacement joins the following 12 qualifying conditions under the state’s Medical Marijuana Program: cancer; HIV infection or AIDS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury with spasticity; epilepsy; inflammatory bowel disease; neuropathy; Huntington’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; and chronic pain.

These emergency regulations went into effect on a temporary basis on July 12, 2018. The Department also filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on July 12, 2018, commencing the process of permanently adopting the regulations. The permanent regulations will be published in the New York State Register on August 1, 2018, and will be subject to a 60-day public comment period.

In addition, within the next week, certified patients and designated caregivers will be able to print temporary registry ID cards. This will allow them to purchase medical marijuana products more quickly after registering for the program. Patients may use the temporary registry ID card in conjunction with a government issued photo identification to purchase medical marijuana products from a registered organization’s dispensing facility. Prior to this enhancement to the Medical Marijuana Data Management System, it could take 7 to 10 days for patients and their caregivers to receive their registry identification cards after their registration was approved.

Other recent enhancements to New York’s Medical Marijuana Program include adopting new regulations to improve the program for patients, practitioners and registered organizations; authorizing five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana; adding chronic pain and PTSD as qualifying conditions; permitting home delivery; and empowering nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients.

As of July 10, 2018, there are 62,256 certified patients and 1,735 registered practitioners participating in the program.

For more information on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

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Maine Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Maine’s Legislature has voted to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of legislation allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they deem appropriate.

Recently Maine’s Legislature voted overwhelmingly to pass LD 1539, which removes the state’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions, instead allowing doctors to recommend the medicine to anyone they feel could benefit of it. The measure makes several other changes, including increasing the number of dispensaries allowed in the state from eight to 14.

Despite passing by a combined vote of 144 to 31 in the House and Senate, Governor LePage – a staunch opponent of marijuana and efforts to liberalize the laws surrounding it – vetoed the measure. Thankfully the bill had well more than the 2/3rds support it needed in the legislature for them to override the veto, which they have now officially done.

The full text of LD 1539 can be found by clicking here.

In Maine, medical marijuana has been legal since 1999. The state legalized cannabis for recreational purposes in 2013.

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Study Finds Medical Marijuana Associated With 30% Reduction in Schedule III Opioid Prescriptions, 29% Reduction in Medicaid Spending

Newly released research, published on the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, shows that the legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a large reduction in prescriptions and dosages of schedule III opioids.

Noting “29 states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for medical use”, the study “examined whether statewide medical cannabis legalization was associated with reduction in opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.”

Using a variety of scientifically designed methodologies (specifics can be found by clicking here), researchers found that for Schedule III opioid prescriptions, “medical cannabis legalization was associated with a 29.6% reduction in number of prescriptions, 29.9% reduction in dosage, and 28.8% reduction in related Medicaid spending.”

However, no evidence was found to support the associations between medical cannabis legalization and Schedule II opioid prescriptions.

The study concludes by stating: “Statewide medical cannabis legalization appears to have been associated with reductions in both prescriptions and dosages of Schedule III (but not Schedule II) opioids received by Medicaid enrollees in the US.”

For more information on this study, click here.

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