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New Research Shows Increased Access to Medical Marijuana Associated with Decreased Murder and Robbery Rates

New Research Shows Increased Access to Medical Marijuana Associated with Decreased Murder and Robbery Rates

Increasing access to medical marijuana could decrease murder and robbery rates, according to new research out of Haverford College’s Department of Economics.

“Previous research has analyzed the effects of the implementation of medical marijuana laws on crime rates, but this paper is the first to study how the size of the medical marijuana market affects crime rates”, states the study’s abstract. By using the medical marijuana patient registration rates across states from 1995 to 2015,  lead researcher Matthew Incantalupo used “a difference-in-differences approach to find that a one percent increase in medical marijuana registration rates decreases murder and robbery rates by 0.03% and 0.02%, respectively, and has no significant effect on other types of crime.”

According to the study, these results “show that increasing the legal availability of marijuana through medicalization could decrease murder and robbery rates, two crimes highly associated with the illegal drug trade.”

A University of Texas study released in 2014 came to a similar conclusion, finding that the enactment of laws legalizing medical cannabis are associated with reductions in rates of homicide and assault.

The full study can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:07:01 +0000

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President Trump’s Pick to Head DEA Withdraws Himself from Consideration

President Trump’s Pick to Head DEA Withdraws Himself from Consideration

 Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the DEA and take over the unofficially titled “drug czar” position, has officially withdrawn himself from consideration. 

Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino.

In a Twitter post made this morning, President Trump made it clear that Representative Marino is removing himself from consideration for the position of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, often referred to as the “drug czar”.

“Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar”, Trump said in the Tweet posted around 5:30am (PT). “Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!”

Marino’s withdrawal comes after a report by both the Washington Post and 60 Minutes. The report, titled THE DRUG INDUSTRY’S TRIUMPH OVER THE DEA, connected Marino with legislation that has caused a worsening of the nation’s opioid crisis by making it more  challenging for the DEA to keep control of the pharmaceutical industry.

When asked about the selection of Marino to head the DEA during a press conference on Monday, President Trump said “we are gonna look into the report and we are gonna take it very seriously”.

Senator Jo Manchin (West Virginia), sent a letter to Donald Trump the same day, stating that Marino “has tied the hands of the DEA in their efforts to enforce out nation’s laws.”

“I urge you to withdraw the nomination of Congressman Tom Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy,” said Manchin.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also expressed issued with Marino, stating that; “Confirming Rep. Marino as our nation’s drug czar is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house. The American people deserve someone totally committed to fighting the opioid crisis, not someone who’s labored on behalf of the drug industry.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:32:11 +0000

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Breaking Down CBD: A Guide To How Our Bodies Metabolize This Cannabinoid

Breaking Down CBD: A Guide To How Our Bodies Metabolize This Cannabinoid

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

cannabidiol

For even committed students of CBD, many don’t understand the metabolic processes involved in its consumption. While there is plenty of literature out there with a more technical focus, there are very few resources out there to communicate that focus in a plain way. In this article, we’ll review your body’s natural metabolic processes, and how CBD is broken down specifically.

What is Metabolism, Anyway?

Metabolism is the conversion of one chemical compound into another through enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that live within your body’s cells that speed up chemical reactions.

Most of your body’s metabolism happens in the gut wall, lungs, and blood plasma.

The main enzymes in metabolism are a part of the “cytochrome P450” group, which will be of importance later.

Metabolism is divided into two phases  – 1 and 2. In phase 1 metabolism, your body goes through oxidation and sheds electrons from whatever you’ve taken. After phase 1, the drug is said to be “oxidized.”

In phase 2, the drug becomes more water soluble, making it possible to expel the drug from your system. The drug also loses pharmacological activity during this time. Think – something leaves your body and becomes less effective.

To review, you take something, say CBD Capsules, and they enter your system. They make it to your liver, which is the processing center for the body. Two phases of chemical reactions occur and the drug loses its effect. After the end of the second metabolism phase, the CBD capsules are water soluble enough that they can be expelled from your system.

How is CBD Broken Down?

The first thing to say on CBD metabolism, is that it is very important to understand how CBD is broken down and how it interacts with other drugs in your system. As CBD moves into the liver and becomes metabolized, it is converted in a chemical compound 7-hydroxy-CBD

(7-OH-CBD), and may also be converted into 6-OH-CBD.

 cbd capsules

At this time, little is known about these metabolites, the leftovers of CBD metabolism. However, a derivative from this process, called D2 (E) Valproate, has anticonvulsant properties that might also be involved in the antiepileptic effects of CBD.

Cytochrome P450

Earlier in the article, we mentioned the importance of cytochrome P450, the group of enzymes mainly responsible for the liver’s metabolism. In CBD metabolism, CBD seems to have an inhibiting effect on these enzymes. Through this inhibitory effect, CBD prevents cytochrome P450 from metabolizing other compounds.

 blood

Now, this inhibitory effect can fluctuate with dosage, the individual, and how tightly CBD binds to cytochrome p450 before and after oxidation.

In clinical trials, as little as 25 mg of orally administered CBD, like the capsules we mentioned earlier, blocked the metabolism of an antiepileptic drug.

For consumers, this means that CBD can have potential reductive effects on other medications you may be taking. Be sure to consult your physician on the status of your individual metabolism.

The More You Know

Like many other industries, CBD is evolving. While there is much more information circulating now than ever before, there’s still much we don’t know about CBD, as evidenced by its metabolic processes. Truly, after CBD begins to metabolize within your body, we don’t know whether metabolites help or hurt its pre-metabolic effects. The more you know, the better decisions you make when it comes to your own consumption.

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Published at Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:50:42 +0000

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Hemp power-players lobby Congress to shift mind-set, legalize crop

Hemp power-players lobby Congress to shift mind-set, legalize crop

American hemp is flush with grassroots organizations working to ensure the industry rises to prominence.

Now it has a “grass-tops” organization working to ensure that hemp’s fledgling federal protections gain permanence.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, launched earlier this year with the backing of high-profile national hemp industry trade groups and a diverse slate of businesses. The coalition has ramped up lobbying efforts on behalf of the latest attempt to fully legalize hemp.

The nearly 30-member group is supporting the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 (H.R. 3530), a bill introduced in late July by Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, that would exclude hemp plants from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Our whole point here, the message we’ve got to get to Congress is (hemp is) an agricultural commodity, but not a controlled substance,” said Jonathan Miller, a Lexington, Ky.-based attorney who serves as the U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s general counsel.

It’s an argument that has been made in the past to little avail, but Miller’s group is brimming with optimism about this iteration. He said H.R. 3530’s list of co-sponsors is growing — 30 Congress members have signed on as of Oct. 10; the measure is benefiting from “broad ideological support”; and it’s gained the backing of prominent agriculture groups such as the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“All of the political cards are, right now, in our favor,” he said.

And, to that point, that’s where the U.S. Hemp Roundtable could step in and stack the odds further in the industry’s favor, he added.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s roots can be traced to Kentucky, home to one of the nation’s most mature hemp markets. The organization initially was founded a couple of years ago as the Kentucky Hemp Industry Council — shortly after Kentucky established its industrial hemp law — and its aim was to work for the betterment of local hemp businesses.

“There was a realization that our top goal needed to be the passage of this legislation in Congress,” Miller said.

To accomplish that would require a force more than one state strong.

The group adopted the national moniker earlier this year, dissolving the Kentucky Hemp Industry Council in the process. Since rebranding, membership grew fourfold to nearly 30 businesses and organizations.

There’s strength in numbers, but numbers also beget plenty of differing opinions, he said, noting the diverse business membership that ranges from investment and consulting firms to makers of textiles and CBD-rich extracts.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable can serve as a singular voice for the collective on topics such as the legality of hemp-derived extracts, and it’s begun preliminary work on a self-regulatory organization to establish standards for industry members. But it also needs to firm up its mission, Miller said.

“It’s really important for us to be on the same page,” he said.

Some members and cannabis advocates have pushed for marijuana-related amendments to be tacked onto House Bill 3530. The roundtable’s position: Keep a laser-focus on hemp.

While hemp and marijuana are the same species, Cannabis sativa L., hemp is defined in the 2014 Farm Bill as containing less than 0.3 percent psychoactive THC.

The Cannabist has reached out to Comer for additional comment, but his office didn’t immediately respond.

“We believe pretty strongly that (the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017) would pass, and it would pass by a comfortable margin,” Miller said. “And that’s not true about marijuana.”

There’s also some concern it would further muddle the lobbying efforts focused on educating lawmakers on the differences between the hemp and marijuana plants, he said.

“Our biggest challenge, no doubt, is the confusion,” he said.

Read: CBD legal opinion from the U.S. Hemp Roundtable

U.S. Hemp Roundtable, CBD Legal Opinion (Text)

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Published at Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:28:45 +0000

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Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Medical Marihuana Facilities License Process

by Hilary Vigil

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued an Advisory Bulletin on the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s (BMMR) intended application process for medical marihuana facilities licenses. The Advisory Bulletin is just that—advisory—and is issued in anticipation of emergency rules that LARA plans to promulgate under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) in November.

The Advisory Bulletin lays out a two-step application process for applicants seeking a medical marihuana facility license. The two phases, prequalification and the license application, are designed to allow applicants to start the licensing process before having found the location of their proposed medical marihuana facilities, which should give applicants—and BMMR—more time to adjust to the new lay of the land. BMMR will start accepting applications on December 15 of this year, but applicants will be able to choose whether to submit both parts of the application at once or just the prequalification application first.

During the prequalification step, BMMR will conduct a full background investigation of license applicants and their affiliates, which requires fingerprinting and includes checks into criminal and financial history, regulation and taxation compliance, and business litigation history. A brief outline of required supporting documentation is provided in the Advisory Bulletin.

LARA intends to tailor the second step of the application process to the five different facility license types: growing, processing, provisioning, safety compliance, and secure transportation. This step will require more information and documentation from applicants, including approval from the municipality where the facility will be located and a copy of the municipality’s authorizing ordinance; plans for technology, staffing, marketing, inventory, security, and recordkeeping; floorplans and layouts for the facility; and proof of the facility’s insurance, bond, or securities.

LARA’s Advisory Bulletin gives applicants a good sense of what to expect from the application process, but the emergency rules that will be issued in November may change the process before the application period starts in December. As we have previously reported, LARA is hosting a series of “road shows” in early November to provide additional information and training about this process.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

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CBD E Liquid Checklist: A Newcomers Guide to Finding The Right CBD E Liquid

CBD E Liquid Checklist: A Newcomers Guide to Finding The Right CBD E Liquid

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

CBD E Liquid

The consumer audience still has so many questions about CBD. While there is a growing demand, both for information and product, it still seems like most people are uninformed when it comes to the topic. CBD E Liquid has become a popular CBD product with two industries – Vaping and CBD – that many people have a less than perfect understanding of. The intention of this article is to help consumers make smart buying decisions when buying their next CBD E Liquid.

CBD First

While there are many ingredients in different E Liquids, any consumer looking to purchase CBD E liquid should first and foremost be concerned with the quality of CBD. Here are a few of the things you should be looking for.

Sourcing

Sure, many different companies offer “real CBD” in their products. What you should be asking is, how did the CBD get to my hand? This due diligence isn’t any different than knowing how food products are being made. Knowing whether the Hemp was raised in a clean environment without contaminants is like knowing whether your food was grown organically. Our recommendation is to research the company to identify their sourcing protocol. Most “clean” Hemp is going to come from European farms or from research facilities within the United States. If a company isn’t clear about their sourcing, it may be time to move on.

Extraction

While CBD is natural to Hemp, it needs to be extracted to be isolated and placed into products. There is more than one way to do this, but the consensus best method is something called CO2 Extraction.

CBD Extraction

In CO2 Extraction, Carbon Dioxide goes through a series of temperature and consistency changes to achieve a “supercritical state.” In this supercritical state, CO2 has both liquid and gaseous properties, and is a perfect consistency to extract CBD from Hemp. The CO2 is pushed through a circuit (like in the image above) and collects the CBD from the Hemp. Because this process involves professional equipment, it weeds out lower quality producers.

Putting the CBD in E Liquid

Because of the large scale popularity that CBD now has, companies have been finding new ways for consumer to get their doses. One of these is creating E Liquids that enriched with CBD. The theory is, vaping CBD will allow a more immediate onset of CBD-positive effects. With this development, consumers need to make sure that not only the CBD but the other ingredients are of high quality.

VG/PG

Fundamental to an understanding of liquids is VG and PG, or Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol. VG and PG are both safe, non-toxic bases that help contain the flavors in your e liquid. They are both considered safe by the FDA and are commonly used in food products.

PG

PG is the more popular of the two bases, with a unique profile that sets it apart from VG. Generally speaking, you can expect PG to have:

  • A Thin Consistency – PG is thinner than VG and produces thinner clouds
  • Greater Throat Hit – it will feel heavier as you inhale it
  • Taste – has a more intense flavor than VG

CBD E Liquid PG vs VG

VG

VG is the other base used in E Liquids. You can expect VG to have:

  • A thicker consistency with a denser vapor
  • A naturally sweet taste
  • A lighter throat hit

With VG and PG, it’s more of a personal preference than anything else. Both products are safe to consumer, along with CBD. Keep in mind the vaping experience you want – do you want to blow thick clouds or leave little residue? Knowing the properties of both bases as well as an idea of your desired vaping experience will help you choose between VG and PG.

Nicotine

Many E Liquids contain nicotine in them, hence the reason why smokers turn to vaping as a way to wean off cigarettes. If an E Liquid does carry nicotine in it, it should be at least 99% pure and naturally extracted from tobacco. Low quality nicotine is known to cause bodily harm.

If you are a non-smoker, then you are going to want to find an E Liquid without nicotine in it. Non-nicotine E Liquids will typically clear visually and go down very easily, without a choking feeling or burn.

Aesthetics

There are many reasons people vape, but among them surely is the aesthetic enjoyment. By that, we don’t necessarily mean that you look cool doing it (though that too). We mean, for the sensations of vaping – the flavor, smell, and feeling of the E Liquid.

Flavor

A well-made E Liquid should taste like the thing it is intended to taste like. If you notice the flavor is “off,” it could because of an unbalanced composition. Remember that old saying? If an E Liquid tastes like shit, it’s probably a shit E liquid.

Smell

Whether based with VG or PG, without the flavoring, an E Liquid should have a mild to unnoticeable smell. This means, the only thing creating an aroma are the flavors themselves. If your E Liquid doesn’t smell like its flavoring, that’s a bad sign.

Going Down Easy

The last part of the “aesthetic experience” is how easy the E Liquid pulls. Aside from the differences between PG and VG, a user should expect a rather seamless experience from start to finish. A chunky, uneven vaping experience isn’t fun for anyone, regardless of other aesthetic considerations.

An Informed Purchase

CBD E Liquids could become one of the principle ways consumers get CBD. Their casual and fast-working nature means E Liquids are an attractive option for buyers. It is important, that these buyers become informed decision makers rather than victims of marketing campaigns. We hope to have equipped you with some sort of blueprint for your next CBD E Liquid purchase.

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Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:15:35 +0000

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Colorado: $1 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sold in First 8 Months of 2017

Colorado: $1 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sold in First 8 Months of 2017

From January 1st of this year to the end of August, there was over $1 billion worth of legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in Colorado.

Colorado marijuana sales have surpassed the $1 billion mark in just eight months this year. In 2016, it took 10 months to reach the same mark. According to The Cannabist, year-to-date sales are up 21% this year compared to the first eight months of 2016, when sales totaled $846 million.

The over $1 billion in legal marijuana sales for 2017 have resulted in over $162 million in taxes for the state. This is garnered from a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales, which was raised in July from 10% (though at the same time marijuana sales were exempted from the states standard 2.95 sales tax).

In total there has been roughly $4 billion in marijuana sold since legal sales began in 2014: $699 million in 2014, $996 million in 2015, $1.3 billion in 2016, and $1.02 billion so far this year.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Thu, 12 Oct 2017 06:05:38 +0000

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Weedguide raises $1.7M and launches its AI-powered search platform

Weedguide raises $1.7M and launches its AI-powered search platform

Weedguide, as the name implies, wants to be your go-to for everything cannabis-related, having released its search platform on Oct. 10, 2017, after securing $1.7M in seed funding

Weedguide’s CEO Claudio Cañive recognized the need for a dedicated weed search engine when Googling “weed” gets you 922 million results. He knew there had to be a better way to help medical and recreational users find the information they need. That’s when Weedguide was born.

The California-based company utilizes AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and cannabis experts to make sure you see only the most relevant results to your search queries. According to the company, what makes it different from other platforms is its proprietary crawler and classification system. But with a catchy slogan like “Take the strain out of your search…” you already know what Weedguide is about.

In addition to helping you answer all your cannabis-related searches and questions, Weedguide is a wealth of information on everything from Top Strains, How-to’s, dispensaries, and trending industry news, putting millions of articles and hundreds of thousands of strains and products at your fingertips. To make organizing and sorting your results even easier, Weedguide allows you to filter by result type, category, and state.

The mobile app is available on iOS and Android.


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Published at Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:23:37 +0000

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In tight vote, Longmont, Colorado lifts town's pot-shops ban

In tight vote, Longmont, Colorado lifts town's pot-shops ban

In a split 4-3 vote, Longmont’s City Council members voted Tuesday night to give final approval to an ordinance that will eventually allow up to four retail businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products within the city limits.

The council majority’s approval of the measure lifting Longmont’s years-old prohibitions against medical-marijuana dispensaries and shops selling marijuana for recreational use came over the objections of several people who spoke at a Tuesday night public hearing on the ordinance.

“I can’t imagine it boosts the city’s image,” said Tuscany Court resident Lon Stevens.

Stevens asked why the city would want to end the prohibition when medical-marijuana patients and recreational-marijuana users can buy it at either of two existing state- and county-licensed businesses located in unincorporated Boulder County immediately outside the city limits.

Allowing marijuana to be sold inside Longmont wouldn’t make it any more convenient for customers to buy it than is already the case, Stevens argued.

Read more of this story at TimesCall.com

This story was first published on TimesCall.com

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Published at Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:45:03 +0000

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Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released an Advisory Bulletin regarding testing points for marihuana and marihuana infused products. As with all of LARA’s Advisory Bulletins, this announcement provides advance notice of what LARA intends to include in emergency rules that will be issued to implement the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). We continue to expect those emergency rules to be issued by the early part of November.

Per this Advisory Bulletin, LARA intends to require that products be tested at two points in the supply chain. First, a grower will be required to test marijuana after harvest and before it is transferred to either a processor or a provisioning center. Second, a processor will be required to have products tested after they are in their final form and before they are transferred to a provisioning center. Test results will be recorded in the statewide monitoring system, and growers and processors able to access the results. Provisioning centers will not be allowed to sell marihuana or infused products unless the product has been both tested and labelled.

In addition to the mandatory testing points noted above, growers and processors may choose to have products tested at other stages. Caregivers may also have marijuana or infused products tested, but their products are not entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system.

Left unaddressed by this Advisory Bulletin are a number of critical testing issues that should be covered by the State’s emergency rules. Among these are the contents of labels, batch sizes for testing, the method of sample collection and transport, and, of course, the substances and thresholds for which products must be tested.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

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