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It Looks Like Marijuana Will Be a Hot Topic in Illinois Politics This Year

It Looks Like Marijuana Will Be a Hot Topic in Illinois Politics This Year

Illinois lawmakers have been working to ascertain whether residents living in the state support the legalization of marijuana. In the 8 states where the plant has been legalized, tax revenue is generated that supports local and state government. Thousands of jobs have been created thanks to legal marijuana and millions of dollars have been flushed through the economy. The social risk appears to be minimal with teen use remaining the same or lower. Many studies suggest that the plant is much healthier than cigarettes and alcohol and safer than the latter when it comes to driving under the influence. On top of this, opioid related death and addiction is down, along with crime. For all these reasons and more, the question of whether or not to end prohibition is one that many lawmakers are having to evaluate at this time.

Non-Binding Referendum in Illinois

people have spoken and they want legal marijuana
The people have spoken and they want legal marijuana.

The most recent polls indicate that at least 60 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing the plant for recreational use and Illinois lawmakers in particular are looking to verify or at least check in with residents in the state to see what they really think. A non-binding referendum is asking residents if Illinois should legalize “the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older.” While the question and its results are non-binding, serving more as an official survey than anything else, it will be influential in directing how lawmakers choose to approach the subject from here.

The Largest County in Illinois Wants Legal Cannabis

Unsurprisingly, it appears that Illinois residents are in favor of legalizing the plan for recreational use by adults over the age of 21. In Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, residents elected to back the legalization of the plant for personal use. Board President Toni Preckwinkle supported the referendum and now politicians have a better idea of what residents want.

Apprehensions of Legalization

apprehension has been expressed over legalizing in the current political climate
Some lawmakers have expressed reservations in legalizing cannabis in the current political climate.

While supporters of legalization have spoken about the tax revenue it would bring to local and state government, those who oppose legalizing the plant have pointed out the danger in legalizing a plant that is still banned on a federal level. Marijuana is still being regarded as a Schedule I drug, the highest risk category reserved for substances that have no medicinal value and are unsafe to be tested on humans. Given the fact that medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, the federal classification is considered problematic by most. Nonetheless, there are regulations in place that prevent the federal government from spending funds going after people who are abiding by state marijuana laws. With current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a loud, long time prohibitionist, in place, the atmosphere has made many in the marijuana industry nervous.

Regardless, it appears that Illinois’ Cook County, including Chicago, supports legalization. As lawmakers continue to get a better grasp on what the people of Illinois want, appropriate actions can be taken and whoever is elected as the new governor can proceed, knowing fully well what residents of the state want.

Cannabis Genetics Unlock Further Potential with Genome Map Unveiling

Cannabis Genetics Find Further Potential in Genome Map Unveiling

There are innumerable uses for cannabis at this point in time. 1/5 of the country has legalized it for recreational use while 29 states have legalized it for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, hemp has continued to be used in clothes, rope, plastic, paper, oil-based products, body lotions and food just to name a few things. With so many different strains and types of cannabis being used these days, it’s a wonder that it’s taken until now to understand what makes up the basic genetic structure of the plant. Yet its illegal status on a federal level has made the study of cannabis genetics a difficult if not impossible task.

The Map Provided by Sunrise Genetics

understanding cannabis genetics increases chances of crop success and faster growth
Understanding cannabis genetics increases the chances of crop success with faster growth.

Despite its popularity and use across the country, the plant still remains a Schedule I substance, placing it in the same category as heroin. This means that it is illegal to grow and study cannabis genetics in any official capacity across the country. Since researchers and scientists rely on government grants, this has made the process of understanding this plant very difficult. Sunrise Genetics, however, have found a way to take on the task of mapping out the marijuana genome and debuted their findings in January at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego. Now a map of marijuana’s 10 pairs of chromosomes will be available to growers and other relevant parties in the industry so that cannabis genetics can be understood and utilized.

The Potential Unlocked by the Marijuana Genome Map

Understanding the genetic makeup of the plant will have profound ramifications. It will allow cultivators to grow healthier and fuller crops at a much faster rate. This will be immensely helpful in the production of cannabis based products. However, it is just the tipping point for how understanding the marijuana genome will be helpful at a deeper level. Understanding the various elements that make up the plant will be extremely useful when it comes to growing crops that are designed for a specific medical or recreational purpose. Crops for various conditions can be grown in a precise way that will allow consumers to get a clear and direct picture of exactly what they are buying and what its effects will be. Understanding cannabis genetics allows growers to cultivate strains for energy or sleep. In fact, various moods or purposes will all be a plausible option for sale and consumption.

How Sunrise Genetics Worked Through Research Restrictions

tight marijuana research restrictions in the us have hindered study of the marijuana genome
Tight marijuana research restrictions in the U.S. have hindered the study of the marijuana genome.

With the illegal status of the plant, however, Sunrise Genetics have had to work with coordinated resources. One of these resources was plant biologist George Weiblen’s laboratory at the University of Minnesota. This is the only DEA-approved laboratory that has been allowed to research cannabis genetics in the country. Weiblen’s lab is responsible for discovering the rudimentary genetic map for cannabis. After more than 10 years of research, his lab was able to let Sunrise have access to stabilized marijuana and hemp samples that contained cross-bred cannabis plants with different genetic backgrounds.

The Foundation of Sunrise Genetics

Sunrise Genetics President Matt Gibbs told Cannabis Business Times, “If you have two plant populations that are inbred, because they’re highly genetically stable, making a cross allows you to see the differences among the plants more clearly, thus producing more consistent results.”

Sunrise was founded by CJ Schwartz, who was a plant scientist. He then recruited his brother, his brother’s brother-in-law and a friend in 2014 with the idea in mind to map out and study cannabis genetics. The team recognized the potential that lay in understanding cannabis and the many benefits it could have.

medical marijuana benefits can be honed through data provided by genetic mapping
It’s believed that medical marijuana benefits can be honed through the data provided by genetic mapping.

Sunrise Genetics is a Colorado based company that began in the same year marijuana sales became legal in the state.  The team told Bloomberg about their plans to research the genome, saying; “For those that are cultivating or seeking to breed—or just learn how to improve the plant for whatever the desired trait is—this is now a map that allows for you to do that with a high degree of accuracy,” Gibbs says. “Also, what this does is it pulls together a bunch of disparate data sets that are out there with private companies and academia. With this map, they’re going to be able to really make better sense of that data, because it’s going to be ordered in a fashion that we can all agree can be replicated. … When we understand what genes are controlling what traits, then I think you’re going to see a change in the quality of the starting product, and this increasing depth of knowledge will reveal the potential as to what products a certain strain can produce.”

Cannabis Genetics for Medical Breakthroughs

Many big companies, such as Monsanto use plant genetic mapping to create bigger crops faster to ensure the biggest financial rewards. They do this with corn, wheat and other crops. Mapping the marijuana genome, however, has a much more meaningful and powerful potential. Right now, cannabis is being linked to its ability to treat epilepsy in is many forms. Its effect on cancer and its ability to shrink tumors has also been studied and noted as well as its ability to treat a number of other debilitating and devastating disorders.

The potential medical benefits of understanding cannabis genetics is truly enormous. THC and CBD are the main compounds in cannabis that have been found to have the strongest medicinal uses, yet different compounds are better for different illnesses in various combinations and dosing. Having the ability to accurately measure what medicinal benefits the plant has and what dosage would be most effective would help countless people. Too much or too little of either compound can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to get the best medicinal value from the plant and accurate understanding of this could not only be lifesaving but may also go towards changing people’s quality of life or preventing an illness from developing in the first place.

This is just the beginning in much study and experimentation that will no doubt follow. For now, this is celebrated progress that marks the start of our society having a deeper understanding of this plant

Is the Rise in Colorado’s Homeless Population Attributable to Cannabis?

Is the Rise in Colorados Homeless Population Attributable to Cannabis

The “green rush” that was ignited by the legalization of marijuana has been found to extend not only to business people but the homeless population as well. The homeless population in Denver, Colorado has risen 8 percent since 2013, the year after marijuana was made legal in the state. With its known ability to help addicts recover from opioid and methamphetamine addictions as well as treat an enormous number of physical, emotional and mental disabilities that many in the homeless communities may suffer from, it’s no wonder that its legalization sent out a beacon of hope, attracting an influx of those in need.

Colorado Job Prospects

some posit that the homeless are attracted to the prospects of obtaining cannabis as much as wotking in the industry
Some believe that it’s not just the job prospects in the cannabis industry but the availability of cannabis that is luring the homeless to Colorado.

According to The Guardian, Tom Luerhs, executive director of the St. Francis Center in Denver, said, “We are seeing people who were homeless in other states coming here specifically because they can get marijuana here. Others come here thinking they can get a job in the marijuana industry, and then they can’t get a job as quickly as they thought, and they end up homeless.”

Other Factors That Could Contribute to the Rise in Homelessness

While the potential for employment and better health through marijuana legalization was a big draw for many, there seems to be a number of reasons for the increase in homelessness in Colorado. In 2015, over 100,000 people moved to the state for the low unemployment rates and accessible healthcare during a time when the state was reportedly short 15,000 homes. However, the legalization of marijuana has created an economic boom in the state, creating thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue and billions of dollars in economic activity. This clearly shows why moving to the state has been attractive for so many people.

The High Cost of Homelessness

CSU Pueblo conducted a study that shows that “legal cannabis has potentially attracted 800 already homeless transients to Pueblo County; costing the community approximately $23 million.” Officials have deduced that every homeless person in Denver costs the state $44,000 and every person in Pueblo costs $29,000.

Solutions to the Issue

one theory advocates the homeless rise is due to people coming to colorado seeking work in a new industry
One theory posits that the homeless rise is due to people coming to Colorado seeking work in a new, promising industry.

Governor John Hickenlooper has suggested that some of the marijuana tax revenue accrued annually should be spent on homelessness programs. The state received over $200 million in tax revenue in 2016 which has gone towards helping the residents of Colorado. There are some, including Daniel Starrett, a divisional commander of the Salvation Army, who have described marijuana as a gateway drug that is connected to harder drugs that can lead to families losing homes. There is no science to support this, however, and all studies indicate that in states where marijuana is legal in any capacity, opioid addiction and deaths related to opioid use is down at least 23 percent. John Parvensky of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has stated that alcohol, narcotics and opioids are the leading cause of substance abuse.

Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs has said that he believes the high number of homeless people moving to Colorado will go down once other states legalize the plant as well. It seems to be a reasonable deduction that if the homeless could get the relief and potential employment offered by the marijuana industry in their own state, there would be no cause to move.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Licenses Shook by Claims of Fraud and Lawsuits

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Licenses Shook by Claims of Fraud and Lawsuits

Medical marijuana has not only helped thousands of patients living in the 29 states where it is legal but it has also become big business. The “green rush” has swept the nation as marijuana’s benefits have been found to be not just medical, but also financial. In Arkansas, regulators are dealing with the first wave of challenges that come from legalizing the plant and deciding on who within the state will be the recipient of one of the much coveted licenses that will allow a business to cultivate the plant. Only 5 licenses will be distributed within the state so the stakes in this matter are high and a thorough check of the recipients is necessary.

Accusations of Fraud

accusation states fraud use in license applications for arkansas medical marijuana
The accusation states that fraud was used in license applications for Arkansas medical marijuana.

Unfortunately one such recipient of a cultivation license is being accused of putting fraudulent information on their application form. The accuser is Storm Nolan, co-founder of River Valley Relief, one of the companies who missed out on getting a license and was alerted to the possible fraud. Licensees were picked based on a point system that was based on the company’s application form. River Valley Relief came 6th, just missing out on receiving a license. Nolan states that the company was happy to lose “fair and square.” However, they were informed that Delta Medical Cannabis Company, one of the 5 companies who received a license, lied on their application.

Request to Stop Process for Investigation

Nolan states that before going public with the information, they personally verified that the information they received was true. Satisfied that it was and at minimum required further investigation, Nolan’s attorney sent a letter to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, asking for them to refrain from moving forward with licenses until the 5 chosen applicants have been thoroughly investigated.

“Now we’ve got the fire in our belly, just to make sure the thing was done right. I think that’s the most important thing,” Nolan told 5News. “That’s all we’re asking for. We want to make sure the process was done well.”

The Introduction of a Lawsuit

lawsuit claims arkansas marijuana license selection is biased
A lawsuit claims that the Arkansas medical marijuana license selection is biased.

Naturalis Health, another company who failed to receive a license, has echoed River Valley Relief’s concerns. They have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission, stating that the selection process was “plagued by unlawful and inconsistent procedures.”

The claim specifies that members of the commission had biases or even conflicts of interest. Naturalis health also believe that the point system was problematic and that the selected applicants don’t even meet the basic residency requirements or adhere to the rule that the facility be located at least 3,000 feet from the nearest church, school or daycare. Their lawsuit demands an independent review of both the application and the selection process as well as a declaratory judgment that states that the commission failed to follow their own rules in the selection process.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission have expressed receiving several complaints and promised to address them all at a meeting that will be held at 5PM next Wednesday day at Little Rock’s Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board office. It’s unclear exactly which concerns they will be discussing but the forum should shed some light on their position with regards to these issues.

California Demands WeedMaps Cease Promoting Illegal Businesses

California Demands WeedMaps Cease Promoting Illegal Businesses

Since the official legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of California on January 1st this year, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has been at work sending out cease and desist orders to Californian dispensaries that are operating without a valid state license. Over 900 letters have been sent out to dispensaries and now the Bureau has turned its attention on the website that alerted them to the existence of the unlicensed businesses. Irvine based company Weedmaps, which runs a website and app that functions as a weed dispensary directory similar to Yelp but for marijuana based business, has now been the recipient of such a letter.

The Bureau Notifies Weedmaps

weedmaps is under fire from the state of california for advertising unlicensed businesses
Weedmaps is under fire from the state of California for advertising unlicensed businesses.

Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, has told the company “you are aiding and abetting in violation of state cannabis laws” by accepting advertisements for businesses that don’t hold a valid state license. If the company doesn’t stop advertising unlicensed businesses, they may now face criminal and civil penalties including fines for each ad placed. In effect, it could prove somewhat disastrous for the popular marijuana company that is so big now that it has many offices including Denver, Colorado and Berlin, Germany.

Weedmaps Defends Their Right to Advertise

Weedmaps received their first letter on February 16th and has not made a formal comment on the issue. According to The OC Register, however, the company’s president Christopher Beals is firm in his belief that they should be able to allow advertising. He is quoted as saying, “The thing is, at the end of the day, we’re an information platform. We’re showing the same information that Google and Yelp and Craigslist and 30 other websites are showing.” He continues, stating “to sort of say, ‘Let’s pretend an illegal market doesn’t exist’ or that people can’t just type ‘dispensary’ into Google and find this information… isn’t really realistic.”

Compliance from Leafly

unlicensed dispensaries cannot use tech based advertising in california
Unlicensed dispensaries cannot use tech based advertising in California.

Leafly, a competitor of Weedmaps, has taken a different approach on the matter. As of March 1st, they’ve stopped accepting advertisements from unlicensed dispensaries. They released a statement on February 7th saying, “The California state government has made clear that only licensed retailers and delivery services may advertise via technology platforms.” The new regulations for marijuana business in California have been created under Senate Bill 94. California license numbers need to appear in all advertisements to prove that they are approved both locally and at a state level. The number also serves as proof that the marijuana sold at that particular dispensary is safe, having been tested and properly labelled. The absence of this number on an advertisement is considered an offense, similar to the requirements for contractors and real estate brokers.

Right now, Weedmaps appears to be operating as usual, with many of the unlicensed dispensaries still advertised through the site and the app. The state is giving companies time to adjust to the new laws and, at this time, holding off proceedings. Currently, there is no immediate action pending other than to continue communicating with the company in the hopes of achieving a resolution.

Non-Binding Marijuana Question to Be Posed to Illinois Voters

Non-Binding Marijuana Question to Be Posed to Illinois Voters

The legalization of marijuana has become a hot topic in recent years with 29 states legalizing medical and 8 states legalizing recreational marijuana. More and more states are following suit and politicians seem to be catching on that this is an important subject to talk about. No state seems to be more vocal about this at the moment than Illinois. Politicians have recognized that the majority of the state is in favor of ending prohibition and they have taken it upon themselves to take up the cause. The first major step in this direction occurred when the Senate approved a non-binding referendum question to appear in the ballots this November.

A Question in Place of a Poll

governor bruce rauner said he will veto marijuana bills but this is a non-binding question
Governor Bruce Rauner said he will veto marijuana bills but this may not extend to a non-binding question.

The question will appear as follows:

“Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

A recent poll conducted by the Southern Illinois University revealed that 66 percent of the state is in favor of legalizing the plant for recreational use. Due to the non-binding nature of the question that would appear on the ballot, it will essentially serve to act as a more official statewide poll that will reveal how Illinois residents feel about marijuana and ending prohibition in the state. The results will inform lawmakers on how to progress on the subject.

The Relevance of a Non-Binding Question

Chicago Democratic Senator Bill Cunningham is the person who sponsored the non-binding referendum question which was approved in the Senate 37-13. It will now go on to be voted on by the Democrat led House of Representatives. If approved by the House, it would need to be signed and approved by Governor Bruce Rauner. In the past, Rauner has stated that he would veto any bill for marijuana reform that crossed his desk. However, circumstances may be different due to the non-binding nature of the question. Should Illinois residents vote in favor of marijuana on the ballot, it would simply go to indicate their feelings about the plant, not bring it into law.

The Importance of Supporting Illinois Marijuana

illinois politicians promoting their bias for cannabis
Illinois politicians are promoting their bias for cannabis to appeal to the public.

Right now, politicians are bending over backwards in Illinois to let the public know that they support marijuana. Candidates running for chief executive have been publicly bickering through Twitter about who is more in favor of legalizing the plant. JB Pritzker has held a press conference in front of a dispensary and stated “our state should legalize marijuana.” He accused opposing candidate Chris Kennedy of not really supporting the end of prohibition. Kennedy replied saying “Illinois should legalize marijuana. We will immediately broaden access to medical marijuana. Don’t let a mailer, tweet or phone call convince you otherwise. This is where I stand.” State Senator Daniel Biss went so far as to make green campaign banners that merge his name with the plant, reading “Cannabiss.” He has stated that “we need to legalize, not criminalize cannabis. It’s time for us to radically reform our justice system so that it works for the rest of us.”

Regardless of Rauner’s perspective there is a lot of support for the plant. Many Illinois politicians are taking this as a reason to investigate further. If Rauner plans to stay in office beyond November, it may be worth taking note of this and letting the public have their say.

Mistrial Declared in Lawsuit Against Denver Cannabis Church Founders

Mistrial Declared in Lawsuit Against Denver Cannabis Church Founders

A mistrial was declared by Judge Fred Rodgers in Denver County Court for the highly awaited case against Steve Berke, Briley Hale and Lee Molloy, founders of the International Church of Cannabis. The case, which has already gone through at least 5 pretrial hearings, has been considered highly controversial as a lot of city money is being spent on a minor infraction that, if proven, could cost defendants a maximum fine of $300 each. The mistrial occurred due to a lack of jurors. The pool of 24 jurors was cut down to 15, making it impossible to move forward with proceedings. “Each side had 6 preemptory challenges,” stated the defendants defense attorney Warren Edson. “So if you take 12 away from 15, we didn’t have 6.”

Charges Allege Violation of Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act

International Church of Cannabis lawsuit ruled a mistrial
The International Church of Cannabis lawsuit has been ruled a mistrial.

The case against defendants is based on their alleged violation of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act on April 20, 2017. 420 has long been associated with cannabis. Every year on April 20th, cannabis users take the day as an unofficial holiday for the plant. The International Church of Cannabis opened its doors on April 20th. While the Church was open to the public through the day, founders took time at 4:20PM to have a private invitation only cannabis ceremony. Undercover police officers infiltrated the event and charged the founders with being complicit in fostering the public use of cannabis.

“We Would’ve Won Today”

The defendants claim, however, that days before the event took place, they met with city attorneys to ensure that they would not be infringing on the city’s cannabis laws regarding public use. They were informed that due to the private nature of the event, they were not breaking any laws. “We would’ve won today,” says Berke, after hearing news of the mistrial. “I think this is a travesty to the city and people of Denver to have to pay for this again.”

A Waste of Time and Resources

lawsuit against cannabis church invoked Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act
The lawsuit against the cannabis church invoked the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.

The potential jurors echoed this sentiment, with one telling the judge, “I pay taxes and wonder how my tax dollars are being utilized.” Another juror told the court, “I’m struggling with the amount of resources put towards this.” This juror told the judge that “hundreds of people” smoke at the city owned venue Red Rocks Amphitheater during concerts and the police just “look the other way.” While the city has been spending a large amount of time and resources on a minor infraction, it is not the $300 fine alone that they seek. Should the defendants be found guilty, the city can file forfeiture paperwork on the International Church of Cannabis.

The Church now has 2,000 members who are local to Denver and 5,000 members in total. They currently have private consumption friendly events for members only on Fridays. According to Leafly, Berke believes that the city is targeting the Church because they don’t believe “that our principles are deeply-held religious beliefs. This comes down, in my opinion, to religious persecution.” The new trial date is set for July and, until that point, the Church will continue operating and holding events with respect to cannabis and its ability to connect consumers with a sense of the divine.

First Marijuana Producer Debuts on Major U.S. Stock Exchange

First Marijuana Producer Debuts on Major US Stock Exchange

The marijuana industry has undergone a massive milestone as Toronto based Canadian company Cronus Group has become the first purely marijuana-based business to be listed on the stock market. The Securities and Exchange Commission have reviewed the company and given permission for Cronus to begin trading on the Nasdaq. This means that, for the first time, American investors can safely invest in the industry without fear of legal repercussions. It also heralds to the world that marijuana has truly landed as a viable, legitimate industry.

Not Available to the U.S.

Cronus, which will appear as CRON in the stock market, is only connected to countries that are currently not engaged in a federal ban, such as Israel, Australia, Germany and Canada. CEO Mike Gorenstein has stated that the company exports marijuana to Germany and intends on building growing facilities in Israel and Australia. This is likely to be a contributing factor in how the company was approved to trade on the Nasdaq as Cronus operates within the constraints of the law. Medical marijuana is completely legal in Canada and the Canadian government plans to legalize it for recreational use as well this year. Gorenstein has stated that when this occurs, he plans to manufacture and sell recreational marijuana as well.

A Legitimate Industry in the U.S.

Marijuana remains illegal at a federal level in the U.S. However, 29 states have legalized the plant for medical use and 8 states have legalized it for recreational use. According to a report released by Arcview Market Research, the country spent $9.2 billion on legal marijuana last year and is expected to be spending approximately $47 billion a year come 2027. The numbers indicate that marijuana is a legitimate industry that is here to stay. In states where it has become legal, it has contributed greatly to the economy, inspiring other states to follow suit.

Will Cronus Ever Come to the U.S.?

While Cronus itself has no tie to the U.S. market at this point in time, Gorenstein has stated that should the law change and prohibition end, he would bring Cronus to the states. He stated his intention on having marijuana become known as a legitimate form of medication with the ability to help many people. He told Business Insider that when people think of marijuana companies, they think “some guy in their basement with a few lights on and pit bulls outside. We want to show that we treat cannabis like real medicine. We don’t believe cannabis is a commodity.”

Cronus as a company is the sole owner of marijuana cultivation and distribution brands Peace Naturals and Original BC. It also has a share in Whistler Medical Marijuana Company. It was founded in 2013 with an intention of changing the public perception of the plant. Cronus sells a variety of marijuana flower and oils in varying strains and strengths and has even developed their own strains to suit various customer needs. It has been paving the way forward and intends on continuing to do this into the future. As the first marijuana company to appear on the stock market, it has certainly made a splash across the globe.

CBD Research Supports Compound’s Numerous Health Benefits

CBD Research Supports Compound’s Numerous Health Benefits

With the legalization of cannabis propelling the plant further into the spotlight, the CBD compound, originally overshadowed by THC, is beginning to garner more attention. This non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana will not get you high. However, it has the potential to provide immense medical relief. This compound is already legal in 43 states and most popular to use for treating inflammation, pain and seizures. While THC provides users with a high or sense of euphoria, CBD is a calming agent that will not alter the user’s state on a psychoactive level. It is found in both cannabis sativa and hemp and is most commonly extracted as an oil that can be consumed in liquid form, as a pill, vaporized or used topically. There are even lines of products designed to provide relief for animals, as well as children and adults.

How CBD Works with the Endocannabinoid System

CBD can help to balance the endocannabinoid system.

As well as being a powerful anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and pain killer amongst other things, both of the compounds in marijuana (THC and CBD) work to balance the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is made up of C1 and C2 receptors that are found all over the body in muscles, tissue and organs. It is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body, ensuring that mood, appetite, digestion, respiration and all of the systems of the body are functioning at their baseline of health. Illness, injury and age can affect the health of this system where the cannabis compounds such as THC and CBD come in to restore balance.

Federal Blockades to CBD Research

While medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana is legal in 8 states, the plant is still illegal at a federal level. Up until last August, official medical research on the plant was prohibited. After being petitioned by several senators, the DEA decided to review and revise their rules so that researchers could apply to engage in medical research. Unfortunately, so far, the department has been blocked when it comes to approving research. The Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has refused to approve the research so, as yet, there is no officially government sanctioned research done on marijuana and its compounds. This doesn’t mean, however, that there has been no research done.

CBD Treatments for Epilepsy

research supports cbd as a potentially effective treatment for epilepsy
Research supports CBD as a potentially effective treatment for epilepsy.

Several studies have been conducted on the compound in recent years, evaluating its ability to become a source of treatment for a multitude of disorders. A disorder that receives a lot of attention for its ability to be treated by CBD oil is epilepsy. Anecdotal evidence has been touted as parents with children suffering from multiple seizure a day found a great sense of relief from the use of CBD oil. With such astounding results being described by parents, it’s no wonder that researchers decided to explore the connection.

A study, titled “Efficacy and Safety of Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) in Children and Young Adults With Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy” unveiled by the American Epilepsy Society (AES) discovered that CBD was extremely effective at treating epileptic seizures. In fact, the researchers found a 45.1 percent median reduction in the number of seizures patients were having. 9 percent of all patients and 13 percent of those with Dravet Syndrome epilepsy, a devastating form of epilepsy with a high mortality rate, became seizure-free. Researchers found that a dosage of up to 25mg a day was well tolerated and showed positive results.

Specific Research Into Dravat Syndrome

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year showed CBD’s ability to assist children with Dravat Syndrome. The double blind study observed patients over a 14 day period who consumed CBD as Epidolex which was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals. They found that the compound was effective in treating epilepsy with a 39 percent median reduction in seizures compared to a 13 percent reduction by those who consumed the placebo. There were minimal side effects with this test that mainly included drowsiness and diarrhea. Other studies that use CBD derived in plant form tend to show less side effects than the cannabinoid compounds derived in a lab. Even still, these side effects are minor compared to the drug resistant seizures that occur with this disorder.

CBD for Autism

social challenges of autism could possibly be treated with cbd
The social challenges of autism could possibly be treated with CBD.

Autism is another disorder that has been linked to being assisted with the use of CBD. Autism is formed in a similar way to epilepsy in that the brain has too little brain inhibition. The result with autism is hyper sensitivity and abnormal social patterns. Researchers at the University of Washington decided to conduct a test on mice with the disorder to see if CBD was in fact an effective form of treatment. The researchers found that the social behaviors that usually become a problem for children with autism were normalized in the mice. They became more social, even preferring social interaction and there was a big reduction in the signs of social anxiety. A clinical trial conducted on 120 patients is currently being conducted in Israel, which will no doubt provide more information on dosing for humans.

Reducing Inflammation with CBD

The CBD compound’s ability to reduce inflammation and pain has been known to be a great benefit for innumerable conditions. Numerous studies show its ability to be a great reliever to those suffering with arthritis, cancer, AIDS, brain trauma and chronic pain to name a few. It’s for this reason that the compound has become permissible to use for athletes in international sports arenas such as the Olympics. This is why active NFL players such as Jake Plummer are pushing for the compound to be permissible for players. The alternative for many are prescription opioids which can have devastating side effects and lead to thousands of accidental overdoses every year.

Every person is individual and when it comes to dosing for various illnesses, the issue can be a matter of experimenting with what works best. The more research that is done, the more we will be able to learn about how we can most effectively treat various disorders with the least amount of side effects. All in all, the compound has been found to be a safe and extremely effective way to treat a number of debilitating disorders. The more research that can be conducted on how it works and how to dose, the more we will be able to benefit from its medicinal value.

Las Vegas Airport Sets Up Collection Box for Leftover Marijuana

Las Vegas Airport Sets Up Collection Box for Leftover Marijuana

Nevada was 1 of 4 states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in November 2016. While possession of up to an ounce of the plant became legal on January 1, 2017, legal sales did not begin until July 1. Sale of the plant has gone through the roof, exceeding expectations. While residents and visitors are not allowed to consume the plant in public and it is banned for use on the Las Vegas Strip, hotels and casinos, its legalization has still been a draw for many with McCarran International Airport seeing approximately 48 million passengers last year. While marijuana is legal for recreational use in 8 states (that make up approximately 20 percent of the country) and legal for medical use in 29 states, it is still illegal at a federal level. This makes the issue of traveling with the plant, either recreationally or for medical reasons, a tricky issue.

The Original Rules

mccarran international has set up amnesty boxes for tourists to dispose of their leftover cannabis
McCarran International has set up amnesty boxes for tourists to dispose of their leftover cannabis.

From January 1, 2017 until last September, if passengers were caught with marijuana on Department of Aviation grounds, Metro Police were called in to evaluate whether the amount found was in line with state law. If passengers exceeded the allowed amount, they were arrested and charged with a felony. If they possessed a legal amount by Nevada law, they were released and allowed to leave with their marijuana.

The New Ordinance

A new county ordinance was put in place, becoming active in October last year, which once again prohibited the possession of marijuana on airport grounds. This means that those caught with under an ounce have their marijuana confiscated and are given a citation and those caught with more are arrested and charged with a felony.

Amnesty Boxes

tourists are being persiaded to deposit their remaining cannabis without fear of consequence
Tourists are being persuaded to deposit their remaining cannabis without fear of consequence.

In order to assist passengers in abiding by these new regulations, McCarran International Airport has installed amnesty drop boxes all around the airport grounds, so that passengers can dispose of their leftover product in a safe, legal and easy way. So far 13 boxes have been installed around the airport and officials plan to install at least 7 more at Henderson Executive Airport, North Las Vegas Airport and other areas of McCarran. The boxes are green and easy to locate in the high traffic areas where they have been placed. They are monitored, serviced regularly and a company has been hired to pick up the deposited marijuana so it can be disposed of safely.

“The drawer pulls out; you drop your stuff in and you close it. You can’t really get your hand in there,” says Christine Crews, who is a spokesperson for McCarran. “If you start tampering with them, you’d be detected pretty quickly.”

With so many tourists going through Las Vegas, the metal bins offer a way to enjoy state law without happening upon any federal issues. The safe disposal of the plant is also an important part of keeping it out of the hands of children, who should not have access to medication or adult recreational substances such as marijuana, alcohol or cigarettes. Las Vegas police Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said that so far no citations have been issued as a result of the ban on marijuana in Nevada airports.