food and drug administration

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Let’s start with politics, with the latest in the “Where The Candidates Stand on Marijuana” series.  Senator Cory Booker (D – NJ)  has introduced the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019 that would legalize cannabis at the federal level, remove it from the schedule of controlled substances and expunge federal marijuana-related criminal records.

The biggest news from the states came from Florida, where legislation has been introduced to legalize recreational marijuana.  Obviously, introducing a bill is a long way from opening stores, but it is a step in that direction.

Other states moving to legalize include New Hampshire, where the bill is progressing in the House before it moves to the Senate, but may have problems in the Governor’s office and Vermont, where recreational use is already legal, but buying and selling is not.  This legislation would set up a retail marketplace.

Legalizing cannabis doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing, as the state of Michigan is finding out.  The governor has abolished the board that approves or denies applications for licenses for medical marijuana businesses and a new agency will take its place.

The Food and Drug Administration will convene a public meeting to discussion CBD regulation in April.  Of course, the FDA’s chief, Scott Gottlieb, is resigning in April, so the exact date of the meeting is now up in the air.

In international news, the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis has announced changes in their cannabis laws: medical marijuana will now be legal and recreational use will be decriminalized.  Meanwhile, Switzerland has announced that it will begin a 10-year study of recreational marijuana; we’ll check back in with them towards the end of the next decade.

And if you were wondering what Martha Stewart’s latest business venture is, wonder no longer.  She is forming a CBD partnership with Canopy Growth.  Their first products will be pet remedies.  Who brought these two together?  Snoop Dogg, of course.

See you next week!

Cannabidiol (CBD) competed with Vitamin C as a top ingredient in new cosmetic products this past year, with promises of having anti-inflammatory effects and other healing properties. Amid the hype, at the end of 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, P.L. 115-334 (the “2018 Farm Bill”) was signed into law, changing the marketing of hemp and derivatives of cannabis and further removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act thereby making it no longer an illegal substance under federal law. See Section 297A. The 2018 Farm Bill amended the definition of “hemp” to specifically include “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids,” which has been construed as an attempt to include hemp-based CBD under the definition of industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill allows, subject to certain restrictions, hemp cultivation, along with the sale, transport (including via interstate commerce), and possession of hemp-derived products. Continue Reading “C” is for…

Welcome to our end of the year wrap-up post for The Week in Weed; it’s hard to believe another year has come and (almost) gone, but the calendar doesn’t lie.  In what we are calling an homage to Dave Barry and his always hilarious Year in Review, we’ll organize these stories by month.

Without further ado, here’s a look at the stories that grabbed our attention in 2018. Continue Reading The Week, No Make that the Year, in Weed: 2018

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.  And what a week it was!

Michigan legalized recreational cannabis, Utah and Missouri voted yes on medical marijuana, and several pro-legalization candidates were elected as governors.  Meanwhile, North Dakota voted against legalization and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (sponsor of the legislation to prevent the DOJ from enforcing federal law against medical marijuana dispensaries) lost his seat.

And Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made no secret of his opposition to cannabis for any purpose, was forced out of the administration.  So yeah, a lot’s been going on.

For our round-up of marijuana-related election results, see yesterday’s post.  For more analysis, see articles from the National Cannabis Industry Association, Ganjapreneur, and Marijuana Business Daily.

For Sessions news, see here, here and here.

But, has anything else important happened lately?  I’m glad you asked, because the answer is yes.

It’s not just Canada that’s legalized marijuana.  The Mexican Supreme Court has just ruled that the nation’s ban on cannabis is unconstitutional.

Speaking of Canada, they’ve got a pot shortage.  Apparently, you need to stock up more than you think when you legalize.  Mexico: take note.

Back in the U.S., the first cannabis-based drug approved by the FDA is now available by prescription.

See you again next Friday!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

You may recall that the Food and Drug Administration is asking for comments on rescheduling cannabis.  Many times, agency requests for comments are met with a deafening silence.  This is not one of those times.

It’s not every day that the federal government requests public input on international marijuana laws, but that’s exactly what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did last week. And the comments are pouring in.

In Massachusetts, there’s finally been some movement towards setting up recreational sales.

Massachusetts regulators on Thursday issued final licenses to two marijuana-testing laboratories, paving the way for the launch of the Bay State’s much-delayed recreational cannabis program.

And in Seattle, the city is vacating convictions for marijuana possession, citing concerns about disparate impact.

Critics of drug-possession prosecutions often argue that they unfairly target people of color. Seattle, where recreational use of marijuana was legalized in 2012, is doing something about it.

Finally, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Canada.

A 9-year-old Canadian girl quickly sold out of the cookies she was selling for the Girl Guides by setting up shop outside a marijuana store.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Here at The Blunt Truth, we are well aware of the difficulties cannabis businesses face in obtaining financial services.  It turns out, even political groups that support marijuana legalization can face a problem with banks.

A new cannabis political action committee, Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use, is looking to raise $300,000 by 2020 to support industry-friendly candidates for public office in key jurisdictions of the state.

In the latest installment of “people changing their minds on marijuana,” the Mormon Church and cannabis advocates have reached a compromise on legalizing medical marijuana ahead of next month’s election, which features a ballot initiative to allow MMJ.

Those behind the campaign to legalize medical marijuana and some of its most vocal opponents have reached a tentative agreement on what medical marijuana policy should look like in Utah, the Deseret News has learned.

As we reported last weekthe Food and Drug Administration has allowed the sale of Epidiolex, which contains CBD derived from cannabis.  Apparently, that’s not the only move on marijuana the agency has made recently.

FDA officials have put out a call for public comment about the potential rescheduling of cannabis and several other substances.

Despite Michigan’s prohibition against cannabis-infused beverages, alcohol companies are actively pursuing the market.

A former Molson Coors exec will head its cannabis-drinks JV, called Truss. New Age Beverages is fielding requests for its CBD drinks.

And this just in: the Border Patrol has revised its lifetime ban against Canadians involved in cannabis.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has announced that Canadians who work in the legal cannabis industry will generally be allowed to enter the United States.

This is Washington, and we do like to speak in initials.  A plain English translation of the title of this piece would read “FDA ‘places FDA-approved drugs that contain CBD derived from cannabis and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols in Schedule V.’”  DEA Final Order, Docket No. DEA-486 Schedule V drugs include cough medicine with codeine and many pain relievers that still require a prescription.  So, really what this order does is allow doctors in the US legally to prescribe the recently approved epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, and allows pharmacies, rather than marijuana dispensaries, legally to sell the drug. Continue Reading FDA: .1% CBD OK

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

At the risk of turning this into the “Week in Oklahoma Weed,” here’s the latest on what happening in the Sooner State.

A group that wants to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma has submitted signatures to qualify the measure for a statewide vote after saying it may not have enough to qualify for the November ballot.

And for further proof it’s not just the coasts that are thinking of legalizing recreational cannabis, we have this news from the Upper Midwest.

North Dakota will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use after a measure was approved for the November ballot on Monday.

North Dakotans will vote this November on a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana, state officials announced Monday.

You will doubtless recall that the FDA approved a CBD medication recently.  We now know what the price tag will be.

GW Pharmaceuticals has revealed the expected consumer price for Epidiolex, the first cannabidiol-based medication to be approved by the FDA, according to a Business Insider report.

Welcome to the 4/20 edition of Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

It’s been a big week for Republicans embracing legal marijuana or marijuana-related products.  Donald Trump, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have all moved to embrace the plant.

President Donald Trump will lift his administration’s plans for a possible crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana after talks with a Colorado senator, the White House said on Friday, an action that undercuts U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The former House speaker once said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization. Now, after joining a cannabis company’s board, he is arguing for change.

Today, the Senate Majority Leader has made good on his words. Mitch McConnell has officially filed his promised hemp farming bill.

But it’s not just the Republicans who are giving cannabis a second glance.  Both candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the New York governor’s race are speaking about legalization.

A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that it’s now foremost a racial justice issue for her.

Is the governor paving the way to legalizing recreational marijuana in New York?

In non-political news, it looks like the FDA is going to approve the use of an epilepsy drug made from the marijuana plant.

The medication would treat seizures that typically affect children.

GW Pharma spiked to an 11-week high Tuesday after an internal review hinted at the likelihood the FDA will approve its cannabis-based anti-seizure drug.

Happy 4/20 everyone!  In case you’re wondering about the origins of this celebration, check out Leafly’s article here: The Origin and Meaning of the 4/20 Holiday.

Despite the dearth of approved marijuana products, the term “medical marijuana” has become commonplace, and the term’s prevalence continues to increase as more states legalize the use of the marijuana plant and its active derivatives for medical purposes, and marijuana dispensaries continue to expand throughout the United States.  As of 2017, 29 states and the District of Columbia have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.  (Despite state laws legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance its distribution and use remain illegal under Federal law.)

Studies on the potential of the marijuana plant or its extracts continue to expand and include, among others, treating pain,  preventing seizures,  and treating autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease.  However, despite assertions of efficacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as a medicine, and to date, the FDA has only approved three products – Marinol® and Syndrox®, which include the active ingredient, dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), to treat nausea associated with chemotherapy and loss of appetite in AIDS patients; and Cesamet®, which includes the active ingredient, nabilone, a synthetically derived compound with a structure similar to THC, to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.  These drugs are available by prescription only.

Continue Reading Is Medical Marijuana Really Medicinal?