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New Jersey to become only legal cannabis state to not permit home cultivation

New Jersey to become only legal cannabis state to not permit home cultivation

New jersey home growing will not be permitted with legalization

New Jersey state Senator Nick Scutari (D), the Senate President and a major proponent of cannabis legalization, said he doesn’t see the home cultivation of cannabis coming anytime soon.

New Jersians will not immediately be able to grow their own cannabis, neither for medical nor personal use purposes, the Asbury Park Press reports. During a webinar with cannabis industry professionals, state Sen. Nick Scutari (D), the main proponent of cannabis legalization in the state Senate and the new chamber president, said he does “not see” home cultivation “happening right now.”

“I’m not against marijuana being grown at home for medical purposes and maybe even just recreational purposes. But we’ve got to let this industry … it’s not even off the ground yet.” Scutari said during a press conference.

Currently, the price of medical cannabis in New Jersey runs about $412 to $420 per ounce, according to Curaleaf prices outlined by the Press.

Jo Anne Zito, a board member for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, said allowing patients to grow their own medicine would be “a tremendous help.”

“It doesn’t seem like the sky has fallen in these other places,” she told the Press. “Yeah, some of it may get to the illicit market but I don’t think it’s anything that’s hurting revenue or setting back legal sales.”

Of the 19 states that have legalized cannabis, New Jersey is the only one that does not allow medical patients to grow their own, the report says. Cultivating even one cannabis plant in the state is still punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine, despite the state’s legalization law.

Mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced

Mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced

mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced into state senate

After months of debate and back-and-forth, lawmakers in Mississippi have finally produced a bill to implement a new medical cannabis law in the state.​

After months of speculation and hand-wringing, the Mississippi Legislature is set to take up a medical marijuana bill in the Senate as soon as Thursday, lawmakers said.

Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, filed the long-awaited bill late Tuesday afternoon. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann referred the 445-page bill to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee for review.

Wednesday afternoon, the bill was passed by the Senate public health committee. Should it pass the Senate, it would head to the House and then to the governor.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said at the start of the legislative session medical marijuana was not a top priority of his. Bryan’s committee held two hearings over the summer about what a proposed medical marijuana bill would look like in Mississippi.

Gov. Tate Reeves said in June 2021 he would call a special session of the legislature if the House and Senate could agree on a bill.

In September, Gunn and Hosemann announced their two chambers had reached an agreement, but Reeves never called a session, objecting to portions of the bill. A draft version was made public in September, and lawmakers worked to address most of Reeves concerns.

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

cannabis can help with covid-19

Compounds in cannabis can prevent infection from the virus that causes Covid-19 by blocking its entry into cells, according to a study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University.

A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

The researchers found that two cannabinoid acids commonly found in hemp varietals of cannabis, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDA, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. By binding to the spike protein, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing infection, potentially offering new avenues to prevent and treat the disease.

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers wrote in an abstract of the study.

The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, in collaboration with scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University. Van Breeman said that the cannabinoids studied are common and readily available.

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said, as quoted by local media. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”

Cannabinoids Effective Against New Variants

Van Breemen added that CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of emerging variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, saying that “our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”

Colombian Medical Cannabis Will Be Covered By Insurance

Colombian Medical Cannabis Will Be Covered By Insurance

Colombian medical cannabis

Khiron Life Sciences Corp., a vertically integrated medical cannabis leader with core operations in Latin America, announced on January 4th that the Government of Colombia has added medical cannabis to its list of mandated covered medications for every insurance provider in the country.

Khiron became the first licensed distributor of Colombian medical cannabis in March 2020. The company has currently sold 57,000 prescriptions, with over 16,000 patients across the country.

The plans to mandate insurance coverage for medical cannabis was implemented in December 2020, and throughout 2021 Khiron has been working with insurance providers across Colombia to include their medical cannabis in their coverage. In 2021, 60% of medical cannabis sales done by Khiron were through insurance providers.

The inclusion of medical cannabis in insurance coverage has greatly increased the number of prescribed patients as well as patient retention as medical cannabis becomes more easily accessible and more affordable through insurance.

Additionally, starting in 2022 any Colombian can get their medical cannabis card nearly for free, regardless of their insurance. These new implementations will make Colombia one of the only, and also the leading cannabis provider through insurance in the world.

The implications of having one sole provider of medical cannabis for the entire country of Colombia are yet to be seen. Whether there will be more space for competition in the future is also unknown.

Cannabis Study Shows Occasional Use Does Not Cause Lung Damage

Cannabis Study Shows Occasional Use Does Not Cause Lung Damage

cannabis study shows cannabis use does not decrease lung function

A study, carried out by the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), examined both the short- and long-term effects of cannabis on lung function.

The relationship between cannabis and lung function has been a subject of heated debate for decades. Many are aware of the harm that smoking tobacco causes to the lungs. If anything, the image of what the lungs of a smoker look like is etched in the minds of many. When it comes to smoking cannabis, obvious deductions are often made. Is there any science to back this?

Tobacco smoking has been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). [1] It is also the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. [2,3] While cannabis smoke contains similar combustion products, it is unclear whether cannabis causes an equivalent level of destruction to the lungs.

Some studies have shown that cannabis smoke causes inflammation of the airway mucosa and triggers pulmonary symptoms such as coughing, increased phlegm production, and wheezing. [4-6] However, there are no studies that have demonstrated a decline in pulmonary function. [7]

As the legalization wave continues to sweep through the U.S, increasingly more people are smoking cannabis. Any adverse long-term effects of cannabis on the lungs is a public health issue that requires immediate attention.

A study, carried out by the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), sought to understand both the short- and long-term effects of cannabis on lung function. [8] This was compared to data collected from tobacco smokers.

DEA Backs White House Plan To Research Cannabis, Psychedelics

DEA Backs White House Plan To Research Cannabis, Psychedelics

DEA approves of more cannabis and psychedelic research
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) say they are in favor of a White House proposal to streamline the process of researching Schedule I drugs like marijuana and certain psychedelics.

The agencies testified at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Thursday, expressing support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) research plan. While the focus of the meeting was mostly on a controversial move to strictly classify fentanyl-related substances, the Biden administration proposal’s research components would also help address concerns within the scientific community about the difficulty of studying other Schedule I drugs.

DEA said in written testimony that “expanding access to Schedule I research is a critical part of DEA’s mission to protect public safety and health.”

“It is critical that the scientific and medical community study Schedule I substances, as some may turn out to have therapeutic value,” DEA Principal Deputy Administrator Louis Milione said. “DEA supports the administration’s legislative proposal’s expansion of access to Schedule I research. DEA looks forward to continuing to work with the research community and our interagency partners to facilitate Schedule I research.”

In general, what the administration is proposing is to align the research requirements for Schedule I drugs with those of less-restricted Schedule II drugs. Scientists and lawmakers have consistently pointed out that the existing rules for studying Schedule I controlled substances are excessively burdensome, limiting vital research.

Rather than having each scientist involved in a Schedule I drug study obtain DEA registration, ONDCP wants to make it so multiple researchers at a given institution would be allowed to participate under a single registration. The administration also proposed a policy change where a research institute with studies taking place over multiple locations would only require one overall registration instead of needing to have a specific one for each site.

Another change would allow certain researchers to move ahead with conducting their studies after submitting a notification to the Department of Justice instead of waiting for officials to affirmatively sign off on their proposals. ONDCP’s plan would also waive the requirement for additional inspections at research sites in some circumstances and allow researchers to manufacture small amounts of drugs without obtaining separate registrations. The latter component would not allow cultivation of marijuana, however.

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