Looks Like the Most New Jersey Voters Can Hope for at this Time is an Expanded Medical Marijuana Program, Despite Efforts by Governor Murphy

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s start off with some state news. Despite a strong effort by the newly elected Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, to bring adult-use cannabis and its commercial sales to the Garden State, too much opposition by other New Jersey legislators is making that unlikely for the time being. It is very likely though that New Jersey’s medical marijuana program that was severely held back by Murphy’s predecessor, Chris Christie, will be substantially expanded providing many more patients access to medical cannabis. The last public hearing was held last weekend on the issue so we will have to wait and see what the final verdict will be.  


Ohio’s Attorney General Approves Measure to Add Recreational Marijuana Question to the Ballot for the Second Time

Ohio will most likely be giving legalizing recreational marijuana another try as the state’s attorney general signed off on a measure sponsored by the Ohio Families for Change to add the question to the ballot for voters to approve. The sponsoring group still has to collect over 305,000 signatures which will be challenging to accomplish before the July deadline that would add the question to this year’s November ballot. Ohio went through the effort of having the question to legalize added to the ballot in 2015, but the measure failed.


Industrial Hemp Legalization Takes Major Steps in Arizona and Missouri

Both Arizona and Missouri took big steps towards legalizing industrial hemp within their states. Governor Ducey of Arizona signed off on Senate Bill 1098 which begins Arizona’s industrial hemp market and will be regulated by their Department of Agriculture. House Bill 2034 passed in Missouri earlier this month and now it is up to Governor Eric Greitens to sign off on it which will also be the start of the industrial hemp market in the Show Me state. Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed the legalization of hemp as well.


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Tells Reporter the FDA is Unlikely to Ever Sanction Smoking Marijuana

Somewhat surprisingly, the FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, told Bloomberg that the FDA would never sanction the smoking of marijuana. He said that “using a lung as a drug delivery system isn’t optimal.” However, there have been FDA approved studies that involve the smoking of marijuana and the FDA regulates the tobacco and cigarette industry. So, what exactly Mr. Gottlieb means by the FDA never sanctioning the smoking of marijuana is a bit of a mystery.


A New Study Shows How Marijuana Really Affects Memory

A new study explains how cannabis really affects memory. It is true that active THC is a short-term inhibitor of memory regulation, but after the euphoric effects of cannabis subside, a person’s memory returns to its full capabilities. The study goes on to explain that THC can be a very real treatment for people suffering from Alzhiemer’s. The enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter which facilitates memory, and is found in abundance in Alzheimer’s patients, is inhibited by the presence of THC slowing the enzyme’s ability to adversely affect memory. In the end science is continuing to disprove the many assumptions people have made concerning marijuana over these long years of prohibition.

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Robert Zak, a Disabled Naval Veteran, Permitted to Consume Medical Marijuana on Federal Lands

Since cannabis is still a Schedule 1 substance, federal agencies are stringent about enforcing the laws concerning cannabis and perhaps the place that is most evident is the VA Healthcare System. Veterans have for a long time been strong advocates for the medicinal benefits of cannabis to help them with PTSD and chronic pain, but they have received no help from the VA. However, Robert Zak, a disabled Naval veteran residing on federal land in New Jersey and struggling with chronic seizures has received permission to use medical marijuana on the property. He has a state issued medical marijuana card and reducing seizures is one of the most promising medicinal properties found in cannabis.


Gayle King Let’s Slip that Oprah Winfrey Smokes Weed

And finally, Gayle King, an anchor on CBS This Morning and an editor-at-large for O, which is Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, let slip on the Ellen Degeneres show that Oprah likes to smoke weed. She actually said that Oprah only smokes a little weed, but for many people the news was surprising considering Oprah has had a pretty clean cut career so far. There are rumors that she may be interested in running for president and so Ms. King’s slip may have been more intentional than she let on. Whoever would have thought that admitting to using marijuana might help someone get elected president?


Join us at NCIA Lobby Days next week in Washington D.C. where we will be conducting live interviews with influential business owners and possibly legislators that are working to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.