I hope everyone is having a fantastic day! It is August 24th, 2018 and this is Todd Denkin with the National Marijuana News here to bring you your weekly update on all of the trending marijuana news around the country. At TNMNews.com you can find articles covering everything related to marijuana including any updates on marijuana laws, cannabis financial news, marijuana culture, marijuana infused recipes and more. So go check it out, but right now let’s talk about the latest marijuana news.
SB 930 Thrown Out, Florida Has More Banking Problems
Starting off, let’s talk about California and banking. There may be no state quite as in love with marijuana as California is. At the beginning of the year they began the commercial sale of state regulated recreational marijuana after 20 years of using a gray market to provide adult consumers access to weed. It is estimated that the California marijuana industry could eventually be valued at more than $6 billion dollars all on its own, and California became the 5th largest economy in the world earlier this year. For California, the banking restrictions for cannabis companies due to the federal Schedule 1 status of marijuana are a particular problem for obvious reasons. So, state Senator Bob Hertzberg sponsored Senate Bill 930 which would have created a state-chartered banking system in California which would provide a place for cannabis companies to deposit, withdraw and permit electronic transactions for customers as opposed to the cash only transactions that cannabis companies around the country are currently forced to use. Between California’s financial leverage in the United States and its general opposition to current federal policies, many people fully expected the bill to pass. However, the state Assembly Appropriations Committee tossed out the bill this week because by creating this banking system it would mean that nearly all of the state’s marijuana industry’s assets would be held at these institutions making them an easily identifiable target for federal authorities should they decide to come and seize the assets. It is yet another confirmation that the cannabis industry must see marijuana rescheduled in order for the projected growth of the industry to become a reality.
Staying on the topic of banking, and if we move over to the other coast. In Florida, a former lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry, Nikki Fried, is running for the state’s agricultural commissioner seat this fall. Her campaign setup an account for her at Wells Fargo to accept campaign donations. Once Wells Fargo did some research on Ms. Fried they inquired if she would be accepting any donations from the medical marijuana industry and her team confirmed that indeed they would be. Wells Fargo then shutdown her account citing that they needed to consider the risks to the bank. Wells Fargo is already under a great of federal scrutiny after the fake account fiasco that resulted in a $185 million dollar fine. It is of particular concern because there are candidates around the country now campaigning for marijuana legalization and accepting donations from the cannabis industry. If Wells Fargo is going to reject and close out campaign accounts in fear of federal repercussions, will this concern spread to other banks as well?
DEA to Expand Amount of Federally Grown Marijuana
The DEA is going to request that 5,400 pounds of marijuana be grown next year for cannabis research purposes. Currently, 1,000 pounds of marijuana is the limit however the only federally licensed facility at the University of Mississippi does not have the capacity to produce that much cannabis. Last year, the DEA requested that more institutions apply to grow federally funded marijuana for research and more than two dozen applications were submitted. But, under Jeff Sessions supervision, not a single one has been looked at. It is very hard to take the DEA seriously concerning these requests considering their track record. It is an absolute must that marijuana undergoes the rigorous research of the top scientific minds in the country to prove its medicinal benefits and provide peer reviewed studies to other medical professionals around the country. This is the process necessary to have medical marijuana accepted by the top echelons of the medical community. In the meantime, we will all just have to remain infuriated by this obviously fake and purposely obtuse approach by the justice department.
Synthetic Marijuana far Worse Than We First Realized
Moving to some related news. Last week we reported that 70 synthetic marijuana overdoses recently occured in New Haven, Connecticut all at the same time. First, we want to clarify that the word marijuana should not be part of the discussion at all. What those people overdosed on was likely a mixture of household chemicals such as rat and roach poison soaked into some sort of dried leaf substance that they elected to smoke. What has happened is this, disgusting products called K2 and Spice were commonly sold in convenience stores around the country and marketed as synthetic marijuana. People learned how to reproduce the disgusting stuff easily with household chemicals and it has all been nicknamed as K2. It is truly sad because it has become a common trend in our prison systems for inmates to make K2 and in places like Florida, the rate of inmate overdose deaths are reaching record levels and K2 is being blamed. You can read more about these K2 overdoses in our article at TNMNews.com, “Florida Inmates Dying From K2 Overdoses.” Imagine if people could just easily access real marijuana? We wouldn’t even be having this discussion. No one on record has ever died from an overdose on real marijuana before.
AVMA Says Dogs Have Died from Marijuana Toxicosis
Finally, according to the American Veterinary Medical Associations, dogs can die from what is called marijuana toxicosis. Before everyone gets heated about this, let me explain. According to a report by the association that has been made available to their veterinarian members, some young dogs have died after eating marijuana edibles. You may have heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. If they eat too much of it, a compound found in chocolate and cocoa called theobromine can build up in a dog’s system to toxic levels that can lead to their hearts’ stopping. People have no problem metabolizing this compound and that is ultimately the point. Dogs and people do not have the same physiology. Dogs certainly do have an endocannabinoid system and there is certainly evidence that there are true medicinal benefits to marijuana for dogs. But it is not going to work the same as it does for people. Like the compound found in chocolate, certain compounds found in cannabis can also build up to toxic levels. The problem specifically seems to be the combination of chocolate and cannabis together that can be deadly to dogs. The moral of the story, keep your marijuana edibles out of the reach of your dogs! They will eat nearly anything and have fantastic noses, if you didn’t know. The responsible use and storing of marijuana is very important.
That is it for this week folks. Stay tuned this weekend for our managing editor, Richard Lowe, he will be covering the US Cannabis Conference Expo in Miami this weekend. It is going on today and throughout the weekend at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami. Also, check out our culture correspondent’s Instagram account @Xtine.tnmnews and us on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @nationalMJnews. Have a great weekend everybody, I am Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News.