Happy Friday everyone, this is Todd Denkin with the National Marijuana news coming to you on October 5th, 2018. There is a whole lot going on these days with professional sports at its peak, Halloween a few weeks away and an incredibly important election coming up this November. First, we would like to thank Douglas Gordon, the founder of the CanEx Convention in Jamaica for hosting us and allowing our followers to get a glimpse of the Jamaican fast growing marijuana industry and the over 22 countries represented at the convention. Also, we were able to provide you coverage of the CWCB Expo in Los Angeles last week and the USCC convention that is happening in Phoenix right now. We continue to try and provide the best coverage we possibly can of the ever evolving marijuana industry to keep all of you informed. Speaking of keeping you informed, let’s go over the top marijuana news related stories as of late.
House Bill 6534 The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018
There may be no example of just how ludicrous US policy is towards marijuana as the DEA’s fumbling of efforts to research cannabis. In 2007, over a decade ago, Judge Mary Ellen Bittner, a DEA administrative law judge, ruled that it would be in the public’s interest for there to be more federal facilities that grow marijuana for research than the current University of Mississippi facility. The DEA decided to ignore the suggestion until 2016 when they said they would start taking applicants for additional grow facilities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions then stepped in and has not permitted the DEA to take the time to look at a single application. The end result is that Representative Matt Gaetz out of Florida had to take the time to put together House Bill 6534, The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018, just to force the DEA to look at the applications. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee in September and will soon be voted on the House floor. This bill will also force the VA to conduct clinical trials on behalf of our veterans. What does it say about the US that the federal government has done so much just to prevent research on marijuana?
36 Marijuana Reform Measures in 7 States on the November Ballot
It has been amazing to see the attention that this November’s midterm election is getting. These elections typically have very low turnouts relative to presidential elections, but for some mysterious reason, not really, this midterm election is expected to have a big turnout. For those of us caught up in the cannabis legalization movement, there are 7 states with a total of 36 marijuana reform measures on their ballots. Colorado is looking to redefine hemp, Michigan and North Dakota will vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana, Missouri and Utah will vote on legalizing medical marijuana, Ohio will vote on decriminalizing marijuana, and Wisconsin will ask voters whether they should legalize medical marijuana. Beyond that, a number of gubernatorial races around the country involve candidates that are campaigning for either medical or adult-use marijuana in their state, and there are countless district measures in states that already have either a medical marijuana program or full blown adult-use marijuana concerning taxes and zoning of dispensaries. After all of these years, it is amazing to see marijuana legalization become such a major issue. Go out and vote people!
Montreal Study Suggests that Marijuana Use at a Young Age Impairs Cognitive Abilities
We are an unbiased news source for the cannabis industry so to provide some balance let me report to you about a study recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and conducted out of the University of Montreal. The study involved following 3,800 Montreal area students for 4 years starting at the age of 13. Students submitted annual reports privately on how much marijuana and alcohol they were consuming. Student subjects also took computer-based cognitive tests which measured their recall memory, inhibition, short-term memory and perceptual reasoning. After 4 years the study showed that the students that regularly consumed marijuana had lower test scores than other students and the researchers concluded that marijuana causes more long term impairment to cognitive abilities than alcohol. This is not the first study of its kind concerning adolescent brain development and marijuana. It is further reasoning to encourage more research on marijuana.
Connecticut Court Case Ruled that Medical Marijuana Patient was Discriminated Against
A nurse in Connecticut, Katelin Noffsinger, was turned away from a nursing job after failing a drug test for THC. She had admitted to being a medical marijuana patient before applying and after she was turned away she filed a lawsuit. A federal judge last month ruled that the nursing home violated an anti-discrimination provision of Connecticut’s medical marijuana law, making it the first federal case to result in favor of state law concerning marijuana. These anti-discrimination cases between state and federal law are becoming a very common occurrence, most of which have favored employers citing federal law. However this ruling may set a new precedent and the American Bar Association has even warned employers nationwide to analyze state medical marijuana law before conducting drug tests for THC.
Massachusetts Should Be Offering Adult-Use Marijuana for Sale Soon
Finally, after months of waiting, Massachusetts adults may soon be able to purchase recreational marijuana. Massachusetts could have started selling adult-use marijuana in July but the Cannabis Control Commission was slow to issue licenses and has been waiting on lab testing facilities to complete applications. Two dispensaries, Cultivate, based in Leicester which is near Worcester, and New England Treatment Access in Northampton, which is in the western part of the state, got the go ahead this week. There are still a lot of questions about whether these dispensaries will be able to meet recreational demand, but all the same sales are beginning for the Bay State. Massachusetts is the first state on the east coast to sell recreational marijuana.
Well that is it for this week everyone. Please go checkout TNMNews.com for more stories along with our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts @NationalMJNews. Also our YouTube channel has lots of great interviews from the CanEx convention in Jamaica and many other videos. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! This is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News.