South Africa National Assembly Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

The South African National Assembly has given approval to a bill that would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana.

Earlier this week the National Assembly passed a bill that would allow adults to legally possess and cultivate marijuana. However, the measure would not allow marijuana to be legally sold.

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill now heads to the National Council of Provinces for a vote of concurrence.
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Maine: 42% of Medical Marijuana Contains “Harmful Contaminants”

Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) today released a report regarding its recent audit testing of cannabis and cannabis products in Maine’s Medical Use of Cannabis Program (MMCP).

According to the report, out of 120 samples, OCP found that 50 samples, or 42%, contained at least one contaminant that would have failed testing according to the mandatory testing standards set for Maine’s Adult Use Cannabis Program (AUCP).

Some samples failed testing for more than one contaminant, and some failed testing for multiple contaminants within a given analyte category. Overall, testing showed 30 failures for yeast and mold, 26 failures for pesticides, four failures for heavy metals, and one failure for filth and foreign materials.
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Pennsylvania House Passes Senate-Approved Bill to Allow All Licensed Marijuana Growers to Sell Directly to Patients

Pennsylvania’s full House of Representatives has passed a Senate-approved bill to allow all licensed marijuana growers and processors to sell marijuana directly to patients.

Senate Bill 773 was passed through the House Wednesday by a vote of 114 to 49. The measure was approved by the full Senate in a 44 to 3 vote last month, but it must go back to that chamber for one final vote before it can be sent to Governor Josh Shapiro given it was amended slightly in the House.

Filed by Senator Chris Gebhard along with a bipartisan coalition of seven cosponsors, the measure would allow all licensed marijuana growers to receive a dual license that also allows them to operate a dispensary where they can sell marijuana and marijuana products.
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176.8 Million Americans (53% of Population) Live in States Where Recreational Marijuana is Legal

With Ohio recently legalizing recreational marijuana, a majority of US residents now live in legal marijuana states, according to a new report.

Conducted by the firm Carnevale Associates, the report found that 53.1% of Americans live in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. When it comes to medical marijuana, 245.9 million Americans – or 74% of the entire US population – live in states where it’s legal.

Carnevale Associates was founded by John Carnevale, an attorney who worked at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) over the course of three separate presidencies.
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US Congress: Coalition of 20 Lawmakers Push For New Marijuana Banking Guidance

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley and Raphael Warnock joined Representative Earl Blumenauer and 16 other lawmakers in a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Andrea Gacki.

The letter is asking FinCEN to update its “out-of-date guidance on marijuana-related businesses to promote fairness in financial services for marijuana businesses operating in states where marijuana is no longer illegal.”

Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.),  Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Becca Balint (D-Vt.), Val Hoyle (D-Ore.), and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) signed the letter.
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President Biden Should Smoke Marijuana, Says US Representative and Primary Challenger

US Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN), one of two primary challengers to President Biden, says Biden should smoke marijuana to better understand the hypocrisy of the federal government’s stance on the plant compared to alcohol.

(Photo credit: Getty Images).

During a town hall in New Hampshire, Rep. Phillips says he’s “sure” that President Biden “has never even smelt weed, let alone smoked it.”

This led to Phillips says that the “fact of the matter is, I think he should.” Phillips says if he does, “he would find it awfully hypocritical that you can drink a half a gallon of Jack Daniels at night and report to work in his White House, but if you ate a gummy and it was discovered you’d be fired and maybe even imprisoned”.
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Report: Global CBD Market to Grow From $3.8 Billion in 2022 to $46 Billion in 2032

The global market for cannabidiol (CBD) is expected to increase by over 1,100% between 2022 and 2032, according to a new report.

The report by Emergen Research found that as of the end of 2022, the global CBD market was valued at $3.86 Billion. It’s expected to register “a rapid revenue CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 28.3% during the forecast period”, to reach a value of $46 billion by 2032

Key factors propelling this growth “include the rising preference for cannabis extracts, changing regulatory landscapes, and a surge in retailers offering CBD-based products”, states the report. “CBD, a natural compound in the cannabis plant, has gained significant traction for its potential health benefits, including treating chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia. FDA approval for epilepsy treatment underscores its therapeutic potential.”
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In New Study Marijuana Significantly Reduced Symptom Severity in Those With PTSD

In a new study the use of marijuana led to significant improvements in symptom severity including reduced nightmares and better sleep among those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Florida. It was published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, as well as by the National Library of Medicine.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating disorder experienced by a subgroup of individuals following a life-threatening trauma”, notes the study. “Several US states have passed laws permitting the medical use of marijuana (MMJ) by individuals with PTSD, despite very little scientific indication on the appropriateness of marijuana as a therapy for PTSD.”
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Legal Marijuana States Sold Over $4.5 Billion in Marijuana Between June and August

Among the legal recreational marijuana states that have operating marijuana stores and regularly report sales data, there was over $4.5 billion in legal marijuana sold between June 1 and August 31 of this year.

There are currently 24 states that have legalized recreational marijuana, with Ohio being the most recent do to so last week. Among these states, nearly all allow marijuana retail outlets, though some states have legalized too recently for these to be up and running (Minnesota, for example).

Among the states that do currently have legal marijuana stores and report sales data, there was a whopping $4.52 billion worth of marijuana and marijuana products sold between the start of June, and the end of August, according to an analysis by The Marijuana Herald.
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Oklahoma Has Highest Percentage of Medical Marijuana Patients, Followed by Maine and Pennsylvania

There are 39 states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, but in some states it’s more prevalent than others.

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. 27 years later and nearly 40 states have legalized at least some form of medical marijuana, while 24 have legalized marijuana recreationally.

Although some states don’t report medical marijuana patient counts, many states do, and in some instances it’s a mandatory reporting requirement for regulators. Using data from states that do report, the Marijuana Policy Project has compiled a list of medical marijuana states and how the number of medical marijuana patients compare to states’ total population.
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