Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin in Rhode Island on December 1

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced this morning that five licensed medical marijuana compassion centers have received state approval to begin selling recreational marijuana on or after December 1.

These five outlets will be the first in the state to legally sell recreational marijuana to those 21 and older. The licenses are being issued pursuant to the Rhode Island Cannabis Act, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor McKee in May. The law called for applications for “hybrid retail licenses,” which allow licensed compassion centers to sell both medical marijuana as well as safe, well-regulated and competitively priced marijuana products to Rhode Island adults over the age of 21. Licenses were issued in early October

As of this morning, the five compassion centers that have received state approval to commence adult use sales are:

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Oregon Governor Announces Pardon of Over 45,000 Marijuana Convictions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced today that she has issued pardons to everyone caught possessing up to an ounce of marijuana prior to its legalization in 2016.

The pardons will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of a small amount of marijuana from individual records, eliminating barriers for thousands of people seeking employment, housing, and educational opportunities who have otherwise been ineligible. It will also forgive more than $14,000,000 in associated fines and fees.

The pardon applies to electronically available Oregon convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, in pre-2016 cases in which the person was 21 years of age or older, where this was the only charge, and where there were no victims, according to a press release. This pardon does not apply to any other offense related to marijuana or other controlled substances. More information can be found here.
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Study: Cannabinoids May Induce Immunogenic Cancer Cell Death

Cannabinoids may induce immunogenic cell death indicating they may be useful in combatting cancer.

This is according to a new study being published in the upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Research. The study was epublished by the National Institute of Health, and “is the first demonstration that cannabinoids can induce the cell surface expression of ectoCRT, and potentially induce ICD [immunogenic cell death].”

Endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids “have been shown to induce cancer cell death through the accumulation of the sphingolipid, ceramide (Cer)”, states the study. “Recently, we have demonstrated that Cer accumulation enhances the induction of immunogenic cell death (ICD).”
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Study: Oral Cannabinoid Therapy Safe and Effective Against Treatment Refractory Chronic Pain

Oral cannabinoid therapy seems to be safe and at least mildly effective in patients with treatment refractory chronic pain, according to a new European Journal of Pain study.

“Cannabinoids are considered a therapeutic option to patients suffering from treatment refractory chronic pain (TRCP) insufficiently relieved by conventional analgesics or experiencing intolerable adverse events (AEs) from those”, the abstract states. “This study aimed to explore safety and effectiveness of oral cannabinoids among patients with TRCP.”

A retrospective study was conducted among Danish patients with TRCP being prescribed oral cannabinoids. Data on AEs and changes in pain intensity by numeric rating scale (NRS) before and after initiation of oral cannabinoid therapy were analyzed. The study was conducted by researchers at the Horsted Institute, North Denmark Regional Hospital and Aalborg University, all in Denmark.
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Gallup Poll: 68% of Americans Want Legal Marijuana, Including Majority of All Age Groups

Support for marijuana legalization in the U.S. remains at the record-high 68% recorded in each of the past two years according to a new Gallup Poll.

When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana in 1969, just 12% of Americans were in favor. Support grew steadily to 2000, when just about one third (31%) said they want marijuana legalized. Support surpassed the majority level in 2013, and since 2016 at least six in 10 have been in favor.

The new poll is based on thousands of participants who were questioned between October 3 and October 20.
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President Biden Will Sign Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Act Into Law

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate passed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, making it the first standalone piece of marijuana legislation to ever reach the president’s desk. Now the White House says President Biden will soon sign it into law.

H.R. 8454 passed the Senate on Wednesday and passed the House of Representatives in July. Now, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tells us that President Biden will “soon sign the measure into law.”

The bill is designed to facilitate research on marijuana and its potential health benefits, which up until this point has been a challenge for researchers. The bill will accomplish this by streamlining the application process for scientific marijuana studies and removing existing barriers for researchers that frequently slow the research process. The measure will also make it so that it’s not a violation of the Controlled Substances Act for a State-licensed physician to discuss the health benefits of medical marijuana.

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Report: Hemp Market Worth $6.8 Billion, to Grow to $18.1 Billion by 2027

The Industrial Hemp Market is estimated to be valued at $6.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $18.1 billion by 2027, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6%.

Hemp plants.

This is according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets™. The increased usage of hemp seeds in a wide range of food and beverage products such as cereals, yogurts, protein powders, and hemp milk is driving the market.

“The European market is expected to account for the fastest growth in the industrial hemp market”, states the report. “The growth can be attributed to the increased usage of hemp seed and hemp seed oil in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and personal care products.” Furthermore, the use of hemp fiber in a variety of applications, including automotive and construction materials for thermal insulation and soundproofing in automobiles is also driving the growth in Europe.
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Study: Terpene-Enriched CBD May Help to Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cannabidiol (CBD) enriched with terpenes may provide a safe and effective treatment option for autism spectrum disorder and is more effectice than CBD alone.

This is according to a case report study being published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology and epublished by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) rich products are successfully used in some countries for treating symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)”, states the study’s abstract “Yet, CBD provides insufficient intervention in some individuals, or for some characterizing symptoms of ASD, raising the need for improved compositions.”
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Study: Marijuana Legalization “Not Associated With Variations in Index Crime Rates”

Legalizing recreational marijuana at the state level doesn’t have a significant impact on crime rates, according to a new study published in the Journal of Drug Issues.

For the study researchers affiliated with the University of Colorado and Boise State University compared crime data in Colorado and Washington – the first two states to legalize marijuana – to a synthetic control over a ten-year period (2010-2019).

“[L]egalizing marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington was generally not associated with variations in index crime rates”, states the study. “These findings substantiate prior research.”
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U.S. Senate Passes Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, Sends it to President Biden

The Senate today passed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, which would expand research into marijuana-derived medications.

H.R. 8454 passed the House of Representatives in July by an overwhelming vote of 325 to 95. The measure now goes to the desk of President Biden, who is expected to quickly sign it into law.

The senate bill was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and passed the House under the leadership of Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.). Passage of the bill in the House and Senate marks the first time a standalone piece of marijuana reform legislation has ever been sent to a president.
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